Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Nous Habillons Bleuette

I started sewing for my Bleuette and I don't even have her yet! It's been quite awhile since I've done a lot of really fine hand sewing so I really need practice! There is a website where there are tons of the original patterns that were printed in La Semaine De Suzette called The Bleu Door
I made the American smock from 1905, drawers from 1907, and the Empire dress from 1908. The Empire dress didn't turn out as nice as it could have. It has turn down lapels on the bodice so the lining shows, and the pink kona cotton I used for that and the cuffs was a little too heavy. I lined the bodice on the American smock with a really thin batiste and it worked much better, The drawers are made from a vintage tea towel that had some stains on it. The legs are supposed to be gathered and have bows but I won't do that til I get my Bleuette because I don't know how big around her legs are. The edges are supposed to be embroidered, but I just cut them a bit shorter and edged them with vintage lace. I am going to make the embroidered apron from 1909 next, and then there is a cape from 1910 I'm going to make. I'd like her to have a nice little wardrobe waiting when she gets here!
I also finished the dress for the 18 inch compo type doll. I have my Daisy Kingdom doll modeling it and it's a tiny bit too small for her; it doesn't snap around her neck. I decided when I started looking at fabric to make a Christmas dress, so I guess she and Christopher Robin are going to a Christmas party. It did turn out pretty cute.
Melissa will be here in just a couple of hours! Yay!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

My kids were big A.A. Milne fans when they were little, and not just of the Winnie-the Pooh stories either. We read all the poetry over and over again, and they could recite most of "When We Were Very Young" and "Now We Are Six". I remember sitting in the stairs at my mom's with Chris while he proudly proclaimed:
"Halfway up the stairs is a stair where I sit
There isn't any other stair quite like it.
It isn't at the bottom and it isn't at the top
So this is the stair where I alwys stop."

I loved the illustrations from the books,I still do. Running through the poems and making an appearance now and then was Christopher Robins little friend Anne. I was looking through my doll patterns this morning and came across this one I had ordered awhile back and it just really reminded me of the illustrations from the book so I decided to dress Anne for an afternoon with Christopher Robin. The outfit will look nice modelled by my Daisy Kingdom doll since I don't have one from the appropriate era.

Every little girl needs proper underwear so I started with something called an envelope chemise. It is part underwear and part chemise. The back of the chemise has a crotch that comes up between the legs and buttons to the front skirt part of the chemise. I made machine scallops around all the edges because I didn't want to make a lot of small hems. I also wanted this to be a play garment so I wanted it to be pretty without all the lacy frills finishing the edge. My machine makes nice scallops so I went with that to finish the edges. Not totally authentic, Annes chemise would probably have had scallops hand embroidered by her mother, but it still looks very nice and old fashioned. I may embroider some little white flowers on the front too.

I haven't decided what fabric I'm going to use for the dress yet. I'm leaning towards a little cream cotton with tiny yellow flowers on it; but I have a blue cotton with kitties printed on it that I like too.

I asked the kids to get me a Bleuette for Christmas. I've wanted one for years and I found a lady who does nice reasonably priced reproductions and has a lay away.I am going to pick out the one I want while Melissa is in for Thanksgiving. She'll be here on Tuesday and I'm excited! It's always nice to have all my chickees together!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Another Doll Dress

I had this dress set for Chatty Cathy over on E-bay and it didn't sell so I listed it in my Etsy store. I think it's really cute. Doll clothes don't sell really well in Etsy so I might end up keeping this one. I need to find a better outlet for selling doll clothes. I was talking to a lady in Hancock when I stopped to buy thread the other day and she said she's been doing well at craft shows this year. She said she makes dog coats. I didn't do any this year because they weren't that good last year. I'm going to just keep making the clothes and then maybe do a show in the spring. I was going through my doll patterns and I have quite a few for Bleuette, I just don't have a Bleuette to make them for. I've noticed the Bleuette clothes sell pretty well and I've been talking about getting one for years. There is a lady who has an online store and she has some nice Bleuettes for $165. She makes both sizes, the 10 5/8" and 11 1/2" I'm going to see if she will do a lay-away. I'd like to have the 10 5/8" because that's the size the antique doll was. There is so much hand sewing with Bleuette because her clothes are so tiny.

Melissa will be in for Thanksgiving! Yay!

Friday, November 14, 2008

My dad was a pretty conservative guy; although if you asked him he would say he was a Democrat. He identified with the Southern blue collar dems; he was from Arkansas. The big reason for that was not his political outlook, it was that he was a huge union guy. He believed in the union he was a member of; he went to union meetings and was pretty quick to defend unions in discussions. After he left the Air Force, he was a typical blue collar union worker, just like so many others at the time. In the days before Reagan and the beginning of the dismantling of the industrial base of this country, a lot of people belonged to unions and they were a force for labor. I would have to say that he would be appalled at the discussions we are having about bailing out the auto companies. After all we are talking about millions of jobs here! Why is it OK to fork 350 billion dollars of the recent bail out over to the banks and watch them buy each other up and continue to give incentives and golden parachutes to CEO's, and do nothing to help the American auto workers and their families? Why is there even a question about keeping an industry that is essential to keeping the economy (what's left of it anyway)on it's feet? If the auto industry in this country goes down we will be feeling the effects for years. I'm not saying that we just fork money over to them with no oversight, although as it turns out, that seems to be exactly what we've done for Wall Street in spite of reassurances that it wouldn't happen that way. No, I think we really can look at the money as a sort of loan to help them out. To let them fail will just make the current economic situation so much worse. People don't always think about how things are interconnected, but to possibly loose as many as one in ten jobs is not something that I feel we can let happen. And I don't know if this can wait til January; I think this is something that needs to be addressed now.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Go Keith

While Rachel Maddow may have taken over as my favorite political pundit, Keith Olbermann's comment on California's Prop 8 last night was excellent. He's my hero for today.

A discussion that came up last night between Sio, Irene and I was if a religious group like the LDS can spend the money to influence the votes of people (which is what happened in this case), then they should have thier tax exempt status taken away. I think it's pretty cut and dried; this is a case where it really should be examined. If a religious organization is willing to step over the boundaries into politics, well they have every right to do that, but the consequences should be swift from the federal govenment, and those consequences should be revoking the tax exempt status they have had so far.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

I watched parts of yesterdays press conference after I got home; I didn't catch it all because I went out with Sio for a lot of the day. Anyway, John and I were watching parts of it on the Huffington Post. I haven't watched a Bush press conference in a long time; actually whenever Bush comes on tv I generally turn him off because I'm either totally pissed about what he's saying or because I couldn't believe how stupid he can be. Anyway, I said to John "This is a good press conference." and John said he thought Obama would have a lot of them and so do I. I said it will be good to have some transparency in government again. It will be good to have some one in government who has every bodies welfare at heart. Over on the new website www.change.gov you can give your vision of what you think America can look like, and you can also apply for a job! It's remarkable! Rachel Maddow also has a "honey do" list for the new President elect over on the MSNBC website that she's asked people to add to. The top issue is the economy, of course, and Obama addressed that yesterday saying it will be his top priority as it should be. I think energy Independence/climate change should be second on the list and one of the things I'm going to put in my vision of what America can be is a country connected by light rail systems so we can use our cars a lot less. Trains can be run on electricity which can be gotten from solar or wind power and wouldn't use oil. And if we were riding those trains instead of driving we wouldn't be either. I actually am a big proponent of putting mass transit systems in place and then rationing fuel and taxing personal carbon emissions. It's a huge project and to put it in place will create jobs, too, although a lot of old railroad tracks still exist even though they aren't being used now.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Cute Doll Dress

OK, just because we have just gone through the greatest election of my life as a voter (Kennedy doesn't count because I was only a wee little thing) doesn't mean that I haven't been sewing and this is one of the things I've made and is now listed on E-bay. I really think this is one of the cutest doll dresses I've ever made, but there are no bids on it yet; no-one is even watching it!

I actually am waiting with bated breath to see what comes out of the startegy meetings that some of the Republican leaders (such as they are) are having. I realize that in some ways it doesn't matter, especially as the balance of power will remain pretty firmly center leaning left for awhile, however it does matter because if the right can be brought more to the center it will just be easier to start the sweeping changes that have to be made. I'm kind of taking the day off from politics today though. At least til 7 when Olbermann come on MSNBC.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

And Now the Real Challenge Begins

I spent a lot of yesterday as I always do, listening to liberal talk radio and then watching Countdown and Rachel Maddow last night. (As an aside, I have been a huge fan of Rachels radio show for awhile now, and I'm an even bigger fan of her TV show. The woman is smart and funny and I try to never miss her. She and Thom Hartmann share a place with me as the two smartest political pundits out there.) Anyway, Senator Bernie Sanders (another one of my favorites; he's almost enough to make me want to move to Vermont) was on Thom Hartmann yesterday. He's on on Fridays anyway, but yesterday he made a special appearance because of the election. He pointed out that the real challenge is just beginning, and if anyone thinks this is going to be easy then they are seriously mistaken. We as a people need to stay involved in the political process. As Senator Sanders pointed out, if we think the insurance companies are going to say "Ok, national health care is ok with us" then that's just crazy. They are going to do everything they can to keep the status quo. We as a united people of America have to fight like hell to make sure that real change comes. He also mentioned the oil companies. They are going to fight to keep from developing sustainable technologies that will take the profits out of their pockets. And the same with all the other huge corporations that exist; the military industrial complex and the financial institutions. Sen. Sanders said that the reason that Obama has won is because he recognized that his strength lies in the power of the people; and he had huge numbers turn out for him. I believe that he truly is sincere, and that he does have our interest at heart. And he showed us that a united front can really change things. He showed us that a people together are a strong force to reckoned with. What we have to do now is not just say "OK, we did this thing, we can go home now" We have to support him every step of the way by staying involved in whatever ways we can. We really can change a nation! We can continue the politics of hope.
The other thing that I find interesting is the question of what will happen to the Republican party. There's been a lot of speculation on that topic. I'll admit I read some of the comments people were making over on the Fox News site and they range from really ignorant to very scary. John was watching Fox noise last night, and he said Hannity is still screaming about Jeremiah Wright. Hey Sean, the election's over buddy. Did you miss it? Anyway, I don't believe that the majority of conservatives are really like the right wing nut jobs that comment over there. A lot of Republicans voted for Obama this time, too. If I were a conservative I would be asking myself what the future of my party was going to look like. It's pretty apparent that a lot of people are tired of the politics of fear and slime that has been the Rovian techniques that they tried again, and most people don't trust them on the issues either. I think the party needs to ask itself if it wants to continue to move to the right and become less and less a viable force in politics, or if it wants to move more to the center and have it's voice heard. I think it's important to have intelligent debate from both sides of the aisle in government, and that has been missing in the partisan politics of the last 8 years. However, in order to let that happen, they may have to make the decision to jettison the crazies who listen and believe the hatred that is spewed from people like Hannity and Limbaugh and O'Reilly every day. The conservatives of this country have some tough decisions to make too. I know what I would do. Cut the hatred right out, and rebuild the party on decent conservative principals. The crazy right wingers pretty much didn't vote until Reagan, so I say let them go back to their little corner and pray for Armageddon like they used to do and stay out of politics, it's pretty apparent their God of hatred is just a clay footed idol anyway. Let the rest of us get on with the important work of building a nation and a world for the future.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Yes We Can!

I woke up this morning with such a hopeful feeling. I woke knowing that after 8 long years, the divisiveness that has torn this country will begin to be healed. I woke knowing that we will have a real leader to help steer us through the economic challenges ahead. I woke knowing that there will be someone in the White House who truly does care about health care and climate change.He really does know the cost of the thousands of our men and women who are in a war that most of the American people don't want, he cares that thousands of Americans and innocent Iraqi's have been killed, and wounded in violence they just want to end.And most of all I woke knowing that we will have a real leader who understands that most of us want to be a part of those solutions. We don't want to be told that the way to support out country is to go shopping. I have never felt so much patriotism and pride as I did last night while I watched Barak Obama's speech and heard him say:

"I know you didn't do this just to win an election and I know you didn't do it for me. You did it because you understand the enormity of the task that lies ahead.For even as we celebrate tonight, we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime - two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century.....The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even one term, but America - I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you - we as a people will get there.....I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree. And above all, I will ask you to join in the work of remaking this nation the only way its been done in America for two-hundred and twenty-one years - block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand."

I'll admit I cried. I couldn't help it.
And now it's time to roll up our sleeves and tell our President "Yes we can!"

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

John, Chris and I all voted early this morning, and I really am excited about this election. This is, historically speaking, probably the most important election I will ever vote in. Melissa is in Philly for the day getting the vote out. Carla called because she said last night she was panicking and Jimmy wasn't home to talk her down. I told her I really think it will be impossible for the right to steal this one. If they do, it will be so apparent that there will be riots in the street. No, we stand at the beginning of a movement that will be for the good of this country, and for the world. Maybe we really can solve some of those issues that are facing us. Maybe the green revolution will cause an economic revolution as well. I am so excited, I really believe this will be a huge victory for the good guys!