Thursday, May 29, 2008

Let's lighten things up a bit...

Falling off of my chair laughing...

Monday, May 26, 2008


Iowans Sort Through Massive Tornado Damage

I am just feeling overwhelmed by this right now. On the heels of a weird spring, this round of severe weather just caught me off-guard mentally.

And we are not even into summer yet...

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Trials and Tribulations


Where to begin.

I am distracted right now, by many things. On the one hand, I have a ton of sewing to do this week and next, to get ready for the Dubuque Faire (May 31- June 1st!). I also need to clean my house, because a friend and her daughter are coming over tomorrow evening, so I can shorten the straps on a prom gown (for a fifth grader for a dance recital). And believe me, after six weeks of sewing projects, the end of the semester, and more sewing projects, it needs it. I am also distracted by huge hardware failures in our PowerMac dual-2.7GHz G5s. If you are a tech on campus, you may have already heard this one. If you haven't yet, you will at the next MacOS X Admin meeting, provided I haven't gone nuts by then.

However, the most irritating thing that is distracting me right now, is the most annoying thing that a seamstress who has to wear contacts in less than two weeks can have.

Conjunctivitis (pink eye) and blepharitis (which is probably temporary, and caused by the pink eye).

Anyway, my cleaning break is over. Back to cleaning. Have to scrub the kitchen floor and dust the living room. Then, on to sewing until at least 11 to catch up.

If I can stay awake that long...

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Finally, (for better or for worse): Steampunk article in the New York Times

Steampunk Moves Between 2 Worlds

Photo by Robert Wright for The New York Times

For better or worse, a mainstream newspaper has picked up on the Steampunk movement.

Quaint to some eyes, or outright bizarre, steampunk fashion is compelling all the same. It is that rarity, a phenomenon with the potential to capture a wider audience, offering a genteel and disciplined alternative to both the slack look of hip-hop and the menacing spirit of goth.

The elaborate mourning dresses, waistcoats, hacking jackets and high-button shoes are goth’s stepchildren, for sure, but the overall look is “not so much eyeliner and fishnets,” said Evelyn Kriete, who sells advertising space for magazines like Steampunk, The Willows and Weird Tales, and who manages Jaborwhalky Productions (, a steampunk Web site.

Ms. Kriete and her eccentrically outfitted cohort of teachers, designers, writers and medical students, drew stares last week at a picnic at the Cloisters in Manhattan, but provoked no shudders or discernible hostility.

“As a subculture, we are not the spawn of Satan,” Ms. Kriete said. “People smile when they see us. They want to take our picture.”

Robert Brown, the lead singer for Abney Park, a goth band that has reinvented itself as steampunk, echoed her sentiments. “Steampunk is not dark and spooky,” he said. “It’s elegant and beautiful.”

While I normally play in the Renaissance, I have been picking up patterns for Victorian costumes, with a mind to modify them for everyday wear ala Steampunk (to be fit for work, of course). Believe it or not, my son is extremely interested as well, especially in Steampunked tech. Geeks like costumes, you know.

I think we'll see more of this on the runways next year, which would be refreshing...

"“I’m so sick of baggy pants hanging off your bottom,” he said. “This is more refined. It goes back to a time when people had some dignity.

“It’s a new day.”" - Mr. James