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Category Archives: Just for Grins

The Lie Revealed

Did I leave you hanging in suspense about which was the lie in the list from my previous post? From the people who decided to guess, the results were pretty evenly distributed across the three choices.

The logic some of you used to make your choice was really quite good! I had fun reading your guesses.

So without further ado (and in no particular order), here are the rest of the stories:

I once won a three-legged race – without falling down!

TRUE!

Yes, I did in fact win a three-legged race. And yes, my partner and I did it without falling down… while running!

I was in 4th grade and we had a school track & field day, Olympic-type games & events, and competed as classes. We knew ahead of time which events we would be competing in, so my friend and I decided we would practice for the race during recess. I remember classmates being amused as they watched us casually walk around the schoolyard with our legs tied together.

The training really paid off because we could move together without thinking about it by the time we had to race. We got so good at it, the day of the race, we sprinted to the finish line only to turn around and realize everyone else was still at least half the field behind – and most of them were stumbling or already lying in awkward 3-legged heaps along the way.

I have no photographic evidence of that day (I can’t remember if we were even awarded actual ribbons) so you’ll just have to take my word for it.

Batgirl is my cousin.

TRUE!

Surprised? You see, Yvonne “Batgirl” Craig is in fact my cousin. My second-cousin-once-removed to be exact. Stated another way, my mom’s grandmother and her grandmother were sisters.

Batgirl_Tree

I’ve never actually met her, but there have been a few emails back and forth between my mom/mom’s sister and some of the family on the other branches of the tree. I remember watching reruns of the Batman TV show as a kid and thinking she was so cool. Now when I watch the show, I wish I had all of Barbara Gordon’s clothes in my closet!

I love country music.

LIE!

When asked what kind of music I would like to listen to, I always answer “anything but country or rap.”

I have very eclectic taste in music. I grew up listening mostly to classical and ‘50s & ‘60s Oldies. My music collection contains a little of everything – Big Band, The Beatles, The Monkees, ABBA, The Beach Boys, Michael Jackson, Broadway musicals, movie soundtracks, techno, synthpop, and mp3s of miscellaneous songs from almost every decade up to the current year just because I like them or have memories associated with them. (Some of the songs in my collection aren’t even in English.)

I can listen to pretty much anything, however, if you make me listen to more than a couple of country songs in a row, I will become more and more irritated. The general whiny sound of modern country music and the style of singing that accompanies it just plain annoys me. There are exceptions, but very few of them.

The one artist I never, EVER get tired of listening to is Owl City. I can go for weeks playing those CDs and nothing else without tiring of them – Adam’s songs just sound happy and have such clever, poetic lyrics full of puns and double entendres that I’m surprised I can sometimes still hear something “new” when I’ve practically worn those discs out.

There’s even an Owl City song that mentions a sewing machine and sewing “miles and miles of thread… in navy and red” :

Hope you enjoyed this bit of blogging fun & games!

“It’s been fun, but now I’ve got to go”:

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Two Truths, A Lie, and More Honesty

For many days I have been pondering my Two Truths & A Lie. (Gillian of Crafting A Rainbow started it at the end of this post and MaLora of Bird and Bicycle dared me to join the fun.) I find it hard enough to choose random facts about myself and then trying to come up with a convincing lie made it even more difficult!

So here you go. Can you spot the lie?

  1. I love country music.
  2. I once won a three-legged race – without falling down!
  3. Batgirl is my cousin.

I’ll let you know if you guessed correctly in the next post. And now…

I’ve been nominated to join in another blogging “game” or blog hop by Karen of Fifty Dresses about sewing and why we blog about it.

What am I working on?

I’m currently trying to find the motivation to leisure sew (as opposed to hired sewing). I made the mistake of actually starting a written To-Sew list, and it has become a little overwhelming because it’s so long! I’ve been slowly trying to produce practical garments to put in my closet so I’ll have more than just church clothes from my portfolio to wear.

Why do I write?

I guess I write because I feel like more people listen to what I have to say when it’s in print. That way, they have the option of ignoring/skimming a text without feeling like they have to be polite to my face, and those who really want to absorb my meaning can. I find small talk awkward, and when I do join group conversations, I’m often ignored or drowned out by those who are louder and more charismatic.

I started my blog mainly because I was tired of answering the same questions about sewing/costuming over and over in real life. I feel like I’ve been able to write a handful of posts with really useful information that couldn’t easily be found elsewhere online. Google often seems to think so too. =)

Now I find my own blog useful because it’s a bit like a portfolio/diary that I can refer back to when I need to remember when or how I did something.

How does my blog differ from others of its genre?

Well, I suppose my blog is different because I am one of the few sewing bloggers who actually sews professionally during the day. It’s the actual blogging part of the sewing that is my hobby.

How does my writing process work?

I usually start with the photos.

I take a lot of photos during and after a build. (Many teasers end up on Instagram.) I weed through the overabundance of pictures and choose the best ones to edit. Then I try to connect the photos with words.

Once I have my thoughts down in a somewhat logical order, my wonderful editor (aka ever-patient, non-sewing-husband) plods through my droning about things he’s mostly not interested in reading, and makes me sound so much better than I normally would. My readers have no idea how much to thank him! He is also the best blog post title composer – you know all those clever titles? Yeah, all him. My blog would read like a dry history book without him. (I’m actually really worried when he doesn’t fix more than a couple of commas in a post.)

Most of my posts end up being longer than I plan for them to be, but I think because I’m not posting daily, it sort of balances out. At least I hope it does!

Nominate!

I always feel a little guilty about passing these things on, but I would like to know what Catja of Gjeometry and Melanie of The Seeds of 3 would have to say about their process (including a lie!) if they are inclined to play along. I don’t think either of you have been asked, have you? =)

And Karen of Fifty Dresses, do you have Two Truths & A Lie? Thanks for giving me the push to crank out a blog post – I’ve been trying to find the incentive to write for days!

So who wants to guess my lie? Leave your guesses in the comments of this post! (And no, Dad, you can’t play.)

How Dior Own Dresses Compare?

My coworker sent me a mesmerizing video about the making of a Dior dress for a couture fashion show. I can’t stop watching it! I’ve shared it on Twitter a couple times already but everyone should see it, so I’m also posting it here on my blog.

If you’ve ever wondered why fashion is expensive, just try to count the number of different people who have a hand in making this gorgeous dress!

And even if you don’t particularly like the style, you can’t help but be amazed by the amount of work and engineering that goes into such a build! Those pleats! (And those heels! Want!)

Enjoy!

Donning a Derby

I have a vintage bowler hat that actually fits me (I think it might be a kids’ hat), and I had the perfect excuse to wear it on Sunday night!

My vintage bowler (or derby) hat.

The inside crown label says it was made by Dunn & Co. in Great Britain.  There are other things like “Lightweight” and “Piccadilly Circus – London” stamped on the leather band around the inside edge.

The inside of the hat.
It might be a size 6 ¾ if the label “634” translates into a fraction
(which would make since according to my head measurement).

My church has a wonderful Fine Arts/Concert Series organized by our Organist & Director of Worship Benjamin Kolodziej (ko-LO-jee).  Sunday night’s concert was a special treat – a silent movie with live pipe organ accompaniment!  (Yes, my little church has a real pipe organ!)

The film shown was The General from 1926 starring Buster Keaton accompanied with an original score by Mr. Kolodziej.  It is a fantastic comedy with crazy stunt work and a huge number of extras.  It was quite impressive from a moviemaking point-of-view.  What made it magic was that there was no “magic” trickery like there is in modern movies; they set up a camera, performed amazingly dangerous stunts involving stream-powered locomotives, and coordinated hoards of people & horses to play Civil War soldiers – all often in single takes!

It was so much fun to see the film in such an authentic style with live music and to hear the children in the audience laughing just as much as the adults!  It’s a great piece of cinematic history – I highly recommend renting it from Netflix if you have an account.

Benjamin never misses a chance to wear a fun hat, so I knew I’d have a chance to get a photo of us both wearing our bowlers afterwards.

Two authentic derby hats. (That’s the church’s harpsichord on the far left.)

Bad lighting + cell phone camera = not so great picture.  However, it’s infinitely better when you can use fun photo editing effects like “Aged Newspaper”.

To improve the bad quality, I chose “aged 80 years” and added a border.

But my favorite version of the picture is the cropped and oval framed version of Benjamin by himself:

Perfect for a period-authentic concert program bio!

In May, there’s going to be a concert titled “Titanic at 101: Music of the Edwardian Age” – perhaps I should plan on a Downton Abbey inspired outfit…

A Custom Style Christmas

Every year, my husband and I design our Christmas cards using a simple photo that always involves our dog.  I usually come up with the concept and he helps me execute it.

This year was the first year we’ve had Wensley for the Christmas card, and we weren’t sure he would be as easy to photograph as our last Jack Russell, who was an old pro at our crazy photo shoots.

Well, Wensley was amazing, and I managed to get the exact photo I wanted by take 7 or 8!  Lots of treats were given (so he was well paid) and he had so much fun playing the new “game” that he wanted to keep going long after we called it quits.  (I think 100 photos is more than enough, dog.  But thanks!)

UPDATE 10/17/13: This card is now available for sale in my Zazzle store. Can be customized.

So to my online friends whose physical addresses I do not have for sending cards, here’s a virtual version of this year’s card:

Card Front
I tied some red ribbon around our green storage ottoman to use as the “gift” prop.

Photo Inside Card
Wensley stands & sits on our ottoman all the time because he’s not allowed on any of the other furniture, so this was an easy shot to get.

Inside message:

Merry Christmas!  from the Wilkersons

“Oh, that birth forever blessed,
When the Virgin, full of grace,
By the Holy Ghost conceiving,
Bore the Savior of our race,
And the Babe, the world’s Redeemer,
First revealed His sacred face
Evermore and evermore.”

                        Of the Father’s Love Begotten – hymn stanza 2

Card Back
We usually use a funny photo or outtake on the back, but we decided on something normal this year because it was the first time some of our friends & family would be seeing our new pup.

And here are two of my favorite outtakes that were not included in the original card:

“You want me to do what? You’re crazy.”

Most people know JRTs are fast, but here’s some proof.

Have a wonderful Christmas holiday, everyone!

I Smell Cheese

It’s time to take a short break from whatever you were doing and enjoy a laugh!

Below are two amusing videos from the 1950s that I came across today.  First up is an umbrella fashion show.  (Do fashion designers still do accessory runway shows today?  I can’t say I’ve ever seen a modern show featuring them.)

While most of the umbrellas they are showcasing look like they should be props in comedic musicals, the dresses and hats worn by the models are beautiful!  I especially like the red & white hat that was paired with the red & grey umbrella.

And here’s another video with horribly kitschy hats, complete with cheesy narration and acting:

It starts out rather costumey and then just becomes absurd by the end!  (The “funnel” hat made the laugh most.)

“It just goes to show what can be done with a little imagination – if you know how.”  LOL

Now don’t you feel inspired to go looking through your kitchen cabinets instead of in your closet?  Hope you enjoyed the quick break!  =oD

Is It Just Me…

… or do other people also see a dinosaur head when they look at a modern sewing machine?

No, I… I don’t smoke.  Why do you ask?

Anyway, I’ve been looking at sewing machines with a different eye this week, and  I’ve always vaguely thought they look like dinosaurs.  But since I’m usually only looking at the needle area of whatever machine I’m using, I haven’t really “backed up” and consciously studied the overall shape in a while.

Today, I drew this random sketch:

RAWR! I’m a Sewasaurus Rex with a tiny top hat!

Can you tell I’ve spent a few days sewing machine shopping?  I think I need to clean up the sketch (maybe add a bow tie) and put it on a t-shirt, hehe.

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