‘I Want a New Bra’ to the tune of ‘I Want a New Drug‘ by Huey Lewis And The News. Bold words are where I think Huey would really punch it up.
Here is the video to listen along with:
I want a new bra, one that won’t pinch my back
Somethin nice to hold my boobs up, Cotton, silk, with real smooth straps
I want a new bra, cause I only own two
One I’ll wear for about 3 weeks, And tell myself, ‘I’ll wash it soon‘
[chorus] Don’t wanna pay alotta money, But the best ones cost a few
Testing bounce and feeeeeel in the fiiiitting rooooom
…in a pink fitting room
I want a new bra, One that won’t make me sweat
But not if it hooks in front, that plastic snap digs in my chest
I want a new bra, one that feels like air
Impossible to detect it, easy to unhook back there
[chorus] Momma said I should wear one, but I’m not sure why I do
Is cup size is just a number made up by some dudes?
Bra-less miiight be cool, (not sure if I’m that coooool, baby…)
[jam out to the bridge and jump out of a helicopter]
[more bridge jammin’]
[listen to them horns!]
I want a new bra, one that does what it should
Make this body look like a lady, pull them boulders up real good
I want a new bra, one that looks real hot
But I’d like to fall asleep in it, so underwire- maybe not
[chorus]One that will last forever
And acts as a wallet, too
Strapless is a gamble, but my shoulder game is good
Braless might be cool. (Braless might be cool, yeah yeah…)
[bridge again, outro]
Publishing this post assists in validating the hours of procrastination I have spent making up lyrics ala Weird Al and looking up bouncy memes. Writing fun things about boobs is a great way to put off writing about very real things that have actual deadlines. Thank you for your support.
Today I admitted defeat against the wants of the masses and signed into Getty images to find a photo of Kim Kardashian. I was going to turn to the dark side and compose a list of Top Ten Winter Outfits You Can’t Live Without. You won’t believe what number five is! The fourth one will make you cry! #9 will make you kill your family!
Then, Getty bitch-slapped the integrity right back into me: My thanks to Getty Images, the most unlikely of moral compasses.
For me, it’s back to dreaming up corn syrup blood recipes and Pantone color-matching Jedi robe fabrics! I have to wonder, though, is it a wonderful miracle when Getty is the Jiminy Cricket of the internet, or is that for sure a heralding sign of the apocalypse? *shrug*
We saw Ghostbusters in the theater tonight to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the original release. When Dana Barrett’s apartment interior was 20-feet tall in front of us, the horrific details really showed. It dawned on us that this is the scariest scene in Ghostbusters, and will truly be the most haunting part of the movie, because you’ll look for it every time thereafter.
You’ll know it when you see it:
There is an incredibly creepy entity in this scene. Dana and Peter don’t seem to notice, even though Peter brought one of his technical toys. Can you find it?
Hint: It’s not the puke pink furniture.
Eh? Hint: “They hate this.”
Look at Venkman. He can’t believe this shit. Do you see it, yet?
Yep, this is going to ruin this scene for you forever. Can’t un-see it. Sorry. OH, you see him, don’t you! Here comes our little creepy friend… Gah!
Best part is, this thing comes prominently into frame after Dana tells Peter he’s ‘so odd‘. Right. Lady, you’re the weirdo that sought out and purchased an evil fat-man-tophat-head-on-a-stick. How Bill Murray didn’t zero in on this thing and improv it into the annals of film history is beyond me.
Worst part: If she plays that piano, she’s staring him right in the face the entire time. The entire time. Here comes a sonata, while I stare you dead in the face, classy disembodied head. Till I’m done with the song. Just your face, and this mirror. Your face, my face. Your face. My face.
Imagine Gozer the Gozerian sees that shit happening late one Tuesday night. Any wonder she was hand-picked to bring on the apocalypse? I’d hire her, too, after seeing that, jeez. Fry that lady up some eggs on the countertop, Gozey; she’s primed for possession.
Each year, I try to call or visit my dad on Veterans Day. He was in the Vietnam War, 101st Airborne, and I enjoy thanking him for it. Well, that and giving me life, that was pretty cool of him, too. His father before him served in the Korean War, and my grandfather on my mother’s side was a bombardier in WWII. Mostly we discuss what kind of freebies he will take advantage of around town, and he tells me he can smell my feet from there. Thank you for your service.
While I’m not a big advocate of war, this military pedigree of brave soldiers makes me… I guess the word is ‘proud’, but more in awe of that extra chunk of dimension it gives to their stories.
Weirdly also this guy
This year, I am thinking of a future veteran, my husband, who is enjoying push-up hell at boot camp right this moment.
I know he’s been awake since, oh, 4:30 this morning and that by noon he will have run more laps than I have in my life.
My father and grandfathers were mired in deployments to foreign wars, and if I’m lucky, my husband won’t have to experience the same. But I imagine that all soldiers have probably, at least once, shoveled rice and beans into their mouth while a sergeant screams ‘choke it down, taste it later!’ in their ear, as my husband’s last letter detailed. That at least deserves a kudos every November.
I realize, now, that aside from the incredible war stories I have heard from my father and grandfathers, a soldier’s new life starts the first day they walk into boot camp and drop their bag on the ground for inspection. I’m thankful every day that they are out there doing it so I don’t have to.
This new experience, as a military wife, has broadened my notions of what it means to serve in the military. It starts with the motivation to improve your self, family, and country. The whole family serves back home, as my children and I navigate life without my husband.
The weirdest part is that this guy who once at a pizza while holding my hair for me as I barfed into a trashcan at a music festival in broad daylight will now be a trained killing machine.
I recently created a decoupage glitter phone case by mining expensive patterns from Prada, Louis Vuitton, and Pierre Hardy from the latest Vogue. I’m pretty sure it’s what Anna Wintour intended when she gathered these full-color photos of expensive fabrics. Thanks!
The first emotional stage of reading Vogue is Judgement. This superficial step requires a pen, and is where one turns into a poor man’s Tim Gunn. Half of the fashions get an ‘Oh honey, no‘. The other half create a bulging-eye and drool affliction akin to an anime character in love. Flipping through Vogue involves the most bipolar emotions that one can experience.
Example:I am the GOD of fashion. I, and only I, will decide who gets a mustache and who doesn’t in this rag! Those shoes are my new heart! That girl had her makeup applied with a shotgun!
This stage is optimized by reading with a friend, preferably a tween.
The second emotional stage of reading Vogue goes deeper, and is straight-up Self-Loathing.
Example:Why can’t I afford a nice Michael Kors bag? Do you realize that there are pop stars half my age that have a pile of these on the floor of their maid’s bathroom? They probably wipe their butts with scarves from Coach. Maybe not regularly, but in the history of time and space, some twerp celebrity has done this at least once in the VIP area of a club I could never get into. I had so many dreams of stardom in my youth. Dreams that flat-lined into a life of mediocrity and 9-to-5 imprisonment. Never mind, Michael Kors, I don’t deserve you. This model needs a devil beard…
Once you have shed most of your self-esteem, it is imperative that you power through the celebrity interview and move on to the next stage. Whatever you do, don’t put down the Vogue while in the throes of Self-Loathing.
Luckily, the third emotional stage of reading Vogue is Blinding Inspiration (or, Sour Grapes). Only out of the ashes of self-loathing can we emerge as the phoenix to creative rebirth! This is the point where one decides that they somehow don’t want to be able to afford those gorgeous Manolo Blahniks because, dammit, you could make that look yourself. We begin to view Vogue as part of the man-made fashion machine, and pat ourselves on the back for gleaning inspiration for our own genius from those all-too-glossy pages.
Example:Who are these fools that spend so much on mere accessories?! I’m so Jedi for making such a zen decision about the value of material objects. I could make all of this crap in my sleep. SO FRUGAL! CREATIVE, WOW!
Caution: Never stop reading an issue of Vogue until you’ve reached this final creative renaissance of spite and indignity. If the process is interrupted, you’ll be stuck back on Self Loathing for, eh, maybe a day. To quickly cure an interrupted Vogue session, read something by Rachel Dratch or splurge on a top-tier appetizer at Chili’s. Dollah dollah bills, ya’ll!
Once I reach the last stage, I have been successfully spit out of the back cover of Vogue and I’m ready to start creating. I can now fully appreciate the work of the designers within as I move forward with my own style via the inspiration they provided. Which is what I think Vogue should be all about.
I wouldn’t have been so pumped if I had realized that working with Rotovision would be my worst nightmare. Not only that, but writing a craft book in general is tough. The writing is the easy part!
You don’t have to make one. You have to make five.
When I started out with a craft book, I hadn’t thought photography sessions through. At the session, you have the models there all ready to dress up. In the same session, I needed the models to both make and wear the items. That means I had to make ‘dummy’ pieces for each step of the project.
Mostly, I had to make at least five of everything. And buy five of everything. But for some projects, the only piece of clothing I had was a single article from Goodwill.. no duplicates. For these, I could get away with using the back of the same article of clothing for close-up steps, or do parts of the project myself in between shot setups.
On the beaded sweater project, we shot backwards, Taking the final photo of the model, then stripping away the beads to show how to make it. I still have this beaded sweater and wear it, but there are only beads on one side. There are a few holes on the other side where I hastily ripped out the beads to set up the previous steps, but I wear pins to cover those holes. 🙂
Rotovision Wants You, But Not Really YOU, per Say
Rotovision had hired me for my expertise, but then repeatedly wanted to veto my completed projects. I’m talking already designed, already made, already made in-progress dummies for photographing, and already photographed. Projects had gone from concept to the model’s back. I had included a full table of contents and chapter descriptions to let them know exactly what I would be doing, and then they switched it up.
Example 1: At one point, I had gotten permission from Conan O’Brien’s people to use his logo on a shirt. The logo was not the lesson, it was just an aside. The lesson was in cutting a t-shirt to create side panels on the shirt. After the concept, creation, and photography was done, Rotovision thought that young people wouldn’t get the Conan reference. The logo was not essential to the project… it was a wink at the young demographic I was writing for (yep, young people would get that reference, Rotovision).
But since everything was already made and photographed, it all had to be done again. Instead, appearing in the book is a sweater turned into a wrap. Still a good project, but it taught the same principles as the first project, and was simply redone on the whim of the art directer at Rotovision. I let Conan’s people know what we wouldn’t need the logo, after all.
The art director at Rotovision argued that ‘Steampunk is mostly black.’
Example 2: I presented a steampunk project that would teach readers how to distress leather with shoe polish, then attach jewelry pieces to create cogs and such. Designed, created, photographed on the model. It was in the can- done. The art director at Rotovision argued that ‘Steampunk is mostly black.’ Now, for you steampunk fans out there, let me say that again. She said that steampunk is NOT predominantly BROWN leathers, it is all black leathers. This was what I was dealing with.
I rewrote/designed/made/made dummies/photographed the whole thing. The project that made it into the book:
I ended up with a black purse and nixed that whole leather-distressing educational part of the project. The project appearing in the book still teaches you how to sew jewelry pieces on, but it could have been much more informative, had they listened to me, who they had hired for expertise.
Example 3: Yes, this happened a third time. I was given an example of an artist that they wanted to emulate in the book. Rotovision was ALL ABOUT me ripping off other artists work, and it was tricky for me to get around this. They sent me various blog links to projects that they wanted me to rip off, and I had to be very careful in how I suggested something different, as not to bite that hand that feeds. At that point, I had already signed the contract, so it was tricky, indeed.
This is the Bobsmade work that Rotovision wanted me to do:
So, I came up with a different kind of design. It was my own style, but still cartoonish. The idea of making a ‘tutorial’ that just told you how to apply a Sharpie to fabric did not appeal to me. Saying ‘draw on this’ is not very educational… or interesting, for that matter. So, I instead talked about how to remove the finish from a leather opera wallet before applying the Sharpie. Then, how to refinish the surface. This idea was approved in the book outline.
Here is mine:
It’s a cartoon. It’s Sharpie. It’s an accessory (an opera wallet). I thought I had filled all of their criteria, and I was damn proud of this cute design!
They didn’t like it.
Their simple explanation was that it wasn’t what the art director had in mind. And they called it childish, even though their example was a hat with cartoons on it. It was a very insulting email, way past ‘business mean’. Nevermind that they gave me no other instructions and the photo they provided was of cartoons on a hat!
Instead of going on a rampage, I suggested using Sharpie on a dress, telling my readers how to treat the fabric before & after to make it last. They liked this. The trouble is, not many clothes are made of a kind of fabric that will take Sharpie permanently. I had to use a cotton fabric that would take the ink well.
I could not find a black & white dress made up of cotton fabric that would properly take Sharpie dye without bleeding or fading. Think about it… when is the last time you saw an all-cotton dress at all, much less one that is just black and white? I had to draft the pattern and make this dress by hand out of a black and white fabric.
In reality, there is no color on the back of this dress. We instead used that side for the ‘before’ and step-by-step photos. I still have this dress hanging in my closet, because, well, I made it from scratch and then spent DAYS coloring in the circles on the front for the final product shots.
The wallet also would have taught how to remove a leather finish; I scrambled with what to teach in the dress tutorial and eventually added some cross-hatch techniques. The result is cool, but so much less practical than my original tutorial. The wallet was a small-scale accessory, which is what most readers are going to want to color… not a whole dress made from cotton, which is so incredibly hard to find that you’ll have to make one yourself!
Supplies, Photography, and Models Ain’t Cheap
In addition to designing, making, and writing about each project, I had to do the footwork on every other aspect. I could afford to pay one model, but all of the other models in the book are my sister, daughter, and my friend.
Even I make a single appearance in the book… my legs! They didn’t put a photo of me in the About the Author section, even though I provided a few choices taken by the photographer. Lookit them gams, though (on the left).
Driving to get photos taken every weekend was exhausting. Especially when Rotovision wanted to throw away weeks of work on occasion, and we had to take pictures of the same projects again.
Along with everything else, Rotovision asked me to find artists to highlight for every chapter. I did all of the legwork for this, not only interviewing the artists, but securing the rights for their photos, then passing those rights forms to Rotovision. It certainly didn’t seem like the job of the writer to do this, but hey… book deal, right?
Rotovision Doesn’t Like to Pay
Getting my payments was like pulling teeth. Rotovision would promise payment, then ask for another 25% of the text without paying. Payments were always late, and several times, my contract was sent to my neighbors house. I can understand a few miscommunications, but this was overkill.
Payments were months late. This while I’m driving an hour and a half away from home every weekend to work with the photographer. There was a lot of money to be put up by me for materials, work hours, and gas… all of which I had figured into the pay schedule that they had provided and not kept to. But that’s an old writer’s gripe, right? Haha, publishers don’t pay on time. Oh, that’s such a fun cliche until you’re trying to pay the mortgage.
No Publicity for You!
Rotovision sold my book to Running Press. As we approached the release date, I started looking around online for any news of the release. I was checking my emails every day for any word from Running Press. But no one from Running Press ever contacted me. I even sent them an email, but nothing back. My book was sent into the abyss.
I received a few copies in the mail and was told that I could buy copies of my own book to hand out for people to review. And that was it. There would be no book signings, no interviews, no features on other sites. I gave the free copies to my gracious models, and waited for correspondence that wasn’t coming.
My book was sent into the abyss.
The book ‘release’ was anti climactic, to say the least. It quietly went on sale at Amazon.com, and I found it in my local Books & Co. The only press it got was me telling my mom on Facebook. I couldn’t be more disappointed. I didn’t have the money or resources to market the book myself. I had just assumed that they would be interested in selling what they’d paid to make. I don’t make royalties from the sales, so I couldn’t justify putting even more time and money into this book.
I added my own ‘customer images’ to the Amazon.com listing, because Running Press wouldn’t add any ‘Look Inside’ kind of images to the listing. I did what I could. But now, Amazon.com removed the customer image program altogether, so now I put those images here on my site.
It’s Not My Book
Since writing this book, I have learned to not be so critical of the work of other authors. I did not have a say in which photos were used in the book, how it was laid out, even which parts got cut. I had to argue with the creative director at Rotovision to change the embroidery stitch photos to close-ups. They wanted to use a full shot of the model working at the table. Yeah, you can’t tell how to make a stitch that way, guys.
The next time I see a craft book that has bad photos of a tutorial step, I’ll consider the fact that the author may just be grinding his/her teeth about that page.
At one point, I suggested that they hire an excellent proofreader that I know, Stet_, since I was hiring the photographer, models, and feature artists for them, anyway. But they turned him down in favor of an in-house proofreader. I then had the pleasure of correcting mistakes throughout each draft returned to me. Mistakes their editors had added to my copy.
The longer I worked on this book, the more I just felt like a hired gun. I was a writing monkey that was dumb enough to negotiate photographers, models, and feature artists for the publisher. But I knew that if I left these tasks to them, they would pick something that made as much sense as ‘steampunk is only black leather’.
I also wanted to credit my models in the front of the book, but Rotovision wouldn’t have it.
But I Am Starting to Like It
I’m still not happy with this book, but I am proud of it. Hell, it was a lot of work.
I’m a fighter, if anything, and I think I pushed back against Rotovision just enough to make sure that I put out a book that has a lot of value. The projects are all informative, and I hope they are inspiring. I maintained my integrity by refusing to rip-off other designers, and hopefully gave some exposure to the artists that I featured in the book.
If I did it again, I’d read the contract a little better to make sure that they couldn’t back out of projects that had already been approved. I’d consider my supply budget more carefully, and work with a photographer that is closer to where I live (though, Dorn Byg is incredible and fun to work with).
The experience wasn’t the glamorous ‘OH, golly, book deal!’ scenario that I had always envisioned. I’m sure that not all craft book deals are like this… probably not even all that happen via Rotovision. But make no mistake… writing a book is not easy, nor glamorous.
Sometimes, I’ll find my book at the bookstore and we’ll look at each other like two lovers that had a complicated relationship in another dimension. My book makes me sad and proud. But it has my name on it, and that’s something, right?
…because I’m fairly Irish. I’ve got the red hair, a nice undead sheen to my skin, and a penchant for holding my liquor that no 127 lb lady should possess. Since my husband is mostly a mutt, he loves that I have some kind of culture in the ol’ background. Today, I posted my glittering shamrock necklace to Instagram:
In the Facebook post version of this (which I try to change up now, since people on Facebook hate seeing a lot of hashtags), I thanked Mr. T for my lovely necklace. This evening, what should appear in front of me for my trouble?
Mine is the darker one… just whiskey and water with a bit of green. The husband’s is a gin and tonic, which works much better with the food coloring. I was so jealous of his pretty drink that for a second, I almost wished that whiskey was fizzy. Just for a second.
Did you enjoy the effort I made by putting a piece of copy paper on the table? See how much I love you? Happy St. Patty’s Day!
After a weekend in New York City, here I am sitting in my quiet suburban Ohio home. It feels a lot like when you have a super busy day, then lay down in bed to sleep. As your head buzzes with recent events, it can be hard to get a wink of shuteye. Going to NYC and coming home to Ohio is like that; awake, asleep… I’ll be processing my first glimpse of the city for weeks.
I was in NYC for the annual About.com Guide Event. It’s a way for all of us About.com Experts to get together and discuss business… but more importantly, it’s a chance to meet the other About.com writers and staff over drinks.
Here, I learned that there is no shame in changing from my airplane clothes to cocktail hour attire in the company bathroom. Apparently city folk do this kind of thing all the time.
My very first experience in NYC was jumping off the subway and angrily fast-walking through the city. Like a real New Yorker! As newbies, my husband and I had missed our subway stop, resulting in a mad dash from 16th street up to 43rd on Times Square to make the first meeting. Okay, it was for cocktail hour, but our first time meeting the other About.com Experts.I will run for cocktails.
I went from dumpy t-shirt and jeans to my business casual attire ala Superman… in the bathroom stall, then attempted to pass it off as a clever demonstration of that DIY Fashion expertise. Not bad for stall couture, eh? Hey, look, my bourbon is gravitating toward something on the wall…
With about 200 Experts in attendance -plus staff- conversations were almost like speed dating. What is your site? Where are you from? Nice top! NEXT!
The crazy thing about this event is that each writer is an absolute expert in their site topic. At one point, I was talking about visiting Brooklyn during our stay, and the Brooklyn expert actually started hand-writing directions to her top recommendations. My internet dreams were coming true. Thanks, Ellen!
Representing DIY Fashion, I sported my finger-knit scarf and a button bracelet both at the event and on the streets of New York City. While fashion tends to be high-end in midtown, I received enough compliments on my homemade accessories to loiter proudly outside Tiffany’s.
Saturday night, We headed to Times Square for some tourist-overload and I cleverly swapped my heels for sneakers at dinner. I’m already a pro at this! My number one fashion tip for NYC is this: Wear sneakers and pack the heels in your bag. Yep, these obvious bits of information are why I’m paid to do this.
As a first-timer, I had no idea how common celebrity sightings are in NYC. While headed to Times Square on Saturday night, Bonny, About.com Dating Expert, nonchalantly pointed out Mr. Anderson Cooper. I may have followed him across the street to prove to her that it wasn’t him. It was, and he was surprised.
If you have hung around this site for very long, then you know I loves me some costumes. NYC did not disappoint on a Saturday night in September. With my Halloween anticipation peaking, I got pretty excited about the everyday masquerade in the city.
Here are some of the most notable Time Square costumes:
And Gold Guy!
Here is my own costume for crawling Madison Avenue on a Sunday afternoon:
And just to remind myself of what NYC has to offer, here was my Sunday breakfast view from the 6th floor of 1500 Broadway. A far cry from watching Gizmo’s morning squirrel chase in the backyard. Oh, NYC, I’ll be back soon!
I was posting these photos and more in real time on Twitter. If you want to follow my adventures live, follow me @DIY_Fashion.