Helping With Children’s Theatre

My daughter has been part of a local summer children’s theatre program for the past 6 years.  The program is directed by a good friend of mine, and my daughter loves it.  I love being involved, too.  I always sew a few costumes, help the kids tie-dye cast shirts (hot pink this year!), help with the kids backstage, help sell treats at intermission or do whatever may be needed at a particular time.  I love getting to know the kids and the other parents.  Everyone is tired by the end, but it’s a great experience.  The last performance was yesterday, so it’s the usual day after filled with mixed emotions here- happy for a rest, but sad that the experience is over.

This year’s show was a fairy tale set in the 1950’s with lots of fun costumes and music.  My daughter and her friend were cast as UPS drivers, and the original costume plan was to just borrow some clothes from the local UPS office.  My daughter decided that she wanted to have a fun swishy 50’s skirt, so she proposed that we create a 50’s version UPS costume.  The director was fine with that idea, so we went with it.  Here is the result (the photos are a little dark and fuzzy, but give the idea, anyway!):

My daughter is the one on the left in both pictures.

After yesterday’s final performance, there was a cast party/potluck.  If there is an event of any sort, my daughter likes to make and decorate a cake.  She had very little time to make these cakes, so they weren’t as elaborate as her original vision.  I think they turned out very cute, though. They are both decorated with chocolate fudge frosting and sundrops candies.

Here’s the juke box cake, made from a 9 x13 cake with half of a round cake added to one end:

And here is the record cake, made out of the extra round cake:


Tie Dye Saturday

Last Saturday started out like most Saturdays during the months of May through October- with a trip to our local Farmer’s market. Also, like always, we took our dog. This week happened to be “dog day” and there was a very low-key dog parade and competition. As it turned out, our dog won a prize for “tallest dog.” He won a bag full of goodies, among which was a $20 gift certificate to the local humane society thrift store- which is a favorite family shopping place.

Naturally, we decided that a trip to the thrift store was necessary right after loading up on our weekly fresh fruits and vegetables. Dogs are even allowed in this store, so we didn’t have to take Felix home first.

We found lots of treasures. My daughter replenished her supply of fancy wine-type glasses, which she likes to use for drinking juice and water. I found a couple of odds and ends and then we looked through the linen bin, where we discovered our best find- 9 Williams-Sonoma white heavy cotton napkins in excellent condition. We don’t use paper napkins or paper towels at our house, and we can always use a few more of the cloth version for our collection.

These napkins, being white cotton, were crying out to be tie-dyed. White isn’t the best color at our house, plus I had a bunch of leftover dye that I’d used earlier in the week when I helped a friend’s church youth group tie-dye t-shirts.

Here are the results:

I love our new napkins and we still have 10 more dollars of our gift certificate to spend!

Also, since I was playing with dye anyway, I decided to overdye one of my pieces of rust cloth. I mixed up an un-reproducible brownish color using bits of all of my leftover dye. I’m thinking about what the next step will be with this- probably stamping something on it in black, but we’ll see what inspiration comes to me.

Rust Dyeing

I keep hearing things about rust dyeing and decided a couple of weeks ago that I’d like to try it. I found lots of blogs, webpages, etc. about it with a google search. I tried to synthesize everything I read to begin to experiment. I was limited to using what was in my house at the moment. I don’t currently have any cool rusty items in my house (although I will be keeping my eyes open at garage sales this summer!), but I did have steel wool, white cotton fabric and copper wire (well, after pulling apart some old romex cable from the basement…).

I started out by unwinding a steel wool pad and wrapping it around a couple of glass bottles:

Next, I wrapped fabric and copper wire around the bottles. Here’s a picture of one of the bottles:

After wrapping, I stuck both bottles in a bucket and poured a little water over them. I put them outside, where it rained almost every day for the next week, keeping them nice and damp without any help from me. At the end of the week, I rinsed out the fabric and hung it outside to dry. There were still a few little bits of steel wool stuck to the fabric. I don’t know if there is some trick to avoiding this. Anyway, my husband had the idea of running a magnet over the fabric, which seemed to get off the last bits of steel wool. I washed out the fabric with a bit of synthropal, which is what I use to wash out all of my dye projects.

Here are my final results:

Piece 1

Piece 2

Detail of piece 2

I love the way these turned out. I don’t think these photos really show the richness of the color. I’m looking forward to experimenting with this a lot more. I think my next experiment will be over-dyeing some of this to see how that works.