5 More Minutes

Thursday, June 20, 2013

A Midsummer Night's Dream

Since cast as the lead role in an original fairy tale in 2nd grade, I have loved theater.  For the past 12 years, it has been a relatively constant hobby of mine, as I try to dabble in at least one show each year.  A Midsummer Night's Dream has been in that rotation three times in the last eight years, to my immense delight.  In the first iteration for the Ohio Shakespeare Festival, I designed only two costumes, as I also performed, sang, and played violin.  The second iteration was my very first time as a show's costume designer -- a shockingly stressful position, at times.  This last time, I was the costume designer for St. Augustine's HEP, and it was, bar none, my most successful costume venture thus far.
The Hilarious Rustics
Oberon & Titania
Grumpy Egeus
The Fairies (& assorted ladies of the court)
Lysander and Demetrius
Curtain Call with our brilliant director
After the show

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Toy Whale from Old Jeans

My thriftiness is delighted at reusing and repurposing old material but many are the hours I have spent upcycling only to end up with something which turned out looking like a stray cat used it as a dumpster-bed.

This whale pattern from old jeans (preferably jeans with a bit of stretch) is adorable!  It only took a couple of hours to complete, and I love how it looks.  It also seems to have the kind of durability you want for a children's toy.

Pattern

Stitched together

Stuff the tail and fins and stitch for detail




 Discovered on Pinterest.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Owl Love You Forever

My second Knitted Owl (same Ravelry pattern as the brown owl) is quite a bit bigger...his eyes also ended up a bit asymmetrical so I named him Dizzy.


Owl Always Love You

This latest knitting pattern I saw on Ravelry, and thought it would be a perfect baby gift for a friend who just had a baby girl. I have never tried knitting stuffed animals, but now I am a huge fan! Super cute pattern, right?


I actually made another stuffed owl for another friend-baby, which I will post tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Knitting Project #1

Since I began teaching grade school this past year, I have been inspired to get back into creative endeavors, though of course, I have also been very worn out. Having a classroomful of young energy to direct  constructively for seven hours a day is demanding, but incredibly fun. Anyway, during spring break I started knitting again, and I finally finished my latest successful project!
I made this for my husband from some lovely yarn he bought for me in Fredericksburg for my birthday...three years ago! He's a fan. If you like the pattern, you can find it here on ravelry.com

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Botanical Easter Eggs

Sean and I made Botanical Easter eggs this year (I know this post is a bit late, but it is only the third Sunday of Easter), and I wanted to show how we did it.  There are several posts on how to do these, but I found the Martha Stewart post the most helpful.

First, gather the material:
We went with the Pysanka hollow egg method, which was actually much easier than I remember:

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Pop Culture Clothing

This is a mediocre print, and $54.99 is kind of ridiculous for what looks like an iron-on image on a small mens undershirt. 

Ruche
However...if I am honest, I think I still kinda want it.  Because it's Audrey.  I think something might be wrong with me.  Fortunately, the price is so off-putting and the fit looks so iffy, this one isn't too tough to dissuade myself but...

The root of the problem is also the same reason I am strongly compelled to buy myself the T-shirt version of the Pride and Prejudice book cover even though my awesome in-laws bought me the coveted purple P&P sweatshirt as a gift, which I love and wear almost every weekend.   
OutofPrintClothing
And the 1984 sweatshirt:
OutofPrintClothing
I never got wearing a T-shirt with a band much less a gigantic logo, but book cover T-shirts?  Yes, please!

I feel I genuinely need these book cover clothing articles on some deep level.  Does anyone else find themselves helplessly compulsive about random material items?  Please share, because I'm starting to feel like I have a mental disorder. 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Dolls, Etc.

GiltGroup emails have long been ignored in my gmail inbox.  With tight funds, the last thing I need is more excuses to explain a $100 purchase with, “But look, honey!  It was 70% off!  Think how much we saved!”    

However, when I saw a Madame Alexandre sale in GiltGroup, my usually thrifty brain went:"…they’re so pretty which is unusual since most dolls tend to be creepy...my niece-goddaughter loves dolls…if it’s not a purchase for me it’s like I’m saving even more money…I win!"  
Dorothy and Toto!
I love having nieces and a nephew.  

I knew I was going too far though when I saw a Funny Face doll and almost managed to convince myself that as the fatal combination of my favorite style icon and totally the best fashion movie ever made (that I’ve seen, anyway), I should own this.  Fortunately, I managed to talk myself out of it, perhaps influenced most by the crushing weight of my Very Grown-Up Job in An Office, since in most similar cases, my adulthood actually works out as a justification for a purchase like that: the preservation of my childish whimsy.  Here’s a picture so you understand how compelling the argument was:
Funny Face
Right?!  Audrey is lovely. There are certain movie icons who remain as the Unbeaten Ultimates in American Cinema.  Sofia Loren remains the reigning queen of impossibly voluptuous Roman goddesses in human form (although Sofia Vergara is representing our era pretty well).  Marilyn Monroe is the American girl-next-door, the hardy and sumptuous farm-girl who is knowing in some ways and vulnerably naive in others; though she may have been the beginning of the cliché held by some American men that the more beautiful a girl is, the more mentally unstable she is.  Audrey is, of course, the Hollywood Princess, so convincing not from exceptional acting skill, but because of the success of type-casting.  As the daughter of an actual Dutch baroness and originally a disciplined ballerina struggling to make money after immigrating from impoverished post-WWII Holland, she more stumbled into acting than pursued it, and had all the charm  and sweetness expected from a Cinderella story.    

P.S. I just perused the Madame Alexander website and: a) a lot of their dolls are actually very creepy looking, so hooray me for finding cute ones; b) what is the deal with a doll company that insists that plastic dolls are age 14+?; and c) they have a Henry VIII and Wives collection, supposedly part of their Showtime Collection, but still weird.  Sadly, Anne Boleyn's and Catherine Howard's heads do not pop off.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Heels: My Epic Struggle Against Pointy Inanimate Objects

My Piperlime gift card fashion victory has thus far afforded me hours of entertainment.  (Yes, I am crowing over my victory.  It's not often I win stuff, so just let me run a victory lap for this one, and I'll be done with it.)  I have ordered several thing from dear Piperlime, -- fyi: Piperlime's customer service really is top-notch, despite my criticisms of their product selection -- and I got the chance to play around with many brands.  My primary focus was finding heels I actually wanted to wear.  Being just shy of 5'9 and a teensy bit gangly does present a certain challenge in professional and sexy footwear.  You just cannot wear flats with everything, and I would like to branch out into things other than fancy Diesels and Doc Martens' menswear.  So I did order the Pour la Victoire black heels as pictured below:











They were pretty, if not really up to the quality I thought should be present in $200 black leather heels.  The crux  is, that heels may make me an Amazon, but they improve outfits and make you feel sexy, yes?  I may be the exception to the rule but I cannot feel sexy in shoes that make me feel as though I am mere seconds away from either snapping the heels off my twig-like support or collapsing into a very unflattering pile of fashion shame.  Literal stability is necessary in making me feel confident, and without actual stable foundations I feel more like this:

In case you can't tell, which is entirely possible since drawing is a skill that proves to be beyond me, this is a cartoon of a cat stranded on a box in a tempestuous sea, because, of course, cats are notorious for being sticklers for texture, dryness, and proper stability, though I'm not sure how effective my cartoon is if I feel the need to spell it out.  Whatever, I'm not trying to make a living as a cartoonist, so judge me kindly.  The point being that the little black patent shoes made me feel like this cat looks...so a big fat no to those.

Anyhoodle, I did manage to find these wonderful shoes by Seychelles:

I have worn these, in real life, three times so far because whatever genius designed these shoes realized that setting the heels closer in toward the center increases feeling of stability, so I can stalk around feeling like I am not about to buckle in on myself in a magnificent architectural failure, but instead feel as though I am as spindly and delicate as the Eiffel Tower.  So yeah, Seychelles.  

P.S. I need chocolate leggings to go with a shorter dress, and I have no idea where to get good ones.  Leggings horrify me a bit, so I need advice. Give it up and I will be eternally grateful.  

Monday, January 10, 2011

On the 10th Day of January...

...I thank my McNally parents for successfully welcoming my husband into the world.  Job well done!

And just because I think it's neat, and I haven't posted much I thought I'd share the birthday present I got him, which I could take in low lighting because of the super awesome birthday present he got me in November: the coolest tripod ever made.  Anyway, the print is by artist Justin Van Genderen who has a little collection of comic book cities done as vintage travel posters, which is two totally unrelated things mashed together with suburb success.

    

Monday, December 27, 2010

On the 2nd Day of Christmas:

I have written a personality quiz for you!  Yes, me, my own self, I tirelessly studied the intricacies of human interaction in order to present you with this quiz about you.  You're welcome.  I actually wrote it as an excuse to make use of an observation I found terribly funny, and I meant to post it directly on the blog, but the site is being terribly wenchy so I have been unable to embed it properly, but here is the link to it in the meantime: 4 Temperaments Quiz.


I have been familiar with the 4 Temperaments since about age 14, so when it came up during our marriage prep, Sean and I flew through the section, and were all, "Tell us something we don't know, marriage prep group leaders!"  They didn't and in fact said a few things that were either wrong or have been widely debunked, which was a nice source of distraction for me and my special man friend.  I'm sure that wasn't annoying at all for the instructors, as we were right in the front row, and Sean doesn't know how to whisper.  Anyway, after the test, they ordered the four types to separate and stand in the four corners of the rooms and point to their affianced (perhaps a ploy to shut up Sean and I).  The group of roughly 100 couples was divided very equally among the 4 types and almost everyone was with someone of a different temperament.  So one thing we did learn was that the reactions of each of the temperaments in determining their types and then grouping together was absurdly consistent.  Even people who had never heard of the 4 Temperaments were acting as though they'd studied all the cliches and behaved accordingly.  See quiz for elaboration.  


The best and most complex quiz for the 4 Temperaments I have ever found is on Catholic Match, which calculates in percentages which two temperaments you are, so that’s fun (it's hard to get around the website without signing up, so good luck on that).  For a couple, it is really helpful to know and understand each other’s temperament because it softens the frustrations that arise and make you go, “What is wrong with you?  Why are you the way you are?!?!?!?!/Why are you like this?!?!”  Knowing and understanding your honey’s temperament can help answer that question a lot of time, and sooth the urge to imagine that your baby is just doing that to annoy you.  The 4 Temperaments is very limited, however, and honestly the Myers-Briggs is so much more satisfyingly in depth, so I recommend checking that one out too.          


Anyway, if you do take the test, leave a comment and tell me if it seemed accurate.


Merry Christmas, all!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Anti-dis-in-no-nonsense

The evolution of language is mostly pretty cool.  Also, pretty cool is the English language.  I have a passing acquaintanceship with Italian (minimal), a forced working relationship with Latin (Try as I might, I couldn't get away from Latin.  I attended insane schools that insisted on Great Books curriculum, and Latin was a requirement to get through the core.  My interaction with Latin was like a co-worker you don't like but always get scheduled with and you don't realize you actually have begun to like until they quit the position), and also a wee bit of German (a pathetically wee bit.  I learned how to order food and ask for directions in German and that was it.  I relied very heavily on the panicked, flailing gestures and Deutsch-glish to get by...when my fluent friend was not nearby.)  Anyway, while the romance languages are incredibly musical and pretty, their regularity gets....boring.  English pretty much rocks because more often than not the words actually sound like what they describe, which is ever so much better, for poetry and musical lyrics and just making yourself generally understood.  It is a language of extreme onomatopoeia.  As is German, English's linguistic cousin.  For instance, merde could be anything really, whereas scheiße! most certainly sounds like a frustrated, but mild swear word with scatological roots.


Anyway, why am even talking about this?  I'm not really sure.  I haven't posted in a bit, and I thought I should do something, and I recently experienced a wordsmith revelation.  "Nonsense" is a cute word.  There are things that make sense, and there are things so ridiculous that they are a total absence of sense: nonsense.  What bothers me is the existence of the word no-nonsense.  A double negative that, if anything, obscures the actual meaning of the word and sounds very silly when you think about it.  No-nonsense basically means sensible, but the word is terribly gangly, and sounds made up when you say it 5 times.    


The motivation of this post is obscure even to me.  This weekend has been extremely successful in catching up on sleep and not much besides.  After a couple of beers, pondering in the corporate mire in which I spend my daily hours, this is what I came up with to discuss.  Cheers.