Sunday, February 21, 2010

The blonde deed is done.......

Me at a friends wedding in December......

Me as of Saturday !!

An enormous thankyou to everyone who encouraged me to go blonde for the first time ever....and an especially big thankyou to my dear friends Brookie and Rees for their help and enthusiasm in turning me into a 50's bombshell ( that was the aim anyhow !!) I love my new do to are the first blows my mind that that is me in the photos !!!!

All photos thanks to the ever lovely Brookie - check out her website!!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Living Dolls - Miss February 2010

Meet our beautiful Miss February - Mimi Kersting ........

What does 'vintage' mean to you?

Anything before 1968. I get irritated when I see things from the 80's advertised as "vintage". To me, vintage stands for quality, which is something that seemed to not matter much after 1968!

What was it that first prompted your interest in vintage culture?

I would say my interest in rockabilly music, but really it goes back further than that. The way my depression-era grandparents lived was a big influence on me - they were very old-fashioned. They had their original curtains and furniture from the 1940s and 1950s, and saved every dime. Even as a child, I noticed how the older things were of better quality/design than what was new (this was the 1970s, so you can imagine!). And they played music from those eras too - anything new was seen as unacceptable.

What is your favourite era, and do you 'live it' every day? In what ways?

I like the late 1940s -early 50s the best - the fashion was the best! I suppose you could say I live it every day, because even when I try to dress "modern", people tell me I look like I'm from that time period. It never fails to surprise me...

Tell us about your favourite item of vintage clothing, kitchenalia, music, furniture or whatever !

That would be my vintage confession magazine collection! You know - Torrid Confessions, My Secret, True Romance... right now it resides in my parent's house in Buffalo, NY, and I miss it so much. (shipping it to Australia would be outrageously expensive). I used to live in New Orleans, and after I left, the collection was stored at a friend's house. Hurricane Katrina came along, and about 1/2 of it was wiped out. This was heartbreaking, as I had the largest collection in the U.S.! Confession mags had it all - the fashion, the J.D. stories, the ads!!!

Can you share with us why vintage culture continues to hold such appeal for you?

It really comes down to quality and aesthetics. Everything was so well made back then, and of quality materials. And the aesthetics couldn't be beat! The cars, the clothes, the houses, it is really superior designwise to what we have to put up with today.

Do you have any tips for anyone starting out in the vintage scene?

Don't be a "moldy oldie" - what this means is, don't be such a diehard that everything in your whole life has to be "vintage". There are SOME good things out there today, not everything is garbage. I find people who absolutely obsess over vintage to be a little cloying...and irritating. Life is too short to be so narrow-minded and two-dimensional.

Now is your chance to provide us with an overview of who you are and what you do......

I'm a medical & scientific illustrator by day, and run a few little businesses at night (medical freelance illustration (Medica Graphics) and my vintage repro apron company ( I also do paintings inspired by the 30s, 40s and 50s as well - I'm having a show in Brisbane next year if it kills me! I'm a total rockabilly nut, but love bubblegum pop music from ANY era. I'm also a big fan of 60s garage music.

Finally, what or who inspires you and why?

Joan Crawford and Barbara Stanwyck for being beautiful and tough, The Cramps for appreciating creepy old 50s/60s music like I do, and Gil Elvgren for being the 1950s equivalent of John Singer Sargent, and Erskine Caldwell (mid-century author) for all of the backwoods shanty tramp stories.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Valentines Day - the time for romance !

There is alot of debate in my household regarding the value of Valentines Day. Seen in the light of modern materialism, it is easy to wipe it off as just another excuse for consumers to be co-ersed into spending more money. However, I think Valentines Day is a wonderful point (or should be) in the year. Some people need that reminder to treasure their partners, to value and love someone other than themselves ! Besides, Valentines Day does not have to be materialistic, because that is not the point of the day at all. This Valentines Day, why not avoid the materialistic teddy bears and gimmicks, but be creative in the demonstration of your love and affection?.....Do something wonderful for your partner - write them a song or a poem, make them a home made music video, treat them to a surprise picinic at a special destination, run them a bubble bath with all the trimmings, a massage, a bunch of fresh picked wild flowers with a hand written note, make your partner a "King' or 'Queen' for a day and spoil them rotten,  take them on an 'mystery date night' (make it different and fun!).....the bottom line is, just demonstrate your love in a way that you wouldnt usually do. Tell your partner how much you love them ! To quote the movie "A room with a view" we find love so ofton that we should turn it off the box when it appears? Meaning, there can never ever be enough love in our lives ! I want to put more love into mine ! What are you going to do for the one you love this Valentines Day?

The history of St Valentines Day
(from Wikipedia)

The holiday is named after one or more early Christian martyrs named Valentine and was established by Pope Gelasius I in 496 AD. It is traditionally a day on which lovers express their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as "valentines"). The holiday first became associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Quote of the month - February 2010

"I have my own rules and adhere to them. The rule is simple but inflexible. A James Stewart picture must have two vital ingredients: it will be clean and it will involve the triumph of the underdog over the bully. "

Now that's a man I can admire !!! No wonder I love every Jimmy Stewart picture I have seen !
 (Pictured above with Donna Reed)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

How DID vintage momma's do it?????

My Dad driving the car and his little brother enjoying the ride !!

Yes, we mothers are breathing a united sigh of relief right across Australia as our children get back into the routine of school, kinda or playgroup after the summer break. My summer has been divided between various trips to lakes, rivers and swimming pools and retreating under the airconditioner while the kids did nothing much more than watch TV, grizzle and quarrel. Many a time I asked myself  "How on earth did my for-mothers do it"? After all, they raised their children without the help of airconditioning and television, baked their own bread in 45 degree heat on the old wood stove, hand washed everything and had children galore underfoot the entire time - how on earth did they keep their sanity?

Esther Edis, my great great grandmother and mother of 16 children, all of whom survived into adulthood - no mean feat for that day and age !! But doesnt her worn out face say it all !!!

Whenever I am overwhlemed with the care of my three little treasures (all under the age of four) I remind myself of my great great grandmother who had 16 (!) children.....the majority of her adult life was spent pregnant, every two years another child was on the way just as the last one was weaned. This amazing woman lived in a time of hard manual labour, caring for 16 children and a husband while pregnant or with a newborn for most of her life.....I am truely humbled when I think of her.

Happy snaps - my mother, her sisters and brother as little children - notice the kitten in my mothers arms, one of her favorite childhood passtime memories !

So, as I have pondered these things over the summer, I have asked my mother and aunt how they remembered filling in their childhood days without television and airconditioning, and without a mother free to take them to the lake for a swim....both spoke fondly of beautiful childhood memories such as playing with kittens, climbing the apricot tree, making 'farms' in the dirt and dust of the Dad remembers having pretend livestock sales with his brother, riding horses and playing with cap guns and tin soldiers......isnt that beautiful, pure and delightful? I myself remember my weekends and holidays being filled with building cubby houses in the bush, pretend fishing in the channel, and sending my Barbie Dolls 'swimming' down the fast flowing but reasonably shallow irrigation channel. I wonder what memories my own children will have of their holidays some day? Hopefully more than just watching television!!

 I would love to hear your memories, especially if you grew up without xbox games, TV and airconditioning too !!!
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