Sunday, February 22, 2009

effing chair covers

I spent a good portion of the weekend working on the (effing) chair covers. Status update: 65 + 50% of 24, due to the assembly line setup I have going. Boring! I'm so glad that this project will be over soon - for as much time as it's taken, there's really not much to say about it.

I'm looking forward to thinking about something else. Like a guestbook. Right now I'm thinking library cards - you know, because of the books. All the parts are commercially available, which could make this (*gasp*) a readymade sort of item.

My wedding folder is cluttered and poorly labeled, especially the photos from pre-blog. I have no idea anymore where I found this photo - if it's yours, let me know so I can credit you.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

honey do

An incomplete list of things about which I’ve asked DJ to form an opinion:

Fonts. White vs. cream paper. Bridesmaid dresses. Bridesmaid dresses, again. Shades of ivory shoes. Single vs. doubleface satin ribbon. Varieties of roses. Length of linens for the head table. Wording on the invitations. Kerning on return addresses. Music for the ceremony, cake cutting, and first dance. How to transport mannequins safely. Which prom dress to buy for a mannequin. Whether his mom should have a wrist or pin corsage. If he likes this shade of blue-green fabric, or this one. Is this purse too small? Do my fake eyelashes look too fake? Cake toppers. Programs or no programs. Too-red hair, or not red enough? Chairs or no chairs for the ceremony? If chairs, are the cheap white folding ones ok or do we need to spring for the more expensive wood ones? One escort card per couple, or one per person? Are these candles ivory or white?

No wonder they say the wedding is for the girl. Sorry, DJ. AND, he is somewhat colorblind. To his credit, he has come up with an opinion for every one of the points listed, and if pressed can even support his position. Without giving me a hard time. I think I'd better marry him.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

white and pink and blades of blue

Last night DJ took me to see Jeff Tweedy play at the Vic. If you're near Chicago, you probably know the Vic as a brew-n-view, and also a really cool place to see a show.

Tonight we're going again, after dinner at the French restaurant just down the street from home. I'm going to bring my real camera this time, the cell phone just didn't do the job.

Until Wednesday I thought we were just going out for dinner - then he forwarded the ticket confirmation with a note - Happy Valentine's Day - think you can get off work a little early on Friday? Followed a few minutes later by another - Would it be better if we were going Saturday night too? Because we're going Saturday night too.

Oh yes, that is better! Mr. Tweedy fronts Wilco, my longstanding favorite band. Some would say that he is Wilco, since he's also the songwriter. I'm a big fan. We happened to hear a whisper that there were signed posters in the lobby for sale - just a few - and managed to snag one. I guess I must not be quite grown up yet, because I see nothing wrong with framing it for the living room.

On a more Valentine-y note, this is the song he sings to his wife in every show I've seen in a while.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

404 Forbidden

I was just about to come over here and say that sorry, I haven't been thinking much about weddings yet this week. But while e-mailing Bridesmaid Chloe I realized that is absolutely untrue. I have been thinking, and even actively planning, but in the background of the other things going on in my life.

Like a virus on a computer.

By the way, it seems that some of you have started keeping tabs on my craftiness. Would it amuse you to know that we're still holding steady at 65 chair covers? I admit, I did sew the runners. But no more chair covers.

I was looking for something else and found this picture (of me!), taken on my very first trip out with Maid of Honor Katie to look for bridesmaid dresses. We liked this one, but not as much as the mismatched idea.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


Last week I was searching for a little help on a project, and landed on MJ Trim’s blog. This little tutorial for a sparkly headband made me feel all cheerful. I’m a headband wearing girl, and although I don’t plan to wear one for the eventual wedding, I just might make one to wear when I’m feeling fancy.
A few posts down there are instructions for making a lace-edged veil, complete with links to materials. Though I wish she’d posted the final bill, because their lace is not cheap.
Miss Not-Quite-A-Bride, you might be able to find something here to help with your shoe embellishment project. Not shoes, unfortunately. I think I could find a use for cameos, really I could. Wouldn’t they be a lovely addition to wrapped bridesmaids gifts? Or embellishments for table numbers? Or used as lockets on a bouquet, with photos of past weddings fixed to the backs?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

twirl skirts

A few weeks ago I turned Bridesmaid Chloe’s world upside down with a picture of a bridal party in long, multicolored skirts. As we talked over the next few days, the plan evolved. Chloe’s wedding dress will not be floor length – what is it, Chloe? Knee or tea? So bridesmaids in long skirts might seem kind of off.
So we looked at patterns and found a promising candidate. It’s a circle skirt with a waistband that’s easy to alter and a side zipper. Easy. Seriously, easy as sin.

I was so excited about this project that I immediately dashed off a “muslin.” Which is not muslin at all, but a wool/poly blend in olive green. I made a real skirt because the pattern seemed basic enough not to need a real muslin, and the fabric I chose can be ripped and re-sewn without too much damage. But if I were doing this the correct way, a real muslin would be sewn, then cut apart on the seam lines to be made into pattern pieces.

My skirt is still waiting for a hem, but I think it will make a cute outfit with brown boots, an ivory top, and a big brown belt. The skirt below is a placeholder, of course. Mine is still on my dressmaker's form.

circle skirt
circle skirt - by Julia Remix on

But that's not a bridesmaid outfit. Back to Chloe’s wedding and bridesmaid outfits. I think the plan is to mix it up a little, and have two of us wearing charcoal skirts, two wearing plum or lavender, and two wearing yellow, all with white blouses. I'm very excited about this plan.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

great big beautiful doll

So. Um. If you don't already think I'm weird and a little Miss-Havisham-crazy, now you will. I have mannequins. Two, plus my wire dressmaker's form. They have names and sit in our living room just like any statue or lamp. Seriously, the things DJ tolerates.

This one's name is Jesse Ventura. My little brother gave her to me for Christmas several years ago. She's a retired Victoria's Secret mannequin. In her heyday, they called her The Body. But now we call her Gov. Yes, I think I'm hilarious.
She's going to be at the eventual wedding. In our faux-photobooth, along with our other mannequin. He's a pants model named Legs, you'll meet him later. DJ and I thought it would be fun to give people something silly for posing, and what better than the mannequins? So, she needs an outfit. While vintage shopping last weekend, we bought her two dresses. Option one is above, a teal foiled damask sheath with a high collar. Very mother of the bride, c. 1968. Also appropriate for daywear in our living room.
Option two is this pink ruffled tulle prom dress. I LOVE this one. But is it too much? How would you feel about posing with your arm around this pile of crazy?

Monday, February 2, 2009

spin spin sugar

Although I think about cake all the time (all the time, really) I haven’t given much thought at all to cake toppers until recently. I really enjoy the vintage ones with the smush-faced tuxedoed groom and fluffy-gowned bride, but no one in my family has one. And to me, it just wouldn’t be as good to buy one, new or vintage. Besides, that might be a little formal for what we're doing.
Maid of honor Katie gave me a set of salt and pepper shakers that immediately said Wedding to me. (This is not usually worth taking seriously – I’ve noticed that nearly everything says Wedding when you have Wedding on the brain.)
But then I saw Mrs. Cookie’s photos, and hey. Look at the top of her cake! They must have said Wedding to her, too.
I’m also really liking the nest of flowers, and the overconfident DIY enthusiast in me thinks I can pull it off.

But. But, but, wait. A couple of weeks ago I took DJ out to dinner for his birthday to a fancy French restaurant. It’s owned by a husband and wife team, and the wife is a pastry chef. She’s a chef of other things too, of course. But definitely of pastries. The dessert I ordered (again, no picture, sorry) was not just delicious, it was gorgeous. Pomegranate mousse atop a very thin brownie, topped with a crown of spun sugar filled with berries.

The crown was more or less along these lines, but a little bigger and with finer strands. More like a crown.
I got sidetracked in my Google Images search for spun sugar, and found this cool cage of sugar:
And just look at this cake, with the spun sugar “straw”!
So you get where this is going. Now I want a buttercream frosted cake with a few buttercream roses, topped with a spun sugar crown filled with flowers, and a side of birdie salt and pepper shakers perched on the lip of the middle layer. This has gotten alarmingly specific.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

perfectly imperfect

I’ve briefly mentioned my cake obsession, but it hasn’t really been wedding-directed until now. DJ and I had a really fun tasting from our caterer last weekend – instead of choosing just a few things from their menu to try, they invited everyone who’s booked them in 2009 to a party. With a DJ (not mine, ha), open bar, and their baker of choice serving delicious, delicious slices of cake.

Which I very much enjoyed, but did not photograph. Possibly because the evidence of me eating so much cake would have been too much to handle. But it was tasty and mostly covered in buttercream frosting, which sent me off on a cake tangent.

Neither DJ nor I are big fans of fondant. I know some people like the taste - DJ's brother - but isn’t it mostly about looks? No thanks. I’d like to be able to dive right in to the middle layer with a fork. So I’ve been looking for buttercream inspiration, and there’s not a whole lot out there.

I ripped this ad from a bridal magazine months ago, in the hope that it could be replicated.
I like this one, too, from Project Wedding. Although it's kind of hard to see the cake behind the flowers.
Bridesmaid Chloe asked the other day what I thought the eventual wedding’s motif is. Chloe, I have an answer. Perfectly imperfect. I would like my cake (and my whole life) to be perfectly imperfect. Any suggestions? For the cake, I mean. The life part is probably up to me.