Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wahine of the Week: Ava Gardner...

Welcoming a vintage Wahine to the Secret Island this week: Ava Gardner...

“Because I was promoted as a sort of a siren and played all those sexy broads, people made the mistake of thinking I was like that off the screen. They couldn’t have been more wrong.”
- Ava Gardner

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Steve Croquett, Heads Up, Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi 2011...

The Sculpture by the Sea event in Bondi celebrates its 15th anniversary this year from the 3rd - 20th November 2011. The spectacular Bondi to Tamarama coastal walk is transformed into a 2km long temporary sculpture park featuring over 100 sculptures by artists from Australia and across the world.

This year has me more excited that normal as it features the work of Steve Croquett titled Heads Up. Whats more these could be standing closer to home after the event if you have the cash! Check out Sculpture by the Sea for more details.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Bye Bye Bar ...

With the tribe here on the one uninhabited Secret Island there's a lot less time for drinking and blogging! The once serene bamboo hut is now so littered with children's toys that a late night return from the bar in the dark became more hazardous than it might have been!

The tribe Chief decided that the bar had to go to create a Jungle Rumpus room where the savages could play to their hearts content. So it was with much sadness that the bar was listed on eBay. It was eventually won by someone living two hours away who baulked at the courier costs and wanted me to get a trailer from somewhere, wrap and pack it and deliver it thirty minutes away to a depot!... not likely! Incidentally it would have never seen another Mai Tai as it was going to have a cash register sat on it in a Bikini Shop!

If further proof was needed that a good attitude goes a long way in this world I've since let it go to someone else at a reduced cost who will at least give it some love. Turns out the new owner is one of Sydney's Casino Rumblers. Hope he enjoys the bar as much as I enjoyed the music!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Wahine of the Week: Maybelle Lee

Introducing this weeks wahine of the week Maybelle Lee ...

Hi all you Cats and Kittens! My name is Maybelle Lee and I am an American vintage Pin Up model! I specialize in sexy, retro, classic, cheesecake, Hollywood glamour, swimsuit, garage, rockabilly, alternative, recreations, and hot rod photo shoots. I have been absolutely in love with this era since I was a little girl when my dad would take me to all the car shows with him.

Well done dad I say! Check out more of Maybelle Lee here.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Classic Cocktail Set from Derek ...

Derek Yaniger is about to release details of his Classic Cocktail set created for him by the good people at Tiki Farm.

This Summer (Fall for you guys north of the tropics!)as featured in the premier issue of Tiki Farm's magazine 250 sets of these beauties will be available. Created with a "brand-spankin’ new sandblastin’ technique" they are due to fly off the shelves.

Keep checking back with Tiki Farm for all the release details.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Kongs Jungle Lounge ...

Life here on the Secret Island can be a lonely one... I've had to perfect my Mai Tai Making because to be honest the nearest bar worthy of the Tiki name is a twenty hour drive away! For that reason time on Tiki Central leaves me feeling blue as I too would like the choice and the local bar to call home that US based Tiki aficionados enjoy.

So you can imagine my delight when I heard of a new bar/resturant through Tiki Talk opening up just a couple of hours away down at Bondi. The restaurant specializes in what head chef Adam Dundas Taylor calls “Poly-asian” food, which takes its inspiration from places like Nobu and Hugos. The cocktail menu has modern, but respectful versions of favorites like Kongs Mai Tai, Marama Rum Punch, Beachbum Berry’s Miehana, and more.

I'll certainly be making a visit soon...

Kongs Jungle Lounge
110 Spring Street Bondi Junction, Sydney, Australia 2022 | 0280218122

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Tiki Returned ...

I thought that I'd mark my return to regular posting with another Tiki Return of sorts. It's a really nice good news story and we all need some of those now and again.

When John Malcon turned 21 in 1943, he was about to leave the country (New Zealand) for the Pacific war. He specified "no presents" but a close friend ignored the request and gave him a sterling silver tiki on a chain. Mr Malcon had his initial and surname, army number, religion and blood type engraved on the back and wore it throughout his army service in the New Hebrides where 36 Battalion was working alongside American troops. He said standing on a sea egg spike while swimming in the tropical waters landed him in an American army hospital there and among the visitors he received were Admiral William Halsey and Eleanor Roosevelt.

With no other injuries from his war service, and with his silver tiki still around his neck. Mr Malcon is a member of the Feilding Royal New Zealand Returned and Services Association and for 28 years he was a regular visitor to the Palmerston North hospital on behalf of both the Feilding RSA and the Rangitikei Club. It was not until he was there as a patient about six years ago that he lost the silver tiki which he had worn for more than 60 years.
"I had to remove all metal to have an X-ray and it was not until I was in the shower that evening that I realised my tiki was not around my neck," he said. "I retraced my steps and at the hospital the girl helped me search the X-ray department, but my tiki was not found. I didn't think I would ever see it again."

However, someone had found it, and recognised the number as an army number. About a year ago the person who found it called at the Paraparaumu RSA and gave it to President William Powell. He didn't do anything about it at first, thinking that it must have belonged to a World War II soldier, and the chances of finding him alive were slight. A few weeks ago his wife reminded him that a tiki should be returned to its owner and she set him on the path to find the J Malcon whose name was on the little silver tiki.

Mr Powell said: "I went to Trentham records but, although they could confirm John Malcon had been a serviceman, they had no knowledge of where he lived now or whether he was still alive." He contacted Palmerston North RSA last week but there was no Malcon on their membership, and White Pages showed no Malcon in Palmerston North. "So I went to Malcon in the whole country and there was a J Malcon in Feilding. I phoned John and asked his army number," Mr Powell said.

"That's something you never forget," Mr Malcon said."When he told me he had my tiki, I was quite overcome. When I got off the phone, I couldn't remember who he was or where he was from, only that he was returning my tiki."

On Tuesday Mr Powell and Paraparaumu RSA welfare officer Alan Dempsey travelled to Feilding to hand the tiki back to Mr Malcon. There was huge emotion over the fact that something which held such strong links with the war had found its way home.

From the Manawatu Standard.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Shag Shopping ...

It's been a while between Mai Tai's but I'm back with news of Shag's latest offering. A set of three Terrificaly Tiki hanging lamps.

With the Stock Market stooping to new lows it would seem that these lamps are a rare sound investment! This NEW Limited Edition SHAG TIKI LAMP SET includes Three Tiki Themed Lamps measuring in at 8" in Diameter x 24" high each!

This set of three lamps will only be sold as a set and are limited to 50 signed & numbered sets. You'll need to act quickly if you want to acquire a set of these.
If these cool lamps weren't enough on their own, they come complete with Three Mini Prints by SHAG to compliment each of the lamps. Each of these mini prints is hand signed & numbered by SHAG and are a must for the SHAG completist.

Available for $750 US downgraded dollars from M-Modern.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Wahine of the Week: Belle La Donna...

This weeks Wahine of the Week is the stunning Belle la Donna. I love the flower in the hair,the tattoo, the eyes, the dress ... should I go on!?

She says...
"I'm Belle la Donna, I'm a Burlesquedancer and a pin- up model. I enjoy to seduce the audience with a sweet cocktail of the poison cherry. Only with the secret mixture of this exotic drink I will let you lose your mind!But be careful! Only take a look, not more, don't touch or die !!!"

But what a way to go! ;0)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Tiki Farm Magazine ...

Keeping up to date with all the great new creations coming from Tiki Farm is tough ... as they pointed out in their latest newsletter they've been asked to create mugs for designers, restuarants and events across the world ... even those far flung places like Australia!!

To help out they are going to print with the very first copy of the Tiki farm Collectors magazine...

We decided the best way to keep all of our collectors “in the know” is with our new magazine. For years now, we’ve been fielding so many questions about “what’s coming out”, “what events are coming up”, “what artists are doing new mugs”, etc. We’ve been asked for years to do a magazine.

Also if you weren't able to get to any of the events held this year but still want the mug (and maybe a t shirt) then get down to the Farm today as the surplus stock is being sold now...

Red Pepper Retro Vintage Style Graphics ...

Most things here on the Secret Island, and around the rest of world I guess, work best through word of mouth and so today I'll share a little love for someone locally who is becoming a real mover and shaker in the world of vintage design and graphics.

Red Pepper Retro was established in 2009 as an offshoot of the successful graphic design business, Red Pepper Graphics. Founder Susan Cadzow had discovered that many of her clients shared her love of vintage and retro, and there was a huge demand for graphics in that style. Rockabilly bands like the Sonic Aces and Blue Denim needed CD covers designed and retro illustrations drawn. Sydney vintage icons Limpin Jimmy and the Swingin Kitten needed a website to run their gig guide and promote their DJ business, Doll Deluxe and Retrospec’d needed labels designed for their retro fashion ranges, and on it goes!

The Vintage, Retro and Kustom Kulture world is growing in popularity and it seems even people in the mainstream are now contacting Red Pepper Retro to create evocative, iconic imagery to promote their products and services. Susan can create custom illustrations and designs for people who require exclusive or personalised work.  Or she has a vast library of vintage clip art and imagery to create a design tailored especially for you ... the examples shown here are both available as freebies!

With a wealth of experience, and very reasonable prices, there are packages to suit all budgets. Please contact Susan to discuss your needs at Red Pepper Retro.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Visit the Tikiyaki Polynesian Village Resort ...

As I mentioned in my previous post the Secret Island is currently under the firm grip of an Icy Winter... 16 degree maximums inside a bamboo hut has me wishing for Summer and/or warmer climes!

I stumbled across the Tikiyaki Orchestra Village Resort and found a really good deal. Not only to you get the keys to room 151 for a week in the sunshine you also get a copy of the Tikiyaki Orchestra's new album Aloha Baby and a whole heap of booty that Tiki aficionados swipe from reputable Tiki establishments ... you know the mugs, ice bucket, matches, ash trays ... need I go on?

Here is a little more about the hotel itself...

"The Tikiyaki Polynesian Village was constructed at great cost on the golden sands of Waikiki Beach. The well known architectural firm of Dewy, Chetham & Howe was contracted to draw up the plans and build the tropical destination. All the interiors were contracted to be designed by I.M. Bland-one of Hawaii's greatest interior designers. I.M. Bland chose the decore of the Shanghai International Trading Company (ShITCO) as the outfitter for the well appointed room. ShITCO was chosen for its hand made Island look featuring carved furniture made of real Polynesian driftwood and other found artifacts."

Aloha Lanes just one of the substandard facilities available to guests!

Wahine of the Week: Ruby Peru ...

It's Tuesday and so time to warm the Southern Hemisphere Winter here on the Secret Island with my Wahine of the Week. This week I bring you Ruby Peru.

Now I have to admit that I know absolutely nothing about Ruby although I do know that she is the perfect accompaniment to a Tiki carved by none other than Marcus Thorn.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Mr. Ho's Orchestra - Third River Rangoon ... a review.

In 2010, Mr. Ho decided to release a series of albums over the next few years under the title "Exotica for Modern Living." These records will attempt to take the best elements of mid-century living, music, and culture and merge them with modern life to provide listeners with a "retro futuristic" listening experience.

The beautiful  artwork by Javier Garcia
The series opened with "The Unforgettable Sounds of Esquivel" featuring 23 musicians playing Mr. Ho's transcriptions of the lost arrangements of Mexico's king of space-age pop. Following this came "Third River Rangoon," featuring third-stream exotica music.I've recently downloaded this and I'm not regretting it... particularly when you can pick up the digital download and CD for $9.99 from their official website.... almost double that on iTunes!

It truly is a wonderful piece of modern exotica. I could give you a review but would rather leave it to the professionals who can far more eloquently articulate what I want to say...

"… Mr. Ho's new album Third River Rangoon, by his shapeshifting ensemble Mr. Ho's Orchestrotica may have been inspired by that subgenre, but it's considerably more magical. It leaves far more to the imagination, a lushly nocturnal collection whose most impressive feat of sorcery is getting a simple lineup of vibraphone, bass flute, bass and percussion to create the sweep of a hundred-piece orchestra. The production is genius…"Lucid Culture. 2011.

"… a perfect cocktail of mid-century 'space age bachelor pad' music deliciously accented with chamber, jazz, classical, and world music…"—Jonathan Perry. Boston Globe. 2011.
Go get it...

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Tiki Light eBay Auction ...

Here on the Secret Island depite or relatively closeness to all things polynesian there really is little Tiki infuenced design or decoration. Trips to thirft stores, markets offer few rewards, even to a hardened beaccomber like me. I often return home empty handed...

eBay can cough up the odd local gem and reveal a tantilising glimpse of what else is on offer overseas ... oh if we didn't have to pay postage! ;0(

I've been watching this little Tiki Lamp for about a week or so, being offered up by a seller in South Australia. I'm not sure if they knew what they had or if they were offering an item and were interested in what it would go for!
"The most intricate detail on this fantastic 1960’s New Zealand lamp. Features Maori tiki’s galore – all different. Have never seen another like it. It is large and so very heavy. I don’t know what it is made from… it feels like a resin but has the weight of stone – definitely not ceramic. Either way, it is superb and around 50 years old!

The design is all the way round the lamp base… it looks great from any angle. Thoroughly inspected and there is no damage to the lamp base, it is really really nice. The shade is a neutral colour and has a subtle woven pattern. Stunning focal point in any room. Fantastic large size measures : 76cm (tall) x 100cm (circumference). Unpacked it weighs : 4.3kg"

I would have loved this but it was soon out of my price range. It ended up selling for AUS$358 which when converted is slightly more in US dollars. It set me thinking... is the rarity of such items here pushing the price up or would this have reached a similar price in the US.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Wahine of the Week: Ms Bombshell Belle Fey ...

It's Tuesday and that means only one thing ... it's time for this weeks Wahine of the Week. This week I'd like to introduce you to Ms Bombshell Belle Fey...

She describes herself as

"A creepy thing loving, pin up Frank Sinatra listening dame from San Diego."

She spent most of her time with her aunt and grandparents listening to oldies and learning how to do the Charleston. She loves Halloween, the rain and baking cookies :) She decorates her house year round with bats, candles and universal monster pictures. Despite only being 22 years old she is already a tattoo artist and is slowly working her way to opening a shop of her own!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Scootiki: Mods and Gods ...

Elroy Artspace Gallery in Portland, Oregon is about to host its 2nd Annual Tiki Fine Art Group Show Opening on the 7th July.

As well as an impressive selection of work from some of Tiki Art's biggest names a special mug will also be released designed by tiki artist Mulder142 in collaboration with, and produced by Paul Neilson of Munktiki! I'll feature this in a future post.

Elroy's "Scootiki: Mods & Gods" show will serve also as the official Art Show of the National Lambretta Jamboree held in Portland July 8-10th!

Here are my picks of the work on show. I tried to go for some artists who I wasn't familiar with ...

Sherill Ann Gross - "Orange", 9" x 9" / 12" x 16" (framed) - $200

Benjamin Burch.

Chris Young.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Adventureland T-Shirts ...

It takes a little while for the Jungle Drums to reach the Secret Island, and sometimes it means you miss out on what's hot... like this fantastic shirt from graphic designer Richard who describes himself as..

"A born dreamer & doer. An idea guy who understands the importance of magic. Specializing in graphic design, typography, painting and illustration."

His blog page is stuffed to the brim with wonderfully creative designs for Disney, that are in every way unofficial but are of the quality that should demand respect from the head honchos in purchasing.

His retro inspired designs have created quite a stir around Tiki Blogs and Forums. To avoid any complications with Disney this shirt design is not based on a show or attraction. Richard says

"Within Adventureland at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World, there's a "must eat" on every visitor's list: the Dole Pineapple Whip! If it's not on your bucket list, it should be. It's the most amazing frozen concoction in the parks! The Dole Pineapple Whip is a staple and is so popular that Disney added a whip machine in the Polynesian Resort back when the quick service area was refurbished."

"I tried to take a whimsical yet kitschy approach with the design. I wanted to not only represent the whip itself, but to also reflect the tropical Tahitian feel of Adventureland. What better icon to represent the spirit of Oceania than a Tiki warrior? To throw a bit of tongue-in-cheek humor into the design, I thought it would be clever to have him holding a whip in his hands. Of course this fierce tropical warrior couldn't be so mean when enjoying this delectable treat, so his intimidating frown has been turned upside down. I can imagine after the park closes that the statues, carvings and idols from around Adventureland break their poses and all hit up the Dole Whip stand to reward their hard day’s work of entertaining guests."

The good news for Richard is that the demand was so huge that he fulfilled his order ... the bad news for most of you guys and me is that we missed out! ;0(

... it won't happen again!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Tiki Farm: Von Franco Ashtrays ...

In a short term departure from mugs Tiki Farm have created from the artwork of Von Franco two new ashtrays.

Done up in “Purple Haze” and “Mellow Yellow” glazes, the ashtrays are further finished in an authentic mother-of-pearl overglaze! Each ashtray features 1 cigar rest and 3 cigarette rests.

They only have 250 of each color so the supply of these is limited. AND… are you ready for the price? Their Smokin’ Joe ashtrays are only $11.11 each!

Get down to the Farm quickly!