As you know, I’ve been cutting and washing and drying and shredding burlap in my home for over a month now. I am so burlapped out. I shipped it all off and got on a plane (with my design for a 16 foot tree) and headed to Chicago. It was for a wedding. A friend was getting married downtown in a very cool loft space. High ceilings. Industrial, with long wooden beams and brick walls.
My youngest brother Adam met me there on Wednesday and Thursday morning we got to work.
The bride told me that she wanted a big tree. Or a forest. Whatevs. I’ve never built a tree before, but I thought, why not.
After a trip to home depot that put both Adam and I in a coma, we started construction.
We weren’t supposed to actually get into the space until Saturday but I called and cried on the phone, and the lovely Natalie at Loft on Lake let me into the space an entire day early. Thank you Lord! That saved me in a million ways. And if I hadn’t had Adam there to help me, it would have never ever ever happened. He was THE man!
Now 16 ft, when written down on paper, doesn’t sound like much. But dude, it is much.
I almost panicked at least 47-million times.
And on that first day people were walking through the loft looking at the tree like it was on crack.
But then it began taking shape.
And Mysi, from Soda Fountain Photography, came in and was the first to appreciate what it was.
And that pretty much made my day. This is a picture she shot on Instagram.
And as Saturday wore on, other people began to understand the tree.
And by the time we went back to the hotel to change, I was no longer breathing into a paper bag.
So we got all spiffy…
…and went to the wedding. Which was beautiful. I’m not going to post the great photos of the final product. I’ll wait for the bride to get the pictures out there wherever she wants them.
But here are a few grainy phone shots.
The Florist, Viviana, of Petal Play Design, really knocked them dead with her arrangements. she made it spectacularly beautiful.
And when I introduced myself to her she gave me a big hug like she’d known me her whole life. I can’t tell you how happy that made me.
Everyone who knows how much work I put into this asks if it was worth it. Not even a little bit. It was hours and hours of working with that nasty burlap. I busted our dryer. Then I flew out to Chicago and worked my rear off for 3 days straight. It was stressful. And hard.
Even before the set-up I told people that if I ever did this again I would be charging….a lot.
The most wonderful part of the experience was being with my brother.
I was 16 when he was born.
A lot has happened since then.
And I never get him all to myself.
So this was our time. We walked all over downtown. The Christmas lights were out on Michigan Ave. The weather was mild. It was heaven.
The strangest thing about being with Adam is just how much he reminds me of the other men in my family. He’s 22 now.
Looks a lot like my dad at that age.
Aside from the fact that my dad is 5ft8 and Adam is 6ft3 and lifts weights.
He also looks like my grandpa.
Only with smaller ears…..
Adam, thank you for coming with me and working SO HARD for nothing. I owe you big-time. I’ll make it up to you!
Another bright note was staying with friends. We had not a nano-second of extra time so it was so nice to get to see them for a few minutes before bed and in the morning. They have a 2.5-year-old daughter who ran down the stairs in the morning, wrapped herself around me and said “I missed you!”
She’s never met me before.
She also called me Fruit Heather the entire time, which made me thankful that I grew up eating Fruit Leather and could fully understand the misconception. It melted my heart.
And then I came home after being away from my own midgets for 4 whole nights (for the first time ever). They met me at the airport and their reactions were interesting. Siegfried just about flipped his gourd with glee and Boy literally THREW himself into the air and kicked his legs out in a burst of fury, landed right on his rear and looked at me like, “This is what you get…..”