A bit of a personal post here, but hopefully it will be useful for readers who are struggling with the wedding conundrum. When we got engaged about two years ago, we started planning a traditional ceremony. But after months of agonizing over details and a strict budget, we wanted to do something a little different, but much more meaningful for us. We decided to essentially elope, but wanted to allow our family to be a part of our celebration in a way. We alerted them to our plans, received their blessing, and exchanged our legal vows in Maine this past August with our parents and siblings as witnesses and my dad officiating. When thinking of where to have our private ceremony, I remembered my childhood dream of exchanging vows in St. Andrew’s Chapel in Chaddleworth, England. As a family we spent some wonderful months in this place and it holds very fond memories for me. Memories of a time when my brother was still with us, and our innocence could never have comprehended a life without one another. Our ceremony in Chaddleworth was wonderful. The weather cleared for us and we woke calm and stress-free (not having to worry about the typical things one does for a wedding). After a light breakfast of toast and coffee, we retired to our room to get dressed. I wore a linen skirt I found at a vintage shop for $25 and a linen top I purchased from Creatures of Comfort a week before our wedding. I did my own hair and makeup and wore jewelry that featured Mitchell family heirlooms given to me by two of my dad’s sisters – the engagement ring was made with my great grandmother’s diamond, the earrings were made by our friend Kate Jones and featured diamonds from my great uncle’s cufflinks, and the barrette in my hair was also my great grandmother’s. Ted wore a suit from J.Crew’s Ludlow shop, Alden brogues, and a custom tie that our friend Andrew of General Knot & Co. custom made for him (the fabric is from a Laura Ashley dress my mum used to wear when we were kids). After we got dressed our photographer Ursy Burnand (a friend of the family friends we were staying with) arrived to capture our day. We took photos around the house and grounds before making our way to the chapel. My feelings of joy during the service were uninterrupted as I was able to completely concentrate on my husband and the vows we were making. We exchanged wedding bands that were also made by Kate. As we walked down the aisle as husband and wife, local bell ringers rang the steeple bells. We couldn’t help but be overwhelmed with joy with triumphant bells ringing in the background. Our union was cheered with glasses of champagne in the garden before we retired indoors for a delicious (very British) meal of cold filet of beef, fish mousse, and chocolate cake. I feel so incredibly lucky to have my husband, and to have the family and friends that helped us celebrate our union as we did.
Tag Archives: Ursa Major
Chance is a gold mine for summer essentials – striped tops, espadrilles, beach blankets, totes. Everything you need to enjoy your days on the lake, by the beach, or in the hills and valleys. Their Summer 2012 collection boast a couple stand-out collaborations. Artist Elliott Puckette hand-drew stripes on a long sleeve tee. The placement of the lines makes each tee a one-of-a-kind. Also notable, is friend and designer Kate Jones’ second collaboration with Chance titled Cali. The collection consists of five pieces that embody the state of California’s desert, sky, and sea. Swing over to the Chance online shop to get your essentials for summer – whether you’ll be comfortable at home or on your way to new adventures and places.
I’m so excited to see a piece from friend and jeweler Kate Jones up on Of a Kind today. Every collection from her brand Ursa Major is absolutely exquisite and I’ve been slowly but surely collecting pieces over the years. I really love the simplicity of the Omega Cuff she designed for Of a Kind. Made of recycled brass with silver plated tips in the shape of the Greek letter, it’s understated yet elegant. Be sure to also check out a few bonus features up on Of a Kind about Kate’s first journey into jewelry design, the evolution of her aesthetics, and the sailing trips of her youth.
For our fifth feature in the series I got to spend time with my good friend Kate Jones of Ursa Major in her studio in TriBeCa this past weekend. Her mum, who is also an amazing jewelry designer, was in town for Kate’s birthday so we spent the afternoon chatting and geeking out about jewelry. I took the opportunity to take some shots of Kate working on the necklace my boyfriend got for me for Christmas and chatted with her about what she’s been up to and what she has planned for Ursa Major this coming year. Also click here if you want to read my Q&A with Kate from earlier this year!
Q. This fall you’ve started creating pieces for men. Are there different challenges that you face making men’s jewelry compared to women’s?
A. The cufflinks are pretty straight forward- but there is a real issue of functionality. I love the look of cufflinks that use chain in between, but all men tell me they’re impossible to use. I don’t like the look of hinged backs- so it was about finding a balance of aesthetics and function, which I love. Rings are a different thing- the scale is completely different to the women’s I’m used to. Sounds obvious, but it’s harder to be as minimal as I like and still make sure it’s gonna work for a guy- are the walls too heavy? Too thin? Too dainty? I’m always open to feedback. Fortunately I’ve got a lot of design opinionated guy friends As for the rest, it’s really just a challenge to make pieces that men want to live in, but one I’m happy to take on.
Q. Do you find that more men are comfortable wearing jewelry these days? Is there a piece that is commonly commissioned from you?
A. It seems that way. Men seem to be paying more attention to accessories and details. I think they realize it’s a way to make an otherwise very simple daily “uniform” personal. And most guys come to me after a piece which is ultimately very simple yet unique, and something they can live in. I do a lot of wedding rings.
Q. You’re cuff links look amazing and I’m sure will be a huge hit. Can you elaborate on the process of making them? Including your inspiration behind the patterns they feature
A. Well I was hanging around Scott Schuman and we were talking about how few good, simple cufflinks are out there that aren’t novelty. Vintage ones were the closest we could find and both agreed it was time for an update. Plus Freeman’s had been asking me to make some. Some of the patterns come from etched plates I made, others from existing patterned metal, and one, the Squash Blossom, is a design I came up with and had engraved- an amalgamation of the iconic American Indian motif and old coins (like the buffalo nickel, commonly turned into jewelry).
Q. And finally, what we’ve been asking all our vendors involved in the Pop-Up shop, what do you see for yourself and Ursa Major in 2012?
A. Big things! Finally the men’s line will come to fruition. I’ll begin selling Ursa overseas and the work’s been published in a couple of books coming out in the fall. Plus a new line I’ve created with a couple of great guys, Derek Brahney and Edge Trullinger, called Hyde. It’ll focus on men’s accessories- namely belts, but some fun bits and pieces too- like the “Spin to Pay” bottle opener you guys have got at the pop-up and available online at Partners and Spade http://store.partnersandspade.com/2011/12/05/spin-to-see-who-pays-bottle-opener/
If you’re from Vermont, you’ve already won half the battle with me. For Ursa Major of Vermont, it didn’t take much to win the other half. Founders Emily and Oliver started their men’s skincare line as an alternative to the “bland, toxin-laden products that pervade today’s market.” The results are evident in the beautiful packaged bottles and tubes. A mix of nature’s most effective ingredients, the Ursa Major goods are “super natural”, as Oliver and Emily like to call them. And my boyfriend and I would have to agree. As evidenced by the photos above (apologies for my poor photography skills), we received a delightful care package with the Ursa Major Fantastic Face Wash, Stellar Shave Cream, and Essential Face Toner. We’ve both been using the products for over a week now and won’t be switching to anything else anytime soon. Our skin feels fresher, cleaner, and smoother. Three cheers for this Vermont brand and I look forward to seeing what other products they introduce to their already amazing lineup.