Friday, February 25, 2011

And With a Wave of My Wand...

I'm a Bee! Ta da!
Magic Wand

Hi Hive! I'm so excited to bee here! I was checking my emails incessantly to get the email from Pengy, and just when I decided to go to bed, that magical email popped up. I had to read it about twenty times before it finally sank in, and then like Miss Cotton Candy, I was (and still am!) an excited bundle of buzzing nerves!

Let me introduce you to the Magic Fam!

I'm an LCSW who loves working with kids with autism. I love to eat (but not cook), shop (but not deal with money), and travel (but I can't read a map to save my life)! I think mayonnaise is the best condiment in the world, I love country music, and I enjoy watching semi-scary movies.

Mr. Magic spends his days researching and his nights cheering on the Tar Heels, chillin' with friends, listening to my wedding ramblings, and talking to any cat that comes our way. He likes brown mustard (think mayo is gross), listens to much cooler music than me, and likes all horror movies, even the bad ones.

We have two furry little babies, Isabella and Monster. Isabella has anxiety and will sometimes protect us from the outside world by marking territory...inside the house. Monster was a scaredy cat but is now a social, floofy, cuddler.
Isabella, aka Smizz


And finally, why Miss Magic? Well, it was a tough call...all of the Carnival icons are SO cute. But I decided to go with Miss Magic for a number of reasons, the main one being...well, I'll just show you!
Get it?

Mr. Magic and I have been together forEVER (we met in 2002!) and I am so excited to finally be planning our Fall, colorful, fun wedding! Again, I am so happy to bee here and I cannot wait to start sharing our planning with y'all!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Two's a Pom Pom, One's a Pom*

FLOOFY! It's like fluffy, but on crack and way better. Not that being on crack is way better. I mean, I wouldn't know, seeing as how I stay away from the hard drugs. Erm, all drugs.

OK. Poms. Floofy, fluffy poms. Here's the scoop on how to make them and some tips that may or may not make things go quicker.

Step 1: Procure the Goods. Get some yarn (preferably on sale or with a coupon, or both FTW). It doesn't have to be fancy, any yarn will do. Get some sharp scissors. And decide if you want to invest in a pom making gadget (I did) or use a piece of cardboard or your own hand.
This is the Clover Pom Maker.
I got this double pack at Michael's - it makes big'uns and medium sized ones, too.
Retails for 7$ plus a 40% off coupon is, well, less.

Step 2: Prep the Yarn. Did you know that there is a certain way to unravel the yarn??? Me freaking neither! On some bundles of yarn there is a visual that tells you what to do, but basically there is one end that you pull out from under the paper part and leave hanging, and then you pull the other end out of the middle of the yarn, and that's the end you work from. I think this is so it doesn't get tangled? 

Step 3: Wind it Up. Lift two arms on one side. It's tough to see in the crappy pics that I took myself, thankyouverymuch, but below there are two "arms" stacked one on top of each other.
Take a piece of yarn and hold it in your hand on top of the pom, and start wrapping. You have to hold the loose piece at first...
...but then you will wrap the yarn around 4 or 5 times, and just wrap around the loose end so it holds on it's own. It's ok if it sticks out! (And yes, that is my ring!)
Keep winding. When you get to this stage... are NOT done. I tried to finish here, and ended up with sad, non-floofy balls that my cats immediately shredded with one paw jab. You have to keep winding it around and around until it looks like this:
Then close that side and do the other.
Lift the two arms together and wind, wind, wind, that yarn!
Close those two arms and look at it from the side. It should look like this:

Step 4: Cut it Up. See, in the above picture, where those two arms leave a space? There is a ridge all the way around. Put your very sharp scissors in that ridge and snip, snip, snip, all the way around.

When you are down snipping, it will look like this from the top...
...and this from the side.

Step 5: Tie it Up. Cut a piece of yarn, about 12 inches. You are going to put the yarn in the ridge and pull it tight in the middle and tie in a knot...see?
I like to tie it on one side, then the opposite side, then back to each side to tie it once more. Pull it tight but not so tight that the yarn snaps. You'll know it's too tight if the yarn snaps. Helpful, no?

Step 6: Release the Kraken Pom. Pull the arms up on one side and then the other.

Then pull the two sides apart. Your pom will be released at long last!

Step 7: Preen and Trim. Fluff up the pom and then cut off the long or scraggly pieces. If pieces are falling out right and left, then you either didn't "Wind it Up" enough, or you didn't "Tie it Up" tightly enough. It's ok, just throw it to the cat and try again. (If only two or three pieces fall out and the rest seem snugly bound together, then you're golden.)

Now you have one floofy pom measuring three inches across, and a serious pom making addiction. Hey, it's way better and more cost friendly than being addicted to crack!

Possible Tips:
- I read somewhere that it is quicker to cut the yarn into four long pieces first and then wrap it around four pieces at a time. You would have to cut 4 four yard pieces I think...if my calculations are correct...which they might not be.... I personally think it takes longer to measure the yarn than just to wind it up. Seriously, it takes maybe two minutes (or three) to make one pom. But, if it is an assembly line process, this would be a helpful step.
- Make your poms in front of the TV. Time flies when you're having fun and watching GLEE your favorite show too!

Don't you want to make poms now? If you have any questions, let me know!

*Do you know what TV show this line is from?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Feasible Faux Flowers

There are a boatload of options for those of us who want to make our own faux* flowers, either because we are poor, cheap, or just gluttons for punishment DIY goddesses. I'm all of the above, and am planning on making faux flowers for decorating purposes, and possibly for corsages or boutonnieres. I prefer my flowers, faux and real, to be as floofy as possible, but I do love all of these faux flowers- so let the inspiration party begin!

Paper Faux Flowers
There is really no end to the type of flower one can make out of paper, and the good news is, paper is inexpensive! Plus, it doesn't require much skill other than measuring, cutting, and folding...over and over and over.

The above two images are amazing! I love how the large flower balls hang above the tables and the smaller ones are on the napkins. I wonder if those ones on the napkins are attached to a ribbon or elastic so guests can wear them on their wrists or in their hair. They are so fluffy, like carnations! Love it!

I am personally so into corsages and boutonneires. They hearken back to a sweeter, simpler makes me think of dances in the 50s. And how many excuses does a gal (or guy) have to walk around wearing a flower? Not enough, I say! I think these would be great for the bridal party, special guests of honor, or all the guests.

These tissue paper flowers poms I have made myself, and you can read all about it here. They are super easy peasy, y'all.

I think these are amazing and I love how they can be made out of any paper, like old books. They look complicated as hell though, and are a bit too angular for my taste.

See? You can even make a faux rose! These look easy but do not pass my floofiness test.

Fabric & Ribbon Faux Flowers
Fabric is a bit more intimidating than paper, I think, but ribbon is somewhere in the middle of the difficulty spectrum. With these two mediums (it sounds like I know what I am talking about, doesn't it?), you have to worry about fraying and whether you should cut with the grain or against the grain (I don't know what the answer to that is [hell, I'm not even sure if "grain" is the correct term], but you should probably find out if you're gonna make one of these bad boys). I love all of these, but again, not quite up to my high floofy standards.

More wrist corsages! These look really comfy, with the silky ribbon to tie around the wrist and the soft flower fabric.

This one looks pretty simple to make as well and could be cute on a sash or as a hair clip.

Love the color and the button in the middle. I would wear this any day of the week.

Of course this is from Style Me Pretty. Who else would put silk rosettes on a paper bag?!? This site gives me a complex but damn, they do it up nicely!

Yarn Faux Flowers
Ahem. Behold the mecca of floofy flowers. Actually, flowers is a misnomer probably. I'm sorry if I have misled you. These are more like fluffy, floofy balls - my favorite! [That's what she said? Yes? No?] I may or may not be in love with them. OK, I am!

Yarn Pom Poufs-City Cradle

It's super lucky for me that these yarn flower floof balls are my favorite, because they are also the easiest to make! In the next post I'm gonna show you how and give you my amazing time saving tip, but I feel like I should warn you: Making Yarn Poms is Insanely Addictive. Also, your cats will love them.

Which faux flower is your favorite?

*Always use "faux" and never use "fake." The word "faux" makes people think of France, baguettes, and the Eiffel Tower. The word "fake" makes people think of boob jobs.

Change the Voices Inside Your Head

It has taken me a long time to figure out how to write this post. Originally, I titled it "Do I look like an Ugly Troll?" and talked all about my insecurities from my appearance and how when I am feeling ugly or icky, I ask others if I resemble this:

Then, I titled it "I'm Too Thin...Kinda" and tried to explain how being too thin is not exactly some magical blessing in disguise, as many assume. It's probably great for supermodels, but not for mere mortals like myself. I was teased and bullied a lot in middle school, where the popular girls would ask me over and over if I was anorexic or bulimic. My mom advised me to reply "Well, being thin is better than being fat!" I tried it one time and the girl, who had just asked how many times I puked a day, burst into tears. She wasn't overweight at all. We all have our issues, I guess.

But now...well, ever since I turned 30 I have gained weight in my thighs, butt, and stomach. I have NO idea how this happened. As someone who has tried unsuccessfully for years to put on pounds, this sudden influx of weight in the wrong places is really freaking me out...not to mention really exaggerating my tiny upper body.  At least my head is proportional, unlike this guy:
I think I was trying to get a bug out of a drink here. Don't ask.
Another title was "I Squint When I Look in the Mirror," because I do, and I have no idea when that started's just something I have done for as long as I recall! My sister pointed it out to me when we were trying on wedding gowns. It's likely because growing up, I was not impressed with my acne and my ears sticking out.
This is why I will be wearing my hair DOWN. 

I hope our children get his ears. They are barely noticeable!

But...I didn't title it any of that. Instead, I chose a line from Pink's cognitive behavioral therapy inspired new song, "F**kin' Perfect." Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) says that our thoughts cause our behaviors and our mood. So, if I am walking around thinking "I look like an ugly troll" then I am going to squint when I look in the mirror and generally feel bad about myself.

We all have these records that we play inside our minds, records that consist of all the recordings of things that have happened to us. My self esteem record is a broken record, skipping all the time, replaying a bunch of cool 8th grade girls talking smack about me, and images of me in 5th grade as a tiny skinny awkward girl.
It's kind of silly that I keep letting this record play over and over and over, since all it does is make me feel like crap. So, I have decided that, as of right now, I will no longer say negative things about myself, or even think negative thoughts. My days of asking if I am "look like an ugly troll" are OVER. If I do say or think something bad about myself, I will immediately re-frame the statement or thought to something positive. I know, despite my outer (and inner) flaws, that I am still a good looking gal and more importantly, a good person.

Breaking records is fun! Especially if you fist pump!

So finally, I will leave you with Pink's new song and some lyrics from it:
You're so mean, when you talk about yourself, you were wrong
Change the voices in your head, make them like you instead
So complicated, look happy, you'll make it!
Filled with so much hatred...such a tired game
It's enough! I've done all I can think of
Chased down all my demons, I've seen you do the same

Oh, pretty pretty please, don't you ever ever feel
Like you're less than f*ckin' perfect
Pretty pretty please, if you ever ever feel like you're nothing
You're f*ckin' perfect to me  

Do you want to break some records with me?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Save the Dates: The Mock Ups!

Last week I got an envelope in the mail from my step-mom! I thought "Hmm, this could be a Valentine...."
Like this!

But it wasn't. Instead, it was several versions of our Save the Date! Our graphic designer included a note saying these were just drafts and a starting point, and said she had in mind printing them on either a white or kraft paper background. Oh, and she thought we could print 4 cards to a page, to save on printing costs, so the final card would be 4.25 inches by 5.5 inches. I'm not good with math (as I mentioned here, here, here, here and here), so I had to use a ruler to draw lines to see how big that would be. I decided the size was big enough (insert obvious "that's what she said" comment here...oh wait, I just did.)

So, withuot further adieu, here are the mock ups! Since she sent me hard copies, I had to scan them, so don't mind the scanny-ness of the images.

These first two were along the lines of our tree theme! We could have text on the page with the tree, or have a card that opens up with text inside. Or, have the below images on the inside of the card.

These are the cartoon versions of us and our cats, Isabella and Monster, a la Mrs. Stripes lovely cartoon caricatures over at Weddingbee. While I love the idea of the cartoon, I think I prefer the tree design in reality. I don't know that the drawing of us really looks exactly like us, which I guess is pretty impossible (I mean, obviously, that's what photographs are for). In fact, when I first looked at the drawing I thought "Jim looks like a young Kennedy!" Which I guess makes me Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy. I can dig that! ( I can't be Jackie because, alas, I am too blonde.)

I called my step mom up and we chatted about the save the dates, and what I liked and thought could be improved upon. I won't lie...there have been a few more versions, but I have to wait until they are in our guests' mailboxes before the final reveal.

It is so nice of her to take the time to design them for us, and getting them in the mail was such a fun surprise! She is even taking charge of the printing, which is such a relief. Being able to delegate something pretty big to someone else is such a huge relief!

Did anyone help you out big time during your wedding planning? I hope so!