Archive for May, 2011

What I’m Reading: Blind Allegiance to Sarah Palin: A Memoir of Our Tumultuous Years

May 31st, 2011 Posted in General Musings | no comment »

This is a new “feature” I’m going to try doing on my blog.   It sounds like a good idea at this moment, but like blogging (which also sounded like a good idea at that moment), we shall see.   I’m calling it What I’m Reading, but I guess it’s more accurately, What I just Read.  That doesn’t sound quite as good though.  I may have to play with that title a bit 😉

So, as you can see from the title, I just read Blind Allegiance to Sarah Palin: A Memoir of Our Tumultuous Years.  I don’t usually post or even talk much about my political beliefs because it just leads no where good when people talk politics or religion.   However, people very close to me know that one of my guilty pleasures is following all things Sarah Palin.

She is like the gift that just keeps giving.  A trainwreck that you can’t look away from no matter how hard you try.  She moves from one gaffe to the next with seemingly absolutely no self-awareness.  How can you *not* love that.

Imagine my excitement when not 1, not 2, but 3 “tell-all” books are slated to come out about her this year and that does not include the one by Levi Johnston her former son-in-law to be and a brand new one on “babygate” that is supposedly coming out sometime around September or something like that.   It’s a good year to be a Sarah Palin watcher!

Ok, so the Blind Allegiance book.   It’s pretty good!   I wasn’t sure what to expect really, other than I hoped a bit of entertainment because after a kerfluffle earlier this year in which rival author Joe McGinnis leaked a copy of the first rough draft of manuscript to several media outlets, some bloggers and who knows who all else it’s been known that the book contained unredacted copies of Palin’s emails sent on the yahoo accounts she made to keep govt business secret.

Almost three years later, those emails have still not been released thanks to the amazing foot dragging by the Department of Law in Alaska.   They are slated to be released very soon, so it will be interesting to see if anything made it past the black marker of the redacting hammer, but I digress.

Blind Allegiance is co-written by Frank Bailey (a Palin staffer, who was with her in her run up to winning the election), Ken Morris (who I know nothing about other than he bid on a dinner with Palin once and it ended in a kerfluffle of some kind, as does everything connected to Palin) and Jeanne Devon (a/k/a AKMuckraker of The Mudflats blog).

I have to say that even without the emails, some of which were pretty juicy, in a “I can’t believe she actually said that!” kind of way, the book was quite good.  The emails were just gravy for me by the time I got a couple chapters into the book.

Sarah comes off as likable in the beginning and when I told one of my friends that I was reading this book and that at the point I was at, she was likable and I could understand how someone could be drawn into her circle, he suggested I read the book backwards and watch her grow rather than read forward and watch her disintegrate 😉

Unfortunately, Sarah being likable doesn’t last for very long.  She shows her true colors, admittedly lightly even before the primary and I suppose one could write some of it off as the pressure of running a campaign on a grassroots level with a shoestring budget.   By the time the general election rolls around, there is no denying that she is just plain bad news with no morals, though.

Bailey comes off as fairly sympathetic.   He did some *really* bad stuff for Sarah, as did all her inner circle.   To his credit, he readily admits he did some really bad stuff for Sarah and he doesn’t play the victim card, unlike her.     He is clearly wired a bit differently than I am because I can’t imagine being *that* loyal to someone and I am a pretty loyal person myself.     Bailey took a few trips under the bus for Sarah during their time together and he kept getting back up and dusting himself off for another go.     His wife is the real saint in this story.   I would not have been shocked to read that he got divorced during that time, but somehow his marriage survived, which I think says more about his wife, than him, to be honest.

The book does a good job of portraying Sarah about how she seems if you have followed her story at all since she stepped foot into the National spotlight, as a vapid, vindictive, mean girl that cares only about herself, fame, and money.

I don’t want to give too much of the book away because it is a good read, but a few of the things that are revealed include (“They” is Palin and her inner circle):

  • How they used software to rig online polls in their favor;
  • How they wrote letters to the editor and then had people put their own names on them;
  • How they spent very little time actually governing and so *much* time on vindictive payback schemes;
  • Quite a bit about Troopergate;
  • Illegal action during the campaign for Governor by having contact with a 3rd party that was running ads (the RGA).

I think this book should be required reading for anyone that thinks she is qualified (emotionally, intellectually, mentally) to hold *any* political office.   It does not paint a pretty picture.

Marketing & Self-Promotion A/K/A The Bane Of My Existence!

May 25th, 2011 Posted in General Musings | no comment »

So I am terrible at marketing my store(s).  Terribad.  I hate it.  HATE!  I am so uncomfortable doing it, I can’t even express how much I dislike it.  Ugh!   Mostly I do not do it and surprisingly, I’ve done pretty well for myself considering that I don’t do it.   However, one of my (very) soft goals for the year is to struggle through some self-promotion.  UGH!

Just the thought makes me want to crawl into bed for a week.   *deep breath*     I have several friends online that are such great self-promoters and do the best. marketing. evah!  I am so jealous of them because they make it look so easy and effortless.   Several of them have taken time to email with me over the years and they have been really helpful and they make it sound so easy, breezy and UGH!!!

Tonight, I decided I *had* to make some kind of progress on this (very) soft goal because we are almost half-way through the year and I’ve done pretty much doodlysquat so far.  In my defense, I had a kind of shitty start to the year with losing Cajun.  That pretty much sucked the life right out of me for several months and I am still not back to 100%, but it’s time to get moving in this area.

So tonight I set up a Facebook page for my Etsy store and added the widget over there to the right.   I also did something I swore I would never do and joined Twitter.

It’s a start.

Here is a cute Chihuahua picture for your trouble 🙂

Chihuahua Fashion

May 22nd, 2011 Posted in Chihuahuas | no comment »

I usually keep several of Teq’s different clothes items in a basket on my desk, mostly out of laziness.  Her “dresser” is the bottom drawer of the organizer next to my desk and it’s sort of a pain to get into it, so it’s just easier to keep the stuff she wears the most on my desk.    She will dig through the basket and pull out what she wants to wear some days, just like she hands me the container of cheerios when she wants to train (or be fed cheerios).

I had John pick up another basket so that I could put all her clothes in it and she would have some more options to choose from.  I have custom ordered her some clothes from The California Chi, so wanted something for when those get here (which I’m very excited about, as an aside).

So when I was pulling stuff out of the bottom drawer, I decided to see if any of the stuff I bought for Teq when we very first got her fit her yet.   It was all WAY too big when we got her and I wasn’t sure she would ever grow into some of it.

Yes, I will be sleeping with one eye open for the next few days, in case you were wondering 😉

As always, click on the images to make them larger.

Just so you don’t think I was being horribly cruel, I did not make her wear the bunny ears hood for any longer than it took to take the pictures and once cheerios were involved, she decided the hood wasn’t *that* bad.  Several of the pictures where it looks like she is mad, she’s actually either eating a cheerio or looking at me holding a cheerio off camera 😉

The one that surprised me was the full body jammies.  I did not think she would particularly like those, but when I tried to take them off her, she threw a fit and wanted them left on.  She ended up wearing them most of the afternoon and was happy with them, even though they are still slightly too large.   It was a bit rainy, chilly that day though so that may have influenced her.  She really likes to be pretty toasty.    She will go under blankets even when it’s quite warm out.

Bed-A-Palooza!

May 20th, 2011 Posted in Crafts, Papillons | no comment »

Mooshey and Teq loved the beds I made them so much that I decided to make some beds for a couple of my friends.    I spent a couple weeks sewing beds (because I am a s l o w sewer lol) and finally I sent them all off.  I was rewarded with these great pictures of Papillon Bed-A-Palooza!    There are a couple pics I took of just beds included here too.   Click on the pictures to view them larger.

Teq Loves Her Chewie!

May 19th, 2011 Posted in Chihuahuas | no comment »

This is a series of pictures I took while Tequila was chewing on her beloved bully stick.   I think there are probably 30 pictures in the whole series.  She was having so much fun with the chewie and really moving around tons while chewing on it.  I was taking pictures as fast as the camera was cycling.   Click on the pictures to enlarge them.

Mini Dress Part 2

May 18th, 2011 Posted in Chihuahuas, Crafts | no comment »

I also decided that Teq needed a mini dress in her own size so she didn’t have to hold her breath all the time.   I wanted to learn how to make ruffles as well, so figured this would be a good project to try that out on.

Since this was just for us, I did not put any ribbon or other covering over the seam on the ruffle, so please excuse the rather rough/unfinished look in that area.   Teq has been wearing this little dress on game days to cheer on the Pirates and it’s holding up very nicely to her playing while wearing it, I’m happy to report.

Mini Dress Part 1

May 17th, 2011 Posted in Chihuahuas, Crafts | no comment »

As I said in New Coat Part 2, I was side tracked by Mini Dresses.    Anna got some darling mini dress harnesses for her little 1+ pound puppy, Gracie and wanted to know if I could make them.   I figured I could at least try, so I set about to do just that 😉

Here is my first attempt at one.  This is just a dress, not a harness and it’s for a 1+ pound dog so Teq at 2+ pounds is being asked to kindly hold her breath while I squeeze her into it for pictures!

New Coat Part 2

May 16th, 2011 Posted in Chihuahuas, Crafts | no comment »

As I mentioned in my previous post, I adjusted the pattern originally made.   I wanted to make it a bit longer on her back and I did not like how the neck piece was.   On the first coat, I sewed the neck part, rather than using velco.   On the second coat, I did decide to go with velcro closure rather than sewing it (and I didn’t like it any better lol).

Here are pictures of the second attempt at the longer coat (click images to enlarge):

As you can see, it is longer, but unfortunately, I ended up enlarging the entire coat way too much as well and the neck strap is just all kind of messy for a dog Teq’s size.   On the positive size, for a slightly larger dog, this coat will be fine.

Keeping in mind what I needed to change, I drew up yet another pattern and gave it another go.   This was my next result (click the images to enlarge):

You can see this one is a marked improvement in sizing, but it’s still just a shade too long and I think that it could be tapered a bit more where it comes up on her hind legs.   I changed that on the newest pattern, but I haven’t cut a new one out yet because I’ve been sidetracked by mini dresses!   That is Anna’s fault.   So I will be trying out the newest pattern in the next few days and post the results when I get one made.

One last thing about these 2 coats, I am super happy with the way the neck strap is working out now.   I made it more narrow on this pattern and that helped a lot.  I really like how it’s hitting on her neck now.  It’s not up high and pushing right on her throat like many of the coats/harnesses do, which is important on these little dogs, the pressure is more on her shoulders.

Here is a comparison shot of the 2 coats to show the difference between the 2 patterns:

Sewing Tequila a New Coat

May 15th, 2011 Posted in Chihuahuas, Crafts | no comment »

So Teq is not going to be quite as big as we expected and none of the darling clothes I have bought for her fit.  At 18 weeks, she weighed in at a monstrous 2 pounds 12 ounces 😉  My friend, Lisa, sent me a darling shirt that she had custom made for one of her dogs, which you can see Teq wearing here:

Teq *loves* this shirt and it fits her great, so I did order some more custom made items from the woman that made this shirt, but I also thought, since I have an expensive sewing machine and tons of fabric, that it would be good if I learned how to make some clothes for her myself.

She has one coat that she and I both like, but that dang thing has a hood on it, which we both hate, so I decided that would be a good thing for me to try and replicate, sans hood.   I made the pattern for it myself on a piece of newsprint paper and went to work with some Pirates fleece.

Here are some pictures of my first attempt at the coat.  It didn’t turn out too bad.  I have since made some alterations to the pattern and made 2 more prototypes of it.  It’s still not quite right, but it’s coming along.  I’ll post the other 2 versions in another post.  I haven’t tried the 4th (and hopefully final) version with fabric yet, so I don’t know if I have it just right yet or not.