Monday, 30 April 2012

My Best Friend's Wedding

This blog post will be in two halves. The first half will be a overview of what I have recently been
Up to and the second half will be a review on something from that day.

So last Thursday, (26th April) was my best friends wedding which I was a bridesmaid at. During the planning stage The bride to be said that we could wear whatever style bridesmaid dress we wanted as long as it was purple and something we would be happy to wear again. Instantly I new I wanted a 1950s style dress.
During my search I decided upon a satin halter neck circle dress from vintage repro company Vivien of Holloway. It was a little bit more expensive then I had budgeted for but I did have 15% off so I took the plunge and ordered one.
In a recent post I showed a photo of how my hair was going to look and I found some fabulous purple patent shoes for £25 from M and S.
The night before the wedding we all gathered at one of the other bridesmaids house for massages and a sleep over so we could all get ready in the morning together.
The bride was so excited the following morning that I decided to get up at 6:30 to join in the excitement. I planned to do my hair in victory rolls so after I put my dress on I got to work curling my hair using curling tongs and pinning them in place to help keep the curl.  I suppose they cam out Ok but I think the practice ones I did were a lot better and placed neater on my head.
We managed to get ready in time and arrived promptly at the registry office and the rain was holding back but it was bitterly cold and windy. It really didn't feel like April.
After the ceremony we went back to the brides and grooms for nibbles and more photographs before going on to a local carvery for the wedding reception and a disco in the evening. It was a very simple (though didn't feel that way in preparation for it!)  yet wonderful day.

The Bride with Bridesmaids

The dress- My review.
I am so glad I decided to buy the Vivien of Holloway dress. The Purple satin was a divine colour and the fit of the dress was just perfect and I felt comfortable in it the whole day, from 8:30 till midnight.
Many people commented on how lovely the dress looked on me which always great to hear. One thing I wish I had done was to invest in a better petticoat but I ran out of the funds and had to make do with an old petticoat I had from a previous wedding.
Dancing is when this dress really came into it's own. I loved spinning in it.

Another point, after such a long day it did pick up a few stains on the way, mainly from a little girl who plastered her sticky food covered hand on my dress to help get her off the floor, I didn't mind but I did have a reminder  left on the skirt so I will have to get it dry cleaned before I can wear it again.
If Vivien of Holloway clothing has been calling to you and you have been putting it off then take it from me, the clothing is worth the price and is extremely well made and comfortable to wear. Just make sure you measure correctly because 1950s clothing size are completely different to modern sizing.
Taken just before going home. The lipstick had long since worn off but the victory rolls were still in place!

Photos by LJS Digital Photography and from wedding guest.

Monday, 23 April 2012

My Altar

I thought I would spend some time discussing my altar and why I like to have one set up and what I use it for.
In every pagan 101 book or website you will find a section dedicated to setting up a altar in your home. 
Be it for a devotion to a specific God/ Goddess or decorated for the sabbats, the altar can be a key focal point in your practice.
I have always lived with other non-pagans, so my altars have always been subtle. For the longest time it was just a box I had which I got out and used as my altar for doing ritual but I now have a permanent altar above my computer workstation.
At the moment my altar is set up as a devotion to both my Patron deities, Elen and Herne. I have statues to represent them and artwork too, I have yet to find a suitable statue of Herne so I have a Stag representing him.
My candle holder is in the shape of a Stags antlers and I also have the pair of antlers I found on a Stag skull on one of my many woodland walks. There is no confusion about who this altar is for as at the very front I have some female reindeer antler cut off's and my ritual knife called an athame has an antler handle.
The altar layout is a typical one with the Goddess on the left hand side and the God on the right.
The elements are also represented on my altar with a bowl of water, a bowl of salt, incense and feathers for air and candles for fire. The cauldron represent both the feminine and the Cauldron of rebirth in Druid lore.
My lamp depicts trees and represents the World Tree. You might also spot the bottle of mead...
My statue and artwork dedicated to The Goddess Elen of the Ways

I use my altar as a focal point, as a reminder of what is important to me, it keeps my inspiration high as it is just above my creative work station.
During the sabbats I swap the colours of the altar cloth to reflect the colours of that sabbat, For example Beltane is almost here so for that I might change the cloth to red to represent fire. I also add things from nature that represent the festivals. for example pine corns or flowers that are found at that time of the year.

To find out more about pagan altars I always like looking at the pagan pages to see other peoples altars for inspiration:

For more information on the Goddess Elen see my blog page here.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Spectacular spectacles

I wear glasses for my short sightedness and for the longest time I have been searching for some vintage frames to wear as I love the 1950s cat-eye style.
eBay searches have been a bit lacking but etsy proved to bring forth a huge amount of wonderful frames of different shape and price.
I found this pair which I brought from America, but the lenses on them were very thick, I felt sorry for the previous owner as their eyesight must have been really poor!
Photo  courtesy of the etsy seller retroactivevintage

The glasses are in quite good condition apart from the plastic on the temple ends are now quite brittle which is to be expected with 60 year old plastic.
Fellow blogger and Rockabilly jewellery maker Dolly Cool recommended for fitting replacement prescription lenses into vintage frames, so as soon as my frames arrived from America I shipped them off again to have my prescription put in for £15.
My frames came back at the weekend and I am thrilled with them!
They are two toned aluminium and brass colour with a etched leaf pattern.
On the inside arm is the inscription Dorothy Gotez/ Gotey not sure on the last letter, who was probably the poor near-sighted original owner.

It's amazing what different eye shapes frames do to your face.

I'm now on the search for some frames can get tinted lenses put in as sunglasses.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Elen of the ways

I mentioned in a previous post about my Patron Goddess. I call her by the name of Elen of the Trackways and I thought I would shed some light on this enigmatic Lady.
Elen is a very elusive Goddess, so in that sense not much is know about her!
She is a Goddess of "Albion" which is an ancient name for the island of Great Britain and she is a diety associated to the crossroads, trackways, by ways and even paths out to sea.
She is a guardian of the land, sacred springs and waterfalls. Woods, forests sacred groves and all wild animals are sacred to her, especially the Deer and Reindeer.
Elen is aligned with fire and solar imagery and new beginnings and she shares many of the same attributes as Brighid. Elen is "The Maiden of Light", indeed the name Elen means light. She is a deity of the 'between times', of Dawn and Dusk. She is also the protector of the dream pathways.
She has connections with leylines and the energies of the land for which she is intertwined with. From Earth mother, keeper of fates and destines, ruler of the web of wyrd she has many associations.
Many see Elen as a female counterpart to the Green man. She is holder of knowledge of the land, it is, her blood, her body and her spirit.

Sacred to Elen
Colour ~ Red
Season~ Spring
Holiday / Feast Day~ Beltane, May 22nd, August 18th
Talismans~ comb, mirror, shell
Direction ~ Southeast
Aspect~ Lover, Virgin Goddess
Animals~ Dog, Mare, Horse, Dove, Swan, Deer
Region~ Ancient Britan
Food~ Apple
Tree~ Elder
Guardian~ of all who journey

Elen is also mentioned in the Mabinogion.
Elen’ appears in the tale ‘The Dream of Mascen Wledid’, whose character is based on the Roman Emperor Maximus.
Mascen is out hunting with thirty-two companions.* They follow the ‘River that Runs towards Rome’. Mascen gets tired in the heat of the sun at noon so a tent is prepared and he sleeps. Mascen dreams a wonderful dream.

He dreams of undertaking an epic journey, where he travels across mighty rivers, mountains and valleys, all kinds of terrain, until he crosses a sea and eventually comes to a red-gold castle. In the castle he finds two auburn haired youths playing chess, and an old king whittling chess pieces.
On a red-gold throne sits a woman. She is the most beautiful woman Mascen has ever seen. She is Elen.
Mascen awakes, and pines for the woman of his dream. He sends men out on a quest to find her, which they do, in Wales, the land of red gold. They tell her that the Emperor wants her, and Elen says that if the Emperor wants her that badly, he can come and get her himself.
On hearing this, Mascen sets of, and after many adventures, Elen becomes his Bride. She becomes the Empress Helen, has roads built (magically) for the armies of Britain, and for the protection of Britain, (Elen Lwydogg -Elen of the Hosts). The roads are said to link castles across the land. As a Leyhunter this appealed to me – were these more than Roman roads, echoes of ancient pathways, Elen’s roads, memories of the Old straight tracks?
You can walk along her roads still. Sarn Elen, a network, which goes form Caernarfon, the site of Elen’s castle, into South Wales. It is known to be earlier than the Roman period, and being on her highway can be a magical experience, as you are poised in that numinous borderland where magic, myth, and history meet.

My path with Elen
It was of January 2010 when I first became aware of my Lady. I remember having a very detailed dream in which I was in a forest, a very magical feeling forest and I had a pair of amazing antlers on my head. I didn't think much about the dream until I saw a post on facebook by a friend of mine mentioning a Green Goddess who is often depicted with antlers on her head like a female reindeer (The only deer whose females have antlers)
I joined her group to find out more and in my study I realised that this was the Goddess I had been working with for a long time only mistaking her for Artemis.
Upon having a name for my Lady I felt complete a feeling I never had before during my path.
Now I ask for Elen's help when ever I feel lost, and when I am out on my forest walks I ask her to join me. Ever since then I have been blessed to see the wild Deer who live in our local woods every time I ask for her help.

More reading: facebook group
Pathways to Elen, a introductory booklet about Elen including an article I wrote for is now avalible. Read a prieview at

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Victory for hair.

I have been trying out hairstyles for a wedding I am going to in 2 week time. Tonight was the test run for Victory rolls. I used a lot of different hair tutorials on YouTube to achieve it, but it had stood up for a night out.

I think the rest of my hair needed more curl to it, but it is all trial and error at this stage. At least I got some good compliments.

Monday, 9 April 2012

A Steampunk event

Today I went to one of my first Steampunk event at The Historical Chatham Dockyard. It was a bit of a foul day in terms of weather and I have a very painful sore throat too :(
The event was part of The Medway Festival of Steam and Transport and there were many fine examples of steam engines and classic cars, it was just too wet and cold to stand around and look at them :(

Luckily the Steampunk village was in a dry engine shed and they had plenty of things to see, buy and entertain the casual onlooker.

There were many fabulous stalls selling all sorts of Steampunk goodies ranging from whole outfits to Goggles.

I got to watch my first ever Tea Duel which was highly amusing and would have liked to have taken part if I had known what Tea Duelling was before hand!
I should have watched this video.

 Tea Duelling in action!

This was then followed by a fashion show where we got to see some of the highly elaborate and beautiful Steampunk attire.

Sorry for the poor qualities of my photos, I only had my phones camera to take pictures with.
I didn't get a photo of me but I know one of the stall holders did so I will be looking on Brass Goggles to see if she will post it up there.

A rather enjoyable day, just a shame about the weather and my sore throat. can't wait to go to more Steampunk events in the future!

oh yes before I forget there was also this cute little wannabe VW camper there too :) We followed it on the way home but it was on the back of a trailer.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Happy Easter

How ever you celebrate it and whatever it means to you, enjoy!

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Steampunk mini top hat

On Monday 9th April I am going to my first Steampunk event at the Chatham Dockyard in Kent.
As part of the Medway Festival of Steam and Transport their will be a Steampunk village with artisans selling their wares and a fashion show! If only I had know sooner I would have seen about having a stall there but as it is I am going to go dressed in my Steampunk finest.

Last year for the Canterbury Faerie Festival I made lots of mini top hats for sale and I even sold my own Steampunk top hat which I am wearing in this photo shoot.
The mini top hats I made.

Steampunk photo shoot and the pocket watch mini top hat I sold.

So I had to make another one!
I had run out of the buttons that I used on the first pocket watch hat but I quite like these square ones.

The little pocket watch was made out of air drying clay and then painted. 

Would you believe these hats first started their lives as Styrofoam cups?

I am really looking forward to this event and will be blogging about it when I get home. Trains, classic cars and Steampunk? I can't wait!

For those new to Steampunk here are some links to find out more: a Steampunk band A great blog and forum

Sunday, 1 April 2012

A little bit Rockabilly

I've only really been dressing like a rockabilly gal for a short period of time but I have always loved the music and the 1950s era.
There isn't a shortage of excellent clothing stores for a rockabilly style. Hell Bunny, Collectif and Miss Fortune being some of my favourites. 
What really started it for me was the red Hell Bunny tattoo dress I wore for a friends wedding, I teamed it with a black petticoat and wore my hair in victory rolls which was a popular hair style around the 1940s and gave my look a more classic feel. I can't begin to describe all the compliments I got from other guests at the wedding! 

That wedding was last year and this month sees me being a bridesmaid for my best friend who wanted us to wear purple dresses but they could be any style we wanted. So naturally I went for a 50s style satin Halterneck by Vivian of Holloway. I will also have my hair in victory rolls but done more like the glorious Nikki Napalm.

For my everyday style I like to wear my high waisted jeans by Lady K Loves and tops by Miss Fortune.
I keep my makeup really simple but the addition of red lipstick and black flick eyeliner really helps achieve a Rockabilly look.
My hair is really thick and long so quite hard to style and because of my job I can't dye it bright colours but it is a subtle shade of red/black. 

As for music, I adore Imelda May, Caro Emerald and the Baseballs. Some of the originals rockabilly/ rock'n'roll greats are my favourites too, such as Elvis, Jonny Cash, Bill Hayley and the Comets, Wanda Jackson, to name a few.

Some great rockabilly links
Blogs and clothing
Dolly cool jewellery
ReeRee Rockettte's blog
The Rockabilly girl Next door. A great blog!
Miss Fortune clothing
Lady K Loves clothing
Hell bunny clothing stockist
Collectif clothing

Sun Records, the birthplace of Rock and Roll
Imelda May
Caro Emerald
The Baseballs