30 April 2010

a peek

Here's a little peek at an incredibly cool thing my man and I did a few days ago.  I'm hoping to share more details at the beginning of next week.

Happy weekend!

29 April 2010

tiny surprise

A well-used knife block full of old kitchen knives came through the shop today.  Nothing very exciting, at a glance.  At the end of the day, though, one of my co-workers pointed out a funny little detail on two of the knives.

It's a little strange, but I thought it was sweet.

28 April 2010


There's a big, complicated conversation going on today over at A Practical Wedding, "On Name Changing and Weddings."  If you are someone who has no opinion whatsoever on whether or not a woman should take her husband's last name when she marries, then I sincerely doubt that you are a living, breathing person.

This is a contentious subject for all of us, and my generation seems to have inherited a lion's share of doubts, confusion, anger, and worry about the issue.  Skimming through the hundreds of replies to the APW post is incredibly engrossing.  It's a reminder of how deeply personal the decision has become for us as women, for our partners, and yes, for our hypothetical children.*

I'm changing my name.  This may come as a surprise to some who know me, but others--who recall that my last name rhymes with "underwear" and is synonymous with a forest animal--will understand that I've never been all that enamored with my "maiden" name.  Especially as a third-grader.

Maybe I'd feel differently if I were an only child, but I have brothers to carry on the "family" name.  (I did briefly consider taking my mother's maiden name as a second middle name, because I am one of the last branches of that particular tree, but I've never followed through on the idea.)

My man has told me all along that the decision of whether or not to take his last name was mine--which I already knew, of course--but now that I've decided to go ahead and do it, it seems like he's glad that's where I landed.

We talked vaguely about hyphenating and we joked about just swapping last names--he likes mine better; I prefer his.  In the end, changing my name to his is the most convenient option, and my inner child has a real penchant for laziness.

I don't mean to sound casual about such a serious decision, and I would certainly never tell another woman what she should do about this--I can't think of a less negative word for it--dilemma.  I just ended up doing what everyone who loves me suggested--I made the choice that was the best fit for me.


*Sometimes I like to ask myself, "What would Ma Ingalls do?"  More and more, though, I find myself running into situations that sweet, capable Caroline never for the life of her could have imagined.  Then I have to ask, instead, "What would I do?"  And then I do it.

27 April 2010


It might be hard to see from where you're sitting, but that right there is a sock.  Or, most of a sock.  It's been sitting on the needles for a long time.  So long, in fact, that when I picked it up tonight, a poof of dust lifted off the top.  It's kind of sad, really.  Especially when you figure that it's only the first of what I originally planned to be a pair of socks.

Most of the other "making and doing" categories of my life are in similarly sorry shape.  My ability to do things like write a letter, bake muffins, or fold the laundry has been in a downward spiral for the past several months.  I didn't really notice, at first, but it's become pretty obvious that all the time spent on "wedding stuff" has been nudging nearly every other extracurricular to the bottom of a long, long to-do list.  (You might notice that I've designated "folding laundry" as an optional activity.  I should point out that some people do not share this view.  My partner-in-crime, for instance.)

I would be more upset by all the disruption, maybe, if I didn't realize how temporary the situation really is.  When the wedding is over and done with--along with the subsequent traveling, the second reception in Washington, and the general cleaning up afterwards--I'm going to suddenly find myself with time again. I'll go back to plain old "because I feel like it" crafting, instead of all these funny little projects with deadlines and consequences.  Hopefully, life will feel less out-of-balance.

In the meantime, though, things are going to be a little rough.  Especially for my poor, nearly-abandoned mini-farm on our back porch.  I might have to carve out at least a little bit of time to get things growing there.  Food is pretty important.  After all, a girl can't live on Once Wed alone.

Or can she?

26 April 2010


We received our first wedding gift the other day.  Some other time, I might try to tackle my rather-complicated feelings about wedding gifts and registries, but for now, let it be enough to say that when you get married, someone you love will probably want to give you a gift.

If you are me, the gift will arrive by mail and your partner-in-crime will carry the box up the front stairs and leave it lying in a place where you'll be sure to see it.  Then he'll suggest that you stuff the box in the closet for two months in order to open it after the wedding.  You will gently suggest that while of course, you will not use the gift until after the wedding, perhaps the gift should, in fact, be opened before the wedding, to allow you to appropriately acknowledge its receipt to the gift-giver in a tasteful thank you note.

Your man will disagree.  This conversation will continue on in a circular fashion for several minutes until you finally decide to consult an expert.  The expert, rather.

The 75th Anniversary edition of Emily Post's Etiquette is 845 pages long.  It is a very substantial book.  I  bought it a few years ago at a second-hand bookstore and have spent more time than I might like to admit thumbing through the sections on weddings and funerals and mealtime manners.

My man has never really shared my fascination with Emily and her book, especially on the few occasions I've come across something so interesting that I've tried to read it to him aloud.  I don't think he dislikes proper etiquette--although he certainly isn't as concerned with it as I am--he just doesn't seem to think that there needs to be an 845 page book about it.

And look, it's not that I'm completely caught up in the finer details of tipping department store delivery men.  I just love all the intricacies of the system, this WASPy secret code of the past two hundred years.  It's incredibly intriguing.  And I also love the idea of Mrs. Post making her life's work out of telling everyone else in America how they ought to behave.  She had books, magazines articles, and a newspaper column that was syndicated in a few hundred newspapers.  Oh, and she was on the radio.

I'm intrigued by powerful women.  I don't think a man could have accomplished what Mrs. Post did.

Now, I've gone through the "Weddings" section of my book a few times now, and I've come away with the idea that Mrs. Post would not have found our wedding planning--or our engagement--to her satisfaction. She makes no mention of pinatas, heart-shaped crayons, or melted-polyester flowers.  It's probably best for everyone that she won't be in attendance.*

(If you're wondering, though, I was right about the whole "now or later?" gift debate.  Please refer to pages 652-654, Acknowledging Wedding Gifts.)

Personally, I'm glad that there's a book like this one.  I'm not saying I wish I'd gone to finishing school or anything, but there's something about there being a right way and a wrong way to go about things--I just find that comforting.

*She's no longer with us, of course.  Mrs. Post passed away in 1960.  Never fear, though.  Her work is capably carried on by The Emily Post Institute.

23 April 2010


With all my talk of "wanting" and "having," you might have gotten the idea that I'm some kind of shopaholic.   I'd like to take this opportunity to assure you that I am decidedly not.  Even so, I still can't escape the occasional impulse buy, and as is commonly the way with impulse buys, I really really want to share the thing that I broke down and bought.

My latest weakness:

Yes, it's a typewriter.  A portable Olympia typewriter, the Traveller de Luxe, to be exact.  I got it for about fifteen dollars--which, some might argue, is a significant amount of money to pay for something that you absolutely will never, ever need.  But how I could I say no?  It's in incredibly good shape--other than needing a new ribbon--and it's so dang cute.  When it's boxed up in its case, you can hardly tell that there's an adorable little typewriter inside.

I really do love it.  It makes me want to pack a vintage suitcase and fly off to Paris to write a novel.

I should tell you right now, that this isn't the only typewriter I own.  And honestly, the other two aren't any more useful than I expect this one to be.  There's an old, rusted out skeleton of an L.C. Smith & Bros. No. 8 sitting out on our back porch.  Frankly, it's too messy to have it in the house, and on more than one occasion, I've had to tell my man that no, he cannot just pull the keys off in order to "make something cool" with them.

And then there's the Underwood.

Mostly, it just sits around gathering dust, but I like to imagine that someday, we'll find something clever to do with it, even if it does end up just being a conversation piece.

A few years ago, typewriter guest books were de rigueur.  Even Martha got into the action.  I'll admit, I had the fleeting idea that maybe the Traveller de Luxe could make the June trip to Ohio with us.  I love the idea of people click-clacking their well wishes.  And it would also be fun to explain to our youngest guests what a "typewriter" is.

Unless something remarkable happens, my generation will be the last to remember the typewriter as a useful tool, rather than just a museum piece.  I have vague memories of lugging my parents' manual machine around the house, using both hands to lift the case by its black plastic handle.  I played with it for a while, and I might have even written a school paper or two on it, but then everything changed, and all of a sudden, everyone had a computer at home.  I don't know what happened to my parents' typewriter.  I'm sure they don't have it anymore.

I don't know why I'm so fascinated by all this.  I guess I like the way that a typewriter, like an old sewing machine or a printing press, can be a machine, a complicated tool, that isn't too complicated to make some kind of sense to my human mind.  There are no batteries or microchips involved.  It's a self-contained miracle of engineering.  And it's solid, undeniably real.  Not like the flimsy piece of plastic that I'm typing all of this on right now.

The Traveller de Luxe will most likely not be flying to Ohio with us.  We'll have plenty of other things to haul around, I'm sure.  I haven't totally decided against the idea, though.  I think the guest book idea is a really good one, and I know that my partner-in-crime will agree when I say that there's just something about having a typewriter around...

22 April 2010


I do love photographs.  I've mentioned it here before.  When we started talking about what our wedding reception would look like, we decided it would be neat to include wedding photos of our families.  We stocked up on some picture frames from the Goodwill and put out the call to our families for wedding photos, especially from previous generations of brides and grooms.

I didn't really think about how complicated it might be to actually come up with the pictures.  There aren't a lot of photos from my mother's side of the family, and the ones we do have are full of solemn-looking people that it seems nobody alive today can put a name to.

My dad's family is a slightly different story.  I think my grandmother might have some photo albums squirreled away somewhere, but I might have to wait until we get to Ohio in June to ask about them.  It's been decades since I peeked between the pages, but I vaguely remember little kids bundled up in snowsuits and awkward clumps of relatives staring darkly into the camera.  No weddings that I recall.

I definitely want to have pictures of my step-mom's parents along with the others.  I like the idea of Grandma Alice being there, in a sense.  She and her husband were a good-looking young couple, back in the day.  Funny thing is, there's no wedding photo of them.  Some nice portraits from approximately that era, but no pouffy dress or bouquets in sight.  It will have to do, to be sure, but it's not quite the same thing.

Fortunately, there's my man's family.  Not only do they have photos, but they even know who the subjects are.  And these aren't just pictures of parents and grandparents.  There are some great- and even great-great-ancestors.  My in-laws-to-be brought us copies of some of the pictures last weekend.  I am fascinated.

Obviously, I'm going to have to put some more time into making sure that my family is represented, too.  Can't have things all lop-sided with something like this...

We're planning on putting the photos out on the tables for our reception dinner.  They'll look pretty in their little thrift store frames, and maybe they'll be conversation-starters for the two big families that will be meeting and mingling for the first time.  Those are nice reasons for having the photographs there, but I think they'll play another, more subtle role, too.  I hope the images will be a reminder, at least a gentle one, both of where we've come from and of where we're going.

21 April 2010

growling and hissing

Um, more trouble in Blogland, folks.  Apparently, I can upload text--very, very slowly--but not photos.  I'm not sure what the deal is, but I'd really like to get it sorted out.  I have things to show you, you know.

In the meantime, maybe you should wander over to 100 Layer Cake.  This week's guest blogger, Kelly from succulentLOVE, posted a charming--if slightly destructive--diy centerpiece project.

Thanks for your patience, everyone.  Hopefully, I can get this all worked out and be back to you tomorrow with the post I had planned for two days ago...


Sorry for last night's missing post, friends.  Our Internet was mysteriously down.  Barring more disruptions to that all-important connection, I'll be posting again later tonight...

19 April 2010


A few months ago, I had a chance encounter with a fellow bride-to-be who lives in my beloved Ballard neighborhood.  We're actually getting married on the same day in June--although our weddings will be two thousand miles apart.  She had a lot of beautiful ideas for her ceremony and reception, and by the end of the conversation, I was kind of wishing I could just skip my wedding and go to hers...

One of the most brilliant things she's done is to find a few of her "vendors" at our local farmers' market.  Both her "caterer" (a mobile wood-fired pizza operation) and her entertainment (some extra-talented buskers) are regulars at the Sunday market.  I was really taken by the idea--I cannot get enough of the market--and now whenever I'm on our weekly shopping trip, I start having fantasies of a "market wedding" of my own.

If you took it to an extreme--and I do adore extremes--you could really do this up.  Just imagine:  Obviously, you could find your wedding food at the market.  You could hit up one of the vendors for prepared meals, or get really nervy and put things together on your own.  For starters, I'd recommend some cheeses from Mt. Townsend Creamery, carrot crudites from Nash's, and maybe some wine from Seabreeze...

You could find your flowers here, of course.  Plenty of brides have rushed through the market on a Saturday morning--or sent a trusty bridesmaid--to pick up some fresh blooms for the afternoon wedding.  Depending on the time of year, you could also go with some seasonal fruits or veggies for centerpieces.  Heirloom pumpkins at a fall wedding?  Awesome.  Martha would totally approve.

When there's space for it, our market also hosts artists and craftspeople, along with the farmers.  That means you might be able to find your wedding jewelry here, too.  Handmade soaps for your bridesmaids?  Check.  Jars of gourmet hot sauce for the groomsmen?  Yup.

I know, I know.  Maybe I'm being a little gimmicky here, but I do think it's a really fun idea.  I hope there are brides out there somewhere doing something exactly like this.  In fact, I hope that someone is planning a wedding at their neighborhood market.  When you get right down to it, my favorite weddings are about food and community, and where better than the farmers' market to celebrate something like that?

16 April 2010


I've been talking about our invitations since forever.  It's been so long since I posted here about our adventures in perforating.  And as you might recall, we actually mailed the pretty little things a few weeks ago.  At this point, I think it's safe to say that, despite a few false starts with the USPS, everyone that was expecting an invite ought to have received it by now.  Maybe it's finally time, then, to show off a few of my favorite things about our fancy correspondence.

If you've been reading for awhile, you already know that my partner-in-crime printed the invitations during his letterpress class at Pratt.  Actually, he did the save-the-dates first.  Remember this?

The invites are printed in the same font and on the same paper as the save-the-dates, but I think my man would agree when I tell you that printing the invitations was a bit more complicated.  He spent a lot of time planning it all out, and--almost--all of the good ideas here are his, not mine.

(I know that when he sees this post, he'll think that my photos don't quite do justice to the fruits of his labor.  Let me point out to you--and to him--that it is very, very hard to take flattering photos of a piece of paper.  I really don't know how the pros do it...)

The layout is a tri-fold.  The first section is the invitation to our Ohio wedding, the second--which is almost a mirror image, of sorts--is the invitation to our Washington reception.

I think the third part might be the best.  It's a detachable RSVP postcard for our guests to send back to us.  And this isn't some stuffy old RSVP, that just indicates who is responding and how many there are in the party.  Oh, no.  We wanted people to have a chance to, well, say something.

Granted, there's some multiple choice involved, but after that, we've left plenty of room for people to tell us just about anything.  And while I loved seeing these invitations come into being and I really enjoyed sending them out, I'm pretty sure the best part so far has been the RSVPs coming back home again.  I've been getting a big thrill out of checking the mailbox every day.  It turns out that our friends and family are hilarious and/or incredibly thoughtful people and it shows in their responses.  We are so lucky.

There are plenty of beautiful wedding invites out there, but please don't think I'm being silly if I tell you that I wouldn't trade these for anything.

15 April 2010


Soooooo tired...

Check back tomorrow for a look at our invites.  I promise.

P.S.--How has it taken me this long to stumble across A Practical Wedding?  Seriously?

14 April 2010


Oh, friends.  I am extra sleepy tonight and feeling lazy.  That doesn't mean you shouldn't have some fun in wedding blog world, though.  There's always something happening somewhere.

First of all, Souris Mariage is celebrating Food Week.  There are plenty of decisions to be made about wedding food, and Mouse's posts about everything from the margaritas to the main courses have me drooling.  Mini-chimichangas dipped in chipotle sour cream?  Oh, yes, please.

And if you haven't already, take a look at the "Pretty Fall Wedding" on Once Wed.  All the bird details are enough for me to fall in love.  Oh, and then there are the cakes.  And the cupcakes.

If you're in the market for more than just inspiring eyecandy, Sarah over at Truly Smitten has a sweet little DIY project to share.  I'm already thinking of taking a stab at it.  Maybe you should, too?

I hope that's enough to tide you over.  If the universe is willing, I'll be back in full force tomorrow...

13 April 2010


Here is what we are not going to do:  We are not going to make table numbers for our reception tables using fabric and embroidery hoops.  I'm a little sad about this.  I had a whole plan that involved cutting fabric into number shapes and then doing lots of clumsy, tedious hand sewing.  And I did spend hours and hours trolling the thrift stores for a healthy collection of embroidery hoops.

The thing is, the groom was never really all that into the idea.  And the more I think about it, the less I really like it, either.  I like the crafty element, but the overall effect seems a little too cute.  Too tea party.  And while I'm still trying to figure out what this whole wedding thing is going to look like, there's one thing I'm sure of:  It ain't no tea party.

If we're going to go with fabric, I guess we could always do something like this.  Or this.

Or maybe none of those things.

We do need table numbers, though.  Martha said so.  Repeatedly.  Even if we don't assign seats, Martha says we should assign tables.  And who are we to argue with Martha?

I'm not sure how it's going to go.  This could be one of those last-minute things where we're slaving over the laser printer at two in the morning making ugly little signs that look like zine pages.  Hopefully not.

My man had some funny idea about cutting pages out of kids' books.  Who knows?  Maybe that will pan out...

But all the embroidery hoops?  I'll keep them, of course.  They could be useful if I ever decide to pick up another hobby.  Besides, I like how they look just hanging on the wall in groups.  If I'm too lazy to learn embroidery, I could just put different bits of fabric in each one.

(This is more fun stuff from Tula Pink for Moda.  It's called "Nest."  My future-sister-in-law gave me some for my birthday last year.  I love it.)

12 April 2010


I have a confession to make.  I have to say it quietly, because I'm still having a little trouble dealing with the truth.  My seven year-old self never would have believed it, and my nineteen year-old self would have probably just curled her lip a tiny bit in disgust.  Even so, here it is:  I like pretty things.

Now, when I say "pretty," I don't mean wildflowers or rainbows.  I like those things, too, but this is more along the lines of pearl necklaces.  Diamond earrings.  I'm talking Tiffany & Co.  Or Louis freaking Cartier.

I don't know what happened.  I certainly wasn't born this way.  (You can ask my folks; I think they'd vouch for me...)  It's really just been in the past few years that I've started to be distracted by glittery things.  Maybe it's all those wedding magazines I've leafed through.  Maybe I've just spent too much time on muddy construction sites or in dusty warehouses to not spend my weekends being drawn to things that are, um, kind of girly.

Please don't misunderstand.  I'm certainly not buying all this ridiculous stuff.  The pretty little rock on my left hand is more than I'd ever dreamed of wearing.  (I'm not exaggerating...)  It's just that I can't help noticing the glammy things in the magazines or in the shops.

My fascination of the week is Violet Magpie.  The designer, Jen Carrigan, sells her work in a few places in Seattle, including Velouria, which is too close to our house for me to not go visiting at least once a week.  You'll see it in the photos, but there's just an incredibly decadent mix of vintage rhinestones, pert little feathers, and big silky flowers.

And is it so wrong of me to adore those things?  Or to love something like this:


If you like what you see,  you should check out LoBoheme's Etsy shop.  In fact, maybe you should just go to Etsy and search "rhinestone."  It will keep you occupied for hours.

Being the diy girl that I am, I thought it would be fun and easy to just wander through a few thrift stores, pick up some vintage costume jewelry, and get to work on some fancy headgear of my own.  The truth is, though, that finding those little brooches and clip-on earrings that used to be everywhere is actually kind of hard to do.  I don't know why.  Maybe all those awesome jewelry designers are just getting to the Goodwill before I do.  It's been a few weeks, though, and I still haven't come up with anything, so I'm thinking I'll have to work with what I have.

Which is a whole lot of this.  Just before Christmas last year, I bought a bag of miscellaneous chandelier crystals.  I thought I was going to make some kind of jewelry for holiday gifts, but then, I never got around to it.

Now, though, I think it might be time.  I don't know that I can manage hairpieces, really.  But maybe a necklace.  Or a bracelet.  You can do a lot with a few sparkly pieces of glass.  And along with the crystal drops, I've also got a few feet of beaded chain that was probably draped between the arms of an old chandelier.

For starters, it all needs to be cleaned.  That part sounds a little daunting.  After that, though, I think this project could be doable.  I've never really done any jewelry-making, but when has anything like that stopped me?  I'll let you know what I come up with...

09 April 2010

weekend reading

The good news is that there's a new fabric store in my neighborhood.  The bad news?  Um, there's a new fabric store in my neighborhood.  I've only recently overcome the tendency to be magnetically drawn to the yarn shop every time I leave my house.  Now there's a beautiful new trap to fall into.  Never mind the fact that I can't sew at all.  Fabric is just really hard for me to resist.

I managed alright today, though.  I didn't buy any fabric at all.  Instead, I bought a book.  I just couldn't resist it, and if you ever come across a copy, I think you'll understand why.  The title is Carefree Clothes for Girls.  It's by Junko Okawa, and it's actually a Japanese craft book that's been reissued in English.  The photography is ridiculously gorgeous, and the patterns are great, too, in a timeless kind of way.  Of course, there is the little matter of my inability to sew.  And the fact that, even if I could, I don't really have any little girls to sew for anyway.  But still...

Another book that's really tempted me is Material Obsession, a book about quilting by Sarah Fielke and Kathy Doughty, two crafty ladies that co-own a quilt shop in Sydney, Australia.  I've never tried quilting, but if that's what it takes to get one of the fun, functional quilts featured in this book, I'm willing to give it a try.  If you're curious, you can also check out the shop website at www.materialobsession.com.

And for those of us who probably shouldn't be left alone with a sewing machine, there's Lena Corwin's Printing by Hand.  There's a little bit of everything in here: stamping, stenciling, even screenprinting.  The instructions are straight-forward, the projects are clever, and there are lots of photos.  My copy from the library is two days overdue, so I think I'm going to have to postpone some of these projects for later.  Maybe when I'm not, you know, planning a wedding.

Happy weekending, everyone!  I'll see you on Monday...

08 April 2010


Usually, when I'm writing about fun stuff that comes through the shop, I like to show you pictures of what I found, and then more pictures of what I ended up doing with it.  Today, though, all I can show you is the "before."  This time, there isn't any "after."  Just when I was trying to decide what awesome new thing I could make with all these bits and pieces of metal, a really nice lady came along and bought them all.

So now all I can do is daydream.  They could have been centerpieces or candelabras.  

Or bouquets.

Or pictures frames.

But no.  I hesitated a moment too long, and now they're gone.  It's probably just as well.  I didn't really need another dozen projects anyway.  Still, it's tempting to think of what might have been...

07 April 2010


Wedding favors are a funny business.  It seems like the cool kids are all over the map on the subject.  Some people are doing really neat, crafty things.  Other people are making donations to favorite non-profits in honor of their guests.  And still other people are just skipping the whole thing altogether.

At first, it seemed we might end up in the third category.  We thought it was silly to spend money on dumb little pieces of monogrammed junk that our friends and family would just throw away after the wedding.  I've seen my fair share of "Jack+Jill 2003" ashtrays and coffee mugs at the Goodwill, and I really don't want to unload something like that on our loved ones.

As time went on, though, I started seeing really sweet, thoughtful wedding favors out there in the world, and I decided to get in on the action.   For a little awhile, I was trying to talk my partner-in-crime into these little things.  (This was back when I wanted to have a bird-themed wedding, an idea that never really gained much traction, unfortunately...)

We've been scheming a bit since then, and it turns out we are going to have favors at our wedding.  Not the birdseed hearts.  Something better, I assure you.

I'm not going to say what they are.  You know that I can't.  I have decided, though, to show you all what we're hoping to give to our littlest wedding guests in June.

I've been collecting crayons for awhile now, from garage sales and thrift stores.  A few years ago, I saw a magazine article about melting down broken and stubby little left-over crayons into fun, exciting new ones.  I don't know where that article is now.  Last night, I mostly just did things that sort of made sense.

First, I peeled a bunch of crayons.  If that doesn't sound time-consuming, then I'm not saying it right.  It was okay, though.  Sort of Zen.

Then I sorted the crayons into colors.  Of course, there are a dozen different shades of each color, which makes everything more fun, I think.

I chopped the crayons into small pieces--about  an eighth or a quarter of an inch and put the pieces into a silicon muffin pan that I found at the Goodwill last weekend for ninety-nine cents.

And then things got a little interesting.  A few different sources on on the Internet suggested putting the pan in the oven for twenty or thirty minutes at 150 degrees.  Instead, it ended up taking about four times as long, and I cranked the oven up to 180 or 185.

When everything looked all melted and soupy, I took the pan out and let it cool overnight.  In the morning, I had six little heart-shaped crayons.

It was a good time and pretty darn easy.  I'm going to do it all again, too, a few more times before this summer.  In the meantime, don't tell the little ones, okay?  You know how much I love a surprise.

06 April 2010

quick hello

I'm working on a (temporarily) top-secret project today.  If it turns out well, I'll have something fun to share with you tomorrow.

In the meantime, take a look at yesterday's post from Souris Mariage.  If you're struggling a little bit with all of the silliness that the wedding industry is tossing around, Mouse's refreshing little list will resonate like a cleansing mantra.  I promise.

05 April 2010

oh yes

My man has a suit.  It came in the mail a few days ago, and it looks like this:

I know.  I'm a tease.  But look, I can't show you the groom in his wedding suit.  It would be like giving you peeks at the invites before they went out in the mail.  It would ruin a beautiful surprise.  Besides, I think it might be bad luck or something.

I guess I could show you someone else wearing a very, very similar suit.

This is not my groom-to-be.   It's just a nice fellow from J. Crew.  If you want to, you can see more of the suit--and, oh, of that handsome young man--by clicking here.

Suits are kind of a big deal.  It turns out that buying a suit is expensive.  And kind of complicated.  In the end, getting fancy duds for my partner-in-crime might turn out to be more of an ordeal than me landing a dress.

I didn't realize it would be that way.  And honestly, I don't care.  It's totally worth it to see my man all dressed up for a party.  He's only gotten fancied up a handful of times since I've known him--and now that I think about it, one of those times was actually when he was just dressing up as John Wilkes Booth for a costume party.  I don't think that one counts.

Some people have asked me whether the men in our wedding party were going to wear tuxes.  My response--and my man's--has consistently been, "of course not."  A little part of me does wonder whether we're missing out on something by skipping the tux, but I'm pretty confident that making decisions that really reflect us, instead of what other people are doing, will keep us on track.  Yes, I'm mostly talking about the wedding here.  But not just the wedding...

But, gosh, there's this suit.  I'm excited about it.  I'm sure you can tell.  I'll be really honest, though, and pay attention, because I do mean this.  My partner-in-crime can wear whatever he wants.  A tuxedo t-shirt.  Tie-dyed board shorts.  It doesn't matter to me.  Just as long as, at the end of the day, we're married.

Oh, but I, on the other hand, absolutely must wear my fancy, fancy dress.

02 April 2010

on fire

I was wandering around on 100 Layer Cake the other day, and a post from this week's guest blogger there caught my eye.  First, it had my attention because it was written by Lanie, the owner of NYC's new bridal boutique Lovely.  Lovely is carrying the work of my favorite dress designer, Elizabeth Dye.  So there's that.

The other thing that got me, though, was that Lanie's post is a how-to for DIY fabric flowers, something I've been thinking about dabbling with for awhile now.  The best part is that her step-by-step involves polyester fabric and open flames.  My pyromaniac inner child couldn't say no.

I'm not going to re-hash the how-to.  You can read Lanie's original post for that.  Mostly, I just wanted to tell you that I think deliberately melting plastic in a poorly-ventilated apartment might not be a great idea.  Oh, and I wanted to show off what I managed in spite of the fact that my brain cells were probably expiring, one by one.

I made a flower in turquoise first.

 I backed it with a little circle of felt and added some glass beads to the center, just for fun.

And after I finished the blue one, I really, really wanted a yellow one, too.  I don't know why.  It was probably the fumes.

I like the color of the yellow better, but I'm not sure lighter fabrics work well for this project.  If you squint a little, you can see the little burn marks along the edges of the yellow petals.  They don't show up nearly as much on the blue one.

These are fun to make, and they go fast.  I'm going to have to give some thought, though, as to whether or not I'd feel safe making thirty or forty of them.  Along with the burning plastic concern, there's also the matter of the cat, who has no understanding of personal space.  Or of the dangers of an open flame.

If you'd like to see more of Lanie and her work, you can see photos from her recent wedding featured on Style Me Pretty.

Happy weekend, everyone!  I'll be back on Monday with more action and excitement to share.