Gawd, I love/hate this game!

My super-triple-secret project is done, for now. The Pats are playing Indy in a gut-wrenching game, and I’m taking a break from screaming at the TV. It’s bad for the pipes, don’t you know.

So on to musings about things that have gone on in my little world this week.
There’s been a thread on PatternReview about stars. Here’s the back story. There’s a popularity contest over there that lets folks rate reviews and reviewers, and the ratings garner stars for the reviewer. Let me be up front. I have 4 stars. I got them when it was easier to get them. It’s like stock options if you are a single digit employee. You get rich faster. As the site has grown, it’s gotten harder to earn the stars, just thanks to the math. I’ve advocated, and some might say agitated, for a departure from this star system. But they remain. Fine, I can live with that.

But there are those who are, shall we say, obsessed with these stars.

We interrupt this program to say, Woo Hoo!!!!!! Go Pats! OMG, I’m not able to eat. If only the playoffs lasted all year. I’d be a size 4.

Anyway, I was saying. There are those who are, shall we say, obsessed with these stars. Why? Does it make you Queen For A Day? Or King For A Day? No. Does it improve your skills? No. Now, many of these folks- lots of them, deserve stars. Heck, I’d dole out stars for just showing up. But for many, it’s a popularity contest. I don’t like popularity contests. They propagate high school behaviors that I didn’t like then. And I was the yearbook photographer in high school for a reason, folks.

The thing that is bothering me is that no one is allowed to say that they don’t like the star system. Those of us who offer this opinion get shouted down, loudly. “You don’t really know me if you think I’m taking this “star” thing so seriously,” says one (very) frequent poster on this thread. Sure. Another says “Off with their heads.” Okay! Now, this thread was 16 pages long when I last looked. 16 pages! The shouters are all claiming that it’s tongue in cheek, but it sure didn’t sound that way for the first 14. Actually, it sounded like a pea-hen party, and that’s something that drives me crazy and propagates other stereotypes.

But let me interrupt this broadcast to say, Hey Peyton, where’s the end zone? Jiminy Christmas! I like the Colts. Not as much as the Pats of course, but let’s start playing football in the second half, can we?

BTW, Pats, for god’s sake, keep playing the way you are playing!!!

Okay, I’m off my soapbox. My pulse is back down to only very high from outrageous. But please, someone smack Deion Sanders for me, would you?

I asked for a better second half, right? Well, be careful what you ask for!

Oh, Kee-rist, my stomach is in knots!!!

What has two thumbs and don't give a sh*t?

Congratulations to the Colts! The bad news? The obvious. My boys lost. But what a freaking game!!!! Good on Indy, and good luck in the Super Bowl. Speaking of the Super Bowl, and thank you to “Scrubs” for this bit of inspiration, what has two thumbs and doesn’t give a damn?

Happy football!

More Required Reading

There must be something in the air lately. Or maybe it’s in the ether, I’m not sure. But today’s New York Times has another interesting article on the demise of polite discourse on the Internet. You can read this excellent article here at the NY Times Online. It’s well worth it.

And speaking of beastly behaviors on the Internet, I saw a post on a sewing-related site today in which the poster showed a new use for a needle, cleaning out her pierced ear holes (eeeeewwwwww!), and displayed a large picture of the results (triple eeeewwwww!!!). What comes over people that they think anyone would want to see that? It’s just gross. What’s next, posting pictures of one’s used Biore pore cleaning strips? Spare me, please. Well, I’ll say this, it’s one way to keep me thin. One look at that and I don’t need to eat for the rest of the day. And what it has to do with sewing is beyond me.

As an update, the site owner deleted that offensive post, finally!

Back to real sewing, the Laura Bennett dress is about half way cut out. The fabric is more of a bear to work with than I thought it was going to be, so I’m going extra slowly. Once it’s cut, putting it together will be easy. So stay tuned!

Happy sewing (and I’m not talking about through any appendages!)

Required Reading

I was just over at Stitchers Guild, where I just read the best, most thoughtful Post by DragonLady on Trolls and similar hazards in Internet forums. She nailed it on the head. Having been essentially driven off another site by an “Emotional Vampire”, this post resonated with me. The fact is that nasty folks are out there, and they take potshots from the relative anonymity of the Internet ether. When they get going, they can ruin what had been a great site. I’ve seen it done to others. I’ve had it done to me. It’s part of the reason I started this blog.

I’d like to suggest you have a read of DragonLady’s excellent article. It’s one of the best I’ve read on the net.

Happy posting.

Rumours of My Internet Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

I thought about calling this post “But I’m Not Dead Yet!” , but I’m not sure how many of you are Monty Python fans. Do you remember that skit? John Cleese is walking through the town with a wheelbarrow calling, “Bring out your dead!” One of the others brings out Michael Palin, who says, “But I’m not dead yet!”. Okay, it’s been a while since I saw that episode. If I got the wrong actors, please forgive me. And let me know so I can fix this post. Now back to the topic at hand….

First, please accept my sincere thanks to those who have asked me to continue posting. I promise I will. I will post here; I’ll post at The Sewing Divas. I’ll post at Stitchers’ Guild. I may even post again at PatternReview. I haven’t made up my mind, but I’m not spending a lot of thought on it. I’ll say this, any decision I make won’t be public. That’s no commentary on MB’s post. Which, by the way, was a fine example of irony. Most people don’t get irony. MaryBeth does. Brava, MB!

No, I’m not going away. I’m working on an interesting fitting issue on my Butterick Dress, It has to do with matte jersey and crosswise stretch. I’m going to talk about that as soon as it’s done, which will be tomorrow. At the same time, I’m helping my friend Danielle ready her store to reopen. She was struck by lightning in July. It caused a fire, after which someone broke in an looted the store. Man, people can be so nasty. I wish there was a nasty free zone. I’d send those thieves, and a few other choice folks, there to spend some time. Snarky I can handle. Heck, snarky I can respect. Nasty? Get behind me; you’re not worth it.

And speaking of nasty-free spaces on the Net, I heartily endorse Stitcher’s Guild. It’s a moderated site that attracts a lot of sewing enthusiasts. Many of those have talents to which I can only aspire. Good folks, fair and balanced, and moderators who keep the place on an even keel. Another forum to which I occasionally contribute, and which I recommend, is Threads’ Gatherings Forum.

Nah, I’ll curse/bless you with my presence for while yet. And I’ll make my presence known. I’m a Diva after all. We Divas always have to make our presence known! Yep, stay tuned. There’s lots more to come.

Happy sewing!

How do you Rate?

I’ve been thinking about this for the last few weeks. There are some websites to which I subscribe, not all sewing related, that in your profile, ask you to rate your skills. I find this to be an interesting social experiment. Let’s limit the discussion to sewing for right now. How do you rate your skills? I don’t mean, do you think you are beginner/intermediate/advanced. I mean, how do you decide what level you’re at? Me? I would probably say I’m advanced in many areas. But there’s the rub. I’m not advanced in all areas. I can’t draft a basic sloper if my life depended on it. So am I advanced? No, not there. But boy, can I take anyone’s pattern and make a gorgeous garment from it? You bet! Can I drape a beautiful, but simple top and skirt? Absolutely. Can I do a phenomenal job fitting pants to any body? Mmmmm, maybe not.

So I decided, on one of them, to remove my self-rating. Why? I was rating myself alongside folks whose skills I can only dream of. Some people who rated themselves as less skilled than I are (IMHO) better than me at many things. And there were folks who rated themselves as the same skill level as me or higher, but I wouldn’t let my dog sleep on their work. Snarky? Maybe. But it’s true and I ain’t naming any names so don’t take offense; there is none to be had.

Look, we’re all good at certain things. I’m a really good technical teacher. I can get a couch to sew a straight seam and produce a ripple free garment. Given enough time, I can personally produce a couture garment worthy of Paris or Milan. But I can’t do everything, and so I don’t really want to give a blanket statement that says, “I’m xxx level!” Heck, look at medicine – you’ll find specialists, and generalists. They don’t claim to be experts at everything. Why should you?

Happy sewing, however you rate yourself!