Monday, 24 June 2013

Cosplay Costume: Olga Korbut and a Eurovision Party

At the end of May there was the Euravision Song contest. This is one of my favourite events to get together with friends, drinks and a weird mixture of mishmashed Europiean food. It was no different this year and some of my friends had a Eurovision party where we watched the show, laughed at the terrible music and drank a shot if your allocated country was given 12 points.

Everyone that attended was allocated a country and you were required to wear a themed costume for that country and bring some kind of related dish for everyone to eat.

It all sounds like a great plan, however... my country was Belarus. Not to sound too ignorant, but blimey, aside from being former USSR I had no idea how to put together a costume for this! Fortunately for me Wikipedia saved the day (as always).

I turns out that the super famous Russian gymnast Olga Korbut was Belarusian (Belarus was part if the Soviet republic back in 1972)! Even better than that is that she comes with a signature hairstyle, outfit and accomplishments - perfect for a fancy dress costume.

The gymnast Olga was very well known for her bunches and white and red leotards. Also a little for her gold medal I'd say.

I decided to attempt this look and put bunches in my hair.

I sewed a red trim onto a white long sleeved top and I sewed strips of red fabric together to make the ribbons for a medal and for the bunches. I didn't really want to wear a full on leotard though so I wore some red shorts over the top.

Overall I'm not sure it is my greatest costuming achievement, but oh well I tried.

Have you ever been really stumped by a fancy dress theme?

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Vintage Outfit: Sunny Scarborough and a Tropical Vintage Skirt

Boy have I been enjoying the sunny weather! I'm not sure how long it will last, but being the sceptical Brit I am determined to enjoy every moment I can get until the summer rain inevitably sets in (usually during the first week of the summer holidays).

On a lovely sunny day I decided to go for a walk in the park with Mr. Fancy in his hometown of Scarborough. This particular park was Peasholm, a lovely park near the beach with a large lake and a mixed 'Asian Fusion' (to quote Glee) theme.

Around the lake there are little walks and streams with trees, squirrels and sculptures of large mushrooms. The lake itself was covered in people riding in dragon shaped peddle boats (a nice alternative to the usual swan) and in the centre there is a large island with waterfalls, bridges and small walled garden and pagoda. The parks feel was eccentric at best, but I love eccentric and eclectic so I throughly enjoyed myself!

As for my outfit I wore a lovely tropical print black skirt with greens and yellow flowers on it, it is vintage and from eBay so was only £7 its really light and floaty which makes it perfect for a summer day.The blouse is from Next and I've had it for about 6 years but it is one of the few blouses that doesn't pop open at the buttons so I'm very reluctant to ever let it go! Lastly I wore some leopard print ballet pumps from Clarks. They weren't cheap at £34.99, but they are the first pair of ballerinas I've ever been able to wear as I have stupidly narrow feet so I was willing to give them a go.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Newcastle Maker Faire

Back at the end of April my work hosted a huge event called Maker Faire. It was a whole weekend celebrating maker culture, creativity, building and hacking and it was AWESOME! I had a pretty busy time working on of the 'BioHacking' stands but I did manage to get a little time to check out what was going on. I also have a wonderful mother who took lots and lots of photos of some of the cool things people were doing.

Some of the event isn't really appropriate to this blog (and you can check out more info on Maker Faire in general here), but I did want to share just a few of the pictures of amazing sewing, knitting, crafting and costumey things I came across.

Crafty things:
There was a stand where you could design your own pattern and a machine would convert it to a bitmap and knit the design for you:

 Trying your hand at Japanese braiding, you can make some really nice bracelets with this technique:

A full size knitting mannequin robot!

And for the geeks among us:
The Rebel Legion were there with some of their costumes, in progress props and costumes and lots of bits and pieces to look at. They were excellent, the quality of their costumes was amazing and they are all very technically accurate, I was so impressed! I thought about wanting to make a Princess Leia costume but I have to say the accurate aspects of the costuming is something that is a little beyond me at this stage but one day... You can check out more form the Rebel Legion here:

The Northern Charity Daleks also made an appearance, they were pretty scary... although one of them is wearing a fez:

We were also making accurately scaled solar system bracelets (these were designed by my friend Emma!):

Oh and this dude:

During the day I was hanging out with one of the DIYBio teams from GenSpace all the way in New York, they brought naturally coloured bacteria that you could paint with, so I was helping people out with that. That's my mum painting at the table with me:

Here are some of the plates people made, mine are the pacman ghost and the rather messy tree. I have to say I was surprised by how well they turned out.

I would definitely recommend heading to a Maker Faire if you get the chance. There are several different mini maker faires across the country - definitely worth a look.

Oh yeah, and there was a robot that painted in pancakes!

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Casual Cosplay: Dressing like Audrey

A bit of frivolous fun and dressing up in todays post.

I was recently inspired by that Galaxy chocolate add featuring Audrey Hepburn. This idea of bringing classic actresses and actors back to promote products has been around a while but I found that that this recent advert was a little bit special.

Audrey Hepburn has been a classic icon of vintage, film and classic luxurious glamour fans for many many years, so it makes sense to use her iconic image in the chocolate advert. The advert itself has pretty impressive special effects and I love the look of the dress so I was inspired to have a little go of dressing like Audrey myself.

I already had a button down tea dress that looked the right sort of colour however I did not have the chocolate brown accessories so I had to resort ro a black belt and scarf around my neck.

My fringe was already in that slightly shorter style at the time so I pinned my hair up in a pony tail (that wasn't any where as neat as hers...) and swept it to the side to try and emulate her look. Eye make up and lipstick is the very classic 1950s-1960s flick and classic lips that isn't too different from my usual style. I have to say, I am very envious of her eyebrows, they are a lovely shape... I think I will need mine doing professionally again to get their proper shape back :(

I even managed to pinch some vintage shoes from my Grandmother, they are around 30 years old but in pretty good condition and fortunately in my size!

Let me know what you think?

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Vintage Event: Scarborough Vintage Faire

A few weeks ago I took the day to visit my husband in Scarborough and it just so happened that there was a vintage fair happening at the Scarborough Spa.

Naturally I decided that I had to visit! The weather was pretty nice so I was pleased to be able to wear a nice dress, and get this, go out without a coat. We even managed to find the time for a nice stroll along the promenade on the way there.

I decided to dress for the occasion and wore a lovely Jager tea dress, that may or may not be vintage. It is black with multi-coloured flowers, good-old shoulder pads and even pockets (which always make me desperately happy). I bought it off eBay and cost in the region of £20 so I am pretty pleased with it. I teamed it with a red cardigan from M&S and the ever reliable retro seamed stockings from What Katie Did. Lastly the brogues are from Clarks and are super comfortable  they come in so many colours too and are really durable I would highly recommend them.

I even did my hair, but it was the first time I really tried to style it with the fringe so I'm not sure it turned out too well...

The fair itself was really busy, I blame the bank holiday for drawing in the crowds but it is good to know that business is good. Lots of stalls to look at with lots of the standerd stuff, dressed, records and nic-nacs. The prices were very mixed some were very reasonable and some more expensive but they did generally reflect the quality of the item - there wasn't any faux vintage Primark either!

While browsing there was musical entertainment, a pop up hair salon and lindy dance demos etc so there was lots to keep you occupied. The husband and I even managed to get in a bit of dancing on the empty dance floor (they also had lindy lessons running throughout the day if that's the sort of thing you'd fancy).

Overall it was pretty enjoyable and at £2 entry it was one of the cheaper vintage fairs I have been to. I enjoyed it quite a bit although I am not a fan of fairs in general (I prefer charity shop rummagings).

What is the best vintage fair you have been to?

Monday, 3 June 2013

Vintage Outfit: A Trip to Malham and Vivien of Holloway Jeans

Around this time last year we had a few moments of nice weather and I went on a trip to Malham in the Yorkshire Dales with my family. I had sort of let the whole thing pass by in the haze of thesis writing but it all cropped up again when I entered one of the photos I took on the trip in a picture challenge competition on Instagram.

It was a panorama challenge so entered a shot of the steps near the cliff edge and some of the surrounding fields. It was a beautiful day so I was very lucky to be able to catch the blue sky (especially given how awful the summer was). Seems that I got a lucky shot, since my photo was voted the best of all the shots (over 400!) so I was pretty pleased.

Here's the picture by the way, what do you think?

I'm not really a person that is best suited for hiking so I really struggle to find clothes to wear for something like that. All I can say is thank goodness for my Vivien of Holloway 40s style jeans, the wide legs are super comfy for walking and they work well with a blouse and sneakers.

That's my brother in that shot too.
Kinda weird to see me with the blonde streaks and no fringe again but oh well.

Maybe I am developing some photography skills? I'll keep practising for now though.

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