End of Summer Entertainment

This is the last week before my kids go back to school. Usually, I’d be out shopping for school clothes and taking them to the beach since it’s over 100  degrees here everyday and a bit oppressive to do much else. This year I’ve been forced to occupy myself with more sedentary things since breaking my ankle. I’m not particularly proud to say that I’ve allowed my kids alot more TV and video game time than I usually do, but I decided to just relax for this week and reinstitute the usual rules come Monday. So while they busy, I am taking the time to reinvigorate my creative juices and do research for my newest set of designs. Broken ankle or not, I am truly ready to get back to routine, and work is sounding like an attractive reprieve at the moment.

I’ve watched a few interesting documentaries on Netflix – and I am NOT a documentary kind of person. Usually I prefer a James Bond film or a Jennifer Lopez romantic comedy to dry documentary material. But there were two I found especially entertaining and inspiring, and therefore worthy of sharing.

The first was Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s. Bergdorf’s is known for it’s window displays in New York, and there is plenty of inspiring imagery in this documentary related to those, as well as interviews with the artists who create them. Other highlights include designers discussing the impact being carried in Bergdorf’s has had on their businesses, and the history of the store and its owners. Although I can’t afford to shop in a place like Bergdorf’s, I do truly appreciate any company that tries to give up and coming artists and designers a chance with all the big players.

The other series I enjoyed is called Chef’s Table, which was another gem I was surprised to find, considering I’m not particularly a foodie. This series follows chefs who create art with their food and presentation. It traces their inspirations and influences, showing you their background, often with beautiful footage of their home country. They talk about all these things, so perhaps this is why I enjoyed it – you are listening to the person who does the creating instead of nonstop narration. And regardless of which industry you’re in, people who are passionate about what they do are also very inspiring.

When I’m not knitting, crocheting, and watching the above-mentioned TV, I’ve been reading. My favorite of all my recent library checkouts was a book about the Hungarian Gold Train called Love and Treasure by Ayelet Waldman. I have been researching Hungary for a new collection of designs I’m working on, and I realized how little I know about the country, despite the fact that one of my closest friends is Hungarian. I was interested in learning about more than just Transylvania and all the vampire mythology, although I do enjoy a good vampire movie as much as the next person. This book falls into the category of historical fiction, but according to the rest of my research, it accurately depicts the events and circumstances related to the Hungarian Gold Train. It is sad (although given what happened, how could it not be?!), but it was a well-written book I couldn’t put down once I started reading.

Although my kids return to school on Monday and I plan to get off the couch as much as possible, I do still have a few weeks left of limited mobility. If you have inspiring books or shows to recommend, I am open to and appreciative of suggestions! And I hope you enjoy my recommendations.


How the Color Purple Was Invented In London

I just came back from Lake Tahoe (photos to come soon), and since I can’t do much with a broken ankle, I had lots of reading time with the most beautiful scenery a laid-up woman could ask for. So for all my hand-dyers out there (or for anyone else like me who finds this stuff interesting), here is a good read about the color purple and its origins. Enjoy.


Knit Me Some Happiness

This short film won an award. Watch it for yourself and see if you agree with me it deserved to win. Enjoy!

 


My Rescue

There is a lady who comes in our shop whom I happen to be particularly fond of. If memory serves correct, she told me she’s around 90 years old. I hadn’t seen her in a long time, and then one day, she came back in the shop and told me she knew how to get three hunky firemen into her bedroom. I immediately started laughing, although I didn’t entirely comprehend what she meant. She then proceeded to tell me she had had a heart attack (which, of course, made me stop laughing), and that she had called the fire department and thus ended up with numerous handsome firemen in her bedroom, all ready to help her get to the hospital. She is a feisty, humorous old lady, and while I admire anyone who can be tough, I especially admire people who can find humor in what essentially amounts to a bad situation.

I have never had a bunch of firemen in my bedroom, but this past week, I did have to ask the help of lifeguards (and may I just say, the ones who work at Zuma Beach in Malibu are every bit as handsome as any firemen I’ve met). I have never been so grateful for their help. I took my kids to the beach, and as usual, I was playing in the water with them. Call it the crafter in me, but I like to be playing in the water and DOING SOMETHING instead of laying on the sand doing nothing. Plus, I always feel better being closer to the kids instead of watching from the sand. The bonus to being in the water is that I usually see dolphins and am that much closer to them when they make their appearance.

However, I am very respectful of the ocean, and while I love it and can’t get enough of it, I am also very aware of its power. This particular day, the waves were powerful with strong riptide. I was being even more cautious than usual and making sure my kids stayed close to shore. Even so, a wave came in and went right over me, and as usual when that happens, I let it roll me. But as it did so, I felt a painful twist in my foot and instantly knew I was injured. When I came back up, I checked to see where my kids were, checked the next wave sets, and realized in the same instant that I couldn’t put any weight on my foot. I crawled out of the water, doing my best to hold my own against the next wave. I sat there for a few minutes breathing, assuming that once I caught my breath, I could tough it out and stand on my twisted ankle long enough to make my way back up the beach to our things. When I realized I couldn’t stand, I called my kids over and they got the attention of the lifeguards for me. Turns out, I received the attention of three lifeguards. They helped me hop on one foot to our blanket, examined my foot and took my vitals, and put a makeshift splint on my foot. I refused their offer to call me an ambulance because I didn’t want to scare my kids any further.

Turns out, I broke my ankle and will be laid up for 6 weeks. “Laid up” meaning that I have a cast and cannot put any weight on my injured foot. As you may imagine, I have some pain, and am also discouraged at being rendered helpless in one brief instant. But then I think of how good it is that it wasn’t one of my kids who got hurt, because at least I am an adult strong enough to pull myself out of the water and able to control my panic. I didn’t break my arms, so while I’m laid up, I can knit and crochet. And in a few more years, my daughter is going to really appreciate the story of how I got to have the Malibu lifeguards put their arms around me, if only for a few moments in the middle of an emergency. I am also looking forward to letting our customer know that I have now bested her and know how to get the attention of the incomparable Malibu lifeguards. :)

One last note, lest you all think I’m being irreverent, I do want to say thanks to all the firemen and lifeguards out there, as we never realize how much we need them until we are in a situation and in need of rescue. In such situations, we are faced with the reality that they’re the only ones trained and able to help us. I am trying to be humorous and lighthearted, but at the heart of it, I’m just very deeply grateful! If you know an emergency rescue worker, be sure to express your gratitude, as it is most definitely well-earned!


A Beautiful Marriage

There have been other brides who have crocheted their own wedding dresses, to beautiful effect, but I love this marriage of satin and purple crochet. This is such a beautiful example of combining crochet with a traditional dress, and when I saw this photo, I had to share. I also love her hair – check out the photo of the bride from behind! I have absolutely no reason to be interested in making a wedding dress at this point, but sometimes things are just so beautiful and noteworthy, they deserve a few moments of admiration anyway. Enjoy!


Design Seeds

A truly inspirational site that I am currently using for a few projects. This graphic designer found a great way to play with color and photography. There was not one page on this site that I didn’t find helpful and inspirational. Many thanks to her for providing an ongoing supply of beautiful color palettes!


A Chevron Tunic Three Ways

DateNightWhiteJeans

With my gold wedge sandals and white jeans

DressyWithPumps

Dressed up with a pencil skirt and pumps

CasualwithCapris

My typical summer outfit – capris and flat sandals . And my knitting bag, of course!

I finished this tunic a few weeks ago, and plan to wear it with everything and everywhere. The yarn is the softest bamboo, and as you can see, the tunic is super comfortable and versatile! This is a rare instance in which I actually knit the project out of the yarn the pattern called for, and I am very happy I did.


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