Friday, April 18, 2014

#RE2014: Remember - A look back over the blog

The #RE2014 buzzword for April is remember so I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to look back over my blog. When I started the blog way back in July 2009 I never thought it would bring me the opportunities that it has. I'm now in my 5th year of blogging and I can honestly say this little blog has bought me more friendship fun and frolics than I could have ever imagined! 
My first proper post was about Alice in Wonderland and the upcoming Tim Burton movie. I actually ended up seeing the movie with my mum when she came over to visit in March 2010 on a very rainy day! 

Through the blog I have been offered a whole host of opportunities. Be it free movie tickets and events hosted by Nuffnang, tickets to see Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and a whole host more I cannot even begin to list! 

I have also been given the opportunity to review products that were very kindly sent to me for free. The first of these was this Marilyn clock and most recently the fab ipad case sent to me by Snugg. 

Through the blog I have made some wonderful friends including all the Old Hat bunch after admiring Michelle and Tim's outfits on this day. Many fab Old Hat meet ups followed and through these events I met Annora of Nora Finds which led to me modelling in a catwalk she was styling at the Love Vintage show and subsequently other modelling opportunities including the Sydney Vintage and Retro Fair and most recently at the Vintage Fashion Parade at Sydney Antique Centre. If someone told me when I was younger that I would have been modelling vintage fashions I would have laughed at them as never in my wildest dreams would I have dreamed of doing it but it has been fabulous fun wearing some beautiful outfits and meeting some lovely ladies.

So although I started this blogs as a bit of fun and its still relatively unknown for the amount of time I have been blogging I can honestly say that writing this blog has given me some fan opportunities as well I being a great sounding board that pushes me to write better content and improve my skills to make the blog better! 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Weekly Buys: Modcloth's Stylish Suprises

Recentely Modcloth run one of their Stylish Surprise sales whereby you select your size and the number of items you want and Modcloth send out mystery items. Each item is sold for $10 but is worth anywhere between $29.99 to $299.99. My wardrobe needed a bit of a shake up so I thought this would be a good way to buy some items I may not have picked up myself and use them to create a different style.
 I order 4 items and they arrived this week here is what came in the box:
And here is what I got:
When I initially opened the box it looked like the items I were sent were a bit dark and dull but when I took this dress out of the package I was pleasantly surprised by the cute cat design. The dress was sold as Cat's More Like It Dress on Modcloth but it is Dear Creatures Camille dress. From what I can find the dress retails around $90 so for just $10 it was a steal!
The second item was this teal asymmetric tunic from Piko 1988. It will be perfect for winter with leggings and a skivvy underneath and possibly belted. I can't seem to find this item on Modcloth or find a website for Piko but I did find a red version on Dancewear House USA for $32.
The next item was this sea green cotton skirt by Ixia. I can't find this skirt online anywhere so have no idea how much it retails at but I will be nice for summer and can be worn in winter with thick tights and a jumper. However it is slightly small over my hips for me at the moment. The only way I can wear it is to pull it up so it is high waisted and it looks a little ridiculous!
The last item is this Esley black and grey dress again I can't find this one online and it wouldn't have been something that I would have picked out and I'm not sure if I like it or not.

So all in all I'm pretty happy with my haul for just $40 plus $10 postage I got 4 fab items! I will definitely be partaking in the next stylish surprise sale when it comes around.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

What Emma Did - 13th April 2014

This week I have been:
♥ Having my Niece and Nephew over for lunch
♥ Going for a trip to the fish markets with the Hubby
♥ Having a wander around the city and going to Satang Thai for lunch
♥ Watching the latest series of The Walking Dead
♥ Reading more of the Corinna Chapman books
♥ Still trying to fight off this cold! 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Product Review: Snugg iPad 3 Executive Case Cover and Stand in Electric Blue Leather

Recently the Hubby mentioned to me that he needed a new case for his iPad as the old one was rather battered so when The Snugg contacted me to review one of their iPad cases it seemed like a fortuitous coincidence.

The Snugg sell iPad, smartphone and tablet cases as well as Kindle covers and other accessories. Their cases are made of PU leather and come with a lifetime guarantee which means that if you have a problem with the case that is no fault of your own it will be replaced with a brand new case. The Snugg offer free standard shipping worldwide.

I opted for the Snugg iPad 3 Executive Case Cover and Stand in Electric Blue Leather the case features: automatic sleep/wake cover that folds into 2 position stand, pockets for cash, business and travel cards, hand strap, stylus loop and Snugg Promise.

We received the case just over a week after our order and are extremely happy with it.. The case is well made from high quality materials and fits perfectly. I am incredibly happy with the product and the customer service I received from the company.

Disclaimer: The Snugg offered me this product free in return for this post however the opinions in the post are my own. All advertorials are conducted on a fully transparent basis to my readers. Only products or services that are used and approved by me personally are reviewed! 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

#RE2014 - April: Remember

April's #RE2014 buzzword is Remember. As we are a third of the way through #RE2014 now is a good time to look back over our progress and remember how far we've come. Its also a good time to stop and take stock for a while. So often in life we go from one thing to the next without taking time to enjoy our achievements so during the month of April I will be looking back over the blog and remembering (and celebrating all the good times!)

April is a pognant month or remember as here in Australia we have ANZAC Day where we remember our fallen soldiers. It marks the anniversary of the first campaign that led to major casualties for Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War but broadly commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations and the contribution and suffering of all those who have served.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Monthly Muse: Louise Brooks

Louise Brooks was born Mary Louise Brooks on 14th November 1906 in Cherryvale, Kansas. Her father Leonard Porter Brooks was a lawyer with little time for his children and her mother Myra Rude was the artistic type. She was a talented pianist who instilled the children with a love of books and music.

When Louise was 9 she was sexually abused by a neighbour. This event had a major influence on Louise life and career, causing her to say in later years that she was incapable of real love. When Brooks at last told her mother of the incident, many years later, her mother suggested that it must have been Louise's fault for "leading him on".

Louise started her career as a dancer joining the Denishawn modern dance company in Los Angeles  in 1922. In her second season Louise took the starring role. However after a long standing feud between Louise and one of the founders of the troop Ruth St. Denis, she was abruptly fired in 1924. St Denis told her "I am dismissing you from the company because you want life handed to you on a silver salver" and Louise took these words to heart as when she drew up an outline for a planned autobiographical novel in 1949, "The Silver Salver" was the title she gave to the tenth and final chapter.

Thanks to her friend Barbara Bennett Louise found work almost straight away  as a chorus girl in George White's Scandals, followed by an appearance as a featured dancer in the 1925 edition of the Ziegfeld Follies on Broadway. As a result of her work in the Follies, she came to the attention of Paramount Pictures producer Walter Wanger, who signed her to a five-year contract with the studio in 1925. She was also noticed by visiting movie star Charlie Chaplin, who was in town for the premiere of his film The Gold Rush. The two had an affair that summer.

Louise  made her screen debut in the silent The Street of Forgotten Men, in an uncredited role in 1925. She soon got the lead roles in a number of flapper films. She was noticed in Europe for her pivotal vamp role in the Howard Hawks directed silent "buddy film", A Girl in Every Port in 1928. In an early sound film drama, Beggars of Life (1928), Brooks played an abused country girl on the run with hobos Richard Arlen and Wallace Beery whom she meets while riding the rails. Much of this film was shot on location, and the boom microphone was invented for this film by the director William Wellman, who needed it for one of the first experimental talking scenes in the movies. Soon after the film Beggars Of Life was made, Brooks, who loathed the Hollywood "scene", refused to stay on at Paramount after being denied a promised raise, and left for Europe to make films for G. W. Pabst, the prominent Austrian Expressionist director.

Paramount attempted to use the coming of sound films to pressure the actress, but she called the studio's bluff. It was not until 30 years later that this rebellious move would come to be seen as arguably the most savvy of her career, securing her immortality as a silent film legend and independent spirit. Unfortunately, while her initial snubbing of Paramount alone would not have finished her in Hollywood altogether, her refusal after returning from Germany to come back to Paramount for sound retakes of The Canary Murder Case (1929) irrevocably placed her on an unofficial blacklist. Actress Margaret Livingston was hired to dub Brooks's voice for the film, as the studio claimed that Louise' voice was unsuitable for sound pictures.

Once in Germany, she starred in the 1929 film Pandora's Box, directed by Georg Wilhelm Pabst in his New Objectivity period. The film is based on two plays by Frank Wedekind (Erdgeist and Die Büchse der Pandora) and Brooks plays the central figure, Lulu. This film is notable for its frank treatment of modern sexual mores, including one of the first screen portrayals of a lesbian. Brooks then starred in the controversial social drama Diary of a Lost Girl (1929), based on the book by Margarete Böhme and also directed by Pabst, and Prix de Beauté (1930) by Italian author Augusto Genina, the latter being filmed in France, and having a famous surprise ending. All these films were heavily censored, as they were very "adult" and considered shocking in their time for their portrayals of sexuality, as well as their social satire.

When she returned to Hollywood in 1931, she was cast in two mainstream films: God's Gift to Women (1931) and It Pays to Advertise (1931). Her performances in these films, however, were largely ignored, and few other job offers were forthcoming due to her informal "blacklisting".

Despite this, William Wellman, her director on Beggars of Life, offered her the female lead in his new picture, The Public Enemy starring James Cagney. However, Brooks turned down the role in order to visit her then-lover George Preston Marshall in New York City, and the part instead went to Jean Harlow, who began her own rise to stardom largely as a result.

For the rest of her movie career, she was cast in bit parts and roles in B pictures and short films. One of her directors at this time was a fellow Hollywood outcast, Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle, working under the pseudonym "William Goodrich". Brooks starred in Arbuckle's Educational Pictures comedy short, Windy Riley Goes Hollywood (1931).

Brooks retired from the screen after completing one last film, the John Wayne western Overland Stage Raiders (1938), in which she played the romantic lead with a long hairstyle that rendered her all but unrecognizable from her Lulu days. She then briefly returned to Wichita, where she was raised. "But that turned out to be another kind of hell," she said. After an unsuccessful attempt at operating a dance studio, she returned East and, after brief stints as a radio actor and a gossip columnist, worked as a salesgirl in a Saks Fifth Avenue store in New York City for a few years, then eked out a living as a courtesan with a few select wealthy men as clients.

Louise had been a heavy drinker since the age of 14, but she remained relatively sober to begin writing about film, which became her second career. During this period she began her first major writing project, an autobiographical novel called Naked on My Goat, a title taken from Goethe's Faust. After working on the novel for a number of years, she destroyed the manuscript by throwing it into an incinerator.

In the early 1950's French historians re-discovered Louise films proclaiming her as an actress who surpassed even Marlene Dietrich and Greta Garbo as a film icon, much to her amusement. It would lead to the still ongoing Louise Brooks film revivals, and rehabilitated her reputation in her home country.

James Card, the film curator for the George Eastman House, discovered Brooks living as a recluse in New York City about this time, and persuaded her to move to Rochester, New York to be near the George Eastman House film collection. With his help, she became a noted film writer in her own right. A collection of her writings, Lulu in Hollywood, was published in 1982. She was profiled by the film writer Kenneth Tynan in his essay, "The Girl With The Black Helmet", the title of which was an allusion to her fabulous bob, worn since childhood, a hairstyle she helped popularize.

She rarely gave interviews, but had special relationships with film historians John Kobal and Kevin Brownlow. In the 1970s she was interviewed extensively, on film, for the documentaries Memories of Berlin: The Twilight of Weimar Culture (1976), produced and directed by Gary Conklin, and in the Hollywood series (1980) directed by Kevin Brownlow and David Gill. Lulu in Berlin (1984) is another rare filmed interview, produced by Richard Leacock and Susan Woll, released a year before her death, but filmed a decade earlier. Author Tom Graves was allowed into Brooks' apartment for an interview in 1982, and later wrote about the at times awkward and tense conversation in his brief book "My Afternoon With Louise Brooks."

On August 8, 1985, Louise was found dead of a heart attack after suffering from arthritis and emphysema for many years. She was buried in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Rochester, New York.

As with many of her contemporaries at the time a number of Louise films are said to be lost however her key films survive particularly Pandora's Box and Diary of a Lost Girl.

Louise Brooks quotes:
♥ The great art of films does not consist of descriptive movement of face and body but in the movements of thought and soul transmitted in a kind of intense isolation.
♥ There is no other occupation in the world that so closely resembled enslavement as the career of a film star.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

What Emma Did - 6th April 2014

This week I have been:
♥ Trying to fight off a yucky cold! 
♥ Going on a vintage finding trip to Salvos Tempe but being very disapointed and coming home empty handed
♥ Going for a spot of lunch and a wander around Ikea with the Hubby
♥ Having drinks at mine with the UN girlies
♥ Cuddling up on the couch with the Hubby watching the How I Met your Mother finale and then starting on season 4 of The Walking Dead
♥ Having a movie night with the Purple Fairy watching Captain Phillips 
♥ Carrying on reading the Corinna Chapman books with the second book in the series, Heavenly Pleasures