Elvis. The Beach Boys. Valentines Day. And further adventures with wool.

We spent last week so far out of our comfort zone.  Our zone involves lots of evenings on the sofa watching Lorelai Gilmore and her Stars Hollow escapades.  Will she marry Luke?  Where will Rory end up? (Actually, I know the answers because I looked up a synopsis on Google.  My bad).

But this week we abandoned the Gilmores and–DRUM ROLL PLEASE–went out at night!

We have friends who do cool stuff.  They haul us along.  It’s great.  The first experience was to see an Elvis impersonator.  Brandon Bennett.  He was terrific!  Now that I’m mostly deaf music doesn’t hold too much appeal.  However, if it’s music I recognize from my youth, I can fill in the blanks.  We were by far the youngest in the audience.  Pretty funny.

20180215_092744.jpg

 

Then two nights later we went to see The Beach Boys.  Only two of the original “boys” were in the group.  Mike Love and Al Jardine.  They were joined by John Stamos who was fantastic on drums.  Mike Love must be in his late seventies, but he was up there rocking for over two hours.  Again, the crowd was old. But not as ancient as the Elvis fans.

Valentine’s day began with the hunt for cards.  We hide the cards in plain sight.  Mine were by the sink, on the computer, and next to the coffee pot. In our house, it’s always three cards per person.  Jim goes big and pays full freight at the grocery store.  I shop Dollar Tree.  Bronson even got a card for Jimmy, so Jim got four cards.  Whoo Hooo.

20180215_094948.jpg

Then, at about ten a.m. the doorbell rang.  There was neighbor Rusty with a dozen yellow roses for me!

20180215_092657.jpg

Cards and roses?  What could make the day better?  Here’s what–Lynda invited us to come for dinner!  She’s a great cook.  Delicious food, excellent company.  We sat on their patio and gabbed long after dinner was done.

We were out after dark on three school nights.  Very adventurous of us.

My days continue to be consumed with sewing.  A few images of the latest creations.

 

20180215_094636.jpg
The front 

 

20180215_094602.jpg
The back.  Reversible!  Fancy, eh?

 

20180215_095103.jpg
Lined with leopard print. Edgy.

 

20180215_094851.jpg
The pink waffle weave wool used to be a Nicole Miller coat.  I’m a cannibal.  Shrinking and slicing and dicing.

20180215_094724.jpg

 

 

 

 

This is the project I should be doing.  I’ve been asked to paint six tiles to give as small gifts for the home-owners who are generous enough to open their homes for the annual Anna Maria Island house-walk.  The image I’ve chosen is the City Pier.  It’s a local landmark.  Sadly, the pier got destroyed by Irma.

20180215_094521.jpg

I keep procrastinating because I can’t stop sewing.  OCD prevails.

My second little bag is almost done!

I just need to attach a shoulder strap.  Even managed to line this bag with black cotton, which is WAY above my pay grade.  The first lining was far too small, but I figured it out.

 

20180207_090648.jpg
Front of purse

 

20180207_090742.jpg
The back.  I’ve ordered tags that say “Crafted by Beatrice Bee.”  They will get ironed into each item.

 

 

Yesterday I went to the thrift shop and bought scads of 100% wool coats at half price.  A Nicole Miller pale pink waffle weave.  A gorgeous winter white cashmere.  Black, red, camel hair, bright green.  They have all been boiled and are now drying on chairs by the pool.  Next step to chop them apart.  The black wool one will provide a shoulder strap for this pink, black and yellow bag.  I’ve saved all the linings to use for inside my purses.

I also shrunk the doll hair. Kind of a failure.

 

20180207_090844.jpg
Neighbor Lynda saw these and thought they looked like dog doo.  I guess they kinda’ do.

 

The shrunken heads are now pincushions.

 

20180207_090806.jpg
Voodoo dolls!

Today I went to Walmart and purchased a couple of sets of plastic drawers for all the wool I’ve collected.  Now, back to the sewing room to complete my third piece.  Also lined!  Under that button is a pocket to fit a cell phone.  Tomorrow, when the black wool is dry, this will get a shoulder strap.

 

20180207_164322.jpg
This used to be a man’s vest.

 

 

20180208_155338.jpg
The back.

 

 

 

Adventures with wool continue.

Today I’ll be working on my second kooky purse. It is a commission piece. I was asked for black with bright funky colors. Since I have not a clue what I’m doing, I priced it right.

I spent much of yesterday making little roses out of hot pink cashmere sweater seams. Today the process continues. I’ve decided to decorate both front and back. Yay, a “reversible-versatile-pursible.”

20180205_092006.jpg

But before I resume, I have a mad scientist experiment in the works. You may remember that last year, for twenty minutes, I decided to reinvent myself as a doll maker? So, I chose to buy art- supplies-I didn’t-need-with-money-I didn’t-have. I hopped online and purchased cool fibers for doll hair. Mohair, Alpaca, Tibetan wool.

 

20171022_163058.jpg
This little lady has Tibetan wool tresses.  I named her “Mariposa”.  She was adopted out. Now she spends her days sitting in a hair salon, watching women pay big bucks for locks her color.

 

However, since I have the attention span of a fruit fly, I moved on. I exiled the fibers to a box in the corner of my shoe closet. For months they lived there next to a small styrofoam bowl containing three incomplete scary shrunken doll heads.

 

20180205_111111.jpg
The blue-eyed head used be atop Mariposa’s neck.  But it was so tiny she looked like a pitiful Zika baby.  I decapitated her and started over.

 

This morning I fished out the hair wool, stuffed it into knee-high pantyhose and tossed it into the washer on “steam cycle” along with the brown wool sweater I scored yesterday.

Prior to Super Bowl Jim tried on that rarely used pullover. It’s a Nordstrom purchase from his days as a regular customer there. Back then, each time Jim walked into the men’s department, Louis Salesguy vaulted across the service counter to wait on him. Jim loved him some Nordstrom’s. Louis loved him some Jim.

Sadly for Jim, the sweater was too small. When he stepped into the kitchen and saw the gleam in my eye, he knew that pullover was going to be way tinier before the week was over.

“Into the washer with you,” I howled!

I also tossed in two random wool squares I worked on during Super Bowl. While (sort of) watching the game, Erika, Lynda’s darling German mom, taught me a new more efficient way to knit. Last night when I woke at 3 a.m. I practiced until finally, happily, sleep overcame me.

20180205_091707.jpg

Ah! The steam cycle just ended. Time to shove the wool research experiment into the dryer. Then off to play in my “studio,” aka mixed-use-messy-guestroom.

For your viewing pleasure here are a few more shrunken heads.  I didn’t craft these.

20180205_111148.jpg

Another day, another strange purse.

The second purse completed!

I’ve been sending “What do I do now?” thoughts into the Universe, and as always the Universe delivered!  I have been invited to show/sell my funky little handbags at the Anna Maria Island Community Center during their annual Housewalk.  So between now and March of 2019 I’ll be chopping up shrunken woolies and combining them with all the random junk I’ve collected over the years.

This little purse is a combination of a navy Nordstrom wool sweater Jim donated to my cause. The blue denim bits are pieces of a scarf I began fourteen years ago for my son. But I screwed up the casting off part (my knitting skills leave something to be desired). It’s been living in a plastic baggie all this time.

20180201_084753.jpg

20180201_084446.jpg

20180201_084520.jpg

The yellow parts came from a thrift store cashmere sweater. $2.99 and dammit I’m worth it.  It used to be an extra large; now it would fit an American Girl doll. Beads are part of my stash from when I decided to make jewelry. Buttons are my passion. These three lived with the navy blues in my button drawers.

All my items get a bumblebee, as I stated before. Next, I plan to purchase tags the say handcrafted by Alice Jay Tate. I’m off and running, again! New year, new Alice.

Money from this little venture is ear-marked: twenty-five percent to a cause near and dear to my heart, twenty-five percent for my grandson’s college fund, and the rest for greedy Alice. Yay! I’ll probably spend it on more thrift store junk to shrinky dink.

I learned that every other Wednesday the Dunedin Main Street Thrift store sells all clothing half price.  You know where I’ll be twice a month.