Shipping Days

I’ve been receiving packages almost everyday since the 15th of this month, starting with my very first (professional) sewing machine!

Presenting the Brother XR-9500 PRW!

My new baby!

(picture courtesy of Sewing Machines Plus, but it's probably a stock photo)

I haven’t decided what I should name her just yet, but it’ll come to me eventually. I also received a Fiskars rotary cutter, 4 Vogue patterns, 3 fabrics from Fashion Fabrics Club, 100 regular Organ machine needles, a Clover pattern marker set, 24 spools of polyester thread, 12 black zippers from ZipperStop, and today I got a pair of Fiskars pinking shears and a huge cardboard pattern cutting board. Phew. Alot of stuff, and these are just the things I’ve ordered off the internet. I’m still waiting on regular fabric shears, a ruler designed for use with rotary cutters, and a self-healing mat to go with it!

Not to mention…I went to Joann’s and Hobby Lobby and spent a lot more money that I should have on pre-wound bobbins, a bobbin case, thread spool case, more fabric, a set of fasteners, 450 straight pins, muslin, eyelet ruffling, Pellon interfacing, heavy duty tread, and twin needles. I should have guessed that sewing would be an expensive hobby to start up. Lucky for me, I have money saved up so I can…you, know…Pay my bills.

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My 4 Most Ingenious Serging Failures

I’m a terrible blogger with two blogs that I haven’t updated in over (or almost) a year. This one was going to be my scattered thoughts, essays, and whatever else I was thinking about, but I lost interest in writing like that. My second blog is about natural hair, which I haven’t lost interest in, but I have lost certain important resources (like a camera!) that keep me from updating. Still reading? Alright. So my new focus for my original blog is….SEWING! I’ve had an interest in sewing and designing clothes for such a long time that I hadn’t really thought about it. It just was what it was.

Thanks to my adventures in paid learning, I’m on my way to becoming an adept seamstress, and I love it. I’m back to hand sewing and drawing clothing designs like I did when I was much younger. But because I still have a long way to go, I thought as my first sewing themed post I’d present to you my 4 most ingenious serging failures, 3 of which I did just today.

  1. Serging a seam allowance to a panel
    I did this a couple months ago, not paying enough attention to what I was doing. I was using the serger to finish the seam allowance on a beautiful blue dress in costume shop and caught the majority of the back panel into the serging. Fortunately for me, the fabric was just far enough away from the blades to only be stitched together and not cut. Not to be outdone, I ended up accidentally burning the dress with an iron later. Of course.
  2. Leaving the presser foot up
    Today, I was in a hurry to serge and pressed the food and waited for my fabric to move on it’s own past the foot. Nothing happened. I kept pressing and then realized what an idiot I’d been! Not only had I destroyed my seam allowance, I’d wasted a bunch of thread on the first two inches that I had fed through because the serger had been aimlessly looping its thread on the same spot! Ugh.
  3. Serging too far into your seam allowances
    This was a result of the atrocity I committed above, but I’ve also done this before by feeding the fabric too close to the blades when I was just trying to finish the ends of a sample I was completing for class, effectively removing 1/4 inch of my fabric. No wonder all my measurements were off!
  4. Serging your seam allowance closed
    Of course, it’s easier to make this stupid mistake if you have already stitched it closed on a sewing machine, but it was silly of me to serge it like that before unpicking the stitch to get the seam allowance to lie flat.

I’m sure I’ve got a lot more to learn about serging. If you’ve done any of these blunders, let me know! It’ll make me feel less bad.

Here are some serging resources to help you (Us!) out:

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Family Guy

Yet another English Essay. I got a 93 on this one. I was supposed to write a Cause and Effect essay on a variety of different topics and I chose Why this particular show was so popular. I had no idea my teacher loved this show. Lucky me!

Family Guy is a popular television show that originated on the Fox channel evening line-up. Fox has a history with Family Guy, which includes dropping the show in favor of various other sitcoms which almost immediately flopped. Adult Swim, the adult version of Cartoon Network fostered Family Guy during its disownment, and nursed it into the popularity it has today. Of course, Fox took it back. Now the creator, Seth MacFarlane has created two other shows, the less popular, but still funny American Dad, and the brand-new Family Guy spin-off: the Cleveland Show. Most people believe that Family Guys television reign will resemble the Simpson’s, which is still going strong in its twentieth year. Will it? The real question is, why do people find it funny in the first place?

Family Guy was once defined to me as a post-modern show. This means that the subject matter usually is critical towards the world we live in and recent years beforehand. No one is spared or forgiven and even praise is usually sarcastic. For example, when the phrase from the television show ‘The Weakest Link’ (“You are the weakest link. Good bye.”) was used on main character Stewie, he showered the culprit with false praise in an overdone manner to turn the joke back on her. This was a jab, not only at the show and its phrase, but at those who use it in their daily lives. It also laughs at conspiracy theories with its gag on ‘volcano insurance’ in which a salesman tricks Peter into purchasing this insurance by saying “Don’t you think you’re overdue for one?” It points out the irrationality of human beings, which we in turn can laugh along with.

Family guy is full of old jokes that the older generation can appreciate. For instance, as a freshman in college, there are some gags I will never understand (without some asking around) since I didn’t grow up in the same time the jokes come from. In fact, Family Guy writers know that most young people won’t understand many of their jokes. In one episode, a character mentions Benjamin Disraeli. In one of the show’s famous flashbacks, the scene cuts to Disraeli at a desk writing. He then looks up and says “You don’t even know who I am!” Older audiences will find it funny on two levels, understanding the joke, and laughing with the show at the younger people who don’t understand.

Family Guy also appeals to youth and young adults. In one episode, the characters poke fun at typical male guitar-playing college students. College students can relate, and youth can look forward to meeting someone like that. It also references reality TV, a popular genre among youth, as well as pulling from the childhood of youth and young adults by referencing Sesame Street and Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood on occasion. When people can relate to a show, they will watch it more often.

The show has some intelligent humor and irony.  When Stewie lies to his mother about ‘playing house’, she remarks that the boy “was tied up!” Stewie quick amends it to “Roman Polanski’s house” This is a clear reference to the Polish-French film director who has a warrant for his arrest in the United States for unlawful actions with a minor. Of course, Family Guy is known for humor that has a raunchy nature.

Family Guy also attempts to make it okay to laugh at stereotypes. Not in a hateful manner, just an amusing one. The show pokes fun at homosexuals, white people, black people, Hispanic people, Asian people, different types of workers, people from different parts of the United States or different parts of the world, people of different social classes and intellect, and the list goes on. However, since the show is directed towards more Liberal people, Conservatives who cannot take a joke shouldn’t bother. People can watch and enjoy Family guy because the stereotypes and characters rendered are funny and relatable, from the popular girl to her jock boyfriend. The jokes can be repeated without losing their humor in many situations outside of the sitting room. Because it takes from history and familiar stereotypes, it will always have wide appeal.

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You Are a Boy!

Here is another required essay I wrote for my ENGL1101 class. I had to write about my name, what it means, and how I felt about it, as well as provide alternate names if I did not like my birth name. I received a 94 on the rough draft version of this.

Jordan is a unisex name that most Americans are familiar with. It belongs to a few famous people, most notably Michael Jordan. There are also many businesses and it is the name of a major river in Palestine. Jordan comes from the Hebrew name Yarden, and is derived from ‘yarad’ which means “descend” or “flow down”. The river I am named after is special; it was the river that Jesus was baptized in, according to the bible. There are many male and female variations in different languages: French (Jourdain), German (Jordanes), and Scottish (Gordan). There are also many different spellings (Jordyn, Jordin, Jordenn) and variants in English (Jordana, Jordie, Jardena).

For most of my life I have not liked my name. In the 90’s it was still a name that belonged mostly to boys, so I was confused for a boy often, or told that my name was for boys and not girls. In the fourth grade, I was on the phone with a friend and her sister picked up the line and heard us talking. She immediately squealed, “Oh my gosh, my little sister has a boyfriend!” I protested, exclaiming that I was a girl and not a boy. She replied, “Well then what is your name?” I told her, and she laughed again. “You are a boy!” This was definitely one of the incidents that made my name distasteful to me. Another was in elementary school when my best friend’s name was Michael. I’m sure you can imagine all the basketball jokes.

Also, it seemed like there was a baby boom of Jordans in 1991, the year I was born, because every year there was at least one other Jordan in my class, be it boy or girl. It was confusing and frustrating when someone would call “Jordan!” but it wasn’t me. In some cases it was never me. In kindergarten, there were three of us Jordans. I remember almost every day someone would call for Jordan and then when I answered they would respond in an impatient way, as if talking to me was offensive: “No! Not Jordan M.! Jordan D.!” Oh how I hated Jordan D.! And Jordan A. was an awful little boy, but at least I knew no one was ever calling for him either.

As I grew, I felt more and more like the name Jordan didn’t fit me. Jordan was so plain and boring and very common as we got farther into the 21st century. I knew that I was interesting and bold, and one day I was going to be somebody! But how could you do it with a name like Jordan? I wanted a name like Destiny or Francesca, something that stood out and was feminine. It wasn’t until around fifth grade when I realized I could have a nickname and never have to be called Jordan again. My first attempt was the nickname Tiger because I was once told I looked like a Tiger when I cried. It didn’t stick. In 6th grade my teacher started calling me Morgan by accident, due to its similarity to Jordan and how I resembled her former student. That name did stick, and I loved it. Morgan as a first name was considered female by almost everyone, although it too was unisex. I now shared a name with a very interesting person in the stories of King Arthur, the King’s half-sister: Morgan le Fay. Under the name Morgan I felt like I was powerful and significant. It was Celtic and had to do with the sea. (Isn’t it interesting that both my chosen names had to do with water?)

By the time I got to 9th grade, I had met a few other Morgans, not enough to discourage me, but it became time to change my name when I switched schools. As if a homage to the evil sorceress, I dropped the “Morgan le” and kept “Fay”, only now adding an “e” to make it “Faye”.  There are many meanings for Faye. It could mean fairy, faith, fate, or like the word ‘fey’ it can mean strange. I felt like this fit me much better. Like a fairy, I was helpful, yet mischievous, and I had a strong faith in others with loyalty to match. Since I have always felt that I am destined for greatness, the meaning fate was also perfect, and of course, I would be the first to admit to you that I am strange. The name changes do confuse some people though, as I have plenty more nicknames on top of my main two. Many times, out of frustration I have been called “Jordan Morgan Faye” since they couldn’t decide which one to call me. I like to think it suits my mysterious chameleon-like quality.

I am now in college, using the name Jordan again. It is my birth name, my mother’s first gift to me, and I will never change it legally even though I don’t think it fits me the best. I have also begun to feel more positive about it. Just because it is a common and popular name doesn’t make it any less beautiful. In fact, it was a foreign stranger that came to shop at my store that changed my perspective a little. When I told her my name, her eyes sparkled and she said “You should be so proud of your name. In Israel, it is beautiful and has great meaning.” She was smiling and after she left, I almost cried. That was the first positive sentiment I had ever heard about my name.

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Better a Queen Than a Princess

This is an essay I was required to write for my ENGL1101 class. The requirements were to write a double-space 3-page essay about an event and describe it in detail. I focused mainly on my own feelings during these events.

My sophomore year at my second high school was highly eventful. You see, I was in the theatre program at my school. I made some of the best friends of my life by being involved in Berkmar High School’s theatre program, and spent a lot of time developing my skills and communing with souls had the same goal. Each and every one of us wanted to entertain audiences with our skills and talent, especially if it meant taking one of the main roles in a show.

I was so excited the day of the audition for the upcoming play. Since I had worked with the director before, I knew how the audition would proceed. All the hopefuls would sit in a semi-circle on the well-worn, paint-splattered stage, and each be handed the precious script. The director would settle at a table in the middle facing us, her stage manager at her right taking notes. She wouldn’t smile or reassure us; we barely got a greeting before it began. The director explained the play. It was called Small Wonder, and it was a comedy based in a fantasy kingdom called Lilliput on an uncharted island in the middle of nowhere. It was a cute idea, and I knew the character I wanted to be. It was my desire to be Princess Norma! I was also marginally interested in the characters of the Ambassador and the Queen.

The director started from the right of the semi-circle, but of course I was almost at the end of the left. We went through role after role in the same order; I skipped the male parts unless she indicated that it would be fine if played by a female, and did my best as the other parts rolled around. I did my finest Hollywood producer voice, sounding self-important and professional, and my most convincing hillbilly, making sure to twang in all the right places, and a ditzy back-up singer; though I wasn’t exactly sure how they were supposed to sound. Finally it came time to audition for Princess Norma. I was excited! I made my voice sound soft and regal for the few lines I spoke, infusing the very essence of what I knew to be a perfect princess. When I finished I looked up at the director and smiled charmingly. She didn’t notice. As soon as the auditions had begun, they were over! She told us to expect the cast list by the end of the week.

The rest of the week seemed to go by slowly. My fellow theatre students and I gossiped to each other about who would get what part. No one thought I would be Princess Norma. They chose a friend of mine that had been a princess in the play last year. It was the same play in which I had been a nursemaid. I thought that this time the casting would be different. I cast my best friend as the Queen, myself as the Princess, and so on until the perfect cast list was stuck in my head, as I cheered myself on until that Friday evening. After school let out, we all waited outside of the theatre to see our director post the list. As if she was in a very special ceremony, she came out with the important piece of paper in her hand, tape already attached. We tried our best to see the names on the list instead of waiting for her to post it. She walked slowly, seeming to enjoy the tension and suspense we were all experiencing. One of my more easily excited friends had actually begun to sweat! The director delicately stuck the paper to the wall and made sure it was secure, then as if she could predict what would happen, quickly stepped away. We immediately rushed at the door.

“Yes! I’m the Princess!” Those words stopped my heart momentarily. They didn’t come out of my mouth, how could this have happened? I said every word perfectly and precisely and princess-like, and I still didn’t get the part? I saw the girl who was a princess last year turn away from the list, smiling proudly. Or course it was her, the director’s favorite little princess. I was fuming. What two-bit part was I this time? A waitress with one-line? A nameless woman that died in the very first scene? A younger girl grabbed my hand and congratulated me on my part. I was confused. Why did I deserve congratulations? What could be as great as the princess? I nudged the others out of the way and looked at the cast list. I was the Queen! I barely remembered auditioning for that role, but a Queen was better than a princess any day!

That was the first time I had every landed a role that was large and memorable. It was the role of a very funny old woman who ruled an entire kingdom. That night, I counted the lines I had. There were over fifty. I was overjoyed and set myself to memorize them right away. Incidentally, this character did die in the very first scene!

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A Sim’s Frantic Prayer

It’s funny how my friend and I are obsessed with realism in the Sims franchise. We play different versions, but that’s what
we look for in order to modify our game. The strangest thing about it is, nothing on the sims is very realistic:
relationships aren’t based on a point system in real life. If the sims were more real, you could hook-up or even marry an
acquaintence with a score of 15 rather than having to wait until around 60 to become ‘best friends’ and 80 to ‘fall in
love’. Sponges, mops, and bug jars don’t sppear from mid-air. If it were realistic, Sims would have to make the trek to
where ever it is they left the mop last or buy a new one. Also, real people do not look up into the sky, wave their arms
and hands, and wail when they are in trouble.
Oh wait. they do.
Most people, if not everyone prays. I do not think it matters if you have one god, many gods, or no god at all. People will
pray to nothingness if the situation is dire enough, or even return to their default god that they were taught to believe
in before choosing they themselves not to. I have given up most of Christianity because of the hypocrites you encounter and
its restrictive beliefs and practices. To me, besides some of its terrific moral views, it forces you to be happy with
being less human than you want to be, or forces you to be a hypocrite with the facade of perfection though you secretly
live with what you are supposed to consider sin. But that is another discussion. Dispite my distaste, on  occasion, I still
pray to God. When it’s dark out and I’m frightened, I pray. When I am anxious about a grade on a test, I pray. When I’m
worried about a loved one, I pray to him ‘Oh, God, please save my cousin’. It doesn’t matter that a lot of things we pray
about do not happen, prayer makes us feel better. That’s probably how Gods are invented in the first place. Man has to give
a name to everything, and for some God is the name we recognize as that invisible, silent being we pray to.
Automatically, when something good has happened, we also give thanks to the same being. A mother who is reunited with her
lost child would normally say ‘Thank God!’ As if it was his doing. Sometimes, it’s just implied when you are relieved. For
example, I am (irrationally) frightened of thunderstorms, and I was once near tears over a very loud one. When the storm
broke, I exhaled ‘Thank you!’ before I even thought about it.
I think that this is a normal human reaction to things, both praying and thanking no one; and that some ‘wise’ men
connected a few chance prayers being granted, and proclaimed that it must be a heavenly being that we must praise and give
thanks to…Or maybe I believe in God after all.

It’s funny how my friend and I are obsessed with realism in the Sims franchise. We play different versions, but that’s what we look for in order to modify our game. The strangest thing about it is, nothing on the Sims is very realistic: relationships aren’t based on a point system in real life. If the Sims were more real, you could hook-up or even marry an acquaintance with a score of 15 rather than having to wait until around 60 to become ‘best friends’ and 80 to ‘fall in love’. Sponges, mops, and bug jars don’t appear from mid-air. If it were realistic, Sims would have to make the trek to where ever it is they left the mop last or buy a new one. Also, real people do not look up into the sky, wave their arms and hands, and wail when they are in trouble.

Oh wait. They do.

Most people, if not everyone prays. I do not think it matters if you have one god, many gods, or no god at all. People will pray to nothingness if the situation is dire enough, or even return to their default god that they were taught to believe in before they chose to no longer keep the faith. I have given up most of Christianity because of the hypocrites you encounter and its restrictive beliefs and practices. To me, besides some of its terrific moral views, it forces you to be happy with being less human than you want to be, or forces you to be a hypocrite with the facade of perfection though you secretly live with what you are supposed to consider sin. But that is another discussion. Despite my distaste, on occasion, I still pray to God. When it was dark out and I was frightened, I prayed. I made it home safe. When I was anxious about a grade on a test, I prayed. I made a D. When I was worried about a loved one, I prayed to him ‘Oh, God, please save my cousin’. He still died. It doesn’t matter that a lot of things we pray about do not happen or do not happen the way we want it to, prayer makes us feel better. That’s probably how Gods were invented in the first place. Man has to give a name to everything, and for some, God is the name we recognize as that invisible, silent being we pray to.

Automatically, when something good has happened, we also give thanks to the same being. A mother who is reunited with her lost child would normally say ‘Thank God!’ As if it was his doing. Sometimes, it’s just implied when you are relieved. For example, I am (irrationally) frightened of thunderstorms, and I was once near tears over a very loud one. When the storm broke, I exhaled ‘Thank you!’ before I even thought about why.

I think that this is a normal human reaction to things, both praying and thanking no one; and that some ‘wise’ men connected a few chance prayers being granted, and proclaimed that it must be a heavenly being that we must praise and give thanks to…Or maybe I believe in God after all.

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Hello world!

This is not really how I wanted my blog to start, but I accept.

Ever been at your computer at almost 1 am with a killer headache and a homework assignment due in less than 12 hours? Yeah. that’s me. It’s just past my first month in college and I am already fucking up. Wasting time on Facebook and FailBlog when you have a speech due isn’t smart at all, but hey I chose to do it right? My fault? I blame the internet for being so entertaining.

My best friend is currently passed out on my couch with the images of Tim Burton’s Corpse bride floating in her head. I’m wondering when she’ll leave, but it’d be funnier if she woke up in my dorm not knowing where she was. I’m thinking I should shave half her head and put a fake moustache on her to make it extra confusing!

Damn – I just know she’s going to wake up, find this and mind-murder me. Help!

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