BeeKay's Blog

crafts, food, makeup, clothes, shoes, books, cats, life

I’ll Take It … I Guess

One night I was bored off my gourd; the spousal-unit was working late, and I had pretty much wrapped up crafting and cleaning for the night. So I logged onto Facebook (or Book of Face as the Homes likes to call it) to kill time and stumbled upon a test called “Who Are You in the Hollywood History?” which sounds like an awkward title to me but whatever.

Using my profile photo, this is the first result I received. Not bad!

vivien leigh

Since I had time on my hands, I decided to try out a few other photos to see what I could see. On the second try, I got this classic beauty (again, not bad, and I highly recommend How to Be Lovely)

audrey

Now here is where it gets weird. I do not see how this result came about:

Marilyn

Or this:

Hepburn

And I have no idea where these came from:

This essentially was my response to the latter four:

But I’ll take Vivien or Audrey any day.

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Whiskey Tango Hotel

So I’m taking a day or so to get caught up on projects that were left by the wayside due to a sliced finger and then a lovely summer cold, complete with allergies (blech!!). Now I’m back at it … but I would have preferred to get back at it around 9:00 a.m., not at 6:00 a.m.

To update: Simplicity 3799 is cut VERY small. I typically wear anywhere between a size 2 and a size 6, so opted to go with the XXS tunic and shorts. The XXS is allegedly a size 4.

That was a mistake.

I can’t pull the tunic down over my shoulders and I can’t pull the shorts up over my hips.

(Apparently my hips DO lie.)

I’m glad I didn’t cut the blue crepe with the embroidered anchors otherwise I’d be superp!ssed. I just need to get a new pattern, and go with size small next time. So someone’s little girl will be the lucky beneficiary of custom-made duds. Black, red, and white paisley tunic, and black shorts. Hit me up if you’re interested; some minor hemming needs to be done but for the most part they’re good to go.

The bear is almost done; the arms, legs, and back seams need to be slip-stitched shut, and I have to finish that wretched vest.

I also made a small bowl (Simplicity 1126), a plaid skirt (Simplicity 2184), and plan to make a pair of shorts (in the correct size, mind you—McCall’s 6930). Finally, I bought a new mat and frame for “When I Am an Old Cat” and hope to re-hang it later today.

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Crazy Random Things

On Tuesday, I had intended to sleep in a bit, as I had nothing of importance to do till two in the afternoon; but we all know the final destination of the road which good intentions pave, right?

So I brewed a strong cup of hazelnut coffee, texted Baby Bro, checked FB and email, and cleaned off the kitchen island (a weekly chore for me). Had to laugh when I found these:

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There are more out there … I can feel it

You see, in a past life as a client service manager, these were indispensable necessities – they carried backed- up files for on-site meetings, and files that were revised on site to save to our company server upon return to the office. Invariably, I would misplace one nearly every time I traveled for work. Luckily, I would back files up to a spare thumb drive, my laptop, desktop, and a CD or two “just to be safe”; I avoided catastrophes, but the constant loss of thumb drives became a running joke whenever I had to ask our office manager for a replacement.

Which was (pretty much) every time I returned from a business trip, sometimes even before departing on one.

Most of these are promotional giveaways, two or three are personal use, but there are quite a few I unearthed while cleaning out old business travel bags. Doubtless I will find more as I keep cleaning out my house.

You have socks go missing. I have thumb drives go astray. Perhaps they are together in some parallel universe having a laugh at our expense.

And maybe someday, I will meet up with my former supervisor and humbly return all the unintentionally pilfered office supplies.

There is a story (perhaps apocryphal) that Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis had a drawer full of her signature, ever-present, Hugh Jass sunglasses at home and/or her office. That may be me someday, although instead of sunglasses I’ll have about a thousand thumb drives (probably sunglasses too).

We shall see, I guess. If you have thumb drives that are free to a good home, I’m your girl.

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Here Goes Nuthin’, Part Two

As I posted earlier, I cut the crap out of my finger with my kung-fu veggie chopping skills—I’m sure my chef friends out there would shake their heads at my so-called kung fu veggie chopping skills, maybe throw in a “bless her heart” or two—so I had to take a hiatus from sewing and other craft work. I would prefer not to bleed all over everything.

I have the following which I must complete sooner rather than later:

Breast Cancer Awareness Ribbon (cross stitched on plastic canvas with beaded outline, for a good friend who is undergoing treatment for breast cancer)

and this bear needs to be sutured up and clothed:

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Please note, if you are in my neck of the woods, I would like to offer my humble apologies in advance for the cursing and ranting and raving you may hear as I try to finish the [expletives deleted] bear’s vest. I am currently on the third incarnation of it (the first one turned out incorrectly, the second was too small). I hope the third time will be the charm in this instance!

Finally, on Tuesday night there is a figure drawing class at the Goggleworks. It runs from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. (they ask that participants show up 15 minutes early to help set up) and costs $5 (cash payable at the information desk). Bring your own materials. I think I’m going to give it a shot! Let’s see if I can improve upon this (don’t laugh, please):

OCMD sketch

FTR, I hate using oil pastels

As always, WATCH THIS SPACE!

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Casualties of Cuisine

The intention was to make ho-made homemade lasagna. As usual, another mile on the Highway to Hades got paved with my good intentions.

It is not the normal-formal everyday mozzarella-ricotta-lots of red sauce lasagna; I call it my sexy MF lasagna. Yes, you read that right. It is an amazing recipe.

Full disclosure: OK, it’s really a recipe I borrowed from Martha Stewart. I tweaked it as it was a bit too fancy for me—I’m too lazy to make ho-made homemade noodles (not to mention cheap as I don’t have a pasta machine and don’t intend to buy one as I have enough stuff already thankyouverymuch). Plus the spousal-unit doesn’t care for nutmeg.

My recipe (OK, MARTHA’S, I give credit where and when credit is due) calls for chopped celery, onion, carrot, and garlic. All very well and good until one considers that last week I sliced the crap out of my left index finger chopping celery for marinara sauce (OK, Giada’s marinara sauce) for rigatoni and meatballs, which is one of the the spousal-unit’s favorite meals. I waited too long to get stitches or Dermabond; had to settle for sterile strips and bandages. No antibiotics, as the knife was brand new, but I did have to get a tetanus shot.

There was a laugh to be had from this; I was explaining to someone what had happened (brand new santoku knife, chopping up celery, blah blah blah) and a guy friend chimed in “but what she didn’t tell you is, her husband’s name is Celery.”

Understandably I was apprehensive about doing anything that involved knives or cloth (blood stains are the devil to get rid of, you know, but this stuff works). As of this morning, the wound seems to be healing nicely, so I hope to get back on track cooking and creating.

Wish me luck and watch this space!

PS the phrase that pays was “I cut myself with a sudoku knife.” Damn that math game! And how’s that for a malapropism?

 

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An Exciting Past Few Days

[Edited 6/10/2017]

I have been one of the gainfully unemployed for over two years, and while sometimes not working was fun, on the whole it was soul-crushing boredom. I took up sewing again, got back into designing my own cross stitch patterns (I have yet to execute any of them as of this moment, but hey! it’s only 7:00 a.m. on a Sunday morning! the day is still young, right?), and took up meditation to (try to) get my mind serene.

On Thursday, my local paper had an advertisement announcing a need for obituary writers (part-time). The hours are great (afternoons, with some weekends), the office is conveniently located downtown (park-and-ride! mass transit! this would be awesome!) I lined up my references, drafted a cover letter, and sent in my résumé.

Another downtown employer is seeking a Visitor Experience Supervisor; résumé will be cued up and sent out shortly.

So hopefully within the next few weeks (days? a girl can hope, can’t she?), I will have a new gig lined up.

Last week, I sent a letter to the spousal-unit’s incredibly cool, generous, and talented aunt; she is an artist living in South Dakota and we correspond frequently. In the letter, I included photos of Maggie and Sarge.

In return, she sent me a piece of her work titled Notions and I have to say it will look amazing in my craft room! I can’t wait to hang it. Not sure what I will send her in return but it’s going to have to kick ass. (But now that I think of it, I have an idea … watch this space!)

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The One Thing I Never Noticed About Jackie O’s Shoes

If it wasn’t enough that the spousal-unit recently bought me the new Prince Charles biography (Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life—I highly recommend it), there is a new memoir about my idol Jackie Kennedy by her long-time assistant Kathy McKeon. Her name didn’t ring a bell despite the (at least) eight books I own about the late Mrs. Kennedy, but whatever. It is titled Jackie’s Girl: My Life With the Kennedy Family and it sounds like an interesting read.

So. The one thing I never noticed about Madam Onassis’s shoes … she had a quarter-inch lift affixed to one heel on each pair of her shoes because one of her legs was shorter than the other (I think that’s fairly common, if not universal, among people). I must ask my friend Amy about this—when she worked at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, she assisted in curating Jackie Kennedy: The White House Years (yes, I am envious!).

I have used these two photos as avatars in the past … no lie, the spousal-unit asked when and where the left one of me was taken; an friend said I looked cute in the right. Mind-blowing (and flattering) that people close to me mistook photos of my idol for photos of me!

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Proust Questionnaire from Vanity Fair

I was drawing a blank pretty much all week, so co-opted the questionnaire that appears at the end of Vanity Fair every month.

What is your idea of perfect happiness? Spending time down the shore with friends; sun, surf, sea air … what more could you ask for?

What is your greatest fear? Being completely and utterly alone, with absolutely no one to reach out to.

Which historical figure do you most identify with? Queen Victoria.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? I can be lazy and tend to overcomplicate things by overthinking.

What is the trait you most deplore in others? Closed-mindedness.

What is your greatest extravagance? Giving gifts – I think I enjoy finding the perfect gift for someone more than I enjoy giving it!

What is your favorite journey? Going down the shore.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Chastity!

On what occasion do you lie? To keep myself out of trouble, which more often than not leads to more trouble; or to hurt others’ feelings.

What do you dislike most about your appearance? The bump on the bridge of my nose.

Which living person do you most deplore? Any tyrant.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse? “Actually.”

What is your greatest regret? Causing pain to someone I love.

What or who is the greatest love of your life? Not saying!

When and where were you happiest? Can’t think of specifics, but I am always happiest laughing and being with dear friends.

Which talent would you most like to have? To be able to play the piano and the guitar.

What is your current state of mind? Murderous! I would gladly murder for a cup of coffee; Cuisinart coffee-maker, don’t fail me now!

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? Stupid chin hairs, they are causing me agita. I would also like a bit more patience.

If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be? That we would be more in contact with each other/be able to spend more time together.

What do you consider your greatest achievement? Graduating college, and buying my amazing house, which I adore.

If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be? A cat, living in a feline paradise such as the one my two spoiled cats currently inhabit.

What is your most treasured possession? My wedding band set; my Elsa Peretti Crucifixion necklace; my Serenity Prayer necklace.

What do you regard as the lowest depths of misery? To witness brutality and be unable to do anything about it.

Where would you like to live? Down the Maryland shore.

What is your favorite occupation? Writing. I need to do more of it, hence this blog.

What is your most marked characteristic? Compassion and tolerance, I’d like to think.

What is the quality you most like in a man? A sense of humor.

What is the quality you most like in a woman? A sense of humor.

What do you most value in your friends? Their never-ending love and support … and their joyous laughter.

Who is your favorite hero of fiction? Scarlett O’Hara Hamilton Kennedy Butler.

Who are your heroes in real life? Those (especially women) who speak out against brutality.

What is it that you most dislike? Not seeing friends as much as I’d like.

How would you like to die? On my own terms, and preferably in my sleep.

What is your motto? “It is what it is.”

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Sew Crazy!

I have been a woman possessed by the spirit of a mad crazy seamstress lately. Even since the spousal-unit bought me a new sewing machine (Singer Brilliance), I’ve been a total heaux fo’ sho’ sewing.

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To date, I have made upwards of 250 snappy bags in a plethora of fabrics, a dozen pairs of pajama bottoms (See & Sew B5517 for Mom and Sally, Simplicity 1520 pants for the spousal-unit, Ashley, Rain, and myself in either Philadelphia Flyers or tubby penguin flannel, and sleep shorts),

a floppy beach hat (McCall M6664, one in purple paisley, one in a black, red, and white pattern, both of which will go with my swimsuits);

and three skirts (Simplicity 2184) in the material shown below.

Not to mention, I FINALLY finished my Christmas in Paris apron (See & Sew B5125)

And made a Steelers catnip toy for Sarge’s cousin George.

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In the pipeline we have 2 tunics and 2 pairs of shorts (Simplicity 3799; khaki and black shorts, and tunics in this material);

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And as I blogged yesterday, a teddy bear, sundress, panties, and hat for OBIL’s stepdaughter’s first baby.

However, let us go back to Simplicity 3799. Two things:

  • What the hell is a size XXS? Is it like a size 00? And
  • Who came up with this pinning/cutting schematic for the tunic? I am sewing tops, not building a damn battleship.
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Procrastination

I am almost halfway done sewing the Roman shade, so naturally had to stop working on that and start working on other projects.

Younger Brother-in-Law (YBIL) is a horse racing enthusiast, and with the Kentucky Derby coming up this weekend, I decided to make him some swag for the day after finding some sweet Derby-themed cloth at JoAnn Fabrics (it was 60% off!).

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So from this he is getting:

(The patterns for the last three items were on sale at JoAnn Fabrics, 3 for $5.)

Then I received a nice note from my friend’s daughter who is in her sophomore year at university—late last year I made her a pair of pajama bottoms in this cute tubby penguin flannel which she really really liked.

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I found some adorable pink patterned cotton fabric at Walmart for 50¢/yard (!!!)

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So I made her another pair of pajama bottoms and a headband to match.

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Next is a bear, sundress, panties and hat for my Older Brother-in-Law’s stepdaughter’s baby girl who is due any day now.

Once all of the above is done, it’s back to home dec and then summer wardrobe. I hope to get my summer wardrobe done before Memorial Day however, at the rate at which I’m going that might not be happening.

Watch this space!

(PS the phrase-that-pays: “Is there such a thing as double-sided fusible web?” as I get out my Heat-N-Bond, which is double-sided fusible web.)

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