Saturday, May 24, 2014

Finger-knitting project update

Larger hula hoop with warp.
Yesterday, I began actually working on the finger-knitting project I talked about in my previous post here.  The first thing I discovered was that I needed to use the larger of the two hula hoops I bought.  Instead of the one pictured in the previous post, the tee shirt I cut into strips for the warp fit the larger hoop better.
(Pic on right.)  If I want to use the smaller hula hoop, I'll just need to cut up a smaller tee shirt.  I used a man's size XL -- too big for the 28 inch hoop but great for this 34 inch one.

Then, following Anne Weil's instruction on her site, Flax & Twine here, I was able to get my ball of finger-knitting started.  Since I've only been working on this project when I take a break from prepping for my next recording, I haven't gotten very far but it does go pretty fast.  I'm at the point now where I need to follow Anne's instructions for weaving through both sides of the tee shirt strips (warp) after having done the first 7-9 inches around the entire strip.  Here's what my future wall hanging of left-over yarn that I finger-knitted looks like right now.  It's approx. 8 inches wide at this point.

A close-up of the weaving:

Weave it taut but not tight.
I'll post again when I have more to look at.  I think it'll be fun weaving through all of the single strands as opposed to the double like you do for the first part of the project. 

Monday, May 19, 2014

My latest recording is now on sale!

My recording of Marilyn Monroe: My Little Secret by Tony Jerris just went on sale today on Audible.  Here's the introduction Tony wrote:  "'We're calling her Marilyn Monroe.'  Those were the words 12-year-old Jane Lawrence remembered when she was asked to head the up-and-coming blonde starlet's fan club at 20th Century Fox under the supervision of studio head Darryl Zanuck. Jane was no stranger to movie sets or movie stars, being that her father, Sidney Lipsitch, headed RKO's legal department. She spent many Saturday afternoons at her home with the likes of Robert Mitchum, Lucille Ball, and Ethel Merman, but helping launch the career of one of the world's most legendary sex symbols was a task beyond Jane's wildest dreams. Nearly four decades later, author Tony Jerris was introduced to Jane through a mutual friend and learned how Jane's working relationship with the actress developed into a special friendship that lasted right up until Marilyn's untimely death on August 5th, 1962."

This book does contain scenes of a sexual nature but they were tastefully written.  I found Jane Lawrence's story compelling and was very happy to be chosen to voice it.  You can listen to a sample and/or purchase the book now on Audible here.  It will also be available on Amazon and iTunes in a few more days.   

Friday, May 16, 2014

Estate Sales and an update on Duane's home office

Duane, Linda, and I hit the road early this morning to get to three estate sales that were being held in the south part of town.  The first sale was a small house that had belonged to a 93 year old lady.  She had nice things but I was the only one who bought anything.  She had been a knitter and I bought a parcel of a mixture of vintage knitting needles and stitch holders.  I love knitting with plastic and bakelite needles so I'm keeping most of those and I'll be sending the extra needles to The Humble Stitch Project for other volunteers to use. 

Our second stop.
The next house was a pretty Spanish style one with lots of nice things.  We got there later since all three sales started at 8am and we couldn't be three places at one time.  This person had wonderful items.  Nice art and furniture and some Jonathan Adler ceramics!  Linda and I each bought an Adler vase.  They were the last two -- all of the other Adler items had been sold.  I've been collecting his pieces for years including just before he became really popular.  (I have one couture piece that he made himself and signed.  I don't think I could afford it now!)  I bought a green vase and Linda bought a goldish/brown one in the abacus pattern.  The prices were fantastic.  Really sorry we missed out on all of the white and lime green pieces.  The owner of this house also had beautiful box framed specimens of insects and butterflies, too.

House no.2 -- nice art.
By the time we got to the third house, which was actually a townhouse, the pickings were pretty slim.  However we felt pretty lucky with our finds from sale number 2.  Our only complaint was that the same company was handling the sales for houses 2 and 3.  This meant a LONG line to check out with only one person doing the work at the second house.  Not a good idea to stretch yourselves that thin, guys.  Lots of grumbling in the line.  Good thing the stuff was nice!

Our buys.

After we hit the third sale, we headed to the Starbucks near Duane for our usual refreshment and gabfest.  Then when we drove back to Duane's house, she showed us what she had purchased during the week from one of our favorite antique/vintage shops, D & D  Antiques.  Duane has been slowly but surely getting her home office/art studio into shape (see blog post here).  She found two shabby chic style chairs at D & D and they look great in her office.  She had also purchased an upholstered chair a few weeks ago from a local thrift store that she's using for a desk chair.  Now she's just looking for a rug to finish off the office.  She still has a lot of sorting and organizing to do in the art studio section but her office is now ready for the three of us to get together and knit, snack, and gab.  Some of the things we do best.

Duane's office desk chair.

Shabby chic chairs on opposite sides of the room.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A Finger-Knitting Project

My beginning ball...
After teaching my niece to finger-knit, using Anne Weil's wonderful instructions on her blog Flax & Twine, and being so surprised when she made herself a scarf when I visited her last month (really sorry I didn't take a picture), I decided to find a use for my extra bits of leftover yarn.  What better way to use them than to take Anne's lead and make a loom from a hula hoop and weave the finger-knitted leftover yarn into a rug or wall hanging!  You can see Anne's instructions for making the loom along with how to weave the yarn and finish off the rug/wall hanging here.


Small hula hoop for loom.
I didn't realize how much leftover yarn bits and bobs that I had accumulated.  The ball pictured measures approx. 6 inches in diameter although the yarns are of varying degrees of thickness.  I picked up a small and large (adult) size hula hoop at a K-Mart.  I'm going to use the small one to make what will probably be a wall hanging and may use the larger one later to make an actual rug.  I just need to cut up an old tee shirt to stretch across the hula hoop for the warp.

I plan to work on this as I get the chance and will post more pics here as I progress.  This is a great way to relax after a day of recording and editing voice files.  Thanks again to Anne for this great idea and for sharing it! 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Recording update!

My next audiobook, Marilyn Monroe: My Little Secret by Tony Jerris, is now in post-production.  It should be for sale on Audible within 2-3 weeks.  I'll post here when it becomes available.

My next project will be a classic short story (of the spooky variety) by Henry James called "The Ghostly Rental."   Check back here for details!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Drawing for free copy of The Red Shoelace Killer

Author Susan Sundwall is having a drawing on her blog for three copies (downloads) of the audio version (voiced by moi) of her cozy mystery The Red Shoelace Killer.  To refresh your memory on the story:

Minnie Markwood can out-sleuth Miss Marple any day of the week - in her imagination. But when a real killer begins to target Minnie and her young sidekicks, reality trumps imagination big time. Who's buying up all the red shoelaces at the mall and stalking a cashier? Is it the killer who terrorized Minnie on the highway and kidnapped her coworker? It soon becomes frighteningly clear that Minnie's onto something, and The Red Shoelace Killer's days are numbered.

All you have to do to enter is just leave a comment -- even if it's just 'Hi' -- on Susan's blog page for the contest which can be found here.  The drawing will be held on Friday, May 9th, 2014.  This book is a fun read so take a chance and good luck!  

Friday, May 2, 2014

The Andy Warhol Exhibit at the Salvador Dali museum

Yesterday, Linda, Duane, and I decided that we needed to get on the stick and get over to St. Petersburg to visit the Andy Warhol exhibit before it leaves the Salvador Dali museum.  It was originally supposed to end on April 27th but we got an extension when the museum announced that it would continue through June 1st.  Boo-ya!

I had been to the 'old' Dali museum which was nice but smaller but not to the new and larger one.  Linda had only been to the new one and Duane hadn't been to either so we were raring to go.  Plus, all three of us like Andy Warhol.  The new Dali sits on the bay and is gorgeous.  I took a few pics of the outside and the areas I could look down on from the second floor.  There is no picture-taking allowed in the actual exhibit halls which is understandable.

The Salvador Dali museum -- view from the parking lot.

The helical staircase -- taken from the second floor.
View of the bay from the second floor.
Look up!

We went through the Dali exhibit first then started our Warhol tour with some selfies with Andy.

Linda with Andy.
Duane with Andy.
Me with Andy.

Then the fun really started.  First of all, some of Andy's films were being projected onto walls along with pieces of his art and photos from his childhood that were on display.  My favorite was an almost all-white with off-white collage of the Mona Lisa.  Second fave had to be an iconic Debbie Harry piece from back-in-the-day.  Of course, since Warhol died in 1987, just about everything was from that era, anyway.  Some nice pencil sketches of Mick Jagger, Princess Diana, and Sid Vicious.  Various pieces from the Jackie Kennedy series -- all in blue tones.  I was glad to see that a few of the 'piss' paintings were included, too.  I remember reading that Andy and one of his assistants used to try out different vitamins and supplements in order to change the color of their urine while working on these paintings.

Now the piece de resistance!  A camera was set up so that visitors could have their own 'screen test' made just as Andy did with so many of his subjects -- living and otherwise.  (Remember the long film of the Empire State building?)  You could choose a white or black background -- all three of us went with white -- and adjust the lighting to your taste.  The filming ran for three minutes but the finished projects run slightly longer.  Part of the process involves slo-mo'ing the filming at different points.  I went first and tried to just stare at the camera the whole time.  Let me assure you, three minutes is a LONG time when you're doing that.  Linda went next and then Duane.  Both of them looked over at the other two of us while being filmed and can be seen laughing a few times.  I should have done that but I was afraid if I looked at the two of them, I'd laugh and not be able to stop.  It's interesting the way that black and white throw shadows on the face.

So, without further ado, here we are in our not quite 15 minutes of fame.

By the way, I was told by a member of the staff of the Dali museum that Dali got mad and walked off during his screen test.  He lasted about 26 seconds.  How 'Dali' like!