December 30, 2015

Snowy days, Science World, and we got a new car!

Outfit details
C. 1940s/1950s tawny brown felt hat with orange and green feather: Christmas gift from my parents
Gold tone metal & clear rhinestone bow shaped earrings: Good question...possibly Claire's
Navy blue blazer: Suzy Shier
C. 1950s/60s gold tone flower brooch: Unknown, had for years (possibly thrifted)
Pumpkin coloured thin cable knit sweater: Eddie Baurer
Navy blue 1940s style swing skirt: Steady Clothing via Blame Betty
C. 1950s green gloves: Had for years, either thrifted or a nearby antique shop in OK Falls
Dark brown faux leather purse: eBay
Nude seamed nude stockings: eBay
1940s style tawny brown leather shoes: Local flea market find
Lip colour: MAC Party Line

Photography by Tony Cangiano

For my final outfit post of 2015, I had sincerely hopped and planned to bring you a sneak preview of the gorgeous 1950s style dress from Unique Vintage that I will be sporting this year for New Year's Eve.

Alas though we've been getting pummeled with snow day in and day out for over a week now and unfortunately that does not make for very safe (particularly for the camera and lens themselves) shooting conditions. Thus, for the time being, we just have to wait for a dry day to capture that outfit on and then I'll post my final festive ensemble of the holiday season asap (so excited!).

Aside from hampering our shooting abilities, I do enjoy the snow, which is soothingly peaceful to watch tumble to the ground during the brief hours of daylight one experiences in early winter. It has been a relaxing counterpoint to the breakneck hecticness of this whole entire month.

As mentioned in this post back on the 11th, one of things that had been filling our days a great deal as of late was the search for new (to us) vehicle. I'm happy to report that after about three weeks of super intense research, scouting and plenty of test driving, we finally found "the one".

Our beautiful new set of wheels (which I'll try to get some photos to share on social media and/or here as well once the snow lets up!) is a silvery grey hued 2012 Buick Enclave with only 55,000 kilometers on it that it is in like new shape.

We got a very reasonable (financed) priced on it that include a trade in with our old car. This vehicle is everything and more that we've both been dreaming of for years and we are so elated with our choice and the abundance of room that we finally have.

The first couple of times we grocery and Christmas shopped in it almost felt surreal after so many years with a teeny, tiny amount of cargo space. We hope to be able to keep this vehicle for several years at least and can hardly wait to continue experiencing the many, many ways it will help and enrich our lives - very much including when we take road trips like last month's jaunt to Vancouver.

We did not have our new car yet then (in fact, that trip was the final straw, so to speak, in leading us to decide that the time had finally come to invest in a new set of wheels with a much larger cargo capacity) and it was, as always, a legitimate challenge to get two suitcases and a small array of other needed items into our car. Those days are now a thing of the past though and I'm so excited for the next time we get to travel - it will probably feel like we have a small moving van by comparison.

The photos in today's post were one of  a couple of shoots that we were able to take this time around in Vancouver. As mentioned here before (don't want to veer into broken record territory :)), this was a work trip for Tony and he put in very long hours on it most days, which meant that the brief time we had together was usually long after the sun had set. On two days however, we managed to squeeze in some time to not only take pictures, but also do so sightseeing, visiting, shopping, and exploring together.

On this particular afternoon, we made a beeline for Science World, a longstanding pillar of scientific education and fun in this province. I hadn't been since I was about 14 years old and Tony had never been to this particular science center, so given that we're both massive science fans, it seemed like an ideal outing. We had a blast, saw all of the exhibits, and even grabbed a few snaps outside before heading indoors (when we arrived), as the light was fading fast already and we knew it would be as good as gone when we existed.

This is a cozy, classic outfit of the type I usually wear when traveling, especially if a lot of walking is going to be involved. Don't let the red wall behind me in most of these snaps fool you, my sweater is in fact a very pumpkin-y shade of orange, not crimson, but aside from that, things are true to life in terms of how the rest of the ensemble appeared that day. Normally we wouldn't shoot against such a similar hued background, but it was just about our only option in that immediate area, so when in Rome - or Vancouver... :)

My dears, it is genuinely hard to believe that we have very nearly come to the end of another year. In less than two days time we'll be finishing our dates with a number 16 and celebrating all the possibilities, joys, and promises that the new year always holds in store for us.

With all my heart, I want to thank each and every one for your for your awesome support of my blog, Etsy shop, and social media accounts throughout the year. In ways big and small, you motivate, encourage, inspire, and delight me day after day, week after week, month after and month, and ultimately, year and year and I could not do what I do to the same degree without you.

Whatever the future holds in store for us next year, we'll face and celebrate it together. We'll laugh, we'll cry, we'll share and we will continue to grow as individuals and as a community alike.

I don't know what 2016 will deliver, but I do know that I'm champing at the bit to experience it and can hardly wait to share much of what transpires in my life here with all of you.

To the new year, may it be a brilliant one for each of us.

December 28, 2015

Meet Porcelina: Beautiful UK vintage fashionista, lingerie fan and travel lover

Smart, stylish, sweet, and very accomplished, December's interviewee is none other than beloved British vintage blogger Porcelina from the wonderful site Porcelina's World.

A fellow longtime blogger (her blog launched in 2010), I've had the pleasure of knowing Porcelina for years now and am constantly inspired, impressed, and educated by this beautiful lady, who I feel lucky to count as a dear online friend, too.

Much like myself, Porcelina has a wide range of interests, passions and plates in the air, so to speak. She's working on her PhD, adores a huge range of old school styles, delights in photography, is a devoted blogger (and, very thoughtfully, an avid commenter on other peoples' sites, too), is always up for a spot of travel, and never fails to have a kind, encouraging word at the ready. I really respect Porcelina, her vintage lifestyle blog, and the type of kindhearted, well-rounded woman that she is.

Continue reading, to learn more about this awesome British gal, as we talk about the things that keep her busy, bring her joy, and have her hopping in front (and behind) the lens week after enjoyable week on her terrific blog.

First of all Jessica, I must say what a pleasure it is to be interviewed by you!

Thank you so much, sweet lady! On your blog's about page, you share the eloquent line "Life through vintage tinted glasses", which resonates so deeply with me. Could you please, in your own words, describe some of the key ways that this statement currently rings most true for you?

For me, vintage is not just a connection with clothing and hair styles, but with a way of life, with people who've come and gone, with our history, art and culture. Here in the UK, we're particularly lucky that we don't have to look far to find a fragment of history, or in other words "something vintage". If you're shopping on the high street, you can easily find beautiful and affordable vintage style clothing.

Walking through any town, you'll see architecture from a sweeping range of historic eras. Turn on the radio and you'll hear a song that has obviously taken inspiration from early rock 'n roll, blues, soul or swing. I have to say that the glasses aren't rose-tinted. Most ordinary people would have led a hard life far removed from the Hollywood glamour we commonly associate with vintage eras.

So, I have a healthy respect for the past, and think it's very important to understand it so that we can put into context many aspects of our modern society - be it fashion, politics or music. Seeing "life through vintage tinted glasses" has been particularly relevant in the past year, since I've started writing for British magazine "In Retrospect", as I'm always on the look out for a vintage angle to turn into an article!

Was there one particular event that lead you to launch your blog, Porcelina's World, or was blogging something that you'd felt compelled to do for a long time?

I started my blog in early 2010, and had already loved vintage fashion since childhood, watching old films or episodes of Poirot on repeat, and fantasizing about living in that time and being able to dress in such a glamorous manner. Discovering Dita von Teese and a local burlesque scene gave me the realization that you didn't have to actually live in the past to wear clothing from bygone eras.

I then stumbled upon 'blogs', such as Diary of a Vintage Girl, and Chronically Vintage, of course! I immediately felt connected through a common interest. It was wonderful to be able to use blogs to share my excitement over the sweet vintage brooch I'd found for 50p or the Alfred Meakin gravy boat. Starting a blog was just something I did one day, it wasn't particularly planned. I just thought it was something I'd like to do, partly as a creative outlet, and partly as a way to help open other doors of possibility.

What have been some of the biggest surprises about blogging for you?

That I am still going, nearly 6 years later! Blogging has deepened my passion for vintage immensely. I think my blog has changed and developed a lot since the early years. It used to be much more about things I'd bought or wanted to buy, and any outfit photos were taken on a self-timer in my bedroom. Now I have much more of a regular 'outfit post' schedule, thanks to my husband.

He's a keen photographer, and once I got over the cringing embarrassment of having to strike awkward poses while he took seemingly endless photographs, I could see how much of an asset his skills would be to my blog. I quite enjoy the posing now, especially as we usually tie in a shoot to a day trip somewhere beautiful in our local area of the Welsh Valleys. I'm very grateful that my husband loves vintage as much as I do and is so supportive of my blog.

How about some of your favourite elements?

I think the vintage community is amazing, and I value being part of it. People have been incredibly welcoming, helpful, non-snobby and genuinely down-to-earth. I've learnt so much about vintage clothing, antiques and history, and about the places where people live. I've forged friendships with fellow vintage-lovers not just in the UK, but across the world, and that has been a truly wonderful bonus to blogging. I think blogging opens up your work and friendship circles in a different way to other social networking.

I've had some amazing opportunities through blogging, visiting some fabulous exhibitions, parties and venues, but for me, one of the most wonderful things is still that someone out there on the other side of the world is actually interested in what I bought in the car boot sale for £1 this week.

You have an absolutely fantastic sense of style and are keen on sporting looks from a wide array of decades (each of which look sensational on you, I should add). In general, are is one or more decades in particular that you feel most strongly about?

Thank you! It started with the 1930s, absolutely. My mother loves old Hollywood films, particularly screwball comedies, and growing up I would sit and watch black and white films with her on rainy Sundays. This then led to a Poirot obsession in my teens and twenties. I find my budget and lifestyle restricts me more with 1930s and 1920s styles, so I end up wearing more styles inspired by the 1940s through to the 1970s.

I think I've become much more open-minded about different decades and what they have to offer - for example, I wasn't a big fan of British 1960's styles such as those which Twiggy epitomized, but I've grown to love some of the 1960's American styles as portrayed in Mad Men. There's so much to take from each era, even if on the surface the major trends don't appeal. I find that my appreciation of different eras is cyclical, and I might turn away from 1940s styles only to fall back in love with them a few months later.

Do you enjoy dressing "vintage fusion" style, that is to say, mixing elements from different decades and/or vintage (or repro) + new items together in the same ensemble?

At first, the idea of mixing decades horrified me! I was a bit of a purist, or at least an idealist. Now, I love mixing my decades. On a Sunday at home I might wear some reproduction 1940's swing trousers with a 1970's style top, and 1950's style shoes.

It's a lot of fun to try and get an item from one era to 'go' with something so distinctly from another. It's rare that I dress from head to toe in one era, perhaps only for special occasions or if I'm attending an event that relates to a specific era. I don't have as much wearable true vintage in my wardrobe these days aside from accessories, and so most days I'm likely to be wearing repro or high-street "look-a-likes" with some true vintage touches like brooches. And red lippy of course!

From any era, what are some of your favourite types of accessories?

Gloves were my first vintage accessory obsession. I tend to only wear them in the colder months now, but a white pair in summer with a pretty frock looks very sweet, and you can't beat evening gloves with a gown for drama.

Brooches are another other weakness, especially novelty ones. I am not fussy about era, and buy modern brooches as well as vintage ones. Finally, when the weather allows I love parasols. My mother has inherited a Victorian one in black silk with ivory handle. It's incredibly beautiful. I hope to use it in a photo shoot one day (very carefully!).

How about (fabric) patterns?

I've always been drawn to bold prints such as spots, stripes and checks. I like some florals, if they're colourful and bold enough, which usually means tropical or oriental prints rather than English country garden florals. I adore novelty prints, and have a number of items with dogs and birds on. What would I like to wear but don't? Pucci prints are something I admire on others but don't feel they suit me personally.

Like myself, you're a passionate reader and periodically share book reviews on your blog. What are your favourite types of books?

Classic crime novels written or set in the 1930s and 1940s are entertaining, easy to read, and usually involve glamour, country estates, and diabolical motives. What more could you want? I also enjoy historical fiction, by classic authors such as Daphne Du Maurier, and modern writers such as Lisa Jewell and Amor Towles. In stark contrast, my other favourite genre is probably Science Fiction and Fantasy. I love authors such as John Wyndham and Robin Hobb. I am currently re-reading Ursula Le Guin's 'The Left Hand of Darkness', which I have been afraid to re-read because it was so good the first time.

Do you enjoy collecting and/or reading actual vintage books, too?

I have a small collection of vintage books, but they're more the falling-apart and mottled kind than antique and valuable! The collection includes a few old Agatha Christie books that my husband bought me as presents. I also have film annuals, and trashy doctor-nurse romances from the early 1960s that you can't read without becoming a bit more of a feminist.

A while back you moved into a wonderful looking early 20th century home that you and your husband have been renovating and revamping. When you were house shopping, did you specifically look for an older home or was it just a fortunate happenstance that you acquired the one that you did?

We knew we didn't want a new build, and in the United Kingdom buying an older property is the norm. (Because I like facts and figures, I looked up the statistics and found out that over 70% of the UK housing stock is older than 1958. Of those homes, 20% are at least 100 years old!) I visualized my husband and I buying a Victorian property, as we had been living in Victorian terraces while we were renting, so it was quite a surprise when we found our 1935 house. It was even more of a surprise to me that it wasn't located in the city where we were living, but in a semi-rural location in a former mining community.

I can't say it was love at first sight, because it was just so different to what I'd imagined, but it ticked all the boxes and was under budget, and it only took one more viewing for me to realize that it was "the one". There was a bird of prey circling the house as the mist rolled down the valley, and I took it as a sign! Since moving into our house, I've found a new appreciation for the architecture and interiors of the 1930s, and I've read everything about them that I can lay my hands on.

Are you going for a "time warp" sort of look with your decor, or is it a more diverse mix of pieces from various decades and design styles?

It's definitely not a time warp, but the decor and furnishings have to compliment the building. I had to abandon ideas of sleek Deco minimalism, and my husband his notions of more rustic decor. We are lucky to have some original features, such as parquet flooring. None of the original 1930s fireplaces were in the house, but rather than track down a reclaimed fireplace for our lounge, we decided to install a woodburner on a big slate hearth.

We are in Wales after all, and we have to recognize our location in how we approach our interiors as well as serving the house. Not all 1930s decor appeals to me to be honest - some of the colour combinations were actually a little garish, such as yellow with green in the hallway, and pink with blue in the bedroom. A world away from the Farrow and Ball of the modern generation!

We still have many rooms to decorate but it's a labour of love, and we want to grow into the house rather than having it all done quickly and then realizing that's not how we want it. There's also a question of budget, so lots of our furnishing are acquired little by little from car boot sales, charity shops and skips!

The most difficult decorating issue so far has been what pictures to hang on the walls. I have very feminine pictures of Marlene Dietrich or 1920s fashion plates, and my husband has Elvis, Johnny Cash and Jack Kerouac. We did find a vintage fiesta poster on honeymoon in Seville, and that's up on the wall, so it's a start.

Any firsthand advice for those who may be looking to purchase a vintage home themselves?

Purchasing a home has to be a decision of both head and heart. It's easy with a vintage home in particular to fall in love with its quirky charm, but it has to be functional and structurally sound too! There's a certain responsibility to preserve original features, on top of the inevitable work that will need doing, and so that has to be factored into budgets on top of the price of the house itself.

I think realistically appraising how much work needs to be done, how much it will cost, and how long it will take, are all very pertinent things to think about before taking the plunge. Find a really good surveyor, who specializes in older or historic properties. Some surveyors who deal mainly with newer properties get a bit overly-dramatic about all of the potential dangers in older properties (Asbestos! Lead!!) and might scare you off from what could be a wonderful home.

You live in the UK, which has one of the most thriving vintage scenes in the world. Have you had a chance to take part in and/or visit a lot of vintage related events in your area and/or further afield in the country? Is there one in particular that has really stood out for you? And if so, why?

Last year we attended a 1940s weekend at the Black Country Living Museum in the Midlands. The whole museum was taken over by re-enactors, and there were regular air raids! Despite some inclement weather it was a lot of fun, great value and I'd go again in a heartbeat. The people were so lovely, and really keen for you to join in, no matter if you were dressed up or not. It felt very inclusive and I'm sure has helped some folks start their journey into the vintage world. There is always something vintage-related going on in most corners of the UK, and I can't wait to go to more events! Next year we're off to the Goodwood Revival for the first time, which I am very excited about.

Speaking of further afield, you adore traveling and treat us to some great getaway posts on your blog, both from the UK and elsewhere, such as your beautiful recent honeymoon. What are some of your favourite places that you've ever visited?

The United States holds a lot of memories. My husband being a singer-songwriter, we went on a musical pilgrimage across Tennessee, visiting Graceland, Sun Studio, Stax, The Grand Old Opry and other musical landmarks. It was the trip of a lifetime! Otherwise, I really think the UK has some amazing places that we return to again and again, such as the West Wales coast. We have a lot of natural beauty on our doorstep.

What are three that you'd love to see, but haven't yet visited?

I would love to return to California. I last went as a sulky teen. Now, I'd stay aboard the Queen Mary, go to a dinner dance at the Cicada Club, and stroll around a vintage flea market. I would also love to visit more of Europe - Italy and France in particular, as I've shockingly never been to either!

What were some of the ways that you involved vintage in your wedding?

Vintage ended up as a thread running through the whole day as it is a common interest for us, but I didn't intentionally impose a rigid theme. My dress was 1930s inspired, and I carried an oversized rose bouquet as a nod to the Glamelia trend of the 1940s. We invited guests to dress up in their "vintage finery" with an assurance that they couldn't overdress, and it was heartwarming how much effort people made. One male friend even had a 1920s haircut especially! Our reception was held in a 1908 church hall, and that couldn't have been more perfect.

I tried to add lots of vintage touches, with each female guest receiving a vintage brooch that I had collected over the year leading up to the wedding. The cake was in a Deco style, as was all the stationery, and my Mum did a nice display of vintage family wedding photographs. Music throughout the whole day was a mix of Elvis, big band, rockabilly and soul, with live performances and a DJ. It was rockin'!

You're a huge fan of vintage lingerie, did that factor into either, or both, events for you in any way?

Finding lingerie to wear under my wedding dress was one of the biggest headaches of the whole wedding planning! It's very difficult to find garments that work with the more fluid 1930's style wedding dresses, as most modern wedding dresses seem to have boned and strapless bodices.

Finding underwear to work under a low backed, sheer silk, gown is much, much harder. Lots of people said "just go without!" but I could see that going horribly wrong. In the end, I sewed bra cups into my dress myself, and after what seemed like an endless search, I finally found a pair of French knickers from What Katie Did that didn't show through my dress too badly. On my honeymoon I took my little 1920s inspired cropped cami top and shorts, which are a silk mix and lovely and cool in hot weather.

When not blogging, reading, traveling, or working, what are some of your key interests?

It's a simple life really. We do lots of home cooking, mainly low-carb, healthy meals, washed down with some good red wines. I do love trying out recipes from all over the world, and particularly love Moroccan and Lebanese food. I have been practicing yoga for many years but I still try and be stylish in my workout gear, and seek out good quality yoga brands rather than wearing old t-shirts and baggy sweatpants. Creativity is very important in our household. If I had more time I would like to write more short stories and poetry, paint, play music, sew, but I have to prioritize other things at the moment. There aren't enough hours in the day to be honest (so true!!!).

Is there anything about yourself that you'd be comfortable sharing, that your readers might not know about you?

My day job isn't very vintage. I'm an academic, with a background in Health Psychology. I used to deliver Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to patients with anxiety and depression, which I did for years and very much enjoyed. I'm in a pure research role now at a university, looking at the mental health of doctors. I am also doing a PhD, so I will be Dr Porcelina in a few years!

As we head towards 2016, how would you describe your current style?

I very much dress according to my mood and find different eras present women (in particular) in very different ways, so I try to think "who do I want to be today?". Most recently, Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries has been quite inspirational, and I have been adding a few kimono jackets and beaded necklaces to my collection, though I'm not going as far as to have a pearl-handled revolver in my handbag.

And last, but certainly not least, do you have any exciting plans - be they travel, work, home renovation, blogging, or otherwise related - that you can share with all of us?

I am going to take on the challenge of being behind the camera a little more! My husband is launching a new album in 2016, so it will be his turn to pose, along with guitars and banjos I imagine. I've helped out with the photography and artwork ideas for his previous albums, and it's a lot of fun. With the new album there will possibly be some more travel opportunities, but they can be very last minute so we'll have to wait and see! 

One place I am definitely going is Greece, as I am attending a conference for work. It's the first time I've ever had the opportunity to travel abroad for work, so I am thrilled. Aside from that, the home improvements will gently continue in the background, and we'll just be enjoying newly married life.

Connect with Porcelina on the following sites:

Good Reads

Meet the past interviewees, up until this month, who have taken part in this delightful ongoing post series:

February 2015: Emileigh | March 2015: CiCi | April 2015: Helen Mae | May 2015: Esther | June 2015: Ms. Falcon |July 2015: Jessie, and Laurence & Sylvain | August 2015: Holly | September 2015: Rhia | October 2015: Franny | November 2015: Emily

♥ ♥ ♥

Thank you for a flat out stellar interview, Porcelina. You are such a delightful, elegant, highly talented person and I feel honoured to know and get a chance to share in the communal act of blogging with you.

On last month's interview post, a lovely commenter said something that sparked an idea in me. Going forward from this point, I will be linking to all past interview posts that have appeared up until that point in time. That way if you're new to the series or might have missed an entry here and there, you can easily catch up. I really appreciate this idea and want to thank that reader again for their great suggestion.

Next up, at present it looks like we'll be staying put in the good, ol' British Isles and chatting with another uber stylish lady who recently relocated there from the other side of the world. She's another well known name in our circle and I'm sure you'll adore hearing from her, too.

As 2015 quickly nears its end, I want to take a moment to wholeheartedly thank every one of the fantastic folks around the world who took part in this year's exciting Meet a Fellow Vintage Blogger interview series, as well as all those of who commented on, shared, and even blogged about these delightful posts. One of my favourite things is bringing members of our community together (further) and I feel honoured to be able to do just that here each month through these reoccurring posts.

I have tons of awesome interviews lined up for 2016 already and can hardly wait to bring you in-depth chats with more of the folks who help make the online vintage world the truly beautiful, welcoming, and flat out fun place that is.

Here's to the next year of vintage blogger interviews and beyond!!!

December 27, 2015

Flickr Favourites: December 27, 2015

{Gala Midnite Show New Year's Eve ~ Tom Simpson}

{A Very Happy New Year Scottie ~ The Vintage Traveler}

{Pine cones and branch on toy sledge ~ Tatyana Titova}

{Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz ~ Lucy_Fan}

{Sweet Bouquet ~ Bunches and Bits}

{Tree Hat ~ James Vaughn}

{USSR New Year ~ Katya}

{1955 ... scandal in choir! ~ James Vaughn}

{CadĂȘ meu presente de natal? ~}

{1946 Mona Freeman ~ Amy Jeanne}

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

The year is truly winding down, but the festive celebrations are still going strong and as such I didn't want to delve into anything to hard and heavy - or labour intensive on either of our sides - here today.

There is always a certain sort of beautiful bitter sweetness to the end of the year. Whether one adored or abhorred the twelve months that just passed, there's no denying that saying goodbye to a given year is always at least a little bit tough.

These months, so bracingly recent in our minds were our friends, while they lasted, and they got us through to this very moment. Some were likely better than others, and probably had their own respective highs and lows, but when all was said and done, there was a greatness to the sum of their parts, no matter what.

For me 2015 was a year dominated by a great deal of introspective thought. A lot of thinking not only about how I would like my life to be right now, but also in the coming years and beyond, and by often feeling like I was being productive, but in some parts of my life, in a way that was akin to spinning my wheels, without moving forward as much as I would have ideally liked.

Not in all areas of course, and on the Etsy shop (where everything is currently 30% off until January 4th) front in particular, I'm thrilled with the growth that took place there, from inventory numbers to sales figures to the diversity of antique and vintage products I've been able to offer my customers.

It was a year of some unexpected points - both good (Tony's exciting work trip to the States for the summer) and bad (my maternal grandma's cancer diagnosis and subsequent surgery + treatment, for example), personal growth, and making certain firm decisions about how I want my blog, business, and life to hopefully continue to unfold. 

2015 wasn't the best year ever, but it certainly wasn't the worst ever either and, really, any time you can walk away from a given set of twelve months and say that, it's worth smiling extra big as the ball drops at midnight on January 1st.

That is exactly what I'll be doing come the big night next week. Blessing counted, my precious husband and pets by my side, and a really positive outlook on the coming year planted squarely in my mind as I do so.

Happiest New Year's wishes, everyone!

December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas Wishes, One and All!

On this endlessly marvelous and magical of mornings, with all our might Tony and I (and our pets, Stella and Annie, too!) want to wish you each a truly happy, fun filled, safe, fabulously festive holiday!

{Victorian Christmas greeting image source}

Without a doubt one of the most precious and important gifts in our daily lives is all of you and the support that you give to my blog, Etsy shop, YouTube channel, and other online presences.

Today, tomorrow, and every last day of the year, I hope that you know how much I sincerely cherish, appreciate, and am forever grateful for each and every one of you.
We'll be delighting in the joyfulness of the next few days with loved ones, while also continuing to bring you fun new posts throughout these final days of 2015, such as December's vintage blogger interview and my glamorous vintage New Year's Eve party outfit (which I can hardly wait to share with all of you!).
Merriest Christmas and happiest holiday season wishes from our hearts and home to you and yours!!!

December 23, 2015

If Mrs Claus was alive in the 1950s, this is what she might have worn

Outfit details

C. 1940s/1950s white faux fur hat: A wonderful gift from my mom via Frugal Frocks
Jingle bell dangle earrings: Claire's 1950s style red wrap dress: c/o The House of Foxy
C. 1950s white faux fur stole: Yard sale find
Ginger The Christmas Cookie Gingerbread Man Brooch: Erstwilder
Quadruple buckle black stretch belt: Forever 21
1940s/1950s black faux suede gloves with black beading detail: Mag 22
Gold tone faux leather bow clutch: (I think) Bentley Leathers
Black seamed nude stockings: eBay
1940s style faux suede round toe pumps: Walmart
Lip colour: MAC Russian Red

Photography by Tony Cangiano

Or so I like to think! :) I have an absolutely mad love for Mrs Claus, which took root when I was a small child and I first heard her referred to as my own name (Jessica) in the 1969 classic Frosty the Snowman.

Throughout the years, jolly old St. Nick's wife – who’s first mainstream first mention was in a 1849 short story called A Christmas Legend by James Rees - has gone by many names in various stories, movies, TV shows and the like (other include, but are not limited to, Gretchen, Martha, Mary, Juliana, Santarina, Annabel, and Layla). Yet to me she will always be Jessica and thus I cannot help but feel a special affinity with Mother Christmas, as she is sometimes also known as.

My ensemble here is what I'm wearing to celebrate Christmas this week and is a thorough nod to Mrs Claus. It is, as the title of today's post states, what I like to imagine Mrs. Claus wearing if she was alive during the 1940s or 1950s and something of a fashionista herself. I pulled from her classic attire, as well as that of her world famous husband (for example, my belt is a nod to his), when putting it together and must say, I was thrilled with how this festive ensemble came together.

The starring piece is a breathtaking crimson hued frock from The House of Foxy called the 1950s Wrap Circle Dress. This enchantingly beautiful garment was very kindly gifted to me by The House of Foxy (thank you so much!!!), whom I recently welcomed for the first time to my blog as a sponsor.

As I said to Tony the moment I put it on, this isn't just my new favourite solid red dress that I now have the pleasure of owning, it is seriously one of my top ten favourite dresses in my whole closet - which is, I promise you, saying a lot (as I own more dresses than any other type of garment). It fits like a glove, is superbly well made from a comfortable, slightly stretchy fabric, hugs your curves something fierce, and is absolutely evocative of similar frocks from the mid-twentieth century.

This party perfect dress also boasts 3/4 length sleeves, which I truly adore and am constantly looking for in my garments (as I almost never wear exposed short or bare sleeves in public or when entertaining, much preferring 3/4 or full length ones), plus its skirt is amply roomy enough to fit a crinoline under, if so desired.

Becoming and beguiling at the same time, this dress is a true dream and I suspect you'll see it again here as time goes on, as I know I'll be living in it all year long (the medium weight fabric and 3/4 length sleeves ensure that it could even be sported in the summer) - very much including in a few weeks time for Valentine's Day.

To further the Mrs Claus vibe, I opted for vintage white faux fur accessories, my endlessly beloved four buckle belt (that has appeared here numerous times over the years - ditto for my 1940s style round toe black faux suede pumps), a cuter than cute gingerbread man brooch that I recently picked up from Erstwilder, jingle bell earrings, sophisticatedly beaded black vintage gloves, and a sweet little gold hued faux leather clutch.

Naturally a look this December 25th approved called for a wintry background and Mother Nature was quick to provide one this week after a few days of new snow. These photos were taken just up the street from our house and do a marvelous job of showcasing the stunning natural setting that we're blessed to live with right across the way from our home.

It's hard to believe that Christmas Eve, Eve is here already! Like many people the world over, Tony and I will be spending most of our time over the next few days with family and friends. There will be presents to open, feasts to consume, and simple pleasures – such as taking these photos in the tranquil snow (which we did yesterday afternoon) - to enjoy.

And much like Mrs. Claus herself, I'll be busy continuing to bake cookies, wrap presents, and ensure everything flows smoothly at the North Pole (aka, our house in Penticton :)) right up until the big day itself.

Joyful Christmas week wishes, my sweet friends, I hope that you each have a magnificent one!!!