Monday, October 26, 2009

Doing your hair like Marilyn....

Didn't she have the most amazing look? Love her or hate her, you have to admit Marilyn was a beautiful woman. Personally, I don't think her acting was given the credit it deserved, as all the focus was continually on the way she looked and her love life. Some of her films are just wonderful - she was so much more than Laura-lie in 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes' !

Thankyou to my beautiful friend Mel who let me do her up to go out on the town in Melbourne. I took inspiration from the above Marilyn hairstyle to do Mel's hair, and the following is a step by step guide to what I did - so you can achieve the same look !!

1. Firstly, you will need a short cut with layers at the sides and back. If you don't have this then it really wont work (obviously!!!)
2. Wash hair and before it is dry apply a liberal amount of gel all through your hair (about the same size as a scoop of ice-cream from a proper ice-cream scoop!!!). Hang your head upside down and dry with a hair dryer. I like to do this because it adds alot more volume and lifts the hair up and away from the scalp.

** Marilyn's hair was bleached to billi-o (Aussie expression there) and it therefore held style very very well - tortured hair usually does. If you hair is not bleached this gel process will effect pretty much the same result, although you may need more or less gel depending on your hair type. My hair is reasonably fine so I use alot of gel, Mel's hair is quite thick and wavy so a little bit of gel went a long way.

2. Once the hair is dry, use a hot curling iron to create defined curls all over the head. Only do small pieces at a time - too thick and the curling iron will be ineffectual. Refer to the photograph for an example of the amount of hair to use....Mel's hair has a natural part a little to her left of centre (right of centre for us looking at her), I decided to leave this part and direct the curls towards Mels ears on either side of the part (see photograph for what I mean!!). 3. Spray the curls with hairspray (maximum hold) as you go.

4. After spraying the hair, tousle the curls up a bit with your hands and move them 'into place' however you like. Pull back the sides of the hair over the ears and pin into place - you don't want alot of 'boofy-ness' out each side or your head. Dont be afraid to be a tad 'vicious' with the curls, they will hold and should keep most of their definition.

5. Once you have it looking 'just so', you can squirt it with hairspray again, or leave it as is.

And this is the end result - beautiful!! This is Mel and I out on the town.........

Lovely apron givaway....

Hope into this link for a wonderful give-away competition and win one of these cute as pie aprons to complete your vintage kitchen look....

Thankyou Madeleine Miranda for hosting this exciting giveaway !

My green things

I adore all things green - as you will see from these photographs. Things need not be in 'mint' condition, just so long as they are beautiful enough to grab my attention, and that certian colour of green that I just love - usually pastel, sage '1950's' green. It is a delight to share my small collection with you....

Poor old green phone ! It smashed in an accident where my whole sewing table (a home made 1950's cabinet) collapsed. We have managed to peice it back together, but it will never look as good as it did....however it still works a treat !!!

Can anyone give me some details on the clock in the picture? I have not been able to find out anything about the company, or this item and would love to know more !

My Nanna Alice had a number of depression glass peices, but being a child at the time, I did not appreciate their great beauty and let them slip through my fingers. As such, I am keen to get my hands on some in her memory - that will be my next treasure hunt.

Hubby is also importing a sage green 1950 Buick from America at the moment, which will tow our sage green caravan (under restoration).....then all we will need will be a sage green house and our collection will be complete - or will it??!!!! (Are they ever ?!!!)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Vintage Childrens Dresses

Wernt little girls always dressed adorably in the 1950's (at least for photographic sessions anyhow !!!) ? Here is a charming little family photo that I simply had to share....this is my Aunty Rhonda, and isnt she - and the little blue dress - simply exquisit ! I remember playing dress up's in that little dress as a girl myself ! That little blue dress, and a couple of others very similar, still exist and have been very well cared for by my Aunties and my Mother.....I will post more photographs of them in the coming weeks. Below is another wonderful photograph, this time of my pretty mother in another darling 1950's 'sunday best' dress. The picture is in black and white, but the dress was my favorite shade of green with cream lace.

My Grandmother Jean was a beautiful seamstress, and made most of her families clothes on an old treadle singer sewing machine....these two precious little outfits are just a sample of her work. More to come in the next few weeks - stay tuned !

Audrey Hepburn's Beauty Tips

For attractive lips - speak words of kindness

For lovely eyes - seek out the good in people

For a slim figure - share your food with the hungry

For beautiful hair - let a child run his fingers through it once day

For poise - walk with the knowledge that you'll never walk alone

The darling pearls of wisdom I saw a number of years ago at a photographic exhibition of Audrey Hepburn images. These words were attributed to her in that exhibition - beautiful !

Inspirational Quote of the month - October 2009

"Originality is not doing something no one else has ever done,
But doing what has been done countless times with new life, new breath"

Marie Chapian

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Vintage Events in Echuca !!!

How wonderful that in the coming month I have two vintage events to look forward to right here in Echuca (as you can tell, this doesnt often happen !!!). If you are in need of a good night out (and live locally to Echuca!!) then get your party shoes on, a cute little frock or stylin' suit and head along to will also be supporting some very worthwhile local charaties and organisations ! Brownie points for you, and lots of fun to boot! (Note: The 'Coco Avant Chanel' movie is being screened at the Paramount Theater, High Street, Echuca.)

Vintage Hair and Makeup Workshop

Ooh I am soooooo very excited about this one. The lovely Miss Chrissy from Lindy Charm School for Girls will be conducting her wonderful vintage hair and make up course in Melbourne on the 5th December. If you would like to know more about developing your own vintage style to perfection then you dont want to miss this ! You will find more details below, including dates for Sydney and Canberra too ! And girls, make sure you contact the lovely mistresses (on the email addresses below) to subscribe to their super newsletter, jam packed with all the vintage tips, tricks and information a vintage fashionsita could possibly ever need !

Saturday 5 December - Melbourne
Yes, back by popular demand to assist those girls who missed out on our last visit.
Miss Candice (aka Super Kawaii Mama) will be organising a wonderful Swingin Soiree on Saturday night so those attending the workshop will be invited to this as well.. This will be a day/nigt to remember so stay tuned for further details....
Saturday 5 December 2009
2pm to 5pm - $60 pp
Venue: Father Flanagans “The Library” - 484 Smith Street, Collingwood (Cnr Smith & Alexander Pde)
Email to register , confirm you place & for further details—limited spaces must book early!!
NEXT WEEKEND : SYDNEY - 16 - 18th October 2009 - Registrations OPEN and filling fast Love Vintage Fair – Canterbury Park Function Centre Canterbury Racecourse, King Street, Sydney.

Workshop by the Lindy Charm School for Girls
$60.00pp must pre-book (includes free admission to the show)
Learn Vintage Makeup and Hairstyle Techniques in a 2 hour private workshop by the Mistresses of the Charm School, limited to 25 people only.
To book or obtain further details email Mistress Chrissy on telephone 0409 727888.

Sunday 8 November- Canberra

SUNDAY 8 November 2009 - 2 Sessions
10am to 1pm or 2pm to 5pm .
Venue: Canberra Irish Club, 6 Parkinson Street, Weston - $60 pp
Email to register , confirm you place & for further details—limited spaces must book early!!
Why not capture the moment for all time with this special addition to the workshop. Pin Up Photo Session for only $80 which includes all your pictures on CD. Book your timeslot after workshop when your already looking so fabulous!!:
Contact Miss Kitka Direct to book for your personal photo session by emailing:

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Making Making Making

For the past week I have been quite possessed by the making bug. Maybe it is springtime, maybe it is simply the mood I am in, but I have literally been driven to make anything I can of an artistic, crafty nature. I began by sewing some lovely little childrens dresses with the intention of putting them up for sale at markets with my lovely friend Julie, of Julies Provincial Patch ( Unfortunatly for my selling capacity, my little 18 month old missy has her eye on all three dresses and has been demanding to wear them (she is quite the fashionista already!).....looks like I will be making more in the weeks to come !!!

I then moved my creative expression to artistic canvases, and made up some simply delightful name plates for friends who have recently had babies, as well as my own precious little ones. I was particularly chuffed at the little denim pocket design - perfect for me to 'post' little love notes to my boys ! I was also excited to see a segment on ABC's 'Collectors' show about an artist who collects vintage items and re-creates them into works of art......that's what I am doing with my canvases. Vintage pieces of fabric, buttons, golden book images, font styles, ribbons and trims all form these lovely little contemporary art pieces for children......and I am particularly delighted to see that little boys can have something made especially for them as well - they ofton miss out in the world of home crafted dresses !

Tanya's Chocolate Cake

More to add to my collection of simple but delicious recipes....filling your kitchens with the home cooked goodness of yester year. This one is your standard chocolate cake with a slight spicy twist, and is a terrific recipe for birthday cake bases - decorate as you like! It is also scrumptious when cut in half and filled with jam and cream - as you would do with a sponge - and then iced with chocolate icing......mmmmmm ! Anyone for tea and cake?

2.25 cups SR Flour
2 Cups Sugar
1 Cup Water
.5 Cup Butter
4 Tablespoons Cocoa
.5 Cup Milk
1 Tablespoon vinegar
2 Eggs
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Bicarb Soda
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon

Step 1. Put water, butter and cocoa in a large saucepan and bring to a rolling boil. Step 2. Remove from heat and add flour and sugar and mix well. Step 3. Add vinegar, salt, bicarb soda, cinnamon and eggs to milk. Step 4. Add to saucepan mixture and combine well. Step 5. Cook at 180 degrees Celsius for half an hour to 45mins (depending on your oven) in a greased and lined 10 inch spring tin. Step 6. Remove from oven, let cool, decorate or embellish as you like. Step 7. Invite your friends over and enjoy high tea under the Wisteria vine !

Friday, October 2, 2009

Garden Design - renovation of a 1959 garden

We have been in our little 1959 cement brick 'cottage' for aprox. 3 years now and have done so much work to make it comfortable, to 2009 standards, without comprimising the feel and look of 1959. From the street our home still wears it's 1959 smile, but the severely neglected garden (consisting of a lawn alone !!!) now boasts healthy old fashioned plants like wisteria, rosemary, hibiscus (rose of sharon), catmint, geraniums and agapanthas - all of which are well suited to our extreemly dry, hot medeterranian like climate. I wanted to share the progress visually too, and you can see the conditions we have worked with as we extended the rear of our home and worked a drought tolorant, old fashioned garden into the overall scheme. Our backyard consisted of a very sickly apricot and two peach trees, some hardy nandina, and a small japonica bush. The apricot tree did not survive the 10 year drought (much to my disapointment), but the two peach trees have come back wonderfully and have rewarded us with fantastic crops the past two summers. You can see the fruitian of my garden design for our backyard shown below - I have to say I am more than a little proud, considering we had $0 budget and all the plants were grown from cuttings from friends, the path was constructed from our remnent bricks and all this was done under severe water ristrictions, not to mention two weeks in a row of 45 degrees last summer....I supose it proves that it is possible to have a lovely garden in the face of climatic change, water restrictions and limited finances !! Hurray for places of peace and tranquility !

How ghastly is a house in progress ?!!! These are quite obviously the before and 'in progress' shots !!! You can see all my cuttings growing in pots around the hot water service !! These photographs all show the eastern side of our 1/4 acre block
The rough watercolour sketch I drew for our backyard. The side shown in the photographs is the eastern side with the long, thin, 'snake like' cottage path winding through garden beds to the lawn

And what a beautiful difference two years makes !!! The same view as the earlier photographs (although the house is now screened by foliage). Just a small plug...Eden Design is happy to help you turn your garden into a haven with advice and water colour plans such as these. Feel free to contact me through this site if you wish. My pricelist and service details are listed under the label "Garden Design Service" - sorry for the blatent self promotion there !!! Note the darling little bubby - also a proud and beautiful achievement of the last two years !!!

Egg Flip

This is such an oldie - but a real goodie !! My children adore this delicious drink, infact we never seem to be able to make enough of it to satisfy us all .......a sure sign of a good recipe !

2 eggs
Vanilla essance (I use a small cap full)
2 Cups milk
4 Teaspoons castor sugar
2 Bananas
Break eggs into blender, add vanilla and sugar. Blend intredients until frothy. Add milk and bananas and blend again. Pour into glass and sprinkle with nutmeg to serve.

Flower of the Season - Spring 2009


How very beautiful and dazzlingly old fashioned is the wonderful Wisteria floribuna, W.sinensis! I have loved this beautiful plant ever since I was a child. I would go 'exploring' around my parents farm and happen across this climber growing up a south facing verandah post of 'the old house', delighting me with its subtle fragrance, captivating me with the dainty-ness of its mauve blooms. Although this fabulous old vine was struggling to grow in the neglected 100 year old garden of 'the old house', and on the totally inappropriate, heavily shaded south side, it still managed to muster up quite a dynamic show every year. That is one thing beautifully old fashioned plants are quite renowned for - their hardiness and resilience. To me that is what makes them so desirable in today's 'low maintenance, drought tolerant' gardens. And at this time of year, none display their hardiness more delightfully than the Wisteria !
A native of China ('shorter' length blooms) and Japan ('longer' length blooms), it is a very vigorous, heavy twining climber and has a moderate to fast growth rate. It is idea for covering verandahs or pergolas, but can also be trained as a standard. It is frost hardy to -25 degrees, and does not appreciate the humidity of the tropics, but otherwise will do well almost anywhere in-between. Unlike the climber at 'the old house', full sun is a must for a wisteria, and some shelter will also prolong the floral display in late September/early October. Prune to desired shape, and to also thin out and prevent the vine from becoming too heavy for your chosen support. Then sit back with a seasonal glass of my lemon refresher recipe and enjoy the floral display, amazing colour and the elating fragrance!
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