Tuesday, September 7, 2010
“Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.” — Julia Child
Monday, April 26, 2010
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
I have been trying to get my family together to watch some special Netflix movies and to catch up on Lost episodes but everyone is busy and not in the living room at the same time. Lost is almost over and we are one month behind. Pitiful and frustrating! Actually, I watched an episode by myself yesterday because I couldn't stand waiting any more. I don't mind watching episodes twice because I'm usually knitting when I watch TV and miss stuff. Also, that show is so crazy, a second viewing can only help.
At the last Project Linus Blanket Bee I attended, I received free yarn to knit blankets. Other members of my knitting guild were able to choose yarn as well and I've been using their stash to make several crocheted blankets. I'll get the photos up as soon as they are finished. I prefer to crochet blankets as it goes so much quicker. I do have a beautiful knitted log cabin blanket on my needles for PL. Those are just fun to make. I'll be casting on for my niece's 16th birthday soon with another log cabin in purples and gray. I'm using a variety of yarns for texture and I know it's going to be fabulous when it's finished.
I'm looking forward to getting back to my February Lady Sweater in a few days when my list of "must knits" has been whittled down. I just completed a Baby Surprise Jacket with a matching Boston Beret for my friend. I really like the way it turned out. Unusual or modern color combinations really make this pattern work for the fashionable baby.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Would that I had the sensibility to have watched this movie sooner. Perchance I would have been able to love it longer. Alas, I have loved it less than one hour, for that is how recently I viewed this delightful movie by Ang Lee. Did it win a Golden Globe for Best Picture? Yes, it did. And well deserved, too. Of course, I cried at the end. The entire movie was completely wonderful and except for the muddy roads, rudimentary medical care, and lack of indoor toilets, I would like to spend some time there. I would even venture to wear the clothes which, although not completely unflattering, looked a bit cumbersome. Would that we all still had such proper manners and spoke in such delightful manner.
Some Like it Hot. Marilyn Monroe did not wear any sort of girdle in this movie I can tell you that. She was jiggling all the way and that seemed unusual to me for the time period. She was no skinny Minny either. She was round everywhere. I wonder what size she was. Compared to the starving actresses we see now, she was a blimp. Makes me wish for the old days. Except for all the butt pinching women had to put up with. At least in Austen's time period, there was some decorum towards women even though they couldn't own property, etc. I suppose women were treated according to their class.
Born Yesterday was a fantastic movie. I understand that Judy Holliday played the role on Broadway before starring in the movie. She had lots of practice and won that Academy Award. She was wonderful. That movie is a lot of fun. It has a great message about education, the democratic system, and empowering women. Who woulda thought you could get all that in a fun, old black and white film?
And for the record, I'm glad we have universal healthcare and I hope whatever problems come up, we can fix them through legislation the way our forefathers intended.
Saturday, February 27, 2010
I was so happy to meet my goal of making three blankets to be sent to Haiti for the relief effort. I hope that they make a difference. It seems like such a small thing to do when the people there need so much.
Granny square blankets work up pretty quick so it was good choice for blankets that were needed right away. I delivered the blankets to Quiltz where they keep Project Linus blankets for pick up by another volunteer.
This coming weekend is a Project Linus Blanket Bee and I'll be attending that. I always meet new and friendly people there. I am also looking forward to hanging with some knitting guild friends and catching up on how they're doing. It's always a positive experience to knit and crochet with other people who enjoy making blankets for kids.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Yup, I've heard of it - but I've never seen it. Until now. TCM is running Oscar-winning movies all month long and how fun is that? I check the on-TV schedule and set to record any movies that I think I'm interested in or maybe should see to round out my movie-watching education. Now, Voyager was a wonderful movie with Bette Davis. The nerdy young woman she is at the beginning of the movie looks exactly like my son's 13 year old friend at school. Yuck. Middle school. Do we ever look worse than we do in middle school? No. It's our transition period. Except for my youngest son who looks cute at every age. Lucky!
So, I was thinking about how the movie ended. I don't think it would have ended the same way if the story were re-made. We have really relaxed our morals in current times. I suppose there was a certain strength of character to be admired in Charlotte. I think it's interesting how now, I have observed, if you want to look frumpy - like a before and after - the girl has curly and usually frizzy hair to begin with. Then she gets all this product and blow drying and irons that tame her hair and she's transformed into the "swan." Ex: The Princess Diaries; Pam Beesly on The Office; I even saw it on one of the women in the show Mercy. She usually has made-for-her curls anyway, which are gorgeous. She has "black" hair, so who knows what it looks like when she lets it go. Black people are always having to treat their hair to fit in it seems like. Michelle Obama and her girls do it most of the time and then sometimes they get to just let their hair be. Why do we have to do these things to fit in? Even my 15 year old son fights against his gorgeous curls to flatten them out and have straight hair like all the other guys.
Embrace what's yours. I guess that's all I can say.
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
I can crochet really fast. I made this afghan in record time. I really like the way it turned out. I used the stitches from another pattern that I like to use to make large blankets. I basically didn't do the double crochet rows and the blanket looks a bit lacy but was super fast to crochet. I've already started a granny square blanket with lots of greens in it.
Of course, now I've been sidetracked by my need to finish the scarf I was working on to teach a class. Also, I just had to try out a new stitch for a baby blanket and have that started. I'm also knitting up a quick baby hat for a gift. Actually, I need to make several more for gifts. I can make them for gifts now that I have perfected the pattern and am selling it online and at Knit Happens yarn store.
Listened to a bit of Ray Bradbury reading his own tales and I'm not sure that I love him reading his own stuff. I did listen to him read Fahrenheit 451 and I guess I got used to it. It's just cool that he's still alive.
Finished reading The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher and now on to Barbara Kingsolver's The Lacuna. I just found out that a friend read it and loved it. Also, just found out that it has Frida Kahlo, et al in it and I am very interested in reading this book. Going to download Infidel too since that's my book group's next pick.
Hmmm. Been watching a lot of TV lately. There are reruns but Damages is new and so is Big Love. Got the Grammy's on DVR for my son. Heard they weren't that fun to watch so glad I can speed through it. Still watching American Idol try-outs. Those shows are really the best part of the entire process.
We all watched Super Size Me last weekend and my disgust with fast food lasted about 4 days. I grew up on fast food. What are you gonna do? Still trying to avoid it as much as possible. Time watch the latest episode of House and knit!
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
One of the many reasons I love Project Linus is that when there is a crisis, they put the call out for blankets for the cause and I can make something that will make a difference. We have until Feb. 27th to make blankets for Haitians who have so little. It's hard to imagine one of my blankets helping very much but I hope that it does. I hope all of the blankets we send will be used well and will let the people there know how much we care. Handmade items are so very personal. I have made so many blankets and hats and scarves in my lifetime and given them away - it's hard for me to imagine how it feels to most people to receive a handmade item. I have given items to people who have NEVER received a handmade gift. It's true! Sometimes my baby blankets are the only handmade gift a new mom receives. In times like these, I remind myself that I have something special to offer even though to me it is as simple and necessary as breathing. My handmade blankets can make a difference to someone who needs some warmth and love. Project Linus blankets are handmade hugs. Now that's special.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Thank goodness for TCM. I can watch old movies and expand my film repertoire. Wild Strawberries was one that I knew I should watch but wasn't sure I could be patient enough to get through it. It's subtitled, of course, but I managed that while crocheting at the same time. Am I awesome or what? Anyway, the movie was good. As I age, I understand older characters and their perspective in a way that I couldn't when I was young. As an older person, your perspective changes and you see the world differently. I understand why I couldn't understand MY parents all the time. It's just the linear experience of living that makes us wait for that comfortable settling in of our personality.
It was just me so I watched The Other Boleyn Girl. Didn't think I would be able to sit through that one either but I was knitting and waiting so it worked out fine. I actually enjoyed the history(?) of the movie. Not sure what was true and what wasn't but I still liked it. It certainly made me feel how scary it would be to live at the whim of the king and his crazy mood. Off with her head!
Got the SAG awards on the DVR so will catch up with that on Monday. Love to fast forward through those commercials! Makes the show nice and quick.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Yes, I watch awards shows. I like to see what dresses the women are wearing. I judge from a design perspective and get ideas. Also, I like to see actors as "themselves." I don't know. The whole thing is just kind of fun. Being an avid movie fan and TV watcher, it shouldn't be surprising that I like to see what's going on. I jotted down the titles of several movies that are now in my Netflix queue including all of the nominated foreign films. Movies and TV on DVD have COMPLETELY changed our ability to see good programming. I don't get Showtime, but I've got The Tudors and The United States of Tara in my queue. When will I get to them? Who can say? No matter how much time I spend watching movies and TV, I just can't catch up to all that there is out there that I want to watch. I suppose it's better than having nothing to watch or nothing to read. I am grateful.
And, I've begun a red and white granny square blanket for Project Linus that I really like because Valentine's Day is just around the corner and this blanket reminds me of that. It's crocheted so I can take a break from knitting and work on it. I'm on the home stretch as I knit the first of a pair of socks for my husband. His first pair! They are brown, kettle dyed from Knit Picks. Thank goodness Knit Picks offers solid color sock yarn. I cannot see my husband wearing variegated socks. At least not some of the crazy yarn I've seen out there. I like variegated, of course.
I started another ruffled scarf so that I can knit along with my students in the class I am teaching tomorrow. I am very excited to teach my first class at Knit Happens. I'm looking forward to many more teaching opportunities at this store and in a private setting.
I'm also getting my latest baby hat pattern ready to submit to Knit Picks for consideration into their Independent Designer Program. This seems like a great opportunity to reach more knitters with my designs. I'm really enjoying designing and getting ready to try some new techniques as well. I've got several movies waiting on the DVR, so I'm ready to work and watch.
Monday, January 11, 2010
I've been having fun designing knitted items for sale and submission. I've figured out how to get my items on Ravelry - although it takes a long time sometimes to get it all coordinated. I've been spending time knitting and trying out different yarns and making small changes. I started on Ed's brown socks that I IOU'd him for Christmas. I always enjoy knitting socks. More information about my knitting exploits can be found at CathyMacKnits.com.
Let's discuss Olive Kitteridge. I really did like this book. Olive was not an easy person to like. Every story has her in it, but they are not necessarily about her. Her husband was quite likeable and I suppose we like Olive well enough since her husband loves her. I got this idea from watching The Simpsons 20th anniversary special last night. Someone commented that people like Homer because Marge loves him. That makes sense to me.
The characters in Olive K. were vibrant and the language was quite wonderful. I didn't spend time pondering over the writer's words because I was listening to them but I could hear how they flowed and sparkled. Reading out loud gives your words a different sense. Something should be added, not lost, by reading aloud.
I'm reading The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher now and this book is quite fascinating. There is plenty of historical information about how detective work began in England. I will be eager to read Sherlock Holmes after this.
I did not get to see Sherlock Holmes, the movie, this weekend. Next weekend, I will for sure. My husband says he never wants to go to the movies again due to people talking through the movie. I admit, I usually have to ask people to be quiet whenever we are in an audience situation. Everyone thinks they are sitting at home and that it's okay to talk. It's never okay to talk. No matter what you think, I CAN HEAR YOU. So, perhaps I will rant about that another day.
Also, my older son is reading MacBeth in Honors English. I haven't read that one so will no doubt give it a go.