Sunday, October 28, 2012


I surf the NET frequently to get ideas and inspiration for crafts. I came upon this clutch purse some time ago and saved it on my thumb drive on my inspiration page. (Not Pinterest) 
 Time ran out for this seasonal purse of dried rose petals and leaves on a white background..

The rose petal and leaves are probably silk.

I decided I'd do a fall clutch purse. I had the fabric in my stash of "projects never finished but won't throw it away." It's a piece of patterned orange linen. Perfect color for fall. I bought two bags of fabric table scatter leaves from the dollar store. 

orange patterned linen,roll of Stitch Witchery, silkish leaves from the Dollar Store

Each bag of leaves has 50 pieces

The leaves were in olive green, yellow and red/orange.

I'm aware that using linen is out of season but since most of it will be
 covered with the leaves and it IS orange I decided  to
use it.
 1.  I cut out two pieces of the orange fabric so that I could line the purse.

2. I put the lining to the side and worked with just the part that would have the leaves.
3. I couldn't decide if I wanted to glue on the leaves with OK To Wash It glue or use Stitch Witchery.
4. I decided on Stitch Witchery.
5. I cut a strip of Stitch Witchery and laid the leaves randomly across the strip. Using a paper bag as a pressing cloth I pressed the leaves onto the strip

It was not my intention to adhere the entire surface of the leaves to the fabric. I wanted it free in areas to add to the look and texture.

6. I sewed wrong sides together of the appliqued fabric and the lining, leaving a small open area to turn it inside out .
7. I folded the strip of decorated fabric in the form of a clutch purse  sewing the finished wrong sides together and boxing it at the bottom.
8. I sewed on a square of velcro also adding a button and elasticized loops on the ends for extra closure security.

The clutch purse opened

The clutch purse closed. You probably can't see it but I did
 sew the grid of stitches across the leaves as in the
inspirational purse at the top

*The leaves will be raveling because they didn't have finished edges which will make for a short life for this purse.
*Those leaves that were in the bends and folds of the purse with loose edges, I did use fabric glue to secure.
*I will probably add a strap to hang it on my wrist.
* I failed to mention that I tried to stiffen it some by ironing on interfacing to the lining before putting it all together. I thought about using cardboard but if it got wet that could be disastrous.
*There is a pocket inside. I didn't bother to post the picture because it didn't show up well.
* Lastly, I have got to learn to take better pictures.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012


East Lake United Methodist Church gave an organ concert as part of its East Lake in the Afternoon series. From a previous post I wrote about having a vendor's booth for the first time during their East Lake Farmer's Market season as well as being a consumer of their fresh produce. This is a  church that  didn't leave when the community began "to change," or "became more urbanized.." You can read between the lines on what that means. On their church marquee and on tee shirts worn by many of the members is written:
 In the neighborhood for good
I suppose that is why the concert was titled "Organ-izing Diversity".  Below is a copy of the program.

Overlook the written notations in the margin of the program. It was just a note to self .
I'd been told that there wouldn't be the standard long hair classical music but a mixture of it with modern music..  The musician in residence Dr. John Schwandt is an associate professor and Director of the American Organ Institute at the University of Oklahoma School of Music.  I won't go into all of his credentials but they were impressive.  The talent he portrayed on the pipe organ was mesmerizing.

Not only did I want to attend the concert but I reaaaaalllly wanted to see what the inside of the church looked like. It has been there for 125 years. I enjoy viewing architecture and somehow knew it would be beautiful inside. Imagine a medieval castle or english tudor.  It has gothic archways of stone. The sanctuary has exposed beams and very high ceilings. I didn't get to see the entire church but there a lot of nooks and crannies.  I suggested that perhaps they should do a tour as a fund raiser. I most certainly would attend.

I'm still honing my video skills. I listened to this video so many times  while trying to edit it, I had an ear worm.  The song was stuck in my head for 2 days. I still haven't gotten it just right but as far as I'm concerned it's good enough.

You'll hear someone humming at the beginning. It isn't me. It's a lady that sat next to me. I have no idea what she was humming and I don't think she did either.


Friday, October 19, 2012

CROSS, 5*****

The movie CROSS came out today with Tyler Perry playing the lead role as Alex Cross. I couldn't wait to see it so I attended the 1:00  matinee. There weren't that many people in the theatre. They will probably get a larger crowd tonight and during the weekend.

As with any novel made into a movie there are going to be deviations. I also wanted to see how Tyler Perry would do as an action hero. This movie was fantastic! Tyler Perry showed even further the range of his acting talent. I'd like to see him in future dramas and serious roles.

 I won't go into the plot but if you're a fan of James Patterson you'll know what I'm talking about here.

Ciceley Tyson plays Nana Mama. I think she has paid more mamas, grandmamas and old ladies than anyone. She was playing old ladies when she was young. If that's not typecasting...
Matthew Fox is excellent as the psychopathic villain. Just when you think the story has been told and it's time for the credits to roll, Alex Cross says, it's not over. Cross wants to know who hired the assassin. So there's your surprise ending. There were some scenes that simulated extreme violence and so I closed my eyes.

The first Alex Cross was played by Morgan Freeman in Kiss the Girls.  He's a wonderful actor but he didn't fit the fantasy picture I had of Alex Cross. At that time I had Ving Rhames or L.L. Cool J  in mind. My movie companion and I lamented that we weren't going to see a 40 something man with a chiseled body take off his shirt. Morgan Freeman as Alex Cross is just as unconvincing as Zoe Saldana portraying  Nina Simone. Outlandish.

There was a movie goer there with two small children. While they weren't completely disruptive, they were a distraction. And people wonder why children do some of the adult things they do. Halfway through the movie, I left that theatre and went into another one that was also showing Cross. It was 30 minutes behind the other one. I was better able to concentrate on the movie.  

I'm a big fan of the author James Patterson. The first novel of his I read was , The Midnight Club. It was published in 1988 and that was about the time a librarian friend told me about it and suggested I read it. I didn't want to put it down. There was mystery, suspense, unexpected events and it was such a head spinner that it made me want to know more about the author. For a long time we (my fellow Patterson fans) were in the dark about James Patterson. There was not a picture of him or bio on the jacket of his books which made him even more mysterious. Who was this person? How did he come up with such spellbinding exotic thrillers? I was to later add to my Patterson reads in the Alex Cross series: Along Came A Spider, Kiss the Girls, Jack &Jill , See How They Run ,Cat and Mouse, Pop Goes the Weasel, Roses are Red , Violets are Blue,. These are only the beginning. There are too many to list.

In addition to the Alex Cross series Patterson has the Women's Murder Club series as well as books for teens and  romance. There have been numerous books with cowriters. I won't say I've enjoyed all of his books and I'm still wondering why he has coauthors on some of the titles but I will say I enjoy the Cross and Murder Club books.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Open Mic @ The Comedy Club

A young friend got her chance to perform on Open Mic night at the Stardome Comedy Club . It had been a while since I'd been there. In the past the open mic people performed on the main stage before the headliner came out. This past Friday, there was a designated smaller room where blossoming comics performed. I'm unsure of how many open mic  performers there were . Nikki Nicole was number six. This lady has an outgoing personality that is infectious. A warm, open friendly person who is so good with people. Before any of the comics began the MC gave a pep talk about being kind  to the performers. As she said, it takes a lot of nerve to get  up in front of people and perform comedy. You're basically opening yourself up for emotional injury.  I put it right up there with sky diving.
As with anything some were good and some were not so good.  Most all dealt with adult humor.  Nikki's timing was good, She stayed on topic,interaction with the audience was good. There was one joke about credit cards to which she threw plastic out to the audience.
Stand up isn't something that I think I could  do.   Maybe I could be a joke writer but that too takes a lot of talent. I'd probably forget everything I was supposed to say, like one of the guys who actually admitted he'd forgotten his jokes and so he asked the audience to heckle him so he could give a good comeback. That didn't work out so well for him either.

Monday, October 8, 2012


The jazz was smooth and cool on September 22nd at the 9th annual TASTE OF FOURTH AVENUE.
Each year the street is blocked off and some of the most talented musicians perform.
Fourth Avenue was a bustling business district for Black people before integration  in Birmingham, Alabama. Whatever you needed, it could be found at a business located there.  Doing business within the confines of these few city blocks, people of color felt comfortable and treated with respect. Oftentimes business owners were neighbors or fellow church members and relatives whick helped to bond  people closer together.

photo copied from
After integration 4th Avenue became something of a ghost town accompanied by a seedy reputation . Over the past 25 or more years, efforts have been made to restore the area and restore business and arts programs. The metamorphosis has been stupendous. Just a block away is the  Birmingham Civil Rights Institute which draws visitors from all over the world.

Additionally The infamous 16th Street Baptist Church is across the street from Civil Rights Institute.

Euge Groove performs. An artist paints as the musicians play
During Fourth Avenue's  dark days a decent person wouldn't think of walking the Avenue day or night. To see  all of the  positive renewal that has taken place is very rewarding. The one time Carver Movie Theatre is now the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame It stands to reason that an annual jazz concert would go hand in glove with the rest .

This year's  jazz festival began at 2 pm and was scheduled until 9pm.  I rode shotgun with a friend who preferred to wait until the sun was down and the climate was cooler. This was a great idea because there was just enough breeze in the air to stay comfortable. This year's headliner was  saxophonist  Stephen Eugene Grove better known as Euge Groove.  If you've never heard this man play you've missed out. His discography is endless. Who has he played with? Instead Who HASN'T he played with.? Need to relax? His music will mellow you out. His performance included tracks from his CD as well as an improvised arrangement of Amazing Grace .
Shielded by security Euge Groove descended the stage to walk through the audience serenading as he went. It was  a great performance by the headliner and the talented local musicians as well.  I always sleep well and have a warm fuzzy feeling after a great concert.

Upper left: Tekneek performs. Upper rt.: Carved wooden chairs with an African motif. :lower left: additional African crafts and art. Lower rt. Artwork

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Paper Beads

 YOU'RE WONDERING? What part does a cricket play when it comes to paper beads? In this instance none at all. I happened to have seen it sitting on the fence and was able to get a shot of ONE of the chorus of crickets that have kept me awake at night.  
At first it reminded me of camping in the woods by a lake, communing with nature and all that.


Hearing this every night ALL night is disturbing. Even during the day I thought I heard them because the sound had become embedded in my brain much like a favorite song gets stuck and you sing it over and over and ...  I'm not familiar with the life cycle and habits of crickets but I'm hoping they've about run their course.

National Geographic has beautiful color pictures. The articles are interesting also. I torn these 4 pages out of an old issue  to use as colorful paper beads. I have become fascinated by the ones I've seen on You Tube.

These are fish not well known to man. The red item is a plastic drinking straw.

These are photos of unusual fish. I suppose I should elaborate but I don't remember what I read about them.
The You Tube videos showed more than one way to roll a bead. Two of my favorites are:

It's not good to watch too many methods of doing something because then you get confused. I had planned to place glue on the entire sheet and then use the straw to roll it into one tube. Then I would cut it while it was still wet into tube beads. As you can see, I didn't do that. No Problem.

Fold down a small edge of one strip and begin rolling it around the straw. Once you are past the fold apply school glue down the entire strip and roll until you get to the end making sure to keep the paper straight and tight.

Since there was no glue placed on the fold where you began it will be easy to slide the bead off of the straw and lay it aside to dry.

I know I've left out some pictures of steps you should take, so I'll just put the You Tube version from Hectanooga1 right here.

These aren't the best photos in the world but here is the finished product.