28 January 2012

Buying Spree!

In an effort to escape from the many settling-in tasks facing me (more on those another time! I am ignoring them right now!), I went shopping this afternoon! The official reason was bookwormish: I am rereading Ulysses, like a cool kid, and needed to pick up a paperback copy so I didn't have to fight the urge to scrawl marginalia in my father's nice Modern Library edition. I now have this guy:


(I may have spent an hour in the bookstore, trying to convince myself that I could afford to buy the Colette Sewing Book...waiting 'til I have a job again.)

On the less literary hand, though, I also went on a bit of a buyathon apparelwise. It started out free! I had store credit at Victoria's Secret from returning a Christmas gift, and gracious is everything in that store terrifying! All of the underwear is either made out of strange microfibers or has things like "Your boyfriend says hi" screenprinted on the butt. So, I bought a garter belt. It's really flimsy and I need to sew another set of straps on, but it should keep my stockings up:


I am also prob'ly going to lose that bow. I hate bows.

So after that adventure, I headed over to the discount department store, as sometimes things are very cheap there and I could see a need for new church shoes on the horizon (I have exactly one pair of heels at the moment, and exactly one pair of black shoes, and they were not the same pair). These I found, and cheap:


BUT THEN! Next door on the sale shelf, and yet cheaper:


They are leopard print faux suede! With five and a half inch black patent heels! What on earth a girl who is five foot nine stocking feet and just moved back to the suburbs needs with such a thing is a valid question. But as K put it, "2 packs of smokes vs. years of playing Bettie Page"? No contest.

I also got a haircut the other day! It is shorter than I think it has ever been, and sort of stacked in the back and Louise Brooksy. I love it:




Well, maybe not that Louise Brooksy, the bangs are still too long. And on bad days I sort of feel like I have Moe Stooge hair. But so far I'm pretty pleased!

Up soon: the great bedroom renovation, a trip to the Garment District in Cambridge, and "Is There a Cobbler In This One-Horse Town?: A Comedy in Three Acts."

23 January 2012

I'm ba-aack...



I've finally returned to the ancestral homeland! Now to paint the bedroom, unpack, get errything just so (which I typed "just sew" the first time...I guess I have some plans up my sleeve)! After which I'll be settling into my research work and my projects for the historical society.

And then on to catch up with friends and this city I have been out of for so long. Maybe I'll even go on a tour:

18 January 2012

Bedroom Doom: Before

I'm getting to the point in my sorting/culling/packing where the appearance of my bedroom is going to start changing (ie, I've finally done all the stuff that takes place within closed drawers) and I figured this morning was my last chance to memorialise the bedroom as it was, so I got a little camera-happy!


The view from the doorway.



Embarrassingly enough, those are not packing-related piles and boxes littering the floor! That is the unruly stack in which I keep my crafting supplies. The bookshelf and plastic drawers are sewing equipment (my stash is in a Walmart plastic trunk in the front room, under the table where M and D keep their beer-brewing stuff), and the cardboard boxes hold all sorts of other junk: buttonmaker, bottlecap collection, plywood, glue guns, acrylics, old copies of GQ...


Poor Edith gets shoved back into the clutter when I need my desk for something else. I did manage to find a friend to take care of her while I'm out of the country! L has been thinking about buying a machine; I said, "hey! Take mine for six months or so, decide how you feel about it, then I'll go to buy one with you when I'm back in the Mont." PERFECT.

This photo also features my sister's Christmas gift to me last month: a "Forgotten Words" page-a-day calendar, featuring one arcane or out-of-common-parlance word in English every. single. day. It was the perfect gift from the linguist to the history nerd. Today's word is "carfuddle," which means "to decompose or rumple; synonymous with kerfuffle, to disorder." Strangely appropriate, as that's what I'll be doing to my bedroom when I get home from work this evening...


Yes, I taped my cleaning/packing list to the wall. Next to it are a couple of my favorite knicknacks: a Greece pennant from the 1994 World Cup, (only slightly visible) "Leni's Room" hanging sign that S made me at summer camp a couple years ago, and finally and most prominently the cardboard belt "buckle" from my Tank Girl costume two Halloweens back. I have my hat from that costume on my bureau still, too:





Hmm, maybe it should be my hat for the rest of the winter. Thoughts?

So tonight at 8:30, I start packing things up for real and EVERYTHING CHANGES. In the meantime, I am going to finish the brunch I have been eating as I wrote this post:


Buttermilk pancakes with almond-honey syrup, creole spiced pepper and onion, BACON, "Deliciously Yellow" fruit & veggie juice, and nice strong black coffee. FUCK YES.

Have a good afternoon, all.

16 January 2012

Degenerate

Two problems:

a) It is 3:15 AM and instead of going to bed like a normal person I am sitting on the couch surrounded by piles of junk, which at one point this evening I was actually effectively sorting and packing but whose continued progress toward organization and containment has ceased entirely, because

b) I just found the perfect fabric for Oonaballoona's Double Agent dress, and have progressed from late-night packing to late-night pattern drafting, and whose dimensions (not to mention the absurd seventies floral stretch fabric with which I'm currently wrangling) UTTERLY FAIL to fulfill any of my new year sewing goals!

Basically, I suck. But my resolutions shouldn't have to stick until I start my new 2012 life in Boston next week, right?

BACK TO THE JOHN HUGHES MARATHON.

09 January 2012

SEWING (and knitting) LIST (for now)

I have settled on some stuff:

SEWING
-black wool front-pleated pencil skirt
-one other pencily skirt
-one full skirt (circle or dirndl)
-2 or 3 SOLID-COLORED short sleeve blouses (hard! Hard for me. I have trouble with sticking to solid colors)
-2 or 3 printed blouses (more fun!)
-a non-motorcycle jackety spring/fall coat that I can wear with things that don't cinch in dramatically at true waist
-two dresses in unfancy materials with shoulders and sleeves, so I can wear them to church, school, places I want not to look like a harlot.

KNITTING
-a whole bunch of socks!
-Kate Davies' owl sweater
-a pair of mittens that fit properly and don't swallow my hands whole in one bite.

YES. THAT. ALRIGHT.

05 January 2012

Plans and Peanut Butter Cookies

Still waiting on New Years' dress photos, but in the meantime:

I've decided that this year I need a serious sewing project. I did plenty of sewing in 2011, but it was all so haphazard--this fall, for example, "oh, I should make a pretty skirt for Thanksgiving dinner" led to "I need a Halloween costume," then "oh, Christmas dress?" and wound up with "hey NEW YEARS FABRIC!" While I love sewing stuff for events, it leads to two problems. First, I end up sewing nothing but party dresses and strange hats:


(Can't find any adequate pretty-dress photos yet (where is K with the camera when you need her? Where for that matter is D with the New Years photos he already took?))

And while I love nothing more than inappropriate levels of formality in dress, I need some wearable things. Maybe a couple pencil skirts? A jacket? It's been forever since I sewed a blouse.

SO: by the end of this week, I'll have a wardrobe list comprising the things I think I need in my closet. Some of these might be pretty vague--"blouses" is one category I know will end up on there--but others very specific: "black wool pencil skirt with front pleats" is something I've had on my wishplate for a while. Then I'll figure out how to get through the necessary sewing without sacrificing pizzaz.

I'll check back in later with New Years dress pics! Until then, I leave you this freaking excellent photo of Terry Hall wearing my girls the Shangri-Las on his chest: