Ruby becomes a Mermaid for a morning!

Being a summer babe, I LOVE the water.  I was an active swimmer as a kid and was really excited to give mermaid swimming a try!

Aqua Mermaid,  AquaMermaid.com, is a Chicago company that offers kids and adults the opportunity to swim like a mermaid!  So, I snagged my friend Maura Trouble and we headed out this past Sunday morning to get our mermaid on.

The first thing you do is get fitted for your tail.  Don't worry, they accommodate everyone - even us 6ft tall mermaids!  The tail includes the fin and a soft fabric overlay.  It took a minute to get used to not have two legs for swimming and balance.  You can even buy your own tail if you want to perfect your swimming.

Once we all have our tails on, they showed us a handful of mermaid swimming techniques and even some fun paired swimming tricks.  When we got our "mermaid legs", we headed down to the deep end of the pool to work on some flips and tricks.

After an hour in the pool, I was tired - it's quite a workout and lots of fun!  

Here's a pic from our morning in the pool!

Atlanta Pinup Scene

Back to blogging after a crazy few weeks from work!  The great part about traveling for work was that I had an opportunity to visit with a pinup friend down in Atlanta.  She also organized a shoot while I was there.  I thought I'd give a shout out to the lovely people down in Atlanta that are keeping that pinup scene alive and well!

As soon as I knew when I would be heading down to Atlanta, I reached out to my friend down here, Miss Penny Rouge.  We had met last winter in Denver when we both competed in the 1940's Ball Miss Vintage Contest.  I was looking forward to meeting up with her in her hometown.  She did ALL of the legwork in putting together a really fun shoot while I was there.

She was able to wrangle in David Hobbs Photography to be our excellent photographer and secured a really cool location - The Dixie Pinup Studios.  If you are ever in Atlanta (or you live there) I definitely suggest looking them up.  The Dixie Pinup Studios is an ADORABLE mid-century modern home that has all sorts of rooms that make great backdrops for your shooting needs.

I snuck in a few selfies while we were there - like this one.

Also, stolen from Penny's instagram account, this selfie with our amazing photographer.

I've got some great photos, some posted below, but all you will be able to see if you are following me on Facebook and Instagram.  Some will even be published in January - so stay tuned!

Check out my new Atlanta friends on Facebook so you can stay in touch with them as well!

David Hobbs Photography, Penny Rouge and Dixie Pinup Studios

Penny and I having fun at the Tiki Bar

Penny and I having fun at the Tiki Bar



My first Comic Con

I'm sad this post is almost a month after the Wizard World Comic Con event!  At any rate, hopefully this summary of our whirlwind four days will still be entertaining.  

I was attending the event as a vendor with The Retro Pinups signing calendars and prints that we had for sale.  My pinup gal pal, Ada Atomic, was my partner in crime for the weekend and we had fun with Sadie North and Bettie Bellini when they could join us!

This was my first time attending and experiencing the "con" life and a comic con convention - and I have to say, it exceeded my expectations!

The event kicked off with a short day on Thursday.  Ada and I weren't anticipating many visitors on that opening night since it was the first day and happen to be a weekday.  We opted to dress more casually.  I wore my superman comic print skirt that I made and a print yellow sweater.  People will calling me "Comic Book Pinup".

Thursday Outfit: Skirt - made by me, crinoline - Hell Bunny, sweater - JCrew, hair flower - made by me

Thursday Outfit: Skirt - made by me, crinoline - Hell Bunny, sweater - JCrew, hair flower - made by me

Surprisingly to us, we were swamped with visitors at our booth.  We signed calendars and prints and took LOTS and LOTS of pictures.  I feel like we got a small taste of what the celebrities that attend these shows must feel like.  We joked that our cheeks hurt by the end of the evening.  We left on Thursday night feeling excited about what the next three days would hold.

Our first Comic Con selfie at our booth

Our first Comic Con selfie at our booth

Oh, Thursday night was also our first taste of the cosplayers that attend these events.  On our way out of the hall, we ran into a Ghostbuster who had a pretty amazing costume.  The '80s child in me couldn't resist a photo!

Who ya gonna call?

Who ya gonna call?

Friday was our first full day at the convention.  Sadie was able to join us and the three of us decided to dress "picnic ready".  I wore my gingham dress from Collectif and my faux bob hairstyle.  Perfect for a summery look!

Friday Outfit: Dress - Collectif, shoes - Bandolino

Friday Outfit: Dress - Collectif, shoes - Bandolino

This was the day we were able to get to know more of the vendors in our area.  We met some really lovely people - including Java from Bachelor Pad Magazine and Ruby Joule who joined him at his booth.

Sadie, myself, Ruby Joule and Ada on Day 2!

Sadie, myself, Ruby Joule and Ada on Day 2!

We stayed consistently busy on Friday - exactly what we had expected after Thursday.  We took so many pictures and had developed a few fans that returned a few times.  It was great to see how well received we were since we were pretty different from the typical vendor.

By the time the day was over, we were ready to get off of our feet! Some of our new vendor friends had told us that Saturday will be even busier than Friday, so we definitely needed to get some beauty sleep.

We were up bright and early on Saturday planning out attire for the day.  I decided to wear my new Stop Staring dress I had just received with my vintage army cap to go very traditional "pinup".  This outfit was overwhelmingly popular - I'm sure because its easily recognizable.  

Saturday Outfit: Dress- Stop Staring, hat - vintage, shoes - Nine West

Saturday Outfit: Dress- Stop Staring, hat - vintage, shoes - Nine West

If we thought that we took a lot of photos for and with people on the two days before, we were swamped on Saturday!  Some of our new fans made sure to stop by again to say hello as well!

The best part (for me) about Saturday was the fact that we finally got to see some more cosplayers.  Having our booth be so busy during the days was great, but we hadn't really gotten a chance to walk around the convention and see other folks.  Saturday was the first day we had some cosplayers walk past - and I took full advantage of taking photos with some of my favorites.

Finally found the Captain America to my Peggy Carter!  (PS - this is the same cosplayer that was the ghostbuster on Thursday)

Finally found the Captain America to my Peggy Carter!  (PS - this is the same cosplayer that was the ghostbuster on Thursday)

Ada and I found an astronaut

Ada and I found an astronaut

Saucy Jack Sparrow got a kiss from this pinup

Saucy Jack Sparrow got a kiss from this pinup

This may have been my favorite costume of the weekend - Disney's Robin Hood is my favorite Disney movie and I LOVED this reference!  PLUS, the costume was amazing.  Most creative for sure!!

This may have been my favorite costume of the weekend - Disney's Robin Hood is my favorite Disney movie and I LOVED this reference!  PLUS, the costume was amazing.  Most creative for sure!!

Saturday was also Ada's birthday so we did our best to give her a fun-filled day while she with us!  I think we all crashed into our beds on Saturday night knowing that we still had all day Sunday.

Sunday I decided to play off the success of my military outfit the day before and wear some of my Air Force gear.  It was so nice to meet a few former Airmen at the event that loved my outfit.  I borrowed the skirt from Ada (yay for gal pals that wear the same size!) to finish my look.  Admittedly, I also planned my outfit around the ability to wear sneakers - my poor feet were so tired!

Sunday Outfit: Skirt - Collectif, shirt and hat - Air Force, shoes - Keds

Sunday Outfit: Skirt - Collectif, shirt and hat - Air Force, shoes - Keds

Ada was dressed like Rosie the Riveter and we enjoyed playing up our "supporting the troops" bit for the day.  Our streak of good luck continued on Sunday with a steady stream of new visitors and many that came back from previous days to make purchases.  We also got a moment to pinup fangirl when A Vintage Vanity stopped by our booth with her nephews!

Ada, A Vintage Vanity, Bettie and myself

Ada, A Vintage Vanity, Bettie and myself

On Sunday, we had the privilege of meeting the most adorable little vintage loving lady.  She adored Ada because Ada looked like Lucy.  It was so cute to see her have a conversation with Ada about her favorite I Love Lucy episode.  (hint: she said "she couldn't pick one because there are so many good ones"!)  We had to take a photo with her doing that classic Rosie the Riveter pose.

By the time we closed our booth down on Sunday, we had met so many wonderful people - many of whom I'm thrilled to keep in contact with.  

PLUS, I think I caught the Comic Con bug - I can definitely see myself attending one just for fun.




The Retro Pinups 2016 Calendar

It's finally here!

I've mentioned the 2016 Calendar project back when the kicktstarter was going on and also shared some behind the scenes photos while waiting for the printing to be finished.  But now, I can finally share that the calendars are ready to go!

Boxes and boxes of calendars!

Boxes and boxes of calendars!

For everyone that purchased one during the kickstarter campaign, the autographed calendar will be in the mail soon!  (It takes some time to get all four ladies lovely signatures)

For those of you who haven't purchased one yet, there is still time!  Calendars will be available to purchase on The Retro Pinups' website.

BUT, if you are in the Chicago area, there are TWO opportunities in August where you can come and get your calendar signed IN PERSON with all the lovely ladies from the calendar.  Details about the dates (both in the third week of August) can be found on my Events page.  Come and get a calendar.  Take a picture with me and even pick up an autographed print.

Can't wait to share these with everyone!


OOTD: Celebrating my birthday

This past Friday was my birthday and I had plenty of vintage/retro activities planned.  Because of that, I was able to wear the new dress I made - which I'm excited to show you.

On Friday, my friend Erin was taking me to dinner and then over to a local retro bar with a great tiki patio.  Dinner was at a local Asian restaurant, Wasabi, and the retro bar is also a neighborhood favorite, The Orbit Room.  I decided to wear my new handmade dress (which I had first worn the week prior for an early birthday dinner with my aunt)

Dinner at Joey Gerard's supper club - classic booth, classic decor, classic meal

Dinner at Joey Gerard's supper club - classic booth, classic decor, classic meal

To make this dress, I used Simplicity Pattern #1194.  The pattern calls for a heavier (or fancier) fabric, but I wanted something a bit more casual.  I also wanted to use the rayon I had left -something I had bought at a previous fabric sale.  I used pattern C for this dress.

Simplicity pattern #1194

Simplicity pattern #1194

Being that this was my first time making a full dress (not counting a Halloween costume over five years ago), there are definitely some areas that need improvement.  However, for me it works and now I know what areas I want to try to tweak and adjust the next time I use this pattern.  I also know where my "problem" areas are for when I make another dress.  A dress form would definitely help - time to add it to the wishlist.

Overall, I really like it and see myself wearing it often.  For my birthday dinner I paired it with a pair of nude Bandolino sandals (the most comfortable shoes ever) and a purple hair flower.

dress: handmade, shoes: DSW, hair flower: Nicocco Creations

dress: handmade, shoes: DSW, hair flower: Nicocco Creations

Birthday celebrations continued on Saturday, when a best friend from college came into town and spent the day with me.  We spent some time roasting in the heat in my backyard and then headed out to dinner at Gyu Kaku downtown.  Its been ages since I was at a Japanese BBQ and we had a great time at dinner!  After dinner, we grabbed a drink at Sable Kitchen & Bar (one of my favorites in the city) and then up to a Vaudezilla Burlesque show.

Since it was another hot day out, and we were going to see a burlesque show, I decided to wear my light weight circle skirt and crop top that is reproduction vintage.  Hair up and with a hair flower, my outfit was complete!

skirt: Top Vintage, top: Doll Me Up (similar) , shoes: DSW, large hair flower: Nicocco Creations, small hair flower: DIY by me

skirt: Top Vintage, top: Doll Me Up (similar) , shoes: DSW, large hair flower: Nicocco Creations, small hair flower: DIY by me

Sunday rounded out my birthday activities with a shopping trip to the Vintage Garage where I picked up an amazing '40s skirt and a suitcase in pristine condition.

I had a wonderful birthday weekend and it was the perfect way to transition into the last half of the summer.

 

Competition Time: Blue Ribbon Beer Run - Bombshells Contest

This past Saturday was the Blue Ribbon Beer Run Bombshell Contest up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  In it's third year, it really is becoming a very popular car event in the city.  I love any excuse to get up to Milwaukee, so I was really excited to participate in this contest and check out the event.  I had heard about it after the event last year, so it's was on my reminder list for a year!

When I arrived on Friday, we had a quick check in and walk through to become familiar with the space - where we needed to be in the morning, what the stage looked like, etc.  I also took the time to take a quick peek at the cars that were already there.  I love great classic cars!  The Historic Pabst Brewery is a fantastic location itself, so much history!  I was born and raised in Milwaukee, and my dad's family has lived their all their lives.  We have a rich family history in Milwaukee and several family members worked for the breweries there.

Friday night was an early birthday dinner at Joey Gerard's Supper Club with my aunt (the perfect retro dinner) and then prepping for Saturday. 

Saturday morning, my aunt treated me to her famous french toast - which was just what I needed to start off the morning.  I finished getting ready and then headed over to the the Best Place at the Historic Pabst Brewery.

Quick pose in front of the PBR truck - photo by my aunt

Quick pose in front of the PBR truck - photo by my aunt

I had a little bit of time to walk around the event and check out the cars before we had to line up for the contest.  While wandering around, I ran into two gentlemen that were at the World of Wheels event back in February.  They recognized me from that contest, which was so nice.  I enjoyed getting to chat with them a bit and take a few more photos with their amazing cars!

With this gorgeous pink caddy... owned by one of the guys who I met back in February.  Photo by my aunt

With this gorgeous pink caddy... owned by one of the guys who I met back in February.  Photo by my aunt

There were 23 lovely ladies in this contest and it was fun to see some people I've met before and meet some new folks.  The contest was really well put together and it seemed like everyone really enjoyed themselves.   Each lady had her own bubbly personality and style - which really highlighted the diversity of the pinup community.

Thanks Jessica for the contest photo!

Thanks Jessica for the contest photo!

I didn't place, but it was a wonderful event - full of terrific people, awesome cars, and beautiful weather!  I highly recommend this car show if you are in the area next summer.

So many pinups! Photo by Sockdollager Photography

So many pinups! Photo by Sockdollager Photography




Competition Time: Preparing for a Pinup Contest

Since I have a competition coming up this Saturday, I thought this would be an appropriate time to talk about how I prepare for a contest.  Obligatory disclaimer - Everyone has their own ways to prepare, this is just mine. :)

Chicago's Motoblot Pinup Competition 2014

Chicago's Motoblot Pinup Competition 2014

To back it up a step, there are actually a few things I consider before deciding to enter a contest.  Where is the contest being held?  Does it work in my schedule? It there a cause/group tied to the event?  Do I support that cause?   The first of these are pretty clear - location and timing.  If you can't even get to the event, there is no point in continuing further.  If you can, is it the type of event you want to participate in.  For me, I prefer contests tied to classic car shows and geared towards classic pinup style.  There are 1,000s of contests out there - there is something for everyone.  

When I have said yes to the first set of criteria, I can take a look further before submitting my application for the contest.  What's the criteria for entering and judging? What are the steps involved in the contest?  Just like the cause or group tied to the event, lots of events have many different judging criteria.  If you like the criteria involved and think you fit within their requirements - go for it!  Also, make sure you are okay with all the different sections of the judging.  I tend to like the straight forward contests, anything with a talent portion is instantly off the table - at least until I can come up with my talent. 

NOW, that we've decided to enter the competition - let's discuss preparing.  I'm going to bypass the "how do I get there?  Where do I stay (if it's out of town)?" conversation as that is pretty standard.

DOING YOUR RESEARCH

Okay, so we are in!  Now, what do we know about this contest?  I do my research.  If I'm not familiar with the actual event, I research.  I research the judges (this will be important later) and I make sure I am very familiar with the judging criteria.  Also, it doesn't hurt to check out who your competition is.  Lots of girls start to become familiar because you've seen them at other events and/or you become friends.  Everyone has a style and different personality and that can be helpful in your preparing as well.

Classic Car beauties (with Ada Atomic) at the World of Wheels Pinup Competition 2015

Classic Car beauties (with Ada Atomic) at the World of Wheels Pinup Competition 2015

WHAT TO WEAR!

Every competition has a category of judging that is based solely on appearance - it's a beauty pageant.  So what you wear is going to be important.  In researching your judging criteria and the goals of the competition, you should already have an idea about what they are looking for.  Also, consider your surroundings - is it outside?  It this winter?  Is it a fancy event?  Is it family friendly?  All of these things will help you narrow down your attire.  Then consider the judges - what do you think will make you stand out for the judges.  ALSO, you want to inject your own personality into this.  Some girls come up with a whole outfit concept - car mechanic, traveling girl with luggage, etc.  Does that work with you?  For me, I tend to gravitate towards classic vintage looks and then work with that to fit the theme.  BOTTOM LINE: Stick with what you are comfortable in and your comfort will allow your personality to will shine through during the competition!

Cavalcade Pinup Competition in Detroit, MI 2015

Cavalcade Pinup Competition in Detroit, MI 2015

PREPPING FOR JUDGING

Alright, so we've done our research and picked out our outfit.  Now what?  Now we prepare for the competition.  You already should know who the judges are and what they will be looking for.  That usually includes if there will be a question and answer portion of the competition.  Competitions may ask things like "what is your favorite classic car?", "Who's your favorite pinup?", "What's your favorite dress style - swing or wiggle?", etc.  You should know the answers to questions like this - especially the car questions if it's at a car show.  So be ready!  Sometimes, the host of the competition will let you know ahead of time what questions will be asked so you can be prepared.  Sometimes, you have to answer on the fly.  Either way - just be yourself.  These questions should reflect who you ARE, NOT what you think the judges want you to be.

1940s Winter Ball  Pinup Contest - Denver, CO 2014

1940s Winter Ball  Pinup Contest - Denver, CO 2014

and finally....

TIME FOR COMPETITION

We've done all the leg work.  We are here at the competition and are ready to go.  I like to check in with the competition earlier rather than later, so I have some time to walk around the event.  Walk around and say hi to people.  Check out the cars if it's a car show - basically make yourself available to people at the event.  Often, those people are the ones that will come to watch the contest and while the judging may not require audience participation, the judges will still notice if lots of attendees like you.  ENJOY YOUR TIME AT THE EVENT!  The people in this vintage community are awesome.  Ask them about their cars - they know A LOT!  Look at the great merchandise and get to know the other girls.  This is for fun after all right?? 

Hopefully this gave you a bit of an idea about the prep work involved in competitions.  I'm off this week for the Blue Ribbon Beer Run Pinup Contest.  Fingers crossed!

Miss World of Wheels 2015 - Milwaukee, WI

Miss World of Wheels 2015 - Milwaukee, WI