The Blackest Carrion in the Italian Royal House: Princess Mafalda

Beautiful and cultivated, Princess Mafalda was the daughter of King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy and his wife, Elena.

She married Prince Phillip of Hesse against the wishes of his parents. They had four children. Prince Phillip worked for the Nazis and became an intermediary between the Nazis and Mussolini. He apparently had a high position in the Nazi party. However, he also helped some wealthy Jewish friends escape to Holland.

Princess Mafalda annoyed Hitler by speaking out on behalf of the Jews especially when he wanted Mussolini to crack down on them. When Italy surrendered to the Allies, Hitler decided to take his revenge. He arrested Prince Phillip and imprisoned the Princess in Buchenwald. When the Allies bombed an ammunitions factory in Buchenwald, the poor Princess's arm was badly burned. She died during an operation to amputate the arm.

You can see a photo of the Princess here: Princess Mafalda NB: It's a fair way down the page.

Mafaldine Pasta

Mafaldine pasta was apparently named after the Princess. You can read more about that here: mafaldine pasta

Wedding Dresses Style

When shopping for your wedding dress, you should first consider which gown style you prefer. When selecting your wedding gown style, consider the silhouette, sleeves, neckline, bodice and train. Following is guide to the basic terminology of popular wedding gown styles.

The Silhouette

* A-line - The A-line or princess dress has no marked waist and the vertical seams flow from the shoulders down to a flared skirt, creating a "A" shape.
* Ball Gowns - These gowns normally quite formal, reminding you
of Cinderella. The bodice is fitted with a very full skirt.
* Empire - Empire gowns have a raised waistline that starts righ
t under the bust, flowing to a slim (but not body-hugging) skirt.
* Mermaid - As the name indicates, the mermaid dress is contoured against the body then the gown flows out beginning around the knees. This is the sexiest of the styles.
* Sheath - The sheath or column dress has a slim shape that follows close to the line of the body. The straight design is form-fitting and doesn't allow for many body flaws.

The Sleeves

* 3/4 sleeves - end between the elbow and wrist.

* Bell - long sleeves, flare out toward the wrist creating a bell shape.
* Cap - rounded sleeves, just covering shoulders.
* Fitted point - long, fitted sleeves that come to a point over t
he hand.
* Juliet - long, fitted sleeves with puffy shoulders.

* Long sleeves - long sleeves that are normally form-fitting.
* Off-the-shoulder Sleeves - cover the upper part of the arm but leave the tops of shoulders exposed.
* Poet - long sleeves, fitted to the elbow then flared.
* Pouf - short sleeves, gathered to create a poufy look.
* Short sleeves - about the length of T-shirt sleeves.
* Sleeveless - strapless with no sleeves.
* Spaghetti straps - thin spaghetti straps with no sleeves.

The Neckline

* Bateau - close to straight across from the tip of the shoulder. Gives plenty of coverage.
* Halter - wraps around the back of the neck to create deep armholes. Often also a backless style, which is very sexy.
* High - covers most of the neck. Creates a formal, somewhat stiff look.
* Jewel - similar to that of a T-shirt. Creates a bustier look.

* Off-The-Shoulder - as the name indicates, the top of the shoulders are bare. Showcases your collarbone and shoulders.
* Portrait - a very wide scoop from the tip of one shoulder to the tip of the other.
* Scoop - classic U-shaped neckline. Can be cut low for a more sexy look.
* Square - squared neckline, often associated with empire gowns.
* Strapless - normally straight across. Not recommended for women with small busts.
* Sweetheart - shaped like the top half of a heart. Emphasizes the cleavage.
* V-Neck - dips in the front into a V-shape. Can be very deep.

The Bodice
The bodice refers to the portion of the dress between the neckline and skirt.

* Corset - a form fitting bodice with boning and lace-up closures.
* Halter - sleeveless bodice that wraps around you neck, normally backless.
* Midriff - fits very closely around the mid-section, accentuating your waist.
* Surplice - sections of fabric cross wrap in the front or back.
* Tank - sleeveless with wide armholes like tank top.

The Train

* Sweep - 8" to 12" in length, just a few inches longer than the gown.
* Court - extends about 3 feet from the waist.
* Chapel - extends about 4 feet from the waist.
* Cathedral - extends about 6 to 9 feet from the waist.
* Royal - extends more than 9 feet from the waist.

The Veil

* Birdcage - falls right below the chin, usually attached to a headpiece.
* Flyaway - ends at the shoulder.
* Blusher - worn over your face, about 28" long.
* Elbow Length - ends at the elbow or waist.
* Fingertip - ends at the finger tips or just below the waist.
* Ballet - ends at the ankles.
* Chapel - ends slightly longer than dress length.
* Cathedral - 9 feet or longer.

source :

The Wedding Gown Basic

Wedding gowns come in multiple styles and fabrics, and you should choose one that represents both the ceremony style (formal, semi-formal, or informal) as well as your personal tastes.

Traditional wedding gown styles include Ball Gown, Empire, Basque, and A-Line. A Ball gown resembles "Cinderella's" dress with a big poofy skirt. The Empire has a high waist (cropped just under the bust line) with a flared skirt. The Basque comes in both the "U" or the "V" shape, with the waist just below the natural waistline. And, the A-Line resembles the shape of an "A," slimmer up top and widening as you go further down.

Some of the more popular fabrics include satin, velvet, lace, tissue taffeta, chiffon, and linen. Satin is wonderful for fall and winter, but may be too hot and heavy for summer months, especially in warmer climates. Chiffon and linen, on the other hand, are great light summer fabrics. Lace and tissue taffeta are very popular for spring while the rich feel of velvet is appropriate for fall and winter.

Source :

Royal Engagement in Sweden

Toady at 14h00 CET HM King Carl XVI. Gustaf officially announced the engament of HRH Crown Princess Victoria to Daniel Westling. The Wedding will take place in early Summer 2010.
Video of the announcement:
At 17h00 CET there was a Press Conference with the engaged Couple.
See here for Videos of it in Swedsih
Press Conference Part 1
Press Conference Part 2

Hollywood Hair...Jennifer Aniston at the Oscars

I have a secret. I watch the Oscars and Emmy's. Not to see who wins, but to see their hair. Last night's favorite was Jennifer Aniston. She was beautiful! LOVED her hair, it wasn't over done or swept back into an updo that wasn't her at all. It was simple and fresh.

This morning we did her style on my oldest. She is getting past the point of piggies and wants her hair down and older (WAH!) so this style fit the bill.

All we did was part the hair at an angle from above her eye to her crown. About an inch and a half up the part, I parted her hair again to the other side. I pulled the extra hair into a ponytail so I didn't inadvertently pull excess into the French braid. I sprayed the hair with water and hairspray and braided down like so. I secured the braid with an elastic and then to make sure it didn't move, I threaded a bobby pin through the elastic and up through the underside of the braid.

Then I pulled the ponytail out and ran my flat-iron through pieces of her hair to give it some "UMPH"

How'd we do?

Coming up next:

Nancy O'Dells Golden Globes Hair

Vanessa Hudgens

The aim of the Excessively Diverting Blog Award is to acknowledge writing excellence in the spirit of Jane Austen’s genius in amusing and delighting readers with her irony, humor, wit, and talent for keen observation. Recipients will uphold the highest standards in the art of the sparkling banter, witty repartee, and gentle reprove. This award was created by the blogging team of Jane Austen Todayto acknowledge superior writing over the Internet and promote Jane Austen’s brilliance.

A very warm thank you to Ms.Lucy of Enchanted by Josephine for nominating me for this award! Here are my seven nominees:

Edwardian Emporium This blog is all about the 'Golden Age' - Edwardian times. This is my very favourite era so I like to visit here and be transported back!

The Royal Representative This royal blog is full of the latest gossip, anecdotes and articles about British royalty. I also like August Annotations, Mandy's reviews of books about royalty.

The Lotus Notebooks Here you will find sensitive and well-written posts about books and poetry. I especially enjoyed the post about Emily Dickinson. I like the well-dressed section too - lovely photos.

Romancing the Tome This features articles about book adaptations and the actors in them. I always enjoy reading the latest posts here.

Coffee and Oranges This is a well-written blog all about artists and paintings. I also like Meg Nola's articles at Suite 101.

Reading Adventures An excellent Australian blog all about books. I especially like the challenges and memes!

I'm going to cheat and have a tie!


Random Jottings of a Book and Opera Lover vie for seventh place! ART and ARCHITECTURE, MAINLY has very interesting articles about Australian history, art and associated topics. Elaine at Random Jottings writes excellent reviews and has similar tastes in books! It's also her birthday today. Happy Birthday, Elaine!

Recipients, please claim your award by copying the HTML code of the Excessively Diverting Blog Award badge, posting it on your blog, listing the name of the person who nominated you, and linking to their blog. Then nominate seven (7) other blogs that you feel meet or exceed the standards set forth. Nominees may place the Excessively Diverting badge in their side bar and enjoy the appreciation of their fellow blogger for recognition of their talent.

Altshausen Castle

3 Years ago after the Wedding of Duke Michael and Julia Storz which took place at Friedrichshafen i and some friends made also an Visit at Altshausen Castle the Residence of TRH Duke Carl and Duchess Diane of Württemberg.
The Castle is only since 200 years in the posession of the Family of Württemberg. Originally there was an old Castle which belonged to the Counts of Altshausen, but the moved to Veringen and took the Title Count of Veringen. In 1264 it became in the posession of the German Order. During a big fire in 1434 most of the Old Castle was destroyed. Soon there was a new Castle build and in the 17. Century Johann Caspar Bagnato had to plan a big Baroque Residence. But only a few of his planes where practiced. After the German order was dissolved i 1806 the Castle and Park came in the posession of the Royal Family of Württemberg. After the monarchy was abolished in 1918 HRH Duke Albrecht of Württemberg moved to Altshausen in 1919 and inherited it in 1921 after the death of HM King Wilhelm II. It has became the tradition that Altshausen is the Residence of the Head of the Royal House and the oldest son and Heir lives at Friedrichshafen Castle.

The Gate Building

The New Castle where the Family lives

The Old Castle before it is one of
the Works of HRH Duchess Diane

The stables


The Pavillon and some of the Sculptures in the private Park



The Castle Church St. Michael which is also
the parish Church of Altshausen





Behind this door is the Entrance into the Family Vault where
the members of the Royal Family are buried since 1918

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pomade for hair

"Acts of God"

An interesting thought about how our thoughts affect our bodies...

Vicky's husband, Fritz - Emperor Frederick III - spent much of his young life being 'gagged' by his father. Every time he raised an opposing thought, he was silenced. At the same time, Vicky was urging him to speak out. He was in a very difficult position. As the time drew near for him to take up his position as emperor, he was diagnosed with throat cancer.

Vicky felt that she bore the weight of the world on her shoulders. She tried to balance so many things but the strain was so great that she couldn't bear it. Nor could she express it. She suffered greatly, too, over the way her children were raised and how the older ones seemed to reject her. She was diagnosed with breast cancer and spinal cancer.

Alice was never allowed to express her grief at the death of her father as she was too busy caring for her mother and helping to keep 'the firm' running. When her little daughter, May, died, she was compelled to keep that silent, too....she died of diphtheria, which affects the throat.

Serge lived with the horror of what had happened to his father. He also had - I think - some kind of loathing for his body, which was literally obliterated by the bomb that killed him.

There are many, many more examples and the deeper we go into our own thoughts, the more clear it is how we choose to destroy or re-create ourselves....Ho hum...It's a thought which offends many people because we all like to play victim at times. "It wasn't my fault I caught this or that...." It's not a question of 'fault' though, it's more a question of responsibility. Living in the 'image and likeness of God' , our thoughts have tremendous power - far greater than we choose to be aware of, I think. "Act of God" is a something assigned to nasty eventualities - as though a loving creator would be so petulant as to wipe out his/her people! Perhaps 'act of thought' would be more appropriate for many things. "Acts of God" - acting from our highest selves, would surely only mean life and health and freedom.

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Sedona Sweet Arts wins 2009 Bride's Choice Award

Sedona Sweet Arts receives a 2009 Bride’s Choice Award! This award recognizes the top 3% of vendors from the WeddingWire Network who demonstrate excellent quality of service, responsiveness, professionalism, value of cost and flexibility.

Unlike other awards in which winners are selected by the company, the Bride’s Choice Awards are determined exclusively by recent newlyweds through surveys and reviews. That means Sedona Sweet Arts past clients have spoken on their behalf and chosen them for this honor!

Thank you Brides!

The winners are on the Wedding Wire.

Sugar Hybiscus Wedding Cake

Ericka McCristen & Robert Muir had a beautiful reception at Sedona Golf Resort. Ericka favorite flowers are Hybiscus. She wanted them made in blue. So I used a color swatch to create these beauties.

Had so much fun trying to fiqure out how to make Sugar Hybiscus.

The couple wanted a wonderful tasting buttercream canvas for their cake but wanted a fondant flair with draping. I combined the two.

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Grand Duke Serge Alexandrovich

On 17th February 1905, Grand Duke Serge Alexandrovich was blown to pieces by a terrorist's bomb. His wife, Ella, Grand Duchess Elizabeth, heard the explosion and hurried to the scene where she picked up what was left of him with her own hands and, having his remains placed in the neighbouring Chudov chapel, knelt in prayer as his blood trickled down the steps.
Three days later, she visited his assassin in prison, taking with her a Bible and an icon of Christ.
This event changed her life forever. Little by little, she gave away all her jewels and other possessions to create a sort of palace of the poor, where she nursed the most abject patients, built an orphanage and arranged all kinds of work for young people.
Grand Duke Serge was hated in proportion the degree to which Ella was loved. His name has been vilified through history but he was not a 'bad' man at heart. Highly strung, reactionary and probably unable to consummate his marriage, he became more intransigent each year and his treatment of the Jews in Moscow was horrendous (but he was acting, too, on the orders of his brother, Tsar Alexander III, and both of them were under the sway of the Procurator General of the Holy Synod). Serge also took a great deal of interest in the people and truly believed in Tsardom as building the kingdom of God on earth. His servants respected him and were devoted to him (which says a lot, considering 'no man is a hero to his valet'). Countess Tolstoy records in her diary how she visited him to ask for a military position for her son, and how very accommodating he was. She also wrote of his travelling all the way from St. Petersburg to Moscow for one day to attend a wedding of one of his servants.
Ella, who was so different from him, would never hear a word against him. I truly believe that he, for all his faults, was one of those people whom history turns into a monster, when he was just a man, doing his best with what he had...Blinkered he might have been, prejudiced he might have been, but cruel and nasty, he wasn't.

European Wedding cake

European Style wedding cake.

Check out any European wedding and you'll see the style are very different from US. the cake is a good example.
White chocolate Cigarettes with marbleized white chocolate panels. Handmade Pastillage Sugar orchids floating down the front of cake.

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