Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Not So Ideal Home Show

Last week I popped along to Earls Court to the Ideal Home Show.  I went with my Mummy who had got free tickets to the show.  It was my first time going, and the last time my Mum had been was about 40/45 years ago with her Mummy!

My Mum had excitedly told me all about how the Ideal Home Show was an exciting place to view all the new and innovative bits and bobs for your home.  There were 7 or 8 show homes that exhibited such items that you could wonder around and look at all the mod cons.  In the 50's/60's when her Mum took her, novel new items such as plastic apple corers, were thought of as exciting and new.  Something I'm sure we all take for granted now!  So I was really looking forward to seeing new and innovative items that will change my life ;), like a plastic apple corer!

On first entering the show, it was exactly that, very exciting.  We wondered past the gardeny section where I spotted the PERFECT garden accessory:

A Bamboo Gazebo! Except that's what the company called it.  I like to call it my Tiki Bar!  Although with the £4250 price tag I am going to have to sell A LOT of loungewear to be able to afford it.  And then I have to fill my bar with booze and glasses and accessories and Hawaiian style outfits.  So it's on my want list, but for the distant future, when I have earned enough money to justify the price tag ;).

Next we headed to the foodie bit.  It was great going around all the stalls sampling their various wares.  We even bought some yummy olive oil and vinegar that was produced in Australia.  And this is where the story took a turn for the worse.  We stumbled on JML territory.  You know the kind, where a sales man does a demmo and claims ridiculous things like "this product is a one of a kind, special show price, will change your life for the better forever".  The cost?  You only have to remortgage your house for it!  One man pounced on my poor Mum.  He was inappropriately touchy feely and invaded both of our personal space trying to sell his miracle face creams.  No word of a lie a tiny bottle of Serum, Moisturiser and Face Mask were £425 EACH FRIGGIN BOTTLE!!!!!  Are you crazy?!?!?!?!  Do we seriously look like we can afford that?!?!  NO!  We tried to leave several times but he kept drawing us back in getting more and more desperate to close the sale.  The final "special price" was £160 for the serum plus the moisturiser..............still ARE YOU CRAZY?!?!?!  What made it even worse was his constant talking in Hebrew to his work colleague, trying to make it look like his boss was reluctantly giving us a great one of a kind deal.  I know your game Mr and no I don't want your shitty face creams.  When my Mum asked if he was from Israel he looked seriously worried that she may have understood what he said.  Haha she didn't but it was funny to see his face.

Anyway this kind of aggressive sales tactics really put a sour spin on the whole day.  To me, the hard sale is not what the Ideal Home Show is about.  To me, and how my Mum remembered it, it is about showcasing all that is innovative and exciting.  So it was a little sad that today's show is all about aggressively selling plastic crap to people.  Fed up with people pouncing on us trying to sell us shit we don't need or want, we headed to the restaurant to revive ourselves.

Bubbleeeeeeeeees!  Ok so we drowned our sorrows and laughed at the cost of the face creams.  Seriously has anyone ever bought three bottles of face cream for £1275?  If they had I assure you it will have been from somewhere like Harrods not the Ideal Home Show!  And they should be locked up because that's an obscene amount of money.  Anyway ranting again lol so here's a picture of the cream tea we enjoyed:

Scrummy and much needed.  And the staff were lovely who served us, so they more than made up for the pooey sales people.  After our little rest we headed downstairs again to try and find the show homes.  On our way we stumbled upon some gardens that were designed by college students in association with Charlie boy (Prince Charles).  I assume he was endorsing it as there was a clip of him playing on various screens urging people to have a look around the show gardens.  This was my favourite:

It is a French style garden with a little seating area with a bottle of plonk on the table - clearly the booze appealed to me.  There were tokens in a box for people to vote for the garden that was their favourite.  However I could neither find a token, nor someone to ask where the tokens were so I could vote.  But if I could have I would have voted for this one.

Onwards to the show homes and no photos I'm afraid.  There were only 3 show homes, an Eco friendly type one, one designed by people again linked to Charlie boy, and the third was a "quiet house".  The quiet house was good in principal.  Every item had been researched to find the quietest in their category - such as hair dryers, washing machines, kettles, showers, computers ect.  But wondering around the house it wasn't clearly explained really and was a little bit of a let down.  And there was a group of people being really loud in the quiet house so it kind of made it a bit pointless.

The Eco house and the Prince's house were better, but still not very inspiring.  They could have been fitted out by any high street shop and be anywhere in middle England.  Not innovative or exciting in any way.  My favourite was the Prince's house as it instilled a bit of heritage and a country cottage type feel to normal suburban houses.  And I know that Charles is keen to highlight traditional British craftsmanship such as carpenters and stone masons.  But honestly the most exciting thing was outside the show homes.

A jive band had set up, The Jive Aces.  We stood and listened to them for a while to revive our weariness.  They managed to inject some fun and liveliness to the crowds!

My favourite part of the show, was actually something that was not meant to really be.  In a separate space, a company had rebuilt two flats side by side.  One was the fabulous homage to 'Kitsch' that is the Only Fools and Horses set, opposite a modern version of the flat with stylish modern furniture.  Only the modern version was horrendous, in my opinion.  First here is the Kitsch-o-rama-tastic, Only Fools and Horses flat.

The height of taste obviously ;).  Then this is what a company (I didn't even bother to look who it was) suggests as a modern, highly tastefully alternative.............

I do actually like the wallpapered corner with reading chair
Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.  Excuse me whilst I rouse myself from my grey, boredom induced coma.  With the exception of the library wallpaper with comfy chair corner, this is the most bland, beige and darn right boring flat set up I have ever seen.  Bring on the Kitsch I say!!!  If this is what people are suggesting as an innovative and exciting house/flat layout, we have gone very very wrong somewhere in this modern day.  I imagine an accountant would live in that flat!

All in all I was very disappointed with my visit.  I was expecting to see fun and exciting new home gadgets and innovative furniture and fixtures and fittings.  What I got was a DFS showroom with bland cheap looking (although horrendously £££££) high street furniture I could get anywhere and pushy salesmen trying to sell me a load of crap I don't want, have told them I don't want, and will never want.

I shall leave you with a happy tale though.  On our assault course dodging the shiesters through the plastic crap isles, we came across a fantastic small company that had just won an award from Crufts.  They are called Doggy Bag and are well worth looking up if you have pet hounds.  As you know, I have many hounds.  Their product is a micro fibre bag that you zip all around your doggie to then give them a good rub down.  The bag gets rid of all the sogginess on your pooch and collects all the dirt and grime which can then be turned inside out to get rid of.  You are left with a dramatically drier doggie!  We were so bamboozled by sales tactics that we didn't buy at the show for fear of being duped into buying a useless product.  But have since gone into their website to order some as it wasn't a trick!  This product actually works!  So dog owners check them out!  Your life really will be changed!

Lots of Love
Betty xxx

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Playing Dress Up

Last weekend I trekked down to Brighton to help out a friend with her photo shoot.  The friend, I have mentioned on this blog before, was my knitting buddy Ellen.  Ellen is in fact a milliner (or hat maker for those of you not in the know).  She was photographing some of her fabulous creations so that she can put them up on her Etsy store and website, and I agreed to model some for her.

Now when you look at Ellen's creations, you are looking at the real deal.  Not those cheap DIY stick a feather on an already made hat.  Ellen makes everything from scratch.  That means it starts as a flat piece of material and is shaped and crafted into a bespoke creation.  I find the whole process fascinating and she has promised to do a blog post on just how much skill and hard work (not to mention time) goes into each individual hat.

Anyway, I packed up all my vintage dresses, a sack full of make up and my hair bits and bobs.  My whole life was in my suitcase which made me rather twitchy on the train in case someone nicked it (not that they would want my skanky old suitcase).  We met at the train station in Brighton, along with the photographer, Diana, and the other model for the day Lady May Den - Voyage.

I was doing my own hair and make up so the re construction of my face began.

As Dolly Parton said once "it takes a lot to look this cheap" ;) teehee.  A couple of hours later, and for me a couple of cupcakes later, we were ready to go!

Luckily for us, Ellen's housemate works at a cake shop!  Diana mentioned as I duly tucked in to cake and chips and dips that it was nice to work with models that actually eat.  1.  Are you crazy?  Those are the best cupcakes I've ever eaten and 2.  I'm not a real model ;).  Anyway, Lady May was up first.

We were due to shoot in a crumbly old house that had a sweeping staircase, but unfortunately the builders moved in, so we made do with Ellen's house.  Luckily she has a very stylish house so it wasn't too much of a disaster.

A few hat and outfit changes later and it was Ellen's turn to pose as a glamorous hat wearer.  By this time it had stopped raining so we took the opportunity to get a few outside shots.

Of course the hat Ellen is wearing a completely handmade hat (which has hand crafted felt feathers on it, AMAZING!), but her 30's style suit was also made by her.  I have such talented friends!

I also had a whirl outside in an amazing straw creation with a flash of pink that went perfectly with my vintage dress.

You will just have to wait to see the results of the shoot, but we had a lovely day playing dress up and (me) eating yummy things.  I shall leave you with a sneaky pic I took of Ellen's vintagey looking living room :)...............except I'm really rubbish at taking pictures.

Anyway I shall post details when the proper pictures of Ellen's wonderful creations are made public. Until then, have a great week!

Lots of Love
Betty xxx

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

The Dreaded Onesie!

One thing that I learnt back in February when I ran my Valentine's Day competition, was that the world needs my help.  There were plenty of ladies who had committed crimes against lounge wear, wearing comfortable but truly hideous ensembles.  One of the main lounge crimes in my opinion, is 'The Onesie'.  I just don't get them.

A worthy contender in the competition I ran was Chavonne pictured above.  She said she loves her onesie because it's warm and snugly, but her boyfriend is less keen and going to the toilet is a little inconvenient.  The saving grace was that a) she looks happy, and if it makes her happy then who am I to say it was a crime against lounge wear! and b) it is a nice bright shade of pink.  And I saw worse lounge crimes than this.

People have also told me that their onesie has changed their life for the better.  So I set out to try and justify this garment to myself.  What is it with the obsession of people wearing onesies?  Why would a fully grown adult want to look like a baby?  Why would you want to wrestle with your outfit just to go to the toilet?  And it seems that it's not a thing that only women enjoy.  The male onesie is also a phenomenon recently.  These are just some of the questions that I have been asking myself over the past year.

I know, I know, you will all be screaming at your computer screen "oh but they're so warm/comfortable", and not to mention you can pick a onesie up for only a few £'s.  But if I wanted to be warm and comfortable, one could argue that the Rita Siren Suit I sell fits the bill perfectly.

Seeeeeee look how elegant and awesome my model Fleur looks in the Aubergine Rita Siren Suit!  This stretch velvet suit is lined with a super soft jersey to keep you extra snugly warm, and the stretchy nature of the fabric means that it expands as you eat food, perfect!  I know that the price tag is admittedly a little higher than the likes of say a 'Primark' onesie, but this suit is hand crafted by an adult right here in the UK.  So why would you want to take the food out of the mouth of a British based family and put it into the deep pockets of the CEO of some mega huge chain company (who probably doesn't pay their taxes)?!?!  Shame on you!!!  Nip on over to my website and treat yourself to a beautiful lil set that will last you more than one wash.

Anyway I digress.  Onesies are on my hit list (along with sweat pants, hoodies and plain T-Shirts) because they do not make the wearer feel like a glamorous movie star from 1945.............or do they?  Contrary to my belief that onesies are the advent of the lounge wear devil, I have actually found not one, but three examples of when onesies can be worn in an alluring way.

Example number one:

Ahhh Ms Monroe, even in 'the ugliest clothing known to man kind', you still look radiant and alluring.  In the olden days, onesies were of course better known as 'Long Johns'.  Instead of a vomit inducing garment, they were (and indeed still are) a practical item of clothing to keep one warm whilst perhaps on the ski slopes.  I think Marilyn would look good in anything - even a sack!  So perhaps not a very good example of a glamorous onesie, but an example none the less.  Us mere mortals perhaps would not match up to this picture, so I refer you once again to The Rita Siren Suit.

Examples number two and three:

Not one but two Hollywood Starlets in all in onesie outfits!  This is a still from a you tube video that someone sent my Mum of Rita Hayworth dancing to Stayin' Alive by the BeeGees.  Made me giggle a lot!  So I urge you to go and watch it.
Of course it helps to have matching fluffy slippers, perfectly set hair and killer curves to make this ensemble acceptable.
I haven't actually seen the film that these stills are from, but I believe it is from 'Tonight and Every Night'.  But I want to see it now, just for these onesies!  Again, they look more like long johns than what we know as a onesie, so technically they can't really be referred to as a onesie.

During researching this blog post, I asked my friends their opinions on the dreaded onesie.  I was reminded by my knitting friend, Ellen, that actually the 'Siren Suit' is a onesie.  Not my Rita suit, but the original Siren Suits of WWII.

Again it helps to have perfectly set hair, and a full face of make up.  Not to mention the perfect hourglass figure.  But I have to admit I do rather fancy an all in one siren suit.  Perhaps I should do a version like the Rita Jacket and Slacks, but an all in one?  It may be quite pricey, but I would make it truly decadent and glam.

So have I changed my mind with my aversion to onesies?  Well sort of if it were done right, I keep changing my mind.  Marilyn, Rita and Janet have done them justice, but honestly how many of us are going to look like them on a Sunday morning with a hangover and no make up on?!?!  For one thing, these above examples are long johns, finishing just at the knee.  Modern onesies are full legged.  They are also glorious pastel shades making them very feminine.  No word of a lie, I have seen camouflage onsies from the modern versions; not very feminine.  Also the fluffy slippers really make the outfit.  And lastly the fact that some of the most beautiful women in the world are inside these onesies, sort of counts them out as a viable outfit choice because us mere average Joe's ain't gonna look that good in them (without A LOT of make up, primping preening and flattering lighting, not to mention photoshop).  So I will finish this post with this sentiment:


You have no excuses when I have a stock room full of Bettie Robes and Rita Siren Suits (or Tempest Sets for those in warmer climates).  Go and treat yourself !  And who knows, just as I have re invented the sweat pants and hoodie set in the Rita Set, I may re invent the onesie to have a decadent and glamorous slant on it.

Lots of Love
Betty xxx

P.S. My sister has a reindeer onesie and two matching outfits for her dogs. AMAZING!

 This is only an acceptable wearing of a onesie because they all match...............too cool for school!

Sunday, 3 March 2013


With just one week until Mothering Sunday (10th March) have you sorted out an extra special gift for that extra special mummy in your life?  For once I am actually quite well prepared!  You see my mum has expressed an interest in one of my Luna 100% Silk scarves.  It's out of pity for me (gotta show support and help my fledgling business), but she wants to buy one, the Summer Daisy print.  So what better to give her for Mother's Day!  Saves me money and effort looking for a thoughtful original gift for her. 

In case you have no idea what this 'Luna 100% Silk Scarf' is, let me refresh your memories and tell you all about them!  This is what the product description says on my website:

I am honoured to announce that such a beautiful and talented lady, Luna DeLovely, has designed a limited edition set of silk scarves exclusive to the Betty Blue's website. I, Betty, met Luna upon chance one day, in a luxury lingerie boutique, in London and we instantly hit it off talking about Burlesque, feathers and sparkly things.
Fortunately, Luna agreed to design a limited edition set of four individual silk scarves to adorn vintage ladies heads all around the world. Her inspiration came from vintage florals and she injected a modern touch by using colours that are set to big on the catwalks for A/W 11/12 and S/S 12.

Well the time has finally arrived for the final instalments of Luna's beautiful 100% silk scarves.  Just in time for VLV 2012!!!

The third print in this four set is a cute Coral ditsy floral for Spring.  It is framed with a beautiful lilac that will be much apparent in Spring/Summer 2012.  Luna's design, obviously, offering a unique twist on the "on trend" colours.

The fourth and final print in the series to be released is the Summer Daisy print.  A beautiful pastel pink concoction with a nostalgic feel.  Can't you just imagine yourself wearing it with huge shades whilst cruising in a classic convertible!!  Or even for those bad hair days as a quick cover up whilst nipping to the shops - as Ms Monroe wore to help blend into the background when she wanted to go out undetected.

The first of the series winged their way to Betty Blue's HQ back last September for A/W 2011/2012 – perfect to keep your noggin warm and rollers protected on a winter's eve or to add a splash of colour to a winter tweet suit. 

The "Autumn" print is poppies of rusts and deep aubergines, evoking the colours of autumnal leaves.

The "Winter" print is a classic British Rose set in a warm purple border and the cheery polka dot background will help cheer up a dreary winter day.

What you may not know is that only eight were made in each print to ensure exclusivity of design, so if you buy one, only 7 other people in the world will have the exact same scarf (Luna and myself being two of those 7 people as we have one each in each print).  So chances are you won't bump into anyone with the same special little silk scarf!

They were also printed, onto 100% silk chiffon, right here in the UK.  I am of course an advocate of British manufacturing so they had to be printed here really!  So as with all my products you are helping us Brits out, trying to make a living!  So big pat on the back for you, for doing good!  To add to the specialness of this exclusive scarf, the edges have been hand turned (by Mama Blue's!) just as all expensive silk scarves should be, and is a little nod to our 'Vintage' counterparts.

From my product description page and gallery, it is a little hard to see the beauty of these scarves.  I have now photographed the scarves on a plain background to try and show you just how beautiful they are.............well I tried but they slipped around like a bitch!  But here are the photos none the less.

Winter Rose
Autumn Poppy
Ditsy Floral
Summer Daisy

Seeeee I did a pretty bad job of trying to get them all straight and flat.  But I think it helps to show the liquidity of the fabric and fluid floatyness.  They are just so dreamy!  I then bunched them together to try and show the texture more.

You can see a little better the transparency and floaty nature of these silk beauties.  But because I am a little rubbish at photography you will just have to take my word for how gorgeous they are.  Better still buy one to see it for yourself!

Each scarf comes beautifully wrapped in tissue paper and enclosed inside a display box to keep it in, which ensures those pesky moths won't get to the silk!  So if your mum needs cheering up and truly spoiling this Mothering Sunday, go on treat her!!!  Get yours here!

Lots of Love
Betty xxx

P.S.  Although I would never admit it, I actually prefer my silk Luna scarves to the 'Marilyn' scarf that I also sell.  There is something so luxurious about silk and it ensures my hair stays nice and flat when I sleep at night with rollers in. 

P.P.S.  Did you know that silk is actually magic?  It keeps you warm in the winter and oddly enough cool in the summer!  Weird non?!

P.P.P.S. Unsure how to wear your Luna 100% Silk Scarf?  On the product page is a video of lots of different ways to wear one!  Go to it here.