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

Not my circus...explosion

well not a real explosion of course.

I saw this coming...a mile away.  I warned them.  I mean anyone could have seen this end would have happened if they continued on the path they were on.  But of course when you are on a path that leads to destruction it is hard to hear the warning signs...especially if they aren't what you want to hear.

Continuing to throw good money after bad, continuing to run your customers off because they don't agree with you...telling them to go and/or forcing them to go.  Eventually, you end up bankrupt.

and they did...

Apparently, they racked up a ton of debt in the process...and unfortunately the folks responsible will probably never have to face it as the bylaws make it the board's fault...they were supposed to be watching things.

I have heard that they didn't tell their employees until they were closing and oh by the way, we can't pay you for working all summer.  They also took payment for future camps that they couldn't afford to run.  So they asked another group to provide the camps for free...which the other group did and has now earned all those customers.

and there are rumors that they want to start another ...

UPDATE:  the rumors are true...they have started another.  I'm not exactly sure who "they" are though.  I'm also not sure if they plan to do anything about the previous debts.  One thing I do know...they don't have any costumes, sets or props...those were all sold or given away to pay off part of their debts.

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

Monday, August 01, 2016


  yay the TV finally left the building on Saturday.

So after trying to get the one tv recycler to give us his address ...

the guy posts all over craigslist that he recycles tv sets.  I contact him and he says he can't get it cuz his truck broke.  I ask can I bring it to you?  He says yes, but won't tell me the address, just the town.  :p  This goes on for about a week when I get hubby involved.  He gives hubby the run around also and increases the price.
I get the feeling that this bozo is really just looking to case people's homes so he can come back and rob them.  :-/

Anyway, hubby finally got the guy to say this Saturday between 8 and 9 am.  Hubby asks AGAIN for the address.  nothing

oh hubby got the TV in my car somehow... I don't know how, but he was injured afterward.  I didn't ask.

Hubby had heard that the local news station was sponsoring an electronics recycling event at the major base ball field parking lot.  so he said if we didn't hear from the other guy by 8am he was taking it there...and we never heard from him. 

So for the same amount of money we now have no tv.  YAY!

and now hubby wants to spend all the money I've made working this summer to buy our new tv set... that we are now weaned from and don't need.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Make it or buy it?

As a seamstress & costume designer one would think that I make everything in my wardrobe... and you would be WRONG!  One would wonder why I don't just sew everything that I need...  well the simple answer is...
cheap foreign labor

When I get an email from a store that they have dresses on sale for only $30...there just isn't any way on earth that I can sew my own dress for that little.  Even finding nice quality fabrics on sale for $10 per yard (and that's dreaming is more like almost $20 per yard usually) I would just scrape by at that price range, but you're not including any thread, zippers, lining, and the cost of the pattern. 

So when I get that email, I look and see what all I can find.

Today I got such a notice and found 4 dresses for myself.  I put them in my cart and went through the check out process and thought that I had completed my order, but after waiting 20 min for my confirmation email I scrolled down and found the hidden submit order button.  :-/   k folks I don't need a page full of pictures of things I didn't order on my order form...I NEED the submit order button.  :p

I wonder how long until I get my dresses?

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

TV saga continues

Daughter and I had gone to a rehearsal.  Upon returning we see that the dead tv set is in the garage...on the floor of the garage.  Just where I told husband to NOT put the tv set!!!  I told him to not put the tv on the floor of the garage because I knew that we would NEVER get it back up off the floor again.  but alas, I don't know anything.  sigh!

Apparently, he must have seen the neighbors outside and invited them in to help him move the set.  he paid them a 12 pack of Pepsi to do it.  I hope they didn't choke on the dust too much.  This thing sat in a hole in the wall (literally!) for the past...I don't even remember how many years we had the thing.

Well great, now the tv is out of my house.  And now we get to figure out how to get the tv set up off the floor of my garage and into the back of my car which wasn't at home when he had the neighbors help move it, so that's why it's on the floor.

Remember this is the heavy tv set that I dropped several years back trying to get it into the house.  And now hubby thinks that we can rig something up that will help us lift this thing the 3 feet we need to get it into the car...supposedly once we get it to the mysterious tv guy, he'll be able to get it out of my car.  (yeah right!)

So all weekend hubby was trying to think of how to get some sort of ramp situated that we could use along with my car's tire jack to lift this thing off the floor.  ???

In the mean time we don't have any replacement tv set...which is not really a problem.  I think that by the time we finally get a replacement we will be totally weaned from even needing one.

and perhaps we'll get used to having a dead tv set in the garage also?

Thursday, July 07, 2016

update of sorts...

the reason this is an update of sorts is that absolutely nothing has been done...really.

oh, this is about the tv situation.

apparently long gone are the days of just throwing away in the trash your broken tv set.  something about them being toxic and such (and I've had this thing in my house for how long???)  you now have to recycle them...and pay for the recycling (even though the recycler gets money from the parts?)  but FIRST you have to find someone willing to do this...because apparently these things are toxic or something.

so I look online and find someone with ads all over craigslist that will come and get my tv set for only $1 per inch.  I contact the dude and he tells me that his truck is broke and he can't come and get the set.  I ask, can I bring it to him.  He says yes.  I ask him where to bring it.  crickets.  hummm

Hubby found someone here in our town (the other guy was two "towns" away). 

But then our HOA sends out a notice that our trash company is doing a large item pick up.  Hubby decides instead of finding out himself, that I should call them and see if they'll take it or if they know someone who will.  sigh! 

Instead I look online at our trash company's website and they have a huge list of things they can't take...and guess are listed on the do not take list TWICE!

So I contact the local guy that hubby also never contacted.  And guess what... he also can't come get it because he no longer has a truck.  ???  what the actual hay?  What is happening to all the trucks in the land that no one has a truck?

so we can bring the set to the guy, and it isn't far.  The problem is that this set weighs too much.  When we got the set and tried to bring it into the house, I actually dropped it.  Hubby got the neighbor to help him bring it in and put it on the shelf above our fireplace.  Now we have to find some muscle to get it down and into my car so we can take it to the recycler guy who doesn't have a truck.  And he charges a flat fee.

Monday, July 04, 2016

We finally cut the cord...

we had been discussing this for a long time.  Doing this made us really nervous.  It seemed really hard to give it up after having it for so long...and what if we weren't happy afterward?  We would never be able to get that rate again.  :-/

I'm talking about our cable tv subscription.

When we first moved into this house in 2001 we quickly learned that our tv sets would not pick up any tv stations via their antennas ... well not true entirely.  We could get PBS on the little black & white tv that used to sit on my kitchen counter in Wyoming so I could watch tv while doing the dishes.  And the old tv set (it's from the 70's I think) would pick up one station.  But the newest set would only get one station and that was with no sound.  ???  sigh!  So we called up the cable company and got the cheapest package they had and were happy.

The cable company had tried to pull a bait & switch on us at first.  So for the first 3 years we were paying for the basic package and got expanded basic cable.  I suppose the cable company's intent was like with their "free trials" to get us hooked on the expanded cable and then tell us that we had to either switch back to the regular basic or pay the extra for what we were used to.  And that probably would have worked much better if they were paying attention.  But they forgot about us for 3 years!  Then one day out of the blue I hear someone at the side of my house...note: he didn't ring the doorbell first.  just went to change the cable as if WE were stealing it.  When I asked what he was up to he said that I had called for the change.  I didn't argue with him because I knew we were getting the expanded cable without paying for it and I didn't want to give the cable company any reason to pretend like I had stolen it.

So we had the basic cable that we were paying for and even though we suffered a wee bit of withdrawl from the Disney Channel, Food Network (although, my weight went down afterward) and HGTV we made the adjustment just fine.  We never upgraded to better packages or a DVR.

Over the years the cable company kept changing what channels we were attempt to get us to switch back to the larger channel packages and of course pay them more money.  And of course they kept raising our rates too.  We went from paying less than $13 a month and getting around 20 channels to eventually paying over $30 a month...note: while we were actually getting a lot more channels...they weren't anything that we were watching as there were about 100 music channels that were included... channels with a black screen that played music.  ???  we have a radio for that!...and it is FREE  :p

One day I picked up the bill that hubby had just been paying without complaint, and I noticed how much we were paying for basically garbage!  We barely watched the stations that we did have as the regular stations had programing that has no morals and even the Discovery channel (the only "decent channel") started having mostly shock value shows.  I mean when the show has mostly bleeping, what value is that?  and I ask you..."Naked and Afraid"  ???  there was nothing worth watching.  In fact I would be on the computer until about 10:30 each night, then flip on the tv...find something remotely acceptable and fall asleep during the first commercial break.

We kept asking ourselves why we were still paying for this.  We kept thinking that we should cut it off.  But we were scared of what it would be like with no tv.

And then, one day I flipped on the tv and the picture tube blew!  Just a soft pop and no picture, no sound.  Dead!... well except for the high pitched sound that only my daughter could hear.

That settled it!  It was finally time to cut the cord.

I first researched how to shut off the cable because like everyone else, I had heard about the terrible time several folks have had when trying to disconnect the cable...and yes I had my service with THAT company.  I saw that they have about 10 excuses for cutting off the cable that they actually accept without arguing.  And my excuse wasn't on their list!  The first 3 excuses they accept really weren't cutting off the cable at all, but switching it to another address or another person!  sigh!  BUT I found that if you just take all the equipment back to their store you have the upper hand and they won't argue with you in person.  (big chickens!)

So I packed everything back into their handy dandy boxes that they gave them to me in and took them back.  The guy there took one controller out and brought up my account using it's number.  He asked me to verify the account and asked why I was cutting it.  I told him... the TV blew and we aren't going to replace it.  That was it.  A few seconds later I had a receipt for my cable controller boxes and was on my way.

And now we are trying to find someone willing to take our old TV set (you have to recycle them now...and PAY for that!)... and of course we aren't truly doing without a tv set.  Hubby is researching what super huge HDTV he can get into the old tv space...that will only have an internet connection and mostly be used for watching our collection of movies.