Saturday, October 31, 2009

Lots of Fun on Halloween

Trick or Treat started an hour ago, pumpkin seeds are in the oven, and the Jack-O-Lanterns are carved - last minute as usual (you wouldn't want 'em to go mushy by doing it too early).

Keaton is at a party, Larry is going for a run and I'm answering the door while playing our Halloween Mix on iTunes.  Let's see - here's the lineup of Halloween songs:
This is Halloween from Nightmare Before Christmas
The Worms Crawl in
Jaws Theme
Monster Mash
Phantom of the Opera Overture
Witch doctor
Psycho Theme
Munsters Theme
She Blinded Me With Science
Twilight Zone
Adams Family Theme
Somebody's Watching Me

Later we'll carry out one last Halloween tradition - turn out all the lights, light the jack-o-lanterns and sing our own Halloween songs at the top of our lungs:  Ghost of Tom, Halloween, The Owls and Witches and Jack-o-Lantern.

Happy Halloween From our House to Yours

(I'll give you one guess who made the Cyclops.)

Friday, October 30, 2009

Scary Movies, Glen Rock Soda and Fat Jiggling

Guess what turned up deep in my jewelry drawer?  Yes, I am cleaning out a lot of things - must be what happens when three of four kids go away to college.  Anyway, the following turned up from the depths of my drawer:

Oh yeah - you know you had one, too.  Especially if you were a pre-teen girl in the 70s.  This one was no bigger than a small address book.  Remember those psychedelic satin covers?  I wasn't very good at keeping a diary.  A typical entry was not more than a sentence or two.  From Saturday, March 6, 1971:
Who is Mark?  One of our weekly crushes, no doubt.
My best friend, Sherry, and I would often get together and watch scary movies on Saturday afternoons in her basement.  Channel 18 in Milwaukee often broadcast creepy movies during "Saturday afternoon Theater."  I don't remember, but I thought there was a costumed host introducing the movies.  Maybe I'm confused with Shock Theater or Nightmare Theater or Dr. Cadaverino.  My entire diary entry from Saturday, March 13, 1971:
 A week later and another scary movie.

Bela Lugosi in Murders at Rue Morgue (nice eyebrow/s).  Sherry and I couldn't get enough of horror movies - even if they were awful, B-rated and kind of stupid.  We'd sit on her basement couch wrapped up in blankets and if we were lucky, we'd get permission from her parents to have a Glen Rock soda.

They always had a case in their basement.

And if the movie lightened up, we might spend some time jiggling our midsections in her mom's belt exerciser thing - but we didn't wear heels like the lady in the picture above who actually kinda looks like Sherry's mom.

The other night my son DVR'd Bram Stoker's Dracula off the television.  Although we don't really watch scary movies too often, we feel it's in order every year to watch one good one to celebrate Halloween.  We watched the edited television version (thank goodness) of this 1992 version of Dracula starring Gary Oldham, Winona Ryder and Keanu Reeves.  Yuck, was it creepy.  I am not a better person for having seen that movie.  My son kept saying the story line just didn't make any sense.  It kinda reminded me of those awful, B-rated scary movies of Saturday afternoons in Sherry's basement - gross, gory and bleak.  I'd much rather have a scary, suspenseful movie with a good story -- like Disturbia or Signs, which we've watched for Halloween in the last few years.  I'm not afraid of a little gore, but please give me a decent story, something that will make me jump, and some good acting.

OK, I'm taking suggestions - a good Halloween movie - what are your ideas?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Button, Button, Who's Got the Button?

Well, I've got a few of them.  I am quite certain there are zillions of real button collectors out there that make my collection look like a pittance.  Still, I do like buttons.  I keep them in jars sorted by type, size, or color on my sewing room window sills - which proves I'm not a real collector.  A real collector keeps her buttons carefully attached to an identification card and not smashing around on top of each other in a jar in the direct light of a window.


And this doesn't include the buttons I haven't sorted into these jars that are still in tins and ziploc bags hidden in the depths of my sewing room.  Buttons are somewhat indestructible units of clothing and all have a story to tell.

Sweet little calico or china buttons

Wooden buttons

Pink buttons

Turquoise colored buttons

Clear glass buttons

Victorian shoe buttons

Cloth covered buttons

Buttons with jewels

Pearl buttons - I've got jars of pearl buttons all sorted by size.  Some are as small as baby teeth and the biggest one is three inches across! 

Mother-of-pearl buttons are beautiful in their infinite shapes and carvings - and they're cool and pearly.  Some people call them shell buttons - because they were made from freshwater shells.

As a matter of fact, a big name in buttons has always been Lansing.  The Lansing Button Company was founded in 1896 in Lansing, Iowa on the Mississippi River.  My dad's side of the family had a farm high on a hill in Lansing for about a hundred years.  I used to visit there when I was a kid.  I remember one time hearing my great Uncle Art talk about how when he was young and could walk down by the Mississippi and the river banks would be littered with clam shells stamped with circle holes.

Two buttons were stamped from this half of the clam shell.

There were other button companies along the Mississippi in Iowa.  Here's a button card from the Wessels Button Company in Muscatine decorated with lily pads, egret, waterall and other river scenes.

Another card decorated with a river scene.  I think this one actually depicts the button cutters harvesting the clams.

  Love the sweet drawings on the Crown button cards.

Navy colored mother-of-pearl buttons.  Reminds me of when my sister was a Blue Bird.  Wasn't that a part of Campfire Girls???  Huh?  Why do I remember that?

A demure young lady takes a walk on the beach with a dapper young man in... a long sleeved button down shirt with some kind of snazzy waistband, shorts and boots?

These are itty-bitty.  Who could button them?

OK, I could just keep going and going on buttons, but I'll end with some of my favorites sitting on a one inch ribbon - a few of the big, loud divas.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Shrugero in 3D

Remember my first post?  The one about the "shrugero?"  If you don't, click here.  I really wanted to show the shrug on the bride, but never got a pic at the reception.  I haven't really advertised the fact that I started a blog, but finally told her mother-in-law the other day.  Good idea, because now our beautiful bride, Rachel, was kind enough to furnish some great shots of her wedding dress complete with the bolero shrug - shrugero.

This picture really shows how the sleeve design of the shrug repeats the lower ruffles of the gown.  Good call on the sleeves, Rachel!  Hope you are enjoying newlywed life.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Movies I Have to see Once a Year

When I was a little girl, there were certain movies that came on TV only once a year.  There were no videos or DVDs, there was no TiVo or DVR, there was no streaming on the internet.  It was on when it was on.  You better be ready and waiting in front of the television when the appointed time rolled around or you were out of luck until next year.  The two shows I remember waiting for with excited childhood anticipation were:

Peter Pan starring Mary Martin
and of course, The Wizard of Oz.

Now things are quite different.  Not only are we no longer a slave to broadcast schedules, we can actually own the movies we love and watch them whenever we want.  When purchasing a DVD we have to ask ourselves, "Will I want to watch this over again?"  Otherwise, why buy it?

I have realized there are certain movies that are currently on my once a year rotation.  First of all, it's a requirement that the following are viewed each summer:

It isn't summer unless my daughter and I have watched The Parent Trap 2 - it gets us in the mood to go to Girl's Camp and Chelsea loves twin Annie's English clothing style.  Larry, my husband, envisions himself the dad in RV - defeated yet trying to make everyone happy - and ya gotta love the Gornicke family.  Dan in Real Life is just plain funny - Ruthie Pig nose Draper!  Ok, ok I know, but it just feels like summer when you hear "What Time is it?  Summertime!"  And it was a tradition to put Toy Story on the old VCR up at the cabin when I was fixing waffles and everybody was just getting out of bed.  There are so many lines from those movies that we all know by heart.

Next, these are required viewing or it just ain't Christmas.

It's a Wonderful Life - yes it's long, but I like to watch it on Thanksgiving morning just after the parades... makes ya think.  Ok, I just need to see the bigfoot parody or Elf eating cotton balls to bring on the holiday spirit.  I like all the Christmas Carol movies, but it just doesn't seem that any of the other Scrooges get as giddy as Alastair Sim on the morning after.  The Holiday is just good.  I must be a fan of director, Nancy Meyer - she just gets people and situations right - and Jude Law... (sigh)

Final once-a-year category?   The chick flicks.

I loved Ever After.  Maybe Drew Barrymore was slightly miscast, but Dugray Scott???  Yowsa!  I love the scene where he's at her front door explaining his obvious interest in her.  The Inheritance is a little known movie based on a book by Louisa May Alcott.  I think it was a made for TV Hallmark type movie.  It's sweet and predictable, but oh it strikes a wistful chord in me - Thomas Gibson as James Percy - nice.  I do love all things Jane Austin and though the debate between versions of Pride and Prejudice rages on - I think everyone loves whichever they first viewed - and Matthew Macfadyen, yeah.  Oh, I also like to watch the BBC mini-series version, too.  There's nothing like Colin Firth emerging from the pond!  It's kind of early to tell, but I'm thinking Twilight will become an annual event in the future - I know it would be easy to read the book annually.  And of course, The Princess Bride.  We know every line - As you wish.

What are your must see once-a-year movies?
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