Friday, July 18, 2014

The art of Swanson

 
Aloha and WOW ! I need to thank my fb friend Ida Fae Tiki for putting me onto the most beautiful art - the art of Swanson. It's the middle of winter here in Australia, and these stunning South Pacific inspired works have me feeling all warm inside. Thought I would share them with you here to transport you to a wonderful world of mermaids, tiki culture, tropical flowers and beautiful hula girls...... ahhhh, I can feel my toes beginning to thaw already! Enjoy!

Check out the webpage HERE 








 
PS. Make sure you read Mark and Kerrie's bio page - for any would be creative, it is truly inspirational! Mahalo !

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Quizz Time

What a  great Quizz for a wintery Thursday ! Take it multiple times - especially if you are an eclectic fashionista - for even more fun!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

A chat with Hay House Radio

Recently, I was blessed to be able to talk with Jennifer Morris from Hay House Radio about my book, The Journey of the Tree.  I thought I would share it with you and wish you all a very happy Winter Solstice. Here is to new beginnings, new hope and healing ! Love to all and thankyou for the support everyone in the online community has showered on me throughout my 'journey'! XOXO
 
 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Little Girl Lost - Grandma's little girl dresses.....

Are you familiar with the beautiful impressionist painting "Lost" by Fredrick McCubbin? It is so compelling, yet sad and evocative - the little girl wandering and lost alone in the Australian bush at the turn of last century. McCubbin is brilliant at storytelling through his paintings, and this particular one, as a parent, I find quite touching.
 
 
So, being the parent and creative that I am, I decided to have a fun afternoon with my daughter re-creating the feel of "Lost" in the bush where I live, and with a 1950's spin.
 
My baby doll, dressed in two of her grandmothers 1950's 'best dresses' (arnt they just darling?! Homemade by MY grandmother for my mother) and putting her best play acting face forward, captured the feeling and mood so perfectly.....yes, I am a very proud mummy indeed!
 
 
Here they are for all you 50's clothing lovers, and you Australian art lovers, to both enjoy.....
 
 



 
And found !




 
Ahhh, my little baby doll

 

Monday, May 26, 2014

‘George, I thought you’d never ask’


Succulent envy: continuing Alice Jean’s occasional series of guest blogs from garden historian Richard Aitken
‘George, I thought you’d never ask’

 


 
I gave a lecture in Adelaide recently to accompany the opening of two shows I have curated as part of the AustralianGarden History Society touring exhibition Cultivating Modernism. There was a terrific response, with standing room only at the Bradley Forum of the University of South Australia’s Hawke Centre, so much so that Gloria couldn’t get in.
 
Gloria is one of my funkiest colleagues and the ‘full house’ sign suggested to me that garden history is alive and well in South Australia, and that a renewed appreciation of modernist gardens and design landscapes is in the ascendant. Gloria has form in this field as the author of two terrific monographs on modernist Australian artists, KathleenSauerbier and Jacqueline Hick, so I was sorry not to have her there.
 
But I had the pleasure recently of working with Gloria on an article for Australian Garden History on succulent envy (amongst other things). My co-editor Christina Dyson and I had selected Gloria to participate in the Australian Garden History Society’s editorial mentoring scheme, to work up for publication a lecture originally given to The Johnston Collection as part of TheGarden of Ideas exhibition and lecture series.
 
Gloria’s topic was the modernist interior, with a focus on the fascination for cacti and other succulents. ‘Make friends with the cactus’ she reminded us in the title of her article (quoting another unsung Australian modernist, Adrian Feint, writing in The Home magazine in 1928). Flower painting and interior arrangements allowed experimentation in the modernist interior, noted Gloria, and the spare crystalline forms of cacti were particularly appealing to interwar and postwar generations of floral artists.
 

 
The stark forms of these plants looked back to a primitive past, one that resonated with modernists keen to airbrush out any link with ‘decadent’ stylistic precedents. The same spare, primeval quality of many Australian plants also pervaded a modernist appreciation of local flora, especially the geometric beauty of banksias and bottlebrushes with their strong cylindrical shape and severe leaves: think Margaret Preston.
 
And so Gloria continued, linking the paintings of Thea Proctor and Adrian Feint (in contrast to acknowledged traditionalists such as Hans Heysen) with advances in floral art, led on one hand by British florist Constance Spry, and the adoption of a diluted orientalism on the other. It’s all fascinating stuff and these impulses have governed the ongoing floral festival at Adelaide’s Carrick Hill, Looking Glorious. Now I wonder if Gloria had anything to do with that?
 
Richard Aitken
(guest blogger)
 
 

 

Friday, May 9, 2014

The Sex Kitten Stroll

A couple of months ago I took my children along to the local rock n roll dance lessons (I thought it would be a good 'family' thing to do together.) Well, the kids enjoyed it, but an hour was about as much as they could concentrate on and I ended up coming home a bit more frazzled than energised.
 
So, I think I will leave it for a little while longer - just till they get a wee bit older.
 
So, while I await that time, its great to know I can still strut my stuff - keeping myself fit and my skills honed (!) - in my kitchen each night doing the Sex Kitten Stroll.
 
I'm not exactly sure where this dance evolved from (if anyone knows, please post in a comment below), but it is certainly big at all the massive Rockabilly festivals here in Australia, and also in the US and Europe. A bit of an eye candy fest for the guys who get to watch all the hot chickie babes shaking their booty together, line dance fashion but with a hell of a lot more wiggle !
 
So, just to make sure I don't forget any of the moves, I have put together a little youtube snippet on how to execute The Sex Kitten Stroll..... if the scene is new to you, this might prove handy to begin with.
 
Best of luck my friends, and I look forward to seeing you on the dance floor in the not too distant future !
 
 
 
PS This was filmed on my HTC phone - hence the dodgy quality, and the fact that my jumper is aqua in the picture, and emerald green like my shoes in real life!!! Humph!!
 

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Sinfully Decadent Chocolate Fudge

Well, it has been an age since I have posted any baking, but, fresh from my school holiday home entertainment program, I have some rather tempting fudge to entice you into the kitchen with.
 
 
 
You wont want to be on a diet for this little number as it is guaranteed to add inches to your waistline overnight, but oh my (!) it tastes so wickedly divine...... PLUS, it is as easy as a wink to knock up - or, do as I did and set your little poppets to work for you.....easy peasy lemon squeesy !
 
Microwave Fudge
 
500gms chocolate (milk, white or dark)
1 Tin condensed milk
70gms Butter
2 Tablespoons icing sugar
3/4 cup chopped pistachios
 
Line slice tray with non-stick baking paper
Place chocolate, condensed milk, icing sugar & butter in a microwave safe bowl - microwave for 1 minute. Take out and stir - if chocolate is not quite melted, zap at 30 second intervals till fluid. (If you prefer to avoid the evils of microwaves, do the same in a bowl sitting in a saucepan of hot water on the stove)
 
Mixture will come away from bowl when ready.
 
Add pistachios and combine. (You can add any other ingredients you like at this point - m&ms, sultanas, nuts, honeycomb etc)
 
Pour mixture into lined tray and pop in the fridge to set.
 
Mmmmmmmmmmm.........


Sunday, March 2, 2014

Meanwhile back in the jungle......



 
 
OK. So Katy Perry has a song called ‘Roar’.

A song styled like a classic Tarzan and Jane cartoon, except, unlike Tarzan and Jane, the ‘hero’ of the clip is the woman.

 

What a turn on most mainstream, classic mid century storylines. I love the way Katy infuses everything good about the new with everything good about the old in so much of her work.

 

But that’s not all I love about this film clip. I love the lyrics……

 

I used to bite my tongue and hold my breath
Scared to rock the boat and make a mess
So I sat quietly, agreed politely
I guess that I forgot I had a choice
I let you push me past the breaking point
I stood for nothing, so I fell for everything

You held me down, but I got up (HEY!)
Already brushing off the dust
You hear my voice, you hear that sound
Like thunder gonna shake the ground
You held me down, but I got up (HEY!)
Get ready 'cause I’ve had enough
I see it all, I see it now

I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire
'Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar!

 

Inspiring isn’t it ?

 

Way back when – in the days of my grandmothers – women didn’t really have a choice in Australian society. After the role based freedoms of WW2, where women took on many ‘masculine’ jobs while their men were away fighting, the following few decades must have seemed so restrictive. Back to the roles of mothers & wives, teachers, secretaries, hairdressers and nurses (great occupations though these are). Although I am not a feminist, I am grateful for the freedoms the movement has bought women today. We can pretty much be anything we like – from Prime Minister to mechanic, CEO of a Bank to manager of a mine.

And its not just occupational freedoms that have been achieved.

If I want to remain single and childless, I can do so without being made to feel like a societal leper.

If I want to have a child through IVF as a single woman, I can do that too with little, if any, negative backlash.

If I find myself caught in a relationship that is neglectful, abusive, selfish or demoralizing, I have a choice. I don’t have to stay – as was the case in the not so distant mid 20th Century.

 

My own story is not dissimilar to Katy Perry’s song.

 

Once upon a time I had no courage to live a life true to myself – I lived only according to others expectations. And as my religious background encouraged me not to divorce, I stayed in an unhealthy relationship far longer than I should have.

 

Once upon a time I had no courage to allow myself to be happy. I resigned myself to my lot in life. I gave up the hope of relational happiness because of one decision I made in my early 20’s - when I knew nothing of life, love or relationships.

 

Once upon a time I didn’t think I was worthy of having my relational needs met. I thought I must be too demanding. I thought I must be ‘too much’ for any man to really love. I thought I must lack that captivating essence that made a woman worthy of being treasured.

 

But not any more.

 

Now I roar....and the roaring grows louder every day. And it feels really REALLY good!!!

My book - about the journey I have taken in discovering my roar – is out now on Balboa Press. Although my roar is a gentle one (that’s just my nature) it is also fiercely alive and passionate. It is my dream that people caught in the same trap I was, find the courage to transform their lives. Through my book “The Journey of the Tree” I want people to know that

 

They DO have the courage to live a life true to themselves, not others expectations

They ARE allowed to be happy in this one precious lifetime

They ARE worthy of having their relational needs met

To quote the famous New York dancer, Martha Graham – “There is one you in all of time”. The manifestation of life that is YOU could happen only once in all of history. Your combination of cells, genes, personality, creativity, locality and experiences could only blend together once. It is your responsibility to shine that preciousness forth into the world !
http://bookstore.balboapress.com/Products/SKU-000683774/The-Journey-Of-The-Tree.aspx 

Please consider purchasing my Aesopian like fable “The Journey of the Tree” as inspiration to stop being “Stranded in the Jungle’. It makes a beautiful gift book for yourself or others (daughters, family, friends, colleagues) needing the nudge to start roaring in their own lives.

 

My blogsite


 

My booksite with Balboa Press


 
Photo from Brooke Orchard Photography
           

 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Snippets of the City

I LOVE Melbourne. The CBD is alive with culture, fashion, food and fun. But I remember a time when that wasn't really the case. Being the age I am (no need to guess at that folks) I remember when the CBD was pretty dead. Full of business people during the day, dingy empty allies, shoppers in the Bourke Street Mall only and NOTHING at night - save the Metro Nightclub and a few pockets of restaurants. Bravo to all those involved with transforming Melbourne's CBD into one of the hippest, fun-loving, creative and delightful city centres on the globe today. Here are some of my own personal favourite places to hang out when I'm downtown - all with a tinge of something vintagey about them.....
 
 
A fantastic restaurant on Swanston Street, buzzing with fun art, great music and of course, yummy food. I particularly love the Little Golden Books on display and the wall of lipstick kisses.

Cookie logo


Captains of Industry

Gentlemans outfitter and café. Once again, this place has a wonderful vibe - great music, great food, great atmosphere. AND you can watch a vintage style barber, shoemaker and taylor at work while you sip your late. Fun.

 
 
 
This place is Divine with a capital D. Every city should have a store like this. Every regional town should have a store like this. In their own words "We love to bring you produce and products made and crafted in Victoria, Australia. We're very proud of our artisan makers and growers." Totally brilliant. Need I say more?
 
news image
 
 
 
Oo la la ! My daughter (Rainbow Girl) and her Fancy Nancy books would swoon at this shop. Macaroons in every colour of the rainbow - the perfect fuel for a superhero princess. (Can I let you in on a little secret though? Super Mummy also thinks this shop is a dream, and simply breathing in the beauty of this boutique patisserie is enough to empower you for a day's shopping.)
 
 Image
 
 
 
Who doesn't love glamorous vintage frocks these days??? Read any novel worth its salt, watch any timeless movie, pick up any history of fashion coffee table book and vintage dressing or classic clothing features in inspiring forms. The same is easily said of Circa Vintage. Although a little, shall we say, intriguing to find, this beautiful vintage clothing shop, perched on the second floor of one of Elizabeth Street's darling art deco buildings, is well worth hunting for - the victory of discovering such a treasure only adds to the memorable experience!
 
http://circavintageclothing.com.au/
 
 
So there you go. My five favourite destinations in Melbourne CBD. For that something different, wonderful, creative and quirkey, this beautiful city wins every time. Hoping to bring you more great destinations as I venture into inner city suburbs in months to come.


Friday, February 7, 2014

The back country Bridget Bardot....

Out in remote rural Victoria, Australia you will find many treasures.
 
Quaint country towns. 
Gorgeous scenery.
Amazing wildlife.
 
And beautiful women.
 
Pretty, genuine, warm hearted women. Infact, I know more lovely single women in the country than I do single men - which is an interesting fact considering the media hype surrounding farmers needing wives (an aside thought which has nothing to do with todays post !!)
 
Because there are so many adorable women, I have no trouble finding stunning gals to model for me as I dabble in a bit of fashion shoot fun, and my Bridget Bardot shoot with the beautiful Chanice is no exception.
 
Thankyou to Ros Dwyer for the loan of these lovely 1960's nightdresses.
 
Thankyou to Chanice for being such fun! 
 
 
The Telephone Girl
 
 
 

 





 
 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Marvelous Mojito Monday...

Its been a while since I posted a really fabulous drink recipe, but I was surprised by a gift of this refreshing delight on Australia day and just had to share.....so here is Simone Scribbles with her awesome Mojito (and check out her blog while you are at it - hilarious !!!)

 
 

Make the mint infused sugar syrup by dissolving a cup of water and a cup of sugar on the stovetop.  When it’s dissolved, add about 6 mint leaves and let the mint linger for half an hour or so.  Take out the leaves and put the syrup in the fridge until you make the mojitos.

 

Mojito

Put 1-2 ounces of sugar syrup in a glass.  Add about 6-8 mint leaves and stir. 

Fill the glass with crushed ice (it has to be crushed otherwise the mint leaves get to the top and it’s gross).

Add 1-2 ounces of white rum

Add the juice of about half a lime

Top up with soda water

 
Garnish with a slice of lime.

Tip – to make it seem extra fresh … before you add the slice of lime run a mint leave around the rim of the glass so it smells minty!

Friday, January 31, 2014

Online Juke Box

One of the girls at work very kindly gave me a link to this rather amazing collection of classic songs - and I have had no end of fun exploring them throughout the past few days. I do hope you enjoy it too - and have a glorious weekend in the process !! XX
 
http://www.1959bhsmustangs.com/VideoJukebox.htm
 
Click the image above for the link

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Vintage Living Fashion No. 2 - Lingerie Dreaming

Vintage lingerie is so very pretty. Silky fabrics, laces and frills. Nothing is more feminine than a sexy petticoat or baby doll nightdress. Think Elizabeth Taylor in 'Cat on a hot tin roof', or Scarlett O'Hara having her corset laced up for the Wilkes barbeque. Heck, even the fembots in pink short and sheer nighties with matching fluffy springolators from Austin Powers!
 
And so, without further ado, allow me to share Alice Jean's take on just how sexy classic lingerie can be in this, our second fashion photo shoot with Brooke Orchard Photography.
 
Enjoy and be inspired to look vintage classy & sexy in your night attire!



 
 
Petticoats: Alice Jean's own
'Shorty' nighty: Brooke Orchard Photography
1960's Baby Doll Nighty: on loan from Ros Dwyer
 
Location: Alice Jean's unused historic family homestead
  
Models: Bree Laughlin
Sonia Wright
Somayeh Katebiyan
Danielle Marko-Parsons 
 
 
 


Use of these images will require approval from Brooke Orchard Photography or Alice Jean's. Please contact us if you wish to re-use these images anywhere else in cyber space or otherwise.


Saturday, January 11, 2014

Vintage Living Fashion - Swimwear Sirens!

Alice Jean's is all about living with a vintage aesthetic in a modern world. It's about leaving behind the need to want and have the latest and greatest in exchange for classic, timeless, holistic living. No where is this more visually evident than in the clothes I wear - home made from classic patterns, bequeathed to me or purchased from thrifting shops, my increasingly bulging wardrobe is full of outfits and a certain style that I hope will endure through the changing tides of the fashion ocean.
 
I wanted to share my belief that a vintage look can work timelessly today in our modern world, and so I have embarked upon a series of fashion shoots using my beautiful friends, my beautiful clothes and my beautiful home country. I do hope you enjoy these fashion posts as much as I have enjoyed bringing them to you - infact I have found it quite addictive, I think there will be many more to come!
 
 
Swimwear Sirens
 
 
Bathers from: Bettie Sue Boutique, Sugar Doll and Vintage Jantzen
 
Location: 1.Koondrook Goods Shed with milkshakes from
Long Paddock Food Store.
2.Cohuna Island Road.
3.Koondrook River Front with lookout tower from
Sambrooks Building.
 
 
Models: Bree Laughlin
Sonia Wright
Somayeh Katebiyan
Danielle Marko-Parsons
 
Special thanks: I cherished hopes that my friend, up and coming male model Rees Grima, may have been available to 'lifeguard' for this shoot, but as he was not free, I wish to thank Claude for stepping in to brilliantly fill the void at VERY last minute notice.
 


 
 
 
 (The image below has been edited by Alice Jean's - not Brooke Orchard Photography)
 
 
 
 
 
Use of these images will require approval from Brooke Orchard Photography or Alice Jean's. Please contact us if you wish to re-use these images anywhere else in cyber space or otherwise.


Sunday, January 5, 2014

Top Five Vintage blogs


Trawling the net for tid bits about your favourite category of interest? Hopefully Alice Jean's can make your search time more profitable - provided you are into mid century culture of course !! Here are my five all time favourite blogs on a mid century theme.....enjoy! (Click on each banner to be taken to the blog page....)
 
Number Five - The Beauty Blog
 
Lindy Charm School for Girls is run by my wonderful friend Miss Chrissy, and if its hair and makeup info you are after, then you wont go wrong here. Miss Chrissy is all about sharing the vintage love and creating a connected vintage community Australia wide - so get on it beauty lovers.....release that inner glamour puss !!!

http://www.thelindycharmschoolforgirls.com/
 
 
Number Four - The Décor Blog

I wasn't really sure if I could include this site as a blog - its just so much more than that! However, I couldn't leave it out....if you are after décor or retro renovation information, there is no better site to turn to. You will be inspired by the authentic houses, and the renovation work of others where keeping a historic aesthetic is paramount. And if you love pastel bathrooms (as I do) this is the site for you!!!

http://retrorenovation.com/


Number Three - The Fashion History Blog
 
If there was an award for the most inspiring clothing blog, this would win hands down. Wearing History is the work of an amazingly dedicated (and downright lovely) woman - her authenticly historic creations will leave you gobsmacked......from Victorian Scarlett O'Hara dresses to 1940's wartime outfits, Wearing History is a stunning example of what human beings achieve when they follow their heart and their passions. Thankyou for sharing your incredible ability with the world !

http://wearinghistoryblog.com/


Number Two - The Stylist Blog
 
If its fashion you love, there is simply no better personification of classic beauty and style in a modern woman than Esme and the Laneway. This treasure of a blog is full of inspirational images - such an artistic stylist and photographer is 'Esme'...... There are also fashion and hair tutorials, and the written word is compelling. The other reason I adore this blog is that it is as far from jumping on the bandwagon vintage trending as you can get. It is authentic and beautiful, and obviously a passion and love of the author - not just the 'vintage washing', make it hip blog of the moment. Such a breath of fresh air in that way. Thankyou for your contribution to a beautiful world my friend ! OXOX
 
 
Esme and the Laneway
 
 

Number One - The Music Blog

If I am feeling blue, all I have to do is ....... tune into this digital radio station and I suddenly find myself compelled to dance around the house - no matter if I'm cooking porridge in the mornings or mopping the floors or tapping away at the keyboard, WFMU puts a song in my heart and a spring in my step. They also have the most fantastic blog, full of the quirky, the eccentric, the wild and crazy, and - like every good blog should - the informative. There is no better mid century pop culture blog - or digital music station for that matter ! Love you WFMU!!!
 
WFMU Ichiban, Rock and Soul with Debbie D
 

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