September 19, 2011

Taking a short autumn blogcation

Cheerful good morning greetings, everyone! I hope that this last Monday of summer 2011 is finding you all well and eager for the changing of the seasons that will transpire later this week. I'm immensely happy that fall is nearly here, as summer continually managed to knock the wind out my sails time and time again.

I feel a bit drained right now, not broken spirited, just physically like I've been going ten rounds in the ring with my health and life. As such, I've been giving it quite a lot of thought and decided, in order to hopefully have the strength and stamina to keep up with the Vintage 365 project right through to December 31st, it's wisest that I give myself a little breather.

As you may recall from the necessitated blogging hiatus earlier this year, just because I'm not technically here everyday, doesn't mean you don't get to enjoy the Vintage 365 project.

Then, as now, instead of a new post appearing each morning, you'll find the next twenty days worth of entries right here, in one handy-dandy location, in this post.

I'm hoping that three weeks will be enough time to recharge my batteries, and as such I have every intention, as things stand now, of jumping right back into daily blogging come October 10th (which, incidentally, just happens to be Canadian Thanksgiving).

I sincerely appreciate your understanding about this brief blogcation, and really hope you all enjoy the vintage-tastic array of topics I've corralled below.


September 19 ~ Day 262: Typically speaking, I am not a big fan of 1960s clothing. To me it’s the decade the ushered in the end of the era (30s-50s) in fashion that I hold nearest and dearest to my vintage loving heart, sometimes however, an item from that decade comes by which is too fabulous or beautiful to go unnoticed.

Case in point, I recently spied a strikingly lovely chocolate brown, short-sleeved, empire waist, princess seamed 1960s inspired dress that stopped me in my tracks. Channelling a distinctly (early) Mad Men secretary type vibe, this elegant, yet playful, frock (from Dress 911) is a total charmer that I would be more than gleeful to hang in my closet!


September 20 ~ Day 263: For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved seeing youthful women with grey hair. I know that sounds bizarre, but' it’s precisely the fact that grey hair is not typically associated with young women that adheres me to this combination.

Though the woman in this deeply pretty 1950s Revlon ad for their Queen of Diamonds line isn’t fresh out of high school, she’s far from retirement age either.

Her powerfully sophisticated look bubbles over with worldly confidence that seems to say “yes, I’ve greyed early, isn’t it fabulous?”.  And this sort of attitude, is, more than anything, is what I love most about younger women with grey locks, that they’re confident enough with themselves not to cover up those silver strands, preferring instead to let their grey manes shine.


September 21 ~ Day 264: One could easily be forgiven in this day and age for thinking that all pot pies came, piping hot to the table, as a pie akin to apple or pumpkin. While meat encased in a double crust (often called pate in days of yore) is a centuries old style of cooking, by its sheer definition alone, pot pie was originally cooked in a pot.

This version for just such a pie in a pot from 1933, is topped with mounds of fluffy biscuits beneath which one finds a rich stew of creamy chicken and broth.

Plainer than most modern pot pies, you could easily jazz this recipe up with any veggies you like (carrots, parsnips, onions, shallots, leeks, celery, potatoes, turnips, etc) or swap the chicken for turkey, beef or even venison. No matter how you make it though, this traditional pot pie is sure to be a great cold weather comfort food!


September 22 ~ Day 265: There are unquestionably certain colours that we associate with particular decades, and for the 1950s two of the most iconic hues have to be cheerful aquamarine and sweet, girly pink.

This charming kitchen from 1959 pairs classic aqua (in the form of cabinets) with coral hued countertops (perhaps foreshadowing the intensely saturated home decor hues that would follow in the next two decade to comes) and a coppery-pink coloured stove.

The pairing makes for a room that vibrant and impactful, but not glaringly bright or tricky to live in. It’s a fun, timeless colour combo that I’d be more than happy to have in my kitchen any day.


September 23 ~ Day 266: Can you believe it, we made it through the summer. While I know that some folks had an awesome summer, for many (in my circle at least) it was a challenging, difficult, problem ridden season that seemed to drag on longer than a foreign art film.

I, for one, am deeply elated about the fact that  fall (my favourite season) has returned, and hope to high heaven that it ushers in a season of more peace, better health, safer weather, and less stress for my family and all of yours, too.


September 24 ~ Day 267: When you think of Honda cars, the late 1940s might not be the first thing that springs to mind. It was, however, on this date in 1948 the famed Japanese motor company was founded.

Perhaps more so than any other car company (well, at least any other Japanese car company), I have a soft spot in my heart for Honda, because for many years my step-dad worked for this (now) massive multinational.

Though he’s no longer with Honda, I can’t see a Civic, Accord or Pilot without thinking of my step-dad and the role that this company had in my family’s life for a long time. Join me then, today, in wishing Honda the happiest of 63rd birthdays!


September 25 ~ Day 268: It’s probably a good thing that my modest sized apartment has, what really must be, one of the absolute smallest, narrowest linen closets of all times, because if such were not the case, I’d be massively tempted to pick up a set of these fabulously fun, cheerfully hued vintage inspired tea towels from online retailer House 8810.


September 26 ~ Day 269: In the history of early twenty-first century music, certain names stand out, and few come closer to the top of the list than American composer George Gershwin.

Tragically struck down by a brain tumour while in his thirties, during his relatively short life Gershwin produced some of the most famous and beloved orchestral works of the day, including Porgy and Bess, Rhapsody in Blue, and An American in Paris.

In honour of the fact that September 26th was George Gershwin’s birthday (he was born in 1898 and passed away in 1937), if you have a few minutes to spare, I highly encourage you to treat your ears to a marvelous vintage Victor Symphony recording (by way of Youtube) of the composer’s delightfully upbeat piece An American in Paris.


September 27 ~ Day 270: Today’s entry is the last in our series celebrating the fact that September is National Sewing Month.

I know that like myself, many of you have wished high and low that you could magically tap your heels and hop back in time to go shopping in your favourite decades. As that’s, sadly, not possible, perhaps the next best thing we can do is enjoy looking at vintage photos of our favourite yesteryear shops.

For those (who again, like yours truly) adore all things craft and sewing related, you’ll likely go weak in the knees when you peer into the storefront window of this wonderfully well stocked 1940s sewing goods shop. Pure vintage needlework and sewing daydream worthy bliss if ever there was!


September 28 ~ Day 271: For this Wednesday’s delightful vintage recipe, we’re journeying back to the early 1960s to whip up a zingy, warm, wonderful Spicy Butter Cake that is sure to be the hit of many a fall gathering.

From potlucks to Thanksgiving dessert, Halloween fetes to tea parties with your closest friends, this easy to make, fabulously fragrant vintage cake recipe is sure to be a popular winner.


September 29 ~ Day 272: I know I’m not alone when I say that it often feels like money flies right out of my pocketbook, but with this charmingly lovely vintage air mail print wallet that analogy gets taken to a whole new level.

Designed to look like a piece of old school mail (think the type that couples swapped during the war), this multi-compartment, bow bedecked, super fun wallet from UK seller Aspire Style is sure worth opening up your current (and likely considerably less adorable) wallet for! Smile


September 30 ~ Day 273: While the craze for matching one’s make-up to their skin and hair tones really hit its zenith in the 1980s (remember the Color Me Beautiful series of books? This spring-autumn definitely does! Smile), the principle behind this concept is anything but new.

In fact, one can travel all the way back to 1925 (if not earlier) and encounter examples, such as this lovely vintage complexion chart, that guided women in what shades of make-up would be most flattering to their skin and hair tones.

Even if you don’t agree with all of the make-up colours this lovely 1920s chart suggests, it’s impossible not to enjoy it’s darling illustrations and old school charm.


October 1 ~ Day 274: Oh happy day, we’ve reached the first of October (and no, I am in no way saying that sarcastically!). I’m giddy with joy over the fact that my very favourite month of the year (which houses three family birthdays, Canadian Thanksgiving, my wedding anniversary, and Halloween) is at long last back.

To mark it’s return, I wanted to share the wonderfully delightful October 1957 cover of American Weekly magazine, below, with all of you. I really hope it helps get you even more in the mood for a month – and season – of vintage splendidness.

October 2 ~ Day 275: As many of you may recall from my post about Five great places to source vintage cookbooks online earlier this year, as well as from many others here on Chronically Vintage that are devoted to vintage gastronomy, I rather adore old school cookery books.

In a melding of old-fashioned recipes and modern day technology, fellow lovers of vintage recipes will be thrilled to know that the Internet Achieve houses an array of free cookbooks online, all of which are available as ebooks. Quite of few of the titles in this collection are vintage, and amongst the lot you’ll even encounter some popular collector’s classics, like a copy of the Metropolitan Cookbook.

There are definitely oodles of great yesteryear recipes on this useful site that are bound to keep your kitchen (and dinner table) buzzing all through autumn and winter.


October 3 ~ Day 276: When one thinks of revolutionary mid-twentieth century fashion designers, few names spring to mind more quickly (or with greater merit) than the legendary Coco Chanel and her understatedly gorgeous creations.

In this wonderful seven and a half minute long compilation video pieced together from assorted vintage film clips (spanning the 1930s to 80s) of Coco herself, as well as some of her most marvelous creations, one really gets of a sense of just how, and why, Chanel was, and will always be, one of the most important designers of the era.


October 4 ~ Day 277: Have you ever seen (or walked into) a home that was so exquisitely gorgeous is quite literally took your breath away?

Whether you have or haven’t before, I strongly urge you brace yourself, because the the images in this post about Dita Von Teese’s vintage decorated house are likely to make you swoon to no end!


October 5 ~ Day 278: Given that Canadian Thanksgiving is just five days away (oh my, still so much shopping and prep to do – not that I mind, I kind of completely love cooking big holiday meals),  I though that today’s vintage recipe should be a festive one. Enter then this lovely 1947 recipe for Thanksgiving Apple Pie.

There’s nothing (such, for example, as the inclusion of pumpkin) that makes this dessert any more Thanksgiving-ish than any other autumnal apple pie, the name alone made me smile and, loving a good fruit pie as I do, I thought it would be a fantastic  first vintage recipe for October.


October 6 ~ Day 279: There was a time in my life, a few years back, when I was all but obsessed with miniature toys (namely a Japanese brand of adorable little miniatures called Re-Ment), as I went about setting up scenes, photographing, and generally dreaming about tiny toys.

While, for the time being, that phase has passed, I still greatly love and admire beautiful miniatures, and few compliations I’ve ever seen can even begin, in a million years, to hold a candle to Michael Paul Smith’s stunningly impressive collection of vintage inspired miniature model scenes.

Handcrafted with a true artist’s eye, it really takes a moment for one’s brain to wrap itself around the fact that what you’re looking at is not a full scale, real world movie set, but instead an intricately composed, deeply awesome universe of incredible model displays.


October 7 ~ Day 280: Though a legion of devoted record collectors still exist (be they fans of old or new records), as the years roll on and digital music becomes ever more prevalent in our lives, I fear that an ever increasing number of classic records (the physical records themselves, I mean not, per se, the music on them) will be lost to the hands of time.

If you’re one of those folks who loves to collect records, but has wondered how best to display your favourites, you need worry no long longer. The fine folks over at Urban Outfitters are now selling a classic black photo frame designed specific to house record sleeves.

With the help of this clever album frame, you can now pick any number of your most cherished albums to display on the wall, their covers standing out as the superb works of vintage art that they rightfully are for all to see.


October 8 ~ Day 281: In the world of autumn desserts and sweet treats, there are some rather fabulous entries that make picking just one favourite next to impossible. Pushing aside pumpkin pie though, if I really and truly had to pick my most beloved fall treat, I think it might just be caramel apples.

While you can definitely make caramel for your festive treats from scratch, the ease and convenience of using good quality store bought caramels is hard to beat. Perhaps the most classic of all ready-to-melt (or eat straight from the bag!) caramels are those produced by Kraft.

Kraft caramels have been an autumn time institution for generations now, stretching back to the 1950s (as this fun vintage Kraft ad shows), if not earlier (if so, does anyone know how early?), and can provide the instant blanket of sugary goodness you need to drape your apples on a stick in, Halloween after sugary treat filled Halloween.


October 9 ~ Day 282: To wrap up this three week selection of vintage topics, I thought it would be lovely to end on a particularly heartwarming note in the form of this beautiful colour photograph from 1940 that shows a young mother and her daughter working together to roll a ball of yarn for their knitting projects.

Homey and endearingly sweet, this still wonderfully vibrant vintage photo is sure to make you smile (weather you’re a knitter or not) ear-to-ear.

♥ ♥ ♥


Thank you all deeply for your understanding, as well as for your terrific support of the Vintage 365 project and Chronically Vintage in general. I will miss you all a great deal, and wholeheartedly look forward to sharing oodles of new posts with you again in three weeks.

Be well, sweet friends, and know that I'm sending out scores of wishes to you all for a marvellously amazing, completely gorgeous start of autumn!


  1. Hi Jessica,
    I am having challenges posting comments to your blog from my tablet while I am away from home, but I did try to leave you a message on yesterday's post saying that I am amazed at your ability to keep up this amazing 365 day project. Please get plentiy of rest and recuperation and I'll look forward to seeing you when you gome back. In the meantime, I will enjoy your daily posts, thanks so much for all that you share. As you already know, I love each and every one of your posts.
    Take care,

  2. Of course we understand dear!

    I love the 20s complexion chart and remember Color Me Beautiful very well.

    Get plenty of rest and I'll virtually chat with you soon!

  3. Oh Jessica, I have enjoyed reading your blog an hope that you will feel rejuvenated soon. Your faithful readers will be waiting for you!! Take care!

  4. Thank you for this lovely series of posts which will be sure to provide much vintage inspiration and entertainment during you hiatus :)
    I hope that you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated next time you're blogging :) Take care of yourself dear!

  5. What a great blog...look forward to future postings after you blogcation!