from the jazz age to the space age

Monthly Archives: September 2013

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September 24th is F. Scott Fitzgerald’s birthday. I have to admit, one of the joys of reading Fitzgerald are his abhorrent characters. Everyone is so rich, so pithy, so good looking, and above all else so fucking blond that they make me sick. And then Fitzgerald lets them have it. All of their darling vices overwhelm them, crippling or destroying them. I find it embarrassingly satisfying. Pure literary schadenfreude. I’m not going to lie, I’ve hate read, “Beautiful and Damned” far too many times, gripping the pages and mentally punching every character. But then I get to the end and think, “that was good. That was justice. I love you Scotty.” He’s one of my top five authors and I find his life is as interesting as his work.

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Gerald and Sara Murphy were socialites and friends of the Fitzgeralds- scratch that- they were friends of everybody. If you love the mood and time period of the 1910s through the 1930s, you’ll find this book endlessly fascinating. Spoiler- just like Fitzgerald’s characters, they have a terrible end.

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I freely admit I love Zelda as much as her husband. Don’t believe Hemingway. She was magnificent. Scott plundered her diaries for his heroines, including Nicole Diver of “Tender is the Night.” When she had a chance to read the finished book, she felt so betrayed she had another breakdown.

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Scott, sans Zelda, in Hollywood. The events that inspired his unfinished masterpiece, “The Last Tycoon.”511l-DngUML

Annnnnd Hemingway’s posthumous fuck you to everyone he knew. From slyly referring to the nameless Murphys as “the understanding rich” who were determined to corrupt his talent to exposing Scott Fitzgerald’s small penis, this book is a non stop shit talking fest with poor Ernest at the center just trying to be so darned authentic and write really good books. Take it with a grain of salt and enjoy Hemingway’s vigorous writing style.
And if you’re feeling the bug to live out your inner flapper, dig in to some of the books above, make a gin & tonic (try Bombay Sapphire. It’s amazing.) and lounge around in your decadent drop waisted dress. Here are some Burda patterns that are in a 1920s style.

From Burdastyle 11/2010thumb_800x600_10-4 thumb_800x600_10-5

From Burdastyle 7/2012thumb_800x600_10-1 thumb_800x600_10

From Burdastyle 4/2011thumb_800x600_10-6

From Burdastyle 6/2012thumb_800x600_10-3

From Burdastyle 4/2011

And yes, I can Charleston.


My first Burda Easy Magazine (covering sizes 34-44) came in the mail last week. Usually the patterns inside don’t spark my imagination, but this time, there were these:

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thumb_800x600_10-3What the what? These are great! You can check out the rest on the Russian Burda website. (P.S.- the Russian Burda website is all you will ever desire in a Burda website.) Instead of waiting for it to pop up on ebay for $20, I just signed up for a year subscription (2 issues) for the same price. It’s a really cool magazine. Here’s what it looks like inside:

IMG_1078As you can see, it has eight patterns, and two of those you draft yourself. (The monthly Burda has 16 to 24, not counting childrens, crafts, draft yourself, and multiple versions.) Still, the four patterns I showed above are so awesome, for $10, I’m sold.

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IMG_1081There are multiple tissue patterns in the center. They aren’t printed over each other in different colors, like regular Burda, but you still need to trace them bc the patterns are printed on both sides of each sheet.

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IMG_1083The back of the magazine features detailed, for Burda, sewing instructions. All in all, this is fun. Karl starts preschool next week which means I have two mornings to myself. I do have a project I need to finish the first week, then it’s on to producing some dolls and paintings for sale, but I’ve promised myself that I have to get into my five year old fabric stash and make some clothes for myself, my husband, and Karl. I refuse to be a doll lady whose dolls are better dressed than myself. Refuse.

As you may have heard, if you read the American Burda website, there is going to be an American version of Burda. Apparently, it will have fewer patterns, but more detailed instructions. I think it’ll end up being something like Burda Easy. I don’t think that’s a bad thing, bc I feel that there’s a market for it. But I’m glad the other international versions with more variety will still exist and will end being the copies I buy.


My husband started his archiving internship at the Nasa Ames Research Center. He’s wearing grown up clothes!

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Last Friday we went to the Nasa Ames research center to watch a broadcast of the launch of LADEE (Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer) from Virginia. There were lots of people all geeking out about science. And so many children! It makes me really excited for the future. Before the launch they had a live band playing, which quickly turned into Toddlerstock.

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I’ve been on a thing where we treat science the same way other people treat sports. It was great to be among people who do the same.

If you’d like to know more about LADEE, please visit Nasa’s website, here.


Thanks to Karl, I’ve discovered Jon Klassen’s delightful art. After checking out, “I Want My Hat Back” and “This is Not My Hat,” I found this series written by Maryrose Wood and illustrated by Klassen. I wish wholeheartedly these books had been written when I was a child. They combine so many of my favorite themes: Victoriana, orphans, wolves, curses, explorers, and intelligent, well mannered people  making the best of difficult situations.

Miss Penelope Lumley, recent graduate of the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females, is engaged as a governess for three children. These children, Alexander, Beowulf, and Casseopeia, are a special case. “Of  especially naughty children, it is sometimes said: “They must have been raised by wolves. The Incorrigible children actually were.” Miss Penelope has her hands full  teaching them not only History, Poetry, and Mathematics, but also how to sit at a table and not howl at the moon.

The series is enchanting and the the forth volume is due out in December!

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