Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Spring Fling: Prequel

As mentioned in my last post, I'm stealing this "30 Day Survey" from Millie. My birthday is in April, so for that reason, among others, I love that month. And spring. So, I'm starting this survey tomorrow. But here's the catch: I really don't want it to be all about me. Shocking, I know. =)

I'm inviting everyone to participate!
You don't have to do it every day if you don't want, but it would be amazing if you did. You can post your answers in the comments here, or better yet, you can host it on your blog. I'd love for everyone reading this to get involved. It will be a really fun, random way for us all to get to know one another a little better. So please join in!
By the way, this won't be the only thing my blog focuses on in April. I'm still planning on posting about sewing, old movies, and the usual random things.
You can find the "Spring Fling" button on my sidebar!

Until next time,

Sunday, March 28, 2010


So, yesterday my parents and I went to see "Alice in Wonderland" in 2D.
Warning: This post may contain major movie spoilers!

I loved it!
It was a lovely movie. During some of the really bizarre parts, I couldn't help but wonder what Mom and Dad were thinking of it. But they actually loved it, too, which really surprised me. Mom liked it all except the battle (she's not real big on battles, even in LOTR or Narnia). I liked the added plot point that Alice was the one who had to defeat the Jabberwocky. It gave the movie something to go by, because the book is pretty much just a rambling journey. The world of Underland/Wonderland was beautiful, or at least you got the sense that it used to be before the Red Queen took over. Which brings us to the cast. It was pretty much perfect. Alice was great, the Red Queen was awesome (evil yet sort of sad and vulnerable), the Cheshire Cat was perfect, and so on.
About the Mad Hatter: I was excited when I heard about Johnny Depp playing the Mad Hatter, but my excitement lessened a bit when I saw the first promotional pictures of him in that bright, overwhelming makeup and hair. I had heard mixed things about his part in the movie, so I wasn't sure. But he ended up being great! Sometimes his character was a little too close to Jack Sparrow (don't get my wrong- I love Captain Jack Sparrow!) or some of Depp's other odd people, but for the most part it was perfectly Mad Hatter. He brought a lot more story and dimension to the part than it usually has, and he's made to have quite a large part in the story. He's very likable, and his appearance isn't quite as overpowering once you get used to it (look at that picture- I can't believe I'm saying that, LOL).

In the end, Alice turned out to be a great heroine, and the *girl power* wasn't even overdone. She was pretty brave, because I can't honestly say that, given the choice, I would have done like her and chosen to return to the real world.

So finally, in other news, I'm going to be starting a 30 Day Survey on April 1st (and I'm not joking). My birthday is in April and I came across a pretty cool survey at Millie's blog that I'm going to do in April. It might seem a little self-absorbed, but I think it will be a fun way to celebrate my birthday and tell a little bit about my quirky self. Plus, I'd like anyone else who wants to join in, so I can learn about you all as well! But I'll have more about that later. =) Also, I've been updating "The Library" and "The Brown Derby Classics" links up above!

Until next time,

Friday, March 26, 2010

Finished wallets galore...

This is going to be a big post, because I, the obsessive sewist (is that a word?)/photographer, took many pictures. Here are the wallets I made in a few days over spring break and just finished today:

My labels came yesterday! I was so excited. They're beautiful. I ordered them from Etsy (here). I love the font and the little design at the bottom. They are a little thin, though, so next time I think I'll get thicker ones and get the writing a little bolder. And I might get them a little smaller. They're even more beautiful without the white blocks, but well, you know.

I made three mini-wallets. I've started adding a little key ring on the side. These are so small and light that you could attach them to your keys when you just need to carry your driver's license and some cash. =) I made two with this fabric on the outside:

But they're different on the inside.

I love this one! It's dark denim with a pink gingham heart applique and pink gingham on the inside.

A large denim wallet:

The embroidered flower (the stem's a little icky):

The dandelion wallet. It's really more of a darker teal color, but the lighting is off in these pictures. The teal color is linen; the striped fabric is cotton.

Spring blossoms wallet. Fabrics: chocolate brown faux suede and polka dot cotton (left over from a skirt):

So there you are: the finished products. =) I'm pretty happy with all of them, some more than others. I'm hoping to make some coasters this weekend or possibly finish my yellow seersucker skirt. I really want to have it finished before Easter...

Until next time,

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Buttercups (or not?)

I love buttercups.

(At least, we call them "buttercups" around here. But I just did some research, and apparently real buttercups are completely different flowers than these. I guess the correct word is "daffodil"? Or "Narcissus," according to Wikipedia. And wasn't Narcissus the obnoxious guy who was so stuck on his reflection in a lake that he drowned? I don't think that name fits with such a sweet, bright, common flower. Anyway...)

Until next time,

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Ice cream cones and strolls in Mayberry...

Today was our day trip to Mt. Airy, North Carolina. For those of you who don't know, Mt. Airy is the town where Andy Griffith grew up and the inspiration for Mayberry. It's a pretty charming little place, even if it does sometimes feel a little over-touristy. It was such a beautiful day that I spent more time just enjoying myself instead of taking a ton of pictures, so more pictures of the sights can be found here, from our last trip there.

Our first stop was at the Andy Griffith Museum, which was closed last time we went. It's basically a big room filled with Andy memorabilia that has been collected by and donated to a childhood friend of Andy's. It has all sorts of things, like film poster, records, autographs, one of Andy's sheriff shirts, Barney's suit, Otis' hat and suit, the original signs from the courthouse doors, and the original jail keys. It was pretty interesting. And of course, outside the museum is the adorable Andy and Opie statue. A few months ago, the Andy portion of the statue was vandalized and spray-painted red and green. But, apparently, they've got it all cleaned up now.

See that group of people gathered at the front of the movie theater? It was a group of four or five musicians playing bluegrass music. =)

We decided to try somewhere new to eat this time, so we picked Barney's Cafe (last time we ate at the famous Snappy Lunch). It was really good. I had a huge bacon cheeseburger. Just before we left to come home, we stopped back again and got ice cream cones.

You can go for rides in one of the sheriff cars (it costs, of course, LOL).

We also stopped by this huge beautiful museum on Main Street. Dad went in to see how much it costs, and it turned out to be free. It was a four floor museum about the regional history of Mt. Airy, and it was housed in this beautiful old brick building. One section was devoted to fire trucks, and they had all these awesome old trucks.

They also had a fireman's pole, which my brother, his girlfriend, and my dad went down:

Sorry for the bluriness. Flash wasn't allowed.

I loved the brick inside. It was so beautiful. Then in one part there were these huge curved windows that overlooked Main Street:

Of course, Mt. Airy isn't Mayberry. I suppose there isn't any real Mayberry, although if there were, I would want to live there. Isn't Mayberry the most lovely place you could imagine living? Mt. Airy is charming in itself, though. There are little sunny outdoor sitting/eating areas along Main Street. The face of Andy Griffith, the hometown hero, is everywhere. But Mt. Airy is famous for some other reasons, too. Like being the place where the original Siamese twins took up residence. Their story is fascinating but somewhat creepy (especially in relation to their deaths), so I won't share it here (but if you want to read more, you can look here). Anyway, today was a lovely way to about finish up spring break. Things were pretty perfect this afternoon, walking down Mt. Airy's Main Street, eating an ice cream cone, and then sitting in a shady spot, watching people go by.
I think Andy and the rest of the Mayberry crew could appreciate that. =)
Until next time,

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Sunshine and stitches...

Hello, sunshine
It's been too long since I
Felt your beautiful warmth
Upon my face...
(lyrics by Barlow Girl)
This has been a lovely week. My only complaint is that one week of spring break isn't long enough. I'm not ready to go back to classes and assignments and general stress. The weather has been so nice, especially today. My family was supposed to go on a day trip Tuesday, but Dad was really sick (and he never gets sick). So Mom took me, my brother, and his girlfriend shopping in a nearby town instead (our day trip is postponed until Saturday). I was rather proud of myself and came home (after being in dozens of stores) having spent only about $8. And that was at Barnes and Noble, on this book:

Which I finished reading last night and loved. Maybe even more than "The Magician's Elephant." But it's not necessarily a children's book, even though it's marketed as one. It includes some tough issues (like death and despair) but in a good way. I'm not too awfully ashamed to admit that I cried at the end. Also while at Barnes and Noble, I was repeatedly drawn to the Alice in Wonderland display. No, I haven't seen the movie yet. And I already own the book, so I couldn't justify buying another copy just because it was pretty. But I was drawn to this one. It's the original story, but in a sort-of picturebook format, and the illustrations are gorgeous. I was really geeking out with this. But I could not bring myself to spend $20 on it when I had a hunch I could get it much cheaper on Amazon (and, as you see, it's over $6 less there). So I might be ordering it sometime.

So, yesterday and today, I've been cutting out fabric and sewing! I've been digging through my plastic tub of fabric/scraps, using some stuff that I've never used before. And I've made three large wallets and three small ones (plus an iPod holder for myself and a coaster for my room so I can finally throw away that old index card I've been using as a coaster), which is a new record for me (in two days). Actually, I haven't completely finished them, because I'm waiting on my labels, which were shipped yesterday. I've gotten as far along as I could without the labels, and I'll have to finish putting them together when the labels arrive. I don't want to post them until they're finished, but here are some previews:

Applique is so much fun! This is my new iPod case I made. It's mine, so I didn't have to add a label and thus can post it now. =)

I was originally going to embroidery some music notes, but I saw a picture of this in "Doodle Stitching" and decided it was pretty and reminded me of spring. Remember, I'm new at this embroidery stuff. This is made with a split stitch (I used to never get it right, but now I love it!) and an attempted satin stitch. Sorry for the bluriness.

My little old iPod looks so tiny in here! I used dark denim (with a slight stretch) that I had bought yards and yards of for capris once-I never made the capris, this is a much funner use- and bright pink gingham.

So I've been going a little crazy with the embroidery. This is a slightly sloppy/quirky attempt at another picture from "Doodle Stitching." Please ignore my loose French knots. I think I've decided that it's a dandelion.

And this is very spring-inspired:

So, what does the finished product look like? You'll just have to wait and see. =)
Until next time,

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sleeping Beauty and a tag...

Last night, me and Mom went to a musical tribute in town. It featured local talent and was held in this awesome old movie theater that was renovated a few years ago. I got in free (because the community college sponsored it), but all of the money from tickets went to help Haiti through a local charity. Honestly, I didn't want to go because I was still feeling sick. But I'm so glad we was great! There was a local band, several vocalists, a jazz quartet, and an African drum/dance group, among other things. And all of the songs were either oldies or Broadway tunes. The jazz quartet played four 50's songs, and the singer was dressed in a suit and Sinatra hat (minus the cigarette). They were really good, but on a few songs, like "Fly Me to the Moon," I just wanted them to break lose and get into it. They were a little subdued...that song is supposed to be swinging, and they made it sound like a lullaby. Anyway, it was a great night. =)

Today I watched "Sleeping Beauty." Does that make me a complete dork? I'm okay with that. I adore *most* things Disney. I mean, old Disney, not High School Musical/Hannah Montana. So I got the platinum DVD for Christmas, and I just got around to watching it. I had forgotten how beautiful that movie is. Or maybe it's just the fact that I was watching it on a clear DVD instead of an old VHS tape this time. But it was so much better than I remember it being. The colors are lovely! And I love the music. And the special features were fascinating. Old-style hand-drawn animation amazes me. You know the famous dancing scene? Where Aurora is singing "Once Upon a Dream" in the forest, dancing with her imaginary prince when the real one shows up? The animators worked on that scene for well over a year and it cost over $10,000. You have to admire their patience! Another special feature showed how there were several main artists, and at the beginning, they all drew how they thought the princess should look. Then they put all of their drawings together, picked the best features from them, and put the features together to form a princess that everyone had input in. Then they make a reference board with the princess from all different angles, so when the artists are working individually, all of the princess Auroras have continuity. Am I a complete nerd that I find that interesting? =) I can overlook some of the ridiculousness. I can ignore the fact that Aurora and Prince Phillip fall in love after spending roughly 5 seconds with each other, or that apparently if you live in the forest in a little cottage for 16 years, all of the woodland creatures will become your friends. And the fact that Prince Phillip looks like a grown-up Peter Pan (which is, of course, impossible, as Peter Pan doesn't grow up). I can watch the movie just to admire the beautiful forest and scenery details.

To conclude this bizarre and random post, I am going to do a tag that Amber sent this way. Thanks, Amber!

1. High heels or boots? Boots.

2. What time did you get up this morning? 8:00. I usually get up at 7:00, but time just changed, so technically it was still 8:00, right?

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? "A Christmas Carol," way back in December.

4. What is your name? I'd tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.

5. What is your favorite TV show? "I Love Lucy." Followed by "The Andy Griffith Show" and "Full House."

6. What do you usually have for breakfast? Bread from the local bakery with honey, bacon, eggs (from our farm), and orange juice (and a glass of water). My dad is a big breakfast fan so we have that pretty much every morning.

7. What is your middle name? Ann. Ugh. I dearly wish there were an "e" tacked on the end, so it wouldn't look so incomplete.

8. What food do you dislike? Celery, bananas, tomatoes, onions, and the list goes on and on.

9. What is your favorite CD at the moment? Can't really pick a favorite. I've been listening to my iPod on shuffle a lot.

10. What characteristic do you despise? Arrogance/rudeness.

11. Favorite clothing? Jeans. I also secretly like wearing skirts (usually) because they make me feel so feminine, but I only wear them to church.

12. Anywhere in the world on vacation? Europe! Europe! England, Scotland, Ireland, Italy, France, etc.

13. Are you an organized person? Yes, almost obsessively in some cases.

14. Where would you retire to? Right here.

15. What was your most recent memorable birthday? Probably my 16th. A big surprise Elvis-themed party.

16. What are you going to do when you finish this? Go read my Bible and write in my journal.

17. What is your Birthstone? Diamond, or the cheap version of it.

18. Person you expect to publish this first? I don't know...

19. When is your birthday? April 21st.

20. Are you a morning person or a night person? Morning person. I don't like to stay up very late and I am one major grump if I don't get enough sleep.

21. What is your shoe size? Somewhere around 8 1/2.

22. Do you own any animals? Yes, the cat Jack.

23. Any news you'd like to share? Negative.

24. When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up? The pink Power Ranger. Then a teacher or a writer.

25. What is your favorite flower? Daisies, sunflowers, and yellow roses.

26. What is a day on the calendar you are looking forward to? I don't know? This week is spring break. Maybe next, my birthday.

27. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Yellow. Or that pretty dark pink color that comes in the big box.

28. How is the weather right now? Cool and wet.

29. Last person you spoke to on the phone? I couldn't tell you. I despise the phone. Probably my brother, last night, to let him know me and Mom were on the way home.

30. Favorite drink? Water. Raspberry/mixed berry smoothies. V8 Fusion- Acai Berry. Yum.

31. Favorite restaurant? Red Lobster, maybe.

32. Hair color? Medium brown.

33. What was your favorite toy as a child? Books, or my bunnies (these flat blanket things that I slept with forever). When I was older, my Josephina AG doll.

34. Summer or winter? Winter.

35. Chocolate or vanilla? What kind of question is that? Chocolate.

36. Coffee or tea? Tea, but only sweet ice tea. I don't drink it much.

37. Wish you were still young? Good grief, I'm only 18.

38. Do you want your friends to publish this? Sure.

39. When was the last time you cried? I'm not sure.

40. What is under your bed? A flashlight (for power outages), a baseball bat (for prowlers). I'm prepared. A box of scrapbook stuff/vintage magazines I cut up. A box of "Peanuts" comic strips and a box of letters/cards. My old keyboard. A tin can of buttons.

41 . What did you do last night? Went to the awesome musical tribute!

42. What are you afraid of? Getting out of my comfort zone, being around strangers, bugs, public speaking, snakes, icy roads, crowds, driving in unfamiliar places, sleeping in a pitch-dark room, criminals, and changes.

43. Salty or sweet? Sweet.

44. Best quality you have? I don't know. My general quirkiness? Is that a good thing?

45. How many years at your current job? Don't exactly have a job, other than helping around the farm during the summer.

46. Favorite day of the week? Fridays or Saturdays.

47. What four people will you tag? I tag anyone who wants to be tagged! =)

Until next time,

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer...

So yesterday was officially my first day of spring break. But right now, I'm not exactly as excited about this next week as I should be. I spent most of the day yesterday working on reading and questions for my online sociology class. My throat was feeling a little weird yesterday. Apparently, I've got a cold or something, and because of that I didn't get much sleep last night. I'm feeling pretty crummy, which is not good because I do not want to spend my one week off from school sick. Anyway, I'm hoping it's just a little stuffy nose/sore throat thing that won't last very long. Because I've got lots of plans for this coming week! =)

We're hopefully going back to Mt. Airy one day this week. When we went back in October, the Andy Griffith museum was closed for renovations. I know it probably won't be much, but I'm a dork about memorabilia and stuff like that. So we're planning on going back for the day. Also, we *might* be going to see "Alice in Wonderland" sometime. But most exciting of all, I'm going to sew! =) I even finally got around to ordering some custom labels from Etsy to sew in my stuff. I'm really looking foward to getting them, and the seller (Green Beans n Strings) I ordered them from was so friendly and helpful. The design is beautiful. I have a picture of it on my computer, but I'll wait until I get the labels to post them. I'm hoping to make a new spring skirt and some wallets and coasters. And, of course, I have a little homework to do this week. But let's not dwell on that.

In other news, the beginning of this week was perfect. I mean, it got up into the 60's, with sunshine and a slight breeze. Exactly one week ago Tuesday it was snowing (enough for night classes to be canceled. On Tuesday, it was 65 degrees and spring. Amazing. The end of this week has been slightly rainy and cooler, but I still hope spring is here to stay.

I watched "The Bachelor and The Bobby Soxer" again last night (yes, I'm also planning on watching many, many old movies this week). That movie is seriously adorable. It's cute anyway, but it also has some hilarious moments. It's about a teenage girl who falls in love with an older man, an artist. After an unusual series of events, the man is forced to "date" the girl until she gets over him. Cary Grant is amazing. And I love Myrna Loy's sing-song voice. And Shirley Temple is so dignified and perfect for the role. It's a shame she didn't do more movies as a teenager. Here's one of my favorite scenes:

And I love the "Happy Birthday" scene! Perfect chaos.

Until next time,

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Old Hollywood and the opera...

Hello again, dear blog readers. =) This past week has been quite hectic, but now I can take a breath and relax for a while.

A Night at the Opera (almost)

Last night, my family and I went to hear our town's (well, it's not really "our town." We live out in the county, so this is the nearest town/city) symphony orchestra play. It started out as just me and Mom going for a school assignment. I had to attend a fine arts event and write a paper about how it could involve children. Then Dad decided to go, so we dragged along my brother and his girlfriend as well. We had pizza with my grandparents and then headed to the high school auditorium. Let me just say that there were several hundred people there, and myself, my brother, and his girlfriend were some of the very, very few people who were under the age of 25. I thought it was hilarious. My brother was clearly embarrassed. The crowd was a sea of little old lady perms and grey-haired gentlemen. Apparently, this is a big deal to them (the orchestra only plays 5 or 6 times a year, but it's a free event). I saw many ladies wearing fur coats. It just amazes me that women still wear fur coats. I love it, it's so 1940's/50's. =) A man sitting in front of us was wearing a tux. One little lady had a pair of binoculars-I felt like we were at an opera. My whole family was in jeans.

Anyway, I enjoyed it very much. They played about 7 songs, most of which were overtures from famous operas and stuff like that (there was something by Mozart and then something by Beethoven, I think). The musical talent of other people amazes me, because even though I try, I don't have it. I've been playing the piano for 11-12 years (taking lessons all of those years), and I adore it, but I don't have any natural talent, and that kills me. And you can only get so far with what can be learned. There was a beautiful violin solo. My brother endured the first half (although I think he did a little dozing), but then after intermission had to resort to his iPod. Poor boy.

Being the old movie fan I am, I have sort of an obsession with old Hollywood. The "old Hollywood" I imagine probably never existed, but I like to think it did. Because once upon a time, people were actors and actresses because they were talented. That may come as a shock. They didn't become big stars simply because they were rich, scandalous, or pretty (maybe I am referring to a certain heiress). They didn't have to use vulgar jokes or crude humor to get laughs. Hitchcock could create creepy, suspenseful, "horror" flicks without including bloody gore or violence. And guess what? It is possible for a movie to be made that isn't animated and that doesn't include any profanity. Seriously, people get so conditioned to modern movies that they have no idea what they're missing out on with the oldies...anyway, I didn't mean to get on this rant today. I love the Hollywood episodes of "I Love Lucy" because they feed my interest in old Hollywood. So does "Singin' in the Rain."

So why am I talking about this? Because the Academy Awards are tonight. I don't watch them because I'm interested in the movies they promote. In fact, I think I've only seen one of the movies that is nominated for anything tonight ("Up"). I watch them because they remind me of old Hollywood. They're glamorous and reminiscent of old movies. I mean, the first Oscars were given out in 1929. How much more old Hollywood can you get than that?

I watched "Gentleman's Agreement" Friday night. It was pretty good- a little long and draggy at times, but it has a good message. And it has Gregory Peck! He is so handsome. And his voice? I could listen to him read a phone book. And it has the adorable little boy from "Anchors Aweigh" as Peck's son.

Until next time,

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Lovely day...

Today was a good day. Can I say something? Chivalry is not dead. =) Here lately, I've sure been believing it is, by the way people (guys) act nowadays (around the college campus). Today when I got to school, the door to the classroom was locked, so I had to go around to the main door of the child care center. There was a young man there with his little boy, waiting for someone to open the door. When they did, he held it open for me, and when his son tried to go in, he called him by name and said, "Let her go in first." As silly as it sounds, that completely made my day. Polite people are so rare, and here is this guy teaching his son how to be a gentleman. I wanted to give him a high-five. =)

So I get through my test in the morning class, stopping by one of the classrooms to observe an art activity for an assignment. I had a little two year old boy (who I just adored when I worked with him in the toddler room) run up to me and grab my legs in a huge hug. Then, after lunch, it starts snowing, this beautiful snow. Like, cotton balls falling from the sky snow that makes everything around here look like Narnia. Now, I'm ready for spring, but this was the prettiest snow we've had. This was snow that makes you want to stand out in it because you want to get it on your hair and eyelashes. I go to my first evening class, get our group presentation over with, and suddenly someone's saying that evening classes are canceled. Yes! I got to leave early and didn't have to go to my last class. It was lovely. I'm still worried about a presentation and midterm test on Thursday, but those aren't seeming so scary right now.

My day in brief: an encounter with *gasp* a polite person, a big hug from a sweet little boy, beautiful snow, and a canceled night class. Then I get on here and see that recently my blog has went from 7 followers to 11! Wow, welcome, you guys! That made my day even better. =)

Until next time,