Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Wintry Visit to Hebden Bridge

 Today Michael and I decided to have a drive out and go to a little Yorkshire Village called Hebden Bridge. Hebden Bridge is very quaint and is renowned for its creative community - there are lots of designer/makers who have studios and shops here, and there are traditional pubs and shops, charity shops and markets (on some days) as well as a host of festivals and events throughout the year. To be honest, we probably didn't pick the best day of the year to go as temperatures are around 0 deg C at the moment, but we still had a lovely day out. What we didn't expect was that on the way there - it would be a winter wonderland!
View from the side of the road, looking over the moors...snow as far as the eye could see! Luckily, the road although a bit desolate, is a well used bus route, so is well gritted and clear.

Thank goodness I wrapped up warm in my bargain £5 faux fur coat and ear muffs, brrr!

Back down in the valley again, and no snow in Hebden Bridge itself. This is the pub that we went for lunch in, yum :)

And the bridge over the river in the village centre
There are lots of lovely shops filled with original craft and design from Independent designe/makers - like in the Arts Centre
I really loved this shop - The Yorkshire Soap Co. The lady in the shop kindly let me take a few photos inside. It smelt divine, everything is handmade and it was so beautifully presented. A lot of the soaps were made to look like cakes....
Yum! (Or not!) I treated myself to a strawberry cheesecake soap, and had a gift set made up for a friend's birthday present.
Good enough to eat...almost....
Michael took his camera and got some photos, and then we headed back home - once again through the winter wonderland....
Stunning - but freezing!!
We didn't leave Hebden Bridge empty handed of course, after paying a visit to a yummy looking old fashioned bakery on the way back to the car.....
Jam sponge slice and a cup of tea when we got in. This was SO yummy!
I also picked up a few bargains in some of the 6 Charity shops in the village (Yes, I did print out a Google Map of them all before we went so we didn't miss any!)
Retro flask, never been used £1.50 from Oxfam. 
Think they sell these in Urban Outfitters for about £15 so I got a bargain! 
Lonely Vintage Glass - to add to our collection, 50p from Greyhound Rescue
And soft black leather bow peep toe mini wedges (as new) £2.99, Oxfam
We really enjoyed our day out, but think next time we go - we'll wait until the weather is a bit nicer as it was rather harsh today!

Thursday, 19 January 2012

New Tattoo!

Today I got a new tattoo! I've been planning to add to my collection for a few months but wanted to make sure I was happy with the design and placement. I design all my tattoos myself , and my lovely friend and tattoo artist, Beany inks them up for me. She does all the creative stuff with the colours and shading, so they are always a collaborative piece :) Although I don't much care for the pain aspect of getting tattooed (ouch!) I like being tattooed by Beany as we have a cuppa, and a really good chat while she works on me. Its nice to feel really relaxed and comfortable with your artist too. So, here it is....
Like with all my tattoos  - they don't really 'mean' anything. Its just a collection of the things that I like - I love old school tattoos  - hence the love letters, horseshoe and flowers, and although I'm not religious, I love sacred hearts so I wanted one of those in there too, so I designed this piece with all that in mind.
I also did the design to slot in around my other work and kept the colours the same so it all ties in!
And here it is with my other work - do you like my new spotty shower curtain? ;)

Saturday, 14 January 2012

My new glasses!

Hooray! I came back from a day out in Manchester today to discover that my new (old!) 50s cats eye glasses had arrived back from the online opticians that I use - I Need Spex.
I'm very happy with them, and they were such a bargain at $20 (£13) from Etsy. The lenses were just £15 to get my prescription put in, so under £30 for some fab new glasses - what a great deal!
I can't recommend I Need Spex enough! They turn your order round in less than a week, and they are perfect every time. At just £15, you can see why this is my 8th pair that they have done for me! Here they are....
I got my star print cardigan off Ebay, and the hairclip and necklace are Dolly Cool of course! :)

Friday, 13 January 2012

8 new hair ties added to the website!

I've been busy making some new products this week - new jewels are coming soon - but for now we have not one, not two but EIGHT new hair ties added to the Dolly Cool Website making the choice now 15 different fabrics!
All my hair ties are hand made by me from quality cotton and are perfect for bad hair days and perfecting that rockabilly up doo'. At £6.50 each, with free worldwide shipping, they make great gifts, or a little treat for yourself :) Here they are.....
Russian Doll

Big Skull


Cadillac Hearse

Cherry Outline

Day of The Dead

Black and Red Polka

Red Houndstooth
You can see them all, and the others I have available on the Dolly Cool Website.
                                               More designs are coming soon, watch this space! :)

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Design Inspiration - Mid Century Modern Prada SS12 collection

Its not something I talk about much on here - but I am from a fashion design background (its what I did before going self employed with Dolly Cool), and its still something that I do today on a freelance basis. I do read high fashion magazines - not because that's who I design for (regular readers will know I design for Too Fast - a US punky/alternative retailer), but because the majority of high street - and alternative - fashions, do originate in some way shape or form from catwalk collections. Its good to know what is out there, and what is inspiring millions of others in the fashion industry.
To be fair, I think the vast majority of stuff is pretty hideous! Over branded, unwearable and obviously ridiculously expensive! In general, the only designers I rate (and this is purely my opinion of what appeals to me),  for doing quirky and fun but wearable things are Vivienne Westwood, Moschino, Henry Holland (love his very affordable H! by Henry Holland collections for Debenhams) and the late, great Alexander McQueen. This was until I got this months Elle and Vogue with the SS12 collections in them and saw the Prada SS12 collection!
It is described as Mid Century Modern and I just love the prints, styling and accessories......
Front cover of  February UK Elle that first caught my eye....

Look at the super cute cowboy print!
Various retro styling details from the menswear collection
Hot rod styling and applique on bags!
Check out that metal grille handle - cool!
And last, but not least the amazing hot rod inspired shoes! ♥♥
The red ones are my fave! 
Not that I'll ever own such items as they are all WWWAAAYYYYYY out of my price range, but its certainly a cool collection, and I never think its a bad thing when retro styling is "in fashion".
Of course for myself and many of my readers, retro styling is never out of fashion ;)
I am obviously ahead of the fashion pack anyway as one of my longest standing Dolly Cool pieces is my Hot Rod necklace!
Maybe Prada were inspired by me? ;) he he!

Monday, 9 January 2012

Manchester Vintage Network - 1st meeting!

Yesterday was the 1st meet up of newly formed networking group, Manchester Vintage Network. This was the idea of Alison from Kitty Wink Vintage, who I met at one of the vintage fairs that I was trading at last year. It was about time that someone started something 'Up North' as its often the way that most of the events and networking groups are predominantly down south/London based - so a big Thank You and well done to Alison!
The idea behind the group was to bring together like minded small business owners in the North West who are Vintage related in some way shape or form. I thought that this would be the perfect time to wear my recently acquired 50s dress, which I got for £20 from the Stockport Vintage Village a few months ago:
The only thing I needed to do was shorten it - as it fell mid calf length on me (which does my short self no favours at all) so I chopped off a foot so its now knee length!
I'm wearing all my own Dolly Cool Jewellery and my Miss L Fire shoes ♥
The meeting was held in the Statham House Country Hotel - v posh!
The outside - taken off their website and on a nice sunny day - unlike yesterday! 
And the inside - we were in the Roulette Room
Group pic - right side
Group pic - left side!
We all spent a few minutes going round the table (I went first - eek!) saying about about ourselves and what we did, and what we hoped to get out of the meetings. It was then onto the more informal chatting and meeting one another....
From left; Victoria and Kathleen of Vibrant Vintage, Louise from Catwalk Creative Vintage, Vanessa from The Den at Beech Wood, Laura from Planet Vintage Girl and Steph from Jazz Swing Dance.
From left: Bethany from Bethany Jane Davies Vintage Hair and Make up, Rebecca from Polka Dots and Pearls Vinatge and Retro Event planning, Anthony from Jazz Swing Dance and Alison from Kitty Wink Vintage.
From left, Me! Sue from Vintage Manchester (a vintage events listing site) and Old Fashioned Susie and Kally from Kalandra Jane Designs.
And Kathleen from Vibrant Vintage with Beverley from Elizabeth's Attic.
Also present - but not on the photos (sorry!) were Brooke from Brooke's Cupcakes, and Fiona from Rose & Lee Vintage. 
All in all, it was a great afternoon and the time flew! 3 hours passed and I didn't even talk to everyone!
Hopefully this will be a monthly meet up, in various locations in and around the North West. New members are welcome and you can register your interest by visiting Kitty Wink Vintage and filling in the contact form :)

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Marry Me Ink - featuring Dolly Cool!

A few months ago I was thrilled to be asked if I would like to supply some jewellery for a photoshoot for the new and inspirational blog, Marry Me Ink.
Marry Me Ink is the concept of Rachael Urquhart, and was created to celebrate the decorated bride and everything that goes with it. Although the blog is only a few months old, Rachael has already featured some stunning photoshoots and is gaining a lot of interest in the site. 
I like it when people think of something a bit different, and I love the concept of Rachael's website and blog, so I was thrilled to be asked if I would like to supply some jewellery for one of the shoots. The results are brilliant! Featuring Rachael herself as the model in the shoot, with photography by Andrea EllisonClaire Penn, and Maria Bentley, the shoot took place in the quirky Northern Quarter of my wonderful home city of Manchester. Tattoos, Manchester and creative photography.....what's not to like?! Here are some of my favourite shots.....
Featuring my Dolly Cool Skully Russian Doll Ring:

To see more fab photos from this shoot - visit the Marry Me blog site here.
Today, Rachael has put up a new shoot featuring a heavily (and beautifully) tattooed bride in a 50s Diner in Brighton. Can you see why I like this blog so much? ;)