and i shall christen the bernina in the bathroom.

oonaballoona bernina christmas

okay okay OKAY.   i'm so excited i whisper scream to myself every thirty seconds or so, and i'm not even drunk.   (a constant state of holiday tipsy does not equal drunk. them's the rules.)   SANTA BEEN BERY BERY GOOD TO ME.  and on top of that, santa had the great wisdom to let me in on the decision.   i unwrapped a vintage ornament this christmas to find it nestled in a wad of cash...and i am under strict orders to use that cash for a new bernina.

for once, i am following orders.  mark this date well.

the rugster explained the family's intentions.  babe, we wanted to have one under the tree, but i thought you'd want to pick the model.  you'll probably want mechanical over digital.  you can get one like gertie's, she did a two year review of hers--


okay.   i'm telling you, pint sized freak outs every thirty seconds.  i would go balls out every time, but i feel i should keep them under a certain girth, i don't wanna blow my bernina wad just yet.  after all, there's still the homecoming, which may set off the richter scale.  here's where i need your help.   of course i've been trolling my girls lladybird, heather lou & gertie, all proud owners of variations of the sexy bernina beasties... anyone out there wanna add some advice?  mechanical?  digital?  feet? vodkas?  i'm all ears!



a happy, and a merry, and a lovely, but most importantly a boozy to you. and you and you and you.
love, oona


ghosts of christmas past

this post, originally entitled "evil dead christmas," first showed its ghastly face in december of 2011.  it's one of my favorites, and if you're new to these parts i thought you might enjoy this shameless regurgitation.  merry scary, ya'll.
our holidays started december first, when we visited our much missed hollow legged amigos in their new abode. full of unstoppable christmas cheer, we decided to try a seasonal lights hayride.  we brought The Child.  at the very beginning, one excited patron stood up to take a picture.  SIT DOWN NOW, the head farmhand blared.  Hot Mama and i muttered merry friggin christmas to each other, and we were off.

the first stop was santa's workshop, where elves who obviously pulled double duty for halloween hayrides stuck sharp objects into mysterious boxes.

this one needed no weapon.  just rocked gleefully up and down, hands poised for choking.  

they parked us in santa's lair for a good five minutes.  i think their goal was to scare us into submission.  it worked: even though head farmhand disappeared some time during the workshop layover, no one dared to get up again.  

the ride continued.

that unoccupied swing by the obviously haunted mansion swung slowly back and forth of its own volition.  listen, ruggy breathed, you can hear it creaking.  indeed you could, loud and clear over the christmas tunes blaring on the cart we were all prisoners on.

killer clown racing across the steaming fields.


nothing says christmas like the holiday classic "proud to be an american".  complete with lighted flag.  the withered hands appeared somewhere around the last verse. 

on the left: unsuspecting fools.  on the right: freedom.

we left scarred for life.  The Child left asleep.


sewist does not equal crafter

sweet marguerite, how i love her smile. we met through the sew weekly, where her infectious grin never failed to light up the screen. though i'm pretty abysmal at sew alongs, her "sew tiny" grabbed me. something christmasy! something portable! something tiny!
cue the reminder that I AM NO GOOD AT CRAFTS.
seriously i suck at them. this is a constant source of shock to me. i suppose i think craftiness should come as an instant bonus prize to sewiness. they should go hand in hand, like gin and vermouth. but the two disciplines are not happily married in kalkatroona. i envisioned hand embroidered gift tags that would transform into ornaments aftre the prize was unwrapped.... how very green of me! instead i got something that is so obviously handmade it's likely the recipients will think i've been hiding offspiring from them. small offspring who are very bored and have been playing with my stash.
but! i did accomplish the "portable" part. sewing one (ONE) tag ornament up occupied me for the entire holiday flight. i won't tell you how long the flight was because it's embarrasing. i WILL tell you that there was no alcohol, which is also embarrasing.
gorgeous tiny works are beginning to pop up over marguerite's--behold this sneak peek and this bunny brooch...this fantastic fox stole isn't tiny but I LOVES IT SO MUCH...you still have time to join in! come on, it'll keep me going on these damn fugly tag-aments!


it's evolution baby

lately i've been looking at my "finished" stuff, and realizing it's not finished.  usually after i've taken pictures of it. this has happened before, and will happen again...

now i totally have to watch BSG for the third time through.

but now it's less about fixing things, and more about adding things.  the cylons, they have evolved from worker robots to intelligent beings!  (i don't know if that analogy fits.  cylons were humans first? or maybe the robots made the humans?  or some of them were ghosts.  yeah.  okay battle star.)  take for example my last MSN make: i need to fix the wrinkly back, but more than that, i want those aforementioned petals!  and my current offering, pictured above: yes, it is made of pleather and faux fur, but as i was editing the pictures i wanted MORE.  cuffs! rhinestone buttons!  black patent leather pumps!

(no carolyn, i have not acquired black shoes.  this cylon photoshopped her pumps.*)

so once again i say to you, if you'd like to see this dress in its current state of evolution, hop on over to mood.  i'll bring it round these parts once i have my way with it again.  i wonder, this repetitive behavior, does it have something to do specifically with MSN creations?  am i not thinking them through?  am i overthinking them? does dean stockwell have me in a regeneration tub?  am i just out of st germain?

i am out of st germain.  it's a problem.

*no fabric was harmed in the photoshopping of this post.


i feel a song comin on

There's a rhythm that New Yorkers fall easily into, on subways and on sidewalks and in buses and good lord yes, in crowded supermarkets, but the rhythm in-transit is especially interesting. Where you're detained until your destination. No one to push past, once the initial entrance-- no groceries to distract you; can't snarl at a rude being like you might, oh, say in line at the post office-- you keep your eyes down but aware, cause the crazy next to you is itching for a captive audience, and you could have four or forty stops to go.

I have this daydream that I'll get a whole subway car to burst into song together, like a musical, only with awesome music (look, some musicals suck). Maybe after a Yankees game, or an election, or, you know, during the holidays. This time of year seems exactly right, everyone has an air of anticipation in these early days of December: there's still plenty of time to get everything done! And who remembers that the January-February-March post holiday blinding rage that goes ON AND ON AND ON is RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER? NOT ME, SIR!!! I think I could get that first-week-of-December-car to belt it out as deeply as I believe I have super secret mutant powers of invisibility, flight and telekinesis just waiting to blossom.

Yesterday on the A train (a bit on the nose for this musical musing, but true) a toddler quietly lalalaaaaaaa'd something extremely reminiscent of Barney's tune. YOU KNOW THE ONE. The train stopped between stations, indefinitely. Or rather, as the operator put it, indefffly. Toddler began to lala louder. After forty seconds or so of this, a stranger seated next to her looked down, smiled, and, almost embarrassed, barreled through iloveyouyoulovemewe'reahappyfamily (awkward pause)...that's whatcher singin, right? 

It's hard not to miss, I grinned from across the aisle. Stranger agreed: who c' forget it? Mother hung her head. Yeeeeeah.  

Only's it's way cuter coming out of her than a purple dinosaur, I offered.

We all smiled at each other as the train pulled forward, and with an air of nonchalance returned our gazes to the fascinating (yet obviously boring) things all around us. Three women: Latina, possibly Jewish, and whatever I am, staring at Art Of Shaving ads and the contents of people's pushcarts. When that train began to move again, we immediately adopted the proper amount of that was a nice exchange but don't worry I'm not crazy, you have no idea what stop is mine and I don't want you to freak about holding up a conversation with me till maybe the Bronx.

So far I've only reached the "support level" of singing in trains (although I do recall several occasions where Rob and I found it extremely necessary to figure out the harmonies to Sam Cooke + Lou Rawls' tune "Bring it On Home to Me," in what was probably not our inside voices).

If you did it, if you chose to burst into song like some 1940s musical star without a care in the world, someone who knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that there would be an instantaneous, resounding and raucous chorus creating a cacophony within seconds, what song would you choose? Whaddaya think would make them sing?


if a tree is yarn bombed in the forest

Soooo, whatchadid this turkeyday? Me? Oh nothing much just me and Brilliant Chica YARN BOMBED MY CHRISTMAS TREE.


And it went a little somethin' like this:

Boys in the kitchen, cooking. As they do. Girls in the living room, plotting and drinking. As we do. All is right with the world. Chica!!! Ruggy says he doesn't even mind if the Christmas tree is up for Thanksgiving! He even put a holiday station on for me while we were cleaning for y'all!!!

Really?  Brilliant Chica gulped. Wow. He IS guilty about that bathroom.

Laughter ensued, as it is wont to do upon mention of le bain. We lamented, as we have done for 2 thanksgivings now, the lack of a gold metal tree. We googled, as we have done for 2 thanksgivings now, for a speedy cheap option. I like the squiggly one, Chica declared. No can do, too seussical for me, I replied with a sense of ‪déjà vu‬. We get into a lively discussion, as we have done for 2 thanksgivings now, about the possible connection of Dr Seuss's palm trees and my hate/love relationship with the (clearly mental) state of California.

This wee tree is interesting.... we click the image, and rear back at the price tag. Oh, Urban Outfitters. You so crazy. Fifty dollas for a yarn wrapped twig. Defeated, we pulled ourselves out of the treematrix, resigned to the white branchy duct taped job that has held court for 3 years. Plus, it was time for Ruggy & Mad Chef's homemade pizza. Oh I'm sorry, let me correct that, IT WAS TIME FOR THE FOOD OF THE GODS. Shrimp! Caramelized onions! Capers! BBQ sauce! Pears! Cheese! Italian sausage! NOT NECESSARILY SEPARATE!

The melding of ingredients caused another fusion: what if we wrap branchy tree in some sort of metal....Chica breathed in ponderous tones. I slapped the couch. YES. HELL YES. YOU GOT YOUR CHOCOLATE IN MY PEANUT BUTTER. THAT IS BRILLIANT WE ARE DOING THAT.

(I didn't say the chocolate part but that was the intention.)

The next day, boys continued to do their kitchen thing, and girls marched off, in the rain, to nine different stores in four hours. The metal was elusive, to say the least.  Chica lost her mind in Papyrus. Why don't we wrap it in ribbon that would totally work you don't even KNOW-- I raised my eyebrows, visions of a bandaged tree limping in my head, and escorted her to a cappuccino.

Our prize was found, of course, at the last store we went to, aaallll the way up on 100th street at Michaels: a gold toned ombre lace yarn. The look of metal with the wrappiness of yarn?! We had hit the jackpot! Oooh while we're here, lemme just grab some pine cones for the windowboxes, it'll be ever so festive. As we turned the corner from the no-mans-land of Frames into Holiday Decor, a stench of 90 proof cinnamon smacked us in the face, like the malevolent fog in the Hunger Games. Oh god, put them down! The smell is coming from the pinecones! THE SMELL IS COMING FROM THE PINECONES!!! DON'T TOUCH YOUR EYES!!!

We dropped sacks of burning cinnamon, fled towards the checkout, were briefly detained by the lure of dollar bin toys, and finally emerged from the hellmouth victorious.

The tree was wrapped to the soundtrack of 80s pop and 90s emo. The boys, occasionally glancing from the kitchen, were excited by our progress.  Hey gals, Mad Chef chirped, you know what you're making?!

NOooooooooOOOh! we eagerly sang, expecting the proper response: A work of art! Beauty like nothing we've ever seen before! SPUN GOLD!  

BARK,  both boys cried in unison.

As I opened my mouth to utter the phrase we've all come to know and love, Ruggy quickly amended: you know, like a birch tree.

And it's Ruggy for the save!  What bathroom?!

The tree, however, will need some armed guards to keep it protected. Chica has already decided we're hanging it from the ceiling next year.  

Our first thanksgiving avec tree! There's no hope for Ruggy now, the rule has been broken, it's tradition. Oh yeah, and I found a use for the rest of that off grain bandana print.