Archive for August, 2011


Guest Star: Karyn’s (Re)fashionable Wedding Dress

A huge dilemma for many brides is what to do with the wedding dress after the wedding. Before you “preserve” your dress in the deep, dark depths of your closet, check out this guest post by Karyn Alzayer from Path To Green.

Karyn is Rachel’s (Stitely Entertainment staffer) super creative friend from college who showcases her unique  homemade projects as well as an account of her attempts to live a green and eco-friendly lifestyle. (And Rachel says she’s awesome!) Enjoy!


When Husband and I got married 3 years ago, friends and relatives at the time were mortified to hear I was planning to cut up my wedding dress. “Don’t you want to preserve it?” “Why would you want to cut up something so nice?” or “What if someday one of your daughters or granddaughters wants to wear it?” were some of the most common desperate pleas.

I finally started returning to the askers, “Well, where’s YOUR wedding dress?”

Mostly, nobody could really remember, it hadn’t been gotten out in ages, or it had been ruined in storage, turned yellow, never been worn again. I explained that I was going to remake mine into a nice cocktail dress and then make my husband take me somewhere nice on our anniversary so I could wear it every year.

It took me three years to finally dig in and actually DO it, but I was (finally) motivated by this year’s upcoming anniversary to get it finished. Husband took me out on a 3-hour Boston Harbor dinner cruise, and I got to wear my newly refashioned wedding dress!

It was mostly simple, really. I cut off the dress at my desired length. That was the hardest part, the first actual cut. From there, it was easy! I had to take in the back a bit because the extra fabric for the train/bustle looked really weird when it was short. I replaced the ivory colored trim at the top and waist with hot pink, leaving a big bow in the back instead of cutting it off like the ivory had been. It still needed a little something extra, so I put the remaining pink trim around the bottom, and sprinkled in some hot pink seed beads amongst the beading.

Here are a few before and after shots.

My dress went from this….



To this!

I made a matching bracelet/necklace set from all the extra pink beads I had.
Another closeup of the beadwork
I really like this picture, even though it came out a little blurred
Another shot of the back

And I had so many extra beads, I decided to make myself a matching necklace!

There’s a bracelet in one of the photos, but it got dismembered when I realized those large pink beads would be better used as earrings. They’re nothing special, so I didn’t take photos. Just a big pink bead and a small one mounted on a pin and hooked on an earring finding.

So to my married female readers out there: Where’s YOUR wedding dress? What are your plans for it?


For more from Karyn on how to live a greener lifestyle, follow her Path To Green blog.


official opinion: happy birthday michael jackson

53 years ago today, Michael Jackson was born in Gary, Indiana and the music world would never be the same. When you think ‘live performance‘, you tend to think MJ. The global hit records, the iconic dance moves; it’s hard to imagine pop music today without Jackson’s impact.

In honor of MJ’s birthday, we’ve made his breakout performance of Billie Jean our choice for this week’s Music Monday. This classic appearance was Michael’s set at the Motown 25th Anniversary Show, and the first time he unveiled his famous Moonwalk.


Official Opinions: Stitely internships are fun!

Hey there Stitely Blogosphere! If you are a student or know any students looking for a fall internship, Stitely Entertainment has three unique internship opportunities. We have three different positions available: Event-Planning Support, Marketing and Multimedia and Live Sound Reinforcement. Each internship begins late August or early September and continues through December. You can take these internships for class credit and hours are flexible between 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday to accommodate your schedule. Bonus: We pay a small daily stipend to defray transportation cost, provide for lunch and have some left over for the weekend.   If you want to get some hands-on experience in the music and events industries, these internships are for you.  Here’s a little about each position:

-Event Planning Support: This intern assists our Event Planning Coordinator as she works with clients in preparation for their events.  Basic responsibilities include preparing musical materials such as charts, lyrics and MP3s for upcoming events, interfacing with musicians, and a few special projects.  You also have the opportunity to dabble in marketing, occasionally writing a blog post or attending events to take photos. We ask you to be in our Evanston office 20-24 hours a week and you must be able to read music in order to be considered for the position. Strong writing skills and photo/video experience are also a plus but not necessary.

-Marketing and Multimedia: While duties will vary on a project by project basis, basic responsibilities for Marketing and Multimedia Interns include taking photos and videos at a handful of events and editing and posting these media on Flickr & YouTube.  Interns also write blog posts, maintain our various social media sites and contribute ideas for new PR & marketing initiatives.  We’re looking for someone with strong writing skills who is also great at taking photos, recording videos and editing these media. A familiarity with graphic design and Mac computers is encouraged, but not necessary. We ask you to be in the office three days per week and you will need to attend a few weekend events, but these will be limited to two or three per month.

-Live Sound Reinforcement: Sound Interns assist our professional sound engineers at weddings and private events at a variety of venues throughout Chicagoland.  If you have a desire to learn the skills involved in mixing live band audio on cutting-edge sound equipment, this is a great opportunity. Additional opportunities to assist on DJ events to learn DJ skills are also available.  Most events are on Saturday afternoons and evenings so you must have weekend availability for this position.  Applicants must have a working knowledge of basic sound equipment and have regular access to a car. We are looking to hire at least three interns to work with each of our bands.

Interested?  Send your resume and cover letter that includes the position for which you are applying and why you are a good candidate to  Event-Support applicants, please include your musical background in your cover letter. Sound Reinforcement applicants, please include your weekend availability and confirm access to a vehicle.  We hope to hear from you!


official opinions: a birthday edition music monday

It’s Monday, yes. Not just any Monday though. Everybody here at Stitely is wishing Peggy a happy birthday, and you should too!

In honor of Peggy’s special day, she chose today’s Music Monday feature: none other than “Ultimate Showdown (of Ultimate Destiny)” by Sebadoh. So take a break from your workday and enjoy one of the most creative songs and video around.

Poor Batman…


Guest Star: Sticky Lupree coming soon to Reggies

Not only does Doopy Lupree perform regularly for one of Stitely Entertainment’s most popular groups, The Stephanie Rogers Band, he also plays in another awesome group.  Sticky Lupree, lead by Doopy and his amazing voice that can “scall, wail, croon, and improvise,” has grown to be a Chicago cult classic.  The band has a weekly gig at Webster’s Wine Bar in downtown Chicago and Doopy himself also plays regularly at Naha restaurant in the city.  Having gained musical experience from across the globe, Doopy and his band have created an impressive show that appeals to music lovers of all generations.

Later this month, everyone will have the opportunity to see Sticky Lupree perform at Reggies, a Chicago music venue with a long history of amazing performers.  It it set to take place on Tuesday, August 23rd at 8:30 pm.  The show also includes the well-known local artist “Mr. Blotto” who also promises an entertaining show.

This will be the perfect time to embrace the last of the Chicago summer weather and see a great show in a terrific venue.  Gather a group of friends and head out for a Tuesday night to remember!


Guest star: How ‘Doopy Lupree’ came to be

For a while now, Stitely Entertainment has had the pleasure of working with experienced musician and Chicago local, Doopy Lupree.  A vocalist for the critically acclaimed Stephanie Rogers Band, Doopy naturally took to music early on in life.  We recently got a chance to ask him a few questions and learn more about his unique career path and the many adventures he’s come across on the way.

Stitely Entertainment: For starters, could you tell us a little bit about the name “Doopy”?  Is this a stage name?  If so, how did you come up with it?

Doopy Lupree:  “Doopy” Lupree.  A name bequeathed upon me by Katherine Chronis.  I had recently returned from spending 8 months in Amsterdam and told her about some of my musical experiences and she looked at me and said, “you’re a regular Doopy Lupree.”  I had no idea what she meant at the time, but I liked the poetics of it.  Later, when i became part of the a cappella trio “78 Cents,”  it fit right in with “Norm K.” and “LaRue Smooth.”

SE:  Who or what inspired you to be a professional musician?  Let’s put this in the present tense and ask “who or whom is inspiring…?”

DL:  College friends Linford Detwieler, Karin Bergquist, and Ric Hordinski.  Sticky Lupree members, Dylan Jones, Rich Stitzel, Lloyd Kind and Todd Lazar.  Former room mate, friend, band leader and singer/ songwriter, Stephanie Rogers.  Friend and DJ, Johnny Fiasco.  Fine Artist, Lora Fosberg.  Friend and Restauranteur, Michael Nahabedian.

SE:    What’s your craziest event story?

DL:  I wouldn’t know which one to tell without incriminating someone.  the time the bride’s dad wanted to dance with me?  The time the bride’s aunt passed out and I had to administer CPR?

SE:  Do you have any regular gigs?

DL:  I work at Naha Restaurant.  500 N. Clark, Chicago, Il., 312.321.NAHA

SE:  Do you play in any other groups? Tell us about them.

DL:  I am fortunate to be able to play with Sticky Lupree.  We’ve crafted some great tunes and re-worked a number of favorites by others revered into chugging groove trains.  We held a near decade-long residency at Webster’s Wine Bar.  I also very much enjoy adding backup vocals to projects.  my vocals can be found on the Large Records release: “Higher” by Johnny Fiasco.

SE:  How did you become involved with music?

DL:  I’m pretty sure it began in utero. my mom has a really pretty voice.  So does my dad.  Simon and Garfunkel, Peter, Paul and Mary, Beach Boys.  Then, when I was toddling, Disney records, church music, grade school music classes.  Then, TV themes. Elton John’s “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds“, high school marching band and 80’s new wave.  I was in a band at college.  I also had  a side-soul band.   Then I moved to Chicago, joined a gospel choir, started hanging out with DJs and artist-freaks.  Then spent time in Amsterdam and sang on the street and made some great friends.  When I moved back to Chicago, I joined an a capella trio singing in the subways; ended up being on Jerry Springer. Sang on Johnny Fiasco’s Large Records release of “Higher.”  Picked up room mate, Leah Callaghan’s guitar.  Began strumming some open chords and writing songs with her. Formed Sticky Lupree active today.

SE:  What was your first concert?

DL:  Manhattan Transfer. Their cover of Ad-Lib’s “Boy From New York City” was my jam.

SE:   If you could share the stage with any musician, dead or alive, who would it be?

DL:  Sam Cooke.  I feel he would be so gracious.

SE:  What are the 5 songs you’re listening to most right now?

DL:  These are songs that are on my playlist titled “Learn It:”

  1. Everything” by Michael Buble
  2. Send Me On My Way” by Rusted Root
  3. Human Nature” by Michael Jackson
  4. “Sailing (That Bus Comes Sailing)” by Lloyd Brodnax King
  5. Love T.K.O.” by Teddy Pendergrass.

SE:   You are stuck on a desert island forever. Which three albums do you want with you?

DL:  I’m going only double albums, and I’m going with albums I’ve never heard before.

  1. Freak Out” by Frank Zappa
  2.  “Clube Da Esquina” by Milton Nascimento and Lo Borges
  3. The Maria Callas version of “Tosca” by Giacomo Puccini

SE:  Beatles or Stones?

DL:  Beatles during the day, Stones at night.


Official opinions: Erykah Badu Is In A Rush

This latest Music Mondays selection comes from Marketing and Multimedia intern Dallas Wright. He chose “Time’s a Wastin'” by Erykah Badu. It’s a mellow, stripped down track that’s featured on her second studio album, Mama’s Gun.

Badu reminds us not to waste the little time we have, all over six and a half minutes of smooth snare drum and keyboard. It’s tragic, because I’ve definitely wasted serious time zoning out to this amazing song.


Guest Star: Nicole Fitzpatrick on the chaotic world of catering

For many of us, simply cooking a whole dinner for family and friends is a job!  When it comes to preparing food, there’s a lot a chef needs to keep in mind: timing, presentation, table settings.  Every little aspect matters.  Nowhere is this more true than in the wild world of catering, where your big dinner party would be their average evening!

Nicole Fitzpatrick has spent years in the business and currently works for Calihan Catering.  Based in Chicago, Calihan is a family-operated company and strives to give each client a unique touch for their wedding day or special event menu.  Nicole was nice enough to open up and give us a few stories and tips from her experience:

Stitely Entertainment:  How did you get started in catering?

Nicole Fitzpatrick:  I went to school for Hospitality and Tourism Management.  I started working in the hotel industry and three years ago moved into off premise catering.

SE:  How do you develop a menu?

NF:  I get my inspiration from each event.  I also do a lot of research based on the themes.  I then meet with the chef to go over options and how this will translate to catering.

SE:   Since you work with food for a living, do you enjoy cooking at home?

NF:  I would if I had time! 🙂

SE:  What is the craziest event story you can share?

NF:  We were working a house party and there were 300 people in attendance.  We cooked out of the garage.  The crowd was so tight that we had to walk the food around the block to serve food and beverage.

SE:  What sets you and your company apart from other caterers?

NF:  We are a family owned company that specializes in cooking food from scratch.  We customize all menus to compliment each event.

SE:  What advice would you give to couples when working with their caterer on their wedding?

NF:  Make sure to ask lots of questions and feel comfortable with your representative as they will be working with you through out the process!

SE:  Put your iPod on shuffle. Which three songs are played first? What are the first three songs that come up?

NF:  Beastie Boys- Root Down, Taylor Swift-Picture to Burn, Joni Mitchell- Both Sides Now


music monday- a lollapalooza discovery!

For my last week here at Stitely, I chose the song “Death” by The White Lies for the music Monday pick!

I had the pleasure of going to Lollapalooza in downtown Chicago all day on Friday and The White Lies performed on the largest stage.  My friends and I didn’t know them well, but decided to stop by and listen.  They rocked the house and we ended up staying for the entire set!  This song was beautifully sung and my personal favorite of the show.


official opinions: biggest Lollapalooza ever around the corner!

Yes, it’s back.  Chicago’s largest music festival of the year is here again, Lollapalooza, and it’s bigger and better than ever before!

If you have waited on buying tickets, I’m sorry to report that you are too late.  The massive event sold out in late July with 90,000 tickets sold for each of the three days.  That makes a grand total of 270,000 tickets purchased.  This is a full 30,000 more than last year.  So if you are going, plan for a crowd!

The festival, which began as a traveling festival that made stops all over the U.S., found a home here in Chicago’s beautiful Grant Park in 2005.  Since then, Lollapalooza has consistently grown and proven to be a huge draw for visitors to the city.

The dates for the 2011 Lolla are set for this weekend, August 5-7.  Over 130 artists will be performing on various stages for the enormous crowd (and thankfully the weather doesn’t look too bad!)

For anyone lucky enough to have tickets for this highly anticipated event, here are 3 things you shouldn’t miss during your time at Lollapalooza.

1.)  “The Dell Lounge”:  This new festival feature is an air conditioned (woo-hoo!) tent that displays live video feed from multiple stages around the festival, as well as unique youtube productions made just for the 2011 Lolla.  Experience this high-tech addition to the fest, but make sure you get out there in the action too!

2.)  Ellie Goulding:  Although she’s not one of the biggest names this year, this British songbird is a rising star and well worth seeing.  The 24-year-old Ellie has a voice that is both beautiful and unique.  Many of her songs are also known for having highly revered techno or electronic remixes.

3.) “Uncorked”:  A great option for older guests to the festival and all wine lovers is the uncorked tent (also air conditioned!)  This spacious tent provides comfortable patio seating and a variety of wines from around the world, all while giving you a view of the festival stages.

These are just a few of the great types of live entertainment that will be offered this weekend at Lollapalooza!  Make sure you get around to see it all at this record breaking Chicago music festival.

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Delivering a mind-blowing musical performance at an event is an art and planning it is a science. Stitely Entertainment has mastered both by planning and executing thousands of events.

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August 2011