Monday, May 28, 2018

Great Honk! It's the Movie Monday Challenge

On the last (or fourth) Monday of each month, a group of bloggers participate in a #MovieMondayChallenge, hosted by C'mon Get Crafty! We decide on a topic, genre, or specific movie to use for inspiration and everyone gets free reign to create something wonderful!
This month's challenge was. . . . Fathers! Your Dad's Favorite Film, or just a movie about fatherhood! Everyone was allowed to choose their own favorite film so long as it was inspired by the challenge word.

My father passed away several years ago, and my knowledge of what movies he particularly enjoyed is limited to what he liked before 1980 or so - but the thing he loved was music.  He was career military, but in his heart I believe he wanted to be a musician.

In thinking about that, I was reminded of a movie my husband and I both love (and I'm sure my dad must have, too) - the classic 1962 musical, The Music Man, starring Shirley Jones and Robert Preston.  This is the story of a traveling con artist who comes to small towns, gets them stirred up about creating a boy's band, and sells them the whole package - instruments, uniforms, and music lessons.  One small problem - he doesn't know a thing about music, and strings the wannabe band along with the "Think System" long enough to get the money and leave.

His strategy in each town he goes through is to woo the librarian (as the likely most intelligent person there), create a sense of emergency that a local boy's band would fix ("We got trouble right here in River City!") and flatter everyone else into believing they are talented artistic people whose offspring must surely be musical geniuses.

There are a couple small problems this time - Marian the Librarian is having none of his nonsense, and then he actually falls in love with her, and is touched by her troubled little brother who is blossoming at the idea of being in a band.  Then there is the town council's insistence on seeing his music credentials.  Finally, there is an angry salesman who is tired of him 'skunking the territory' and is intent on seeing him brought to justice.

The characters in this musical are well written exaggerations of small town 'types' and even though it is set around the turn of the 20th century, everyone will recognize the gossipy townswomen, the pragmatic Irish mother of Marian the councilmembers who have been spatting for years, and many others.

My favorites are Mayor Shinn's family - his wife, Eulalie, who regards herself as the natural cultural and social leader of the community and his daughter, Zaneeta who is in love with the town's 'wild kid', Tommy Djilas.

These last two were my inspiration for my project.  

It's become a family joke between my husband and I to exclaim "Ye Gods!" and "Great Honk!", which Zaneeta and Tommy repeat often during the musical.  

Using a book of cross stitch alphabets, I created a pair of pieces highlighting these phrases.

I've had this collection of alphabets on my shelf for twenty years, and selected two fonts that went well together, and selected scraps of white 14ct Aida and a few DMC threads from my stash that coordinated colors that looked like the 'fantasy' band's uniforms.

To center stitched letters, it helps to have either cross stitch graph paper or a cross stitch design app.  How much space to put between each letter and between lines is a matter of eyeballing it to see what looks right, then counting out the width of the letters and the spaces between to get the size of your piece.  I use PCStitch11, but I often revert to graphing on paper when I'm sorting out what I want to do.

Typical for me, I haven't quite finished this project because I didn't fully decide on how I wanted to do it until it was done.  I've ordered a couple of small charms - a pair of drum majorettes to go on each side of Ye Gods, and a trombone to go beneath Great Honk.  I plan to put these into a pair of small deep blue 4x7 frames.

Once I have these completed, I'll post a final picture here!

Now let's see what everyone else was inspired to create for this month's #MovieMondayChallenge!! If you'd like to join our Facebook group, you can request an invite here.


  1. Actually I haven't watched a decent movie for a long time and as for my husband, he can't stay awake for long enough to see a movie through to the end #happynow@_karendennis

  2. Your cross stitch is just lovely - what fun! This is not a film I've seen but I do love a good old musical so I'll look out for it. Thanks.

  3. If you haven't seen it, definitely look for it! It's one of those where you'll recognize half the songs even if you had no idea where they came from.

  4. Nice Job! I look forward to the finished product!

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