Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Dreamy Mr. Gene Kelly

Well hello, fine readers! Hope you had a fantastic summer. We're still melting here in Texas, but the kids are back in school and that means the routine around here is finally getting back in order. Whew!

Today, a group of friends and I are kicking off a fun, easy-going craft-along in honor of one of our all-time favorite film and dance stars: Gene Kelly. You may remember that I have been madly in love with Gene for years, and that way back in my awesome surface design class with Kat, I made a Gene Kelly screen so I could print his face on anything and everything. Because, really, shouldn't his face be on everything?

Last week, some folks started a twitter conversation about a shared love for the dancing super star, and within a short period of time it was decided that we should do a Gene Kelly craft-along. I checked to see when his birthday was, in case it might coincide with when we'd start the craft-along, and Lo! TODAY is his birthday. Such kismet. It's as though he's speaking to us from the other side, saying, "Please! Immortalize me in craft!" Sorta.

So! What does this mean? Well, we are keeping things loose. Mostly, we are interested in sharing a common interest in this amazing actor, singer, dancer (talk about a triple threat!) and to get folks who might not have paid much attention to him before (for shame!) to learn more about and appreciate his work. Any kind of craft is welcome, and there are no firm deadlines - just fun! You can share your Gene Kelly-inspired projects over on our Gene Kelly Craft-Along Flickr group. You can also tweet pics and progress using the tag #GK4EVR. Read Diane's intro post over on CraftyPod!

Let's take a look at why Gene makes my heart swoon:
- That velvety voice: Not just in singing - in talking, too! Dreamy.
- That charming smile: I get all Monkee's Twinkly Eyed just thinking about it.
- That mischievous sense of humor: As though it's not enough that he can sing and dance, now he's gonna make me LAUGH!? Fuhgetaboudit.
- Those dance moves: Really? Turning newspaper into a dancing art form? C'mon, Gene, you had me at shuffle-ball-change.
- That bod: I'm not gonna lie. The fella had a stunning body, highlighted by beautifully made trousers that always accentuated the ... positive.

Some of my all-time favorite movies star Gene Kelly. If you haven't watched any of his films, get on it. Singin' in the Rain is, of course, one of the greatest films ever made, but some of his other lesser-known movies are great fun, too. In fact, one of my favorites will be the inspiration for my Gene Kelly project: Summer Stock. It's a hilarious movie starring Gene, Judy Garland and Phil Silvers. The clothes are simple and gorgeous (this brown and coral dress worn by Judy Garland makes me weak in the knees) and is loads of fun. And no one can forget On The Town and An American in Paris. And if you're wanting to know more about the man himself, you absolutely must watch Anatomy of a Dancer. It's a fantastic documentary on his life and is brilliantly done. (and it's available on Netflix Instant!)

There's something about watching Gene Kelly at work that lifts your spirits in a most delightful way. Blending that feeling with making stuff is a recipe for great fun, so join in on the Gene Kelly craft-along. S'Wonderful!


  1. wow ... so funny that the number that I first 'crushed' on Gene to as a kid is You Wonderful You ... all through my life whenever I've heard a creaky floorboard I've whistled the tune in my head ... Such a delight to watch the routine again ... thank you!

    great thighs too (think Mack the Black!)

    will think of something crafty to add to your flickr group ... x

  2. I absolutely love this idea! Weirdly, my husband found this video for me the other evening, and I couldn't take my eyes off it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sahg9O63H9E

    My favourite of his films is actually his first major role, Me and My Girl with Judy Garland, although I retain a strong affection for The Pirate.

    I probably shouldn't say this since I'm snowed under right now, but I think I have an idea for a quilt so I shall see if I can make some progress on my doodle this evening :)

  3. And all this time I thought Diane was the only one! Smitten by Gene Kelly, I mean!

    He is fabulous to be sure! But my heartthrob was a dead heat between Danny Kaye and Donald O'Connor! But then, I have had a crush on Peter Faulk for years so I guess I don't always follow the crowd!

    Seriously, I am thrilled to know that these fantastic, supremely talented, amazing stars from so long ago are still loved and appreciated by generation after generation. So much work and effort went into those delicious musicals, it is good to know they are continuing to be appreciated.

    And Gene Kelly - well he was just incredible all the way around. Total class all the way!

    It is going to be fun to see what everyone comes up with in the craftalong?

  4. SO true, an so crushing still.... was convinced as a child I would grow up and Marry him, or someone just like him (once I realized that, as a child of the late seventies, he was kinda unrealistic as a spouse for me-- bite your tongue, Tamar!) But just seeing these pictures again... titterpated. Happily married to a guy with two left feet, cute in a non-gene kinda way, but still... twitterpated.

  5. What a lovely clip, which only goes to show that true creativity doesn't need much--a peice of newspaper, a squeaky floor board, a whistle, a shadow...See who was doing it long before Stomp. They sort of owe him...

    The other thing that blows my mind is how effortless he makes that dancing look--like we could all do that if just left alone for a few minutes in our house. Last year I took a dance class at BalletAustin, and it took me a whole hour to learn how to sort of do that one footed, multi-turned pirouette. I still really can't quite do it physically (I am always out of balance) but in my head, I am right there with him.

    I think this is the real reason I love him (and I imagine the real reason many of you creative ladies love him too. He reminds of us what you can do with a little, and how can that not lift our spirits, really...Never mind how dreamy he is.

    And he is. Very. Dreamy.

    Love your blog, though I don't comment much. Still check in quite a bit. Have a nice day.

  6. Oh my gosh, I love Gene Kelly too :) Wish we would've gotten on this subject in one of your embroidery classes @ Stitch Lab...swooooon!
    I've always really liked the movie he did with Frank Sinatra where they play sailors...Anchors Aweigh! Sooooooo silly and good. And what a dreamy combo they make. I'm in for this Gene craft-along.


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