Archive for March, 2010

The Search for Hearse Curtains Endures

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

Since last year, I’ve been on a mission to find the purrfect (sorry) fabric to make curtains for the back windows of my hearse. It began at the cluster of F&S fabric stores on Pico Boulevard in LA and probably should have ended there, since the first pattern I saw is still my front-runner.

But I didn’t want to buy and haul 10 yards of fabric from LA to Seattle without being sure it was the best out there. So in typical Kat fashion, after I found what I wanted, I kept looking. When I returned to Seattle, I figured it would be less of a hassle to buy locally and try to make them myself or have them made here.

I began my search at Snider Burien Draperies on a rather vague recommendation from a friend. They had a wide selection of fabric, but all their pinks were Laura Ashley looking prints, so I didn’t even bother to take pictures. The lady in charge kindly measured my original set of hearse curtains (which are baby blue… bleh) and gave me a quote for labor costs. It was reasonable, but still a decent chunk of change. I told her I would supply her with fabric from somewhere else if I end up using her services.

After that, I went to Queen Anne Upholstery, which also had a whole lot of nothing. I found something semi-similar to my front-runner in colors and weight, but it didn’t look quite right. I also found the store to be large and depressing.

A few days later, I caught up with the owner of Stitches on First Hill, who emailed me a bunch of samples. None of those seemed to work either, but I went into the store to say thanks and tell everyone there about my awesome car. They were really nice and appropriately excited, so it was a trip worth making. Maybe I’ll use one of these fabrics for something else.

The next day, I drove to JoAnn Fabrics in Ballard. I didn’t care much for that store either, but it was nice being about to get out and enjoy the day. My main growl with JoAnn’s was their inability to cut me a sample more than an inch wide. I understand they don’t want to waste fabric, but come ON. F&S cut strips that were short but thick, so you could actually see what the pattern was. A couple of the strips from JoAnn’s were so frayed I might as well have unwound a few spools of thread. I ended up paying a couple of dollars for a decent-sized piece of a gauzy pink sparkly fabric, thinking I could put something under it that will match the car. How pink is too pink?

This brings us to yesterday, when I walked up the giant freaking hill to Nancy’s Sewing Basket in Lower Queen Anne (recommended by the nice people at Stitches). They had a bunch of stuff, but were busy helping rich chicks choose bridesmaid dresses and design evening wear. At this point, I’m a little tired of telling menopausal women that I’m making hearse curtains and having them look at me cross-eyed, so I looked at some fabric uncross-eyed and decided none of it was right for my car, no matter how hard I squint. I really wanted to believe that this one would somehow match my interior, but considering my camera added some brightness and it still looks wrong, I’m thinking no.

So I’m still on a mission. I am almost feeling like the perfect fabric has a greater chance of dropping from the sky (10 yards, please) than making itself present in any store that I visit.

If you changed your mind about clicking the link in the first paragraph and want to see what I’ve been seeing, check out my newest album, Fabric Hunt on Picasa.

Barbie’s Brother from Another Mother

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

Voodoo hearse sighting from a friend in New Orleans:

Barbie, Barbie, Everywhere

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

It’s hard to post from behind the wheel, so I’ve been a little scarce this week. I had to drive to Tacoma on Monday for top secret business. Upon arriving downtown, I found the business to be so top secret that even I didn’t know where I was going. I stopped to consult Brett Bretterson, my trusty navigation unit, and he didn’t know either.

Since my car is huge and has a giant logo on the back of it, it seems I don’t need to find someone to ask for directions. If I sit long enough, someone will come to me. This time, it was an older gentleman in business-casual garb who stopped to ask what the Barbie Dream Hearse is, where she was made, and what I’m doing here. I gave him a quick run-down on the car and asked him how to get where I was going. Friendly people in Tacoma. I just wish they’d do something about the smell.

The next day I went to the Microsoft campus in Redmond to visit a friend for lunch. I pulled in where all the cabs and shuttles sit. I’m not sure if the outward appearance of my car made enough of a case for my being there, but meh, close enough. While I waited for my friend, I watched some people pull out camera phones and take pictures of my car. Had it not been raining, I would have opened her up so they could shoot the inside, which to me is the best part.

Then I went to Wallingford. Now, I like Wallingford. It’s cute, it’s quaint, it’s compact… but it’s a bitch to park your car, even if it is of the “smart” variety. Half the houses there had big SUVs and trucks out front anyway, but it was the No Parking signs galore that got to me. Lots of perfectly good space being wasted. I had to park three times, having twice caught sight of a tiny, unassuming sign telling me I couldn’t park north or east of wherever I was, and I was a bad person for trying.

I kind of miss Chicago, where they didn’t care if your car was dangling from a tree if you could manage to get it up there.

Cool Widgets, Brah

Friday, March 12th, 2010

I’ve been messing around with the widgets on here.   I’d be happy if someone could let me know if any of them look horrendously bad or out of place.  I’m not much a Twitter fan, but I guess it’s the way of the future.  I tried to get a Picasa widget, but it just fed my albums directly into the side bar and looked like crap.

Anyway.

Yesterday, I was driving through Sammamish and some old guy standing on the corner saw my car and began doing animated hitchhiking motions.  We made brief eye contact as I rounded the corner, and I shook my head slightly as if to say, “You’re in Sammamish and you’re old.  You have a car.”

Then I picked up Todd and we went to the lake.  As we pulled up, a couple of fisherman turned around and stared, eyes wide as saucers.  I guess they thought we had come to make a deposit.

Love Me, Love My Car

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

And if you don’t love me, you can still love my car!  I finally took the social networking plunge and made a BDH fan page on Facebook.  So become a fan and make me coooool.

Online Laundry Day

Sunday, March 7th, 2010

I’m in the process of moving my massive quantities of online tirades from Blogger to WordPress AND changing web hosts from Ipower to Bluehost.  As far as this site is concerned, I realize I’m basically doing the web design equivalent of wearing a plaid shirt with striped pants right now.  Please bear with me while I work on getting everything moved over and looking pretty!

The Decals Are On!

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

Jody did a great job on my rear door decals, and they got all kinds of exposure as I drove from Kirkland to West Seattle in rush hour traffic to run an errand.

I decided to leave the sides alone for now. Enough people have convinced me that I don’t want to junk it up like a race car, and I don’t have any concrete design ideas at the moment. The fact that it’s a big white hearse makes it stand out on its own.

I’ve spent the last few days cruising to different Seattle locales. One of the places I hate to drive most happens to be my current neighborhood. I rarely park on the street here since I have an expensive garage space, but last night I found myself trying to parallel park on 1st Avenue in front of Le Pichet with a bunch of people hollering, gesturing, and otherwise distracting me. I know you think you’re helping, but I have a backup camera… so back the hell up and let me park.

Also, to the striped shirt wearing douche in the black Mercedes who cut me off at the Seneca exit on I-5 only to get back on the highway, thus negating any reason for being in my lane in the first place, I’m shaking a tiny fist at you too!

Addendum: The picture requests were almost instantaneous, so here’s one of the back of the car, even though the light is hitting it wrong and it looks like crap. And here’s one of Lola, the little dog that hangs out at the shop.

Please Design a Website for Me

Monday, March 1st, 2010

With pie charts. For free.

So I’m not ready to play the role of a self-aggrandizing start-up shyster, but this blog is no longer cutting the mustard as an online presence. I need a prettier, more effective marketing website, and I’ve known I would for about a year.

I suppose I was suffering from delusions of grandeur thinking I would be able to put something together myself. While I can create basic websites that function and provide information, I can’t draw or otherwise create graphics to save my life, so I need to enlist some outside help.

In addition, three people who know what they’re talking about recommended WordPress independently of each other, and I’m considering moving everything over there (still using barbiedreamhearse.com as the domain name). Blogger is going to stop supporting updates via FTP, which is what I like to use for backup and other purposes. The other purposes mostly pertain to my little custom blog, PlatKat.com, with which the BDH site shares an account. Since the BDH blog’s template is solely within Blogger, I thought switching to Blogger’s publishing method would be easy enough. Sadly, the WWW-dot in front of the site name is too much for Blogger (and/or iPower) to handle as things stand. I must humbly admit I’m not sure how to fix this in the short term, despite some of the good efforts made by friends.

In short, it’s going to take some time. Like the BDH herself, marketing the BDH is going to be a work-in-progress for longer than I could have guessed. Web help is always appreciated, and if anyone has a crystal ball handy, it looks like I could use that too.