Friday, October 21, 2016

On Moonlight Bay (1951) | Movie Review

As part of my list of fall favorites, today I am reviewing On Moonlight Bay.

I have watched this movie so many times, I can't begin to count. There are at least four reasons why I like this one so much. The first two are the stars, Doris Day and Gordon MacRae. Doris Day has been my favorite actress for a long time. I have seen nearly all her movies, and many of them are ones I grew up watching. I love the way she acts and I love her voice. As a young teen it was my aspiration to sing like her, and I have heard people say that I sounded like her, which is truly a compliment. Gordon MacRae on the other hand --Whew! Talk about good lookin'. I've said, he can sing to me any day. My absolute favorite movie of his though, would have to be The Desert Song, as illogical as the story may be. He makes a good hero.

The other two reasons why I like this one so much is the story and all around homey feel. I love a good "In the life of.." story and this one plays out in a beautiful middle-to-upper class neighborhood in the early 1900's. Others like it, in my opinion, would be its sequel, By the Light of the Silvery Moon, and Meet Me in St. Louis

This is one of a handful of movies the two made together, and in this one, they both act like a couple of impressionable teens. It is hilarious what a goof MacRae is with his radical theories and beliefs, and then Day comes along and believes every word of it, just because he said it. Silly, but too cute.

Day and MacRae are not the only highlights of this film. Billy Gray plays Wesley, the Winfields trouble-making boy, who is hilarious in his wild antics and tall tales. Despite his spoiled attitude, I like how well he and Margie get along.

In this post I am going to give a quick bio and then talk about a few little things like costume and decor. I hope you are as excited as I am!


On Moonlight Bay is about the lives of an average family during the mid-1910's. The Winfields have just moved to a new neighborhood but the only one who is very pleased about it is Mr. Winfield, whose intentions, among other things, is to expose his tomboyish daughter, Margie, to more grown-up company. Margie's only interest is in playing a good game of baseball, that is, until she meets the boy-next-door, William Sherman. Bill is a senior in college and full of impressionable and radical ideas about the way the country should be run. At first, Mr. and Mrs. Winfield are pleased with Bill, but when one of his radical ideas offend Mr. Winfield, the vice-president of the First National Bank, Margie's father tries to interest her in Hubert Wakeley, her brother's stuffy piano teacher. But Margie loves Bill and believes what he says, including his theory that marriage is a enslaving institution. Meanwhile, Margie's little brother, Wesley never ceases to reek havoc. In an attempt to get himself out of trouble with his teacher, he tells a fantastic story about how his father had been drinking and beating his mother and sister. When Bill comes home to take Margie to the school dance, Wesley's teacher informs him of the terrible news. Bill bursts in and once again makes a fool of himself. Fortunately, the family realizes what Wesley did and Mr. Winfield accepts Bill once again.

On graduation day, Bill announces that he and half his class have joined the army but Mr. Winfield, upon hearing of Bill's stance on marriage, forbids Margie to see him again. Margie runs away to be with Bill, and just when he proposes, her father finds her and takes her home. Weeks later, Bill comes home on leave before being sent out overseas where the war is going on.  (Spoilers) Margie is once again prepared to leave with him but Bill sensibly tells her that he will be gone a while and she will have to live with her parents for that time. They part in tears, and Mrs. Winfield finally decides to straighten her husband out. After a few reminders of times past, Mr. Winfield has a change of heart and gives his approval for Margie and Bill to continue their relationship.

Doesn't it sound like a great movie? The musical numbers are beautiful, and there is just the right blend of comedy and drama. I really can't say anything bad about it.

Now let's look at costumes.

In this somber moment, Margie wears a lovely muted blue outfit that, coincidentally, matches the blue ribbon on the beloved Kewpie doll. The blouse is patterned in light blue and dark blue while the calf-length skirt is solid blue.

Her hairstyle in the whole movie is pretty much variations of the same: pulled back and secured with a bow, with barrettes on either side of the head. Her bangs are short and curled under.

I love how often they put her in plaids. This lovely green and red plaid jumper is paired with a light yellow blouse and red heels. Her hat matches her dress and sits back on her head to compliment her hairstyle.

Wesley's outfit is signature of the time, with his high socks, short breeches, brown suit coat and newsboys hat. A great outfit for boys.

Here is another plaid that is perfect for winter. Even though I do not like red personally, I think red is the perfect color for wearing in the winter, especially in the snow. Also, I just love her tam-o-shanter.

Wesley looks adorable with his hair so neatly combed and wearing a tie and green cardigan.

Rosemary DeCamp plays Mrs. Winfield and I like how she does it. Her husband is a strong, controlling man but she is no doormat. She is respectful and lets him lead, without squelching her own personality and occasional difference of opinion. Only when she feels he is being to harsh toward Margie and Bill does she say something, and when she does, it's to remind him that he was young once too.

By the way, don't you just love the dainty embroidery on her blouse and her pearl drop earrings?

I love the soft springy colors and materials the designers used for Margie's clothing. The yellow dress she wears at his graduation and this one both look soft and feminine. And doesn't he look dashing in his olive drab uniform.

And that concludes this post. What are you thoughts? Have you seen this movie before? Leave me a comment!

I will be reviewing the sequel soon, By the Light of the Silvery Moon. In the meantime, have you checked out my list of fall movies?

Thursday, October 20, 2016

My List of Classic Fall Movies

I don't know why but it makes the season all the better when I can accompany it with my favorite seasonal movies, movies that have a good cozy, homey feeling.

Growing up we've always had a Christmas list of movies (many of which I have reviewed), and I've contributed by putting my personal favorites in. When it comes to autumn I guess you could say we have some we like to watch, but they mostly consist of a small handful for Halloween (and naturally, It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad are one's we never miss). This year we've actually compiled a list of Autumn movies that I would like to share with you.

Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)

When you look up classic fall movies on the internet the selection each person recommends is all the same, and hardly what I'd call "classic". For autumn, these are the movies I recommend:

The Woman in White (1948)

Even though we don't officially celebrate Halloween, we have our own traditions, and watching a good "scary" movie, or mock scary, is one of them:

We are constantly discovering new ones to add so I'm sure by next year the list will have grown. In fact, The Enchanted Cottage is a lovely story we just recently saw. If you are interested, I hope to do a review on it soon.

But speaking of reviews, tomorrow I plan to post my review of On Moonlight Bay, and later, its sequel, By the Light of the Silvery Moon. In the meantime, check out my movie review page!

What classic movies do you like watching around autumn? Have you seen those in my list? And what do you think about them?

Come back soon for more!!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Give Thanks! Wall Art Tutorial | A Mixed Media Project

I am so thrilled to be able to present to you my latest mixed media piece for Autumn!!

Actually, you could call this my first 'official' mixed media piece ever, since previous projects I still put under the scrapbook heading, such as The Dutchman and the Condesa picture.

Years ago I saw this piece in Hobby Lobby. I loved the idea and made sure to get a picture so that I wouldn't forget it. And I am glad I did because after all this time I would not have remembered.

My own idea for this came together rather well and I sketched it out to give me a visual of what I wanted and would need. You can see my sketch in the picture below. It took me a bit to get all the supplies I needed but I was excited to get started.

The crafting knowledge you might need for this project is:

  • crocheting
  • scrapbooking

Here's how I did it. And for a happy change I have step-by-step photos for you! If you are interested in making your own, you can follow along exactly, or as I tend to do, add your own little tweaks and changes.

This is the basic list of supplies you will need:

  • 12" x 12" wooden plaque (I used Mix the Media by Jillibean Soup)
  • 2 pages of scrapbook paper (the one for your base needs to be 12" x 12")
  • 10" x 10" of burlap
  • 2 - 6" doilies
  • wooden buttons
  • medium weight yarn in orange, green, brown, beige
Other crafting necessities
  • scissors
  • ruler
  • pencil
  • Mod Podge (fabric and all surface)

Let's get started!!

My thought was to frame it like I did The Dutchman and the Condesa, but after careful thought, I realized something open might be better. I saw this wooden plaque by Jillibean Soup while ordering the other supplies and realized it was exactly the thing I needed.

I was disappointed when I received it though. The wood was extremely rough (what I call a little too much "character") and one of the planks did not match up, leaving a large gap between the two. My concern was that the paper I planned to put over it would dip there. So I took some sandpaper ahold of it.

There was still a gap even after all my hard sanding but I figured it would work out anyway. As you can see I sanded more than just the gap. I like wood with character but I don't like too much character, and too much is when it pricks while working with it.

After sanding I was ready to start designing. I selected a page with a red pattern from my Old World Winter scrapbook page book and cut about 1/4" off of all four sides. Using a heavy layer of the all surface Mod Podge, I glued the paper to the plaque. First layer done.

There is a bit of a dip in the paper where the gap is but it doesn't show much, especially after adding all the elements.

I ordered the smallest amount of burlap I could, one yard, and only used about 10" square. But that's alright, now I have some on hand for future projects. The frustrating thing was that it smelled to high heaven of chemicals. My Grandma said it is what they use to stiffen it. Either way, the smell did not air out even after leaving it outside on the line for about 24 hours. It is good that I only needed a little.

Next I glued the burlap to the paper with Mod Podge all surface. In this picture the glue is still wet and white; I am so happy it dries clear.

Now, I have to admit I fudged a little with the doilies in buying them instead of crocheting them myself. But I had some good reasons, and really no regrets afterwards. My first reason is that I am not all that good at doilies. I have created some doily patterns in the past, yes, but I am not super impressed by my work so far. I figure I need a little more training in that area. But even so, since this was a mixed media project my focus was on more than just creating another crochet pattern. So I gave myself permission to buy them (this was necessary for me to do).

If you take a look back at my sketch you will see that I intended to use only a portion of the one doily. With this intention in mind I worked at stiffening the doily with Mod Podge fabric. After it dried I began to position it and realized that I could simply wrap it around the sides of the plaque instead or cut it in pieces. Pleased with this idea, I glued both doilies.

(If you notice the change in lighting or location in these pictures it is because I took at least two weekends to do this project. If I did it again I could probably do it in one day, but you know how long it takes to work a project out in your mind.)

Now came the appliques. A few years ago I designed some fall appliques for Crochet Spot and I intended to use them for this. (Don't you love my Spunky Soul eyeglass case?!) Here are the patterns I used (click link to view free patterns):

Pumpkin Applique
Acorn Applique
Fern Leaf Applique

I used two different sized hooks for these, the one called for in the pattern and one a whole size down. After crocheting the pumpkin in the picture above I decided to enlarge my pumpkin. Here's the extended row and redesigned stem:

Round 4: turn, sl st in next st, sc in next st, 2 hdc in next st, hdc in next st, 2 hdc in next st, dc in next 3 sts, 2 hdc in each of next 3 sts, sc in next st, sl st in next st, (other side) sc in next st, 2 hdc in each of next 3 sts, dc in next 3 sts, 2 hdc in next st, hdc in next st, 2 hdc in next st, sc in next st, sl st in last st: 35 sts
Finish off.

Row 1: ch 11, sl st in second ch from hook, sc in next ch, 3 sc in next ch, hdc in next 2 ch, ch 5, sl st in second ch from hook, sc in next ch, hdc in next ch, sc in next ch, sl st in side of hdc, hdc in next 2 ch, sc in next ch, sl st in last ch: 16 sts

After I was satisfied with the pumpkin, I crocheted two acorns using the smaller hook, and two leaves, one with the smaller hook and one with the original hook.

I positioned the appliques where I wanted them but wasn't ready yet to secure them. This is always the absolute last step for me. I want to be perfectly sure before I make something permanent. (Don't you like my coffee cup? The words inside say in French, "Chat sur un coussin jaune," which in English means, "Cat on a yellow cushion." Too cute, huh?)

Second to last was the words. I decided on my gold foil scrapbook page that I have been saving for an extra special occasion. My first attempt at tracing the words "Give Thanks!" was a bust as I was using a black Sharpie to write out the template myself.

My second try was much better. I got into Gimp and found a good bold font, FreeSerif Bold. I saved it as an image and put the image onto a Open Office page, sizing it up on the paper until it was as large as it could be.

After printing the bold words, I laid the page on the back of the scrapbook paper I wanted to use so that, although the tracing would be backwards, the actual cut letters would be forward. I planned to use my steel tapestry needle to merely make the indention of the letters on the back of the page. I was pleased when it instead worked as a transfer.

This is what the letters look like when cut out. Lovely and gold!! Have I told you how much I love sparkly gold? If you need proof, check out my Pinterest board, Color Appeal: Gold.

I glued everything and the beautiful wooden buttons, and voila! My finished mixed media piece. What do you think?!

I took it outside this morning and gave it a little photoshoot. By the tree, by the other tree, on the fence, on the house wall, on the brick divider, etc. They actually turned out better than I thought they would. My only difficulty was in getting the lighting right so that the words showed up.

All in all though, I am pleased. Now the question is, where do I put it?

I hope you have enjoyed this post. Let me know if you try your hand at this project, I would love to see your version!

Leave me your thoughts in the comment section below! I am dying to hear them!

My next scrapbook/mixed media project to share will be the one I have been promising for a few months now, Scooby-Doo Mystery page, just in time for the spooky season! Come back soon!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Dressing Up | 50's Fashion

There is quite a bit I love about the fifties. Home decor and furniture always catch my eye when I watch movies or TV shows of this period, and any period really. But of course, the fashion of the time is so remarkable. I love the full skirts and the way everyone seems to look nice even when scrubbing the floor.

I've watched a couple of episodes of Life with Elizabeth this week which was produced in the early to mid fifties. If you have seen them you know what I mean when I say Elizabeth is hilarious. If you have not seen any, let me suffice it to say she never ceases to find ways to exasperate her husband, Alvin. This show is about little things in the life of an average couple. Though I would hardly call them truly average.

I'm going to show you some of my favorite costumes from the shows.

Here Elizabeth, or Betty White, is wearing the casual button-up blouse and skirt with a belt. Only this full skirt is exceptional. I wish I could tell you what material it is actually made of, but instead I will describe it as stiff satin. Today a skirt like this would be considered formal. Very unique for the modern, every day housewife to be wearing at home, I would think, but lovely all the same.

In this episode, Elizabeth wears a striped, short sleeved gown. Notice the three little buttons on the sleeve. Also, the striping pattern of the dress. Normally, stripes are kept in the same direction when designing the sleeve or skirt. Not so with the dress. I wish I was a more experienced sewer so that I could tell you how it was done. Either way, it is something that caught my eye.

On a more wintry note, the bodice and skirt, or jumper, of this dress seems to be made out of a material like wool while the blouse is obviously a lighter material, like cotton. What I love most is the design of the back with the ties and what looks like short fringe. Simple but unique.

It is interesting that, although for that decade, Alvin is dressed casual in a polo shirt and slacks, were he to be in the modern age, we would consider him dressed up. This is what I mean about always looking nice.

And here we are, back to warmer weather. If this isn't my favorite dress, then it is definitely at the top of my list. Like all of her skirts, this one is full and about calf length. The neck is square and the bodice is designed with ribbons down the front. You may not be able to tell from the picture, but I believe she is barefoot. For some reason, I find that amusing.

Alvin once again wears a polo and slacks while working around the house. At this point, jeans were still for the trend setting teens. At this point, jeans had been available for quite some time, but they were still not commonplace in the average persons wardrobe, and definitely not everyday wear like today.

And that does it for a 50's fashion highlight. Thanks for reading and don't forget to share your thoughts with me in the comment section below!