Object of Desiree

I just don’t know many people named Desiree. So when I read something about this one, the iffily competant WH social secretary:

this dress is a dream. you know ... the one where you find yourself naked in public.

I can only think of this one,  Little Britain’s ex-Olympic gymnast:

also dressed in cream colored fabric that doesn't cover enough flesh

Anyone else do that?

Near Disaster Averted

Without really planning it, it turns out that I’m headed for a retro kitchen decor.

The clock. I have a cute little kitchen clock that I am very attached to. The clock is shaped like the silhouette of a fat chef. I know, I know, fat chefs are out. Do you think I like admitting that I’m attracted to this thing? I much prefer to present myself as a design sophisticate but I love this thing. By the way,  the hands of the clock are a knife and a fork. With that detail, my humiliation is complete. But wait, this isn’t the type of fat Euro chef that you’ve seen all over Bed Bath and Beyond for the last several years. This is a cartoony kind of chef with a fat round clock belly, holding up a cup of steaming soup.  The whole thing is pretty much white on white but there is one thin red stripe on the soup bowl.

look at the time! it's already 25 knives past a fork!

The key holder. Then I thought this would be a good time to remake our key holder. Right now, the keyholder is a one-of-a-kind concoction –  a wooden plank that has 8 nails pounded into it, 2 on each border of the plaque. Then twine is wrapped around the nails to form the outline of a cross. My daughter made it in nursery school. She’s 25 now. We put it on the wall as soon as you enter the kitchen and it seemed natural to hang our sets of keys on the nails. It used to have dried flowers inside the cross part but I guess they fell out somewhere in the intervening years since we hung it up.

The poop bag holder. Now I’m thinking that a nice wooden plaque painted white with a red stripe along the routered edge would go really well with the chef clock. Add a few cup hooks and there we are.  I went to Michael’s to pick one up and I saw a piece of wood in the shape of a dog bone. Two more hooks and we have a nice place to hang the dog’s leash and the poop bag holder we need when we walk him. This one doesn’t have a routered edge to stripe up so maybe some red polka dots would tie it in. Or thin red zig-zagged stripes to emulate rick rack -that would make it more retro, don’t you agree?

The pin cushion. From one of the nails on the cross/key holder swings a round pin cushion that has 10 spools of thread connected to the edges. This thing is about 10 years old, and the white, black and beige thread ran out long ago. We got used to the convenience of the pin cushions that holds exactly one needle and about 4 straight pins that came out of a new shirt when we opened the package. But, hey –  if we ever need a straight pin, we know right where to go.

Now here’s the thing – I have a sewing thing from my mother’s house. So hard to describe. The ladies in her dress factory got together to surprise her with this homemade item as a wedding gift in 1950. It’s a shelf, sort of, with three dowels on the top – two for spools of thread and a shorter one in the middle for  a thimble. Below that is an attached pin cushion. It’s painted avocado green right now because it had to fit into my mother’s personal mission to to own a home in which 100% of the contents were that single color.She told me that when she received it,  it was white with red accents and the pin cushion was covered in red fabric. I wish I could remember if she said red gingham or red calico, but I can’t.

Anyhoo, I am going to paint it white again, and stripe the edges with a thin red line.

Decorative accents. I’ve accumulated odds and ends and forgot about them once they were out of sight but I apparently the subconcious me was gatehring them, waiting for my retro-lovin’ light bulb to go off.

  • A wooden rolling pin that belonged to my great grandmother  -the only item that can rightfully be called a family heirloom. Still works!
  • A charming flour sifter with a  49c price stamp on it from Woolworth’s. It’s white enamel with red cherries painted on the sides. This belonged to my mother’s sister.
  • a small ceramic bowl of ceramic fruit, which I gave to my mother as a present sometime before 1980. It sat on her kitchen counter all that time and was the only thing that wasn’t avocado green in the entire room.
  • salt and pepper shakers that started out as containers for instant coffee. Maxwell house, I think. The red lids they came with already had holes punched into the tops so that when he coffee was gone, the shakers were all set to go once you took out the waxed lid liner. These were inconstant use in that house from the day the coffee ran out and screwed up the avocado greenness of the pantry since the late 60s, early 70s. Can’t remember exactly.

Enamorment, then disaster. Finally, here’s the near disaster part.

I haven’t sewn anything in years but I suddenly have the urge to make my own curtains for this project. And I found the perfect fabric for it.   After mulling it over for  a week, I went back to pricey retro fabric site whee I found it to purchase it and it had disappeared – out of stock, no indication that it would ever return to stock.  Despair! The internet wasn’t any help at all in tracking it down, but God bless eBay. There it was.

Don’t get excited. I’m making just simple valences out of this, not covering whole windows. But imagine the strong gold walls, the white accent pieces with thin red stripes, the ceramic bowl of ceramic fruit with cherries on the top of the fruit pile, the white woodwork, the 2″ blinds. Spanky and Alfalfa could come knocking on the door any minute. That’s exactly the look I’m going for.

I’m very excited about being able to add this project to my lifelong stream of passions that no one else gets.

Don’t you  just hate it when you get yourself all worked up in anticipation for a big event and then poof! it’s all over?  Let Down City. That’s why we can all be thankful for the historic unprecedented first-ever White House state dinner this week.

It just keeps getting better.

First, the party crashers. Who among us does not admire the brazen chutzpah that it takes to:

  • even attempt to crash a party where admission is regulated by the best security the country has to offer
  • have a camera crew follow the full-day preparations for the event
  • put it up on Facebook for all the world to see
  • go on the  Larry King show to discuss the details

how YOU doin'?

I was wrong to accuse Joe Biden of being in cahoots on plan to crash the party. When you get a crowd of Obama  faithfuls together you could slip some cash to any one of them and they’d leave the  side gate unlatched. Maybe Mrs. Rahm Emanuel  sees future need for a little pin money of her own or perhaps Katie Couric could use 50 bucks for more dance lessons. It could have been any one of them.

Second, the official White House menu for the event was riddled with typos and fraught with omissions. I think the question must be asked: if they can’t get something as small as the menu details down right, how can they manage universal health care? Will  Michelle as hostess take responsibility for releasing this flawed menu, or is she still preoccupied with taking credit for the china selection?

(In a charming gesture of sympathy for this goof, the blogger here illustrates how easy it is to make a mistake of this kind by posting the following phrase: “… and honey fro the WHite House beehive.” Wasn’t that sweet?

I daresay that a lot more time was spent planning this dinner than is being devoted to the details of the various heath care plans being floated.

Ladies Who Won’t Stop Talking

Brazen Couple Crash White House State Dinner – Then Blog About It

thanks, joe! we'll return the favor someday

These two – gotta love ‘em. On the Nerves of Steel scale, they get a big 10 but on the Awareness of Future Consequences scale, they are barely registering. Welcome to IRS audits, TSA searches and FBI tails for the rest of your lives, folks. If they just kept it to themselves, the only other person who would have known was the person they put the fix in with to let them in. My candidate for that role is good old Uncle Joe, pictured here in the midst of an over-familiar embrace. Poor old Barry – now the event will be known forever more as the night the WH security was crashed by two amateur social climbers instead of as the glittering state dinner in a tent.

Girly Man Has No Exit Strategy

Check out the video of Barry O pardoning the  Thanksgiving turkey. He stays on camera about three minutes too long.  Pronounces “Disneyland” 5 times during 5 mintue speech. Also intoned eloquent presidential-like phrases such as sucker and screw up. Teleprompter took off early for the  holiday, I guess.

at least he didn't bow to the turkey

MOO Keeps on Chewing the Service Cud

Good lord , does this woman never stop yammering? MOO made a “heartfelt” statement for Thanksgiving that included a single sentence of gratitude, a wallop of guilt, a pitch for the service organization and a step by step directive of what “Barack and I” want you to do next.  Meanwhile, her husband spent his time issuing  a special Hajj message  to the world’s muslims. Swear to Allah, he did.

How Now MOO Cow?

From Our Department of You Can Dress Her Up But You Can’t Take Her To A Tent:

nom nom nom

In a display unprecedented for a first lady, World Famous Fashion Icon and Busy Mom™ Michelle Obama hunches forward  and eats with her fingers at a White House state banquet.  This is historic – no first lady has ever done this at a formal state dinner before. Moments later, she was seen hiding behind her hands attempting to avoid detection as she sucked food bits out of her teeth:

pinch me

So … how’d I do with the MOO outfit prediction? Let’s take a look:

It was just as shiny as could be, wasn’t it? I was right about the simplicity of the gown and also about the presence of the wrap, but I had assumed it would actually be used to cover some of that flesh. What a disappointment to me that no tiara like thing was evident in her hairdo, but there certainly COULD have been something in there. We may never know. Her jewelry was indeed restrained as she limited herself to only two 5″ long earrings and 24 bracelets.

I can find no pictures of her footwear to determine if they were flats or heels, but evidently MOO has no qualms about towering over her guests. In fact, it seems quite a deliberate move on her part to not only tower on level ground but to take any measure possible to dwarf tiny  dignitaries even further by forcing them to stand one step down.

howdja do?

All in all, the evening  was a major success for our gal MOO. Here she is giving herself the partial Squint of Approval and the Prune Face of Delight.

Little Eye of Mirth

And so my friends, the secret  of the Little Eye is revealed. It’s not Little Eye at all – she’s winking with delight!

Looking Forward

Hillary Mansfield Clinton

I’m looking forward to seeing World Famous Fashion Icon and Busy Mom™ Michelle Obama’s outfit for the Obama WH state dinner honoring the Indian Prime Minister this week. I fully expect that MOO will appear ina  flattering outfit that is classy and traditional. This one is for the history books and she knows that these are the photos that are going to be trotted out and compared to other First Ladies. She won’t risk looking bad next to not only Jackie O but the surprisingly elegant Hilary Clinton, so she’ll bow to professional advice and appear in something age-appropriate, flattering and elegant.

I’ve seen it written that she appears in a great (read: not awful) outfit about 1 in 10 times. I disagree. The ratio is far more unbalanced than that. This time, I’m quite confident that she won’t insist on any of her garish and off-putting style signatures and select something that disguises  that freakishly short torso and minimizes the protruding butt.

My predictions about her gown:

  • it will be extremely shiny
  • it won’t have  ruffles, layers or a belt
  • she’ll wear low-heeled shoes under it for the dual purpose of underplaying that  lumbering gait and to reduce the effect of towering over her guests in the photos
  • her jewelery will be traditional and restrained but she’ll have something sparkling worked into her hair to evoke a frigging tiara
  • there will be some kind of shawl or shoulder wrap as a nod to the sari

I further predict that in a few weeks, we’ll be subjected to official White House photos of Malaria and Sausage gazing up at their mother as she gets dressed for the occasion.