Monday, August 30, 2010

How To Survive Wedding Dress Shopping

I picked out my wedding dress, y'all. I went shopping with my entourage. My sister was there through blackberry pictures that my mother was sending her. And, she hates the dress I picked out. That's how I know it's the right one. HA!

Things I wish I had figured out before I left:

1. Eat something. I ended up having a meeting at work before meeting everyone, and then I was running around trying to get changed, so I forgot to eat. Whoops. Luckily, my MOH had a granola bar in her purse, so I had that.

2. If someone is going to be taking pictures of you, put on some makeup for christsake. I look washed out in all the pictures my mom took. I had mascara on, but that was it.

3. Have a specific idea, but be open. I actually did have this figured out. I knew what I wanted: non-strapless, mermaid dress. Not a ton of crazy beading. What did I get? Strapless, mermaid dress...crapton of beading. And the dress I picked was by "Private Collection" so they don't have pictures of their dresses on websites or in magazines.

4. Know your sign when it's "the one." For some, it's when they cry. For me, it was when my MOH cried. And when I said "Ooh, get a picture of this one for becklette."

5. It's okay to say no. I tried on a couple of dresses that the person at the store pulled for me. Some of them I liked, some I tried on because she wanted me to, and I felt bad saying I didn't like it. Also the one woman (not my person) kept trying to pressure me to put something in my hair. I don't like veils. I don't want a headpiece that is $141 when I can make that from Claire's for $20.

And while I'm confident that I found "the dress" and it's amazing and gorgeous and I love it... it was more than I planned on spending. Not by a lot! And it's still under $1000, so I think that's totally a win! But there was a dress that I tried on that was the silouette I wanted (mermaid) but was the sample gown, so it was $99. It's a discontinued style. Alfred Angelo. Gorgeous. And it fit pretty well! And that was the #1 dress, until I tried the one on that was ten times that price and fell in love with it. Stupid, me. I should have stopped after the $99 one! I am incredibly happy with the dress I have. And no, I'm not posting a picture... you'll have to wait until next year. picture. This is some of the detail on the front of the dress.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Just a minor setback....

I no longer have a wedding dress.

I'm kind of a little upset about it, but it's going to be okay. My friend Heather is an amazing fashion designer, and she asked to see the pattern I picked out for my wedding dress. Naturally, I wanted her opinion because I trust it a lot. Immediately she says "Oh... this is cut on the bias..."

Basically, fabric has grain. For most garments, the grain goes up and down or side to side. On bias cut fabric, the pieces are cut out so that the grain line is diagonal. What this does is it makes the fabric less stretchy. More form fitting. Less forgiving. Altering a dress that is cut on the bias drastically changes the shape of the dress. You make one half in tuck on two seams... and all of the sudden the top is buckling, the side has a weird bulge, and you want to shoot the dress with a bazooka. Gzilla's mother and I played this game with a ball gown that I needed for a fundraiser last year. It didn't go well. I looked fat. Really. I looked about 30 pounds heavier than I am. And unless I stood PERFECTLY STRAIGHT, the dress would fall down.

So now I have to go dress shopping. I made my appointment at a local bridal salon, and now I'm waiting for the terror to set in. I thought this was going to be so easy... I found a dress pattern I liked. I was just supposed to go fabric shopping and be done! Now I have to try on a bajillion dresses in front of the half dozen people I have to bring with me because I can't make a decision for myself, and I need to find the dress that makes me cry when I put it on (cry in a good way, not in a bad way). So I'm forcing my mother, Gzilla's mother, my maid of honor, one of my other bridesmaids, my flower girl, and becklette to accompany me in my quest for the perfect dress.

Kill me.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

yarn dyeing: an experiment

Short story: my hands are pink.

Long story: I decided to overdye some yarn that I bought. I got this really beautiful peach yarn from The Loopy Ewe for a baby blanket. Well, I'm no longer making the baby blanket, but I wanted to make something for my sister with it, but no one wants a peach garment. So instead of returning it and getting other yarn with it, I decide that I'm going to overdye it RED.

I go over to my friend's house and start playing around with acid based dyes. You basically fill the biggest pot known to man with water, heat the water up. Put the yarn in and make sure it's soaking in there. Mix some of the powder dye and pour it in the pot. Stir things around. Mix together some citric acid. Dump citric in the big pot. Stir things around. Repeat last 4 steps until its the color you want.

Sounds easy, right? Well, it mostly is. Except I had A LOT of yarn in there. And the spoon we were using to stir the pot kept getting tangled in my yarn, so I started just using my hand. My left hand. Well, guess what. Now my hand is pink... AND SO IS MY ENGAGEMENT RING. Don't tell Gzilla...

I'm pretty sure that if I just cleaned the ring really well, it wouldn't be pink anymore. I can't imagine that the diamond itself has been dyed, just some soap scum or dirt or something on the surface of the diamond has been dyed pink.

I don't know how the yarn turned out yet. It hasn't finished drying. It should be dry tonight. Right now it's hanging out on the clothes line in my basement. It's not completely solid, which is what I wanted. Some parts are a bit more saturated than others, and I really like that look. So hopefully my sister will like a red cardigan... because that's what she's getting!

Monday, August 16, 2010

My little town blues are melting away

Other than that week in Ireland... I've had zero vacation this year. No beach. No mental health days. Mostly because the volcano that took me hostage ate up the rest of my vacation. But I can take a few days here and there.

I spent my weekend in New York City visiting friends and galavanting about town. I got to see a baseball park before Gzilla, which I think is a big achievement. Now I've only seen two ballparks other than home-of-the-Philles... Nationals Park in Washington D.C. and Citi Field in New York, home of the Mets.

It was really nice to get away and be in the city... but dear god my legs still hurt. I wasted all my good subway luck on Friday. Every time I walked to a subway station, the train was just approaching. Every. Time. I took it for granted. On Saturday, my friend and I went downtown by Canal Street to try to find a yarn store that we love, Purl Soho. After getting turned around (because there are two different Broadways in that part of town...) and then walking around for another 20 minutes trying to find someplace to eat, we decide to nyx going to this other store we like Pylones which we THOUGHT was in that part of town but was ACTUALLY in Greenwich Village, aka nowhere near where we were or where we needed to be later. We need to get to the 6 train to go back to the apartment we stayed in, so we walk about 10 blocks up to Bleecker St. The station is blocked for contruction. So we walk another 6 blocks to the next station. Also under construction. Well, we needed to go to Union Square (which guess what, is where the next station was) to get back to the apartment, so we had to walk another 15 blocks to the apartment. It ended up being around 28 blocks when it was all said and done. We went from Soho to Gramercy. Took about an hour walking.

But, see... this was GOOD because we were pre-emptively working off the delicious delicious food we were having for dinner! We went to this FABULOUS restaurant called Butter. And it's as delicious as the name of the restaurant suggests. I wish I had taken pictures of my food, but it was really dark, and I felt weird, so I didn't. I had lamb chops, my friend had lobster, and we split an order of DUCK CONFIT POTATOES. POTATOES COOKED IN DUCK FAT. Holy. Crap. It was the best meal I've ever had... and I had dinner at Jen Carroll's restaurant in Philly, so... that's saying a lot.

Oh, and if you're keeping up with "what's wrong with your face..." I got my biopsy results back. Negative. Not cancer. Not pre-cancerous. Just a pimple. Seriously. I had a freaking PIMPLE biopsied.

Monday, August 9, 2010

hope is a thing with feathers

Okay, so I don't dole out hope in feathers. Maybe yarn.

In the midst of all my knitting projects (Gzilla's 2009 Christmas sweater... still about 60% done... my "Ireland Cardigan" isn't finished... and I'm making a comfort shawl for my sister out of the yarn I purchased for her baby blanket. I'm dying it first, since I don't think she wants a PEACH shawl) I am taking on another one that needs to be finished SOON.

I'm making another Ysolda project...her Snapdragon Tam. I purchased her two books (Whimsical Little Knits and Whimsical Little Knits 2) back in February for a Haiti fundraiser that ravelry had. I've always loved pretty much everything that Ysolda does (and she's a total sweetie! I met her at my LYS a few years back). So when I found out that my high school drama director has breast cancer, I knew I was going to make her a hat. And I knew it would be a Ysolda pattern.

My drama director, aka "The V-ster" was a very influential person in my life. She's the reason I went on to study acting in college. I spent many a holiday and summer at her house. I'm very close with her daughter. When she called me to tell me that her mom had breast cancer, I think she expected me to have a mini breakdown (like I did the previous year when she called to tell me that her dog had cancer. Her dog was my Toto in high school, and she was the sweetest little girl in the world) but I didn't. I was very "Okay, well, your mom is a fighter, and we'll get through this. Call me when she has her surgery, and I'll come spend time with you. It's going to be fine."

And so far it has been fine. Except that I FORGOT to make the hat!! She started chemo in July, so she probably hasn't really started losing her hair yet... but I wanted her to have it beforehand. So now I'm RACING to get this hat finished and sent to The V-ster before she starts losing her hair. I was thinking about making one for my friend, also... because once her mom starts losing her hair, she's shaving her head. I like my hair too much (and Gzilla would kill me...haha) so instead I'm showing my support by making hats.

Anything I can do to inspire hope.

Monday, August 2, 2010

I'm just resting my eyes.

I think I'm getting to that point when I wear myself out and then get REALLY sick. No sneezing or coughing (that isn't allergy related) yet, but I think it's coming.

Saturday night, Gzilla and I drove about 2 hours to see a bunch of friends in The Crucible. I kind of hate The Crucible, but they did a great job. But because we went out afterwards, we got home around 4:30 am. And we had to wake up at 8:00 to go to church. Because we have to pretend to like church now... because WE GOT THE CHURCH! The one with the evil nun, even! She has backed off a bit. And now she likes me because I may or may not have signed up to be a cantor...

Sunday afternoon, I had a family party... and experienced my first people-butting-into-my-plans. My uncle's partner expressed his "concerns" about us having the wedding on July 4th weekend. Well, it's a year in advance. And I'm not planning my wedding about my aunt's vacation schedules. I don't know that they go away every July 4th weekend. And at this point, we're locked into that date from the Church and the reception site, so tough cookies! And I like having it July 4th weekend. I get free fireworks!

That wasn't pleasant. But I tried not to let it ruin my time with my family. Everything else was going great. Until I had to go to work. I worked overnight from 6 until midnight... because we had to move entire sections around. Um. We were nowhere near done at midnight. We probably could have stayed until 5am and continued working. But of course I still had to work this morning! And my back hurt so badly last night that I had to take the big guns. I could barely sit. So two days of no sleep, plus walking around like a zombie today.. means that by the end of the week, I'm going to have a MONSTER cold. Awesome.

Any tips to ward off my inpending monster? Besides sleep... because we all know that isn't happening.