Monday, April 28, 2008

The Wedding (part three)

While I was working on Part Two, Camilla emailed me some more pictures! This is a nice one. (Thanks, Camilla!)

Bryony. She was unsure what to wear, so she bought something and took it back, picked out a skirt but changed her mind, and then bought this outfit four days before the wedding. It's lovely, she is lovely, and the colors were exactly right. We do love it when a plan comes together...

My favorite photograph. It even has some non-wedding goers on the left. We made quite the colorful party wandering around the grounds. I assured other tourists (in my unmistakable American accent) that there would be another wedding at 4:00 -- all part of the National Trust approach!

Amelia with a white chocolate curl off the wedding cake.

A special request by Coffee Jones. There's a photo, in black & white, of her parents kissing on their wedding day. That inspired by Coffee and her brother to have a similar pose on their respective wedding days. Here's ours.

Don't worry, there's more! We still have Damian's photos to pore over, and of course we want to get all our guests represented. Many thanks to Byrony, Camilla, Hub 1.0, and Nicky for sharing your photos with us.

The Wedding (part two)

Here's the arty shot of Fountains Abbey that Hub 1.0 took. That was the playground for the following pictures, with the exception of one of the Great Hall in Fountains Hall, the Elizabethan hall built around 1600 on the grounds of the abbey ruins. We got married in the Great Hall, then went downstairs for drinks while they reset the room for the wedding breakfast. It was during that interval that we all traipsed outside for photos at Fountains Abbey.

The children: Jack, Sam, L'il Bean Jones, Amelia, Beanette, and Lucy. Jack & Lucy are Michael & Bryony's two, Sam belongs to Starman's sister Camilla, Amelia is Nicky's, and the remaining two are Coffee Jones & Dino Burger's. We're told that it was a bit of a struggle getting L'il Bean into a jacket and tie (the tie supposedly has skull & crossbones on it, but it just looked like a nice tie from a distance!), possibly because he knew instinctively how good they would look on him, and thus Mum & Dad would expect such sartorial efforts more often. All I know is, they stayed with us at Choristers' House and I didn't hear any screams. (But, to be honest, that place was so quiet, who'd have known . . . ?) Jack had a very Miami Vice cream linen jacket for the event, but he looks pretty cool just in the shirtsleeves.

The Great Hall set up for lunch. Lovely -- it's a hard room to photograph, but this gives some sense of its charm.

Back to Fountains Abbey -- this is some sort of balcony, although I didn't make much effort to understand the architecture on this occasion. All I knew was that I could manage the stairs in my dress and stripey wellies!

Michael and his kids, us, and the Coffee Jones/Dino Burger crew. This was on the walk back to Choristers' House at the end of the afternoon; this is part of the Studley Royal estate, which features a lovely lake/water feature/lake combination. You will notice that L'il Bean has changed back into his more normal clothes, but Jack has his linen jacket. (I'll have to include a photo -- and there are many lovely ones -- of Bryony in Part Three!)

The Wedding (part one)

The happy couple. I'm the one in the gorgeous dress -- didn't The Famous Stephen live up to his name? Starman is the guy next to me. What a sweetie. These aren't the official wedding photos -- we haven't even begun to look at those! -- but digital pix taken by Starman's sister and sister-in-law. Thanks, Nicky & Bryony -- all your photos look lovely, these are just getting us started. (The harpist is Georgina Wells -- I'm afraid we didn't listen to much of her playing, but there's a digital recording, so we'll listen then.)

Not much doubt what we're doing here. That's my bouquet decorating the table with the cake.

The bridal party: Starman, me, Amelia (Nicky's daughter, aka "The Littlest Bridesmaid"), Beanette (Coffee Jones' daughter, aka "The American Bridesmaid"), Lucy (Michael & Bryony's daughter, aka "The Senior Bridesmaid"), Coffee Jones herself (aka "Crone of Honour"), and Michael (aka "Best Man"). (Sorry, Mike -- I'll post a better picture of you later on!)

My bridesmaids, Beanette, Amelia & Lucy. They all have beautiful blue eyes, which lead to the pretty embroidered fabric for their dresses, which in turn gave us the overall color scheme.

Not precisely the bridal party, but I thought my regular readers would like to see Hub 1.0 (on the left) with me & Starman. He was a vital part of this event, not least because if he hadn't introduced us, there'd have been no wedding. But also because, as I told him later, he's the family of my heart. He represents my history -- we've known each other for 37 years! -- and he's been a wonderful support during the past two years. I believe we've been good friends to him as well. (And sharp-eyed readers wondering who that is at the back of the photo will be gratified to learn he's Dino Burger, aka Mr. Coffee Jones.)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Successfully Married (Again!)

Starman: He's so nice, I married him twice.

We didn't actually include that in the official service of marriage. (Starman read a poem by Christina Rosetti, I read a poem by e.e. cummings, and the "other Jill" from the registry office read the "Apache Wedding Blessing" which turns out to have been from a 1950s movie!) But it is true that we're now doubly married, and no way am I undoing those legal vows! We're well and truly hitched.

Photos? We have photos. You will get photos. LOTS of photos. We have photos taken by Starman's sibs, by Hub 1.0, and by the photographer, Damian, who was so lovely that even a devout conscientious objector like myself (it's against my religion to be photographed badly, which is pretty much the only result possible) didn't have a problem with it. Coffee Jones, my crone of honour, and her husband, Dino Burger, also have photos; we just don't have them yet because they flitted off to Amsterdam after the wedding and only just got home themselves.

So, while we're in black and white print for a while, I'll settle for a couple vignettes. First of all, everyone was magnificent. All our guests were absolutely perfect: Harry & Mary represented our new Harmonic life; Starman's former co-editor & his wife represented Starman's former professional life; my friend Jay represented pretty much the totality of my legal career; there were even old friends of Hub 1.0's there to signify the intertwined histories Hub 1.0 & I share. My former mother-in-law was there, and had a great time. Now, that's an accomplishment, wouldn't you say?

Starman's sisters, brother, in-laws, and nieces & nephews were all there. Such nice people, and as Coffee J. pointed out after a very successful party at the best man's house -- just the nicest group of people she can recall spending time with. Very multi-generational: From 4 to 80-something, and everyone got along great. Among the pleasures of the week was seeing the four English children playing so well with the two American kids. Hopefully they'll see each other again.

As for the house, the wedding, the flowers, my dress, the food, and the locale -- I'll save some typing and wait for the photos. But here's an anecdote Damian (the photographer -- did I mention how nice he was?) told me. He has a fairly standard format for traditional weddings: he starts with the bits & pieces of the wedding outfit, shoes, jewelry, the dress, etc. in still life shots. (I denied him access to my shoes, which were nothing special, but did ask him to photograph the two stuffed animals we had with us at Choristers' House; what can I say, we're weird.) When the album is finished, it starts with these shots before moving to pictures of the bride being groomed by her mother/her maid of honor/etc.

Well, in one wedding, the bride had bought very expensive Jimmy Choo shoes for the event. She made Damian take nine different shots of these prized footwear. They must have looked great, but did they fit? She managed to walk up the aisle and back down, then off with the shoes (I actually typed "shoos" which seems right for this brand...) and they were never worn again. Too painful!

I have some sympathy for that bride: My shoes got little more use than that. They were the right size but didn't fit right. Didn't matter -- I wore them for the vows and the subsequent photos, then we trooped out for photos in the Abbey ruins wearing our wellies. I believe I was barefoot during the wedding breakfast etc. The shoes have already gone off to be donated to a charity shop!

I can still feel mildly superior, though -- I paid a fraction of what the Jimmy Choos cost, and didn't feel like the money had been wasted at all. Chances are, not a single photo shows me wearing those shoes at all.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

One more pre-wedding update

My crone of honour, Coffee Jones, has just come back from collecting the Beanette's bridesmaid's dress. Coffee has kindly provided us with pictures on her blog here. Thanks, CJ, for those pretty pictures.

Okay, so the littlest bridesmaid is pictured below (scroll down, or click here), and Beanette is pictured over on that blog over there. That leaves my Senior Bridesmaid, Lucy, to show. Here's a preliminary picture:

I think this is shaping up to be a very pretty bridal party. I don't have a picture of the Crone herself in her dress, mostly because her dress was made for her based on fitting a muslin toile and so she hasn't tried on the real dress yet. (That sounds scary, but The Famous Stephen is so gifted, there will be absolutely no risk. I worry about some things, but that is not one of them.)

I do, however, have one little news item. I had tried on my dress when Coffee Jones was in town for her toile fitting. It was a teensy bit loose then, but I didn't say anything. Then I got the dread Devil Cold and lost 5 pounds. Well, I went back this week, and the dress needed to come in 5 inches! Now I daren't eat for ten days lest I put that weight back on. But that's okay -- we've been exercising up a storm, so all will be well.

Thanks again to my bridesmaids' mothers for the pictures, and to their dressmakers, and of course to them. It's going to be lovely!

Friday, April 4, 2008

I know, I know . . . it's been a LONG time!

Did you ever get a postcard from someone who was midway through a long vacation? Like a month in on a 6-month sojourn? You get this card, and it's all chatty like "We're here now and then we're moving on, and next week we're someplace else," and meanwhile, you're right where you always are, standing in your own home, reading this breezy missive from people you won't see for months. You think, "Well, okay. That's nice for you, but what about us at home? Hmmm? A postcard simply isn't cutting it for us!" Like, either they should come back (if you miss them) or they should just stay quiet (if you were getting on quite nicely without them).

This blog post is like that postcard.

You haven't heard from me in ages, and all you get is a measly blog about two things, quilting & the wedding. What good is that? But it's all I got for you, honest.

Yes, I finished the Harmony Triangle quilt. Here are some pictures:

I even tidied the bedroom a little teeny bit for this photo op. Mind you, the quilt's a wee bit small for a queen-sized bed (which this is), so I suspect I'll move it over to the front guest bedroom. That will make the covers in that room really lovely and heavy -- a condition I personally like in a cold bedroom. However, my problem here is that when the down comforter is on top of this quilt, it's too warm and I end up kicking all the covers off me and onto Starman. Our bed looks a whole lot less tidy when that happens!

If you stare at this picture, you will eventually be able to see how the blocks got mixed up. Have fun, if you decide to figure that puzzle out. I can live with it; I've made my peace with this quilt.

Incidentally, the night (an embarrassing number of days ago, I have to admit) this photo was taken was the first ever night I slept under a quilt I'd made myself. It took some getting used to, if you want the honest truth.

I can't explain it -- I just felt odd. I'm glad that feeling wore off. I want to sew more quilts for us to use, not just own. It's a pretty bedroom in a pretty post-Colonial era house. Quilts are the perfect decorative touch.

A close up of the quilting. A couple quilters visit this blog, so this picture is actually for them. I got the quilting design from a magazine. I was looking for a different fill pattern entirely, but I couldn't find it. (Note to self -- read quilt magazines with a bunch of those plastic tabs close at hand!) I think this works well, though.

I did do (badly) feathers on the border, but you are not getting a close up of those! Trust me, when I do nice freehand feathers, you'll be the first to know.

I have picked out and washed the fabrics for the two baby quilts, and I have a block to do for the quilt guild I visited last month. But nothing's getting done until after . . . well, read on.

Other than quilting? Well, there's that other item going on now -- the wedding. Lists of Things to Do, Things in Process, and Things Done has been slowly evolving from three equal columns to two columns (in Process and Done) and now is looking more done than anything else. We leave in nine days; we get married in 17. But who's counting.

I could rattle off all the details, but it's just too too boring. I'm obsessed with it, and Starman is worried by the complexity of things that really ought not be complex (don't ask about the bags for the wedding favours or the sashes for the bridesmaids!) but really it's coming out pretty smoothly.

There is one detail about the wedding I want to share, though. I'm 52, and I'm old enough that there are no "but you have to invite so-and-so" situations. I'm so pleased that everyone who will be attending this event is someone I really like and enjoy. What a pleasure that is. There are tons more people who won't be there that I love, so it's not an exclusive set. Just a nice group of people.

The only other news is that I got sick :-( and lost weight :-) I lost enough weight that I needed new bras, and that means the Famous Stephen may need to adjust my wedding dress. I really didn't think that would happen, but I'm secretly pleased. At my size, these little bits don't make a huge difference, but I'm down more than 25 pounds from last spring, and most of that has been in the past two months. Way to go, me.

Well, that's pretty much it. Sorry for the postcard nature of this post -- too little, too late, and not much to offer for the next few weeks, either. But then there will be wedding pictures, and if you're at all like me, that will be a lot of fun.