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Update: Pinterest

May 2nd, 2012 2 comments

Mary has sent in a copy of Pinterest’s user agreement, pulled yesterday from the Pinterest site. (You can see her comment on the previous post, here.)  The wording has changed from the previous agreement, which was in force at the time I originally wrote my blog post..  Pinterest now acknowledges each user’s rights to his or her own data:

Pinterest allows you to pin and post content on the Service, including photos, comments, and other materials. Anything that you pin, post, display, or otherwise make available on our Service, including all Intellectual Property Rights (defined below) in such content, is referred to as “User Content.” You retain all of your rights in all of the User Content you post to our Service.

(Bold is my emphasis.) That’s an excellent change, and reflects the legal realities of content produced by other entities (corporations or individuals).

Here’s the original paragraph, from the previous agreement, which unilaterally granted the owners of Pinterest with all rights to user data, forever

By making available any Member Content through the Site, Application or Services, you hereby grant to Cold Brew Labs a worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, royalty-free license, with the right to sublicense, to use, copy, adapt, modify, distribute, license, sell, transfer, publicly display, publicly perform, transmit, stream, broadcast, access, view, and otherwise exploit such Member Content only on, through or by means of the Site, Application or Services.

That has now been replaced by this one, which is more carefully written

Subject to any applicable account settings you select, you grant us a non-exclusive, royalty-free, transferable, sublicensable, worldwide license to use, display, reproduce, re-pin, modify (e.g., re-format), re-arrange, and distribute your User Content on Pinterest for the purposes of operating and providing the Service(s) to you and to our other Users. Nothing in these Terms shall restrict Pinterest’s rights under separate licenses to User Content. Please remember that the Pinterest Service is a public platform, and that other Users may search for, see, use, and/or re-pin any User Content that you make publicly available through the Service.

. . . which essentially says that Pinterest has the right to use data posted as it pleases in order to operate Pinterest.  That’s a much better user agreement, but these new terms are still a matter for concern, though.

As  Venture Beat has noted:

[These] changes, however, fail to address many of the copyright infringement concerns outlined by the photographer community.

Lawyer and one-time Pinterest-lover Kirten Kowalski, for instance, ostentatiously deleted her boards after learning that Pinterest’s terms of service could leave her vulnerable to copyright litigation. The new terms of service still state the user is “solely responsible” for the content they pin to the site.

Here’s a distillation of some of those copyright concerns, from a different Venture Beat article:

Members can easily grab copyrighted works from photo-sharing or media sites and clip them to their boards. Pinned images often include attribution, but sources later get lost in the shuffle, and some members go on to use images on their blogs or websites. Plus, considering that Google is the second most popular source of pins, a sizable percentage images are likely misattributed.

These copyright issues are not only a matter of concern to photographers, but to everyone who posts images on the Internet.  The issue of what amounts to wholesale theft — however unintentionally — of images isn’t really addressed adequately here.

There are legal issues that should be of concern to individual users, too.  Here’s what  SocMedSean, a social media blogger, wrote about the new user agreement:

Basically, “if you get sued for something you posted and didn’t have the permission to post…you’re on your own.” And remember, Copyright infringement is evaluated unders a standard of  Strict Liability so it doesn’t matter if “you didn’t know it was protected by Copyright law” or “didn’t mean to share something protected”. If you violate Copyright law…you’re on the hook, whether you meant to or not.

The interesting thing, here, is that Pinterest appears to be taking the approach that if they add an indemnity clause to their Terms of Use and they treat themselves as just the platform where the activity takes place, they’ll be able to claim the “safe-harbor” defense under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act. Not sure that worked out so well for Napster, so it’ll be interesting to see how Pinterest behaves when the first big copyright infringement lawsuit arises.

In other words, you, Indiana Mom, could find yourself on the wrong end of a lawsuit for “pinning” those images you found on the internet, but have no right to use.  And Pinterest won’t be defending you, or provide a legal shield for your (perhaps unintentional) theft of other people’s work.

What does this mean for users of Pinterest?

  • you have the right to upload your own images, not anyone else’s
  • you may face legal liability if you chose to ignore that restriction
  • allowing Pinterest, and Pinterest users, access to your images seriously limits your ability to control their use

The revised EULA is a huge improvement over the previous one, but fails in some critical areas.  Decoding user agreements, and understanding the implications of those agreements, isn’t easy for an average Internet user.  This one is no exception.  When considering participating in a social media site, the burden of understanding what you’re getting involved with is on you, only you.  You can’t count on “common sense”, the website itself, or your belief that things are run a certain way, to protect your interests, or those of others to wish you may wish no harm.

For those of us who are concerned about these issues, and do not want our content appearing on Pinterest, Paulund provides these instructions for preventing “pinning” from your own website.  I’ll be adding this blocker to mine.

Categories: Misc Tags:

Pinterest

May 1st, 2012 11 comments

This post refers to Pinterest’s original terms of use agreement, which was changed on April 6,2012.  Please see the following post, Update: Pinterest, for additional information regarding the new terms.

Here’s one good reason I will never use Pinterest.  Do you realize that when you upload your images to Pinterest  YOU ARE GIVING ALL RIGHTS TO YOUR  IMAGES TO PINTEREST, FOREVER? This has changed; this post discusses the original EULA  to which members agreed, prior to April 6, 2012.

Don’t believe me?  Here is part of the user agreement:

By making available any Member Content through the Site, Application or Services, you hereby grant to Cold Brew Labs a worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, royalty-free license, with the right to sublicense, to use, copy, adapt, modify, distribute, license, sell, transfer, publicly display, publicly perform, transmit, stream, broadcast, access, view, and otherwise exploit such Member Content only on, through or by means of the Site, Application or Services.

(My emphasis, because Pinterest would rather you didn’t read this carefully.)

You post it, they own it, no matter what they chose to do with it in the future.  When you sign up for Pinterest, you agree to give up all rights to the images you post there.

This is the sort of EULA (end-user-licensing-agreement) that gives websites a bad name.  As it should.  Your images should never be given to any other entity unless you know exactly how they will be used, when, and where, AND you are in complete agreement with that use.

Do you think this is acceptable?  I don’t.  I don’t want anything I post on my blog to turn up in business materials produced by Cold Brew Labs, the owners of Pinterest.  I don’t want the images I willingly share, on my own blog, used in advertisements for Pinterest.  Or on  websites Cold Brew Labs might produce.  Or in books Pinterest may produce.  I’m not working for Cold Brew Labs; I chose to share what I share publicly for the benefit of my readers, and for myself, on my terms.

I won’t give up the right to do that, and I hope everyone who wasn’t aware of this paragraph in yet another of those hardly-read EULAs gives some serious thought to what Pinterest is asking you to give up.  Pinterest is NOT your own bulletin board; it’s a device for others to collect your intellectual property and then do what they wish with it.

As a side note:  How sleazy is it of Pinterst to hide these terms within a document they know perfectly well almost no one will read?

Most of us in the sewing/craft community love to share — that’s why we have blogs.  Many of us are sweet people who would never dream of an organization grabbing their property and using it for the corporation’s own devices.  But that’s exactly how Pininterst is set up.  You no longer own what you post there.

Pinterest could have set this up so that they allow you to keep the copyright you automatically own on your own intellectual property.  That’s how Pattern Review works, for example.  You allow Pattern Review to post your reviews and images, but YOU keep the rights to everything you post there.  Pattern Review does NOT own what you post. Taking away your rights is not part of their user agreement.  Pattern Review does NOT claim to own what you post on its website.

Pinterest DOES. This is a nasty business model, and, in my opinion, unethical.  It’s completely legal — you have to agree to the EULA before you can post — but it is, in my opinion, unethical.  I won’t contribute to that kind of business model, and I don’t think anyone else should, either.

Update, 5/2/2012:  The new terms still leave a lot to be desired.  As noted above, the next post discusses some of those issues.

Categories: Misc Tags:

In My Drawers

March 3rd, 2012 8 comments

Sadly, this isn’t a post about knickers.  It’s about kitchen drawers.  Our kitchen cabinets are classic metal cabinets, installed in 1952.  Though they show a few of the ravages of time, we love them.  Call me crazy, but I much prefer them to modern wooden cabinets.

However, there are occasional issues.  For instance, the drawer fronts are held on by tabs that have been bent onto the sides, and melded in place.

Over time, the upper tabs on our most-used drawer separated, leaving a gap at the top of the front panel.  You can see it in the faint red circle above. (That printed stuff?  Ancient contact paper.  It will never come off, but fortunately it’s plastic, and scrubs clean.)

Using my trusty Dremel, I was able to drill a hole in each side of the drawer, and another one on the back side of the front.  A girl’s best friend is her Dremel!

The dark spot in the red circle is a hole on the  interior side of the drawer front; it’s the same shape as the tab that is supposed to be holding the drawer together.   It’s also the trick that allowed me to do a proper fix on the drawer.

Using long tweezers, I was able to insert a nut behind each of the holes I’d drilled on the drawer fronts.  I then placed an angle bracket in each corner, holding a hidden nut behind the bolt as I screwed it in place.

That’s all there was to it.

Categories: Home, Misc Tags:

Material Politics

February 21st, 2012 6 comments

Bunny has sung the praises of Walmart’s faux leather, and has made some amazingly creative bags using it.    Though I’m not convinced that its competitors are a lot better, I admit that I’m no fan of Walmart, and I try to avoid shopping there.  That’s not difficult to do, but several times a year, for one reason or another, I do find myself wandering the aisles in search of something I can’t find elsewhere.  Last time that happened, I found this:

It’s a woven, herringbone tweed corduroy.  Be still my heart!  From a distance, it looks like a deep, charcoal gray. This is my dream fabric (sad, I know — I must have been imprinted to corduroy when I was too young to resist).

I couldn’t believe it when I spotted this out of the corner of an eye while power-walking through the store.  It’s all cotton, from Pakistan, and was $4.47 a yard.  Next fall, it’s going to be, I hope, a favorite pair of pants, and maybe trim on a pair of Au Bonheur jeans.

Several years ago, Walmart pulled fabric from most of their stores.  So many people complained that they’ve now begin carrying material again, along with a selection of notions, and an expanded craft inventory.  Walmart’s prices are one-third to one-half those of JoAnn; the flannels are thicker and better quality, and Bunny’s synthetic leathers are much nicer than any I’ve seen at JoAnn.  However, the notions and fabric selections are extremely limited at Walmart; it would be awful if it were the only local source for these goods.

Walmart’s cotton wovens are, generally speaking, nothing to write home about, and our local store, at least, has very little of interest in the way of knits.  Stock is very  much a hit-or-miss proposition; it’s like a consignment shop, in the sense that  it’s best to buy what you see immediately, since it may never return.  I’m sure that some inventory is made to order for Walmart, but suspect other items are mill ends; oddly, it seems that Walmart does a far better job of quality control than JoAnn, even for what look like remainders — go figure.

The last few pieces I’ve bought at JoAnn were also produced in Pakistan; it’s likely that the same factories turn out goods for both companies.  That’s how it works in China, and it’s probably reasonable to assume that Pakistan follows the same model.  I’m not thrilled abut buying from either country (anymore than I am about shopping at Walmart), but avoiding doing so has become nearly impossible.  It’s also getting more and more difficult to find anything interesting stocked locally (except at the crazy, unpredictable, and eclectic JoMar), so I end up feeling grateful for the occasional treasure, like this cord.  The old days, they’re not coming back; it’s a case, maybe, of adapt or die.

Categories: Misc Tags:

Trike and Trekking

February 16th, 2012 16 comments

Cidell and Trena will not be impressed, but I have a new vehicle (new, that is, as of last fall):

It’s my favorite form of transportation around town (though I’ve also taken it on vacation).  It’s much lighter (only 62 pounds) and smaller than any similar vehicle I’ve seen, and riding it feels amazingly like flying on a two-wheeler.  I love that cargo basket; surprisingly,  it’s saved me a bundle in gas.  Who knew?  (The basket, by the way, folds down if you’re not carrying cargo.  I almost always am, so mine stays up, but the versatility is  a nice feature.)

The rear basket holds groceries and anything else I need to haul — I’ve made a few trips to and from the hardware store — but I wanted a way to keep my bike lock in the basket without needing to attach  it to the frame while riding.  I also wanted to be able to carry miscellaneous things without worrying that they might fall out, or through, the basket.

Naturally, then, I made a liner.  It’s orange ripstop — not my preferred choice of color, but not many people cycle on the streets where I live; visibility trumped any aesthetic considerations.  I plan to do a more refined version once I know how I’m using it, so I just winged this one.

Here’s the layout of the main pattern pieces, along with a fetching picture of my helpful assistant.  The assistant in question is big — the main fabric piece runs about 40 inches from side to side.  The sides of the basket are angled, so I measured top and bottom, and then drew the center strip right on the material — down one side, across the bottom, up the other side — and cut it all in one.  Then I cut the two side panels, and connected them to the center strip.

My assistant was a bit put-out when I began sewing, and, I’m afraid, found himself literally “put out” when he insisted on helping more actively.  Let’s just say that he ‘s not a bobbin’s best friend.

The liner top was cut to fit across the top of the basket, and attached to the body of the liner with zippers.  Because this was a quick and dirty project, I took rough measurements and cut flanges to go around the top flap, and then connected zippers to them.  The zips are two lightweight robe zippers, and I arranged them so that they open behind the seat, rather than in the back.  It’s a nuisance deterrent, like the flaps, so that it’s not immediately obvious how the liner opens, and so that it can’t be easily accessed from the back of the trike.

This is one  feeble sewing job, I’m afraid.  Sadly, that flange is not attached carefully at all, thanks to my having whipped this up just before taking off on a bunch of errands that required the liner, stat.  The corners are a mess, with some gathers and puckers instead of neat joints.  (I guess that makes this a usable muslin, right?)  The liner is held in place with hook and  loop fasteners, but I plan to replace them with snaps and snap tabs if I don’t remake the whole thing.  The liner costs a bit, aerodynamically speaking, and I’d like to be able to drop it to the bottom of the basket when not carrying cargo, to eliminate wind resistance when the basket isn’t full.

This is a hybrid vehicle, meaning that it has an electric assist, which I thought I’d need regularly, partly because I remember the clunky and incredibly heavy adult trikes of old, which weighed over 100 pounds — which is to say, most of my own body weight.  However,  I rarely use it unless I’m climbing a hill so steep that my current level of physical conditioning can’t handle it.

Because of an intermittent balance problem, I thought I’d never pedal again — and I’m thrilled to have been very, very wrong about that.  Though most of my ramblings around town are considerably shorter, I’ve taken several trips from 12 to 15 miles long, and loved every minute.   That’s not at all impressive if you’re a serious cyclist, but it’s not bad for a former couch potato.  And did I mention that I can break the speed limit in parts of town?  Without electric assist?  (Just call me Hot Dog.)  (OK, I might need a hill in spots, but this is a light trike, and it flies!)

I’ve been told that this nifty little vehicle is used in refineries, where nimbleness and and the electric motor are necessary advantages.  It’s turned out to be the perfect vehicle for me, too.  I love not having to drive into town, and knowing that I’m getting exercise even when I’m picking up human fuel at the grocery store.

By the way, guess which demographic LOVES my red trike?  12-22 year old males — go figure!

Categories: Adventure/Travel, Misc Tags:

Not Martha/Not Sewing

February 3rd, 2012 No comments

(With apologies to the actual Not MarthaReal Martha, America’s favorite domestic diva and best-known upper-crust felon, wouldn’t be impressed with this project, either, but there you go.)

Our pull-down attic stair was replaced recently, first, with a horrible, flimsy aluminum ladder that swayed when it was looked at, and then by a sturdy wood ladder which has its own shortcomings, but is stable and strong.  I’ve finally stained and sealed the attic panel and trim.  Here it is, taped up and nearly ready for my tender ministrations:

The carpenter who did both installations was apparently pretty annoyed at having to re-do his first faulty job, and, whether through pique, carelessness, or incompetence, managed to destroy the trim around the opening when he removed it for the second time.  This was a problem, as all of the (matching) trim in the house is 60 years old.  The color — ancient varnish and stain from technologies long gone — was not easily replicated.

A really helpful guy at our local hardware store patiently opened can after can of stain for me so that we could figure out what would look as close as possible to the old trim.  So this is what I did this week, instead of sewing:

It’s not a perfect match, but it’s very close, and we can live with it.

Both stair sets came with white strings, and flimsy white plastic pull tabs.  Control is important when raising these panels, and the plastic tabs were hard to hold onto.  A ring would have looked great, but could have led to finger amputation, so I replaced the tab with a T-shaped lawnmower pull handle. The T shape allows us to get, and keep, a good grip without risking any digits, and, as a bonus, it’s also comfortable to hold.

However, the metal faceplate was pretty tacky.  I covered it with a little bit of rust-colored Ultrasuede (which should probably be dark brown, instead):

I also replaced the white nylon cord with a sturdier black cord, which won’t show dirt nearly as  readily.

Staining the stairs seemed like an unnecessary aggravation, but I did stain and seal the hand rail, since it gets constant use, and holding onto what would have eventually become a grubby rail was not a pleasant prospect:

That aluminum-looking, textured silver stuff above?  It’s an insulated cover that isolates the attic from the rest of the house with a thermal barrier; it helps keep heating and cooling bills lower.

I made one other improvement when the ladder was first installed.  The pull cords were just threaded through a hole drilled in the wood.  I think that’s sloppy, so I added a washer on the inside:

When the cord is pulled down, the inside knot rests against the washer.  Continual use of the cord won’t wear away the edges of the washer, as it will an unreinforced hole drilled in bare wood.

Most useful new trick I learned on this project?  The helpful fellow at the hardware store sold me this full, round, brush; he said it was the best tool for applying the urethane to the grooved molding trim.  It gave me a beautiful result with less effort than a rectangular brush would have required, and far better, and more even, coverage.  And it really was much easier to use than a conventional brush.

It’s not sewing, sadly, but it did need doing.  Sewing is best, but getting these projects out of the way is satisfying, too, even if it’s a rather different type of satisfaction.

Categories: Home, Misc Tags:

AG Doll Clothes, Vintage Version, With Bed and Trunk

December 31st, 2011 11 comments

They’re vintage because I made them for Noilette, when she was very little.   Years ago, before Mattel bought American Girl, the dolls (and their clothing) were excellent quality (unlike the books, which, despite their “educational” pretensions, are pretty weak all around).  The size of these girl-shaped dolls makes sewing for them fast and rewarding; you get a lot of bang for your sewing efforts.

Running across various posts about others’ AG sewing prompted me to finally get out the camera and immortalize Noilette’s collection.  Here are the garments I made for her AG dolls a long time ago. (And, at the bottom of the post, pictures of the trunk and bed I made for her, too.)

First up, a sou-wester slicker and hat, made from a flannel-backed table cloth, and lined (badly, I’m sorry to say) in navy nylon.  The dark nylon is why the coat looks darker than the unlined hat.  You can’t tell here, but the brim of the hat is elongated, just as it would be in a proper, full-sized version.  The coat’s collar is a very, very fine pinwale cord, in brown.  Much more comfortable than PVC next to the chin!

The back of the slicker has a little vent:

The little chrome “snaps” are fake; there’s hook-and-loop underneath.  All of these items were made on my Pfaff 1229, and most of what I’m posting here was made from American Girl patterns. Does Mattel still sell them?  They were quite wonderful.

Here’s a prairie dress, complete with bonnet, simple bloomers, an apron (with pocket) and a floating pocket that also wrapped around the waist.  I’m not sure why I made a pocket on the apron, since it’s a bit redundant.  Because I could?

You can barely see the “growth tuck” about an inch above the hem.  That’s so frugal mamas could let the skirt down as the child grew taller.  The hem is faced with blue gingham; I did that on a couple of the garments, probably  just because it seemed like fun.

Moving forward to Victorian times, here’s a very badly wrinkled little cotton pinafore, trimmed in rick-rack, with a pink gingham dress underneath, complete with mini leg o’mutton sleeves:

My iron and I are not getting along these days.  I have a vague recollection that I made Noilette a matching outfit.

Naturally, I made a full-circle poodle skirt, though it’s very much the worse for fuzz.  This wasn’t the best quality felt around.

Here’s a surprisingly badly-made tutu.  I’m not a fan of pink, and I see that I managed to find a rather mauve-y shade for the leotard:

There was only one slipper in the trunk when I unpacked it today.  If these little treasures get passed down someday, I’ll have to make a new pair.

Here’s another dress; a generic drop-waist style that, I think, was also supposed to be from around the turn of the century:

I know; wrinkle city.  It’s all-cotton.  Those are little, tiny, woven checks.  Lovely stuff!

This little sweater set was supposed to have matching mittens, and may yet acquire them:

I didn’t use a pattern for these, just copied some larger ones.  Fitting was not much of an issue, so they worked up very quickly.  I think the checkerboard pattern on the hat may be traditional; anyway, I liked it a lot.  The figure on the hat is skirted, wiht doubel stripes between, all around the crown.

I’d forgotten about this little sweater:

It was also a very quick knit, but I was surprised at the infinitesimal button holes.  Easy to do, though, since you  just drop a stitch, and then pick it back up.


I’m not sure what possessed me to use quite so many buttons.  Probably an attempt at miniature verisimilitude.

This is my favorite outfit:

It’s a separate blouse and skirt, with a little Russian flair.  The hem is faced with red-and-white gingham checks.

This Victorian cape set, complete with beret and gaiters, is made of practical polar fleece, and lined with the same navy nylon I used to line the sou-wester.  Wool would have been authentic, though probably not if it were white.

The collar has a lovely shape, only part of which can you see here:

Little corduroy overalls, with a pocket on the bib, and the same faux snaps as on the slicker:

The turtleneck is open down the back, and closes with hook-and-loop fasteners.  It’s not very inspirational, but a necessary accessory.

Naturally, there are nighties in the collection.  This one is of a lovely heavyweight all-cotton flannel, with ruffles at the shoulder, wrist and neck, as well as mauve ribbon woven through lace trim on the bodice:

Everyone needs a cloud nightie, don’t you think?  Noilette had a matching one, of course:

I made the wooden trunk Noilette’s doll wardrobe is store in, as well as the wooden bed that fits inside.  I love unexpected challenges, and, at the time, my father was handling the plumbing, so I had to look elsewhere for projects, unlike these days.

The bedding is just a ticking mattress, with matching pillow, and a little quilt — a thin quilt, like the ones my great-grandmother used to make.  She used flannel for the batt, so that’s what I did, too.

Naturally, I used scraps for the patchwork, and the doll’s doll is wearing a copy, sort of, of the white flannel nightie.  Yes, those are miniature Little Golden Books.  I hate them, and wouldn’t allow them in Noilette’s library (not that the issue came up), but apparently I thought they were good enough for dolls!

I’m no pro at stencilling; I was very relieved when this turned out.  However, I think that was because I faked it, and pencilled the design, then painted it.

The trunk lid is made of extremely thin plywood, like that used on vintage plane wings, and nailed and glued into place.

Because we had cats, I made a cozy for the lid; the elastic needs replacing, but it still provides protection from the depredations of the current herd of cats:

As it turned out, Noilette was never very fond of dolls, possibly because, unlike her mother, she has always been very social and very fond of living, breathing people.  Nonetheless, she still appreciates handmade things, and one day may pass all this stuff down to a child of her own.  If not, it may eventually become someone else’s treasure.  Or not .  .  .  regardless, her mother had a great time constructing every piece, and that’s quite enough, all on its own.

Categories: Misc, Vintage Tags:

Zoë

December 16th, 2011 6 comments

Peter, of blogging fame, is apparently not content with collecting a small army of sewing machines, or an actual army of Ken dolls (all of whom look as if they’re ready for some sort of leisure-suited Armageddon).   Nooo, now he’s gone and acquired a Patti Playpal doll.  From a Manhattan thrift store.  For the grand total of 15 dollars. (She’s even wearing her original pinafore!)

Does Peter have supernatural help in finding these things?  Or a secret army of spies, ever-alert, walking the sidewalks and scouting the shops? Because the most exciting thing I ever found in a Manhattan thrift shop was a Sherlock-Holmes-style cape with moth holes and several buttons missing.

But I digress.  Peter, meet Zoë.  Admittedly, I didn’t score her from a consignment shop on an exotic island, but she’s just as useful for freaking out the spouse:

I did, however, make her myself.  Or, rather, I designed and made her inner armature myself, modified her body, and assembled her limbs and head.  (Without the armature, she’d have been relegated to life in an assistive device).  Her skeleton is made of flexible plumbing tubing, which makes her less stable than Patti, but more posable.

Mr. Noile finds her creepy (and this from a guy who used to feed baby dolls to a giant preying mantis puppet!  Talk about creep factor!).  He was pleased to learn that Michael felt similarly about Patti.  And no, I don’t sew for Zoë, but I do have a whole box of 1940s and 1950s children’s patterns in the attic, and, next to Patti, Zoë’s apparel looks awfully modern, doesn’t it?  Maybe I should do something about that.  There may not be enough eccentricity in the world already.

What?  You say that I haven’t posted on this sewing blog since August, and then I write about a life-size doll?  Yeah, what of it?

Categories: Misc Tags:

MPB Day!

August 15th, 2011 No comments

I’m back home after several days in New York, including a Saturday spent celebrating (the first annual?) Male Pattern Boldness Day.

(Photo cribbed from MPB; that’s our fearless leader, front and center, looking, as he himself points out, quite tall.  How did he do that?  I think he’s discreetly en pointe, myself!  But you can hardly tell .  .  . )

Peter was a most amiable host and shepherded a good two dozen of us through a perfectly planned day full of New York City treats.  (We even met Michael, though he was a bit difficult to spot in the sea of humanity that we were at Brown Cup for lunch.)

Those of you unfortunate enough to have missed the day are encouraged to enjoy Peter’s excellent re-cap; I suggest that you do this immediately; those of us who are regular readers of MPB realize that a day that starts without an MPB post is hardly worth getting up for.

Since I’m leaving recounting the actual day to Peter, I’ll  just sneak in a few random notes here, to immortalize the unexpected joys of any day in New York.

For example, as I was walking from one floor to another of the Chelsea Flea Market, I discovered this marvelous vehicle parked in front:

It’s a Thunderbird, of course, and according to its owner, a 1957.  Of course, it’s owner is obviously a madman, since he actually drives this treasure in Manhattan.

Next to the Brown Cup, where we all ate lunch  (just down the street and around the corner from FIT), was a little Korean place, apparently run by the same people. It smelled heavenly, and they sell Kimchi pancakes.  Next time!  (Peter vouched for them, too, so they’ve got the MPB endorsement, though, sadly, not nearly enough seats for 25 ravenous fabric tourists.)  No picture, I’m afraid; too busy eating a tasty avocado and mozzarella sandwich from the Brown Cup at the time.

Kinokunyia is always full of surprises; we got there too late for me to buy onigiri for my trip home the next day, but many of us were treated to the sight of these otaku:

(Along with lots of Japanese sewing books, Kinokunyia sells a ton of manga.)

On the north side of Bryant Park, as I was heading off to do one last errand before packing in the day, I saw these portable racks of books (a “Reading Room”) for visitors to read while sitting in the square:

(For the electronically-inclined, or those of us, like me, who often have a rooted Nook in hand, Bryant Park, like many parks in the city, also has free wi-fi.)

In other news, I’d actually seen Peter at Metro Textiles on Thursday, where I’d gone to find some wool for a jacket. I hadn’t recognized him, go figure.   (Some fan, huh? — hey, it’s all about the fabric; focus, focus, focus!)  Kashi, Metro’s proprietor, isn’t usually open on Saturdays, so I’d figured (correctly) that Metro wouldn’t be on the agenda for MPB Day.  I even spoke to Peter’s shopping companion, Lynnelle, because the wool she was holding was such a great color.    On Friday morning, I realized my error when I saw Peter’s post, and the photos of both Peter and Lynnelle.

Metro Textiles is on West 37th Street, and it’s a great place to find fabrics at much better prices than you’d think, but it’s very hard to spot these days.  Kashi is on the third floor of a rather elegant-looking building which has had this rather inelegant looking façade for far too long:

No need to remember the floor; the men who operate the elevators are expert at spotting Metro shoppers!

All in all, it was a splendid day.  What else has Peter got in store for his legions of fans?  I wonder .  .  .

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Münchausen-By-Cat

July 27th, 2011 6 comments

Sally lives for the day when anybody is sick.

She’s been known to herd people to the bedside, madly hoping one or more will spend the day sick in bed, next to the desperate cat.  A laid-up human!  Oh, the bliss .  .  .

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