Monday, November 27, 2006

Mr. & Mrs. Matthew Kilcup

Matt and Carolyn's big day.
The first of the six Fournier Weddings.
I was asked to help her get dressed, mainly to get her laced into the dress.
Roses and Stephanotis.
The wedding pictures will be on-line in an Web-Photo Album on December 3rd.
username: Kilcup
password: 7248
Matt having a sneak-peek. Mom Linda looking beautiful. The wedding was outside and although the weather had been unseasonably warm all week, it turned cold the night before the ceremony. The Wedding Party was shivering all through the rehearsal. We loaned out as many sweaters and coats as we had. Good thing Linda had a furry sweater! We put it on her chair so she wouldn't have to wear it up the aisle

One last kiss! then it was off to the photo shoot.
Matt had the sweetest little prayer with us before it all started.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Gardening Gramma

She wanted to get those bulbs in the ground while it was still November, so one afternoon she loaded her walker with shovel and bulb bags, clipped her companion's leash on to the frame and off they went. She planted some mini daffodils and I finished up yesterday morning with some paper-whites, standard daffodils, and narcissus.
Bobby helping with the watering...

It should be so pretty in here January, especially with all of Bobby's constant help.

We are braving the Mall today. (Official start of Christmas Shopping) We need to shop for some January Birthday Girls.
Though we have a smocked dress started for the little Canadian, she wanted to get some big girl panties, too. I also need to go to JoAnn's for some lining fabric for 'Soon-To-Be-14'. I found a sheer summertime silk overdress at the vintage clothing store in my mall. Very beautiful, but needs another layer to be right. I'll post a photo after I get the whole thing together.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Sweet Suki

Recently a client brought me a chambray 'country-western' jacket to shorten. The challenge was that the entire front was made up of 1" fabric strips woven in a basket weave.
Each intersection was decorated with a 1/2" 'jewel' that had to be removed. After taking off about 20 gems, I thought of a little girl who likes her 'BLING'. When shopping with her she is always drawn toward the glitzy and the twinkly. The next time I went to Ross I looked for something workable as her birthday was coming up soon.

I found this little jeans jacket and it already had lots of brads and studs on the front and the collar.
I added the ones I'd collected, a few little dangling people we had wandering around, some tiny pink pierced earrings, and voila! A favorite gift! ,

I also found this extra soft boucle' sweater at Ross for $3.99! A present from Great-Gramma.
Modeling both at the same time. She wore the jacket to Sunday School.
The birthday girl and her wonderful mom. For more on the party, go to Camp Chaos, and then click on SuperChic for a slide show!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Walt and Anna sent these photos to me today.
They are sitting in the Fujishiro's living room, in Yokohama, Japan.
I wanted you to see this photo first
I'm in the other. There I am in the back row with my hand on sister Fujishiro's shoulder in 1978!
(Click on the photo for a closer look.)
Walt collected a few photos from the 'Fujishiro Photo Album' when he and his dear wife visited the assemblies there recently. Mr. Fujishiro is beside her, under the clock. Chiye Yamanaka is on the left end of the second row, black blouse & big smile.
Tomezo is three from the right on the front row, red tie.
Brother Takashima is on the right end of the first row. He was the one who met me at the train station the first time I came. He suggested I stay still and he would find me in the crowd, instead of the other way around. Go figure.
As Walt and Anna know now themselves, you pose for a lot of pictures when you go there!
It was a very happy time for me, adventurous, reminiscent, memorable.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Oodles of Noodles

One of my most challenging dresses was a formal I was asked to make for an un-named religious group that has a compound/movie studio in the area.
I was not allowed to ever meet the wearer of the garment. Never.
I was given her measurements and a magazine page of the dress I was to create for her. No fittings, no adjustments, no questions.
They were having a Hollywood Gala during the Christmas season a few years ago.
I was told what to do and not by a person of any authority.
Every time I had a question about a particular point, whether fabric, cut, or drape, she left, went back to her superiors, got the answer, and returned.
We disagreed on any number of things. Mostly that I couldn't meet the girl. I ended up doing what she asked. I put the money in the bank. The questionable source of the money bothered me for quite a while until I put it in the perspective of a legitimate business transaction; funds for services rendered.
The agent had some wild ideas, I had other ideas. Finally we decided on a noodle-type of fringe. Cutting fringe from pre-sewn flaps wasn't working. Not enough volume. Not enough dimension. I fought against the path of making individual fingers, dreading the sheer volume of the job. She assured me that I would be fairly compensated. Still...
The two of us discussed the approach in several ways.
Her idea, which I finally and very reluctantly agreed to do, was to cut lots of eight" x six" squares of very sheer tricot fabric,

Stretch the block out as far as it goes, to arms length if you can, so that the sides curl in and it makes a tube-y thingy.

Do it again about 4000 times.
And I mean FOUR THOUSAND times.
Pile a bunch in your lap.
Take out one at a time.
Fold each link in half lengthwise, sew them together across the fold, one after the other, like hot dogs in a package.
Take each row (of about 100) to the cutting table and trim the edges like you would trim bangs, to make them even.

Put it on a flat piece to make a skirt with a modest train and attach it eventually to a bodice of bias cut satin. A long waisted bodice that is halter style and only a single spaghetti strap to hold it up. Or on. Or nothing. Oh dear. I stitched that poor strap good. That dress was HEAVY! Poor girl. I never knew if it fit or if she could even get into it.
I had Jailgy come over to give me moral support, commiserate on the injustices of life, take pictures.
Not only was the experience demanding and frustrating to my professional integrity, (I couldn't allow for alterations, fit, or anything! )
I learned alot about the hierarchy of the people, the protective nature of those in leadership positions toward those of lesser status, the condescension and disrespect of those 'outside'. Including me.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Recent (and not so recent) Projects

The Big Pillows are GONE!!! Yippee! (see 10/12; the most frustrating part of my job) Check went in the bank Saturday. I was beginning to feel like I was working in a wide spot of a Corn Maze, or an Obstacle Course. Or a Flea Market. And I was letting the clutter-containment part of my job get away from me, thinking "What's the use?" Now I can see my way clear to the back. Now I have room and can tell it's been a long time since I vacuumed. Also, I was beginning to stack & pile projects. Not a good sign. I can't tell what order the work is in if things are spread out all over.
This is the back view of a 'Belle' Halloween costume from Beauty and the Beast. She actually brought me only an un-colored coloring book page. "I want it just like this only with lots of lace, buttons all over the skirt swags, draped up the back and very, very short. Oh yeah, and it's all-over yellow. Can you make gloves to match?" (gloves?) She was bewildered when, after I tried to draw it, to understand the concept, it "Didn't look anything like the Disney Movie!" Big sigh. Getting into people's heads (read; teenager's) to pull out their ideas and put them in fabric is often challenging. Sometimes not.
She and 'The Beast" had a spat and broke-up the day before the party. Oh well. I think they called a truce for the sake of it. Praise for the resilience of Young Love. She promised me a picture of them both at the party.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

More Disneyland Photos

Early evening.
Riverboat Belles.
It was nice to get off our feet.
Look Mom, I'm drinking water!
I was so glad for my hat.
(And my fashion forward sneakers.)
Pooh and Two.
Two Canadians who came to California without visors or hats! Or at least to D-land, anyway. I think there were some from Sea World, but they were left at home. This was soon remedied $$$! It was so bright and hot that day. If it looks like they had a blast, they did. What memories for them. And for me.

Friday, November 03, 2006

My Best Friend, Mickey Mouse, & Me

Our times together are always too short.
She came out West with her family to spend some time in the sun.
Only for a week and right in the middle of a busy time for me.
We only got one day together so we made it last!
I drove in to Les and Marion's after Gospel; hit a little traffic and made it by 10:30 p.m. Didn't get to sleep until after midnight, of course.
A really good way to get the blood going! Thunder Mountain Railway first thing in the morning. There were no crowds! It was a Monday and after school had started. We made all of the high ticket rides as soon as we could and meandered the rest of the day. Though the Haunted Mansion was closed for Halloween decorating, Matterhorn for some other reason, we still found plenty to do. Ern is such a good sport! He'd never been before and was willing to let the 'local' map out the day.
Stayed to watch the parade and left at closing-8:00 p.m..
I miss her. She has been my friend since we met in 1978.
My Best Friend for over 25 years.
Truly amazing, truly a gift from God.
This is the picture I put on my dresser, in a frame that she gave me for my birthday this year. It's engraved with the words;
Who wouldn't want to be us?