Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Wanted: an array of Vera napkins.

My dear friend Sarah is getting married in September, and she is graciously letting me help her plan some of the wedding details. Which is fabulous, because I love Sarah and I love planning weddings. It means two of my favorite things wrapped into one.

So, not to spoil too many of her surprises, but she is planning a late summer/early fall wedding... in VERMONT! She and her fiance Aaron plan to host the event at his mother's farm, and the whole affair is to be casual and easy going and totally perfect. I believe there will be lawn games (bocce ball anyone?). Of course there will be delicious food (although I understand no meatballs). Her colors palate is pretty loose, and since the bride and groom are easygoing folk, I know the wedding will be so much fun. They are planning to get the freshest flowers from a local farm the day of the wedding, whatever is the best in bloom, and we will arrange them ourselves.

The other amazing details is she plans to use all sorts of mismatched and colorful vintage napkins as part of the decor. And even better, she has put me in charge of securing them all. This is a dream come true, as I am an avid fan of the vintage Vera Neumann linens and textiles I often stumble across on eBay and etsy. For those of you not familiar, Vera Neumann was an American artist and entrepreneur. She is best known for her bold colored patterns on her linens and scarves, signed with her script "Vera" and a ladybug. With her husband, the two began to merge art and textiles in their home apartment. She was of the belief that fine art should not just be for the wealthy. It should be available to all and it should be incorporated in everyone’s every day routine through clothing, scarves and accessories, and linens. Vera had the philosophy that you should change the art around you every once in a while because you soon stop seeing it.

As you can see, Vera Neumann's designs are simultaneously modern AND organic, graphic AND natural, and just all over lovely. I have been scouring eBay and vintage sites trying to score deals on napkins. So far I have collected 32 napkins, featured here, and Sarah has purchased 29. So we need at least 89 more lovely Vera beauties (or Vera-like beauties) to complete the look.

So, two important questions for the blog-o-sphere our there.
1) Do you have a collection of mismatched or complete Vera napkins that you would like to donate or sell to the cause? Email me with photos and descriptions and we can work out a deal.
2) Do you have any creative ideas about how to integrate these napkins into an overall decor?

I eagerly await your feedback.

p.s. This Design Sponge blog article really showcased Vera Neumann's work and process, and my favorite overpriced but lovely store, Anthropologie, is resurrecting and paying homage to the designer with a special line sold in their stores (Check out the New York, New York dress. If I was tiny, I would buy it and wear it everyday).

Friday, March 12, 2010

Crayfish boil.

Last weekend we went to a crayfish boil. Twenty five pounds of living, squirming, pinching crayfish went into a pot with some corn and sausage and came out dinner. The crayfish boil is quite an experience, because those little suckers are alive up until the the minute they drop in the pot and boil for dinner. There is a little bit of guilt involved in the experience, and a little bit of squeamishness, and a little bit of morbid curiosity as you look at the living crayfish crawling around in the cooler next to the boiling pot. And of course, there is a lot a bit of work to get those tasty just boiled tail morals ready for your mouth, followed by a lot of deliciousness.

We have only been to two crayfish boils in our lives, and at the first Sam was so funny, because not once, but twice during dinner he suddenly and violently threw a crayfish back into the pile on the table in fear and shock, imaging it to be alive. Which of course is very humorous, because these poor crayfish are dead as dead can be by the time they come out of that pot. He was much more reasonable at this dinner.

Eating crayfish is a lot of work. But, it does leave you feeling like you have burned more calories than you have consumed. Plus, it gets you back in tune with your food. And it makes for cute and funny photos and the ability to dissect a carcass in the name of science while eating dinner. All in all, a very satisfying meal.

We also had a bonfire. Paul collect twenty five (yes, twenty five) wooden pallets, and we burned them all in a blaze of glory. Apparently Paul learned that pallets are the best for bonfires from his dad, who also likes to build giant fires. Ironically, Paul's dad is a firefighter. Anyhow, the blaze was mighty and warm, and no doubt impressive.