Red Tank Top and Gray Yoga Pants Inspired By Echo in Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse

Click for larger version; click for the list of dolls.

So Brian and I watched Firefly and Serenity earlier this year, and I completely fell in love with the show. I haven’t yet seen any of Buffy or Dr. Horrible, but when I heard about Dollhouse I decided that this time I wouldn’t let Joss Whedon’s next potential hit pass me by, and I’ve been watching it on Hulu. I watched the first episode with Brian, and the next few on my own (my husband having bailed muttering jokes about “quantum leap with spas” and so on). Just as the hype had it, the second episode was better than the first, the overall beginning was kind of weak and episode six was tons of fun. The show is about an organization (the Dollhouse of the title) that removes the memories and personalities from their “volunteers” and hires them out as perfect human beings implanted with the personality and skills necessary for whatever job the client wants. In between jobs, the “dolls” are returned to a childlike state (one poster on the Whedonesque blog noted that they sounded a lot like lolcats — I has a book! — and I wish I could unread that because now I can’t not crack up at some lines) and spend the days in comfy clothes, doing yoga and eating lettuce. I’ve liked the subtle costuming so far, even if there aren’t the opportunities for fantasy like there were with Firefly.

I think Topher’s rather put-upon assistant Ivy is going to end up being the programmer Topher talked about in, I think, episode four — Topher seems to think that his rival Yuma Takahashi is definitely a guy, and rejects the idea that whoever disrupted the programming could be a girl when his assistant suggests it, but Yuma is a suggestive sort of name. “Yuma” seems girly to me, and there’s at least one actress with the name, but “Yuuma” seems more like a guy’s name; I wouldn’t expect Topher to know the difference. (The captions had it as “Yuma,” but that doesn’t signify much, I think.) Anyways, that’s my contribution to the rampant speculation, and I hope I’m right because I look forward to her smacking him down at some point. (For some reason I can so see a bewildered Topher with a line like “I thought all their names ended in ‘ko’?” A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.) For her to be the person who contacted Ballard seems like it might be too obvious, though.

Edit, April 6 – on rewatching Grey Hour, Topher says, I think, “Yumio” while the subtitles say “Yuma.” Yumio being a pretty manly name, I’m not so attached to my theory as I once was!

Halloween Costume Series Day 6: Scarecrow Costume with Torn White Blouse and Patched Red Polka Dot Skirt

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My husband and I split a CSA share with another family we know, and ours is with the Community Farm of Ann Arbor. (CSA stands for community supported agriculture; basically you pay for a share up front then over the course of the season you get a part of whatever vegetables are grown. For example, our share this week included sweet potatoes, swiss chard, broccoli and twenty bell peppers.) This week, they announced a “goods and services day,” where people could come to show and sell the things they make. I had to go anyways to pick up the share, so I thought, well, why not?, printed off a bunch of paper dolls and brought my drawing materials to the farm. I was the only one who showed up with anything, but it was great to be in the barn working on my dresses, and Annie (one of the owners of the Community Farm) loved them, helping to make up for my complete lack of salesmanship. I think the question I got the most is how I make a living off of them — the answer, of course, is that I don’t, it’s just a hobby. (The text ads do make enough money to cover hosting and replacement colorless blender pencils, which is very nice.) Second most common question was “why paperdolls?” for which the most true answer is, I’m pretty bad at drawing just about anything besides clothes, and I love drawing clothes enough that this doesn’t bother me.

If you like today’s scarecrow costume at all you can thank Annie for saving it; I got about a fourth of the way through sketching it out and was looking at it rather dubiously, but she thought it was so cute, so I kept going with it, and I think it turned out all right. Being on the farm made me think of things like scarecrows, and certainly I had enough reference material for the straw… You can thank Brian, too, for the bird. That’s the first thing he said when I showed it to him, that it needed a bird. Such insights are why I keep him around!

Taken my poll yet?

Halloween Costume Series Day 3: Fancy Lady Pirate In Red, Black and Gold with Plumed Tricorn Hat

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Reading smalltown mom’s blog has put me in a nautical mood, so…

The most powerful pirates wore whatever they pleased, and that was as much of a sign of their power as the fancy ships or fantastic treasures that they posessed. Among the cabal of the fifty or so most elite of the lords of the sea, it was understood that there was no need for artifice or the peacock-like preening of the lesser pirates; when you were that good at what you did, any excess started to look tacky. Captain Christopher Blood, feared master of the legendary Dreadfall, often wore a simple shirt and trousers and went barefoot, making him look for all the world like a new recruit, while Lady Bethany Star was fond of simple shifts without the slightest bit of embellishment. (Since she loved snow white linen and her clothes were so routinely bloodstained, it was actually more efficient to buy a year’s worth of shifts at once than to add the job of washing them properly to her favorite attendant’s duties.)

It was really only those still trying to make names for themselves who fussed over their buttonholes and silks, donning ropes of trade beads and piling feathers onto their tricorn hats until they looked like they might very well fly off themselves. The poorest of recruits with any ambition at all would soon have at least a snazzy handkerchief to show off, even if the rest of his clothes were castoffs older than he was. Extravagant flamboyancy was the look everyone aimed for, but make the mistake of snickering at a young pirate dandy with his waistcoat so adorned with lace it looked like a skirt and you’d be lucky to get away with interesting designs carved down your back and a majority of your fingers.

My pirate girl, Elaine Morgain, is well on her way up. No ship of her own yet, and not as much jewelry as she would like, but she’s got plans. In the meantime, she’s her current captain’s right hand and the second-best shot among the crew, she’s faced down some tricky situations (the most notable of which was surviving being marooned for a month, then having a delicious revenge a full year later) and she’s gained a reputation in certain circles for charisma, ruthlessness and the devil’s own luck. Not bad, she thinks, for someone who started pirate life with a dress barely patched together and a couple of throwing knives. (And yes, throwing knives have a place on a pirate ship. You have to be extra skilled to use them right, though.)

To cut out the left sleeve, cut around the lace, then put the hand over the skirt; to cut out the hat, cut on the white lines. (It may need to be cut past where I have the lines, though. Call it a guideline.)

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Two Fourth of July T-Shirts from Liana’s Paperdoll Boutique

Click for the doll.

For those of us in the USA – happy 4th of July! (And for those of you outside the USA, do enjoy the fourth of July anyways…) These are old 4th themed shirts (plus a pair of khaki capris) from the Boutique.

We haven’t seen any fireworks, but I might try to talk Brian into going to see the parade downtown…