January 22, 2020

Come follow my new blog

Hello, dear Chronically Vintage friends!

While this blog remains retired, I wanted to post a brief entry here to let you know that this month I launched a brand new blog: WitchcraftedLife.com

Whereas CV focused primarily on my unending love of vintage and history, WitchcraftedLife.com centers around two different parts of my life that are also hugely important to me: my passion for paper crafting (think things like scrapbooking and cardmaking) and my spiritual path as a long-time Pagan witch.

The latter was not something I shared about here on CV during its lifetime, so I realize that learning that I’m a practicing witch might come as surprise to some folks (especially if you don’t currently follow me on Instagram).

One of the most poignant messages that the fire helped to further instill in me was the brevity of life coupled with the need to always be our truest selves. This led me to begin sharing publicly about my spirituality in 2017.

This decision has been amongst the most liberating, incredible things I’ve ever done.

Now, as our lives have stabilized enough for me to return to the blogging sphere, I’m doing so with a website that incorporates my spirituality along with my serious love for paper crafting (which I’ve been involved with for about a decade now). All with a dose of myself and our daily lives swirled into the mix, too, naturally. 😊

Helming CV for eight years was, without a doubt, one of the best, most meaningful experiences of my life. It helped me to grow in a myriad of ways, increased my confidence, taught me so much, lead to many beautiful friendships and awesome opportunities, and will forever have a sacred place in my heart.

At the dawn of a new decade, I’m opening up another piece of my heart and inviting you to do the same and come join me on Witchcrafted Life.

Chronically Vintage was what it was because of all of you and I know that many of you will help to make Witchcrafted Life extra magical as well thanks to your support and presence there.

Thank you deeply, now and always. ♥ 

Note 1: Commenting is disabled on this post. Please come say hello and leave a comment on WitchcraftedLife.com instead.

Note 2: I am blogging on Witchcrafted Life under my Pagan name, Autumn Zenith. I ask that you please use that name there, not my legal name (Jessica) which I wrote with here. Thank you!

March 17, 2017

Retiring Chronically Vintage

Yesterday, after two very snowy weeks of early March, I felt the first tender rays of springtime warmth dance upon my skin. I took Annie out back and together we played amongst them, both entranced by a sensation that we had very nearly forgotten.

It was a moment of simple, untainted pleasure of that sort we all long for in our lives and it reminded me a great deal of the powerful feelings of warmhearted compassion that myself, Tony and Annie have been incredibly blessed to receive from scores of wonderful people – including many in the vintage community – over the past five months since the fire.

From that horrific day onward, there has been a part of me that had suspected this post would eventually happen. Perhaps many of you saw it coming as well.

What occurred to us on that fateful, (ironically) rainy October night changed us forever. In one fell swoop it rewrote our lives and tore into the fabric of who we were at our very cores.

Though some pieces have been mended, others that remained (now) strengthened, and some are lost forever, we are not the same people we were before the fire. I highly doubt most folks would be, if they went through something similar.

Hardship and challenges make you and shape you. They can break you, too, if you let them. Yet from that very first evening as we stood cocooned in shock and grief, we swore that we wouldn’t let that happen and with your profound help (of every conceivable variety), love and support, it hasn’t.

Though I had, for some time, remained optimistic that I’d be able to pick up here much like before, in the ensuing five months it has become glaringly apparent to me that such is simply not possible.

Too much has changed. Though my love for vintage, my tremendous appreciation for this community, and my passion for rocking old school styles will never waver for a moment, I have come to realize that, as much as it genuinely pains me to the pit of my soul, I need to retire this blog.

Between the continued (very) poor state of my health in the wake of the blaze, the challenging road ahead as we continue to rebuild our lives, and the reality that certain things can never go back to as they once were, I know in my heart of hearts that this is what is right and healthy for me at this stage in my life.

I want each of you to know, and pray that you will believe me when I say, that this decision did not come easily or lightly. I agonized over it relentlessly for months and talked about it with Tony until I the point where I wouldn’t have been the least bit surprised if he’d started throwing things at me to get me to drop the subject (of course my sweet husband would never actually do that, but I wouldn’t have blamed in the slightest him if he had!).

For the better part of eight years (including the 2.5 for which, before the fire, I had my eponymously named Etsy shop as well; it will not be returning either), this blog was a huge part of my world – just as each of you were.

I adore, care about, and appreciate all of you more than you will ever know. Parting ways, in a vintage blogging context at least, is beyond hard for me to do.

I have had many sleepless nights, shed my fair share of tears, negatively impacted my health further from the stress of debating what to do, rung my hands nearly raw with anxiety, searched the furthest recesses of my heart, and, again, did not get to this point easily or lightly. Please know however, that it is a choice that I have reached for certain. 

Here we are then and there’s no sense in dragging things out.

Instead I will thank you – each and every one of you – for the innumerable ways you’ve enriched my life since Chronically Vintage began in April 2009. We’ve talked, we’ve laughed, we’ve inspired one another, we’ve grown as people, we’ve changed, and we have come to be dear friends.

{You mean the world to me - each of you. Thank you for the great times, the kinship, and for your understanding about my tremendously difficult decision to retire CV. Vintage photo image source.}

In our darkest hour, you were there for me and my family and I will be grateful for your help, compassion and remarkable generosity (including both your monetary donations and care packages) for as long as I live.

The physical gifts you gave me (us) helped me to come back to many important parts of myself. They cloth me, we eat off of them, we even bath with some of your presents (soaps and a beautiful floral print shower curtain, for instance). You often knew what we needed, even if, in our haze of grief, we didn’t.

You took us by the hand and the heart, you believed in us and we have grown stronger in many ways again because of you – just as I have always derived strength and comfort from this amazing community.

While I will no longer be blogging here at Chronically Vintage, I plan to keep this site (which houses just over 1,500 posts) alive for all to enjoy, learn from, and be inspired by.

You can continue to connect with me on social media, where as time goes on, I hope to share an even broader scope of myself and my many different interests – a giant one of which will, of course, forever be vintage.

Thank you all so much. Thank you for the memories, the smiles, the joys, the ways in which you've helped me grow, and countless other things that will stay with me for all of my days. 

I want you to know that you can always email me and that, I hope, should any of you ever find yourself in dire straights, I can be there for you however possible, too. Just ask, night or day.

I won’t say goodbye, instead I will say that I love you. That you mean more to me than I could ever begin to put into words, and that I hope with all my might you’ll understand my exceedingly difficult decision to retire from this blog and to look ahead to other (largely unknown at present) chapters in my life.

It has been a joy and an honour to connect with all of you throughout CV’s life and I look forward to continuing to do so via social media (particularly on Instagram and Pinterest), your blogs, emails, snail mail, and other avenues for a long time to come.

Friendship, much like the appeal of the past itself, is often timeless and so too, in my eyes, are each of you. 

Forever and always your friend in all things vintage,
❤ Jessica

February 28, 2017

A little post with big news!

Hello, my sweet, wonderful friends! How are each of you as February wraps up? It's hard to believe that more than a month has whipped past since my last blog post here (for which I really cannot thank you all enough for your incredibly caring, supportive comments on). And - at the risk of veering into broken record territory - though this site remains very much on hiatus, I simply had to share some excellent news here with all of you.

As many of you know, Tony and I have been searching, ceaselessly, high and low for the past two months trying to find longer term housing (as our current digs were only temporary - especially since the lovely homeowners may convert it to an AirBnb soon and major renos on both floors have been underway for the last two months, whilst we were living here, to make the house even lovelier and more contemporary looking).

To say that this was one of the hardest and most stressful tasks of our entire lives would not be a stretch. The housing (especially rental) market around these parts is abysmal at best and laughable at worst. Think staggering high prices (even for shared accommodations; which was not something we were looking for at all), tons of competition for the few places that surface, homes that were/are often in deplorable condition, and a serious shortage of properties that accept pets.

Around the clock throughout all of January and very nearly the entire month of February, we searched, contacted listings, viewed homes, applied, and continually expanded our search radius as far as nine hours away from Penticton. With each passing day, our stress level rose and our already taxed nerves grew more frayed.

In the end though, mercifully, we didn't have to go anywhere near that far afield. As February started to draw to a close, we were elated and beyond thankful to have been approved and selected by the owners of a beautiful two-story home in the nearby community of Okanagan Falls and couldn't say "yes" quickly enough to their rentership offer.

This house was our favourite of all those we saw and the one we most hoped to be selected for. It checks off our major needs (including having a fenced backyard for our dog, Annie, to utilize), is in a safe, quiet neighbourhood, and is owned by really nice people who live right here in the Southern Okanagan, too.

Our new little community, Okanagan Falls (aka, OK Falls), is a spot that has appeared here in some of my outfit shoots over the years (such as this one from 2013), and which I've always enjoyed spending time in.

We're both delighted to be so close (just twenty minutes away) to Penticton (where we were living at the time of the fire) still and moreover to have a great new roof over our heads. As well as, we hope and pray, the ability to finally stop feeling like we're in a state of topsy-turvy flux and uncertainty (regarding housing) after what happened to us last October.

{Our boxes are packed, we've got a small team of friends and family to help, and tomorrow we'll be hopping from one side of Skaha Lake to the other when we move into our terrific new abode in Okanagan Falls. I truly cannon wait! Mid-century moving day photo image source.}

I've had to move houses really quickly a few other times in my life, but less than a week to pack, switch over services (utilities, internet, etc), get a new PO box, and scads of related things is definitely a new record for the fastest I've ever changed homes and we've not had a moment to even stop and catch our breath since signing our new lease.

I'm certainly not complaining though - far from it! This house (I don't have a photo of it yet, but will try to post one on my social media in the near future) is just perfect for us and we can't begin to convey how incredibly grateful we are for it (just as we were to have our temporary home in Kaleden over the winter months).

It is my sincere hope that once we're settled in and unpacked, I can finally allow myself some time to properly rest, recoup, recover, grieve (further), and get a better handle on where my health, life and very future itself are at this stage.

On the exact same day that we signed our new lease, our old house (the one that was destroyed by the fire) was finally demolished (they'd needed milder temps in order to safely do so). Some might see that simply as a coincidence, but to me it much more than just that and stands as the absolute perfect symbol of one chapter in our lives ending and another beginning.

None of knows what the future holds in store for us, but quite literally tomorrow, I know that we'll be moving into our new house and - even though my health is in shambles right now and I've rarely been more exhausted on every level than I presently am - I simply can't stop smiling and thinking positive thoughts about the life that we'll create and live in Okanagan Falls.