Monday, May 31, 2010


If you were around during the 70's you saw at least one of the countless Blaxploitation movies starring Pam Grier. I remember seeing The Big Doll House. I could go into detail about her movies but that's not the original reason. Younger people may have seen her in Jackie Brown. Pam Grier is a very intelligent woman . From reading her book she seems like a soft, caring person very unlike some of the characters she played in her early film career. Though her family traveled a lot because of her father's military career, she calls Wyoming her home state. Wyoming is where her family is and where the family finally settled. She lives on a small ranch that she enjoys for the peace and tranquility. I think what I enjoyed most was her candidness and finding out that she is such a strong woman

Some of the highlights include:
*Her serious involvement with Kareem Abdul Jabar
*Loading Richard Pryor's sick horse into her Jaguar to take to the Vet
*Being gang-raped at six years old by her cousins
This book doesn't disappoint.

APPETITE AMERICA How Visionary Businessman Fred Harvey Built a Railroad Empire That Civilized the Wild West, Stephen Fried
I heard about this book while listening to NPR. The review was so interesting that I requested it at my local library. Fred Harvey was a British immigrant who made good in the restaurant business. He developed a chain of restaurants located close to railroad stations. These restaurants were unique in that they offered class, fresh vegetables and fruits in remote locations where this type of cuisine would not be expected. The book is very detailed recounting how Fred got his start, the tragedies and triumphs in his family. This author did a lot of research on his subject and I believe he included every little bit of it.
For those who enjoy biographies and rags-to-riches stories this book completes the formula.
I found the discussion on NPR more interesting than the book.

WENCH: A Novel, Dolen Perkins-Valdez
Same old, same old. Different place, different names, same story. Four slave masters take their favorite slave mistresses to Tawawa House, a resort in Ohio every summer. To some degree the wenches (slave women) get treated a little better than they would at the plantation. Each of these women uses this opportunity to better herself or her children. One wants her children fathered by her master to be set free and has ideas that he loves her and she him. Another plans to try to escape from her master.

The slaves have heard the rumor that if they can get past the river they will be in free territory. They also long to see the place where free Negroes have their own resort.

Although a work of fiction the story is based on the Tawawa resort that once existed in Xenia, Ohio. Part of its demise came about because of slave owners bringing their Black wenches and the distaste expressed by such from other white guests and their wives. The demise of the resort brought about the birth of a well known college which exists today.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Who Is This Person?


I have absolutely no idea.

I found her photo along with some others while perusing a vintage shop.

I’d made a wristlet once with a family picture on the front. I found it so much more convenient than carrying a large purse. I could tuck in a phone, wallet, keys. Just the essentials and not be bogged down with a heavy purse. It can be hung on the wrist while shopping leaving the hands free .

Before I get started I have to say that having Photo Shop would have made things a lot easier but since I don’t have it and won’t be buying it I’ll have to do things the old- fashioned way. I won’t buy Photo Shop because my computer is old and it’s time for a new one. If and/or when I get a new one I’ll have Photo Shop placed on it but, by then there will probably be something else.

I’ll start with this lovely lady. (I like the dress) I decided first what kind of scene I wanted her to be a part of. I wanted her in a travel scene, beside a vintage Cadillac, with luggage on the side.

First, I found a 1946 Cadillac on the NET and copied it.

Next, I scanned ,enlarged and printed travel lady’s picture to the size I needed. Then I manually cut it out and put it to the side.

Then I went to my clip art and found luggage which I inserted beside the Cadillac. I placed the lady near the door of the Cadillac.
If you remember in the original picture her hand was missing because it was propped against the porch banister. To cover that up, I put a road map in her hand.

After configuring my picture the way I wanted it, I scanned it and saved it on my computer.

I put a sheet of iron on transfer paper in my printer and printed the picture. (You’ll have to fiddle with size and placement to your liking)
After that I ironed the transferred picture onto a piece of white twill fabric. (Make sure you let it cool first or you’ll end of disfiguring your picture.) On top of the transfer I used Heat & Bond Vinyl. In the past the iron-on transfers have had a tendency to peel as they age.(Hmm. I can relate.)

No doubt you’ve seen the novelty Route 66 fabric at some time in your local fabric store. I purchased mine at Hobby Lobby simply because it was the store nearest me with fabric. (I bought several other novelty pieces also.)

I cut all pieces to the desired sizes lined them with left over black lining I had.

I found a zipper in my stash that was also one of the colors in the fabric and used it as a closure.

I had a used necklace (from the thrift store) and ribbon (left over from a previous project) that used as the wristlet portion. And here you have the finished wristlet.

There are several things I would like to change or perfect but I'm still satisfied.
In the future I’d like a matte finish on the Heat & Bond vinyl.