Project Movies


When I work on a project, there are usually a lot of different little steps that add up in the process. In making a necklace, for example, I have to pick out beads, experiment with materials, measure, wrap beads, string beads, crimp, finish and cut. Each of these steps takes attention and I usually anxiously, silently shoo-shoo my hand at anyone who tries to talk to me while I’m thinking (what were they thinking?!).

But there are also times that a project requires a long stretch of tedious, mindless work: handstitiching the binding of a quilt, wrapping 120 beads for a cha-cha bracelet, paper punching a kilo of table-fetti (joke: I never make just a kilo!) For times like this, I call in the reserves and put in one of my trusty “project” movies. These movies are different than my usual fare of Spinal Tap, the Bourne trilogy, School of Rock and Office Space. These are the movies that inspire me, pull me out of project tedium muck and elevate my soul enough to power me through the task. Some are artistically themed. Some are just “pretty” movies to watch. This is a different set of movies entirely.

Movies that Inspire the Artist Within:

1. BBC’s Pride and Prejudice
2. Chocolat
3. The Nightmare Before Christmas
4. How to Make and American Quilt
5. Romeo + Juliet
6. Moulin Rouge
7. Julie and Julia
8. Pretty in Pink

Considering how many cha-cha bracelets I make (and how many thousands of beads I wrap), I’d love to hear some new movie picks. If I’m missing the BEST movie, please tell me!

I’m including a very easy recipe that I use to make kettle corn. This is a favorite in our house, and while buttery fingers don’t mix very well with handwork, this kettle corn may win you some companions as you work away.

Slacker Kettle Corn

2 quarts popped popcorn *

2 T. melted butter or margarine

1/4 c. light corn syrup

1/2 t. salt

While popcorn is popping, melt margarine in the microwave. Add corn syrup and salt to melted margarine. When popcorn is done, transfer to a large bowl and pour margarine mixture over popcorn and stir to coat. This kettle corn is the perfect way to turn a movie into a family night. Among your kids, you’ll be famous.

*Popping corn on the stovetop is easier than you’d think and cheaper than microwave popcorn. (It also has a fresh taste: none of the chemically butter flavor taste you have in microwave popcorn.) To pop corn on the stovetop, heat the burner to medium high heat. Pour about 1 T. oil in a 2-quart saucepan. Add 1 kernel of popcorn and cover with lid. When the kernel pops, add enough popcorn kernels to cover the bottom of the pan. Cover. As popcorn starts to pop, occasionally shake the pan to settle unpopped kernels to the bottom. As popping slows down, I raise the pan away from the direct heat and shake for a few seconds. (No burned popcorn!) Yum. Easy. You’re a hero.