Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Scarlet Letter Calling Cards

I designed this set of calling cards for the main characters of The Scarlet Letter a few years ago. (click on the image to see detail). Once upon a time I was a wee bit obsessed with the story. I designed and sewed my first quilt based on the it - you can see it here.

I have been watching the PBS version of the story made in 1979. It's excellent. I highly recommend it if you have never seen it. The production values are very naturalistic, and a lot of the scenes are shot outside. It is so true to the story in word and tone (I have read it many times), and Meg Foster and John Heard were so perfectly cast.

Why the Scarlet Letter you ask? I'm still not completely sure. When I was in my 20s I started seeing a therapist. At the first session after hearing my story and my reasons for coming to see him he said "You seem to see yourself a lot like Hester Prynne" - at the time I had a small copy of the book in my purse - I knew right then that I had found the right therapist!

It's true that when I was in my 20s I felt doomed to solitude, but now that I am in my 40s (with little solitude!) Hester still seems very familiar to me: Her independent spirit, her desire to be a good mother, and ultimately her hopefullness. When she meets Dimmesdale in the woods 7 years past their transgression, she still believes that their love can lift them above their present circumstances. She even convinces him for a little while. Of course things don't work out for them in the end, but I guess a story that doesn't end neatly is my favorite kind - it just seems so real.

In other news, we have gotten our first dog. Woody is a rescue - a schnauzer mix so he has hair rather than fur, he's about 5, and he weighs 19 pounds. He had been on the street and was next fostered in a home. We got him last Tuesday and I can't get over how quickly we have all bonded with him. I am the alpha, and I have been reading my Cesar Millan so I understand the importance of my role! We are doing a lot of walking - getting up early for a morning walk, and taking another long walk after dinner. Woody is adjusting to us just fine and has no real issues to speak of (he barks when people knock on the door, but it's not out of control). I can't get over how quickly we have come to love him - and he us - we are just thrilled with Woody!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Plaid Hat, Formerly a Pair of Long Shorts

Last year I thrifted a pair of vintage plaid petal pushers that were too big. I reworked them, blogged about it, then put them in the closet. This year I pulled them out and put them on - ugh. They just didn't look very good (and my husband laughed at them!). What to do?? Make a hat out of them! I love the challenge of working with plaid, and of transforming one thing into another. I used the inside of the fabric as pants as the outside of the fabric hat - the black was not so faded.

I didn't have enough fabric for the inside brim and the 2 bands (the pieces that connect the brim to the body of the hat) so I used some of the plaid from my last hat project. I also had to carefully piece 2 pieces together to form the outer hat band - look closely at the front and you can see where they meet. I used a small gingham for the lining.

Overall I am really happy with this one. I'm not thrilled about the way it looks on me - and that's the thing about making a hat - you really don't know what the hat is going to look like on until it's finished, so you'd better enjoy the process of making it (which I do, obviously!)