Monday, September 29, 2008

"Hello? Has Anyone Seen Pam? HELLO........?"

Please reply to this email so I’ll be able to convince myself that I’m not in some kind of crazy time warp or Twilight Zone episode…

Well, bad eye sight, over medication of narcotic drugs and a habit of driving like a bat out of hell (is that where I am?) finally caught up to my Mama yesterday afternoon. Daddy and I were out in the guinea pen trying to fashion a hanging feeder out of a dog leash and two S rings when we got the call from Mama that she “was in the ditch down by Beeson’s dam.”

So off we go in Daddy’s truck (a mile down the road) – and there was Mama’s recently acquired Lexus RX 330 SUV turned over on its side in a 6 foot ditch – and literally 100 feet of turn up ditch behind her. She, on her way home from a baby shower, was perfectly coiffed and shoed and dressed on the side of the road and a WHOLE BUNCH of people had pulled over to help her. Two big ol’ boys had opened up the car door and pulled her out.

Mama: I saw a car coming towards me and it was about to cross the line so I must have just run off the road into the ditch (100 feet back).

Witness 1: I was behind her and she just run right straight off the road. She never braked or nothing. She hit the ditch and gunned it – them tires were spinning a hundred miles a minute. And then the car just couldn’t go any further and turned over on its side. LORD HAVE MERCY!!

Witness 2: (supposedly the car that crossed the center line – but was ¼ mile away when she hit the ditch) We was coming up over the hill and saw her driving through the ditch and we was scared that she might be able to get out of the ditch and cross over and kill us – we had kids in the back seat. But my husband said there was no way she could drive out of that ditch and then the car just couldn’t go any further and turned over on it’s side. My husband reached in there and toted her out. LORD HAVE MERCY!!

Witness 1: Do you want me to go get your brother?

Pam: (to myself) Who are you and how do you know who my brother is?

Daddy: I think he’s mowing the pasture.

Witness 1: I’ll get him.

Pam: (to myself) Where is the vodka?

My brother, Tony, came and pondered the situation and figured it all out and took control (thankfully).

By this time the NC Highway Patrolman arrived. VERY cute and studly and in uniform and all that… – and of course I looked like a homeless person in sweats and Crocs and appropriately dressed in what you wear to the pasture to fashion a hanging feeder with a dog leash and two S rings for three guinea fowl who all they do is eat and shit and dig in the dirt. (I really do think they love me though…)

Pam: (to myself) FUCK!

So the tow truck guy comes – and HE (much more age appropriate for me) – looking pretty handsome in his yellow slicker outfit - drags the car out of the ditch. I get assigned to ride with him to deliver the car to the house. He doesn’t make eye contact and I can’t blame him.

Pam: (to myself) FUCK! WHERE is the vodka?

So the car is safely in the yard – looking worse for the wear and without a tire... Handsome tow truck guy got his $175 for towing the car a mile. Mama cried in the recliner for 15 minutes and then fell asleep. I found the vodka. Dreamed of drinks and dinner at Bella’s.

Today I called Nationwide to report the claim and answered all the questions.

Steve: Did anyone have to employ extrication measures to get her out of the car?

Pam: No, we live out in the country and a country boy just hauled her out.


Steve: (to himself) OMG, another bunch of rednecks – who do I hate enough to assign this claim to.

Steve: Were there any witnesses?

Pam: Yes, but I didn’t get their names. I could probably ask around…

Steve: That’s okay. Brianna will call you tomorrow.

So life goes on…and it could be a lot worse - Mom is fine. But, where am I? Hello???

Ed. Note: I received this from a dear friend who lives in North Carolina. This is just a sampling of the literature I get from her on a regular basis. And she's just as colorful in person. I keep telling her she needs to write a book about a city girl returning back home to her roots in the country and the culture shock that occurs after thirty years.)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

An Animated Child's Take On The Bible

Vikki North had a post on her blog on a painting of the vision of Ezekiel from the bible and how it's interpreted. I found this Academy Award winner and just had to share it. These are real children's stories that are animated.

One of the interesting threads of the various conversations had to do with translation of holy books over the years and how those translations can change a word or two at a time. I love this innocent Irish take on how all holy stories are open to interpretation just through retelling.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Sleeping Beauty Gown Coming Together

Starting to look purty. The frontispiece is piped and set in with the side fronts. Picture above shows one lower sleeve cape together and basted at the top. The other side shows the velvet sleeve cape lining with bias piping basted on ready for the fashion fabric.

Get over it. You must always baste velvet if you don't want to drive yourself to an early happy hour. Piping is a real boon when sewing a pile or nap fabric to a smooth surface fashion cloth. The basted on piping wont let the smooth fabric walk or travel because both smooth surfaces are together rather than velvet to smooth. The basting keeps your piping in place. After you've sewn your two pieces together, the piping helps you turn a super crisp edge.

Here's the sleeve cape with the gold soutache braid hand stitched in place. Why by hand? No sewing lines show on your exposed lining. The bodice is stitched to the backs at shoulders and one one side. As this is a lace up gown and a piece used for theatre, I'm adding a side seam zipper for ease of getting it on and off. Even though there's no quick changes, lacing a bazillion holes is not a quick closure and you need help with it.

Today I finish the bodice back darts and put the sleeve cap and lower sleeve together to ready them for the lower sleeve capes. The lining is together and ready for boning.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Frontispiece/Bodice Beading on Sleeping Beauty Gown

Finished frontispiece of the bodice. I quilted details into the fluer to both define it and to make it lay more flat against the chest. I'm going to bone the bodice as well. Even though it doesn't call for it, there's a lot of weight being supported here. I'm making self bias piping to outline the pieces which helps to keep the edges crisp and defined. The color is actually a deep, rich sapphire blue, but the duchesse reflects the light.

Everything else has been put on hold - sorry dear Annette! - as the deadline for the first costume reveal is the 3rd. Fast approaching deadlines! I've also felt like warmed over you-know-what the past few days and that has slowed down my work.

This is the back of the frontispiece showing the cuts where batting was stuffed and then stitched closed using trapunto, the quilting stitches, and the grid work where I laid on the plated gold twist bugle beads. Each of the individual knot is where I stitched a 3 cut Czech Charlotte size 13/0 bead. I chose a pale blue lined with copper Charlotte which will pick up the blue velvet contrast and accent the gold beads.

There's at least thirteen hours of hand work here. Lots of ripping out to keep lines and proportions equal or it would have read like op art on stage. I showed this to Cindy and she was thrilled with it. I'm pretty pleased myself.

Recommendations: Always back this kind of work. Keep your slits narrow and small on the back of trapunto work and baste them closed with a medium loose stitch to keep the front from puckering and curving. Non-quilted trapunto does better in small areas. If your design is large, quilt it or anchor it with beads.

I worked this without a frame, but would recomment one if you have issues with keeping your work flat.

Use a waxed polyester or nylon thread for your beadwork. The sharper edges of the bugles won't cut the waxed surface as quickly without the microscopic thread fibers frizzed out to catch the raw glass.

Judiciously pad areas that are to be solidly covered with beads so that the surface is almost rigid. It supports the beads better.

If you really want the beads to stand up to vigorous wear such as a beaded belt or bra for a belly dancer or stripper costume, dab a bit of fabric cement on the back on each knot. There will be a lining to hide your work and add longevity to the piece.

More later.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Fleur De Lis Beaded Embroidery

I'm trying to catch up on my projects, finish the story of the fabulous fibre artist from Britain I promised you, and take care of daily duties including cat herding.

Above is the picture of the center front bodice for a sleeping beauty gown. It will be worn in the play, "Into The Woods". One of two characters I'm costuming for the production, I've spent the last three days adjusting, cutting and pinning.

For the center front bodice, I want to give a nod to the French origins of the fairy tale so the design incorporates a Fleur de lis. You can see the basting stitches in place to hold the duchesse satin to the interlining muslin, and the pattern I cut pinned to be outlined with chalk. I'm going to raise the design slightly with trapunto and then will bead it. The gown is so opulent, I'm having to curb my sparkly crow self to refrain from beading the ENtire gown!

I'll show you bits and pieces of this and other projects as I work on the article of our mystery artist.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Brillante Weblog

Samate nominated me for the Brilliante Weblog award and I'll humbly accept it! It will take me a bit to nominate my 7 per the rules, but I will get to it and will let them know!

Many thanks, Samate, Little Beauty! Okay. Here are the rules:

The rules for this award are:
  • The winner can put the logo on his/her blog.
  • Link to the person you received your award from.
  • Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
  • Put links to those blogs on yours.
  • Leave a message on the blogs of the people you have nominated.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

I Got Chosen!

I'm tickled pink! My Goddess Gown that I just finished and listed on Etsy has been selected by the fashion mavens on Ooh, I've Got Something To Show You! It's good to be Queen!!

Video Response To More of the Same. With Moose.

MY America doesn't exclude those of a different religion, color or those of independent thinking.

MY America chooses to see what we can do without stuffing the pockets of big corporations and paying attention to community - United We Stand.

MY America has its good name back as the country others look to for leadership, not war.

MY America is ready for REAL change, not one co-opted by the same old party that has given us the biggest deficit in history, the most unemployed Americans, TWO wars started under false pretenses, and the desecration of the most important of our documents - the Bill of Rights and our Constitution.

MY America is one that looks to home to rebuild our roads, levees, schools with those dollars that are going into the blood lined pockets of Halliburton, Kellog Brown and Root and Blackwater. My America invests in renewable green energy solar and wind so that we aren't held hostage by Big Oil and foreign oil cartels. My America doesn't need a gun swinging cowgirl and maverick to look for the next country to bomb to stay in business ("Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran"?). My America brings our soldiers home, gives them the medical care and support they need without making them wait for 2 years or more, and honors them with the same benefits my father and grandfather earned with their blood and their bodies fighting WWI and WWII.

I am tired of the rhetoric of what is. I'll look at the records and the true facts. I hope you'll research, do your homework, open your minds and vote for REAL change, not more of the same. I will.