Thursday, August 25, 2016

Organizing Costumes

My friend T started a costume rental company.  She also has been doing contract jobs for several theaters in the area doing their costumes.  She is the one who got me the job of doing costumes for the theater summer camp that I mentioned before.

When a theater group that we had done volunteer work for before (forced volunteer work really as for our kids to be in the show the parents had to put in hours) closed down, my friend purchased their costume stash.  To that end we had to move the costumes quickly because the lease on the storage space was ending.  When we picked up the costumes we stuffed our vehicles with as much as we could carry and dumped them into T's house.  (some went to B's & my houses as well)

Yesterday we went to T's house to attempt to organize the costumes and try to get her house looking more livable.  We started on her son's old bedroom (he has moved out) where the majority (? okay, maybe only half) of the costumes went.

First we had to move a bunch of costumes out of the bedroom so that we could get in.  We also needed to move garment racks into the room to put the costumes on.  {there was also some dog negotiations going on as T's dog was sure that we had come to see her and was mad at T for hogging HER guests!}  Once that was tackled we went to the task of looking at each item, determining what it was and then where it should go.

Determining where things should go became a work in progress as we would put things in a spot and then when more and more pieces of a show appeared have to move the group together. 

Surprisingly we were able to work our way through the piles and get everything looking much more organized.  There is even still room in the room for more...which is very good as to have garment racks for the room, T pulled costumes off the racks that were upstairs and brought the racks down.  We determined that we could fit at least two more racks in the room.  T is going to get her husband to install two garment bars in the room's closet for hanging short items.  So we can put shirts on the top bar and pants on the bottom bar.  That will free up more space on the 5 racks currently in the room.  We may also decide to put certain shows into bins.

After we left T moved some of the piles of costumes she pulled off the racks upstairs downstairs.

So we are going to need at least 1 if not 2 more organizing trips there.  I can probably organize the costumes that I have at my house by myself (although I can also enlist my daughter to help me.).  I don't know if B is going to want our help to organize what she has.  I do know that she insisted that we get everything organized so perhaps she has been working on her stash already.

Eventually we'll need to catalog the shows at least and/or the costumes so that they can all be rented.  We noticed while organizing that many items were missing and know that those were rented or loaned out by the former owner and not returned to them...several things were sold or gotten rid of also.  It will be frustrating recreating costumes that we have already made.  sigh

Sunday, August 07, 2016

the joys of having a job

After all these years of volunteering to make costumes for theater, my friend got me a job getting paid at it.  This summer I costumed 4 kids summer camps where they attend the camp every day for 3 weeks and put on a mini version of a show at then end of their camp.  Each camp for this age group is a half day with several kids taking two camps so they are there the entire day and doing two shows.

It has been interesting.

There was the frustration in locating costumes for shows that had been done over and over by this theater company and then making what I was unable to find.  Pictures would have been helpful!  as I learned the reason that I couldn't find one of the costumes is because I thought it looked like something else!

I didn't initially apply for this job because of the distance to the theater and because the next two days of my life for the final show.  See Kiddo is in a show also (I'm not costuming that show!) and this is her show week as well.  So Friday I will miss her show for the one I am working.  :(

The camps were held at two locations, each doing two shows.  Show 1 at location A and then show 2 at location B...then show 1 at location B and finally this week show 2 at location A.  Location A is an hour from my home and is also where they store the costumes for the shows.  (another reason I didn't jump at taking the job)... however, after doing the job I got over the distance as for most days most of my time was the driving to and from... the job itself isn't difficult and is right in my skill set.  So thanks to my old volunteer job for giving me the skills to do something that I can get paid for.

Last week my friend who got me this job asked if I could help her with another job she is working on.  The show she is doing is renting costumes from another theater and she was told that she would need several cars to transport the costumes.  The costumes were an hour away.  ugh!  Unfortunately, the only day that she could get the costumes was yesterday...which is also my daughter's voice lesson day and trying to change her lesson is now impossible.  double ugh!

Our plan of attack was that we would get there at 11am.  Load up my car and I would head back home so that I could get kiddo to her voice lesson at 1pm.  We would work out getting the costumes from my car to my friend's house later.

SCREECHING HALT!  when we arrived at the rental theater about 10 min early, the gal is no where to be found!  When she finally does show up at 11...she informs us that the costumes aren't actually at that location.  WHAT?  So we caravan to the storage facility which is about a mile down the road.

Luckily, the costumes were all in labeled bins and easy to load up.  Unfortunately, while the costumes needed several of this person's sized cars to transport... they could have all fit in my car (yeah, I drive a big gas guzzler that has a lot of cargo room!) and we didn't need 3 cars to get them back.

We loaded my car with 4 of the 7 bins and I zip out of there by 11:15.  Praise God that traffic was not backed up and it only took me an hour to get home with plenty of time to get kiddo to her voice lesson.

After voice we had to get Kiddo ready for her dress rehearsal.  She is in Thoroughly Modern Millie... which requires her to have her hair bobbed short... her hair length is to the middle of her back.  so we have learned how to do a faux bob.  It looks really good and she totally looks like she's from the 1920's.

Get kiddo to dress rehearsal at 5.  Meet with friend to inventory the costumes I brought back and transfer them to her car.  At 6:30 go to rehearsal for her show (the one we got the costumes for) so we can measure the cast.  Have a lot of awkward moments with the cast...I had them all hold the tape for their inseam and diverted my gaze to the floor to get the measurement.  Most all of the men had been measured for a suit before and totally understood how to get this measurement.  whew!  although, most of the costumes for this show don't really require pants...soooo

Get finished with that show at 9, rush to my house to pick up two costumes for a different show (btw: I'm currently storing a bunch of costumes in my basement) and then run back to pick up Kiddo...who was finished early.  oops...IDK why my phone didn't ring...perhaps that was when I was in the basement and the phone was upstairs.

Of course instead of getting a good night's sleep, I'm up early this morning.  :p  I told hubby that I was practicing for tomorrow where I'll have to be in traffic at this early hour.

Back on Monday Kiddo was doing her laundry and hubby asked if I could wash something he needed.  I told him I was doing our laundry on Wednesday.  This morning, I'm up and ask for the item...he is wearing it!  After he changes out he asks if I am using the new batch of laundry soap.  and then says to not bother to wash his item with the new soap as he doesn't like the smell of it.  I figured out how to wash his clothes without using my soap (I used dish soap, borax & washing soda instead)...but I have to figure out how to alter the scent of my batch of detergent that I made so that my family doesn't turn their nose up at it.

Thursday & Friday I needed to be up at location A for the dress rehearsals at 8:30 in the morning.  In normal traffic, you can get there from my house in about 1 hour 5 min.  However, in rush hour it is another story.  If I leave my house at 6:10am I can be there by 7:15.  If I leave my house at 6:30, I might not make it by 8:30!!!  :o   so to be sure that I was there on time I left each morning at 6:10 and just hung out at a local coffee shop, using their free wifi for an hour before heading just down the street to work.

However, on Friday I needed to be there from 8:30 to "12:30" (I actually ended up being able to leave at 10:20) and then return by 5pm for the 6pm show.  I didn't really want to drive all the way home and then go back up there.  So I decided to go get my hair color done by a girl from our church who is attending beauty school...she's almost ready to graduate.  I arrived at the beauty school way too early for my 2pm appointment though and went across the street and got my nails done also.
Unfortunately, getting my hair done took a bit longer than we anticipated and with traffic I was a tiny bit late in returning to the theater.

Not a big deal...the cast and everyone were able to start getting the kids into their costumes without me and were mostly done by the time I arrived...they started a bit early.  Got the kids all in costumes and ready to go.

After the show, I loaded up and headed for home.  Since Kiddo's show would be done in about 30 min, I decided to go hang out at her theater instead of going straight home (even though my house is just 5 min down the road).  Chatted with the mom of one of the cast mates and saw a few friends after the show.

Now that my summer camp job is over, we'll start on the next show.  I get to sew a pink bunny costume and we'll see what else I have to do.  :D

Kiddo is going to audition for 2 more shows coming up...that I may help costume as well.  My friend has the contract for them and I might be asked to assist her.  It will be nice to not have to drive all the way to location A for a good long while.  :D

Friday, June 03, 2016


I had seen several ads posted on Craigslist for free bee swarm removal, and thought it would be cool to actually have a swarm.
Around May 23rd or so (date pretty foggy there) I was out working in my garden and thought I heard bees buzzing by. I looked around but didn't think anything of it.
May 26th I was out in the back yard again and knew I heard bees. I looked around and saw that we had bees who had decided "su casa es me casa!"

I love bees but I know that hubby is highly allergic and while having bees in a hive is awesome (honey!) having bees in your wall is not awesome. So right off I contact a friend of mine who keeps bees who upon hearing that the bees are in my wall has me contact John, who has me contact Stuart. Stuart says he has an opening on June I want it? um yeah!

Today Stuart opens up the soffit

takes a few pictures.  
hive after opening up soffit
after vacuuming off most of the bees
I grabbed a few also...there are more on my camera. My dining room made for the perfect bee operation view point.
He vacuumed the bees using a shop vac with hoses that ran through a special bee box first. The bees get caught in the box. He cut out the comb and we discovered that the queen (who was hiding behind the very last comb) had been very busy laying a lot of eggs. After finding the queen bee and cutting out all the comb, he went to lunch to give the bees a chance to figure out where the queen had moved to.

Funny, at first the bees were flying mostly around where the hive used to be, but after a while they figured out where the queen was and stayed by her...some fanning her with their wings.

After lunch, vacuumed out the rest of the bees in the soffit, and started putting it back together. now the soffit is all sealed back up and the bees are on their way to a new home...I don't know where. But Stuart said that last year he had to provide his own bee removal service because one of his swarms had decided to move into his own house. :D I hope this swarm behaves better for him.
oh no honey in our no honey for anyone.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Did it myself! Cell phone case tutorial

So we were shopping at the Disney Store on Tuesday and I found this beauty…/…/ but it only comes for the iPhone. I have an Android. So today we went shopping for stuff to make it with! We found gear die cuts and gold paper (originally gift bags). Had a blast cutting out all the gears.:D freaked out the kid because her cutter didn't like it much. oops, she needed a new plate anyway. ;)

 Unfortunately, I didn't take pictures of the steps for you.  But I should be able to explain it...I hope.

Items I needed:

clear cell phone case for my phone.  I found this easily by googling my cell phone brand.  The only problem I had is that the site selling the case did not indicate that the case I bought wasn't entirely clear.  There is part of the case that is cloudy.  However, for this it doesn't matter much as you can still see the design and from a distance the cloudy part isn't noticeable.

background paper.  Since the original design that I was copying from Disney is white, I just used scrap white paper.  The thinner the paper, the better as there is some bending required.  If you have white wrapping paper that works really well.

the gears.  We found these Tim Holtz gear dies at our local craft store and I had a coupon.  My daughter already owns a die press although we did need to improvise getting the thickness correct (there is an adapter you can buy, but we just used an embossing folder).
I wanted to copy the gold foil look and since we couldn't find gold foil scrap booking paper we bought some gold foil gift bags instead.  They were thinner and worked better.  gold foil wrapping paper would have also worked for this.
The dies have tiny holes on the back to help remove the cut paper.  We gently pushed the paper out of the dies with pins.

the rabbit.  My daughter actually already had the rabbit stamp (go figure!) so all we needed was the gold ink stamp pad.  It took a few tries to get that right but practice makes perfect.

Now for the assembly!  First I popped off the back cover of my cell phone and traced it onto some thicker paper to make a template that we saved to make other cell phone case inserts.  (actually, my daughter popped her cover off to make the template.)  Traced the template onto the white paper and carefully cut it out, using an exacto blade for the cut outs for the camera, flash & speaker.

Carefully arranged the gears to see where everything would go, but don't attach yet as the rabbit stamp goes on first.  Stamped the rabbit and then glued down the gears.  Let everything dry with some weight on it so it is flat.

Then place the new cover over the back cover of the phone and place the clear case on.

Finished phone case

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Update on Constant Snoopervision Required

When I posted  I had assumed that my dryer wasn't working because of a broken belt.  I mean it sure sounded like the belt had broken...there was a slapping sound at first and then the drum stopped spinning.

However, when hubby took the dryer apart he realized that the belt was just fine... the problem was that, oh gosh, I don't even know what you would call the part...let's see if I can describe it.  The drum of the dryer sits on rollers on the bottom and then has an axle of sorts connected to the back of the dryer.  This axle looks very similar to an artificial hip joint. 

Here's a picture of the actual part and they call it a shaft.  (go figure!)

470053-1-S-Frigidaire-5303931781        -ShaftWhat broke was the ball from the shaft.  No idea why it sounded like a broken belt.  ???

So I searched for our favorite local appliance parts online and discovered that they are no longer in business.  *SOB!*  I had to order the part online.  Not a huge deal, but we had a trip planned for my daughter's 18th birthday and wanted to have clean clothes for that.

Luckily even though FedEx Smartpost tried to give me heart failure by leaving my order in the truck for 24 hours just two hours away from my house and pushing back the delivery day by those same 24 hours...we did get the part in time and hubby was able to get it installed in about an hour & a half.

Of course our snoopervisor had to check out the package (she checks all packages coming into and out of the house now) and keep a close eye on all work.  All work was approved by the snoopervisor!

I now have a running dryer!  YAY!  Not bad for a dryer that is going to be 24 years old this summer.  note: we have not had to replace anything on the washer in all of those years.  Going out on a limb of speculation here, but I assume that part of why we have had to replace some of the parts on our dryer are because the washer & dryer were in storage for 20 months back in 1999-2001.  Or those parts were never meant to last this long.

At any rate I am so glad that we have these well built old machines.  I am just bummed that all the kitchen appliances are not so well built and instead of just replacing a part when they go down, we have to get new ones.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Stop and enjoy the real world around you!

On the second day of our 3 day trip to Disneyland I noticed the following article online and shared it on my Facebook. 

note: I did this from our hotel room...NOT while actually in the park. 

I shared it because I also noticed how many people were at the park but not really experiencing the park.  More than half the adults and several kids too were all busy with their cellphones instead of enjoying their vacation.

Now I can understand checking on your phone while waiting in the lines...especially if you were waiting for a character visit that wasn't even going to start for 15 minutes or can only take so many pictures of the very cute duckies.  (btw: we got to see 2 clutches of baby ducks while there!) 

But come on've paid a bunch of money for this trip...enjoy it!!!


Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Reinforcements Needed

I've kept a garden in the lower portion of my yard since we moved into this house in 2001.  The back yard has a slope that is somewhat contained by two retaining walls.  The upper wall is about 15 feet from the back porch to give you somewhat of an area to enjoy the then slopes down to the far left corner where a second wall is and then that area was never sodded and just kept as a garden.  This has worked out well for us and every year I've managed to get something to grow there.

Over the past few years I've had to put up a fence around this area because my dog likes to help herself to the garden.  If there are carrots, she'll dig one up for a snack.  I knew that tossing my egg shells in the garden was a risk, but the fence was in pretty good shape and it was winter so I didn't think too much about it...

until yesterday

Lately Lilly who used to be happy sleeping in her bedroom until I got up each morning (for the most part) has started asking hubby to let her out.  She has now been getting a small breakfast (hubby always gives her 3 pieces of his cereal) and goes outside each morning.  However, she hasn't been a good girl about it and usually keeps hubby from leaving for work on time.

Yesterday, I heard the back door slam open and shut a few times and then heard the utility room sink.  When I got up I discovered that Lilly was locked in her bedroom (aka my laundry room with the utility sink).  The sink still had very dirty water in the bottom.  So now I knew why I heard the sink...someone had dirty paws.

When I got to my computer there was a note from hubby explaining the situation to me...Somedoggy had gotten into the garden.  sigh!

I had been planning on reinforcements to the garden for a while because the neighbor's bird feeder has attracted the squirrels who think that the garden must be for them and they eat all they can find.  What I originally wanted to do was put a hoop house over the garden.  However, hubby has been pretty dead set against this idea.  He doesn't care for the look of it and hasn't been all that supportive of my gardening efforts because he doesn't like vegetables so he doesn't see the point.  There is also the problem that the retaining wall isn't exactly square and there are other obstacles that would need to be addressed.

While searching online for solutions to my pest problems I realized that I still had some 1/2" hardware cloth from our old rabbit pen that had been recycled...some of it never used at all.  So my plan was to put the rabbit fence around the garden.  Then I could use my bird netting across the top of the garden to keep the critters out.

Unfortunately, I did not know exactly how much hardware cloth I actually had and how much I actually needed.  There wasn't enough to put hardware cloth on all 4 sides of the garden like I wanted.  I was only able to put the fence on two sides.  However, this works to keep the dog out of the garden as the sides I wasn't able to fence in with the rabbit fence are the back which has our 6ft yard fence and then the remaining side has blocked access and I put up my old plastic fencing as a temporary fence until I can get more hardware cloth.  Now I just need to go take some measurements to see how much more I need.

While I am at it, I want to try planting potatoes in containers this year.  I've been watching gardening videos and having containers for the potatoes appeals because when it is time to harvest...all you have to do is dump out the container and sift through the dirt.  The dirt can be reused and the potatoes don't get damaged from a shovel or pitch fork.  Cool!