24 December, 2013

A Year in the Rear View

Well 2013 sure has been an interesting year. It’s had its ups and downs but overall generally more ups than downs. I’ve learnt a lot, achieved a lot and changed a bit too. I’ve seen the world (well, parts of it anyway), got lots more tattoos, and rediscovered meaning in the things that I do and the way that I feel about myself.

The blog has seen some changes, there were new features and sponsors as well as a little bit of a quiet period while I found my mojo. The direction of the blog has certainly changed this year. I ended last year wanting to make this blog a total success story, but in the process I had forgotten what ‘success’ actually meant to me. I was chasing someone else’s dream. My trip to the US helped to put everything in perspective for me and I’m sure long term followers of this blog noticed the change. I good one I hope. It certainly feels that way to me.

While I wasn’t blogging as often, I tried to give you a regular insight into my daily life via outfit photos and candid snaps on Instagram. I was grateful for some amazing opportunities in both my work and personal life, including the opportunity to travel. I visited the USA, Fiji and the Whitsundays in the first 4 weeks of the year! I got out of my comfort zone and for the first time in my life as a real model for real clothing brands on a real website. I took stock of everything I had achieved in the first half of the year as I approached by 25th birthday.

I became very self-aware and very conscious of what I was contributing to the world and what I was potentially taking away. I visited Sydney for the first time and had an absolute ball! I announced I’d be heading back to the USA again next year and I scored an interview with one of my most favourite pin up models of all time – Dayna Delux!

2013 was such an incredible year that I’m so excited for 2014! I can’t wait to go back to the States, I’ve got my fingers crossed that work sends me somewhere new and exciting and I’ve got grand plans for some goals in my personal life including becoming debt-free, having a place of my own and travelling some more! I can’t wait to celebrate Christmas and the New Year and spend some quality time with family and friends. I absolutely LOVE this time of year!

But most of all, I am so grateful for having a wonderful place to share my ups and downs, my crisis of confidence, my achievements, my style finds, my random ramblings, my life. I am thankful for every single one of you that reads this blog, likes the Facebook page, follows me on Instagram and always have such kind words for me. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your support and encouragement this year. I know it sounds a bit like a tacky awards show acceptance speech but really truly, I couldn't do this without you and I wouldn’t want to. You guys totally make this place what it is.

I also want to say a HUGE thank you to my wonderful blog sponsors for your belief in me – particularly Stars & Swallows who have been this blog’s biggest supporters this year, despite having a rapidly growing business of their own to look after and more recently, a growing family to keep them busy.

What a year of adventures for all of us! Was 2013 naughty or nice to you?

Merry Christmas!

17 December, 2013

Interview with Dayna Delux

Those of you who’ve been interested in pin up for some time may be familiar with Dayna Deluxe however those of you who’ve only recently discovered their pin up passion may not, although you’ve probably seen her images without realising it. Dayna is one of my all-time favourite pin ups, she’s a classic natural beauty with a gorgeous smile, striking eyes and a bone structure to die for, not to mention her body! Throughout her pin up career she’s always managed to maintain an air of class and dignity that I feel has been starting to slide with some of the more modern pin ups. She is incredibly inspiring and has been through a lot in her life and her strength only makes me love and respect her even more.
Photo by Varga
So as a Christmas gift to both myself and you, my readers, I recently contacted Dayna requesting an interview and because she is such a lovely person, she agreed! I hope you enjoy learning a little more about Dayna as much as I did, not to mention the eye candy included with this post! A qualified makeup artist who spent time working for NARS, Dayna Deluxe is an internationally renowned pin up model who has appeared in calendars, countless pieces of photographic art, on bottles of Muscat by Sort This Out Cellars and even released her own fragrance.

Born in Dallas, Dayna grew up working in clothing stores before becoming a bartender and moving to California in 2004. She met her husband Alex and moved to Vegas where they were married in 2007 and later had two sons, Brixton born in 2009 and Gunnar born in 2011. Since becoming a mother, Dayna has continued to model on a more part time basis while she cares for her family and also recently battled cancer. I recently spoke with her about how her modelling career began, how starting a family has changed her and how cancer has impacted her life.

Sheri Bomb: You started modelling young, at about 12 years of age – how did this come about?
Dayna Deluxe: It started with my mom putting me in pageants. From there I worked with a modelling/acting coach and after a few years I was teaching modelling (posing, runway, mannequin) to her other students. I did a tonne of mall fashion shows, judged pageants and a few commercials. By the end of high school I was honestly fed up with people telling me I was too short to model or my hair was too brown or my eyes weren't big enough etc plus several tragedies in my life, I just gave up on the dream.

SB: So what got you back into modelling a little later in life?
DD: A makeup artist friend used me as a model for his portfolio and the photographer shooting his work, Danni from Catfight studios, liked me and asked me to come back and shoot again. I shot with her several times. We posted the photos on social media and I started getting inquiries from other photographers that wanted to shoot with me. I was having fun and shooting with everyone and before I knew it I had fans, was traveling to Cali for shoots, and getting paid. It all happened very fast.
Photo by Andy Hartmark Photography
SB: Your first magazine cover was for Barracuda in 2006 – how many covers have you had since?
DD: That's a good question... I think 12.

SB: Has becoming a mother changed you?
DD: YES! Life has meaning and focus now.

SB: How do you feel about your modelling now? Does being a mother affect what jobs you take on?
DD: I love my career and nothing has really changed with being a mom. I choose to not model much now because my kids come first and I'm still out of shape. I think most of my shoots are classy and I'm not ashamed of anything. I don't think my kids will ever be ashamed of me either. 
SB: How does Alex feel about your modelling?
DD: I don't think he cares one way or another. If I wanted to step back into that world, he would support me and if I choose to stay out he supports that too.

SB: You released own fragrance – when did this happen and how did this come about?
DD: Well it was their perfume line and she simply asked me if they could do a fragrance for me. I didn't really have anything to do with it other than sending them an image and telling them what I'd like it to smell like. She did a great job!

SB: You recently battled thyroid cancer – when were you diagnosed?
DD: I was diagnosed two years ago with thyroid cancer.

SB: How was a diagnosis reached? What were the symptoms/signs?
DD: About a year before, I noticed a tiny lump in my neck. At the time I was recently pregnant with my Gunnar, my second son, and didn't put much thought into the tiny mass. The next year I was feeling around on my neck to check lymph nodes because I was sick and found what used to be that tiny mass was now a good sized lump. I made an appointment at the head nose throat doctor immediately. This happened to be one month after my dad was diagnosed with cancer. There were no real symptoms and my thyroid was operating at normal levels. The doctor said nodules on the thyroid were normal, especially in women, but gave me a biopsy to be safe. A week later, my test results came back suspicious for cancer. My surgeon thought it best to remove the thyroid just in case. A week after the surgery my husband and I were sitting in the doctor’s office waiting for the pathology results. The doctor walked in and said, "it's a good thing we took it out...it was full of cancer."  Wow.

SB: How did it affect your life at time?
DD: It was very confusing. Knowing my dad was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and mine was already removed really put things into perspective I think. Maybe if my dad's cancer never existed I would have been way more devastated, but knowing my dad had a very long, painful road ahead of him and all I had was a surgery forced me to see how lucky I was and to keep positive. I was very scared though and overwhelmed.

SB: What was your treatment like?
DD: My doctor had been working with this type of cancer for a while and with his research, decided not to give me radiation!! Almost all patients receive radiation after a thryroidectomy. I knew I would have to go through it and worried about who would watch my kids and what was going to happen to me. I prayed and prayed for a miracle to not have to go through it. So when he told me I wouldn't have to have the treatment, he was saving it in case the cancer came back, I broke down crying and relieved! All I have to do is take a pill every day, have blood tests every month, and a cancer scan every 6 months. So far, two years and cancer free.
Photo by RK Studio
SB: That’s fantastic! How has beating cancer changed your life now?
DD: It has made me more aware. I've become very OCD about checking my body, my kid’s bodies and my husband’s body and they all get annoyed. Haha It’s so important to catch things early and have regular check-ups. I try to live a healthier life especially knowing "those things" can happen to me!

SB: You are a strong woman, have you always been this way? Where does this strength come from?
DD: Yes I think I've always been this way and seem to be getting stronger as the years progress. That which does not kill me, makes me stronger. Life is full of things that nearly kill us, in some way or another.

SB: How do you feel about plastic surgery?
DD: I don't have a problem with it. It's not my body and if someone needs it to feel better, then do it. I'm sure I have a face lift in my future ; )

SB: You are an inspiration for a lot of women, what do you hope they take away from being inspired by you?
DD: Hopefully strength in who they are. Short, big, skinny, tall, black, Asian, bald or hairy. You can be awesome just the way you are and without acting like an idiot or emulating other people that have little self-respect or class.  I'm just a mom, wife and friend that models. I'm no different or better than anyone else.

SB: You’ve just moved to Texas, what’s next for Dayna Delux?
DD: Who knows!! That's the fun part...full of possibilities.
Photo by Shannon Brooke Imagery
A big thank you to Dayna for taking the time to answer my questions so open and honestly.

Now just try and tell me you don’t love her as much as I do!

10 December, 2013

Tattoo Tuesday: All Filler No Killer

Ok well that title is a straight up lie because all this filler IS killer! I mean, look at it! But I'm getting a little ahead of myself. My left sleeve is finally finished! I've been collecting bits and pieces on it from a few different artists this year and after my last tattoo from Mark, the shrunken head, all the big spaces were filled and all I really needed was some filler to finish it off. Unlike my right sleeve by Mimsy, this sleeve is more traditional and less 'themed' so I didn't want the filler to be too thick or busy. I wanted to keep with the traditional style and I wanted my arm to look finished without losing all the other great pieces I have on it. The remaining areas were mostly small with just one slightly larger area that would need something slightly bigger, and I had just the thing in mind!
The TCB symbol as long been misappropriated with many taking it to mean Tattoos, Cars, Bikes and some other less PG adaptations but its origin actually comes from The King, Elvis Presley! Standing for Taking Care of Business, this is what he called his backing band and later had the letters created into an emblem with lightning bolts that he had made into custom belt buckles and jewellery including his famous ring and necklace. This little old school jammer filled the space nicely and all that was left was the fill. I went and saw my apprentice friend Drea at Tattooed Warrior Tattoo Studio at Moorooka and thought I'd give her a go. With some sketchy details on what I had in mind, she came up with the most perfect design and fill and I am SO happy with the result! Behold, the finished product!
My original idea was to fill with the old school stars and dots but Drea had the brilliant idea of incorporating some of these awesome 50s style starburst which I LOVE and kinda remind me of Vegas. They're the perfect way to break up the stars and dots while adding some colour to the fill as well. They fit the spaces perfectly and suit the style of the rest of the pieces on my arm and, well...they just freakin rock! I'm really happy with how this arm has come out and I now think that it looks old school cool and finished without being overcrowded. I'm so happy to finally have this sleeve finished as well because now I not only have two sleeves (yay!) but the spaces and 'unfinished' look that had been bugging me for ages is now gone! Woo hoo!
What do you think? Is this fill perfect or what? Or am I just biased? Maybe.

03 December, 2013

We're Not Gonna Take It

Sunday just gone we headed into the city early to join one of many protest rallies being held throughout the state of Queensland and other major Australian cities to voice our concerns over the newly introduced VLAD legislation or the Vicious Lawless Association Disestablishment Bill. The pdf I have just linked to is the official legislation of the Queensland government. I know 17 pages is a lot to read through but these new laws which Premier Campbell Newman has introduced are an atrocious violation of civil liberties and are very scary in their broad definitions. It's an issue that has the potential to negatively affect a lot of people and it is well worth becoming aware of the effects it could have on you.
This controversial legislation was introduced with little to no public consultation, because the majority of the public strongly disagree with it. Under the guise of targeting 'criminal bikie gangs' and the 'war on drugs', these laws are in no way specific to these sections of society and have been intentionally worded to incorporate almost all members of society and the potential for them to be used against all of us is downright frightening. Marketed as necessary legislation, the political spin fails to recognise that the laws are in no way limited to these alleged criminal elements.
Aside from drawing unnecessary and discriminatory attention to a broad selection of members of the community including recreational motorbike riders and enthusiasts, tattoo shop owners and tattooed members of society, the new laws impose heavy mandatory sentences on any individuals deemed to be 'vicious lawless associates'. Regardless of the offence, individuals deemed to be 'vicious lawless associates' will receive an automatic mandatory sentence of 15 years in addition to the standard sentence (yes, even if the sentence would only be a fine or community service) or an additional 25 years if you are an office bearer (president, treasurer, etc) of an association.
While the government maintains that ordinary citizens will not be affect by this legislation, the proof remains that they already are. Protest organiser and President of Queensland's Liberal Democrats, Gabriel Buckley has reported that some recreational riders are being stopped up to three times on their way to work. Personally, I know of legitimate tattoo artists and shop owners who have built a reputation for excellent work and who have honed their craft for decades and who are now losing business, being harassed by police and are now required to submit their finger prints - none of whom are members of so called bikie gangs.

However I think the worst so far was the raid on the Vietnam Veterans Club House. What disrespect to men who put their lives on the line and served our country to guarantee our freedom. A freedom that is now under threat. If ever I've heard of a group of men who need to spend time with each other to heal and who can understand what each other has been through, it's these men. Sadly both the media and government choose to ignore the thousands of dollars raised each year by the charitable activities of motorcycle clubs. Speaking of which, all protest rally attendees were encouraged to bring toys to donate to the Smith Family for disadvantaged children on Christmas. Pretty tough crims, eh?
There are many details and complexities to this bill which is best explained by this article on Guest Lawyers, including examples of its practical applications and implications in wider society. If you read no other literature regarding these new laws, read this! It's scary stuff people! I don't normally post about politics here or anywhere else but this is really important to me and a lot of people I know and it should be important to you too!

The turnout on Sunday was fantastic and the sight of thousands of bikes streaming into the city was extremely impressive, not to mention the noise! But it's time we all made some noise about this new VLAD legislation and let these dodgy politicians know that we will not have our freedoms infringed upon. So if you see a petition sign it, a cause join it and get ready to raise your voice at the next rally on Australia Day. Before it's too late. Before you or someone you know and love is serving a mandatory 15 or 25 year prison sentence.

28 November, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

I posted on Facebook the other day about how I wish Australia celebrated Thanksgiving as I’d seen plenty of posts from my US friends in the lead up to it. Sure, some think it’s an American tradition (a bit like Halloween) that they’re sick of being appropriated in Australia but I simply love the entire idea of it. A whole day to be thankful for all the good things you have in life – what could possibly be bad about that!? While I won’t be having a big turkey dinner or anything like that, I still want to celebrate in my own little way, by giving my thanks. Without further ado, here they are.

I am thankful for having the most amazing family who support me no matter what, appreciate my uniqueness, love me unconditionally, have a great sense of humour and, although they aren't perfect come pretty damn dysfunctionally close.

I'm thankful for having such an awesome man in my life who is my partner in crime, my life coach and my dance partner. Someone who lifts me up, gives me confidence in myself through his belief in me and who isn't afraid to put me in my place when I need it. Someone who I can be completely myself around, who I can be silly with, strange with, smart with and stay up to the early hours of the morning with, solving the world's problems over bottomless glasses of wine.

I'm thankful for having THE best friends in the entire world (yep, they're better than yours) who are the weirdest, funniest, kindest, most inappropriate, giving, thoughtful, intelligent, silly, caring, stylish, good looking and downright good hearted people and who, through the way they live their own lives, encourage me to be the best version of myself.

I'm thankful for having a fantastic job that I enjoy going to everyday, that is always interesting, that allows me to highlight and develop my abilities, that allows me to travel and that pays me enough to allow me to travel where I want to go. Somewhere I am surrounded by people who constantly amuse and challenge me, sometimes annoy and frustrate me but mostly care and make my office a happy place to be.

Finally, I am thankful for a warm bed every night in a place where I know I am safe and surrounded by the items and imagery that makes me happy and reminds me what I’ve done and what I have yet to do in my life. For never having to wonder where my next meal might come from and for being able to wake up in the morning with the hardest decision being what pretty clothes to wear that day.

I am also thankful for having this little space on the internet where I can come and empty my brain of all the stuff that’s floating around in it. And of course I am hugely thankful for you, the beautiful people who come to my little space to read my ramblings and the kind words that you leave. 

Today, I give thanks to all of you.

26 November, 2013

Tattoo Tuesday: Somethin' Fishy

Today's Tattoo Tuesday isn't about me, but this fresh ink has me hook, line and sinker and is just too good not to share! Adapted from the Sailor Jerry design on the left, The Man's new koi-style fishy looks even better in person than in does in this picture - and that's saying something!

Done by Mark (Suicide) at Voodoo Tattoo, The Man decided he needed some of his work after seeing all the brilliant pieces he has done on me. As you can see, it's on the inside of his right elbow and he is very happy with it. There is so much I love about this tattoo! Firstly, Mark's shading is impeccable as always. I am actually fascinated by his amazing shading abilities, he gets it perfect every time and it really brings the tattoo to life, regardless of what it is.
I also really love the colours he's used and I can't wait to see them really pop once it's fully healed. The oranges are beautiful and so vibrant in person. The way he has blended the colours it looks like the fish is actually moving and the light is reflecting off it's skin. The contrasting green is also really impressive and adds a slight mythical aspect to it. Maybe it's a lucky fish!
The other thing I love which unfortunately you may not be able to see as well in the picture is the line work that creates the scales, they look as if they've been done with a brush stroke, which also really adds to the Japanese feel of this tattoo. And what a pretty eye! Large and purple, I'd kill to have eyes like that! Ha.
The Man's arm has a sea theme going with sharks, tall ships, anchors and other bits and pieces so this ties in really nicely. It's certainly a stand out piece on this arm and he is extremely happy with it - and who wouldn't be!?
What do you guys think? Great work, or am I just fishing for compliments? Ner.

19 November, 2013

Tiki Oasis or Bust!

Things have been a little quiet around here lately because things have been pretty busy for me everywhere else! However I'm looking forward to Christmas because, well I love Christmas, but also for a little bit of a break. Anyway, I figured it was about time I came clean on the whole tiki thing I've been alluding to over the last couple of months. I know it's early, and I promise not to bore you with too many posts about it in the lead up, but I'm VERY excited to announce that I'm going back to the USA next year, this time to attend Tiki Oasis in San Diego!

The website is currently still in this year's festival mode but it should be updated soon and it will still give you a good idea about what the festival is all about and all the kinds of fun there is to be had! This year's theme was 'Hulabilly' which would have been right up my alley but next year's theme of 'Beatiki' should be pretty cool too. It'll be summer this time when we're over there, leaving the winter behind over here. That's always been a little fantasy of mine, to chase the summer during my homeland's winter and what better way to embrace that than with a tiki festival!?
Aside from going to San Diego for Tiki Oasis, we're also heading back to some places we loved last time and some exciting new places as well. It's looking like it will be another month-long trip that will see us start the party in Vegas before heading back to Palm Springs for some relaxation and recovery before hitting up the mega days of Tiki Oasis. After that we're headed to New Orleans, Memphis and Nashville! I have always wanted to go to New Orleans so I'm VERY excited about that! Also, Graceland OMG!! I've ALWAYS wanted to go there - I might even cry! (Also, I had a dream the other night that Elvis gave me 'the eye' which I'm pretty sure is a sign HA!)
I also can't wait to experience the music scene of Nashville!! After that we're headed back to California for the Ventura Nationals (formerly the Primer Nats) and some time on the coast for some fun at Don the Beachcombers etc. After that we're looking forward to spending some time with some friend's we made in the US last time, a couple in LA and a couple in Anaheim which will of course mean a visit to Knotts Berry Farm and Six Flags! That's the general plans for now anyway. I can't wait! I LOVED the US earlier this year and I'm really looking forward to going back, visiting some new places, returning to the ones we loved and just generally having an awesome time. AGAIN!

Anything in these places you think should definitely be on our itinerary?

07 November, 2013

BrisVegas Kustom Karnival

Well last weekend was a big one, very busy, but the absolute highlight was of course the BrizVegas Kustom Karnival at Acacia Ridge. It's always a brilliant day and the weather was absolutely perfect, albeit a little warm but a great chance for the gals to bust out their fans and parasols (alas I always forget mine!) The chrome and fins of the classics and kustoms that filled the car park was almost blinding in the sun but it showed off their sparkle and pain jobs perfectly. We arrived early which meant we got to get around the stalls, take in the spectacle of the cars and have a few chats without really missing out on the bands - bonus! I was trying to be good as I am saving for something...special...but I did manage to pick up a couple of cool new pairs of shades, one of which is a little unusual and I can't wait to show you all.
I frocked up in this lovely yellow number I picked up from the Bettie Page store in Las Vegas earlier this year and with some high, 60s-inspired hair I was feeling a little like I'd stepped out of the movie The Help. I love that movie, so totally fine by me! We headed downstairs to the band area as I was eager to catch new act The Zephyr Project and see what they were all about. Not exactly rockabilly, these boys could certainly play their instruments and they had a really cool bluesy sound that I really enjoyed. They played mostly covers, but there ain't nothin wrong with playing good tunes and it's more fun when you know them! Next up were The Hi-Boys who I also enjoy and luckily, have seen before, as I seemed to get sucked into that strange time/space vacuum of catching up with people and unfortunately not getting in a dance.

Image by PKP
Dan & The Dualtones then took to the stage and as usual, rocked the room! The dance floor was filled and I was itching to get out there. However, it wasn't until USA guests the Roy Kay Trio came on that I finally got out there for a spin. The pace was great, I like it nice and fast, and these guys really delivered a great sound that the crowd just loved! But it was definitely Marti Brom, also from the USA, that everyone was waiting for. Marti has played out here before both at GreazeFest and with The Barnshakers and everyone was very excited for her return. She's a bit of a pocket rocket that woman! Once heck of a voice tied up in one very cute package! She did plenty of her own material as well as some of her stuff with The Barnshakers as well as classics by the like of Patsy Cline, Connie Francis, Wanda Jackson and more. She was highly entertaining and had a fantastic stage presence and we were very excited to see her again after seeing her in Vegas earlier this year.

It was a brilliant day! We had so much fun and it was so great to see Marti again and catch up with everyone. Sometimes I get a little too distracted at gigs either by catching up with people or just by the music and performances themselves and I don't seem to dance as much as I used to - but that's going to change because I really miss it!
Now I can't wait for the Rockabilly Christmas Party at which I intend to dance my little feet off!

29 October, 2013

The Harbour City: A Weekend of Shenanigans

A couple of weekends ago The Man and I headed down to Sydney for a long long weekend. The main event was to see the Monster Jam, but as I had never been to Sydney before (I know right!?) I also wanted to get in some sightseeing and catch up with some people we knew down there. We flew down on the Friday morning, hoping the poor people affected by the bushfires were seeing some relief and that our plane in fact would be able to land and not be overcome by smoke. We arrived surprised to see that there was in fact no smoke to be seen. More hoping for the bushfire people.
We touched down and after a chaotic and rather heart stopping shuttle bus ride to our hotel, we dumped our bags and jumped on a train out to Circular Quay. The afternoon was warm and sunny and the Harbour truly was a sight. We went for a little walk around the Opera House and tried to get some photos on the steps (that thing is actually best photographed from a distance - too big!) then settled in for some windy beers by the harbourside overlooking the Bridge and Opera house. It was brilliant, so lovely and I felt like a total tourist in my home country. It was strange, but we both remarked on a number of occasions that weekend that for some reason we felt like we could have been in another country.
I was willing to give Sydney a go but wasn't sure how much I was going to like it as I had heard some bad experiences with record rainfall and not so nice people. But we had THE BEST weekend with gorgeous weather every day and met some very lovely people. I actually LOVED Sydney and would definitely go back! Anyway, Friday evening we hurried back to the hotel and got ready for dinner at Porteno. A restaurant I had heard much about and had been dying to try for quite some time, you know how much I like my food. Well the restaurant absolutely didn't disappoint!! The food was AMAZING, the atmosphere was great and they were playing THE BEST music!
We could have stayed there all night...but after meeting a lady on our way to the restaurant and saving her from a man she thought might be following her, her and her date for the evening ended up buying us a bottle of wine at the end of our meal. We went upstairs to finish it at Gardel's and said we would wait from them to join us. We'd just finished the bottled and decided it was best to head home (we had to be up early the next day to get to the zoo) when the couple appeared and somehow we ended up with more drinks. And more. Until the staff were kicking us out of the bar for closing time. Not to be perturbed, the couple convinced us to join them at a nearby venue which turned out to be a bit of a divey bar but that happened to be playing some great old school rock and hair metal (a not so secret love of mine). Safe to say it was rather late (or should I say early?) when we got home. 
We didn't make it to the zoo that day but we did visit the famous Harry's Café de Wheels for a tiger-style pie which both helped and hindered the hangover before continuing on to Circular Quay. After a few touch and go minutes where I was convinced I was going to throw up, The Man decided a ferry ride would be a good idea. Convinced my stomach couldn't handle the motion of water travel, we hesitantly bordered a ferry and went straight for the top outside deck...in case of emergency. Surprisingly the fresh air did me the world of good and I actually felt better. I love the Harbour, we spent a fair bit of time on and around it over the weekend and honestly I could spend all day moseying around it. My poor sunburnt scalp may have something to say about that though.
We headed back to our room for a little lay down before making the journey out to ANZ Stadium at Sydney Olympic Park out at Homebush for the Monster Jam. A couple of slightly chewy beers at the pub outside and it was time to go in and find our seats, but not before finding out the stadium didn't sell full strength beer and that a mid was $8! HIGHWAY ROBBERY! Our hangovers and bank accounts thanked us for choosing to go alcohol-free for the remainder of the night. The Monster Jam was fun as usual, although not a scratch on the action of the World Finals in Vegas earlier this year. The Sydney track was much tighter unfortunately and saw many of the trucks having difficulty getting any real momentum and crashing out early, with little fanfare thanks to said lack of momentum. Still it was a fun night and the addition of some motocross during a break was a nice change of pace.
Thankfully, an early night that night allowed us to rearrange our sightseeing schedule to get up early Sunday morning and get out to Bondi to check it out. As I'm not really much of beach-lover, we didn't plant to spend a lot of time there but rather enjoy the views and a coffee or the like so the early morning visit actually worked quite well, with conditions not TOO busy and the day not yet too hot. We grabbed a coffee from a swanky cafe nearby and grabbed some lovely shots from about the Surf Club then headed down to the beach itself. I had the bright idea of walking across the sand to the main beachfront. Man, that Bondi sand is LUSH and VERY hard to walk on. By the first ramp, my calves were screaming and we headed back up to the concrete, then sat on the steps in front of the bars looking out over the beach. Very nice indeed.
Then it was time to hightail it back to Darling Harbour to Margaritaville where we were catching up with some new friends. We had a delicious, leisurely boozy lunch with one of the loveliest couples ever and who will soon be hopefully visiting us up here in Queensland. These two look to be travelling to a few of the same places as us next year and especially to a big event that we all look forward to partying at together (more on that soon). We actually met online (I know, sounds weird right) and Sydney was our first time meeting them but we all got on like a house on fire. After lunch we pottered around Darling Harbour for a bit then caught the ferry back to Circular Quay for some arvo beers, fish and chips for dinner and some more beers as we enjoyed the Harbour by night. Very pretty!
Monday we were up early to FINALLY make it to Taronga Zoo and I couldn't wait! Y'all know how much I love animals and I had heard such great things about Taronga. I was really excited about seeing the animals and I'm pleased to say that the zoo didn't disappoint (unlike another world famous zoo that we only travelled thousands of kilometres to see and hated. Ahem.) My hands down favourite of the day were the giraffes, they were so beautiful and I'd never seen one in real life before! I waved and chatted to them for a little while, telling them how much I wished I could touch them and they came right up to the fence and posed for some lovely photos for us. The zoo was beautiful and I'm pleased to say that all the habitats were quite spacious, well looked after and the animals generally seemed happy. All very important aspects of a zoo in my book.
Sadly it was time to head back to Circular Quay for a last couple of beers on the Harbour then catch the train to the airport for our flight home. It was a full on weekend with SO MUCH walking and running around but I had SUCH  good time and would actually love to go back again. Perhaps see a bit more outside the city and visit The Rocks. Oooh and do a harbour dinner cruise. And see Newtown and Enmore and do a bit of shopping. It was lots to cram into one weekend but it was such a brilliant weekend! Thank you Sydney for being so kind to us!

Have you been to Sydney? Did you love it?

15 October, 2013

The ReChords LIVE at Lefty's Old Time Music Hall

You might have seen me sharing this event on my Facebook page a little earlier last week and if you missed this gig, well boy did you miss a great show! First of all, Lefty's is an awesome venue that looks like something out of a good ole honky tonk. The kind of place where you expect a saloon girl to jump up on your table at any moment. They have the most exquisite chandeliers, plenty of taxidermy adorning the walls and bras hanging from the antlers of moose heads (need I say more?) Well, it is the old Velvet Cigar (strip joint). The stage is almost like playing in the round and although it's a little small for its popularity, when there's a really great band rocking the joint the cramped in feeling just adds to the atmosphere.
So when The ReChords announced they'd finally be returning to Brisbane for their national EP launch I couldn't have been more excited that they were going to be playing, and at this venue! Off the back of the success of their debut album 'On The Wagon' the boys have been busy touring Europe yet again and now they're making the rounds back home in Australia. The last time I saw these guys was at last year's GreazeFest and thanks to an extended set from headliners The Planet Rockers, they only got to play about 3 songs so I've been itching for The ReChords to return to Brisbane and on Saturday night I finally got to scratch that itch.

Supporting The ReChords were The Sugar Shakers, a local Brissie band that continue to gain momentum and don't look like letting up anytime soon. A four piece that packs a punch, the sweet and sexy sounds of the 40s and 50s are delivered by stage siren Emma Louise, guitarist Rupert, bassist Toby and drummer Billy. However much to my delight, The Sugar Shakers wanted some back up singers for one of their new tracks 'Hoochie Coochie' and asked The Boobettes to provide some call backs. Unfortunately Elisse couldn't make it so I asked Mz Vicki to be an honorary Boobette for the night. It was LOTS of fun although I look like a bit of a dork up on stage. Mz Vicki on the other hand is all class! Here's a video of the performance, excuse the peanut gallery in the background. HAH!

After The Sugar Shakers played two ripper sets, it was time for The ReChords to take to the stage. They also played two sets and whipped the place into a frenzy. I was absolute front and centre singing along to all the songs. I just can't help myself when it comes to these guys, I absolutely love love LOVE them! I had SUCH a fun night and it was great to see them playing all their old favourites along with the new tracks off their latest EP 'It Won't Be Long' including the title track, 'Big White Moon', 'Annie Leave' and their popular new single 'Don't Know Much'. Unfortunately I was having way too much of a good time to remember to take any pictures while The ReChords were playing (duh!) but they were AWESOME and I can't wait for them to come back again soon. Rumour has it, it won't be long...

As a side note, I totally meant to take an outfit photo that night as my dress is a newie and totally awesome but alas I ran out of time/forgot/had too much fun. But I'm headed off to Sydney this weekend and will be taking it with me so fingers crossed I get a shot of it then.

Trust me, you'll love it. It's custom made and fits like a glove...and CHERRIES!

08 October, 2013

Tattoo Tuesday: Head Shrinker

I was trawling through some tiki hangouts a few weeks ago when I came across this picture of these awesome shrunken heads. Created by Kreature Kid also known as Adam Dougherty (who you may know as Micheline Pitt’s boyfriend), these were part of his display at Tiki Oasis. He’s a really talented artist and sculptor who’s talent has seen him work for some pretty big names including Moebius Models and Walt Disney Imagineering. His display at TO looked AMAZING and when I saw these three I fell in love, especially with that saucy lady in the middle!
So what’s a girl to do? Call up her local tattoo artist of course! She’s the perfect filler for the space on the inside of my left arm and I knew that Mark (Suicide) from Voodoo Tattoo would do a kick ass job. So after work on Friday I headed down the high way to the shop and within an hour Mark had smashed out utter perfection! Now, I may be biased, but I think she looks killer! Mark is a wizard with shading and having done a lot of my earlier tattoo work, I’m kicking myself and wondering why it took me so long to come back to this master. It’s safe to say I have plenty more work planned for him.

Isn’t she fantastic? I just can’t get over how brilliant the shading is and to see her in real life, the detail and clean lines are extremely impressive. I’m very very happy with this one!

What do you think? Ain’t she purdy?

01 October, 2013

Jungle Boogie

A couple of weeks ago we celebrated a friend's birthday at a newly opened bar in West End. Even more exciting was the fact that it's a tiki bar! Say aloha to Jungle on Vulture St in West End and discover an intimate tropical paradise of rum and good times.

I've talked before about the history of tiki culture and how it ties into kustom kulture and, as with many aspects of the 'retro' lifestyle, there seems to be a real resurgence within mainstream popular culture. Although this can annoy me on occasion when fashion, music, décor, etc is bastardised by 'pop culture' it can also have its benefits as more and more fashion and venues that fit with our passions become more available. This is definitely the case with Jungle, as the only bastards you'll find here are the suffering kind.
Aside from the large carved tikis out the front, blink and you'll miss it. When I said it was intimate it is, because it's rather small. This results in a strangely pleasant crammed in feeling that means your sure to meet new people and maybe make some friends. However, if you plan on settling in for the night I suggest you arrive early-ish in order to score a table. Afterall, this is one of very few bars left anywhere who offer table service ONLY. That's right, no lining up at the bar elbowing your way through to order. They come to you, take your money or bring you an EFTPOS machine and return with your change and/or a delightful drink. Now that's service. Although, beware the EFTPOS machine...after a few cocktails it's tempting to just keep going and going...and going and.......
As you'd expect with a place like this, it really is all about the drinks and although they are a little on the expensive side (I could be tainted from the cheaper prices in America) they are certainly delicious and made with skill. I should also point out that they're quite potent, but that's the idea right? The Man and I stuck to Hurricanes all night because they were delicious, value for money and also came out flaming - what's not to love? Although I was also lucky enough to try some Zombie and a sip of the Chief's Daughter, served in a coconut shell cup which were also both very nice. I definitely want to go back and try some more, such as the impressive looking pina colada served in a hollowed out pineapple.
The bar also offers Jamaican Red Stripe beer and their own specially brewed alcoholic ginger beer which has some real bite to it and is great for refreshing the palate between tiki concoctions. The place gets really busy which can make cocktails and table service a little, shall we say, ambitious. Service was friendly, pleasant and prompt however there were a couple of times where we were left waiting a while for the Hurricane bowls to become available. In saying that, both times those who were waiting were given complimentary alcoholic ginger beer while they waited which I was quite impressed with.
The décor is slightly more basic than some of the tiki bars I have been to but in saying that, it's quite authentic, has a good vibe and the carved tiki stools are very cool and surprisingly comfortable. In terms of music, there's no surf tunes which was a bit of a surprise but the music they did play was surprisingly obscure. Old 50s and 60s songs that I constantly found myself saying 'oh my gosh, this song! I haven't heard it in AGES!' and there was even a rather raucous singalong at one point which was quite fun. Too many cocktails? Never!
Overall I was actually quite impressed with the place and the whole overall vibe and staff. It would be great if they added a bar snacks menu and perhaps extended the premises so there was a little more room but other than that, it's a top night out. Oh, except for the fact that there's only one pokey little toilet out the back. In saying that, the shark jaws toilet seat is a bit of a laugh.

Not in Brisbane and looking for a tiki bar of your own to check out? Try these:


The Luwow




Tiki Beat Bar

24 September, 2013

A Cut Above: Best Barbers on the Oz East Coast

I know the majority of the posts on this blog are geared towards females, particularly with the fashion and beauty posts that I do. But it's what I know and they interest me - so sue me! I do however know that I have some wonderful male followers as well and don't pretend like you've never used my advice to find your lovely lady something ;) But I thought it's about time I threw you a bone. After a few requests on social media, I bring you the top 3 barbers in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. These guys will have you lookin slick in no time, whether you're after a pomp or a flattop.

~ Brisbane ~

Bare Bones Barber Shop

602 Wynnum Rd, Morningside (07) 3899 6995

Open Tuesday to Saturday from 9am to 5pm, these guys are responsible for bringing old school barbers back into the spotlight up here in Brisbane. Continued on by a family tradition, the shop's distinctive boxing old boy logo is almost as famous as the cuts and shaves they give. Creators of the Upper Cut Deluxe pomade range, Aussie rockabilly heavy weight Pat Capocci has even written a song about them.

Johnny Voodoo's Barber Shop

Shop 4/326 Old Logan Rd, Camira (07) 3818 3303

Open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm and Saturdays from 8am to 1.30pm, Johnny Voodoo's is a real man's shop. Covered wall to wall in Kustom Kulture artwork, skate decks and oddities, recline in an old school barber chair and let the boys work their magic on your 'do. Stocking pomades and products from all around the world, these guys also do a pop up barber shop at the Woolloongabba Antique Centre on the last Sunday of every month.

5 O'Clock Shadow Barber Shop

325a Oxley Ave, Margate 0431 392 274

Open from 9am to 5.30pm Tuesday to Saturday with late night until 7pm on a Thursday and an early finish of 2pm on a Saturday, this intimate little shop just a short stroll from the waterfront. Offering everything from specialty cuts to the iconic rockabilly quiff, this shop is described as a little left of centre. Better yet, you can crack open a cold one while you wait.

~ Sydney ~

Sterling HQ Hairdressing Parlour & Barber Shop

3/29 Brisbane St, Surry Hills  (02) 9262 7777

One for the girls and the boys, this shop is one of Sydney's most famous. But we're all about the guys today and I think it's safe to say you'll feel like you've stepped back in time to the very chair where your grandad's hair was cut. From the girlie pictures on the walls to the vintage barber chairs and the dying art of cut throat razors, the whole experience is perfected by the music and friendly staff.

The Chop Shop

21 Jaques Ave, Bondi (02) 9130 3684

Open Monday to Wednesday from 10am to 7pm, Thursday to Friday from 9am to 9pm and Saturday from 8am to 7pm you're guaranteed a great cut any time. Started on his grandmother's tiny inheritance, owner Dan Dixon has created an accessible salon that promotes no pretension, just great hair. Featuring tattoo-style artwork on the walls within the salon, this boutique barber shop is just a short stroll from famous Bondi Beach.

Ziggy's Barber Salon

183 Riley St, Darlinghurst  (02) 9267 0057

Open Monday to Tuesday from 11am to 7pm, Wednesday to Thursday from 11am to 9pm, Friday from 11am to 8pm, Saturday from 9am to 7pm and Sunday from midday to 6pm, is an old school barbershop with a modern twist that caters for both the lads and the ladies. The walls of their shop are absolutely covered with edgy imagery and it could almost be mistaken for a trendy rock n roll bar. From buzz cuts to something a little more interesting, Ziggy's has got you covered.

~ Melbourne ~

The Barber of Seville

237 Church St, Richmond  (03) 9645 8898
Open Monday to Wednesday from 9.30am to 6pm, Thursday from 9.30am to 7.30pm, Friday from 9.30am to 6pm, Saturday from 8.30am to 5pm and Sunday from 10am to 4pm this barbershop is a stalwart in the Melbourne barbering tradition. Specialising in style cuts, particularly those of the old school cool variety, as well as cut throat shaves, these guys have been around longer than barbers have been cool.

All The Kings Men

558 Queensberry St, North Melbourne  (03) 9328 5599
These 'gentlemen haircutters' are open Tuesday to Wednesday from 9am to 6pm, Thursday to Friday from 9am to 7pm and Saturday from 9am to 4pm and pride themselves on keeping things simple. Surrounded by antique barber’s accoutrements and taxidermy you too can enjoy the simple pleasures of a great haircut and shave accompanied by great tunes and the quintessential cold beer.

Dr Follicles

240 Gertrude St, Fitzroy  (03) 9416 3999
Open Tuesday to Wednesday from 10am to 6pm, Thursday to Friday from 1am to 7pm, Saturday from 9am to 4pm and Sunday from 12 noon to 4pm these 'barbers of distinction' offer a free beer with every cut and spin classic vinyl while your follicles are seen to by their talented team. With a shop who's looks have been likened to the cover of a glam rock album, you know your in stylish hands whether you just want a little off the top or a completely new look.
So there you have it, the top 3 barbers in the major cities along Australia's east coast. Whether your a local who needs grooming or find yourself out of town and looking for a last minute close shave, you wont be short of places to go for a cut...or a beer. All that's left to do is choose your style.
Do you enjoying going to the man caves that are barber shops? Lets face it, in rockabilly it's all about the 'do and getting it slicked back or high and tight!

17 September, 2013

Black Lagoon Designs

My love of all things tiki has been well documented on these pages, but lately it’s all I can think about! I’ll be sharing some exciting news about that soon…but in the meantime, I want to indulge my tiki fixation by sharing with you the latest from Black Lagoon Designs.
Completely designed, hand sculpted, fired, glazed then sold and marketed by the beautiful Danielle, it’s been an absolute privilege to watch this lovely lady turn her passion from a hobby into a business. Dani is a tiki-o-phile herself and the stuff her crazy brain dreams up is pretty awesome! She also makes a mean cocktail, which is lucky because she specialises in tiki mugs.

Now while I was travelling around the US, I collected my fair share of tiki mugs and drooled over plenty more but the designs and stunning glazes that Dani dreams up certainly give them a run for their money. I’m lucky enough to already own one of Black Lagoon Designs creations (I've got a little yellow puffer fish), but having just been checking out some of the stuff on the Facebook page, I can see I’m going to have to get some more (bonehead is calling my name).

From puffer fish to boneheads, pirates to octopus, pinstripers to head hunters and everything in between there’s a mug to suit your drink of choice. Better yet, Black Lagoon Designs do custom creations so if you’ve got some bizarre idea floating round in your head Dani loves nothing more than to make it a reality. Her mugs generally retail at around $35 but if you want something custom just shoot her a message and she can give you a figure.

Made from ceramic, the mugs are 100% handmade, durable and hold PLENTY of your favourite drink. Trust me (ouch my head!) Unsurprisingly, Dani's designs are in high demand so her Etsy store is currently sold out but I've heard word from the lady herself that she'll have some pretty new babies restocked by mid-October so be sure to keep your eye out. Until then, join me in drooling over her Facebook page. I’m really looking forward to seeing Black Lagoon Designs take off…and sharing some more tiki news with you soon!

What would you put in your tiki mug?
Do you love a good Mai Tai or are you more the Navy Grog type?

03 September, 2013

It's Time To Brooch The Subject

Brooches - do you wear them? I wish I wore them more often but to be honest I've always struggled with their placement. Given my larger bust, I've found it hard to know how and where to put them so that they don't flip up, stick out, go wonky or look like some kind of weird nipple cover. Occasionally I  get brave and decide to give them a go but after I spend 10 minutes positioning and re-positioning them and still feeling weird about it, I generally freak out and decide not to bother. I don't have many for this reason but there are so many cute ones out there and I'm sick of missing out. Especially seeing as I hardly ever wear necklaces now with my full chest piece. I need something to fill that cute accessory hole!
Enter the brooch. I decided if I was going to start wearing these cuties then I needed some advice. As I was scrolling through Instagram the other week I came across this photo of Bec's huge brooch collection and knew she'd be able to help me! She also runs sells-cute accessories which she handmakes herself - but more on that later. I put the call out to Bec and between her and a couple of her lovely followers they gave me tips on how to wear brooches with big boobs. The main advice was to wear them higher up so you don't get the weird 'nipple cover' action going. But they also suggested using your bra as a guide and in line with your collar bone as a general rule. And if all else fails, pin them on to collars, scarves, hats and kerchiefs!
So with that in mind, I decided to give my Peta Pledger brooch a go the other day. This was a good outfit to start with because the stitching and pocket was a great guide for where to put it. Baby steps people. Apart from the fact that I was already in love with this Freddies of Pinewood Grease Monkey I picked up from Western Wac, I was super chuffed and excited to finally be wearing a brooch! Perhaps I need to get out more? Whatever, I kept looking at it and playing with it all day haha The only other time I've worn a brooch (and it is also one of the only other brooches I own) you may remember this outfit by Stars & Swallows in the lead up to GreazeFest. I'm a sucker for anything dog-related and this Erstwilder brooch is just too cute! I was a little worried about using the brooch when the package first came but the little winged collar on the dress definitely helped with positioning.
Now that I'm a little more informed when it comes to brooches, I can't wait to start stocking up on some new pretties and wearing them out. Here are a few on my lust list, beginning of course with Bec's little business MoxieLou.

MoxieLou: Can we first please just take a moment to enjoy her logo? Love! I'm also in love with ERMAHGERD pug brooch! And these Frankie & Bride and FLAMINGOES!! She sells at markets regularly and her next locations are listed on the website.

Stars & Swallows: You know I love these guys. I got the Erstwilder Sausage Dog brooch and now I'm hanging from them to get the pug one! While I'm waiting, I also LOVE this Collectif poodle one and you can't go wrong with these Jubly Umph cherries! All available online as always.

Your One Stop PinUp Shop: So much cute stuff it's easy to get distracted but these sweet little brooches are my faves out of their selection. The glitter swallow comes in a few different colours but I like the red and the little WWII plane is just divine! Technically the last one is a cardigan clip but RHINESTONE ATOMIC STARBURST!!

So there you have it. These are on my list to own. In the meantime I'll keep practising.

Do you wear brooches? How do you usually wear them? Care to share some tips?