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Monday, 25 March 2013
plagiarism or coincidence? I can't decide.
Topic: Random KatBox Droppings

So I have a question.  Remember my vintage pattern article from a couple years ago? It's from June 2010 and it is in response the the many questions on Yahoo Answers, and other places regarding vintage sewing patterns.  This was the peak of Katy Perry's Bettie Page pin-up obsession and many of her fans wanted to look and dress like she did -and then were flummoxed by the fact old patterns are nothing like new patterns.  

This entry is quite popular and it's accessed several times a week. earlier in the years it was being accessed several times a day. Then it stopped.

And then this morning someone sent me a link to this:  hmmmm....what do y'all think?  Should I be as concerned as my anonymous e-mail? 

There are several places where the craftsy article and mine are too similar to be a coincidence: 

First and foremost, get a roll of butcher paper and trace your pattern pieces (don’t forget to transfer all of the markings). This will help you preserve the original, and the pattern will be easier to work with. Vintage patterns typically don’t have as many markings as modern patterns. Some patterns don’t have any markings at all and rely on perforations (which aren’t consistent across manufacturers). It might take a bit of sleuthing to figure out which pattern piece is what.

Sewing notions have improved in recent decades. For example, you might encounter a pattern written before fusible interfacing was available that instructs you to use muslin. Constructing a garment the way it was done back in the day can be a great learning experience, but if you’re not a purist, feel free to substitute the modern equivalent.

Making a muslin might seem tedious but it will give you a chance to decipher the instructions and make adjustments for fit. Proportions and undergarments have changed a lot, and this will affect how the final garment fits



Try to trace the patterns before using. You will need to alter the patterns, the basic block patterns used to draft fashion patterns has changed greatly over the past 90 years.  In the 20's it was assumed you were 5ft2, and slight of build with no shoulders, arm muscles or boobs.  The patterns of the fifties are made for someone with sloping shoulders and a girdled up torso shaped like a cone. the patterns of the sixties are made for a straight up and down shape with few curves, by the seventies patterns were designed for a more modern athletic, curvy, ungirdled body. By tracing the patterns you can also make note construction details that are different from modern details, such as "regulation plackets" and bias stiffening, among others.  With perforated patterns trace all the holes, don't leave any out.  Check measurements carefully, older pattern sizes bear no resemblance to modern pattern sizes, and even less resemblance to modern store sizes.  A modern store size 2 will take  modern pattern size of 6 or eight and would take a 12 or 14 in older patterns. If the pattern is a size 6 and you are a 16, then refer to these articles from threads on how to enlarge and reduce patterns:


Vintage notions and techniques or modern? Honestly, use modern methods, tools, and notions.  Many vintage notions are impossible to find, and some have changed their name.  "metal slide fastener" in now known as a zipper, and you would never put a metal zipper in a dress, not when a lighter plastic nylon zipper looks and works better. You can change "regulation plackets" to zippers, sew in organdy to fusible interfacing, bias bound seam allowances to serged seam allowances. Vintage sewing patterns used the most modern tools and techniques available in their day for convenience, so you can use today's modern tools and techniques.  Some notions will be impossible to find anyways, when was the last time you saw eight fold organdy backed glue sized bias neck facing in your local store? Some old instruction sheets are very un-helpful as they assume that the dressmaker has been sewing all her life and already has a repertoire of sewing techniques and tools.  They don't tell you what to do, they assume you already know how to make a dress.

If you do want to go all out and use vintage techniques here's a collection of vintage sewing books, all scanned and available for free: You should also have some modern books to help with other aspects of sewing, especially if the instructions are of poor quality. The Vogue Sewing Book and Reader's digest Complete Book of Sewing are two comprehensive sewing books that have almost everything anyone would need. 

So I'm not sure.  Was i copied?  The writer was smart enough to turn everything into her own words -as all writers are taught when learning how to turn research into an article.  There are enough similarities that I'm sure everyone can understand my concern.  I'm going to let it pass and keep an eye on craftsy.  I keep a close eye for plagarism on burdastyle tutorials already (and caught several copies of things I have written)  so I'll be vigilant.  I'm sure these two are connected somehow.  Keep an eye open but don't overreact.

So that's all for today. I'm taking pictures this afternoon of a couple things I have sewn and some special beads that I got on Thursday. If anyone is interested in buying some of the jewelry I post later in the week e-mail me and we can make a deal! 

Posted by lincatz at 11:57 AM EDT
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Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Mood:  irritated
Topic: Random KatBox Droppings

I have too much to do and not enough time!  And to top it off, my mom wants me to come to her place to sew ten miles of curtains on her machine at her place.  This would take me maybe an hour on my machine, maybe faster now that I know how to adjust the clutch and speed using the wing nut.  1800 stitches per minute is blindingly fast.  And I should be here because I'm expecting a call from a contractor so they can come and do a much needed house repair.  I don't want to miss the call.  I need to do some clean up before these guys come to do the work.  I can't answer the phone at mom's and I can't do the clean-up work if I'm sewing ten miles of curtains.  ...Sigh... 

Okay, let's prioritize.  My parents aren't putting the house up for sale until the beginning of November. She doesn't need the curtains until then. My house, however, needs the repair before any fall and winter storms. I need to be here to clean up the gardens and the yard waste close to the house so they can do their job.  I need to be able to tell them yes, it is okay to come tomorrow or whenever.  I can do the curtains more effectively and efficiently with professional equipment, which I have at home.

Oh, you caught that?  My parents want to sell the big old house.  It's too big for them now, especially now that Mike's gone.  They put in an offer on a two storey three bedroom plus den condo in a high rise.  Mom says she needs new living room curtains to help "stage' the house.  After months and months of pleading and talking and showing stats, they decided to do the right thing and use a real estate agent and place it on the open market.  We knew there was a problem when Dad said "I think we might get 200k for the place with a few improvements" Dad, our place is worth 200K with no improvements and a leaky roof. He didn't want to use an agent because he didn't want to pay a commission. He said they bought the house in the sixties and it wasn't that complicated back then.  He is a fabulous artist but he has no clue what's involved in modern real estate law.  So I said, you save a couple thousand but get ripped off by several hundred K because you don't know the real value of your place. He told of two people who offered 200K.  When he told me who I told him they were trying to rip him off.  mom agreed with me.

Finally we convinced them to get an agent when one offer came through at 300K and a friend told them not to accept such a low-ball offer. What finally tipped the scales?  They countered with a bigger offer right away without hesitating. Mom and Dad realized they had no idea how much their house was really worth.  They know now and think that a bidding war isn't really such a bad thing after all. So a pair of old former friends who wanted mom and dad's place because of heart felt sentiment and happy childhood memories and all that bullcrap and tried to steal it with a ridiculously low offer?  Too bad!  Sux to be you. 

So I guess the answer is obvious.  Stay home, do what I need to do and tell mom I can do her curtains on the weekend when I have nothing else planned. She won't be happy, but I get to do what i need, and she (eventually) gets her curtains.

Sigh...these are the little problems that often lead to big massive headaches. my mom isn't always the most understanding when it comes to me having different priorities than her.  She sometimes makes plans, gets everything settled in her mind and then tells us our part in her plans. sigh. to clean up and then it's off to offend my mom.  I just talked to her, I'll be there for a couple hours and then I'm coming home around 2.  There will still be enough time to do what needs to be done and I can call the contractor back if he's called me.  I guess that's what you call a "compromise" sigh.

Posted by lincatz at 10:46 AM EDT
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Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Mood:  energetic
Now Playing: OMD A&M&More: Live
Topic: Random KatBox Droppings

Hello again!  Easter weekend is over, and still no sign of impending spring, only of unending winter!  A couple little easter thingies, one a poem that was e-mailed to me, it's apparently a funny satirical song from somewhere:

Easter time is here again and it's the day we celebrate
the morning that the easter bunny rises from the grave
and if he sees his shadow then it's six more weeks of winter
if he doesn't see it, everyone gets cadbury creme eggs
and he never sees his shadow, thank the lord...

The cat is thinking "rot in hell Anne Geddes!"  No, he's thinking this is what happens when my owners mix up bunn-day with Catur-day!

I can state for certain that the bunny saw his shadow!  The maple syrup man at that market was saying that the sap is barely a trickle, he got enough for a few bottles of extra pale and no more.  Know what's a real treat?  Sapsicles, when sap drips from the branch of a maple tree and you pull off the icicle and them suck it down like a popsicle.  Yummy!  There's a couple sugar maples near here, but no sap-sicles yet.

Easter dinner at my mom's was good.  She had found our old year books from grade seven and eight.  Mine was 1972-1973 and 1973-1974.  My nieces thought that we all looked the Brady Bunch, and no wonder: The Brady bunch started in 1972!

Here's my class page from 1972.  It's fuzzy, slightly murky, illegible...just like the memories of the time.  We think we remember everything clearly, but we don't all we have are murky indistinct yearbook pictures in our head.  Who are these people?  What happened to them?  Where are they?  Are they still alive?  Are they dead?  Have they changed?

I know there have been a few tragic deaths from accidents, a couple from health related issues, some have vanished into thin air, not even leaving any trace of themselves in phone directories or google for than matter.  Some have duplicates and clones, one is a CFO of a building materials place in Nebraska, a prominent nuclear medicine specialists, and amateur golfer who got the semis in some match play thing, all these people share the same name as a former classmate.

And the people who were student leaders and head cheerleader and captain of the hockey team and had a poem published in the didn't matter in the long term...all are living rather ordinary lives like those who didn't get their poem in the yearbook or elected to school council.  None who were considered school stars with brilliant futures ever sparkled as brightly as they did so long ago, some, last I heard, spent much of their time attempting to capture the last of that luster, to once again find that promise that never amounted to anything of substance.

The class jock blew out his knee in high school hockey, none ever came within a sniff of an OHL locker room, never mind an NHL locker.  The kid of the university professor, the one we were to look up to...nothing.  Never really did anything of note after high school. 

In the long term, so much of that means so very little.  You can't tell what someone will be as an adult based on what they are like as a 12 year old.  so much can happen.

I had a boyfriend in grade seven.  We walked home from school every afternoon...sometimes we even held hands!  Isn't that so scandalous innocent?  We went to the Winter Carnival Dance and danced to Nights in White Satin by the Moody Blues...still a special song to me!  Very special!  The teachers even fiddled with the class lists so we would be in the same grade eight class together.  My Grade eight teacher told me this! Alas, it was not to be...he moved off to Wawa, a town on the north shore of Lake Superior.  Last I heard of him was 25 years ago, still remembered me and still recalled Nights in White Satin.  Now he could be on the moon for all I know.  Still, it's a sweet and happy memory, something to smile about and a sweet story to share with my niece who is now in grade seven and eight herself. 

When Dan was in Grade seven I met one of my teachers from back in the day. We grabbed a coffee and sat in the office to catch up on things and people, I was supposed to call him Ken, not his teacher name.  He told me that one teacher I had issues with was bounced from school to school and finally sent off to a place where he would be in a regular class room and he wasn't supposed to be alone with young girls.  He was the teacher who said to me when I was 21 that he was waiting for me to grow up so he could ask me on a date.  EEEEWWWW! GROSS! I said I was waiting to grow up so I could have the privilege of turning him down flat!  Which I did.  Ken laughed at that and said he wished he could have been there, and now he has another weirdo story to add to the collection.  We both called that time "the Brady Bunch Years" and had a laugh at all the plaid that people wore.

I have one passage in my novel, where Annie is with her sister in law after she has one of her fights with her mother, and sister in law tries to comfort her with a story from her days in school, when everyone went to the gym to see the Canada Russia Summit series.  That story was straight from my life, grade seven.  For the final game all the kids were trooped into the gym to watch the game.  Some girls, the good girls, the sunday school girls, the ones my mom wanted me to be like...they though that this was nonsense and a waste of perfectly good school time and the game wasn't important and in several months it would be forgotten.  They wanted me to come with them to the library to do homework.  The school jock said I should come to the hockey game.  it was the final game, the most important game in the history of hockey and if Canada wins it would be the most important win in the history of hockey.  These two debated briefly and finally the teacher looked at me and said, "Linda, what do YOU want to do?" I replied quite honestly, "I want to see the hockey game!"  so I went off to see the most thrilling and exciting game in the history of organized sports... It was something quite small at the time, but as my life went on it became a turning point, it became a big moment in my life's direction.

It was the first decision I made on my own without listening to anyone else, without bowing to pressure, without my parents, I did what I wanted to do.  I never was quite the good girl anymore, the sunday school girl, the one who did what she was supposed to do,  It was a hockey was more than a hockey game.  If I would have missed that game, it would have set the tone for the rest of my life, not participating in things, not screaming my lungs out and having fun,  I would have regretted missing the game, I would have regretted missing other things too.  I always ask myself, which option is sitting in the library listening to life, and which option is sitting in the gym participating in life.  I wonder if those girls in the gym ever regret their decision, or do they enjoy having that pole shoved so far up their butts they can't enjoy anything else.

In other noodlings...I've started turning that plum stretch velvet into a corset.  I want to make it wide in the front with a v at the bottom and a deep inverted V at the top right under the bust.  I want it to be similar to the blue one I made to go with the paisley shirt dress, with the laces in the front, the hooks at center front, and all the boning.  The corset insn't uncomfortable because it's cut on the bias and the fabric has some stretch. 

I also finished up the pink pants and pink tank, now I'll finish the pink long sleeve top.  I still have enough of that remnant to make one more pink velvet thing. Or maybe not...that might be pink velvet overkill!  Hey!  That would be a great name for a clothing label!  Or an emo band! Pink Velvet overkill...hmmm according to google it's not a registered business...yet. 

Ooops!  it's after 11:00...I have things I need to do today.  I have to wash shirts, long sleeve warm shirts.  I have come to accept the fact that we will not be experiencing any type of warm weather this year, there will be snow on the ground in July, and August will be spent snow shoeing on the beach!  later!

Posted by lincatz at 11:12 AM EDT
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Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Mood:  loud
Topic: Random KatBox Droppings

Today is an assortment of various things that I have been reading, listening to, thinking about, etcetera.

My big painting of bunches of roses is going quite well.  I'm very pleased with how it's going. Now I'm adding large leaves and dark backgrounds.  In a few instances I'm painting the green over the black, as gouache softens when re-wetted some of the black comes to the surface giving very deep dark greens.  This makes the brilliant greens of the foreground pop, and the flowers where the white paper shines through come more alive because of the high contrast. It will take much longer to finish, I hope not quite as long as that one I started in 1983 and finished twenty years later!  I hope this one goes a bit faster!

Here's an article that's of interest, I saw the news piece on you-tube, it's from ABC news and it appears new and legitimate.  Gap found using children as slave labour for their clothing. The answer seems simple doesn't it? ...boycott the Gap -or is it that simple?  Is there something more complex at work?  The answer might be something far more difficult, and something that might be almost impossible for consumers to accept.  People who insist on ever cheaper and ever more complicated and fashionable style for less and less are as responsible for child and slave labour as the contractors and sub contractors themselves.  I'm quoting myself here, it's what I posted on a few high traffic fashion site and on Yahoo answers and in a few comment boxes:

Sadly, consumers themselves encourage slave labour when they get into the "I want a really cute top but it has to be really cheap" mindset. They want champagne and caviar style and quality for walmart sweatsuit prices. Let's not just blame the Gap, let's put some of the blame on consumers who want ever cheaper and cheaper things. Sure, they'll stop buying at the Gap, but they'll still want cheap clothes and go somewhere that doesn't care and doesn't address the issue, like the Gap has. Everyday this place is filled with "I want ____ but it needs to be really really cheap and really really cute" which does nothing more than encourage manufacturers to subcontract to cheaper and cheaper labour sources, to the point of slave labour, who will make something for nothing and therefore remove labour costs completely from the equation. Maybe the answer is no longer a mere boycott of a specific retailer, maybe the solution is consumers who understand the true cost of their obsession with cheap goods. Maybe the real solution is intelligent consumers willing to pay a fair price for fairly produced goods and who understand what makes cheap things so cheap. 

I will give The Gap a few points for addressing the problem, but they too need to address the larger issue of cost cutting and price cutting and the true cost to society of both. It's not simple, it's a complex issue that includes eastern versus western values, how both view children and the true workings of globalization, for good or bad.

Today's dripping with irony story...and I don't mean ironic in the sense of rain on your wedding day or the free ride when you've already paid...but true irony, the opposite of what was anticipated or expected with a sense of schaedenfreud thrown in.  Vinyl records may be final nail in CD's coffin.  Wait...  What?  Wasn't the CD supposed to eliminate Records?  There's some interesting stuff about the differences between vinyl and CD, mostly in post recording production and why all the levels sound the same with no subtlty...they are all the same and with little or no subtlety... 

Speaking of no subtlety...I got my new Vogue Patterns magazine.  Remember I said that Sandra Betzina could top herself after that horrible Peter Pan getaway get up...I was horribly wrong.  This, without a doubt, the single most hideous skirt pattern ever made.  The technical illustration emphasizes the horror, while the fashion drawing masks the awfulness.  Once again, this would overwhelm smaller sizes and it would make a larger size look like and elephant.  See, that's what all women want, to look fat on the bottom...NOT!  It looks to me like she's trying too hard to be hip and edgy and technical...and it's not working, there far too much going on at once.  Even eliminating the tucking on on side would help, or leave the tucking and get rid of the fabric lumps coagulating like clots of blood on the other side...  "I'm sorry Sandra, you just don't measure up!"

However...I wish they had this pattern when my kids were little!  I wonder if I could enlarge the frog to adult size?  I would love a Giant frog that hugs back!  but I bet it's expensive to make!

It feels so nice not making a costume this year!  So nice that i think I'll never make another costume ever!  Although I have got a few e-mails asking me about how I made Master Shake.  I understand that new ATHF episodes are in production.  I wonder if they can top the dickisode, or good old hand banana...that was quite the collection of weirdness last time around, wasn't it?

That's all for now there's a squirrel story below this entry, don't miss it, it has good news for all those who love and loathe squirrels. 

Posted by lincatz at 12:39 PM EDT
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Friday, 21 September 2007
Book Now and Then is closing. Sad Day
Mood:  down
Now Playing: Joy Division (what else on a sad day?)
Topic: Random KatBox Droppings

So today's entry is a bit sad.  After many years of business Now and Then Books is closing.  Dave (the owner) couldn't get a spot on King because of the whole Center Block problem, and there didn't seem much point in keeping it going.  Many regular customers abandoned the place after Harry Kremer died, most still call it Harry's to this day.  Dave Sim said a few nice things about the store in the the story in the Kitchener Waterloo Record, repeating much of what I said back in my memorial posted in the Cerebus the Aardvark fan group on Yahoo, which I haven't visited in over three months. (bad kat!) Here's a link to my blog entry from that day, including the memorial

Now and Then was a place where freaks and geeks could go and not hide who they were.  It was a place to be a geek, to embrace one's nerdiness.  It was place where it was okay to read and enjoy comics and connect with others who also read and enjoy comics.  I spent many happy hours there as a teen and early twenty something, it was where I spent my "friends" years. I harbor no anger or bitterness to that time, not any longer, far too many years have passed. 

I dug around in the dredges of the past long enough to find the truth,  and I'm content with that truth.  It's a god truth from my point of view, and that's really what it's all about isn't it?  That's how all of us see the truth, from our own solitary point of view.  It really is merely one of those optical illusions, like the vase/faces or the stacked cubes.  It's how when you are very close close to an insect it's huge, when you stand far away from an elephant its tiny. Like that old children's song, ~That's about the size ~of where you put your eyes, Einstein and relativity for five year olds. 

There's going to be a wake for Now and Then, to talk about what it meant to the regulars and especially the old timers, the ones who were there when it opened long long ago.  I don't know, I can handle seeing Dave Sim again. no matter what else has happened we will always be each other rebound relationship.  For him after Deni left and for me after Paul rejected me.  We were both quite damaged, and we found a measure of solace with each other, until I was able to move on and until Dave found a new Jaka-type to chase.  Harry was instrumental, coming to where i worked the day before asking if it was okay to tell Dave where i worked.  I said it was okay then the day after Dave shows up. 

I think I can handle seeing Paul if he were to be there.  If nothing else it's time to put some measure of closure on that.  The closure i thought i had was based on a lie.  So it's been negate.  If nothing else, it's time to cast fortunes and forfeits to the wind and to see where they land.  Whatever they do and where ever they land will need to be accepted.  Sometimes we need to let go and cast our lots to the winds of fate and then accept the outcome and not try to control it. 

See, that's the problem, it is the problem and was the problem, too many people trying to manipulate too much.  It's too late for excuses explanations and manipulations.  Time to let things fall where they may.  That takes far more strength of character than i think some people have.  Manipulation is a weak person's defense against things that are beyond their control.

No, the one person who would keep me away would be brett.  I honestly think I would completely lose my temper with him.  I and everyone else around him have put up with him flinging his monkey poop everywhere for so long and stinking up everyone and every thing except himself for so long...I don't know...he's so aggravating and so not worth the aggravation.  And he's so inconsistent.  One day he will be the nicest person and make me think I've been unfair; then the next time he'll be in his full Assy McAsshole mode and I think that I'm far too kind to him and that what he really needs is a punch in the face.

So I don't know.  Maybe it's best to leave all that in the past and have my own private memorial for both Harry and Books Now and Then.  Maybe I'll go to Andy at Carry On and see what he says, he's got a good head on his shoulders.  Mostly, I don't know.

If nothing else the closing of Now and Then is a sad commentary of the decay of Downtown Kitchener.  It's not easy to go downtown, no matter how many happy faces they try to paint on everything.  The new market was a spectacular failure, in spite of the far more attractive building; with inadequate parking and the worst street front ever.   The streets are unpleasant to walk at the best of times.  Every time I have at least one pan handler come up to me and scream obscenities when i don't fork over money.  There are crack whores plying their trade at many corners, and guys selling who know what from cardboard boxes at the other corners. People I've never met got into my face about who know what, one person was angry because of people like me with their headhones...What the Fark business is it of theirs?  The few remaining businesses worth visiting don't make up for the general unpleasantness of downtown.  And the city council sits in their council chambers with their heads buried up their asses saying how much better downtown is before they go home to their suburban fortresses.  To solve the problem first they would need to admit there is a problem; but that would mean admitting they were wrong and these days people would rather look like morons than admit to being wrong about anything.

And so this morning's bad news isn't sitting too well with yesterday's news, which I can't talk about.  Needless to say it's turned things upside down on the insides for me.   

So I guss that's all for today.  Not much else to add.  I'm going to go out somewhere for a nice long walk.  Or something.  Later.

ETA:fixed the broken 404 link. 

Posted by lincatz at 11:32 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 21 September 2007 12:02 PM EDT
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Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Mood:  chillin'
Topic: Random KatBox Droppings

I spent yesterday dieing dyeing.  Like they said in the movie Bladerunner, "Time to die dye!"  I now have two meters of coffee brown batiste and in about an hour I will have two yards of dark blue heavyweight muslin.  It's pattern makers muslin, and I want to test out my pattern for shorts, specifically the drawstring waist beach style.  And if the test turns out well, then I can also have a pair of shorts to wear.  The coffee brown is to line a boho skirt that's a bit too transparent, especially in the sun.  WHen people can tell what colour panties I'm wearing, then it's time to make a lining!

I got fabric for a couple of the different short I drew up.  The outback hiker is going to be made from sand coloured khaki twill.  The city/dressy ones are from a twill that's sort like dark blueish eggplant purple...sort of.  I didn't get fabric for the side waist one, I want something that goes with bright colours so I'll go to Kitchener Textiles or Fabricland for that.  The pink at Len's was far too putrid a pink for my tastes. And the dyed fabric will go into the drawstring beachcomber.  That pair needs plenty of pockets for shells, driftwood, and all the treasures we find at the beach.  One morning at Sauble we found two towels, a t shirt, two pairs of flip flops, a Wilson volleyball, three sand pails, two shovels a bikini top and thirty five ponytail elastics.  We gave one pair of flip flops to Heather, they were size 11 and she take 11.  We cleaned up on that trip!

I saw some nice fabrics for men's shirts.  There aren't many fabrics for men, but there are a few.  I have a felling foot as part of the accessory package for Mr A.  It's used with the straight stitch feed dog and plate, so sewing those gosh darn felled seams should be easier and faster.  I can hardly wait to try the sleeve ease feed dog, which pushes the bottom fabric faster than the top.  if you ever wondered how they do sleeve ease in factories without easing basting and pinning...that's how, a special feed plate.

Here's an interesting fashion article from Something Awful: Field Guide to North American T-Shirts.  On page 2 is the braggart shirt"  I've heard the more common synonym, "the 'tude Dood!" used for this shirt.  It seems to be going from common weed to "obnoxious weed" status.  More observation of this invasive species is required. 

Speaking of fashion, I feel the need to bitch. I need to rant! I get this question five times a week!  If I get one more stupid "I want to be a fashion designer.  Where do i send in my sketches so they get made and in stores." or "I want to get my line into stores.  Where do I submit my drawings?"  You send them up your ASS idiot!  Submit them where the sun doesn't shine!  This is as bad as the "I don't need to sew, I'm a fashion designer!" line a cousin used on the registrar of the Ryerson program two nanoseconds before she was shown the egress.  Every design school, from the couture school in Paris to St Martin's in London to FIT in New York to Ryerson in Toronto --the first words in the program synopsis for all of them is a variation of "This program requires all students to sew.  You MUST enjoy sewing as it is an integral part of the program.  If you do not wish to sew or do not enjoy sewing, then select a different program."  Parson's goes as far to say that prospective student should not just enjoy sewing, but they should LOVE to sew.

Manonlo the shoeblogger wrote a piece against so called celebrity designers who have no real knowledge of design. Celebrity designers who license their names may not know sewing, but real designers, the ones who do the real work for the celebrities know how to sew. There is a rising backlash against celebrities who license their names and call themselves "designers." They are not real designers. A real fashion designer has a combination of artistic creativity and solid technical expertise. Karl Lagerfeld of Chanel is a master dressmaker and technician. He honored his dressmakers and sewers at his last Chanel Couture show by bringing them on stage with him.

You can't design a garment without knowing how to construct it. I don't know where this idea that you just draw a picture and little elves miraculously make a finished garment came from --but that's wrong. All fashion schools teach sewing, tailoring, garment construction, advanced couture sewing, pattern cutting, garment cutting and manufacturing.  Even when garments outsourced,  someone needs to know enough about garment construction to write up  and send out line sheets, cutter's musts, and technical specification sheets and sewing/construction information  to the outsourcer so they know how to make the end garment looks like. There is no mythical place where people submit nothing more than a sketch and poof! Finished clothes come out the other end!

I will mention one celebrity that perhaps doesn't belong lumped into the backlash, specifically Gwen Stefani.  She's often shown sewing in her music videos and in almost all her interviews she speaks of making all her own stage clothes when she was starting.  Right from the get-go; even before No Doubt was famous -she said her real dream was to be a fashion designer. Jennifer Lopez, Sarah Jessica Parker, the Hiltons...all are pretenders and posers, not real designers.  As i said, most of these are just licensing deals, like Mickey mouse watches and Muppet T-shirts. Do you really think Mickey mouse made that watch or Miss Piggy designed that plastic lunch box?

Once again our old lady neighbour is outside in her garden.  Every once in a while she tries to not obviously stare in the basement window. Just like yesterday.  She's sweeping our driveway.  I have the window open. She sees me looking at her.  She goes to sweep her flower bed.   Old lady...prepare for Guns'n'Roses!  Welcome to the jungle...while you sweep the dirt in your flowerbed.  She went back in and locked her door.  Awwww! Just like yesterday!  Ben's favourite band is Guns'n'Roses.

Here's something for your next Yiff and Skritch party: Glow in the Dark Fur.  Fake fur that glows.  What will they think of next?

Howabout a weird converter?  This handy dandy little app will let you convert one thing to another.  For example, I weigh 2240 eyeballs and .12770568 right whale testicles.  You can also convert height.  I am 18.5 flaccid penises high.   Still nothing about how to properly convert to Latvian Orthodox, complete with the hats. Gotta love the hats.

What was the last good E-book you read?  The last good one I read is this one: A Field guide to Identifying Unicorns by Sound.  It's in a browsable HTML format, so there's no PDF to fill up your hard drive.  That rustling of leaves you hear on your next hike in the enchanted forest might be an invisible unicorn nearby.  Yes, but is it pink?

Once again speaking of fashion, but in this case very bad fashion...indeed one of the worst fashions ever the croc shoe...meaning of course not just Crocs, but crocs with SOCKS! Here's the world's greatest fashion disaster!  The presidential seal on the socks simply completes the horror, doesn't it?  And after that whole flipflop flap of the previous summer...he has the audacity to wear Crocs!  As Manolo says, this must be an impeachable offense!

So now I'm off to sew up a couple things and cut and test the pattern for shorts.  My old basic shorts pattern is for someone with a waist five inches bigger than the one I have now.  And thighs far thicker than that ones I now have.  So it's off to cut and sew!

Posted by lincatz at 8:23 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 13 June 2007 10:21 AM EDT
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Wednesday, 21 February 2007

Mood:  lyrical
Now Playing: The Wall
Topic: Random KatBox Droppings

Hi!  I got a bit of time this morning and I'm not in a rush.  I was thinking about going to Toronto to a gluten free food fair and then to some art stores with my brother, but we decided if we are going to the big city to wander the stores we should do it when it's warmer and there isn't a food fair to distract us.  I mean, the food would be nice, but there's plenty of gluten free food available here and we really don't need to go to Toronto to get it.  And I prefer bread from the british bakery over any other wheat free bread, even my own.

I got to the clothing by the pound place.  I can buy bales of clothes if I want.  I can go through the big bins and get a fifty pound bale of rayon print skirts if I want.  They are looking for someone to take fifty pound bales of men's ties.  I suggested looking into quilting groups, they often use men's ties as accent fabric in quilts.  She thanked me profusely.

So what did I get?  I got three rayon print skirts.  I got one silk sarong style skirt.  I got a grey "audrey hepburn" shift dress.  I got a bright plum suede skirt. I got a tie dyed t-shirt, which I'm wearing right now.  I got a bright purple velvet shirt. I got a black silk top with beads and sequins from india(I'm thinking it might fit Dan's girlfriend).  And last but not least, a designer label denim mini skirt adorned with rhinestones and nail heads.  It has a late seventies glam rock look, and sadly, it's far too small for me, only a twenty five inch waist.  Surprisingly, the hip measure is forty two inches --which would fit!  That one way I can tell it's seventies, in the eighties they made the hips narrower, and in the nineties they cut skirts with the hips narrower still and the waist wider. 

The denim skirt I'm going to cut across just under the fly front, cut open the sides and use fabric that's been cut away to fill in the sides.  I'll leave the seam allowance exposed so it frays out.  Then I'll use that as yoke to make a different skirt, using cotton print fabric as the lower part of the skirt. The sarong skirt is silk, in turquoise background with gold, bright pink and purple print,it's maybe one season old and from H&M.  First I'm taking out the invisible zipper because i need it and was the reason I bought it, and then I'm not sure...I might make a nice little top from it.

The velvet shirt gave me a surprise when I brought it home.  I checked the label for fiber content, I thought it felt like fine's silk velvet!  It just a bit too small in the upper arms for ms. "I Want to develop my upper arm muscles cause muscles are sexy"  Now my upper arms are a bit too muscular.  I can still do what I originally wanted, take it apart and use the pieces.  The plum ultra suede is going to be taken apart for it's fabric, even though it fits, appears to be never worn EVER and is a designer label. The grey shift dress I bought to wear.  It fits perfectly, and looks amazing.  I commented that it appeared Audrey Hepburn left her wardrobe behind, there were all sorts of basic little shift dresses, from business casual like the grey to evening formal.  There were fewer eighties prom dresses this time. And this huge bag of clothes and fabrics cost me all of twelve dollars.  WOW!

The skirt to shirt has been cut.  I had a small error in my graph, but it was no consequence.  I'm not putting in sleeves, I prefer the cut away shoulder look as it's supposed to be for summer.  I'm going to get some montana black AB beads and sequins to embellish the top and to use on the end of the draw strings.  I cut the main pieces out last night and now it's a matter of cutting the button bands and endless lengths of bias strips.

I began to draw out my Y-tree fractal skirt.  The Y tree works itself out into harlequin diamonds, where each y space in each row get two diamond inserted.  top row might have twelve big diamond while the bottom row might end up with hundreds of smaller diamonds.  This also works revers, with hundreds of small diamond at the waist and only twelve or so big diamonds at the bottom.  Fractals can be real fun!

So Dan listened to Pink Floyd's The Wall all the way through, and like I anticipated, his mind was blown by "The Trial"  How could it not be blown?

My mom and Dad came over last night for a visit. Not much to say.  They're going to give us the name of the people who did the neighbour roof.  These guys do repairs in addition to new shingles.  I want the dormer fixed and a new window and a new vent put in.  I also want the old insulation pulled, new higher R value insulation put in, proper vapor barrier in place and then some type of loose floorboards.  Then I want some simple plain shelves put in so I can use the attic for storage.  Then the stuff stored in the small workshop down here in the basement can be taken out and the small workshop can once again be used as a small workshop.

My tall son has an appointment with the JobTrack People tomorrow.  This means he needs a haircut, from shaggy rock and roll to not-shaggy business. The specEd people are trying to help Ben get his community service hours, he'll be doing them in the school so that's good.  The only problem is that the office is wayyyyy out on Manitou, beyond Fairview mall.  it is, however on the number 10 bus route, which Dan takes every day.  It might be good for Ben to learn how to commute.  We'll also stop at the shoe store, radio shack or whatever its name is now, the health food store, drugstore (chocolate easter eggs are good for your health) and finally MandM meats because I want hamburgers for dinner.  Maybe.

And it' now ten O'Clock, the time when I promised myself i would stop writing and surfing, and time to get to work on other things.  I've been spending far too much time on usenet being a nym shifting seagull.  That's not good.  Fun as hell...but not good. But still fun! I have adraft post covering the Paris Spring Couture shows.  I'll try to work out the rough edges tomorrow. 


Posted by lincatz at 10:22 AM EST
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Friday, 12 January 2007

Mood:  blue
Topic: Random KatBox Droppings

I got a funny anonymous comment on an old blog entry, the one where I give Assy Mc Asshole a pride obliterating bitchslap.  This person commented on that one, named Mr Asshole and said he's never seen a more accurate description.  This person recently ran into him again, and the day after this phrase popped into his head and he needed to share it with someone who knew Mr Asshole.

"It's like millions of assholes cried out at once...and then never stopped!"

*golf clap* *well played* *extra points for the Star Wars reference.*

Now that we've our fun for the day it's time to get serious.  Oh CRAP!  I have nothing serious to say. 

Dave is home today.  He has a bad headache.  He was snoring like a rhino with a sinus infection and neither of us could sleep.  The morning after one of these snoring sessions he has a headache.  Probably from lack of oxygen...or something.  Later if he feels better we're going to the mall to meet Dan after school and spend out christmas money and gift cards. 

This entry won't be long because I need to do some computer maintenance.  I ran Crap Cleaner and then registry cleaner then a couple other things and now I have a bit of cleaning to do.  We have things in our registry from programs that we uninstalled 3 years ago!  One thing that came bundles with our sympatico ISP package was musicmatch jukebox.  There's still crap from that bloatware malware spyware combo floating on the hard drive.  There's an empty file with nothing in it and no hidden files that we cannot delete.  It calls itself TMP and won't go away!  I also have to update AVG, the free version runs out soon.

Oh, in case you're under the impression that it's pay only from here on in, because that's what it says on the reminder page that the reminder start up screen links you to...(Bad sentence structure...bad!) here's a link to the place for the free version.   It's very hard to find through the linked page; and darn near impossible to find on the AVG home page.  So don't go through hoops, or through menu after menu! Thanks to the peeps at for that one.

But now I need to organize my crap.  The My Music folder is a god awful mess.  For some reason I have the billboard top one hundred of 1985 not once, not twice, but three times!  And I have the cancon 1985 hot fifty twice.  And in a folder named "extra" I have a couple John Tesh albums and for some reason "Bright Eyes" by Art Garfunkel; the theme from the Watership Down movie.  I like this song, it's in my range and it's easy to sing and it has a couple difficult intervals in it.  I used to be I'm getting older I'm going more into contralto.  But it doesn't belong with John Tesh.  And shuttup!  I like John Tesh.  He's my guilty pleasure.  I also discovered a bunch of obscure seventies singles in the folder labeled "The Joy Division BBC sessions." including the club versions of Blondie's heart of Glass and Rapture.  This has gone on long I need to file everything properly and make a few playlists and stuff

Finally, the tall kid is now too tall for his bedroom door.  He needs to duck to get in and out of his room.  On the plus side, all his jammies are cut out and ready to sew.  When these are done I'll make him a nice long robe with fleece on one side and terry cloth on the other. 

I've been invited to something that I try to avoid...the home party...the demonstration...the desperate housewife gathering where suburban moms try to fill the empty voids in their lives by buying expensive merchandise from sales reps in polyester suits with tie belts.  Someone I know needs a few things from this one line, and the only way to buy it is through a home party and she needs bodys to fill the seats so I'm being ms nice guy and the token non suburbanite and going to this.  the sad? ironic? strange? part is that its cookwear (Why is it called cooke wear?  It's not like you can wear a pot on your body.) and part of the party is that the sales rep shows how wonderful it is by cooking a gourmet meal...which will likely contain wheat...which I can't eat.  oh well.  I'll still show up and be the token non suburbanite.

And that's all that's in the litterbox today.  The AVG thing has finished downloading and now i have to tweak the settings.  Later!

Posted by lincatz at 9:36 AM EST
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Tuesday, 9 January 2007

Mood:  mischievious
Topic: Random KatBox Droppings

There is now about three centimeters of snow on the ground.  I think winter has possibly arrived.  Yesterday, in spite of my desire to stay out of the howling wind and horizontal snow; I found myself trudging off to a few places to pay bills.  It took me longer than usual, mostly because the wind and wet snow made for a difficult hike, but the upside is that -aside from car and mortgage-we are debt free.  Time to go rack up a bill at!  That feels good.  Not that we were drowning in debt, we actually live quite frugally.  For a while we'll enjoy being debt free, until we get our roof done in the spring. 

Ben gave me his old (As in two months old)MP3 player.  he made sure to erase all his old music and put on three songs especially selected for me.  Track one is Oh Canada.  Track two is the Imperial march from Star Wars. Three is ATHFfulledit by Schooly D.  I think I'll keep two and three.  Most certainly three!  I can be sitting on the bus and sing/rap along to big shake-zula and dan-dancing is forbidden!  If Oh Canada came on then I would have to stand at attention and sing along and that might make look foolish.  Certainly wouldn't want to look foolish on the bus.  No siree!  No foolish people allowed on buses!

I'm dragging and dropping some new songs onto it.  What are they?  I'm not telling!  I tried to get the FM feature to work.  You can't record off the FM radio anymore, that feature has been crippled.  DAMN!  And I wanted to record music from the only station that comes in clearly, CHYM, soft and easy favourites for light listening at work.  I really needed to record Michael Bolton...excuse me for a moment...even typing his name makes me want to retch! When I'm not sitting here in the basement, I get more stations, like KOOL-FM and the station named after my darling hubby!  But I'm not telling what's going on the MP3 player.  Although I will say that one of those "focus on the family" type websites once again proves my point the religion makes people stupid, as they panned the album for reason different than the other media outlets, you can read the review here.

Oh yeah...speaking of religion making people stupid, I stumbled across this little randomizer toy, it's the bible truth Generator found here by clicking this link!  And click refresh to get a whole 'nother batch of truth from the bible.  Some of the quotes are longer and more incoherent than others, but all are good fun lifted right from the bible!

Dave has a miserable cold now.  I expect in a few days I will have a miserable cold, also.  Then Dan, then Ben, then one of us will pick up a bug from somewhere else and spread that one along. 

I'll be cutting out a pattern for a PJ top for Ben.  His arms are only three miles long, so the sleeves will be three quarters length, at best.  Then I'll get the whole kit and kaboodle together and take it to Da's studio where he has an extra long table that I can use for cutting out.  One problem with cutting out at home is I usually end up with a pair of large furry pattern weights who want to sleep on the fabric.  One of the pattern weights used to try and eat from my pin box.  Have you ever had to extract pins from the mouth of a stupid cat who thinks pins are food?  It's not pleasant.

And that's all for today.

Posted by lincatz at 11:12 AM EST
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Monday, 8 January 2007

Mood:  silly
Now Playing: Dan Gibson...something with chirping birds and flutes
Topic: Random KatBox Droppings

Over the years in this blog...I've written some controversial things, a few asinine things, and a few inflammatory things.  Yet seldom have I had my ass hauled on the carpet for any of these transgressions.  But now I find myself inundated with at least five e-mails calling for my skin over something that should even register as bug splat on the windshield of life.  There are so many things I've said and written that should encourage outrage...but the one thing that has inspired someone to call me a nasty not anything about atheism.  And not a whisper of shock over my adherence to the witch's rede. No one batted an eyelash when I called new agers airy fairy crystal morons ... No, this is far more controversial than religion, for I have attacked the sanctity of phentex slippers!

Okay,'ve had your fun...but it's time to move along...there's nothing more to see here.  They are ugly, and you know it.  That's why it's so offensive to you, you've known it for a long time, you've secretly feared that some day some one with more good taste and good sense would have the nerve to point out how ass  ugly they are ...and don't deny it!  In your heart of hearts you've known for years they are ass ugly and you've been living in denial!  And now having it pointed out how ugly they are makes you feel bad for all the years you've put those ugly, smelly things on your feet.  It's embarrassing, because you thought that everyone didn't notice how ugly they are, and you feel ashamed now that you know someone didn't fall for the lie that you've told yourself for so many years, "They keep my feet warm!" so does walking in hot coals, but you don't wear those on your feet! 

So there are many options that aren't ass I dunno...REAL SHOES?  Why not wear real honest to goodness footwear that matches and coordinates with the rest of your tasteful and well thought out and expensive outfit?  Why is that so difficult?  What don't you understand about that?  ANd during the day, in the winter, there are so many more attractive options, like big fuzzy Bart Simpson heads, big fuzzy fake bear paws, suede booties, genuine hand stitched, hand beaded, fleece lined fur trimmed moccasins made by the Chippewa of lake Huron (my favourite) ...there's no reason for anyone to torture their feet or other peoples eyes by wearing those god awful ass ugly phentex slippers.  Those things make crocs look delicate and pretty by comparison.

Next, my weekly review of google gone bad.  bridge port magic haircut zeller.  You know, the yellow pages are on line and would return far more specific results for the magicuts in the Bridgeport Road Zeller's.  Try that next time.  cure cancer homeopathy fractal.   What. The. Hell.  That search originated from google portugal.  autism fashion design.  That's understandable, they were probably looking for Fashion Incubator, a blog for fashion designers and forgot the name of the writer.  Deffenbachia mother in law.  I think this might have something to do with the idea that if you suck the plant juices it paralyzes the mouth and was once called "mother-in-law plant"  meaning you should feed your mother in law the leaves to keep her quite or some such nonsense.  george costanza ron insana clone.  ummmm...oookaay.  That's slightly less creepy than george constanza gay sex fan fiction, and slightly more creepy than the weekly ron insana bald hottie search.  A couple variations on my name this week, one was looking specifically for me as part of a family tree search. barnyard appliqués sequin.  Yes, that's very classy...sequined farm animals...I don't want to know on what garment one would put sequinned farm animals, but I'm sure the same person would wear it with a nice pair of phentex slippers!  finally, honiton lace makers canada.  As far as i know, I am one of a small number of people in canada who make honiton lace.  I enjoy it, yet I hesitate to recommend it as a hobby to anyone.  it's something you need to love in order to work it as it is detailed, precise, and requires tons of patience to make even the smallest floral spray.  Trillium Bobbin Lace, google that, is the only place in Canada that sells honiton lace supplies.

I realized I didn't post a picture of my honiton lace butterfly!  I also have a waterlily that needs to be tied off and taken from the pillow!  Here's the butterfly.  It's my first one done in the fine 180 thread, so that's why it looks a bit rough.  After a couple more tries with the fine thread I should have it looking better.  I think the jubilee filling in the top wing turned out quite nice.  It's my favourite filling.  The trolley net is okay, the purl pin bars turned out very good.  Four pin flower and toad in the hole are two fillings that I need more practice on, and the leadworks especially need more practice before I'll be happy with them.  Three's some raised work on this one, but not a lot.  The waterlily has all the leaves outlined in raised ribs.  Now that it's winter and after christmas, I'll bring my lace pillow out again.  The pillow is large, hard, covered in wool and quite warm when it sits in my lap, so I tend to work with it more in the winter than the summer.

So Dave spent five hours working from home on saturday.  then on Sunday he started sniffing and sneezing,  Today he has a good old fashioned cold.  Poor guy!  Lets all send him a little get well soon wish!  We put away all the christmas things this weekend.  Now we only have a few presents to put in their new homes.

On friday I went to Vincenzo's and got a couple flavoured coffees for our new coffeemakers. I love the smell of that place!  It was cold, dark, rainy and wet outside, but warm and comfortable inside.  that place smells like tomato sauce, warm olive oil and stinky cheese, but not horrible stinky cheese, it's the warm and tasty stinky cheese smell that makes you hungry the minute you enter the store.  It makes me crave pasta and sauce.  I can never go to that store without buying too much!  I got some more scotti rice pasta from Italy.  I also got some imported arborio rice and some wild rice.  They had sorghum muffin flour and I finished off with the coffee, which was the intent of my visit.   I think the chocolate with a bit of milk and sugar in my new favourite drink!  There were no dehydrated Morels, there won't be any more until February at the earliest.

It's snowing today!  This is the first snow since late november.  Time to get out the pencils and do some drawing.  If you aren't good at drawing, there are still ways to make art with pencils, like someone did here!  More than a few look like crabs, and more than a few look know!

Speaking of phallic, we are now getting the new season of ATHF, and on friday I saw Dicktacular!  that Especially when Master Shake ate Carl's um Carlina's um...his...her's...okay I give up.  That was weird when master shake ate carl's dick by mistake.  And I'm not saying anything more!  And we also got the new season of Robot Chicken...which still doesn't make sense, but is still funny as heck.

Do you feel the need to go aaawwwwthatssofreakingadorable!  If you do then click here for horrifying cuteness  Awww!  That's so freaking Adorable! 

Since I've offended so many people by telling them that their slippers are ugly, I think I'll tick off more people with a reminder of how religion makes people stupid.  The bible, in case you forgot, is not a science book.  Don't use it for science.  If you do a science project about birds based on what you learn in the bible, you will surely get a zero as the bible says that bats are birds, similar to herons.  There are many science books that don't have their origins in nomadic bronze age oral-tradition tribal myths that are so much more accurate.  Take, for example dinosaurs.  Face it, you KNOW where I'm going with this!   The wonderful website, source of so much levity here in the kat's litterbox, has outdone themselves with a new area for children, the Discovery Trail of Dinosaurs!  This place isn't interested in the facts, it's only interested in how dinos and humans peacefully coexisted together in the garden of eden, and why Adam wasn't eaten by roaming hordes of T-rexes.  It's cause they were all plant eaters before the flood!  What you think you know about them is all wrong, especially if you learned it from somewhere other than the bible.  Take this quiz and test your knowledge of dinosaurs! It asks where dinosaur bones come from, and if you answer "millions of years of Dinosaur deaths" the quiz tells you that you are wrong and you should re-read the bible.  This is why religion makes people stupid.  And for a pleasant diversion after you have destroyed your brain cells, check out the fun and games page. On second thought...don't go there!  There's no fun to games that play with your mind!

Here's the news of this year's winners of the wacky warning labels! Our stove came with the warning not to use the open over door as a step ladder.  And Ben's Game Boy told us not to clean it in the dishwasher.  My dryer old me not to dry people or pets in it. The wacky warning web site!  I suppose people ned to be told not to check fuel levels with a match, some never heard of The Darwin Awards! Check out this year's winners's and losers in the Darwin Awards.

And that's all the noodling for one day.  The kids are back in school, Dave's back at work and this is the first free day I've had in over three weeks.  Now that I've caught up on the events on the web and usenet that's I've missed, including my belated vote for Usenet k00k of the year, I should go catch up on some other things, like that three week accumulation of junk mail.  Later!

Posted by lincatz at 12:02 PM EST
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