Feb 20, 2014

Happy Anniversary!

Yep, totally coming out of lurkdom.  I just wanted to say a quick happy anniversary to Justin.  It's 16 years today!  I haven't killed him yet, and believe me there have been TIMES......

As usual, he got me weird ass, totally me presents.  

A musubi maker and nori.  Really.  Because I fucking love katsu musubi (and SPam, but more katsu) and want to make it here at home.  

He also got me a treadle sewing machine from the late 1800's.  OMG. O.M.G. No pics of that yet, as I need to clean it up and do some repairs.  But it's beautiful.  BEAUTIFUL.

In other news, there's other news, but hey, lazy!  I'll try to get around to it this week.  Plus happy anniversary post shouldn't have other things.  Soooooo....


Sep 16, 2013

More Justin Stories....

This one's been brought up a few times in the last few days, so I thought you all might enjoy it.  When people ask why I stay with my husband, why I love him, despite all the crap, it's stories like these.  Life is NEVER dull with him around.

This is the story of how he was stuck under a couch for three hours.  Yes- THREE HOURS.

We were moving from Germany and were getting rid fo some things. I was 6 1/2 pregnant with Emily, so no carrying couches for me. I was going up to the Birkenstock factory with a friend and our respective kids for the day, so Justin had the day to get the house cleaned up and do some dump runs. I TOLD him to ask one of our friends to help him with the big stuff. He said no, NO PROBLEM I CAN HANDLE IT. Okay, dude, whatever. I'mma go buy shoes.

Fast forward to five hours later when I get a phone call while in Birkenstock mecca.


"Ummm, Birkenstock factory, remember? Why the hell did you forget this?"


I don't remember what was said after that because I was dying of laughter. I think I made him repeat it on speakerphone so my friend could laugh her ass off.

What had happened was he was bringing the couch down the stairs when it flipped over ON TOP OF HIM. Our apartment was a weird upside down L shape, with stairs going up to the main living area on the top floor. He had gotten to the last landing before the hallway to the front door (stairs were at the back of the house) when he lost his grip and the couch flipped over on top of him. This wouldn't have been a problem if 1- the couch had flipped with its back toward the wall instead of the stairs and 2- if the landing wasn't *exactly* the same size as the couch. There wasn't enough room for him to flip it off of himself. Luckily, we had for some reason left a box saw on the windowsill of that landing (no idea why). He was juuuuuust able to reach his arm up and get it to saw himself free. The reason it took three hours was because there was a bolt missing from the box saw, so it would flop and he could only cut one direction.

And no, he couldn't call anyone to come help because the front door locked automatically and his phone had fallen out of his pocket and out of his reach when the couch landed on him. It was the saw or wait for me.

Life is never dull with this man. NEVER. And he always has people come help him now when lifting heavy things.

Aug 23, 2013

I made a book cover!!

My friend's book came out!  I did the cover!  Go buy it because it's awesome.  Also, he's publishing independently, so allllllll the marketing is word of mouth.


Here's the cover, because I'm wicked proud.

Aug 14, 2013


I had grand plans for this summer.  I was going to sew a lot go to the pool, paint my living room, pull the carpet up, make lots of lumen prints, and be SO CONSTRUCTIVE.

Instead I played a lot of Bubble Safari.

Well, I DID manage to keep some plants alive, I got my sewing classes planned for the fall (still need to write the course outlines and make up the handouts), shot a bunch of stuff, Justin had pneumonia, and my MIL is coming to visit next week.

I really need to set a schedule for myself.  Like editing from x to x, then sewing for another hour or two, house stuff, etc.

So today is sewing for a while, since Jack needs PJ pants and I have two skirts to make up.  I think we're going to start painting the living room tomorrow.  That won't take too long, hopefully.

Jul 20, 2013

Why do I even HAVE this thing??

Seriously.  Last time I updated was in April when we got the car.  Since then things have happened, things to write about, but have I had the time or inclination?  Apparently not.

Part of the reason I've been absent is my sewing classes.  They're doing REALLY well.  I'm teaching two nights a week and have been hired to teach up in Gig Harbor, too.  In the fall, I'll be teaching sewing one night a week and doing weekend workshops.  And I won't just be teaching sewing.... they want me to teach photography, too!!  WOOO!

Piggybacking on that, I'm also offering online sewing classes.  I'm on a website called Betterfly, which does online instruction and helps you find professionals in your area to help you learn what you want to know.  It's a great platform for creative types who can teach.  Check my page out- http://betterfly.com/pro/dorothydean .  I think I also have it listed in the sidebar over there ---->.

Photography is going.  SLOW going, but going.  This place is pretty saturated with photographers, but I'm picking up jobs here and there.  Justin decided to buy me an enlarger, so now I can start working on my body of work for my MFA application.  I'm not sure where I want to apply yet.  I'm debating UW, which means I need to wait for Jack to be in school, or a low residency program, which means tuition will be MUCH higher and I'll have to go there for a month or so each year.  I'm really torn.

What else, what else......  Oh yeah.  JAM.  I BE JAMMIN'.  No really, I've meen making tons of jam for the last 6 months.  I love it.  It's sooooooo good.  So far I've done two marmalades, strawberry, pear and seedless raspberry jam.  I'm thinking about entering a jar at the fair.  Not sure, though.

And that's where this ends.  I started it this morning, and am ending it now, 7 hours later.  :p  That 7 hours entailed a trip to Goodwill, the dollar store and some arguing on the internet.  Oh, what an exciting life I lead.....

Apr 14, 2013

New wheels!

If you are on the Book of Faces, you've probably seen this, but I has a new car!  Not NEW-new, but new to me.  :D

It's an '08 Honda Pilot EX-L.  We got a killer deal on it.  We still have the Forester.  This was just because the kids were getting too big to all squeeze into the back seat of the Forester anymore!  The Pilot has a roomy third row, sunroof, awesome sound system, really comfy seats, and is in general pretty awesome.  I'm not a fan of white, but meh.  I'll deal.  I'm not vain when it comes to my car.  

In other news, my sewing classes have started and seem to be taking off!  One of my students is a communications instructor at the Gig Harbor campus and she went and talked me up to them.  They really want me up there to teach, too.  :D  I'm also going to work on teaching credit classes, if I can.  I may need my Master's before I do that.  Maybe.  We'll see.  The classes I want to teach are techniques classes, not conceptual, and since fibers isn't taught at a college level anymore, they may see that I'm fine to teach, since my degree is in art.  Not many people seem to have my sill set.  

Where will this leave the photography?  To be honest, I don't know.  It all depends.  I'm going to go with the flow on this.  Photography may end up part time, which is fine.  What I'm interested in is helping people learn.  

Apr 3, 2013

I'm really bad at this

For reals.  It's been almost 5 months!  I'm a terrible blogger.

In 5 months, 5 months worth of stuff has happened.  Imagine that.

I have learned to make jam.  And I like it.  I make a bad ass strawberry.  I am learning marmalade.  Marmalade is hard.  I always cook it a smidge too long.

Sewing classes start next week!  Woo!  Tuesdays are a go, and Thursdays are looking good.  I can't wait!

I have a new camera, a D600.  I have a few sessions booked for the sumer, plus one wedding.  I'm planning on doing the wedding expo at the Tacoma Dome in Jan.  I want to book 6-8 weddings next year.  I'm re-working packages to make them AWESOME.

My parents are visiting right now.  I like having them here, for all that they drive me crazy.  They're spoiling the kids, and us.  Today we went out to Ocean Shores so my mom could see the Pacific.  It was a long drive, but worth it.  I think we'll go camping out there this summer.

In family related news, I finally met my birth father, Ken and his family.  It's been interesting.  I have sisters, three of them!  Plus a step-mom who is really sweet.  I like them all, which is good, since they live 90 min away.

We're getting a new car soon.  I have a few I'm looking at, loan is approved, so probably we'll go next week to look at them.

The kids are awesome.  Jack is TWO.  TWO!!  It seems like he was just born yesterday.  I didn't think I'd like having three kids, but in reality, I love it.  He's a funny, funny boy, and so fucking sweet.  He sings all the time, loves his drums, and can already count to 20 and and sing his ABC's.  Maddie has blossomed into a math and science genius.  She's applying to a match camp this summer, and is working on getting into SAMI, the math and science HS here in town.  Em is stil the hilarious, snarky kid she always is.  Soccer season starts up soon.  I have to keep her from covering herself in sequins on a daily basis.  The kid loves some sparkle.

Justin is going head on into school.  He kind of dipped his toe in last quarter, but now he's in full force with his human services classes.  I think he's going to be a great social worker.  He picked the perfect job.  I'm also really proud of him.  Instead of chasing fame, or doing something meaningless, he decided to go for a second career in helping people.  I think he's pretty damn awesome.

So there's the quarterly update.  Fascinating, as usual.  If you follow me on Facebook, you'll see a lot more.  I'm a fucking junkie.

Dec 11, 2012

Actual Sewing Content

DId I give an update on the interview?  No?  Very well then.

I got the job!!!

I start in April, when the spring quarter begins.  I'll be teaching basic sewing, as well as an intermediate or special topics class.  RIght now I'm thinking of doing a series where we work through my (current) favorite sewing book, Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing: A Modern Guide to Couture-Style Sewing Using Basic Vintage Techniques
.  It's got some awesome patterns an great info about vintage sewing and fitting.

In honor of that, I'm going to try repurposing things.  Not upcycling, but reusing.  I'm starting with sheets.  Sheets are an awesome source of fabric.  They're nice and big, and usually have already been washed a million times, which means shrunk as much as possible.  They're generally 100% cotton.  Best of all, you can get them for a couple bucks at Goodwill!  I got this one today, which will become a shirt dress.

I picked up another vintagey looking floral one, too, as well as a white one to do a fitting muslin in.  

Now if you do a search for "dress made from sheet" you'll find some.... creative things.  Usually not well done.  People see it and think SHEET.  SQUARE.  CANNOT CUT.  But it's just fabric.  It was cheaper than anything you can get at a fabric store, so USE IT!  If you mess it up, you're only out a few bucks.  

Tomorrow I need to go get some tracing paper and materials to cut out the pattern without dorking up the sheets that came with the book.  No, I don't have any idea where mine are.  I blame the movers.  

Dec 7, 2012

Faith in humanity- RESTORED

This time of year always makes me a little grumpy.  People are pushy, there's a "war on Christmas" that doesn't exist, my beliefs get marginalized, and there's that whole coming up with money for presents.


But today.....  today my faith in humanity has been restored.  Why?  SOmeone who doesn't know Maddie sent her one of the best gifts she's ever gotten.

As a lot of you know, Maddie is a HUGE comic book geek.  HUGE.  She has the Marvel and DC encyclopedias memorized.  She can tell you whatever you want to know about the X-Men.  But her FAVORITE is the Green Lantern.  So much so that when the movie came out, we all went opening night, with her in her GL shirt, mask and ring.

She also has a thing about writing to comic book writers.  She's written a bunch of letters to Stan Lee, but nothing has been returned.  About a month or so ago, she wrote to Geoff Johns, the guy who does the Green Lantern comics.  The letter had an idea or two of what she'd like to see in the comic and she sent a picture she drew of one of the characters.

Fast forward to today.  UPS rings the bell and hands me a box from Diamond Comics.  I take it, see it's addressed to Maddie and open it up, thinking it's a Christmas gift from her uncle or one of my good friends who know she loves comics (and love them, too!).  Inside I see a photocopied letter, a shirt, and some Green Lantern action figures.  Huh?  Who the heck sent that?

Then it clicks.  That's her letter, the one she sent to Geoff Johns.  I look at the address and it's from Warner Brothers in Burbank.  It REALLY clicks- GEOFF JOHNS GOT HER LETTER.  THIS BOX IS FROM HIM.  Or at least from someone on his staff thoughtful enough to see a little girl's letter and send her some truly awesome swag.

But it gets better.  I post on Facebook and a friend of mine tells me he knows someone who knows Geoff's email address.  He works his magic and HOLY CARP- when Maddie writes her thank you note (which she will!), it will go directly to Himself.  Well, directly via two friends, but STILL!

By the time this is settled Maddie get home.  We tell her she has a package, and she opens it up  and OMG.  I have never seen a kid so excited!  She was seriously ready to cry.  Then I told her about the email and that was the end.  :D

This whole thing has really restored my faith in humanity.  Maddie writes just because she loves the stories, not for any reward.  The fact that someone in that office recognized a little girl, and thought enough of her letter and her time to send her something is awesome.  They deserve a huge karma boost.  As for Goeff, well, a lot of my comic geek friends say this has redeemed what he did to the Justice League.  Can't quite forgive the Superman debacle, though.  ;)

And here's a picture of Maddie with her loot:
Please to ignore the boxes in the background and the super messy table.  It's been a busy week!

Also, if anyone wants to tweet to Geoff Johns about his awesomness, his handle is @geoffjohns.  I already did.

Dec 1, 2012

Well this explains a lot.....

I followed a link to a blog article today that clears a lot of things up for me about my life in late 2006, all of 2007, half of 2008 and a few blips all the way into 2011.  For those just joining the show, during his first major manic phase, Justin had a brief affair.  When he came down from the mania, he realized what he was doing and broke it off.  Except the woman wouldn't allow it, and continued to lie and do anything she could to keep him in contact with her, up to and including a fake pregnancy.  She told enough lies that he was busted by the Air Force, and continued to tell lie after lie after lie, all the while harassing my family.  During that time period the tires on my car were slashed twice.  I was answering my doorbell to find no one there, phone calls where people hung up (and these happened ONLY during this time period).  Friends were questioned as to where my husband was.  It got so bad, my husband was afraid to leave the house, in the event she cornered him somewhere (she lived the next street over).  How do we know this?  She was stupid enough to email him and tell him she lied and did some of these things.  We have phone records of her calls.  I have a stack of information an inch and half thick.  The emails from her continued until 2010/2011, after we'd moved across the ocean.

But this is 2012.  This all happened years ago.  Why am I rehashing it now?  An internet friend is having a very difficult time with her soon-to-be-ex-husband.  Harassment, lies, even physical violence.  Now Justin's stalker wasn't nearly to the level of this guy, thank goodness.  But for a very long time, I've been wondering how someone who claimed to love someone, as she claimed to love Justin, could do so many things to hurt them and the people they love.  She was horrible.  She gave no fucks about me, no fucks about my children, no fucks about anyone but herself.  She expected everyone to give a fuck about her, though.  The cognitive dissonance was astounding.  

Then someone posted the link to this blog post by a psychologist, The Vindictive Narcissist.  A lightbulb clicked.  This is her.  This is the woman who tried desperately to destroy my family.  This paragraph, in particular, stood out to me:

"Unlike you and me, however, he can’t tolerate such painful humiliation, not even for a second, and revenge fantasies are not enough. He experiences the continuing reality of a woman who rejected him as a continual threat, a constant assault upon his ideal self-image; as a result, his defenses remain on continual alert against it. At the least provocation — that is, whenever shame threatens to emerge — he will viciously strike out, like a snake assaulting its prey."

This was the answer I needed.  You see, she was trying to build a reputation as a Christian singer.  She had gone to a CHristian college, sang at her church, and was all SOOOOOPERCHRISTIANJESUSFUCKYEAH!!

Small problem- GOOD Christian women don't have affairs while their husband is deployed to Iraq.  GOOD Christian women don't try to convince another man to leave his family.  GOOD Christian women are victims of the evil men, who make them do these things.  There's also the fact the she sees herself as beautiful and talented and wanted by everyone.  The very thought that she might not be these things was inconceivable for her.  Hence the lies.  The stalking.  The harassment.  Every time she emailed or called, Justin reported it to his command, who called her husband and told him to have her knock it off.  Which led to another email.  Which led to Justin telling his command.  Wash, rinse, repeat, ad nauseum.  She somehow managed to convince her husband of it, which just goes to prove how smart he isn't.  To this day, I bet if you asked her, she'd tell she never did any of that, that she was the victim, that she's a Good Christian (TM) who was soooooo injured.  

You may also ask, why do you keep the records?  I keep them because they're proof.  I don't believe for one second that she will keep herself out of our lives forever.  She'll have something happen, another break, another something, and she'll lash out and we'll be the target.  Or she'll do something similar to someone else.  Because she can't help herself.  

"Since such people have almost no interest in or capacity for change, the best you can do is stay clear of them, just the way you’d avoid a snake if it happened to cross your path."

And that's what we're doing.  She's a snake.  A charming, fakely empathetic snake.  And beyond keeping my family out of her path, I have no fucks to give about her.  This blog post was that lightbulb that nothing I or Justin did would have stopped her from being as hurtful as possible.  She tried to drive us apart, not knowing that's an almost impossible task.  And we're still together, stronger than ever, and even more importantly, happy.

(And no, I'm not naming her here.  I've talked about her before.  If you're that interested, you'll figure it out.)