Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Well, Hello again!

Christmas gifts at my house was centered around these!

I filled each of these pillowcases with Christmas gifts for the grandkids, baby great-granddaughter is too little for a regular pillow, she got a cute little duckie fleece pillow!
My daughter-in-law calls our gift giving frenzy "shock and awe", that's what it ended up being, the kids helped me put out the adults' gift and the adults put out the kids gifts, and it was truly shock and awe, with the whole tree loaded up with pillows!

Here it is, Feb. 1, 2011, and this is my first post of the new year. I've taken a lot of time off from blogging, mainly because I've been busy with lots of things. Let me count them off.

Right after I finished costuming those many events in October and November, (Halloween for family, helping with costuming "The Children's Hour" and "The Heart of Oak" play for my church), it was holiday time. Luckily, my daughter, Monkey Girl offered to host Thanksgiving so that took the pressure off to get the dining room table cleaned off of costume and fabric items! Then it was the end of the semester, with lots of essay reading, grading, an icky snow day on our last class day, and finally on Dec. 19, the semester was done. How many days did that leave to get ready for Christmas? Not very many.

A colleague of mine bought a new sewing machine, and she had to sign up for a class to learn the basics of using the machine in order to get a discount off the machine. She learned how to make the cutest pillow case. Now, how hard can a pillowcase be? Well, this one has french seams, a seperate border and rick-rack trim if you want to add that. To me, when she showed it to me, it didn't look like a beginner's project. But her pillowcases turned out so cute, I wanted to make them. I took advantage of the pre-Christmas sales on Christmas fabric, and started out making them for the grandkids to put their Christmas gifts in. Then I got an idea. I was going to give my kids either gift cards or money, how boring is that? So I made each one of them monogrammed pillowcases with a little pocket in each one to hold the cash. They were sort of non-thrilled with their Christmas gifts until someone discovered the pocket and what was in it. Then they got a little more interested!

Before Christmas, I had committed to work on costumes for a play that my friend Dr. J was directing, slated to start on Jan. 28. Prior to Christmas, we got going on collecting materials, designing costumes and adding ideas, but I had to put it all up for Christmas, since it was stacked on my dining room table. Then getting back into the groove after Christmas was a challenge for me. But, for the past 3-1/2 weeks, I've been pecking away at my costume building.

Here's what it involved: pink nighgown, Pooty-Bear PJs with bear fleece, Rudolf the red nosed reindeer and Santa Suit, complete with beard, boots and fur all around, Venus outfit--the most beautiful dress I've ever made. Made from white fabric with silver sequin fabric trim down the front and on the 1 yard long arm drapes, trimmed with malibou looking knitted strips (Dr.J's specialty!) Venus also wore a long white curly wig and a Venus planet on her head. Mother earth wore a brown, green, blue, stone encrusted dress with an earthly planet on her head, over a little old lady wig, and the "sun", he wore yellow beach bum clothes with the cutest Sun on his head. His wig was crazy, black and red flame tendrils, so fitting for the hot sun! These characters were part of a "Let's Make a Deal" type game show, hosted by Tim Tinko, wearing a purple and red lame jacket, yellow shirt, cue ball tie, purple plaid pants, and bright purple belt, yellow socks and red Converse shoes--bright enough, don't you think? Other characters were the Queen of Hearts, The White Rabbit and Alice in Wonderland, who were denied the opportunity to play the game show. "Cupid" was the helper in this show, she wore a cute pink crushed velvet leotard, darling netting tutu skirt, pink tights and leg warmers, and wings trimmed with hot pink maribou. She was a scene stealer every time she came on stage!

Dr. J and I had a "discussion" about the planets for this scene. I envisioned them as flat circles worn on headbands over their crazy wigs. Dr. J wanted them to be balls. Since I had the flat circles made, glue, painted and ready to go, I was a somewhat disgruntled costumer upon getting this news. So, in a snow storm, I went to the craft store, charged $65 for materials, and Dr. J had her round ball planets. I must say, they did turn out very cute, but they were very time consuming to make, and they were finished about 2 days before the play started!

Monkey Girl came to my rescue with her fabulous Criket machine. One of the characters wears a University of Alaska sweatshirt. Now, cutting out all of those letters would have tried my patience for sure, but the Criket machine made short work of the job, and it turned out very well. Thank you darling daughter, you always come to my rescus in these crazy costuming gigs.

I think that was all I built, but I had to find men's pjs, two doctor's lab coats, various shoes and dresses (had tons of help from Dr. J, who discovered the glory of shopping at the local thrift store! She found most of the purchased stuff.) The show is called "Reckless", it has only 9 actors and actresses, but each person plays many many roles. It opened last weekend, and we had great audiences, one more weekend and that one is put to bed. Dr. J will be so sorry to have it be finished, she put her heart and soul into this and it was truly fabulous!

Pictures of Reckless will follow some time soon, we had a professional photographer take these, and he promised me a CD of his pictures, but I don't have it yet. Will post when I get them. In the mean time, you can see some of it on www.placeseveryone.org the website for Clayton Community Theatre.

In the meantime--the priests and nuns show tried my patience big time! More on that in the next post!

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