Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Frozen costume add-ons: Halloween post!

So every Halloween I post about the twyns' various outfits and adventures, and for this year, we have a cliffhanger! 

As you know I spent a lot of time on an Elsa costume. But what you may not know, if you haven't been following me on Facebook, is that I also, on request, spent a tiny amount of time on a witch costume. (We are talking - 3 full days of time for Elsa, 3 full hours for Witch.) 

Let's watch and see which she picks for trick-or-treating. 

We also have the Halloween parade at school, which is why I indulged her Witch wish, because I think it will be much easier to play all day in. 

I also spent some time making some Frozen-themed extras for a twin mommy friend of mine's children. She has three, so they will be Elsa (older daughter), Anna & Kristoff (younger boy/girl twins.) ISN'T THAT JUST AN ADORBS IDEA!?! TOO CUTE! 

Can't. stand. the cuteness. 

Anyways she asked for a 'longer train' for her store-bought Elsa costume. So I used the cape part of the pattern from my daughter's Anna/Elsa package. I got a sheer fabric, did not line it (saved time & money!) and added a jeweled button. You could cut this in an hour and, if you are making this last minute, don't even hem it! It took about a yard and a half, depending on height. 
Frozen cape/extended train options
I actually gave her a choice of two - a glittery white fabric that also didn't need to be lined, and the sheer. She chose the sheer. 

A Kristoff is born!
She also asked me for some kind of 'vest' for Kristoff. I thought this sounded like a perfect idea - who needs an entire costume when you can just pull over some kind of animal-skin looking fabric and attach a reddish/orange-ish belt? I took a 3T sweater vest of my son's and used the pattern to cut the bodice of this vest. Then, I took it one step further by attaching the half-circle hip sections and cap sleeves at the shoulder (got that idea from this blogger.) To make it really authentic, I attached the seams facing out , so that you would see the fur underneath. This is actually a super easy sewing technique that made it look even furrier and more authentic. I hand-sewed the trim around the neck, but you could also just leave it off or attach it with fusible for the night if you are stuck for time! 
Finished pieces. 

We have actually already had a lot of Halloween fun around here, including a party at school, in which the twyns won "Cutest Costume" for being the "Pirate twins." They wore their Disney Cruise costumes and, I must say, did look pretty put-together. 

After my daughter complained about the shoulder seam itching her, I finally took my bestie's advice and had my daughter wear a long-sleeved leotard underneath. Lord knows we don't need it for ballet class anymore...sniff...anyways, this brought about a much more happy side of Elsa. 

There you have it! Hope it helps you get your Frozen on this Halloween! 

Another friend suggested a Halloween drinking game - a sip for every Elsa you see - 
now this - THIS is a good idea...;) 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Audition report #6

Whew! It's been a while since my last audition report, hasn't it? It's been hard for me to find that perfect balance of a production that's not too far from home, has a role for me, and isn't smack dab in the middle of a quarter end. 

Yes, I think we live our lives quarter end to quarter end. Hubby informs me that not only are we celebrating our tenth year of marriage, but this is also our twenty-fifth quarter end. Woop.

So I digress. This show hit the mark, and I hadn't introduced myself to this theatre yet. So it was time for them to hear the vocal stylings of the one, the only, TwynMawrMom. 

So, somewhere in my closet, out came THIS. My lucky shoes, no doubt, but also some kind of 50's getup. And the mom cardigan, cuz, you know, it hides my arm flab. 

The show was Always...Patsy Cline...and I emailed them I would be auditioning for the role of the best friend because, I figured, there are probably a lot of Patsy Cline-wannabe's out there who have actually studied her voice, music, look, and...I'm: not one of them. 

So they emailed me three sides and three songs from which to choose one of each. 

I chose the sequence/side that led into the song "I Fall to Pieces" because it had that nice low note in it, which shows a nice side to my voice. Not that I don't have many awesome sides to my voice, wink wink, toot toot, but you know, mama's always got the low notes, even though the High C and I broke up, like, 13 years ago. 

I drove to Bristol, PA, which is a super cute town. It has a river crossing that looks restored from the 1600's and it's just adorable. The theater rehearsal space, however, was a super modern warehouse-looking thing in the middle of some historic houses, so I missed it on my first pass. 

When I got inside there were two girls there who both sang Patsy songs and nothing more. So clearly they were just going for the Patsy role, not the best friend. I think in the play, the character of Patsy does most of the singing and the best friend, Louise, does most of the talking. Note to young auditionees: go ahead and audition for the part with the meatiest audition material. You could have done a monologue on top of your song, and showed more of your talent to this theater/producer/casting agent in the process. Do a little research! You have YouTube, you have: no excuse. Yes, you might not be old enough for the best friend, but do you really look like Patsy Cline? So, there ya go.

I heard them both sing and they both sounded very lovely. The pianist corrected each of them on a phrasing and had them each re-sing a part. These were two separate auditions, so I was starting to see if this was a pattern that I might need to prepare for. But when I went in, I told them I chose the selection and song sequence together and they (the casting director and pianist/music director) acknowledged that was a good plan. I started the monologue and she asked me to stop and start again further back from her. She said I was 'too on top of her and she couldn't assess my talent at all.' So I tried not to let it affect my focus and got to the back of the room to start again. I do have a loud voice, and the sound was bouncing off the walls quite a bit so it made sense to pull back. Then I started directly into the song with a side nod to the pianist. I thought it sounded great. He said it sounded great, and did not correct me. So I don't know what that means - was my singing really that spot on the money, or did they just need to make sure I could hold a note since the part would only require minimal singing anyway? Who can tell. 

The casting director then asked me to tell her a little about myself. So I continued with the accent and joked, "Well I'm originally from Jacksonville, Florida so if I got a little Florida on ya, I 'pologize..." and she laughed. Then I said that I had twyns, and they just started kindergarten so mama's gotta go back to work, and they laughed again. Then I mentioned that I have never been to Bristol before [read: I have never auditioned for you before and I'm relatively new in town so pay attention] and that I thought it was so cute [read: I would like to be cast here because I'm so enamored with the whole place and you need my enthusiasm.] 

And that was that, folks! I fer sure thought I'd get a call about that one...

But it always surprises me when people say, "So when will you hear?" and I have to inform them, "Most of the time, NEVER!" And you know, even if I could just get a little call saying, "We liked you but not for this role" or "You look too damn young for your voice/maturity level"...I would just go ahead and call Sally Field and ask her WTF.

But it's ok, because this show is in January, and I may actually have a little work to do with my musical that month with the one, the only Sibyl Kempson, at New Dramatists. More on that in the next post ;) 

Have a great day, y'all!! 

Thursday, October 9, 2014


Ok I had many grand ideas in mind when creating this post, but I'll just let the photos do most of the talking.

I've been working on Elsa for a few weeks now (about 3 full days time, I would say.) I was using this pattern (McCall's Costumes MP381) as an exercise in my patience and truly following a pattern from beginning to end. There are soooo many times I wanted to do things "my way", but, I have to say, it was worth going through all the standard motions. 

And although my daughter wants to take off the sleeves immediately (I may just cut them with the pinking shears and leave it at that!), I'm very happy with the final result. (Plus, I'm making her a cape that should keep her a little bit warm, which my son is very concerned about and is insisting she keep the sleeves. So cute.)

Found this cute button in my stash, thought it fit well. Zipper's a little wonky, ergh.
The lining was my first in this fabric; a little wonky on the bottom but straight and taut!
Cutting out the snowflakes was a pain but I'm an applique master at this point so I had to put on a few extra.
The sheer fabric had a golden butterfly shimmer to it so the whole cape just pops! 
I've started a few other Frozen-related costume projects by request, and I'll post them when I'm finished...
Cape options for ice princesses. Cuz a girl needs options...
Feel like I slaughtered a bear with this one. And the shedding!!!

Oh....plus!! I've got an audition on Friday.  It's for the character of the best friend, Louise, in Always...Patsy Cline. I'll be sure to put up the report afterwards. Here's a practice round: 

Thanks for reading / listening! 

How's your "work week"?!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop aka #myblogfriends

Hey! Susan @ The Bored Zombie nominated me in this fun little trip. She changed the rules a bit so we could all just enjoy each other, as was the original intent of the "Blog Hop Around the World." She had me at "Futurama Quilt."

Rather than answering several questions about the creative process and what I'm working on,  I'm showing a work in progress (we call it: WIP, or UFO un-finished object) in the quilt/sewing/blog world. I don't really remember which world I belong to anymore.

And I'm happy to nominate blogger friends whom I don't think have previously participated in this. They, in turn, are to nominate three more. [It's just fun, y'all, it's not. a chain letter.]

And, in this corner, representing Europe and formerly Belgium and now England, the fabulous, the wondrous, sewist extraordinaire, Laura @ Behind the Hedgerow.


I'm kinda mad she's so good at making clothes for herself and children. And using piping. Lots and lots of piping. And her littlest dude is like a little mash-up of Harry Potter and Ron Weasley, like, in the cutest stinkin' way.

And hopping across the Atlantic on this corner of the globe, the incomparable, the incredible (no honestly there is not a lot of credibility in the things he says), the contributing father to the birth of this blog (gross, twynmawrmom, gross) and actual father to my muse Ruby, Adam @ Tenor Dad

He writes great tales of auditions, parenting, and mixes all these experiences into parody videos you will much enjoy here

And lastly but not leastly, the sweet energy of yoga master Sabrie @ Sunshine and yoga.

Her stories (and jewelry) will inspire and calm. I find myself breathing deeper just from reading her blog posts. I wish I could take one of her classes. Maybe when I'm visiting my hometown someday.

And now...work-in-progress these days...


You're shocked, I know. I have a five year old daughter. Get with the program.

I was fitting it on her before I finish (because, you know, I'm a pro) and she tried to tell me she didn't need the sleeves. But then her brother reminded her it is cold on Halloween night, so those sheer sleeves are getting attached next sitting (because, of course, sheer sleeves will keep her warm) (oh, and I have to attach some snowflake appliques on the train.)

Overall, it's looking like a WIN! 

Actually I'll tell you a little secret...

But *DON'T* tell anyone, K?!


As you know, my creative process is rather messy, and scattered. I like to buy patterns but not necessarily use them. For Elsa, I'm trying to follow to a 'tee', but I still find myself adding bits here and there and trying to cut corners. In the end, I'm really just looking for the pattern to prove its worth to me, funnily enough. I don't believe it to be true.

Anyways, so I've purchased some fabric, patterns, and novelty items to try and create Petyr Baelish and (whom I call naughty) Sansa from Game of Thrones. These would be for me and my husband (he's got the salt-and-pepper already, ya know?) He's embarassed at the THOUGHT. But...if I could finish them by the time we go to the Ren Faire...it would be HAWT, right!?!

*Sigh* A gal can dream...

Back to the sewing machine!!

What are you working on?? 

Did you meet my awesome blog friends!? 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Notes on a quilt show

I originally wrote some notes as I walked around the Quilt Show last weekend at Oaks, PA.

Sadly, I've lost them. But I'll try to trace my steps...

I feel as if I'm walking in a museum. Art. Quilts. Art-quilts. In years past I found myself walking around the vendors and being excited by all the lovely tools and fabrics for sale, but now that I've gotten to know quilting a bit more, I can truly appreciate the masterpieces and am actually here for the show and exhibits.

I didn't realize quilters, as any artists, often challenged themselves with a letter, a phrase, a thought, an idea to inspire. I should get back to that type of quilt for myself. Or maybe start!  I don't know if I've ever just started a quilt that wasn't for somebody. Last Spring, when I made the handprint quilts for the twyns' school auction, that was probably the first time. I miss those handprint quilts. They were so sweet. Perhaps I should recreate them (or combine all three patterns into one new quilt for myself) and get even more precise in the details.

Speaking of details, quilting takes time. I feel like I'm always in a rush. Usually it's the birth of the baby that is driving the finish. I should do some of these smaller quilts as an exercise in precision and finishing. Really give in to the practice of it. I loved the special exhibit, "Celebrate the Day", which honored unique "days" we may not know about. They were a lot of fun.

I'm no longer moved by the most traditional patterns that I've seen over and over again. But I'm also not into the modern pieces. Simple statement pieces are the best. Telling a story. I've always told the stories of my quilts but never have I let the quilts tell their own stories!

What an inspirational show! It's really good to have this 'check' on my skills and knowledge each year.  And now to Google all the fabulous 'challenges' and see if one might be right for my level of skills.

And guess what? Not a strip of fabric was purchased!

I did however, get that quilt-pattern-stamping tool. It marks on the quilt top and irons off. I'm very excited to have some guidelines in my quilting, especially if I try free-motion quilting at home again.

Ok I better get to the sewing room. Here are some photos of my faves from this past weekend.

One of the tribe

"Once Upon A Time" Best in Show
Best of the World. I can't get over this quilting. Much of the images were painted! This is "Chinese Journey in Three Parts" by Stephanie Crawford, UK
The perspective in the quilting of the flooring is TO DIE FOR.
This one had a little Steampunk action to it.
Ok I could look at these buttons all day!
Inspired by the Letter H. What a great idea! 

Clothing that's not too 'quilty'. Love it!
Who would have thought at a quilt show? More likely from Project Runway!!
Uh oh. Must steal idea for my daughter's dresses.
Guess what. The circles are all paint and quilting (NOT FABRIC!) - it's like a quilt on top of a quilt. 

This was a beautiful memory quilt on the loss of two children for this mama. The quilting & applique reflect this quote by Rilke: "Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love." 
This was part of the "Solar Sisters" challenge, which illuminated the need for solar lights in areas of the world without electricity. This is the story of a woman who was able to double her sewing business once she was able to work into the nighttime. 
More from "Solar Sister" challenge.

The story of an artist, Ana Mendieta, who was a ground-breaker, but died too young.

Sorry for the blurry photo; this woman did one quilt block for every week of the year, reflecting her year.
What a great concept!
Well now how cute is this. Who puts a shower curtain on a quilt, honestly. Too cute.
So creative. National Hammock Day
Highlighting multiple personalities disorder "day"
A feature fabric challenge.
The Joy of Dancing on a Rainbow

Thanks for visiting! 
Is it quilt season yet? 

Oh wait, first Halloween...then baby shower #1...then baby quilt #2....then host Thanksgiving....oh goodness...I better get to it!
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