Wednesday, January 28, 2015

One of a kind Hollywood Glam and Mass Produced Throw Aways.

My primary reason for visiting the Museum of Fine Art in Boston was to see the Hollywood Glamour exhibit.  Here is fashion at its peak.  Every object has been meticulously designed and executed to create a spectacle.  These are not simply clothes, they are events.  They create entire stories of their own.


Stunning silk velvet gown with silver embellishments designed by Gilbert Adrian for Greta Garbo in the movie Inspiration.

Here she is in the dress doing that dreamy, far away look she was so well known for. 

And just for fun, the hat I named for her. 

This amazing embroidered outfit was designed by the incomparable Edith Head for Betty Hutton in The Perils of Pauline.

Swoon!  Oh how this must have just floated across the floor.  This silk and fur gown was designed by Travis Banton for Marlene Dietrich in Desire.


One last hat picture.  Marlene knit top hat. 


Oh and THESE SHOES!  These are Mae West's 8.5" platform shoes!  The top part is leather and the base is wood covered in silver paint.  Just the silver toes and heels would have shown at the hem of her gowns.  Apparently she wore them all the time, on screen and off.

Later in the day Dad and I found ourselves completely fascinated by the Bright Matter exhibit by Shinique Smith.  In stark contrast to the lavish Hollywood costumes that were painstakingly made, one of a kind pieces, lovingly preserved and valued over the years, her work is made from throw away objects.  The everyday items that we use and toss. 


There were vibrant, exciting mixed media pieces

No Key, No Question 

I particularly like how she uses what is substantially garbage to create objects of such lightness and beauty. 


Inner Clock

The most fascinating pieces for me were her Bales.   

These totem-like pieces are made entirely of clothing and bits of fabric.  I found the sheer mass of everyday STUFF bundled up in this way to be utterly fascinating.  I felt that these pieces really spoke to who we are as a society and the value (or lack of value) that we give to the objects that we surround ourselves with.  I'm not sure if she meant her work to be a cometary on fast fashion and waste in our society but it definitely go me thinking in that direction.  

I was particularly fascinated by the items I could identify, such as this Paul Frank patterned fleece sleeper that probably was sold at Target. 

I definitely walked away from this exhibit with a renewed determination to buy as much as possible second hand.  Art is wonderful but waste is not.   

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

I Finished Stuff

In and amongst everything else going on I managed to complete a couple of knitting projects.  Fist up is Sam's cardigan.  It feels like I've been working on this one forever.  I had originally intended it to be ready for back to school.  Oh, well.  Better late than never right?

Sam helped design this one.  He was very particular about wanting a long, double breasted sweater.  So that's what I made.   

I don't know that it shows in this crappy picture but there are cables across the front that tie the buttonholes together and give it a slight military feel.

Sam doing his best GQ pose.  I love this kid!

I knit a hat on the plane on the way to Boston in preparation for the cold weather.

This is my Rebel pattern.  It's a quick knit and easy to wear.  Definitely one of my favorites. 

Rebel Hat (knit by me)
Cashmere cardigan over black cami (both from Goodwill)
Norm Thompson skirt (Goodwill)
Fluevog Momo shoes (present to myself because they were just too beautiful)

The skirt started out salmon pink colored which wasn't going to cut it for me.  So into the dye pot it went and viola!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Traveling, Visiting, and Fine Art

Sorry to have been away for so long.  I had a wonderful trip to the East Coast but decided to make a real vacation of it and allowed myself to totally goof off.  It was great!  I spent lots of time indulging in long rambling conversations with friends and family, working on personal knitting projects, watching TV, and generally doing whatever I damn well pleased.  That didn't include taking very many pictures so I don't have a whole lot to show off.

One thing that did inspire me to pull out the camera was a trip to the Museum of Fine Art in Boston with my Dad.

The museum has an extensive and varied collection including a number of paintings by one of my favorite artists, Monet.  

I'm sure everyone I familiar with Monet's Water Lilies, but the depth and glow of the painting is sadly lost in photos.  

It's such a thrill to get to see these lovely paintings in person.

Here's the gem of the day.  Rabbit amid Ferns and Flowering Plants, 1855 by William J. Webbe.  Isn't it darling?

There was a small but comprehensive pottery exhibit that included these 3 stunning Teco vases.  These would look stunning in my house. 

This much more recent Haeger Pottery reproduction holds kindling on my hearth.

I'll have a second MFA post tomorrow featuring two very different clothing related exhibits. In the meanwhile I'm off to try to catch up with what's been going on in the blogisphere the last couple of weeks.

Saturday, January 10, 2015


Interesting Things happened yesterday. 

First, a friend arranged a spur of the moment meeting for me with the lovely owner of Yarntastic in Sellwood.  Check them out out.  It's a wonderful store and owner Lesley is lovely.

The upshot of the meeting was that I'll be doing a trunk show during the Rose City Yarn Crawl in March! This is an amazing opportunity for me and one that I'm truly grateful for. If you're going to be in Portland for the yarn crawl be sure to come by Yarntastic and say, "hi."

Then in the evening while I was trying to figure out all the things I'll need to do to get ready for the yarn crawl, I found out that one of my patterns was mentioned in a piece in The Toast!  (Scroll down to #19.) Personally, I think the knit broccoli is pretty awesome! 

I'll have lunar progression with me at the trunk show in March so, seriously, come by and see it in person.  It's cool.

And now, I really have to turn my attention to getting ready to go out of town. If I don't do laundry soon I'll end up being that cliche where the kids shows up at home with a suitcase full of dirty laundry. Maybe cute in your 20s but not so much in your 40s. 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Of Gallbladders, Sunny Days, and Kissing Frogs

So sorry to have been away so long! Things got a bit crazy here.  Steve has been having abdominal pain for the past 8 months.  In November he was diagnosed with gallstones and gallbladder removal was suggested.  The surgery was scheduled for the end of January but two attacks in three days around Christmas resulted in the decision to move it up.  So on Saturday we drove home from California, Sunday and Monday we scurried around to get things organized, and yesterday he had surgery.  I'm very happy to report that everything went smoothly and Steve is recovering nicely today.  The procedure itself took barely an hour and we were in and out of the outpatient center in 4 hours total!  Steve has three small incisions from the laparoscopic procedure which will need a little time to heal but his abdominal pain is completely gone.  And I finally have a little free time to sit and write a blog post.

Prior to the holidays, I had hit a bit of a dry spell on the thrift store front (a whole lot of frogs and no princes).  Nothing was right.  Things that fit were boring.  Things with pretty fabric were cut all wrong for me.  Or I loved the print but hated the fabric (polyester is not my friend.)  Finally, just before leaving for California I found this great Eileen Fisher dress.  It's cotton knit, has a flattering cut with a surplice bodice and the curved hemline, and is one of my favorite colors.  It's still not a print but at least it's something I can pair with strong colors and shiny bakelite bangles.


It's a gloriously sunny day here which always a nice treat in January in the Pacific Northwest.

Maybe a little too sunny for good photos!

My favorite part of this outfit has got to be the mustard yellow tights and the new to me Fluevog boots.  I bought them secondhand off the Fluemarket from a woman in Vancouver (WA) who was willing to meet me halfway so I didn't have to pay for shipping. 

I won't be resting for long.  Assuming all continues to go well with Steve's recovery, I'll be on a plane headed to Boston Monday night for a just me trip to see my family.  Steve and Sam will be bachin' it here.  More about that soon!

fter swapping out the laces they are about as perfect as a pair of knee high boots can be!