Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Fall Days

It was crisp and cold. Rather chilly actually. But I wanted to enjoy the coolness of the fall day, to savour the beauty of it. So went outside and and wrapped myself in a down comforter, with a cup of hot water (it was emergency status around here: no tea) and sat out in the cold and read a book. Cassandra by Chance by Betty Neels. It was the perfect book for a cold day. Because it takes place in cold weather with lots of hot tea and cakes. Some of my very favorite things in life. I have to say though, I looked at the table beside me and wished for a pot of hot tea and cake and then just had to be satisfied with going back to reading. I guess life can't be perfect.

I think I'd like to go outside and do it again today. But first I have to go find a good book. And today I can have tea. We are no longer in emergency status. The cakes? If only I had a solution to that.
(Photograph from another fall day.)

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Story of a Painting

Recently I rewatched Rose Marie starring Jeanette McDonald and Nelson Eddie. I love their movies, though I haven't seen all of them. There is at least one I've missed, it has a sad ending I hear. I don't like sad endings.

But, Rose Marie reminded me of a painting I saw one time in an antique (junk) mall and which I doubt I shall ever forget. I don't remember it perfectly but my recollection is of a man out in the snow, wind blowing, he was bundled in a heavy fur coat, a rifle in hand, a hard grizzled face beneath a wide brimmed hat. He looked mean. Outlaw? But then I looked at him, really looked, and thought, he looks like the kind of man you could trust, someone to turn to in trouble.

I wish I knew who the painter was, because they had talent. I've often wondered if the painting portrayed a person from real life and what his story was.The artist had captured the ruggedness of the man and his surroundings, but they had also captured his spirit. The painting was simply called.......

The Mountie

Monday, September 14, 2009

From the Wedding....

I'm afraid I don't have very good pictures of the decorations, probably because that really isn't what the wedding is all about. For most people at any rate. Anyway, considering we were working with a gym, with a large blue stripe running about four feet up the wall - and the wedding was supposed to be red and ivory, I think we did alright with the budget we were using. I really wish I had good before and after pictures to show what a transformation there really was.

One of the aspects of decorating that I felt was important, was to not try to cover up the fact that it was a gym, but make it look festive and as nice as possible.

Here are a few picture to give you an idea:

I got the idea for the suspended dots from BHG Simply Creative Wedding Spring 2005 (Yes, I've had the magazine for while - and I don't even remember what it was in there that I actually broke down and bought the magazine!). I wanted to make paper chains, but mother suggested that it would be a whole late easier to use crepe paper and it looked great.

November Wedding: I'm thinking of using the dot idea again, but this time in a leaf shape.

On the right in the top picture, you can see large pom-poms hanging below a red tulle bow. I was perusing the Martha Stewart Weddings website and the bride loved these, I wasn't sure exactly how I was going to use them, but she obviously really liked them so I definitely wanted to work them into the decor - and I'm glad we did. And I'm so grateful my little sister was willing to make them all. I directed and critiqued from my reclined position on the sofa. Very important that.
Another idea from Martha Stewart Weddings, but this time I combined her idea to make something I liked better. This wreath was the inspiration, but I didn't like it, just the concept. Instead, I used elements of these paper flowers (with different centers) and paper roses my sister found, which I would give you the link to, but I can't seem to find them! The ladies from our Sunday Bible study group all worked together to make some of the roses and assemble the petals for the other flowers. I finished putting them together while - reclining. :) We attached them to cardboard rounds mother cut out and then wrapped tissue paper around the circle to form the base. The bows are two layers of tulle ribbon.

November Wedding: I might use the idea of paper flowers again, but this time using gold tissue paper. Maybe just a few touches to give a little elegance to the rustic ambiance we want to keep.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Bridesmaids Dresses

There was actually a maid-of-honor and three bridesmaids, but this is just two of the girls. What a beautiful color.

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Gown

The bride's beautiful dress:

I had made the pattern before so I was elected to help her with it! The pattern: Butterick 4919. We used the same alterations I made to make the cap sleeves, but we altered the neckline to make it wider. And we altered the skirt, using the two back pattern pieces from a vintage wedding gown pattern to form the train. She overlaid the whole thing, except the ties, with lace. It was truly beautiful. One of my favorite memories of this dress is the two of us lounging on either end of the sofa while we hand stitched the hem. Great girlfriend time.

We definitely couldn't have done it without the help of my mother and sisters. They gave advice and helped, especially with the lace we carefully hand stitched along the bottom to make the border. Many hands make light work, as Mummy would say.

And notice the amazing arrangement of flowers? That is thanks to Miss Penny with help from her daughter and a friend, who did almost all the flowers for the wedding. I'm so grateful to her for doing them. She did a beautiful job with a cheerful servant's heart. One thing I especially appreciate about her is that she is quite a bit older than me with a lot of experience doing weddings, but she didn't try to usurp in any way, but made herself and her talents available for whatever was needed.

I should also mention that those flowers didn't cost a small fortune. The gorgeous dahlias were from the couples soon to be neighbor, an elderly gentleman that kindly shared from his garden, and the roses were from a city rose garden where you can pick with a permit from the Community Center. The greenery was from assorted yards. Beauty doesn't have to be expensive.


I decided that while I liked the black and white, it was time for a little color. And red seemd to be just the right cheerful greeting. What do you think?

I'll probably continue to tweek as time goes on, but after being sick in bed over most of the summer, it is time for some changes, now. At least that is how I feel. It seems like updating helps me to get back on my feet and feel like I'm ready to handle life again. Usually after being sick with just a common cold or flu I feel very unattractive and icky, and then just spending a little extra time grooming and doing a nice outfit works. But many, many weeks sick? It's time for some major overhaul all the way round. New haircut tomorrow?