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Monthly Archives: September 2012

Not Your Mama’s KitchenAid!

Being an diehard baker, one of my prize possessions in the kitchen is my KitchenAid mixer that I was fortunate enough to grab off Ebay for only $150 back in the day. It works like a dream and has made many sweet treats over the years. Although they come in a variety of colors these days, who wouldn’t want to take it to the next level? Well Nicole Dinardo of Un Amore decided to bring fine art to the kitchen and has become a household name in her unique craft. Nicole’s designs have a distinct vintage/rockabilly flare, along with custom designs to satisfy every client’s vision.

Nicole has kindly taken a few moments to share her story so we can get to know more about the creative gal behind the canvas.

Tell us a about the gal behind Un Amore Custom Designs:

I have always done art since I was a little girl, but never did any “formal” training. I had been recovering from a surgery and was limited mobility for 6 months, so I needed something to occupy my time. I checked into tattooing first (before it was considered popular), but that fell through, so I picked up the airbrush. I called Mike of Killer Paint and apprenticed for a few months, then over time developed my own aesthetic.

How did Un Amore come to be?

By accident. I did a guitar case for Gavin Rossdale of BUSH, then I decided I better look professional and made my site in one day. It was then that I realized I painted more mixers than anything else. I really enjoyed it and decided to just roll with it. I got a loan from my dad for $1600.00 and bought a few mixers, painted them and paid him back in 3 months.

What are you inspirations behind your designs, what inspires you as an artist?

Honestly, I strive to do better than my last. I constantly want to better myself, to one-up myself.

Do you plan to expand beyond the Kitchenaid Mixers in the future?

I do, I’d like to have a line of kitchen tools, dishes, etc… possibly furniture too.

What is the meaning behind Un Amore?

“A Love” for all that I do. Once the love is gone, then I need to find something else…I do this for the love of it.

You definitely have a retro/rockabilly vibe to your designs and style, who are your favorite pinups models? Do you incorporate the rockabilly/pinup style into your personal life?

Actually I don’t in my personal life. I wear jeans and a beanie to work, no makeup etc…I dress like a guy. I come to work to work. However when I do get to dress up, timeless is my go-to style. I dress kinda pinup. I do love rat rods! One of my favorite styles of hot rod culture. I loooove pinup models. Sabina Kelley is amazing, so is Dayna DeLux, & Dita Von Teese. Amber Heard is not a traditional “pinup” model, but her guess ads are ridiculous!

What is your all time favorite design you have created and why?

Once I pick a favorite, I find another. Too many to decide from. I guess I just love what I do. I try to make sure I put my own spin on each one, even if theyโ€™re commissioned. But, if I can only pick one it would be the blue Car-Hop girl (Michael Elins shot the original photo). Faces that are 1inch big are not easy to do. So technically, this one thrills me. Also all the squares match up, even when the head is up or down.

Have you had any “famous” clients that you can share with us?

I have quite a list of those who own my mixers, but I don’t post it on my site (although everyone says I should) I feel it’s like bragging and I don’t like to brag. People are people and I look at everyone equally. Some are just more well-known than others and it helps build a brand. But it doesn’t define who I am or what I do. And it’s fun, I can’t deny that! ๐Ÿ˜‰

A few that own my mixers are : Guy Fieri, Tori & Dean (his and hers), Some dignitaries, Britney Spears, ……

Who do you dream to design a mixer for and what would it be?

I’d love to do one for Mr. Trump and Snoop Dogg!

On average how much time is invested to complete one project?

It varies. It depends on designs. Some weeks, some days. I work on artwork for several mixers at a time, they may be all different. Sometimes as an artist you need to step away and take a break from a design if it is very time consuming or difficult. You always want to give your best and it is easy to screw it up if youโ€™re not in the right mindset for a design.

What was your biggest challenge to create to date?

Toile, it’s a pain LOL

Where do you see Un Amore Designs in 5 years?

I’d love to see my designs in shops and boutiques. More fast paced, efficient and still providing the best quality I can provide. Also stated above, I’d love to have coordinating tools, textiles etc…

What is the process for someone to purchase one of your designs?

It depends. Most send an email of their ideal design, we will discuss options…If they choose to proceed and agree upon the quote we provide a digital concept. Once the concept it approved, they pay the remaining balance to book their spot to start on our schedule (typically 3 months out) and then from there I paint it. Once completed I shoot them nice shots to share, and we ship them off.

What would you like everyone to know about Un Amore Designs?

Wow, difficult to answer. I may not be the first in history to paint a mixer, but I have taken it to a whole different level. I am proud to have made it extremely popular.

Is there anything else you would like to share with us?

Thank you so much for this opportunity! โค

It is nearly impossible to pick a favorite as all Un Amore designs are spectacular! Hopefully someday I will be able to own one of these truly breathtaking custom painted KitchenAid mixers. I already know what it would be…a vintage cupcake inspired design featuring a classic pin up beauty. A girl can dream right?

A big thank you to Nicole for taking the time to share her incredible work with all of us. I cannot wait to see what you come up with next!

Check out more stunning pieces by Un Amore’s on their Website and Facebook.

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Categories: All Posts, Randomness | Tags: , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Rockabilly Bling By Danger De Lux

One of my constant blog supporters has come from the lovely Natasha creator of Danger De Lux accessories and blogger. Her edgy Rockabilly style shows through in her designs and her passion for the culture. Here’s a small sampling of her fabulous fasinators available at Rowena and Danger De Lux’s Etsy Store.

As soon as I saw the soft pink flower with gingham accent, I knew exactly what outfit it was meant for…the Deadly Dames Gingham Courtesan Swing Dress! They are a perfect compliment to one another and versatile enough to pair with your favorite summer outfits. The soft pink color is striking but not overpowering.

You can all laugh at me, but the two plum ranunculus flowers are actually shoe clips but I thought they were for your hair! Lol…oops! The clips are meant to attach to the back of your heels or the front, whatever your fancy. To make them more versatile, I may add a little alligator clip so they can also be worn in my hair as well. The shoe clips are too shallow and damaging for your hair, do not try this at home. ๐Ÿ™‚

The classic black rose with striped accents is perfect for all your edgy Rockabilly outfits. I wore it recently with my Deadly Dames Haunted Housewife and received tons of compliments. The comfortable alligator clip works if your hair is tied back or worn loosely. This is definitely a versatile accessory for any retro gal!

Last but not least, the striped fasinator with white flowers. Personally I think it would look fabulous with vintage pin curls rather than your hair worn loosely. If you want a little extra flair to your outfit, this is a real showcase piece. Placement is totally a personal preference and I haven’t mastered it quite yet.

Recently Danger De Lux has added reworked Vintage purses to her Etsy store. Whether your are looking for an edgy studded piece or traditional rockabilly roses, she will custom order it to suit your style. Check out Natasha’s blog and Etsy store for unique jewelry, flowers, and so much more!

Categories: Accessories, All Posts | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

~ Part Two ~ Sweet DIY Retro Cupcake Halloween Costume

This past weekend I finally got out to the local craft stores to get the ball rolling on my Retro Cupcake Costume. Surprisingly I found the majority of the supplies at a local liquidation store (Lens Mills), a real heaven for crafters. Let’s just say I spent WAY too much time trying to pick the perfect embellishments but so worth it now seeing the end result. Make sure to visit the remnants section at any fabric stores as you will find fabulous materials at a fraction of the price.

Let’s get the crafting started…

Once my turquoise corset arrived from Orchard Corset, it was time to bling it out! My main concern was to not damage the satin brocade as I want to wear it sans decor at a later time and not able to wash it due to the steel boning. If you are not planning to wear it other than for your costume, you can definitely skip the hand sewing and bust out the glue gun which is SO MUCH FASTER!

You’ll need to pick up the following materials for this step of the process…

– Overbust corset

– Strung sequins

– Frilly fringe

– 4″ ribbon (wired) & 2″ ribbon

– Construction paper/foam with sparkles.

– Hot glue gun, needle & thread, scissors, pencil, straight pins

Click on image to see details

As I mentioned above, I opted to sew on the fringe to avoid damaging the corset (use a hot glue gun is your don’t plan to reuse the corset for anything else). Place the fringe along the existing seams in order to achieve a flawless look. If you plan to reuse the corset after Halloween, ensure to stitch along the boning and not pierce the brocade material. A simple straight stitch will secure the fringe securely. After completing the first two rows, I opted to add two more for an extra pop of colour. Once complete, I carefully hot glued the stringed sequins overtop the fringe and carefully made sure not to apply the glue to the brocade material.

The inspiration piece has cupcakes on the bosoms, but I’m unsure if I will replicate that at the moment. Maybe once the costume is more complete, it may be a deciding factor to add them or just nix it.

Step by Step

The next step is to create the Retro Cupcake Queen’s Sash. You can do this with any extra wide ribbon and make it your own. With the ribbon I was able to find, I had to double up and sew it together for more stability. I highly recommend a thick satin ribbon to avoid the extra step of sewing and apply the accent ribbon with a hot glue gun instead. With restricted materials available, it surely requires more time and effort.

Make sure to put aside enough of this ribbon to use on the bow on the back of the costume. We will work on that a bit later.

Skip the sewing, look for thick satin ribbon

The next step is pretty simple, making the cupcake for the sash. Check out your local dollar store for fun foam sheets that you can use to give it a little more dimension. These glitter sheets were a pack of 8 for only $1. Draw out the base of your cupcake, just go online and reference some clip art images for inspiration. Next step is a little icing in an accent colour and then your top. I will be adding a cherry on the finished product, I still have to find some glitter red pom poms.

Crafting 101

If you are serious about making your own costume, you will save a lot of money but it is definitely a time investment. There are always ways to do things faster and still get the same end result, it is all up to you! Stay tuned for Part 3…creating the crown & bow, finding the right accessories to complete your look and fine tuning the details.

Categories: All Posts, Clothing, Randomness | Tags: , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Who’s That Lady?

There are many things I love about blogging, but the best of all is discovering new vintage inspired clothing brands. My most recent find was Lady V London, specializing in limited edition swing dresses, Hepburn dresses, Wiggle dresses & more. Lady V is designed and manufactured in the UK…at very affordable prices I must add. With clients spanning the globe, you will be lucky to own one of less than 100 items created per motif . Being a little late on my discovery, there were several prints I missed out on and still pouting about them. Recently Lady V released several new colorways in their famous swing dress and decided to place my first order to snap up the Soft Pink Floral Swing Dress.

Available in size UK8 to UK22 – MSRP ยฃ40.00

With any new brand, sizing is always a bit of a gamble the first time around. Lady V has very detailed size charts to take the worry out of the equation. The UK12 was spot on with my measurements of bust 36, waist 29 and hips open in the swing skirt. If you are in between sizes, I would recommend ordering up since the material is 100% cotton with no stretch. The UK12 fit perfectly and the matching belt works wonderfully to cinch the waist. These affordable swing dresses are fully lined throughout and very figure flattering.

The Lady V Swing dress is so comfortable for every day wear, you will be itching to get more prints. The length is perfect, being only 5ft 4iches often times swing skirts are way too long. I found there was a little restriction in my arm movement in the beginning due to the cotton lining which seemed to subside after the first wear. The square neckline is more on the conservative side, a great touch of classic elegance.

What I love most about the Lady V Swing Dress is the versatility. You can pair it with flats, wedges or your favorite pumps…add a bold belt or jewelry. Everything works! There are some other fabulous bloggers that love Lady V London and have some incredible things to say as well. Check out The Curvy Kitten, Fuller Figure Fuller Bust, Big Girls Browse and many more!

Now I find myself stalking their website for new releases as they definitely sell out fast. Remember, all prints are limited editions…once they are gone, they are gone forever! Make sure to keep an eye on their Facebook page for incredible flash sales.

Stay tuned for my next Lady V review on their famous Hepburn dress…

Categories: All Posts, Clothing | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

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