I'm a costume designer, makeup artist, teacher, mom, knitter, baker, want-to-learn-how-to-do-it-all

My photo
I'm a costume designer, makeup artist, teacher, mom, sewer, knitter, baker, want-to-learn-how-to-do-it-all, blogging, Costumed Beagle enthusiast. I am not always pleasant, although through intensive cupcake therapy I have learned not to throw knives at people anymore.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

TBT: The Hamel Clan

Last Sunday I had to give a Primary Sharing time on Family History.  I brought some old photos from my family and thought I'd share one this week.

My grandfather was born in 1919 as the 10th child in a very Catholic family of 16.  Yes, you heard right.  My great grandmother had 16 children.  And then lived to be 102.  There were ELEVEN boys.  And from what I've gathered from my grandfather and his brothers, every single one of them was hell on wheels.

This picture is from the late 1920's--I think my grandfather who is sitting, second from the right is around 8.  There was a set of twins that didn't live very long that are not pictured here.

Family pictures for the Hamel family were rare.  They lived on a farm way out in Central Kansas and they had...well, 16 kids.  My great grandparents were both of French Canadian parents who migrated down to claim newly available farmland with the westward expansion.  They spoke french at home.  In fact, the whole town was settle by French speaking Canadians and when we went back to bury grandpa a few years back the very few establishments in town still had menus/information in both French and English.

Just across the river that ran along one side of the farm (which still exists although no one farms it anymore) is the town of Nicodemus, KS, which was one of the first western towns settled by and for recently freed black men and women heading out to meet a brave new world.  My great-uncles were still giggly about this "new" idea and wanted to know if we wanted to go over and see the town.

I love this picture.  I love that I have this one picture of my grandfather as a boy.  I only ever knew as an "old man", but the glint in his eye was the very same.  And I am certain he caused all sorts of mischief.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

TBT: Pineview Panthers!

Oh Goodness.  You're going to like this one.  I stole it.  My BFF from back in the day posted this today and it made me laugh so much I just stole it.  And I need some laughter.  I've had a tough week emotionally, had all sorts of deadlines at work to meet and then went all klutzy on myself today and can barley move tonight.

The year was 1990. Start of our Senior year of high school. Pine View High School in St. George.  I (and everyone in this picture) were on the Student Council.  WHAT?  You didn't know I was on student council?  But you're not surprised are you?  You shouldn't be.  I thrived on student council.  Without it I would have been just another emotional drama queen smoking pot behind the seminary building.  But I wasn't.  I was on student council.  I loved every minute of it.

What cracks me up are the way our personalities shine through in this odd odd picture.  I don't know whose idea this was.  I know it was for the year book...but beyond that, time has stolen the details.  I love how I am wearing high-waisted, pleated, pegged, high-water, acid washed jeans-belted with my shirt tucked in.  That  my friends, was a CHOICE.  I love how Kirsten somehow has the goofiest possible expression and is classically giving us a peace sign as we sport actual weapons of war while standing on a TANK.

Enjoy.  For the record: I LOVED high school.  I'm not sure that is something you are supposed to admit, but I did.  I wouldn't go back for the world, but I loved it.  It saved me.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

TBT: I've Always Had a Thing For Maleficent

Washington, Utah.


I believe, the weekend before I went into the MTC, which is why I have such a jolly group of friends with me.  We were on our way to the movies...The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Kirsten and I had spent quite a bit of time that week on our costumes...Kelly, I'm pretty sure was supposed to be a Bob Fossey devotee, but I'm pretty sure those are her own everyday clothes, and Mel  (who I'm sure is trying to be a good sport about all this) looks like she is wearing a mash-up of things from Kirsten & my closets-including my very favorite tie-dye from a Grateful Dead concert in which I nearly passed out from the air inside the stadium (Marijuana lightweight...and only second-hand I assure you).

Good times.  Good, good times.

Friday, June 13, 2014

When Homework Pays Off

I love to go on vacation.  Who doesn't?  Crazy people maybe.  I love going with the Citizens and I love going new places.

But you know what I love almost as much?

Prepping to go on vacation.  Not the lame stuff like packing and stuff, but the research.  The book work.  The planning and making of reservations.  I LOVE that.

We're heading out on our fifth to last true family vacation this summer and so I stopped by the library to see how they could help me out.

Just looking at this pile of books gives me tingles.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

TBT: Pendarvis House

In 1998 we moved to Wisconsin.  Diplomas hot in our young naive hands, we headed off in search of dreams...or some such nonsense.

Anyway, we eventually settled in a small house in a small town called Mineral Point.  Settled by Cornish miners in the 1830's, it had become a tiny artist's community.  It also had some great Historic homes and introduced us to the pasty which was served in every diner and bar in town.

That first summer, before we had really settled there permanently, I worked for a summer theatre company called American Players in Spring Green-the home of Frank Lloyd Wright.  It is a lovely theatre company.  You should go there.  My friend Tara also ventured to the mid-west and worked at American Players for the summer.  There were several Tornado warnings that did not much agree with her. (I think I should have been more scared of them than I was...I hadn't watched enough news at that point in my life to realize what those sirens really meant.)

So for today's TBT I give you Tara and La at Pendarvis House.  Ahhhhh youth.  So unjaded.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Whatcha Up to La? Love Potions and Sundance

Tonight L'elisir d'amore  or The Elixir of Love by Donizetti opens.  It only runs through the weekend and has 2 different casts (well...the leads anyway).  It is pretty fun.  The costumes for this show consist of country peasants (French country if you are talking to me....but it is sung in Italian so non-specific if you talk to anyone else) and they are all pulled.  Even so, I think they turned out fun.  I used LOTS of layers with multi-skirts on all the women.  No corsets.  I wish there was dancing so they could swish all those skirts around.  I was lucky there were a lot of options to pull from out of BYU stock.

I used this painting at BYU's art museum as one of my primary bits of research.  I LOVE this painting. It is called
Le Premier Chagrin "The First Grief by Daniel Ridgeway night c. 1892.

Anyway.  Plays through Saturday.  Go here for tickets.  This may be the last opera I design for them for awhile with my other job stuff, and you'll definitely want to see one of the operas I did for them.  They're the best.

I'm also getting geared up for my 5th season with Sundance Summer Theatre.  This year we are doing Fiddler on The Roof.  Here are a couple of pics from our publicity photo shoot that I snapped with my iphone.  This show seems to be VERY popular with the Utah crowd and already has one sold out performance.  If you want to go see this, I wouldn't wait to get tickets.  You'll end up very sad. Ticket information here.  Seriously, don't wait.  It is a bit more expensive to go to theatre up the canyon, but still reasonable and it is so fun to go up there and see outdoor theatre up on a mountain.  Plus, you never know...you might run into Bob.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Dog on Patrol

Last week I posted a picture of Huck in our backyard.  To the casual observer he may have looked as though he was lounging around in the grass...but I knew better.  We've had these birds who have taken to terrorizing the poor beast by bothering his toys.  He was guarding them.  He had gathered up all his balls and bones and his favorite stick into a pile and was standing watch.

Yesterday, I noticed Huck being uncharacteristically active in the backyard and went to check it out.  He kept running around on the trampoline and then sticking his head in between the springs at which point a large bird on the fence would swoop down and then Huck would chase it back over to the fence.  This went on awhile.

Turns out...there were 2 of the birds trapped under the trampoline.  They eventually found their way out, but they were giving our tubby puppy a little exercise in the meantime.  After awhile he grew tired and came in for a snack, Mr. Beene went out and took a couple of the springs off to make a bigger hole and the birds hopped out and flew away.

It is hard being a dog that the birds tease. I guess they didn't get anti-bullying instruction in their youth.