Saturday, October 29, 2011

Viva Van Story Halloween Shoot

My photos from Viva Van Story Photography are in! Just in time for Halloween! It was great fun to do and I hope you all enjoy them!!

Thank you all for your support! I would like to especially thank my husband who supports and cheers me on-you are the best hunny! I would also like to thank my sponsers; Rocio Vega, Nick Winser, and Jennifer Lynne Foxell. A special thanks to Lucy Anne and Lisa for joining me on this adventure and for giving me a ride-you girls are the sweetest!! And last but never least, I would like to thank ME for those long hours selling at the yard sales in order to make this photo shoot happen and for stepping out of my comfort zone and trying something new and scary. Thank you all for your continued support and friendship!!


Friday, October 28, 2011

Weekend Cinema Spotlight: Night of the living dead

"Night of the living dead" (1968)

George A. Romero changed the face of horror films forever with his 1968 classic zombie flick, Night of the living dead. Made a super low budget in Pennsylvania with a main cast of seven people who are stuck in a rural farmhouse because the dead have come back to life and they came back hungry for human flesh! What a concept! Pure genius!

The film begins when Barbra played by Judith O'Dea goes to a cemetery with her brother Johnny played by Russell Streiner, to visit their father's grave. Johnny begins to tease Barbra who is uncomfortable being in a cemetery but uttering the now famous words, "They're coming to get you, Barbra!" Afterwards Johnny and Barbra are attacked by a zombie (known as the Flesh Eater) played by Bill Hinzman. Hinzman is the first EVER zombie to grace the silver screen-now how cool is that! Unfortunately, Johnny is killed by that Flesh Eater zombie and Barbra begins a journey of the unimaginable and unthinkable----having to fight off the living dead!

Trailer for "Night of the living dead"

One of the most magnificent aspects of this film was not just the concept and writing but also the casting of the first African-American male lead in a horror film. That honor and title goes to the late-Duane Jones, whose performance was breathtaking.

Duane Jones

The beauty of this film is that its not just about dead people eating human flesh but about the removable of labels and barriers. It's not about being a woman or man, straight or gay, black or white but about being a living human and an undead human. Romero brought it back to basics, making it about people being people.

Part One of "Night of the living dead" where you
get to see both Hinzman and Streiner's performance-Golden!

So much happens when Barbra receives refuge in that farmhouse. Ben (Duane Jones) becomes the leader of the group and tries his best not only to keep them safe but to find a way out of that mess. I saved this film for last for my Weekend Cinema Spotlight because when I thought long and hard of one of the best horror/thriller classic films I just kept thinking about this one. This film just came from left field and no one expected such ideas to leave a long lasting effect on the movie industry and beyond.

I had the pleasure of meeting both Hinzman (Flesh Eater) and Streiner (Johnny) at a Chiller Theatre Expo and a  Fangoria Convention, respectively. They were both sooooo super nice. I must say that people in the horror world are some of the nicest people you will EVER meet!
"Johnny" (Russell Streiner) and I at the Fango Convention in 2006.
He actually said to me, "They're coming to get you (my name)"
Omg he was so nice-so neat to meet him!!

"Flesh Eater" (Bill Hinzman) at the Chiller Theatre Expo
in 2006. I think he got me!! Ahhhhhhhhh!!!! LOL

So, before you watch any other zombie films which includes the t.v. show, The Walking Dead, watch the first ever zombie film and be prepared to be spellbinded! Remember without the success of this film there would be no zombie films, no "The Walking Dead" show, or "Day of the dead". Basically, we would have never even heard of the term zombie used in the fashion that Romero created on film. And there wold be no Zombie Apocalypse to be preparing for either. (Awww shucks!)

So, thank you Mr. Romero for introducing to humanity the mind bending concept of "the living dead".

Happy Halloween Everyone!


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Pinup Girl of the Month: October: Yvonne De Carlo

The stunning, Yvonne De Carlo

Most of you may remember this beautiful woman as the matriarch of  The Munsters. There is no doubt she left her mark not only in classic cinema but also in television. Yvonne De Carlo was born Margaret Yvonne Middleton in 1922. Her most well-known roles were during the span of the 1940's and 1960's.

In 1956 she played Sephora in The Ten Commandments and in starred along side Clark Gable in the film, Band of Angels.

A little background information on Lily Munster

Her most infamous role and the one that is ingrained in all of our memories is the one of Lily Munster. Lily was an undead vampire whose father was Sam Dracula and whose mother was "Grandpa's 166th wife! She marries Herman Munster in 1865 and they adopt her niece Marilyn Munster in the 1940's. Sometime in the 1950's Lily and Herman have their only child, a son named Eddie Munster.

The Munster Family

Lily Munster can be a sexy pinup too!

De Carlo had a successful career as an actress and lived a full life. She married a stuntman named Robert Morgan with whom she had two sons, Bruce and Michael. She continued to act into the early 1990's and on January 7th, 2007 at the age of 84 she passed away due to natural causes.

A tribute to Yvonne De Carlo

De Carlo was not only an amazing actress but incredibly gorgeous. Looking through her photos I wanted to add all of them to this blog post. Even as she aged she seemed to do so gracefully and looked impeccable all the time--as so many men and women of that generation still often do. (A lesson that we can all learn and practice I think!).

To me Lily Munster will always be the ultimate ghoulish mother and De Carlo's performance as Lily will burn brightly in all of our hearts for many years to come!


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

On the Mamafront!

It's been a long time since I have shared anything mama-related so I figure now is as good of a time as any. *smile* People often ask me, "how do you do it?", I assume they mean with three babies and a husband who works two full-time jobs. Honestly I look at some other mothers and I say the exact same do they do it?

I think each mama has her own story and her own way of sorting through the problems and the challenges of day-to-day living. Mamas who work outside of the home have different challenges than mamas who work inside the home. But in the end we are all mamas. And whether we have one baby or many, we are all tired, busy, and struggling to be a better mother tomorrow than we were today.

My mama world has been busy as always. My four year old is loving school but still finding it difficult to listen properly. Its something I know I will be working on with her for the rest of her life and mine as well. Its just who she is. My two year old takes off his clothes and diapers every chance he gets. His obession with mix matched socks is still alive and well. My almost one year old has four teeth coming in at the top and having difficulties with the "potty" ever since we switched him to milk. So needless to say I have been super busy.

Sometimes I wonder how am I going to get a blog done or work on the baby's birthday party or will I ever get back into scrapbooking, but you know what I do? Honestly its all one day at a time. Sometimes its one hour at a time. Yes, sometimes I feel like I am losing my mind but I tap into my inner dialouge with myself and I get myself through it most days.

And like most mamas I have my ever growing and always changing to-do lists. Writing down my lists actually helps me remember things. I think being a busy mama you have to not only have a routine with your children but also get things accomplished when you can the best you can. For example, I am making a few things for my papito's first birthday party. I have to be craftier and more creative than ever but I have almost no time. Sleep is precious to me and I know that if I don't tend to myself I cannot keep going and doing for them. His party is less than two weeks away but I know I will get it done. How do I know? Its simply because I say I am.

I think my lists, my focus, and my determination get me through the small and big challenges. Like right now I have a screaming and crying baby who refuses to sleep on his own. I hope it is the teething and growing pains but nevertheless, mama duty calls. And now I must end my blog post LOL Hope those of you who are mamas remember that to keep your sanity you really need to just take it one day at a time. The rest really does fall into place!


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Find your niche!

Vintage Pinup doing Cheesecake Modeling

The Pin-up girl was first created in the late 1800's and still continues to this very day. The term was first used in the English language in 1941. It has a long and rich history and has never truly lost its popularity. Today, it is more popular than ever, for many reasons. Some people want to celebrate and emulate the early part of the 20th Century, while others simply love the hair and style of the decades past.

Whatever the reason is, pinup photography and modeling is very popular. Many styles of pinup modeling have emerged through the years from the standard Cheesecake and Hollywood  pinups to Modern, Alternative, Rockabilly, Rockachola, Chola, Tiki, Retro (which I assume means Vintage), and a few others I may have forgotten about. The point is that there are divisions within divisions and nowadays you have girls who are doing classic pinup poses with hot pink hair and piercings all over their face. Nothing wrong with that but just trying to create an image of your mind on how much it has evolved through the years.

Modern Pinup doing Cheesecake Modeling

What I admire about girls who do Modern Pinup modeling is that they embrace the past and with their tattoo's and piercings, while celebrating the joy and beauty of doing Vintage-inspired pin-up work. I think its fantastic!

The more I get into this industry the more I have realized just how many women/girls are out there doing pinup. With that being said I truly believe that if you really want to make your mark in the pinup world you should perfect and specialize in one form of pinup modeling. I do think it is both fun and important to try as many different forms of pinup as possible to not only learn but also to try new things. But if you want to STAND OUT from the rest, perfect one style and make it your own.

I have heard some people make comments about not wanting to be confined to one form of modeling over another. I have to disagree. I think its vital to learning to try out and experiment with different styles of pinup modeling  but if you want to be seen and known it would be wise to immerse yourself into Cheesecake or Alternative or Vintage modeling--whichever one you love the most and suits you the best.

The models that are well-known in the industry are known for one specific style-whether its 1950's Rockabilly, early 1960's Jayne Mansfield inspired, or latex fetish; they are all known specifically for a certain type of genre of pinup/modeling. I won't name names because this post isn't about promoting those models but if you are in the industry I am sure you know who I am talking about.

Basically, what I have learned and it can be applied to anything you are aspiring to be----if you want to be known, to be the best, or to leave your mark somewhere----be the BEST that you can be in what you are doing. You don't have to show the world your goodies to do so either, you can do it without compromising your values or beliefs.

So go out there---if you want to be a pinup model then do it and when you find your niche celebrate it and make it your own!


Monday, October 24, 2011

Weekend Cinema Spotlight: Dead of Night

"Dead of Night" (1945)

I watched "Dead of Night" after I watched "The Uninvited" and I knew I had to include this in my spotlight! This film includes five stories and also a main story that the film begins and ends with. The British refer to this sort of film a Portmanteau, which is one main film containing many short films. It is sort of like 1982's Creepshow.

Each story was directed by a different director, but the most well known story and the one that basically scared the living daylights out of me was the one starring Michael Redgrave (father of Vanessa Redgrave and grandfather of Natasha Richardson) called "Ventriloquist's Dummy", directed by Alberto Cavalcanti.

Scene with Michael Redgrave and dummy

After watching that story (which is the last story before the actual main story unfolds), I can see now why those dummy's are so scary and why movies like 1978's Magic, starring Anthony Hopkins are beyond horrifying. It also reminded me of that infamous scene from 1982's Poltergeist, where the clown doll goes under the bed and the attacks the boy. Ever since I saw that scene I still cannot look under the bed nor do I EVER let my feet dangle off my bed---EVER!

The idea that a doll is talking to you or possessed in some way is just so eerie. The episodes of The Twilight Zone called The Dummy with the late and wonderful Cliff Robertson, as well as  Living Doll with the incredible Telly Savalas are two amazing examples. I mean if you heard a doll say to you, "My name is Talky Tina and I'm beginning to hate you."-----Um, yeah I would say RUN and run quick! LOL

Guests at the country house taunting Walter Craig

This films basically begins with an Architect named Walter Craig played by Mervyn Johns who goes to a country house party where he meets the guests  but feels as though he has met them all before. After  a while the guests begin to entertain one another by telling "ghost" stories to one another. These stories include a racing car driver's premonition of a fatal bus crash; a light hearted tale of two obsessed golfers; a ghostly encounter during a children's Christmas party; a haunted antique mirror; and the story of an unbalanced ventriloquist who believes his amoral dummy is truly alive.

The ending basically comes full circle when Walter awakes from a dream, one where he dreamt that whole evening. He feels unsure about going to the country house party but his wife encourages him and the story not only comes full circle but goes round and round.

I found this film fascinating and creative and utterly terrifying--in a good way though. Being an English film, I found the techniques used and the format of story-telling quite refreshing. A definite must-see for all those who love a good "bump in the night" story!


Saturday, October 22, 2011

How far is too far?

Unknown Vintage Pinup Model

I have been noticing lately that in the pinup industry people have been veering away from traditional pinup work and dabbling more into overtly sexual modeling. Is there anything wrong with that? Probably not but I personally would not call it traditional pinup or pinup at all.
I am not preaching nor judging but calling things as there are from my point of view. Perhaps I am very old-fashioned but hey-that's what pinup and those bygone times were all about. If woman are literally showing their bare breasts and rear for all the world to see and calling that PINUP-they are wrong. Plain and simple. But we live in world where sex sells-big time! So much so that most "pinups" are focusing on fetish and implied nudity more and more. People need to make a living, right? Will they get noticed? OF COURSE they will! Who doesn't want to see a naked or semi naked pretty girl?

Traditional Pinup Art by Gil Elvgren

I then begin to wonder where is PINUP going with all this? To me, it has veered so much to another category that I sometimes can't even recognize the work some people are doing. Some people call themselves pinup models or pinup photographers but all I see is nudity, fetish, and sex. Is that really PINUP?

The times gone by were a time when people didn't show all their goodies for all the world to see but they did express their sexuality in very demure manner. Today if you saw some of the films for example like, Baby Face (1933) starring Barbara Stanwyck, the sexual innuendos are so subtly that you would miss it if you didn't pay attention. Movies now are all in  your face and nothing is left to the imagination.

Bettie Page, who to me is the Mother of Modern Pinup

The same is happening in the PINUP world. There are many women who celebrate the traditional pinup in beautiful and tasteful manners. I see nothing wrong with showing a little skin or emphasizing the beauty that is yours. Perhaps we need more mystery. Perhaps we need a little more...."Oh-I wonder what's under there??" instead of  "Yeah I saw that already, I am getting bored-its the same old thing every time."

So PINUPS its time to ask yourself, how do you want your work portrayed? How do you want to be seen? I see nothing wrong with the new twists and turns in Modern Pinup, but ask yourself if you want the whole world to see your you want them to know everything or do you want to keep them guessing and wanting more? It's up to you!


Friday, October 21, 2011

Believe in Yourself!

In front of St. Luke's Theatre

What can I say about my evening with Chip Coffey? I can sum it all up by saying that I walked away from that event knowing that all it begins with BELIEVING IN YOURSELF.

The evening began with my brother and sister in law kindly coming over to babysit for us which is not an easy feat since they live in another part of New York. The train ride went smooth and we reached the theatre at 6pm and the talk didn't start until 7:30pm. We grabbed some "not worth six bucks" pizza and I went in at 6:30pm hoping to get a seat in the front row since all the tickets were Super VIP. I sat second to last in the front row towards the left and a wonderful lady sat next to me. She also came alone so we ended up chatting quite a bit although I felt out of practice with adult conversation and was slightly exhausted by that time. But I was excited and sleepy but happy to be there.

The stage where Chip sat with his Coke Cola LOL

When Chip Coffey came out it was such an awesome feeling and a reminder to me that we are in fact all superstars. He is just a regular guy who makes a living off of his talents and gifts--we are all capable of that. He chatted a bit about  himself and then began part one of the night which was a question and answer session. I was all ears throughout the evening. After that and a little break there was a reading session where we raised our hands and he would go to where he was called to go-either a psychic or medium question.

I did not get a reading--I instinctively knew I wouldn't. Many times throughout the evening I was reminded over and over again that I HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS INSIDE ME. I am not a lost person or a person needing guidance which doesn't mean I don't need the occasional advice or opinion. I thought I was a wee bit lost after the birth of my baby but I am 100% convinced that doing pinup has helped me get refocused on myself, my needs, and keeping me creative as well as creating a social outlet for myself.

What took me by surprise was how many people asked common sense questions and like my friend Rocio always tell mes, "Common sense just isn't that common." I felt sympathy for those needing and I mean NEEDING the guidance of a psychic because even Chip knows that we should listen to our inner voice. Listening is half the battle and faith can assist in that.

There were many times when Chip would say something and I found myself nodding my head in agreement. Things like, "Be happy", "Go after what you want", "Life is not complicated-people complicate it"....basically he wanted people to know that ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE.

Its a belief I used to teach my girls when I was a teacher and its something I thought I forgot in myself but listening to him say all the things I say to others or to myself just reaffirmed in me that I have been on the right track all along. I have more faith in myself than I thought I did and my confidence is a lot more than I have acknowledged.

You just have to say to yourself, I AM DOING THIS AND I AM GOING TO MAKE IT HAPPEN. That's it-its that simple. I think people tend to focus on the negative so much (usually because its easier to do) that they forget that they are capable of achieving whatever goal they set out to do.

When I first started my blog I shared with you my challenges: lack of time and funds, as well as my disability. But I don't care about those things anymore. I will become a Vintage Pinup Model because I say I am and that's that. It is going to take me longer than it would others but I will accomplish this goal.

The evening also reminded me to not take for granted my biggest dream that came true which was becoming a wife and mother. I am even more dedicated now to take out more time to enjoy the little things. For example, my little Papi (my two yr old) is obsessed with socks and he needs to wear a different one on each foot if not he gets very upset. I must help him put back on the socks twenty times a day and I get tired and somewhat annoyed by it but now I just kiss his feet and enjoy the process of putting on his sock twenty times. Now I do it with more joy because I was reminded that night that children really do grow fast and one day he will be a man and mama will NOT be putting on his socks for him LOL

Meeting Chip at a quick Meet and Greet :)

The last bit of the night was a ghost hunt of sorts. We stayed seated and he had the light turned off. He used a technique using small flashlights and having them at the setting that was on but close to off (hard to explain). He spoke out loud and it was interesting but when he told the spirits they are free to touch us I said HELL NO to myself! If something did I would have yelled a loud curse word and ran out of there quickly. I don't like to mess with that stuff. It will always be a mystery and would like it to remain so for me LOL

You may be wondering why the heck did I want to go in the first place? Well because I think he is awesome and he really is-a lovely man indeed. I also wanted to see what I could get out of it and what I got was that I BELIEVE IN MYSELF. I always have, I just needed a little nudge, a reminder that all is well and that I am doing good *smile*

At the Shake Shack right after the show

On our way to the train after the event was finished, my husband and I saw the Shake Shack, a place we have seen on television a dozen times and I convinced him we HAD to go in and at least try one burger out. OMG to die for! We have already made plans to go in November on a date and share some yummy burgers and have a beer! We rarely go out on a date so I am excited by our plans!

On our way back home!

It was defiantly an evening well spent. I did something different, made a new friend, met Chip Coffey, learned new things and the event reaffirmed the things I already knew. I also spent a few hours away from mommyhood and all in all it was a lovely time out. So grateful to my husband for making it happen. Thank you honey!!!


Monday, October 17, 2011

Night before I meet Chip Coffey!!

My amazing husband surprised me for our wedding anniversary on August 20th with a ticket to a lecture with Chip Coffey, who happens to be my favorite person in the world of the supernatural. Over the summer I was mentioning to my husband that Chip was going to be in New York for his Coffey Talk Tour (clever name isn't it??!) and also mentioning how I would love to have a reading with him.

After leaving my profession and becoming a mother and homemaker I have  been feeling a little lost and confused with what to do next for myself. I am not often confused so these feelings were very new to me. Instead of having my reading with Chip I decided to do my pinup makeover with Bettina May in June 2011 and that just changed how I was feeling almost overnight. I found I loved being in front of the camera and I loved being able to celebrate an era that I have been passionate about for many years.

Now as I pursue learning all I can about pinup, the vintage life, and modeling I still feel a  wee bit unsettled. But I pray every night for guidance and wisdom and I know in the end that God/Universe has my back. I know these tough times won't last forever and I know now that after making your dreams come true (ie my family) it is possible to create new dreams for yourself (ie pinup, modeling, etc).

So its now the night before I go to see Chip Coffey and I am trying to wrap around my head that I will be meeting him in person!!! I hate that I will go alone because I will be honest, I enjoy life and everything in it much more with my husband by my side. He's my best friend and my confidant but he really doesn't feel comfortable doing these kinds of things and I respect that. I am just in awe that he gave me this gift of being able to meet Chip in person.

I follow him on facebook and he is just so incredibly down-to-earth and yet sassy and passionate all at the same time. He also has this capacity to love beyond himself and allow himself to be vulnerable and caring, which unfortunately most people don't allow themselves to do. He's a man after my own heart and I am going to meet him???!!!! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh it feels so surreal. I don't expect to get a reading and  honestly I am more looking forward to the talk than anything else. He isn't just a psychic but he is also a very spiritual and religious man, I respect the way he balances his love for God and his gifts that God bestowed on him.

So tomorrow night I will be at St. Luke's Theatre attending the Coffey Talk. I seriously cannot believe I am going-I feel so blessed and grateful to my husband for his thoughtfulness and romantic gesture. He actually listens when I tell him what I like and don't like. He's the best person I know!

I don't know what to expect but I feel open to whatever positive things can come my way. I am really nervous about it all and pray it will be a magical experience for me. I look forward to sharing my evening with you all!


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Weekend Cinema Spotlight: The Uninvited

"The Uninvited" (1944)

Did you ever hear someone in the middle of the night but convinced yourself it was the wind or perhaps just a figment of your imagination? Bumps in the night....creaking of the wood....a chill in the air...perhaps your house is haunted? Or perhaps you stayed up late and watching a scary movie and now your mind has run off with you! "The Uninvited" is the perfect ghost story--there is even a slight hint of comedy in this film which is not always an ease task to blend together.
Ray Milland and Ruth Hussey as
Rick and Pamela Fitzgerald

It stars Ray Milland as London composer, Roderick "Rick" Fitzgerald and Ruth Hussey as his sister Pamela. The fall in love with a quaint seaside house and on a whim purchase the property from an aging Commander Beech played by  Donald Crisp (who was a film pioneer-his biography is very interesting to read!).

Sometime later we meet the Commander's twenty year old granddaughter named Stella Meredith played by Gail Russell who was deeply upset by the sale of the property because it belonged to her now deceased parents. Rick and Pamela and ever their housekeeper Lizzie, played by Barbara Everest, found themselves hearing the crying sounds of a woman and feeling cold chills in the art gallery. Dispite the Commander's disapproval, Stella befriends the Fitzgeralds and when she dines in their home she encounters a spirit that she associates with her mother.

The stunning Gail Russell

From that event on the mystery of who is haunting Windward House leaves Rick, Pamela, Stella, and even the town doctor played by Alan Napier (who plays Alfred Pennyworth in the Batman tv series) to investigate. The eventually find out that Stella's father has an affair with a spanish gypsy named Carmel. She was supposedly in their service and the Meredith's brought her to Paris to have a better life. And then there is Miss Holloway played by Cornelia Otis Skinner, who was Mary Meredith's confidant and friend (and obessed with her similarily to Mrs. Danvers from "Rebecca"). Her role in this mystery is a lot bigger than anyone imagined.

What we find out later is that....really I never know if I should tell the whole story because then you might not feel inspired to watch the film one day to find out. So for the love of classic film and all its beauty and charm, I will leave it a mystery for you to solve.

The Trailer for "The Uninvited" (1944)

I must say I was pleasantly surprised that in one of the final scenes of the film I actually got spooked-that was cool! This film left me giggling, scared, and inturiged more and more! I see now why this film has such great reviews and it lives on as one of the best ghost stories in classic film today.


Friday, October 14, 2011

Halloween Costumes Through the Years

My brother and I and a friend (1980)

I have been blogging about Halloween of the distant I thought why not take a stroll of my own down Halloween memory lane. Halloween happens to be one of my favorite holidays. I have been dressing up since I was a child (thanks to mom and dad) and then as an adult I continued the tradition after the birth of my first nephew, Devin, who was born on Halloween 1993. This year he will be eighteen years old. Amazing, truly, how quickly time slips through our fingers. *sigh*

One of my favorite costumes was when I think I was five years old and my mama dressed me up as Carmen Miranda. Yes! THE Carmen Miranda, the lady with the fruit on her head! I have a picture of me but I have to look for others. My mama has her arms around me and she visibly  has her thyroids swollen. I often wonder if that was a prelude to her illness. But alas, one day I will find another one and scan and share *smile* I must admit I was darn cute with that fruit on my head-mama did an amazing job!

At eighteen years old with my nephew, Devin (1994)
I dressed up as a little girl-hair clips were from when
I was a baby. I even went to school dressed like this!

Unfortunately, I don't recall all my childhood costumes but I do remember dressing up as Wonder Woman and Strawberry Shortcake--my costumes were the Ben Cooper ones I mentioned before. Gosh-I just now remember how hot it was under those masks and how refreshing it was to take them off and be able to breathe normally LOL

As an adult I often dressed up for my nephews birthday parties. I dressed up as a punk rock chick with a pink/black wig (that one was fun!), I was a black cat with a mask and a tail pinned on my tush, and once I dressed as an Indian Princess in a yellow/red Sari.

Most recently I only dressed up three times. In 2006 I was Morticia Adams and of course my hubby was Gomez. This was right before we became pregnant with our lil Bunny girl. After her birth I dressed up as a mama Bunny with the ears and a bushy tail again pinned to my tush. She was a a baby Bunny for her first Halloween, but of course! LOL

The last time was in 2008, I dressed up as Raggedy Ann and she was my mini me. I was pregnant with my first son and we went to Disney in Florida during the Halloween season. I have to say it was fantastic and I cannot wait to take all three of the kids and of course we will all dress up together!
                                                         My lil Bunny and Mama (2008)

It was so neat to dress up with my girl. We turned heads everywhere we went! This year I won't dress up but I really want to get back into the fun of it all. I know my children love doing it and how neat will it be for them to see mama having fun dressing up and playing pretend as well. Our lives are all stressful and we all have a million worries in our heads--dressing up for Halloween is a nice was to relax and have some silly fun!

Happy to have shared my pictures with you! What will you be for Halloween??


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Vintage Halloween Costumes

Ever wondered what little girls and boys dressed up as in the past? I can remember clearly the kind I had as a little girl. The were usually a plastic apron you put over your head and tied at the side or back and a plastic mask. I believe they were made  by Ben Cooper, Inc. They came in a box and were so easy to use--the best part was that you could wear all these warm clothes and put the costume right over it. So you were warm and ready for Trick or Treating!

Ben Cooper's company was an American manufacturer who created costumes from the late 1930's until the late 1980's. You can find some of his costumes on Ebay or Etsy. I remember them being very popular during my childhood and I kind of miss the simplicity of those costumes.

The use of Halloween costumes did not become known in the United States until the early 1900's and they weren't popular until the 1930's. What kind of costumes do you think children would wear? Well of course the more money spent on an item the more elaborate and unique it is. Most children simply wore masks and some were even hand made! Can you imagine that? I am not 100% sure but I assume the handmade masks could have been made out of Paper Mache.

Irregardless of what materials were used to make the handmade masks, I believe they came out the creepiest. Put on a simple outfit and wear the mask and they would be able to spook even the grownups! Aside from masks in the image of faces, animals, ghosts, etc children dressed up as Witches, Devils, Jesters, Animals, Faeries, Angels, Indians (Native Americans), Clowns, Gypsies, Hobos, Pirates, and Ballet Dancers just to name a few.
Dressing up in a costume for Halloween wasn't just for children but many adults joined in the fun as well. Some would host or attend Halloween themed parties just for adults and play dress up. Oh boy would I like to go to one, wouldn't you? Have you ever considered throwing a costume party or hosting a vintage inspired Halloween party? If so, this site is defiantly inspirational and could help you get started on your planning. Its called Vintage Halloween Ideas and their selection of ideas range from the 1890's to the 1960's. They have many helpful tools from Party Ideas, Decorations, to Recipes.

I plan to throw a little "party" just for the five of us with our black cat as an additional prop-just kidding LOL I will defiantly post pictures of our little soriee and the activites I will be doing with my munchkins soon. I love holidays, don't you? Any reason to celebrate is a good reason for me!


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Vintage Halloween Pinups of Yesteryear

Nancy Carroll, Movie Star~1920's-1930's

When I began my love affair with the past it never crossed my mind that pinup girls and actress alike, posed for holiday pinups for Halloween, Christmas, Easter, etc. Now that I have "discovered" them so to speak, I am not only intrigued on who modeled in them but also trying to find as many as I possibly can. They are all so unique and really a beautiful blend of fun, sexy, and glamorous. Please take notice that none of these women are naked, have their breasts exposed, their rear exposed, or in sexual positions. There is something to be said about a woman who can be fully dressed and yet be sexy and beautiful all at once. To be, that is the essence of being a pinup.

Lillian Wells, Model and Pinup Girl

Veronica Lake, 1940's icon and Pinup Girl

Ava Gardner, Movie Star and Sex Symbol

Bessie Love, Silent Screen Movie Star

There is a great page I found called Vintage Hollywood Halloween Pinups, there you can read more about these gorgeous pinups and also see more images of some famous Hollywood starlets in their best Halloween poses!

Below are some more beautiful vintage pinups from yesteryear. Unfortunately I do not know their names but their beauty and images will last forever!

I decided to add to my Bucket List, vintage holiday themed photo shoots. These photos are so inspirational that doing one of these would be another dream come true for me. Which of these photos do you think is the one I want to remake?

I hope these photos inspire you as much as they have me. There is so much beauty in all of us, capturing it on film is great gift to ourselves. I highly encourage you to do something like this (doesn't have to be Halloween related) for yourself!


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

McQueen meets Burton Halloween Photo Shoot with Viva Van Story!

The set for my Halloween shoot!

In honor of one of my favorite seasons (Fall) and one of my favorite holidays (Halloween) I decided to do a Halloween inspired photo shoot.

When I saw that Viva Van Story was doing a themed shoot inspired by Alexander McQueen and Tim Burton, you could have almost seen the drool coming down! Alexander McQueen was an out-of-this-world designer and Tim Burton is a mad artistic genius--put them together and you are bound to make magic! I was especially intrigued because some of my daughters favorite films are made by Burton. I know, I know, she is only four but I think she has a little taste of the spooky films like mama does *giggle*

Okay so before this shoot ever happened I had to somehow make it happen. It wouldn't have happened at all if I did not get the kind contributions from Rocio Vega, Nick Winser, Jennifer Lynne Foxell, and about $195 worth of selling at my yard sales. No I am NOT kidding you!
I mean think about it, I am a full-time stay at home mother of three super young children, I live in New York, and my husband bless his heart works full time at two different jobs in order to take care of all of our monetary needs. So I have to find ways to fund raise for my vintage wardrobe and my photo shoots. I do feel incredibly blessed that so many people believed in me enough to support this venture.

Also without the moral support from my husband who rarely has days off but that day he did and he took care of the kids for me-what a man I have! Thank you hunny!! xox

Another huge supporter is my friend Lucy Anne Riggs, I didn't expect we would be such good friends after a few emails but we just connected on so many levels. When this photo shoot came up we both encouraged the other saying that "We CAN do this!". And we did!

I was totally prepared for the shoot (October 2nd) and also prepared everything for my kids from bottles to extra clothes. The night before for some reason I was tossing and turning-I don't know why but I was a wee bit nervous. I mean I was going to meet my friend Lucy Anne for the first time, Viva Van Story for the first time, as well as another online friend and huge supporter, Dahlia Derriere. Honestly, this whole experience was way out of my comfort zone.

Remember I have been a stay home mom for four years now, I don't have any girlfriends close by, my dearest friends all live far away from me, and well lets be honest-adult conversation and contact is just not something I get very often. It is what it is but I felt I needed to jump with both feet in and allow myself to be nervous and a little uncomfortable-how would I learn anything if I just stayed safely tucked away at home, right?

It was 7am on a Sunday morning (unnatural and ungodly hour!) and Lucy Anne and her sister Lisa both picked me up from my home. From there we began our journey to Viva's in New Jersey. It was an easy and smooth ride over-of course I was still not fully awake *chuckle*.

Once we got to Viva's we met our MUAH team which consisted of Margherita (makeup) and Erica (hair) who were both sweet and super talented. I then met Viva who was casual and just relaxed, I mean it was a Sunday morning, who wouldn't be? LOL We quickly started going through the clothes to choose what we were going to wear. I  felt immediately uncomfortable because many of the pieces were super sexy and very revealing but we worked around that and found a beautiful cream colors vintage nightgown which I would wear a velvet corset over it-can we say FABULOUS!

Lisa getting beautified by Erica and
Margherita being silly-such dolls!

Lucy Anne and Lisa were up first with hair and makeup and watching the MUAH team work their magic was super fun and kind of relaxing as well. During that time I chatted up with Dahlia and it was so nice to meet her in person-we have been chatting online for a few months now and she is every bit as sweet as she is online. What a doll-truly!!

The whole look was a sight to behold!

Then it was my turn to get all dolled up and Erica added all sorts of ribbons and extra hair-it was wild! But the vision Viva has was for a Victorian Gothicish Halloween feel and she succeed for sure! After all my ribbons and hair were in place Margherita began her process of makeup and oh that was fun. It was lovely to chat it up with the girls-both very interesting, super funny, and very approachable--I would work with them both in a heartbeat!

Once it was my turn to work with Viva I didn't know what to expect. It was different from my past experiences which is neither good nor bad. There were three or four bright lights on me which I was not accustomed to and Viva just snapped away. I felt amazing in that velvet corset-my back and belly area both had so much support. The only difficulty was that I couldn't wear any shoes so Viva tied peach colored ribbons at my ankles-so pretty! And getting up and down from the sofa was a channel but Viva kindly helped *smile*

I loved the poses-it was very serene and no smiling was allowed which is difficult for my personality because I am a smiling person. But I loved the shoot-it was fun and relaxing and I used a great prop my friend Lucy Anne picked up for me-a stunning hand mirror. I cannot wait to get these photos! I know Viva was making little pieces of art with every snap of her camera.

I feel honored and super happy to have been able to work with such an amazing MUAH team and with Viva Van Story. It was not a typical Sunday for me-I met and made new friends and worked with one of the best photographers in the Pinup Industry. Very blessed indeed!


PS Two great tips learned from this photo shoot:
  1. To remove makeup use baby oil from Johnson and Johnson and baby wipes and it takes it all over nicely and leaves your skin smelling great and clean as a whistle.
  2. When resting your arm on a chair or sofa place all your weight at your hips instead of your arm-it gives you the appearance for being relaxed.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Weekend Cinema Spotlight: Rebecca

"Rebecca" (1940)

When you think of suspenseful movies, the kind that leave you shivering, Alfred Hitchcock should quickly pop into your head. Hitchcock was a unique and driven director who directed such films as North by Northwest (1959), Psycho (1960), and The Birds  (1963). One of my all time favorites is Marnie (1964) starring the ever-so-handsome Sean Connery and Tippi Hedren who also stars in "The Birds" as well as being Melanie Griffith's mother.

Trailer for "Rebecca" (1940)

The film begins with woman speaking these words, "Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again", to the images of a ruined country manor. She continues that she can never return to Manderley — as it no longer exists, except as a ruin. It begins with a haunting...of a home that is no longer a home but a shell of itself.

We then meet a young, attractive woman who is never named played by Joan Fontaine (who also happens to be the sister of Olivia de Havilland who played the part of Melanie Wilkes in "Gone with the Wind". Both women are still alive today!) who is an orphan and works as a companion for an older, wealthy woman. While she is with Mrs. Van Hooper she meets the aristocratic (and wealthy) Mr. Maximilian (Maxim) de Winter played by Sir Laurence Olivier. They fall in love and are married soon after.

Maxim moves his young bride to his family estate of Manderley and soon after she begins to notice that the former Mrs. de Winter never really left at all. Her office was kept the same and her bedroom which was off limits to everyone was kept exactly as she left it. I find it eerie to be in a home where you are supposed to be happy and in love only to find your husbands ex-wife memory is preserved everywhere and in everything that you do. Mrs. Danvers played by Judith Anderson seemed almost obsessed with her former employer, the first Mrs. de Winter. Her performance was outstanding and incredibly believable. She would just creep up to the new Mrs. de Winter and almost taunt her with the memory of Maxim's first wife. In one instance she even encourages her to commit suicide!

Mrs. Danvers trying to convince Mrs. de Winter to take her
own life in order to continue to preserve the memory of Rebecca
and to keep Manderley as Rebecca's home only.

As the movie unfolds we learn that Rebecca de Winter had kept many lovers and that she and Maxim decided they would maintain a cordial relationship in order to keep good standing with society and to preserve his family name. Unfortunately one of her  lovers was also her cousin named Jack played by George Sanders (he was also in "All about Eve" among many other amazing films). Jack was always suspicious that Maxim had something to do with Rebecca's death.

After Rebecca's decomposed body is found in a boat, the authorities become suspicious of Maxim. Through the help of the second Mrs. de Winter and Rebecca's doctor played by Leo G. Carroll, the truth of what really happened to Rebecca comes forth. That my dears I will leave to you to discover. Oh my-telling you the ending would surely destroy the suspense and its so worth it, so very worth it!

The film does have a bitter-sweet yet happy ending. And Mrs. Danvers's creepiness does not disappoint, it continues to live on in her final scenes as Manderley burns to the ground. This film is based on Daphne du Maurier novel written in 1938 named "Rebecca". Hitchcock's film version remained true to the novel with little subtle changes and innuendo's especially when it came to Mrs. Danver's sexual orientation (which some believe could explain her obsession and unnatural dedication to Rebecca even after her death).

Vivien Leigh as Mrs. de Winter?

Images of the flawless Rebecca de Winter is never shown but many believe Vivien Leigh would have fit that role perfectly. After you watch the film, think about it, perhaps you  might agree if not let me know who you think could have filled the large-than-life shoes of the first Mrs. de Winter.

I choose this film because even though it is not considered a horror film it has so many qualities that leave you chilled to the bone. I cannot imagine being in the second Mrs. de Winter's shoes, can you? The eeriness of that estate, even the name Manderley just makes me shiver..."Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again".


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