October 31, 2009

Saturday Snapshots – special Halloween edition! {October 31, 2009}

Shadows of a thousand years rise again unseen, voices whisper in the trees, “Tonight is Halloween!” ~ Dexter Kozen
{A festively clad group of adult party-goers celebrate the night away, decked out in a varied assortment of great costumes – everything from a criminal to Robin Hood, a Spanish senorita to a street performer. They really look like a fun bunch, don’t you think?}
{Yikes! Are they robots? Aliens? A hybrid of both? Whatever these 1950s Halloween celebrators were, they sure looked like they were having a blast in their homemade cardboard box costumes!}
{A young lad beams with pride as he kneels down behind a grinning jack-o-lantern, which the viewer can’t help but think he must have carved himself, in this great shot from 1948.}
{Two adorable youngsters don Dutch folk costumes as their Halloween attire in this lovely colour photo from 1952 (note the sleek black Hudson car behind them).}
{A group of kids sport a diverse assortment of costumes ranging from Donald Duck to Superman in this festively joyful colour photograph from 1958.}
{A pair of young ladies takes a break – perhaps from a party or school dance – to rest on the grass in their respective clown/pierrot and gypsy costumes, sometime during the late 40s or early 50s.}
{There is something veering on the eerie side about this photo of a lone little girl, her face masked, clutching a grimacing jack-o-lantern as she sits atop a large pile of harvest pumpkins, that makes it the perfect kind of vintage shot for All Hallows Eve!}
{One look at this prettily posed image from 1937 and it’s hard not to fall in love with it – and all of the college gals’ terrific Halloween costumes.}
{A duo of masked characters, emulating popular 1950s childhood heroes like Zorro and the Lone Ranger, beam bright smiles at the camera as they clutch their loot bags full of candy.}
{Four attractive young ladies gather in their festive finest for a newspaper photo that covered the story behind the “Halloween Slick Chick Beauty Contest”, which was being held, circa 1947, in Anaheim, California. I think I like the witch, complete with her pointy hat and straw broom the best, which one is of these lovely gals is your favourite?} {All images above are from Flickr. To learn more about a specific image, please click on it to be taken to its respective Flickr page.} In general I like to keep the nature of this post entirely random - or, in other words, I try to feature photos that do not share a specific theme among them. However, it is a rare occurrence to have Halloween fall on a Saturday and as such thought it would be wonderfully fun to fill this week’s Snapshot post with a trove of vintage images showing everyday folks, just like you and I, celebrating the once-a-year magic that is Halloween! Joyful, spooky, fantastic wishes to you each for a truly marvelous Halloween, my friends!

October 30, 2009

Vintage Deal of the Day: October 30, 2009

Hi sweet dear, let me kick off this post by sending out tons of joyful Halloween Eve wishes to each and every one of you!

{Massive amounts of cuteness abound when it comes to this darling little (it’s 2 ½ inches tall) vintage porcelain toothpick holder. Shaped like a black and white pup and his doghouse or perhaps a favourite dog toy that looked like a house, this sweet – and practical – piece of kitchen nostalgia can be yours for just $4.75 (US), if you hightail it over to etsy seller Bedouin’s shop.}

How is everybody’s Friday going? I hope that you're each doing splendidly and having a blast counting down the hours until All Hallows (or for a terrific weekend otherwise, if you don’t observe this holiday). The gloomy rain that has plagued Toronto all month continues today, though I really can’t complain, so long as it doesn’t turn into snow, I’m a happy camper!

I’ve had a busy week of very mixed going-ons, from renewing my passport (in person, which is a pleasant change over having to mail the application out – still need to wait for it to arrive in the mail though, no getting around that) to trying to dig through the absolute avalanche of email I seem to have been receiving lately. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining about a bustling in-box, it just seems to be one of those entirely random times when I’ve been getting literally five times my usual daily volume of email. I always wonder what brings such spurts of online correspondence about, don’t you?

On the blog front, I’m not sure if I’ll have the time to get up a “Five for Friday” post today, but I wanted to ensure that the Daily Deal appeared, as I wasn’t home for most of yesterday and didn’t thus didn’t post one on Thursday. I want thank everyone who has visited and commented on my blog lately. I’m a few days with replying to your comments and visiting your wonderful sites, but plan to catch up as best as possible over the weekend.

One more blog related note...I’m planning on holding a lovely vintage related giveaway in the near future. Stay tuned for more details in November!

Tons of thanks, one and all, for being the awesome readers that you are! I hope dearly that you each have an amazing Halloween Eve night!!!

October 28, 2009

Vintage Deal of the Day: October 28, 2009

{You’re bound to serve up tons of terrific vintage style points in this wonderfully fun, long sleeved, zipper front sweater. Made of wool and in great condition (save for a tiny stain on one cuff), this charming cardigan, which fits up to a 38 inch bust/37 inch waist, instantly made me think of my beloved granny, who has adored and actively played tennis for nearly her entire life. Even to this day, at nearly 80 years old, she still enjoys getting out on the court! If you’d “love” to add this cute sweater to your wardrobe, swing on over to Bombshell Bettie’s Vintage's etsy store, where you can score it for just $20.00 (US).}

Thank you very much, everyone, for your wonderful comments on my Charlie Brown post earlier today, it's lovely to know that many of you adore that timeless classic, too.

Wishing you each a splendid evening!

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Chronically Vintage Readers!

Halloween simply would not be the same for me without at least one viewing of the timelessly wonderful 1966 television cartoon It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. For as long as I have memories stretching back of All Hallows Eve, I can call to mind recollections of watching this beloved Peanuts special annually in the days leading up to the 31st.

From the instantly recognizable background score that opens the first scene to Linus’ sweet and steadfast belief that the Great Pumpkin (a Halloween character akin to Santa) really will appear to him in the pumpkin patch, I adore everything about this classic cartoon.

I’ve rounded up a copy (split between three parts) of "The Great Pumpkin" below, which I hope you’ll all enjoy. Whether you’ve only seen it once, fifty times, or never before, you’re in for a heart warming treat if you set aside a few minutes (a little under half an hour) to watch this marvelous Charlie Brown tail of Halloween mischief and fun before – or on – this coming Saturday!

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

{Part 1}

{Part 2}

{Part 3}

Is this delightful Peanuts cartoon a treasured tradition for you, too? What are some other Halloween cartoons (or movies) that you love watching year after year?

A happy and playfully spooky countdown to Halloween, everyone! I hope the Great Pumpkin appears to you all this weekend! :)

October 27, 2009

Vintage Deal of the Day: October 27, 2009

Hi lovely dears, thank you very much for the awesome positive response to yesterday’s inaugural Deal of the Day post! I’m really happy to know that you dig this idea and am looking very forward to bringing you tons of terrific items that I've encountered in my online travels.

{Isn’t this little vintage brooch (it measures 2 ½ inches by 1 ½) wonderful? It’s classic gold tone and use of a timeless fruit make it a piece that’s bound to work with a multitude of looks in your vintage wardrobe. At just $7.50 (US), it's hard to beat the price on this cute accessory, too! Be sure to swing by etsy and visit Luncheonette Vintage is this darling cherry pin is calling your name.}

One quick point I wanted to mention is that I realize each of us defines what constitutes a good price differently. As someone who’s always tried her best to land a stellar bargain (whenever possible) and who lives on a very tight budget, you have my word that I will definitely try to feature items in this post that I view as being good deals - taking into account elements like the age, quality, brand, and condition of a given item. After all, everyone adores finding a great bargain and I hope I’ll be provide you with oodles of them!

October 26, 2009

Vintage Deal of the Day: October 26, 2009

Joyful Monday greetings to you all! I’m delighted for two reasons in particular this morning: one, because it’s less than a week until All Hallows Eve, and secondly, because this is the first of the now-to-be-a-(hopefully)-just-about-daily feature on Chronically Vintage, in which I bring you a stellar vintage (or modern but vintage looking) find that I’ve unearthed somewhere from within the wilds of the interwebs :)

{This lot of assorted, lovely sewing notions from the 1950s is a steal at $7.00 (US), and would make a charming addition to any sewing room, vintage ephemera collection, or display cabinet. Available from etsy seller Pansy Cottage.}

One thing I wanted to mention about the Daily Deal post is that while I’d imagine a fair number of such entries will feature an item of clothing, I will seriously try to share finds in a variety of sizes. I certainly know that it’s (usually) easier than pie to find a vintage dress for those slender lasses with 24 or 26 inch waistlines or those petite footed gals amongst us who wear a size five or six shoe. The vintage fashion world is ripe with pieces for those who fit into these sizes, but I’d venture to say that most of us do not! As such, I will strive to find pieces for the Daily Deal in an assortment of sizes.

Also, if there’s any type of item ("more gloves", "I love vintage salt and pepper shakers", etc in particular that you’d like to see featured in this post, please let me know, I always love hearing suggestions from my wonderful readers!

October 24, 2009

Saturday Snapshots {October 24, 2009}

“Curiosity ... endows the people who have it with a generosity in argument and a serenity in their own mode of life which springs from their cheerful willingness to let life take the form it will.” ~ Alistair Cooke

{Gazing at these two adventurous young women (Jean and Margery) perched with a dog in a tough-as-nails looking all-terrain vehicle, photographed in Tanzania in 1950, I feel compelled to nickname them “Hemmingway’s daughters”.}

{An attractive blonde woman peers into a mirror while someone else snaps her photo from behind, thus showing the viewer both the front and the back of her wonderful hairdo. This lady, however, was not overly pleased with her hair, for on the back of the photo she wrote (though to whom is not stated), “Please try and fix my hair where I have it marks [marked]”. To my eyes, her locks, tucked up in the back under a thin snood or hair net, look marvelous, but evidentially she wasn’t entirely pleased with them.}

{London’s famous Piccadilly Circus, complete with a traffic constable and iconic double-decker buses, was captured (circa the 50s) in this postcard worthy snap taken by a man who was traveling through Europe at the time.}

{A mother and her two daughters, each sporting a charming summer dress, seem to be caught in the midst of a happy moment in this lovely snapshot of suburban backyard life, for which no date or information is provided.}

{There is something both entirely adorable and (most likely unintentionally) well composed about this darling 1953 photo of a young man and two precious kittens, each one walking off in a different direction on the back of the sofa.}

{A trio of soldiers share this photo with two civilian men and three youngsters, leading one to wonder if the boys in uniform were perhaps relatives or close family friends. The photo’s poster, whose mother is the little girl in this shot, does not know who those gents were, which may rule out close relatives at least.}

{Dressed to the nines and looking every bit a lady, a young, unidentified women posed for this portrait studio shot in 1931. I love looking at her beautiful outfit, from the bow bedecked shoes to her elegant floral brooch, it simply buzzes with charm and grace.}

{Four teenage gals enjoy a moment of fun as they pose – perhaps trying to imitate chorus line girls – in this darling, undated shot which was captured in Staten Island, New York.}

{An employee, in her crisp white uniform, scoops up eggs for a customer in this “slice of life” shot for which no information is provided. What instantly drew me to this photo (aside from the fact that you don’t see too many vintage images that were snapped inside of supermarkets) were the rows upon rows of impeccably well stacked and artfully arranged tins of food in the background.}

{The vivid hues in this street (and very wide sidewalk!) shot seem to jump like flying sparks off this serene photo of Durango, Mexico taken in 1956.}

{All images above are from Flickr. To learn more about a specific image, please click on it to be taken to its respective Flickr page.}

A curious and open mind is truly one of the most incredible gifts a person can give themselves. The desire to forever absorb knowledge, to be open to the new and the odd, the beautiful and the brazen is to add a profound depth to life the likes of which no amount of riches could ever begin to compare.

Throughout all of human history there have been countless examples of those who opened themselves up to the wonders of approaching life with a curious mind, often to benefit from the repercussions of such a choice. From the first brave souls who said the world wasn’t flat (and those who went on to prove it) to every person who has ever left their own homeland in search of a different, perhaps better life elsewhere, curiosity has shaped and often dictated the course of human evolution. Yet, one does not have to discover new lands or make profound scientific finds to embrace curiosity. All you must do is always be ready to ask “why”, welcome learning, and remain open to possibility.

October 23, 2009

Five for Friday {October 23, 2009}

...A post written at the tail end of a busy day in a hectic, but absolutely lovely week. As Friday melts into Saturday it’s time to think about the fact that Halloween in but a week away, meaning that all manner of sweet – and spooky – treats will soon be on the agenda (and table). A weekend to launch several days with the opportunity for parties and intimate gatherings, filled with thoughts of festive costumes and jack-o-lanterns to be carved...

♥ ♥ ♥

{To add an immense hit of regal beauty to any costume}

{To say I adore miniature top hats is an understatement! Though I don’t yet own any myself, I truly hope to add some pint size Victorian/goth/steampunk chapeaus to my wardrobe one day, and when I do, a handcrafted number such as this amazing feather bedecked hat would top my list. Whether for Halloween, a fancy dress party, or any other day when you need an extra spectacular topper, this incredible creation would fit the bill! Pink and white Marie Antoinette mini hat, $49.00 (US) from etsy seller CrypticCultureGear.}

{To fuel your Halloween decor daydreams}

{I am perpetually awe-struck by the whimsical, elegant, and stunning creations, displays, decorations and finds featured on the Torie Jayne’s blog - and her recent pink and black Halloween themed posts are absolutely no exception. Pure inspiration through and through! Image via the gorgeous pages of Torie Jayne.}

{To add a wallop of adorable Halloween vintage charm to your Flickr favourites (or wall/scrapbook/etc if you print this image off)}

{Three immensely cute, large eyed kitties adorn this darling page from 1957 calendar featuring the month of October. Doesn’t it just make you burst out in an instant smile? Image via Neato Collville’s Flickr stream.}

{To ensure your Halloween finery stays pristinely clean while you’re whipping up your favourite Halloween treats or spells!}

{A delightfully fun pattern of witches, pumpkins, spiders, masked black cats, broomsticks, and witches covers this pretty pink, vintage style apron, making it the perfect thing to wear anytime you’re cooking, crafting, carving, or otherwise likely to get messy during the Halloween season. “The Close Vintage Inspired Halloween Full Apron”, $28.75 (US) from etsy seller Boojiboo.}

{To fill your table (and tummy) with beautiful and delicious holiday baked treats}

{Cinnamon and pumpkin puree enhance this seasonally dark chocolate cake with scrumptious orange cream cheese frosting, turning something run-of-the-mill into an especially wonderful Halloween dessert. Recipe on, and photo from, Country Living.}

Thank you everyone, for your marvelous comments on this week. I sincerely appreciate hearing from each of you. I always love returning your visits by buzzing over to your blogs and commenting on your stellar posts. I’m a slightly behind on replying to comments on my posts this week, but will do my best to get to each of your sites over the next few of days.

I adore you all, my amazing readers, thank you so much for visiting Chronically Vintage. I hope you each have a deeply fantastic weekend!

October 22, 2009

Come on everybody, let’s go trick-or-treating!

An eerie wind rustles through the leaves, a shiver crawls like a spider up your back. The moon hangs low and round, it’s pale buttermilk hued face almost seems to cackle at you. All around hobgoblins and fairies, vampires and werewolves run amuck, laughing as they clutch their plastic pales and pillowcases close. Once inviting houses suddenly seem as cozy as a mausoleum, their porches bedecked with glowing eyed gourds, front lawns scattered in tombstones and scarecrows. An electric energy pulses through the crisp air, there’s magic a foot, on this ancient eve of festivity mischief and grand fun, for all Hallows Eve has arrived!

Or, as is the case today, it soon will, and with it comes the marvelous tradition of trick-or-treating! Though it has evolved and changed over the centuries, the practise of dressing up (mask, costume, etc) and going door-to-door, appealing to your neighbours for food (in days of yore, the door knockers would offer up prayers for the deceased relatives of their community members on All Souls Day) has been going on since at least the middle ages in Europe (some sources say as far back as the ancient Celts).

Trick-or-treating as we know and recognize it today (an act carried out annually by youngsters on October 31st) is thought to have emerged in the early years of the twentieth century, and the 1930s its popularity had really begun to spread across North America. Though various treats ranging from home-baked goodies to candy apples, nuts in their shells to fresh fruit have been handed out to trick-or-treaters over the years, for decades now, I think it’s a safe bet to say that candy has been both the most common and most beloved of goodies that a costume clad child could find waiting for him or her at the next front door.

Candy spanning the gamut from loose "penny sweets" to homemade taffy (in the days before widespread fear of tainted/poised/razor blade laced Halloween treats) has been doled out at one point or another, but for decades now store bought goodies have been commonplace, and are what most trick-or-treaters receive these days.

Everyone it seems has a favourite Halloween candy or two! I know that I certainly look back with immense fondness on any house that offered up Butterfinger, Crispy Crunch, Crunchie or Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, as well as “Dots” and Tootsie Pop lollipops. I was also eager to get Coffee Crisp bars which I would rush home at the end of the night to give my mother, for they were her favourite chocolate bar when I was growing up.

I can remember nearly every Halloween night I’ve had since I was three years old with vivid clarity. Some years we marched from house to house in the snow (this being Canada after all), others we slipped raincoats and rubber boats over our costumes to fend off chilly rain. A few however were not freezing cold, they were lit by stars that tumbled like tinsel across the raven black sky and brought with them the feeling that the night would stretch on forever – or at least until the last front light in our neighbourhood had been turned off.

Buzzing with excitement (and a wee bit of a sugar high) rush we would tromp home, to a friend’s house or onwards to a Halloween party (sometimes at the local community centre), our pails and sacks brimming with what seemed like a monumental volume of candy, ready to carry out the all important candy swap with our friends and siblings. I remember we executed this ritualistic act with negotiating skills the likes of which would make most seven-figure-a-year lawyers quake in their boots.

Halloween night was for me one of tremendous joy and merriment. It was the chance to escape into a world of make-believe, to feel independent (I can recall perfectly the first year we were allowed out without adult supervision), and to revel in the spooky, enchanted, incredible spirit that only Halloween could deliver.

It has, however, been a few years since I last trooped around the local streets, melodically chanting “trick-or-treat” as my knuckles rapt at a door, and I miss it something fierce! (I joke to my husband that since I’m petite and have a very young sounding voice, I should just don a costume with a mask and go out, even if I am 25! ;D) So I thought it would tons of fun if we took at a look at a mixture of vintage Halloween and more general (aka, not Halloween specific) vintage ads for candy together. Reliving as a collective group, the joys of seeing some of these scrumptious treats land in our pillowcases and then later poured out on our bedroom floors as we hunkered down, a mile-wide smile on our face, over the spoils that Halloween night had provided us with.

Come, one and all, even if you have never trick-or-treated before (perplexingly, some countries have yet to take up this tradition – if only such nations knew the fun they’re missing out on!), and join me as we, dressed in our Halloween night finest, parade around the block (errrr, blog) collecting sweet treats!

{A stylishly dressed woman hands out candy to a pair of adorable trick-or-treaters in this vintage ad for Baby Ruth and Butterfinger chocolate bars from the 1950s. Don’t you just love the little girl’s witch hat and both or their treat bags?}

{For the absolute bargain price of just a nickel during the 50s one could satisfy their sweet tooth a classic Hershey’s candy bar, such as Krackel (which had crispy rice cereal in it) or Mr. Goodbar (chocked full of peanuts). By and large Hershey’s products (with the notable exception of Kisses) have never been quite as common in Canada as they are in States, but I do still recall finding the occasional, delicious Hersey’s bar amongst my Halloween treats.}

{Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (as well as Reese’s Pieces) were highly sought after Halloween night treats when I was growing up and I remember they often commanded two or three “lesser” chocolate bars (or a handful of chewy candies) if you were swapping with a friend. This charming 1950s ad is rich with the colour orange, making it perfectly suited to October!}

{Black liquorice is a flavour I instantly and fondly associate with Halloween, particularly in the form of black jelly beans, lollipops, and jujubes, though it most certainly came via Good & Plenty candies, too.}

{Lovely artistry fills this delightful 1929 vintage ad for Wrigley’s Spearmint chewing gum with oodles of vintage Halloween appeal.}

{Hard, sweet and ever so slightly salty, Heath (toffee) bars were always marvelous on their own, enjoyed slowly over the course of a favourite TV program perhaps or, alternatively, crumbled and tossed in with a big bowl of warm popcorn for an easy-for-an-eight-year-to-make spin on caramel corn.}

{An ageless classic, the humble fruit flavoured Lifesavers candy was a frequent Halloween loot bag find, in both miniature roll size and in the form of Lifesavers lollipops, all throughout my childhood – just as they have been for those of trick-or-treaters for decades.}

{A rather solemn looking woman graced this 1955 ad for Aero bars, her expression in stark contrast with the pleasant fun that usually came from letting the Aero bubbles melt on your tongue as you nibbled your way through one of these light milk chocolate bars.}

{Tootsie rolls are a Halloween staple in my books, not only the delicious chewy chocolate variety, but also the Tootsie Fruit Rolls (which feature flavours such as vanilla, lemon, and cherry) which, in Canada at least, you can only ever seem to find in October (and thus I was extra cautious to ration the fruit flavoured Tootsie rolls for as long as I could each year).}

{Tropical beauty flows through this wonderful 1950s ad for Bounty bars, which are shows here with a deep almost red wine and white hued label, which is quite different than the blue, green and white variety that I recall seeing in my pile of Halloween candy. Pretty as the modern wrapper for this tasty coconut candy bar is, I think I prefer the vintage one shown here.}

{To this day Crunchie bars with their deep golden, intensely crisp – yet airy – sponge candy (aka, honeycomb or cinder toffee) centre and thin outer coating of milk chocolate remain one of my favourite sweet treats at Halloween – or any time I need a sugar rush.}

{A true chocolate classic, Cadbury milk chocolate (and Caramilk) bars always went head-to-head with Neilson's Jersey Milk, Nestle Aero, and Hersey’s Milk Chocolate bars when kids debated which “plain” chocolate bar was best.}

{If you were particularly lucky, each Halloween there would be a handful of houses that went above and beyond pint sized chocolate bars, candy corn, lollipops and bubble gum and handed out something extraordinary (by Halloween treat terms) like bags of potato chips or cheese puffs, cans of soda, or boxes of Cracker Jacks, as this fantastic 1950s ad suggests doing.}

{All images above are from Flickr. To learn more about a specific image, please click on it to be taken to its respective Flickr page.}

Gosh, gang, wasn’t that that a swell time?! Did it call to mind happy memories of childhood Halloweens? I hope it did and that you enjoyed this make-believe trick-or-treating excursion (and that you didn’t get too spooked out! :D).

I had a terrific time putting this post together (not surprisingly, I’ve got a hankering for chocolate now!) and I would adore hearing about your favourite (or scariest!) Halloween night memories, what you loved to find in your pumpkin pail, and how you celebrate Halloween these days!