The Jazz Emporium

Let's get our Vintage on!

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Guest Post by Jessica James: Saving the Pennies One Face-Mask at a Time

I don’t know if you realize, but we are very nearly half way through 2012! This epiphany brought to mind the New Years resolutions I made over five months ago. Typically, one goal was to save money. Admittedly, I’ve been spending unacceptable funds on frivolous items i.e. wool and toothpaste. Last week I was considering getting some posh hair repair product, but this would clash with my desire to save money. Light bulb! Why not take a look into a more DIY-like approach? As I’ve discovered from personal research, coconut oil is very beneficial to the hair and skin. This is a relatively cheap beauty supply option, and can be used as a hair mask, conditioner, or a styling product.

The plan: apply to hair as a hair mask and leave in overnight. I scooped what I thought was a wee bit into a glass container to be heated in the microwave. If you are not familiar with coconut oil, when it is cool, it is white and waxy, kind of like a candle. As it is heated, the oil liquefies and turns clear. The few chunks turned out to be a truckload of coconut oil. My hair has been pretty dry since my transformation to a redhead, and I thought a bit of extra moisture would do no harm. It took a good few minutes to apply, starting with massaging it into my scalp while my flatmate and I were having our evening chats. Eventually my entire head was encased in an oily layer, and off to bed I went. In the morning I washed it out and the transformation was amazing. I didn’t even put any product in my hair, and my curls were well defined with no frizz. Coconut oil is defo a welcome addition to my beauty regime.


But, by the end of the day, my locks were a bit more greasy than usual, which is due to the truckload of oil I applied the night before. For the next application, I will not apply so bloody much! Live and learn.

My skin has been feeling a bit dull, and I thought it would be a good idea to invest in a new facemask. While perusing Lush’s loverly products, I felt inspired to make my own. Oats, brown sugar, lemon juice, green tea and honey all make for a drippy homemade facemask. I still had a few workable hours left to my evening, and what better way than to spend it concocting a witches brew to apply to my face. AND it costs pence!!


After applying a thin layer to my freshly washed face, I left it on for about 10 minutes before the rinse off. As this mask is so drippy and messy, I think it best used in a bath or with a bib. This mixture is highly susceptible to gravity and much of it ended up on the front of my hoodie, making me look like a ridiculously messy eater.


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All Sixes 17/05/12: Ladies Special

From Busty Girl Comics

Straight to the punch. Today’s All Sixes is dedicated to all the ladies. Just ’cause…

1. Busty Girl Comics. It’s not rude honest. This hilarious and quirky tumblr comic  series is centred round the problems of busty girls whatever their size.

2. Etiquette for the modern lady.

3. Our new fashion crush Hot Chocolate & Mint. Clashing patterns and a sense of humour – Diana has got style! Plus her shoe company makes tasty things for your feet.

4. Embrace all the womanly wisdom in the world with Letters for our Daughters.

5. Some of our favourite beauty advice comes from Sali Hughes over at The Guardian. Her columns are knowledgeable, comprehensive and down-to-earth.

6. Get off my Internets. No doubt you’ve heard of GOMI, with well known bloggers suing them left right and centre. This site with its strong honesty policy and nack for spilling the beans is sometimes a nice break from the glossy, often surreal world of fashion blogs where everything is hunky dory. If you’re a nosy wee besom* and a cat-loving lady then this site is for you.
*Besom is a Scottish word meaning a woman/girl whose attitude and behaviour we find unacceptable, who is annoying  or who you hate. The Jazz usually use it on lighter terms to mean humorously or fondly to a mischievous female.

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Guest Post by Jessica James: Scarecrows & Rainy Days


One week later, I am still suffering regret over not attending Elie’s first ever scarecrow festival. The very idea of it makes me chuckle…and then burst into ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow.’ Said festival took place over this past bank holiday weekend, and rumour has it, there was even a Spongebob related entry. Doesn’t it just sound like something out of a sitcom?? But alas, the weather kept me indoors, so I have no firsthand coverage to share, sad times.

Last weekend, there did happen to be a small window of opportunity to enjoy some beach time. I was shuttled off to Lunan Bay (voted the best beach in Scotland in 2000, oooolala) before the sun decided to disappear again.


After a bit of frolicking in the sand with a crazy pup named Ozzy, I had plans to sample one of Arbroath’s delicacies: an Arbroath Smokie. Upon entering the fish shop, I was under the impression that an Arbroath Smokie would be a portion of fish put into a wee container and ready for consumption directly. No. It is an actual fish. I was quite bewildered when the fishy mistress told me she would be happy to take the backbone out for me. Receiving this information, I was bewildered and admittedly, a bit scared. With all these tumultuous emotions running round, I deemed it best to exit the building without a backboneless fish. This situation proved only to further expand this gaping cultural hole, and I am now suffering from non-buyers remorse. I take it back I take it back! I want some Smokie action!

Gee wiz, all the things I’m missing out on!!! I shall just sit here in the knit shop with my diminishing container of carrots and hummus, and pout.

I would feel much better if I were drinking a flat white coffee in the sunshine. Fat chance of that! Rain, rain, GO AWAY. Okay, enough griping and moaning for one week, I do believe I’ve well surpassed the quota.

Onto a more positive subject, this past week I assisted with Imaginate; Edinburgh’s children’s theatre festival. I worked as a festival assistant last year, and eagerly volunteered to help out again. This has been the best volunteer experience I have ever had. The paid staff make their volunteers feel super-duper appreciated.  As a now and again philanthropist, I value my personal time. This being said, I am happy when my donated time and efforts are suitably recognized. Another thing that makes being involved with Imaginate so spectacular is the reaction of the wee audience members. Every single child that I witnessed attending a festival show has come out utterly delighted. Och, but I forget that there is always an exception to the rule. One little girl became quite frightened of a diminutive puppet lurking about the stage. And yet another reason why Imaginate is awesome: while loitering about the lobby during show time, I was able to complete this wee gem: a hot pink lacy vintage inspired number fashioned out of luxurious Harris Tweed wool. Yum.

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Guest post by Jessica James: Silk and Pierogi

Learning new skills and hobbies inspires me to no end, both in a creative and general sense. This past week, I am delighted to say that I learned two new things: silk painting and how to make Polish pierogi. All in all, a brilliant week!


The silk painting workshop in my flat also included food, wine, and plenty of laughs. I may have been knitting for a good portion of the evening. A handful of us were learning this new skill, and a few of those folks were proper artists. Therefore, I was a bit intimidated to try it out with an audience such as this. The process starts off with a sketch on regular paper (and I am really not an artist in this sense). The lines should be dark, because this will have to be seen through the silk in order to transfer the image. The piece of fabric is put onto a frame of sorts, and then the drawing is placed on the underside of the silk. A glue pen is used to draw the outline and dried with a hairdryer.

Finally, the painting begins. With watercolours, you paint where you will. The glue-ish outline keeps the paint from running away of its own accord. The painting is then blow-dried to set the colour. Hey presto, you’ve printed custom fabric and the result is quite stunning.

I quite like my cheeky wee teacup…

Next in the learning new skills set is Polish pierogi. For those not in the know, pierogi is Polish dumplings. Since one of my flatmates is a veggie, we made Quorn pierogi, as well as feta and spinach-filled ones. Using the dinner table as the workspace, a huge flour volcano of eggs and water is mixed and kneaded into proper dough. My pierogi was rolled with a Captain Morgan rum bottle as I do not own a rolling pin (GASP!!).

Using a pint glass (keeping within the alcohol theme), wee circles are cut out, filled with the filling, halved and smooshed together. After boiling them in water with some olive oil, they were added to the giant pot of beetroot soup. Delish.

On a side note, this past Monday was Beltane; the ancient fire festival that celebrates the coming of summer atop Edinburgh’s Calton Hill. It features fire, drums and people running around in costumes and various states of undress. The night was clear and I had been looking forward to my first Beltane celebration for well over a year, on account of missing last year’s. Money well spent. Approved!


[Editor – is this photo the right way up?]

Have you learned a new skill lately?

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Sassy Bearcat of the Week: Jayne Min aka Stop It Right Now

I’ve probably mentioned before the awesome Jayne Min, the sharply dressed blogger behind the equally awesome blog Stop it Right Now. Jayne is this week’s Sassy Bearcat not only because I am a tad obsessed with her high-fashion meets skater girl cool style, but because of her excellent post on consumerism and why fashion blog envy shouldn’t leave you maxing out your credit cards. All pics belong to Jayne Min obvs.