Friday, May 31, 2013

Famous classic films I haven't yet seen. {Classic Movie May}

Could that post title possibly be any longer? :)

There always seem to be a lot of classic movies that others rave about that are still on my "to-watch" list. I actually had to change two of the movies from this list, because I finally got to see them recently. One was the classic monster movie Frankenstein, and the other was Random Harvest. {If you're wondering what I thought about them, check out my film board on Pinterest.}

So I scanned through my Netflix queue, and here are a few famous classics that I haven't seen...

A Star Is Born

This is one of Judy Garland's last films. It's supposed to be good, but seeing her as she got older (and she still wasn't very old at all!) is a bit uncomfortable because it's like her rough lifestyle really started to have an impact on her. I saw a tiny part of this one on TCM once, but that's it.

Annie Get Your Gun

I've heard everything from "one of the greatest musicals ever!" to "awful and overacted." But it's a musical and it has Howard Keel, so I want to see it. :)

Mrs. Miniver

I see the title of this one quite often, but I had no idea what it was about until I looked it up on Netflix. It looks interesting, and I'm turning into a Greer Garson fan. Plus I enjoy WWII stories.

Silk Stockings

I like Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse, so I'm not sure why I haven't seen this one yet.

Guys and Dolls

I mostly want to watch this for Frank Sinatra. But I've never seen a Marlon Brando film, and as a classic movie fan, that's something that I probably need to remedy.

Here are a few others that come to mind: From Here to Eternity, Lawrence of Arabia, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, Cleopatra, Cleopatra, The Mummy, The Blob, The Invisible Man, Dracula (I want to see the best classic monster movies, could you tell? :) The Barkleys of Broadway, Stalag 17, Love in the Afternoon, A Face in the Crowd, and Hello, Dolly!, and a bunch of classic Westerns (mostly Jimmy Stewart and John Wayne) that I have on VHS but haven't watched.
What are some famous classic movies that you haven't been able to watch yet?

Until next time,

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Martin and Lewis.

Every Saturday night, me and Mom watch The Colgate Comedy Hour. (It comes on this channel called Retro TV that we pick up with our small antenna.) So far they've only played the shows that were hosted by Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, which is fine with me. But I would like to see some of the others that featured Bob Hope.

I love Martin and Lewis. They just bounce off of each other perfectly...the only comedy team I can think of that is this awesome together is Bing Crosby and Bob Hope.

These guys seriously put everything they have into every performance. By the end of the show, they're out of breath and wiping sweat. My dad doesn't usually watch it with us, but when he does, he even mentions that. That's one of the things I love about classic TV and films...the stars were actually talented. Unlike all of the goobers who have their own shows now. :)

We know all of Jerry Lewis' bits by now. Me and Mom often say, "I like it! I like it!" in obnoxious voices. We recognize bits as they're coming, like the whiny "Don't (insert verb like kiss, lick, fly, etc.) it!" one. Or when Dean asks Jerry if he's ever done something, and Jerry runs all around the question. Then Dean says, "Have you?", and Jerry hangs his head and says, ""

Some episodes are funnier than others. (And we like the comedy best. We groan when Dean starts singing another slow ballad or when they have some boring dancers on the show.) There have been a couple of episodes where I laughed through the whole hour. I mean really laughed, with tears rolling down my face and when my guts hurt afterwards. :)

Here are a few of my favorite clips that we've seen so far.

The shaving scene in this clip is hilarious. I love it when they crack up at each other- it looks like they're having so much fun.

Here, Jerry was spoofing Marlon Brando and some TV show called "The Continental." I've never even seen a Marlon Brando film or the show, but oh my goodness, this made me laugh. (I just really love it when Jerry or Dean can't help but break character and laugh.) "You been going to the gym, ain't ya?"

My favorite shows are the ones where they end with Dean and Jerry in front of the band. Because then you know they're going to dance and goof off. I love this clip because the Four Step Brothers are amazing, but mostly I love it because Jerry Lewis dancing is one of the best things ever. :)

Until next time,

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

First wheel spun yarn!

I love spinning on my wheel. It's so relaxing and goes so quickly! I just want to spin every evening, though I feel like I should make time for knitting, too. After all, what good is a lot of yarn if I'm not actually knitting anything? :)
Anyway, this is my first ever wheel spun yarn. I used a bit of fiber that came with the wheel...I don't know what kind of wool it is or how many ounces it was. It's a 2 ply, and I ended up with 98 yards. I was shooting for worsted weight, but it ended up being bulky.

It's not very consistent at all, and there are lots of spots with too much twist or not enough. But that's okay, because I'm still learning how to use the wheel properly.

I feel like that first yarn helped me get the hang of things. I figured out that I like to spin my singles somewhat loosely, and then put in more twist while I'm plying. This is my second yarn, and it's made from the other fiber that came with my wheel. The bag was labeled Corriedale, but I'm not positive that's what it is.

I hope it's Corriedale, though! Because I love this yarn. It's the softest, bounciest yarn I've ever spun (spindle spun included). This is the first time I've spun yarn that felt springy. It also puffed up beautifully after being washed. I have some other Corriedale fiber to spin, plus the rolags I'm creating from the 1 lb. of raw Corriedale fleece, so I really hope this is characteristic for this breed.

It's two ply, and the big skein is approx. 100 yds. I still had a bit of one single left on the bobbin, so I plied it on itself (Andean style) to give me some extra yarn. The small skein is approx. 20 yds, so it made 120 total.

I've now started on some greenish-blue fiber that I ordered from the Woolery. It's Corriedale, too, I think. I'm halfway done so I'll be posting it soon. :)

Until next time,

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

My favorite underrated films. {Classic Movie May}

I wouldn't call any of these films "obscure," but in my opinion, they don't get the attention they deserve. I love all of these films, but I rarely hear anyone mention them as favorites.

The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer

I saw this film for the first time pretty early into my classic movie obsession. It was probably one of the first few movies I ever watched that starred Cary Grant (and Myrna Loy, for that matter). This is such a funny, charming movie! Shirley Temple plays a teenager who becomes smitten with an artist (Cary Grant). At first he resists her attention, but after some persuading from the girl's older sister (Myrna Loy), he pretends to date her, all the while hoping her infatuation will wear off and secretly trying to reunite her with her high school boyfriend. This film has so much going for it...the three stars, plus Rudy Vallee in an amusing role, and lots of clever dialogue and situations.

My parents and I quote the "you remind me of a man..." bit quite often. We have a tendency to accidentally say "Who do?" in conversation, which of course is the perfect place to start quoting that part. :)

The Inn of the Sixth Happiness

To be honest, I've only seen this film once. I own it, but it lasts almost 3 hours and that puts me off from watching it more often! Anyway, Ingrid Bergman stars as an English maid who becomes a missionary to China. She's involved in running an inn for travelers, checking to make sure the ban against foot binding is obeyed, aiding orphaned children, etc. It's a lot better than I make it sound. :) I remember really enjoying it, and I need to watch it again as soon as possible.
Summer Stock

I've already talked about this one here. It's one of my favorite musicals, but unfortunately it doesn't seem to be very well known.

Key Largo

I didn't just pick this because my family really enjoys going on vacation in the Florida Keys. :) This is my favorite Bogart and Bacall film of the ones I've seen so far. The owners of a hotel in Key Largo (and a friend- Bogart) are stuck inside the hotel with a group of gangsters, unable to leave because a terrible hurricane is happening. One of the last scenes, which is a showdown on a small boat between Bogart and the bad guys, is incredibly suspenseful. It's a really good movie. :)

Christmas in Connecticut

This is my favorite Christmas-themed classic film! I've written about it quite a lot over the past couple of years, so I won't go into a lot of detail. I love Jefferson Jones and the baby who changes its appearance and the snowy house in Connecticut. And I especially love Felix. :)

What are your favorite obscure or underrated films? I'd love to know...I'm always looking for old movie recommendations. :)

Until next time,

Monday, May 27, 2013

In the garden.

One of my goals this year was to learn how to grow things. I thought I was a plant killer because everything I tried to grow in a cute little pot in my room always shriveled up and died. :) We always have a garden, but it had mostly been my parents' thing. This year I've been trying to be a bit more involved, though. And since I've been on this obsessive fiber/yarn/spinning/knitting kick this year, I wanted to grow some herbs that I could use to dye yarn naturally.
There are several plants native to the area that grow everywhere in our area (like staghorn sumac and pokeberry) that I can use, but I also wanted to plant a few things. I ordered several packs of dyeing herb seeds from Pinetree: indigo, golden marguerite, black hollyhock, and hopi red dye amaranth. {I also got lavender, not for dyeing but because I like the way it smells. And my parents ordered some fennel, which can be used for dyes.}
We started quite a few of our seeds in our little greenhouse, and I've enjoyed taking care of them. I love going out in the morning to see if anything has changed overnight! :) Because yes...things are growing! It's a miracle. :) I still don't think that I have a green thumb, though. I think it's because we're using homemade compost and worm tea.
{By the way, I originally wrote this post and took the photos over a week ago. Since then, we had several days of rain and things really shot up. So some of the pictures are before the rain, some are after.}
I was most excited about indigo. It's a source of blue dye, which is important because there are no plants native to North America that result in blue dye. But indigo loves hot, sunny weather. Even though I started the seeds in the greenhouse, they weren't doing much at all. But lately we've had some hot weather, and all of a sudden the indigo has practically doubled in height! I planted the other half of the seeds a week ago, so I'm hoping they'll be more successful since it's warmer now.

This is my golden marguerite. Or the bottom two left ones are, anyway...I think the others are weeds. {The only problem with the compost is that sometimes it grows grass and weeds, too.} I love how intricate the little leaves are. These were in the greenhouse, but a week or two ago, we planted the rest out in the garden. (Since writing this post, I planted these two into the garden, too. The golden marguerite seeds we planted in the garden apparently aren't doing anything.)

These were planted directly into the garden: hopi red dye amaranth. They make (of course) red dye, and apparently the leaves and seeds are edible. I was so excited when I saw these dark reddish-burgundy plants growing. I'm not very good at plant identification, but it's easy to tell that these aren't weeds. :)

We planted zinnia seeds in between our herb groups. They'll be pretty flowers, but they can also be used for dyeing.

My black hollyhock! These by far did the best of all my plants. They sprung up the quickest in the greenhouse, and every single one of the nine that were planted survived. Unfortunately I won't be able to dye with these this year...they're biennial and won't bloom until next year. (After the rain, I couldn't believe these. You probably can't tell, but the leaves practically doubled in size over a day or two.)

I also planted some lavender. It took forever to come up, but now that it's a couple of inches tall, it already smells like lavender! I was so excited when I noticed that. {No, I don't go around sniffing plants. Well, maybe just the herbs.}

We did start other things from seed besides herbs. :) These are some tomato plants we started in the greenhouse. (They've since been moved from the greenhouse into the garden.)

Swiss chard and cucumbers...

And squash and zucchini. I can't believe that we actually planted these as seeds, and look at them now.

They were transplanted into one of the two high tunnels that my dad put up this year.

My dad also planted lots of other vegetables that I don't have pictures of...lots of lettuce, tomatoes, potatoes, green beans, carrots, peppers, etc.

I'm very excited to try to dye yarn this year! Of course I'll blog about it when I finally get to do some experimenting. Right now I'm just waiting for things to grow. I've bought two big enamel kettles (but could still use a couple more), alum, iron mordant, and a hot plate, but I still have a few more supplies I need to find.

Have you ever dyed yarn? What are you growing in your garden this year?

Until next time,

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Project 360: Week 21

{140} Started knitting a cowl with this pretty yarn.

{141} For some reason, I've not yet read this! I found it at $1.05.

{142} My first wheel spun yarn drying outside. More photos soon. :)

{143} A cover crop in the garden blooming.

{144} Beautiful sky, but my walk got cut short because of ticks crawling on my clothes. Now I remember why my walks end during the summer (besides the 90 degree heat).

{145} One of our two angry, broody hens giving me the evil eye.

{146} I have a thing for weird salt and pepper shakers. My mom found me this pair of adorable, kooky owls at a yard sale yesterday.

Until next time,

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Small knitting project bag.

I made this little bag from this tutorial. It was quick and easy, and I love the fact that it's completely reversible.

There's Lucy on the inside. :)

But I have a few issues with it. I didn't have any soft interfacing on hand...only the sort-of stiff kind I use in wallets and such. The interfacing (and the gusseted bottom) make the bag sturdy enough to stand on its own, which I like. But it also affects the drawstring. It's so stiff around the top that it doesn't draw tight properly, a fact made worse by the thin little trim stuff I used as the string.

I'd like to try it again with softer interfacing and a stronger drawstring. But it also bugs me that it doesn't really have a handle (unless you carry it by the drawstring).

I really want to sew a big, sturdy, square-bottomed project bag that's large enough for bigger knitting projects, too. I want a divider in the bag and lots of pockets. I'm looking for the right pattern or tutorial, but I'm thinking I might just have to make one up myself. Any pattern suggestions? :)

Until next time,

Friday, May 24, 2013

Closed- Hitchcock giveaway! {Classic Movie May}

If you've read today's post about Hitchcock films, you know that Spellbound is one of my favorites. So I'm giving away a brand new DVD of this lovely film. :)

To enter, leave me a comment telling me your favorite Hitchcock film. If you haven't seen many of his and don't have a favorite, any comment will do. :)

 For extra entries:

-Link up to at least one Classic Movie May post.
-Follow this blog.

That's a possible 3 entries per person. Please leave a separate comment for each entry, and leave your email address in at least one of the comments so I can contact you if you win.

Good luck! Since I'm a little late posting this giveaway, I'll wait until the first few days of June to draw the winner.
And don't forget to enter the other giveaway for 1 yard of Wizard of Oz fabric! I'm really surprised that there have only been a couple of entries, so if you enter now you have a pretty good chance of winning. :)

P.S. I'm a little broke at the moment, so I'm afraid I'll have to limit this giveaway to residents of the US and Canada only.

Edit: The winner was drawn by and it was Natasha Marie! Congrats. :)

Until next time,

My favorite Hitchcock films. {Classic Movie May}

When I was younger, I loved getting scared. I searched Goodwill regularly for ghost stories and Goosebumps books and devoured them though they scared me half to death. {Thanks to a particularly creepy picture book called Tailypo, for years I was terrified to fall asleep with any of my limbs hanging over the edge of my bed. True story. :)}

Now, not so much. I love roller coasters and such, but I avoid scary movies and books like the plague. I'm a scaredy-cat. :) The last scary book I read was House, by Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker, and though I finished it, I couldn't read it before I went to bed.

I adore Hitchcock films, though. I can't handle scary, but I can handle creepy and suspenseful. And that's what Hitchcock is all about. Here are my favorites...
1. Strangers on a Train
I suppose this isn't one of Hitchcock's most famous films, but I just really, really love it. :) It's exciting and creepy and thrilling. Robert Walker as Bruno creeps me out so much that I've never been able to watch him in anything else and like him (even The Clock with Judy Garland!). And the carousel scene is one of the most stunning black and white scenes I've ever seen.
2. Spellbound

This was the first Hitchcock film I ever watched, so I've always had a special attachment to it. But it really is a good movie. It's less gruesomeness and murder and more psychological mystery. The last few minutes are edge-of-your-seat thrilling, and Gregory Peck and Ingrid Bergman are always good. I think the romance between their characters here is really sweet.

3. Rear Window

The moral here: don't spy on your neighbors! I personally think things would have been a lot easier for Jimmy Stewart if he had chosen a different hobby. Like knitting. :) This one has a great creep Stewart's character imagining things or did his neighbor really kill his wife? Lars Thorwald is just about as creepy as Bruno from Strangers on a Train...even his name is awful sounding. :)

4. Psycho
I think this is the second scariest film of Hitchcock's. I've only seen it once, and it was not exactly what I was expecting it to be. It was better (and scarier :). Of course I had heard all about Psycho, but I had never seen a picture of Norman Bates, and he looked nothing like I expected!'ll probably never take another shower without thinking of this movie.

5. Notorious
I originally had Suspicion listed for this one. But I recently rewatched Notorious and decided that it should make my favorites list. :) It was much better than I remembered it being. Ingrid Bergman's character, the daughter of a Nazi spy, is asked by the US government to infiltrate a group of Nazis living in Brazil. She's falling in love with the US agent she's working with (Cary Grant), but has to pretend to love one of the Nazis in order to find out what they're up to. It's very good, and while this one is less of a thriller and more of an espionage story (and a love story :), there are definitely some edge-of-your-seat moments.

P.S. In case you're wondering, I think the creepiest Hitchcock film is The Birds. I'm already not a bird person, and that one made me even more suspicious of them!

What are your favorite Alfred Hitchcock films?

Until next time,