Monday, October 31, 2011

Watch: Case Histories

 I normally only watch Masterpiece Mystery for the Agatha Christies, but the season closer this year was Case Histories with Jason Isaacs of Lucius Malfoy fame (also the bad guy in The Patriot, yum). Ex-cop and soldier and current private investigator Jackson Brodie is a Yorkshire man based in Edinburgh with a small but interesting and endearing cast of supporting characters, most notably his adorable Scottish-accented daughter. Brodie has a heart of gold while still kicking tail and getting the job done. The character is so masculine, like lose your breathe when he unexpectedly take his shirt off masculine. Isaacs has bulked up nicely, has some bad boy tattoos and a super gravely sexy sexy voice, all while being absolutely loyal to his friends and family and selfless at his job. This series is an absolute must see. Full episodes are on Masterpiece's website. A second series (season) is questionable as Isaacs stars in the upcoming NBC drama Awake.
 Why, hello.


Costume designers tend to be the Ebeneezer Scrooges of Halloween. I honestly can't say whether or not I'm going to be a great costume mom, I'll probs be burnt out by then. If I get paid to design and build costumes, why would I go all out for my kids? It's like if a mom gets paid to be a nurse why would she treat her kids at home, wait...

Anyway, most or all of my costumes were either made by my mom, or thrown together from things I had lying around. Last year I was a 1920s tennis star bc I had a white 20s dress and a racket. This year I was Hipster Jane Eyre: unflattering hair, red lip stain, nerdy boy glasses, scarf, grandpa sweater, skinny jeans (from Urban Outfitters in London, bc that's the hipsterest) and moccasins.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Jason Sudeikis Jack o'Lantern

Yeah, that's right, I made a Jason Sudeikis jack o'lantern. Why? Because he's adorable and hilarious on SNL and I've been watching him as Floyd on 30 Rock all week and Marth and I just think he's grand. And the HAIR!!
seriously, the hair!
and THE perfect pumpkin
I cleaned this pumpkin out the best I ever have, and I've carved lots o'punkins.
I put the picture from above through my photo software and got basically three values then outlined where I'd have them on the pumpkin.
And then you pin it on the pumpkin!!!
Then, using a straight pin, I poked the lines to transfer Mr. Sudeikis' face onto the pumpkin.
See, pokes everywhere!
Then, if you rub flour on the pokes  it fills them and you can see your design better! After that it's just a matter of cutting out the highlights, shaving the medium shades and leaving the skin where you want the darkest parts.
I got some pottery tools to do the shaving bit of it. I wish I'd gotten a small jack o'lantern saw to do the smaller holes, but it all worked out.
workin' away, it took awhile...about 5 hours start to finish
Tada! With the lights on.
such a handsome pumpkin for the porch.
Outside on the porch!! I'ma get a real tea light for the inside so you can't see the giant candle inside.
compare again! not exact, but you got the idea.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Project: black jersey dress

A couple of weeks ago I went shopping and got it into my head that I wanted to buy some cute stuff, probably because I've basically been wearing the same suitcase clothes since May. After a successful trip to Banana resulting in a pair of pants, but nothing from the Gap which was a huge bummer I went to Target and got two cardigans and a jersey dress on sale, w/o trying it on. Turns out, even though I held it up to myself in the store, that is was too short, shocker. I demand my skirts reach my mid knee standing and still hit top knee when seated, which makes it no surprise that I've made almost all of my skirts or dresses.
Cute dress right?
about 5" too short, shocker
Since the hem is kind of a wrap deal I decided to lengthen it at the waist by adding a band between the bodice and skirt pieces. I was going to use a black sweatshirt jersey I have, but it was too heavy and it was printed black, not woven that way, so I ended up using a lightweight grey jersey with some sparkle to it. I decided that adding all the length at the waist would make the band too wide and throw off the proportions so I only did a 3" waistband.
Cute right? Eh, as you can see below, of course the band hit right over tummy and boney hips. Deep down I knew this was going to happen because miracle of miracles the bodice actually fit my torso, so of course the band would start at my waist and go down. There wasn't much I could do about this short of buying a new dress. So yeah, unflattering, and still a little too short.
Since it was still a little short I decided to add a 2" band to each strap thinking this might be a cute detail, knowing full well that only adding length on the front straps would make the dress dip in the front, but I wanted to keep this project to 3 hours so I went with it, plus blasphemy of blasphemies, I didn't really care, it was a cheap dress.
The straps came out well, but I finished them crappily b/c I was kind of over the project by now.Still looks kind of cute on the form at this point.
But I didn't bother to account for my shoulder asymmetries as you can see...
So I cover them with my hair. Adding the straps did add length, but really just makes the neckline lower if I wear the waist where it was designed to sit so...
I pulled it down as far as it needed to go to hit the right spot and covered it with one of my new cardigans. Overall it was a Sexy Sunday, so success! I don't really intend to ever wear this dress w/o a cardigan bc of the no sleeve situation. I had an idea that it could be a jumper of sorts with cute shirt underneath, but my finishing is so bad on the straps I wouldn't dare. 

Overall, for a $12 dress I think it was an ok deal.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

trendi: The 1950s

The preppy movement has been moving from the 80s back to the 1950s in recent years, which I approve of. Clean cut preppy boys are opting for 1950s jackets and longer on top clean hair cuts, khaki pants, tshirt, it's great.
I think Madmen has had a lot to do with this, which is technically the 60s, but the super classy clean cut early 60s. Also, banana seat bikes, chukka boots, horn rimmed glasses, skinny ties, knit ties, mens cardigans...some of these pieces individually are rather hipster, but a 50s vibe in general is the choice of many a well groomed man of my acquaintance.
I could go on and on. It's happening a little in womenswear as well, with a trend toward dresses instead of shirts and skirts, or pencil skirts.

Yay or nay? yay, duh.

when they were young: Tom Selleck

With is lovely dimple and great hairline.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Nathan Gunn Part 2

Ok, so Nathan Gunn, RIGHT?! Here's the article about his performing w/ the MoTab.

I mean COME ON! He's so handsome! And, especially known for his 1) voice and 2) body.
Marth and I sort of can't get enough of how classy he is, and how much he looks like some other men we know...

Like Dougray Scott from Ever After.

Or Russell Crowe, a personal fave.

I mean really, he's just a super classically handsome and manly lookin' dude.

And lest we forget he sings, very well...

Start watching this one at around 1:30 if you want to see some amazing shirtless opera breathing (he's the baritone in the blue).
Watch this one if you want to see Mr. Gunn just be totally adorable.
Accents and musicals? Yep. Lancelot.
As Papageno (yes, in English, but s'ok. I actually saw this on PBS when it came out! who knew...)
And Shenandoah

Just a little handsome and charming.

Nathan Gunn Part 1

This is Nathan Gunn. He will be singing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir for Christmas this year (with Jane Seymour, but we'll forget that part). More to come.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sexy Sundays

My sister and her roommates used to have designated Sexy Sundays on which they'd make sure they were super smokin' for church. I adopted this when I went to the fashion show that is BYU. Looking back I can't say I always had the greatest style, but I think I've really gotten into a pretty sexy groove. Every Sunday is Sexy Sunday for me, because a) it's the one day a week I actually make an effort because I work with all women and b) I love to do my hair and make up and doll myself up.

Here's my outfit I wore last week. Cardigan on sale at Target, skirt made by me for like $5, shoes from Payless and brooch and earrings are Martha's.

This is what I wore today. The dress is from Target which I altered to make long enough (project journal to come), cardi from Target, tights from Gap, shoes from Payless, earrings from Forever 21.

And my hair from this week was awesome as well. It naturally finger waves, be jealous.

And I have TONS of hair recently!!! I know it's long, but it's taken so long to get to this point that I always covet longer hair.

And does anyone else think that the blonde streak UNDER my hair hilarious?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

W.E. Vanity Fair photos

Martha tipped me off to this Vanity Fair photo shoot of the stars of W.E., Madonna's upcoming directorial debut about Wallis Simpson and Edward VIII (release date 9 December 2011).
Read the attached info about the film and drool over the photos. I'm most impressed by the couch (ok and the replica of this dress), Wallis' KNIT zig-zag suit, her amazing finger waves, James D'Arcy's impeccable tailoring and D'Arcy as a blond. 

Also interesting about the film in general, James Fox is playing George V with son Laurence Fox as Bertie.

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Tempest @ PTC

Oh my gosh, I'm so tired from dyeing all day then going to The Tempest at Pioneer Theatre Co, but I figure I'd better review the show tonight to get it out there.

The Tempest is not my favorite. I think Prospero's an a-hole (pardon my French), Ferdinand's first words to Miranda asking her if she's a virgin are ridiculous and there are just too many  stupid groups of people to keep track of that just goes on and on. I saw it in London at the Unicorn and didn't particularly care for it, but looking back I liked it a lot better than this production, well, I liked the acting in London and the design up at PTC. Maybe someday I'll appreciate it if I ever see a production that really gets to me, but this didn't.

The concept was steam punk, which you should look up bc I'm too tired to elaborate. The set design and costumes were spectacular, and although I don't have any brighter ideas I wish Miranda would be in something other than a nightgown tied between her legs. I could go on about how awesome these things were, but again, tired.

The acting was slow and uninspired. It was intelligible, but nothing special. The pacing at the beginning was cumbersome, which is partially due to the fact that Prospero talks for the first 10 minutes to explicate, and partially because the narration was just dull. The tempest at the beginning which has the potential to be the big heralding bang for The Tempest was lethargic. I have other more particular bones to pick, but eh, that'd take effort. I can say that Ferdinand and Miranda's first meeting was delightful and Stefano and Tericulo were worth watching, for their first scene. Am I being too harsh because I was on my feet for 8 hours dyeing over a hot vat all day? Maybe, but there's an issue when the audience starts fantasizing about Wendy's asiago chicken clubs when they just had dinner at Hires Big-H.

On the upside, I got to catch up with my friend Val from USF who took me to the show. Even though I wasn't thrilled by it I love going to theatre! Thanks Val!! Also, her mom told me about ghosts in Ogden, of which there are apparently many.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

oh 1910s, how I love thee aka thanks for the wedding dress idea

When I tell people I sew, and that I design, and that I like to design wedding dresses and plan to sew my own wedding dress most assume I already know what it's going to look like. False. A wedding dress depends on groom, venue, season etc and since I have none of these things I have very little idea what my wedding dress is going to look like, but I recently found a dress that is definitely on the short list.

I give you this silk crepe by Lucile circa 1910-12. It's currently in storage at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Ug, I just love it. Of course I'd make it in an ivory or ecru. It could also work for an evening gown in dark teal or merlot. In case you are having trouble imagining it as a wedding dress, here is a rendering I did of someone with my body type and hair in the dress with the groom in a super nice three piece that he can wear later :)

It'd work so great for a fall or winter wedding and it meets all the Mormon modesty standards. You just can't beat extant dresses for modest ingenuity. It's 10x harder to design a pretty dress with sleeves, anyone can design something strapless. Stretch yourself people!

Anyway, there you go.