Sunday, May 29, 2011

A little bit o' this, a little bit o' that

A post of randomness, but then again, this long weekend, as focused as it's been on the upcoming wedding, has been so wonderfully full of happenings. Time with Harleigh, probably more one-on-one time than we've shared in a while, long talks at the kitchen table in the early mornings over coffee. Lots of episodes of Parks & Recreation because we love laughing with each other as much as we love our gabbing. A long overdue trip to Target (I honestly haven't been there in for-e-ver) where we stocked up on summer sunscreen and goodies for her campers. Grocery shopping and then cooking dinners together. Working out together, our earphones on as we catch up on the Bravo Housewives. Tomorrow for Memorial Day I will be at church for a good part of the day painting scenery for Vacation Bible School.

Here is a small sampling of my hydrangea cuttings 
(I so need to add some other colors to the purple blue ones I have). 

When Gideon was younger, he loved to move furniture and pillows.
We'd come home and find a chair pushed to a new location, the pillows
rearranged on the sofa. A would-be interior designer?
Whatever the case, this poor boy, living in a house with two girly girls,
is bound to appreciate beauty in his surroundings. 
His bed is no exception. He loves to sleep with his head resting on something.
And so we added these pillows to his bed.
Big spoiled boy. Adore him.

Mandy, the bride stopped by today to drop off more stuff that I'll need to transport to the 
reception site. The living room and study are covered in boxes and bags.
Keeping my fingers crossed that everything fits in my SUV.

Here are just a few of the items I've crafted. Mandy and Tod are doing a cookie bar, with homemade cookies for the guests to take home in sweet little paper envelopes. I took one of her fabrics and decorated the jars; each will have a label with the type of cookie on it. They are also having a photo booth which we've created using a camera on a tripod, her signature yellow fabric as the backdrop, and enough props, hats and chalkboards to make for some fun picture keepsakes.

The fake gift that I created for the gift table is made especially for them (despite the fact that it's empty). The coral paper fits in with one of the main colors of her wedding, and the shells on the paper and as a topper are reminiscent of the beach where they got engaged (literally on the beach!).

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Last Minute Wedding TO DOs

Taking these next few days to wrap up all of the wedding decor for Mandy and Todd's June 4 wedding. Gideon has a favorite napping spot underneath my craft table.
Found this miniature hutch at the thrift store and think it will be nice to hold my smaller sized scissors. It needed something to warm it up so I made this fabric banner cutting up an old lace-edged hanky and stringing them onto embroidery floss. My idea of taking a break . . . tackling a little, just a little, craft project.

Friday, May 27, 2011

No Rest Around This House

Well, except for Mr. G, who prefers the air-conditioned comfort of Chateau Gahan. And even shaved to a near-naked state, he likes his walks short, his play time to a minimum, and plenty of sofa time. But I on the other hand have been full of energy, haven gone back to the gym and gotten on a healthy eating regimen, thanks very much to my dear daughter, herself a good eater and regular at the Y. We've been getting up at 5:45 every morning, at the gym by 6:00, work out for an hour, then have time when we come home post-shower to have breakfast together and talk, which is super special for me since her work schedule at camp has her gone all day, at least two evenings a week, and a good many weekends. I feel energized yet calm, a wonderful combination that feels very peaceful (not to mention that in a household with no cable, the TV time on the elliptical is as decadent as a piece of chocolate cake).
Today I had off work, and after my morning gym time, sewed for the wedding I've been working on that happens next weekend. Sewed all day, loving every minute of it. My king size bed has become a work surface, the sewing machine is a permanent fixture on my craft table, and the ironing board has become a piece of bedroom furniture. Can't wait to share all of the prettiness!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

oiy vey

Please forgive me as I try to find a template for my blog that allows me to post large pictures. This is driving me nuts!!!!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Wedding Bliss

I'm in the midst of working on a wedding, my first for a bride who came to me via a recommendation (my dear friend Ali, who just happens to be photographing the wedding and reception). It''s been a whirlwind!. The bride, Mandy, has impeccable taste and so it's been pure pleasure to work with her. From the yards and yards of beautiful fabric we purchased (so much fun to shop for fabric, especially when it's an integral part of the feel of the reception) to her appreciation for all the little touches, I couldn't be happier. Will have so much to share! The wedding is June 4.

(Image are just random shots I took today around Chateau Gahan.)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

iPad2 Giveaway at Design for Mankind!

Take a stroll on over to this link and enter yourself in a bomb-diggity suweet giveaway! Thanks to Design for Mankind! Winner will be announced June 1.

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Joys and Bumps of My Trip to Statesboro

Harleigh finished up finals on Wednesday and then had to be out of her dorm yesterday by 11:20. It took us two cars to get her moved in and two to move her out. And so it was necessary for me to head to Stateboro. But we had other fun things to accomplish, which made the trip something to look forward to!
I left yesterday morning at 5AM. Bought a giant coffee at MacDonald's (hands down my favorite of all the coffees, including Starbuck's) and detoured into Cracker Barrel to rent a books-on-tape. What a great resource that is! Great selection, $3.49 a rental, and a guarantee that the trip will not only fly by but be spent doing something I rarely get to do . . . read a book (or in this case, the relaxing relative of book reading: having a book read to me). I rented I Think I Love You, about an insecure 13-year-old in Wales in 1974 with a mad crush on the pop star David Cassidy. I had heard Terry Gross's interview with author Allison Pearson on NPR's Fresh Air. So when I saw it as an option for an audio book, it seemed too good to pass up.

I didn't want the drive to end. I adored it (and am, actually, still listening to it, all 10 CDs of it!). As a product of that generation, I could relate, achingly so.

Here is an excerpt from a New York Times review:

"A romantic comedy tailor-made for the movies, 'I Think I Love You' is a sort of witty mash-up of 'Mean Girls,' 'Bridget Jones’s Diary' and one of Nancy Meyers’s fairy tales for the middle aged, with a little nod along the way to 'Cyrano de Bergerac.' Though we know after two dozen pages or so exactly where this novel is headed, Ms. Pearson writes with such humor and affection for her characters that we’re perfectly happy to sit back and see how she steers her people toward that happy ending. It’s a novel that’s as light and sugary as a pop song, but if its plot is a little too predictable and jerry-built, the book still easily transcends the chick-lit genre. It showcases its author’s skills as an observer and her uncanny ability to render on the page exactly what it’s like to be a teenage girl, trying to navigate the merciless social hierarchy at school, while pouring all her yearnings into the impossible dream of somehow, someday becoming Mrs. David Cassidy and moving to Los Angeles."

Good book, good cup of coffee, 3 1/2 hours later in Statesboro. We got Harleigh all packed up, cleaned the apartment, and said goodbye to freshman year. Surreal.

Next up, we got her bike rack onto the back of her car, then fastened on the quite-heavy Huffy cruiser (a bike I got for a steal, but one that she rarely rode — just not made that well). On our way to the next errand, Harleigh hit a bump, the rack fell off, the bike skidded across her trunk . . . ugh. Needless to say, two girls standing in a parking lot, surveying a scuffed-up bike, a rack that we knew we had put on correctly, and facing a long drive home (no, this could not happen on an interstate!), we did what any smart chick would do. Across the street was a pawn shop (neither of us had ever been in one, much less knew how they work), and so we wheeled the bike in and walked out with $20. Easily solved. And we could move on to the fun things in store for us the rest of the day.

At a local pottery shop, Harleigh picked up a bowl she made for me for Mother's Day, bearing two verses from one of my favorite Psalms. How lovely.

We had lunch with Connie, her mentor from Statesboro Baptist Church. They have a mentorship program where women of the church are paired with Georgia Southern girls. Connie — a woman my age and very similar to me in personality — and Harleigh would meet every week for lunch and to talk. Sometimes there was a Bible study involved, other times discussion of a book they'd been reading. I adored Connie the minute I met her, and know why Harleigh has cherished their relationship. They plan on continuing their mentor partnership this coming school year. What a blessing.

I met staff at the campus Baptist ministry where Harleigh is super involved and on council, met lots of her friends, said goodbye to many, and then headed home. Harleigh decided to stay the night with some girlfriends and plans on being home (home with me!) today. My 3 1/2 hour drive home took an extra two hours due to accidents on the interstates, my car overheated, I almost ran out of gas in the gridlock . . . but Harleigh's coming home. That easily turns the bumps into joy!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Tool Belt to Craft Belt

Whether it's spending the day at an outdoor flea market or coordinating a wedding, I always have the need for something around my waist to hold the essentials (cell phone, eyeglasses, keys, etc.). I purchased one of those $1.99 canvas tool belts from Ace Hardware, and with a little hand-stitching, trims and fabric swatches (including a pocket cut from a shirt), turned the plain (and Ace-branded) into pretty. Now I can carry my stuff in something that doesn't look like an '80s fanny pack.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Pink Grapefruits and Peonies

Two things I'm into lately — 100% pink grapefruit juice and peonies. If I have fresh pink grapefruits, I'll squeeze those. But bottled is also scrumptious. And the color pink is so doggone pretty. And my white peonies are going crazy this year. The pink ones should be blooming soon. So very English country garden.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Hometown Nazareth

I headed up decor for our church's vacation Bible school last year (a space theme) and had such a great time that I offered to do it again this year. The theme is Hometown Nazareth: Where Jesus Was A Kid. How fun is that??!! And so I met with two of my most carpentry-savvy volunteer gents and told them I wanted a village set for the kids. Something that would make them feel like they are in Biblical-time Nazareth. Out of the meeting I drew up my plans, and lo and behold, I've got me a village! (I felt like Genevieve handing off drawings to Amy Wynn on an episode of Trading Spaces!) It's two walls, each about 3" thick and roughly 10' wide by 6' tall, on wheels, that I can paint on both sides. One side will be the outside of the buildings, the other the inside. They'll work great for skits and for outside of the church (on the first morning of VBS) where we create all sorts of hoopla welcoming the kids.

I plan on hanging fabric in the doorway, curtains in the windows. For one of the skits, Mary will be talking to the audience from her home, and I plan on having her holding a wicker basket of laundry and hanging the wet clothes to dry from the clothesline while she talks. Here's the list of what I've asked church members to donate/loan in the effort to bring Nazareth to life:

• wicker or cane baskets
• plastic fruits and vegetables
• bales of hay
• ceramic/clay urns, jugs and pottery
• feedbags that we can stuff with newspaper to look like real feedsacks
• fake stones (anyone have any that they've made for a theatrical set?)
• plastic or silk plants and trees (especially palms)
• Mexican blankets/rugs
• ANY kind of chairs and tables that look rustic enough to have been from Biblical times

Will share pictures of the final set-up in early June!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Looking forward. A baby. A grown woman.

So, now that we have a new baby in the family, life is certainly more interesting. And when Karla and Lynn asked me if I'd photograph their family, I jumped at the chance. Not that I'm any pro at this photography thing. But I do love the learning. I do love the results (even if bad, it's still an attempt to capture something). And, in this case, I am quite rather fond of the subjects.

And on a side note, what is it about getting older that makes me want to try new things with a vengeance? Event planning, photography . . . it's all coming about with such joy. It's hard not to reach out for it. I'm older and wiser, comfortable and confident, with nothing to lose except the regret that I didn't try. I've said goodbye to the days of what-ifs. The past isn't something I can redo. The tomorrow is something I can mold. And I plan on turning it into something beautiful.

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