October 23, 2014

Halloween 2014 edition of Flickr Favourites

{Goblin on the moon ~ Wyld_Hare}

{1954 Halloween Fluffy Frosting Ad ~ Neato Coolville}

{Vintage Halloween Ephemera ~ Suzee Que}

{Dracula ~ X-ray Delta One}

{Wrigley's Spearmint Gum Halloween Ad ~ Neato Coolville}

{Candle ~ Flood G.}

{Redbook cover Oct 1933, Bobbing for Apples ~ Genibee}

{Vintage Halloween Witch ~ Suzee Que}

{Happy Halloween ~ Carlin}

{Witches, Goblins and Ghosts ~ Neato Coolville}

{All images above are from Flickr. To learn more about a specific image, please click on its title to be taken to its respective Flickr page.} 

Boo!!! Did I scare you? I hope not, because I've always been more of a fan of the cute and charming side of Halloween than the nightmare inducing horror filled one. That isn't to say I don't enjoy a bit of a startle under the right circumstances (say like a haunted house), but overall, I'm more apt to carve a smiling face on my jack-o-lantern than a grimacing, frightening one.

If, like me, you're a massive fan of all things Halloween, you're probably on the edge of your (rickety antique) seat for next Friday! At less than a week away now, there's so much to see and do and enjoy before the big day gets here. Much like as with Christmas, Halloween has never, and will never just be a one day event for me. Yes, technically, the big day is the 31st, but prior to that I genuinely love the anticipation, the planning, the sweet treats (candy apples! caramel corn! pumpkin pie!), and the excited thrill of anticipation that fills the ever chillier autumn air.

I wait for these last few beautiful, exciting days of fall each year in a way that I can honestly say, as much as I love certain other holidays and special events, any other. They make me feel like a child again, bursting with wide-eyed wonder, a shiver running up my spine with each creak in the floor boards, every ghost story told, and the each little sound that went bump in the night.

There is a magical merriment to this time of the year, regardless of if you observe Halloween on not. Fall is at its zenith, decked out in a regal gown as rich as any brocade ever woven, of jewel toned leaves and fields so golden they rival the sun. The nights are getting shorter, but the days haven't been reduced to mere hours quite yet. The world smells of damp earth and apple cider, straw and root vegetables. We can still feel warmth in the light, but there's that distinct nip of winter's impending arrival in the air as well and the two swirl about like miniature candy bar wrappers waltzing merrily in the air.

If I had the incredible power to control the seasons, this period would be at least a couple of months, instead of a few brief weeks, if we're lucky, long. And yet, just as quickly as I write that, I can't help but wonder, isn't part of the inherent appeal, charm, and deeply embed beauty of mid-autumn the fact that it is, like sighting a ghostly apparition, such a fleeting moment?

It might just be, you know, and that's the all the more reason to savour it, like you would your favourite Halloween treat, while it's here. Soon, all too soon, we'll be up to our eyeballs and earlobes in sweaters, down parkas, and Christmas decorations once again. Let's take a moment today, and every day for the next little while, to stop and smell the pumpkins, so to speak, while they're still here and give thanks for the all of the fun, fancifulness, and truly wonderful elements that make the Halloween season one that is so appealingly unlike any other.

October 21, 2014

Tony's Jord Watch Review and Giveaway

Today, as I continue to slog my way through the flu and could wholeheartedly use a guest post to keep things hopping on the blogging front, I'm elated to bring you a Chronically Vintage first in the form of an awesome product review written and photographed by my darling husband, Tony. Most of you know of Tony through what I’ve said about him in my posts and the stunning images he takes of me for my vintage outfit posts here, but until now, you hadn't gotten a chance to experience his own style of blog writing firsthand.

Earlier this year I was contacted by popular wooden watch company Jord in regards to the possibility of doing a product review. As almost all wristwatches in general include metal, which often houses nickel, I knew that properly wearing and in turn reviewing one of these 
myself wouldn't be a possibility (don't let the words "stainless steel" fool you into thinking something metal, such as a watch back, is nickel-free; many steels, stainless and otherwise, contain some nickel). 

My mind, however, instantly turned to Tony, who has an excellent eye for men's accessories and is a keen watch wearer, so I proposed the idea to the company of having Tony pen just such a post and they were totally on board with that plan. 

Below you’ll find Tony's engaging, informative Jord watch review, followed by giveaway details so that you can enter to win a Jord wooden watch for yourself – or, if you prefer, to give a wonderful gift to a special chap in your own life.

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Apple has recently announced their hugely anticipated smartwatch. They are not alone in this field however. It seems as though all of a sudden, the whole gadget industry is reevaluating their stance on wristwear. For almost two decades mobile phones (and more recently smartphones) have engaged in an unintentional war against wristwatches. After all who needs a watch when you can just take a quick glance at your phone?

Perhaps it's the desire to have a computer on our wrist (an idea first implemented decades ago, to the delight of many geeks, by Casio). Or maybe we've come to the realization that looking at one’s wrist is a much quicker process than trying to fish increasingly larger devices from our pockets (or purses for most ladies). The fact is, the watch is back.

Fear not, I'm won’t keep on talking about smartwatches on a blog committed to celebrating the past. Even though I own one (namely a Pebble) and like it well enough. Instead I’ll discuss the type of watch that doesn’t require daily (or weekly) recharges. The kind of watch that will not notify you of text messages and emails, interrupting your dinner or conversation. No, I’m here to chat about a good old fashioned, traditional wristwatch, worn as for the sake of appearance and function, and for the simple purpose of telling time.

In this post, I'm going to be reviewing a Jord Sully watch in Cherry wood, which I received for free from the company so that I could give you my honest opinion, and by extension comment on their whole series of wood watches. I’ll start with a negative comment, the only one I managed to muster, so as to get it out our way. Wood, however stabilized, it's not the type of material that you take swimming. Jord watches are splash proof, but you shouldn’t submerge them. That's a limitation, but one I can personally live with.

Now, for the abundant amount of positives, let's start with its looks and price point. The watch I selected sells for an affordable $139 US, and their range currently goes from $129 to $295 US, depending on which model you choose. In the world of modern wristwatches, these are very reasonable prices.

When I first received the watch and opened the elegant box (pictured below), I was surprised by how visually stunning it was compared to the online pictures. There is something about the appearance of wood that can’t quite be aptly captured with a still picture. The nature of the material also guarantees that each watch is unique. No two watches are going to be exactly the same, much like human DNA or fingerprints.

Wood items can be heavy at at times, but not these stylish Jord timepieces. I was genuinely surprised by the appealingly lightweight nature of this watch, as I had somehow expected a much heavier watch. Yet, despite the fairly large case width (i.e., 49mm which is almost two inches) the watch only weighs 59 grams (a couple of ounces for the imperially inclined). This makes it very comfortable to wear, so much so that I forgot at times I had it on. Compared to most of the other watches I have, it’s noticeably lighter. For example, my (metal) Guess watch with a significantly smaller case width sits at 133 grams, more than double the Jord weight.

The case "glass" is scratch resistant, the clasp is secure and easy to operate, and the more than respectable movement (i.e., a Citizen Miyota Quartz) ensures that it will keep time as expected.

Being made with a selection of natural, sustainable woods from all over the world, Jord watches are eco-friendly and can be seen as a fashion statement along the same lines (the US-based company is aptly named, given that in Norse mythology, Jord is Thor’s mother and the personification of the Earth).

In short, it's an eco-friendly, reliable, beautiful timepiece, with a classic, old school charm to it. Its unusual, and very attractive, looks will definitely grab people's attention wherever you go.

If my review has piqued your interest in wooden watches, the great news is that Jord is offering a giveaway for a $139.00 store credit plus free shipping to one lucky Chronically Vintage reader. I'll let Jess explain the particulars of how to participate below. In addition, you can also save on the Jord’s regular prices by using the coupon code 6503901 (valid for the first 25 uses before December 21, 2014), which will get you 5% off on any purchase.

I invite you to join the giveaway and take advantage of the discount, as a Jord watch would definitely make for a great gift for the men in your life, and with the recently launched ladies series, also an excellent and very stylish jewelry piece for yourself (my apologies to male readers, but the big assumption here is that most CV readers are beautiful vintage wearing ladies).

All photography in this post by Tony Cangiano

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Giveaway details:

Jord has very kindly teamed up with Chronically Vintage to offer one lucky giveaway participant the chance to win a Jord watch of their choice by way of a store credit of $139.00 US plus free shipping on the watch that they select.

This contest is open to readers world wide and will run until 11:59 PST on Tuesday October 28, 2014. The winner will be selected using a random number generator and announced on Facebook and/or Twitter, and contacted by email or Facebook private message, if such contact information is publicly available.

There are five ways to enter this Jord store credit giveaway, and you're welcome to take part in as many of them as you would like. Please be sure to leave a separate comment for each entry method that you do, so as to increase your odds of winning.

1. Leave a comment on this post letting us know what your favourite Jord wooden watch is and how you might either style it yourself or who you'd give it to as a gift.

2. Follow Jord on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway, including a link to Jord's Twitter account and this Chronically Vintage post.

3. Like Jord on Facebook and post about this giveaway on your own account, with a link to this post.

4. Follow, or be an existing follower of Chronically Vintage on Bloglovin’.

5. Follow, or be an existing follower of Chronically Vintage on Instagram.

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A huge thanks to Jord for partnering with Tony and I for this fun product review and wood watch store credit giveaway, as well as to my endlessly sweet husband for his inaugural Chronically Vintage post. If you'd like to see future guest posts from Tony on various subjects, please don't hesitate to let us know in your comments below.

Best of luck to everyone who enters the giveaway - be sure to stay turned next week on Facebook and Twitter to see who won!

Tony & Jessica

October 19, 2014

25 vintage deals under $100 for October 2014

There's crystalline dew on the tips of the rust hued grass out front. The dark, sleepy night is still fresh in the bracingly chilly air and piles of leaves, rich and fragrant with dampness, in hues of marigold, persimmon, candy apple and mink rest along the street edges as far as the eye can see. This is mid-October, that beautiful, woefully fleeting time of the year when we can still sense the tiniest speck of summer's warmth and yet are so very near to winter's chill and the long, grey months it harbors.

Now is when the world harvests and celebrates its age old bounty. Here in Canada, we sat down to a full turkey dinner spread earlier this week on Monday evening for Canadian Thanksgiving and next month, right at the tail end of November, those in America will do the same. Children and the young at heart alike are giddy with excitement about Halloween and pumpkins appear like polka dots on Mother Nature's beautiful dress all across the land.

This is a merry time. Warm and bright, if not in weather, than at least in spirit. We turn some of those orange globes of tender, stringy flesh into baked goods and scrumptious beverages, others become the grimacing and gap-toothed smiling jack-o-lanterns of October 31st, and we begin think about nestling into our homes, cozying up for the lengthy winter ahead and finding comfort indoors, more often than not.

Before we resign ourselves to winter (which, to be fair to this often underappreciated time of the year, has many a good point to it as well, not the least of which includes Christmas) however, we'll load our carts up with decorative ears of Indian corn, lush golden pears, and bags of festive sweets; turn our gaze once more to the resplendent harvest moon, and continue to surround ourselves with beautiful elements of the season. If, like me, you're in the mood to do just that, than the lovely selection of harvest worthy, budget-friendly finds in this month's edition of 25 vintage deals under $100.00 is for you!

 photo 25vintagedealsunderahundreddollarsforOctober2014postheader_zps376cdbef.png

1. Resembling two of fall's most timelessly lovely symbols, the leaf and a shaft of harvested wheat, this gorgeous, good sized (it's 2.5 inches long) circa 1930s deeply carved vintage butterscotch brooch is the perfect accent note on any ensemble this season - or the whole year round. $42.00 from Chronically Vintage on Etsy.

2. Toast in this magnificent time of the year with these immensely pretty NOS (new old stock) vintage maple leaf print drinking glasses that feature a truly spot on autumn colour scheme. $29.99 for all eight glasses from Morning Glory Moderne.

3. Even those who don't count themselves as big hat fans usually reach for a trusty, wonderfully warm chapeau or two come the return of autumn's icy winds. Whether you can't get enough of hats the whole year round or fall into the "cold weather protection only camp", this timelessly pretty 1920s style handmade brown check patterned slouchy cloche inspired topper is for you. $32.36 from Contrapunt.

4. If you're like me, come fall, one of - if not "the" - first colours you make a mad dash for is mustard yellow. I could gleefully live in it everyday from September to the end of November and never tire of finding timelessly lovely vintage pieces in this warm, beautiful shade to fill my closet and autumn ensembles with. This wonderful 1980s does 1940s/50s mustard yellow and white polka dot dress, with an elegant lace trimmed collar, is just the feminine, stylish ticket if you're keen on doing the same. Fits up to a 34" bust/28" waist. $32.00 from Chronically Vintage on Etsy.

5. My first thought upon seeing this peacefully gorgeous set of four matching fall leaf vintage trinket/serving/candy dishes is how amazingly at home they would look in a woodland cabin. The second was that I wish they were sitting on my dining room table, in our far-from-rustic contemporary condo, right this very minute. $20.00 for all four from Remembering Diane.

6. Add a fun, marvelously stylish jolt of autumn's palette to your favourite vintage hairdo or pinned to a beloved garment by way of this timelessly pretty black and gold hued feather hair clip/corsage pin, that would also look terrific, I think, as part of steampunk and goth ensembles alike. $11.99 from Blue Velvet Vintage.

7. Serve up your favourite fall time eats, be it on Thanksgiving or any other day of the season, atop this timelessly elegant vintage 16.25" long oval turkey and fruit print serving platter. $18.50 from Farmhouse Supply.

8. Honour the spirit of fall by wearing a beautiful circa 1920s/1930s brass and enamel art deco era bracelet featuring an elegant red maple leaf on it. Naturally, given the subject matter, this maple leaf bracelet lends itself particularly well to Canada Day celebrations as well. $22.00 from Chronically Vintage on Etsy.

9. If ever there was a vintage tableware set that captured the spirit and hues of autumn, this serenely beautiful pumpkin shaped salt and pepper + cream and sugar quartet, which also comes with the silver toned metal spoon shown in the photo, is it. $44.00 for all five pieces (such a good deal!) from Dannah's Diggs.

10. Keep autumn's chill at bay and appear stylishly professional at the same time with this nine-to-five perfect 1940s brown wool pencil skirt, that would of course be fabulous for a busy mom-on-the-go, brunch with your bestie, a day of errand running, or anytime you want to nail one of the most iconic looks of mid-twentieth century and stay roasty-toasty warm in the process. Fits up to a 28" waist/41" hips. $48.00 from Dalena Vintage.

11. Searching for new ways to serve one of fall and winter's most iconic ingredients: the tart, juicy, delicious crimson hued cranberry? Then look no further than this wonderful 23 page vintage recipe booklet featuring festive ideas to put this healthy berry to work all year round. $10.00 from Cookbook Maven.

12. Stay warm and look like a million mid-century dollars in this timelessly gorgeous cream cashmere cardigan with faux pearls and gold seed beads laid out in an enchantingly lovely leaf, vine and grape pattern that suits fall to an absolute tee. Fits up to a 38 inch bust/30 inch waist. $85.00 from Chronically Vintage on Etsy.

13. With the return of cool fall weather comes a renewed desire to craft - or so it does for me! :) Hunkered inside, I want to make and create like mad all the way until the warm days of April or May return and many of my projects, especially my scrapbooking and card making ones, involve buttons. As such, I love sourcing great multi-colour and multi-style lots like this Halloween perfect vintage selection for just such creative endeavors. $6.50 (for 63 buttons) from Peach Parlor.

14. You can't beat the classic combination of orange and black - in this case with a little red swirled into the mix for good measure - when it comes to fall and Halloween time attire, and this wonderful upcycled 1950s style scarf/collar is bursting with this great palette. Wear it now for October 31st and the rest of the year for a reminder of the fun and festivities of fall. $16.18 from Contrapunt.

15. I dare you not to fall in love with this fabulously adorable vintage autumn squirrel vase - that also does a great job of being a pen or pencil holder. It's sweet, fun, kitsch and oh-so-cute!!! $16.58 from Eclectic Moi.

16. Wear two of fall's most iconic colours - orange and gold - on your ears and look as pretty as a field of pumpkins care of these fabulous 1950s lucite confetti earrings that stay put thanks to the novel use of magnets, not clips or posts. $11.00 from Sanne's Vintage Jools.

17. Layer this wonderful 1950s pale gold sleeveless blouse under sweaters, cardigans, suit jackets, blazers, and shawls now and wear it on its own come the return of sunny spring days. Fits up to a 37" bust/30" waist. (On sale at the time of writing for) $23.50 from The Best Vintage Clothing.

18. Owls and fall go together like cardinals and winter. The two compliment each other sublimely and are an emblematic sign of the season. This autumn, adorn your tabletop with this pair of massively cute, completely kitschy made-in-Japan googly eye adorned wooden salt and pepper shakers and smile every time you sit down to eat. $11.66 from Peppermint Sea.

19. Just because summer's blooms are becoming a distant memory doesn't mean you can't keep the spirit of a lush, sun-kissed garden alive care of your wardrobe choices. This big (it's square shaped and measures 30.5 inches on all sides), beguilingly beautiful 1950s silk scarf features a pattern of big, bold roses in shades of mustard yellow, fawn brown, slate blue, and rich cream that is sublimely well suited to all kinds of autumn attire. $22.00 from Chronically Vintage on Etsy.

20. Right up there with mustard yellow (and rusty shades of orange) for me on the fall colour palette must-have list is brown. It's warm, evocative and brings out the tones in my skin far better than black, which is no small part of the reason why I especially love wearing it near by face. Sometimes though, as I would if I owned this awesome 1950s cocoa brown circle skirt, I turn to it to adorn my bottom half and swoon over the way it still helps brighten my pale, pink tinged complexion all the same. Fits up to just under a 29" waist/full hips. $58.00 from Dalena Vintage.

21. Whether you bestow it upon a beloved chap or sport it yourself, this classic hand painted 1950s leaf pattern neck tie is the kind of seasonal, Thanksgiving dinner perfect accessory that will never lose its charm or appeal. $14.00 from Marc Joseph.

22. Look cute as a button and keep your clothing neat and tidy care of this wonderfully pretty 1960s green and white gingham half apron with a lovely embroidered design of pumpkins, corn and squash above the hem and on the pocket. $12.50 from Siblings Vintage.

23. It's never easy to say good bye to our favourite warm weather footwear like sandals and peep-toe wedges, but timelessly charming, completely lovely autumn worthy shoes like these beautiful Retro Cream Color Mary Jane Heels can certainly help make the process a whole lot easier - and fashionable! Available in modern ladies sizes 7 to 9 (at the time of writing). $54.95 from Blue Velvet Vintage.

24. If it weren't for the fact that it's too big for me, I'd be incredibly tempted to snap up this well priced, endlessly pretty 1940s daisies and dahlias floral print skirt faster than you can say "vintage fall fashion!". Fits up to 31" waist and is 28" long. (On sale at the time of writing for) $55.20 from The Best Vintage Clothing.

25. This vintage acorn stunner? Why, yes, it does just happen to be the most autumn perfect, sophisticated, stop-you-in-your-tracks, completely gorgeous early 20th century brass dress/fur clip of all time. $42.00 from Chronically Vintage on Etsy.

{Please click on a specific item, or the link in the description below it, to be taken to its respective listing.}

I set my fall and Halloween decor out early and leave it up late. Well, perhaps not all that late, but at least half-way into November more often than not (if I lived in the US and celebrated Thanksgiving during next month's final week, I would keep it up until then), when often in the same day that the ghosts, pumpkins, and witches get tucked away once more, the Christmas tree, wreaths, and jingle bells come out of storage again.

Each year I love growing my seasonal decor collection, which houses a mix of new, old, and childhood treasures alike and 2014 has been no exception there. In fact, I've purchased several new fall and Halloween decorations in the last few weeks and am seriously tempted to add at least one or two from today's post to that growing pile as well. We'll see though, as I spent a fair amount on our recent trip to Vancouver Island and Christmas is but a stone's throw away, so perhaps I'll just admire them from afar and let all of your lovely dears avail of these beautiful, fall harvest perfect vintage bargains. :)

Here's to a frighteningly fabulous, fun filled, very happy second half of October - may it be a stellar one for all of us!