Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Lady In Black- or New Job Fashion

Hey I am changing my job!

After 3 years of loyal hard work, the company I have been working for suddenly placed an ad for a position slightly higher than mine in the same department. Funnily, the position was vacant from the day I started there and I'd been expected to be acting as a substitute with higher than my job description responsibilities. And I did, and I foolishly hoped they will appreciate it and promote me, and I waited for 3 years only to find that ad on a job search site. Wow, that is some workplace culture! I am seriously contemplating calling the solicitor over this. But the question is: WHY BOTHER?

BUT I was very lucky to be offered another job in a smaller and nicer place just almost at the same time.  I always believed I am being looked after in life and situations like this one, just make this belief stronger. I had a trial today and it went very well. I am so looking forward to this change in my life.

And this means SEW SEW SEW. The dress code is all black, there is no set uniform (YEY!), so I can pretty much experiment with the way I look.

Now I have to start with some black trousers (maybe 2-3 pairs) and some black tops. I  need to make something warm on the top and shorter sleeves. Maybe like a high neck top - there is a great one coming out in the April's issue of BurdaStyle . The sleeve line is not too high, slightly covering the shoulder,  it creates a lovely silhouette and still keeps the neck warm from the drafts. ( The new job place is lovely, but very drafty)

I also want to make a couple of ampire waistline tops, this one from Burda 5/2010 can do the trick. I like the 3/4 sleeve lenth- perfect for not sticking your sleeves, where they shouldn't be))) I will be shopping for the fabric for these on ebay- from Tia Knight, my favourite seller for jerseys and her store In Fashion Fabrics, definitely worth checking out- great prices, choice of fabrics is endless, the quality is really good and the P&P is very reasonable.

Now the trousers... This is the tricky one, I would like something kinda tight on the top and slightly flared, kinda like a boot-cut, I have a good pair I bought in the local supermarket, but they stopped selling this type, so I will have to get something myself. My last job's dress code was red top and grey trousers, so I have too many of those and only one in black. The major requirement- it has to wash well and look good after numerous washes and it has to dry fast, I am thinking polyester suiting. My favourite ebay seller for suiting is Minerva Crafts And Fabrics with decent polyester suiting fabric from just around €3.50 per meter.

So I am getting over the shocking treatment and the betrayal of my old job, looking forward to the new  grief free life and  hoping that
Change is always happening for the good of you and for everyone. It is the evolution of life.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Ashthon Jones: "I don't think anything is going to stop me"

Sometimes with reality competition shows, you get an image of one of the contestants and then when you hear from them after they’re eliminated, you realize that’s not at all who they were. And you realize if you had known that before, you would’ve supported the person more when they were in the competition.

That’s kind of how I feel now about Ashthon Jones. Granted, I was a supporter of hers, and even named her as my top-ranked girl before the Top 24, but now I feel bad that I didn’t lobby for her a little harder because I think America got the wrong idea about her. The judges built her up as a cocky diva when her confidence actually comes from her faith. And unfortunately for her, there wasn’t really anything she could do to change America’s minds.

Here is some of what Ashthon had to say during her media conference call with us Friday…

On her backstory: “My father passed away when I was 14. I left home. I was gone for over two and a half years. When I got back here, I became a Christian. I turned my life around and started doing much more positive things.”

On her feelings when she was eliminated: “I left it there and left it there to stay. It’s time to be the artist and performer God put in me. I’m very excited about what’s to come.”

On America’s opinion of her: “I just wanted people to see my personality. I don’t think it showed as much as I wanted it to. It’s okay because everything happens for a reason…I wanted them to see my confidence came from God. I feel like America’s going to see that now.”

On her song choice: “I chose that song for a reason. That one spoke to me. I related it to my life and the love that I have around me…I didn’t understand why it wasn’t a bigger hit. America really didn’t feel it like I did. Hopefully it will begin to touch them now [through iTunes]. Ashthon said it gave her the same feeling Mariah Carey’s “Hero” gives people.

On the best advice she got from the judges: “Jennifer Lopez always had something real to say straight from her spirit. Last night she told me it’s all about the songs. Make sure it’s a hit before you put it out.”

On how she would describe Steven Tyler: “Fabulous. He said exactly what he felt. Backstage he’s the most humble and sweet person.”

On the friendships she’s formed: “I’m gonna stay in contact with them. I never thought I could have so many best friends.”

On what advice she would give the other contestants: “Never look at the blogs. They’re just gonna discourage you.”

On her breakdown after she was eliminated: “It really was not pain. It was more on leaving the stage and leaving my friends…I’m a very, very strong person. Sometimes you have to let it out. I cried because of all of the things that I went through on the show.”

On being the first finalist eliminated: “It’s not always a bad thing to be the first person. I don’t think anything is going to stop me. God has something better for me.”

On non-winners being successful: “ I constantly had to remind myself that. I’m still driven because I know that. There’s an opportunity that’s going to be there for me…I want to let everybody know, don’t stop. You have to feel like you’re already a winner…When elimination comes, nothing can keep you from being the best that you can be.”

On Casey Abrams and the stresses of the show: “My prayers go out to him. I’m not sure what’s going on. It can be stressful if you make it stressful.”

On where she sees herself in five years: “I really see myself performing. And as someone who has grown in her faith. I’m a firm believer in speaking everything into existence. If I speak that in my spirit, it’s going to happen.”

On the strength she showed Thursday night to hold herself together: “It comes from God. A lot of people don’t believe and don’t understand. No way I could be saying these things [without God]. I left my tears on that stage. I picked myself up and said on to the next.”

On whether she was surprised to be eliminated: “It wasn’t a surprise. I had a feeling. But I was still a part of these people. It didn’t crush me at all. I was honored to be on the show with superstars.”

On whether she thought she had a shot at the Judges’ Save: “I felt it in my spirit that it was time to go. I thought I’m gonna go out with a bang. I had a wonderful, wonderful time.”

On her performance: “I gave it my best. I gave it my all. I picked the right song. It ministered to me. Rodney Jerkins and Jimmy Iovine made it a current R&B song. I felt like I gave it more of an edge…You have to grow. The show helped to make me grow.”

On the Top 12: “I predict all of them are going to go far in their careers.”

On her TV persona: “I can only be myself. I’m not going to be different for TV. In the end, being myself is going to win.”

On what she would’ve sung for next week’s “Songs From the Year You Were Born”: Ashthon said she probably would’ve gone with Whitney Houston or Janet Jackson or possibly another Diana Ross song. “I would’ve chosen the absolute hit…I don’t want to look at the past. Now is the time to move forward.”

On the future: “This is not the end. There’s no way I can end it here. I have to continue to move on. I can’t live off that for the rest of my life…It made me stronger than I thought I was…If I don’t get to do anything more, I’m so honored I got to perform in front of [the judges]. But I hope and pray it doesn’t end here.”

Photo Credit: Mark Davis/PictureGroup for FOX

Friday, March 11, 2011

Bucky Covington Coming to Portsmouth!

Got an e-mail today about Bucky Covington’s Hometown Tour…

And according to his website, the tour is making a stop in Portsmouth at the annual River Days Festival.

Bucky will perform September 2nd. The time has yet to be announced…

Photo Credit: Lyric Street Records

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Next Week's Theme Is...

This just in from FOX...

Next week's theme will be the famous "Songs From the Year You Were Born."

Should be an interesting one...

Top 13 Results Show: Did America Get It Right?

So, did America get it right? Absolutely, yes. You guys know I was an Ashthon fan but she totally sang the wrong song this week. She was trying to show a softer side, but she should’ve stuck with the attitude. I can’t help but also wonder if that attitude didn’t doom her a little and it wouldn’t have mattered what she sang.

Something else worth noting tonight is that Naima did not make the bottom three. Which means American was okay enough with her performance to keep her out of the bottom. With her daring choices, she could be a real wild card in this whole thing…

And one last note. I hope for the very best for Casey Abrams. If the stress thing is true, it could be a real problem for him. I’d hate for him to have to drop out…

So what do you guys think? Did America make the right choice? And what did you think of Adam Lambert’s and Diddy Dirty Money’s performances?

I’ll have more for you tomorrow…

Top 13 Results Show: And the Person Going Home Is...

8:54 We’re back…Ryan tells the three ladies good luck…Dim the lights…We’re running a little behind…Karen…is safe…That leaves Haley and Ashthon…It’s Ashthon. No big shock and she’s not surprised…NO way the judges use the save on her…NO way…

8:55 Ryan hands Ashthon the microphone. She’s doing the Diana Ross song again and Ryan tells her to give it everything she’s got. Not going to matter, Ryan, but it makes for good TV, I guess…Neither Lauren nor Haley look that sad…Randy taps JLo to talk and then he looks back at Steven…Jacob and Karen actually look happy as they sway back and forth…It’s definitely better than last night, but it’s over…Which is obvious by the fact that JLo is about to bawl…And Ashthon breaks down…Ryan is trying to hold her together…Ryan asks JLo what they’re going to do…She shakes her head and says, “Not this time, baby, I’m sorry”…JLo’s making faces to try to keep from breaking down…

8:58 Goodbye video as Ashthon hugs the contestants…She loses it as she watches the video…Ryan puts his arm around her as she watches…Bad use of the song…Naima runs over to hug her and practically tackles her…If JLo is going to get this emotional every time, I don’t know if I can handle that…The contestants give her a big group hug…

9:00 And we’re out…

Final thoughts in a few...

Top 13 Results Show: It's Diddy Time!

8:45 We’re back…Ryan is standing next to the judges to intro Diddy Dirty Money featuring Skylar Grey to do “Coming Home”…There was no strobe lighting warning, so that’s a good sign…Ryan says they lit up the stage last year. That would be an understatement of epic proportions…You know the tabloids will be all over Diddy singing right in front of his ex, JLo…Steven Tyler gives them a standing ovation and JLo gives him a warm ovation…

8:49 Ryan brings Diddy over to talk to the Top 13. Diddy tells them to keep working hard, never give up and keep pursuing their dreams…He plugs the Diddy Dirty Money tour…After the break…

Top 13 Results Show: The Bottom Three Is...

8:35 We’re back…Karen is the first person in the bottom three...Dim the lights…Lauren, Ashthon and Haley center stage…If he’s picking one from each group, it’s definitely Ashthon, even though Lauren did the “Idol” death song…Lauren said that after she saw the show, “It kind of sucked”…She says it was “kind of bad” and “she’s sorry”…She starts to cry and Ryan caves and tells her she’s safe…She gives Ryan a big hug…Ashthon and Haley now…Ashthon said she should’ve picked a song everyone knows. Her shoes perfectly match her top…Ryan asks Randy where Haley belongs. He says somewhere in the middle of country and R&B. Way to commit, Randy…JLo gets involved and talks a little too much…Ashthon is in the bottom three…Along with Haley tonight…Didn’t see that one coming…Everyone else is safe. That was a quick way to do it…So I was two for three predicting the bottom three…

8:40 Ashthon, Karen and Haley in the bottom three…I still say it’s Ashthon who goes home and I think she agrees. I also notice that she doesn’t seem very chummy with the other two girls…It’s interesting that Naima seems to have connected with America. Hmmm…After the break…

Top 13 Results Show: Let's All Do The Dougie!

More on Casey… “Joe’s Place Blog” is reporting that whenever he gets stressed he has stomach bleeding. I hope this doesn’t end up knocking him out of the competition…

8:26 We’re back…Ryan is up in the nosebleed seats to intro Adam Lambert…He’s doing an unplugged version of “Aftermath”…I don’t know about this version, although I like hearing his lower register so clearly like that…That, my dear James Durbin, is how you effectively scream in a song…

8:29 Ryan comes out to talk to him…Adam says the message is the most important part of the song so he wanted to do a stripped down version. There’s also a remix version that benefits the Trevor Project, which started the “It Gets Better” campaign…Ryan said he liked the remix and that he Dougied to it. When Adam says he doesn’t know how to Dougie, JLo shows him how…Then the contestants start doing it…Adam says he wants JLo to show him how to do it and she promises to show him later after the show. Anyone else rather see that than Diddy Dirty Money? I know I would…After the break…

Top 13 Results Show: The First Person in the Bottom Three Is...

8:13 We’re back…Ford music video…“The World”…They’re using pieces of paper to decorate an old building or something like that…Casey did not appear so he must have been sick during the filming…

8:15 Ryan intros Amanda Seyfried of “Little Red Riding Hood” in the audience…Video of Idols going to premiere…Nikki Reid gushes over Paul McDonald, but he didn’t know who she was…Ashthon looks almost sick watching the movie she’s so freaked out by it…

8:18 Dim the lights…Ryan is looking for bottom three…Karen, Jacob and Stefano come down to the stage…Jacob said he definitely messed up but he got back on track…Karen blames technical difficulties…All of them are safe…except for Karen. That was a good trick…Karen moves to one of the urinal stools…After the break…

Top 13 Results Show: The Return of the Beloved Group Number

8:00 Mega dramatic intro recapping last night. That was good…

8:01 Credits roll. Nigel just tweeted that the show will be live from now on. And then he said, “Scary”…

8:02 The judges are introduced. Steven Tyler is in full Aerosmith garb tonight with the full-length jacket lined in leopard print. Ryan is introduced and comes down the stairs…Ryan reminds us that Diddy Dirty Money and Adam Lambert will perform…30 million votes last night. That’s a pretty good start…

8:03 Ryan tells us the Judges’ Save is once again in play this season. Nice!...The Top 13 come through the screen doors…Only Thia looks really nervous…Casey is not there. Ryan says he’s in the hospital. Uh-oh! That’s twice now. Hope he’s okay…

8:05 Video of the Idols arriving at their Beverly Hills mansion. HOLY COW! No wonder they’re so excited…Scotty says it’s too much for a North Carolina boy…The pool table has a Ford logo on it…And of course there are Fords parked outside of it…

8:07 Yea! A group number. Yes, that was sarcastic…But at least they’re singing…It’s “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’”…Now “Rock With You”…As off as some of them are, I have a bad feeling they’ll be lip synching again next week…Now “Black or White”…Why the Michael Jackson medley?…Okay I think they’re lip synching some of this now. And I don’t think Scotty has sung a single note. Poor guy. Totally out of his range…”Man In the Mirror”…Okay that wasn’t completely painful. Just a little…After the break…

The Top 13 Elimination is Coming Up...

Coming up in less than 35 minutes, the first regular elimination show of the season begins.

We'll get performances from Adam Lambert and Diddy Dirty Money with Skylar Grey. I'm hoping Diddy tones down the strobe lights for this performance. My head hurts just thinking about when they were on the show the last time...

I'll be back to give you the minute-by-minute blow-by-blow, so Stay Tuned...

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Top 13 Performance Show: Final Thoughts

First, the live issue…

So while watching the show, I e-mailed one of the Idol PR people, to ask about why the show is still not live. She reminded me that the show has been taped at this stage before, “although it’s rare.” Then she referred me to a very interesting set of tweets from Executive Producer Nigel Lythgoe…

Apparently, there was some discussion that the show was on tape so Nigel could manipulate things, and this was his response:

“We are pre-taping for 2 weeks as we have a new Director & new judges. It has nothing to do with manipulation you morons.”

His morons comment got the tweeters a little fired up, to which he responded: “I love you all getting riled up. The Tweet was directed at the MORONS who said we are pre-taping to manipulate the show. Not the TRUE fans!”

Later, Nigel went along with the joke by tweeting, “Sorry I can't play anymore I have to go to work. There's manipulating to be done. Xox”

Sunday, Nigel tweeted this, which might also be telling as to why they haven’t gone live yet: “It's been a tough day trying to get the sound right. With a mix of live band, Jimmy Iovine's amazing producer's tracks and live vocals.”

In fact, during the show tonight, Nigel actually tweeted asking how the audio was on everyone’s TVs. I thought it was definitely better tonight, so if it takes some taped episodes to get it straight, I’m okay with that.

But I still can’t help but wonder if a fear of what Steven will say doesn’t have a little something to do with it…

Now to tonight’s performances. I thought overall they were good and America has a fairly difficult choice. So, who’s going home?

If there is a bottom three, I say it will be Ashthon, Karen and Naima. Ashthon and Karen gave weak performances and I don’t think the audience will respond to what Naima did with “Umbrella.” I think Paul gave a weaker performance than Ashthon, but I think he’s popular enough to hang on. As for who’s going home, it will come down to Ashthon and Naima, but my gut says Ashthon.

Before I ask you what you think, I wanted to give some credit to Jimmy’s team of producers. I thought the arrangements tonight were some of the best I’ve heard on the show…

Now, what do you guys think? Who did you like and who do you think is going home? Feel free to post a comment here, or on Facebook or give me a tweet.

We are rockin’ and rollin’ now, gang!

Naima Tries to Bring Something Extra

Naima Adedapo, “Umbrella”: 16
You have to give her points for the total performance, because her dance moves were good. But I’m not really sure about that reggae in the middle and she definitely should find the stamina before she tries to do that again. The song choice was good but she didn’t really bring it.

Final thoughts PLUS the official word on why the show wasn’t live in a minute…

Scotty Sails His Vessel His Way

Scotty McCreery, “The River”: 18
The thing I love about Scotty is that he is who he is and he doesn’t try to change it. And kudos to the producers for not trying to change him either.

Stefano and Karen: A Tale of Two Performances

Okay, why was Thia crying? She wasn’t bad! Did the producers pressure her into that arrangement?

Stefano Langone, “Lately”: 18
I think he waited too long to hit the high notes, but that last part was good. And I loved the arrangement. That bass was seriously pounding!

Karen Rodriguez, “I Could Fall in Love”: 15
Whether it was something wrong with her voice, or she couldn’t hear herself in the monitors, there was definitely something up with Karen tonight because this was just off. She should’ve nailed it and she didn’t come anywhere close.

Thia Megia "Smile"s

Thia Megia, “Smile”: 16
I thought this was the best arrangement of that song we’ve ever heard on the show. It was closer to the Robert Downey Jr. version, which is my favorite. But Thia didn’t completely nail it. And what was up with her agreeing with the judges that the beginning was better. Note to Thia: Don’t diss the producers!

And yes, I did just bring up a Robert Downey Jr. song!

Jacob Lusk Soars, Just Not Quite as High

Jacob Lusk, “I Believe I Can Fly”: 16
If anyone can pull this one off it would be Jacob. The transition to what Randy called the “B verse” was definitely shaky and actually knocked him off pitch for the first time ever (Rodney Jerkins should have seriously fixed that one.), but those notes at the end were pretty incredible. Unfortunately, they also got a tad annoying…

James Durbin Actually Sings and Haley Reinhart Goes "Blue"

James Durbin, “Maybe I’m Amazed”: 18
It was great to hear James actually sing for a change. I thought it was a weird choice until I heard it. And it was a GREAT arrangement.

#Tylerism Alert: You have taken anything you’ve ever felt and kicked it into next week.

Haley Reinhart, “Blue”: 18
Again, I thought this was a weird choice until I heard it. It’s a tough song that she totally nailed. I can see why Randy would think it was boring because it’s a bit of a sleepy song, but I thought it really showcased her voice...

Oh lord. Is Jacob Lusk doing "I Believe I Can Fly"?

Could Pia Toscano Be the Dark Horse of Season 10?

Pia Toscano, “All By Myself”: 18
Seriously, where did this girl come from? I didn’t like the transition from the glory note to the rest of the song, but the rest of it was good. She could seriously be the dark horse here…

Paul McDonald Thinks Out of the Box A Little

Paul McDonald, “Come Pick Me Up”: 14
I totally applaud Paul for picking someone different, but this one just didn’t work for me. His lower register was pretty much non-existent in that opening verse…

And JLo doesn’t know Ryan Adams? What?!

Casey Abrams Channels Joe Cocker and Ashthon Jones Does Diana Ross

Casey Abrams, “With a Little Help From My Friends”: 16
The arrangement was great, but I’m just not that crazy about the song choice. I’ve got no problem with Joe Cocker, but I just don’t think of that one as a singer’s song. And notice that Casey didn’t take Jimmy’s advice about staring down the judges at the beginning…

Ashthon Jones, “When You Tell Me You Love Me”: 13
I like Ashthon, but this one just totally fell flat for me. She is all about attitude and that song didn’t show any. And that beginning was a tad on the rough side. Rodney Jerkins did her a real service by talking her into hitting those higher notes, but I think he would have done her a bigger service if he had steered her toward another song…

Lauren Alaina Chooses the Wrong Song

It all starts tonight, gang. The Top 13 take the stage…

THIS is “American Idol”!

Let me start tonight with a question. How many times do you think Ryan practices walking down those stairs without looking down?

The Top 13 are performing songs from their personal Idols after working all week with Jimmy Iovine and his crew…

And my first question is answered. The contestants are still choosing the songs…or at least Lauren chose hers…

Lauren Alaina, “Any Man of Mine”: 15
Clearly, Lauren doesn’t know her “Idol” history or she’d know that song is the kiss of death. Don Was gave her a good arrangement and it was the best performance of the song I’ve heard on the show, but it was the wrong choice. She should’ve gone with another Shania song…or another Idol. And kudos to the judges for calling a spade a spade…

And in case you’re wondering, no, the show is still not live. I’m not sure what we’re waiting for…

Get Ready For Your Top 13!

I'm live blogging the Top 13 in 13 minutes...

Join me then...

Another "Idol" First: A Compilation Album of Weekly Studio Recordings

Season 10, the remix, just continues rolling out the new stuff…

For the first time in the show’s history, the studio versions of the songs performed tonight by the Top 13 will go on sale exclusively on iTunes as a compilation album after the show, starting at 1 a.m. EST.

Fortunately, individual songs will also be available for sale.

The press release announcing the compilation gives us a small glimpse of what we’re going to hear tonight because it says the songs were recorded “under the guidance of Jimmy Iovine's team, including some of the hottest producers in the business, such as Rock Mafia, Rodney Jerkins, Don Was, Jim Jonsin, Ron Fair and ‘Tricky’ Stewart.”


The compilation will sell for $7.99.

Photo Credit: PR Newswire

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

David Cook's "Don't You Forget About Me": What Do You Think?

David Cook's "Don't You Forget About Me," this season's farewell song, is now available on iTunes.

You can take a listen to it here.

I love David, but I'm not sure about this one. Maybe I was expecting him to make more changes?

What do you guys think?

Eye wide open: sewing magazines

My name is Juliette and I am a Burda Style addict..... I grew up sewing with this wonderful magazine, back in the days when Anne Burda herself participated in creating every issue. It is like home sweet home to me, I love the instructions and all useful master classes. Not to leave alone huge international communities of likewise addicted dressmakers.

As my first language is Russian, I am very lucky to be an active member of Russian Burda site, which is the biggest recourse of everything-to-do with sewing and Burda, they have a great Photo forum, where real people showcase their Burda pattern based creations. It is very useful as some models look absolutely different in real life than on the Burda pages.

Another site is English BurdaStyle.com, again superb online community, however I found it a bit vintage oriented. it is independent from Burda magazine, although it does sell some of Burda's patterns and features exclusively Burda magazine in it's blogs and recommendations.

In spite of this addiction, I have been researching other sewing magazines, as I find that Burda's offerings lately are dominated with very folk-oriented looks, that just look baggy and altogether quite awful to my liking. I like classy stylish looks with a sexy twist on it.  Anything baggy and midi doesn't work for me.  Also Anne Burda's son took over the business and I think they didn't get it right. There's a definite change in models since. They still represent current fashion, but they are just not that brave with it. Also most of the models can be narrowed down to a handful f basic patterns that are slightly modified, and they are very simple.

So I decided to have a browse online, hoping to find anything else.

I have a good few Patrones issues, and I love the magazine, although I only used it's patterns a couple of times as their sizing is very different ( BTW for those who need it I have a link here on my blog to measuring and sizing for Patrones- just check out useful links). I think the last year's issues are not really as good as the few previous years, as hey used to offer real big designer patterns, like Gucci and D&G, to name just a couple. I have a huge collection of digital versions of Patrones. But there's two problems: first is the instructions that are hardly comprehensive, like Burda's and even though I don't speak much Spanish, even having translated those instructions doesn't really clarify it too much. The second - most painful issue- as the issues are scanned on home printers you have to print out 18 A4 sheets and overlap them, and this is a hell of a job! So I have so many issues ( over 25) and no use...

Knip Mode is a new discovery (Thanks to Melissa from Ferh Trade) I remember checking it out a few years ago and I wasn't really impressed. But Melissa's regular blogs about Knip Mode helped me change my mind- the models offered are quite in tune with current fashion trends and also their sizing is a bit larger on the hips, which suits my pear shape. I will be honest, I haven't tried it out myself, but it is definitely in my plans. I have a digital issue of 6/2010 which has an amazing bathing suit, that is on my list for October holiday in Spain. I aslo must mention that all their patterns start at size 34- again a big plus for me!!!! I really do hate altering patterns, I normally only do this  if the garment is amazing. Well that doesn't cover small alterations I make every time for better fit.

My Image is a new sewing magazine from Netherlands It claims that every issue contains patterns according the latest trends. Well, I just received the latest ones, and I have to say I am a bit disappointed. The patterns offered have little to do with the latest fashion trends. They are more timeless classic patterns adaptable with a clever use of fabric. None of them looked supertrendy, just average housewife looking clothes. They offer 16 patterns, I would only choose one of them (the dress on the cover) but merely to justify buying the magazine, not because I wouldn't find something similar in my stack of old magazines ( I would like to make an emphasis on OLD, as their fashion style looks very 90's to me) They also have a kiddies edition.  There is a good review about My Image on Fehr Trade, but Melissa's opinion is not quite the same as mine.

La Mia Boutique didn't really impress me, I find a lot of recent models too wacky. Nothing to do with the beautiful classic italian fashion (the like's of Angelina's outfits in "The Tourist" ,for example). Over the top- but then it is just my own opinion. I had 3 issues and I sold them all on ebay (no regrets) I couldn't find their original website either. More on Fehr Trade
unfortunately, this is NOT what you find in italian La Mia Boutique magazine (((

And finally, all the way from Brazil - Manequim. My absolute winner! The trendiest of all it combines the joy of dressmaking with the latest styling advice and fashion update - it is like if InStyle also included patterns. The drawbacks- it is in Portuguese, impossible to buy individual issues (unless you have a Brazilian friend, which I actually do! Too bad she only goes home once a year) and the patterns come mostly in one (rarely in three) sizes, so grading is nessesary, for my small frame anyway. But the models are quite cool, I don't mind spending time grading. Also there are free patterns to download from their website. Here is just a preview of what they offer, and did I mention that they give you a style advice based on your body shape with their models? How cool is that? I have a digital version of 4/2010 (one shoulder dress below is from that issue) I am going to chance it and I am really thinking of getting an annual subscription for it , it is only €89/$125 per year.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The best kept secret dress?

I am appalled!  After a few month I found out that Burda Magazine 10/2010 has a dress, that is only availbale for download on their German site. So What did all Russian, English, Italian and French fans did to them, that they were all deprived of such an amazing dress, far better than anything in that issue!!!

Well, it immediately went on my next to sew list, I love the assimetric pleats on the front, there are two zippers in the shoulder seams and an invisible zipper on the side, however if you are using a stretch material it is not nessesary. I just received a very nice marl grey ponte double knit 4 way stretch jerseythat could be perfect for it.

All these are ready-made versions from Burda.ru members - looks great, I  think. Will try to give it a go soon.

Friday, March 4, 2011

What Will the Top 13 Sing?

According to a press release FOX sent out today, the Top 13 will be singing “songs by their favorite artists” Wednesday night. This could mean trouble for some of them once again, except we don’t yet know the impact in-house mentor Jimmy Iovine will have on song choice…

FOX also announced that during the hour-long results show Thursday night, we’ll get performances from Diddy-Dirty Money with Skylar Grey (Hope they turn down the strobe lights this time!) and Adam Lambert.

Plus, starting today, we’ll be able to follow the Top 13 on Twitter, Facebook and MySpace. But I feel quite certain those accounts will be monitored VERY closely…

“American Idol” airs Wednesday for two hours beginning at 8 p.m. and Thursday for an hour beginning at 8 p.m. on FOX…

Photo Credit: Michael Becker/FOX

"Rock of Ages" Signs Another Cast Member

“The Hollywood Reporter” is reporting today that Julianne Hough has signed on to star as the female lead, Sherrie, in the movie adaption of “Rock of Ages,” the Broadway musical that earned Constantine Maroulis a Tony nomination.

Tom Cruise has already signed on to play Stacee Jaxx, the rock star who comes to town and steals Sherrie’s heart. There is still no word on who will play Drew, the show’s lead played by Constantine on Broadway and on the current nationwide tour.

I’m sure there are a lot of actors director Adam Shankman (“Hairspray”) is considering, but I really think Constantine deserves a shot. If you’ve seen him on the stage—as I did in Cincinnati—you know it’s a role he was born to play. And I can see him working well opposite Hough.

I guess we’ll just have to stay tuned…

Photo Credit: Ondrea Barbe/Universal Music Group

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Top 24 Results Show: Final Thoughts...

First of all, let me explain my absence for the first half-hour…

I was at the dress rehearsal for “Portsmouth Idol.” I am again privileged to be a finalist in the competition. I take the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts stage tomorrow night at 7:30. It’s going to be a great show, so I hope some of you will be able to make it. Tickets are $12 and are available at the door…

I was so excited about “Idol” eliminating the boring semifinals…until tonight. Last season, the talent was so mediocre the semis were brutal. But I think this season would have been different. We said goodbye to some very talented people who made very bad decisions.

I think in the end, the judges each championed their own. Randy went with Ashthon, JLo went with Stefano and Steven picked Naima. I was shocked that it wasn’t Robbie, but he blew it with that weird arrangement. If he had gone with “Sorry” Tuesday night, I think he would have made it through on votes…

I would’ve been happy if all six of the Wild Card contestants had made it—although I thought they should have gone with Clint over Jovany—but this is a solid Top 13. I believe America did a great job. Now the real fun starts…

I’ll have MUCH more in my column Tuesday. Feel free to share your opinions by posting a comment here or by hitting me up on Facebook or Twitter

Top 24 Results Show: And the Last Spots Go To?

9:57 We’re back…Randy picks first…Ashthon. She seems totally shocked. There goes that attitude...Ryan asks how many more. She says two. OUCH! JLo says Stefano. So far, I’m two for two…James gives Stefano a big hug…Steven picks last. It’s Robbie, right?...NO, it’s Naima. I did not see that one coming…We say goodbye to Robbie, Jovany and Kendra…Ryan brings over the Top 13…Ryan says Randy is hosting the NAACP Image Awards tomorrow night. I thought Wayne Brady and Holly Robinson Peete were hosting those…

10:01 And we’re out. PHEW! I need a minute. Back with final thoughts in a few…

Top 24 Results Show: JLo Gets "On the Floor"

9:48 We’re back…JLo says they’re not ready…Ryan says they’ll show JLo’s video, “On the Floor” while the judges debate. They’re acting like this is totally spontaneous, but we all knew JLo’s video was going to premiere tonight. They’re milking the drama, but is it for real?...This song kind of grows on you, but I think it needs a stronger chorus…

9:53 The Wild Card contenders look like they’re going to throw up…JLo says they’re ready…After the break…

Seriously, haven’t you missed Ryan doing that?

Top 24 Results Show: Who Will Get the Wild Cards?

9:37 We’re back…Steven says Naima…We say goodbye to Tatynisa, Julie, Lauren and Rachel. Rachel is devastated…So, JLo did bail on her “winner,” Julie. Julie blew it and she knew it…Naima is doing “For All We Know.” That was a little unfair to make her go after they say goodbye to everyone else…I guess this is good, but I don’t really care for it all that much…JLo gives a look to Steven and Randy…Naima breaks down, and how could she not after all that…

9:41 Randy names the last person to sing…It’s Robbie. Clint is absolutely stunned. Jordan practically has to drag Clint to the stage. Brett gives the judges all hugs…We say goddbye to Clint, Tim, Brett and Jordan…Robbie is doing “Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word.” I was a Brett fan from the beginning, but he blew it last night…I think the judges made a mistake going with Jovany over Clint. And I’m sure that’s what Clint thinks too…Robbie is bringing it. Why didn’t he do that last night instead of that stupid arrangement? Maybe they didn’t all understand the new rules and thought they’d have more chances…I think Robbie is in definitely…Randy says it is the toughest night ever…

9:44 Ryan brings all the Wild Card contenders out…Decision after the break…

Okay, let me think here. If there are only three, I say Robbie, Ashthon and Stefano. But that is totally a guess. I think Robbie is the only lock…

Top 24 Results Show: Could They Possibly Go With a Top 16?

9:27 We’re back…Steven says Kendra. I didn’t predict that one. She’s doing “Georgia On My Mind”…So will JLo give up on her “winner” and go with Naima or will she stick with the Julie train? Hmmm…Kendra started off shaky and waited too long to bring it, I think. But when she did bring it, she brought it…

9:29 JLo says Jovany. WHAT?! Jovany over Clint? Or are they going to go with Clint and ditch Robbie who they thought was one of the best? He’s doing Jon Secada’s “Angel.” Why did he not do that last night? Dance with the one that brought you, honey…Ryan pointed out that they don’t know yet how many of these will make it. Could they possibly go with a Top 16? I would actually be okay with that, considering the talent that’s here…That WAS good…JLo says he did all he could do. I’m not sure that sounds very promising…

Top 24 Results Show: The Wild Card Round Begins

9:14 We’re back…Ryan asks Randy if they got it right. Randy says it’s a great Top 10. I agree…Ryan breaks it down for us. The judges will pick some of the singers to sing again and they can sing any song from the competition so far…JLo says they’re picking six…JLo says three guys and three girls…Randy picks Ashthon first. You knew she’d be in the mix…She’s doing “And I Am Telling You (I’m Not Going).” NICE!...She’s moving right in front of the judges. She is gutsy…So who will be next? I think Robbie will definitely be one of the guys and probably Clint…She missed those last notes a little, but it was pretty intense. She sang like she was singing for her life, which she is…The judges are playing it pretty safe and vague here…

9:18 JLo says Stefano is next. I thought that might be the case…Stefano is doing “I Need You Now”…And he is seriously bringing it…JLo is very excited. Clearly she’s his champion…JLo says there’s no way to not get it right and no way to not get it wrong with this group. Perhaps the show chose the wrong season to eliminate the semifinals? More on that later…I’m thinking Julie and Naima will be the other girls…After the break…

Top 24 Results Show: The Top 10 Is Set

9:05 We’re back…Lights down…Haley and Rachel…One more spot for girls…If they’re one in, one out, I think we know how this will go…Rachel knows it too…It is one in, one out…It is Haley. Great call by America…

9:08 Stefano and James…Roommates in Hollywood…One more spot left…James is in…Wow, this is going to be a tough one for the judges…

9:09 The Top 10 is set, but the wild card is left to come…After the break…

Top 24 Results Show: Things Get Very Interesting...

8:50 We’re back…Lights down…Kendra, Ashton, and Karen center stage…Ashthon…not in Top 10. Interesting…I know the judges are thinking about her. In fact, Randy and JLo are already talking…Either Karen or Kendra is in…It’s Karen. I got that one right…

8:53 Lights down…Tim, Casey and Jacob…Steven says he should’ve done Jason Mraz or John Mayer…Jacob is in Top 10. No surprise there. I’m sure Casey did too…Karen gives Jacob a big hug…One in, one out…Casey is in. No big shock there…NO way the judges use a wild card on him with the girls that are getting eliminated…

8:56 Thia, Naima and Lauren. This one will be interesting…Only one of them is in. I think it’s Thia…Naima is out. WOW! The judges have a tough, tough choice here…Lauren and Thia…Thia is in. I hate that for Lauren…

8:59 Brett and Paul. This one will be interesting too…Paul has a lot of fans in the audience…One in, one out…Paul is in. I wasn’t sure whether America would put him through or not, but that is the right call…And why are the Top 10 on the couch and not in the standard urinal stools?...After the break…

Top 24 Results Show: Who are the first girls through?

So I had a previous engagement tonight—more on that later—so we now join your regularly scheduled program already in progress…

8:32 Scotty is the only one that’s been declared safe…Ladies recap…

8:37 Ryan asks the girls if they are as close-knit as the guys…A video of the girls talking about their favorite moments…WOW! It’s going to be a LOOOOONG night!...

8:40 Dim the lights!...Lauren and Pia at center stage…Lauren…is in the Top 10. No big shocker there…Pia is also in the Top 10…Lauren says to Pia, “I did not want to be up there with you.”
8:44 Julie and Tatynisa…Julie says she felt like she let some people down…Tatynisa…Not in Top 10…America got that one right…Julie…Not in Top 10…America got that one right too. But the judges are probably thinking about her…After the break…

Simon on "The X Factor" Judges: "I can't make up my mind"

Last night, Simon Cowell appeared on “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” and talked about “The X Factor” judges.

When Jay asked what was taking so long to announce the judges, Simon responded, “I can’t make up my mind.” He said he has been talking to a lot of great people.

Jay mentioned that he had heard Usher and Simon said he was a possibility. Then, Jay asked him about Paula Abdul and Simon said, “I love Paula…She was one of the best judges I’ve ever worked with.” When Jay asked him about “Live to Dance,” he said, “That show wasn’t good enough for her.”

I think I smell a Simon-Paula reunion, don’t you? And Simon may need it with all of the blockbuster announcements that “The Voice” has been making lately.

Auditions begin at the end of this month, so I would look for an announcement soon…

Photo Credit: Paul Drinkwater/Bravo

"The Voice" Tries to Beat "The X Factor" to the Punch

NBC’s “The Voice” is certainly trying to beat “The X Factor” to as many punches as it can…

Yesterday, NBC announced that Christina Aguilera will be one of the musician coaches. This follows on the heels of the announcement that Adam Levine of Maroon 5 and Cee Lo Green will also be coaches.

Carson Daly will host the show, which is produced by Mark Burnett (“Survivor”).

Here’s a full description of the show from the NBC press release:

“The show’s innovative format features three stages of competition. The first begins with the blind audition, then the competition enters into a battle phase, and finally, the live performance shows. The show’s casting team is working with the music industry and searching the country for the best singers to bring to the blind audition process. During the blind auditions the decisions from the coaches are based solely on voice and not on looks. The coaches hear the contestants perform but they don't get to see them thanks to rotating chairs. If a coach is impressed by the contestant's voice, he/she pushes a button to select the contestant for his/her team. At this point, the coach’s chair will swivel so that he/she can face the contestant he/she has selected. If more than one coach selects the talent, the power shifts to the contestant, who may choose which coach he/she wants to work with throughout the competition.

Once the teams are set, the battle is on. Coaches will dedicate themselves to developing their singers, giving them advice, and sharing the secrets of their success. During the battle rounds the coaches will pit two of their own team members against each other to sing the same song together in front of a studio audience. After the vocal face-off, the coach must choose which of his/her singers will advance.
At the end of the battle episodes, only the strongest members of each coach's roster remain and proceed to the live stage shows. In this final performance phase of the competition, the top contestants from each team will compete against each other during a live broadcast. The television audience will vote to save one talent on each team, leaving the coach to decide live who they want to save and who will not move on.

At last, each coach will have their best contestant left standing to compete in the finale. From these four, one will be named The Voice-- and will receive the grand prize of a recording contract and $100,000.”

The show will premiere Tuesday, April 26th at 9 p.m. on NBC…

Photo Credit: NBC

David Cook Does This Year's Farewell Honors

On his Twitter last night, David Cook promised big news today. And he was right…

David has recorded the farewell song for this season of “American Idol.” But it’s a pretty familiar tune—especially for children of the 80s. It’s “Don’t You (Forget About Me),” a cover of the 1985 hit by Simple Minds from “The Breakfast Club.”

The song is available today for free on David’s website if you preorder David’s upcoming album. It will be available to purchase on iTunes and other digital music sites March 8th.

David’s second album, which he’s been working on with Matt Serletic (Rob Thomas, Matchbox Twenty, Collective Soul), will be released later this year.

Photo Credit: Ron Cadiz/RCA

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Top 12 Girls: Who Will Make It to the Finals?

If we were doing this the usual way, it would be a very easy call. I would tell you that tomorrow night we’re going to say goodbye to Tatynisa and Rachel.

But that’s not how it’s working this season. Instead, we’re picking the top five girls. And based on tonight’s performances, it’s a VERY tough call.

I think the only lock is Lauren Alaina. Based on her performance, I think Pia Toscano will make it. I think Julie hurt herself with her song choice, so I’m going to leave her out of the equation. That leaves only three spots for seven girls—Naima, Kendra, Karen, Lauren, Haley, Ashthon and Thia. My gut says that America will really like Karen and Thia. And I'm going to give the last slot to Ashthon, because she's my fave. As I said, it's a VERY tough call.

And it will be an even tougher call for the judges to determine who they will give their wild cards to after they find out how America voted.

So what do you guys think? Who were you impressed with? And who do you think will be in that group of five?

Post a comment or hit me up on Twitter or Facebook

Top 12 Girls: Pia Gets a Standing Ovation

Sorry for the delay, guys. I had to go back and watch this one again…

Pia Toscano, “I’ll Stand By You”: 19
I thought it was really good, but it didn’t give me the goose bumps that I need to get to give a perfect score. But it certainly put her on everyone’s radar. She may have just sung herself into the Top 10.

Final thoughts on a VERY tough call in a few…

#Tylerism Alert: "After Monday and Tuesday, even a week says WTF."

Top 12 Girls: Thia and Lauren Take the Stage

Thia Megia, “On My Own”: 15
She has confidence out the yin yang, doesn’t she? It was just too sleepy for me. I think she put herself to sleep, because what was up with her after the performance? Could she not hear the judges? Randy compared her to Michael Jackson and she just stood there!

Lauren Alaina, “On the Radio”: 16
It’s a great song, but I don’t think it did much to really showcase her voice. And I didn’t like that whole sex kitten thing she was trying.

Top 12 Girls: JLo's Winner Takes a Step Back and Haley Steps Up

Julie Zorrilla, “Breakaway”: 13
JLo’s “winner” just took a big step back. Choosing a Kelly Clarkson song is a HUGE mistake. Especially when you just phone it in the way she did. Julie is SO much better than that.
Haley Reinhart, "Fallin'": 18
I'm with Steven and Jlo this time. I thought it was a pretty good performance of a pretty hard song. She just needs a little more stage presence. And maybe she should consider shorter heels.

#Tylerism Alert: "If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong."

Top 12 Girls: Ashthon Delivers

Ashthon Jones, “Love All Over Me”: 18
There’s my girl. She has been my favorite girl all along and I thought she brought it. But I agree with Randy that the song was not totally the right choice for her.

Top 12 Girls: Lauren Sings Like a "Fool"

Lauren Turner, “Seven Day Fool”: 15
Why is everyone waiting so long to bring out the big guns? I think she waited too long to bring out the big notes. This one left me a little cold too.

Maybe there’s just something wrong with me tonight?

Top 12 Girls: Rachel Commits a Felony and Karen Brings the "Hero" to Clean It Up

Rachel Zevita, “Criminal”: 11
I’m sorry, Did they announce this as Broadway night and I missed it? What in the world was that? It took me half the song to figure out what she was singing. I thought it was a little criminal what she did to that song…

And kudos to Steven for calling a spade a spade and saying it was too Broadway. And I loved how he didn’t respond when she said Broadway was the one thing she had never sung…

Karen Rodriguez, “Hero”: 16
I’m a fan of Karen, but that one left me a little cold and I don’t know why. I think she waited a little long to hit the big notes. And Randy’s right, the Spanish was better than the English. It was nice to see a truly bilingual performance—the first one I can ever remember.

Top 12 Girls: Naima and Kendra Take the Stage

Naima Adedapo, “Summertime”: 15
I thought she sounded good, but I thought the choice was wrong. As Simon used to say, it was just too Broadway. I think she needed to do something a little more contemporary.

And did you check out her tattoo when she turned around? Holy cow! We need a closer look at that thing…

And now we’re trying different combinations with the judges’ comments. I actually prefer Randy going last every time.

Kendra Chantelle, “Impossible”: 18
I’m with Steven this time. The whole package was hot. Her voice is amazing and it was a good choice to show it off. She just needs a little more personality and stage presence.

Top 12 Girls: Tatynisa Proves Me Right

Steven Tyler told us that there’s a full moon coming on. And you know what that means…

Let’s get this thing started…

Tatynisa Wilson, “Only Girl In the World”: 9
I said last week that I thought Tatynisa did not deserve her spot in the Top 24 and there was nothing there that proved me wrong. I don’t know what Steven and JLo were listening to, but there was nothing good about that. The choice was bad, the outfit was bad, and were any of those notes in tune at all? Once again, I’m with Randy.

I’m starting to think I need to get that on a t-shirt or something…

More on Jordan Dorsey: Was He Set Up?

So it was clear that something was up with Jordan Dorsey last night because he kept insisting Usher’s “OMG” was not him.

Here’s an interesting tidbit from Lyndsey Parker at Yahoo.com

“Here's what the audience didn't see: I attended this taping in person. Jordan's full response, when he was asked why he chose a song so unsuited to him, was that he was ‘offered’ it. It was not his choice, but he did the best he could with it. However, this comment was edited out of Tuesday's broadcast. So did producers set up Jordan, who'd been difficult during Hollywood Week, to be the fall guy, by making him do a tricky song that not even Usher himself can sing well live? If so, their plan worked. Jordan is doomed.”

I try to stay out of all the conspiracy theory stuff—especially this early—but the theory has to be considered since it’s clear that “OMG” is a TERRIBLE song choice. If the show did give it to him, why else would they other than to sabotage him.

And if it is true, why did the waste a spot on him they could’ve given Chris Medina?

But maybe most importantly, is that really how it went down or is that just Jordan being difficult again?


A Confident Woman with a Not-So-Confident Dog

So my "Up in the air" coat is finished- it was such a pleasure to work with this pattern (Burda WOF 9/2008 - coat 101) It took me only about 3 hours over two days - as I had to get that zipper I was missing. I didn't do the lining, so it is very light, but still quite warm for a cool summer night walk to the local pub's outdoor garden. It is extremely comfy, and even "granny"ish St Bridget cross print  looks fab!

I added a black and gold trimming to the top of the collar to match the brass zipper fastening.

The pullover is from Burda 9/2010, model 121, made from a black/gold two tone jersey, very sleek and works perfectly as a current GOLD fashion trend 2011. 

The reason for the name of this post is this:  while taking these pictures my husband commented, that I must be a very confident woman (Himself hates appearing in photos, I have to sneak on him every time I want to take a shot of him LOL), when I was editing the main shot I discovered that someone else has a sneaking tendency- my staffie Harry is hiding behind me (photo on the top) - although his confidence levels have a lot of room for improvement! I might need to hire a life coach for him )))

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Top 12 Guys: Final Thoughts

Wow! This is a tough one. We know that only the top five male vote-getters make it into the finals for sure. Then it’s up to the judges to save anyone they feel they need to with their wild cards.

So, who do I think will be in that top five? I think Casey and Jacob are locks. People seem to really like James Durbin, so I’d put him in there. And I really think Scotty sang his way in tonight. That only leaves one spot…

I said in my H-D column today that Robbie was a lock unless he totally bombed. And in all honesty, I think he came pretty close. But, I think he’s still pretty popular, so I’ll give him the edge. Clint gave a better performance, but I don’t know that he is as well-liked. And he may still have the stench of that whole Jacee thing on him. I thought Paul was awesome, but I don’t know if he’ll make it through on votes. If he doesn’t, I think he’ll absolutely be one of the wild cards.

Looking at it another way, I think Tim definitely won’t make the top five given his performance. I think Jordan is also in that boat, because his performance was bad and he’s got that cockiness that doesn’t come across all that well. And Jovany has the looks, but his performance sounded even worse during the recap. I don’t think his chances are good either…

What do you guys think? Who do you think will make the top five guys? And was there anyone who really disappointed you?

Top 12 Guys: Casey Abrams Just Put a Spell On Me

Casey Abrams, “I Put a Spell on You”: 19
Memo to James Durbin: THAT is how you scream effectively. And I loved how after he was angry though the entire song, he gave it that soft ending. Awesome!

Anyone else notice how carefully Ryan phrased his final thoughts? Only one chance to make “this group of finalists”? They’re really playing it fast and loose with the numbers here aren’t they?

Final thoughts in a moment…

Top 12 Guys: Paul and Jacob Take the Stage

Paul McDonald, “Maggie May”: 18
I’m not sure there’s ever been a male contestant with as unique of a voice as Paul. And this song was a perfect choice to show it off. And don’t you love how he kicked off his performance by saying, “What’s up TV land?”

Jacob Lusk, “A House Is Not a Home”: 18
I’m not sure there’s ever been a male contestant as dramatic as Jacob. I thought he waited a little too long to haul out the high notes, but it was still pretty good.

Top 12 Guys: Scotty and Stefano Bring It

Scotty McCreery, “Letters From Home”: 18
The performance was not perfect, but I had to give it points for the perfect song choice. I loved how casually he sat on the stool and sang like he was in his living room.

But you just know that Simon would have despised it…

Stefano Langone, “Just the Way You Are”: 17
What a dramatic arrangement! I thought he sounded good, but it’s always tricky when you pick songs that are currently on the radio. And I’m not sure why JLo made that face. I thought he hit his high note better than James did.

And Ryan sets him up by asking him if he was singing that song to anyone and he answers, “That was for all the ladies out there.” Ryan probably just won him a couple hundred more votes…

Top 12 Guys: Did I Just Agree With Randy?!

Robbie Rosen, “In the Arms of the Angels”: 16
Robbie has a gorgeous voice, but I thought this one just sounded off. It actually took me a while to recognize what the song even was. The rhythm was off, the notes were off, and he was just off. I think it could have been a good choice if he had stuck closer to the original. I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but I’m with Randy on this one…

Top 12 Guys: James Screams Out Some Judas Priest

James Durbin, “You Got Another Thing Comin’”: 17
I want to like James, but I’m getting a little tired of him trying to be Adam Lambert—which he isn’t. I thought he slightly missed all of his screams. I had to give him points though for his song choice. At least he picked one that showed off his voice and who he is as an artist.

And Steven dropped his first f-bomb. He figured he could get away with it since the show is on tape…

Top 12 Guys: I Think We've Gone Off the Rails Just a Little

Ryan reminds us of the contest to design a Coke cup for the judges. What I want to know is when someone is going to sell the red cup that they’re using. I’ve wanted one of those for years…

And why aren’t we telling the song titles tonight? Is that so we’ll go to the website later and look them up?

Tim Halperin, “Streetcorner Symphony”: 10
I love that song, but Tim is just not a Rob Thomas kind of guy. That was TOTALLY the wrong choice. It didn’t do anything to show off his voice.

See what I meant by uh-oh? When they give the contestants carte blanche they are much more likely to go astray…

Brett Loewenstern, “Light My Fire”: 11In a word—CHEESY! I don’t know what JLo and Steven were listening to because there was no street in that performance whatsoever and that song needs street. And remember, Brett has been one of my favorites all along. So that was pretty painful…

Top 12 Guys: "Holy Shipyards!"

Jovany Barreto, “I’ll Be”: 14
I like Jovany, but that was a WEAK song choice. He sang it well, but that song has been so overdone on the show. He should’ve stuck with Marc Anthony or Jon Secada.

#Tylerism Alert: “Holy Shipyards!”

Jordan Dorsey: “OMG”: 11
WOW! What a bad song choice. That song really doesn’t lend itself to showing off your voice and what we did hear of his voice was not good.

I’m curious, though, why he kept insisting that song wasn’t him. If that’s true, then why did he sing it? Did someone encourage him to sing it? Or is he just trying to appeal to the judges. Hmmm…

Top 12 Guys: Jun Bug Gets Us Started

Here it is. The first performance show of the season. WOO-HOO!

Let’s do this thing…

THIS is “American Idol”!!!

So Ryan just explained it to us. We will choose ten—five tonight, five tomorrow—and then the judges will choose. Like I said, I think the number of wild cards will depend on who gets voted in…

As Ryan talks to the judges, the audience clearly loves Steven. Ryan gives him an “Idol” logo to cover his mouth if he curses and then Ryan curses. It’s a new world, ladies and gentlemen. But remember this show was taped Friday, so if there are any problems, they’ll all be gone…

Let’s get it started as the contestants sing whatever song they want. Uh-oh…

Clint Jun Gamboa, “Superstitious”: 17
I thought it was appropriate that the karaoke host gave a somewhat karaoke performance. I thought it was a mediocre song choice, but he sounded good—what I could hear over the band. I guess the new band is going to pick up right where the old one left off…

We’re off to a pretty good start…

Ready to Get This Thing Started?

Just a reminder that tonight I will once again be live blogging the performances, as usual.

For anyone who’s new to this, I use a scorecard adapted from the “American Idol” magazine scorecard that was published during season four. I rate each performance 1-5 in four different categories: Vocal Ability, Song Choice, Personality and Stage Presence. I then add up the categories to give each contestant a total. 20 is the highest score possible.

The songlists for tonight’s (and tomorrow night’s) show are readily available since the performance shows were taped Friday and Monday, but I did my best to avoid the spoilers so I could be surprised. I did catch enough of a glimpse to see there are some current songs in the mix. And we know from past years that often leads to trouble.

Just a few hours ago, “Idol” posted on its Facebook page that the Top 10 will be revealed March 24th. A quick look at a calendar shows this date gives credence to the theory there will be a Top 13. It could also mean more than 13 finalists with a double elimination before the 24th. I’m hoping Ryan will shed a little light on this tonight…

I’ll be back in 20. I look forward to getting this thing started…

See the Final Hollywood Performances of the Top 24

“Idol” is continuing to share even more performances than ever before…

You can now see the full-length final Hollywood performances of each member of the Top 24 on AmericanIdol.com.

Photo Credit: Michael Becker/FOX

Monday, February 28, 2011

How Many Finalists Will There Be?: The Plot Thickens

The plot thickens…

Sunday, FOX started airing an “American Idol” promo that said there would be a Top 12. However, it was very careful not to say how many would be chosen by America.

Then I read a report that America would choose 10 and the other two would be wild cards chosen by the judges. I figured that made sense and considered the issue settled.

But then, this afternoon, I got an e-mail from the “Idol” PR team in response to the question I asked Friday about how many finalists there would be.

The response: “We do not have a number we can provide at this time.”


Now, “The Hollywood Reporter” is reporting that America will choose 10 and the judges will each choose their own wild card, making it a Top 13. But there is still no confirmation from the network.

So why all the secrecy? I think that the final number will be determined after America votes. In other words, if we vote in everyone the show/judges want, there won’t be the need for as many wild cards—maybe none at all. That would be in keeping with this year’s total fluidity…

Stay Tuned…

Up In The Air

So I am caught between an itching for some sewing time and total apathy, sounds familiar? Don't you just hate it when you start doing something and in a while just want to quickly check if that email you're been expecting has arrived. Two hours later you are still online and feeling sooooo lazy to go back to work! Well I do! I hate wasting time and it looks like I am very very good at it lately, wasting my precious time. 
So here's what I am putting off: 

This stunning coat, which is actually very easy to make - it could have been almost finished by now if I didn't get into this virtual trap. I am using one of those fabrics I bought ages ago and couldn't decide on the best use for it .It is a designer wool blend fabric from Italy- it feels fantastic- not too thick or heavy and it has a fantastic texture to it. I have about 2 meters, might even squeeze in a matching mini,  or even a wee bag! (I actually never made a bag before- there's spontaneous idea, Thank You Blog!)

Back to the coat, I am going to add a zipper to the front instead of concealed snap fasteners, and I decided against the lining. I just want something light you can wear on a cool spring-summer  night. I will have to either bind the seam allowances or use the overlock- I will check what looks better- I have some black satin bias tape, but I have to pop into the shop for a zipper (the ones I have at home are all too short), so I might see something nice there for binding. 

So now, after all this blabbering, I feel it's time to retire to my workshop again, so I will be back soon with the finished result, I hope!

P.S.                          Quick update:

What an amazing pattern. It is unbelievably simple to sew, just a couple of seams and the whole thing already looks like it is coming together- and quite nicely!!! I bound the hems of the sleeves with the black satin ribbon and I will do the same to the seam allowances of the bottom hem. Funny but even though the sleeves have a darker cuffs on them in the photo- there s nothing like it in the pattern/instructions. Go figure.

Too bad I have to wait till tomorrow to get that zipper, at it looks like it could be a "3 hours work" coat. So as there is no point in rushing, I am alternating sewing with some blogging and online socializing. Also need to get black raglan shoulder pads for best shape, so might check out ebay before going to bed too.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Season's First Medical Crisis

Each season there is some sort of medical crisis, but it’s not usually this early…

TMZ.com broke the story that Casey Abrams was hospitalized and received a blood transfusion. There apparently was some question as to whether Casey would have to drop out, but he did participate in Friday’s taping of Tuesday’s show.

I think Casey is a lock for the finals, so I’m hoping he’s able to get well soon…

Photo Credit: Michael Becker/FOX

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Chris Medina on "The Tonight Show"

If you missed Chris Medina on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," you can see it here. As usual, Rickey Minor and the band were a little overpowering...

I think his song, "What Are Words" is going to be a HUGE wedding song. It's available now on iTunes and part of the proceeds go to the Julianna Recovery Fund to help with his fiance's care...

How Many Finalists Will There Be?

It’s almost like “American Idol” has turned into the CIA this season…

As I had told you a few weeks ago, “Idol” was planning on a Top 20 with America voting the next week on the top five girls and top five guys. The judges would then add as many wild cards as they felt necessary.

But then they went with a top 24, so I figured that meant American would vote on the top six girls and six guys with no wild cards. But when the Top 24 press release came out, there was no mention of the number of finalists.

So I asked. And here is what I was told by an “Idol” publicist: “as for the total number, historically it has been a Top 12.”

Historically? Hmmm…

So, I asked again. This time, getting more specific. Would it be six and six or was it not set in stone yet? And the answer I got: “Not set in stone.”


The details will no doubt come out in the next few days, so why the mystery on Friday? I have no idea, but I can’t help but wonder if there’s still some tweaking going on behind the scenes…

Stay Tuned…

Photo Credit: Michael Becker/FOX

An Interesting Untold Contestant Backstory

Each season there are always interesting contestant backstories that the show doesn’t share with us and this one is a doozy…

According to the “LA Times,” one of the contestants who was eliminated Thursday night, Sophia Shorai, is the daughter of a member of the Symbionese Liberation Army that kidnapped Patty Hearst in 1974.

You can read the entire story here.

Help JLo Finish Her Video!

Thursday night during “Idol,” Jennifer Lopez will premiere the video for her new single, “On the Floor” and you can help choose the video’s ending…

Now through Thursday at noon, you can log on to AmericanIdol.com and view the different possible endings and vote for your favorite.

The full video with the winning ending will air courtesy of Ford during Thursday’s two-hour live results show…

Photo Credit: FOX

Online Voting Comes to "Idol"

The rumors have finally been confirmed…

For the first time ever, you can vote for your favorite “Idol” online, but you’ll need a Facebook account to do it.

Votes can still be made via phone and by text for AT&T wireless customers.

To vote online, you’ll need to go to AmericanIdol.com and follow the directions to log in to your Facebook account and vote.

Creator and Executive Producer Simon Fuller said in a press release, “We have been wanting to do online voting for several years, and now Facebook has offered us a secure solution and we are ready to go. The show has always involved a high level of engagement with its viewers through texting and phone voting, and it’s great to expand on this tradition.”

This move is interesting for two reasons. Number one, the announcement comes just days after a “Hollywood Reporter” story that “The X Factor” was looking to use Facebook for online voting. The other interesting thing is that FOX is owned by News Corp., which owns Facebook rival, MySpace. By going with Facebook over MySpace, it’s almost like MySpace is surrendering, isn’t it?

Online voting begins Tuesday night…

"The X Factor": Have You Got It?

“The X Factor” has announced audition dates and cities for its upcoming season…

Auditions will begin in Los Angeles Sunday, March 27th. Then they’ll hit Miami Thursday, April 7th, Newark, NJ, Thursday, April 14th, Seattle Wednesday, April 20th, Chicago Wednesday, April 27th and Dallas on a date TBA.

Unlike other shows, the first time a contestant auditions for the judges they’ll do it in front of an audience.

Those interested in auditioning should sign up on the show’s website.

Photo Credit: FOX

Meet the Top 12 Girls

Here are the Top 12 Girls who will compete for our votes Wednesday night beginning at 8 p.m. on FOX...

Naima Adedapo
Hometown: Milwaukee, WI
Currently Resides: Milwaukee, WI
Age: 26

Lauren Alaina
Hometown: Rossville, GA
Currently Resides: Rossville, GA
Age: 16

Kendra Chantelle
Hometown: Loudon, TN
Currently Resides: Nashville, TN
Age: 22

Ashthon Jones
Hometown: Valdosta, GA
Currently Resides: Nashville, TV
Age: 24

Thia Megia
Hometown: Hayward, CA
Currently Resides: Mountain House, CA
Age: 16

Haley Reinhart
Hometown: Wheeling, IL
Currently Resides: Wheeling, IL
Age: 20

Karen Rodriguez
Hometown: New York, NY
Currently Resides: New York, NY
Age: 21

Pia Toscano
Hometown: Howard Beach, NY
Currently Resides: Howard Beach, NY
Age: 22

Lauren Turner
Hometown: Covington, LA
Currently Resides: Slidell, LA
Age: 24

Tatynisa Wilson
Hometown: Shreveport, LA
Currently Resides: Aurora, IL
Age: 20

Julie Zorrilla
Hometown: Denver, CO
Currently Resides: Hollywood, CA
Age: 20

Rachel Zevita
Hometown: New York, NY
Currently Resides: New York, NY
Age: 23

Photos Credit: Michael Becker/FOX