Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Timing, Praising, Stretching

So yesterday was another weird driving day. In the morning, I saw someone drive directly across the cobblestones at the circle (to shave, what, 2 seconds off the drive)? At least the shrubs and whatnot are planted such that someone can't drive through the center of the circle directly (though they didn't used to be like that, and one morning I saw tire tracks across the mulch).

Then on the commute home, car B hit car A, car C hit car B, car D stopped in time. I was car E.

Timing is such a wild thing, isn't it?

Today I got really positive feedback on slides I wrote for a game show I'm hosting in 2 weeks. One of my coworkers said she is actually looking forward to attending the session (um, this is about software tips and tricks, folks!), and that she can't believe my training is in science because I'm so creative, and that she started laughing as soon as she opened it! Another said she loved it.

Then I led a conference call and another coworker said, "Good job Kyle!" when it was over. Yeah, I felt like I rocked it.

Tonight I went to a free class called "The Art of Therapeutic Stretching" offered by the Princeton Health Care System. It was lead by a physical therapist, who happens to work at my gym. Basically it boils down to:
  • hold each stretch for 30 seconds
  • do the stretch in sets of 3
  • do them twice a day
  • do them every day
He led us through a bunch of different stretches, some of which I've do now, almost all I've done at some point, mostly in the toning class. The person who checked me in said, "Weren't you here last night? You look like someone who was here last night."

Next Monday I'm going to another free class about preventing orthopedic injuries (scintillating topic, right?). Oh, but first on Friday is David Sedaris at the McCarter Theater in Princeton. I bet it will be fantastic. I'm also thinking of going to see Cesar Milan at Barnes and Noble--I think that's on Tues or Wed. But I bet that will be a zoo.

Monday, September 28, 2009

The same skirt!

So last week I posted a snippet of fabric from a skirt I wear during the summer. And then today Antoinette posted a picture of her skirt.
Here's mine. I think mine is cut on the bias maybe??

Antoinette and I own the same skirt--what are the chances???

Oh Dr. Donahue. Interesting that he doesn't mention chiropractor, acupuncture, or physical therapy. And that he doesn't acknowledge the heat and ice packs.

Lower Back pain article
Here's a closeup of the tacking I'm doing for the vest:
Still workin' on the tackin'

Rainy rainy day!!
UPDATE: Antoinette blogged about her refashion of her skirt!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Almost done with Simplicity 2633

So in the previous post I showed that the flounce for Simplicity 2633 is a bit big and it seems to stand up on its own like a clown collar. It's not even interfaced. So I'm tacking the flounce down. It's pretty much done in the front but now I need to tack it down in the back.

Simplicity 2633 almost done

still have to tack down the back

Sneak peek at Simplicity 2633

Sneak peek at Simplicity 2633:
Simplicity 2633 vest WIP

It's a Project Run(a)way vest with a very jaunty flounce/ruffle/whatever. I'm working on fixing it and I think it's going from clown collar to greeeat!

Feels so good to be in the sewing machine saddle again!!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

3 Full Moons today. How, you ask??

As I drove away from my parents house, there were 4 teenagers at the end of a driveway half way down the road. As I approached, 3 of them mooned me! So that's 5 bare buns in the course of about 6 months--the first one was on Rt 18 a few months back (again, a teenage boy mooning from an overpass), then a woman mooning her friends (and everyone else) in Myrtle Beach, and then the three teens today.

Today I went to our reception venue to sign the contract and pay the deposit. I also got to see for the first time the ceremony room they have (in case it rains and we can't have our gazebo ceremony). It was all very awesome. I visited the bakery next to the reception hall and they had Halloween cupcakes in their cupcake holder. Unfortunately I forgot to bring my camera. I also visited the gazebo and worked some things out in my mind about it.

I had lunch with a friend and dinner with my parents. Mom and I played Scrabble and then I visited their neighbor.

Now I am home and it is quiet and I am sleepy. Bliss!

Friday, September 25, 2009

It's a little too Becky Home Ecky

Thanks to Antoinette and my mom for the (published and unpublished) comments.

Antoinette suggested taking the skirt from a dress pattern I love and attaching it to a muslin of a few dress bodices from my last posting and seeing how it shakes out. Mom suggested using a TNT dress pattern that I love.

Let's start with Antoinette. I *love* this bodice from the Hillary Duff pattern. So tonight I cut out a muslin (fabric is reclaimed from a disaster nightgown that I hated and hardly ever wore).

I am liking this so far!!
I think this might look good!!
Oh Hillary

A dress form would come in handy right about now--you can bet your bottom dollar it would be pinned to it this instant!

As for Mom's suggestion, I think there's really only three dress patterns in the running and really only 2 of them are truly TNT. Two of them have 60's shift dress retro styling. Which fits with our Hawaiian theme, since a lot of Hawaii feels like it's pleasantly stuck in the 60's.

McCall's 5799 that I made this summer. Imagine it in white with red piping and our wedding logo hibiscus flower. Could work, huh? Could also look like a high school cheerleader outfit.
McCall's 5799 front after wearing it all day

There's also Simplicity 3833, which may very well be my most favorite dress of all time.
Here it is in red:
July 8, 2007 red dress

Here it is, slightly shorter, in brown with aqua flowers:
Flashback, Simplicity 3833, front, from 2007

So I'm thinking about this kind of fabric...
Closeup of ivory silk fabric with white beading
It's pre-beaded silk. I found it in the JoAnn's clearance bin a year ago. I think I got it for like $1.50 or something. It's only a quarter of a yard but I thought it looked really neat and maybe I could make a purse or something equally small from it sometime. Of course, I don't know if I could actually find this fabric again.

Quarter yard from the JoAnn's remnant bin approx one year ago

Imagine the Simplicity dress made from this fabric and piped with ivory piping--wouldn't that look amazing? And look expensive?

This photo is showing two concepts in one; on the left is the hibiscus flower fabric I bought back from Maui (I think it's a fat quarter--but would be enough for a sash or band). On the right is some generic white fabric up against brick piping. When I saw that I thought "ut-oh, cheerleader territory".

White fabric with brick piping; red and white hibiscus print

So I'm thinking I might make a trip out to FabricLand sometime soon to check out their white fabrics. Their selection blows JoAnn's out of the water.

Here's what I am making on Sunday. It's the brown vest on the left. I cut it out tonight. It's the first time I used my scissors since I had them sharpened. Cutting is bliss again!
I'm making the vest on the left on Sunday

And finally, here are the flowers remaining from the farmer's market. Each day I remove the dead ones. This bouquet was so tightly packed that I didn't realize there were some snapdragons included!!
Remaining farmer's market flowers

Guess who said the subject line!!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Favorite skirt; dress ideas

I love this skirt. I've had it for ages. Here's a closeup of the skirt:
Skirt that I wear in summer (that I didn't make)

I bought this eyelet fabric yesterday. I'm going to make a skirt out of it and line it with white fabric.

eyelet fabric that I bought yesterday

So for the wedding dress...I'm wearing red heeled sandals that I love. Wedding colors are red and white (though I don't think Pete's outfit will have any red in it at all).
I'm thinking of red piping--red sash--red pouf, no train, no lace, only knee length. No veil. Probably wearing a white lei with it.

Here are some (mostly New Look) candidates.

I've been wanting to make the pink dress on the left for ages but am afraid the skirt is too full. I think the yellow dress on the right, while I love the top half of it, and has a midsection that could be red, also has a skirt that is too full.
I've been wanting to make the pink dress on the right for ages.

I've made these before. I like the skirt part of the dress. not too full, not too straight. Nice a-line.

I've made these before.

Liking the peach dress on the right (afraid the skirt is too full). Liking the dresses on the left too.

Liking the peach dress on the right (afraid the skirt is too full again)

Dress on the left looks awesome but neckline too wide. There's a few options on the right.
Dress on the left looks awesome but neckline too wide.

I made the short sleeved tunic on the left with round neckline. it was kind of a disaster but i think that was due to fabric choice. I like the hot pink dress on the right but am afraid the v-neck is too low. The light pink dress on the right has a cowl neck.
I made the short sleeved tunic on the left with round neckline

I made this dress with the v-neck 2 summers ago but hated it. I do like the idea of the sash (mine would be red). But the skirt was too full and 50's like for me.

I made this dress with the v-neck 2 summers ago  but hated it

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Farmer's Market flowers & white fabric

Flowers from the Princeton farmer's market this week (photographed at my work desk)
my favorite flower from this week's princeton farmer's market bouquet

scalloped edge eustoma


Tonight I went to JoAnn's and looked at white fabric: white satin, white satin with crystals, white eyelet, white shirting, white bottomweights, and even white denim. I came away feeling that I needed to know first the dress I want to make; then I can choose the fabric. I was intrigued most by the white denim and the white satin with crystals. No pix, though. I also looked at red fabric, red piping, red bias tape, and red ribbon.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Today Pete got 2 of the 3 vaccinations he needs for immigration. (One of those two is a 2-parter, so he goes back in a month to get the second part. The third is not available in the UK.) He didn't have to get them now, but by getting them now they are free as part of their health care system! The tetanus one hurts he says. I will feel his pain when I go for a physical by the end of the year. It's time for me to get another tetanus shot, so I'll get it at the physical.

Speaking of needles, at acupuncture tonight, Karen tried to put a needle between my eyebrows for "mental clarity" but it apparently wouldn't stay in. She said for some people the needle slides right in and for others it won't stay. It did feel like there was a needle in my right calf in the back, but there wasn't! I'm still amazed at acu. Since I'm getting better, now I'm going every other week to acu and every third week to chiro.

Pete told me he wants to have pix of us jumping in our wedding attire. I've seen those shots before. Then I saw the front page of the paper yesterday and it made me laugh. Like this, love??

Jumping photo

I think an animal damaged my lawn chairs, because if a person were to vandalize them, I think they would have been vandalized across the seat too:

Damaged chairs

I am sad since I just bought these chairs this summer to replace my other chairs that were falling apart. But I'm grateful the damage wasn't worse.
closeup of damage

Sunday, September 20, 2009

In lieu of a guestbook; fun non-floral centerpieces, Trivia Game

Instead of a guest book, guests will sign these
Instead of a guest book, guests will sign these pieces of paper and write wishes on them if they'd like. The papers already have holes in them, so we can make them into garland!

Pete's on an airplane flying home now. It's always funny going through these transitions. I did my usual post-airport things like going grocery shopping, loading the dishwasher, and making a big list of all the things I want to do. (done, done, and done!)

Pete and I have been focusing a lot on the wedding stuff, and we both discussed how it will be nice to focus on non-wedding things again. He can get back to swimming and I can get back to sewing, both activities we have missed during his visit. But the wedding stuff will continue, just not as intensively as we focused on it the last 6 weeks. Or will it?? ha ha ha ha ha!

This blog is turning into an all-wedding-all-the-time blog, which isn't what I meant to happen. It always annoyed me how people who are getting married only talk about their wedding, but now I understand what an all-consuming process it is.

I do have more crafty wedding ideas. I will continue to talk about them.

I read somewhere that no one remembers the table centerpieces. Reflecting on that statement, the only centerpieces I remembered from weddings past were one that was silk flowers, and two that were kind of awful fresh flower centerpieces. I want to have non-floral, non-candle, very-cheap-without-looking-cheap centerpieces. They would then be surrounded by loose dendrobium orchids. Maybe on a red table runner so the white dendrobium orchids stand out.

Well, today we had lunch at Chili's and they had one of those stand-up rectangular cards on the table describing their partnership with St Jude's Childrens Hospital, and I noticed that the chili was actually "cut out" on top of one of the 4 sides. And then it hit me...cardboard (cardstock) centerpieces, just like those--the top can be (on all 4 sides) the island (which would be cut out) and then of course, the name of the island, and then underneath, a different "fun fact" on each side...maybe a fact about Hawaii, maybe a fact about Pete, or myself, or the visa application process, or have some pix of us. Printed in color by Staples, Kinkos, or similar shop as a flat piece, then Pete and I would cut out the island bit a the top and tape together. Memorable, cheap, biodegradable. Love it!

Kyle and Pete centerpiece idea (obvious draft)
My "proof of concept". Or draft. Pete's drafts are a lot fancier than mine!

Close up of one side of centerpiece idea
Close up of one side of the "centerpiece".

Also thinking of having "trivia cards" on each our guests can learn more about us, interact with each other by asking each other the questions and guessing at the answers.
Here's the front:
Kyle and Pete Trivia Game Question (um, obvious draft)
Again, my drafts aren't nearly as fancy as Pete's drafts...
And here's the back:
Kyle and Pete Trivia Game answer (um, obvious draft)

I have to start the next part of the application process, which is filling out an affidavit of support, which basically makes me inventory everything I own (I think my car is the only thing of value I really own--my fabric stash is next on the list, ha ha!), and my checking and savings accounts, how much my house is worth, how much is left on my mortgage, what's in my retirement funds, my last three tax returns, my W2s, my pay stubs, blah blah blah. Plus producing all the documentation that backs up the numbers I fill in. I have been poked and prodded physically this year in so many ways for my back & knee pain, so now it's time to be financially prodded as well for the visa. I also need to have my employer write a letter about my salary, how long I've been employed, and if the position is temporary or permanent.

I think I will start a periodic series in my blog, called:
Laughable "thing I should do for my wedding" tip from a bridal guide: Hire a teenager from my neighborhood to guard my gift table at the reception. It says this duty should not fall to a friend because "she would not enjoy the reception". Snort on both counts.

Side note: I saw Dr. A (of the urgent care place) in the supermarket tonight. I'm sure he doesn't remember me, why would he? I saw him 4 times back in Jan/Feb/Mar.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Desserts and sandal cupcake toppers

We went to LaBon today, yum! We are thinking of having desserts from LaBon for our dessert buffet at our wedding reception. We will have cupcakes instead of cake, but guests won't be forced to eat the cupcake because they won't be served any dessert. Instead, they can step up to the buffet and pick out the goodies they want. Featured here are a Napolean, a cupcake, and a brownie. LaBon has the only cupcakes in NJ where I like both the cake and the icing. But I don't know if they will deliver all the way to Belmar, nor how much that would cost. The counter person didn't seem to know.
Selection of baked goods from La Bon

Pete with his cupcake. He surprised me by chosing chocolate. Usually he has vanilla (or carrot cake, but LaBon doesn't have carrot cake cupcakes).
Pete and a cupcake (and massive amounts of cardboard around him)

Pete also requested having sandals with our laptops as cupcake toppers, so here they are:
Pete wanted our sandals for cake toppers too
Today is Pete's last full day in NJ. He departs for England tmw night, and probably won't return until it's time for the wedding! I'm thinking of flying to see him over Thanksgiving week. and then we probably won't see each other again until the wedding. Well, maybe I'll fly for his birthday in January. I don't know. Time will tell.

Friday, September 18, 2009

French Toast Contains Sugar

Thanks everyone for your super nice comments about Pete's Elvis drawing. He does rock, doesn't he?

Tonight Pete and I saw Julie and Julia. We both enjoyed it quite a lot--it was better than we both thought it would be!! Hopefully I will have some time to blog about it (and the September Issue) next week.

I hate unlabelled buffets. I really, really want to know what something is before I eat it. I asked Pete to make a sample buffet label. Here it is:

Isn't it adorable?? I just laughed out loud!!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Elvis card box

So I saw this card box on OffBeat Bride and laughed so much it made my back hurt (of course, that's when my back hurt all the time anyway).

I told Pete I want an Elvis card he drew Elvis this morning:
Line drawing of Elvis, drawn by Pete

and colored in with gimp:
Elvis card box as colored by gimp, drawn by Pete

This blows me away too--I love how it looks!!

We also booked the largest room for our wedding reception. Yeah!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Laptop cake toppers; our eclectic guest list; amazing placecards

Soon after we were engaged, Pete told me he wanted laptop cake toppers (well, we're having cupcakes, so cupcake toppers). We talked off and on about how we were going to make them: out of clay was the initial idea. Then we bought the clay and didn't even open the packaging. Didn't seem like it would work out. Then we ordered a dollhouse laptop but didn't like that either. In the car last Saturday we started talking about them would we make them? Pete said he wanted to find bits of plastic and make them...and that they should be shiny. Which made me think, why don't we just use cardboard and paint it? And use nailpolish because it's shiny? and then it hit me like a flash--we should just take pix of our laptops and print them out at the drug store--the photo paper is already shiny--just paste to cardboard and done? So I took pix (though I forgot to take a pic of Pete's laptop top--so he took one with the lights reflected in it) and he scaled them down in gimp, and we had them printed last night, he picked up the prints this afternoon...

Well, look what I made tonight:

Our laptop cake toppers made out of scaled down photographs of our laptops
The quarter (which is a Hawaii quarter) is there for scale. Since my laptop is smaller than Pete's (I have a netbook, he has a gargantuan HP) I think I'll use the middle laptop for my cupcake topper).

Here's what the back of our laptop cake toppers look like (you know, the "lid" of the laptop):
Back of our laptops
The white spots on the lid of Pete's laptop are from the lights in the cafe where he took the picture. He said he likes the spots and doesn't want them shaded in (via my handy sharpie marker!)

I am really blown away by how nicely these came out, how relatively easy they were, and how cheap they were to make (I mean, I think it was 20 cents per laptop!!)

Pete would like to add miniature leis to the laptops, draped over the corner of each laptop.

While I was at work, Pete worked on the place cards. Instead of table numbers, we're having table names named after Hawaiian Islands. Here's the Big Island Table. The hibiscus is from our logo; the island in green really is the Big Island of Hawaii. Don't you just love our guest list?




I'm equally blown away by how amazing these place cards look!! Thank you Pete!!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Menu, First Draft

Tonight Pete and I went to see The September Issue. I read about it on Lindsay T's blog, otherwise I don't think I would have known about it. Very awesome and so fun to do something else after work besides going to a doc appt!

Oh menu excitement!!! We'll probably use the logo with the flower off to the side and the date instead of this logo; the word Menu will be smaller, another hibiscus between the word "menu" and the menu items itself; adding the words "Wedding Brunch Buffet"; rewording the text (especially the dessert section).
menu-alt, text to be edited

And we're going to attempt making our own laptop cake toppers out of pix of our laptops. You can match laptop to owner, right??


Monday, September 14, 2009

Say my name, say my name

If you want to hear Tim Gunn say your name*, then this is for you. It's actually very cute. And it's free through step 3!!

*Note, for some reason if your name is "Pete" it doesn't work!!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Keep the Intelligence Flowing

Sign in a chiropractor's office (not my chiropractor)
Sign in a chiropractor's office that we walked by yesterday (not my chiropractor)

I got my hair cut today. Let's just say that I hope it looks better in the morning.

Such a nice, bright, warm happy day here today!! Woo! A little taste of summer interrupting the start of that fall-feeling.

Trying to align venue, gazebo, guitarist, DJ. I know the venue and DJ's schedule, and partially the gazebo. So right now, the only day in May that will work for the venue and DJ is Sunday, May 16...unless the gazebo is already taken. Also, May 16 is during Sewing Pattern Review weekend. So, I don't know. If the gazebo doesn't work, we could have a beach wedding instead, we could change DJs (though our DJ is my friend from high school). Still haven't heard from the guitarist.

Love this.  (not my chiropractor)
Yes, yes, keep the intelligence flowing.

This is a pretty sweeping statement:
Sign in a chiropractor's office  (not my chiropractor)