fireflies and cottonwood

our wedding blog

“Full court dress with feathers and trains” February 23, 2009

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My gorgeous ring has inspired new dress dreams.



Technically, this dress is from the 1930s, but I will call it “Edwardian revival.”  Look at the sleeves, and the amazing skirt.  Sigh.



According to “Victorian web,” this lady was attending court, in response to an invitation that required: “The Dress Regulations are: Ladies: Full Court dress with feathers and trains. Gentlemen: Full Court dress.”  

Do you think I could get away with asking that on our wedding invitation?  😉



I think this third one is my favorite.  The sleeves are amazing, as is the slight train.  I also love the silhouette, and the draping of the waist and around the shoulders.

First image from , third from


Reusing is better than recycling February 10, 2009

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As Matt likes to remind me, because “reuse” comes before “recycling,” it’s even better.  My new ring is a delightful way of reusing– it’s an antique.  We don’t know exactly which year, but I think turn of the century.  It definitely reminds me of Edith Wharton, of Gatsby parties, of a grandmother’s jewelry box and dressing table.  We found it online, and it was owned by a small antique business in Idaho; when Matt called the woman to order it, she reassured him that she was going “straight to the bank” to get it out of the vault and mail it to us straightaway.  Ahh, I love that small town generosity in doing business.


I can no longer find a photo of it online, so I’ll try to describe it and post photos later.  The top, which sits on my hand, is made of four aquamarines, pale blue, which make a square shape.  A small diamond is in the center.  On the two sides of the setting, filagrees create a flower on each side, with swirls and tiny arches.  The filagree also goes along the bottom of the square, so it sits up on my finger.  It is very sparkly and delicate.


I love that it belonged to someone before me, and imagine maybe the parties and gatherings she attended with this ring.  How long did it sit in a jewelry box unused, waiting to sparkle again?  Who gave it to her, and for what occasion?


the E-ring blues January 24, 2009

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We’re looking for a new engagement ring.  As much as we loved the company who made it, and their values, and the ring itself– we had many problems with it.  After only two months, the emerald came loose; we sent it back and they re-set it.  Two weeks later, it was loose again.  They redesigned the setting, and sent back a new ring.  Finally, the third ring broke– the prong that held the emerald in place sheared away from the shank.

The company was of course apologetic and totally ready to fix it again.  But in the last eleven months since we’ve been engaged, it’s been in the shop for two.  As I told the company: “I just can’t get a fourth ring from you, open it up, put it for a fourth time, and not worry that it will last until our wedding.”  

They felt bad, we feel bad, and they are sending us a refund.  Which means: I have no engagement ring.  I’m currently scouring online antique stores– we would love to “reuse” an older ring.  Old rings are so romantic, and when I see them on trays in antique stores, I always feel sad that they aren’t being worn daily and loved.  An older ring would also go along with our green impulses.

For a morning, I thought I had the problem solved– when I was in high school, my parents gave me a beautiful topaz ring with a fairly large light blue stone.  I thought, “Ooh– we could get an antique mounting and re-set my old topaz in it; that would be lovely.”  I went looking for the ring all in my vanity drawers.  Finally, I remembered: the ring was stolen in a burglary when I was living in St. Louis.  The burglars also took my grandmother’s engagement ring– that was the major loss, and it still makes me feel bad.

For the time being, my left hand feels especially bare.