Author: Stitch Boom Bang

stitched nonsense for awesome people

The Dude

Some people call them vices. Some people call them coping mechanisms. Tomato, tomahto, if you ask me. Does anyone employ a coping mechanism that is wholly altruistic? Even the people carrying around a yoga mat 24/7 are trying to portray a certain image.

My coping mechanisms are pretty standard. As a true Midwesterner, I repress a lot. I drink a lot of cheap wine. I curse a lot. I play electronic Yahtzee. Apparently, I even grind my teeth at night and my dentist thinks I need a $700 mouth guard.

Lately, as the chaos in my household has reached a terrifying level thanks to a new puppy named Roosevelt Grier (lovingly referred to simply as “Rosey”, or sometimes “You Asshole”), I have been questioning my mechanisms, my vices, and everything I thought to be true about myself.

13502151_1023970040986274_3550382472548269254_n

Roosevelt, the origin of my existential crisis. 

All of this has brought The Dude to the front of my mind. How does The Dude cope with life? He makes himself a White Russian. If there isn’t any cream, he uses milk. If there isn’t any milk, he uses powdered creamer. If there isn’t any powdered creamer, he goes bowling.

Being lactose intolerant, I can’t really employ his methods. I can, however, channel his vibe. I can aspire to be mellow, to go with the flow, to walk around in a bath robe regardless of my surroundings.

Thus, I present to you The Dude, stitched with love and awe. Will I ever reach his level of not giving a shit? Probably not, but I sure as hell am going to try.

13716234_1033485010034777_3201125251069791183_n

Rock and Roll and Whatnot

final front

This project makes me seem much more cool than I really am, and I have to thank Roz from Heavy Looks for that. She is the lead singer and all around Cool Lady who got in touch with me to stitch the album cover for their old/new release Waste It Right. It’s old because it has been available digitally for a while. It’s new because the hardcopy CD is going to be available for the first time tomorrow at their show at The Frequency here in Madison.

I learned a lot from this project. Perhaps for the first time in my life, I found myself wishing I had formal training in design. I’ll always remember the feeling of utter panic when she first reached out to me. An album cover? I have no idea how to do that! So I did what anyone would do – I faked it the best I could. Luckily, Roz was great to work with, and knew what she wanted, which made the end result kind of perfect.

It’s hard to tell from the photo how big this thing really is. Check out the photo below for scale.

13393026_10154061215425071_2042230183_n

I think the band plans to use it somehow at their live shows (I’m not cool enough to use the word “gig”). I like to imagine Roz pinning it around her neck and using it as a cape as she flaunts and does her thing on stage. I’m not sure that will happen, but it looks awesome in my head.

Give their bandcamp a listen. Buy the album. Follow them on social media. Support local music. These folks are putting themselves out there in the most admirable way. I envy and fear them.

 

Wonder Woman

13087846_987756084607670_2701608674143434635_n

There’s no denying that Lynda Carter, as Wonder Woman or otherwise, is a total babe. What I have waffled on is whether the idea of Wonder Woman herself is sexy, or sexist. Until recently, I probably leaned towards “sexist”, if only for her get-up. She’s running around in granny panties and a bustier for crying out loud. However, I think my old age is turning me around. I mean, good for her, right? She looks awesome. She is powerful. She is kicking ass. She should wear whatever the hell she wants to wear, even if it makes some people uncomfortable.

My own discomfort likely stems from the idea of wearing such a costume myself. A person cannot hide any belly fat or thunder thighs in that outfit. What I find myself asking at this point in my life is, why bother hiding anything? I get so tired of hearing people, especially men, say shit like she should cover that up, she shouldn’t wear that, nobody wants to see that, and on and on and on. Maybe for one day, everyone in the world should be forced to wear a leotard. Maybe we would all get over ourselves and be a bit nicer, a bit more accepting, and drop all of this “she should…” bullshit.

If you’ve got a tiara, bust it out. If you’re inclined to wear a cape, go for it. And yes, even granny panties and bustiers are fair game when we are all just people, with flaws and bulges and ugliness waiting to be revealed. As noted in the stellar theme song, all the world is waiting for you and the power you possess.

Janis Joplin

12924519_975724515810827_8090942141102613832_n

When I listened to Janis on a daily basis, back in the mid 90s, I didn’t realize it was my duty to do so. I was young, and had nothing to lose. When I listen to her now, twenty years later, I don’t feel young and free and powerful. I just feel sad and a bit lonely. I suppose that is what happens when one person in a relationship matures and the other is suspended in time.

I almost stitched the image of her lounging on a couch with her hand draped over a bottle of Southern Comfort. In the end, I decided to give her a bit more respect, and a few flowers.

Saturday Night Fever

1379606_964588320257780_8799401854993921911_n

I’m lucky enough to live in one of the five cities with a Sundance Cinema. Isn’t that weird? Seattle, San Francisco, West Hollywood – these cities all make sense. But Madison? And even weirder to me, Houston? I suppose Houston could be a hotbed for independent film. I’ll likely never find out, as my chances of visiting Texas are about .04%.

In the recent past, Sundance Madison has held a classics series, which consisted of showing an older film once a week. This series always brought in great movies, but because of the weekly showing being on a Wednesday, I rarely made it. One film in the classics series that I went out of my way to attend, on a Wednesday night for crying out loud, was Saturday Night Fever.

Before I get to the predictable situation I encountered at Sundance that evening, let’s take a moment to really think about the film. How many people have really watched this movie and have taken in all of its societal and subcultural context? It’s easier to identify with the more memorable soundtrack, thereby selectively recalling the movie in relation to the music, i.e. John Travolta strutting on a multicolored illuminated dance floor with ladies swooning in every direction. In reality, Saturday Night Fever is a darkly melancholy film, delving into complex issues that foreshadow irrepressible issues for decades to follow: racism, casual sex, drug abuse, date rape, teen pregnancy, sexism, suicide. In short, Saturday Night Fever is not really a movie about dancing. It’s a movie about the underbelly of the disco era in New York City. I trusted that people who went out of their way to see Saturday Night Fever on a Wednesday night would have a mutual fondness and respect for the movie in its entirety, not just some silly dance scenes.

Clearly, I was wrong. To make a long story short, the Saturday Night Fever screening was used by some local 40-somethings as Ladies Night Out. Woo hoo! They showed up late, drunk and squealing. I was hopeful that their vigor would dwindle once they became more aware of what was actually showing on the screen. Funnily, as the movie progressed, they only seemed to become confused and agitated. Needless to say, I walked out, requested a refund, and left. While I am fully aware of myself and my limitations, and I know that seeing a movie on a Wednesday night is a risk simply because I have to leave the house, I can safely say that I think the concept of Ladies Night Out (or Date Night for married couples) is a bit sad and contrived. In any case, I hope those particular ladies were able to get through Saturday Night Fever without the movie itself killing their buzz. Sundance does serve mini bottles of white wine though, so I’m sure they were fine.

Lemmy

1512202_961677240548888_8121792327617212852_o

Although I sketched Lemmy ages ago, I didn’t stitch him until recently. Perhaps his death a few months ago made me feel a bit sentimental about this old, ugly rocker. Perhaps I wanted to stitch those warts and friendly mutton chops. Or, more likely, I was looking for an excuse to buy a bottle of Rokker Vodka for the photo.

Regardless, here he is: Lemmy Kilmister, Motorhead front man, in all of his unapologetic foulness. In the end, I can’t feel too badly about his demise. For someone who drank a bottle of JD and took speed every day, I’d say 70 years is a hell of a long life. In fact, he represents the new mantra of rock and roll – Live Fast, Die Old.

The Golden Girls Revisited

12814043_957047661011846_3959580401005647724_n

I stitched up The Golden Girls pretty early in my entrepreneurial career. Little did I know it would be a best seller. So far, I’ve shipped this foursome to Virginia, Colorado, New York, Massachusetts,  California, and multiple towns in Wisconsin. When my mom sent me a batch of linens recently, I went out on a limb and made a larger piece, which sold immediately from my Instagram post.

This leaves me to wonder, what is up with The Golden Girls? Does the show include subliminal messages that make viewers go bat shit crazy? Are the DVDs from Season One laced with crack? Is Betty White secretly practicing witchcraft to manipulate the masses into submission? Something is awry, I tell you. You heard it here first.