April 26, 2014

James and the Giant Peach

The next Thin Ice Ensemble Theater play is "James and the Giant Peach," based on the Roald Dahl book. We have 28 actors, aged about 6 to 11.  Here are the sketches for their costumes.

The bodice of Aunt Sponge's dress is stuffed with fabric.  The actress is wearing two bum rolls and 3 very long, very full petticoats that hang from shoulder straps.  The dress is now too full to zip closed, needless to say.  The back opening is secured with three elastics, and she will wear the matching apron as a capelet to hide the back.

The bottom ruffle of Aunt Spiker's dress was removed to make a straighter line, and leave her ankles showing to add to the illusion of height.  Black trim is being added to emphasize the vertical, and the ruffle will become a turban-like hat.

April 23, 2014

Tablecloth Update

In honor of spring - to which, in my part of the world anyway, we are all saying "finally!" - here are some lovely yellow roses and little purple posies.  This is the tablecloth begun by my mother-in-law Jeanie, which I am finishing in her honor.  I'm not an embroiderer really, so I am learning as I go.

April 15, 2014

Favorite Quotes #5 - Becoming an Elder

"It's no good getting old, if you don't get artful."

I found this quote somewhere, so long ago that I don't remember where.  The only note I have says that it is a Yorkshire proverb.

I like the double meaning possible here, for an approach to Life in general, and for pursuing creativity and expressiveness.  I find it most uplifting.

Having recently passed my 60th birthday, I'm finding myself latching on to words and ideas to help me grow into the next stage of my life, thoughts about how to be an elder, and hopefully, a wise one.

I find I'm thinking of this chapter of Life as a time to gather the results of my experiences and share them, and as a time to give more space in my schedule for "just being", with myself and with others.  And don't these goals have a place in both kinds of artfulness.

I'm appreciating the style of the Red Hat Ladies - having fun, breaking with convention, and togetherness.  It's just around the corner now.

Publishing my book stems from my desire to pass along things I have learned.  And really, now that I think of it, the cover is nearly in the official red hat lady colors.  Oh!  Maybe I am a red hat lady already!

The photo is of me and the life-sized doll I made for a production of "Arsenic and Old Lace". The doll played the double roles of the bodies of Mr. Hoskins and Mr. Spenalzo with a change of jackets and an added hat.  Old and artful, the both of us!

April 2, 2014

Dresden Plate

This is a lovely quilt from the 1930s or 40s.  The pattern is a variant of the Dresden Plate known as Friendship Circle, the differences being that the spokes at the four quadrants have pointed tops, and that the center circle has four graceful ovals.  These special pieces are usually made in an accent fabric, in this case, a pumpkin orange solid.

One issue to be solved for this quilt was patching some worn pieces.  I did a bit of color manipulation on these, because the whites in this quilt have become quite yellowed and the other colors have faded.  The easiest fix was with this black fabric.  Using the reverse gave it just the dullness needed to not stand out from the original fabrics.  (The little swatch shows the right side.)