Friday, March 26, 2010

Birthday Donkeys

My Mom's birthday is March 10th and since it's past and she's received this gift I can blog about it. My mom and I mail a lot of things back and forth, her more than I. And she also gets a lot of things on eBay, but recently the mail carrier won't leave them by the mailbox or take them to the porch. My Mom just finds those notes in the box that says come into the post office, you've got a package. Well... driving into town is not my mother's favorite thing to do, not even for a package. She mentioned getting a larger mailbox a few times and I made a mental note. So for her bday I went down to Marine Home Center here on island and walked home carrying a Jumbo mailbox. The thing is 24" deep, 15" high and 11" wide. It's the biggest mailbox I could find.
I knew I wanted to paint a cool scene on it so I placed a call to my brother, Cody, to see if a donkey scene would be the way to go and he gave me the go ahead. I used a photo Mom had sent me of some of her donkeys turned it into a silhouette. I actually got the idea from a t-shirt Simon has that depicts a cowboy on horseback silhouetted in front of a plateau. I just really liked the way the sun and the sky looked.

The problem was that I didn't prime the box... I got cocky and thought I could manage without it and that came back to bite me in the butt. I was trying to get it done fast and instead, not priming it meant a million layers that were just starting to look a little like poo.
So I finally broke down, gave up my crazy layers and threw down some white. What a difference...
I had planned on mailing this to Mom know full well that she'd get another note in her mailbox and have to drive to town for the oversized package. The last package she'd have to pick up since it's the world's largest mailbox. But after talking to Cody again we decided it would be cooler if came home from work one day and it was up and full of mail. So, I mailed it to Cody who drove home the next weekend and put the box up while Mom was at work. She actually drove home while Cody and our cousin, Derek, were finishing putting it up but she was still surprised. The poor guys ran into a slew of problems but battled on in the name of large parcel capacity.
Here's a picture of the mailbox in (in)action... nice work Cody and Derek.

Pajama Game

Well, it's over. The Pajama Game is done and gone and now I have so much more free time. YIPPEE! So, I'm finally getting around to putting up some of pictures for this particular production. There were seven different sets for the show, which makes it the biggest show I've ever worked on, but I totally lucked out with the space and with the help I had. Firstly, I have to give a huge thanks to Caleb Kardell. The man is a set-building machine! And he's also so chill about things, it kept me from getting too stressed out. Caleb and I both, insanely, called up the director and volunteer to help with the show... little did we know how intense it would be...

I had a lot to learn just being in such a large space. The Nantucket High School Auditorium is gigantic. After working in Bennett Hall last summer it was more than awesome to have wings and a fly system.
Zeb Bennett offered up an artistic hand when he could, he's a very busy boy. I couldn't be more appreciative to have someone who's hand their hands on a paint brush before. Good help is hard to find...
But the crew my buddies created was nothing but money. Carmen showed up pretty much every day as we eeked out every last piece and finished up the flats. Nothing but rockstars, that's what they are.
Carmen painted these sweet sewing machine cutouts...
Linney, the stage manager was always willing to help. Here she is sporting a tunic/apron. I was trend setting... every one wanted to be the cool kid with the apron.
Zeb and Little Lizzy Skokan had the pleasure of painting over "FOOTLOOSE" that was painted on the back wall of the theater. Poor guys. It was oil paint and Little Lizzy had it all over her glasses, neck, face and shirt. All in a painter day's work.
One day, I believe it was a Saturday, a good decent number of cast members hung out and helped prime and paint pieces. It was a huge help.
The first piece that was really done was the Hernandos hideaway sign. It turned out to be my favorite piece in the show.... this photo doesn't do it justice, it really looked sick all lit up. The entire Hernando's scene was dark. The actors used cigarettes lighters to light their faces and then there were just heavy red lights for mood. I don't think there are any really good pics of it so you'll have to take my word for it.
I'm so glad Carmen was so willing to help. She did a lot and kept me in stitches. Every time I'd break out the camera she'd whip around with the super happy face smile. In this super happy photo she's painting the stairs to give them a corrugated tin feel.
Margie didn't want her picture taken, but she's was another god-send. Not only had she done numerous plays in this auditorium, she rocks, pure and simple. So after she hung the flats with a little help from some of us we could get down to business on "Babe's House" and "the Office." We needed a fridge for the kitchen, so we turned the chest, you see pictured below, on it's short side which worked perfectly. The problem was that we couldn't paint it, so we settled to cover it with blue painter's tape and then paint over that. In the end it looked pretty great.
Getting closer than we'd ever been before... Carmen paints in the tree I shabbily sketched out on the huge picnic scene backdrop. We totally lucked out... these 8 flats were already together, hung on the fly, and painted with an ocean scene. we just painted some grass over the ocean, added a tree, and changed the seagulls to black birds.
The breakroom scene flat was actually pretty fun to paint. I put in a vintage Coke machine and a trash can and lastly added my not-so-straight lines to insinuate corrugated tin. I didn't do much for shading, at first just for time but once we saw it up we realized it didn't really need it.
The picnic scene was one of the first to have multiple pieces done ... we were fitting it all together. I was hellbent on having those swans, even though they fell down in two of the performances. ha.

Well Wed

As you may have noticed I'm a bit behind on my blogging and I apologize. I'll do my best to catch up over the weekend. First things first, the Well Wed bridal show that Carmen, Erin and I went to March 6th. Erin met Carmen and I just after getting off the boat and we went for a refreshment while Erin tried to get a ticket to the expo. Carmen and I got scored ours for free from my buddy Jeanne Van Etten (some of you may already know this info since I talked about it in a previous post)
Lucky Duck Erin was able to score a ticket and a good thing too. The show was a good time. There were lots of booths with cake and cookies, (poor Carmen, she gave up sugary treats for lent but that just meant all the more for me) jewelry, food, hair stylists and make up artists. There were seminars for wine tastings, a display with reception table decorations, a photo booth and a cotton candy machine. It was like a carnival filled with dreamy eyed, high maintenance women. Erin found some jewelry she liked, among other things...
Carmen and I got some rocking MOD eyelashes put on by professionals. Because everyone knows how annoying it is to get those fake lashed to look right. Although I do have to throw in that the girl doing this originally glued my right eye closed... she fixed it.... no worries.
We were out of all our complimentary drink tickets by the time the fashion show started up. I thought there would be more girls in dresses... That part of it was okay but not great. A few of the dresses, however were smashing! (that's a pic of the stage and runway... the women in this picture are not the models)
Then here's a pic of Jeanne's cake topper. She donated it to the silent auction. I never did see how much it went for but I thought it was pretty cool hip and groovy.
On the way out we all got a free Well Wed magazine and a complimentary bottle of rose table wine. Carmen and I dropped the ball by leaving our bottles in the hotel fridge the next day when we checked out. sad face.

Erin had already booked a massage the next morning at a ritzy hotel. The name of it escapes me right now, but it was big and fancy. The restaurant was pretty busy for the winter, I thought and the bartender (Carmen remembers his name, he was wearing a name tag) wasn't very friendly. But the food was good and decently affordable. Carmen and I had our party eyes on and were feeling our oats but Erin was pretty sleepy so we all went back to the hotel room and relaxed in the overstuffed beds.
The next day Erin ordered us breakfast roomservice so we could all eat in bed. Then we mulled around getting ready and taking silly pics with our complimentary roses from the wedding expo. After Erin came back from her massage we rolled out to see "Alice in Wonderland." It was a good trip and because it was such nice weather that weekend we did a lot of walking around.
It really was a shame we left our wine behind.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Simon's Birthday

Tuesday was Simon's 29th birthday.. the end of the 20s! Even if I had money, he's impossible to buy for. He doesn't need much, doesn't have lots of hobbies... just his car and even if I knew what he needed for that I can't afford it. So, I made him car related things. This is his car 2 summer's ago.
A kit car, the 1965 Shelby Daytona Coupe from Factory Five Racing. The factory is really close to us.. maybe 20 minutes from Hyannis. Simon likes to stop by there when we're off island just to check out the cars. This is the showroom model.
Right now his car is in his garage, in pieces until he gets the rest of the parts he needs. I have no idea what those are, but they're suppose to make it faster.

I made him his very own coffee mug.
One of my friends, Andy Schmidt, made a lot of these in college. He'd use his digital photography... they were super sweet, a series called Life with Andy where he'd take a million pics of himself in one scene and then put them all together as one photo. Brilliantly done. Anyway... I made a small collage with some print outs of Simon's car.
I also thought a t-shirt would be cool. He has to wear clothes, right? And this is a shirt Simon made for Halloween two years ago. I don't remember what he was trying to accomplish, but the shirt was cool. He painted his tire and drove over the tee. I found it balled up in the closet when I was cleaning a while back and thought it would be really cool if I added to it.
So I made a stencil of the Shelby Cobra logo and at the suggestion of our roommate, Denis, added the number '65 to the sleeve. He wore it yesterday around the house, but said the shirt itself doesn't fit the way he'd like it to. It looks great, what's he talking about?
Then as the icing on the cake, literally, I made an icing version of his car for the top of his cake. The problem was I didn't have a lot of time this week so I tried to take a short cut and it didn't work.
I used the canned decoration frosting to trace the car and fill it in, but even in the freezer it never got solid enough to peel off the waxpaper. What a crock! By this time my buddy, Julie, and I had had a few glasses of wine so drawing the car freehand was even more difficult.
It doesn't have the right proportions... it looks more like the Dalorian from Back to the Future than a Daytona Coupe, but it's the thought that counts.

He had a blast at his party...
There had to be over 20 people in our little apartment once things really started swinging. The beer flowed like wine and the women instinctively flocked like the salmon of Capistrano. Uh...actually... that's not true. The beer was abundant but the ladies were scarce. That's Nantucket in the winter for you. Sorry fellas. I'd like to mention that I'm suppose to be working on a shotski/tipksi for Simon. My mom placed an order for one as his Christmas present but I need to design it. I clearly haven't done that, but I will. Here's Cody, my little bro, with his first finished ski.
Let me know if you're interested in one... I'll give you his info.