White crochet snood: Handmade gift from a dear friend loving friend ♥
Hair flowers: Assorted sources
Gold bow earrings: Payless
1950s red plaid cropped shirt: eBay
Red vintage style faux leather cross body bag: eBay
1940s style side button jeans: Freddies of Pinewood
Gold tone metal bangle bracelets: Payless
Red and black vintage plastic bangles: Assorted sources
Black 1940s style oxford shoes: Thrifted (from Salvation Army)
Lip colour: MAC Russian Red
Photography by Tony Cangiano
♥ ♥ ♥
Fame is a funny thing. It can be fleeting, fickle, fantastic, funny, fabulous, and, for some, even infuriating. I don't have any firsthand (or even secondhand) experience with mainstream fame in in the slightest. As someone who is mind blowingly shy and uber introverted, I was definitely not the kind of child who longed for a career in that could project me in such a direction (say, like a singer or actress).
No, in my youngest days I wanted to be either a nurse or a doctor, then as my childhood progressed and straight on into my teens, I was 100% certain I wanted to be a chef (and I adamantly believe I would have gone on to be one had I not fallen severely chronically ill about a month after my 18th birthday).
It's theoretically possible that those career paths, particularly that of being a chef, could have led to fame, but it would not have been the driving reason behind why I wanted that job at all. My life, as you likely know, did not end up with me wearing a stethoscope nor (in a professional capacity) standing in front of a hot stove all day. It took many detours and was eerily silent some years, when I was too ill to bring home even so much as one piece of proverbial bacon.
I worked numerous jobs in my late teens, but from my 20s onward, I have been self-employed (a heading under which I include working, and drawing a wage from, being employed by the online media company that my husband and I run) for every job I've held, including during my mid-twenties when I was a part-time professional photographer (I job I loved with every fiber of my being, but unfortunately had to step back from because of the continued worsening of some of my medical conditions).
These days, on top of working for Netrich Media, I have the incredible pleasure and honour - which I do not take for granted for one tiny second - of being a professional vintage blogger and Etsy vintage shop owner. I get to spend my days writing about, photographing (thus indulging in that passion of mine in an awesome new way), wearing, discussing, shopping for, researching, and surrounding myself with vintage. It a job that I can do from home when my health permits and which I truly adore and feel grateful for.
Vintage has helped give me a career that is compatible with my circumstances and which I can hold my head up high when I tell people what I do for a living (believe me when I say that some folks, wrongly of course, judged me incredibly harshly during those periods in my life when I was chronically ill and didn't have a defined career at the time; it was as though they couldn't fathom someone in their 20s being so ill that they couldn't work, which for many stretches of time the last 12.5 years, I have been).
I mention all this to led to the point I begun this post with: fame. Over the years I have achieved a definite degree of notoriety amongst the vintage blogging world. I've being interviewed by numerous magazines, blogs and websites (and the BBC); have an active social media prescience, and blog prolifically, so it probably isn't a huge surprise that I'd stand to get recognized in public every now and then.
I think part of the reason why it always knocks my socks off when such happens is because I live in a small town in British Columbia, Canada. Penticton is beautiful and I love residing here, but it isn't exactly the sort of vintage Mecca that Portland, LA, New York, or London is and in fact, I haven't been recognized by a stranger on the street here yet. Each time it has happened, I've either been in a larger city in this province or in Alberta.
While on our stellar holiday to Vancouver Island earlier this fall, I was floored and very touched to be recognized by multiple people, both on the street and at the Victoria Vintage Expo that I attended (including, very sweetly, when I had three young ladies who were shopping together recognize, rush over to, and proceed to hang out with me for several minutes - it was the closest I think I've ever come to being on the receiving end of a fan girl experience :)).
One such encounter took place at a consignment store in the utterly charming seaside town of Sidney, which is the first place you'll see when you disembark the ferry upon reaching Vancouver Island (if you're headed to Victoria or any point in that general direction, I mean).
While sourcing a few pieces of jewelry for my Etsy shop, I was approached by a lovely lady who asked if I had a blog. I replied that I did and said who I was, and she very excitedly said that she thought it was me and had to come over and say hello. She too was in town on holiday (from Alberta) and we had a marvelous time chatting for a few minutes and latter ran into one another again on the same day when Tony and I made our way down to the wharf area in Sidney to do a shoot for the the photos that appear in today's post.
Never say never, of course, but objectively I doubt I'll ever be world famous in the context of mainstream society, and that's totally okay. Most of us will never walk that path, after all. But there is, I must tell you, something fabulously fun and rewarding about having a complete stranger know who you are and want to interact with you. I never take such experiences for granted and cherish every last one of them that happens to me - and all the more so because, again, I really don't live in a part of the world that is filled with fellow vintage lovers, wearers or bloggers.
Meeting that lady put a huge smile on my face, which was certainly a good thing when it came time to shoot photos. The fact that I finally, for the first time ever, got to a photo shoot for my blog with the majestic Pacific Ocean (others would also happen during our time on the Island, and I'll be posting about them in the near future as well), certainly helped to cement it there even further.
For a day of fun second hand shopping, sightseeing, and driving, I sported my trusty Freddies of Pinewood 1940s style side buttons jeans, a delightful 1950s cropped waist plaid shirt (if I could clone this shirt in a hundred other patterns and colours, I would in the quickest of heartbeats), a snood that I received as a gift from a dear friend last year, three hair flowers, an assortment of plastic and metal bangles, and an anchor shaped vintage brooch to tie into the nautical-ness of our location.
Though it wasn't gloriously golden, the sun was still out in full force that day, so – no surprise here - I was Squinty McSquinty again in some of these snaps, but I don't mind. I was just elated to capture the memory of that day on camera during one of the rare pauses in the rain while we were on Vancouver Island (it rained for some, or all of, nearly every day we were there).
This trip was absolutely fantastic from start to finish and I loved that it included so many fantastic experiences, very much including being recognized by several people throughout our time there. If any of you who did so should happen to be reading this post, thank you again for approaching me and saying hello. I loved getting to meet you and really appreciate your support of my blog, which, after all led you to know who I am in the first place. :)