beck's blog

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

What's Big and Red and Eats Rocks?

What's Big and Red and Eats Rocks?

Everyone who has read this book knows the answer to that question.

I really loved that book as a kid!

I'm currently working on a needlepoint which looks very similar to this rock-eating beast, (please click on the following photos to enlarge them).

He's actually a Tyler Lion.
Harry Tyler of Jefferson County, N.Y was a famous weaver of coverlets back in the 1830s.
Here's a corner sample of his work...

The name of the person who commissioned the coverlet as well as the date were woven into the fabric too.

I got my first Tyler lion needlepoint earlier this year from ebay.
The auction stated that the kit was from 1975 and was put together by the Jefferson County Historical Society Museum's members including Mrs Dexter Williams and Mrs. Francis Taylor.
It even had a newsclipping which was inside the kit...

Isn't that sweet?
Well, I finished the first Tyler lion needlepoint earlier this year...

I even personalized it like the real sampler picture above. But, as you can see, I haven't made it into a pillow yet.
Anyway, I saw from the newsclipping that the kit was available in red as well.
So I tried finding out if this Jefferson Co. Historical Society still had a "Collectors Corner" store. But I couldn't find anything so I gave up.

Well, I was so surprised to find another Tyler Lion kit on ebay earlier this month. They didn't call it the Tyler Lion. It was a kit offered from Family Circle magazine back in 1972 along with other kits available called the White House Heirlooms Collection.

Here was the photo for the second needlepoint. It's in black and white and I had no idea if it was red or blue until I received it.
Boy was I happy when I saw it would be red!!!!

This page from Family Circle was inside the kit when I received it from the ebay seller.
All the ad says is that this kit was designed by Jebba. It doesn't even give credit to Harry Tyler, (the coverlet weaver and original designer of this lion). Anyway, if it's a White House Heirloom, they must have one of his coverlets in the White House. How cool!

Soooo, this is the kit I'm currently working on.

Here's a photo of the two pillow top needlepoints together. The Big Red Rock Eater looks a little larger than, ummm, the Baby Blue Ox, I mean lion. The mesh for the blue one is a smaller gauge. Plus there's the fancy background that Mrs Dexter Williams and Mrs. Francis Taylor worked so hard in recreating. (I wish they had done that awesome tree I see in the sample picture. That looks so neat!)

One last photo for you all.
I thought it would be nice to post the graph from the second kit. I think everyone should make their own Big Red Rock Eaters.

Just be sure and give Harry Tyler of Jefferson County some credit!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Hello Dark Mark

I received my first e-mail from Singapore Snape's flatmate KJ.
Apparently he's currently packing for his trip....My comments are in green....Click photos to enlarge as always...

Dear Becky,

Since part of his trip to the Americas will entail visits to some beaches to gather various crustaceans (he says there’s no point in explaining to me what kind or what they’ll be used for, because I just wouldn’t understand) Severus has been accumulating beach wear. First of all, he transfigured a handkerchief (see photo – I might add that he did not ask if he could ruin one of my hankies for this purpose) into a pair of swim trunks (see next photo – very J-Crew, eh?).
<----Oooooh! Do I detect a Canadian somewhere here?

Actually, these are the second pair he made. He initially made a little Speedo number, but changed it to the present, more modest form after I laughed at him and told him that no one wants to see a pale, skinny chemistry teacher cruising the beach in a banana hammock.
To which he replied,
“Potions teacher…. There’s a difference… And what’s a banana hammock?”

After sulking for a bit, he asked me to pick him up a beach towel.
Being slightly spiteful myself, I picked out a Hello Kitty towel for him (see third photo).

Oh. My. God!!!! I want a poster of this!!!!!!!

To his consternation and my lasting amusement, he has been unable to magically remove the Hello Kitty picture. He says that Hello Kitty is itself a sort of Dark Mark, and thus one has to know several specialized counter-curses to get rid of it.

Snape has been working steadily for the past two days to try and break the cursed mark, but so far without success, which, he says, is a clear indication of how truly evil Hello Kitty really is.

Oh, and you can also see from the last photo that Snape is one of those men who wears black shoes and socks with his bathing suit. When I questioned him about his choice of footwear (and the fact that he is apparently planning to wear a black long-sleeved shirt to the beach too), he said,
“What’s wrong with that? They’re my favourites. And you can’t be too careful about the sun, you know.” Dork.

Best, Karen

Awwwww, he's not a dork, he's hard-core goth through and through!

I hope he never gets rid of that Hello Kitty mark. It's adorable! (I'll bet he secretly loves it just like the pink feather quill and umbrella in his drink.) And just like a man walking a puppy or pushing a baby in a stroller at the park, the beach towel will surely be a chick magnet for him. (Too bad the chicks he'll attract will most likely have an average age of 7). LOL!!!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Halloween High Jinx

I don't know about all of you, but I had a really wild Halloween!!!

In fact, I wrote to KJ in Singapore because I was worried that maybe she had some sort of similar experiences with her Snape doll too.

Here's part of my e-mail to her...

Dear Karen,

How have you been?

I'm not sure about you; but I did have some trouble with my Snape on Halloween.

It seems while I was answering my door to some trick-or-treaters; Snape had dashed out wearing a cap and heart sweater stolen from one of my other dolls with a sack slung over his back, and proceeded to trick-or-treat the neighborhood demanding only candy corns. (He had developed an addiction to the candy corns over the past month as I couldn't seem to keep my candy jar stocked with the stuff when all along it was him!)

He used a fall themed gift sack to collect the candy in and when he got home he put it into a glass square refrigerator container and declared it's contents off-limits to everyone but himself! *See enclosed photo (click to enlarge)

The following week he was a sugar-crazed madman hopped up on candy corn and apple cider.
(It was during this time that I believe he went on a bizarre voting rampage November 4th. He returned that evening with " I voted" stickers covering his entire body from head to toe and cackling something about "change" and "hope" and "yes I can!!!!" Well, I'm sure you heard the results of that night.

He's only now beginning to "come down" from his "high".

You know. I was surprised to realize that Snape even celebrated Halloween. I thought it was merely a made-up American holiday. But he informed me that the holiday had caught on to England years ago and it was the one time of the year he could "let his hair down" and cause mischief among muggles without retribution from the M.O.M. It seems they have a leniency for that day and that day only where they allow witches and wizards to have their fun as long as no muggles are injured during the process.

ANYWAY, it got me to thinking about you and how you are doing. I hope your Snape has been a good fellow. (But I seriously doubt it as it is in his nature).

Wishing you all the best,


So that was my wild Halloween. Fortunately, none of these things happened in Singapore. But I'm so happy to say that Karen wrote back this...

Snape tells me he's going on a long
vacation (He says in part to collect rare potions ingredients, but
mainly to get away from me) to Canada, Florida, Colombia and Panama in
December. I'll ask him to send you pictures if you want them for your
Blog. Best, Karen

So, of course I wrote back saying ...

Oh my gosh!!! ABSOLUTELY!
I'd love to see all the places he visits! Wooohoooo!!!!
I can just picture him now in a Panama hat, a pink flamingo shirt from Florida, a camera around his neck, sipping some Colombian coffee, with moose slippers on his feet.
Or maybe at an Edmonton Oilers game throwing steaks onto the ice rink. Or squid at Red Wing players, who knows!
Oh, I can't wait!!!

~Becky~ *doing the happy-dance as she types*

So now you've all been updated as well.
This is the best birthday present for me! (My birthday was November 13th and I've been feeling down.)

I'll be posting any and all photos of Singapore Snape whenever I receive them. (Unless he winds up completely naked participating in the Vancouver Polar Bear Swim Club's annual event at English Bay on New Year's Day.) (Those photos I'm keeping for myself!). LOL!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Recycle/Ecology Flag Bag

I couldn't wait until the next Earth Day to post this. So, here goes...(Please click on the image to enlarge the photo)....

This is not crocheted. It is needlepoint that I did onto an existing large straw tote that I picked up from Goodwill for 99 cents.
One side has the Ecology flag, (it's not seen much today but I remember it being very popular in the '70s). The other side is a recycle symbol done in many colors. I used all left-over yarns I had stashed away so this truly is a recycled bag through and through.

Just before I finished it, I realized I should have taken a "before" picture so, while working on the last side, I stopped to snap a photo.

The whole bag was this heavy straw mesh weave. The bag has a tag on the inside that says it's from The Gap clothing store and it was made in the Philippines. It's very durable and still flexible even with the designs stitched on.

I don't think I'll line it with anything.
It's very bright and would hold a lot of yarn for sure!