Monthly Archives: July 2011

The Grand Wedding Event ~ Invites & Table Seating Plan

Standard
The Grand Wedding Event  ~ Invites & Table Seating Plan

With everything coming together slowly but very surely, I thought I would share a few of the many things I’ve been up to. Lucky, if you catch sight of this before the 23rd of July, you’ll be seeing it all (besides the invites and RSVP slips that is…), before any of my guests!

My handmade invitations and RSVP slips ;)
My handmade invitations and RSVP slips 😉

When I started out on the whole ‘Planning A Wedding’ thing, I had originally envisioned a colour scheme of lilac and bronze and possibly ‘champagne’ hues – and then bizarrely it drifted into something a little more dramatic. The organisation, congruency and theme of all printed items/materials is pretty consistent. I drew a vector of a damask pattern I really liked, then redrew certain elements I liked and had gathered from other invitations/programmes/wedding paraphernalia that inspired me. Unfortunately being on a tight budget, I tried to save costs – and being a designer makes that bit easy 🙂 So kudos to the original artists and original invitation makers and thank you for being my inspiration! (as much as I wish I could take full credit) NOTE: Talent is a gift – and with it being so I also don’t expect to be extorted by other individuals and ‘their talents’, thank you very much!! Which leaves me saying to you – should you have any ideas for invitations, but with no idea how to execute them, drop me a line 🙂 I’ll help you out if I can, FREE of charge!

My Table Programme incorporating the Menu. Each back has a section of song lyrics from the likes of 'Danny Kaye', 'The Ink Spots', 'Dean Martin', 'Frank Sinatra' and 'Ella Fitzgerald 🙂

The table programmes and ‘order-of-service’ slips were conceived entirely by myself, using ‘Gold Leaf 250gsm’, I had printed ‘bookmark’ size strips of my damask pattern in the ‘almost veridian’ green colour and coupled it with a rich brown. With the golden glow from the paper, it has a very old feel (look) to it.

The table seating arrangement, made-up of driftwood found on the beach, names and table numbers printed on 'Gold Leaf' 250gsm card then cut into heart shapes and craft wire! All wrangled together with a little imagination, patience and two pairs of pliers is something completely unique to me (due to the fact that it was an idea I came up without any inspiration from anywhere or from seeing any pictures)

The table seating arrangement, made-up of driftwood found on the beach, names and table numbers printed on 'Gold Leaf' 250gsm card then cut into heart shapes with self-made little wire 'hooks'! All wrangled together with a little imagination, patience and two pairs of pliers is something completely unique to me (due to the fact that it was an idea I came up without any inspiration from anywhere or from seeing any pictures)

As much as I can’t take entire credit for the Invitations, I can however state that the table seating arrangement concept was entirely my idea and I believe that it gives an accurate glimpse into my twisted, anxious, yet structured mind, as well as my own eccentricity. I knew I didn’t want an easel, or any other table seating plans that I had seen used at other weddings. Chances are that if I do a thorough enough ‘Google’ search, I’m/You’re bound to find something similar 🙂 Maybe I’ll do that quick – just to check that I haven’t stuck my foot in my mouth! (Score – just did a search on ‘Table seating arrangements and bizarre/different/unique table seating arrangements and I’m safe “Phew” – but there are some really ‘different’ ones out there)

I can safely say however, that as much inspiration as I’ve taken, the bulk of it came from ‘self’. Like my dress for instance. Which I’ll post pictures of, but only once I’ve officially had my wedding and the whole ‘shebang’ is done and dusted 🙂 It incorporates my love of polka dots, long streamlined dresses, halternecks and statuesque collars – plus, a little bolero jacket to match! Instead of having a rigid colour theme, I’ve played with multiple shades of brown, thrown in some bronze and brushed gold and pretty much utilise the entire spectrum of colour from lime green to turquoise in one form or other.

I certainly hope that you find your inspiration if that’s what you’re looking for 😉

Marriage…A lot like having children [Part II] – “Who Would Have Guessed…”

Standard

I had heard somewhere, that there are specific events in ones life which age you up to ’10 years’ a time. They are listed as deaths, births, moving house and getting married. Well having suffered several losses, one childbirth and roughly 24 house moves, mostly with much household contents, I could never understand how marriage factored into that little ‘saying’.

That is however, until now.

I’ve also heard many a time that having children is not for the faint-hearted. Well, neither is marriage and by comparison, having children is a walk in the park. Having made the decision in January to set the date for July and with what I thought to be ample time for planning and preparation, nothing could have prepared me for myself.

Everything is set and ready to go, in 10 days that is. My second dress fitting is on friday afternoon and it is simply beautiful, my bridesmaid is at my side after her tragic ordeal, all attending friends are excited and waiting anxiously for the big day. The table seating plan, table arrangements and service are all organised and the flowers are ordered and should be ready for collection on friday the 22nd. So what seems to be the problem?

I think the thing about marriage is that we as the human race have decided that everything is disposable and most things in our lives are contract driven – and usually lasting no longer than 24-36 months. Everything is in the “here and now” and if you don’t like, you can always get another one, regardless of whether it’s a car, a cellphone or a hobby. But marriage, as the institution would have it, is supposed to be permanent. Forever. Until death you do part. People don’t like being told what to do… so rebellion dictates that as soon as you’ve signed your life to someone, you’re not going to like it.

That’s stupid. Because parents don’t have children on a short-term loan basis, it’s also a life sentence, and somehow they cope. I’ve been with the man for 5 years and never questioned my love or devotion until I decided to set a wedding date! This whole thought process has had me turn from butterlies-in-my-stomach-bride-to-be into the dragon lady and then back again, at least 32 times – to the point where He asked me if I had remembered to take my medication!?! Then I threw a shoe at him. He still loves me [apparently] and hasn’t called the wedding off…

It’s scary to take the big step to make the whole thing ‘official’. Taking on a new surname, making decisions about things -TOGETHER and doing so for the rest of your natural life… My parents have been together for 30 years. Awesome. Has it been easy? NO. I have learnt from them however, that if you have certain fundamental principles in place, then you’re on a good inning. Namely to have trust and respect for one another, to remain honest and open at all times, to communicate effectively and to love unconditionally. When I think of these things, my nerves calm and I stop fretting over having the wrong flowers or not having lost enough weight to look like a skeletal bride.

The question I pose though, is with it being such a very huge decision and ‘lifelong’ undertaking. Why do it if you’re not in it for good? Why are divorce rates so high? Because people treat people & marriage like they treat ‘things’ and ironically treat ‘things’ how they should be treating people. I may have thrown a shoe, but at least we spoke face to face – and when we were done, I hugged him and kissed him all over the face and told him how sorry I was… as he simply shook his head and mumbled something like, “Until your next tantrum”.

The ONLY way to exercise – and actually enjoy it every time :)

Standard

Unless you’re a fitness freak or someone with an obsessive-compulsive disorder to exercise – even so… I’m sure secretly, even to those crazy people going religiously for their morning jogs in sub-zero temperatures or torrential rains…IT’S A PAIN IN THE ARSE.

On my umpteenth attempt at getting into shape, i.e. losing weight and firming up – but this time I was going to succeed and officially make it the ‘change in lifestyle’ all the gurus continuously yap on about – Why? because I’m getting married in 12 days (But this whole ‘lifestyle change’ occurred in January already – so it’s been a progression). Ok, so with an “eating plan” I could actually stick to – we were however heading for winter, now who wants to go anywhere except bed, in winter? So I tackled the challenge of, how do I get to stay at home, but do something more stimulating than a tae-bo DVD and more importantly, how do I stick to it once I’ve started?

Here’s how…

(Left) An in-game screenshot of 'Your Shape-Fitness Evolved', having your own personal trainer has never been easier. (Centre) The 'game' that has made exercise something I look so forward to. (Right) All you need (plus the game obviously) to get you started, the X-box 360, controller and Kinect eye can be purchased as a complete package.

Ironically it’s Your Shape:Fitness Evolved. And that’s just it…it is the evolution and future of you. I’ve almost got arms like Madonna, have lost 22 pounds and have enjoyed every second of it. It’s like having your own personal trainer, in the privacy of your own home, with a once off payment for a lifetime membership of enjoyment! But wait, there’s more… because of the technology utilised via the corroboration between the X-box 360 and the Kinect Eye, the ‘game’ is able tell via your motion and it’s ‘motion sensing technology’, just whether you’re doing the exercises correctly or not – so this way you’re getting accurate training for maximum results! Score. And don’t for an instant believe that the exercises are ‘willy nilly‘ in any way… on the contrary, some of them will leave your lungs on the brink of collapse and have you walking around as if you’re entirely wrapped in plaster of paris for days.

There are exercises to suit all tastes, fitness levels as well as overall goals – whether they be weight loss, toning, increasing your fitness levels or mere meditation with varying ‘Tai Chi’ routines. Not to mention their affiliation with personal trainers such as Gunnar Petersen, Nivia and both Fitness For Men and Fitness for Women.

If you’re trying to pull the ‘But I Have Nobody To Look After The Children Excuse‘… well look no further. On the nights when my partner is home, he gladly looks after the little one – due to the fact that I’ve bargained that he is entitled to as much X-box time as I am, so the munchkin is fed and bathed by the time I’m done exercising. When I’m done – I have quality time with the munchkin, while feeling invigorated. Hubby gladly plays games, whereafter I have quiet time to bath, go to bed and snuggle with Dean Koontz without interruption. Sound good, it’s because it is 🙂 In my next blog I’ll include the eating plan, because that’s a whole other explanation.

Even as a single parent there is no excuse. On nights when my partner is working at night, I get the little munchkin his supper and some juice – while he sits in the lounge watching me jump around like a monkey! So I’m busy and he’s entertained!

Also, there are an array of other ‘games’ for children and husbands/partners which also utilise the ‘Kinect’ technology, which SHOULD also get THEM up and moving in more ways than one!

But trust me when I say…this will revolutionise you, your way of thinking, your life and most of all your body 🙂

Click a country to browse online for YOUR VERY OWN X-Box 360 & Kinect eye:

South Africa [1][2][3], United States, Great Britain [1][2] or Australia [1][2][3]

Happy shopping ladies *and men* < besides, it’s a great gift idea for any woman from any man, keeping in mind – it’s true what they say, “The best present you can buy someone, is one you want for yourself” 😉

Saying Goodbye :'(

Standard

Everyone deals with things in their own unique way, one which is conducive to their individual healing process – whether it be a farewell to friend who is leaving town, or someone who has passed.

Today I strangely sit with both – along with a feeling of not being able to breath, as well as an overwhelming sense of nausea.

I like to believe with funerals though that, although the body dies and falls to dust – the spirit and soul transfer, until you have reached the highest plain of consciousness and have learnt all that could be learnt from your time here, from those who are important to you and through making mistakes and learning from them – you will cross over to Nirvana, or wherever that plain of ‘higher consciousness’ is, or whatever it is to you. Saying farewell to someone leaving town is nevertheless, just as disconcerting. However the advantages to a mere farewell, are that you are able to see that person again, you can simply pick up the phone if you need to chat and you have a place to stay should you ever venture into their neighborhood!

My friend, having tragically lost her sister to a still ‘unknown’ bacteria/virus is really not doing very well. Her sister, who after having fought strong for more than 7 weeks and who on the Thursday afternoon, ready to return home – had yet one more visit to make to the hospital for a final blood test, prior to departure. However, upon inspection – a ‘level’ of some or other was excessively high and way over what it should have been and at the doctors insistence she was readmitted, but only to monitor and drop the levels, at which point she could leave and be home free.  However… after admission on the Friday afternoon, she had fallen into a coma by Saturday evening and by Sunday was being ravaged by gradual organ failure – and during the early hours of the Monday morning she departed her earthly vessel and joined rank amongst the angels.

My friend. How broken she was and still is. The unfortunate thing about death, is that as humans and due to our apologetic and sympathetic natures (in most instances), wish only to convey a feeling of understanding which we believe to be empathy.  But to know a loss of your own certainly does not translate into the understanding of the loss of another. I hate when people say to the bereaved, “i’m so sorry”… > you didn’t kill that person, weren’t responsible for their death and had no hand in their malady or suffering? Fact is – there is nothing you can say to someone who has lost a loved one. NOTHING. They need to think about the situation, sift through the emotion and influx of everything, as well as deal with the circumstances… ON THEIR OWN.

YOUR grieving may last all of 2 days, whereas others’ never entirely recover and are haunted by the loss for the rest of their days.  It is your job to stay as you are. To smile and laugh and hug and kiss that person as you always have, so that they can lose focus of death and loss – by continuing to focus on life, it is only then that they will be able to bring to light that it does [life] go on. That just because you’re happy and laughing, enjoying a sunset or going out for an evening with friends, that the ‘departed’ is/are of any less importance or that you’ve forgotten about them in any way?!? It is only by/through ‘getting on with life’ or believing that ‘life goes on’, where we are able to forget about the bad and remember the good – it is only through this that our pain becomes somewhat more bearable and the loss somewhat more tolerable.

If tomorrow starts without me and I am not there to see, if the sun should rise and find your eyes, all filled with tears for me; I wish so much you wouldn’t cry, the way you did today, while thinking of the many things, we didn’t get to say.

If I could relive yesterday, just even for a while, I would say goodbye and kiss you, and hope to see you smile.  But then I fully realised that this could never be, for emptiness and memories would take the place of me.” – Unknown

Just be that unwavering friend or family member.  Soften the heartache with hugs, kisses and laughs 🙂

If you have lost someone dear to you, and if it was recently – just know that their memory will never fade and even years after having departed their earthly body, the smile on their face and vividness and sparkle of their living eyes will forever be emblazoned in your mind and you will be left with only the joy they brought you, laughs they initiated and the great times had. As agonizing as the pain is now, just know that the cruelty of its razor edge will ease – and in time you too will smile and laugh again.