Well, originally intended to be secret, and actually a small, intimate and utterly joyful celebration of one of the happiest and best-suited couples I know.
I chose my outfit around the shoes… which is becoming a bit of a habit!
A London wedding and being unofficial photographer meant long dresses were out – and I didn’t want to detract from the polka dotted, blue-and-red-and-white shoes. (which, for the record, I can walk and run in!)
So I chose a pretty beaded navy blue dress with a glorious chiffon skirt…
My hair was in ringlets when we left the bride’s room – sadly it doesn’t hold curl so by the time we arrived at the pre-ceremony brunch, it was more wavy, and by the time the ceremony was over it was straight again!
Here’s the gorgeous couple cutting their cake…
Aren’t they brilliant? It was one of my favourite weddings to date, and I was honoured to capture it in photos for them as well as being their witness (surprisingly nervewracking!)
A dear friend’s 41st birthday… our new favourite bar in town… a balmy Saturday night… and a quick detour to the ruined priory at the bottom of the high street for some photos on my way in…
Jacket and tshirt: ancient components of my wardrobe | Tulle petticoat: Hell Bunny | Polka dot pencil skirt (underneath): M&S | Rainbow shoes: Schuh, custom work by me | Handbag: genuinely not a clue, possibly from Dubai. (I’m in that delightful stage at the moment where most of my wardrobe is so me, but also so old, that I have no clue where most of it originated)
My hair was in ringlets before I left the house – but it’s now so long and heavy that a twelve minute drive rendered it vaguely wavy, instead. It still felt mermaidy though.
And apparently I need to work on my poses – I do actually have two legs, it’s just not that obvious from these photos.
Will definitely be wearing my petticoats as outerwear for the rest of the summer, though!
Week 10 of 2015. In which I embarked on an epic road trip through my soul home of Texas (hopping over into Louisiana the following week), and fulfilled one of my longest-held dreams – to see Alan Jackson live in concert. I haven’t finished editing the 3000 photos I took over the fortnight, so here are a few tasters:
(fuzzy because we were only allowed mobiles, not proper cameras)
The gig was the main reason for our visit, and oh, how utterly glorious it was. I cried most of the way through it with sheer emotion at being there after more than 20 years of waiting to see him on stage. AND he played all my favourites from the early days.
I also found time to…
Have the traditional breakfast-with-beer at the airport:
Drive my fellow passengers mad by taking photos of the pretty clouds on the plane:
Wake up on Wednesday morning to four inches of snow. In Texas.
Fall in love with Jon Pardi, who was supporting Alan Jackson (and he’s currently single. Reckon he’d fall for that accent all American men seem to inexplicably find super cute?! Though is it just me whose speech becomes half pure Southern belle and half female Hugh Grant the moment I set foot over the border into the States?)
Eat ridiculous amounts of the best fried chicken, mash and creamed corn in the world at Babe’s in Roanoake, TX:
Try a DQ Blizzard on our drive to Fredericksburg:
Make a pilgrimage to my Dad’s spiritual home in Luckenbach, Texas and added a charm to my talisman necklace while playing at practising for being a cowgirl:
Have a makeover before the gig, which was lovely and pampering:
Some of you will have seen this already. I love my unicorn hat, and saw no reason why I shouldn’t wear it to the day job on the day of my appraisal. I didn’t wear it *in* the appraisal. But I make several people smile, do double takes or laugh out loud every time I do wear it, and for that reason it deserves a place in my 52 photos that represent 2015.
My lovely uni friends Cat and Mark got married at the end of May, on a beautiful early summer’s day in Syon Park.
Here’s what I wore… it was quirky, it was extremely me, and it made me really happy. And what better excuse to get dressed up than a wedding?!
Dress by the ever-amazing Contrariety Rose. You can buy your own version from her – it’ll shortly be listed on her Etsy shop.
Petticoats in navy and white by Hell Bunny from Tiger Milly.
Shoes (which were commented on all day long by guests of every age, and were just as amazing as I thought they’d be when I bought them) by Irregular Choice.
Hair colour by Directons, a combination of Midnight Blue and Atlantic Blue.
Jewellery, by me, sort of. I bought the black pearl neckace on holiday in Wells-next-the-Sea, and my bracelet was a birthday present last year from one of my best friends. The anklet came from Dubai and I have plans to customise it over the summer.
Since Irregular Choice released sneak preview pictures of their February unicorn shoes, a quite ridiculous number of people have pointed them out to me via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and excited texts and phone calls.
My sneaky secret was that I’d already discovered their existence on a trip down to Brighton in the summer and put my name on two pre-release lists.
I then promptly missed the calls from both boutiques who were holding pairs for me. Sad times!
Yep, they are mine! (and ironically another pair are now on their way to me – these are 7s and I want to try the 8s before I commit to keeping either pair).
I spent the day in town with Mum on Friday, and we ordered them next day delivery from Schuh. Full marks for customer service (and also for their delivery guy not thinking I was mad insisting I took delivery through the window, as the kitties were sprinting around the living room…).
Here are some more shots… I don’t think I’ve ever loved another pair of shoes more!!
The stripes are gold & black, but I think they still have more than a touch of the Night Circus about them. And the weaving is in shades of turquoise and blue. It really is as though they were made for me.
I won’t be wearing them on our snowdrop walk tomorrow, but I’ll take them for a test run as soon as I’ve decided which size I’m keeping 🙂
Good-ness… see what I did there? Yep, ok, I was definitely not cut out to be a stand up comic.
I had another one of my trademark weekends, full to the brim with friends and exciting experiences. Life is definitely starting to be more about what I do than what I have, and these few days were enhanced even more by pretty cars and very little kittens!
Here’s Merlin, exploring my book bag when I arrived at Em’s house.
Sunday morning, after a night with the kittens, and a 6.30am fight with victory rolls (patience, kirby grips, at least two people and a LOT of hairspray) I set off for Goodwood.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Revival, it’s a vintage event at Goodwood Motor Circuit, and visitors are encouraged/required to dress in period costume – in this case 40s, 50s or 60s. Rob and I chose a hybrid of late 40s/early 50s and though neither of us had a clue what the other was wearing until we met up at the gate, I think we managed to co-ordinate brilliantly!
Here’s me. Dressed more or less as I often do at weekends, only with the addition of proper hair and less ridiculous shoes. Huge thanks to Lou at Contrariety Rose who was utterly wonderful and got my dress to me just before she went on holiday – it will be forever appreciated!
Here’s Rob doing an excellent impression of a vintage gentleman. Complete with pipe.
Mobiles are strongly frowned upon within the enclosure, and everyone puts a massive effort into dressing up, so there was a real sense of stepping back in time – vintage heaven!
There was so much to see I actually took very few photographs, but was quite pleased with this shot of old bikes in the French quarter:
And it chucked it down with rain as we walked the track, so by the time we returned to our cars (having nearly lost mine in the mud along the way) we resembled drowned rats. I’m pleased to announce that the victory rolls held!!
A weekend of pure magic is over… and I’m looking back and sighing with happiness at every moment of it.
On Friday, The Night Circus arrived at Tea and Sympathy, my favourite place in Colchester. The dress code was black and white and circus-appropriate, with a red accent for the reveurs – those who had read the book. (And if you’ve read it, you’ll know why!) For those that haven’t had the pleasure, the theme was around the book The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern.
My red accents were my sequined shoes, scarlet lipstick and a peek of a red bra… 🙂
I don’t think I’ve ever felt more thoroughly myself, though my outfit wasn’t entirely appropriate for the multi storey car park where we put the cars when we arrived… lol. But I’ve always been fascinated by the circus – my burlesque name is a tribute to my obsession with Enid Blyton’s circus stories!
I arrived with Gabby and Chris, after the quickest house tour in the history of the world, and we wandered in a haze of happiness through the shop, up and down the tiny, twisting staircase, to hidden rooms, magic and wonder at every turn…
There were fire dancers, burlesque from Miss Fanny Darling, magicians, fortune tellers and some cocktails, which I’m told were lethal… I declined to sample them, as I quite fancied getting home without getting arrested!
Here’s Gabby and Chris, looking like they belong with the Cirque…
Miss Fanny Darling as the Raven…
And the incredible fire dancing duo (I have plans for a skirt just like that one… I LOVE IT!)
I’ll leave you with the video of the fire dancers – a little taste of the most magical evening I’ve had in a long, long time! With thanks to Tea and Sympathy for making dreams reality 🙂
I feel like I should copy this post across to Project Pin Up, it was so very vintage and pin up-esque! (edit – collage pic is over there with a link back here and to Mimi’s post!)
Last Saturday, the lovely Lou from Contrariety Rose came to stay, and after a morning of revamping her website and eating chocolate, we met Mimi for our first workshop at Make Do and Mend in Chelmsford. Mimi’s lovely husband Carl drove us there, and when we arrived some of the other ladies were already there, drinking tea and chatting.
Set up so that we were all around the same table, with an individual mirror and shared bottles of setting lotion and water spray, we started with pin curls and victory rolls. Hannah (who owns Make Do and Mend) showed us how to reserve a section of hair for the victory roll, and then to pin curl the rest. Once this was done (Mimi’s was most successful, Lou’s hair is very short at the moment and mine is incredibly long, thick and unruly) we wrapped our hair in scarves and let it dry. Hannah explained that usually this would be done before sleeping. Clearly, as it was mid-afternoon, sleeping was off the agenda, and more tea and biscuits while swapping stories and tips with the other girls was definitely on!
Here we are putting our pin curls in.
We then set to work on the victory roll section. Those with very short hair or a fringe had a helping hand from some of Hannah’s vintage roll-safety-pin contraptions (sadly you can’t buy these any more new) and the rest of us rolled and pinned and unrolled and rolled and pinned… and repeated. I eventually discovered, after several attempts, that I was trying to roll far too much hair at once. Ditching some of it (extra pin curl, anyone?) meant I finally got a roll/quiff type structure, which I promptly drenched in hairspray!
We then moved on to makeup, with Hannah showing us how to do a 1940s eyeliner flick. This is a brilliant concept which I really struggled with, was fine on my right eye but rubbish on my left – without my glasses I can’t see much at all out of my right eye so have always struggled (and with my day to day makeup, pretty much do it by feel). However, practise makes perfect and I at least now have the technique to work on!
Winged eyeliner, red lips and sweeps of blusher done, we were ready to unpin our pin curls. These had varying degrees of success, depending on the type of hair, the tightness of the curl and whether or not we’d actually let it dry properly (if you unwrap a damp pin curl, it will just go straight instead of springy and bouncy).
To no one’s surprise, the majority of my hair refused to curl, so I put it up in a fifties style ponytail which looked pretty good with my roll/quiff contraption. Mimi’s hair fell in soft waves, and Lou’s curled around her head in a surprisingly ruly fashion (her hair is so short in places we weren’t sure it would work at all!)
We met the lovely Karen of Essex Vintage Weddings, and lots of other ladies too – I hope to go back and do another workshop now I’ve had my hair cut and it’s a bit more manageable. Invested in some setting lotion at the weekend too so I could practise… quite when I’m going to fit this in to my ridiculous schedule I don’t know, but I’d love to be able to do vintagey hair more often 🙂
I'm Carla, a quirky thirtysomething with a penchant for unicorns and glitter. I believe in magic and make-believe, and the gorgeous rebellion of making your life absolutely your own. And I'm a proud multipod!
Proud to be both girly and geeky, when I’m not writing, photographing or daydreaming, you can find me dancing burlesque, riding my bicycle Bluebell, growing herbs and collecting typewriters.
Things I want to do in 2020. Partly from my Daydreams To Do list and also from my general goals for the year.
~ Steampunk events
~ experiment with film cameras
~ walk more
~ explore Colchester
~ beach time
~ kitty portraits
~ western riding
~ spa days
~ learn to make bath bombs
~ recreate Lush's Angel's Delight soap fragrance
~ work in sterling silver
~ build a catio
~ handwritten letters
~ photobook of the house project, the cats, Poppy & Dad
~ print my own photos