willy wonka is a BWOF magazine.

on a bright sunny day on the first of july, i skipped down to my local newsstand (located, conveniently, 2 blocks from my house), one of the few newsstands i've come across that actually carries burda world of fashion magazine (again, convenient-- that or someone knows there are a few chicks living in the west hollywood area that would dig it.) anyway, skipping. which was odd because after my purchase, i was on my way to the pet hospital to visit the ever-sick cat. but i was allowed skipping pre-visit. i felt like charlie and the chocolate factory. i was going to buy the golden ticket. treasures awaited.

then the man told me it wouldn't be in for another three months. insert crestfallen oona here, trudging head hung to the pet hospital, magazine-less and in for three hours of various wailing animals.

but he LIED! it finally arrived mid month. i'm sure they were quite tired of me by then, pawing daily at the old june issue. what's that you say? i could've tried the june issue? feh. not for 10 bucks an issue. popping the proverbial burda cherry needed to be special. (i'm that way.)

and it WAS! i love this magazine! i spent my one day off this week making my first pattern from it. and i'm glad i waited this long to try it-- i needed to make many other patterns before this, because THIS magazine assumes you know something. it is streamlined. it is concise. it is not wasteful with words or excess pattern paper. it is german, after all. (they do give one sewing course per magazine, with drawings, i can only assume for silly americans.)

the material for this top was destined for someone else, but er, uh, it ended up for ME. my birthday is coming and so the brattiness has begun. my folks and i are taking over the surrounding vicinity for a week in august, as we all have birthdays in that merry month, and i plan on having many new things to wear. look out burda WOF, i'm not a virgin anymore-- you will be used and abused.

thaaaaaaaaat's right BWOF. you know you like it.


i feel the earth move under my feet

well, more like slide around under my feet. we had a bunch of earthquakes here in LA today, although i guess most of them were aftershocks. like 24 of them. i've got limited internet time as web type things are in flux, but i thought it was interesting that i planned on posting this pic today of my very! first! burda WOF magazine! because it reminds me of a map of shaky terrain. and that's just what we got today. i've been enclosed in a small room with singers and musicians all day, so i don't really know the extent of the quakes, but i think most californians may be considering it life as usual. i hope.

gotta go sing... but sewing goodness tomorrow, courtesy of the map above...



you know i'm excited when i use the caps key.  the first time i tried it, this burdastyle pattern made me doubt any intelligence i might have in any area of life, let alone sewing. but after a night poring over the instructions with one of r's famous gin martinis, something clicked.

maybe it has to do with the gin martinis.

i wish i had a picture of my first attempt, a blatant copy of this wonderful version by lauren. it was quite pathetic. it's still stuffed in a ball in the back of the closet.  i ran into several problems... the instructions had mislabeled pieces, i cut the back piece out twice, i put the lining in upside down, and oh yeah, i didn't have enough fabric.  just a few minor glitches. this one was going swimmingly until r pointed out that the intended gathered empire waist made me look pregnant. (lauren, yours doesn't look preggers, how did you do it?) in hindsight i'm glad i have a husband who thinks i have a hot body and likes my clothes to fit, but at the time i went ballistic. (yes, i know. so i now add to the list: r feeds me alcohol, homemade hummus, and thinks my bod's hot. do not rip his head off.) 

even though i was fuming during most of the 3 days it took to fix it, i'm glad the pregnant waist is gone. thanks, r. you are my own personal tim gunn.  (but, you know, you like girls.)


WOH wrap-up: YOU made a LOT of stuff.

behold, bloggers' bounty from our week of happy!  

click on any row to be whisked away to many happy blogs.

seriously, would you just look at all the stuff we all made? are you convinced? i am! creativity might be a luxury (in the best sense of the word), but it is also most definitely a necessity. i need it like air, water and gin martinis.
seeing your creativity at play this week was so inspiring, and enabling (again, in the best sense of the word). so no more fooling around, i'm making time to fool around every day. even if it's a moment (as evidenced by row 5's quick creation: the lakshmi stapler. how much happier would stapling be?).

thank you all so much for playing with me.

click on any of the pics above to land at the blogs of these wonderful creators...

(row 1: eileen's garden, row 2: the incurable homebody, row 3: marmota's corner
row 4: much- adored, row 5: blog-less friend in town, row 6: me)


WOH, day seven: the circle is complete.

or rather, the stripey stripey lines have come full circle...i took this skirt (before pic below) from my mom's magical attic. every time i looked in that attic, there was some new-vintage-awesomeness that i desperately needed to steal. often with the promise of NEVER EVER cutting said awesomeness up. but this floor length skirt had seen better days (many of which i spent wearing it into the ground), so it's getting a new life as a maxi-dress. still needs darts, and a zipper, but i think gathering the courage for more stripey creativity is a good end to the week of happy challenge, even if i didn't finish...

we're running out to see the man in a big movie...


a little music for your WOH day seven, courtesy of mick at muchadored. she swapped this awesome mix with me awhile back, and i've listened to it pretty much non-stop this past week. aptly named "creative to the max", it has really been inspiring! unfortunately i couldn't download all the songs at muxtape (they only allow 12) and man was it hard deciding which had to go...
click on the tape to hear some good tunes! i'm putting mine on now to see what day seven will bring...


WOH, day six: ain't technology grand

i'm tired of my header. well, let's face it, today i'm tired in general. (i am just now realizing it could have something to do with the 3 vials of blood they took for our yearly physicals yesterday. hmmm...). so for day six, after copious amounts of coffee and with good jazz on the tube, i played in photoshopland whilst r played in videogameland. a very lazy, very nice saturday.

i was inspired by julie ree's beautiful, clean featherweight header. haven't figured out what to put in that vase... i'm sort of liking that one... probably none of these are done yet, but it was fun and relaxing messing around.

and, um, my mood was not helped by skipping WOH day five. mr. balloona especially noted a mark-ed drop. (hence the hummus, and oh yeah, the gin martini. which was awesome. have i mentioned that gin is good for cramps? at least, that's what the july issue of O said. i knew oprah was good for something. note to self: r feeds me homemade hummus and mixed drinks when certain visitors arrive. do not bite his head off. but i digress.) maybe i'm one of those people who really has to do something, anything creative, every day. the problem is, i think it's frivolous to take time out for it, you know, what with the state of the world, the state of my mind, the state of texas. of course i think it's perfectly fine and well advised for every other creative person in the world. like all of you. (and especially you, geri... welcome back!)

WOH, day five: i flaked.

but r didn't, he made black olive hummus...

i toasted the pita bread, does that count?

(oona hangs head in shame and goes to bed.)


WOH, day four: and the peeps, they dance, they shake their bootys

i think it's well past surfing time in more than a few areas of the globe that do check this blog (areas? more than one is plural, yes?) but i did not flake! r & i have been at a health fair all day long here in LA, and we met some very wonderful, infectiously happy people. i taught a dance class (an afro-brazilian dance class) on top of a building (a 17 story building) on a helipad (a HELIPAD!).  how cool is that? so my day four WOH creation is booty shakin. dance-right-off-the-roof booty shakin. seriously, the railing was not that big. i decided, rather quickly, to take any and all spins OUT of the routine.

i have to admit that i was stressed out about this class. r set up the entire event, and this was the big finish. i don't think i would have been as confident creatively about it, truly, if i hadn't been creating on the days leading up to it. i was still crazy nervous, and of course i would've done a few things differently, but It. Was. FUN.

we've both been on all day, and i am dog tired, as is r. tank decided to overheat a few times on the way home, for good measure. r's vegging with the ultimate fighter (a favorite of both balloonas; these guys are amazing, they beat the absolute hell out of each other and then cry and hug and are complete BFFS) and i'm playing with photoshop. with some good oaky chardonnay, of course.

tomorrow we're both creating good health by going for our annual physicals, but i promise something a bit more fun than a doctor's visit. until then, WOHs from YOU: you know him, you love him, BIG DADDY's got a hosta named after him in eileen's garden... and a plant that would spark a rumbling in anyone's stomach grows in maya's spot... the rumbling fruitfully continues at marmota's... and mick is spinning yarn, bellydancing, and taking a really gorgeous picture while she's at it. like, i'm this far away from stealing it. but bed is closer. so to bed i go.


WOH, day two: get snappy

my day two WOH has to do with dancing-- and just to prove we are sympatico, i woke up this morning to this video from r, courtesy of the NYtimes blog. i defy you not to grin while watching.

i was at the dentist, but no! i did not welch on the challenge! this creation just had to be something portable. i'm teaching an afro brazilian dance class this thursday, and i thought instead of throwing on a cd, i'd create a mix. i was excited to make you all a muxtape, but they only accept mp3s... so here at least is the playlist:

i'm hoping it makes them boogie half much as matt does. maybe i should serve mojitos...

(PS: more sympatico bloggness, mick belly boogied for day two! and maya has joined in with something every stylish girl needs for the dog days of summer [and she did it without a pattern, i'm telling you, she's got elves])


WOH, day one: my name is oona and i come in peace

despite the menacing paddle hanging on the wall.

so this is my first week-of-happy creation! i've had this material for just under two years now. i loved it at the store, got it home, and realized there wasn't much i could do with it (other than maybe a halloween costume... court jester, anyone?). then i saw an old photo of mr. balloona's mom in a hooded caftan-- as a kid he called it her "joseph robe"-- and i wanted it. there's nothing like 70's style, baby. a few months later, i came across the exact pattern at an estate sale, about 4 sizes too big. of course i bought it. from a very anxious, ferret-like woman who looked as if she might run away at any moment. she must have rubbed off on me, cause i hid from this pattern like it was the boogeyman.

day one of WOH is apparently the day to grow some balls, as i was possessed to gleefully cut away the seam allowance from the vogue pattern (which is surely NOT the way to size a pattern down) and then hack into those stripes. i had a great time! i didn't worry about how it was going to come out AT ALL! and it was great to make something completely frivolous, with no worries of the recipient seeing that one of the arms is sewn inside out. i am the recipient and I DON'T CARE!

i'll be throwing this on every morning this week to remind myself to have fun and create. which you are also doing! eileen's garden is blooming with flowers of sci-fi height... marmota's got bling that'll make you jealous... and mick is spinning around in creative circles (by the by, happy birthday, mick)!


i'm so fabulous.

not really. well, yes i am. but not in a pretentious way. lest you think lala land has finally had its way with me.

becky at sew-and-so gave me this fancy blog award-- it was created by arte y pico, which roughly translates to art & tip, or art & break. anyone know which? (EDIT: cesarina does! art and then some. love it.) at any rate, either translation coincides quite nicely with the impending kickoff to my week-of-happy challenge! thanks becky!

to accept this honor, i must post the rules, which are: link the giver (check), and creator (check), then choose and link five blogs deserving of this award for their "creativity, design, interesting material, and contribution to the blogging community, no matter what language." EEK! okay. i choose:

the incurable homebody: a fellow burdastyler, maya creates garments that look like the fabrics talked amongst themselves and then morphed into her desire one sunny breezy morning. i LOVE her taste.

sewable: another burdite, geri makes her own awesome patterns (she is basically a clothing architect) and most generously shares them... and she makes me lol, as the kids say, with her great sense of humor.

much adored: mick knits so beautifully, she makes me want to take up knitting again. (then i remember the skullcap sweatshop that was the christmas of '99.) and she's got gorgeous taste in music, which you will hear about soon--we were introduced through a musical swap set up by...

casey's musings: miss the prettiness of yesteryear? this year's tapered pants got you down? visit casey. it's like living your favorite classic movie. you'll never mourn the passing of when-you-could-pull-off-a-micro-mini again.

u-handblog: you probably know about lisa... not only does she create awesome handbags of all sorts, she inspires others to join her by sharing fantastic tutorials, and holding many contests to keep the creativity going. and her "about me" photo (banging away on the drums) is genius.

all of these ladies create out the wazoo on a regular basis. i hope to create half as much as them with my upcoming challenge. mick, i'm so glad you're in! if you'd like to join us (hana, i'm looking at you...) please do. if ya want, you can even grab the little button i made today in photoshop. yes, that's right. i've got mad skillz. just paste this html code into your sidebar:

<a href="http://oonaballoona.blogspot.com/"><img src="http://lh4.ggpht.com/marcysweb/SG_qeV17atI/AAAAAAAAASw/6-kfzXudKmE/s288/

of course, you don't have to use the button to play. i'm just insanely proud of myself for figuring out html code and all that shite.

the rules are simple: starting monday, for one week, you must post each day about something you've created, that day. big or teeny. sew something, plant a seed, make a robot, play your guitar. the theory being that creating makes you happy, and happy opens the door for all things bright and beautiful to walk into your life.

and that's fabulous.


co-dependence day

r is home! r is home! happy co-dependence day! and he brought me chilean candy!

so, remember when i said i would be bringing the creative noise? i lied. let me explain. we basically spent the first two years of our marriage apart. i was on tour, r was in NY. first, the rule was no longer than six weeks apart. then four. it quickly dwindled to one week. now, thirteen years later, we don't like to spend so much as a weekend away from each other. but spend it we did, two whole weeks alone in this train wreck of a town. i decided i would handle it by doing something creative every day (INSERT LAUGHTER OF THE FATES HERE). instead i got fourteen days full of some very crappy auditions (at one, i was asked to RAP) and round three of the vet hospital with layla. don't ask. i did have a few good days at the beginning of the trip, when r was in chile and i was excited for him--painted the apartment once again--but that quickly dwindled, probably around the time he got food poisoning from a bland piece of tuna, and then really coming on full force when he was with our friends, announcing pregnancies (theirs) and eating various grilled meats.

(by the way, how awesome is my husband: worst food poisoning of his life and he STILL brought me candy. it was waiting for me, arrayed on my desk when i woke up today. i'm most excited about the black and white tuyo bar, i'm pretty sure that wrapper is destined for a frame.)

it was not fun. but it could have maybe been bearable if i had stayed creative. and i don't know how many times i have to have the epiphany that good things come our way when we're happy before it finally sinks in. so i'm issuing myself a little challenge. starting monday, i will create something every day, and post about it every day. and i'm extending it to anyone that might want to join in. and you can do whatever it is that makes you happy--doesn't matter if it's cooking or gardening or wrenching on your car--you just have to post about it every day for a week. i'm calling it the Week Of Happy. i hope you will join me!