1930s/40s feather adorned black velvet hat: eBay
Black rhinestone earrings: Payless
Vintage Austrian glass berry brooch: eBay
Purple thin knit top: Thrifted
1940s/50s grey cotton gloves: eBay
Vintage black velour pencil skirt: etsy seller Lady Kitschener's Vintage Emporium
Black vintage handbag: etsy seller A Vintage Revival
Grey tights: (new stock) Value Village
Black suede pumps: Wal-Mart
Lip colour: MAC Russian Red
Photography by Antonio Cangiano
The region of British Columbia where we live, the Okanagan Valley, is amongst the sunniest corners of the whole country...during the summer that is. Once the last jack-o-lanterns come down in early November, like much of the world, the Okanagan usually slumps into a pattern of greyness, bleakness, snow, chilly winds, and very little light of any sort to speak of for the next several months. Save that is, for the those very rare, very wonderful days when the sun - almost as if by magic - decides to spring out and bestow its goodness and warmth on us, if only for a few short hours.
That is precisely what happened one afternoon right around the start of the month. On that day, both Tony and I had some medical lab work that we needed to done (side note, but - and I've had a ton of blood work over the years, my dears, let me tell you - on that day, I had the most blood I'd ever had drawn at one time taken, twelve vials; I was almost surprised I didn't feel woozy afterwards) so we popped out to take of care that bright and early.
Afterwards we dropped by to visit my mom and ended up spending several absolutely lovely hours at her house (noshing on olives, baked potato chips, and scrumptious coconut marshmallows), which is where the snaps in today's post were taken (not since last Thanksgiving has the weather been cooperative enough to shoot on my parents deck).
The light that day was resplendent. I don't use that word loosely, it truly was stunning. I didn't retouch the lighting or background in these photos one iota, what you see, if precisely what mother nature was blessing us with that day. It was the kind of light that one wishes they could put in a bottle and pull out time and time again, always on hand for rainy and snowy days, to warm the soul and provide an illuminated, gorgeous backdrop for any occasion.
And speaking of beautiful things, isn't the stained glass I'm standing beside on my parents' deck incredible? My mom scored it one Saturday last year while we were out yard saling for an incredible deal (she paid at the very most, a tenth of what it would have cost new), and it now stands out as one of her favourite garage sale finds of ever. Given that it matched my top here perfectly, there was no way I could pass up posing with it.
Knowing I'd be needing to wear something that would allow for easy arm vein access, I went with an understated, elegant eggplant hued thin knit (which, I realized about two seconds after we left the house, has a tiny hole near the bottom hem, so from here on out, I'll be wearing it tucked in to hide that fact), my trusty black 50s velvet pencil skirt, grey tights, a fabulous (recently purchased) 30s/40s black velvet feathered adorned hat, and one of my all-time favourite brooches.
As you guys know, I absolutely, positively adore brooches! As my collection has continued to expand, it's started to break into subcategories, one of which includes vintage Austrian glass fruit brooches.
Should you happen to be a fan of these particular charming vintage pins, then you know that - retail at least - they don't come cheap these days. Depending on the condition, type of fruit depicted, and rarity, it's not uncommon to see such pins (or pin sets, which usually include a brooch and a pair of matching earrings) sell in the range of $30 to $125+.
Though I've heard tales of folks finding Austrian fruit brooches (most of which were produced in the 1940s-60s) for fifty cents or a dollar secondhand over the years, much as with Bakelite jewelry, I have yet to ever encounter any in person, let alone for those kinds of rock bottom prices. My wee little collection of Austrian glass fruit jewelry has all purchased online, primarily from eBay, and currently contains around five pieces, amongst which this marvelous blue and purple berry brooch is definitely one of my favourites.
This piece was not inexpensive by any means, but as it was my Christmas present to myself last year, I didn't mind splurging on something that I'd wanted for years and which I knew would instantly become a heirloom worthy treasure in my jewelry collection. To say that I love it to pieces would be a major understatement. This brooch is so, so cute and darling, while simultaneously projecting an air of classic elegance.
It makes me smile every time I wear or even just look at it, reminding me of the raspberries and blackberries my grandparents grew by the bucketful in their backyard garden when I was a little girl. It's sweet, fun, and completely pretty, and I'm sure that you'll see if featured here in other vintage outfits as time goes on.
A rare moment of enchantingly perfect winter light, a darling vintage Austrian berry brooch, spending time with my mom, these are the simple pleasures that bring me joy and make so very grateful for every day, no matter if they're sunny or not.