Beautiful Grief

I had to attend a funeral today, held in a very old Orthodox church. As the mourners piled in, I found my grief numbed slightly by the beauty of the church. It made me more conscious of the beauty of life. All life. Especially mine. I wondered what I would hope for if I lived long enough to see death coming. Would I make it to old age, where the whisper of the wind becomes a faint calling from the other side; every passing Winter is a warning, every Summer a blessing, every Fall an omen and every Spring a re-birth of the will to live longer to see it all again.

The 94 year old great grandma being buried today was a lucky woman… She made it far longer than most and leaves behind a joyous legacy. Even in me for, as I sat there in the beauty of the church, grieving her passing, I found a will to live my life not for the better but for the moment – the here and now. My life, my present, my here and now, is blessed and beautiful. I just never saw it before. Thank you great Grandma and God bless you for eternity.

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Tiaras For A Queen!

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!

Lips Gone Wild

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I once tried those brightly coloured, elaborately patterned, lip tattoos and it got me thinking… If women could get the manufacturers, Violent Lips, to produce a delicate looking vintage lace or broderie selection, in pastels or nude, would any brides dare to wear them on their wedding day?

From a photographer’s perspective, the wedding pics would probably look like a high-end couture spread from a glossy fashion magazine. From a practical perspective, your future mother-in-law would probably run screaming from the wedding venue shouting “Stop the wedding!”. But I do like the idea of introducing vintage design into weddings in an unconventional way – just not necessarily with lip tattoos. I think my imagination needs to work harder. So… I’m thinking… Still thinking… And will let you know when I finally crack this!