Friday, August 29, 2008

Perfecting the slug

I think I have gotten the slug act down pat. I have done almost nothing this summer. I do have a valid excuse for most of it though! I was getting ready for DD's wedding. Of course I got sick and have been recovering ever since. To make matters worse, this has been the worst summer since I moved here 11 years ago. I feel like I am back in New Jersey. The monsoon season here has broken every record in rainfall and I think damage as well. With normal summer temperatures up in the 100's , humidity has been way up there as well. Not a good combo for me. I do not mind the heat. I cannot stand the humidity. Oh well... only a month to go.

I have started to get back to some art stuff. I am working on a black and white challenge piece that of course I am winging my way through. Sneak peak photo. I also did some mad scientist dyeing with some leftover concentrates that have been sitting in my refrigerator for 2 months. I was going to use them for dye painting but I did not have the energy. The colors came out a lot better than I expected. While I probably cannot duplicate any of them, I am pleased with the results. I have used my "bible" from Carol's class successfully for something else I needed and was thrilled that it all worked! I signed up for part 2 in October at Nancy Crow's Barn. Watch out Carol.... there are 5 of us returning! Dyeing in a bucket is definitely a group project. Now I just need to find some like minded friends who want to spend some time at it with me.

I am also finally getting back to working on some of the pieces I started in Pamelala's online class last winter. The UFO's are piling up. I need to reduce that pile.

This is the year I am going to stick my neck out and enter some stuff for shows. I may be getting lots of thin envelopes back but I need to start sometime.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

What we do for our kids

This post is based on Alex Anderson's blog "My Dress" that was posted today on The Quilt Show blog. I had to chuckle. When my daughter set a date for her wedding, the hunt for a mother of the bride dress started in earnest. My only restriction was that it couldn't be too bright. The affair was to be black tie in the evening. This should be easy right? WRONG. I knew what type of dress I wanted. It had to be silk chiffon with some layering. I spent months looking and was getting frustrated. Forward to wedding dress shopping with DD. We arrived at store in NY at appointed time (yes, you need to make an appointment) and they were having several trunk shows that day. One was for several designers of wedding gowns, and the other for mother of the bride/groom dresses. My DD found the perfect dress so we all trouped over to see the trunk show for the MOB dresses. I figured what the heck, I haven't had any luck so far. The dresses were gorgeous and the price tags matched. A bit out of the range I had in mind (understatement). My DD said I should pick out a few and try them on anyway so keeping in the spirit of the morning, I complied. OK, I fell in love with one of them and so did everyone else (yes, we had a group)however, I almost fell over in a swoon at the price. I will admit the dress was drop dead gorgeous and made me look good. I got my arm twisted (you all know the argument.... only one child, only one wedding, blah, blah). After the initial shock I let them take measurements. These dresses need to be ordered and they are made to size. I only had to put down half the amount and had 6 months to pay the rest!!! They know how to get you. I had my first fitting 6 weeks before the wedding... they forgot to bill me for the rest after 6 months so I got an additional 2 months before my credit card went into cardiac arrest.

Fast forward to 3 days before wedding and final fitting. My fitter, who was a dream, says to me..... "What are you going to do about panty lines?" Huh?? I never even thought about it. This dress draped and hugged and I had to admit, you could see lines. She told me that there was a Victoria's Secret around the corner and I should get a thong!!! Oh yeah, right. I am 58 years old and I am going to start wearing thongs???? Hello. After the initial shock I figured, OK, it was only for one night, I could handle this. Now came the final blow. This is a strapless gown and they managed to give me cleavage, ha ha. She says to me... " The dress looks terrific but it would look even better if you had a tan". I am very light skinned and never go out in the sun and I do admit I am rather pale looking. This one I was not succumbing to so easily. Back to the dress. Being naive about transporting gowns, I assumed they would put it in a bag and I could take it with me... with cab and ferry back to where I was staying in New Jersey before checking into hotel in Manhattan. She sort of looked at me like I had two heads and said I would not be able to carry it, I needed a car or taxi. I had a car to use so I said I would pick it up the next morning before we checked into hotel. Turns out they stuff this out so much that there seems to actually be another body inside.

In the meantime, I went underwear shopping (women's underwear is priced inversely proportional to the amount of fabric it contains)and met my daughter for lunch who also pushed for the tan. I had visions of turning orange or yellow or other such horrors and was not happy about this. Mom, says my daughter (you all know that tone of voice), they are professionals. They do all the stars for the Tony's etc and they have a reputation they have to maintain. No one is coming out looking bad. Sigh, OK, with much trepidation I make an appointment for the next day. I arrive at the place and have to fill out a questionnaire about what kind of tan I wanted. Then they have you go into a booth where you undress and have the choice of fully nude or they give you a paper thong to put on along with a shower cap to cover your hair. Since I haven't gone the nudist beach route quite yet, I opted for the sparse covering. They spray the tan on in several sweeps. The positions you need to maintain resemble something out of a mime show. At some point she stops and asks if I like the color. Surprise! It looks really good. I opted for one more coating. The tan lasts 5-6 days.

The dress, with added "accessories" indeed looked better. Kudos to my fitter.

Photo is of view of Brooklyn bridge with one of the waterfalls taken from our balcony. Still waiting on wedding photos....patience.

I forgot to mention that I have a wonderful new son-in-law and his equally great family.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Back home

... and happy to be sleeping in my own bed again. We have had a whirlwind month for sure but things seem to be quieting down for a bit.
Wedding was awesome... waiting on photos. Of course in all the excitement I managed to leave my camera in the hotel room. Probably just as well. I am betting the professional photos will be far better than mine. My daughter looked gorgeous (even if I am biased).
Shoes came out perfect so I stressed for nothing. Everything went off without a hitch. The food was delicious and the band incredible. They had almost everyone on the dance floor most of the night... all 185 of us. I have never seen that before.
Pre-wedding was a hive of activity as well. My daughter's friend owns a spa in Manhattan and treated the wedding party to manicures and pedicures. After downing 2 glasses of wine, I was able to let someone touch my feet. It actually felt very nice and I will have to try it more often....with wine of course or reflex action will be whacking someone in the face. Rehearsal dinner was hosted by the groom's family at a wonderful family style Italian restaurant. I couldn't eat too much for fear of not fitting into my dress. Day of wedding preparations started early.... just after noon. Family friends did everyone's makeup and photographers started early. I must confess, I downed several very nice glasses of good champagne during the afternoon. Since I am usually a cheap date... one glass is usually my limit, I was pretty surprised. Guess stress does strange things. Wedding ceremony actually started on time! I think that must be a first. It was held outside with the weather cooperating. The sunset was gorgeous and the background was the Brooklyn Bridge with the waterfalls as backdrop. This whole affair was very well orchestrated. They even took the bride and groom aside and fed them while everyone else was enjoying cocktail hour for fear they would never get a chance to sit down to eat. Very wise decision as it turned out. I think I danced all night... with everyone! I missed my piece of wedding cake (like I needed it) but got my midnight snack goodie bag with my favorite gummy bears in it.
Next morning we hosted a brunch for all the out of towners and those staying in the hotel. Nap was in order for the afternoon. Evening cocktails and appetizers were supplied on the roof terraces by the groom's parents. Ned and I went for Sushi across the street for dinner. Most of the other revelers headed for one of the bars. By morning most of the guests had departed, happy, I think. Those of us who were left went for brunch. The bride and groom went home to pack for their honeymoon in the Greek Islands and Paris. They are having a blast.

I am finally back in my studio but had so much other stuff to take care of after being away from home for 3 weeks, that it was not till this weekend that I was able to start to think of working on my projects. I am still not fully focused but at least I am doing something for a short period every day. I hope to be able to get back to dyeing next week.

Will post photos when I get them