April 30, 2012

The Coral Femme Fatale


Penticton Park vintage fashion shoot, Jessica Cangiano, April 2012_image 1


Penticton Park vintage fashion shoot, Jessica Cangiano, April 2012_image 4


Penticton Park vintage fashion shoot, Jessica Cangiano, April 2012_image 3


Penticton Park vintage fashion shoot, Jessica Cangiano, April 2012_image 5


Penticton Park vintage fashion shoot, Jessica Cangiano, April 2012_image 10


Penticton Park vintage fashion shoot, Jessica Cangiano, April 2012_image 2


Penticton Park vintage fashion shoot, Jessica Cangiano, April 2012_image 8


Penticton Park vintage fashion shoot, Jessica Cangiano, April 2012_image 9


Penticton Park vintage fashion shoot, Jessica Cangiano, April 2012_image 6


Penticton Park vintage fashion shoot, Jessica Cangiano, April 2012_image 7


Outfit details

Metal bar barrette: unknown (had since I was a teenager)

Vintage Aurora Borealis glass bead necklace: from etsy seller Little Women Vintage

Ruched coral chiffon blouse: eBay

Black knit shrug: Fairweather

Vintage black bow adorned gloves: eBay

Black plastic bangles: Clares

Vintage beaded peach clutch: thrifted

Black pencil skirt: either thrifted or etsy

Seamed stockings: eBay

Black faux suede and patent leather heels: Payless

Lipstick colour (which looks so much lighter in these photos than in person): Clinique Tenderheart


Photography by Antonio Cangiano, vignette effect added by me in Picasa 3

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Sometimes when those days strike where I'm not really feeling pulled in one sartorial direction or another and am open to wearing just about anything in my closet (weather and appropriateness for the day at hand factored in, of course), I'll ask Tony what he thinks I should don. I'm usually greeted with one of three responses: "whatever you like", a noun (such as "a dress"), or an adjective.

In the case of the recent day on which the pictures above were captured, his adjective of choice was "sexy". What can I say, he is a red blooded male after all! I've never been comfortable with overtly sexy or revealing clothing (I like to maintain a degree of modesty no matter what I'm wearing), but that doesn't mean I shy away from looking alluring either.

The key, I've found, is to pick garments that are figure flattering, but not skin tight, and/or which show off a bit of skin (say arms, neck, or calves), but leave a good portion of your body covered, so as to create a sense of mystery. It's the thought of what cannot be seen at first glance that is, to my mind, usually much more fetching that what's front and center for all the world to ogle.

On the shoe front, heels are an obvious choice, though they don't have to propel you into skyscraper territory to be enchanting. A low vamp, captivating ankle straps, tacitly pleasing materials (leather, suede, velvet, etc), or playful cut-outs are all able to turn your feet into instant objects of desire as quickly as a stiletto heel can (with the added benefit, too, of potentially being easy to wear longer periods of time than a mile high heel).

Colour can also play a large roll in creating an air of mystery. Shades that are either passionate (such as deep red), feminine (pink, peach, purple, etc), or associated with mystery (black, grey, intensely dark navy blue, and the like) can instantly lend an outfit a vibe that ranges from that of a croquet flirt to a world calibre seductress.

Knowing how much Tony adores all the hues that fall in the orange, peach, and salmon category, I went with a ruched coral chiffon top for my main pop of colour against the otherwise inky black garments in this outfit.

Generally speaking, if I'm taking my outfit in an alluring direction, I like to fall somewhere in between those two. A happy middle ground that puts a smile on my husband's face, but which I'm also still very comfortable with sporting out in public (such as to the lovely local park down at Okanagan Lake where these images were captured).

After all, if I'm feeling self-conscious the whole time, I'm not going to be relaxed or in the best possible mood, and that will only work against me in attempt to create that beguiling enchantress spirit I'm aiming for.

Should you be wondering, I'm happy to report that Tony said this outfit more than lived up to his request. Looks like the Coral Femme Fatale will have to make an appearance more often...

April 28, 2012

Saturday Snapshots: April 28, 2012


"We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all
our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time." ~ T.S. Eliot

{Sunshine and lovely springtime frocks abounded on the day this group of ladies stopped by for a visit at Honey Bear Farms, Genoa City, WI in 1957.}

{Whether as part of a uniform or just to wishing to indulge in a spot of borrowing from the boys, I love that this chipper looking 1940s lady decided to sport a necktie as she stood on a rocky ledge above the frothy sea.}

{Jam packed with cars (of the sort I'd jump with joy to own!), this street scene of Cascade Avenue, in Banff, Alberta shows, in coloured detail, what the heart of this famous Canadian Rocky Mountain town looked like during the mid-twentieth century. }

{It's short hemlines and bobbed hair all around for these fashionable gals as they posed in a group embrace of sorts to have their photo snapped in 1928. No background information is provided for this image, leaving one to wonder if they were classmates, friends, relatives, neighbours, or perhaps just amongst the town's most stylish lasses.}

{A smartly dressed young couple beam smiles as they stand in front of a car (their own perhaps?) in this charming mid-century courtship image.}

{Like a lone rose emerging from a verdant garden, an elegantly attired woman (identified as Jeanne) posing on a hillside in an eye-catching red coat while at Mt. Tamalpais, California, during February of 1952.}

{A gang of young ladies and gents, decked out not swimwear, but their daily street attire, huddle round for a group portrait while at the beach on a sunny day in the 40s or early 50s.}

{An unidentified man and a darling little dog enjoy a moment of companionship in this heartwarming vintage image. I wonder if the pup was his loyal canine companion or merely a cute critter he felt drawn to say hello to. Whatever the case, the pair make for sweetly special photograph that is bound to appeal to animal lovers everywhere.}

{From her terrific curled half up, half down hairdo to her charming leaf and circle link necklace, there's much to enjoy and draw inspiration from in the outfit this pretty 1940s woman is sporting.}

{A trio of well dressed beach goers (I've venture to guess tourists) gather 'round for a snapshot that looks as though it could very well have come from the pages of a magazine, while at the beach in Caiscais, Portugal in 1962. I especially love the fact that the brunette gal on the right is holding a camera in her hands, almost as if to make us think she's taking a picture of this image's photographer at the same time.}

{All images above are from Flickr. To learn more about a specific image, please click on it to be taken to its respective Flickr page.}

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In 1940 American novelist Thomas Wolfe's book You Can't Go Home again was published posthumously, and in doing so its title quickly became a common expression when referring to returning – or not returning - to a place called you once called your own.

Though at various points throughout my life, I've been more than able to relate directly to what Wolfe meant - there are homes, towns, and people that you far better off never returning to again - I have also found that in some instances all one needs is a bit of time and distance, a new set of memories and an increase in the number of shares you hold from the "lessons learned" stock in order to indeed return home once more.

For life, like T.S. Eliot so beautifully summed up in the quote featured at the top of is post, is all about exploration. Even the most ardent and adventurous amongst us needs at least one place, a singular, special corner of the world which will call home. A spot where after we have journey - be it for a day or a decade - we know that we can safely, securely, and happily return to.

In doing so, coming back to where we started (or at least where we once laid our hat) we often discover a newness to that very spot, no matter how well we thought we once knew it. For places, like people, change over the course of time. I've been experiencing this very situation myself recently, having moved back to a town where I spent a good portion of youth, some eight years after I last left.

The foundations - streets, parks, mountains, and lakes are still there, as are many of the homes and buildings I recall vividly from my youth, yet some of them are now long gone now. Their presence existing only in the shadow memories that fall over the new inhabitants that rest where they once stood.

There's a degree of melancholy as you watch your home town change (especially when vintage houses and shops get demolished), but at the same time I cannot help but feel a certain sense of happiness that stems from knowing that I got to experience, first hand, an older version of this city for a portion of my life.

Explore the near and the far, the familiar and the unknown, sweet friends. It is what has driven humanity since the dawn of time, and what will both simultaneously preserve the past and ensure we always have something to look forward to in the future.

April 26, 2012

You are beautiful in every single way

The older I get, the more I've come to see that there is almost no one amongst us who completely loves every last element of their body. Whether justified or not, most people have a laundry list of faults that they instantly hone in on when thinking or talking about their appearance. If I had a magic wand, I would wave it and free all of us from the silly, trivial, totally unfounded hang-ups that we have about our bodies.

We only get only body, you know. Perhaps in some distant sci-fi like future we'll have the ability to regenerate our own bodies or to transfer our brains from one body to another, but right there and now, for better or worse, we're each assigned one frame, one face, and one pair of arms and legs with which to transport us through every moment of every day we will ever have the profound honour of living.

Like many, I have struggled with my appearance my whole life. Cruelly put down by some of my own relatives as a child, teased mercilessly in school, and often my own harshest critic, it's taken me the better part of three decades to come to even a minor degree of peace with how I look. But I finally have, and to my mind that is a rather profound victory.

I realized at some point that I wasn't getting any younger, by which I mean that while I still have some vestiges of youth left (I'm 27, soon to be 28 in July), I should try and put aside as many of my woes with my body as I can (there are a couple of biggies that I may never truly reach that point with, but I'm elated that some are starting to slip away) and just love myself from here on out.

It's a ridiculously simple concept...loving one's own appearance, I mean, but darned if it isn’t staggeringly hard for many of us. I've always loved certain elements of who I was, but what the mirror cast back at me when I gazed into its shiny surface was rarely one of them.

I'm not perfect (laughably far from it actually), and neither are you. None of us are, and that is so immensely beautiful. Perfection is overrated. It is our uniqueness, our quirks and differences that set us apart and yet also unite us.

Life is filled with an endless sea of imperfect that combines to make the world a truly captivating and fantastically exciting place. Be it ancient architecture, the patina on a vintage piece of jewelry, or a delicious cake that rose a little more on one side than the other, we accept and embrace the signs of age, wear, or imperfection that is all around us on a daily basis, yet are the first to criticize even the tiniest of (perceived) faults that we see in ourselves.

Enough! We're beautiful, as Christina Aguilera once sang, in every single way. Really. Believe me, whatever you think is wrong or unattractive about yourself, I promise you there is someone out their who would sell their soul to look like you.

It's not easy, but we need to stop thinking that there is some unattainable standard of universal beauty that we need to reach. You are already universally beautiful simply because you are you.

Mirror photograph April 2012

{An image of me snapped on the fly recently my by husband, who has always had the kindest things imaginable about to say about how I look, as I was getting ready for a day of thrift store shopping with my mother.}

It may have taken 27 years, but I can say without feeling the need to prefix it with a bunch of "except fors", that I love the person I see when I look in the mirror. This body, with it's various scars and shortcomings, is also the house where my soul and mind dwell, and that trumps - by a long shot - any flaw that might exist.

Love yourself, respect yourself, and try to make peace with those things that you wish you could change. When all is said and done, it won't matter if you'd been two inches taller, had a larger chest, been born with one eye colour instead of another, had a longer neck, fewer wrinkles, curlier hair, lankier legs or anything else.

What will have mattered is the life you lived while inhabiting your own skin and the joy, comfort, companionship and love you brought into the lives of those that you encountered along the journey. Being, I assure you, beautiful the whole time.

April 24, 2012

20 vintage fashion examples of Pantone’s 2012 color of the year

When one thinks of the decades many of us adore most - the 1920s through to the 50s - orange is not often a colour that pops out as being especially dominant. No, the multitude of shades that fall under the orange heading are more commonly associated with the decades that followed immediately after, the swinging sixties and wild seventies. An era when everything from moon boots to maxi skirts, shag carpeting to fondue pots could be had in various orange tones, often those on the rusty side of the spectrum.

Indeed, orange was more dominant during the 60s and 70s than it had been during the previous decades of the twentieth century, but that doesn't mean that it had been banished to some forlorn corner during the earlier decades, to be seen only on pumpkins, fruit, and certain flowers. Then, as now, the worlds of home decor and fashion were teaming with hues of all kinds, including members of the orange colour family.

If such shades appeal to you, it might take a tad more digging to unearth 30s, 40s, and 50s pieces in orange (given that this colour was not featured too predominately during those years), yet doing so is by no means impossible (1930s pieces in particular are relatively easy to find in a wide range of orange shades).

You may be wondering what got me thinking about orange on this late April morn, situated as it is amidst a season that - like the aforementioned mid-century decades themselves - is not exactly famous for teaming with this punchy colour. The answer lies in Pantone's 2012 color of the year: Tangerine Tango.

{Image via Style At Home.}

With a name that instantly evokes thoughts of a passionate Latin dance, fiery sunsets, tropical paradises, and summertime vibrancy, Tangerine Tango is not a meek wallflower shade. On the contrary, it's the sort of hue that steals the show - and perhaps even your dance partner in the process!

In the words of Pantone's official page on this colour, "The 2011 color of the year, PANTONE 18-2120 Honeysuckle, encouraged us to face everyday troubles with verve and vigor. Tangerine Tango, a spirited reddish orange, continues to provide the energy boost we need to recharge and move forward.

"Sophisticated but at the same time dramatic and seductive, Tangerine Tango is an orange with a lot of depth to it," said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. "Reminiscent of the radiant shadings of a sunset, Tangerine Tango marries the vivaciousness and adrenaline rush of red with the friendliness and warmth of yellow, to form a high-visibility, magnetic hue that emanates heat and energy."

Over the past several years, orange has grown in popularity and acceptance among designers and consumers alike. A provocative attention-getter, Tangerine Tango is especially appealing in men’s and women’s fashion."

The world has endured a spell of rather tough years lately, it's true, and we do need verve and vigor to face the future, Pantone is spot on there. As someone who has always believed that the colours you opt to wear and surround yourself with can have a direct effect on both your mood and mindset, I for one am happy that Pantone (leading colour industry experts that they are) opted for such a vivacious, bold hue this year.

My husband's favourite colour has always been orange, so I'm constantly on the look out for pieces in this warm hue - be they for his wardrobe or mine. While I do generally veer towards light (think pale peach) or dark (i.e., rust or warm pumpkin) shades of orange, as they tend to compliment my colouring better than mid-range tones, I've always been on the opinion that anyone can wear any colour, so long as they get the proportions right.

If you're drawn to Tangerine Tango, but can't possibly imagine yourself sporting a head-to-toe frock in this energetic hue, why not seek out accessories in similar shades? From something as small as an earring to a more attention grabbing wide belt, accessories have long been the fashionista's secret trick for being able to pull off any colour her heart desired from within the whole box of Crayon crayons - or Pantone's spectrum, for that matter.

Where you're looking at this particular colour with interest, but sincere hesitation, or are as eager as a beaver to weave it into your wardrobe, the following 20 examples of vintage (30s through 50s) pieces, all culled from amongst etsy's offerings, in similar shades will definitely serve as a helpful - and handy - jumping off point when it comes to wearing a little, or a lot, of 2012's Pantone color of the year.

{1950s Hawaiian sarong tiki party halter neck dress (with matching bolero jacket); dress fits a 33"-34" bust, 24" waist. Available from Swing Kat's Vintage for $265.00.}

{Adjustable 1930s sterling silver, orange glass stone, and marcasite art deco cocktail ring; fits US ring sizes 6-8. Available from Jean Jean Vintage for $60.00.}

{1940s orange plastic circle, square, and cube necklace with matching hoop earrings. Set available from The Vintage Dilettante for $18.00.}

{1950s orange, navy blue and white atomic novelty print blouse; fits a 42" bust, 40" waist. Available from Champagne Girl Vintage for $45.00.}

{1940s beaded rayon evening gown; fits a 34"-36" bust, 25"-26" waist. Available from Deseo Vintage for $225.00.}

{1940s carved celluloid coral rose screw back earrings; each earrings measures 1" long. Available from IfindUseek Vintage for $10.00.}

{Embroidered 1950s bamboo handle handbag; purse measures 11.75" at widest point, and 6.5" tall (not including handle). Available from Out on a Limb Vintage for £20.00.}

{1920s-1930s round celluloid covered metal eyeglass frames (with 10K gold fill). Available from Thayer Eyewear for $76.50.} 

{1950s peach and white gingham circle skirt; fits a 26" waist, free hips. Available from Sweet Moonlight for $75.00.}

{Orange celluloid 1930s floral carved bangle bracelet; fits "an average size 7 wrist". Available from Wimpy Ren's Vintage Jewels for $30.00.}

{1940s poppy orange leather pumps with a 3.5" heel; marked size 5.5. Available from Starlet's Vintage for $44.95.}

{Orange, green and white floral print 1950s full skirt; fits a 24" waist, free hips. Available from Deseo Vintage for $40.00.}

{1930s Art Deco carved coral Galalith necklace; measures 17" long. Available from IfindUseek Vintage for $45.00.}

{Orange and white silk 1930s summer maxi dress; fits a 37.5" bust, 25" waist. Available from The Vintage Clothing Co. for £45.00.}

{Celadon and orange 1950s (30s inspired) straw tilt hat; hat size 22. Available from Junee Moon Vintage for 29.00.}

{1940s tangerine orange Bakelite button earrings with screw back posts; earrings measure 3/4" across. Available from 4 Birds Vintage for $10.50.}

{Novelty print fleur de lis pattern 1940s linen shift dress; fits a 38" bust, 26" waist. Available from The Dapper Apple for $158.00.}

{1950s orlon acrylic tangerine knit button front cardigan; fits a 42" bust/29" waist (unstretched). Available from Jewels for Panda for $44.99.}

{1930s Fruit Salad glass bead charm bracelet on original card; measures 7" long with a fold over clasp. Available from Little Miss Dollop for $75.00.}

{Vintage 1950s/60s orange strappy sandals/dress shoes; size 7. Available from Wolf's Mouth Vintage (currently on sale) for $15.00.}

♥  ♥  ♥


As you can see, juicy, subtly coral infused orange shades from the earlier decades of the last century can indeed be found. These dynamically intriguing hues lend themselves especially well to the warmer months that we're heading into now, when the world itself seems to be at its most adventurous and sultry, bursting with lively energy and scores of reasons to throw a fiesta of the sort where one would be more than a little inclined to dance a (tangerine) tango.

This enthralling shade of orange is a standout colour when worn in abundance, so you may want to keep your other accessories and garments on the neutral side if tangerine is at the center of our outfit. If you're opting for a small to medium serving of bright, ever-so-slightly salmon infused orange however, some fantastic colours partners are grey, brown, ivory, teal, goldenrod, navy, moss, aqua, cream, soft peach, kelly green, and for the extra daring, hot pink.

Whether you've always loved orange, are just starting to get acquainted with it (when it comes to your decor and wardrobe choices), or have been dabbling in this cheerful hue for years, why not take a page from Pantone this year and inject a little - or a lot - of orange into your world throughout 2012?

It's bound to set your spirits soaring and have you looking looking hot as the surface of the sun in no time! Smile

*PS* Throughout this post you may have noticed that I used both the American and Canadian/British spellings of the word "color". I did so because Pantone itself is US based and as they use the American spelling, I opted to so, too, when directly discussing their color of the year. Whereas, being Canadian, at other points I used "colour" during the course of this article.

April 22, 2012

You asked: What shade I use to get my dark red hair colour

Cheerful Sunday morning greetings, sweet dears, I hope that you're each in the midst of a relaxing (hopefully not too rain drenched!) weekend.

Following on the heels of last week's post in I discussed my skin care routine, which came about based on on a comment left by a lovely fellow blogger, I thought it would be fun to do another post today in response to a question that recently arrived regarding my hair colour.

In the comments on my vintage outfit post the Monday before last, a fascinating, inspiring Australian woman who blogs at Living With Bob, said the following:


"Have to ask, what is your hair colour? It's a really great shade."

So sweet of you to ask, dear lady, thank you very much for your question. My hair colour (seen in the photo below, which was taken a couple of days after I coloured it last) comes from not just a bottle, but a drug store bottle to boot! But first, before I share the shade, a teeny bit of history about my long time partnership with hair dye.



My hair (which as avid readers of this blog may recall) is fraught with problems (it's bone straight, ultra fine, and has been falling out continually since I was 14.5 years old), it's also (in its natural state) a rather dreary, lackluster and uninspiring shade of mousy browny-blonde.

As a child my hair was so pale and perfectly golden blonde that one could easily have been forgiven for assuming I was the product of Swedish parents (which is not the case).

{Me and my pale blonde hair - of the sort of hue that only youth can ever truly impart, circa 1989.}


Growing up my paternal grandmother told me numerous times that I'd turn into a brunette (like some of her daughters did) when I hit puberty, but alas (though my eye colour changed from blue to green - which I adored, green having always been my favourite eye hue) her prediction did not pan out.

I waited and waited and waited, but by 16 (having long morphed in appearance from a little girl into a woman) the promised brunette locks had still not arrived. Instead of being a chestnut or espresso manned lass, my hair had lost its pale blonde lustre and turned into something dingy and muted in colour - a hue sometimes referred to, rather gloomily, as dishwater brown. So, like countless teenagers before and after who are not pleased with their natural hair colour, I began dying mine.

The first hair colour I ever selected was red, specifically a bright red shade from Herbal Essence. It wasn't clownish, but it was certainly redolent of a tomato. It was cute and fun, and so, so different from anything I'd ever seen my head look like before.

In the years following that I played around with a number of colours, trying various blondes, browns, and reds. Once, envisioning that I might end up being able to pull off a Snow White-esque vibe, I even went starkly raven black. It didn't work. At all. The colour took, of that there was no doubt, but for some reason having black hair made the pink undertones in my skin seem a hundred times more obvious then they usually are and instead of looking like a fairy tale princess, I might as well have auditioned for the role of a sunburned wicked witch!

A couple of days of being teased mercilessly and one hefty salon bill later, I returned to being a golden blonde for a while and quickly tried to bury the memory of my flirtation  coal hued tresses. Around the time I was 19, I stopped colouring my hair for about three years and my natural hue returned. It was no better than I'd remembered it to be, but I had more pressing things than hair colour on my mind at the time and didn't mind seeing that "dishwater" mop in the mirror most days.

When I was 22 I decided to start dying my hair again. I went to a salon and expressly asked for (with pictures in hand) a soft shade of strawberry blonde. It didn't happen. When the foil came off and the water ran clear, I was a plumy-auburn headed gal. And yet, I didn't really mind. It looked good and I started getting compliments right, left and center, so I left it that shade for a few months.

In the end, I'm glad that the colour came out much darker than anticipated/planned because it helped me realize that opting for a darker shade helped hid how thin my hair was becoming. As such, over the last five years since then I've stuck with various medium to dark shades of brown, auburn, and red. Though I do sometimes yearn to be a blonde again, most days the voices die down almost as quickly as they pipe up.

As my health often makes it impossible for me to visit the salon any more these days, for over four years now, I've been colouring my hair at home. I've always had great results and love the money I save by doing a little DIY hair dying every few weeks.

As anyone who has ever opted for ruby locks will tell you, red hair colouring is (rightfully) notorious for fading faster than a one hit wonder's singing career. However, if you limit the frequency of washes, use products (shampoo, conditioner, leave-in hair mask, etc) that are especially formulated for redheads, and don't go swimming (without a bathing cap) too often, it's not as hard as you may have been lead to believe to keep your red hair colour looking vibrant and fresh.

My hair grows at a fairly normal rate, so (tempting as it would be to pull a Gwen Stefani or Marilyn Monroe and have my colour touched up every few days) I'll usually go about four to five weeks between colourings. If I know there's an important even coming up and I don't want even very short roots to show, I'll recolour (or do my roots, as the case may be) sooner, but again, I to usually like to let at least a month go by between dye jobs.

Which brings us to the colour that I've been using for about a year now: Intense Medium Red Copper 564 from the Garnier Nutrisse Cream collection.

{Image via Garnier.ca}

I've tried at least one shade from just about all of the major home hair colour brands  (available here in Canada) over the years, and have to say that the the formula used in the Nutrisse Cream line makes it my very favourite home hair colour to date. Like many home hair colouring kits, this one includes a two part dye system and a small tube of conditioner. Once mixed, the dye has a creamy, pleasant consistently akin to a thin mayonnaise.

One kit more than covers my fine, shoulder length hair and has proven to deliver very consistent results each time I used it (whether to recolour completely or just to touch up my roots). The cream formula means that, if you're careful (and not overly rushed) as you apply the dye to your hair, it generally drips, runs, and splatters, much (much!) less than more liquid based formulas.

While most of the excess dye washes out in your initial shower, I do find however that it usually takes two to four hair washings before the water runs crystal clear every time (from there on out) that I shower. This may however stem in part from the fact that I have fine, thin hair and that I usually (if I'm recolouring) use a whole bottle of dye.

Even this point though, scarcely detracts from how much I like this variety of at home hair colouring. Aside from the aforementioned perks, I find that (so long as I don't wash my hair too often - which I generally do not do, as I love to pin set or rag curl my hair and often go three to six days between hair washes, slipping on a shower cap for showers and baths on the days when I don't clean my hair) the colour holds up really, really well for a DIY hair kit.

In fact, I'd say that this particular shade of red delivers the longest lasting colour I've ever had from a home dye job. Plus, it's not overly drying and I haven't found it made my hair even the tiniest bit more brittle or prone to split ends (yay!).

{Up close and personal with a forehead level shot of my hair colour, Intense Medium Red Copper 564 from Garnier Nutrisse, that I've been smitten with for months now.}

I love the intensity, the subtle highlights and lowlights that this shade delivers. While I doubt many people think this hair colour is my God-given one, I like the fact that it's not overly in-your-face. It doesn't look like I'm going for a far out colour, it's just a rich, alluring garnet inspired hue that works well with my skin and eye tones, and which I think really compliments the over all image that I try to project with my appearance.

As I'm pleased as punch with this colour, I have no immediate plans to change it any time soon. If and when I do one, assuming I'm colouring my hair at home, I'll likely stick with the Nutrisse Cream line - especially because I really love how little it splatters and drips - which means less potential bathroom staining to worry about - while I'm applying the dye. If you've been looking for a deep medium red hair colour, I highly recommend this shade.

Remember to keep your questions coming, ladies and gents, whether they're about some aspect of my own appearance/style or anything pertaining to vintage fashion, lifestyle of history in general, I adore answering them!

Wishing you all a sublimely beautiful Sunday - and the very best if you ever opt for to give my particular shade of red hair colour a spin yourself.

April 21, 2012

The revamping of Chronically Vintage

This past Thursday was an especially busy one for me, though I rarely ventured further than the living room sofa. You see, that day - as I discussed in this post on the topic - I decided that as this blog is now three years old, it was time that I bought it its first pair of patent leather shoes.

Or at least gave a thorough makeover, blogs, after all, having surprisingly little use for shoes.

It wasn't that there was anything wrong with the old template and design of this blog (after all, it had worked well for the past three years), it's just that I felt like I wanted the look of this blog to better express what it is that I say and do here (especially since I started posting more of my vintage outfit photos this year). By that I mean I wanted a template/background in neutral hues, with a wider post body area, a more streamlined (and clickable - at long last!) header, and a navigation bar with a few select pages at the top of the template.

Though I don't usually classify my tastes as being minimalist on the fashion, crafting, or home decor front, when it comes to blog and website design, more often then not I find myself pulled rather strongly to paired down, simple designs that let the author's words and the images they mingle throughout their posts to be the star of the show.

Generally speaking, I'm not one for blogs that look like mangled MySpace Pages or that have ten mile long sidebars. I don't like don't like overcrowding or too much flash. I want to see what it is the person whose work I chose to read is saying.

Think about a single rose in a delicate vase on a table covered in pale white linen verses a sprawling rosebush with dozens of flowers on it. Both can be beautiful, but your eye will naturally be drawn more to the lone rose on a soft background. It's eye-catching because it's streamlined and very aesthetically pleasing.

It seems the older I get, the more I try to veer away from lengthy sidebars. It's one thing if that's where a person opts to put sponsorships and thus it becomes substantially large, but just filling sidebars up with scores of links, images, lists, quotes, notes, and sometimes even music playlists can all too quickly make them seem overcrowded and possibly even distract readers from being able to focus on your posts themselves - not to mention make finding more important elements like a blog's archives challenging.

To that extent I was delighted to finally be able to move my blog link section to a dedicated link page all its own (which has the added advantage of allowing me to better categorize the links I include, instead of just listing them all alphabetically in one giant assembly of blogs). I also scrapped some other sections that were no longer in keeping with the style I'm going for here, and am at long last happy with how my sidebar looks.

In addition to editing the sidebar and implementing a new (customized) template, I've also created a few static pages (such as an about page), to help visitors and friends quickly find out more about this site, connect with me elsewhere, or get in contact via email. I'm in the process of working on a FAQ page, which will include some of the most frequently asked questions on various topics that I routinely receive. I hope to have that page up within the next couple of weeks or so (I'll likely edit and add to it as time goes on and other questions appear often enough to warrant inclusion).


1950s paint ad, couple painting their house

{I mulled over the colours I was going to use for the site’s new look for quite  a while – weeks, if not months, I’d say. Time and time again my instincts veered towards a serene palette of neutral shades that would be unlikely to clash with the vintage photos and images used within blog posts, and so I decided to go with my gut and apply three of those very hues to the new and improved Chronically Vintage. 1950s paint ad via paul.malon on Flickr.}


I love the palette of gentle grey, clean white, and classic navy that's now adorning this site, and feel that they are colours that channel a subtle vintage vibe (grey and white, for example, call to mind old school B&W photographs), while also doing a very nice job of not overpowering the posts or images that the site is filled with.

I was up for about 30 hours straight on Thursday (onto Friday), but even as I feel into bed (the sun long up), I had to fight off the feelings of excitement and happiness that were washing over me in the heels of the site's snazzy new makeover.

While I certainly wouldn't say that the site now looks radically different, it's clearly not the same blog it was when this week started. There's a tiny bit of tweaking still to be done here and there, but overall Chronically Vintage now has the look and feel that I suspect it will retain for a long time to come.

I hope that you like these changes as much as I do, and would love to hear what you think of the new look and feel of Chronically Vintage.

April 20, 2012

Receiving and passing along the Versatile Blogger award

When I first started this site three years ago, blog awards were somewhat more common then they are today. Perhaps there was a fad component to them, and while I know that not everyone was a major far, I've always felt sincerely touched when someone had deemed me and my blog worthy of receiving any kind of accolade.

Earlier this year, in the hectic midst of everything surrounding our move, I received a charming blogging award called the Versatile Blogger, from not one, but two, completely lovely ladies: Bunny Moreno from the fantastic blog The Musings and Adventures of a Pinup Mama, as well as from Tracey Steel whose blog, Breathing English Air, always teams with beautiful images of the UK and great posts to accompany them.

The rules attached to receiving this blog are very straightforward and easy to follow:

1. Add the award to your blog.

2. Thank the blogger who gave it to you.

3. Mention 7 random things about yourself.

4. List the rules.

5. Award to 5 or more bloggers.

6. Inform each of those 5 by leaving a comment on their blog. (I always feel like this point is optional, but you can certainly do it, if you'd like)

I always enjoy reading people's lists of various fun, interesting, or eyebrow raising (as the case may be!) facts about themselves, so without further ado, here are seven points about myself that you may not know.


♥ Seven facts about me ♥

1. Snugly, medium to heavy weight blankets and I are BFFs. For as long as I can recall, I've slept much, much better when I have soft, comfortable, fluffy blankets and and/or duvets on me (even in the summer). I fully believe this stems from a guest room at the house my paternal grandparents lived in when I was younger, which had the softest, most dreamily fantastic blankets I've ever encountered.

2. I'm taller then they'd said I be. When the doctor did an adult height project on me as a youngster, they said I'd not likely be any taller than 5 feet when I was fully grown (not that there's anything the matter with that height of course). I'm happy to report that I proved them wrong by a whole two inches! Though it means I'll never have supermodel gams that go on for miles, I really don't mind being petite one bit and am totally content with my adult height.

3. My childhood (school) nickname was "Jay": In elementary school my best was called Karen, which meant that her name started with a "K". As mine began with a "J", and these two letters are side-by-side in the alphabet, we came up with the idea of calling each other "Kay" and "Jay". After a while of doing so, other people began to notice and started using those names for us, too, even to the point where our teachers were doing it. Well into high school, even through mine and Kay's paths had diverged around middle school and we didn't hang out very often any more, people would still call me "Jay" sometimes.

4. I'm not superstitious at all, except for...: The act of throwing salt over your shoulder if you spill some. It's not that I actually believe anything negative will happen to me if I don't toss a pinch over my shoulder, I think it's just a learned habit I picked up as a child and never outgrew. As it's my one quasi-superstition, I keep doing it just for fun.

5. Generally speaking, I don't read modern fiction. It's not that I have anything against this literary genre, goodness no! It's just that I find my interests tend to lay more in nonfiction and classic lit. Though I read more modern fiction as a child (due, no doubt, in part to school book reports), I've always been this way and adore adding nonfiction and reference books to our home library.

6. I can touch anywhere on my own back. While I don't claim to be especially flexible (and am definitely not double jointed!), I am able to touch absolutely any spot on my back (while sitting, standing or laying down) - which makes zipping up my own dresses a breeze!

7. I never thought I was a hat person until...: Growing up in an era of baseball caps and floppy denim hats (remember those ones with the matching flowers on the front smack dab in the middle of brim?), I didn't feel like hat's worked well with my face shape at all. Imagine my delight then as a I got older and discovered that the issue wasn't hats in general, just most modern ones. Turns out many vintage hat styles (especially those from the 40s and 50s) suit me well, and as a result I quickly morphed into a die hard chapeau lover (and wearer).

{All images are from Flickr. To learn more about a specific image, please click on it to be taken to its respective Flickr page.}

♥ ♥ ♥

In turn I'd like to pass the Versatile Blogger award onto the following five wonderful blogs.

1. Ghosts and Garters Vintage

2. Love Letters from London

3. Miss Magpie's Musings

4. Old Haunts (a new vintage blog in town, be sure to stop by if you haven't discovered Kate's site yet)

5. VirginiaRetro

♥ ♥ ♥

If you've already received this award (and blogged about it) from someone else, please don't feel like you need to do it again. Either way, if you do  (or have already done) it, definitely let me know, as I'd love to read your random facts, too.

Many, many thanks to Bunny and Tracey again for thinking of me and sharing the joy of this delightful blogging award with me. I wholeheartedly appreciate it, sweet gals.