Life has been busy and I haven't had the time or energy to post much recently as I'm sure you've noticed. I'm going away for seven weeks in just one month -yikes- and there is still so much to do. Not to mention dealing with all the other curve balls that life throws at you. I hope you are able to bear with me.
One of my most recent obsessions distractions is pouring over the wedding photos that we got from the photographer on the weekend. I'm in the process of making a photobook, which I love doing. I thought I would share some of my favourite photos.
And just in case you think I only like photos without faces, here are a few others I adore.
Thank you all for your lovely comments about the wedding. We all look back on it with warm and happy memories and are pleased that it was so wonderful and that now Malcolm and Christie are starting their lives together.
I have to say that the combination of the wedding and getting some shots to go overseas and doing some extra driving to take Kate to work last week have plum near worn me out. Fortunately this past weekend was spent at the cottage. It was a weekend of rest and thoughtful walks (fast walks, I might add, to keep the black flies from getting me),
and wading around in the water which was surprisingly warm for the Victoria Day long weekend,
and eating chocolate chip cookies,
and reading lovely Summer magazines which I poured over from cover-to-cover.
My Mother's flower garden was looking lovely with the daffodils blooming,
and the pansies smiling,
and of course loads of forget-me-nots.
The forest had its own quieter beauty with the soft greens of new spring growth
and forest flowers.
It was lovely to be away from the routines of life for three days, but good to be back as well.
Yesterday was Malcolm, our oldest son, and Christie's wedding. The bride and groom radiated joy and happiness.
The weather was misty and rainy and created a beautiful soft backdrop to the photos taken in the gazebo. Fortunately we got the outdoor photos taken before it really started to rain and the weather didn't really interfere too much with the rest of the day.
The flowers worked out well and Christie and her sister, who was the maid of honour, were thrilled with them.
My friend came over on Friday and helped Kate and me make all the bouquets, corsages, boutonnieres, and flowers for the centre of the tables. Together we were a flower making machine as we had everything made by noon. Not only that, but I had bought all the flowers from our local grocery store and had had to eyeball the quantity as I wasn't sure how much I would really need. I figured I could go out and get more if we ran short. After we were finished making everything I gathered up the leftovers and there were only ten flowers remaining!
On Saturday we went early and had photos taken before the wedding service so it wouldn't interfere with the rest of the day. After we had finished taking the photos we all needed some coffee. You can see in the photo below the bride and groom standing in the coffee shop with their timbits and coffee. Oh so Canadian!
The wedding service was personal and lovely. The fathers of the bride and groom served communion, friends played the piano, sang a solo, and played during the signing of the register, and my brother read a scripture reading, and my Mother said the prayers. I loved how the church was decorated with colourful banners - such a gorgeous backdrop for the wedding.
The reception afterward was an afternoon tea, which perfectly suited Malcolm and Christie.
There were several types of tea along with coffee and punch. There were sandwiches, crackers and cheese, veggies, scones with a variety of jams, a dessert table,
and cupcakes instead of a traditional cake along with a fruit bouquet. It was delicious and casual and fun.
I had suggested to Christie's mother that we give each other's child a special cup to use at the afternoon tea. Christie's family is from the Netherlands so her Mother bought Malcolm a cup from the Dutch shop in town. I decided to go with a sentimental cup. My Mother and Father were given many tea cups at their wedding 55 years ago (some of which she has given to me) so I asked my Mother is she would be willing to give one to Christie, which she did. So my Mother selected this one for Christie from her collection. You can see Malcolm and Christie using their special cups in the photo below.
Malcolm and Christie had sent out an email ahead of time letting everyone know that they would kiss at the reception, but not when people clinked on glasses. They would only kiss when someone sang a song, told a story, recited a poem etc. Everyone was very creative and it was a lot of fun. Jonathan and I told three stories about how smart, charming, and frugal Malcolm is and how we can see these same qualities in Christie and what a great match they are and how we have enjoyed seeing them grow in love and affection for each other.
The flowers have been sorted out and bouquets and corsages made.
The food has been ordered and the cupcakes are being made.
I have my dress.
And the bride and groom have been counting down for ages.
Tomorrow's the day - Malcolm, our oldest son, is getting married to a wonderful girl. I will be there with a smile on my face, joy in my heart (and between you and me a tissue in my purse - just in case).
I was reading the June 2011 Style at Home magazine and saw this article by Steven and Chris where they outline step-by-step how to decorate your mantel. It looked pretty foolproof so I thought I would give it a try.
Our mantel still had the pussy willows in beer bottles spring display that you can see here. It really was time for a change.
So here is what I did:
We already have a large engraving hung over our fireplace which I used as my starting off point. Steven and Chris used a large vertical mirror resting on the mantel, but our engraving is already hung several inches above the mantel so I went with it.
I had to pinch the woodblock print of the woman fly-fishing from the front hall. It not only had the golds and blacks that went with the engraving, but it seemed sort of summery with the fishing.
I'm not sure if the Mason jars have movement or not, but I liked the summery colours so I used them. I also had them in two different heights which was good so that I could get the all important triangle shape.
I had a much harder time decorating the right side of the mantel than the left. I decided to try the nautical knots that I won in a giveaway from Suzanne at Meridian Road last year. I really like their texture and symmetry and I love how much they help evoke the summer mood.
I tried several versions of tall wispy branches, but they all just looked strange in front of the engraving so I finally went with a tall glass cylinder candle holder (which you can see in the photo above). It's tall enough to overlap with the frame of the etching which helps bridge the gap between the mantel and the etching.
When step 6 called for boxes, I immediately thought of the beautiful box that Malcolm and Christie gave us for our 30th anniversary. The box needed a little height so I tried stacking numerous things on top of it which I will show you in the photos at the end of the post.
I also added an additional item under the etching as it seemed a little bare on the mantel since the etching is hanging rather than leaning. I tried several things in that spot as well.
So here's a sketch of Steven and Chris's final version:
And here are some photos of variations that I went through (trying out different things on the box and under the etching):
Any one of these versions call out to you as the clear winner? I'm really not sure which one I like best, although the last version is the one I left.
I have to say it was a useful exercise. It helped me decorate the mantel with more confidence and made me try items that I wouldn't have ordinarily put together.
Hi, I'm Grace from Toronto, Canada. Welcome to Sense and Simplicity. This is my little corner of blogland where I like to talk about family, decorating, photography, food, and travel - all done with sense and simplicity.
Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org