Saturday, 26 May 2012

Patriotic Tipple

So Jubilee fever is well and truly upon us Brits at the moment.  Everywhere you go you can see Union Jack bunting strung up and because of the heat wave we are experiencing everyone seems to be in a much better mood.  I have been baking at home!!  As in I am a very sweaty Betty, not the cooking kind of baking.  So when I saw a tweet from Hendricks Gin about their Hendrick's Gin and Tonic Sorbet being sold at an event they were at in Brighton, I knew I had to make my own!

Gin and Tonic has long been the preferred tipple of many a Brit.  The origin lies in the fact that the main ingredient in tonic water, quinine, fends off the nasty bug malaria.  Back in the days of the British Empire, us Brits were dropping down from malaria left right and centre in the East.  Tonic water on its own is an acquired taste and there was difficulty getting down the necks of the Brits out in the East.  The love affair of us Brits and Gin goes way back.  In the olden days it was often safer to drink than water and cheaper than beer, which was taxed.  In 1750 11 million gallons of Gin was consumed in London alone.  So Gin was a natural choice to add to tonic and thus the Gin and Tonic was born.  It was a perfect match.  A slice of citrus fruit such as lime or lemon was also added to the mix to prevent scurvy.

I can often be seen enjoying a Gin and Tonic as my preferred drink at the pub, or on a hot day.  It's patriotic right?!  So I have to drink it ;).  And recently my very glam 92 year old Great Aunt let me into her little secret, in her youth she also enjoyed a G&T.  It was always her drink of choice until a friend introduced her to a Dry Martini............a little strong perhaps for a frequent drink but I may have to try a Dry Martini on her recommendation ;)

So for my version of Gin and Tonic Sorbet here are my ingredients and method:

You will need:
Your preferred Gin - I had Gordon's Gin lying around but I do also love Hendrick's!
Tonic Water - I found these handy little bottles in my supermarket, a big bottle often goes flat so the little ones prevent that happening as they are just the right portion.
A Tupperware box
Cling Film
A freezer


Using a glass pour out a Gin and Tonic to your preferred strength.  Cover the bottom of a tupperware box in clingfilm (I did this so it came out of the box more easily when I came to remove it).

Pour the mixed Gin and Tonic into your cling filmed tupperware box.  Repeat until box is around 2/3 full (it will expand slightly when frozen so don't fill up to top!).

Put into your freezer, preferably flat or as flat as possible.  Leave overnight to freeze.

The following day take it out and serve!  And it is as simple as that!!

Delicious and really refreshing on a hot summers day.

Let it melt a little and you can enjoy it as a drink, a sort of slushy, or let it set like I did and eat it as a sorbet.  You could also try adding slices of lemons or limes to the mix to infuse whilst freezing, but I added my slice on the side.  You could also make them into Lolly's with one of those freezer moulds, or make ice cubes out of it to put in your G&T drink.  The possibilities are endless!!!  I really don't know why I didn't think of it before.

I hope you enjoy your own G&T Sorbet, perhaps you can make it for the Jubilee celebrations - you kind of have to as it is patriotic ;)

Betty xxx

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

NEW PRODUCT ALERT - The Nell Robe in Black

With the massive success of the Nell Robe, a saucy little number in a shade of red that oozes old school glamour, I am happy to say that a black version has been made.  As soon as the red version hit the Betty Blue's Loungerie shop (and the Small promptly sold out!) I had a flood of requests to make this beauty in black as well.  Well, my loyal fans, your wish is my command!  As I type this a group of very hard working Welsh ladies and gentlemen are cutting and stitching and pressing and finishing them off to the very best of British standards.  And even more excitingly I will have these in stock for the Victorious Vintage event at Portsmouth's Historic Docks.

Morgana looking ever the femme fatale in her Black Nell Robe

Of course those of you who pre ordered will have yours posted out to you as soon as they hit my desk - which is looking to be 31st May/1st June.  And you can pre order here if you haven't done so yet.  There is however one little piece of information I have neglected to tell you.  The Black Nell Robe, has the option to be Crystallized.

Black Nell Crystallized Robe Close Up
You can choose to have your very own Black Nell Robe covered in hundreds and hundreds of tiny sparkly jet black crystals.  I was very excited a couple of weeks ago to get a shipment of 50, 000 crystals and wanted to crystallize EVERYTHING in sight, but I controlled myself and limited it to the lace panels on this dark seductive gown.  There are a combination of two different sized crystals which combined together catch the light giving a gorgeous shimmering effect.  Each crystal is individually hand placed and hotfixed into position, picking out the floral detail in the lace pattern.

The photos really do not do the beauty of the Crystallized version justice.  You will just have to buy one to see ;-) - yours for the brilliant sum of £150.

As with the red version I expect this to sell out quickly so do not miss your chance to own such a beautiful and alluring gown.  A little stock update on the Red Nell Robe, I have only 1 left in Medium and very few Large and of course the Small has completely SOLD OUT.
Morgana looking lovely as always in a smouldering back view
For now, I have plenty of Black Nell Robe's on their way to me.  The plain Black Nell Robe, as with the original red version, is £85.  It is made of the same buttery soft jersey, that is stretchy and comfy, of the original Nell.  It also has the same beautiful lace midriff section that moulds to the curves of your body, nipping you in, in all the right places.

Why not pre order your own Black Nell Robe here.  And remember you can choose to crystallize your Black Nell Robe, just choose the option in the drop down menu 'Crystallize My Robe!'

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this little beauty, just leave me a comment :)
Lots of Love
Betty xxxx

Monday, 14 May 2012

Long Live Queen Liz!

So I said that I am all busy at the moment preparing for one thing and another, and I did not lie!  I have booked Betty Blue's Loungerie a stall for the forthcoming Jubilee weekend of our dear Queenie.  You may have seen various posts from other bloggers about said particular event.  Well it is with my pleasure, that I am able to tell you I am taking part in:

Victorious Vintage at Portsmouth's Historic Dockyard
Photo courtesy of Hamilton Studios
This fabulous event takes place the Jubilee weekend so that is  2nd and 3rd June 2012, from 10am - 10pm.  There will be music, stalls and lots lots more fun stuff, so if you are a local yocal make sure you come on down!  The Betty Blue's stall will be in the Boutique Market Area and I will be sharing it with the lovely lady at Katie Vale Designs, a fabulous Milliner.  The event is free to get in to so you have no excuses to come and say hello to us!

Photo courtesy of Hamilton Studios
I personally can't wait.  Not only is it an excellent excuse for a tipple (or two or three!) in honour of her maj, I will have the beautiful new Nell Robe in Black IN STOCK!!!  Fresh from my lovely factory!  So you can be one of the first to get your hands on one.  The Nell in Red sold out very quickly in Small, and I have limited stock in Medium and Large, so don't miss out on the Black version!

Also in honour of the event I'm sure I will be doing some kind of promotion or give away, so it really will be a fantastic opportunity to visit the stall and take away some beautiful loungerie!  Make sure you stay tuned here, on my facebook page or on twitter for more details :)

Lots of Love 
Betty xxx

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Scary Challenges

This post isn't going to have any pretty pictures so here is a funny picture of my dog, just to keep you all entertained.

Frank often sleeps with his nose all squished like this :)
So May is upon us and how quickly it has come around!  A lot has been happening at Blue's HQ which has panicked me into a frenzy of productivity.  The reason?  Because I have booked myself a photo shoot.

I have booked a session with the fabulous photographer/make up artist/model/creative genius that is known as Morgana.  The model is to be no other than little old me.  The thought totally petrifies me but I have decided to do it for a number of reasons which I will now list to try and convince myself and you that I am doing the right thing.

1)  As a brand on a crowded "Retro Repro Scene" it can be difficult to set oneself apart from others.  There are several pin up models that do the rounds so to speak and you see them being used from company to company.  This is because it is hard to find a really good model that is easy to work with and delivers a version of your vision, so when you find one you tend to use them over and over as you know they won't waste time and money.  Good models are like gold dust!  I ummed and ahhed over model choice and who to use, who hasn't been used by my competitors, a blond, a brunette all that sort of thing but really everyone has been used.  I need a new face, someone who hasn't been used and can crawl inside my brain and know what I want without me having to tell them. I need a mind reader!  At the same time I have had several people tell me I should try doing pin up modelling.  I have been told this by a few people now so I'm starting to think maybe there is something in it, and apparently I have a "vintage" face.  So I had a light bulb moment.  Which leads me to my next point:

2)  In life it is good to scare yourself.  I was once told that it is a good exercise to scare yourself by pushing yourself out of your comfort zone.  By pushing yourself you can achieve bigger and better things than you ever imagined.  My first pant wettingly scary thing was to start my own business.  Scary in lots and lots of ways but I did it, and here I am with my own clothing brand.  The though of modelling is a wee bit scary to me.  I have always been a quiet person and would rather sit in the background than be the centre of attention, but that kind of doesn't work when you have a business that involves selling your product to people.  I have had to get over my quietness and approach people and engage with them in order to convince them to part with their hard earned cash.  It also scares me because modelling is actually very hard - well at least modelling well is hard.  Not everyone can do it effortlessly.  It may sound easy to just stand there and look pretty, but there are lots and lots of things to think about.  This leads me on to my third reason to model.

3) As the designer of my garments, I know what I want the images to look like.  Product images can make or break a company.  If you have dodgy models or photography, no matter how good your product is, it can come across as amateur or just plain wrong.  Especially in the lingerie industry there is a very fine line between classy and sleazy.  So it would be perfect for me to model because I know what the garments should look like and I know which design details I want to highlight.

4) The last reason I convinced myself I should be the model is for financial reasons.  I don't have to pay myself if I do it!  Instead I can spend the money on frivolous things like cake and cocktails :-) or sensible things like fabric or manufacturing..........I know which I'll be going with ;-)

The only drawback in my grand master plan is, what if I am really shit?!  I'm hoping this isn't the case as I have looked at lots of inspirational images to prepare myself, observed others in action and done a little bit of practise.  I'm approaching it as I might if I was playing a character in a play.  If I take on another personality of someone confident and pin up like, then I may just pull it off.  If in doubt, fake it!  And I am in good hands.  Morgana has been doing a series of make over shoots and without exception she has made EVERYONE look amazing.  Take a look at her blog for the before and after shots.  And at worse it will just be a fun day dressing up in pretty clothes and having my hair and make up done.  In the words of Dr Pepper, what's the worst that could happen?!

Over to you lot!  Any hints, tips and so forth would be much appreciated :)

And to finish another fun picture of no relevance just because

Kitty did not want me to do a jigsaw, also can I just point out the cheeses of France plate in the background AMAZING!

Betty xxx