Monday, April 30, 2012

My Final Reveal: Revealed!

Photo by Jason Kamimura
Photo by Markus Alias
Here are a couple pics from last night's show of the new costume.  I couldn't be more pleased with it.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

My Final Reveal: It Is Finished

Two hours of hemming and gluing after last night's play and three hours of touch ups today.  I'm calling it.  I know there will be tweaks and additional embellishment that will happen after tonight's debut.  That always happens.  But it's done.  No unfinished hems.  Everything is complete.

Total spent so far: $393.50 and 118:50

The Mr. Snapper & Mr. Buddy Rumpus Revue in Festive Crack-Ups!

This Easter...Resurrect Frivolity!

Leave your mundane world behind and join us for an evening of song, variety, half naked women and hubba hubba! Snapper, a ukulele playing songster, and his silent foil, Buddy, are your hosts, making a barely capable attempt at maintaining order as the libidinous passions of a group of ragtag performers rage wildly out of control!

With........................Jacob Smith as PISTACHIO THE MIME

Burlesque.................RED SNAPPER & DIA BLOW

Trombone Musings.....SEAN PAWLING

Musical Magic!............ELIZABETH LUTTINGER

With special guest.......ROB THE BALLOON GUY

...............................The Craigslist WILDCARD


Sunday April 29th
Doors open at 8:00. Show begins at 8:30.
About an hour long.

Theatre Asylum
6320 Santa Monica Blvd, Hollywood, CA
A block West of Santa Monica and Vine

$10 in advance....
$12 at the door

Go to and follow our updates on facebook!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

My Final Reveal: Do Over

I'm blogging from outside a theatre where we're about to review a play. Technology is amazing.

As I mentioned earlier today (unless I only imagined it, which is entirely possible given the E6000 fumes I've inhaled today), I have to redo the hem of my gown because I kept stepping on it in rehearsal. My act entrance isn't as strong when I have to keep hiking up my dress. This afternoon I cut 4" off the gown and lining. I got most of the gown rehemmed (by hand because it's faster) in two hours. Maybe I can finish the hems tonight after the play.

Total spent so far: $393.50 and 113:50

My Final Reveal: Blinding Crotch & Touch Ups

I took care of a small task before my studio time this morning. I gathered the tops of my fancy panels. I also trimmed up the bottom of the fancy panels so they wouldn't drag. I discovered during rehearsal that I need to add a few more magnets and secure the panel gathers on my machine.

My rehearsal went really well. I found a great place to play with my under panel, necessitating some thong embellishment.  My studio time ended, so I rhinestoned my thong during Snapper Buddy rehearsal.  I also took care of the finishing crotch stitching. The gem pattern matches my pasties.

Working in the entire costume, I found a few things to tidy up this afternoon. I'm very pleased with how the costume works.

Total spent so far: $393.37 and 111:50

My Final Reveal: New Eyes

Word to the wise: the end of a project is where you will stop caring about how much you spend.  You just want to get the project done and have it look as awesome as possible.

I had to replace the eyes on my snappers last night.  The black stones were too jarring with the other colors in the costume.  Andrew went out at lunch yesterday and picked up some blue stones, crystal AB stones, and some pear-shaped stones for eye replacements.  I went with blue on the yoke, but the tiny pear stones were too big for the eyes on the bra snappers.  I instead used some blue stones I purchased early on this project for those eyes.  He spent $5.44 on stones, most of which I won't use for this project.  (He also finished the edge on my very last panel yesterday afternoon.  He's a keeper.)

I spent last night gluing more magnets to my yoke after testing the washers.  I also made my panty from scratch; my perfect thong pattern is missing so I had to use another panty as a pattern.  I also sorted out my under panel and the top drape for the panty.  And I topped off the evening with a trip to the Sprinkles ATM.

Total spent so far: $393.37 and 109:05

Friday, April 27, 2012

My Final Reveal: A Bit of Brilliance

The past 24 hours have absolutely sucked. I mean totally, utterly sucked. Actually, let's add a few more days to that suckage retroactively.  I've had so many stupid timesucks and drains on my financial resources this week that I'm losing my mind.  (Trust me, this is all relevant.)

Monday was spent replacing our refrigerator instead of picking up costume finishing supplies (which I did yesterday). Last night I dealt with my screwy camera phone and our power issues, hijacking the time I intended to use to cut and sew my panty and final panel. Today was a bit of a nightmare compared to most days at the ol' day job. We were scheduled to review a play tonight, but the lack of clean laundry, installation of our new modem, and my panty needs trumped the play.  I've rented a studio for tomorrow morning so I can work the entire number (and costume) in front of a mirror.  I have to make a panty and add more magnets (glad I bought extras) to my yoke and fifty other tiny things.

The relevance of my tale: something will always come up. If I hadn't started this costume back in September and worked on it steadily since then, this week's setbacks would have left me with a horribly incomplete costume. I'd be depressed, uninspired, and stuck performing an old number this Sunday instead of this one. Steady wins the race.

When the world gets in the way and you have to problem solve creatively, some fantastic gems can come from all that pressure. In the photo you can see my washer solution. I didn't want to worsen the ol' carpal tunnel or risk a rigging that resulted in torn fabric. I also wanted something that looked finished. I glued each washer in a bit of ribbon and let them sit overnight. I spent 20 minutes today gluing four of these ribbon-covered washers on the top of each of the three completed panels. I used craft glue to stick them to the underside of each panel to minimize the potential for tearing the panels (I hope). They look so much better than the bare washers. They also won't clink together when I drop each panel.

And now it's back to the old grind.

Total spent so far: $387.93 and 106:15

Thursday, April 26, 2012

My Final Reveal: If I Had an Intern

If I had an intern,
Daidle deedle daidle daidle daidle deedle daidle dum
All day long I’d get so much stuff done
If I had an intern

Today was the day that I yearned for an intern.  Penny Starr, Jr. brilliantly employs interns on her many projects.  I’ve interned for her in the past when I was between jobs, and I recognize the brilliance of having an intern.  You pay them more than it might cost you to do something yourself (or you work it out in trade), and you get to spend your time doing things that no one else can do but you.

Finishing work takes time.  I don’t want to go on the stage with a half-finished costume, something without a hem and with things glued on that should be stitched.  I spent an hour and a half finishing the ends of the bra covering and attaching a skirt hook and bar.  That’s an hour and a half of boring ass hand stitching that someone else could easily do.  (Fortunately I have the kind of day job that has down time that’s perfect for that sort of crap.)

An intern also would’ve been useful in driving around and picking up stuff for me.  I’ve done intern work like that.  I spent fifty minutes in pursuit of last minute supplies.  Of course, I would’ve sent an intern to Wal-Mart in search of another package of ceramic magnets like I bought a few weeks ago; chances are that they haven’t restocked since my visit.  Because I had to do it myself, I figured out that I could probably get magnets at Lowe’s.  I also had a brilliant idea on my drive downtown for the panel washers.  Had I sent an intern, I might not have reached the right frame of mind at this point in the process to have such a brilliant solution.

I had to spend money today, something that seems to put me in a bit of a cranky mood at times.  I spent $7.75 on magnets and washers, making sure I bought slightly more than I thought I needed so I wouldn’t get caught out when it eventually would take more than I had.  I spent $30.99 on fabric for panties and panels, spending more than would’ve been necessary earlier in the process.  Since I won’t have time to go downtown again before Sunday, I had to buy a few options.  The net cost twice as much as it did at another shop downtown, but I met the parking validation minimum for this store so I can’t really complain.

With the other 2:25 I put in today, I finished painting the final panel and got the edge done on half of the incomplete panel.  (Andrew helped by taking over when I called Verizon tech support about my funky photos.  Bad SD card.  Who knew?)  I also replaced the hot fix stones I knocked off the yoke, took fingernail polish to the exposed bra closure, glued some mega magnets to the yoke, and had some brilliance with washers.  I didn’t want to stitch the washers to the panels because they might tear through.  I bought 1” wide grosgrain ribbon, cut it into small strips, and glued those to the front and rear of each washer.  I can now stitch or glue them to the panels, and they don’t look like they’re straight from a hardware store.

Friday I get to put washers on the panels, finish the final edge of the last panel, cut a panty and under panel, press the hem of the gown, and tack some net to the front of the gown.

Total spent so far: $387.93 and 105:55

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

My Final Reveal: Straps

I came home from work today to find Andrew painting part of the edge of the fourth panel. I have to start the other edge tomorrow morning once the paint is dry, then wrap up the edges on the remaining panel Friday.

I put clear elastic straps on the bra so I don't have to worry about it falling. If they don't work in rehearsal, I have other straps to use.  It took a while to stitch them on with my left hand. (You can see them in the photo. What I hope you can't see is the batch of hives I got this evening. I'm afraid I'm allergic to oranges, same as my older sister. Guess I should see that allergist soon.)

I also mathed out where I need to put the washers on the panels.  I have to buy ribbon tomorrow to better secure the washers.

Tomorrow I'm headed downtown on a recon mission for the last of my required supplies.

Total spent so far: $349.19 and 101:10

My Final Reveal: 100

That's right, folks. I hit 100 hours for this costume a few minutes ago. I started off my morning with 40 minutes of painting on the edge of the fourth panel. I then packed up my bra so I could do some rhinestoning at the ol' day job. I spent 10 minutes gluing on the stones in the photo, covering the center gather on the bra. I then added some tiny jonquil stones to the underboob netting on the bra.

Total spent so far: $349.19 and 100:00

And I have Blogger installed on my new phone finally!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

My Final Reveal: Into the Stretch

We got home Sunday evening after a wonderful mini-tour to Arkansas and did nothing.  My plan for Monday was to pick up supplies to make panties and the panty panel, but our refrigerator gave out and I had to get a replacement.  That took all day.  Bright side: I bought a replacement fridge with stripper money, it's a beautiful used fridge, and I did spend four hours painting.  I was able to finish the third panel and paint half of the final panel as we waited for the refrigerator scavenger and refrigerator delivery guy to show up.  (Speaking of scavenging, I cut open my second bottle of gold paint and painted a significant amount with the paint that coated the inside of the bottle.  Waste not, want not, right?)

I spent part of my morning and part of my afternoon painting, getting through another chunk of the final panel in two and a half hours.  I had my little friend, Buster, (Bussy) trying to claw his way up my body while I painted.  He missed us greatly while we were out of town.  If I could've painted with him on one hip like a toddler, he would've been happy as a clam.

I did a dry run in my costume this evening and made note of some of the little costume things I have to do.  I have some finishing touches to put on the bra and gown, magnets and washers for the panels, snapper eyes to replace, and the panty problem remaining.

I know the hand-painted panels have taken hours and hours and hours.  If the costume wasn't painted, there would be some other embellishment that would take up that time.  I don't even know how many hours I spent painting, rhinestoning and hand beading mega costume.

Total so far: $349.19 and 98:55

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Diamond Dames Burly-Q Revue Presents Cult Movie Classics With the Snappers

The Diamond Dames Burly-Q Revue Presents... CULT MOVIE CLASSICS!


Starring: The Diamond Dames, Arkansas' Premiere Burlesque Troupe!

Guest Starring: Cinnamon Twirl, Hot Springs' Hot Mama!

Hosted By: Comedian Amy Pannell!

Come see burlesque interpretations of your favorite cult movie classics such as Pulp Fiction, Jaws, Deathproof, Natural Born Killers, Star Wars, & many more!

Stay & party after the show to the sounds of the Broncos!

VIP tables are available for reservation, please contact Bre Von Buxxxom at:
501-269-2873 or or
via Facebook.

Juanita's Cantina in the RiverMarket
Doors at 8pm/Show at 9:30pm
$10 in advance/$12 at the door

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Little Rock Classes This Saturday

Sign up here!

My Final Reveal: Embellishing Like Mad

Between yesterday and today, I spent five hours working on this costume.  When I looked at the time, it didn't quite seem right because it doesn't seem like I got much done.  I didn't.  Well, not as much as I got done in the same amount of time at the beginning of the process.

I got most of the bra snapper stoning done, painting on the edges of the third panel as the glue heated.  I'm going to drop a few jonquil stones on the lower net of the bra to tie the colors in a bit better.  I was going to rhinestone the inside of the bra snappers to give better definition, but the stones were too big.  I tried using the glitter paint to give the feet claws, but the brush was too wide.  I made a bold move and painted the inside of the snappers with the glitter paint, giving it a light glaze.  I still need to get some fresh eyes for the bra snappers.  I worked on both until well after midnight.  Not the best idea when I have some touring in a couple days.

Today I hit Joann Fabrics in search of supplies.  I needed fabric for panties and fabric for the panty panel -- fail.  I also needed more washers and magnets -- fail.  I did manage to pick up another bottle of glitter paint, spending $3.26 more on this project.  Then I finished painting one edge of the third panel.

I travel Thursday so I'm off this costume until I return home.  Since I'm not teaching in Memphis this weekend, I changed my flight to give myself time to get the last supplies I need to finish this costume.

Total so far: $349.19 and 92:25

Monday, April 16, 2012

My Final Reveal: Almost There

I spent five hours yesterday between painting, bra stitching and design transfer, and rhinestoning.  To finish the edge of the fabric I bonded to the bra, I turned the bra inside out and fastened it around a pillow.  (I saw Evie used a pillow to hold a corset on Friday night, so I adapted that technique to what I needed to get done.)  I stitched mainly with my left hand, so it took a bit longer.  I'm pleased with how it turned out.

During my bra stitching time, the Doodlebug was drawn to my leopard pajamas and snoozed by my leg.  She really is the happiest dog to ever sleep.

Today I hope to get more rhinestoning done at work, and tonight I keep painting on the third panel.

Total so far: $345.93 and 87:25

Sunday, April 15, 2012

My Final Reveal: Tengo Dos

Last night when I got home from work and today between projects, I painted.  I finished the edge work of the second panel and started on the third.  We were going to buy another bottle of paint downtown this morning, but the craft store was all out of the paint we needed so I'm hunting for paint again tomorrow.  We did pick up a second package of brushes.  This meant Andrew could help me finish painting half a panel very late this evening.  It's nice being able to work on something together, and it makes the tedium more tolerable.  Of course, his painting lines are far prettier; my left-handed work is still a little uneven.  The brushes were $5.  We had to get the multi-pack so we'd have two of the exact same size.

I spent a few minutes today doing additional shopping for this act.  I looked for panties that could hold the underpanel, but I couldn't find anything study enough.  I also have to be sure whatever panties I wear cover 1" width of my buttcrack so they're compliant with the local law when I travel.  I'm going to have to make some panties from a pattern I drafted last year.  Looks like I'm hitting the fabric store tomorrow as well.  I did find a wonderful cardboard jewelry box for $1.19 at my regular rhinestone store downtown.  It's the perfect case for my pasties, keeping me from losing stones from poor storage.  I bought a second box for my other pasties of the same style.

After substitute teaching a burlesque class this afternoon, I came home and tested the Heat & Bond.  It's times like this that I'm really glad we have two irons: one for regular use and one that I ruined crafting.  I tested the Heat & Bond on a fabric sample similar to the bra fabric and on a scrap of the fabric I want to use to cover the bra.  The bond is pretty amazing and nothing scorched so I was ready to go for it.  I fastened my bra around the ironing board (gotta have it stretched out so it fits later), and I started pressing on the Heat & Bond.  The bra fabric is a little more melty than the test fabric, so I got more scorched crap on my crafty iron.  I grabbed a pressing cloth to finish the initial bond on the bra back.  Since I didn't have a problem with the heat on the covering fabric, I went without the pressing cloth.  For whatever reason, the scorched crafty nasties that didn't melt off the iron and onto the pressing cloth got on parts of the covering fabric.  Crap.  I tried to keep everything nice and neat and still had an ironing incident.  On the bright side, the bra still fits after using the Heat & Bond.  I've also got to embellish the bra back so some of those scuzzy spots will be covered.

Total so far: $345.93 and 82:25

Thursday, April 12, 2012

My Final Reveal: Are We There Yet?

I split three and a half hours this evening between hemming my gown and lining and painting panels.  I don't have any exciting photos tonight.  I have so few things left to do (panel painting, attaching magnets and washers, covering and embellishing the back of the bra, finding and embellishing panties, buying and cutting a tiny "good time" panel for the front of my panties), but I can take any of these projects with me yet.  The prep work isn't done to make the portable work possible.  I'll have to figure out what to do on my crafting date tomorrow night since I need something I can take with me.

Total so far: $339.74 and 78:10

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

My Final Reveal: Boring Ol' Basting

I have a wonderful sewing machine, on which I can hem dresses.  The problem is that I have to baste the hem before machine hemming so it turns out pretty.  Both the outer dress and the lining are slippery fabrics, making basting an absolute necessity.  I spent two hours basting both hems with my left, less dextrous hand.  I used pink thread so it's easier for me to locate and remove the basting when the machine stitching is done.

I want to share a little more about the design painting process because I don't know if I've really explained it in my prior posts.  I took the enlarged design and put it on tracing paper, copying a pattern long enough for the top to bottom of each panel.  Andrew then taped wax paper together to put between the tracing paper and the net.  (We learned a lesson for the next project; the wax paper isn't as non-stick as we expected.  Next time we'll use plastic sheeting or saran wrap.)  Andrew secured the design, wax paper and net to a large piece of cardboard with clothespins.  Then we used small portions of fabric paint and a paint brush on the design.  It takes a lot longer for me to use my left hand, but I am able to paint with either hand because the design is crazy but the lines are simple.

Something that made the tedium of basting more bearable was wearing my new Hoodie Footie pajamas.  The dogs absolutely love them.  They're really comfy, and I think they make the simplest things a little more hilarious.

Tomorrow night I machine hem the gown and lining, and maybe get around to my Heat Bond experiment on the bra.

Total so far: $339.74 and 74:40

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

My Final Reveal: To The Left

I woke up this morning and my right elbow was numb.  It's not like I did anything to put a lot of stress on the ol' carpal tunnel yesterday (no sewing at all).  I guess it was just catching up from the weekend.  Nonetheless, I'm left with a bunch of costume stuff that I have to do at home.  I don't think I have any projects I can haul into the day job any more.  So I had to figure out what I could get done today using my left hand.

I spent two and a half hours painting half a panel.  It took much longer than it would with my right hand and it was a bit sloppy, but the design and use of the panel makes it forgivable.  I'm really looking forward to getting this costume done.  I had a flash of inspiration for the next one last night.

Total so far: $339.74 and 72:40

Sunday, April 8, 2012

My Final Reveal: What's a Weekend?

Between yesterday and today, I've put in ten hours and fifty minutes on my costume.  Yesterday I finished my pasties, finished the half panel, purchased and painted washers and magnets ($4.80) for the removable side panels.  I was so exhausted when my head hit the pillow that I was out like a light.

Today I rhinestoned and attached part of the front overlay (more details on that in a moment), finished the snapper on the skirt yoke, and painted on another panel.  Andrew has been so helpful and dedicated in helping me paint these panels with this crazy ass design.  He's been incredible.

The front overlay and half panel are fixes for a design flaw.  You see, when I decided to make this gown last year, I just wanted to make the gown.  I didn't consider what I'd wear beneath it.  I got a free bra and it worked well enough under the gown.  But alas, I remembered during a fitting that I need supportive straps on my bras.  (The bra for mega costume inches down my ribs as soon as I take off the corset.  The gene pool was too kind to my front section, so I have to have support.)  I was going to make some weird halter  or asymmetrical strap to keep the bra up, but I couldn't figure out a way to make it look pretty.  After grousing about my problem ("oh my boobs are big for my frame wah"), I decided to use clear elastic to get some straps on the bra.  I also noticed that the bodice didn't sit quite like it did on the pattern, and you could see the peek of my bra out the top side.  So I created an overlay that I rhinestoned and attached to the front of the bodice today.  (I had a photo, but I still haven't called about the problem with my phone.  The photo was really screwy.)  The half panel will attach just inside the bodice on the front side with the fully exposed shoulder, draping over my shoulder to hide the clear strap.  Neither will get in the way of my side zipper escape.  It's added work, but it solves my problem.

After all these hours, I settled down for a nice homemade mai tai, complete with gummy dinosaur garnish.  I have to figure out what pieces I can pack up for down time at the office.  So much to do to make it great.

Total so far: $339.74 and 70:10

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Local Neo-Vaudevillians Postpone Blockbuster Show in order to Release Press Release

Press Contact: Francois LaVache

(818) 971-9304 or
Producers: Mr. Snapper and Mr. Buddy

The Mr. Snapper and Mr. Buddy Rumpus Revue in:
“Festive Crack-ups!”

ONE PERFORMANCE ONLY, April 29th, 2012 at 8:30 pm
Theatre Asylum
6320 Santa Monica Blvd, Hollywood, CA
$12, at the door.

HOLLYWOOD — Regional celebrities  Mr. Snapper and Mr. Buddy (they originate from a very small region) proudly and brazenly announce the rescheduling of their next variety showcase, THE MR. SNAPPER AND MR. BUDDY RUMPUS REVUE IN: “FESTIVE CRACK-UPS”.  This paganesque cacophony of sight, sound, and half-naked women was previously scheduled for April 15th, but will now be found thrilling audiences at the historic Theatre Asylum on April 29th, mere blocks from where Buster Keaton’s movie studio once stood!
“The time is ripe to really shake things up in Hollywood,” said Mr. Snapper, balancing a piano bench on his chin.  ”This is a jaded town; a cynical town.  You have to give the suckers something they’ve never seen before.  So we are rescheduling our show.  Bam!  Suck on that, Hollywood!”  Mr. Buddy, his silent partner, looks up from his hookah and nods in blissful, unknowing agreement.  His hookah smoke smells of cinnamon and hashish.  Mr. Buddy blows a series of oddly shaped smoke signals and passes out.  Mr. Snapper interprets, “Ah.  Also, we forgot to put out a press release the first time.  Our mistake.”  At this point in the interview, the piano bench falls violently to Mr. Snapper’s face, knocking him to the ground.  ”One more thing,” Snapper struggles to say as blood pools on the floor, “it’s BYOB.”
Mr. Snapper and Mr.Buddy invite you to resurrect frivolity and join them for an evening of song, variety, half-naked women and hubba hubba! Snapper, a ukulele playing songster, and his silent foil, Buddy, are your hosts, making a barely capable attempt at maintaining order as the libidinous passions of a group of ragtag performers rage wildly out of control!  Jacob Smith returns as the irrepressible Pistachio the Mime.  Burlesque from Red Snapper, the balloon art shenanigans of Rob the Balloon Guy, the musical magic of Elizabeth Luttinger, and the trombone musings of Sean Pawling round out the evening.  Also, special appearances by the Los Angeles Light Orchestra and the Craigslist Wildcard (literally whatever variety act answers the ad on Craigslist first). ONE PERFORMANCE ONLY, April 29th at 8:30 pm at Theatre Asylum in Hollywood.  Tickets are $12, available at the door.  Visit for more information.


My Final Reveal: Look Deep Into My Pasties

I was so exhausted that I went to bed last night before sharing my costume progress for the day!  I got a little more than ten hours sleep, so I must've needed it.

My morning was spent rhinestoning the snapper and reading, with two hours spent just with the hotfix tool.  (I accidentally left it on with a stone heating overnight on Thursday.  No fire, but the glue on the stone had turned brown.  It's about as hot as a curling iron.)  I then spent thirty minutes between hotfixing rhinestones on the yoke and gluing stones on the pasties.  The stones are actually jonquil AB, but they photographed amber.  I have a little more to do and they'll be finished.

The boys (Snapper & Buddy) had a little change of plans come up, so now the debut is postponed until the end of this month.  Never fear, dear reader, as I will be busting ass as ever to finish this costume.  All it really meant for me in the schedule department was that I was able to sleep ten hours last night and that I might be able to do some leisurely evening activity with the husband this weekend.  It will be nice to leave the house for something other than work or supply shopping.

Today I'll finish the pasties, finish the yoke stones, finish painting the half panel, and maybe go buy some magnets to try out on the skirt.

Total so far: $334.96 and 59:20

Thursday, April 5, 2012

My Final Reveal: Let's Get Fabulous!

Today was a very productive day for me.  Things were delightfully quiet at the ol' day job, allowing me lots of time to put snaps on my front skirt panel and to rhinestone like a crazy person.  I'm hoping I can finish the front snapper on the yoke tomorrow.  We'll see if Good Friday is good to my costume production.

This evening I did a priming coat on my pasties so they work the way I want.  (I'm making special pasties for my costume, a bit different from the standard fare I sell on tour.)  I also got a nice chunk of my half panel painted.  Andrew took over on the painting, having picked up another bottle of paint for me.  I tried on the panel skirt (side panels still in progress) and Andrew helped me mark them so I could trim them.  In the photos you can see Buster (green ball) and Doodlebug wearing the panel trimmings.  I took a short break to tie them up with bows made from the trimmings, then to play tug-of-war with the trimmings.  Good times.

I always make these to-do lists and I don't get them completed.  I had much more in mind for today's activities.  With the debut of this number next weekend and travel the following weekend, I have plenty of distractions to derail me.  I hope this weekend I get it all done and have a chance to catch a movie.

Total so far: $334.96 and 56:50

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

My Final Reveal: Time Wise

I'm getting smarter with this hotfix tool.  I took it to work this morning and spent time letting the glue get nice and hot between tasks (reading and office chores), noticing that the stones stick better when the glue is damn hot.  I spent some time putting the last three snaps on the yoke before stoning.  I'm smartening up.  I spent an hour and a half total on these tasks (leaving out the time I waited for the glue to bubble between stones).

I spent two and a half hours on my costume when I got home.  I stitched the ribbon top for the snaps on the front panel and carefully repaired a wonky gather on the rear panel.  I continued stoning on the yoke front.  Between stones I cut pasties for the costume and located the Heat & Bond for an experiment.  (My house has been ransacked by projects, so it takes me a little time to look for things.)  Tomorrow I'm going to test the Heat & Bond on the fabric I intend to use to cover the bra back, then test it on some fabric that's comparable to the stretchy bra fabric.  I'm hoping I can get away with just stitching the edges; that would make my life much easier.  We'll see what happens tomorrow.

My goal for the work day (office projects permitting) is to put the snaps on the front skirt panel and finish the front snapper.  Maybe I'll even get the pasties embellished.  Andrew is mostly finished with the first of the four and a half painted panels.  We'll see if I can knock that half panel out when I get home from work.

This is crunch time for the costume.  I already know that all of the embellishment possible for the costume will not be completed by next weekend.  I can still add more stones to the yoke later, add stones to the front and rear panels, maybe incorporate the handpainted design in some other places.  For the costume debut, it will be neatly completed.  All hems done, all closures in place, all embellishments even.  The fancy costumes I make usually get a little more special treatment as time goes by.  This isn't a surprise at all.

Total so far: $331.22 and 50:35

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

My Final Reveal: Carpal Tunnel Be Damned!

I've been stoning with my left hand almost exclusively, giving my pesky right hand a break from the work in hopes I could avoid the ol' carpal tunnel inflammation.  (My doctor said he'd prescribe physical therapy if it gets to be too bad.  Yikes.)  I try to do everything I can with my left hand, even if its development is pre-kindergarten.

Tonight presented some problems for my aspiring ambidexterity.  I had to finish adding the snaps on the inside back of the yoke and on the rear panel since I didn't have time at the office.  (I had an afternoon full of office work.)  Lefty doesn't have the strength to push the needle through several layers of fabric and ribbon, so I had to pass part of the task to my right hand.  I had to replace the stones that popped off while I was sewing on snaps, using the faster but more toxic E-6000 method with a toothpick.  That required the use of my right hand.  I've learned to sew the yoke snaps before embellishing.  At least I can implement my lesson on the front of the yoke so I didn't learn too late.

I made an adjustment to the snapper design when Andrew said it could use a longer snout.  I picked off the rhinestones and rearranged them, all with the help of E-6000.  I'm glad I have the hotfix tool, but it's more useful for a leisurely afternoon of rhinestoning, not cranking out a costume.  (I am taking the tool to work with me tomorrow in hopes that its glue melting cycle will time out nicely with my office tasks.)  The hotfix tool is also less toxic.  We'll see if I manage to get the whole front snapper done tomorrow.

My left hand was employed again when I gathered the front panels for the skirt.  They are wonderfully voluminous.  My goal for tomorrow morning is to attach the yoke snaps before embellishing.  My hope is that I regain some feeling in my right hand before I start my Wednesday tasks.

Andrew is two-thirds of the way through painting one of four and a half panels.  The process takes a while because the design is so psychotic.  He also started a loaf of bread while we both worked on the costume tonight, so I can't complain.

The further I get with the costume, the more I love it.  I'm trying to up my game, and I think it's working.  This will be lovely when I finish.

Total so far: $331.22 and 46:35

My Final Reveal: One Down

Sorry about the picture quality.  You see, I got this groovy new phone a week ago.  The major problem right now is that the photos I take with it look normal after I shoot them, then they look like this when I look at them in the gallery or try to upload them.  I see myself on the phone with customer service tonight.

But back to what's really important.  I finally finished rhinestoning the first snapper on the yoke.  I even started the second one.  I took a dry iron (over a pressing cloth) to both sides of the completed design to try to melt any loose stones into place.  Seems to have worked.

It is still taking forever for the glue to melt on the stones, so I adjusted my time spent this morning, leaving out the time I read a book and worked out between gluing stones (even though the tool was heating the next stone while I worked).  I also spent some time painting part of the design on the first side panel.  There are four and a half panels that will have that design, so I'm trying to ease the husband's workload where I can.

I'm going to try to finish putting the snaps on the rear panel and inside back of the yoke this afternoon.  Fingers crossed I get it done.  Time's a-wastin'!

Total so far: $331.22 and 44:35

Monday, April 2, 2012

My Final Reveal: Multitasking FTW

I took my tool to work and squeezed in 45 minutes of rhinestoning over lunch.  Of course, most of that time was replacing the stones that fell off in the ziploc bag between my house and the office.  (I think my earliest stoning was done so "quickly" that I didn't give the glue enough time to really get melty.  I'm going to have to take an iron to the inside of the yoke when I'm done with this side, just to be sure everything is set.  I don't mind replacing a stone here and there, but it's excessive right now.  I was finally getting my stride after that 45 minute chunk and I didn't want to stop.  I did, however, have office work that needed to be done.  I decided to load a stone onto the tool, do an office task (like seal a few envelopes), then place the stone.  I spent 45 minutes on stoning out of an hour and a half after lunch.

I spent two and a half hours after I got home working on the rhinestoning, and I'm still not finished with the first large snapper!  (I had a photo I was going to share, but the upload from my phone was totally wonky.)  At home I was able to multitask with other things as I waited for the glue to melt.  I managed to attach a few snaps to the rear skirt panel before my right hand cramped up from the sewing.  I have to finish the snaps, this snapper and start the next snapper tomorrow.

I still have a list of tasks to complete before the costume is ready for the debut.  I wonder if Heat Bond will work to attach satin to a bra, or if the heat required will be too much and will melt the fabric or the bra.

Total so far: $331.22 and 42:05

Sunday, April 1, 2012

My Final Reveal: Sunday With the Snappers

Since last night's blog I've put in seven and a half hours on my costume.  Most of the time was spent rhinestoning the snapper on the rear of the yoke.  The photo doesn't really do it justice.  The hotfix tool takes some time to use, but I spent the entire day using it with my left hand.  I left the tool at home when I went to rehearsal for Rumpus Revue in the middle of the day; I took the larger stones and some toxic, toxic E-6000 with me instead.  I'm not getting stoned from the hotfix glue, so I consider that a win.

When I couldn't rhinestone any more for the evening, I worked on the rear panel of my skirt.  The rear panel consists of five gathered panels that are attached together at the top.  I stitched grosgrain ribbon around the top of the panels.  I did this because: 1) I don't want the gathered edge to pop open the first time it gets any torque; 2) I may or may not want to remove the rear panel in future; and 3) it makes completion of the yoke embellishments and future repairs easier.  I'm going to attach snaps to the grosgrain ribbon and to the yoke for the rear panel.  I haven't decided what to use on the sides and front, but I want to avoid velcro because it will snag on the panels.

While I was stoning my eyes out, Andrew determined the best paint and best technique for the fancy side panels. He covered the template with wax paper so the paint wouldn't stick to it.  He's spent a couple patient hours working on half of one panel.  There are four to paint and each takes time to dry.  He's an angel.

Doodlebug wasn't excited about me spending most of the day at my sewing table.  Instead of trying to manage a 50 lb. dog in my lap while using the hotfix tool, Andrew set up an armchair near my sewing table.  That allowed her to sleep near me, making rhinestoning a bit of a pack activity.

Total spent so far: $331.22 and 38:05.


These are from my performance at Monday Night Tease a few weeks ago.  That is my real sash.  We were celebrating the centennial of Girl Scouts.

SH Photo has a knack for capturing my middle finger photos.