Thursday, March 29, 2012

Quote of the month - March 2012

“If you have made mistakes, even serious ones, there is always another chance for you. What we call failure is not the falling down but the staying down.”

Mary Pickford

What a totally inspiring and intellegent woman !!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

I love surprises ! A gift and a makeover....

Can you imagine how delightful it was for me to receive a surprise parcel in the mail recently? Dont you just adore those little packages that arrive so unexpectedly? It is those little highlights that add magic to ordinary days........ and when I opened up my little package, there was an entire makeup set courtesy of my dear darling friend Chrissy Keepence from the Lindy Charm School for Girls!

Now, I dont claim to be any expert in powder and paint, infact, I am usually the one begging my friends for their make up secrets and hints, but last Sunday I opened all my new little Lindy Charm goodies and gave them a whirl. Before I tell you just what I thought of my new blush, eyeliner, lipstick (red of course), lip pencil and eyebrow pencil, let me give you a small bit of background about my cosmetic knowledge.....

I didnt start wearing makeup till I left highschool and even then, not really very much till I began my working life at age 20. It wasnt that I didnt adore make up and what it could do to enhance the features God gave me, it was just that, well, it never seemed that important save for all the plays and musicals I participated in. That's perhaps a bit sad isnt it? After all, every young girl loves to play with makeup, and I most certainly did play and experiment, but in the country, 4 hours from Melbourne, there just wernt that many places to wear make up too......

When I began my working life and started wearing makeup every day, I quickly fell into a routine of 60's glam style - you know...winged eyeliner, defined brows, and as I have very thin lips, I tended to play them down with subdued shades of lippy. I guess I just gravitated to what looked beautiful to me in all my favourite movies and images - 50's and 60's styles of course !!! Never one to follow fashion trends and always far more inclined to dance to my own drum......

I have kept pretty much the same look ever since - alternating between red 50's lips, light eyeshadow and winged eyeliner sometimes, and 60's natural lippy with heavy coal coloured eyeshadow and eyeliner. It has been alot of fun, just as make up and dressing should be.

In the early 90's when I was 'getting my groovy on' with make up, I really really struggled to find a liquid eyeliner that would last all day and not crumble off, sometimes I found it very hard to locate a liquid eyeliner at all, as it was not really the norm to wear it at the time - everyone seemed to have that 'shimmery face' look (a look I just cant stand - give me Dita porcelain smoothness every time.) I must confess that I have never really found the perfect liquid eyeliner, although generally speaking, you do get what you pay for. And pre 'Poppy' lipsticks, it was nigh on impossible to find a mat lipstick in golden age of Hollywood red.

Skip ahead to last Sunday as I experimented once again with new make lippy went on mat and PERFECT in the absolute darlingest shade of red (no Ita Butrose orange to be seen !!!).

My lip pencil complimenting it with precision that did not 'bleed' into the little creases around my lips (yes, age is creeping in!!)

My eyebrow pencil spot on the right natural looking colour.

My blush the rosiest of glows that perfectly suits my pale skin (that is something else I have always found difficult to get just right!).

And the piece da resistance, my wonderful WONDERFUL new liquid eyeliner!! It lasted all day looking as flash and daring at 10pm as it did at 10am.

(Below - the makeover begins)

I am in love !! Did you hear me readers? I AM IN LOVE with my new make up!!!! Please believe me when I tell you that I am NOT just saying this because I know the Lindy Charm gals....this make up has been perfectly orchestrated to suit those of us who want a golden age of Hollywood face. If you like that shimmery face effect, head on down to Priceline, but if mat finish, last all day, perfect iconic colours is what you chase. If Dita, Marilyn, Rita, or Elizabeth is what you are after then these are the goodies for you !!! Miss Chrissy, you have a devote for life in more searching for non-crumbly eyeliner, or the perfect rose pink blush, or chasing that hard to find matt red lippy for me.

A million thankyou's to Miss Chrissy and the Lindy Charm Girls !!!

(First and final photographs in the article provided courtesy of Brooke Orchard Photography)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Living Doll - Miss March 2012

How can I begin to tell you how awesome this chick is???? Miss March is the ever captivating Becky Argent, and I am thinking I need to write up one of her sayings from this interview and pin it over my walk in wardrobe...."If I cant go vintage I go retro"'re gonna love this gal !!!

What does 'vintage' mean to you?

Besides that I’ll probably love it.

Vintage means playing dress ups everyday!

I often wonder what the person that owned the particular item was like.was it a favourite dress that always made them feel happy when they wore it? Was it a gift from a charming gent? Was it a treasured item during the depression or war years? Occasionally I am very lucky to be given a special item that belonged to an aunt or grandmother of a friend – I guess folks like to think that someone appreciates it and it will have a great home. Im starting to collect the stories that come along the 1940s coffee cups stolen from and unnamed Grandmothers place of work (circa 1946)or the mink coat that shall be forever known as Aunty Sandra. It would have been nice to meet the original Aunty Sandra. I feel like a have a responsibility to look after these gifts so that some will enjoy them when Im no longer around

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

Probably my Grandmother Hettie. As a pre-schooler we spent many hours playing dress ups in her jewellery box.

My lovely Mummy Goldie held onto her favourite dresses from the 50s & 60s. As a kid I always looked forward to being grown up enough to wear (or perhaps “fill out”)those dresses.I think I was 11 the first time I got to wear her first Big Girl dressthat she purchased on a family holiday (when she was 14).

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

Im not a purest- I wish I had that sort of dedication & time!However, I do believe in re-using and recycling where-ever and when ever possible. I buy very few items brand spankin new.about the only things that havent been previously loved would be the majority my shoes (its so hard to find vintage shoes that fit), and my underpants! P.S.- thank goodness manufacturers have come to their senses and are producing big nanna pants again! There is something to be said for substantial coverage!

It’s not just about the clothes; cars, linen, knick-knacks, furniture…the works!

If I cant go vintage I go retro.

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


I have so many great items.its hard to pick just here are some of my favourites

A black lace boned strapless Catalina 1950s bathing suit- just too fabulous to get wet!

A dress my Mum, made for her teenage self in the late 1950s- its a white cotton strapless number, with a full skirt that has hand painted baskets of fruit around the heam- truly an original.

A 1930s black watered taffeta gown with a plunging back and a train- its pure glamour

And last but not least a late 1920s silk chiffon and diamante dress I discovered balled up in a corner of a second hand shop, which has been pain-stakingly returned to its former glory.

I also have an obsession with all things Lucite and Bakelite – particularly purses, jewellery and egg beaters

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

Where do I start! Uniqueness, fit, design, quality, style, history, the fact that its still wearable or working.

I think the fact that until fairly recently in history people respected what they had, it wasnt such a throw away society which lead to a certainly level of frugalness and creativity. Things were made to & treated to last. Its something that I really respect- they way, particularly woman in the home, were so inventive (unfortunately mostly through necessity & circumstances beyond their control) in their attempts to be fashionable and feel good about themselves- I think youd agree when you feel like you look good then you feel much happier on the inside  – I mean can you imagine making your own mascara out of soot & Vaseline and curling your eyelashes with a tea spoon or making a faux-straw hat out of tightly rolled up newspapers?!

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

·     Just have/wear/drive/appreciate what it is that YOU love, and love it for what it is.dents, scratches, moth holes, repairs n all.

·     However, just cos something was produced in 1959 does not necessarily make it great- it’s ok to be a little picky.

·     Dont take it all too seriously (its not a competitive sport you know – its meant to be fun).

·     Dont be afraid to mix up your decades (but, obviously not in the same outfit!)

·     Who says you cant be all vintage all the time!

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

Becky Argent- Research Scientist/Glamour Girl….not always in even proportions.

Finally, what or who inspires you and why?

 Can you have too much inspiration! Inspiration is everywhere… It’s overwhelming at times…

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Candice De Ville Glamour and Style Sessions

For all Australian based would be vintage diva's, here is the perfect opportunity to develop the glamorous goddess within........ delve into you inner style mistress here..........

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The best ice cream EVER!

The poppets and I have been on a bit of a kitchen jaunt recently - we have been making all sorts of goodies, and its a great way to spend the idle hours of a weekend or evening together. But by far, the most outstanding item we have made in ages, is this incredible ice cream....seriously, I cannot impress upon you enough just how fantastic this tastes......the verdict is unanimous in our household of 4 ice cream lovers, this recipe is far better than any bought or store made ice cream you will try. Dont believe me? Well, you are just going to have to try it for yourself !!!!

 Best Ice Cream Ever

1.5 cups full cream milk
1.5 cups thickened cream
6 egg yolks
2/3 cup caster sugar
300g dark chocolate

Bring milk almost to boiling point on medium heat.
Remove from heat and add chocolate.
Set aside to melt 5 mins, then whisk until smooth.

Whisk egg yolks in a large bowl with sugar until very thick and pale

Gradually pour in chocolate milk whisking constantly to combine

Return to saucepan and cook on medium heat 5 mins stirring occasionally.
Do not boil.
Cool to room temperature.

In seperate bowl beat cream until firm peaks form and stir into chocolate custard mixture.

We dont posess an ice cream maker, so we poured mixture into a freezer proof pan and popped into the freezer until it began to set (about 2 hours).

Remove from freezer and pour/scrape mixture into an electric beater.
Beat until well and truly 'fluffy'. then re-freeze overnight (6 hours).

Serve alone or with fruit, chocolate or anything else your sweet tooth desires !!

This can be made minus the chocolate and replaced with berries, banana, mint...basically anything that would make scrumpteous ice cream !!!

(Hmmm - that strawberry needs a little love - they were the only two the poppets had left me !!)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Valentines Day - All you needs is love

Darling friends, I know, I know, Valentines Day has been and gone.....contrary to all appearances, I am not caught in some kind of time machine....... blunt truth of it is, I have been just too busy to have posted this on the day itself, or even around the time.....and it's not even still February.......but let me tell you what I did on Valentines Day just the same.....

On Valentines Day this year, as I am deviod of any type of personal love interest of my own, I decided within myself that Valentines Day is simply NOT just for lovers. Look at the world and tell me that it does not require lashings of love spread around everywhere, to all people, every day of the year! So, I decided that I would invite my adorable next door neighbours, Max and Denise, over for a Valentines day afternoon tea - to tell them how much I appreciate and love having them for my neighbours, and to also show my 3 little bundles of energy that it is vital to show care and love to those around us. I did attempt to also teach them the value of table manners and having a dignified afternoon tea, but I think that was expecting just a little too much !!!!

We started by baking a lovely heart shaped chocolate sponge (recipe below), filling it with cream and jam, icing it with choccy icing and crumbled up cherry ripe. It may never have graced the TV program Choccy Woccy Do Dah, but it sure looked good to us none the less ! We got out the 'good china' (which should be used all the time !!!), table cloth and a vase of red geraniums from the pots outside the window, and made a pot of tea....then, when everyone arrived we sat down and devoured it all....It was busy. It was hectic. It was yummy. It was a celebration.

The more I work in the placemaking field, the more I believe that it is celebration that gives life it's zing and magic. We need to make time, make room, make the effort to celebrate - people, moments, good times and honour even the bad times being over. It is celebration that will colour our life with memories to be treasured, that will fill our lives with people who are special. It doesnt matter that Valentines Day is over commercialised, celebrate it and use it as a vehicle to create something special in your life - a memory, a moment, the treasuring of people you love - we can never have too much of such things in our lives.

Chocolate Sponge Cake

4 eggs seperated
3/4 cup cornflour
1 tsp cream of tartar
3/4 cup castor sugar
1 tbsp custard powder
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
3 tbsp cocoa powder

Beat egg whites with a dash of salt.
Add sugar slowly as you go.
Add egg yolks one at a time.
Sift dry ingredients then fold in with a wooden spoon.
Bake in moderate oven (180degrees) for 20-25 minutes.
Decorate and fill as desired.
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