Saturday, 31 May 2014

I'm just sitting watching flowers in the rain





Outfit details:
Dress: Handmade
Shoes: Orla Kiely x Clarks
Bag: 1960s vintage (Mattel)


I've been so busy noodling about adjusting my blog layout recently I quite forgot to actually update the thing. I'm never satisfied with it and can never get it to look just right to my eyes. I love the look of a sleek minimalistic layout, but I also love bold patterns and gaudy colour schemes. So you see my problem! Whenever I try and do the minimal thing everything feels too empty, but I love it on other blogs. I drive myself mad with it! It's strange, my side blog's layout was put together really rushed and haphazardly and it's my favourite so I've tried to incorporate a little of that over here, but I'm not sure it works. But I've pretty much hit a wall with it and am just at the "it'll do" stage (I'll bet it doesn't even look all that different to you, huh?)

This dress I made myself using a vintage pattern and fabric. Way back in January Catherine at Sewingthe60s posted about Australian designer Norma Tullo and featured many images of the patterns she'd designed. I completely fell in love with 4681 and Googled it immediately. It was obviously meant to be as ten minutes later I had located the pattern in my exact size on an eBay auction that was due to end in 20 minutes! I then spent some time scouring for the perfect fabric, and located two yards of this beautiful vintage 1960s paisley. Because I procrastinate a lot and my sewing is very sporadic I finally finished this dress about six weeks ago and I couldn't be happier with it. It really was so simple I imagine I'll be churning out a few more in various colours over time. I placed the cotton voile bow on a brooch fitting so it's detachable depending on my mood.

I was also delighted at how well it matches my Orla Kiely shoes and prized Twiggy tote. My Twiggy bag is one of my favourite things to use, it's the perfect size to fit in my sketchbook and an abundance of supplies. I got it for an absolute steal too at only £15. These bags were part of a special vinyl collection made by Mattel in 1967 along with the special Twiggy Barbie doll. I've probably given this bag a lot more use than I really ought to have over the years but I just love it so much and it would feel like a shame not to use it (and it already had it's few scratches when I bought it so I don't feel too bad!).


I have such a backlog of posts, so expect to see me again very soon!

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Sky of blue and sea of green





Outfit details:
Dress - Thrifted
Jacket - New Look
Socks - Topshop
Shoes - Self customised Vans
Jeremy patch - Official Beatles merchandise
Ringo Starr badge - 1980s vintage

We've been having some absolutely glorious weather lately, and so I took the opportunity to visit the beach. I really didn't mean for this outfit to be so Yellow Submarine themed, it happened entirely by accident! My shoes were my only deliberate choice: I made them last year just as winter was beginning to take hold and had been itching to wear them (especially since Vans released the official versions and, without wishing to sound boastful, I much prefer my own design! I posted about them here if you wish to take a closer look.) I had completely forgotten that Jeremy was sewn onto my jacket until I put it on, and even my choice of yellow dress could look intentional by this point!



I managed to find a small handful of beach glass which always feels like a treat, it amazes me how the sea can turn trash into such a treasure. I collect them in a decorative jar and they look truly beautiful when the suns rays fall on them.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Film Favourites: Dog Day Afternoon

Al Pacino in Dog Day Afternoon

Bar The Godfather, Dog Day Afternoon is my favourite Al Pacino movie. Based on a true story, you know the premise before you even begin watching it: bank robbery gone spectacularly wrong and turned into a media circus. It's a slow paced film, but rather than being dull it builds up a wonderful sense of tension that you could cut with a knife it's so thick.

It begins as an ordinary enough day on a hot afternoon in Brooklyn, New York. Sonny (Al Pacino) and Sal (John Cazale) are shown nervously entering a bank and things are against them almost immediately: the money has already been collected so the bank only has a couple of hundred dollars. And when the cops show up, Sonny inadvertently ends up with a hostage situation on his hands. Al Pacino has never been on better form than he is playing Sonny, and it always surprises me how he didn't win the Academy Award for his performance because it's never been so well deserved (sorry Jack).

Al Pacino in Dog Day Afternoon
Al Pacino in Dog Day Afternoon
Al Pacino in Dog Day Afternoon

This isn't just a simple heist movie, it has so many more layers to it than that. Sonny and Sal aren't professional thieves wanting to get rich quick: they have very little idea what they're actually doing, Sonny just wants enough money so that his "wife" can have the sex change operation she longs for. It's worth mentioning that Dog Day Afternoon was way ahead of the curve for the way it treated both a gay and trans* story line with both realism and tenderness (something modern entertainment still misses a lot of the time). When Leon (Sonny's partner) is introduced to the scene, there's background giggles from the police officers and utterances of "he's a queer?". But rather than sensationalise this aspect of the story, it's simply presented as a fact and Sonny and Leon's telephone call is one of the most emotional scenes in the entire film.

It's also worth mentioning John Cazale's performance as Sal, which is equally as engaging as Pacino but largely overlooked. He's magnetising with his childlike innocence and utter loyalty to Sonny, and inadvertently provides most of the humour of the film with his comments (like wanting to escape to the "country" Wyoming).

Al Pacino in Dog Day Afternoon
Al Pacino and John Cazale in Dog Day Afternoon
John Cazale in Dog Day Afternoon
Dog Day Afternoon
Al Pacino in Dog Day Afternoon
(Screencaps taken by myself from my DVD)

Sunday, 4 May 2014

You can never hold back spring







Outfit details:
Dress: 1960s vintage
Scarf: 1960s vintage
Shoes: ASOS (last summer)

Can you believe I took these photos with my iPhone??? I can't! I didn't even need to edit them at all other than resizing. I quite feel like throwing my real camera in the bin after seeing these!

My mind has felt a little foggy lately, I feel as though I've been in hibernation these past couple of weeks. Not unhappiness, just a sleepy reservation as I've been dreaming the days away and doing everything that pleases. Watching endless amounts of movies, reading more books than my poor bank account can handle (I must be Amazon's favourite customer lately!) and sketching out more ideas than my poor hand can keep up with. I feels a shame to have to wake up.

I hope you're all enjoying spring and the warmer weather (or autumn if you're upside down ;) ). I love winter, but I must say I'm glad to see the back of it. It hasn't been very harsh in my corner of the world, but certainly very long and the sun is a very welcome guest.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

In the land of submarines

I adore collecting things, not just any old thing but things that I genuinely enjoy. This includes all kinds of things really, but items that relate to my biggest loves are obviously the most precious to me. My collections aren't necessarily anything special or rare, owning something I'm not in love with just so I can say I own it really isn't my style and a mindset I've never understood. But each item is special to me and that's good enough! I've shared some things as they've come into my possession before, but I thought I would enjoy going back and documenting some of my favourites. My vintage Yellow Submarine book seemed like as good of a place to start as any!

The Beatles Yellow Submarine Pop Out book
The Beatles Yellow Submarine Pop Out book

My complete adoration for the artwork of Yellow Submarine should be obvious by now, so an item like this being in my possession should be expected really. This book was released in 1968 to promote the film's release. Each page is made of card and contains various characters and artwork with perforations so you can pop them out and arrange them on a shelf or wall to your own design. The book contains various instructions and ideas, it even suggests making a mobile of them.

I really love the art in this book, and am always a little tortured as to what should be done with it. I've entertained the idea of framing the book to protect it, but it seems a sin to hide away it's colourful pages which I enjoy flicking through so much. I've also considered buying another and punching out the characters as is intended, but I'm far too sentimental to take apart something that has remained intact for 46 years!

The Beatles Yellow Submarine Pop Out book

They're wild, weird, wonderful - but nice. The Yellow Submarine itself...John, Paul, George and Ringo in their new gear...Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band...the Blue Meanie...the Apple Bonker...the Boob...the Snapping Turtle Turk...and more, more, more of the fantastic characters featured in the smash hit movie. Twenty amazing, amusing decorations, printed on special art board in dazzling full color - fun for the family, a delightful gift for a friend. Brighten up your home in the mod mood. Have a pop-out party. Arrange them on a wall, mount them on books, wastebaskets, luggage, whatever. Stand them on a shelf. Make mobiles. It's easy, and fun for young and old. So cut out for Pepperland - your fun-cruise on the Yellow Submarine starts here!

The Beatles Yellow Submarine Pop Out book

A lot of the artwork is made up of the clip art we've come to know so well over the years, but it contains some real gems that are lesser seen. And even the clip art pieces are a joy to look at with their muted colour palette and the added textures (for example, I love the small details of the additional thinner stripes on Ringo's jacket and the tweed like pattern on his trousers and George's top.) Each character has a real hand drawn quality about it which I just adore.

The Beatles Yellow Submarine Pop Out book
The Beatles Yellow Submarine Pop Out book
© Dolly Rocker. Design by FCD.