Archive | February 2016

Every Day is like Sundae…Shoes

Hello Darlings!

Pardon the bad pun in the title, but I just couldn’t resist. I’m so very excited to share with you a fun make-do-and-mend project. If you’re not familiar with “make-do-and-mend”, it’s just an old fashioned term for DIY, and I love me some DIY especially when it combines sweets and shoes!

This project comes from fellow vintage living blogger, Miss Amy May. If you’re not currently subscribed to her blog or following her on social media, I highly recommend you do so. I had never heard of Shoe Bakery until I read Amy’s post. While their shoes are adorable works of art, they’re a little over the top for my taste. I’m a “less is more” kind of gal. The shoes that I really fell in love with were the ones Amy made herself, and so I decided to take a crack at making a pair.

I don’t wan’t to reinvent the wheel, so I’m just going to link back to the original post here, plus add a few things I did differently, and share my supply list for the American crowd. So, without further adieu, I give you my version of Miss Amy May’s version of Shoe Bakery’s   Ice Cream Sundae shoes.

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I love the added texture and color from the jimmies. Maybe the next pair will have rainbow sprinkles?

 

Supplies

  • Shoes you’d like to decorate (For an ice cream cone look, you’ll want nude or tan shoes with an exposed platform)
  • Calking gun
  • White silicone calk (I used HDX brand from Home Depot)
  • Wax paper
  • Butter knife or cheese spreader (one you will not be using again)
  • “Chocolate Jimmies” clay sprinkles (I purchased mine on Etsy)
  • Cherries (you can find these at Walmart, Michael’s, or Hobby Lobby)
  • Masking or electrical tape
  • Piping tips (I used the medium star shape. Again, these will not be used for food…ever)
  • Toothpick or bamboo skewer
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Q-tip
  • Modge Podge (Gloss and Outdoor respectively)
  • Fine red glitter
  • Paint brushes with synthetic bristles

Directions Part 1:

I basically followed Amy’s tutorial with a few exceptions:

  • I used wax paper instead of news paper for my work surface.
  • Because I don’t have the most steady of hands (translation: I’m a colossal klutz), I taped off the edges of my shoes where I didn’t want the calking to get to. This made clean up much easier…and I still made a mess.
  • The Q-tips and rubbing alcohol are for clean up. If you smudge, spill, or otherwise get calking where you don’t want it, clean it up before it dries.
  • I also taped my piping tip directly to my calking tube as I was fresh out of pastry bags.
  • When the calk was still wet, I sprinkled on my jimmies and then used a bamboo skewer to gently push them into the calk for a better hold.
  • Finally, I painted over the calked bits with outdoor Mod Podge. I wanted to be sure I could wipe my shoes clean if needed and the Mod Podge helps keep my jimmies in place.

Directions Part 2:

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I love the added sparkle and pop of color the glitter adds, but a week later, and I’m still cleaning it up! Though it has stayed on my shoes remarkably well.

For this bit I followed a tutorial for glitter soles I found on Pinterest. There were a lot of them, and they all used the same method. You want to be sure your calking and Mod Podge are completely dry before doing this bit. Once glitter gets onto a wet surface, there’s no going back! I also taped off the “whipped cream” bit to keep it as clean as possible. Or, even better still, do the glitter soles first, then do the frosting part.

One thing I notice was that the glitter and Mod Podge did tend to get a bit clumpy.While I don’t mind how it turned out, next time I think I’ll just do the single coat of glitter without going over it again.

DollyMarloweSundaeShoes

I’m going to be designing a lot more outfits around these shoes.

And there you have it! Adorable custom shoes that will have everyone begging to know where you bought them. How gratifying will it be to say, “I didn’t buy them, I made them”?!

I’d love to see what you come up with. Tag me in your Sundae Shoes images on instagram!

XOXO

Dolly Marlowe

 

 

 

 

 

Chocolate Lover’s Sugar Scrub

Hello Darlings!

If you recall last week I shared my base sugar scrub recipe. Well, today I’d like to share a yummy variation…chocolate! This is essentially a fudge recipe made into a scrub. Not only does it smell delicious, but it’s also edible. Do with that what you will.

*(insert winky smily face here)

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Add a bow and a tag to make this scrub sweet gift.

Chocolate Lover’s Sugar Scrub

Supplies

  • 1/2 heaping cup of raw sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder (don’t over do it or you’ll end up orange)
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • *optional gift tag (you can find the heart I used here)
DollyMarloweChocolateLoversSugarScrubIngredients

Simple and natural ingredients

Directions

  1. Combine sugars
  2. add in vanilla extract and cocoa powder
  3. fold in coconut oil
  4. mix until ingredients are evenly combined
  5. scoop into a jar for storage

All the decadence of chocolate with out the calories…unless you eat it.

XOXO

Dolly Marlowe

So You Want to be a Pinup…

Hello Darlings!

The most frequently asked question I get, next maybe to “Do you always dress like that?” (Yes. Yes, I do.) is, “How do I get into pinup modeling?” This is a somewhat loaded question. The answer is as simple as it is complex. The simple answer is to just go out and do it, but there are a lot of moving parts that can be confusing and overwhelming if you don’t know where to start. There are, in fact, more details than I could ever fit into one post, so I’m going to break down everything you need to know into a fun little series of posts specifically about pinup modeling. Let’s get started, shall we?!

 

STOP! READ THIS FIRST

The first thing we should address is your age. How old are you? If you are under the age of 18, read no further. I don’t mean to be a kill-joy, but pinup modeling is a woman’s game…a legal woman’s game. To quote my friend and fellow Pinup Patriette, Lisa Luxe, “Pinup modeling is a socially acceptable form of fetishism.” The pinup is about sexual fantasy, plain and simple. If you aren’t an adult, you have no business in this line of work. No photographer worth their salt will even consider doing any kind of pinup photos with you if you’re underage. If you happen to find one who will, get as far away from them as humanly possible! Until you reach that magical age of legal womanhood, try your hand at other styles of modeling, dress in vintage attire, have fun with your friends, do your homework, and then come back when you’re at least 18.

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Photo by Margo Von Pigtails

 

And now to today’s topic: What’s your motivation?

It’s a simple enough question, but it is also the most important piece to the puzzle. Why do you want to be a pinup model? What do you hope to accomplish? What are your goals? There is no wrong answer, but knowing the answer will help you navigate your way through this glamorous quest. Are you looking to have some sexy boudoir photos taken for your lover or yourself? Maybe you’re hoping to become rich and famous or you’d like a way to break into mainstream modeling. Be honest with yourself when examining the whys and wherefores so you can make well informed decisions, saving you time and money.

If you’re looking to just have a bit of fun or maybe have some photos taken as a gift for the love of your life, then you can simply hire a photographer and have a blast. But if you’re looking to model professionally you’ll need to invest a lot more time, energy, and money.

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Promotional Photo for Pinups for Pitbulls

First a little straight talk for the would-be professionals. You will not get rich pinup modeling. In fact, you will barely eek by a living wage. The simple truth is the pinup genre is too small to support career models.Vintage repro labels are generally indie brands that can’t afford to hire high priced models, not to mention the fact that there are a lot of new models willing to work for free. Even the most recognizable pinup models have other work: burlesque, fashion design, tattooing, regular 9 to 5 gigs. I don’t know of a single model who sustains herself on pinup work alone…not a single one. That’s not to say that you can’t make money, you can and should if you’re modeling professionally, just don’t quit your day job.

Pinup modeling is an effective promotional tool. Do you have a blog or a fashion or accessory line? Do you perform on stage? Are you a hair or make-up artist? Getting your face out to the people who would buy your products and services is the best kind of publicity! Pinup modeling is a great way to brand yourself and your goods (there’s no way to say that without it sounding dirty).

Once you have a clear idea of what you want, getting there is so much easier. Take a moment to set out your goals and when we meet up here for the next installment in this series, we’ll dish on Getting Started.

XOXO

Dolly Marlowe

 

 

(Not So Basic) Basic Sugar Scrub

Hello Darlings!

I work with my hands…a lot! Between gardening, sewing, working with animals, cooking, then washing my hands after all of that, my skin starts to feel like sandpaper. No matter how much lotion I apply, it never really softens my hands. I love the scrubs from stores like Bath and Bodyworks and Basin, but I don’t like added chemicals or the hefty price tags. My mother, genius that she is, suggested we make our own, and so we did.

This recipe is exceedingly simple, one can add any number of essential oils or botanicals to create a customized scrub. All of the components for the base recipe can be found at the local grocer. Here are a few tips before we start:

  • Use the best ingredients you can afford. This scrub will be absorbed into your skin, so organic is best. Also, you’ll feel the difference in the quality of sugars you use.
  • While you can use other oils like olive or almond, I find that coconut oil not only leaves my hands the softest, but also no greasy film.
  • Coconut oil will go from solid to liquid depending on ambient temperatures. If your oil is in a solid form, just place the jar in hot water until it softens up.
  • If you’re reusing a jar from your pantry, wash it really well and then boil the jar and lid before filling it with your new scrub, and dry them well. Water and food particles (ewe) can cause your scrub to mold (again, ewe).

Alright then. Ready? Let’s get started!

DollyMarloweBasicSugarScrub

Three ingredient recipe. That’s it! Unless you want to add extra bits.

Supplies

  • 1/2 HEAPING cup of raw cane sugar
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • a jar with a tight fitting lid
  • mixing bowl, rubber spatula, metal spoon

Directions

  1. Add sugars to the mixing bowl.
  2. Fold in coconut oil.
  3. Add in essential oils and botanicals if you’d like, or just keep it fragrance free.
  4. Continue mixing until the scrub has a sort of wet sand consistency.
  5. Use a metal spoon to scoop the scrub into a clean jar.

And there you have it, a basic recipe you can use for all your scrub needs. These make lovely little gifts for friends, family, or yourself!

I hope you enjoy!

XOXO

Dolly Marlowe

 

Cherry Coke Cupcakes

Hello Darlings!

It seems that lately I’ve been inundating you with cooking posts. I promise I will widen our horizons in the very near future, but I always like to share a sweet treat on Valentine’s Day. So today I submit to you delicious Cherry Coke Cupcakes! These little beauties are all over Pinterest, but none of the recipes really worked for me. They either didn’t taste like cola or they were too mushy. I took the best of what I tried and combined it into the recipe I have for you today. Fair warning, we are using boxed cake mix. While I do love baking from scratch, I have too much going on at the homestead right now to mess with such things (also, I’ve never made cupcake batter from scratch. Time to call Grandmama!). On to our recipe.

DollyMarloweCherryCokeCupcakes

Cherry Coke Cupcakes

Prep time: 15min  Cook time: 25 min  Servings: 24

Ingredients

Cupcakes:

  • Boxed Devil’s Food cake mix (plus the required ingredients, omitting the water)
  • 1 cup Coca Cola
  • 1/3 cup maraschino cherry juice
  • 24 maraschino cherries without stems

Buttercream Frosting:

  • 1 1/4 cups unsalted butter softened
  • 5 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 2tbsp Coca Cola (or more)
  • 1tbsp maraschino cherry juice
  • 24 maraschino cherries with stems
  • red food coloring

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350*.
  2. Prepare a muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  3. Prepare the cake batter according to the box instructions, substituting the water for the coke and cherry juice. Do not over mix!
  4. Fill the cupcake liners about 3/4 full and plop a cherry into the batter (don’t push it in, the cake will rise around it).
  5. Bake as directed, let cool completely. You can put them in the Frigidaire to cool faster.

Frosting

  1. Whip butter, coke, and cherry juice together.
  2. Gradually add in the confectioner’s sugar.
  3. If the frosting is too dry, add more coke as needed (be careful! I spilled a bit and my frosting, though delicious, was far too wet).
  4. Stir in red food coloring (I used somewhere between 5 and 8 drops).
  5. Frost as desired. Use a pastry bag with a piping tip or cut a hole in a plastic baggie.
  6. Top with a cherry and enjoy!

*an additional option is adding chocolate sprinkles or gummy coke bottles.

There you have it. A quick and easy treat on St. Valentine’s Day. I hope you love it.

XOXO

Dolly Marlowe ♥

 

Corsets, and Girdles, and Garters, Oh My!

Hello Darlings!

Once upon a time my Mr. and I were week-ending in Vegas with friends. For some ridiculous reason we decided to dine at the Planet Hollywood formerly inside Caesar’s Palace. I know what you’re thinking, “with all the unbelievable restaurants in Las Vegas, how in the world did you end-up there?!” Well, let us just say, when it’s late (or early, depending on point of view), good decisions are hard to come by. At any rate, while waiting for a table, our little party wandered about eyeballing the Hollywood memorabilia, when what to my wondering eye should appear, but the loveliest little suit worn by none other than Lauren Bacall! Now friends, when I say little I mean little! I couldn’t fathom how a woman, who in my mind, was  larger than life could fit into a garment so small!

The suit in the Planet Hollywood exhibit was this Milo Anderson number Laren Bacall wore in “To Have and to Have Not”. It is frequently confused with the houndstooth suit she wore in The Big Sleep. This suit, however, has a much more exaggerated New Look waistline. 

The answer, one word, shape-wear… or is that two?

Now, I’m not suggesting shape-wear was the ONLY reason vintage clothes are so small. We were, generally speaking, smaller way back when. We were more active, we ate differently, and we were shorter too! And Ms. Bacall was indeed, a tiny woman. But shape-wear did play a significant roll in how clothes fit.

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Sophia Loren in the Millionaires wearing all the things!

Yes, ladies, there was once a time when women put just as much thought and care into what they wore under their clothes as the clothes themselves. Different fads in fashion called for different undergarments. And, with the introduction of Dior’s New Look, the structured female form was back in a big way! It is for this reason why so many women become frustrated by vintage shopping. Many of the really high quality dresses seem to have an impossibly exaggerated hourglass shape. Frustration comes when we look for vintage fashions with modern eyes and forget our fashion history. If you, no matter what your size, want that lovely vintage silhouette, then you’ll need to invest in some really good shape-wear. (Don’t you just love an excuse to shop?) After-all, those nipped in waists weren’t held by willpower!

The Corset

The Grand Dame of all shape-wear is the corset. No other undergarment is steeped in as much history and controversy as she. I could devote an entire diary entry (or eight) to the corset… perhaps someday I will. But, for now, I shall stick to the basics.

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What I wouldn’t give to pay $14.75 for a real steel boned corset!

To acquire real waist reduction, a quality steel boned corset is a must. Depending on the wearers body type, a reduction of two to six inches can be achieved. Corsets come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and infinite style combinations. Corsetry is a true art-form, so when looking for a quality corset, be prepared to pay handsomely for it! Most are made by hand to your measurements and are extremely labor intensive. I also HIGHLY recommend going to an actual shop to be fitted in person for your first corset. Once you’re more familiar with fit and wear, you can go crazy shopping on-line. Sure, you can get a cheaper corset with flimsy plastic bones from a mass production lingerie dealer at the mall, but with a little research , you can find quality corsets for close to the same price.

DollyMarloweLastexCorelette

As attitudes towards fashion began to change (thanks to the likes of designers like Coco Chanel), so too did the attitudes towards undergarments. The rigid form of the corset began to morph into the more flexible corselette thanks to new innovations like “lastex”. Seriously?! $1.98?! I need a Delorean and a Flux Capacitor.

The Girdle

A little less drastic, but no less alluring than the corset is the girdle. “Egads! Did she say girdle?” Yes, honey, I did! I realize the name sounds decidedly unsexy (kind of like “granny panties”), but the girdle, especially the open bottom variety, oozes with sex appeal and pin-up charm. The girdle comes in as many styles and sizes as the women who wear them—full body corselettes, or open bottom half girdles, girdle panties, with or without garters—the options are endless! Most girdles use mesh or power net and spandex and/or rubber to slim and smooth the figure. The corselette has a built-in bra to aide in the enhancing of the bust while eliminating any bulges in the mid section. The girdle is by far the best way to hold up those fully fashioned stockings as it will not move or sag no matter how active you are!

DollyMarloweJanztenGirdle

Jantzen today is mostly known for their swimwear, but they were also makers of lingerie. The two aren’t so very different.

The Garter Belt

If the girdle is a bit much for you and you want something a bit more diminutive to keep those stockings in check, then a garter belt is for you. Those flimsy little things one finds in standard lingerie retail shops will not do the job! Those are for the boudoir, not for galavanting around the city streets. In no time at all that poor excuse for a slingshot will start to fall and you’ll be stuck with sagging stockings… not sexy! Instead, opt for a garter belt made specifically for holding up fully fashioned stockings. They are just as (if not more) lovely than their scant counterparts and a whole lot more effective!

DollyMarloweBraGarterBelt

I love vintage advertisements. They are a window into a world long gone.

The Bullet Bra

No feature on shape-wear would be complete without mentioning the holy grail of vintage lingerie… the Bullet Bra! The mere mention of it invokes the memories of Bettie Paige and scandalous B movies like Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! and Kitten with a Whip. Paired with a waist cincher, the bullet bra creates dynamite curves—protruding bust, nipped in waist, full bottom—the thought just curls my toes! Now, you may not believe me when I say this, but the bullet bra can actually minimize the larger bust, sometimes even a whole cup size. Because it pushes out rather than up, a slightly subduing effect can occur. So, for all you busty dames out there, it’s best to go up a cup size and down a band size if you can. For the same reasons stated above, the bullet bra will enhance the smaller bust. No matter what size you boozums, you’ll want to use bullet bra pads to fill in the ends of the bra cups. This will keep your sweater from mashing in your bits!

DollyMarloweMaidenformBra

Look closely and you will see the spiral stitching on the bra cups. This is the hallmark of a true bullet bra. Also, can we just take a moment to admire the alligator’s terrific form and turnout?

If a bullet bra is a bit too extreme for your tastes, look for bras with a three seam cup (my go to bra). They give a perkier and more pointed shape keeping in-line with a vintage look without poking anyone’s eyes out. Avoid molded cups. A round bust is a decidedly modern silhouette.

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A corset I had custom made years ago, still very much in fantastic condition. This one was used for a fetish shoot, so I requested to have the modesty panel left out. 

Well, there you have it, dearies. I trust you’ve enjoyed our little tete-a-tete on shape-wear. I do hope you find fabulous pieces to spice up your wardrobe and your life! Hang the recession! Go shopping, you deserve it! I leave you with a few of my favorite places to shop for shape-wear.

XOXO

Dolly Marlowe

Now for some of my favorite places to shop:

What Katie Did – The Morticia corset is on my wishlist (Blast you, spending freeze!).

LoriAnn Costume Design – from gothic to steam punk & everything in-between (my pictured corset was made by Lori Ann).

Melon Sweet Cheeks – Hand made (super cute) lingerie… LOVE her bullet bras!

Dottie’s Delights – If you crave vintage inspired couture, Dottie’s Delights is for you… oh how I wish I lived in Chicago!

Secrets in Lace – Not only do they have a magnificent section of shape-wear, but a wonderful stocking selection as well!

 

Orchard Corset – A new favorite of mine. Beautiful and functional steel boned corsets at unbelievable prices (that sounds a bit car salesmany, but it is nonetheless true). 

 

Beer Bread the Way Grandma used to Make… Well, sort of

Hello Darlings!

The weather has decided to be unreasonably cold today. It seems as though Mother Nature is thinking of snow, but hasn’t made up her mind just yet. I’d really appreciate it if she would. Two days ago we enjoyed temperatures in the low 70’s, torrential downpours yesterday, and icy winds in the 30’s today. Needless to say, tonight is a comfort food kind of night. I thought I would dust off this recipe for one of my favorite quick breads inspired by my grandmother.

One of my fondest memories as a wee lass was visiting my grandmother’s beautiful home. It was always tastefully decorated (especially around Christmas), the gardens were full of the seasons best flowers, fruits and veggies, and the smell of freshly baking bread wafting from the kitchen seemed to permeate everything! My grandmother was, and still is, the most elegant woman I’ve ever known. Glowing porcelain skin, a vast knowledge on everything from organic gardening and cooking to the most fashionable make-up techniques and beauty routines, she can do all! She has the fragrance of an English garden and the most delicate and graceful mannerisms to match! I was always fascinated, if not a little intimidated by her. She is, for me at least, the feminine ideal.

My beautiful grandmother in her garden

Now that I have my own home, I catch myself looking back and referencing my childhood memories for things my grandmother use to do. One thing that has always vexed me was the smell of freshly baked bread! Being a vintage gal in a thoroughly modern world is no easy task. Between running my on-line boutique, raising my family, charitable obligations, and if I’m lucky, my own hobbies and pursuits, how on Earth will I ever find the time to bake fresh bread?!

I am not a woman easily daunted. Through trial, error, and just a pinch of cheating (stealing the ingredient list from some premixed breads and throwing in some bits from my other quick bread recipes), I’ve got a fool-proof recipe for fresh baked beer bread that is not only delicious, but will leave your home smelling just like grand-ma-ma’s! And it wont take you all day, either!

Beer Bread

Prep time: 5 min

Cook time: 60 min

Ingredients:

3 cups flour (I like to mix white and whole wheat)

1/3 cups granulated sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon of salt

12-oz of your favorite beer (my mother swears by cooking with the cheap stuff, but I can’t bring myself to do it. I use whatever gourmet/microbrew My Mr stocks in the icebox. I highly recommend a lemon shandy).

3 tablespoons melted butter (optional)

**For a prohibition approved loaf, one may substitute ginger beer for the real thing. Remember to subtract the sugar from the recipe.

Preheat your oven to 350* and set the rack to the center setting.

Combine the (sifted) flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar together in a large mixing bowl. Gently fold in the beer. Mix until all of the dry ingredients are wet. The batter will be sticky… REAL sticky. Lightly grease a standard size (5×9, I think it is) bread loaf pan, and plop the batter in. Do not attempt to smooth it out, the bread will fill out as it bakes. Also, the rustic appearance is part of its charm! Pour the melter butter on top and pop it in the oven for about 60 min (or until it is golden brown and it passes the clean toothpick test). Let it cool and then serve it up OR make the most amazing grilled cheese sandwich known to man! My Mr just rips hunks out of the loaf and snacks on it all day.

Garlic and Parmesan Beer Bread Grilled Cheese Sandwich and a side of French Onion Soup.
The perfect winter luncheon.

So, while this recipe is decidedly more lazy than what my grandmother crafted, it does the job nicely. I do hope you enjoy!

XOXO

Dolly Marlowe