24 June, 2014

The Road to Tiki Oasis: Aloha Beachwear

I can safely say I never ever thought I would EVER wear a bikini. There are so many reasons and yes, my self-confidence was one of them. I don’t have a ‘bikini body’ and so it just wasn’t something that I ever considered for myself despite seeing girls larger than me wearing them and looking great. I guess it’s just one of those things, even those of us who consider ourselves to be generally confident people still have a ‘thing’ that they won’t do. Still, one day I was scrolling through the internet and came across Aloha Beachwear. That day changed my life.
I was looking for a nice new swimsuit to take with me to Tiki Oasis, something tropical that would fit the tiki vibe. At first I struggled to find a print that I liked, but when I came across Aloha Beachwear I knew I would be getting one of their suits. I looked at the one piece and then had the crazy idea that maybe, just maybe I could wear the bikini? Before I had time to change my mind, I emailed Sacha and she helped me with sizing. The next thing I knew I had this gorgeous flowered high waist vintage style bikini on its way to me.
When my package arrived, I was extremely happy to see that the print was true to the colour and images on the website, something I have had issues with in the past from other sellers. I was also very happy to notice the metal back closure on the bikini top, as a large chested lady having something reliable keeping it all together back there is extremely important – no wardrobe malfunctions for me thanks! Made of long lasting premium quality polyamid-elasthan fabric, the bikini has a comfortable stretch that moulds to your body, smoothing and supporting as it goes.

The high waisted bottoms feature ruching across the front panel which flatters the tummy without adding any extra bulk because let’s face it, no one wants added bulk on their tummy – particularly in a swimsuit! The seams are also nice and soft and don’t cause any irritation in delicate places plus they don’t leave unsightly marks on your skin. When I first put the top on, I was a little worried by the fact that the cups didn’t feature any underwire and I wondered if they would be too small. However, with a little adjustment and the correct tension on the halter tie top, my ladies were sitting pretty. There is a small section of wiring at the sides of either cup that offers a bit of support and prevents any side spillage which again, for someone like me, is a godsend.
It’s the little details like the soft seams, light ruching and side wire that have so impressed me about this suit. Sacha is a German lady living in Thailand and has be creating these and many more gorgeous swimsuits from her small sewing room for the last 3 years. Not that you’d guess that though, as it’s clear that her designs are well thought out with all types of body shapes in mind. The material is soft and slinky and the waist band sits firmly without cutting in yet there is no rolling down during sitting or movement and trust me, I well and truly tested that out with all the poses I was pulling during this shoot with Megan Rizzo Photography!
I never thought I’d ever wear a bikini let alone post pictures of myself in one all over the internet, but thanks to the great structural integrity and flattering cut of this gorgeous swimsuit by Aloha Beachwear, my life and my attitude have been completely changed. A big thank you must also go to Megan Rizzo Photography for helping me to feel so comfortable and confident in what was a completely new and slightly scary life experience. There was no over the top glam, no over-retouching, just me. Megan was so encouraging and supportive and has captured the best version of the real me and I'm so grateful to her!
Aloha Beachwear - made in paradise for the vintage-loving lady.

11 June, 2014

Cooly Rocks On: Beatnik Blowout

The Queen’s Birthday long weekend used to mean one thing – Wintersun. A great event not to be missed held along the foreshore of Coolangatta. A chance to soak up the sun’s rays and warm ourselves from the crisp winter seaside breezes shopping (drinking) and dancing up a storm. Unfortnately Wintersun is no more, but the Coolangatta community wanted to keep the vibe of the event happening and therefore created the Cooly Rocks On festival. Sadly, these days the event leaves about as much to be desired as its name.

The old grey mare she ain’t what she used to be. Although, this year I saw a glimmer of hope with the Beatnik Blowout. Originally we hadn’t planned on going down to Cooly at all, but once the fliers for the Beatnik Blowout started circulating, we figured we’d better go down for just one day to take a look. After all, we had A LOT of friends who were contributing some great art pieces. No to mention, legendary low brow artist The Pizz was over from the USA as a special guest. After being lucky enough to have breakfast with The Pizz upon his arrival in Brisbane on the Wednesday morning, the luck continued with a positively outstanding day weather-wise on Saturday.

We joined up with some friends who had an apartment down there for the weekend and spent the day checking out the Beatnik Blowout, enjoying beers on the balcony of the apartment, having fish and chips by the water, sneaking back up to the apartment for more beers, strolling along in the sunshine marvelling at all the great cars aaaand…back up to the apartment for more beers. It certainly was a fantastic way to break up the day and we had a great time.

If it wasn’t for me needing to save my pennies for my upcoming US trip, I could have spent a fortune at the Beatnik Blowout! Some of my favourite pieces were a black velvet print by Matt Black featuring Suicide’s ‘Zombie’, a sheet of metal expertly airbrushed with a kick ass Frankenstein, an awesome Picasso-inspired beatnik painting by Woz and a rare vinyl illustrated by The Pizz – just to name a few. Still, I did shout myself a couple of little trinkets including this cool zombie finger key chain and this beatnik bongos key chain mad by Kamakazi and custom pinstriped by Scotty Makin.

Black Lagoon Designs - seriously, how amazing is this!?
It was a really fun day and we returned home thinking the weekend couldn’t get any better. Except, IT DID! Not only did we end up booking 5 days in Japan in December for what could possibly be the last ever Mooneyes, but on Monday The Pizz cooked us all his famous fish tacos!! Too cool for school, aside from being a phenomenal artist this guy is also a fantastic cook! Watching him work, he sure knows his way around the kitchen and we now know some great places around the US where we can get the best fish tacos. I can’t wait to try a baja fish taco!

It was an awesome weekend and one that’s sure to stick with us for a long time. Don’t be sad if you didn’t make it to the Beatnik Blowout – there are some Beatnik events happening this Friday 13 at both Vision Skin Tattoo at Lawnton and True Love Tattoo at Sherwood. Woz is doing $30 Friday 13 flash with some stalls and even a pin up photo booth with the lovely Phill Kustom and Mez is doing $13 tattoos + $7 tip with a bunch of Friday 13 flash as well as cuts by Johnny Voodoos Barbershop and rum by Sailor Jerry!

So get along and support your local Beatniks!

03 June, 2014

Welcome Megan Rizzo Photography!

This week I am incredibly excited to announce that I have joined forces with the incredible Megan Rizzo Photography for some fantastic upcoming features in the lead up to Tiki Oasis! In the coming months, you can look forward to saying aloha to some tropi-cool features on everything tiki including swimsuits, hair flowers, Hawaiian-inspired dresses and of course, the all important tiki mug! I am so happy to have Megan on board as not only is she an award-winning photographer, she is a wonderful lady who I feel is a kindred spirit, particularly after our business meeting turned more into a (long) leisurely friendly girly catch up. We are totally on the same page, and she has a wonderful heart. Plus we're practically neighbours! So get ready for some real eye candy in the upcoming features! But first, meet Megan...
Megan Rizzo’s love of all things photography began in the school dark room in Tamworth, where black and white prints taken with the school SLR were lovingly processed and hung to drip dry. Twenty years on Megan is a Tarragindi local and an accomplished portrait photographer, shooting for businesses, love-struck couples, beautiful babies, perfect pin-ups, burlesque babes and more!
Megan’s life experience as a mother and wife has sculpted her unique photographic style. Unpretentious, candid and palpable, whether in black and white or bold colour, her photographs tell a story to whomever they meet.

Megan was the original founder of the Woollongabba Antique Centre back in 2009. With her background in Banking and International business Megan used her knowledge and creative flair to establish what is now an iconic part of the Brisbane vintage, retro and rockbilly scene. With two young children at home, Megan chose to re-establish the balance in her family life and take a step back for a few years from the monster that had become the WAC.

Once the youngest of Megan’s children started school, it was an opportunity to go back to her first love of photography. She jumped in with renewed enthusiasm and excitement after leaving it aside for so many years. Juggling motherhood, family, studies and her business in photography keeps her on her toes, but as they say, when you love what you do, you never work a day in your life.

Using photography as the healer, Megan has found redemption in her heart’s true passion and now enjoys using her creative medium as means to tell the story of others and to help them see their own true beauty and worth.

Megan has seen great success in the last 12 months through her photography winning the MSIT Cert IV Student of the Year as well as being awarded Best Photoimage, silver and gold image awards as well. During the last year Megan has entered her images into the prestigious AIPP (Australian Institute of Photography) state and national awards winning silver in both.
Megan has a fabulous studio and gallery setup purpose-built at her home in Tarragindi. As she has been collecting vintage ball gowns, sequinned frocks and amazing props for years, she has a treasure trove of items that allow her to create a wonderland for her clients to lose themselves in.
I am so happy to have Megan Rizzo Photography on board and I'm so excited to bring these features to you, with images that truly showcase the quality of the products. This is something I have been wanting to do for a really long time, but I just hadn't found the right photographer, the right person who felt like a good fit for this blog. But now I have and I'm so happy the universe has brought us together!