Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Life After Hamilton/Morton

I am not going to write a review of Hamilton. As a matter of fact, I am going to put all my energy into NOT TELLING YOU A THING ABOUT IT.

Because I don't want to ruin it for you. It is just possible I could rave so much, and share so much, your expectations would become sky high and no performance could possibly live up to them. This is the exact same tactic I'm taking with my friends and Lilly.

In January, five of us (including Lilly) are going to see Hamilton in Chicago...and I want them all to experience it the same way I did.

So -- you might be relieved to know that HAMILTON WEEK IS OFFICIALLY OVER.

On the second day of our Chicago excursion, Kimberly had a library conference to attend -- so Linda and I went to the Morton Arboretum.

There was a huge outdoor sculpture exhibit...origami...

A peaceful little garden, just outside of the Morton library
Inside, I learned how to origami a drinking cup (or drinking themble?)
Linda made a paper...train??  toothpick?  No...wait for it, wait for it...
The base of this sculpture only LOOKS like water...(it's really mirror tiles)
Spectacular either close up or from a distance!!
Can you guess what this sculpture is called?
Yep. Scissors, paper, rock!!
Hanging high in the sky. Such great imagination, eh?

Linda and I went to McD's for a cold drink...we had about 30 minutes before we had to meet Kim. GREAT!! Time for one spectacular game of Bananagrams!!

It was such a stunning beautiful day. I kept thinking...

HOW LUCKY WE ARE TO BE ALIVE RIGHT NOW...(okay, so I'm not QUITE over Hamilton yet!)

Monday, June 26, 2017


We arrived in downtown Chicago, located the Private Bank theater, then looked around for a nearby place where we could eat lunch.  BINGO!!!  Just a half a block away -- the Beef 'n Brandy was the PERFECT SPOT. 
The had an extensive downtown/diner menu with everything from breakfast to Porterhouse steak...(they a special of Blini's with black cherry sauce... I tried to say no to this... )
Two Iowans and a Texan....walk into the room....
We walked to the Private Bank Theater.  Ooh, there’s nothing like summer in the city.
Someone in a rush next to someone lookin' pretty
Excuse me, miss, I know it’s not funny But your perfume smells like your daddy’s got money..
We were so happy to be IN THE ROOM WHERE IT HAPPENS....
P.S. It is just possible that only Laura and Jim will actually appreciate this post...
MMWI:  241.4

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Original Hamilton Outfits


Linda and Kim did not know I was making Hamilton outfits for us...I brought them to TMBC for a pre-theater impromptu style show.
Kimberly's shirt fit PERFECTLY...
And so did Linda's! A crisp white shirt is kind of her signature look...
Can you see that I cut up a vintage HEMSTITCHED SHEET to make the cuffs on my Hamilton pants?
Really -- THAT'S COMMITMENT!! (one leg said RISE UP...and the other leg said, TALK LESS, SMILE MORE)
The back of Kim's shirt and Linda's sleeve have the words, "Do Not Throw Away Your Shot".
We are only hours away from seeing Hamilton....FOR THE FIRST TIME...

Friday, June 23, 2017

Lin-Manuel Miranda

Here is the link to the New York Times review of HAMILTON.

I can hardly wait to write my own review of the Chicago Production!!

Lin-Manuel Miranda. 

From Wikipedia:
Hamilton earned the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the 2016 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album, and was nominated for a record-setting 16 Tony Awards, of which it won 11, including Best Musical, Best Original Score and Best Book. For his performance in the lead role of Alexander Hamilton, Miranda was nominated for another Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical. The Hamilton cast recording spent ten weeks atop Billboard's Top Rap Albums chart in 2015, while The Hamilton Mixtape, an album of covers of songs from the musical, developed by and featuring Miranda, reached number one on the Billboard 200 upon release in December 2016.

Oh, yeah...2017 Grandma Camp is gonna be all about the Revolutionary War.  THANK YOU LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA.    

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Frankensewed Hamilton Shirts

Hamilton It was late one night...I was cruising the internet (don't judge me)...and I pushed "BUY" four times for "Hamilton" shirts. My intention was to modify and customize these shirts for Linda and Kim (who were taking me with them to Chicago to SEE HAMILTON).
The first shirt arrived in time for the Hamilton Women luncheon. OF COURSE Lilly got that one!
Because the other shirts did not arrive -- I decided I'd have to Frankensew shirts for my friends. I knew these shirts would be ALL ABOUT THE WORDS. And it is very difficult and time consuming to paint words on fabric.  Paint takes too long to dry...it's hard to load enough paint on a brush to make letters without it being splotchy...

I decided ink was a better way to go. I went to the local office supply store and bought a bunch of markers and pens.  I spent almost $30. But, I can afford that because the shirts I'm using only cost 88 cents!!

The first decision was how to stabilize the fabric.  I could tape the shirts onto a board -- or use an embroidery frame.
The second decision was what words I wanted to use...
THAT was easy, because Lin-Manuel Miranda is such a genius -- every song is wonderful! 
I rolled up a towel, and put it in a plastic bag to write on the sleeve.
You can't go wrong with a crisp white Jones of New York shirt.
Kim's shirt had these words ALREADY going down the center back of the shirt.
Of course, I had to tweek it just a little bit.
For the front of the shirt, I cut away the elephant that HAD been there -- and added a panel with nothing but words...Then, of course, I sewed on a new bottom to the front of the shirt..

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Lilly sings Hamilton

I apologize for my crappy video skills. But last week, Lilly was so pleased to be wearing her Hamilton t-shirt...and I really wanted to try to make a video of her singing one of the songs.

Today, I' ll be in Chicago actually seeing the play. For the first time. Oh, yeah, I'm a lucky, lucky girl.....

Unfortunately,  I started  with my camera sideways -- but I figured that out after the first 50 seconds or so.

I'm only going to leave this video up for a couple of days...but I wanted you to see Lilly's level of obsession..

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Hamilton Lyrics

My current MOST FUN PROJECT is to Frankensew some Hamilton shirts.
I found this shirt in my stash...but the words weren't exactly right.
So, I used a marker to write the words, and some hem tape to iron on the Hamilton lyric
Lilly's outfit for the Hamilton Women Lunch.
With Sandy, one of her honorary Grandmothers.
The berry pie had strawberries, blueberries, rhubarb...it was GREAT.
Lilly loved learning more about Peggy Schuyler.

Linda P. and her daughter Kim bought "single seats" for this performance months ago. Long after they had planned their trip, I invited myself along on their Chicago/Hamilton adventure....and I bought the LAST seat in the theater. It was clearly marked "obstructed views" -- but it was still $167. Which, come to find out, is quite a bargain!!

Hamilton has completely taken over my life. I listen to the music for two or three hours every day. Lilly has made it her mission to learn all the words...and when we get in the car, Warren, from his seat in the back, always says, "can we play Hamilton, Grandma?" We drum along, with chopsticks (Warren uses a toothbrush)...and turn it up REALLY LOUD...then we sing along..

How does a bastard, orphan, son-of-a-whore, dropped...
In New York City you can be a new man...
Here comes the General...
You will never be satisfied...
Rise up! Tell your brother that he's gotta rise up...tell your sister...
If you stand for nothing Burr, what will you fall for?
We'll teach them how to say Goodbye...
Are you out of your Goddamn mind?(Lilly especially enjoys the songs containing curse words)
You need your right hand man back...

I woke up this morning, thinking I should jump in the shower before John does...and before my feet hit the floor, my brain was saying...

"How does a rag tag volunteer army in need of a shower defeat a global super power?"

Monday, June 19, 2017


I cannot tell you how absorbed I am with ALL things Hamilton!! Lilly has become obsessed with the lyrics to this wonderful Broadway play -- and she can sing about 8 of the songs from beginning to end. As a matter of fact, she was the entertainment at the end of the day for my Iron Range Luncheon. You can see a little snippit of her performance on my Facebook page:

This week, I am GOING TO CHICAGO TO SEE HAMILTON. Wednesday morning, I'll drive to Chicago with Linda P. and her daughter Kim (from Texas).

As RITALUCK WOULD HAVE IT -- the June program for the Scott Community College Lunch and Learn was, "The Hamilton Women". ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? TMBC (the four of us) had purchased our tickets before Lilly even heard the music. And, of course -- the event was SOLD OUT.

But I decided to take Lilly with me anyway. I figured there would be a few no-shows, and I'd be able to buy her a ticket at the door. OR -- worse case scenario -- I'd give her my ticket...and she could enjoy the program with her three honorary grandmothers...
Before lunch was delivered, Lilly played with banagram letters...
Sandy took this picture of me, with Lilly and the two Lindas...
The actress played the parts of Eliza (Hamilton's wife), and her sisters Angelica and Peggy...
She shared a lot of stories about their lives
She put on this hat to become Angelica -- and a shawl to become Peggy. It was very effective.
I forgot to take a picture BEFORE I started eating.  Lunch was creamed chicken over biscuits, with a side of succotash.
Lilly was the only child in the room. AND SHE LOVED IT..!!
MMWI:  243.6....  Sandwich loaf, vacation, plateaus...who knows?  (yes, it's almost a poem).  But I am not discouraged.  I went to the pool almost every day last week, I'm feeling terrific, and my ass is not as big as it once was. 

Friday, June 16, 2017

Iron Range Lunch Sew and Tell

To review, both Sandy and Linda P. NEVER missed a single block from the year-long Splendid Sampler project. Their commitment and effort was impressive.
Sandy and LP are sisters-in-law....and they shared their love of the Splendid Sampler 
All along,  LP was sewing TWO VERSIONS of every quilt block!
Because she has twin daughters -- she always planned to make TWO quilts...
It was a daunting task...
And she NEVER missed a block...
Sometimes, the blocks would be VERY different.
Sometimes, the differences would be subtle.
Remember -- there were TWO blocks every week...
And many bonus blocks as well.
She NEVER missed a block.
Both Sandy and LP were religious about doing EVERY BLOCK. AND then, the big mission was to figure out how to put the blocks together, using a Quilt As You Go technique. WHICH WE FIGURED OUT ALL BY OURSELVES...at one of our Library sewing events.

But, alas -- not quite yet.  Linda's girls get to see them FIRST