Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Barbie/Project Runway #9

Who knew when I took on this Project Runway challenge that I would design outfits for a rock band? Certainly NOT me! In Episode #9, the designers met up with the Canadian band called The Sheepdogs. Once again, the designers were divided into two teams of four people. And, once again, my brain and sewing machine would be whirring to complete the assignment in a week's time.
Each band member had an interview with the PR designer. Let's start with Ewan first. He's the lead singer of the band - the front man, so to speak. I thought it was very important for him to lead the pack of fellow Sheepdogs by wearing a sheared sheep hair (Sherpa) vest. No designers had this thought...what's with that?
(My thanks go out to Ken. He was the actual body presence for the band members' bodies.
I taped their faces right over his face. Kind of mean of me, but he was a good sport about it.)

Now let's take a look at band member Ryan. He wanted to have a look that was Western influenced. So, I sewed him a denim/chambray shirt with trim detail on one side. This trim was leftover from my very own Western look in high school when I sewed the trim down the side of my own hip hugger jeans - ee ha! I gave Ryan cargo pants so that he could store his guitar picks there between sets.

Sam, the drummer, wanted a look that had brown in it - he likes brown. He also requested a caftan-type shirt. (If you saw the TV show, you know the two designers who designed for Sam had pretty unattractive results.) Because he's the drummer, he got a top with a zipper. You never know when another rhythm "instrument" sound is going to be needed. ZZZZZZZZZZipppppp!
Finally, we come to band member Leot. He, when interviewed, had the funkiest style request: red pants. Let's talk funky! For him, I chose a special maroon red python pleather print that I found at the thrift store in jacket form marked down to $1.40. These pants are true rocker pants. For the top, I chose to do some color blocking and embroidery.
Just for fun, I am adding the next pictures for closer details of the band outfits:
Ryan's Western trim,
Sam's caftan zipper and trim,
The brown shoes I stitched for all,
and Leot's python snakeskin pants.
This is the entire collection. I will be upfront with you that I
cheated just a bit with making one pair of jeans for Sam and Ewan to share,
and Ryan and Ewan share the same shirt. Please cut me some slack (get it?)
because there is only me in this team challenge.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

ArtPrize in Grand Rapids, MI (Pink Suitcase Chronicles #43)

We have just returned home from a very art-filled weekend! Here you can see all of us - including Pink - reading the maps and newspaper articles describing the ArtPrize venues, artists and details before we set out to explore the city of Grand Rapids, Michigan.
A few years back, a philanthropist in the area decided to offer big cash rewards to artists from around the world to enter this art contest to compete for large sums of cash prizes. The winners were to be voted upon by the people visiting the show.
The show uses city buildings, restaurants,parks, bridges, museums, churches, etc. to display the works of art. This contest has attracted more and more artists each year, and people are coming to the city from all over as well.
There are now some 1500 pieces of artwork on display from now
until October 9, 2011.
Wes and I were "hosted" by our dear friends, Marny and Tracy.
The art pieces were tiny (think a Mona Lisa jigsaw puzzle with some 80 pieces that could fit inside an Altoid box) to large (think in terms of a waterfall/fountain containing life-sized wood-carved grizzly bears). Think wood, glass, metal, steel, fibers, photographs, mosaics, clay, paper,
frying pans, glue, filaments, resin, plastic. You name it, basically, and there was an art piece featuring it!
This eye was a project two brothers created together by taking daily photographs for two years
and making a mosaic that had a picture within their pictures.
Here we see scaffolding with a sculpture. We were surprised to find the guy on the left was a real man who gave us a 'thumb's up' gesture as we checked him out!
Do you see Barbie in the shark composition?
These yellow sunflowers covered a large expanse of grass by the Gerald Ford Presidential Library. The flowers are all made out of recycled water bottles. Marny and I had a mini tutorial on the process by the artist herself.
This large sculpture dog was called "Rusty" and was made out of recycled metal parts.
I predict right here right now that this will be one of the Top 10 winners.
I was happy to see that a quilt was accepted into the competition at ArtPrize.
Imelda would have been happy, too.
If you feel that you are caught up in details at work, this wooden sculpture man can
certainly relate to your pain. Perhaps he's a modern-day Jonah.
How fun is it to be in Grand Rapids and see our very own CTA Brown Line? We take the Kimball train quite often - and never even noticed it is made out of duct tape! The artist did, however. This piece is close to actual size of a train, so we are talking a lot of duct tape here!
I hope you can get just a little idea of the big enjoyment we had this weekend. Let's hear it for
Marny and Tracy
A r t P r i z e!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Barbie/Project Runway #8

The premise of Episode #8 on Project Runway was to bring real men in and have them confer with the designers to create a custom outfit for their wife or girlfriend. The men have real-life women with real-life bodies. So, I "brought" in a Mattel man whose name just happens to be Allan Sherwood and we sat down for a nice little chat. Does that name sound a little familiar to you, by the way? He's the husband of Midge -Barbie's best friend since 1963. Midge and Allan are expectant, married parents as shown by the ring on Midge's left hand. This is the transcript from the interview:
DL: Well, hello Allan!
AS: Hello back.
DL: My, you look fit, trim and tan! You have been in Malibu with Barbie and Ken, haven't you?
AS: Why, yes. Yes. We had such fun in the Dream House.
DL: Are you looking for me to design a cute little bikini for Midge?
AS: Er, no. Midge has a little secret. I must spill the beans to tell you there is a bun in Midge's oven!
DL: Why, congratulations, Allan! You must be thrilled. AS: Why, yes we are, indeed.
DL: So, you want me to design....
AS: ...a beautiful maternity dress. Dove grey to tie in to my nickname for my little DoveBoat.
DL: Grey it is, then!
AS: And Midge just loves silk worms.
DL: Curious, but sweet observation, Allan. Which means, of course, that the dress must be made out of silk. The finest silk.
AS: Yes, spare no expense! And do NOT make it long and frumpy. You know Midge has shapely legs!
DL: Noted: short hemline. How about sleeves?
AS: Only cap sleeves, please. Her arms are quite chiseled, you know.
DL: Again noted. Any other specifications?
AS: Yes! Please make the dress one that can fit her again once the baby bump is gone. Er, ah, the baby has arrived!
DL: Okay, Allan. I'm on it!
. Following the birth of little Nikki, Midge can wrap the tie from front to back. (Just a side note here, I made the dress out of silk shirt that was already in the donate Bag.)
Now I know you, dear reader, are wondering about the pregnant Midge doll I acquired for this challenge. She is the property of my friend, Marti.
And I also know you would like a visual of how this pregnancy works? Midge has a magnetized half-shell bump.
Inside is a curled up baby with a diaper already in place - so convenient!
Thank goodness, I made the yellow polka dot bikini last week so that I can show these non-censured pictures on my blog!
Wouldn't it be nice if we could have our babies this way? All we'd need to do was take the eggshell thingy off and voila --- a sweet baby arrives with diapers already in place!
Then, we could go home from the hospital in our little bikini, just like Midge shown below and go back to life on the beach! No more waiting 30 years to get back to our pre-pregnancy weight with a belly that looks like a thermal blanket!
This is obviously a fantasy.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Barbie/Project Runway #7

About 1 minute into the Episode #7, I knew I was going to have a challenge....and a lot of sewing.
The remaining 10 designers were put into two teams to create 5 "looks" PLUS design their own fabrics playing a major role in the outfits, PLUS make a video for the background of the runway show. Seeing as I am a team of one, I can fudge on the rules just a little bit, right? So, I decided to make five looks, make my own fabric, and forgo the video part - more on that later.
To make the fabric, the designers had a computer for designing, and then that design was sent away to be printed. Me? I used my home computer, then printed out the fabric myself, also at home. I knew I wanted some kind of polka dots for my design, so I went to the WEBDINGS font, chose the #8 key, and selected size 40 pt.
Then, I selected three different cotton fabrics: white, teal and yellow. I cut freezer paper to 8 1/2 by 11 inches (the size of paper that fits in my printer), cut the fabric slightly smaller than this and then ironed it to the freezer paper. Into the printer it went!
To the left, you can see the computer screen with the dotted pattern which actually reminds me of those reinforcement circles you put over the holes on notebook paper to prevent ripping. To the right, you can see the printed fabrics.
After hearing that teal was supposed to be one of the "must have" colors this season, I knew that my collection needed to include this color. Yellow was chosen as I wanted to include an itsy bitsy, teeny weeny yellow polka dot bikini for Barbie, and thought that teal and yellow make for a pleasing combination. To this I would add white and black.

Here's Barbie in Outfit #1: a bikini with a couple of beachy props, thanks to a loan from my friend, Marti.

Outfit #2 is an ensemble in black, white and yellow. Note the teal shoes. Barbie can wear this happy little outfit when she goes out for ice cream with her sister. She'll bring the dish for sherbet and the root beer float glass. Cheers!

Outfit #3 is a classic shirt dress. Just slip one of these on and Barbie can go anywhere in style. With that fair skin, she'd better take her sun hat along. Do you get a vibe that Barbie is channeling Anne of Green Gables in this dress?
Black beads are used for the buttons on Barbie's dress. Hidden snaps secure the dress so that Barbie is demure, of course, with no surprise reveals.
Speaking of revealing, this next dress, Outfit #4 shows a bit of skin. The darts in the bodice make for a bit of "pointy-ness" ala Marilyn Monroe.
I added a little flower to the sundress strap. It was looped elastic.
Finally, in Outfit #5, I made a gown with a ruffled va-va-va-voom scarf, again with Marilyn in mind. It was fun to posture Barbie in a pose similar to the one in the background picture.
Now, about those backgrounds in the photos. This is my rendition of the videos the designers were supposed to create. I used books which related to the outfit themes. I placed the open book into a decorative plate holder, then stood Barbie up in the foreground. Just in case you were wanting an outfit recap, here you can see the individual pieces of the entire collection:
And now for a word with the Project Runway people:
Take a break from the team projects - they're doing me in!!!!
Thank you.

Monday, September 12, 2011

A Boating We Will Go (Pink Suitcase Chronicles #42)

When we were invited to go for a weekend visit to Wes' sister and her family's place in the Detroit area, we knew we had to give it a try. You see, they have a boat. And Wes is a lover of boats and water. Plus summer is waning, and this was the last chance to
s-t-r-e-t-c-h out summer just a little bit more. Not to mention that his sister is really, really nice, as is her husband and family of three kids! Can I just mention we also really lucked out with unexpectedly good, summer-like weather? The forecast was wrong. Thankfully, wrong!
The boat came with her own name:
"Thought He Was Kidding"
and the new owners are thinking she is well named and will keep her as such.
Here we see Captain Jeff and his First (and only) Mate, Renee.
Once out on Lake St. Clair, we discovered we needed to boat over to Brownie's for lunch.
Wes was offered the chance to drive the boat, and readily accepted the invitation...I loved seeing him smile the entire time he manned the "ship."
I never realized one could take a boat into Detroit. Here we pass through bridge #1.
To the right of the bridge, we see Detroit. Not shown on the left side,
the Canadian city of Windsor.
Party boat with city skyline behind. We saw many wedding parties being photographed along this stretch of the waterway. We waved and shouted to each other.
Here's bridge #2 which we also passed under. Then it was back to the marina to dock and part with the lake. We had such a great time...thanks Renee, Jeff and family! Nothing like the combination of being out on the water in a boat with people we love. Good times!