Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Vaya con dios LA! We're headed for the mitten!

Actually we are already in the Michigan. Apparently no one outside of Michigan thinks it looks like a mitten. But they are wrong. We flew into Detroit last night, and arrived at Jack's Grandpa and Grandmas house in Ann Arbor around 2am. We went to bed at 3am, and Jack woke up at 8am. Yay vacation!

We are here for our annual visit to see family, and eat Zingermans, and swim in Torch Lake. But this year is special because Nipper Knapp's cousin Todd is getting married to the lovely Anne Marie, at Nipper's parent's house on the 25th of July. They've asked me to shoot the wedding. After shooting my good friend Misao's wedding in Sonoma, last summer, I am excited I get to shoot another wedding, of a couple I love.

The wedding photographer has to be willing to wrangle people on what is both a happy, and sometimes chaotic day. Someone has to be willing to tell your aunt Esther and uncle Frank to stop dilly dallying at the shrimp buffet, and get their booties over to the shady overlook, for group pictures. At the same time, you have to be able to make yourself invisible during the wedding. Oh and get great shots. For some reason, I thought I would hate bossing around a bunch of people. Nipper thinks this is really funny. I loved it.

Todd and Anne Marie thought it would be fun to have a photobooth type thing at the wedding. Meema and I found this great fabric that went with their rustic Gatsby-ish wedding theme. We decided I would sew it together and we would hang it just inside the doors to the barn. Simple, simple, simple. HA!

Problem number one, was that we bought about 1/3 as much fabric as we needed, and when I went back, they were out of it. Merde. It looked sad and weird, and wasn't nearly wide enough.


So, I thought maybe I could sew some other fabric onto the sides, like the pale green seersucker we were going to use for table runners. But that would have looked horrible, and the pictures would have been a trainwreck, and I would be cast out of the Knapp family forever. I procrastinated so long, that the last time I was in Michael Levine shopping for fabric to make a bench cushion for the play room, (that's right, I'm going to take a whack at upholstery) they had gotten more of the fabric in, and it was on sale! I bought more, and set out to sew it into one large piece.

Problem number two: I smashed the window.

Meems had given me the measurements of the opening in the barn, and I wanted to see how long the panels were exactly. If they were too long, I'd to ship my backdrop kit to Michigan. But if they were just right, we could nail it to the rafters. SO, while Jack was napping, I started to unfurl the fabric on the floor of the living room, while holding the tape measure. It just slipped. In my cro-mag brain, the motion of throwing my arms out, made my hand fly open, and I underhand tossed it, with all my might right into my dish cabinet. We always thought Jack would be the one to smash the breakfront. Whoopsy daisy. One call to Highland Park Glass, and 45 minutes, and $76 later, it was fixed. BTW, the backdrop is exactly 9 feet tall.

Problem number three arose when I decided to applique the date of the wedding across the middle of the backdrop. I've mentioned before that my sewing machine was not really in use for a few years, (ok, 17), and so it had some timing issues. I thought I'd be able to do that tight applique stitch that I did by hand, on Jack's wall hanging last year, faster, if I did it on the machine. Uhm, no.

It looks like Edward Scissor hands, got crafty. Nipper says it's cute, but how do I know if he was even talking about the backdrop. He might have thought I was asking about my hair. "Uh-huh, yeah, that looks cute. No I don't think anyone will notice but you."

Problem number four has not a lot to do with the backdrop, and more to do with my total inability to focus on one thing at a time. I started this project in April, and finished it last Thursday. Not because it took me that long. The whole thing, including applique, and the multiple shopping trips, took about 4 hours total. But that's 4 hours spread out over about 10 afternoons, and nights, of me spreading the fabric out on the floor and staring at it, while Nipper silently cursed me.

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