Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Old Fat Naked Women for Peace

Go see the old babes! This may truly be the answer to all of our National Defense issues!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Stand By Me

"The last person who remembered why we are fighting died long ago." Anonymous

It is worthwhile to watch cultural commentator Bill Moyers' entire interview with commentary on the negativity of the campaigns now and how it relates to every day folk far removed from Washington. Here is the link to see the PBS Moyers' Journal Interview with "Playing For Change" documentary film artist, Mark Johnson. And I will own the DVD.

And I close with this request from you:

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Pun Fun Word Run

With all the seriousness facing us at every turn, I just had the urge to put up a bit of playful word silliness. Read the news. Then come back here and read this.

1. The roundest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference.He acquired his size from too much pi.

2. I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned outto be an optical Aleutian .

3. She was only a whisky maker, but he loved her still.

4. A rubber band pistol was confiscated from algebra class because it wasa weapon of math disruption.

5. The butcher backed into the meat grinder and got a little behind in his work.

6. No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

7. A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering.

8. A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart.

9. Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.

10. Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

11. A hole has been found in the nudist camp wall. The police are lookingi nto it.

12. Atheism is a non-prophet organization.

13. Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hallway. One hat said to the other, 'You stay here, I'll go on a-head.'

14. I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.

15. A sign on the lawn at a drug rehab center said: 'Keep off the Grass.'

16. A small boy swallowed some coins and was taken to a hospital. When his grandmother telephoned to ask how he was, a nurse said, 'No change yet.'

17. A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion.

19. The short fortune-teller who escaped from prison was a small medium, at large.

20. The man who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.

21. A backward poet writes in-verse.

22. When cannibals ate a missionary, they got a taste of religion.

23. Don't join dangerous cults, practice safe sects!

24. In democracy it's your vote that counts. In feudalism it's your Count that votes.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Marie Antoinette's Dresses

One of paper...

And the other out of storage...

Click Here: The Curating of Marie-Antoinette's Dress
to take you to see a wonderful Podcast from the Royal Ontario Museum on the exhibit and handling of the real thing:

"Embellished with silk embroidery, ribbon appliqu├ęs, spangles and glass stones, follow the journey of Marie-Antoinette's lavish dress from ROM's vault to the gallery. Discover the delicate conservation methods, innovative mounting techniques and the mesmerizing history of the woman who once wore this dress." Royal Ontario Museum

***Updated 12-13-2008: This is no longer a current exhibit and the podcast has been archived HERE.*****

And progress on my own handwork...

Cindy's Shawl

Detail of the beaded embroidery

I did get quite a bit done on the shawl Cindy wears in part of the play, "Into the Woods". We chose a sage colored plush and an eyelet embellished soft corduroy which really does match but takes the light differently. For trim, we found this incredibly expensive organza trim with hand beading and embroidery.

Also got Sky's peach pettycoat together except for the hem and have trimmed the skirt's velvet forepart with the gold bullion trim.

Kim's fabric is prepped for her skirt and that's part of what's on the burner for today.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Sleeping Beauty Has Sleeves

Sleeves have been set in by hand after easing the sleeve heads. Had one fitting on Sky and will get around to readjusting after the back lacing tab and zipper are in place. Ripped out one side of the skirt forepart because it was puckered and reattached it by hand this time to assure it works.

I added a simple row of the gold twist bugle beads and rocailles to the edge of the sleeve cape to tie the sleeve in with the bodice. Hand edges of pointed inner sleeve are piped and need finger rings to hold them in place. This is a very heavy sleeve!! I may have to put a tie in the upper back to keep the bodice from dragging off her shoulders!

I need to put gold bullion braid on the forepart insert and join skirt to bodice. Zipper will be hand set because this pattern doesn't call for one and it's an extra to help her dress for stage. Cindy's red calico petticoat is hanging up behind the bodice.

Tonight I finish off her shawl, cut out Kim's skirt and piece together another skirt. I also need to run a piece of elastic at the top edge of the center bodice.

I had two burglars yesterday afternoon. I left the back door wide open so George could come in and eat. She's been extra fussy lately because of the two new kittens and the visiting cats from next door. I hear this crash in the kitchen and get up from my desk to go see. I round the corner just in time to see two young raccoons dragging a plastic bag with 2 bags of cat food across the floor and headed for the back door. I told them that they could get take out when they started paying for the food.

They let go and waited for me on the porch to fill their bowls. Cheeky little buggers. I DO sometimes feel like an all-night diner with drive through. I don't mind feeding the extra guests, but they get pushy sometimes. There are two possums dining on the water side porch along with the neighbor's two cats, too.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sunday Song With Willow Creek Dress

I want artist Robin Barcus Slonina to have six wives so she can create 24-7. I can't cook, but I'll stitch for her!!

October 16th- Just realized I hadn't put her link so you can see the other amazing things she does. I was just captured by this Ophelia happening, but you can go see the rest by clicking on her name.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Tiara Under the Dog Star. Seriously

Tiara BC (Before Combs)

Tiara Finished. I think.

I've been dog sitting Martha and Jim Marshall's three dogs and two cats. Got some Sirius beading and sewing done under their watchful eye. Pieced together two of the four skirts I have for the play. Even cut out a big surprise for Cindy and a petticoat for Sky.

I was tempted to add more - some droplets above the tiara - but it's saying no, so I've stopped for the moment and will watch it to see if it barks. Did some fill in between the swirls to tighten up the design. Bought a ton more crystals and beads since I ran out, and the two tiara combs to hold it in place. Cindy will kill me when she sees how much I spent in OTHER beads, but I'm trying to spoil her and stock up while I'm able to see the eye of the needle.

I decided to shape it slightly like a Russian diadem pushing the center of the beaded net inward and bending the beaded caps at the top outward. Looking at the finished picture of it, I see some spaces that call for a few more beads, which I will add after I finish with the day's sewing.

I'm pleased with it. It conforms very to the shape of the sketch I did on the edge of a newspaper and is light and airy enough to be sure that Sky is comfortable without having to have a stage hand prop her head up as she does her lines.

A continuation of the casual style tute:

Leave the last 2 or so inches of your frame without fill wires. Position your combs (can be purchased or made with elongated bent wire loops wrapped at the top and secured to a length of bar metal or several head pins wrapped together).

You'll use 26 gauge wire to wrap the combs securing the bar between your base frame. Bend your ends in at the finish and tuck inside the wrapping. You can also string crystals or beads on the wrapping gauge to position on the front side of your tiara as I've done.

Shape your tiara with gentle pressure and you're finished! Wor-lah!

I showed the finished product to Reno, Abby, Boomer and cats Balentine and Blueberry Marshall as I enjoyed my work and a well earned glass of Marty's house merlot. They were interested in it with what I assumed was real interest, but then they reminded me that it was dinnertime. Sigh.

A nice thing about being a dog is that you don't have to load up several bags when you leave to go somewhere and need to take your work with you. It's all there. Built in.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

The Zen of Tiaras With Florals

I'm starting on Sky's tiara to go with the Sleeping Beauty gown for the play. I'm including the first picture for artist Vikki North because she gets enthused seeing creative piles of possibilities in my gathering to start a new project. I hope it gets her going on her own sewing and making adventures in addition to her art.

There really is the base of a tiara in there! If you want to make your own fairy tiara, you'll need 16 gauge wire for your base, 20 gauge wire for the scrolls and wrapping, jewelry making pliers, and an assortment of crystals, gemstones and beads that will fit on your 20 gauge wire. I'm using gold wire to match Sky's trim on the gown.

Start with a cut length of 16 gauge wire about 34". Form a circle and join the ends by bending and wrapping, snugging up the wire with a flat nose plier. Bend your circle in half so that you have a shape that vaguely looks like the outline of a taco or half moon. (Don't you just LOVE my technical terms!)

Don't worry about it being wonky at this point. You'll stabilize the entire piece with the 20 gauge wire. I started at the center front of the tiara. Determine how tall you want the finished piece to be and cut several lengths of wire this length doubled plus an inch to allow for your swirls and curls and the wrapping at top and bottom of your basic frame.

Here's where it gets fun. Start slipping your crystals or beads on bending and coiling your 20 gauge with round nose pliers ....

(note here: My computer was taken over by a Trojan ZLOB while working on this post, published it incomplete, and caused 3 hours of down time while I fixed the thing. It should make a bit more sense now.)

....until you have a piece the width of your frame height coiled. Then wrap it on your frame top and bottom. You can get an idea of what I'm talking about in the picture above. The rough sketch behind is for another costume I'm making for the play. More pix and directions on the tiara later.

Frangipani/Lei Flower/Plumeria

Blue Skies from India

I know that many of you in the temperate climates are experiencing Autumn leaves changing color and thought that you might enjoy seeing my 'Fall' here at Dogpatch. I'm enjoying my frangipani - so fragrant it just puts you in a trance! The bottom shows one of the many living arches I have here complete with weeds. It's a vine from India and has almost covered the tree tops above my house in drifts of these gorgeous yellow-throated garlands.

If you look closely, you'll see the waterway behind my home. The ghosty gray thingy hanging beside a pannacle of flowers is Spanish Moss, ubiquitous in Florida. It was once used to stuff airplane seats with. My mother pulled moss in the swamps bordering Georgia when she was a girl in the early days of the last depression.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

An Answer For Heather

Artist and writer Heather Brown-Truman is a longtime friend. We've shared lots of discussions in the past on many subjects, including the state of the STATE. Heather commented on the post that Martha Marshall put on Deepwater Journal about how stressed current events were making her (Martha). Here is what Heather said:

Write, call, email, fax, and pray...all these things are being done by the masses...but I am left with the same question, over and over again. Where is our collective anger? where is your anger? I mean they burned down their own town in LA over the Rodney King/OJ thing....but now nothing? When the new jobless numbers at almost 500,000 new claims for unemployment for the last month...where is our anger. Where are the marches, the protests on the steps, hell even turning over some cop cars and setting them on fire (not really) but something other than sitting at home and writing, and thinking and just being blissfully unaware...I have just that one question running through my head. Where is your anger? I mean we almost impeach a President for lying about diddling a page in the oval office, but mass murder and fear mongering, gets...nothing? Really? Watching the congress start the debate on the bill last night before the VP debate...some of the speakers warned of Marshall Law and riots will happen if they don't pass this bill. Oh, really? This is taxation with out representation,
this is economic terrorism, this is not only against the law of our Land but against the laws of logic. (Ed. Note: See the actual video references by Representative Brad Sherman HERE . You can see several related videos as well.) I'll tell you what...I know where my anger is...and I plan to light a match and set that beast on's go time...I'm pissed that both nominees backed this bill too...crap it don't matter who America, anyone can be elected to the office of President...that's the risk you take. I don't know what's next (well I do, but that's another post) but I do know that I do not have to swallow this bitter pill without bitching real loud, marching on my own streets, screaming...bring out your live human...ring the bells...bring out your live Americans!

I've often said that it really hasn't mattered who you vote(d) for. There has been an agenda that is just below the surface since the 1950s at least that many of us are ignorant about. I simply choose the lesser of two evils because I'd like a slower ride to Hades.

Here is my answer to Heather. And the rest of you. No matter what your political persuasion, I ask you for about 30 minutes of your time to watch author Naomi Wolfe describe what's going on in our land and what we can do about it. After you've watched it, get off your duff and go research. Don't just take my word or anyone else's about it. Read, look and see for yourself.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Narcolepsy and Possum Children

Bodice and lining hand stitched together and ready to receive the sleeves.

Sleeve components together with lining, ready to be set in to the armscye of the bodice.

Skirt forepart piped and attached to skirt sides and back. Starting to look like a costume gown.

The strange title for this post comes from a discussion of the myth and mode behind the fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty that took place in a college class I took on magic and religion. The professor asked for themes interwoven in the tale and I piped up with necrophilia, a woman weakened, impotent and rendered harmless.

After the class quit laughing, he agreed with me that indeed, that could be one of the psychological readings of the story. We discussed the Sleeping Queen that would be awakened in the Spring as part of a fertility ritual and I threw in another fifty cents with the fruit that put her in a narcoleptic state in the first place. How apropos that it would be Eve's apple, the Fruit of Knowledge.

Now. You could go on forever, or for at least a good long time serving up one implication of this, fractal the Prince and his gig with comatose Princesses and the angst between the Evil Queen and Beauty. But. I brought this up to let you know that I'm there with Beauty.

I've slept most of the week and feel I need more. My skewed diurnal cycles have interfered with getting my obligations done. I should have had more done in less time, but have been feeling enormous fatigue. Some of it I attribute to recurring chronic fatigue syndrome. I'm also convinced that the psaltery that we've had to listen to in D.C. over the bailout has made me crave an escape.

Most of all, I find it ironic that I'm costuming a character who echoes what is going on in my life with the theme of sleep. One of the perks of living life on the vampire side of the clock is that I get to see the night critters here at Dogpatch. This little child is an orphan who's mama wasn't quick enough for the road. I know that you're not supposed to feed the wildlife, but when you're this young, a steak ain't easy to find so I put out cat food mix and water.

She brought along a twig for her tail to rest on. The bowls are almost six inches across for scale reference.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The Sky Is Falling, The Sky Is Falling

by Martha Marshall

How is one supposed to get inspired to create with all the negative forces pushing in on us at this moment? Right now it's difficult to get centered and be inspired. The world is going to hell in a handbasket and I feel powerless to shout loudly enough over the noise and tell everyone to stop the madness.

For the past few nights my sleep has been disturbed, or when I do sleep, I have dreams of intense dread involving swirling dark currents of water lapping up around a few small perches of refuge. As a result, I am constantly sleep deprived.

And all because our leaders and the mainstream media are once again trying to paralyze us with fear. They say the sky is falling. They say only we can save you. Put your trust in us, they say. Just like when we saved you from future terrorist attacks, and weapons of mass destruction, and bird flu, hurricanes, and killer bees. The current threats are just as scary, they say -- a falling stock market, a credit freeze with certain joblessness, disappearing nest eggs, the loss of our homes, and starving people in the streets.

They told us that we "must act immediately" to avert "certain disaster." They say we just don't understand the complexities of the problems confronting us, and if we did, we would stop all those silly phone calls to our elected representatives and protests and emails and get behind Congress to pass this bailout. I am insulted and angry that they keep saying I don't understand what is happening. Do they truly believe we are stupid? I keep screaming this at the TV, even when it's not on.

The bailout bill did not pass yesterday. The stock market fell but the sky didn't. It's not that we don't need to do something. But we don't have to have this bill. No other alternatives have even been discussed.

What was it that George W. said? Fool me once, shame on you, fool me . . . fool me can't get fooled again."

(Dina says: Martha is a contributing editor to the DWJ. This is her post from her most excellent blog An Artist's Journal from yesterday. I told her that I wanted her to post it here as well because it just sang to me when I read it! I've been having the same fitfull sleep over the state of the State, but I don't believe that giving away the coop to the skunks is the payback they deserve. Several dozens of crack economists say that there are other and more sensible ways to handle this crisis, including ways to protect We The People, otherwise known as the Great Unwashed to Wall Street Biggies.

Call, write, email your Reps until they get the same sleepless nights we have and think about the real people!)