Monday, January 30, 2012

Very Rough Draft

I will probably miss the deadline for this and not submit. There are no edits, but I thought I'd throw this out there. It is complete fiction based on my experiences, but no case of mine is specifically tied to this story.

9:27 PM: I  resent the neighbors a bit. I wonder why, every time, none of them bothered get to know this person. Somebody thinks a daughter visits every couple years. From the looks of the room, it seems like this must be an off year. No one knows any names. Someone thinks he's from California meaning I have a lot of work ahead of me.  I'm tired, but that doesn't matter at all now. I'll grab every box of papers I can. I am well known for finding people, even those that don't want to be found.

9:47 PM: I am a stranger to this room, but I've seen it hundreds of times. It is cramped and dusty with the ammonia smell of cat box impregnated into every surface. The other smells just blend together in a familiar heavy fog. There is the old chair, worn through to the stuffing in places with a sheen of human oil on the head and arm rests. Next to the chair stands a short table covered with pill bottles, their yellowed labels peeling off, impossible to read. There is a dirty glass with crusty dentures resting on the bottom. There are cigarette butts in ashtrays.  There is always a remote within reach on the table as well. The T.V. is on the customary channel with a black and white episode of Perry Mason I saw once as a kid. 

10:15 PM: There are several people in the room with me. None of us have been here before, but we've seen it all hundreds of times, except for the new guy, who although he is the only normal one here, looks skittish. There are old record players, gramophones, and piles of records from the 30's and 40's. A camera flashes and we scuttle out of the way. The smell is really getting to the new guy by the failed tough guy look on his face. There is a pile of soda cans on the floor, no bin, just a pile. Next to that is a pile of mail, none of it is opened. I flip through the envelopes, some are dated back seven years. I find a photo from what appears to be from the seventies, but may be older, with "Christine" written in perfect penmanship on the back.  There are cat turds in the corner on the carpet. I find another photo with "the boys" scrawled on the back. To me this one screams Idaho in the eighties with big hair and a stuffed antelope head on the wall. These are the people I need to find.

10:29 PM: Some neighbors have gathered across the street, trying to look nonchalant while smoking and drinking cans of beer, obviously watching the spectacle, wanting to know what I see. They have never seen this room. The T.V. twinkles in the window every night. They wonder if he stays up nights and sleeps through the day. They rarely see him. The neighbors don't like how he keeps the lawn, but it isn't the fanciest neighborhood, so he gets by. An old car sits unused collecting dust and cats as usual in the drive. Kids don't like going by his house at night. There is a story about prison and violence, but no one knows the details.

9:06 PM: The phone rings, I was really wanting to go home early, but it looks like that isn't in the cards tonight. "Coroner's Office" I answer, waiting to get an address on a 68 year old male who hasn't been seen for two weeks.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Last Post for Season of Shadows

I just added a new blog to the list I follow- Season of Shadows. I just read the final post and was so moved. There are so many blogs out there by haunters that it is almost impossible to know of all of them. Rest in peace John and thank you for making Halloween a wonderful place. His blog will be maintained by family so we can all get some inspiration and how-to's. Here is his last post.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Might as Well Call it The Joan

This is the dress, presses and finished. Its not perfect, but it will do.

I added the darts in the back.

Unfinished hem in this shot, but you get the idea.

I usually use drapes to hide my imperfections, but this close fitting piece is comfortable as well as flattering. Who knew?  I think I'll wear it tomorrow night at the Red Light Variety Show.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sleeves and Some Bling

Attaching the sleeves was a bit stressful, but I got 'em on.


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Latest Project

I like the deconstructed look that this Etsy Seller has.

But I also don't want to make a bunch of asymmetrical funky stuff that screams "Hey, I have a SERGER!" I also love the look of Joan Harris from Mad Men.

I also like this, I know, nerd, right?

Since I am me, I decided to buy a fabric I liked and then design a dress for it using a pattern and making some changes. This is the pattern I chose. Simplicity 2337 as seen on Pattern

Since this is my first several pieced pattern I decided a musin was the way to go with this project. So I got to tracing and cutting. I know most people don't trace their patterns, but I like to.

Those are my tuna can pattern weights. The curve is to adjust the pattern for my proportions which span several sizes (hence why I've taken up sewing). I like the muslin because I can mark directly on the fabric the changes I need to make.

Its my lumpy body double.

After lots of changes, seam ripping, and re-basting, I finally gave in and decided to try the muslin out and actually cut my real fabric. I had chosen a really soft 4 way stretch grey corduroy.  This is what I have so far.

Remember, the dress form is a bit lumpy so the seams don't look great in the photo.

Lumpy boobs.

The collar is cut on the bias so the grain of the corduroy lays differently and splits on the left shoulder. The stones are going to be little accents on the collar and cuffs, that is when I get some sleeves.  That's as far as I've gotten so far. So I can see the Mad Men and Star Trek influence, but where is the Etsy influence? I was going to do the skirt with an extra panel, but decided not to. I may add an element to the hip like a ruffle, but I'm not sure. 
Some more views to show that the nap isn't always so obvious. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I liked this book. I It was a very easy read and compared to the other popular young adult series (Potter and Twilight), this was pretty good. For a formula plot I was able to keep reading with interest even though it was pretty predictable. The characters start out pretty one-dimensional, but Katniss really starts to grow within the story. Is this the best book ever? No. Was it an entertaining read? Yes. Is is violent? Yes. I love all the people that were shocked with the violence of the games. Maybe they should watch Idiocracy, oh wait, they wouldn't get it. I am currently into the second book and it seems to keep the momentum going, So far. Sometimes I can be such a snark.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


I *just* remembered the dream I had last night. Whoa, I dreamed I was committed to a state hospital psych ward for no reason other than I was really tired from work and slept in. I am in no way near that state of mind, but it creeped me out big time until I had real life and death stuff to deal with at work. I promptly forgot the dream. I now remember being so frustrated and freaked out in the dream. This was a first for me. Eww.

Sunday, January 1, 2012


I still have to touch on the body image issue, just not today. This is my latest creation made from a free pattern on the internet and cotton/poly/spandex jersey. Not my best photo, but people see me looking way more embarrassing every day. Actually, I'm almost never embarrassed about how I appear, only except when captured with a photograph.

You see, we move through life making all sorts of faces, sounds, and smells. Those fade with time. That's why a live performance is so good, but a single mistake on an album lives on and on, over and over, making itself more noticeable with each play.

Maybe this is a bit about body image.

My dress form was made in an evening while watching television. I ate and drank, I used the bathroom. Kyle kept telling me that I'd distort it. I said a body in motion is for how clothing should be made. After several hours and several layers of packaging tape, he carefully cut the dress form off me. As soon as I saw it I was mortified. I was inconsolable. I was a humongous monster. That is how I've seen myself for most of my adult life, and especially my teens. Lets face it, with no shoes on, I'm six feet tall. I now accept that I will never fit the norm. It took me years to come to terms with my height, and size.

Guess what--- I'm not a size 4, 6, or even 8 (although once a store named The Limited tried to drastically make bank on vanity sizing and I was a size 8, once, only that one size 8 fit me that one time, ever). On my *best* times I've been a 10, but then I was being talked into it by awful verbal abuse by a guy that would say things like "you have such squishy thighs", he did way worse than that, but it is of no matter any more.

I'm usually a 12. No big deal right? But then there is the whole weight thing. Right now, I'm at 183. My driver's license says 150. At my thinnest I was at 155. I could sit in a bikini and my belly looked acceptable (to me). I smoked, a lot.

I've not smoked more than 3 cigs in about 2 years. I run now, so I know I actually have more muscle which weighs more than fat. I can run over 3 miles, I like it.

So here I am at 183, sucking in my belly.

I ate some really delicious food and lots of sweets this holiday season. I bet I put on 20 lbs. I'm not pleased with my looks right now, but I'll be OK. The most important thing is to feel good. I really want to run this weekend.

I'd also like to know what measurements are appropriate for a 6 foot tall woman. I've searched and searched.  Maybe I should stop and call it good when I'm happy. Which I guess is right now.

Stupid Barbie.