shabby blogs

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


I was in the play Our Town last weekend. I missed Sammy's final episode on Under the Gunn because of dress rehearsal. 
Below is a photo of Jack, me, and Ari, a friend who was also in the play. We were face-timing Sam after our rehearsal was over, when he was telling us what happened.
photo courtesy of Our Town's photographer, Kathy Wilkinson

 Second place! I am a Red Sox fan--I didn't dare assume he might have won--that could put a curse on him or something.
My brother Dave and niece Shea (here they are at the finale) didn't give much away... I had to sit on my chair, being a dead person all through act 3 of Our Town, while my kids and the rest of my family were at my mom's house, watching Sammy and his fantastic collection.
My mom said to me later that night, "The best part about the show was Sammy's collection. It was beautiful."
She got it--to Sam, it was all about the art.
The $100,000 woulda been nice, but he won in so many other ways.

It's been a difficult few months for my mom, and my family. This has been a wonderful twist.

If you ever have a relative on a reality show, here are some tips:
1. Keep the night the show is on free. 
2. Don't ask who wins. They can't tell you.
3. Don't read the online nonsense about the show. 
4. If you do happen upon it, roll your eyes at the fact that those who write it don't choose to pursue activities better suited to their bombastic talents, and move on.
5. If your relative makes it to the finale, wear a bright orange shirt. It'll be easy for your family to spot you on TV.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Different Kinds of Secrets

Keeping a secret can be hard, or easy.
Depends on the secret.

My secret was hard to keep: Technically I didn't know Sam made it to the finale of Under the Gunn...but a certain family member told me back in January that Sam's mom, dad, and sister had taken a quick trip to LA right before Christmas.
Why would they do that? Duh.
I didn't say a word to anyone.

I didn't even tell my husband.

Sure enough, last night, SAM MADE IT TO THE FINALE! And just as we thought they were going to choose Sam over his friend Asha, SHE MADE IT TOO!
See how Sam and Asha are standing so close? #bffs
The other finalists are Shan, who seems like a nice, normal person, and Oscar. Wacky, cha-cha, clueless Oscar.
Last night was a big deal--getting to the finale. Superheroes and whatnot. In interviews, Sam, Asha and Shan all said something like: I am thrilled I've made it this far. I really want to do my best in this challenge and make it to the finale.

Honest to goodness quote from Oscar: "This is the last step to really fight in the biggest battle ever. I mean, this is like pirates fighting with Hunger Games style with scissors and fabric--I mean, this is Iraq, this is Chernobyl bomb. It's really intense."
Um, Oscar, it's a fashion design reality show, not a dystopian YA (lol).
Certainly not a war. 
FYI Oscar, there was no bomb at Chernobyl. It was a radiation leak at a nuclear power plant and it gave a lot of kids cancer.
Someone give that man a magic phone to research metaphors before he goes on TV.

Other secrets were easier to keep--Sammy. Oh my God, Sammy. Thank you to Sam for being brave enough to share the tale about the horrible bus rides, and how you thought when you were 13 that you were worthless. 
He told me last night on the phone that by getting into Parsons and then being on Project Runway, he'd proved to that old version of himself that he was never worthless, because he'd achieved his dreams. 
And I thought to myself, Wow. This kid needs some more dreams. He is capable of so much wonderful.
But I didn't say that because I didn't want to get teary and go on and on about how much I love him, and how he is such a beautiful soul in this world...Peter was pulling at my sleeve--"Can we FaceTime Sammy? I want to show him my new karate move." 

Friday, March 28, 2014

That is SO not okay.

How dare those judges put my Sammy in the bottom two?
All I have to say is, HARUMPH.

He has made a lot of things that were either black and white or gray. Maybe that's what gave them the excuse to "give him a turn" in the bottom, because that's what it seemed like they were doing.

Asha's dress was AWESOME! so I'm glad she did well. Top two, right? It was a little confusing last night. And the model looks so happy! She loves her dress. #Win

Right now I am researching social networking sites. It is causing me to furrow my brow. It is making me headache-y.

But I will post on what I learn because I think it will be useful to people with tweens and teens. 
And it will definitely help me.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Top Five and a Donkey

So...Sam made it to the top five! This dress he made is so pretty.

Natalia is gone. Even Bridget, who has liked a lot of Natalia's designs, didn't like that pink dress last night.

Asha survived last night's episode with grace and charm. My mom (Sam's Gramma) said to me this morning on the phone, "Sammy's friend Asha, she tried so hard to think of something to say when the judges asked who should go home...she really wanted to tell the truth but she didn't want to be mean!" 
This was really pretty (and I liked it better than the one that won, actually):
Asha's design

I liked Oscar and Shan's collection too, but I thought Sam's and Blake's was better:
Sam and Blake's
Sam and Blake's

Oscar and Shan's. 
One of Sam's friends tweeted: I keep thinking "lobster bib" and Give the girl some claw crackers!

Anyway, tonight we have one other family member that is making a splash--
Bridget is playing Donkey in our middle school's production of Shrek, the Musical this weekend. 
She is hilarious.
I am so excited.
Sam is coming to the show tonight. 
I told him not to be surprised if a handful of my mom friends come up and say hello...;)

Friday, March 14, 2014

Sticking up for the Right Thing

This is Mondo's 
I bet his mom recognizes it.

He and Anya were so angry last night in the judging that they hung around after the winners and losers were announced to complain.
I've watched my share of reality TV and this does not happen, so it was great drama! 
Good one, Tim Gunn and producers.

I said to Sam last week after Stephanie got booted, "I bet she felt like she should have outlasted Natalia."
He said, "I think a lot of people felt like that."
Because every week, Natalia's "construction issues" come up. (That means she's not great at sewing, which is a problem in a competition about making clothing.) But enough about that topic.

I'm going to focus on Michelle--she made some really cool stuff while she was around. The week Sam watched the show with my daughters (I was away) Michelle Skyped in and watched it with them.
She made all these cool things

I love the one with the dyed fabric at the bottom, and the steampunk one is fantastic.
They are all so opinionated and bold. So-I-don't-care-if-you-don't-like-it-because-I LOVE IT kind of FABULOUS. 

BEST PART was Mondo (and ANYA!) sticking up for Michelle at the end. They did the right thing which can be hard, and sort of scary. I hope Michelle derives satisfaction from that.

I can't wait to see what Michelle comes up with next in her life as a fashion designer!

Friday, March 7, 2014

The Beauty of the Pineapple Purse

Hey everyone--I went skiing with my family and then took a quick spring training trip to Florida to cheer on my Red Sox (see video here) so I missed a couple of blog posts.

I know a lot of my friends don't know/care much about fashion, but this show is totally fun. I'm even dressing better now!
*adjusts bathrobe*

On Under The Gunn, my nephew Sam is really shining. He was all glowy when he first came home from doing this show. He kept saying, "Mondo was such a great mentor...he believed in me as a designer." On this Unconventional Beach Challenge episode, I totally saw that.

 This was Blake's. I think it's sort of nice. Sand-colored. 
This was Asha's. Notice the similar skirt? But the top is way more interesting. It came in the top two. (I also think if she'd had a different model, this piece would have looked better).

 This was Michelle's. It came in the bottom 2 which I really don't get. I like it a lot. So did Mondo, actually.
This was Oscar's. The model's face is like "These %*&*(% scratchy fans..."
But that guy can construct. 
(I'm starting to sound like I know something about fashion design.)

This is Sam's. He won! It's a beach-mat and an umbrella and a little piece of a volleyball net. I like how his is the only one that mixes colorful and sand-colored. The pineapple purse was a big hit.
Even those of us who go to the beach in shorts and t-shirts would carry a pineapple purse!

I think someone is going to have a pineapple purse in my next story.
And I what I wouldn't give for a writing mentor like Sam has Mondo.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Three Cheers for two good people

So happy for our new family friend Asha Daniels for winning last night's challenge on Under The Gunn!
They had to create something for Zendaya, the Disney kid star. 
Although they describe her as "singer, actress, author
*gags on author* 
she did come across as not too full-of-herself, and even fairly normal, which was a relief.
Sam's outfit

didn't garner a ton of attention but hey, he's still there!
When the model walked down the runway, Bridget, my sassy daughter who never has anything nice to say to Sam about his designs...and may or may not have locked him in the basement last time he was here...said, "Oh I really love that."
I texted this information to Sam during the show, and he replied, "WHAT"
I think he was too much in shock to punctuate.