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"I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing...kissing a lot. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls."
Audrey Hepburn


Thursday, August 31, 2017

Diamonds and Dames Does: Lina Aysgarth


It's been too long since I've visited my favorite Youtube series. This is the new entry to the Diamonds & Dames 'All Request' series, where I somewhat recreate styles from the golden age of the silver screen. This look has been on my list since forever ago and it's a very simple one to do for even longer hair. My own hair is about four inches shorter than Joan Fontaine's was in the film, 1941's Hitchcock thriller called Suspicion, and it still looks fine with shorter hair as well. Since the movie took place in the early part of the decade, it was'nt really a 'faux pas' yet for ladies to grow longer locks, and this is a great representation of era-specific hair that also retains some length. For this style, I chose to use larger pin curls but larger foam rollers or a hot set could also work, depending on your climate and hair type. Don't expect it to turn out the same way twice.

A little about the movie...

Suspicion (1941)
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Lina McLaidlaw is a conservative English lass with a not-so-conservative bank roll. She has been unlucky in love until she meets gambler and charmer, Johnnie Aysgarth on a train. Quickly, the two fall in love and marry but soon Johnnie's style of living begins to give Lina adequate cause for concern as he can't seem to find a consistent line of work that doesn't require taking major chances. As time passes, she begins to suspect he is also capable of much darker things and to fear for her life.

On the tails of her game-changing role in Hitchcock's hit from the previous year, Rebecca, Joan Fontaine slips easily into this part. Her Lina is smart and capable, but also loyal and sweet. Cary Grant is uncharacteristically serious in the role of Johnnie but still maintains his charming aloofness and easily pulls the viewer into his plight. Although this movie is not the masterpiece of cinematography that Rebecca was, it still stands strong among other Hitchcock classics. This may be the more relatable story as well, since it really does dwell more on the relationship between the leads than the plot itself, drawing on thrills only where absolutely necessary.

My rating: 8/10

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The Tutorial:

For the style, as I mentioned, I used large pin curls all over, using no particular setting pattern. I would typically use side combs for these partial updos but in this case, the combs seemed out of keeping with the casual look of her styles. They seemed like an afterthought, created by a busy lady with little passion for coiffure. Therefore I didn't plan this style at all, creating it on the fly as it appears that Lina would have done.


After removing the pin curl clips, I simply brushed out the set and freely arranged the sides up and over a bit, allowing it to fall loosely over the pins and hide them. You can almost see my thought process in the embedded video, as I make it up.


For a simple and elegant updo, similar the the ones worn by Joan Fontaine's character on her days and evenings out, simply add a rat (You can purchase these at a local beauty supply shop or on Amazon. Some have a snap on the end so they can be turned into a bun form as well. Those are my favorites.) at the nape of the neck, over the hair, gather hair around it and pin loosely in place.


Joan has a lot of curly hair so naturally our look will be quite different. To get a closer look with straight hair, try rolling the top of your head on medium foam rollers instead of large and working with the natural texture you create by playing with volume. Teasing straighter hair will tend to look a bit matronly with this style, which is why I kept mine mainly free of volume.

Here is the video tutorial, as promised, and please keep your Diamonds and Dames requests coming!!











Sunday, May 14, 2017

The Nashville Boogie - My Must-See List of Performers


So it's been a little stretch since I've blogged about anything at all. Let's remedy that, shall we? For almost three months we lived in limbo, waiting in Memphis surrounded by boxes, in and out of hotel rooms and storage lockers, until finally we moved into our new home here in rural Tennessee. For all of that time, I didnt really think much about Viva Las Vegas (which I missed this year) or about The Nashville Boogie, focusing instead on getting my family settled in. Now, we are starting to approach a quieter state and the excitement for the Boogie has really started to creep into my daily routine. Of course I'm excited for the Fashion Show, the shopping, the Car Show, and all of the luxury fun at the Opryland Hotel...but more than anything else, I'm looking forward to enjoying some of the great great music this year's event has to offer!

Most of you know and love some of the major acts...Wanda Jackson, Lee Rocker, The Sonics, The Blasters, Asleep at the Wheel etc. Deke Dickerson and Big Sandy are VLV Staples and Rockabilly enthusiasts wouldn't find any music event complete without them. But I thought I'd share here some of the artists I MOST look forward to at the upcoming Weekender and a few words as to why.

First and foremost...the act I'm most looking forward to-the one I've been anxiously awaiting for a few years now- is The Country Side of Harmonica Sam. There is something insanely surreal about the Swedes and their grasp of Americana music; I've said this before (The Green Line Travelers are another very talented Swedish band playing the event). But I feel like this project of Harmonica Sam's (hitherto known to me only as a Blues/Boogie Woogie artist in the vein of Jerry Lee Lewis) is one of the most successful endeavors of its type in many moons. It is so spontaneously brilliant, so achingly authentic, so wonderfully contagious...I just can't get enough. So yeah, I'd say this is the number one draw for me this year.



I've already mentioned Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys, and yeah-I never feel cheated when I see them live. But this time will be a special occasion since Big Sandy is going to be performing alternatively as 'The Country Side of Big Sandy'. Having seen him so many times, it will be refreshing to see this different and exciting approach!



Jittery Jack is another 'can't-miss' for me. An enthusiastic blend of blues and Rockabilly, he typically plays the VERY late night spot at VLV, so I sometimes miss his set due to one unforeseen occurrence or another. Not this year. I will be front-row-center for his high energy performance!



If you, like me, are a fan of 1960's era garage rock, The Woggles will be right up your alley! I am slightly worried about the venue where they're playing since last year there were a few sound issues. But I am definitely not hesitant enough to pass them up. 7pm Saturday, that's where I'll be!


Anyone who has followed my Youtube channel for any length of time knows that I absolutely LOVE The Planet Rockers! They're legendary musicians and performers that I do NOT miss if they play anywhere around. So it's a no-brainer that I will be at the Nashville Palace to enjoy their Thursday set! They also happen to be my six year old daughter's favorite band, so yeah-I'm gonna sneak her in too.



Gizzelle is an artist I've been following since VLV 10, when her song 'For You' was on the compilation album of that year. I fell for her immediately and bought everything I could find by her at the time. After using her music in a few of my videos, I received countless questions asking me who this phenomenal voice belonged to and WHERE it could be found to purchase! She has only gotten better over the years and a live performance of her's will stay with you for a long while.



Yes, that's my list. And no, it's not a long one. There are many other acts I plan to see, make no mistake. I don't miss Hillbilly Casino, Jack Rabbit Slim, or Joshua Headley when I have a chance to see them. The Psycho Devilles and the Rhythm Shakers always deliver as well. But there are a few performances, namely the ones above, that I feel especially excited to see. So I thought they deserved a little blog-time of their own. Even if you can't make the Boogie, definitely consider catching any of these acts when they visit your town or hey, just make yourself a playlist on YouTube. I'm sure you'll end up just as much a fan as I am.

Til Next Time,
So Long, Dearies!!


Thursday, January 12, 2017

Hiatus and Hairdos (With a Side of Panic Attacks)



So here I am after a long hiatus and I feel I owe you all a bit of an explanation.

First, let's talk a bit about hair. My hair needs a trim and I need to color it again because lord knows it is growing fast and I need to touch up my roots, but I did bang out a tutorial a few weeks ago showcasing my new favorite hairstyle inspired by the lovely Joanne Woodward and her side swept bangs. She wore this style in varied ways throughout her life and I love how it translates to different hair lengths.


In 'The Long, Hot Summer', you may recall that she had her bangs at their shortest stage; they were barely whispy baby hairs at her hairline. But they worked so well for her character and her own personality. I've opted to take on the side swept bang in order to work with my natural cowlick and I gotta say, I'm into it.

So the style in this newest video is the way I've translated her style to my own head. I used foam rollers for this one, but I'm just as likely to use Rockin Rollers, Pin Curls, or even Hot Sticks.



So that's that. Thanks to the great Si Cranstoun for still supporting my channel and allowing me to use his wonderful music!

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So now for the more personal stuff...why I've been missing as far as weekly posts go. You can still find me regularly on Facebook and Instagram, but let's suffice it to say that things have been HECTIC in Ashley-World lately.

Not only am I homeschooling, working full time, and trying to manage an online presence (lol...that's just a joke. I hardly put any time into it compared to others), but I am also planning a move. And if any of you have ever tried to procure a residence from a considerable distance, arrange a job transfer, AND still live your daily life with some success, it is NO easy task!

I've always had stress, but I feel like I've done a good job managing it and I'm a pretty routined person that accomplishes a lot. But suddenly, last month, things sort of came to head when I had my first actual PANIC ATTACK. I was driving when it happened and yada yada yada ( to make a long story short) paramedics were called because I literally thought I was dying. For me, it came as blurred vision, a feeling that I wasn't getting any oxygen, and freezing-cold extremities. I was unsure what it was at the time, which contributed to the feeling I was having, and the paramedics suggested anxiety. I didnt buy it. I felt like I was handling everything just fine and after all, it literally came out of nowhere. I recovered shortly, went home, and went about my business with a bit of a hangover. ('Hangover' really is the best way to describe it, if any of you have ever dealt with this. It renders you a little hopeless, like you have failed, and it becomes difficult to 'even out' again.)
The next night, I tried to drive to the store and it happened again...a much worse case that ended at the ER. This time, I 'bought it'. Obviously, only something psychological could strike in so sinister a way at such an inconvenient time. Medication was prescribed for episodes and I'm happy to report that I rarely have had to use them since. Having an understanding of the situation has helped me considerably and I now feel more in tuned with my body and my mind. Let me say though, that if you have stress and anxiety and you don't listen to your body, I can see how you could easily have a break down. This is true physical stuff, no matter what some may think. Much like depression, panic attacks and anxiety need your understanding and your consideration, not your derision or skepticism.

I won't say more at this time on the subject. But needless to say, I know I have to focus on important stuff first and view my tutorials as a hobby, not an obligation, which is and always been what they actually are. You may not see me as regularly or as much for now, but I am certain that once things settle down again you will again be treated to weekly videos from me. This is a passion of mine that won't die, no matter how old I get or how many others are cranking out similar stuff.

Thanks again for your patience and support...

xxoo,
Ashley