Alice in Wonderland post 6 or Props

This is it, the final Alice in Wonderland post.
Again this musical was the Prince Street Players Alice in Wonderland.
My Pinterest board of set ideas has been cleared of all Alice evidence and this week I am meeting with TE the musical director to start planning and talking about the next musical.  It looks to be a doozy and in a few weeks when the name is released then I will again slam Pinterest with ideas to copy.  I apologize in advance if you follow me on Pinterest.

Without further ado…

Trees/MushroomsIMG_2000 IMG_1982 IMG_1983 IMG_1981Music room/croquet match trees
These were made with giant sheets of cardboard cut into the shapes of a deck of cards,  2 of each shape, painted and then attached to thin plywood (we tried cardboard it was not strong enough, the morning after we made them they were laying bent and sad.  So we removed the cardboard tree trunks and used the plywood.  We attached the stems to a 2×4 cut in 6 inch lengths, screwed that onto a 1inch plywood base and then used screws and heavy duty staples.  The roses are glued into place as well as the music symbols.  We added the glitter after dress rehearsal wen the musical trees faded into the background.IMG_1995 IMG_1998 IMG_1997 10744577_10205759720658495_1849677270_n 10728993_10205759716658395_1628212839_nOur floating trees and mushroom boxes.  The trees were made from styrofoam, attached to plywood on carpet to slide easier.  The tree tops-mushroom tops were originally styrofoam but I was convinced that the drop cloth fabric would look better, and they were right it did!  The bases are covered in indoor/outdoor carpet stapled onto the plywood base.  Ropes were uses for pulling.  The small mushroom toad stools were the standard black boxes we’ve used for years, painted flat black then using the mushrooms on the backdrop as inspiration they were painted up while I sat and nursed the baby on stage, behind closed curtains.

Random props10567909_10205341664967364_312311194_n 10653986_10205341668167444_1145114961_n IMG_1990 IMG_1991 IMG_1992 IMG_1993 IMG_1994
Giant Tea cup from Walmart garden center
Giant cupcake from the Wilson Cupcake Cake mold and plaster of Paris
Giant Lemon foam footballs spray painted yellow and cut in half
Giant spoons are plastic cooking spoons spray painted silver
Giant sugar cubs are styrofoam cut into cubes, painted white and glittered
Giant tea cake was yellow bunting pan and red plate both purchased at a thrift store and glued together
Cart all put together {the red watering can tea pot was a distraction and removed during the dress rehearsal}IMG_2003A close up of the tea party propsIMG_2005Drink Me
A 2 liter bottle emptied and painted mushroom red, the label was printed and then “aged” with brown paint.  {Originally we wanted real strawberry pop in the 2 liter but it was just too awkward for the table girl to hold.  The giant baby rattle was from Party City.IMG_1986Table that grows and shrinks.  We added a tap light to the bottom for light on her face and changed out the table cloth from plastic to the same shimmery blue as the “sea of tears” and the door.  Table model is AM who only came to paint because we would give her straight lines, after breaking her in with the giant checkerboard canvasses she was willing to try some not so straight lines.  As a bonus PS grew to really like her, frequently falling asleep in her arms at the end of the work day.IMG_1987Extra large hearts were for the King and Queen of Hearts.  They were plastic baseball bats with large cardboard hearts painted on then glued together.  The flamingo head is from the croquet party and was purchased as it is.  10728805_10205759713138307_951810391_nOn Stage 3rd period babysitter.  He came every single day and held baby PS and played with little A.  Every. Single. Day.  He had a study hall and with a pass joined us on stage.  I worked fast and furious when he showed up since PS loved him and did not cry I felt like I could really work hard and fast.  10736056_10205759713098306_1440406898_nO joined us during her lunch period every day, she would hold PS and eat her lunch, again it was time for me to work fast, with free arms, it was a huge help.  She took little A to Greek class almost every day after lunch which gave our ears a break from her constant chatter.IMG_2013 IMG_2006 IMG_1984The prop table.  The admit one sign was from the thrift store it was part of a 3 piece wall hanging I just yanked it apart and painted it like a ticket, it was perfect and sturdy, the salt and pepper shakers were from a thrift store I really wanted the 2 foot tall ones but did not want to pay that price.  Eat me was a glass jar that I put pumpkin mini muffins in for each production. The blue fabric is the sea of tears, I attached the fabric to wooden dowels with both hot glue and staples.  I did not want to have to fix it between shows.  The bread was from Hob’Lob, and the books were purchased at the thrift store.  We borrowed the gavel from the history teacher, and the deck of cards survived each production.IMG_2011 IMG_2010 IMG_1989 IMG_1988The doors.  Styrofoam layered with thin plywood attached to dowels and then the fabric was glued to the plywood {FYI hot glue and most strong glues do NOT bode well with styrofoam, it melts easily}IMG_1980 IMG_1979Our to do list at the beginning.10743536_10205759713058305_1994429256_nOur to do list the day before dress rehearsal.  10729104_10205759712978303_563880766_nThe rabbit hold sign.  And Little A helping hold it up.  We attached styrofoam signs to the cardboard pole then slid the pole onto a microphone stand.  The whole thing stood a little wonky but was perfect.IMG_1978This little girl was done with the whole process, hated her play yard with a passion, and was almost able to climb out, but when you don’t yet weigh 11 pounds it is easy to climb the side of a play yard.  She never fell out, but I have a feeling if we had been there one more week she might have toppled over the edge.  10706465_10205494598670611_1526445077_nNext time this little helper will be in kindergarten and won’t be on stage helping us paint.  We will miss the funny, little scooter riding, chocolate chip eating, chocolate milk drinking, bbq chips eating, singing frozen songs, watching little Bill,  little girly, now who will entertain us and PS when she is not making a great escape?

Until next year, no more musical posts.  R you can come back now…  I promise I think this is it.

Thank you for staying here as I put off and put off and put off the final post on Alice In Wonderland.  Come back soon I promise not to talk of props, or trees, or mushrooms but instead I will fill you with entertainment from my family.

Go hug your kids, they need your love.  We’ve been reminded again how very short life is.  Please go hug your kids, and call your mom!


Alice In WOnderLand 5

Alice in Wonderland Prince Street players part 5

The Queens Red and Black and a castle wall with hidden hearts, like hidden mickey only no mickey.  Or if only we’d had those gigantic castle walls that gentleman donated to us to use, but then the walls were built and we are a one and done set group.

Are you about ready for this series to be completed?  R is, he told me so, he actually said he is *gasp* skipping these, they don’t interest him so he did exactly what I suggested skipping until a new title comes up.

Without further ado…

954593_10205759716498391_481821015_nIn keeping with the moving along of the musical we designed the castle outer walls to go up for a scene sticking out of the curtains, while they prepared the stage for the final scenes.  We had the castle walls on sliders which turned around to be the Queen and Kings throne chairs.    The flat boxes have carpet under them for sliding and rope hand pulls for pulling them along.  Do you see the Queen of Heart’s hearts in the castle walls?  We painted the walls gray then AV drew up the individual stones as they were outlined we added some shading to the stones to give them some life.  In the end AV also added a little green moss/plants to make it look even more castle wall like.10659365_10203697020598950_2188705940757195585_nI’m not sure what this scene was actually called but the mock turtle teaches the gryphon and Alice the “turtle tango” it was cute and funny.10728787_10205759716458390_2051510701_nOn the reverse of the castle walls was the queen and king throne.  We love the mess checkerboard it sits in front of the red and black precise square checkerboard so it stands out better than if it were perfect squares.10726493_10205759716538392_2085078649_nThe throne walls almost completed.  Right after we took this picture Keith came up to tell us something and pointed out the white along the top, we made fun of him being so tall he noticed but he was right, we edged the top in black so it would not stick out.  We used piano benches that one of the moms covered in black fabric with red jewels and red feathers for the throne seats.  She said she tried to make it as gaudy as she could.  It was perfect.10644441_10203697021038961_9195758302120756426_nAlthough you cannot see the benches you can see how the wonky checkerboard stands out against the neat checkerboard.  A little touch of gold paint and glitter made them pop even more!

We are almost done with Alice, are you glad?  I have to point out that we had an entire suite of cards on stage and their costumes were adorable!  the kids looked great!!!  In order to decide which card each child was the director had a deck of cards, shuffled it than had each child choose a card, now they had their part.  A truly clever way to decide who goes where.  Their costumes were felt aprons with felt shapes and numbers on them.

What about you, are you a fan of Alice in Wonderland?

Go hug your kids, they need your love, and life is too short to be too busy to show the love.

Again we have these pieces for sale if you are interested in these for your school or production group please contact me via the blog and I can work with you.

Alice in WonderLand 3… or Tea for 4?

Alice in Wonderland Prince Street Players part 3.

Tea for 3 not 4.

I think this was my favorite scene from the whole play.  It was cute, funny and had another catchy tune that was stuck in my head. Since we had the WonderLand backdrop for this scene it was rather easy to complete.  We worked on the boxes during backdrop paint drying time.  If you remember little A in the last post, her legs were black paint all over from painting the boxes black so we could make mushrooms on them.  I could paint these while nursing PS. So I painted most of the mushrooms on the boxes, I felt like I was being productive while being stuck sitting.

Mad Hatters Tea Party

10382852_10203697018998910_6886745696907673306_nHere is the completed scene.  Again these were taken during dress rehearsal so it was darker than normal.IMG_1994Our Tea Cart
Early in or set work I asked maintenance for a cart to use while we worked on stage.
As we started talking about this scene we realized we did not have to “build” a cart out of cardboard as we had done in the past, rather we could paint the one we had and use it.
We tried using a paint brush but it looked terrible.  Someone suggested using spray paint, it worked like a charm.
The problem with using spray paint at school, is school.  We could not spray on stage, and we would have to time our spraying outside to class time when no one would be in the halls outside breathing in the fumes.  The day we painted was drizzly and wet and rainy…  We had to paint in an outside hallway, between the band room and the choir room.  Not a problem, we flipped over the outside rugs and put the cart on them KS and AV were armed with spray paint while A held a cardboard panel for overspray and I held another one fanning fumes and spray.  The only problem we encountered, was the all state band competition for our area was being held at our school the next day and someone was going to drop off some very expensive procession instruments…  while we were painting, with white fumes floating in the air.  My long time readers know I easily get the giggles, so while we were fanning and laughing, I was giggling.  The band director came out to meet the instrument delivery and asked us to stop painting so they could safely move in the brass instruments.  We were fanning like crazy and giggling while trying to get the white paint fumes to go away before they brought the expensive instruments past out project area.  .  After the instruments were safely loaded into the band room we resumed painting and laughing.  Later the band teacher came to me laughing, one of the students who was helping asked him “do you think they are high on fumes?”  Oh dear!  Nothing like a student thinking the principals wife was high.  For the record, nope I was not, I just get the giggles.  Days later you could still see a trace of white overspray on the ground just at the edge of the rugs.

The tea party stuff on the cart.IMG_1993The bunt cake pan was hot glued to a red plate for a nice little cake.  We contemplated putting sprinkles or something on the cake but decided the distance to see the cake would not make sprinkles worth our effort.10735977_10205759741259010_563234311_nPlaster of paris cupcakes 10743718_10205759736058880_1855870368_nJust big enough to look like cupcakes from the audience.10744497_10205759741219009_744677742_nI used the giant cupcake pan that you can find at most baking stores.  Each cupcake took a whole container of plaster of paris.  Because it took so much  P or P it took a while to dry.  Thankfully I started the cupcakes before we began working on stage so they had plenty of time to dry before we painted them.IMG_2003See the giant cupcake in pink and green?  You will need a P of P glue since hot glue does NOT work on P of P.
Do you see our giant tea cups.  I found those at Wal-mart.  They were perfect.  The ‘milk’ pitcher was picked up at goodwill, it was painted nicely but in navy and rose colors,  I took the paint of the cupcakes and slapped it on there, not perfect but again from the audience no one could tell.IMG_1990Lemons
mini footballs spray painted then brush painted, cut in half and seeds added.IMG_1992Sugar cubes.
Styrofoam cut into squares painted white to keep from crumbling with use we liberally sprinkled with glitter.IMG_1991Silver spoons.
Plastic spoon pack from the dollar store spray painted silverIMG_2001One more picture of the cart.
The wheels were made by AV and the kids knocked them off relentlessly.
In their defense they stuck out and it was dark back stage.
They are made from card board and hot glued on.IMG_1998Mushroom seats
Years and years ago maintenance made us about a dozen wooden boxes in different heights.  We have used them for almost every musical since they made the boxes.  Painted flat black they disappear when on stage.  The mushrooms were drawn and painted on in the same colors and the mushrooms in wonderland.IMG_1999The table top was 2 large sheets of styrofoam and a thin piece of plywood glued together.  We topped it with more of the indoor outdoor carpet.10710671_10203697019118913_4969005046107792005_nHere it is all together.
{you might notice the red watering can, it was supposed to be the tea-pot but it was very distracting during dress rehearsal so we removed it.
{which is why they have dress rehearsal}

The nice thing about the mushroom seats was the stability so as the kids danced around the table they stepped up and down on the boxes giving great visuals.

Only 2 more parts of Alice to post about.  This set was so fun to work on.  The colors were great and the pieces were large and easy to make.

Are you getting tired of seeing these posts?  If so then skip the next 2 posts on Alice.  Come back to see the fun we will be having this weekend.  I can’t wait!  One of  blog friends, Christine from  Chicken Coop  is bringing her son Cuckoo down for “his trip” we plan on going trick or treating 2 times,  he really wants to collect more candy than his 5 other siblings.  We will also go to a hunt gators and other wild life, a tale gate party and a football game and the beach.  After that they will hit up some things on their own.  I can’t wait.  Christine has been a great sounding board and a dear friend who has prayed for my scary pregnancy with PS and prayed during her extended hospital stay.  We have never met in real life, more like blogging pen pals.  C thinks it is funny I can have a friend that I never met, but we tease him for having a friend he met in the pop aisle at a grocery store in Mi.

What about you, did you have a penal growing up?

Go hug your kids, they need your love!

Alice in WonderLand 3

Alice in WonderLand Prince Street Players version part 3

10706465_10205494598670611_1526445077_nAs promised today I will show you WonderLand.  The day AV {my right hand woman} and I put the design onto the drop cloth to paint we were like 2 giddy school girls.  I think we might have been giggling we were so excited.  It turned out even better than I imagined!  We had an idea for inspiration put our spin on it.

We used drop cloths cut to size that could be attached to the original back drop, this way the entire stage floor was empty, no slide were brought in, nothing to take up space, while in some scenes the stage only had 2 or 3 people, later in the same scene 15 or more people would come on for a group song,  They needed every foot of space they could squeeze out of us.

WonderLand974414_10205759720738497_1718598725_nWe Love it!
Check out the baby in the play pen.
She was not a huge fan of the pen…
You can see the Hall of Doors back drop drying on the ground before the key holes were painted on.10728885_10205759730258735_934980426_nWe used sharpies to draw it on the canvas, then we used letter clues to know what to paint what color. 10743837_10205759730218734_734988082_nThe steps in Wonderland were lined up with the steps in the original garden scene.10743532_10205759730138732_975193703_nThe day we started painting we really only had 30 minutes before AV had to leave, I think we kept going for an hour, we just did not want to stop.  We were giggling and kept exclaiming how great it was!10362626_10205759730298736_810844292_nEven in the early stages we were in love!10726391_10205759730178733_1883282189_nOur little painted helper.
She was painting the black stage boxes while we were working on wonderland.10744493_10205759720618494_2094606494_nIsn’t it wonderful!?!?!

Here is the wonderland backdrop during dress rehearsal.
{all the stage lights were not on so it is not as vivid during dress rehearsal}1619453_10203697015558824_5098320998996800780_nThe caterpillar and butterfly scene10421196_10203697015958834_5372998337736772330_nOh my goodness one of my favorite was the duchess song.  It stuck in my mind and was a fun part to watch. 10440805_10203697016358844_5647806401170199703_nThe song was so stuck in my head but I did not know the words or even where it came from the first day I heard it, that evening was humming the song with completely different words, until I heard the kids outside playing and someone started crying… Then I remembered where I heard the song.1912013_10203697017158864_3091210500636834197_nThis was the hard part, Alice went from being alone in Wonderland, to dancing with a butterfly and caterpillar to the duchess scene, then a music show, to having the entire wonderland group dancing on stage, complete with doors and a girl in a tree costume.  At moments it was empty but other times it was filled with people.  We found lots of great props and ideas online, we just did not have the space to get it all on stage.

Only a few more posts on WonderLand I don’t know if that makes you happy or relieved…  We really had so much fun working on the set, I miss the friendships we had on stage.

Go hug your kids they need your love

P.S.  Thanks again to AV for the pictures.
{I enlarged them, trying to see if I can make them bigger and not blurry}

Alice in WonderLand 2

Alice In Wonderland the Prince Street Players, part 2

I know you have been anxiously checking and waiting for part 2 of my Alice in Wonderland posts.   I had great intentions of putting it all out in a week, but, well, life got in the way.  And as much as I like/love blogging…  my family is first. I think you already knew that.

All totaled we gave  570 man, or actually woman, hours {we had 1 dad show up} in this musical set.  I showed the opening scene in an earlier post, so now lets take a look at the transition from English garden to Wonderland.10291072_10203697012318743_3092788894363732037_nIn order to keep the musical going, not to have dead times during scene changes we kept the music going, which meant we needed to provide a place in front of the curtain for a small part to happen while the stagehands quickly changed things around.
As the song ended in the garden the White Rabbit came forward singing about being LATE…
Alice walked forward singing and talking to the white rabbit.
The curtains closed the 2 backstage guys slid out our sign and the rabbit hole.  Which was made from 2 wooden boxes wrapped in nasty pillows and covered in one same indoor-outdoor carpet we used for the grass on the trees.
White rabbit and Alice climbed up onto the rabbit hole and sang about going down, down, down the hole.  There were 5 “dirt and roots” guys who danced and swayed around them as they dropped.1902921_10203697012638751_4016742236227411982_nThe curtain opened at the end of the song to the Hall Of Doors

The following are pictures and some information of the making of this scene.10728563_10205759736178883_1060959819_nThe backdrop
We laid out our painters canvas, started with a medium blue on the center oval, and progressively got darker the farther out we went. 974414_10205759720698496_472195011_nThe back drop drying {once dry we attached it to the back drop to the original garden wooden back drop, they are screwed on so during the scene change the stage hands simply tossed over the new back drop)

After we painted the blue ovals we took 2 different sized Key Holes made from cardboard, drew them on and filled them in.  We contemplated making neat and tidy rows, but decided that was going to take so much work to *fingers crossed* make it even.  We felt the chaos and non uniformity fit the scene better anyway.  This backdrop was stressful to AV she was having a hard time seeing the final picture.  After we completed it she was relieved, she had decided if it did not look good, she was just going to walk out during these scenes.10734111_10203697012798755_7737655694188007798_nDoesn’t it look great?10176256_10203697012838756_1946781811803049707_nAs Alice ate or drank from the table the  doors and table would grow or shrink.
The table is thick styrofoam with a thin piece of plywood for strength and a wooden dowel is attached to it, we also cut a hole into the top of the table to balance the DRINK ME bottle while she walked.  After dress rehearsal we changed up the plastic dark blue table-cloth for the same shimmery blue as the sea of tears and the doors.  The table-cloth also was a ‘hi-low’  we put a tap light under the table to light up the girl and then the fabric caught the light and would shimmer, much better than the table-cloth we started with.IMG_1989The doors grew just like thisIMG_1988Tall doors she could not open.IMG_2011The doors were made from styrofoam, backed with super thin plywood to attach the fabric panels.IMG_2010A little over 36 inches wide, with dowels glues into the bottom.
FYI you must use glue specifically for styrofoam, or it melts.10343488_10203697015038811_2430062397931049974_nAs Alice began to cry 4 “tear holders” came out and waved a sea of tears for Alice, the french mouse and 3 birds to swim, sing and dance.  As they danced they moved forward.  When they landed the curtains closed for another quick scene change, again in interest of time and maintaining the viewer’s attention, the “caucus race” was held in front of the curtain while the stage hands changed backgrounds.

My next post on wonderland is in wonderland.  Check it out and let me know if you have any questions.  This time we have made the set pieces available for purchase.  Please contact me via the blog and we can talk about pricing if you are interested.

Do you ever get started on a project and begin to dread and hate it only to have it turn out perfectly like you visioned? Do you keep going or quit and trash the whole thing?

Go hug your kids, they need your love.

p.s. photos were again taken by AV {As seen holding the doors}

Alice In WonderLand 1

I’m back into the blog world, it was a Mad-Mad World out there, but I’m back.

I was busy working on the set for Alice in Wonderland, we had a lot of fun but it was a ton of work.  Seriously so much work.  The girls were troopers and as frustrating as it was to have PS cry while I was working, plenty of the moms who came to paint were glad to hold her, and snuggle with her.  So considering she was only 8 months when I got started she did great!  Little A loves going up to work, that might be in part because the lunch ladies spoil her!   She also had some friends her age to play with and she had plenty of adults to talk to.

If you will remember way back to last October, I worked on the set with 2 great leaders and a great work crew as we painted and hammered and glued and painted and painted and painted the set for Peter Pan.  Then, in February, I worked with AV and together we did the set for Don’t Take My Penny.  We work great together, feeding off each other for creativity, ideas, practicality, and time management.  We have a lot of laughs and some really great talks.

This summer I did not have any of my kids make the cuts and get a role in the musical.  Alice In WonderLand.  I only had 1 try out, she was very sad she did not make it, and honestly I cried when I learned she was not going to be in the musical.  It would be my first year in 10 years to not be going to all 4 showings and spending time working towards the final goal.  {I was sitting in the hospital with PS and her RSV when Keith texted me.  He tried to cheer me up, but I was still sad.  I think all parents are sad when their children’s dreams are not coming true}  As summer wore on Keith requested that I not help out on the set, not a problem I had a needy baby, she really is only happiest if we are touching, and I have only a few months left with little A before she joins the school group, I was going to enjoy not working on the set.  I needed a break. {I thought}

We returned home from dropping the man-child off at that great University in KY.  {The one, that is taking my boy and turning him into a man…that University?} As I was saying, We returned on Thursday evening, to bed they all went, we had our own first day of school on Friday.  Two days late, but our first day.  As I was leaving kids, hugging, kissing, and taking that last teacher-student picture I ran into a friend, and my father in law.  She asked when I was going to start working on the set for Alice.  I laughed as said I was not going to be working on the set, my father in law said he was not going to be helping either.  No one had contacted him over the summer with building plans since school had started up he would not be doing any builds.  I left school with the 2 girlies, and went home, I used to shop the first day of school but because of E and her health issues I stay home those first few days and shop at a later date once I know she is settled.  Relaxing at home, laying in bed we were snuggling, reading books and watching TV when Keith called me.  “The guy who normally designs the sets for the musicals cannot do it this year TE wants to know if you’d be willing to be head set designer?”  I was a bit shocked and honestly surprised.  I was even more surprised when I got excited with the request.  I agreed and realized that being designer was going to be a lot of work.  I decided I needed a goal.  I made 2 goals.  The first was to be completely finished by dress rehersal day.  {something we have never been able to do before}  The second thing was to be sure to make it fun.  No stress just fun.  I did a lot of pinterest looking and read the script.  By the time I met up with AV, my right hand, we had a pretty good idea of where we were going.

Alice In Wonderland
Prince Street Players version

IMG_1979I hung up our list of projects, backgrounds and prop lists.  In hopes that if I could not be at work, then others would see what was left to do and work on it.IMG_1980It gave a sense of accomplishment to mark things off the lists.
{Each piece of paper had prop pieces and backgrounds needed for each scene, and I put everything down for each scene, crossing things off each day was motivating, and we knew when we were coming to the end, also, I could not forget something if it was written down.}

Do you want to see what we accomplished in the month of September?  If not, then skip to the end but if you are interested, continue on.  We will start with the opening scene.  It called for an English garden.  We went with a more back of the garden, wild garden, then manicured Secret Garden style garden.  I sent out a volunteer email to the parents who said they wanted to help.  I also put a call out on Facebook and had friends show up to help, two, who did not even have a child involved in the musical.  I had 2 who claimed to not be creative but could paint straight lines.  In total I had 7 adults, 3 4year olds, and a baby.  We did it.  Here are pictures of the progress and musical.  I stole most of the pictures from AV.  All the group pictures were taken during dress rehearsal.  Her camera skills are much better than mine!  1377025_10203697012198740_1702855843363837512_nThis is the final result.10660990_10205341665007365_1662014708_nStarting at the left edge10653960_10205341664847361_164078459_nRight side.  {The mom who painted the shading on the gate door said “please don’t tell me if you have to change and fix it…  We did not have to change it, just added some vines and hinges.}10567909_10205341664887362_290359782_nThe complete background without the large floating tree/mushrooms.
{See the little bunny?  Little A painted it, up close it is kind of messy but from far away it is not, and there were so many kids on stage during that scene that it was not noticeable}10744577_10205759720658495_1849677270_nThe floating trees.
We had a wonderful man donate 2 UHaul truck loads of stage styrofoam to the school we only had to pick it up, it was hot and a lot of work.  We used the pillars to make tree trunks, maintenance was so kind to go with my creative ideas, making the donated styrofoam into trees, they shaved the squared pillars to a rounded shape for trunks.  The top of the tree is styrofoam that fit into the pillars like puzzle pieces.  I thought it would be okay but soon was convinced that topping them in painted painters canvas would be better and they were right!  We painted the canvas half mushroom red and half green then after we attached it we made the red and green into mushrooms and trees.  I found some indoor-outdoor carpet to make our grass for the base of our trees.  10728993_10205759716658395_1628212839_nThe single tree/mushroom is on casters since they pulled it forward while Alice was sitting on a tree stump singing.
Before shading, and grass.IMG_1997Alice’s tree and stump.  We used ropes to pull them around.
After shading and grass.10743536_10205759713178308_256231167_nThe opening scene, {this was before AV painted the back wall behind the garden a new fresh coat of flat black.1377025_10203697012198740_1702855843363837512_nSee how the girls are moving the tree while she reads?

The garden wall is on thin wood nice plywood style wood.  Super smooth and so much nicer to work on than the cardboard walls that we had used too many times, warped and textured…  Thanks to my FIL for making them for us!

What about you how do you feel about the musical Alice in Wonderland?  Did you read the book, love the movie or even act in it?

Go hug your kids, life moves too fast and we don’t know how long we have to share our love!

Stay tuned for more parts in the next few days…

New Paint

We have been busy here in the land of overholt8.  We finally, sort-of, sold C’s bed last week.  The boys are finally not sharing a room, they are thrilled, not that there is anything wrong with sharing, but we have an empty room so we are spreading out.  After we started boxing up the things C left behind I took the boys shopping for new room paint.  It took another week before we could start with J’s room.  We are doing his first because he is getting C’s room, it was empty first.  C had the smaller room, which is why he was alone, we let R choose and J got the smaller room.  Now that the boys will be in separate places I am interested in seeing who made their room such a disaster.IMG_0471R was more than happy to help paint, knowing that the sooner the room was ready the sooner he could have his own space.IMG_0470I just love the dark gray color.IMG_0472 Nice and fresh coat of paint, new high gloss white on all the trim.  I love the contrast and I love high gloss white!IMG_0474J has 4 windows in his room, 1 faces south the rest face west, his room is nice and bright most of the day, so gray was not going to be a problem color.
{See that brown thing on the window sill?  It is termite fras and the termite guy was just here last month.}IMG_0473Like I said the room is small.  It is the smallest room in the house, but perfect for 1 person.  (actually years ago we tore apart our bedroom and moved into this room during the 6 month fixing process, we had a queen bed and 3 people sleeping in here, it was not huge but there was space for 2 dressers, a bed, a mom and a dad and a very fussy little boy.  I guess you could say J is returning to the bedroom he had when he was a baby.)IMG_0478Right now we only have his furniture in the room, but we are free on Friday night so we will move everything else over so we can start in on R’s room.  I’ll post pictures of the finished project when we are done.  R is patiently waiting for his new look in his room.  He “sold” us 2 of his bookshelves for J’s room so he can get 2 bigger bookshelves since the 3 short ones he had did not hold all his books.IMG_0467While cleaning out C’s things we found a missing sock, I will be sending it up in this week’s care package.

Set work for Alice is humming along nicely I’ll post pictures when we finish that too.  We should be completely done with all our things by Oct 3, which is dress rehearsal day.  We have a schedule and seem to do a pretty good job sticking to it.  And I have had quite a group of helpers.  Willing parents who come for hours at a time and work hard.  I was talking to one of them yesterday, her child is not even in the play, but she has given up 3 full days so far, and told me it is addicting to work on the set, I agreed with her.  The director asked if I would be willing to do it again next year.  I told her I would have to see how the next year shapes up.  But If I could start working in the summer instead of a month before the musical it would be easier.  As a bonus I could harness the help of students who have nothing to do all summer.10706465_10205494598670611_1526445077_nMy adorable set painting helper.  If you will notice she has no paint on her clothes, we keep our painting clothes on stage and just change to paint then put on our clean clothes again to go home, saves ruining clothes and we always know where our painting clothes are.

10707894_10205494598590609_1856632261_nThis sweet thing gets stuck standing all the time.  No matter how many times I help her sit down she gets back up again.  She was doing this before she could sit, and still gets stuck.  Yes she is almost asleep, she was tired and stuck.

10647771_10205341668087442_1569950720_nHere is something to make you laugh or not, it made me laugh at the large family.  No it is not my van although we do drive the same kind, we large families stick together in our lack of vehicle choice.  For the record dad is not crossed out, he is colored in, it is a bi-racial family.

I’ll get you all filled in on our boring but busy life in a few more weeks when we are finished working on the set.

What about you did you change things around at home recently?  Did you paint a room?  I ran into a friend while shopping for paint and things for Alice, and he asked if Keith was out-of-town…  Ha-Ha  he knows me too well, a cart full in the home improvement store, no Keith, must mean I’m working on a project!  {I do have one in the works and he will be gone in October…}

Go hug your kids, and tell someone you love them, life is just too short to wait!

Don’t Take My Penny, the Actual Play

Have you seen the play Don’t Take My Penny?  Do you know the story line?  I did not, I did not even know what was actually going to happen until I saw the first production, which made it fun to see.  The basic story line, Penny is smitten with the possibility of becoming a movie star, in a movie based on a popular book.  Kerry is her boy friend {C} he does not want Hollywood to “take his Penny”  do you see the name?  Yes it was an ah’ha moment for me.  Kerry and his best friend go through all sorts of schemes trying to make sure that Penny does not go into movies.  Included in the cast of characters is the funny grandma, Penny’s best friend who thinks she will go far, his best friend who is willing to do anything to keep Kerry happy and the girl friend home.  Penny’s brother who only wants a chicken farm, and a sister who truly is a movie star quality, an agent, a former child actor playing a maid and the parents who are clueless to their family problems..  Yesterday I posted pictures of the set that we did for Don’t Take My Penny.  I promised that I would post pictures of the actual play.  I did steal a few pictures from AV {the friend who helped with the set}  I will try to remember which ones are hers and give credit where credit is due.IMG_0762The seniors LAST play together.IMG_0659Kerry and Penny IMG_0658Kerry and Penny’s best friend.IMG_0660Kerry and Grandma, she was trying to devise a plan with the boys to keep Penny home.IMG_0662Penny trying to impress the director of the movie she wants to star in.  {which is really Kerry in disguise}IMG_0663The “director” of the movie trying to convince Penny she is perfect, then again not so perfect.10009863_10202224846715523_911068294_nNotice the fine spray of tea that he spews all over the stage.  Spitting is apparently a skill that can be used later in life.IMG_0695Kerry and the “fake” maid, she was planted at their house in hopes of staring in the same movie Penny wanted to be in.IMG_0692Kerry worried about Penny really leaving him to go off and be an actress.IMG_0724Kerry and his best friend trying to trick Penny into thinking Kerry has moved on.IMG_0725Anyone notice anything familiar about this picture?IMG_0083Yes they were back at it again.10006976_10202224848795575_43830703_nThe “maid” and Penny’s brother went to look at a farm, they ended up with a chicken.  For a while we had a hard time finding a chicken we stumbled upon this one in the costume room, we really thought it would be funnier to use a real chicken.
{photo from AV}IMG_0742The brother, farmer, the fake maid, former child star and her agent {he is the one who came in and out our terrace window}IMG_0677They were so funny together.  Best friends who knew how to feed off each other, and the audience, to keep us all laughing.IMG_0697I’m sad that this is the last time I will see this boy on stage for a school play or musical.  I am going to miss sitting through all the productions, listening to him talk about practice and finding costume pieces, I’m going to miss set work {although AV said I have to work for 2 more years until our girls graduate then I can quit.} I’m going to miss watching him shine with the things he loves to do.  I am sure I will go to other productions {E is already talking about trying out for the fall musical} I will laugh and smile and hum along.  I know the first production I go to next fall, I will be sad, and nostalgic, when I think of the past productions I have watched.

IMG_2174This sweetness is glad that the play is over, only because she has no idea what she missed out on.

Go hug your kids and share with them a fun memory of high school.

Don’t take my Penny Set Work

In the midst of settling in with a fresh from the hospital baby, I received an e-mail from the musicals/plays director.  Actually the email went to all senior parents.  It was asking for parent volunteers to come work on the set.  There was no-way I was going up, I had a baby who was less than a month old, we were to avoid large crowds, and learn how to get on at home, with a monitor, a newborn, a preschooler, ballet, school, basketball, trial team, and 7 children.  I had a trump card I did not have to go it!  But to be polite I responded to the email, letting her know that IF no one else volunteered to let me know and I could go in and work on it.  Days later I once again received an email, no one volunteered to come work.  No one.  Seriously, not a single senior parent sent back an email.  Ok time to pull up my boot straps, tie the baby on, and give it a go.  Once a loyal set worker learned I was going to do it, she replied that she would work, but not be in charge of the set.  {Whew}  I did have 2 more people volunteer, one who her schedule never lined up with our work days, and a dad who came and painted 2 of the walls for us.

This set was easy, the entire production would take place in the family room.  We only had to design and decorate 1 room, well two if you consider the family was “remodeling” the dining room so there was also a table and chairs in the room.  A 1940’s style family room that would be shared by both the high school and middle school productions of Don’t Take My Penny.

AV and I worked together on a few other sets, we think alike on set work, we make quick decisions, we don’t second guess or re-do our work, we do it right the first time.  We met at Chick Fil A both of us with pictures we had pinned on pinterest of rooms, accessories, decorations, and paint colors from the 1940’s.  After eating, chatting and coming up with a plan we headed to Hob’Lob looking for a template for the wall paint.  The family in the play had money, so we decided to have their house as up to date on the fashion colors and design.

IMG_0634We choose a geometric pattern, we found this to be quite close to the popular patterning from the 40’s.

From Left to RightIMG_0626 We were going to go with a lovely green shade but when I went into the cafeteria/auditorium I noticed that the whole room is shades of green {sea-foam green to be exact} we did not want to lose the set in the green, we decided to go with our 2nd color choice.  PINK which if you will look it up was quite popular in the 40′.  Who knew?
{We used bolts of fabric to show that they were “redecorating the dining room”
The door on the left the middle school used for a kitchen door, the high school did not use the door}
IMG_0627We copied the designs of having only 1 wall “fancy” while the rest were simple and plain.
{The table and lamp were from AV’s house, the chairs were up there when we started,
the large artwork was loaned to us we found the broken violin in the storage room}

IMG_0628Because PS did not want me to paint, AV did the entire back wall, it took her a few days of putting in a few hours each day.  The hardest part was the lining up the template, the wall is actually cardboard walls that have been used in MANY productions, we had to cover our walls from Peter Pan, there was also a wall from years ago when we did Seussical the Musical Jr, there was even one from Cheaper by the Dozen that was wall papered with textured paper.  Needless to say they are wavy, warped, and some were textured, she had to line up the template to be straight even when she felt it was wrong.  It looked amazing!
{The table was loaned to us the radio was found in the costume room, we purchased the bird cage at GoodWill and used gold spray paint to dress it up, the birds were hot glued on from Hob’Lob the window was painted on to fit the treatment that was loaned to us}IMG_0630The right wall, the window opened to the “terrace” and one of the kids came in and out the window.
{We “found” the grandfather clock up in the storage attic, the window seat is built in an the hat rack with phone were from AV’s house.  The furniture were also loaned to us, most of the pieces were gathered from our houses or purchased at GoodWill}
We were thankful because it added character, took up a large space and we did not have to build it out of cardboard.
Actually this is the very first set I have worked on where we did not build anything out of cardboard.IMG_0634Can you see the texture wall border in the window?  That was difficult to stencil over.

TaDaIMG_0635The finished product.IMG_0636Sorry it is a little blurry.
{The table was set with dishes not the bags and boxes we took home}

We were able to have the set finished {except for the foods stuff} well before the dress rehearsal.  I know C was thankful they hate to have dress rehearsal when the stage is not ready, they can’t practice when they have walls or big pieces missing.  Our goal was a great looking set, finished quickly, and for cheap.

Tomorrow I’ll show you pictures of the actual play.

What about you?  Did you do “Don’t Take My Penny” in high school or college?  What part did you play?  O worked back stage this production and had a great time!  Did you work back stage?

Go hug your kids, they need your love.

I know a lot of my readers don’t find the play sets interesting but a few people have found ideas when searching for their own set designs, this is mostly for them, hoping to give ideas since we have copied others ideas on our sets.