Friday, August 3, 2012

semi-weekly round-up

Been a tough couple of weeks working on a difficult job. That one's over now, so it's time to get to the stuff the difficult job made late. yay!

In most important kitten news, she is doing well. And is insanely cute. It's been a long time since we had a kitten in the house though, and I forgot how hyper they can be. Whew. She and the big cat aren't friends yet, but there is no fighting. Just suspicion and some dirty looks.

kitten rolling up her stats

pretty pretty patterns I posted:

My pinterest is full of vintage patterns I find and like and collect virtually (because I have too many in real life!). Here's a few favorites from this week:

Now that is a wiggle dress.

Another amazing vintage bathing suit pattern..

A little over the top but I thought it was pretty cool.

horror of the week:

When I'm looking for pretty patterns, I sometimes find patterns that are...not. To save and share them I throw them up (har har) on tumblr at Patterns Of Horror. Here's my pick of the week:

Those poor, poor children.


things I saw around:

Quinn Cummins (yes, that Quinn Cummings) wrote an article about homeschooling for the Wall Street Journal that was excellent and balanced, and super-positive. As long as you avoid the comments, of course.

The NYPL blog posted a very funny interview with some of the kids who play magic at our local library branch.

Not much else to say, really. And now, back to work!

Friday, July 27, 2012

favorite song of the week

Not new but new to me, the studio original of The Teddybears' "Get Mama a House" (audio only):

Want some visuals? Here they are in concert, not sure who the singer is there but every version of this song is great:

Have a good weekend!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

the day the internet finally broke my brain.

Sent to me by my friends in Switzerland, some Japanese-Bavarian Euro-pop yodeling. And rapping. And chickens.

Because, sure? Why not?

I actually think it's awesome that Takeo Ishii loved Bavarian music and yodelling so much he quit being an engineer, moved to Germany and became a full-time award-winning yodelmeister. But my brain still hurts.

Friday, July 20, 2012

end of the week round-up

It was a pretty busy week this week; lots of work, two minor injuries, classes, and weather that went from a heat index of well over 100° to me thinking I need to go dig a hoodie out -- in just a couple of days. Also, this happened:


She's a rescue kitten, maybe 3 months old, and we sort of ended up with her all of a sudden. Hopefully it works out (she and the big cat have to get along) because she is a sweetheart.


Not much! Mostly I chatted and shared some RTs like this fantastic article on health and weightloss from @comicsreporter, "Comics Made Me Somewhat Less Fat", and the awesome Your Logo Is Not Hardcore tumblr (via @robharrigan).
* * *

And this blast from the past, the Madness Colgate advert. We used to have this on vhs!

pretty pretty patterns:

My pinterest is full of vintage patterns I find and like and collect virtually (because I have too many in real life!). Here's a few favorites from this week:

I love this dress with it's fake princess lines. Definitely sleeveless though.

Super-cute, definitely for the younger set though. Also might tend to poke you a lot.

A spectacular bathing pattern (which had a spectacular price!).

horror of the week:

When I'm looking for pretty patterns, I sometimes find patterns that are...not. To save and share them I throw them up (har har) on tumblr at Patterns Of Horror. Here's my pick of the week:

Ugh. The only thing worse than hippies is middle class fake hippies with their creepy key parties and crap.  

And now I really do need to go find a hoodie. And maybe make a mug of hot tea.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Operetta has her own gang!

Frankie was my first Monster High doll, and when Ghoulia came out she became my number one fave. But when Operetta was announced I knew she would be my new must-have -- I mean, a rockabilly monster gal? Whose crazy facial scarification leads into a full-length arm tattoo? Who plays guitar and skates on the Roller Derby team? And loves biscuits? You can't ask for much more! Plus her pin-up style fashion set is for a day out shopping for vintage vinyl records. Swoon!

The only drawback was her hair -- while we lucked out and got dolls with good hair, the style wasn't quite what I'd hoped for. But there was no way I was going to wash it out and wreck my lovely doll!

Finally last week I got the chance to try doing something new with her hair, when I spent a lovely day with my friend Vivien playing with some spare messed-up dolls....she turned out a gorgeous record-shopping Operetta and while I roughed out what I wanted to do with my doll's hair I wasn't able to get it into shape that day. And when we got home from our trip and finally had a little spare time, I had Emily's doll to contend with as well! But at last we're done, and here are the results!

First up, for reference purposes, is what Operetta is supposed to look like out of the package:

(Click here for close-up.) She doesn't quite look like this in real life, to be honest; the curls in the back just don't happen, the rolls are sticking out to the sides, and the bangs tend to be a bit lower than on the prototype. She can look really good though -- here's my original Operetta with factory-fresh hairstyle (wearing the fashion pack plus her little cropped jacket):

Operetta - factory fresh fashion pack

The rolls are a little goofy, and now that I'm getting picky I see that her bang roll is tilted -- but she's still a cutie and I'll be leaving her be.

My remake is a wrong-side-of-the-tracks Operetta, maybe even a little on the J.D. side. Teased up beehive, little bang curl, and a lot of sass:

Operetta - bad girl side

Operetta - bad girl

Operetta - bad girl full

You can't see it, but there's a white rose on the back of her head at the base of the bouffant. Her belt's been switched out with a generic Monster High belt (from the witch set) and her jacket's gone. She probably smokes, too. I was pretty happy with the way she turned out.

But I have to say, my pride and joy is the Operetta I did for Emily. She spent a day looking through my Lauren Rennells books (Vintage Hairstyling and Retro Makeup) and settled on the "Happy Pomp" style that's shown on the cover of Vintage Hairstyling. I had to modify it a bit to make it happen on a doll, but we were both incredibly pleased with the results. She even asked me to fasten Operetta's mask on as a hairclip in the back (where the original style has a clip-on flower).

Operetta - pomp

Operetta - pomp side

Operetta - pomp back

Operetta - pomp full length view

I kind of think I want to steal from my own child.

Here's the Operetta gang all together:

Operetta Gang

Now she's triplets! Final judgement? Best restyling doll ever. I bet I could do half the styles in Vintage Hairstyling on her and they'd all look amazing. Those thick bangs really make a world of difference. Still, I think the next retro restyle needs to be someone different, more than three Operettas would be ridiculous!

Friday, July 13, 2012

elsewhere this week....

I can't say weekly wrap-up because I'm sure I'm so not going to manage this weekly....but here's some of the stuff I posted on other sites this week:


Exciting news for us -- the crossover between roller derby and monster girls continues! The dolls have started coming out (Ghoulia, Frankie, Operetta and Lagoona) with at least two more on the way (a K-mart-only Abbey and a Clawdeen later in the year); and a videogame for the Wii/DS is coming out November 13th. Unfortunately, it's a licensed game so the automatic rule kicks in that says it will stink, but you never know. In the meantime, we have our beloved Jam City Roller Girls to play.

* * *

Nicki Minaj on double standards:

I'm not really a fan of her work, but I'm totally a fan of everything she's saying here because it's true. And tiring. And annoying. I could go on at length but I'm not really in the mood.

* * *

Punks Not Dad has a video out for their song "Monkey Boots", featuring a war between the Monkey Bootz gang and the "Ant Peeple". 80s references coming at you thick and fast.

pretty pretty patterns:

My pinterest is full of vintage patterns I find and like and collect virtually (because I have too many in real life!). Here's a few favorites from this week:

Amazing early 1950s suit. If I was CEO of Something, I would totally want the black one.

Super-cute 1940s dress. Although those scallops look like they'd be a total pain to sew.

Check out that amazing bodice. Amazing bodices. They're both amazing.

horror of the week:

When I'm looking for pretty patterns, I sometimes find patterns that are...not. To save and share them I throw them up (har har) on tumblr at Patterns Of Horror. Here's my pick of the week:

It wasn't really the worst, but it was the funniest.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

92 degrees and climbing

Been trying to finish off a handful of posts but it's just TOO DARN HOT.

Yow. It's a scorcher.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Heroes 2012 belated wrap-up

So somehow we once again took almost no photos! But we've got a few, starting with this one from somewhere on US-85, probably in NC. Pulled off to get gas and establishment...was across the street. There was no sign to indicate what this place was. All we know for sure is they have an ALL GIRL STAFF!

all girl staff
All Girl Staff.

We got in late Thursday and didn't do anything, but Friday we got up and had our table set up in plenty of time. We had a great day -- probably the best of the whole weekend, weirdly enough. To add to the greatness, our tables were adjacent to our Haus of Cute pals, Stephanie Buscema and Rob Harrigan so we got to chat with them on and off all weekend. And best of all, our BFFs Vivien and Dusty Hoffpauir arrived that afternoon to help us out all weekend (ha! didn't know you were doing that, did you?!) and join in on the fun. For dinner, Dusty found us the amazing King's Kitchen, where I can totally recommend any of the "Meat and Three" plates but have to warn you that you should plan on splitting dessert if you don't want to go into sugar shock.

After dinner we headed back to the hotel and Evan headed off to the annual Drink & Draw fundraiser:

Evan with Roger Langridge at the Drink & Draw; Photo by Heather Mobley Peager
Yo! Photo by Heather Mobley Peager

Love them with money! Photo by Heather Mobley Peager
Saturday was the big day at the con, the whole Stan Lee shebang was going on all day. The hall was so crowded I actually think it may have hurt people's table sales, because attendees could barely get around! Still a good day though; and Emily "cosplayed" for the very first time (pretty sure it wasn't the last!) -- she was a sort of Golden Age Wonder Woman as interpreted by the two of us.

wonder girl!
My little Wonder Girl!

I made it a wearable dress so that it would be reusable -- the eagle is from a 1978 Simplicity costume pattern I have, appliqued in felt onto a basic bodice with a circle skirt added. She had matching bike shorts on underneath and a set of accessories made from glitter craft foam. It was a big day for her, a good friend of hers was visiting and they had a good time running around the con. And thanks to her friend's mom (who is my friend!) Emily got sketches on her own for the very first time! A new Owly from Andy Runton, and a sketch of Marceline (from Adventure Time) from the very kind Jason Horn.

Dinner Saturday was at the excellent Diamond, which is apparently a sort of resurrection of the Penguin, which we'd been to in past years. Whatever the deal is, the menu was the same and the food was amazing. Got back to the Westin at the tail end of the art auction and ran into the amazing Paige Pumphrey (who I met last year) and her husband Phil -- she introduced us all to her friends Maria Danalakis  and Fenny  and fun was had by all until after midnight. Ahem. Luckily for me my kid is normally up that late.

Sunday was the "quiet day" and to be honest, at that point we'd been so busy all weekend it was beginning to all kind of blur.

Evan signing a book, Emily probably playing Scribblenauts. Photo by Heather Mobley Peager
I did get a chance at the very end of the show to run over to the booth Paige and her friends had -- Fenny had left but I did scoop up some awesome stuff from Paige and Maria:

Adorable pocket mirror from Maria Danalakis

Assorted Paigey goods

cute witch earrings from Paigey! The frames reminded me of Locket Kiddles!

Incredibly, even though I was right next to Stephanie all weekend I never picked up any of her seriously cute stuff --  but the totes, notebooks and jewelry are up in her shop now, do yourself a favor and check it out!

Finally the show was over and booths and tables started coming down. We've been going to Heroes for several years now and I think this was the best show yet -- Heroes is always a great con, totally focused on comics and art and the friendliest con you'll ever go to -- but this year took top honors. Even Emily did well -- she ended up selling 7 of her floral hairpin sets!!

And the official end-of con gathering was great fun as well, while I was outside hanging with the rest of the Retro Girl Gang Evan and our girl were inside having a great time too; luckily Heather Mobley Peager caught the moment on film:

Evan and Roger chat while Emily polishes off Mickey Mouse Vol 3; Photo by Heather Mobley Peager
Thanks again to everyone who makes HeroesCon so awesome, from the con and amongst the fans, and we'll see you next year! (And special thanks to Heather Mobley Peager for letting me use some of her excellent con photos!)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

the House of Crafts is headed to Heroes!

Heroes Con in Charlotte NC has become our "home con" over the past few years, and is the only major con we're doing at all this year. We'll be in the front of the Indie Island section at tables AA-516 and AA-517. Evan's got the complete rundown on books and art we'll have but we're also bringing some new craftiness - we're trying out some handcrafted House of Fun jewelry! The sun wouldn't cooperate so I don't have excellent photos, or photos of everything, but here's a sampling:

We've got some "comic panel" necklaces with various scenes from (mostly recent) HOF strips:
House of Crafts

Here's Evan's favorite:
House of Crafts

 There are these cool round pendant necklaces with all-new images in them:
House of Crafts

And one of my favorites, the good cat (the, um, Crappy Cat -- that's his name! -- didn't come out in the photos)
House of Crafts

Matching earrings!! Well, for a few designs:
House of Crafts
House of Crafts

And in addition, our Junior Member Emily has come up with a line of floral hairpins she makes by herself (really, by herself -- well, except when it comes to the giant paper cutter). More info on them is on her page but here are two of my favorite sets. 
Emily's Garden
Emily's Garden

And now to finish up getting ready and making arrangements -- we leave tomorrow and we hope to see some of you there this weekend!!

Friday, May 25, 2012

it's book club time!

Seriously (and this proves how lame things are around here) one of the most exciting things that's happened recently was finding out that homeschoolers get to join the Scholastic Book Club too. I loved the Scholastic catalogs when I was in elementary school (I don't remember them going past that at our school). So I totally geeked out when I found out we could do it too. If you homeschool, just go to their club page, sign up as a teacher (you'll need to make up a school name) and they'll have you set up within about 48 hours. (And drop me a line - I can generate a coupon to use on your first order that gives you enough bonus points for a free book or two on your 2nd order!)

Books are up to half off and they have some exclusive gift sets (Hunger games trilogy with a Mockingjay pin, for example) but do check prices before ordering, because a few books I saw were considerably cheaper on Amazon.

We should get our first order today and I know a little girl who's going to be super-excited to get some more books in one of her current fave series, Goddess Girls (by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams). I like these books a lot too, although I think they're probably best for readers that have some background in Greek mythology already.

I'm personally very fond of book one, Athena the Brain, in which nerd-goddess girl Athena finds out she's immortal and transfers to Mount Olympus Academy, and Em says it's her favorite too (because the Trojan War and the Odyssey get covered in it):

She also really liked Aphrodite the Diva because it guests stars Goddess Girls from the Egyptian pantheon (and she's hoping they get their own series eventually-- me too!)

Scholastic definitely has the best price on them, and they seem to be releasing each book with a bonus; a set of all 8 or the first 5 comes with a charm bracelet, and at the moment the newest book (Medusa the Mean) comes with a replica of a necklace that's part of the story. Cute!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

appearing soon!

We've got some upcoming appearances I'm a bit tardy in mentioning! First up is this Saturday, Free Comic Book Day 2012: we'll be at our local friendly comic shop Comic Book Jones from noon to...2 or 3 or so to sign our story in this (and anything else!)

The next weekend we'll be setting up at the Asbury Park Comic Con, which looks like it will be amazing fun -- it's in a bowling alley! With snack bar! Across from the boardwalk! Not sure what the schedule is but we'll be there all day. And now I have to show off the lovely featured guest graphic they made for me because I love it:

Both events should be a lot of fun, and it'll be nice to get out of the house! Maybe we'll see a few of you there!

Monday, April 9, 2012

patterns of horror!

On Pinterest I keep reference boards of my favorite vintage patterns I've found -- for women, and for girls. These are patterns I don't own that I want to look at again and Pinterest seems to be the best way to organize them - I can see them as much as I want, I can tag them, organize them, print them and share them.

But when I am looking at vintage patterns, I very often find patterns that are.....amazing. Exceptional. Perhaps even....terrifying. I don't want to save them to Pinterest, because I don't want to ever see them again! But I always want to share the awfulness. And now I can -- I've started a tumblr just so I can save and share.... Patterns...Of...Horror!! Come on over and share the madness!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

a thing of sewing beauty

I just stumbled across the lovely anniversary Singer 160, isn't it pretty? I'm not in the market for a new machine right now and it's not in my price range anyway, but wow. Check out Singer's pretty little website for it here. (And if you happen to actually be in the market for a machine, Joann's has it significantly marked down sometime in the next couple of weeks -- their flyer is where I saw it!)
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