February 28, 2011

Vintage 365: Capping off February with vintage violet candy


Day 59 of Vintage 365


By jove, is it really the last day of February already? This teeniest of months has a way of seeming exceedingly lengthy until, poof, it's suddenly time to kick off March in the blink of an eye! I was thinking about February this morning, reflecting on various holidays, famous historical events, foods, traditions, and clothing that tend to go part and parcel with the second month of the year.

February and its 28 (or, once every four years, 29) days is generally a slate grey month, peppered with snow storms and (sometimes) a few false starts to spring, which makes the fact that it's birth flower, the violet, is a cheerfully beautiful vivid shade of purple all the more fantastic.

Just as each month has its own birth stone, so to does they all have birth flowers, and Feb get's to call the violet its own. This pretty, understatedly elegant little flower is one of a handful of blooms that are edible for human consumption. Though edible flowers have come back into fashion to a certain extent in recent years (delish!), violets used to be a relatively common ingredient - especially in confectionary treats.

Candied violets have long been a popular way of enjoying this delicate bloom (for awesome how-to instructions for candying your own violets, see Cioa Chow Linda's instructional post), whereas the French make a seriously tasty violet syrup that can be used to add a hit of violet flavour to everything from custards to marshmallows.

Without a doubt one of the most interesting uses of violets has to be as a yesteryear Life Savers candy flavour (see lovely vintage ad below).

{Beautiful vintage Vi-O-Let Life Savers candy ad via Wikipedia.}

While today we tend to think of Life Savers as coming in various fruit and mint flavours, in the early years of their history Life Savers included a diverse array of unique flavours such as clove, licorice, cinnamon (all of which can be seen in this great Life Savers ad from 1930), and violet! (Or as the fine folks at Life Saver’s adorably called the flavour, Vi-O-Let.)

Though I've nibbled violets before, I've never had a Life Saver in this fragrant, surprisingly yummy flavour - and doubt I will any time soon, as that variety hasn't been produced for several decades now. Should it ever come back though, I'll be sure to pick some up to tuck away for February, when a pale purple flower and a candy made from it are just the thing to add a hugely needed dose of pep to this icy cold month.


If you'd like to try a violet flavoured candy, you can get your flower fix care of C. Howard's Violet Mints (which come in absolutely lovely vintage looking packaging, to boot!).

February 27, 2011

Because tonight I'm cleaning out my feed reader

Granted it's not every day I use an Eminem song lyric as the inspiration for one of my vintage blog posts, but as they say, when the shoe fits... :)

On to the point of this post, and that is the fact that even if we're still contending with the tail end of winter, I've already been bitten by the spring cleaning bug and the first thing that I decided to invest a little elbow grease in was tidying up my feed burner.

You see, I'm something of a collector. I'm the perpetual Girl Guide who always has so many links (to blogs and sites I find interesting) in the wings that I'm prepared to find instant inspiration for just about any subject.

My eclectic passion for everything from vintage dresses to bento lunches, scrapbooking to photography means that after three years of using the same reader, I'd subscribed to a staggering 3,500+ feeds. Of course, I don't read or actively follow all of the sites that those feeds belong to (doing so would take considerably more hours than there are in the day - heck, perhaps in the whole year!), but there is a select handful that I love - and do try to follow as best I can.

The problem is, the plethora of other links (cool as they are - and/or were when I first discovered them and felt their feed worthy of following) are getting in the way of my ability to focus on those sites that I actually have a vested interest in. Equally distracting is that fact that for some time now my (desktop) feed reader has been crashing nine times out of ten when I try to update it, as it just doesn't seem to be able to cope with the volume of new feeds it's being asked to handle.

It's unlikely that this problem was going to remedy itself, which means it was time for me to step in and take action. I've been wanting to whittle down my feed list for quite a while now, and since there's no time like the present, I decided that tonight it was high time I rolled up my sleeves and set to work. The new streamlined list of feeds (which ideally I'd like to keep well below the 500 blog/website mark) will, I very much hope, allow me to better follow my favourite sites - those blogs and corners of the interwebs that continually inspire me, make me smile, add an extra dose of zingy colour to my world, and many of which which belong souls I consider to be online friends.

Naturally, the nucleus of my significantly lighted feed load will be comprised of vintage related blogs. Those are the sites that I cannot get enough of, which I delight at reading, and absolutely adore following. It's important to me to stay abreast of what's going on with my fellow vintage bloggers, and I couldn't imagine not devoting the bulk of my new list of blog feeds that follow to sites that are delightfully centered around old school topics.

I generally quite like cleaning and organizing, and as I work my way through the process of tidying up my feeds tonight, I feel a familiar sense of lightness that is so redolent of the sense I often get after giving the house a good once over or tackling a organizational task that really needed to be done.

{Cheerful vintage homemaker photo via Pure Style Home.}

It can be all too easy to let your the list of blog feeds that you follow spiral out of control, and before you know it you've got hundreds or thousands of feeds and no possible way to keep an eye on all of them. As time passes one's interests can change, which - paired with the fact that naturally enough some sites will always cease to operate each year - means that a blog that caught your eye two years ago may no longer be relevant to your tastes or passions now.

There's unequivocally nothing wrong with streamlining your feed list, and honestly it's something we should all do from time to time (if only to prune out any dead links). If you haven't tided your feed reader (be it desktop or online based) lately, I highly recommend joining me in doing so.

I love knowing that by this time tomorrow, I'll have an easy-to-sort-through, concise, wonderful list of sites that really matter to me to follow and use as major source of vintage and creative inspiration throughout the rest of 2011 and well beyond.

Vintage 365: Great deal on a vintage inspired Mexican print circle skirt

Day 58 of Vintage 365


While the dog days of summer may seem eons away at this very moment (who else is still looking snow square in the face?), reality is that before we know it the balmy return of spring straight on into July and August will very quickly be upon us one again - which is all the more reason to start thinking about your vintage summer wardrobe now.

Many of us are major skirt fans (*enthusiastically darts hand in the air*), and I'd venture to guess that every last one of us adores a good bargain! Pair those two things together and you wind up with this splendidly y pretty 1950s inspired Mexican sequin circle skirt from Fever Vintage.



Designed to look just like the gorgeous block print skirts of the fifties (which often go for well in excess of $100.00 now on etsy and from other vintage sellers; trust me, I've been eyeing these beautiful block print, ethnic skirts for ages), this eye-catching number features gradient (ombre) colouring in the cool-as-a-May-breeze hues of serene green and blue, which are paired with a gorgeous Hawaiian/Asian themed print in bold black.

Currently on sale for the wonderfully reasonable price of $14.99 (down from $49.99), this charming circle skirt (which is available in ladies sizes small through XL) would be sublime to take on holiday, wear to the beach, sport at a barbeque, recline in at a picnic, or wear to just about any other breezy, causal summer event you can think of.

Though the colours are vivid, they aren't so intense as to make this circle skirt tricky to pull off. Pair it with anything from a black halter top to a pale blue twin set for an elegant summer look that is sure to channel chic 1950s vacation allure for countless summers to come.

February 26, 2011

Vintage 365: The 1957 Chevy, a beautiful classic car for the ages

Day 57 of Vintage 365


It's rather funny, though I've not yet owned a single car in my twenty six years of life, I've long had a deeply rooted interest in automobiles - particularly those from the mid-twentieth century (natch!). Do I profess to be an expert - alla Top Gear (adore that show!!!) - no, not in the slightest, but there's something about certain cars that makes my pulse quicken, my eyes twinkle, and my imagination go wild (as I lose myself in a daydream about owning said vehicles).

From Ford's Model T to the Honda Clarity (a car which, I strongly believe will change the world of automotive forever - and for the better), over the span of the last 115 years the world has been transformed beyond measure by cars, and along the way some of those hulking, powerful, useful machines have looked rather gorgeous in the process of providing the invaluable service of "horse-less transportation".

Certain cars are icons of their age (think the Chrysler G-70 Roadster of the late 20s and 30s, or the Pontiac GTO of the 60s - both vastly different cars but ones that are no less embedded in eras they hail from), and when I think of the 1950s few automobiles jump out at me more than the 1957 Chevy.

Officially launched in September 1956, the 1957 Chevrolet was one of the most purchased models of it's time, and remains vastly popular with classic car collectors today. It's hard to pin down exactly why I adore the '57 Chevy, but I think it has to do with the fact that it was one of the first vintage cars I can remember seeing as a child. Much like poodle skirts, jukeboxes, Elvis, and saddle shoes, the 1957 Chevy spoke for an era that, even as a young child, I already felt undeniably tied to - and in love with.

{Vintage 1957 Chevy ad, featuring a darling couple and their energetic dachshund, via the site Beautiful Life.}


On this, the 57th day of the Vintage 355 series, I wanted to take a moment to celebrate the beauty, coolness and timeless allure of the 1957 Chevy (which just happens to be one of my all-time favourite cars). This auto was sleek, yet solid; it had panache to spare, was roomy, delightfully alluring and downright fantastic (not to mention that it was the first Chevy to offer the option of fuel-injection).

The '57 Chevy is a juxtaposition of sorts. On the one hand it was clean-cut and wholesome, perfect for the Cleaver family, and yet (especially in the years that followed) it became a very popular model for hotrods and customization (giving it a daring, Brando-would-have-approved vibe, too).

It's sharp lines, marvelous tail fins, curvaceous top, and perfect dose of metal (chrome) exterior work all cumulate to make this one of the most memorable, and visually appealing, cars of the decade - and if, you ask, me of all time.

February 25, 2011

Vintage 365: Wonderfully fun pin-up art pizza platter serves up oodles of vintage style

Day 56 of Vintage 365

Being married to a fella who was born and raised in Italy, it's a safe bet to say that pizza is common item on the menu at our casa - not of course that I'm complaining, this decidedly scrumptious Mediterranean classic is one of my favourite foods of all time! (Though the Italian mister giggles a little when I order mine with pineapple, adding "We'd never include that back home", as he proceeds to ask for a bite of my pie.)

It's not every day that I encounter an old school style item devoted to pizza, let alone one that includes an immensely pretty piece of pin-up art and the timeless phrase "That's amour" on it, so the moment I saw this awesome Rockabilly Tattoo Ceramic Pizza Platter over at Plasticland, I knew at once that I needed to blog about (and add this stellar serving dish to my vintage wish list!).

This is one of those terrifically fun kitchenware pieces that doesn't take itself to seriously. It's all about looking good and serving (literally!) a very handy purpose: dishing up your favourite pizza in pure vintage tattoo art meets glamorous pin-up girl style.

Measuring 13.5 inches in diameter and retailing for $37.00, this fantastically cool pizza serving platter is sure to be as big a hit in your house as it would be in mine - even if you aren't hitched to one of Italy's native sons! :)

February 24, 2011

Vintage 365: Darling vintage Dogette ad for dog nail polish!


Day 55 of Vintage 365


There are certain vintage finds that can't help but put a wide grin on your face. They're those images or items that someone how seem so off-beat, so quaint, so entirely irreverent compared to the ways things are generally supposed to be that they instantly become likeable. "Give me a 'for instance', Jess", I hear you say. Delighted to! :)

Ladies and gents, I present a vintage ad for Dogette Nail Enamel: nail polish for your favourite canine companion. Matching was big in the 1950s (not of course, that there's anything wrong with that - I can think of few things more lovely than matching one's lipstick and nail polish, and do so myself quite frequently), from home decor (think kitchen, bedrooms and bathrooms in primarily one colour) to identically hued hats and shoes, it was seen as classy and classic at the time to colour coordinate.

{Wonderfully interesting Vintage Dogette Nail Enamel poster, measuring 18 x 12.5 inches, $19.99 from All Posters.}


Evidently, thanks to the fine folks at Dogette, you could match your dog's claws (nails) to many popular fashion and automobile shades of the day. As we can see in this delightful vintage ad, Dogette came in a range of au currant mid-twentieth century colours, from whisper pale lilac to bold sky blue, these hues were definitely going to get your pretty (and pampered) pooch noticed. (Can't you just imagine regal, highly groomed 1950s poodles sporting perfectly manicured nails?)

While Dogette may seem like a rather strange product (after all, it is a cosmetic product for dogs!), the brand (for whom I honestly could not find much information at all; if anyone knows more about this company, please don't hesitate to share your knowledge in the comments) was decades ahead of their time. In recent years a handful (pawful) of companies have hit the market with their own lines of dog nail polish. It would seem though Dogette has gone the way of the Molossus of ancient Greece (which is a shame, their logo and packaging was downright adorable).

Color Paw (which comes in a wide array of colours) and OPI's Pawlish are two of the best known brands of dog nail (both companies produce formulas that differ from human nail polish and which are safe for use on dogs) on the market today, proving that sometimes even the quirkiest of yesteryear beauty products - be it for people or pets - has staying power.

February 23, 2011

Vintage 365: Richly elegant 1930s inspired bedroom exudes timeless appeal

Day 54 of Vintage 365

Oftentimes when I point out some element of home decor to my husband, he'll grin a little and say with a twinkle in his eye, "You're so baroque". It's true, there's no denying it - and I see nary a reason to skirt around the fact that for as long as I can recall I've been drawn to regally elegant, immensely beautiful style that has a definitive old world (and old school!) element to it (think Georgian, Regency, or Victoria era styles).

Though I don't have any desire to deck my abode out to look it could have been plucked from Liberace's wardrobe, I do adore a sense of grandeur, ornate detailing and beguilingly sublime style in the rooms and furniture that beckon to me.

When I chance upon such decor that also happens includes a distinctly mid-twentieth century element as well, it's all I can do to keep from going week in the knees (which would call for one of those enchanting Victorian fainting couches I'm always hinting to the mister that I'd love to own).

While perusing the pages of Elle Decor magazine's site this week, I spotted just such a room (which was styled by skilled decorator Miles Redd, whose work bursts with opulence and ageless beauty). Though the colour palette is a bit different from what I usually favour, there's something so terrifically sophisticated - one might say down right stately - about this 1930s inspired, antique furniture filled bedroom that I had to share it with you at once.

Though the furnishings are commanding and very, very solid looking, there's an almost surprising lightness to this enchanting bedroom which comes via the playful blue floral wallpaper, classic white crown molding, and transparent chandelier.

This is the kind of superbly designed, undeniably inspiring room that borrows from different centuries and decades, yet never looks dated in any way. It's both commanding and reserved at once, graceful as the day is long, and most definitely a fair bit baroque - which suits me to a tee (just ask my husband).

February 22, 2011

Vintage 365: Happy Thinking Day!

Day 53 of Vintage 365

{American Girl Scouts celebrating Thinking Day in February 1952. Image via the Life Magazine archive.}


Those who've spent time as Girl Guides, Girl Scouts, or Boy Scouts, might well remember what day February 22nd is. Aside from being the 53rd day of the year, this late February date marks Thinking Day, the day on which both Lord Baden-Powell and his wife, Olave Baden-Powell, were both born (32 two years apart from each other).

Lord Robert Baden-Powell is best remembered and loved for being the founder of the Boy Scout Movement (in 1907), which in turn lead to the creation a couple years later (in 1909 at the famous Crystal Palace Rally, when a group of girls showed up insistent they they be allowed to join in with their brothers and male peer as Scouts) of Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting.

Since those humble beginnings over a century ago when an outdoor club for youth was built around some of the field training tactics Baden-Powell learned during his years spent in the British Army, Scouting and Guiding has expanded beyond the UK to encompass over a 130 countries worldwide (Girl Guiding officially started in Canada in 1910, Girl Scouting took off in the United States in 1911/1912) and is now one of the largest non-profit, youth-centered movements of all time.

Since 1926, February 22nd has been observed as World Thinking Day, a day upon which Guides and Scouts the globe over reflect on the spirit and meaning of Guiding - both in their own lives and in the impact Guiding/Scouting has had on society. Parties, community service projects, camps and myriad other festivities are often held by Guiding and Scouting members on (or around) Thinking Day to celebrate the lives of the Baden-Powells (Lady Olave Baden-Powell was the first World Chief Guide) as well as the importance of the movement as a whole.

Just as I'm sure many of you were, I was involved with Girl Guiding as a youth for numerous years. My little sister, some of my aunts, my youngest cousin, and my paternal Grandma, were all Girl Guides as well at one point or another in their lives. Guiding was a deeply important part of my childhood and an experience from which I learned a great many valuable life skills and lessons. These days I keep my love of Guiding alive by collecting and trading Girl Guide and Girl Scout badges and other memorabilia.

Come the 22nd of February, I still observe Thinking Day. Doing so is a terrific way to honour the memory of my time in Guiding, and moreover what the world gained thanks to Lord and Lady Baden-Powell's founding of the Scouting and Guiding movements

Robert Baden-Powell once said, "The most worth-while thing is to try to put happiness into the lives of others,", and I can certainly say that being a part of Girl Guides helped to make that true for me. Whether you've ever been a Guide/Scout or not, I hope that the spirit of happiness and fellowship that these organizations hold dear rings true for you today and always, my wonderful friends!

February 21, 2011

Vintage 365: Super cute vintage ballerina photo album

Day 52 of Vintage 365

As a youngster my bedroom (until we moved houses shortly before my ninth birthday) was decked out with marvellously girly, sweetly adorable ballerina decor. Though, interestingly enough I never actually took ballet lessons (much as I remember wanting to at the time!), my parents decided to adorn my room as if I did, and thus I grew up surrounded my pastel pink, purple and mint green ballerinas (it was the 80s after all!).

Though many years have passed since I last drifting off to sleep counting the dancing teddy bear ballerinas on the wallpaper border in my childhood bedroom, to this day whenever I see a cute ballet related item, I can't help but smile and remember the way my world looked three decades ago. Case in point, this extremely pretty photo album from home decor/beauty product seller Dolce Mia, which features five darling ballerinas on the front, each engaged in her own lovely dance related activity.

Measuring in at nine by nine inches, this terrifically lovely vintage inspired photo album holds up to 200 photos, retails for $33.96, and (if displayed, instead of tucked away on a shelf), would be the perfect ballet decor item for your own daughter's bedroom - or for that matter, your own! (Especially, if like me, you spent many of your early years surrounded by pink ballerinas.)

February 20, 2011

Vintage 365: Charming Vintage Recipes blog more than lives up its name!

Day 51 of Vintage 365


Recipes, be they old or new, have always been a major passion of mine. I adore discovering and reading them every bit as much as I do whipping them up in my kitchen. I think that recipes hold a secret wealth of information about who were are - or were - at any given moment in time. From the humble, generally incredibly economical recipes of the early 30s to the wild and wonderful meat/pineapple/maraschino cherry/Velveeta filled gems of the 1950s that hostesses adored serving, recipes speak volumes for the era that they hail from.

I'm always on the prowl for vintage recipes, and over the yeas I've encountered a number of excellent sites that I turn to time and time again both for the joy that they present in the form of the old school foods they features, but also for my own menu planning needs. One such site that I've adorned for quite some time now is Coralie Cederna's exceedingly wonderful blog, Charming Vintage Recipes.

Chock-a-block with fun, fascinating, often very tasty sounding recipes from the mid-twentieth century (which are presented in the form of typed vintage recipes cards, making this site even more awesome right there!), this excellently recipe-rich blog is a joyful look back at the diverse dishes that folks tucked into during the 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s (such as the great Blueberry Pie Surprise recipe featured above, which I think sounds every bit as scrumptious today as when it first debuted decades ago!).

I visit this Charming Vintage Recipes as often as I can (new posts are added several times a week), and always leave feeling both as though I've got a lovely little history lesson and like I really, really want to head straight for the kitchen and try out these terrific vintage culinary ideas right away!

February 19, 2011

(Vintage 365) Found: the perfect little black pencil skirt

Day 50 of Vintage 365


There are certain items of clothing - classically tailored cardigans, elegant cocktail dresses, the perfect pair of natural coloured pumps - that never, ever go out of style. Their ability to do so would be like if air stopped sustaining life as we know it here on earth. In that category of highly revered (and I think absolutely-must-own) items of clothing stands the pencil skirt.

Though I know some gals feel that they can't pull this timeless piece off, I believe that virtually anyone can - so long as you get one that fits well (snuggly, but not constrictively), has a hemline that falls at a flattering length (which for me personally means a smidge below the knee), and is in a perpetually stylish (and very wearable) hue like grey, black, navy, dark red, beige, or denim blue.

Amongst the beautiful offerings from Australian vintage reproduction clothing seller Hot Couture, I recently spied a pencil skirt (see photo directly above) that I think fits all of the criteria outlined above. The Harlow Plain Skirt is a chicly fantastic black pencil skirt made from stretch cotton (making it both comfortable and stylish) that's available in XS to XXXL, thus helping ensure that vintage fashionistas of nearly all figures are accounted for (this skirt retails on Hot Couture's website for $75.00 Australian).

When it comes to practicality and versatility, you'd honestly be hard pressed to find any garment of clothing that is going to give you more millage - or styling options - than a sophisticatedly lovely black pencil skirt. You can dress it down with a flirty summer top, up with a pearls and a faux fur stole; add a satin blouse and some seemed nylons and you're ready for a night out, whereas a good twin set and a classic pencil skirt will see you through spring and fall in elegant style.

I love, love, love pencils skirts (and I say that as a petite, short legged gal with her fair share of curves), and think that Hot Couture has hit it out of the ballpark with this glam, yet terrifically practical, black cotton number!

February 18, 2011

Vintage 365: Fantastic photo slide show video celebrates vintage women of Toronto

Day 49 of Vintage 365


It's scarcely a secret (see: this whole blog! :D) that I adore vintage photos - especially those of everyday people. I'm smitten, wildly captivated and downright enthralled with seeing the lives of those who came before me. Throughout my whole life this has been the case, and as I've gotten older my passion for yesteryear photographs has only grown stronger.

I adore seeing any antique or vintage picture I chance upon, however from time-to-time in my old school photo seeking endeavours I chance upon an image that was taken here in Canada. On even rarer occasions I find a multitude of vintage Canadian photos, and such was the case this week when I discovered a two minute long Youtube video (called Vintage Toronto Photos) that is positively teaming with a delightful vintage pictures that were taken (roughly) 60 to 120 years ago of women from Toronto (which just happens to be where this vintage blogger hangs her hat each night).

Compiled into an engaging slide show video clip, this excellent selection of image features real world women doing everything from playing sports to attending a graduation ceremony, looking terrifically stylish to working hard to keep the (WW1) home fires burning.

Hands down, this video is my favourite online vintage find of 2011 so far, and the kind of deeply special treasure that reminds me why I started Chronically Vintage in the first place - to celebrate the lives, times and world of those women (and men) who called the early and mid-20th century their own.

February 17, 2011

Vintage 365: Remembering the man who invented mail-order shopping

Day 48 of Vintage 365

{Vintage page featuring three women in smartly styled rayon dresses and very eye-catching hats, from the 1939 Montgomery Ward catalog. Image via Wondertrading on Flickr.}


The name Aaron Ward might not be a household one any more these days, yet the world of shopping was forever changed by this chap in the later half of the nineteenth century when he pioneered the idea of mail ordering. A shrewd business man with an eye for what people wanted, Ward came up with the idea of offering customers the ability to buy products by mail when he was a sprightly young traveling salesman.

Bothered by the fact that he routinely saw many Americans (particularly, he felt, those in rural areas) being grossly overcharged and under-served by small town retailers (whom they had to turn to for all of their shopping needs), in 1872 Ward came up with the novel idea of offering customers the ability to buy products from a retailer located outside of their immediate area.

Though this idea now seems as commonplace as bread to us, at the time it was viewed by many to be strikingly innovative - and rather nuts, by others. Ward didn't let his critics and naysayers get to him though, as he ploughed on and formed the Montgomery Ward & Company shop that same year. Ward went onto publish what is often considered to be the world's first general merchandise mail-order catalogue in 1872, as well, which contained a modest 163 products.

Jump ahead to the twentieth century and Montgomery Ward had become one of America's most popular mail-order catalog services, beloved by many from coast to coast. Though it wasn't long before other merchants and companies saw the wisdom of Ward's terrific mail-order catalog and began producing versions as well (think companies like Sears, who debuted their first mail-order publication in 1896), for numerous decades the Montgomery Ward  catalog was a mail-order standard throughout the States, Canada and beyond.

Though Aaron Ward passed away in 1913, and his company (Montgomery Ward) has shifted over the years from bricks and mortar shops paired with mail-order catalogs to an online retailer, February 17th marks this innovative businessman's birthday, and as a lifelong catalog lover, I wanted to take a moment to remember – and celebrate the life of - the man who brought mail-order shopping to the masses.

Thank you very much, Mr. Ward, for helping to revolutionize - and forever improve - the society shops! Though I haven't bought from your company directly, I've long been a big a fan of your catalogs - particularly those from the mid-twentieth century (such as the one from 1939 which included the image in today's post) - and very much appreciate what you did for the world of buying and selling.

February 16, 2011

Vintage 365: Elegantly lovely "Please leave your shoes here" sign

Day 47 of Vintage 365



With winter - at least winter in most of the western hemisphere – it's a almost a given that heavy-duty boots will factor into the seasonal equation at some point. Often clunky and encrusted with snow, these helpful shoes can quickly produce a nasty mess of sludgy, dirt embedded melted snow and ice if trucked through the house. As such, it never hurts to have a helpful reminder displayed that encourages anyone coming inside your abode to slip off their shoes - or boots, as the wintery case may be – and spare your floors/rugs/carpets from the wrath of winter’s run-off!

Whether you have a grand entrance way, itty-bitty landing area, or proper mud room, today's immensely charming sign would look stupendous in any vintage lover's house. Measuring six inches by six inches, this terrifically pretty vintage inspired Please Leave Your Shoes Here sign is constructed from white enamel (surrounded by a striking black border), hangs from a classic metal chain, and features some of the prettiest vintage style writing (fonts) I've seen on a home decor piece in ages.

Produced by America Retold, and available for the very reasonable price of $11.99 on Amazon, this elegant white sign would blend excellent in a diverse array of decor styles, serving as both a beautiful piece of sign art and a very, very practical reminder to one all that it's best to slip off their footwear before proceeding into your lovely home.

February 15, 2011

Vintage 365: It's never too early to go vintage bathing suit shopping!

Day 46 of Vintage 365

It's the middle of February in Canada, this means that we're still trudging through the dark, dreary depth of winter (though to it's credit, the sun has finally started sticking around a smidge longer in the evening - which is awesome because it means my darling hubby no longer arrives home in the pitch black!), and the glorious return of summer feels as though its eons away (it's not, of course, but there's only so much snow one's mind can take before it starts forgetting how to even spell summer - let alone what it felt like!).

Recently my wonderful sister had the chance to escape the doom and gloom of winter and spend a few days in the tropics (lucky gal!), which naturally enough, suddenly had me pining for a Caribbean holiday of my own. While that's not in the cards at moment (drat and double drat!), there's nothing stopping me from daydreaming about a sun-kissed beach, miles of coconut and palm trees as far as the eye can see, and the kind of ultra cute vintage swimwear I'd want to toss in my luggage if I was jetting off on a mid-winter vacation.

Actually, for those looking to grow the size of their bathing suit collection (and/or replace any that no longer fit/are too far-gone to use for another season), the off-season can be a stellar time to go shopping (a lot less people are looking for swimwear in February than in July!), whether online or in person.


While putting together my (fantasy) beach wardrobe on etsy recently (got to love the "add item to favourites" button!), I chanced upon one of the most darling 1950s swimsuits I've seen in a long time. Bursting with an absolutely beautiful, immensely charming pink and green rose print pattern, this darling vintage bathing suit is such a special gem of a piece.

I love how the bottom is cut a big longer (almost like a pair of short shorts) and that this great one piece swimsuit can be worn strapless, if so desired (you could also very easily slip a pair of short, pants, or a skirt over it and turn it into an adorable summer top).

Measuring in at 34 inches in both the bust and waist, and 39 inches at the hips, this playful, delightfully girly number (which is available for $84.00 from etsy seller Swanee Grace) would look amazing whether worn on a tropical beach, the deck of a cruise ship, while lounging around the hotel pool, or even as you catch a few rays in your very own back yard!

February 14, 2011

Vintage 365: Joyful Valentine’s Day wishes!

Day 45 of Vintage 365


February 14th means a great many different things to each of us. Some people (*shots hand up in air*) revel in a merry celebration of love, whereas would prefer it if the calendar went from the 13th and 15th, leaving out today all together.

Whether you're head-over-heels for hearts or prefer to eschew the sugary-sweet side of this festive day, I hope dearly that today fills you with positive thoughts about all kinds of love. From romantic passion to the wonderful kinship between you and your bff, love is never trivial; it's a highly important component to life and one that, I firmly believe, deserves to be acknowledged and cheered - both today and always.

One thing I think we can all agree that we adore is the wonderful world of vintage images, such as this positively delightful Motorola ad from 1950, which features a love-struck couple who are clearly crazy for one another. I hope that it’s beautiful art and chipper hues bring a smile your way and helps make your morning extra bright.

Please know, dear friends, that I'm thinking of you today and sending out my deepest heartfelt wishes for a Valentine's Day that radiates with joy in whatever capacity you most desire.

Happiest Valentine's Day (with love and best wishes), everyone!

February 13, 2011

Vintage 365: Great 1930s Valentine’s Day party ideas

Day 44 of Vintage 365

With just one more merry day to go until St. Valentine's Day whistles into town, cupid in tow, I thought it would fun to share a delightful vintage page from 1935 featuring an array of great party ideas that can easily be put into play at the last moment (aka, for a planned or impromptu party tomorrow).

Beautifully illustrated, this elegant page (which comes via Millie Mott's Flickr stream) features ideas for everything from Valentine's Day table decorations to party games, invitations to a festive menu (of minced ham sandwiches cut into heart shapes, raw carrot strips, party ice cream with peppermint stick sauce, heart cookies and fruit punch - yum-yum! I'd be happy to serve that easy, enjoyable sounding spread) and is the sort of wonderful glimpse into the past that instantly makes me smile.

Whatever you have planned for tomorrow, my dears, I hope that you have a marvelous day that's worthy of a great vintage inspired party! :)

February 12, 2011

Vintage 365: Be careful, it's my heart

Day 43 of Vintage 365


We’re a few days closer to Valentine's and I'm even more enamoured with filling my house with vintage love songs than I was on Wednesday.

This morning I woke up and had one song and one gorgeous vintage romance song alone on my mind: "Be Careful, It's My Heart", which is a touching love number that's set against piano instrumentals. It expresses sentiments about the fragility of one's heart when we're in love - which is something I'm sure a great many of us can relate to (I know I certainly can!).

Though most people think of the 1942 movie Holiday Inn (that greatly inspired the later classic, White Christmas), in which Be Careful It's My Heart first appears, as a Christmas movie, it actually starts out as one and continues on through the year covering various holidays, including Valentines' Day.

Indeed, it's Bing Crosby's smoother-than-warm-silk voice singing this elegant love song that will always make Holiday Inn a perpetual February 14th classic for me, and as such I simply had to share a clip of Bing performing Be Careful It's My Heart with all of you in the spirit of celebrating this romantic week.

February 11, 2011

Vintage 365: Vintage Love Magazine cover sparkles with beauty and appeal

Day 42 of Vintage 365


Take a look at this immensely pretty cover, illustrated with the utmost of artistic skill and teaming with enchanting vintage beauty, and tell me that magazines weren't about a billion times more visually appealing sixty years ago? :)

Though "Love Magazine" isn't a title that I'm very familiar with (I think it may have previously been called Love Novels), it seems to have been one of the plethora of glossies (of the day) that were devoted to fictional love stories (which it makes it all the more awesome this week, given that we're just three days away from Valentine's).

I Google the four writers names that appear on the cover, but my searches didn't turn up any pages that revealed more about who these women were (it would have been great to find out if any of those were nom de plumes!). If you happen to know more about Love Magazine or any of the writers mentioned on this cover, please feel free to share your knowledge in the comment section.

No bother in the least though, I always adore looking at vintage magazine covers (this particular one hails from the stellar Flickr stream of x-ray delta one, which is a treasure trove of awesome vintage images), even if what I gather from that cover page alone is possibly all I'll ever know about it. The artwork, fonts, and colours alone are priceless portals back in time to the years of the 40s and 50s, when gorgeously illustrated titles like Love Magazine could be found at any corner news agent stand, five and dime, or corner store.

Vintage Fashionista Friday: February 11, 2011 (Special Valentine's Day Edition)

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{Posh and engagingly smart looking, this simple - yet in no way boring - vintage hat, complete with black oven weave veil, s a true fashion classic that would definitely see you through a multitude of events and styles. Vintage velvet halo hat, $19.00 from etsy seller Tiddlywink Vintage.}

{Packing a wallop of glamour, this all-natural mineral mascara is 100% handmade and completely vegan friendly. Available in either noir (black) or chocolate (brown), this vitamin B5 enriched mascara is sure to help you bat long, wonderfully pin-up worthy lashes wherever you go! Kookla mineral mascara, $18.00 from etsy seller Kookla Luxury Artisan Make-up.}


{Adorn your lobes with a fantastic hit of St. Valentine's Day spirit care of these silver tone, immensely pretty vintage cherub heart earrings. Cupid approved large silver heart earrings, $5.00, from etsy seller The Dancing Poodle.}


{This is the kind of treasure we can all dream of being handed by our grandmother one day. Made of sleek grey rhodium, pave rhinestones and a red glass crystal heart, this immensely pretty 1940s necklace in excellent condition (no dull or missing rhinestones) and would go radiantly with a wealth of evening and cocktail dresses, pretty twin sets, and feminine blouses. However, there’s no denying how much it would shine – and work superbly - on February 14th with any outfit! Vintage 17 inch necklace with red heart pendant, $66.00 from etsy seller ChezVous.}


{Fit for the likes of a Hollywood princess such as Grace Kelly, this staggeringly elegant black lace evening dress is wildly beautiful, yet in no way over-the-top. It's sort of truly timeless frock that you could slip into time and time again and never feel as though you were tired of wearing it, thanks to the impeccable cut, feminine detailing, and silk-satin fabric it's constructed from. Measuring in at a svelte 33/34" bust and 26" waist, this sublimely lovely midnight black 1950s cocktail dress is available for $325.00 from etsy seller Timeless Vixen Vintage.}


{Smashing as either a frock or a coat, this richly sophisticated red topper is styled like a beautiful 1950s dress, features 3/4 length sleeves, a sweeping portrait collar, and is made from a satin-esque stretch cotton that helps it hugs all of your curves in the right places. Courtney Coat Dress, available in ladies sizes 2 to 12, $159.00 from Trashy Diva.}


{This woven wicker handbag, gloriously bedecked in all-over white micro-beads festooned with a generously sized crimson rose and dainty matching rosebud, is a true work of mid-twentieth century handbag art. Hailing from the 1950s and made by Midas of Miami, this sweet little vintage purse measures 6 inches across by 7 inches tall, and sells $149.00 from etsy seller Patina Vintage.}


{Consider these passionately elegant satin peep toe pumps to be the new (and forever in style) LBD of your shoe wardrobe, thanks to their sweepingly curvaceous vamp cut, rich black colouring, and swish rhinestone adorned bow. Pleaser Women's Violette peep toe pumps, available in ladies sizes 6 to 12, $54.95 from Amazon.}

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My, here we are nearly in the middle of February and this is the first edition of Vintage Fashionista Friday that we've had this year (though to be fair, the last one was on Friday December 31st). With the timeless day of love and romance looming ever nearer, it only seemed fitting that this week's gorgeous vintage gal, Valentina (natch!), went to town on her outfit, ensuring it was chalk-a-block with oodles of vixenish red, chic black, sensual lace and other splendidly alluring touches.

While my own Valentine's Day ensemble won't be quite as luxurious as this, you can bet your bottom dollar that I'll be decked out in vintage red and/or pink pieces (I've got a couple of floral print dresses that combine both, and I'm thinking I'll sport one of those along with a red bow in my hair and a pair of heart shaped earrings) to help celebrate this delightful day.

Have you planned your February 14th outfit yet, my beautiful fellow vintage fashionistas?

As another chilly, snow filled week winds down, I want to wish each of you the cheeriest of weekends ahead - and a truly wonderful countdown to Valentine's Day!

February 10, 2011

Vintage 365: Beautiful red and white floral bedroom is perfect for Valentine's Day!

Day 41 of Vintage 365


Given the word printed on the darling pillow in this splendidly beautiful English floral print bedecked bedroom, would it be cliché to say that I "love" this classic, richly pretty style of decor?

Sizzling with rich, wonderfully saturated cherry red and crisp-as-a-new-snowflake white, this elegant, modestly adorned room (which I spied on UK home decorating magazine Idea Home's website recently) lacks for nothing - lest of all romantic allure.

With it's refined yet still wonderfully youthful floral patterned bedspread, pair of crimson swivel-neck lamps on the stepping stool style side tables, and marvellously lovely way of displaying decorative object on hooks on the wall, this room gives off a vibe that's equal parts of old school charm and modern romantic beauty (that would be so amazing to try and replicate for Valentine's Day!).

February 9, 2011

Vintage 365: In love with vintage love songs

Day 40 of Vintage 365

♪ ♪ ♪ Dee-deee-dee-deee, la-laaa-laaa-laaa ♪ ♪ ♪  Oh hi, didn't see you there, I was busy humming a romantic melody Smile  Ok, before you start thinking I've gotten into the cooking sherry, let me explain. You see, I'm rather fond of seasonal and festive music. I like to set the annual celebrations in my life up with a soundtrack, and February's upcoming holiday is no exception.

For the last few days I've been catching myself daydream-ily humming or singing lines and tunes from a bevy of great vintage love songs. The season of amour is upon us, and I've been sweep up by its timelessly romantic charm, which means that vintage love songs are in heavy rotation around my house at the moment.

There are so, so many stellar songs from the 30s, 40s, and 50s that centre around love (it is a rather popular theme for songs, isn't it? ;D), that it’s nearly impossible to pick a favourite - one that I've always really liked is the 50s beauty "My special angel", which reminds me of my husband (whom I loving call "angel" as a pet name). Luckily there are compilation CDs devoted entirely to vintage romance music that can help you instantly put together the foundation of Valentine's Day playlist.

{Legendary singer Pat Boone, seen here with actress/singer Shirley Jones in the 1950s, is amongst the talented artists whose work appears on today's feature CD of romantic vintage songs.)

One such CD is Chart Topper: Romantic Hits of the 50s, which features 15 classic mid-century ballads (such as "I only have eyes for you", "Donna", "Love is a many splendored thing", "Kisses sweater than wine", "Sea of Love", and the aforementioned "My special angel") that are perfect for slow dancing to with your honey, playing during a candlelit diner, or enjoying anytime you're in the mood for romance.

Sung by an array of wonderful 50s crooners (such as The Four Aces and Ritchie Valens), this selection of Valentine's Day songs really does feel like it could be soundtrack to a stellar vintage movie that definitely wraps up with a "happily ever after" sort of ending. If you're interested in Romantic Hits of the 50s, you can pick it up for the very reasonable price of $9.95 on Amazon.

Do you have a favourite vintage love song? What's going to be on your playlist this February 14th? I for one will lining up many of the songs on this delightful CD and singing right along with all of them. ♪ ♪ ♪