Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A Family Wedding Story

This was last weekend's family wedding - my life was temporarily on hold in the run-up to it and in turn I got to savour some beautiful family moments. Everyone lent a hand, some baked cakes for guests, others babysat (*kill Barney), whilst others adamantly refused to try on some dresses *baby diva-yet-adorable tantrums!*

Here's how it happened in so many words. My cousin Fiona asked me to kit her entourage and I basically obliged. For once, I made it a point to actually hold onto the first sketches. Only yesterday I was sorting out the last pieces of textile from the many bags I collected in the process - bags for sketches, measurements and samples, bags for lace trimmings, bags for every step of the way. Here's the original sketch for the wedding dress in ivory and blush I had designed - along the way it underwent some changes in the skirt, but the central idea remained the same - a boat neck lace top over a sweetheart corseted top in ivory satin with a pleated sash in a blush tone. Even that early on in the process, the bride already knew how she wanted her hair done!

.. and here's the sketch for the bride's purple entourage

... the French lace top was constructed out of rows upon rows of hand-pinned and hand-stitched lace braid because we simply couldn't find the right kind by metre, and down the back we settled for a row of over 30 buttons covered in ivory satin

.. this is later on in the process when we all voted in favour of a tulle underskirt .. 

... here's the bride at one of her many fittings. We held fittings back at my mum's place where the light is better and the floors always much much cleaner.. also at my mum's we always had the option of closing the door on the dog/cat.. whereas at my house, the cat rules the place!

... fittings are fun!

... this is me trying to get a general idea of what the bridal party will eventually look like as they walked up the aisle

... apart from the bride and her bridesmaids, I was also responsible for fitting a special guest to this wedding - the charming Josianne! She chose some lovely peacock green taffeta and matching pleated organza for her dream dress and I added hand sewn sprays of crystals and pearls because she was always happier than most to go with my random aquatic suggestions!

and this is Jade being fitted for her flower-girl dress .. well into the process when she had grown 'sort of' accustomed to the idea that she'll have to put on a dress .. eventually

deliberations ..

.. and made-to-measure/made-to-match shoes 

more fun-times during fittings!

and here are some all-important close-ups of the things I embellished for the said dresses ..
starting with the bows for the flowergirls' dresses

all of the shoes

the maid of honour's sash for which I used a vintage button I fell in love with

and the pearly necklines of the little girls' dresses!

Getting closer to the day!
Here's a quick snapshot at the last fitting on the eve before the wedding - a particularly cold Friday when my heart was racing with adrenaline for fear that my car might stop in post-rain Msida with all the dresses in the back

Come Saturday morning I go to my aunt's and I find the wedding party with their hair already sprayed in place, make-up followed.. this is Nadia, the maid of honour, getting her make up done by the super-talented Elaine. My first inklings were confirmed - Nadia really is a dead ringer for young MINA once the hair is up and the eyeliner in place.

Young Amy caught putting on her earrings! What I wouldn't give to look so effortlessly sweet!

things from across the road that the wedding photographer couldn't see ...

Yes, there followed a traditional church ceremony. Instead I'm skipping to the dancing at the reception part.

I tell you, this dress was made for dancing.. for me, a worst case scenario is for the bride to feel uncomfortable or in any way restricted in her dress..

... see, I told you!

an 'awhh' moment before the dancing ensued

post-dance, the bride poses with her godmother - my mum! Mum took some convincing to settle for that colour at first but we both agreed 'hands down' on the style. She sewed the outfit herself and left the fiddly work of the beading and the bow for her daughter to do in exchange for a warm meal and a steady supply of milky tea

very few people look stunning whilst sipping lemonade

Here's Josianne posing in her dress at the wedding reception - this lady kept her word!

time consuming but ultimately very satisfying work.

I'm just glad I was there every step of the way, camera in tow. I know it is most unlikely that I'll ever be so involved in another wedding-in-the-making, or that I'll ever encounter such an obliging bride (* literal familiarity plays an integral role, of course).. it appears even less likely that I'll ever be organizing my own (*I'm allergic to vows, you see). So all I can really say at the end of the day is *hip hip hurray* for the opportunity and the new couple! 

...  and if I may say so myself, that is one happy bride!

see you at the next wedding x

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Cake Stand Love

specially prepared for the lovely Marilu's Pastizzi Gourmet's event tomorrow::

see you there ♥

these cake stands will be used during the event and should you grow 
particularly attached to any of them .. 
they're for sale as well..

A whole day out hunting leaves one famished .. back in time for tea
A cake stand becomes a  resting place for prized possessions when you're out of cake
For one who's as obsessed with everything japanese-y as I

Chocolates and gypsophila - two favourite things

A seasoned baker's stand

A seamstress' stand

From the kitchen to the dressing table

*Disclaimer: I am not suggesting that these cake stands are a novel idea, in any way.. home-made/assembled cake stands are a widespread craft activity that's been around for a long time.. and yet, I know that many people never get down to making one for themselves; so I'm here to help. Every piece is unique and created out of carefully selected second-hand ceramic, metal and/or glass objects found on various flea market/charity shop visits. Hurray for tea-parties!!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

My weeks are taken up by ...

... several things.

This week in particular

I set my mind and hands to assembling some cake stands for Marilu's special Pastizzi Gourmet event next Thursday.. delightful stuff requiring buckets of patience and a steady hand.

I attended my first hen night - a baptism of sorts 
I report back to base with news of side splitting laughter, a sugar-rush inducing cake that sent me reeling and the realization that I'm still in the honeymoon phase with my driving license. On my way back home, I take the scenic routes and hum my favourite tunes - some say I need a radio, I call it 'making peace with the road'

I sort of mourned my, now past, urge to sketch. Circumstances and an ever changing appetite forced me on to new things after a (mere) 9-day-long affair

Case in point, I now spend the day watching back to back documentaries about organized crime and my evenings-in going through Al Pacino's filmography
this obsession deserves a T-shirt


I also made this flyer/ticket/cover photo for Brikkuni's upcoming event .. 
cutting down on coffee to eliminate, or at least subdue,
 the tremor in my hands doesn't mean 
I cannot dip paper into it.

Somehow I still found time to create these two Venetian-inspired masks in time for Carnival 
- a feast I love but (unfortunately) seldom celebrate.
FLASH NEWS: glue inhalation levels have sky-rocketed since the 1st of February chez Babettopolis

This week I also rounded and finished off the last couple of chores on my 'family-wedding' to-do-list.
All of the commissioned outfits now hang in protective bags along the wall and all that remains is for me to rustle up something for myself...

... however I know better than to promise myself anything big. In between bags of tricky alterations, sampling of an array of glues, editing twice as many photos and running all the errands, I suspect there won't be much time left over for me to create my dream dress in grey tulle. So I'll be aiming lower and crossing my fingers about finding time to replace the zip on a vintage dress a lovely lady gave me some 5 years ago.

But before I sign out for a cup of tea and 'The Making of The Godfather', I'll let you on to a little secret:
here's a glimpse of what next week will bring ...
gloves on, paint brushes at the ready and we're good to go.

... several things indeed.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

on the side

Here's a feature about one of the things I enjoy doing ON THE SIDE in a local blog I love:

and to celebrate the occasion and add some 'colour' to a post that's been a long time coming, I think I'll allow myself the vanity of sharing a couple of sketches, both recent and archived.

Unfortunately, these sketching phases come and go, and like every burst of productive energy I cannot but long for its return. However, past experience has taught me that nothing recurs easily if you pine for it. Regretting nothing, I turn a blind eye and hope for the best! *forgetaboutit*