featuring guest authors; crafting tips and projects; recipes from food editor and sleuthing sidekick Cloris McWerther; and decorating, travel, fashion, health, beauty, and finance tips from the rest of the American Woman editors.

Monday, July 23, 2012


Author Leslie Langtry loves crafts!  She knits, crochets, and does paper crafting, among other things.  She makes someone in each of her books a crafter. Even the men knit.  One of her characters actually wields circular knitting needles as a weapon.  That's fun. 'Scuse Me While I Kill This Guy is free right now on Amazon, Smashwords and the iBookstore and .99 cents at Barnes and Noble.  Learn more about Leslie and her books at her website. www.leslielangtry.com. -- AP

My First Ukulele!
That’s right, at the age of 45, I finally learn to play an instrument and I picked…no, not the bassoon – but it was close – a ukulele!  I was in choir all through school (second alto – thank you very much) but never played an instrument.  Now, I have two teenaged kids who each play two different instruments, my husband played drums in school, and even the cats walk across the piano keyboard now and then.  So, I decided that since my one regret was not playing an instrument, that I’d play the ukulele.  That, and it’s the ultimate, portable instrument – perfect for a zombie apocalypse.  If a ZA happens, we will NOT be taking my son’s piano with us.

I signed up for a class and took lessons.  Here is a picture of me at my recital. 
As a crafter, I know, I should’ve made the skirt myself.  In fact, I’m looking for information to make my own lei and skirt.  Of course, that’s the fun of starting something new – finding some DIY project related to whatever my newest infatuation (that’s the word my husband uses) is.  That got me a’googlin’. 

First of all, I’m a knitter and crocheter.  So the first thing I looked for was a case pattern.  I do a lot of felting, and I didn’t want just the usual, black, nylon gig bag.  Here’s what I’ve found so far.

 I’m thinking the third one, probably in different oranges in what I can only imagine a sunset in Hawaii looks like (hint to husband). That got me thinking of other accessories.  Since I can felt, I can make felt picks – which is, apparently the kind you use on ukes.
I could make thousands of these.  I just don’t have thousands of ukuleles.  But I could make some.  
There’s the tissue box ukulele or the uke made from an Altoids tin.  I’ve never really eaten enough Altoids to empty a large tin.  But in the case of a zombie apocalypse, where I was separated from my beloved pineapple ukulele, I could eat a bunch of mints or use a bunch of tissues and make my instrument (and have minty fresh breath).
Now, I can hold up my ukulele AND I can unravel the thing and within hours (have you seen me trying to get knots out of yarn?) and use it as a rope in the aforementioned zombie apocalypse.

Now, I’m off to find some orange yarn and bug my husband to take me to Hawaii before the zombie apocalypse hits.  Oh, and I need to practice a couple of songs.

What’s your latest crafting obsession? 

Thanks for joining us today, Leslie! I hope you get to Hawaii before the zombies invade. AP 


DirtyMartini said...

Ukuleles, eh? Were you a Tiny Tim fan as a kid? I'm impressed by your resourcefulness at making the instruments and cases though...


Kaye George said...

I have to say I LOVE your book title. We had a uke growing up and I strummed it some. Don't know what happened to it. Yours is a very nice one! Happy strumming!

Leslie Langtry said...

I always think of Tiny Tim or Don Ho.

Kaye - I think four strings might be easier than six - you should get another one!

Kaye George said...

Um, I've never played a six-string instrument. Violin and mandolin nowadays. 4 and 8, but mandolin is like 4 since the 8 are paired for that twangy sound.

Leslie Langtry said...


Sorry Kaye - misread you for a moment. I had a little plastic uke when I was little - it was bright pink. I think there's a revival of the instrument now.

Kaye George said...

Not truly 8 stringed. There are two pair of 4 different tones on a mandolin. There are 8 tuners, though, and they have to be tuned well!

Mary Frances Roya said...

I love that you pay ukukele. It reminds of Hawaii and the dance troup I was with in my younger days. Keep writing and playing.

Leslie Langtry said...

That sounds hard. I have a little electronic tuner for my uke. I'm crocheting a little bag for it right now to attach to the big gig bag -once I do that. I'll be knitting during the Olympics - so should get it done...right?

Patricia Stoltey said...

The ukelele sounds like so much fun, Leslie. And your books sound like fun too. 'Scuse Me While I Kill This Guy is too priceless a title to pass up.

Leslie Langtry said...

Thanks Mary and Patricia! I'm gonna keep on uking...um, I mean, playing uke.