10 July 2014

I Took The Stars From My Eyes, And Then I Made A Map

Frances Hodgson Burnett is one of my favorite authors. The Secret Garden and A Little Princess were major causes for re-reading through my childhood and adolescence, and I still enjoy delving back into them today.
I'm actually in the process of writing an article about The Secret Garden and I started to think a lot about Hodgson Burnett's play with the idea of the "princess." It's something most little girls think about, and I myself always used to say I wanted to be one (and I still claim to be one at times at 23-years-old). But I love the way that F.H.B. brings into question the difference between being a princess because you are brought up in wealth and splendor (and are therefore regal and permitted to be entitled) versus being a princess in the heart and soul. It's something Mary in The Secret Garden has to overcome and learn about. It's something Sara in A Little Princess struggles with as well (although she is a princess at heart as well as on paper). And it's something a lot of people face to some extent or another in the real world. All metaphor aside.
The thing is, though, the idea of being a princess still holds a bit of magic for me. Not as in, "I hope to be rich and wear glittering gowns and marry a prince." It's more about the fairytale. It's more about wishes coming true and getting to have adventures (both good and bad) and ending up with an illustrated account of your travels and escapades and romances.
Life isn't a fairytale, but sometimes it's important to pretend that it is. And sometimes, it sort of can be. Maybe there are no knights on horseback or seven dwarves to befriend or Angelina Jolie's dressed as Maleficient around the corner. But there are magical moments that need to be seized and remembered.
The other day, Patrick and I were moving our bed around, and in the process of re-jiggering the base, we ended up with a steep, sloped mattress. He was quick to get excited about it and put our blue duvet at the bottom so it looked like water, and we could pretend to be on a slide. But I got caught up in the mess it was making, and how little space there was for me to walk around (because I am actually really clumsy and fall easily and don't like things being in the way of my feet). We ended up arguing about it, because I (inadvertently) was being a boring adult, and not appreciating that we'd somehow wound up with a magical water slide in our bedroom. In retrospect, I wish I had just gotten on it and slid down and played make believe. But it was a useful moment, because the more I thought about it, the more I realized those unexpected, silly times, are the bits of magic we have in the real world. And they don't come by every day.
In an effort to remedy the mistake of that morning, I put on my tutu and danced in the woods and rolled around in the grass and was just a silly little kid again. And it was lovely. This particular tutu is by Sixth Sense Couture (an Etsy shop based in London). You can get it in an array of different colors, and custom design it to your measurements and preferences. When I was purchasing this "Swan Tulle" I decided to go for the obnoxious baby pink, because it was the most princess-y, and I knew it would come in use on gloomy days when I'm in need of making my own fairy tale. I've wanted one for ages, and seeing some of my favorite bloggers and fashion inspirations, Callie and Gabi, looking like perfect dolls whilst rocking the look made me all the more inclined to go for it.
Finding enchantment is definitely made easier by living in Yorkshire (which is actually where the majority of The Secret Garden takes place). The moors, the tall trees, the perfect mix of sun and clouds, all create their own special wonderment. I'm not usually the happiest of people. But living here has been magical medicine for the soul.

Get the Look:
Swan Tulle, $86, Sixth Sense Couture
Stamp Print Crop Top, Sold Out, TopShop
Cameo, Vintage/Victorian Era, My Sister's



  1. I adore this post: your outfit, the woodsy fairytale setting, and your analysis of what it means to be a princess. My blog is called "With Wonder and Whimsy" because I taught a high school multi-genre class where we wrote mottos to introduce ourselves. Mine was to approach life with a sense of wonder and whimsy, and I think those qualities are part of what it means to be a princess in spirit. Yes I love confectionary gowns and beautiful things, but it's more important that I find the fanciful and magical in my everyday life. Your post certainly captures that same sense of whimsy and romance. I've been eyeing pink petticoats to wear as skirts for ages, and this is inspiring me ever more to just bite the bullet and get one!

    <3 Liz

    1. Wow that class sounds kind of great, and I can definitely relate and resonate with your motto. Finding magic in everyday life is so crucial. It's easy to get caught up in all the BAD, because there is just so much of it. But there's also beauty, and as you said, wonder and whimsy. Thank you for that message :)

  2. I love your thoughts on princess-hood <3 This post is wonderful.

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