Monday, 31 December 2012

Removing Glitter Nail Varnish

How many times have you frustratedly scrubbed trying to removed tattered old glitter nail varnish.  Used a whole bottle of remover and it still wont budge! Frustrating as hell!

Try out my method for quick easy removal.  In fact you don't have to just use this method for glitter varnish, it removes regular nail varnish too, in half the time!
You will need, nail varnish remover, cotton pads, cling film or tin foil.  Cut the cotton pads into quarters, amerce in nail varnish remover, wrap in tin foil, leave for 20 mins or so.  Pull alien faces in the mirror with your fingers. Remove, Voila naked nails!

 Now your nails are fresh and clean ready for your next nail adventure!

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Swing Dancing -First Lesson

On Monday i attended my first swing dancing lesson.  I has been a long time coming since i learnt to dance.  I am fed up eyeing up all the dancers with envy at rock n roll nights.  Revival Dance run two dance lessons in West Bridgford Nottingham, one on a Monday night with Terry at the Poppy and Pint and one on Thursday at the Embankment with Hayley.  I got ten lessons for £20 via groupon to attend Terry's class on Monday.

I went to the class with Rose Desire for moral support.  I have two left feet and no concept of rhythm at all.  I knew i wouldn't be very good but i went along anyway for the fun of it.  it really was fun, the class was mixed, so we were thrown in (literally) in at the deep end!  The lesson was good, Terry broke the dance down to small easy to learn sections.  But i could really of done with one lesson simply learning the most basic step!

I don't know the name of the dance we learnt, i know it was an 8 step.  I am also going to give Thursday's lessons a go next year.  Hayley is going to teach the stroll, which i am eager to learn  All the girls stroll at events, they look really cool all dressed up.  i am really looking forward to joining them.

Fancy joining me, check out their website

Friday, 14 December 2012

Small Business Top Tips - Facebook

We love it and we hate it with a passion.  But there is no getting away from it if you are a small business owner.  Facebook.  It has helped me a great deal.  I have been running my page for two years next April and already i have nearly 4,000 'likes'  i am going to share with you some of my top secret tips on running a successful page.

 I am by no means an expert, i am simply sharing what has worked for me.  i am going to do a series of blog post, small business top tips.  I previously wrote a few blog posts for becoming self employed and this post is how i came up with my business idea and turned my dream into reality.

Firstly set your business up as a page, NOT as a profile.  There is nothing more unprofessional than a business that has a profile rather than a page.  I am surprised how many quite large businesses still engage their customers through personal profile pages.  Get a page!!

Find your voice and stick to it, are you a 'I' or a 'we'.  Also get a page personality.  Decide on how much of your own private life you want to put out there for the world to be involved in.  Remember not everyone who uses facebook is nice.

Keep your page up dated with up beat interesting info.  When posting something, try and have a photo.  i have found people respond to images than simple status updates.  Look at your stats, see which posts people interact to and post more like it.  I got the most interaction when i post about Maybellene my pug, so i throw in the odd pug photo... even though the page is about dresses, so what.  What the page is about is me, that's what my brand is, me and my pug!

Photo by Flashes and Lashes
Keep everything up beat, your facebook business page is NOT a place to bitch or complain!

Engage with the reader.  When making a statement, end it by asking them a question.  This is good because it gives them a say, plus its also nice to chat with your fans.

Network.  Get to know other small businesses in your field, engage in collective projects together.  Be careful with simply sharing a page, perhaps share a photo and the link the page owner in the statement, that way the post is seen on your page as well as theirs.  Networking with others is how i have got the majority of my 'likes' and two years later, those small businesses are some of my best friends!

Photo by Flashes and Lashes (i love these girls and owe them a lot)
 Facebook has changes a lot since i first started using it.  Previously all your fans saw your posts now only 10% do if you are lucky.  The more engaging you make the posts the more likely people 'like' or comment, the more engagement you get the higher the reach.

Work all your other social media sites together.  Twitter, blog, Pinterest, Instagram.  Don't link your twitter to your facebook, this can cause your facebook to look cluttered and messy.  But you can link your facebook to your twitter.  If there is a social networking site out there that is free, get on it!  Facebook isn't the be all and end all, especially the recent changes it has made.

I think about facebook as my central hub for all information, my blog like my magazine, my twitter like my news paper seller shouting 'extra extra' read all about it.  My instagram like my small independent zine for my magazine.  My pinterest like my research for my magazine.  Remember not everyone pays attention to all your posts in all your networking sites, so it may feel like you are repeating yourself, but don't worry.  You can post things in different words if you feel you are repeating.

'Share this photo to win'  be careful about doing this, its actually against facebook rules.  They have the right to delete your page without warning.  Perhaps run the competition on your blog and tell people about it via fb and twitter. 

Don't beg for likes, not cool makes you sound desperate and is likely to piss off those who already like your page.  its not cool!

Its all in the timing.  If you have an interesting post or if you can only find time to post once a day.  There is no point telling everyone in the middle of the night.  Most people use facebook at lunch time or in the evenings.  Or the prim time, Sunday afternoon/evening.  Got some big announcement to make, do it then. 

Post intersting content, people liked your page for a reason.  Keep them interested and wanting more.  They can ealiy like you, but they can just as easily unlike you.   And if they do dont take it personaly.  Think positvily at least they have visited your page at some point and seen your work.

Facebook is a tool, it is not your business.  Do not rely solely on facebook to bring traffic in for your business.  It is free (for the basic sence) make use of it as much as you can!

Dont give your customers the hard sell constanly.  No one likes to be told to buy something over and over again, no matter how good it is.  People are nosey, they like to know about the brand, the person behind the brand.  Thats what they buy, they dont buy a product.

Photo by Flashes and Lashes
What works for you?  Have you got any tips for me?

For all bespoke dress enquires please email me at

Thursday, 29 November 2012

John Lewis, Vintage G Plan

How did i miss this?  The latest in John  Lewis, vintage revival range.  Last year they dusted off some classic Ercol desings and gave a twist to some new and excustive pieces.

The range launched in August 2012.  Hot British designers HemingwayDesign and renowned furniture makers G Plan have teamed up for an exciting new furniture and soft furnishings collection, which will be exclusively available from John Lewis.

HemingwayDesign’s Tilly Hemingway says of the new collaboration: “G Plan came to prominence in a golden era of British Design that emerged and developed from the 1951 Festival of Britain. This era of 'Mid Century Modern' design is now inspiring a whole generation of young designers once more, and I cannot tell you how exciting it has been to be able to trawl the G Plan archive with a brief to re-interpret the brands rich history for a new generation of 'modernists'.”

Last year i had been eying up the vintage inspired Barbican range at John Lewis.  But after sitting on it and looking at the price tag, it really wasnt comfy and wanst worth the price tag.  I would much rather spend my cash on an iconic, quality designer piece from the Danish Home Store.
G Plan Vintage The Fifty Five Armchair, Marl Green
On screen i have to admit the vintage G-plan range does look good, perhaps its the way its styled and photographed.  Proof will be in the rear, when i sit on it.  But alas even if my bottom did like it, my bank balance wouldn't and besides for nearly £3k i would much rather invest in Danish and see my piece of furniture tripple or double in a few years.  Oh but it does look pretty in teal blue....
G Plan Vintage The Fifty Three Range, Fleck Blue

Bomb Girls - Head scarf

Has everyone been watching Bomb Girls on ITV3, if not you can catch it on ITV player, but be quick!  Any tv show that is set during the 40s, 50s or 60s i will instantly watch.  Bomb Girls is a rather enjoyable show, great styling, good story lines.  We see so much of the home front during the war in the UK, i don't really know much about it across the pond, so its good to see it from that side.

There is a great interview in this months copy of Vintage Life Magazine, so do check it out.

Get the Bomb Girl head scarf look with my BooBoo Kitty Couture chiffon head scarfs.  Available in white, blush, black, mint green and red.

 Perfect for covering rollers, pin curls or bad hair days!

For all bespoke dress enquires please email me at

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Vintage Dates for your Diary

There is allot going on in the next couple of weeks, so rather than trying to keep up with all the facebook posts and tweets i have been posting, i have made a list for you.  See link to facebook event page for more details.

Flashes and Lashes present their third open day, on Saturday 17 November 2012!  Still places left so book now!

Nottingham's 2nd Vintage Bicycle ride, Sunday 18th November. Free event just turn up with your bike and dressed in your vintage best.

Rose Desire, Lucille and Myself... obviously!

West Bridgford Bazaar at the Poppy and Pint, Sunday 25th November.  Looking forward to having a stall here and meeting the locals and seeing what the other sellers have.  A good place to grab a bargain with top quality second hand, vintage and hand made.

Elecrotease, Friday 7th December.  Leicester Burlesque night hosted by the Queen of Burlesque Eliza Delite 

Dr Sketchy, Nottingham.  Teddy Bear's picnic.  Saturday 8th December. The alternative life drawing class with a mix of burlesque and cabaret.

West Bridgford Vintage Christmas Fayre and Lights Ceremony, Saturday 8th December.  I will have a little stall selling my wears.  I will also be organising the vintage catwalk show on the main stage.  There will be live music, choir, Santa, stalls, street entertainers.  Best of all its FREE!

I am going make this a regular feature on my blog, perhaps monthly.  So if you have any Vintage Nottingham events that you would like featured email me a flyer, a brief description and a facebook events link;

Monday, 12 November 2012

Sunday Night Glam

Rose Desire, Lucille and I at the Gilded Merkin last night
Last night i went to The Gilded Merkin burlesque show at the Glee club, Nottingham.  A high class burly night organised by Scarlett Daggers.  Just like the first show, the second show of the year was just as brilliant!  As usual i had a wonderful time.

The next show is 10th Febuary 2013.  Gentlemen, it would make the perfect Valenties gift for your lady.  All the single ladies, all the single ladies, it too would make the perfect girly anti-valentines night out! 

I will share with you some official photos from the show once they are released.  But here is what i wore..

Coat- years old from a high street shop called Bay
Teal satin dress - handmade by me, available to order in my shop
Carvella black shoes, (not in photo as the other half is terrible at taking photos) £5 form a carboot fayre, and they were brand new - score!
My hair is set with pin curls, brushed out then pinned for a very short 50s style bob
Necklace and earrings, vintage

Frankii Wilde modelling the satin teal dress, photo by Flashes and Lashes
For all bespoke dress enquires please email me at

Friday, 9 November 2012

Kirsty's Vintage Home

I cannot stand Kirsy Allsopp, just loading up this photo onto my blog makes me want to yell at my laptop and punch the screen.
i tuned in to watch Channel 4's newest series Kirsty's Vintage Home.  I knew i would spend the hour shouting at the TV, but i watched it anyway.  I did like some of the crafty parts of her previous series and she did meet some talented craft people.  I just had to get over the fact that every time she tried out a new craft she acted like a spoilt five year.  Oh i wish i would send her to the naughty step!

Dispite ruining a perfectly good side board and telling every channel four viewer to by teak G-Plan, no doubt sending prices through the roof... cheers for that Kirsty.  It was an Ok show and i will continue to watch the rest of the series and rant and shout my way through it!

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Vintage Morals

This morning during a mid morning break i switched on the Channel 5's The Wright Stuff.  Matthew's views on child benefit and none-breeders always make me giggle.

Today there was a light hearted debate about getting stuff from Free-Cycle and selling it on.  We have got a few bits of vintage furniture from Free-Cycle.  I would have no problem putting these items on ebay once i no longer need them to make money from them.  My house is full of vintage furniture, we regularly get rid of items and replace them with new finds.  Its hard to keep track of where we got the items from and how much we paid for them.  Sometimes i give furniture away for free, sometimes i sell it on ebay.  Then use the money to buy more furniture.  i have no issue if an item i happen to sell was got from Free-Cycle.  Just as i don't have a problem that if i give a piece away, if the person then sells it.

My Old house, gave away that sideboard, it doent bother me if the person sells it on, bought the coffee table for £2 might sell it and make a profit, cabinet £6 could easily sell and make a profit.

 I don't see Free-Cycle as a site just for the poor and needy.  I wouldnt class myself as needy nor poor and i certainly dont credit check a person collecting an item i am getting rid of on Free-Cycle to check if they are poor or needy.  There are plenty of charities out there, so if you do want your furniture to go to those in need, donate it to a charity.

For those who have issues with this, what about the vintage sellers who buy items cheap at chairty shops then sell them on to make a profit.  Surly you are ripping off charity shops.  Or what about that poor man at the car boot stall in the freezing cold, selling what he thinks is tat, but you know is Midwinter and will fetch a good price on ebay.

At the end of the day, the person giving away items on Free-Cycle are happy, they have gotten rid of that blasted sofa taking up all the space.  The Charity shops are happy because they have made a bit of money selling something someone dontated to them for free.  Mr Smith down the carboot sale has made a few quid flogging that hidious china him and his wife got for a wedding present back in the 50s.

Oh if someone were to be selling this at a carboot fair for a fiver, i would happily give them a tenner!
 You are happy you got a 50s sofa for free, you are happy you got a bakelite bangle from the charity shop for £1, you are happy you got a mint condition Midwinter coffee set for a fiver.  And if at some point down the line you chose to sell them on, dont feel guilty!

The people who should feel guilty are those throwing perfectly good stuff in skips!

Monday, 5 November 2012

Fancy being a model for a day?

I have had the pleasure in working with Flashes and Lashes on a number of occasions.  One of my favourite shoots, where Maybellene joined me in front of the camera.  On both occasions i have had a fantastic time.  My first shoot was about two years ago, i had never done anything like this before.  I was very nervous to say the least.

Anyone can be a pin up girl, let Sali and Emma show you how!

Emma and Sali were a delight to work with, they totally put me at ease.  With a relaxed and professional environment where i was pampered before the shoot.  I picked up lots of cool make up tips from Ms Moo during my make over, which i use today!  Then during the shoot i was coached as to what faces to pull and positions to stand it. 

Here is Sali, aka Ms Moo to tell you more about their fantastic open day!

Flashes and Lashes are proud to present their third open day, for Saturday 17 November 2012! This’ll be at our city centre location in Hockley. Come join us for an hour makeover and photoshoot, as every girl deserves a treat!


Open Days are now likely to be bi-annual, so this is the last of 2012 – get your hands on an appointment now, and we’ll forward you an email with all the info you’ll need for the day with some top tips in advance to prepare yourself! If you’re not able to make the appointment date, we do have Gift Certificates available; these make brilliant Christmas presents and can be used within 6 months from the voucher issue date.

So what do I get for my £90.00, I hear you cry!

- Perfect vintage hair styling and glamour puss make-up from pinup professionals, Ms Moo and Michaela!

- 1 hour photo shoot with Miss Rain in the studio; she’s established, published and a specialist pin-up photographer to the best burlesque stars, such as Missy Malone, Frankii Wilde and Anna Fur Laxis!

- Wide range of coloured background colours to suit your outfit, lipstick or lingerie!

- LOTS of styling and posing tips for in front of camera; these’ll obviously be super useful during the day, but they’ll also last you a lifetime!

- Tea and cake – standard! You can’t work with Flashes and Lashes without cake, it might as well be written in our contracts

- Two images provided digitally – you can use these (with the watermark) on Facebook et al, and use the non-watermarked versions to print for your beau or your family!

- A tasty 10% off any future full package shoots with Flashes and Lashes in the future – just a cheeky bonus from us to you :)

Check out thier website or see thier facebook for more info
or email them at

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Stop Press ;p

A few weeks back my business was featured in the Nottingham Evening Post.  This is a local paper for the Nottinghamshire area.  So its kind of a big deal, seeing as the main part of my business is aimed at customers in Nottingham.  I had a double page spread in the weekend magazine.  

I met the writer Riah Matthews at an event in December 2011, which i also made an appearance in the Nottingham Post.  See below, bottom right in the red dress.

Riah came and visited me in my old studio in Netherfield, since then i have moved to West Bridgford.  We talked about my love of all things vintage and mid century. 

 I told her how i had always had an interest in sewing as my mother was a dressmaker, you can read more about my back ground on my website. 

 I also explained how my hobby turned into a business all because i needed to raise the money to buy my pug, Maybellene.  Who has now turned into a business mascot and famous in her own right.  I have had really good feed back from this article, i even had someone chase me down the street to tell me they had seen me in the paper, we chatted for a while about vintage fashions and how much she loved my dresses.  I was really flattered that i had been recognised!

More of my work was featured in a one off edition of Autumn Brides, a free magazine which 5,000 copies were distributed through out the city.  It features Kate's wedding.

 A massive thank you to Riah for featuring me in all these editions.  If you run a magazine or a news paper and would like to feature me, my pug and my dresses get in touch!

For all bespoke dress enquires please email me at

Monday, 29 October 2012

Red 'Cry Baby' dress

Photo by Grace Elkin Photography
I have made a few burlesque costumes in my sewing career, i featured one for Anna Fur Laxis in this blog post about her new act, Showgirl Assassin.   I recently made this sexy red satin wrap dress for Rose Desire for her new 'Cry Baby' act.  For those not familiar with the film (i suggest go out and buy it NOW!)

 For the design i had to take into account how she would remove her dress as a part of her act.

Photo by Grace Elkin Photography

The good thing about this dress is that she can also wear it as a cocktail dress... and if she has too many cocktails, she can easily remove it!

For all bespoke dress enquires please email me at