Sunday, November 18, 2007

Entertaining Myself

Lately I've been watching season 3 of Project Runway. The first disc had a long wait on Netflix (no, I don't have cable T.V.) so I just skipped on to disc 2. I love this show because it has not only to do with fashion, but construction of garments. I love watching the process of an idea being made into a reality. The people on the show (real people chosen for their talent) are characters to say the least. The dynamic in and out of the workroom with these people can become quite intense. They are under extreme stress, limited time, sleep, and budget, with crazy criteria and high expectations from the critics of creating "fashion forward," "innovative" designs that are made and fit well. I can't help wondering what kind of stuff I'd make out of recyclables, or what I'd design for a plus size woman to make her look fabulous and "fashion forward," or what kind of outfit could I make with only one day and $50 starting from scratch? It's "reality" television, yeah, right, this stuff never happens in reality, but it's still fun to watch.

Friday afternoon my cheap-o plug'n play Dance Dance Revolution game arrived in the mail. I had bought it from ebay for cheap, and now I know why, but it's still great fun for the kids and myself. Dancing is really the only form of exercise I enjoy, so I thought I'd get this as a workout kind of thing. The music is cheesy electronic versions of pop songs from three years ago (or more) and the graphics are reminiscent of programs we designed in 8th grade computer lab (OK maybe not the ones I designed but other kids in my class). But it keeps us moving. The boys have taken to the pinball game where they move the "flippers" by jumping on the dance pad, and L likes the "whack-a-mole" game if we all help her, so she only has to jump on one square. Now, after playing for only three days, I'm seriously considering going for the real deal...

Friday night I went to a party for my friend's birthday and learned about another cable show I'm going to be hooked on called "Flight of the Conchords." It's completely quirky and hilarious and I can't even begin to explain it in a way that would do it justice. Only that I laughed so hard that there were many lines I missed, so I'm definitely going to watch those episodes again. Watch a clip here.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Fabric Junkie

On my birthday one of my mom's friends brought me three big bags of fabric, patterns and notions from her stash. She is downsizing, and I think, realized that a lot of the projects she started will never get finished. I've been having fun picking through the stuff, and have found some real "gems." But even though I have plenty of uncut yardage waiting to become something wonderful, it's very difficult to curb the compulsion to buy more fabric, especially when it goes on sale for riduculously cheap! My latest acquisition is this fabric (above) which I thought would make a humorous "Cocktail" dress. It's 100% Japanese cotton lawn, which for you fabric dummies, has a lovely soft hand and is almost sheer. I'm thinking it'll be cocktail/sundress for Spring/Summer '08.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

In the Wall

Lil Miss L has some new friends. Jo-Lisa and her boyfriend, Bajesus, live in the wall (at the ex's apartment) with their cat, Meego. L informed me that they are only pretend, but I have to wonder if she's given names to the voices she might hear of the neighboring tenants.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Look what fell off the Ugly Tree!

After seeing these "Ugly Dolls" (left) in a toy catalog yesterday, my boys decided they'd like to design and make their very own ugly doll.

D drew several designs and finally settled on a bat-like creature. I had to enlarge the drawing to make it a more workable size. Instead of making it all in fleece, D chose to use some black leather scraps for the ears and wings. In K's drawing the legs were too thin to sew so we beefed them up a bit. I did most of the assembling, but the boys did do some hand sewing on the eyes and mouths. They also stuffed them and then I sewed them closed. The only thing this cost us was time. I think they turned out quite nicely and the boys are so proud of their unique toys!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Marilyn Me

Now I'm famous! I just found a picture of myself (enjoying the fan) posted on the Friday Night Swing Dance Club website! Check out some of the crazy Halloween costumes here, or better yet, come dance with me sometime.

Monday, November 05, 2007

The Soiree

Here I am at my party sporting my $2 dress after a few alterations. What did I do? I had to take in some from the back, shortened the sleeves and used the extra fabric to add a swingy gore to each side seam to keep the dress from clinging too much. This also helps the dress from disappearing when I sit down since it is cut on the bias.

It was a great time: lots of yummy food and drink, great people, and even a little Dance Dance Revolution (not kidding!) I think what I enjoy most about my parties, is seeing all the different people who are special to me mingling and getting to know each other and having a really good time. I had dreamt up the idea, and the speech to go along with it, one night last week for a toast I was going to give at my party. You know those eloquent things we think of saying to people we love just before dropping off to sleep?.... anyway, it didn't quite come out the way I'd hoped, but I think I was successful at communicating that this birthday I wasn't celebrating me as much as I was celebrating all of *you* being in my life!

Friday, November 02, 2007

You say it's your birthday? It's my birthday too, yeah!

In this week of Octember, we celebrated L's 4th birthday, got geared up for maximum candy collection and today, "celebrate" my, ahem, 35th year of life. I actually had an early family party on Tuesday with L's complete with double chocolate cake (I made for L) and birthday pie. (Mom's pies are hard to beat, so I take the opportunity to request one instead of cake these days. It also made up for the disappointing pie I had at Towson Diner last Friday with my new swing dancing friends.) Tomorrow is the real party though, and I'm looking forward to spending an evening amongst some of my most favoritest people.

So you ask, what did I get? Well high on my "want list" was a new pair of dance shoes. The Suzie Q in particular, I found a pair for a terrific price, but a day after I placed the order, found out they were out of stock (boo). I guess they are very popular and sell out fast. So I decided to go with another less costly style and placed my order for this fantastic footwear. I can't wait to try them out! The shorter men at the dances will appreciate them too.

Thursday, November 01, 2007


Harmony Bear, Mars Mission Astronaut, and Skele-boy.

K wanted to be a Lego "Mars Mission Astronaut" so I stepped up to the challenge and created his costume. My dad had an extra, small white motorcycle helmet which worked perfectly. I covered the face shield with gold faric using temporary double-stick tape (he could see through the fabric.) I had lots of white shiny stretch knit that was given to me, so I used that lined with white polar fleece for the "suit" which consisted of a vest with silver patch "kangaroo" pocket and zipper and pants. The harness was made of duct tape (I love that stuff!), fun foam, self stick velcro and some metalic paints. Both boys love this suit, mostly because the soft fleece feels so good against their skin!

Dad's thumb was hiding the rest of this dress in the photo, perhaps mom's copies will be better. I was, you guessed it, Marilyn Monroe for the Friday Night Swing Dance Club Halloween Dance. It was loads of fun. I used more of that shiny stretch knit (I still have tons of it left) and designed this simple halter dress. I didn't use a pattern, but I borrowed a pattern piece from another dress for the high waist band which joined the halter and the circle skirt. It was a great dress to twirl in! I received lots of compliments, but since there were 2 other "Marilyns" present (even though I was the only "blonde") I didn't win any prizes.