Saturday, April 28, 2012


Edgy June Cleaver posted this video on Facebook a few months ago.  I believe at the time she called it “the gayest video ever”.  I’d say that’s probably pretty accurate.  It’s riotously OTT and sort of entertainingly all over the place in it’s references (and I mean, any song that rhymes “hoochie coochie” with “Susan Lucci” and then has a cameo of Susan Lucci in it… well, sign me up!  That’s just fabulous with a capital FAB).  And how amazing is Gloria looking these days??  Good grief.

While she’s not -much to her ongoing chagrin- allowed to watch the video, TLo is totally and completely enamored with the song and has to date (according to iTunes) played it 23 times on her iPod. 

She can sing the whole thing, of course.  That’s sort of entertainingly OTT in itself.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Little Pitchers Have… Little Ears

So The Evil Monkeys apparently take after their mother.  They have really little ears.

“And?” you ask.

Well, for one thing, I can’t get “regular” earbuds into my bitty little ears.  You can imagine that there’s no way in H-E-double-hockey-sticks they’re going in the Monkey Ears.  We have six (count them six) useless pairs of "regular" earbuds that came with various iDevices.  But no, I have to buy the in-your-ears kind with the interchangeable large-medium-small gel inserts.  And I use the small.  And sometimes they still fall out. 

The Evil Monkeys, until this point, have been stuck with the traditional over-your-head headphones, which are bulky, break easily, have to be bought special in a size that will fit tiny monkey heads (at three times the normal price) and are generally a pain in the B-U-T-T.

This week they were selling earbuds with interchangeable gel inserts in the checkout line at Walgreens.  For $5.  "Aha!" I crowed. "Evil Monkey Special."

Yep.  I am that mom.  I buy my kids cheap C-R-A-P from the check out line at Walgreens.

After much groaning and cringing and flinching and general whining, The Evil Monkeys have finally figured out how to put in their very own earbuds (I never said they were the sharpest tacks in the box).  Goodbye yucky over-your-head headphones.  Hello.... totally lost iPods.

It hadn't occurred to me, but the giant over-your-head headphones were pretty much the only thing keeping their itty bitty teeny tiny Shuffles from getting lost all over the house.  Plus, earbuds are sort of a pain to haul around loose, because there's just nothing to them and they’re floppy and whatnot.

My point being, I can't win.

Aha!  But I can.  Enter this guy:

I have no idea who this freak of nature is, but he seems to be a little bit of awesome.  He made his own collapsible knitting needles, people.  Why?  Who the flip knows!?  But he did it.  It's geektastic.

He also made a little template (after several trial-and-error efforts) of an earbud winder to be cut from an old credit card.  Now, I totally have a plastic winder that I bought online (with money, people) but I'm not going to go so far as to buy two more for The Monkeys.  Unless there are some in the checkout line at Walgreens.  Which there aren't.  I looked.

What I did do was print some nice little Hiroshige images on the laser printer, laminate them with some high-gloss laminate, mount them to some illustration board (front and back), and cut them out.  (Well, I also modified the design first because the holes were too big for our particular type of earbuds.)

earbuds front

earbuds back

Aren't they cute? 

Here’s one with my iPhone tether.  I don't have any earbuds here to try it out to be sure it will actually work.  But I figure it's an hour of otherwise-useless work time well spent.

earbuds tether

What?   I have commercial lamination and mounting equipment, people.  I have to do something with it.


These are AWESOME.  They work great.  I suspect that A) they won’t hold up forever, being basically paper and B) one or both will get lost within the next 24 hours.   But they work really well.  It would be worth investigating a more durable solution.

Sorry for all the bad photos, I used my iPhone.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Proof That The People At Ottobre Hate Me.

Because just when I decide that The Evil Monkeys have plenty (and by “plenty” I mean “a ludicrous quantity”) of clothes for the summer…. the wicked people at Ottobre Design come out with the Summer 2012 issue.

It looks like this:

Ottobre 3-3012 all files

There are some cute items, people. 

This dress positively hollers “TLo!”:


And this pair of shorts absolutely screams “The Big One!”:


Plus all that other stuff that looks so interesting.

Any bets on how many totally and completely superfluous items of clothing The Evil Monkeys wind up with this summer?

Of course, that would require that I actually sew them.  Hmph.  Those Ottobre people really know how to be cruel.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Here’s What Happens When I Can’t Be Bothered To Fix The Camera

…or in other words, I don’t have any photos of what I’ve been working on.

Point A)  I believe that the introduction and wide-spread adoption of ready-made, standardized-fit clothing has altered our attitudes towards clothing.  We now feel the need to change our bodies to fit our clothes rather than change our clothes to fit our bodies. Obviously, this isn’t a revolutionary thought.  For example there’s that touted anecdotal statistic that’s been flying around for years about how many women say they want to have plastic surgery so their clothes will fit better.  It’s possibly not true but still… I think there’s a point to that anecdote.

Point B) I notice how well or poorly people's clothes fit.  I notice it at the grocery store.  I notice it at work.  I notice it when I'm watching TV.  Good fit.  Poor fit… mostly poor fit.  You do that too, right? I'm guessing many of you do.  I think those of us who spend a significant part of our sewing time trying to achieve good fit start to notice when others' clothes don’t fit.  Even if it's on TV or in the movies or whatnot.

I’ve been mulling over point A and point B for a long time.  Many of you have been too.  Here's what I've noticed: when my clothes are custom fit and fit well (as opposed to the many many examples of custom fit clothing that I own which do not fit well), someone invariably comments on how "good" I look.   Trust me.  I don't look good.  But I do look like my clothes fit.  And I always assumed  that I look “good” because my well-fitting clothes are flattering in some way.

But here's the thing: are we in fact just unconsciously assuming that a person in well-fitting clothes must look good because they fit their clothes?

What I mean is, ready-to-wear clothes are not designed to fit my body.   They're just not.  They are designed to fit someone who has the "ideal" body.  So if we see a person in clothes that fit them properly, are we subconsciously assuming for a moment that they must have an ideal body to be able to fit into those clothes in the first place?  Obviously that assumption won’t last past an actual assessment of the person’s figure, but as a first impression…?




Thesis: Are we conditioned through the almost exclusive purchase of ready-to-wear clothing to assume that if a person’s clothes fit, they must have the “ideal” figure to fit into them? 

Maybe we do.  Maybe we don't.  I don't know.


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Girlfriend, That Is SO Camp.

I’m on a sort of roll for making stuff for myself.  Here’s my next project. 

Turn this:


Into this:

Camp shirt into tunic.  Because despite my absolute loathing of camp shirts, I have a fitted camp shirt pattern.  And because this particular camp shirt pattern fits me perfectly.  And I mean,  Um.  Because Marta Alto fitted it for me.  That’s pretty much the only reason why.

But still.  Camp shirt.  Into tunic.  I can totally do it!  You just watch.

No.  Really.  I can.

Quit looking at me like that.

Seriously, don’t believe me?  This tunic is actually a camp shirt with gathers instead of darts.  Right?  Right.  Rotate the darts and convert them to gathers and add some width to the front and back bodice for flowiness, remove the collar and draft a facing instead, change the button placket to a center-seamed opening with ties, extend and add some flair to the sleeves… do some smocking…. 

Easy-peasy mac-and-cheesy.  As TLo says.

Quit looking at me like that.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Now You Can Play Along At Home!

The Husband has suddenly out of the blue decided to become a US citizen.  This means, should he be granted citizenship, that he can’t be deported.  And that he can vote.  This also means that we now get to spend vast quantities of time and money on yet another round of Bureaucratic Bingo.  It's super fun.  I'll give you an example.  Here's how you play:

1) The Husband was required, when he applied for and was granted status as a Resident Alien, to provide his fingerprints. 

2) These fingerprints are embedded in the "green card" he is required to carry with him at all times.

3) Homeland Security, in processing his application for citizenship, requires a set of fingerprints.  They also require a copy of his green card.  (The one with the fingerprints on it.  'Member that one?)

4)  We had to drive two hours to Ft Worth for him to have his fingerprints taken by Homeland Security.  This process took 6.3 minutes.  Literally.   I timed it.  With a timer.  Those Homeland Security people were both friendly and efficient.  The bastards. 

5) Then we had to drive two hours back home.  This process cost us $168.  Plus $80 in gas.  Plus $25 for lunch.  For some fingerprints they already had on file.

Bingo!!  What did we win?

If, at the end, the answer is not "The right to vote and not be summarily deported" I'm going to be really irritated.  We haven't even gotten to The Taking Of The Test part or the fact that The Husband forgot one item in his application packet and when he immediately called to rectify the problem they informed him that they might allow him to continue with the process.  Or they might deny his application.  They can't say.  It's up to the individual processor.  That one cost us $780.

Bureaucratic Bingo is the dog people.  You should all play!

(I was going to say, "it's the bomb" but then it occurred to me that I probably shouldn't write a post with both "Homeland Security" and "the bomb" in it. 

Uh.  Son of a—!!!)

And yes, I'm pretty sure that when they say "Resident Alien", in The Husband's case they mean an actual extraterrestrial.   It’s the only explanation.