Saturday, December 31, 2011

1950's life on the Gold Coast

In case you havent heard the news - I am in love with my new job for Village Well in workmates are such kindred spirits, the work dynamic and interesting, the group operates with integrity and ethics that make me feel extremely humbled to be there. Most recently, I have been putting together a time line of Gold Coast history ( you can imagine how much I am loving that ) and came across these adorable photographs on the Gold Coast City Council website....I simply had to share them with you, they are so wonderful....the architecture, the fashions, the culture, everything..... I love these images. As a child we would spend most July holidays on the Gold Coast enjoying the beach, the family oriented theme parks, and I have to say, the all you can eat buffet at Sizzlers restaurant! Great memories !! It was around the 40's and 50's that things began to develop on the Gold Coast as a holiday destination, and by my childhood in the 80's and 90's it had really hit its stride. More recently, the Wintersun festival was held in Coolangatta up until last year and it was terrific to head back to that region as an adult to enjoy once again the winter holiday atmosphere. So, grab a glimpse of the 50's on the Gold Coast - for some it will bring back memories, and for others it will provide fuel for inspiration - but either way, enjoy some 50's eye candy on the first day of the new year !

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Great radio shows !!!

We all love music - I mean, you would need to have spent your life in a cave in Antarctica to have no appreciation for music ! Personally, I am a big fan of all sorts of music - classical, gypsy, folk, blues, traditional R & B, dixieland, barbershop, rock n roll, lounge, country, contemporary, surf, swing, jazz, and even some top 40 !!! Pretty much anything depending on the mood in which I find myself really !! But here at Alice Jean's, we focus on mid 20th century though, so with that in mind I thought I would share a couple of the best Aussie radio shows (available online too for anyone overseas) that specialise in mid century grooves !!

For lounge music fresh from Sydney......

My very favourite mid century radio show of them all, in my almost very favourite genre too - Doo Wop !!!

Local and overseas 'new' rockabilly sounds......

Authentic blues, soul, jazz & ska

If you know of others in other rural or urban areas that have an online presence, please let me know - let's fill our days with some jiving sound waves !

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Big Sandy and the Flyright Boys are coming....

If you havent already booked your ticket - better get in a do so pronto....they are selling like the proverbial !!!! Click on the picture for all the details of their March gig in Melbourne including how to book.......

Monday, December 26, 2011

Quote of the Month - December 2011

Some Christmas styled quotes for the festive season.........


"When a man is wrapped up in himeself, he makes a pressty small package."

"We never repent of having eaten too little"

"Gods gifts put mans best dreams to shame"

"Every child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged of man."

Another great gig not to be missed - and at the Lowow too !!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Mill Rose restaurant, cafe, gallery and quiltshop...adorable....

A week and a half ago I took a glorious early morning drive to the little township of Ballan, roughly one hour west of Melbourne towards Ballarat. Now, I had always pictured that neck of the woods as rather cold and bleak, so imagine my extreme surprise to find the quaintest little town, full of friendly forward thinking people. I was there with work and have never enjoyed myself more on a work sojourn ! We were invited to morning tea with a local couple of artisans who talked and shared and inspired me no end with their visions for community, and artistic life in general (not to mention their glorious alarm clock collection). And might I add, their self built home, reminiscent of European streets, was breathtaking.....have a look at these photographs and see if you are not captivated !!

Then later in the day after engaging a number of people in the streets in lively discussions, we had lunch at the de-lightful Mill Rose restaurant, gallery, cafe and quilt shop. I was in total heaven !! Everything was so very beautiful, the food sheer divinity, and the ambiance the stuff happy dreams are made of. If you sew, eat, garden, or decorate, then a weekend drive to Ballan is very much in order I must say.

And for further info about the Mill Rose Rooms, as well as the newly established Ballan farmers market (maybe you could tie in your day trip to make the most of both....) check out these brochures:

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Natural beauty tips - and my plastic surgery.......

I love natural beauty remedies, and prefer them over chemicals and procedures where ever possible - after all, it is more 50's isnt it !! But I am not against plastic surgery. Dont get me wrong. If it helps you feel better about yourself, then more power to you. Who am I to talk anyhow, I have had plastic surgery myself, and at the ripe old age of 23 !!! I shiver now when I think about it really....... my boyfriend at the time asked me if there was anything about myself I would change if I could. I said that I had always felt my lips were a little on the thin side (overblown bee stung lips were the rage at the time). That week my boyfriend found a competition in a magazine to win a lip enhancement. Desperate to please him ( but upon reflection, deep down feeling somewhat hurt that he did not see me as beautiful just as I was) I entered the competition. Well, you guessed it, I 'won'. I had the surgery. A round tube of plastic inserted perminently. Me = Petrified. It is still there to this day. My boyfriend was wraped 2 weeks after the procedure when my lips looked 'like Meg Ryan' (where her lips were at their peak of fullness), but by the time a few more weeks had elapsed, my lips had actually returned pretty much to normal size, however now with that small roll of plastic inside them for life. I can feel it whenever I kiss. Secretly, I think I am glad that they dont look all that much different though - I want to be me (and loved for being that way too)  !!! As for the boyfriend.....well, the insert lasted longer than the relationship.

But yes, like I said, I have no problem with plastic surgery, so long as it is done for the esteem and personal value of the person going under the knife.

I have recently read a charming and somewhat amusing little book titled "The Mums book of glamour - how to be fabulous". Of course, I really didnt need to read it seeing as I am so fabulous already (!), but I decided to none the less. Filled with funny little tid bits, and ways to make your already hectic life all the more stressful by adding inumerable beauty routines into the daily grind, I did find a terrific section on facial muscle excersises - the sort that can be done while sitting in traffic (not on public transport however).

One of the things that is a telltale sign of aging is a slack jawline due to lack of skin elasticity and sedintary muscles that settle into old familiar daily grooves. But facial deffinition need not belong to the young, and you need not resort to drastic face cutting surgery either, as I have found over the past few weeks of practising these excersises. I can totally feel the work they are doing to my face - and it is mighty encouraging !!!
So my dear friends and readers, I wanted to share these wonderful little natural, no cosmetic prodcedure required, jaw and facial excersises to help you stave off the inevitable..... and may your natural beauty shine through and be treasured by your loved ones !

1. Just out your jaw, open your mouth wide and pull your bottom lip over your bottom teeth. Then move your jaw up and down - you'll look like a cartoon robot, but stick with it. repeat this ten times, twice a day - although preferably in the privacy of your own home.....

2. Sit in a relaxed position. Tilt your head upwards and purse your lips. Hold for five seconds and then relax. Repeat 10 times.

3. Start with your teeth together, and then open your jaw very slightly, Move your lower jaw slowly to one side, as far as it will go, and then return slowly to the center position. Repeat this 10 times and then work the other side.

4. Sit upright, facing forwards with your lips closed but relaxed. Pucker and pout your lips using your cheek muscles, hold the position for ten seconds, and then relax. Repeat this 10 times.

5. Best not to try this one while driving...... close your eyes and lift your eyebrows as high up as you can, as though very surprised. Hold the position for 10 seconds, and then relax. Repeat this 10 times.

Ahh - your done....look out world - here you come, and looking like the grand dame of amazing jawlines below to boot !

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Rockin Christmas Songs......

I was spoilt rotten recently by a pressie arriving in the mail from my darling sister - a copy of Michael Buble's Christms Album, which I have played and played and played already. The kids and I just love it !!! My out and out favourite is his version of Blue Christmas with a very dixie land jazz vibe.....and it all got me thinking about the plethora of great (and not so great) Christmas Songs out there....people really love this time of year dont they? They really get into the celebration and festivity and party spirit...I think that is just wonderful, it is what community is all about really - celebration together, creating memorable moments, generosity and warmth. Yes, it is truly a precious gift in itself to be able to get into the spirit of this gratful celebratory season.

So, to help you (and me) get into the party spirit, I have traweled the net for some of the lesser known but still awsome Christmas songs ....there is no Elvis, Brenda Lee or Bing Crosby in this list (although I do love their christmas music), I hope that I bring you something you have never heard before that can get your feet dancing up a storm this festive season - all with  mid century style of course! Celebrate Christmas with me, with all the gratitude in our hearts - for the freedom and life we have thanks to what happened at this time in a quiet little Israeli country town oh so long ago. Cheers everyone !!!

Blue Christmas - Michael Buble

Christmas on TV - Chris Isaak

Senor Santa Clause

Christmas Bell Rock

Merry Twistmas

Hey Santa Claus

I want a rock n roll guitar

Rockin around the Christmas tree - Bill Haley

Run Run Rudolf

They shined up Rudolfs nose

Reindeer Boogie

Dig that crazy Santa Clause

Twistin Bells

Doo Wop Christmas

Merry Christmas

Good old Country Christmas

Sleigh ride

I'd like you for Christmas

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Living Doll - Miss December

Living Dolls are mothers, nurses, models, photographers, graphic designers, grandmothers, students, teachers - infact you name it, they come from every walk of life but have this one thing in common - they love and live vintage !

Just in time for the festive season, our 100% adorable Miss December, Rosalie Beynon, shares her  insights on life and living with the inspirational upbeat attitude all her friends have come to know her for. We love you Rosealie !!

What does 'vintage' mean to you?

My life has always revolved around ‘vintage’.  It meant decent clothes and fantastic things as a child and as an adult, it is the ability to surround myself with the nostalgic vibe I love.  I’m not really the modern type and wearing, living and breathing vintage means that I am being true to myself and not trying to be somebody out of the next Vogue magazine.

What was it that first prompted your interest in vintage culture?

When I was a child, my mother would buy a lot of our clothes from op-shops and the like.  Whilst shopping, she would keep an eye out for pieces that pre-dated the 1970s because as she told me, “Trends always come back into fashion, especially midi-length skirts”.  Her other influence was the trunk that was chock full of fabric…silks, velvets, brocades, cottons, endless types that fascinated me completely.  The textures, colours and the originality of them all were heaven to me then as they are now.

An aunt was also a great influence in that she provided me with a dress-up box of vintage clothing and told me, “Don’t mix patterns, black is always a safe option and learn to mend and make your own clothes.” 

This early passion for clothing was alongside an education of early movies, books, Art Deco architecture, cars and music, which formed my appreciation of the aesthetics of the 1920s to‘60s.


What is your favourite era, and do you 'live it' every day? In what ways? 

The late 1940s through to the late‘50s is my favourite era…the full skirts that create glamour, the wiggle dresses that show off what women are all about, wearing matching shoes and handbags, adding a hat as an exclamation mark…

I wear something from this timeframe every day, whether it be a piece of clothing or a combo of Bakelite bangles and brooch always listening to the music of the time!

 In Summer I am drawn to the cotton dresses and skirts of the 1950s, they provide the comfort needed in our climate and always put me in a good mindset for the day.  How can you not feel happy wearing a bold floral or colourful novelty pattern!  1940s suits and coats are divine for Winter.  A tailored fit, beautifully weighted wool sometimes with the perfect detail, all finished off with gloves and a spectator (sports oxford) shoe…luxury!

Tell us about your favourite item of vintage clothing, kitchenalia, music, furniture or whatever !

Oh where do I start!?

The easy choice is my 1920s Art Deco wedding ring, a handmade piece with an old mine cut diamond.  It is a truly original ring that speaks volumes of the workmanship that one does not always see these days.

My other equally favourite item is the 1950s gown that my Mum bought for my first ball.  I found it of all places, in Hunters and Collectors which was a leather and Doc Marten shop in Auckland.  Made of a cream silk brocade, sitting on the shoulders, it crosses over at the bust, sits wide and flat at the waist and is completed by yards upon yards of skirt.  An elegant gown that I still love swanning around in.

Can you share with us why vintage culture continues to hold such appeal for you? 

Aesthetics…  We no longer all ‘dress’ for everyday and up for an occasion, build houses that are extraordinary or have lawns, learn to dance in pairs to great music, drive cars with the glint of fresh chrome, respect our elders and take pride in every little thing in our lives. 

I abhor the lack of manners and attitude that has permeated everyday life.  And for goodness sake, pull your pants up boys and put some clothes on girls!!! 

Do you have any tips for anyone starting out in the vintage scene?

Make use of the internet to look into all aspects of what takes your fancy and don’t be shy to say “Hi”.  If you see someone wearing a look you like, ask them about it, it is always an honour to be complimented on an outfit.  Pop along to the markets/fairs, vintage clothing shops and those that do good reproductions.  Strike up a conversation with the shop guys and gals, they’re usually a friendly bunch.  Keep an eye out for gigs marketed as Rockabilly and Swing, there will always be people dancing and if that isn’t your thing, the music should still be worth checking out.

Most of all, be comfortable with whatever you put on in the morning and don’t sweat the small stuff…who cares if you’re wearing a 1930s gown with Doc Martens!

Now is your chance to provide us with an overview of who you are and what you do.

I am a housewife who loves to relax at home with my daughter in our beautiful backyard.  I’m usually found dressed to fit some theme for the day, whether it be Hawaiian, Mexican or just plain let us get dirty denim.  Handy with a sewing needle, I have a pile of alterations that I like to do at a leisurely pace…no need to rush in my day!

My evenings are spent with my wonderful husband, with a glass of red in hand and a smile on my face as I watch him playing with our daughter.

I have the most wonderful friends who share my passion for vintage and we all love to do the same things, markets, sewing, reading and good ol’ fashioned BBQ’s and get togethers. 

Finally, what or who inspires you and why?

My family and friends are my daily inspirations.  How can you not be inspired seeing the world 24/7 alongside your child!  My husband is an old-fashioned guy; He works for his family and his hobbies and I still love dressing up for him.  My friends look fantastic on a daily basis and if that didn’t keep me on my toes then an intervention would be needed!  There is nothing like sharing a fabulous buy with a friend who completely understands where you’re coming from aesthetically.

Most of all, I’m inspired by the everyday…there is beauty all around us, I’m just lucky I get to sit back and enjoy it!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Must see movies...

Get thou to a cinema, the movie gods say, and be sure at catch Midnight in Paris before it's season ends !! I LOVED this beautiful film, full of rich imagery and costuming, but I ADORED it for its portrait of a man caught up in the thrill of a bygone era (just like yours truly) and the struggle of present day reality vs that captivating fantasy.  It is certainly a wonderful discussion piece for starters...... don't miss it all you fellow history lovers. Where, oh where, are all the adorable men like Gil in this piece?
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