August 31, 2011

Happy 3rd birthday, darling Stella!

Day 243 of Vintage 365


Born on the streets of a metropolis city, as so many of her kind are each year, Stella was an urban feral cat from her first meow of life.

How exactly she went from that state to laying sweetly in a tiny cat bed at the rescue shelter when we found in in November 2008 is anyone's guess, but chances are she and her littermates were picked up by the local animal control squad.

Lacking early human interaction, Stella developed a shy - yet highly tenacious, independent personality. Ever-curious, bright as her name (which is Italian for "star") implies, and just about the sweetest bundle of tabby grey fur you could ever hope to encounter, Stella has blossomed and thrived as indoor cat under the loving care of my husband and I.

The first pet and we've had the pleasure of sharing as a couple, Stella is a breath of joy of happiness in our lives. She never ceases to delight us with her clever games, cute posses, elegant beauty, and inquisitive soul.

Though we don't know (as the shelter didn't either) her exact date of birth, she was approximately 11 weeks old when we adopted her, so counting backwards that would place her birthday squarely at the end of August.

Thus, from day one, Tony and I christened August 31st Stella's birthday and have happily celebrated it as such every year since.

Now turning three years old, Stella has morphed into much more of a lap cat (aka, cuddle bug), yet is still as energetic, curious and entertaining as a young kitten. We love her dearly and in celebration of her (official unofficial) birthday, I wanted to share a selection of delightful vintage cat images with all of you.

{Image sources: 1. Vintage illustration kitten with party hat, 2. Vintage Cats, 3. Honky Cat - Taken Between 1949 and 1952, 4. animal - cat and TV, 5. Woman with Cat, 6. aunt nona's cat on the car, 7. Cats - For PERSONAL use only, 8. Cats - For PERSONAL use only, 9. 1959 Sarah cat, 10. Kittens in a Box, 1960, 11. Cats - For PERSONAL use only, 12. MYSTERIES OF THE CAT 1932, 13. Vintage Cats}

And how could I note include one of my all-time favourite shots of the adorable feline birthday girl herself in this post, too? Smile


I love that each year Tony and I get to cap off August - the last full month of summer - by celebrating Stella's birthday. It seems both an awesome way wrap up summer and to start autumn off on a fabulous note at the same time.

If you're a proud pet parent, too (or have been in the past), do you enjoy marking your furry friend's birthdays as well?

August 30, 2011

Dorm decor 1950s style

Day 242 of Vintage 365


Having never lived on campus in a dorm, I can't say as though I have any personal experience when it comes to decorating one, but I've certainly visited other peoples' and seen my fair share of these (usually) pocket-sized colligate dwellings before.

As with nearly all abodes, the decor in dorm rooms can run the gamut from painfully Spartan to glamorously gorgeous. Most fall squarely in between, veering towards the practical side of life - chocked full of items like a desk, comfy chair, bed (usually twin size), computer and printer, dresser, and bookcase.

Tiny spaces intended to hold the most basic creature comforts of life, while allowing students to productively plug away at their studies, dorms have been a way of collage life for millions of students over the years.

As the the new school year kicking off right about now, I thought it would be fun to share a cute I image I found recently of a 1950s dorm room with you.

{Charming vintage dorm room photo via Vassarcollegearchives on Flickr.}


In this shot of two 1950s Vassar College students pouring over their books we see a room that is both similar and different from many dorms today. It strikes me as being more reserved and homelike, with it's spindle back chairs, double curtain windows, and pair of rugs. It's not luxurious in the slightest, yet it seems inviting and comfortable.

The walls are free of posters, photos, bulletin boards, and mirrors, a small lone piece of artwork the only thing adoring their pale hued paint. I like that girls have added a few feminine touches in the form of things like the floral print bedspreads and cute plush dogs.

Three lamps ensure they needn't strain their eyes as they read chapter after chapter; what looks like folding chairs propped against the right wall are likely for when company stops by, and (slightly beat-up) shelving near the door gives the ladies a place to house their shoes and handbags.

Like so many rooms of the decade, this college dorm is both sweet and utilitarian. It speaks to the necessary frugality most students face, yet really looks like the kind of spot you could feel instantly at home in.

Were I headed off to a dorm of my own this fall, I'd definitely be looking at vintage photographs like this for inspiration on how to dress up my college digs! Smile

August 29, 2011

There really were 57 varieties of Heinz products!

Day 241 of Vintage 365


As someone with a melting pot of origins comprising my ancestry, one of my favourite ways for years now to describe my genealogical background is to say that I'm a "Heinz 57 of European nationalities".

Of the I've been able to conclusively determine through my genealogical research there's British, French (and French Canadian), German, Russian, Prussian, Polish, and (wayyyyy back) Danish. I don’t for a second that others are whirling around in the mix, too.

Many of us have similar backgrounds, made up of ancestors who hailed from various corners of the world, so it comes as to surprise that when I use this term, others have been quick to eagerly adopt it for their own use. I don't mind in the least, and encourage you to do the same, if you'd like.

The term "Heinz 57", which appears on many Heinz products to this day, is often used to describe a diverse and/or large group of varying items. For example, you could say, "The buffet at Sally's party was a real Heinz 57 of dishes", or, "My wardrobe is so eclectic, it's a Heinz 57 of styles", and folks would instantly understand that you were describing a mixed bag of items, people, situations or what have you.

The origins of this expression lie in a slogan that the famous food manufacturing company used in it early days: "Heinz 57 Varieties of Pure Food Products".

Company legend has it that "57" was chosen because the numbers five and seven were of particular significance to Henry John Heinz, founder of the brand. While the company was actually manufacturing more than 60 different products at the time, Heinz like the ring that 57 had to it and opted to use that number as part of his company’s marketing campaign and branding.

{Vintage Heinz 57 advertising publication, from 1909, via Wikipedia.}


Heinz products have been on shelves for over a hundred years now and their logo is one of the most recognizable in the world. As such, I started wondering one day, just what were some of the products that made up the yesteryear list of 57 Heinz varieties?

If we hop back in time to the 1930s, the following is a list of 57 products that Heinz produced. Many are long gone (despite the more than 5,7000 items the company now produces worldwide), but other classics - like pork and beans, dill pickles, cider vinegar, chilli sauce, and ketchup are still going strong.


57 Heinz products from the 1930s


1. Heinz Oven-Baked Beans with Pork and Tomato Sauce

2. Heinz Oven-Baked Beans without Tomato Sauce, with Pork--Boston Style

3. Heinz Oven-baked Beans in Tomato Sauce without Meat—Vegetarian

4. Heinz Oven-Baked Red Kidney Beans

5. Heinz Cream of Tomato Soup

6. Heinz Cream of Green Pea Soup

7. Heinz Cream of Celery Soup

8. Heinz Mince Meat

9. Heinz Plum Pudding

10. Heinz Fig Pudding

11. Heinz Peanut Butter

12. Missing from list

13. Heinz Cooked Sour Kraut with Pork

14. Heinz Cherry Preserves

15. Heinz Red Raspberry Preserves

16. Heinz Peach Preserves

17. Heinz Strawberry Preserves

18. Heinz Pineapple Preserves

19. Heinz Crab-apple Jelly

20. Heinz Currant Jelly

21. Heinz Grape Jelly

22. Heinz Quince Jelly

23. Heinz Apple Butter

24. Heinz Preserved Sweet Gherkins

25. Heinz Preserved Sweet Mixed Pickles

26. Heinz Sour Spiced Gherkins

27. Heinz Sour Mixed Pickles

28. Heinz Chow Chow Pickle

29. Heinz Sweet Mustard Pickle

30. Heinz Dill Pickles

31. Heinz Fresh Cucumber Pickle

32. Heinz Fresh Cucumber Relish

33. Heinz India Relish 34. Heinz Sandwich Relish

35. Heinz Soup Pickled Onions

36. Heinz Preserved Sweet Onions

37. Heinz Spanish Queen Olives

38. Heinz Stuffed Spanish Olives

39. Heinz Ripe Olives

40. Heinz Pure Spanish Olive Oil

41. Heinz Tomato Ketchup

42. Heinz Chili Sauce

43. Heinz Beefsteak Sauce

44. Heinz Pepper Sauce, Red and Green

45. Heinz Worcestershire Sauce

46. Heinz Prepared Mustard

47. Heinz Prepared Mustard Sauce

48. Heinz Evaporated Horseradish

49. Heinz Salad Cream

50. Heinz Mayonnaise Salad Dressing

51. Heinz Pure Malt Vinegar 52. Heinz Pure Cider Vinegar

53. Heinz Distilled White Vinegar 54. Heinz Tarragon Vinegar

55. Heinz Rice Flakes

56. Heinz Breakfast Wheat

57. Heinz Tomato Juice"

(Take from from the Heinz Book of Salads, 1930. Online version of list from the Food Timeline.)


The etymology of words and phrases has always fascinated me. I love finding out where folklore ends and the truth begins (or vice versa!). It's lovely to know that Heinz really did have 57 products to back up their slogan back in the early decades of the twenty-first century - and can't help but wish they still manufactured a few of these (how delicious do Quince Jelly and Pineapple Preserves sound?).

Whether you consider yourself a Heinz 57 of different nationalities, are a "purebred pup" like my 100% Italian husband, or fall somewhere in between, chances are you've heard of the expression "Heinz 57" before.

Now, as  beloved radio broadcaster Paul Harvey would have said, you know the rest of the story behind this classic expression and the brand that spawned its usage.

I, for one, am off to go find some quince jelly! Smile

August 28, 2011

Seeking summertime serenity

Day 240 of Vintage 365


It's a little hard to believe that this is really, truly, the last Sunday of August. Has summer slipped away from our grasp entirely yet? No, thankfully, but with the return in a few short weeks of autumn, we really don't have to much longer to latch onto and savour the splendours of this toasty season.

This year has seen a summer of ups and downs for me. It was a a juxtaposition of trying days and moments of beautiful happiness. I've squeezed in time to be creative and churned out several lovely (if I may say so myself), scrapbooking pages and cards. I wrote good old-fashioned letters, swapped Girl Guide patches, enjoyed many wonderful chats and days with my sweet husband, and came up with a couple of new recipes that I'm presently smitten with.

There were dark moments due to family issues, tons of medical related matters, and a heat wave that would have made the Devil himself sweat, but as we near the end of 2011's summer season, I already find myself wishing it was June 1st again.

Perhaps that's just it, maybe part of me I want a redo on this summer. Life doesn't work like that though (for better or worse). It's an ongoing series of days that we get through as best we can, always hoping for a bright tomorrow and a today that we can say was regret free and lovely, exactly as it was.

I don't have any major plans in the works for fall, not sure what winter holds in store quite yet either, but that's entirely ok. The older I get, the more I love celebrating each day as it happens, taking it at face value and trying (with varying degrees of successfulness) not to worry too much about what lies on the unknown horizon.

This mindset doesn't give one carte blanche about their destiny, instead it aids in making the present considerably less taxing on your soul. Or at least, that's what I'm learning it means.

So long as summer is still here, I hope to get in some more nights spent watching falling stars, days of eating fresh seasonal produce, and mornings spent embracing the wonders of this magical season.

{Tranquil, lovely 1920s summer sailing photograph via *Kichi* on Flickr.}


Though even this past week was quite hectic (!), at the end of nearly each day, I've found myself greeted by a sense of innate serenity.

This feeling greets me as dusk sets and the weight of the day starts drift from my shoulders. It's sweet and oh-so-welcomed, as I'm a rather notorious worrier. Yet fretting, as touched on above, rarely gets you anywhere and robs you of the kind of peace you deserve deeply right now.

So while last the Sunday in August is here, I'm trying to hold onto the sense of calm, imagining myself out sailing on a placid sea, perfectly content in the moment, holding nary a grudge against the tough times this season, and grateful each day of summer we have left.

August 27, 2011

These beautiful 1940s reproduction velvet Mary Janes are perfect for fall

Day 239 of Vintage 365


Soon autumn will be upon us - that season of Midas-worthy golden sunshine, endlessly crisp breezes and nippier temperatures. Given that fall is my favourite season, I'm tickled pink (errr, pumpkin orange?) about this, but know that one of the things I'll miss about summer is the light, playful, carefree footwear it brings.

I'm definitely not a flip-flop gal (outside of the beach), instead I love to spend the summer in wedges and cute vintage inspired sandals. I don't have a large summer footwear wardrobe, but those pairs I do own are well-loved and most have been with me for several years now.

Autumn in Canada can whiz past so fast that if one blinks, they stand the very real chance of missing it entirely. While it's here however, I'll definitely be enjoying the fact that you can still get away with wearing shoes (outdoors) that aren't the heavy-duty, snow-proof boots or other similarly sturdy footwear that winter demands.

Much like the clothing of fall, shoes for this time of year strike a pleasant - and very beautiful - balance between the lightness of summer and the utilitarian nature of winter. You can usually get away with peep-toes and ankle straps still, yet by the same token, you can easily reach for richer, sturdier fabrics, too.

The more I stop and think about it, the more I realize I love autumn footwear. It's dependable and practical, but in no way devoid of elegance or beauty (that's right snow boots, I'm talking about you!).

One of the most delightful pairs of autumn appropriate vintage inspired shoes I've chanced upon lately are these stellar brown velvet Mary Janes from renowned dance show brand Aris Allen.

At a modest - but in no way matronly - 2.25 inches high, the heel on these charming pair - which are an exact copy of 1940s dress shoe - is wonderfully wearable, and stands to be quite comfortable if you need to be on your feet for long spells.

Featuring a bit of mesh for added breathability and style, these lovely brown velvety Mary Janes would look amazing with so many colours in fall's wardrobe palette. Can't you just imagine pairing them with taupe, camel, deep red, navy blue, mustard, rust, paprika, ivory, dusty rose, denim, and teal - to name but a few, I certainly can.

In fact, in my experience brown shoes can be virtually as versatile as black ones, with the added benefit of standing out a smidge in the crowd of onyx heels.

I'd love to slip into these velvet heels (which are available in ladies whole and half sizes, ranging from 6 to 9, for $59.95 from and a tweed skirt suit or cream hued dress. They could take on a causal spin with high waisted vintage jeans or become instantly date night appropriate with a jersey dress.

So while parting with summer won't be the easiest thing to do, gorgeous vintage reproduction shoes like this brown velvet gems definitely help make embracing autumn's arrival worlds more fun - and fashionable!

August 26, 2011

C'est les Bon Bons de Revlon

Day 338 of Vintage 365


These days just about anything goes when it comes to nail colour, and while I like the freedom to sport a rainbow's worth of hues on your hands if you so want, at the end of the day, 99% of the time, I - vintage loving gal at that I am - reach for the most classic of shades.

Chiefly reds, but also pinks, burgundies and peaches. These colours are akin to neutrals when it comes to cosmetics for your hands. They're feminine, utterly timeless and unlikely to ever raise an eyebrow (pulses, however, are another matter entirely Winking smile ).

Sometimes though - I suppose that would be the aforementioned 1% of the time - I do like to break out of my tried-and-true comfort zone of nail polish choices (in a nod to my early teen years perhaps, when I loved sporting funky hues like lime green and cobalt blue), but even then I usually stick with very soft shades like the colours in the delightfully lovely vintage Revlon ad below.

{Charming 1950s Revlon nail polish ad via sugarpie honeybunch on Flickr.}


As one might have deducted from the inclusion of the word "frosted" in the description, this particular line - named rather beautifully Bon Bons de Revlon - debuted in 1959, as the decade neared ever closer to the most frost-filled make-up era of the 20th century.

Thankfully however these hues - with scrumptious sounding names like Pistachio Mint, Pineapple Yum Yum, Champaign Taffy, and Butter Pecan - stopped short of crossing into Priscilla Presley territory and remained more in line with the pastel craze that filled homes and wardrobes alike during the decade.

I love the sweetness of this line's name, the cheerful add with its trays of sweets and fresh cut blooms, and every single one of the nail polishes themselves.

Though these particular Revlon shades have probably long been out of product, one need only glance at them for a minute to recognize colours that are currently available from other lines at all manner of price points.

So while I do like to stick to my timeless reds and pinks most days, I love knowing that if I want to don pale, pearly blue or marigold yellow nail polish once in a while, I (and you!) can do so and still be wonderfully, authentically true to the styles of the 1950s. Now that’s c'est bon indeed! Smile

August 25, 2011

Have home movies gone the way of the dinosaur?

Day 337 of Vintage 365


A few days ago my husband and I were flicking through the channels (nothing - and I do mean nothing of interest - was on), when we stopped on America's Funniest Home Videos for a second. Though the episode was relatively new (I'd guess about five years old), I was struck by the fact the nearly all the footage shown had been taken ten to twenty-plus years ago.

This lead me to remark to Tony that I don't think people take as many home movies as they used to.

Now, of course, we take snap tons of videos - one need only be acquainted with Youtube to know that - but they're often short clips (very commonly captured, these days, with our cell phones), or they're of events (concerts, parades, sports games, parties, etc) that we want to remember, instead of the commonplace going-ons of day-to-day life.

I don't have any hard and fast statistics to back this thought up, it's merely a observation that came about from my own life. Though we have phones and cameras that can record video, my husband and I don't own a video camera. When I was growing up my parents have a big black camcorder that came out on birthdays, holidays and often just if one of us kids was doing something charming or funny.

Always on the shy side, I wasn't a fan of having the lens in my face, but today I'm very grateful for those home movies that still exist (on their chunky black video tapes). They show a version of me that seems a million miles away and yet is so easy to relate to and remember clearly.

I know that if I'm ever blessed with children one day, I'll definitely get a video camera so that they too can look back on both the ordinary and extraordinary moments in their young lives exactly as they were really lived.

I think that it's very important to capture home movies. A still photograph is a remarkable - and priceless - thing, but ultimately it can only ever represent one moment, one frame from a person's life. Moving video nabs seconds, minutes, even hours sometimes and allows you to relive those moments again and again whenever you like. They're a fascinating glimpse of history that becomes a gift for future generations.

And what a gift today's video clip is! Shot on classic 8mm film that was converted to a DVD and then uploaded to Youtube, this vintage home movie shows the wedding day (and a few snippets of their life in the years afterwards) of a lovely young couple.

On their faces we see emotions and smiles that could have come from our own most special times, yet live forever in the era of that this black and white footage hails from.


I adore the happiness, the excitement, the fashions, the moment, and the fact that this invaluable piece of the past still exists. Though no further information is provided about the couple (not even their names) beyond what you see here, I think that there is a volume of knowledge to gain from this video.

Though there may never be anyway to know, I like to think that this couple and their children went on to live a happy, purposeful, terrific life together and that they took many, many more home movies over the years.

What are your thoughts on this topic, my dears, for all of the instant-video-capturing technology at our disposal, do we still take as many home movies as we used to?

August 24, 2011

Wonderfully delicious Peppermint Brownie Baked Alaska

Day 236 of Vintage 365


If memory serves me right, I was 17 the first time I made baked Alaska. It was one of those dishes that people spoke of with great reverence, as though it was harder than scaling Mt. Everest to make. This, of course, only endeared me to it more and after years of wondering if it truly was that tricky, I borrowed a friend's kitchen (my own minuscule pad at the time didn't have an oven - just a hotplate and microwave) and proceeded to whip up the first of many baked Alaska I've made over the years.

As I secretly suspected all along as a youngster, when I heard worldly home cooks speak in almost hushed tones of this dishes complexity, Baked Alaska only looks hard to make.

What most people perceive as being tricky - or are doubtful of their ability to pull off successfully - is sticking a dish with ice cream in it into the oven without having said ice cream melt quicker than the Wicked Witch of the West.  (This outcome is prevented thanks to the insulating powers of the meringue.)

The time that the ice cream spends in the oven is actually very minimal - just a few short minutes to firm up and brown the rich, fluffy layer of meringue that you've slathered the cake base and mound of ice cream in - then the finished dish, glistening with its golden brown peaks is rushed to your eager table guests as they applaud your culinary prowess.

Baked Alaska hit its zenith in the 1950s, yet its origins stretch back well into the 1870s. Known, albeit less commonly, by other names such as omelette à la norvégienne and glace au four, this decadent dessert is a show-stopper that every fan of baking needs to try at least once in their lifetime. There's a thrill that comes from pulling the glistening finished product from the oven and then slicing into it, the ice cream still firm, the meringue piping hot.

Named, back in the middle of the Victorian era, for the newly acquired state of Alaska, this dish rapidly gained popularity and stayed well-loved for decades to come. While you don't run into Baked Alaska quite as often any more, it's one of the most enjoyable, delicious vintage desserts I know of.

In this week’s version the more traditional cake base is swapped out for some completely scrumptious chocolate brownies, and the ice cream du jour is peppermint (or, as the recipe suggests as an alternative, vanilla ice cream that you've swirled some peppermint candies into). These two components are then dressed up in a luxe gown of sugary meringue and waltzed off into the over for a quick tan.

{Delightfully tasty 1950s style Peppermint Brownie Recipe via Charm and Poise on Flickr. Click here for a larger version of this delectable treat's instructions.}

If you're making Baked Alaska for the first time, I suggest you start with quality ingredients and allot enough time to bake (and cool) the cake (or, in this case, brownies). Use very firm ice cream, and feel free to be heavy handed with the meringue.

While I think this Peppermint Brownie Baked Alaska recipe sounds utterly fabulous, if mint (or Brownies) aren't your cup of tea, you can always sub in another type of ice cream (if you really want to go all out, use homemade ice cream) such a s black cherry, mandarin orange, French vanilla, coffee, raspberry ripples, toffee crunch, or lemon zest) and use your cake of choice  for the base.

While this isn't perhaps the first dessert you'd be inclined to make on a hectic Wednesday night, it's truly worth trying (or making again, if you're a seasoned Baked Alaska pro) when you have the time and ingredients on hand.

It's beautiful for a bridal shower, anniversary dinner (especially for your parents or grandparents, who will love the trip down memory lane it evokes), birthday bash or anytime you're looking for a classic show-stopping ice cream dish that positively sings with vintage charm.

August 23, 2011

Because sometimes we all need to hear, "Hey, it's Ok!"

Day 235 of Vintage 365


There is something profoundly important about feeling as though your actions - be they commonplace or one-off occurrences - are acceptable, both socially and within the the realm of your loved ones.

I grew up in a home that I would consider to be quite strict. There were rules upon rules atop even more rules and limitations for nearly every action. The military, I often felt, could have taken a lesson on rules and order from the "laws" laid down in my house.

{Vintage image - albeit a rather charming one - of a little

girl scolding her doll via King Kong Photo on Flickr.}


Rules and guidelines are undoubtedly important, but there's no doubt that the ridiculous, controlling rigidity I grew up with was excessive.

As a child I clearly remember wishing, on many occasions, to not feel so conscious, so afraid, so untrusting of my own actions (and we're talking ultra mundane things here - not "I just dyed my hair bright pink, wonder what my folks will say" kind of level). To this day I battle with a strong fear of confrontation as a result of my upbringing.

As such, when I read or here things in which people grant others the right to accept and be fine with the choices they make in their life (even if such posts or spoken accounts are intended to be humorous) it nearly moves me to tears and usually makes me smile, feeling more at peace with the world.

While I can't claim to be a frequent reader of Glamour Magazine (in its modern iteration, that is - sign me up for any and all vintage copies!), they run a frequently occurring post called "Hey, it's Ok!" in which the author points out a list of actions some people take and tell them that such activities/behaviours/choices/etc are ok. To get a sense of what I mean, check out this November 2008 edition of "Hey, it's Ok!".

I think most of us apply way to many rules to our lives. We deny or hide certain things that make us happy or that we partake in, for fear that we'll be judged or called out on our actions. No doubt this has been true of human beings since just about the dawn of time, but sadly even after all these years, we've only gotten a bit better at cutting ourselves some much needed slack.

To that extent, I thought it would be uplifting - and fun - to occasionally put together a "Hey, it's OK!" post that ties into our vintage loving lifestyle, but also life in general.

My hope is that it will elicit a positive reaction from you, whether that's merely a quick smile or a more profound sense that someone has granted you permission to doing (or be, or say) something something you weren't confident about.

And so without further ado, I present the first edition of Chronically Vintage's Hey, it's Ok! list. own 23 dresses and 11 skirts, but only one pair of pants (that you almost never wear!). have not watched a single new movie in two years, but know TCM's programming schedule by heart. not give the slightest care in the world when someone casts an an odd look your way for wearing vintage, from head-to-toe, in public. enjoy writing good old-fashioned letters more than emails. have a lengthy, soul cleansing, no-holds-bar cry from time-to-time (it really does make you feel better!). wear a 1930s dress, with 1970s shoes, fifties style hair and a new purse you bought last week. have fourteen different tubs of red lipstick in your make-up bag, but reach for the exact same one everyday (hello, Russian Red!). secretly enjoy it - and keeping smiling to yourself about it all day - when you get a cat-call. take someone up on their offer the next time they volunteer to do something for you. love yourself unabashedly precisely as you are right this very moment.


I don't know if I'll ever be able to truly cut myself the slack I deserve, but I'm working on it. No (at the risk of sounding cliché) sweating the small stuff (too much). I’m trying to embrace those things - and people - who make my heart glad, and let go of those who don't. I've opened up my creative side more so in the last year than ever before in my life, and have gotten better at not letting other people's opinions of me impact me so deeply.

It is my sincere hope that if you find yourself battling with similar feeling, actions and thoughts, you'll join me in trying to accept that you - and the things you do, way you chose to live your life, and actions you take - are Ok! Because, I'm here to tell you, chances are, they really and truly are.

August 22, 2011

Delightful 1930s worthy Peter Pan collar top

Day 234 of Vintage 365


The fashions of the 1920s and 30s enchant me. They encapsulate of a curious mix of casualness and elegance, channel a current of freedom, and speak of an age when prêt-à-porter wear was really starting to take off.

Luxurious fabrics mingled with work-a-day materials, lengthy strings of pearls sat beneath bobbed hair, cloche hats and newsboy caps topped heads everywhere, and skirt lengths rose and fell like the tide.

Though not the decades that my own vintage wardrobe hails from (alas, my petite, hour glass frame just doesn't work well in a gamine-worthy flapper dress), I admire the artistry and tailoring of the period of immensely.

Perhaps no one amongst our ranks captures the spirit of this era - and translates into the most wearable, appealing version your could imagine - better than the Vintage Baroness, whose blog I've fawned over and admired greatly since its inception.

And so it was of our lovely Baroness that I first thought when I spotted the delightful shirt below. At first glance one might perceive a Mod era element, and while I'll grant this this top could have passed muster in the swinging sixties, I sense a much more powerful 1930s vibe.


From the darling Peter Pan collar to the timeless colour palette, the lovely bow to the three-quarter length sleeves, this cute top radiates classic thirties charm.

Just as I could see it as a piece the Baroness might gravitate towards, so too I can envision it working in decades beyond the 1930s. Partner it with a crisp skirt suit and it takes on a non-nonsense WW2 years sensibility. Skin right capri pants or a full skirt and you're suddenly telegraphing a delightful 1950s Audrey Hepburn feel.

Made from soft, stretchy jersey, this lovely vintage inspired top (which would be perfect for the change in temps as we transition into autumn in the coming weeks) looks so comfortable, but also timelessly pretty. It's available for $39.00 from Plasticland in ladies sizes small to 2XL (and measures 23" inches long, which means that unless you have a very lengthy torso, it should hit you nicely around the hips).

So, while I might not be able to slip into a 1930s ensemble and look the part, I think that I could pull off a versatile, playful Peter Pan collar top like this, weaving it into a 50s outfit, but thinking - the whole time I'd be sporting it - of those daring style mavens of the roaring 20s and wild 30s.

August 21, 2011

This darling 1950s coloring book is sure to make you smile

Day 233 of Vintage 365


It's Sunday, we've all just come through another long - perhaps even grinding - week of summer's sweltering heat. For those with youngsters, school is gearing up (or will be shortly, depending on where you live), somehow there's a sense that season is winding down, yet is by no means ready to say goodbye at this stage.

In the spirit of fun and relaxation that Sundays were, back in the days of idyllic front porch swings, tall glasses of freezing cold ice tea, well dressed ladies languidly waving fans, and as a proper Sunday supper roasts in the oven, were all about, I thought I'd keep today's post light and breezy. Just an adorable image from the heart of the 1950s that made me smile, and which captures a certain side of the soul of a decade so wonderfully.


The space race - and a cultural obsession with anything pertaining to the exploration of the cosmos - was already starting to take shape by 1953 when this colouring book (which comes by way of X-ray Delta One's superb Flickr stream), featuring Tommy and His Space Ship first hit the market.

From the charming style of the illustration to Tommy's buzz cut, space helmets for the pup and the doll, and the fact this delightful cut-out coloring book cost a mere ten cents, there's just something so wonderfully endearing, sweet, perfectly invocative of a bygone era about this now fifty-eight year old children's toy.

No need for in-depth topics or lengthy posts today. It's the second to last Sunday of August, time to get out in that sparkling summer air while it's still here, make some wonderful memories, and let your imagination sore as though you were cute little Tommy in his 1950s spaceship cruising the galaxy with your best pals, searching for adventure.

After all, isn't that really a rather apt metaphor for life itself?

August 20, 2011

WW2 Factory Fashion poster blends style and history together

Day 232 of Vintage 365


Often times as I look lovingly through vintage images, particularly those hailing from either World War, I'm struck by the fact that what seems merely charming and beautiful to us today, once served a very important social purpose.

Signs, cookbooks and pamphlets about Victory gardens, making doing or going without, and staying calm are swept up by the present day public with great gusto, enjoyed (by many of those outside of our vintage loving circle) more so for their artistic appeal than their historical significance.

It is the later point which ultimately draws me to many vintage images and items however. I'm fascinated by days gone by and what kind of things people saw, wore and were surrounded by as they went about their lives.

On the informative - and highly enjoyable - site Exploring 20th Century London, a striking three colour 1940s poster showcasing which types of fashions were and were not acceptable for WW2 factory workers really caught my eye.


There's a sweetness to the illustration (which was done by Grace Golden) that belies the fact that it was intended to be a very serious, informative piece. At first glance one could easily be forgiven for thinking this cute drawing hailed from the pages of a fashion magazine or clothing ad. Instead its purpose was to show female factory workers what styles were best suited to the demanding jobs they were to preform.

Of course, I like to think, there was a degree of common sense to the message (hmmm, I'm going to work in a factory, should I don an evening gown or a pair of overalls? Winking smile), but regardless it never hurts to be reminded of things that are good for one's personal safety, including the best garments to wear to a new job.

Today many of us who enjoy 1940s clothes would happily sport either (or both!) of these looks, one utilitarian, the other date night worthy. Fashion inspiration can indeed be drawn from this wonderful Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents poster, but so too, I think, can a great little history lesson.

It's the merging of these two points - style with fact, history with beauty - that perpetually endears me to the past and happily keeps me on the lookout for engaging vintage images like this beautiful British Factory Fashion Notes poster.

August 19, 2011

A charming 1930s house fit for a fairy tale

Day 231 of Vintage 365


There are many books from my childhood that I look back on with immense fondness. From Robert Munsch's entertainingly delightful Pigs to the endearingly sweet Bread and Jam for Frances, by the husband and wife writing and illustrating team of Russell and Lillian Hoban.

I was very fortunate that my parents filled my earliest days with great books and that they read to me often. One title that I simply could not get enough of was a whimsically charming book of stories about fairies and other similar fictional sprites called Come Follow Me by Gyo Fujikawa.

Though not a vintage book (it'd earn the title of retro at this point though), there was a timeless quality to the sweet, gorgeously illustrated stories that this hardcover book abounded with.

As I grew up I really did not retain a passion of fantasy stories (veering more towards non-fiction genres, especially history instead), however anytime I see something that reminds me of one of the stories in Come Follow Me, I'm transported back to being a five year old again, a mythical world of fairies dancing on the pages before my young eyes.

It was, of all things, the November 1938 cover of Better Homes and Garden magazine that swept me back through the years and brought memories of a childhood storybook to the forefront of my mind.


With its bay window, rusty brown hued tile roof, and pale brick walls teaming with verdant climbing vines, there's something so perfectly fairy tale-ish about this wonderfully pretty vintage home (the image of which comes by way of paul.malon on Flickr).

I could imagine a sweet old woman living there who put out saucers of milk for the neighbourhood cats each evening, unaware that it was the "little folk" who were coming to lap it up, living there.

Or perhaps a young woman with a wicked step-mother, waiting for her prince to come dashing into town on a white horse.

While I don't profess to be an expert of architecture, I can usually peg a house's style well. This darling home leaves me a tad baffled though. Is it English countryside (a style I adore), mid-century Connecticut? The longer I look at it, the more I feel it has vague Tudor elements. No matter what style you call it however, there's no denying that this beautiful 1930s house would make an amazing home.

I could so easily picture myself tending flowers in its garden, stringing laundry in backyard, setting a row of pumpkin against those lovely bricks come august, building a snowman on the lawn come winter.

It looks like a house with a sense of whimsy and elegance. And the longer I gaze at it, the more I adore it. Perhaps that's because, if I try really hard, I can just about see a fairy or two fluttering around those stately climbing vines, beckoning me to come follow them. Smile

August 18, 2011

It's never too early to start thinking about Halloween

Day 230 of Vintage 365


As some of you may recall for autumns past, I have more than a little passion for Halloween. Indeed, All Hallows Eve, with this sense of mystery, scads of happy memories, fabulous costumes, awesome parties, delicious treats, and plethora of great vintage decorations, is my favourite holiday of the year.

Though I refrain myself from putting out any decorations quite this early (I'm not a Hallmark store after all Winking smile ), that doesn't mean that - despite the toasty summer temps - I haven't already started thinking about Halloween. Because, believe me, I have.

There's less than two and a half months left to go, you know, that's not exactly an eon, and (perpetual Girl Guide that I am) I know the importance of being prepared.

Shortly I'll begin making my Thanksgiving and Halloween cards, I'll take the totes of black and orange decorates out of the storage, I'll debate whether to buy or whip together a costume out of garments and items I have on hand. And, as October 31st draws ever nearer, I'll watch my excitement level grow with each passing day.

I know that I'm not the only one who can already feel the spirit of Halloween tumbling over the summer days to reach us. Other Halloween fan(atics) like myself are drawing up blueprints for how they're going to decorate their yards (unfortunately being an apartment dweller, I don't have a yard to decorate), sewing costumes for their kids, scouring magazines (hello, Martha Stewart!) and cookbooks for frightfully fabulous new recipes to churn out in the coming weeks, and getting giddy over the fact that it'll soon be time to watch your most beloved Halloween movies again.

Naturally, I've already started honing in on anything I come across online that's both vintage and Halloween themed. One completely charming Halloween gift idea I chanced upon recently gets oodles of points in both those categories.



While it's awesome to make or prepare your own sweet treats and thank-you/hostess/birthday/etc gifts for Halloween, sometimes it's also great to have lovely premade options to turn to, especially if you're short on time. Thus a beautiful, fantastically vintage feeling Halloween gift basket like the one above from The Elegant Cookie (love that name!) can be a wonderful option.

The Elegant Cookie has a slew of delightful vintage themed Halloween gift options (or treats for yourself, too!), but I think that this particular gift basket, with it's darling black cat adorned items including old-fashioned Halloween note cards, a vintage photo frame, vintage Halloween embellishments, four spider web cookies, six Lindt truffles, and cute witch ornament is my favourite of their current offerings. (Should you have fallen under its spell, too, you can pick one up for $39.99 from The Elegant Cookie.)

So while, knowing that not everyone is quite as Halloween gung-ho as I am, I'll hold off on going full-blown Halloweenista on you for a few more weeks, given that we're drawing ever nearer to autumn, I wanted to devote today's post to reminding you that it's never (ever!) too early to start getting ready for Halloween 2011!

August 17, 2011

Classic 1950s Mushroom Rice Pilaf is a great summer staple

Day 229 of Vintage 365


Summer has so many exquisite tastes, from succulently sweet peaches to tantalizingly tart lemonade, sun-kissed tomatoes and freezing cold ice cream. Whole cookbooks could be - and have been, in fact - devoted to the boundless wonders of summer's harvest and the dishes we turn to most at this sizzling time of the year.

One flavour that I associate with summer - amongst so many marvelous ones - is that of bell peppers. I can't say as though I recall having them grow in our garden (or the gardens of my grandparents) when I was little (that was more the realm of peas, beans, corn, zucchini and carrots), yet summer - and moreover August - seems to make me pine for the taste of bell peppers in all their rainbow of hues and varying degrees of sweetness.

If I stop and ponder why this is, part of the reason may be that I associate peppers with Mexican and Tex-Mex foods, where they are a common workhorse of an ingredient.

Growing up, "Mexican night" was amongst my very favourite ethnic food meals and when it happened to take place, as it did at least a couple of times a year, in the summer all the better. We could load up our tacos and burritos inside with the fixings my mom laid out - piles of crisp lettuce and juicy toms, seasoned meats, bright orange cheddar, zippy salsa, filling refried beans, tangy sour cream - and then take our plates outside to eat in the backyard, loud notes of Gipsy King songs wafting from the black boombox.

Today's recipe for Mushroom Rice Pilaf starts out on the plain side, but is by no means boring. It's delicious as it, but could so easily be jazzed up in any number of ways.

You could put could certainly put a Mexican spin on it, or go into the direction that the canned tomatoes naturally lead and give it an Italian note. Toss in some seasonings, cheese and breadcrumbs and it's Spanish rice. Ditch the tomatoes, add carrots (and/or baby bok choy), soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger and cilantro or green onions (scallions) for an Asian inspired pilaf that’s sure to draw rave reviews.

{Teaming with lots of delicious vegetables like bell peppers, onions and tomatoes, this classic, quick-to-prepare Mushroom Rice Pilaf recipe from 1952, is an awesome standby to have on hand, always ready to pair with other dishes or serve as an all-in-one meal.Click here for a larger version of this lovely rice recipe, which comes by way of Charm and Poise on Flickr.}


Like rice its very self, pilafs are endless versatile. I eat a lot of rice (due in part to the fact that I cannot have foods with wheat or gluten, and also just because I adore rice to no end!), and make some form or pilaff or other similar rice and mixed ingredient dish at least once a week.

I love that dishes like this mushroom pilaf take relatively little time and do not require you to turn on the oven, which is a massive plus during these scorching hot days of August.

Vegetarian (vegan if you use a vegan oil or margarine in place of butter), this dish would be wonderful for a buffet or potluck table. You can add meat, seafood, grilled vegetables or even some dried fruit or nuts to help elevate from a side dish to a full-on meal.

So, we work our way through the middle of August, I'm all to happy to give into my capsicum cravings (especially since they're such a stellar source of vitamin C) and whip up this 1950s mushroom rice pilaf, with it's crisp, delightful green peppers, for dinner tonight. Yum-yum! Smile

August 16, 2011

Summer just wouldn't be the same without the Beach Boys

Day 228 of Vintage 365


There are certain songs that one automatically associates with each season. Obviously Christmas tunes get top billing in December, and come October Thriller and Monster Mash are required playing, but if we delve deeper, it's easy to see how particular songs and artists fit well into each time of the year.

A drizzly March afternoon is suits everything from slow jazz to Simon & Garfunkle, an effervescently golden September Sunday would seem a little less beautiful if it didn't have upbeat tunes by artists like The Andrews Sisters and Cab Calloway to help keep such days’ ingrained energy buzzing.

For as many songs as we automatically tie winter, I think that the largest soundtrack of my life belongs to the summertime. While not comprised strictly of vintage songs, many of the tunes that - no matter what month of the year it is - whip my mind back in time to summers past, are pretty much all well-known and greatly loved classics.

As I sit here and type this post, it strikes me that it might have made more sense to do chat about this topic back in June when this summer was fresh, however because I wasn't able to post every day that month (remember the two Vintage 365 round-up posts?), I wasn't struck by the notion to do so back then.

Nevertheless, it's definitely still summer (for a little over a month more), and while we've got the sun beating down our necks, the seashore calling our name, and bathing suits at the front of the closet, it's high time we enjoy a fabulously fun song - and one of my all-time summer favourites - from 1962, The Beach Boy's Surfin' Safari.

It's amazing, I cannot hear this song without all but tasting the juicy hamburgers we grilled in the backyard when I was growing, smell Coppertone, feel the sublime Okanagan heat baking into my sun. I'm suddenly nine years old, swinging a hula hop wildly around my hips, the distant sound of motor boats bouncing across town from the lake all the way to our deck.

Music is incredible. It can take us back to last week or decades into the past. It helps, I find, illuminate memories with amazing clarity, and can bring forth a staggering array of emotions. In the jukebox of the hottest season of the year, it would be impossible for me not to play this - and several other - Beach Boys songs, they're a universal anthem for this fabulous time of the year

Most of the songs on my summer playlist are akin to this sparklingly fun early 60s tune. They have a great tempo, keep things light and breezy, hail from days long past, and posses the enchanting ability to both whisk me back in time and enhance the here and now.

I'm grateful for the songs of summer and all that they've meant to my life, and wanted to share this particular tune with you while the season was still going strong.

What songs and artists when you reflect back on your life, are your summer go-to songs?

August 15, 2011

Pausing to remember that the glass is half full

Day 227 of Vintage 365


My husband is not a pessimist by any stretch of the imagination, yet I think he'd be the first to say that between the two of us, I tend to look at things with the more rose coloured glasses. As such, it touched me a lot when, just the other day while we were in the living room, out the blue he looked up from his laptop and said rather matter-of-factly, "Life is good".

Yes, sweetheart, it is.

This year has been a rough one on various front, and we've both been contending with some pretty heavy medical issues on top of many other things. It seemed at first as though 2011 couldn't deliver a good day to save its skin, and it's still not winning any "best year ever" awards (not by a long shot).

Yet, as with many of the harder times in life, you can't help but grow during the challenges. They push you as person, make you strive harder toward your dreams, remind you of the things that matter most in this crazy world of ours.

Tribulations are by no means a 20th or 21st century invention. Whether it was outrunning a sabre-toothed tiger thousands upon thousands of years ago, praying the black plague spared you, or forging your way across a fledging continent as a pioneer, the human race has dealt with negatives and hardships of every magnitude since the dawn of time.

Some trials are massive, others only seem it. Some break us, some make us, and others turn out to be false alarms. There are good days and bad, but if you see the potential for sunshine on cloudy ones, you'll usually pull through those bleaker moments in one piece.

As we hit the middle of August, I'm reminded of a Jane Austen quote, "To sit in the shade on a fine day, and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment." To me these words tie into my husbands positive sentiments about life.

During these last few sizzling hot weeks of summer, no matter where you feel your life is at right now, it's important to take a moment and pause.

{Take your cue from this charmingly sweet 1930s pair, pull up a table and your finest tea set and spend a little time in the garden - be it proverbial or not - to recharge your spirit, remember what truly matters, and see the glass - or the teacup - as half full. Vintage photograph via lovedaylemon on Flickr.


Stop to let yourself breath. To count your blessings. To spend a few calm minutes in the shade, refreshing your soul with the beauty and energy of summer. Like most hardships we face, this season does not last forever, and its immensely important to savour the good in while we still can.

As this new week begins and we usher in the last chapter of summer, I hope you'll echo my husband's lovely statement, and take a minute to remember that, when all is said and done, life really is good.

August 14, 2011

Quite possibly the cutest miniature dressmakers form ever!

Day 226 of Vintage 365


There's an unspoken rule that if something is cute in its regular size, it stands to be utterly adorable if you shrink it down. From teacup pigs to miniature ponies, the animal kingdom is teaming with examples of this rule, but everyday life has plenty of cases, too - just think of doll houses, bite sized cupcakes, and baby clothes to name but three.

I think that dressmakers forms (aka busts or dummies) are amongst the most beautiful items one can have in their home. Whether used for their original purpose as a tailoring aid, put to use for storing and displaying items, or merely as a decorative element, there's something about there endearing blend of functionality and feminine beauty housed in dress forms that makes me swoon right, left and centre over them.

Usually, however, while strikingly attractive, "cute" isn't the first adjective that comes to mind when describing these classic sewing room inhabitants. Not at least, that it is, until some clever soul started making miniature forms of them. These pint sized version are nearly always just for organizational or decorative purposes, being to small to aid in the tailoring of just about anything but doll clothes.

I've seen numerous examples of miniature dressmaker's busts over the years, in all manner of materials (from metal to plastic), yet few have come close to being as wonderfully cute as the very, very lifelike version I spied this week on Pottery Barn's website.


There is such a marvelous authenticity to this smaller sized, vintage inspired sewing bust. From the wooden spindle leg to the cotton canvas body, I'm flat-out smitten with it. I could see this in so many spots around the house, from a dresser to a vanity, home office desk to a bookshelf. Really, for something this deeply sweet, there's scarcely a spot that wouldn't help its adorableness shine.

If, like me, you've fallen head-over-heels for this 26.5 inch tall miniature dress form, you can pick up one (or ten, you know, whatever works Winking smile) online from Pottery Barn, where they're available for $63.63 Cnd (apologizes to my US readers, the website is automatically showing me the price in Canadian dollars).

Then prepare to sit back and watch with a smile (and keen sense of what's coming) as everyone who walks into you house and sees this incredibly darling vintage style mini dressmaker's dummy squeals with delight and implores you to know where you got it from. Smile

August 13, 2011

Beautiful Paris, France as it looked in the 1920s

Day 225 of Vintage 365


Paris is a like a song you cannot shake from your head. It is a stunning woman dressed one moment in the most extravagant fineries, the next a mere wisp of a satin slip. It tastes familiar, yet is a flavour unlike any other. Ones of the largest cities in Europe, and indisputably one of the most beguiling locations on earth, Paris begs to be worshiped, admired, and most definitely visited.

I, however, have not yet had the pleasure of strolling the streets, riverbanks and parks of this grand city yet. One day, I like to believe, I will, but alas, what I know of Paris comes from books and movies, traveler's tales and great works of art.

Paris is on my mind at the moment because a very good friend of mine, Georgianna, recently spent some time on the other side of the Atlantic, taking staggeringly beautiful photographs of the city of lights, and other equally enchanting French locations (some of which are available in her marvelous etsy shop: Georgianna Lane Fine Art Photography).

I know better than to idealize any location I haven't been to be - I've been burned, badly, by wandering down that road before - and yet, how can you not become intoxicated with Paris? It is a much a coquette as the endless see of fashionistas it churns out. Opinionated, set in its ways and yet also so very new, ever changing, always ready to welcome another soul, put up another cafe, uncork one more bottle of wine before the sunrises.

A fashion capital for centuries, Paris produced out some of the most sublime and influential designers of the twentieth century. From Balmain to Dior, Chanel to Fath, this French epicentre of couture and style has influenced the way everyone from royals to peasants have dressed, and undoubtedly the work of such cornerstones of the fashion world have touched nearly ever vintageist out there to some degree (especially, if like me, you go weak in the knees for New Look of the late 40s and early 50s).

Today's video clip is not centered around sartorial style, however, instead it is a visual on-the-street account of Paris in the 1920s, a mere handful of years before it was ruthlessly ravaged by the brutal hands of the second world war.



There is an almost surreal idealism to these shots of busy streets with their prim and proper vendors, glimpses of timeless monuments, an elderly man painting peacefully in a stunningly gorgeous park, quick peaks through the looking glass of time back at a Paris that no longer exists, yet shares more in common with its present day version than it has differences.

If one needed even the slightest modicum of convincing as to why Paris is enchanting, important, worth striving to visit (or return to), this charmingly sublime 1920s clip is most definitely bound to to the trick - and leave you yearning to follow in my friend's lead and make your way to Paris tout de suite!

August 12, 2011

A true gem of a Victorian daguerreotype photograph

Day 224 of Vintage 365


It should come as no surprise to anyone who is a regular reader of this blog that I am a massive fan of old photos; I cherish them, be they of my own relatives or complete strangers.

I think every photograph deserves to be preserved, and adore the fact that, in its own very small way, Chronically Vintage is able to help a small group of yesteryear images live on, and be appreciated in the present, through the wonders of the internet.

Though, I rarely delve into topics - or share images - that predate the 1920s here, from time-to-time in my joyfully fun romp through the scores of old photos on Flicr, I chance upon an image that is simply to interesting, beautiful or otherwise worthwhile to keep myself.

Daguerreotypes are amongst my most favourite of antique photographs, and this 19th century image, which features a seemingly ordinary, yet somehow incredibly special couple truly caught my eye.

I'd venture to guess that the person who posted this picture (Flickr user lisby1, who's superb stream is an absolute must for fans of old school photos) may have retouched it ever-so-slightly (I could be wrong, but the the clarity of the pair's faces leads me to think so; not of course, that there's anything wrong with skilfully retouching an aging photo to help bring it back to its former glory).


I look at this young couple, their names sadly long lost in the files of history and see a thousand faces I've known. There's a similarity to both of them that's so real and endearing. Swap their (beautiful) Victorian duds for present day ones, let her hair down, and perhaps give his a quick trim, and you could have any number of youthful couples today.

This pair, whom I've lovingly dubbed Matthew and Eleanor (not for any particular reason, those two were merely the first names that popped to mind when I saw this photo), could have come from just about anywhere, held any station in life, had a large family or been childless. It's even possible that this photo was taken on their wedding day (not all Victorian era couples posed in what we'd call "traditional wedding garb" on their special day, especially if they were having their photo taken before or after the ceremony).

Perhaps they had this image snapped to send to a relative out-of-state or even in another country. Maybe they wanted to preserve what they looked like in their youth for their own children to look one day.

Sadly, as with so very many images of the past, we do not know why (or precisely when) this photograph was taken, yet, importantly, it was, and so even if the names of these two strikingly lovely people are long forgotten, a vital element - their image - of who the were is still preserved.

It is this fact, amongst others, that draws me to old photos, causes me to create backstories for them in my mind, makes me wish I could collect and house a million similar images under my own roof.

I know that many of you share in this passion of, and respect for, old photographs, and thus, when I saw "Matthew and Eleanor", I knew you'd appreciate why I simply had to share my favourite (online) antique photo find so far of the month with all of you.

August 11, 2011

Charmingly pretty vintage family name vinyl wall art

Day 223 of Vintage 365


Vinyl wall art and text has been exceedingly popular for the past several years. While it's wide-spread home decor adoption may have flourished most prolifically in the States, it has certainly made its way up here to Canada and to many other corners of the globe, too.

It's easy to see why. Much, much easier (and often considerably less expensive) to put up then wallpaper, far more temporary (if you so choose) than a coat of paint, and able to be removed in the blink of an eye, vinyl wall decals are a whimsical, charming, often very beautiful way of adding anything from sass to elegance, pizzazz to intrigue to any room in your house.

Though not a mid-twentieth century decor touch per se (smaller decals, often featuring lovely illustrations of flowers or fruit - were available at the time that could be applied certain types of smooth surfaces like glass), amongst the myriad wall art designs on the market today, one can certainly find some that telegraph a delightfully old school vibe.

Some of the most interesting - and beautiful - vinyl words I've chanced upon so far are those offered up by etsy seller Single Stone Studios. In between sighing and drooling over the many beautiful designs (that run the gamut from chicly modern to sweetly old fashioned) that this vinyl art specialist serves up, I spotted the Vintage Style Family Name listing, which allows buyers to have a custom wall decal designed and manufactured with their own personal details (family surname and year your family/relationship started).

I'm such a sucker for a beautiful antique or vintage looking font and the one used in this decal nails it perfectly. Calling to mind yesteryear advertisements, playbills and even early movie posters, this great font would look marvellously at home in many vintage lover's abodes.

Measuring in at 36" wide x 10.5" high (though they offer custom orders with different sizing, if you'd like, just convo Single Stone Studios on etsy for more details), this self-adhesive, waterproof vinyl decal is designed to last for five years outdoors or (to quote the company themselves) virtually forever indoors. It can be applied to pretty much any kind of smooth, flat, clean surface from doors to windows, walls to home appliances, kitchen tiles to wooden furniture.

In this case however, I think that a wall or very large door would probably be the most fitting place for such a strikingly lovely celebration of your family's name. I'd be inclined to put a decal like this in my living room or (were it larger) my entryway, as a lovely - and loving - reminder of when my family began and importance of our last name.

Retailing for reasonable price (especially when you consider that this is a customized decal) of $28.00, this endearingly pretty vintage style wall decal (which you can have designed in a broad range of colours) would make a fabulous present for a newly married couple, anniversary, baby shower, house warming, hostess gift, birthday or Christmas gift.

Of course, you can definitely pick up one for your own vintage loving – and styled - home, too. Smile