Showing posts with label costumes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label costumes. Show all posts

Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Final Day of Halloween

When I was Jenna’s age, I don’t recall Halloween being dragged out the way it is now.  At school we dressed up in costume and then there was trick-or-treating.  One day.  One night.  Not all week and all month. 

Jenna dressed up in costume when she attended preschool but not with attending elementary. I don’t know of any schools who continue with that tradition.  Jenna’s school doesn’t.

Before we moved to West Valley we spent a week of Halloween going to different events each day.  Jenna had dressed as a fairy – from full outfit to just wings.

It started out with Sunny helping Jenna to create a wand – which we would use as a prop for her costume. There was the after school carnival that the high schoolers had put on for the children in elementary school, our own personal make-up party, a fall festival, and finally the trunk or treat.  We used to do an annual Halloween party in that particular ward, but I don’t recall a Halloween party taking place after the events I had written in this post.

This year Halloween has been stretched out for all of us as Roland had taken us to different events. Unfortunately my camera broke I wasn’t able to take pictures.

Friday was the school carnival.  I think I have only been to one other carnival since Jenna started at Vantanna.  The last time I’d gone, I was in the library all night with my brother, Corey. I had recruited him to read stories.  As always, he did a great job.

It’s so much different actually going around with your child than to be in a volunteering position all night.  I don’t recall Jenna having dressed up the last time.  But the children were encouraged to dress up as they would not have the opportunity as school.  Even some of the adults came in costume. 

Jenna started out the night by having her nails painted.  She “fished” for some prizes.  We watched a magic show.  It was fun to watch her dance before the costume contest started. The school was crowded.  I had a lot more elbow room when Corey and I volunteered in the library.

Saturday was our ward Halloween party.  Roland and I had dressed as Chefs.  I kept my costume on for the trunk-or-treat and put it on after dinner.  Too hot to wear while I ate and wrote down names of children having their picture taken in their costumes.  Roland emceed the event.

These two pictures were taken in the parking lot by the Relief Society President.  Lot of comments on our trunk.  Roland’s idea.  The costume, the theme – all Roland.  Jenna thought she would transform into the Pillsbury dough boy to keep with the theme, but the only white clothes we had were too big.  Roland padded her down with pillows before he put on what he thought might work.  It was like draping a sheet over Frankenstein’s monster.  She ended up going as Merida and NOT the Pillsbury dough boy.  But it’s not like the three of us were seen together throughout the night anyway.

We’d gone to another fall carnival with even less activity.  But Jenna had a super time, popping a balloon and performing an exercise, hitting the tether ghost and going through the unscary spook alley.
She and Roland both got eye tattoos on their hands.  She held her hand up to his and said, “Let’s have a staring contest”.  Now that would have been worth having a camera for.

With each passing event, Merida lost more strands of her hair, and there is a definite bald spot in back.  But it is red and most people haven’t noticed. Tonight she will go trick-or-treating as Merida.  Tomorrow she will let me know what she plans to be for next year.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Look What I Made!

Jenna’s favorite princess, without a doubt, is Brave’s Merida.  Each November first she has announced what her costume will be for Halloween for the following year and each year she changes her mind – though there seem to be fewer changes. 

I know better than to plan her costume before October – although with the last two years she has only changed her mind two or three times compared to the initial eight (life was just so much easier when I was the one picking out costumes for her)

In November of 2010 she announced that she would be Big Baby from Toy Story 3.  Really?  After nine months I decided that maybe she really was going to go through with it and started looking for something she could use – though having my then seven year old running around the neighborhood in a dirty onesie did not thill me nor did I have a clue how to do her eyes so that she could still use both of hers in order to see.

.  I was grateful when she finally changed her mind and decided she would be Juliet from Gnomeo and Juliette. 

A red dress and white apron from Savers.  I really thought I would find something I could use.  But fortunately she wanted to change it again – this time to Tiger Lily.

Oh, Joy of joys!  I could do an Indian costume for really cheap!  I used two paper bags that I got from Winco and cut the fringe and allowed her to do the decorating.  She thought it the coolest costume ever!

Last year she decided to do something different.  For ten months she sounded serious about going as a teapot.  I had called Joh to get his expertise opinion on how I should do it.  He came up with a great idea.  But she changed her mind again.  She would be Velma from Scooby Doo. 

            I thought it would be less expensive and perhaps better made to purchase items from Savers – though Roland seemed gung-ho about purchaseing a costume from the Halloween store.  I don’t think it was worth the purchase.  The good news is that she can wear it again (at least for the time being)

            But this year she would like to be Merida.  The dress is from Savers, but I made the wig.  My initial thought was to make it out of about 6-8 boas – but I never got beyond the thought as the purchase for the boas themselves was over foty dollars – never mind that I had nothing to fasten the boas to.

I had purchased a pirate cap for a dollar.  I found Fun Fur  at Wal-Mart.  It was even the perfect color – unlike the boas I had found.  I wish I had thought to ask Joh if he would make time to make one, or if he had any suggestions for me – but I can honestly say that I did indeed make the wig all by myself adding one to three strands of hair at a time..  And it was for under ten dollars.

No, it is not true that I had done it all by myself..  Jenna occasionally helped to cut strands or thread the needle.    I think for the most part the work is pretty sloppy and the wig itself is obviously amature(as I really did have a hard time seeing what I was doing).  But Jenna is very excited about it.  And that is what counts.

I’ll push for another teapot again for next year.  Now that I have done the wig, perhaps I am ready for the teapot. I may miss another week or more of posting as I struggle to thread the needle and try to make it work.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

A Really Great Theatre Teacher

         Jenna LOVES to sing, and dance, draw, learn, explore . . . I have wanted so badly to enroll her in dance lessons, or music lessons, art classes , etc.  I have even considered sports when she has shown interest – but it was always out of reach financially - even on those rare times when it looked like the class itself might be in reach, I knew that the costumes (or uniforms) would get out of hand.

          Last summer I had the opportunity of enrolling her in a peewee theatre class taught by a gal who had instructed children’s theatre in New York.  Jenna would have an opportunity – not only to act, but to sing, to dance and perform and hopefully make new friends.

          The play is never done in its entirety.  The instructor has been given only six to eight weeks to rehearse before putting on the show. 
          We met for eight weeks initially.  One hour per week.  Realizing that she would need more time, she made arrangements for the children to do their dialogues on a Saturday at her home.  I thought that was so awesome of her to be willing to do the extra work.

          So the first play was “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown”.  Six parts and seven children showed up – four being girls.  And the “Charlie Brown” has two girls with speaking parts.  Four boy parts.

          Two girls were asked to split up lines for Lucy.  Jenna chose to read for Schroeder.  The youngest of the cast was asked to read for Linus – and actually sounded just like the cartoon character.  That night the parts were cast for Linus and Lucy.  Who in the world would she get to play Charlie Brown?

          None of the three boys seemed like the right candidate.  The four (going on five) year old had been cast as Linus leaving a boy who was not so fluent in English, and one who appeared to have ADD as he was all over the place or hiding behind his mother.  I understood what had possessed his mother to enroll him, but was seriously wondering if he’d be able to pull it off.

          The not so fluent was cast as Snoopy – and the instructor saw great potential with casting our ADD as Schroeder.  He was fabulous.  Knew all of his lines.  Stayed on page.  I was actually very impressed.

          Jenna had read for Schroeder and Sally – and because Sally was the only girl’s part left, Jenna memorized her part (actually she had started memorization on all of the parts except for Charlie Brown)

          After two of the girls dropped out (they had attended the first night only) the instructor thought she could split up Sally’s part among the rest of the cast and asked if Jenna would be interested in playing Charlie Brown. 

“He’s the main part!” I told Jenna.  Her enthusiasm did not match my own.  How could she possibly play a boy?  She didn’t.  We made Charlie Brown a girl.  Instead of dreaming about a little red-headed girl, we changed Jenna’s line to say that she liked a red-headed boy

But then it was realized that Sally’s part was needed.  And so the instructor asked a neighbor to take her class – she learned her lines and dance numbers and songs in just four weeks.

There was no costume expense – it was whatever is in your closet.  I liked that. The shirt that Jenna wore was one we had purchased the prior year as I had enrolled her in a dance class and the instructor provided us shirts to make jagged edges for the “George of the Jungle” number they’d be performing.

All of the class members pulled it off.  Unfortunately Jenna didn’t get to sing and dance as much as the other children (it wouldn’t make sense for her to sing “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown”) and she never got to learn her solo because of the time frame.  But she did a beautiful monologue and she actually did very well.

Her professionalism was surprising as she was truly sick that night.  Not a contagious sick necessarily.  She had just eaten something that hadn’t agreed with her.  And the drive to the school only added car sickness.

She had puked twice on our way into the school – did an awesome performance – and then made a b-line to the garbage can to heave up some more.  Poor child really had nothing left to throw up.

School House Rock was announced for the next production.  Excitedly Jenna made her approval known.  But because of the location of the school and my inability to see at night, I said I didn’t think I would be able to keep her in.

I was so touched when the instructor offered to come get her and drop her off.  I could take her – that was no problem.  But my house is not on the way home to the instructor’s house (hers would actually be on the way to mine) and so I made arrangements to drop Jenna off at the school and meet her instructor near her house after class.  It worked out well except for one day when I gave the instructor the option of keeping Jenna home or asking the instructor to drive out of her way to drop her off – she chose the latter.  And I feel blessed.

The class hours had been extended to an hour and a half a week instead of just one hour. School house rock didn’t seem to have any specific roles except for Tom – the teacher (also played by a girl) – though they all had speaking parts and solos.  And the attendance had gone from five to fourteen.  My husband filmed most of it as I was laughing so hard I couldn’t seem to keep the camera still.

The last play that they did was “Alice in Wonderland”.  They had moved to a high school much nearer to my home (as well as the instructors) and I have been excited about that. But because of earlier schedule conflict and lack of funds, Jenna did not participate – although Jenna and I went and saw it the same week Randy and Carrie were married. It turned out really cute. 

All of the children wore black with quick costume change on top. The instructor had allowed three different girls to play Alice – one at a time during various scenes.  The costumes were a bit more elaborate than whatever was in the closet, but still kept simple.  The kids pulled it off rather nicely.  I was impressed.

I promised Jenna that we’d put her in the next show – Wizard of Oz.  Am looking forward to attending classes again.  It appears that they will rehearse just six weeks (nine hours) though before they put on their final production.