Rosalind Miller certainly knows how to create a show-stopping cake; you’ll regularly find one of her designs gracing the pages of a magazine or showcased on a TV show. Her creativity and vision seem to know no bounds, using icing and sponge to create not just beautiful cakes but genuine works of art. My favourites are, as ever, the styles which draw upon the best of the past to create something current in the present. Nothing beats a vintage inspired wedding cake. I’m biased, of course, but it’s plainly obvious. Just look at the creations below and then you tell me… am I wrong?
In honour of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, I couldn’t resist shining a spotlight on one of the most girliest, yet regal, of hair accessories; the tiara. Any bride planning a vintage themed wedding should give serious thought to adding an opulent antique tiara to her get-up. After all, your wedding is effectively the time when you become Queen for a day; all eyes are on you, you’re the centre of attention and the focus of all your subjects (ok, we’ll go back to calling them ‘guests’ but you have to admit, the thought of them becoming your subjects for the day definitely enthralls…).
For the truly extravagant, check out Etsy for jewelled tiaras dating as far back as the 1800s. They’re not cheap, but they’re certainly breathtaking – and you’d easily check off the ‘old’ or even ‘something blue’ from your list of wedding day traditions.
The crown tiara below – yep, it’s actually called a ‘crown’ – is a French brass and gilt creation from the late 1800s. At £552.06, it’s a tad pricey, but a far better investment than a pair of designer shoes or a dress you’ll only wear once:
If that’s too colourful – and you don’t mind breaking the bank – the superb tiara below costs over £4,000. It’s a rare French crown (there’s that delicious word again) boasting an ornate, filigree design with mercury glass balls nestled in beautifully crafted flower petals. It’s more than an investment – it’s a bonafide work of art. Originally found in an ancient church, it would have once graced the head of a Madonna or Saint – and for a high price, it could adorn your very own temple. The seller states that it’s in pristine condition, but in case you still have doubts, you’ll be reassured to know that this crown was featured on a recent TV show in the USA, where experts confirmed the hefty valuation – it truly is worth every penny:
If your budget won’t stretch to an actual antique crown, dump your future hubby for a richer prospect. Kidding! All is not lost… you don’t need bags of money to look like a Queen on your big day. The 1930s were big on sparkly hair combs; rhinestone designs that sparkle like diamonds under the light. Ebay, Etsy and charity shops are great places to pick up some of these wonderful alternatives – I own several for the sheer beauty of them, not even for a wedding day! Here’s one currently on Etsy, which looks like a mini-tiara, priced for under £65:
It’s eye-poppingly pretty and would look beautiful nestled in front of a simple hair bun or any bridal hair style with some height. It’s definitely time to channel your inner Royalty and wear your tiara with pride; you are the Queen of the ball on your big day – and don’t you dare let anyone forget it!
Oh my days, I think I’ve found the perfect webpage for vintage cakes! Cake designer Tracey Mann has a dedicated page on her website for vintage cake designs. Hallelujah!
Check out the pipework, lace detail and draping… heavenly!
Since entering my 30s, I’ve found my desire to paint and draw increase with a passion. Sick of looking at a computer all day, I can’t tell you how good it feels to stop thinking and start doing. Working with my hands has given me a freedom that feels euphoric.
I’ve even started modelling with play-dough, using clay, braiding friendship bracelets and finger painting. I’m loving every second and have even started looking at Arts & Craft courses at local colleges. I dream of gaining a qualification in something like Pottery, Ceramics or Glass Blowing. Quite how I would pursue my skills at home, I don’t know. But I refuse to be put off. It’s not in my nature. At least, it never used to be. I was always admired for my tenacity but then, responsibilities and the weight of life took over and I lost some of my gumption. No more. I want to channel my inner kid and do all the things I enjoy doing.
If someone says ‘No, you can’t do that!’ I’m going to stamp my foot, pout and respond: ‘Why not?’ and then do it anyway. Yes, I have responsibilities. Yes, I shouldn’t be spending any money on my hobbies during the current economic climate. Yes, I should act like a grown up and stick to a corporate career. But… No, I’m not going to do any of that. I’m going to do as I please. I’ve got one life to live and I want it to be in gloriously full colour, as illustrated with paints, chalk, crayons, stained glass and anything else that takes my fancy!
You have to admire the artistic vision of the graffiti artist responsible for the above design, found on a wall in an upmarket residential area of North London. Who’d have imagined that a few hanging leaves would inspire such an X-rated result! It’s hilarious … though I doubt all the local residents will agree! I wonder if this will inspire them to trim the offending bush I can’t wait for the news headline: “RARE URBAN BEAVER KILLED BY LOCALS”…
Spotted this piece of Art being sold at a local shopping mall. It’s not a great photo of what is actually visually striking. If you can’t make out the detail, those little orange and white specks are carefully crafted 3D figures of miniature rock climbers (or construction workers?). That’s real string used for ropes (not merely painted on) and the rock surface is probably crafted from some kind of latex.
Can I see this hanging in my living room? No. Can I imagine it hanging in the lobby of a funky construction company or adventure tour group? Yes.
Otherwise, look upon it as a motivational message; never stop aspiring to climb higher. If little orange men can do it, so can we
As a Londoner, there’s a real danger of walking around in a haze, huffing and puffing my way through life in a blind rush. As I get older, my eyes become more open and my senses are permanently on red alert … Because when something beautiful or provocative suddenly appears in my path, it would be tragic to miss it because I’m simply in a hurry!
London as a city never ceases to amaze me. I’ve walked through its streets my entire life, getting from A to B, sucking in the energy, the atmosphere, the colours, the emotions and the contrasting beauty of one location to the next. I love that. I love the feeling of being a tourist in my own hometown. It means I can’t ever stop learning and I can’t ever get bored. The surprises are endless. The sights are limitless. The vibrancy of life here embraces me whether I want it to or not. It attacks my senses; sight, smell, touch and audio. I can taste the city as a result. It’s an uplifting experience and makes a routine commute or journey that much more exciting.
Here’s what I noticed last night and today, just walking along, going from A to B!
Royal Opera House:
All in all, not bad for an average, routine walk through my town!
… That I Love London Town!
It’s a love affair that will never end. My relationship with London has, at times, been rocky and unforgiving yet there can be no denying the wonder and affection it still delivers, each and every day.
When I walk through the streets, often those which I’ve trekked through many times, I still find something new to marvel at. Whether it’s a pocket of awe-inspiring architecture, hidden away from the maddening crowd, or a tiny street sign with vintage charm, there is always something to make me smile, provoke thought or generate child-like awe.
I love London. I really do.
Here are some of my favourite sights: