Thursday, July 12, 2012

Stealthy Smurf

I don't want to toot my own horn, but I'm pretty good at figuring out surprises or gifts.  I don't try to do this-contrary to my loved ones' beliefs-things just form together in my head based on things others have said and boom-I know about the present you got me.

It's why, when B1 was telling my sister and her boyfriend that he was proposing the following day, they told him to be quiet and be careful because I "figure things out".  (Though looking back at things, I totally should have known.  Totally.  I think I just had vacation brain and was deliriously happy that we were at Disney together.)

So.  I'm 99.9% sure that on Tuesday, my work friends and the entire floor of my building are throwing me a bridal shower.  Three things:

1.  I wish they would tell me.  I don't enjoy this kind of surprise.
2. I wish I didn't (think) I know about it.
3. I hope I am right. (We all know how much I love presents!)

Why do I think this?  Well, a good friend of mine has been looking at our wedding website pretty extensively for the last month.  This isn't odd because she likes looking at it and reading it because she's really the nicest person I know and is really happy for us.  But I noticed that she's been looking at our two registries a lot lately too (it's linked on our website and I can see if she exits to that page. Oh shut up.  You know I'm a stats whore!)  Which also wouldn't be odd because we're good friends and it wouldn't surprise me if she got us a gift.  But what is weird is that the other day I walked by her desk and noticed she was looking at our amazon list.  And instead of just smiling and acting normal, she hid her screen.

Then one of our friends asked to schedule a meeting on Tuesday and before I could answer that it wouldn't work for me, the registry girl called one of my staff to come to her desk (in another room).  When my staff member came back to her desk, my friend sent and email saying that the time wouldn't work for her and could it be another time?  And, funny enough, my boss has a random "do not schedule" block on Tuesday.  Which is odd enough because, well, she doesn't touch her calendar.  I do it all.  And also, the other two deans have that same "do not book" on their calendars.

And today, one of the guys from university council was at my friends desk with his wallet open.  I happened to walk over to put some mail in her inbox and saw the exchange.  I wouldn't have though much of this (because sometimes we order lunch and people pay her) except that he looked like he got caught and she said really loudly, HI MAGS! as I walked up, to alert him not to say anything I assume.

I could cheat right now and look at our registry to see if anything has been bought, but that would ruin ALL of the fun.  I won't do that.

I asked B1 if he knows anything about this and he claims that he does not.  I asked him why he thinks that they are trying to surprise me (because we've had showers before, but none were surprises) and he said he thinks it's because I'm the party planner and gift buyer and they probably want to make it special for me.

That makes sense.  But still...I wish it wasn't an ambush!  At least I (hopefully) figured it out so that I can be sure to dress nicer than normal on Tuesday.  Maybe I'll do that Monday too, so I don't tip them off that I knew.  I don't want to ruin it for them, after all.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Balls and Balls

Thursday night I received a text from B1 telling me he broke his arm at football practice.  The poor guy was looking forward to the season starting (a new semi-pro football team) and I knew he was going to be really, really disappointed.  When I got to the ER, he was in a lot of pain and was very frustrated with the situation.  His x-ray came back and showed that there were two breaks-pretty bad ones too.  They set him in a cast up to his shoulder and told him that he'd have to have surgery in the next couple of days to put in plates and screws.  He had to suffer through 3 days with that cast waiting, but on Sunday morning he went in and they screwed him together.  He did well, and he's OK, but he's in a lot of pain, even with the meds.  And his meds give him hiccups...he's had them now for about 2 days, on and off...mostly on.  Poor guy.  They say in 6-8 weeks he'll be better.

After we got home on Sunday I decided to starting another craft project for the wedding.  These are pomanders or "kissing balls" that we'll hang from the first row of chairs at the aisle on the beach.  That's where our immediate family will be sitting.  I found a few tutorials online which mentioned using coffee filters.  I thought this was a better idea than using just tissue paper because they are more durable and also, I could paint them to give them different variations.  This is what mine will look like, more or less, but with navy blue ribbons:

It starts with the cutting.  So much cutting!  The balls I am making have 3 different sized petals and each flower uses 9 petals.  I thought I did the math right, but last night I ran out...and I've only got 15 flowers made, which is about one quarter of one ball.  So more cutting and painting it is!

First I folded the coffee filters in quarters and drew the largest petal on one of them.  I used a template I made out of cardstock to be sure they are all the same size.  By cutting the filters while they are quartered, I ended up with 4 petals for one cut.  Make sense?


After I did this I decided I needed a break from coffee filters, so I decided to make us some meatballs and a pot of sauce.  Yes, I call it sauce, not gravy.  I'm not sure why our family never called it sauce-even my great-grandfather who was off the boat from Italy called it sauce. 


While the balls of meat were simmer in the sauce, I worked on the balls of flowers some more.  I layed them out on parchment paper and one at a time brushed each flower with a clean brush and water until it was saturated.  Then I took a small brush and ran watercolor paint along the edge and went back with a different color in the middle.  I didn't worry about whether or not they were exact or perfect, because I knew the variation in color would give the flowers more depth...remember, I didn't want to use the flat tissue paper...which would have been easier, but not as cool!

After painting, I put them on a drying rack and let them sit for about 5 minutes.  It may have been b/c the ac was pointed at them that they dried so quickly, but I can't imagine them taking much longer in another setting.
After all of the petals were painted (I painted the smaller petals a little more bold, but in the same color family, and the center yellow with a dot of the orange) I crumpled them a bit to make them less coffee filtery.

Then I stacked 4 large petals, 4 medium petals and 1 center petal on top of each other and poked a hole in the middle with a pin.  Some people used straight pins to secure these to the styrofoam balls, but I wanted them to be more secure, so I used floral wire.  Once they were in, I fluffed them and voila!  One flower done!
It's going to be a long craft project...

...and then I made a banana cream pie.