An Open Letter To Lady Gaga

Dear Lady Gaga,

Do you ever wake up in the wee hours of the night in a cold sweat asking yourself "When I talk, do I make any sense?"

Case in point, your interview with Ellen DeGeneres. You sauntered in fresh from the VMA's onto her set in what I can only describe as the most ghastly "outfit" in the history of fashion.

Not since I heard stories as a child of Nazis using human skin as home decor items, have I been so disgusted with ones choice of personal decor/adornment.

It's not so much that I'm angry that you used a dead being as a dress, but that the dead being served only one purpose. To perpetuate some lame image of eccentricity.

Hear me our Miss Gaga. I am not one of those vegans who judge those that eat meat. I prepare meat for the hubby. If one wants to consume it, I feel it's not my place to judge. But let me ask you, what exactly did you do with the carcass once you were done with it? Did you just throw it away?

With a reported 40 million Americans on food stamps currently, the 25 lbs. of flesh you wore could have fed a few of those families. While your efforts to work towards making America a more tolerant place for homosexuals to live and thrive are admirable (and I stand behind it wholeheartedly) I would like to tell you that human rights do not stop at Don't Ask Don't Tell. Human rights encompasses all the plight we as people of this country have to endure in order to live another day. This includes poverty. Don't you want all American citizens to live well and thrive? As a human rights advocate, you need to look at every aspect of your actions.

You could argue that you and many of your peers in the entertainment business flaunt your wealth in a sickeningly vulgar way all the time. And you do. But that is why we like celebrities. It is an escape for us. We like looking at "who wore what", and "who wore it better". But by wearing a dead body that many consider food is down right disrespectful.

I'm so sorry Miss Gaga. I'm really getting off track here. Back to your segment on Ellen. I think what really bothered me the most was that you felt you needed a political reason behind wearing this. "If we don't stick up for what we believe in, we don't fight for our rights, pretty soon we're gonna have as much rights as the meat on our bones." WHAT?! What in the world does that even mean? Miss Gaga, I feel that I have the capacity to think in both logical, and abstract ways, but I still cannot make sense of what you said.

You stepped out onto the white carpet in quite a stunning way. Even beautiful. Since I have never been a fan of yours, or anything you do I was really impressed. I was taken aback as you glided across the carpet in a gorgeous Alexander McQueen (R.I.P.) creation and escorted by several homosexual service people who were discharged due to the hotly debated Don't Ask Don't Tell policy. Again it was stunning, it was tasteful, and best of all it made a point. You had a valid reason for your grand entrance.
But I cannot wrap my mind around your reasoning behind the dead dress. After all, you ARE Lady Gaga. We expect you to wear something shocking and weird. We expect to be shocked. You don't need to back up your fashion choices with with anything. You don't need to explain. Just keep your mouth shut and look weird. I find your explanation of the "outfit" as fake as the wig on your head. You say that there were other reasons behind the "dress" as well. What exactly were they? Do they make any sense?

How do you think your homosexual vegan and vegetarian fans feel about your outfit of choice? I wonder how Ellen felt sitting next to your rotting wardrobe.Your Little Monsters may have cheered, but Ellen didn't seem to buy it any more than I did.

There are many ways to be eccentric Miss Gaga. Howard Hughes never had to wear flesh to be considered eccentric. He grew out a beard, and peed in milk bottles. Best of all, he didn't have to preface his actions with a lame made up political statement.

Save yourself the trouble Miss Gaga and take a cue from Mr. Hughes. Buy a hotel in Vegas, and don't leave it. Ever.


Who's Up For A Supply Trade?

I know I am!

Head on over to Strumpets Crumpets (who is hosting this genius shindig) for all the rules.

Strumpet's Craft Supply Swap!!!

...I'm so excited! Yeah, I doesn't take much. Hope to see you there!

Antoine Dodson Is My Personal Hero

If you're anything like me, then this song has been stuck in your head for days now.

Sure auto-tuning anything is funny, but we all know there's nothing funny about rape. I find this particular story inspiring more than funny.

This family was more than vocal about their feelings regarding the man who attempted to rape Antoine's sister. They used the local news to speak out loudly about him, and made it quite clear that they are determined to find him.

This family chose not to hide in fear and shame.

Here's the original news report.

If At First You Don't Succeed...

...attack that sucker with a seam ripper until you get it right!

I think I officially learned my lesson this past weekend while making this.
I'm sure you all are quite aware of my hatred for patterns. Well, I also hate measuring. The combination of those two can make for many unfinished, wonky projects that should never see the light of day. Along with hating patterns, and having an aversion to measurements, I try to speed right through my projects. And many times, when a project goes awry, I just shove it half-finished in my closet.

I never sit down with it, and really try to fix it. I often read other bloggers' anecdotes about their seam rippers, and how they could not get through a project without it. I always feel a bit envious when I read them because I simply get fed up when I realize a project has gone ugly. When it comes to my sewing, I'm too much of a hot head to collect myself, sit down, and work my way through the problem.

Until this weekend. I am currently obsessed with the embroidery patterns, and paintings of Andrea Zuill. She manages to mix the cute, the odd, and the interesting subtly and successfully. And best of all, she provides some of her patterns for free to her readers. Perfect for the bored and broke stitcher. I really wanted to use one of her patterns for a new bag.

So Friday night, I decided to use her "Wee Baby Goat" pattern for this project. I had intended for it to go onto the flap of this particular handbag. I had chosen the right fabric, stitched it to the best of my ability, sewn the lining on, and ended up with this. It was too small, and too crooked.
Ugh. I really tried to make it work. I did. I pressed, I clipped my edges, I topstitched, I stared at it, I frowned at it, I cursed at it. But it was bad.

I walked away from it for a bit. But couldn't stop thinking about this bag I wanted to make so badly. So I constructed the lining for the bag. It gave me that push I needed to continue on with it. Ugh I sound like I was attempting some kind of physical labor or something. I'm so dramatic.

I felt better. So I started constructing the outside of the bag. Stupidly, I had sewn the interfacing on the wrong side of the bag so when I turned it right side out to mark my gussets, I ended up with a weird white shiny bag.

UGH! That was the point on Friday that I stopped.

I woke up Saturday still thinking about this failure of a bag. It had no flap, no outside, and after looking at the lining (which I thought I had done correctly) I realized I hadn't even sewn a pocket into it!
First to go was the goat. Sorry goat.
I went back to Andrea's blog, and found the buffalo. Perfect! But even tracing the design had it's troubles. I ran out of the tape I needed to tape it to the window to trace. I had to outline the design with a Sharpie, and trace it on a table. I lost a lot of the patterns detail. I sucked it up though and spent several hours stitching the buffalo.
Then I took apart my disaster of a bag, and sewed it together the right way, ending up with the cute black and white flowers on the outside. The way it was supposed to be. After stitching up the gussets, and lining the new flap, and sewing the handles, I realized it was already time for bed. REALLY?! I spent all of Saturday doing that!

Sunday, I woke up with every intention of finishing it. I wanted to use some metal d-rings on the straps, and do an interesting strap detail up the front of the bag, but I then realized I didn't have enough fabric. Sooooo, I had to take the straps apart, cut them down and stare at the bag all in pieces for nearly 45 minutes. I wish I could go into even more detail about the straps/flap issue, but I believe this post has gotten pretty out of control. :) Below is a photo of the "pile of failure" still sitting on my dining room table.
I also had forgotten to buy closures for the bag. I had to quit screwing around, and get serious about completing this. I didn't want it to end up in the closet with all my other failures.

I found an old bag, took the buckles, and magnetic closures off of it, and hand stitched them onto the flap. I was so proud of myself for being so crafty that I just started sewing, and didn't stop until the bag was finished.
I am so proud of this bag. And not because I think it's perfect. It's not. Had I sat down to plan it, I think I would have been more satisfied with it's appearance. I'm so proud of it because after taking the body of the bag apart once, ripping out a seam in the lining, sewing the handles nearly three times, and making 2 different flaps, I ended up with something I love. I'm also proud of it because I had never sewn a flap into a bag before, or even made anything resembling a backpack.
Oh, I forgot to mention. It's not just a handbag, it's a backpack too. :)
Have I learned my lesson? Will I sketch out my next project first? Will I measure anything out? Will I use a pattern? Will I take my time sewing? No probably not. But I have my seam ripper, and all the time in the world to take it apart.

The Great Target Boycott

Probably the best flash mob I've seen in a while.

For more info on the boycott, and to sign the petition, please follow the link below.

Ever Driven Into Gettysburg On A Sunday?

Last weekend that's exactly what the hubby and I did.

We decided to extend our trip to PA by exploring Gettysburg which was only 45 minutes away from Shippensburg.

We arrived in the area mid-afternoon, stopping first to view a huge "drive-thru" battlefield. While I understand why the city would choose to have people tour the expansive field that way, I somehow felt a little weird touring a site of such horror by car in a single file line. The appreciation, and awe I had expected to feel when viewing this place only felt generic to me as we followed the helpful traffic signs directing us to our next location in the battlefield. I wondered silently if all the other battlefields were set up this way. It left a slightly bad taste in my mouth.

The battlefields were beautifully manicured ironically evoking a sense of calm and peace as we viewed it's hills. Sadly it was fenced off, preventing any exploring. It's many monuments standing serenely alongside the roads only gave it a national park feel. Funny, because I realize it's actually a "park" but I guess I was a bit disappointed.
We then decided to drive into town to find a hotel where we saw this!
Sidecars are awesome!!!!!!!

We found a hotel right in the center of town. We got a room, and quickly went off to eat, drink, and explore.

The Dutch influence of the surrounding counties was apparent in Gettysburg. And it was something that the hubby and I were both quite happy about. He got to have soft pretzels and beer during one meal for "the first time since (he was in) Germany." And I will not lie when I say I oogled, and fondled every set of hand-painted nesting dolls I could find.Yes I fondled them like a pervert, they were asking for it! They were so pretty. While I picked up an awesome souvenir, alas, I could not afford the coveted nesting dolls. We still had to get home, and I could not justify spending $80.00 on them.
So what's the problem with Gettysburg on a Sunday? Everything closes early!
There were a hand full of shops that remained open until they felt like closing up, but really, there wasn't anything to do. And while I can certainly understand why shop clerks want to go home, looking out my 4th floor window, the streets were packed with tourists like us with nowhere to go.

Now it has become a tradition for us to play the lottery in other states when we visit. I never, ever, ever win here in Ohio, but I always win everywhere else. Sometimes consecutively. So, with nothing to do, the hubby and I went to pick up some lottery tickets. When we happened upon this sign marking the spot of a historic hotel.
I snapped a few pics of the location.
I'm sure you can see why. However, the hubby, dumbfounded as to why I was taking photos of the 7-11 was quick to explain to me that the 7-11 wasn't the spot the sign referred to. It was the big house across the parking lot. Boy am I dumb...Or at least not very observant.

We continued to explore our immediate surroundings instead of visiting more battlefields.
We met Abe. Yes, we are now on an abbreviated first name basis with him.
We visited the house he stayed at while revising the Gettysburg Address.
The hubby was up all night helping him work on it.
I'm a bad model. Somehow I make it look like I'm having a hard time with my math homework.
I had to get a photo of some near perfect late 1800's embroidery. Sigh...someday my satin stitching will be almost as perfect.
 I drooled over this.
We visited a tiny chapel.
 **And payed a quick visit to the County Domestic Relations Office.**
 I think I even found Waldo!
After all that, we went back to our hotel, where I witnessed the coolest thing. We were walking to the elevator when two women with rolly bags in front of us sped up to a light jog to reach the elevator before the door closed. The whole time exclaiming "HOLD THE LIFT, HOLD THE LIFT!" Yes they were English, and loving all things English, I automatically loved these ladies. The person inside the elevator did not "hold the lift" and let the door shut. One of the women turned to the other and purred quietly "charming." And that is why I love the English. They did not call the offenders any number of expletives, they simply, and sarcastically called them "charming." 

O.k. so maybe that's not the coolest thing, but I am quite easily amused.

Really, we didn't do much there. We should have just spent the day walking around, and came home that night. It would have saved us $150.00 on a hotel. What we could have done was picked up the camper that was parked outside of a house on the way there. Yup, a camper quietly sat for sale in a front yard, unbeknownst to us for $150.00! We didn't notice it until we were on our way home. We could have hitched that sucker to our truck, and never had to pay for a hotel room ever again. Ugh! And all of that decorating I could have done.

The next morning we had to make our way home. Remember Breezewood? We stopped there for some lunch where I saw this bit of nostalgia.
I didn't think they made these anymore!

I realize now that road trips are one of my favorite things in the whole wide world. I couldn't imagine ever flying to any of the places the hubby and I have gone together. I think of all the things I would have missed in that airplane.

The hubby and I always talk about what whether we are going to purchase a home, or an R.V. And while most of the time a house wins out, I know that a house can't take us on adventures.

**Authors note** That is not how the hubby and I actually relate to each other domestically.

My Trip to a One Horse Town

The hubby and I are fans of Steve Martin. So when he heard that Steve Martin was going on tour to perform bluegrass, he decided we were going.
He was scheduled to perform in a tiny town called Shippensburg PA. which really isn't too far away form us. 4 hours away I believe. So we booked our hotel room and took off for a few days.

This was our trip to Shippensburg.

One of the things I love most in life is souvenirs. I always tell myself I am going to start collecting those little spoons, or bells with the states on them, but for some reason I still haven't started. So I was pumped to hear of a weird place called Breezewood PA. It looked like a 4 block long truck stop. It was a sort of huge oasis for the road worn and weary, or those craving french fries as 3 a.m. When the hubby told me about this place I was interested. Then sure enough, I saw a billboard advertising a souvenir shop in Breezewood. We had to stop.

It was huge!

And it had everything!

Tiny thimbles,

an army of pigs,

even an arsenal of toy guns!

While I will save my purchases for another post, I will tell you, I left without any tiny spoons yet again.

We meandered into Shippensburg quite quickly. After seeing the size of the town, we realized we were probably at the nicest hotel there. If not the only hotel there.
That led the hubby to believe that Steve Martin was probably somewhere in the building. He felt no shame in calling the front desk to ask if Steve was staying there. The clerk gave him a vague answer which once again led us to believe even more that he was indeed staying in our hotel. "They usually don't give their real names." The clerk told him in regards to his question.

We checked in, got to our room and saw this!
What is it?

It's an ashtray of course. I don't know if you're as surprised as I was, but here in Cleveland, you can't smoke anywhere anymore. Yes, I'm still smoking. :(

One of the first things the hubby does when we check into a hotel is look for the Gideons Bible. He usually makes a witty comment about it's presence in the room, then puts it back in the drawer. This time we not only found a bible, but we found this.
It was quite XTREME!

XHAUSTED from all that XTREME-ness, and a long drive, we went down to the hotel bar, took up residence at a patio table and had a bottle of wine. Our server brought us the wrong bottle, but we didn't care. He was awesome!
While sitting and enjoying our wine, we kept getting whiffs of something horrid. In fact, we had noticed it the minute we drove into town. It was manure! "Shit" to city slickers like us. We first thought it smelled because we had driven past about one million farms, but even sitting on the bar patio in the middle of town, we still smelled shit. The whole town smelled of it!

After the bottle of wine, we staggered back to our room. The hubby, still determined to find Steve Martin wandered through the halls calling out "Steve?" "Steve?" As if looking for a friend. We decided that he was staying here...

(That's some drunk photo takin'!)

The biggest room in the hotel. It was on the top floor near our room. Mr. Martin, if you were in fact staying at Shippen Place, I'm sorry for the disturbance.

We woke up the next morning to find many trucks pulling trailers of hay down "main street." Lots of hay. I wasn't quick enough to get any good photos, but there were quite a few trucks.
We had to go buy cigarettes so we found a pharmacy. I figured it was sort of like a CVS, or Walgreens so we could pick some up there. But no, it was an actual pharmacy.

While I'm sure there isn't much to do around town day in and day out, we found plenty of stuff to do to keep us occupied before the show.

A stack of trunks sitting outside of an unmarked store front caught my eye.
We walked in and I nearly puked from excitement! Antiques and vintage as far as the eye can see were stuffed in every single nook and cranny of this place.

I will admit. I usually get a bit nervous walking into places like this. The owners usually seem not so fond of assisting tattooed "kids" with their purchases, and I always feel like I annoy them when I go in to look around. Like I'm somehow not worthy of collecting old stuff. But the owner greeted us with a huge smile, and right off the bat, began explaining his entire inventory to us, his history of collecting, and how he finds what he sells.

While we were shopping two young men stopped in to pick something up. The owner greeted them, and asked them if they had "been to the hay sale yet." Ah. So that explains all the hay going up and down the street.

We also found a thrift store across the street form our hotel. They were having a sale! All the clothes you can fit in a paper bag for $3.00! OHMYGOSH!

We did some day drinking...
 ...and even found a pay phone. I didn't think those still existed!
We went back to the hotel to change for the show, where we saw a stack of pizza boxes outside of Steve Martin's supposed room. That only led me to believe, that it was not his room. In my mind Steve Martin doesn't eat pizza.

They warned us that we weren't allowed to take photos, so I was afraid that some bluegrass lovin' security goon would rip my camera from my hands, and proceed to crush it beneath their big feet should I even try to take pics.

The show was fantastic! I was disappointed when Steve left the stage during the set to take a break. I didn't pay to see a band without Steve Martin! Then my disappointment turned to anger when the band (without Steve) went into a 3 part harmony hymn. Now I REALLY didn't pay to see a band minus Steve Martin play religious tunes! But he had redeemed himself when he came back onto the stage, and sang a 4 part harmony song all about how atheists don't have any songs. Thank you Steve! We now have a song.

After the show we had even more drinks, and went to bed. The next morning, the door to Steve Martin's supposed room was left open as it's guests were packing up to leave. Sadly, but not surprisingly, it was a little league team in there the whole time. 

Our trip to Shippensburg was great! It was by far the friendliest town we had been to. Even the guys at the local tattoo shop were friendly. I know it sounds like I have been making fun of this place by saying it smells like shit, and the hay sale was the biggest event of the week. But really, it was more of a culture shock to me. Hearing a horse clop down the street outside your window is quite startling, and seeing an Amish woman running her errands was weird.

I love a town where a beauty queen makes headlines...

 ...a signed picture of Michael Bolton hangs proudly on the wall of a bar...
...and where it's local citizens can be remembered for being "close to perfect."

It's somehow more honest.

Next up...our short trip to Gettysburg.
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