Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A slippery slope

It all started out so innocently.

My lovely friend Cristina is a designer of all things paper.  She's a goddess.  I can't overstate it really, and as much as it makes her blush, I'll say it again:  Cristina is the Goddess of Papergoods.  Now the world can know.

So, in planning this whole wedding thing, I thought (innocently) "Hey, let's ask Cris if she would design our invites!"  Something simple, handmade, personal.  Easy peasy.

Then we all started talking about it.  Turns out it's a slippery slope from simple to completely, insanely over the top.

We slipped.

Cris flew out from Winnipeg to work on ideas and go paper shopping.  We lived at Paper Zone.  We obsessed over fonts day and night.  Cris tea stained paper.  So much tea.  So much staining.  I made faux wax seals.  So many seals.  So very faux.  Cris's mom sewed each and every invitation.  Yes, sewed. Because, you know, just gluing things together isn't good enough for us.  Oh no.  Hand dyed, hand sewn.  So many hands.  So many hands.

Cris flew out again.  And again.  Thank god she works for an airline.  We shopped, we printed, we edited, we glued, we cut, we perfected.  So much perfection.

I'm not gonna pretend it was any sort of equal sharing of the workload.  Cristina made these invitations happen.  One by one, stitch by stitch.  We ended up with piles of tags, papers, seals, ribbons, and keys.  Oh, the keys. 

We got the girls together- my wonderful bridesmaids- and we got wine.  Wonderful wine.  And we assembled.

And just like that we were done.

They went into envelopes.  And.... off they went. 

I think Cristina cried when she said goodbye to them at the Post Office.

A lot of work went into these invites.  So much work.  But better yet, a lot of love went into these invites.

So, so much love.

You can see more more more of Cristina's amazing paperwork on her blog:

Thursday, September 23, 2010

She's crafty

I guess I never knew I was crafty.  I don't have any "artistic" talent.  In short:  I can't draw.  And it always felt like, Well, that's it.  I can't draw, ergo, I'm not crafty.

 All that changed on a windy afternoon in San Francisco when my charming and adorable boyfriend of 4 years asked me to be his wife.

Aww.  We're cute.

Six months later, we pulled off a wedding that I would dare call a DIY Extravaganza- and I do not use the word Extravaganza lightly.  It was a labor of love, and we had the help and support of a multitude of ridiculously talented and, as luck would have it, crafty friends.  When I look back, I can't even believe what we accomplished.  Extravaganza.

It started the way all wedding planning starts- drooling over other people's stuff.  Cakes, dresses, centerpieces, good lord there's more wedding stuff out there in the world than much else, it seems.  Overwhelming?  You bet.  But as we looked and looked and talked to friends and looked some more, the lightbulbs started going off.

We could find that ourselves.

We could make that ourselves.

We could make that ourselves, but better.

And that, my friends, is when I discovered:  I'm crafty.

Don't worry, I'm going to tell you all about it.  But there's a lot, so let's pace ourselves, k?  We worked hard.  We copied some stuff, we invented some stuff, we modified and we started from scratch.  But we did it.  And it was perfect.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I'll hum to you Sweet Clementine.

Let's start at the beginning, shall we?

Clementine.  What's that all about?

"Clementine" is a song by The Decemberists.  It's my song.  Don't argue; it's mine.  It's not their best song, really.  It might not even be my favorite.  But it's mine.  Why?   I don't know.  It found me one day, and it hasn't left me alone since.  It follows me around like a little puppy dog. 

Here, see for yourself:
Clementine, by The Decemberists

It's pretty, innit?  You can sing along, or you can dance real slow.  I like to sing harmony in the car, but that's our secret, k?  The best part: it's a sweet little song with a big effing curse right in the middle with zero apologies.  Man.  It's like a metaphor for my life.  This song... it's me.

Me, I've got a pretty little life.  I've got four amazing kids.  I've got a brand new amazing husband.  I've got a pretty house with a garden out back.  I've got a good job with benefits.  I've got friends I love and who love me back.   And right there in the middle, there's a crazy ex husband and some messiness and the big effing curses that come with parenting four kids and living a life that's not as pretty and simple as it looks on the outside.  And you'll be getting zero apologies for that.

Clementine isn't my name, but Clementine is me.  A few years ago I went so far as to get a big old tattoo that says "Sweet Clementine."  True story, check it out:

So, now you know about Clementine.  And if you stick around, you'll know about me.