Thursday, 25 June 2015

I thought I'd share this with you, though if you're a regular TCM watcher this is probably old news by now.  This Summer TCM and Ball State University are offering a free online course on Film Noir.  The course started a few weeks ago, but there's still time to sign up.  Since I'm a bit late on this myself, you'll have to excuse me if I go dark for a week or two - I've got some reading and film viewing to catch up with.  In a similar (though decidedly light hearted vein) I found this "Who would you be in a film noir?" quiz.  I got Femme Fatale  - "you don't LIKE killing people, but you are willing to do what must be done in what will ultimately be a fruitless attempt to avoid your inevitable demise".

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Tap Dance Tuesday

I haven't been up to much tap dance wise this past week due to a foot injury (possibly a micro-fracture - yikes! but as I've told Mr B, having to get foot x-rays makes me feel like a proper dancer) and that includes watching other tap dancers do their thing.  I did get out to a solo jazz workshop at the weekend run by the loveliest group of local lindy hoppers and had a great time, injured foot and all.  

Anyway, I rustled this clip up for you just now, so let me tell you a bit about it.  Miriam LaVelle is not actually considered a tap dancer, (watching this clip I'm pretty sure the tapping sounds and the actual footwork don't match up).  She was known as a "speciality/acrobatic" dancer and is having a bit of a resurgence of interest in her career at the moment.  If you're interested in learning more about her, I would suggest this site.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Tap Dance Tuesday

Growing up, the name Ruby Keeler was synonymous with tap dancing.  If anything tap related came up, my older relatives would invariably say "Oh, just like Ruby Keeler!".  Up until a few years ago I pretty much thought Ms Keeler was the only female tap dancer of note, period.  Given that this was my uninformed view for so many years, I found myself thinking it was a little strange that I hadn't yet sought out any Ruby Keeler clips to share (or even to watch for my own amusement).

Type in the words Ruby, Keeler, Tap and Dance into youtube and the first several entries you're going to get are the "42nd Street" number.  Now, don't get me wrong, 42nd Street is a great number and if you aren't familiar with it you should definitely check it out, but I also feel like it's been shown in every single documentary on Hollywood musicals I've ever seen, so I wanted to search a bit deeper.

And how glad am I that I did! Look what I found . . . it's James Cagney!!!  I love me some James Cagney, but although I did know that he was a hoofer, like most people I was really more familiar with his gangster roles so this is an absolute treat.

From "Footlight Parade" 1933, please enjoy a bit of Cagney & Keeler!

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Well, I promised I would share some bits from my new needlework books with you so here we go.  I have chosen to begin with a little refresher on bias binding, because it seems that I am sorely in need of it.  Now I have made my own bias binding on, maybe not hundreds of occasions, but certainly many times before with no problem, but for some reason the sewing gods have not been with me this week.  My first go at it I had to rip out twice before I even got to the ironing board and then when it came to actually fitting it round the neckline . . .  rats! too narrow to cover the stay stitching!  I decided to have another go by increasing my tape by 1/4" and this time I had to unpick it a staggering five times before I managed to get all the seams on the same side!!!  So, for those of you making your own bias tape, I give you the following with my best wishes for an easier time of it than I've had.

(In case you were curious, here's the finished top.  It's the Colette Laurel top and really should not have been as much of a struggle to make as it was.  I even managed to break the sewing machine whilst hemming it  - as I say, the sewing gods were not with me on this one.)

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Tap Dance Tuesday

I thought I'd do something a little different for this instalment of Tap Dance Tuesday and share with you my latest acquisition: Tap Dancing in 12 Easy Lessons.  

Isn't this a marvellous dust jacket? I think it's perhaps a little too late for me to have tap dancing as a career, but I certainly look forward to adding it to my list of social accomplishments!

As an unexpected bonus, I found this little pamphlet tucked away inside the book!