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Somethings

June 5, 2012 2 comments

In planning my wedding, I like to think I was somewhat not the “normal” bride.

There were no bridezilla moments.

I didn’t cry over trying to find the exact shade of green for my bridesmaids to wear.

Even when we ended up having to redo our invitations to make the announcements, I think I handled it rather calmly.

But a few details I did pay close attention to were my “somethings.”

Something old – Since I was going with a vintage feel for the wedding, several things fit that bill. What I finally decided to do was to tie to my bouquet the pocket watch Mom gave to Dad when they were dating. In it, Mom had inscribed “For those who love, time is not,” from Henry van Dyke’s “Time is” poem.

Time is
Too Slow for those who Wait,
Too Swift for those who Fear,
Too Long for those who Grieve,
Too Short for those who Rejoice;
But for those who Love,
Time is not.

Something new – My dress of course! Even the dress shopping experience was unconventional. No one cried. There was no screaming “This is the one!!” I actually had to go back with a bridesmaid because I doubted my decision the same night I tried the dress on.

No doubts anymore though. I can’t wait to get to wear the dress a second time. And I think I love it even more after I added sleeves to it.

If you look closely, you can also see the pocket watch.

Something Borrowed – Honestly, I can’t remember if Megan offered first or if I asked her if I could borrow it, but my “borrowed” something was my sister in law’s veil.

My mom wore her sister’s veil when she got married, so she didn’t have one for me to use. I remembered Megan’s veil being simple and ivory, so we kept that in mind as we went dress shopping.

What I hadn’t remembered was how beautiful the Irish lace on the veil was or how intricate tiny pearls were sewn into the lace. It only added to the excitement that the veil was packed away because of home renovations. Megan didn’t dig it out until the week before the wedding. I didn’t get to try it on until the very last minute. But it was perfect!

And in keeping with Irish tradition, Megan (a happily married woman) was there to put the veil on me on Monday morning.

Something blue – Originally, I thought of using a Silverado blue rosary that belonged to my father in my bouquet. But after reading the pocket watch inscription, I was sure I preferred to carry that. I also wanted to use it because I remember the care my father took when he wore the watch on special occasions. I knew if he had walked me down the aisle, the watch would have been with him. I needed it with me too.

Anyway, all this thought given to my father walking down the aisle, and I knew I’d need a hanky. But I didn’t want just any old hanky, I wanted my father’s hanky.

Sure enough, Mom had saved just a few of Dad’s handkerchiefs. I asked her if I could take one when I was home a few months ago because I wanted to embroider my wedding date on it in blue so that it could be my something blue.

She said no. She wanted to do it for me.

Some of the only tears I shed in the hours leading up to my wedding were when she gave me the box holding the hanky. It was as if Dad was talking directly to me when I lifted the lid and read “Angel Face.” It was perfect. And so much more special to me than the date alone would have been.

From that very moment on through the next day when I carried the hanky in my pocket, I knew he was with me.

My biggest fear leading up to my wedding was that I would miss my father so much that the emotion of that would overshadow the rest of the day. …That I’d burst into tears walking down the aisle with my brother because he wasn’t my father. …That I’d be sad at the reception because there was no father/daughter dance.

But amazingly, the complete opposite happened. Instead of being upset that he wasn’t there, it was as if I was overcome with how much he WAS there, and how proud he was on that day, and how happy he would want me to be.

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Finished Projects, Old and New!

January 10, 2011 Leave a comment

This photo will be replaced when I remember to relocate my camera cable!

I realized over the weekend that I never blogged about my last two pillowcase dresses. And these are the ones I made completely by myself! Embroidery and all.

My favorite part about this whole project, I think, was when my cousin opened the present containing the dress for her daughter. I had used a pillowcase that came from my grandmother (hoping this would be extra special)…and to make it EXTRA extra special, my aunt immediately recognized the pillow case as one she had taken to college. I couldn’t have planned it better! It was also my favorite dress out of the bunch! (it’s the one in the middle of the photo at the linked blog.)

 

I mentioned last week about my Pay it Forward project for 2011…and over the weekend I succeeded in completing my first project for it! Yay for getting started early! It was actually rather easy since I’ve been making these felted balls for years with leftover yarn, but at least I was given a good reason to go ahead and string them into a finished project.

Pay it Forward!

And additionally, I started a birthday present (and am halfway done) for my sister-in-law whose birthday isn’t until February. Hopefully all weekends in 2011 can be this productive!

I would also like to take a chance to thank my boyfriend for my awesome phone for Christmas. The first photo (unless you’re reading this in the future and I’ve replaced it) was taken with my old sub-standard blackberry. The bracelet photo was taken with my new iPhone 4. Isn’t the difference amazing? The iPhone photos are actually able to be used!

O Christmas Tree

December 14, 2010 2 comments

I finally got my tree decorated yesterday (due in large part to not wanting to work on my final paper for class!).

I’m not a huge fan of the tree itself. If it weren’t for my allergies I’d have a real one because at least they smell pretty. but to me, the tree is really just a venue to hang some of my favorite things on. The ornaments are really where it’s at!

I’ve found it rather odd when I’ve run into people who buy ornaments. Other than to give to other people, I’ve never bought an ornament for myself before. My tree has no “theme” or cohesion to it, other than the fact that it’s a story of my life. From the “1980” ornaments I was given the year I was born to the very angel that tops the tree, every piece has a story behind it and a person who lovingly picked out that special ornament for me to have. And each year, I get to remember those special people and times in my life when I unpack the box and unwrap the carefully packed pieces.

Dee Dee's mice. They like to hang together on the tree so they don't get lonely. And they're always on the front. Anything with a face goes on the front. You wouldn't want anyone to miss seeing anything!

My angel made by DeeDee, when I was probably 4 or 5.

Not my first Christmas, but pretty close!

My baby ornament. I think also made by Dee Dee. And in thinking of Dee Dee, this one is also stored during the year in a small Parkay tub.

Pacman. Hand-crocheted by either our neighbor Irma, or Mary Steelman.

My prettiest ornament. I don't know that this one was mine to start with, but Mom gave it to me when I had my first tree of my own.

The first angel ornament my dad gave me as a teen. He always called me "Angel Face" and for quite a few years, gave me an angel ornament.

Another one from, you guessed it, Dee Dee. She seems to have had a thing for mice in the '80s.

Christmas Presents, Complete!

December 9, 2010 Leave a comment

Shirt #1. Post cut, pre-sewing (and ironing obviously)

So after only a few months (yeah right) of planning to make my nieces and cousins’ Christmas gifts, they’re finally done with only a few weeks to spare! (Ok, I’m not completely done, but the other two are technically for birthdays)

Enter, the pillowcase dress!

I hate cutting patterns so I cheated just a little bit. I did it sans pattern. When I was home over Thanksgiving I had two nieces stand up straight for me and I taped butcher paper to their backs. I traced about how long I’d need the dresses, and how large the arm holes should be. I fudged these to approximate the sizes of the other three girls, making shirts for the two oldest girls, and full length dresses for the younger ones.

Three done! Only two left.

The thing I love most about using the vintage cases, crocheted hems. There’s no way I would have been able to finish embroidering 5 pillowcases on my own, let alone crochet hems on all of them! I really think that makes the dress look more like a dress and less like a pillowcase.

Honestly, I have no excuse for not starting earlier. The first dress took me nearly an hour to sew, but that time was nearly cut in half once I knew what I was doing!

F is for…

September 28, 2010 2 comments

First Communion and Family!

My brother and his wife recently moved into my mother’s house with his five (6 this winter!) kids. Until Mom’s new house is finished, it’s quite a full house!

As part of this process, Mom has gone through everything she owns, which in turn means…more and more piles for my sister and I of stuff we had when we were kids that continued to hang out in the house.

My sister-in-law presented me with a HUGE box for my birthday. Inside of it was a few pieces of clothing from when I was little…some kids books (including Caps for Sale, which was one of my favorites. Those crazy monkeys!) and other bits and pieces of my life.

My neices were of course mesmerized by my First Communion veil. Mom did a great job when she picked it out!

I was mesmerized by how tiny my dress was. I always thought of myself as a stocky kid (probably because my older sister was teeny)…but I realized the dress was quite small when my 7 year old niece couldn’t even get it over her head!

I can still remember Mom spending hours pulling little bits of pink ribbon out of the sleeves and collar of the dress. She had the hardest time finding something that she thought would be appropriate (little did she know of the wedding dress style dresses girls would wear these days!). But Sister said there was to be NO color on the dress. I was so worried about the pink ribbon that remained down the center of the front.

I was the shortest girl in my class so I was the first one to line up for the procession into the church and the first one to receive. I was also supposed to give a two sentance opening prayer. I almost jumped out of my shoes when Sister had to tap me on the shoulder to remind me to get to the front of the church to recite that prayer. I was so nervous!

Busy guest filled weekend!

August 23, 2010 2 comments

So, as of Friday, my guest room is complete! Well, as complete as the rest of my house. I still need to find a lamp, throw rugs and maybe some curtains.

Welcome Home Granny!

Mom brought me my childhood dresser (also Granny Largent’s, like my bed) and best of all…Granny! My sister-in-law didn’t really want to move into mom’s house if Granny was still there (she gets a little mad when people talk about her and weird stuff happens, like bats flying down chimneys). But I love her! She was quite a strong woman and and very able to take care of herself and think for herself.

The guest room couldn’t have been finished at a better time. Although I’ve already enjoyed having my mom and aunt stay at my house, I got my first non-family guests this weekend! My friends Lauren and Shawn came down from Albany so we had a fun weekend of keeping busy!

We did some further exploring of the Pohick Bay area (not too far from my house) and visited Occoquan with my mom. Then it got interesting for me as I tried to think of places that are *new* since they lived here several years ago. We ended up at National Harbor Saturday night where they set off fireworks just for my visitors! Or at least I like to think so. And Lauren and Shawn had never been to Rosa Mexicano so we enjoyed some tableside guac service, and of course our old favorite, cupcakes from CakeLove (the salted caramel were my favorite)!

A Weekend of Finishing

August 9, 2010 2 comments

Considering I did absolutely nothing on Saturday, I had a fairly productive weekend of getting stuff done.

I’ve always had a love of paper and perhaps for this reason, I was the person chosen to inherit all scraps of wrapping paper. Sometimes this was a weird thing to get, but other times, I got amazing vintage patterns from my grandmother and great-aunt. But what sould I do with all this paper? It’s not really something I’d want to just use up for a task that would then require it to be ripped to shreds…

Fabric scraps and ribbons...now living so neatly on top of my sewing cabinet! And yes, that's me in the background wearing my grandmother's dress.

When looking for unique storage solutions in my sewing room…I finally figured out a task. And my boyfriend and mother have probably wondered what was up with the empty coffee and peanut containers that I couldn’t throw away…but now, my grandmother (and grandfather!) would probably be so proud!

Bits of ribbon and scraps of fat quarters are now living so neatly in vintage paper covered cans! It took more time than I thought to get the hang of this (old paper cracks when it’s pulled too tightly, so getting a good flat surface was hard!)

Just imagine how pretty Grandma could have made her doggie feed cans! (but that’s a whole other story)

While going through boxes and bags in my sewing room, I came upon this dresser scarf that was only half-finished (who knows how long ago, or by whom!)

It was a task to find floss to match (and maybe even more of a task since the original colors brightened when I washed it), but I finished this as well! It seems to be either someone’s first, or last project. The needle work was done by someone either very inexperienced or nearly blind, but it was fun to finish! Now I’ll just have to send it to mom to get the rust stains out (NEVER leave a metal hoop on your work if you’re not working it!)

Sunday afternoon, I hit Occoquan, one of my favorite places to walk around. I thought it was supposed to be really nice out, but I guess all that is relative in a summer where 50 days have been above 90 degrees! I was HOT! But the shops were fun as always.

When Mom visited me in March I’d seen a hook I really liked in the shop Elements. And wouldn’t you know it? They only had one left. It was meant for me, right?

I’d been wanting the hook to hang aprons on in my kitchen, thus, finishing my kitchen!

I spent nearly an hour searching my house (from basement to bedroom and back again, many times!) looking for my aprons. I couldn’t remember if I’d seen them in a box in my room or my sewing room… Just as I was about to give up (and had called out to St. Anthony a billion times), I found them sitting, neatly folded, on a shelf of my wine rack. RIGHT under the new hook. Oy.

My last task of finishing for the weekend was last night, I finished the first pillow case for my pillowcase dresses! This must be a record finishing time for me. It usually takes me months, or even a year to finish something like this! I think I did it in about a month.

Now to just get the measurements of the girl I’ll make it for a do a little sewing! I even bought fun ribbon on sale a couple weeks ago to use for the top.

Here’s to hoping there’s a lot more finishing coming up soon!

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