Monthly Archives: December 2012

That Print’s Really Wild

I bought this button front cotton “house dress” type shirtdress for $4 at Goodwill.  I was attracted to the colors in the print but also found the print overwhelming. Cover your eyes- it’s a pink and black zebra. The dress had a rectangle shape and looked frumpy on me.

I decided to make a skirt.   I made a waistband with the middle piece I cut.  I put elastic in the back waist waistband only, and made a new buttonhole for the front. I also narrowed the waistline by sewing a new seam from the hip to the waist.

I practiced my buttonhole on a scrap and it came out perfectly.  Then I sewed the real thing and got a big bump.  But I stitched it again, and it’ll do.  My first buttonhole!

I finished this refashion at the end of November before it was cold.

All of my dresses and skirts are for warm weather.  Next I want to refashion a winter skirt.

Records from Christmas’s Past

As a child, I watched the then new Christmas television specials that are now classics: “A Charlie Brown Christmas”, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”, and “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”.

I still have some Christmas golden 78 records (yellow vinyl) put out by cultural icons The 3 Stooges, Dennis the Menace and the Original Disney Chipmunks.  The Disney chipmunks later had to compete with Alvin and the gang in the battle of chipmunk singing.

I especially remember listening to the 3 Stooges’ hilarious  “Wreck the Halls”  when everything came crashing down at the end.

Another favorite TV Christmas special was “Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol”. That one is no longer shown, although I think it was shown again this year in a version edited to add more commercials (boo).

A favorite Christmas movie is “Scrooge”, the 1970 musical version of Dickens “A Christmas Carol” starring Albert Finney.

I saw it in the theater when it first came out, and was captivated by the songs.  I especially love the exuberance of the three songs at the end “I Like Life”, “Father Christmas”, and “Thank You Very Much” with all the townspeople singing and dancing in the street. Now I can enjoy it every year.

Merry Christmas!

Hand Stitching for Christmas

I love Christmas crafts.  I especially like to make tree ornaments. This time of year is so busy, so why don’t I start a few months early?  I wait for the Christmas spirit, the special inspiration to hit that makes me want to create in every spare moment.  I may think I will make more of what captures my imagination later, but it rarely works out that way.

One year I was into making clothespin dolls.

One year I knit many little bears.

I crocheted snowflakes, I knitted little stockings.

This year I was caught up in making small felt stockings.  I drew shapes from paper as templates for the felt cutouts, and then gathered  ribbons, sequins, and embroidery floss to hand sew each one.

I sewed on the shapes with a running stitch- some with thread the same color as the shape, others with a contrasting color.  I whip stitched the two sides together.   The fun part was making each one different, and thinking of ideas of what I wanted to make next.

Here are the nine I came up with.

I love them all!  Well, ok, I think the poinsettia is the prettiest and the gingerbread boy’s eyes look a little creepy.  Do you have a favorite?

I wonder what I’ll be making next Christmas.

Paused For Technical Difficulties

When my four year old desktop computer started having problems, and I was getting “one of your disks needs to be checked for consistency”  messages I intended to have it fixed.  But when I couldn’t boot at all a few days later on Thanksgiving weekend,  I wondered if it wouldn’t be smarter to upgrade than repair.  I had my first computer for 8 years.  I made the mistake of replacing the hard drive a few times and didn’t realize how sadly out of date my machine was.  This time I decided to replace, and got a more powerful computer with ample memory and storage.  I was tired of always waiting and getting “not responding” messages, stopping scripts, and coming to a standstill whenever the antivirus software would update.

I don’t keep updated on technology enough.  I need to go into Best Buy more often.  I was still using a mouse with a rolling ball, and let me tell you, it was usually pretty jerky.  There are  optical mice,  laser mice and wireless mice.  I only installed a router and discovered wi-fi when I was given an Android tablet two months ago.  I thought tablets were just for reading books, and I’d rather read web pages.  When I read a book, I want an actual book.  And I’ve never had an I-anything or used a phone for other than making calls.

I’m happy I upgraded. My  new Dell came with Windows 8. Uh, wait a minute.  I have to learn how to do everything all over again?  What is the start screen for? How to close an app, how to shut down, how to find programs?  And why do you need an app for a website when you are on a desktop?  Oh, this is the operating system for touch devices but you are using it on a desktop.  I found swiping the corners for “charms” to be odd, but I caught on,  got things customized, got my data and photos back from Mozy, and I’m ready to go forward.