31 July 2006

Happy Day!!!!!!

Fritz: so did you get that package?
Mar: What package?
Fritz: The one from Germany – that you have been looking for every night when we get home. That package.
Mar: Oh yes! My paeckchen zirkel!
Fritz: Oh. Well, did you get it?
Mar: Not yet – but that’s okay we have until August 15th, and I have to send out my last two later this week. Just need to get to the Post office.

Warning: deutsch-lish ahead! (I apologize in advance for the poor German grammar)

…later that night…

It came! It came! My first package is here!!
Mein erstes paeckchen ist angekommen! Yeah! Es freut mich sehr. DANKE DANKE DANKE vielmals an Isa!!!! Sie hat mir eine kleines nachricht geschrieben: …”hoffe dass ETWAS nach deinen Geschmack dabei ist” Etwas?? Try alles!!!!!!

from isa - the outside

Ich meine – wirklich – habt ihr gesehen?:

from isa - the iside

Eine kleine Beschreibung: - 6 lovely fabrics (lovin’ the sushi), cool trims (even Fritz said that they were very Marietta, especially the pink), a very cool purse (you should zoom in and check out the hand work!), a nifty wooden button (it might be missing from the pics), a cool little “anhaenger” for my key chain, 2 very cool (and perfect) fairytale shrinky-dinks with my name (fritz is going to drill a tiny hole through them so I can hang them off the rearview mirror in my car), and the piece de resistance (imagine, French accent):


TIGERENTE FABRIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Did you see the Janosch book? – I LOVE TIGERENTE (it’s a love story) – which I did not have. I will read it tonight before I go to sleep.

Wie könnte ich nicht glücklich sein? Ihr koenntet alles besser HIER sehen.
How could I not be happy! You can see everything better over here!

in other news: did not meet the sew-retro challenge for the month - started late last week, so i am not surprised. I hope to finish it this week though, after i send out my part of the paeckchen zirkel that is. And a thank you to everyone for the nice things you said about my hair!!! You did not have to and that was just great - made me feel so much better about my random hair care choice - cause, dude! shaving my head is not far from thought on a regualr basis!

other things to tell you about - knitting and sewing - but it is past my bedtime (well for tonight anyway!)

see you later!

30 July 2006


The day off was lovely! Started off strange – but all fabulous in the end.
The beginning? While at the drug store– I saw two men walk out with store baskets full of food items; the alarms went off and not a single clerk did anything! When I went to my car a minute later – those two guys were at there car – looked me kind of mean and took off. I called the store manager on my cell and when I mentioned that the alarms had just gone off moments ago and nothing was done, she said ” Thank you. I will check the security tapes. Have a nice day!”

Okay so that was odd and nerve-wracking…but they day got better – of course, because we saw this (it is a knitted boot!):

dancing shoes that you can make tap!:
tap dance shoe

And this(the closest i will ever get to a manolo blahnik):

We got to design our own shoe too!!!!!
make your own shoe

And did you know that you can eat lunch at Whole Foods? Okay maybe you knew you could have a gourmet lunch at the grocery store– but I didn’t, until yesterday. My Whole Foods does not have his amazing lunch bar that the one in Alexandria Old Towne does – check it out if you are there!

We then went to PAZAZZ for our hands and feet. Brought a bottle of wine (an Austrian Riesling, aber natuerlich) and relaxed in the massaging chair while pedicured. It felt so good, I didn’t even knit. Then I decided to get my hair cut on a whim!

Okay I am going to toot own horn and say: Aren’t I cute?!?!?!?!?!?!?!
You have to understand something – 9 times out of 10; I am in tears when I leave a salon. It is very hard to find someone who will do a fabulous cut and color. This time was just cut (the bleach streak is my own personal boredom).

27 July 2006

dresses and dinosaurs

The shop is a bit quiet until we start fitting the show - so in order to teach the girls how to follow a pattern, i thought that i would give them something fun to do:

Two of them felt that their dinosaurs were more dragon like - so they added wings :)
While they were having their fun, I was having mine. I started that 60's dress pattern (from ebay)- made the muslin, fit it (sort of) and just jumped into the fabric. the choice was difficult - i almost went with classic black, my personal favourite, but thought that it would be just too heavy and typical. So i dug a little further and found a dark brown with pink dots and floral:

the collar isn't actually a collar - just a bias strip of a pink silk shantung from my stash pinned on for me to see if it really is the right colour - and then there is me being all crazy and costume-y:

i was messing around and thought that maybe the silk could use dark brown polka dots - but that is the costume designer in me, and not the practical dress maker (granted, this is NOT a practical dress). And am still thinking that I might make the sleeves short instead of "not really 3/4 length sleeve" - not a big fan since i am tall and 3/4 length always makes me feel like the sleeve is too short. But the "not quite" is a determined length that looks good on me and not like i ran out of fabric :)

Oh and remember this? The Bias Corset by Annie Modesitt? I finished it and finally got to finish it on Starr - so now all i need to do is figure out if i am going to do the i-cord bind off at the hem or do a ribbing, as well as the i cord straps. I will gladly take a picture of it on Starr when i give it to her in August - all finished and fabulous!

here's a thought - how retro is retro? Does fabric that i bought more than 15 years ago count as retro?
And how do i get those buttons for other webpages into my side-bar?

Tomorrow I am off from work!!!! - manicures/pedicures and a museum trip to see an exhibit on shoes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

24 July 2006

take me out to the ball game....

So it is a few days late but here is a little bit of how i spent my weekend:

Not the most flattering picture - but what is important are the hats. Yes - that is Fritz in a Cubs baseball cap. One of the many reasons i married him was his lack of love of sports - i warned him about my Cubs passion and world cup insanity (he swears i never told him) - and i hoped he would share in the fun. He ignored the world cup - but was willing to go to the game. :)

(and you do not need to ask - yes my team lost - but AUGUST is our month....)
And there is this lovely tradition at the Washington DC :

if you look real close - you can see that this is what is called the Presidential Race. George Washington won, Abe in 2nd, Teddy in 3rd and Tom (jefferson) was last - i think...

it was actually an exciting game so there was no knitting - though i did bring a pair of socks with me just in case...

23 July 2006

so much to make, so little time

The first summer student show has opened… and it has closed – went to strike and filled the car with the dry cleaning! So much done for such a little time. Now on to the next one – THE ROBBER BRIDEGROOM – but we get about 3 weeks to build that one and most of it has been pulled from several other theatres – yeah.

There are also now 3 high school interns in the costume shop plus 3 college interns – we are jamming! I’m thinking that there is plenty of time for personal sewing for everyone one as well as teaching a few things. Especially a stuffed dinosaur patern i found while cleaning out my sewing room.

I have a long list of things that I need to make for myself or others – to knit or sew:
Pakchen zirkel items
Felted tea cozy
Luxurious hand knit or quilted eyeglasses case – for my sunglasses
That retro 60’s dress pattern I got on eBay last week
That retro 70's dress (reissued by simplicity) that everyone is making (so why can't I?):

Purse organizer
Another summer skirt – before summer is gone
A few more of these t-shirts
Maybe a retro apron or two:

Finish that world cup sweater
About 20 pairs of socks including these, these and these
A quilt or two
A few bags, such as this or this
A slip-cover for the ugly sofa in our living room
That suit for my mom

Oh and did I mention? Finally saw pirates of the caribbean II – not disappointed…but not thrilled…kind of like Indiana Jones II – need to see it to get to part III. Not going to complain 'cause cute boys and fab costumes….Johnny Depp…need I say more?

20 July 2006

vintage sewing and bloody shakespeare

Look at what I won!!! Remember that eBay moment I had with the cozies? Well I was sidetracked by some vintage patterns. And I am quite happy to have found and won these lovelies:
Some were still in the envelopes sent to the original owners back in 1962 and 1964 – though one of them is a bit 80’s. I am looking forward to making the short sleeve dress with the roll collar (top row, center). I’ll have to expand the pattern a bit too fit me of course….Perfect since I just joined SewRetro. I might make this for my first challenge, if I have time before the end of the month (read: next week). We shall see...wonder what the next challenge will be?

The other fun moment of the day was fun with bruises, blood and scars. My intern, Dietzy, is running the show backstage and Kym and I gave her a lesson in bruises and scars for one of the actors in the second Act…a little too much fun was had by all! I got her started with a few basic black and blue marks and Kym let her go with the bloody scars (made with spirit gum, red zinger tea leaves, and Ben Nye Stage blood – peppermint flavored,naturally) -Pics below not for the sensitive :)

19 July 2006

where for art thou....

okay - i know that this line from shakespeare really means " why are you romeo?" (or so my shakepeare prof told me) but when taken literally, it works for my blog title . :)

So I have been a bit under the radar this week – lots going on in the costume shop. We opened THE BOROWERS on the 8th and then went right into the build for the high school summer camp Shakespeare show. And this is where things get a bit “craptastic.”

In one week, we, the 3 interns and me (or is it I? it's I, isn't it?), built three corsets (with rigilene, not steel boning) , 4 7-gored late-Victorian walking skirts, 1 reversible vest (so really 2-in-1), 2 matching vests (it’s 12th Night, so the twins), 4 more vests, a vest with tails (so not properly tailored in the slightest), and one other skirt which I whipped out one hour before tech last night…is that all?....oh and a 2 piece dress – a bit prom like, also boned with rigilene. And lots of alterations. The show opens on Friday and closes this Sunday.

It’s not that we don’t produce solid work for our student shows– we do – it’s just that we are given one week to produce a lot of garments - so hems are done by machine, jacket sleeve hems are folded under, not shortened at the top or properly at the hem. And the fact that i am admitting this in the blog-iverse...I am not proud, but you have to get dome what needs to be done - would not believe that i used to make proper steel boned corsets and paniers.....Just so you know, there is absolutely, positively, no hot glue gun in my costume shop!!!! Hahaha except in very rare moments of desperation and crafting moments.

I don’t know if I have explained this but – we produce 6 main stage shows a year plus over 20 student shows. Normally (not including summers) I am a shop of one plus the occasional over hire and the costume designer. This fall, I finally get a full- time assistant!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so happy!!!!!!!!!!!! If I could do a little dance in blog format – I would. La La la..Spin, twirl, dancing around the room with glee!

Here is a webpage, Demode that I am terribly envious of - Kendra is the blogger and she is amazing!!. She helps run this convention called COSTUME COLLEGE in California. A dream come true for me!! It is hosted by the Costumer's Guild West a chapter of the ICG (I want to go but it is already booked up and there are no more memberships left for this year. I am going to email and find out how early is too early for next year. I want to propose this to my boss and maybe get the company to subsidize the trip some how - you know to better my skills as desinger, technician and costume shop manager.

Sorry for the lack of knitting or personal sewing - there are pictures, but I left the camera in my knitting bag, which I left in the board room after a 2 hour design meeting this morning! I am so ashamed..to leave my knitting behind like that!

End note: PROJECT RUNWAY – I cannot believe that Milan was auf’ed!!! Okay the man is a bit creepy and that dress was a bit log-like…and jeffrey's dress was messy. Angela was a total be-atch! How could she dis her team leader like that on such a classic design – no not pageant style but totally classic (a bit 30’s style – would have been better had it been done on the bias - imho)

16 July 2006

Cozies and other things

Apparently my cozy obsession has been considered odd…i'm cool with that :)
Well it might be a bit scary, but obvously there are people out there who are more obsessed than I am. I keep getting outbid on eBay. I have my limits and refuse to go above them (that is how eBay gets you...you feel the pressure and go over what any calm sane person is willing to spend in face to face combat shopping).
Has anyone seen that commercial for room fresheners, where grandma is crocheting cozies to cover the room freshener? Fritz is convinced that that is me (though I am much younger and probably taller than grandma). Besides, I draw the line at toilet paper cozies...What’s the point? You run out before you have a chance to get the cover on.

(And no comments from the knit-or-get-off-the–pot family tree – about the toilet paper or my hair. )

Not much crafting fun at the moment - hands have not been enjoying the humidity - all the swelling - so not doing much - especially since work has been so heavy.

But there was a lovely review in the Washington Post in Saturday's paper about THE BORROWERS. I wish the other pic that was in the paper was on the web - you could see the fabulous acorn hat that one of my interns made for me. Or you'll just have to se the show :)!

13 July 2006

While the cat is away the mice will play…

Or in this case, Marietta will play on eBay…bad Marietta.
Every once in awhile I get on eBay and do damage to the bank account. This time is it vintage patterns for knitted tea and egg cozies. – cause who doesn’t want matching tea and egg cozies? Well I do. Egg cups are pretty hard to find in the states (at least for me anyway) and egg cozies are even harder. Yes, I can make up my own patterns and yes, there is that very cute pattern in WEEKEND KNITTING, but I want typical British looking egg and tea cozy covers like these:

But I lost this bid – and there are others! There are also tea cozy patterns that look like cottages. I swear there was that woman who made tea cozies that looked like the homes of famous women murderers. No I don’t need one of those - but I do like the idea. I am hardly domestic, but I like cozies for my kitchen appliances. There was that moment of unemployment where I had sewn covers for all the little appliances in the kitchen one afternoon. Fritz was a bit frightened…

And then there are the sewing patterns…don’t get me started – not like I do not have enough and I can’t make my own...but why should I when they are there…calling to me…saying…bid on me! Take me home…who cares what the shipping is….

My other favorite eBay search is Tigerente – trying to find someone who will ship to the US is not easy! It is not available here and I admit I am child-like in this way. All I want is that silly little tigerente necklace on a leather string – I have had one or two before and lost them – so sad! When we have our imaginary children (currently named: Maximillian and Helen – not my choices!) I will do the baby room in tigerente!

Oh an PROJECT RUNWAY started up again last night!!!!!!!!! that chick so deserve off - i mean industrial sewingmachines are not that scary (so they can sew through bone! - don;t ask me how i know!) And if you want to read some fun commentary, check these guys out!

I will end the post with this lovely statue of Empress Elizabeth (aka Sissi) at the Westbahnhof in Vienna, Austria. Can you guess what is so perfect about this picture?

maria teresa

11 July 2006

just a quickie!

One of the things I do for the store is finishing. But I specialize in a particular type of finishing. We have a few customers who, as knitters, are technically quite capable but sometimes the math just gets away from them. So what does this mean? It means scissors! Yes kids, I take scissors to those knittd garments that you spent so much time screwing up knitting so meticulously. Because there are some yarns (whether you like them or not) that are not meant to be ripped out (even though should have neer been knitted in the first place).

so we have the before:

and the after:

love my sewing machine and i love my serger! The sweater was sewn together the "proper" way with yarn and needle. Once Fritz is back with the camera and the computer, I will gladly post the "how it looked on customer" pic :)


10 July 2006

Another opening, another show

Yippee!!! The show is open and here are the boys enjoying the party – can you guess which is which?
Adam, aka our best man, aka Fritz’s ATD (assistant Technical Director) is sitting house left and Fritz is house right. It is Adam’s last opening night with us – he is moving on to San Diego Rep as their TD – we are so proud of our boy! He’s ten years younger than Fritz and when we all lived together, we referred to him as “our teenage son” (okay, so he’s in his 20’s, but boys will be boys!)

Before Adam leaves in two weeks time, Fritz has decided to take some time off and go see his folks – read: leaving me to fend for myself for a few days.

Mar: When are you leaving?
Fritz: Why?
Mar: Well, I need to plan my affair.
Fritz: Affair?
Mar: Yes. I plan to have a hot and steamy affair while you are away…
Fritz: (raising one eyebrow – ‘cause he can do that) With yarn or fabric?
Mar: (BUSTED!!!)
Fritz: So while you are having your steamy affair with *enter fiber of choice here*, will you eat while I’m away?
Mar: (blank look)
Fritz: Will you feed the cats? Clean the kitchen?
Mar: (still a bit blank) I’ll feed the cats…Clean? Well if I don’t make anything then won’t have to clean…you got me yogurt and ice cream right?
Fritz: (walks away and shakes his head) Just remember to feed the cats.

As I have said – I do not cook, I do not clean. What’s the point? I was a very skinny single person and since there was no food in the house (does rice and yogurt count?) there was never any mess – well except for fabric and yarn – my single person apartment pretty much looked like this (our current guest/yarn/sewing room):

Maybe I’ll clean it while Fritz is away…

07 July 2006

Christmas in July!

I was show-shopping (again) -and this is what I saw. Yes, that’s right! Christmas fabric! “Christmas in July,” as they like to say – and if you want to be politically correct – it is Christma-hannu-kwanzu-kah in July! (Oh! and Ramadan falls somewhere in that time frame, but I haven’t quite figured out how to get that in there yet)

As you know – my July 4th was a bit sad. Thank you everyone for your sympathy and shared pain. I know that getting wrapped up in sports can be silly – but every once in awhile you have to believe that your favorite team is going to win something amazing. And this is only every four years – unlike American football’s Superbowl or the Baseball World Series (which as a cubs fan, is well, never quite …yeah, won’t go there – too much sports sadness for one summer). With all the craziness in the world – it is nice to get wrapped up in something as simple as Football (Soccer).

My show is opening this weekend – so if you are in the DC area…enter shameless plug here…check it out. And if you are 4 – 8 years old, you will really like it  Children’s theatre after all…

Finally, getting back to some sewing for me and knitting too. I am officially out of the knitting world cup – like my team I have been knocked out, but I do not think that I will even make it to the final round for an attempt at third place. With the show and the not sleeping there has also been the not knitting – but I have the weekend off and Monday too! Better late than never! Hopefully there will be sleeves then for me to show you. Fritz is going away for a few days and he is taking the laptop with, so if I probably won’t be able to post until Tuesday (after work hours of course).

Have a lovely weekend – and maybe if you are in New Jersey – the beaches will be open…

05 July 2006

Walk of Shame

Do you remember the walk of shame from your college days? You know…the morning after you spent the night in some guy/gal’s room and had to walk back to your dorm, on the other side of campus, through the mass of students on their way to their morning class, still dressed up (though slightly more disheveled) from the night before?

Well, that is how I felt on the metro ride/ walk home after the Germany vs. Italy match. I went to a proper bar in D.C. with beer and friends. It did not help that I was drunk… really drunk – and felt so sad. I cried - I did - when it was all over, at the bar, on the bar…. The nice bartender bought each of us a beer – nice bartender. I was still drunk when I got back to the theatre (where I had left my car) – fortunately for me, Fritz was still at work and he took his sad, drunk wife home to tea and cats…

I’m thinking….Portugal!

03 July 2006

Ole ole ole ole…part III

Warning: world cup commentary first/crafty talk below.

Wow! Friday’s match! I know I am a few days behind here – but this whole work thing has been getting in the way again – of the knitting and the personal sewing and the blogging.
So back to Friday – when Argentina scored, I had tears starting – I was worried when my boys didn’t score in the first 10 minutes…so then I figured the last ten minutes…then there was the overtime with 2 15 minutes sessions and then the penalty kicks…oh the tension in the costume shop. I watched the last 15 minutes of the match standing on a chair in front of the TV holding the antennae (it turns out the headsets we use for out theatre were interfering with my TV reception). There was a meeting at 1 o’clock that fortunately was only for the sets and lights ‘cause there was no way I was leaving my shop before I saw whether Germany won or lost….and we know how that turned out  And yeah they play on july 4th - i still have to work but I can always leave and find a bar to watch the game!!!!!!!!
My interns were happy too – they did not want to see Marietta on her knees, crying if they had lost…and then England lost ( I am so sorry Tusa) and then Brazil! What a weird weekend of Football – I tell ya!

Crafty stuff:

Today is our 2nd, 10 out 12 – which means that in a 12 hour period, the actors work for 10 hours. This also means that the technicians and designers are at work for 14 hours (we are here at least 1 hour before tech begins and at least 1 hour after – for meetings and work). So we have had two very long days. When the actors are on stage, we can’t work on costumes or set, so I take notes and do the little fun crafty things – like make a flower skirt:

Or paint a sweater to look like knitting in a larger scale doing this:

knitting stencilpod's sweaterpods finished sweater

Do you think this counts for the Knitting World Cup? I used freezer paper as a stencil - a great trick I learned from Vivi. I am sure that other people have been doing this for years – but I have always cut my stencils from thin plastic sheets (like Mylar) meant for stencils – and that gets costly! So I bought this HUGE roll of freezer paper for about $5 or $6 at the local grocery store and I can get many, many stencils for the price of maybe two or three. The only downside is that I am going to have to cut a second stencil for the backside, BUT it does iron on and stay in place without having to use spray adhesive. At some point I will have to learn how to do screen printing.

Well that is just a quick summary of the last few days - we have been so busy with the working - and though tomorrow is a national holiday - we still have to work. I do hope to be done by 3pm so i can watch the Germany vs Italy game at a bar instead of here in my shop...that would be nice..beer...oh i think the Goethe Institute in DC is hosting a world cup vioewing - might just have to go...maybe at the embassies too.... i will check it out first thing whenthis rehearsal is over.
Got to go! Act I is under way...time to play :)

see you all when this is over in a few days... oh and i think I have been knocked out of the knitting world cup...nothing new since the great mistake

das ball ist rund....