Thursday, June 14, 2007

Top Ten Don'ts When Planning a Wedding

A couple weeks ago I went to Missouri for my friend Michelle's wedding. It was very different than any wedding I have attended before. And when I say wedding, I mean the whole 3 day affair. We drove 5 hours to the Nauvoo, IL temple for the wedding ceremony on Thursday. Then the reception was on Saturday night at the church, with Michelle's family coming in Friday night, supposedly. Michelle looked beautiful, everyone had a lovely time, and it all turned out great! But a few things could have been easier...

10. Don't use the evening before the reception to put the wedding favors together. Do have an awesome husband who will help.

9. Don't hire a DJ who will cancel on you a week before the reception by saying, "Oh, I forgot that was Memorial Day weekend, I have plans." Do have a great DJ system lined up so that anyone can fill in. Don't forget the list of songs you picked out.

8. Don't plan to buy all the flowers at Sam's Club the day of the reception and figure someone will be able to put together the bride's bouquet, boutonnieres for the groom & groomsmen, mothers corsages and 2 bridesmaids bouquets. Do have sisters who are talented enough to actually pull this off.

7. Don't forget to throw in some pampering for the bride - a pedicure, a hair appointment, a massage, etc.

6. Don't get sick.

5. Don't forget to eat.

4. Don't hire a photographer who has never done a wedding before and keeps repeating that as her mantra throughout the evening.

3. Don't let said photographer miss precious photos of your new 10 year old step-daughter performing karaoke to the hip hop song, Skater Boy. Better yet, do hire a videographer.

2. Don't assume the wedding party will know where to be, when to be there, what they should be wearing, and what to do when they get to the wrong place, late, in shorts and polos. Hello, it's a wedding! Do be grateful you have family and that they care enough to come.

1. Don't let your crazy friend come in from out-of-state the day before the big event, take over everything, boss everyone around, and generally try to make up for being a crappy friend and not helping plan things for the last 3 months. Do make better friends! : )

Saturday, June 9, 2007

MMSM - Art

My friend, Shannon, is hosting a weekly blog carnival called "Makes Me Smile Mondays" or MMSM. Check out her blog, What About Mom? for details or to join in. The topic this week is art.

When I was in elementary school we had a lady come every 2 weeks for a program called Art Masterpiece. I don't know how widespread this program is, but I always looked forward to learning a little about the featured painting and the cooresponding style. I wish I could say I remembered all I learned, but probably the only lasting effect was an early appreciation of fine art. My favorite style (unoriginally) is french impressionism. Wikipedia, the priceless blogger resource, says this of impressionism:

"Characteristics of Impressionist painting include visible brushstrokes, open composition, emphasis on light in its changing qualities (often accentuating the effects of the passage of time), ordinary subject matter, the inclusion of movement as a crucial element of human perception and experience, and unusual visual angles."

In the spring of 2001, the Phoenix Art Museum featured a Claude Monet exhibit. Aaron & I attended together, with his parents, and pretty much announced our courtship that evening. So naturally Monet has even more meaning for me. I like all the water lilies and Japanese bridges and such, but they are not my favorite of his. A few notables for me are Sunset in Venice (right) and Woman with a Parasol (above) although I found more than one name.

I like Edward Degas a lot. (more french impressionism) His work would obviously mean more to me if I were a dancer, but I enjoy the composition, light, and perspective nonetheless. This one to the left is called Dancers in Blue.

My very favorite painter (I think) is Pierre-Auguste Renoir. The colors just stand out to me a bit more and somehow his work appeals to me more than other great artists. To the right is Dance at Bougival and to the left is Two Girls Reading.

One other artist that I find myself enjoying, even though he does not match my typical style, is Gustav Klimt. Marie wrote a lot about him on her MMSM post. I don't love all his work, even though I can appreciate it. But the odd piece here and there makes its mark on me. To the left is Portrait of a Young Woman. I also like his landscapes, to the right is called Malcesine Sul Garda. My favorite of Klimt's is his version of The Tree of Life, which is itself a favorite theme of mine.

To move on from classical fine art - I am always most impressed by the Arts & Crafts design period. This included bungalow style homes, Stickley, Roycroft, and Greene & Greene furniture, and eventually Prairie style and Frank Lloyd Wright. In California it morphed a bit into Mission style. I love the quality and simplicity of the construction, furniture (including lots of built-ins), and the beautiful handicraft work such as pottery, stained glass, copper pieces, and needlework. To quote again from Wikipedia,

"In the United States, the terms Arts and Crafts movement, American Craftsman,
or Craftsman style are often used to denote the style of architecture, interior design, and decorative arts that prevailed between the dominant eras of Art Nouveau and Art Deco, or roughly the period from 1910 to 1925."

I will include some of my favorite images from this era.

Tree of Life by William Morris - almost bought this tapestry for my living room, but Aaron & I chose something else. (Look for pictures soon!)

Love this wallpaper motif from Bradbury & Bradbury, along with many others. Based on the Glasgow Rose designs of Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

Man, they had awesome lighting then. This image is courtesy The Craftsman Homes Collection, one of my favorite sites for all things craftsman.

This is a Roycroft Magazine Stand, one of my dream purchases.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Husbands have the right to change their minds too

We recently acquired 2 teak wall units that were Aaron's grandparents. Not the grandma that just died, from whom we got a washer & dryer and the bedroom set previously posted upon - his other grandparents whose house we are living in. Ray & Corinne Carpenter must have been wonderful people, I'm sorry never to have met them, and they had excellent taste in furniture. They loved teak and had a myriad of pieces, which are now split between their grandchildren. I love the bookcases we got but Aaron and I were in a bit of a disagreement about where to put them, how to use them, etc. There is a cool pull-out & swivel tray on one unit meant for a tv, well a 1950s smallish tv - ours is way too big. We tried them together, we tried them apart, we tried them with the tv, without the tv, in the dining room, in the living room. Let me state that all the physical labor of these debates was carried out by yours truly. Aaron finally put his foot down and said we didn't always have to do what I wanted (which is true) and I caved and put everything exactly as he wanted. See the first picture. The cardboard box was added when Aaron realized that putting our new $250 DVD player and surround sound right at eye level with Emmett was not the best idea. Why doesn't he listen to me? The side table the tv is resting on is actually part of a teak coffee table set we have also managed to hang onto. Then, when it was apparent that the boys both loved getting stuff in & out of the sliding doors, all day long - Aaron decided we should go back to our old entertainment center until our kids are bigger. Husbands have the right to change their minds too!

Anyway, while Aaron was out of town this week I debated for 2 days what to do. I'm pretty much focused on the baby shower right now and finally told Aaron I was going to do whatever I wanted and that after the shower we could renegotiate. I stared and stared at my house and worked out 3 or 4 plans in my head for total furniture rearrangement. Then finally said, "screw it!" I pulled the small tv out of our room and just kept the wall units in place. Someday Aaron & I are hoping to get a plasma or something that is more rectangular and will fit well in the space. Ahhh, someday.

Once I get the frames and doo-dads up, I will post more pictures. I have been meaning to post some anyway, since some readers of this blog haven't actually been to my home. You should come visit!

MMSM - Dreams

My friend, Shannon, is hosting a weekly blog carnival called "Makes Me Smile Mondays" or MMSM. Check out her blog, What About Mom? for details or to join in. The topic this week is dreams.

After missing last Monday, I felt the need to participate in Makes Me Smile Monday this week, even though the topic of dreams doesn't inspire me - well, mine probably won't inspire you. I dream often, especially when in the semi-awake state and sometimes even feel like I can control my dreams, at least to where my dream adventure takes me, per se. But, dreams remain in my consious for maybe 15 min. after I wake up, so unless I were to write them down they are lost forever. I often dream myself into a book I'm reading, or a movie I've watched recently. I'll probably be sailing the seas after watching Pirates of the Carribbean tonight. There are a few dreams I remember from when I was pregnant. I think it was with Alden when I dreamed I had the baby and we named him Sheldon. Weird since that certainly was not on any of our lists. And everyone loved him and cooed over him but everytime I was asked what his name was, I couldn't remember. I felt awful not remembering my own baby's name. And then when he was really born, it took us a day or so to choose a name and in the first few months I swear I blanked on his name a few times. That's when you always refer to them as "the baby" rather than using their name. But who could forget it now, when I spend the whole day yelling at him to stop being mean to his brother. Let's hope our future kids fare better.