25 July, 2014

The Road to Tiki Oasis: The Giveaway!

Well it's just 2 weeks until we will be up up and away to the good ole US of A and on the road to Tiki Oasis. The anticipation is building and so are the pretty things in my suitcase thanks to the kindness of all the sponsors we've had on board for this feature series. I hope you've enjoyed getting a glimpse into the wild and wonderful world of tiki and the little preview of some of what I'll be wearing poolside at the festival. I know some of you are a bit jealous and to be honest, I can totally understand why. I would be too! So, because I'm not the kind of person who just wants to flaunt this stuff in your face I've decided to do a giveaway!
Everything you've seen me feature in the Road to Tiki Oasis series could be YOURS! That's right, even if you're not off to the San Diego tiki weekender you can still enjoy a tutti fruitti good time. With summer right around the corner you'll be set for when the sun starts to shine and the temperature begins to rise! Sounds pretty good to me, even if I do say so myself! But enough of that, I bet you're wondering what you actually get? Well let me tell you, it's a doozy!

The lucky winner will receive ALL these fantastic prizes!
That's a total prize value of $420!!

To enter, simply leave a comment below telling me why you would like to win.


Fine Print: Entrants must leave their email address so they can be contacted if they are the winner. Megan Rizzo polaroids to be redeemed at Brisbane GreazeFest only.Entry open to Australian residents only. Winner will be drawn Friday 1 Aug.  Winner has 48 hours to respond. If no response is received a new winner will be drawn.
Disclaimer: I did not receive any payment for any features in the Road to Tiki Oasis series. Product was provided for editorial consideration. All opinions are my own and are in no way influenced by the sponsor. I did it to showcase some fantastic local talent because I believe in supporting small businesses and artists. Plus I knew you guys would like it anyway. Win win right? Now I don't have to feel guilty about going and spending a bunch of money on businesses and artists overseas.
Buy local and support small business, ok?

22 July, 2014

Road to Tiki Oasis: Take a Walk on the Wild Side

The final instalment of the Road to Tiki Oasis features (or is it? Oooh mystery!) we’re taking a walk on the wild side with Wayne Hoareau of Wild tHing creations. A carver and ceramics artist from the Gold Coast, Wayne creates unique tiki mugs, carvings and wall art, all done with his bent take on the traditional tiki style. A lover of all things exotic and macabre, Wayne’s freeki art and creepi tiki style is distinctive and truly his own.

When he wasn’t accepted into art college, Wayne began working in music retail in 1988 and didn’t stop for almost 20 years. However when he was made redundant from a long term position in 2009, he reassessed his life and decided to try the arts degree angle again. While waiting for a response from the college, Wayne decided to give a carving a go and hasn’t looked back since. He’s now proud to be what the kids from the western suburbs of Brisbane in the 80s always wanted to be. 

Wild tHing creations was born in August of 2010 with Wayne working out of his house however by April 2011 the operation was booming and he needed to move to a studio and workshop to allow more space for his creations. Unlike most artists, Wayne rarely sketches out his ideas first, rather using the medium he works with to allow the design to emerge. Using the naturally occurring character that each piece of wood possesses, Wayne draws a rough outline and just begins carving. The same can be said of his mugs, which he makes on nothing more than a rough idea and a brief outline, preferring to let his mind control his hands as he sculpts.

Moving into mugs has been particularly productive for Wayne with at least three quarters of his time spent making both commission pieces and his own original designs. Taking up a lot of his time, he experiments with clay slip and earthenware. However wax is also involved and is much easier to carve. Of course, there’s nothing he loves more than getting back into a slab of wood and carving when time permits.

This fine selection of Wild tHing creations’ work includes smaller mugs featuring traditional tiki designs to colourful medium and large sized mugs featuring slightly more cartoon and abstract designs in vibrant colours and Wayne’s trademark freeki tiki style with a large skull-bearing mug created especially for Pepe’s Mexican Restaurant. Each design is unique and is sculpted by hand using a number of carving and sculpting techniques. Each mug is hand glazed both inside and outside and feature a mixture of gloss and matte finishes.

Wild tHing creations can be found at Butter Beats in Southport on the Gold Coast, Feaks Like Us in Nambour, Ruff’n’Ready in Canberra and Two Bit Villains in Adelaide as well as a number of local and independent markets including the upcoming GreazeFest Kustom Kulture Festival in Brisbane. Speaking of GreazeFest, Megan Rizzo Photography will be there too so if you want to be captured in your Sunday best be sure to drop by her photobooth for a tutti frutti polaroid! Megan has been an absolute dream to work with and I am forever indebted to her for capturing such fantastic images to use throughout these features. Another big thank you goes to Rod and Maxine for allowing us to shoot on location in their amazing tiki bar, the Soused Seas.

18 July, 2014

Road to Tiki Oasis: The Thing From The Black Lagoon

What's the Road to Tiki Oasis without some tiki mugs!? The beauty and brains behind Black Lagoon Designs is my friend Danielle, a tiki-o-phile who completely designs, hand sculpts, fires, glazes then markets and sells the amazing ceramic tiki mugs produced under her label. What began as a hobby, Dani has since turned her passion into a business and it’s been amazing watching her grow and expand her designs and client base.

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 soon so be sure to keep your eye out. Until then, join me in drooling over her Facebook page.

The stuff her crazy brain dreams up is pretty awesome and she also happens to make a mean cocktail to go in her tiki mugs. Putting a slightly more feminine spin on the usual tiki mug offerings, the mugs produced by Black Lagoon Designs range in size from these petite pastel shot glasses to the more traditionally-sized tiki mugs capable of holding a bucketful of the best mai tai.
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.

Now while I was travelling around the US last year, 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. Her designs are beautiful, colourful and inventive and she continues to offer a fresh take on the tiki concept, particularly with newer designs like pink flamingo mugs and these toucan accoutrements. Damn my girl is talented!
And speaking of talented friends, could we ever get sick of the eye candy created by Megan Rizzo Photography!? No. The answer is most definitely no! Shot on location at the Soused Seas, it was great fun losing ourselves in this oasis of cool. Thank you to Rod and Maxine for allowing us to come in and make ourselves at home! A big thank you also goes to Megan for once again not only bringing out the best in me but for capturing the details and gorgeous glazes of these mugs in such fine quality. Cheers!

08 July, 2014

The Road to Tiki Oasis: Kat's Cadillac Hair Flowers

As this is now the third instalment of my Road to Tiki Oasis features, no doubt you've been wondering where on earth I got the stunning hair flowers I've been wearing in the last two features. Dastardly ole me didn't include any information on them in either of the last two posts! Well forgive me, but as I'm sure you'll understand, these beauties are just too divine to be tacked on to another post. They deserve a feature all of their own!

Hand made by Kat's Cadillac Vintage, these stunning artificial hair flowers come in a variety of colours, shapes and sizes and can even be custom ordered to suit anything you can dream up. Featuring everything from tropical fruits to a variety of flower species, these beautifully handcrafted flower hair accessories vary from a tropical tiki vibe to pops of sunny spring colour and are the ideal finishing touch to any outfit.
Whether you want to add a touch of vintage glamour to your overall look or want to shake things up Carmen Miranda style, there is just so much variety in size and colour to choose from. If you've got a particular outfit in mind, Kat's Cadillac hair flowers can colour match and design a hair piece to contrast or complement your ensemble.

Made from durable synthetic flowers that won't crumple or fray, these stunning hair flowers absolutely are the Cadillac of the hair flower world (although sold at closer to 1950s prices than most products of a similar quality on the market). Artfully arranged, the hair flowers come backed by a soft felt and large silver alligator clip that fastens securely to your hair and won't slip or slide out of place but also won't damage or pull on your hair.
These versatile clips not only draw an immediate focus for your hair but can also be worn as an eye catching floral statement on clothing and even footwear if you're game. Handmade by my beautiful friend Katrina, these gorgeous hair flowers are designed with an eye for vintage in mind. Having been a dedicated vintage collector for her entire life (she has a whole room in her house filled with amazing vintage treasures and that's not even her personal collection!), Katrina has a deep knowledge of all things vintage. Keep an eye out on the Kat's Cadillac Vintage page for amazing vintage clothing to pair with your hair flowers and strut your stuff as the complete package.

As for me, no doubt I'll be talk of Tiki Oasis sporting these spectacular original handcrafted creations and I can't wait to tell everyone that they're Aussie made! Another spectacular handcrafted original that is Aussie made is Megan Rizzo Photography and once again she has managed to capture all the little details that make these hair flowers and therefore these images special. It was so fun getting flowery and fruity with her and she went above and beyond to make these images really pop, including pulling some impressive poses herself to get her lense right into the action.
I'll leave you now so you can order up a hair flower storm in peace.
You're welcome!

01 July, 2014

The Road to Tiki Oasis: Stars & Swallows

When I put the call out for my Road to Tiki Oasis features, one of the first to jump at the opportunity was long time blog supporters Stars and Swallows. Giving me free reign to jump on their website and choose something I thought would be suitable, it didn’t take me long to decide on the Hell Bunny Maui 50s dress. One of the newest arrivals at Stars and Swallows, this colourful cocktail of tropical flora is the perfect outfit for a day of tiki fun in the sun.
Having worn many a Hell Bunny dress in my time, I was confident that this dress would measure up to all the quality and comfort I’ve enjoyed in the past and I wasn’t wrong. I’m an absolute sucker for a halter neck as the bust line it gives is so super flattering, particularly on larger busts. Although sometimes the pitfall of larger busts in halters is the pressure the halter can put on your neck however the ties on the Hell Bunny Maui 50s dress are thicker and sturdier than on some of the other Hell Bunny halter dresses and therefore are much more comfortable to wear, particularly for long periods of time. Made from stretch cotton and featuring a centre back zip, the shirring in the side back panels of the bodice ensure a comfortable fit that’s perfect for your size and shape, moulding and stretching with your body.
The design of the dress means that it falls in a nice, full A-line and sits perfectly without a petticoat so if you intend on wearing this beauty in the tropical climates it calls for, you don’t have to worry about sweating under the extra layers of a petticoat. Of course if you’re willing to brave the heat or aren’t lucky enough to be wearing it poolside under the Californian sun, there’s plenty of room for a petticoat to amp things up a notch and make full use of that full skirt. Besides, once you start twirling away (and trust me you won’t be able to stop) you create your own kind of air conditioning.
$69.00 ON SALE - Stars & Swallows

One of the things that struck me the minute I laid eyes on the Maui 50s dress is the beautiful colours popping against the black backdrop. Reminiscent of those famous Polynesian velvet paintings, the colourful flowers and fern print of this dress is practically luminescent. You’ll certainly stand out in this stunner and best of all, with so many colours to work with accessorising is not only fun and versatile, but also cheap if you need it to be as the chances of you already owning some complementary coloured accessories are pretty high.
Still if you feel like splurging and getting a whole range of colourful accessories to match and clash, Stars and Swallows offer everything from tropical tiki bamboo bags to hair accessories, jewellery, petticoats, belts and more. A great way to introduce even more pops of colour, belts help to nip in your waist and create that sexy hourglass shape, or stick to classic black like I did to make it versatile for a night sipping mai tais at the local tiki bar. Don’t forget, it’s all in the details and this adorable tiki mug brooch by Ella Mobbs is the perfect way to say ‘rack em up bar keep’.

I just can’t say enough about the Hell Bunny Maui 50s dress and the whole range available at Stars and Swallows. The colours of this dress are even more brilliant in real life and there is just so much opportunity to change this look up every day of the week. I also have to thank Megan Rizzo Photography for capturing this dress and all the little details so beautifully. She has helped to show that the print is far more three dimensional than it looks online as well as the fun and movement that this beauty creates. Mahalo Megan!