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2017 – The New Year!

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Darq here – as you can see, the gown Catherine made for me is sensational. It’s this rich, fire-orange-red velour with a glitter netting vest of eight layers with an enormous train.  Here’s the back view –

img_5673-use-backviewThe train’s eight tiers are alternating between pink and black netting. There are seven flowing “chains” that are incrediably lightweight. As you can see, there are “jewels” dangling from two of the upper, shorter chains. Here’s a frontal view of the dress and the vest –

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and, of course, there are the shoes!

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All in all, I had a very nice New Year’s eve party and will soon be back at the farm. Then it will be off to England where I’ll be interviewed by a witch and baking Fruity Cake for her orphans.

I wish you and yours a peaceful, joyful, and happy New Year!

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and me, Catherine E. McLean, author of JEWELS OF THE SKY, a sci-fi adventure novel where two weeks after the book debuted, I found a doll that looked just like Darq, the story’s starfighter pilot and heroine. The story is  about –

Survival or extinction? 

Mercy or miracle? 

One woman’s choice.

    Being a direct descendant of the captain who massacred the Mayans, Darq is a Wysotti woman and a duty-oriented, pragmatic interstellar fighter pilot. She doesn’t believe in miracles or forgiveness, or that J’Hi-inti (god) would ever rescind the death curse on her people for what happened to the Mayans. Only J’Hi-inti hears one compelling plea for reconciliation and decides to let chaos rule— and test Darq. After all, she’s a wild card like her nefarious ancestor. What will she do when she faces the ruthless alien fleet commander who spearheads the blitzkrieg that is to finally destroy her homeworld, and who she once witnessed murder her cadet comrades?  Blinded by hate and survivor guilt, all that stands between survival and extinction, heaven or hell, for Darq and her people is mercy— or a miracle.

For other books and stories by Catherine, go HERE

New, lighthearted, sci-fi short story with a romantic twist has been published in Nebula Rift – check out “Christmas on Kifel”here.

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Posted by on January 2, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Christmas 2015 & Karaoke ?

CATHERINE chuckles and sets the black T-shirt Darq gave her under the Christmas Tree:  This is one great T-shirt, thanks, Darq.

DARQ:  I thought the saying appropriate considering you’re a novelist who makes up stories!

CATHERINE:  Very fitting–I love it!

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DARQ swats aside another dangling ribbon:  Good grief, Catherine, I know you decorated your Christmas tree with all 36 of those fair ribbons you won this year, but really, it’s like plowing through a jungle.

CATHERINE:  Stop exaggerating. I see you found the gift your squad of Men In Black left for you.

DARQ: Yes, I did, but with all the gifts that were piled under the tree last night, it was shoved back, and way around to the other side of the tree.

CATHERINE: Stop complaining and go open your gift.  You’ve been curious ever since it arrived. (Catherine begins opening another Christmas gift.)

A minute later, Darq has her MIB gift unwrapped and squeals: “Karaoke!”

CATHERINE:  What?

DARQ scrambles to the nearest blank wall and starts singing into the handheld microphone–the MIBs gift to her–

IMG_4305 2015 Xmas Karoke Darq JPEG

Darq’s voice booms through both stories of Catherine’s farm house: Have yourself a merry little Christmas…

CATHERINE grins and says:  Okay, okay, enough with the caterwauling–I mean singing. Go unwrap something else. Save the tunes for after we open all the presents.

When Darq finishes opening her gifts, Catherine says: Beside the karaoke mike, what else did you get?

DARQ: J’adore perfume, a box of Belgium chocolates, and a CD of tunes that accompanied my mike. Oh, and a stocking full of cookies, M&Ms, and chocolate covered cherries. If I don’t suffer a sugar-high, I’m going to get fat eating all this candy.

CATHERINE laughs, then says: What gift do you like the most?

DARQ eyes Catherine: The three you gave me.  The Christmas Tree earrings–  IMG_4334

The Christmassy slippers– IMG_4309And this lounger you made for me, why it’s as colorful as Christmas wrapping paper. (Darq’s voice changes to a lower, quieter tone): It’s especially heartwarming to wear this robe because it’s like something I’d wear on my homeworld. And beautiful and comfy.

CATHERINE: It should be.

DARQ: What does that mean?

CATHERINE:  I bribed Agent M with four dozen chocolate chip cookies for a look at some Wysotti clothing catalogs.  Now, grab that mike and let’s sing a wish to everyone who reads this blog–

Let there be peace on earth
And let it begin with me.
Let there be peace on earth
The peace that was meant to be . . .

Have a wonderful Christmas Day.

**** DARQ will be attending another New Year’s Eve party at an undisclosed location, and wearing a new Erte-inspired outfit. Stop by New Year’s Day to see what she wore.

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Posted by on December 25, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Valentines Velvet and Satin–an Erte-inspired gown

DARQ: I wish all who stop by a Happy Valentine’s Day mine is going to be sensational because Catherine sewed another Erte-inspired gown for me so I could look fabulous at the dinner party I’m attending tonight in – oops, can’t divulge the location, national security and all that. Here’s the sneak peek at the gown–

IMG_2935 2015 Valntine notrain lteThere is nothing like velvet on my planet, Wysa, but I am totally in love with this fabric, and the satin lining. And the color.  And, yes, peeping out from the front hem is a pair of velvet and satin shoes!

IMG_2971I couldn’t believe how sumptuous this gown turned out to be. I love it, love it, love it!

And here’s the Erte illustration I picked out for Catherine to work from:

Erte ValentinesDARQ2015Oh, so you want to see the back of the gown?  Well, here ‘tiz–IMG_2960 lte

The “train” is attached to the back of the skirt, which is pleated. Catherine says the pleats allow the train to be wider than the regular skirt would have been. The train folds up and is draped over my shoulders.  IMG_2967 2015 Val lte

Since the dress is fully lined, Catherine did something interesting to the velvet side of the train–she twisted the fabric around to showcase the satin. . .

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And then she had a brilliant idea to flip to the velvet side, which she decorated with a butterfly–

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So, one outfit, many ways to wear it!

As to the clasp, it flips so it works for either the satin or velvet side.

IMG_2922 2015Valentines Velvet fronttop 1IMG_2932 2015Valentines Pink fronttop

What’s the gown look like with the train is down?  Why–

IMG_2895 2015FEB erte liteIMG_2897 2015 ValentinesBACK V

Notice the V-neckline of the front and that the back one is decadently deeper.

CATHERINE: Your husband will appreciate that.

DARQ chuckles, then says: He’ll appreciate more undressing me after he discovers that plunging back V.

CATHERINE: I thought you had a limit on things you can transport when you ship back home.

DARQ: This is a must-have item.  I love this gown more than the white and silver Erte outfit you made me for New Year’s Eve, 2013.

CATHERINE: Wow, and double wow.

DARQ: Besides, Catherine, this gown makes me feel and look ultra-classy.  So, what’s the plan for St. Patrick’s Day?

CATHERINE, shocked expression on her face: You need another gown?

DARQ:  No. I thought maybe I’d take you and your hubby out to dinner, someplace local.  So, I guess all I need is regular wear.

CATHERINE: As in a uniform?

DARQ: No silly, civilian wear will do.

CATHERINE: What’s Wysotti civilian wear like?

DARQ: Huh?

CATHERINE:  I mean, how different from Earth fashions is your civilian Wysotti clothing.  Can you show me a picture or two of what you normally wear?

DARQ: You know, it would be nice to wear fashions from my homeworld . . .  When I check in next week with fleet HQ, I’ll see about downloading pictures of current fashions so you can work from them.  How’s that?

CATHERINE: Sounds good to me.

*** Stop back on St. Patrick’s Day to see Darq’s civilian Wysotti-wear.  In green, of course, because St. Patrick’s Day is for the wearing of the green!

NOTE TO SEWERS:  Darq’s Valentine’s gown is rayon velvet. I bought the fabric more than 10 years ago for the bib and sleeve cuffs of a dress I made for my local Morgan Horse association’s awards banquet.  There was a lot of fabric left over. I used some a couple of Christmases ago, when I made my daughter an “old fashioned” Christmas Stocking. Still there was an L-shaped piece left, and that’s what I used for Darq’s gown. I used all of it. No scraps left.

Interestingly enough, the longest side of that L-piece of velvet remnant was just long enough to make the train–from shoulder seam to tip of the train is 40″.  The gown is fully lined with metallic, stretch satin.  The hardest part about sewing the gown was hand sewing the hem and attaching the lining to the sleeves at the cuffs. I must have tried six different hand-sewing needles before I found one that would pierce the tough rayon, slinky satin, and the metallic threads in the satin.

Now my only problem is how to preserve the gown without crushing the velvet. So if you have any ideas, please let me know.

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Posted by on February 14, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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