Friday, April 23, 2010

"I Do" Museums

 I am seriously jonesing for some quiet museum time. And there is so much to see!

I hope that I have time to catch the "Chicago Ties the Knot" exhibit at the Chicago History Museum when it opens next month. The description sounds excellent:
Featuring more than fifty garments and other cherished heirlooms that make the Big Day so memorable, this exhibition is the first in-depth look at the Museum’s vast collection of wedding costume. Arranged chronologically starting with the frontier bride and early items of courtship, the exhibition illustrates not only the change in fashion but also how wedding traditions have changed over the past one and fifty hundred years, noticeably marked by industrialization and the rise of the middle class.

Beginning in the mid-nineteenth century, designs from the newly established houses of haute couture began to influence middle-class fashion and became an affordable option to many Americans. The department store rode this wave of economic growth, and the city’s iconic Marshall Field and Company single-handedly ushered in the era of the retail bride with the introduction of the first bridal registry in 1924. Between the Great Depression and the Second World War, bridal trends saw their greatest changes. Today, wedding gowns reference the past—seen in hoop skirts and corseted bodices—but with an unparalleled sense of individuality and extravagance.

Each garment on view in the exhibition is from a Chicago wedding and shows a cross-section of the city’s diverse people, from a shop girl’s handmade cotton-and-silk dress to a Jewish socialite’s Givenchy gown. Remarkable examples of complete wedding ensembles include gowns, veils, shoes, "setting-out" outfits, and lingerie, plus bridesmaid and mother-of-the-bride dresses.
 I loved Chicago History more than any topic I've ever studied in school. How lucky is this couple who won a free Ultimate Wedding? That groom is the whip.

While I'm there, I'll check out the  Lincoln Park Block-by-Block exhibit and wander by all of my old streets in the giant map.

But first, I must carve out some time to go to the Matisse exhibit at the Art Institute. I can't wait to see it.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I'm About To Call "Curtains" On Decorating

I have been searching hell and highwater for fabric to make curtains for my second bedroom/office/catch-all., and, quite frankly, I'm losing steam. Among the many reasons are:
  1. For being a big city, Chicago has CRAP for fabric resources. I don't have the patience to sift through the rooms of Vogue fabrics, Joann and Michael's offer desirable hours, but mediocre products, and the few places that offer fun fabrics are OVERPRICED.
  2. I am tired of spending hours searching online for the most affordable prices on the fabrics that I do like.
  3. Navigation and Usability stinks on 99 percent of fabric web sites.
  4. I don't want to commit to buying pre-cut, unreturnable fabrics sight unseen.
  5. I am so busy for the next three months. Possibly more busy than the year that I was engaged.
So, after running some numbers on my front runners, I've realized that I can actually save money by just buying some curtains. Like these cheap-cheap-cheap curtains from Urban Outfitters--Only $38 and Free Returns? Sign. Me. Up.

I kind of like this plain gray one from West Elm, too. It would match the desk accessories that I bought from the Container Store.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Little Bee by Chris Cleave

I don't usually post book reviews, but I have to share The Little Bee by Chris Cleave.

This book was spectacular! I randomly picked it up in an airport a few weeks ago and read it over the past week. I spent every non-reading moment wishing that I could be reading this book. The story was wonderfully moving and shocking. I even read a few parts aloud to Andy, which I've never done before. I finished it last night and am so sad that it's over.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Congratulations, Kate!

I was absolutely blown away by my e-friend Kate's Alice in Wonderland shoot featured on Style Me Pretty this week. I think that she's officially the most stylish person that I know.

I have been excitedly trying to guess what her new product was during our gChats and didn't even come close to guessing her new Luxecuts™ line.

You can see the complete shoot in Kate's Gallery on Style Me Pretty. You really should visit the Kate Miller Events site to view Kate's portfolio and her stationery line, KME Paperie. Congratulations, Kate! I can't wait to gHear what's next!