Wednesday, 30 September 2009

DIY Projects: Fascinators

At our September 2009 W.I meeting, we learnt how to make fascinators. We were given materials and some basic instructions and then, it was up to us what we made. I chose to make a black and navy blue one with a small veil. It needs a little tweaking (and a few stray threads sorted out) but I rather like it:

fascinator 015

fascinator 005

On the street: menswear trends

mens shoe trends

mens shoes 2

All the men I know are interested in clothes and style but very few wear anything that could be described as 'on trend'. Standing outside the Vauxhall Fashion Scout location at the Freemasons Hall in Holborn gave me a good long time to observe some trends in mens footwear. {That and time to observe the Freemasons themselves, but that's another post.}

The thing I noticed the most was the difference between men and women. Take a look at a group of fashionistas, and yes, you will notice some recurring trends, but, by and large, everyone looks a bit different. Men, well, here they were pretty much all wearing variations on the same two trends: pegged khakis/jeans and interesting shoes with bare feet. Only one or two men were wearing a different but interesting outfit or style.

The other difference was the real gap between those that looked fantastic and those who looked like they were wearing their old school trousers.

{All photos by me. Camera by Canon}

Monday, 28 September 2009

The London Cringes: Things people wrote when they were younger

The Times had an article recently about a movement called the London Cringes, which seems to be essentially a group of people reading aloud their childhood writing. I've been meaning to post about it ever since. I wonder if in 20 years we will be doing the same thing in relation to our earliest blog posts?

Anyway, I especially liked this one by Alicia Wolfe who was 13 when she wrote this in her diary in 1990:

Alicia’s Rules for Parenting, 1990

1. Telephones in their rooms is a must

2. Pay for them to subscribe to one to two magazines. Reading is good for them, and everyone likes to get post.

3. Support their hobbies. (If they have an abnormal obsession with James Dean, so be it.)

4. If they mention a boy’s name, but don’t want to talk about it further, don’t make them, and don’t tease them about it.

5. Don’t give them the tatty, worn out towels. If you get new towels, they get new towels.

6. Rent a film they will want to watch when you have a babysitter.

7. Keep Spaghetti Hoops in the cupboard.

8. Do their laundry. They are far too busy to think about having enough clean underwear, and it’s not that difficult.

9. Explain puberty honestly. Don’t use stupid sayings that will confuse them (the birds and the bees) and don’t give them leaflets from 1952.

10. If you have to buy them something expensive for school, don’t make it their birthday present.

11. Don’t let their siblings wake them up at 4:00 AM to clean their hair out of the shower drain.

12. Keep more than Diet Coke in the house. Everyone else has normal Coke, and your children will be regarded as weirdos for their abnormal taste in diet.

13. If it is cold in the house, turn on the heating. If it is hot in the house, open a window.

My old teenage diary is at home in what used to be my bedside table (a cabinet that once started life as my Dad's sock drawer, until he gave it to me). Then I used to store it in the space that was left if you pulled out the bottom drawer. Last time I went home it was in the top drawer. But then I got married and a sister swapped rooms with me, and my room became hers and hers became the guest room and my stuff moved up to the loft. I think.

But if I could find the diary, I can tell you what I would find. My 14 year old self, in 1996, was obsessed with Leonardo DiCaprio. Specifically, the Romeo & Juliet Leonardo. That and boys and church and self doubt and friendship issues which were so dramatic at the time that I can't even recall the things that I spent so long crying and writing about in a dark candle lit room with joss sticks burning and taped music playing whilst wearing leggings and army boots and nasty jumpers purchased from charity shops.

The funny thing is though, when Husband and I were talking about fancy dress costumes for the upcoming Halloween engagement party and how, maybe, if we parted his hair right and put him in the right coat, he might pull off Christian Slater circa 1989, he told me that when he was aged 14, he wanted to look like Leonardo DiCaprio in Romeo & Juliet.

Looks like we were meant to be...

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Things I would like*

Has anyone else bought tights at The Gap? I bought two pairs yesterday (taking advantage of their 30% off discount voucher) to try them out and was rather pleasantly surprised.

They are very comfy, don't fall down and the ones I have on today are the most beautifully perfect shade of teal. Not too dark or bright or lurid. Just lovely with a black dress.

I shall be going back next week to try the black and plum spotty pair that I didn't dare buy yesterday in case they were crap and I couldn't wear them.

{still working on a hundred things so will be back as soon as possible with the posts I mentioned on Wednesday. the interview went though, so thank you for your positive thoughts and messages}

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Coming soon...

* Report from TDLM's Vauxhall Fashion Scout presentation

* Photos illustrating men's fashion footwear trends which I took using the cool Canon camera at the menswear shows today.

* More reports and photos from the Jasper Garvida show.

All coming when I stop to breathe at some point this weekend. No paid work as yet but have been flat out busy this week with meetings, report writing and the mountains of stuff I am doing for a friends new PR company for a press event for a product launch in October {including using skills I learnt wedding planning tying hundreds of pieces of ribbons around bundles of towels}. Oh, and I have interview number 7 this week too...

Monday, 21 September 2009

London Fashion Week: Jasper Garvida

"Usually it's about deconstructing...
...but this season we just went all out..."
Jasper Garvida S/S10

Align Centre

{Am in the process of uploading my photographs, in the meantime here are two of my favourite day dresses from Jasper Garvida's Spring/Summer 2010 collection. More to follow later in the week along with more detail regarding Garvida's inspiration.}

Show: Jasper Garvida
Host: Miele
Camera: Canon

London Fashion Week

Shoes at LFW

London Fashion Week shoes 2

Shoes at the Jasper Garvida show

Am not surprised but was pleasantly impressed just
how much better the Canon camera was than my BlackBerry.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Coming soon...

*Jasper Garvida's LFW show with On/Off & Miele, photos taken with the beautiful camera lent to me by Canon for the week. Includes embellishments made from recycled Asahi bottles.

*TDLM's LFW Vauxhall Fashion Scout show.

It's been a busy weekend so far with it being fashion week. Since Wednesday we have attended one fashion week party (with more to come next week) attended Hip Hop Karaoke for an engagement party, been to drinks and dinner to celebrate the end of a friend's PhD and hosted another friend's birthday party at our house last night. Well, I finally fell asleep at 5.30am so it must have been a successful party but am in the vintage shop today and am feeling fairly tired. Proper posting to commence just as soon as I have slept for a few hours and caught up with Strictly Come Dancing on the TV box thing.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

As usual, The The Times reports on trends when they are almost over pt 1

Today they report the trend for cupcakes, just as other bloggers are proclaiming them over (or at least, the trend has been around for a. long. time)*.

I for one still enjoy an occasional cupcake as a treat for afternoon tea (and my sporadic posting about Primrose Bakery certainly bears testament to that). Yet recently a vanilla cupcake with vanilla icing just hasn't been doing anything for me. At home, for birthdays and parties, I have moved onto mocha cupcakes with coffee icing which, in my opinion, have a nicer texture and more interesting taste. And, as afternoon tea treats I am currently more interested in biscuits or a slice of cake, or, if at home, a hot buttered crumpet or two.

*I didn't say they were over, btw, just that other bloggers were starting to. They certainly have become ubiquitous. But, as my lovely friend Cara says, "bad cupcakes are over. The real thing? A classic. I feel it's like saying 'Audrey Hepburn is so over' just because her pic is everywhere. A classic is never over, you just have to wait for the fickle to give up on it again". Agreed.

Plus a customer just bought me a cupcake to say thank you for helping him pick a vintage dress for his actress girlfriend. And who can say to a gesture like that, thanks, but cupcakes are over?!

Things I would like*

*the first in a very long list.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Me and Miele

Click here to see my interview for Miele...

Monday, 14 September 2009

Vintage: Engagement Party Outfit

Two good friends of ours just got engagement. Congratulations A & M.

To celebrate they are having a Halloween Engagement Party & have asked us all to dress up, in a couple if we are one.

I saw the most perfect(ly awful) dress in the sale at the vintage shop yesterday. Does it look Heathers enough if I dress Husband up as Christian Slater...?

But, shhh. Don't tell. I don't want anyone copying me...

80s vintage dress full length

80s vintage dress

80s vintgage dress pattern

things which went wrong at our wedding

It was three months yesterday since our wedding. I am not sure I am going to finish the actual recaps but I will get round to sharing some of the details. With this is mind, I thought I'd share this: at every party or event or wedding things will go wrong. Most of which the guests will not notice, some of which the bride will not notice. As with everything in life, it is what you make of it that counts.

Things which went wrong at our wedding:

* The marquee boys who refused to come and do a site visit discovered (after getting their van stuck because they couldn't follow instructions) that the marquee they brought wouldn't fit on the lawn, despite us sending site measurements. Then we discovered that the chairs were all filthy and the generator may not have had enough diesel in it. We made them cups of tea and told them to do the best they could. We also told them to clean the chairs. They didn't. After the wedding we complained that several family members had to spend the morning of the wedding cleaning chairs. They eventually agreed to send a refund. Yesterday they sent an e-mail asking for photos showing their marquees at events over the summer to showcase their excellent feedback from events. We are going to send them the photos of the chairs being cleaned...

* The friend of ours who was going to video the wedding for us didn't turn up to the wedding until after the service had started, despite him telling me he was a professional when 3 days beforehand I reminded him to turn up in good time. He hasn't mentioned the wedding since, nor whether he got any footage. Thankfully another family friend happened to film some of the entrance and exits and sent us a beautiful DVD of what she had shot the other day. On the day itself I didn't even notice the lack of camera but afterwards I was sad that we didn't have the footage. Moral of that story: if something means a lot to you, pay someone to do it. They are less likely to not do it.

* My period arrived on the way to the church, 2 days early. Well, it explained the fact I felt like utter crap when I woke up on the morning, and thankfully I made it to the loo in time to not ruin my dress. I did feel a bit trance like for parts of the service due to strong pain killers (but that could just have been the day!) and the vintage champagne in the car went straight to my head. Other than that the only real impact it had was in the hotel that evening ...

* The vicar went on for so long (and called people by the wrong names) that we had to cut short all the photos and our photoshoot together that we had planned. I was disappointed for about 2 seconds before I realised that it was about the party not the specific photos and we would still have plenty. More disappointing was the vicar telling the photographer she wasn't welcome in the church again as she accidentally took a photo during the part she wasn't supposed to photo. (We didn't tell him that his 20 minute sermon -instead of 5 mins- cost my Mother a lot in delayed taxi costs).

* The candles on the top table hadn't had their wicks cut off so burnt onto the tablecloth. We had bought the cloths ex-rental and my Dad sorted it out and I barely noticed let alone minded.

* The power went half way through the band as something overheated. It was quickly sorted out by my Dad with assistance from A3 and Husband. It added to the homemade atmosphere and was sorted so quickly it made no real difference.

* The DJ lined up our first dance song and then went to get a drink. Another friend tried to start some music as she didn't realise the pause was to gather people for our first dance. The song started before anyone was ready and had to be started again when we were ready. Again, hardly anyone noticed and Husband and I certainly didn't mind that the song was no longer a surprise.

* When we cleared up the next day we discovered that ALL of the peacock feathers we had used as table decorations had been taken by the guests. Leaving none for the vase I had planned in our house (!) and none for my Grannie as I had promised. Again, I was disappointed for about half a second before being pleased that people had liked the decorations enough to remove them all from the reception.

Perhaps other things did go wrong, I don't remember, or I didn't notice. I was too busy having a good time dancing with my new Husband and enjoying the band and DJ:

wedding dancing

The band 1

The band 2

{All photos by KT Thompson}

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Things to cheer up a grey Sunday afternoon

cake & earrings

Carrot cake from the Primrose Bakery

Jewellery under the counter at Shikasuki

Knowing that your Husband is making pasta for your 3 month wedding 'anniversary'.


to my dear blogging friend Cate on the birth of her beautiful little girl. Go here and see photos. Seriously. And she was born in Cate's new dining room. How cool (and brave!); what a story that will make when Baby Subrosa is older...

Saturday, 12 September 2009

My secret to a happy marriage*

*Title shamelessly stolen from A Cup of Jo's Series, my favourite of which being Cara's.

We've only been married for three months but I can say that, so far, my secret to a happy marriage is threefold:

1. Work as a team. Remembering that I am not just an individual but one half of a team has been hard work, especially in relation to jobs and no money. Thankfully Husband has the patience of a saint and is able to remind me of this. In return I have been trying to do more than my share of the housework as he is doing more than his share of the earning.

2. Go to lots of gigs. Spend time together. Laugh lots. We snuck back to London early (planned) from our honeymoon to go and see Neil Young:

neil young 1

neil young 2

3. Have amazing friends who will laugh with you through the good times and lift you through the bad times. In fact, who will do both for you when you least expect it:


Lift Me Up

{Top two images by me; bottom two by KT Thompson}

Friday, 11 September 2009

to absent friends

8 years ago this lunchtime I was in a small cafe in the mountains of Gran Canaria, my meal forgotten as I watched the tiny television in the cool bar, a welcome contrast from the hot and dusty and arid scenery outside. As we sat there, desperately trying to work out what was happening as we spoke next to no Spanish, we watched the second plane hit the second tower. Earlier that morning I had bought a straw bag from a roadside stand. That evening I sat in my hotel room drinking lipton tea and watching BBC News 24, the world as I knew it having changed forever.

This lunchtime I was sat outside in a deckchair, eating my lunch, when I had a sudden urge to turn on the television. I trotted inside, found BBC News 24 and as I sat down on the sofa the bell rang for the first of four minutes silence, the time of the first plane hitting the first tower. As the second moment of silence was kept I suddenly could see in my mind's eye that day in Gran Canaria, 8 years earlier.

I didn't know anyone who lost anyone on 9/11. But even so, as I listened to the list of names being read out, I felt tears on my cheeks as I remembered my own list of people I have lost.

The fourth speech at our wedding was spoken by M's father. It was short and to the point:

"to absent friends".

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

My Hen Party

I can't remember if I ever showed you this: my hen party. I have lifted it from Hannah's blog at Iced, who organised & catered the tea party for me. If you want anything similar, or a wedding cake, or favours or some cupcakes for a party, I cannot recommend her highly enough. She is wonderful. Her cakes are wonderful.

On the hottest weekend I can remember for a long time, 17 ladies made the trip from London to Wales to celebrate Rachel's forthcoming wedding. They hired a lodge in the Vale and had a weekend of festivities. On the Saturday they asked iced to organise a 1920's style tea party. The weather couldn't have been more perfect and so we set the tea up outside next to the swimming pool of the lodge. The ladies dressed up in 1920's fashions and learnt to charleston to the music we provided.

The tea included fresh finger sandwiches, fruit and plain scones, teisin lap, vanilla vanilla cupcakes decorated with blue flowers to match the bride-to-be's attire, pimms jellies, lemon tarts and fruit tarts, chocolate covered strawberries, mini frasier cakes piped in royal icing with 'R's' for Rachel, sandwiched mini meringues and ginger lime tarts. This was all served on vintage mismatched porcelain dating from the 1920's/30's!


I finally heard about that job. Or rather, I didn't hear about the job but I did hear that the vacancy is no longer. Either way, still no employment but we don't have to leave London.

This month marks my 4th month with no job. No routine. No desk. No salary. Some friends say unemployment suits me. To them I reply: Married life suits me. Worrying about how to pay bills whilst surviving on one salary doesn't.

I could write a book about my summer of rejections. Of applications and interviews and waiting for weeks for an answer. Trouble is, it's not unique. Not original. Too many people in my position. That's the problem.


The wedding at the weekend was beautiful. Not so much in the details but in the scale of the event. I exchanged cards with the photographer who is London based, so hopefully more to come from her on here soon...

Friday, 4 September 2009

Back soon

We are off to our fourth wedding of the summer tomorrow. I expect it to be along the same lines as ours, only bigger & grander. I bought a new dress from COS, so I can wear my wedding shoes.

I looked through our wedding photos again today. It suddenly struck me that in every single photo, people are smiling. In all the photos of people at each table, talking, dancing, eating and drinking, people are smiling. I hope tomorrow's wedding is just the same. They are old university friends of both Husband and I. (We might be a little early though, I just checked our rail reservations and realised I chose the wrong radio button and we are booked on an 8 o'clock train when we don't need to be there until 4pm! agh, lesson learnt, don't book tickets hungover)

And because I've been really bad at wedding recaps recently, here's a photo from the reception with the cake cutting. The tartan is that of my new surname and the silk scarf I am wearing as a sash was a present from my new parents-in-law which was waiting for me on the table when we sat down to eat. The cheeses which make up the cake are all local & the cake toppers were my attempt at birds...

cake cutting

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Bank Holiday

Hello chickens.
We're back in London, just about.
The train took almost 5 hours so we didn't get home til 12.30am.
Proper post to follow
but hope everyone else had a lovely weekend.

At Daymer Bay 31 August

windswept & needing a jumper, but there was a little sunshine
{and wearing Husband's wedding ring as a necklace whilst he played golf}
Align Centre
{Image on my BlackBerry by a friend}