Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us; And confirm for us the work of our hands; Yes, confirm the work of our hands.
Psalm 90:17

Friday, December 18, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Still waiting on the baby; as of now she's scheduled for Caesarian delivery Monday morning. So Monday I will officially be a Grandma. And that's cool.

Just want to wish all happy holidays, whatever you celebrate, and a happy, healthy new year. Oh, and meet my newest elves. We had two hanging around the house while I was growing up and my Grandmother would tell us their Portuguese names which I can't spell to save my life. I still have one; not sure what happened to the other. But I told a dear friend about them last year and a few months later she presented me with these guys. We do so love thrift stores! So here are the new elf twins; they reside by the television and I giggle and whisper 'Hi, Gammie!" everytime I dust them. But really--- don't you think the one on the left looks like Helen Thomas?

Friday, December 4, 2009

From backstage to the nursery...

The Christmas rush is on! I had a great time with "The Doctor in Spite of Himself" and "A Christmas Story"... both were relatively stress-free productions and I loved the wackiness of "Doctor"! I wish he had allowed me to go all-out with the make up too but it's alright. Now my busy sewing is all about---- diapers! I'll have a grandchild by Christmas and his mama wants to 'go green'. Actually, it's more about 'going cheap' since disposables cost so much. These cloth diapers ain't our mama's cloth diapers. They've gone high tech with laminated fabrics and natural bamboo liners. And they're super cute! I'm shooting for about 20 in size newborn to get them started and they're coming along pretty well. Right now the hard part is waiting for the baby!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Happy Fall!

Took a wonderful summer off and ready to go--and of course I'm jumping right in to chaos. No easing into a project for me! Two shows right out the chute-- "A Christmas Story" and "The Doctor in Spite of Himself". Both are fun and challenging. Anyone have an in to about ten vintage (1940's) children's winter coats?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The curtain closes...

No time to write lately as "Macbeth" was an all-consuming project. But it looks good! It's not what was in my head--- it never is as I don't have the budget to do everything I want, but I'm happy. I got to play with make-up and blood for the ghost and the director is happy so it's a success. The actors did a fantastic job. I hope to get pictures from someone soon. The trouble with being so busy backstage is I never get to take my own!

So now that the 7-in-a-row shows are complete I get to tackle the waiting pile. But what first? Bags, pincushions, smocks for Etsy, I think. But I do want a couple of summer dresses for me---BEFORE summer is over this year!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Am I the only one...?

I spent a very long but satisfying day yesterday driving to and poking around a costume shop that my employer uses in order to find pieces for "Macbeth" so I can start figuring out what pieces I'll make. This morning I went into my fabric closet to pull some fabric and wound up pulling almost everything out to re-order, re-organize and purge. It's not the first time I've done it. I do this before almost every new project. It seems to clear my mind and set me on a new path although it's really a terrible waste of time. I know what's in there and where to find what I want. Why do I have this compulsion to make a huge mess only to have to clean it up before I can start the real work? Does anyone else do this? And what am I going to do now since my new system isn't holding as much and it still looks like the stash threw up all over my bedroom?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Getting started on "Macbeth"

The big project of the theatre season for me will have to be "Macbeth". I've done some Shakespeare with this director before but he's always put a peculiar twist on it; mostly by setting it in a different time. He's staying traditional with "Macbeth" though and I'm excited to be doing a late-medieval-with-liberites-taken kind of style. I'm seeing alot of faux leather, heavy upholstery, breaking out the crown pattern I've always wanted to use and a few gallons of fake blood. Coolness!

Doubly excited because my youngest child auditioned for the first time for this and was given a role as a Macduff child. She plays a boy, which suits her to a 'T' since she prefers to act and dress as one anyway, and is tickled that she gets to be murdered. And to think I was happy when I was cast as Jan in "Grease" because I got to eat Twinkies...

I have quite a bit of fabric to start with and we will be renting some pieces because we don't have the space to store what we make (drat!). Pictures soon-

Monday, May 4, 2009

Working-The Musical

"Hey somebody do'ya want to hear the story of my life?"

So begins the narrative of my latest project, simply titled "Working''. It's based on the book by Studs Terkel in which ordinary working class people were interviewed about their jobs and Studs wrote their exact words into a book. Then some brilliant musical minds wrote songs to accompany their stories and what you have is two hours of humor, pathos, hope and the good feeling that comes with knowing you're not alone. It's not a difficult show to costume--- it's everyday clothes with a few uniform pieces thrown in--- and it's a tremendous burden lifter that the cast brought in pieces of their own for much of it. The challenge in this show is the sheer size of the cast and keeping up with all the individual pieces. I am really enjoying this group. They're true 'amateur professionals' and they sound fabulous. I was not looking forward to the usual hanging around the dressing room, waiting for a button to pop so I asked for another job during my 'since I'm here anyway' hours. So, in a throwback to my college days, I will be sharing the lightboard operations with the lighting designer. ALWAYS excited to learn something new 'bout theatre work! "Working" opens this weekend but before then I will be 'working' on my sketches for "Macbeth". Now THAT is going to be a challenge! I see alot of leather and studs in my future...

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

So it's been a very busy 5-6 weeks, working on both "Zombie Prom" and "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner"। 'Zombie' was just about everything I hoped for। Lots of color, pretty dresses, looney fun। Mindless, kind of। The challenge in Zombie was really the size of the cast and the amount of costume changes. The design wasn't tough--- it was the fifties (think 'Grease') and, well, zombies. Comic book zombie, actually, not even blood and guts zombie. So it wasn't too difficult. 'Rime', on the other hand, has been a totally different experience.
In the beginning it sounded exciting. At the first production meeting we were throwing around ideas that included morphing costumes and elaborate puppets to convey sea monsters and skeletons. Over time it kept changing, which is expected, but never settling, which is frustrating. I spent time and money on mock ups only to come in and find the total direction had changed. We went from the early 1900's to the Renaissance to a mix of styles that still confuses me. We went from everyone having different colored shirts to only one colored shirt, everyone else neutral. Capes to no capes, matching outfits for the two mariners to... not. I feel very inadequate in this production. We ended up renting a bunch of stuff to try out the (new) look he wanted and he settled on that and somehow I feel like I failed because it wasn't me doing the renting. It was the director. I pride myself on providing the production with the best I can do for a reasonable cost. I hate wasting time and money. And while this director often teases me about being cheap I don't care if his budget is unlimited or non-existent. I do not feel good about spending money--and my creative time-- on work that doesn't get used somehow. I understand if I messed up, or it doesn't work but that's really not what happened. He just kept changing his mind.
The production is just about finished. There are a few tech things to work out before the opening Thursday. Still, it looks stunning. The actors are doing a fantastic job and the set is simple yet amazing. I even like the costumes. But are they mine?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

While I'm thinking of it...

Although I am completely aware that no one is reading this blog, based on the phenomenal lack of replies to anything, I want to go ahead and throw out a mention of my friend B's efforts to raise money for the Maryland ASPCA. B is deeply committed to caring for animals and does the Walk for the Animals every year. This year she has put together a team of walkers to help her raise even more and the girl is tireless. Even if you're not from MD, you can help her reach her goal and in doing so, help a few furry friends. Go here: https://www.kintera.org/faf/donorReg/donorPledge.asp?ievent=299003&supid=120165700


Reminder to myself:

--make sure to double check performance as well as rehearsal dates before signing on to a show. Doing two shows at once can get a little draining.

"Young friend" chose lovely fabrics for her Susan's Farewell Dress. Pictures soon.

"Mariner" is slugging along. The cast looks great. He wants abstract. I am literal. We'll get there.

"Zombie Prom" is my love. I have color swirling in my head constantly. I want to work only on this show. Somehow, school gets done. Sort of. Housework? Ummm...

I thank God for the last few days of warm breezes and sunshine but wonder why He teases-- just end winter sooner, please!

Biggest adjustment: Realizing as I buy supplies for Jacie's birthday cake that my last baby is going to be 10 years old next week. A decade. Where did it go?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A new challenge!

With "Crimes of the Heart" just about wrapped for costuming (opens Friday, Jan. 16, Little Theatre of Virginia Beach!) I'm looking forward to "Zombie Prom" and "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" next. Although I have overlapped a bit before, this will be the first time I've done two shows at the same time. Should be fun! "Mariner" will be the biggest challenge as the director is looking for abstract ideas in costuming and set and I'm kind of a literal minded gal. So we shall see. He seems to like my idea using puppets so I'm going to run with that for my initial designs.

I also got the go-ahead for a sewing-it-for-love project. A dear young friend mentioned a while ago she would like a replica of Susan's farewell dress from Prince Caspian and we will get started on that this week. It's so pretty--- and so is she. I think the most difficult part will be finding the fabric for the overdress--- a Williamsburg blue with a brown floral-ish pattern. Jacquard or damask, I think, not too heavy, not too light. And not too expensive!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Happy New Year!

When I grow up I want to make costumes for the Philadelphia Mummer's Parade.