Event Planning Remembered

Once upon a time, in a universe far, far away, I use to work in a home-based business of event planning. I have worked on weddings, birthdays (children’s and adults), graduations, showers, anniversaries, retirements, promotions, dedications, after-prom parties, sporting events, and even general “just because” celebrations. I enjoyed working with people and helping them realize their dreams for their special moments in life. Though the work was sometimes long, the results were worth it.

I remember gathering up decorations, ribbons, bows, flowers, trinkets, pictures, and various other oddities which happened to come across my path for events in the making. From flowers to party favors, I had a blast.

Why am I bringing this up now after almost ten years? Simply for the fact that I am again helping a soon-to-be-bride with her wedding. Though it’s only a small part in the planning process, it’s among the most important. After all, what is a bride to do with her nervous hands if she isn’t holding a bouquet?

Working on her flowers, party favors and other small details she hadn’t thought of, the process has made me think back to the days when I would drive around town and walk miles of store floors on a quest to find a particular item. I can still feel the excitement build up within my stomach as if butterflies were taking flight while searching through shelves of items. From knickknacks to flower baskets to beads to confetti, I can recall each detail of each event. The sweet scent of the flowers in a floral shop for a retirement dinner. The strong smells of perfumes and cologne which seemed to follow me throughout the department stores as I put together gift bags for a woman’s 50th birthday. The sounds of the clanking metal on golf clubs for a man’s retreat. The process of sitting with the hostess, working through colors and themes, trying to get a picture of what their ideas look like or helping them form cohesive ideas. The whole process built with creativity and imagination. These are moments etched into my memory, being brought back to life as I work on the arrangements for the next event, as if my memories were part of a scratch and sniff sticker. With each cutting of a stem or inserting the ribbon, the past seemed that much closer. It was a time when I was working and enjoying every moment of it.

I have some pictures of the flowers I have worked on and decided to share them with you. Due to the fact there is still almost a year before the wedding, and I wanted to offer her the ability to change her mind or add suggestions, none of the flowers are glued or taped permanently, so excuse any wires you might see.

The left side is a bridesmaid bouquet – top and stem. The right sides are two wrist corsages I made for her to decide upon. The top right is a ribbon corsage made of the same green and purple ribbons I used on the bouquet’s stem. Again, these are made for the purpose of seeing possibilities.  Although, she has decided to keep the bridesmaids and her own bouquets as I made them, I have not cut them to the proper sizes. Hers is a solid green rose bouquet with the white pearl water droplets which I posted as part of my Photo Challenge: Round picture.

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Sunday’s Sweetness

I’m grateful for

The sun shine! 

After weeks of endless rain, the sun has graced us with its powerful presence.

 I’m reading

Spinward Fringe Broadcast 0: Origins


 I’m hoping

That broken toes will heal fast!

I broke my two smallest toes a couple of weeks ago while trying to hide Easter Eggs for my little kiddies. I use “little” very loosely as two of them are teenagers and probably would not be interested in searching for wee plastic eggs if not for their younger brother.

 I’m cooking

Nothing tonight—Mother’s day—Kids “cooked” at Subway! 😉

Last night my husband took us out to the movies (Thor in 3-D) and then to dinner at the Texas Roadhouse for Mother’s Day.

 I’ve learned

Skipping allergy medicine during high pollen counts is a bad idea.

I’ve also learned my youngest son joins the ranks of us with Asthma. The doctor is hopeful his asthma is seasonal and will disappear when the season changes–unlike me and my other son.

 I found

Some old vinyl records while cleaning out my garage.

I’ve been organizing and tossing things we haven’t used in the past 12 months. In the midst of opening boxes, I felt like a kid at Christmas as I found two boxes of vinyls from the 60’s through the 80’s. Now I’m on the search for one of those multi-media players to record the vinyls on CDs or cassettes.

 Picture of the week:

After a bit of rain, I was planting flowers and taking pictures. I couldn’t resist a close up of the rain drops on the leaves.

Fabulous Friday

This week has been a learning one for us, even though the boys are on Spring Break. The 8th graders have a science report due next week and are allowed to work on the project with fellow students. They have spent a couple of days working on a solar system project.

The first part of the project involved the boys to create the solar system back drop. What type of canvas did they wish to use? Poster board, model clay, 3-D art, and the list goes on. My son decided to try something different, he decided to use the PlayStation 3’s Little Big Planet 2 game to make the platform for this project. An interesting twist to the regular presentation of a science report.

Little Big Planet 2 allows the users the ability to create and design their own games and levels. I am unsure about the details of it, but my son was able to manipulate textures and shapes to create his own solar system.

Astronaut Sack Boy

The other two boys came over during the week and they worked on putting the report together while the little Sack Boy would jet pack to each planet. Excuse me, the little Sack Boy Astronaut.

After spending about ten hours in my son’s room, writing, editing, making changes both in the report itself and within the PS3 system, take a break and return to edit and make further changes, they emerged with the presentation being completed. The boys declared the job done. The next step, view the video and edit to create the final presentation. Sounded easy enough, but there’s more to this story.

The following day, my husband and I attempted to transfer the camcorder video to the computer, but failed. The computer system is 2010 but the camcorder is more along the lines of 1990-something. What happens when a driver from the ’90’s meets a Windows 7 computer? Absolutely nothing. Yep. There are no drivers available.

The other boys came over this afternoon and had to recreate the presentation, this time using my camera’s video option. To make matters more insane, the boys did not save the report on the laptop. They wrote it and then did not save it. Can you say “total meltdown”? These young teens were like atoms in a frying pan. Not sure which way to go, yet moving everywhere.

In the end, I had the three of them sit around the kitchen table, playing the video while I was typing out the script for them to read, but this time I saved the report. After setting them up in the room with my camera recording the movements of Astronaut Sack Boy through space, I took the youngest and left the house. When we returned, the boys were ready for the next step. My husband took the memory, mixed it with some windows live video editing program and waalaa — the boys had their finished project each on their own flash drive. Thank you modern world!

Some still shots I took from their presentation…I love technology!

Bumbling bowling balls, Batman!

My youngest son was invited to a bowling birthday party. He had never bowled before and was a tad bit anxious about bowling in front of his friends.  Sean was paranoid. He thought they would all laugh at him. The birthday girl came over to him, gave him a hug, and tried to convince him there was nothing to worry about. He eyed her suspiciously and looked over at my husband and I, as if we had some special parental powers. Sean didn’t want to bowl, or rather I should say, he outright refused to bowl. Silly me, I figured he was looking forward to bowling since he had been excited from the day he brought home the invitation. But place him in front of the lanes, with his friends circling around him and wham! he decides to shut down.

Matt, my other son, asks if he could bowl with Sean. Sean’s eyes brightened as if the sun appeared after being hidden for days. Who knew all it took was the big brother to say something? He must have “brother magic”.

For a couple of hours, Sean and his friends laughed and howled as their bowling balls went bouncing off the bumper pads, slowly making the journey to end of the lane. Twenty 8 and 9 year olds were hovering around each others lanes, observing, commenting, and joking as the bowling balls were flying fast, or moving painfully slow, towards the pins. These kids did not care if the pins fell over or if the ball suddenly took a plunge into the gutter, they had a blast.

To our surprise, after the party ended, Sean asked if we could stay longer so he could bowl some more. Talk about a turn around! We decided to encourage this behavior and ended up bowling for another two hours, just the four of us. We plan to go again, this time bringing the “big teen”.

What could be better than spending a few hours with the family, laughing and playing together? Not much, I say, not much.