Friday, January 30, 2009

safe travels

I have a little project tonight, so the six or so rambly posts I've half-written will have to wait. But DJ and I are taking an overnight trip tomorrow, to visit my brother at college and see one of my favorite musicians play. So I wanted a little travel music, even if I'm certainly going to cheat and listen to it while I work tonight.

I took this photo nearly a year ago, in Phoenix. It's full of happy memories.

Monday, January 26, 2009

reference library

So, about those table "numbers." I wish I could take credit for the idea, but I can't. Like many of my favorite details, it wasn't my idea at all. This one came from my maid of honor, Katie. Katie and Chloe are equally the best friends I could hope to have, but I'm pretty sure that Chloe understands that putting up with me for eleven years has earned Katie any honors, medals, or oversized checks that come along.

Anyway, the "numbers" won't be numbers at all, but book covers. DJ and I are bookish people. Many of our books are duplicates because we each like reading our very own version of A Confederacy of Dunces or The Corrections and think it's perfectly reasonable to shelve both copies. We met in a library, people. And this is a totally unposed photo.We're not exactly having a book-themed wedding, but I do like the reference. So each table will be designated by the cover of a book, all books that we particularly like for one reason or another.
I've collected jpgs online by doing image searches, which I'll size before printing and backing with green cardstock. Maybe there'll be some Gocco action if I don't burn out on projects by then, but no promises.
It could be worse. We could have decided on using the Dewey Decimal System. I did consider it, but I think the same three people would have to explain it to everyone else and the fun would be lost.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

it's my day!

I have sort of the ideal situation, planning this wedding. DJ doesn't seem to mind that I hog all the fun, creative jobs for myself - even though he gets stuck with the things I don't want to do. Like call caterers, block hotel rooms, and negotiate contracts. Most of our friends know that this is actually a joint effort, so I can't really get away with taking all the credit.
But this time there's no way around it. This is all me, this would never in a million years have been DJ's idea. (Though he still seems not to mind.) These are porcelain rosebud placecard holders, snagged from my grandma's vast entertaining horde when she downsized from house to condo a few years ago. She was quite the hostess in her day. There were a few cards in the box with names I didn't know.
There are twelve of them, enough to use one on each table to hold the table "number." Which will not be numbers at all, but that's another story for a different day.

Friday, January 16, 2009

it's like magic

My photographer recently launched an updated website for her business, which is quite impressive since she also just gave birth to her second child a few months ago.

Along with the relaunch, she started a blog. I've been dying for her to start a business blog, primarily because I love to read photography blogs and I always learn interesting things from them. But it's one of those time commitment things, and especially when it can't just be about what you ate for lunch today.

A few days ago she posted about being able to fake a posed shot that didn't happen, and my brain just about exploded. I did not know you could do that. Now I am much, much less worried about the awkward faces I make all the time - she can just put a better version of me in as needed. Or, you know, Anne Hathaway.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

cautionary tale

It started innocently enough. I saw a picture on Style Me Pretty, and - well - thought it was pretty.

So I forwarded it to Bridesmaid Chloe, who is getting married on New Year's Eve and hasn't settled on a bridesmaid look yet, although until today we both thought she was fairly close. We've had a lot of conversations about bridesmaid dresses, so I'll admit I was stirring the pot.
Perhaps because I really want to wear a long silk skirt for something.
But then I couldn't actually find the skirts (pleating, sashes, swoon!) for sale anywhere, and this is where a reasonable person would have given up. The thing is, I'm not known for being reasonable.

So I suggested that we sew them, and provided a link to reasonably priced rainbows of silk fabric. Now she may very well end up sewing four skirts (I'll make at least two of the six, I'm not heartless) and vetting white blouses. I'm pretty sure that this was not quite the sort of help I was meant to offer when she asked me to be in her wedding.

Monday, January 12, 2009

hours available

Earlier today I requested my vacation time before and after the wedding. My boss asked if it was starting to feel close, and I had to think about it. Eight months is a long time, but if you chop it up into things that need doing - yeah, it's going to sneak up on me.

I guess I'm not too nervous yet, because guess who started procrastinating? Me! We're still holding steady at 65 chair covers, but I rearranged much of our kitchen storage over the weekend. Priorities!

Monday, January 5, 2009

never too many shoes

Though I have my wedding shoes already safely in my closet, that doesn't mean I've stopped looking at shoes. They're just so pretty. These two seem awfully similar to the shoes I bought (Delman's "Step-Up T") but with higher heels and more reasonable pricetags. The higher heel is a dealbreaker for me, and I really lucked out on free shoes - but I do like the gift bow peep toes. Residual Christmas joy, maybe.
Vanelli "Puppy," $89.95, 3" heel. Silver, black, and brown.

Glint "Addison," $89.95, 2.5" heel. Black, orange, navy, and hot pink.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

when I'm 6465

When friends ask how the wedding planning is going, I usually don't report the number of chair covers sewn to date. But that is in fact most of the planning at the moment. I'm in such terror of running out the clock on these that I intend to have them finished even before the invitations are ready. Post-traumatic 4-H syndrome, maybe. I have a few too many memories of knitting all.night.long before the county fair due to a bad combination of procrastination and motivated mother.

But since you asked (you did, didn't you?), I currently have 65 covers sewn, pressed, and hung neatly in my closet. Just 16 to go, plus the runners. I may make another nine in case of overflow. DJ's dad was over on Saturday to have a look at our aged bathroom fans, and I caught a look of terror in his eye as I hung them in sets for each table. Girl, he said around bites of coffee cake, You're crazy.

I guess all those acrylic vests taught me something - it hurts more when you're under the gun. Maybe two things, if you include avoiding acrylic vests.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Mister Fabulous

Liz gave me this award today for having a fabulous blog. I like the yellow dress, and I'm supposed to make a list, but first I must tell this story.
DJ likes to play games on his Xbox while I do other things. It works nicely; I rarely pay attention, and he never expects me to do so. But every so often I notice a detail, and from then on refer to the game by that detail. A while ago he was playing a game where one of the characters is a superhero named Mr. Fantastic. I was (per usual) not really paying attention, so the next time he was playing I asked if that was the Mister Fabulous game. And, well, that's what I've called it ever since, to DJ's exasperated amusement. Sometimes we are Lucy and Ricky, what can I say.

(photo of a picture snipped from The Knot Chicago, in Bridesmaid Chloe's wedding colors - if she doesn't start a wedding blog soon, I'm going to do it for her.)

Anyway, I'm to list five obsessions or addictions of mine. I'm never very good at these things, but here you go anyway.

1. Singing songs to my dog with the words reworked to be about him. Usually with not that much creativity. (Judy in disguise = Reilly in disguise)

2. Currently, hunting thrifted silverplate. Yesterday I trucked a large shopping bag up and down Lincoln Avenue and mostly filled it. Today I played with all the shiny things to see how close I was to a finished, and felt exactly like a little girl playing wedding.

3. Cake. Good cake. I am the proverbial fat kid who loves cake, even at times when I'm not all that fat. I'm a cake snob, actually, and won't eat just any cake, but will go to great lengths for good cake.

4. 1960s furniture. I've scared more than one reseller by peppering questions about dovetail joints and manufacturing stamps. I stalked a set of chairs for months until I finally snagged a pair, and when Mad Men came on the air I was practically hopping up and down to show DJ that Roger Sterling and I had the same furniture.

5. Truffle salt. DJ and I bought a bottle of white truffle salt a while ago, and it is so good. On just about everything. We also recently bought a bottle of truffle oil, and DJ used it to make the best mashed potatoes I've ever had. (5 lbs of potatoes, one stick of butter, some milk, 1/2 c. shredded parmesan, a head of roasted garlic, and a tablespoon of truffle oil. To die for. Perhaps literally, when your arteries constrict.)

I've seen this one make the rounds lately, so I'm not going to tag anyone in particular. If you haven't had it yet and want to play, let me know so I can read your answers!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

tiny information

So Liz, you asked about Gocco. I'd never heard of it until I started wedding planning, so although I'm sure there are other uses besides wedding invitations, that's where I started.

Gocco is a desktop printing press manufactured in Japan, which works by pushing ink through a screen onto your printing surface. (Paper, cloth, ceramic - you name it.) There are a few different models of varying size, age, and sophistication. The screen is made by placing a black and white image against the screen surface, and using the Gocco housing to "flash" it with special bulbs. The heat from the flash melts the screen where it is exposed to the black image, which forms tiny holes through which the ink is pushed during printing.

The ink effect is very slightly inconsistent, which makes it look (in my opinion) both handmade and special. See above for perfectly imperfect printing.

There's a Flickr group for Gocco where you can see all kinds of gorgeous things, mostly paper.

There's a Yahoo group which is very informative for troubleshooting and locating supplies.

Elizabeth Anne Designs creates custom invitations.

And some of the Weddingbees have set the bar for DIY invitations.

Ok now, the bad news. Riso, Gocco's parent company, are no longer manufacturing the presses. They're still out there for sale, mainly used, but not in production currently. Worse, they are no longer manufacturing supplies. The big problem is bulbs; they're way too expensive to produce, so no one wants to take over the technology. There's been a lot of conversation on the Yahoo group about finding a substitute for the screen/bulb combo, but it's tricky. There are subs out there, but they're either super expensive (like tattoo transfer screens) or not as good for detail work. The most promising sub would be light exposure films, but where Riso screens have the capability of perforating only a portion of a mesh square, light and water exposures seem more inclined to dissolve all the media inside a mesh square. So although the mesh resolution should technically be the same, Riso screens are better than their listed 200 dpi. That makes the light/water screens less than ideal for, say, scripty wedding fonts where you could possibly get a pixellation effect where you wanted a smooth line.

So. If you're really into the idea, have some money to burn, and are willing to risk the supply shortage, buy a Gocco! It's loads of fun, and way more impressive than it is difficult. At least from an inking and printing standpoint. Plus, you could theoretically use it forever for all your wonderful personalized stationery needs. But if you just like the look, you can find artists on Etsy or talk to E. and A. at Elizabeth Anne Designs. Which is what I would do, if I weren't such a lousy little control freak all the time.