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Category Archives: Fashion and Shopping

Vivien of Holloway Lana Dress


Holding an original 1930’s cord bag with lucite handle and zip pull. Shoes by Johnsons Originals.

On VE Weekend this year, I was once again supposed to be singing at the VE Festival in Evesham. This wonderful event had moved to Ashdown Camp in Evesham and we were all excited for the new beginnings of a very successful and popular show! The VE Show was going to be sponsored by Vivien of Holloway in 2020 and I was lucky enough to be sent one of their Lana dresses to wear whilst performing.

Unfortunately Covid-19 dashed our plans and all events have obviously been cancelled for this year. I was still able to do a photoshoot of this beautiful 1940’s style dress with the talented Paul W Russell Photography. Our backdrop was the breathtaking Kenilworth Castle, of which I will have the pleasure of visiting later this month.

So, back to the dress! The fit is quite roomy compared to Vivien of Holloway’s more structured dresses (e.g. the Sarong). I ended up going for a VoH size 16 in this. Do NOT confuse their sizing with standard UK ones! Frustratingly, their sizes are based on vintage ones, so the 16 is infact a 12 UK. As I mentioned before, this dress definitely has more give, so that is why I went for the 16 instead of an 18. Im usually between a 12 and 14 UK and very curvy (40″-31″-40″), so always struggle with bust to waist ratio on dresses. This fit very well and the style is flattering and comfortable.

Vivien of Holloway now have a huge range of colours of the Lana dress and I would definitely find it difficult to choose which shade to get! And guess what? IT HAS FLIPPING POCKETS! YAAAAAAAS!!!

Lockdown Costume Walks Continue…


I thought I would share some more photos of Betsy and I dressed up on our costume walks! For over 10 weeks we have been keeping up morale (our own, our neighbours and friends online) by cosplaying our favourite characters.

Hermione Granger and Professor Trelawney from Harry Potter

My favourites have been our Harry Potter inspired walk (above), Frida Kahlo and her paint palette (scroll down for images) and Snow White with the Evil Queen!

Rock n Roll!
Just before singing to my neighbours

I’ve enjoyed singing to the street and it’s great when people come out of their homes and watch from their gardens and paths from a safe distance.

Buzz Lightyear and Jessie from Toy Story!

My eyes are actually some I made for my old Corpse Bride Cosplay. You can just about see through them. I drew on Buzz’s eyes with face paint and they are held on with thin elastic and eyelash glue… and yes, they were bloody uncomfortable and a nightmare to figure out where you’re going and who you are waving to!
Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee.
Guess who was Dum…
Nice easy one and great for kids! We had the Alice in Wonderland soundtrack playing on my phone.
Off to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to a little boy down the street. Note the balloon and tiny party hat. Betsy is wearing her Queen Elsa costume as this is our Ice Age ensemble…geddit??
My tiny face paint palette is certainly getting a workout!
Ursula the Sea Witch
Ariel, the Little Mermaid and her Dinglehopper.
The boat is our garden pond. It’s called the Bootle Bumtrinket after Gerald Durrell’s boat in My Family and Other Animals. A perfect prop for Betsy’s mermaid costume!
Cinderella and her Fairy Godmother. Betsy’s bag is a popcorn holder that I got from Disneyland Paris last year. Best purchase ever!
You may recognise the gown from a Cinderella shoot I did with Lee Parker a couple of years ago. I trimmed it down to make it more wearable and used the train as a shoulder wrap.
Betsy was NOT in a dressing up mood, so I dressed as Jessie from Toy Story and she wore her Woody T-shirt as a compromise.
You’ve got a friend in me…
You try and get a decent selfie and get photobombed by a cat’s bum.
I had been waiting to pop this Star Wars costume on again! I made is around 3 years ago to wear at Birmingham Comicon and got to meet the legend Warwick Davis! He loved it so much, he got his son to take a photo of us so that he could post it on Twitter! I also heard him mention my outfit on the radio a few days later. So I give you… Princess Leia on Endor, riding and Ewok.
Saving the universe and defeating the dark side gets a bit tiring. This Princess Leia dress was actually an adult one I had never worn. I just cut off the bottom, a bit of sleeve and glued the Velcro on a different bit of the belt to cinch it in! Her hair buns were made from a mouse tail I made for the school nativity play. My tights filled with cushion stuffing, I just cut it in half and rolled each half up before stitching to stop unravelling. They were light enough to be attached with a couple of hair grips!

Snow White
And the Evil Queen!
Absolutely LOVE this Disney Villains costume!
Taken by Rachel Perks
I could not get her to smile! She was happy, but was in a sultry posing mood and wouldn’t grin for toffee. Rapunzel from Disney’s Tangled.
Motherrrrrrr knows best! Mother Gothel cosplay! She is one of my favourite Disney characters.
Safari Tours!
Weirdly enough, I have had this gorilla costume for around 12 years and never worn it! Bought to create a burlesque routine, but my asthma couldn’t handle the restrictive mask. Managed to keep this on all down the street, but couldn’t wait to get it off!
One of my lovely neighbours gave me a banana…
Betsy’s outfit was nice and simple! I used permanent markers to write on a plain T-shirt.
This was Betsy’s favourite! She has always wanted a Wednesday Addams outfit and someone very kindly sent her some money to buy a toy and costume of her choice! A very lucky little girl! The wig is an adult one and fits really well. It’s cheaper than the kid’s version!
Morticia Addams! Love The Addams Family and this dress lends itself perfectly to this gothic beauty. I’ve actually worn this gown 3 times on our walks: Melificent, Ursula and Morticia.
Just a silly one. I have an Elvis jumpsuit T-shirt that I wore with my white Heyday Online trousers and sang some Elvis numbers.
Frida Kahlo cosplay! Complete with her pet deer. The wig is actually Betsy’s Wednesday Addams one!
Frida’s paint palette and brush! I made these at 8am that morning out of a cardboard box and acrylics. Not bad eh?
Taken by Rachel Perks
Guess who…?
Crazy Cat Lady!
Weirdly enough, this was one of our most popular costume picks on Facebook!
Princess Jasmine and Rajah the tiger from Disney’s Aladdin!
Betsy’s wig is actually my Morticia Addams one!
My trust face paint palette again. Tried to copy the animated version of Rajah as well as I could. Would’ve been great if I hadn’t got it too close to my eyes as it stung to buggery and made my eyes stream all down the street! Never mind, I was proud of my efforts!

Covid-19 Morale


I hope you have all been staying safe and healthy in these unsettling times! It can be incredibly intense and claustrophobic being isolated, but you are doing great.

To update you with what I’ve been up to…every single week day, my 4 year old daughter and I dress up in a different theme and take our 1 hour of exercise time. My plan was to create some crazily cool memories for Betsy, focus on something fun by dressing up and bring some morale to the street. I suffer with depression quite badly and love the escapism of fancy dress or costuming. The fact I can use this outlet as a ray of sunshine for other people and keep my mental health more-or-less stable in these uncertain times is brilliant.

I began by writing a list of characters we could do and even bought a mic that has a little inbuilt speaker so that I could sing to the residents too. At first we only saw a couple of people looking, but now most of the street waves or twitches their curtains at 11.30am each morning!

When I moved here 4 years ago I became familiar with about 4 people in my street. Who would’ve known that a desperately worrying time would lead to so many more friendships being formed from 2 metres away?

So far we’ve done Disney Princesses, Unicorns, rainbows, fairies, Maleficent and a dragon, Steampunk dolls, Mary Poppins, Dorothy Gale (Wizard of Oz) and Glinda the Good Witch, 1940’s, 1950’s and my favourite… Santa and his elf!

Taken by Rachel Perks

It was BAKING this Tuesday and I was dressed in full Father Christmas outfit, complete with beard, wig and hat. I had ordered a pack of 50 toilet rolls that I stacked inside my cart, which was decorated with tinsel, a reindeer and more! I put some vintage festive songs on my Bluetooth speaker and we made our way down the road. Everyone who waved got a toilet roll and I ran out! I left one on a parked ambulance, along with some sweets. “Ho ho ho! Meeeeerrrrry Covidmas!”

Taken by Jon Mulkeen

What else have I done? Oh! I wrote a parody of ‘It’s in His Kiss’ (made famous by Cher in Mermaids). It’s called ‘Is it Covid’ and you can see it HERE.

Taken by Kizzy Warner

I’ll keep you updated on happenings. I’m just trying real hard not to lose my marbles. X

Vintage Photoshoot with CSN Photography at GWSR


In early March I had the pleasure of working with Chris Nicholls of CSN Photography! We visited the beautiful and peaceful GWSR as they prepared for yet another busy season. The weather was questionable, but we made the most of the odd sunny spell between the showers!

So here are my top pick pics for you! In the 1940’s themed images I am wearing an original 40’s swing coat, crepe dress and hat. The shoes are from Johnson’s Originals. In the 50’s/60’s images I am wearing an original novelty print vintage dress and Clark’s Shoes.

I am very much looking forward to shooting with CSN Photography again. As he is used to frequenting at vintage military events, Chris has a keen eye for detail! It’s a shame we couldn’t shoot more of the dress, but it was flipping cold at this point and the weather was really turning!

Southam Retro Revival 2018

Southam Retro Revival 2018

This coming Sunday (23rd September) I will be singing and hosting a stall at Southam Retro Revival!

With entertainment, vintage vehicles, stalls and more, it sounds like this will be a yearly spectacle that will get bigger and bigger!

I’m looking forward to seeing the lovely Betsy Harmony again and all the other acts I haven’t watched yet!

I love the fact that there are dedicated children’s activities, really making this a wonderful family event.

Asylum Steampunk Festival – Part 2


As promised, here are some more of my photographs from this incredible Steampunk event. I was anchored to Lincoln Castle, so didn’t get so see other areas of the city in action, but my days were still full of wonder as you will now see. Sunday was a washout all day, but it certainly didn’t dampen our spirits. I even had people dancing in the rain whilst I was on stage! In regards to my outfit, I made the little plaid jacket, matching bag and hats (Bird Nest fascinator and Cheshire Cat mini topper). The bolt of fabric used (and on the little topper hat modeled by Betsy with the brolly) was the same used on Sherlock. My leather corset belt was custom made for me a few years ago, for the Steampunk Dr. Sketchy in Birmingham. I am thrilled to be able to wear it again! Betsy’s little fur is an original Victorian child’s capelette, whilst mine is original 1940’s.

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Lincoln Steampunk Asylum 2018 – Part 1

Lincoln Steampunk Asylum 2018 – Part 1

This year I had the honour of being part of the world’s largest steampunk event! Taking place in areas within Lincoln city, I was based at Lincoln Castle. The setting was stunning, the people incredibly friendly and the outfits unbelievable. I am doing this in 2 parts as I have so many photos! I will also post some video when I have a bit of time too!

I was dressed in my Mary Coggins outfit on the first day (but forgot my flipping rocket pack! What a twit!!!), the second day was cold and rainy, so I wore a more subdued brown ensemble, whilst on the last day I donned my Haberdasher’s costume!

If you recognise yourself or friends in the photos then PLEASE get in touch so that I can title them correctly!

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My first big sale was my Apothecary Hat to this wonderful young gent!

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Witch way did the Warlock go?

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Becca Calver showing Betsy Rose her dragon!

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Mary Coggins and a beautifully dark young lady

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Betsy spent most of Saturday morning wanting to find ‘Der red dragon’. It was like a Welsh ‘Where’s Wally.’

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Great outfits! Titanic hat and lifesaver vest talking to a haunted mansion ghost

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Fabulous hat!

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Steampunk VM Camper!

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This would’ve been a fabulously arty photo if Betsy hadn’t decided to pick her nose…

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Dressing Gown Lingerie Shoot with Lee Parker Photography


Another set for you! Wearing Playful Promises Betty Page lingerie and an incredible custom made robe! Hair by the talented KDB Vintage Hairstyling.

All photos copyright Lee Parker Photography, so please ask permission before using.

Stoneleigh Militaria 2018


What a lovely weekend! We managed to hire our first ever baby sitter (eek!) and head off to Woody at War’s 1940’s dance at Stoneleigh on the Saturday evening. We haven’t been to a dance since I was pregnant! The last time I went to this one was when Kieran at the USO Shows was running it, so I didn’t know what to expect. Woody had done an excellent job and had even set up a little USO stage for me to sing on! The place was packed and everyone looked wonderful.

On the Sunday it was time for the Stoneleigh Militaria Show. I was singing in the foyer at 1pm, so we had plenty of time to walk around the stalls! I had managed to do little victory rolls in Betsy’s hair and she looked ridiculously cute in her khaki jumpsuit and headscarf.

There were 3 really good clothing stalls at the show 2 in the main hall, 1 in the second) and I got a lovely bargain 50’s straw bag and a jacket to wear with my Heyday trousers. Richard got me a lovely wool suit for Valentine’s that I can’t wait to wear!

It was wonderful to see some familiar faces and new ones alike. Some people I hadn’t seen for so long, they didn’t realise that I now sing?! So many cuddles and greetings, lots of cooing over Queen B and her hair, lots of catching up and a great singing set. I always enjoy this show, I think many of us treat it as the ‘real’ new year in the 1940’s scene as it is the first event of the year for us! It seemed to be a lot busier this year too.

Art Fever UK Custom Blinds

Art Fever UK Custom Blinds

Well, I was hoping that by October, Betsy would have an awesome new bed and slight theme change in her bedroom.

Unfortunately it wasn’t to be, but I did get one thing done at least! Although she has blackout curtains, the early morning and late afternoon summer sunshine beamed through the top and sides at ridiculous-o-clock each day. I decided to get her some blackout blinds and fancied some with stars on. I just could find anything quite right! I didn’t want a pattern, but more the feeling of looking out at a magical night sky.

I luckily found Art Fever UK on Etsy. Located in Warwickshire, they have a super little workshop and a really friendly service. My messages were answered quickly and I decided to go and meet them and collect my order instead of waiting for the courier!

How great does this look? You can literally choose from thousands of stock images or use your own photos to get printed on custom blinds or canvases! The quality is fantastic and as they are made to measure, it was the perfect fit for Betsy’s window.

I had a wonderful time chatting in the office and meeting their two resident doggies. So flipping cute!

I can’t wait to get a different design for our bedroom now! If anyone else suffers with migraines, you’ll know how important a really dark room is and sometimes curtains just aren’t enough. So whether you are redecorating in the new year and want to theme a room or just want a decorative blackout blind for a better night’s sleep, I definitely recommend these guys!

You can find their website HERE.