August 29, 2012

Goodbye Toto ~ Hello Dorothy

My youngest took the Toto costume to school today. (No more pics until he's revealed at the play -- sorry.)

My new project is this:
This one's going to be difficult because the actress' measurements do not match the size she wrote on the costuming form. 

Stay tuned...
(completed costumes here)

Painting Toto

You might be wondering why our Toto costume is so, ummmmmmm, pale...
That's easy -- it was the only faux fur at SAS we could find with a long-enough nap.
(Why does this always remind me of Peter Frampton or David Bowie hair?)
Soooooooo, decision was made to paint it. The drama teacher found this upholstery paint at JoAnn's and sent it home with the-one-who-plays-Toto.

First, however, I painted the inside of his ears pink with these markers.
Turned out kinda OK.
Then I took the finished costume outside and sprayed it with this.
Not a fan! The paint sputtered & spotted & ran & streaked (not in a good, dog-furrish kind of way...)
Evidently acrylic faux fur doesn't take too well to this stuff...

Oh well...

(see our completed costume here)

The Tail of Toto

I wanted Toto's tail to be kinda perky. The pattern called for batting; but after I stuffed it full, I realized it would droop from the weight of the fiberfill.
Wire from my garden (scavenged off a dead tree...) saved the day!
I bent it roughly in half & wedged the bent end in around the filler.
The outer pieces I bent at roughly 90° angles. I then stitched those into the seam allowances above and below the tail attachment.
I also wired the ears in a similar fashion.
(our completed costume here)

August 27, 2012

Toto -- the wannabe rapper

My youngest loves rhythm. He's always drumming on something. Fortunately this year at school he's able to take a percussion class where all that tapping can be channeled into cadence.
I suppose that's why he likes artists such as Lecrae. Powerful words, semi-musical, pounding beat -- I don't get it, but he does.

(our final costume here)

August 19, 2012

dressing Toto -- Act II

Sometimes the most laborious part of the costuming process is the fitting of the pattern to the body. I (mistakenly) thought that buying the adult pattern & using size small would be appropriate for my 7th grade actor. 
So now I am spending my time cutting up tissue & pinning it back together to properly fit the boy.  I have to factor in that he'll be down on all fours throughout the play -- so it has to be roomy enough to "give" in the right spots. I also must make allowance for him wearing something lightweight underneath ('cause faux fur & stage lighting make for a mighty sweaty dog!)
(our final costume here)

August 18, 2012

dressing TOTO - the beginning

(How I wish the entire Toto costume could be whipped up in the embroidery machine!)
I spent the morning at SAS with the drama teacher rummaging for fabrics to use in the Oz production. She spent about $200, but we left with four huge bags full of lamé, faux fur, tulle, fleece, velour...

(our final costume here)

August 16, 2012

Chipotlé Pineapple-Mango Salsa

The delicious ingredients chosen by Kristen for this month's Improv Cooking Challenge were TOMATOES & PEPPERS.  Because we were informed of these months in advance, I had intended to pick them fresh from my garden. Alas, despite faithful watering, those plants did not survive the onslaught of sun's rays this summer.

Soooooooo -- I set off to Sprouts to harvest the crops...

Here's my disclaimer: 
I believe salsa recipes reflect a family's taste preferences & is quite a personal thing. What we look for & like in a salsa might not necessarily be what you want to taste. For exampe - cilantro. Not a big fan! But, since we do like a certain aspect of how it's flavor marries with others,  I use a bit of it.

Here are the general proportions I used. Please adjust to your personal taste:

  • 1 mango (next time I'll use two given the taste imbalance between that & the onion...)
  • 1 pineapple
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 1 - 2 Tablespoons chipotlé peppers & 1 Tablespoon of the adobo sauce (I remove the seeds before I chopped the peppers -- you might like it spicier...)
  • cilantro (I used about 10 stems)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 or 3 cloves garlic 
How finely you chop the ingredients is up to you, as well. I chopped everything by hand, but then pulsed it a couple times in the food processor after it was all mixed.

I served it with some chipotlé/garlic/lime-marinated shrimp on corn tortillas. 
Must-have add-ins would include some avocado & black beans. (Sour cream or Asadero, if you're going dairy...)

I tasted the salsa again this morning with some chips & the red onion flavor had gone down a little, but the garlic increased (just the way I like it!)
I mixed it in with a bit of leftover quinoa, chipotlé shrimp & avocado -- YUM!


Found out something new today: most cans of Chipotlé in Adobo contain wheat! -- Always check the label! (Fortunately, I found a brand at Winco that doesn't have it...)

August 14, 2012

new project

My baby began Junior High this year! He's been in school for two weeks & has already had so much fun.
Last week he auditioned for the JH fall play. He envisioned himself as the Tin Woodsman.
The director saw him as this:
Yes, my son landed the part of Toto in their production of "The Wizard of Oz" to be performed in September. 
Guess what I "landed"? A sewing gig. A furry doggy sewing gig.
(the pattern I'll be using)
Wish me luck!
(commercial costume)
(our final costume here)

August 13, 2012

sewing (11.5") doll clothes

("What's wrong with this one?" you might ask...
Barbie's fingers get stuck in the antique lace...)
Wait, perhaps I should paraphrase that to say, "I suck at stitching Barbie® outfits!"
"Sorry ma'am -- did you need that crotch  area stitched?"
When the nieces were visiting last year at Thanksgiving, they accidently left behind one of their dolls. No problem! I'll just whip up a few cute little outfits & ship her back to you for Christmas...
(for some reason sewing the outside of the legs
to the inside doesn't work, either...)
ummmmmmmm -- my fingers & high-end machine would not cooperate. I downloaded some decent patterns & picked out some nice fabric scraps. I cutout two pairs of pants, a skirt, a long formal, a short lace dress and a top.
This is the only survivor:
However, Saturday I was needing some props for my Sunday School lesson the next day. I had no problem coming up with these:
I guess G.I. Joe® is just easier to sew for...

arrrrrrrrr matey

Friends from church are getting a second grandson sometime this month.

His nursery is pirate-themed.

I made him a fleece blankie
(hook appliqué from here)
with treasure-map fabric on the back
and pleated satin around the edges.
I made an eye patch out of black velvet. (His older brother also got a one, it's a little larger!)
(here's one modeled by "James")
I stitched up a cute bib with this design:
(appliqué for the face & kerchief -- used bandanna print & there's embroidered  fringe on the end...)
(but I can't find my photograph of the finished bib!) 
Both Wyatt's daddy & his abuelo proudly serve in our U.S. Air Force.

August 8, 2012

Sunday Dinner

We live a little over half an hour from our church. Before we met up with Dave Ramsey we used to stop at a favorite Mexican- or Chinese-food restaurant on the way home. ahhhhh -- how simple life was when we were abusing our poor little credit card...

Now, I actually have to plan ahead & have dinner pretty much fixed before we head out the door in the morning. Since it is summer time (ie oven-less cooking time...) I like to have something in the slow cooker. Some days we come home to a roast & fixin's, sometimes it will be spaghetti sauce or a casserole...

This Sunday I started out with three frozen large chicken breast portions.
I added four cups of brown rice, eight cups water, olive oil, a couple tablespoons chicken bullion, a few cloves of garlic & a handful of fresh basil, snipped.
When we arrived home I turned off the crock and added Parmesan cheese then replaced the lid while we readied the rest of dinner.
I have to say, there was a little left; but that was because Keith was called into work... (He ate his share that night!)

August 6, 2012

I really should be stitching, but...

bff (blog funny friend) Erin is up to no some good. Good, clean (I hope) fun, that is.
I can't wait to find out what the first challenge item is! We'll have basically a month to plan, create, construct our original project utilizing the chosen article.

Erin had teased* us with the statement that used toothbrushes might be first up... 

Bring it!
I'm ready!

(*that theory has now been debunked -- back to the drawing board...)