Sunday, March 6, 2011

Illusions and delusions, part 1

Our elementary school is putting on a student talent show this month. Mixed in between the 43 acts (yes FORTY THREE ACTS) of little girls grunting and shaking inappropriately to "Dynomite" and a bizarre assortment Talyor Swift love songs (what 9 year old hasn't experienced a broken heart I ask you?), will be Mister 9 and his two buddies: The Magic Trio.

The Magic Trio has been practicing at my house for the past two weekends--and I mean REALLY practicing, not just running up to his room to jump on the bed for an hour. I could hear them upstairs saying their introductions, their segues, their stage directions. This is 90 seconds of serious stuff. Mister 9 has told them all they will NOT embarrass his mommy on stage. No pressure there.  

The Trio are working on three magic acts, all of which in reality will be hard to see on stage for anyone sitting more than 8 feet away. My husband kept offering helpful suggestions like "why don't you perform something like David Copperfield and have Peter walk through a moving fan," or "maybe someone could cut Mitch in half with a real saw." Um, thanks Daddy.

No, mommy decided that what this act really needed to spice things up was capes. Magician capes. Apparently I was so caught up in all the magical illusions taking place in my house that I actually thought for a moment I was a seamstress.

I mean, it seemed easy enough to those people on You-tube. Make a square, cut out a neck, round the bottom, cut it into two pieces, yadda yadda yadda, and voila, two capes. Or in my case, double it somehow and make four capes (one for me, obviously).

With my 40% off one item coupon in hand, I rushed to Jo Ann Fabrics to buy felt and other cape "stuff." I had online instructions. I. Can. Do. Anything.

I. Cannot. Do. Math.

Here's just a little sample of the near freakin' mathematical nervous breakdown I had in store: the damn felt comes in 72" width bolts. What the hell? My "pattern" was based on a 44" bolt. 

Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God.
I kept trying to arrange these four capes on fabric in every which way, and every which way I did it I thought I would lose my mind. It reminded me of those puzzles you have to flip around in your head and figure out how the shape will unfold. At one point I found myself sitting on the floor of Jo Ann Fabrics watching a video on my phone about finding the area of a circle and trying not to hyperventilate.

I ended up buying 4 yards of fabric (two black and two red) and came home to discover I'd been given 3 yards of black and 2 yards of red. <sob sob sob> This involved another two hours of furious scribbling and calculating.  I finally came to an epiphany this morning in church (obviously), where I spent a good part of the time praying to God to give me 3D visualization skills and folding the program into little teeny tiny capes.

You want to see them, don't you? Go on. Admit it. If you've read this far you're thinking here's the big reveal. But not so fast my Houdini-cape loving friends. They aren't done yet. I've got to attach the collars.

But they look freakin' spectacular.....

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