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.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Conversations with a Boy: Watch Me

Brushing teeth is an excellent time to catch up on your reading...
You're supposed to raise children who are readers, right?  Well I did.  Whether purposefully or whether it is just in the genes, I don't know, but I've got them.  Anna, clearly was born with it...as soon as she could crawl she would go to her little shelf in her room and pull off every book and then look through the pages for ages.  I discovered that if I stuck a couple of books in her crib (after she fell asleep) on the weekends that it would buy me almost a full extra hour of sleep.

But even William, with the right book, easily gets lost.

Here is conversation we had this morning:

Me: William!  Are you getting ready for school?

I open door and he is still tucked deep in the comforter...reading.

Me: Get UP!  What are you doing?  Get dressed!

Wm: Ok.  I will.

5 Minutes Later I check again

Me: William!  Now.  Put the book down.  Get ready.  NOW.

Wm: I will...I will...just let me finish this chapter.

Me: NO.  NOW.  Dont' make me take it away.

Wm: You wouldn't.  I'm reading.

Me: I would.

Wm: But reading is a good thing.

Me: NOT when you are supposed to be doing other things.  Like get ready for school.  I WILL take it away.  I will take away all good things that distract you.

Wm: My bed is comfortable and warm and distracting.  Are you going to take IT away?

Me: Watch me.  I dont' think you want to play this game.  I'm very competitive and I usually win.

At which point he realizes I probably would dismantle his entire bed to make my point and finally gets up.


Leave it to children to make me take away their books as a disciplinary action.

Thursday, April 25, 2013


I love how people keep coming up with more ways for me to waste time…as if I have extra time to waste.  I suspect you are probably in this category too.  We’ve got Face Book and Pinterest and the ability to check our email anytime-anyplace.
Here’s my latest time-suck love:  Houzz

If you’re the kind of person who loves to day dream about things you want to do to your home, this a great place for you.
You can browse, similar to Pinterest in general or by style.  Like clean sleek lines?  Choose Modern and it shows you pictures of homes specifically in that category.

Planning a kitchen remodel?  You can just look at kitchens. 
Like something you see in a kitchen and wonder where you could get it?  Double tap on the screen and if someone else has tagged that item, a green tag will show up that will tell you where you can get it for how much. !!!
Want to save a collection of pictures so that when (and if) you ever DO remodel that front entryway you can go back to your inspiration?  You can save pics in ideabooks (also like Pinterest—sort of like boards).

You can also search by metro area, so I guess if you are a hardcore Portlandier and want to look at cool houses in your area, you can.

Each picture also tells you the owner/construction company and/or designer responsible for the house—which I really like.  Instead of a random collection of images, ownership is acknowledged.

So.  If you’ve found yourself finally tapering off on Pinterest and you were just starting to get enough sleep at night….you’re welcome.  No one needs that much pesky rest.  My joy is now your joy.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Book Review: The House Girl

The House Girl
by Tara Conklin

I wish on Goodreads it had a section where you marked who or where you got your book recommendations from...because most of the time, by the time I get to reading one of the 4,000 books I want to read, I can no longer remember, and when you get a hold of good book, you want to go back and see what else that person has to recommend.

I liked this book.  Split into two parts, the first being the life of Josephine, a seventeen year old slave girl in 1852 (the house girl) and the second a young ambitious attorney in current day.  I often don't like when books jump around from one world to the next...you know they are setting you up for some big forced reveal and typically, you know what it is long before you get there.  I won't say that this book doesn't have that, or that I didn't know exactly what it was before it happened (why are we so much smarter than the people in the books!  Didn't they see it coming??) but that somehow, this one just didn't seem quite so manipulated.  Maybe it was because the characters themselves were quite compelling.

Josephine, who we didn't quite spend enough time getting to know, lets us know from almost the first page that she is going to run.  Her relationship with her "missus" is complicated; she's been taught to read and spends time helping her missus with her art; she keeps the missus company and offers her comfort after losing baby after baby.

Jumping to Lina, the attorney, we learn from research within one of Lina's cases that Lu Anne Bell, the missus of more than 150 year prior, is a venerated artist who captured life as a slave on a plantation in the deep south.  Lina also happens to be the daughter of an artist, of two artists really, one of which died when she was still quite young.

We know that these two lives will intersect somehow, and the author does a great job weaving a compelling story.  I've always had a fascination with this ugly part of our nation's history, perhaps because my own family lore consists of stories of Quakers along the underground railroad with hidden compartments behind fireplaces and the like.  It is easier to stomach something so terribly terribly wrong if you believe your people were the good guys and put their own lives at risk to help another soul.

In all, a good read.  Quick and uncomplicated, would recommend as a good summer read or book club book.  It is the perfect book when you don't want anything to deep or hard, but also don't really want to go all in for trashy romances or mysteries.  I wished in the end, that less time was spent crafting a "good book" and that the author had just let Josephine tell her story, but the context in which she sets it is compelling and is probably more consumable.

Monday, April 15, 2013

There are Mermaids in Hell (or Whatcha Up to La?)

If Dante had ever heard of mermaids, he would have dedicated a special level of hell just for them. I'm sure of it.

This past week was a little tough.  But lucky for you, my personal trials end up being good weekend entertainment for you.

I've been in technical rehearsal for two shows over the past week.  The Mikado, at UVU opened last weekend and runs through Saturday.  First off, let it be known that no person should ever HAVE to work on TWO Gilbert and Sullivan shows at the same time (I'm also in pre-production of Pirates of Penzance...)  it is too much.  I can't keep any of it straight.  Let it also be known that I am not a big fan of The Mikado, and if you are a normal sane person, you probably aren't either, so it was with a feeling of abuse and drudgery that I went to tech.

I typically don't design or work on the shows over at UVU, but I teach the makeup classes and mentor students through the design process and then attend tech to make sure everything goes well.  But I must say...I laughed outright all night and even snorted a few times.  It was very funny.  And my student did a fun job with some crazy wig thingies.
Ticket info here.

And because idle hands are Satan's tool or some such thing, I went straight from that into tech for my BIG show of the year, The Little Mermaid Jr. with Center Stage Children's Theatre in Pleasant Grove.  85 kids, each with 3-4 costumes each.  I've been working on this one for months.  Every year, this show nearly kills me.

All things considered, it went amazingly smoothly and I finished up tech tonight and still have just enough energy and brain power to blog...so I guess it can't be that bad.  This show plays at the Covey on Center Street in Provo through Saturday also.  The kids range in age from 7-17 and they give it their all.  This was a fun show to design...lots of sea creatures and mermaids.  My backyard has looked like a deep sea graveyard for weeks, and I've used enough spray paint to make me less coherent than usual.

This is why I get to write off my car on my taxes...

This is the shortened Jr. version, and is lively and colorful and has all the songs your kids probably already know, so would make a good family outing.  Info here.
Here's a peek from tonight's final dress rehearsal.

For those of you following the conversation on Facebook-
There's a good shot of the questionable squid in the upper-
left hand side...

So if you live in or near Utah County, go support some great local theatre!  It's too warm to ski and it's too cold do anything else...so indoor theatre seems like a good option.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Huck Rides Again...

For those of you following Huck's quest to become a more engaged citizen and search for more meaning through gainful employment...well, it appears he has quit.  Apparently "The job market is saturated with talented hat wearing beagles".

For a recap, though, I'd like to refresh your memory of his job shadowing choices:

Does anyone else sense a theme here?
I think he listens to 70's music when I'm not home.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Huck Goes Native?

Good Morning Faithful reader!

Huck continues to explore career choices....

Dear Readers,

I am having a hard time with my job shadowing.  I know there must be something out there...but I just don't know where to look.
So today, I thought if I explored my roots, well then that would lead me forward.
And THAT was the inspiration for today's pic.

When I told my person, she frowned slightly.

Huck.  You are are not of American Indian descent.

I could be.

No.  You're not.  If anything, you are English.  The imperialist nation that stole lands.

I'm pretty sure my people have been here for generations.

Well, yes, but a generation to your people doesn't last very long.  Look.  I'll wikipedia it.  See, it says "Although beagle-type dogs have existed for over 2,000 years, the modern breed was developed in Great Britain around the 1830s from several breeds, including the Talbot Hound, the North Country Beagle, the Southern Hound, and possibly theHarrier."

You're like a Jane Austen dog.  Plus, people could take this the wrong way.  Where did you get that anyway?

It was with your Annie Get Your Gun stuff in the bathroom. Besides, you can't believe everything you read on the internets. YOU are the one who keeps telling me that.

That was NOT the bathroom.  Did you pee on that stuff?  I have to put those wigs on people! You are not allowed in there anymore.