Thursday, May 17, 2007
(exerpt from the Nurses Guide to Beauty Charm and Poise: on loan from Becktress)
Ever since I have been blogging there have been " conversations" about real life versus blog life portrayals and the apparently magical lives of our favorite craft-stars.
Last week (I think it was last week) everybody's darlin', Alicia P from Posie Gets Cosy wrote about the difficulty in 'Having her Picture Taken'. Yesterday my best craft pal Michelle called me and was lamenting the same crisis. Both look great in their pictures, as far as I concerned... But they were both....concerned.
Angelina, (easily my favorite "cut the crap" blog personality) is famous for posting "truth in advertising" pics of her home/ studio has also posted some great pictures of her beautiful self and some salty self depicating humor on the side!
And here i am, slathered all over my blog...me me me. What a dork.
Recently I was asked: "aren't you ever embarrassed?"
It is true, that Michelle refers to my posing and prancing as shameless (with a gleam of pride in her eyes..)
and I never thought I would be my own pretend fashion model when I was nearing 40. In fact, I really started sewing these vintage patterns because I was not liking my aging body ( especially in photographs) and I thought some less skimpy clothes could be just the ticket.
I loved the look of the vintage patterns, always bought vintage clothes when I could find them and the new fabrics were so bold and pretty and I wanted to share what I hoped was something that other crafters might get a kick out of. Since I really hadn't much serious sewing experience at all, I figured it might be a real adventure. Ideally, getting other like minded seamstresses to go along for the ride, so we could share our tips and tricks while we built fantabulous wardrobes.
Inspired by the sewing and wardrobing books I was finding in "thriftland" and how they really expected another level of sewing skill for the average woman of the mid-century, it made me believe that the skills were totally possible to acquire.
After I finished my first project, it became clear that the best thing about the garments were, they were made to look "right" on me. They really looked lackluster on a hanger... and didn't fit my dress form (my reliable stand-in is not my size, sadly.).The main thing I was learning , and the thing I thought was important for any other "new seamstresses" was the fitting.
Reality began to set in.
Oh My God. I have to have my picture taken... from many angles.
For many women this is a bigger challenge than they usually admit, even to themselves. I know very few over the age of 15 who go looking to get a snapshot taken. I have never really thought of myself as great looking or even really cute. I didn't date much in high school and boys literally made fun of my looks. ( And, No Mom, it wasn't because they were intimidated. They thought I was funny looking.) So, I was not really jumping up and down to loose my blog-o-nimity.
But I believed in the project.
The one thing that kept me on track was actually my old theater training.I had always been cast as a character actor, never the ingenue, so I got into character. I kept in mind I needed to "sell it" and if I was embarrassed, you all would be embarrassed for me... and well, that isn't "fun reading" is it? So I basically "decided" to not be embarrassed.
Thank God everyone was So Nice. It is amazing I am not a conceited egomaniac at this point. But I do try to never buy my own hype.
In the interest of not making anything look to easy, you should know:
I have Jacob take zillions of pictures... usually at least 20 or 30 per outfit. I only post the most flattering. I am only human.
I studied old "poise" books about "how to stand".
I act goofy because deep inside, I really am, and the serious pictures are Horrid.
Daylight eliminates wrinkles (from a photo perspective).
Action shots are usually cuter and make your thighs look smaller.
Skirts are also good for that too.
Always try to look up ( it removes chicken neck and undereye circles as well as makes your eyes look bigger and brighter.)
Always stand with one foot in front and the weight on the back foot. Verrry Slimming.
Weird angles help too. ( But not always..)
I also have dieted and exercised a bit since this started, thinking of that line from Fight Club where Ed Norton is voicing over:
" Fight Club became the reason to cut your hair or clip your nails short."
whilst I applied Crest White Strips or hair dye.
"What Would Tyler Durden Do?"
My New Vintage muses: Mary Tyler Moore, Audrey Hepburn, Tyler Durden and Auntie Mame
But You Know, I love this project. Not because of my photo sessions, with which, I have had some serious fun, but because
I Love Sewing.
Sewing is a series of "Tah-Dah" moments. Every time you finish a sleeve and turn it right side out, get the collar straight, finish the seams. There is for me a tremendous pleasure in constructing something complex and detailed from a plan and flat yardage. I am so excited every time I finish something, be it a whole garment or installing a zipper. Pressing in those seams, I am fulfilled.
So if I ham it up, posing my life away, just know it is just chutzpah smoke and mirrors.
Real life is just fine too.
But you can find that anywhere.
And there will be a new New Vintage Project ready to go Tuesday.
I was busy cleaning out the craft cave, see?
(sorry for the appearing/disappearing in bloglines kids... blogger is tweaking me out today.)