Sunday, August 14, 2016

Channeling Aunt Cele

LC has the perfect swim suit.  It's a long-sleeved swim shirt with little bottoms, no full swimsuit making two layers over her trunk, perfect for play and potty breaks.  I want to make bottoms to match the swim shirt I made for her but I've looked in all the pattern books and online to no avail, so I asked her mama if I could borrow just the bottoms for a night to draw off a pattern like Aunt Cele used to do.  I remember as a kid seeing a shoebox of newspaper clipped into odd shapes in her room.  When I asked what they were for, she told me that they were sewing patterns.  Now, Mom sewed--a lot--so I knew that patterns were made of that golden brown tissue paper with black lines printed on it and I told her so.  She informed me that before there were the tissue patterns and if people couldn't afford to buy those store-bought patterns they would lay out a garment they wanted to replicate, maybe picking it apart if it was past saving, and using newspaper or butcher paper to draw their own patterns.  I was amazed.  Then I saw a candy box of tiny pieces of newspaper in Grandma's quilt making things, plus cardboard templates for the designs to quilt, and the final confirmation was the wooden box that Great-Grandpa Stephan had made where Great-Grandma Barbara stored her drawn-off patterns.  I made newspaper patterns when we had a pool and I sewed up two basic swimsuits for everyone each year.  Now they have fancy pattern fabric you can buy to use to draw off a single size from multi-size patterns (so you don't have to keep buying them and sometimes they're printed on both sides of thicker, typing-weight paper) but newspaper works just fine.  I didn't disassemble LC's swim bottoms, I just started with the waist and carefully manipulated the Lycra out to the side seam and down to the crotch seam trying not to stretch it, then I made a few marks along the leg curve, smoothing it so I got a pretty good approximation of that, added seam allowances, and cut out the pieces.  I'll be trying it out in the next week and let you know how I did.

Yesterday morning after putting the Black Bean shawl in a basin to soak, I ran a couple neighborhood errands--picked up a prescription, printer ink, and a library book.  I'll tell you about the book in a minute, but just as I went downstairs to spin cycle the water out of the bulky 50/50 wool & cotton and pin it into shape to dry, the phone rang.  Durwood hollered that he'd get it so I went to work setting up the rubber drying mats, then I heard him say, "You'd better talk to Barbara, Connie, she's better at giving directions than I am."  At first I thought it was Mrs. Boss, and wondered why she needed directions in a place she should be pretty familiar with, but it turned out to be Writer Connie and her friend slightly lost on their way from Chicago to The Clearing, kind of stuck between two roundabouts off Hwy. 41 about a mile from here and without a clue how to get out of it and find the right road.  As soon as she read me the road signs ahead I knew where they were, talked them back the way they'd come to the nearest Kwik Trip, and took off to meet them and guide them through town to the highway to Door County.  Aside from feeling like Sacajawea leading Lewis and Clark through the wilderness, I got to have lunch with a friend I only get to see once a year.  That sure brightened my day.

Okay, the book I got from the library is Florence! Foster!! Jenkins!!! a biography of the woman who was a leading society light in NYC in the 20s and 30s who loved music but was the world's worst singer.  That didn't stop her though, she gave concerts and organized musical evenings for friends, even made recordings.  There's a new movie out starring Meryl Streep as the title character and Hugh Grant as her supportive and adoring common law husband that I saw a piece about on CBS Sunday Morning (slow news for old people, according to DIL1 [too funny, I love it]) so I checked and our library was processing the book, I put a hold on it, and I'm first.  It's a small, fairly thin book but I opened it in the library parking lot and I'm having a hard time putting it down.  Delusion like that with money to back it up?  I can't wait to see the movie and I have a pair of movie passes because I referred a friend to my dentist so I won't even have to pay.  Score!

After my impromptu lunch date I came home to get Durwood to go to Bed, Bath & Beyond for new pillows (ours have turned into pancakes) but it wasn't a good day for him so first I finished pinning out the shawl, carried up the box of books I've been meaning to stash in the back of my car since before I broke my ankle, and took off.  I zoomed to the store for the pillows and lucked into some on-sale bath towels.  (I'm seriously tired of bath towels any color but neutrals, especially the lavender and green ones that Mom had but our own dark red ones too.)  On the way home I swung by not one but two Little Free Libraries in the neighborhood to start disseminating books.  Here's my plan:  instead of donating them to Goodwill where people have to buy them, I want to keep refilling this box in my car and then stop to put a few in any LFL I see.  I went online when I got home and found a couple more nearby and I know where a half-dozen are on the east side.  I figure I'll keep putting books in the box and spreading them around.  I am inordinately tickled by the whole idea and can't wait until LC and O are big enough to help.  Think of the adventures we can have.  I will confess that I did take a book out of the first one; it's a hardcover of the first Harry Potter book.  I had that one in paperback and the rest in hardcover so I took that one and will replace it with my paperback copy next time I'm nearby.  Or I'll put it in a different LFL.

I stopped on my way to work the other day to deliver a bag of peels to the chickens.  I purely love feeding them and collecting eggs.  Part of me suspects that makes me a bit of a simpleton but then, as someone who spent her entire life (until our grand-dog Porter came into it) being afraid of all animals, I am thrilled down to my (mismatched) socks that I'm not afraid of the grand-chickens.

And I just discovered that I can open EPUB library books through Overdrive on my Kindle.  Hooray!  This is a happy day for eReaders everywhere--or at least in this house.  I confess, I'm addicted.

I didn't write last night, I read Florence! Foster!! Jenkins!!! instead.  Now it's time for lunch.  I'm thinking a salad with a little turkey and maybe a bit of cheddar and in a pita pocket.  Ooh, now I am hungry.  Toodles.

1 comment:

Aunt B said...

Busy, busy girl. You did a lot yesterday. Love those LFL and wonder if there are any around here. Can't remember seeing anything like that in our neck of the woods.