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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

French inspired corset for outerwear....under $20!

So this girl child of mine, who dances and has a love of frivolous fashion beyond the utilitarian fluoro tops and bottoms and galaxy leggings (shudder), has developed a love affair with a store here called Kitten D`Amour.
They specialise in French inspired girly dresses, Rockabilly pretties, vintage style prints and silks and satins to die for in petticoats and underthings.
They also do these corsets. The whole underwear as outerwear idea has come full circle. Gosh be darned if I didn't go out dancing in a few Torsolettes in my time. Well, that's what we called them back then.
But alas, Mum and Dads bank account cannot possibly sustain multiple visits to Kitten D`Amour, so Mum has had to find a workable replacement.
Enter the embellished corset. This little morsel came in plain black with black lace and satin bows and was just $12. It took what felt like 3 years to get here, but in fact we had it in our hands in about 3 weeks.
Some slim wisps of white lace to inject a bit of innocence, some red satin and a smattering of sequins for contrast, with a sweet cameo as centrepiece. and we've turned our corset into something a little more ladylike. The final touch of white ribbon on the front panel to simulate stripes, and satin ribbon for a halter neck effect, turns this into something worthy of a night at the theatre or a concert or two, all of which are on the agenda within weeks or months. The Girl Child (alas she really is a child no more...*sob*) will pair this with a pencil skirt with cute kick pleats, a little sheer shrug, and high heeled Mary Janes, and be the apple of our eye until she catches the eye of some pimply youth, which is, I have to say, inevitable.

This effect was astoundingly simple and inexpensive to achieve and it just goes to show what you can do with a hot glue gun and some stuff from the haberdashery department.
Oh, I am so thrilled to have a girl child after three boys.
Can you tell?

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Lost Age of Glamour...

Capucine...shift, gloves, pearls, ballerina brooch...

Grace Kelly...swathes of silk satin or tulle, pearls, gloves....

Brigitte Bardot...swathes of lace and ribbon, patent leather T-Bar heels, cashmere sweater....
Barbara Feldon who rocked a beret and trench...
Ladies. In our rush to have more, be more, do more....we've forgotten to be glamorous. I love going to Paris and seeing everyone frou-frou-ed up. I love that even the Senior Citizens in Paris match their hair to their suit to their bag to their shoes to their lippy. I love that people dress to walk down the stairs to the Boulangerie...just because it's nice to dress...for self and for onlookers.
One of the most memorable things I saw in Paris, was on a walk from the Louvre to Sacre Coeur on a quiet Sunday afternoon, and it wasn't the Eiffel Tower. A divine young woman floated past us in a full tulle skirt, cashmere sweater a la` Brigitte Bardot, and patent ballet flats, tote over shoulder, and immaculately groomed in that way that only the French have mastered. That glowing, healthy, 'glad to be alive', fresh faced, shiny haired thing they have going on is enviable. How DO they do it?
Well. They care. Day in, day out. They care.
We Aussies get a bit lacksadaisical sometimes. A tan and a shimmery lip gloss only goes so far. When one reaches my age, a tan and a shimmery lip gloss may be okay for Noosa, but not for HERE.
I'm going glam this year. I deserve it. And I want my daughter to see that being ....cough...old, doesn't have to mean trackie dacks and Bonds hoodie or 3/4 pants and Millers t-shirts *shudder*....

I'm making this dress. I like it. It's a bit Audrey Hepburn. I'm still deciding on the fabric. Any suggestions?
I'll wear it with a flower in my hair, pearls at my earlobes, and bling on my wrists.
Patent ballet flats and vintage bag, obligatory my dear.
I might even show you a photo ;-)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Sparkling Faux Beret Fascinator Headpiece...

I tell you, making dance costumes is challenging sometimes. I help out with my fourteen year old daughters school troupe costumes and of course, it's nothing like Studio costuming where everyone knows it's going to cost a bomb and takes out a second mortgage on the house to finance it.
Everyone wants something that looks a million dollars for under $50 in school dance troupe. Seriously. And it's certainly the case with accessories for dance costumes, that we usually have to make do with very few of those fifty dollars.
All the big money is thrown at the actual leotard bits, and headpieces are left to be put together by someone clever like me, who has a bit of imagination. I must admit I do love the challenge.
So after a day of research and a brief that said 'French, Cancan, Parisian, Cute, Blingey, Feathery Beret', I came up with this idea. My fabulous and clever blogging friend Flora Fascinata, will be about fainting dead away at this point for she makes far more gorgeous things for people who have more than a dollar to spend. Sorry Flora, Sweetness.
This little fascinator would get anyone through a costume party, dance recital or other occasion where a bit of fluff and nonsense on ones head is considered de rigeur. For any more serious event, I suggest visiting Flora.
So all you need for this is:
Some glittering Eva Foam or poster board coated with spray glitter, craft glitter or that really special German Glitter if you want to go all out.
A CD to use as a template.
A hot glue gun.
A tiny bit of ribbon for the centre.
Three ostrich plumes. Now I had an ostrich plume centrepiece for my Christmas table so I was fortunate to have some lovely plumes on hand. However I wasn't about to use them all on my one dollar fascinator, and my research suggested that three or more plumes were necessary to give my fascinator a bit of oomph. Well that wasn't happening from my centrepiece as my lovely plumes were more pricey than that thanks!
So I used just one from my centrepiece, and bulked it out with...shhhhh... two plumes pilfered from my feather duster....hahahahaha! They were just the right size and length, and added a bit of light and shade to the plumage on my 'beret'.
I simply used the CD as a template to cut out my beret shape, flipped it over and hot glued the plumes and a hairclip to the underside, and then glued my scrap of ribbon in place to give it a little 'French Beret' look.
Here it is modelled by my daughters antique bed doll, Evangeline. Evangeline is not life sized though, so this will look smaller and cuter on the humans for which it is intended.
And there it is. A glittering French beret inspired CanCan fascinator headpiece. Don't tell me it can't be done for under a dollar!
Feathers for my centrepiece sourced on sale from Feathers in Australia.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Glamour Girl Party...

This lovely lady was the inspiration for my daughters recent 14th birthday party. She thinks it looks just like her. Blessedly, she is mistaken. Perhaps in 10 years Sweetheart.
Nonetheless, Glamour was the name of the game, and a glamorous cake was in order.
An Ombre effect was requested and whilst it ended up being more Gelati Rainbow, it was declared a success.
Colour palette chosen...
...buttercream whipped till fluffy...
...and rotating turntable employed to deliver the finished cake, with topper of a Pin Up Girl in a vintage teacup....
Add some plastic champagne flutes with rose coloured jelly beans, a vintage inspired cupcake and a pretty decoration hinting at a pinup girls swimsuit, and party favours were taken care of.
Finally, some special awards for the birthday girls special friends, designed and executed by the girl herself....complete with blush pink glittered clothes pegs....she's so sweet...
...I guess my baby isn't a baby any more...
Much love...

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Rose silhouette present topper....

This is an idea I was playing around with at Christmas. You might remember that post where I had topped gifts with simple shapes cut from glittering Evafoam.
Since then, I've toyed with a few other shapes and ideas, and this one is a firm favourite.
It's a rose silhouette, and each one I've done has been slightly different. Some people 'see' the rose straight away, and others have to squint, but it's there...ha!
If I can remember to photograph them, I'll add more rose silhouettes as time goes by.
I also did this lightning bolt for my nephew which he thought was pretty darned cool...er...wicked...er...sick....I don't know what the terminology is these days. But he liked it anyway.
Basically all you need to create these, is a piece of card or this glittering Evafoam stuff that's now available at the $2 stores, a Stanley knife, and a bit of imagination. If you're stuck, just Google 'silhouette' and the shape you're after, and you'll find lots of food for thought.
Remember too, to put two little buttonhole type slits in the centre of your silhouette, through which to thread your tie. Thin ribbon, yarn, kitchen string or butchers/carpenters twine seems to work best as the garland, as does the plain background of butchers paper, brown paper or any other plain coloured wrap. I love this effect and it has real WOW factor when placed amongst a bunch of other gaudily wrapped gifts.
I would have done a heart shaped one for Valentines Day to share with you, but I left the sheet of red Evafoam on the countertop at the aforementioned $2 store, and a black heart just didn't seem right to me.
I'm now experimenting with a Chanel inspired interlocking black 'C's topper, a reindeer, a teddy bear and a few other little ideas.
So stay tuned.
One sheet of Evafoam costs just $2, and will yield dozens of Present Toppers so it's a fun craft, and really gives your gifts that sense of anticipation that comes with a classily wrapped package.
And it goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway as all good Mums would, PLEASE exercise caution when working with Stanley knifes or craft knives. Those little beggars are sharp!
Much love...

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Hand dyed muslin roses...

Hand dye a length of muslin by using half as much dye as recommended on the packet (or even less for a baby pastel shade) in a bucket of hot tap water.
Immerse the muslin for just 20 seconds, remove, and drip dry.
Cut into 1 metre lengths.
Fold strips in half lengthwise.
Roll your rose as per these instructions.
Secure with glue or a couple of stitches.

Use as a hair ornament, wrist corsage, brooch or gift embellishment.


Be sure to check me and all the other lovely bloggers out at Brambleberry Cottages Linky Party...


...more dreamy ideas there!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Tell thyself...Thee art Fabulous!

If you don't say it, no-one else will.
A bit o' French Script-ish writing on a hallway mirror to remind daughter (and sometimes, self), that she is fabulous.
Every single day.
No matter what.
A quick peek in the mirror on the way out the door in the morn, is greeted with the message....
Beautiful, my Darling!
Treat yourself to a sweet message on your mirror, and walk out the door each day with a spring in your step and a smile on your face.