December 29, 2009

Touching base

Good morning, my sweet readers, let me begin by extending my deepest thanks to one and all for your bounty of immensely kind holiday (and well) wishes over the past several days. I realize that Chronically Vintage has not been quite as active during the last couple of weeks as it generally is, and I do sincerely apologize for that. (Unfortunately one of the elements that comes with having severe chronic illnesses is that you never really know when one or more of them is going to flare-up and either slow you down more than usual or put you right out of commission!)

When December began I’d had such grand plans for the numerous holiday gift guides that I’d wanted to publish, yet in the end, I was only able to get two of them up and out. Again, I’m very sorry about this (as I had mentioned that more would hopefully still be coming as the days progressed closer to the 25th), but want you to know that I will do my best to get those that did not get posted this year, created and published come next holiday season (originally I jotted down out several ideas each for at least ten different guides, as only two were written, it means that I can apply those unused ideas – and perhaps more still – to my 2010 gift guides).

This holiday season helped to show me that, given the unpredictability of my health (and certainly life in general), when it comes to blogging, I should start readying my Christmas themed posts weeks (or even months) in advance! While I wasn’t able to post as many holiday themed posts as I would have ideally liked to, I am thankful that I was able to get a handful out, and also for the splendid vintage Christmas inspiration I gleamed from so many of your superb sites.

Speaking of which, I fully acknowledge that I’ve not been able to visit some of your blogs for numerous days now, and I sincerely apologize for being a tad MIA on the blogging front as of late. I miss you each very much and hope from the bottom of my heart that you’ve all been having exquisitely lovely holiday season!



{In this terrific photo from Life magazine, circa 1945, we see a US Navy WAVE member manning a telephone switchboard, which instantly makes me think of how very much I adore keeping in touch with my wonderful visitors and vintage loving friends through the modern means of mass communication, the internet!}


Though I’m not back to full (blogging) speed quite yet (and am now talking care of my poor husband who came down either a nasty cold or the flu – too soon to tell – yesterday), please know that in the coming days (and into the new year) I will strive to do my best to catch up on your comments and my visits to your blogs. Likewise, know how truly much I appreciate all of your visits and comments, each of them is like a glistening ray of sunshine that beautifully helps to brighten my days.

Wishing everybody an amazing New Year’s Eve-Eve-Eve and sending my very best out to you across the miles for an ongoing holiday season of tranquility and bliss!

December 25, 2009

Merriest wishes for a resplendent day!

Whether you observe Yule, Hanukkah, Christmas or just enjoy partaking in today's inherent beauty, from the bottom of my heart, I wish you and your loved ones a sparkling, memorable, fantastically splendid holiday season!


{Adorable vintage Christmas card scan via Pine and Wine’s Flickr stream.}


Thank you so very much, everybody, for being not only my treasured readers, but also my lovely friends. Your kindness and camaraderie is a gift I hold dear all year round.

May peace, good health, inspiration, and immense happiness be yours today and always!

December 19, 2009

Six more sleeps until Christmas!

Growing up, perhaps as many other kids did, I measured the countdown until an important date not so much in terms of days, but by the number of night’s worth of sleep left until said exhilarating day arrived. Of course these numbers are usually one in the same, but as a child measuring “sleeps” somehow seemed to bring the highly anticipated date closer even faster than marking off dates on a calendar did. The funny thing was come December 24th I was usually so bubbly with excitement, sleep was the furthest possible thing from my mind!


{Visions of sugarplums are already dancing in my head, just as when I was a youngster, I can’t help but well up with excitement as Christmas Day draws nearer! Image via Estelle and Ivy’s Flickr stream.}


These days I usually have no problem grabbing a few winks on the Christmas Eve (or nodding off in a state of exhaustive stupor – same difference, right?), but I still find a nostalgic happiness in marking my countdown in terms of the numbers of “sleeps” left to go. And so on this bitingly cold Saturday morning, with Christmas less than a week away, the natural habit of counting “sleeps” resurfaces.

On a somewhat different note, I realize that I wasn’t able to update Chronically Vintage as often over the past few days as I generally do. Some of my medical conditions are flaring up at the moment and I’m afraid that I’m not well enough to spend nearly as much time on the computer as I’d like to. I’m looking at things optimistically though and hoping that I’ll be to get to all the last minute Christmas tasks that should be done this week (I’d practically have to be unconscious to skip baking holiday cookies and preparing Christmas supper!). Likewise I will try to add further editions of Chronically Vintage’s holiday gift guide and other festive posts in the coming days, too.

Thank you dearly to all those who have recently visited and left comments, I appreciate your words, friendship and support so very much! Similarly, I truly want to extend a heartfelt thank you to each and everybody who has ever visited Chronically Vintage, for this post marks my 200th on this blog, and this site would not be the same without you all!

It’s hard to believe a blog that began last spring, born of my lifelong love of all things vintage, has now amassed two hundred posts. Chronically Vintage simply would not be the same place with out each of my immensely dear visitors and fellow vintage adoring friends, and I thank you each for helping to make this site the wonderful place that it is! Here’s to the next 200 vintage filled entries and well beyond!

As these last few days (and sleeps!) until Christmas whiz by, what events and traditions, celebrations and going-ons are keeping you on your toes, fuelling your excitement for the beautiful wondrousness that is the 25th itself?

December 15, 2009

Vintage Holiday Shopping Guide: Gifts for Home Decor Lovers

While most people enjoy the ongoing act (and art!) of decorating their personal space, be it a bachelor apartment or a sprawling villa, in a way that brings them both joy and contentment, some take this part time hobby and turn into an ongoing passion that consumes their thoughts and shopping trips. No matter where on the scale the home decor lover in your life fits, chances are they’d welcome a wonderful, thoughtful gift for their house.

The items below have an inherently old school feel to them, some are whimsical others are resplendently chic, all are likely to be type of decor pieces that would bring a giant smile to the face of anyone on your holiday shopping list who loves to adorn their home with elements that speak to their adoration of vintage.


~ Gifts for Home Decor Lovers ~




{Hidden beneath her gracefully sweeping, crimson hued stoneware skirt, this immensely adorable lady hides a stick or small tub of your favourite spread from freshly churned butter to vegan margarine, apple butter or a cheese log, ready to add pep to one's table through the holiday season and well beyond. Also available in marigold yellow, this cuter than cute butter dish can be yours for $28.00 (US) from Anthrologie.com.}



{Your gift recipient can inject a rainbow of cheerful colour and vintage style to any room in their home, from the den to the boudoir, with this chicly beautiful metal starburst clock which retails for $59.99 (US) from ModCloth.com.}



{Who amongst us doesn’t adore the pleasure of sifting through flea markets, estate sales and thrift stores in the hopes of find just the right treasures for our wardrobes and homes alike? If this sounds like you or someone you know, then The Find: The Housing Works Book of Decorating with Thrift Shop Treasures, Flea Market Objects, and Vintage Details by Stan Williams, may be exactly the book to turn to for inspiration when it comes to how best to put those newfound (old) treasures on display. Released in 2009, this charming, photo filled, 240 page book is $18.50 (US) from Amazon.com.}



{Generously sized cabbage roses in a tranquil pallet of coral pinks and dusty yellows adorn this beautiful cotton duvet cover, telegraphing a wonderfully feminine feeling that would work marvelously in any bedroom or guestroom in the house. Queen (full) sized “Tea Rose” duvet cover, $68.00 (US) from UrbanOutfitters.com.}



{This darling vintage inspired box and the elegant pastel hued tea set it houses are both equally lovely items for a special someone on your holiday list to decorate their kitchen with. Set of four (one each pink, green, blue and yellow) “Piccadilly” bone china tea cups and saucer with gift box, £34.95 (UK) from Dotcomgiftshop.}



{Who wouldn’t delight at the prospect of gathering everything from holiday cards to the more mundane mail (like December’s credit card bills!) of everyday life from this immensely quaint white mail box (letter holder) with black enamel finish. Measuring in at 7.75 inches wide by 9 inches long and 4 inches deep, this wonderfully elegant receptacle would add a marvelous vintage touch to the outer decor of any home, and can be purchased for $24.00 (US) from Painted White.}



{Muted tones of aquamarine and teal lend this patriotically lovely thrown pillow a hefty dose of aged appeal. Measuring in at 30cm wide by 40cm long the wool and cotton “Britannia” cushion featuring a classic Union Jack flag in “duck egg” can yours to give (or keep!) for £35.00 (UK) from Laura Ashley Home.}



{This delightful tea towel is almost too pretty to use – all the more reason it deserves to go out on display proximately a turquoise kitchen, buttercup yellow bathroom, or snow white hued laundry room, for all who enter to admire. Embroidered and appliqu├ęd wrens and doves who are immersed in a darling tea party cover this generously sized cotton tea towel (28 inches long by 21 inches wide) which is available for $24.00 (US) from Anthropologie.com}



{If there’s someone on your gift giving list who swoons at that mere thought of all things vintage French decor or antique shabby chic related, then The Paris Apartment: Romantic Decor on a Flea Market Budget by Claudia Strasser (published in 1997), $19.76 (US) from Amazon.com, may just be the perfect present to bestow upon them – and their beautiful home –this holiday season.}



{This gorgeous sea foam green storage bench is a real multitasker! At once it’s both an extra seat and a stylish place to stash anything and everything you might not want cluttering up a room all the time; it can be an ottoman, coffee table, or collect all for coats and bags. Upholstered in vintage inspired vinyl, sporting a plush tufted and piped cushion top, set upon tapered mid-century style legs, and measuring in at 38.5 inches wide by 18 inches high and 18 inches deep, this smart and stylish bench is available for $240.00 (US) from UrbanOutfitter.com, and would make an incredible gift for someone really special in your life.}



{Instantly transform any vanity table, bathroom counter or dresser top into the sort of glamorous spot one might expect to see in a vintage Hollywood starlets’ home with this incredibly pretty, ever so slightly rococo, hand painted cream and gold pedestal mirror. Measuring 34.5cm high by 18.5cm wide, this sophisticated looking glass is available for £28.00 (UK) from Laura Ashley Home.}



{An elegantly dressed woman in an enchanting gown holds a delicate paper lantern up to light the evening’s activities in this wonderful print that's stretched across a 12 by 14 inch canvass. Ready to instantly infuse added beauty to any vintage fan’s wall, this attractive print is $30.00 (US) from Plasticland.}



{Stock up on this magnificently pretty glass transferware holder and candle set to use as a stocking stuffer, hostess present or strikingly attractive gift on its own. This 4.75 inch tall by 3 inch wide peacock bedecked, shabby chic Victorian looking holder with a nine ounce white hued candle (45 hour burn time) is $19.50 (US) from Touch of Europe.}



{Dazzle your holiday giftee with a book they’ll be thrilled to keep out on the coffee table (or night stand), browsing and daydreaming over all year round, such as this amazing collection of over 600 magazines covers all featuring the eternally graceful Audrey Hepburn. This fashionable tomb, Audrey Hepburn” International Cover Girl (by Scott Brizel), was just released in November of this year and can be found on Amazon.com for $29.70 (US).}


This bevy of gorgeous home decor items has me itching to both give gifts from this list and add a few treats to my own home! I hope that amongst the ideas suggested here you’ll find oodles of inspiration for all those on your list who love to deck their halls (and every other room!) in vintage style.

Joyful holiday wishes to one and all as we count down these last ten (shopping) days until Christmas! :)

December 14, 2009

Vintage Deal of the Day: December 15, 2009




{I almost couldn’t wait for midnight to roll around so that I could post the terrific vintage deal that I just discovered a few minutes ago (I was so eager to share it, I contemplated doing two “Darling Deals” in one day, but then saw how close we were to Tuesday and held off on that idea), as it’s not every day that one finds an absolutely adorable 1950s novelty print dress in a larger size at a great price. Though the weather may be a little too nippy to wear this charming frock this month (well, outdoors at least!), it would be such a fun piece to sport come spring and summer (or right now, if you’re lucky enough to live in a climate that’s warm all year round – or if you’re situated south of the equator). This short sleeved dress features a really lovely print of blue, white and red flower blossoms set atop a sky blue and white checkerboard background, complete with a matching belt; it fits up to a 42 inch bust and a 36 inch waist, and is available for $25.00 (US) from etsy seller Cherry Frocks. I adore 40s and 50s novelty print garments so much and envy the lucky gal who takes this wonderful dress home with her!}


Thank you very much for your immensely kind well wishes yesterday, everyone. I’m feeling a bit better (less “brain fog” at the moment, which is a big plus), and hope to have the second edition of Chronically Vintage’s gift guide out the door either today or Wednesday at the latest (all things willing). I have a number of gift guides that I want to write before the 25th rolls around, but even if I don’t get to all of them this year, I’m not worried, I’ll just tuck away the unused ideas for next holiday season :)

Wishing you each a splendid and serene Tuesday! (And an immensely happy last ten days until Christmas!)

Vintage Deal of the Day: December 14, 2009




{This edition of the Daily Deal may constitute the oldest item I’ve posted to date here on Chronically Vintage, but the moment I spied this delightful antique catalog, I knew I had to share it with all of you (especially since I know that, like myself, many of you are fan of vintage and antique ephemera). Hailing from 1893-94, this copy of the Bloomingdales Christmas catalog has seen well over 100 holiday seasons, yet is still with us today. Though the front and back covers are showing their ware a bit, for all intents and purposes it appears that both they and the inside pages (which the seller has numerous photos of on the auction page) have held up quite well considering their venerable age. Rich in a true trove of historical information, this lovely 49 page catalog is at the current bidding price of $9.99 (US) on eBay. The listing is on for a little over one more day, and is being offered by eBay seller circa.maine, who will ship this catalog worldwide, should those outside of the US be interested in tossing their bid into the ring, too. Best of luck to anyone who tries their hand at winning this gorgeous vintage catalogue, I’m sure it is a true treasure to behold!}


Happy Monday greetings, everyone! I hope that that you all had a marvelous weekend and are enjoying the countdown as each day catapults us closer to Christmas.

My weekend started off on a good note, I was able to get to a few of the many emails (seriously, I have tons, I tell you! ;D) in my inbox that were most pressing and enjoyed a fairly leisurely Saturday at home. As night rolled in however I began to feel ill and as a result ended up pretty much sleeping through all of Sunday as my body attempted to heal. Today my brain feels far from its sharpest, but physically I am doing a little better. No bother though, nothing can dampen my festive spirit or my happiness surrounding the fact it’s warmed up a tad here over the past couple of days (we’re actually sitting at a whopping zero Celsius right now!).

I thank each of you for the wonderful comments you’ve left on my most recent posts, and assure you that, as always, I will gleefully swing by your own fantastic sites just as soon as I can!

Wishing you all a splendid week ahead and ongoing festive cheer of the highest calibre!

December 12, 2009

Saturday Snapshots {December 12, 2009}


“Peace is not something you wish for; It's something you make, Something you do, Something you are, And something you give away.” ~ Robert Fulghum




{Two fun loving young women (identified as “mom” and her best friend “Betty”) share a small wooden boat in this delightfully charming summertime shot from the 1940s. Don’t you just adore those white overall shorts and both of their lovely hairdos?}



{A darling group of tykes sets up their own roadblock of sorts in this wonderfully cute photo from taken in 1946. Can’t you just hear the little one whose on foot saying to a passerby, “Alright, Bub, hand over the penny candy and no one gets hurt!”.}



{Identified as “Adelaide Balles”, this pretty young woman perched atop a crescent moon shaped prop in a portrait studio, is the absolute picture of casually dressed 1930s (or early 40s) cuteness.}



{I adore vintage wedding photos of all types, but what drew me to this one in particular was that we got to see the precious little flower girl, in her generously sized cloche hat, included with the wedding party in this endearing shot from the 1930s.}



{Exquisite hand tinting work helped to capture the immense beauty of this young women (“Louise”), who posed – and flashed a gorgeous megawatt smile – for a studio portrait during the 1940s. For more equally sublime photos (including other hand tinted ones) of Louise from around the same era, be sure to check out the stream this image belongs to.}



{It is the fluid sense of movement – snow splaying out towards the camera – in this terrific action shot captured during a snowball fight, that instantly made me fall for this photo. Though undated, going off of the style of the couple’s coats, I’d peg this image to be from the 1910s-30s.}



{This patrician woman is grace and elegance personified as she smiles sweetly for the camera. Framed photographs of her grandchildren, visible on the piano behind her, help to convey what a happy and proud matriarch this gorgeously dressed lady was.}



{Four youngsters are bundled up in autumn coats as they happily play outdoors in this slice-of-life snapshot taken in Hawthorne, New Jersey during the 1950s.}



{In unison on three, everyone...one, two, three, “Gold punch buggy!” :D Though undated, this vibrantly sharp photo of a young woman crouching with a pair of tennis racquets in front of a Volkswagen Beetle, looks to me to be from the late 50s or very early 60s.}



{A large billboard sign in the right hand side of this charming New York city street scene from 1939 encourages the population to “Save For Your World of Tomorrow”, wise financial advice that rings as true today as it did seventy years ago.}

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


Immersed in the wondrousness, chaoticness, splendour and magic of the holiday season, it is natural to think thoughts pertaining to peace. The quote above spoke to me however because it drives home an important message: peace is not obtained through positive wishes alone, it will only come to be through the collectiveness of our actions as an entire population.

I believe that peace, like so many truly important lessons, begins at home. In the words and deeds that one teaches their children and by the same token through the tolerance that they show others, be they relatives or complete strangers on the other side of the world. Simplistic and pollyanna as it may sound, peace, I have long believed, is possible, if only we show love instead of hate, understanding and amicability instead of antipathy.

Now and forever, I will wish for peace, but at the same time I will try to do whatever measures, however small, in my own life to help make this world a more serene and joyful place to call home. For as these, and all other, photos of yesteryear intrinsically convey, our time on this earth is but a mere flash in the history of the universe. Yet every generation who has ever lived had within them the ability to create peace. Perhaps the one we're fortunate enough to be a part of will be the first to succeed at this monumental task.

December 10, 2009

Vintage Holiday Shopping Guide: Gifts for Children

With just fifteen days left to go until Ol’ St. Nick comes sliding down the chimney, it’s definitely time to kick off the first post in what I sincerely hope will be an annual holiday gift guide here on Chronically Vintage. Several other posts relating to different categories of people that you may need to shop for this season will appear in the days leading up to the 25th, helping to ensure that you’re not at a loss for what to get other categories of folks on your gift giving list.

As few times of the year are as magical and dear to the hearts of children the world over as the winter holiday season is, I thought it would be great to launch 2009’s gift guide with a toy chest’s worth of wonderful vintage themed items for all the little ones (and/or their parents) on your list. Many of these items are so delightful that I would honestly love to find them waiting for me under the tree, too. So by all means, feel free to use these suggestions for those who are both young and young at heart!



~ Vintage Gifts for Children ~




{Watch little eyes grow to the size of saucers when they spy one of these amazing Sky King reproduction tricycles (based on a timeless design from 1936) waiting for them on Christmas morn! Available in Petal (pink) and Sky (blue), this darling set of wheels is best suited to ages 3 to 5, and is available for $179.00 (US) from Restoration Hardware.}



{Keep track of just how quickly Suzy is sprouting up with a charming growth measurement chart (such as this preciously sweet vintage ballerina print one) that comes with stickers to help mark off her height on the chart (that measures 60 inches long), available from Dolce Mia for $22.95 (US). Numerous other vintage themed growth charts featuring designs such a space explorers, cowboys, and farm animals are also available to help ensure you can find a chart to match your child’s interests.}



{Bestow a reproduction of the first Barbie doll ever, decked out in her timeless stripped bathing suit (and evening gown for when the sun sets), on your daughter, niece, granddaughter or any other special little girl on your holiday list, and share in the magic that has kept Barbie’s popularity afloat for fifty years. This glamorously beautiful “My Favourite Barbie: The Original Teenage Fashion Model Doll” is available from Amazon.com for $35.33 (US).}



{For the youngest recipients on your list, this incredibly cute (100% natural, BPA-free, PVC-free and Phthalate-free) flexible rubber giraffe (named Sophie) is a classic French toy that youngsters can use to help them with teething or just as a plaything. Measuring in at seven inches tall and aimed at those ages zero to two, Sophie is $21.95 (US) from Eco Baby Gear.}



{Help capture the spirit of yesteryear toys with this terrifically fun tin Rocket Ride Carousel complete with a spin top that allows kids to twirl the metal ride goers as often as they please. Adorable as both a toy and decorative piece, this wonderful tin carousel is available from Amazon.com for $19.00 (US).}



{Based on the classic 1940s “sad face” Ranch Wagons, this wonderful pedal car in “vintage green” is sure to rev up the excitement factor of any child’s holiday celebration. Constructed of heavy gauge steel with a chrome windshield, steering wheel and pair of grab bard, this solidly build toy comes fully constructed and requires no batteries. Perfectly suited to those in three to six age range, this darling set of wheels is available from CNS Stores for $257.00 (US), which includes free shipping currently for US residents.}



{Let all the tots in your house have a pretend bake fest with this adorable plastic and wood Cupcake Set from Melissa and Doug, that includes four dry erase markers for them to decorate the cupcakes with over and over again (also included are cardboard baking cups, decorative wooden candles, icing tops, and fabric oven mitts). This fun filled play set is available from Magic Gears for $24.99 (US).}



{Ensure youngsters stay busy by stocking up on classic board games to help prevent cabin fever from setting in while they’re waiting for Christmas dinner to be ready, such as this adorable wood, cotton and paper bingo set. Targeted towards those six and over, this enjoyable set is sure to be fun for the whole family, and can be yours for £8.95 (UK pounds) from Dotcomgiftshop.}



{Featuring five classic children’s stories (plus one blank book, with the iconic gold foil spine, for your child to create a wonderful story of their own in), this set of Little Golden Books is sure to provide countless hours of bedtime reading fun. 65th Little Golden Books anniversary boxed set, $10.49 (US) from Amazon.com}



{When the weather outside is too frightful for lawn bowling, this charming wooden Skittles game can be set up and played on any hard surface indoors for hours of sporting fun! This set contains six pins and one ball, plus a cotton carrying bag, all for £6.95 (UK pounds), and is available from Dotcomgiftshop.}



{It’s never too early to start sharing your love of vintage with your children, and this darling reproduction book of “girlfriend and boyfriend” paper dolls is a great way to introduce the younger set to the mesmerizing world of vintage fashion. This six page coloured booklet measures 8.5 by 11 inches and is available for $16.00 (US) from Paper Goodies From Judy’s Place (which stocks a veritable treasure trove of amazing vintage reproduction paper doll books).}



{Twelve brightly coloured wooden ABC blocks compose this beautiful set that features numbers, letters and illustrations on the different sides of each block, that are sure to both entertain and educate alike. “Vintage ABC Blocks” set, $25.00 (Cnd, *I think*) from Traditional Toys.}



{I think I would have gone into shock if I found this stunningly pretty retro kitchen play set from KidKraft waiting for me on Christmas morning when I was a little girl (truthfully I’d still go wild for it!). If you have a child on your shopping list who loves to play chef or homemaker, this fantastic set, which features wooden toy versions of a fridge, freezer, dishwasher and oven, in cotton candy pink, is sure to elicit squeals of happiness! KidKraft Retro Kitchen, $139.95 (US) from CNS Stores.}


While the market is heavily saturated with a plethora of modern toys, some of which are definitely excellent in their own right, there is something truly wonderful about toys that take their cue from the playthings of yesteryear. Many of the items on this list have been nursery and playroom staples for decades (or longer) and are bound to hold just as much fun (and be every bit as lovely) in fifty or sixty years from now.

This holiday season consider skipping – or supplementing your arsenal of – flashy modern gifts with a handful of beautiful vintage toys that are bound to become fast favourites of any child lucky enough to receive one of these time honoured classics.

Be sure to stay turned for more editions of Chronically Vintage’s holiday gift guide in the coming days (and future holiday seasons), I hope to cover everything from shopping for the gents on your list to what to get those who seem to already have everything!

Holiday cheer to one and all!