Monday, June 30, 2008

New Favorite!

Have you seen Southern Weddings Blog!!! It's my new favorite! You must add it your Google Reader, Favorites, Linkbacks, whatever you do, you've gotta do it now!

Great Weddings, Great Contests, Great Stuff.... check it out!

What I used in the Wedding Bag!

Our "What I used in the Wedding Bag" Series has moved to a more appropriate home, Be A Planner!

Be sure to check out Be A Planner for it's fun updates and great articles!

Hey, while you are thinking about it, add it to your Google Reader now!

Blue and Brown, Revisited

Christina in my office did this board! She has got the hang of this doesn't she!
This is for the fundraising event for Queen of Peace Academy and their colors are Blue and Brown, this is one of our inspirations another next week, whattcha think?

Sources:M&Ms, French macaroons, Cappuccino, Shoe, Welcome bag, Suit, Cootie catcher,
Favor gift cards, Motorcycle, Cupcakes, Chocolates, Brown dress

Friday, June 27, 2008

Cake Week has come to a Close

How fun has Cake Week been!

Here at the office we are on a total sugar rush!

If you need more cake, check out Let's Eat Cake! we feature a new cake with every post!

KB Kake Week!

I personally feel we saved the best for last!!! Kathy and Erika from KB Kake Kreations are some of the most fantastic people - PERIOD... but really are the best you will/can work with in the Gainesville wedding industry.

Not only do they make gorgeous cakes, but they are also super sweet themselves. Their specialty cakes will make your wedding memorable! They can customize anything your little heart desires and are always open to new ideas! The groom’s cakes are always a hit.

The signature (and most popular) flavors at KB Kake Kreations are Signature Wedding White with Raspberry filling and The Chocolate Truffle with Ganache. Both of which are oh so tasty!

Although these are their most popular combinations, you can create your own dream cake from a variety of flavors.

Not only are these cakes a looker…but they taste amazingly delicious too! Kathy only accepts one wedding per weekend, so be sure to reserve your date as soon as possible, she fills up fast!

To learn more about KB Kake Kreations, visit their new and improved website and brand spaking new blog.

Thank you Kathy and Erika for allowing us to feature you in MasterPiece Weddings Cake Week 2008!
{written mostly by Bossy Intern Kristin}

Thursday, June 26, 2008

the New York Times reviews a new film...

From A. O. Scott:

"The first 40 minutes or so of “Wall-E” — in which barely any dialogue is spoken, and almost no human figures appear on screen — is a cinematic poem of such wit and beauty that its darker implications may take a while to sink in."

Wow. And that's only the first sentence.
I haven't seen it yet. Those of you that have, I'd love to hear your impressions.

Summer Lovin'

My sister just sent me some pictures of my nieces! And they are just too adorable, so I had to share!

{Peyton with her shades ready for the pool}

{Sydney thinks the water's just fine}

{Peyton is all too pretty in her dress}

So sorry for the wedding interruption, but I thought those were too fun to not share them with you!

More Cake Week!

Cakes by Jenny is actually one of the first cake company I worked with as a Wedding Planner in Gainesville!- 13 years ago!! She is amazing! These pictures don't even do her justice!!!

She is thoughtful and meticulous, and she'll do anything you need! In fact, I remember a time, a client of mine was trying to figure out what to do for a grooms cake, and we started talking about things he liked, her list included: Watching TV, playing basketball and drinking beer, I suggested a replica of HIS chair, and Jenny came up with this:

Jenny even does Cheesecake Wedding Cakes! Her cakes are delicious and beautiful - she even opened up a little dessert bakery in Downtown Gainesville! So if you are ever in the area, check out Cakes!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Ritzy Wedding!

I was listening to my favorite radio station today 106.9 WKZY and Jack Weston does this hilarious thing called Dating Dictionary and this morning I pee'd my pants when I heard:

Cheese Whiz Wedding - A wedding so tacky, classless, tasteless and gaudy that it can only be described as 6 inches of spray-can cheese on a soggy Ritz Cracker.

Thanks for the laugh, Jack Weston!

Cake Week!!!

This week is so fun! I hope you are enjoying Cake Week as much as we are around here! I think just checking out these images are giving us all a sugar rush around here at MasterPiece Weddings!
This next Pastry Chef is new to our area, we are all swooning over her cakes! And trust me they taste as good as they look, which is a huge plus!

Posh Pastry is new to the area, but taking it by storm! She is competing in Let's Eat Cake! Which I am personally very excited about. Aren't her cakes beautiful!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Contact Update

If you haven't been able to reach us using the email address on our "Contact Page" of our website.... well, that's because the email address was linking incorrectly.

It's fixed! Hooray!

Sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused you!

Cake Week Continues!

So, sometimes you find yourself in a very tight budget and don't or can't spend $6+ per slice for cake. So, what is a bride to do??

How about check out your local Publix! Yes, I said Publix! If you aren't blessed enough to have a Publix (a chain of Southern Grocery Stores) check and see if your local grocery store has GOOD wedding cakes.
Publix happens to do a great tasting cake, and it their cakes look nice too! And they charge way less than $4 per slice! Sometimes $2-$3 per slice, they do a beautiful fondant, and each of their pastry chefs go through a rigorous training program.
Don't be scared... trust me no one but you will know!

Monday, June 23, 2008

What I used in the Wedding Bag!

We had a beautiful fairytale wedding this past weekend in Tampa! Laura and Jason's dreams came true, and we were blessed to be apart of it!
Here's what we used from our Wedding Bag:

Deodorant- The Jr. Bridesmaid needed some help in this department, and was so excited to see we were prepared!

Diaper Pins - The train wouldn't bustle, the French Bustle wasn't cooperating , so we improvised and pinned it, worked like a charm!

Safety Pins - Fix a rouge button and secure some cleavage.

Stain Stick - One of the bridesmaids got a little heavy handed with her dark colored beverage. Or maybe she was dancing with it??

A Black Pen- The Officiant didn't have a black pen - and you need one for the Marriage License.

Vaseline- To "lube" the rings, everyone was nervous and sweaty... when you are "nerveaty" you swell, the lube job helps things move along easier.
Bandaids - For ME! I was putting flowers in the bridemaids hair and sliced my hand pretty good. As to not get blood on the bride's dress... I had to band-aid myself up!

I love how you always need to use the same things, but in different ways... And I absolutely love being prepared!

Cake Week Starts.... NOW!

So all this talk about Let's Eat Cake! and that's all I am thinking about - Cake!!!

So, this whole week is going to be dedicated to pastry chefs and wedding cake! We'll talk about what they specialize in, and one of my favorite aspects of each baker.

Keep in mind, each city has it's own gems of talented pastry chefs, so don't be scared taste and beauty are key! They need to look good, but definitely taste good too!
Let's start with Ms. Debbie (not the hostess cupcake baker) but a woman with the same name and the same knack for cake! Her cakes are delicious! She is quite an artist, I love working with her! She moved to North Florida from Miami to slow down, and business has done anything but!

She ships her delicious and amazing chocolate seashells all over the country! They are so realistic, and well, they are chocolate, so Yummmmmmy definitely comes to mind!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Good Morning! Disney Commissary Breakfast Menu circa 1940

Following up on my earlier post with the lunch menu from the Disney Burbank commissary (or "Studio Restaurant" as it's called here), I discovered the place was swanky enough to have not one but at least two specially-made menus for mealtimes. Here's what you would have seen if you'd arrived like Donald at about 8:34 am in about(my guess)1940:

(click the interior of the menu to read it):

Makes one hungry, doesn't it?

(for the record, it measures approximately 9x5.5" when closed)

Volunteering for CoCoRaHS

I recently signed up to participate as an observer for CoCoRaHS, the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, & Snow Network. As the name implies, this is a network of “Volunteers working together measure precipitation across the nation.” And why do they do it? “Because every drop counts.”

Michigan is slated to join the CoCoRaHS network starting July 1st. My Station Number is MI-BN-3 (i.e., it is the third CoCoRaHS station to be assigned a number in Berrien County). My Station Name is Buchanan 1.4 ESE (i.e., it is located 1.4 ESE of the town of Buchanan).

Saturday, June 21, 2008

New York Times writes about the Comic Con's relations with Hollywood

Normally I'd eschew a post of this kind--there's not much that's news in it--but this year the animation-to-comics quotient is going to really spike, and moreover while I'm a longtime daily reader of the New York Times and enjoy it, although occasionally their take on the doings of our west coast seem, well...a little clueless. Late to the party as it were.

Case in point: today there's an article that deals with Hollywood studios' presence at the annual San Diego Comic con. While the piece is titled "Comics Convention Beckons Hollywood"(click the title to read it in full), the print version adds a sub-header: "The film business grudgingly courts fans in San Diego". The internet version looks even more askance, using this: "Hollywood still leery of Comic Convention".

Really now?

It's exactly what you'd expect. No cliche about unwashed bodies goes unused. One of the accompanying photos online (there's none in the print version) shows an overweight, bespectacled teenager sitting cross-legged on the floor engrossed in his reading material,paper receipt dangling from his mouth. Reference is made to something called "Con crud" which it's suggested is either a common cold or an STD. Ugh(I suspect that the Con magazine that offers numbered "tips" and cites the aforementioned "crud" is probably meant to be a little more humorous in tone than the Times presents).

The overall slant is that a motley, frighteningly crowded contingent of cosplay folks and "fanboys" are "grudgingly" catered to by an unwilling Hollywood. It bemusedly describes things that go wrong (example: Joel Silver was actually kept waiting last year while star Kate Beckinsale claimed to be held up at a railroad crossing-no doubt the gospel truth as anyone knows who's been to the Con and tried to cross the street when the crossing arm goes down; the thing seems to take a minimum of 35 minutes each time). You'd think from the overall tone-studio people are desperate to get in and get out as quickly as possible-that the City of San Diego, is, well, perhaps a little plebian.
Actually the downtown area that surrounds the convention center is a Seattle-like, revitalized district featuring a lot of great restaurants and pubs and an enjoyable sidewalk scene not often seen in Los Angeles save for a few blocks of 3rd street, Robertson, Melrose or the Grove-familiar haunts of Business players(and I daresay Times scribes).

But back to the picture painted of ComicCon: while we get the travails of this or that company and their booking acrobatics, no mention is made of the extent that arguably the most powerful(certainly the most world-famous)director in Hollywood, Steven Spielberg, went to last year to do a live feed to the convention from the set of the then-filming "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull". The SRO crowd was treated to a meet & greet with not only all the principals- Harrison Ford, Shia LeBeouf, Ray Winstone-but the confirmation by Spielberg officially for the first time the casting of Karen Allen. No, in lieu of any of that proof of ComicCon's importance we get a focus on a production company called Summit Entertainment-an outfit with a slate of titles I've never heard of. They're probably niche fan properties.

Neither was there any mention that "Iron Man" was represented last year by stars Robert Downey Jr. and Gywneth Paltrow and director Jon Favreau, all of whom have been to the snarkily compared Cannes film festival many times also, I'm sure.

No mention of "Hulk" star and writer Edward Norton, prince of the Serious Acting school of critics(with whom I agree-he's good) who also deigned to go to San Diego for his Con appearance and panel in '07.

No Pixar, either, although as far as I am aware Pixar for years has maintained a strong presence there, planning panels featuring its most well-known artists and directors, plus peeks and premieres of upcoming work.

I wonder how much more significant contributing film honchos could get than Spielberg, Lasseter, Bird, Lucas...yet none of them are mentioned. Nor is there a mention of Matt Groening, Bill Plympton, JJ Abrams, and a host of others I can't think of off the top of my head. Not chopped liver they. Remember, this is all just last year I'm citing, not a 10-year span of attendees. One year.

The fact is, for a lot of people who aren't your sterotypical comics geek the Con has become cool; it's a place to gawp, buy, and party-and not at Ralph's either(another mention in the article presumably showing how low-rent the affair skews).

I'd bet writer Cieply has never attended San Diego himself. He seems to have approached this article armed with a dated, preconceived notion of what a crowd attending something called a "Comic Con" would be like-and he was only partly accurate.

How much more intriguing if he'd been aware-and related to the readers-how a humble, standard annual comics show became over 20 years a mega-marketed, serious venue that makes clear the reality of pop culture's cross-pollination in its most egalitarian and visible form?

Instead it's merely a brief story about the supposed discomfort that Hollywood must endure to market to the sorts of people who buy tickets to "blockbusters". Sure, there are plenty of sweaty bodies-I'm sure I've been one since the heat is fierce in San Diego every year and the Convention Center main exhibition room always seems overloaded with attendees. Yes, there are people in costumes, which I always thought were great fun to look at. Yes, the Con is a ridiculous, hot, impossible to navigate, frustrating carnival of giant Lego Chewbaccas, crazy walkaround things, killer backpacks on oblivious collectors, nerdy crazy people, cool crazy people, artists, scenesters, lots of camera crews and a terrible din of a million people all talking at once. It's terrific fun.

But what's also there is is an every-growing contingent of film professionals-mostly from animation-who are presenting their own work alongside the huge players, offering self published books and toys as well as other merchandise they've designed, some of which are substantial businesses; former and current Disney, Dreamworks and Warner Bros animators' companies such as Conduct Happiness, Electric Tiki, Red Window, Red Tango all selling, networking, and in general having fun amid all the chaos; it's been one of the places that, love it and/or hate it, is a place to see and be seen and meet up with old colleagues.

some of last year's haul, and a big part of why I and my friends go to the Con

Given the people I know of this year presenting their own books, prints and wares there's a good article to be written about the crossover between the graphic books of the past and present and the people whose graphic work is usually employed in big-budget "Hollywood" animation doing their own small-press thing.

And you know, all of us are geeks if by geeks you mean lovers of cool stuff yearning to see new and exciting work of all kinds-be they filmed, drawn, sculpted or written. In that sense we have a lot in common with the non-pros sitting cross-legged on the floor. By the way, I confess I've done that myself as have most of my (adult) friends. That's because there are no other places available to sit in the Convention Center.

Michael Cieply-why don't you come on down? The train is a great ride.

See you in San Diego.

"Comics Convention Beckons Hollywood", by Michael Cieply 6/21/08

Friday, June 20, 2008

It's Great to have Friends!

I have to thank Susan Powers, really just a huge heart warming Thank you!!!

Grandpa Joe passed away last week, it has been such a sad time for us. But he'd been sick for a bit. So, when we found out that Grandpa Joe was in Hospice and it was imminent that time was extremely short, John (my husband) and I started to gather some of the old photographs that we have.

Well Susan had invited me over for lunch and asked that I bring the photographs... I did. This way we'd have some nice images to display at the services. I took these images and others from the 40's, 50s, 60s, allll the way to the present and made a collage, it was a big hit! Everyone loved looking at those old pictures! It was a great way to remember what a fun and charming man Joe was!

And I'd like to show you the before and after's.



Notice how Grandpa looks much smoother and I don't have dark circles under my eyes! And she zoomed in on the image so that we were front, and the back round isn't as dark. Gosh, she's a magician!



This is my favorite picture! It was taken about 7 years ago, and he just looks so happy! I love his smile, it just warms you through and through! She brought more light to Peggy, and softened up Grandpa, got rid of a sore above his mouth, and best of all, he still looks like himself!

Thank you Susan for helping me create photographs that will be with the family forever!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Eric Goldberg's New Book

"Character Animation Crash Course!", a brand new book by legendary animator, Freddie Moore expert, collector of exquisite stuff, sage and all-around nice guy Eric Goldberg is on its way to the bookstores in a few weeks.

Here's the official description from the publisher, Silman-James Press:

Character Animation Crash Course! is a veritable Genie's lamp stuffed with everything the aspiring animator could wish for! Renowned animator Eric Goldberg's detailed text and drawings illuminate how to conceive characters "from the inside out" to create strong personalities. Classic animation techniques are analyzed and brought to life through this unique book and its accompanying CD that offers readers animated movie examples that show, in real time or frame-by-frame, the author's principles at work. Add to this Goldberg's discussions of classic cartoons and his witty, informative observations based on the wealth of knowledge he's gained during his 30-plus years in professional animation, and you have a tour-de-force guide to character animation with the classic touch.

As described above it comes with not only a distillation of Eric's prodigious knowledge of the craft of personality animation but a DVD as well loaded with quicktime tests he's done himself, illustrating the principles he describes in the book--all the essentials.
Through the usual .05 degrees of separation that seem to exist between everyone in Los Angeles, I learned of this book's imminent birth while visiting the publisher at her home. Gwen Feldman is not only "Silman-James Press" but is an artist herself--she's a member of Chouinard's last graduating class in '71, former pupil of the great ones such as the late design teacher Bill Moore (about whom-like all his students-she's got some great stories). One of the most intelligent and creative people I've ever met, my husband's good friend even before I met her, she's an amazing photographer, art collector--someone whose range of interests still surprises me after twenty-some years.

Case in point: I blew a gasket when she casually mentioned a few months ago that she was publishing a book by Eric Goldberg. I got a glimpse of it completed then, and I was thrilled to see what was going to be in it. I'm sure you won't need me to tell you it's going to be a must have.
Eric's going to be debuting and signing it at Comic Con, on the Friday and no doubt at several other venues in Los Angeles as well. I'll add more details as I get them. For now it can be pre-ordered at Amazon and through the Creative Talent Network's portal.

Can't wait. And some guy named Brad Bird wrote the forward, too.

Do you Want to Be a Planner?

Have you fallen in love with the idea of being a Wedding Consultant? Did you plan your wedding and just can't seem to get weddings out of your mind? Do you feel you are made for this job?

Don't forget that we are planning a 2-Day Seminar to teach you the ins and out's of this fantastic career! We'll teach you everything you need to know about being a consultant how to work with clients, basically the whole sch-bang!
Spaces are filling up quickly!!! Why not learn from the best?

Another Poll...

This issue has come up with a few of my clients, so I am just curious as to what you are thinking...

Some photographers allow the clients to own all of their images, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Some only a certain number of images- does this matter to you?

Let me know what you think...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

David Derrick blogs about drawing from life and plein air sculpting

Story artist Dave Derrick is a guy who inspires me with his talent, energy and determination to constantly seek out and accomplish new things. He's just put up a blog which can be visited here.

I have an especially soft spot for the sort of animal drawing he's adept at. He draws constantly from life, but to my eye his animals always have an extra personality and charm that's probably equal parts what's there--and what's inside the artist himself.

In his brand-new blog he's going to post examples of his studies and the ways he uses them-most recently in sculpting. He's definitely someone to watch and learn from (he's one of the artists included in "Scrambled Ink" as well-that work is pictured in my earlier post). Pay him a call.

all artwork courtesy of David Derrick, from his blog