Saturday, April 18, 2015

Mad Skillz

Last Saturday, I held a class called, "Finishing Techniques - what the patterns won't tell you." Next time, I'm calling it "Mad Skillz!"
Five experienced sewists came to the class to hone their skills in working with silk chiffon and other wriggly things. Instead of making a garment, we crammed by making samples of the techniques. I think this is the best way to learn if you are experienced, because you get all the cream at once.
We went over:
  • Pattern matching for a pocket,
  • Using bias as a facing so it sits flat and perfectly,
  • Perfect bias binding
  • Using organza as a facing for silk chiffon,
  • Teeny, tiny french seams
  • Teeny, tiny, tidy rolled hems
and a bunch of other stuff.

I noticed a couple of really interesting things:
  •  These were all really smart, experienced sewists yet they got a huge amount from the class, because they had the understanding to hang the new information onto;
  • They got really, really excited about the new stuff! Like REALLY excited! It was lovely, like Christmas morning with children!
It struck me how often we think of skills as something that the more you have, the less you will get out of a class, yet it seems to be the other way around. I guess the more you know, not only are there more likely to be gaps, but also the more you can get out of new learning as you can then take that and extrapolate it.
It was FUN, I am doing it again, because I can't think of a nicer way to spend a Saturday than seeing sewists get excited about sewing silk chiffon!
Unfortunately for the Blogging world, we were FAR too busy to take any photos. Next time, maybe. :)



Friday, April 17, 2015

Massive Catch up

Every now and then I read some old posts and I notice how often I have said I'll share something then don't.
So, here are a few catch up things.

Bunting

Last time I wrote, I was working on a 130 flag set for hire Since then, I've made two more sets! Three different "colour stories" so far, which I made with lots of  help from one of our customers.
Here are two of them:
 The original set, all warm tones and hues
The second one, all dove grey, pink, aqua and white.
The third one is tea/natural colours and red roses - my favourite! Besides anything else, they look super pretty on the wall :)

Stand Up Gig Video

The video came through last week, yay! I let it download overnight; it is not searchable but here is a link anyway:

What else? Hmm, I'll go hunting and if I find anything else, I'll post that.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

My First Fiftieth Party

Because I am intending to have a few more! ;-) I know ad love FAR too many people to have just one party, so I've decided to have several.
This one was the closest to the actual date, and was very, very special.

 The whole gang on Sunday evening - friends from Wellington who came over for the weekend and friends from the Wairarapa who came over for dinner. From left running up that side of the table then down the right: Chris, Hedy (standing), MrC (standing) Ann, Terry, Katherine, Jo (almost entirely hidden), Me, Mike, Sue (you can just see the back of her head) John, Maria, Steve, Martin, and Paul.
 This is me in my bunny ears made by Paul, having just cut my surprise birthday cake made by sister Jo!
Fifty years teaches you how to blow out birthday candles easily. ;-)
But oh, would you believe I got a song sung in my honour! To the tune of Delta Dawn by Helen Reddy, each lot of friends wrote a verse and sang it, about me in their lives. I simply have o share it with you because it is SO good! Terry master minded this surprise, and it was very moving - I was conducting and blubbing at the same time!

Verse 1 (Jo my sister)
Born the second child of a florist and joiner
Had a love of puddles and a go at being a dancer
I wasn’t there when you got your special name
But Dolly you are and there’s no one else the same

Verse 2 (Ross my bff of 37 years)
We met in the third form at Hutt Valley High
Already a fag hag out there on the sly
It was always next to you in Latin we’d meet
A loyal friend you were to let me cheat

 Chorus:
Maryanne
Fifty years since you began
Swooping through the Hutt and on without reserve
And did I hear you say
Constance’s taking it to the stage
To get the adoration you deserve

Verse 3 (Terry; Ross's partner and my partner in much mischief)
It’s twenty years since Ross’s thirtieth party
I remember thinking you were you oh so arty
Since then we’ve founded the maximalist fabulous movement
Over six margueritas we laughed to our amusement (it was 7, actually but who's counting!)

Verse 4 (MrC)
Fourteen years since we met that night online
Who would know that you would soon be mine
It’s been a roller coaster from the start
But the thing that’s got us through is your warm heart
 
Verse 5 (Ann, who is just wonderful)
She’s 41 and allegedly she’s turned fifty
All the folks round Cuba say she’s nifty
‘Cause there’s naught to which she cannot turn her hand
‘Specially with that mysterious dark-haired man

Verse 6 (Chris and Paul, who I met when Paul came into the shop and we are now firm friends!)
On a quest to craft and get our sparkle flare on
Graced to meet beauty down at Made-on-Marion
Creative, dramatic and a good Samaritan
To befriend another immigrant gay American

Verse 7 (Ann again - this verse in honour of the day Ann, Terry and Ross were all on the same plane and fell in love with one another, before they then found out that they all knew me! I love that kind of crazy coincidence!)
She’s thoughtful and she’s generous and she’s witty
Otherwise we wouldn’t be singing this ditty
But once she forgot to introduce her friends
Left it to Air NZ to make amends

I also must acknowledge Hedy who eschewed a verse in favour of accompanying us on the ukelele. It was marvellous!
You know, nothing beats having wonderful people in one's life. :)

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Fifty Years Young!!

Yahoo! I got through fifty years in one piece! It's a miracle!
I had a lovely day out and about, lunch with my parents, and a nice dinner at my favourite tapas place, Havana Bar.
This weekend MrC and I, and a bunch of friends and family, are off to Martinborough for a long weekend to celebrate. Easter eggs and hot cross buns WILL be eaten, that much is sure!
Have a lovely Easter everyone, and if I break a habit of completely forgetting to take photos, I will post some upon our return to wired in civilisation :)
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Saturday, March 28, 2015

Cuba Dupa; Simply Super!

Cuba Dupa is a massive weekend long carnival held in Wellington. It's happening right now, as I type. I pinched these photos from Instagram - just look for #cubdupa to see them all!

Just opposite where our shop is on the adjacent street, the next band is waiting to go on stage. Their red cloaks have LEDs all around the edge.

The view looking up in the Swanns Lane Carpark, where the main stage was set up. So pretty, with chandeliers and fairy lights.
Lots and lots of people, up and down Cuba St. Such a carnival atmosphere!


Saturday, March 21, 2015

Burlesque Baby, in pictures!

Only a few pictures have come through of last week's show but here's a few. All singing ones - photographers never think to take photos of Emcees Emceeing. Mind you it's all me waving my arms around with my mouth open so hey ho!
All the acts are ready, they are waiting out the back!

I meant, give them all A clap, not THE clap!

I think I must be menacing the VIP seats. They love it!

I went down to Longjohn's office and I said "Doctor, the pain is killing me!"

He said, "Don't worry baby, it's only your cavity, need a little filling"
It's all a bit of fun!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

It's been waaay too long.

I am sitting here on Saturday night at nearly midnight, glass of sauvignon blanc now empty and the air conditioning set to "refreeze polar ice caps". I have taken down my hair and am yet to remove my makeup.
Yes, Constance is in the house, again.
We have had a break since the Fortnight that Ate all My Energy - the last week of November, first week of  December 2014. But, when I got an email just over a week before Burlesque Baby's March show asking if I could be Emcee, I had typed YES and pressed Send before I realised what I was agreeing to!
Emceeing is easier and harder than performing. Easier because you really can just make it up as you go along, in fact it is a necessity as unless you know all the performers well, it's pretty much impossible to finalise their intros until the night of the show. Harder because there is SO much stage time to fill up. Oh, and then if you're a maddo like me, you decide less than 24 hours before hand to add another song. To the one you've already decided to rewrite. So yes, I make sure I am also performing, thus making it mostly harder.
Yes. That is how I roll.
So, I wanted a really good intro number - something I can use again if it works out. Like the Willkomen to Cabaret from, er, Cabaret. Only not spine-chillingly creepy like that one. So, I settled on the really rather terrible song Cher sings in the movie Burlesque. Only I had to put the blue pencil through pretty much all of the lyrics except the line Welcome to Burlesque. Because, a song that basically says, "Pay us money and you can have whatever you like," is NOT a song about Burlesque, it is a song about negotiable virtue. Just sayin'. But then again, the movie isn't about Burlesque anyway.
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Why is this not Burlesque? Well, there's no diversity, for a start- while pretty, slim, petite women do perform and are very welcome, they are no more represented than all the other permutations of human form. Also, nobody gets their kit off in the movie. That's kind of a big part of it too. And, there's virtually no connection between the performers and either the audience on the film or watching it. This most definitely is not how we do it these days! So, they turned Burlesque into a commodity for the male gaze, slap implications that the dancers are all tarts to boot, and yay! Family Friendly! ? ! Exactly. Good work Hollywood, you twisted weirdo.

BUT I DIGRESS.
Then yesterday I think, "Hmm, sing a song to open the second half. Go on". I thought hard about doing "I'm Tired", but it's a logistical nightmare, then I thought hey, I could haul out an old party piece! So, Longjohn Blues it was. Which I did not realise was in that movie too. Good grief. Luckily the version was so forgettable I don't think anyone else remembered it being in that movie either. Which is quite an achievement for such a fantastic number.
I think I can confidently say that my performance was not as forgettable.
My other challenge is that I had my hair cut to shoulder length a while back, thinking I wasn't performing until later in the year so no probs. Hmm. CC's up do rather relies on enough length to get up and over the ginormous ratt atop my head. So, I went asymmetrical - hair up and over in one direction only and big curly headpiece and flowers on the other.
The show was a sell out - standing room only. They loved CC - the producer told me she had had lots of positive feedback and people telling her to book me again. Yeeha!! I pointed out that the audience is always right!
All this and no photos. I don't think we got videoed but a photographer was running around so who knows. If I see any good 'uns I'll post them. (update: A group photo came through on Facebook this morning which I've popped in below)
Still waiting for video of my stand up gig, hoping some photos will come from last night. I will share all with you.
For now, I am going to patiently brush all the teasing out of my poor hair,  tidy up the carnage of my makeup table (aka the dining table) and get back to being Mrs Made on Marion :)

Source Us - back left to right: Constance, Courtney L'Amour (producer and all round fab lady!) Lady Sane, Carina, Missie Martini, Ellie Kat, Valerie Vendetta, Lola Lipizzaner. Front Row: Moxie Fizz, Vermillion Vulpine, Little Bastet. A great group of gals!