Here's the proposal - Jerry outdid himself. It was perfect, of course, a proposal that will raise the bar for other men. Not that they should propose in this exact way; that's not what makes this perfect. Rather, it's the fact that he took a personal moment in our lives and made that the scene of his proposal. He put a lot of time, energy and effort into it, and it couldn't have been more special.
This will be a short one. I finished Kendall's flower girl dress! Jerry and I both like it. I just love the pattern of the fabric. This is done in the pillowcase dress style, and I did it without a pattern. I just measured the fabric against a pillowcase with the hem folded up so as to be the right length, then cut my fabric to size. Next, I cut "J"s for the arm holes, folded over the edges (making sure to make the openings for the ribbon to run through at the neck edge. Unlike the design online, I made a little keyhole opening in the front of the dress so the bow could be tied in the center. Then I hemmed up the contrasting band for the bottom and attached it. Once the ribbon was in, the dress was finished. I think it took about 1-1/2 hours total to make. I hope she likes it as much as we do.
I decided to go ahead and make some centerpieces for the tables at the reception. If you haven't signed up, you might like to join your local Freecycle. That's where I got the supplies for my latest project. I asked for record albums in any condition, and a nice lady was kind enough to donate about 75 of them to our cause. I got online and searched for directions on how to make record album bowls, because I'd seen them and really liked them.
First, make sure you don't have some great album you'd like to keep (even though you probably don't own a record player).
I cleaned the records first, per Jerry's suggestion, as it has to be easier to clean them before they are hot and the dust sticks to them. All I used was a damp paper towel.
Once the oven is heated to 350 degrees, place the album on top of a coffee mug that's resting on a cookie sheet.
Keep an eye on it! The directions I found online said to leave it in for 5 minutes, but it didn't take nearly that much time. After about 15 seconds I could see the record start to wilt. I would open the oven, turn the pan and let it continue to wilt. Once it has drooped sufficiently on all sides, remove it from the oven with potholders.
The album cools rather quickly, so start moving it to the shape you'd like. I kept the potholders on my hands for a bit so I didn't burn myself. After a while you can use your bare hands, just be careful. Once you feel resistance, time is very limited so start shaping quickly.
Set it on the counter and let it cool. Put down paper towels if you're afraid of messing up the counter top, but I didn't encounter anything like that. I made a dozen in less than an hour. I plan on putting non-edibles in these bowls. If you decide to put food inside, put another bowl in it or line it with plastic wrap!
I've got about 3 major projects going at once on top of an 8 hour work day taking about 12 hours to complete, so I haven't found much free time for writing lately. Here's an update, though. The place we were seriously considering renting, down to the point of having a contract drawn up and the deposit ready to be sent, has fallen through for us. When digging deeper into why a place would want me to take out an insurance policy, it seems the reason is because they don't have any insurance of their own. WTF?!? They have people in that building at least 2 days a week and no insurance? What if someone slips and falls trying to shake a leg during their concert nights? Talk about people living on the edge! They asked us to give them a week to get some before going with someone else. Well, the week's up and Mom has reserved another place. And no deposit needed. And no payment until 2 weeks before the event. And it costs half as much as the original place. And they have insurance! The best way to describe the place is "bare bones". I have no problem with that; we can decorate. Even if every single person on our list does come, and that's about 70 people, the place will accommodate them all. The parking lot is paved, too, which it wasn't at the other venue.
So, what projects am I working on? First, I've been folding tissue paper like a madwoman making giant poms for decorating. For some reason I was better at this when I was in elementary school. Now I more often than not fold it unevenly and end up with a lopsided fan. I guess it's because the tissue is so large that it's harder to handle. I press on, though. I now have 25 of those suckers made in various colors. Oh, and as an aside, after taking Marilyn to get her stomach and esophagus checked out at the hospital she felt like walking off the anesthesia so we strolled the mall. I had a bright idea about scoring some free tissue from Victoria's Secret. I went in and asked a sales girl if I could have 8 sheets, as they were my wedding colors and I wanted to make a pom. She said, "No problem, just tell them after you finish shopping that you'd like some extra." Silly girl, I wasn't shopping! Marilyn and I were smelling the new lotions when Jerry reappears from the back of the store with a bag, and when he holds it up I see it's full of tissue! He's so wonderful! I ended up with enough tissue to make 6 more poms. The second project I've got going is Kendall's flower girl dress. I am making a pillowcase dress and it's about halfway done. Thirdly, I'm trying to work on Erin's dress. I had to chop about 8 inches off the hem as she doesn't care for tea length dresses. Once I get that sewn up I'm making a lace overskirt of black. I think it's going to be really cute. Marilyn wants a corset for the middle of hers, but I'm not even going to worry about that until I get these projects done. With a little over 3 months to go I need to get busy!
Just when I think everything's under control my mind reminds me I need something to worry about so I can function normally. So, since my sister and mom are helping out I thought I was having a little load taken off. Oh, not so. While trying to get the venue of choice to send me a contract so that I can get my deposit back should they sell (which,rumor has it, they may) or burn to the ground. Instead they hit me with a surprise "you need to get some insurance on our place of business, even though we have it insured" clause. Nice! So, worry kicks in again, but not too much. I call around to 3 different agencies; the first 2 have yet to call me back with a quote and the third lady gave me one over the phone, "$450 total is probably the least you're looking at." I say, "Really, for 3 hours I need to pay that much? We're not even serving alcohol! I doubt that's how much the business pays for a month's worth of insurance." She tells me she'll call to see what she can do. I've yet to hear back. If I hadn't asked for that contract I wonder when they were going to decide to hit me with that insurance rider. After I'd made a deposit, no doubt. That'd bring the total of the venue up over $675, and for that price I could get us a much swankier place. I just don't want to spend that much for a couple of hours. Now the worry kicks into high gear. Where the hell are we gonna hold our wedding? Our save the date cards just went out, so the date's set! I call around - several hotels have their banquet rooms booked. Seems this is also a good time for family reunions. Then I remember Jerry did a play just down the road and emailed the manager. He says it'll be about the cost of the place we're considering, and I don't need insurance as he has his own. That sounded good to me, and I felt pretty good we had a great second choice should the first place not budge on this rider idea they have. Then I get an email this morning, "We may be back up and running by May, but you may want to look for another place." That sounded pretty cryptic until Jerry gets a phone call, "Have you seen the front page of the newspaper? The theater burned completely down yesterday!" Oh, for the love of Pete! Good thing he had insurance. I'm still looking for a backup - keep your fingers crossed for us!