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I’m Louise. Blogger. Wife. Designer of TruLu Couture Veils + Accessories.  If you’d like to know more, check out my bio.

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Entries in Inspiration (27)

Tuesday
Jun282011

Vintage Décor, A How-To Guide to Find Stuff

If any of you brides are like I was, you’re constantly thinking about your décor, how everything is going to come together….IF it’s going to come together. You live with this low, constant hum in the back of your head that you know are all the details trying to sort themselves out, whirling around in a slow churn as you go through your every day routine of work/eat/plan wedding/sleep. That stuff? That buzz? That’s the shit that gives you those wedding nightmares of having no dress, no groom or like me, no reception venue! Aaaaah! I think that’s about when I started blogging…..but I digress.

Hopefully I can help.

Sometimes when I’m talking about wedding décor, I reference the same crazy things over and over – like adorning each cute favor with an antique key. I don’t know why I choose this icon, probably because at one point in time, I saw antique keys as a favor and thought they’d look really cute as part of our tablescapes and really had no idea how to find them, nor the time to do so. Antique keys are going to be the example I’m going to use for how to find good vintage décor stuffs. This can be applied to Mason jars, hobnail milk glass, mismatched floral china teacups…whatever you want/need.

If you’re an on-line wedding planning gal like most brides are these days, use the internet to your advantage. You’ll need to do a smidge of research first.  You could say that about everything you purchase for your wedding. Yes, it’s a total pain in the ass, but welcome to the real world. Sometimes, you’ve gotta practice due diligence. But I think the process I have outlined here will help.

Now, I’ve found vintage skeleton keys ranging anywhere from $.75 to $20 each. Look for the average price. I found that the average price for vintage keys is between $3 and $5 based on several different resources. You’ll want to pay $3 or less, but only if you’re going to buy in quantities. If you only need a few, pay the asking price but no more than the top range of your average price. Make sense?

Let’s assume you need at least 50 assorted keys. You might need to buy from a myriad of places, so keep that in mind. Here are a few places to start:

First, look at Three Potato Four. This is a very cute, very cleanly laid out online shop of cool vintage goodies. They even have a wedding section!

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Their keys sell three for $12. Not bad…..but we can do better.

Next, hit up eBay and Craig’s List:

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I found these on Craig’s List in Charlotte for $20. There are 14 keys here so that means they are $1.43 each. However, it looks like 3 or 4 of them are kinda like “junk” keys, so that means they are more like 1.80 or so. Best thing about this is you can offer $15, maybe pay $18 and get them down to about $1.60 each.

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I found these on auction on eBay for $21.50 (so far). These are great looking keys, and there are 24 of them. That puts them at $.90 each! SCORE! However, it’s bidding item, so the price might go up.

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I found these under vintage skeleton keys on Etsy. These are $14 for 8 keys, so $1.75 each. Not bad, but no so great either.

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Then I found this very cool site, called Kennedy Hardware where you can buy a gross (144 pieces) of six keys for $108.00! That’s only $.75 a key and all in one shop!

The bummer about all these online options is that those costs do not include shipping. The gross amount above is $14 to ship, so changes the each price to $.84, which is still the best so far.

Now, if shipping is eating into your budget, you need to start hitting up some thrift shops and flea markets. Save yourself some time on the thrift shops and call ahead and ask if they have them. For flea markets, plan on comfortable shoes and ALWAYS carry cash. I attended the Metrolina Antique Show in April (going again on Thursday!) and found vintage keys for $3.00 each. I didn’t ask for bulk prices, but definitely would have. Let the dealer know up front that you want to buy a lot. Tell them how many and let them quote you first. Here’s how I negotiate: first, know how much you want to spend walking into the situation. If your budget is $1 a key, plan for that. Know that if the asking price is $3.00 a key, you probably won’t get that $1 unless you’re buying A LOT. The trick is figuring out how desperately the dealer wants the sale. When I negotiate in bulk, I start with half the asking price, knowing I probably won’t get it, but will expect 25-30% off the original cost. Some people get really pissy when you negotiate. It’s OK, let them. You’re working on a business deal, not becoming besties with the dealer. You just need to be willing to walk away, and perhaps eat some crow and come back and pay what they’re asking if you realized too late that you low-balled them. Again, if you look at it as a business deal (which they should), then there won’t be any hard feelings. It’s best to shop the whole market first, taking either physical or mental notes of the pricing at different stalls. Once you do a full sweep, go back to the places with the best prices and see what you can negotiate.

Also, check out estate sales in your area. If you Google “estate sales” plus your area of residence, some helpful links will pop up. These are definitely more of a hunt and peck kinda thing, but sometimes pre-sale pictures are up and you can see some of the stuff for sale. Please note that estate sales aren’t like garage sales. They are generally run by a company specializing in them and the prices aren’t always negotiable. Just an FYI if you go this route, but it can’t hurt to ask. Also, vintage stores generally accept negotiations, especially now in this ailing economy. Some clerks don’t have the power to offer lower prices, but most do. Again, the worst someone can say is no.

Now, if you don’t care if they are actually vintage or just want some look alikes, then start with shopping under “Supplies” in Etsy versus “Vintage" and like these at Oriental Trading Comapny.

Wondering what to do with skeleton keys? Here’s some inspiration:

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Source for all of the above.

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Fun stuff, right? So what are you trying to find at the right price? Is it keys? Milk glass? Wooden crates? Did you find a hermit living above his mother’s garage who was willing to part with his collection of San Francisco themed snow globes for your SF style wedding? Do tell.

Thursday
Jun092011

{A Styled Shoot} A Fake Wedding, REVEALED!

Last week I posted my first Fake Wedding here on The Thirty-Something Bride. In it, I revealed my past contempt for styled shoots and how they made me crazy insane during my wedding planning process. I always felt that somehow my wedding wasn’t quite good enough. I know now that thinking is plain silly. I loved my wedding Still do. I love all kinds of weddings! Back yard, big cathedral, small church- whatever it is, I love them. I love them because they express love. Sometimes when I see a styled shoot, it’s missing the love of the couple and that frustrates me. But usually a styled shoot is just so freaking unbelievably gorgeous, you can help but love what you see. How can a bride balance the dichotomy? 

Something I realized in putting this next post together is that a styled shoot can very much be about love. It may not be between the “bride” and “groom” but it’s an expression of love through the people who put it together. Honestly, the folks who do this kind of work do it because they are artists. They love what they do. They love creativity. It’s not often that a wedding vendor can create a look purely for the sake of creativity. They have clients they must answer to, limitations and budget and bills and everything that goes into running a business.

This shoot was about that limitless creativity: a no holds barred of self-expression and imagination. Just think, what would you do if you had unlimited resources!?

A group of vendors in Seattle did just that! When I was first approached about featuring this shoot, I had some reservations regarding how crazy insane it might make some brides.  I engaged the photographers and vendors and asked a few questions. I got them involved, definitely a little more so than they expected. When I asked what inspired this shoot, this was Eliza’s initial response:

It's funny you asked what inspired this shoot, because it actually came out of an "Inspiration Group" that meets about every other Monday morning over breakfast to talk about what's inspiring us and to try to inspire each other in the work we do. We're a group of four Seattle wedding vendors: Barbie Hull (Barbie Hull Photography), Kim Neff (Lilies and Lemon Drops floral design), Heather Driscoll (Heathoriginal paper design) and me (Eliza Truitt Photography). This shoot grew out of some of the brainstorming we did at our breakfast meetings.

Um, I want to be  part of a breakfast inspiration group! *Stomping feet like a child* So here are some of the Q&A I floated past them as well as some additional research I did on cost and stuff. To be 100% honest, there was some reservations about sharing costs on this shoot. Those reservations came from an honest place – that this shoot was a creative outlet for these vendors, not something that was meant to be priced out and sold as a commodity. It was the opportunity to get creative and to express themselves as artists. I totally get that. But I also want to share facts and costs about this shoot because it inspired me to do so. I love this shoot. I want someone to have this wedding and I want a bride to have the tools in which to make it happen. That is my goal – to inspire and to assist in that inspiration.

Many, many thanks to the folks who put this styled shoot together and who were willing to go that extra step with me, talk with me and  to help inform and inspire all brides! Show them some link love, OK?

Photographers  Eliza Truitt Photography and Barbie Hull Photography

Favors and Gifts   Heather Driscoll, Heathoriginal

Floral Designer  Kimberly Neff, Lilies & Lemon Drops

Reception Venue  Clise Mansion

Dress La Belle Reve

Cake Designer  High 5 Pie

Hair/Makeup Artist  Michelle Chappron

Transportation  British Motor Coach

Q. What inspired you and the team to do this?

A. We love creating and always have new ideas to share. This was the perfect way to both create items we’d wanted to make and share them with others. We also found inspiration from the venue, Clise Mansion: the willow tree, brick wall, and gazebo all became elements in the shoot. Our overall theme "Preppy Meets Romantic Vintage".

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The Venue, Clise Mansion – To rent this lovely space on a Saturday night (6pm-midnight) during peak season will cost $2825. Please note that this is only to rent the space, other costs like rentals and food and service are all separate.

Hair and make-up for the “bride” (the “bride” and “groom” are actually married, so the love pictures here is real!) was done by Michelle Chappron and her rates are:

Consultation: $75

On-site day-of is $150

Bridesmaids, MOB’s, etc. are $130 on the day of.

I spoke to Michelle and asked her if there was one thing she could communicate to my readers, what would it be? She wanted to stress to all brides that having a hair and make-up professional is an important part of both looking good and feeling good on your wedding day. From my personal experience, I couldn’t agree more! It’s pampering, it’s stress free and you know you’re going to look fantastic!

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The gown is from Seattle bridal shop La Belle Reve. It’s a WToo, Watters gown, style #6819 and it costs $1248. The gown’s name is “Liane” and it’s an ivory silky taffeta strapless dress with ruched bodice and cascading pleated ruffle skirt with a puddle train. Honestly, I thought this dress looked a lot more expensive than $1248!

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Q. What kind of research did you do for this shoot?

A. Kim from Lilies and Lemon Drops had to research a bit to see what flowers & greens would be available and in season, but mostly she used items and flowers that she loves and that inspire her. Heather of Heathoriginal said that she just created items based on what she likes and what is inspiring her these days!

The flowers Kim used included: Mint, Peonies, Scabiosa, Poppy Pods, Ranunculus, Baby's Breath, and a variety of greens. She handmade the greenery garland for the get-away car and all the various floral arrangements

Remember to keep the seasonality of flowers in mind. For instance, peonies (used in the bouquet) bloom in late spring and early summer and will have better availability/price at that time. For a winter wedding in Des Moines, Iowa, you’re going to pay more for those peonies. Keep that in mind when working with your florist. There are about a million billion websites out there that can tell you the seasonality of the flowers you love. The more informed you are, the easier it will be to work with your florist.

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Q. What about the food goodies?

A. For the picnic, Jones Soda is a local Seattle favorite (and they do custom labels!). The pies, both the full-sized and pie-in-a-jar came from the fabulous Seattle shop High 5 Pie.

Jones Soda is definitely a cool way to add color and pop (no pun intended) to a tablescape. They have a rainbow of colors and flavors and like Eliza mentioned you can customized the labels. You can buy Jones Soda at many, many retailers or you can buy them online for anywhere between a $1.50 and $1.75 each, NOT including shipping. Customized labels through the Jones Soda website are $29.99 plus shipping for a 12 pack.

The pies-in-a-jar from High 5 Pie are $5 each. If you have the time or inclination, you can also DIY these suckers. I wrote about that here. I can’t imagine they’d turn out as cute as these though, right? The High 5 Pie 9” pies are $21 for fruit and $23 for cream filled. The Candyman and I paid about that much per cake for our cake buffet, so much less expensive than a traditional wedding cake and for us, by FAR tastier! And pies are just so on-trend right now!

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Where'd you get the props?

All the non-floral handcrafted goodness was created by Heather from Heathoriginal. All floral and tablescape decor was from the Lilies & Lemon Drops collection. Kim loves shopping for antiques and has started a collection of white milk glass & other vintage items. If you're looking to start your own collection, thrift stores and antique stores are a great place to start. If you want to buy online, Etsy and Ebay have tons of this stuff, ranging from the reasonably priced to the not-so-reasonably priced. She used a variety of milk glass containers for the flower arrangements and a vintage toolbox stored all of the desserts for our picnic. She purchased fabric from our local craft store to create the sweetheart table tablecloth and found a silk scarf while antique shopping that I used as the table runner. The plates on the sweetheart table were a gift her parents received at their wedding and were perfect for our shoot!  

There is nothing truer than these words right here. You can find all sorts of goodies at Goodwill, thrift and resale shops. At privately owned thrift shops, you can totally negotiate. I do it all the time. Recently, I purchased (based on the original price tag cost) $423 worth of TruLu Couture goodies for $45. Yes, I did too. The guy was having a sale, half off of everything, so it would have been $211.50. I didn’t want to pay that much, I wanted to pay $45. I asked. He got uncomfortable and shuffled around and scratched his head and complained. I let him do that and remained silent as he did his math. At half off and a store jam packed with product, I knew his inventory needed some relief and felt comfortable going so low. These deals are few and far between and I have a long background in negotiating, so don’t go and be a big bitch to these shop owners, but definitely negotiate. If you tell them what you need and why, you’d be surprised at how generous some people can be. Don’t believe me? Check out this post.

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By the way, I believe that the “groom's” suit is vintage. It’s by Frederick & Nelson, which is an old department store based out of Seattle. In 1992 they were taken over by Nordstrom’s, who made the original Frederick & Nelson location their flagship store. It’s a hip suit, no?

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Q. Can you give more info on sourcing--if you bought the cute little ice cream chairs, where did you get them and how much were they?

A. The chairs had been sitting around Heather’s parents house for over 20 years; she dug them out and gave them a little love (sanding, painting, reupholstering). You can find similar ones on eBay if you search “ice cream parlor chairs.” There are awesome vintage toolboxes on Etsy  and Ebay . Or you can just ask if you can poke around in your grandparent’s basement...

This is SO TRUE! Me and The Candyman have some ice cream chairs that I inherited from my parents, who got them from my grandparents! Also, check out Craig’s List for this kind of stuff. You can get it for so cheap! The same thrift shop that I got the great deal at? Oh. My. God. They had a crap-load of white hobnail milk glass stuff – more than enough for a single wedding. I bet some great deals could be made there….buying in bulk, particularly from a source that normally doesn’t sell in bulk, always means a cheaper price. If the store won’t budge on a bulk sale, move on.

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I love vintage cars! The Candyman and I had a 1939 Packard for our wedding!  I love the look of this one! The kind folks over at Seattle’s British Motor Coach were nice enough to send their rates and honestly, they seem to be pretty much in line with what other vintage cars cost. Again this will vary from place to place and city to city.

Vintage Cars (Bentley, Rolls Royce): $110/hr plus 20% gratuity and 6% fuel surcharge. There is a 2-consecutive hour minimum charge unless a “split package” is requested.The “split” is useful if you only want the car from the ceremony to the reception and then the reception to a hotel, providing that the events are local and that there are at least 3 hours between trips. The split is then $165++ versus the $220++.

The total all-inclusive price of the 2-hour minimum is $277.20

The total all-inclusive price of the split package is $415.80

British Motor Coach offers stretch limos and vans and all sorts of other transportation goodies.

The Candyman and I negotiated a split with our driver, though it wasn’t offered as part of a package like this one is (handy!). It was a last minute need (remember The Candyman’s ride was stolen 2 weeks before our wedding?!) for us and since our driver was available, we worked out a deal. Remember, ask for what you want or need – you might just get it!

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Can you give me all the details on the items you used?

All the paper goods were created by hand by Heather and can be found through her Etsy shop  or website . Items include: Sewn crepe paper streamers, Mr. and Mrs. pennant flags, The Happy Couple sign, "&" sign, drink flags, sheet music rosettes, "Enjoy" pie flags, "Just Married" vinyl decal and tulle pom car decorations, Thank You pennants, sparkler display, matchboxes, hand-sewn "Toss Me" bags, send-off flags/pennants (Huzzah, Yay!, Love), farewell banner and "Away We Go" banner. 

Here’s a list of the costs from Heathoriginals:

Sewn crepe paper streamers: $2.50 per yard.

Mr. & Mrs. pennant flags: $2.50 each

The Happy Couple sign: $25.00

“&” Sign: $10.00

Drink flags: $1.00-$1.50 each

Sheet music rosettes: $3.00 each

“Enjoy” pie flags: $1.00 each

“Just Married” vinyl decal: $40.00

Tulle Garland (on car): $18.00 per 6 feet.  

“Thank You” pennants: $4.00 each

Matchboxes: $2.00 each

Hand sewn “Toss Me” bags: $2.50 each

Send off flags/pennants: $4.00 each

“Farewell” Banner: $15.00

“Away we go!” banner: $35.00

*Pricing is for items shown "as is". Custom items may vary based on quantity, sizes and materials used.

 

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Giant Sparklers? Try Sparklers R Us. Their 36” sparklers are $1.03 each, the cheapest I was able to find! There are shorter lengths (generally 10” and 20”) that are even less expensive.

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So I know this was a crazy-ass long post, but I thought it would be worth the effort to share the creativity of some talented artist with just a touch of reality – to truly inspire a bride and to show that dreamy weddings have resources that you can access.

Again, I want to thank all the vendors involved for sharing their time and information with me so that I could make this styled and inspirational shoot a little less scary and a lot more fun!

So ladies (and gentlemen?), you must tell me what you think. Was this helpful? Was it inspiring? Was it information overload? Do tell. 

*This is not a sponsored post, just one I believe in.

Wednesday
Jun012011

{A Styled Shoot} My First Fake Wedding!

OK, so many of you know that I am not a fan of SMP. I mean, I am, but I’m totally not.

Here’s the thing. Back when I was doing my own wedding planning, I was a fucking mess. I mean, I really was. I thought a fantastic photographer would cost us about $1000. I did too think that! See how ignorant I was? I thought a $25K wedding would be Over. The. Top. Oh, how painfully wrong I was! Happily, this thirty-something bride learned quickly, read blogs, started writing a blog and I worked my budget to an inch of it’s meager life. Our original headspace was around $16K. I knew I didn’t want to spend more than $20K and we came in at $18,229.42. Booya. Anyway, when I discovered wedding blogs (thanks a lot, Beth), SMP was a go-to for a looooong time, but it drove me freakin’ CRAZY! I could NOT look away. I would think to myself, “How much would it really cost me to buy 77 antique keys to attach as cute little nothings to our favors?” or “*GASP!* I. MUST. HAVE. THAT. RANNUCULUS-FILLED. ARCH. MUST!” or even, “I can totally justify those Stuart Weitzman's.” And at the time, either I wasn’t noticing or they weren’t calling out the fact that some of the weddings were actually styled weddings. Meaning, not real. Does anyone know for sure when they changed that? All I know is that I hated them. Still kind of do. But I still cannot look away. Cannot.

So this brings me to my very first FAKE Wedding! WOOOOOT! Just so all y’all are clear. This wedding is NOT real. It’s fake (so do you get the whole “Unfake Wedding” thing now?). That’s not a real bride. There are no guests.  However, the work that has gone into this shoot is the quality and the style that you can expect from these vendors. That’s what a styled shoot is for. Did you know that? It’s to showcase the event planner and the florist and the photographer and the cake designer and…..you get my drift. Could you actually have this wedding featured here today? Yes, you could. Who knows how much it would cost? I certainly don’t and of course, it all depends on head count, baby.

So please, check out the very first Fake Wedding here at The Thirty-Something Bride and get inspired. That’s what these shoots are meant to do, to inspire you and to show you the best of what these vendors can do. Make sure you show them some link love. These shoots are a total pain in the ass. I’ve done a few now for Trulu Couture and they take all day – and then some. The prep work is astounding, just as much as if it was a real wedding. A lot of folks work for free to make this sort of stuff happen, to get their name out there. As proactive brides and cool readers, I’m sure you’ll check them out….right! Winking smile

So without further adieu, may I present:

Not Your Grandma’s Wedding

A Vintage Shoot

Photographer: Christy Whitehead Photography

Hair Stylist: Kristy Blake, Angel & Mi Salon

Event Planner: Tanya Hendricks, Southern Charm Weddings & Events

Flowers: Rachel Ely, Blossoms & Accents

Reception Venue: The Glen Venue

Dress: Black Tie Formals

Accents + Extras: Lauren Atwaters, Ten23 Designs

Cake Designer: Patricia Millican, Metro Custom Cakes

Make Up: Lindsey Wirht

Tuxedos: David's Tuxedos

A word from the vendors about this shoot:

"This was a stylized shoot that we did at an old sawmill. We had tails for the groom and a lacey dress for the bride. Handmade cameos are featured on the cake. We even had an actual family marriage certificate displayed in a frame on the sign in table. We loved the idea of missmatched place settings and the feel of you pulled this stuff out of your grandmother's trunk. Very much a possible do it yourself project on a budget."

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Again, many thanks to all the vendors who made this lovely, inspiration shoot possible. So leave a comment and tell me what you like about this shoot! And don't forget to check out the vendors!

Thursday
Mar172011

For Japan with Love

As a child, I spent a year living off-base (meaning: amongst the locals) in Iwakuni, Japan, from 1977 to 1978. I remember coming home in the summer of '78, pit-stopping in Hawaii to visit family. My aunt asked my brother and I what we wanted to do now that we were back in the states. I remember my brain nearing implosion because I couldn't decide if my desire for French fries was greater than my desire to see "Star Wars" (all the cool kids had totally already seen it). Happily, we stopped at McDonald's (amazingly, they didn't yet exist in Japan back then!) and took our fries and our chocolate shakes into the theater with us (you could do that too) and watched in awe as Obi Wan battled it out with Darth Vader, happily slurping away. It was a fabulous day, being home in America.

But we had many fabulous days in Japan. We did things and saw things and ate things that no one had EVER heard of before. You ate RAW FISH? You sat on the FLOOR to eat dinner? You had rice paper DOORS? In your HOUSE? What is that thing - a microwave? What's THAT? And you say this VHS thing records your TV? What?"

Yes, to all those wonderful things.  My dad still asks for things and says thank you in Japanese, you know, just when we're hanging around the house (keeps the ol' guy sharp, I guess). My family? We're elitist sushi snobs. We knew sushi before sushi had anything to do with America! So this tsunami and the death and destruction that have followed in it's wake is crushing in a very personal way. It's hard to see a place you once called home get annihilated.

So guess what? You can help. It's easy. The folks who bring you Utterly Engaged and Ever Ours have teamed up with Shelter Box USA for donations to help the victims of Japan. Click on the banner below to donate today! And keep reading because you can help in more ways than one!

Via Utterly Engaged:

For Japan With Love has a direct link on the website to the fundraising page for ShelterBox. ShelterBox was one of THE first organizations asked by Japan to help and were on hand on the Saturday after the quake.  Each large, green ShelterBox is tailored to a disaster but typically contains a disaster relief tent for an extended family, blankets, water storage and purification equipment, cooking utensils, a stove, a basic tool kit, a children’s activity pack and other vital items.

Please check it out and whatever you can contribute will be so appreciated.

Bloggers Day of Silence:

Anyone that has a blog can help out with this one.

The aim is just raise awareness and respect and acknowledge the devastation going on in Japan.

The guidelines are simple.
1.  This coming Friday, March 18th, no posts at all on your blog.
2.  Please post a blog post about what you will be doing this Friday whenever possible in hopes to spread the word and whoever else would like to join in
3. Tweet and Re-Tweet the shiznit out of the link to http://www.forjapanwithlove.com please.
4. Encourage your readers to contribute to donate shelter to Japan.
Whatever anyone can contribute will be appreciated.
Every little helps.

Feel free to ask other bloggers you like to join in on this.  Whatever impact we can make will be so awesome.

Whether you write or read blogs, or just happened to fall onto this website today, so something great and donate!

Friday
Mar112011

For Angie

OK, this post might come back to haunt me, but I’m going to write it anyway.

Being a part of the In Her Own Words series between One Cat Per Person and Any Other Wedding was a great experience. I loved being in the company of some great blog writers and celebrating International Women’s Day.

Apparently, I touched a nerve with Angie (OCPP):

I've been thinking a lot about your post. It made such an impact on me
because I completely understand how we wave these flags long and hard,
and then one day we just don't feel the need to. Not because it's not who
we are anymore, we just learn to own it differently and "be."

She asked if I’d be willing to write more on the subject. I told her I’d think about it, not really knowing what the heck I’d talk about if I said yes to her.

Meanwhile, over on my personal Facebook page, I linked an article on the decision made by the state of Texas regarding their new legislation on abortion and made the comment "My husband asked what the definition of Justice is. I know this ain't it."

Have you ever had people you know but who don't know each other start a shit-storm on your Facebook page? Yup, that's what happened. A college friend (who I'll call Matilda) wrote the following comment:

I think this is a great opportunity for the mother to see that she is killing her unborn child. It's absolute justice for that unborn human life

Another woman (who I don’t actually know, but became Facebook friends through her sister’s uber-cool Unfake Wedding) chimed in and the two went at it. My new Facebook friend was trying to share (what I read as) some thought provoking comments. Matilda was name calling, making comments like “you Liberals have no common sense...you reward mediocrity..” and “In regards to religion, my point was there are way too many people out there with their moral compasses out of whack...perhaps some good old fashion religion, I don't care what kind, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, etc. will get these people back on track.”

And here’s where I may get in trouble: I KNOW Matilda has engaged in particular behaviors that anyone of any religion would consider WAY out of whack. Now, most these behaviors occurred a long time ago, others not so long. Perhaps she has confessed, done her penance and forgiven herself as her God has forgiven her. AWESOME! We all make mistakes and what I personally think is important is what you take from that experience.  What did you learn? Would you do it again? Who are you now, after that learning experience?

What I see, from a very limited sight range, is that Matilda hasn’t changed much since I knew her in college. Her opinions are the same. Her approach is still the same and my exasperation of her, still the same.

So where does all this lead us to? OK, I’m getting to it. Angie wanted more from me. She’s in her foot stomping, flag waving “Hear me roar!” feminist part of her life. She may stay there and that’s okay. This world needs women to stand up and make a fuss every now and then. We need the Gloria Steinem’s, the Sojourner Truth’s, and the Susan B. Anthony’s. We also need the Mother Teresa’s and the Phyllis Schlafly’s of the world too. (I almost included Sarah Palin in that group, but I just can’t.) In researching anti-feminism, I stumbled across this blog post and really enjoyed reading the comments there. One that sent a zinger right through my brain and straight to my heart was this:

As for Ms. Marsden’s comment above, I’ve discovered over the years that one of the surest indicators of someone who has nothing worthwhile to say is the statement “most people are idiots” or its many variations. Indeed, Ms. Marsden’s post is a pretty good example of why I’ve come to that conclusion.

And this is the point that this long-ass post finally gets me to. We need people to stand up and shout. We need people to argue with those shouting people. We need that in Congress, we need it in our schools, and we need it in our religions. What we DON’T need is name calling, unnecessary violence,  or any other breakdown of simple communication. Matilda lost her audience and any cred she may have had when her communication broke down. We don’t need to make our points personal by attacking friends, strangers, pundints,  the President (past or present) by behaving worse than children. Sometimes we have to agree to disagree. Unfortunately, there are people whose beliefs and convictions are so strong, that there is no discussion, only dismissal. So Angie, while this post may not answer your question or give you what you are looking for, I hope what it does is continue to open your heart and mind, encourage you to listen without bias and be an active participant in all that you find worthwhile. That, in and of itself, is feminism, nay HUMANISM, at its best.