Friday, 29 April 2011

McQueen? More like McClintock. A Royal McLetdown.

I'm such a critic, my dears. It's just my little way. I call it like I see it, no matter who I'm tearing apart. Today is no exception.

I've yet to read anything other than blatent pandering, bottom kissing, or rose coloured opinions of Kate Middleton's McQueen bridal gown. Personally, I was sorely UNDERwhelmed.

It looked like she walked out of a 1980's wedding catalog from Sears...or JC Penney. Plus, the train was so short that at one point, while she was going up the steps into Westminster Abbey, I was sure that we were going to get a flash from little sis holding the inadequate caboose too high!

All in all, the dress just brought to mind visions of the 80' least for me.

Of course there are the comparisons to utterly lovely and positively regal, Grace Kelly, in her 1956 Helen Rose bridal ensemble. There is no comparison, I'm afraid. While Kate DOES look lovely, she didn't look royal. Even with the slight similarities in the dresses, the Helen Rose frock just ooooooozes 'couture', while the McQueen dress is quite pretty, but nothing special.

I don't know, my loves. Perhaps it's just me, but I was really expecting more. Not more dress...I mean, I knew it would likely be quite's just that I didn't get that "Oh my goodness how GORGEOUS!" feeling when she stepped out of the car. Instead, it was more like, "Oh, doesn't she look pretty". Which in a common every day wedding would be fine, but in this case I felt a bit let down.

On a MUCH brighter note, the Queen looked stunning in yellow! She was like a beautiful ray of sunshine. Especially with the pleats around the neckline of her perfectly tailored dress.

The biggest faux pas of the day (while generally attributed to Samantha Cameron for her lack of the requested headgear)... my opinion should go to Princess Beatrice for wearing that ridiculous bow on her head.

A lovely girl, but that lid is an absolute embarassment!

As for my early morning tea rags, my mate Jimmy and I forgot to take pictures! Not only that, but I didn't even get a photo of the lovely tea setup before we dug in! However, so as not to leave you too disappointed, I DID get a cute as a button photo of Patches the bear (who my mom and I have dressed for every season for years)greeting his guests on the landing in his finest royal wedding drag!

Patches is wearing:
Tiara-mine, from pageant when I was itty bitty
Veil-vintage 1970's curtain panel
Dress-old Austin Powers era (late '90s) Halloween costume
Bouquet-Vintage 1980s, caught by little ole me at my "big sister's" wedding...

....She was prettier than ANY princess, don't ya think?!

Little Peggy March- I Wish I Were a Princess

Golly, it's early! Getting ready for the festivities! Pics to follow later today!!

Monday, 25 April 2011

Baby You Can Drive My Car...

I love old cars. I always have. My dad is the reason, really, as he always had vintage car magazines lying around that I'd get my mitts on as a kid and read front to back!
Needless to say, my dad knows a lot about old cars. He's one of those guys who can't sit through an old film...or an episode of Andy Griffith or Leave It To Beaver...without telling you the make and model of every car that comes on screen and relating a story about said auto. He's like an encyclopedia of vintage cars. So I was really proud when a conversation the other night provided me the rare opportunity to stump my father.
While sitting and discussing those oldies but goodies, I mentioned that my dream car as a little girl had been the Dodge La Femme. "I don't recall that. The Dodge what?", says my dad.
Oh my goodness, I've finally outmastered the master!!
So, I thought, "What a lovely idea for a post!"

The La Femme was only made for two years, 1955 and 1956. And she was a beauty! Made specifically for 'Her Majesty, The American Woman', the La Femme was a frothy pink stunner!

The Dodge Corporation hoped to cash in on the new wealth that was the aftermath of the Second World and Korean Wars. Families could now afford to buy a second car for mother and Dodge would give her the most fittingly feminine car that ever was...or ever will be.

Not only did the La Femme look the part on the outside (the 1955 being available in a pink and white combo called 'Heather Rose and Sapphire White' and the 1956 model available in two tones of pink called 'Regal Orchid and Misty Orchid') it also came with accessories and features specifically to suit a feminine driver.
Some of these features were a girly floral interior, matching purse and contents, raincoat, rainhat (a fisherman cap in '55 and a baseball type cap in '56) and umbrella, with slots behind the front seats for storing them.

Unfortunately, for those of us who would love to own one of these little cupcakes, they were discontinued after only 2 years and less than 2500 were made. Not only are they rare, but the accessories that made the car what it was are even rarer. Perhaps one day I'll own one, but it'll likely be so far down the road that my blue hair will be all that shows above the chintz of the front driver's seat!

My dad's currently working on finishing up a 1924 Model T that he and a friend are restoring. I'll try to get some pics of it from him and post them soon!
I've also informed him that, while I think the Model T is quite lovely, it's the next car in line for restoration that I'm interested in...his 1950 Ford coupe. Once the Model T is done, his time can be spent on this beauty....

The '50 in '66....

And today, waiting it's turn to be made gorgeous again....

I can't wait!!

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Easter Bunny After Dark....

What would the Easter Bunny be watching, martini in hand, after a hard 24 hours work delivering Cadbury Cream Eggs, jelly beans, chocolate bunnies, and Peeps???? Why Playboy After Dark, of course!! Sit back and enjoy the groovy chunes...and the even groovier 'bunnies'.....

Happy Easter, My Dears!!!!

A Happy Easter, from Fred, Sarah, Billy, and the 'Squares'....

Friday, 22 April 2011

Easter Dinner: 1962

Another snippet from a 1962 entertaining magazine. The recipes sound quite nice, but the bunny...ooohhh the creepy bunny.....

I'm not sure who thought it would be a good idea to make a centerpiece out of a disembodied Peter Cottontail head.....especially one made from a balloon. Weird? Yes. Would my grandmother have made one of these for my dad and uncle for Easter? Absolutely. *shivers*
Remember kids, there is a fine line between 'kitsch' and 'creepy'....

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

How To Get Drunk, 1962

This lovely little how to is from a vintage home entertaining magazine from 1962. It'll put you in the know, make you look like a pro....and get your guests gassed. Now I ask you, what could be better?

....Your friends at Dollybirdvintage remind you to please drink responsibly. And if you can't drink responsibly, at least bring along a boring friend who can pick you up off the cobblestones and shove you into a black cab.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Sprucing Up For Spring-1959

Howdy doodles, chipmunks!
I found this cute little pre-Martha Stewart article in the Spring 1959 edition of Your Home magazine and I just had to share it. Regardless of it's age, it's a darn good guide to what needs the most attention in order to ready your home for warmer weather...and of course, the photos are absolutely smashing!!!

Sunday, 10 April 2011

What's Goin On: 11-17 April, 2011

The week in London so far...

13 April:

Boom Shaka Lacka
Barrio Central (Basement Bar)
6 Poland Street
London, United Kingdom
Free entry

16 April:

The Vintage Kilo Sale - London
The Rag Factory
16-18 Heneage Street
E1 5LJ
Touring the UK, the Vintage Kilo offers shoppers the chance to mix and match items from the 60s - 80s and pay for them per kilo. No matter whether it's dresses and a pair of jeans, retro tees, jackets or skirts, 1kg is £15. Result.
No matter whether you're buying a bulk-job or individual pieces, we want you to get the most for your money and so our traders will always scope out your bags and make sure you're getting the best for you and your pocket.
Additionally, expect a wonderful selection of one-off garments from 50s and before. Starting from a mere £20, pick up a real piece of the past that's easy on the pocket!
A mere £1 entry

Heroes Bar
147 Kentish Town Road
Helter Skelter is a night for people who wish they lived through the sixties, with the added benefit of all the great music that has since been inspired by that same era. Expect to hear classics, rarities and songs by your new favourite band.
DJ(s): GEORGE WHEELS (Bedrock/This Feeling), LEONIE (Helter Skelter), plus special guests playing the best Psychedelic, 60's Garage, Rock N Roll, and Soul!
Free entry

Volupte Lounge
7-9 Norwich Street
Rare Sounds Played On Original 78s
Hot Jazz, Swing, Jump, Swingin' RB, Western Swing, Latin, Gospel, Gypsy Jazz...
Live Music on mid night by "DIXIE TICKLERS"
Shellac Spinners EL NINO & LADY KAMIKAZE
Plus Special Guest SWING MANIAC (Mouthful O' Jam)
£10 All Night

17 April:

Primrose Hill Vintage Fashion Fair
Cecil Sharp House
2 Regents Park Road, Camden
Vintage clothing, hats, handbags, gloves, shoes, jewellery and textiles from 1800’s – 1980’s will be on show. Spend a leisurely Sunday browsing and buying from the many stalls at our exclusive venue in Primrose Hill.
You will be able to find very wearable vintage pieces at affordable prices and also designer labels if you are looking for something extra special.
There is a selection of delicious home made food and refreshments at very reasonable prices.
£3 on the door

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Bedknobs & Broomsticks - Portobello Road

Golly, how I miss my Saturday afternoons in Portobello Market!....and more importantly, my weekly box of Hummingbird cuppycakes!! I'll be moving back to London soon though, I hope!

Friday, 8 April 2011

I Wish I Were A Princess.....

I don't know if I've mentioned it to you chickens before, but I collect dollhouses and dollhouse furniture. Yes, I'm a 7 year old in an adult's body. As with many other of my peculiarities, I blame this one on my grandmother. She started this obsession. I had no choice in the matter. But I couldn't be happier with the outcome.

You see, my grandmother collected dolls all her life. In fact, the entire second floor of her house was filled with them. But around the late '60s, she began branching out in a new direction as well. Dollhouses. Years later, upon my birth, she had three of them made for me. That's right, kids. Three.

Thus began my own love of dollhouses and minis. Thirteen (Yup. One, Three) dollhouses and hundreds of pieces of furniture later, I'm still at it!

Today I thought I'd share my favourite pieces of my dollhouse furniture collection with you. My Ideal Petite Princess/Princess Patti Fantasy Furniture from the mid '60s.

Ideal began first began making these furniture sets in 1964. I don't know what you would call the style really. It's a weird mixture of mid sixties glam, modern, art deco, and French Neo Classical. It's become my ideal (pun intended) and I've always just refered to it as 'Petite Princess' style.
From the original 1964 brochure: "You will find soft, plush chairs and sofas, gilt-edged mirrors, dressers and cabinets with drawers and doors that really open and close. Everything you can dream of."

The original Petite Princess line up was sold in 30 'sets' with each set containing either one or several pieces that were meant to decorate 4 different cardboard 'fantasy' rooms: bedroom, music room, living room and dining room.

Later, in 1965, the Ideal company began producing Princess Patti, basically the Petite Princess line with added kitchen and bathroom sets.

They continued to make and market the line through the rest of the decade. There was a house that was introduced through Sears that was a cardboard base covered in vinyl that had been printed with rooms on the inside and a colonial type mansion facade.

I mean to eventually collect the whole, original rooms, vinyl house, and dolls (although quite frankly, I don't like the dolls that are part of the set. I think 'Dawn' would be more fitting!).

When I grow up, I want my house to be decorated like this!