Friday, September 29, 2006

A Good Week

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

It is definitely fall now. Cool, crisp sunny days. Scarf weather. I find that a scarf makes all the difference between feeling chilled or snug. The garden is still flourishing and I hope that we don't get any frost for a while. The hydrangea above, Limelight, is one of my favourites. It's blooms are on long branches that poke through here and there, beneath and above the perennials and canes of climbing roses in the bed. At this time of year I have a hard time deciding whether or not to cut and dry the blooms or leave them to brighten the fall garden.

I haven't had time to knit this week. Last weekend I got lucky and got three days in a row of on set wardrobe calls. I've never been so happy in all my life to be sewing and not sleeping. I worked on Hair Spray. Those 50s clothes are really starting to fall apart now, which makes a lot of work for people like me. I will post some knitting on KTC later.

I'm still looking for a job . This week I started calling on private schools. This is extremely frustrating. I'm actually going to go to the Los Angeles school board presentation and apply there too.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Down the Garden Path
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
The weather has been wonderful the last few days. After too long a hiatus I finally made it into my garden. I spent four hours just dead heading perennials and roses and then tying up tomatoes. I can't believe that I might actually get to harvest tomatoes. I planted mine out very late so they are all still green. I'm amazed that they made it past the flower stage. If the weather stays mild I'll taste garden fresh tomatoes this season. Each plant only has a few tomatoes but they are all heirloom tomatoes so I have high expectations. As I tied the skinny tomatoe stems to bamboo posts I wondered if their is a particular kind of self-righteousnesss that comes from planting heirloom vegtables. This was no bumper crop but I was definitely excited by the outcome. I remembered the words of writer Jamaica Kincaid who wrote about how much she enjoyed her few heirloom tomatoes each year; and wondered how anyone could enjoy tomatoes that looked just like the ones from the store and whose only distinction was that they were grown at home. Is this a type of snobbery? Are we tomato connaiseurs or are we truly enjoying a little known pleasure. I believe it is the latter and hope that some day the pleasure of home grown heirloom tomatoes and other vegetables can be appreciated by more people.

I am not an orderly gardener. As you can tell from the photo I like a wild somewhat self sufficient garden. (One writer refers to this type as a gin and tonic gardener - in my case make that a mango martini or margerita.) I didn't get a chance to photograph the veggies but just try to imagine tomato plants surrounded by squash vines, forget-me-nots and greens.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

I have spent the last two weeks filling out applications, packaging my CV and visiting school principals. After graduating from a year long teacher training program I am in the same position as before I started the course: unemployed and frantic. Maybe worse: I now also have added $5,000 of debt. It wasn't supposed to be like this. We were told that teachers are in demand. If this is the case, they may be in demand but they are not being hired. I have not received a single call from any of my applications. I am now applying for supply, adult education and night school. I am willing to teach in any high school class room. This is very frustrating. Somehow I feel ripped off. Sigh.

My teaching life in a package:

1. cover letter, personalized with name of institution and vice principal
2. resume
3. references.
4. Ontario College of Teachers Certificate
5. Summative Evaluation of Field Experience: Drama
6. Summative Evaluation of Field experience: History
7. Envelope

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Truth, Justice...
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Hollywoodland still of a club scene

On Friday September 8 Hollywoodland opens in movie theatres here in Toronto. I worked on this film last year, when its title was Truth, Justice and the American Way. Apparently DC Comics wouldn’t allow the original title (or the Superman “S” to appear in promotional material). I guess DC is afraid of tarnishing Superman’s image by associating him with the real life violence that ended the life of the actor George Reeves. In my mind it will always be “Truth, Justice”. I had a great time on this film set, helping to dress the background actors. The costume designer Julie Weiss was a force of nature. Some people hated working with this forthright individual but I loved it. She made her presence felt wherever she was and made the costume department an important part of the film set. Often on set costumers are made to feel as if they are in the way of the production. Julie made it clear that the costumes were just as important an element as any other technical aspect (lighting, sound etc..) and that we had to be allowed the time and space to do the job properly.

The film takes place in the 1940s and 50s, and featured several elegant Hollywood scenes: clubs, parties etc… We had hundreds of background actors to dress. Julie wanted each and every one of them to be ready for a close up. In other words picture perfect and historically accurate in dress and manner. Most of the actors had no experience getting into the layers of clothing that were worn in this era, and they had to be assisted in dressing themselves. On set final accessories and alterations would be added as we found out where the director placed each individual and where the cameras were in relation to each actor. At one moment Julie called me over. With here hands she gathered the draping fabric on an actress’s bodice and said: “Make this a Fortuny.” The very idea that she thought that with a few stitches with my needle and thread I could transform this gown into a Fortuny gave me a confidence that before that moment I have rarely felt.

I hope Hollywoodland does well, and that the audiences appreciates the artistic efforts made in this production. Julie Weiss was nominated for a Tony for The Elephant Man. She was overlooked for Frida. I hope she gets nominated for an Oscar for Hollywoodland.

Monday, September 04, 2006

The Time Traveler's Wife
(possible spoilers ahead)

Now that I know how to create links in my sidebar I have joined three blog lists over the last few days: GTA Knitters, Sistah Friends Knitting, and Knitting the Classics. I have lurked on various GTA and Sistah Friends blog sites since I started blogging, so it was kind of natural to join. Knitting the Classics (KTC) is a recent discovery. It combines two of my favourite activities: reading and knitting. The group reads a book a month and knits projects inspired by the current book. I don't have a lot of knitting time so I find the knitting part a little daunting. Also as a designer I know that what I usually create for another person (real or fictional) will not necessarily be desireable for myself or anyone else I know. I have dealt with time restrictions before but the other factor is new: to create something for someone else that will also be useful for me in some way. Making a gift for someone else coud be one way out but that still requires thinking of more than one individuals requirements.

The KTC book for September is The Time Traveler's Wife. I read it last year but I really liked the book and I don't mind reading it again. I find very few contemporary books that use language that appeals to me in a way that makes me just want to read for the love of the words on the page and the images that they conjure. The Time Traveler's Wife also had the added appeal of conjuring a time that I had lived through and remembered fondly. It's strange to think of part of my past becoming nostalgia.

The book focuses on the time traveler and his wife, but I have chosen to make something for the time traveler's daughter. Although I did give a spoiler warning I will say no more about her now other than that she also travels through time. As a time traveler there is very little under her control but efforts of preparation can help. Initially I thought that a warm versatile garment would be useful. When she travels she always arrives naked, so a hidden garment could come in handy. The almost size free poncho that can also be worn as a skirt, designed by Carrie Brenner, shown in Handknit Holidays, would work well.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

We are not told much about where she travels to but it is likely mostly in Chicago and often in winter. A cozy garment like this one would be just what she would be looking for on a naked arrival in a Chicago winter. A parka would be even better but would be difficult to hide. A knit garment could be easily rolled up and tucked away. My major problem with this garment is that I don't wear ponchos or wide skirts. Also it would definitely take me longer than a month to knit this item. So I had to come up with something else. Another cruise through Handknit Holidays produced another Carrie Brenner designed solution:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

A bag to hold items, such as clothing that could be used during her unexpected arrivals. The bag I would use but the time to knit is still a factor. Brenner also designed an accessories pouch to go with this bag;

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

This would also be useful. It could hold money, keys and a cell phone amongst other things, and it would be just as useful to me as it would be to a time traveler.

I think I will use the left over yarn from Bad Penny or maybe black cotton. I have a lot of suitable yarns in my stash for this project. I also like the idea of using the traditional stitches of a vintage counterpane to make a modern item for a time traveler.

Friday, September 01, 2006


At last I have links to my favourite blogs on my blog page. I am terribly html illiterate and could not have done it without help from the two Knitterati Amanda and Dawn. Over the weekend I hope to add more links and some buttons. At last I can add the Knitting Olympics button from the event that started this blog in the first place. With any luck I may even be able to link to the Pomotamus KAL site. Knowledge is power, but a little knowledge is dangerous. I could be in for some trouble.