Monday, April 29, 2024

2024: the year of online pet scammers and a new puppy.

After the unexpected sudden passing of my darling Pomeranian Minouschka, I decided to take a chance and get a new pup.

I tried the "adopt don't shop" route, which has great merit, but knowing I'd personally need to have a pup 10 lbs. or less to fly above deck and one that would be non-destructive, non-marking for hotel rooms or corporate rentals, I was about to make a considerable downpayment (it was on either Zelle or Venmo) by the most professional looking "adoption" site. 

Fortunately, the payment house flashed a warning: they wanted to be sure that I'd read a post they'd put up saying that there were scammers pretending to be legitimate pet adoption agencies.  I'd gotten a phone number from the scammer after much resistance and then Googled a scam search with that number. 

Seems that the phone number listed was responsible for scams across the country. That payment house warning saved me not only the money, but a 3+ hour road trip each way to get the puppy. I cannot imagine how awful it would have been to travel that far and realize you've been had. A true case of buyer beware! 

Chatting with a cousin who works in the news field, he showed me the most extraordinary AI site where the model, background and graphics were nearly undistinguishable from something filmed in real life. Doing a good graphic for a phony website now is childs play in comparison.

So: I contacted he breeder in Paris, MO from whom I'd gotten Minouschka years before. 

Looking on his website, which featured utterly adorable pups and considering that this fellow had answered my questions and helped me out years after I'd gotten my previous pup, I imported the latest little pup.

She hops like a bunny and looks like a little bear, so discounting the 100 plus names I'd considered before meeting the puppy, I named her Bunny Bear.

Arrival at the Cargo Hangar for American Airlines at LaGuardia. Note to folks who find themselves there- no restroom available, one must head down the road to the 7/11 should one find themselves in need of one!

My precious cargo as a tiny baby, back at the end of February, only about 2.5 pounds. She'd traveled 2 hours from Paris, MO to the airport in Missouri, flew to Chicago then a flight from Chicago to Laguardia...

The pup set up in a corral in my living room on day 1. The entire apartment is covered in rug- protecting tarps, wee wee pads, dog toys, etc...

She is now 5 months old, larger, longer and utterly fearless. Here she had just climbed into the double decker doggie stroller (which she has leapt out of on the street). Full of puppy energy and determination.
We have a long way to go to get her fully trained  but have now been to 2 puppy training classes...

So, greetings to all from this puppy training center in Brooklyn-

Cheers, Liz

Saturday, August 19, 2023

A brief time in New Mexico...

In April of 2023, I packed enough clothing and kit gear to last half a year to work on "The Really Loud House" Season 2 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It is a live action children's show for Nickelodeon based on a cartoon. An estimate of how long the shoot might last was into October, but we all went in knowing there was the possibility of a strike. 

The lovely costume designer Chris Field hired me as associate costume designer. As it turns out, I exited far earlier than expected due to a back injury, but got to see the beautiful skies of New Mexico in the moments I wasn't in fittings or at work. The strike eventually shut the show down at some point after I left.

A non-costume highlight of my time there was visiting with a possible doggie daycare provider for my pooch who lived on family land with a bunch of chickens and bunnies. He and his father were building a sizable greenhouse. It was quite a different life than the ones we experience living in bigger cities!

Ain't nobody here but us chickens! (The bunnies were in a different compound and laying low).

The greenhouse that was being built.

A little Airstream action.

Big sky behind the hotel parking lot...

Sunset view from my hotel window...

There's a little mountain range to the east...


Sunset from trailerland...

Sunset from the supermarket parking lot...

The bus of a team staying at my hotel...

Hot air balloons are a "thing" in Albuquerque. 

Most of Albuquerque seemed comprised of strip malls, 
but the skies give you big sweeping views.

The biggest highlight was visiting with dear friends who've retired to Ohkay Owingeh, a more rural and nicer part of New Mexico north of Santa Fe. Got to meet some goats belonging to their neighbor!

For the fun of it, we fashioned a wig for my dog out of a faux fur swatch that came from a costume for "The Really Loud House".

My "pocket lion" wearing a toupee!

The show is apparently quite popular and has a nice cast and crew. Wishing them all the best whenever they pick back up and in their future endeavors...

Sunday, September 4, 2022

Hocus Pocus 2!

Since we are getting close to the release date and Walt Disney Pictures/Disney + has released a trailer, I think it is now safe to say that the project we worked on in California and Rhode Island is "Hocus Pocus 2".

It is due to stream on Disney Plus starting September 30th (2022). 

We are all excited to see it- the fabulous trio of Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy are joined again by Doug Jones and a new trio of actresses: Whitney Peak, Belissa Escobedo and Lilia Buckingham who bring on a new generation to the story. 

This is a project chock full of other wonderful actors as well. 

It was a great pleasure to work with the multi talented designer, Salvador Pérez and a top notch, talented costume department. We don't always get the chance to do costumes where creativity can run rampant and you can explore the art and crafts that are possible in this field. 

Keep your eyes peeled for HP2 come Halloween!

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Having been terribly remiss in blogging world, a post to catch up!

In 2021, film work found me going out on location for two projects. As per the usual protocol these days, non-disclosure paperwork has made it impossible to give any full reports, much less the juicy gossip which we generally cannot disclose regardless- (That is to say: if there really is any juicy gossip!)

Things in the industry I've noticed this year are that it seems to have become routine for productions to come up with ever-changing names for their projects. 

It can be tricky when vendors, rental houses, credit card companies and payroll houses no longer recognize what your project is because the name has changed repeatedly. 

It's a whole new world above and beyond the impact of Covid. There is a history of having a disguised name for a project to throw people off the scent, but in the past, they might choose one false name or call it an "Untitled" film, then come around to using the real title after filming is done. Now, I've had to admit to not knowing the current name of projects I'd recently worked on as I recall several versions of "the name of the week". 

Another thing is that with the impact of Covid, you'll notice now in movie and television credits that there are "Health and Safety" Supervisors, Managers and Coordinators.

In order to have the safest possible work environment, many productions have you do a health check in before reporting to work. Some will take your temperature before you enter the workplace. Those of us who may be on set and near the cast have Covid testing done 3x a week. We line up to have our noses swabbed either at a tent by the office, set or even drive through sites. The folks who swab our snouts gently are greatly appreciated!

The first job I was on in 2021 was shooting in Atlanta, to establish the North American end of a streaming television series that would shoot primarily in Colombia. It is now being called "Echo 3", though it was "Longboard" for a while with another moniker in between.

I worked with the wonderful, talented costume designer Katina LeKerr, whom I'd assisted on "Homeland Season 6". In addition to the north American gang, Katina hired a crew to work at the South American end from the trusted folks she'd had on Homeland Season 4, hailing from South Africa. The job gets far more complicated when dealing with different countries, languages, political issues and warnings about international travel to accomplishing the usual tasks. It was so helpful that Katina knew the right folks to call to handle the specific needs that were sure to come up on the South American location.

Should you find yourself in Atlanta, might I recommend a couple of dining choices? For folks who are not vegan or vegetarian, Fat Matt's has just about the best BBQ I've ever had. Having fallen in love with their food years ago, I was so delighted to find they were still up and running years later. Their website:

Another place I adored that had really delicious breakfast all day was: I wish we had one here in NYC, their food was so good!

The second job in 2021 also had a top secret protocol about letting anyone know what you were working on. We prepped in Los Angeles, then shot in Providence and Newport, RI. 

The funny thing about all the secrecy involved is that as we started shooting, every morning on the early morning local news, the anchors would mention that we were in town and going to be shooting. They would include the real, not fake name for the project and regularly told their listeners where we'd be shooting and showed footage of our sets, shot by a drone. 

My first glimpses of a couple of the sets were courtesy of the morning news! I think that since everyone in the greater Providence area and probably New England in general is aware that this was shot here, I might say the real name of the project was "Hocus Pocus 2". I will give nothing away but say that they've brought back the stars of the original along with some fresh young additional talent to boot! 

The costumes were designed by Mr. Salvador Pérez, the president of the Costume Designers Guild local 892. He's a fellow who knows what he's doing in terms of construction having built the costumes for "Titanic" as well as having a keen eye for design. It is a rare thing to find people who can combine the skill of designing something and knowing the yardage needed in a snap!

Providence has some of the most beautiful homes and buildings for those who like those things. It was a pleasure to drive though some of the tonier neighborhoods.

An event that they hold every year in Providence  is "Waterfire". It involves lighting torches up and down the river, music and art. It is an event that happens once the sun goes down. Should you be interested: here's a link where they will post their 2022 schedule:

Wishing all a healthy and happy 2022!

Cheers, Liz.

The first was the U.S. end of a television series

Friday, September 18, 2020

 The face mask making has continued during the Covid-19 days....

Your safest choice is an N95, followed by a surgical mask, but cloth masks with non-woven polypropylene layers built in or filters inserted make for a good "face covering". So: 

NASA in the house! Found some delightful prints by Riley Blake...

Trucker masks...

The Red Truck is nearly identical to the Sanford & Son truck!

Sputnik inspired...


Polka Dots...

A little Pomeranian friend of mine posed for mask wearing public service announcements...

Wishing all a happy, healthy fall as we transition into our next season and our new ways of life in these crazy times!

Thursday, June 18, 2020

The horror and depths of racism witnessed and hopes for a changed world...

It has always been clear there is racism in the world, however cloaked it may be. There have always been people capable of great evil and others who stand by and do nothing. There is no lack of evidence of this in history and in everyday life.

Seeing the murder of George Floyd by a police officer on video was a horror beyond my imagination. A snuff film in real life with an officer paid to protect the public feeling he had every right to kill a fellow citizen, seemingly not caring that he was being filmed doing it. It was so personal- nothing abstract about someone politely trying to keep from being killed and a brute in a uniform who didn't care a bit.

With the history of lynchings and murders in our country, this piece of documentation makes entirely clear what horrors have gone on that we haven't necessarily seen. Nothing in the world will bring Mr. Floyd back to the family and friends who loved him- it is an irreparable loss. There are countless other people of color who have been subject to the same fate, it continues on at a terrible pace.

We need to be aware of and call out not only the people who perpetrate these crimes and who feel the right to mistreat people who do not look like themselves but the cultures and practices that allow this to happen. The evidence is in. Pipe up if you see injustice and discrimination.

The worldwide protests show there are people who care in the world. Beyond doing unto others, we need for those who have consciences to vote, to keep paying attention and to work on getting practical things done to protect everyone equally. I'm hoping the next generations stay focused on this because generations past and present have clearly not done enough to keep the bad guys from continuing this behavior.

Our Governor in New York announced that he has signed new laws for Police officers to wear body cameras while on patrol and is creating the Law Enforcement Misconduct Investigative Office. No good cop has anything to fear. We need to have ways to hold people accountable for their actions and this is a start.

Hoping that with the global attention, we can change the world and people's lives for the better.

Here's to the good in people and having that win out...

Moving from 2019 to 2020 in the world of Film, Television and Pandemic...

In 2019, I reunited with Stephanie Maslansky, with whom I had worked years ago on MTV's first movie: "Joe's Apartment", a comedy featuring a young Jerry O'Connell and a bevy of large cockroaches ("Museum Bugs" who even had their own Roach wrangler), directed by John Payson.

Stephanie has since brought her terrific eye to a great many television series and movies. In 2019, I worked as her assistant designer on the first 9 episodes of "F.B.I." Season 2. Having done "Homeland" Season 6, I've got both the F.B.I and C.I.A. covered in the world of costumes, uniforms and raid jackets!

Later in the year (and into early 2020), I worked briefly with the wonderful Renee Ehrlich Kalfus, on "Godmothered", a film that had a crack Boston crew of artisans working at the costume/wardrobe end. It is a treat in a business where there are plenty of people with spunk but not necessarily a lot of training to encounter people who've spent decades doing theatre, ballet, fine construction and dyeing. We would marvel daily at the speed and quality of their beautiful work.

Moving along in 2020, when the global Pandemic struck, I felt oddly equipped for it, having spent so much time on "I Am Legend" in a post-apocalyptic world. It was strangely familiar. In this reality, however, it is like being in a bad movie that won't end, but we go on.

Plenty of friends and folks in the costume field pulled out their sewing machines and turned out great looking face masks early on.

I had concerns that if the masks didn't have adequate filtration that the wearers would get a false sense of security. I started out making "Shop Towel" masks- stapled together accordions with rubber bands for ear loops for family and friends. People who had researched and tested various materials found this material to be about the best choice available if you could not get the materials the N-95 masks are made of.

Afterwards, I set forth on a mission to make masks striking a balance between looks, safety, comfort and breathability. Given the Pandemic situation, items ordered online took a long time to land- it took nearly a month before my first fabric order arrived, so I started out with a handful of fabric bits on hand and sacrificial pillowcases.

Having gone through 20 odd prototypes, I finally settled upon a recalibrated version of a pattern found online- a "3-D" mask. I was able to deliver masks to my hard working Doctor at Weill-Cornell/NY Presbyterian and her team. Their hospital and staff have been through hell and it felt good to be able to bring a bright spot into their day.

Below are pictures of some masks made during my sheltering in place. More to come.
Wishing everyone good health, healing, patience and love in this crazy time.