Sunday, November 28, 2010

Five days

I mostly finished my bodice last night, complete with the beads. Just need to attach the sleeves and closure. Oh, and get out two damned ink marks each about 6" long. Ugh. So today's agenda was to get the ink out and then more beading on my skirt. Maybe another 1,000 beads to go. Thousands of aurora borealis Swarovski crystals is stunning. I'll probably add some to my veil, which I made last night. I was also going to make the top tier of my wedding cake today. It's fruitcake because fruitcake gets better after a year, unlike other cakes that get nasty after a year, no matter how they're saved.

I didn't finish the fruitcake, but I've made some good progress on beading. With some persistence and a late night, I may be able to get most of it finished tonight, and the rest tomorrow night.

Tonight: Bead bead bead, iron hem

Monday: Finish beading, finish hem, button on waistband, sleeves, bodice closure, hooks to support skirt. Fruitcake!

Tuesday: Anything that didn't get done between Friday and Monday, eyes on Charlotte's dress, finish one of the flower girl sashes, tack Shell's sash to her dress, make a dress for Charlotte's birthday, corsages.

Wednesday: Charlotte has a dr's appt.,
then finishing centerpieces, get menus and programs printed and menus cut

Thursday: Make my wedding cake (yes!!), get vanilla bottles labeled, fruitcakes ribboned, clean the house!!

Friday: Get mails done, make dinner for Charlotte's birthday, any residual work for the wedding

Saturday: Breakfast with Santa, BS around until 11:30, get my hair done, get my makeup done, head to Santa Barbara and get dressed, try not to panic!!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Six days left to prepare

Well, tonight I'm making my veil, as soon as I post this. Struck off the list anyway.

Wednesday: Bead until I'm out of beads
Thursday: Beading as much as I can while at mother-in-law-to-be's house if I have any beads left (probably won't), design the menus for reception dinner and the ceremony program
Friday: Getting my hair done, marking the hem for my skirt,
starting/fittingmostly making my bodice, starting skirt hem
Saturday:
Trip to LA for more beads, bead bead bead my skirt, finishing skirt hem
Sunday: Bead bead bead my bodice
Monday:
Hem Charlotte's dress, buttons, make my veil
Tuesday: Anything that didn't get done between Friday and Monday, finish one of the flower girl sashes, tack Shell's sash to her dress, make a dress for Charlotte's birthday
Wednesday: Charlotte has a dr's appt.,
then finishing centerpieces, get menus and programs printed and menus cut
Thursday: Make my wedding cake (yes!!)
Friday: Get mails done, make dinner for Charlotte's birthday, any residual work for the wedding
Saturday: Breakfast with Santa, BS around until 11:30, get my hair done, get my makeup done, head to Santa Barbara and get dressed, try not to panic!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Agenda for days remaining until the wedding

It's 10 days out from the wedding. Let's just say eight. Today's almost finished, and I'm not doing prep the day of. There are eight days BETWEEN now and then, eight days left to get a lot done. I'll be getting more beads on Saturday and still have a TON of work to do in that regard. I haven't even cut out the bodice of my dress.

Planned agenda:
Tonight: Bead until I'm out of beads
Tomorrow: Beading as much as I can while at mother-in-law-to-be's house if I have any beads left (probably won't), design the menus for reception dinner and the ceremony program
Friday: Getting my hair done, making the hem for my skirt, starting/fitting/mostly making my bodice, starting skirt hem
Saturday: Trip to LA for more beads, bead bead bead my skirt, finishing skirt hem
Sunday: Bead bead bead my bodice
Monday: Hem Charlotte's dress, buttons, make my veil
Tuesday: Anything that didn't get done between Friday and Monday, finish one of the flower girl sashes, tack Shell's sash to her dress, make a dress for Charlotte's birthday
Wednesday: Charlotte has a dr's appt., then finishing centerpieces, get menus and programs printed and menus cut
Thursday: Make my wedding cake (yes!!)
Friday: Get mails done, make dinner for Charlotte's birthday, any residual work for the wedding
Saturday: Breakfast with Santa, BS around until 11:30, get my hair done, get my makeup done, head to Santa Barbara and get dressed, try not to panic!!

Cody will be helping with the non-dress stuff, so he's not off the hook!! He is off for 10 days starting Wednesday.

Decided

I decided that I'm going to forge ahead with remaking the order, as the client originally agreed to (to top it off, I agreed she could keep both orders when/if the first shows up). She hasn't agreed to returning the first package if she receives a refund and then it shows up. I think I'm being fair with this. The post office hasn't yet declared the package a loss. If anyone wants to give me grief about this, I'll scan the customs receipt and tracking slip dated and stamped by the post office and direct any grief-givers to the usps.com site to see for themselves that it shipped.

Exhausted!

Well, I started beading Charlotte's dress again after taking off everything I already did. I had the bodice finished, but hated it, so off with them. Well, one Lord of the Rings trilogy later, I've finished the beading on her entire dress, with a bit of time in the trilogy to spare. Very pretty and sparkly. Just need to hem it, add some sort of buttons, and maybe sew in a light petticoat.

I'm almost out of the beads I need to finish my gown. Crud. At least the bank is straightened out now, so we've got our money back.

Now for the headaches.

The power steering in the car went out. Could be the serpentine belt, could be the pump needs to be replaced. At least, of all the things that can go wrong with the car, it's this. The car is still drivable.

Bigger headache is I made an order for someone in Europe, mailed it last month, got tracking on it, but it was only scanned once - when it was accepted. The post office on my end is supposed to try tracking it down. So far I've heard no news. Since I know she didn't get it (tracking would show she did), I was going to remake after my wedding if she didn't receive it before then, and she was fine with that. But she decided that since she didn't get it yet, that it means she was ripped off and wants a refund. Despite me having proof of shipping, which the post office doesn't give for thin air. She is the first client I've ever had who didn't receive what she ordered. It's not her fault, but it's not mine either. Still, even though it's not my fault and I have proof, I offered to remake everything as a rush by pushing back a dress I was going to be making as a gift. My contract states that lost orders will be remade, with a rush if possible. I think I should hold to my contract, forge ahead and remake the order, shipping via FedEx this time.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Macy's resolved!

Customer service tol me today, regarding not getting my gift cards credited back, that "that's just the risk you take when using gift cards online." This wasn't acceptable, so I went to Macy's in person, spoke with the homewares department manager, showed him the printouts from my account on macys.com and the UPS tracking showing Macy's received everything back to their warehouse in Arizona without it ever being delivered, and so he was determined to resolve this and said I'd been more than patient enough.

He called macys.com and spoke with a manager there, and was given the run-around. They agreed to issue a credit, but not until they process the return items, though they know the boxes were unopened, and that should be by the end of the week, and then they'd issue the credit, which would take 7-10 more days to process, and then a new order could be placed. The other manager told him I was welcome to place a new order, pay, and then wait to be credited. When the other manager said that, he went 110% to bat for me and straight up said I should not have to pay twice and wait around weeks more for them to fix their error when they had it in their notes that it was supposed to be redirected to me and instead was redirected back to them. But oh no, macys.com wouldn't budge.

So he spoke with the store manager to see what could be done since they don't carry the exact items I ordered in that store. The solution was definitely acceptable to me. Since it would be, in all likelihood, another month to get what I ordered online, and they didn't have the items, they offered comparable items, regardless of cost. Lee, the manager helping me, found the nicest comparable items they had. The best of the regular aluminum cookie sheets (non-stick makes sucky cookies unless you line it with parchment every time), the best roasting pan, etc.. In the end, what I got was about 3x what I originally paid, and better quality.

Lee at the Oaks Macy's, you rock, and you saved Macy's from losing a customer.

Once our bank account is credited from the second round of unauthorized Paypal transactions (this time on my debit card, which was on the account, and both are not cut and we're waiting for new cards), everything from last week that went wrong will be righted, and we're actually better off now than we would have been.

Yay, beads!

Well, I decided on another bead patter, and it looks AMAZING. After an all-nighter, I'd be finished if Charlotte hadn't woken up wanting to play.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Fiasco!

So the crystal beads I ordered for my gown back in October hadn't arrived. So I placed an order for some glass ones through a store in Washington, but before they could process, whoever's been in our Paypal account did it again, using my debit card that was on the account. So both our cards were cancelled and new ones ordered. Cue meltdown because first beads didn't arrive, second beads couldn't ship. Two weeks out and no beads. I went online to the garment district in LA to see what I could find, and found a place with Swarovski crystals for only about 3X what I paid for the first ones, so Theola (Cody's mom) and I went yesterday. We got back home, I checked the mail...and the crystals from October were there.

*wall, meet head*

So I stayed up late last night crystaling Charlotte's dress first, and finished the entire bodice, and...I don't like it. I'm actually pretty sure I hate it.

I'm also going to regret it if my mom's not at my wedding.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Oh geez

Well. What do you know. Today our serving staff for the lodge backed out. Well, it's a good thing we found the other place. AND! And our bank account was credited today for those Paypal charges.

So now we have a new venue with better food overlooking the ocean like I originally wanted and can have alcohol without additional permits and security fees (cash and carry, we are NOT paying for a night of drinking) and all staff and everything built in. We are saving money that can go toward helping our attendants if they need is. We're actually in a better spot right now than we were. Only difference is there's no dancing at the restaurant, but that's okay because we weren't planning it to be a dancing event.

So now tomorrow we go put don a deposit on the new venue and get things started on replanning the reception.

Also our new TV arrived yesterday. It's this sucker. It's replacing our Toshiba DLP. Back in its day, in the Long Long Ago of 2005, this sucker was considered a really nice HDTV. Now? Well 780i just isn't what it used to be. Or it is, but it's now old tech. We were watching Iron Man on it and, like a dork, I kept going, "Oh my god, did you see that? It's like he's not even on the screen!" Heh. And then Toy Story 3 in HD. Technically the TV is a combination wedding/birthday gift for Cody, but, to be fair, we both benefit equally. I think I'll get a Blu Ray player. :) Well, we. :)

All right, I still need to finish my gown and Charlotte's. Still. I'm about to place another crystal order since the one I placed a month ago hasn't arrived. My veil. A few centerpieces. Not much, just not much time left. :)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Okie-dokie!

So there was another attempt to withdraw money from our bank account via Paypal. Well, four of them. For over $1,000 total. I've regularly used Paypal with my bank, both to receiving and withdrawing payments, as well as for making payments, rarely for more than $500 at a time, and never for about a dozen transactions for over $2,000, and never for that much and then some past our bank account balance. So the manager at the bank is going to keep Paypal transactions frozen (fine with us!), and credit back the charges and fees today. This is a major relief!! After re-planning the reception last night, I feel like money's just been thrown at us!! We weren't planning to get it back.

And we're waiting to hear back from the events coordinator at one of our favorite ocean-viewing restaurants for the reception. If we can do that, amazing.

Now we're just dealing with Macy's still. They're still refunding to credit anything more than the $19.34 I paid by debit that was over the cost of the gift cards, and still saying I'm "welcome" to re-place the order and pay via debit at the current prices. Uh, no. I'm pissed off. That bakeware was supposed to be here yesterday. I planned tonight's dinner using one of the pans. Since it's one we don't have, I either have to refreeze a massive bird or go buy a pan locally.

Also Charlotte has poured some soy milk on the floor and is splashing around in it. She's happy, so I'm letting her. Thank goodness the floor is wood.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Well then!

We have figured out that it may be more cost-efficient to move the reception entirely, basically plan the whole thing from scratch 18 days out than to keep on track with what we were doing. Few enough people can make it that keeping it where it is right now would cost us about $120 per person, and the meal would be Italian. Moving it to a restaurant we love that has a private banquet room would cost us less than a third of that, and the meal choices would include prime rib and salmon, AND we'd overlook the ocean. We're waiting for a call back tomorrow to see if there is any minimum purchase for the room, if we can designate certain meal choices (the filet mignon/lobster combo, if everyone were to order it, would break the bank, and we can't pick and choose who can), and if we can nix alcohol from our tab. If so, then we'd be looking at spending less than just the remaining outstanding balance on the lodge. And we'd have enough left over to help the bridesmaid with the two flower girls and Cody's groomsman so they could all still be there with us!

Everything is falling apart

This has been a very bad day. The mildest of that Macy's screwed up an order I placed, sent it to the wrong address, promised eight times (I kept track) that it would be rerouted to me, but today it went back to the warehouse, and how they'll replace the order if I pay via debit for the full current amount. They said they're refunding what was paid via debit on the last order ($19 and change), but can't credit gift cards (another $100). Also I got everything on a Veteran's Day sale, and the price now is about $60 more.

Our Paypal account was hacked and our bank account charged down into the negative for it. If the credit union determines we couldn't have been more diligent in preventing being hacked, then we'll get some of it refunded, but if they think we could have been, we're on the hook for all of it. Worse, we do NOT have "courtesy pay" on the account, yet they allowed a couple transactions through AFTER it had gone negative. They bounces a third when in the negative, and the bounce fee is more than the "courtesy pay" fee! In the meantime, they will not do a courtesy credit and want us to deposit money to bring the account to 0 or higher. Um, no. Fuck you.

Also the wedding is falling apart. People are dropping left and right. Of the 3 bridesmaids, 1 bridesman, 2 groomsmen, 1 groomswoman, and 3 flower girls, at this point only the bridesman, groomswoman, and 1 flower girl (Charlotte!) can be there for sure. 2 bridesmaids are definitely out, the other doesn't know yet and the 2 other flower girls are hers, and both groomsmen are out (one was in a car accident today, but, thankfully, he's physically fine, though I don't think his car is). Various family members can't make it for various reasons, including very close ones. Right now we're at 36 yeses, including some of the people who've dropped out, taking our total to 30. Our venue is now way too large.

I'm so disappointed in everything right now.

And it doesn't help that the post office lost an order. A Titanic corset, the tea gown, flying gloves, boarding hat, and flying shawl. Order to France. The tracking shows it received by the post office, but from there, it's disappeared and they have no idea what happened to it. It was scanned only once, when it was received. So that's an order I'm remaking (obviously no charge to the customer), and it's not a cheap one either. Thankfully she's understanding and is still planning to place another order. It's just angering that this is the second package the post office lost this year. The first one was a loaner gown I was sending to someone, so it was my own gown.

I need a drink. I made one that my brother named Misty Mountainside. It's 1/3c vodka (I use Smirnov for this), 1/3c Kahlua, 1/3c Bailey's Irish Cream, 3 heaping tablespoons chocolate milk mix (Nesquik), and 1c milk. Yes, it's half alcohol. No, it doesn't taste like it. It tastes like a slightly warm chocolate milk. When Cody gets home, I'm having one. Maybe two. I need it. With today, I deserve it.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Ow

Not even 8am, and already Charlotte has knee-dropped onto my abdomen (VERY painful for me), pulled out a handful of my hair, bit a nipple hard enough to draw blood, poked me in the eye, and jabbed a finger into my nose hard enough to make me bleed. This is going to be a long day.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Seven years

Seven years ago today my dad died. It was a day that shattered many lives.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Of course the rain went away and left us with "nice" weather. Ugh.

It hit me about an hour ago that we have 25 days left. Oh my god. OH MY GOD. It doesn't feel like this is really happening, yet also doesn't feel like a lot of time. I'm in a state of near shock.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Rain rain stay here now!

We're finally getting a little more rain. I hope we get a ton, and that we get another thunder storm like the one we had a few weeks ago that went in non-stop for so long.

Today I got no sewing done. Instead we rearranged the laundry room, consolidated boxed and separated several for donation. Then I started organizing my sewing room at last, and moved several totes to the laundry room. It'll be nice to actually be able to sew in there. As a result of the cleaning, which I use loosely due to the disaster we made, we've got a pile 3' high of laundry in the family room. To be fair, it includes towels and blankets too. So much has been moved around today that I dread cleaning tomorrow. But at least the kitchen's done.

Charlotte is getting so big with 18mo-size clothing fitting her snuggly. She's beautiful, she's incredibly tall, and I think we may have a future-model on our hands, though this isn't what we desire. We hope to raise her to be a good, kind-hearted person rather than a model. Right now her favorite game is Share. If she's holding something, "Charlotte share?" and either take it from her or wait for her to give it. "Yay, Charlotte shared!! Mommy/Daddy share?" and give it to her. "Yay, Mommy/Daddy shared!! Charlotte share?" etc.. Usually now as soon as you start, she hands it over. She gets so excited when we go, "Yay, X shared!" and clap. Even her snacks she'll share if asked.

She also loves to take her little snacks and feed others. I can sit here with her and a few baby cheesy poofs, and she'll feed me one, so I'll feed her one. She looks so proud of herself putting food in our mouths. We think it's a good sign that she does to us the things we do to take care of her. We think it's good that she's learning to take care of others and that she is so happy for doing it. Lately she's also taken to grabbing one of our faces with her little hands and pulling it toward her, looking at us, smiling, then forehead-butting us and getting so excited she squeals. She's imitating us, only the squeal is her own. She's such a good, smart, sweet girl.

I've decided to make her flower girl dress out of the same fabric as my gown, pure silk duchesse satin and pintucked silk dupioni that I'll bead with Swarovski crystals. I'll start her gown probably Wednesday. As for mine, the corset is almost finished. Waiting for the boning, then I'll bind the bottom and add grommets, voila. After this, just hemming and beading the skirt, and the main outer bodice. I can't wait for it to be done.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Apple pi

The Facebook caption:

"Oh, Mom and Dad, you're lame, using an Apple phone to take a picture of an Apple pumpkin with an Apple TV in the background that you'll upload to the internet with an Apple computer."

Wedding stuff

Let's see. Two flower girl dresses are completely finished except for one sash. I still need to start Charlotte's.

One bridesmaid gown just needs to be hemmed and have the buttons put on. The other needs those but also the skirt to be cut and attached, and the sleeve bands put on.

I need to make the corset and bodice for my gown, not to mention hem and do the beading. The veil will be quick and easy. I got the pattern for the corset drafted tonight and will make it, minus the boning I need to order, tomorrow. I need to measure the channels to know the lengths to order, and then I'll make the bodice. That's lightly boned, so I may just order several lengths so I don't have to wait.

I need to start and finish one bridesmaid bouquet, the other and mine are both finished and even crystaled. I need to make a special outfit for my childhood stuffed bunny. More on that later.

I need to make three corsages, one for Cody's mom, one for my mom in case she actually shows, and an extra. The boutonnieres are finished.

These are the things I need to finish in the next 30 days. I'd say three weeks just so there's enough of a buffer for me to not go nuts. RSVPs are rolling in. It all feels surreal.