November 30, 2011

Super quick and easy 1940s Chocolate Peppermint Parfaits

Day 334 of Vintage 365

Vintage gloved hands up if, like me, you're starting to feel that sense that there is no where near enough time left before Christmas to get everything you want/need/have sworn a sacred oath to get done actually done!

Most of us are familiar with this feeling, which can range from momentary to virtually constant from about mid-November onward. I suppose in a way it's slightly endearing, as it's a sensation that is usually only attached to Christmas time and thus helps remind of us season that we're experiencing and the memories that the countdown to December 25th conjures up.

As we sit here on the very last day of November however, I know that a great many of us will only find ourselves more and more pressed for time, boggled down with festive activities, and up to our elbows in "must do" holiday baking and cooking in the coming weeks.

Thus today's vintage recipe from 1942 for Chocolate Peppermint Pudding Parfaits is so incredibly, ridiculously easy that I almost hesitate to call it a recipe. One simply alternates layers of instant pudding with whipped cream (or you could use Cool Whip, if you prefer), to which peppermint extract and green food colouring has been added, in a pretty serving dish.

That's it. In under 15 minutes (and that's allotting if you need to whip the cream yourself from scratch) you have a rather delicious, inexpensive, beautiful looking dessert that's instantly - thanks to the inclusion of mint - fit for the holiday table.


In addition to the mint variety mentioned above, this inviting looking Jell-O ad from 1942 (which comes by way of alsis35 on Flickr) also includes an equally simple to make, time crunch-friendly recipe for Chocolate Coffee Creams (chocolate pudding that sees 1/2 a cup of the usual milk replaced with coffee).

You could of course jazz up today's vintage pudding recipe further, serving it perhaps with ladyfinger biscuits, garnished with toasted nuts (pistachios or almonds would be lovely), or even as the jumping off point for a holiday season trifle.

However, should you wish to allot yourself a few more minutes in the day during which to cross another activity of your must do Christmas prep list, then grant yourself a favour and prepare these parfaits just the recipe suggests.

They're sweet, creamy, delightful proof that holiday season desserts can be both quick and completely yummy in one fell swoop! Smile

November 29, 2011

A beautiful example of 1940s headband inspiration

Day 333 of Vintage 365

Headbands are a marvelous accessory, if you ask me. No doubt due in part to my 1980s and 90s childhood (when they were frequently all the rage - especially in the pre-scrunchie days), I've had a long standing love of headbands. Between grades four and seven in particular, I sported them more days than not to school and amassed a collection of a dozen or more, all of which saw heavy rotation.

By the time high school rolled around and I was actively experimenting with a range of hairstyles (including my first solid attempts at vintage hairdos), headbands took a bit of a back seat, but I certainly still reached for them sometimes.

Hop ahead to my twenties; gone are most of the particular updos and hairstyles I wore as a teen (oh the horrors of some of them!) and instead, nearly every day, I opt for vintage 40s and 50s looks instead. The one main exception to that statement is that I will sometimes wear a ponytail, but even then I try to give it a fun late 50s inspired vibe.

Interestingly, I've found that it's by no means impossible to combine mid-century styles with that beloved childhood hair accessory of mine, headbands.

Now granted, the 30s, 40s, and 50s did not see an abundance of headbands (be they soft fabric or sturdier plastic/metal band styles), however I have encountered some images of gals from those decades looking positively lovely in headbands, such as the elegant blonde who appeared on the July 1945 cover of Cornet magazine pictured below.

{Vintage Cornet magazine cover featuring a sophisticated looking woman, complete with a pretty blue headband, via What Makes the Pie Shops Tick on Flickr.}


Here a relatively simple, completely classic curled hairstyle partners with an understated royal blue fabric headband to which a glistening bejewelled pin of a bird (an eagle, if you ask me) has been attached for a delightful dose of unexpected bling.

The wearing of headbands is by no means a twenty-first century novelty, in fact cultures stretching back as far (if not earlier) than the Greeks and Romans used both strips of fabric and wreaths of greenery as headbands.

During the last century however, headbands (generally speaking) didn't really come into major vogue until the Mod looks of the swinging 60s appeared. However prior to that, styles ranging from plain black bands to feather and flower adorned examples did indeed exist, sometimes paired with a wisp of tulle to create a sort of hat/headband combo.

Over the last few days headbands have (like most fashion accessories) waxed and waned in popularity, yet never completely fallen off the radar (in fact in very recent years, due in no small part to a rival in preppy fashions alla Gossip Girl, they've become a hit once more with fashionistas everywhere), and I suspect they're unlikely to ever completely vanish.

Not, of course, that I'd stop wearing them if they did! These days, inspired by images like this beautiful vintage magazine cover, I enjoy wearing headbands with second or third day pin curls, as well as Veronica Lake inspired waves. Sometimes, I'll swap a headband for the more classic bandanna look, and channel my inner WW2 factory worker with a roll or mini pompadour of hair adorned with a cute polka dot (or solid hued) stretch fabric headband.

To all those who enjoy both headbands and vintage 40s/50s hairstyles, yet may have been hesitant to pair the two, I hope that this post helps put your mind at ease and that it inspires you to try pairing these two together for a stylish, completely old school approved look that radiates beauty and timeless charm.

November 28, 2011

Reflecting on friendships, both old and new

Day 332 of Vintage 365

You know those times when you stop and look back at your schooldays, places you've lived and moved on from, old jobs, or past romances and ponder the many people you’ve known and interacted with day in and day out, yet likely haven't seen or heard from in decades?

I can't help but do this sometimes - it's only natural to wonder about people, even those were weren't that close to you, with whom you spent months or years of your life. Social networking sometimes allows us to connect with these distant faces from our past once more, but there's almost always going to be people who's paths we'll never again cross.

This is - in this day and age, where most people move several times throughout their lives, especially - completely normal. Not even the most active of social butterflies can say they've kept in touch with everyone they've known throughout their lives, and that's totally fine. Some people will be with us until the very end, but others play a role (be it small or large) for a shorter period of time, and that too is completely alright - it's part of the ebb and flow of daily life.

The online world is relatively similar in this regard - perhaps even more so. I often think of people that I had never known in person, yet became very close with online for a spell, who have since faded out of my life. (Knock wood!) I've never had an actual falling out with anybody I meet on the web, it just seems that online friendships often have shorter expiration dates than real world ones.

Sometimes once the topic (whatever it may have been) that drew you together in the first place has been tapped out, you find you have little left to discuss. Other times one party is very busy or unable to get to the computer often and so the pair ends up drifting apart. There are many other reasons, too, of course.

Yet, it struck me the other day how now there are two sets of people now that, some of whom, in the natural progression of 21st century life we'll lose contact with: those offline and those online (many in the latter camp that we may very well never interact with in the offline world).

This thought didn't hit me melancholically, rather quite matter-of-factly. One of those "hey, you know, that's a good point" kind of musings that your brain has over the course of an average day and so I wanted to share it here, as I'd venture to guess I'm not the first person that this notion has struck before.

{An immensely sweet vintage photo by Charles Harris of two young friends in the 1930s. Whenever I look at endearing images like this one, which comes by way of spiralsheep on Flickr, I like to think that the pair stayed in touch and always remained close companions.}


As it's more than a little bit clear at this point that the internet (or whatever future versions of it will evolve) is here to stay, I know for certain that some of the people I correspond with, leave blog comments for, and otherwise connect with online will come and go from my life - as will others I've yet to even meet.

I suppose what primarily sets these people from those in the offline world though, is that many times we never interact, beyond the realm of our keyboards and computer screens with the friends and acquaintances we make online.

This isn't to say that such friendships are are any less valid or important than those in the offline world, not at all, but they - by the this very fact alone - inherently different.

What, you may be asking, got me thinking about this particular topic today? It was actually the fact that in recent weeks I've noticed some wonderful new faces here on Chronically Vintage and also seen a couple of great gals that I hadn't been in contact with for ages reappear again. As such, to visitors and online friends, new and old, alike I say a very warm hello!

Whether you've known me for year or just stopping by, our online journeys have intersected and I for one am very happy about that. Smile

November 27, 2011

Captivatingly gorgeous 1950s winter evening look

Day 331 of Vintage 365

Winter's colour palette is a fascinating one. At first glance it often seems washed out, soft, even pallid - which, certainly, when looking outside, it sometimes is. However, indoors - perhaps to help compensate for the lack of vibrancy in Mother Nature's realm - we often fill our homes and wardrobes with an abundance of splashy, bright, vivacious colours.

This juxtaposition of hot and cold hues is striking. It telegraphs a sense of opulence and elegance, vitality and energy. Naturally enough (given the season it falls in), winter's full palette is one that lends itself particularly well to holidays parties - and the luminous garb we so often sport to such fetes.

Calling to mind the Color Me Beautiful personal "color seasons" theory that was all the rage in the 1980s, winter's sharp, bold, attention-getting hues often work extremely well on fair skinned lasses with dark raven tresses, such as the stunning gal in this chic Revlon ad for their Fire and Ice make-up line from 1952.

{Magnificently pretty vintage Revlon make-up ad featuring American model Dorian Leigh. Image via Van Michelle on Flickr.}


Much like the twinkling dress she's wearing, this woman radiates a sense of bedazzling allure. From her sharply wavy coif to her perfectly tomato red lips and nails, this is the sort of look (no matter a lady’s skin and hair colouring) that would own a room. It would be impossible for your eyes not to gravitate towards someone sporting a shimmering, figure hugging silver dress and amazing, voluminous crimson evening coat like.

This holiday season, as you dress for the many events that come part and parcel with December, draw inspiration from both the icy cold and fiery warm colours of winter to create vintage looks, like this one, that are nothing short of ravishing.

November 26, 2011

Stay warm all winter with this beautiful 1950s quilted robe

Day 330 of Vintage 365

The temperatures are plummeting, night now dips below freezing here in Toronto, though snow (in our particular neck of the woods) has not yet reappeared. It will soon though, this being Canada, there is absolutely no doubt of that.

Living in an apartment with centrally controlled heating (in other words, the managers of the building set the same temperature for all units, we do not have thermostats in our own apartment - which, let me tell you, never stops being strange!), things rarely get very toasty during the winter. An electric heater my sweet husband bought a couple of winters ago helps significantly (at least when you're in the same room as the heater!), yet for all but the naturally warmest souls amongst us, one needs to pile on layers these days.

As winter (or late autumn, as is the case now) rolls ever forward, this point will become even more important. Sweaters, cardigans, thick blouses atop camisoles, thick stockings under skirts and dresses, all become a must - just as they have for countless generations before us (especially those who didn't have the luxury of any kind of indoor heating - save the family fire - at all!).

One of my absolute favourite ways, when in the comfort of your own abode, to stay toasty has always been the humble robe. From the darling pink quilted full length number I had as a little girl to lined satin, terrycloth, flannel, and even chenille numbers I've sported as an adult, I'm never without at least one delightfully heavy-duty winter robe come wintertime.

Honestly, even if I lived in the most climate controlled, perfectly heated house in the world, I would still want to own a thick, winter-worthy robe or two, as I adore the feeling of swaddling yourself in comfortable, bedding soft fabric as a means of fighting off winter's bite.

Winter housecoats and robes, while certainly more substantial than their lighter silk, satin, and thin cotton summer dressing gown counterparts, do not have to be shapeless, uninteresting beings by any means. Take for example this immensely beautiful blue and white floral print 1950s robe from etsy seller Pumpkin Truck.


This sweeping, elegant, eye-catching 3/4 length sleeve robe is busting with feminine charm and oozing stylish appeal. I adore the cheerful garden of blooms printed on this great quilted dressing gown, which despite its slightly shorter sleeves, should help fend off the wrath of winter thanks to its generously long skirt and abundance of fabric.

As with nearly everything pertaining to vintage fashion, one finds yesteryear robes in a myriad of styles and prices (this particular vintage robe, which fits up to 38 inch bust/28 inch waist, is retailing for $125.00 US). Fortunately however, unlike many other vintage items (circle skirts, tropical floral print wiggle dresses, dead stock swinging shoes, Lucite purses in good condition, etc), there's a wide array of robes from the mid-twentieth century out there at relatively wallet-friendly prices.

In putting together this post, for example, I easily looked at fifty vintage fall and winter weight robes and housecoats (the major difference between the two, by the way, being that robes usually stay down up with a sash/tie around the waist and housecoats are zipped or buttoned up the front - though another school of thought says that robes are for wearing when you get out of the bath/shower or immediately in the morning, whereas housecoats are to be kept on throughout the day atop other clothing) and nary a one was above $150.00 - many, in fact, came in well $75.00, making them comparable to the price one would may for a new version in many shops these days.

New versions, of course, however rarely hold the tiniest of candles to the charm, history and appeal of slipping on a comfortable robe from the 30s, 40s, or 50s that you know sports the tailoring of days gone by and has also lived through decades worth of frosty winters.

Unless you really, really plan on wearing your vintage robe or housecoat day in and day out (which, of course, there's nothing wrong with), one or two such garments, like the gorgeous floral print number in this post, will likely be enough to help you stay perfectly comfy cozy all through bone chilling months of frost, snow and freezing temperatures that we're headed into as the year winds down.

November 25, 2011

In the air there's a feeling of Christmas

Day 329 of Vintage 365

Silver Bells


City sidewalk, busy sidewalks

Dressed in holiday style.

In the air there's

A feeling of Christmas.


Children laughing, people passing,

Meeting smile after smile,

And on every street corner you'll hear:


Silver bells, silver bells,

It's Christmas time in the city.

Ring-a-ling, hear them ring,

Soon it will be Christmas day.


City street lights,

Even stop lights,

Blink a bright red and green,

As the shoppers rush home

With their treasures.


Hear the snow crunch,

See the kids bunch,

This is Santa's big scene,

And above all this bustle you'll hear:


Silver bells, silver bells,

It's Christmas time in the city.

Ring-a-ling, hear them ring,

Soon it will be Christmas day.



There is something particularly magical about November 25th, marking as it does, the exact one month mark until Christmas Day.

In our minds we know that the countdown is really one now. The speed of our holiday game must be stepped up, there's cookies to make, cards to send out, family photos to pose for, menus to create, parties to attend, gifts to shop for and wrap, trees to decorate, lights to string, and beloved holiday songs to listen to.

Silver Bells, the lyrics of which are included above, has always been amongst my very favourite Christmas tunes. Unsurprisingly to readers of this blog, that point is no doubt bolster by the fact that this classic, deeply lovely song was penned and first sung in the early 1950s.

In the years since it has been recorded by dozens of different artists spanning the spectrum from vintage crooners like Bing Crosby (who partnered with Carol Richards in the beautiful, classic version that’s included as a Youtube video in today's post) and Dean Martin to contemporary stars such as Martina McBride and Harry Connick Junior.

I adore the sense of holiday time atmosphere that this song embodies and portrays, the way it further ups my excitement for splendid joys of Christmas time - even if it's a rather hectic corner of the year.

The rush and merriment, hustle and bustle seem to add to the allure of this timeless celebration and help remind us, as the song itself says, that soon it will be Christmas Day! Smile

November 24, 2011

Joyful Thanksgiving Day wishes to my US readers!

Day 328 of Vintage 365

It has always struck me as interesting that both Canadians and Americans celebrate Thanksgiving, yet this holiday falls on different days in each country.

Historically I know why this is the case (American Thanksgiving stretches back to the days of the pilgrims, whereas Canada's is a much more recent celebration of the bountiful autumn harvest we experience in this country, that came about as an act of parliament in 1957 - though it's roots do stretch much further back in time), yet I can't help but think there would be something extra special if everyone - not just Canadians and Americans - celebrated a universal day of thanks at the same time.

Unfortunately however, not every country has its own Thanksgiving Day though. However, there's nothing stopping those who do not have such a day from partaking in either the Canadian or American Thanksgiving, or simply creating a special feast day on which they and their loved ones rejoice in the blessings of life and the bounty of food that the fall time harvest has traditionally provided civilization with.

{Charmingly sweet vintage Thanksgiving Day illustration of a mother carrying a roast turkey to her eager family via Jasoh! Prime and Pub on Flickr.}


As I know very, very well what an immensely busy day this can be for many who observe Thanksgiving, I won't make today's post a long one and take up much of your time (chances are you likely have the oven going at full capacity or are packing up the family to hop in the car and drive to a relative's house to enjoy your festive meal there right about now).

I simply and wholeheartedly just want  to wish each and every one of my wonderful US readers a splendidly beautiful Thanksgiving Day on which you feel blessed, content, and happy for the important gifts in your life, whatever they may be.


Joyful Thanksgiving wishes, dear friends!

November 23, 2011

Cranberry-Apple Pie: the perfect vintage Thanksgiving dessert

Day 327 of Vintage 365

When one stops and thinks about Thanksgiving Day pies, it is commonly pumpkin and pecan that spring to mind first. Though both of these are absolutely scrumptious, time-honoured beauties, there is no reason why they need to be your only options come this annual autumn fest.

From custard pies to tiny individual tartlets of dark chocolate topped with candied orange peel, the sky is the limit when it comes to Thanksgiving pies!

I'm personally fond of veering towards those that do a marvelous job of encompassing the flavours that one most associates with fall time - think pears, sweet potatoes, and cranberries. The latter fruit, a naturally tart one, couples gorgeously with sweet apples in this wonderful vintage recipe for Cranberry-Apple Pie.

{Combining two fruit flavours that are every bit as classic as mashed potatoes and gravy, this terrific vintage Cranberry-Apple Pie is bound to become a steadfast favourite with your family. Image via bluwmongoose.}

Though Canadian Thanksgiving took place a few weeks ago in early October, for my dear friends and neighbours to the south, tomorrow marks your day of giving thanks for the blessings and bounty that your life provides you with.

Should your menu be in need of one more dessert (or if you haven't settled on the right one yet at all), I thought this this classic, super easy, very economical vintage recipe for Apple-Cranberry Pie might just do the trick.

I love that this delicious pie isn't overly cloying. It's sweetness from the apples and sugars is tempered by the tangy cranberries, making it easier to digest (than say a thick cheesecake or rich trifle) after a hearty, heavy holiday meal of the sort that Thanksgiving has excelled at producing for ages.

No matter if you decide to whip up this delightful dessert tomorrow or not, it makes for a superb fall and winter recipe that will never, ever go out of style, thanks to the timeless pairing of fruit that call this elegant lattice topped pie home.

November 22, 2011

Save 20% off at Garb-Oh Vintage's Black Friday sale

Day 326 of Vintage 365

It struck me recently that quite a long time had passed since I last wrote a Chronically Vintage post about an online sale. This was anything but intentional and upon realizing that so much time had passed since such a post, I immediately felt like I wanted to remedy this point.

As such, it was rather serendipitous, that the owner of a charming etsy shop (cutely named Garb-Oh Vintage) contacted me this past weekend enquiring as to if I'd be interested in offering my readers a 20% discount on all merchandise in her shop for Black Friday.

Never one to pass up a barging - especially when it pertains to vintage clothing - I jumped at her kind offer!

Garb-Oh Vintage is new to me, just as it is  a relative newcomer to the etsy scene, having opened up this past July.

Presently offering a well curated selection of pieces primarily from the 1930s, 40s and 50s, such as the vibrantly hued, completely fun blue plaid 1930s dress pictured below, this is just the kind of vintage seller I'm always thrilled to connect with and tell my readers about.


Everyone can use a discount during the holiday season, so to prepare for Black Friday (which, in recent years, has marked the unofficial beginning of the Christmas shopping season) on the 25th this week, be sure to stop by Garb-Oh Vintage and use the coupon code SHOPFRIDAY to save 20% off anything you purchase there from now until November 29th.

I hope you enjoy this handy coupon code and wish you a very happy time vintage holiday clothing shopping, sweet dears!

November 21, 2011

My new favourite 1950s personal spaceship design

Day 325 of Vintage 365


Have you ever had one of those weeks or months (or perhaps even years) that didn't just tax your soul, it full on audited it?

November began as such on this end, and while thankfully the eye of the storm has likely touched down already, I can't help but still feel a bit drained from contending with some rather serious stuff (sorry to be vague - I'm alright; the mister and I have just been trying very hard to determine some important elements of our lives in the coming months and years, which has lead to many, many heavy-as-lead discussions).

You know how it is after you go through an emotionally trying time - even a short lived one. Often you find yourself seeking moments of laughter, enjoyment, and escapism from the worries of the world, if only for a fleeting moment.

Perhaps it was for that reason then that I could help but smile ear-to-ear when I came across the fantastically fun image below of a lovely 1950s mom, her daughter and the darling family dog flying home in a futuristic personal spacecraft.

{This stylish, highly convenient mode of future transportation first appeared in the April 1959 copy of Newsweek, and no doubt appealed to just as many then as it likely would still today - perhaps even more so, given how congested many of our roadways now are! Vintage illustration via What Makes the Pie Shops Tick on Flickr.}


As the fifties neared and end and rocketed (sorry, I love a good pun) in the crazy sixties it was all the rage for movies, TV shows, comic books, and magazines to create pieces centered not only around the space race that was underway, but also to creatively imagine what life was perhaps going to look like in a few decades.

Though many such portrays of the future (in some cases, what is now the present) are downright hokey, kitschy, or simply absurd, there's something so wonderfully cool about this particular image. The gals aren't sporting helmets or space suits, they're dressed simply as though they were taking the family car out. And much like through the windows of an automobile, you can easily spot that the occupants have been out doing a spot of grocery shopping.

Other than the slightly futuristic looking patio furniture there is nothing inherently "far out" about this image. From the hairstyles to the architecture of the house, I love how the world still looks much the same (or rather, much as it did in the 50s) here, yet the all-important issue of transportation has morphed, in this vision of the future, into one involving personal flying saucers.

Humanity has long been keen on forecasting what lies ahead in the ensuing decades and centuries. Very often these predictions become comically laughable or eyebrow-raisingly alarming when viewed through the eyes of the present.

Sometimes though even those that haven't quite come to fruition at the point in time seem to retain a sense of possibility - as though at any moment we might open a newspaper or flick on the TV and catch word of the fact that someone really did finally create a handy little spacecraft like the one in this endlessly charming illustration.

Just as I'm not quite sure of the answers to many of the unknowns my husband and I were pondering so hard earlier this month, so too was the creator of this piece uncertain of what life would be like in the years to come.

They took a stab at guessing though, and while the mark they're aiming for has yet to be hit, I can't help but think that one day we'll get there. We'll have our own family sized flying saucers and finally be able to prove all those wild and crazy daydreamers of the 50s and 60s right.

After all, who really knows what the future holds in store until it arrives? Smile

November 20, 2011

Cliniderm: an excellent hairspray for those with sensitive skin

Day 324 of Vintage 365

To say that I have sensitive skin would be a massive understatement. So temperamental and adverse to most products is my skin that, in chatting about this topic, I can't help but rely the story of when, one day several years, my husband playful blew a shot of condensed air (of the kind used to clean computer keyboards) onto my arm, I got a rash! (yes, a rash from air - it's rather funny, I know.)

My skin was always highly sensitive, but became even more so around when I hit puberty and then again when, at the age of 18, I first became chronically ill. In the years since then I've discovered, through trial and error (and plenty of trips to the doctor to help take care of the ensuing skin irritations), which products I can and cannot use when it comes to everything from laundry soap to face cream, shampoo to even dish soap.

While (knock wood!) I've had relatively good luck with make-up (I can usually wear most better drugstore and department store brands with little to no issue), when it comes to hair care products, things turn ugly very, very quickly.

As a child I suffered in silence with a ridiculously itchy, often red scalp due to the run-of-the-mill shampoo and condition my parents bought for the family. As soon as I was old enough to do so, as a teenager, I began buying my own and experimenting with many brands, but few (even those from the health food store) were of much help in this department.

But, bad as shampoo and its hair care partner in crime, conditioner, were, it was products like mousse, gel, hairspray, hot oil, and volumizer that (generally speaking) seemed to irritate my ridiculously sensitive skin the very most.

From scaly rashes (sorry to be frank) to weeping, open sores after one application (Garnier Fructus, I'm looking at you!), by the time I hit my twenties, I'd had no choice but to pretty much stop using all styling products (which, as you can image, makes wearing one's hair – especially when it’s very fine and straight as a pin like mine –  in vintage styles pretty tricky a lot of the time).

{As this elegant 1957 ad for Revlon Satin-Set hairspray clearly demonstrates, hairspray is often required to achieve the beautiful vintage hairstyles we adore, however for those with highly sensitive skin, finding products that don't bother you can be a significant challenge. Image via clotho98 on Flickr.}

Never one to give up a fight easily though, I kept trying brands (many of which were "natural" or organic) that were designed for sensitive skin. A few were less bothersome than their mainstream counterparts, yet it wasn't until 2009 that I discovered a Canadian brand called Cliniderm at a local Rexall drugstore that I finally found a shampoo, conditioner, and hairspray I could use with virtually no irritation.

At first I almost couldn't believe it. After each shower or time I applied hairspray, I kept waiting for the usual itchiness and redness of contact dermatitis, the dry flaking scalp and/or rash around my hairline and down my neck, but nothing happened. It seemed like a small miracle to say the least.

For over two years now I’ve been using Cliniderms hair care products with great success. Their shampoo and conditioner (which are free of parabens, dyes, perfumes, lanolin, formaldehyde and proteins) are great (though, not overly moisturizing - however one can find plenty of homemade, all natural hair mask recipes online to help counteract the issue of dry hair), but it's their hairspray (which I'd peg as being medium hold) that's saved the day, so to speak, the most.

Thanks to it, I've been able to wear a multitude of hairstyles that require styling product once again. As I was fixing my locks in place recently, I began thinking about how some of you may also be in the same boat, and wanted to share about how I found (and have since used) Cliniderm's hairspray with all of you.

Though it's not that easy to find (to date I haven't found any Shopper's Drug Mart locations here in Toronto that carry it, however some of the Rexall drugstores do), and is a tad pricy (about $16 plus tax per bottle), if you have highly sensitive skin and cannot use most (or any) styling products, Cliniderm's hairspray (pictured below) may be the answer you've been looking for.



According to Cliniderm's official website, their products can be found at several different chains across Canada - and some, though not the hairspray for whatever reason, can be ordered online through the site

I know that what works for one sensitive skinned person may not work for another, but as someone with both sensitive skin and multiple chemical sensitivies, I feel that Cliniderm's products are the best (from a sensitive skin standpoint), least irritating I've come across so far in my whole life and thus really wanted to share this helpful line with my readers.

As one never know though, how long a product will be on the market (especially a niche item like all natural hairspray), if you have highly sensitive skin and have had success with other brands (such as Suncoat, Kettle Care, Beauty without Cruelty, Organic Excellence, or Free and Clear, all of which are US brands that I've not been able to test out yet myself) I'd love to know about your firsthand experiences.

While having sensitive skin can create many beauty routine challenges, if one is diligent and willing to play the role of guinea pig sometimes, there are often solutions to be found out there that can work for you.

It took about 25 years, but I eventually found Cliniderm and now have the ability to wear hairspray without my super sensitive scalp going into a tizzy – which, let me tell you, makes me a very, very happy vintage hairstyle loving camper!

November 19, 2011

Daydreaming about candy coloured vintage laundry rooms

Day 323 of Vintage 365

Like many people who live in an apartment (especially a rented one), I do not have laundry facilities in my unit. Though we're fortunate to have a small number (way, way to small for the size and population of our building) of washers and dryers in the basement, and thus not have to technically leave our building to clean our clothes, I can’t help but find myself daydreaming sometimes about how great it will be when one day we get to live somewhere with our own washer and dryer again.

This isn't the first place I've called home that didn't come part and parcel with a washer and dryer, but in accessing all the homes I've lived in (from childhood onwards), more have definitely had a laundry room of their own than did not.

On those days when we're schlepping baskets and bags (the large blue $0.99 Ikea bags they sell near the checkouts are very sturdy and make for an excellent way to carry laundry, if you need something a bit bigger than your average plastic basket) downstairs and back up for hours, I sometimes help pass the time by thinking about the sort of dream laundry room I'd build if I had the means (and space!).

Part of me is very, very drawn to a sort of rustic chic, British manor house style down up in pale shades of cream and white, perhaps with hits of robin's egg blue or pale celadon, complete with porcelain or enamel sinks. All very understatedly posh and timelessly wonderful, I assure you.

And then (not surprisingly! Smile ) there's the other side of me who yearns for a 1950s inspired laundry room, styled in candy inspired pastels, like the beautiful one from the 1959 pictured below to call my own.

{Wonderfully colourful, spacious 1950s laundry room image, which first appeared in the April 1959 edition of American Home magazine, via saltycotton on Flickr.}


More than the delightful colours at work here, I think it's the sheer size of the this vintage laundry room - with space to not only house a washer, dryer, sewing counter, and storage cabinets, but also a quaint table and fun pink bucket chair - that appeals to me.

I'm also rather partial to the great pull-out storage drawers this lucky lady had in which to sort her lights, colours, darks, delicates and so on. Very, very handy and also nicely discrete thanks to the fact that they tuck neatly away behind the brown wooden cabinet door.

The idea of having one's sewing machine in the same space as their washer and dryer is also fantastic - and immensely practical. Think of how often you discovers a loose (or missing button), sock that needs darning, or fallen hem as you're loading or unloading garments from the wash. With a sewing machine mere steps away, I think it would be very easy (and convenient) to quickly attend to the garment in the moment, instead of letting a mending pile accumulate elsewhere in the house for days or weeks on end (I'm big on tackling little chores like that as they occur, as I find doing so creates the sense of less work in the long run).

For the time being though, I'll continue to trek to the basement to do laundry and carry out my mending in the living room (I don't have a sewing machine, so I hand mend), grateful that we at least have on-site washers and dryers, but at the same time optimistic about the prospect of the day when I get a laundry room of my own to decorate in whichever classic, vintage inspired style my heart desires.

November 18, 2011

Answering the A to Z About Me questionnaire

Day 322 of Vintage 365


On a number of different sites recently I've been seeing a fun blog game pop up in which people share quick facts about themselves based on an alphabetized series of questions. (Each time I spot this neat game, I find myself struck by how well many of the 26 answers would work as prompts/inspiration for blog posts unto themselves.)

I rather enjoy quick sets of questions like today’s “A to Z About Me” one that help capture little everyday moments and facts about myself  in a handy list form that I can reflect back on in the years to come (who knows how many of my answers will still be the same in ten, twenty, or more years), not to mention share more about myself with all of you.

So without further ado, I present my answers to the…


A to Z About Me blog questionnaire


A. Age: 27 (and four months!).

B. Bed size: Queen (which houses me, the mister, and our kitty)

C. Chore that you hate: Scrubbing out dirty garbage cans (especially in the summer!).

D. Dogs: Love them to no end (especially English bulldogs!), but do not currently have any.

E. Essential start to your day: A kiss from my husband.

F. Favourite color: It's a three way tie between pink, burgundy and turquoise.

G. Gold or Silver: Honestly, copper or bronze, but of the two, gold.

H. Height: 5'2" (love being on the petite side!).

I. Instruments you play: Unless instruments of make-up application count, I’m out of luck here!(Because I don't know how to play any musical ones.)

J. Job title: Daydream believer Smile (or, as I’m more commonly known as, a commercial photographer and writer).

K. Kids: One fine day.

L. Live: Each day with passion and joy.

M. Mother’s name: Lynn (sweet and beautiful, just like her).

N. Nicknames: Too many to count...Piccolina, which is the Italian female form of the term "little one", is a beloved favourite that my husband gave me years ago.

O. Overnight hospital stays: More than I care to remember.

P. Pet peeves: No, just a pet cat .Smile Jokes aside, one of my pet peeves is when stores are messy and their shelves are in a state of disarray. This bugs me so much that on numerous occasions, I've actually started cleaning up said messy shelves while in the midst of shopping.

Q. Quote from a movie: "From the moment we enter this life we are in the flow of it. We measure it and We mock it, but we cannot defy it. We cannot even speed it up or slow it down. Or can we? Have we not each experienced the sensation that a beautiful moment seemed to pass to quickly, and wished that we could make it linger? Or felt time slow on a dull day, and wished that we could speed things up a bit?" ~ Edward Norton as Eisenheim in The Illusionist.

R. Right or left handed: Right, but as a child I taught myself how to be ambidextrous, in case something ever happened to my right hand.

S. Siblings: Indeed, a younger brother and sister.

T. Time you wake up: Varies just about every day.

U. Underwear: Corsets for show, French lace for day-to-day practicality.

V. Vegetable you hate: (Though technically this is a veggie turned into a dish/ingredient...) I've never been crazy about sauerkraut.

W. What makes you run late: If I forget that Daylight Savings Time has begun.

X. X-Rays you’ve had: See "O".

Y. Yummy food that you love: Anything my mom makes - especially her chicken pot pie, cheddar broccoli soup, and mind-blowingly good cinnamon buns.

Z. Zoo animal: Otters holding hands at the Vancouver Aquarium.


{Lovely vintage cross stitch alphabet that you could easily use for both embroidery and paper crafting projects alike, via April-Mo on Flickr.}


I'm not going to tag anyone else specifically to answer this series of questions, but definitely encourage all of my readers to take a few moments and fill it out yourself (you can blog about it, or keep it private for your own eyes only).

I adore how in a matter of minutes I've put together a fantastic list of starting points for everything from future blog posts to scrapbook pages, and hope that the same will be true for you ,too,  if you decide give this fun blog game a spin.

November 17, 2011

Found: the perfect pair of brown Victorian inspired boots

Day 321 of Vintage 365

Though I can't (off the top of my head) say this with complete certainly, I don't know if I've ever featured a pair of (non-rain or snow related) boots before on this site.

As a massive lover of boots, it's been a bit hard to share some of my favourite sartorial finds over the years without including an example from this significant branch of the footwear tree.

The reason behind this has been, primarily, simply that I like to adhere to the precise fashions of the 30s-50s, and this was not an era (outside of weather and equestrian related ones) that saw ladies wearing many boots at all.

Up until the days of the Edwardian period, and then again from the swinging sixties onwards, boots had (and have) been a major wardrobe player. During the mid-twentieth century however, their popularity waned in favour of smaller (in terms of the amount of material used and how far they went up the wearer's calf) shoes, such as pumps, flats, wedge heels, sandals, and Mary Janes.

Though I have no doubt that a handful women continued to wear boots during the 30s, 4os and 50s (outside of professional reasons why they may have had to, that is), doing so was absolutely by no means the norm.

I adore vintage footwear of just about every kind as much as the next gal, however as someone with slightly uneven sized feet that are "thick" from top to bottom who usually wears a size 8.5 (give or take half a size depending on the brand), it can be pretty darn tricky to find genuine vintage shoes or even vintage reproduction shoes that come even remotely close to fitting me properly (or comfortably!).

As such, while I do have some such shoes (gathered from years of dedicated searching and trying on hundreds upon hundreds of different pairs), in order to help stretch out my meagre sized footwear collection, I've often turned to classically styled boots.

There's no shooties, studded punk style, thigh-high, or platform numbers living on the floor of my closet. On the contrary, at the moment one would find a tall pair of classic black riding inspired boots and another (also black) pair of simply styled ankle length slip-on boots. Both are in heavy rotation, even though they don't look strictly vintage in a mid-twentieth way (not of course, that everything a vintage loving girl wears has to!).

In the past I've owned various pairs of Victorian/Edwardian inspired lace up boots however and am perpetually on the prowl for another such pair.

Thus while (given my oddly proportioned feet) I've learned it simply not worth the heartache and disappointment (when they don't fit, that is) to order shoes online, I know that many of you do just that often. So when I recently chanced up the richly beautiful pair of dark caramel brown Victorian inspired boots below, I knew that I simply had to share them here with you.

My heart skipped a beat or two when I laid eyes on these timelessly elegant boots (which are available in ladies sizes and half sizes from 5.5 to 10, for $49.99 US, from with their neat rows of eyelets, perfectly buttery brown hue, and immensely wearable heel. In fact, despite what I just said above, I'm giving serious consideration to ordering a pair.

I'll sleep on it a day or two more though before deciding. In the meantime - and certainly long after if I don't end up taking the plunge - I can't help but think of the many amazing looks (from long wool winter dresses to being slipped beneath the hems of a pair of classic wide-legged, high-waisted trousers) that these terrifically pretty old-fashioned styled boots would go with.

So while (much as I have to fight the urge to do so) I may not post boots often here, I hope you'll agree with me that this stellar brown lace-up pair is timelessly classic enough to warrant its inclusion in a Chronically Vintage post. Smile

November 16, 2011

1950s Creamed Chicken and Corn Meal Waffles recipe

Day 320 of Vintage 365


As, to anyone outside of the Canadian border, Vancouver does not count as "the South", it's fair to say that I've not lived very close to the equator - let alone somewhere as deep down into America as like Georgia, Texas, or New Orleans.

I have no family ties (be they past or present) to the Southern US, and yet there are certainly elements of the culture from that part of the world that has long appealed to me.

From old-fashioned classics like cotillion classes to timeless joys such as sporting a pair of cowboy boots, there's no denying that is a certain hard-to-pin down allure to life below the Mason Dixon line.

Often seen as a place where time moves a little slower and food tastes a little better - or in some cases (johnnycakes, biscuits and gravy, mint juleps, pulled pork, sweat tea, sweet potato pie, pralines, jambalaya, apple dumplings, country ham - the list goes on and delicious on!) a whole heap better -Southern cuisine is a scrumptious world unto itself.

Though I've not yet had the pleasure of sampling the many delightful culinary offering of the South while actually in that part of the States, I've long enjoyed both down home and upscale Southern recipes alike, which I've culled from many different vintage and modern cookbooks over the years.

Today's vintage Creamed Chicken on Corn Meal Waffles recipe, for example, leans heavily towards ingredients from the south including corn meal and cream sauce smothered meat.

{Creamy, hearty, very tasty looking 1950s Creamed Chicken on Corn Meal Waffles recipe by way of vintage.kitten on Flickr. For a larger version of this great vintage recipe, please click here.}


While many of us tend to think of waffles as food typically reserved for breakfast, brunch or perhaps dessert, the act of eating waffles with savoury foods is anything but new (I've seen savoury waffle recipes from the 20s and would venture to guess they go considerably further back still).

During the 30, 40s and 50s, it was relatively common to serve waffles paired with meat, cheese, seafood or vegetables for lunch or dinner. They were treated much like bread at the time and thus enjoyed potential appearances at any meal of the day.

It's the inclusion of corn meal here that really helps give this particular savoury waffle dish it's Southern charm. Yet as mentioned above, the rich, silky cream gravy and chunks of chicken certainly don't hurt either.

This filling, almost decadent dinner channels both the world of Southern cuisine and the wonderful realm of 1950s cooking (for a slightly exotic flare, one finds the suggest to add 1/4 of a cup of stuffed olives amongst this recipe's ingredients), making for a meal that begs to be served with some sweet tea and followed up by pecan pie for dessert.

For a dinner that will be, I assure you, so very yummy, y’all! Smile

November 15, 2011

5 tips for creating a year-long daily blogging project

Day 319 of Vintage 365


Today's is a post that I've been thinking about writing for a while now. When the idea for it first popped into my mind I figured I'd write it once Chronically Vintage's ongoing Vintage 365 series had wrapped up.

However, last night I was reflecting on this point it struck me that, as some of my readers out there may be considering launching daily projects of their own for 2012, it would make more sense (and be more beneficial to you) if I shared some of my tips on doing this kind of project with you a few weeks in advance of January 1st.

Though I was certainly no strange to blogging or writing online content prior to this year, I'd never before made the conscious decision to try and create a new post (by which I mean several paragraphs of content and an image or embedded video) every day for a whole year in a row prior to 2011.

As some may recall from my post announcing the Vintage 365 project back on the first day of January, the idea for this unique spin on Chronically Vintage's usual routine, was not one I'd been plotting and planning for a long time.

The notion come to me a couple of day before New Years, and while I wrestled with whether I should undertake such a long commitment (especially factoring the unpredictability of my health), I decided to take the plunge and go for it.

This year (or at least all 319 days of it we've experienced so far) has been a most interesting experience and experiment indeed. There's been some bumps in the road for sure, but through thick and thin, the project has prevailed and in the process I've come to discover some useful tips that may help you should you ever decide to take on a daily blogging project, too.

Before you do however, I strongly urge you to consider what you're thinking about doing. Writing quality posts, each on a different subject matter, for a full year might not sound that hard at first, but a few weeks or months in and you may find yourself wondering just what the heck you signed up for!

I encourage you to look at your own personal work/school/family/personal life schedule, your health, your relationship with blogging, and your interest level in the general topic you'll be writing about before you devote yourself to intentionally writing every day (I say intentionally because while some bloggers post every day or nearly every day, they may not have set out with the specific goal of ensuring they post every day for a whole year straight without fail).

While no one has a crystal ball that will let them peer into the future and know what lays ahead in the coming months (in other words, what might derail a daily blogging project), if you believe that you can devote yourself to the time and commitment required to carry out a daily blogging project of your own, then I hope you'll enjoy (and be able to use) the following suggestions.


5 tips for successfully running a year-long daily blogging project

1.) Schedule your posts to go live at the same time every day (or at least most days). Presumably when you decide to take on a project like this, you'll write an announcement post about it on your site to let your readers know what's in store for them over the next 12 months.

As people enjoy knowing when exactly they can look forward to your next post, it's a good idea to add your daily post to your blog at the same time each day (for the Vintage 365 project, I schedule most of my posts to go live at 10:00am each morning).

Most major blogging platforms (such as Blogger and WordPress) allow you to schedule your posts for any date and time you desire in the future, so by all means avail of this handy feature and give your project an element of uniformity by having your posts appear at the same time each day.

2.) Pace yourself. Rome wasn't built in a day and neither is a year-long blogging project. While doing anything (even something you really enjoy) every day for a whole year without fail may seem a bit daunting, remind yourself why you got into such an undertaking in the first place and try not to focus on the numbers (aka, that you'll need to create 365 different posts before the year is up).

Instead take each day as it comes and enjoy the articles you're writing right now instead of stressing over what you might chat about on your blog come July.

3.) You don't have to reinvent the wheel. Though you may adore writing lengthy and/or highly eye-catching posts, trying to create award-worthy content day after day, month after month, can start to wear on you.

Chances are your readers enjoy seeing an array of different types and lengths of posts from you, so be sure to shake things up by creating some smaller posts to balance out your longer ones. Such posts certainly don't have to be dull by any means though. Four or five great paragraphs on an interesting topic can be way more pleasant for your readers (who may be pressed for time themselves) than trying to get through your War and Peace-esque coverage of a subject that perhaps isn't quite as interesting to most people as it is to you.

4.) Keep a log of ideas you might like to write about on hand at all times. Honestly this tip is super useful for bloggers everywhere, regardless of how frequently they post. Create a Word document (or any kind of file, be it online or off line, you'd like) in which you jot down potential ideas for a post each time you get one.

While you may not end up ever using all of your ideas, it can be very comforting and handy to know that at any given moment, if an idea for a new post is eluding you, you can open this document and be greeted with an array of topics you'd enjoy writing about.

5.) Always try to have backup posts on hand. Though you may have every good and honest intention in the world or writing a new post each day, the simple fact of the matter is that life is unpredictable and there may very well be times when you can't make to the computer to create a new entry for your blog.

Ideally it's great to have ten or twenty posts already to go live at any moment, but this may not be realistic for everyone (throughout this year I've always tried to have at least two backup posts ready at all times, and let me tell you having them on hand has been massively beneficial to me on those days when, for whatever reason, creating a new post just wasn't possible).

Instead start with a just a few posts (for example four or five) and replenish (as circumstances permit) your backup posts as you use them, thus ensuring that you (ideally) always have some posts in reserve to see you through anything from the flu to issues with your internet service.

{Much like the individual dates on this immensely charming vintage calendar page from 1945, when posting for a whole year straight, remember that life only ever comes at us one day at a time and that each one is a new opportunity to create and have fun with what you write. Image via saltycotton on Flickr.}


I won't lie to you, opting to take on a daily blogging project is not the easiest of jobs, but it's certainly not the trickiest either.

Though there will likely be days when the last thing on earth you want to do is write something for your 191st post, there will be many, many more when you're bursting with excitement over the fact that you'll be connecting with your blog readers again and sharing in whatever topic you love enough to write about it for a whole year straight. (In short, you'll find, as I have, that the tough days are vastly outnumbered by the wonderful ones. )

If you ever (be it in 2012 or whenever) decide to tackle, experiment with, and embrace a year-long blogging project yourself, from someone who's been in your shoes before, I truly wish you the best of luck and endless blog post inspiration.

November 14, 2011

Uncovering the history of Band-Aids

Day 318 of Vintage 365


A few days ago I was taking a shower at a time when I was ridiculously sleepy (never a good move, I know), and in doing so somehow managed to nick the finger on my left ringer finger with my razor so deeply that it cut through the whole nail to the flesh, taking a chunk (from the middle) of the nail with it in the process.

While a bit painful, more than being irked by a spot of discomfort, I was stupefied as to how it happened - especially given that I don't remember placing my left hand near the razor on my leg, but evidently I had done just that.

Once the bleeding (cue Hitchcock movie scene) had stopped and I’d accessed that luckily it wasn't very serious, I finished up my shower, hopped out and put a Band-Aid on my little wound. Precisely as we've all done with very cuts, scratches, and "boo-boos" throughout our lives.

Perhaps to distract my mind from my uncharacteristically clumsy move, as I slipped the flexible little dressing out of its thin paper wrapper, I began to think about the history of Band-Aids.

I recalled that they'd been around since at least the 30s (when I was about nine years old, and considering at the time one day going to a career in medicine, I bought a wonderful little black metal first aid kit from the late 30s at an auction, inside of which were some very old unused Band-Aids) and were originally launched by Johnson & Johnson, but beyond that I knew I'd have to turn to the history books.

Interestingly, those time-preserved Band-Aids I had from the thirties were well on their way to being amongst the first batch ever made (though certainly, that wasn't the case - I just mean that they were from the early days of this great invention's life), as Band-Aids first hit the scene in 1920.

Appling a dressing to a wound is certainly not a twentieth century concept. I'd venture to say that for as long as people have been injuring themselves, they've been covering up their wounds with some material or another (such as leaves or thin pieces of animal skin). Evolutionarily speaking it makes a lot of sense to try and cover your injuries - not only to promote healing, but also to help keep the scent of blood to a minimum when our ancient ancestors were surviving as hunters facing down menacing wild beasts for their own survival.

Such drastic measures where not the inspiration behind why a fellow named Earle Dickson, a Johnson & Johnson employee, created the first adhesive bandages that we now know as Band-Aids back in 1920 though. Instead he was trying to come up with a quick dressing that his wife, who - so the story goes - was prone to injuring herself in the kitchen, could easily and quickly apply when she got hurt.

Prior to the modern adhesive bandage's invention, one needed to apply both gauze (or a similar, medically safe material) and an adhesive tape if they wanted a wound dressing that was really going to stay put for a while. What Earle did was to combine the two into one compact, quick and easy product that anyone could carry with them in a first-aid kit, handbag, or pocket.

The first commercially produced Band-Aids were a bit bigger than the ones we're familiar with today, and they were all cut by hand. By the mid-20s however, the process became more streamlined and mechanized, and the popularly of this very handy product began to soar.

In the years since this nifty creation has found its way into countless homes and hospitals around the world, and has truly been a godsend for many of us on more than one occasion.

While originally packaged in metal tins (as they continued to be for several decades), these days most Band-Aids come in paper boxes (though you can sometimes still find them in the lovely metal tins many of us remember from our youth).

{A wonderful mid-twentieth century vintage ad for "Sheer Band-Aids" that includes an image of the great metal type of tin that Band-Aids used to come packaged in. Image via Jon Williamson's terrific Flickr stream.}


At the end of the 30s Band-Aids became sterilized (thus making them even more beneficial as a healing agent for wounds). While other innovations have occurred over the years (and today one can find Band-Aids, be they manufactured by Johnson & Johnson or other brands, in a vast array of sizes and patterns), the basic principle of an all-in-one gauze/adhesive combo remains the same today as it did back in the roaring twenties.

So while the history of Band-Aids isn't the most action packed one ever, it's great to know these super useful little wound dressing have been around for ninety-one years now. One can only guess at how many Band-Aids the world's population has used over this vast expanse of time. Certainly millions upon millions, if not billions by now.

I however just needed one for my silly little accident the other day - a sweetly adorable pink Hello Kitty patterned one from a box that my husband (knowing how much I love Hello Kitty) had picked gotten for me a few months ago.

Cute as these particular bandages are, I've got my (other wound-free!) fingers crossed that I won't be doing anything that clumsy again - and thus in need of another Band-Aid - for a good long while though! Smile

November 13, 2011

1930s autumn fashion inspiration

Day 317 of Vintage 365


November's palette is dark, but not foreboding. It may not be quite as majestically vibrant as that of earlier autumn days, but it retains some of the same burnt umbers, inky maroons, and greys that call to mind cold, wind whipped skies.

At the same time, just as November has one foot planted in the fall, another stretches out to start embracing the colour spectrum of winter, with it's evergreen tree hues, barren tawny-brown landscapes, and pale, snowy ski hills.

Far from being dull and dreary, I find that there is a lot of subtle, beautiful inspiration to be found in the shades that the world around is presently decked out in. Mother Earth is starting to sport her neutral wardrobe as we inch closer to December and this can translate marvellously into vintage pieces for our own sartorial looks, too.

Take for example the richly lovely selection of French 1930s looks in the fashion illustration below. Here we see an array of dresses and coats in the very colours mentioned above - even the quaint (almost loafer looking) shoes are matched to the November inspired outfits.

{A timelessly pretty selection of vintage French fashions are on display in this wonderful illustration from 1936. Image via Le Petit Poulailler on Flickr.}


By the mid-thirties we start to see some of the looser lines of the 20s and early years of the decade give away the more structured styles would appear as time rolled on into the forties. The silhouettes are still long and lean here though, as they'd so often been during the Depression years, though in this image one picks up on a subtly feminine figure being carved out thanks to belted and nipped in waists.

Regardless of if you enjoy sporting fashions from the thirties yourself, there's much inspiration on the colour front to be gleaned from this palette of autumnal shades, which you can easily apply to your own favourite decades (just think how striking a 40s inspired pencil skirt and sweater set combo in earthy green and brown would be, or why not an 1950s evening dress pale grey or teal-kissed pine green?).

In a few short weeks nature will even more devoid of colour, but that doesn't mean you wardrobe has to be, so long as you keep November's elegant palette in mind all through the snowy months that will upon as in a flash.

November 12, 2011

Delightfully pretty 1950s turquoise kitchen

Day 316 of Vintage 365


In a roundup of my all-time favourite colours, you would most definitely find turquoise. At once serene and uplifting, calm yet bold, this hue captures the imagination and heart in one fell swoop.

The somewhat darker sister to aqua, both colours appeared frequently throughout mid-twentieth century home decor, appearing in forms as small as cutlery handles to entire rooms done up in this tropically spirited shade of blue-green.

As with most lively colours, the more turquoise you add to a room, the more eye-catching it tends to become, but that certainly doesn't mean that turquoise has to read as garish or glaring in the slightest - especially if you pair with neutral or very soft hues (think pale lemon, soft peach, kitten fur grey).

I've always fancied the idea of having a vintage styled home that included at least one room that was bursting with turquoise, as I know many of you do, too.

For all those seeking vintage inspiration for your turquoise adorned abodes, look no further than this striking 1950s kitchen featuring instantly eye-catching rows of turquoise cabinets.

{Appealing colourful, chic, delightful 1950s turquoise kitchen via saltyotton on Flickr.}


I love how this kitchen is lively and cheerful, but in no way hard on the eyes. Though first appearing in the magazine The American Home fifty-five years, ago there's a contemporary element to this room that ensures it never looks dated.

From the generous (at least to apartment dwellers like me!) banks of upper and lower cabinets to the vinyl chairs, there is an abundance of turquoise in this lovely room.

Sleek, clean appliances, a fairly subdued floor pattern, silver drawer and cabinet handles, and simple sheer window coverings however, ensure that this is a room one could easily wake up to year after year, without it seeming like you were trapped inside a bottle of blue curacao.

Beautiful, fun, and so very evocative of the 50s, this is certainly a kitchen that I'd be proud as a (similarly hued) peacock to draw home decor inspiration from anytime.

November 11, 2011

Remembering the invaluable role of women in WW2

Day 315 of Vintage 365 ✯

When one thinks of war, it is often images of male soldiers that spring to mind first, and while there's absolutely no doubt that men have always been a key component of battle, it would be doing a profound disservice to women to not give them equal footing when it comes to the role they've held in helping the war effort.

From the dawn of time, I fully believe that women have done their part (and more) - often behind the scenes - to help the men of their nations as they ventured off to combat. It was WW2 though, that saw the wide spread emergence of women playing a very active military role (there had certainly been woman, including thousands of nurses and Red Cross volunteers, in WW1, but the second world war brought about the formation of military branches such as WAC and WASP), as well stepping into the vitally important work force in a way that had never occurred before.

{Images of women in WW2 via: 1. Drilling on a Liberator Bomber, Consolidated Aircraft Corp., Fort Worth, Texas (LOC), 2. Bristol at War, 3. Women's army service pilot, 4. WW2 - Nurses - Cadet nurse, girl with a future}

With every fiber of my being, I hope that the world never faces such a immensely horrific war again. A fact which if time proves it to be true, will no doubt be due in good part to the efforts that our brave foremothers made during some of the darkest, hardest days of battle the world has ever known.

Today, on Remembrance Day, my thoughts turn to the millions of women around the world who played a role in ensuring the allied victory of the second world war.

From the fearless gals who were partisan fighters, members of the military, and even spies, to those ladies of all ages on the home front who served in countless capacities (from Britain's Women's Land Army to factory workers ala Rosie the Riveter), every last one of these hard working, patriotic, esteem-able women deserves to be remembered, appreciated, and thanked today - and always - for their part in the victorious outcome of WW2.