Monday, August 24, 2009

Gems From October 1958 Good Housekeeping

I have been so lax in writing here and I haven't done any crapting whatsoever. Heck, I haven't even done cross stitching, which is really lame on my part. So, in order to not be so delinquent in blogging I've decided to draw attention to some amazing items I've recently read in an old Good Housekeeping magazine from October 1958.
Here's the cover of that issue. Sad little puppy eyes. Sad little girl eyes. Not sure why they chose such a somber looking picture, should be sub-titled our other dog got run over'.

I bought this and three other Good Housekeeping magazines (1949 - 1958) off Ebay and also purchased eight Ladies Home Journal (all 1961). I'm reading them as research for a fiction book idea I'm writing. It's still in the planning stages but I think it could be a lot of fun.

Anyway, two great items from the Keep Up With Medicine article of Good Housekeeping:

"A review of the records of 200,000 Worth War II veterans points to a 32 percent higher death rate among men who smoked."

Wow! You think there's a connection?!

The second one is about psychotherapy's help in averting abortion (I assume they mean miscarriage). Do you know what type of woman is most likely to have a miscarriage according to the doctors of 1958? "... the frail, clinging vine girl and the independent career woman." So, you're not supposed to be clingy but you don't want to be independent either if you want to go to term with your pregnancy. I'm not quite sure where that leaves a woman and how so many kids were actually born!

More great 50's and 60's tidbits tomorrow!

Monday, August 10, 2009

One Over One Done! New Project Begins!

Finally, after much frustration, much angst and so many mistakes, I have finished the one over one water lilies on Jane Greenoff's Monet's Giverny Garden. I also added the butterflies (and in typical crapter fashion, backstitched using two threads not one. I realized my mistake with about two backstiches to go, so zen approach, I left them).
I tried a buttonhole wheel and it was a disaster. It started out fine but after about three progressions on the circle it just fell apart. I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong as I feel like I'm doing it right. Go figure. I don't know what to do if I can't figure this out as there are about twenty buttonhole flowers to do!

I also dragged out the sewing machine this morning. I've had some cheap baby blankets hanging around for the last four years and have been wondering what the hell to do with them. Well, I got an idea. I sewed bits of them together in a crazy quilting kind of fashion. Here is the lookI wanted all the stitching to be seen and I purposely threw in as many different kinds of stitches as my machine allows. The next step is to thumb tack it to a stretched canvas. Next, I'm going to mix some paint with some gesso and paint it all over the fabric. After that, you'll just have to wait and see. I'm pretty excited about it! I hope it turns out okay but as Lucretia Mullbery would say "crapt is in the eye of the beholder"

Thursday, August 6, 2009

New Sewing Interest Proves More Difficult Than I Imagined

I've developed a new interest. Vintage patterns. Now, along with my belief that I should be a natural at drawing, I also have this unfounded belief that I should be able to sew. But, the truth is sewing a straight line can prove daunting to me unless I sew very sloooowwwlllllyyyyy.

This interest, however, didn't develop from a yearning to sew. I was looking at Ebay for some cheap patterns that I could use for mixed media collages. This was the first one I bought: When I actually got it in my hands, I realized that I'd never be able to cut the pattern up and paste it to canvas. It was too cute. It occurred me that I should sew it. In fact I should make lots of clothing from vintage patterns. It's so retro. Thus started my current obsession. I have always admired clothing pre-1970. I especially love clothes from the 1950s. In fact one of my favorite clothing movies is The Best of Everything with Hope Lange from 1959 (based on a Rona Jaffe novel). The clothes in that movie are a marvel and even though I hate heels and I'm basically a jean and t-shirt kind of person, I'd love to be kitted up in some of those outfits.

I looked all over this Vogue pattern but I cannot find a copyright to date this particular look. Anyone have a guess? I'm guessing from the hairstyle, it's early to mid sixties but I'm not sure.

My next purchase I was completely excited by and was definitely planning to make. Here it is:
Once again, I can't find a year and I'm not quite sure when this would be. 1950s? Anyone know? The mailing envelope is pre zip codes and the postage was .02. But, anyway, I thought when I won it on Ebay that even with my minimal experience I could whip this right up. Wrong! I couldn't even understand the instructions. "Baste interfacing to wrong side of BAND FACING. Turn in and baste seam allowance on straight notched edge ..." Huh?!!! What you talking about Willis?!

For some reason I bought this pattern (probably because it was cheap):Very Harriet Nelson. It's dated 1953. I doubt I'll make this one. I think I just got caught up in the spur of the moment bidding.

The last one I've recently acquired is this:

Simplicity from 1965. I love this simple dress. I might be able to make this one. It does say Simplicity after all.

Actually, I just looked over the instructions and it's like reading a book on do it yourself plumbing: "bias seam binding may be used to encase inner edge of facings." Okay. I have no idea what you're talking about. Still, I think I'll give it a try and if worse comes to worse, I can always glue the pattern pieces on to a mixed-media collage! Very resourceful!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Time Flies When You're Not Crapting

It has been far too long since I last blogged, but laziness, a vacation (England and Italy) and a working at home husband has put the computer our of my reach. I also have not been crapting due to laziness, vacation and the ever present husband and kids (it's a NYC apartment not a McMansion). Honestly, I don't know where the time has gone but I need to throw myself back into the world of crapt. A Cloth Paper Scissors arrived awhile back and I still haven't opened it, so that will signal the return to crapting. I will open Cloth Paper Scissors. Tomorrow.

I actually had a thunder storm going on in my brain for the week after we returned from our trip. Lots of thunder claps of ideas for paintings (with the underlying theme revolving around Goldman Sachs, which was my obsession that week) and I dutifully made little sketches of each idea in my "art journal" (more words than art since I can't draw - yet) but the storm seems to have cleared and moved on.

So, the only creative endeavor involving my hands has been trying to finish up Jane Greenoff's Monet's Giverny Garden. Here is my progress as of today:
I'm currently doing the one over one water lilies and it has been a nightmare. I've put the thing down so many times, but now I'm holding a hammer over my head and forcing myself to behave. I made a mistake in back stitching in the far right pad and after one attempt to get it out and nearly ripping out the other stitches I gave up. I'm going to believe no one will notice. Can you? If so, tell me where and if you're right, I'll say very nice things about you in my blog.
I've developed quite a Zen approach to my cross stitch these days. Before, I would have festered on errant stitches, the thought of them taking over my brain until my entire head became a giant X in the wrong color and then I would have frogged the whole damn thing and started over. Now, I choose to ignore and move on (sometimes easier said than done, I still think of a mistake I made in Tracy Horner's Tanglewood, which I stitched two years ago).

After the water lilies are done (a pad a day is the goal) I have to do french knots (pure, utter torture), buttonhole stitch (which I've never done but look forward to), bullion knots, which terrify the hell out of me (if it takes 15 attempts for every one French knot, how am I going to get through the bullion knot stage?!) and then beads, which I like and look forward to as well. According to Lucretia Mullberry one should always end a project with a bit of cheer! And that's just what I plan on doing with my beads!