Thursday, March 22, 2012

Food, Glorious Food

I'm all about the food right now.

During my supercrazy, hyperbusy February/March, I lost almost 10 lbs.
Mostly because I was working 16-hour days and had no time to eat anything but transportable snacks (i.e., my go-to, fruit & nut trail mix).

Now I just wanna cook, and eat, and make aprons. 

So on Saturday, St. Patrick's Day, I celebrated my Irish heritage with the most brilliant Shepherd's Pie. With lamb, peas & carrots, a light gravy, and cheesy mashed potatoes on top, it was divine. I changed up the seasonings a little bit (I used thyme instead of rosemary, added garlic powder, and I left out the cayenne pepper in the mashed potato crust). The kids cleaned their plates, and I had two servings (I had basically skipped lunch on Saturday, prepping the evening repast, and it was worth it)! I even remembered to take photos!

the lamb mixture in the casserole

Good Irish cheddar and cream cheese... 

...added to the mashed potato crust

Fresh from the oven!

Sunday afternoon, I had a short amount of time to create something; I started to cut out an apron, using my favorite old-timey full apron as the pattern ( I made it a few years ago, using my granny's actual old apron as the pattern prototype - are you following all this so far?). As I was manipulating the apron on the fabric to cut out the pieces, I realized what I needed was an actual paper pattern for aprons. So I made one, using the newly-cut-out pieces traced onto paper. Now I can make many, many aprons; and once I get the new one done, I'll get to count that as another creation!

Monday was the start of spring break for the kids; we didn't do much. But I made Philly-style hoagies, with onions and green peppers, and a little au jus for dipping. My two oldest kids just did beef and cheese, so their sandwiches were more like French Dips, but the youngest happily put onions on hers. I sauteed mushrooms for my hoagie, and passed on the roast beef (I had shepherd's pie leftovers for lunch, so I didn't need the meat.). All in all, another successful, quick weeknight meal!

And today, Tuesday, I made lasagna. Without a recipe. I just layered meat sauce and noodles and al fredo sauce and ricotta cheese and more noodles and more meat sauce and more ricotta cheese, and topped it all with mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese. And it's just about ready to eat!

Bon Appetit!

Friday, March 16, 2012

What else?

Time to catch up - again!

For the first week of March, I was still working a lot at the St. Kate's costume shop. I got to create several little decorative elements for Pirates of Penzance.

 1) For the character Ruth (the maid of all work on the pirate ship), I added a lovely white eyelet peter pan-style collar and French cuffs to her first bodice. The pattern called for pregathered lace on the edge of the collar and cuffs, but since her accent color was red, I made red ruffles instead. Her second bodice had the same red ruffle around the neckline. Unfortunately, the actress who wore the outfit sweated so profusely, that the red dye in her hair snood leached onto the white collar and turned it pink! Hopefully, this will come out when it's dry-cleaned, because it's a really beautiful 1860's-era bodice, based on this pattern.

2) I made a pale green jacked and skirt for one of the chorus members, but the skirt pattern was too short for her. This turned out to be a happy mistake, because the designer wanted a pleated flounce around the bottom of the skirt; so I spent a morning pleating the fabric to make a 4 1/2" flounce to add to the bottom of her skirt. The fabric had a regular stripe in it, so the pleats were easy to mark out. I also made a narrower pleated piece to add to the sleeve wrists, for a little extra design interest.

3) The girls wear nightgowns and mobcaps in the second act, and while we had a bunch of white cotton gowns and caps, they were pretty plain. So we added ribbon trim: the student workers mostly made bows to attach to the mobcaps and the front of the nightgowns, but I got a little more creative. For one girl (the one nicknamed "Moaning Myrtle" by the running crew!), I made yellow ribbon rosettes with little blue bows in the center to put on both sides of her mobcap, and a bigger blue ribbon bow with a yellow ribbon accent for the front neckline of her gown. I used peach ribbon and green floral trim on another gown/mobcap combo. The girls looked very sweet (and just a little silly!).

See? There was plenty of creating going on in my life. I'm trying to document all of them, though I'm sure I'm forgetting one or two items. But today, the sun is shining, the weather is unbelievably fabulous (76 degrees on March 16th! In Minnesota! Whaaat??), and I'm going to make a few final tweaks to costumes for American Family, walk around downtown St. Paul, and maybe get an ice cream cone. *smile*. Hope you have a similar Friday!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Crimson Tide and Black Tights

You guys.

I made a #12 Alabama old-school football jersey today. It's a costume piece for American Family. It's in the dryer right now; because it's brand new, I had to wash it, and I'll have to distress it a little so it looks lived-in, since it belongs to a 16-year-old football player in Alabama in 1979, who is probably a big fan of Joe Namath. So I can't photograph it right now. But I will, later.

For the same show, I also made a 1960's-era dress for the mother of the 16-year-old in 1979 (it's a memory play, so there are two distinct years for the characters, and it's a little hard to describe without telling the whole story. Anyway.). I'm quite proud of this dress, I think it looks like something from Modcloth.

Finally, I made a flower girl dress, also for American Family. Very sweet, 1960s, lots of little pink, orange and yellow flowers printed on the fabric.

There was a photographer at the dress rehearsal tonight. Hopefully, I'll be able to link some of the production photos on here in the next couple of days.

Finally, we have a complete cast for I Hate Hamlet! I had to get on Peter's case to JUST MAKE A DECISION ALREADY! But the show is cast, I have designers and a very eager stage manager - now I just have to get production meetings and rehearsals scheduled. With everybody's conflicts, and overworked schedules, this should be a piece of cake. (Oh, for a sarcasm font!).

Theater - it's what I've been creating for the past month, and will continue to create for a while. But -  next week is spring break for my kids, and for St. Kate's, and American Family will be in preview performances, and I Hate Hamlet won't have started yet - so, maybe, just maybe, I can create some little projects around the house. And blog about them. Regularly. Won't that be fun??

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Who's dead?

Actual conversation at my house tonight, whilst reading The Bloggess:

ME: Isn't Ray Bradbury dead?
J: I... don't know. Alot of these sci-fi authors are either really old or dead.
ME: He created Star Trek, right?
J: No, that's Gene Rodenberry.
ME: Ohhh, that's who I was thinking of. Score one for the Bloggess.
J: (checking the interwebs) Ray Bradbury is 91 years old. And he hates the internet. He thinks it makes people unable to carry on conversations. And cell phones. He thinks there are too many machines in the world now.
ME: *laughing loudly* That's pretty ironic, isn't it?

I don't read a lot of science fiction, so if I'm wrong about Ray Bradbury, I apoloqize to his fans. About the machines comment being ironic, I mean.

However, I've recently been introduced to Terry Prachett. Him I like. I've been listening to audiobooks of "Nation", "Night Watch", "The Fifth Elephant", and just started "Equal Rites".  They make time in the work room or costume shop fly by. Seriously, check out his Discworld books.

It's been a long, lonely time

I didn't realize how long it's been since I've posted on here.

I've certainly been creating, though. Mostly theater-related: a plaid wool skirt that the actress wants to keep (!), a scary sea-type monster Halloween costume (both of these were for The Nerd). Then, we struck the set for The Mousetrap; this is what the blank stage looks like in the Theater Garage:

I don't know what I did - the picture is either really small or blurry, and I've somehow set the alignment to center rather than left. This sucks. I couldn't remember my password; yes, it's been that long since I've been to my blog; and now, this. Well, world, guess what! I've been so busy creating theater magic, I haven't had time to deal with my blog. So there! I've actually accomplished what I set out to do in the first place - gotten off my keister and done things! Lots of things! Costumes and food and friendships and relationships. I'm done for the night.

I'll tell you about my next projects, as soon as I figure out what I did here.