Monday, September 12, 2011

So much to say

Things I want to write about soon:

  1. preparing for the wedding, 
  2. crafting for the wedding, 
  3. the wedding, 
  4. after the wedding, 
  5. updating my art room, 
  6. lessons learned from the wedding,
  7. the silence after the wedding.

Those posts and pictures will come soon, but I have to say I have an incredible family and group of friends who are also my family. They were so helpful before, during and after the event- in so many ways. It really helped me put things in perspective, re-prioritize and begin the process of preparing for the future.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

just as rewarding

Not as fun as making panda cupcakes, but certainly as rewarding, we worked on the garage last night. We- as in Caprice and I. In anticipation of a new refrigerator this month (fingers crossed) that I will use for party prep, and for the couple's reception items, we pushed, pulled, yipped (or "ewwwed"), and strained to move things, sweep and organize. This also include at least 30 minutes of untangling cords, hose, and lights.

This morning I will take Emily's books and movies and Caprice's school things to the storage unit. I will retrieve reception items, and I will take some ungodly amount of computer parts and a refrigerator to the recycling center.

It doesn't seem like a garage would be an integral part of a wedding weekend, but it is. We will be orchestrating the greatest step, ball, change over that very lengthy weekend. We have to do this now, so I can drive with Grace back to Nashville (in two weeks), move Caprice back to UD, and plan some way to cook over a weekend when I won't be cooking. Impossible, you say? Ah. Watch the magic and the chaos unfold.

Friday, August 5, 2011


My friend Krista just posted this on her blog,

We worked on this baby shower for our friend/co-worker. It was very lucky that the building was shut down the day before the shower, so we could play in my kitchen with these cute little guys (not Scott and Randy. The pandas!).

Each one of them seemed to have their own little personality! And the cake pops. I had tried to make them for a family party a few weeks earlier. Epic fail. The ones that were left in the freezer kept getting eaten (hmmm). So, I made a decree to STOP eating my experiments without permission. With just nine left, it made a perfect little teapot bouquet for the mom-to-be.

I've also been playing with tissue paper for Christine's wedding, so I had plenty on hand for us to make lanterns and gift wrapping. Simple, 70's and cheerful.

Yeah- the sad looking square lanterns. Not the made-by-someone-with-nimble-fingers-and-from-a-faraway-land-round ones. But it was fun to play all day. How often do we get to do that?

It is the people I work with/days like this that help me endure enjoy my job.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Listen here, Martha

When I spend $5.95 on your Wedding magazine, because it has an image of paper flowers with a sign that says "Make this," I expect the directions to be in your magazine. Pretty frustrating to find out in the article that you have to go online to find the directions- for free.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Brain is full

The wedding is less than two months away, but, thanks to my daughter sacrificing a weekend, we got the invitations done. They are really elaborate, but very fun. I can't post the pictures yet. Suffice it to say, three 15-hour days, midnight runs to Kinko's and buying AC Moore, Michael's and JoAnn's out of every glue stick made for a very crafty holiday weekend. They've been mailed, and this weekend is the In-Laws annual picnic. Hopefully they will have all received theirs, and will have nice things to say....but that's a fantasy. There will be those who are impressed, those who are confused, and those who just don't get it. Those are the people who don't get our family Christmas card either.

But you can't please everyone. Just the bride. If she hadn't come in this weekend, it wouldn't have gotten done or wouldn't have been what she wanted. I procrastinate on things I'm unsure of. I also procrastinate on things that I could knock out quite quickly. I just procrastinate. Period. In most things. But some things cannot be put off. Like making a succulents topiary for the wedding. Things need time to grow. So get busy. And judging by how long it took to do the invitations, we need to get moving on the programs. Lots of information and names and traditions will go into this Catholic/Jewish wedding program. No glue sticks this time. Please?

My sister hosted a fabulous DIY themed shower in the DCAD Gallery. Black and white. People brought DIY gifts for Christine to do or gifts they had made themselves. It was incredible. Then everyone got into teams and made aprons that corresponded to a holiday or event. My mom made a beautiful cake, and Matthew's mom made a quilt. Everyone was given a heart to write on that will be attached to the quilt. Matthew's sister made a stunning crocheted tablecloth. Holy Christmas. And the give-away baskets (each one represented a room in a house and had a plant and fun accessories that went with the room) were quite exceptional. Best. Shower. Ever.

The post-wedding BBQ is here at the house, and I have a lot do. Cleaning and purging are the priority. I need Matthew to make a fancy database for me to keep on schedule. He likes that. Makes him feel like the task master. He'll be working nights, going to Atlanta for work, and working more nights and weekends this summer. I miss having him around. I liked our schedule when he was in school, but he has to do this crazy shift schedule now. Part of the career path.

Non-wedding stuff: Rosie just spent a week with Emily in LA. Seems like they had a good time. Rosie met "Reid" from "Criminal Minds." Her fantasy man. That could make any trip awesome.

Emily is moving up at the Hollywood Best Buy while working on her writing career. It's fun to get texts from her about the celebrities she's met. We are celebrity junkies. We just are.

Grace is bored and can't wait to get back to Nashville. I'll be driving her back in August to get her settled for the school year. She'll fly home two weeks later for the wedding. Emily will fly in to Nashville and they'll fly in to Baltimore together, just in time for Friday night Girls' Night at the house. Nine girls from 18-26 in my house. Wow. It will be quite a weekend.

I attended a prospect research conference in New York. I know. Don't be jealous. It's great information to have. But it's overwhelming how much time is spent gathering information (wealth indicators) on people. And who has time? And who's going to do something with it? And wow....there are a lot of ways to look into someone's background. Kinda' scary. But I'm not a prospect... so...yeah.

Time to get busy. I took today and tomorrow off from work. Lots to do before September 2.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


My brain is in a total fog, and this is not a good time to not be clear-headed. Jeesh. OK. Easter this weekend- three days of cooking and feeling guilty for not fulfilling Lenten promises- again. Eating good food and hating the scale- again.
Next- the fundraiser. Varying levels of control and input from faculty, staff, students, volunteers and board members. 150 items to monitor, pressure to make money, pressure to make things run smoooooothly, pressure to be perfect. Two weeks from today. OMG.
Theeen, while recovering from the fundraiser, Grace, Caprice and Emily come home. Grace and Caprice- for the summer. Emily- for just a few days. Matthew and I both have to work, so that's disappointing, but we'll make the most of our evenings.
Followed by- Christine's shower weekend. Relatives descend to prepare, drink and shower her with gifts. My sister is handling the invitations, RSVPs and catering, but I have a lot to do yet. Including....
cleaning for all of these events. We started to purge, but got as far as leaving the bags by the front door. I step over them every morning and every evening, and they miraculously stay right there.
But with all of this activity, I cannot seem to sit at my desk and just concentrate on work. And when I'm home, I cannot just concentrate on cleaning, or calligraphy or whatever. See? I cannot even finish that thought!
Tomorrow is Good Friday- and we'll all be home for the day. Three days to think about what is truly important. What is truly necessary. What is truly the one thing that deserves my attention. As superficial as my "problems" are compared to others, they still create this fog in my brain. And I as I write this, I suddenly feel calm. I look at the rosary hanging on my computer and remember that there is someone who will share my burden. He may not clean my house, or be able to help me make a lot of money for my school (or myself), but He will always calm me down. And I reeeally need that right now.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Building a home

Outside our bathroom window upstairs is a happy spot. The kitchen and family room roof lines form an L which is perfect for the annual starling nest. In the morning, the birds gather the necessary building materials, taking turns adding pieces, removing pieces. I can hear a little bit of squawking, and I wonder if they argue the way we do. Adding on or building a house can be sooo stressful. Imagine doing it every year. Building a home is even more stressful.

The home, the nest, the coccoon. That place you should feel safe and help each other to grow. As much as I adore my husband, we look at building and maintaining a home quite differently. While he is truly the protector, more spiritual or faith-filled than I am, I still feel like the protector of the children's creative souls. I want them to explore their talents, be overwhelmed by the possibilities, fail, fall in and out of love, learn, and not be so eager to grow up. I mean, what adult wouldn't want to go back to the days of learning, playing, partying, exploring, with few responsibilities?

I consider myself a communist mama- From each according to her abilities; To each according to her needs (we are female-centric at our house; or at least, I am). The girls are so similar, but they are very different. Recognizing that some take longer to leave the nest, some need more building materials, some just needed a quick shove, and some just need to sing and sing- I want the freedom to be able to honor all of those needs. Without everyone constantly being reminded of "How are you gonna pay for that?!"

I don't want to put money first. I want to put desire, ambition, talent and passion first (and second and third, etc.). I want my girls to do the same. Yes, we all need to be self-sufficient, but how quickly? My goodness! What's the rush? For any of us?
Let us relax. Let us love with abandon. Let us paint and scream and sing and build homes. Let us just live.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Back to basics

The wedding has given me an opportunity/excuse to play in the studio again. And I know that I want to do that more. So I'm working on an Etsy page where I can offer my calligraphic services, handmade items (like the lantern), and other fun things. My friend suggested I write an entertaining kind of book, but that's down the road. There are SO many out there right now. It would have to be amazingly different and inspiring. Thanks goodness DIY books don't translate to Kindle. Not yet. Project books are still the kind you want to look at again and again, and you don't mind getting a little glue on them.

To be continued...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

So far, so good

Being in the "background" for wedding planning seems to be going OK. I don't think I've upset anyone so far, but there's plenty of time left. We have the invitation prototype which is awesome! Can't post until after they've been mailed. Food has been worked out. Rehearsal dinner restaurant- check. Thinking of other fun things to make- using found objects.
Fab distraction from upcoming fundraiser ( Can't wait for that to be over. Looking forward to having the girls home for a few days. Want more sunshine.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

playing with fire

I had fun making a Bali Lantern inspired by Lisa Englebrecht's video. I transferred Christine and Leaf's amazing engagement photos by Kelly Prizell to canvas using gel medium and acetone from inkjet copies. I embellished with Jacuard acrylics, glitter (naturally), stencils, and pigma pens. I'll make smaller ones in the future and make wider borders for better stability. It will be hanging in the Toni and Stuart B. Young Gallery this month. After that- maybe it will make an appearance at the wedding.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

It's been a while, I know.

The inner struggle continues. And yet, the struggle has its own struggle. It is saying "Shut the F up and get movin. Stop whinin. Do something. Finish something. Quit whining about your daily tasks. Quit whining about ANYTHING!" Sheesh. Lots of yelling in my head. "So you aren't God's gift to the fundraising world. So what?"

My goal is to make an envelope for the Graceful Envelope contest, make a piece for the CE show, and relax. Not the paralyzing kind of relaxing because you're overwhelmed; but the "I am only human" kind. I have the other things to do- cooking, laundry, cleaning, work stuff, like always. Can't get Christine's wedding out of my brain, because, not only is it coming very soon, but a great creative escape.

I'm going to go make poached eggs. I'm hungry. I'm lazy. And damn it- I kinda like me.

What a waste of a post. My apologies. But I did it.