November 2006 | Main | January 2007

December 24, 2006

In-laws, Loot, and Foxes

It is Xmas Eve and I am sitting in a cozy bedroom in The South tapping away at my beloved laptop. The journey so far has been mostly uneventful. My family tends to bicker a little, but then mostly get over it. This is, certainly, a mainstay of all families and we cohere pretty well, methinks. Much better than certain families (coughJcough). I am not sure if I would survive a holiday season with my "in-laws." It may just be too much for my brain to process without exploding in a sticky mess. Xmas Chez Villain is very laid back and easy. Mostly we lounge around and watch British murder mysteries on A&E. I never really have to do anything except shop, really. I cut out a dress to sew up tomorrow when everyone (all three of us) have scattered for a bit. I will get to use my mom's extra fancy schmancy Bernina. It's a little intimidating, actually.

I will be starting a Simplicity pattern in a black fabric with gold outlines of cherry blossoms soon. Here is the pattern. I'm doing the solid blue version:


Tomorrow is my mom's birthday and she gets overwhelmed. Well, really she gets underwhelmed on a massive scale. Sure gifts from me are nice and all, but those from certain family members (the joy of inlaws) are sometimes so thoughtless as to be insulting and she takes it to heart every time. I made my folks stuff. Pretty simple stuff really: pj pants, beret, scarf (ahem still in process), but their major gift is pretty major. I splurged on an el-huge-o print of one of our Florence photos on a big ole canvas. I know it is totally kitschy and a little silly, but I still think it will look pretty awesome in their big ole house. I'll take a photo in situ. I think that handmade gifts are really the best and was kind of pissed off when I saw a commercial with the tagline "Handmade gifts are ok... if you're 7" Well, no I'm not 7 thankyouverymuch. I'm sure that everyone in the crafting world is sick of having to worry if their stuff is "good enough" to give as gifts. I hate when the Marketing Scum who makes these ads tries to force is to feel inadequate. I guess that is what Xmas is about, mostly: inadequacy. Shows why there are so many suicides this time of year. So the short answer is: YES, your stuff is good enough! If it's not, then perhaps your recipient isn't. Humph! This is me being snooty to you, Mr. Adman!

Well, I make all those complaints about the evils of capitalism, but I am certainly guilty of excessive consumption. My mom claims that it is because she only sees me twice a year and has to load me up with the loot she would be buying me all the time if I lived closer. I can't complain about that part. One of the best things I have gotten is my New Favorite Makeup. I read about Bare Escentuals on Sundry Buzz and I really love it! I even watched the infomercial DVD they packaged with my kit to learn all of the Fascinating Techniques. It does work pretty awesomely. Doesn't feel like you have anything on! That is a big plus over in Grease Territory where I reside. Additional loot includes yummy Asian fabric and a couple of new patterns including this dress:


Soon, my pretty, soon. I have been trying to finish this scarf for my mom and I am remembering why I don't knit very many. They take bloody forever! The payoff seems so low compared to a sweater, but I think she will like it. I used the pattern from Sheep in the City and it is pretty good looking. Mine has an extra sort of ribbing effect that makes it curl (?!@?), but it still works pretty well. I used Malabrigo and it is so soft! I'd love to make a sweater out of that stuff. Maybe when I have money again.

My parents have been cooking a lot of fancy food (filet mignon, swordfish steaks, quiche, smoked turkey breast) and that means that this little Villain might not be so little by the time I get to wear the new dress. Good thing the panyhose I bought are control top, I guess. Blargh. We are going to a swanky restaurant next to the White House in a few days. I am excited! I have been wearing the shoes quite a bit already and am starting to get used to the height. I have tried on others to add to the Awesome, but nothing seems to fit, so maybe I will have to suck it up and get the same pair in brown. I seem to end up with a monotonous consistent wardrobe because if I like something I'll just get it in multiple colors instead of searching for new looks.

Well this post has pretty much been about consumption and buying junk. Kind of gross, huh? I guess that is because the rest of the trip has been so relaxed and uneventful, but in a good way. We don't really need to do much or have dinner with the bone china to have a nice time and I appreciate that about my family. When the extended family comes into play, things just get too crazy for me. For Thanksgiving everyone (except me, of course!) came down here and from the descriptions, it sounded just dreadful! My uncle-in-law was a holy terror and pretty much made life miserable for everyone. I like our tiny family gatherings. It would be nice to add J, though. And a dog. This is the first Xmas without our beloved Sandi Dog and it is a little sad. I hope that my mom gets a new pupperoni soon. I think the world will be a better place when she does. I miss having a little snoot around to snuggle. I wish it could be a fox. JUST LOOK HOW CUTE:


Don't you just want to snuggle its little face off whilst drinking hot chocolate by the fire? Well *I* do. So there.

Posted by loyd0008 at 10:50 PM

December 17, 2006

The Scarlett Dress

Here is the newest dress. I think that this might actually be the best-made dress I have ever created. The darts/seams even match up. Whoa. I even hand-sewed the hem. That's love, people. And finally I have some pictures up in this joint! It was getting pretty boring without them.


These are the delicious shoes that J got me for Animus. (Don't you love my dirty floor and gaffer's-taped cable? Classy.) Normally I don't 1. wear heels 2. spend so much on shoes. However, I am endeavoring to do both from now on. I am sometimes drawn to the cheapness of cheap shoes, but they always seem to hurt my feets. These are 3.5 inches high and normally I don't go above the 1 inch level. This means that none of my jeans (except for one pair that I have been meaning to hem forever) fit. Thank goodness for laziness! They are surprisingly comfortable, too. My back didn't hurt at all when I wore them yesterday and we even walked a ton. Yay!


My photographer is thankfully back home and we have been trying to live it up before I venture down south for xmas. Probably a quiet night in tonight, since I have some presents to finish making... Nothing like leaving everything for the last minute!

Posted by loyd0008 at 4:56 PM

December 13, 2006

Dear Scarlett

Dear Scarlett Johansson,

I know that you will want to borrow this dress right away when I am finished with it. Just let me wear it once and then you can wear it to whatever awards banquet is honoring you this week. I have never seen you in plum, but I'm sure that it will suit you, since pretty much anything that you can wear with red lipstick does.



Ha-ha. In my wildest dreams, Scarlett and I are BFF and share clothes all the time because of course we are the same size! Err, maybe not, but again with the dreaming business.


So I am making this dress (the light blue version minus the ruffle) out of a plum sateen sheet that I got at Ikea and, let me tell you, this material is fabulous! Doesn't hold a crease all that well, but that is good because it means that when I iron wrinkles into it, they don't hold as badly as usual. I have a whole ton of it left and I can't wait to make something else out of it! Skirt? Shirt? Everything? I want to get one in every color! It makes the dress look pretty fancy without being eveningwear or anything. If I can get the zipper in just so then I think that it will be a pretty neat-o piece of work. Definitely "Awesome," especially if I wear it with the shoes that J bought me for Animus! (We celebrate our anniversary and xmas together in one fantastical extravaganza called Animus.) Now if I can't get the zipper in right, then we're going to have problems, but here's hoping for the best. Don't worry, Scarlett, I'm sure it will turn out great!

Posted by loyd0008 at 8:35 PM

December 7, 2006

where he belongs

I miss him so much that it hurts me. I keep reading all these sad posts about the Kim family and I just want my baby back in my arms.


Posted by loyd0008 at 2:30 PM


So it has almost been a week since I was miraculously dubbed All But Dissertation and became a mystical Doctoral Candidate about to embark on the holy quest of the Dissertation. Truth be told, it has sort of been a let down. I mean, I'm happy to have gotten this far, but I haven't even been able to really celebrate since J is in Boston and I think I would be too depressed if I got drunk without him. All that work and reading and making my jaw muscles into painful little steel ropes and now... it's pretty dead around here. I guess I'm working on a painting? And I made some candles? And I'm writing on the novel again? I have mostly been sort of staring into space and wondering what comes next. I'll have to get down to starting my diss prospectus sometime soon.

I guess I forgot to post about going to the No Coast Craftarama, which was big and crowded and full of stuff. I only bought a couple of one inch buttons made from old dictionary pages and some fused glass from 7 two 7. Vicki, the glass fuser is super sweet and I really love all the pieces. I could just sort of sit and stare at them if they weren't also so cute on her hairpins. Besides that, nothing really blew my mind though.

I am expecting some fabrics in the mail, though I certainly have enough for the projects I am supposed to be working on. I haven't broken out the machine (well, figuratively, since it just sits on a table in the bedroom) since before Thanksgiving (retitled by J and myself "ChickieNobs Liberation Day" Did you ever read Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood? If not, do it!").

I haven't got any finished objects interesting enough to photograph yet, but when I do, you will be the first to know. I ought to start the Sophia Loren dress soon as well as my parent's xmas presents. If only I could stop staring at this screen all zombie-like. Are the exams really over? Really truly? I guess that's good...

Posted by loyd0008 at 2:03 PM