Wednesday, 30 November 2011

The Pirate 1948

In June I wrote a post about using historical movies as inspiration and the movie that triggered that post was the musical The Pirate from 1947 starring Gene Kelly and Judy Garland. Manuela (Garland) dreams about a dashing pirate, Mack “the Black” Macoco, but agrees to marry a rich, boring and much older Don Pedro. A circus performer, Serafin (Kelly) falls in love with her and pretends to be Macoco in order to woe her. After some twists and turns- it turns out that Don Pedro is the aging Macoco, everything ends happily for Manuela and Serafin. And as it is a movie with Garland and Kelly, there is a fair amount singing and dancing. The movie is set in the Caribbean in the 1840’s, but the costume designer, Tom Keogh, plays rather fast and loose with historical accuracy and nods quite equally to the contemporary fashions of the 1940’s. A hundred years earlier the fashion dictated sloping shoulders, puffed sleeves, a rather high, but narrow waist and a full skirt with many petticoats. There were also some rather oddly shaped hairstyles, like this fashion plate indicates.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

I wish I was a rich girl #2

December is almost upon us, so why not wish that you would buy all these gorgeous Christmas ornaments? My favourite kind of tree ornaments is glass baubles. I buy a new one every year and though they occasionally break, my tree is quite full by now. I’m not big on decorating, but I want my tree overloaded with tinsel and glittery glass ornaments. I also have the three lights my grandmother Greta bought for the very first Christmas as a married woman in 1943. I’m so happy that they are still in working order and in their original box too! My maternal grandparents only had plain round glass baubles but my paternal grandparents had ornaments in all kind of shapes and I have found their counterparts on Etsy. I especially love the ones which are dimpled, as a child I found them absolutely fascinating!

Monday, 28 November 2011

Fräulein Frauke and my new hair

Fräulein Frauke Presents Duty Calls took place on Saturday, and a mighty good time was had, I must say. Nalen is an absolutely fantastic location and though it was pretty crowded the ceiling is so high that it never got too hot or felt too crowded. However, I met a friend in the wardrobe and then manage to not locate her for the rest of the evening, so it was definitely a lot of people there. We were early so we were among the first 250 who got a free glass of champagne when we come. I didn't see all of the cabaret, but the artist I did see were very good. Fräulein Frauke was, as usual, adorable:

I also enjoyed the ringmaster, Dusty Limits, very much as well as Vicky Butterfly

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Two giveaways

Perhaps it is the season, but there are giveaways everywhere right now. Me, I’m thinking of having one when this blog reach 200 followers, a sum that seems to be within reach, to my great surprise.

First Kristina at Dahling It's Vintagy!, who is giving away this lovely lipstick, rouge and mirror combo:

Read the rules here.

Next, Brittany from Va-voom Vintage is giving away a gift certificate from ShoeclipBiz , who sell just shoe clips. Read more in this post.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Duty Calls

Tonight I will have the perfect opportunity to don my blue evening gown as I’m going to Fräulein Frauke- Duty Calls. Fräulein Frauke is an excellent burlesque club here in Stockholm and tonight the theme is World War II, so of course I have to go! I have been to FF before and enjoyed myself, but that was in their old place which was truly terrible when it comes to drink, ladies rooms and wardrobe, but the atmosphere and show made up for a lot of that. This year, however, it moved to Nalen, which truly must be the perfect place for a 1940’s club. Nalen was THE dance palace in Stockholm from the 1930’s to the end of the 1960’s and I’m pretty sure that both my grandparents and parents have danced there. It opened again in the 1990’s and have several scenes and dance floors. I can’t dance swing, but I expect I will be able to enjoy other dance tonight!

Thursday, 24 November 2011

A birthday cake

If my grandmother Greta had been alive, she would have turned 99 last Monday and, quite naturally, I have been thinking a lot about her for the last couple of days. She was, as I have mentioned before, a woman with many talents and one of them was to bake. She baked bread and she baked cakes. Though she didn't quite followed the tradition of a Swedish "kafferep" (a social meeting where you drank coffee and had cakes) and always had "seven kinds of cakes" at home, she had, at any given time, always buns, sponge breads and several kind of cookies. My Mum said only the other day that when she was a kid there was a special "cookie cupboard" in the kitchen. One of her fortes was to bake three sponge cakes in the oven at the same time which made the middle one sunk, as it didn't get as much heat. For some reason that middle one always tasted like it was filled with almond paste.

Thinking of my grandmother and cakes made me remember that I have one of her cookbooks, the one the picture, called Läckra Rumfordfinesser ("Delicious Rumford Delicacies") from 1946. It’s really more a pamphlet to advertise the glory of Rumford baking powder, but it's a quite lavish one. There are several coloured pictures of rather tasty looking cakes and cookies, but most fun is the two pictures on the inside of the covers. The first one depicts two women engaged in just a "kafferep":

Monday, 21 November 2011

I wish I was a rich girl

(Picture source:

It’s so easy, when I can’t sleep, to surf around on Etsy and drool over all the things I would like to buy. And it’s so easy to buy it too- the dollar is low compared to the Swedish krona and, oops, there I bought something nice again for almost nothing. Unfortunately a lot of almost nothing ends up not be so little in the end… I have, by no means, shopped more than I can afford, but I have a few things coming next year that I want to be able to spend on, so it’s time for me to tie the purse strings and only buy what I need. At the moment I have all the fabric and patterns I need for my upcoming sewing projects and the only thing I can allow myself to shop for is a black dress and a brown handbag and knitted mitts. Possibly a pair of green court shoes, but that’s stretching it a bit. What to do then, with all the lovelies I can’t buy? Well, I thought I would post them here in the hope that it will be exactly what you have been looking for. My choice is purely personal- none of the sellers has in any way endorsed me. Some of these things I would probably not buy because I find the price too high, but it may very well be in someone else’s budget. I haven’t purchased from all the sellers, so I also recommend that you check out their feedback first. So then, let’s begin with;

Dress clips Self explanatory, I guess, one or a pair of clips that you put on your clothes. You can use ear clips for the same purpose, but a dress clip has little spikes to make them sit more securely (and you wouldn’t want to put those in your ears…) With a pair you can use them to change the shape of a neckline and thus put a new spin to a dress. Be a little careful with fragile fabrics you don’t damage the fabric.

I'm going to the hairdresser tomorrow

I’m going to Retroella tomorrow to spruce up my middy. I’ll keep it longish, but I do need a trim. I’m also contemplating something else… I stopped dyeing my hair in the beginning of this year. I have dyed it a dark brown for the last ten years, or so, so it felt a bit odd to see my own lighter brown turn up again. It’s actually not as mousy as I remember it, but a rather nice bronzy colour. The ends are still darker, but it looks ok anyway. So I decided to keep my natural colour, it could be nice to have it around before it starts graying. Not that I’m graying just yet, but at my age you never know. After deciding that I quickly got bored with not playing with my haircolour (I think it’s addictive) and have been thinking of what I could do that would add some fun and be a suitable vintage solution. I came up with this:

(Picture source:

Of course, I won't ever be as glamorous as Rita Hayworth!

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Suitable shoes

(Picture source:

Of course Alla kvinnors bok doesn't just tell you what clothes to wear, it talks about shoes as well. It begin that with lamenting that Swedish woken has so much bigger feet than the French and the Italian and also that we live in a climate with plenty of both rain and snow-a all things that makes it difficult to be both well-shod and find beautiful shoes. I can't agree that larger feet are unprettier than smaller ones, but I really agree that the climate may make it hard to find the both practical and pretty. However, never buy shoes just because they look nice- the most important part is that they fit.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

A review on Bèsame lipstick

Like so many others I have been looking with longing on the beautiful products from Bèsame. So stylish and with such design, looking so much like make-up packages did on the good old days. And everyone who tried seemed to rave over the quality, especially the lipsticks. I have been a bit scared to order anyway, just because I have felt unsure on what colour to choose. Luckily Bèsame offers samples on six of their lipsticks, namely:
Bèsame Red, a cool-toned true red.
Cherry Red, darker cherry red, cool-toned.
Red Velvet, darker red, neutral
Red Hot Red, a warm-toned true red
Carmine, a orange red
Merlot, a brownish red.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Grey Beret

My autumn/winter wardrobe has two berets listed, one grey and one black. The black are to be made in the same fabric as the black wool dress, so I plan to sew that one myself, but I have been looking for a classic grey beret in stores. I haven’t had much luck, but then Retro Chic posted about berets, 3 Ways to Wear a Beret- read it for some nice tips and she mentioned Village Hats as a good source. I looked; I found and ordered a grey one within minutes to a good price. I placed the order on Sunday at it arrived today, which I think is very good considering that Village Hat is in UK and I am in Sweden.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

The benefits of moving

Though exercise wasn’t as hyped in the 1940’s as it is today, it was still something that was considered good for you. Interestingly my beauty books don’t mention weight loss when it speaks about the virtues of moving your body, though it does say that exercise will keep your body trim. It put much more stress on the joy of being able to control your movements and to feel liberated in your body as well as promoting your health and vitality.

The advice is to do your exercise every morning for 15 minutes- get up a little earlier to find the time. The kind of exercise is what the book call gymnastics, but we probably would call aerobics. Start slowly if you are new to it and gradually build up your strength, but do try work hard enough to feel completely warm. Keep you posture throughout and don’t forget to breathe properly. Be very careful when you stretch out your muscles! Do your exercise in front of an open window, of, if possible, outside.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Heyday giveaway

Heyday is having an absolutely fabulous givaway, the black Fleur-dress with daisies:

One of the dresses I have been eyeing, in fact. And to complete it, earrings and brooch.

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