View Full Version : Alright, McDuck, you asked for it...

08-25-2004, 05:15 AM
I **love** that name, by the way!! So cute.

You guys shouldn't have encouraged me -- I told you I could find costumes that ranged from the serious to the ridiculous!

Here's one for the ridiculous catagory.

I'll preface this by saying that we have a mid-winter festival up in Anchorage called the "Fur Rondezvous.," celebrating that time around the Alaskan Gold Rush when folks would come for miles around and sell or trade pelts and party. Nowadays, there are many events, including ice-carving, snowshoe softball, outhouse races, dog-sled races, and several costumed events. There's the Fur Ball, the Duct Tape Ball and the Miners and Trappers Ball -- so there are a lot of other silly people here, not just me.

This costume was made for the 50th (golden) anniversary of Fur Rondy, for the Miners and Trappers Ball. The theme was "Strikes Gold."

I decided to go as the gold-bearing gravel of Alaska. My husband said, "huh? That's way too esoteric -- nobody will get it." (They did, though. I won first place. Either that, or the judges were extraordinarily drunk.)

I used the word 'strikes' as a double entendre for striking gold, as a miner would, but also for leaping salmon 'striking' 3-D gold nuggets.

For anyone not Alaskan or Canadian, the costume probably needs some explanation. There's a gold pan on my head, with soft-sculpture gold nuggets falling out of the pan, onto my shoulder, and down a 3-D fabric sluice box running the length of my arm. A 'sluice box' was used in placer mining to separate the heavier gold flakes and nuggets from mud and water.

The back of the bodice shows a famous Alaskan Gold Rush scene, the slow hike over the Chilkoot Pass. The front of the bodice has a photo transfer of a laundress/fortune teller somewhere in the Yukon territory.

The skirt was made from appliquing various printed fabrics together. It shows both an under-and-above-water scene, from the gold-bearing gravels at the bottom, up to the top of the Chilkoot Pass. The fish are striking puffy, 3-D gold "nuggets," made from foam and gold lame fabric.

So, there it is. Klondike Gold. :wave:


Edited to add photos - first uplink didn't work

08-25-2004, 07:15 AM
What a great costume. Thanks for posting it and the story of it's creation. When you first described your inspiration and theme I thought "How the heck is she going to do that?" but you did it so well.

08-25-2004, 07:26 AM
barb - that made my morning!!! :D and yes being canadian helps in the 'get it' department! it sounds like you live in an amazing part of the world
thanks for sharing

08-25-2004, 08:32 AM
Barb - HOW you take a theme like that one and make such an excellent dress out of it, I dont know. You are so very talented! I just love it!!! The puffy fish and gold cascading down and how you tell the story, not to mention the very pretty model :wink2: Please keep adding more dresses and stories. Just wonderful.

And thank you, go peek at my website to see how I the name McDuck came to be www.mcduckcreations.com


08-25-2004, 08:58 AM

08-25-2004, 09:47 AM
What a really cool and fun costume. Love the "hat"! :)

08-25-2004, 02:07 PM
Hey!! Being Canadian, I actually get it!! LOL! What a fabulous costume!! Wish you'd joined us earlier, I need a costume for a gig next week! Drat!!! Keep posting, love to see your gorgeous creations!!

08-25-2004, 04:18 PM
That has to be *the* most bizarre dress I've ever seen!!! Love it!


08-25-2004, 05:33 PM
That is stupendous! You folks in Alaska not only grow big veggies, you grow incredibly big imaginations and creative talents! :clap: :clap: :clap:

Most importantly, it seems that you all know how to have fun! Snow Shoe Softball, this I gotta see! :D


08-25-2004, 08:08 PM
Barb! Love it, and love your enthusiasm for all things Alaskan.

08-25-2004, 11:59 PM
Barb, I LOVE that dress.... it looks fabulous, and so do you!

Yep, I'm Canadian and therefore, yep, I 'get' it. :D

Hope to see many more of your creations!

Best to you,

Claudia (Ontario, Canada)

08-26-2004, 12:23 AM
That dress is GREAT!!! I went to high school in Anchorage and we went to Fur Rondy every year! I think my favorite thing was the hot air balloons. Do they still do that? All those brilliant colors against the white mountains....

That costume definitely deserved first place. I'll have to print out the pic so my mom can see next time she comes over.

But, you know, I don't remember ever hearing about a duct-tape ball LOL.


08-26-2004, 04:09 AM
Thank you so much, everybody! :wave:

Mary McD, -- looked up the website and enjoyed your lovely duck story.

I'd love to post some more stuff. There's loads of things lurking about, waiting to see the virtual light of day.

(I just hope that, like, by the fourth costume, you guys don't think, oh, jeez, just shut up already!) LOL. It's really not about seeking compliments, but that's awesome.

It's just that the sad thing about any of thse costumes is that we kill ourselves making them and then wear them for one night a year, or maybe one night total, and then they go into a closet. Sometimes they're worn again, but sometimes not -- so it's really nice to be able to share them with you!

To the person who thought the Klondike costume was the weirdest thing she'd ever seen -- HA HA HA --- The year after 'Strikes Gold', the theme for the Miners and Trappers Ball was, "Snowglobe, Shake it Up." When Rondy organizers announced that, I thought, "holy cow, give me something I can USE. Ugh!" But, we rose to the occasion.

(Of course, that bar isn't set very high....)

My girlfriend and I went as snowglobes, and our double-entendre was to allude to Alaska's penchant for seismic activity. We won first place and judges' choice -- I think because (fortuitously) there were a couple of pretty strong tremors a couple of days before the Ball -- what luck!

(Anchorage did have a big earthquake in '64, so we used iron-on transfers of historic quake photos on our bodices.) We included lots of flaming oil barrels, upturned pickup trucks and buildings,embedded between the soft foam rocks on the bodices and skirts. The lacing for the bodice crevice was yellow 'CAUTION' tape, with traffic cones. (Wouldn't want to fall in there -- it's a dangerous place!)

There's a 'working' Richter scale in the snowy hairdo. That, to me, was the funniest part of the whole costume, but I don't think the judges even saw it:

"3" on the scale was a picture of Jello. "4.5" was one of those electric exercise belts that people used in the '50s; (I can't remember all of them;) "5" was something like a roller coaster ride, and "7.5" had a pic of people prostrating themselves because I figured at 8 1/2, you'd be finding religion. "9" was a supernova.

My husband -- never one to suffer for art -- wanted a 'comfortable' costume he could put on in the parking lot after we got to the event. I made a foam 'sandwich' sign and painted it with a huge crack in the road pavement. Me, I'm doubled over in the car, trying to make room for the vinyl hoopskirt, hair and Richter scale -- and I impaled my arse on a plastic firetruck. (By the way, I had to start painting his costume at 5 pm the night of the ball! AAAGH!!! I had a heater, a fan and blow dryer on it until we left the house.)

(My girlfriend went in a costume similar to mine, but I made hers into a Tsunami (tidal wave). Her hair was sprayed into ocean whitecaps; she wired a toy Coast Guard rescue boat into it. Instead of buildings, her rocks had a lot of surprised-looking beached sea mammals, crustaceans and other creatures. I can't find a pic of us together. Darn.

A couple of days before the event I found a great purse -- made from an Alaskan license plate.

Okay, NOW you can tell me that's the weirdest costume you've ever seen.

Hugs, :cat:

08-26-2004, 04:16 AM
Oh, P.S.:

The font I used for the 'Shakin it up Alaskan Style" and my name is called "Frostbitten Wanker."


08-26-2004, 04:25 AM
Awesome :clap:

Have been smiling through your pictures. I love your approach to those party themes :)

08-26-2004, 11:26 AM
Wowza! Now those are some amazing costumes. You do a fabuluous job designing and sewing them. Do you make theme quilts as well?


08-26-2004, 12:29 PM
I love the earthquake costumes! giggle such is my style...lol to be just different! and they are done so lovely! WoW! what an imagination you have! I guess if I ever need a good costume I need to come to alaska and have the Great barb help me!

08-26-2004, 01:08 PM
Oh, P.S.:

The font I used for the 'Shakin it up Alaskan Style" and my name is called "Frostbitten Wanker."


Thank you Barb and ROFLMAO "Frostbitten Wanker." That is way tooo funny!

Yet another really outrageous gown. you and your partner in crime must have the best imaginations around! Please please keep them coming. I just ask for more closeups!!

Way Cool!

08-26-2004, 02:55 PM
What fun!

Please do keep them coming, your work is phenominal! And I agree w/McDuck, keep the close ups coming too, there's so much detail in your outfits, I'd hate to miss anything! :D


08-26-2004, 03:35 PM
WOW! WOW! WOW! :clap:

08-26-2004, 05:19 PM
Absolutely fabulous! :clap:

08-26-2004, 11:45 PM
Yes, sorry about the photos! The pics were taken before we got a digital camera.

DH complains about that all the time! I make 'art', tromp l'oiel cakes for friends, and I'm usually baking and decorating up til the very minute we leave for the party. I'd grab the Polaroid and take a crappy pic, just to memorialize them.

The costumes can be hauled out of the closet to re-photograph, but the cakes are eaten, and with them, goes the evidence.

Too bad there's not an 'Edible Art' forum! :p

08-27-2004, 01:14 AM
Wow! I've got to come over to Wearable Art more often. Barb, those costumes are awesome! Such an imagination. :clap:

08-28-2004, 11:12 PM
okay Barb, you are falling behind here. I will be gone a week to St Louis and need a lil eye candy before I go! Please please please another one!