Friday, July 31, 2009

"Is This An Ice Cream Question?"

Years ago Mr. P. M. was reading an article about women and how we are not as straight forward in asking for what we want as men are. In the article it used this example:

While driving with her husband, the wife wanted to stop at the road side ice cream stand but instead of telling her husband to stop there for her she said to him, "If you want to stop for an ice cream that would be okay."

For some reason this stuck with us and when one of us makes a statement like this, (usually me, so perhaps the article is correct), Mr. P. M. will ask, "Is this is an ice cream question?" But I do notice more times than not it tends to factor ice cream or frozen yogurt into the equation.

Maybe as women when we are feeling guilty for something we really want and know we shouldn't necessarily indulge in we seek out support but manipulate the outcome making someone else seem responsible for the decision.

Hmmm. Deep thoughts.
I'll have to ponder this over a double scoop of rocky road.

Have a delicious weekend!

"Ice Cream" - New Young Pony Club

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Weekend Update #3: The Bridal Shower

After the 'design consultation' at the villa, the trip to the church for our table setting dress rehearsal and a consult with the florist, this bride still had plenty of smiles left for her party!

I gave my niece 3 gifts for her bridal shower.

The big package first.

A plate of my mom's.
Very 50's. Very cute.

Next was the medium package.

I gave her a framed picture of my mom (Grandma Mac)
and her that I took 21 years ago.

We both miss her so much.

The third gift was presented in a Vera Bradley jewelry case. When she opened one of the little zipped pockets, she found a small card that read, "Something Old. Something Borrowed."
I gave her my mom's wedding band to wear the day of her wedding. It has seen two very happy and long marriages, that of my mom and dad and of Mr. P. M. and me.
I think it will bring her the same bon fortune.

After the gifts were opened she said good-bye to the guests.

This was the groom's Grandmother and sister.
So special that they shared the afternoon with us.

Before the party began though I could not resist taking some pictures of this incredible home of the hostess. It is an original Greene & Greene. The most famous Greene & Greene is The Gamble House built in 1908 in Pasadena and exemplifies the Arts and Crafts style of the period.

Yes, that is an elevator on the left.

One final picture before Heather goes off to Redondo Beach for the bachelorette party where her m-o-h will take her afterwards to LAX bound for her return trip to SF.

With the bride gone on her way my s.i.l. and I hit the road running and went to 4 stores in 3 different cities looking for ribbon! Driving through Pasadena on Oak Knoll, we came across a party set up in the front yard of one of the many palaces lining the street. I could not believe the white lanterns they had in the massive trees. They were huge! We drove by it 3 times. I could not get enough!

As tired as I was after dropping off my s.i.l. at home I had to go back and look since it was now dark. I made sure I had my camera and I took this pic but it did not come out well but it does give you the scope of the size and multitude of the lanterns. Everyone was wearing white and the word 'love' was displayed in huge letters in red flowers back by the house. I assume it was a wedding reception but what I wouldn't have given to have been able to wander into that magical yard behind the tall towering hedge to take a proper photo!

This was a perfect site to end a perfect day.

"Suddenly I See" ~ K.T. Tunstall

Weekend Update #2 - Wedding Table Settings

After the villa, it was on to another Martha project my niece is incorporating into the table decorations. It's a is a grid of ribbon surrounding the table's cake. Each table will have it's own mini wedding cake as I posted about last week. They will sit on a yellow wooden square bordered by the ribbons.

Since we had the bride for the morning, I asked my s.i.l. if we could get the same sized table and do a mock up to get the spacing right. This way we also figured out how much ribbon we will need and if this was going to work out or not. We went to her church since they had the same sized tables the caterers will be using and used the churches dishes and glasses to fill in.

This is our mock up, or at least 2 sides of it with the ribbon we had.

We will be using all grosgrain since it is heavier and it lays down well but we will adhere the ribbons together with fabri-tac so glasses coming and going on the table won't disrupt the pattern. The corners are not cut accurately since there was another appointment we had to get to but we made notes to the proper proportions. We used packing tape to quickly laminate the arrangement to use as a visual template.

We also decided to see how the cookies looked at the place setting or if we should have them in a another location. The decision was to place them on the plates. Heather loved the size, color and the pearlized luster dust I brushed on giving them a sparkly glow.

There is the saying to throw money at a situation since it pays for the freedom of your time but I cannot say enough how amid all the excitement and emotions it is a blessing and joy to have this moment to share with my family. We have talked and seen eachother more in the past month than we probably have in the last couple of years. What has been truly special is experiencing together the dreams of someone whom we love taking shape and becoming real to her.

As the Master Card commercial says "Priceless."

Weekend Update #1 - Wedding Prep

This weekend was a delight.
It really began on Thursday as I pushed through making the rosettes from 6 PM until 4 AM then on Friday afternoon until 2 AM. Saturday morning I was on the road by 7:30 to drive (1 1/2 hr.) to the villa in Sierra Madre (Pasadena area) to meet the bride who had flown in from SF the night before and my bro and sister-in-love. This was also the day for the bridal shower and her bachelorette party.

We walked around the villa fine tuning the decorating needs.
I feel very honored to be asked to be this involved.

The villa is beautiful.
This is the Elle Wood's staircase, as I call it.

Votive candles will line the stairs in the evening as the bride ascends the 100 year old carrara marble steps to toss her bouquet to the open hands below.

One of the many chandeliers that is my responsibility to make colorful.
I think I am in over my head... literally!

And another...

This was the first time I could put the rosettes to the 12 very tall and dark doors I will be decorating. The doors were more formidable than I remembered on my first visit and I can see I need a much bolder statement of at least 5 to 7 rosettes per door with a couple extra large ones for a stronger base. I will also have to hot glue them in a pre-arrangement to keep their spacing. We found out taping them to the door to the back takes off the paint. We will use my first idea of a thumb tack on top of the door and perhaps a use a very thin ribbon since more rosettes will be used.

My heart just sank when I saw the scale eventhough the door is only 24" wide. It means more rosettes but I will not be coming up again until the day before the wedding and I will not have the chance to give it another test run. This makes me fairly nervous. It will also push my cookie production back. I was silently panicking at this point and feeling... UGH!

I was asking whoever would listen on a non-audible frequency 'how am I going to do all this' when something caught my eye over a doorway.

Answer received.
Thank you. I needed that.

We moved to the outside.
This is the formal entrance to the house.

Guess what will adorn the doors as guests arrive?
I think you are getting the rosy picture by now.

This is a little patio off the entry doors to the left of it. It leads to the library, a room filled with dark wood floor to ceiling book cases with leather bound books.

I didn't take a photo of the inside since I'm not decorating in there and I needed to focus. The room is quite spectacular though. The bar will be set up inside. There will be a few small tables on the patio along with some out on a grassy area in back of the house to encourage guests to explore areas outside as well.

In this photo we were counting the number of white paper lanterns that will be hung over the bistro lights. We are using a variety of round sizes and perhaps mix in a few squares. Between my collection and those we are borrowing from other family members we will not have to purchase them but we will need to hang them ourselves, hence the tape measure.

This photo was for placement scale as the bride and her parents filled in. The ceremony and reception will both be located in the courtyard. Going with the bride's desire for non-tradition and the landscape challenges surrounding the villa, I suggested having everyone already seated at the tables with special seating for the family. It's a go! When the ceremony is over a sweetheart's table for the bride and groom will be placed here.

Everything will turn out beautifully and as I reminded the groom in a recent conversation when he was mentioning how all this was so important... at the end of the day, he still gets the girl.

The bride has suggested the following entrance to the ceremony.
Perhaps the new tradition? ;)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wedding Cookies.

The bride has a distinct vision of what she doesn't want ~ 'no bows, hearts or bells.' 'Nothing wedding-y.' She envisions a party atmosphere casually and comfortably celebrating with those she loves. Her vivid colors of orange and yellow will be paired with round and square shapes that will be echoed in the cakes that will grace everyone's table. Her highly talented aunt on the other side of the family has offered her gifts with icing and fondant. They will be spectacular, I'm certain.

My niece liked a few ideas I put out there a while back, and especially liked an idea of making an initial cookie for their last name. After giving this some more thought, I knew any kind of a pattern or tartan would be lost on a linear surface so I decided to incorporate her circle theme into the cookie using her vibrant colors giving it a 60's retro flair that is also seen in the paper rosettes.

After a few incarnations late, late at night...

... and with the flexibility of choosing the base cookie icing color, dots color, outline color and sizzle pack color, the bride has chosen two:

1. White background~yellow outline~orange sizzle pack.

2. White background~orange outline (imagine)~yellow sizzle pack.

I love the polka dot ribbon on the yellow paper and hopefully I can find the opposite combo to use for the orange paper.

I printed the tag on textured water color paper that is embossed with tiny squares and put a square border around the text. The text is 'Heather', the bride's name. If I could find 'Hammie Pie' I would use it. ;)

The good news is Heather loves the cookies and I am so glad because I feel they will fit in perfectly to her theme. We might alternate the cookie colors per place setting or group them by tables but we can figure out what looks best as we're setting up.

So with the cookies, cakes, and rosettes all decided upon, we can move ahead.
Good job 'locking and loading', HP!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Paper Crop Circles

They just seem to appear overnight from nowhere.

I just wish they would clean up after themselves. ;)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Wedding Rosettes

I had a fairly creative weekend.

It began with a trip to the villa where my niece is getting married to look over the site and help my SIL to figure out a few things. It is challenging for the bride to be located in SF and her wedding location being here in SoCal.

In the villa is a large ballroom with tall doors that open onto a grass area on one side of the wall and to the piazza courtyard on the other. The bride-to-be would like to add more color to the room and likes the rosette designs by Martha so on Friday we went to an art supply store in Glendale and bought some sheets to experiment with.

Here are the finished samples:

This is how I started:

This was an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of decorative paper. I decided to make a pattern which was cut with an x-acto knife. This went much faster than with scissors. Having the edge shapes cut before folding makes natural fold lines to follow.

Next, I folded the paper making a fan that we all probably made in kindergarten. You do this to 2 sheets of paper. To attach them together I interlocked one side of edges with double stick tape and then notched the middle and secured with twine.

I used baker's twine that I couldn't believe I happened to have. On Friday night when we were making our first samples and didn't have any string we used dental floss!

To secure the other end of the rosette making it a complete circle, I used the double stick tape again and attached a ribbon between the two ends to hang it up.

Moving on to the next sheets of paper and wanting to make another design, I was now wiser and made a larger template to add edge decoration when I began to make the yellow rosette.

I think this is my favorite one. It's made of a textured 12 x 12 rice paper and I love the polka dot ribbon. I think it breaks up the look of using all solids for the paper.

This is also made from 2 sheets of 12 x12. I wanted to try a pattern that was completely different but it is probably my least favorite look of the three. It was also fairly labor intensive to measure out. I was averaging about 40 minutes per rosette but I was being a perfectionist and perfecting my techniques. You know when you try something out for the first time it always takes longer than what you expect and then you hit your stride. I think once patterns, paper and ribbon have been decided upon they can be made relatively quickly assembly line style with the help of a few merry wedding elves.

I love the texture of this paper.

The larger the paper dimensions the bigger the rosettes. On Friday, we made one of poster sized paper.

The rosettes have really grown on me.
They did nothing for me when I first saw them in Martha's wedding mag. The featured picture was too small and the colors were drab. With the wedding colors being bright orange and yellow these will look great on the dark brown of the doors. I would like to use 2 shades of yellow and 2 shades of orange with 3 or 4 different edge styles and 4 different sizes. We figured we need 30 rosettes. The wedding is almost 3 weeks away.

Putting this in print makes me panic!

I wonder what the bridal verdict will be.

Cookies post later today too!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

J. Crew, Mad Men and Me. The Perfect Storm.

One month until the only show on TV I look forward to is coming back...
and I am almost watching AMC just to see the promos.
Steamy. Complicated. Can't wait!!

The fall line-ups are trickling in and online sales are beginning to manifest.

I have been casting a glance to a couple from J. Crew for months now and they are finally ready for Pink Martini pickin' time!

How 'bout this little number?

Was $78 ~ now $49.50
Perfect for a 'cocktail attire' wedding, no?
I have never seen it in the store and I didn't want to pay the postage for the pleasure of trying it on but I think I would like it.

And this ~ Was $48.00 ~ now $39.50

This, I have seen up close and personal in the store in white. Perfect size and I loved it but I held back and tried to show some fiscal restraint (so not fun). I have been holding onto a gift card I won in Jillian Inc.'s lovely give-away so I ordered it in navy. Thank you again, Jilllian! It should be here today or tomorrow.

Yep, things are looking up today!

For your listening pleasure today - from Mad Men...
'A Beautiful Mine' ~ RJD2
'You Know I'm No Good' ~ Amy Winehouse

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

John Williams. Composer Extraordinaire.

Haunting. Memorable. His music is inspiring to me. When I saw the 4th movie (Patrick Doyle, composer), and the 5th (Nicolas Hooper, composer) in the Harry Potter series I knew there was something missing. For me it was in the music. This greatly affected my experience. I wasn't brought into the story as emotionally involved as I had been before. This was such a disappointment to me. Nicolas Hooper has written the score for the second time.
His reviews are in:

All of the enveloping curiosity, the swirling whimsy, and the tangible sense of a growing threat is so marginalized by Hooper in comparison to his peers in the franchise that his two pedestrian scores are completely uneventful. They fill space but not memories. And let’s not get started on the absence of "magic" in the ambient tone.
'Swirling', 'sweeping' and 'magical' are words I have always used to describe Williams' HP score. The key to the musical franchise is Hedwig's Flight.

This is Hedwig ~

Harry's pet owl.
Look how adorable Daniel Radcliffe was!

Thankfully some of JW's themes are recurrent in the new score but why-oh-why maestro are you not at the podium once again for this movie?

I once saw Mr. Williams at a Hollywood Bowl concert a few years ago. We went around the back of the shell waiting for him like groupies while he came out the stage door. I knew if my boys had gone up and talked with him he would have been very approachable. My musical encounter of the third kind never did materialize. We all chickened out. There was just something about being that close to genius.

Enjoy the movie!

"Hedwig's Theme" ~ John Williams

Monday, July 13, 2009

"So Nice Of You..."

Last week I received 2 lovely blog awards.

The first is from Preppy 101 of All Things Southern & Preppy. Thank you very much dear BF. What can I say about P 101 and her blog? We all seem to know her and love her and now she is going to be sharing her most fabulous journey of her daughter's wedding with us. I can't wait to hear all the details along the way. I hope her PD knows how lucky she is to have a mom like her!

This is the sweetest ~

It's from Posh Momma of It's A Wonderful Life, a private blogger who is a fashionable and talented writer busy with her beautiful twincessess. This award says 'I wish we were sisters' and I do too since that would mean not only would I be The Posh Momma's sister but auntie to those cute little sweethearts! Thank you, friend!

I would in turn love to pass these awards on to other blogging sisters:

The Posh Momma ~ Goes without saying but I'll say it anyway. :)

Preppy 101 ~ The sister I never had but wish I did. :)

Frau ~ The West Family Adventures. She is so humorous in a subtle way that it makes you think. I love following her adventures of an American in Germany. Check out her post of the statuary in Norway. Jon Gosslin. Still can't get over how funny that was.

Preppy Player ~ Frau's real life sister. An athlete, a business woman, a mother to a ba-zillion kids (5) who could all make their living as A&F models. She has more energy than I have ever known.

Alicia ~ Delightful & Delovely. Her blog is a respite in my day. Truly delightful and delovely, gentle and nourishing. Take 5 and head on over to her peaceful world.

The Pink Washingtoniette ~ This is a gal who knows her Lilly and can spot it on an OJ carton at a hundred paces! Her blog is also lovely and is inspired by her artistic eye. What a treat! She was so helpful in helping me to plan my trip to Ithaca. Thank you Melanie.

The Snooty Primadonna's Guide To Cooking Like a Diva ~ It's what for dinner. And her other blog ~ Snooty Primadona's Sparkling Outlook on Life... or Not. This gal is definitely sportin' some 'tude and I love that. On her blog role her heading is 'People I Stalk.' How can you not love that?

I would also finally like to give this award to Ronda of Stella's Mom. I have been waiting for this momentous occasion for months. Come and get it girl, bring along your AARP card and join this exclusive club.

Keep making all those fabulous cocktails on your blog and we should get through this just fine. ;)


I postponed my trip since my last minute ticket purchase cost me twice as much as I thought it was going to. I lost $200 on the cancellation fee but we will plan to go in in late August. Son2 is fine with it as now he can join his peeps at midnight tomorrow for the new Harry Potter movie. He read all the books so he wants to see the series through. They already have their tickets which is good because the first showing has long been sold out. I heard they are arriving at 9 to stake out their claim in line. I did that once in my life, in the 80's - Star Trek. James T. Kirk and I go back to the 60's together. Of course, I was a mere child.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

"To Cheat or Not To Cheat...."

Have you ever wondered if your husband was having an affair?

Years ago a friend of mine found out her husband had made reservations in Vegas by the credit card company's fraud protection department calling the house and asking if anyone had recently used the card since the account had been dormant. 'Bob' changed his reservations from Vegas to a local Marriott Residence for several weeks thereafter before groveling his way back home. Then there was 'N' who was dutifully cleaning out her husband's car to get it ready for a car wash and found a sales receipt under the seat for condoms and a bottle of wine. She had had a hysterectomy. I guess the wine wasn't for her either. She kept her cool and investigated. Their credit card statement showed her husband had set up an online dating account and according to his profile was 'separated and learning to navigate the single waters again.' Ahoy, Capt'n Sleazeball!
Now they are oceans apart.

One morning last week I was going through our Discover card bill I saw two charges for a dating service. I knew this was an error but remembering my two friends and their stories I have to say a smidge of a 'what if' crept in. I thought I could handle this dispute myself so I called the credit card company and the dating service but because I am not named as the primary card holder they could not discuss it with me so I had to get Mr. P. Martini involved.

He was sleeping soundly in college boy's room. It's not what you think. He snores at a high decibel level and sometimes he needs to be sequestered for everyone's benefit. I sat down on my Pilates clothes holder and woke him up. I asked him if he knew anything about 'friend finders.' He slowly opened his eyes and replied, "Huh?", while making a bodily noise that could have been mistaken for a backfire in the cul-de-sac two blocks over and scratching himself as only men in the morning can do. I thought, yep, this is a man who is having an affair all right. Maybe I'll just find him a 'friend' myself.

After we got it straightened out with the credit card company (input error or card fraud), I was half way expecting the obligatory "Honey, I love you! I would never...." but instead I got a laugh while he was shaving and a "Did you think I could have been so dumb to put this on our credit card? Thanks a lot."
I guess it's one thing to question a man's fidelity but do not question his intelligence.

"Your Cheating Heart" - Patsy Cline

Friday, July 10, 2009

I'm As 'Happy As A Clam!' :)

I am loving this new Ann Veronica pattern
'Happy as a clam'.
So summery.

I can also recommend this double holder for your specs.

Perfect for sunglasses and cheaters. I used to throw both in my bag unprotected. I know. My bad but I didn't want to mess with two glass cases. I highly recommend this case for 16 clam-o-las.
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