1950s red hat with black trim: eBay
Sparkly gold 1940s style sunglasses: Canadian Tire (this past summer)
1930s green plastic beaded necklace: Independent vintage jewelry seller in Okanagan Falls
Red knit shrug: Fairweather
C. 1940s hand painted wooden dogwood brooch: Yard sale find
1950s white gloves: Gift from a dear vintage loving friend ♥
Black and red apple print repro dress: Hell Bunny (purchased at New World Designs in Vancouver)
Carved plastic plastic rose stretch bracelet: Thrifted (Value Village, if memory serves me right)
Skinny black belt: eBay
Vintage Saks Fifth Avenue black patent purse: MK Retro
Black seamed nude stockings: eBay
Lip colour: MAC Russian Red
Nail colour: Essie A List
Photography by Tony Cangiano (antique + thrift store photos later in the post taken with a cell phone, all others with a Canon DLSR)
♥ ♥ ♥
It is genuinely hard to believe, as I sit here and type this, that not one, but two months exactly has passed since the photos in today's post were shot on a sublimely sun-kissed afternoon in late September. Fall, that most visually poetic and beautiful of seasons was just beginning. Now however, if you look outside at least, it’s as good as gone.
In fact, we had our first snowfall here this week as Tuesday transformed into Wednesday, and it felt all the more fitting because as the lovely barrage of tiny white flakes came whizzing down, Tony and I were hard at work sending out everyone's matches for this year's Vintage Secret Santa gift exchange. If you haven't received an email with your match yet, please check your spam/junk and deleted messages folders, as well as your achieves, in case you accidentally moved it there as soon as it arrived. If you're 100% certain that it's no where to be found, then please email me right away with your first and last name, as well as the email address that you used when you signed up, and I'll send it out to you again on the double.
Back though to two months ago. We were knee deep in our fabulous Vancouver Island vacation and had set aside a day to travel somewhat north from Victoria (our home base for the trip) to the enchantingly lovely town of Parksville. Along the way we stopped at numerous antique stores that dotted the highways and filled the small towns between Victoria and Nanaimo, and Nanaimo and Parksville, our final destination.
Much to my unending delight, Vancouver Island is teeming with antique stores. There's a handful of vintage clothing, jewelry and collectible shops as well, especially in Victoria (the largest city on the island), but it's antique stores (which, as most tend to these days, have oodles of vintage collectibles in them, too, not just 100+ year old pieces) where Vancouver Island truly shines.
One of my very favourites that we stopped at that day is called Chemainus Valley Antique Centre and in the photo below I'm standing outside of it (intentionally) beneath a sign that says "antiques". I feel as though I have an invisible one of those floating around over my head all the time, so it was only fitting that I posed with a real one for a change. :D
A large three story building comprised of stalls from a multitude of different vendors and overseen by two charmingly lovely gentleman, Chemainus Valley Antique Centre is the sort of old school jewelry, collectibles, and furniture filled paradise where one could easily spend a whole day - if not a week - savouring and checking out every last nook and cranny. Unfortunately, we had to make hay while the sun was shining, so to speak, so I only got about half an hour there, but that was ample time to find a few great treasures for my Etsy store and a totally OTT 1930s/40s wide brimmed burgundy hat for myself, which I'm sure will star in its own outfit post one day.
Since returning home, I've scoured the web, and (much to my surprise) it doesn't look like the Chemainus Valley Antique Centre had any kind of online presence, though their address and contact information can be found in Yellow Pages type directory sites, if you're headed to the Island and would like to pay them a visit, too (which I can't recommend highly enough that you do!).
Before embarking on our trip, a few people had strongly recommended that if I visited Parksville, I should check out the large two floor SOS Thrift Store located there. Though, again, I didn't have much time (we were there on a Saturday and they weren't open terribly late, so I probably got about 25 minutes to see as much of it as I could), I did power through and pick up a couple of items.
This thrift store had been suggested to me by folks who said it would be sure to have vintage items, and it did, however...for the most part they weren't interspersed amongst the general merchandise. Instead they were housed in locked glass cases and priced on the high end of the retail scale, so I didn't even contemplate purchasing any such vintage offerings (there was mostly jewelry, First Nations handicrafts, records, knickknacks, and the like; I didn't see any vintage clothing at all that day).
This isn't the first time in recent years I've run into the same kind of situation when it comes to vintage items and thrift stores, but I must say, I was a bit bummed that this large community oriented thrift store had opted to go that route, too. Oh well! At least I can now say that I've been to one of the province’s biggest thrift stores and that I took a quick photo outside of it after it had closed (below).
Before making our way to both of the Parksville's jaw-droppingly stunning beaches, the first of which we shot the snaps in today's post at, I also visited a small Salvation Army store, which was very pricey (they had the highest prices I've ever encountered at a Sally Ann before) and had almost no vintage, save for a couple of costume jewelry pieces that I snapped up as gifts for two friends of mine that I knew would really like them.
So between, the two, I wouldn't say that I was wowed by Parksville's thrift stores (there may very well be others that I didn't visit and I therefore I can't speak for those ones), but thankfully the antique shopping en route as well as the majestically gorgeous beaches and views of the mighty Pacific Ocean more than made up for it. In fact, Tony and I both agreed that Parksville's beaches were not only the most breathtaking, but each of our favourites that we'd ever been to anywhere in Canada as far as oceans go.
There was a magic to that afternoon. Though not terribly warm, the sun was abundant and powerful, tumbling down on us and the sea alike, which is made glisten as though it were peppered with lashings of diamonds. We lingered long and walked hand-in-hand across the soft, damp sand as the almost primally appealing scent of salt air tickled our noses and brought smiles to our lips.
I had craved a visit to the ocean’s shore for years and this one did not disappoint in the slightest. On the many long and bitingly cold days of winter that lie ahead, as the snow piles up outside our walls by the minute (literally!), I know that I will think back to this wonderful day in Parksville and be warmed by its memory as much as I was by the happiness it imparted in the moment.