Thursday, September 10, 2009

Guest post: Once-Glorious Bastards: My Adventures with Granny's Cut Glass

Ok, you caught me, I am blogging from Hawaii. But I swear this is the first time I've gotten on a real computer this week, the rest of em had been scheduled ahead of time. I've asked my friend Katie to entertain you today because she's always got good stories, like getting noogied by a stranger on the subway. So without furthur ado, here she is....oh and I'm having a great time, wish you were here!
Well what an honor to be asked to guest-blog for Shannon while she's vacationing.

I'm getting married the day after Thanksgiving. Do some quick math, and you'll realize that I'm getting to that interesting zone where things get a little, uh, hairy, for the bride. Lots to do, not a lot of free time to do get the picture. So, I'd like to take you back to a time when things were still calm, and I still got to say "Oh I still have 9 months. I have plenty of time."
Being a bride on a budget, you have to pick your battles. Since it's a late Fall wedding, a way to save that instantly came to mind was centerpieces. Do I NEED elaborate floral arrangements? Not really; not for a wedding at that time of year an certainly not like I NEED a great DJ and photographer. Something had to give, and it was definitely the centerpieces. But then again, I am not the type to just slap down some votive candles and call it a day. Oh no, I needed SOMETHING, and something that looked like I at least TRIED. But what? Finally, that question was answered- A friend of a friend inspired me because she used this same concept for her wedding last September... Cut Glass. Some of you right now might be saying, "What the heck is cut glass?" The reason I am guessing this is because I've been asked that question a lot. That's why I brought visuals to today's show-n-tell.

Here are some pics of the fruits of our labor.

Basically, the idea is to use old pieces of cut glass that you can acquire from yard sales, thrift shops, and Granny's attic, and use them as decor/candle holders for the reception tables. The cut glass is ideal for giving some serious sparkle for those on a serious budget. I would use smaller pieces (wine glasses, dessert bowls, punch glasses, etc. ) for my votive candle holders, and the larger pieces, like Vases, to hold some seasonal dried flowers and grasses. And so, my journey began...

I would scour Craigslist and the local newspapers for postings for multi-family yard sales and off I would go! Between 2 trips (by "trip, I mean an entire morning of driving to various yard sales) with my Mom, one with one of my bridesmaids Heather, one trip with my future Mother-In-Law, at least one trip to every thrift store in our area, and various donations from family members who have been keeping an eye out, I have managed to garner about 150 pieces of glass that will be used as candle-holders, and another 20 or so larger pieces that can be used as the centerpiece, each piece costing no more than one dollar, and often times, much less!

Here are some lovelies taking a bath in the dishwasher. (Hey! Some of these guys have been stored away for years!)

When it's all said and done, it really wasn't that difficult. If you plan far enough ahead and start looking early, it's actually quite fun. Sort of like a yard-sale scavenger hunt. Plus I got to spend quality time with loved ones.

But, the cut glass concept appealed to me for reasons other than just budgetary.

First, I love the idea of recycling something old, and giving it a different purpose, a new lease on life. Anyone who knows me and Andy (the groom) well, knows that we hate waste. This was a pleasantly unexpected way for us to re-use old items that would otherwise just sit, dust-covered, until someone finally cleaned out their basement and tossed them away in some landfill.

Mini pitchers, how cute! Shannon loves anything miniaturized.

Which brings me to my second reason for loving this idea- History books are a constant on my bedside table. I like to browse the Colonial gravestones in Philadelphia's old churchyards, and calculate how old the person was when they died, and what life must have been like for them. I love thinking about how different the world was in 1942 when my Grandmother was the age I am now, and how in many ways we are all just the same as then. So, I LOVE to wonder where all this glass has been! What has it seen since its "birth"? I bet most of it is actually older than me! Was this someone's favorite vase 60 years ago? How many parties did this punch bowl rev up after someone spiked its contents in 1965? Where they've been is a mystery... and that's half the fun.

I've never gone to Yard Sales prior to this, and it turns out that most people are very friendly and chatty. It delighted them to hear that their grandmother's dessert cups, or a vase they decided to part with after 30 years, was taking on a new life for one day.

They will make their reincarnated debut on November 27, and then, hopefully, with my full blessing, some of our wedding guests will take home their favorite pieces from their table. Maybe these lil treasures will take a permanent place in someone's china cabinet or table.

Perhaps Shannon will invite me back to let you know how everything turned out!


LizzieBeth said...

I am totally burglerizing this idea. That's right, I've got on a black jeff cap, mask and I threw this idea into a brown sack.

This idea is so great because I HAVE so much cut glass sitting in boxes in my parents attic. And since it looks like we are probably getting married at an old farmhouse, I think this is the perfect idea.

Thanks friend of Shannon!!


Kelly said...

I love how I didnt know about this and BAM there it is. Sneaky blogs rule.

Also, I liked this blog. I like your story behind it all. I can't wait to steal half of it at your wedding. ( Wait do I talk to Shan still or Katie for this post?)

Totally confused but definitely still typing

Isrut said...

haha! great title.

Katie said...

LizzieBeth-I am so glad someone is stealing this idea! I forgot to mention that our reception is in an old farmhouse too. haha Feel free to try and contact me via Shannon if you have any questions. I will take pictures of the end product on wedding day. -Katie

Sarah Mahalo said...

I'm excited too. It's gonna be purty and sparklie.

I like sparklie things.

Lisa said...

I personally am using bottles of Tullamore Dew as my centerpieces, but this sounds nice too


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