What Am I DOING? Bustle, smock and sock.

This is going to be quick, because writing this post is interrupting my very important schedule today, of hiding under a pile of blankets with the comforting warmth of my dog next to me. So here we go:

This is a skirt. I found it in my summer wardrobe, which I recently began delving into. I got it at the very end of last summer, so I don’t think I ever wore it before it got put away for the season. The thing is, it’s one of those tiered broomstick skirts, which I somehow keep ending up with even though they look terrible on me. So I decided to add a pseudo-bustle thing in the back, hoping that would make it look better. This photo shows how I’ve pleated it up, but I’ve decided to abandon this design in favor of something much easier.

I know, this is the greatest photo ever taken.

This is a Viking smock which is almost completed. I need to sew the sides, sew the sleeves on, and hem it. Unfortunately, I will be hemming it by hand, so that will take a million years, but it should be done by next week.

This looks familiar...

And this is the next loom sock. The thing about socks is, you have to make two of them.

Posted in What Am I DOING? | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Local Counter Culture: Roller Derby in Happy Valley

We have a special guest post today from Lizzie Boredom. Enjoy!  —Dame Toadstool

HVDD getting ready for a home scrimmage - photo credit Ron Horton

Around this time last year two of my nieces (then 20 years old) informed me that they’d joined a local Roller Derby league.   I later found out that at the time the league was still in its infancy.  They were just starting out and it was pretty grass roots.  Somewhere along the way I heard they had dubbed themselves the Happy Valley Derby Darlins (HVDD)!  That name gets +10 Awesomeness in my book, for obvious reasons.  But hold onto your knee socks, girls, it gets better.


Yes, that's a skull encased in pink jello. Booyah!

Last Saturday I attended this season’s first real bout, the St. Patty’s Smack Down at UVU.  Since they were playing against another league they combined the best players from their two home teams (who normally play scrimmages against each other), to make the league’s competitive team, who call themselves…wait for it… the Molly Morbids!

My program from the St. Patty's bout

The St. Patty’s bout really sealed the deal for me in terms of Derby Love.  Never can I remember getting so caught up in the spirit of any sports event.  Ever.  Granted I care less than a little for most organized/team sports.  But roller derby is no “ordinary” team sport, my friends.   It’s beautiful, spontaneous chaos.  It’s raw and emotive.  It’s unpredictable.  It’s pure anarchy on wheels!

Sure there’s a list of rules as long as your Mormon ancestor’s undergarments.  Rules that require a certification process for referees and certainly prove difficult for my all-things-sports-inept mind to comprehend.  But let’s be honest, it’s a misfit sport at best; there ain’t no other that can touch it.   And for those a bit slow to catch on, I’m selling that as a good thing.  A healthy thing even, especially for our overly “organized” and (dare I say?) men dominated, sports saturated culture.  Not that there are no men derby leagues; how could they stay away?

In short, dear readers, I have been bitten by the Derby Bug.  Pricked by Derby Cupid, if you will.  And totally stoked to continue this love affair.

Black Eye Sky with teammates waiting to get their derby on.

My niece, Sky (known in the derby world as Black Eye Sky) who has since become captain of one of the leagues two home teams, Rollin’ Rebellion, was playing as a blocker Saturday with the Molly Morbids.

(Btw, the Morbids creamed their opponents, Nevada East Roller Girls, 183 to 87!)

I had a chance to talk with Black Eye Sky this past week (we’re close ;p) and ask her a few questions regarding Happy Valley Derby Darlins humble beginnings and how YOU can get yourself out to the derby.

LB: When and how did you first get into Roller Derby?

BES: Last January I was working at Joe’s Coffee Shop in Payson. Two of my coworkers invited me to a meeting held in a party room at Classic Skating in Orem. Their were like ten girls there. That was pretty much the beginning of our league. Of those first ten maybe half of us stuck around.

LB: How often do you practice and where?

BES: Three times a week at the old Food4Less building in Spanish Fork.  That’s also where our home scrimmages (domestic disputes) are held.

LB:  How often are said scrimmages?

BES:  We play two a month on Saturdays.  And we do “picnic scrimmages” for fun, which is basically getting together with other leagues during the off season (Sept-Feb) to keep in practice.

So there you have your basic info.  You can find out a bundle more and other derby details at HVDD’s website and their facebook.   Also, check out local derby photographer Ron Horton’s page for a plethora of great derby pics, including incredible action shots.

P.S. Sky and I chatted A LOT more the other day and I began to realize the Derby Hole is much deeper than I had initially imagined.  Which means, of course, that there will be more roller derby drivel to come.  Til then, peace & love (and Roller Derby)!

Posted in Awesomesauce | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

What Am I DOING? Say Cheese!

Hey kids! It’s fun time at my house (which we call the Burrow).

I am making cheese for the premiere of The Hunger Games! Yes, true and verily fresh goat cheese wrapped in basil. Oh baby am I hardcore or what. I am so excited about making cheese!

I forgot to get the basil out for the photo.

I am also weaving some trim for my friend Derpenna. (Yeah, I just take my friends’ names and replace the first part with “Derp”.) The gold thread is so shiny, it was hard to photograph.

Tiny trim for a doll.

I’ve been attacking my home videos. It’s excruciating, everyone so desperate for attention, but I’m almost done with the first tape. It will be cut down to about 1 hour from 2 hours. I’ll try for 45 minutes. There is a lot of the camera staring at the baby for no reason. I don’t like babies, even though this one grew up to be my cool younger sister.

Adobe Premiere Pro: At least not as ghetto as iMovie or Windows Movie Maker.

Other film things: I have two on-call editing jobs, one with my cousin’s marketing company, Olive Tree, and one with the SPG (you don’t know what that is, and I don’t feel like telling you.) I’m working on some stuff right now for both of them. For Olive Tree I’ve been cutting an ad and tutorials for Bling Time. Pretty sure they’re local, because otherwise why would they go to my cousin’s company? I’m starting on the SPG project tomorrow, it will basically be a training video. (Any chance to edit, is a chance to edit.)

Another, much more exciting film thing: Local film WWJD is resuming production at the end of this month. I’ve never met the director, but I’ve seen him act in things (is that creepy?), including a film that I cut; and I know a bunch of people he knows, including several people working on this film. He asked on Facebook for production volunteers, and I, of course, applied. I see no reason why he wouldn’t accept me, except for my schedule. We’ll see. Actually, I have to admit that the thought of working on a set again kind of makes me nervous.

So, I think that’s it right now. What have you guys got going on?

Posted in What Am I DOING? | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

What’s up in this hizzouse

Heeeeeey, there, readers. I know what you’re thinking. What the hell is going on? WHERE R TEH POSTS?

I had some pretty grand visions about what this site would be, so it’s frustrating for me to come out now and say that it wasn’t working the way I thought it would. There’s definitely some self-sabotage going on in the background, and I’ll take responsibility for that. My friends stepped up to support and contribute to Happy Valley Crafters at its inception, and have helped me keep it going, but ultimately I’m running the site and focusing its direction. So my sad little foray into self-sabotage affects them as well. When I let HVC fall out of focus, so do they. Blargh! I don’t like disappointing my friends.

So the question is: Am I giving up? My answer, in short: Absolutely not.

One interesting and unexpected thing that came out of the creation of this website involves a different path to creating and sustaining an local underground craft community: the Happy Valley Crafters Etsy Team. Even though I still haven’t officially opened my own Etsy store (time, I need more tiiiiiime!), the three other ladies most invested in Happy Valley Crafters all had stores when we started: Real Pretend Vintage, Faire Sisters, and The Cotton Floozy. Etsy teams are designed for communities to self-organize in a number of ways—and since we’re all in Utah County, it makes the most sense for our team to do things and help promote each other locally.

Without doing any advertising or sending out invitations, there are already 15 members on the Happy Valley Crafters Etsy team. Though there are at least three other teams for Utah Etsians, we are the only team of crafters specifically in Utah County. I’m interpreting that as an opportunity to build a local base of independent crafters who can get into all sorts of trouble together. What sort of trouble? Maybe monthly get-togethers, maybe promoting a team of stores rather than just individual stores, maybe even a row of booths at local fairs… and hopefully some down-and-dirty craftivism.

The trick is that not everyone on the Happy Valley Crafters Etsy Team is going to be of a similar alternative mindset. Rumor has it that there is a subset of somewhat conservative folks in this area. The HVC team is focused on networking and supporting fellow Etsy sellers in Utah County in an equal opportunity manner; it’s open to anyone who lives in Utah County, Utah, and has an active Etsy shop or is planning to open one in the near future.

screen shot of Happy Valley Crafters team on Etsy.com

I guess that means we’re all going to have to work together (which actually could be fun, since we already have something in common) or we’re going to mutually offend each other enough to break it all up rather quickly. Either way, adventure times!

Until that all comes together, my gal pals and I are working on fresh content for this here blog. There are two banners you haven’t even seen yet and I intend to put them to good use. I hope you’ll stay tuned and chime in with comments, because some of the most entertaining and illuminating HVC conversation so far has come from your comments. Thanks, and see you around soon!

Posted in Happy Valley Community | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Awesomesauce: Echo Theater & The Woman in Black

I’m going to step out of my usual blogging position to tell you about some cool theater stuff in Provo right now. And all this without the authorization of Dame Toadstool! Apologies to my lady!

Perhaps you’ve heard of the new Echo Theater? It’s located right in between those hipster-havens, Muse and Velour. It was a derelict space for, well I don’t know how long, until about a month ago some people were like, “Lets make this something awesome!” It’s a pretty cool story. In that month they got it all cleaned up and refurbished. It’s not posh, but it’s the type of small theater that I like. The stage is so uncomfortably close to the back row, you can see every bead of sweat on the actors’ brows. It’s so sincere, you know; you can tell it’s a bunch of people working together to do what they love for other people who love it.

Here’s the second part of the story! My friend at work, whom I may have mentioned before (shifty eyes), is directing and starring in the theater’s first production, The Woman in Black. The same ghost story as the movie, but quite a different type of production.

I went to the opening night last Thursday, and I LOVED it. It’s minimal theater–there’s no glamor or glitz for the production to hide behind, and no recourse to hide any amount of failure. It is the pure, rare power of good story and good acting. It is vivid and intense in its rawness. Three actors, foley, and a tiny set which slowly gets revealed throughout the play, strike a more ardent and sincere chord than all the fancy costumes, dance numbers, and fireworks you could care to see.

Clearly, I highly recommend this show. It has a few more days left: March 12, 15, 16, 17, and 19. If you have any love for theater or any love for horror, I beg of you, get thee to the theater. It is time and money well spent.

Posted in Awesomesauce | Tagged , | 3 Comments