Thursday, September 25, 2008


one of the contributors over at the always inspiring shutter sisters blog said something that struck a chord (cord?) with me a few days ago. (well i thought it was on shutter sisters, but i'll be damned if i can find the post) but regardless, she said that someone had reminded her to take pictures of the ones you love. i am especially bad about this. i feel awkward getting my giant camera out when i'm gathered with friends and family, especially when they are snapping away with their tiny point and shoots. i feel terribly silly around the people i know, thinking that surely they must be annoyed by the fact that i'm always sticking my camera in their face.

but this time i decided to take her words to heart. some are more artistic than others, but all are meaningful.

she was talking about her flowers and just kept on a-talking

this is my grandmother, my mom's mom.

she still lives in the cute little house that my grandpa and his brother built for her back in the 40's. its full of little details that I have forgotten to remember.

like the ornate doorknobs that came from another old house. the one on the way into the kitchen has the pattern almost worn off from all the hands that have gripped it over the years. that one always had rubber bands around it, just in case you needed one.

or the little fellow by the garage that holds a lantern. its probably as unpolitically correct as you can get. but it wouldn't be grandma's house without it.

and the chicks-and-hens that grow in and around all her flower beds. i don't know where she got the idea to plant them in shoes, but apparently they thrive in them. these were my grandpa's last heavy work boots he wore before he retired. they've held up since the 70's, she tells me. not like those cheap shoes you get today...

this is where she has sat for as long as i can remember. her chair is by the bay window. his chair was in the corner on the other side of the fireplace. his chair always had a jar of candy behind it, but that's been gone for many years, though the chair remains.

and beside the chair, hanging on her reading lamp is her rosary. she prays it every day. once for each of her children and their spouses, for the grandkids and the great-grandkids. she reminded me before i left to remember to pray, and for a moment i wished that i believed because i knew it would make her happy.

even now, with both my aunt and i in the house, she insists on washing the dishes. its her routine, she says. and so we shared the task. (once i was done taking a picture, that is.)

fun with templates

because i spend a lot of time on the internet at my current rotation, i've been adding a lot of photography blogs to my google reader. sometimes i think i'd really like to get into doing some photography just on the side for fun, but other times i'm just so awed by some of the awesome work out there i wonder if its even worth bothering. after all, there are some really amazing photogs out there and its pretty intimidating.

but, while i was out stumbling around, i did find a few free photo templates to mess around with. this one is actually a little more cutesy than is really my style but its still nice. i guess i am just not into the color block sort of look, though it does work nicely with kids pictures. i really do think it would be a lot of fun to shoot little ones. (in the photography sense... not actually shoot them)

i just thought it was the perfect template for all these pictures of Halle making her model faces. That same photographer also had a border set, which i really like. i love the messy border look but am way too unphotoshop savy to figure out how to do it myself. i think the next picture would look awesome printed on the metallic paper that WHCC (the printing company i use) has.

anybody recognize that font??

both the collage template and the border set were some freebies from this gal here. she also has a lot of nice templates for sale as well. other favorite template providers are Swiss Miss Haus and NicoleV. maybe someday if i ever actually take pictures, i will have a reason to buy one of their gorgeous sets. even if its just to use for my own personal christmas cards.

Monday, September 22, 2008

i heart....

my lauren alane caketopper!!

photo courtesy of Lauren Alane

cutest little felted birdies ever! and yes, i realize i already bought something for the cake. but it was way too big.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

a wee bit of knitting

things have been busy here so i haven't been doing much knitting. or much watching of tv series on dvd, in spite of the fact that my coworker lent me the first two seasons of the wire. i'm going to need to get watching if i want to get it finished before moving. but i digress.

there is one project i've been working on. it doesn't look like much yet, but i think it will be quite nice when its finished. its the cotton yarn i bought in asheville, nc. i'd never worked with cotton before and its definitely a different feel than wool, but its nice and light.

a big white blob

and, after i finished the last wrap i bought myself some yarn in a color as far away from orange as i could get. its a beautiful purple laceweight purchased on etsy.

the color is so vibrant it almost shines. i don't know what i'm going to make yet, but i can't wait to see what it looks like when its knit up.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

um, WTF?

I'm not really sure how much news coverage this is getting elsewhere, but apparently Ohio was struck by hurricane Ike on Sunday. Now I'm no meteorologist but I'm not dumb either; I know that those monsters don't just disappear once they reach land, and I know we've had some pretty decent storms resulting from the remains of previous hurricanes. But great googley-moogley this was ridiculous.

I was at work when the windstorm started. Then foolish me decided after work would be a good time to go to WalMart to pick up a few things afterwards. I knew it was windy, but I had no idea just what was going down. The power was out at home when I got back at 7:30ish. Why?

That's why. Notice that it tore up both the sidewalk AND the street on its way down. I think at one point they said there were 700,000 people without power. Luckily I live right across the street (and on the same power grid) as a hospital so we got power back late Monday evening. Though sadly, the internet didn't return until today. My dear friend pegasaurus is still without power, and is expected to remain that way until the 21st. Not that I'm rubbing that in or anything...

more pictures of destruction (not the best lighting in this next one)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

the shoe.

it would appear that i have a knack for finding people who really want to go to an osu football game and then inviting their spouse instead when i have an extra ticket. last year it was sara, who spent the game sending picture messages to her husband to rub in the fact that she was there and he wasn't. a move i found delightfully entertaining. this year i invited jenny, apparently only days after her husband expressed his desire to attend a game. luckily this is my last fall in Cbus, so my days of wreaking football induced marital havoc are nearly at an end.

if you've never been here, let me warn you. we take our football very seriously here in Cbus, though we've calmed down in recent years. I mean, there hasn't been a good car-burning riot since what? 2002? Anyway, about the football. This here is home to the Ohio State Buckeyes...

i think its technically called Ohio Stadium. No one calls it that. We call it "The Shoe" which is shortened from the horseshoe, which is the shape of the stadium. The shoe seats roughly 105,000 fans. 100,000 people in red shirts makes for a pretty impressive sight. As does 100,000 people systematically spelling a four letter word repeatedly. (O-H-I-O... what did you think we were going to spell??)

that hat on the right there is a buckeye. i would like to emphasize that is not a marijuana leaf on the back.

We also seem to have a thing for ridiculous hats. these were the only two in the nearby vicinity. all I have to say is sweaty heads... ew.

The weather was actually spectacular, though a bit toasty when the sun was in full force.

I think this was maybe during a portion of the game when we were trailing. Her dad was cheering for the other team, but luckily mom seems to have the prevailing influence.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Another decison

Once again I am in need of opinions. Primarily because I am incapable of deciding anything on my own. And again, its in regards to the boutonnières. Or Mr. Z's boutonnière at least, as the dads' bouts are still in pieces scattered around my "craft table"

So the last time, the wheat bout got mediocre reviews, which was unfortunate since it was the favorite contender for both me and the mister.

So I stole an idea for fabric leaves from Martha Stewart and played around with it a little bit. This is a rather haphazardly assembled version, thrown together so I could snap a shot before the light disappeared. Since taking this photo, its been disassembled, and I added some more "veins" on the leaves. I also stitched some copper wire into the leaf and used that to wrap around the wheat stems to attach it all together... very clever, I thought.

fabric is left over from the cornsacs

I have also since ironed the leaf again so its a bit flatter. And when its actually assembled, I will put some effort into tying a nicer bow. So now its opinion time. Better with the leaf? Or without?

OH! I forgot to add, that after several rather embarrassing attempts to stitch some veins onto the leaf, I decided it might be worth my while to look up the proper way to embroider such a thing. If you are ever in need of such instruction, there is a very handy website here

Thursday, September 4, 2008

a disaster of epic proportions

first of all, i'd like to thank the five or six people who so gracefully handled the sobbing, panicky mess that was me last night. most notably my mom and grandmother who both sat patiently through several minutes of unintelligible blubbering before i could even spit out a complete sentence.

for those of you who did not receive a phone call, text, or facebook message (i was panicking people, i contacted like everyone i knew looking for a miracle) here's what happened.

almost a year ago, last October to be exact, i bought a dress. this dress. in a size four.

i didn't have an "oh my god, this is my dress" moment. i wanted to buy almost every dress i tried on, or at least three dresses from every gown-hunting excursion. i found this one at david's bridal in rochester with mr. z's mom and aunt. i really liked it and it was a fantastic deal, but it wasn't the right size. i really needed a six, but this dress was discontinued and there wasn't a six anywhere in the david's system. so the consultant called the seamstress out and asked her to take a look at it.

"no problem," she assured me. "its not that tight, we can fix it. no problem." so i bought the dress. (can you see where this is going??) i should have known better.

so at the beginning of august i took it in to the david's in columbus for my first fitting. the woman asked me what i wanted. i needed a bustle put in and some pads sewn in the bust, because even if the rest of me is a size six, my boobs are still a size zero. and i pointed out the fact that the waist didn't fit quite right. so she said they'd let it out around the waist an inch on either side. fantastic.

fast forward to yesterday. i had an appointment in the evening to pick up my altered dress. i put it on. boobs look great... and pads are firmly sewn in. (no one wants a boob pad flying out mid-chicken dance.) the waist, on the other hand, looks the same as it did pre-alterations. ashley said my face was priceless. i made a superstar effort to not say the f-word repeatedly. ashley asked the seamstress if maybe they took it in by mistake. seamstress said no, definitely let out. so we made plans to let it out some more and she showed ashley how to work the bustle.

the panic didn't start immediately. in fact, i made it all the way through a disappointing sushi dinner with ashley (two thumbs down for ba sho in dublin, if anyone cares). it wasn't until i was driving home that it suddenly occurred to me that the reason letting the waist out didn't make any difference is that the waist wasn't where the problem is. its too tight around the hips, so it rides up and makes the waist bunch. and the bad news is, the way the dress is constructed with the lace and everything makes it almost impossible to let out at the hips. so i officially flipped out.

thus began the tearful phone call marathon. at one point, my mom suggested i call the alterations department of david's back and tell them what i thought and tell them if they couldn't fix it, i would just pick it up and take it somewhere else. so i called and told the woman that it had suddenly occurred to me that the fit at the hips was the problem. she said she was thinking the same thing, but didn't know if she'd be able to let it out where it needed to be. she said she'd check to see if maybe she could let it out along the zipper but she didn't sound too optimistic. the phone marathon continued.

the major problem lies in the fact that this saturday is exactly five weeks before the wedding. i can't go back and pick up my dress and see if it fits until next friday. exactly 4 weeks and 1 day before the wedding. making it very bad timing if i need to find a replacement dress.


i went back to david's after work today. i told the consultant what happened and that i wanted to try on some dresses, just in case. i found two that i like ALOT. quite different from my original dress, but still with a similar 'vintage' feel. (one of which i would probably have picked over mine, had they been around at the same time) the consultant assured me that since they are new styles and i am a fairly common size, they would definitely have them in stock next weekend. and she said there would still be enough time to have a bustle done before the wedding too, IF i needed to get a second dress. but, i was also able to talk to the seamstress again as well, and she said now that she's had a chance to look at it, she thinks it should be possible to alter it so that it actually fits me. so everyone keeps your fingers crossed for me.

maybe this won't be a total disaster after all. though i really did like those two dresses...

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

license to thrill

or get married. whatever.

according to the website, we're down to 39 days. RSVP's continue to roll in, with the majority of people being able to make it thus far. there was some drama today about whether or not we'd be able to get all the bridesmaid's dresses in time for the wedding. but in the end, its only one that's still up in the air.

ken was in town this weekend for a raging bachelor party and to pick up our paperwork, so we can actually get married legally. turns out we weren't drunk and we aren't any more closely related than second cousins so they let us get a license. requirements are tough here in ohio!