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.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

10 Reasons to Be Thankful You're Not a Pilgrim

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving (or today if you live on the other side of the world and are just getting around to reading my blog, a priority, I'm sure...) and although I know you are plenty thankful, I thought I give you 10 real reasons to be thankful.

1. Small pox.  As another blogger (and also my boss incidentally...) blogged about just today, small pox talk at the dinner table is HOT.  Regardless of fads in table talk through the centuries, I think we can all be thankful that small pox is not a real problem for us.  Did you know that between the time the Mayflower left and just a few months after arriving in the new world, only about 1/3 of the passengers weren't on the verge of dying and more than half the crew had perished.  Disease flourished and there were no Rite Aids. Even basic penicillin was centuries off.

2. Millinery.  Perhaps you like to sport dapper head wear, but I think it is difficult for even the sartorial adept among us to wear a pilgrim hat (or cockel hat as may be known in costume circles) and be taken seriously.  Today, you have a wide range of choices when it comes to decorating your noggin whatever its shape or your proclivity.  Go ahead, express yourself.

3. Puritan Roots.  While I think this sometimes gets us in trouble and can be taken to extremes, I think it is perhaps these very roots that give us the stubbornness to be resilient, hardworking, and when necessary incredibly generous with one another.

4. Grocery Stores.  We've all heard the story about the first dinner (truth or myth, who knows?) But I am grateful that I do not have to shoot a wild turkey with a single shot front loading musket and gather unknown tubers and grains with which to celebrate my holiday dinner.  No matter how you go about your feast tomorrow, it is guaranteed to be much easier and much more plentiful than anything our forefathers ate even at the greatest celebrations.

5. Wool.  Back in the olden days almost everything was made of wool.  EVERYTHING.  From top to bottom, inside and out.  And none of it was cashmere.  Have you seen Babe?  The wool came from ordinary farm sheep like that.  And no fancy super-washing, combing, delousing, and bleaching.  Sheep stink and home spun wool is coarse.  Cotton was rare, mostly out of India and came in second in the shipping world behind all those spices Columbus was after.  It would be another 200 years before the southern half of the yet to be U.S. realized they could grow the stuff and make it an export to the world.  Can you image living in the itchiest fabric you can think of every day of your life, including summer-

6. Security.  While there is much talk about border security and the grief we go through at the airport is enough to make a person stay at home forever, we do not live in a fort.  If yo
ur family is like mine, stories abound of ancestors who came to America in those early years and those that didn't get taken out by small pox went the way of Indian raids.  There is even one particularly embellished story of a hot headed Irishman who went west to Ohio and was captured.  He worked his way to freedom and went in search of his young bride who promptly gave birth to my kin and then died.  This does sound like the kind of adventure we've been searching for.

7. And while we're near the subject: Maternal and Infant Mortality Rates.  In the modern world, we fully expect mothers to carry babies and birth them and for everyone to live.  Medicine has even gotten so good that we hear of babies scarcely into their fifth month of pregnancy surviving.  For our pilgrim friends no one took either of those things for granted.  Women commonly died in childbirth and many many children did not live to see their 5th birthday.  The birth of Virginia Dare was exceptional for many reasons, not just because she was the first, but that it happened at all.  Families were large because you could expect to lose half of them, and second and third marriages were common as wives and mothers died.

8. Sin.  Pilgrims were obsessed with sin.  And while Mormons can plausibly lay claim to a modern day obsession with it, I would wager the pilgrims took themselves just wee mite too seriously.  I'm guessing if they even had a peek at the way we celebrate this day they would prostrate themselves on the ground, renting their garments-sackcloth and ashes and all and entreat us to repent or be smitten.

9. Entertainment.  It is said that at the first thanksgiving they celebrated with prayers, wrestling, dancing and other games....can you imagine--oh wait, I think maybe there are still families who celebrate in a similar manner.  I'm grateful for the interwebs, DVDs and Wii.

10. I asked the citizens to tell me whey they are grateful they aren't Pilgrims and William is glad he didn't have to build his own house (Amen), and Anna (true to form) is glad we don't have to wear hot clothes and that we can go to Target to get stuff.

Happy Thanksgiving, all!  May we all be be grateful for all we have and are.  May you have a wonderful day however you choose to celebrate with whomever you are with.

As for me, the Citizens and I are hunkered up in a small condo up in Park City watching The Hobbit in front of a fire and will partake of a lovely buffet style dinner tomorrow (as American as it gets if you ask me) that I will neither cook nor clean up after.  It is a beautiful thing.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Things I Don't Understand or Maybe I'm Just Old

So my little miss likes to listen to the radio.  And not NPR and Ira Glass as I have brought her up to do.  She insists on what the youths these days like to refer to as "pop music."

And frankly, I just don't get a lot of it.  It makes me feel old.

"Do you ever feel, like a plastic bag, drifting through the wind, wanting to start again?"

Hmmmm....no.  can't say I've ever felt like a plastic bag?  Or maybe the plastic bag wants to start again??? I don't know....I just don't know.

"We could be Starving, we could be homeless, we could be broke
As long as you love me
I"ll be your platinum, I'll be your silver, I'll be your gold"

Yeah, but no thanks.  Really, love is not all you need.

"I came to dance, dance, dance, dance
I hit the floor 'cause that's my plans, plans, plans, plans
I'm wearing all my favorite brands, brands, brands, brands
Give me some space for both my hands, hands, hands, hands
Yeah, yeah
'Cause it's goes on and on and on
And it goes on and on and on..."

and on and on and on....

And pretty much anything by Train:

"OH I swear to you
I'll be there for you
This is not a drive by, ah-ah-ah-ah
Just a shy guy looking for two-ply
Hefty bag to hold my love
When you move me everything is groovy
They don't like it sue me
Oh I swear to you
I'll be there for you
This is not a drive by"

Why am I not swooning for this guy, right now, I ask myself?  Clearly, it is not a drive by.

"She went down in an airplane
Fried getting suntanned
Fell in a cement mixer full of quicksand
Help me, help me, I'm not good at goodbyes!
She  met a shark under water
Fell and no one caught her
I returned everything I ever bought her
Help me, help me, I'm all out of lies
And ways to say you died"

At least we know they can rhyme.

And soooooo many more.  But I'm usually driving and don't write them down...the sad things is, I think I know most of the lyrics to all these songs.  

Help me, help me...

So what is the song that gets to you?

Monday, November 25, 2013

Oddities and Such

Well, here we go again...there are just too many things I just don't get in this world. And since I have been super neglectful to my faithful readers and haven't done one of these in awhile, it is an extended version. YAY!

But here you go; to send you off on your holiday week with cheer and hopefully some glee.

First up: Target for the win on obesity!
Those are cereal bars.  Intended for breakfast.
Kudos to Americans for having just enough sense to know that this somehow crosses a line since it is on clearance.

Next is a little house that is near Wm's school; I only pass it if I am headed to work immediately after.  It is modest house in a modest neighborhood, but it has a HUGE bronze elk in the front yard.  And the elk (whom we will hereafter refer to as Edmond) wears a delightful holiday wreath that changes every month.  At Halloween he was covered in spider webs and big plastic spiders.  Edmund makes me unbelievably happy.  I wish I could get a better shot without looking creepy.  Maybe for December...

#3 is a new club at BYU I recently saw advertising for.  Do really tall people feel isolated?  Do they need their own club?  We had a guy get hustled into being part of a short/tall joke in the opera this fall who measured in a 6'10" (which by the way, is not "on the tall side" if you are talking to a costume designer about fitting someone with a sleeve length of 40") and I asked him what he thought about this club.  He thought it was a way to lure tall guys in to the tall girls. Hmm.  Yet another instance of someone playing match-maker?
I'm not sure the HFAC is the best place to advertise for really tall men since I doubt there is a performer in all the world who measures above 5'10", but maybe they were covering all their bases.

#4: This jacket.  Also at Target, marketed for tweens, perhaps?  Or maybe it was just a special out for dress-your-daughter-like-a-yeti-day.  Just because you can make something doesn't mean you should.

#5: Can you read that?  I did a double take.  It says "Sakura's Garden: Zen grooming for dogs".  Zen.  I consulted with our resident canine grouch to see what he thought about that and some uncharacteristically bad language was exhibited.  Well...that's not very Zen, is it?

#6: Little Mommy Princess and the Potty (carried at...you guessed it...Target).  This little gem has a try me feature which, when you press on the toilet seat flips up to reveal your precious's poop.  POOP.  Which then disappears when you flush the handle.  Um.  No words.

#7  Remember when you were a kid and it would snow and you and all the neighbor kids would run outside while your mom tried to shove a hat on your head and gloves on your hands?  And you would try to build the biggest snowman ever??  Or, if you are like me, are from St. George you rushed out before it could melt and tried to manufacture something that sort of resembled a couple of dirty balls of ice?  And then you would get sticks and a scarf and a carrot nose and give it personality?  Well, never fear, the taxation on young minds to figure out those minute details that is clearly stressing them out has been dealt with...at Target (I really don't know that Target carries more crap than anyone else; I really think this is more a reflection on how much time I spend there...).  You can buy this kit.  I think, that if we went looking this holiday season, we will be able to buy, tucked in among the Christmas trees at the lots, complete snowmen that you can take home and plop on your lawn.  No effort required.

#8  Bought a pair of shoes last week.  I had been looking for a very particular type of gray wool ballet flat for some time.  And I finally found it.  YAY!  But the brand of shoe gave me pause...In fact, I had to think briefly whether I was up to the task of owning and wearing a shoe that was Fergalicious.  Are you?

#9  Our elementary school has a bell choir.  It is awesome.  I have, somehow, by default, become the parent who keeps this thing running.  This year, we needed to replace a few bells (they do not do well when dropped.  Have you EVER heard of kids NOT dropping things?  Yeah. New Bells).  And so I looked up where we'd gotten bells in the past and it led me to this.  Which only made me want to buy more bells.

#10  To be clear, I'm a big fan of Hillary Clinton.  You don't have to be.  I know lots of people aren't.  But man, that woman has quite the set of chops and can she ever rock a pant suit.  Politics aside, though, I got this email just yesterday inviting me to purchase this lovely set of champagne glasses.  Um, yard sign?  You bet.  Bumper sticker?  Maybe.  Classy trucker hat?  Absolutely.  But Bubbles Glasses with a unique logo?  Again: um.

#11  And lastly, something closer to home.  Yesterday, being Sunday, I wrestled The Citizens into their finest and hustled them off to church.  Citizen #1 has finally reached a point where he will, under duress, dress himself.  FANTASTIC.  However, this sort of thing comes with a price.  As in, he dresses himself.  And this, folks, is what we end up with:

Yep, you got it.  TWO entirely different shoes (one slip on, one with LACES), and entirely different sizes (2 sizes different to be exact) and...here's the worst part: WHITE SPORT SOCKS.  He's killing me.  He only let me take a picture because I said I would take him home to fix it.  While I waited patiently in the car, he did procure a matching set of shoes and black socks.  However, once back at church I noticed they were short black ankle sport socks.  Seriously.  There is only so much you can do.  *Sigh*

Hold the Press!  Last minute addition that my childhood BFF just posted on Face book and I just can't let you leave without it.  You'll thank me later. (I couldn't get the exact one she posted to link here...but I think this one will be great...)

 Happy Thanksgiving, y'all!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

That's One Sick Puppy

So Huck was sick.

We left for fall break and when we came back he was not the same.  I assumed he was depressed, since the people we leave him with have a little dog and totally pamper him by letting him do things like SLEEP ON THEIR BED.  He does not have this luxury at home.  He sleeps in a kennel, where all dogs who like to pee on the floor in the middle of night should sleep.
Waiting for the vet

But then he wouldn't go up and down the stairs.  I know this because for some reason someone (no names) dropped a goldfish cracker in the middle of the stairs and it was there for DAYS, because any dropped food at our house usually does not last more than a few seconds so I don't bother much with it.

And then his tail...it was tucked firmly between his legs.

So after a week, I broke down and took him to the vet.  I hate this because they often can't tell any better than you can and then several HUNDRED dollars later they let you leave.

Here he is at the vet.  He wouldn't look at me, but mostly just stared at the door waiting for the vet to come in.

And then she examined him and my totally lazy, worthless guard dog of a hound tried to bite the vet.  He's never tried to bite anything in his life.

Turns out he had a staph infection all over his belly and bum and hurt his back somehow.  Probably wasn't broken, though.

Well, that was a week and a half ago, and he's only just now returning to himself.  He's been on a steady stream of antibiotics and pain killers since then, and today, his tail was half way raised and wagging and he chased something.  He still can't/won't jump up on Williams bed (his favorite place to be) but he's on the mend.

While he was sick, the vet had me give him soft food in case there was something intestinal going on.  He'd never had it, and since he's been on a diet (ineffectual diet, I might add) for months his food routine is pretty boring.  He wolfed it down in about 1.2 seconds and then seemed to regret it, just licking his bowl over and over again longingly.

Anyway.  He was pretty pathetic, but seems to be feeling better.  Several of you had asked me about him since I posted pictures of him a couple of weeks ago.  Thank you for your concern.  He is happily lying on the floor in my room right now snoring away.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Though We Adore Them Individually.....


Although I love Halloween, that is how I end up feeling every time.  I put my energy in Anna's costume this year, since I felt like she got cheated last year, and if I do say so myself, I done did good.

We decided to go for strong female role models this year.  It is important to me that my daughter grow up strong and independent and self-sufficient.  While I have nothing against Disney Princesses, let's face it, they aren't the best role models for a modern day girl.  And their dresses really aren't that great anyway (which may be of equal import).

So I tried talking her into a Suffragette, showing her pictures and explaining that pretty much every good thing like education, and being able to drive a car, and planning your family, and having a career and owning property, and not being property--we owed to these ladies.  They were brave and courageous beyond anything we understand.


No, thank you.

So I did it myself.

But for the missus, we were able to come to an agreement on Amelia Earhart, who is also a strong female figure and who also comes with no frills.  In fact, no lace, makeup, hair, glitter, or wings.  But boots, a scarf, a coat and a hat, which considering our weather lately, seems an appropriate choice.

I was able to purchase most of it, but made the jodhpurs.  OH MY GOODNESS does she look freakin fantastic in those jodhpurs??  Yes, she does.  I don't need your approval because I know it to be true.

She really wanted Huck to sport an AIRPLANE.  It didn't happen, but I was able to rig up a bit of
co-pilot's costume and he was (for nearly three minutes) The Red Baron.  He's been sick, so we didn't take him trick-or-treating.

Citizen #1 was too cool for costumes this year....well, at least he was until 3:15 October 30.  I quit taking costume orders in September, so he was on his own.  Luckily, he is a creative kid and we have the resources.  He went as the Mad Hatter.

So, now, I believe the holiday season is officially underway and I need to start thinking seriously about Christmas.  Whew.  After my nap.