I abhor April Fools jokes at the best of times but at 5am (hence the darkness) my brain is really really not working yet.
Family photographs, family photographers.
(one of them is! Brian Miller, he was off collecting his (amazing) camera)
best viewed large.
The light and clouds were bizarre and wonderful.
Tomorrow? Photos of Larnach Castle!
I handwrote this post while at work and typed it up when I got home.
A very early flight to Dunedin on a very tiny plane. We checked in at 6:30 which entailed leaving home at 6am. Sleepy. Sleepy and a little terrified plane because lord that was the smallest plane I’ve ever been on.
Brighton Beach in Dunedin. Clambering about & listening to reminiscences. Best viewed LARGE.
12th and 13th January 2009
If you paid any attention to my twitter at all today, then you probably think I’m whiny, paradoxical, or both. I have spent months on end dreaming (loudly) of snow and ice, of the need to wear scarves and hats, of rosy-cheeks and dragon-breath.
And then! two scant days into New Zealand’s autumn, it’s all I can do to keep my mouth shut about how miserable and cold I am, cotton-headed, stuffed with phlegm (ew), and prickled with goosebumps.
The truth is? I only love winter (and I do love you winter!) is when it does not adversely affect me. I hate having a cold, and being inappropriately dressed for the weather drives me crazy. I hate having to walk in the rain because in Wellington when it rains, it is windy (and when it’s sunny it’s windy, and when it’s windy? it’s really windy) and in Wellington’s wind using an umbrella is pointless.
Instead I yearn for an idealised winter. Walking next to Craig, hands wrapped around a gingerbread latte or Monmouth Coffee*, bridging feet over cobblestones, deep dark brownies, and steaming venison burgers.
In my ideal winter it is perpetually Saturday Mornings at Borough Market, and I am wearing the following outfit:
I am going about replicating this outfit in New Zealand as well
It will be my winter weekend uniform.
Things around the Oh Darling household have been a little sad and grey and wintery themselves this week. On Wednesday Sir C and I are packing our bags and heading down to Dunedin for a family funeral.
Posting will be light or non-existent for the second half of this week.
* Monmouth is the best coffee I have ever had, bar none. The queue at the Borough Market stall was always monumental but the coffee was always worth it.
I made the first prototype fringe necklace and I loveloveloved it.
St Patrick’s Day. My cousin Adrian playing the Bodhrán. Impressive much?
Another day where I didn’t get to take a photo until the night had most definitely descended. But I did get to use my iphone as a lightbox! Like this.
St Patrick’s Day, sans well-wishes.
Wendy Brandes Jewelry
I stumbled upon the delightful Wendy Brandes when googling Anne Boleyn Necklace, because I have (from time to time) become obsessed with the idea of getting a B (for Boleyn or Burke) necklace of my very own.
Every so often, I go to her website, bring up this image, and make puppy-dog eyes at the screen.
Most of the time however, I hang out on her blaaaaag because she is a wickedly funny lady who looks amazing in redredred lipstick and wears whatever the fuck she likes (she also swears alot. I like that about her).
One of my favourite things about her jewellery is that she has a god damn sense of humour. Unscrew the little acorn on a necklace, and you free a little squirrel!
A low profile ring snaps open to reveal a little depression. Is it to store a love note or treasure?
I’m going to include some of my favourite pieces here but I am not going to post their prices. Some may call them prohibitive (she also produces silver versions at very reasonable-for-high-quality prices) but never forget, her language may be blue but her jewellery is at the luxury end of the market.
She recently wrote on her blog about this very issue and explains that each and every stone is set by hand, meticulously, and that attention to detail does actually cost money (shock horror gasp)
This astounding swan ring (named after Anne of Cleves! I’ll come back to that) has 140 individual diamonds that are (in her own inimitable words) are set by a guy who uses a magnifying glass to see what he’s doing, while he handles one-millimeter-wide stones with tweezers. Don’t get me wrong. If you want to order 500 Cleves Rings, I will happily — and by necessity — use inexpensive overseas labor. Just let me know when you’re ready to place that order. In the meantime, you’ll have to live with spectacular, handmade jewelry that is limited edition, locally made and personally approved by me. So seriously? a piece by Wendy Brandes is a Piece By Wendy Brandes. And a lovely little old man.
The collection that makes my cold black heart race is called Vivat Regina (Long Live the Queen) and is inspired by Royal ladies. Wendy says that Lockets and poison rings are an important part of this collection, because naughty royal ladies are the most interesting. and lord, how I agree. She references everyone from Anne Boleyn, Anne of Cleves, Lucrezia Borgia, Marie Antoinette, Bathsheba, Hatshepsut, to Queen Min (last Empress of Korea!), Edburga (an Anglo-Saxon Queen who accidentally poisoned her husband and insulted a future, royal suitor, silly lady), and Juana (daughter of Isabella and Ferdinand of Spain, she was said to have had her husband’s coffin opened for a few last looks before burial). Amazing.
Beautiful jewellery, and a quirky little history lesson! Jewellery of Little Known Facts? My kind of thing!