Saturday, February 19, 2011

Here Kitty, Kitty

When I was growing up, my dad owned a store in the middle of town. He has been an appliance repairman for almost 38 years. Mom says that he started the business to pay for my delivery. I often saw him come home at the end of the day with random odds and ends. An oil painting, a basket of fruit, homemade preserves, and often a bucket of change. The change he cleaned out of misbehaved dryers. The other odds and ends were often payment or thank-yous from doting customers. My dad would occasionally work on barter when the goods or services were useful to our family. He had a contract with the local butcher shop which kept us fed on fresh beef, chicken, and pork. He never charged a clergy member and when he knew someone could not pay him, he often made up an excuse why there was no charge. When I went off to college with my new computer, the salesman was the lucky owner of a new refrigerator.

I suppose my history with the barter system is why I still use it. If at all possible, I am more than willing to barter for goods and services. Dance lessons this year and last were paid for by my efforts sewing and altering dance costumes. As this year has been a year of financial hardship, I am thankful for my ability to sew. I am also thankful for my enjoyment and passion for costuming. I know that I am doing what God has planned for me because it is never a burden and always exciting.

I just finished up the last of my costuming for the March production. The cat masks have been a challenge. I must have made 8 different versions before I was satisfied with the look. They needed to be sparkly and girly for the big girls wearing tutus and pointe shoes, yet still look like a cat. They needed to be comfortable for these girls to wear. I ended up making a layer of flannel, a layer of canvas, and a layer of satin. They were rather time consuming but I think the finished result is worth the extra effort. I cannot wait to see them all on stage.

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