Monday, April 30, 2012

Quote of the Month - April 2012

The best portion of a good life -
the little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love

William Wordsworth

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Living Doll - Miss April

Living Dolls are mothers, nurses, models, photographers, graphic designers, grandmothers, students, teachers - infact you name it, they come from every walk of life but have this one thing in common - they love and live vintage !

Meet Miss Carli - our adorable Living Doll for April - a beautiful woman inside and out....not to mention a wonderful vintage inspiration in every way!

What does vintage mean to you?
The Golden Age
What was it that first piqued my interest in vintage?

I found a 60’s velvet patchwork bedspread in my grandmothers cupboard when I was 13 and fell in love with it. That bedspread has followed me around for the last 20 years and still is on my bed all this time later. Around the same time I became obsessed with Ford Mustangs and still am.....anyone have a 66 they want to give me??
Favourite Era and do I live it every day?
I started in Vintage at age 16 with the late 1960’s and 70’s. Flared jeans, crocheted bags and gold lurex sent me all a flutter. Now in my 30’s, I have adopted the 50’s as my Era of choice. The 50’s dresses, flouncy petticoats and skirts suit my figure at this stage in my life. As I age gracefully I intend on moving back to the 1940’s where the tailored suits and skirts will suit my age bracket more than it does now.
As for living it everyday, I do in some way or another. If I am home doing housework, I may be in a t-shirt but my hair is in rollers and scarfed up a la Rosie Riveter style, red lippie on and a couple of bakelite bangles jingling away. If I am going out for the day I always dress up in complete vintage.
Favourite vintage item?

I collect a LOT of different items, due to being an antique dealer in the I have quite a few treasured pieces. But I could never part with my Kewpie Doll Cleanser tin from the 20’s, my collection of 50’s novelty skirts and all my Vintage jewellery I have amassed over the years.

Why vintage culture continues to hold interest for me?
Where do I start? The clothing is divine, the crockery and household items designs were revolutionary and the famous people at the time have never been rivalled in terms of beauty and glamour...and never will be. You can purchase a vintage dress that is 70 years old and it will be in many cases, as vibrant as the day it was made. You could never say that anything made in this generation has been made to last.
It also doesn’t hurt my ego when complete strangers approach me constantly to tell me how wonderful I look
Tips and pointers for vintage newbies;
First and most important, to dress the era that suits you best.
Always match your shoes to your belt.

Hand moth ball thingies all thru your wardrobe!
Youtube is priceless with all the hair style information.
And please, never alter anything or rework a garment...if it doesn’t fit you, just put it back on the rack and let it wait for someone else who fits it perfectly.
Overall of me
I live in Castlemaine, Victoria, Hot Rod centre of Australia. Apart from being a glass artist, I have a gorgeous husband and 2 Princess daughters. I blog all things Vintage and Beauty at and all things glass at I don’t like the term ‘purist’ but I do try to wear strictly Vintage... but an odd piece of reproduction has been known to creep into the wardrobe.
My favourite past time is scouring Antique stores, OP shops, Swap meets and Fairs for new beauties to add to our eccentric house. My collections include: pre 1940’s Advertising tins and boxes, Floral China Trios, Lucite Purses, 1950's Beaded Cardigans, Bakelite Jewellery and Atomic / Novelty clothing.
Who/what inspires and why?
My husband inspires me with his never ending flattery of how gorgeous I am, I’ll dress this way forever if it means a lifetime of sneaky pinches on the bum.
Anyone who isn’t afraid to step out of the normal to express their style inspires me and keeps me encouraged to keep true to myself, even tho it does get me an odd look or two every now and then. Past lovelies include Bettie Page and modern lovelies include Dita Von Teese. is also extremely inspiring and proves that you can always look beautiful, not matter what your age

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Alice Jean's morning tea....

I recently had the very great honour of being asked to host a morning tea for the opening of Cohuna's refurbished kitchen and supper rooms. You can imagine how thrilled I was to be approached to do this - the brief was to have a 50's style morning tea and small frock exhibition with me 'dressed 50's' (aka normal) and I was only too delighted to fill those requirements. Gal pal Brooke was on hand to help me hostess and manage (and lend a beautiful air to the proceedings), my amazing mum helped me bake up a storm, and I also received wonderful assistance from the local ladies of the progress association who totally dressed for the occasion (I have been dreaming of gingham aprons with crosstitching ever since !!) Thank you Ros, Dianne, Denise and Wendy!

The hall and kitchen themselves have come up a treat and are a real credit to the vision of the group of ladies who designed the refurbished kitchen, and then guys who made the vision a reality. The Mayor was on hand give everyone a bit of historical background to the hall complex (more on that from me at a later time - Cohuna has the most outstanding mid century musical history you could possibly imagine) and any number of local and state MP's and government officials also got to sample an Alice Jean's sponge! Oh, and see the new hall upgrade too of course (smile).

All in all it was a delightful day that went off without a hitch - filled with country flowers (thanks again Anne Thompson and Mum), pretty frocks and cream cakes to beat the band ! Here are some snaps....
Shame about the chairs behind the frocks, but we had no option there...

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Grace Kelly Exhibition...a happy and sad tale.....

How very beautiful was the Grace Kelly exhibition at Bendigo's wonderful Art Gallery. If you have not been yet, or have not yet planned to attend, I highly recommend that you do so ASAP before it is all sold is proving to be one of the most popular exhibitions Bendigo has ever had. This is no mean feat considering they have staged two previous sensational exhibitions from the Victoria and Albert Museum in London prior to this momentous event - 200 Years of Wedding Fashion last year, and The Golden Age of Couture the year before.

Personally, I couldn't help squeaking with delight as soon as I walked in the exhibition door and saw not one, or two, but three costumes from the adored "High Society".....I kept quoting lines under my breath hoping that no one nearby would think I was insane....but it simply couldn't be helped! Not when you are face to face with the dress that embellished the lines "...and Jack the Ripper - where did he teach? Your father I mean...." or the swimming gown that lends Grecian elegance to the statement 'but I dont want to be worshiped, I want to be loved", and the perfectly equisit pre wedding ballgown that ends up 'in the swimming pool' when Tracey Lord declares "I dont know about you, but I'm going to go in the water". Yes, it is one of my favourite movies......

But so is Rear Window, and there are costumes from that as well. There is Grace's Oscar accepting dress and Oscar on display. There are outfits from her pre wedding trousseau. A replica of her wedding dress I found more captivatingly beautiful that the footage of the wedding had allowed. And there was oodles of footage of Grace at growing up, in the early years of her career, and particularly at home with her family in Monaco. For me, the visit with my best friend Brooke and one very well behaved son was delightful in every way.........

However, there was an underlying element of sadness to the whole exhibition too - particularly once one moved on from the film screening into the Monaco era. The footage made it all too real that Grace was not a happy princess. That she was resigned, sad, and somewhat lost. I was aware before seeing the exhibition that Grace had felt trapped in the years following her marriage - unable to act any longer, a celebrity Princess locked away in her pink palace, devoting herself to her children while craving greater meaning for her life. However, the exhibition and interview footage with Grace gave pronouncement to that sad reality. A woman devoted to her husband and children, but completely at the loss of herself, her freedom, her independence. How are any of us to know in our early 20's what the consequences of seemingly noble, worthwhile and fairytale like choices may mean for the rest of our lives? I walked away in awe of Grace's elegance and beauty, but saddened by the pain her life choice brought her. I am sure there are many women - not just princesses - throughout history who have, can or do identify with Grace's elemental story.......

But, not to leave this review on a sad note, do go and see this wonderful, informative and beautiful will most certainly not be sorry you did!

Local magazine......

A recent article about yours truly in the wonderful 'Local Mag' flattered by it I thought I would share !! Do check out the fabulous website and order yourself a copy to access terrific handmade local products, see local models parading local fashions, read some great articles about real people, real lives and real success stories. Above all, support relocalisation in your area - it harks back to the days when we sourced all that we needed locally, and our communities, families, health and lives reaped the benefits !!!!
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