Thursday, 31 December 2009

Aubergine Ink is now on Twitter...


I'm back and I'm on Twitter! I will also be picking up where I left off on the wedding and everything else that's happened since then (no, it doesn't involve a series of stomach photographs).

I hope you're all well and enjoying the holiday season. If not, I guarantee this little person will make you smile.

You can follow me at @aubergineink

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Bunny T-Shirt

Dear Father Christams,

I know Christmas is months away but it's cold here and it feels like it should be sooner.
I would like this t-shirt please Father Christmas. I think Peonies might also like one so could you get one for her too please?

Thank you,

Friday, 10 July 2009

Back to the beginning

There's less than a month to go. We're actually leaving in just under 10 days. When I think about this my head freezes and my heart feels like it's skipped a beat or added in an extra one so I'm actively not thinking about it. Instead I thought this was probably as good a time as any to finish telling my story. Our story. Something I've been particularly slack with.

So I was up the part where the destination wedding idea had been chosen, and then rapidly binned, when civil war broke out in Thailand.

Now I know as I'm writing this that it sounds as though I am complaining about the very choices that some would love to have the chance to experience but trust me; there is such a thing as the tyranny of choice. We were painfully aware that every option had it's own pros and cons. See the lamb? That was me. Except less fluffy and more firmly attached to a Sauvignon Blanc.

Although both our families had emphasised that we should do 'what we wanted' and 'what we thought best' we felt an overwhelming responsibility to try and keep everybody happy. Because even if they only stated them very, very, quietly or not at all; we knew exactly what those little comments, looks and sighs meant. Everyone already had a little image in their own head about where it should be and what it should look like.

I knew that my mother had wanted to be more involved in my sister's wedding but for various reasons had felt a little pushed out. I also knew that as a mum of boys; my mother-in-law-to-be who'd always wanted a pretty pink, dress-wearing girl, had daydreamed about this wedding more than this particular girl had. I was never the pretty pink dress-wearing girl. I'd grown up running away from dresses straight into dungarees, trees and skinned knees so never identified with that 'princess' story but I wanted them both to get what they wanted from it too.

I really started to realise then that the wedding isn't really about you. Or your partner. It's about two families, it's about them seeing you as a grown-up, letting go, celebrating that you've made it to adulthood without them forgetting you in the cereal aisle or causing you to require several years of therapy. In perhaps the same way that a graduation ceremony isn't really about graduating; it's all about the mothers.

So trying to balance pleasing both families (i.e. mothers) whilst keeping the wedding within a manageable budget and costs down for guests just seemed impossible.
We spent that Christmas period with our families in England who wasted no time in nagging us to make a decision so they could get on with the important business of choosing frocks and selecting wine. There were many Christmas-cheer fuelled debates in front of a roaring fire ("what shall we do? I don't know! what do you think we should do? I don't know!" and on and on...) whist we endlessly debated the options. When I think back on this now I wonder why we didn't just flip a coin or pull options out of hat.

Whilst a destination wedding would have suited us given that neither of us wanted a huge white wedding, it had taken us a long time to find the the place we were initially planning on in Thailand. We currently live in Australia, about as far away as we can be from any family or friends before we'd start circling back.
Having the wedding here would certainly have been the easiest option for us in terms of planning but the flight and accommodation costs would have been prohibitive for many people, especially our friends. It would also have meant that we would have had to wait another year for the summer as the seasons are back to front!

So we were back to the first option; a wedding in France close to my grandparents' village. The downside to this was the practicality of it. It's literally in the middle of nowhere. We would have to plan accommodation for everyone from the other side of the world. But as soon as we'd agreed on it, it felt right. It was easy (and fairly inexpensive) for guests from England, it meant that my grandparents would be there and it definitely would not be formal. Perfect.

Of course that brought up the next problems - venues? How exactly do you organise a wedding in France from the other side of the world?

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Best wedding invitation. Ever.

 {Source: Metal Mother}

No scrolls, no bows. Just a beautiful story and pure font-y goodness. Designed by the groom himself.
Best. Invite. Ever.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Beautiful bridesmaids

{Source: Bespoke Press}

I love the casual way that these bridesmaids' dresses complement each other whilst each being quite individual. It's set off that little inner dialogue again and making me seriously wonder whether I should have been more serious about having 'proper' bridesmaids.

Monday, 8 June 2009

Ruffles and pleats

I love Jeff Ascough's photography style. It's classic but he always manages to catch the quirky details too.
Isn't the train on this dress amazing?

Home sweet home

Things I love about our new house;
  • it has a proper grown-up study. Or at least it will have when I get around to finding a desk and bookshelves to put in it.
  • it has beautiful high ceilings that make the house feel spacious and make me feel like I can b-r-e-a-t-h-e
  • the guest bedroom is as far away from the main bedroom as it can be without being an outbuilding. If you've ever had guests stay for an extended period of time, you'll know just how good a feature this is.
  • lastly, and most beautifully, the morning light throws out this pattern from the glass by the front door;

so SlightlyEvilLandlord; thank you for evicting us. We love our new house for all the reasons I've listed but mostly because it feels like a home. And that is the hardest thing to find when you're renting.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Unexpected mail....

As the last piece of unexpected post I received was the eviction notice from the SlightlyEvilLandlord, I was a little wary when I opened our new letterbox for the first time and found a tiny. unexpected package.

Inside was this mysterious little box:

and inside the box was this:

a silver sixpence from my mother-in-law-to-be to place in my shoe on the wedding day.

It's not often you hear people say the last line of that saying. Although we're not incorporating many traditions into our wedding this little piece of silver shininess delighted my inner-magpie.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Time does not need another clock...

As the wedding approaches with what seems to be alarming speed, I seem to be losing the grip on my perception of time.

The days are faster, the weeks go by in a blur. On Fridays I make ambitious plans and lists of what I will achieve that weekend and I seem to wake up a moment later on Monday morning to start the week again.

It's a confusing mixture of Groundhog Day and the rabbit from Alice in Wonderland rushing around saying "no time, no time".

I've also noticed that the dreams seem to be getting worse and more frequent. Recent highlights have included; being chased by my mother-in-law to be with her wielding a shotgun as the seating plan was not to her liking, and waking up five minutes before the ceremony and realising I hasn't bought any underwear suitable to wear with my dress. Then discovering that all the underwear in the world had disappeared so I had to walk down the aisle knowing that everyone could see me. The dress was by then somehow see-through too.

It doesn't require a student debt to rival the GDP of Africa to analyse these and I can already see the funny side of it sometimes. I realise that these are just variations on the classic turning-up-to-school naked stress-fests but is this really necessary wedding gods? Really?

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Neverending Invitations - Part (iii)

Whilst I never thought I'd be insane enough to dedicate a whole post to ribbon, now that I know I'm not the only person who lost sleep wondering whether they had ordered the correct width; I thought this might be useful for someone.

I ordered six rolls of 7mm silk ribbon from Cam Creations who were very easy to deal with and even taking into account postage to the other side of the world, it was much cheaper and probably quicker than ordering it locally.

From left to right they are; navy, lavender, purple, cornflower, mauve, and dusky rose.

They were actually really difficult to photograph accurately as they have a slight sheen that seems to throw of the colours. The purple is actually a very intense violet like you might find in an orchid and the navy is more of a peacock shade than a nautical navy.

The ribbon itself has the softest silkiest texture which makes it great fun to play with but not so great fun to try and tie around 150 invitations and unfortunately neither I nor the boy have mad ribbon skills so after a few I gave up and bought some stiffer grosgrain ribbon which was much easier to tie around the invitation;

so as I've still got plenty of ribbon left that will probably be used to tie napkins or in the Order of Service depending on how much patience I have left!

Neverending Invitations - Part (ii)

Although I would be happy to try some sort of experimental treatment to erase the memory (Total Recall style) of The Invitation Saga from my brain, that hasn't unfortunately happened so as I promised; here is a picture of The Most Hated Invitations Ever.

If you squint really hard and tilt your head slightly so as to off-set the wonkiness they don't look too bad.

The details: There are two cards per set; one in English and one in French, The RSVP information is on the reverse and they're tied together with a variety of ribbons. I had originally ordered six different coloured rolls of silk ribbon from Cam Creations. If you have a look on their site you'll see why I wasn't very good at narrowing it down to two or three options...

Unfortunately I now have about one hundred REALLY rubbish ones that I can't quite bring myself to throw out. I'm considering lopping off the tops to use as as tags or place cards. Any better ideas for what I could do with them?

Saturday, 2 May 2009

It never rains...

{Behind the Gare Saint-Lazare - Cartier-Bresson}

Because life isn't busy or stressful enough, our landlord decided he didn't like us any more and sent us an eviction notice! Luckily we found a lovely new home just a few days later and will be moving in two weeks. Whilst it's not ideal timing; spending a weekend moving and then a week or two getting settled in whilst still juggling work and planning the wedding, really isn't the best but I think we'll be really happy in this new place and I'm excited about a new space and some hopefully nicer agents!

Rainy days give you puddles to jump over and splash in.

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

100 days to go...

In a blast of efficiency (or foolishness) I installed a countdown clock on my Google Desktop a while ago which is how I now know that there are 100 days left until our wedding day. eeeeeeeek.

Of course I remember getting engaged and thinking that six months, three months, 100 days etc. were all seemingly decades away and I'd have plenty of time to plan beautiful details without any ever having to worry about anything stressful or boring like remembering to pay deposits or finish never-ending invitations. Real-life tends to bring beautifully wishy-washy details into slightly too sharp focus.

So, in a fit of honesty and in a bid to encourage my overworked yet lazy bum into action this is what I've done so far:

  • Ordered dress
  • Booked venue
  • Booked legal ceremony venue
  • Booked photographer (very excited about this!)
  • Sent invitations
  • Decided against 'proper' bridesmaids
Still to do
  • Finish wedding website
  • Help guests with accommodation bookings
  • Find and book DJ (arghhh)
  • Create 'Do Not Play' list for DJ
  • Find suitable person to alter wedding dress
  • Create list of essential shots for the photographers
  • Send paperwork to official people
  • Finalise menu options
  • Finalise cake/pudding options
  • Organise some sort of table decoration
  • Organise some sort of ceremony/venue decoration
  • Book taxis for guests
  • Get some sort of undergarment to wear with dress
  • Find and buy shoes
  • Find or buy accessories
  • Select and buy makeup
  • Check the groom isn't attending in his underwear
  • Organise transport to and from the wedding
  • Book flights
  • Organise honeymoon
  • Buy swimwear
So not much to do...

Monday, 6 April 2009

Farewell English wedding....

I thought I should probably go back to the beginning and carry on telling the story; if you recall, we had decided on a 'holiday' wedding (for which I now know the proper WIC-approved-name; a 'destination' wedding) when that idea unfortunately got squished by the parents and in-laws-to-be alike.

When I first saw this wedding in a magazine (one-fifth of the original, and only, batch I bought) it was almost exactly what I had in mind. From the lawn games to the mismatched granny crockery it was imperfectly perfect.

Cupcakes, perfect roses, croquet (love, love, love croquet), and the perfect soft tulle.

Some more scanned details:

{Source: Wedding Magazine}

Unfortunately the practicalities of an English summer wedding were rapidly naysayed by my sun-loving in-laws-to-be; having their lawn flooded the previous July put them off the idea of lanterns hanging from the trees and children playing croquet whilst we got down to the important business of the vows.

But know I've realised that Ms Peacock is having the English garden tea party wedding of my dreams so I can happily live out that wedding fantasy through her!

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Crappy crap.

So this week;
  • I decided I hated my wedding invitations.
  • The boy was away for work all week, weekend and will be next week too.
  • I worked late every night.
  • The washing machine broke.
  • I got yelled at by an idiot at work who thinks he's my boss, but isn't.
  • My mother left my father.
Is it that life tends to suck in large doses or that all the little things seem worse when the rubbish stuff happens?

Friday, 3 April 2009

The Obamas meet the Queen...

Isn't her coat beautiful? Something has really been bothering me though; where did her handbag go?

{Source: Photo Pool/Anwar Hussein Collection/ via Talking Points Memo}


The lovely Rachel from Peacock Feathers and Diamond Rings nominated my little blog for these awards:

These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends.
They are not interested in self-aggrandisement.
Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated.
Please give more attention to these writers.
Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more
and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.

The Uber Amazing Blog Award is a blog award given to sites who:
- inspire you
- make you smile and laugh
- give you amazing information
- are a great read
- have an amazing design

The rules of this award are:
Put the logo on your blog or post
Nominate at least 5 blogs that for you are Uber Amazing!
Let them know that they have received this Uber Amazing award by commenting on their blog
Share the love and link to this post and to the person you received your award from.
1. Put the logo on your blog or post.
2. Nominate at least 10 blogs which show great attitude and/or gratitude.
3. Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.
4. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
. Share the love and link to this post and to the person from whom you received the award.

Thank you Rachel!

I'm not quite sure which to choose (is it greedy to pick three?). I think I'll just get onto the nominating part:

Le Love
These Little Moments
Mother and Bride

I'm trying to pick out my favourites without doubling up on blogs that Rachel has already nominated so I think I might come back and sneakily edit this when I've thought of some more!

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

More weirdness

In for a penny, in for a pound...

Can I add this t-shirt to the shopping list? It's not the prettiest but I love the sentiment.

{Source: Caf├ępress}

Monday, 30 March 2009

Is it weird...

to buy something for children that you're not even planning on having for a very, very long time?

It's an Official Toothfairy Kit. It's letterpressed. It has a silk-screened pocket for milk teeth. How cute??

I blame Peonies for posting about this shop full of amazingness.

So tooth fairies aside; is it weird to buy baby things if you're not pregnant or not even planning on getting pregnant any time soon?

Is it what you buy that defines the acceptableness? So is a bib OK but a tank-sized pram not? Or is it dependant on awesomeness (sorry, I've just been watching How I met Your Mother).


I can't wait to see the rest of this wedding's images from the very brilliant photographers Lillian and Leonard.

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Neverending Invitations - Part (i)

The invitations were one of the few wedding things I was really, really looking forward to doing. I'm a complete bookworm and I love all things paper. A stationery shop or a second-hand book shop are my idea of heaven. So having a genuine Doing-Important-Wedding-Things reason to browse through papers and fonts got me quite excited. I almost did a happy dance in the middle of a gorgeous little paper shop I found (and it was almost right outside my work!).

I spent hours and hours looking at scrolling through the mouth-watering letterpress websites and Etsy shops before reality kicked in and I started seriously wondering whether it was worth spending so much on what was really just one small part of the wedding that would not have anywhere as much significance to most guests as it did to me. It would be a lot more sensible to print the invitations at home and save the money for something more important. Like food. Or peonies.

As I don't tend to finish work until 6/7/8pm I knew that it was sensible to not try and take on the whole task of designing them and printing them myself so I found a designer on Etsy who would design them and email me the file for me to print them out at home. Perfect.

Or not. As she was based in an opposite timezone it took weeks of emails to get a super-simple design right. But never mind. It was eventually sorted and I could start printing.

So I got out my stacks of paper, envelopes and ribbon and started printing. Then realised that the text wasn't lining up. A quick email to the designer established that she'd missed out a line and it was fixed and re-sent.

Started printing again a few days later to realise that it was now even wonkier. The paper size in the file wasn't the same as what was in the printer.

At that point I gave up on the designer's file. I copied all the text out again and recreated the whole thing in Word and printed from that. It worked perfectly and I had most of the invitations printed. And then.... then I realised I'd misspelled one. single. word.

That was the point when I channelled my inner two year old and threw the mightiest tantrum -I think it was only the quick thinking of the boy in providing an emergency gin and tonic that stopped me texting our guests to invite them whilst stamping on the ruined invitations. They did look quite pretty strewn across the floor.

I was so tempted to just shove them in an envelope at that point and hope that no-one noticed but I just couldn't do it. So off I went to the paper shop to buy more paper. I eventually got them all printed and then spent the next week ribboning them up.

With the completely useless file from the designer and all the extra paper I think it's ended up costing as much as if I'd had them printed professionally and I'm scared to count the grey hairs I've gained.

Monday, 23 March 2009

Another Dingbat Press giveaway...

how generous is Adrienne?

She's giving away 20 of these recipe cards and 15 matching gift tags.

Pink cupcakes? I think these would be perfect for Peonies. Or my sister who loves pink. Or the sister who loves cupcakes!

{Source: Dingbat Press}

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Hello Lover

How amazing are these??

if I find US$705 down the back of the sofa they shall be mine!

{Source: Net-a-Porter}

The new wedding section of Net-a-Porter has so many goodies worth salivating over and the dress on the front page looks like a mini version of Carrie Bradshaw's wedding dress.

Monday, 9 March 2009

Cuckoo Nest - Part (ii)

Sunday was not a good day. I spent most of the day wrestling with my own inner dialogue...

It started with an innocent compliment "You've got nice shoulders" said the boy, "I know you don't wear strapless stuff often but you look nice".

Huh. Nice "Whaddayameannice?" "Nice as in better than straps??" squeaked an alien voice. The boy looked scared, and backed away.

Because tails won. And tails was not strapless. My head was confused and the more I thought about it the worse it got.

You should have gone with the strapless dress.

But you LIKE the straps.

The boy has a point, strapless is flattering
. You picked the wrong dress.

So? You LIKE the dress. And technically, you didn't pick it.

The dress is horrible. You have just spent a teeny fortune on a dress that will make you look fat.

You are not fat. I will accept funny-looking, but not fat.

You should join bridal bootcamp. And get lipo.

You have always simultaneously made fun of, and pitied, crash dieters. SHUT UP.

Friday, 6 March 2009


How amazing is this? Unfortunately invitation supplies have depleted my purse but four lucky people could still get hold of the last of this limited edition of 100 prints...

{Source: Keep Calm}

Friday, 27 February 2009

Peonies and Polaroids: on Etsy!

The talented bride, blogger, writer and wedding photographer extraordinaire is now on Etsy.

I can't wait to move into a house where I'm actually allowed to nail things to walls!

Thursday, 26 February 2009

The Cuckoo's Nest

Proof that wedding planning drives you nuts - I had a dream last night in which I was being drowned/beaten to death in a giant KitchenAid bowl of pink icing. Srsly (as my little sister would say).

I do not like pink and I don't particularly care for icing so I think this was definitely my subconscious acting out. I blame the Knot and the never-ending emails they keep sending me. I do NOT need to be reminded on a daily basis of all the things I haven't yet done nor do I need to know about cut-price landfill favours. How the heck do you un-subscribe from those things? They just keep on coming.

{Source: JMRZ}

Saturday, 21 February 2009

The Dress - Part (ii)

Co-workers voted. Friends voted. Friends of friends ooohed and aaahed and voted. Family voted. The IT guy stated his preference.

So I did what any sensible person would do; ignored the lot and flipped a coin.
Yup, flipped a coin.

Fingers crossed I'll get a decent night's sleep now that's one more big fat tick (that's a check in Amerispeak) on my list.

Happy weekend!

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

The Dress

Although I haven't finished chronicling the venue debacle I've decided to skip ahead to the Great Wedding Dress Search.

Shopping for a wedding dress is not like shopping for any other clothes; there are many more rules and the sums involved can be eye-watering.

The rules -

1. You must start looking for a wedding dress on your 6th birthday.
2. You must order said dress before your 7th birthday in order for it to arrive two days before your wedding.
3. Dignity, what dignity? It is perfectly acceptable for wedding dress saledroids to strip you virtually naked, shove you into a freezing cold changing room and grab at various bits of fabric or oops-clumsy-me, flesh, in order to get the chiffon concoction on you.
3. Dignity 2.0 - once in the chiffon nightmare it is perfectly acceptable for saledroid to shove you onto a PLATFORM in the centre of the shop, squash fake flowers into your sweating palms and jab the sparkliest veil ever stolen from a Disney character's wardrobe into your poor head.

So, wedding dress crapola aside I HAVE to pick a dress. And I cannot decide. I am literally losing sleep over the Great Dress Debate.

Edit: Removed dress photos (shush!)

Friday, 13 February 2009

Happy Valentine's day

{Source: Shokora}

Wedding photography

Some of my favourite images from a much-admired photography duo;

I love the moment captured in this one; the uncooperative gust of wind, the helping hands determined to quell it.

Men and grooms especially, are so often overlooked in in the wedding circus. My very favourite moment as a wedding guest is the groom's reaction to seeing the bride. Isn't the light in these images just perfect?

Well it's purple, what more can I say?

Thursday, 12 February 2009

The Dingbat's Agenda - Letterpress giveaway

Adrienne from The Dingbat Press creates beautiful letterpress designs and is giving away these gorgeous baby shower (that's a baby-present-giving party to us non-Americans) invitations.

Go here to enter.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Does it count as shopping if it's eco-friendly?

Limited edition art work, BPA-free plastic (which is good, apparently) and gorgeous colours. Kinda knocks Fiji on it's carbon-laden bum.

{Source: EarthLust}

Monday, 9 February 2009

The perfect garden fort

I would like this at the bottom of my garden, to hide in whenever wedding planning or seating charts are mentioned.

{Source: Pedlars}

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Fireworks. No bangs.

Fireworks are pretty, fireworks are expensive.
Fireworks are pretty, fireworks make big bangs and scare small children and cows.
Fireworks are pretty, fireworks are expensive.

Sky lanterns are pretty, not expensive, make no noise, and are environmentally friendly. The new firework?

{Source: FiestaSkyLanterns}

Now; how to convince the venue that I'm not trying to guide the mothership in to eradicate humankind?

Friday, 30 January 2009

Pretty. Purple.

I do not normally like frills or ruffles or anything that could be described as girly.
I would love to see someone wearing this. With biker boots.

{Source: Luisa Beccaria}