Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Dixiebelle's Vintage Hair and Beauty Parlour

Let me tell you about the most awesomest place in Edinburgh, Miss Dixiebelle's Hair and Beauty Parlour.  This gem of a place features a fabulous boutique full of retro clothing and a vintage hair salon.

You see, my hair was getting long...too long.  It was becoming cumbersome to do pincurls and when I did, it was too heavy to hold them.  So, I just sort of went for it and got my hair cut short (well, short to me anyways)!

This is just part of my hair...I think we were only halfway through at this point.  I got a short middy cut which is basically a layered cut with the back creating a nice 'u' shape.  It's fantastic because you can style it in so many ways (30s, 40s, 50s or even 60s).

Ariana, a master vintage stylist cut my hair.  She is absolutely amazing. She does all sorts of cuts and styles so if you are ever in the area, definitely treat yourself to a vintage updo at the hair salon!

I absolutely love it!!!  I was hoping to get some more pictures today but it's been raining like crazy here.  I've been trying out some new pincurl sets and experimenting....more pictures coming soon!

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Scottish Play

Piper welcoming us onto a boat to take us to the Island.  Photo credit

I am happy to report that I did manage to attend one superfabulous event during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival!  David and I went to see the Scottish Play on Inchcolm Island.  Roo?  I can hear you saying?  What is the Scottish Play?  It's that Shakespeare play that takes place in know, the one with the witches and Birnam Wood.  Apparently the name of the play is cursed.  Actually, I think saying the name of the play is only cursed if you are an actor and you say it inside a theatre.  So here goes....

We went and saw Macbeth.  Ok, no lightening struck.  It must all be ok :)

While still on the boat, the audience witnesses the re-enactment of the battle with Norway. Photo credit

The best part of the play?  It was a walking play where you follow the actors around and we were all alone (the audience and actors) on Inchcolm Island with the beautiful ruined abbey as the stage.  And get this, Inchcolm island is actually mentioned in Macbeth:

Ross: From Fife, Great King:
Where the Norweyan banners flout the sky
And fan our people cold, Norway himself,
Assisted by that most disloyal traitor
The Thane of Cawdor, began a dismal conflict;
Till that Bellona's bridegroom, lapped in proof,
Confronted him with self-comparisons,
Point against point, rebellious arm against arm.
Curbing his lavish spirits; and to conclude
the victory fell on us.

Duncan:   Great Happiness!

Ross: That now Sweno, the Norway's King craves composition;
Nor would we deign him burial of his men
Till he disbursed at Saint Colme's Inch
Ten thousand dollars for our general use.

The play started in the evening and we took a lovely boat ride from a nearby port town to the island, it took about 40 minutes.  They handed out blankets and flashlights to everyone for us to use on the island (this is a Scottish summer after all).  The sun was just starting to set when we arrived.

I'm wearing my Ness jacket and Pendrell blouse

I definitely want to come back to the island.  It is so beautiful with such a long history.

Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and caldron bubble.  The witches on Inchcolm.

Inchcolm Abby provided the ideal backdrop for the welcoming of Duncan into Macbeth's castle, and the violent deeds that ensued.  

The cast was amazing. Caroline Ailsa Howitt as Lady Macbeth gave an impressive performance. Photo credit

Macbeth's 'stars hide your fires, let not light see my black and deep desires' was delivered to a darkening night sky, and the witches who stop Macbeth on a 'blasted hearth' are at one with the 'foul and fair' nature of Inchcolm Island.

Alexander Forsyth as Macbeth in the last act.  Photo credit.

As the last act ended it was indeed like '...a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more' as we descended back down the island in the dark to meet our boat for a quiet trip back to the mainland.

Inchcolm Abbey   Photo credit

Goodbye Inchcolm, '..when shall we three meet again in thunder, lightning, or in rain? When the hurlyburly 's done, When the battle 's lost and won'


Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Sewing Machine

Readers, this is a bit of a whiney post.  Sorry to whinge but it's only because I missed perhaps the best play of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.  Not because I didn't have tickets, mind you, but because I was late....  arrrrrrgggggghhhhhhhh....

Here's how it unfolded.  I received two tickets to the play called 'The Sewing Machine' and I immediately contacted Kristen who blogs over at KristenMakes to see if she wanted to go see it with me.  We set up plans to meet in George Square where the play was taking place at Assembly Three.  Right before we met up, I double checked my email and I see 'George Street' so I google the Assembly Theatres and sure enough the box office is on George Street.  I head over to George Street and stand in line for the box office and they inform me that indeed the Assembly Three tickets are over at the George Square box office (across town). Turns out there are two assembly theatres.  Luckily, Kristen is over at George Square.  I hop in a cab hoping to make it and get there with 5 minutes to spare.  I try to find Kristen in the sea of people and we connect and she has the tickets in hand.  We have a couple of minutes to find the theatre and we stop to ask someone working at the fringe and they inform us venue is nearby, we just need to go up a blue ramp and it's there.  We run around the square and can't see any signs for the theatre or any blue ramps!  When we are half way around the square we ask again and we had passed it!!  double arrrrrggghhh... turns out the blue ramp is hidden by a giant white tent.  The theatre is down some stairs behind a building.  We rush in and hand the lady our tickets only to hear 'I'm sorry we can't let you in because you're 7 minutes late and the show has already started'.  AHHHHHHHHHH

All was not lost. Kristen and I ended up having a great chat over tea at a nearby restaurant.  It was really nice to catch up on everything going on in our lives!  We both knew with the fringe ending that we missed our one chance of seeing the play.  Sigh, so I hope you'll forgive me for whining especially when I read such fabulous this one:

In the heart of South African apartheid, Magdaleen champions her treasured femininity far above her white race, seeking a sisterhood that will hold her together. Now, 81 and passing her last years in a retirement home, Magdaleen is to undo the seams of her identity as she sells her best friend, sister and confidante: the trusty sewing machine that had for so long threaded through every aspect of her life and hemmed in the fabric of her family.
The Sewing Machine is a one-woman masterpiece that has already completed more than 400 performances across South Africa, picking up countless awards along the way. Now, as part of collaboration between Wordsmith’s Theatre Factory and Assembly, The Sewing Machinehas come to share its quietly powerfully story with Edinburgh.
A feat of a script that is stunningly performed by Sandra Prinsloo, The Sewing Machine has a simple grace that leaves you tingling. With an understated brilliance, Prinsloo immediately locks the audience into an expectant trance, weaving us through her life experiences forever bound to her beloved sewing machine. Voices from past and present family and friends also intersperse the memories of Magdaleen, ringing out painfully, comfortingly or nostalgically within our protagonist’s moving tale.
Read a collection of reviews here.
Has this ever happened to you?  

Downton Abbey Season 3 Sneak Peek

Cast photo from

ITV has released the new cast photo for the third season of Downton Abbey.  The new season, which is set in 1920, is supposed to air in the UK next month (though I can't find an official date) and in January 2013 in the States.

I am SO looking forward to the costumes of this season. I mean, look at Mary's dress in the photo above....swoon!!  The chiffon, the lace, the shoes, the beading!!!

So apparently this season is going to see a birth (Sybil's baby?), a marriage (Matthew and Mary--looking forward to the gown!) a death (eep, wonder who?), and a mother-in-law (Shirley MacLaine as Cora's mother).  I'm really looking forward to the scenes between Shirley MacLaine and Dame Maggie Smith.

Some more gossip from the Downton Abbey Wiki include O'Brien and Thomas having a falling out, Branson having a hard time with his in-laws (though we could definitely see that one coming...), a subplot around Catholicism (perhaps involving Branson), and Lady Mary learning to drive...

Who are you most excited to see again?  What storyline do you want to see develop??

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Running behind myself

Sorry for the lack of posting lately.  I feel like I'm running behind myself, there's so much going on! Most of it is fun and exciting, some of it is keeping up with routine tasks.  I can say that this month has left me feeling a bit frazzled!  So, I'm going to take a wee break from blogging--maybe a week or two.  Once I get back on top, I'll have loads to share!  

I'll be back soon!


Thursday, August 9, 2012

My prom

In case you haven't heard, this last week was Promaballoona--the event of the season over at oonaballoona's blog.  I did a guest post on my own prom experience. You can read it here....

What was your experience of high school prom?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A Trip to Stirling Castle

This last weekend, we had some visitors in town and decided to show them Stirling Castle.  The town of Stirling is a short distance from Edinburgh, about an hour on the train.  It has always been a very strategic location in Scottish history, marking the point between the lowlands and the highlands.  It was home to many Scottish kings and queens including an infant Mary Queen of Scots, who was crowned in the chapel when she was only 9 months old.  It has been the backdrop of many battles throughout Scottish history including the famous Battle of Stirling Bridge in which the Scottish hero, William Wallace, led an army that defeated a much larger English force and drove them from Scotland.

I'm perpetually in awe of how much history is encompassed within this building and these grounds.  It's quite remarkable.  Even though we've been to the castle before, every time we go we discover something new.  This time, we were also blessed with absolutely beautiful weather.  I wore my 1941 trousers (Simplicty 3688) and my mid-40's 'Vitemeatavegamin' blouse (DuBarry 5327).

Historic Scotland, an organization responsible for the stewardship of Stirling Castle and other historic monuments, recently spent several years reconstructing the Royal Apartments in the castle.  The apartments opened last summer but this is the first time we've seen them and they do not disappoint.  While to many people, the reconstruction may look a little 'too new', all of the design (including the painting, tapestries, etc.) were done using period techniques and following period descriptions of how the royal rooms would have looked:

As someone who has visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art at the Cloisters in NYC many times, I've been watching with eager anticipation while they wove replications of all five unicorn tapestries by hand.  The weavers took several trips to see the original tapestries in NYC to match the exact colours and yarns.  The tapestries are absolutely stunning and this must be what it was like to see the originals unveiled at the end of the 15th century.

One of the other great buildings in Stirling is the Wallace Monument (seen below).  You get a stunning view of the monument from Stirling Castle and vice versa.  The monument was built in the 1860's and includes a museum that houses William Wallace's giant (5ft, 6in) Claymore sword.  Unfortunately, the museum was closed by the time we got there but the hike up to the monument was quite lovely.

Such a lovely day!  It's wonderful to go back to such an awe-inspiring place. Have you ever been to Stirling?  Do you ever get that overwhelming feeling of awe when you're in a place that is so old?
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