Friday, July 1, 2016

Just a quickie!

It's all on Chez Iron, getting costumes and props ready for the Viva Frida! show at Te Manawa Museum in Palmerston North. Only days away! So this today's job has been making my skirt, out of the most delicious sequin net, resplendent with massive sequinned flowers in sunset hues.
My idea was to mount a full circle of the net onto 75mm black elastic, because my waistline is so very variable. It is going on over a black corset top so the blacks will blend together.
However, I want the flowers at the top of the skirt to sort of blend into the top, as if it is all one. So, tonight I am hand stitching flowers over the join. To maintain the stretch, i've popped the whole thing over two chair backs aranged in a triangle approxmating the circumference of my substantial waist.
I'm trying out the camera on my laptop thing. The light is quite odd as I have a mega bright work lamp pointing at it. Anyway this is what it looks like, complete with my dressing gown clad knees.
The magnifying glass is one of the things attached to my lamp - it doesn't really do it for me so I've pushed it out of the way. You may be able to make out the tops of my pins as I've yet to sew this lot of flowers down. Nearly half way.
It's quite surreal sitting here typing this in exactly the same position as this photo, so my view is your view.
The net where not sequinned is very sheer, but I am floofling it out with another skirt of mine made from black silk chiffon over burgundy satin. I wore it last in 2007 and am quite pleased I hung onto it now!
I think it will be worth it. The whole costume is so OTT, even for me! More soon! Enjoy your weekends!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Rainy Days and Sundays

What a weekend! On Friday night the much anticipated Queen vs Queen finally happened. This is a "contest" that happens monthly, where two drag performers (king, queen, princess, whatever!) perform to see who is the best. It's a lot of good natured fun really, as noone cares who wins or loses.
So, after a bit of a roundabout process, I ended up going up against Polly Filla, who actually lives in Australia now, is a professional drag artist, and just happened to be back for a week! Eep! Polly is GORGEOUS, and SO GOOD, he is the best lip syncher I've ever seen perform by a long stretch.
Our poster!
Colin (Polly's alter ego) and I ended up hanging out together all week, sewing (he is a fantastic costumier as well) and of course we had some fun with a costume each in different styles from the same hidjus sequin fabric. We had a gag planned where we came out in the same costume and have a big fight about it. But, it also transpired that we already had matching costumes, which meant even more fun!
Matching corsets - they look more different because I put my fabric over purple and Polly put his over green. We even had matching brunette and hot pink hair!
Much fun was made of us "discovering" the matching over costumes, throwing a fit and stomping off to opposite ends of the stage to take off our matching outers, only to "discover" that we had matching unders too! Much to the absolute delight of the audience! Then we lip synched No More Tears, (Enough is Enough) and the audience voted. Completely ignoring the obvious bias of the Wellington crowd, we both declared the Emcee Stephii Onassis to be the winner. You can see a sliver of Stephii on the left. Yes he has a massive run in his tights and no he doesn't care.
ANYWAY, Colin stayed for the weekend, as we had another show on Sunday. I had a photo shoot at 10.am on Sunday morning so anyone who needed to could then attend the Pulse Fundraiser at 1pm (yup, another one).
This was us at the Fundraiser, Team Glamour! I honestly have no idea what I was trying to do with my eye game; it's terrifying and I blame it on having to get glammed up at 7am on a Sunday. One's judgement can be impaired by such things! Polly's makeup is art, every time. I peer at photos trying to work it all out, and watched it all being done, but he has had 20 years to perfect it.
The photo shoot was lots of fun and the fabulous Roxy was kind enough to take pics of me with friend Debbie, and also with Jack, my adopted son, when we were there to take group shots of contestants in the Grand Tease on 23 July (heaven help me!)
The fundraiser was as usual very long. We didn't get to leave until 4.30pm! Then it was home - sequin gown and eyelashes off, apron on and into making macaroni cheese in large quantities for the young drag performers coming over for a meeting about a show we are doing in a fortnight. They may be the most gorgeous and glamorous creatures when in drag, but underneath 22 year old men eat a LOT. I got the 'ronis and cheese bake and a banana cake in the oven, took off my makeup and took down my hair, and just then the doorbell goes and they swept in. Phew!
It was a very noisy evening and David retreated to the bedroom. But we got our show sorted, our rehearsal schedule sorted, and the dishes done.
Why the title of this post? Because it fair bucketed down all of Sunday, so dashes in and out of buildings and to and from cars in glamorous wigs and costumes and impractical shoes was an almighty pain in the pattoottie!
So, today I am pretty tired. But happy and yay! Tonight is the last of the installments of watching The Great British Sewing Bee with friends from the WSBN. A very different group to have over for dinner, but pretty much as noisy, albeit in more sensible shoes!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Mary

A lone pic from the fund raiser. I love the sepia look, and the eyebrows make me look surprised. NOT as surprised as the fairly young crowd who had been politely tolerating the twee song, up until the part where the special sugar comes out and then they went wild! So silly!!!
P.S. a personal share, because I'm all about oversharing: this constantly being photographed has caused me to confront how much fat I have re-accumulated this year. I am mildly surprised but in a good way that this news is not alarming or causing me a sense of shame. Just a sense of, better sort that, cos letting out costumes is a tedious bore! xo

Sunday, June 19, 2016

On Eyebrows and Orlando

What a week. I am still processing this shooting in Orlando - the overwhelming implications of it - to hate that much, all the straightsplaining, the Islam blaming, the stories coming through. The massive healthcare bills facing the survivors - the impact on my tribe of gay friends.
Naturally and inevitably, people here want to do something to help. To help the survivors; knowing that nothing we do will bring back the murdered or turn back time, but to push back with love, with refusal to be cowed, with support and solidarity.
So, two fundraiser shows were hurriedly put together, and I was told I am in both. Not asked! This is what happens when your "son from another mother" is organising it all.
I already had an Emcee gig on Saturday, a fantastic show called DIY Burleskiwi. Contestants from all over NZ, with a budget of only $100, put together costumes and routines to knock our socks off. It was a fabulous night and here's a few pics of me:



,,, and here's the curtain call. The stand out item I feel is Pixie Twist's cheese hat. SO much creativity was shown, I was just blown away.
I am sitting here still with my makeup on from the Sunday night fund raiser, only eyelashes removed so far. So no pics, and as I did Mary Poppins, you've seen it all before anyway. But since Orlando, I've started "blocking" my eyebrows. This is the practice of erasing one's own eyebrows and redrawing them with a higher arch. Drag queens do this because men have lower and more prominent brow bones than women so it helps to feminise the face. Naturally being a woman I don't NEED to do this, but I have a strong sense of wanting to show solidarity with my cross gender drag sisters. It is a bit of a chore but irrationally, it matters to me now.
So, I am off to smear melted coconut oil all over my face, wipe it off with warm damp mutton cloth, then off to bed before a week of preparing for our show Queen VS Queen on Friday night, where I get to perform with, and against, Polyfilla, possibly New Zealand's most famous drag export ever. ARGH!! Then on Sunday 26th, a lunch fund raiser for Orlando.
Go well, lovelies. xo

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Rest and recovery

Well over the long weekend last week, I:
  • officiated a funeral (Fri)
  • worked (Sat)
  • stepped in to stage manage a burlesque show, in drag of course (Sat night)
  • attended a celebration for a friend who just got her permanent residency, yay!!!(Sunday arvo)
  • judged Capital Drag, in drag (Sunday night) plus extras
  • hosted a bunch of stellar sewing bloggers for a sesh watching episodes 1 and 2 of TGBSB (Monday arvo)
  • attended a sewing bee Monday evening)

Caburlesque Seven Deadly Sins - me as a stage managing Devil, Sadie von Scrumptious the divine EMCEE as her absolutely slayingly sexy self! 
 
The Judges at Capital Drag. Debbie, me, Bernard and Ma Ma Deziyah. We got the best views of a fab show and were lit by the lamp I refurbished for Ivy
 
What a fantastic weekend of celebrating everything good in life - family, friendships, shows, sewing!
I bet you are wondering what Plus Extras means. Well, you see...
After Capital Drag finished at 11.30, I decided to walk home. The Ivy Bar is at the far end of the big street from the end I live just off of,  so it's really only about a 1k walk and although I live in the city, it IS the kind of city this gal in a sequinned dress can walk the streets of without feeling in danger. However, it IS winter here, and after a block I am thinking, IT'S COLD, WHY am I doing this?? Not a cab to be seen, I blame Uber for that one. Then I remembered my other favourite bar, S&M, was only a half a block away. (This stands for Scotty and Mal, the proprietors of this fine establishment, not the more traditional meaning, to be clear about the kinds of bars I frequent ;-) ).
As I plunged into its warm and noisy interior, I could see that Karaoke was on, and when a fully made up and dressed drag mamma arrives at a gay bar during Karaoke, it is only polite to sign up for a number. So, I got up and did That ole Devil Called Love, and enjoyed watching a very cute young man in a divine red blazer nail a Frank Sinatra standard. Hmm, I thought, I wonder if he would like to do a duet? Yes, he would, especially as he felt our chosen outfits co-ordinated so perfectly. And so we called up Cheek to Cheek!

and here is a screen dump of a video taken of this nutcase moment! Sammy's interpretation of Cheek to Cheek being fairly obvious from this pic!
Any Dr Who fans who are having a "I know that face" moment, yes it is Samuel Anderson who played teacher Danny Pink in Peter Capaldi's first outing as the Dr. He was in town for Armageddon and was a real charmer and lots of fun and great to sing an impromptu duet with.
I can't share the video as Scotty is having trouble working out how to share it beyond just me, but we'll get there I am sure! 
So I finally got home at 2.30am, having spread my glittery self comprehensively across my 'hood, and THAT is the reason for the title of this post.
After this big weekend, I was absolutely pooped. Too many late nights, possibly a bit too much pinot noir (although not that much really) and the consequent lack of sleep, I really needed down time.
Thanks to amazing staff, I got too take two afternoons off this week, and on Friday, I woke up at 5am, by 8.15 I realised I wasn't going to make it and went back to bed for three hours. Finally started feeling awake again. :)
But I did not sleep through those afternoons, no sirree. I used them to get my many and varied costume and act requirements underway. 
So, I am feeling better, I have got it clear in my head how to make and create all the things I need for my various acts, which had been bugging me, and now I just have to knuckle down and make it all happen. I have a show every weekend from now until end of August, many requiring new acts! 
Wish me luck and more afternoons off!




Friday, June 3, 2016

Oh the Liberty!

The Fabric Store has Liberty fabrics! So gorgeous. I have dipped into the sweatshirting for winter dresses - no I've not made any up, you will be the first to see when I do.
I have also been JONESING for a print called Alma for years.
This is the cool colourway - I prefer the black backgrounded version with warmer tones.
Anyway they have it in Tana Lawn, for $42m NZ. I have been to visit, felt it, held it up to myself, put it down and walked out at least twice.
I think this is a Thing. A Thing where one wants the unattainable, but when it IS attainable, it loses some of its allure.
Don't get me wrong, I ADORE this fabric. But in truth, I have three gorgeous lawns at home for next Summer's MaxiDress crop already. Really beautiful, Arts and Crafts inspired fabrics with poppies and things. And so, spending $134 on a dress length of Yet Another Fabric just became too hard.
You see, I am really, really keen on reducing my wardrobe down to the smallest number of workable items to have a glorious, Me Made, vibrant, self-expressively dressed life. I don't have the space for clothes I don't wear any more, not in my wardrobe rack, drawers, under my bed or in my heart.
The idea of a Few Good Things is playing more and more on my mind.

When I worked in an office for other people, buying fabric was a sanity valve. I had the money, I needed the creative outlet and I accumulated a lot. LOT. But now, I am self-employed, and I earn around a third of what I used to. Yup, for six days work too. But in those six days I can dress how I want to, not how other people think I ought to. So, the clothes I now make I love and wear and wear and wear.

Here's another thing - yesterday I officiated at my Uncle's funeral. It is something I do from time to time for people. We had a fantastic day of crying, laughing and bonding with family I've not seen for a long time. But of course how one dresses as a funeral celebrant is quite different to in the shop, or for on stage. I have to really reexamine my wardrobe for combinations that are formal, sombre and unflowing enough. I did a great job, I feel, and even put on some makeup - that's a trick these days - how does one put on makeup without eyelashes, glitter, contouring???
So, here I am, some alternate form of myself. Still a Me I can relate to, but not one of the more frequently seen Mes. And when I do cull my wardrobe (does anyone need 13 red thru purple merino tops?) I will need to let this Me have some options also. Possibly even whip up some more clothes for her.

Food for thought.


Friday, May 13, 2016

My mother doesn't love me enough

That explains everything! She told me that she didn't realise I was sick on video show day, so I confidently expected the videos to be amazing.
Well, they ARE amazing, thanks to SoundBitch our fab technician, even though it is him I am waving at in Perhaps to turn the music volume down, but honestly there is so much to manage the odd moment of disharmony is not worth getting one's sequins in a bunch over.
But, I sound like one of Bart Simpson's chain smoking aunties, Selma and Patty. HOW COULD SHE NOT NOTICE?
A voice like sandpaper!
That and the puffy face of the lurgy sufferer aside, I am pretty chuffed.
ONTO the VIDEO
Bored with 20,000 years of having to wear white and be wise, Lady Gladyournotreal lets us have it.
The downside of being a performer in her 50's - underwear. !
An oldie but a goodie.
So, maybe Mum loves me too much because she thinks everything I do is wonderful! I think that may be it as she is utterly fantastic. Daw :)