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Dec. 12th, 2009

Happy Birthday Judy!

Sorry I missed it, but better late than never.

Hope you had a happy day (despite loss of kitty teeth). ;-)


Aug. 26th, 2009

News from Vegas!

I'm in the middle of a week of vacation in Las Vegas with my sister CK, her partner K, her partner's friend, and my friend. We are having a wonderful time, the weather has been lovely, and the food excellent (tho $$$).

The folks back home are going to be SO jealous when I tell them what I've seen.

Last night my sister treated me to drinks and hors d'oeuvres at Wolfgang Puck and then we all went to see Kà!...
And then... K's friend E met us afterward and her husband B--who is a carpenter for the show--gave us a backstage tour!!!


You may have seen clips of Kà on CSI in which some girl is found crushed under part of the stage (www.youtube.com/watch). The real crew calls that episode "the death that could never happen"--not because you can't get crushed under the stage... you can... they even have "crush zones" taped out on the stage floor--but because the episode had the girl and her boyfriend having a fight on a balcony on one side of the theater, falling off and bouncing on another stage feature somewhere on the other side and then falling on the basement floor somewhere in the middle and getting crushed by moving parts.

Anywho... 'nuf 'bout CSI....

I got to see the costume workshop and costumes and wigs up close.... of course, you guys realize that those actors aren't just wearing a thong on their naked, spray painted bodies, but full-body skin-hugging leotards painted with six-pack-abs and nipples as needed. They have to be hand washed, spun out, then hung to dry. Behind a large shelving unit full of all the hair we'd just seen flipping around (and hanging upside down, etc) on stage, was perched one of the hairdresser/makeup folks styling a wig. She was happy to tell us all about the methods they use to keep wigs on active heads and show us various hairpieces that particular characters wear.

While we were there, the guitar player from the on-stage band was giving a little tour for some friends of his and talked a bit about their makeup process--layer, powder, fixative, layer, powder, fixative, and so one. Each character learns how to apply their own makeup, with the assistance of the shop professionals, and the wall is plastered with the pictures of how the finished product should looked. E added that, if a character has two makeup changes they have to put the second character on first, fix the dickens out of it, then put the first character on top of that, with no fixative, so that when the first character's scenes are done, the acrobat [or gymnast] basically hoses off the top layer/first character, revealing the bottom layer/second character. It makes for a much quicker change.

We got to visit at least three of, I think, seven floors of the stage, see backstage storage of the bigger animal "costumes" as well as the major stage features like the pyrotechnics base, the rocking boat, and the "wheel of death" as well as the huge gantry upon which most of the action takes place. It swivels, tilts, rotates, and tips up to a perpendicular and allows for a number of surface types. And it's HUGE!!


Of course, you'll have to take my word for all of this, as we were strictly forbidden to take pictures.   ;-)

Jul. 18th, 2009

My Friend Suzanne "The Widow LeBeau" Julian 1952-2009

My friend, Suzanne, died several weeks ago and today her husband and friends are sharing memories at a Celebration of her life, at her home in Indianapolis. For various reasons, I could not be there, but wanted to remember her here, among my friends and costuming buddies.

(for more pictures go to web.me.com/deborah_barlow/Musings/Friends_Ill_Miss.html)

Here are some thoughts I put together in a letter to her husband: Read more...Collapse )

I'll never forget Suzanne. I'll never forget her unswerving faith in the power of positive affirmations, her graciousness, her steely resolve, her loving guidance and her undying friendship. I love her. I'll miss her. I'll see her again one day... she'd be certain!


Jun. 20th, 2009

Hangin' Out with the Sis

My sister is in town for the weekend and we are just eating a leisurely breakfast and catching up on computer time. I mean, after all, that is why I'd travel 1900 miles! Who needs to tour the nation's capital when we can sit down at the breakfast table for hours at our mutual Macs and surf the web!? I'd thought I might convince her to go to Hillwood with me, but the weather continues to be very crappy. So I guess we'll chill until it is time to visit Grandma.

I do think I'll stop in a minute and run some pocket-slit seams on my new/old black petticoat. If I can get that machine work done, I can pin waistband on that and the turkey-red India-print petticoat on Tuesday. There is also the feathers and another big flower to be attached to the hat and a wig to tease if I have time. I might as well get some sewing done while she works!

Mar. 1st, 2009

Another Blog to Maintain? What! Are You Crazy?

I started my LiveJournal account to mollify my friends in the costuming community, but I've not been very good about blogging regularly. To be honest, I felt like this account should primarily chronicle my costuming projects and costumed events and I just haven't done all that much of that lately.

In another area of my life, I've also not been good about sending my annual Christmas letter for the last few years. I've a number of friends and even some family who think I've gone the way of the Dodo. I really need to communicate better.

To that end, I set some vacation goals for myself.

I'm currently vacationing in Puerto Rico. Besides touring historic Old San Juan and, maybe, a rainforest or a cave or two, I plan to lie about on the beach and soak up some quality "me time". When the sun is down, or I've had enough of it, one of my self-imposed tasks is to create a personal webpage. It won't be anything too fancy, but I hope it will be informative without too many scary details. So far I have put up a brief intro page, plus a blog page where I'm chronicling my vacation(s)--this week and future trips. I'm hoping to create some other pages that discuss what I've be up to at work and what I've been doing in and around my house.

Who knows, this may be the start of something big. Or, it may be just another thing I get too busy to deal with once my vacation ends and I go back to the real world.

Check it out. Go to web.me.com/deborah_barlow/Musings. I haven't decided yet about making it completely public so you'll need to enter my [informal] first and last name as userid and password, respectively.

Aug. 8th, 2008

Recuperating from Costume College '08

Well, even though I haven't unpacked yet, at least I've finally caught up on my sleep.

I had a really great time at Costume College. The whole experience was pretty damn good. I had three great roomies and, surprisingly, our temperaments and shower schedules blended rather well.

My enjoyment of the weekend began on Friday--my birthday--with a tour of the Getty Museum. It was AWESOME!!--beautiful architecture and gardens, and an unparalleled collection of art. Throughout the weekend, there were so many great workshops and demonstrations, it was really hard to make choices about where to spend my time. After the fact it is equally difficult to determine which were my favorites among those I attended. But I think my number one favorite was the "Pressing Matter" workshop. Who knew learning how to iron properly would be so fun and fulfilling!?!?

Though I was still sewing my Gala outfit up until the absolute last minute--and still had to attend with some parts pinned together--I think I looked pretty dog-gone good and I danced the night away with friends old and new.

The final fun of the weekend was the Fantasy Tea. I think you probably had to be there, but there is no denying that I made quite a splash. The theme was the Kentucky Derby and the hosts expected a Millionaire-Row approach to attire--white lace, gloves, and big hats with lots of feathers--think of the Ascot Races scene from My Fair Lady and you'll get the idea. I went a slightly different direction and ended up winning an award for "Best Theme Costume". I'll put some pictures up soon.

Jun. 12th, 2008

Costume College Crazy

Well, I'm stoked and freaked simultaneously!

I just got my "Limited Attendance" Packet from the Costume College folks and I got into pretty much everything I requested. That includes the following:
- Portrait of Clothing Tour -- Friday, August 1, 9:15am to 5:00pm (Happy Birthday Me!)
- Regency Chemisette -- Saturday, August 2, 9:00am to 10:50am
- Pressing Matters -- Saturday, August 2, 11:30am to 12:50pm
- Jacobean Crewel Work for Clothing -- Sunday, August 3, 12:00pm to 2:50pm

I'm going to miss some awesome sessions on Friday, but I've been wanting a chance to see the Getty for decades (since undergrad art school), so I'm in hog heaven. The Sunday workshop may also cut into tea time, but I'm resolved!

Now, to write checks!