Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Little Doodles

I found these gorgeous prints through Dooce, a lady with exceptional taste. Although I only read her for the dog pictures.

They are by Little Doodles on Etsy and they're adorable.

Tea Bird

Choccie Birds

"they had staked their claims...Bab, the coffee creme, Elsa the chewy toffee"


Jam Bird

Quiff Bird

(This is my favourite, I love the watercolour rose in the corner, it's so very beautiful.)

Dreams of Custard Creams

Clara Love a Fruity Fragrance

The combination of watercolour and line drawing is something I really love. The soft muted background, the clean sharp lines and the little splashes of subtle colour are delicious.

All images from Little Doodles' Etsy shop.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The truth about love.....

O Tell Me The Truth About Love
WH Auden

Some say that love's a little boy,
And some say it's a bird,
Some say it makes the world go round,
And some say that's absurd,
And when I asked the man next-door,
Who looked as if he knew,
His wife got very cross indeed,
And said it wouldn't do.

Does it look like a pair of pyjamas,
Or the ham in a temperance hotel?
Does its odour remind one of llamas,
Or has it a comforting smell?
Is it prickly to touch as a hedge is,
Or soft as eiderdown fluff?
Is it sharp or quite smooth at the edges?
O tell me the truth about love.

Our history books refer to it
In cryptic little notes,
It's quite a common topic on
The Transatlantic boats;
I've found the subject mentioned in
Accounts of suicides,
And even seen it scribbled on
The backs of railway-guides.

Does it howl like a hungry Alsatian,
Or boom like a military band?
Could one give a first-rate imitation
On a saw or a Steinway Grand?
Is its singing at parties a riot?
Does it only like Classical stuff?
Will it stop when one wants to be quiet?
O tell me the truth about love.

I looked inside the summer-house;
it wasn't ever there:
I tried the Thames at Maidenhead,
And Brighton's bracing air.
I don't know what the blackbird sang,
Or what the tulip said;
But it wasn't in the chicken-run,
Or underneath the bed.

Can it pull extraordinary faces?
Is it usually sick on a swing?
Does it spend all its time at the races,
Or fiddling with pieces of string?
Has it views of its own about money?
Does it think Patriotism enough?
Are its stories vulgar but funny?
O tell me the truth about love.

When it comes, will it come without warning
Just as I'm picking my nose?
Will it knock on my door in the morning,
Or tread in the bus on my shoes?
Will it come like a change in the weather?
Will its greeting be courteous or rough?
Will it alter my life altogether?
O tell me the truth about love.

Image courtesy of Anne Ruthman.

Who cares if it rains?

Although I would really rather it didn't snow.

All photographs by Dudson Todd, and found via That Bride.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The inner dialogue...

I think I'm losing my mind. A week ago I went for a dress fitting. From the moment the over-familair seamstress helped me into my dress (hello, I'm in my pants and wearing stick on boobs, I do not want help) and I looked in the mirror, something became unhinged.....

Something's not right. I'm too skinny. I look too long.

You are long. And skinny. You always have been.

I know, but I look longer. It's the dress, the long white dress. It makes me look... long.

Hmmm, you're right.

I don't like it. I think I need a veil.

You don't want to wear a veil. One of the very first things you decided when you went dress shopping was that you feel ridiculous in a veil. And they remind The Boy of scary things from horror films.

I know, but I think I should wear one. Or maybe a hat? A really wide hat. That would balance out the skinniness....

Ok, a hat then.

No, a veil. I would feel silly in a hat. And I think my shoes look dirty.

What? They're not dirty, you've never worn them.

I know that, but they look dirty. Against the dress. The dress is white and the shoes are grey and they look minging.

You're being ridiculous.

Hmmm. Maybe. So, the veil.... I really think it will make me look less long. I need to look less long. Also, it would hide my hair. My hair's not good.

You're right, your hair is bad. Let's try and order a veil when we get home.

Ok. Then I'll look less weird. Don't you think I look weird?

I'm not answering that.

The next day, after more of the same through the night....

So, a veil. I think maybe I should wear one.

Ok. But don't you remember saying your didn't want one?

No. Ok, maybe I remember. But now I think I should wear one. Or at least buy one to see if it makes me look less weird.

Fine. Silk tulle would be best. You can make one yourself.

Hell yes, I'm not paying £200 for a bit of net stuck to a comb. I can stick a bit of net to a comb myself. Where do I get silk tulle?

The Internet.

Oh yes. Ok, here we go - £25 a meter. I think I need three meters.

That's a lot of money for a veil you might not wear.

Hmmmm. It doesn't matter. I need a veil. Look, they can send it to me by tomorrow and then I can make it and see what it looks like.

You don't need a veil. You don't want a veil. You haven't wanted a veil since you tried one on and realised you felt like Miss Havisham. You can't pay £75 for a veil just to see if you like it.

I can.

Ok, you can, but just because you can doesn't mean you should.

But, but......but...... I look weird. I don't want to look weird.

It's all in your head. Ask The Boy what he thinks

"Boy" I say tentatively, in the voice that usually accompanies tales of something silly being bought on the internet or a question that is impossible to answer.

"Yes?" he asks, equally tentatively.

"I've been thinking I should wear a veil. To the wedding."

"But you don't like veils, they make you feel silly."

"I know. But..... I'm too skinny. In the dress I mean, I look too skinny. "

Silence. And a look that means I know you think that what you just said makes sense, but it doesn't.

"A veil would make me look less skinny. Or a large hat, a large hat would work."

He has a funny look on his face. I can't tell if it's pity or if he thinks I'm insane. Probably a bit of both.

"Peonies, that's silly. You are skinny, and you look beautiful in the dress. You don't need a veil."

Hmmm. Is he telling me the truth or does he just know that I was thinking of spending £75 of veil material? Or would he say anything so I don't look like a scary, horror film, veiled zombie woman? Probably, but I think he means it.

"Ok. If you think so" I say.

I'm unconvinced. But I don't really want to spend 75 quid on a veil so I'm fairly easily persuaded. If people think I look too long it will be his fault. Because I wanted to try a veil, or a big hat and he said I didn't need to. His fault, I think to myself. And that reassures me.

"So, about the shoes. Do you think they look dirty?".....

Crazy, uh?

I have had similar internal conversations about earrings, shoes, seating charts, false eyelashes, lipstick, bracelets, welcome drinks and elopement. All in the space of the last week.

I think that when you hit the 4 week mark you go crazy and doubt every single decision you have made. At least, I hope you do and it's not just me.....

I just wonder when it stops?

Comes in Ice White, Snow White, Diamond White, Soft Ivory, Dark Ivory, Blush and Champagne. Matching veil also available. Shoes can be dyed to match.

(image from Legal Juice)

Monday, July 14, 2008

A little girl with bunches....

Photobucket getting married in less than 5 weeks. How time flies.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

'If you still believe.... perfection, you are too young to get married'

(Meg, from A Practical Wedding)

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack in everything,
That's how the light gets in.

(Leonard Cohen, via Quote Garden)


Perfection is boring. Imperfect is perfect.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Lace love....

Isn't this gorgeous?

This antique lace corset by B Trousseau is a very gorgeous $250.


Image from etsy, by B Trousseau and found via the delightful Jenna.

Candle light....

I think that these are my favourite of our wedding DIY projects - soya jam jar candles. We have made about 40 of them in different sized jars, from the below organic pesto which is rather neat and dinky, to a couple of very large beetroot jars (The Boy's, I won't touch the stuff).

Love candles, love glass jars, love recycling, love soya. So it's all good.

We had a tonne of glass jars around the house (I knew I'd been saving them for something) and we bough 5 kilos of soya wax on ebay, as well as 5 meters of wick and lots of little metal thingies that attach to the end of the wick.

I made candles years ago with paraffin wax and let me tell you, soya wax is heavenly in comparrison. It has a much lower melting temperature than paraffin wax, so instead of melting it in a pan over the heat you can put in in the microwave in a jug, or if you don't have one (like us) you can rest the jug full of wax flakes inside a pan of hot water and it will melt like that too. As it doesn't get so hot it doesn't hurt half as much when you get it on your fingers (of course you don't have to get it on your fingers at all. But I'm clumsy. And messy).

It also washes off everything - clothes and the jug. Stick the jug in the dish washer and it comes out as good as new. Once paraffin wax touches your clothes it is a fight to the death to get rid of it, but not the delightful soya wax.

But those are just practicalities, the real beauty of soya wax is that it's natural. It has the most gorgeous soft texture and a beautiful opaque ivory colour. It is warm, tactile, silky, heavenly. Paraffin wax is hard, cold, mean, and hideously industrial in comparison. And it smells bad. Also, it burns twice as fast, releasing carcinogenic soot as it does so. Yuck.

Soya wax is more expensive to buy, but it's definitely worth it.


Practical bits.....

5 kilos of wax = about 30-40 candles, depending on how deep you pour the wax. We made them between one and two inches.

10lb of wax = about $40 on ebay.

We didn't buy a little whatsit for holding the wick in place, so as a result most of our wicks are not quite central.

Pre-waxed wicks (above) are much easier to use than wick that comes in one long length as they stand up in the jar, whereas unwaxed wicks just flop straight over. Unless you buy a whatsit.

Top tip -

if you're recently poured candle acquires a bit of fluff sitting on its surface, do not turn it upside down and bang the bottom of it to remove said bit of fluff. That is a sure fire way to get wax that looks like it has set but hasn't all over your hands, your jars, your kitchen work surface and the floor. Soya wax may be easier to clean up that paraffin wax but it's not that easy.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Every wedding needs a bunny...

And since we can't bring either of our boys, we've made one as a present for our littlest guest, who at 5 months old will probably be the star of the show. I mean wedding.


She's made from an old jumper (the rabbit, not the baby) that had a rose print body and spotty sleeves. It came from my ebay pile. You know that stack of crap you keep because you're 'going to put it on ebay' ? Well that stack is taking over our house. I was so pleased to make something pretty out of a piece of the pile.

When we moved into our flat my Gran bought us a sewing machine. I was planning to use it to make all sorts of pretties for our nest. Well we've been here 20 months and I just broke out the sewing machine this week. To be honest I was completely terrified of it but it turns out it's not so scary.

I drew some bunnyish shapes on paper to use as a template, used the silk dupion from Girl Bird to line the ears, bought some embroidery thread to make the mouth and nose and put a couple of little brass jingle bells I had left over from my Christmas wrapping inside with the stuffing, so she makes the faintest little tinkling noise when you shake her.

And because I like doing the maths, and I'm trying to give my posts a more practical side, she cost -

two packets of embroidery thread @ 50p each - £1
a whole lot of stuff I had lying around - £0

Total - ONE POUND. woo.

She was really good fun to make and I'm quite impressed by my first sewing machine effort since I made a pizza pillow in primary 4 (that's 3rd grade, I think, to most of you) .

I don't want to give her away. Is that bad of me? I'm 23, our tiny guest is 5 months old. And I want to keep a cuddly bunny from her. I'm a bad person.

For our second smallest guest, Tiny Guest's 4 year old sister, we bought a Make Your Own Story Book, which we'll bind with pink ribbon and some beeswax crayons. I'm going to make her a little tote bag to put keep them in.

I hope that these will keep them occupied, because damn a wedding must be boring when your four years old.

I'm a bit sad that they are our only Little Guests, I'm from the As Many Kids as Possible School of Wedding Thought but we just didn't know any more. Or at least, we didn't know any more who had parents that we'd want to invite too.

I'm going to try to share all of our DIY projects this week as I've realised that there are quite a few of them and you seem to like them! To be honest though I'm only doing it because I feel like crap and hearing you all tell me how great I am, I mean my creations are, makes me feel good. I'm shameful, I know.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Fabulous couture looks....

Elie Saab

Christian Dior

Giorgio Armani



Elie Saab

From Fashion Bride

Sunday, July 06, 2008

A little diy project...

You might remember me saying that I don't do flats on special occasions? Yes? Well I lied. As with so many things over the last year I have changed my mind.

I am still wearing The Shoes, finding them was too much of an ordeal to abandon them now. Besides, they're pretty. But I'm starting to think that heels, all day, in the sun, outside might start to wear me down, so I started looking at flat sandals and as ever I had a shitload of requirements which made the task none too easy. They must be strappy, but definitely not flip flops. They must be glitzy but have no bling in claw settings, which would shred the lace on my dress. They must have a toe post and they must be comfy. Of course.

Well I found sandals that were flat, with straps in the right place and fitted like a dream but with sparkles that would rip the hem of my dress to tatters. Sandals that were perfect, but black. Sandals that were perfect, but painful to wear. Sandals that were perfect but painful to the wallet.

Then I fell for these, hard. They were $554. So I did what budget savvy women have been doing for hundreds of years, I made my own.....


I bought the sandals for £25 from Shellys,


And the rose is about a yard of silk ribbon from Cam Creations, which was $1.25.

It's just sewn on very loosely by wrapping the thread through and around the straps so it can be removed after the wedding as I think I prefer them plain for non-fancy wear.

Total cost, $52.50, total saving $501.50

(yes, there are two. I just took the pictures half way through.)

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Burning love...

Nothing chases away the fear like listening to this song and imaging dancing to it at our wedding. My tummy starts flipping in a good way and I start bopping away in my chair!

Lord almighty,
I feel my temperature rising
Higher higher
Its burning through to my soul

hmmmmm mmmmmmmmm

Ooh, ooh, ooh,
I feel my temperature rising
Help me, I'm flaming
I must be a hundred and nine
Burning, burning, burning
And nothing can cool me
I just might turn into smoke
But I feel fine

Hmmmmm mmmmmm mmmmmmm

Im just a hunk, a hunk of burning love
Just a hunk, a hunk of burning love
Just a hunk, a hunk of burning love
Just a hunk, a hunk of burning love
Just a hunk, a hunk of burning love
Just a hunk, a hunk of burning love.......

(and maybe I sing a little bit too...)
The King rocks.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Cold toes.....

Dear readers, I'm scared. The wedding is but six weeks and two days away. Not that the two days make much difference to my state of mind, it might as well be tomorrow for the panic that I am feeling. The panic has gripped my stomach and when I stop working for just a moment it spreads to my chest, simultaneously making me feel like my heart is racing fit to burst and that it is slowing down and stopping altogether.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not having cold toes about getting married, oh no. I can't wait to be married to The Boy, that bit I wish was tomorrow. It the wedding that is scaring me. The Wedding. The Wedding with it's capital T and capital W. Sixteen months we have spent planning, I've never planned anything for that long, not a thing. Even my plans to go to university, my application for art school, I decided those things in a space of about 5 months. Everything else, well I'm more of a Two Day Plan kind of girl.

Sixteen months is a long time. At the start of that period the wedding seemed oh so real, right there within reach. But gradually it started to slip away, all of our plans, all of those projects we started well of course they were for the wedding, but the wedding was so far away that it felt like some vague notion - 'We'll do this at the wedding' felt something like 'we'll do this when we grow up', it was going to happen but not for a long time.

Well suddenly we're grown up, and the RSVPs are coming. It's happening. It's real and in six weeks all of those decisions, plans and seating cards we made will be in use. People will see them and people will see us, getting married. And a part of me is starting to feel like it something intensely private, something that I'm not sure other people should be witnessing.

We have been almost entirely alone in the planning process, the things and decisions we have made we made with almost no help from anyone else, but in six weeks all of those someone else's will be there, watching, observing, taking in what we have done. And it scares me. The Wedding has been very much ours and it's almost time to share it with fifty other people.

The Boy reassures me that they are people we love, well most of them are. People we chose to share our wedding day with, again - most of them. That it will be wonderful, that it is what we have been working towards, what all the fun of planning and all the worries about getting it right have been for. But still I'm scared. Scared of being the centre of attention, scared of all that work I have put in being laid bare for all to see.

On the day, I know I won't care. I know I will be filled with joy and love; for The Boy and for all of those people whom we felt we couldn't get married without. People we love, people who have left their imprint on our hearts. People whose presence will mean so much to me that the very sight of them may make me cry. Joy that I will be pledging my life to the man I adore and vowing to spend the rest of it with him. Joy that we will be taking a step further down the road that we chose to walk together, that we each want to walk with the other whatever obstacles may block the way.

But that bit was never planned. That bit was inevitable, meant to be and the wedding was just surface decoration.

And now that decoration scares me. The wedding scares me. There I've admitted it. Sixteen months, a thousand wedding blogs, a million ideas and I'm scared of the thing we have been planning.

Has anyone else felt like this? Is anyone else scared of their wedding? Is it something that only happens once the wedding is so close you can almost taste it? What about those of you who have been through the wedding and come out the other side? Did the fear grip you?

Please tell me I'm not alone. Tell me you feel the fear too.....

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

More Vintage Fabulousness....

...from out with the Bridal section. Because sometimes that is where the best dresses are found.

Sequinned Halston gown, $2570.

This dress makes me want to grab The Boy, buy him a sharp suit and run away to drink cocktails forever more on the Italian Riviera, living out our days tanned and decadently drunk.

Marabou Feather gown, circa 1965 from the personal wardrobe of Marlene Dietrich. Could you get more fabulous than getting married in a dress that belonged to Marlene Dietrich? I think not.


Beaded jersey gown, circa 1970 (I think). $2700

I think I know where Ms Packham has been looking for inspiration.


So Elizabeth Taylor in her heyday. A dress for a 1950s débutante.

Gathered white gown, circa 1955. $1775.

So simple, understated and elegant. And so very contemporary. No one would ever know it was over fifty years old. And why should they? Vintage doesn't always need to look vintage, like environmentally friendly doesn't always need to look green.

Pale pink silk Chiffon gown, circa 1930. $1800

So delicate, so ethereal. But brought back to earth with the beading which anchors it. It looks like it would be such fun to wear.

And speaking of fun!

Hattie Carnegie pink princess dress, mid century. $2170.


J Magnin white silk short dress, mid century. $1700.

The perfect dress for a chic and modern bride.


Pink silk chiffon beaded gown. Mid Century. $1500.

What a burst of colour. Looking at it is like lying in the sunlight after a long winter. All of a sudden it is winter here again. I need a dress like this to warm up my day.

I have more of these to share but I'm going to save them for another day. They're just too good to blow all at once!

All images from The Frock

Vintage fabulous...

Inspired by Guilty Secret's posts on vintage wedding style, I revisited my very favourite dress site, The Frock. The Frock sells the most exquisite vintage dresses from Edwardian times right up to the 1980s and also sells a few more recent designer pieces.

I love all of these dresses and some of them are exactly what I dreamt of wearing when we started planning our wedding. Unfortunately there isn't a single one that isn't at least double my dress budget!

But I thought I would share them anyway as they are the most wonderful inspiration and just utterly gorgeous. Also, once I posted some dresses from The Frock on a wedding board and a very brave girlie bought one of the three I shared. She sent me pictures and damn, she looked fabulous! So if anyone decides to buy any of these I would love to know. Unless it's the Dior. Keep quiet if you buy the Dior. Unless you thought it would make a nice gift for a certain blogger with expensive taste, I don't want to know.

Here they are, gowns of distinction from c1910 to 1980....

Silk satin and lace gown, circa 1910. $2600.

I love Edwardian style, it's so dignified and elegant. I nearly bought an Edwardian wedding dress very similar to this on ebay. But I was too frightened to press the button. The draping on this dress is so beautiful, unusual and modern. It reminds me of Vivianne Westwood's draped dresses which I adore. I also love the sleeves. Sleeves are so rare in a wedding dress these days, especially ones not made from skin tight lace.

Champagne silk satin dress, Circa 1930 $2600

The perfect combination of detail and simplicity. The plain bodice with the jewelled detail and the skirt made from many pieces of satin sewn together in a V shape that evens out as it goes down the skirt.

Could the 1930s have been any more stylish?

Damask silk dress, circa 1935. $1350

The fabric of this dress is so very regal, but the neckline and the trim of ruffled tulle brings a really young and innocent feeling to it.

Lace dress, circa 1935. $2100

Lace, ruffles and a train to drown in. Exquisite. So elegant and tasteful. It's hard to find a 1930's dress that isn't tasteful. When did our fashion lose that?
Peach ruffled Satin, circa 1935. $1700

Stunning stunning ruffles! Using ruffles without adding volume to a dress is a subtle art.

White silk satin gown, circa 1940. $2600

I adore this. The neckline, the straps, the detailing and the way the fabric falls are all heavenly. Doesn't it look just like a Jenny Packham gown of now? For a pretty similar price I would much rather have this unique little number though.

Sally Milgrim dress, circa 1945. $3400

Another perfectly modern and perfectly stylish dress. So very Greek Goddess. I have always been a silver girl but recently I have been falling for gold. I love this. Although it looks like it was made for a shorter woman than me.


Christian Dior lace and tulle dress, circa 1950. $3600

Oh sweet dress, beautiful dress, perfect dress. How I love thee. How I wish to dance in your pretty layers and rest my hands on the tiny little waist you would give me. How I wish, how I wish....

Adolfo Sardiña lace and chiffon gown, circa 1975. $3600

Subtle, feminine, romantic, modern. Pink. Don't forget pink.

Oscar de la Renta, circa 1980.

Ok, this is couldn't be less my style but I thought the butt bow was hilarious! This dress could have been designed last week, it's the spitting image of quite a few dresses that made me raise my eyebrows in that way that tells whoever I'm with that I'm horrified without having to say a word. Put to perfect use in bridal shops when scary women are trying to dress you like a cream puff. Mr de la Renta has clearly improved with age. Although in the context of eighties wedding dresses this is actually rather tasteful.

All images from The Frock.