Wednesday, December 13, 2017

A Pineapple "Chanukah Bush"

This year it seems everyone is creating 
Pineapple Christmas Trees!
So, I decided to give it a try as well....

I started with a standard store-bought pineapple 
and put it upright in a pretty bowl

I wanted to decorate with small ornaments... 
but the pineapple leaves would not support them. 
So, I tied ribbons all about & trimmed after

I filled the base of the bowl with dreidels, 
added a bow atop...
and an old pair of sunglasses to make it cool!

I decided to display "her" surrounded by 
menorahs my kids made 20 years ago...
instant Chanukah color!


Thursday, July 20, 2017

...For the love of Silky & Honey

It has been 2 months since "THE WEDDING". 
We survived- celebrated- and the photographs await scrap booking.
When I nagged my son once again about the thank you cards- he actually told me "our pen ran out of ink". 
An apartment of 5 residents shares only one pen & it is now out of ink... seriously?

Anyway... I concluded- I can not control everything, but there are things I can take on. 

Ready emotionally or not, it is long overdue. 
Years have passed, and now he is happily married. So it is time to reclaim his bedroom and turn it in to a guest room. 
He and his WIFE will visit eventually & bunk beds just won't cut it.

So I finally took a deep breathe and decided to stop procrastinating.

A room full of a lifetime of memories, laughter, tantrums & love. 
A room he so easily left behind- perhaps without so much of a second thought-
now bringing me to tears.. as I am full of thought.
A shrine you might say to my little guy.. minus the mess on the floor it always had when he lived 🏡 home!

So where does one begin to pack up the childhood of all those "had to have its"... 
Those things taken on by a younger child as MINE MINE MINE- and so easily discarded by an older son. 
Disney toys once actively involved in sibling play. They took him to Infinity & Beyond!
Leagues of Lego's & Action Figures- replaced by Gameboys & WW11... both Later further replaced by MACs & XBOX.
Hours and hours spent with Pokemon Cards & Comic Books- ALL later replaced by Internet reads & text messages. 
Every nook and cranny reveals a forgotten treasure... an abandoned "MINE MINE MINE"

Well- WTH do I do with all this collectible stuff NOW???

When my son was 8, we visited Japan. His bear "Honey" and a small bit of soft flannel cloth known as "Silky" were left behind. I cannot remember a day from the time he started crawling he was not dragging them along. 
The world could have come to an end that day. 
He was inconsolable... and it was MY FAULT they had been left behind when we switched cities. (Everything is ALWAYS the mothers fault after all).
Amazingly, Honey & Silky were rescued by hotel staff and shipped to us first class. I shudder to think of the cost of their travels- they HAD TO BE RESCUED & language barriers allowed us the option not to ask.

And now... 16 years later... I found them buried in a corner... beneath a papermache top hat. Poor Honey... 

I am packing up so much that I doubt will ever be looked at again. I know the cast of "The Big Bang Theory" would kill for those comics and Pokemon cards. The fully built Lego models... the action figures and All Things Star Wars.

Of course I will cherish & safely pack away Honey and Silky forever, but what of all the rest. After the "must saves".
I honestly don't know WTH one does with it. The collectibles, the books, the hoarded saves. 

So... for now at least... time for a break (& to stall a bit more).

Heaven help the next person 
who unsuspectingly opens his closet!

 an update:


It took 4 coats of bright yellow paint to cover 
the blue walls & repair patches

 It is amazing how much you can order on line... 
and get delivered to the door shipped free!

 After all the furnishings were assembled... 
the big decisions of which quilts to hang dominated...

 I've spent endless hours snuggled on this loveseat 
reading with our kids... 
now it is ready for overnight guests


Friday, April 28, 2017

A game of TETRIS- balanced by family emotions

Ever wonder if it possible to spend every moment of the day planning a wedding- while also achieving IDGAWF status??? YEAH... it is!
Every month- 
Every week- 
Every day of the wedding count down- 
brings with it- a new set of tasks that must be completed. 
Among the worst most recently:

The seating Chart... it's like being forced to play 
a game 
by family 

names on post-its for table settings

By the time the seating chart was completed... and then adjusted 3 more times for late RSVPs- I knew I better find a craft or risk  slitting my wrists with a post-it!

I wanted to make my future daughter-in-law one of those fancy $30 hangers for her wedding gown. 
I printed out a "template" from pinterest, used the wire supplies I already had, some wooden spoons to help shape curves, & painters tape for a straight line.
My only investment was $2.49 for the wire.

Pinterest has many examples of wedding hangers & how-to's

I used 12 gauge wire and bent it with needle nose pliers in to letter shapes... trying to keep within the boundaries of the painters tape to keep things lined up.
We drilled a hole on both sides of the hanger to attach the wire.

I tried our name a few different times... this was the best...
so it will have to do...

I know it doesn't look as snazzy as a $30 ETSY one... but it's made with love... 
Hopefully they will like it...

Couples Wedding Shower 
April 2017

And now... a bit of a rant...

The unofficial stages of Planning my son's wedding... 

The first stage of the wedding drama is "denial". Of course all the planning will be stress free... & everyone- everyone will work together to create the perfect drama free celebration. 

The next stage is "frustration" & eventually "ANGER". I am happy their wedding date is growing nearer... but the shit is really starting to hit the fan. What happened to the A-team? 
And why do our dearest friends and family members find it so hard to return a self-addressed- stamped RSVP envelope.

The third stage is "bargaining". The budget is long since forgotten & I have abandoned all hope of assist from the A team...
The goal now is to find a deal... any deal- any where- of any kind to help remember what a sense of acceptable budget & positive feedback & accomplishment is.

Stage 4 of wedding planning is "depression"... It's the reality that wedding planning is NOTHING like the weddings on pinterest or planning his Bar Mitzvah... & for whatever the hell the reason- things are as they are... No matter what I do... I can't make all things work together.

The last stage is "acceptance". Acceptance, I have given them and this wedding ALL I HAVE TO GIVE... and while it may not be my idea of perfect... hopefully, it will be theirs.
Please oh please- let it be his...


a few Pics a week later of previous projects:

Our flower girl looks out at Boston
May 7, 2017
Boston, Mass.

Welcome bags created, stuffed & delivered

Bridal gown hanging on hanger awaiting dressing

The ribbon wands I made were distributed at the door by the triplets 
& waved at the newlyweds during their recession

Mazel Tov!

"Your Song" 

Monday, February 6, 2017

Creating Wedding Ribbon Wands

My kids are marrying in a beautiful reception space... followed by a cocktail hour "presto chango" whilst the room flips from ceremony to reception. Because we are in one room... I wanted to create something "celebratory" for the new "Mr. & Mrs" as they take their recessional walk back down the aisle.

So I decided to create WEDDING WANDS!

I ordered a 100 yard roll of personalized ribbon on line.
Purchased assorted ribbons in "their colors" & theme locally to allow some variations 
- 12 inch dowels 
- 18 mm jingle bells
- my trusty hot glue gun 
- various colored ribbon

100 yard roll of customized ribbon 
printed by personal creations
All other ribbons, dowels, & bells purchased at my local Hobby Lobby & Michaels.

For each of the wands, I selected 4 ribbons... hot glued on 1 bell with a twist... & eventually I ended up with a weddings worth of wands.

I hope the kids will like this surprise & our guests might decide to keep one as an extra wedding day momento. 

I cut each length of ribbon approximately 30"

My daughter was visiting... so I got her help!

One of her oldest friends stopped by for a visit...
They tied a bell to the center of a length of sheer ribbon

Every wand includes one personalized ribbon...
one sheer ribbon with a bell...
and 2 other ribbons from a various assortment collected.
All ribbons are then folded in half- 
tied to dowel 
and hot glued in place

sample of completed ribbon wand

After all the wands were fully assembled 
it was time to even out the edges...
Then each ribbon edge needed to be sealed 
by flame to avoid unraveling

2 weeks later... Wands completed!!!

Packed up and ready for transport!

Thank you Deandra & Gabby...
We are all ready now for our congratulatory wave!

Friday, January 6, 2017

An invite for Junko

So many details to take care of when 
planning a wedding... 
But when a family member from Japan 
promised to make the journey, 
I decided to create a very special 
invitation- just for her!

Scott to Robyn Lieberman anata
 no sonzai no meiyo o yōkyū suru
 musuko no kekkon de Mason Jacob ni
 Caitlin Sierra Benetto nichiyōbi, 5 tsuki
 7-nichi ni sen jū nana yoru no 6-ji ni
 sutētorūmu Bosuton, masachūsettsu-shū
 forō suru resepushon
Scott and Robyn ***
request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of their son
Mason Jacob
Caitlin Sierra ***
Sunday, the ***
Two thousand and seventeen
at six o’clock in the evening .
The State Room
Boston, Massachusettes
Reception to follow
You will be our guest at the 
Please select 
beef, chicken, or vegetable
for main course dinner.
The favor of a reply is requested
by April 1, 2017
Top Layer: Printed directly on to the fabric
Middle: Slim pink border... fabric will be used later in envelope
Layer 3: hand pressed paper
All layers sewn together on standard 
sewing machine
A follow up!
Our wedding invitation made it to Japan!!!
Our dearest Junko displays her package
Arrival in tact
I can hardly wait 
to welcome her to Boston
to share the big weekend!
update: 5/15/17
Wedding Day Memories:
& she even made it on to the dance floor!
Thank you Jun,
We love you...
your presence meant the world to all of us

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

"Time to say goodbye (Con te partirò)": An evening with Andrea Bocelli

On Saturday night, December 10, 2016, 

Scott and I drove to Dallas for a romantic evening with Andrea Bocelli.

It is hard to describe his voice & the feelings he inspires in to written words... 
but I am going to do my very best to try.
We supported PBS KERA during their pledge drive and purchased tickets to sound check, a pre-show lite supper, and fantastic concert seats.
Having a son who's life is spent with more time in rehearsals & sound checks than on stage performing with his cello- 
I was especially eager to experience this end of things.
We entered the American Airlines Center to find it had been transformed from a basketball super arena to an acoustically balanced concert hall.
Quietly we sat... people snapped pics (less than discreetly as requested) while onstage musicians, techs, and performers continued their run through.
Side stage were 3 young children sitting calmly... watching, listening... playing without distraction. Obviously, not American I guessed- our kids would have been all over the place! The younger of the 3 was Bocelli's. Precious, this tour is a family experience for all & I truly admire that!
Sound, lighting, mics, dance, violins... Bocelli kept it limited... saving his powerful vocals for the show.
When Katherine McPhee appeared for her duet check- she was on her cell phone texting away. She looked like a trench coat clad disinterested teenager... I could not help but laugh & wonder if she was worthy.
Her vocals and later performance would certainly prove me wrong. 

Andrea Bocelli 
December 2016 
10 DEC 2016

After sound check we met with some other KERA supporters in a room overhead to mix, mingle, & share some wine & appetizers... 
then it was finally time for the concert. 

...well, ticketed American time, anyways.

Pre-concert at the American Airlines Center
Andrea Bocelli's concert CINEMA

Perhaps in true traditional Italian fashion, things got going 20 minutes after 8PM.

Scott was thrilled to gain press credentials and took amazing pics from press area- allowing me to just enjoy every note and aria. No need to worry about sneaking iPhone images & videos like everyone around me.
(My only real pet peeve of the night were all those flashes and videos all show! Seriously folks... let the "others" post it on u-tube- don't waste this opportunity) 

It is hard to believe how large this arena is...
to know that cheering fans usually fill the official arena seating...
to stare down at that court and that we were sitting 5 rows back upon it from center stage!!!

Concert Program

The opening song was performed by the Dallas symphony & choir... 
setting the mood and further building up the anticipation....

And then finally- the conductor escorted him on stage. 

Image Projection "Threads"

And from his very first note- the arena felt like a small symphony hall.

His voice is powerful- while being intimate.
The stage was expansive and he stands alone with the orchestra and choir behind him.

He looked to me- nearly as vulnerable as he did empowered completing that first aria to the crowds erupting applause. 
He reaches deep within to share his gift with all of us... while trusting those around him to aid him in doing so.

He shared the stage with:
vocal soprano Ana Maria Martinez
"guest artist" Katharine McPhee
violinist Caroline Campbell
2 dancers at times
as well as pick up musicians & a choir from the Dallas area.

Bocelli with Eugene Kohn, Conductor

Throughout the evening his guest artists had opportunities for hailing their own talent, as well as duets with him. 

Caroline Campbell

Ana Maria Martinez

One of my favorite moments was seeing the smile on Bocelli's face when he introduced us to his Music Project, "Voices of Haiti" while singing Amazing Grace.

Vocally, the first half of the show was mainly "operatic arias" shared at times with Ana Maria Martinez.
The evenings second half had more of a pop tone.

Katherine McPhee (from American Idol & Scorpion) didn't appear until the 7th song after intermission and the crowd erupted when she finally took the stage and they sung "The Prayer".

Katherine McPhee

After waiting so long for concert day to arrive... 
and finally for it to begin- 
it was hard to accept it was now already over :(

He did 3 encores... 
saving "Time to say goodbye (Con te partirò)" for last. 

Reluctantly, it was indeed time to say goodbye- 
but hopefully- only for now...

a pic from last spring
when we enjoyed a weeks stay at the Bocelli farmhouse 
 Bocelli's Teatro del silenzio in Lajatico

TY to my DH Scott for his photographic commitment
and determination to alway snap the best & share
Nearly all of the added images above are his!