"Place, with a trace of humanity" Photography/Photo of the Day/Pittsburgh

Posts tagged “sewing

Sock Monkey Brothers

It’s been awhile since I’ve stitched up a sock monkey. The classic.

One for new baby grandson in Ohio and one for a friend of my sister in New York City.  The pairs of socks have been in the house a long time. Once I stitched on the faces, they seem to look at me and smile.

Both Anna and Jack have set up a crew of sock monkeys, told them to smile and photographed them. This evening I placed the newly completed monkeys on the couch in my living room. And took their picture

Very cooperative!

One of the smiles needs a bit of straightening out, I see upon examining the image.  Ooops.

And yes, my sister and I visited the Sock Monkey Museum in Rockford, Illinois when we were visiting relatives.  (The relatives live in Rockford, not the museum)

 

 

sock monkey duoSock monkey duo, going in different directions, more than 500 miles apart.

 

Here are some old sock monkey photos from previous blogs.

When I was a kid (c. 1958)my family lived in the city of Newark NJ. there was a Youth Consultation Service behind our house on Broad Street.  At least a dozen girls lived there and each girl had a handmade sock monkey.  My mom thought sock monkeys weren’t appealing but I always wanted one. Some people think they are ugly, others think they’re cute. These two have a bit of scrap flannel from the sock monkey pillowcases I stitched for the grandchildren for Christmas.  Going with a theme, here. That will be another post.

I don’t think I owned one until I stitched on in 1976.

The first sock monkey I ever made was for my son Mark (39),father to the grandchildren in the photos above. He name it the Doonie Monkey and it was stuffed with old stockings.  I use fiberfill now. And for some unknown reason, I never added a tail on his monkey.  He resides with the grandchildren in Ohio, too.
I’ve make pink and blue and purple monkeys but my favorite is the classic.

If you would like to make a sock monkey, there’s a terrific youtube tutorial by Professor Pincushion on how to make the classic monkey. I don’t add the ears or buttons on mine.


Weekly Photo Challenge: intricate

Intricate.   Complicated or detailed.  

 

 

Photographed by iPhone specifically for the challenge


Buying Buttons in New York City and Learning of Rumi

This is the story of my seeking special buttons for grandbaby knitting projects, (completed and on the needles) while visiting NYC over Spring break.

My sister guided me to the button store I’d found online.

Oh no, bad news.

We got to the address and there was paper covering the windows and the security grill was down-

CLOSED- 

I can’t tell you how disappointed I felt.

Fortunately,  a man on the sidewalk  saw us staring at the storefront in disbelief and he pointed to the place next door.

Lou Lou Buttons had moved just one number over, due to a malfunction of errant sprinklers and being flooded out. Lou Lou Buttons store Phew!

Turned out it was the store owner, Ross, who invited us into the button store. And I found so many interesting buttons. They are from all over the world, Japan, France…you name it!

He said every Broadway show and  opera production has come to his store to buy buttons for costumes.

I believe it! Some people replace every button on garments they purchase, to improve and upgrade the look.

Here are the buttons I bought

and here is the owner Ross, photographed by my sister Mary. I was in the photo but the image looks better with myself cropped out! IMG_8442     Lou Lou ButtonsI took this one with more buttons in the background to give you the idea of the inventory.

When I asked about the origin of the store name Lou Lou Buttons, turns out Lou Lou is like the Boogeyman, so when a child is called in from playing outside the mother might say, “Come in now, or Lou Lou’s going to get you.”

We heard Ross tell The story of the merchant to whom the parrot gave a message for the parrots of India on the occasion of his going (thither) to trade. by the Persian poet Rumi.  It’s here if you don’t know it. Be sure to scroll down for the translation in English.

It was a day when the universe rhymed- the button store still there (just one door to the lef) cute buttons for the baby sweaters and my sister and I were enthralled as we listened to the wonderful story by Rumi. 

It’s said he’s “the best selling poet in the United States.”

Buying buttons and hearing Ross tell Rumi’s story of the parrot was a New York City experience.

We left his store with a lot more than just buttons.


3.14.15 9:26:53 Celebrating Special Pi Day at School

 

A very special Pi Day.  Once in a century.  Tomorrow, 3.14.15 is it.    Get ready!

Celebrated at school today. Spearheaded by Mrs. Mihalic.  Creating some spirit!

There were numbers posted all around the hallways on the 800 level to who-knows-what place…..some cool art which I didn’t get to photograph yet.

Eat'n Park Pi Day Cookies

And my neighbor across the hall…. I went in this morning and said “Hey, where’s your Pi shirt?” and then she turned around and showed me!

The librarian, wearing the machine stitched embroidery shirt her Mother, J.E., created espcially for her.Pi Day Shirt Machine Stitched`

Mrs. Mihalic, math teacher, created a wildly spirited event, complete with Pi Day cookies she special ordered from Eat’n Park 

Eat 'n Park Pi Day Cookie

 

 

 

cutting slices of pie

 

In the cafeteria there was a game where students could win a slice of pie. (Similar to a Cake Walk)

 

pies

IMG_9379

Posting this one so you can see how you had to land on a certain number when the music stopped to win a slice of pie.

pi day shirt
Photographed by Steve after school Friday the 13th. I’m wearing one of the shirts Mrs. Mihalic created.

 

 

 

 

IMG_9395A different shirt worn by one of my  photography students.Everyone was getting in on the festivities.


Preparing Socks for Monkeys and the Front Porch Swing

The girls and I went to Aunt Lala’s today.  Uncle James was at work.

Aunt Lala did the girls hair.

Then we hung out with Penny the Golden Doodle on the front porch and the girls loved the porch swing.

Anna and Penny traded bandanas and headbands.  We had a relaxing summer afternoon.

Trying to not think about my return to school on Tuesday.

 

Aunt Lala's front porch

Aunt Lala’s front porch

 

porch swing and dog

 

 

 

Penny wearing Anna's headband

Penny wearing Anna’s headband

 

 

 

Socks ready to make into monkeys

Socks ready to make into monkeys

I used Laura’s sewing machine to stitch up the legs, arms and tails and now the two monkeys for Anna and her friend are ready to turn, stuff and stitch by hand.   The socks were on Clearance for 93 cents at Target last year.  I bought way too many thinking I would make a ton of monkeys.


A Repurposed Purse as a Camera Bag

(First of all I just reread the Psychology Today article on 8 Tips to Know if You’re Being Boring  by Gretchen Rubin of Happiness Project Blog )  but maybe someone has an old purse they can repurpose to hold a camera………………

What are they called in your part of the world? purse, handbag, pocketbook, tote, shoulder bag, carry-all ?

My DIL sent me a ton of links from ETSY and other places before Christmas as she knew I was looking for a cross body strap camera bag that didn’t look like a camera bag.

And there were some nice ones she found. (thanks Erika)

Her mother sent me an article with a link to camera bags created with women in mind and they were nice, too. (thanks Marlene)

But nothing seemed just right and at an affordable price.  The one I liked the best was about $325 so think again.

I have a big black padded and compartmentalized wheely backpack but it is just enormous and conspicuous.  Barely fits into the overhead on a plane, too.

This old slouchy  gray leather purse had the  lining split around the top.  I wasn’t using it as a purse anymore but the leather still seemed good.  I thought about relining it.  I thought about it so much and it seemed so tedious, I never did it!

I should have taken a before shot.  Didn’t think about photographing it until it was all stitched up!

At the local craft/fabric store I found the answer and I came right home and slipped this extra thick batting into the purse between the ripped lining and bag and then I stitched up the lining around the top with strong black thread.

And now I have a padded camera bag.  There is a zipper pocket inside which will hold camera cards or batteries nicely and there is room for a flash or an extra lens. And a top zipper is always a plus, which this bag has already.   A friend suggested treating the bag with mink oil to help moisturize the leather. It is not slouchy anymore, that’s for sure.

 

 

purse to camera bag 1

Now it stands up instead of slouches.  Grandson Michael tested it as a makeshift pillow as we sat in the bleachers, too.

I don’t know what brand the purse is originally, it has elephants all over the lining and says it was

Made in Italy.

 

purse to camera bag 2


My Artist Friend Joan and her Thread Collection

Joan has an array of thread colors and some are silky and some are shimmery.

So many different types of thread.

She makes beautiful fiber art,

and paints

and draws in ink.

Watch for her Female Martyr Series this summer.

You’ve seen Joan looking at Larimer School where she used to teach Art.

 

 

Spools of Thread

Even her pincushions are interesting.

 

 

An older photo

An older photo of the thread collection

 

and Joan on her back porch.  Her garden is so interesting.  Will have to do a photo tour.

 

Joan on her back porch

Joan grows the best rhubarb and puts up delicious apricot preserves.

 


My Grandmother Made This Too

 

 

 

 

 

Back home from Thanksgiving holiday break and thinking about being out of the traffic and home, safe, keeping warm.

Getting ready to start a new school week and wondering how it got to be December already.

If you have a doily or a piece of fine crochet, openwork, mounting it on a pillow is a good way to display it.

I thought this was a good  follow-on to my post of my grandmother’s afghan and quilt yesterday.

Downstairs, I have some samplers she made which I’ll post another time.

I sewed this antimacassar onto the pillow top with tiny stitches all around. Click on the word to read about the origin.

Photographed at my sister’s place in NYC.  I don’t  remember but it looks like we used extra upholstery fabric to make the pillow itself.

If you want to read a new crochet blog, my blogging friend Stef just started it (you read her comments on this blog perhaps) Click the link

This may be an example of tapestry crochet but I am sure a reader will set me straight.
home sweet home


E.T. Phone Home

 

I just got off the phone with my sister in NYC.  Good thing she has a landline.  And not one that sits in an electric powered charger cradle.  Just a plain old phone.   She is still without power. We were talking about phones.  The cancelled Halloween Parade in NYC.  Our Pittsburgh Halloween postponed until Saturday due to the weather, residual hurricane effects.

I started thinking about the ET costume I made for Mark years ago. (There is a McCall’s pattern 8311 on Ebay for 29.99, I just checked) Here he is in Germany(1983) with Matthew as Robin Hood.  Yes, I made that too.  Mark wore that when he was four in Clarion, PA  Thinking about Halloweens past.

And then years later Laura wore the ET Costume. It had a Day-Glo finger that matched the heart appliqué on the chest. The date on this photo says 1996.

 

 

 

And here is the costume head in the dining room tonight. I painted the eyes.  The head is lined with a piece of blanket.  It looks like it did when I made it! When I put on the mask this past weekend, Penny the Goldendoodle (Laura and James’ dog) growled and turned and left the room. My daughter-in-law made the ceramic jack-o-lantern in grade school and I saved it from the trash when she pitched it.


Slow Shutter and the Pink Sock Monkeys

When Anna was a baby I made her a sock monkey out of a pair of Rockford Red Heel Socks, just as I had done for her father when he was little.  The sock monkey didn’t get much playtime and I didn’t make anymore for the other three grandchildren. At Christmas I noticed Anna using the sock monkey like a puppet with the other kids at breakfast. Everyone was laughing and she was enjoying playing with her(it is a girl and her name is Mrs. Sock Monkey)  She asked me if I could make her a pink sock monkey.  I said I didn’t know how I could because I didn’t know at the time you could buy PINK red heel socks.

Last weekend when I visited, the old sock monkey had not only a bed made from a Costco box, covered in  blanket but there was a small basket added as a bunk with a junior sized sock monkey wrapped up in a hand knitted dishrag  (the sock monkey was one of Murphy the Airedale’s former toys!- every dog needs a sock monkey).

And to Anna and Maura’s surprise, I showed up with two pairs of PINK red heel socks I found online.  Laura brought over her portable sewing machine and I sat at the kitchen table stitching up the legs and arms.  Anna helped stuff the limbs.  The girls were really excited to watch the socks turn into monkeys. I embroidered the eyes and nostrils with some variegated cotton yarn I had as a knitting project.

The next morning as they were waiting to go to church, I had them open the front door to get some available light for a photo of them with their monkeys. Strawberry and Blueberry are their names. Blueberry has blue eyes like Maura and that’s how they can tell them apart.  I used a 1/5 shutter speed -handheld -which is really not a good idea.  Too much camera shake.

The snow in the night added some reflected light but the winter morning was fairly gray.  Murphy decided to come and see what was happening outside and Anna thought he would make a good horse for the monkeys. Murphy didn’t even mind.   He remained undisturbed even though Maura was squealing excitedly.  Then Anna wrote sock monkey on the condensation inside the storm door glass.   I love that all the fancy toys are ignored and the homemade bed out of box and a couple of pairs of socks, transformed into monkeys, delighted the girls.   I told Anna how Aunt Mary and I went to the Sock Monkey Museum in Rockford, Illinois.

Murphy isn't even paying attention to a couple of riders!

Maura watches Anna make the sock monkey wave!

I remember writing on windows. The condensation invites it!


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