Because all experiences are valuable.

Sunday, January 22, 2012


only the seeds of the apple fell to the floor,
bouncing like popcorn from button to trouser to plank,
lost orphans
diagnosed with startling illnesses, the kind we whisper about and turn our heads.
fetal trees
dissected botanical extractions arranged for inspection on stainless trays
colored pin heads marking important way points in our analysis,
masking a whimpering so exquisite and so damned
it can't be borne, must be buried,
beneath the wood and into the soil
like the telltale heart.

that girl was not a girl at all, perhaps a snake, perhaps a demon
with lips-that-are-not-lips, but teeth-that-are-teeth
lifted corners of a smile that comes in versicolor, which is not good.
the apple is handed
the apple is cut
the apple is eaten,
the seeds all but ignored as they fall...and nest...and pop,
become your future
not at all what you wanted, when you ate it.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Jeannie II, Jeannie's Evil Twin in Green

I'm going to start by stealing some trivia from this site- http://sharetv.org/shows/i_dream_of_jeannie/trivia.

 Sidney Sheldon didn't originally want a blonde actress to play Jeannie (lest the show draw unfavorable comparisons to Bewitched.) However, none of the other actresses competing for the part were able to play the role the way he had written her. Blonde Barbara Eden impressed Sheldon though in The Brass Bottle (1964), so she was hired.
  • Barbara Eden was the first blonde to audition for the role of Jeannie; all the other actresses competing for the role had dark hair.
  • In a couple of early color episodes, Jeannie is wearing a green harem outfit instead of her customary pink one and in another episode she changes her hair color to black in an attempt to convince Tony to keep her. The green harem outfit as well as the black hair color would later be trademarks of Jeannie's wicked look-alike sister.
  • Jeannie's evil sister was officially known to NBC as "Jeannie II."
  • According to Barbara Eden, network executives and censors were unconcerned about her navel being seen until someone casually mentioned during the third season that it was occasionally visible when the waistband of her costume shifted. After that her navel was required to be covered.
  • Jeannie's '60s-era harem costume is now housed in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C..
  • Jeannie's harem shoes were made by Neiman Marcus. They were available in three colors: pink (Jeannie), green (Jeannie II), and white. Originally decorated with lace and beads, the insole read "Taj From India".
  • In the middle of the first season, Tony and Roger were both promoted from the rank of captain to major.
That was fun, huh? "I Dream of Jeannie" was one of the few shows I was allowed to watch growing up. My father did not approve of TV that was not educational. What??? I Dream of Jeannie isn't educational??
news to me!

So last Fall for DragonCon, the fateful Fall of my broken foot near the Westin Peachtree Plaza, I was determined to make myself an Evil Green Jeannie outfit, because I always thought she was so deliciously bad.
Jeannie II only appeared in a few episodes, and there are very few pictures on the net showing the green costume. This one was the most useful to me, I think, plus I love the contrast with Barbara Eden's stand-in used as Jeannie II when both needed to appear on screen at once.
If I knew where I had gotten this picture I would credit it.
Another website is Kay-Dee Designs. She also attends DragonCon, and I believe I saw her in her pink Jeannie costume there this year. I read her description of how she did her pink and green costumes, and they were helpful, but too intricate in terms of hand dyeing fabric, etc. for me to achieve in the last two weeks before DragonCon. But I admire the thoroughness and ethic she puts into all her costumes! She gives pattern numbers that are no longer made... still, you could maybe find them on eBay? I made a different wig choice as well, which I will explain. Here is the link to her site:

I decided to enlist Mike to be Major Nelson. He was dubious, but then a terrific sport. We had a fun afternoon one day hitting military surplus stores in Marietta, Ga. near Dobbins AFB (former) looking for a shirt for poor Maj. Nelson. I did some research to find the right ribbons for his commendations. I awarded him a few extra that the show didn't. Smiley face. So here are some pictures of the costume I created.

 This one is the most authentic to the actual colors. I used a hunter green stretch velveteen from JoAnn fabrics for the bolero and
skirt yoke, and to cover the tiny hat. Inside the tiny hat was...
a philadelphia cream cheese tub. I had seen others use margarine tubs, but I wanted to do bigger hair, so I used a smaller hat. I did a tiny ponytail out of the top instead of a large full ponytail, because my own light hair would have shown under the wig. I got the wig very inexpensively. I used the Wonder Woman licensed wig -
purchased from Amazon, made by the Rubie's costume company. It is a lovely, full wig for a reasonable price.

I like this picture better, because we are looking at the camera, but the color is off. The greens in the skirt look yellowish.

In the one above, you can see my shoes. I got them at a thrift store. I only had to visit a few before I had several good choices. I thought gold flats would have been good as well. In case you are wondering, the sheer skirt panels were not sewn together, so they had a lovely float to them, but in the wind...you guessed it. One could wear tights- but it was hot, and it's DragonCon! Home of the electrical tape costume...
personally I had on emerald green lace panties underneath. I never felt exposed, really. Lace undies are Tame for DragonCon, believe me.

The top was a strapless bra with chiffon pleated over the nude fabric. You can see in the closeups my pleating was not at all perfect, but it really didn't matter. I used a glue gun to secure the pleats top and bottom of each pleat.

The original Jeannie II didn't have trim on the bottom of the bra, but I embellished mine a little more.

For the sheer panels, I used hunter green, and seafoam green, both purchased from Hancock fabrics online. I could not find the colors of chiffon I wanted locally. Ordering online worked fine. I ordered four yards each of 60" fabric, each color. I made them long, because I like the ground sweep, but I kept getting stepped on, so I ended up borrowing scissors at the Marriott marquis and trimming them off. They were shredding from being stomped on. Lesson learned.

I'll even show you how my side looks squished in this picture...see, I'm not vain, LOL. No suntan or situps for this girl. If thin isn't good enough, then screw it. hahahahha

I wore vintage jewelry and carried a little gold mesh purse.

I love this one of Mike and me. I thought "older folks"
would recognize me as the Evil green Jeannie, but so many people did...even young people. It was a really fun costume.

We had our picture taken a lot. I was surprised how many people really loved that show and wanted a picture with me. Oh, Mike is wearing my Grandfather's actual silver pilot's wings and US collar devices. I got his hat and pants on eBay. They are 1949 Major uniform pieces. Slightly older than the ones used in the show, but far more authentic than a lot of Anthony Nelsons you see in modern Air Force uniform, enlisted even!! I have to say I hate that (enlisted uniform on an officer), but it's all in good fun.  I will add a comment tomorrow listing the bolero pattern I used, and I was thrilled with it, even though it isn't exactly like hers. I was so comfortable in this.  Note! pattern is Simplicity number 2478 view "C".

The skirt yoke I made by taking a straight skirt that fits me well, and simply making a paper template pattern of the top eight inches. I did the same with the back side, adding 1 inch to the rear width to be able to use overlapping velcro instead of a zipper. The yoke is a sandwich, as I cut a lining facing for front and back in the green velveteen. the sheer panels are "sandwiched" in between the lining and outside, hand gathered using the old fashioned long running stitch, then pulled up tight to gather. (I machine stitched the panels to the lining, then covered with the top and topstitched that so it was very neat.) I made the skirt the morning of DragonCon! It was really simple, and I applied the trim with hot glue set on upholstery heat setting so it was secure.
The bolero took me a couple of days. To me that was the most important piece to finish nicely and make it look neat and professional.

My sons Guy and Reid went that day as Mario and Luigi. I helped with their costumes, but Guy made the amazing hats they are wearing. He also did some fabulous footwear you can't see in this picture. They were insanely popular, even with a plethora of Marios and Luigis. Reid is taller just like Luigi, and they even really look like the characters. People thought it was so cool they were actual brothers.

Feel free to ask me if you need advice on how I made anything. I just wanted to add this since there is so little out there honoring the best Evil Jeannie ever. And I always liked the green costume best!!

update 7-13-12: additional picture showing trim better...

Update 4-22-13: picture with the arms crossed


Putting a Toe Back In...

Thank you, Dear Wrinkled Man,
for encouraging me to get back to blogging. You may be the only person who seemed to notice that I stopped, hahahha. I wanted to stick my toe back in the door...
there is a particular blog I've been meaning to post with instructions on how I made my Evil Green Jeannie costume last Fall, because there was a real dearth of help online when I searched for it.

But in an effort to get back into it, I found this poem in a notebook as I was searching for an empty notebook for Reid to use. It made me smile wryly because we have had no snow this winter at all. I wish we would have just a little. A few snowy days?? Just for fun? It's so lovely...

this poem wasn't written for anyone. Actually, I think I was rather lonely when I wrote it. I remember sitting
and studying, and looking out the window waiting for the snow...which did arrive...in spades!

If It Snows Tonight

they say precipitation comes in sheets-
I'm pressed to think
of a more intimate expression.

the things I think
on days when the sky
is like a quilt-topped mattress,
and fevered daydreams
force me to lie down
holding my head,
my fingers itching.

they say the wind can blow
so cold that
it takes your breath away.

If it snows tonight,
as they say it surely will,
there is no need for you to be cold.
I have sheets like snow.
I have breath enough.
Come to mine.    

Hope you are all well and not cold at all.
Sorry for my absence and I'll be back soon...
Tara Sylace