Stunt of the Year: Pin-Up Class

26 Aug


A new term has slipped into my everyday speech: “stunt.” A few months ago church lady partner-in-crime, Gretchen and I were visiting a second-hand store in her neighborhood and stumbled upon Let’s Have a Good Time: Parties, Games, and Stunts by Olive Cameron, copyright 1938.  This book is chock full of homespun activities, party ideas, church games, and nonsense. The following is from the preface:

A “good time” now and then is relished by all normal men.

Play activity develops the children, gives vent to the adolescents’ excess “pep,” and restores the nerves of over-worked adults.

Properly conducted play contributes to every phase of life.

This book is sent forth in the hope that it may promote in some small way the kind of “good time” which builds people physically, intellectually and spiritually.

A “stunt” in my mind is a “good time” that builds you up in some way—just nice, clean confidence building fun! It can be as elaborate as a trip to Canada for a conference on handicrafts, or as simple as making a special jell-o salad for somebody you love! Usually its a new activity that requires some preparation and planning but it doesn’t have to be.

On Sunday, a few of us stunt-loving dames participated in a long-awaited pin-up class with world-famous burlesque beauty Bettina May.  I’m here to testify that it was without a doubt the top-notch best stunt of the decade!  Honestly, I wish every day was pin-up class day!  Bettina May is one of the loveliest gals I’ve met in ages!  She puts her students at ease with a combination of charm, sweetness, and a clever wit. How can you not love a gal who advertises for one of her classes with the claim, “Come learn all the tricks grandma used to snag grandpa with easy fabulous hairdos that last all night!”?

Miss Robin as a Real Pin-Up!

Class began with a make-up tutorial in which Bettina walked us through the classic pin-up face: rosy cheeks, a strong red lip, lined lids, and fake eyelashes.  I’d consider myself advanced when it comes to make-up, since I spent so many years doing my own theatrical make-up for shows, even still there were plenty of new tips for my beauty arsenal!

Next, Bettina taught us how to set our hair using the ancient and now nearly forgotten wet-to-dry method consisting of a combination of wire and sponge rollers, setting spray, a head scarf, several hours of waiting (usually done while sleeping), and a wink and a prayer. Bettina’s claim: she virtually hasn’t had a bad hair day in years. Fascinating stuff.  She also introduced us to pin-up styling techniques including the famous victory roll.

After donning our dresses, Bettina gave the group a quick lesson in pin-up posing and shot each of us in our own private photo session!  Church lady Gretchen and I of course had to bring props.  What’s better than canned produce?  We also had a Swedish hymnal at the ready that *sigh* wasn’t used. I also sewed a sweet little apron.

Oh Golly!

The apron was easy to construct, consisting of three major pieces, a heart-shaped bodice with lace trimming, waistband, and gathered skirt.

Apron Pieces

I used a pattern from Tipnut as a reference point, while adding some little flourishes of my own.

Wishing you many enjoyable stunts this weekend!


One Response to “Stunt of the Year: Pin-Up Class”

  1. Gretchen August 26, 2011 at 2:15 pm #

    Ha ha ha!! Love it and it was THE STUNT of the year!!

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