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

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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, September 27, 2012

Happy Birthday Huck!

Huck had a birthday.  He turned 3.  And promptly, almost overnight, quit being such a little monster.  His attitude hasn't improved much, but he is enjoying greater freedoms since we are not as afraid of the destruction.
Technically, his birthday was nearly 3 months ago, but lucky for us, dogs don't keep calendars so we got away with it.  Unlucky for us, the girl child in the house does and kept pestering us until we finally broke down and got him a few presents and a birthday bone.
Since I am not as afraid of his disemboweling anything and everything with stuffing in it, we decided to give the ole' pet bed another shot.  He destroyed several within his first year, so he's had to be content with a scrap of blanket on the floor.  Here he is right after we gave him the pillow with its hand made decorator savvy exterior.  He wouldn't get off it for awhile.
He loved the new tennis balls (those he will still destroy) and new squeaky toy that Anna picked out and took great pleasure following me around the other day squeaking it every 20 seconds or so.
He did not care for the birthday hat.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

There is Oddness All Around

**If you are Mormon, you sang that title, didn't you...admit it.

I see a lot of odd things in the course of a normal day.  I work in theatre, so that automatically puts me in with strange bed-fellows, but even if you were to take that area of my life out, there is a lot of crazy  @*&%#! out there.  Of course, quite a bit of the really naughty stuff I see isn't really naughty at all, but in a brief glance I constantly mix the letters in words up and they almost always amount to no good.
Lest I be taken for a cynic or potty brain, I see a lot of beautiful, worthy and wonderful stuff in a day too.  But it is less interesting.

Here's a round up of the Oddities as of late:

Um....Mountain Dew A.M.  I can't decide if this is brilliant or revolting.

This is actually just interesting.  And lest you start judging me, I've been working a LOT of nights lately.  That requires my favorite pick-me-up/legal stimulant and this place gives you a big one for $1 and I didn't have to get out of my car.

But if you look close (I'll make the picture big)--THERE IS A CALORIE COUNT FOR EVERYTHING ON THE MENU.  I think this is big.  I know lots of people won't be swayed while ordering, but let me tell you, I wasn't exactly shocked by how many calories were in the food, but I couldn't just ignore it either.  Of course, since I rarely eat this particular food now that I have brainwashed the citizens into thinking it is nasty, this is not a big deal.  But Woah.

This one is just plain odd.  Speed Limit 5.36??  Just exactly how am I supposed to go
a. that slow or
b. that exact?

Ok.  In full disclosure, I've served a mission and since I come from a non-LDS family they had no clue what to send on holidays.  My first Christmas out my dad sent me a 10 lb.  Salami.  I'm not kidding about that.  My mom send me a book of Portuguese love poetry.  All useful as a missionary (a missionary that had been a vegetarian when she left, dad).  I may be an artist, but I have a love of all things practical too.  And I'm not even sure where this falls.  Aprons are dead useful....in real life.  I'm not sure how useful it is to a missionary.  AND I'm not sure how thrilled your missionary would be to get one of these aprons.  I'm not sure if you can see their little tag line "The perfect gift for any missionary."  Really??  I'm not sure an apron is always the perfect gift for everyone, let alone every missionary....They may not have food.  Or a kitchen.  OR they may live in a large U.S. area and get fed every single meal of the month.  And when have 19 year old boys ever been good at feeding themselves something that even had to be refrigerated let alone cooked?  But hey, good for you finding a teeny tiny niche and filling it, you mini-van driving entrepreneurs!

And this is weird merchandizing.  In the dollar section at Target you can buy a little card with yarn on it.  Yarn.  A couple of yards of yarn.  What the hell is this for?  What new and exciting thing is the NEW THING that would make some buyer at Target think "I think I"ll sell little cards of YARN  for a dollar!  People will be all over this."

I saw some other strange stuff too and made a mental note to look it up on the internets, but since I only made a mental note....

Monday, September 24, 2012

Pirate Booty

Happy Monday!

Huck wanted me to post this last week, in honor of Talk-Like-A-Pirate Day, but I forgot.  He's not talking to me right now.  Which means he won't participate in Dear Huck....

But here is the photo.  His version of speaking piratese mostly consisted of growling at me.  It was effective.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Season Openers

I wish I could say I wasn't a TV person.  But in truth, I kind of am.  I like TV for the most part.  It has played a big part of my life for as long as I can remember.  Now, I am NOT a sit down on the couch and watch a couple of hours to wind down each night kinda gal.  I've got too busy a personality for that.  But since God gave us hulu, cooking and cleaning up after dinner have become new experiences. I also spend a LOT of time in my studio working on various projects: see here and here for examples.  I like to set the lap top up on the corner of my desk and just let hulu or the netflix do its thing.  Hulu gets judgey though.  You've been watching for three hours, would you like to take a break?  Um, when I want to take a break, I'll turn you off, thank you very much.  I'm not even really watching.  I'm mainly listening, but if I have to think real hard about something while I'm working, I'm not even doing that, which leads me to miss key plot points, which may be why I was continually confused while recently plowing my way through the Dr. Who series.

I love a good series with 5 or 6 seasons....that can last me months, and you're never left guessing!
I used to check out whole seasons from our library on DVD, but modern technology is awesome.  I definitely spend less on Netflix than I did in library fines.  Some fun series that are pretty much all available somewhere are:
The West Wing (intellectual)
Mad Men (visually stunning; not a terribly productive season for me)
Dr. Who (this one takes awhile to get into if you are not a sci-fy freak)
Friday Night Lights (I know, football....great characters)
Arrested Development (only 3 seasons, but oh goodness so so funny)
Pushing Daisies (oddly quirky in a good way and the narrator is the same guy who reads the Harry Potter series, so you'll feel right at home)
Desperate Housewives (this one really only makes sense if you start at the very beginning, and remember that it is a rather dark comedy...)

I'm also usually keen to try out the new shows that the net works throw out there.  I'm a bit behind this year, the fall shows are already 2 or 3 episodes in and I'm just now investigating.
So what are you watching?
What are your favorite go-to series?  I'm always looking for new ones.

But I'm most excited for this:

Here's another one.

I really hate the wait til Jan. for the British stuff.  Shirley McClaine!  Did you see her??  And will Edith really find love?  And why is Thomas crying now?  And who was the passionately kissing in the hall?  The Costume Society of America sent out a notice to members asking if anyone would like to participate with their local PBS station in a special cool costume question & answer thing for the premier of next season with their local station and I think I jumped up and down with my lap top screaming ME!  Pick ME!  But no has called me yet.

I also really really like the New Sherlock Holmes.

Monday, September 17, 2012


So I decided to take my kids to the State Fair last weekend.  We've never been.  I my whole entire existence, I had not been.  We were excited.  And then we were disappointed.
There is are some cool farm animals at the fair, but since Wm is uber allergic to them, we did not spend a great deal of time in the barns.  So we went to check out the arts and crafts and wow were there a couple of cool things and a whole lotta crap.  I've never seen so many poorly painted ceramics all gathered up together like the a great 80's crafting awakening.
I'll give some credit to the quilts.  There are some mad quilters in this state...but little else to truly appreciate...until we saw this:

Yeah.  It is a sculpture made out of BUTTER.  We were all really impressed.  Never mind that it was of cows playing hunger games.  IT WAS MADE OF BUTTER.

But I let the kids pick out any treat they wanted, and since we got there early, it was basically breakfast.
And by-the-way, pointless to get to the fair early to beat the heat...the carnies don't get up that early to start the ferris-wheel.

she hasn't even started yet and she looks all crazy

Anyway, after starting her day with cotton candy, my darling daughter was wired to go all day.  Couple that with the fact that she was grounded, from friends AND any type of media, and it made for one really long day for me.  I felt punished.  At one point I called her feral.  She asked the meaning, and I said "wild."  Her eyes lit up like cotton candy on fire and began screaming I'M FERAL while running circles around Huck.  He pretended not to notice.

On another note, my yard looks particularly feral right now.  I rather like it.  Especially since I did not plant any of it.  It came from sunflower heaven, apparently.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Deeper Questions of the Universe: Wherein Cinderella Reveals Her REAL shoe size

So you might not think a toothbrush, such an ordinary object in pretty much every household could help you broach difficult subjects with your children.  But then again, maybe this is no ordinary toothbrush.
It all started about 2 weeks ago when at a dental checkup it was revealed that Anna had a cavity.  In fact, this is the 2nd checkup in a row with a cavity.  This is kind of a big deal...we are not cavity prone people.  I did not have one despite dubious oral hygiene and no regular dentist visits until I was in my twenties.  Our dentist honestly looked kind of devastated.  We were the longest running no-cavity family in his practice.  So clearly, Anna needed some help with her brushing and flossing.  So I thought that maybe an electric toothbrush might help be more thorough and so when I went to Target, I found this: A Cinderella electric toothbrush for $5.  Perfect.
Except that that night when I pulled it out, Anna, with her unerring perception, peered closely at it and said "Mom.  I think Cinderella is a man."
This, of course, got everyone's attention and we all had to admit....Cinderella was a He/She.
This, in turn lead to a pretty lengthy discussion about how there are all sorts of people.  They already knew about men loving men and women loving women, but the idea that some people feel that they were born into the wrong body, or that some men might like to wear women's clothes...well, those were new ideas.  I have to say, it sounds serious, but since every 5 seconds someone would make some new observation about Cinderella we would all giggle a little bit.  Interestingly enough, Anna only commented once (about men in women's clothes) that she thought that was weird.  Just different, I explained.  She seemed satisfied with that.  I hope that when they encounter people who believe and act and love differently than them along their life (and they will), they will remember: not bad, not weird, just different.
Of course, poor Cinderella isn't getting any respect at all.  And to be fair, the Chinese factory that made this toothbrush clearly does not have a grasp on our obsession with delicate princesses.

So here's my Deeper Question of the Universe: How do you approach difficult subjects with your children?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Whatcha Up To La?

That is a very good question.  Too much apparently.  This is not, as someone only kinda kiddingly suggested, because I feel compelled to be popular.  Because, you see, in MY world, I am already popular and therefore do not need to work quite so hard at it.  It is, as is the case with most people I know, a necessity to pay those pesky bills.  And in my particular field, it is often feast or famine.  Left to my own devices, I would love to loll away the hours eating bons bons while staring at the pool boy, but as the saying goes There is no rest for the wicked. And I am nothing if not wicked.
But after being wicked, I make time to be busy.
In the last week and a half, I been in technical rehearsals for three different shows at three different places.
One night the techs overlapped, and when I got done with one I ran over to the other to finish up.
All three are playing now, so if you are looking for a good date night or are tired of staring at your pool boy, come see one of the following:

Zion Theatre Company at The Off Broadway Theatre in Downtown Salt Lake City Presents

I did the costume design on this one.  I think they look pretty good, however of the whole TWO reviews done on this show so far, no one has mentioned how wonderful I am.
Go here for more info. Plays this weekend and next.

Brigham Young University Department of Dance Presents

This is the annual program formerly known as World of Dance.  It is a good show for families...kids love it.  I helped out with some of the stuff for the "Gypsy Family" and The Contemporary Dance Theatre group.  Ticket info here. Plays through Saturday.  Cool promo video here. And here.  And here.

And lastly, Utah Valley University Theatre Department Presents

This is an almost entirely student produced and designed show.  I supervise the makeup students at UVU and the makeup designer for this show had some...um...a bit of blood and guts to deal with, so I got to supervise that too.  More info here.  It runs through Monday.

So there you go.  You cannot say to me "There's nothing to DO this weekend," unless of course you do not live within reasonable distance of these three very different productions, and in which case, I'm very sorry--you probably are bored.

As for myself, I will not be anywhere this weekend.  It has been a rather long 2 weeks and I'm ready for a break.  And since we have Stake Conference this weekend, I'm seriously considering a day when I do not even get dressed.  But then it is back to the grindstone.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Halloween Research

Halloween is just around the corner ya'll!  At our house the drop-dead day to decide what you are going to be is Sept. 1.  Sound too early?  Yeah, well, deadlines keep directors and kids from changing their minds after the fact.

Anna has decided she wants to be an "old doll."  Whatever that means.  I tried to convince her that Suffragettes are all the rage and that she owes almost every good aspect of her life to them and even spent a full week quietly singing and humming the Women's Votes song from Mary Poppins...but she is as stubborn as she is freckled.

So we commenced to do a bit of research tonight, because after all she has learned that my interpretation is not necessarily her interpretation (remember when she wanted to be a princess and I made her a Marie Antoinette costume?), so we took to the Google to see if we could pin down an image.

You get a lot, A LOT of interesting images if you google "Antique Dolls."  Try it.

But it seems like antique dolls come in just a few categories, really.

There are really really cool ones.

There are odd, slightly freakish ones.

And then there are the ones, who through no fault of their own are horror film worthy.

And that's not even counting little gems like this one, that some sicko has messed with.  Becha can't wait to start dreaming tonight, can you?

Anyway, she really isn't sure what kind of doll she wants to be, but has already told me she doesn't want to wear a wig.  What kind of child is this?!?  She's killing me.  Seriously.  Maybe I should show her this last doll and change her mind about dolls FOR THE REST OF HER LIFE.

And although my next thought is only marginally related, it sort of is and after thinking about dolls, this is where my brain went....

So I saw this on the news a bit back.

What do you think?
Also, here is the link to the NBC news story on the craze here in the U.S.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Book Review: Silent on the...

Book Jacket: Classy, historical
Ok, I'm a bit behind with the book reviews.  Rest assured I have NOT given up reading.  It is one of the few things I never give up and in fact probably do more of under duress.

This week I'm going to spotlight a trilogy: The Lady Jane Grey
mysteries by Deanna Raybourn.

Book Jacket: trashy, romance
First off, if you go to get this from your library and it looks like this:
do not be alarmed.  This actually isn't a romance novel, really, so why they thought it necessary to add the titillating cover, I do not know.  The edition I read did not have this cover and when I went to add it to Goodreads I almost didn't because the cover embarrassed me so much.  I guess the publisher was trying to market it to a particular kind of reader??  Anyway, it may not suit you to read it whilst in a public place.  Or maybe you don't care.  Good for you.

Anyway, the three books follow Lady Jane Grey through the better part of the 1880's--or maybe 90's and through three different mysteries that need solving.  She is, of course, rather taken by a character that had to be inspired by Heathcliff, although thankfully, Lady Jane is not in the least a Wuthering Heights female archetype.

The books are rather silly and perfect for a fun summer beach read or perhaps when your brain has had quite enough of the scholarly and needs a bit of a break.  Myself, I am a fan of this type of book.  My brain often needs a rest.

Book Jacket: Historical, humorous
There are some fun if doubtful characters among the missus' clan: a lesbian sister, who apparently is "out" in London society of the time; a maid rescued from prostitution...etc.  I think these characters are supposed to lend charm to what is supposedly a quirky family, and perhaps they do. They are all named after Shakespearean characters.

The author is also rather detailed in her descriptions of dress, which I appreciated, as both a lover of period dress and a very visual thinker/reader.

The books are, in order:
Silent in the Grave
Silent in the Sanctuary
Silent on the Moor

I actually read them completely out of order, not realizing they were part of trilogy because the book jackets were all so different from one another, but my advice to you is to read them as intended.  I think the publishers of this series may have been schizophrenic, or at least drunk.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Aw Hail

Last week we got some wacky weather as summer began its exodus, apparently none too willingly.

I love this transition from summer to fall.  Anyway, there we were minding our own business when suddenly we realized our house was under attack.  And wouldn't you know it, we were.  Nickel and dime sized hail was coming down with a vengeance.  The Citizens thought that was perhaps the most exciting 5 minutes of the week.  I was glad I was parked in the garage.

Luckily summer had already killed off our potted flowers in the

This is what that naughty hail did to my sunflowers.

* There is supposed to be a video at the top of this post.  So far I cannot get any video from my computer to post to Blogger.  If any of you CAN see the awesome video of the hail, let me know.  OR if you know a way to put video on that actually works, let me know that also....

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Huck's Waterloo

Huck's Advice is back from summer hiatus!

However, when I put this hat on him today...well he got that look.  You know the one.  Of defeat.
Perhaps he thought that after a two month break I had given it up.
But life holds so few real pleasures, and this one gives me such joy.  I don't think years of effective therapy could do for my soul what doing this to Huck does for me.   I would feel pity for him, except he is a dog and really his suffering is made up of hats.  It is a small price to pay for room and board and general upkeeping.

But I could not convince him to offer any advice today.  Perhaps next week.  We'll all be back on schedule by then.

*To submit a question for Huck email him at hucksadvice@gmail.com.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

La's Fall Fashion Forecast

Fall is just around the corner and I thought I'd use this as an excuse to air a few of my least favorite fashions.  Or NOT fashions as the case may be.  Fashion seems to be something that is good and worthy and somewhat thoughtful if not always practical, while the things I'm about to show you seem to lack all of those things.

First a little fashion trend I am seeing entirely too much of: The bag.

No one should wear this, EVER.  Ever heard the saying "put a bag over that"...well that's exactly what it will look like someone tried to do to you if you wear this.  I don't care how much glitter and rhinestones you throw on it--it is still a bag.

Here's the cut out shoulder version.  Not good people.
Not good.

Then there's the 80's throw back to Flashdance.
If you are not a 95 pound dancer with size AA breasts and a sassy afro, you cannot pull off this look.  Your bag's head hole accidentally got too big and you missed with one of your arms.

Then there is footwear.  I know millions of Americans wear these, but it doesn't make it right.  Anna recently found a glittery pink pair while back-to-school shopping and longingly pulled them off the shelf.  Before I could say anything, she thrust them back muttering to herself  "Mom will NEVER let you wear those."  That's right.  And Why?  "They are an abomination and she loves me too much to let me do that to my feet."

Now for hair.  I am a bit lazy in the hair department and am always keen to find a new do that requires less work than the last but that doesn't quite let me lapse into the category of people who shouldn't even be allowed to have hair....but this is too much.  Abnormally shaped noggins are not good.  What will alien life-forms think about our brain development if they see this??

And lastly sleepwear.  Quite frankly you can wear whatever you want to bed.  Well...truthfully you can wear whatever you want whenever you want regardless of what I think about it, but adult sized footy pajamas kind of creep me out.  I get that you want to be warm and the fuzzy polyester stuff they make those out of is really soft and comfy...but one has to draw a line, and if my house were to burn down and I were forced into the street on a cold night you would not see me wearing this.  It feels like it belongs in some sort of weird porno.

So there you have it: La's What NOT to wear this fall.  As for what you should wear, well...dress the part, I always say.