Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Weddings? Who Knew? You Get Presents!

I thought I was done with wedding and baby gifts, but this summer I was invited to another wedding; a young woman that works the reception desk where I get my manicures. Close? Sort of. She took to me right away--the kind of girl who is just very optimistic and bubbly and happy and comes from a loving, stable family (and "yes," over time I've met her Mom and Dad, too.) She always gives the biggest hugs, is spontaneous and laughs more than anyone I know.

I wanted to get her something nice for her marriage, and I needed to get the gift to her today, as she is getting married this weekend. I am putting this up because: 1) I do keep a photographic record of cards I create and packages I wrap and 2) this shows me (at least) how I can have a solid idea in my head of how I want something to look, have to amend it, then have to amend it again. It pays to stay flexible.

I'm not that thrilled with this wrap job. It wasn't my first vision, but I just couldn't find the right paper, so I shifted to a traditional wedding paper in pale pearlized champagne with white flock fleur-des-lis. I used a champagne tulle ribbon FROM HELL. It was just murder working with it, so lesson learned there. "Never again."
Once I had the paper set, then I had to go looking at flowers, and it took forever. Back when we had MJ Design around this area, I could walk in and always find quality products. The closest I can come to that now is an American Florist out on River Road (and that's an iffy source off season,) and Homestead Gardens, but that means driving to Davidsonville. A.C. Moore's is crap. Sorry. It is cheap crap. I settled for Michael's, but that's a lot of picking and chosing, because they aren't top of the line, either.

By the time I put the flowers together, it would have been double in cost in what you see in hydrangeas and snapdragons and some tiny pink roses with strands of pearls on tiny plastic threads dangling down, but I had to cut the big flowers in half, ditch the roses and pearls and use a vine of pale variegated ivy. To create what I wanted would have been over fifty dollars. The downside of this is I know what's in my head, and this wasn't it, but it was going to have to do.

After all that last night: running for supplies, wrapping an oversized box, (and it did take every bit of the paper,) then fighting the ribbon, it was just icing to have to fight the flowers as well. I finally shoved it all off center angular and said, "Good enough."

I hear so many troubled stories these days from friends. So many bad stories. My own life hasn't been going smoothly. Deep in problems. I wanted to sign her card "Have you really thought about this? Seriously?" But. She's in love. She's young, she's level headed, she comes from a really good, stable family. I adore her Mama. I pray she stays as happy as she has been this past year.

She's in her love bubble. Floating. Let's leave her there and wish her the best.

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Blogger Loralee said...

It's beautiful. Hydrangeas always make me happy. And I'm feeling happier in general. Life is going along, getting better. I planted some things last year and this: Pink and blue hydrangeas, a hosta (which I hate, but a friend gave them to me) ginger mint, which I cannot wait to use in alcoholic drinks and tomatoes which just today might be ripe enough. Life seems almost bountiful. Except for finances!
Weddings make me so hopeful, for the couple. I tend to be pretty cynical, but it's fun to put it aside to want a couple to end up in that happy ever after place.

9:09 AM  
Blogger Phil said...

Just imagining myself being faced with having to wrap a present, let alone a present this elaborately wrapped, makes me want to lie comatose and not wake for several months.

10:07 AM  
Blogger Washington Cube said...

Phil: Kinda sounds like The Playaz Ball, doesn't it? The comatose for months later bit.

Lee: I'm glad you are gardening. I've had to cut back on that the past two years. I did go out and start up again, only to have these massive oak limbs come down--so just finishing in dealing with that. I agree. It's easy to be cynical. I always try to put that aside and hope for happy ever after.

10:27 AM  
Blogger Ronda Laveen said...

It is a gorgeous! If that present were on my table, I would not be able to look at another. I'm not even sure I would want to defile it by unwrapping. It is a work of art and the ivy is a light, whimsical touch.

Yes, leave her happy in her love bubble. If you tried to tell her, she couldn't hear anyway...the bubble is thick. Let's hope it is strong as well.

2:13 PM  
Anonymous Twinkie said...

Well if her marriage lasts half as long as it took you to put the wrapping together, it will have been considered a successful one in today's standards. tee hee.

3:00 PM  
Anonymous Twinkie said...

OH and the wrapping is beautiful. Great job. Anytime I wrap something it looks like one of my kids did it. NOT GOOD!

3:01 PM  
Blogger Washington Cube said...

Ronda: I remember doing a similar package for another bride, and they used it as the centerpiece for her bridal shower. I like making things pretty. As for the bubble, I would never utter one cynical thing about relationships around her. She is sooooo in love. Life will get at her, soon enough. Let her be in love. Her parents seem content. I hope that for her, too.

Twinkie: That package was my bete noire. Normally once I envision something in my head, whether it's a painting I'm about to do, or a landscaping project...
whatever...once I "see" it, it usually falls into place, because my brain has already unconsciously computed in the issues of execution. In hindsight, the length of time it took me to choose the paper and flowers should have been sending out alarms. The problem was, it all hinged on the paper first, and I just couldn't find what I wanted, and I knew the papers I truly liked, wouldn't be right with elaborate flowers. She loves black and white. She loves bright yellow. I was going to do a houndstooth paper with black satin ribbon and sunflowers. Not bridal at all, but she would have loved it. I ran out of the paper. The store wasn't stocking it anymore, so I was caught short on that one. I also waited too long in getting it done, not like me, but circumstances set that in motion. Bottom line: it got done, it was delivered. Happy marriage. Checkmark. Done.

5:41 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

The gift is wrapped beautifully. Too pretty to unwrap :) I feel inspired to wrap gifts more creatively.

7:02 PM  
Blogger Washington Cube said...

Lisa: Others don't know, but Lisa is a friend, and a very elegant one at that. Do something like that for your Mom, Lisa. NOT for the snooty cousin.

7:34 PM  
Blogger kob said...

I'm sorry for anyone who suffers from hydrangeasous. Hopefully, that will be covered in ObamaCare.

8:48 PM  
Blogger Washington Cube said...

KOB: That would be ObamaCareā„¢.

9:23 PM  
Blogger Cyndy said...

That is so gorgeous! I can't imagine anyone wanting to unwrap a present that is so beautifully wrapped. I think I'd cut the bottom out and pull out the contents that way just so that I could keep the wrapped box more or less intact.

3:02 PM  
Blogger Washington Cube said...

Cyndy: Someone actually did that once with one of my gifts. Some friends marrying wanted things reflecting their tastes, and again, knowing the bride, I wrapped their gift using a pearlized kitty cheetahprint paper.

Then, I don't know why, I made them a jumping broom, and they weren't into any of that, that I knew of... but I had this "vision" in my head and made a small broom covered with lilies and roses and pearls and wheat and the handle in white stain Celtic weave ribbon and pearls. They loved it so much they incorporated it into the wedding, wrote it into the program (I had added a sheet explaining every symbolic thing on the broom,) and then after the wedding shadow boxed it with other wedding things. THEN...her brother was getting married in Jamaica...Barbados...one of the islands...and they shipped the broom down there for HIS wedding, then it came back home into the box. You just never know how things will strike people.

5:46 PM  
Blogger d i a n a m u s e said...

Oh, but you're a wonderful friend.

11:07 AM  
Blogger Washington Cube said...

Diana: She's not even a friend, more like an acquaintance. I did not report how sour my manicurist was over the whole business, but I think it started when she wasn't invited to the wedding.

12:37 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

wow, you put a ton of effort into that wrapping job- beautiful work, WC!

i'm sorry things aren't going well in your life. I relate- it's so surreal, the dizzy optimism of weddings. sometimes, i feel like they are so blown out of proportion, how can the rest of life live up to those expectations?

3:55 PM  

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