Monday, August 17, 2009

Though I was incredibly tired from my long drive and still grumpy from the night’s events, my mood had been elevated by the issuance of our marriage license. But let’s face it, I was still in “fake it until you make it” mode.

Mr. DG and I made it to the wedding site, and I was ready to stop faking it and start working. When we arrived on site, we looked for the owner so that we could settle in and get to work. He wasn’t there. There was however, a distressed man also looking for the site owner. Apparently, this man’s child was having an allergic reaction to something… Well, at least I could help with that!

We called the owner’s numbers and waited for a while, and I could have gotten really steamed again… but instead, I decided to get to work. We unloaded all of our craft boxes right in the middle of all the cabins (with no access to anything indoors) and just got down to work. So much for unpacking, organizing or collecting our thoughts!

I started working on chalkboards—a job that was going to take the better part of my next two days. And I erased. And it was scary. And there was paint… and sharpie on them! It was a mess. I whipped out the krylon and resurfaced the seating chart board. I had bought all of the supplies that the hive suggested, including the miracle pens suggested by August15bride. Thank goodness!

An hour or so later, Mr. DG’s family started trickling on site. I just knew that they knew about my meltdown and I couldn’t bear to look them in the eye. Luckily, Mr. DG’s sister in law (who I had never met before) figured me out in 2 seconds flat. She asked me when was the last time I ate. All of a sudden I realized I hadn’t eaten since the day before. In the afternoon! No wonder I was so crabby! Sheesh… So she fed me, and now ranks as one of my favorite people in the world!

We were all hard at work, and finally about 3 hours later the owner showed up and said, “Oh sorry if you were waiting. A man’s gotta eat lunch you know.” Grr… but I’ll get to a vendor review on the site way later!

Anyway, the day ended up being a colliegial collaboration between us and Mr. DG’s family. My family showed up and some friends showed up and it was a great day after all!

I worked on chalkboards. Mr. DG’s family cooked food. Friends and family played catch… and I got to catch up with some of our favorite friends from Seattle. I was stinking tired!

By the time the sun went down, I had one chalkboard completed (the menu board) and the other was at least drawn (but not inked). I knew with all the things planned for Friday, I’d be cutting it really, really close to get everything done :o!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Taste of the honeymoon

Today I wish I was back in Glacier National Park!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Jen photos

My friend Jen took some great photos with our camera. I thought I'd share a couple since they don't feature on Annie's blog. Nice second shooting, Jen!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

recap part 3

The kindly housemate took my note saying do not disturb me very seriously. Apparently she fended off several calls wondering where I was. She even made sure that Fiance didn’t wake me up when he dropped by! I woke up at about 9:30 and felt like I never wanted to get out of bed and face the world. I was still totally in a funk and knew I’d need to get out of it.

I called fiance and we discussed the marriage license that we would need to get that day. I had done all the research about cost, what to bring and where to obtain it. The only hitch? Do to the economy, the local office had shut down. It seemed that the nearest office was an hour and a half away and only available by appointment! There were no appointments available for that day.

Fiance came over and we tried to brainstorm. I looked him in the eye and asked, “Is somebody trying to tell us not to get married?” Seriously, so far it had been roadblock after roadblock. Thinking outside the box, we started looking at municipalities outside the Tahoe area to obtain a license. Finally, here came our first ray of sunshine. There was a no-appointment necessary place at the Nevada County office, which was actually closer than the other one. Score one for the DGs!

It was already hotter than blazes at about 10 am, and I was thinking “Uh oh, is it going to be this hot on wedding day? I might not do so well in this kind of heat!”

We got to the office, handed in our paperwork and felt a little triumphant for a minute. I should never feel triumphant…

The county clerk informed me that my driver’s license had just expired. (I had not received a notice, nor was I aware that this was the case prior to leaving Seattle). Not only was I not sure that she would issue our license, but we were far from home and planning to drive to our honeymoon. This was not good!

Luckily, I had my passport with me and my old California Driver’s license. The kind official decided not to make a big deal about the expired license. I could have just hugged her!

Then, the county clerk told us about the Name Equality Act in California. To avoid having to file a court order to change names, we were going to have to decide right then and there what we wanted to do with our names. Now, we had talked about this extensively (because I wanted to keep my last name), but we also decided that we wouldn’t need to officially decide until after we were married. All of a sudden we went from having all the time in the world to having about 3 minutes to decide what we wanted to do. Yipes!

Due to professional issues, I was pretty committed to keeping my last name. But, both of us felt that we wanted to do something to acknowledge our new partnership. We had discussed taking his adorable last name as a middle name… but that didn’t really solve the problem, since it didn’t reflect any change in his status. We asked the clerk, “Can we do anything we want?” She affirmed this and our eyes lit up. I could take his name as a middle name and he could take my name as a second middle name! It felt egalitarian and transformational at the same time. It was an option we could both live with ☺

License in hand, we headed to the wedding site for the first time. At last, I felt like the fates couldn’t stop this marriage from happening. Now, about those chalkboards…

Monday, August 3, 2009

We're back!

We've traveled over 3,500 miles, suffered a flat tire, chalkboard fail, dress hi-jinx, gotten married, gotten honeymooned, and have generally been head over heels for each other.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Chalkboard FAIL!

We paid a chalkboard artist to do our seating arrangement and our menu. What we got was a major FAIL. Now I'm going to have to spend time figuring out how to salvage the whole mess.

This is time that would be far better spent on other things at this point!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Welcome to wedding month!

Wedding is fast approaching! We're still working on favors, seating arrangements, music, schedules, decorations and many many other little things.

I'm ok... but it was really adorable when Chris had wedding anxiety dreams last night. I felt like he was sharing some of the stress! Thanks baby!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Our weekend

Well, I enjoyed my last free day until we head down to California. We spent it

1) making a chalkboard
2) fixing my french net birdcage veil
3) going to the dog park
4) making the seating arrangement. My hope with this one is that everyone will be happy :)
5) making a delicious dinner
6) working on thank you notes
7) working on a photo shot list

I'll still have some short workdays and some free daytime hours, but every weekend from here on out, I'm working 11 am to 8 pm. Sad.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Accessory festival!

I went to try on my dress today with all of my accessories... More on that later. But, when I got home, I put all the accessories together with the veil I made today to take a picture.

I may try and make another veil with french netting. I'm not fully convinced that this one is quite right... but since I made it today, I thought I'd try it on. Veil making is another post as well!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Beautiful bouquet

I guess I'm on a flower kick, because this bouquet caught my eye today.

Found at

Monday, June 15, 2009

Flag it!

I just wanted to share my latest DIY. Total cost: less than $4 (cost of glitter and tempra paint). Everything else was free! Please excuse the messy front porch. The picture wasn't going to get taken if I didn't do it right then!

You can find instructions for this project here. It was actually incredibly easy. All you need is a ruler, newspaper (we just saved all the spam we get in our mailbox), some water soluble paint, glue and some glitter or letter stencils.

One little tip, don't plan to go around an MRI machine the day after working with glitter! Whoops!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Perfect peonies!

I have a whole hedge of peonies in my backyard. I love them so! When I was planning for wedding flowers, I knew that I wanted peonies. Every florist told me that peonies bloom in May, and so by July there will definitely be none left. Well, last year was a very cool June in Seattle, and my peonies did bloom in July, so I was hoping that mine would be blooming for the wedding this year and I could bring flowers of my own to round out our florals.

Well... wouldn't you know it... It hit 90 degrees in May and June here, and we haven't had a drop of rain in weeks. My peonies are in full bloom right now. It's sad because we won't have any for the wedding, but I'm trying to see the glass as half full-- after all, they are gorgeous.

I made a bouquet yesterday in honor of the wedding, and the beautiful flowers are now sitting on my dining room table!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Milk Expiration Date

Chris bought milk today that expires on July 18th. Yep, by the time our new milk expires we'll be getting married! :)

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Spectacular Shrug

My friend Jen (hi Jen!) found this amazing designer who makes custom shrugs. Jen and I worked with Holly to make the perfect wedding shrug to go with my dress. Holly (and Jen) were so great to work with! This is what Holly made for us :)

Lots of love to Jen because she is in the midst of moving into her new home this weekend!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Walking songs

Right now I'm having a bit of a conundrum. There is so much good music out there that I'm having a hard time figuring out which song to walk down the aisle to.

At first I was pretty convinced that I wanted Bittersweet Symphony, but as I was running yesterday (a whole other post in it's own right!) I was inspired by another song by Bloc Party which maybe feels slightly more current for me. But then again, I'm assured that Bittersweet Symphony is a classic. Funnily enough, both videos feature people walking!

Bittersweet Symphony

So Here We Are

Preferences? Any other fabulous suggestions for the perfect song for me?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Did I mention we had a busy weekend? Well, one of the things we did was to go yard sale-ing in the neighborhood. We saw an old classroom chalkboard for $40 and thought, "Hey that's cool" and then went on our merry way.

Well, after a trip to Michael's and some google searching, we realized that the giant door-like chalkboard was a pretty good deal. The next day, we went back to the house where the sale was and saw that the chalkboard was still there. We offered them $20, and voila the chalkboard was ours!

Now we have to decide how to best use it for the wedding. It's about 6 ft by 3.5 ft. We were thinking about using it to direct people to their tables, but we also wanted to write the menu on a chalkboard. Could we do both with this? Any other ideas?

This photo was taken right after we washed the board, so it isn't all shiny splotchy like in the picture. I should say that the random snowboard binding in the foreground was purchased at the GI Joe's going out of business sale for $16! New Burton Freestyles, and they were practically free!

Busy weekend!

We got so much stuff done this weekend. It was great! We did some important wedding stuff...

One thing we did was our table numbers. We decided that we wanted to continue on with a national park theme, so we ordered some postcards from Ranger Doug.

Then we went to Michael's and found a great deal on unfinished wood frames ($1/piece). I then varnished the frames with a polyurethane seal. We trimmed the postcards to fit inside and voila... Table names!

We are going to have one person or couple at each table fill in their address on the postcard, and then next time we go to that National Park, we'll send them the postcard with a memory from our trip.

Monday, May 18, 2009


What a fun weekend (more on the various details later)... but I had my hair and makeup trial with the fabulous Laura from Salon Bella Vita in Tahoe City and with Jen from Kiss and Make-up (also in Tahoe City).

They did a great job and I'm happy, but if you have suggestions for tweaks, please let me know. The makeup was inspired by Claire Forlani in the second photo in the blog post just below this one and the hair was inspired by Katherine Heigel shown here.

Here's how it turned out:

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Hair and makeup trial

This weekend I'm going for a hair trial and trying to organize a make up trial as well... It'll be fun because I have a wedding to go to Saturday night. Knowing nothing about make-up means that I'm kind of shooting in the dark here.

I've found a couple of pictures of make-up that I like (on some of the most beautiful women I can think of-- so it's really not a fair comparison!)

Claire Forlani

Jennifer Connelly looks great here, but I'd definitely lighten the lips!


Challenges in men's fashion

Do you know how hard it is to find a decent tie/vest combo for formal wear? Jeez. I thought guys were supposed to be the easy part. Maybe it's because my dress makes actual matching impossible, but we worked long and hard to find a tie that we liked... Simple and elegant, but not too blingy with a subtle pattern to give some interest. When we finally did find the right tie, it made finding a vest nearly impossible. Chris really wanted a vest, so we eventually found something that would work.

We got lots of compliments on the tie, and the good news is it was on clearance! $60 tie for $20... not bad. (The one we really liked was $95 at Nordstrom, but that just seemed outrageous).

Monday, May 11, 2009

Signed Sealed Delivered!

Aside from a few last addresses that we've finally wrangled, our invitations are out. Many have been received, so I feel like I can show some images. Yay!

As for details: We received the image from the designer and then uploaded it into gimp and added our text and manipulated our image to make the postcard. We used a free font called Deco Tech from Da Font, but a different font for the fancy capital letters. I scoured high and low to find the information card border. It's got a very art deco feel to it.

We printed these on our home inkjet printer, but were we to do it over, we now know that it is cheaper to get them printed at the UPS store. Printing was a true labor of love. We have a great recommendation of someone who prints in Seattle! Jon (said person) cut our invitations and cardstock to our specifications, and then we mounted the invitation using spray mount.

I then calligraphized all the invitations (with variable results!), but got better as I went along. Working with metallic ink is incredibly difficult. We got wedding ring stamps for the outer envelope and polar bear stamps for the postcards. We then numbered the postcards (well most of them) and sent them off! I can't wait for our first RSVP cards!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

We found it!

Today I looked at 1,000s of girls dresses. I tried all sorts of things to find something that would work. I started envisioning different sashes and planning a trip to the fabric store, and this evening just before shutting down the computer to cook dinner-- I found it!

The funny part is that my sister saw the same dress earlier today, but thought it wouldn't work so didn't mention it to me.

Here it is!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Not to be

My sister and I found this cutie at Dillards, but it's not available in any size but 8 (though it is on sale for $30!) We're continuing to look for a cute but different flower girl dress. Any ideas?

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Perfect Table Plan!

Thanks Wedding Bee and Perfect Table Plan! Today I received a license key for Perfect Table Plan software. This software allows you to drag and drop people from your guest list to tables. It's easy to arrange and rearrange and you can manage RSVPs and meal choices using the program.

Check it out!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Veggie Tales

Chris's dad came up from the Bay to spend the weekend with us. We had so much fun, and his visit inspired us to do a big project.

Well, actually, I should say that it inspired Chris. He did most of the work, but I make a great day laborer! They built 2 4x4 planter boxes for us to grow our vegetables in. See, we have birds and squirrels and raccoons (and a dog), all of which have a habit of decimating the garden every year. It is really frustrating to plant all sorts of vegetables and then have 3 peas and one teeny tiny zucchini at the end of the season.

This year, it's on! We planted lettuce, onions, brussel sprouts (shh, I know, but we love them), zucchini, cucumbers, peas, carrots, and we will be planting potatoes (but haven't yet). We planted thyme and cilantro (my favorite herb of all time) and got sunflower seeds and a Meyer lemon tree.

As a side bonus, maybe we'll cut down the grocery bill.

Here's a picture of our new little paradise, netted to avoid birds.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Invitation fun!

After months of work, we are so close to finishing the invitation that I can taste it. We've finished designing and proofreading and readjusting the Invitation itself and the Information card. We're still working on the RSVP postcard, but we have half of it finished. We just have the backside left to do.

Last weekend we went to Paper Zone (in the midst of a little squabble, since I thought we should have brought our images of the invitation to compare colors-- turns out Chris was right, we didn't need it!) and got sample card stock. We printed some test runs and have tentatively picked the papers. Then we went to Costco and bought very expensive color printer cartridges-- enough to print 150 invitations.

This has been a true group project. Chris has been manning the actual program manipulation (which is the lion's share of the work and frustration), and I've been designer, font-finder, text writer and proofreader.

I can't wait to start assembly! (But I wonder what I'll be saying once that starts...)

It's all about the checkboxes... Next up, ceremony!

Friday, March 27, 2009

DIY Ring pillow-check!

I finished my first ever ring pillow. What a learning experience! It wasn't that hard to do, and I sewed the entire thing by hand...

Were I to do this over again, I would have pinned the whole pillow before stitching it together, and I would have used a wider grosgrain ribbon... Next time.

Things you'll need to do this: a 10 x10 inch wool felt square, a complementary fabric of the same size, a grosgrain ribbon long enough to wrap around the entire square, stuffing, a small piece of ring tying ribbon, a nice button, and miscellany to make felt flowers (or you can purchase them at a craft store).

Make sure that your fabric squares are very even. Pin the wrong side of the grosgrain to the wrong side of the fabric, being careful at the corners (things can get wonky there) with 1/4 seam. Stitch the complementary fabric until the ribbon is entirely attached to one side, then do the felt side. When you have approximately 2 inches left before your close the pillow. Turn it right side out, and stuff the thing with tons of stuffing. Sew the pillow closed and revel in your amazingness for a few minute...

Maybe drink a beer at this point, or just repeatedly show it to fiance and say, "See what I made! See what I made!" Once you get over that, and get over the imperfections at the corners, attach the button in the center by stitching all the way through the pillow and back again. You'll get a nice pucker in the front and the back. Then attach your previously constructed felt flowers in a way that makes you happy.

At this point you'll need to interrupt the movie your fiance is watching to say, "Does it look right now? How about now?" This may or may not get the desired response. Once you are satisfied with the placement, stitch down the flowers (which is easier said than done).

Try not to curse when you are stabbing yourself in the fingers while pulling the needle through multi-layers of felt. It is really important at this point, to avoid getting the blood you've drawn on the pillow itself.

When the flowers are attached to your satisfaction, dance around and gloat, and alternately despair at the crooked corners. Wonder aloud if you will make another one or just use it as is. Ultimately realize that nobody is going to notice the problems except for you.

Then attach the ring-holding thin ribbon underneath the button. Tie a simple knot and call it a night. Blog about it immediately!

So here are some images of the process.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Ring pillow

Well, now that I had 1 DIY success, I think I'm starting to get too big for my britches! Nothing in the ring pillow world remotely struck my fancy. (Well, nothing in our price range anyway!)

I think we can all safely say that something like this is not my style:
I had images in my head of a Princess Lasertron type creation. PL and I convo'd on Etsy a few times, and while she doesn't make pillows, she'd be happy to embellish one for me with her flowers.
But PL is a busy girl, and she suggested that I make the pillow myself to save some time and money in creating the pillow. Well, Chris and I went to the fabric store today. (Chris sews, though I don't) and we picked out some really cool material and some felt.

I decided if I'm going through all the effort to create a pillow anyway, then I might as well embellish it on my own too!

Wish me luck and uninjured fingers! I'll let you know soon how it's going! I'm using a Martha Stewart do it yourself pillow pattern. If all goes well, it should end up looking something like this:
Oh, the other upside, is that all the supplies (and I'll have plenty left over to do other stuff with) were less than $20. I had to buy everything including pins and scissors, since I haven't sewn anything since girl scouts!


Pillow How-To
You'll need two 7 1/4-inch squares of fabric and a length of ribbon (about 29 1/2 inches). With right sides facing, pin ribbon to the edges of one square, starting at the middle of one side. Fold ends of ribbon under so they meet, and pin. Sew, using a 1/4-inch seam allowance. Repeat to sew remaining square to the other edge of the ribbon. Turn pillow right side out (through hole where ribbon ends meet), and fill with stuffing or with 7-inch squares of batting. Hand-stitch opening closed. Sew a covered button to center of pillow, stitching all the way through. Tie thin ribbon around button; stitch to secure. Tie rings on ribbon.

Martha Stewart link

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

DIY ornament balls

I've been meaning to blog about these for a while, but I think it's harder to motivate for a technical post, and I definitely wanted to get the details right for those who were interested in doing this. First off, let me say that these were *highly* do-able, even for a DIY beginner like me!

The first order of business was to get all the right supplies. We went to our local paper source and picked out a heavy paper stock (2 sheets in each color) just so we could try a few of these. While we were there, I realized I'd probably need a cutting mat (which is essential), a heavy ruler with a cork back (also quite helpful), and lots of fresh blades for our box cutter. We already had an awl.

Back home, we cleaned our dining room table so that there was a nice open area to work with, and popped open a few beers, and turned on some music to get the mood right!

Here's a picture of our supplies!

So then, we started using the scale model instructions that I blogged about a while ago (a couple of posts down). We followed them exactly and made these cute teeny tiny ornament balls. I was pretty freaked out that I was going to mess things up, so I wasn't exactly the nicest girl for the first 5 minutes, but I mellowed out... then again, that might have been the beer!

If I have one small word of suggestion for the small ornament balls, make sure that you are using a mono-filament wire. Anything else frays! We used non mono-filament picture hanging wire, but we also knew we were only going to do a couple of these. It was still frustrating.

Next, we (and when I say we, I really mean HE) got out a clean piece of paper and some basic algebra skills to figure out how to scale these things up. The original dimensions were 1/4" by 9" strips. These made balls that were Christmas ornament size, but we wanted more like paper lantern size.

We settled on 1 inch by 21 inch strips. We (again I mean he) cut 14 of these (important that these strips are really straight) and used the awl to poke a hole in the absolute center of each strip, and 1/4 inch from each end. These work better if you really center the holes, and I was really glad I had a grid mat!

Then we used a heavy duty monofilament wire (16 gauge, though we probably could have used 18 gauge and been fine) to thread the middle of each of the strips through the wire. At this point you have to stay organized with the strips and keep taking the end of the bottom one and pulling it up and threading the end through. When you have half a ball, you continue working from the other side, always taking the bottom strip. You'll quickly see your "onion" or "sort of ball" take shape! We then bent the wire at the top, so that these wouldn't come undone once the full onion was assembled...

This recipe makes 8 inch or so balls. I think if we put a light in them, it should throw off some great shadows. We started by alternating strips blue, cream, blue, cream. However, I quickly figured that 2 blues and then 1 cream was much more to my liking! We're also planning to do this with some more vinyl like material that is more durable.

I think with many of them, rather than assemble them now, we'll just thread the center through the wire and assemble them in California so that the car isn't completely filled with ornament balls when we drive down! We practiced doing these with my friend's niece and nephew the other day, and the kids were even able to do it...

Here are a couple of the finished products.
If you have any questions, let me know.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Anxiety Dreams

I haven't had wedding anxiety dreams in months. I took that to mean that we were pretty on top of things. Well, last night I had a ridiculous series of dreams that blew all of that confidence out of the water.

Last night, I dreamed that our wedding was tomorrow and I took the dress out of the bag. It was the wrong dress, wasn't altered, and looked awful on me. Someone had used a sharpie to color the train (which was made out of feathers) black (?!)

We had none of the decorations done, it was raining, I didn't have any of my accessories, and not all the invitations had been sent.

Chris had all of his stuff done, and was all dressed and ready to go... except that it was my first boyfriend. I woke up panicked!

I think this means I need to make some stuff happen this week... Whew. That was crazy!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Wedding Ring update

Chris brought in the wedding ring last week and spoke to the manager at the store. The guy was very accommodating, and said that he would try to get the ring fixed in-house before he sent it out to be re-made. I am a little skeptical that they could fix milgrain that was so badly damaged at the store. I mean parts of it were knife-sharp and other parts had almost no milgrain at all. I kind of wish they would send it straight to the manufacturer, but I'm willing to give them a chance.

My other question is this. Why would they let a product like this go out to the customer? Do they think we wouldn't notice?

I think I just have to let that line of thinking go...

In other news, we had diy success this weekend, and I'll share all about it when I organize the pictures!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Weekend project

I'm going to tackle a DIY project this weekend. I'm going to try and make round decorations that look somewhat like paper lanterns.

The "recipe" for them makes a small Christmas ornament type ball, and I want to try and make something bigger. So, I'll use thicker wire and a more durable paper or even a wall paper or vinyl. If you have any ideas, let me know. I'm probably crazy for even trying this-- but hey, why not?

I can imagine these with a strip of a blue and gold brocade type pattern alternating with a champagne strip... and hey, what is stopping me from throwing a little LED light in there too?

Stack the sheets atop one another and use your craft knife to cut them into 1/4-inch-wide strips. You'll need 14 strips total (7 of each color).

Using an awl or needle, make a small hole in the center of each of the guidelines across the back of the strips (in the center and at each end of the strip).

Cut a 6-inch length of floral wire and make a small loop in one end.

Thread wire through the center of each strip (the loop at the end of the wire prevents the strips from falling off).

A detail showing the strips threaded onto the wire. Note that I have alternated colors: a light strip followed by a dark strip followed by a light strip, etc.

Begin with the bottom-most strip (nearest the loop end of the wire).

Fold this bottom-most strip up and insert the end of the wire through the hole at the end of the strip of paper.

Continue folding strips up and threading them onto the wire. Be sure to always draw the bottom-most strip so that your colors alternate light and dark.

At the halfway point, you will have threaded 14 strips onto the wire and your ornament should look like this illustration. Continue in the same direction around the model until all ends are threaded onto the wire and the model is complete.

Once your model is completely folded, trim excess wire and fashion a small, tight loop in each end of the wire and attach a small cord or ribbon from which to hang the ornament.