Monday, June 21, 2010

You'll never guess...

I've been sewing - and enjoying it!

My friend Miranda, at Sewing for the Savior, has a quilting bee on the fourth Friday of every month. I can't make it because I have piano lessons on Fridays, but I did take her up on her offer to mail me some squares to sew during the month and return before the bee. SO - last Wednesday, I got my first package, and had five squares to sew - and I HAD FUN!!!! :D In case you don't know, I usually hate sewing, but this time, it was fun.
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The pattern is "Log Cabin"; very easy to sew.

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I had to send the squares back to Miranda, but I asked her to send me a picture of the completed quilt; if she sends me one, I'll be sure to post it. :)

If any of you would like more information about Miranda and her ministry, Sewing for the Savior, leave us a comment with your email address so we can send you that info. We won't publish your email address. ;)

Regarding Commenting

Hey all!

Just a quick post about commenting... I LOVE your comments and enjoy getting them (as it lets me know people have been reading our blog. ;-) ) Those are always fun.

However, I do have guidelines in the comments section for leaving comments, which I thought I'd remind you all of, as I've been getting comments that haven't been keeping the guidelines.
Here's what the note in the comments section says:

"Thank you for visiting Hooks and Needles! You are welcome to leave a message here with a comment or a question. The only requirements are that you use clean, kind speech, and that you sign your name if you are publishing under the 'Anonymous' option."

So, like I said, I love your comments, everyone, just please strive to keep to the guidelines. (The Anonymous option is merely for those who don't have a blog to link to, so they can still comment, but I would really prefer to have a name to call you when I reply, so please sign your first name (or a nickname, if you feel more comfortable with that) at the end.)

Thanks! Have a wonderful week!

~"Elinor"

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Doll Blouse and Capris

I have had this picture in my mind for quite a while of a crossover, empire-waist doll blouse. I was nervous about cutting into fabric though and making something up myself. But yesterday I thought it out and made the first cut.

And this is what came of it:

I am very happy with it! It turned out even cuter than I had been picturing in my mind. For instance, the ribbon and the bow in the front were spur-of-the-moment ideas and I attached those by hand while watching Flywheel. :-)
I also made capris based on Simplicity 4654 (the shorts), but I lengthened them, added the trim at the bottom, and narrowed them a little bit.

I'm so happy they turned out, and as usual, Rebecca looked so pretty modeling them. :-)
This set is now for sale on Etsy. :-)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

:-D

New Etsy Listing!


I made this recreation of Molly's Party Pinafore from an out-of-print American Girl pattern. I followed the directions exactly but had a very hard time figuring out how to attach the sash. I mulled over it in my mind for two days before doing the sensible thing and asking my mom how in the world I should go about attaching the silly thing, and, as is usually the case, Mamma knew exactly what to do. :-)

So TIP FOR TODAY: If you don't know, ask your mom. :-)

Anyway! I loved working with the pattern, especially the ruffles, which were unlike anything I have ever done yet!
Rebecca is such a lovely model! :-) She just seems to fit nicely in almost every era. :-)

Friday, June 4, 2010

Little Dorrit (2008) ~ A Review


Little Dorrit is a miniseries based on the novel by Charles Dickens. Written by Andrew Davies and put out by the BBC, it runs 8 1/2 hours and stars Claire Foy, Matthew MacFadyen, and Tom Courtenay.

PLOT

Little Dorrit follows the story of a young girl named Amy Dorrit, born in a debtor's prison to a long-serving inmate known as the "Father of the Marshalsea". While her sister Fanny works as a dancer and her brother hops in and out of jobs, Amy finds employment as a seamstress and companion to a stern, crippled woman named Mrs. Clennam.

Around that time, Mrs. Clennam's son Arthur returns from China after a 15-year absence working with his father, who is recently deceased. The older Mr. Clennam died with something troubling his mind, and Arthur is determined to find out. Upon meeting Amy, known as "Little Dorrit", Arthur suspects that perhaps his family is responsible for some of the misfortunes that have befallen the Dorrit family, and befriends Amy.  With the help of a friend, he digs down into the Dorrits' family history to find the truth, unaware of the truths surrounding his own family.

Little Dorrit features a wide array of characters: some humorous, some tragic, some endearing, and some downright evil. Murder, mystery, and romance all find their place in this engaging adaption of Dickens' classic rag-to-riches story.

ACCURACY

I have not read the novel yet, so I cannot say much regarding how accurate the movie is to the book. I have heard that overall it follows it closely, but, as is his habit, screenwriter Andrew Davies made one or two changes of his own, which will be covered in the following section.

RATING

For all that Little Dorrit is a fantastic story with some of my absolute FAVORITE characters in fiction, it just isn't my favorite movie to watch. It is a rather "dark" movie (darker than Bleak House, I think, but not so dark as Our Mutual Friend), and there are some parts that are not so comfortable for me to watch, as a Christian.

There is some violence-- one man murders a couple people (thankfully those are never shown clearly), one man commits suicide (very graphic), and some other intense parts. One man (the murderer) is also a little overly fond of ladies, and there is one scene at the end of Episode 2 that we skip due to that. There is some nude art in the scenes in Venice. One character (Miss Wade) Andrew Davies concluded was "gay" (though Charles Dickens never implied such a thing) and, though that is not stated in the film, there are some strange things about that woman that may make some people wonder. Some of the costumes (particularly Fanny's and Mrs. Merdle's) have alarmingly low necklines.

Some of those aspects are easy to skip over if desired, but what's harder to skip is the language. Little Dorrit is probably worse on language than most of the other BBC costume dramas I've seen. You get a lot of the Lord's name in vain, the word "d--n" and several others frequently used throughout the 8 1/2 hours. I think I would enjoy the film a lot better if we could bleep out the language.

FROM A CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVE

Like all of Dickens' works that I have read or watched, there are some good examples of Christian character and subtle parallels to Biblical truths throughout Little Dorrit. Amy Dorrit, in particular, shows a great deal of longsuffering, forgiveness, and patience with the people around her-- most of whom are very selfish and unkind. I blush when I think of how patient she is with such intolerable people and how impatient I am over absolute nothings. She and Arthur are both beautiful portraits of selflessness, and characters I would wish to be more like.


The story shows the dangers of becoming "ingrown", consumed with one's self and with trying to live up to society, and thereby losing sight of the blessings around one's self. In contrast, it shows the beauty of a life willing to serve others, be a blessing, and count the blessings the Lord has given it. Furthermore, it shows the difference between a life that claims to be serving God but whose life do not correspond with their words (Mrs. Clennam), and a life that simply lives out the Christlife in his/her daily experience (Amy Dorrit).

So the story itself is full of good Christian principles; it is just the screenplay that makes me not so comfortable watching it as some parts.

MY THOUGHTS

Like I said, I like many of the costumes, love the storyline, and ADORE the hero, Arthur Clennam (probably my favorite hero of period dramas, alongside Mr. Knightly :-) )!!! But there are enough "cons" to the movie that make it not one of my absolute favorites. I love to sit and watch the last episode, and watch the story wrap up in that thrilling way (for it has a very delightful ending ;-) ), but I do not care to sit for 8 1/2 hours and try to sift out all the cons to enjoy the pros.

Still, it is a very popular miniseries and most people like it very much. If the "cons" I mentioned don't bother you, or if you have a language "bleeper" and a remote control in working order, I am sure you will enjoy this film. It has such an intriguing story line; features some beautiful music, costumes, and cinematography; and includes some of wonderful Dickensian characters, which, combined, make for an enjoyable and award-winning miniseries.


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