Saturday, July 22, 2017

done daydreaming

I first read the short story The Secret Life of Walter Mitty by James Thurber in high school.  In his daydreams, Walter Mitty is a Navy commander flying through a terrible storm, a brilliant surgeon who saves the life of a millionaire banker, an expert marksman on trial for murder, and so on.  His exciting imaginary adventures let him escape his boring existence and his nagging, controlling wife.  
The 1947 movie version starring Danny Kaye expands the story a bit but is basically scripted along the same lines.  I like the 2013 version starring Ben Stiller which changes the story much more. 
Walter Mitty still wants to be a hero and have fantastic adventures, but his daydreams are inspired by his behind-the-scenes job developing photographs for Life magazine and by his desire to meet and date a coworker, Cheryl (Kristen Wiig). When a negative intended for the cover of the magazine is missing, Walter decides to go on a real life adventure to find its photographer Sean O'Connell (Sean Penn). He is forever changed from a dreamer into a man of action.
The part of the movie I enjoyed most is a brief scene in the Himalayas where Sean O'Connell is trying to photograph the elusive snow leopard. He and Walter see the "ghost cat," but he doesn't take any pictures. He says if he likes a moment and wants to stay in it, he doesn't want the camera to distract him. I agree that life is enriched by being present without the need to document and widely broadcast every special experience.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

sew what oh well

I've spent a long time putting pieces of shiny rayon fabrics together to make a handsome quilt. I sewed the lines pretty straight, so I was aghast to discover the side edges were completely different lengths.  I had cut without measuring, and the quilt was now a trapezoid.
 I was upset with myself until I realized it was never straight to begin with.  If I had cut the sides to the same length, the lines within would have been crooked, and at least one of the top and bottom edges would have been way off. My guess is that sewing the long strips from one side to the other had probably weighted them down causing the fabric to flex and the seam to curve.  So I will end up with an even more unique quilt, and that's just fine.  This is probably why I design fabric but do not stitch it for a living!
This reminds me of another sewing project where I had carefully shrunk a Vogue pattern to make a tiny tailored jacket.  At the last minute, I sewed the left and right sleeves onto the wrong sides and they projected backwards in a silly pose, so I decided the jacket was for a skydiving doll!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

rock on

Little Compton, Rhode Island is a special town on the ocean where my grandparents lived long ago.  They converted a dairy barn which was shaped like a plus sign into a very unique summer home in the 1950s, starting from scratch removing the hay. I have many fond memories from childhood vacations at "The Barn," and I got to live in the town for a few years much later (though in an awful little shack).  The town smells wonderful in the summer with salt air, freshly cut grass and juniper bushes mixing into a heavenly elixir.  The beautiful rock walls were made by farmers clearing the fields as early as the late 1600s, and I love the gray color and flat shapes of the old ones covered with lichen.  

Saturday, July 1, 2017

150 years later

To all my lovely friends and relatives in Nova Scotia, happy Canada Day!