I had an opportunity to Thursday night to see Terrance Howard and James Earl Jones in the broadway production Cat on a Hot Tin Roof directed by Debbie Allen. The cast also included Phylicia Rashad and Anika Noni Rose. It is the first all African-American cast in this Tennessee Williams’ play and perhaps some of you saw the movie version with Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman. I’ve always like the story and it was my first time every seen it acted on stage. It was a great cast and Anika who played in Dreamgirls did a great job carrying an almost 25 minute monologue. Terrance was a great as Brick and 10 second partial nude scene in the shower at the opening had many women at the theater a little excited.
In other happenings, I purchased a book for my nephew entitled Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis. It is a story of an 11 year-old boy named Elijah born into freedom in Buxton, Canada, a settlement of runaway slaves just over the boarder of Detroit. A former slave steals money from Elijah’s friend. who had been saving money to free his parents in the South. Elijah decides to go on a dangerous journey to America in pursuit of thief. I think it is a good story for kids from 9 – 12 of age, and the book is the winner of Newberry Medal for children’s books.
I have a confession, I am addicted to buying patterns and purchased this top when McCall’s website had it’s $5.99 sale Friday and Saturday. I really like the A pattern with the slash. Actually, I brought three patterns all together, but this top really caught my eye. Now, there I have to some fabric to make this fabulous top. Have a good weekend everyone!
I have President’s Day off, and decided to work on my baby blanket, wash new fabric I received today, and just relax. Yesterday, I went to see “Three Mo Divas” at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, and have to tickets to see Terrence Howard and James Earl Jones in the production of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.” However, for today, it was time for me to focus on the blanket if I am going have it completed by March. I needed to order an addition skein of yarn for the blanket just in case, and probably knit a baby wash cloth with the remainder (waste not, want not). I am half way completed with the blanket and it will mean me knitting on my daily commute to and from work.
I purchased my first knit fabric from Fabric Mart a few days and it came by UPS today. I already washed and placed into the dryer which came out very well. I want to sew a simple dress from this fabric as I need to more dresses in my closet, and enough of them that require simple care like washing them with the rest of my laundry and not requiring a great deal of ironing. With spring and summer approaching, I like to my everyday life as simple as possible and still look good. I also purchased a tan small houndstooth made from a cotton/linen mix for $1.99 a yard and must admit that I like the way it feels. It is also the type of fabric that I could wear spring, fall, and winter (milder days).
Along with houndstooth fabric in the photo above, I purchased two patters for blouses I want to sew with the idea of finding fabric inspire me. The second top, I want to find interesting print fabric to sew and wear with a pair jeans. With the hounsdstooth, I am thinking about a dress and with the remainder a nice tote-bag. That will mean a trip to the notion store for handbag hardware. Well, I guess this all I have for today. Take care, and any of you who happen to live in Wisconsin and Hawaii, do not forget to vote in tomorrow’s primary.
I find family trees fascinating and have done some genealogy of family members. My search is a little more difficult with tracing ancestors as an African-American and not always able to find documentation. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. has filmed two documentaries lives of individuals like Oprah Winfrey, Maya Angelou, Morgan Freeman, Tina Turner, Chris Rock to name a few. However, I think everyone should trace their family history as it is important to understand who you are as an individual. Believe or not every person has an interesting story. My father has told me stories of my great grandmother, great aunts and great uncles. I had a great aunt who was an opera singer in New York City, and my great uncle (who I met as a little girl) was a pastor of a church in New Jersey. I also discovered a possibility of one of my descendants coming from Turkey, but need to conduct some more research to check the accuracy.
With viewing African American Lives, the participants have an opportunity learn about lives and discover what it means to them. Don Cheadle, the actor learned that his ancestors did not become free people in 1865 as they were slaves of Chickasaw nation which was a nation within the United States and under no legal obligation to free their slaves. It was until 1880 when the United States told the Chickasaw nation to free the slaves, freed blacks were not given citizenship as Chickasaw and were not US citizenship until Oklahoma became a state in 1907. What people uncover about their histories gives them a connection to the past, and a clearer way of going into the future with a different perspective. It also does not matter what ethnic group you are, make the time to discover your roots and a great excuse to you create a scrapbook of your family tree.
Last week, I came across a new book by Allison Willoughby entitled 49 Sensational Skirt published by Interweave Press. Allison is a textile designer and created this book for those want to transform their existing skirts into wearable work of art. What is great about this book is that the author uses simple sewing techniques along with inexpensive readily available materials. I couldn’t resist and purchased the book as there are some fabulous skirts inside, and visit http://www.interweave.com/needle/books/49_Sensational_Skirts/preview.asp to preview some of the skirts. You can also visit her website www.allisonwilloughby.com to look at her previous work. I think all of us have an inner artist that is just waiting to come out to show the world.
Believe or not, I thought about creating some skirts that were not your typical run of mill, conservative plain skirt. I think it is good to show the free spirit side as it is dying to come out in most of us. Of course, people who are ready this blog entry will want to sew a simple skirt from scratch and add those creative touches. I think the projects in the book will be great for teenagers who want to create a unique to wear for school. Kids love to create a style of their own to represent their individuality. I posted a couple of photos of Allison’s skirt as example of creative and inspirational. I have a sensational day everybody!
After a day waiting to come home a nice bowl of mushroom bisque soup, I received a couple of packages. My sewing machine and the new version of MAC’s OS Leopard. I just had to take the sewing machine out of the box to look at it, and at the same time installed my software. As you can tell that my desk is not exactly tidiest, but it is my organized mess. I think the machine is good buy and can not wait to break in for that new sewing project. I went to bookstore yesterday and purchased the magazine from Threads entitled Quick Stuff to Sew (Craftstylish) and it has a compilation of various projects to create from garments to home decorate projects.
I will be spending the weekend reading the instructions, testing out the new machine, playing with the new features on Leopard and continue my baby blanket knitting project. I am thinking about cooking a nice meal since it is a three-day weekend for me, so I am going to get out the slow-cooker for a nice chicken with tomatoes and cannelloni beans. I got the idea from listening to Nigella Larsen the other talking about having a great meal in a short time. Her new cookbook is called Nigella Express which he recipes are demonstrated on the Food Network show with the same name as the book. It is true that good meal should take hours to prepare.
A couple of days ago, I received the issue Spring Interweave Knits and had an orgasm (well not quite) upon looking at the projects in the magazine. There are a few things in the magazine that I would love to make and add it as part of my wardrobe. There is a project called the holly jacket that is great for the spring and could wear it with a nice pencil skirt for the office, or khaki pants for the weekend. I think this sweater is nice for the spring (wonder how it would look in sage green, hmmm).
Then there is the banded peasant blouse, and the linen trumpet skirt which are very additions to anyone’s wardrobe for the spring. I am going to put this on my wish list to knit and emphasizing the word wish because it probably will be a while for me with other things I am doing. Unless, I follow the advice of my nephew and open a yarn/cafe shop, lol, to sleep per chance to dream. Now, I certainly, cannot write about knitting without writing about something to sew. I received my Sewing Today issue and saw this dress and said to myself I need to get this pattern and sew this. The dress comes in two lengths so you can have a day look, or look very nice at a black tie affair (the world needs more black tie affairs).
A few days ago, I made the decision to upgrade to a new machine from the current Brother’s 2600i and purchased a Singer CB5 from Joann’s. The sewing machine is computerized with 144 stitches patterns, alphabet and numbers, heirloom, quilt, stretch & locking stitches. I believe this machine will serve my purpose especially with stretch and locking stitches for my knit fabrics. I also order some fabric for a couple of future projects. I haven’t done any sewing because still getting some knitting projects done, and thinking a project chart will help keep track of everything. I purchased a couple of top patterns and trouser jeans from Hot Patterns today, and probably will make a trip to the Spandex House for the knit fabric to make one of the tops. I am thinking about a nice leopard print for the top for there is a little wild side in all of us.
I had a conversation the other day with a girlfriend of mine while leaving a Broadway show entitled Passing Strange which I thought it was a creative piece of work as it is not your average traditional show on Broadway. We were discussing the price of clothes and how so expensive they have become. She is complaining how pants cost $300 and $400, and a scarf priced at more than $250. I told her that is one of the reasons why so many people have gone down the DIY path and making their own clothes. Now she comes back with the time you spent to make a pair of pants or skirts that would probably be better off than going to the store to purchase it. She is a person who believes she understands money, but her reasoning would mean me driving to the store, hope that I find the item I am looking for, and that could take me a few hours. In addition, chances are I may just purchase more than a pair of pants. I think it is more economically feasible to make your own clothes depending upon what you are making. However, I cannot see myself paying $200 for a knit dress not made from silk or wool. My friend also refuses to wear anything other than natural fibers, but it is not always financial conducive and one needs have pieces in their closets that is easy to care for and with very little to no ironing. I know that there are some people out there who do not believe that sewing is a waste of time, but I certainly do not. In fact, there is a sense of independence in that you do not have to depend anyone make anything for you, you are in control with the freedom of creating something that is yours. Well these are my thoughts for the evening. Keep the faith!
Today is super Tuesday with more than 20 states in the country participating in caucus or primaries to decide on candidate to nominate for President in November. This is an historic election as we have two serious candidates on the democratic side in contention for the office. I understand that there are some people who apathetic about voting and believe that her or his vote does not count, but the person could not be anymore mistaken. I listen to BBC News in the mornings, and hear reports of people from other parts of the world struggle to get the opportunity to vote for their political choices. Sometimes they are met with opposition, physical intimidation, and sometimes death for that previous moment to walk into that booth to vote.
Yet some people living in the United States with the right and freedom to vote make excuses for not voting thus refusing to participate in the process. There are times when we take things for granted, but there is a moment when one should understand the importance of voting. It is the right of everyone who reaches the age of 18 to vote in this country, and we have the responsibility to comprehend and participate in the process. Now, I certainly cannot tell you who to vote for, but asking you to consider that you are part of the process, and voice your opinion at the polls. Also, do not forget to write letters to your Congresspersons and Senators, in addition to local politicians to voice your complaints.
It is has been a few days since writing my last blog entry, but managed to get some projects underway. I started working on the baby blanket, and have enough yarn from the baby sweater to knit a little hat. The baby will surely have something to wear once out of the hospital. I have to admit that it does take me a few tries before I find that the blanket is something I want to create. I experimented with a couple of different stitches before deciding on a garter stitch border and stockinette stitch for the blanket. As you can tell I am not using a pattern for the blanket because it is simple enough and doesn’t require specific instructions.
Politics have been more on my mind since the first primary, and it is an interesting race thus far. I just hope that enough people realize that this an election and become involve in the political process. I watched on C-Span today a rally at UCLA where Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Caroline Kennedy, and Maria Shriver spoke before more than 16,000 people, and it was wonderful to see a younger generation getting involved and engaged. Stevie Wonder came to the rally and said a few words as well. I think the time as come where the people of the United States take control of their destinies, and stand up for what they want and have a say. It is something that we have been missing for quite some time. The artist will.I.am from the Black Eyed Peas become inspired by Barack Obama’s speech from the New Hampshire primary, and pulled some people together to create the “Yes We Can” video. I am posting to this blog entry to remind people that inspiration comes in all forms and shapes. Enjoy!