Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Andrea Kett: 'For Collectors of Superior Smut!'

Under Werewolf

Diamond's Are a Ghouls Best Friend

Having been on Etsy as a buyer for a number years it was sometime ago that I discovered the wonderful work of Dublin born artist, Andrea Kett, her work makes me drool. It combines my favourite things spooky-ness, food and clothes! If you like pin-ups, cheeky puns and delightfully dressed dames then you are going to love Andrea's work. Here is her biography from her gorgeous website:

Andrea Kett has been creating her whimsical greetings cards and prints for a number of years depicting all manner of outrageous characters including posh pirates,pin-up girls,zombie showgirls,dodgy mermaids and devilish brutes.

Andrea studied animation at Dun Laoighaire College of Art & Design in Dublin before finishing her studies at Bristol university,
She has designed for a number of clients including Kurt Geiger,Lulu Guinness and Sera of London. 

Her inspiration comes from many different sources:1920s-1950s.the music of The Cramps,the Tigerlillies ,eighties glam rock,
vintage pin-up girls,Burlesque,John Waters films,Kenny Everett ,The Moomins,Cake decorating books,Horror films,fairy tales,afternoon tea,Fellini films,Jan Svankmajer,Beatrix Potter,P.G.Wodehouse,Mapp and Lucia,Seaside tat,Woody Allen
Naughty Victoriana,Agatha Christie and lashings of Enid Blyon.

Her Greetings cards & prints are available in several outlets throughout the UK,Ireland and the US.

Marple Cake

Hot Hair Balloon

Magenta Lovelace

How gorgeous are her drawings?! I spoke with Andrea on the wonderful medium of Facebook and asked her about her inspirations and hopes for the future.

On her inspirations: 'With regards to inspirational people, some of my many ones Tura Satana (faster pussycat kill kill),Poison Ivy (the Cramps), PJ Harvey and oddly enough Aunt Sally from Worzel Gummidge (I even collect those Victorian peg dolls as they look like her...shes so nasty ,I love her).I think taste does influence my work in the sense that I tend to draw what I like even regarding my greetings cards, I've never really designed stuff that I thought would be commercially popular (even despite customers complaining about characters smoking and the odd zombie)' 

Aunt Sally
Tura Santana
How she got started: 'I started about 10-11 years ago after studying animation at home in Dublin and then Bristol ,eventually moving to Manchester for a work placement in Cosgrove Hall,then a friend of mine took some of my cards into a shop in Altrincham and they just took off and then I started to do tradeshows etc and just built from there.'

Aspirations: 'Hopes for the future,I'd like to keep working (I'd especially like to do a bit more book illustration,maybe a bit of costume design)its a tough ol' business with so much competition,so for now I will just have to keep on keepin on as they say!'

Blue Rinse
Saucy But Civilised

To see more of Andrea's work go to her website and her Etsy Shop.

Monday, 28 March 2011

Style Icon: Snow White

I have had a healthy obsession with Snow White since I was about seven, when I received my very own personalised Snow White book, it had my name and sisters names in it, and I thought it was pretty damn amazing. Check out the personalised pie Snow White made me, and my wonderfully artistic attempts at drawing Snow White and the Wicked Witch:

I still cannot draw hands.

Illustration by Jessie Willcox Smith
As an 'adult' I have taken the Snow White look into my own aesthetic, black hair courtesy of Nice n Easy and  pale complexion courtesy of avoiding the sun (not hard in the UK) and Max Factor foundation. Also I did take the look literally as a teenager and wore Snow White costumes to festivals and gigs I thought I was being cute and ironic?! I think there is something so dramatic about women with black hair and pale skin with ruby red lips, that is why I am often drawn to these modern day Snow Whites:

Mia Kirshner

Dita Von Teese

Mariacarla Boscono

Eva Green
It seems that Hollywood is still obsessed with Snow White, as of this moment  there are two different versions of the alabaster skinned goddess in the works.  There is  'Snow White and The Huntsman' set to star Kirsten Stewart as Snow White and Charlize Theron as the Evil Queen. Then there is 'The Brothers Grimm: Snow White' which will see Julia Roberts play the Evil Queen and Armie Hammer as the Prince, but no Snow White yet. Here is one of my favourite Snow White inspired pieces, courtesy of Rammstein:

Now if that wasn't enough Snow White for you check out this fascinating blog Filmic Light: A Snow White Sanctum.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec

Very excited to see The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec, I have wanted to see this for awhile now as I am a big fan of Luc Besson and it looks right up my street. Anything with an interesting female lead + whimsy + fantasy I am more than likely hooked!

The costumes and set design for the film looks beautiful, still have to wait till next month to see it in the UK, will have to suffice with the trailer and pictures for now.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Flamenco Hair Slides

So Stylish So UK by GoodNorth on Etsy

My Flamenco inspired hair slides have been featured in a treasury today along with some other gorgeous items from the UK. 

Flamenco 1940s Style Flower Hair Slides

Spanish Retro Mantilla Comb

I love the Mantilla Comb, definitely need to purchase one from the amazing shop.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Boudoir & Finds

Last Sunday I went to the Decorative Fair  in Wilmslow, I had it in my head just to have a look but alas I have no will power. I purchased this beautiful light blue 1950s day dress for £35, I adore the button detailing. To be honest I think me and the dress were meant to be, because I saw the exact dress last year at the same fair and had to prise myself away from it then and I could not do it twice. I have no idea what shoes to wear with it though?

Excuse the bad picture it's quite long and hard to photograph

I love me some buttons

I also purchased two hats, I need more hats in my life. This little 1940s feathered number is velvet, which I also adore, but shouldn't go near as I am clumsy (food wise I spill a lot) and it was only £8.

Checkout my leopard print throw, gotta have leopard print accents.

This is the other hat a snip at £12, it's 1950s sequinned gem and it fits nice and snugly on my head so need for kirby grips. I do think I need to buy brighter hats as black hats do not always stand out on my dark hair. 

I need a better camera...

I had to clean the make-up muck off before I took this
I thought I would show a few snippets of my room, above is my make-up shelf which I have put inspiring photos on and then placed glass over the top. It is an easy way to brighten up boring shelves and tables. 

My hall of fame wall

Hall of fame part deux
I do worry that all the pictures will fall on me in the night

Does anyone know how to get rid of the damn white boxes around the pictures?!

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Chorizo Oh How I Love Thee

I have a serious soft spot for chorizo, so my ears pricked up when I was watching Saturday Morning Kitchen when the chef, James Martin said he was going to make chorizo and chickpea stew with chorizo stuffed chicken. I made it that day it is delicious! so much so I am making it again tonight. If you're a vegetarian the stew without the stock and chorizo would be just as tasty. Here are the ingredients you need:


For the chorizo-stuffed chicken
  • 150g/5oz cured chorizo, cut into thick slices
  • 110g butter, softened
  • chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
  • 50g/2oz plain flour
  • 2 free-range eggs, lightly beaten
  • 110g/4oz dried breadcrumbs

    Preparation method

    1. Heat a large saucepan and fry the chorizo for 3-4 minutes, or until crisp.
    2. Add the onion, garlic and chilli and fry for 2-3 minutes, or until softened.
    3. Add the paprika and stir until well combined. Place the tomatoes, chickpeas and chicken stock into the pan and bring to the boil.
    4. Reduce the heat and simmer for 4-5 minutes. Add the spinach and fold it through the stew.
    5. Return the mixture to the heat and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook for another minute to wilt the spinach, then season with lemon juice.
    6. For the chorizo-stuffed chicken, heat a deep fat fryer to 170C/340F. (CAUTION: Do not leave hot fat unattended.)
    7. Place the chorizo and butter into a food processor and blend to a purée. Add a little touch of lemon juice and black pepper, then spoon into a piping bag. Make an incision in the side of the chicken breast and pipe some of the chorizo butter into the chicken.
    8. Press the incision shut then dust with the flour. Prepare a plate of egg and a plate of breadcrumbs. Dip the chicken first in the egg, then the breadcrumbs. Place into the fat fryer and cook for 8-9 minutes, or until golden-brown and cooked through.
    9. To serve, cut the chicken in half carefully. Place the stew into a bowl and top with the chicken. Finish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and scattering of cress.
Used my 'posh' plates

Monday, 21 March 2011


Adding to my etsy shop gradually, this weekend I added some gorgeous cushions that my Mother has made. She is very gifted, and has more patience than I when it comes to sewing! Here are two of my favourites:

Cream Linen toile de jouy bow detail Cushion

Silk Duck Egg Blue Cushion with Diamante

Will be posting soon on my finds at the vintage Decorative Fair that I went to on Sunday!

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Submarine (2011)

Oliver & Jordana who makes me want a bob, again.
I had the pleasure on Thursday of attending a pre-screening and Q&A  at The Cornerhouse of the début film from actor/comedian/music director Richard Ayoade. I personally adored the film, it was sweet, funny and memorable. Based on the book by Joe Dunthorne, the film centres on a young boy, Oliver Tate played fantastically by Craig Roberts (who I see as the next James McAvoy). Oliver falls for the chain smoking, execma sufferer  Jordana Bevan played by Yasmin Paige who has a penchant for casual pyromania.  All the while Oliver is having to monitor his parents played by Sally Hawkins and Noah Taylor sex life out of concern for their marriage. Oliver is an anti-hero, he sees himself as an expert on romance, and has the kind of honesty that is sometimes misinformed. 

Fans and critics alike have been describing Ayoade as a British Wes Anderson, which I can see similarities as his characters tend to be awkward and off-beat. I managed to muster up the courage to grab the microphone at the Q&A and ask Ayoade: 

'As a film maker does he think he will always be attracted to socially awkward characters?' 

to which he laughed and said; 
'what are you trying to say I'm sat up here like George Clooney' (Ayoade is sweetly a unassuming man who has dry sense of humour)
He went on to say that he cannot understand people who can exhibit lots of confidence and that he is never going to make a biopic on Bon Jovi. He finds people who are socially awkward more fascinating. He mentioned The Apartment (1960) and Woody Allen as being his favourite examples of this. The Apartment being one of my favourite films I was giddy by him mentioning it as a favourite too. Being a socially awkward individual my self I am often drawn to characters and film makers who exhibit the same characteristic's. 
Director Richard Ayoade, some may know him as Moss from the IT crowd.
The film also stars Paddy Considine as a hilariously played mystic with the worst mullet seen since Pat Sharpe (google him).

Check out the brilliant art work on the van.

 The film has a beautiful soundtrack by Alex Turner of the Arctic Monkeys, which adds to the film's brilliance greatly.  I was never a big fan of The Arctic Monkeys now I cannot stop listening to them. Submarine is a great example of fantastic British film, which should prompt the government into giving more funding to film! 

Thursday, 17 March 2011

The Worst Witch

One of my idols or should I say aspirations when I was a child was to be a witch, mostly in part due to Mildred Hubble. Mildred was a young witch from the Jill Murphy books 'The Worst Witch', which was first published in 1974. The books centred on Mildred who is a young witch at Cackle's Witch Academy, far from being a perfect student she often gets into trouble for using the wrong spells. Murphy wrote the books based on her own experiences at a Convent in England. 

Oh how I wanted long plaits like hers!

Mildred in her dorm room sans windows with tabby her cat.

Mildred is terrible at maths and science (as am I), but tries her hardest to make her spells work. I have still  not shook my witchy inclinations, and love wearing pointy boots with capes and messy hair! Here are some Mildred Hubble style items:

Black Tall Witchy oxford Granny style boots 7.5B

Forset Symphony Tattoo Nylons

Vintage 70s cape

The Darkness Vintage Gothic Black Velvet Dress
If any of you have children or a child-like view on life I urge you to read the books. All above Mildred Hubble items can be found on etsy! 

Tuesday, 15 March 2011


Currently obsessed with this song, which is an Akon cover of all things. Damn Paloma can make anything sound good;

Today I shall be channelling Paloma with a touch of Miss Charlotte Dellal.

Cannot go wrong with some polka dots. 

Can obviously never have too many leopard print shoes!

I would be a better person if I had this Marie Mercie cat hat, true.

Until I can sell a kidney for said hat, I will make do with my divinely OTT leopard necklace.

Excuse the limp hair I stayed in all day, so did no pin curling.