Working for the Weekend… Again

Well, once again, it’s been a busy week and weekend (so far) over here. Right this second, I am waiting for a few files to upload and then… the Crafty Broads website will be live and ready for action! I would LOVE your feedback – please email me or comment here if you have a chance to check it out.

I am SO. EXCITED. to be done making the website. Although it didn’t take me long in total number of hours, it has really eaten up the last couple of weeks, and I have other projects I want to work on.

Here’s the rundown of things that are in the works:

  • Next week, we’re meeting with a potential client who is looking for a custom wedding dress (very exciting, especially since she wants something 30s and bias-cut, which we adore)
  • Also next week or the week after, I’ll be doing a guest post on another blog (I’ll link when it’s up)
  • I’ve got two big events to stage manage in August – a friend’s wedding and a handful of small parties being held around the country which will kick off a major event celebrating the legalization of same-sex marriage in New York. (You can read about it here and here.) Also? Same-sex couples are getting married there RIGHT THIS MINUTE, thanks to some nice judges and government officials who kept buildings open late and came in on their days off to dispense forms and officiate nuptials. Hooray for that! (Still waiting on you, Illinois. Ahem, downstate…get with the program.)
  • I’m hoping that tomorrow I’ll get time to work on the pattern for a custom three-piece suit we’re making, which I’ve been wanting to work on for way too long now.
  • If I ever finish all these other obligations, I have a ton of sewing projects for myself to get started (or finished, as the case may be) on too!

In food news, tonight I made a horribly unhealthy, carb-filled meal of latkes and butternut squash mac & cheese. Both were delicious. I am in carb heaven. I promise to eat veggies tomorrow.*

And with that, I am calling it a day.

*Julia disagrees, but squash is totally a vegetable.

The First Anniversary is Paper.

Or so I’m told. And today, continuing our wedding DIY madness posts, I bring you: paper. (What, you thought I was going to think of something clever there? Nope.) One of the most time-consuming projects for our wedding was the paper suite and accompanying website. I spent many hours perfecting the bits and pieces that everyone would see before the big day. Not because I was worried about what they’d think so much as because I like doing that kind of stuff and I happen to be a bit of a perfectionist. Many of you likely know already that the two of us are quite fond of retro and period styles in fashion. We particularly enjoy the 1930s for the prevalence of gloriously low backs and the golden age of bias cuts. What you may not know is that this love expands into the rest of our lives when we look at things like furniture (reupholstery posts are really overdue) and architecture. Simply put, we like old stuff way better than new, at least as far as style is concerned. (If you want to talk about safety and function, I’ll take my electricity grounded, my surges protected, my power tools new and bright yellow, and my staple gun pneumatic, thank you very much. But that’s another story for another day.) Given that, we decided on a 1930s art deco style theme for our printed and online goods. After much hemming and hawing over fonts, countless nights tracing outlines in Illustrator, and a kinda steep learning curve for web forms, we ended up with these:

save-the-date postcard (left), invitation (right), thank you cards (center front & back)

[Julia’s update] The Save-the-Date design was pretty simple – we went with an image of Chicago that imitated the movie and theatre posters that would have been prevalent in the 20’s and 30’s, in that art deco style. We decided to go with an image of the city because it was so iconic, but also because we weren’t big fans of the typical flowers and hearts that accompany most wedding announcements. That just wasn’t our style. The “One Night Only” and listing of our names as starring players was more us, because so many of our friends know us as behind-the-scenes players in the theatre industry, so listing our names as top billing, like a poster or playbill, was not only a nod to our careers, but also what it might be like to attend an event where we starred for once, instead of just running the show. 

The art deco style was important to our wedding because it was the style of the wedding ring that I’d found in antique store and given to Cindy when I proposed. Once we chose that style, everything else seemed to easily inform our other paper choices. The invitation design was actually inspired by one of our friends who attended and helped with the wedding. He came to a party we were having in our home once, and saw a photo of the two of us from when we’d first met. It was taken during our first getaway together, on a weekend trip to Wisconsin, where Cindy whisked me away to a bed and breakfast. It was one of those photos that you take with one hand while facing the camera, but we had given up trying to pose and managed to capture a kiss instead. He saw that photo and said that it would be the perfect Save-the Date for our wedding. I agreed, but thought it would be a better use as our invitation image. Cindy used her Illustrator skills to trace the image in that photo, and since we were going with the art deco style, we drew some long, luxurious hair onto our heads that would do dramatic things that our short hair never could have done in that photo.

inside of our invitations

We continued the motif of the Chicago skyline on the inside of the invitations, and we decided to include it on our thank you cards, too. The thank you card image was very easy, as it was one of the many stupid-grinned photos of us from the wedding, and it pretty much said all we needed to say.

Cindy put a lot of energy and many hours of work into the website. She made it not only look gorgeous, and in the same motif as the paper items, but it was also incredibly functional for all our guests. There were links to the hotel, the restaurant, maps, and to RSVP online. She even created a form for our guests to help us build our wedding playlist, buy requesting any song they felt like listening to at the reception. My favorite feature, though, was our online gift registry. We used a website that allowed us to create a registry out of any gift that you could buy online. This was helpful to us because we didn’t want to be stuck only having things from a single store (we have eclectic tastes) and because the one store we would have chosen didn’t have a gift registry. We chose things we found all over the internet, and our guests could purchase exactly what we wanted and have them sent directly to our home, which was pretty great. We also gave our guests the option to simply give us money online, to help us pay for our Boston wedding, and to buy us Foodie Registry gift certificates, which helped launch us into our first year of eating fabulously well, and starting our very own blog about food (and obviously, other things.)

The website was designed to match our paper goods, and you can check out all the bells and whistles at this link, if you like. Here’s a screenshot/sneak peak:

(Is it Friday yet? I feel like it should be. And that I should go to the beach… Anybody with me?)

Update: Julia says I’m not finished writing this post because it’s clear to everyone that I just said to hell with it and ended it without really, well, having an ending. So. Here goes.

the original photo
finished invitation

I suppose I could tell you about how this illustration on the front of our invitations was taken from a photo we took of ourselves on our first trip together way back in the summer of 2006.

We were sooooooo in love (we still are, but not in that brand new relationship way) and we skipped town for just one night, drove way up into Wisconsin, and stayed at a lovely little B&B.; On the way up, we stopped at a lakefront park for a picnic on the beach, and on the way back we hiked through another state park that was full of waterfalls. We climbed onto a giant log in the middle of a stream and carved our initials along with a zillion other people’s…

On that trip, we were maybe six weeks into our relationship. But we were both sure enough that it would last to leave an impression in the bark. And to grow out our hair.

here come the brides

First, we got married. In Chicago. [July 5, 2010]

And held our simple, but lovely reception at RoPa Restaurant, where they served our guests a 3-course family-style meal, with plenty of wine to share…

Fried Calamari, RoPa Salad, Chicken “Chops” with roasted potatoes, Baked Tilapia with roasted tomatoes and seasonal vegetables, Penne with artichokes, olives, and feta in a creamy tomato sauce

…and where we also ate this magnificent cake (made and accidentally squished by Cindy)

Top tier: vanilla almond cake with fresh summer berries and pastry cream
Middle tier: devil’s food cake with dark chocolate-espresso whipped cream
Bottom tier: pumpkin cake with ginger buttercream

Then we got married again. Legally. In Boston. [July 19, 2010]

Naturally, we ate again!

This time, we chose to splurge on a little French restaurant, Bistro du Midi, where for the first time we ate somewhere where professional chefs and true “foodies” would love the food just as much as we did.  We started out with a bottle of champagne (compliments of the restaurant – we did just get married, after all!), then had some appetizers of mussels, foie gras, and salad.  After much deliberation on the choice of wine, we were finally on to our main courses…

Seared Duck Breast, Swiss Chard, Gnocchi, Black Olives

Grilled Rack of Lamb, Panisse Croquette, Green Olives and Fava Beans

And our friend Rosita had a Ribeye special with Cremini, Chantarelle, and Portobello Mushrooms

…and also some desserts, which we scarfed down so fast we completely failed to photograph them. Cindy had Rhubarb Rose Crumble with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, and Julia had a Lemon Tart with Fresh Berries and Basil Ice Cream. Both were amazing. (Hence, the lack of pictures due to complete focus on eating.)

But this blog is just as much about our cooking adventures as our eating-out adventures.  In fact, so far this year we have eaten out more rarely than ever before, since our tastes have made us much more discriminating.  Plus, we love to cook, and have become pretty good at it, too.

So now that our wedding and mini-honeymoon are over, there are daily occasions to cook and eat great food.

And so begins our journey.