Memories Uncorked & A DIY Cork Monogram

They tell you to keep blog posts short and use lots of pictures because people scroll and click through quickly and have short attention spans.  Usually I try to do that but this one's a little longer and if you want to jump ahead to the DIY portion of our program, I'm OK with that.  Or you could grab a cold drink and take a moment to read what I hope conveys a moment in a lifetime of moments.

Last weekend we took a trip to Sonoma for John’s college fraternity reunion.  He was looking forward to seeing these guys who were so much a part of his coming of age with a mixture of emotions and a little bit of “God, I hope I recognize them.”  It had been 35 years since seeing many of the 20-25 fraternity brothers that were slated to be there. 

1.    fra·ter·ni·ty

noun: fraternity; plural noun: fraternities

1.    1. a group of people sharing a common profession or interests.

2.    2. the state or feeling of friendship and mutual support within a group.

As we turned off the highway and headed down a winding gravel road to our destination, we marveled at the acres of vineyards and the beauty of the early evening.  It was a perfect setting to renew this brotherhood who met as boys and were now men with stories to tell.

We parked and walked to the open patio where several people gathered in small groups, a table and easel set up with pictures definitely showcasing 70’s style and hair and lots of it.  Greetings echoed and introductions were made.  Some were instantly recognizable and some took a little nudge to the memory after three decades but the handshakes and hugs were genuine and heartfelt.  Conversations swirled like the wine in our glasses;  introductions of significant others, kids and grandkids information exchanged,  and where are you living now?

When dinner was announced, we made our way down the tunnel to the wine cave,  set with beautiful tables, softly lit and surrounded by wine barrels. 

God…is this heaven? 

As dinner was being served, our hosts Fred and Nancy Cline of Cline Cellars welcomed everyone.  Fred then asked that all his fellow AGR’s stand up at each table to tell a little about their life in the present and a favorite memory from their frat house on the UC Davis campus.  Since the wine had been flowing for a couple of hours by now, this was both heartwarming as some shared that had it not been for the support of the fraternity and the men in this wine cave, they most certainly would not have finished college.  Some were hilarious as escapades were revealed, one in particular involved dropping pledges off in San Francisco wearing lingerie and cowboy boots to stand on a corner for the night, only to be picked up in the morning; of having to do dinner dishes for time (3 mins.) as pledges or face the consequences and walking away from rolling a van that may or may not have included alcohol consumption and did not include seatbelts. 

The years melted away as the stories flowed more freely.  It was a joy to observe.  The origin of this reunion was due to a  diagnosis for one of their own.  He is battling Stage IV Melanoma and wanted to see all of these guys that had been such a meaningful part of his life.  The positive, healing energy that was sent his way just added to this once in a lifetime evening.  These men walked in with their memories of that time in the 70's but left with a renewed connection and appreciation for the brotherhood their shared.

  I know it will not be another thirty years before they plan the next get together.

                                    A little older and well maybe

                                   A little older and well maybe

DIY Cork Monogram

Now you may know that we drink a little bit of wine around here...and where there's wine bottles, there are corks.  Well usually, unless they're screw caps and I'm not passing judgement, I just haven't figured out a DIY for them.  So I've seen lots of monogram projects on Pinterest that involve wrapping jute around a letter, which are really cute but I've got lots of corks and we are slowly turning our never used Living Room into a wine bar area so a cork monogram it is.

Here's what you'll need:

  • Corks
  • Hot Glue Gun and Glue
  • Chipboard or Wood Letter
  • A knife or box cutter

I started by cutting the corks in half.  I wanted them to stick out but not the full length of the cork.  You can create color interest by using the wine stained ends in with the normal cork color.

Then you just start gluing them to your letter. 

                                         This glue gun has seen many a project...

                                         This glue gun has seen many a project...

Many wineries have cool logos and sayings on the side of the cork.  These I laid on their side to showcase.

I also cut the corks in thirds and slivers as needed to fit edges and fill in holes.

   It'll be just between us if you happen to be drinking a glass of wine while doing this project

   It'll be just between us if you happen to be drinking a glass of wine while doing this project

Ta Da...depending on if you are going to hang it or have it sit on your wine bar, you can hot glue one of those zig zag picture hangers to the back. 

Thank you for letting me share this moment with you and let me know if you have any cork projects you've created.  I need to go check out Pinterest now for screw top projects.