Sunday, 2 December 2012

Tulle, Teacups and Thanks


Some of you who follow the same blogs as I do may have already guessed what this particular get-up is all about.  I am pretty late for the "tulle and teacup on a step" portraiture party that was started by this amazing lady, subsequently turned into a blogger challenge by the wonderful Sarah, and taken up with gusto by a few of my favourite fellow tutu-loving bloggers (see Helga, Desiree and Butane Anvil for some tulle-layered inspiration par excellence).

Running late seems to be a recurring theme for me these days.  I'm getting up too late in the mornings, I'm late with Christmas shopping, I'm late with blog posts and I'm very late in extending a big heartfelt thank you to every one of you who took the time to read and comment on my personal tale of a storm.  I was overwhelmed with the heartfelt and emotional reactions to the story, and to those of you who warmly encouraged me to turn it into a piece of fiction I will say that yes, this has been an idea for some time and your encouragement has been more invaluable than you will ever know.


I kept hand written diaries when I lived in Spain documenting my flamenco related experiences and sometimes when I return to read them it seems, from the distance of the much quieter life I live now, like I'm reading stories about somebody else.  I have to remind myself that no, that really was me.  I'm suddenly getting a craving to put pen to paper again, to revel in old fashioned handwriting rather than just typing on a keyboard, to see my scrawling script drying in ink on a crisp white page and to write about things other than just clothes or fashion (though I still love doing that).


But for the moment my mind is on clothes.  One reason I'm so late for the tulle and tea party is that all my tulle skirts had been in storage and I only recently managed to get this one out.  I was an avid ballerina for many years and so I have a soft spot for a tutu and satin ballet flats.  I had another dance related "was that really me?" moment not so long ago.  In these photos I'm seated on the step of our garden shed, part of which I had turned into a dance studio to rehearse in when we moved here.  I don't rehearse there much anymore as a major and irreparable leak in the roof has rendered it unusable.  In winter it has become inhospitably cold and damp and we have recently been moving out our personal belongings to a dry storeroom as mould has been attacking things.

 

I'd forgotten that I'd stored every pair of ballet shoes I'd ever owned in a bag in there and when sorting things out I was saddened to find them sodden and covered in a furry layer of nasty green mould.  My beautiful pink satin pointe shoes, my beloved canvas split soles and my pink leather ballet flats so battered and bruised from overuse, all ruined.  I was reminded of the excitement of buying a new pair, the simple joy of admiring the beauty of the pale pink satin or taking in the scent of new leather, the sewing on of ribbons and pink elastic straps, the ritual of breaking in a pointe shoe, the pride of wearing them for the first time, and all those hours of practice and pain in dance studios as a ballet student.  Throwing that bag away was like bearing witness to the death of a previous life, sad yet also cathartic in a way.


I am such a dreadful hoarder of things of sentimental value, so perhaps this was the universe saying it's time to let some things go now and move on.  It might also be because it is that time of the year again but I am already setting myself some resolutions for the near future.  I don't want to pin them to New Year exactly as I think you should be free to resolve to do something at any time of the year, but I do think putting one's goals down in writing is always helpful to visualise a path to achieving them.


So here's my shortlist:
1. Mr V and I need a new place to live.  We've outgrown this flat, we need more room, I need a grown up wardrobe rather than the current arrangement of crammed and bowing rails on a wall that frustrate me daily, and I need a place at home where I can rehearse properly.
2. I need to have the mother of all wardrobe clear outs.  I need a proper, honest and brutal look at what I do not wear anymore and let it go.
3. I want to get back into writing something, anything, more regularly. It may not necessarily be here on this blog but I'll let a post count.
4. Mr V and I would like to do a digital photography course together.  We both love photography and I'm sure we are not getting nearly as much out of the camera we have as we could with a bit more know how.
5. Although we travel alot, for the last few years it has tended to be to the same destinations.  We'd like to travel to some new places together, especially ones where we can indulge in some travel photography.  We've got the ball rolling with a tropical stop off on the way to Australia for Christmas.  We leave next week!

P.S. It feels like ages since I did but better late than never - I'm linking up to Patti's Visible Monday over at Not Yet Dead Style.

Victorian embroidered net tulle blouse: Vintage; Black wool turtleneck: Cos; Embroidered tulle skirt: Wheels and Doll Baby; Pony skin ballet flats: Dune; Pewter flower earrings: Vintage inherited from my grandmother; Teacup: Anthropologie

38 comments:

  1. You should definitely write more about your experiences, maybe a semi-autobiographical novel? You have a beautiful writing style, and know how to pace a story.... believe in yourself and you can do it!

    I love that outfit, so romantic and the skirt in particular is just beautiful. Great lipstick colour too!

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    1. From the bottom of my heart thank you - the lippie is also one of my new resolutions - to wear more of it! Every day!

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  2. You look beautiful, and happy travels!
    -ps. I agree that you have a talent for narratives. You have a fascinating life.

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  3. Love this outfit, the tulle skirt and the blouse are just beautiful!!
    Writing is a wonderful skill,if you have,it seems a shame not to use it, so that's awesome you plan to do so!
    So sad when clothes or shoes get runined...I currently have all my books in our garden shed as I have nowhere for them indoors right now,and I am dreading the possibilty of their getting ruined,so will check on them regualrly.
    More space is a good thing...if you had more space, you may not need a cull...or like me, you might fill it!!! GAH!
    XXX

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  4. You're tulled to perfection. It was worth the wait. Your shortlist sounds do-able. And writing would be great considering the life you've led thus far. Please share it with us, if you can.

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  5. This is all so beautiful, the outfit, and the writing. Oh, and the teacup! I have a terrible weakness for pretty teacups.

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    1. I too have a weakness for pretty teacups! Which as a coffee drinker is not particularly logical, but there is something wonderfully romantic about them.

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  6. I'm very sentimental regarding clothes and all of my dance stuff too. I keep all of my ballet shoes, and dance alothes I've performed in.
    So sad about all of your point shoes - I know how hearbreaking it can be.

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    1. Glad I'm not the only one! I can never get rid of the things I've performed in either! I was especially sad about the pointe shoes. I had dreams of hanging them up as decorations in my ideal dance studio - it was not to be...

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  7. Have fun on your vacation. It's a great time to be visiting Australia. Are you stopping in Hawaii or Fiji?

    I love the tulle skirt and red lips.

    Bisous
    Suzanne
    http://bisous.typepad.com/bisous/

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    1. Suzanne I'd love to visit either! But it's not these but another island called Penang.

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  8. Your skirt and blouse are beautiful, V. So sorry to hear of your ruined shoes, it is a hard goodbye like that. But you will always remember the good. Thank you for sharing with Visible Monday.

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  9. This is a beautiful outfit...right down to the cup!! I love all of the detailing.

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  10. I had not heard about Tulle and Teacup challenge. I must go look at other pics as your shots are just gorgeous!!

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  11. One can never be too late for a non-twee tulle and tea party! You look glorious in the W&DB skirt that never fails to make me go weak at the knees:). The blouse is utterly, utterly glorious and oh my stars ... LIPS!!!!!!!!!!!!! xoxoxo

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  12. Dear V, This is a glorious post that sends me twirling as I drink in your tulle, your smile, your tea, your love of dance and of writing, and your plans for the future. I wish you the best with it all, especially with the writing and the photography. I'm gasping, I must admit, at the idea of you clearing out the closets—all the sweet and beautiful and outrageous things that your storage holds. It's like the wardrobe of a young girl's dreams, so I love luxuriating in the thought of it.

    Please don't part with this skirt! You are heavenly in it!

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    1. Dear AA! Where have you been?? Just last night I was thinking I must put out an online search party for you because I was missing your beautiful moody photographs of Paris, your musings on tea and leather and Hermes bags. Your blog just suddenly disappeared from my feed and I sometimes worried as to what happened to you. And then I wake up to find this comment on my post! Are you back blogging? I hope so - you are sorely missed!

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  13. I really like your resolutions! Enjoy Australia! I might participate in the tulle and teacup challenge in the spring, once (1) I can wear non-maternity clothes again (2) I can get my crinoline out of storage (3) it's a bit warmer. Then you won't be late at all in comparison.

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  14. You look gorgeous, that lipstick is stunning on you.
    I get some kind of perverse pleasure from throwing something worn to death out, it is very cathartic, isn't it?
    You're making me very envious of your travels, I've started searching for a getaway but it's some time consuming and annoying. I yearn for the days of travel agents who'd do it all for you!
    Bon voyage! xxx

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  15. Love the first shot.
    I am very much into images rather than words. Having been all my life involved with letters, I am just flowing in a sea of pics.
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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  16. Just found you on Visible Monday, and I. Love. This. I am a sucker for vintage anything, especially when it looks fresh and modern and not costumey - this is perfection. Can't wait to look at the rest of your blog!!

    Merci,
    Shannan

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  17. What a gorgeous combination - the tulle skirt and lace top! And quite the list... new home and writing, photography and travelling... I hopye you enjoy your trip to Australia and beyond!

    (P.S. No way is that place on my blog my home - I'm still working on my friends to adopt ME!) X

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  18. Sounds like an excellent plan to me! And what a marvellous way to incorporate your tales, I am wishing you all the best with your ventures and safe travelling. I cannot get over that Vintage Victorian tulle blouse, I love it, but you probably already knew that one! :) Absolutely stunning photos of you dear. xx/Madison

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  19. Much of a romantic, are you? Yes, of course you are, and look brilliant doing it. What a luscious,evocative combination ... all of it! For heaven's sake, when you weed through your wardrobe, hang on to these pieces!
    Glad to see you back, and all inspired!

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  20. Love your interpretation of tulle and teacups; it's been great seeing everyone's creations. Your Victorian blouse is gorgeous. It would be lovely to see the tale of La Tormenta incorporated into a work of fiction.

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  21. Wonderful applique on the tulle skirt!

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  22. Your tulle is stunning, as is your teacup, with your delicate blouse as background to its colorful details. I too am letting go of what no longer serves me, which is difficult, but worth the process. It's taking me longer than I thought it would.

    Writing down goals, I believe, does make them more real. Here's to the outcomes that you desire!

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  23. LOVE your take on tulle and a teacup! It's wonderful that you have made such a great list of changes for yourselves - I look forward to seeing them come to fruition. And you're coming here to Australia? WHERE? Let's meet up! Sarah xxx

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    1. Sarah I'm heading to Perth - you're in the eastern states aren't you?

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  24. Your tulle is a "must-keep"... it's so darkly dreamy. I would fully expect to see something like it in an Evanescence video.

    I've had the same problem with mold a few months ago. Between the moldy things I had to toss then, combines with the losses from my last several moves. Forced downsizing- ugh!

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  25. Like this outfit and think that I need to write myself a de-cluttering/housekeeping to do list. That's such a good idea.

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  26. I love your look in the photos for this post. Looking I forward to reading more of your writing.

    SSG xxx

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  27. V, what a lovely post. You do write so beautifully - and I can attest, in person, you speak - and think - in that same beautiful, thoughtful, wise old soul way. I'm excited and a bit envious that you're going to Australia - and where is the 'someplace tropical' on the way?

    What you said about finding the mouldy ballet shoes and clothes, and feeling like it's the universe's way of telling you to let go.. I've been having the same thoughts recently. I dream about this a lot: I get so attached to objects - to memories - and I had stored a lot in a shed on my in-laws' property in Herefordshire.. now that I think about it, one of the things I'd saved was the tutu - in the original box - that my parents got my sister and I when we were so young - 4 and 6 - along with an album of the Nutcracker.. I'm going on so long that my husband's talking about coming into the bedroom to watch a show with me and I'm like 'I'm not done yet!' ; ) see - I'm even hoarding post space..

    and all because I came here to get your link to send something to someone.. well you'll see in a minute when I forward the email. So it's uncanny that you did the post you did - wearing what you wore!

    I'll also keep my eyes and ears open for new home locations. Hope you're having a lovely night! xox

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  28. Oh V, I am so glad I came on back for another read! I thought I had commented, but first visited during a bit of sad and quiet. What a wonderful expression of tulle-and-teacup - just stunning! No worries about being late - I may yet do a whole post myself, and thank you ever so much for linking to my blog. So sorry for the loss of your bag of ballet shoes. I too feel the acceleration of time, am suddenly late for everything, and have this sense of other lifetimes in the ephemera.

    Loved the links to your opera outfit and closet process, and good for taking change right by the horns. I am thrilled to hear you'll be writing more (your use of language is so beautifully lyrical, and I've added you to my blogroll), and wish you and Mr. V safe and happy travels! Thanks also for your kind comments and the gift of the Sufi / flamenco heart-opening fusion.

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  29. I really love this post, the teacup and the tulle skirt.
    You maintain such an air of mystery with only a peek at your face! Readers can only get to know you through your writing and truncated images of you.....but that makes your blog so intriguing.

    I used to write creative volumes...now I can only manage to grunt out a few indulgent paragraphs on my blog! I need to write more and read more....but while I'm working on this Master's degree, I can only focus on research reading and writing. How I miss reading literature and creative writing. Sigh.

    Speaking of rehearsing properly at home....I'm forced to practice drills around my U-shaped kitchen. This is not very practical. Still waiting 7 years after we built our home for my husband to finish the lower level and install the practice dance floor. Pout.

    I hope you find the perfect home soon.

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  30. V- I can relate- and I am guessing many others do to.
    You also look amazing in the tulle/teacup party gig. I am loving the inspiration and the expression of Melanie's meme.

    I wish for you much success in the settling into a new home- a proper space for wardrobe, and...words! That you resume your writing- you are so good at it. xo. Bella Q

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  31. I'm sorry to hear you discovered moldy pointe shoes. I would be completely crestfallen too. I still have my very first pair, in its original box. But I also had to say goodbye to a whole moving boxful of satin pointe shoes when we moved houses last spring. I'm glad your beautiful black tutu escaped unscathed, and I can't take my eyes away from that striking Victorian lace top!

    Responding to both this post and your previous one on the Ghost of Christmas Past, I am in proper Dickensian mood given the Christmas season. We are hosting a Scrooge party this weekend, with everyone as a "Christmas Carol" character. Last weekend, we hosted another one where we had to be any Christmas character. My husband was easily Ebenezer Scrooge in an old nightgown and cap I'd gotten him soooo long ago (many Christmases past!). I nearly dressed as a Dickensian lady since I have so many full length skirts and lace or satin tops, but at the last minute, figured how enjoyable it would be to be a Dickensian male. So Bob Cratchit I became instead. All from existing things in my closet!

    Enjoy the holidays (and let's see what the world brings after the Mayan end ...) - J xx

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