Friday, 30 December 2011

Oh My, its New Years Eve!

This is where I shall be this end of year going into the next!
It should be Rockin'! What are you doing?

It's been some years since I last made a visit to The Boston Arms.  The last time was for the fabulousness that was The 5, 6, 7, 8's gig way back when.  Now... what to wear....?

Have fun whatever you have planned.
Don't forget to kiss at the stroke of midnight!!

See you all next year!

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

And that was Christmas!

Hi Everyone!  How was your Christmas'?

I was lucky to have four days off this year(I know!!) and am on my last today so thought I'd put up a wee post.  Mine was the usual affair with my mum and little brother staying over at ours(my sisters).  My Auntie, Uncle and Cousin also came down to London and visited us on Christmas Day.  We all went out to dinner on Boxing Day and then had an unplanned dinner together again the day after that!  It was one big family marathon of food and more food plus pressies too.

My Christmas evening in pictures...

Christmas Cheers!

Santa knows we've been good this year :D
There goes Gruffalo in the background.

Ripping up the wrappers.  Present time!

 Mulled wine and Robins

Our Christmas Dinner...  And Pudding!

Table decorations

The Doggies were zonked out with all the festivities.
New Collars on!

My Boxing night dinner at Inamo...

 Playing around with their special interactive self service menu projected onto the tables.
You could also change your table décor.

Mmm, Pandan Macaroon filled with a white chocolate mousse.

A quick snap of my new lipstick from my dear friend tested out at dinner.
Nars limited edition 'Joyous Red'

Joyous Red is a little more of a natural look for me.  I have always wore a redred.  Even when I was in high school I ended up wearing red after starting out on nude tones.  I did dress up for the holidays but have been rather under the weather and still am unfortunately.  That's the problem with a hectic lifestyle.  The minute you take some rest time your body just lets go.  No outfit pics I'm afraid but I can tell you what I wore.   I wore my much loved 50s style royal blue dress with ruffle collars on Christmas Day and my new Mary Dress in dynamite red from Heyday with some Miss L Fire booties on Boxing Day.  I picked this gorgeous dress up on their discounted half size sale which suited me just fine as they don't usually make them smaller.  It was a win-win situation for moi.

We were well and truly (un)stuffed by the end!

Righto!  NYE still to come!

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree

I would like to wish you all a
Wonderful Christmas!

Have a Jolly Good Time
and Be Merry!

Our tree this year with Panda a-top!

Our little-uns were in a secret photo shoot this year. We did not suspect a thing.
We received these Christmas cards through the post from our doggy groomer.
Happy Yappy Christmas from Bella & Dottie too!

I leave you with these lovelies!
What's Christmas without Pin Ups?!

Extra kisses for that festive feeling!

Monday, 12 December 2011

My Claim to Fame?

I have just been informed by Mr Toby that our photograph is currently sitting pretty on the front page of The International Analogue Photographic Society's website.  Well I never!  I made a little squeal when I read that, haha.  It's not a big thing I know but I am rather chuffed as I really do love the image and my outfit in that.

Does this count as being a Cover Girl?

That's all really.  Short and sweet. xxx

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Still Life with Tobias Key

A few weekends ago I had the pleasure of shooting with Tobias Key on his new project for a collection of portraits themed around the vintage scene.  Toby had contacted me via my Model Mayhem profile but I had previously seen his work before and a friend of mine worked with him so I knew I was teaming up with a professional.  He used an amazing vintage model camera, the Toyo 5x4 View and the outcome was beautiful.  It has a wonderful feel to it.  I love the contact sheet Toby sent to me.  The frames are great.

With the nature of the vintage camera I had to stay still whilst the shot was being taken hence the 'Still Life' title.  Not because I am a fruit or that sort ;)

On this shoot I wore my much beloved matching 1940s two piece which I found whilst at The A-Bombers Old Style Weekend in Sweden this summer.  You may have read my post 'A-Bombers16th Old Style Weekend... I miss you already!' about this previously but at the time I didn't want to show you the outfit with it just on a hanger because it just wouldn't do it justice.  It needs a little love with darning and seam recovery but otherwise it fits me like a glove!  The handbag is a vintage find of mine from nearly 8 years ago and it pretty much comes with me to most places.  Where would I be without it?!  For my hair I styled it in a down-turn roll at the front with a single victory roll to the back of that on a side parting.  I pulled the rest of my hair up at the back into a roll for an all over up do.

It was quite nippy on the morning but the mist gave a lovely backdrop to the setting in the woods nearby to my home.  This is my doggy walking trail actually.  On our way over we parked at the playing fields where there was a football game happening.  I must have looked out of place to them, all glammed up in the woods.  I actually nearly got hit by their ball which would not have been a good look!

Toby chose the shot of choice and scanned that in for finishing.  You can see it is much stronger and clearer than that of the contact sheet.

If Toby contacts you for his project I would highly recommend you take up the chance.  For the project itself but also to be shot on this wonderful equipment.  I hope you like the image and my beloved outfit.

Take care until next time, xxx

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Publication Number Two - Oh the Excitement!

Hello lovelies!

The last six months or so has been pretty exciting for me. I seem to be up to a lot and am really getting into the swing of things again. I have a little update on the vintage style book which I shall be making an appearance in due out next year. You may have read a post I wrote at the and of August, Back in Front of the Lens - A shoot with Kate with some photographs we shot for the book. This aforementioned book has just been sent to the printers so it's all going ahead as planned. I have also been told by the author that I am featured as page one in the style section. This is awfully exciting but I am also feeling the pressure a bit! What if people don't like what they see?! OMG.

I cannot wait to see the finished result and to show the book to you all too. Another book launch to attend! The glamour of it all... Hehehe. Now I have something to show the grandchildren, as they say.

Until next time. xx

One of my personal Style Icons - Rita Hayworth
I too love a cropped top!

Friday, 2 December 2011

Come Join Me for a Vintage Tea Party!

A date has been set and we are all go!

Dear Ladies and Gentleman,
Lady of the Parlour and Bloomie presents to you... A Vintage Tea Party!
Saturday 10th December from 2pm onwards.

I shall be hosting along with the lovely Kate our first Vintage Tea Party at The Brown Derby in Oval, London. This will be our first event at this newly opened bar but not our 'very first' venture into events together.  So if you are local or happen to be in the Big Smoke on this particular day then do pop along for some Fun & Frolics, a little Vintage Shopping, Tea & Cake and Music to tap your feet to.

Sip a cocktail at the bar whilst you enjoy the sounds of the 40s, 50s and 60s. You may even want to do a little jive or twist. Who knows where the night will take you?!  We'll be there from 2pm until late into the night.

This is the start of hopefully many more events to be hosted by us gals. We say the more the merrier, so if you would like to join us in setting up a stall then pop me an email. We would love to have you there either at this or a future event!

This is also your chance to come and pick up a copy of The Domestic Burlesque book by Elsa Quarsell and meet the lady herself.

The Brown Derby is handily located just 2mins from Oval Station. Turn right as you leave the station and we are the second bar along.  The Brown Derby, 336 Kennington Park Road, London, United Kingdom.

Join our Facebook event page here.

Look forward to seeing you there! xxx

Sunday, 27 November 2011

An Interview with... Elsa Quarsell

The lovely Elsa took some time out of her busy schedule to have a few exchanges with me...

Tell me a little something about how you got into photography and the type of photography you do?

I started doing photography at school when I was 15. My dad was a photography enthusiast and had all the darkroom equipment so I set it all up at home. I had a very good teacher who encouraged me a lot and took me on as an apprentice after I finished school when I was 18. I won competitions and started exhibiting quite early and got a lot of praise which spurred me on even more. When I first started out I did a lot of reportage style work, then I got into fashion photography which wasn't really encouraged in Art College so there I did a lot of portrait work which is what I do most of now, but it's all quite 'fashiony' I guess... I love it all!

When did you first discover Burlesque?

About 3.5-4 years ago at The Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club, I used to go there a lot.

How did you come to realise you wanted to put such a big project together on this subject and to spend over two years on it?

It started as a little project and it grew bigger and bigger and BIGGER! I wanted to have an exhibition and after doing about 30 shoots here in London I did. People seemed to like the pictures a lot and I thought, wouldn’t it be nice to carry on and to go to a few other cities to shoot and maybe make a book.

Were there at any point during the project did you want to give it up, change it or was it full on all the way?

No it was pretty much full on all the way. I’m pretty determined and if I’ve decided to do something I’ll do it, however much work it takes!

I guess there was no real plan from the beginning, everything just happened as the project grew…like the interviews were all done after by email and I started shooting the detail pictures quite late on in the project. I had to go back to quite a a few peoples houses.

What was the biggest challenge you came up against during the making of The Domestic Burlesque book?

Hm… I guess doing all this whilst being pregnant and finishing it with a baby in my arms!

I did my last shoot just one week before giving birth! But it went pretty well, must have been a pretty funny sight though….shame no one took a picture!

What was involved with publishing your own work? How hard was it?

It’s definitely hard work publishing your own book! Raising the money, doing all the PR, distribution….the list is long. It’s been hard but also a lot of fun and it’s good to be completely in control. I’ve learnt a lot. And I’m very lucky to have such a lovely, helpful husband!

Did you receive any burlesque lessons in exchange?

I got married 1.5 ago and had a burlesque lesson for my hen do with the lovely Miss Violet Crumble. It was a lot of fun!

Did you meet any divas along the way?

You would have thought so after doing 104 shoots but no, I actually didn’t. Everyone was really nice and welcoming. It's been such a fun project to do and I've met so many amazing people

Were you tempted at any point to transform yourself into a burlesque goddess?

I think I was before I started the project but after seeing so many brilliant performances I gave up the idea…better to leave it to the professionals!

Where can we get hold of a copy of The Domestic Burlesque?

On the website, The Domestic Burlesque, and in London you can buy it in Artwords, American Retro, Soho Original Books, The Society Club, Rough Trade East, Bordello London….and more to be added to the list soon.

What is next for Elsa?

Promoting the book! I have a few book events in London before Christmas and I’m off to Stockholm to launch it over there next week. I’ll be in Dallas for Christmas so I'm having a launch there too, then Berlin in January. And I can’t wait to start a new project!

Thank you to Elsa for her project, her book and the interview.  It has been fun! xxx

Here are a few pages from the book... Go buy it!

Here I am!

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

An Unusual Job - Styling for a Video Games promo

It was all very last minute and I had just one evening to pull it together!  Lucky for me my dinner date turned pa for the evening was on hand to run around the shops with me.  So between, borrowing some pieces, buying some and using my own collections I managed to have the wardrobe ready for the shoot the very next morning.

This was over a week ago now and I wasn't able to write about it until after the launch.  The game I speak of is Saints Row.  It's a pretty big game as for someone who doesn't actually play anything other than Professor Layton on the DS I had heard of it.  The new release was Saints Row: The Third published by THQ and the shoot I worked on consisted of a series of events using one of their infamous weapons as a prop.  Bring on The D-Bat!

You might have been mistaken by just looking at the images or if you had stumbled across our shoot by accident that something unsavoury might have been happening.  But I can assure you that it was all very above board and well, rather funny to be honest.  It was hard to keep a straight face!  The concept was "Things you can do around the house with a D-Bat".  The idea of a 50s housewife using The D-Bat gave it a tongue in cheek feel and it was all very innocent!  Why would you not use The D-Bat to stir a cup of tea??

This is a very photo based post as of course you probably want to see for yourself what I got up to and with it being a styling job.  All the pics are ones I took behind the scenes since it was a video promo.

 My doggies also got a shot at fame!
Introducing Bella and Dottie... Ones to watch ;)

Look at Bella go!  Those agility lessons came in handy.

The D-Bat as used on the game

 More of a 'Bad Gal' look

Just hosing the garden... as you do.

Getting those hard to reach spots.

Egg whisking like you've never seen before.

Bathing Beauty

 Where a hammer just isn't good enough...

...whack it with a D-Bat!

A look you would most certainly see me sporting.

A very versatile rolling pin

I'm sure you saw this one coming...

 ...but probably wasn't expecting this.
Don't worry, the toilet plunging shot was the last of the whole shoot.

Doesn't she look glamorous?

What did you think of the outfits?  I have to say that wasn't a bad days work at all.  Quite enjoyable if I should say so myself.  More of this would be great!

I should probably take this chance to plug my styling services really.  I am available for photo shoots, one on one personal styling, projects - long or short term, events, fashion shows.  You name it I can do it.  I am also an experienced hair stylist and am in the process of studying make-up so soon I can do the whole package.  You can email  me here for all enquiries.

I have to say a big thank you to my friend Miss Honey Bare of Heyday Honey for her last minute help too.  There was no way I would have had enough time to do the whole package.  Thank you for your Make-Up and Hair styling skills lady!  Together we really transformed those girls!

Un-tamed hair was kept in their place with this giant tong!

The D-Bats were sent out to various people like Jonathan Ross on the release date of Saints Row: The Third along with the video.  I hope they had as much fun with it as we did on the shoot!  I shall post the video on here at some point for your delectation.

You know the funny thing is, I thought when they told me the prop was a D-Bat it was a bat as in the animal.  Glad I looked it up before the day.  Otherwise I would have had a shock.

Till next time,
Alison xxx