All Dressed Up. Always.

All Dressed Up. Always. | oonaballoona by marcy harriell

Our bags were packed with summer clothing when we headed down South last July. Rob also schlepped twelve pairs of jeans, and I brought...a portable watercolor set? (We might not have been in the right headspace when packing for our Escape From New York.)

Dressing up in the summer is easy for me: throw on a maxi dress. (Which I DID bring plenty of. I guess they're my equivalent to Rob's jeans.) Since we've decided to stick around a bit more, top on the sewing list is beefing up my colder weather garb. And that's where this sequin, faux fur and brocade comes in. 

I nabbed ALL of it at the local JoAnn. Madame JoAnn might have moved the quilting fabrics upfront, but the back of the store holds a few sections of fancy bolts, and allllllll the way 'round the corner by the bathrooms: a boatload of cosplay and outdoor fabric. Including a full TWO aisles of faux fur! Shocked, I was. 

All Dressed Up. Always. | oonaballoona by marcy harriell

I carried a small army of fancy bolts up to the cutting tables and had, as usual, a wonderful time talking to the employees and shoppers. Every time I go to the JoAnn here, it's lovely. I met a woman who was buying backing to surprise her 90-year-old sister, by finishing the last step of her handmade quilt. A mother-daughter duo who recognized me from our YouTube channel (hi, new friends, if you're here!) told me a story so amazing, I lost my brain for a good fifteen minutes. And everyone is always masked up in the most brilliant, colorful coverings. Never your normal, everyday surgical mask in a crafting store!

I decided that in this supremely abnormal year, I would stick with my regular tradition of making my maxi-fied holiday skirt. This time I went with my favorite kind of circle skirt: the half circle, married to a 2 inch wide, faced waistband, and an exposed lacy zipper. 

All Dressed Up. Always. | oonaballoona by marcy harriell

Of course no one will see all that yardage on Ye Olde Holiday Zooms, so from the waist up we've got a blinged-out, super soft shrug.

Our holiday was pretty lit, as the kids say. We pulled a mattress out in front of the fire for Christmas Eve, shot a video (not that kind of video), played games (maybe those kinds of games), ate meatballs (this is where the innuendo is getting ridiculous), and zoomed with family. The sequin shrug is so warm I actually had to leave it for a colder day...but the new skirt made an outing to a very socially distanced, outdoor weekend dinner with Rob's folks. In which the temperature hit the high 60s.

Maybe my wardrobe won't need *that* much wintry beef...... 

Happy holidays--and I mean ALL the holidays, the world is a great big place--to all! And if you're looking to get fancy from the waist up for all those New Year's virtual celebrations, check out our tutorial for this super easy, one-hour shrug (if that...y'all...it's a rectangle) here on the channel. 


20 Sewing Gifts for Under 20 Bucks

20 Sewing Gifts for Under 20 Bucks | oonaballoona by marcy harriell

Now THAT’s the kind of 2020 I can get behind. 

I’m all about the fun in function when it comes to sewing tools. Add to that Rob's penchant for peril, and you come up with two armloads worth of some very intriguing goods in our holiday on-the-cheap video (complete with Rob's Danger Stocking™️ for the sharp bits). There's lots more than pictured here, and you can head over to the channel to see all the bit and bobs. But if your peepers prefer a static read, here's the truncated list on my pink cutting mat:

lint roller with a cover! Pens in fruity colors that disappear with heat. A fan (for fun, but with inspiring results). Make PDF taping time happier with a pink flamingo! Let's get hazardous: three pairs of rainbow-hued medical scissors (the comments have some great suggestions on how to use these, aside from Rob's *aha* moment)...some VERY dangerous cutters that live ON YOUR FINGER....and a buttonhole chisel blade with all the options you need. A wooden seam roller for those times when you're low on patience. You can push the button on this toy iron that lights up and makes sound, and just pretend you're pressing that seam open. (But pressing seams is awesome. Try this actual iron. And this wax chalk that disappears with heat!). Rulers that help you draw fashion! My favorite berry-hued scissors in teal (guess who's picking up another pair this holiday season). Rainbow-hued pattern clips, standard hued chalk and wheel, magical stuff that keeps your knit fabric in line. Quilters have the best tools, like these quilter's rulers, and this neon glow tape for marking just about anything--apparently, we're going to see what it looks like under a blacklight with Tide splattered all over the wall. Rob's suggestion. 

You see why he coined the phrase Danger Stocking.

Watch us fool around with all these tools and more on our YT Channel! 

Wishing you safety outside, if that’s where you must be, and calm inside, if that's where you can be 💗

product links are affiliated, and pennies earned go towards creating more technicolor content!


Sunday Singin'

Sunday Singin' | oonaballoona by marcy harriell
photo by Richard Termine

I was at a Zoom Town Hall meeting for "Navigating the Business as a Mixed Heritage Actor" earlier this week. Yes, it was as solid-gold-depressing as it sounds.

Suffice it to say, the "professionals" who were "helping" us only narrowed the already minuscule mixed-heritage-box to nano-particles. But what I took away from it was this: I can keep creating my own box, and wait for the slowpokes to catch up.


What's been weird, but also pretty awesome, is that our YouTube "Channel" box is turning out to be a positive outlet for us. I put "channel" in quotes because, as an actor, I find it equal parts amusing and absurd that everyone can have a "channel" now. But I likes it! I LIKE OUR CHANNEL! 

After years of living in the channels of industry-created boxes, it's heartening to be able to build our own box, with the lid left WIDE OPEN. And we're both floored that, in the three months since we started creating our little corner-of-happy in earnest, we've gotten over 14,000 members in our Technicolor Troop. People who couldn't care one stitch about any box.

Today's video is one of the happiest moments of my onstage life. Beautiful humans, Director Chase Brock, and Music Director Rob Berman, who both constantly strive to smash boxes to bits, wanted me for what I was as a whole. I wasn't confined to songs that "fit me" racially. I was released into whatever role fit...me. At one point, I was Mary Tyler Moore.

Here, I'm Barbra Streisand to Ana Gasteyer's (another beautiful human whose hands I was thrilled to squeeze every night) Judy Garland, in a recreation of their iconic duet. We learned this at a rollercoaster pace, and it was the best thrill ride ever. I hope it brings you some happy this week...because whatever the outcome, we're gonna need it. 

Get your happy here, and leave that lid wide open, my friends. The better to let the technicolor in 💕