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Friday, September 28, 2012

Lipstick and Rollers

One would think that sleeping in pillow rollers would feel just like sleeping on a foam pillow, but in reality, not so much.   Maybe it's just me because my Hubby says I'm like the Princess and the Pea.  I can't even stand to have a wrinkle in the sheets, drives me bonkers.  But, I love the look and curl that pillow rollers give me, so every so often, I endure.

Foam Rollers | Retro Gran
After a long nights sleep, or lack of sleep rather

Pillow Rollers - After | Retro Gran
Boy, somebody needs to get those gray roots touched up!

In a completely different train of thought, do you ever apply your makeup while driving?  I confess, I am one of those dangerous drivers.  This morning I applied my lipstick while driving to work and I don't think I did too bad of a job - plus I didn't wreck.  It's going to be a great day!

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Lip Stain - Adobe 055
Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Lip Stain in Adobe 055

I'm off to finish a few projects, hope everyone has a Happy Friday!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Upcoming Projects

Vintage image of Bernina sewing machine

I have a very busy few weeks ahead of me and several projects to complete.  Next week will mark my Granddaughter's 3rd birthday and we will be celebrating this coming weekend with a Very Hungry Caterpillar themed party.  I will be making her a dress to wear to the party, along with the thank you gift bags, plus her birthday cake.  You can expect to see future posts with details.

The following weekend, a very special friend will be getting married and I will be making her wedding cake, (actually, she is having cupcakes) plus the groom's cake.  Expect to see a post on this too.

I am also planning on making my dress to wear to her wedding.  I will be attempting to make the Vintage Vogue 8728 pattern reprint you see here.

Vintage Vogue 8728

Casey of Elegant Musings sewed this dress up last year in a beautiful cream jersey.  You can see her post here.  I wanted something a little more dressy for wearing to the wedding so I will be using a beautiful blue satin.  However, I loved the idea of making it with a jersey fabric so I plan on making up another one.  I will be sure to share how it goes with you guys.

While searching for fabric, I ran across this site, Pink Chalk Fabrics and thought I would share.  This site is great if you are looking for quality natural fibers for quilting, sewing, or craft projects.  They also sell patterns and I fell in love with this little guy.

Caterpillar & Butterfly reversible toy pattern

He would be so cute for my granddaughter's party but I think I will have to save that project for another time. ~  There's only so many projects this Grandma can cram into the day.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Lady in Red

Yesterday I read this post by Chronically Vintage in which Jessica spoke about being featured on fellow blogger Kathleen Lisson's blog, That's a Pretty Hat.  Both of these lovely ladies regularly wear hats and it made me consider why I do not.  I mean, I like hats and think that ladies look lovely wearing them.  So why then have I not purchased any of my own?  

This last statement is not an entirely true statement because I do, in fact, own a couple hats.  I have a straw wide brimmed sun hat that occasionally I will wear at the beach and I also have a straw cowboy style hat that I occasionally wear to some southern function.

With both of these hats, they are worn on occasions when I would not feel out of place with the general population.  Could I really be that self conscious of wearing something on my head that would make me stand out?  Me?  The "weird" lady (in this small town) who already goes around wearing vintage clothes and styling her hair in decades old styles?

Thinking about this made me remember that I regularly sported a beauty of a red felt hat while in high school.   It had a cute little black feather on the side.  Here are a couple photos of me in said hat from way back in 1978.  (Now, don't be trying to do the math with my age, it takes more fingers and toes than I've got!)

Retro Gran | circa 1978 red felt hat
Notice the blue shimmery eye shadow.

Retro Gran | circa 1978 red felt hat
Some amazing red lipstick!  Wonder what shade that was!

I liked this hat, and I remember how special I felt while wearing it.  So, I think it is time for me to rectify this hat situation of mine, don't you?  I already wear scarves, flowers and snoods in my hair, so why not a hat?  Why not, indeed!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Queen of Mod

Today marks the 63rd birthday of Lesley Lawson, widely known as Twiggy.  In the 1960s, as a teenager, she became a prominent model of swinging London and is known as the world's first supermodel.  With her skinny figure, boyish pixie hair cut, and striking eyelashes, which many times she painted on the bottom, she created an image that defined an era.  Her look helped change the face of fashion forever, creating more A-line dresses with collars and neckties and inspired the military trends of today.

She went on to become an award winning actress, singer, designer, and author.  At the age of 63, she continues to model and is part of the very successful ad campaign for Marks & Spencer as well as her own collection of clothing exclusive to M&S online.  She also has a very successful line on the home shopping channel, HSN.

Her most recent album, Romantically Yours, was released in November 2011 to great reviews.  Her first album, Twiggy, recorded in 1976, included her top twenty UK hit Here I Go Again.

She has written two bestselling autobiographies, most recently, Twiggy In Black And White.

Twiggy is a timeless beauty, aging gracefully, and one in which whose looks have transcended decades.

Twiggy pink

Twiggy leather

Twiggy eyes


Twiggy dress

Twiggy necktie

Twiggy flowers

Twiggy eyelashes

Twiggy today

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Happy Birthday Baby

Happy Birthday Lauren Bacall - Sept 16, 1924

Just a quick little post to wish a very Happy 88th Birthday to Lauren Bacall.  She is one of my all time favorite actresses, a very classy lady who has traditional values, put her marriages and children before her career, and didn't go the way of drugs and alcohol like so many other Hollywood actors.  And oh that husky voice and sexy, sultry face.  What a beauty!

A very Happy Birthday Ms. Bacall with hopefully, many more to follow!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Wax On, Wax Off

Today I wanted to talk a little bit about makeup removal.  A while ago I did a product review on Revlon Colorstay foundation which you can find here.  I had issues with this foundation, mainly because I have dry skin, extremely dry skin, and this foundation made my face feel even dryer.  The foundation would probably work great for those of you with oily skin or those wanting a heavier, full coverage, but for my skin and the coverage I was looking for, it just didn't work so well.

One of it's main selling points though, was the fact that it had staying power, and that it does.  You could put this stuff on in the morning and it would still be there that night.  And let me tell you, it is a bear to remove.  But, I have the perfect cleansing product for just such a task.  I have been using Albolene Moisturizing Cleanser for a couple of years now and I love it.

Albolene Moisturizing Cleanser

Albolene has been around for ages - I bet your grandma used it, and it's marketed as a moisturizing cleanser that is extremely effective at removing makeup. The product website states that this formula “is clinically proven by the Skin Study Center to moisturize better than leading brands in its category”. It's list of ingredients are few - mineral oil, petrolatum paraffin, ceresin and beta-carotene, all moisturizing agents and makes Albolene safe and effective to use every day. In fact, according to the manufacturer’s claims, the product works so well, many in the theater industry are said to use it nightly to remove stubborn stage makeup safely and thoroughly.

My experience with this product has been this:  I purchase the unscented 12 ounce container which costs typically around $10 - $13 at my local CVS store.  I use it almost daily, sometimes I'm just a lazy butt who doesn't wash her face, and the container will last me approximately a year.  So, I think that is a great buy!  

When you first open the container, it's consistency reminds you of crisco or maybe coconut oil but it liquifies on contact with your skin and turns into an almost baby oil like consistency.  Since I buy the unscented version, it doesn't really have an odor.  If I had to say what it smelled like, I would compare it to a vaseline smell.

I find that it gently and thoroughly dissolves makeup, dirt, mascara, even waterproof mascara, and lipstick. I smooth it on and then use cotton balls to remove it, although some might prefer removing with a warm, damp wash cloth.  For me, it leaves no soap-and-water dryness plus leaves my skin feeling soft and moisturized.  It is gentle enough to use on my sensitive, aging eye area.

Let me remind you, I have extremely dry skin, so if you have oily skin, I would recommend washing your face after using Albolene or it could leave your skin feeling a little greasy.  (Please note:  The company does not recommend this product for oily skin.)  That greasiness doesn't really bother me because I typically use this product at night before bed and I find that overnight the moisturizers do their job and I wake with soft, supple skin.  I have, however, used it in the mornings and typically wash my face afterwards to make sure all of the excess product is off before I apply my foundation.  

Keep in mind that this is a cleanser, albeit with the added benefit of moisturizing, but I feel it's important to note that Albolene doesn't have a SPF.  I would still recommend using a daily moisturizer containing SPF or a foundation that contains a SPF.

You can also use Albolene on other areas of your body to help with dryness, such as your elbows, knees, and feet.  I find that it does wonders for my cuticles.  Their website gives several other uses for the product that you may find interesting, two of which intrigued me.  

First, they say to Intensify Cleavage: Rub Albolene along the tops of your breasts and collarbones. Dust with highlighter for a twinkling effect when wearing a strapless top or dress.  -  Yeah, I'm gonna try this!

Second, they say for those who need to lose the last five pounds, or to help motivate those who want to lose the first five, Albolene Makeup Remover, applied to the skin before a workout, can help increase perspiration to help minimize trouble spots, especially if you also cover the area with a sweat producing material such as a neoprene belt or shorts.  -  In fact, the company has a challenge and yep, gonna give this a try too!  They say this has been a secret in the boxing industry for decades.

Well, there you have it, my thoughts on this product, for whatever that's worth.  I say, if you have dry skin, it's well worth the price, so give it a try and let me know what you think.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Those Dirty Words

It's time to get serious about those two dirty words.  You know the ones that start with "D" and "F".  No!  Not those!  These two words: ....Diet and Fitness.

Those of you who truly know me, know just how much I hate to exercise.  I always say that my idea of exercise is walking back and forth to the refrigerator, or I might mix it up a little with a jaunt around the grocery store.  In my previous post I talked about my sweets addiction.  I admit it, I am a sweetsaholic.  Isn't that the first step, admitting it?

But knowing all of this, and given the fact that with age comes a slower metabolism, means that I have to seriously consider changing a lot of things about how I live.  I really need to be more selective with what goes into my body plus, like it or not, I am going to have to become more active.

First, though, lets take a look at some vintage weight loss advertisements because I heard this rumor that every 100 laughs is worth 10 minutes of exercise and I would much rather laugh my way thin.

Eat sugar before your meal

Now here's a diet plan I could follow.  Eat some ice cream before every meal.  Love that idea!

Bosom beauty

At least they are promoting some sort of exercise in this one but lets not forget how important it is to increase the allure of ones bust.

Obesity soap

Yay!  Soap to wash away my fat, used just like ordinary soap.

Bile Beans

How about those laxatives, take before you go to bed and wake up purified.

Lucky Strike to keep you thin

Let's fill our lungs with smoke and nicotine to get that fat off.

Banish fat with tape worms

Oh, and my favorite, swallow some tape worms and let them do the work for you.  Your fat will be banished.

All fun aside, it is time for me to get off my ever growing tushy and get healthy.  I'm going to do it, but believe me, I'm sure not going to enjoy it.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Weekend of cakes

I love cake, in any form or flavor.  In fact, I love sweets in general.  They are my downfall, or more precisely, my source of weight gain.  I just have no will power when it comes to dessert, so any excuse I have for making a cake I will take it.  

This past weekend was son number two's birthday - he is the second of six children, five of which are boys.  (Now, don't you feel sorry for me?  Actually, you should feel sorry for the one and only girl born smack dab in the middle of all those brothers.)  This particular birthday was a special one because said son turned thirty.  

I know, I'm amazed that I have a child that old and what's more amazing is that he has an older brother!  To ease the pain I was feeling of thinking about that fact, I made myself a cake.  

Gooey Butterfinger cake

It was a nice, gooey, messy cake with crushed up butterfingers sprinkled on top.  Boy, oh boy, was it ever yummy.  I just had to eat this cake all gone, lest son number 2 thought it was his birthday cake and that we had already cut into it.  See the dilemma? The cake must be eaten, um-hmm, not a problem.

So, birthday day arrives and said son needs a cake of his very own.  Lets forego the standard birthday cake and go for something different, just because I kept eyeing that bag of oreo cookies in the kitchen pantry.

Chocolate Oreo cake

Yum, a nice chocolate cake covered with oreo goodness.  Needless to say, two cakes in one weekend, I have got to get some self control.  Looks like its celery and carrot sticks for a while.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Elvgrens Creative Vision

Elvgren - model: Janet Rae "Partial Coverage"

During a career that spanned nearly forty years, Gil Elvgren never lost sight of what appealed to the American male. His heroines are often caught in humorous but distressing situations that cause their skirts to rise and our eyes to follow. 

Elvgren - model: Janet Rae "A Near Miss"

His criteria for his models was a "fifteen year old face on a twenty year old body." Many of his models, like Myrna Hansen - who was Miss USA 1953, Myrna Loy, Donna Reed, Arlene Dahl, Barbara Hale, and Kim Novak, went on to have successful film careers after posing for him. These actresses, just beginning their careers, would travel to the offices of the nation's most successful calendar company, Brown & Bigelow, to be immortalized by the pin-up artists.

Elvgren - Model: Myrna Hansen "Up And Cunning"

Elvgren chose models with particular features and would add embellishments by building up the bust, or lengthening the legs, making the mouth fuller, or the eyes larger. Most of all, however, his models had to be enthusiastic and interesting, and be capable of a wide range of facial expressions.

Elvgren - model: ? "Claws for Alarm"

One of his favorite models was his next door neighbor, Janet Rae. She had a spirit that captivated him and she knew how to give him that perfect pose. Elvgren gave her all of the photos and negatives from her more than 75 photo shoots. They are in her son's possession today and he has plans of publishing them in a book.

Elvgren - model: Janet Rae "Ditzler Advertisement"

To see more of Elvgren's finished works check out the book called Gil Elvgren: The Complete Pin-Ups, written by Charles G. Martignette and Louis K. Meisel. It contains 98% of his more than 500 paintings created between the mid-1930s and 1972.

Elvgren - model: Janet Rae "Puppy Love"

Elvgren was an avid photographer and shot his own model setups. There are several sources online where you can see his photos, such as these, and compare his finished works to the original reference.  Its a great way to see what he added or what he simplified, in order to create his beauties.

Elvgren - model: Janet Rae "Cooling Off"

If you would like to learn more, here are two great online sources for information - Elvgren Pinup, and Gil Elvgren. The latter site, which is operated by Louis K. Meisel, contains a very informative biography along with a title listing of his works. 

Elvgren - model: Janet Rae "The Right Scale"

Elvgren's work is some of my all time favorite and I hope you have enjoyed seeing his originals become his creative vision as much as I have. Here are a few more comparisons for your enjoyment.

Elvgren - model: Janet Rae "Fit To Kill"

Elvgren - model: Janet Rae "A Warm Welcome "

Elvgren - model: Janet Rae "Ruffled Feathers"

Elvgren - model: Janet Rae "All Yours"

Elvgren - model: Janet Rae "Have A Heart?"

Elvgren - model: Janet Rae "With The Greatest of Ease"

Elvgren - model: Janet Rae "Well Built"

Elvgren - model: Janet Rae "More Than Enough"

Elvgren - model: Janet Rae "Wanted"

Elvgren - model: Janet Rae "Taking A Chance"

Elvgren - model: Janet Rae "Screen Test"

Elvgren - model: Janet Rae "Sheer Comfort"

Elvgren - model: Janet Rae "Appreciative Audience "

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Hills of NC

Over the long holiday weekend, the Mister and I decided on a little getaway.  We took a trip into the hills of North Carolina and visited the Blowing Rock and Chimney Rock areas.  It was a rainy, dreary weekend so we didn't actually do a lot of site seeing, but here are some snapshots of our trip.

We hope to get back there soon, in nicer weather, so that we can explore the area more.  Until then, I hope you liked the photos.