Wedding Jewelry

Wedding Jewelry
Wedding Jewelry

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Vintage Bride of the Week Susie - beautiful in 1940s wedding dress 'Bette'

Dear Reader,

I promised a special Bride of the Week, and here she is: Susie, wearing 1940s 'Bette' dress from my Heavenly Collection. 
Real vintage bride Susie in 1940s wedding dress Bette, Heavenly Vintage Brides Blog
Real vintage bride Susie steps from the car, Heavenly Vintage Brides Wedding Blog
Susie wears the dress beautifully, teaming it with a charming mini veil and woodland flowers...
Real vintage bride Susie walks down the aisle, Heavenly Vintage Brides Wedding Blog
Real vintage bride Susie talks with the bridesmaids, Heavenly Vintage Brides Wedding Blog
And thanks, Susie for your kind words...!
"Thank you so much for your fantastic dress designing skills! I knew as soon as I found your website that the Bette dress was for me!
 You made the dress trying on process so relaxed and fun and gave such good advice, it made everything so easy. I didn't go to any other dress shops or designers as I knew I didn't need to! Lots of people complimented me on my dress on the day - your designs are so brilliant. Thank you so much."
Real vintage bride Susie: first dance! Heavenly Vintage Brides Wedding Blog
After featuring the dress on a model at the start of this week, and then indulging in a little Bette Davis inspirational moment, it's lovely to return to what it's really all about: a radiant bride on a perfectly happy day.

Heavenly Vintage Brides

If you like this post, please try
Photography with thanks to Seth Baines

Thursday, June 25, 2015

"Oh Jerry, don't let's ask for the moon. We have the stars." Vintage wedding dress inspiration from Bette!

Dear Reader

Since we have 'Bette' as our lovely vintage wedding dress of the week, I'd like to share the inspiration behind this glamorous design...
The fabulous Bette Davis, in 'Now Voyager'
Bette was recreated from a gorgeous black crepe 1940s evening gown which was one of my very favourites. I always loved the simple elegant shape of it. 
1940s inspired wedding dress 'Bette', priced £1295
The original dress was remodelled slightly to flatter a modern figure, and then a pattern was created from it. The silk crepe I used - in a heavy weight and almost matte - was very popular in the 1940s. This matte effect is easier to wear and can look more sophisticated than satin. And the dress's little asymmetric peplum is very forgiving on the tummy area.
A young Bette Davis, in a gorgeous low-back 1940s dress
The dress is named after my style icon: fabulous 1940s actress Bette Davis. (Yes, you've probably guessed by now, I am a big fan of the black and white so-called ‘women’s films‘ of the 40s!) The quote at the top of this post is Bette's last line from the wonderfully romantic 'Now, Voyager'. 
And so naturally I wanted to have a dress in my collection with that same laidback easy glamour. 
Bette, blonde again, in elegant pants suit.
As well as Bette, I have another gorgeous 1940s-inspired dress in my collection: Florence, which I'm currently remodelling a little to make it even more flattering. I'll be showing new pictures of Florence soon, so do keep watching! 

And please pop back later this week to see Susie, a real bride who looks absolutely beautiful wearing the Bette dress...

Heavenly Vintage Brides

PS If you like this post, please try:

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Little Helpers

It's so hot out today, that I'm offering up a cute cat picture to cool things down. Don't worry, I decontaminated my workspace before I let the kitties in. They like to be where the action is!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Vintage Wedding Dress of the Week: 'Bette' 1940s starlet style!

Dear Reader,

What a glorious start to the Summer! I hope you too enjoyed some lovely sunshine this weekend.

And now a glorious start to the week... Bette, our fabulous 1940s-style Vintage Wedding Dress of the Week.
Bette 1940s-style wedding dress, pure glamour, £1295
Bette is made from a wonderful silk crepe, and has all the glamour of a Hollywood evening gown. 
Bette 1940s-inspired wedding dress, Hollywood styling, from £1295
The heavy silk drapes beautifully, and is so figure-flattering. And so too is Bette's clever asymmetric cut, with soft pleats and a gentle cowl neck to perfectly frame your curves.
Bette's 1940s style low-back and beaded trim
Bette's low-cut back, and ivory and silver bead trim add even more movie-star sparkle to this gorgeous dress. 
Bette's subtly sexy cowl neck in wonderful silk crepe
Oh, I do love the 1940s! If you like this post, why not check out my other recent posts on 1940s style, below. And check back later this week, when I have a really special Real Bride to feature.

Heavenly Vintage Brides

PS If you like this post, please do check out
All photographs with thanks to Robert Lawler Photography

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Making Sample Strips!

Enamels can be a tricky business. As all enamellists know (or find out to their peril), the enamel color that you see in the catalogue or website is usually nothing close to the color you end up with in the studio. That’s why it’s important to make your own sample strips.

Ages ago, I purchased a large quantity of old enamels from an enamellist who was moving on to other things. They have sat, largely untouched, in a corner of my studio for several months. I would paw through the box occasionally and read the names of the colors: “Blue Jay”, “Bishop Violet”, “Mikado”, “Regal Purple”, “Alice Blue”. Would they live up to my imagination? No way to know until I had the time to unpack them and test them for myself. Luckily, now that the Vegas show is done, I have a little time on my hands! So exciting!

I never skimp on sample strips. I know that fine silver is expensive, but it’s a bigger waste of time and money if you don’t have a real sense of each color you are using. I get a lot of pleasure just arranging the different colors and imagining the possibilities. So, to that end, I make all of my samples ½” x 1” fine silver. (22 gauge). That gives me enough space to see three things:
  1. How does the color look when it’s actually touching the silver?
  2. How does it look on top of a nice coating of clear enamel?
  3. How does it look on top of 24 carat gold leaf?

They still need a coat of counter enamel on the reverse side. I always use some junky unleaded leftover enamel. In this instance it’s Thompson Quill White. A color that has never in my experience actually turned out white. It’s usually an icky shade of yellow. But I bought too much of it long ago, so now it’s my “go to” reverse color for sample strips. I never sift leaded enamels if I don’t have to, so this works out just fine...

After enameling the reverse, I put a coat of clear on the front, but then wipe about a third of it. I want to see how the enamel reacts to silver. (Ugh. The bane of the silver enamellist’s existence!) A lot of colors react poorly with silver, especially reds and oranges, and it’s good to know upfront what is going to happen. So that’s why I leave a bit of the silver exposed.

After I’ve fired a coat of clear enamel, I cut up pieces of 24 carat gold leaf and adhere it to the other end with a little Klyr Fire. Then I’m ready to make my samples!

I usually do nine colors at a time, because that’s how many strips I can fit into my kiln. I do all different colors at once, and lay them out in a grid on my table to avoid confusion. If you do all blues, it’s easy to mix them up in the kiln and not know which blue is which after it’s all finished. And that would sort of defeat the purpose. So I alternate the colors, and label the sheets of paper.

It’s worth the extra effort. Here’s a good example of two yellows that sounded equally promising. (934 chrome chartreuse & 30 Soyer yellow). You can see that the one on the left reacted badly to the silver. Where it’s touching the silver, the enamel has turned dark brown. The other one, in contrast, looks pretty uniform both directly on silver, and over the coat of clear. I know which one is the winner…
So it’s two days of well spent time- not all the colors are winners, but I’ve added enough to my color palette (especially some knock-out greens!) that I’m excited to incorporate them into my new work. So there you go. Sample strips.

Lovely bride Anna in 1950s style wedding dress

Dear Reader,

Meet Anna, Heavenly bride of the week! For her Spring wedding to Noel, Anna wore Blanche, a pretty 1950s inspired wedding dress from the Heavenly Collection.
Anna matched the dress with beautiful mint green shoes from Rachel Simpson, so we added a soft green silk ribbon - perfect with the exquisite French lace of the dress. The green also echoed the gorgeous Spring flowers Anna chose for the day, and for her pretty bouquet.
I'll let Anna describe her happy day...
"We married in the Registration office in Chelmsford, Essex. We had wanted a fairly small wedding and had just 35 guests - including quite a few people who travelled over from Germany.
For dinner and drinks we went to a country pub called The Lion Inn in Boreham. We had a lovely day - everything was quite small and intimate.. and we even had some sunshine!"
Thanks for sharing your charming pictures with us, Anna! 

And if you'd like to see more images of Anna's lovely Blanche dress or more 1950s style wedding dresses, do visit my Heavenly Collection or contact me here.

Have a lovely weekend, everyone! 
Heavenly Vintage Brides

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Raleigh Treasure Hunt!

My friend Lillian Jones is doing another treasure hunt next week, and I have made the grand prize, a sun and moon pendant:

Summer Solstice Treasure Hunt 2010

When and Where: This Treasure Hunt opens on the Summer Solstice at exactly 7:28 am on June 21, at Five Point's favorite cafe, The Third Place. The maps will be available then, and Lillian will be there from 7am to 8:30 am to give out free small Summer Solstice Treasure maps and sell the larger Treasure Hunt posters.

Cost: The Summer Solstice Treasure Hunt is free and anyone can play for pleasure. I hide a silver key in Raleigh, and if you find it you win and keep the key as a prize. If you purchase a poster (cost: $7.07) and find the key, you can exchange the key for the Grand Prize, the Solstice Pendant . If the First Finder hasn't purchased a poster, no one wins the Grand Prize.

For more information, visit Lillian's Site (

Good Luck!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

What vintage are you...?

Dear Reader,

So I may have nailed my colours to the mast by saying how much I love 1930s dresses. But that's just me... Now how about you? Are you a Downton Abbey darling, a lover of 1950s prom-pretty fashions, or a stylish swinging 1960s girl?
Each style of vintage wedding dresses has so much to offer! Here's a little reminder of some recent posts explaining each era, with lots of beautiful dresses to enjoy. Take a look by clicking on the titles, and see if you have your own favourite decade...

A Guide to Edwardian (1910s and 1920s) wedding dresses

Ahhhh, so many delicious styles to choose from. Think I shall have changed my mind again by tomorrow...!

See you again soon (and don't forget to contact me if you'd like to see my collection in person)

Heavenly Vintage Brides

Saturday, June 13, 2015

My Vintage Wedding Dress of the Week, Violette - a 1930s beauty.

Dear Reader,

Have I mentioned that the 1930s is one of my very favourite eras for vintage wedding dresses? ...Oh, only about a hundred times, probably! 

Well, this week I've chosen another gorgeous 1930s-inspired gown to be my Dress of the Week: Violette, from my Heavenly Collection.
Handmade in sensuous silk satin, with french lace or satin sleeves, Violette is a glamorous new take on a classic 1930s design - remodelled to flatter a modern figure.
You can see more of Violette here, together with more 1930s-style wedding dresses in my Heavenly Collection.

And if - like me - you love these slinky 30s numbers too, then don't forget to check out my Guide to 1930s Vintage Wedding Dresses, with lots of lovely photos of original dresses to enjoy.

Have a lovely weekend and enjoy the sun!
Heavenly Vintage Brides