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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Blue Christmas

Until it is New Years Day, it is Christmastime.
I use this time for me. It's time to sit among your tree and your lights while eating Xmas treats. I get a whole week and a half off from work!
But, this year...
I chose the Sheryl Crow version. I have very little appreciation for songs with such a slow tempo. I guess I found this cover to be the most palatable.
Dad is sick again. On Friday, December the 25th, just as our Christmas festivities were settling down, my mom told me to put a blanket on dad. He was sitting on the couch next to the fireplace, various family members nearby. He suddenly wasn't feeling well, and he looked pretty chilly.
That was all I needed to see to know what was happening. I just knew it wasn't good. I flashed back to the last time he had a fever and hopped my ass right on to the worst case scenario: hospitalization; surgery.
There's a window
On Sunday morning, I received a text from my sister. Mom was taking Dad to the hospital, just as I was fearing. Around the early 00's, dad had some heart valves replaced due to a birth defect. Then another round of replacements during my meltdown of 2013. So, ya know; it's serious.
My family says to be positive, and for them I'll go with that. But when things happen, I always expect the worst. The past is a good prediction of the future.
It finally snowed yesterday.
It is now Wednesday. I haven't gotten a damn thing done this week, I feel like I'm doing half of everything on my to-do list before going out or sitting on the couch. I had barely started my chores for the day before my phone rang. My sister informed me that dad needed surgery. Of course, I already knew that. We'll be Boston bound soon.
So I'm blue. I had been considering attempting a little New Years party in my little apartment. Now, not so much. Cuz I'll have a blue, blue Christmas.
Tiny, little Xmas tree
Here's a holiday jam that I've been crooning to myself.
River by Joni Mitchell. It's so beautiful and sad af.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Ding. SHAME.

Remember last time I blogged, I said that I hadn't blogged because of my headaches? I got another excuse! (Read on, I'll get to it.)
I hate the fact that I have such a hard time keeping up with Craft, Thrift, or Die. I love this thing. The realization that tumbleweeds are rolling past it leave me with one feeling:
(Go ahead and click, it's just a 30 second audio clip.)
In one of season 5's last episodes of Game of Thrones, the villain Cersei is made to walk naked through the streets of King's Landing, her hair cut off and her face bruised, being pelted with garbage by the townspeople. Throughout this walk, a nun follows behind ringing a bell and repeating one word; "shame!"
It's actually a difficult scene to watch, not exactly a spirit lifter. Cool sound clip to use when you want to show your disapproval for the actions of another.
For instance, have you ever noticed the abundant selection of bells at the thrift stores? I guess collecting bells was a thing at one point?
So I'll be strolling through the Goodwill, like so:
Then, much to my embarrassment, my gentleman companion brings it to my attention that I am taking too long or putting excessive items in the cart. How can one drive that message home? Oh, look what's on the shelf!
"Shame!" Chris says, ringing Grandma's dusty old "collectible" bell. "Shame!" Ring on, bro. No shame in my thrift game.
Anyway; about my lack of blogging...
After five great years together, my laptop computer finally gave out and died, just before Thanksgiving. I immediately went to the local big box electronics/appliances store and bought a replacement as this was an absolute necessity for running my Etsy business. Guess what couldn't be be replaced?!
My pictures. Shit tons of pictures. Like a good little planning-ahead-type-person, I remembered to take "before" pics of the clothing I plan to refashion as soon as I get them. I had many of these pictures, as well as photos of merchandise that I had not yet listed online.
I even had the recently edited "after" pics of my Daenerys Targaryen costume. It looked awesome.
"Didn't you back up your data?!" you're probably exclaiming, in judgement of my carelessness.
You know what, no I didn't! I did not do that, despite knowing that my PC was on its way to brick status. Shut up, that's why!
That feeling when you don't save the pictures that you need:

So, that kinda put me off from blogging. Also, around November and December is when I start makin
making mad cash. Sales of my vintage stash on Sweet Scores have been bountiful. So, I've been busy packing up and shipping orders.
So, that's that. I'm a lousy, unreliable blogger. Time for resting now, bye.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Ain't that a kick in the head

Another song title considered for the title of this post was "Down with the Sickness" by Disturbed, but I decided it was too "early 00's," and not quite ready to be used as a joke.
"Ain't That a Kick in the Head" is a mid century Dean Martin song. Make no mistake, I am no fan of music by the Rat Pack or that big band 40s stuff.
Victorian style dress--I came down with consumption after running through the moors in the rain.
I made a plan to blog each week during October and I was definitely going to...had I not been felled by the head pain. Oh, the horrible pain...
I, like my mother before me, suffer from debilitating migraines. I can usually make them go away with this incredible migraine drug, but this month was different. It seemed like the agony just kept coming back. And there was a problem with my prescription. It was filled out for only half of the milligrams of the 100 mg that I've always used. Many mornings/nights, I was in pain or given the side effects...very fatigued. The thought of getting my pics taken and then blogging them left me with a certain feeling:
So, now I'm way behind. I've got many things to share now that I feel better. Hope I can get a break from the sickness for November.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

It's a cape! It's another GoT inspired costume!

Look at me, posting a post again. Only a week and a half after my last post! By the way, I updated my last post because I forgot something. Here is or my second week of costumes based loosely on the best show ever, Game of Thrones.
By the way, I am extremely aware that it was a series of books first. No, I did not read them. It would not have appealed to me, as I rarely read fiction and have never been into medieval-dungeons-and-dragons type stuff. But, when I heard there was a show with naughty scenes that also stars Peter Dinklage as a sex symbol, I was like "count me in!"
While the first week's costume was dark and sexy, this outfit is more of a nod to my past as a "mother figure" of WAW. This is my Lady Catelyn Stark inspired (very loosely inspired) costume.
 That's Lady Catelyn Stark, not me. Wife of Lord Eddard Stark, who was killed attempting to get retribution for her slain husband. She's wearing a cape and some fur around her neck. That's about the only thing in common with my "creation."
That is a teal sweater, size 1X. It will be a cape. I think Lady Stark wore a color similar to this in a scene where she and her husband Ned were talking near their tree.
It's hard to tell. Anyway, I also wanted the chance to wear this incredible black, velvet dress:
Available for purchase ;)
Let's just cut to the chase. First, I turned the sweater inside out and pinned up the armholes.

See? I pinned, marked, and then sewed the arm up, right across the armpit. I cut off the sleeves after I decided it looked ok.
LOL, bad lighting for both pics, sorry not sorry. It doesn't look perfect, but that's the shoulder area with the sleeves sewn/cut off.
Next, the fur collar part which is kind of a cheat.
What you're looking at is a faux fur collar that I removed from another sweater. The collar has those button loop things as it once attached to the buttons on a thick gray sweater.
The black chain holding it together is from the same long chain that I used to make my necklace last week. The chain didn't hold it in place as much as I needed, so...
See those little clasps on each side? They're the clips from one of those mitten clip dealies like the one used to hold Chris's cape on in the last post. These things:
 I removed the elastic part and attached the clips to the jump rings on each side of the chain. These clips then clipped to the straps on my dress, as well as the cape. Let's see!
There's a close-up. Here's the whole thing:
I should mention that the picture quality isn't great because in an effort to get a shit-ton of things done, I stubbornly took these pictures after sundown. I didn't waste time lacing up my boots, but I didn't wear open-toed heels when I performed in this. I added a belt because that's just how I do. Accentuate waist always. How about that necklace?
I found that in the jewelry section of a craft store and thought it would be perfect. Moody Starr was known as the Queen Bee back in her day and as the Stark's had the direwolf and Lannisters used a lion, the House of Starr's symbol should be a bee.
Here's some light on the details:
Stay tuned for next week's Daenerys Targaryen! In a half-assed way!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

I know what you did last April...

...and I'll show you in this Halloween themed post! My plan is to show four Game of Thrones inspired costumes to whomever happens to view my blog this month. That's four posts by the end of the month. Let's see if I meet my goal--or take until Christmas!
I don't mean to bury the lede here, but here's the short version: back in April, Chris and I did a month long stint back in WAW. As mentioned previously, we returned with a Game of Thrones gimmick. Medieval style costumes! I waited so long to post about it for several reasons, all of which are probably valid excuses.
For the first week, I chose a look I call "Moody Starr-k." If anyone needs help with that, "Moody Starr" is my long time performance alias, and "Stark" is one of the main family names on GoT. (Get it? Starr-k?) My inspiration is the dark look of Sansa Stark at the end of Season 4.
I call this "heel Sansa." ('heel" being the bad guy in wrestling.) In this final episode of the season, Sansa accepts her fate as out of her control and attempts to play along. The once red haired maiden enters the room in a goth-y style dress, badass necklace, and darkened hair.
Keep in mind, my attire isn't cosplay. My aim was not to make an exact replica of Sansa's attire, but to make my own that is clearly inspired by that one. Here's where I would be showing you the "before" pic of the dress I used. But I can't. Most of the pictures where taken on my phone and then not uploaded. They were lost during the sad phone death back in May.
Here's what I looked like!
The dress is a black velvet one that I got at Hot Topic when I was in my late teens. (And that is why you don't throw anything out!) I updated it by making it sexier. I lowered the neckline and made a slit up the side. I also created bell sleeves by slitting them a few inches.
 I added a waist cinching belt because that's just how I do. That furry piece is an old collar that I snagged out of a bin at Goodwill. It came from an old coat and it's a piece I made long ago for another GoT inspired look! Fur collar from 2013.  That's a nod to the direwolf fur worn by those in The North
That necklace.
Pretty damn easy to replicate. See that round thing? Doesn't it look like one of those plastic belt rings?
2 medium jump rings
one black plastic belt buckle
one long black chain
some kind of long, black, weighted pendant

By the way, people make much nicer versions of these and they're available for purchase in the handmade section of Etsy. So, there's the cheapy belt buckle that I took off a belt that I never wore. As you see, I attached one jump ring to the top of the plastic piece, then another to that.
Attach the chain to the second jump ring. Then you put it around your neck and loop the other end through the plastic ring.
Ideally, there should be something on the end of that dangling chain to weight it down. I didn't have anything that I thought would work.
I put this costume on just to get pics for this post. After the photo shoot, I  realized I was missing my
gray rope belt: 

There it is. It's a spool of something from Joann's. I forgot to put my fur detail on for this one. More pics?

Chris wore his wrestling attire, because one needs proper attire to wrestle well. For his entrance, we bought a yard or two of fake furry fabric from Joann's. I have here, a picture from Instagram taken on that very night.
Furry cape is attached with one of those mitten clips with a brooch on it. Crowd reacted with much applause for the wolf pelt cape, chanting "King of the north!" and such.
Come back soon and see my Lady Catelyn Stark cape!

Update: I meant to include something else in this post. See that gentleman in the picture with me up there? He happens to collect these toys known as Funko Pops (I guess that's what they're called. I've been calling them rubber dolls.) They're large-headed, vinyl figures of various characters. He sometimes "refashions" them into one of a kind pieces! For instance, here is the Sansa Stark figure:
Here is the figure that I received for my birthday this past August:
That's me in my outfit! He added fur, painted the hair magenta, and even gave me rosy cheeks! He then placed it on a platform of clay snow with a picture of Sansa's home Winterfell as a background. Awesome!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Blinded by the Light

This is a post about lamps. You love lamp? I got mad lamps, right here.
By the way, I hope you all sang the blog's title as it's a pretty famous hit from the 70s. I also hope you're giggling on the line that sounds like, "revved up like a douche."
How long has it been since I've shown off some great thrift finds? Forever? Let's catch up.
Look at that mid century beauty. It's brown, so not the most fun color, but still retro fabulous. It's kind of a small-medium size and was found in a Goodwill. One of those things that I grab and cart as soon as it's in my field of vision. I'm like, "Don't even try and check out my mod lamp, suckers. I found it and I got it. $4. In your face, Goodwill-ers."
I don't always get so mean over my thrifts, I swear. Let's look at something that doesn't make me sound like a freak.
Aww, look at that one. It's a lamb lamp. It was in that same Goodwill for $2. It's one of those plaster mold dealies and someone made that. I stuck a shade on it and gave it a reasonable price. No need for ewe to overpay. I would feel baaaad about ripping someone off for a baby lamp. Good god, I'm sorry.
Also for your children's room, I present these things:
Oooh, wishing well lamps! In brown. Why. This isn't the best picture, either. Also, they cost me a fortune of 5 bucks each at Savers. I just really like things in pairs. Hey, did I ever share these beautiful Art Deco jade green partners?
Oh wow, I staged them exactly the same way with the same books. Here's their story: this one day I saw a jade green lamp with an Art Deco style for a mere $3 at the G dubs. (Does that work? G dubs=Goodwill?) I was surprised, because it looked just like a lamp that I already bought and listed it in my shop. "A pair!" I cried with joy as I brought it home to unite the two. I went to look up the listing for the single lamp only to find that there wasn't one. I searched in confusion for a while before concluding that I just never got around to listing lamp number one. They have been sold as a team and hope they are living a good life.
Hey, fancypants, take a load of this big-ass piece of lighting:
Gaze upon its mid c mod glory with its unusual shape and large size. This baby was in the entrance way at a Goodwill that one of the gals that works there always uses for such nice displays. Yup, I grabbed up this thing. I think it had a nice low price, too.
Not as low as this next piece! Although, at the condition this poor lamp was in they should've have been giving me the dollar to haul it away. You know how you go to the flea market and there's always at least one dealer's lot that basically looks like they just sped onto the grounds in a pick-up before slamming on the breaks thus dumping the truck bed's content onto the ground so they end up with a big pile of junk and boxes?
Well, if you know about that, than you know that since they put about zero effort into presentation, they practically give the stuff away. It was a warm summer day at the Londonderry flea where my eyes scanned the large pile of old stuff. There, I found this;
What was once probably a glorious piece of big, mod lamp stood this beat down, faded piece of plaster. "I can rebuild it," I thought as I handed over a dolla bill. See where this is going? It's a DIY!
Oh, never mind. I guess I didn't bother taking photos of the "process." Not that I really needed to. I put paint on it. I covered it in turquoise, off-white, and chocolate paint. Here's your step by step...
Step 1- paint an old lamp.
Step 2- ????
Step 3- profit
Here is what my crappy lamp looks like now!
I'm trying to sell it with the question, "Do you want a large, mid century lamp, but don't want to spend a lot of money? Buy this one; the chipped part is in the back!"
Here's another:
Grrr...that's not its original gold. When I brought it home from Outfitters ($4 I think?) the first thing I did was use soapy water and a towel to clean years of grime off--and the gold color! Seriously, the rings of gold around this lamp mostly rubbed off. I got something called gold leaf paint and dabbed some on there.  
Stay tuned for my next lamp do-overs, where I hopefully show off the finished results from these damn things:
LOL. It has a doll attached. Cool plastic lamp shade and a nice blue base.
Oh, and these guys. I forgot to get a picture of them as a team, and I'm certainly not about to get up and do it now. Just imagine that I have two of these:
So, there's a shot of one laying on a blanket at my parents' house. Guess I didn't want to get off the couch that day either. You see, when I found these cute little lamps they had this layer of dull gold paint. I used water and a little sand paper to remove most of it and repainted one of them with my gold leaf paint. I brought both home one Sunday to get my sister's opinion. Her response was something like,  "A: the gold painted one sucks, leave them shabby. And B: what is moving around inside the unpainted one?"
As you see, the felt and cardboard bottom had been removed before I took that pic. Here's what was found inside:
A baggy of powder wrapped inside some aluminum foil. "Is it drugs!?" my mom exclaimed. "If it's drugs, we can sell it for...how much do drugs cost?' continued my mom with her joke about drugs.
Nope just a bag of beach sand wrapped in foil.

As usual, most lamps seen here are available for purchase in my Etsy shop. Ahem...Sweet Scores on Etsy.
The end.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Let's Review

Since school starts tomorrow (and I've been losing sleep with anxiety about it) I declare that today is officially my last day of summer. Here are some of the things you missed. Because I didn't share a blog post about them. I was busy, that's why.
Many of my items are refashions, but here are a few items that were just great thrift scores with no need for alteration.
This gorgeous aqua with white piping, sleeveless shirt dress. I love it. I took in the bodice a little.
Got it at Outfitters awhile back, put it away for winter, then kinda forgot about it. It was $5. I added the belt because I can't resist waist accentuating,
Check this out: it's a whale skirt.
Thar she blows! I paid full price for it at Goodwill; $5. It's vintage! Well worth it! Look at the whales!
I paired it with an anchor print crop top which totally goes with it. It's such a childlike garment, and I really wasn't sure what to match it with.
I said I was showing you a "few" things, which usually means more than two. The third thing was these:
There, I zoomed in. They are cute, black, wedge sandals and they're made by Dansko which I'm told is an expensive working lady shoe. Sticking with the theme, these were $4.99 at Savers.
For the fixer uppers, we have this:
This thing...it's so cute and summer-y. I bought it last summer and maybe wore it once. I hate being hot and this seersucker thing is perfect for staying cool and looking great. What's wrong here?
LOL, I censored it. It's a halter style and it's backless. I can't wear that to summer school. I DO NOT WANT TO LAYER! I probably did take pictures of the process, but let's just cut to the chase. I cut up a stretchy tank top and sewed it to the dress so that it looks like I've got it on underneath.
I went with black because I like it. I wish I had a black background. Do you see the fabric? The tiny white and light aqua stripes?
Here it is from the back:
There is more to show, but I was just over it that day, just like I am now. It's the night before school and I'm stressin' hardcore. I'm going to prepare now.