Monday, June 25, 2012

The Pirate and the Pardon

Here is what's been consuming my time for the past month.


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I was the Costume Coordinator for my church's VBS play this year. It was an amzing experience.  I loved being in the thick of it and seeing it all come togther.  I was especially touched by all the 6th grade and up kids that put so much time and effort into their roles (whether it was in the classrooms, on the praise team or as part of the drama production) so the little kids would have a meaningful week.


Here is the dress I made from scratch. My first "adult" piece. It was perfect for "Lark" with a vecro closure up the back for her quick change. Her brother "Jimmy" found his own wardrobe and I just tea-stained the shirt and spray painted the pants to look dirty.  He was a pirate wannabe which got him in a little trouble and soon they both found themselves on a pirate ship called the Sea Wolf.


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One of my favorite pictures after having read the comments on facebook is now this one. Specifically the young man praying over the nearly drowned Butterknife Bill.  Luke said that he wasn't just acting here, he took this time to actually pray for the kids in the audience, that they would get the message. I'm so proud of the young people in our church. They really get it and do everything for the glory of God.


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I have to give a hand to our director, set designers and techs. This picture is just all kinds of awesome because of their hard work. Josh did a good job too. ;)

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There was singing and dancing... 



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(I didn't know pirates had such perfect teeth)

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and a very clear message about God's Grace.  


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We show about 20 minutes of the play each of the 5 days and then the play in it's entirety Friday night. Seeing it all as one production was very moving. I found myself wiping away tears when Lark tells Butterknife about God's act of Grace and at the end when her father (Commodore Bunting) extends grace to him as well.


I snapped 1200 pictures throughout the week and here are just a few more of my favorites.


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Aboard the Sea Wolf. Mr. Pigeon, in the middle, his costume came completely from the women's section at a thrift store. I added buttons and some bands around his cuffs to make it more nautical looking. His sash is a sari that I shorted down the middle and spray painted. I added elastic to his cuffs so they could be hiked up to his knees and bloused out.

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Nelly NoBeard, our MC for the week and captain of the J.Crew praise team.


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Our fearless leader, Dara, the writer and director of the play.  She is crazy talented. Growing up I always thought of her as a Julie Andrews and that still holds true today.  


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Dara found all the pieces for the sailor's outfits.  I just shortened and tapered the pants with buttons, made vests from basic tees, kerchief and sash from pillow cases and dirtied it all with black spray paint and tea-stained the shirts I cut the collar and sleeves off of. Dara made all the tri-corn hats from simple ladies felt hats she found at Penny's. The buttons down the vests aren't actually buttons, they are flatbacks and I used a sharpie to draw the button-holes on the other side. For this sewing perfectionist, it was a departure for me to make everything "costume" quality. ;)


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I think all but two of these kids go to the same school my girls do. Love that they have so many good role models to look up to. Ahem...when they aren't being pirates that is. 


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I was blessed to be at every dress-rehearsal the whole week so I could move about the sanctuary freely and capture all the shots I wanted. This is definitely a fave.


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Poor Jimmy got a little seasick. And yes, that's a butternife instead of a hook. There were so many clever touches to this play.  Like all the character names were from birds giving homage to Jack Sparrow (Finch, the Longspur, Lark, Bunting, Mr, Pigeon, Shearwater, Thrush, Plover, Sixpense, Junco, Crowe, I'm missing 3 more I think).


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The crew of the Sea Wolf

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A little fun with dry ice after the performance.


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Praying over Pastor Josh before he gave his message that day.


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Pastor Mac announced how much the kids raised each day for their missions project. He's wearing a rented costume.  All of the colonial period outfits you see were rented. They were a ton of fun to pick out. If you ever get a chance to hang out in a serious costume rental place do it.  It's a hoot!


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Every year, the kids have a special project that they raise money for throughout the week. Though VBS is free, kids are encouraged to bring an offering. They usually raise about $4000. This year our church partnered with a ministry in the Philippines. It's an orphanage for older children. The kids their make friendship bracelets to sell which makes them enough money to keep them off the streets and from being sold into the sex trade. We then sold the bracelets here and our profits went to an orphanage in India that was started by a man that grew up in an orphanage there.  He will be coming to our church this year to speak. I can't wait to meet him.  Our kids raised $22,000 last week!!!  We also had an anonymous donor who gave $10,000 once we hit $20,000.  It was quite amazing to hear about! I especially loved that kids in the Philippines, by way of kids in America, helped kids in India. Don't you just love how God works?

My kiddos held a lemonade/cookie/bracelet stand and personally raised $90 for the effort.

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Their Auntie Julie stopped by on her way home from work to support their efforts.  Love that!

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My sister in law had her baby boy two weeks early so we'll be watching Bella for the next week or so to help her recover. I'm off to take some newborn photos right now.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Our First Dance Recital

They had lots of fun, learned a few things and now have some pretty fancy dress up clothes. We'll be taking just ballet (no tap) next year at a different studio (closer to home and faith based). I tell ya what, watching the other classes (especially competition) was eye-opening. I'm not ready for the skimpy outfits or 9 year olds shaking it to Mambo #5. Know what I mean? I'd say we were lucky that our dresses and music were appropriate. Another thing we learned was that, at least at this studio, the level of teaching and what's expected of the kids (consequently what you get out of the kids) was greatly different between recreational and competitive dance. That may be the way it is everywhere, but now we know and we understand better what questions to ask. All in all it was a good learning experience on many levels.

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This is how you get to the car after rehearsal when mom forgets to bring your regular shoes and you can't walk in the parking lot in just your ballet slippers. Sam has no excuse except for not wanting to be left out. Good thing he's got a strong Daddy!

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It was fun to see what they were capable of and what parts came a little more naturally to them. Right now they feel equally at home on the stage, the soccer field or the softball diamond. Next school year we hope to add in piano lessons. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

TaDa! {Finished: a Girls' Room}

Get ready for a sweetness overload. I've finally finished the girls "new" big girl room. Have you been following along? Before getting bunk beds last year, my twins shared this room across the hall, which is now  Sam's room. I'm so glad to finally be done! Today I find myself making up excuses to keep coming in here. It's my new happy place. And the girls are quite please with it too.

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My goal this summer is to complete one big project a week. So far I'm on a roll. We'll see how long it lasts.

My biggest project will be getting Allison to read by herself. Any tips?

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I don't know why this one took me a year to get to. Probably because I had no idea what I would put up there. I just kept collecting ideas {here} and mulling it over until I felt confident I could come up with something I'd be happy with. I didn't take a before photo because I'm sure you can imagine blank walls. Literally. nothing. on. the. walls. until. yesterday. This took about two days to complete (not including the embroidered wall hanging that I made last week). I pulled from what I already had on hand, spray painted and painted and painted, cut out the silhouette, sewed buttons and tweaked and tweaked until it was done. I think I waited so long because I thought I didn't have enough stuff. Boy was I surprised when I kept finding things I had forgotten about.

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I adore this little shelf.  It started out as my mom's. She painted it bright yellow in the 70's and I changed it to white in the 90's. Then last year I painted it red, but promptly changed my mind and painted it black when I moved my sewing area downstairs. It's been sitting in my closet ever since. I didn't actually have wall space for a black shelf. Oops! I think it's very happy in aqua now. Don't you?

It's especially happy to be out of my closet. ;)

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My sweet collection of spool Dollies from a dear friend. You can buy your own {here}. You better hurry though, she's selling the last of them at 50% off!!! The little embroidered puppy is on a doll sized apron, but folded up in the frame until I can think of something I like better there or decide to actually finish the apron. But knowing me, it will just stay there for like forever. Or longer.

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Buttons. Just because.  They make me happy.

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A favorite photo. You know why...

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Can you tell I adore color? It just makes me happy. We all need a little sunshine don't we? For instance, today is a dark and stormy day, it feels like night. The You Are my Sunshine print is very special to us as Allison and my dad sang that together last summer, shortly before he passed away. It is of course from {here}along with the three 5x7 cards I have yet to buy (these are just stand-ins to make sure I liked them there).

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I love that I was able to bring out all the little things I remember from my rooms growing up. Now they are a part of my girls' beginning too. The birdhouse lamp and standing mirror have always been favorites.

Sweet corner shelf, Irmi lightswitch cover.

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Little girl my mother made for me a lifetime ago.

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Prayer for a Little Girl plaque hung with velvet ribbon.

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Stationary from the 70's. *swoon*


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And some new things of my own making for my special girls.  I adore this photo but love it even more as a silhouette. it was super easy to make. Just follow my tutorial {here}, it's the same process.

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More happy buttons.

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And my favorite piece of all. Inspired by this gorgeous one on Etsy. My budget was nill and I wanted more color anyway. But I also wanted them each to have something handmade, this one by me and the little girl by my mother. They can fight over who gets what later. For now they are both theirs to enjoy. I used a font by my cousin Crystal of Tart Workshop. It's called Bookeyed Suzanne.  Love how talented that girl is!.

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I love the french knots and the ric rac under the edges of the hoop.

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Now this piece really deserves it's own post, but I don't want to wait. ;)  Not only do I have the Irmi lightswitch cover and matching lamp, I have an Angel mobile too! This has been tucked away for 35 years and I've considered doing lots of different things with it, including making Christmas tree ornaments out of it. But I'm glad I waited. I think it's fun to see it hanging as it was intended (minus the crib of course).

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But wait, it gets better!

Not only do I have this one, there is also a Nursery Rhyme mobile. My best guess is that these were bought at the same time not knowing if I were a boy or girl.

How sweet of them to tell us how to open the box. ;)

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This little girl is supposed to be the spoon. Don't worry, I couldn't tell at first either.

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The music box does not work.

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This one is getting tucked back in the closet until the perfect inspiration for it comes along.

I can be patient.

I will be patient.