Organizing My Thoughts (And My To-Do List)

I unsuspectingly came down with a rather strange illness last week and it has kept me pretty much down since. Once again, all my plans went out the window for a while.

But I thank God my coughing is getting gentler and I have been feeling stronger. So I am endeavoring to return to life this week.

And with that resolve what do I do but sit here and stare at the blank page before me.

Baby blanket in progress

I have had so much trouble getting my thoughts together on the "next steps" lately. I'm all up in the air. I could blame it on my sickness, but it is definitely not something new.

A big part of my trouble has been from all the things I couldn't do because of my eyes. As I have said in a past post, crocheting strained my eyes, reading, computer, and any detailed work. After weeks of fighting with headaches from eye strain I finally resolved to not do any of these things until I could do something about my eyes. Which means I haven't crocheted in months! Ugh!

My snazzy new glasses

Well, I got my eyes checked and I have my glasses. (I would like to show you a picture of me with them but my eyes are still red from coughing). I have been instructed to wear them when --can you guess-- reading, closeup work like crocheting, and computer usage. Now I am looking at all the things I used to do and have not been doing and going, "Where do I start?!"

I have the baby blanket for my cousin's little one that I am still working on and the gift for my sister that I started more recently. I will hopefully be able to blaze back into this project and have a pattern for all of you pretty soon. I am definitely giving these glasses a workout. I just hope that I won't put too much hope in them and be disappointed.

New project coming soon!

Then there is the strawberry garland I wanted to make but we'll see if I get to that before fall arrives. Actually I have been out of the crocheting scene for so long I feel kind of like a newb again. I know that when I get back into it I will find the old groove, but I have to admit there is a bit of uneasiness.

In the meantime, I have a craft post I have been wanting to construct called The Bow Earrings. The first method for making these just wasn't turning out and obviously I couldn't meet the deadline I had for the post. But I have met myself back at the drawing board and hope to be able to present to you very soon the pattern and photo tutorial for The Bow Earrings (I might decide to call them something else). I can't wait to see if you guys like them!

And yes, my header is still waiting in the sidelines. That has also been on a back burner because of my eyes. Lots of hopes, guys, lots of hopes!

Button Obsession from Hitchcock's Foreign Correspondent (1940)

"Tell him about your name and the two F's!"

My family and I have always loved a good mystery/thriller, so it's is rather obvious that some of our favorites are Hitchcock's. Charade, To Catch a Thief, Rebecca, Rear Window, etc, are great ones but are you familiar with Foreign Correspondent?

Johnny makes a daring discover.

Synopsis

Johnny Jones is an American reporter who is chosen by his editor to go to Europe in hopes that he will find out more about the tremulous times than his other foreign correspondents. Not knowing a thing about war correspondence, Johnny accepts the job with obvious candor, only regretting his new name, Huntley Haverstock. He soon meets some very important people but other than riling a lovely member of the peace campaign, he gets practically nowhere. But when an important political member is murdered right in front of him, he is hot on the trail to finding out who is behind it. He soon finds the situation more complicated and involved than he expected when news turns up on those he wouldn't have suspected.

Johnny endeavoring to find out about the political situation from a reluctant source.

Joel McCrea plays the part of Johnny Jones, Laraine Day (the only temporary) irate peace member, and George Sanders a British reporter by the name of ffolliot (and no, I did not forget to capitalize the first letter). The three of them make up an excellent team of suspense and comedy, whose quips are often quoted in our family.

Recently we were watching this again (can't go too long without watching it) and while enjoying the "well-known" story I spotted a fashionable piece that I had not seen before.

Three inch buttons on her overcoat.

Laraine Day wears a heavy woolen overcoat with outrageous buttons! Can you see them? I saw them and squeaked with delight. My family was hardly surprised when I began taking screenshots for this post.

As usual, I was hard-pressed to get a good shot of this outfit. There's another good shot in the next scene but the time in which to get it is so small, and the quality only so-so, that I gave up.

"Don't mind if they tell you my name is Huntley Haverstock, because it's really Jones."

Her style at this point in the movie seemed to denote to me an innocent air. The collar is typical of the period but matched with this hat, though absolutely lovely, seems to give off a feeling of youth, as though she were rather ignorant. Now whether this was the intentions of the costume designers or not, I wouldn't know, but I can see why it would be a good thing at this point.

Later as the situation heats up, her style becomes a little more professional, though subtly, like in the picture at the very top.

Have you seen this Hitchcock before? What do you think of it? What do you think about her incredible buttons?! Let me know in the comments below!

Here are a few more posts featuring buttons, The Woolen Skirt... With Buttons! and The Mod Party. I sometimes wonder if there is anyone else who likes buttons as much as I do...

The Craft Drawer - Clover Split Ring Stitch Markers


One of the first "big" projects I chose to make when I started crocheting was legwarmers. I could just imagine myself wearing them over my jeans like they did in the 80's (so I was told) with a loose fitting sweater and outlandishly curly hair. I pictured Trish from SpaceCamp (1986) because, after all, what's not to like about her style!

My first attempt at legwarmers wasn't exactly a fail but the result didn't look so authentic as I had planned. So I started again. Only this time with a bulky yarn. This, as it so happens, was my first time using this kind of yarn and it wasn't long before I ran into trouble. Being so new to the craft I couldn't discern between the stitches I had just made and I would end up ripping again and again, which then caused my fuzzy yarn to frizz even more. I definitely learned some things with that project.

And no, it didn't turn out in the end either. My conclusion at the time was that crocheted stitches do not have the elasticity knitting has and so I decided to put off the legwarmers until I learned to knit. So far, I'm still putting it off because I haven't yet taken the time to learn to knit.

With that project I realized I needed something to mark my stitches and as I did not have any official stitch markers I ended up using safety pins. Safety pins did the job but for various reasons I would not recommend them over actual stitch markers.

My next trip to the craft store resulted in a package of Coats & Clark Split Ring stitch markers, which I used afterward for many years and with great success. Since then however, many have broken and I have had to buy more. So this time I bought Clover's brand of split ring stitch markers.

Clover's Split Ring stitch markers in my crochet hook case, Three Strand Hook Case.

About the Product

People use stitch markers for many reasons, whether their craft is crocheting or knitting. Being a crocheter, I'm afraid I cannot help the knitter in this area seeing how knitters also find reason to use solid ring stitch markers and I could not imagine a use for them in crocheting.

From a crocheters perspective, stitch markers are as essential in some cases as the yarn and hook. I use them to mark all kinds of significant points in the pattern while crocheting, such as, where I joined a new ball of yarn, specific increases or decreases, where I have made a questionable pattern change in designing and might want to try something else. They come in really handy for amigurumi as well. I use them as place holders for features like eyes to make sure I like the alignment so there are less mistakes with the design. And then, I would be lost without them for holding seams together. I consider them my basting tools in these situations (easy and loose stitches in sewing) and wish I had something as convenient while sewing.

My very first crochet bag is still my crochet bag, covered in some of my favorite buttons.

With Clover's Split Ring stitch markers you get three different colors, white, pink and blue. I often like to use the light colored ones for dark yarn and vice versa, but the white ones have come to stand for the beginning of the row for me. The fact that each marker is the same size does not hinder usage in varying yarn sizes for the most part, although they do seem a little much for thread. They have a tiny notch on the inner circle to insure they will not fall off and they have enough point to slide through any yarn without ripping fibers.

In the many projects I have used them for, not a one has broken. My only problem is that the plastic packaging is beginning to come apart, but after being opened and closed multiple times a day for many years, I really can't complain.

What do you think? Are you familiar with this brand and style of markers? Are you a crocheter or a knitter? And either way, which type of markers do you prefer?

Thanks for reading!

Things That Keep Me From Crocheting As Much As I'd LIke


I love to craft, especially crochet. That's why I've recently reshaped the purpose of my blog, so that I could spend more time sharing with you my creative adventures. But as with all things there are hindrances. Time is definitely one, and work is another. But physical hindrances usually take the cake. Do you know what I mean?

Hindrances


I spent years casually crocheting whatever I wanted from others patterns. I had lists of things I wanted to make. At the time I only dabbled a little with creating my own designs. But then I got a job creating crochet patterns weekly. It was a definite learning curve but I made it and I can't tell you how much I learned during that period. But during that time I started learning something else, the body can't always take what you may wish it to take. My wrists began aching for extended periods, especially the one that holds the tension, then my eyes would get strained and I would have to ask my boss for more time to complete a project.

I would also fight pretty regularly with neck and shoulder aches from keeping them tense while working for hours. I kept asking for more time, more time, until I was ashamed. I ended up spending most weeks in tears at my inability to keep up with my past record. Eventually I cut back on the patterns until I finally decided to quit altogether. Mentally, I needed to give myself a break and some time to consider other directions with my life. But physically, I was becoming unable to meet my deadlines. Quitting my job was difficult and I struggled with what it would mean. In the end it has saved me from further pain but I have in turn had to sacrifice crocheting altogether. And as any crocheter will agree, that's not an option.



What I Do


I was able to help my wrists by wearing therapeutic gloves while crocheting. This for the most part has cut down on the effects of the carpal tunnel but then there are other things like writing that occasionally sets it off as well. For the most part, I can keep it at bay.

For my neck and shoulders though all I can do is try to sit in ergonomic seats and take frequent breaks. I have also realized the importance of strengthening the muscles in this easily affected part of my body with exercise. When I take breaks I usually just get up and walk around (and to be perfectly honest, I am not good at taking "frequent" breaks) but when I am especially stiff I stretch my body with the static back exercise. It does wonders for correcting a slumping spine and neck.

"Blind as a bat!" from How to Marry A Millionaire 1953

As for my eyes, I am finally going to take an eye exam in a few days. I know I've needed to for ages but I've put it off again and again, and even struggled with whether it is really needed or not. Sadly, I'm like that. But maybe the doctor can prescribe some glasses that will allow me to get back to crocheting and reading without worrying about eye strain and headaches!

One thing I know is really important and that is getting good nutrition. It's proven that a balanced diet requires plenty of fresh vegetables and as little processed foods as possible, and that's how I eat for the most part. I wish eating well would be enough to heal my body of its defects but unfortunately we do not live in the garden of Eden and finding perfect foods now-a-days is impossible.

Love his glasses! Read my post on them here

It's no surprise, experiencing physical pain from things that you do a great deal. I doubt there is an experienced crocheter or knitter out there that hasn't had to deal with this to some degree. All we can do is research the problem and try to fix it as best we can, whether it means getting better lighting while you work or wearing special gloves or going as far as buying yourself an entire ergonomic studio. It comes down to this: anything other than giving up crafting.

What do you think? Do you agree? Tell me, have you struggled with pains linked to your crafting?

Thanks for reading. Come back soon for the next The Craft Drawer post!

Neutral, Light Blue, or Green | Retro Makeup

As you may already know, I truly love to gab about past fashions. If you take a look at my fashion page you will see some of the previous posts I've written on the subject. And of course, nothing gets me started like an old movie or TV show.

In this post I want to focus on the makeup of the early 70's. The picture references come from the original Hawaii Five-O TV series and the original Mission: Impossible TV series, which I think tops any and all remakes.

If you have paid any attention to makeup during this period you will have noticed the heavy liner. Let's take a look at three different women wearing this style of makeup.


This actress played on an episode of Hawaii Five-O. The overall colors of her makeup are neutral with light rosy tones for added color. No doubt her lashes are false, as this was a big thing at the time. But her liner must be a few centimeters thick. Notice the highlights on the brow bone and the lightness of the lid for contrast against the dark liner.


This actress is also from an episode of Hawaii Five-O. The colors are still fairly neutral only the shadow used is almost a light blue. Because of the shape of her eyes the highlight on the brow bone is not so bold. But she still wears the signature liner.


In an episode of Mission: Impossible, this actress plays the female lead. Right off we can see that the colors used on her are a little more dramatic. Upon first glance you might assume that her shadow is two tone, green and a brown. Thankfully the cinematographer gave me a closeup.


What do you think of that? The layer of dark liner is followed with a brilliant green liner reaching only a little higher and following the exact shape. As a fan of green makeup, and having had the opportunity to play with multiple pieces of like-colored cosmetics, I find this inspiring. The lines were drawn with expert precision that any makeup artist would envy. The green is also worn under the eye and given a slight flair past the eye. For the brow bone color I would say they used a more obvious bronze. This look would probably have to be my favorite of the three. 

What do you think? Have you ever tried this retro style before? Which would you consider to be the better of the three?

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed this little blast from the past. I have a few crochet patterns I plan on sharing with you soon, that is, if my eyes will permit me. I hope to be able to do something about that soon. But check back soon anyway. You never know what you might find here at Ginger Peachy!

Check That Off My List

Background for my blog, Ginger Peachy
Little by little, it is getting done.

My blog remodeling, that is. I have checked a few more things off my to-do list and am happily getting nearer completion. My blogs header is obviously taking the longest and there are a few things that depend upon its finish before they can come about, such as blog font and colors.

I was spending a great deal of time per day on Gimp working on my header but, not surprising, I strained my eyes and put myself down for nearly a whole week. So needless to say, it will take me some time. But hey, I am half-way done, or thereabouts.

In the beginning I felt my blog needed a cleaner look. You know, smooth and sleek. I would prefer to have designed my own template (I'm that particular) but I don't have the qualities for that right now. So instead I chose one of Blogger's Simple templates and decided to let my background and header be the highlights. I really like it so far; what do you think?

Then there's my favicon. Did you notice it? My little sister is a graphics genius and so I gladly relinquished the job of creating one to her. I gave her my idea and we worked on it until I was satisfied. Pretty cute, huh? You can't get much better than two mushrooms. Except if you were to add a hedgehog.

My new favicon.

I thought I had chosen a good watermark when I posted From Background to Header and On but now I am not sure I like it. I have that and my post signature awaiting further detail. I am so picky when it comes to fonts! Not too fancy but not stuffy. Not silly but not boring. Not too irregular but definitely not normal. See what I mean?


Why the Name Change?


For about a year I have been using the alias Molloy instead of Yarbrough. If you have been reading my blog for a while you may have noticed that change last year. I did it for safety and privacy, all of which I have found are not to be had on the internet. I wanted to separate my online persona from my real one.

Right off I noticed some problems with the name change. There were friends of the family on social media that didn't know who I was. And it took a little clarification for family as well. But I stuck with it.

When I was working on my watermark I realized that if I put my alias on it there may be legal complications in the future. But to put my real name on it would entirely defeat my purpose. Upon closer inspection of the law in matters of this kind I found that I would have to buy and register my alias in order to cover these legal discrepancies.

I weighed the importance of this endeavor and asked whether it was worth the time and money it would take to create a legitimate pen name. As you can see, I have ended up losing the assumed name. It's kind of a let down after so long and going to so much work in the beginning. But maybe it is for the best.