Sunday, November 21, 2010


I first heard Rasputina in an early episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Their song 'Transylvanian Concubine' was used in a party scene with Drusilla and it fit the dark, sexy mood perfectly.

To my delight, the song was included on the first volume of the Buffy soundtrack and I couldn't wait to investigate them further. To this day they've remained one of my favorite bands.
Fronted by 'directress' Melora Creager, the band currently consists of two cellists and a drummer.

Their sound is a hybrid of classical music, hard rock and electronica and frequently call to mind the atmosphere of a foggy graveyard. With their songs about savages, orphans, hunters and giants, Rasputina evoke a gothic America that is either long lost or well hidden.

Even though it all sounds quite dark (and some of it certainly is), Melora has a quirky sens of humor that shows through in the artwork, their incredible dress-sense and their stunning live performances.

A few of my favorite songs of theirs:
Hunters Kiss
My Little Shirtwaist Fire,
Gingerbread Coffin
Holocaust of Giants
and Melora's solo cover of Tom Petty's 'American Girl'.

To check out their music, more about their history, upcoming tour dates - and to pick up some of Melora's 'Rancid Brain Oil'(!), visit

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

MAKE-UP TUTORIAL: Simple Glamorous Look

Click to view in Full-Screen mode!

Here's a look adapted from Kevyn Aucoin's excellent book 'Making Faces'. Let me know what you think, and don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube page!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

RECIPE: Simple Cupcakes

These are the perfect, easy-to-make cupcakes. Just plain old vanilla sponge with a sweet butter-cream icing. Very simple to make and at this time of year, you'll find they go great with a hot cup of coffee (or tea)!

Here's what you need to make around 8 cupcakes (see below for the icing mixture):

125 grams of butter
125 grams of caster sugar
2 medium-sized eggs
125 grams of self-raising flour
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
Bun cases

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celcius before you start baking.

Cream together the butter and sugar until smooth and light. Next, add the eggs one at a time. To stop the mixture from curdling you can add a few tablespoons of flour.

Add the vanilla essence and fold in the flour.

Use a tablespoon to fill up the cases with a good dollop of the mixture, making sure to leave room for them to rise.

Bake for about 18 to 20 minutes.

While those are in the oven you can start on the icing. All that you need is:

125 grams of butter
250 grams of icing sugar

Just cream the butter and sugar together until smooth. If the butter is still too hard, it helps to get your (clean) hands in to soften it up.

Add the food colouring of your choice for a personal touch.

Make sure your cupcakes are cooled before you spread on the icing, or it'll melt. Then decorate however you like. Enjoy!

Friday, November 5, 2010

STYLE TIPS: Easy Homemade Chocolate Body-scrub

With winter on its way, it's a good time to take some extra care of your body - all of the rain, cold and indoor heating can really dry out your skin. This simple homemade body-scrub will not only get rid of the dead skin cells, but also moisturises and leaves your skin velvety soft.

All you need is:

5 tablespoons of sunflower oil
4 tablespoons of soft brown sugar
1 heaped tablespoon of cocoa powder (the baking kind, not the kind for instant hot chocolate!)

Mix the ingredients above together and slather it directly on to your skin, making sure not to get any on your face (it's too harsh for that).

This mixture is quite gloopy, so if you're clumsy like me, apply it in the bathroom or shower because both you and your surroundings will end up looking like the loser in a mud-wrestling match!

Wash it off with your favourite shower-gel or body lotion, and your skin will feel nourished and look lovely.

This recipe is adapted from the highly recommended 'Great Big Glorious Book For Girls' by Rosemary Davidson and Sarah Vine.