October 31, 2007

The Costumes, 2007

Just one photo of each here on the main blog so it would load quickly; I put several more on the photoblog for those with quicker Internet.

You cannot get the full effect of the Googley eyes from a still photo, but you can see the gloves! (You just have to imagine Cookie saying "Yumyumyumyum.") Another shot of Laura here.

Long trunk like an elephant (which doesn't show well here). Big green eyes. Long tail like a dinosaur. We bring you....The Snuffleupagus! More views available here.

Do I need to explain this one to anybody? See what a Jedi does at home here.

I've always wanted to be Piglet for Hallowe'en. As midlife crises go, I figure this was way cheaper (in so many ways!) than either an illicit lover or a hot sports car.

There are a few more photos here.

A Tailor's Top Ten

Top Ten Things I Learned As Tailor to the Stars:

10. If a television character clearly has gloves (individual fingers) and not mittens (the whole hand), the costume here must have gloves. Mittens will result in a complete malfunction of the Star, and possibly a Supernova.

9. Gloves are a pain in the a$$ to sew, especially when tailored to a Star who wears a size 4T.

8. "Minky" fake fur gloves are even more difficult.

7. Big Googley Eyes are V E R Y important. Even more important than gloves.

6. If one child's--er, Star's--costume has Big Googley Eyes, the other child--oh, the heck with it--must also have them. Even if that Star's character does not, in television actuality, have Eyes that are Googley. Verisimilitude takes a back seat to sibling rivalry any day.

5. At least one Star will cry when taking a costume for a test-drive for fitting purposes, "I don't LIKE it! Take it OFF!" At moments like that, I am so not a nurturing Mommylove: "Tough. This is what you picked, and you can't change now. Try to remember that It Is Not Done Yet." (Matt sniffled a little but went away quietly....)

4. Nordic fleece does not ravel (no, this one isn't funny, but a useful fact to file away. It's true: you could rub that stuff with sandpaper, and it still won't shred. Saves a lot of time when making seams.)

3. No matter how many times it is explained to her that December in our country contains no dress-up holidays, one Star still says, "I want to be a Ballerina for Christmas."

2. No Star who has studied under Yoda the Great can wear a costume--and I'm quoting, here--that is "Lame." (Apparently, the Force will not flow, or whatever, under those conditions.)

And the number one things I've learned as Tailor to the Stars:
I am absolutely certain that the Tailor cares more about how the costumes came out than any of the Stars do. It could be that I need to get a life.

Hope you have a great Hallowe'en!


I got all four costumes done, finishing up just a little while ago. (pant, pant, wheeze....)

Please, please, can someone mark their calendars for, say, September 15, 2008? And remind me then not to go temporarily insane? And I know I'll need reminding, because now my family thinks I can make anything!

October 27, 2007

Facebook Friday

First, a costume update: Matt's got done in time, and is, if I do say so, AWESOME. Of course, he has to go as the same thing for every Hallowe'en for the rest of his natural life, but it is nicely done. Someday--maybe next month--more on the tools that made it all possible. Laura's is also done, Emily's is about half way, and mine is ready to cut out. I don't expect to be online all that much before The Day arrives, what with trying to get them done.

But, yesterday, I did do some goofing off. I finally took Facebook for a spin, and I like it. Not least because there is a whole collection of people who are not on MySpace that it's sort of fun to keep track of, i.e., former speechies and former students. Now, there's a fine line that people who work with anyone who's underage have to be careful of--for instance, no matter what social network I was on, I would never ask to connect to a current student. If they came to me, depending on how I felt about it, we could be "friends" or whatever. With graduates, though, the line gets pretty fuzzy. The whole power relationship still comes into play; I wouldn't want people to feel like they had to connect to me because I might still write them a letter of rec someday (or just because I once had their grades in my hands). And I also know that most people don't obsess that much about who is and isn't on their friends list. Whatever. I restrained myself from sending notes to everyone I remember fondly, and just stuck to some of those with whom I spent the most time (besides, I like to think I'm honest enough to realize that just because *I* remember a student fondly, doesn't mean it goes both ways!)

Things that I think are much better than MySpace: layout is not what counts; the interface lends itself to simplicity. There's no "top friends" feature; they are defaulted to show a random smattering anytime anyone looks. There's a "news feed" feature that lets you know what other people have changed/done/added without you having to go to each individual's page. Finally, it's possible to find people with their actual names, and look at who *their* friends to see if you've got the right person....certainly a larger security risk, but also much easier for connecting with folks you haven't seen in 10+ years.

October 9, 2007

Let the (Blue) Fur Fly!

It's October, and that means Hallowe'en is coming. And *that* means that Ginger is busy making costumes.

How do I get myself into these things?

(For the record, I love my life. I even recently turned down some money I could have been earning--in exchange for my time and expertise--because doing it would mean eliminating something else from my schedule. And I do love what I'm doing here.)

So anyway, I've never been a big booster of this holiday. I recall a few disjointed attempts at trick-or-treating as a child, mostly once I was old enough to figure out my own costume and still young enough to guess I wouldn't be turned away at doors. So I didn't do much to sell it to the girls. Matt, on the other hand...well, last year, we decided at the last minute to dive into the dress-up box and take them for a spin down the block. From that moment, Laura was hooked. I don't even think it's the candy or the clothes; it's the weirdness factor. She loved it all, though, knocking on doors and learning to yell the traditional alms slogan; and equally loved being at home, handing out goodies to others.

So this year, costumes are a big deal. I have never in all my years started even *thinking* about a costume this early. Then again, I've never had this many to figure out.

We've recently lifted the video ban, Emily having reached the age of consent at last. Not that they're surfing the channels (since we still don't have any). We do, however, have a DVD starring Elmo, and three of early Sesame Street, as well as one VeggieTales with which to rot their brains. It was from the ancient Sesame Street that the girls got the inspirations for their costumes (talk about the sins of the fathers...). Having priced the outfits online (one, at least; the other is pretty much unavailable), checked my serger-inspired soul, and ogled fabric, I decided to dive in. Hey, I may not be able to make the world go 'round, but Laura *loves* the idea of Mama making her something. Emily is just excited at the thought of transforming, somehow, into someone(thing) else.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch....I lobbied hard before school started to add one particular tournament to the speech schedule this year, even though it means a loooong stretch of weekends in a row. It's run by a good friend of ours, a compatriot who's not only been on the State Tournament committee with us several times running, but also a fellow mom of our generation and generally good soul. On top of that, she's FUN. So her tournament, being always near Hallowe'en, requires costumes for competitors and encourages them for coaches and judges. I was going to go, giving Matt a rest between weekends, so I figured out a costume for me, too. Alas, one day last week, Matt came home with the news that the other assistant coach (whom we are elated to have, believe me!) ought to go, too, and being a male, couldn't share a room with me (not that *I* would care--I shared a room with my [male] college debate partner lots, and got over any squeamishness and toilet-seat issues then--but it's policy, ya know.) So, rather than paying for an extra room, we agreed that Matt would go. So now HE needed a costume!

Back to the online fabric store I go (thank goodness for online stores. I might have had a coronary if I'd had to drive, too!) That bundle should arrive later in the week, and meanwhile, I have plenty to do.

I will post pictures when I'm done (with however many of them I finish!) Wish me luck to get all four finished; that way I'll only have the girls' to worry about next year.