Blazing Saddles Cross Stitch Read It Pattern

This new and fun Blazing Saddles cross stitch Read it… cross stitch pattern is now available in my Etsy shop!blazing saddles cross stitch read it pattern

The quote for this pattern comes from the “Harumph” scene. When his secretary has an urgent telegram from Rock Ridge, the Governor replies: “Read it, read it… you wild bitch.”

I have always thought that this quote would be a great present to a friend who is a voracious reader with a good sense of humor. I can also see this going to women who appreciate writers such as Dorothy Parker, Anais Nin, Alice Munro… there’s just too many excellent woman writers to list here.

Here’s a clip of the scene. The “Read it…” quote comes at about 1:35 into this video:

I think it’s funny that while this quote is directed to a bubble-headed scantily-clad secretary, I have always thought of this project as for intelligent, independent-thinking literary women.

If you’re a new visitor to my blog and a Blazing Saddles fan, you might also want to see two of my previous projects (below). The first is a cross stitch of the list that Harvey Korman dictates; a list of the worst scum and scoundrels he wants Slim Pickens to round up to attack the town of Rock Ridge.Blazing Saddles

The second project comes from Lili Von Shtupp as played by Madeline Kahn. When someone knocks on her “dwessing woom” door, she replies “Willkommen, bienvenue, welcome, c’mon in!”blazing saddles cross stitch pattern willkommen bienvenue welcome c'mon in

I’m especially fond of the border of books on this project. I used two variegated flosses, DMC 4135 and DMC 4030 (both available in my Etsy shop), for the books in the border.

This Blazing Saddles cross stitch Read it… project stitches up quickly and is suitable for cross stitch beginners and experts alike. It was fun to put together!

Five Posts I’m Proud of Creating – 2013

Once again following the lead of Diane and Tammy, I’m rounding up the “Five Posts I’m Proud of Creating in 2013” as part of their “Share the Link Love” mission.

I started blogging in February of this year, and what an adventure it has been! I honestly had no idea of exactly what I was getting into, and to be honest, I still don’t as blogging seems to be constantly evolving (just read Diane’s post on the topic). Creating posts takes more time than I originally thought, but I’m happy to be writing again after a gap of many years. I’m also trying to emphasize quality of posts over quantity of posts, and that seems to keep me motivated and to be working. With all that in mind, here’s five posts I’m proud of (in no particular order):

#1 FIRST POST!

Hitting “publish” the first time was a pretty interesting experience. It was nerve-wracking and thrilling while I was being hopeful and curious all at the same time. It was also the result of a failure (but a fail-forward type failure).
Computer keyboard and touch pad

(Insert sound effect here: “Yeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaggggghhhhh!”)

[Photo by darrenleno via Flickr]

The first AncoraCrafts.com was an e-commerce platform that I had spent a lot of time and money on setting up, customizing, and maintaining. And after an extended period of time, I never sold a damn thing on it. Not one. Hardly got any views. Obviously, I had to make a change.

Moving my listings to Etsy was the easy part, but changing the .com to a blog took a lot of work, mentally and digitally. Switching to a new web host and learning WordPress were two big hurdles. But the biggest challenge was in making the commitment to blogging – a decision I did not take lightly.

I’m very happy to say that ever since I hit “publish” on the first post in late February, although it’s a lot of work, I’m having a lot of fun with this blog!

#2 Followup on my ACrafty Interview with Betty Busby

acrafty interview - betty busby with her quilt disco urchinI published an interview with quilt artist Betty Busby in June. I have been in awe of her work since I first saw it and I was so curious about her process. In August she was gracious enough to give me, my husband, and our dog Scully a tour of her home and studio space in Albuquerque. It was a real honor and treat for all of us, and I’m really happy that I was brave and took the chance to ask her if she was available.

#3 Making a Better Blog

The Better IdeaMost of my very early posts on the blog are about my own projects and products, and that was fine. But in May, after doing a lot of reading about blogging, I had a kind of epiphany about the direction of my blog. I’m sure it will shift again someday, but this post sums up my current bloggy path.

[Photo: The Better Idea by (the brilliant) Peggy Dembicer via Flickr]

 

 

#4 Favorite Books – Crafty and Otherwise

As part of Rosalilium’s Blog Every Day in May project, I put more information about myself out on the internet than I ever thought I would. Of all the 31 topics that month, I really enjoyed creating this post about my favorite books.Bill the Cat for President

 [Bill the Cat for President from Bloom County. Photo by tjosephson2 via Flickr]

#5 My Hexie Madness Series

I had done a few other crafty roundups before, but the hexagon series really stands out. I dug deep, spending days on the internet to find examples of hexagon crafts in all types of disciplines. I ended up finding some really outstanding hexies in interesting places. I tried to find as many tutorials and patterns as possible, but where those didn’t exist, I did find some excellent sources of inspiration. Love the leather pouffe and these popsicle sticks – so fun! [Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4]

How about you? Share your “proud five” post over at CraftyPod!

1939 Movie Crafts

For me, movies and crafts go hand in hand. Not only do I get inspirations for craft projects from movies, I can craft while watching movies. I also learn and try to improve myself from movies – see how to act in some situations and how NOT to act in some situations.

1939 was arguably the best year ever for movies. Dark Victory, Gone With the Wind, Goodbye Mr. Chips, Gunga Din, Love Affair, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Ninotchka, Of Mice and Men, Stagecoach, The Wizard of Oz, and Wuthering Heights (among others) all were released in 1939.

I’m a big fan of Cary Grant, and now that I have a DVR, I’ve been catching up on his movies that I haven’t seen yet. A couple of weeks ago, I saw Only Angels Have Wings for the first time and I just loved it (here’s a good review). Looking it up online, I discovered it was released in 1939 as well. So I’ve been wondering “are there any 1939 movie crafts out there?” The answer is a resounding YES! Take a look:

 

 

 

 

I found this charming movie quilt by Joan Bjork that features three 1939 movie characters – Bette Davis in Dark Victory, Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz, and Vivian Leigh in Gone With the Wind. The quilt also features six other amazing actresses, Debbie Reynolds, Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Julie Andrews, Elizabeth Taylor, and Ingrid Bergman, in some of their most famous roles.

Then I found, via craftgossip.com, this adorable felt Scarlett and Rhett pair by DeriDolls. She really did a wonderful job on the details for this epic couple from Gone With the Wind.

 

 

 

Ehow.com has a tutorial on how parents and kids can make a stagecoach from cardboard boxes and craft paper, while hobbylinc.com offers this 1848 stagecoach scale model kit.

 

 

 

 

Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights Cross Stitch Pattern Sunday Avery created this Heathcliff pattern, complete with torrential Wuthering Heights rain, available at her Etsy shop, BookPilgrim.

 

 

 

 

 

Geeky Cross Stitch KIT There's No Place Like HomeOf all these movies, the most popular and most crafted has to be The Wizard of Oz. There’s a TON of crafty goodness inspired by the movie. This cross stitch kit by Leslie at DisorderlyStitches puts a cool contemporary twist on the popular quote, as does this Wizard of Oz lineup pattern by PixelPowerDesign.

 

 

These DIY cupcake toppers from SweetPaul gave me a good chuckle, and Craftsy offers this Technicolor knitting pattern called Dorothy’s Dream.

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, I really like this inexpensive, simple, and colorful rainbow project for young kids at MomsCraftySpace. So cheery, and streamers are always fun!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are any of the 1939 movies on your list of favorites? Have you ever made a crafty project inspired by one of these movies?

Favorite Books – Crafty and Otherwise

When I was young I was a voracious reader, and I read some books I probably wasn’t quite ready for at certain ages (reading Orwell’s 1984 at age 9 was a bit mind-blowing). I still love to read, but now most of my non-computer time is taken up with stitching. Unless I make the heavy investment in audio books, my reading time is limited these days. The last book I finished was Ender’s Game, shortly before I knew it was going to be a movie. Now I’m slowly reading The Devil in the White City, which has some great history about Chicago (probably my favorite city in the States).

Here are some of my favorite books and some reasons why they’re on this list:

Fiction

  • DUNEDune – It’s incredible what Herbert imagined would be possible for people to do with their minds and bodies. From a Guild Navigator’s ability to fold space, the strategy, control and timing necessary in a knife fight, to the Bene Gesserit’s ability to control their own metabolisms and use “the voice” to control others actions, it’s interesting to think if any of it is really possible.
  • Jane Austen – Aside from the obvious attractiveness of the male leads in the movie versions, her books show some of the status of women and the slower pace of change at the time. She also shows how being a selfish and inappropriate douchebag like Lydia Bennett can hurt yourself and others.
  • Dorothy L. Sayers – Her four book series from the 1930’s, Strong Poison, Have His Carcase, Gaudy Night, and Busman’s Honeymoon, are an unusual romance set in mystery novels. The author and her two lead characters are smart and tough, making these anything but pulp fiction.

Non-Fiction

  • 67picGonzo: the Art – Ralph Steadman’s art speaks to me like no other. But he’s not for everyone…
  • Creating the Not So Big House – Smaller houses and minimal stuff in them is GOOD.
  • Essentials of Geology – It seems to me we get into a lot of trouble when people don’t understand the scientific method. Geology is everywhere and it’s a great way to start understanding how real science works.

Craft and Design

Needlepoint Stitch Sampler - 1996

  • 101 Needlepoint Stitches and How to Use Them – I made this fabu sampler using this book. The text has clear diagrams and tips about how to use and how to perform each stitch.
  • Design and Make Your Own Contemporary Sampler Quilt – I made my first quilt using only the instructions from this book. It’s a great place for new quilters to start.
  • Altair Design (now called Images and Images 2) – When I was growing up, as soon as I had markers and color pencils, I had Altair Design books, and I can say that the effect was profound. As you can see from some of my pieces and inspirations, I still have a strong inclination toward geometric patterns. You can see all kinds of different shapes and possibilities in the lines. These books can really let the imagination open up and the creativity flow!
  • This Persian Flower Needlework is based on a very small element from a historical design book.The World of Ornament – THE resource for historical design inspiration. Covering design from the Ancient Egyptians through the mid 1800’s, this massive tome is colorful, fascinating, and idea-generating. Ancora Crafts Persian Flower pattern and kits are based on a tiny flower on one of it’s pages

Humor

  • Bloom County – A very funny comic strip that was both sweet and cynical at the same time. It was highly influential on my current vague mistrust of politicians and the media. I still have my Opus and Bill the Cat stuffed animals 30 years later.

Bill the Cat for President

  • A Fistful of Fig Newtons – Jean Shepherd is probably best known for the short stories that combined to make the movie A Christmas Story. Stories from his books In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash and Wanda Hickey’s Night of Golden Memories and Other Disasters were combined to make the movie script. And while I love these books, I love his book A Fistful of Fig Newtons even more. His takes on summer camp (“The Mole People Battle the Forces of Darkness”), dorm life (“A Fistful of Fig Newtons or the Shoot-Out in Room 303”), mess hall duty on a troop train (“The Marathon Run of Lonesome Ernie, the Arkansas Traveler”), and algebra (“Lost at C”) are hilarious. Shepherd always weaves a vivid and funny tale.
  • Scary - Gallery Of Regrettable FoodThe Gallery of Regrettable Food – I about wet my pants from laughter when I first read this book (at work, no less – a coworker had brought it in the office). James Lileks is a funny writer, and he found inspiration in some of the most disgustingly photographed food of all time.

 

Have any of you read these books as well? Do you have any suggestions based on what I’ve recommended above?

 

Disclosure: Ancora Crafts is an Amazon Associate – your purchases from the links above will help support Ancora Crafts. I own every linked book and product in this post with the exception of the geology book as I already own a heavy duty geology textbook. I will only endorse products that I believe, based on our personal knowledge of the products, are worthy of such endorsement.