Friday, September 22, 2017

Models as Clients Recap - Spoilers

Project Runway, Season 16, Episode 6 featured the models choosing the designer of their choice. Several models chose people they had worked with the prior week - for example, Liris chose Michael and Meisha chose Kentaro. There were two guest judges this week - Georgina Chapman from Project Runway All Stars and country singer Kelsea Ballerini. The goal was to design streetwear that would translate well to social media and other media outlets via photographs. The models seemed to be drawn to choose designers who shared an aesthetic with them.

Both of the Terrible Twins ended up in the final six - one in the top and the other in the bottom. The judges,  after being informed that Shawn would never have placed as high as she had without significant sacrifice from Claire, were disturbed by this news, but not enough to eliminate one of the Twins or even to pull them aside for a serious discussion. The Twins are great drama, pull in curious viewers, and allow for people like myself to write one extra paragraph in their blogs just to vent. *Sigh!* I feel they both will be with us, perhaps into the final 7 or 8, despite the fact that their talent seems to only exist when they work in tandem.

Here are the top and bottom looks this week:

Sian wanted to kick back and relax on her day
off, so she loved the idea of an over sized sweatshirt.
Unfortunately, the judges didn't share her views. 

Claire was chosen by Sian, as the final pick of the day. The willowy model requested comfortable clothing in which she could "dress down" for daily wear. But the oversized sweatshirt with a shoulder zipper didn't fit well, and her shorts were cut way too short. In photographs Sian looked like one big, black blob. Claire's look was in the bottom.

Janine would look great in almost anything - she's got
a great body. Shawn's design was a slightly altered
version of a personal design of hers, but it worked. 

The other twin, Shawn, designed a look extremely similar to the look that she had been wearing the previous day. Janine loved her look, and the judges praised the varied back ties of the top and the fit of the skirt. Although it also was black, it photographed better than Claire's - mainly because the cropped top was more flattering than the sweatshirt. It landed Shawn into the top, even though it would never have come together at all without Claire's sewing and tailoring skills.

Short, round Kenya designed for statuesque, slender
Sanita. She listed to her model and even though she
heard what Tim Gunn said and tried to make changes,
she reverted back to her original design. It was
a good move. 

Kenya stayed true to her vision and the request of her model, Sanita, staying with the green that her model loved. Adding in a gentle black/white print that almost evoked paw prints, the solid green was broken up just enough to avoid the "large green bean" comment that Tim Gunn had thought might happen with the finished outfit. Almost against their will, the judges were unanimous in their support of the garment and Kenya was in the top again with this effort.

Kentaro was very happy when Meisha chose him for
a second week. The two Japanese speakers saw
the design clearly and worked together in harmony.
It was a really great look and looked extremely
comfortable too. 

Kentaro and Meisha joined together again, happily speaking Japanese to each other. Meisha wanted something that would meld the two cultures - American and Japanese. Kentaro designed a unique loose hakama-style pant similar to those found in a kimono, and added high-rise denim leggings below them to evoke a pant over pant look. Adding a loosely-folded crop top, featuring a large center back pleat to pull in excess fabric, he had a unique outfit that Meisha adored. It photographed beautifully and both designer and model were delighted with their collaboration. Kentaro was in the top three.

Jazzmine wanted Samantha as a designer, feeling
that she would understand the grunge look she
wanted. Samantha actually made a great outfit,
but the judges felt it was too derivative. 

Jazzmine wanted something "grunge and glam" so she chose Samantha as her designer. Samantha, my home town girl, has a background of years of designing within the genre and felt very comfortable with the assignment. A beautifully made dress featuring a fitted bodice and multiple layers of different fabrics in a mid-thigh skirt, was paired with a short vest. Although Jazzmine loved the outfit and Samantha had made it extremely well, she still ended up in the bottom when the judges called her work "derivative" and "verging on costume". For the second week in a row, the judges preferred Samantha's own clothing over what she designed for the competition.

Christina wanted a Miami look and Margarita
supplied it, but look at those pants. So bad! 

Margarita had been chosen by Christina who was looking for a Miami Aaliyah look but Margarita may have interpreted that too literally. Her poorly fitted pants with WAY too many creases in the crotch area, was paired with a double-sided halter top and a dolman-sleeved jacket. When Margarita was criticized by the judges for her design, she became very defensive and threw her model under the bus. Badly done! Her extremely derivative, dated and poorly made outfit put her into the bottom looks.

So ... who won and who went home? Did you guess?

Kentaro and that wonderful Japanese/American fusion style for Meisha won the challenge, and ...

Samantha was sent back to Minneapolis, on a design for Jazzmine that really wasn't that poorly conceived and that was extremely well made. I didn't agree with the judges on this one - Claire would have been going home if I'd had a vote.

Have a great weekend. We're in a record heat wave - we usually don't get this hot this late in the year. Only two more weekends for Renaissance Festival - this one which is Irish themed, and next weekend for Oktoberfest. The summer officially comes to an end for me with the final Sunday of Ren Faire. I'll be back on Monday. Remember to be kind, spread love, and be respectful of those with whom you interact. All you need is love!

Good Mabon and Project Runway Recap - No Spoilers

Good Mabon to all of you. At 3:02 pm (Central Standard Time) the Autumnal Equinox will occur, officially ushering us into Fall. It's the High Holy Days for my Jewish friends, with Rosh Hashana on Thursday and Friday, and Yom Kippur coming on September 30th. One week later the harvest festival of Sukkot will be celebrated. It's a busy few weeks in the Jewish calendar. We are now entering the days for reflection - time to look forward to the harvest season and subsequent deep cold, in the Northern Hemisphere and to think back on the year that is ending, resolving to improve in the upcoming cycle.

Good Mabon to all. Celebrate the Autumnal Equinox
by thanking Spirit for life, love, friends and all
things good. Goddess Bless! 

Now, on to the synopsis of last night's episode of Project Runway. No spoilers until my Saturday post, so it's COMPLETELY safe to read.

The models chose their own designers. Here, Margarita, Michael,
Kentaro and Samantha hear what the challenge will be from
Tim Gonn. Liris chose Michael again and Kentaro was chosen by
Meisha - both of them repeating their designer experiences from
the previous challenge. 

In an interesting flip, the models were the clients and the eleven designers suddenly had to listen and design to the specifications and input of their models instead of just listening and then turning around and doing what they had originally wanted despite the model's commentaries. Well, they didn't get away with it this time.

The designs needed to be street style and something appropriate that each model could wear on their "day off" and use on social media websites and in posts for self-promotion. Each model chose her own designer and the Twins were among the final three chosen. After a half-hour designing session and a trip to Mood with a $200 budget, everyone reconvened in the workroom for a one-day challenge.

The other thing that was finally addressed in this episode (although still not to my satisfaction) was the symbiotic relationship between the Terrible Twins - Shawn and Claire. Heidi addressed their constant interactions a bit in her sleep wear challenge, and Tim had remarked about them being on opposite sides in the Good vs Evil challenge, but their constant relying on the other to sew, pin, and brainstorm was starting to get on the nerves of the other designers.

Tim Gunn pointed out that Claire had helped Shawn to the detriment of her own completed design. Apparently Claire had wanted different pants, but had run out of time because she had been helping Shawn. The judges all agreed that Claire was allowed to help Shawn, but they also agreed that she should have had her own design complete before doing so. The final decision from the judges was that the ability to say "No," rested with Claire, not Shawn, and that she needed to grow a backbone and learn to force her sister to do her own work. Interesting. I look forward to seeing what happens from here. 

Everyone managed to get their looks completed and onto the Runway, and most of the models were very happy with the end results that followed their dictates. One point that was brought out in this episode was that each designer had a tightrope to walk - they had to design something that would meet the requirements and desires of their clients, but they also had to design something that worked within their own design aesthetic. 

Along with the standard judges, Zac Posen and Nina Garcia, they were joined by Georgina Chapman and a recording artist I had never heard of before (but unless it was someone involved in Heavy Metal, it is unlikely that I would know them anyway, I'm so out of the loop of modern cultural "stars"). Oh well - LOL. 

So, tomorrow I'll review the top and bottom looks for you, but today you're safe with the minimal review. This episode had DRAMA in capital letters. Such fun! Have a great Friday and I'll be back on Saturday. Now, off to the pool because everything goes better with a brisk swim to start the day. 

Thursday, September 21, 2017

WOW and One Spoiler Waaaay Down the Page

Wow. It's about all I can say about the patio and back yard after my landscapers finished yesterday afternoon. Just WOW! I'm very happy with the end result and even though they'll be back today to pick up the last of their equipment and tamp in one more layer of sand, it's essentially finished for the time being. After the shed is erected at the end of October, we'll have the guys out once more for a final grade and a layer of black dirt. That may not happen until the spring, though.

In photos - here we go.

Their bobcats and some other equipment are waiting at the end of
my driveway. They'll pick it all up today. The front lawn is toast, but
that's already on next year's agenda - some regrading and new sod.
But that's in the future. 

The pathway left by the CAT machines is deep gouges in my grass. It
looks like an Army tank chose my yard for field maneuvers. 

The other side of the driveway has a shovel as well as palettes from
the paver stones. I think we still have paver stones left, but I'm also
sure DH has some diabolical plan in place for those. He'll be working
on the yard for the next few days since he has the rest of the week
off from work. 

The actual patio looks fantastic. It's huge and almost perfect. They did discover
that the edge was curved when they were tamping yesterday and it wasn't
easy for them to get things aligned properly, but they managed and
it looks great! They did a super job cutting and placing around our
castle wall curves. 

From the side, here's what my new patio looks like. That curved space is
where our round metal umbrella patio table and chairs will go, or maybe
we'll put the grill in there and keep the table more centered on the

Looking toward the creek, the bed for the storage shed has been prepped
and leveled. DH says he'll still make some minor tweaks to make sure
it is as level as possible before the shed is erected in a month. The more
level it is, the more stable the structure and the longer it will last. 

The pathway from the lower yard to the upper yard is now a sea of dirt (and,
if it is raining, a sea of mud). They'll do some repair on this too, but I think we'll
actually come to an understanding and have them do that in the spring. 

The herringbone pattern in the multi-colored soft toned bricks is just
stunning. I'm really looking forward to using my new patio in
the spring and summer of next year. 

So, the backyard still isn't actually done - there is still black dirt, a shed, the wood shed construction and other things that have to happen, but the major portion for this year is now complete and I'm very pleased. It's beautiful.


Last night was the finale of the current season of MasterChef. I don't kid myself - I'm no chef. Hell, I'm barely a cook. But I love the show and watch it faithfully. Last night Jason Wang, Eboni Henry and Dino Angelo Luciano faced off for the last time in the finale, each chef preparing a complete three course meal for the judges. Each chef had their highs and lows, and it was neck and neck as the judges deliberated, but the winner was ... DINO! I was SO happy. I've been a supporter of Dino in the MasterChef kitchen for most of the season and he pulled it off. I couldn't be happier for him and his family.

Congratulations to former ballet dancer and genuine nice guy, Dino
Angelo Luciano, the winner of the title of MasterChef, the crystal trophy
and a check for $250,000. Well done, young man! 

So there you go - heavy on photos, light on words today. Have a great Thursday and I'll be back with the Project Runway synopsis tomorrow morning. Reality TV - so much fun! I'm heading off to get in a good swim before starting my day.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

A Day Filled With "Drahmah!"

The landscaping continued on Tuesday. Yes, they did manage to finally get the CAT moved. In fact, when I arrived home after work, there were two CATS in my yard - one in the upper yard, and another in the lower. The slope leading from the lower to the upper yard is toast - deep ruts, lots of mud, and if I ever had grass there, it's long gone.

The original CAT that almost fell down our slope and into the creek
is now sitting next to my driveway. There are metal plates all over my
front lawn and heading down into the back. BTW - DH says my local
law enforcement have been very efficient and the workers have received
parking tickets each day. My house is located in a "No Parking" zone
from 8:00 am - 5:00 pm Monday-Friday and the workers are getting caught. 

Apparently DH managed to piss the supervisor off so much that he walked off the job in the late afternoon, muttering something about "Anthony taking over". I'm actually not surprised. The original survey that Anthony did on the property was woefully inadequate, the land dimensions are larger than they first appear at casual look, and yes, we know how to use surveying equipment and leveling rods, so we can tell when something is being surveyed correctly. We're trained archaeologists and we've used surveying equipment in the field for years.

The metal plates for the CAT lead from the upper front yard to the
lower yard. You can just see the palettes of paver stones to the left in
the photo. 

The guys weren't writing dimensions down and they weren't holding the leveling rods correctly, so the stadia crosshairs in the theodolite weren't getting an accurate measurement. That resulted in their originally placing the paver stones at my door threshold 1-1/2" too high. DH insisted that they had to lower it because we need that threshold space to accommodate the extreme watershed that flows right in front of my basement doorway. Their inability to handle surveying accurately is also resulting in wavy lines down the brickwork of the new patio, and generally, not a class layout.

Look! There's another CAT down in the lower yard. This one is a Badger
brand (Sharon will be delighted). 

But it's also not bad and I like the way it looks as a whole. It still needs to be compacted and filled, and depending on what equipment they use for that, some of the wavy lines will be taken out by the final compaction. The eastern edge has a distinct curve on the edge, and there are absolute high and low points under the patio pavers, but I'm hoping that compaction will take care of some of that.

They are laying the paver stones out in a herringbone pattern and it
actually is looking really nice in the overall. Their lines aren't straight,
and that will need to be fixed as much as possible. I at least want straight
edges. Still, it's looking really nice with the castle walls. 

DH still needs to make up his mind about whether he wants a load of black dirt for the final layer. They will need to know that today. They also ran short of coarse fill and will have to bring back several more cubic yards today to bring the base layers for the shed up to our specs.

The large pile of dirt on the right was originally clean fill, but they've
put dirty on top of it with lots of tree roots, etc. DH thinks he'll have
them push that to the left of the tree to help level out the slope to the
creek in that section. 

Then the rain. We were supposed to get some serious thunderstorms and rain in the wee hours of the morning today. It was supposed to be up to five hours of pounding rain, lightning and wind. Fortunately, we got a lot of threat, but only about 20 minutes of serious rain. It was enough for DH to see how things were flowing, but not enough to ruin the layout. Any CAT work will have to be careful once again since we're wet on that tricky slope once more.

They covered the raw edge of the patio with one of our tarps to help keep
rain damage to a minimum. They really have no concept of how much
water gets shunted through our yard! Fortunately, the rain gods were
on our side last night and we didn't have much of a storm after all. 

So today will be interesting. I have no idea who will show up - Nick, or Anthony. I have no idea if the guys can actually straighten the lines in the brickwork, and I think I will recommend the black dirt to DH because everyone's tempers are on edge and it might help smooth things over a bit. Hope you enjoy the photos.

Today they will be continuing the brickwork through the end of the light
filler, putting more coarse fill just in front of where the smaller CAT is
perched (that's where the new shed will be erected in a month), and doing
clean-up work. I think they had originally thought the job would take
three days. It's going to be closer to four. 

I'm off to the pool, then I'll head on over to work. I'll have to work on my "day off" today, and getting my errands done after I get home from work really isn't fun, but I'm managing. Here's hoping you have a terrific Wednesday.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Moving Mud - Rain and a Stuck CAT

Yesterday was wet -  NOT the best day for bringing in a CAT and moving a lot of dirt. By mid-afternoon, the guys were grumpy, the yard was still high in some spots and low in others, everyone was very cold, and the CAT was stuck. Yes, stuck.

The patio was pulled apart quickly and taken off to Frador for recycling. A large truckload of coarse fill had been deposited across the driveway, effectively blocking DH into the house. No getting his car through that! In fact, I ended up having to park in the driveway overnight - not my favorite thing to do, but necessary, and still better than parking on the street.

If you compare this photo to yesterday's, you can see the castle walls, but
no patio pavement in front of it. We accomplished something, at least.
Here, the CAT is doing the rough work for the grading. Just look at all
that mud! 

After the patio was gone, they got to work on leveling the soil and laying the fill where we needed it - under the patio as well as where the new shed will be erected. I told DH to pay close attention, and he was doing so, but it was wet and cold. By the end of the day he was an icicle. Toward mid-afternoon the workers wanted to get the CAT out of the lower yard, and began driving it up the muddy pathway towards the front. That's when things took a less friendly move.

It looks relatively easy in this photo, but
that's deceptive. The left is actually a steep drop-off at
the back of the CAT, and those metal plates
are quite slippery. Still, the metal provides more
traction than the muddy slope itself. As
long as the CAT doesn't tumble into the
creek overnight, we'll all be fine. 

The CAT got stuck. The first picture looks fairly benign, but there's a steep drop-off to the right of the brick wall of the house, and the CAT is actually a lot more precarious in the slippery mud than it looks in the photo. It's trying to climb up these textured metal plates that they laid down from the driveway on down to the side pathway. But they should probably have put a couple more down, because the machine lost traction on the slick mud, slid about a yard sideways toward the creek drop-off, and was stuck.

Looking at the CAT from the back, you get a better idea of the angle
and slope. The greenery on the right isn't big enough to stop a
construction machine from taking a serious tumble. They'll have to
be very careful as they try to get it out of there today. The rear
slipped over at least a yard when they were trying to get it out
of the lower yard and into the front late yesterday afternoon.

Today they will try to get the CAT out again. It stopped raining late yesterday afternoon and won't start up again until late tonight, so they'll have one day without rain to get the CAT out, level the back correctly, and, hopefully, begin work on the patio. Or maybe it's a different crew that takes care of laying the paver stones? I have no idea. But right now it's a very expensive comedy of errors. Boys and mud - what can you say?

Enjoy your Tuesday. Hopefully it will be a better one all around!

Monday, September 18, 2017

A Week Of Moving Dirt Begins Today

Today, between 7:45 am and 9:00 am the landscapers will arrive at the house with their large equipment and earth will start to be moved. By the end of the week, luck and weather permitting, I'll have a new patio, a firm base for the shed to be installed in a month, and new water control slopes that will save my soil and the foundation of my house. I'm really excited and plan to try to take photos each day just to get a feel for what's changing.

The old patio, shown here, will be ripped up and tossed out. There's a firm
a few miles away that recycles concrete, so the landscapers will be
delivering the old stones there to be pulverized and mixed into new
clean fill. DH is in the far background of the photo, watering a lilac he
transplanted from the 'construction' zone. 

This is what we're starting with - the "castle walls" you know from last year (that's DH watering a transplanted lilac in the far background). He built the terraced walls and steps leading to the upper side yard last year and it was a wonderful and beautiful accomplishment. This year's goals required the help of a lot of equipment and not as much labor on his part - except for the wood. All of our wood for our new wood rack storage system (which may not be built until next spring) was cut, hand carried, and stacked by DH. A lot of work that isn't super visible in the photo, except present as lots of very high shadows above the curved walls.

I currently have five palettes of paver stones in my front yard - a total of
3000 paver blocks. It will be nice to have them gone and a new patio laid
by the end of the week - at least that's the schedule and the goal. Weather
could put a cramp into the schedule, but we're crossing our fingers. 

The current patio is toast - the blocks are crumbling and quite ugly. They will be ripped up and taken to a concrete recycling facility in the next suburb east of us. The landscapers will be laying down new paver stones instead of the old pavers, after the ground has been leveled and properly graded. Right now I have 3000 paver stones (five palettes of wrapped stones) sitting in my front yard, slightly screened from the main road by my bushes and a crumbling fence.

Looking from the back door across to the neighbor's fence and shed, all of this
land will be regraded and in the area of that lighter soil to the back left,
it will have a base of firm foundation soil prepared for the new shed that
will be installed at the end of next month. You can see the two wires
and that funny log dangle in the back left of the photo. 

Looking across from the back door towards the chain link fence separating our backyard from the neighbor's yard, is this expanse of earth. Remember that large pile of dirt we had delivered earlier in the summer? Most of that dirt was put here to help raise the level of earth. Now the large equipment will come in and move all of this around, getting it to a new level and creating new pathways for water runoff. We're already getting much better water pathways since the castle walls were constructed, but still need to control the water better. The creek, where all of the water flows toward, is on the left.

Looking a bit closer at where the new shed will be installed, the creek
is beyond the trees at the left edge, those anchoring wires with the
hanging log piece from the tree that was removed is in the center
of the photo, and the neighbor's chain linked fence and storage shed
is on the right. It won't look like this by the time I get home from
work tonight, I'm sure. 

Today is also the first day when all of the swimmers will be in the indoor pool - until next year, Memorial Day weekend. It's time to get used to sharing a lane with Rosemary once again, and our new swimmers who joined over the summer will have to see where they fit into the pecking order and lane assignments. It's going to be a mess for the first couple of weeks, so I'll have to be ready to change clothing VERY quickly so that I don't lose my 1/2 lane next to Rosemary. Eventually everyone learns where they fit in and things loosen up. We have our regular swimmers and the new people need to work around that.

Have a great Monday. I'm happy because my football team won big yesterday and are now 2-0. DH is a bit grumpier because his team lost yesterday and they are now 1-1. It was a beautiful day at Renaissance Fest, though - Pet Day and Pirate Day, so lots of wonderful dogs all around us to enjoy. Only two weekends more for Fest this year - Irish weekend coming up, and then Oktoberfest to wrap it all up on the last day of September and first day of October. Huzzah!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

A Farewell, A Celebration and Project Runway Spoilers

Did you wave good-bye to the Cassini spacecraft yesterday morning? After a final 22 varying orbits around Saturn, moving through the rings and skating past several of the moons, the final instructions to Cassini were loaded and it plunged into Saturn, immolating itself in the thick atmosphere of the planet it had been photographing and studying for almost twenty years. The Cassini mission began in 1997, one of the last major programs launched by NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The photos and information sent back by Cassini were breathtaking - heartrendingly beautiful images of what could easily be called the most stunning planet in our solar system. Shed a tear for this little spacecraft, and send out a heartfelt "thank you" to those with the vision to design, build, engineer and program this amazing mechanical explorer.

Cassini introduced us to the glories of Saturn. The ringed planet had always
been a mystery, but this brave little space craft flitted about above, below and
through the rings, showing how thin they truly are. We also got our first
close-up views of most of Saturn's moons. It was a twenty-year project,
but it ended yesterday morning. 

A short note about happier things - today DH and I celebrate our 38th wedding anniversary. We're pretty low-key about these things, but it is a VERY long time. When asked about how/why we're still together after all these years, all we can say is that we are both extremely stubborn people. I figure I've gone to all of the trouble of training him appropriately, I don't want to go back to square one!

Now on to Project Runway's Episode 5 - Red Carpet Wear for Good and Evil. As I said yesterday. this challenge split the designers into two camps of design - that of Good and that of Evil. For the first time, the Twins were separated - at least via floor space. But the fact that one was working on good and the other on evil didn't seem to change the constant interchange of ideas and actual work between them. Meh! Here are the top and bottom looks.

The fabric of the dress was unexpectedly heavy with a
soft shine. The stripe itself was understated and
perfectly placed. 

Brandon bought a subtly-colored stripe reminiscent of his menswear background, and made a long shirt-dress paired with a pure white long-sleeved half-moon crop top. He brought the striped fabric back into the top via a broad pipe down the outer arm seam and an elegant tie at each wrist. It was beautifully made and well liked by the judges, although Heidi did mention that he's done that shirted design several times now and he really needs to branch out.

Claire missed the mark in this princess gown. Was it
the worst look? No. But it certainly wasn't one
of the best looks. It's been five challenges so far
and I still have no sense of her as a designer. 

Claire offered a frothy, shiny, cinch-waist gown with a translucent skirt and shorts underneath it. Unfortunately it was a fail for the judges. They declared it boring, a gown seen 1000's of times before, and cliche. Claire pretty obviously didn't agree with their criticism, but she really didn't have to worry about going home - there were worse looks to come.

This design wouldn't have worked on a larger woman, but
it was perfect for the lanky body of her model. The tiered
black cuffs were balanced by the ruffle at the bodice
front and the stripes up the outside of each pant leg.
Elegant and beautifully made, Kenya was back in the
top with this design. 

Although Kenya had originally wanted to be assigned to the Good side, Michael assigned her Evil and she embraced it. She purchased this luxe minimally-pleated and scrunched fabric and added a lovely shiny black, smooth silk for accents. She made a very elegant tuxedo top with a black ruffle down the front, tiered ruffled cuff sleeves beginning below the elbow, and a backside flounce below a bold, large peek-a-boo cutout from her shoulders down to her lower back. The top was paired with cigarette pants featuring a smooth elegant stripe up the side seam. It was a beautiful and refreshing change from seeing gown after gown.

Samantha might have had a win if she had allowed
herself to keep the gown fitted and long. The place
where she made her cut was a poor decision and
didn't flatter her model at all. 

Samantha pieced together a conglomeration of angular designed fabrics with an emphasis on a dark emerald green and a rust inset stripe. Tim Gunn critiqued her initial design quite harshly, telling her to back away from the craft aspects of her design. Frustrated, she changed the design of the bodice quite drastically and clipped the gown off just above the knee, adding a flouncy black kick skirt. It didn't work. It's one of the rare times I disagreed with Tim Gunn; this design would have been better left as a long, pieced and fitted gown. Yes, she needed to minimize the crafty aspects, but the choice to cut was a bad move. My hometown girl was in the bottom with her altered look.

Liris rocked this outfit by Michael. From the bottom
of the cape to the feathered crown headdress, she was
a force to be reckoned with in this gown. Love, love, LOVE! 

If anyone wanted a fierce spokesperson for Evil, they would have been pounding at Michael's door and borrowing Liris in this absolutely fabulous golden lace design. Just look at her! Michael wasn't afraid to allow her body to be the spotlight and Liris looked stunning. She had a plunging neckline, a slit in the skirt allowing her a bit of leg, and check out the hip-length lace cape over her shoulders. See the feathered trim around the edge? It's duplicated in her feather crown. Evil, meet your Queen! Michael was safe from elimination this week by winning the previous challenge, but he didn't need immunity with this design.

I have no idea what Aaron was hoping to accomplish
with this design, but it was one hot mess. Aaron was
another designer who just hadn't made a statement
for his own design aesthetic over the five episodes.
This was a fail. 

Finally, Aaron, our problem child who actually does know how to design but who has real problems editing and with time management. He failed totally with this red design. He was throwing the finished fashion together at the last minute, having spent almost all of his two days making a muslin mock-up. He was so rushed that if he hadn't had some help cutting his pieces and sewing, he would have had nothing. As it was, the neck strap broke as the model was preparing to leave for the Runway. No time to fix it and it was a poor fit all around - way too loose in the bodice. A total fail.

So, did you guess who won and who was sent home?

Brandon won his second challenge with his "modern straitjacket" design, although Michael was breathing hard down his neck. The ties around the wrist battled with the feathered cape border and nudged out the win by the barest of minimums.

Aaron was sent home. I have to admit there wasn't any surprise there. Samantha's gown was fugly, but well made, and Claire's gown, although boring, was at least well designed.

There you have it. Our landscaping begins on Monday, so I'm going to try and enjoy my Anniversary weekend with DH at the Renaissance Festival. Have a wonderful weekend.