Friday, 24 October 2014

The Great Dress Debacle

Herein begins the posts about our recent nuptials. I feel that I may as well start with one of the very first things that my thoughts gravitated towards -  the Dress.

Now then, with most of the things being handmade or second-hand for our day, I knew that I wanted a frock that had those elements in mind. It also needed to come in at under £500.

 So, I launched myself at Etsy. I had the help of the wonderful Cinestyleography (aka Marvellous M) and her Edwardian-esque-searching-beady-eyes. We scoured and hunted up and down, left and right, round and round.  A couple were found, but nothing that made me feel anything from the pictures. One night, when looking for something completely unrelated -  there it was. An actual Edwardian dress. With all the hallmarks of being something amazing. I snapped it up and waited for it to arrive.

Oh my, it was delicious. Everything I thought it would be. I set about deciding how I was going to customise it. I decided on embroidery. I had plenty of time. Bags of it to spare. Heaps. I bought everything I needed to get started. 

Oh, I had such big dreams.

The seasons came and went and the dress remained untouched. I thought about it occasionally, usually on a rainy Sunday afternoon, but decided working on other things to do with the wedding were far more important. It began to niggle at me that I had lost my mojo for the cotton goodness nestled in it's protective bag. Why was that? 

Something in my brain decided, foolishly, that it was not wedding-y enough. I needed more. More material. More poof. Maybe some netting or lace. Whatever. More, more, MORE. I landed on eBay and hit the ground running. I found a dress in my measurements for a snip. I snapped it up and relaxed. It would be amazing.

Perhaps relax was not the right energy to put out there, because the garment delivered to me was a duvet hidden in some net curtains, wrapped in a voil. It fitted me perfectly, but made me feel like a Disney Princess. I tried my best to get my Beyonce on in the front room, but alas, it was like dancing in a sleeping bag from the 70's (minus the brown outer and orange inner although there was room for a cigarette burn as standard.) There was no way I could have lasted all day in it.

The joyous thing about all of this, is as I dithered, time did pass. I got on with other bits, all the time thinking "it's ok, I have time. Time, time, time. It's mine to dick about with. Oh yes. Time". And then time ran out.

The following realisation that I had a mere 2 months to go  was met with fear  panic vomiting a fresh look at the internet. There was no chance in a month of rainy Sunday afternoons that I would be able to customise my original dress in time. It was like the sun kept on shining, just to prove a point.

Out of the white hot worry of not finding anything within my budget (all dresses thus far had been under the £100 mark) and not being able to sleep because of it, at 2.30am, in the light of the laptop screen I stabbed "Titanic dress" into the search engine. I scrolled through about 20 pages of images. From the ship sinking, to random pap shots of Winslet, to some truly eye-brow raising costumes "in the style of". 

The internet was laughing at me.

Then, suddenly, there it was. Just one picture. The dress. I clicked on the picture and hoped that it was something that I could actually purchase. I could. In many different colours and sizes. It would be delivered to me from across the water in 1-10 days. It came in under £220 including postage. It could save my actual day. I ordered and waited. Sure enough, it came on through from The Wardrobe Shop in plenty of time. 

It was everything I had hoped my wedding dress would be. It was individual and in the style that I liked. It was not white or cream in it's entirety, nor did it look like a regular dress. It very much said "Bride" to me when I stared back at myself from the mirror in the spare room -  but more to the point -  the kind of Bride I had been thinking of all along.

I just had time to get my shoes dyed and my ideas on jewellery pegged.
(which changed last minute, but that's a post for another day)

Friday, 3 October 2014

Little Bits

There are times when you get a little something extra from life. Take this mini bunch o'fleurs. I fell in love with the whole bunch at our local market at the weekend. I made a mental note and decided to grab them on the way back to car. A perfect dose of niceness for one of my good chums we were visiting that evening. 

Oh how she would love them ~ but did I love them more?

No no no ~ I said to myself ~ these are for she, not for thee! With not enough money for deux bunches, I took them home for said friend.

I could not keep them. That would of been wrong. Very, very wrong.

 If any one knows what these are  ~ I would love to know. The flower man (who I have a feeling is usually the bread man) did not have a clue. He just stuffed my money into what, at first glance, looked like the front of his jogging bottoms. On second glance, I realised it was actually a money apron. 

Relieved does not cover it. Gag. No no, you're alright, keep the change love.

As luck would have it, when I came to rearrange & wrap them, these 2 delicious bits fell off onto the kitchen top. Hurrah!

It made me think, sometimes, you don't need a whole bunch of florals to make your day. 

Mostly, a little posie will do. 

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

The First World War & The Helpful Heffalumps

As we creep ever closer to many First World War Centenary markers, there have been some fascinating snippets in the news of late. I am interested in all things Great War - but especially the female role and the more unusual stories. One in particular grabbed my attention last week and made me exclaim “ have I never know this? Why was I not taught this as school??!...” and to then promptly tell everyone in earshot about what I had discovered. And you lovelies are next.

With the calling of all horses to the front - from the coach pullers to the corn transporters – one of the areas hit was the vibrant, hardworking world of the Circus. Horses across the land were soon requisitioned by the army and the performing circuit’s soon drew to a halt. Many male members of the menageries joined up and left their companies. Labourers in the towns and cities could not be found and in 1917 many fairgrounds ceased to trade. However - there were still fully trained and hardworking animals to be tended to.

With their immense pulling power, elephants were handed over to fill the hoofs that the horses had left behind. On a small farm, near to one of our favourite picnic spots , just under 100 years ago, you could well have seen a benevolent pachyderm helping to plough a field. Or perhaps hefting hay with ease over their strong backs with the quick flick of an inquisitive trunk.

Further North, the odd vision of an elephant wearing leather boots would have been common place. Used to pull munitions and scrap metal, the boots were to help protect her feet from any shards of steel.

Around the South, you may very well have spied a Land Girl in all her full skirted uniform trying to guide a big ol' heffalump along in a straight line. If you would like to see this now (ooh! the technology!) then head on over to British Pathe and have a look-see.


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