Playing the blushing bride over on A Little Rouge

Photo credit: Craig Pearce of Urban Cartel 

Recently, my very talented friend Jemma asked me over to her delightful cottage/villa, fed me delicious home made lemonade and made me up for her portfolio, which was super fun. Because I write A Cast of Two, she created a natural, glowy bridal look – I was amazed at her skill and patience, and the result was really rather pretty!

Jump over to her blog A Little Rouge to check out the results and admire her work, and grab some clever, practical and fun make up tips while you are at it. I love the way Jem uses such inventive methods to achieve the desired effect, and is great at reminding us all that you do not have to spend a lot of money to get amazing beauty products.

Thanks Jemma! I spent the rest of the day feeling very glamorous.

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Friday Flights of Fancy

Photo credit: Kelley Ash. Phoenix Rising by Alexandra Valenti. Styling by Rachel Hunt of Sisters of the Black Moon. Make up by Jacqueline Fernandez. Hair by Lati Domi. Jewellery by Leslie Crow. Cropped scarf blouse by Tracy Conti McCarty of Prism Of Threads. Assistance by Alicin Ciscernos.

Hello from stormy, rainy Melbourne!

♥ I would like to be checking out any of these amazing swimming pools right now. This weather feels more suited to a bath – any of these would do me just fine! I have a bit of a thing about luxurious bath tubs.

♥ Some really cool nail art ideas happening here!

♥ These are some of the best wedding photos I have seen in a while. I adore the beautiful juxtaposition of the traditional Indian elements with the gritty urban style photography as you scroll down the page.

Incredibly beautiful and poignant images from the National Geographic photo contest 2012.

Wherever you are, have a wonderful weekend! Mine will be restful and laidback, spent relishing the company of my loved ones and enjoying some simple pleasures, and certainly hoping to throw in a luxurious nap or two here or there!

L xx

Nerdy lace

Photography credit: Kylie Minogue by Jean Paul Gaultier via Metalocus. Poster for “de Young Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco”.

Laser cut lace was big on the catwalks for Spring/Summer 2013, and I love the way it puts a really modern spin on  lace patterning. Enjoying all of the beautiful, intricate designs there are floating around at the moment, on everything from invitations to dresses, and shoes to cupcake wrappers. I have even seen a few cakes with the icing painstakingly cut out to mimic lace, giving it a laser cut feel. Very cool!

Credits left to right: Elizabeth Duncan events, Louis Vuitton via Vogue , Elizabeth Fillmore via Brides.com, Giles Deacon via I Am Fashion

I love the versatility – the way you can layer it over a coloured fabric, or show a peek of skin. I think it looks amazing with a flash of bright lippie or a coloured shoe, or go for coloured laser cut lace for real impact. So striking!

 

Photography credit: Mariana Braga by Steven Chee, styled by Marina Didovich

Romancing Monday

I am a bit slow most Monday mornings, but give me a few hours and I have normally come alive, buzzing with ideas and excitement for the things I want to do and achieve in the week ahead.

There is always something to look forward to, yes? That’s the idea of Romancing Monday, a song of love which reminds us to treat Monday right, to be gentle, ease yourself into the day and celebrate all the beauty in the world around us.

Take it away Joss!

Friday Flights of Fancy

Photo credit: Melbourne street art by the Euskadi 11

So many great Friday links today – enjoy!

♥ I love a good list! Time make some of the best around. Here is their 50 best websites of 2012

♥ Did you know that the smily icon you use denotes your age? I am totally showing my age – I’m all about the nose! #leahdinosaur I just had to add in that hash tag to show that a) I understand the function and b) to be funny about the fact that at 30 I am still able to make a joke about being old…ok I’m done, promise! #cringe

♥ Tim Ferriss may be a bit of a maniac, but I am very excited to see the results of this study on nutrition and ending fad diets once and for all

♥ XOXO Conference blows me away – might just have to coincide any future trips to the states with this event! This run down from Jason of Kottke only makes me more envious of anyone who was able to attend.

♥ I adore Seth Godinthe difference between congratulations and well deserved is very distinct!

♥ I am so excited for season 2 of Girls! The first taster/teaser has been released, and oh god I can’t wait. If you haven’t watched the first season of girls, you MUST get right on that!

Have a fun weekend everyone. I am keeping it chilled and plan to drink a lot of tea. On Sunday I am off to get made up by the super talented Jemma, (who seriously knows all there is to know about make up) which I am very excited about. Her fledgling blog A Little Rouge is destined for big things!

L xx

Banning overwhelm instalment two – DIY (magic or madness?)

Photography credits: Ladder by Abby Jiu Photography via Style Me Pretty, Rose in bottle by Tori and Sal

Over the past few years, there has been such a proliferation in the amount of blogs, magazines, websites and books which deal with/promote/espouse crafty, unique, DIY weddings. There are lots of different reasons why people invest a lot of time in ‘doing it yourself’, but I think the main ones are being able to express yourself creatively and add an individual touch to your day, save money and/or you genuinely enjoy crafting and making things yourself.

Now, I LOVE me a crafty wedding! I adore all the lovely, visual, creative jazz you have license to create for – luxe centre pieces, individualised invites, twinkly lights and personalised detailing. That makes sense, I do have a blog which is mainly about weddings after all, and I love dreaming up creative projects and crafting. In saying that, I am known for over extending myself, perfectionism and working a little too hard. In other words, being a little bit nutty!

As well as wedding day beauty, I want to promote and value non-wankery (if there is such a word?), realness and sanity on A Cast of Two. It concerns me at times that weddings can be so competitive, as in, who is able to express the most creativity or echo their personal style in every little detail of the day.

Check out this vid as an example of some of the cringe factor that weddings can bring out in people!

In fact, I know that it is becoming more and more common for people these days to strive to create a wedding that is ‘blog worthy’, so it gets picked up and featured. I think it is more important to aim for a beautiful balance, designing a day which takes place in beautiful surroundings and makes you feel super lovely, but focuses on the things that really matter – your loved ones, the food and bev, music and most importantly, ensuring that you are your partner have an amazingly special day which just tickles you pink, without the headaches.

I know that a major trap excitable brides fall in to (and oh god can I see this happening to me!) is that they set out with the grand intention of having a crafty, indie wedding but realise that everyday life can get in the way of creating 200 origami cranes, 100 personalised favours, detailed bunting and sourcing gorgeous vintage finds for the guest book table. I could go on, yes I could! It is so easy to end up stressed and overwhelmed, rather than basking in the exciting glow of planning such a special event which already has so many different components to take into consideration.

Or, maybe the thought of a moustache on a stick makes you cringe, or you are just not the kind of couple who want to bop around holding up signs with something cute written on them, and that is ok too, despite what Pinterest is telling you!

Here are my thoughts on how to inject some thoughtful, creative crafting and DIY into your wedding, without losing the hair you want to be so luscious and plentiful on your big day!

Keep your crafting and DIY reflective of who you are as a couple. Just because something is fashionable in the wedding world doesn’t mean you have to have that as a feature in your wedding. Go with what you love and are naturally drawn to, and this will keep you feeling connected to the day and what it is really about – a celebration of your love and impending marriage.

Set a budget for the parts of your wedding that you choose to do yourself. If you don’t, it will easily spiral out of control once the craft store pixies lures you into their magical cave.

Don’t be a masochist or control freak! Get your friends involved and have a craft day – put on some snacks and drinkies and go nuts.

If crafting doesn’t come naturally to you, think of some ways you can add a creative touch without actually physically making anything. You can use paper lanterns, beautifully coloured glass bottles, arrangements of pretty things on trays, scatter delightful and unique items on a table top and so on and so on and so on.

If limited time is a factor, focus on creating large, eye catching pieces such rather than worrying about smaller details. This is where a beautiful, dramatic ceremony backdrop, effective suspended floral or lighting, cool collages, a sweet photo booth area and larger scale table settings come into it, as just some of the many ideas you can conjure up.

Photo credit: Laura Kaufmann via 52 Flea

Use the venue space you have chosen wisely. If there is an arch way, hang prettiness from it, or if there is an unsightly corner or area, cover it with lanterns, balloons or textile goodness.

I could go on for a long time, but for the sake of the word count in this post, my last words of wisdom are that unless you are a makeup artist, don’t DIY your makeup! You will have so much more fun relaxing while someone else does it for you, and will hopefully be able to get in a cheeky little glass of something bubbly and nerve calmy while it is happening.

Photo Credit: Steven Michael Photo via 100 Layer Cake

I will leave you with some links to some seriously awesome DIY tutorials, plucked from the plethora of online DIY ideas you can find with the click of your mouse. Go and craft to your heart’s content, but remember, a calm bride to be is nicest for everyone involved (especially the groom!).

A stunning ceremony backdrop

Make your own beautiful flower crown…and another lovely option for you here

Beautiful feather boutonnieres

A mecca of DIY wedding craft ideas from the goddesses at A Practical Wedding

Photo credit: Top EE Photography via Ruffled Blog, bottom via A Beautiful Mess

Romancing Monday

Have a bit of post mini-break blues so today’s Romancing Monday song is quiet, subdued and a little bitter sweet. I always love seeing my Sydney peeps, and it is a time when I give myself no responsibilities, so living in the moment comes more naturally. I do believe that taking each moment as it comes is the key to a happy life, and is something I work on a lot. Unfortunately my over active brain struggles with this zen approach to life, especially when there are so many things to plan, process and organise in most weeks!

What do you do to make yourself feel good/centred/excited/happy? I love hearing about the different techniques people use to get and keep their spirits up… For me it can be as simple as a cup of tea and a chat with a loved one, or as extravagant as booking flights to create an occasion to look forward to.

Here is to not only Romancing Monday, but every day of the week, and adding in something that makes you feel lovely on a daily basis. This week, I am grateful for my family and friends, happy music, beautiful Spring blossoms popping up everywhere, all of my schemes and dreams, lovely Egyptian cotton sheets and my new tangerine manicure.

L xx

Friday Flights of Fancy

Apologies for the sparse posts this week – I am in Sydney and the sun is shining so brightly I just want to be out and about! Check out my view at lunch today – incredibly cool.

♥ They found a new kind of monkey in the Congo! It’s eyes are amazingly human.

♥ This article on adopting zen practices at work is so good, and definitely contains advice I need to draw on more often.

♥ Tips for buying a wedding dress online

♥ Artist Ulric Collette has created the second part of his series of portraits of the genetic similarities of the members of his family – very interesting and kinda creepy all at once!

♥ I am so excited that the ladies of the One Fine Day wedding fair have announced the second event on the first weekend of February 2013! The ladies who run this show are incredibly talented and I am definitely going to do my best to get to Sydney for this. For anyone who wants gorgeously original, exciting and unique ideas for a down to earth and expressive wedding day, this fair is a must visit.

So beautiful! At the inaugural One Fine Day fair earlier this year there was a swing dancing display, food and cake tastings and a beautiful real life proposal… Can’t wait to immerse myself in all that loveliness.

Thanks to Jess from Silk Truffle Photography for the use of her delightful images.

Have a fantastic weekend wherever you are, enjoying the pleasures that the weekend has to offer. I’m off to eat Mexican, visit the Paddington market and head to see Kenny Larkin dj at The Spice Cellar…and making the most of the Sydney sun of course! L x

Romancing Monday

Stig Lindberg print, available from Etsy

With all the hustle and bustle of my life at the moment, luxury for me means taking the time out for a walk, a movie and a cuppa, cuddle & chat on the couch. In other words, the little things!

Lily expresses this best in her song Chinese, which is just about those nice quiet moments in life – the ones that keep us sane!

Another busy week ahead for me, but I will be basking in some sun streaming in my bedroom windows, working in my big blue armchair and enjoying sampling Mr J’s ever expanding boutique beer collection! Mega treat time at the end of the week, when we fly off to Sydney to indulge in 4 days away, meandering and lunching by the harbour and soaking up the company of some of our favourite people.