Friday, February 26, 2010

The Blind Side: My movie review

A friend and I watched Sandra Bullock's new movie last night, "The Blind Side". I hadn't read any reviews or watched any previews; all I knew about it was that Sandra Bullock was in it, and she had an Oscar nomination for it. I thought I had to see it to believe it.

I always like Sandra Bullock movies- they are usually Romantic Comedies, filled with fluff, and very easy to watch- however, she is usually playing the same or very similar character in every movie.

So for those, like me, who do watch her movies, you will be surprised- pleasantly surprised when you watch The Blind Side. For once her character surprises you, and it is completely different to whatever she has done before.

Sandra plays a good willing Christian mother (Mrs Leigh Anne Tuohy) with a family, in a virtually all white society in the Southern States (yes, the accent is there too). Mike Oher is "Big Mike", the homeless boy the Tuohy's take into their home one night, when they feel sorry for him.

Like so many other football/rugby movies (think "Remember the Titans" or the latest one, "Invictus"), this deals with racism and prejudice, but I guess you could say at a more personal level, or perhaps on a level that someone like me could relate to, as the story is based loosely around Mrs Tuohy's point of view.

The Blind Side is a great movie, and one that you could easily send your parents to go and see it, as well as send your husband or boyfriend to see it. I think they have done a good job on creating a movie that is for everyone- easy to watch, has a little bit of humour, has some great acting, and has a moral to the story at the heart of it all. I walked out of the cinema loving it!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Penelope Red Purple Floral Corset Dress

I added the Penelope Red Purple Floral Corset Dress to my etsy shop today.

I wanted to show you what goes into the inside of this dress, as the inside is just as important as the outside when it comes to a corset dress!

First, I make the corset. To see the making of one of my corsets, look at The Making Of a Penelope Red Corset blog posting. It is slightly different- as I don't need to decorate the outside of the corset for the dress, but otherwise as much care and time goes into it!

I make the corset out of a tan coloured fabric, as you don't want it to show through the white background.

I place an invisible zip, and a lovely pearl-like button at the centre back. All seams are matched!

The entire dress is fully lined with a white cotton/poly- I chose the cotton as this dress will be worn in the warmer months (no doubt), and I thought cotton would be the most comfortable to wear, and the poly blend would allow for less ironing needed!

The corset, with a lace-up back allows for you to tie at as tight or as loose as you want (within reason). It means that the corset will hold the dress in place, and there will be no need for adjusting the dress- you can wear this and be comfortable knowing the dress will stay where it is meant to!

It is always nice to see a few extra images of the photo shoot. These photos were taken in Sydney, at The Domain, by Anna Leschinskaya of Fotografika

The large purple floral design, on top of the white background really is an eye-catching print! The fabric is a cotton/elastane which means that it is quite durable, easy to clean and hardly creases. It has a soft, and slightly sheen feel to it.

I love the top photo, where the leaves are up in the air. We saw these beautiful autumn leaves, and we just had an idea and ran with it. It only took two shots to get that great photo!

The Purple Floral Corset Dress is available now in my etsy shop. If you have any questions, just email me at: or start a conversation with me on etsy.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Inspirations: "Birth of Venus" and Jane Austen

I have been thinking about creating a new range of designs and I have decided to use two inspirations, to create something a little different...

Whenever I read Jane Austen novels, I think of the flowing dresses and beautiful fabrics. One of my favourite DVD's is "Pride and Prejudice", with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle. The Regency period used Empire lines- what most people would call a "baby doll" style; Grecian decoration, Egyptian ornament, Spencer coats, and military influences. I will borrow a little from this period for the silhouette of my designs. Click here to read more about costume's from this period. All costume photos in this posting are from the website.

The painting above would have to be one of my all-time favourites; Sandro Botticelli's "The Birth Of Venus". I love the colours, the beauty of Venus, the West wind, Zephyrus and Flora, the spring that are blowing her gently to the shore. I want to use the colours from this painting, as well as the beautiful femininity to help inspire my designs.

I will use a lot of pastel colours (coral, pink, aqua, mint, blues, creams, etc), and lots of florals, as well as floaty fabrics, and I have a great pleated pastel pink fabric that I want to use. I recently bought quite a lot of vintage and antique lace, so this might be added to the mix as well!

I can't wait to see what I come up with, and share my creations with you! I probably won't have them on sale for atleast a month or more, as I will want to take photos first, but I am too excited to not share my ideas with you!

Monday, February 22, 2010

City Snapshot: Moscow

Back in 2006, my husband and I were lucky enough to travel to Moscow, and stay with our good friends Alex and Anna. If you are looking for a completely different experience when travelling to a city, look no further than Moscow.

As Moscow is not one the easiest of cities for most people to travel to, I thought I would share some of our photos with you.

The above photo is taken in a small town, about 1 hours train ride from Moscow city centre, named Sergiyev Posad. Even the train ride there is quite different from other countries... at each stop new people will come on board and try to sell to you. They will sell anything from hair combs, to toilet paper, to alcohol, to food- you name it, they probably have it- any opportunity to sell something!

The main attraction in Sergiyev Posad is the monastery. As you can see from these photos, the colours and architecture are very different to anything seen in Western Europe (and Australia for that matter). You can definitely see the Byzantine influence in the structure of the buildings- this is one of the things I truly loved about Russia.

One night was spent at a free open air concert, in the middle of Moscow city. Gotan Project were performing that night- they were fantastic!

The above photo and below were taken in the Red Square and Kremlin. If you ever get the chance to visit the Red Square, go to the Army and Military Museum. In there you will find the most amazing jewels, Fabergé eggs, and decorated books, royal robes, etc. AMAZING!

I have always liked over-the-top, highly decorated and embellished designs and artwork. It is amazing to think that the above room is basically covered in gold gilding! Imagine the work involved!

Another difference to Moscow, and Russia in general that I noticed, if you ever go there- dress up! If you go casual, you will stand out. Even when we visited parks and outdoor areas, the local women would wear heels and dresses. As Anna explained, Summer is a very short time for them, and they spend most of their time covered in coats and jackets, so while the weather is nice, they will take any opportunity to wear something nice! My kind of place!

If you have the chance to visit Russia, I recommend it. Moscow is not as tourist friendly as
St. Petersburg, but it has a distinct flavour that is certainly different to any other! Make sure you arrange either a tour guide or someone who speaks Russian to show you around- as you will need it, but it is well worth it!

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Penelope Red at The Rocks Market: 27th & 28th Feb 2010

Penelope Red will be trading at The Rocks Markets this coming Saturday 20th and Sunday, 21st of February, 2010. The trading hours are 10am til 5pm.

I am planning to have a new Wrap Around Halter Top style in bright red! I will hopefully post this new style on the blog by the end of the week.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

One Top; Many Possibilities!

The Lichenstein Blouse is being worn with the Jade Bolero and Black Mucha Pants- all Penelope Red!

Don't you just love designs that are versatile, and easily worn?! The Penelope Red Lichtenstein Blouse is definitely one of those... The style is a very loose fit, but still very flattering to the female figure. The possibilities of combinations are only limited to your imagination!

I have included in this posting a few of my favourite ways of wearing this style, and there are many more!

Worn with my favourite black leather vintage mini skirt, and my fabulous red boots! More of a rock chick look- oh, and the funky belt was another vintage find.

Above, the Lichtenstein Blouse is worn with the Penelope Red Navy Fluted Skirt- I love this look for the office, or perhaps even for a formal occasion.

Wear the blouse with your favourite pair of jeans, heels, and a gorgeous belt- chic and effortless.

Again, the mini skirt and a pair of hot black heels. Really, you could pick out any of the colours from this print, and wear a skirt in one of those colours- imagine how hot it would look with a bright red skirt, or perhaps aqua!

Wear the Lichtenstein Blouse with a plain black long sleeve top in winter to transform it into a garment for your winter wardrobe as well.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Etsy Olde World Charm

Marie Antoinette Lavender Mint Pumps by OxfordHeaven. Aren't these shoes gorgeous!? A little piece of artwork for your feet!

I love items that look like they have been transported from another time! All of these items will make you think of Queens and Explorers; of palaces and old ruins; of ships and telescopes...

Vintage Sepia Replogle 12 in Globe with Wood Base from thesundaytimesmarket. I have always wanted an antique globe- it would be interesting to see just how much the world has changed!

Fleur De Lis New Orleans themed Art quilt wallhanging by quilterscabin
. The craftsmanship on this quilt is amazing! I could only imagine how long it must have taken- and how long it would have taken to gain the experience and skills needed to produce such beautiful work!

Biscotti - luxurious mixed fabric ruffled flower brooch with repurposed vintage button by realisationcreations
The soft layers in this brooch, and the colours look beautiful together!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Photographer Milena Dekic from “I Love Wednesdays”: An Interview

Last week, I sent a newsletter to my mailing list, and it included the following interview ( I have also placed more of her photos in this blog post)...To join the mailing list of Penelope Red, email me:, and just let me know you would like to subscribe.

Please note, all of the photos taken in this posting were taken by Milena from I Love Wednesdays.

One of the great things about working in this industry, is the chance to work with brilliant and talented people. Milena Dekic from “I Love Wednesdays” is one of the inspiring and very talented people whom I have had the pleasure of working with recently. She was the photographer who created the beautiful images below:

I thought you would all enjoy to read a little about Milena’s work....

1. What inspires you?

I think the only way I can really answer that question without answering "everything!" is to tell you that I love stories. Stories have a way of weaving themselves into your being. Everyone has a story; whether it is good, bad, funny, indifferent, filled with silliness; everyone has a story. My job as a photographer is to capture that story, and I am grateful for it every day. Sometimes I get to create my own story and other times I get to be a part of other people's; to document intimate moments that are only really shared with closest family and friends. To be let into other people's lives and their stories and see them unfold, really, how could you not be inspired?

2. How did you start in this profession?

I didn't really think that being a creative as something that I could do as a job, it was always something that I just loved to do. I've drawn from the time I could hold a pencil and taken photos from the time my parents would let me play with the camera. Deciding that this was something I wanted to pursue as a career was really surreal. I didn't do art at school, but I applied for a scholarship to design college anyway and I honestly don't know what they saw in the exam that I sat, but I got accepted. I will never forget one of my favourite teacher's reactions when I told her, "well, that makes sense, the back of your essays are always covered in drawings," considering she had me for history, it's rather telling.

My professional start was as a Junior Designer for a photography and design studio. I didn't really know what I was getting myself in to and I really couldn't believe that someone was going to pay me to be creative. I ended up being the Senior Designer and Retoucher and was involved with every photo shoot that the studio did. I think back on it and how absolutely crazy it was to go from uni and not knowing anything to running projects from beginning to end and liaising with clients.

3. What projects are you working on?

At the moment, I'm working on a photo shoot for a new clothing label, a collaborative photo shoot with a fantastic make-up artist, design projects for a couple of IT companies, a few wedding album designs, scouting locations for upcoming engagement & wedding location photos and a few personal projects I've got in the works. It sounds rather crazier than it actually is.

4. What are your aims and ideas for the future?

Continue doing what I'm doing and what I love. I'm moving more and more to doing weddings, which I am so grateful for, because it encompasses everything that I'm passionate about; photography, design and stories. I think I'm really lucky that I get to share the celebration of two people in love, and it is awesome to get to be a part of all of it.

If you are planning a wedding, or know of someone who is, and you are in Sydney, then Milena could help to capture your wonderful day! You can contact Milena at I Love Wednesdays on the following: