Saturday, April 28, 2007

Gimme Your Cash

OK, I'm not planning on holding up an banks with this apron, but I am planning on getting some cash with it. I finally, finally got around to making myself an apron for a flea market I'll be selling at in a few weekends. I'm going with a friend who has done it for a few years and I'll be trying to unload some unwanted stuff and I'm also bringing my etsy shop along for the ride.
I've been meaning to make one of these for a while and had seen a few patterns that I liked. Issue 26 of Readymade finally came through, and with a few alterations to the design, this is it. I had some of this fabulous koi barkcloth from Reprodepot laying around...I'd used it to make a knitting needle case a few years ago...and some great silver-dot fabric and soft maroon cotton for the strap. I made the strap extra long, so it could wrap around to tie in the front, and I placed the strap at an angle so it ties jauntily to the side. I also sewed on a long length of this wonderful knitting tutorial ribbon (perhaps from Superbuzzy?). I made sure to sew a few extra pockets for pens (one ballpoint sized and the other - - what else? - - Sharpie sized!) and I'm quite pleased with the result. If I'd had some fabric paint on me, I would have finally tried out he freezer paper stencil technique and printed kdmade on it, but I made this on a sick day and I was NOT going to the store for more supplies!
Now I'll just need to twiddle my thumbs a bit while I wait for the flea market day to arrive...

Thursday, April 26, 2007

What Not To Miss

As I've already mentioned, my post-show week has been sickly. Once I got to the point where coughing so much just plain hurt I decided to stay in bed cuddled up with a bottle of NyQuil as often as possible. I had left work early one day this week to do just that, and when Andrew came home, he insisted that I go outside to see something amazing. After much snotty-nosed protesting, I relented and this is what I almost missed...these sweet checkered lilies that popped out of the ground overnight, it seems. We purchased a couple of funky plants for our shade garden last year and spent some good money on them. I remember watching them die back pretty early into the season and thinking that we'd been a bit frivolous. But this is the reward: after a cold winter and barely any time which I would consider official Spring weather, these brave little beauties popped up as if to say "get your arse out of bed, you're missing everything!"

People Smile and Bless All Over You...

OK, OK. I've been away from my blog for a while. But I have a good excuse! The community theatre production of My Favorite Year which I was in is OVER! And here are the spoils: mountains upon mountains of flowers and (not pictured) chocolates. Do professional actors get such goodies as their reward? Who needs a paycheck when you can live in a florist's shop for 2 weeks?? Truthfully, the flowers are fading as the show closed on Saturday, but as I am not the spring chicken I once was, two solid weeks of late nights and adrenaline rushes has not been kind to my body, and so I haven't been able to post about it.
I've said this before, but I'll say it again - I love being a part of a production. Being backstage allows you to know a show and its actors intimately and you get to see all the mess-ups and recoveries from near-disasters. Andrew is an athlete and is not afraid of competitive sports. Me? In high school I played lacrosse to earn my sports credit. I LOVED the practices and absolutely LOATHED the games. Suddenly I was asked to stand next to someone who didn't know me but was intent upon doing nothing but getting past me, whatever the cost. I just never really wanted the ball that bad, I guess. But in theatre, it's different. I love to consider the interplay between actors, musicians, and crew members. Everyone has very specific jobs to do at very precise times. If everything works as planned, each person's effort is coordinated to become entertainment. One of my favorite moments during the show this year was after a big smoochy love scene that I had. When the scene ends, a comedy sketch act begins and the stage transforms into something completely different. I enjoyed watching the comedy act on the monitor backstage thinking that just a moment ago, I was playing out a sweet love scene and what was going on now couldn't be more different. It struck me that this is where I am happy to be on a team. There is no specific goal, really...just to create as solid a production as we can and to not let anyone down. No one is my enemy (except during auditions which are about the most horrible thing anyone can go through, ever) and everyone is willing to do whatever is needed to make a show run smoothly.
And here, from my view from the wings, is what it all turns into. A big burst of energy that takes months to put together, two weekends to maintain, and a day to dissolve back into an empty stage. Sigh.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Easter Traditions

Every year Andrew and I get together with our best friends and their daughter to dye Easter eggs. Because our friends are madly creative and love to make up games, we have developed some serious traditions around the process in the past few years. We spend time decorating our individual eggs with whatever supplies are around. This year they bought some silly kit that had glitter in it. The glitter wasn't so bad, but the dye had oil in it. It was bizarro and made the eggs look all splotchy. If you were looking for nice, even tone you weren't going to get it. After receiving a few disappointed looks from one of us (guess who) the person who BOUGHT the weird kit (um, Easter = PAS where I come from) made some kick-butt colors with water, vinegar, and food coloring. We were off. My favorite egg was decorated to look like forsythia (which I was admiring on the drive over to their house) and Andrew spent a good amount of time carefully mixing colors to achieve an egg that was dyed the color of an egg. It's all about creativity with this. It's not unusual for people to stress out for a few days before the event if they don't have some specific ideas for what to do.

We also dye a group egg. You do something to the egg and then pass it to the next person. After all of the dying is done, we take turns describing the meaning or reason behind our eggs. This could be in the form of a poem, song, or on one occasion an interpretive dance. It is not unusual for the dyed eggs to take on huge meaning and the descriptions can get quite philosophical. Did I mention that the first step of this procedure is to pour a glass of wine?

We take turns describing why we did what we did to the group egg and then, when we're done, we read David Sedaris' "Jesus Shaves" aloud. Each year, we start cracking up earlier and earlier...this year, we were in tears when the title was read.

Thank goodness for traditions and thank goodness for amazing friends.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Garden Cam!

This one's for Laurel. The mighty crocus. This tiny flower makes its appearance around here in (very) early spring. It's a perfect little flower - bright, cheerful, and hardy as heck. This spring, crocuses came up before our surprise sleet storm - - after the storm they were still standing (albeit a bit battle-worn). When I lived in Maine, I don't remember seeing crocuses as much. It seemed like we went from winter to dandylion season - and not many homeowners removed their dandylions. As I interpreted it, they were flowers of SOME kind growing out of the GROUND and therefore deserved to stay. But I will always look at the dandylion as a weed (or as a salad green on one of its better days.) The crocus on the other hand, now that's a flower.
I think I'm going to spend some time chronicling my garden this season. I've started some seeds in the greenhouse at school and I'll try to get some photos as the sprouts come up. I'm also having my kids try to grow zinnias to give for Mother's or Father's day (bonus quiz grade if they manage to grow a healthy plant!) No matter how old I get and how many Springs I've lived through, the magic of putting a tiny seed into soil and watching a plant develop will never cease to amaze me.
In crafting news, I've been bitten by the color bug and most of what I'm making is just screaming Spring. I'm considering putting a piece of my art (a work in fibers) in a local art show and I'm two weeks from the opening of the play that I'm in. There's lots going on, but the days are longer so there is more time to get it all done!

made. by k.d.