Athena Magazine

Fashion, lifestyle, passions

Pin-Up Dream Come True October 20, 2008

If you think you’ve missed your calling as a 1940s pinup girl, a 1930s moll, or a 1920s silent screen star, it’s not late to play dress up and have your pic taken as one. Maybe I’m the last to discover the vintage Hollywood glamour photography scene, but Time Machine Studios Photography does just that. If, like me, you’ve always been a little disappointed by the 21st century, this is a chance to do a little time travel to a more stylishly suitable era. Choose your glam shots here.


Bold rings, necklaces and bracelets are big this year

Posted by Marjorie Cunningham of Marjorie’s Cracked Plate Jewelry

Everywhere you look in 2008, you’ll see bigger, bolder jewelry.  While the trend is to wear less jewelry, the jewelry that is being worn is large and more unique.  Celebrities and fashion designers are wearing more statement pieces and large, colorful show stoppers. I’ve picked a few of my favorites to give you some ideas on where you can start with accessorizing jewelry.

One of the biggest trends is chunky cocktail rings.  Look at the size of this ring on Angelina Jolie—and what a gorgeous color!

I particularly like this beautiful coin charm bracelet by Pianegonda, a sterling silver Italian jewelry line. This piece is stunning and yet simple.

Another designer of this year’s big, bold jewelry look is Stephen Webster.   Christina Aguilera is shown here wearing his jewelry.


Move over paper dolls October 19, 2008

Filed under: Fashionista Files — rebmas03 @ 1:45 am
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In the 1940s, my mom had paper dolls. In the 1970s, I had this awesome game with a sticky board and sticky cutouts of wardrobe pieces. It was like my own plastic version of paper dolls where I could mix and match to create outfits. Move over paper and plastic dolls, now we have Polyvore. You can mix and match web fashion images to create your own fashion sets and share with your other similarly style-minded Polyvore friends. This could be truly endlessly entertaining, if you are the sort who can never get enough of making outfits. See you on Polyvore.


The Easiest Holiday Cookies Ever! Part One October 18, 2008

By Julia Pantoga

I don’t get what people love so much about decorating holiday cookies; everyone but me seems to think it’s fun. The benefit to you of my disdain for decorating holiday cookies is that I’ve thought about how to make every step simpler and less excruciating. (By the way, I did not decorate the cookies in the photo above; an artist friend of mine did.)

Okay, there are three parts to making decorated holiday cookies:
1.    Making the dough
2.    Rolling out and baking the cookies
3.    Decorating the cookies.

I like the first two steps; it’s the third step that gets me.

Make the dough now and freeze it.  When it comes time to make cookies in December, you will be really pleased you have that done.  Wait to roll and bake the cookies; however, because baked cookies are very delicate and likely to break before you have a chance to decorate them. (Although broken cookies are magnificent crumbled up and served over fruit.) Here’s the recipe I use. It works when you freeze it and roll it out later, and it tastes great. I divide it into three batches that I freeze.

Sugar Cookie Dough
1 cup butter (I like salted butter for this recipe)
½ cup sugar
1 egg (don’t forget to bring it to room temperature by putting it in a bowl of hot water)
3 tsp. vanilla
3 cups flour
½ tsp baking powder

1.    Cream butter and sugar.
2.    Add egg and vanilla, beat well.
3.    Measure and mix in flour and baking powder. (I mix the two together before putting them in the dough).
4.    Divide dough in three batches, label and freeze.

If you must know…  For 1/8” cookies, bake 5 min. @ 400 degrees.

You should begin shopping for decorating supplies now.  Go to a store that specializes in cake/cookie decorating.  There, you will find exactly you need.  The store will have the most interesting assortment of cookie cutters, colors of food dye and specialty icing spatulas.  The sales clerks will be knowledgeable and helpful about cookie decorating
The easiest cookie cutters to use are those with the fewest “appendages”.  For example, a bell shaped cookie cutter will make cookies that are much easier to handle than a fussy angel-shaped cookie cutter.  If you have young children, or if any of you are easily frustrated, easy cookie cutters are a must.
While you are at the decorating store, buy:  a small angled and tapered spatula that is designed especially for icing cookies, fantastic green, red, yellow and blue food dyes (they will be so much better and more complex than what you can buy at the grocery store), decorating paintbrushes (I’ve tried dime store paintbrushes, but the bristles fall out, which is unacceptable when you are making food.). Don’t buy anything that won’t “dry”.  “Gel” decorating products look great; but the next day, the cookies are still sticky. Make sure that everything you buy for decorating will eventually harden.  At a decorating store, the clerk will know what hardens and what doesn’t.

I’ll tell you what I know about rolling and baking cookies in Part 2 of this series and give you some ideas for decorating in Part 3.  Keep in mind though, that I don’t like decorating; so my decorating tips will be along the lines of easy-and-quick (but fabulous).


Cause-Related Style October 17, 2008

For fashion with a cause, turn to CLOAK, whose sexy T-shirt sales add up to donations to causes that improve the planet. Take the launch collection “Positivity Moves,” whose earnings were donated to non-profit charities providing aid to Haiti. That campaign was so successful that inventory is running low, but there will be more cause-related fashion on the way. As they say at CLOAK, “Fashion is our vehicle; being part of the solution to social problems is our purpose.” Go to the web site to register and get notifications on new products and causes.


Get Tights October 16, 2008

Filed under: Fashionista Files — rebmas03 @ 2:15 am
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In my opinion, you can never, ever have enough tights. For one thing, they are a great way to change up an outfit on the cheap. For another, they are just plain fun. And this new line from the UK,, takes tights to a new, rainbow-hued, ecstatic level. Whether you like the footed sort or leggings; patterned or bright solids; striped, flocked or spotted, you’ll find 1259 pairs of delectable, colorful, glorious tights. It’s makes me giddy just to think of it. Take a peek here.


Monica Burnett’s Candy-Colored, Crocheted Confections October 15, 2008

Filed under: Fashionista Files,Worldly women — rebmas03 @ 2:29 am
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About the only thing cuter than Monica Burnett’s hats and headbands is my five-year-old niece. And that’s pretty cute. Candy-colored crocheted skull caps and voluptuous floral crocheted adornments perched on skinny headbands would do any any girl proud. This Portland-based artist creates a confection of color that’s truly incredible. Check out her goodies here.


Catwalk Thrift: Style on a Budget 2 October 14, 2008

Catwalk Thrift: Style on a Budget 2

By Louise Sleigh

(Louise is a regular contributor to Athena. She lives in the U.K. and runs a vintage clothing blog called Catwalk Threads and an online vintage shop called Catwalk Creative.)

Here’s another little beauty I picked up for next to nothing at my local thrift store. It’s not vintage but it really does have that vintage “feel” about it.  Made from 100% PVC in a lovely shade of deep red.  Looks great worn with jeans, trousers or skirts.  It’s fully lined with two side pockets and fastens at the front with a chunky red zip.

Wear the jacket with different accessories to keep it looking fresh and new.  All you need is a little imagination and a few accessories and bingo!  Enjoy the photos!


Catwalk Thrift: Style on a Budget 1 October 13, 2008

Catwalk Thrift: Style on a Budget 1

By Louise Sleigh of Catwalk Threads

(Louise is a regular contributor to Athena. She lives in the U.K. and runs a vintage clothing blog called Catwalk Threads and an online vintage shop called Catwalk Creative.)

With news of the dreaded “credit crunch” hitting our economies everywhere, many of us are watching the pennies (or cents). It certainly looks like things are going to be pretty gloomy, economy wise for the next couple of years. That doesn’t mean to say that you have to compromise on style.  No, no, no!  There are many ways to shop for style on a budget—and I don’t mean stuffing your shopping cart with the latest “fast-fashion” items from Primark!  It’s more about empowering yourself and deciding on the look you want to achieve; going out there and adapting your budget buys to your own individual style.

To give you some inspiration, I’ve come up with “Catwalk Thrift” which is going to be a regular event involving me, showing you, my most recent budget buy.  Here’s my first offering; I purchased this coat yesterday from my local charity shop, Minds Matter.  It’s in beautiful condition with no faults or issues.  All it needed was a gentle machine-wash (hand wash cycle) and it’s just like new! It’s made by JEMNI (Australia). I’m so pleased with this find because it’s such a versatile little number; more of a cardigan really but it’s the perfect cover-up for autumn/winter.  Layer it with jeans, t-shirts, polo-necks, or leave it open and team it with a mini-skirt, turtle-neck sweater and tights/boots—whatever! This coat is so bang-on trend—perfect for the Luxury Bohemian look that’s so hot right now.

Dress the coat up or down to achieve a different look each time. See from the photos how a simple change of scarf, belt or teaming with a selection of different styles of jewellery, will dramatically alter the look of this coat.

For another “bang up-to-date” look, team this coat with bright, opaque tights and boots and a large, shiny “it” bag. Be brave!  Clash patterns and textures for a really individual look!

Made from 100% acrylic, this jacket certainly has the appearance of wool. It’s a knitted fabric with a zig-zag, abstract weave in pink, orange, blue and white.   It really is the most eye-catching coat.  It has a reverse collar and fastens with three black buttons down the front. No pockets. Not lined. Hand wash only.

Please contact us to state how much (in pounds sterling £) you think I paid for this coat.  I’ll post the answer on the next installment of Catwalk Thrift. Thanks for dropping by!  See you soon. oxoxo


Cleaning the Microwave with Lemon October 11, 2008

Filed under: Domestic Goddess — rebmas03 @ 11:27 pm
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By Julia Pantoga

I was visiting my sister the recently, when she called from the kitchen, “Hey, Domestic Goddess, do you know how to get fish smell out of the microwave?” I was in the other room showing my niece some music videos on this blog. I disinterestedly yelled back, “No idea. And don’t call me that.”

My sister yelled, “I’m going to try microwaving a lemon. Does that sound right to you?”

A few minutes later, she came to the door and proudly said, “It worked.” She’s a Domestic Goddess too. Most of us are.  Here’s what she did:

1.    Wiped the microwave down to remove all residue.
2.    Cut a lemon in half and squeezed the lemon juice out of it onto a paper towel folded into quarters.
3.    Placed the lemon halves in the middle of the towel in the microwave and ran it on high for 1 minute.

After cleaning the microwave, she went back to making Macaroni and Cheese from a recipe in Mark Bittman’s cookbook, How to Cook, which turned out great. My nephew said, “This is so much better than that stuff that comes out of a box.”