June 11, 2011

Covering 20 days with one post

My sweet dears, I'm afraid that I'm going to be slightly MIA for the next little while. You see, I'll be heading into the hospital (to have to two surgeries) on June 14th and most likely may not be able to blog for a spell both before that date (there's quite a lot of prep work involved) and afterwards. Fortunately the procedures I'm having are fairly routine and, baring (goodness forbid) any complications, I should be on the mend and back blogging (daily) again in a couple weeks or so.

I'm not entirely sure how long my recovery will take, but I'm determined to keep the Vintage 365 project alive and well (happy to report that I haven't missed a date yet and we're nearly half way through 2011), while I'm feeling not quite so well myself.

To that extent, I thought that I would put together one post today with twenty different interesting vintage related topics to see all of you through the remainder of June (ideally, I'll be able to launch back into writing a post per day at the start of July).

I apologize to those for look forward everyday to each new Vintage 365 instalment and hope that this "all-in-one" post, with brief entries for the coming 20 days, will still help brining you a hearty dose of old school history and style alla Chronically Vintage.


June 11 ~ Day 162: It the warm, almost cocooning apricot light that grabs your attention first when you peer at this 1950s photo taken inside of a Dior shop in Paris, yet fractions of a second later your mind sends fashion alert flashes your way letting you know that there are vintage (Dior!) treasures aplenty to be spied in this captivating image.

Though not a sweepingly large photo, there is such much resplendent beauty to be gleaned from the box of chic high heeled shoes, the garden's worth of delicate silk blooms, and sundry other millenary supplies in this captivating photo. It speaks to an age of unmatched grace, proper high couture, and unshakeable style in the way that only Dior could ever truly deliver.


June 12 ~ Day 163: Though today, and for the last few decades, Cuba, is and has been a downtrodden land in desperate need of freedom, during the earlier days of the twentieth century, this lush, wonderfully pretty country was busting with entertainment, art, fashion, great cuisine, tourism, nightlife, and plenty of fantastic views that beckoned holidaymakers from around the globe.

Today’s  interesting, nicely narrated Youtube video clip shows 1930s Cuba during its heyday, when this fascinating tropical destination was busting with life, possibility and no shortage of fun ways to pass the sunny days.


June 13 ~ Day 164: Every now and then someone in my building (intentionally) leaves a couple of copies of the current Avon catalogue in the laundry room of my building. Though I very much enjoy flipping through them as my clothes just all sudsy, I'm rarely struck with the urge to actually purchase anything.

Avon makes some wonderful products, don't get me wrong, and over the years I've enjoyed the items I have bought (or received gifts) from this well-known brand, it's just that I sometimes feel like their catalogue pages teeter a bit on being infomercial-esque (absolutely no offence to anyone reading this who is an Avon rep).

They lack the show stopping glamour of their yesteryear counterparts and rarely standout from the sea of beauty advertisements one encounters in any run-of-the-mill fashion or ladies' magazine.

Not so in 1959 however, when this captivatingly  lovely Avon cosmetics ad hit the scenes. Featuring a pretty brunette model with a mile-wide smile, this ad show cased five Avon cosmetics products, every single on of which I'd order right this very moment if they still came presented in such charming packaging and by way of such wonderful ads.


June 14 ~ Day 165: Though I'll be sporting a hospital gown today (so glam, I know), there's no reason I can't help keep my mind off of the day’s medical activities by fantasizing about this truly, completely breath-taking floral print, 1950s inspired dress from Trashy Diva.

Featuring a full skirt, flattering V neck, fitted bodice, invisible side zipper and a wide waistband (that will flatter a host of different figure types), this stunning silk-like rayon frock is simply too amazing to pass by unnoticed. Its bouquets of blooms sing out in hues of purple, teal blue, burgundy, rose pink, black, grey and white, all nestled atop a peridot green backdrop, making for a show-stopping, deeply sophisticated look.

If you'd like to join me in yearning for this sublime frock, swing on by online retailer Blue Velvet Vintage, where you can pick up one of these beguiling vintage inspired dresses (in ladies sizes 6 to 14) for $135.00. If you’re only going to treat yourself to one new dress this summer, I highly recommend giving this gem some serious thought.


June 15 ~ Day 166: Have no fear, just because I'm away, doesn't mean that a new (errr, old) recipe won't be the subject of choice each Wednesday. For the 15th, I think we should all take advantage of the fact that berry season is in full swing and whip up a dish featuring these marvelous little bit sized fruits.

Looking back all the way to 1936, this lovely sounding recipe for Blackberry Roly-Poly (wonderful blackberry stuffed pastries) would be a stellar way to use up some of the season's choicest berries.

If blackberries aren't your favourite, you could very easily swap in raspberries, huckleberries, blueberries, strawberries, or (red or white) currants here instead (or why not channel a "fruits of the forest" vibe and use a combo of your most beloved berries for an extra special dessert!).


June 16 ~ Day 167: Care of the ever-fabulous blog The Mysterious Life of the Metropolitan (ex) Housewife, comes a handy-dandy instructional page from the 1950s on how to wash rayon.

I bookmarked this post back in the fall of 2009 and have been meaning to mention it ever since, as I know many of us (myself included) own vintage (and/or vintage reproduction) rayon items that require proper laundering to stay in pristine shape. The easy-as-pie tips here are bound to help ensure you you're able to keep all your rayon pieces in top-notch shape.


June 17 ~ Day 168: With a name like Vintage Soul, it would be downright impossible for this charming Liz Clairborne perfume not to nab my attention. If the moniker alone didn't do it, surely the softly curvaceous bottle and subtly art nouveau inspired graphics would.

Featuring an engaging blend of lily, freesia, cactus flower, green lotus leaf, jasmine, blue tiger lily, gardenia, tuberose, blond wood and nutmeg, this lovely perfume sounds like a complete - and entirely gorgeous - garden in a bottle.

Should you wish to sprinkle a little old school spirit on yourself each day, be sure to head over to amazon.com where you can currently pick up a bottle of Vintage Soul perfume on sale for just $16.53.


June 18 ~ Day 169: The mercury is bubbling over, but that doesn't mean one has to resort to being unfashionable, especially not if you turn to this delightfully fun 1940s summer fashion clip for your sartorial inspiration this season.

Featuring an array of warm weather looks (from playsuits to dresses), this quick little Youtube video (it's only about a minute and a half long) is teaming with oodles of vintage fashion ideas that are sure to capture your heart this summer.


June 19 ~ Day 170: $18.00 is a lot of money to pay for one light bulb, no ifs, ands or buts about that. However, sometimes there's a good reason behind why a seemingly inexpensive item gets slapped with a hefty price tag.

In the case of this Sunday's objet du jour, it's because this slim, gracefully shaped light bulb is a spot-on replica of an early Edison bulb, right down to its eye-catching looped filaments and rich brass base.

This bulb - which is available from Anthropologie - is not the kind that you'll screw into any old lamp or light fixture (unless you've finally found a tree that grows money and can now afford to pay $18.00 per light bulb), instead it is meant to be displayed, hanging artfully from a pendant lamp or shining out from an unadorned socket.

It's a little piece of the past that you can use, quite literally, to illuminate the present, and somehow knowing that makes $18.00 almost forgivable.

*PS* Merry, cheerful, immensely fun Father's Day wishes to dads out there. I hope today is a utterly fantastic one for you fellows!


June 20 ~ Day 171: Though one of the key elements that I love about vintage fashion is how it grants me free creative license to dress as splendidly femininely as I please (think full skirts, sweetheart necklines, crinolines, and lashings of red lipstick!), I can't help but stop from time-to-time and think about the Teddy Girls of the 1950s. These (sartorially) daring young women eschewed many of the conventional styles of the day, preferring instead to follow in the footsteps of some of the male peers who were opting for the Teddy Boy look.

For a engaging post about these UK style rebels of yesteryear, be sure to swing by Betty Swallow's blog for her post on the Teddy Girls, which includes interview excepts from a former teddy gal, as well as scores of wonderful black white photos of (apparent) tomboys whose style still managed to seem somehow more feminine than most of the looks one encounters on the street today.


June 21 ~ Day 172: Happiest summer solstice, everyone! Can you believe that the first official day of summer is really here? Are you happy about that? Or does this sizzling heat have you pining for snowmen, winter boots and steaming mugs of cocoa?

Over all I'm pretty excited about it - how could I not be when the birthdays of everyone in my house (hubby, kitty cat, and I) all fall during this magically lovely season.


In order to ensure this post was able to load without taking an eon and a half (not everyone has super high speed internet!), I weighed the matter carefully and decided not to post an image for each of the twenty days ( if you click on the link in the write up for each particular day, you should be taken a page with at least one image, or video clip,  for each respective topic).

However, there was no way that I could let the inaugural day of summer slip by without celebrating it with an image - and what a charmer this one (the marvellously illustrated June 1948 cover of Better Homes and Gardens Magazine) is!

I can’t wait to hopefully get in plenty of the activities depicted on in it myself this season, just as I'm sure tons of you are, too! Smile


June 22 ~ Day 173 : This coming Friday is my little brother's birthday, and since one of his favourite desserts when we were growing up was lemon meringue pie (peanut butter cookies were another sweet treat he adored back then), I knew that in honour of his special day, I had to dig up a super delicious sounding vintage recipe for this wonderful classic (which, like most citrus flavoured foods, seems to be especially useful at helping you bet the heat, especially if served cold).

I think this yesteryear version (which is quite similar to my tried-and-true, handed-down-from-my-mom recipe) would be sure to please even the most discerning of lemon meringue connoisseurs, no matter their age!


June 23 ~ Day 174: By way of the great blog Vintage Chic, comes a page from 1946 called Make Up to the Day, which is chocked full of entertaining/helpful suggestions for what colours of make-up are best suited to brides-to-be with various complexions and hair colours. From redheads to ash blondes, there are tips here to see many-a-gal through her special day in beautiful 1940s style.


June 24 ~ Day 175: This day is a joyful one for me because it's my brother's birthday (how can you possibly be 24? If that doesn't make - soon-to-be-27 year old me feel ancient, I don't know what does!), and while he doesn't share my love of all things vintage (I'm the vintage black sheep of my family), I do distinctly remember one splendidly fun old school cartoon that we enjoyed watching as a child was The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show.

Featuring everyone's favourite cartoon moose and squirrel, as well as the bumbling dastardly villain duo or Boris and Natasha, this entertaining children's show was every bit as much fun for us in the early 90s as it was for those who watched it air the first time around decades earlier.

I devote this clip - of the opening theme of Rocky and Bullwinkle - to you, little bro, happiest birthday! Here's to always striving to have as much fun in life as we had as youngsters watching cartoons!


June 25 ~ Day 176: There's a school of thought that suggests that if one surrounds themselves (or wears) cool colours they'll feel colder (and vice versa that warm hues will help you stay toasty). Given the visual weight that colours carry, I think this idea makes a good deal of sense.

I for one would not be too inclined to spend much time during the summer in a fiery orange or red room, but I would however rush to relax at the end of another dizzyingly hot June day in this charmingly sweet soft pink, mint green and sleek black bathroom from 1953.

Done up in sherbet and licorice inspired hues, this pretty powder room just looks cool when you gaze at it. The swirl patterned tiles evoke thoughts of serene pools of sea water, the pink curtains, towels and paint (used in the built-in wall shelves) are as revitalizing as a tall glass of strawberry lemonade, and the glistening black elements seem to give the distinct feeling that they'd be smooth as ice to the touch.

Indeed, there is much to be loved about from this inspiringly fresh, entirely beautiful 1950s bathroom, no matter if it's the hottest day of summer of the nippiest of winter - because truly beautiful interior design is always refreshing.


June 26 ~ Day 177: Let's face it, cat (and pet in general) furniture often isn't the most stylish thing around. Cumbersome kitty condos, litter boxes glaring out at you from random corners of the house, and oversized plush napping pads eating up half your living room floor can be practical and cozy (for said feline companions), but again, they rarely win any awards in the design department.

To that end, one clever etsy seller (Atomic Attic Upcycled), came up with a splendid idea for kitty beds that are both function and wonderfully fun to look at.

They’re constructed of vintage and retro suitcases that have been fitted with short, sturdy legs and fluffy cushion inserts (which are removable and washable). Averaging around $59.00 a piece, these smile-inducingly cool vintage suitcase cat beds are leagues more chic than most pet beds I've seen and are definitely the kind of thing I could see both me and my darling kitty hopping on board with!


June 27 ~ Day 178: While I tend to put on my make-up (and style my hair) before I don my ensemble for the day, there are times when all of us need to (for whatever) reason to apply our cosmetics (or merely touch-up our faces) while dressed, which can mean introducing the potential of getting powder, lipstick, eye shadow, mascara - you name it! - on our vintage outfits (which is definitely not a good thing!).

In 1938 that problem could be cut off at the pass by donning the Playtex make-up cape, a charming little caplet (with a fun front tie neck) that draped over the wearer's shoulders and upper chest, thus helping keep her clothing as clean as whistle while she went about her beauty routine.

I think this is really good, entirely practical idea and so went hunting around the web for a modern day version. While I couldn't find a make-up cape that was quite as cute as the 1930s version, I did find a Scalpmaster Nylon Make-Up Cape on Amazon for the reasonable price of $11.99 - which is certainly less than a trip or two to the drycleaners (to try and remove make-up from your favourite garments) is bound to run you!


June 28 ~ Day 179: Despite the often surface-of-the-sun like temps of this season, there is something about summer that makes me want to cut a rug to absolutely no end! I know why that is actually, it's because as a youngster I spent many a summer day bopping about the living room, classic big band and 1950s rock and roll tunes blaring out from the CD player, any friend, sibling - total stranger in sight a potential dance partner (ahhh, the carefree things we did as kids!).

When my feet start a tapping these days, I love to look up awesome old school swing  dance tunes and movie clips on Youtube (such as this terrifically fun 1950s clip of Bill Hailey and Comments playing the song Razzle Dazzle while the dance floor bursts to life, despite some squares in the crowd) and put on a concert of some of the most enjoyable music of all time - and should I happen to wrangle someone into being my jitterbug partner again, all the better! Smile


June 29 ~ Day 180: It's Wednesday again, my lovelies, you know that means, time for another scrumptious vintage recipe to see us through the week. Given the scorching hot temps of June, it's high time we all kicked back with a sweet, ice cold treat!

Do just that with a handful of ingredients in snazzy 1953 style care of this tasty sounding Seven-Up Sherbet recipe. I bet this would be great with various other sodas as well, such as ginger ale, Orange Crush or Mountain Dew. Whatever pop you put to work in this recipe, it's sure to help stamp out the heat for at least a few minutes.


June 30 ~ Day 181: While we've just gotten through 20 days of posts, the fact of the matter is that it’s still June 10th as I write this blog entry, and I don't only know the 30th of this month will be like for me.

With a good heaping of luck however, it will be better day on a lot fronts than right now. I hope I'll be in the mood to celebrate the outcomes of my medical procedures and that by today, I'll be feeling better in a lot of different ways.

June is one of those months that lends itself so naturally to celebrating and feeling joyful. From graduations to the start of summer, picnic weather to Father's Day, there is much to adore about the six month of the year - not the least of which are June weddings.

Let's wrap up this twenty day round-up of Vintage 365 posts with on a very, very lovely note, by celebrating the 1942 wedding of Lewis and Helen, a dapper young couple who had their whole lives still in front of them that glorious June day.

♥ ♥ ♥


I will miss you all very, very much. Due in part to the Vintage 365 series, it's been quite some time now since I wasn't around these parts and I know that it’ll feel strange to suddenly be out of the blogging loop.

As in the past during these kinds of situations, my wonderful husband (Tony) will be helping to hold down the fort for me here (and should anything that warrants announcing publicly occur, he will come here to post on my behalf and let you know what's going on). I sincerely hope to be back soon and must say again just how much I'm going to miss you, my darling friends!

Until we chat again, know that you'll be in my thoughts, and that I wholeheartedly hope you each have a truly sublime start of summer!!!


  1. Oh my! I hope your surgeries go well and I will be sure to pray for an easy recovery. Your post is AMAZING and I cant wait to go through the entire thing! Stay well, relax, and take this time out for YOU and dont worry about anything else other then your health and recovery. May you dream of vintage goodness :)

    Thanks doll,
    The Glamorous Housewife

  2. Best of luck to you on your two surgeries, Jessica! I hope that you come through both of them right as rain and that you have a speedy, complications free recovery. Thank you for giving us some lovely vintage inspiration in your absence :)

  3. Best of luck, we'll be glad to hear you're safe and sound back home again.
    Love your posts. Thanks for the preload.

  4. Now that's what I call planning ahead! Hope all goes well. :)

  5. Hi Jessica,
    Sending prayers and good wishes for successful surgeries. You are amazing to do so many posts, I will save them and check them out over several days.
    Love your blog and will look forward to seeing your next post which will be a sign that all is well and you are on the road to recovery.

  6. Just wanted to say thanks so much I got my beautiful pendants in the mail on Friday! I love getting packages :D hope you recover well after your surgeries and we see you back here soon xx

  7. Best wishes for a successful surgery and quick recovery...Bless your heart for thinking of your readers, but I'm sure we're more concerned about you than anything! Will be glad to see you when you are well enough to post again. :)

  8. I love your blog it's one of the first ones I open up and read when I go to my blog. How thoughtful of you to post ahead of time. I wish you a speedy recovery.