Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Cake Topper

I spent this morning working on tying ribbon around a heart-shaped metal I'd found at a thrift store. I inserted the heart into a thin slit I'd cut on the surface of a gift box. The gift box was originally kraft/cardboard colored. I spray painted it white and then hot glued some red and aqua ribbon.

These vintage long-lashed cuties will sit atop the cake topper I made.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Do-It-Yourself RSVP

In an effort to encourage participation in our big day, I asked those invited to our wedding to decorate the outside of their RSVP before sending it back to us.  The RSVP is due June 30, and so far, we've received 20 (out of about 132 invitations sent out).

Strangely, I think the creative challenge put the fear of Dog in people. Even though I encouraged people not to over think it, I think it has created a roadblock in the RSVP process, which is already fraught with the tendency to procrastinate. 

I've spoken to brides who have tried to circumvent the procrastination problem by eliminating paper invitations and moving to a web-based process, and they have still had troubles getting timely responses. I notice the same phenomenon with friends who use Facebook as a way to set up events like BBQs. It seems like a slick process, but it's still not a fail-proof means of figuring out how many warm bodies to expect or how much food to make.

Our process has been filled with highs and lows. On one hand, Tobe and I look forward to mail time more than we ever have before. We feel elated that our mentors--my division chair, Okey Goode, and Tobe's art mentor, Marc Boone--are attending.  

It's also sweet to see how our parents responded. My mom went the nostalgic route, including a baby and toddler photo of me.  Tobe's parents went the humor route. They addressed the first trip Tobe and I made to Billings, in which we painted their house. 

A tiny envelope in our mailbox is somehow monumental. It's there among the daily monotony--the bills and glossy mass marketing--and it says, "Yes, this very important day is ACTUALLY happening."

We're bummed out when people can't, for whatever reason, attend. However, even the "no" RSVPs usually come with lovely thoughts and images, as evidenced by the McCullough's sunset image, complete with a tire swing and "congrats" roots.

And then there's the confusion of the blank RSVP. It's strange. It perplexes us. Truth be told, it hurts our feelings. Is the task simply too scary? Or is it passive-aggressive, as in the case of one of Tobe's friends, who not only did not decorate the inside but who didn't even place a check mark in the yes or no boxes? Is it just absent-minded? Too busy? Surely, given a 24-hour day, that individual could take a fraction of one minute to check a box.

Those "no" and blank RSVPs temporarily take the wind out of our sails, but then the wind brings us these treasures: 
* sweet Salome's watercolor
*my friend, Kathy, offered a colored pencil dove
*Sean and Jonquil's abundance of hearts
*Jack and Michelle's dolphins
*Denise's walk down memory lane

I look forward what the next 19 days will bring.

Monday, June 10, 2013

And Miles To Go Before I Sleep...

While I won't say that it hasn't been occasionally frustrating, sewing has brought me a measure of peace. There's something meditative in the constant hum of that little motor. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Book Worm Influence

 Next to the originator of a good sentence is the first quoter of it. I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.
-- Emerson

"Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation."
-- Oscar Wilde

So I found these IKEA frames. They come four to a package. Originally $6.99, I got them for $1.50 per package at a thrift store.  I decided to carry out the book/literary theme and to offer up some of my favorite smushy quotes on the reception tables.

There's a slight inside joke to the book/literary decorations, as Tobe likes to say, "Books are obsolete." Well, they aren't in our house, as evidenced by the crowded bookshelves that occupy every corner.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Wedding Prayer Flags

If you're an attentive thrift store shopper like yours truly, you begin to get a sense of what sorts of treasures come in and when.  I noticed awhile back that Goodwill was getting in lots of sample books. I imagine that interior design places get new sample books yearly. And what are they to do with the old sample books? I guess they end up in thrift stores.

To my recycler's mind, it seems incredibly wasteful.  Old tile samples should be used for mosaic making.  Wallpaper has endless uses, including scrapbooking, book making, and card making.  The cloth and upholstery sample books could be used for quilting.

It's a bit like going into an animal shelter.  I want to save them all. Well, I can't rightly bring home all the tile, wallpaper, and cloth sample books I find. I'd end up on a multi-episode of Hoarders.

However, I couldn't resist rescuing a few sample books. The OCD in me--the part of me who feels compelled to organize the bins in Walmart like this guy--likes that the sample books are organized according to color schemes.  There's also tactile pleasure, as there is a lot of variation in texture and fabric type. That variation would be impossible to achieve if one went to a fabric store, or at least incredibly time-consuming and expensive.

Speaking of expensive, did I mention that the sample books sell for $2 - $3? Each cloth sample book contains anywhere between 50 - 75 sheets of fabric.

I'm a sucker for a good deal, but it's only a deal if you USE what you buy. I decided to use the fabric for wedding decorations. If you look on ETSY or really any party or wedding blog, you'll notice banners are really popular these days. You see them everywhere and in every conceivable incarnation.  I thought I'd do a variation. Rather than the pointed triangles, I let the samples dictate shape. In fact, the bottoms are already zig-zag shape.

My inspiration is prayer flags. It seemed like a natural for my shabby chic sensibilities. I'm also a fan of the fluidity--the movement.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Nothing But Blue Skies

 On Friday, Tobe and I drove to Pullman, Washington, in order to meet with the event coordinators for our wedding venue, SEL Event Center. The drive between Spokane and Idaho is one of my favorites, and that's a good thing, considering that I make that trip weekly. I grew up a farm girl, and I love to watch the seasons change via what's going on in the fields. Tobe likes to play the "Where's the Farmer?" game, as he has a theory that they must be inside napping in their recliners and watching TV all year, since he rarely sees them working in the fields. Mainly, of course, he says this because he knows it will infuriate me.

On this particular trip, I was awestruck by the clouds. I'm not sure I've ever seen a sky that looked like this. It looked almost fake, like a movie set.

I'm excited to share the beauty with guests who may not be familiar with the area.

After our meeting, we walked outside and surveyed the ceremony site. The lawn had just been freshly mowed. It had also been recently watered, and I'll have to check with the venue on what their procedure is for lawn care on the day of an event. It was soggy, and I'm sure it would stain my dress and suck in a few high heels.

 I'll be making use of the gazebo. It will be a bit of a challenge to decorate, since the venue allows only Scotch tape or those removable hooks.

 After the ceremony, guests will make their way into the reception by way of these doors on the side of the building.
 There's a bit of a  problem (in my mind) that the package we purchased does not include a room for the grooms.  The bright-eyed coordinator sincerely suggested that the groomsmen could hang out in this little strip of grass around the side of the building...

Tobe actually thought it was a great idea and envisioned a "man tent" and a fire pit and drinking. Oh boy...

 This is, of course, a closer view of the gazebo and its stone work. For my bridal shower, in lieu of registering for things for our home, we asked people to contribute in the way of live flowers, so I'm hoping that request will yield an awesome flower display on and around the gazebo steps.

 This is the view we'll have on that day. Let's hope those clouds are our decorations on that day, eh? Cross your fingers for only blue skies and sunshine, as the Palouse weather is finicky.

And finally, there's this view of the landscaping. It's mainly trees and small shrubs.

We left excited and feeling like everything is coming together.