CHAPTER SEVEN: LIFESTYLES OF THE SUPER RICH
Mary Hazel Upton
BLOG POST FOR MARIETTE'S NIGHTMARE HOUSE PAGE
APRIL 24, 2017 MONDAY FOR STORY IN PROGRESS
WILD PINK DAISIES
PHOTOGRAPH BY MARY HAZEL UPTON
APRIL 21, 2017 FRIDAY
I took this photograph of wild pink daisies outside my yard last Friday. I have a few of them in my yard too, and I am hoping all of them will reseed this year so that there will be even more next year. Charles, my brother, had a lot of them blooming in the woods behind his house just before Easter when he had his Easter party. He knows all the names of just about every plant, the common name and the scientific name too. He said they were called daisy flea bane. I forgot to ask him why they were called that, and haven't had time to look up anymore information about this beautiful little wildflower yet.
CLOSE UP PHOTOGRAPH OF THE WILD PINK DAISIES
PHOTOGRAPH BY MARY HAZEL UPTON
APRIL 21, 2017 FRIDAY
This is a close up of some of the wild pink daisies. I have more photographs of them that I may post next month if I get time to look up some information about them to include here. If not, I will post them when I do have the information. I don't know how long they bloom, or if they might bloom most of the summer, but I will try to find out. Whenever I can I try to post flower photos that are seasonal and I will start trying to find out more information about the various flowers also and sharing it here for anyone else who might be interested in learning more about flowers. I am trying to learn all I can about the various flowers so that I can get as many of them growing in my yard as possible.
LIFESTYLES OF THE SUPER RICH
Mariette woke up sometime during the predawn hours. She had a vague memory of dreaming about the red dog. She knew it was something frightening, but she could only remember bits and fragments of the dream and remember being lost in the Nightmare City Without A Name. As she tried to remember, the whole dream blew away like fog melted by sun. The feeling of terror the dream had inspired remained, though, as well as the crushing pity, and the feeling of disorientation. Slowly she realized it was the morning of the next day after her “total loss” day. Curt would not be home for two more hours. Slowly she managed to relax and go back to sleep. She woke up again when Curt came to bed that morning.
“What time do you have the clocks set for?” he asked.
“The usual time. Four o’clock.”
“Why don’t you reset them for three o’clock? I thought we might go to the mall today, and do a little shopping, and eat supper out if you want to.”
“Of course, I want to!” Mariette didn’t need another invitation. She immediately reset both clocks, the electric one, and the back-up wind up clock that they used in case the electricity went off, as happened frequently in this small part of north central Indiana. Friday was their usual shopping day. Today was only Wednesday, but occasionally they went out in the middle of the week too.
Curt grinned. “I thought you might like to get out of the house for a while.”
The Auto City Mall is like a million other malls all across the nation. There is a Sears store at one end and a Target store at the other end. In between are numerous small shops selling everything from overpriced clothes, to books, yard goods, and submarine sandwiches. There is a movie theater and a branch bank. A gift shop displays enticing knickknacks, changed often for each holiday. The exact assortment of stores, both the anchor stores and the smaller stores, vary from mall to mall, but outside there is always a huge free parking lot. Periodically the Auto City officials talk of “revitalizing Auto City’s downtown”, and several times short lived campaigns were started to do so. But these efforts never come to anything. The scattered downtown shops, where parking is always a problem, can’t compete with the mall’s spacious free parking lot. Nor can they compete with the mall’s atmosphere. For the mall is a place unto itself, a magical enchanted land, where the working-class people come to get away from their dull weekday lives for a little while. There are trees, and plants, and lots of glass in the mall, and benches to rest while shopping. There is even a fountain where pennies have been tossed, gleaming bright copper under the crystal water. The mall is carefully decorated for each holiday or season, and each store coordinates its window displays to continue the theme. Muzak plays as a constant background. Everything is done to ensure the shoppers’ comfort and pleasure so that they will stay and spend money.
For the language spoken in this kingdom is the universal language of the green back dollar and the kingdom’s religion is the worship of mammon. But money is not entirely necessary for entrance to the kingdom. Anyone can window shop even if they can’t buy. And this is what many of the people, especially the young, do at the mall. It is somewhere to go, something to do. Friday night and Sunday afternoon are the mall’s busiest times. Friday is when the working people get paid and when they do most of their shopping. Friday is when school is out and the young people still have the whole weekend ahead of them. Sunday afternoon is when the threat of Monday morning and a return to work or to school hangs as a dreary threat over them. The golden, light filled world of the mall offers a few last hours of escape. Or perhaps the weekend hasn’t fulfilled its promise and the people are looking for somewhere to go, something to do, before Monday morning is upon them again. Whatever the reason, the mall is always fairly crowded with shoppers, some buying, some not, but all of them listening to the Muzak of the mall.
Auto City has several malls, but the Auto City Mall on Highway 31 Bypass, that cuts through the heart of the city, is the largest. It was also the one closest to Curt’s and Mariette’s Illinois Street house, being only a few blocks away. In the summer, Mariette sometimes walked to the Auto City Mall.
It was winter now, though, and a few snowflakes were falling from the leaden sky as Curt parked in the mall’s unusually crowded parking lot. Once inside, Mariette was surprised to see that the mall was moderately crowded for an afternoon in the middle of the week. Evidently a lot of people had had the same idea as Curt and Mariette, though, wanting to get away from their dull weekday lives and the dreary winter for a little while.
Mariette had dressed carefully for her date with Curt. She was wearing her favorite faded jeans along with a hand knit sleeveless lavender sweater with darker purple stripes that she had made. Over this she was wearing a blue denim jacket. She carried a blue denim purse. Really the jacket wasn’t warm enough for this weather, but she’d known they were going to be inside where it was warm, and she wanted to look pretty for Curt.
“Sears has some cordless electric screwdrivers on sale,” Curt said. “I’d like to look at them. I don’t know if they’re anything we can use, but we’re going to need a few more tools when we start working on the Carrollton Location house this spring.”
“All right.” Mariette knew that Curt had lots of regular screwdrivers, the kind operated by old-fashioned elbow grease, and that the electric screwdriver was just a new toy he wanted. She didn’t care, though. Although she found the tool and other displays Curt liked, boring, and she would have looked at things for the house, or books, or clothes if she’d been alone, she was just glad to be out for a while with her handsome husband.
Curt bought the cordless electric screwdriver. “We saved ten dollars on that, honey,” he told her happily as they left the store. “Those screwdrivers usually run a lot more, especially for a good one like this one.”
Mariette nodded and smiled. Curt was so sweet. Once again, the fierce desire to be able to give him all the things he deserved gripped her. The desire was so strong it was almost like pain.
“Where next?” Curt asked.
“Let’s shop Target. I need some more typing paper and I think they have it on sale too.”
They walked down to the other end of the mall, passing under giant paper snowflakes hanging from the ceiling. Mariette looked in all the store windows as they passed, wondering how it would be to have enough money to go in all the stores and buy as much as she wanted. The thought of being that rich made her feel slightly lightheaded and very excited. Once again, the conviction that soon they would be rich, rich beyond the dreams of avarice, came to her. The feeling of excitement grew to almost unbearable levels.
She reached out and took Curt’s hand, squeezing it gently. “I love you, honey.”
Curt looked at her and smiled. “I love you too, baby. Having fun?”
“Yes.” She wondered what Curt would say if he knew what shopping with him was doing to her. She knew that he would also like to be rich, but he didn’t seem to want it with the fiery intensity that she did. And money didn’t seem to make him hot the way the thought of it was making her hot for him right now. The thought made her blush, but it still wouldn’t go away. She wasn’t sure she really wanted it to go away.
They shopped Target, lingering over the various displays of merchandise, taking their time and browsing through the whole store. Curt looked at the fishing lures, but did not buy anything.
“They don’t have much,” he told Mariette. “Too early. Fishing season isn’t here yet. I’ll check again in a month or so."
Mariette bought her typing paper and a coffee mug with an owl on it that they both liked. Curt paid for her purchases.
“You ready to eat yet?” Curt asked. “I’m just about shopped out for now. How about you?”
Mariette agreed. Although she really hated for their date to end, she knew that it was getting late, and that it would have to. It was after six thirty P.M. now, and it was a working day. After they ate supper at the mall coffee shop, it would be even later. They would have just about time to get home and let Curt rest for an hour or so before he left for work.
It was dark when Curt and Mariette left the mall. The snow flurries were thick white flakes now, dancing in front of the security lights and beginning to cover the ground. The wind felt twenty degrees colder. Mariette looked back once at the enchanted kingdom of the mall as they walked away, the enchanted kingdom made of gold, that they could only visit now. Someday, though, somehow, they would live there, she vowed to herself.
That night, after Curt left for work, Mariette carried her writing materials out to the kitchen table. This was her portable “office”. She was writing her first novel in longhand on ruled paper in a loose-leaf school notebook. It was a Gothic romance called At Night The Forest Moves Closer. Her heroine, Deborah Parker, looked remarkably like herself, except that she had waist length red hair. Her hero, Adam Sanders, looked exactly like Curt, except that he had blond hair cut in a flat top, and was a few years younger. Deborah was an orphan, but she was, at twenty-one, also a successful knitting pattern designer, selling her patterns to magazines and pattern makers for high prices. She had taken this temporary job, teaching the rich Sanders’ ten-year-old daughter, Lisa Marie, to knit only to get away from the sorrow and loneliness caused by her beloved grandmother’s death. Her grandmother had been her only living relative and Deborah had lived with her on her grandmother’s farm. It was no part of her plan to get involved with the Sanders’ twenty-two-year-old son, Adam, though. She’d been hurt once in love and she wasn’t having any of it again.
Mariette sharpened her pencils and read back over the last chapter she’d completed before she began writing. Soon she was lost in her own private imaginary world. The time flew by. When she at last looked at the clock, she was surprised to see that almost three hours had passed. It was nearly two o’clock in the morning. And there was still an hour or so of housework that she ought to do tonight.
Reluctantly Mariette gathered up her writing things to put away. The owner of the local yarn and craft shop, Marge Hall, had just been found dead in her shop. Deborah was beginning to wonder if it had been an accident or murder. Mariette closed her notebook. She would let Deborah ponder on the question until tomorrow. Then maybe she would have some answers. If so, Mariette would write them down. When Mariette wrote, it was like her characters were talking to her, telling her their stories. She just wrote it down. Although Mariette sometimes felt too lazy to write, she never suffered from writer’s block. Even when writing was the last thing she wanted to do, she could always do it, and she could never tell any difference in the quality of writing done when she was “inspired” and writing done when she was “just working”. So, Mariette had no doubt that Deborah would come up with some answers about Marge’s strange death and tell her creator about them tomorrow, or whenever Mariette was ready to write again.
As Mariette vacuumed and dusted, her mind was still at the Sanders’ ancestral home with the sinister forest that seemed to move closer at night. She could see it in her mind, a much more interesting place than her own home in dull Auto City. More bits and pieces of the story began to come to her. The legend of the forest that moved had been started by the first Mr. Sanders’ mad wife, Mariette knew now. Yes, she had hated the lonely estate where she’d been brought as a young bride, and her madness had taken the form of believing that the forest moved closer at night.
Mariette shut the vacuum cleaner off. She began dusting the knickknacks in the living room. Deborah began telling her that she knew Marge had been murdered, and that it had to be someone on the Sanders’ estate who had done it. When whole, already written paragraphs, began to form in her mind, Mariette firmly shut them off. She had long ago learned that if she didn’t, she would be writing whenever “inspiration” struck, not necessarily when it was convenient for her to write. She was no longer afraid of losing the material if she didn’t write it down immediately. Mariette didn’t know exactly how it worked, but she knew that there was a special place in her mind where her stories were stored, ready for her to write them down when she was ready. It was as if on some invisible plane, they were already completed books, merely waiting for her to open and read them, and copy down and make real their contents.
“Later, Deborah,” Mariette silently told the heroine of her novel. “It’s late and I’m tired. Tell me about it tomorrow. Why don’t you go for a walk in the woods? The leaves are turning now, and it’s such a beautiful, sunny afternoon.” It pleased Mariette to think of her characters existing somewhere in another dimension, going about their everyday lives in their own fictional world, even when she wasn’t actually working on their book.
It was after three o’clock now. Mariette made herself a cheese sandwich, grabbed some potato chips, a snack cake, and a diet Coke, and carried them out to the living room. Her work was done for tonight. Now it was video time, and after that, time to read. She slipped the video tape into the VCR and settled down to watch her favorite show, Lifestyles Of The Super Rich.
The familiar scenes of mansions and a private helicopter taking off flashed across the screen along with the opening music of Lifestyles Of The Super Rich.
“Fortune is the last frontier,” the announcer said, as he did every week. “Tonight, we’re going to visit Robin Michaels, the multimillionaire romance writer, who turned her dreams of romance into a fortune.”
Mariette gasped. She had read all of Robin Michaels’ books, and everything she could find about the woman who had started out as a small-town girl from Auto City, and had not only made a fortune writing romance novels, but had married one of the richest men in the United States. Romance novels weren’t really Mariette’s favorite kind of reading material, although she read everything. Mariette’s tastes ran more to Gothic romance, horror, and science fiction. But Mariette hoped studying Robin Michaels' books and life might furnish a clue as to how Mariette could copy the famous writer’s success.
“Later on, in our show, we’ll visit Hawaii, where the party of the decade is taking place,” the circus barker voice of Robert Lake, the host of the show, was saying now. “And much, much more right after these messages.”
Mariette used her remote control to zap the commercials through.
“Last year we brought you the most expensive real estate in America. We called it the gold standard. Now we’ve found even more expensive places. Can you believe it? Yes, it’s true! We call it the platinum standard!”
Pictures of unbelievably gorgeous mansions in southern Florida, California, Arizona, and Hawaii began flashing across the screen.
“Few people outside the exclusive circles of the super-rich have heard of Shell Island in southwest Florida,” Robert Lake’s voice was saying as pictures of private coconut palm studded beaches and beach houses filled the TV screen. “The super-rich want to keep it that way. They’ve even got a ten-dollar toll fee each way on the only bridge to Shell Island to discourage the tourists from going there.”
Mariette devoured the mansions with her eyes.
“The cheapest house on Shell Island is priced at two and a half million dollars, and, are you ready for this? The most expensive one was recently sold for twenty-five million dollars to a family that only uses it for a few weeks every winter!”
After more commercials and segments, the segment on Robin Michaels was shown. Robin Michaels at work in her huge pink and white office-library. Robin Michaels with her billionaire builder husband and their two children. Robin Michaels beside the indoor pool in their penthouse New York apartment. Robin Michaels on the private beach at the twenty-five-million-dollar home on Shell Island that Robert Lake had mentioned in the previous segment on Shell Island, but hadn’t shown the beach house yet.
“This is the most expensive home on Shell Island,” Robert Lake was now saying as pictures of the luxurious interior of the six-bedroom beach house and the landscaped grounds of the 1 acre ocean front property flashed across the TV screen. “This is the home that Dean Michaels recently bought for his wife, Robin Michaels, the famous novelist. They only use it for a winter home.”
“Is it true you’ve written fifty romance novels, each one set in a different one of the fifty states?” Robert Lake was pool side at the Shell Island property with Robin Michaels now.
“I have my secretary and researcher, Sara Wells, do most of the research for me,” she told Robert modestly. “That leaves me free to concentrate on the actual writing.”
“Whew! Fifty novels in five years, though! That’s some kind of record surely! And that’s only the Love Across America series. Robin Michaels has written ten other books, and her new one, Love’s Wild Passion, coming out in the spring, will make sixty-one.Robin Michaels, the queen of the golden Valentine. It’s true. Sometimes dreams do come true. For Robin Michaels romance is more than just love; it’s money. That’s our show for this week. Join us again next week, folks for Lifestyles Of The Super Rich.
Mariette turned the television off and rewound the tape. The return to reality was like the slow and unwilling awakening from a seductive dream. That night, though, Shell Island became a permanent part of Mariette’s interior landscape, a tropical dream of paradise she longed to escape to. Someday she and Curt would live there in one of those gorgeous mansions. If Robin Michaels could go from “rags to riches” with only the power of her pen, Mariette knew she could too. That night also, her unformed longings and desires began to take concrete form. She would still keep on entering the sweepstakes “just in case” luck should strike, but from now on she had a vehicle to start making her own luck.
- END OF THIS CHAPTER-
SEA OATS AT SANIBEL ISLAND
PHOTOGRAPH BY HAZEL FERN HENSON
OCTOBER 14, 1979
This photograph was taken by Mama on one of hers and Daddy's vacations to Florida. I found this photograph and many others, which I will post later, in one of her books of Florida vacation pictures. Mariette's Shell Island, in her story, is actually Sanibel Island, as I remember it back in the late 60's and 70's. Shell Island will be an important place in future chapters of Mariette's story, just as will Paradise County. Eventually she and Curt will own property on Shell Island, as well as the 17 acres they bought in Paradise County, and I will post more photos with those chapters as they are published and as I find and scan more of Mama's and Daddy's and mine and Gain's old photos. I will also look for and post some links to information about Sanibel Island. After Mariette and Curt become rich and can afford to buy a house on Shell Island, there will be chapters with them on Shell Island, as well as in Paradise County, but they will never sell the old house in Carrollton Location and there will always be many chapters set at that location. Mariette will always believe that the old house's past made their future possible, and in gratitude, she will fix Simon, the ghost's house back, carefully restoring it again. Curt, of course, will not understand, and will think Mariette is only fanciful, but he loves his young wife too much to deny her anything, so will go along with her plans to restore Simon's house for him and spend part of their time each year there.
OCEAN VIEW FROM SANIBEL ISLAND NEAR LIGHTHOUSE
PHOTOGRAPH BY HAZEL FERN HENSON
OCTOBER 14, 1979
SANIBEL ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE
CLAUDE B. HENSON
OCTOBER 14, 1979
PELICAN NEAR CAUSEWAY TO SANIBEL ISLAND
PHOTOGRAPH BY CLAUDE B. HENSON
NOVEMBER 18, 1980
Daddy took this photograph and also developed it. He usually developed his own photos and printed them. He liked to take mostly black and white photos, so although I can't be sure which photos in the books were taken by him and which by Mama, I give him credit for the black and white ones and her credit for the color photographs. Mama had an enlargement, which Daddy almost certainly made, of this photograph hanging, framed, in the kitchen and I still have it hanging there. This photo is a scanned copy of one of the smaller copies of this photograph that she had in one of her Florida vacation books.
LINKS TO LIFESTYLES OF THE RICH AND FAMOUS SHOWS ON YOUTUBE
These are a few of the links I found to actual old episodes of the “Lifestyles Of The Rich And Famous” show and that I promised to share in this month’s blog post. There are lots more episodes of this old TV show on YouTube. I will post more links from time to time, but you can find all the episodes by searching on YouTube with “Lifestyles Of The Rich And Famous with Robin Leach”.
In this month’s chapter of Mariette’s story, “Lifestyles Of The Super Rich”, the show she records on her VCR and watches every week is, of course, “Lifestyles Of The Rich And Famous”, which I also always recorded on our VCR and never missed!
It is April 22, 2017 Earth Day as I do a bit of the preliminary research for this month’s blog post. Part of that research was watching this first video of “Lifestyles Of The Rich And Famous” on YouTube and writing this material. I would have been totally astounded back then when I was recording my shows on the VCR to know that someday I would be watching them again on the Internet on my computer on YouTube! I would have been even more astounded to know that someday I would be using that same Laptop Computer to type and publish my own stories. Back then I was writing everything by hand on paper and only typing up the final manuscript to mail to publishers to save wear and tear on the typewriter and the cost of ribbons.
This first link is for the “Lifestyles Of The Rich And Famous” show from February 23, 1985. It was posted by Pannoi 8 and he has this information about the show, “With maximum emphasis on “Rich”, this special episode takes a look at then the richest person on the world—Saudi tycoon Adnan Kashoggi on this special episode of Lifestyles of the Rich And Famous”. He has lots of other videos posted on YouTube and seems to specialize in old TV shows, TV news shows, and, especially old TV commercials, archiving material from the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s. I did not watch anymore of his videos or look through his extensive library of videos yet, but did see one other partial “Lifestyles Of The Rich And Famous” episode he has posted.
It is after eight o’clock now, so I am going to quit work for tonight. Tomorrow is Sunday and I will have all day to get the rest of the material for the blog together, including watching another one of the “Lifestyles Of The Rich And Famous” shows and adding the link for it. I don’t know if I can get everything published tomorrow, but, if not, I can definitely get all the material together and publish it next week.
It is Sunday afternoon now as I finish getting the rest of the material ready for the April blog post. It is almost 2 o’clock now. Have been looking for more “Lifestyles Of The Rich And Famous” videos on YouTube to share. Found a couple more partial videos that I will share here, but will not include but a couple more here now. Out of time for this project if the blog is to be published this month! Will see what I can find later, but there are lots more partial videos of this show on YouTube than full episodes. If you know anything about doing research, though, you also know that there comes a point to stop or else you will never get the writing done, but just continue doing endless research!
This next link is to “Conway Twitty—Lifestyles Of the Rich & Famous”. It is a partial episode of this show, only the segment about Conway Twitty. It was posted by TwittyTreasures and the information they have about it is “1980’s episode of “Lifestyles Of The Rich and Famous” hosted by Robin Leach. A rare insight and interview with Conway Twitty on the grounds of his home “Twitty City”. This is a 4 minute and 33 seconds’ segment. This YouTube channel appears to be a fan site with only Conway Twitty videos, mostly music videos. I did not see any more “Lifestyles Of The Rich And Famous” videos here.
This last link is titled "John Forsythe and Linda Evans—Lifestyles Of The Rich And Famous". This is another partial episode Of "Lifestyles Of The Rich And Famous" about John Forsythe’s and Linda Evans’ vacation in England and Monaco. It was posted by ForeverCarrington. The information they gave is “Dynasty” stars John Forsythe and Linda Evans are shown vacationing in England and Monaco in the mid-1980’s. Among other things, they participated in a tennis tournament, attended a fashion show and met members of the royal family of both countries, including Prince Charles, Princess Diana, Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, Prince Rainier, and Prince Albert. The clip is narrated by Robin Leach”. It is 5 minutes and 37 seconds long. This appears to be a fan site for the Dynasty TV show and its stars. There are a lot of videos on their site. I did not see any more "Lifestyles Of The Rich And Famous" videos, but if you are interested in the old Dynasty TV show and its stars, this would be the place to go.
PHOTOGRAPH BY MARY HAZEL UPTON
APRIL 18, 2017 TUESDAY
This is a rare and endangered wildflower. It is called blood root because the roots have red sap that looks like blood. I took this photograph in my yard. I have several blood root flowers now. Mama only had a few, but I think they are starting to multiply now too. I am being very careful not to destroy any of them, especially after they have bloomed and are reseeding to make more plants. They are perennials. I think they were being destroyed when Mama had to hire grass cutters that wanted to come early and late and cut down everything in the yard, and also when I used to cut the grass early and late for fear someone might complain. The flowers grow where they want to, and if they are in the lawn and you cut the grass early and late then you cut them too. That is probably why they are becoming rare and endangered because more and more people are doing this. So now that I know more about these beautiful wildflowers I am more careful to preserve them. The bloodroot flowers are still blooming now and have been blooming for a couple weeks.
BRAVE DANDELION GIRL
PHOTOGRAPH BY MARY HAZEL UPTON
FEBRUARY 29, 2016
I took this dandelion last year near Hammerhead's yard. Hammerhead saw it first and showed it to me because he knows I love flowers. It was the first dandelion in bloom. I took this photograph as soon as he showed it to me. The next day someone had carelessly stepped on the small brave dandelion flower, coming up so early, and destroyed her, probably not even realizing there was a flower on the ground, or if they did, not caring. I have this photograph on Cell Phone Boy as wallpaper this month.
DRINKING COFFEE IN WHEELING KITCHEN
PHOTOGRAPH BY MARY HAZEL UPTON
MARY HAZEL UPTON WITH CHICORY FLOWERS
PHOTOGRAPH BY HAZEL FERN HENSON
Mama took this photograph of me with chicory flowers in an empty field somewhere near our home in Kokomo back in 1977 on one of hers and Daddy's visits to us. In this photograph you can see the patchwork shirt I am wearing. I have more photographs of me wearing some of the patchwork clothes I made back then and will post them with future patchwork and sewing articles as I find the photographs and get time to write the sewing articles. This photograph is to illustrate the next article and to show some detail of the finished patchwork, although I will also include a few close up photographs to show more details using the patchwork I am making now.
HOW TO RECYCLE OLD CLOTHES AND FABRIC INTO NEW ITEMS AND CRAZY QUILT PATCHWORK, AND HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN PATTERNS, AND DESIGN YOUR OWN CLOTHES WITH BASIC SEWING SKILLS
April 23, 2017 Sunday
It is after five o’clock now, so will quit for supper and Storybook Hour for the Creatures now. Have gotten all of the links to share in this blog post, though, except one more sewing link that I may look for later this evening. These two books are the ones I mentioned in last month’s blog that have instructions for recycling old clothes into new clothes and other things and also instructions for making your own patterns. Basically, the best I remember, the main way they showed making patterns was to trace around old clothes on paper to create a new master pattern. I remember doing this and making sleeveless blouses this way, but there was much more in the book for making other garments and also toys and things for the home.
The first book, The Illustrated Hasslefree Make Your Own Clothes Book by Sharon Rosenberg and Joan Wiener was the only one I had back in the early 70’s before Gain and I were married. I had it and used it for several years after that, but in our many moves, it got lost somehow. I didn’t know about the second book, the sequel, by the same authors, titled Son Of Hasslefree Sewing.
I only found out about the second book when I began searching for a copy of the first one. Since I did not remember the title or the author I wasn’t sure I could find the book. I searched the Internet to find books on making your own sewing patterns. To my surprise, it took me very little time to find a review of this book on a blog. I don’t have the name of the blog now, but will later try to find it and give the writer credit and mention her blog. I am sure I probably bookmarked it, but I need to get this April blog post published before the month is over so that will have to wait! Once I had the name of the book it was a simple matter to find the book on Amazon and also the second book on Amazon. I added them to my future Amazon shopping list.
However, when I went to Amazon this evening to get the links for you, I found they were out of both books, and they were only available from third- party sellers on Amazon. There was only one of the The Illustrated Hasslefree Make Your Own Clothes Book in stock. So, I ordered copies of both books through Amazon from the third-party sellers, which means that the first book is now out of stock, although they had more of the Son Of Hasslefree Sewing books in stock by third- party sellers only.
I doubt if the books will be out of stock for long, though, so I am including the links here in case anybody else wants the books and wants to keep watch to see when more will be in stock. I have never failed to find any book I wanted on Amazon!
I will later write a complete review of both books on my blog and publish it, but at this time I don’t remember enough about the first book, and haven’t seen the second book, to be able to do that.
The Illustrated Hasslefree Make Your Own Clothes Book by Sharon Rosenberg and Joan Wiener
Son Of Hassle Free Sewing by Sharon Rosenberg and Joan Wiener
This is the review of The Illustrated Hasslefree Make Your Own Clothes Book by Sharon Rosenberg and Joan Wiener where I finally found the title and author so that I could look for the book on Amazon. I found the book reviewed on her blog. She had a couple of pages from the book posted there, and I immediately recognized the hand drawn illustrations, and knew it was the same book I had had. Amy Merrick is a florist and stylist in New York.
Check out Amy Merrick’s beautiful flower filled website. I haven’t had time to read all of it, but she has many blog posts on it as well as beautiful photos and pictures, mostly of flowers.
This blog writer, Michael Cepress, also reviewed The Illustrated Hasslefree Make Your Own Clothes Book by Sharon Rosenberg and Joan Wiener. He is a clothing designer.
This is the review of Son Of Hassle Free Sewing by Sharon Rosenberg and Joan Wiener on Michael Cepress’ blog.
This is Michael Cepress’ archived blog where these reviews and lots more are published. Check it out!
This is Michael’s new blog. Check it out!
It is going on six o’clock now, so am definitely shutting the computer down for now and eating supper! Have chili in the microwave that I’d frozen earlier and am heating it up. I felt badly about not taking the time to find the blog posts that reviewed the book I had been looking for so long, and not giving the authors credit. Fortunately, I had bookmarked the blogs, though, and could easily find them. Amy Merrick, whose website I found first, is a florist and designer in New York. Michael Cepress is a clothing designer, and although I haven’t had time yet to check out anymore of his blog posts, I will go back and read them when I get time, and possibly include more links to interesting posts on his blog when I can. It looks like he has a lot, both on his archived blog and his new one. Amy has a beautiful website with lots and lots of beautiful flower photos, as well as lots of blog posts, on it. I will read all of it and look at her beautiful flowers at my first opportunity!
April 24, 2017 Monday
I have a little bit more material to get together to finish this article, and a few more photos to select, and then I will finally post the April blog! Hope to be able to finish that today!
For the rest of this article, I will tell you briefly, as I promised to last month, how to recycle old clothes and other fabric into patchwork. I used to make blouses this way. When one of my cobbler’s apron blouses got so worn it was nearly paper thin, I would recycle it into a new patchwork blouse. When that finally wore out, I’d cut it up and have neat one of a kind patchwork cleaning rags!
Right now, I’m attempting to do this with an entire dress, which still has a long way until it is finished. I laid that project aside to make a patchwork cushion for Hammerhead. I’ll include directions and photos of the Thomas The Train patchwork cushion in a future blog, as well as where to get the coloring picture on the Internet that I am using for the cushion. I had made him another Thomas The Train cushion before, but it wasn’t quite the right size. He gave it back to me. I have it on my sewing rocker seat now. I will include photos and directions for that one also in a future post once both cushions are completed.
The patchwork that is used to make these items is called crazy quilt design. Back in the old days when women made quilts, this design was popular because they could use all their very small pieces of material up, arranging it anyway they could make it fit, rather than having to have enough matching material for regular squares.
Crazy patchwork is especially beautiful, no two pieces exactly alike, and impossible to create a design that is not unique and beautiful. It is especially good for beginning seamstresses because it so easy to do. I only like to sew by hand, but it would be possible to make it on a sewing machine too. Mama made all her quilts on the sewing machine because she didn’t like to do hand sewing.
My grandmother never used a sewing machine. I guess, like me, she liked to just pick up her sewing when she wanted to sit and sew for a while and then be able to lay it down quickly to pick up again when she had time.
The main thing to remember if you are recycling an old garment into a crazy patchwork new garment is to make sure to choose one that is well worn and also not too tight. Adding the patches will make the garment a bit smaller and if it fits tightly to begin with, it will be too small after you cover it completely with patches. That’s why I always used the loose-fitting cobbler’s aprons to recycle, although I did recycle one or two loose fitting shirts too to wear as summer jackets over halter tops.
I am hoping that I’ve chosen a loose enough fitting dress that the finished dress will still fit. If not, I’ll try again, and I’ll still have some beautiful patchwork fabric to use for something else!
You will need to set up an iron and ironing board before you start sewing, as the garment will have to be pressed after sewing on each patch. The material needs to be ironed each time you cut a new patch also. If you skip this step, the finished garment won’t be smooth and won’t look as nice. I just set up the ironing board and iron before each sewing session and leave it up until I’m done working that day. I only cut and sew one patch at a time, letting the design develop gradually according to what I find in my scrap box.
If you sew, you should have plenty of new sewing scraps. You may also have old rags that are still pretty that could be used. Pioneer women did not cut up new cloth for quilts, but used old rags. The more different kinds of patterns, both print and solid you use for the crazy quilt patches, the better the finished design will look.
If you didn’t save your fabric scraps, or you don’t sew, or didn’t save any old clothes for cleaning rags, you can still get plenty of material for this project. You don’t have to go out and buy yard goods, which would be a waste cutting it up to make patches. Craft and fabric shops sell small pieces of material for quilters now that they call fat quarters. You could buy a number of them to get different prints.
That would still be rather expensive, though, so it would be better to go to yard sales and thrift shops and buy old clothes to cut up for patches. You can get the best price at rummage sales. These are held by church groups and other charity organizations. Their donations are usually priced to sell because nobody wants to take any of their donations back home that didn’t sell. Yard sales have the next best prices. Thrift shops continue to raise their prices as more people shop at them, but you can still get some good bargains if you look. I’ve bought blouses at rummage sales and yard sales for as little as 25 cents each that I couldn’t wear, but that were made of pretty material that I knew I could use for patchwork or other sewing projects.
Last month I promised to also tell you how to get material for this project, not just cheap, but free. I’ve done this lots of times too. Just look in the trash cans just before trash day. You wouldn’t believe how much people are throwing away, including perfectly good clothes. It seems like this is becoming more and more a wasteful throwaway society, but you can turn this to your advantage by recycling other people’s discards instead of spending money for new. This helps the environment also, as well as your own pocketbook.
When looking for old clothes and other items to recycle for your sewing projects, don’t worry about finding something that fits. If you can wear it as is, fine, but if the material is pretty, get it. Even if you have no immediate use for it, if the price is right, especially if the price is free, grab it, wash it, and put it away for future use. Soon you will have all the material you want for sewing projects without buying more.
One woman, in one of the neighborhoods where I always look for discards that I might be able to use, often discards perfectly good clothes. Usually she doesn’t even put them in the trash can, but folds them up neatly beside the trash can before trash day, probably so that maybe somebody else who can use them, will be sure and see them. Once she had a whole stack of jeans, some worn and some like new neatly folded up beside her trash can. I didn’t think I could wear any of them, but there was a denim jacket, also hardly worn, with little embroidered angels on it. That is now my favorite jacket that I wear nearly every day. I took all of the jeans too—denim, as you know, if you have priced it at the store, is one of the more expensive fabrics. And actual worn denim, very useful for shabby chic sewing, is impossible to get except by wearing out new jeans.
Once you start looking for various sources of material, washing used garments, and putting them away for future use, you will soon have more than you can use. This is no part of this article, but I will write more about it in future blogs, but as I mentioned people seem to be throwing away more and more every year. It is my opinion, that this is a conspiracy by the Establishment to get people brainwashed into throwing more and more away so they can continue selling more and more. I have just started researching information to back up what I have suspected for a long time, but later I will share what I find out in future blogs.
Getting back to the subject of this article, though, to make crazy quilt patchwork, once you have all of your materials together, just cut out patches of any size or shape, according to what looks pretty or how big a piece of material you have. Sew them to the old garment, overlapping each patch. You only need to use a simple running stitch. White thread is fine for the whole garment. You only need to turn the raw edge under if there isn’t going to be another patch overlapping that one. Once all of the patches are sewn on, take black embroidery floss and outline each patch with a hem stitch. This makes the finished patchwork stronger, as well as being decorative.
If you know even a little about sewing, you know how to do this, but if you don’t, I think the first book mentioned in this article has directions for simple hand stitching. I can’t guarantee that, but you could probably find books at the library with directions for hand sewing, and I am sure there would be plenty of information on the Internet. When I find more sources, I will include them in future blogs. But right now, I need to get the April blog published, and you probably have enough information to get started at least, if you are interested.
This project, by the way, is especially good for teenagers to make.
HERE ARE SOME CLOSE UP PHOTOS OF THE PATCHWORK IN PROGRESS
PHOTOGRAPH OF THE DRESS IN PROGRESS
APRIL 24, 2017 MONDAY
PHOTOGRAPH BY MARY HAZEL UPTON
This photograph shows the original nearly worn out dress, showing the black rose print design. The patches that I have started sewing on are also shown.
CLOSE UP OF MORE PATCHWORK COMPLETED
PHOTGRAPH BY MARY HAZEL UPTON
APRIL 24, 2017 MONDAY
This shows more of the completed patchwork. The only dress material being covered is at the top. Most of the material used for patches was sewing scraps that Mama had and left to me. The frog design is from a scrub top that I bought at a yard sale for $1.00 specifically to reuse the material for something. The top was too small for me, but I liked the frogs.
CLOSE UP PHOTGRAPH OF DRESS YOKE BEING RECOVERED
PHOTOGRAPH BY MARY HAZEL UPTON
APRIL 24, 2017 MONDAY
CLOSE UP OF THE FROG DESIGN AND SOME OF THE OTHER PATCHES
DETAIL OF DECORATIVE EMBROIDERY STITCHING AROUND FINISHED PATCHES
PHOTOGRAPH BY MARY HAZEL UPTON
APRIL 24, 2017 MONDAY
Since the dress isn't ready to start stitching around any of the patches yet, but I wanted to show details of the stitching to be used on crazy quilt patchwork, I took this close up of a couple of the patches on Hammerhead's old Thomas The Train cushion. When I get the new Thomas The Train cushion completed, I will post directions for making both cushions along with photographs of the cushions in a future blog post.
VERY CLOSE UP PHOTOGRAPH OF PATCHWORK
PHOTOGRAPH BY MARY HAZEL UPTON
APRIL 24, 2017 MONDAY
This is an extreme close up photograph showing both the running stitch used to attach the patches to the backing material and also the decorative embroidery that also strengthens the finished patchwork. This is also part of the original Thomas The Train cushion. I used scraps of Mama's flannel for this project. She always saved her sewing scraps. She has more than I have had time to even look at yet, and enough that I will have enough to use for projects for the rest of my life.
KOKOMO, INDIANA JUNE 1977
PHOTOGRAPH BY HAZEL FERN HENSON
This photograph of chicory flowers, taken by Mama, was in the same book along with the photograph of me standing beside them. We must have gone for a walk that day and found the empty field with the wildflowers growing in it.
MARY HAZEL'S DIARY
APRIL 24, 2017 Monday
It is after 4 P.M. now as I mostly finish the blog for April. I still need to get and post patchwork photographs to illustrate the patchwork article and also proof everything. Right now I need a break, though, but will try to get back to finish this blog post later this evening. Until later.
It is now going on 7 o'clock this evening and I am about out of energy for today. I took a break and fed the cats their supper, brought the wash in off the line and put it away, and also "patrolled for flowers" in the yard and up the alley. Took a few more photographs. The cats didn't get to go. If they are around they follow me like dogs up the alley for our walks. I only go one block if they are with me in case we might run into any dogs that would chase them.
Mama's white peony is blooming. I got a couple photographs of the first flower, but they are not very good. You have to take a lot of photographs to get a few that are really good. I will try again when there are more flowers out. Mainly today I wanted to have a photo diary of when the peony started blooming. I am trying to do that with all the flowers this year, especially as they all are blooming earlier and earlier every year.
A woman stopped to admire Mama's pink roses by the fence. There are a few more of them out now. They used to bloom in June when I was a little girl. Then later they started blooming in May. Now they are blooming in April. I am sure it is because of global warming. Anybody who doesn't believe that global warming is a fact, doesn't need to believe the scientists, who, I agree, may or may not know all they think they know. All they have to do to know that global warming is moving faster and faster is to look at how much earlier every year the plants are growing and the flowers are blooming. It is like they know that the earth's, as we know it, days are numbered, and they'd better grow as fast as they can while they can. And meanwhile, the plant haters continue to cut down more trees and weed eat any plant they deem to be a weed. But the plants have patience, and since they live on carbon dioxide, the more of that we put in the atmosphere, the more they may ultimately benefit. The weeds, especially, seem to like it, growing taller and sturdier no matter how much they are cut down and destroyed, but just coming back with the limitless patience of all wild things. I think I admire the weeds the most of all the plants because they hunger to live and refuse to die. And who gave us the right to decide what is a weed and what is a flower anyway, and why one plant deserves to live and another to die? God made them all for His own purposes. I'm not certain the plants shouldn't inherit the earth, along with the animals. We've certainly not taken care of what God gave us. In the Bible it says that after this earth is destroyed in the last days, God will create a new Heaven and a new earth. I'm not sure after we've destroyed this one why we deserve a new one. Maybe He ought to just give the new Heaven and the new Earth back to the animals and the plants instead of to us. They certainly haven't willfully destroyed this one that He made like we have.
I need to look up some information for an outing for Hammerhead tomorrow. Tomorrow is "wilderness day" when I plan a short trip for him after breakfast somewhere to look at the outdoors and plants. He said something about wanting to go to Grant Line Nursery in New Albany. So I need to look up that information before tomorrow. So I will close out the blog for tonight and try to get time to finish the diary entry, including the information about what is next in Mariette's story for next month, tomorrow. I will proof the blog then too. So if, in the meantime, you find any mistakes or any of the links don't work, it's because I haven't proofed the blog yet. I've gotten everything, including all the photos I wanted to use this month posted, though. I am just too tired to do more tonight, though. Until later.
I managed to erase part of this entry just before time to call Hammerhead, so had to repair the damage after talking to him! So will save this and quit for tonight before I get so tired I erase everything! Until later.
April 25, 2017 Tuesday
I just finished proofing the April blog post and it looks o.k. All of the links work. It is going on nine o'clock tonight, though, so time to put Computer Boy to bed for tonight and have a little time left for myself and the Creatures for Cell Phone Boy Storybook Hour! Tomorrow I will add just a bit more to the diary post, telling about all the flowers I planted this afternoon, and also what is coming up next in Mariette's story. Had hoped to get that done today, and call this month's blog done, but too late and too tired to do more right now. Worked in the yard all afternoon. Will definitely finish the post tomorrow, though. And try to start getting the blogs published early in the month instead of at the last minute!
April 26, 2017 Wednesday
Will add just a bit more to the diary part of this post, as promised yesterday, and then consider it officially published! It is 4:30 on a beautiful warm, but windy Wednesday afternoon. I think there is supposed to be rain in a day or two. It is clouding up gradually today and the wind is blowing harder and harder, so probably getting ready to blow in rain and probably a thunderstorm by tomorrow evening. Not dark enough yet that I think there will be rain tonight. Hope we do get rain in a day or two, though, so that possibly some of the flowers I planted yesterday may come up. Am trying an experiment with some of the flowers and will report on how that works out later on in the summer when I see if any of the flowers come up.
Will report more how this experiment works out. I had more details typed, but found out I couldn't save it. I don't know now if they are having problems with the website, or there is a limit to how much space I have for each blog post. I will have to find out. I got this website because I thought I had unlimited space, but maybe that is unlimited space for the whole website, not for any one blog post. I know I did write a lot this time! Some of the flowers I posted were erased too, so will save them for another time. I meant to quickly finish this post and be finally done with this the April post , and have some time left to play "Plants Vs. Zombies", but because I couldn't save my work, I ended up spending over two hours trying to finish! Fortunately, I was able to copy my work, which originally saved offline, so will have it to use later. Will find out exactly how long posts can be, though, before I write this much again. And from now on, regardless, I will write offline and copy it to the blog, not type directly to the website! Oh, well, live and learn!
Next month’s chapter of Mariette’s book, Nightmare House will be titled “Robin Michaels: Foreshadow Of Ruin”. This will be the first of Robin’s chapters. After that chapter, the story will return once again to Mariette, Curt, Simon, the ghost, and the old house, getting creepier and creepier from then on! In the chapter after Robin’s, Nettie, Mariette’s mother, finds she has taken a photo of a ghost. Roy, Mariette’s father, developed the picture, and thinks it is a flaw in the developing or the film, but Nettie is becoming more and more worried about Mariette’s safety. She doesn’t know that the ghost is Simon, but soon she and Mariette will begin investigating the old house’s history. And Mariette will become more and more convinced, in spite of her fears, that Simon and the old house’s past is going to be hers and Curt’s future. She even starts to leave her manuscripts in the old house after she quits work for the day so that Simon can enjoy reading them. She still leaves as soon as the shadows start coming out of the corners of the old house in the evening, though!
There is a limit to length of each post, I think, so that is it for now! Until next month. Will try to post earlier in month in May than I did in April!