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Good day, ladies. I extend my hand to you in a gesture of politeness. Let me introduce myself. I am none other than Miss Mantis. I am not the actual insect you see, but I have many of the qualities of the specified insect, so I have found. For instance, every time a young gentleman tries to court me, it always ends up in the same way... the fine details are slightly grotesque so I won't go into it to the full extent; however, I am sure you can imagine that of which I am speaking.

I'm here to teach women about home economics, since over the years I have become quite the domestic engineer. Of course, I could never fit the exact mold of a Miss Mollie Homemaker. But like all of the little Mollie Homemakers, I spend much of my time at home, cleaning, sewing, cooking, for myself (because a woman should always pamper herself before even taking the time to think of pampering others I believe). Since I do not have a family, I have plenty of time to myself, and for my girlfriends. I invite them over for a luncheon, and we often have quite the time indeed!

Recipe Me, Honey!

Yes ladies, get out your lacy french maid aprons, rev up your mixer, and let's talk cooking. Actually, I am what you would call an effecient cook. Since I only cook for myself, perhaps I overlook those basic four food groups, but to hell with them anyway... oops, pardon me.

Anyhow, I make sure my meals have the things I like in them, but also certain nutrients I need, like chocolate and caffeine. A breakfast of Diet Coke and a hershey bar isn't the most pleasant taste first thing in the morning, at least not to my liking. But who wants to down a few cups of Dutch Cocoa Coffee when it's July either? Well, here's something you can suck on. I call it The Wake Up Call, and it's a tasty pickerupper for breakfast. In fact, when I can, I prefer to use blenders and microwaves and such. I prefer to avoid ovens, because the damn things never quite work right...oh dear, excuse my language.



The night before you need your Wake Up Call, freeze the 2 cups of strong-brewed coffee (dark roast or french roast punk this baby up) in an ice cube tray (therefore you get little coffeecubes in the morning). That morning, throw half the cubes in a blender (unless you have some industrial capacity superblender, keep it to half of the cubes) with 1/2 of the cup of milk and a teaspoon of sugar, and half the chopped chocolate. Blend for about half of a minute, until the ice is finely chopped and the chocolate is well distributed. Add whatever extract you want (only a bit now) and if you want a thicker, smoother milkshake-feel to your drink, add a scoop or two (depending on thickness desired) of the frozen yogurt. Blend again for a bit until well mixed, then pour, top with whipped cream, and drink. And with the remaining ingredients, you can fix up another serving, for yourself for another day, or for yourself that morning if you're pretty hungry, or if you have company that finds your Wake Up Call tempting. Enjoy, ladies!

Sew What?

I won't lie to you all. I don't own a sewing machine. In fact, Mr. Needle and Mr. Thread aren't my best friends. But does this stop me from fixing a button when I need to? Of course not! I'm an independent lady. When necessity comes a-knockin', I answer the door. Sometimes, it's challenging, but I do fine enough. I do know how to make curtains! You're probably sitting here thinking, "but I got curtains", but let me tell you, you can make the phattest.. now, did I just say that? Anyhow.. you can make curtains that will make your neighbors envious every time they try to play Peeping Tom at your window.

Look around your room. What motifs do you have? Are you a flowerfreak? Are rainbows your thing? Do you happen to have lots of furry creatures hanging out on your bed, or are you big into music posters on your wall? Is it a little bit of everything? Make a list of what kind of stuff you want on your curtains.

You can buy a big piece of lace, cut it down the middle, sew up the tops, and make lace curtains. It's that easy. You don't need a machine or a lot of cash. But I like the eclectic look, and the more stuff you make your curtains out of, the more original they will be. You'll probably end up with curtains that you could never buy anywhere, and no one will ever be able to duplicate.



For starters, this doesn't take an amazing amount of sewing genius. If you can get the thread through the cloth from point a to point b, that's all that's important. There is no complicated hemming here or anything, this is just assembling. In fact, if you use a light enough fabric (like muslin or broadcloth, no velvet or faux fur), you could probably just use a hot glue gun to put pieces together.

Measure from the top of your windowsill to the bottom, or where you want your curtains to hang. You'll need to buy that length of fabric for your base. Now, I highly recommend getting a cheap 45"-width piece of muslin for a base to build on for these curtains. It's cheap.. get whatever color you'd like but remember you're going to put stuff over it anyway. Now, cut the fabric vertically down the middle (so you'll end up with something that looks like two long, boring curtains with no seams at top). Next, sew some seams. Get your curtain rod or dowel and lay it on the very top of your fabric. Then roll the fabric over to see how much room you need to give the fabric to fit over it. Leave an extra 1/4 to 1/2 of an inch for a safety measure. As a rule of thumb, don't make your top opening any more than 3 inches wide unless you have a superthick dowel or curtain rod to slide into it.

Now, with what you got, you could throw up as curtains and they'd be boring, but they'd be curtains. But we want to make these fun. This is the part where the rest is up to you. You can cut squares of fur any size, lay them on the base curtains, sew them down (don't glue fur) and make a furry curtain. Or, you can buy different pieces of broadcloth fabric and glue it down (but when you hang them on your window and the sun shines through, you'll see the glue streaks.. so, for aesthetics, you might consider sewing). Embellish with buttons, zippers (those you have to sew), strands of beads going every which way. Using these very simple base curtains as your canvas, you can go nuts.

I made some purple, orange, red, and green-patched velvet curtains with vinyl flaps to put pictures in. All you need to do is get some clear vinyl at the fabric store, cut it into little (or big or whatever) squares and sew (make sure to use a very tight stitch.. meaning as soon as you bring the needle up through both the vinyl and cloth, you bring it back down.. it takes a lot more time, a lot more effort, and you have to watch carefully.. but it's worth it) the sides and bottom of the vinyl square down onto the cloth. The open side (top) will be where you slide in polaroids, magazine clippings, pieces of poetry, etc. It makes for the most original curtains around, especially when you display in your vinyl squares your own creations.

Well would you look at that time? It's time for me to go now, seeing as how it's tea-time at Miss Dominatrix's house... oh what fun it should be! Good day ladies!