Monday, September 29, 2008

GO BREWERS!!!!!




OK, got that out of my system.

Now, back to business.

One of my most difficult projects lately (as far as emotional attachment) has been narrowing down the farmers' market photos and photos of Tim & me that we're going to display clothesline-style. I had hundreds, cut it down to 150, and cut it down again to 70. I'm still trying to get rid of some, but first I need to decide which of our engagement photos to ADD to the pile. Sigh.

We were really happy with how our e-photos (taken at the end of May) turned out, especially because both of us were pretty nervous. I'm usually not anxious in front of the camera, but knowing how uptight Tim was about it made me less relaxed. Laura Kozlowski and her assistant, Peter, were amazing - I'm thrilled with the photos themselves, just not always the models!

So here are the ones still in the running - I haven't decided how many to print (4-5?), but I'd like to try to use one from each location. And I'd love to hear which ones are your favorites. Please comment below!! (Also, question for those of you familiar with Blogger: how can I set up the photos so they display larger when clicked on?)


We started out at an old abandoned barn close to our house:





... moved on to a field of gorgeous yellow flowers that Laura had seen (yes, I'm aware they bear resemblance to Claritin/Tampax/Valtrex ads, but the colors look amazing!!):



... hit the empty farmers' market:


... and finished up at Steamboat Landing, right next to the market:




All photos by the fabulous Laura and Peter. Please credit Laura Kozlowski.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Confession

Tim and I are not neat people. It's not that we wouldn't like to be. We have high aspirations. But we have a LOT of stuff, a lot of music, a lot of mail... just basically a lot of shit lying around all over the place that we're not very diligent about straightening/putting away/sifting through. Oh, and doing dishes is an issue too. And when there's so much stuff around, it's harder to clean.

But basically... we're slobs. It pains me to admit it, but it's true. (I'm an uncurable perfectionist, so when I can't do *everything,* I do nothing. Brilliant.)

Since wedding stuff started piling up around and on top of our wood stove (lately, at an exponential rate), we've been a little apprehensive about having people over. I mean, it's basically a freakin' sty. I'll admit it. We get sad about it and flip out that it's a disaster, clean halfheartedly, and ultimately let it get to the exact same condition it was in before.

Balinese and Ghanaian drums not included in wedding paraphernalia. 
By the way, the sculpture on the upper left is by our ketubah artist, Paul!

However. The night before the wedding, we're having a welcome party at our house. I don't know what I was smoking when I had that idea, but we (+ my mom) took it and ran with it. It's all right - it'll be fun. And now we have motivation to get things in better shape before my mom arrives on the 20th. I'm thinking we'll splurge on a cleaning service that week, but first we have to get all our crap put away so they can actually clean. (I wonder how much it would cost to get someone to do the putting away part, too...) I took TWO carloads of stuff to a consignment store and the Salvation Army a couple weeks ago - that was some good progress. And I've been slowly attacking the mail that piles up when I'm out of town and I then forget to go through. (Oops.)

So it's been slowly improving with my little surges of energy. Then today I decided that we should have our friends Chris & Sadie over to watch the debate (IF it happens... don't get me started) and have dinner.

Thus, we started cleaning.

And then...

I discovered my new best friend.



Vacuuming soothes me. I love it. Unfortunately, Tim and I have never had a decent vacuum, so I had been using a crappy electric broom that's a sad excuse for an appliance. When I was growing up, though, it was the one chore I didn't have to be forced to do. 

A couple weeks ago, I got a notice from Amazon that our vacuum cleaner had been purchased off our registry. I was PUMPED, but also perplexed - I mean, I also registered for a backyard composter and have been mercilessly made fun of for it, so why is something equally mundane OK? I went to the registry and discovered that it had been purchased by Kit, my dad's college and law school friend/roommate. I cracked up.

When my parents were dating long-distance (Boston-LA), my mom used to visit Kit and my dad's apartment and be totally horrified by the bachelor-pad nastiness of it. She would take the broom and start sweeping, but my dad was infuriated because sweeping was Kit's chore, and he didn't want her to do it. I don't know. It's convoluted and weird, and a little confusing that my dad would get mad at my *mom* for that, but whatever. Anyway, the story has evolved to some version of Kit coming home to my parents' trying to wrestle the broom away from each other. His note to Tim and me read, "May you never have to fight over the broom."

Seriously, I kind of went nuts with the vacuum. For almost an hour. Only downstairs. But I bet my allergies will improve now.

Anyone else have something they want to air? Please? (By the way, it is taking ever fiber of my being not to make SO many vacuum-related puns right now. But I guess I'm on a self-improvement kick.)

p.s. T minus one month!!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

No Zzzzz

Maybe it's the prednisone (though the dosage is really low), but more likely it's the 9 channels of static that are competing for attention in my head. Tim went to sleep around 12:30 last night, and I said I'd be up soon. We used to almost never go to bed at different times, but my sleep schedule is just messed. up. lately. (OK, that's not totally true. At all. For several years I've woken up almost every night in the middle of the night for at least an hour, but I never had trouble falling asleep, or waking up more than once.) 

I stayed downstairs staring at How Do I Look? on TV and listlessly clicking things on my laptop to see what I'm behind on and/or on top of, wedding-wise. Emailed a few people. Facebooked. Then I trudged upstairs, "read" some US Weekly (I swear I'm not as vacuous as this paragraph is making me sound), and tried to sleep. Woke up at 4 to go to the bathroom. Woke up again at 7 and came downstairs to do the same crap on my computer. Still here. Still tired. Still want to sleep more. (9:15 AM... ahem... yeah, musicians' schedules are a little different from normal people's.) 

But my brain is going apeshit. I know it's because of the wedding, and I know I should shut the stupid computer... I just can't seem to make myself do it. Will it be better once I'm so exhausted I have no choice but to sleep, or am I not going to be able to press pause on the brain drool until October 27?

Any of you have chronic insomnia? Advice?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

NWR - in memoriam.

I have never gotten through Infinite Jest (it's been pointed out to me that it might be because there are no major female characters, which is a very valid argument IMHO), but I've read many of David Foster Wallace's essays and short stories over the 6.5 years Tim and I  have been together. I guess I'm not what some (including... ahem... my future husband) would consider a huge fan because I haven't read his entire oeuvre, but I am in awe of his writing. He was a genius on so many levels. Tim, who has read essentially every word DFW ever wrote, said last week, "He wrote how the inside of my head feels." He doesn't feel comfortable having me put that in here, but I feel like it succinctly describes how many people (including A.O. Scott of The New York Times - please read this beautifully written obituary) feel.


David Foster Wallace committed suicide last week at his California home after, according to his father, many, many years battling depression. 

more here, here, and here, and many others.

thank you.

One more thing about the cake...

I know it sounds weird. I know many people don't like beets. But I urge you to read this post (bonus: my grandpa's time-tested actual recipe is there), make the recipe (it's easy--canned beets!--and cheap), and decide for yourself. Comment below when you're done...

my photo

Timmy's first DIY!*

For as long as we've been together, Tim has drawn silly cartoons for me. He's really good at it (though he doesn't like to admit it), but when I decided to set up the cupcakes like a veggie patch, I knew I wanted to enlist him to make the garden patch signs. I wish I could draw well, but he's just soooooo much better at it. I try not to let it upset me.  :-P

They'll be oversized compared to what else is going on in the veggie patch...


I know this is somewhat ridiculous, but I think it'll be totally adorable and just couldn't resist. I bought the 3 sections of the fence, wheelbarrow, tool set, and watering can. Sorry, no fairies. Since my mom and I are making the cupcakes (it'll only be 3 batches or so), we're saving a decent amount of money on the cake. Hello, rationalization!

...but I want people to see the signs in their full glory (lettering is mine, which is why is looks sort of like D'Nealian... and sorry for the terrible cell-phone-camera video):

video

Here they are, before being cut and put onto popsicle-stick stakes! Pretty adorable (and random/bizarre), no? Just like Timmy...
If you listen carefully, you can hear me snickering and the sweet sounds of What Not To Wear in the background at around 0:50.

*As a percussionist/professional tinkerer, Tim actually DIYs stuff ALLLLL the time. But this is his first wedding-related DIY, aside from teaming up with me to make the %^*#$&^ throwies that are FINALLY done!

The flower chick

I wasn't sure we could have a flower girl until fairly recently, because our prospective flower girl's mom, Katherine, teaches preschool and had to make sure she could get a vacation day (for the day after the wedding). But YAY, they can come! I'm sad that husband/dad Michael can't come because of work, but it will be awesome to have Katherine and Ariel there for the festivities. And I hear that Ariel is pretty excited to be a flower girl for the second time in four months... and get a new dress for it! :-)

K&A eating fondue on a trip to Paris and the Netherlands this summer!

I've known Katherine for about 17 years - she lived in Milwaukee during my teenage years (she's about 10 years older than I am). She moved to NYC just before I went to college, married Michael, had Ariel, and I only just reconnected with her about 3 years ago when I started making more frequent trips to NYC. It's hard for me to believe it's been such a short time since we got back in touch, because they're a huge part of my life - I stay with them in Brooklyn for long stretches, get my own space in the basement of their great house, and have a fantastic quality of life that's hard to match when you're crashing on friends' couches. (I've recently reconnected with other friends with extra space for me, which is wonderful, and that way it takes a little longer to wear out my welcome with one friend/couple/family.)

Anyway, the best part of it has been having this extended Brooklyn family and a little sister-type I never had. I *LOVE* Ariel. She is spunky, cute, smart, and majorly fun. She's also 9 years old, which enables us to have a slightly more grown-up relationship than I might have had with a tiny tot flower girl. Ariel plays violin scarily well, and she usually plays for me when I'm there.

I wanted her to wear a teal dress to match the Holy Grail teal in my dress (it has been a little hard to match), and the color will look amazing on Ariel. Also, although it didn't work out to have the bridesmaids wear "real-life" dresses, I absolutely didn't want K&M to spend a lot of money on something she'll grow out of in 5 minutes and only have worn once. The dress she wore for the other wedding was really fancy, and I told Katherine it was probably a little too much for our less formal wedding. I didn't want to leave her hanging, so I started hunting. Rarely do I have trouble shopping, but I was hard-pressed to remember stores with cute tween clothes! I looked at a few stores I often search for my own clothes online: Nordstrom, Macy's, and Boden. Here's the first one I found:

So cute, and a reasonable price - Boden also has coupons for some % off and free shipping, so it would have been a little under $40. Katherine thought it might be a bit too little-girly for Ariel, and I also thought the corduroy might not be dressy enough, especially next to the chiffon bridesmaid dresses. So the search continued.

I looked on eBay and found several great options, which I promptly emailed to Katherine, and one of them was from Limited Too. I've often walked by that store and thought they had really cute  stuff. I always shopped at The (grownup) Limited when I was a teenager. I checked out their website and found two promising options:


source (both dresses)

I hoped K&A would like the solid teal one more, but honestly I really just wanted Ariel to be happy in what she ended up with. So - here it is:

Doesn't she look fabulous? She got some cute black shoes, too. I think she's going to wear a flower crown, though perhaps not this one - here she is practicing her [very serious] flower girl routine:


Since Jewish weddings don't traditionally have kids involved as flower girls and ring bearers, Ariel is going to serve both functions and carry a single one of these with our rings tied to it:


I received it the other day, and it is even cuter in person! You can personalize the ribbon color, so I got purple & red that just so happen to match quite nicely and also make it plenty girly for Ariel. The "pillow" looks bigger in the picture and is actually only 4" in diameter, so it's a perfect size for a kid to carry. The best part? $10!

Centerpeace.


One of the first things I blogged about (and the post I've referenced a zillion times) was the Knot centerpiece inspiration. Here it is one more time:


I really wanted to grow the "stuff" in the centerpieces myself. In fact, at one point I posted a query to the Weddingbee boards. A few people recommended groundcover, which would be easy to grow - and one of them was Amy, before we "knew" each other! But I decided that it was just too much for me. I would have loved to have home-grown centerpieces, but I figured homemade was almost/just as good. Here they are - sorry for the crappy pictures and the mess in the background!


  • wood trays (about $5 apiece) from Jamali Garden (mentioned in earlier post)
  • beige/neutral-colored craft moss from Michaels; I used two large bags of it at $3.99 each to fill all 24 trays. 
  • lanterns from eBay: with shipping, about $5 each
  • teal satin ribbon from the A.C. Moore dollar bin (!!!)
  • inside the lanterns: soy tea lights from Etsy seller Worthy Soy Candles. They last a lot longer (about 6 hours!) than wax and are substantially better for the environment (about $0.50 each).
  • Dollar Tree easels ($1 each) - we painted them copper because they were different colors.
  • chalkboards - $0.50 each at A.C. Moore
  • The ugly fake gourds will be replaced by small [real] apples, and the chalkboards will also have little cartoons of different apple varieties. (How creative can you get with this? We'll see. But you'll get a taste of Tim's adorable and slightly warped cartoon handiwork soon.)
The total cost (~$14 each, once all is said and done... plus the chalk pens that will be used for the escort chart and many other things, so I'll move them to that part of the budget :-D) was a little more than I hoped to spend ($10), but it's still half as much fresh flowers would be. I lurve fresh flowers, but we'll still have plenty of them on the buffet tables and in the ceremony. I like the variety this adds, and people will be able to take components home (or I can resell them). It's also very rustic-ally elegant, don't you think? 






remember me?

The onetime blogger who used to post 3x/week? Yeah... August and September, not so much. 

This weekend has brought what I've been dreading: a flare-up. Ugh. I will spare you details, but let me just tell you, it SUCKS. I've had UC since I was 19 and have been extremely lucky to be in remission most of the time, but every couple years, it gets the better of me. UC is exacerbated by stress and anxiety, so it's a wonder I don't have a constant flare-up (thank you, SSRIs!). It's also very lucky that this happened now instead of closer to the wedding. Sadly, I had to cancel a trip to NYC (for meetings and a rehearsal, to see Jes, to stay with my adorable flower girl and her family... and see her dress!!!, and to see my friend Ty) so I could stay curled up on the couch and [very] close to the bathroom. :(  Tim has been taking excellent care of me, although he's being a little b*tch about making me stay on the BRAT diet... yeah, yeah, I know it's good for me, but I'm so bored with the boring food. I also have to take prednisone [a steroid] for a few days, which wreaks havoc on my sleep habits because it's such an upper. But I'd rather have my tummy feel better.

Hey, where'd they put my applesauce?

Regardless of the pain and discomfort, this absolutely forces me to slow down and take it easy for a few days. We were the lucky, lucky, LUCKY recipients of a wedding-gift hammock stand from our friends Brian & Molly, who sadly can't come to the wedding. I bought a hammock before we moved into this house (so, June 2007), because there are so many trees in the backyard I thought there would be tons of places to hang it. Alas, most of the trees are on the edge of a small hill, so it's impossible. But the hammock stand arrived this week, Tim set it up yesterday, and we spent several glorious hours lying in the beautiful rainbow-colored hammock. I looooooove it! It's dark out now, so I can't take a picture. But the hammock and our backyard are exactly what I pictured when we moved to Ithaca. It makes me so happy. (And I could still run in to go to the bathroom!)

kind of like ours. only NOT as awesome. :-D

Monday, September 15, 2008

Satin and bows and droooooool

I think it's worth a full post to note that I just bought these:

Gulp. Delman. I'm not going to tell you how much they cost, because I ordered one pair from Amazon that may or may not be too small, and one pair from Endless that may or may not be too big. Size difference: 1/2. Price difference: 3x. Strangeness factor: Endless (the more expensive pair) is RUN by Amazon.  ?!

If I keep the more expensive pair, do I get credit for finding the bargain ones (I mean, the expensive ones were STILL a bargain, for Delman)? Also, I got 10% cash back here. By the way, if you do any kind of online shopping and don't know about Cashbaq and Ebates, SIGN UP NOW. Wait, contact me before you do it. I think we can both get $5 referral bonuses. No strings, except the signing up part - which benefits you. I have gotten over $100 back in the last 8 months. (Also, google for coupon codes before you order anything.)

In any case, I am in love with the shoes... at least, prior to my trying them on, which will happen when pair #1 shows up at my door on Tuesday (or, more accurately, in front of the garage if they're shipped UPS... mental note: re-stick note telling UPS guy NOT to leave packages directly in front of garage door where they can be driven over). They will be sufficiently pranced in.

In other news, I'm leaving Milwaukee in a few hours, sans dress and sans [much] sleep - the seamstress here is tweaking a few more things, which is great. I didn't think I would really be so fussy about something fitting me absolutely perfectly, but who am I kidding? Of course I want it to be perfect. Just because I don't think I'm a bridey-bride doesn't mean my clothes shouldn't fit. It's more that I thought I might be easier to fit and I wouldn't have to speak up so much about the things that are bugging me about the dress. But I know I'll absolutely love it when it's done. All I have to say is this (a repeat of my Facebook status from earlier this evening): I never thought I'd use the words "crinoline" and "me" in the same sentence.

But tonight I did, and I think I'm really happy about it! There will be a small, un-stiff crinoline under my dress to make the A-line smoother. Although it means my mom will have to bring the dress with her to Ithaca when she comes 6 days before the wedding, I'm really happy that I mentioned the crinoline idea and that Marilyn (awesome Milwaukee seamstress - THANK YOU Melissa!!!) agreed that it was wise.

Goodbye stream of consciousness... hello zzzzzzzzz.......

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Oh my Gocco, part infinity and beyond!!!

Tim and I are away for the weekend, so I won't have much computer time - but I just got a very exciting email about a brand-new Etsy shop, and I couldn't wait to share:


"Squishy Amy" is selling beautifully Gocco-ed greeting cards at extremely reasonable prices. The two she's offering now are simple but colorful designs that will delight anyone who receives them. I am so in love with the card above - it's vintage-y, whimsical, and sweet without being too cutesy, and the colors are right up my alley. I think her cards would make a great gift as a set, or you can buy them for yourself and send them out to your friends individually. I am seriously impressed by the perfect details on those berries.

I'm so thrilled that Amy has opened her Etsy shop and can't wait to see what else she has up her crafty little sleeve. You should also check out her blog - there are some awesome recipes on there!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Oh my Gocco!


No, I didn't get one. But
Amy did!

When I left for Vermont a few weeks ago, I was informed that a special package would be waiting for me when I got home. Best. Surprise. EVER.


24 (?) folding cards and envelopes, perfectly Gocco-ed on lovely cream stationery and wrapped with a happy yellow and orange polka-dotted ribbon!!! And a very sweet note. :-) They were ideal for the shower thank-you notes I needed to sit down and write, and nice stationery makes such a huge difference in my note-writing motivation. And I got a bunch of compliments on them, which is awesome - people don't normally comment on a thank-you note! I still have a few left and am definitely going to save the last one to frame and keep on my desk. I lurve them.

I have yet to reciprocate, but fear not - I have some ideas floating around. Nothing will be that thoughtful and perfectly-executed, though. Can you believe this was only her second Gocco project?!

Amy rules.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Non-wedding related: finding humor in the face of unfunniness.

PBS is currently showing Antiques Roadshow because of the RNC's hurricane-related cancellations. I'll let you connect the dots about why that strikes me as funny. Hint: the initials "JSM."

Well, aren't I forgetful?!

First, let me just say that my favorite nonstandard punctuation mark is the interrobang.  (We all know what my favorite standard punctuation mark is.) I mean, just the name is amazing. Also, I want this:

Someone who shall remain anonymous just asked over my shoulder, "Do you have less-favorite nonstandard punctuation marks?"

Anyway.

After my last post, I realized that I hadn't ever posted about the super-awesome original graphic from....... you guessed it, an Etsy artist. The image that Jes used on the tie is also currently being turned into a rubber stamp, and said image isn't just any floral pattern. I mentioned a while back (wow, I've referenced that post so many times!) that I wanted to create boutonnieres out of drumstick allium (representing Tim) and fiddleheads (representing me). And, as I said then: awwww. Unfortunately, both are spring plants, and neither is that easy to find in dried or silk form... at least not from the same sites. It was becoming too much of a headache. I found a few inspiration photographs that fit Jes's guidelines (essentially, detailed but not too) and got to work. After determining that my art skills remain planted firmly in eighth grade, when I was actually decent, I set up yet another Alchemy request on Etsy and hit yet another jackpot. Beth of wildemoon replied to my post: she's a professional graphic designer and told me that she could 1) complete the project very quickly and 2) put it into vector format for Jes. Right on!!! Her communication was unbelievably awesome, and she went through several different versions of the image before I was totally happy with it. Here it is in its final glory:


I love, love, LOVE it! It's going on OOT bags, programs, wedding party-wear, and a few other goodies. Also, I really like that both plants (allium=garlic; fiddleheads are often sauteed) are food-related. :-D

What do you think?(!?!)