May 31, 2014

Vintage Link Love: May 2014

One cannot help but look at the calendar with a certain sense of disbelief this week. Really, you ask yourself, shaking your head from side-to-side, really, have we made our way through an entire half of 2014? Can that be? Surely, it's still January and this is all but a dream? Alas, for better on worse depending on your personal take on things, it is not a dream, and we truly have made it through six full months (well, as of tomorrow, if we want to get uber technical) of the year. Amazing!!!

What an exciting, fun filled, sometimes stressful, never dull, and so often memorable ride it's been thus far. I usually save my recaps of how my life has been playing out lately until late December and this year is no exception, especially since I've already talked a fair bit here lately about what's been transpiring in my world at moment and in the very near future (such as going to Vancouver!).

As May draws its last few breaths for another year, it's once again time to take a gander at several diverse, engaging, entertaining and downright enjoyable blog posts and stories that have been catching my eye lately. Grab an ice cold drink (or conversely, a piping hot one should you happen to live south of the equator), kick up your heels (this is Saturday after all!), and have a blast clicking through this month's fabulous vintage related links.

photo VintagelinkloveblogpostheaderforChronicallyVintage_zps551f30c8.png

8 reasons why collecting things is good for your brain: The title, and the ensuring body, of this post from Rewire Me made the perpetual collector in me smile with delight and a certain charming degree of satisfaction. The fact that I then "collected" think link to save for today's post bolstered my cheerful grin all the more.

How to take great photos of vintage clothing: Whether on yourself, a mannequin, model, or even a hanger, this concise selection of how-to tips for photographing vintage fashions is a great read (and post to bookmark) for all those in our circle who do so, or work with someone (such as your significant other, if they're your personal photographer) who does.

Millinery fashions at the start of the 1950s: I've said it before, and I'll say it again, as much as I adore all of the 1940s and 50s from a fashion standpoint, the ten years span covering 1947 to 1957, are my favourite of all time when it comes to clothing and accessories, hats being no exception, so it was with great joy that I lapped up every word and classic image (like the very pretty one pictured below) in talented milliner Tanith Rowan's recent post on hat styles of the early 1950s.

Playsuit Patterns and Where to Find Them: By way of the always lovely Stephanie of Girl With The Star-Spangled Heart comes great roundup of several warm weather perfect vintage playsuit patterns that are to appeal to sewers far and wide as we head into the sweltering, gorgeous heat of summer once more.

Trusting my costuming instinct: Though a fairly short post, the message at the heart of this piece written by historical seamstress Aubry, is something that many of us who have been wearing vintage fashions for years, or even decades, now can wholeheartedly relate it and is a powerful reminder to "go with your gut" when it comes to making yesteryear related fashion choices.

Popular dog breeds in America during the 1930s: Being a both a dog lover and owner myself, as well as a die hard vintage gal, I was especially taken with Kate's recent wonderful look at some of the most common and much adored breeds in America during the challenging years of the decade that housed the Great Depression.

Seven tips for buying vintage eyeglass frames: Whether you're a fellow bespectacled lady or simply shopping for some new sunnies, all of the helpful points that Sarah has shared in this post are well worth reading before embarking on your next eyewear purchase.

1900 - 1910: The reign of the lingerie dress: Recently while doing some background research on a jewelry piece I was listing in my Etsy shop, I came across this terrific article from 2012 on the history of the Edwardian lingerie dress, a wardrobe staple that is as tied to the era in my mind as the cloche hat is to the 1920s or the circle skirt to 50s.

Early Victorian family portraits and the disappearing mother: If you're a fan and/or scholar of Victorian imagery, chances are you've encountered not one, but many photographs from the era in which a child or multiple children are seated with a woman who herself is covered in a cloth, blanket or similar large swatch of fabric, thus rendering her identity a mystery.

To twenty-first century eyes, such photos can seem anywhere from curious to downright chilling at times, but they were once a rather commonplace occurrence and a select number of folks today now study and seek them out intentionally. This thought provoking article from UK newspaper The Telegraph delves into some of the proposed reasons as to why women went to such great lengths to hide themselves in these kinds of studio portraits and is a truly fascinating read for anyone with an interest in photography (of any era).

Top 10 tips for finding the perfect vintage wedding outfit: Wedding season is full swing and much as I've been chatting about various topics pertaining to tying the knot here lately (such as the tradition of going away dress), so too has Queens of Vintage had all things bridal on the brain as of late, very much including the ten handy tips in this helpful post for soon-to-be-brides everywhere.

16 brilliant artists and their animal muses: Also on the cute critter front this month, I was captivated by BuzzFeed's roundup of sixteen world renowned and endlessly talented artists, including many vintage names, and their inspiring and immensely darling pets.

What to wear Lindy Hopping - 1930s/1940s Real-Life Vintage Images: Throughout this month Liz has been shining the spotlight on the fabulous style of dance, and the eye-catching fashions associated with it, that is Lindy Hopping and this post in particular is a must read for anyone looking to emulate the swinging styles of the day themselves when cutting a rug nowadays.

{All images throughout the list of links above come by way of the post that they are displayed directly beneath the write up of here. Please follow the links provided to learn more about these images.}

♥ ♥ ♥

As we savour these final weeks of spring, it's natural to look ahead to summer and all that the second chapter of the year holds in store. Just what exactly it will deliver, only time will tell, but I have a deeply rooted and very positive feeling about it, and like to believe it may be better still than these last six months have been (not that I'm saying, in our case at least, that they were bad at all - they had their moments for sure, but overall 2014 has been, thankfully, a good year so far). Fingers crossed!!!

I hope that each of you has a fantastic, fun (and sunshine) filled June ahead and look forward to embarking on another summer here on the vintage blogging front together. Right now though, I'm off to start giving some serious thought to my outfits for our upcoming jaunt to Vancouver, hopefully hit a few yard sales today, and savour each and every last, sublimely lovely, minute of late spring while it's still here.

May 30, 2014

Sponsor Chronically Vintage in June - Etsy shops still completely welcome

Did the end of this month sneak up on anyone else, too? In just a couple of days time we'll officially hit the halfway mark of 2014. Bonkers, I know! :) With a fresh month upon us again, it's high time I invited one and all to become a new or returning Chronically Vintage blog sponsor.

Having recently opened an Etsy shop of my own this month, I understand that some of you who may have Etsy or similar shops of your own are wondering if I'll still be accepting fellow Etsy shops as blog sponsors here on Chronically Vintage and the answer to that question is a resounding yes!

{Rest assured, there's amply room for all my fellow Etsy vintage and craft sellers here on Chronically Vintage this summer and always. Image source.}

One of the most endearingly terrific elements about Etsy is so many of the pieces there, whether vintage or handmade, are nearly - if not flat out - one of a kind. While we're ultimately vying for the same customers, there's no reason to see one another as competition in any kind of negative sense. My shop doesn't have the exact stock the same things as yours, or the next person's or the next's and so on. We each bring a curated collection of fabulous yesteryear finds and/or handmade items to the table and I will always use my blog as a platform to help others reach a broad audience of 50,000+ viewers a month for their Etsy shop or other business or website that is a fabulous fit for this site.

Promoting Etsy sellers in my posts and in a sponsorship capacity is something that I've thrilled to do since Chronically Vintage began in 2009, as I truly adore Etsy and love shining the spotlight on a wide array of (now) fellow sellers there. I'm dedicated to this and welcome one and all with an Etsy shop that would be a good fit for my blog, as well as all other interested folks to check out my sponsorship page for further details on how you can see your ad on my site and/or drop me a line anytime.

Many thanks for your interest  in becoming a sponsor - I can't wait to collaborate with you this summer!

May 28, 2014

Let's go on a vintage honeymoon to Ireland

Dia dhóibh and top of the morning to you! For this, the third in our exciting four part series of vintage honeymoon destination posts this spring (the first two saw us jetting off to Italy and Hawaii, respectively), we're winding our way back to Europe, for a romantic post-nuptial getaway to none other than the verdant island nation of Ireland.

{As rich in the spirit of romance as it in annual raindrops, Ireland has been seen as a dreamy, beautiful travel destination for ages and continues to make for an ideal honeymoon location. Image source.}

Unlike the other locales that have had the spotlight shone on them here so far, Ireland is not only a country I've visited, but where I actually lived for nearly two years of my life between 2004 and 2006 at the beginning of mine and Tony's life together. My beloved and I met online in early 2004. He was living and working in Dublin, Ireland (having left his homeland of Italy to do so just a few months prior) and I was here in the very same Canadian town we now live together, Penticton, British Columbia. It was, as I like to say, love at first email and before I knew it, I was on a plane to go spend two months with Tony in Ireland.

During that time, he proposed to me in the most endearingly romantic setting one could ever imagine, an Irish castle (Clontarf Castle to be exact), and though I had to return to Canada after that two month stay was up, a mere two and a half months down the line, Tony flew to Canada and we were wed in a very small civil ceremony in front of just a handful of relatives that was held at my mom and step-dad's house.

As, at the time, it was more feasible from an immigration standpoint for me to return to Ireland with Tony and for us to begin our wonderful life as man and wife in Canada, that's precisely what we did about a week after we tied the knot. As I mentioned in first post in this series (about Italy), we did not take an actual honeymoon as the trip to Ireland and the expenses of the wedding on two young kids (I was barely twenty at the time, Tony was twenty-four) was all our budget could allot at the time.

In a way however, looking back now more than eight years after I last left Ireland's shores in 2006, one could - if they wanted to be quite optimistic about it - see our time in Ireland as an extended honeymoon unto itself.

It was not by coincidence that I meet Tony while he was living in Ireland, I had always madly adored this country, as I saw it portrayed though movies, TV shows, books and oral accounts from those who had spent time in the Emerald Isle. I had studied its painfully troubled history, rich culture, scrumptious cuisine and powerful heritage since I was a little girl and prior to doing so, listed visiting or living in Ireland as one of my top life goals. As such, I was involved with a few different social sites that were based out of Ireland, and it was through one of them that I first met my future husband.

Ultimately, once I actually lived there for a while, Ireland proved to be (as so many places are) markedly different than I'd envision and dreamed it would be. I often say that Ireland and I were oil and water, no matter how much I wanted us both to be harmonious Irish spring water in unison. Our time there was laden with ups and downs (so many downs), and not a bed of roses (or would that be clover), by any stretch of the imagination. Still, when I look back on it, I try to focus on the positive points, the elements I loved, and the lessons I learned from living abroad as newly married woman.

{Our time in Ireland was split between two locations: the thriving capitol city of Dublin and the small town of Clonakilty in Country Cork, where we lived before Tony received a terrific chance job offer from a Canadian company set us on the path back to my homeland, and ultimately several years later at long last in 2012, to Tony becoming a full fledged Canadian citizen. Image source.}

Ireland may not turned out to be as I'd envisioned, but it was still beguiling in many ways, incredibly fascinating from a historical standpoint, a beautiful country to call home for a couple of years. Tony and I both feel the same way about our time there, which ultimately, we view as special and very meaningful, as it was where we began our life together.

In honour of that fact, and that Ireland came as close to being a honeymoon as we had, as well as that it is a tremendously romantic country thanks to its plethora of pastoral lands, gently swooping hills, mysterious bays, foggy moors, spirited Celtic music (and culture in general), delicious cuisine (some of the best restaurants I've ever eaten at were on Irish soil), and siren song call to many others just as it once had to me, I felt that it would make for a perfect third edition in our vintage honeymoon series.

Ireland is a country with a powerfully rich history, though it has not, by any stretch of the imagination, always been an easy one. The earliest known settlers to have found their way to this relatively small island country did so around 8000 BC and it has most likely been populated ever since. From the Vikings to the Romans to early English (aka, the Normans), many people have tried to invade and conquer Ireland over the years with varying degrees of success. All however, left their mark on the culture, traditions, language and history of this nation and vestigial elements of these influential invaders remain throughout Ireland and Irish society to this day.

Invasion wasn't the only hardship in Ireland's past, and undoubtedly one the most famous and profoundly devastating tragedies to ever occur within in its borders was The Great Famine of 1845-52, which came about when a horrible potato blight destroyed countless crops across the country, effectively wiping out the staple food of the poorer members of the population (who made up the bulk of Ireland's population at the time) and causing widespread famine, illness, death, and mass immigration to the UK, America, Canada, and other parts of the world. In fact, when the dust and countless tears of sorrow had finally settled, Ireland had lost a quarter of its entire (pre-famine) population of eight million souls.

{The Great Famine had incredibly far reaching and heartbreakingly horrific effects on the Irish population, including a mass exodus of immigrants who left the country, never to return again. Today many of these families' and individuals' descendants can can be found in countries around the world. Image source.}

For centuries Ireland had been controlled by Great Britain (in a relationship that was typically anything but loving, to put it mildly), however at the dawn of the twentieth century steps began to be taken to ensure Ireland would gain the right to become a self-governing nation. However, this plight was not without hardship and great struggle in the form of civil war and immense political unrest which would ultimately lead to the division of Northern Ireland from the Republic of Ireland, typically known simply as Ireland or the ROI in the south (this post focuses on the ROI, as that's where I lived and can speak about from a firsthand perspective), which makes up about five-sixths of the total landmass of the island of Ireland.

After a few more decades of politic upheaval and much negotiating, the Irish Free State became a Republic unto itself in 1949 and in doing so finally severed its last remaining ties to the British monarchy. Interestingly while Ireland itself was neutral during WW2, in part because such connections still existed during the war years, many Irish men signed up for military duty and fought with the Allied forces.

In the years since Ireland became a republic, it has joined the UN (in 1955) and the European Economic Community (now known as the European Union) in 1973. In recent decades, Ireland's economy has shifted dramatically from one centered around agriculture to one of commerce and technology, resulting in a great influx of wealth, higher wages, new industrialization, an increase in immigration from other countries. It has even become the world's largest exporter of computer software, all of which contributes to an economy that has been dubbed the Celtic Tiger during its heyday.

Though, like many European nations, Ireland has been hit hard with economic troubles in recent years in no small part thanks to the global recession and unemployment rates have skyrocketed, there are glimmers of hope that things may slowly be on the upturn. While a second Celtic Tiger economy may not appear anytime soon, one cannot sense that Ireland will, as it has for so many centuries, pull through this troubled time and continue to stand strong for countless more years to come.

Travelers planning a visit to Ireland will be delighted to know that it in 2011 and 2013 respectively, Ireland ranked as the seventh most developed country in the world by the United Nations' Human Development Index. It is generally a very safe country, with good health care, a great national railway system called Iarnród Éireann or Irish Rail (which was one of my favourite elements of the country actually, especially since I've always longed for Canada to have an affordable national railway system of the type that are common in so many European nations), and three main international airports (one each located in Dublin, Shannon and Cork).

Measuring 170s miles (275 kilometers) at its widest point and 301 miles (486 kilometers) at its longest point, Ireland is not a particularly large country, but it's smaller size simply ads to its charm and reminds visitors that it is, in fact, an island resting in the North Atlantic ocean. By the same token, don't let the fact that it's not nearly as big as say, America, India, or Australia, lead you to believe that there isn't much to do while in Ireland, because nothing could be further from the truth.

An incredible array of historical sites, numerous big cities, a myriad of smaller towns and villages, many annual events, excellent museums and galleries, a marvelously rich cultural heritage, world class golf courses, restaurants and hotels; a great social life (often centered around local pubs), plenty of fantastic music, a thriving art scene, as well as being the birthplace of some of the world's most reviewed literary figures all contribute greatly to abundance of things to do and places to go while on holiday in Ireland.

Though I didn't get to do each of the following ten exciting things myself while I was in Ireland, they're all ones I would have enjoyed greatly and would happily sign up for if I found myself there again one day. Wherever you go throughout the country, especially if you're visiting during any time of the year other than the summer, remember that Ireland isn't notorious for being rainy and damp for good reason. I speak from experience when I say that it does indeed get it's fare share of wet weather, so remember to pack along an umbrella and/or raingear with you as you embark on your romantic Irish honeymoon.

Let your inner gourmand run wild on an 8-day Clodagh's Irish Food Trails Tour

Attend one of the various antiques and/or vintage fairs held throughout the year in Dublin

(See Vintage Ireland and Collect Ireland for more info)


Play few rounds of golf at the Lahinch course in Country Cork

(Which was founded in 1892 and is ranked as one of the top 50 golf courses in the world)

Attend the annual Galway Arts Festival

Spend at least a day in Dublin's lively city centre - and while there, be sure to visit Trinity College

Take a seaside holiday at the Atlantic ocean

(Here's a list of good spots to do this)

Kiss the iconic Blarney Stone at Blarney Castle

Take a scenic walk or drive along The Ring of Kerry

Indulge in a pint or two of Guinness at nearly any pub around the country

{To learn more about a specific image, please click on it to be taken to its respective source.}

Over all, Ireland does not usually get either extremely warm or terribly cold (by Canadian standards), and no matter the season, there is always a decent chance of rain. I found when I moved there, that I ended up wearing at least a couple light layers nearly the whole year round, and that I rarely needed to worry about being too warm or too cold as long as I dressed for the season. Though that said, due to the generally damp atmosphere, it is possibly to feel quite chilly, especially from November to March, so you'll want to pack a coat or jacket with you no matter when you go.

If you're headed off to Ireland in the spring for your honeymoon, depending on which part(s) of the country you'll be visiting, you'll likely encounter temperate in the range of 12-20 degrees Celsius, which are well suited to a variety of wardrobe choices.

Denim, mid-length skirts, button front shirts, long sleeved blouses, cotton day dresses, blazers, cardigans, tights and stockings, and an assortment of closed and open toed shoes, as well as plenty of umbrellas, hats, headscarves, and gloves were all staples of my daily wardrobe when I lived there and are the kinds of things I'd recommend packing for your fun filled Irish getaway.

{Keep the powerful winds that sometimes blow up off the Atlantic ocean from tousling your locks too harshly with the help of a cozy, classic vintage fur hat featuring a velvet bow and feather hatband. Hat has an inner circumference of 22". $58.00 from etsy seller Ginny and Harriot.}

{Endlessly classic, easy to style for day or night, and pretty enough to be a conversation starter, these wonderful 1940s screw back earrings featuring amber hued marquise cut glass stones set in gold toned metal and just as lovely as can be. $18.00 from etsy seller Maejean Vintage.}

{Keep the sheen that can easily build up while staying busy during a trip at bay with a fabulously vintage looking container of Coty Airspun Loose Face Powder. $8.21 for 2.3oz/65g, from Amazon.}

{Lightweight and airy, ensuring it will take up next to no room in your suitcase, while also being an ideal layering piece, this elegant mustard yellow 1940s rayon blouse is the kind of top you'll definitely want to take along on your Irish travels. Fits up to a 46" bust/waist size not stated. $49.00 from etsy seller Mom and Pop Culture Shop.}

{Unquestionably one of the most iconic of Irish fabrics, tweed has been a mainstay in the wardrobes of countless locals throughout the country for many generations now. Stay warm, look smart as a whip, and pay homage to that fact with a beautiful vintage skirt suit like this cinnamon brown hued 1940s stunner. Jacket fits up to a 36" bust, skirt waist fits up to a 26/27". $135.00 from etsy seller Luna Market}

{When packing for a trip to Ireland, make sure to include at least one brolly, such as this charming floral print vintage umbrella, in your suitcase right off the bat. You will, I promise you, use it often in all likelihood. $31.50 from etsy seller Root Seller Sisters.}

{Add a splash of extra glamour to your travel ensembles with a charming vintage rabbit fur collar like this stunner from the 1950s (which measures 34" long x 6" wide). On sale at the time of writing for $40.00 from etsy seller Sassy Sister Vintage.}

{Revive the use of a classic piece of luggage by carrying a great vintage train case such as this lovely patina green-blue 1940s number with you on your Irish honeymoon. $50.00 from etsy seller Touching The Past.}

{Let spring showers and hefty Irish puddles do their worst, your beautiful shoes will stay safe and dry when nestled inside a pair of vintage galoshes (aka, overshoes) like these. Fits an approximate modern size 9/9.5 B width woman's foot. $28.00 from etsy seller Down In The Basement.}

For centuries Ireland has, and continues to, produce a wealth of world renowned, incredibly gifted authors, poets and playwrights, including, but in no way limited to, Jonathan Swift, Maria Edgeworth, Bram Stoker, Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw, William Butler Yeats, Seán O'Casey, C.S. Lewis, James Joyce, and Samuel Beckett, all of whose writing is well worth immersing yourself in before, during, and after a trip to Ireland.

If you're in the mood to learn more about the history, culture, cuisine, and geography of Ireland, instead of or in addition to brushing up on the classics, then the following extensive list will be of wonderful service to you there, as you embark on your splendid honeymoon to the romantic Emerald Isles.

-A concise history of Ireland by P.W. Joyce

-A History of Ireland in 250 Episodes by Jonathan Bardon

-A New Genealogical Atlas of Ireland (Second Edition) by Brian Mitchell

-A Traveller's History of Ireland by Peter Neville

-An Anthology of Modern Irish Poetry by Wes Davis

-An Irish Literature Reader: Poetry, Prose, Drama by by Maureen O'Rourke Murphy and James MacKillop

-Art in Ireland since 1910 by Fionna Barber

-Back Roads Ireland by DK Publishing

-Best of Irish Soups by Eileen O'Driscoll

-Celtic Folklore Cooking by Joanne Asala

-Celtic Knotwork Designs by Sheila Sturrock

-Celtic Quilts: A New Look for Ancient Designs by Beth Ann Williams

-Clodagh's Kitchen Diaries: Delicious Recipes Throughout the Year by Clodagh McKenna

-Compendium of Celtic Crafts by Judy Balchin et al

-Constance: The Tragic and Scandalous Life of Mrs. Oscar Wild by Franny Moyle

-Cork and Southwest Ireland (Step by Step) by Insight Guides

-DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Dublin by DK Publishing and Christina Park

-DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Ireland by DK Publishing

-Draw Your Own Celtic Designs by David James

-Field Guide to the Irish Music Session by Barry Fox

-Flavors of Ireland : Celebrating Grand Places & Glorious Food by Margaret M. Johnson

-For the Love of Ireland: A Literary Companion for Readers and Traveler by Susan Cahill

-Fodor's Ireland 2013 by Fodor's

-Frommer's Ireland Day by Day by Christi Daugherty and Jack Jewers

-Frommer's 25 Great Drives in Ireland by Penny Phenix

-Great Book of Celtic Patterns: The Ultimate Design Sourcebook for Artists and Crafters by Lora S. Irish

-Guinness: Celebrating 250 Remarkable Years by Paul Hartley

-I Never Knew that About Ireland by Christopher Winn

-In Search of Ancient Ireland: The Origins of the Irish from Neolithic Times to the Coming of the English by Carmel McCaffrey and Leo Eaton

-Ireland: A History by Thomas Bartlett

-Ireland: A Photographic Tour by Carol Highsmith by Ted Landphair

-Ireland (Insight Guides) by Hilary Weston and Hilary Staddon

-Ireland: In Word and Image by Jay Ben Adlersberg

-Ireland Unhinged: Encounters With a Wildly Changing Country by David Monagan

-Ireland's Art, Ireland's History: Representing Ireland, 1845 to Present by Síghle Bhreathnach-Lynch

-Irish Art and Architecture from Pre-history to the Present by Peter Harbison et al

-Irish Art Masterpieces Catherine Marshall

-Irish Crochet: Technique and Projects by Priscilla Publishing Co.

-Irish-English/English-Irish Easy Reference Dictionary by The Educational Company of Ireland

-Irish Poems by Matthew McGuire

-Irish Puddings, Tarts, Crumbles, and Fools: 80 Glorious Desserts by Margaret Johnson

-Irish Traditional Cooking: Over 300 Recipes from Ireland's Heritage by Darina Allen

-Irish Writing: An Anthology of Irish Literature in English 1789-1939 by Stephan Regan

-James Joyce: A New Biography by Gordon Bowker

-Last Night's Fun: A Book About Irish Traditional Music by Ciaran Carson

-Lonely Planet Dublin by Fionn Davenport

-Lonely Planet Ireland's Best Trips by Fionn Davenport et al

-Malachy McCourt's History of Ireland by Malachy McCourt

-McCarthy's Bar: A Journey of Discovery In Ireland by Pete McCarthy

-Modern and Contemporary Irish Drama (Second Edition) by John P. Harrington

-Modern Ireland: 1600-1972 by R.F. Foster

-News From A New Republic: Ireland in the 1950s by Tom Garvin

-1916: The Easter Rising by Tim Pat Coogan

-Oscar Wilde's Wit and Wisdom: A Book of Quotations by Oscar Wilde

-Paddy's Lament, Ireland 1846-1847: Prelude to Hatred by Thomas Gallagher

-101 Things You Didn't Know About Irish History: The People, Places, Culture, and Tradition of the Emerald Isle by Ryan Hackney, Amy Hackney Blackwell, and Garland Kimmer (Author)

-1,000 Years of Irish Poetry by Kathleen Hoagland

-Over Nine Waves: A Book of Irish Legends by Marie Heaney

-Rachel's Irish Family Food: 120 classic recipes from my home to yours by Rachel Allen

-Real Irish Food: 150 Classic Recipes from the Old Country by David Bowers

-Researching Your Irish Ancestors at Home and Abroad by David R. Elliott

-Rick Steves' Ireland 2014 by Rick Steves and Pat O'Connor

-Round Ireland with a Fridge by Tony Hawks

-Southwest Ireland (fifth edition) by Catharina Day

-Spectacular Ireland by Peter Harbison

-Sport and the Irish: Histories, Identities, Issues by Alan Bairner

-The Best Irish Drinks by Ray Foley

-The Best Of Irish Breads & Baking by Georgina Campbell

-The Big Book of Irish Songs by Hal Leonard Corp.

-The Big Little Book of Irish Wit & Wisdom by Mary Dowling Daley et al

-The Complete Guide to Irish Dance by Frank Whelan

-The Complete Irish Pub Cookbook by Parragon Books and Love Food Editors

-The Country Cooking of Ireland by Colman Andrews

-The Course of Irish History by T. W. Moody et al

-The Everything Travel Guide to Ireland by Thomas Hollowell and Katie Kelly Bell

-The Goodness of Guinness: A Loving History of the Brewery, Its People, and the City of Dublin by Tony Corcoran

-The Graves Are Walking: The Great Famine and the Saga of the Irish People by John Kelly

-The Ireland Rugby Miscellany by Ciaran Cronin

-The Irish Americans: A History by J.P. Dolan

-The Irish Pub by Turtle Bunbury and James Fennell

-The Irish Pub Cookbook by Margaret M. Johnson

-The Lost Decade: Ireland in the 1950s by Dermot Keogh

-The Parting Glass : A Toast to the Traditional Pubs of Ireland by Eric Roth

-The Most Beautiful Villages of Ireland by Christopher Fitz-Simon

-The 1950s: Ireland in Pictures by Lensman Photographic Archive

-The Oxford Book of Irish Short Stories by William Trevor

-The Story of Ireland: A History of the Irish People by Neil Hegarty

-The Story of Irish Dance by Helen Brennan

-The Very Best of Traditional Irish Cooking: Authentic Irish recipes made simple by Georgina Campbell and Biddy White Lennon

-The Wake Forest Book of Irish Women's Poetry by Peggy O'Brien

-Top 10 Dublin by DK Publishing

-Tracing Your Irish Ancestors: The Complete Guide (Fourth Edition) by John Grenham

-Tracing Your Irish & British Roots by W. Daniel Quillen

-Tracing Your Irish Family History by Anthony Adolph

-Vanishing Ireland: Friendship and Community by Turtle Bunbury and James Fennell

-Vanishing Ireland: Further Chronicles of a Disappearing World by Turtle Bunbury and James Fennell

-Vanishing Ireland: Recollections of Our Changing Times by Turtle Bunbury and James Fennell

-Walking Dublin by Pat Liddy

-Waterford Crystal Irish Brilliance by Sharma Krauskopf

-Wise Irish Women by Patricia Connorton Kagerer

{Without a doubt one of the most engaging, witty, brilliant, and insightful minds to ever live, Oscar Wilde, a native son of Ireland, is as quotable as the day is long and rarely is a situation devoid of a passage from his writing that fits it perfectly. I cannot help but think that this particular quotes both eloquently and beautifully applies to all those who may be traveling to Ireland - or anywhere in the world. Limited edition original 8" x 10" art print featuring a quote from the novel The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, $40.00 from etsy seller Three Summer Days.}

I think back to my days in Ireland relatively often. It was, to date, the first and only country other than Canada that I got the opportunity to call home for an extended period. I came to it at a burgeoning time in my adult life, when so many things (including my health, which had taken a drastic nose dive just a couple of years prior) in my world felt incredibly uncertain. Though it bore certain similarities to my homeland, it was - if not quite literally, at least figuratively - a million miles away from the world I'd grown up in and at the time at least, I never felt as though Ireland accepted me as one of its own or had any desire to.

That said however, in that quelling way in which time seems to pacify and smooth rough memories, I think that Ireland is a brilliant, beautiful, industrious, charismatic, high spirited, intelligent, and intriguing country which any traveler would be fortunate to add a stamp to their passport from. If life so dictated I live there again, I could, and I honestly believe that we would spark a new and far better relationship that one we shared all those years ago.

Don't let Ireland's often damp weather fool you. It pulsates with a fiery warmth, incredible culture, breathtaking scenery from shore to shore, and no shortage of fascinating characters past and present, as well as a multitude of engaging places to visit, sights to behold, stores to shop at, restaurants at which to tuck into a scrumptious meal, and many a great sporting match to watch.

{As this vintage travel poster proclaims, Ireland really is a land shrouded in legend, as well as history, beauty, fun, charm, and perhaps even just a wee of magic. It is too special a place to be forgotten once you've set foot on its rich soil, and that, after all, is precisely what one wants in their honeymoon destination. Image source.}

Honeymooners will feel its charms and wit, marvel with wide-eyed wonder at its resplendent scenery and, with a bit of that famous Irish luck, leave with more amazing memories than you could ever pack into a million suitcases.

And should you be curious, though we've not been back yet since we left in 2006, Tony and I both agree that one day we'd very much like to return as tourists to the Emerald Isle, walk old haunts, kiss passionately at Clontarf Castle like we did the night we got engaged, and experience a wealth of the things that various circumstances prevented us from doing when we called Ireland home.

Next month, in our final installment in this fun filled post series, we'll be heading off to a destination that is amongst the most famous in all the world when it comes to honeymooning. Hint, hint, it's one that's closer to home for me than any other we've covered so far and that you're bound to fall head-over-heels in love with!

*PS* Dia dhóibh is the plural form of saying hello in Gaelic Irish.

May 27, 2014

Sometimes it's good to be a little koi

Outfit details

1940s black straw hat with yellow flowers: A Vintage Affair in Calgary, Alberta
Faux pearl stud earrings: Claire's
Black cropped cardigan: Fairweather
Vintage rotary telephone brooch: 25th annual Vernon Antiques & Collectibles Show
Black and white gingham 1940s reproduction wrap dress: Lolly Doll Clothing
Black plastic rose stretch bracelet: Thrifted (Value Village)
1940s yellow gloves: Jardin Antiques in Okanagan Falls (blogged about here)
Black patent faux leather vintage handbag: etsy seller A Vintage Revival
Black seamed nude stockings: eBay
Black pumps: Payless
Lip colour: MAC Russian Red

Photography by Tony Cangiano

Or a big one, whatever the case may be. :) This wordplay title comes from the fact that these photos were shot at a charming raised koi pond in front of a local nursery. As koi and goldfish are my two favourite fishies in the whole wide world, it only seems fitting that I finally got to pose with a handful of these darling multi-coloured aquatic beauties.

Before proceeding even a moment further with today's post, I want to sincerely thank everyone who commented on Saturday's post about our yard sale. Between that exciting happening and a jam packed Sunday and Monday, I haven't been online for the past three days and am just now reading and delighting in each of your awesome, supportive comments. I'm pleased as punch to report that Tony both adored his first garage sale (as a seller) and that the two of us made a tidy profit of $160.50. We had sunny (warm!) skies, a fairly good turnout, and got rid of plenty of items. After all was said and done, we donated nearly all those that didn't sell to two local thrift stores that both work directly with important charities, such as Women in Need.

Though not entirely over yet, this month has been nothing short of a true whirlwind for me. I fully realize that I haven't been online, or more accurately, in the blogging realm, quite as much as usual, but sometimes we have to make sacrifices in one area of how we spend time to devote those minutes, hours and days to others. I know that as time goes on and I get more Etsy shop running experience under my belt, I'll get better at juggling the two very, equally, important halves of my online vintage world.

I've already used the analogy (here) of my shop being like a newborn baby and my blog like a five year old child (as it's been online for half a decade), and much like with a brand new baby, it's only natural for a mother to need to devote more of her time, energy and attention to the newest member of the family. That doesn't mean, of course, that she forgets her older child, not in the slightest, just that at times the baby will her focus a bit more.

This isn't a veiled way of saying that I don't plan to continue to blog often, I very much do, nor that in the long run you won't see and hear from me around the blog realm and on social media. Goodness, no! Nothing like that in the slightest. I guess what I'm saying, or doing, is publically acknowledging that I've quickly come to better realize firsthand both how much time and energy running my blog the way I have for the past few years, especially the last 2.5 years, takes, as well now as how much of both of those things running an Etsy shop that I hope to turn into a very successful business in due time consumes as well.

There are only so many hours in the day, and even with both of those important areas of my life, I - like all of us - must and want to leave space for other things, too. Be it cleaning my house, cooking, reading, crafting, spending time with Tony and our pets, visiting friends and family, sourcing items for the shop, and every now and then traveling, amongst plenty of others (and speaking of traveling - knock wood - ten before we're set to departs, things are still looking positive in terms of me being able to accompany Tony to Vancouver in June).

May has not left me with a lot of spare time for vintage outfit photo shoots, but before the month wrapped up, I wanted to share another one with you that I've been bursting with exciting about for months now (the prospect of it I mean, these snaps themselves were taken just a few days ago). If you have a better memory than me :) (mine is a bit fried at the moment from burning the candle at both ends so much lately), you may recall that last August I mentioned in this post about an exciting interview that I'd had with UK vintage reproduction Lolly Doll.

I mentioned then that you'd be hearing more about Lolly Doll on my blog in down the road and today I have the great pleasure of making that happen. I've remained in touch with the wonderful woman (Lolly) behind Lolly Doll ever since our interview. At the moment, Lolly is going through a super busy period in her life and needs to focus her attention on areas other than her reproduction clothing site, which is currently offline.

However, Lolly Doll fans can still connect with the company on Facebook, where Lolly has some styles of gingham dresses (including black gingham with black rickrack, green gingham with white rickrack, and plain navy with white rickrack) available for sale in UK sizes 8 to 18 and my understanding is that she will ship worldwide. If you're interested in discussing purchasing a Lolly Doll vintage reproduction dress with Lolly, you can Facebook private message her anytime.

Lolly very kindly sent me this charmingly sweet 1940s reproduction black and white gingham wrap dress to review recently and I can say with absolute sincerity that it instantly became one of my favourite items in closet (thank you so much, Lolly, I adore and appreciate it immensely!). It is so comfortable I practically forget I have it on while I'm wearing it, which makes me think it would be an ideal frock to travel in (be it by car, boat, plane, train, you name it!). Well made, accurately sized, and cute as a button, this dress sings with the spirit of 1940s, but it is not beyond the ability to be styled in a more modern direction, too, if so desired. Lightweight, cool (a must in for sizzling summers we get here in the Okanagan), and just flat out pretty, it was the ideal piece to sport recently for a quickly errand running trip around town that including posing at the local Art Knapps nursery in front of their beautiful koi pond.

As you, my dear readers, may know, I'm huge on finding places, urban and wilderness based alike that transmit serenity the moment you visit them and, this koi pond, mere feet away from multiple busy roads and whirl of traffic, when visited after the nursery has closed for the day (as we did for our shoot) is one of those "in town" tranquil oases for me.

The fact that it houses several (they were darting to and fro all over the place, but I counted at least seven koi of varying sizes) of my favourite type of fish certainly doesn't hurt either when it comes to putting me in a relaxed, extra happy mood - something that I need more than ever now that the dynamics of my life has shifted and I've got an exciting Etsy shop to run alongside my beloved blog.

Simple joys like visiting that greenery bedecked pond full of sunset hued fish never ceases to lift my spirits and brighten my day, which, coincidentally, is exactly how I feel when I slip on my Lolly Doll dress as well. Another point in its favour and reason why I've been wearing it more days than not as of late! :)