Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Little Black Dress

Can you believe someone asked me (and my eyebrows) to prom my freshman year? Mom and Pops were a little leery, as I am the result of their Procreation Prom, but I used my magical Groucho Marx eyebrows to convince them otherwise.

I've been thinking about the Little Black Dress (aka LBD) quite a bit lately. How classic, clean and elegant it is. Well, with the exception of the one above. I mean, how many tasteless components can one designer cram into an outfit? "Let's see, we'll stretch black pantyhose across the chest, bedazzle the breast and hot glue taffeta over the rest!" Thusly turning this LBD into a Large Bogus Disaster. Oh well, it was the '90's, whatcha gonna do?
Look what the Amazon Fairy left on my doorstep! I'm already loving this book. The author practically holds your hand while showing you how to sew LBD's reminiscent of Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe. And not a stitch of taffeta to be found.

So I'm wondering if it's possible to apply the classic, clean and elegant standard to other areas in my life. Like, oh, I don't know, the disaster that is my clothes closet for which LBD would stand for Lame (Un)Bearable Dump. We've already covered my penchant for all things trash-tackular, so the closest my personal style will ever be to an LBD would be Largly Brash Dame.

 My final LBD connection bringing this Lame Blog (Up)Date together:
The belts that were mentioned in my last post were shipped to a shop in Italy (!) called...wait for it...The Little Black Dress. Anyone interested in a road trip?

But seriously. With spring here and all things fresh and new, what harm would it do to at least attempt a little "classic, clean and elegant"? Maybe I'll even start with the closet. If I told you I still have that very same prom dress hanging in it, would you think me totally Loser Beyond (this) Dimension? Yeah, that's what I thought. I'm beginning to think the strained "I think I may have sharted" look on my face is a result of me looking into my future...and seeing that darned LBD staring right back at me!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tackfully Tacky

Miss Yvonne of PeeWee's Playhouse fame. I loved her giant bouffant and her poofy 1950's style dresses. I hold her partially responsible for my lack of tack.

I'm tacky. I could blame my genes, my upbringing, my poor eyesight or I could just own up to the fact that I'm a scad gaudy, a tad tasteless and a ton trashy. If my car had bumper stickers, they'd say things like
 "Fishnets are Forever" and "Glitter is Glorious". After stapling the hem of a torn skirt, Mitch christnened me Classy Cassie. Guess calling me Trashy Cassie would just be stating the obvious.
So, when I was recently contacted my a retailer who wanted some belts I was excited...but there was a stipulation. Could I make them with plain fabric? You know, just a touch toned-down? A pinch less punchy? Well, sure! I can do that! No problemo.

Yeah, right. As much as I like the end result, sewing these was kind of a bore. Everytime I set about doing it, I would lay the buckle on some fantastic patterned fabric and just sigh. Their fate was not meant to be. Someone with far more tack than I wanted something more classy, refined and simple.
Now that's more like it: last week I scored some fantastic fabric and patterns from some friends that appreciate my love for all things kitsch and vintage. In some circles these people might be referred to as "enablers"...

So, I'm trying to find a happy medium. You know, be Tackfully Tacky. Until them, I'm gonna scour the web for a support group. Tackaholics Anonymous. And while doing so, I shall listen to this CD and pine over Kate and Cindy's duds and do's...

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Reset Yo'self

An embarrassing amount of cupcakes were consumed before, during and after my birthday. Oh, who am I kidding, I consume a ridiculous amount of sweets daily. You know it's bad when even your breakfast must be followed by a dessert.

I have this small hand-held solitaire game. It's about the size of a Blackberry or an iphone, which I do not have. And probably never will. I'm kind of a caveman (woman?) when it comes to technology which you probably know if you ever texted me. My replies are usually either "Y" for yes, "N" for no or "ha" if I'm feelin' spunky. I do like to pull out my little solitaire game from my purse from time to time just to give the illusion that I'm with the now. I'm even thinking of knitting a little sheath for the thing.
Don't let the pretty face fool you. The other morning, some-furry-one was a little perturbed that I was sleeping-in when it was obvious she was on the brink of starvation. I felt something tickle the inside of my nose and just when I realized it was a kitty-cat claw, she flicked it out thus scratching the inside of my nose. When I sat up, holding my throbbing nostril and yelping in pain, she just gave me her "see what you make me do?!" look.

Oh, geez, where was I going with this? Yes, the solitaire game. It has this marvelous function that no iphone has an app for. It's called the RESET button. Just when it's obvious that all hope is lost and that I'm doomed to lose another solitaire game (which causes me to ponder, exactly who am I losing to, if I'm playing  solitairely?), I simply press the reset and I'm given a second chance to start all over again. And with a whole new hand dealt.
I vaguely remember blogging about some wall pockets a while back. Thought I'd post a pic of the finished, glazed product. It's always a surprise when I open the kiln, I never what the end-glazed result will be. 

Well, I've been feeling a little, um, droopy of late. Lazy. Lame. Moopey. Not sure what the problem is. Low iron. Scurvy. End result of too much Sharpie huffing. Regardless, I'm determined to snap out of it. To hit the reset button, to jump start myself. I've decided to use my birthday (which was wonderful, I totally want to hit the REPLAY button on that day!) as a time to reset. Reprioritize. Rejuvenate. Renew (my library books, they are, like, waaaay overdue).

I mean, even though I feel like this some days, I need to take a kitty-cat claw to my lack of motivation and get to-doin'. To resetin'. Maybe a cupcake or three would help...

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Memories (aka I Couldn't Come Up with a Title)

Fresh out of the oven, ahem, kiln come some Super Snazzy Snowmen. And Women. 
No, the one in the foreground is not a Pizza Delivery Snowman, but an Artist Snowman. That's his palette and yes, he's wearing a beret. 

This past weekend was a pretty big deal to some pretty little people. And I'm not talking about these here Snowmen. And Women. Aw, shoot, I'll just say "Snow People" and make everyone happy. 
I'm talking about a handful of the Magnificent Miniature Artists that I get to work with everyday. They received the great honor of having their artwork hung at the Frist Center for Visual Arts. You know, the same museum where Picasso and van Gogh have graced the walls. They've never had a Stephens Original but there's always room to shoot for the stars, says me.
Just a peak of the hallway before the exhibit started. Once they opened those doors, it was a stampeed of proud artists, parents, teachers and art teachers...they were the ones with their eyes glazed over. But that's pretty much everyday.

The kids were so excited and proud, as they should be, that it got me wondering...will they remember this in 10 years? 15? ....and if so, what kind of positive effect will it have on them, if any?
I'm not usually so cognitive (probably just grandmother taught me that all abnormalities can rightfully be attributed to flatulence) but I was thinking such because of an essay I recently wrote. The theme of the essay was Tell Your Favorite Crafting or Sewing Memory in, like, 30 words or less. I had no problem coming up with a slew of memories...
One of our second grade Famous Frist Artists works...inspired by Neuschwanstein Castle. 
Just not the part with the hearts. 

Most were happy memories, like my grandma teaching me how to embroider and then helping me take that little embroidered bear holding balloons and turn it into a pillow...that Kris later puked on. Rightfully so, it was ugly. Okay, so maybe that wasn't such a happy memory.
Mixed-media self-portrait by one of my second grade artists. I love that he came up with the tux all on his own...
Then there was the summer I Vacation Bible School hopped (or what I like to refer to as a VBS Crawl) just so I could partake in all the craft-making merriment. Which was made all the merrier with Capri Sun and Fruit Roll Ups. My last hop didn't end well as it turns out the Church of Snake Handling doesn't do much by way of crafting...or drinking things other than blood.
Kindergarten artist's snowy landscape. I jokingly told the kids that each time we do a snow-themed work of art, it might bring us the luck of a snow day...6 snow days later, we've ceased all snowy themes!

One of my favorite memories happened today when a kindergartener said to me:
You're the best art teacher that I have!
To which I replied: 
Thank you...but I'm the only art teacher. 
Patting my arm, she assured me:
You'll get others when you get bigger.

 I was informed this Snowman is wearing a Fez and googles and has paw prints on his chest because a dog jumped on him. I didn't ask why. I was just too pleased with the imagination and creativity. And the sweet little bird. Don't worry, all snowmen were given the gift of arms once out of the kiln. Brown pipe cleaners worked great.

Hopefully, all of my kiddos will have happy memories when they are creating. Or at least ones that don't involve brothers puking and snake-handling. I don't think that's too much to ask.