Wednesday, 18 July 2012

New Hair and Th'Legendary Shack Shakers!

I finally got a haircut! It only took me a year and three months. I went to my friend Bethany Davies, vintage make up and hair artist extraordinaire, who runs mobile beauty services, pop-up salons and has a gorgeous little salon in her home too. Here I am ready for Th'Legendary Shack Shakers / Dirt Daubers gig on Sunday.

Here's what I wore - my tiki dress and bolero, which I made a couple of months ago after planning it for over a year. It's already a bit too big for me, bah! (But also yay for bodily shrinkage!)

I don't know what that blur is on my mirror, it's been there forever, I can't tell whether it's hairspray which I've managed to miss while cleaning (OK, so I don't clean often), or whether the silvering is starting to deteriorate, it's a pretty old mirror. Also I really need to get a backdrop or something, I'm sure you're all sick of seeing the craphole that is my bedroom.

Even though I saw them a couple of months ago in Liverpool, I just had to go to see Th'Legendary Shack Shakers again, they never fail to put on a great show.

Supporting were the Dirt Daubers, the rather more traditional side project from Shack Shakers singer, raconteur, lowbrow artist and all round mountain music impresario Col. JD Wilkes, his wife Jessica and bassist Mark Robertson. I particularly liked their rendition of the old Appalachian murder ballad Down in the Willow Garden, and of course I can never resist a band with a banjo and a washboard.

They also had girls' t-shirts in different sizes! I almost burst with joy, despite them not having any vinyl records. It really annoys me how on the rare occasion that bands produce ladies' t-shirts, they are almost always 'one size', and that size is TINY. The lovely Shack Shakers had three ladies' designs from s-xl, so I bought two. Admittedly they had run out of xl in one of them, obviously because it is super cool and everybody wants one, so here I am after wriggling into a slightly scandalous large.

Here I am with my darling friend Natalie outside the venue, it was all finished and we were out by 10.45pm! We are old ladies, evidently. Best dressed old ladies in the nursing home, though.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Creepy Crab Lamp!

My boyfriend's grandparents have recently moved, and from the clearout they have given us a few pieces. There's a wardrobe and small dressing table for when we move house in a few months, and this lamp!

It's a 1960s piece and has a load of marine detritus set in lucite - it's really hefty, it'd be the perfect weapon should I ever be the victim of home invaders. Apparently it used to terrify my boyfriend as a child. Well, despite it not being very vegan, it has now found a loving home with me! I love my creepy crabs, forever sealed in plastic as they eat their dinner of seaweed. My own grandparents had a paperweight the same, it now lives in my dad's bathroom. How I wish the little crablings could meet!

I added the shade, it's a vintage spun fibreglass one which cost me £3 for a pair from a vintage rummage sale, its partner is on the mid-century geisha lamp which I restored, you can see her peeping out at the back.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Sewing - finished aeroplanes halter dress!

Today I finished this dress. It's for Paul's graduation next week, he is being awarded his masters degree in Aerospace Engineering, so I thought I would make an appropriate outfit!

This is just a sneaky peek, there will also be a bolero, hat and shoes for you to see, which I will post pictures of after the occasion. The pattern was modified from the ScissorHappy Sarong Dress, but frankly it's nothing like the original now - I added the circle skirt instead of a sarong skirt, the halter strap is of my own design, and I also worked out how to create petal busts, all on my own! Squee! The fabric is a soft twill, American Folk Fabrics 'Flying High' from 1995 which I scored on etsy.

Here's a glimpse of another one I did with a petal bust, my squid dress! Which is now known as the dangerous squid dress, due to its effect on certain males last weekend. I've used this pattern so much since I bought it, and taught myself how to make lots of modifications, I'm now on my fifth creation from it! Who knew boning and petal busts were so easy?

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Finally venturing out of the techno-closet.

So, after much cajoling by other small business owners and bloggers, I have joined twitter. You can find me under @KalandraJane.

By Moma via DVice

I am going to attempt to keep this thing semi-professional as the purpose of it is to gain wider exposure for my business, but I expect that all sorts of things will make it onto there depending on my productivity/creativity/unbridled rage levels. I will of course still be posting here, and will tweet about new blog entries.

Come and see me!

Monday, 2 July 2012

Afternoon tea! Bistro 1847, Manchester

Last week I was invited for afternoon tea by the lovely Susan of Old Fashioned Susie and the Vintage Manchester blog. It was a balmy day, and it was lovely to retreat to the cool and calm atmosphere of Bistro 1847, Manchester city centre's vegetarian restaurant. I love this place so had high expectations - I went for their Christmas menu, again for my birthday, and for Valentine's too!

We had the vegan option for our afternoon tea, as I am vegan and Susan avoids dairy. A vegetarian option is also available, which comes with clotted cream for the scones and different sandwich fillings. The meal was lovely! Here is Susan with the spread, we were provided with a refreshing glass of Pimms each, a large pot of tea, and an array of tempting sandwiches, cakes and scones.

The sandwiches were served on a light rustic ciabatta style bread, and consisted of pesto with tomato, avocado with olive salsa, and a scrumptious paté which I think was white bean with sundried tomato. Cakes included a sticky marmalade cake, tart rhubarb cake, some little pastries which were a bit like palmiers, and a tasty walnut confection. The scones were light and served with a raspberry preserve absolutely bursting with flavour.

Here I am about to devour the last sandwich - luckily the one where I had it halfway into my mouth, chewing away like a beast, was deleted.

I loved this afternoon tea, it made me feel very fancy indeed! Hopefully I'll be able to go again soon for a special treat. Thank you Sue! xxx