Penny Slots Can Add Real Vintage Style To Your Home

If you think back to when you were teeny, when everything seemed magical, you may daydream back to brilliant British seaside memories, like I do. And, some of the likely images which sit most strong in your mind – along with the sea and the sand – were those moments when you were let loose at the arcade; free to spend your holiday pennies on pinball games, fortune-telling machines, penny slots and penny pusher falls, and to buy candy floss and ice-cream on the promenade. Ooof, bliss. Pre-decimalisation, a £1 note could be exchanged for 240 whole old pennies, yup, that’s a LOT of entertainment time in the arcade.

Today, if you want to play those kinds of games there’s no need to travel to an arcade. The easiest way to play is to go online and play at a casino or gaming site where you can still play for pennies at a time or even just for fun in demo mode. And, the sophistication of the games that can be played online make the old-fashioned games seem really primitive in comparison. Slots are a great example. There are hundreds of ace games to choose from; each with their own special features and bonus levels, it’s an extremely fun way to play. Take a look at the online slots available online at bgo, the choice is just huge; from superhero and fantasy themed games through to others that tie-in with TV shows such as Deal or No Deal and the X-Factor, so kitsch and cute.

As well as giving players a huge range of games to play all on one site via one account, most gaming sites offer new player a cash incentive. At bgo, new account holders also get 180 free spins on the game Starburst – an intergalactic slot whose reels feature gemstones – and can benefit from belonging to the site’s loyalty program which gives them access to special events on the site. At River Belle casino there are free slots tournaments to join and Royal Panda has a hot and cold slots feature page which tells you which games have paid out the most frequently in recent times. Of course, there’s no guarantee of a win though, as every spin of every game is unique and decided by random number generator algorithms.

But, classic vintage slots aren’t really about the gameplay; they ARE ALL about the look.

Regardless of how simple the vintage slots and other penny arcade games are in comparison to what you can play online today, the old machines haven’t lost their charm, and that’s mainly down to their design and style. While you might have trouble fitting a pinball machine or penny pusher falls into the average home, if you wanted to add some kitsch vintage entertainment and décor, one of the classic penny slot machines would look great on a side-table or on a spare bit of the kitchen worktop, there’s some totally beautiful ones out there.

Today you can buy vintage slot machines really easily on sites like ebay and gumtree. There are sites that specialise in vintage machines too, so much prettiness, but you’re more likely to get a bargain just buying from an individual seller, you just gotta do your research and choose your favourite find. It also depends whether you want a working model or not – obviously the games that no longer function are usually cheaper, but a bit less fun!

 

Vintage slots machines will often require old vintage pennies to work, so if you’re going to buy one, stock up on a supply of old pennies to keep feeding it with. While today’s slots online could win you a fortune, the old-fashioned games weren’t really about big prizes – it was about landing the right combination of symbols to get back the pennies you’d already paid in. Even if you landed a big win, it never amounted to that much, but it was always a whole heap of fun hitting the jackpot…HURRAH!

Too Much of a Good Thing is Wonderful

“I don’t dress this way to go unnoticed”

On my recent American road-trip holiday, we spent three days in Las Vegas. I was last in Vegas when I was 21 and this time my memories aren’t as fond; it was busier, stinkier, hotter and tackier than ever. Too many stag do’s, drunken business trips, and voyeuristic tourists have turned this magical kitsch city into a bad night in a sweaty nightclub. Alas, it appears that any glamour has long gone. But, luckily, as I was walking past The Cosmopolitan hotel and casino, I saw a sparkle of the city’s past glamour; in a small but perfectly formed exhibition showcasing the sequin festooned stage outfits of pianist Liberace. Phew.lib15alib16alib20a

In Las Vegas, both now and in it’s heyday, it seems that the bigger, the tackier, the more brash, indulgent and extravagant; the better. And who better to have lived by this idea than glittering entertainer Liberace. I don’t know a lot about him, I know he was a child prodigy on the piano, I know he was camp and theatrical and that between the 50’s and 70’s he was the highest paid entertainer in the world, wowzers. Liberace’s love affair with flamboyance began when, as a younger man he was watching pianist Hildegarde and was told ‘you’ve got to get a gimmick‘. Liberace then went and bought a gold candelabra from a thrift store and placed it on top of his piano whilst performing. This was just the start, his signature style of kitsch European opulence was born. Much of his career was spent playing residencies in Vegas at hotels such as Flamingo where I stayed, and up until 3 years ago there was a permanent museum in the city dedicated just to him. It would seem that Liberace and Las Vegas go hand in hand, this ace pop-up exhibition at Cosmopolitan celebrated the over the top, in your face, bedazzling style that you would expect from America’s most garish city. The title of the exhibition states it perfectly;

‘Too much of a good thing is wonderful: Liberace and The Art of Costume’

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King Neptune Suit

This suit dazzled audiences around the country and was replicated for the recent movie ‘Behind The Candelabra’. The beads elaborately create the look of waves, shells and sea coral.

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‘Rhinestone Suit’

Whoosh, someone went crazy with the rhinestones on this one. As with many of his suits this is made from a sturdy polyester gabardine but the embellishments completely cover the utility fabric. The crystal rhinestones are rim set- a now obsolete technique that encloses the stone within a circular mount and then attaches it to the fabric.

collagelib3‘Purple and Phoenix Suit’   

Liberace sure knew how to make an entrance and at Radio City Music Hall in 1986 he came onto the stage from above- showcasing this suits bird motif and glittering plumage! The birds are outlined in crystal seed beads and pink French curled Ostrich feathers make up their tails. Feathers featured in many of his costumes, making it hard for preserving the collection.

collagelib4‘Matador Suit and Cape’

Crikey this one’s pretty glam! Liberace wore this costume for his 1981 performances in Mexico City. The elaborate sequin work on the cape is accomplished with the now obsolete Cornely machine, a chain stitch machine which allowed the individual application of beads and sequins.

collagelib5‘Hapsburg-inspired Suit and Cape’ 

This rather camp ensemble was designed by Michael Travis in 1983, it features a double headed Eagle associated with the rulers of the Austrian Empire; The Hapsburgs. Heavily appliqued using gold lame and bands of gold bugle beads to make up it’s lavish appearance. The cape is trimmed in Sable fur.

collagelib6‘Red, White and Blue Hot Pants Ensemble’

Woah, it doesn’t get much more American than this! Liberace wore this rather patriotic number in 1986 as a tribute to the 100th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty. The embellishments of silver bugle beads and crystals give the illusion of separate garments but it is in fact a jumpsuit, making costume changes easier. Audiences loved how this suit demonstrated Liberace’s wonderful sense of humour.

collagelib7‘Christmas Suit and Cape’

I wish Father Christmas was real and that he wore this. In 1980 Liberace wore this gabardine and white fox cape for his Christmas shows at Las Vegas Hilton. The cape demonstrates the skill of Anna Nateece, a Greek born fur designer, the cape was entirely lined in silver sequins…oh my!

This pop-up exhibition was a delight, a perfectly delivered slice of old style Vegas glamour, the Vegas I treasure, where neon signs were a novelty, people dressed up for the shows and casinos, and when a trip to this city was a glistening indulgence. There are rumours that the permanent Liberace Museum (it was open for 31 years and closed in the recession) will reopen in a new downtown location, which would be marvelous, you gotta admit that this guy had some pretty exciting style and it would be a real shame to hide that away in this sequin-celebrating city.

 

An American Adventure

I’m back! Back from a holiday that was brilliant beyond words! Having had our shop in Norwich for so long, James and I had to always take separate, if any, holidays and so finally we got to take one together; and my goodness it was good! We decided we were gonna take a holiday to celebrate James’ big birthday and then when our beautiful friends who live in NYC announced that they were getting hitched in the middle of Moab Desert in Utah, we decided that a road trip through USA was the only way to go! We flew to San Francisco and spent a few days staying with my long time bestie Kristin, and then picked up our hire car, a Jeep and headed out to the desert! Going via Big Sur, Santa Barbara, Las Vegas and Escalante before hitting Utah for the wedding! Then a few more days of exploring, through Beaver and back to Vegas before flying home!

I was brought up, very fortunately, with lots of emphasis on travel and so I’ve spent much time visiting USA before as well as having spent time there studying for my Degree, I ADORE America, that place truly has my heart and this trip was a pure delight! My eyes saw things they couldn’t quite believe, the scenery in Utah was other-worldly and the heat was insane…45 degrees in the desert!! Wooosh! The trip was mind-blowing and then the wedding of our brilliant friends made it even more special! A beautiful glamping weekend wedding with the heat and the backdrop of the desert, it was so very magical I cannot even try to describe it. Simply luminous with love.

The trip cost us money we don’t have and I feared James and I would drive each other crazy in a car for two weeks, but, it was worth every cent and squabble, what a wonderful adventure we had, a perfect start to our new non-shop chapter of life! I’m pretty snap-happy with my iPhone when travelling and seeing new things, so I documented the whole trip on my Instagram; lots of you appeared to enjoy sharing my journey with me, such fun! These are just a few highlights, if you wanna, you can see all my holiday snaps here!

What a ride! Now back to reality and pretty dresses! xx

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