Saturday, March 31, 2012

Pinup Girl of the Month: March: Mara Corday

Mara Corday is famous for being a 1950's pinup, Playboy Centerfold, and "B" Movie Actress. Before all of that she was known as Marilyn Joan Watts who was born on January 3rd, 1930. She had Hollywood dreams and started out as a showgirl while still in her teens. Because of her striking beauty she was offered to model  and from there she landed her first bit part in a film called Two Tickets to Broadway (1951).

While she was contracted under Universal International Pictures she met Clint Eastwood and they have remained lifelong friends. She experienced moderate success being a "B" movie actress in films such as; Tarantula (1955) and The Black Scorpion (1957).

In 1957 she met and married fellow actor Richard Long (whom I remember being in "The Twilight Zone's episode of season five Number 12 Looks Just Like You) and they eventually has three children together before he tragically passed on at the age of 47.

What a pinup girl!!!! Wow-weeee!

Even more stunning! Love the pouting don't you?

I love the whole photo-so very artistic!

Mara in Scream Queen mode!

During the 1950's she was also a Playboy Playmate for the October 1958 issue! What an incredible and versatile life Mara Corday has lived. Think about it-she was the true Pinup Mama!!! Her first two children were born and 1957 and 1958 respectively. Now who said mama's cannot be Pinups!!!????

Mara Corday was a stunner and at 82 years old she can look back on her long life and say, "I was a famous pinup girl, actress, Playboy Playmate, devoted wife, and loving mother." Now that is something to be proud of! Don't you agree??


Friday, March 30, 2012

Some more thrifty finds...

Two great books-"That Darn Cat" is a Disney movie and
this original book is from the 1960's just like the film!

About two weeks ago I went thrifting again. Sheesh I have been meaning to tell you all about it but my camera has NOT been behaving itself. Yes, that means its on my "to-do list" for things to get before my trip (27 days not counting!). Thankfully camera are now cheaper because most people are using their phones. I am a traditional kind of girl-cameras all the way!

Anyhoo, I went to Martin Luther Thrift Store again and I spent just three dollars on everything you see. Not bad! I found three fabulous books, a patriotic scarf, and a cute unique little basket that I was thinking of using for a photo shoot.

One of my favorite books and I finally find a copy
for my godson who loves to read!!! Yeah!

My patriotic scarf!! Cannot wait to use it!

I love the angle of this basket-super cute!

For a dollar I also purchased a fur collar from the 1960's (but can pass for 1940s) at a nearby yard sale. I really wanted to take a photo of it but like I said, camera is on the fritz-boo!!!!

What goodies have you found thrifting lately?

Happy Friday Everyone!!!! xox

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Spectacular Giveaway: In the Heyday blog!!!

I LOVE this set-my favorite-the Olivia Blouse
with coordinating Trousers!

I don't normally blog about other bloggers giveaways unless I think it is off the charts! And yes you guessed it---this one really is!

In The Heyday is hosting a uber fabulous giveaway where they will be giving one lucky winner a gift voucher towards anything they want!

You know I am drooling over the blouse and trouser set pictured about but she also has a wide array of blouses, dresses, trousers, and wartime suits! Check out a few photos from her site---to die for, right??!!

This blouse and trouser is so beautiful!

Look at this gorgeous 1940's Wartime Suit!

Okay you know how much I adore red!
Check this Mary Dress!!

So stop by Heyday's blog and join in the giveaway fun! Good luck to all those who participate!!


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

An Awesome Blogger Award!!

How neat!?? Another blogger award! I never get tired of these! A BIG thank you to the lovely Beccie from Sew Retro Rose!!!

I am supposed to share seven things you don't normally know about me and also pass it onto fifteen bloggers. I think I may follow Beccie's footsteps and pass it to five bloggers I regularly read and follow and who I consider truly versatile.

I got a similar blogger award in January so you can read all about it at the attached link. I don't want to repeat my seven things you normally wouldn't know about me so here are seven more!

  1. I must have been Irish in another life because I really love potatoes! ( I, in no way mean that in any way but a good way) Even the Spanish version of potatoes called plantains (platanos).
  2. I started going thrifting with my grandma in my teens-we had so much shopping together-I miss it!
  3. I saw my first movie by myself at nineteen years old because I was fed up with "friends" canceling on me and changing plans. I decided I don't need anyone to enjoy something I love. The film was called "Dangerous Minds" A teacher movie...go figure.
  4. I was a teacher at an all girls Catholic High School for seven years before I left to become a stay at home mother. And yes! Being a stay at home mother is more work than being a teacher but the rewards are greater. I don't plan to go back to teaching for many years to come because I want to dedicate my teaching skills to my three children.
  5. If I were to go back to teaching, I would love to teach about classic film or women in WWII or something like that  :)
  6. I wrote my first little book at nine years old, it had jokes in it and puzzles and a maze too. One day I will write a big girl book.....its on my bucket list hehee
  7. I have been journaling since I was nine years old. I don't journal as much but I do a lot of memory keeping for my family :)

I would like to pass this award to these following bloggers:

  1. I know, right? Jennifer is just seriously such an awesome young woman. She's open to what the world has to offer which is beautiful to see in a person. Her blog really does rock!
  2. Vintage Doris  Amanda is new to the vintage blog world but she has such passion and love for vintage that it is totally contagious!
  3. Lost in the 50's  Laurence is a total doll! Her and her husband live life as much in the 1950's as possible-their dedication is beautiful!
  4. Glamour Daze I LOVE her videos!! LOVE! LOVE! and more LOVE! She also has guides on hair and makeup from yesteryear that you can purchase on her blog!
  5. Fashionable Forties This amazing blogger has spent the last year recreating an entire 1940's vintage wardrobe and she has a four year plan! I truly admire her!!
Thank you again to my dear Beccie and a BIG congrats to her because tomorrow is her wedding day!!!! Yeah!!!!!


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Casablanca's 70th Anniversary!

"Casablanca" (1942)

On Wednesday, March 21st, TCM released Casablanca nationwide in order to celebrate the films 70th anniversary. My friend Rocio found out that TCM was having another celebration of a film this month and she kindly  and graciously treated my husband and I to the movies. And what a treat it was indeed!

Not only did I get a chance to dress up a little, but I also got do something nice with two of my favorite people-my husband and closest friend. Doesn't get much better than that!!!

Hamming it up in the City!

I learned two important lessons while getting ready...actually three. First, paint my nails the day before and not a few hours before I leave. Second, I really need some train cases to organized my makeup, hair supplies, and accessories so they are easily accessible-hoping to score some on my trip! And lastly, I really need to practice my hair and makeup a whole lot more!! I know, I know-what time do I really have. Honestly I am lucky to blog a few times a week with the busy mama schedule I have but I still need to practice!

We made it on time! "Casablanca" here I come!

My husband and I drove into the City and I tell him all the time that I am his "parking good luck charm" because he always manages to find parking and in the City its super duper nuts to find a parking especially one you don't have to pay for. We met up with my friend and we had awesome seats. I snuck in my rasinets and hubby treated us girls to some popcorn. (yeah!).

I saw this film for the first time with my grandma when I was like eleven or so and rewatched it when I was sixteen or so, but watching it again with wiser eyes I was so surprised to find so many sexual innuendos and also so many amazing witty jokes!

"Casablanca" stars Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, and Paul Henreid. It also starred Claude Rains (who had some of the best lines in the film aside from Bogart), Conrad Veidt, Peter Lorre, and Dooley Wilson. This was an outstanding cast! Now add the backdrop of World War II and set in Northern African country of Morocco and there you have Casablanca. Where an American man named Rick (Bogart) runs a nightclub called "Rick's Cafe American" and has Sam (Wilson) playing the piano and singing popular songs of the time. The walks in Victor Laszlo (Henried), a freedom fighter and on his arm is his wife Ilsa Lund (Bergman). Sam notices right away and begins to worry for his boss because a few years back Rick and Ilsa were lovers in Paris.

Will Rick help Laszlo and Lund escape? Will he get the closer he has always yearned for? So many questions and the film answers them all. They say this is one of the finest films ever made and it really is. I have said this before and I shall say it again, some films are as close to perfect as the world of movie making will ever get. And because of that I strongly believe they should never been remade. I am not a huge fan of remakes anyway LOL

                                           My friend Rocio and I after watching the film :)

There were some parts of the film that were emotional, romantic, passionate, heart breaking, and many parts that were downright hilarious!

Here are some of my favorite lines in the film:
  • I'm making out the report now. We haven't quite decided whether he committed suicide or died trying to escape. (Rains)
  • Oh, please, monsieur. It is a little game we play. They put it on the bill, I tear up the bill. It is very convenient. (Rains)
  • I've often speculated why you don't return to America. Did you abscond with the church funds? Did you run off with a Senator's wife? I like to think that you killed a man. It's the romantic in me. (Rains)
  • You know, Rick, I have many a friend in Casablanca, but somehow, just because you despise me, you are the only one I trust. (Lorre)
  • Strasser: You give him credit for too much cleverness. My impression was that he's just another blundering American. Renault: You mustn't underestimate American blundering. I was with them when they "blundered" into Berlin in 1918. (Rains and Veidt)
  • Rick: How can you close me up? On what grounds? Renault: I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here. (Bogart and Rains)
Gosh, there are so many fantastic lines in this films and of course iconic ones like, "Here's looking at you kid". If you would like to read more great quote you can find the here.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my adventure in the City and this week's "Weekend Cinema Spotlight" all combined into one post! hehe


PS My outfit was a mix of modern and vintage---blouse and cardigan were both thrifted in MO, my brooch was made by my friend Brittany, earrings purchased on Etsy, and 1940's patterned Navy snood was purchased on Etsy as well. I wore modern wide leg jeans with my outfit. *smile*

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Tis the season of bunnies!


It is spring at last! Spring at last! Thank God almighty spring at last! I didn't think it would come and it did! Thank you Mother Nature! Now I  hope we will have spring in New York until June at least because sometimes it gets super hot beforehand. This Bunny does not like super hot at all!! LOL

So have you started to spring clean? Have you purged your homes of unwanted items? Are you having any yard sales? I am always purging but I will walk around my house this week and look to see what we really don't need and I will hopefully have a yard sale this weekend if it doesn't rain!

I am almost finished with my children's Easter baskets and my niece's. I just have to add some crayons to them. I am also working on something for my husband-he deserves to have a little surprise on Easter as well. I found some books he has been wanted for dirt cheap on ebay (used of course) and I cannot wait to give him his surprise. I also am swapping vintage inspired Easter baskets with my sister in law-it has been fun but hard to do on my budget. Defiantly worth doing though.

There is officially 36 days until my trip begins and I am getting more excited! Is anyone going anywhere this spring? Any shopping trip plans or vintage inspired plans? My goodness I cannot wait to see all the amazing outfits all my vintage friends and fellow bloggers will be wearing! Yeah for spring!
Susan Hayward~1940's

Gila Golanc~1960's
Dorothy Jordan~1930's

I thought you might find some of these photos inspirational! I love bunnies and well my husband calls me Bunny, hence my stage name. So in the spirit of Easter (coming in two weeks!) and in the spirit of Spring and all things bunny-like....enjoy the photos!!!! And HAPPY SPRING!!!!


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Special Cinema Spotlight: The Artist

"The Artist" (2011)

Can a film really tap dance its way to your heart? Yes, well did one certainly did for me! I have been wanting to see The Artist for some time now and didn't know if I would have the chance. But my chance came this past Wednesday and my husband and I got the chance to spend a little time together.

The movie theater wasn't packed and the film being silent was a first odd to get used to but I got into it right away. I think what really captured my eye was a blend of George's smile and Peppy's humor. The two together created on screen magic!

George Valentin and his amazing dog "Jack"

The film stars Jean Dujardin as "George Valentin" who is a silent film star. He stumbles upon a fan by the name of "Peppy Miller" played by Berenice Bejo who eventually becomes a film extra. In studio George sort of takes Peppy under his wings a little and after working together they both realize there is a mutual attraction. Something Peppy is always able to do is make George smile and laugh-its special connection they have with one another but George is already married so he does not pursue anything romantic.

I ADORE this scene-Peppy is enamored with George and
puts her arm through his jacket and pretends that he is
holding her. It was endearing and touching. Love it!

In 1929, the film company that George worked for decided to end the making of silent films and go head on to sound pictures. George's reaction was classic-he was both amused, astonished, and down right prideful. He wanted nothing to do with it so he was let go of his contract. He then decides to make his own silent film and finance it himself. While he is doing this, Peppy slowly works her way up to the lead in a sound picture.

Needless to say, people flocked to Peppy's film and she was an instant star. But although George's film didn't fair too well and with the stock market crash he became penniless-Peppy always looked out for him in every way she could.

Trailer for "The Artist"

I felt like the film created an aura of magic and although I had a major crush on the 1920's and 1930's, after this film I have fallen madly in love! There was something special with Hollywood, that while the country and the world was suffering terribly from the aftermath of The Great Depression, they made films that were fun, romantic, exciting, and epic (ie "Gone with the Wind").

George and Peppy in the final scene of the film.

To those who have yet to see this film, be prepared to be dazzled. I know I was and still am! I tap danced my way out of the theatre hehe And don't think that this film is just all about pretty costumes, it also holds a lesson for all of us on the issue of pride. What pride can do to us if we allow it power over our decisions in life.

Go see it! If you have-will you see it again? I plan to own it when it comes out and watch it over and over again!


Friday, March 16, 2012

Celebrating Pinup Mamas: Kitty Mansfield

So without further adeiu, I would like to introduce my final Pinup Mama in this week's spotlight. Her name is Kitty Mansfield! Not only is she a dedicated step-mama to two beautiful little boys but she is the founder of Pinups Against Cancer. She is passionate and dedicated both to her family and her cause.

I cannot help but admire a woman who juggles so much and yet still has time to do for others. Bravo Kitty! You're an amazing Pinup Mama!!!

What attracted you to the world of pinup?
I have always been inspired by pinup are from Elvgren to the Silke comics. Pinup girls just have an aire of happiness about them.

Why did you choose to be a (philanthropic) pinup?
I feel it is more important to use your attributes to help people than to just make great pictures. If you're already doing that anyways, why not help people and have fun at the same time? I actually went to a photoshoot that was to help raise money for a local foodbank. I thought it was such a great idea and I was so excited to be a part of it. When I got to the shoot, it ended up being a promotional stunt for some guys company and no money was raised. I did have fun for the most part but I was a little disappointed. That's when I decided to start my own group, Pinups Against Cancer. I wanted to use my pinup powers to help raise money for local people who were struggling and dealing with cancer. It is something that I am very passionate about and I think there needs to be more groups like this everywhere.

Who are your inspirations (pinup world)?
Bettie Page, Jayne Mansfield, Marilyn Monroe, and all of The Pinup Angels!

How do you manage balancing the world of motherhood and the world of pinup?
I am blessed with two twin boys that were concieved before I was around. I got the benefit of being a part of two wonderful lives without having to go through the actual pregnancy. We get them every weekend and I try to be there as much as possible. Some times I have to attend events on the weekends but I like to keep it minimal since that is the only time I get with them. We do go to a lot of car shows as a family in the summertime and the pinup thing doesn't seem to phase them. I dont plan on having any children of my own so I treat them as if they were mine. I love to spoil them and see them happy.

What do you want to gain by being a pinup? (do you want to inspire, help others, self esteem..etc)
I have gained self confidence, lifetime friendships and ongoing learning experiences. I would like to inspire women to love themselves as WOMEN and accept thier bodies. We are truly the only ones that can make ourselves happy so why not be happy and have fun doing it?! I guess I'd like to keep it at that and make sure I continue to always give more than I gain.

What ways have you changed because of it?
I have become a more open and accepting person not only with others but also with myself. I have learned that sometimes it's better to be seen and not heard and that your actions will always speak louder than any words ever could.

Being a mother is filled with daily sacrifices (as well as joys), in what ways have you sacrificed in order to become a pinup?
In starting up Pinups Against Cancer I had to sacrifice a lot of my weekend family time to make sure I went to every event, monitored every little thing, dealt with meetings, paperwork, and sometimes drama. It really drained me, but it also taught me that I need to let go a little and trust in others so that I could continue to be a part of my family.

When it comes to sexy pin up modeling, how does your husband/partner react?
My husband is the person responsible for my pinup modeling. He always saw the beauty in me that I have only recently come to see. He has been nothing but supportive of me from the begining. I guess that's why I made a vow to spend the rest of my life with him.

What advice do you have for other aspiring Pinup Mamas?
Have fun with it. Use pinup as a tool to see the beauty in yourself. And NEVER EVER take yourself too seriously.

Thank you so much Kitty for being a part of this special series of Pinup Mamas. Keep doing what you do-you are an amazing woman!!


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Celebrating Pinup Mamas: Mims von Schuhe

Ladies and Gents, may I introduce you to my third Pinup Mama in my series, Mrs. Mims von Schuhe! This beautiful Latina Pinup is so inspirational and  just makes me feel like I can do anything. She is a positive thinker and full of life-what a breath of fresh air!

You can find Mims on Twitter at JerzyMims and also on Pinterest at Schuhe. Now may I introduce Mims von Schuhe to all of you!! Enjoy!!!

What attracted you to the world of pinup?
The Glam and the Glitz of it all. I have always been a girly girl. When I was a child I would sneak into my grandmothers bedroom and sit at her vanity. I was totally mesmerized by her jewelry. I would put on her pearls and squirt her perfume on my neck and apply her red lipstick onto my lips. All the while she would be in the kitchen preparing  some good old Puerto Rican cafe (Coffee). When I would hear her foot steps walking toward her room to see what I was doing I would quickly remove everything. The lipstick would always give me away. She would chuckle and let me be.  As I grew up I found myself loving everything and all things vintage especially "old Hollywood glam" for some reason it just reminds me of my grandma she is to date a very classy lady.

Why did you choose to be a (fill in what kind of pinup you are) pinup?
As an aspiring pin up model/photog, I love the "cheesecake" look to me its cute and fun and flirty yet very sexy. 

Who are your inspirations (pinup world)?
I find my inspiration from many different places. The people I've met, the places I've seen, and the icons of the culture I embrace. From the classic artists like Alberto Vargas & Gil Elvgren, to the models like Brigitte Bardo and the incomparable Bettie Page. Betty Brosmer has been my latest obsession from her effervescent smile to her curvaceous figure!! She proved that being curvy is sexy beyond belief.

How do you manage balancing the world of motherhood and the world of pinup?
As a full time working mother/wife and aspiring pin up model/photog balancing my real world job with my dream job have been a challenge for the last year.  I have to say that without the support of my Family and close friends none of this would be possible.  They have encouraged me when I thought I  didn't think I had what it takes. I am so thankful for them. While in my heart I was always a pin up it wasn't until a few years ago that I started to develop "Mims von Schuhe" I had to put her "growth" on hold but now that the babies are well "grown up" I am able to find more me time though it may not be many hours of me time its still ME time. In between the kids schedules, and being a wife I make it a point to put aside some Mims von Schuhe time. Again I couldn't do this if it weren't for my amazing support system. Love ya dolls!!! :)

What do you want to gain by being a pinup? (do you want to inspire, help others, self esteem..etc)
Society places an unfair expectation on people, especially women, to look a certain way. As a self professed "Big Girl," I know all too well what that pressure feels like. Over the years I've learned to embrace my curvy figure and hope to encourage other women to recognize that we are all beautiful. Whether short or tall, skinny or voluptuous. I hope that through my pin up pics people can see the beauty of a woman and not base her beauty on her dress size.

What ways have you changed because of it?
I haven't changed much but I have learned how to thrift shop even though its difficult  to find clothing my size that are vintage you have to just keep looking ;)

Being a mother is filled with daily sacrifices (as well as joys), in what ways have you sacrificed in order to become a pinup?
Scheduling is everything. I am a full time working mother of 2. I have 2 daughters. My oldest Keila (20) just had a baby and YES made this Pin up Mama a GRANDMA!! Keanna my youngest is 16 years old with a FULL schedule herself. I have to be sure that I don't plan any shoots during the week as I am needed to chauffeur her to and from cheer-leading. Any free time this pin up Grandma has during the week will be spent with my newborn grandson.  I must admit since my kiddies are older the weekends are ALL mine we just wont tell them this little secret. :)

When it comes to sexy pin up modeling, how does your husband/partner react?
My hubby and I have been married for over 20 years and he loves the confidence I have both in front and behind the camera. He is very supportive of my pin up lifestyle I am very blessed.

What advice do you have for other aspiring Pinup Mamas?
Exfoliate the lips!! Red lipstick can be harsh on the softness of our pin up lips but, more importantly , DON'T FORGET TO HAVE FUN!!

Thank you Mims for being so open and sharing yourself with all of us. I admire your beauty, strength, and courage-you are a Pinup Mama inspiration!!


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Celebrating Pinup Mamas: Lainey Belle

Lainey Belle happens to be one of the nicest pinup girls I have gotten to know in a long time. Shes sincere and kind and just exactly herself. Her modeling work is stunning and inspirational and yes-you got it-shes also a mama!!

I am happy to introduce Mrs. Lainey Belle, Pinup Mama extraordinaire!

What attracted you to the world of pinup? Why did you choose to be a pinup?
It all started when I was in 5th grade & my parents drove by a classic car show. I started taking photos of classic cars I would come across shortly after. This love of classic cars lead to a discovery of classic pin-up girls by my 9th grade year. I printed & posted up enough classic gals to cover my entire door. It wasn't until two years ago when my friend convinced me to enter a pin-up contest that I realized that maybe I too could be a pin-up girl! I probably do mostly cheesecake photos & I love to do this because it is so much fun! Cheesecake gals always made me smile when I was younger. My rule is if I'm not going to have fun, don't bother doing it.

Who are your inspirations (pinup world)?
    I always come across some wonderful poses from a lot of wonderful ladies, but the two people I always go back to consistently are Bettie Page & Gil Elvgren.

How do you manage balancing the world of motherhood and the world of pinup?
With creativity, dedication, planning ahead & a little help. Sometimes I can't make it to events or shoots because I have children, which is why it's always good to keep things in perspective. My children can bring me joy nothing else can.

What do you want to gain by being a pinup? (do you want to inspire, help others, self esteem..etc)
     I want to make new friends, have fun, & I also love helping our veterans & their families through our group called the Pinup Patriettes. One of the most common things I've noticed is how much people glamorize modeling & the life of a model in their minds. It is nice to be able to set people straight because I see so many young girls posing for a nobody photographer with next to nothing on just to hope something big will happen for them.

What ways have you changed because of it? 
    I have become more outgoing, it has led to much more of an awareness of our veterans, & I have learned so many things reading about the people who went through the Depression. As a mother (& a human being), you can gain so many WONDERFUL tips from those who had to go without & found ways to make the best of things.

Being a mother is filled with daily sacrifices (as well as joys), in what ways have you sacrificed in order to become a pinup?
I think the biggest sacrifice is my sanity. haha! I joke, but it does take extra money & planning to find somebody to watch my two toddlers when I live far away from my family & friends. My husband & I have to plan trips to events where I can get to do what I love because we live almost in the middle of nowhere.  

When it comes to sexy pin up modeling, how does your husband/partner react?
My husband is very supportive & proud of me. We respect each other, so I show him everything before I put it up. If my husband was not supportive of what I love to do, there would be no way I would be able to accomplish what I have.

What advice do you have for other aspiring Pinup Mamas?
Don't compare yourself too harshly to other gals in the modern pinup world you see. Enjoy your life & if your main focus is to have fun, you can't really lose out! Sometimes being a mama means having less money to buy clothes, pay for photo shoots, or travel with. Pick & choose what is worth it to you & go for that. Look a year in advance & if you REALLY want to do something, plan for it & make it happen. Quality over quantity. Also, what I always tell other gals is Please bring a friend or two with you to a shoot. Always better safe than sorry.

Thank you so much Lainey for being a part of my Pinup Mama spotlight. You are a joy to know and an incredible Pinup Mama!


Monday, March 12, 2012

Celebrating Pinup Mamas: Denise-Bella Vlasis

Pinup Mama~Denise-Bella Vlasis

 Way back in September 2011 I had the honor and privilege to spotlight four amazing Pinup Mamas. Now this week I have five more amazing ladies to add to this growing list of women who balance both world of pinup and motherhood beautifully.

My first Pinup Mama is Denise-Bella Vlasis who has been a performer most of her life and also runs an incredible business called Tribute Productions. Within her company she also runs a company of Cigarette Dolls called MrsBellasDolls.

How does this mama balance it all? Let's find out!!!

What attracted you to the world of pinup?

I believe "pin up" and "all things "vintage" have always "found me". I have always been attracted to 1920s-1930s-1940's and being a dancer and performer all of my life, I would always seem to be cast in those kinds of roles. As a young girl and all the way up to adult life (from my very 1st tap dance at age 7 to "Goody-Goody" dressed in satin high waist shorts, pill box hat & fishnets to playing the part of an Andrew Sister act in Clint Eastwood's "Flags of our Fathers" a few years ago. Looking back at my career, I realize there has always been a vintage theme & influence (even my work as Madonna's double has had much "old Hollywood movie star" look to it. My beautiful Mom (certainly a Pin Up Mama herself) was a huge influence on me as well, introducing me to Betty Boop when I was 5 years old,  Marilyn Monroe and all the classic starlets. I thought my mom WAS Marilyn when I was a little girl so naturally she was a great influence on my life (and still is).

Why did you choose to be a pinup?
I have re-invented myself (in my 40's) to move on from my career as "Madonna's Double" to pursue things that inspire me more fully, and that certainly is pin-up & old Hollywood glamor. Because I run a Production Company now days Tribute Productions ;  (since the birth of my daughter) I have found my "niche" in booking, producing and creating vintage entertainment. Mostly my Cigarette Girl Company Mrs. Bella's Dolls has allowed me to fully embrace myself as a "pin up spokes person" if you will, in that when I (or my girls) work events- we bring back the nostalgic characters of pin up to the event and interact live with guests as this "pin up girl" character.
It's funny to me that I have found more fun in playing this part than many jobs working "as Madonna". I LOVE being a pin up cigarette girl and I think this is why my company has had amazing success. I have always bought pin up style clothing, and now I have a great excuse to wear the looks (heehee). I am super excited about my newest branch of my company -- Champagne & Martini Dolls (pin up girls in my life size Martini Glass- talk about PIN UP!) you can see them at

Who are your inspirations (pinup world)?
Marilyn, Jayne Mansfield, Betty Page, I guess I am more inspired by the original women but do love the modern styles of Bernie Dexter, and Dita Von Tease.

Denise with her beautiful daughter Sofia

How do you manage balancing the world of motherhood and the world of pinup?
It's not always easy to balance them both but for me my child comes 1st-always has & always will! I actually teach my little one all about my work and what I am doing. She has watched all the photo shoots Mommy has been in or Mommy is shooting for her Company. She sees me creating costumes, inventing new ideas and will say (she is 5) "Mommy this costume would be perfect for your Cigarette Girl Dolls" when we are out shopping and you can imagine the looks I get!
I feel the gifts my Mom gave to me (showing me how to be creative, inventive, resourceful) are powerful things I want to pass on to my child (things they don't get in school in my opinion) so I have always included my child in all of my work. I also want her to learn to "celebrate the human body" and never have shame with being beautiful as a woman should she have curves like Mommy and Grandma some day. I struggled with that as a  young girl trying to make it as a dancer- so thank goodness for "pin up" and helping to "embrace my curves"- its only in this community (pin-up) women can feel beautiful with what God gave them- so I am grateful for Pin Up!!
I choose Motherhood first and the rest falls into place from there.

What do you want to gain by being a pinup? (do you want to inspire, help others, self esteem..etc)
I have done so much with my work that goes quietly un-noticed by most (coaching, encouraging other people), but mainly to (hopefully) be an example of embracing ones unique self, face, body type and age! Society has its own version of what it shoves down our throat as "this is beautiful and if you don't look like this-  you are not". Pin Up says : anything goes, retro, current, hips & booty, thin, its a wonderful meshing of all things and that is what our world is today (in my opinion). I am excited to see what the younger generations will take it (what is "beauty").
So in my Pin Up work- I hope to bring that essence to the world AND have a company that hires ALL women to "represent" this. I hope to allow a place for all unique, beautiful females to express themselves as a "Pin Up Model". I love having that opportunity to book girls who may never get that chance.

What ways have you changed because of it?
I am not sure "I have changed" I have always been a creative girl who has challenged "the norm of society". Pin Up gives me opportunities to express this part of myself.

Denise with her Cigarette Girls (& Sofia!!) How cute!!

Being a mother is filled with daily sacrifices (as well as joys), in what ways have you sacrificed in order to become a pinup?
I feel I have been blessed to do both and of course there are times I choose to not take a job because I can't "fly to London on a moments notice" any longer, but so far I have made decisions to make them both work together. I do more bookings than jobs, but that's perfectly fine for me. I have had an amazing 25 + career so having a child later in life is just a God send! I feel I have done it all and so blessed!

When it comes to sexy pin up modeling, how does your husband/partner react?
Hmmm I think most men prefer "Pin Up" vs. that image of a waif thin model society crams down their throats. Nothing is wrong with thin, don't get me wrong, but let's face it most women don't look like that. I used to wear sports bras growing up to "flatten my chest" (I know crazy! my girlfriends all though I was nuts) but I guess I was trying to do what was so called "beautiful" trying to hide and flatten my curves. Today I celebrate my curves and NO one loves them more than hubby!

What advice do you have for other aspiring Pinup Mamas?
Find your voice, find your niche, find your own passion and creativity to express who you are right now. It's never too late no matter what age you are. Re-discover, un-cover, and keep discovering who you are right now. Women-who are all collective, unique, different beautiful beings and don't have to try to emulate one another, or fit into categories, or try to look like someone else to be beautiful (ironic coming from the mouth of someone who had a career as a Impersonator) but I have found my own beauty strength, and magic NOT from "trying to be Madonna" but by embracing the things about ME that come from my personal joys and from things that inspire me. My love for vintage allows for me to express a part of myself with the world, and that has brought me so much more than I ever expected because its authentic (vs. emulating someone else as a career). Pin-Up allows me a freedom to celebrate who I am in so many facets. I would hope other Pin Up Mama's find their own beauty in getting in touch with what is hidden in their hearts and find an outlet to express it.

I also think it is important to "live in the present" (I am not a Pin Up everyday) so find the balance of living in the world and in the present, and allow that inner Pin Up a place to play.

Remember at the end of the day, its your FAMILY that will be there to root you on. And on that note, its time for this Pin Up Mama to go play "Barbies".  XOXOXOXOXOX

Thank you Denise for being a part of my way of celebrating mothers who are pinups and who love the vintage world. And thank you for being such an inspiration!


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Weekend Cinema Spotlight: The Seven Year Itch

"The Seven Year Itch" (1955)

When my husband told me he never saw "The Seven Year Itch" I was really surprised and super excited! I thought it would be fun to watch this movie together because I just knew he would love it just as much as I do and he did.

It starts with an average Manhattan husband named Richard Sherman (Tom Ewell) who is sending his wife (Evelyn Keyes) with their son to Maine for the summer. It is true, New York City is very hot in the summer so I can totally understand why so many husbands would send their families off to an area where they can partake in water sports and staying in nature orientated environment. Way better than sending your child off to summer camp without you I think hehehe But it is insinuated that many of these husbands sort of rebel against their wives and the household rules while they are away. (naughty boys!)
A sweet moment shared between co-stars while filming the "skirt" scene.

According to Mr. Sherman's psychologist played by Oskar Homolka, he believes that is it during the seventh year of marriage that men usually begin to have extra-marital affairs. Mr. Sherman shrugs it all off until a living doll steps into the picture played by the stunning Marilyn Monroe. At first he finds himself hugely attracted to her and even tries to seduce her with some piano playing but he really struggles and attempts to fight his temptations.

Trailer for "The Seven Year Itch"

To me, this story is so completely and utterly charming. I have a few reasons I think this and here they are:

  1. The color used in this film just makes everything look like eye candy-including the ice cubes!
  2. The character of Mr. Sherman has these well thought out and vivid daydreams and fantasies-you cannot help but get carried away with him.
  3. Marilyn Monroe is so adorable and sweet and just elegant!
  4. The sets were oozing of details from the books to the records to the just makes you feel like you are in 1955!
  5. The friendship between Mr. Sherman and the "girl" (you never learn what her name is) is just perfectly charming, innocent (and not so innocent), and really endearing.
  6. It is soooooooooooooooo funny-you will be in stitches!
  7. Of course there is the infamous "skirt blowing" scene *smile*
  8. Makes you appreciate the idea that there are good men out there that are still madly in love with their wives after seven years (or more)!

Tom Ewell and Marilyn Monroe were a delightful pair to watch together.

As Mr. Sherman struggles with his wandering eye he ends up developing a sweet friendship with his lady love that leads him to build more inner confidence. It also leads him straight back into his wife's arms. He was simply a man in love (with his wife) who doubted he could ever have anyone fancy him after all these years of marriage.

I will always love this film and if  you ever want to watch a film that is charming in ever way possible, totally hilarious, creative, realistic, and visually delightful then this is a must see!!!!


Friday, March 9, 2012

My Vintage Wardrobe: Inspiration

Coco Chanel with model: 1940's: soulcookie

I have to admit I am not easily inspired. It isn't because I am picky, it's because my tastes have been refined with age, knowledge, and experience. So very few of today's "starlets" make me say "wow" but I am happy to say that women of the past-whether they are known or unknown have been inspiring me.

Many of the vintage bloggers have inspired me as well, especially those who face everyday challenges like motherhood, illness, disability, financial stresses-because those women are finding their own sense of style irregardless of their lack of time or money (or any other reasons). They inspire me because they are finding ways to express themselves and are celebrating the eras they love no matter what.

Here are some images of those who are inspiring me to go forward and express my love of the past:
Photo from: Va-Voom Vintage
Brittany has balanced her style and wardrobe through
pregnancy and motherhood in a way that leaves me
beyond inspired. She does with so with such ease and
beauty, how can one not admire her fashion sense?!!?

I truly admire this vintage blogger who really is dedicated
herself to the fashion and essence of what was the 1930's
in such a beautiful and classy way.

Photo from: The Fedora Lounge
Everyday women from the 1940's for being creative,
inventive, and bold when it came to style and fashion.

Photo from: Film Star Postcards
Audrey Hepburn~She wore clothes with style
and grace on and off the film set.

Photo from: Judy Wald
Rita Hayworth~To me she is everything  that is
glamorous and beautiful about the 1940's!

I am also inspired by my grandmother and mother because they really put effort into the way they looked, took care of themselves, and just oozed femininity. I am also inspired by the ladies who lived in the 1940's and who are still with us today, like my amazing neighbor Mary who never leaves her house without her hair done (pin curls the night before of course!) and is always dressed neatly and lovely. I admire the lady-like way women carry themselves whether they are wearing dresses or trousers. It's all beautiful to me.

The posts labeled "My Vintage Wardrobe" will be frequently posted on my blog now as I am closer to having a little wardrobe for myself. I will add topics to do with makeup, hair, and also be more specific about accessories such as hats, earrings, bracelets etc.

I hope you are enjoying this ride with me-its been a journey of nine months in the making (already I know!). I have had my ups and downs but more than anything I have loved all the learning and sharing and celebrating of the vintage life.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...