October 31, 2011

Let's do the mash, the monster mash!

Day 304 of Vintage 365


It's finally here, sweet boos and ghouls, Halloween has arrived and I'm buzzing with more excitement than if I'd eaten a whole pillow case full of candy!

We've had a marvelous past two weeks counting down to this day with vintage Halloween themed posts, and I want to wrap our spooktacular celebration up with one more entry all about a fabulously fun song that's long been a favourite of mine.

There are a number of iconic Halloween songs, from hair-raising classics like Thriller to catchy novelty tunes like Purple People Eater from the 50s, but amongst them all I really do believe that Bobby "Boris" Picket's 1962's Monster Mash (be sure to watch the music video below of this timelessly enjoyable song) is my very favourite. It's completely silly, wonderfully upbeat, and awesomely suited to All Hallows Eve.


I remember getting into the car after school when I was six or seven years old, the sparkle of end-of-October sunlight dancing off the slightly dusty car window, as this song came on, with its sound of heavy metal chains rattling, it instantly upped my excitement level for the impending evening about a million percent.

Chances are that wasn't the first time I'd heard Monster Mash, but it's the first I clearly recall and to this day, there's still no other tune that so easily light up my eyes with anticipation over the events of this most exciting, playfully frightening, and marvellously fun of days!

Whether it's donning a costume, carving pumpkins, throwing a party, trick-or-treating with your kids, or curling up with a scary movie, I hope that you all all have an incredibly great Halloween today that's - as my favourite October 31st song says - a real graveyard smash! Smile

October 30, 2011

Remembering painted Halloween storefront windows

Day 303 of Vintage 365


In countless ways the world is always moving forward. As part of this process, which has been the pattern of life since the dawn of time, certain things that were once commonplace start to fade away, further and further into our memories - or at least appearing less commonly in the course of our lives. Some vanish entirely, and others simply become harder to track down.

A few days ago while pursing Flickr for some more vintage Halloween inspiration, I chanced upon a photograph from the 1950s that instantly made me stop and reflect upon the fact that it has been years (well over a decade) since the last time I saw a storefront window painted up for Halloween.

Now granted I live in a big city (Toronto) these days, but nevertheless, I've gone past my fair share of storefronts during October each year, and while some put out fun, festive displays (e.g., mannequins with scary masks, clothing in shades of only orange and black), rack my brain as I may, I simply cannot remember seeing a window that had been painted for Halloween since I was about fifteen or sixteen (growing up in a moderate sized town in British Columbia).

In the image below we see three youngsters who have paused to admire a pair of painted windows. One of the girls points to the smiling moon face that looks down upon a delightfully spooky scene of black cats, leaf-less trees, eerie ghosts, and frightful black bats, and her friends’ gaze follows her outstretched arm.

{Wonderful vintage photo of a painted Halloween storefront window via fluffy chetworth on Flickr.}


I smiled ear-to-ear when I saw this photograph. I transported me back in time to my childhood in the 80s and 90s, when local businesses on main street routinely painted their windows for All Hallows Eve (not to mention Christmas and Easter, too).

Sometimes a professional window painter (I'd venture to guess not too many of those still exist any more) would be brought in to do the job; alternatively some shop owners who an interest in art would adorn their storefronts themselves. Other times still stores would let local school kids have a crack at painting murals on their windows.

If I had to take a guess at who painted the Halloween scene in this lovely vintage photo, I'd veer towards either kids or the shop's owner. There's something extra endearing about the fact that the artwork here doesn't look like it was lifted straight from a Madison Avenue art agency. It has a playful, relatable quality that makes it so sweet, fun, and easy to imagine oneself having created.

While I'm sure some businesses (particularly small town and mom and pop ones) are still holding onto the tradition of painting their windows for Halloween (and other holidays), I get the feeling that this classic art is one of those elements of society that will (sadly) continue to become harder and harder to find as time rolls onward.

Luckily however, we have images like this one from the 1950s to invoke nostalgia in those of us who grew up with painted Halloween storefront windows, and show others who didn't one of the most charming public ways of celebrating Halloween that has ever existed.

October 29, 2011

Special Halloween edition of Hey, it's OK!

Day 302 of Vintage 365

Earlier this year I wrote the first in what is to be an ongoing, occasionally occurring, series of posts called Hey, it's OK, modeled after a similar style of post that appears regularly in Glamour magazine.

More so, than perhaps any other post I've ever written for Chronically Vintage, I received private emails from people either relating personal stories that tied into what I said in that post or simply letting me know that they really enjoyed the idea of being told that things were "OK" for a change.

I strongly believe that most of all heap far too much unnecessary judgement on ourselves and fall pry to undo stress over what others may thing of us, so I can see can completely see why that post resonated so deeply with others.

I'm all about positive thinking and cutting yourself a much needed break, so in carrying on that spirit, yet also factoring in our delightful countdown to October 31st, today's post is a special Halloween themed edition of "Hey, it's OK", which I hope you'll enjoy and feel extra positive about yourself after reading.

...to completely adore making, not buying, your own costume every year.

...to love picking out the perfect Halloween pumpkins, but then much prefer to watch others carve them.

...to start planning your Halloween party in July.

...to be so excited the night before Halloween you can hardly sleep!

...to have no desire to wear a costume (be it nurse, cat, devil, police officer, or whatever) that looks like it would scarcely be big enough to fit your five year old niece.

...to stuff yourself silly on on caramel apples, kettle corn, iced sugar cookies, and mountains of candy all day on the 31st, without the slightest twinge of regret the next day.

...to have so many Halloween decorations you need to store them in multiple spots throughout the house.

...to delight in watching, and knowing every word of, It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, each year.

...to still secretly fight the urge, tooth and nail, to go out trick-or-treating every year!

...to start counting down to next Halloween the moment the clock strikes 12:00am on November 1st.

{This All Hallows Eve, remember to cut loose, channel your childhood, and have a festive blast! Vintage Halloween postcard image via About.com.}

During the holidays, perhaps more than most other times of the year, it's important to try not to add to our personal stress loads. To cut ourselves a break and try to focus on the joyful spirit of the day.

Halloween isn't Christmas, New Year's or Easter. You don't need to cook a huge feast, worry about sending out tons of cards or buying countless gifts, it's a night of merriment and delight, when we get to reconnect with our youth and celebrate the timeless fun of jack-o-lanterns, scary movies, spooky costumes, miniature chocolate bars, and things that go bump in the night! Smile

October 28, 2011

Green Ghost: my favourite vintage board game ever!

Day 301 of Vintage 365 ✯

It's interesting, you know, as I sit here and reflect back on this topic as an adult, to think about the items that my parents kept from their own childhoods. Honestly, the number isn't that huge, but in all fairness, I don't exactly have a room full of things from youth either. There were a few toys, a large record collection, the odd photograph and a few knickknack, and one board game that enthralled me as a little girl like nothing else.

The name of that game was Green Ghost, and though it's been many, many years since I last played it (as far as I know, it didn't make the cut during one the moves my family made when I was growing up). I can still remember it with stark clarity, and it is impossible for Halloween season to arrive without memories of playing this awesome game - always sitting on the cold tiles of our basement floor, often with the lights dimmed low - as a youngster.

First created in 1965, Green Ghost was a relatively popular board game throughout the 60s and early 70s that tied into both the campy horror movie genre of 50s and 60s, as well the popularity of spooky sitcoms like The Munsters and The Addams Family. Though it wasn't based on a particular TV show, film, or classic scary story, its main character (a large green ghost) vaguely resembled The Blob.

Beyond its playfully spooky appeal, what makes Green Ghost standout is the fact that it was one of (if not, the) first game that featured glow-in-the-dark pieces and which was therefore intended to be played with the lights off.

Featuring a good sized playing board (made of luminous plastic) with a multitude of 3D game pieces, all of which come together to create an eerie ghost town, the premise of Green Ghost was for the large green specter figure to track down twelve little ghostie children, one of which was his own child, Kelly (whichever players finds Kelly after a series of spins on game spinner and other moves is the winner).

It was, by no means, a hard or complicated game, and it wasn't one that needed to be in any regard. Most of the thrill of Green Ghost game from the fact that you got to play a board game in the dark (or near dark) that glowed eerily and included a ton of fun little pieces (the player identification pieces included a vulture, cat, bat, and rat), a rather cute lime green spirit, and a haunted, completely Halloween worthy landscape.

{Green Ghost shown with all of its spooky, delightfully fun game pieces, remains my all-time favourite vintage board game, thanks to the childhood memories and Halloween ties it houses for me. Image via J.Y. Corporation.}

Though a 30th anniversary edition of Green Ghost (pictured above) was issued in the 1990s (it's nearly identical to the original), for all intents this classic 1960s game has been off the market for decades now. These days, those who are hoping to track down a copy are wise to check garage sales, thrift stores, and eBay.

While it certainly never rose to the same degree of popularity as board games like Clue, Life, or Monopoly, through the internet I've discovered that I'm certainly not the only Green Ghost fan still out there.

In fact a complete vintage Green Ghost game from the sixties with all of its little pieces can run you a hundred dollars or more on eBay (it's common to see people selling incomplete games, which can sometimes be had for lower prices, as it was quite tricky to not lose at least a few of the tiny plastic pieces over the years). Given its high price tag, it means that a copy of Green Ghost remains firmly planted on my vintage wish list.

It's been nearly two decades since I last flicked off the lights and sat down to a spirited round of Green Ghost. Yet it's impossible for Halloween season to arrive without me thinking about the good times I had as youngster, when I spent many an evening in the company of a glow-in-the-dark green ghost and his illuminated, haunted make-believe world. Fond, fun memories for sure!

October 27, 2011

Beautifully autumn worthy 1940s Revlon make-up

Day 300 of Vintage 365


When one thinks of the words "Halloween make-up", any number of images, from cute little faces done up with mother's cosmetics to the hair raising work of horror movie make-up artistes spring to mind.

I think back to that thick, inexpensive drug store make-up in stark shades of snow white, lime green, and tomato red that we used as kids. I also recall Halloween eve's spent sitting on the counter sink as my mom drew pointy eyebrows on my face with her eyeliner, then covered my lips liberally in her darkest shade of lipstick, in order to turn me into whatever spooky trick-or-treat character I wanted to be that year.

In fact, I think that for a lot of us girls, it was Halloween night that we first became acquainted with many of the seemingly magical tubes, vials, bottles, and containers of make-up that adult women reached for every day.

And come the end of the evening, when, with full pillow cases and slightly smeared faces, we returned home, it was back to the bathroom or our mom’s vanity table we were whisked, to have our Halloween faces scrubbed off with copious amounts of cold cream.

There was something exciting and comfortingly ritualistic about this yearly tradition, so it comes as no surprise to me then that I still make a point of wearing special make-up each Halloween.

Sometimes I'll "paint" my face to go with a given costume, or other times, when I'm just donning black and orange for a night spent at home handing out sweets, I'll give my beloved, daily 1950s inspired make-up a decidedly goth feel, channelling shades of deep grey, inky black, and mossy green; the deepest of merlot wine hues slicked over my lips.

And yet, there are also those occasions when one wants a softer look, something in the peach, pink and cheerful red family. Especially if your costume or Halloween night ensemble is more sweet than spooky.

If such is the case, they you may find the chic 1940s ad below, with it's glistening pumpkin and autumnal colours, provides you with just the right dose of inspiration.

{Strikingly elegant, completely Halloween worthy 1940s Revlon cosmetics ad via curly-wurly on Flickr.}


I adore the warm palette here, in shades of apricot, rust, bronze, and shimmering gold. The make-up itself is classy and gorgeous. Youthful, feminine, and fitting for practically any occasion. (Her sophisticated updo is fantastic, too! If only I had a fraction of the thickness of hair needed to successfully pull that look off!)

So whether you'll be reaching for gobs of grease paint this year, or just a whisper of pumpkin hued lipstick and nail polish, be sure to celebrate Halloween by doing something out of the ordinary with your make-up. After all, if you can't paint your face on All Hallows Eve, when can you?! Smile

October 26, 2011

A wonderful selection of 1950s Halloween recipes

Day 299 of Vintage 365


In yesterday's post we chatted about Halloween decorations, which are certainly one very important component of a good holiday party (be it for twenty-five friends, or a more intimate gathering with the family members under your own roof). Today we're going to take a peak at selection of charming vintage Halloween recipes that can further help bolster your festive fete.

The (starry night) sky is the limit when it comes to how creative you want to be with your Halloween food. You can span the spectrum from sweet little frosted pumpkin shaped sugar cookies to dark, soot black bowls of squid ink pasta for grown-up dinner parties (or those youngsters in your midst with more adventurous palates).

I find that each year I'm struck by the desire to both reach for tried-and-true standards (caramel corn, candy apples, pumpkin pie), while also trying out new Halloween recipes (or at least giving classic foods a spookier twist). One of my favourites, year after year, that harkens back to my childhood, is to homemade pizza made with jack-o-lantern faces.

Over the years I've gone swank (taking my cue from Martha Stewart and serving an all black and orange cheese and wine party) to silly (everyone has to set out a dish of "monster's eyes" - aka, peeled grapes - at least one in their lives!). Usually, particularly not having kids of my own to entertain yet, my Halloween menu (be it for a party, a few friends, of just the mister and I) falls somewhere in the middle.

It's a blend of favourites like almond tipped witch's finger cookies and sage infused creamy pumpkin and apple soup. Fragrant black licorice cupcakes to warm, salted roasted pumpkin seeds.

Naturally, I'm always on the prowl to add new (or should I say, "old") vintage Halloween recipes to my repertoire, as I know many of you are, too.

That's why today's vintage recipe post isn't focused on just one dish, instead it's a collection of two charming vintage cookbook pages (which come by way of thepeachmartini on Flickr) that include a great assortment of fun, completely child-friendly Halloween recipes from the 1950s.


These pages feature some of the most beloved Halloween recipes of all time, like caramel apples and hot spiced cider, as well as other less common ones (like pumpkin ice cream) that I'm eager to make  over the next few days.

All of these delicious 1950s recipes are easy-peasy and relatively inexpensive, meaning they can be whipped up with just a few ingredients (most which you likely have on hand already) and a hour or two at most (only the ice cream takes longer than that before it’s ready to serve).

I hope that this October 31st, whatever kind of menu you're planning, you're able to indulge in many of your favourite Halloween foods and also try out a new recipe or two as well, like the enjoyable vintage ones here.

October 25, 2011

Are your Halloween decorations up yet?

Day 298 of Vintage 365


Counting today itself, there are are just seven days to go until we land on October 31st. I don't know about you, but that has me giddier than a ghost at a buy one, get one free sale on heavy chains!

Though I opted not to mention it at the time, earlier this month I was very ill for a few days, so as a result it took me a longer than it has most years to decorate my home for Halloween.

Luckily, though I'm still feeling the aftershocks of those rough days, I was gradually able to deck my halls with pumpkins and witches, scarecrows and monsters of all sorts am now completely ready (sans donning my costume and pouring treats into the Halloween pirates treasure chest candy serving container that I use each year) for October 31st.

I love decorating our little apartment for All Hallows Eve - in fact, I love decorating any house or locations (school gym, public library, etc) for this most spooktacular of holidays. So you can image my delight when I recently came across the marvelous forties photo below of a group of lovely ladies adorning a room for Halloween.

{Marvelous vintage photo of a decorating committee getting ready for a Halloween party via dragonflydesignstudio on Flickr.}


The person who posted this great image on Flickr didn't provide any background information for it, and I don't recognize any of the women in it as being famous faces (do you?), so I'd venture to say that this was a group of "every day gals" who were part of a decorating committee (perhaps for a ladies auxiliary or PTA).

I adore that in this vintage photo we not only see an array of causal daytime fashions and hairstyles, but also get to observe some charming Halloween decorations from the era, including illustrated wall hanging and festive garlands.

If you haven't had a chance to decorate your own surroundings, and are planning to this year, for Halloween, I hope that this absolutely wonderful 1940s photo will help give you that extra little push of encouragement you may need to get started, as I certainly did the trick (or treat) for me! Smile

October 24, 2011

They’re creepy and they're kooky, mysterious and spooky

Day 297 of Vintage 365

Though I've really been feeling softer hues and highly elegant Halloween elements this month, as October 31st draws ever more delightfully near, I can't help but yearn for a bit of spooky, dark fright night fun, too.

A marriage of both of those (masked) faces of Halloween lands you somewhere in the territory of glam goth, which in a roundabout way is where my creative inspiration stems from as we count down the last week until October 31st.

Though many of us think of the Addams family as being tied to either the classic television show of the 1960s or the movies that followed later in 90s, the creation of this much loved clan of morbid characters stretches back considerably farther, all the way until 1938 in fact.

Dreamed up by an American cartoonist by the name of Charles Samuel Addams, the Addams Family first appeared in a long running series of single panel cartons that appeared in the New Yorker magazine (between 1938 and 1988, when Charles Addams passed away), before making their way in the sixties to TV screens around the world.

I think it's safe to say that unless one has been living under a rock (or in this case, perhaps a tombstone), you're familiar with the Addams Family.

You know the cast - kooky Gomez, enchanting Morticia, odd-ball Uncle Fester, tenacious young Pugsley, goth-before-it-was-cool-to-be-goth Wednesday, venerable Grandmama with her somewhat cynical sense of humour, lumbering butler Lurch, the furry rapscallion called Cousin Itt, and of course, that most unique of disembodied hands, Thing – and you likely have a favourite or two.

Hands down (or would that be Things down in this case? Smile), Morticia was always my favourite of the Addams family members. However, it was the eccentric, endearing antics of the whole family that really made me a fan of this classic spooky family.

Well, that and the fact that they seemed to perpetually live in a Halloween world filled 24/7, which struck me as too incredibly awesome for words to me when I was a little girl (who grew up both watching reruns of the black and white TV show from the 60s and the spirited movies in the 90s).

I always adored the fact that the Addams family members were portrayed as being virtually oblivious to the fact that they struck the rest of the world (especially those neighbours whose houses shared a street with the family's fabulous Victorian mansion) as being bizarre, eerie, and off-beat.

The various Addams relatives may have come across as ghoulish at first glance, but in reality they weren't terrifying, dangerous or evil in the slightest.

As the classic Addams Family theme song (seen in the Youtube clip above) for their TV show said, They’re creepy and they're kooky, mysterious and spooky, they're altogether ooky.

The Addams family captures the wonderful old fashioned fun of Halloween, with a peppering of the (playful) macabre thrown in for good measure. And that, my dear friends, is precisely the vibe I'm challenging this week in the lead up to my favourite holiday of the year!

October 23, 2011

Can you guess what decade this autumn hued home is from?

Day 296 of Vintage 365

{Image via my Vintage Home Decor Pinterest board; originally sourced from American Vintage Home on Flickr.}


It sports a palette of earthy, autumnal hues in shades of woodsy brown, rusty orange, concrete grey, and faded buttercup. Has plenty of blond wood, an unfussy sofa, and includes a bold square pattern fabric in the form of curtains and upholstered chairs. All of these elements working together to channel a sense of the late 1960s

The mood, helped no doubt by the large living room lamp with its eye-catching tangerine hued shade, is warm and mellow - you can almost envision a fondue pot or raclette being carried to the relatively small dining room table any moment now. Surely this room, you're naturally thinking, must be from the 70s.

It's not however, nor is it from the sixties. Though the hues, clean lines and mid-century furniture might have you thinking you're ready for anything from Woodstock to Studio 54, yet fans decades prior to those will be delighted to know that, in fact, this unique (for the period) home hails from 1953.

Indeed, many years before a palette that seemed to partially have its dial tuned to fall time took home decor by storm, this house - complete with dark orange ceilings and kitschy little knickknack shelves in the dining room - foresaw the colour trend that was coming (and which would last for a good part of two decades).

Yet, as one looks really closely, you can sense somehow that it's not a house from the 60s or 70s. There's something, a subtle vibe that's redolent of an earlier era, that lets viewers know they're dealing with the 1950s.

It's little touches like the hanging copper lamp, thick (indoor!) wood shutters, and built-in bookcases that speak of the fifties and the remains of more classic American style that still lingered during the decade.

Though I'm much more of a fan of the pastel and candy hues of the fifties (pink, aqua, mint green, and soft lemon, for example), I found myself instantly and completely drawn to this distinct home. Given how wonderfully suited its colours are to fall and certainly Halloween, too, and that we're knee-deep in October, I tend to think that the time of the year is why such is the case.

Or perhaps, I simply enjoyed the fact that such an unexpected marriage of hues popped up in a house well before the wild days of the 1960s and 70s had even come close to starting.

After all, once a 1950s home decor lover, always a 1950s home decor lover! Smile

October 22, 2011

Popular Halloween candies from decades past

Day 295 of Vintage 365


Just as cookies are to Christmas and eggs are to Easter, candy is part and parcel to the Halloween season. Even if one hasn't donned a costume to go parade around the neighborhood at night in decades, most of us still like to indulge our sweet tooth at this time of year with more sweets than you a shake a broomstick at a few of our favourite candies.

Though I certainly enjoyed my fair share of 80s and 90s era candies when I was growing up (and to this day, I'm not about to turn down a Ring Pop!), I've always (even as a child) had a fondness for classic candies, especially caramels, chocolate covered nuts, and gummi bears (which, fascinatingly, have been around since the 1920s).

I also adorned receiving little packets of sunflower seeds, pumpkins and peanuts amongst the sweets in my plastic pumpkin, but those weren't technically sugary delights of the soft this post is focuses on.

With Halloween less than ten days away, I thought it would be fun to take a quick peak at some of the most popular candies from the decades that many of us hold nearest and dearest to our hearts. These are sweets that either emerged on the scene during the respective decades they're listed in, or which were highly popular at the time.


Popular Halloween candies from decades past


-Abba-Zabba Bars

-Almond Roca

-Baby Ruth candy bars

-Bridge Mix

-Flake bars (well worth hunting down on this side of the Atlantic if you can, they partner especially nicely with vanilla ice cream)


-Mounds bars (akin to Bounty chocolate bars for those outside of the States)

-Oh Henry! bars


-Zero candy bars


-3 Musketeers bars

-Boston Baked Beans (the candy; the classic legume dish has been around much longer)

-Candy Buttons


-Kit Kat bars

-Mallow Cups

-Nestlé Crunch bars

-Red Hots

-Snickers bars

-Tootsie Pops


-Bazooka chewing gum

-Dots candy

-Jolly Ranchers

-Junior Mints

-Licorice Pipes


-Mike and Ikes

-Red Vines (red licorice candy)

-Whoppers (the chocolate malted milk candy, not the Burger King hamburger of the same name)

-York Peppermint Patties


-Atomic Fireballs

-Bubble gum and chocolate cigarettes

-Candy necklaces

-Chuckles jelly candy

-Heath Bars

-Hot Tamales

-Nik-L-Nip wax bottles


-Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

-Thin Mints

{A festively fantastic 1950s ad for Curtiss brand products, which shows a selection of the treats - such as Butterfingers, Baby Ruth bars, and Saf-T-Pops - that they offered Halloween candy buyers in the 1950s. Image via bluwmongoose on Flickr.}


In putting together the list above, I intentionally tried to go with products that are still available today. Some are household names (M&Ms, Jolly Ranchers, and Kit Kat bars, for example), where as others are a bit less famous, but  still clearly well loved if they continue to be produced (much to the delight of vintage candy fans everywhere!) to this day.

Sites such as Candy Favourites, Groovy Candies, and Old Time Candy specialize in stocking retro and vintage candy classics, including most of those listed above (which is awesome if you’ve got a particular craving, want to share some of your childhood faves with your kids, or host a vintage themed Halloween party).

Though long gone are the evenings spent pouring over and sorting a pillow case of trick-or-treat loot, and much as I must watch what I eat very carefully due to my health, not a single Halloween goes by that I don't make and/or buy a few of the sweetest vintage treats that I loved as youngster and still adore every bit as much today.

What is your favourite, past or present, Halloween candy - and will you be sinking your teeth into it this year?

October 21, 2011

I adore the Vintage Halloween Flickr group

Day 294 of Vintage 365


As those who follow this blog with any regularity have likely picked up on already, I'm a huge fan of both Flickr itself as a whole, and Flickr groups (which, by the by, there is a maximum limit of 5,000 that any one Flickr user can belong to at once - don't ask how I know that fact from personal experience).

There's a Flickr group for darn near anything under the sun, and if there's not (and you're a Flickr member), you can always start one yourself (as I did earlier this year with my Vintage Canada group).

Given the large number of folks, like myself and many of you reading this right now, who love all things vintage and Halloween related, it's no surprise then that a well established Flickr group already exists devoted to this winning combination.

{Images via: 1. 1920's Halloween, 2. "Be Good to Your Goblins!", 3. Ann Ruth Halloween, 4. Kitty Halloween, 5. Golden Halloween, 6. 1950's Charles Dye Halloween Calendar Top, 7. Bag of Goodies for Spooks, 8. 1920's Halloween, 9. Don't choke on the pipe, 10. 1940's Halloween Pin-up, 11. Halloween mobile, 12. 1920's Halloween Costumes, 13. Nan Grey}


The Vintage Halloween Flickr group is a treasure trove of thoroughly delightful, festive, down right interesting images (a handful of which you can see in the mosaic above) that are sure to entertain and fascinate lovers of the past and fans of October 31st alike.

Given that I know so many of you are massive Halloween enthusiasts, too, before the big day (and trick-or-treat filled night!) itself arrived, I wanted to let you all know about this fabulous group, which (witch), naturally, I'm a longstanding member of! Smile

October 20, 2011

On the first day of vintage Halloween...

Day 293 of Vintage 365


Chronically Vintage started a twelve day series of vintage Halloween related posts! Smile

Though technically the Twelve Days of Christmas refers to a dozen days that begin with the 25th of December and end on January 5th (the day before Epiphany), many of us think of this countdown as leading up to Christmas Day itself (I know I certainly do). Thus, in that spirit, I thought it would oodles of fun to mark the coming twelve days until the 31st with posts devoted to Halloween.

While each day won't feature a set number of items (two grinning Jack-o-lanterns or seven scarecrows scaring, for example), it will play host to a different Halloween topic, each of which I hope will help fuel the fires of your excitement over October 31st.

An image that recently stoked my flames and had me swooning something fierce is the one below featuring a very tiny-waisted 1950s woman in a marvellously festive spider web print circle skirt - complete with spooky arachnid and its soon to be (fly) victim!

{Vintage photo of a beautifully stylish 1950s woman sporting a spider web adorned skirt via Starlet Showcase.}


Now, given that the blog that I found this great vintage shot on didn't feature any background information on it, I do not know where this photo hailed from originally. Thus, I can't say for certain that it was even intended solely for Halloween.

Skirt circles (also known, if they featured an applique or stitched image on them, as poodle skirts) with whimsical images of all kinds were highly popular during the 1950s, so it's not beyond the realm of possibility that this skirt was intended for year-round wear.

Regardless of if it was sported twelve months a year or just in October, there's no denying that it's almost frightening (especially for those like me with arachnophobia) spider and web motif is immensely well suited to Halloween.

I'd love to come across a skirt like this online or at a vintage clothing store, or (and this seems more likely) make a similar version myself to be worn on those Halloweens when I was in the mood to be more chic than macabre.

I hope that this wonderfully pretty fifties look, with it's Halloween overtones, has helped put you even more in the mood for the 31st, and that you'll really enjoy the next eleven instalments of this series of vintage Halloween blog posts.

October 19, 2011

Awesomely festive 1950s Coconut Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

Day 292 of Vintage 365


With less than two weeks to go until All Hallows Eve, it's all I can do to contain my excitement. There's no holiday I look forward to - or get more eager about - than Halloween!

Decorations long out, spooky movies already in heavy rotation (vintage and light-hearted ones, I'm not a fan of modern day slasher and horror films, but I'll certainly take Boris Karloff or Bela Lugosi any day!), Thanksgiving now behind us (those of us north of the 49th, that is), it's time to turn my thoughts to fantastically festive foods to make in the days leading up to - and very much including on - October 31st.

Naturally given their longstanding association with Halloween, few foods better lend themselves to this spooky, fun filled day than pumpkins.

I’m wild for the taste of pumpkin in pretty much any recipe, from soups to muffins, pureed and stirred into hot cereals or even in the sweet form of pumpkin ice cream. Not only do I love the flesh, but I adore eating pumpkin seeds, freshly roasted and squeezed out of this sinewy ivory hued shells as a well earned reward for a day spent carving jack-o-lanterns.

Just as pumpkin is a complete natural for this gorgeously autumnal time of the year, so do are all things sweet! From caramel apples to tiny foil wrapped chocolate bars gathered in a pillow sack, October is the month that just begs to be dipped in chocolate and savoured!

Pairing sweet with pumpkin in the vintage cooking arena, one comes across today's delightful recipe from 1951 for Coconut Pumpkin Chiffon Pie.

Billed in the original Baker's Coconut ad it appeared in as being a "Cloud O' Pumpkin", this silky, fragrant, delectable recipe is nearly cloudlike, thanks to the fact that it's a chiffon pie (making it a good choice after a hearty, stick-to-your-ribs comfort food meal of the sort fall time is naturally chocked full of).

{This frighteningly delicious vintage recipe for Coconut Pumpkin Chiffon Pie would make a most welcome addition to any Halloween or Thanksgiving Day spread. Image via curly-wurly on Flickr. Click here for a larger version of this great 50s recipe.}


The inclusion of nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon - not to mention the coconut itself – insures that as this creamy, rust hued pie cooks, your whole home smells so intoxicatingly fabulous it'll be all you can do not to stick a form in a steal a bite or two while the pie is still cooking!

If you're serving this pie as party fare, you could always duplicate or multiple the recipe as needed and turn it into tiny coconut pumpkin chiffon tarts, if you wanted (another option would be apply the same winning combination of flavours to your favourite plain/vanilla cupcake base, topping the tiny cake with spiced buttercream frosting and a hefty sprinkling of toasted coconut).

Beautifully yummy whether eaten piping hot, room temperature or chilled, this wonderful pumpkin dessert takes a 1950s classic (chiffon pie) and turns it into a truly timeless recipe that will see you through a lifetime of autumn and Halloween meals! Smile

October 18, 2011

A charmingly fun trio of vintage image adorned votive holders

Day 291 of Vintage 365


This, no doubt, makes me the odd (wo)man out, but I like - at least for a good portion of the colder months - the fact that the sun sets earlier and rises later.

The dark of evening and I long acquainted friends (as you may recall from my Summer nights, how I love thee post this past August), and I rather enjoy the fact that by the time my supper is on the table, the view outside has turned pitch black.

There’s something wonderfully lovely about a dark world set against the warmth one creates in their home with cozy sweaters, steaming hot bowls of hearty soup, roaring fireplaces (if, in this day and age, you should be so lucky as to have one), and thick knit blankets. This cocoon of comfort is a beautiful, nearly intrinsic feeling that soothes and inspires, mellows and yet equally uplifts the soul.

I rarely burn candles indoors during the summer months, but as the mercury begins to take a nose dive - perhaps channelling a glowing jack-o-lantern vibe - I find myself drawn once more to the rich amber light that candles cast against the murky jet hues of evening.

Having a very curious cat frolicking about the apartment, it's mandatory that I keep my candles protected to as much of an extent as they can be, to help prevent an eager tail or curious paw knocking over, say, a tall, slender tapper.

Instead, these days, I usually opt for squat pillars and smaller votive and tea lights that can be housed safely in holder and cups, such as the whimsically charming set of Modern Vintage Candle Holders below.


Though modern in the sense of being recently manufactured, this eye-catching three piece votive holder set (which retails for $9.00 from Plasticland) sports a delightful trio of vintage images of - playfully - items that cast light themselves (an Edison light bulb, gas lantern, and decorative electric lamp).

The simple, yet chic, nature of these vintage illustrations lends itself splendidly to many types of decor - even that of Halloween display or dinner party table.

As the days grow ever shorter, I could definitely see myself (as Ms. Kitty watches on in inquisitive amusement) using these charmingly fun votive holders all through the dark and stormy nights of fall and winter.

In turn adding a generous dose more of that aforementioned tranquil warmth to the indoor world via the timeless beauty of flickering candlelight.

October 17, 2011

Five tips for getting the most out of Pinterest

✯ Day 290 of Vintage 365 ✯

As some of you may recall from this post last month, like many of us, I've become heavily enamoured with the online inspiration board making (and bookmarking) site Pinterest (if you missed my previous post and aren't sure what all this Pinterest jazz is, be sure to give it a read, as  it explains the fundamentals of this delightful website).

I've been using Pinterest for about a couple of months now, often pinning (adding new images I want to save to my inspirations boards) on a daily basis. I usually try and squeeze in a spot of Pinterest time in the evening, sort of like a well-earned reward for getting through the various demands and "must do" tasks of the day.

{A screenshot, taken yesterday evening, of my Pinterest homepage, showing a small selection of the many diversely themed boards I have on the go there.}

Having navigated the waters of this fabulous site (which is incredibly straightforward and super fun to use) for a while now, I've personally discovered a few simple tips that have made my Pinterest experience a better, more pleasant one.

These handy suggests are far from being state secrets by any means, they're just five things that I've picked up along the pinning path and thought all my fellow vintage loving Pinterest users might enjoy, too.

Five great Pinterest tips

1.) Quickly find out who's been pinning images from your website or blog. We're all curious to know who's pinning the images we include in our posts, so to find out which images from your site have made it onto Pinterest so far, simply use the following URL http://pinterest.com/source/whatever url you want/, changing the "whatever url you want" part (which I text I just made up for this example) to the domain of the site you're interest in seeing all the pinned images for. In the case of Chronically Vintage, what you'd type in the browser bar is http://pinterest.com/source/chronicallyvintage.com/.

You can do this for any website or blog, and if images have been pinned to Pinterest from it, you can see them all on one handy-dandy page. So cool and useful!

2.) You can never be too thorough or have to many boards. I'm sort of an organizational perfectionist. I'm one of those people who organizes my closet by garment, then style, then by colour for each of those categories. I have all of the batteries in my house organized in to labeled zip-lock bags (AAA, AA, D, etc) that are housed inside one big zip-lock bag. I have on occasion even started tidying up and lightly organizing  the messy shelves of stores I was shopping in (messy stores drive me nuts!).

As such  it's a safe bet to say that I'm not one of those people who cannot get by with just five or six broad topic Pinterest boards. Luckily there's no limit to the number of boards you can add, so I highly encourage new (and existing) Pinterest users to think about how precisely detailed you'd like your boards to be.

When I first started pinning I created a generic board for all of the food related images I wanted to save. However, as food images are amongst my favourite to pin, I quickly amassed well over 900 food pins alone! I knew that going back through all of them to find and/or share something again might get tricky, so I took a weekend and spent a few hours creating many different food boards, each devoted to one type or category of food.

Having made those boards (and here's where the time consuming part comes in), I then went through manually moved every single one of those 900+ pins onto the new board where it fit best. While not hard task at all, it did eat up (pun intended) several hours and was something that I could have avoided had I created a more diverse group of food related boards from the get-go (or at least much earlier on).

So my tip here is to give consideration to how many pins you think you might add to a given board over time. If that number is small, it be fine to have one generic board per category or topic, but if you think the number of pins will climb well into the hundreds or even thousands, consider creating more than one board for a topic (for example, instead of a generic "vintage" board, you might want to create boards for the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, or maybe by topic instead of decade, so you'd have boards like "vintage fashion", "vintage holidays', and "vintage ads").

Doing so can truly make searching back through your pinned images much faster and easier - and save you the hassle of having to reorganize hundreds (or more) pins later on.

3.) Take a few seconds to add keywords to the images you pin. Pinterest is all about helping inspire one another with the things we deem important/funny/helpful/meaningful/creative/beautiful/etc enough to save for our own personal use, and one of the best ways for others to find the things you pin is by adding keywords to them (if you've tagged a pin with a keyword and someone searches Pinterest for that specific word, you pin is much more likely to appear in the search results they're shown).

I know that one of the perks of Pinterest is how quick it is to add an image, but I think that it's courteous and helpful to others to add at least a couple of relevant keywords to each image you pin (or repin, if keywords don't already exist for an image you're repinning).

I usually like to add about five keywords (for example, if I was pinning an image of a beautiful Dior dress from the 1950s, my keywords might be "vintage", "dress", "Dior", "fashion", and "clothing") that describe the pin itself, as well as the broader category that it may belong to.

If unsure of how many keywords to use, I find it best to veer on the side of generous (and indeed I've sometimes used a dozen or more keywords on one pinned image alone).

Just as you want to be able to search and find tons of images for topics you're interested in, so too do others, so help them by tagging your pins with a few relevant keywords.

4.) Get creative with how you organize your pins and have fun with the names of your Pinterest boards. Sometimes it's practical and a smart idea to organize your pins by concise topics, but other times you can be more creative.

Try organizing images by colour (eg., have boards titled "pink", "turquoise", "red", "black", or any other colour), by the material that the items in the photos are made out of (for example, "wool", "pearls", "wood", or "plastic"), by sense ("sound", for music related pins or "scent" for bottles of perfume or beautiful flowers), or by any other classification system you wish.

Create your boards and organize your pins in a way that makes sense to you! While, as mentioned before, Pinterest is all about sharing images, it's also very much about helping you effectively keep track of the online finds that inspire and speak to you the most, so categorize and sort your pins however your heart desires.

5.) Find all of the latest pins from someone else's boards. When you're logged into Pinterest and click on the Pinterest logo (homepage) you'll see a selection of pins that have been added most recently by the people you follow, however this list is not infinite, so if you haven't checked these updated pins in a few hours/days (or longer), you may not see all of the newest items the people whose boards you follow have added.

In order to skirt around this point and see all of the pins from a certain person, go to the main account page of that person (for the sake of example, I'll use my own Pinterest account). In doing so you'll see url such as http://pinterest.com/vintageblog/.

To that url (right after the last backslash) add the word "pins" (so that the url now appears as http://pinterest.com/vintageblog/pins) and hit the refresh (reload) button on your internet browser.
Volla! Just like that you'll have all of the most recent pins for the Pinterest user who's account you're viewing. Pretty awesome, eh? Smile

One of the most delightful things about Pinterest is that it's (relatively speaking) anything you want it to be. You can pin images spanning hundreds of topics, or just a couple. You can use it to help promote your own site and/or products (something I haven't done yet for any of my websites, but my do in the future), gather images to inspire your wedding/new home/dream wardrobe/next photo shoot/Christmas party - you name it, and connect with others who share your interests.

The notion of bookmarking sites and saving images online is not a new one, but few sites have ever come even remotely close to Pinterest in terms of ease of use, effective functionality, and good old-fashioned fun.
I hope that the five tips in this post will help make your time spent Pinning (be it five minutes or five hours a day) more productive and enjoyable (they certainly have for me!).

After all, Pinterest about those very things – having a great time while storing an inspiring selection things that matter to you online

October 16, 2011

Orange you happy it's October 16th?

Day 289 of Vintage 365


Associated most closely with autumn - thanks to wonderful seasonal elements like pumpkins, crunchy leaves, and as one of the stripes in tricolored candy corn - orange is a a hue that actually works well the whole year through.

In the colder months its intensity often deepens, veering into the territory of rust and copper, come spring it lightens up again in the form of pastel peaches and pale new blossoms, in summer it is bold and exciting, coming to us in tangerine shades, basketballs, and tropical drinks.

A strong, cheerful, fiery colour, orange is tied to everything from happiness to creativity, sunshine to soda pop. Though I tend to wear orange on either the very pale or deeply dark side of the spectrum, it's a colour that's long woven its way into my life.

This is not only due to my love of autumn and Halloween, but because growing up orange was my little sister's favourite hue. I love fact that she sought out such a vibrant, joyful colour as a child. Orange fit her effervescent, sweet, cheerful personality well.

Today is a very special day for me because it's my sister Katie's birthday, so in celebration of this delightful fact - and given how naturally this hue lends itself to October - todays' post is a diverse roundup of a wonderful vintage images featuring this splendidly chipper hue.

{Image sources: 1. Orange Cake Mix and Autumn Days , 2. Woman holding Oranges in her Skirt, 1950s, 3. Orange, 4. birthday clock, 5. 1926 Beauty Cosmetics Advertisement, 6. Lifesavers - Orange - 1940s, 7. You'll Wish You Could Wear Them..., 8. Advance 4139 1946 orange, 9. Poppy 1922 Jazz Age Botanical Lithograph, 10. 1950s orange angora sweater, 11. Vintage Car, 12. 1930 General Dual-Balloon Tires, 13. Orange Apron}

I hope that these apricot, carrot and squash hued images have brought a hearty dose of cheer your way. They certainly did for me this morning, reminding me of the many cute little orange items I used to search the shops for to give my sister on her birthday and Christmas when we were children.

Though when I stop to think about it now, I'm not sure if Katie still favours orange above all other hues, nevertheless I love that she once held this vivacious colour in such high regard and that for all of time, when I see something beautiful and orange, I will be reminded of her.

October 15, 2011

The National Library of Australia's archives come to Flickr

Day 289 of Vintage 365

As many of you know, I spend a massive lot good amount (yes, let's go with that, shall we Winking smile ) of time on Flickr, often researching  images and topics to use for Chronically Vintage posts, as well as for my own personal vintage inspiration.

Having been doing so for a few years now, I've become quite familiar with many of the large vintage and antique filled photo streams, some of which I've gazed at every last wonderful image in. While I've by no means exhausted Flickr's trove of vintage photos (not by a long shot!), I absolutely adore it when a new account appears that's chocked full of interesting, lovely vintage images.

Towards the end of September, I was delighted to learn that the National Library of Australia had joined Flickr. Official national archives from countries, governments, and institutions (such as universities) can be incredible sources of vintage photos - not to mention fantastic history lessons, too.

Someone (or a team of folks) down under has been busy as beaver lately, because this new stream already boasts hundreds of photographs, many of which hail from the mid-twentieth century.

Covering topics as divers as Russian Ballet (as seen in the beautiful 1930s image below of an elegant ballerina) and rural Australian life, this is definitely a stream that Australians, history buffs, and vintage photo lovers the world over will want to add as a Flickr contact.

Like many national achieves that chose to take up residency on Flickr, these wonderful Australian photos have the added benefit of being part of the public domain, and thus free of copyright restrictions. This means that you can use them freely for everything from your own website to photo pendant jewelry, scrapbooking, cards, artwork - you name it.

I'm not Australian myself (though I have several good friends who live there), but that's no reason not to enjoy pouring through the fascinating array of yesteryear images excellent national achieves like this one have to offer. These photos are so historically important and thoroughly fun to peer at, especially since many of them include brief write-ups that explain the stories behind them.

Now, if I could only talk the National Achieves of every other country around the world into following the Aussie's lead!

October 14, 2011

On this very special day in 1930...

Day 287 of Vintage 365


It was a cold morning, whatever remnants of the short-lived summer may have lingered into fall had already disappeared and another seemingly endless winter was beginning to burrow into the once thriving town of Dawson.

In the dim oil lamp light a petite French woman by the name of Marie Lefebvre readied herself to give birth to her ninth and final child. Seven girls and one son had proceeded this babe's birth. Seventeen years of bringing life into the world had taken their toil on the mother's body, but deep inside her soul she was content and eager to meet the little she'd been carrying beneath her apron for three-quarters of a year.

Far away "down south", the world was abuzz with talk and stories of the economic crisis, fortunes lost, families forced to abandon them homes, jobless men trekking the country, desperate for any scrap of work. Up in the Yukon though, in their small hamlet of the north, there was still stability in 1930.

This town, once wild with the glint and fever of cold, had slowed rapidly over the decades since crazy rush of '98 that brought her husband, Charles, north on foot over the gruelling Chilkoot Trail, a thousand pounds of provisions (as mandated by the Mounties) lugged over the treacherous incline, pack load by exhausting pack load, on his strong back.

He was a good man, her Charles Burkhard. With his wavy brown hair, statuesque height, strong - but kind - features, and worker's hands, he lead the large family well, provided for his children, was sweet to her. Though more than twenty years her senior, his face - for all the toil it'd seen - was young, and few noticed the age gap between them.

At 34 years old, she wasn't ancient by any means, but she sensed, in that way mothers inherently do, that this would be her last child, so she took extra care to hold onto the memory of each moment, as the contractions grew stronger, closer, and her breath became heavier.

The birth was a straightforward one, easy and - as much as such things can be - pleasant. Not to anyone's surprise, the child was a girl. Quiet and calm, she cried immediately, nestled against her mother's breast, and slept soundly as the arctic winds waltzed against the wooden walls of the small home above the bakery that the family owned, before it fleeted off to howl through the towering mountains nearby.

Looking down on her tiny infant, Marie pondered a name - something French, perhaps, in a nod to her Quebec linage. Bernice, yes, Bernice. She liked the way it matched the "B" of the family's surname, and that it had a charmingly feminine ring to it.

On this day, 81 years ago precisely, in the snow-locked land of the Yukon,  Bernice Schill (née Burkhard), my maternal grandma was born to loving, hard working parents. She would grow up to be a wife and mother herself, live in three provinces and two continents, deal with tremendous heartache (including the passing of her only son), battle chronic illness, and yet, never lose that sweet, kind disposition her mother saw in her instantly.


{My grandma, Bernice Schill, looking so summery and lovely, in an photo taken circa 1950.}

Though it's been a very long time she she last set foot in Dawson - a lifetime ago, really - she still has the spirit of the north in her veins, going strong as her father as he set out from his home in Nebraska for the prospect of gold in the far-flung promise land of the Yukon.

She, my grandma (who has always, adorably, spelled her chosen grandmotherly moniker as "Grannie"), is a venerable, beautiful, wise, tenacious, caring, amazing woman, and on this day, I celebrate every moment of her fascinating life, and each gift and blessing she has bestowed on mine.

From the bottom of my heart, and all of my love, happiest 81st Birthday, Grannie!

October 13, 2011

On the hunt for a new vintage winter coat

Day 286 of Vintage 365


Upon waking this morning it struck me that I'm ready for cold weather. For nights that get dark before rush hour, for seeing my breath as the bitingly crisp air greets me in the snowy morns, for mugs of cocoa so big, deep, and warm they could double as hot tubs.

It's easy to idealize springs, summer and fall, but winter - with it's endless snow banks, dangerously icy roads, and mandatory layers of clothing can be a lot trickier to wax poetically about. And yet, here in the midst of a lovely autumn, with the memory of a painfully hot summer still seared into my brain, I cannot help but get a little giddy about the positive elements of the winter that lays ahead of us.

One thing I need (desperately) though before we shake hands with Old Man Winter again, is a cold weather coat. I have toppers to see me through the three warmer seasons of the year, but two years ago my beloved winter coat went to the big closet in the sky - or at least it tried it. Not being able to find a suitable substitute, I pushed it for a couple more winters, but (and believe we when I say it pains me to do this) I know it simply must be retired.

A black, full length, incredibly vintage looking (though I believe it was made in the 80s, based on the font used in the tag and the sizing) princess coat that I bought for $100 (a huge sum to me at the time) at one of my favourite consignment stores when I was eighteen and living on my own in Calgary, this coat saw me through winters in two countries and three provinces. It's long past it's prime though, quite threadbare, has been mended more times than I can count, and is no longer to able to keep out the brutal Canadian chill as well as it should.

While I could pop over to the mall and pick up any old modern coat, that's not not how I roll. I know that I won't find the exact same coat I've worn for nearly a decade again, but - as it was, unquestionably, the best and most beautiful winter coat I've ever owned - I'd like to unearth something similar.

The coat needs to be long and (ideally) fitted, fend of the wrath of winter, contain as little wool as possible (as my skin is terribly allergic to wool), and look (if not actually be) wonderfully 1940s or 50s style. Oh, and it absolutely must not break the bank. If if wants to look like the stunning, incomparably glamorous number below, all the better.

{Gorgeous vintage winter coat from the pages of 1957/1958 Fall Winter Montgomery Ward catalog - don't you just adore the silky fur lining? Image via Touch of Retro on Flickr.}

Ok, in reality, gorgeous as it is, I think the 1950s coat above wouldn't quite pass muster on a freezing cold, wildly winding -30C January morning at the bus stop, but if I was in the market for a more swingy (instead of fitted) winter coat in a timeless hue, that would fit the bill rather nicely.

I've made peace with the fact that I won't be able to replace my beloved black princess coat with an exact duplicate, but as winter draws nearer with each jewel toned leaf that tumbles to the ground, I know that I need to step up the pace of my search and find another coat that I'll (hopefully) adore - and get as much wear out of - as much.

With the clock ticking down and snow probably not that terribly far away at this point (this being Canada after all!), I'm off to start trawling the online waters for a new vintage winter coat that will really ensure I'm properly ready to face the next season when it barges onto the scene.

(If you have any favourite sources for vintage outwear, by all means feel free to let me know in the comments.)

October 12, 2011

1930s Orange Cake is the bee's knees!

Day 285 of Vintage 365


It's by no means a secret to say the 1930s were a challenging decade - indeed, they were one of the hardest in recent human history. Yet, even in the face of immense hardship, the decade was able to produce many wonderful, endearing recipes.

Likewise, it also gave up scores of incredible people, including my maternal grandma, Bernice, who was born on October 14, 1930. With her birthday just around the corner this Friday, I knew that today's recipe post simply had to feature a cake.

Much like many aspects of the thirties themselves, I wouldn't call my grandma flashy. Far from simple, but in no way chichi either, she's a woman of dignified class and charm, beauty and spirit who's taught me much over the years.

My grandma's never been the most girly-girl of gals, instead her style is refined and classic, elegant and unfussy. Thus a bells-and-whistles sort of birthday cake piled with mountains of frosting or multi-coloured embellishments just wouldn't seem right for her special day.

Instead, if I was able to celebrate her birthday this week with her in person (we live on opposite sides of the country, so unfortunately that's not possible this year), I would make her the delicious (not to mention entirely au courant) sounding Layered Orange Cake pictured below.

{Fresh, sweet, and wonderfully suited to an array of occasions, this delightful 1930s orange cake is sure to go down a treat (to borrow a term from the Brits) at your next event. Image via Daily Bungalow on Flickr. Click here for a larger version of this delicious vintage cake recipe.}


True to the thrifty spirit of the 30s, this cake calls for a minimum of ingredients, most (if not all) of which any one of us would have on hand right this very moment.

While not ornate, there's nothing boring or plain Jane about this lovely citrus dessert. You could proudly bring it out all year long, for anniversaries, showers, bake sales, dinner parties, holidays, and of course, birthdays, too!

It’s an endearing gem of a recipe that’s every bit as sweet and timeless as my grandma herself.