Well It’s not the time of Year for dolling up and going out for the day,
it’s way too chilly here up North for that sort of thing, so we decided a spot of
decorating was a better option.
Our dining room has always been an issue, it’s dark and shady, and we have tried special paints that
claim to throw extra light around the room, but they still seemed dull and uninviting.
I then had a sudden realisation that we were tackling it all wrong! Instead of fighting the
darkness maybe we should just throw caution to the wind, and go for a fabulous colour!
We opted for Dulux feature wall “Coral Flair” and we weren’t disappointed!
The paint was slapped up, and I still thought it needed something, I toyed with a giant mirror,
or even a series of vintage mirrors as a feature, to add reflections light and movement.
I looked at the pile of poodle ornaments we had taken down from various walls whilst decorating, and
decided they actually looked a bit “meh” (a modern word for ordinary!) scattered around our abode.
I had a second epiphany! Throw them all onto one wall! Even add to them!
Now where all my pictures of Hollywood stars with their poodles? Those gorgeous
technicolor shades? Then all the little damaged chalk fairground prize poodles, maybe I
could work with them too? Picked up for just pennies at sales and second hand shops.
Poodles are a real icon of the era, used in fashion, fabric prints, novelty accessories such as handbags, homewares, brooches, and they were the most popular dog breed of the 1950’s! I have quite a collection of things,
which started before I even had my first real poodle! Some items were gifted to me which I adore. As the poodles’ actually sleep in this room, it gathers quite a bit of dust, so I didn’t want to hang delicate handbags etc. on the wall,
I wanted everything to be easy to clean wherever possible.
Inspired by my original 1955 book “Our pal the poodle” written by Macdonald Daly, which along with poodle facts and figures,traditional clips and trims, history of this ancient breed, hints and tips, it also features stars of the time with their poodles,
mainly miniatures, (The middle size poodles) Dolores Grey, Janet Leigh, pianist Winifred Atwell,
Betty Driver, Sandra Dorne, cabaret star Yana, band-leader Geraldo, Elizabeth Taylor, boxer Don Cockell,
Joan Crawford with her poodles Cliquot & Camille, Piper Laurie & Eve Boswell are all photographed with their
beloved poodles! Looking super glamorous!
I have various prints and postcards laying around, I wanted to portray that golden Hollywood era,
Doris Day, Audrey Hepburn, Greer Garson, Ann Baxter, Jean Simmons, Yvonne de Carlo, Marilyn Monroe, Debbie Reynolds,
Delores Gray, some of the famous poodle owners of the time.
We went to the big “Swedish store” to buy a few box frames, I decided on a black and White theme, as most
of the chalk and ceramic poodles were these colours, and I framed Birthday cards I had received, designed
by the amazing Pennychoo, and popped a pair of flat backed chalk poodles into the frame to give a an extra dimension to my wall.
The effect was stunning and the wall now comes to life, with reflections on the frames,
and the poodle faces looking back from beyond the glass! It’s perfect to protect these little chalk guys, as they do collect dust, but they fall to bits on contact of moisture!
Of course, this idea could be incorporated into any theme, It would be fab with, say, old packaging and adverts,
maybe sewing patterns and old bobbins etc. or knitting patterns with old bakelite knitting needles & yarn framed together, the choices are endless, even “blokey” themes would work, mechanical items or small Airfix models.
Our dining experience is now with added va va poodle! Bright, light, but not white!
A more appreciated space altogether!
My outfit is a dress made from an original 1950’s flannel skirt! I much prefer dresses, so I incorporated the waistband (which was too small for me anyway!) into the jersey bodice.
My fab poodle brooch came from Charcoal designs, she actually
makes pink repro poodle brooches, but I asked if she could possibly make me a white one, as I had quite a few original ones,
but no white!
Bettie my 5 Year old Standard poodle joined me and little Jet our toy poodle who we re-homed 3 Years ago, who is now 10! He’s wearing a beautiful handmade leather collar from “Butterfly Buckles” which has little sweets on it, an hand painted logo saying “CANDY”
He is a proper little star, and has modelled twice with Bernie Dexter on the catwalk in vintage fashion shows!
My shoes are around 10 Years old, and were one of the first style Rocket Originals made, copied from original shoes. They have just re released them in several colours, so grab some while you can! They are so comfortable!
The carousel pouffes came from a jumble sale over 30 Years ago where Frankie paid probably £1 for them! They are printed plastic with straw inside! So best kept away from the fireside!
So go ahead! Pick a colour, and maybe a theme, or just frame your favourite nic-naks and dust collectors! Get creative and bring a fun
accent to your home!