Ribbons and silk

Steve and I went to London recently to look for a cravat for him to wear at our May Celebration.  I’m wearing a deep pink dress and he was looking for something green to wear with his grey suit. We have chosen green and pink because those were the colours of our handfasting ribbons at our Soul Wedding in 2010.

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Surprisingly, quite a few young sales assistants do not even know what a cravat is!  We were directed to neckties or pocket squares.  A couple of shops near Jermyn Street had cravats and waistcoats, but we didn’t find anything suitable that was ready made.   One possibility was Andy & Tuly.  They had a selection of silk dupioni and made cravats to order.  We took some tiny samples of green to put next to my dress.

Finally, we went to The Silk Society in Berwick Street.  There, we found some beautiful embroidered green silk.

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We were given some samples and they wrote a reference in a notebook, so that they will know exactly what we require should we decide to order some fabric.  The darkest thread matches my dress perfectly.

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I thought I might make Steve’s cravat, but I chickened out in the end.  The fabric we chose is quite expensive (£95/metre) and I’d rather experiment for a less important occasion.  I got in touch with a very helpful woman at The Cravat Company in Leicester.  She measured their pattern and we figured out that they will only need about 30 cm of fabric.  One side will be embroidered and the other side will be plain.  I made the purchase from the Silk Society, sent it up to Leicester and we should receive a beautiful, bespoke cravat any day now.

A couple of weeks ago, we found ourselves in the haberdashery department at House of Fraser in Birmingham and picked out some ribbons for the handfasting that we are having as part of our May Renewal of Vows.  They are slightly wider than our previous ones and the colours are deeper.  Wider and deeper, just as our marriage has deepened and widened.

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It is going to be a very beautiful day!

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Our Hands

Hello!  It’s been awhile. :)

Steve and I are planning our Fifth Wedding Anniversary Celebration which will take place in the Merrie Month of May.

A Facebook friend of mine has recently asked me about our Soul Wedding in 2010, as she is helping her friends plan their wedding and wanted some inspiration.  My big advice is for the couple to do what is meaningful to them and to put a lot of care and thought into everything that they do.  I would also add, get a really good photographer.  Photos from well meaning friends are great too, but the beautifully captured photos of our day are so well cherished by us.  We had Emma Solley who is based in Exeter capture our wedding days.  Unfortunately, she will not be available for our 5th year celebration, but I am sure that we will find the perfect person.

Back to now, our invitations for our May Celebration are going to the printer today.  We’ve chosen one of Emma’s B & W photographs of our hands for the card.

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The same photo, in colour.

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We had two wedding ceremonies – a Registry Office Wedding, followed by a Soul Wedding Ceremony and Handfasting the next day.  Another photo of our hands from our Registry Office Wedding.

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Receive my pledge, accept my troth, take my hands in yours.

Comfort

Comfort (v.) late 13c., conforten “to cheer up, console,” from Old French conforter “to comfort, to solace; to help, strengthen,” from Late Latin confortare “to strengthen much”

Comfort is one of the things I treasure the most in my home and in my relationship with Steve.  We live in a beautiful and warm house with a well stocked larder which supplies much physical comfort. I also get a lot of emotional comfort from my marriage.  Yesterday, Steve was here working from home in the kitchen and I went into my studio to make some Holocaust Butterflies for a project with the Houston Holocaust Museum.  I am making mine with images of the Native American Holocaust, which is personally very relevant to me as I have Muscogee (Creek) ancestry.

Chiricahua Apache before and after assimilation into Carlisle Indian School

Chiricahua Apache before and after assimilation into Carlisle Indian School

We started the morning in our light filled kitchen with coffee, tea, breakfast and The Observer.

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I went into my studio for the afternoon and had a very deep art-making session, sometimes tearful, very healing.  Occasionally Steve would pass on his way to another part of our house or poke his head in to offer a cup of tea.  I asked for a hug from time to time or came into the kitchen and show Steve what I was working on.

From my studio window, I spied a pair of jackdaws, perching close  together in the still bare branches of a tree.

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At the end of our day, we came back together in the kitchen to talk about our respective days and to share a hearty meal of braised ham and cabbage with carrots and haricot verts.  Nourishing, comforting food for the body and soul!

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The love that endures a lifetime

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A part of every woman and every man resists knowing that in all love relationships Death must have her share.
We pretend we can love without our illusions about love dying,
pretend we can go on without our superficial expectations dying,
pretend we can progress and that out favorite flushes and rushes will never die. . .

If lovers cannot stand these Life/Death/Life processes,
they cannot love one another over and beyond hormonal aspirations. . .
As woman is keeper of the cycles, the Life/Death/Life cycles are at the center of her concern.
Since there can be little life without a decline in that which has gone previously,
lovers who insist on attempting to keep everything at a psyche-scintillating peak will spend their days in a increasingly ossified relationship. . .

When lovers are able to tolerate the Life/Death/Life nature,
when they are able to understand it as a continuum
—as a night between two days—and as the force that creates a love that endures a lifetime. . .
Then together they are strengthened, and both are called to deeper understanding of the two worlds they live in,
one the mundane world, the other the one of spirit.

– Women Who Run With the Wolves, Clarissa Pinkola Estes