Monday, October 16, 2017

Everything I disliked about An American Paris and the one thing I did like

Wow. That's a loaded title, I know.

Disclaimer: if An American in Paris is on your wish list of Broadway plays to see and you don't want spoilers, you've been warned. I'm going to gripe a lot. In detail.

why i hated an american in paris
The Mister and I before the crushing reality of An American in Paris destroyed my zest for life
Maybe the movie is better, but I've not seen it. The play though, uggh. Let's begin my tear down of a beloved classic.

Jerry. Just, why? The hero I never liked. The American with the hokey, it's all about me attitude. The song where he changes Lise's name from Lise because it's too sad--aww, precious--to Liza. Like men on the street telling women with resting bitch face to smile. No, you smile.

Adam. In love with a figment of his imagination. Why, oh why, were you not the hero I wanted? At first I hoped Lise would turn the story upside down and choose you. But that changed when I learned you were content to love your version of Lise; the beautiful ballerina with a smile pasted on her face. You forget, to love a woman means to love the negative that comes along with the good. I'm someone who loves a tragic love story. But not yours.

Henri. The hero that should have been. Why weren't you the hero I needed. Where was your story? I got a taste of what could be, but it wasn't to be. Yours was the only story with heart, but were deemed nothing more than a secondary plot line. All you got was a wink, winkdon't you like girls? Where was the suspense regarding why you didn't fight? Where was the intrigue?  Where was the grand reveal that no, you weren't in fact a coward but had protected Lise all along. Instead it was merely, meh.

Henri's parents. So not a factor I don't even remember your names. Where was your dignity in the end? You were merely a comedic device where all we got was a few lackluster laughs at your stodgy expense.

Milo. The McGuffin. def. An object or device in a movie or book or play that serves merely as a trigger for the plot. Gag.

The songs: Fidgety Feet and S'wonderful. So mind-numbingly stupid I want to rip their putrid melodies from existence as they continue to recycle through my brain.

Wow.

Now for what I liked.

The ballet dancing was beautiful.

I appreciate the artistry and the talent of the actors, but never again, An American in Paris. Never again.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Changing Gears

A bit.

I'll still share crafts and cooking as those topics are dear to my heart. But I've been an aspiring romance novelist since I was 18 or so. Sitting in my room in my parent's house furiously plotting and writing up characterizations. Not always in any order. Sometimes my protagonist spoke to me before any semblance of plot did. Sometimes I had every twist and turn laid out but didn't know who starred in it. But always the ideas.

indie author
My set up. I work standing up at my kitchen counter.
But I was a dumb teenager and decided money needed to line my pockets.

So, instead of going to school and learning about the craft I so dearly loved I joined the working masses. I jumped from police dispatcher, to call center drone, to finally land as a medical billing specialist. Don't despair, there were a few positives. My husband, namely. And money is an unfortunate necessity.

Now though, now I'm back to my original plan. And even have a manuscript to show for it.

But now what?

how to indie author
Only high tech office equipment for me
If you're an aspiring novelist you might be thinking the same thing. So, as I'm sure there are more of us who don't know what we're doing than do, I'm going to show you how I'm doing it. It doesn't mean it's right. It's just what I'm figuring out as I go along.

So far, I have completed two steps out of goodness only knows how many and am working on step 3.

Step 1: Write manuscript
Step 2: Edit the crap out of it. Never stop editing.  I even hired an editor which was eye opening if costly.  Edit some more.
Step 3: Find agent. This is h.e. double hockey sticks. Here's the thing, apparently, I've written in a genre that's currently not being picked up by publishing houses. Pararomance. Blah. So that means self-publishing is up my alley. Fine. But...

How the heck do I do it?

indie author la croix
Me: need la croix. Kids:need art supplies 
Going forward I'll chronicle the life of an indie author and how I got there. Hopefully. Right now I'm just a gal who has 103,000 words giving me the evil eye.

I'd love it if you stick with me through it all.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The bees knees




I like bees. It could be because I'm from the beehive state. It could be because I grew up eating butter and honey toast. And Honey Nut Cheerios. And my Great Grandma's honey popcorn balls. And... yeah, I like bees.

So when colony collapse disorder became a thing I panicked and began planting things bees like.

Save the bees became my mantra. Not really. But now that I think about it, I need a mantra. Other than the golden rule, I guess. Nah, that's a good'un. I'll keep it. Different than the golden ratio, but no less important.



I also began sewing bee-related stuff. I had a fever inside. Full disclosure, I have been stung, and I still like them. And if I had a bigger yard, I'd have a hive of my own. The Mister has reservations.




I do have a need to replace this wall hanging, though. I've got a vision floating inside my head of denim-dyed linen. Yeahhh.

Plus, my kids will always choose honey on their PB&J's over jelly. Guess they're their mama's girls.

Speaking of which,



Definitely mama's girl. And man, you should see this girl chain. One day in and I'm about ready to start her on single crochet. As I was teaching her all I could think about was this long ago beginning and how cute is that little 5 year old. But she hasn't wanted to touch a hook since. I also love that she's hanging around in a swimming suit. As a wee-one I couldn't get her out of her "swim poot".



Then, my oldest decided if her baby sister was crocheting she was crocheting. Which reminded me of this: My proudest crafting moment when my oldest crocheted herself a rat tail. Miss the days she let me piggy tail her hair.

I do enjoy that my daughters both crochet while sitting the same way.

Aww, summer. Bees, lazy days of crafting, and fussing. Oh, the fussing.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Needle Minder Time

I don't know, I've been sewing a long time and have only just heard about needle minders. Maybe it's because I'm spending all my time writing, but really, where have I been? They're all over the internet.

Now, I have never been the type of person to just buy something. I want to make it. In fact, the Mister just suggested to me that I need to go into blacksmithing. Uh, yes please. Let's just add it to the list of all the other things I want to learn. Glass work, knitting more better, refurnishing furniture, tailoring (I might have to practice making vests), sashiko embroidery, tomato grafting... it just keeps going.

But, as soon as I learned of needle minders I needed one.

So, I busted out my button-maker, aida, thread, needles, a couple rare earth magnets, and some sturdy craft glue.

Then, I cross-stitched a cute little something. Turned it into a button. Glued one magnet to the back of the button. Let it dry.

And finally, using a second rare earth magnet I affixed the needle minder to the back of my work and hopefully the days of stepping on lost needles are gone.

My mama's needle minder


And this one is mine. In action. I've lost my mind and am making a millefiori quilt. Why? I thought I needed something to do while the girls are at water polo practice.


Thanks for reading!


Tuesday, July 4, 2017

How hard is it to make a &*$#@ vest?

Due to the emotional trauma suffered in the making of my daughter's Annie Oakley vest expect few pictures. In fact, you get only one.

I fancy myself a decent quilter. That means I can make anything I want, right? Wrong.
I've made pajamas and a Little Red Riding Hood cloak. That means I can make a vest, right? Wrong. Well, right, because I made it, but wrong in assuming I can just waltz in and make anything and have it work out seamlessly. Ha! See what I did there? Sewing humor.

I chose to make McCall's pattern M7416 F. Why? I knew my baby would get a kick out of the swingy fringe.

There were words like: understitch, dart, lining, and most horrific of all band facing. This pattern broke me. The part where I needed to "open out lining" sent me straight to the bottle. Luckily, after copious amounts of googling, crying, and hair pulling I figured it out.

fringed vest

But in the end, it turned out pretty great. Fudged bits and all. And she made one heck of an Annie Oakley. Never again, though. Never again. Alright, you know that's not true. Like childbirth I'll forget the horror and try something I'm unqualified for and soon, no doubt.


Thanks for reading.


Monday, July 3, 2017

It's a Deadpool miracle

Last post I threatened to stop making the Mister sweet treasures. This caused sadness and tears, as you can imagine. Well, loving wife that I am I gave him one more chance.

deadpool mugrug

The Mister has decided, erroneously I might add, that Deadpool is the coolest superhero flick (it's actually Kingsman). As a result of that conversation a Deadpool/perler bead inspired mug rug was born to much gladness and smiles.

Imagine all the itty-bitty 1 inch squares. Yeah, 1 inch!


Full disclosure, that's actually my mug posing on the mug rug. The MOM might give it away. But I wanted to show you the mug rug in action.

Now, the Mister is the envy of all geeks, I'm the hero, and I can see in his eyes that he will love every homemade item I make him from here on out. Feels pretty good. Sweater uni-suit coming up.

Thanks for reading!

p.s. It's that time again. If you're at the farmer's market and come across gooseberries grab 'em and make this Gooseberry Pie


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Mug Rug Time

What's a mug rug, you might ask. It's smaller than a placemat but bigger than a coaster. Just the thing to enjoy your afternoon snack: a cup of tea and a small treat.

They're fun to make because they whip up quick, and you can experiment with different designs without needing to commit too many resources to them.

The Mister commissioned me to make his buddy at work a mug rug as he was leaving for greener pastures. His buddy loves Captain America. I have to agree, Cap is the best Avenger. Anyway, back to the mug rug, and after that, a tragic tale.

Here it is, and I have to say I love how it turned out. This is by no means an original, it comes courtesy of a Pinterest search and a woman by the name of Lilja Björk Sigurdórsdóttir. It's called Captain America's Shield.

Now, here's the tragic tale, are you ready? I made The Mister a mug rug for Christmas and like all the projects I make for him, ahem:



His own, The Mister action figure crocheted in his likeness as Lord of the Dance, complete with chest hairs, nipples, and Neil Diamond bedazzling.

And


A, if I may say so myself, fabulous interpretation of Darth Vader free-style embroidered on a poncho for him to wear when he's banished to the basement where it's very, very cold because I refuse to turn on the heater.  Did I mention this is a woman's poncho. To be fair, I couldn't find a man's poncho anywhere.

Maybe it's the giant hand. Did I also mention this was free-styled? Yeah. Artisanal is what it is. Like bread. It's not supposed to look perfect. Flaws are desired, even.

Sorry, I was telling you about the tragedy.

He hates them. He hates everything I make him. He hates when I make him things and I don't know why.

The poncho, he's never worn it to work. I mean, rude. Most men would love to have their wives make them something this cool.

The dolly, errr, action figure, he had it hidden away in a drawer, and I had to blackmail him to get it back. The details are sketchy and we don't need to go there, suffice it to say, he doesn't appreciate my craft.

You see, turns out he was jealous of his buddy's Cap mug rug. I asked him why he never uses the mug rug I made him. And you want to know what he said? He said, if you actually made me something rad, I would use it. I'm pretty sure he used the word rad. It might have been gnarly or bodacious...anyway, he has one last chance to actually like something I've hand-made him or I will NEVER make him anything ever again.

Not true. Ha! I will never stop.

But, stay tuned for a reveal.


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Solstice Block 12


Just sharing pics of what I'm working on at the moment. That's as good as it gets friends.

So, each week I'm working on Pat Sloan's Solstice Quilt. I went with a Christmas quilt as I've always wanted one, and I had a bunch of Christmas fabric giving me the evil eye as it sat collecting dust. The Cotton + Steel fabric was almost too cute to cut, and tragically I'm almost out of the pink ornament now. le sob.

And, because I can't follow the rules I threw in an extra fabric choice.

But I like how the pink makes this a fun intersection of fabric yumminess.

And, the half-square triangles I cut incorrectly for block 13. OF COURSE! Look, it really does pay to read the instructions carefully. And to not cut the fabric to the finished dimensions.

Tossed in the scrap basket. The kids'll like 'em. Plus, if I ever lose my mind and decide to make a postage stamp quilt there they are, just waiting.
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