Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Moving! (only digitally)

Hello darlings,

After some debate and mostly internet connection issues, I have decided to move my lil blog over to a new address; http://hibougirl.blogspot.com  Kindly update your bookmarks/feeds accordingly.

Everything is over there and so far (crossed fingers!) hunky-dory.

On to new adventures!


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Clippings from the Studio Floor...

I feel that I begin many posts with; "It's been a while, but I'm not dead..."  Haha.  Life has been full since graduating.  There was a "Senior Portfolio Zoo" as we affectionately call it, where the year's graduating seniors present their portfolios to the invited public, most of which consists of the local theatre representatives.  I had spent the night with my friend Dani and after we got coffee, set up, and ready, waited nervously for the first people to come look at our work.  It was a good moment for me, personally, because I was stuck in the mindset that I wouldn't be designing any more, I should only amount to a stitcher, and that Neverwhere was a disappointment.  While most of it was, I shouldn't be leaving with that bad of a taste in my mouth, so to speak.  Several dear professors came to look through my work and I was admonished lovingly as to why I wasn't representing myself better.  Jennifer Lupton was the crux of my mind change, she was my scenic paint instructor, and a zany, vivacious, wonderful woman.  She looked through my portfolio, telling me in her lovingly stern way that I was shortchanging myself.  Why wasn't I listed as costume designer?  Why wasn't I giving myself credit for this or that?  It made me ask myself exactly those questions.  Why?  Because I didn't feel worthy of the titles.  I am owning up to them now.  My head is high, and I am aiming for the moon, even if you miss you will land among the stars.

 I went through Cornish Commencement and I am very glad that I did because it brought the whole process around full circle for me and provided a closing ceremony to the experience.

Tony Kushner, (American playwright who wrote Angels in America) was one of our commencement speakers, along with the incredible Mary Lambert.  I filmed Tony's speech but not Mary's and of course I was more impacted by what Mary Lambert had to say than Tony Kushner.  Go figure.  I've been spoilt listening to Neil Gaiman's HS commencement speech so many times and I badly wish I had Mary's.  So good.

Shortly after commencement I was approached to put together an Amish costume for a one woman show about the shooting at Nickel Mines in 2006.  A beautiful show, poignant and tender, called The Amish Project.  It was written from interviews, news clippings, and youtube clips.  One woman, Terri Weagant performs over 10 characters, distinguishing one from the other by change in physicality, voice, and accent.  It was amazing to be able to be a part of this show, and so much fun to work with Terri. 

6 year old Velda tells about Amish martyrs,

America works as a checker at the Big Foods on Route 33,

Anna realises she is dead,

gazing at the evening through the schoolhouse windows.

Now life is setting back into wedding planning, work, and summer!  Yay Summer!  I adore the Fall the most, but after long, grey Winters I can't wait for the sun-drenched days of Summer.  I have a few posts lined up, so stay tuned!


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Wedding Bits

Some of you may already know, I haven't spoken about it here, but the Mr. and I finally (finally!!) set a date for our wedding!  We're tying the knot on October 31st, 2014!  Yep, this Halloween.

We finalised the date sometime in January and I have delved deep, deep into the madness that is wedding planning.  If I could go back in time and give myself one bit of advice it would be this; You do not need everything that wedding magazines/websites/books/people say you do.  What you need is what reflects the two of you, is within your budget, and makes you happy.
I did what I always do when planning something and making a decision, I chose what I liked, got freaked out that it wasn't what I should do, and then went back to my first choice.  It's silly, and I always, always do things that way.
Oh, another bit of advice, find a theme.  It's so much easier to make choices when you have a theme in mind.  Otherwise it gets all jumbly.  I went through a few phases; purple and gold, blue and green, until I was reminded of a book I love dearly, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.  It's black, white, and red, limits the guest list to between 15 and 30 people, and is steampunky without being overly steampunky.

I haven't finalised a venue yet, but I'm in discussion with dear friends of ours about renting out their gorgeous Victorian B&B out in Port Townsend for that weekend.  They have cultivated a steampunk community out there, as well as being excellent re-enactors, I know we're in safe hands.

What am I wearing, you ask?  Something inspired by this dress:

Perhaps with a red, riding jacket on top...

I'm still in the mocking up phase, but I have a pile of gorgeous ivory silk that I got for 50% off from JoAnn's.  And because I am insane, I'm going to appliqué miles of black, velvet ribbon onto the silk to achieve the stripes I want.  Mostly because no one sells black and white striped silk and because I want the texture of the velvet.  
See?  YUM!
I'm still on the lookout for little boots either in red or ivory that are Victorian-ish, and probably some red accessories.  It is slowly coming together and I'm very excited to see how it progresses.  Once my last few Cornish bits are done (graduation, what?!) I can focus on this project.  Need to toss together a muslin to fuss with fitting and then it's off to building my pretty pretty dress.  EEEEP!  

What was the best advice you received about planning your wedding?  


Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Pioneer Square Afternoon

I work in downtown Seattle, and have for almost seven years now, so once in a while, I enjoy being a tourist/wanderer in my hometown.  
The day was bright and not too cold, so my feet carried me away from Pike Place Market, along first avenue and down underneath the freeway exit at Columbia st.
There were stairs, so naturally I had to go down to explore...

I ate lunch at the tiniest pizza place I've even encountered where the staff were charming and tragically out of pizza.  He recommended the meatball sandwich and I cannot complain.  With my tummy full of good food, I meandered along the alley and into Pioneer Square.
The square was once the center of the city of Seattle, after a brief attempt on Alki beach, the founding fathers moved inland a bit and built some of the first structures on what is now known as Pioneer Square.  Those buildings are now lost, having burned in the Great Seattle Fire of 1889, and were replaced with brick buildings during the 1890's.  Most of the buildings downtown date from the 1930's with their gorgeous Art Deco architecture now cheek-by-jowl with modern buildings that are finally (whew!) moving away from the 1980's cement box designs.

I found unexpected street art beneath the offramp.

The beautiful Federal Building always looks like it has icicles dripping down.

My personal favourite, the Pergola

One of my favourite things to do is to wander a city, peeking down it's alleys and finding the hidden places perhaps even the locals don't know about.  Pioneer Square is best visited in the day particularly if one is going to be wandering down laneways.  

This alley is one of my personal favourites, and this time it held some fun wheat paste art, seen below:

This time I wandered back to where I had visited Klondike Jenny's, a fun little shop where people can put on pioneer clothing and look like saloon girls, cowboys, or good honest folk and have pictures taken.  Tragically, it had closed a few months ago, so I poked my head into the cute vintage store next to it, since I hadn't ever been in!
Bon Voyage Vintage* is a charming little shop, racks full of fun vintage finds and the owners, Megan and Keith ready and willing to answer questions or help you try things on.

I perused the racks unwilling to believe I could find anything, (finding vintage clothing that fits my bust is incredibly difficult) however I was delightfully surprised when this wisp of a dress slipped over my head and caressed the floor like it was made for me.
Hailing from the 1930's it is a sheer black lace bodice with sheer, bias cut skirt and 100% delicious!  I haven't patched up the shoulders just yet, but she is itching for a proper photoshoot.

I didn't do anything more terribly exciting after finding that dress, save going to work, which is always interesting.  I hope you have enjoyed my little meander into Seattle!


*this post is not sponsored Bon Voyage Vintage, merely delighted with their store.

Friday, February 21, 2014

A collection of observations on my view.

My apartment has only two windows.  One in the bedroom and the other in the living room.  They over look the same beige backs of the condos on the other side of the street, the little parking lot, and the insufficient awning that attempts to shelter bicycles behind ours.  A weathered grey wooden fence separates the lots, dotted with ambitious moss and some sage green squiggly lichen.  In the summer tiny birds come and sing to me from the fence.  A robin one year, and a red-headed something-or-another the next.  Sometimes there is a black and white tuxedo cat who prowls carelessly along the lip, other times a squirrel who will pause to nibble something important and then continue on his way.

Inside the living room has changed layout endless times to acquire the best light, the best floor space, the best spot for the sewing machine.  Always the light from the one window is teasing me, begging me to move all the furniture out of the way and have a picnic on the floor below it.  I have watched four years worth of seasons change from behind it's glass and screen.  I have flung the window wide open in hopes of catching the smallest breeze to alleviate the sticky doldrum heat.  I have closed it snugly in vain hopes of keeping any amount of warmth from the old electric heater that sits directly below in.  I crack it open just a bit when the spring rains begin, to hear the pattering of the droplets and the singing of the birds.  To smell the creeping hint of fall when summer's shadows grow short and cooler.

I used to lament that the view wasn't better.  That there were more trees, or anything green, that there was better breeze or sunlight.  Today I am happy that it is here at all.  I have learned where the greenery is.  The bamboo that sighs in the garden of the condos to the right, the fig tree slowly gaining height in the peculiar little back yard space on the left.  The one scraggly little shrub that grows in a rooftop garden only visible from my drawing table.  The ambitious moss on my fence.

Today the crows are wheeling elsewhere.  The wind is perfect for it.  Good updrafts with some nice currents to hover on.  The rain has stopped so the pigeons are out doing their formation exercises.  (I always imagine them as stout British air pilots.)  I am contemplating doing some painting.  The day is perfect for it.  

Thursday, January 16, 2014

On Tattoos

I was chatting with my husband and father in law tonight, recounting favourite work stories, and I realised how new I really am to the world of 'those who have tattoos'
I recently finished up a chest piece, which is something I never really thought I would invest in, but am enjoying now that I do. 
I had an encounter at a Christmas party wherein a middle aged woman came up to me and tried to wipe off my tattoo with her hands. She wasn't rough, I wasn't injured, but entirely perplexed. My companions with whom I was in conversation with, were also perplexed. Upon recounting this story to friends later I found their reactions to be more along the lines of "why didn't you slap her?"  Well, because I have never been in these situations before. One can think of how they would react within a certain situation all they want but until one has gone through several of the same, you will probably react with complete perplexity. 

I think there should be a tattoo ettiquette. Namely; do not touch other people without asking. You wouldnt like it if I just randomly came up and started touching your hair or clothes. Don't touch tattoos, or the clothing of the people who have them. Its not yours. Ask first. Be understanding if the person says no. Its their body, not yours. 

That being said, I love my tattoo. It not only is special because of the Ravens who I view as a sort of spirit animal, but also because it makes me happier about my chest.  I have always had a large bust, and this tattoo, while causing people to look at my chest, distracts from just staring at my breasts.

Tattoo done by Halley Mason at Two Birds Tattoo in Greenwood, Wa

Monday, January 13, 2014

Documentary Review: Blackfish

I have been talking with several friends about reactions to Blackfish, many hadn't seen it yet but knew the media hype of it's sensationalism. 

I found this film to be beautiful, sad, tragic, and well balanced for telling a story that has two opposing sides.  The main message that the reviews gave it was that it focused on the tragic death of trainer, Dawn Brancheau in 2010.  I found that it delicately and beautifully spoke about her death, but focused on the treatment of the animals and the withholding of ALL the facts to be the cause of the actions of these beautiful creatures.  Neither did it use garish re-created footage to further sensationalize the attacks, rather there were news clips and interviews with former trainers who were at SeaWorld at the time of the event.

I found myself feeling sympathetic for Tilikum and his circumstances.  At 12,000 pounds he is the largest Orca in captivity and at this point in his life, is really just kept for the use of his sperm.  He performs occasionally, but spends most of his time alone in an isolated pool. 
Tilly was originally captured by the Canadian company, Sealand of the Pacific, whose attraction was located near Victoria, BC. 

I am glad I watched this film and heard the stories from former trainers, their reactions and their experiences with these majestic animals.  This article was an interesting view on Tilly from Orca Trainer Colin Baird.  Go see Blackfish.  Better yet, stream it on Netflix.  

Guess how many wild Orca whales have attacked humans?  




Life has been busy post college.  Busy with remembering how to be a human, busy with visiting friends and family, busy with puttering around my little apartment.  So busy, in fact, that I have deeply neglected this poor little blog.  That, my dears, will soon come to an end.  I have books to share, documentaries to review, and sewing and knitting goodness coming your way!

In the mean time, here are a few little snippets from the past month (ish) that I have been meaning to share.
This is Shmoo.  Short for Shmooser, this delightful boy lives on Capitol Hill's Twice Sold Tales bookstore.  I went in on a whim and not only found a book I have been searching for (!!!), but got the sweetest neck massage and "purr" therapy from this sweet boy.  

There is a new "monster" in our house.  A Bandit Bunny came to join us, much to the delight of Teeny.  They have been spending the last month "bandit-ing" anything that I glance away from.  

THIS BOOK!!  I don't think I have spoken on here about my love for illustrator, Trina Schart Hyman, but (knowing me) I have and simply forgot.  I fell in love with Trina's work when I was 14, and spent countless, endless hours in the Burien Library memorising the spines of her books.  I entertained the dream of having her illustrate a children's book that I wrote, but she passed away in 2004, so I collect her books and continue to marvel and the delicate watercolour work she once did.
Swan Lake makes the fourth book in my TSH collection.  I have The Fourtune Tellers, King Stork, TSH's autobiography, and now Swan Lake.

Leaving you now with this bit of silliness from Christmas Eve.  Finally (!) got the dear man to smile for one good picture.  Ta ta for now dears!