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So a while ago my good friend KJ told me about this wicked cool perfume place called BPAL (Black Phoenix Alchemy Labs), a sort of underground online goth/punk/alternative source of beautiful and unusual scents for the overly literate.  It took me a while to warm up to the idea, but back last November I decided to give it a try, and placed my first ever order for six little samples of different scents.  Combined with a packet KJ sent me quite a while ago, this means I have a little over a dozen scents that I’ve been trying out.  Some I love so much I would wear them every day, some are interesting scents for particular moods/days, and some give me a rash.  No, I don’t mean that metaphorically.  Actually it’s not so much a rash as a round, red, swollen patch of painfully itchy sensitive skin at the base of my throat, about the size of a silver dollar, right where I applied a demure drop of the perfume.  This is the third time I’ve reacted like this to one of their perfumes, each time a different one, with no common ingredients I can identify.  It’s driving me a little nuts, not only because this is near-unbearably itchily painful, but because, dang it, I like the BPAL scents I’ve been trying, and I don’t want to have to give up on them.  But this latest one is so uncomfortable that I think I may have to throw in the towel.  However, the funny thing is that, not only does the rash almost perfectly match the bright pink shirt I’m wearing for Valentine’s Day, but it looks like a huge hickey, right there at the base of my neck, which some might say would also be seasonally appropriate.  And, well, no.  My weekend wasn’t that interesting.  More’s the pity, and all, but no.

What my weekend was mostly full of was sewing.  I’ve been wanting to get started on my bridesmaid dress for some time, but it’s been so cold, and the sewing room isn’t heated.  I would get all ready to go do some sewing, open the door to the sewing room, get a blast of freezing air in my face, quickly shut the door and decide that I really needed to do something else in another room where my toes wouldn’t be in danger of freezing off.  Fortunately, this weekend we had the most gorgeous break in the brutally cold weather, with temperatures up in the 30s and 40s(!) – perfect sewing weather!  On Saturday I traced my pattern off (I’m using Vintage Vogue 2960), adding in the adjustments I thought would be necessary.  This was in between doing some housework and making a big pot of chicken & potato soup that filled the whole house (and some of the air outside) with the most delicious smells.  On Sunday I got the first muslin mockup sewn, and started tweaking things.  Mostly (to my complete surprise) things needed to be taken in quite a bit, particularly in front, though I needed to take in the back a little too.  It’s a bit tight under the arms, so some of the excess I’m taking away in the front and back will need to be added to the sides, and I think I’m going to have to lengthen it about two inches, so that the waist doesn’t look like it’s trying to unsuccessfully sneak up into being an Empire waist without me noticing.

Also, while I’m adding a little onto the bottom, I think I’m going to have to add some to the top too.  While I knew this design was a bit low-cut, in the illustration it looks, well, somewhat demure.  Lady-like.  Freshly pretty.  (Maybe it’s the little white gloves.)  It’s low, but there isn’t even a hint of cleavage.  When I put it on, however, the effect was, um, how shall I put this, rather boobalicious.  Cleavage everywhere.  Having to buy special underwear quantities of cleavage.  Oktoberfest waitress/Renfest girl cleavage.  And this is before I had even sewn on the facing, so the actual neckline would be another half an inch lower.  I don’t think they make support garments that wouldn’t show in a neckline that low.  So, yeah, that’s going to have to be adjusted too.

On Sunday we also had our first Bridesmaids meeting.  All of us within driving distance gathered at the Family Homestead, and we had AnniPotts and The Duchess on speaker phone.  We went through how each of us is progressing on our respective dresses/outfits, discussed shoes (silver), jewelry (silver, simple), and hair ornaments.  Indy has been making gorgeous bead flowers to use as hair ornaments.  She has a whole wreath of them for Fleur’s hair, which is the most beautiful thing.  We have a couple of possibly dates for the Bridal Shower, and will be getting together to address the invitations weekend after next.

After the Bridesmaids Meeting I ended up having a talk with Mom, in which she asked me if I would be in charge of coordinating Big Brother’s wedding celebration.  This is going to be a much more informal, low-key affair, both because most of the available money will be spent on sending Mom & Dad to Korea for the actual wedding, and because everyone is going to be fairly burnt out from Sae’s wedding the weekend before.  I talked with her and Indy (who had been spearheading things) about various details, and then agreed to take it on.  My first priority was to e-mail Big Brother and his fiance, asking about their preferences, but then somehow I ended up on the Martha Stewart Weddings website, and let me tell you, that website is like crack.  There’s just so many pretty ideas, and things to do with tissue paper garlands, and ribbons, and… yeah, it’s crack.

Also, Johnnycakes and I figured out a code word to use when he’s hit his limit on listening to wedding stuff.  I figure that might come in handy in the months to come.

Oh, and as a special Valentine’s Day surprise, Sae and Mr. T have written out their separate stories of how they met, and the stories are up on their wedding blog!  Go read the stories, and enjoy the cute!