October 31, 2012

The witching hour is near

Grey pumpkin and cute Boo ghost Halloween candle

After 364 days of anticipation, All Hallows Eve has returned at long last and I'm bubbling like a witch's cauldron with joy and merriment over this fact. I'd hoped to get in a pre-Halloween shoot of my costume, but haven’t feeling well enough lately for that, so hopefully we'll get some snaps later today and I can share my festive ensemble with you all in the very near future.

Like much of North America right now, though we're on the west coast, not the east, and thus haven't felt Hurricane Sandy's terrible wrath firsthand, we've had fairly rough weather all week. The rain that's been present since last Friday continues this morning, as I curl up in a corner of the living room couch and silently ask the The Great Pumpkin to send a little sunshine our way.

No matter what the weather has up its sleeve today, and even though I'm feeling less than stellar on the health front, nothing can dampen my spirits - or the spirits that may very well be lurking amongst us on this spooky holiday - in the slightest!

Though we don't have tons of Halloween decorations (no room in our past homes to store much in the way of seasonal decor), we do have a beloved little handful (certain items of which, such as the candles pictured here, have been with me since childhood), and I took snaps recently of some of our collection - as well as most of the pumpkins we picked up at Bear's fruit stand - to share with all of you today.

White pumpkin and Halloween scarcrow decoration

Grey pumpkin and cute 1980s Halloween candles

Green pumpkin, plush shabby chic rustic pumpkin, cute teddy bear witch decoration for Halloween

Cute mini white and yellow Halloween pumpkin and witch teddy bear toy

However you celebrate today, I really hope that you have a frighteningly marvelous Halloween (and if you don't observe Halloween, I hope that you have a beautiful last day of October). I look forward to sharing my costume with you very soon, and can't wait to see blog posts about what you sported on this fabulously haunted eve as as well.

Happiest, sweet-as-candy, eerily awesome Halloween wishes, everyone!

October 29, 2012

Picking Halloween pumpkins in the freezing rain

...While wearing a festive jack-o-lantern covered cardigan and trying not to get knocked off my feet by the nearly gale force winds!


Outfit details

Prescription eyeglasses: (frames) Venus Eye Design V-12
Black and white polka dot hair flower: Arden
Grey pearl earrings: Claire's
Halloween cardigan sweater: eBay
Vintage black shirtwaist dress: eBay or etsy
Black patent skinny belt: eBay
Black crinoline/pettiskirt: Pettiskirt Style
Carved black resin bangle bracelet: Ten Thousand Villages
Orange and green bangles: Forever 21
Vintage black gloves: a gift from a dear online friend (and fellow vintage loving gal)
Vintage Saks Fifth Avenue black patent purse: etsy seller MK Retro
Black and white Swiss dot tights: eBay (I've had these for years, worn them dozens of times, and they're still holding up - knock wood!)
Black faux suede bow adorned heels: Wal-Mart
Lip colour: MAC Russian Red

Photography by Antonio Cangiano

Murphy's Law, of course, a day finally comes along where I feel well enough to embark on an outing to the nearby community of Keremeos (which just happens to be where the wonderful petting zoo we visited last summer is located) to spend time at one of the Okanagan’s best known and most loved fruit stands while their fantastic annual fall display is underway, and the weather was nothing short of awful!

Sleet that looked dangerously close to snow started pelting our car a few minutes outside of town (I should mention, it was sunny when we left Penticton), then turned into rain and partnered up with some rather hefty winds (that kept wanting to blow the skirt of my dress and my pettiskirt up over my head!), but knowing that this might be the one shot we'd get to visit Bear's this year, we ploughed on.

My outfit, though a bit bulky (the black shirtwaist dress is very blousy on top, plus I had a cami under it for warmth, and a flouncy black crinoline underneath), was intentionally chosen for this day and shoot, as I wanted to share this darling jack-o-lantern covered cardigan with all of you. The cut of the cardigan, including the wide round neckline, isn't necessarily one of the best for me, and white as a top layer is anything but flattering on a curvy figure like mine, but I don't mind at all. This sweater is too cute and filled with the playfully spooky spirit Halloween not to wear come late October.

It's not a vintage piece, but the grinning Jacks all over it have, I think, classic faces that help lend it a bit of a yesteryear feel. As I made a point of mentioning to my parents when we saw them later in the day, this isn't my Halloween costume this year, it's my Halloween outfit (which is just as fun and seasonal as a costume, in my books).

Though our trip to Bear's Farm fruit stand was cut shorter than we'd planned due to the nasty weather, we were able to pick up a few pumpkins (including a grey one - which is something I'd always wanted, but never been able to find in Canada before, and indeed, the lady behind the checkout counter said this was the first year they'd ever carried grey pumpkins there) and some delicious dark purple (nearly black) bell peppers that we've been enjoying throughout this past week.

{Speaking of The Great Pumpkin, I recently spotted this incredibly lovely, delightfully vintage looking poster for it, and bookmarked it to share here for Halloween. Poster created by strongstuff (Tom Whalen) on deviantART.}

Naturally, being at a pumpkin display with pumpkin patches all around the area, my mind instantly flashed to It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, which is my all-time favourite Halloween cartoon. Later that night my mom came over to our place and we watched it, as well as my favourite Halloween movie, Hocus Pocus, both of which are huge seasonal musts for me every year (I pretty much know them both by heart at this point, but that just makes me love them even more).

So while the weather was anything but ideal, I'm thrilled that I got sport this Halloween cardigan on camera, hand select our pumpkins, and enjoy a terrific afternoon down in Keremeos with Tony before winter - which, some days at least, doesn't appear to be very far off any more - moseys back into town.

Wishing you all an awesome Halloween countdown - and much better weather than we ran into if you're out gathering pumpkins or setting up your yard in preparation for the 31st!

October 27, 2012

Halloween 2012 edition of Flickr Favourites

{Ann Savage witch ~ carbonated}

{Cute jack-o-lantern cupcakes ~ *CQ*}

{Excitement ~ carbonated}

{Skeleton and witch ~ superbomba}

{June Lang Halloween ~ carbonated}

{Harvest moon dinner ~ Skip Hansen}

{Nice cloak ~ carbonated}

{Black kitten ~ mourner}

{Vintage Halloween card ~ joe&peta}

{Full harvest moon ~ Elle-Epp}

The twinge of excitement that’s been building since the stroke of midnight when August ushered in September, has grown to near peak capacity, as Halloween looms just four days away now.

My most favourite and beloved holiday (and, aside from my wedding anniversary, day of the year, period) since I was the size of a mini pumpkin, Halloween is an event that I wait for with more enthusiasm than a vampire pouncing on an unsuspecting victim in the shadows.

To me it is a night of magic and enchantment, heightened senses, mysteries, fun, games, scrumptious treats, treasured decorations, taking on a new persona (through my costume), recounting October 31st's past, and delighting in every single second of this unique, endlessly awesome day.

One can never have too many Halloween decorations, in my books, nor pieces of candy, costumes, friends to celebrate it with, or eerie, hauntingly beautiful, or playful All Hallow's Eve themed images to look at.

To that end, I knew that I wanted this edition of Flickr Favourites to be devoted to a day that has brought me more merriment over the years than I could ever shake a witch's broomstick at, and which I know is also a treasured, deeply beloved celebration for many of you, too.

I hope you enjoy and garner inspiration from these hair-raisingly marvelous October 31st themed images of past and present, and am wishing you each the happiest countdown to Halloween, my dearest ghouls, hobgoblins, sorceresses, werewolves, and ghosties!

October 25, 2012

20 vintage Hollywood starlets get in the Halloween spirit

Are you abuzz with excitement over Halloween's impending arrival next week like I am? If the festively themed posts that have been filling the vintage blogosphere already as of late are anything to go, then I highly suspect many of you are are as well.

Whether you're practically living in your costume, bowl of candy all set to hand out to trick-or-treaters, already or haven't yet had a chance to even figure out what you're going to wear this All Hallow's Eve, I thought it would be an inspiration filled blast to take a look at twenty photographs of classic Hollywood starlets decked out on some seriously wonderful vintage Halloween garb.

Whether you want to take a page from one of these looks for your costume, or just adore looking at these snaps and further getting in the spirit of October 31st, I hope you all enjoy these delightfully spooky photos of yesteryear actresses as much as I did!

Classic Hollywood actress Lillian Wells, vintage Halloween pin-up girl photo

~*~ Lillian Wells ~*~

Classic Hollywood actress Etchika Choureau, vintage Halloween pin-up girl photo

~*~ Etchika Choureau ~*~

Classic Hollywood actress Peggy Ryan, vintage Halloween pin-up girl photo

~*~  Peggy Ryan ~*~

Classic Hollywood actress Paulette Goddard, vintage Halloween pin-up girl photo

~*~  Paulette Goddard ~*~

Classic Hollywood actress Virginia Welles, vintage Halloween pin-up girl photo

~*~  Virginia Welles ~*~

Classic Hollywood actress Cyd Charisse, vintage Halloween pin-up girl photo

~*~ Cyd Charisse  ~*~

Classic Hollywood actress Colleen Moore, vintage Halloween pin-up girl photo

~*~ Colleen Moore ~*~

Classic Hollywood actress Ida Lupino, vintage Halloween pin-up girl photo

~*~ Ida Lupino ~*~

Classic Hollywood actress Ann Miller, vintage Halloween witch pin-up girl photo

~*~  Ann Miller ~*~

Classic Hollywood actress Kim Novak, vintage Halloween pin-up girl photo

~*~  Kim Novak ~*~

Classic Hollywood actress Dusty Anderson, vintage Halloween witch pin-up girl photo

~*~ Dusty Anderson  ~*~

Classic Hollywood actress Myrna Loy, vintage Halloween pin-up girl photo

~*~ Myrna Loy ~*~

Classic Hollywood actress Nan Grey, vintage Halloween pin-up girl photo

~*~ Nan Grey ~*~

Classic Hollywood actress Lucia Carroll, vintage Halloween witch pin-up girl photo

~*~  Lucia Carroll ~*~

Classic Hollywood actress Yvonne De Carlo, vintage Halloween pin-up girl photo

~*~ Yvonne De Carlo ~*~

Classic Hollywood actress Ruth Roman, vintage Halloween pin-up girl photo

~*~ Ruth Roman ~*~

Classic Hollywood actress Anne Nagel, vintage Halloween pin-up girl photo

~*~ Anne Nagel ~*~

Classic Hollywood actress Veronica Lake, vintage Halloween witch pin-up girl photo

~*~  Veronica Lake ~*~

Classic Hollywood actress Betty Grabble, vintage Halloween pin-up girl photo

~*~ Betty Grabble ~*~

Classic Hollywood actress Ava Gardner, vintage Halloween witch pin-up girl photo

~*~ Ava Gardner ~*~

{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.}

Oh-la-la! What a bevy of stunning vintage beauties! Do you have a favourite photo from amongst these immensely talented, Halloween costume clad actresses?

A chance encounter with a certain type of vintage hat early on this year instantly morphed into the idea for what I wanted my Halloween costume to be this October, and in the ensuing months, I've tried to find other pieces to go with it, so that I could have a complete costume. Was I successful? Well, you'll just have to wait until Halloween to find out! Smile

Luckily though, with just six more days to go, you wont' be waiting long, and in the meantime we can all set about putting the finishing touches on our home decor, candy stashes, costumes, and party decorations, so that when the awesomeness that is Halloween finally rolls around, we'll be as ready and rearing to go as a witch at a buy one get one free cauldron sale when the big night arrives!

October 24, 2012

Counting down to Halloween with a delicious vintage pumpkin pie recipe

With precisely one week to go until Halloween arrives, many of us are busy surrounding ourselves (and our homes) with all manner of pumpkins - from the real deal to jack-o-lantern decorations and pumpkin shaped sweet treats.

Naturally, this time of the year calls for pumpkin based foods, be they stews, cakes, lattes, muffins, pancakes, or one of the most beloved desserts of all time: pumpkin pie.

Typically an after dinner staple at Thanksgiving and Christmas, there's no reason why you can't bake a festive pumpkin pie or two this week to celebrate Halloween and the beautiful spirit of the rich harvest season.

I adore pumpkin pie (especially if it's been generously seasoned with oodles of cinnamon and other sublimely scented spices), and am always game for trying a new recipe (especially if I can easily make it gluten-free so that I can have a slice, too).

Today's vintage pumpkin pie recipe calls on Carnation Evaporated milk to help add moisture and silkiness to finished dish, and is a cinch to throw together if you use a pre-made (store bought or homemade) pie crust.

Vintage Carnation Evaporated Milk pumpkin pie recipe, Chronically Vintage

{As the writing size is quite small on this lovely autumn time recipe, be sure to click here for a somewhat larger - easier to read - version. Image via vieilles_annonces on Flickr.}

For an especially festive touch, you could use a mini pumpkin shaped cookie cutter (Wilton makes a darling 12 piece mini Halloween cookie cutter set that would be perfect) to cut out tiny pumpkins of dough and place them on top of your pie.

You could also serve this with whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, pudding or custard that you'd tinted black, green or purple for an extra spooky touch that kids (and the young at heart) will definitely enjoy.

Another idea would be to turn this pie into individual sized pies or tarts and dust some Halloween sprinkles (again - and I swear this is not product placement, they just make awesome holiday themed items - such as those from Wilton) over each one.

If you're going for a more elegant take on pumpkin pie, I'm quite fond of it dished up with gently warmed dulce de leche drizzled all over each slice, the creamy sauce combining with the sweetly spiced filling for forkful after forkful of caramel apple meets pumpkin pie taste bud heaven.

Whether you bust out the pie plate today or hold off until Thanksgiving to whip up this scrumptious favourite, I hope you'll join me in creating at least one of these beautiful, seasonal treats this year, as - in my opinion - autumn just isn't the same without a slice or two of classic pumpkin pie! Smile

October 22, 2012

Savouring autumn at the creek

Outfit details

1940s/50s flower adorned straw hat: etsy seller Bettes Bargains
Prescription eyeglasses: (frames) Venus Eye Design V-12
1940s inspired autumn leaf necklace: Handmade by me
White vintage slip: eBay
Dark orange cardigan: eBay
1950s yellow pencil skirt: eBay
1950s beaded gloves: eBay
1950s corduroy bucket purse: etsy seller Rue 23 Vintage Clothing
Nude seamed stockings: eBay
Straw hued heels: Anne Klein
Lip colour: MAC Diva 

Photography by Antonio Cangiano



Earlier this year as summer was just beginning its beautiful reign, I wrote about my feeling regarding the unspoiled beauty and peacefulness of the area in which we now live, and how I could not help but marvel at the resplendence of once again knowing tranquility.

A few months on and I still feel my as though my soul is enveloped by these same thoughts when I step outside of my house, especially in the early morning or late afternoon into dusk hours. The purity of the unspoiled air, the rustle of the leaves as the trees whisper secrets to one another, the thousands of stars like dangling like diamonds over head, are all gifts that humble and astound, especially after being away from such a setting for so many years.

Where once we lived in the hectic, exceedingly noisy, sometimes dangerous, generally polluted realm of an area just north of downtown Toronto, we now open our front door and stair at some sublimely pretty woods that back onto a dusty camel and sage hued hill, that looks much like something plucked straight out of an old Western film.

There are no houses blocking our view, and traffic on the small two lane street that runs past us often comes to a complete stop for minutes on end during the later part of the evening and early morning. Nestled between the road and picturesque hill, one finds Penticton Creek, a body of water that runs down from the mountains that back our little town all the way to the sandy shores of Okanagan Lake.

I know it well, this beautiful little creek, having spent a great many childhood hours playing along (but never in - I heeded your warnings, mom, I promise) its banks and rocky edges. Yet despite our proximity, I hadn't yet had a chance to really get down to the water's edge and say hello to it again until very recently. I'd been going through a rough spell health wise and the day these shots were taken was the first time I'd been out of the house in nearly a month, which made filling my lungs with as much crystal clear fresh air an especially happy event.

After carefully (heels + loose earth are never the best combination) making our way down to the creek, Tony began snapping and neither of us could seem to bring ourselves to stop (posing or pressing the shutter). The air was warm and crisp and the golden leaves that were starting to form on the tall trees around us, the light had a magical quality to it that beckoned the soul and made you want to lay down and take a nap in the great outdoors like a pixie resting under a toadstool.

Penticton Creek, which includes a walking path directly above a good chunk of its length, is a popular spot for locals or all ages to enjoy an outing, and is particularly popular with dog owners, who can always be seen up and down its elegant length. On the day when we were there a very energetic, splendidly cute Husky came bounding into the water just a few feet away from where were standing and Tony instantly cast his lens on it.

The chipper dog was wearing a bright green collar which could be seen in all but one photo (pictured above), and I what I love about that shot is how, with its collar tucked into its long fur, it almost looks as though we were encountering a wolf in the woods, further adding to the fairy tale like quality of the whole sublimely lovely afternoon.

While we are being treated to a particularly (unseasonably) warm autumn this year, like a welcome home gift from the universe to celebrate our return to British Columbia, this is still Canada after all, and I know that in a few short weeks, it's very likely the creek - like the whole town itself - will be cloaked in a thick mantle of snow once more.

As such, I'm now trying to head over for a walk along the water's edge as often as possible, though I do usually slip on sandals or saddle shoes instead of heels, unless of course a photo shot such as this is in the cards that day.

In either case, just look for the the vintage wearing gal who's dividing her time between gathering bouquets of autumn leaves, petting the many adorable puppies that come bounding by, and counting her blessings that she’s able to live in such a breath-taking setting.