Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Oh What A Beautiful Morning...

Oh what a beautiful day. I love these flowers. The Blossoms always looks so beautiful in the morning. It's great to look out the window in the morning, and see all the beautiful blossoms on the back fence.

You can almost see my pumpkin, in the lower right hand corner (just out of the frame. DD2 wanted to try growing pumpkins, so she threww a few seeds into the ground and something actually managed to come up. We'll need to get a picture before we carve it up.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

What the ........

Can you tell what this is?
Do they look like branches?

I worked on the 11 1/2 prs ( 20 gloves total for the show, plus 2 gloves as the sample pair, and 1 botched sample too small for anyone but my 5yr DD) of these for the show along with the leaves.... Streams and streams of leaves for the show.

It was all a big hit with the kids, not so big with my husband. If he was tired of the costuming after working on Poodle skirts and Elvis, then he's downright deadset against me doing more. I spent most of March sewing for the show. It was 66 tree costumes, 7 Toy solder costumes (jacket plus shako/hat). It was a lot of sewing. Sewing and fabric buying. The only good thing about these boughts of sewing is that during that time I try so hard to refrain from buying more fabric. I try not to buy things other then for the school, so as not to mix up the reciepts. I bought so much brown fabric. Of course not all the same shade, so I had to be careful to not mix up the tops and bottoms. I always made sure that when I cut out a top, I cut a bottom as well. Somewhere along the line things got out of whack...that would probably be when I decided it would be a great idea to heat set the wrinkles in to the costume (to enhance the "barky" goodness of the brown fabric). This meant cooking the garment in the mircowave, so things got a little crazy for a few days.

Kids would come home from school hungry, looking for something to eat, and hear the microwave going thinking I'm making something for them.

Them: "Hey Mom, what's cooking?"
ME: "Trees!"
Them: "Oh".

I made it through without completely losing my mind. Yes!. I'll have more pictures here in a day or two...I hope.

I couldn't do it all by myself- I had some good moral support from little Nutmeg.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Times Ain't What They Use To Be

Years ago I worked in fabric stores. Practically lived in them. At the time we could be pretty helpful (or charitable) to non-profits and schools. Now that I am pursuing fabric for trees, I am amazed how little helpful they are. I can get a 10% discount. That barely covers the taxes. This is very disappointing. I could search around more, but I am running out of time to aquire the fabric. I am at the point of just buying the fabric and submitting my receipts. Very disappointing.

I was able to find the elastic /notins at a good price on the internet. I ordered yesterday, let's see how fast it arrives from Portland Oregon (should take a day or two). I am excited, and can hardly wait for it to show up. How often do you get 288yds of black elastic cording in the mail? Elastic and brown thread. Yipee!

Today after work, I will go to the fabric store and pick up 2 yards of brown lycra to make the 10 pairs of gloves/treebranch hands. I want to finish these soon. I will also pick up broadcloth at the store if they have it around $2.99/yd. I can start to cut out the various tree costumes, and I have a parent that will start to sew together. I thought I would tackle the chorus first, because I can pass a lot of it off to the other parent (or at least start to funnel it out and see how fast she works). There are 44 kids in the chorus, the rest are suppose to be main cast. I'm not exactly sure how many kids are in the main cast, and of those kids, how many will be trees. I thought the known first, then plow through the main cast (the hardest part will be the gloves, that's why I want yo finish those first).

I was thinking of ideas for the headpieces for the main characters. It would be nice if we could do something more then just the leaf wreath for them. maybe something more along the lines of a crwon....but what? I have a vague idea or image in my brain, but not sure how to go about it. I am still giving it thought...trying to see where this leads. I was first thinking about a paper mache "hat", but not sure how that would work. Was also thinking of something more like the jester hats for rene faire, but more in the shape of a tree...? Maybe a crown, cut from carboard and covered in felt(or painted), with branches shooting upwards from it. Again, needs more thought - don't want it to look like a Las Vegas Showgirl headress with a ecological theme. Thinking, thinking, thinking. The wheels are spinning (obviously rusty they be).

This weekend is Girls Scout cookies. We have 2 booth sales going this weekend. Saturday morning 9:30- 1:00, and Sunday 9-12. At least the weather should be good (nippy in the mroning, but warmer as the day progresses). I will need to see if the sunbrella fits in the car(can't have the Thin Mints melting before they find a new home). These kind of cramp my sewing style, but I guess I could be cutting leaves while I'm there...Lord knows I've got lots to cut.

Idle hands...and all that!


Thursday, March 5, 2009

"She's At It Again..."

Can you believe it? You would think I had learned from the first time around. No, no I feel the need to learn the hard way. I agreed to help with the costumes for the spring production. "A Tale of Three Trees". Actually all the kids are trees. 78 trees... a forest of them (Hahahahaha!). I am still forming the ideas, and my brain is working overtime. On one hand I am trying to come up with strange and exciting ideas for the costume, but on the otherhand, I don't want to get too out-of-hand, and kill myself in the long run. I am trying to think of how best to keep the cost down without over working the whole thing (which means I am way over-thinking the process).

At first the script reccommends using a simple gown as the costume base, but the teacher wanted a 2 piece- top and bottom. I played with it, but to do pants for the boys, it takes quite a bit more fabric (besides, most trees have just one trunk anyway). I made a very simple peasant smock, taking the directions/idea from a renaissance costuming site. Drawstring neck closure, and drawstring waisted skirt for the trunk. These are small kids, so one length of fabric with the seam swn down the back should suffice. I am now on to playing with heat setting in the wrinkle to give the fabric more character.

For the headpiece, they reccommend a laural leaf crwon. I had made something like this for the last production, but we bought the garlands, and crocheted the leaves into a head band and wristband. I am playing with felt scrapes (got lots vrom the poodle skirts). We may just do the felt leaves. Still looking at it.

I am on to looking at the gloves/ hand-covering for the main cast. I don't want to make them for 78 pairs of little hands, but they sure are fun, and would work for the main cast. I am off the meet with the teacher about what I have. I think these are the main items that will determine the costs needed.

Wish me luck.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I said I would show...

...and here they are. This was my big project for the holidays. The kids school had their Christmas show, and i volunteered to help with costuming. I started on Thanksgiving eve with these leafy headbands and bracelets for the bigger kids(4th & 5th grades). The materials were pretty much on sale at that time, so I started here.
The 24 sets of collars and bracers, done for the 2nd & 3rd grades, was started the day after Thanksgiving, after getting up on Black Friday, to stand in line for over an hour to buy felt, felt felt, and more felt. Oh yea, and some gold material for these. Who knew that was such a big day at the fabric stores! It was a good thing the skirts didn't have to be all the same color, I never would have made it.
Here was the big projects- 25 poodle/felt skirts and Elvis. In a sick way, this was quite fun to do. The skirts were the most time consuming- each skirt took 2-3 hours, and it was kind of hard to think of designs to put on the skirts. The design had to be kind of simple, but I wanted something kind of colorful (and no way could I have done them all as poodles...seamstress does not survive on poodle alone). Each design was stitched down for fear of bored little girls picking and pulling them off on stage(you might laugh, but the attention span of a five year old is only rivaled by that of a gnat!).

Elvis was something else. I didn't get the boys measurements until 3 days before the show. I got the suit pretty much done ( I would gave liked to have done more embellishments, but flat ran out of time)for dress rehearsal, just had to finish the buckle for the show. It might have been a little on the tight side, but was good enough for the show.

When we gave the suit to the young man, he took it off to try on. we waited and waited. Finally we sent someone in to get him, and all we got in return was "He's not coming out".

No, wait. I need to know if there's a problem. "Go tell him to come out here".

"He's not coming out!"

I follow him to where the kid is hiding, "Come on out, I need to know if there's a problem...."

Poor thing, when he finally came out- all the girls started giggling. The Moms all seem to have the knowing laugh (Yea, we remember who Elvis is...). He looked good for an Elvis impersonator...during the show, it was even funnier. The crowd howled! As the young man gained confidence, he began posing in Elvis type antics. A good time was had by all.

In the spring, the school is planning on doing "The Tale of Three Trees". My husband has requested that I NOT help with the costumes. We'll see. When the kids told the teacher what Daddy said, she just laughed and walked away.