Tuesday, February 24, 2009

My Tribute, And a Pattern to Boot!

Today, I post my Tuesday Tribute in memory of Norman Rockwell (February 3, 1894-November 8, 1978). Born in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, he was a painter and illustrator, most known for his ability and talent to capture the personalities of everyday families, and the essence of their everyday lives. For over 40 years, over 300 illustrated covers of The Saturday Evening Post, were done by Rockwell's brilliant hand. He was commisioned to paint four presidential portraits, he illustrated over 40 books, and one of his last projects was a portrait of singer-and-movie legend, Judy Garland.

As a doll collector, forever a kid at heart, who will never outgrow her dollies, I love the several depictions of little girls with their dollies, having a tea party, or a checkup at the doctor's office, or saying their prayers before bedtime, etc.

"Girl At The Mirror", as shown above, with permission to post (http://www.artchive.com">The Artchive), is my personal favorite among a good many others of his works. In my own bedroom, I have a copy of this hanging above my own full-length mirror. I just love how Rockwell captures this moment, a feeling that I think every girl, from age 4 to age 104 often feels when she looks into that mirror. There is of course, always the ritual morning "does this look o.k.?" evaluation, then the occasional hurried glances we may make as we rush through the course of a day... But for every girl, there will always be those moments, where we may stop and really study ourselves at a much deeper level. To this day, from time to time, as I look at who I see in the reflection, I can't help but stop to wonder who this really is, and what purpose did God really mean for me... Am I fulfilling that purpose already, or is there more?? At such moments of introspection, I may unleash a million more questions... Among them, Am I good, or am I bad?.. Am I honest?.. Am I smart, or am I stupid? Am I vein?.. Am I hurting?.. Am I right, or Am I wrong?.... Am I happy, or am I sad? I think that Rockwell's "Girl At The Mirror" captures such a moment, in such a way that I will always want to remember, that no matter what I wear, and how my hair looks, how heavy or thin I may look, or how many lines my face may begin to show, our truest beauty comes from deep within. Whenever we should look upon our "Mirror, mirror on the wall", we ALL should ask, "Am I the best me I can be, underneath it all?" For this reason, I LOVE this picture... and it will ALWAYS hang above my mirror to remind me so!

Well, on that note, here is my next free pattern to share!!... I want to give a big shout of "THANKS!!" to Tamara, a "kind stranger" who just happened to be out shopping at the Walmart Craft department at the same time I was!! It was the first time I've ever met her; but she saw what I was working on, and then helped me pick out the embellishments for my mirror!! I hope she was able to find my little blog, to see the final touches WE did on this now-finished project!!...

Mirror, Mirror In My Hand
(c) Designed and written by Beansieleigh (TS) on February 23, 2009
Inspired by Norman Rockwell's "Girl At The Mirror"

This is a very quick and easy project/gift, that can be as simple or intricate, or as expensive or inexpensive, or as trendy or elegant as you choose to make it! It uses a small amount of yarn(s),
basic sc stitches, and one (maybe more!) can easily be done in an evening! Girls of all ages would love this for their dresser or vanity!!

Level of Difficulty: EASY!!

Gauge: somewhat important, in that piece should be big enough; but if crocheted piece is a little
bigger than it seems it should be, this may still be o.k. in the positioning/fitting/tying step of
attaching crocheted piece to mirror. If a final fit still seems too big, then I would switch to a smaller hook, or decrease the number of stitches in your rows. For me, each row = approx 1/4". 2 rows = approx. 1/2".

ch = chain
st = stitch
sc = single crochet
sk = skip
sl st = slit stitch
BLO = Back Loops Only

Materials Needed:
Small amount of acrylic yarn (approx. 1 ounce), white being used here.
Size G crochet hook
A yarn needle for weaving ribbon/yarn
1/8" ribbon, approx. 80" (but yarn could be substituted), cut into (2) 40" pieces.
Mirror is purchased from Walmart, approx. 7 1/2" x 6 1/2" not including the handle.
White felt (or fabric scrap of choice could be substituted)
(*This mirror was one sided, with no magnification on the back, just plastic. SO, if you DID purchase a mirror that DOES have a magnified side to it, then just skip the addition of felt/fabric to this project.)
Pencil, or fabric pen (to trace mirror onto felt/fabric)
Hot glue, and E6000 glue were both used for this project.
Iron-on, Scrapbooking, and floral embellishments were used for this particular mirror, but the sky's the limit! You may use buttons, rhinestones, beads, cording, etc, etc.! Have fun with this fast and simple project!

Instructions for main piece:
Ch 86.

Row 1: Sc in each ch. (85 sc) Ch 1, turn.

Row 2-3: Sc in each st across. Ch 1, turn.

Row 4: In BLO, sc in each st across. Ch 1, turn.

Row 5: In both loops again, sc in each st across. Ch 1, turn.

Row 6: Sc in each st across. Ch 1, but do not turn.

Round 7: (Sc in next st, ch 4, sk next st) around entire piece, all 4 sides. Join round with a sl st.
Fasten off, and weave in ends of yarns.

Take a 40" piece of ribbon (or yarn) and weave into every other skipped st (just beneath
the chain spaces of Round 7), weaving only through these skipped stitches, leaving even
length of ends on both sides of the piece. Do the same for the second 40" piece of ribbon on
the opposite side. Do not weave through/around the short ends of this piece.

Take a pencil, or fabric pen, and trace just the mirror (not the handle) onto your piece of
felt/fabric. Cut out this shape, and glue onto the back of your mirror, using E6000 glue, being
careful not to clump it too much, and to evenly spread, so as to apply a neat-looking, smooth,
even application. I LOVE this glue, and swear by it!! It worked very well for me on this project!

Next, take this crocheted piece, and wrap it around the mirror, so that half (3 rows) of your
stitches will frame one side of your mirror, while the other half (3 rows) of your stitches will
frame the other side/back of your mirror. (Unused loops of Row 4 showing.) With firm and steady
hands, positioning it all into place, (Yell for help, if you need it!... but I did o.k. alone, just doing
this part on my lap!).. tie the ends of each ribbon (front and back) to fit the crochet piece snuggly
around your mirror, making knots and bows necessary to secure front and back, but just as
importantly, to make both sides look pretty!! So far, tres chic... Oui?!

The rest, the really fun part of this project, I think, is all up to you, your imagination and preference
really!! As you can see in the photo, for my mirror, I chose to chain 75 (for each side of mirror),
with a melon-green colored yarn to make a second bow, to blend with my pink ribbon bows. I
applied the yarn bows, along with silk roses, with hot glue. Finally, I adorned the felt backing of
my mirror with iron-on and scrapbooking embellishments, again using hot glue, for a finished look that I was very happy with!!

Enjoy your mirror!!... and always remember what's most important every time you look into it!!