Friday, August 28, 2015

Blast from the past...

I wrote this blog in August 2009...it was one of my first blog posts...and as true today as it was then... ************* On a recent Saturday (remember -- it's AUGUST), I met Bert for breakfast -- we did some "junkin" -- and I put the new "treasure" in the back seat of my Taurus, on top of the old "treasure" (the trunk has been full for 2 years). I have puzzles, games, clothes, probably 40 books or books on tape, a riding toy, a car seat (laying sideways), a $1 lampshade, and a huge pregnancy pillow (only $5). Trust me -- it's PILED HIGH...

I also have four bags of groceries sitting on the passenger seat...along with more books, several totebags from the classes I've been taking...and, oh, yeah -- there were also two big bags full of end-of-the-summer-beach-towel-bargains I bought at Dillard's.

Driving through the small town of LeClaire, Iowa -- I got pulled over by a policeman. I wasn't too worried, because I knew I was not speeding...

Officer: Your tags are expired,Mrs. Farro.

Me: (inside my head, screaming a curse word) Sorry, Officer.
Him: They were due way back in March...

Me: (screaming double curse words in my head) So sorry, officer... Him: Your tags are so far out of date, I have the right to have your vehicle towed...
Me: (thinking -- that'll cost $200) Sorry, officer...
Him: And this insurance card you've given me is from 2008. If you do not have a current card, I could write you another ticket for $375.

At this point -- I was completely stricken. He could order that my car be towed -- and then give me a $375 ticket on TOP of the $100 "expired-tags-ticket" I already had in my hand. I swallowed hard....wondering if tears might help. (I'm pretty sure that only works for blondes) As I was trying to work up a sob or two...

He said: "But, you look like a nice lady -- and, obviously, you're in the middle of a move -- and I'm sure you have a lot on your mind..."

The next few moments are a blur. Forget crying! It was all I could do to stifle the hysterical laughter rising up inside me...

As he gave me back my license (thankfully, IT was current) -- I said, "thank-you, officer. If I'd been towed, I never would have heard the end of it. But I'm pretty sure I can keep this ticket a secret..."
He smiled, and wished me luck...(with the "move", I'm sure...)


I'M GONNA CLEAN MY CAR. But -- to commemorate the moment -- and as a first step in my recovery process -- I took a picture of the back seat of my car.

Yes, my name is Rita. And I have way too much stuff...

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Kids Sewing Studio

I got an email the other day from my friend Bobbi Bullard...

Dear Rita,

I've been working with some friends and after almost a year of nose to the grind stone we have a series of videos for teaching young people to sew. We feel that it's so important to get the next generation sewing. My friends have been teaching children to sew for years, and they're trying to make what they can offer available to children who don't have access to a good sewing teacher.

These videos are so detailed, they're meant for people who have never sewed before. To launch, we're offering a free webinar Thursday with tips and tricks for people who do get to teach young people to sew. Of course, at the end of the webinar we'll explain about what we're doing, but the webinar is truly informative and not an infomercial.

************

THANKS, Bobbi -- it sounds like a great idea!!  I've signed up to see what it's all about -- and  if you're interested -- here's the information...

 www.kidssewingstudio.com

the webinar information is at www.kidssewingstudio.com/events/webinar.html

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Pink and Orange Suede Shoes

Ann Person did come to see me do "How to Dress With Style When You Feel Like Cher But Look Like Roseanne" -- and I was a wreck.  For one thing, every single thing I was showing in my presentation started off being a Stretch & Sew pattern. Also -- did I mention I had no clue how actual pattern makers did things??  I just knew NOBODY WAS GETTING IT RIGHT.

At the time, NO PATTERN fit me.  There simply was not a size 22 pattern available, so I had learned to modify and make adjustments to Stretch & Sew size 16 patterns.

Nancy had introduced me to Ann before that seminar.  During my presentation (many of you could have been in the room that day) -- I  acknowledged Ann -- she stood up and got a nice round of applause.  Then, I thanked her for playing my game...because that year, I was featuring outfits that started with pink and orange (to make a point, of course -- that fat girls shouldn't be limited to BLACK).  And Ann Person was dressed in a spiffy outfit, also featuring pink and orange -- and she had a fabulous pair of Evan Picone PINK AND ORANGE suede shoes.  That was amazing to me...

The following week -- I was back in my store in Clinton, Iowa.  The UPS guy came with the daily deliveries -- and one of the boxes was from Ann Person.  She sent me those shoes.  Evan Picone, Size 10 -- PINK AND ORANGE suede.

I spent an hour last night, looking for those shoes.  I never, ever would have got rid of them.  I have checked out most of the seminar/sample/tubs in the basement.  I must be getting close.  I am determined TO GET A PICTURE OF THOSE SHOES...


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Good Bye Ann Person

Yesterday, my friend Gail sent me Ann Person's obituary:

http://www.oregonlive.com/window-shop/index.ssf/2015/08/ann_person_obituary.html

Apparently, she was sharp as a tack right to the end -- and I am not surprised.

The woman was a genius...and her influence on the sewing industry was huge and long lasting.  I learned a lot from Ann Person, and to celebrate her impact on my life -- I would like to share my best Ann Person story...


Mary Mulari had recommended me to Joanne Ross as a speaker.  When Joanne called to invite me, I had no idea where Puyallup, Washington was.  I had never even attended a consumer sewing show...

But I gleefully accepted Joanne's invitation -- and basically made some new clothes and packed up everything that fit me.  My seminar title was, "How To Dress With Style When You Feel Like Cher But Look Like Roseanne".

At the end of the first day, a woman came over and said, "Hi, my name is Nancy Cornwell and I've sold out of every pattern you talked about.  Who the hell are you and why didn't I know you were going to be here?"

One thing led to another, and by the third day, Nancy had invited Ann Person to come to the show and sit in on my seminar. ...

the rest -- tomorrow...

Monday, August 24, 2015

Pennsylvania, HERE WE COME...

I've decided this would be a fun way to tell Kathy Keefer we are COMING FOR A VISIT!!

In 1973, John and I bought a house in Pine Grove, Pennsylvania. Ross was born in that house. It had a little pond. John had a small barn for chickens...and a large garden...
Ross, me and John, Pine Grove, Pa: 1978
AND I HAD KATHY KEEFER. She was already well into the "I am busy raising-three-boys phase" of her life when we moved into the neighborhood. When I got pregnant with Ross, Kathy gave me a shower and every woman in the neighborhood came, and we had a picnic supper down in the Keefer Pavilion...

We talked every single day, when telephones had those long cords that kept you anchored to the wall. It would have been a rare day if we didn't visit. On the weekends, we'd go to auctions, and every week, we went to a TOPS meeting. Kathy gave me haircuts in her kitchen...and we knew what each other was making for supper every night. We'd get together to bake pies, and made doughnuts...(during a blizzard, and we kept blowing fuses besides...I think we had four deep fat fryers plugged in!!)

Fast forward 30 years...Ross got a job in Harrisburg, Pa.  He needed a place to park his U-Haul while he looked for an apartment.  Kathy and Denny insisted on moving him into their house.  They unpacked his stuff and returned the U-Haul.  Ross fell in love with the Keefers -- Kathy's cooking, Denny's good humor and Shoofly pie.  For his birthday that year, Kathy was in charge of his chocolate cake with peanut butter icing...
Kathy and Denny.  Ross's second Mom and Dad...
During our last visit, Kathy was learning how to sew! (she made her kitchen curtains)
So -- PUT ON THE COFFEE POT, Kathy and Den -- we'll be there in two weeks!! (I'm not worried about people finding out we'll be gone -- because Ross will be here -- taking care of the chickens AND Frankie!)

Friday, August 21, 2015

Project Runway: Week #3 SPOILERS

The show opens with everybody on board the newest Celebrity Cruise Ship...

OH NO...are they going to have to make a garment out of a deck chair, a lobster shell and a watermelon rind??

It's the first team challenge of the year.  Tim picks names out of the button bag and pairs everybody up. The duos each pick a suitcase with a location label...Hong Kong, South of France, Caribbean, etc.  Each suitcase had several different pieces of fabric representing the exotic location (to inspire their design)...Sounds like fun!

But -- for me, this episode was a total miss.  There wasn't one memorable garment.  Because I DVR the show, I have the option of watching over and over again.  Maybe if I watched it five or six times, I could come up with something pithy....but -- hey -- who's got that kind of time??

So, I'm going to talk about the losers this...

Merline and Joseph:  Merline wants to fit in??  Really??  She says she doesn't want to disappoint people (who says they WANT to disappoint people?). Joseph is a bossy, no-talent know-it-all who has no idea how boring his designs are.  He was very pleased with himself that he so easily stifled Merline to the point that she didn't have a single thing to do with the finished garment.  HE should have been the one standing on the runway, waiting to be auf├ęd...Merline survived -- but barely.  I predict this was Joseph's last challenge. 

Edmond tried really hard with the Horrible Hapless Hamniao.  Because he had immunity, Edmond could have just finished a mediocre wrap skirt and let Hamniao hang herself on the runway...but, he kept pitching right to the end, even making a smashing second swimsuit (which the judges never saw).
Hanmaio went home.  She will not be missed...I'm probably spelling her name wrong.  I just don't care...
Amanda and Gabrielle made a red/white/blue asymmetrical outfit. I was disappointed that they didn't use their printed fabric.  But their garment was kind of pointless and uninspired.

Ashley and Candace got the win -- but I thought their three piece garment was a dog's breakfast.  The oversize back cowl made no sense with the flowered flouncy thing they called a cape...shudder...

I thought the BIG MISS of this episode was not having the final runway show ON THE CELEBRITY CRUISE SHIP...

Actually -- looking back -- I wish they'd gone with the deck chairs and lobster shells...