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Getting Some R&R – be back Oct. 1

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CATHERINE:  Well, it’s that time of year when even an alien ambassador like Darq needs a little R&R – as well as to reconnect with her husband and children back on her homeworld. According to the Men In Black, ETA for her arrival back at my farm will be October 1st. I wonder what Halloween party she’ll be going to and what will she be wearing for a costume?  Stop back Oct. 1st – or better yet, follow this blog and be the first to know.

Oh, and regarding the shoes Darq’s wearing, I made them from the trim off the plastic table runner that’s currently adorning my dining room table.   Don’t tell Darq. She thinks they’re some kind of exotic leather.

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Posted by on May 1, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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BOOoooooo!!

CATHERINE:  Darq was whisked away by the MIB (Men in Black) a couple days ago for a jaunt overseas.  However, Darq sent me a few pictures of her in her Halloween costume, one she’s wearing to some ritzy villa in Italy.  Good thing I replicated the “Lady of Siena” costume from 16th century Italy so she fit right in with the medieval-themed masked ball.

IMG_4150 Darq 2015 Halloween

 

IMG_4152 Halloween 2015

The dress has sleeves attached to the bodice but those gorgeous, flowingly-long, outer, over-sleeves, are detachable, as was befitting the custom of the era.  Oh, and, as always, Darq was in alt at the shoes that matched the outfit.

IMG_4160 10-2015 shoes

*****This blog will be updated at Thanksgiving time.  Will Darq be back home with Catherine for Thanksgiving? Check back and see or subscribe to this blog.

—-NOTE TO THOSE WHO SEW:  Darq’s over-sleeves were easy to make because in the History of Costume book that showed a sketch of the Highborn Lady of Siena, they also included a sketch of the decorative, over-sleeve’s pattern.  That outer sleeve attaches at the shoulders with rolls. In the era, those sleeve “bolsters” were attached with ribbons/ties.  The hardest part in making the outfit was getting the lace gathered and sewn onto the collar, which necessitated hand sewing.  Below is the sketch of what I worked from.  Now if only recreating an Erte design were as easy! — Catherine

DarqLadySienaDWG*****This blog will be updated at Thanksgiving time.  Will Darq be back home with Catherine for Thanksgiving?

Check back and see — or subscribe to this blog!

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Posted by on October 31, 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. . .

IMG_2982 lte

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

IMG_2907 2015Valentines BtrflyBack lte

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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Highlights of Christmas 2014

CATHERINE:  As promised, here’s a look at–

DARQ:  Let me tell the picture story of my Christmas day.

CATHERINE:  Okay, tell away.

DARQ:  The Christmas tree (an artificial one) was a-glitter with lights and sparkling ornaments of silver and kiwi-green.  With all the gifts piled under the tree, I  was hard pressed to ferret out my presents. At times it felt like I was drowning among the brightly wrapped gifts.

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However, I manged to find my three presents– Ta Dah!

IMG_2696  Xmas2014 DARQ Presents

What did I get?  Well, the contents of the bag was from my MIB detail and Santa. It was a red stocking filled with various wine samplers.  The little box held Catherine’s gift to me of earrings–and yes, I am wearing an old pair of red shoes (no new ones) and my Ugly Christmas Sweater (which, the more I wear it, the better I like it!).

IMG_2700  Xmas2014 DARQ Earrings-MerlotAnd in the big gold glittery box was–

CATHERINE: Hold it right there.  No revealing what’s inside that box.

DARQ: Why not? It’s the outfit you made for me for the upcoming Downton Abbey themed New Year’s Eve party I’m attending next week.

CATHERINE: But we won’t be revealing that Erte-inspired outfit until New Year’s Day, so don’t spoil the surprise.

DARQ: Can I just say it’s black and gold and white?

CATHERINE: No.

DARQ: Can I say it’s beautiful?

CATHERINE: Okay, you can say that.

DARQ: The Erte-outfit Catherine made is simply — BEAUTIFUL!

CATHERINE: Now that we have that settled, how about guarding the cookies so my husband leaves a few for me?

DARQ:  I’m on it!

IMG_2708 Xmas2014 DARQ cookies

CATHERINE and DARQ:  We hope you had a very good Christmas and will stop by New Year’s Day to see Darq’s Erte-inspired outfit of black and gold and white!

**** Catch up on all the Christmas activities by scrolling down.

***Unfamiliar with Erte?  He was the Father of Art Deco and a designer of 1920-30’s haute couture – check out last New Year’s Eve’s gown, as well as the Valentines, St. Patrick’s Day, and Easter outfits made this year.

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Posted by on December 26, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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The Ugly Christmas Sweater ???

DARQ: No, no, Catherine, don’t you dare open this post with “The Legend of the Ugly Sweater!”

CATHERINE:  Why not?

DARQ:  Because people stopping at this blog will read it and not scroll down to see my Ugly Christmas Sweater. They won’t know what happened at the Christmas Party.

CATHERINE:  Ah, yes, the Men In Black holiday party–where everyone was to wear their ugly Christmas sweaters. So, how was the party?  The sweaters?

DARQ:  Here’s the official photo they took of me at the party.IMG_2534 2014 Darq UglySweater 01 USE

CATHERINE: Wow, your sweater lights are a-twinkling!

DARQ scowls: At least I wasn’t lit up like some.

CATHERINE:  So, how did your Ugly Christmas Sweater fare? Did it win first place?  Any placing?

DARQ:  No, I didn’t win the prize for the Ugly Christmas Sweater.  El-Emn did.

CATHERINE:  L M?  That name doesn’t sound familiar.  Is he a new guy on the MIB detail that’s assigned to you?

DARQ:  No, not L and M the initials, EL-EMN.  He’s an octopod from a planet called Zanthara.  He’s greenish-gray, golden eyed, with eight tentacle arms.  He knitted his sweater himself–a reindeer on each arm–and his ass was covered by Santa’s sleigh, which was a vibrant red and on the backside of his sweater. That sweater had fringe and tinsel, lights–

CATHERINE:  Your sweater has fringe and tinsel, lights. Blinking lights.

DARQ:  Yeah, but not quite like El-Emn’s!

[DARQ exits and returns with items in hand]DARQ-UglySwtr Rbn-Btl jpeg

CATHERINE:  That’s a pretty gaudy ribbon you’re holding. So, what did you win it for?

DARQ, her cheeks taking on a deeper hue:  For Most Beautiful Alien in an Ugly Christmas Sweater.

CATHERINE, holding back laughter:  And here you were worried that with all the sweater’s loopy, white fluffy yarns you would look like a Yeti!

DARQ, scowling:  That Meh-Teh tried to hit on me.

CATHERINE:  What’s a Meh-Teh?

DARQ:  What you Americans call a yeti.

CATHERINE: The abominable snowman is real?  No way.

DARQ: Yes way.  They are like Big Foot, dimensional aliens.  Just passing through the dimensions, so to speak.

CATHERINE:  Unreal.  Oh, never mind.  I see you’re holding a bottle of liquor in your other hand. Its got tons of ribbons curled on it.  Did you win that in the gift exchange?

DARQ:  No. It was . . .  um . . . well . . .

CATHERINE:  Out with it!

DARQ:  Okay, okay.  It was for the Best Footwear To Go With An Ugly Christmas Sweater.

CATHERINE, grinning:  You and your shoes!IMG_2512 2014 Darq XmasSweaterSlippers

DARQ: These are sweater-slippers, not shoes.

CATHERINE: I know that.  Horns, jingle bells, red and green surrounded by snowy-whiteness–

DARQ: ARGH!  I’ll just take my snowy-whiteness and Ugly Christmas Sweater out the door and change into something more appropriate.

CATHERINE:  And I’ll finish this post with the Legend of the Ugly Sweater.

The Legend of the Ugly Sweater  Legend of Ugly Sweater jpeg

There was an awful present

Underneath our Christmas Tree,

Hand sewn by Aunt Tilly.

Made especially for me,

The gift that ruined my childhood,

Forced to wear it Christmas Day.

When asked if I adored it,

I’d always shout, “NO WAY!”

But now I wear it proudly,

Without shame and with no fear.

Contest after contest,

my ugly sweater wins each year!

–Unknown Author

****Make JEWELS OF THE SKY your Christmas gift or give it as a gift.

Available in ebook and paperback at

Amazon.com as well as

Barnes & Noble  and other book outlets.

***     ***      ***      ***     ***
Go to Catherine’s Contact Page to be notified when this blog is updated.

Updates are when events develop

(and with Darq wearing clothes and shoes made for the occasion).

 

Coming events include Christmas Day, a New Years Eve Party (another Erte-inspired gown), the Boston Pops, a Broadway play, and others.

Comments and conversations welcome.

And be sure to scroll down and see what Darq’s been doing.

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Posted by on December 14, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Thanksgiving – and an ugly Christmas sweater?

IMG_2403 2014 Thanksgiving DARQ

DARQ (shouting): Happy Turkey Day!

CATHERINE: It’s not a happy day for turkeys.

DARQ: Yeah, I know, but ‘TIZ THE SEASON!

CATHERINE: Oh, please, not you too.

DARQ: Me too what?

CATHERINE: I really hate the commercialization of Christmas. Did you not notice that the Black Friday sales began last Sunday, five days before Thanksgiving?  Why just a couple hours ago, the TV station I was watching ran a “Happy Holidays” blurb to its viewers.

DARQ: Speaking of Christmas, I need your help.

CATHERINE:  For what?

DARQ: The guys–

CATHERINE: As in the Men In Black who are now pigging out on your pumpkin pies, all twenty four of them?

DARQ: Yes, and they are OUR pies. I cleaned the pumpkins, you made the pies–

CATHERINE:  So, you want me to help you bake more pies, like for the MIB’s Christmas party?

DARQ:  No. The party’s being catered.

CATHERINE (letting out a sigh of profound relief):  That’s good. So, what kind of help do you need?

DARQ:  I need an ugly Christmas sweater.

CATHERINE (looking astonished): Why would you want an ugly Christmas sweater?  There are plenty of lovely ones–

DARQ: It’s a contest. Well, actually, anyone who attends the party has to wear the ugliest Christmas sweater they own or can buy or can make.  It’s a themed party–the “Ugly Christmas Sweater Party.”

CATHERINE: So, go online or go shopping and buy yourself an ugly Christmas sweater.

DARQ:  If it’s in a store, it’s likely more than one person will be wearing the same sweater.  I want something unique.  You knit. Could you knit me sweater?

CATHERINE: I could if you can wait until next Christmas for me to finish it.  I’m a slow knitter.

DARQ (looking crestfallen):

CATHERINE (speaking before she can stop herself): But I can crochet a lot faster.  I guess I can crochet one for you in a couple of weeks.  When’s the party?

DARQ (grins): Sunday afternoon, Dec. 14 at HQ.  Can you have the sweater ready by then?

CATHERINE: More than likely.  Com’mon, let’s go to my sewing room and raid the yarn bin, and see what color combo we can piece together for this ugly sweater of yours.

*****Stop back December 14 to see Darq’s ugly Christmas Sweater.

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Posted by on November 26, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Halloween 2014

IMG_2295 2014 HalweenDarq Earings

 

DARQ: Trick or Treat!

CATHERINE: I get a choice?

DARQ: Of course you do. Look— I’m dressed for giving out candy to the kids!

IMG_2273 2014 HalweenDARQ  Door 01 USE

CATHERINE: No fancy costume party this year to go to?

DARQ: I decided to forgo that.

CATHERINE: Why?

DARQ: Because the Men In Black were raving about their kids and what the kids’ costumes. I wanted to see for myself. Besides, with all those workshops you were doing last month and this, when would you have found time to sew me a proper costume, worthy of a gala Halloween party?

CATHERINE: You have a point, but then again, I did sew you an outfit. You’re wearing it.

DARQ: Just a simple top and pants. It took you all of a morning to make. Certainly nothing fancy or even scary.

CATHERINE: Well, the apron is fancy— Hey, what’s bulging out of the pocket? IMG_2269 2014 HalweenDarq Aprongoodies

DARQ (cheeks taking on a deep blush): Hershey’s bars.

CATHERINE: Aren’t you supposed to be giving them to the kids?

DARQ: I like Hershey’s Milk Chocolate with Almond bars. And it isn’t a crime to hold a few back for myself, is it?

CATHERINE: Ah, that’s more than a few in that pocket.

DARQ: If you’ll ignore my pocket full of Hershey’s bars, I’ll give you one.

CATHERINE: One?

DARQ, digging a bar out of her pocket: Okay, how about two— no how about four— and you forget this conversation?

CATHERINE: Yes, TREAT!

DARQ’s jaw drops as realization sinks in: You tricked me into giving you extra candy!

CATHERINE, grabbing the four bars, walks away and rapidly peals the wrapper off one of the bars: It’s not candy, Darq— it’s chocolate! Oh, and hey, here come the kids.

DARQ turns and smiles at the kids approaching: Happy Halloween!

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NOTE FROM CATHERINE TO CRAFTERS AND SEWERS: It took three times as long to make the backdrop for this Halloween photo shoot than it did for me to sew Darq’s outfit, including the shoes. I scanned in a picture of a door and then had to enlarge the picture, copy and piece several sheets together to get the door tall enough. The “window glass” is actually glue-glitter on top of the photocopies. The doorknob is a button. The stoop in front of the door is a re-purposed gift box, and the “porch” was recycled from the BBQ wall used last month. To get the 3D effect on the door, I covered strips of wood with shoe polish and glued the strips into place. The Trick or Treat rug and the Spooky door decoration are actually 3D stickers, the kind used for greeting cards. Darq’s “Trick or Treat” earrings came from a broken Halloween bracelet’s charms.

***The next post will be Darq celebrating Thanksgiving. To be notified of the update, connect with me

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Posted by on October 31, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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