Celebrating Blonde – A tribute to Marilyn

I have always loved the amazing shots of Marilyn, taken by George Barris on an LA beach in 1962, just weeks before her tragic death. I was lucky to see the exhibition of some of these original photographs here in NZ last year. I love how beautiful, natural, vibrant and playful she is! In the words of George Barris –

“There was nobody like Marilyn Monroe,” he said. “There never was and there never will be.”


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I have always dreamed of doing a shoot inspired by these iconic images of Marilyn.

Last week, the day before I was planning on a HUGE change away from being blonde (as I’ve been for most of my adult life)… I asked my best friend on a spur of the moment idea, to get some shots of me, with these images as inspiration.


My wonderful friend Katy, not only used her artistic magic as a makeup artist, but also brought her experience from in front of the lens…. to take my basic point and shoot digital camera and capture these images!


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It was the perfect way to send off my blonde bombshell days!

Lorelei Louise xx


Creating a Living Wall – Pinterest – the Real Life Edition

I love plants in my home – they add such colour and life – and I hear they do something nice for the air too! Ahhh… deep breath 🙂 I’m sort of running out of places to put and hang them however, so after re-vamping our front door entry which isn’t roomy enough for a hanging plant, I decided a “living wall” would be the perfect solution.

Big and small, inside and out, these vertical gardening systems are all over Pinterest and interior magazines at the moment. Mostly, they are fairly simple – a pocket based system that you put soil in, add plants and water manually. Although if you want to be spendy, there are all sort of fancy watering systems to be found!

Here’s the idea: Nice huh?
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More info at Wooly Pockets or Vertical Gardens NZ

365267122Since mine is going to go outside, I didn’t search around for anything that was watertight, I found some simple pockets on Trademe made out of recycled felt – 2 planters with 4 pockets for $15.




How to: Step By Step

1. Materials

All the information online seems to revolve around pretty pictures of finished pockets with cascading plants – and lot’s of mention of the words “simple” and “easy”. I also found the “spill, fill and thrill concept”. Basically choose plants from each category and do the following:

Use the “Spill” plants, which drape down, to cover the edges of the Pockets. Next add the “Thrill” plants as focal points and to create a dynamic visual composition. Finally, use the “Fill” plants to fill in and cover the Pockets between the other plants. Use big, full plants!  The wall should look as full and lush as possible immediately upon planting, with as little Pocket showing as possible. 

Yay I love simple and easy! Ummm not so much. Firstly, I couldn’t see any of the plants on the lists at the garden centre. Or at least not in my low budget. Secondly, the pockets are SMALL. How to fit these various plant categories into one pocket exactly?

So, I thought of my own system. I bought some dangly, some eatable, some smelling nice and some little cheap and pretty. I also got some secret weapon – certain to cure my houseplant killing tendencies – Crystal Rain. This is magic dust that mixes with water to make goop, which you add to the dirt and keeps them from dying if you forget to water them.

2. Putting it together

I mixed up my magic goop and added a few spoonfuls to each pocket of soil and stirred well! FYI – you are supposed to do this an hour before!

I added potting soil and put 3-4 small plants in each pocket. I tried to put cascading type things on the edges and things I thought would be bushier in the middle – due to the pocket shape there is more soil here also! I used a mix of baby house plants and herbs (thyme and parsley) as well as transplanting some wandering jew from my garden (When I say garden, it grew after I tossed it out the window and is now ideal for cuttings)

Oh and making sure there is as little pocket showing as possible? Still not sure how that is supposed to happen!

3. Water

According to the internet, one is supposed to water the “tongue” which after some searching I discovered is the BACK of the pocket. This way the water will wonderfully wick it’s way down the tongue and perfectly disperse water to the plants without drowning them. Clever! In real life? It is actually impossible to water the back of the planter. Especially with a hose. I hope my plants like extra moisture. And I now understand what that fancy expensive watering thingy with the long spout is for. TONGUE WATERING. Of course!

So here is my finished product! I am hoping when it grows it will fill out a bit… and I’ll just replace anything that doesn’t survive 🙂 Not QUITE what I had imagined, but it has some potential! I think I will wait and see how things take before I hang it outside our front door or plant the other one… I will post an update on how it grows!

Final thoughts? This is a cheap and YES, EASY way to add some greenery to a wall inside or out! It doesn’t need to be complicated, just pick up a few things that don’t cost too much and have a go 🙂 Personally, I like combining a few edibles in there – thyme is handy and smells delicious and parsley is always nice to have!

Lorelei xx

Love copper? 5 budget ideas friendly ideas for under $30!

I just love metallics in home décor! Gold, brass, bronze and especially copper! I love the warm tone of copper, with that hint of red, it really draws the eye and adds something a little different. Copper pieces will fit well into existing décor and can look great mixed up with other metallics. Here are some gorgeous bits and pieces, as well as some DIY ideas, to get the look for less!

1. Wooden picture frame with painted copper design
Grab a test pot of metallic copper and create a design on a plain wooden frame.
Here I have used Resene Copper Fire to create a slightly abstract geometric effect (that means I free handed haha!) on a simple $12 wooden frame from the Warehouse. I purchased this awesome mid century inspired digital print from House of Print Shop on Etsy ($7.50)and printed it on textured card stock to use in the frame.

2. Copper spray paint – so many options – only limited by your imagination!
I picked up this metallic copper spray paint from Super Cheap Auto for the bargain price of only $6.99!225339

Use tape to create a design on a plain white plate, then spray. Or give an old wire basket a makeover. Give jars, glassware or plain wooden items either an ombre or dip dyed effect!


3. Copper toned glass vase – The Warehouse $12

9417648932388_eI love this, it looks amazing on its own, or with some simple foliage or a single flower. A real bargain!







4. Wire storage basket – Bed Bath and Beyond $25

20150513_181011I love copper wire baskets, but they can get a bit pricey! This one is a steal at only $25, and there is a range of sizes as well!



5. Copper wire seed lights – Solarnights.co.nz

copper_seed_lightWire lights look amazing strung just about anywhere. Solarnights, link above, does a 50 light strand powered by AA batteries for only $15.






Well I hope you enjoyed this post and are feeling inspired!

Lorelei xx




My Miss Pinup Outfits, the first installment!

Is it really over a month since Miss Pinup NZ 2015 and the Very Vintage Day Out!? For those of you who have checked out my Facebook page and Instagram recently, you may have noticed there has been a bit of a fashion drought! Well there is a reason for that… Miss Pinup NZ is a HUGE investment of time, effort and energy. I have bipolar disorder, and ongoing problems with managing my depression and anxiety. So it just a reality for me that after any big investment of energy there is some recovery time 🙂 Which for me is pretty much withdrawing from the world… social huh!

But don’t worry, I’ve been using my down time to catch up on some things that got a bit neglected with getting married in January, followed by the competition a few months later!
Like my daughter and husband 😉 Actually we’ve been finishing off our retro kitchen renovation and I’ve been completing some painting projects. And getting ready to start my new career in interior design. The reason there haven’t been any outfit posts… is because there haven’t any outfits! Except for truly horrible painting clothes. Fab to Drab – a reverse transformation!

I thought it’s time I shared some details of some of the amazing outfits I wore for the competition! Unfortunately, I still have very few photos of the day, and none of some of my ensembles… I am hoping to get some shots soon to share the details and inspiration behind them, but so far life has gotten in the way, as it does!

But for a start, I DO have some great shots of my outfit from the beachwear section – which was one of my favourites too!

So, stop blabbering and show us some pictures!! Here is my outfit for the beachwear section!

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All of my outfits for Miss Pinup NZ were inspired by Marilyn Monroe, and especially her costumes from one of my favourite movies Gentlemen Prefer Blondes! When I thought of beachwear, the first image in my mind was of these classic shots of a young Marilyn posing on the beach.

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Marilyn lounging

I also had a very definite idea of wanting my outfit to be  glamorous, something I imagine a Hollywood starlet from the 40s or 50s could lounge poolside in! With a cocktail in hand, of course. I knew right away that Linda McCarthy Costumier was the perfect woman for the job, who could help me develop and then expertly execute my vision! So after some consultation we decided on a 2 piece 40s style playsuit, adapted from an original vintage pattern, and in a beautiful champagne gold fabric.


Marilyn in playsuit 1951

Then of course, the accessories dah-ling! The great thing about putting together and outf to be worn on stage, is MORE IS MORE!
I found the perfect 40s reproduction cherry necklace and earrings set on Etsy from VivaLaLux.
My wedding shoes, gold with lucite heels from Irregular Choice, were perfect – with some  of my own customising with matching cherries! I added some vintage bangles, and a red and gold headscarf completed the look.

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And the finishing touch was the red and white striped pagoda style parasol! I ordered this off Ebay from a supplier in China, and although it took some time to arrive it was absolutely perfect. In fact, it was almost a reproduction of the one Marilyn is posing with in this famous image…d7d8b4cc7931cb20423443235bbe735c





I still have FIVE more fabulous outfits to share! I put together this little video, with footage from Zandy J Pinup Photographer of all of my parts from the competition…

I am feeling very excited about this year, and about sharing many more fashion, design and DIY posts with you soon!

Lorelei xx

Advice to my teenage self…

I don’t know about you, but I do most of my best (or maybe just the most?!) thinking in the car… and occasionally when I’m lying in bed at night and can’t sleep! And I’m constantly thinking about random things I’d like to write about, so why not, here’s a post that keeps popping up!

I drive past the local highschool on the way to pick my 5 year old daughter up from school.
I think about how I felt at that age… over a decade ago! That being said, I’m still a spring chicken. At only 31, if life treats me kindly, I still have two thirds of my life ahead of me!

My own highschool experience wasn’t that great. It was pretty much a matter of getting through it, so I could get the heck out of Dodge.. or the small town I spend my teenage years in anyway. I was the kid who hid in the library at lunch, and then in the last years, I just didn’t care … I had a car, and a few friends outside of the highschool microcosm. Highschool was a means to an end. I wish I knew some of the things I knew now…

Just for fun, here’s me at 17-18…
nat 18So what advice would I give to my teenage self?

  • This too, shall pass. Highschool is a blip on the radar. The best is yet to come.
  • Just because you can squeeze into it, doesn’t mean it looks good! Really – less, is not more
  • Low rise jeans and strapless anythings are just not flattering on your body… NO exceptions
  • Listen to your mother. She doesn’t not understand, she just pretends to because she loves you and doesn’t want you to make mistakes you might regret.
  • You will always be your Daddy’s little girl… try and see it from his point of view!
  • Travel! Forget being responsible, just do it. Life goes by fast, and seeing the world will only make your life richer.
  • Embark on a career in something you could love, not just something you think you are good at
  • Sunscreen is your friend. And shade. Laying out in the sun will just give you more freckles, and wrinkles
  • Embrace your differences, being like everyone else is BORING
  • Depression is a thing. It’s not normal, or just life, to feel sad all the time
  • Love your boobs. Enjoy your boobs. Hell, photograph them and frame the memory. Because post child, those perfect pert bosoms you longed to be larger will be but a distant memory…
  • You are not fat. You are beautiful! I promise!

What would you tell your teenage self now? I’d love to hear your comments! And please please, pictures of your teenage selves!!

Lorelei xx