Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Mad Person-Who-Stitches: New Fabrics For My Stash

I adore printed cottons.  I can (and did) spend a whole trip to the fabric store just browsing the cotton prints and reminding myself that I cannot afford to buy them all.  I made myself stop with four, for now.

First, blue-purple paisleys with mixed flowers on black.  I love paisleys, but they're hard to find in the jewel tones and spacing that I like.

Autumn leaf print, because it was on the 60% off table:

Japanese crest inspired scales, a bit overwhelming in large swathes, but maybe an adorable drawstring bag?  Or cutting out individual scales for detail/embellishment/homemade applique.

Kaleidoscopic rondels in royal blue and gold and scarlett.  I am so in love with this fabric.  I may just hang it up and admire it for a while before I can bring myself to take scissors to it. 

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Caturday Post: Use Dye for Natural Fibers Only

Tamerlane the World-Conquering Sword investigates my new pot for dyeing fabric.
Not that I would ever dye the World-Conquering Sword: he is the perfect orange tabby kitty already.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Friday Fabulosity: Old Ones Dress

I think it was supposed to be a paisley-ish design, but the "heads" have radiate star-like protrusions, the bodies are barrel-ish, and they have spots (!).  Gentle readers, I present the "Old Ones" dress, clearly a prophecy representing H.P. Lovecraft's Old Ones from At the Mountains of Madness.
Afternoon dress of printed silk satin, ca 1902, shown on The Dreamstress' blog
That the resemblance is vague and open to interpretation through many differing cultural biases does not shake my faith.  I feel the truth in my heart: this dress is madness!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Madness Monday: Mini Mythos

It has come to my attention that Kenneth Hite has written an adorable series of adorable adaptations of H. P. Lovecraft parodying classic children's literature. I now own Clifford the Big Red God (an adaption of :"The Dunwich Horror" and Goodnight Azathoth, which is simply a delight. 

In Goodnight Azathoth, when we say good night to the two little fishes (and something that squishes) we notice that the fishes have a German sub toy in their bowl, an interesting nod to HPL's "The Temple."

The genie lamp in the Goodnight Azathoth room is helpfully labeled "do not rub."  Perfect.

Cliffourd follows "Dunwich Horror" fairly closely, but it is a joy to have the whole thing narrated in the context of Wilbur Whately having the biggest and reddest god in Dunwich (infra-red, so he is invisible!).

These little books bring me such joy.  Next I must acquire Where the Deep Ones Are, an adaptation of "Shadow over Innsmouth" in the style of Maurice Sendak.

Friday, November 18, 2016

iLuminate Comes to Town and My Heart Is Swayed By Blinky Lights

iLuminate is a dance company in which everything is done in the dark, with light.  The costumes light up, as do the props.  Rather than conventional set changes, the lights go off, and then come back in different patterns, taking us from house to street to through a magic portal.  Rather than regular costume changes, the color and patterns of the dancers' gear shifts.  Magic pixel insects called out by a magic paintbrush fly up into the darkness and a green outline rat runs out from under green outline trashcans.  (I am so in love with the green rat.) 

I was extremely impressed.  This is technology meets dance in a way that forces us to pay attention to both, without being so busy making sure we know that Art is a Serious Philosophical Pursuit or They Are Using Modern Technology to do Art as to lose the fun and natural flow.

(Not that I am against art as a serious philosophical pursuit or using modern technology to do art.  I'm in favor of both.  But if you have to tell your audience that your art is Serious and they should be feeling Reverent Aesthetic Bliss, you're doing it wrong.  Likewise if the best use you can come up with for your fancy backdrop projector is a bizarre parade of iconic figures not related to a story mediocre to start with, you're again doing it wrong.) 

Rather, iLuminate gave us a lovely evening exploring what dance looks like if dancers light up the dark, rather than being light-reflecting objects in light.  The story was archetypal: love rejected and accepted, outcasts finding solace in other worlds, magic, giant glowy snakes, and badness being conquered through love and dance.

The choreography was solid and technically impressive.  The lifts and partner tricks were extra impressive done with a partner invisible in the dark.  I felt that hands and lower legs needed more illumination, and the heads less: a number of beautiful high kicks, front and back walkovers, and other moves were not as visible as they needed to be to show off how lovely they were.

The main character was recognizable through his dance, but the other characters needed more personality dance-wise.  (This is something I'm really trying to work on with my dance, so I'm paying extra attention to others' dance, to try to get a feel for what I need to be doing or not doing.)  The blend of hip-hop and ballet was interesting and I thought fairly seamless, although concentrated on big flashy moves rather than on an overall fleshed-out flow.  But that might be me coming from Kuchipudi where you can perfectly well spend half a dance drama simply having the 2 or 3 main characters introduce themselves (the pravesam, or introductory dance.  Satyabhama's pravesam is the highlight of the famous Kuchipudi dance drama Satyabhama.)

I liked what I could hear of the music, it was about being what you are and other good sentiments, but the volume was turned up way way way too loud, and I missed a lot of the treble lines because I had to keep my fingers in my ears. 

iLuminate was founded by Miral Kotb, a software engineer and dancer who meshed her loves.  She is my new hero, and her iLuminate is fabulous!   

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Things In My Garden: The Rose Is Red!

The rose bush that was struggling underneath a holly bush has emerged and bloomed!  
It also needs a protective net: something(s) have been nibbling it voraciously. 

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Cake and Roses

For my birthday, garishly fuchsia roses and a peanut butter and chocolate cake.  Decorated with chopped up Reese's cups arranged in the shape of the Blue Oyster Cult cross.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

From Elisheba's Fabulous Fall Collection


The Mad Person-Who-Stitches: Inspiration Strikes! (Or Maybe Not)

A while ago, I discovered that old sari borders are sold on ebay.  But I felt guilty about buying some for my fabric stash without having any idea of what I would use them for.  Today I had an idea about using them: doing a bodice that is all about the contrasting ornamentation, like this one,
From Wikimedia.  Possibly Christina of Denmark.
using old sari borders instead of lace.  However sari borders are often wider than would make pleasing proportions on a small person (like me), and also are often directional, unlike the trim on the lady in the painting.

So maybe this idea wouldn't work after all.  I'll have to think about it

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

From Elisheba's Fabulous Fall Collection

Miskatonic University sweatshirt, for basking in the warmth of forbidden things, paired with pink leopard print pants. An excellent choice for playing with a cat on a brisk November morning. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Things In My Garden

This is Spike.  Spike is an agave.  Spike likes to bite.  Elisheba wants to turn Spike into tequila.  Bite, Spike, bite!

Friday, November 4, 2016

Autumn Leaf Apple Pies

Perhaps not as much fun as last year's apple pies, but very seasonally appropriate for temperate deciduous forests in the northern hemisphere:

Thursday, November 3, 2016

New Resident Orientation Booklet for the Arkham Homeowners' Association

The following in tribute to H.P. Lovecraft and his worlds, inspired by the sanctimony of American homeowners' associations.  Ia, Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!

The Welcome and Sunshine Committee welcomes you to Arkham!  Please take a moment to read, and then go mad with horror, the following revised new resident orientation booklet!

I. Introduction 
    The mission of the Arkham Homeowners' Association is to provide an ancient and decadent community for residents to live out their last days in fear and horror through bleeding-edge technology and slavering focus on needs of the residents, while maintaining property values for all members of the community, living and dead.  We strive to be an affordable and accessible residential solution for any being already possessing the qualities we desire along with the monies we wish to siphon off for our own nefarious purposes.
    In order to better serve the community, the association depends on fees paid by the homeowners.  These fees shall be paid on the 1st of the month, and are considered late after the 5th of the month.
    The association does not accept the following currencies: first-born children, bodily fluids, cryptic utterances, jewels from accursed temples, strange books, or idols carved in stones not of this world.
II. A Certain General Rule
    i. That is not dead which can eternal sleep.  

III. Callings Up and Puttings Down
    i.  Raising of dead ancestors from essential salts is absolutely forbidden.
    ii. Do not call up that which ye cannot put down.
    iii. Beheadings and blood-lettings are restricted to Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.  Dismemberments and poisonings are restricted to Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Translations shall be on Sundays only.  Faintings and apoplexies have no restrictions. 

IV. Remains, Disposal of
    i. Trash disposal occurs weekly on Friday mornings.  The Association contracts with Pickman's Ghouls.  Only approved trash containers shall be used.  To maintain the unhallowed appearance of our community, containers shall not be set out earlier than 7pm the night before pickup, and must be taken back from the curb by 7pm on pick-up days. 
    ii. Bricking up of insane spouses or other relatives shall follow city building codes. 
    iii. Any infestation of night-gaunts, regressed descendants, or termites shall be reported immediately to the association so that pest-control measures can be taken at the association's leisure.
    iv. Hellhounds must be leashed and curbed.  Owners are responsible for proper disposal of all pet waste.

V. Disturbances and Alarms
     i. Exorcisms, Blasphemies, Chantings, Music of Unearthly Beauty and all similar activities shall not be conducted before 9pm or after 10am to maintain the serenity of our community.
    ii. Debauched revels must obtain permission from the association and must post signs warning residents of impending revelry at least 48 hours in advance of intended revel.  
    iii. In case of abominations or nameless horrors running loose in the neighborhood, a siren will sound.

VI. Conflagrations and Cleansing Bolts of Lightning
     i. Bonfires, banefires, bonefires, witchfires, foxfires, housefires, putrid luminescences, and fireworks of all types shall have on hand at least one fire extinguisher, certified within the last 6 months.  Large conflagrations shall have a representative of the city fire department on hand to supervise. 
     ii. In order to ensure property values, failure to abide by the above regulations will result in a cleansing bolt of lightning ridding our community of your unclean presence.   

Tuesday, November 1, 2016