May 21, 2015

Aviation Day {2015}

Saturday was Aviation Day at Paine Field, which I mentioned in my last post. My family and I have been volunteering for the Historic Flight Foundation (HFF) for the past 5 or so years. I'm in no means an airplane person but I always like helping out.

I'll be writing up a separate post about what I wore and the making of my new blouse, but for now here's some pictures of the event.

The weather was, as always, cold. But this year it didn't rain, which was nice, and it wasn't too windy. We started out working on the East side representing HFF and around 1 we packed up and headed back over to the West side where HFF is.

The "Kings of Swing" were there and they're a really good group that does... wait for it... swing music! They play at a lot of the events at HFF, which is awesome having live swing music. A couple of us did a little dancing throughout the day, which is always fun. I only know the basics for both East Coast and West Coast swing, but I always have fun doing what little I know.

After the flying was done (which was around 1:30) we packed the booth up and headed over to the west side to get some lunch and check everything out at HFF. Since Alina and I aren't really into airplanes and we like doing retail, we usually end up helping in retail for the rest of the afternoon. Helping out at HFF usually includes dancing, kettle corn, lots of laughing, and more food.

These guys are awesome! They're part of  HAG Living History, which is a group of living historians typically representing WWII. They come out to all of the big events at HFF and at Vintage Aircraft Weekend in August they set up a huge camp. They have everything from tents to military jeeps.

May 11, 2015

Trouser Tops

This weekend is Aviation Day which means a day full of vintage aircraft, hanging out in a 1949 DC-3 and dressing up in vintage clothes. Every year my family volunteers at Aviation Day at the Pain Field Airport, and even though I really don't have much of an interest in planes, it's still one of my favorite things.

I'll be a docent for the Historic Flight Foundation's DC-3, which has been painted up as a 1949 Pan Am plane. Last year I made a pair of 1940's trousers a top for with them and to change things up a bit I've decided to make another top.

Here's some of my inspiration. I don't know what the style is actually called other than a button up blouse, but I wanted something simple, with short sleeves and a collar.

After doing a bit of research I was finally able to find a pattern for the style of top that I wanted. Sense & Sensibility Patterns Romantic Era Blouse pattern works perfect for a 1940's top if you give it short sleeves.

Since I only have until Saturday and since I'm busy on both Thursday and Friday I didn't take a lot of time to get the perfect fabric and I decided to get a plain yellow cotton. Thanks to The Vintage Dancer for her post on 1940's fabrics.

I've already made my mock up, which for some reason was extremely large (probably due to it not scaling up correctly when I printed it since I got the e-pattern, but it was an easy fix) and am getting ready to make the real deal as soon as I finish up this post.

So I'll see y'all later, hopefully with a mostly or completely finished blouse.

May 8, 2015

Phantom Friday

Last Friday I got to see my favorite musical live for the first time. The Phantom of the Opera. We've had it booked for months and I'd been counting down the days, along with our friends who were also going with us.

Before we went, more like right after we booked our tickets, I started doing some research on the US tour to get an idea of how it compared to the Broadway version. The reviews I read were not the best so I was a little worried I would be let down, especially after watching the 25th Anniversary over a dozen times.

But let me tell you, I was not disappointed in the least! Okay, I was a little disappointed that the mirror bride wasn't in it, but hey. The cast, the sets, the props were all phenomenal!

A couple hours before the show we got to go to Behind the Mask, which was a Q&A with a couple of actors and the manager of the show. It was really neat to get to learn more about how the show worked and get to hear from some of the actors who weren't the main actors (although I would have loved that too!)

Warning! Spoilers ahead!

The sets were definitely different than the Broadway sets. The main set was this huge revolving piece that would open up to ever part of the opera house. I did feel that one or two of the set ups were a little bit awkward, but overall I thought it worked really well.

I do have to say, that as a costumer I did notice a difference in the quality of the costumes. I could tell that they weren't made with the same quality, mainly on the Hannibal costumes and any that had any large supports (such as Elisa's Hannibal dress and the Aminta dress from Point of no Return).

The Phantom (or Erik) had completely different makeup than in the Broadway version. In the Behind the Mask they told us that it was silicone and all one piece (and apparently quite disgusting) which is cool, but from the audience you'd have to be in the front row to really be able to see it. Our seats were only around 20 rows back and you really couldn't see the deformity. I wish they had done some sort of makeup on his lips too, because that would have helped a lot. The only reason I know what the deformity looks like is because of the picture in the Program I bought.

In the Q&A they told us to look for Erik in places he shouldn't be. The whole time I was looking around for him, but unfortunately I never saw him anywhere that he shouldn't have been.

On to my absolute favorite part, the chandelier! The chandelier has 2 very important parts, the overture and the end of act one. I got chills watching that chandelier that weighs 1 ton rising up in the beginning. It was absolutely amazing!

The whole transformation of the opera house from the auction scene to the dress rehearsal was flawless. One moment Carlotta's dress is standing on a mannequin as an item in the auction and the next she's actually in the dress dancing.

After we got our seats we went up to the stage to take a closer look at the orchestra pit, the stage set up, and the chandelier.


On to the second part that the chandelier plays, the end of act 1. In the 25th Anniversary at this part, you can see Erik up in one of the boxes (probably box 5 but I'm not sure) and he points a stick towards the chandelier, sparks go flying, and the chandelier falls. Well, pretty much the same thing happened, except the chandelier actually fell. And it was epic!

Talk about an epic way to end the first act!

The view from our seats - this was just after the end of act I

Apparently that chandelier falls at a rate of 10 tons and they have to reinforce the theater to make it safe since it is after all, falling directly over the audience.

The Phantom. Chris Mann is an amazing Phantom. His voice is like a combination of Ramin Karimloo and Hugh Panaro, which are my 2 favorite Phantoms, so it was perfect. Plus, he's an amazing actor!

Something I really liked about this version, is when he took the mask off (no, Christine didn't get to pull it off) it was obvious that his deformity was more than just hard to look at. It hurt him and that made me sympathize with him even more.

Chris Mann - The Phantom/Erik

Christine. Katie Travis is a wonderful singer and a fantastic actress! My favorite part of her's though was the end of "Wishing you were Somehow Here Again".

With Katie Travis - Christine

Oh, and let's not forget the title song, "The Phantom of the Opera". It was perfect. Katie Travis can hit those low notes just as good as she can it the high ones. And like I already said, Chris Mann's voice is perfect.

Roul. Storm Linberg was also fantastic! I knew when I first heard him in the auction scene that he was a winner.

With Storm Linberg - Roul
One of my favorite additions was the fight scene between Roul and the Phantom in/during "Wandering Child". The way they choreographed it was perfect and it fit so well, unlike that totally out of place fight in the 2004 movie. Where did that even come from?

As was expected, the ending was extremely heart breaking. They didn't have the Phantom hide under a blanket on a chair though, it was a little different but just as amazing.

The cast got a standing ovation, which was very, very much deserved. When the curtain fell the whole theater just about exploded with applause. I thought Cinderella had a loud audience, but Phantom was even bigger. That's part of why it's Broadway's longest running show. And the fact that if I could have watched it again right then and there, I would have.

When the show was over we headed out to the stage door even though we weren't sure the cast would come out since it was a matinee. But they did and we got to meet the actors who played Carlotta, one of the swings/the gunmen in the pit (who was also at Behind the Mask), Meg, Roul, Christine, and the Phantom himself. All of which were super nice. And one of the best parts was when Chris Mann told me he liked my Phantom mask necklace. :D
With Morgan Cowling - Meg

With Nick Cartell - Swing/gunmen in the pit. He was also part of the Behind the Mask.

With Jaquelynne Fontaine - Carlotta

The next time the show comes into town I'm definitely going to see it, and if I can swing it I'm planning on going to the show twice.

May 4, 2015

May the Fourth be with You!

Happy Star Wars Day, everyone! Saturday we had our annual May the Fourth be with You party. We ended up having it on May 2nd since this year May the 4th is on a Monday. Our group was much larger this year because we ended up inviting three families. Oh, and the weather was awesome, unlike last year!

The party included dressing up (for those of us who wanted to), Star Wars music playing all day, a ton of food, lots of laughing, a fire pit, and a giant game of capture the flag at night. It was pretty epic.

Warning: Lot's of pictures ahead!

All pictures are courtesy of my sister Sereina.

My friend Max made this awesome edit for me.

Please ignore the safety pin on my vest. We were playing the name game I forgot to take it off for the pictures.

Mike, reflecting for us.

Me trying to look epic but failing miserably.

Elie came as Endor Leia, and her costume was awesome! Her gun/blaster was particularly cool.


Daniel borrowed my old Jedi Robe from years ago and came as a Jawa. He kept trying to sell us things and he sold people seats around the fire pit.

Lilly as Leia.

Bethany, the famous YouTuber and my one loyal fan.

Me vlogging. Yes, I will hopefully have it up soon.

No matter how many jump shots we do we can never get it perfect.

We put together an orchestra to play Battle of the Hero's. Elie conducted while Lilly and I were the choir and and everyone else was the orchestra. We make a wonderful orchestra. Or not.

You'll notice from here on out I don't have my wig on. Some of the pins were digging into my scalp and giving me a headache so I took it off for the rest of the night.

And no Star Wars party would be complete without taking some "Vadering" pictures. I have to admit, they turned out pretty awesome.