September 28, 2015

Embracing the return of fall's gorgeous colour palette at Vaseux Lake

Outfit details

C. 1930s/40s burgundy felt hat with netting: Garb-Oh Vintage
Creamy white plastic rose stud earrings: Claire's
C. 1940s black plastic hat pin: From another hat that I've had for years
Mid-century vintage amber hued plastic beaded necklace: Thrifted (Salvation Army)
White Stag brand vintage appropriate green floral blouse: Thrifted (Value Village)
Amber yellow plastic bangle bracelet: Unknown, had for years (probably thrifted)
1940s/1950s dark green corduroy skirt: eBay
C. 1980s - 90s brown woven belt: Thrifted (Value Village, if memory serves me right)
Oxblood/burgundy hued faux leather cross body bag: eBay
Nude seamed nude stockings: eBay
Brown 1940s style faux leather pumps: Walmart
Lip colour: MAC Party Line

Photography by Tony Cangiano

My passion for autumn's resplendent hues is scarcely the kind of secret that one keeps under lock and key. I wait with baited breath for my favourite season to return each year and then jump headfirst in spotting itss palette with gusto!

Summer cooled its heels early this year and we had the nippiest - relatively speaking - Labour Day weekend that I can remember in many years. Whereas most first weeks of September still see countless tourists and residents alike flocking to catch some rays and frolic in the waves at the local beaches, this time around, nary a soul was in the water - it was just too chilly to comfortably swim any longer.

Thankfully though, the weather did perk back up a bit as September progressed and bestowed upon us some deeply gorgeous Goldilocks days, as I like to call them. Those gloriously sunny, soft light filled, subtly warm and all too fleeting days as autumn not-so-subtly waltzes into town and usurps summer.

It was on just such a day that Tony and I captured this gently lit series of photos recently at Vaseux Lake, a modest sized body of water some 25 - 30 minutes south of our town. Though not as prized as a swimming hole as some of the other larger lakes around this part (such as Okanagan and Shaka), it is a breeding ground for local anglers - my husband very much included - who flock to its shores for some terrific local fishing.

We were neither there to swim nor cast our lines, but rather simply paused to enjoy the immense serenity and sweeping beauty of the pristine natural landscape and the near still-as-glass surface of the lake that afternoon.

I woke up in a mood to pair three of my all-time favourite colours, which just happen to be from fall's palette, together and did just that in this burgundy, pine green, and amber yellow hued 1940s inspired ensemble.

Though I wear this fabulous 1940s/50s dark green corduroy skirt often, I hadn't sported it here on my blog for close to 3.5 years, so I felt it was high time to give it a spin on camera again.

It as the starting point for my causal ensemble, which saw the edition of a breathtaking c. 1930s/40s burgundy felt hat hat I purchased earlier this year from the awesome Etsy shop that is Garb-Oh Vintage, along with a timelessly lovely floral print cotton shirt that I thrifted several months ago, a classic brown woven belt (also thrifted), a vintage appropriate oxblood/burgundy hued faux leather cross body bag, mid-century plastic jewelry in amber yellow, my go-to creamy white plastic rose stud earrings, and a pair of 1940s looking brown faux leather pumps that I've had for years, but which are still - knock wood - holding up fabulously well.

Now that Tony is home (not that I couldn't do such on my own, of course, but it is certainly easier with him there), I thought it would be fun to film a new YouTube video outside again, and did just that later in the day (up a hill near where my folks live here in town, not at Vaseux Lake), in this (relatively) quick breakdown of what went into styling my 1940s inspired early fall look.

Though I wasn't aiming for the much adored vintage lady explorer look her per se, I can't help but love that this ensemble has a faint hint of that vibe. I've been wearing this general silhouette - long vintage skirt, button front blouse, modest to wide brimmed vintage hat, and complimentary accessories - big time this summer and fall and really feel like it sums up my tastes in vintage casual fashion massively well at the moment.

As we head further into autumn, I'm sure that I'll keep sporting this silhouette and imagine that it will see me through winter, with tights and further layers added, too. It's comfortable, warm, classic and endlessly versatile - not mention pretty. What's not to adore?

With fall being my favourite time of the year and its palette my most beloved of all the seasons, you can bet this there will be many more autumnal hued ensembles coming down the pipeline in the very near future. I can hardly wait to share many of them with you and am equally excited to see all of the stellar fall looks that you'll be sharing on your blogs and social media.

Autumn may be fleeting, but its hues are eternal and well worth celebrating with our fashion choices while they're in their seasonal element!

September 25, 2015

25 Vintage Deals Under $100 for September 2015

To my mind mind, no season is quite as cozy as autumn. Winter has the same, if not a greater, degree of hibernation-ness, yes, but even in this super modern day and age, winter seems to have a great degree of survival and risk involved. Icy roads and sidewalks, potential power outages during rough weather, cars that won't start in the morning, the dangers of blizzards, frostbite, hypothermia, falling through the ice if you're on the (frozen) water, more contagious viruses floating around, the list goes on and on.

Of course winter has many resplendent, beautiful points as well, don't get me wrong, but there more of a carefree coziness to autumn and that is what is at the heart of this month's 25 Vintage Deals Under $100.00 post.

The perks and charms of this season are well known and widely beloved. Hearty comfort food, often made with the season's rainbow-esque bounty. The last vestiges of warmth from the sun before it quite literally heads south for the winter, the return of soft layers and element protecting tights; hunkering down in front of a roaring fireplace, and gathering with others inside to celebrate the season's marvelous holidays are but a few of the things make fall the seasonal equivalent of a sublimely soft cashmere throw.

These brief, elegant weeks of golden light and equally amber hued leaves, rich pumpkin desserts and times when coats feel more like the fashion statement they are and less like a mandatory fortress against the icy chill that will accompany winter, are utterly marvelous and will forever stand as my very favourite of the year.

Let's then, delve into a fun filled selection of budget-friendly vintage, handmade, and vintage appropriate finds that celebrate the homey comforts of autumn, which kicked off this week, and revel in the joys, gorgeousness, and peaceful comfort of this third chapter of the year.

25 Vintage Deals Under $100
for September 2015

1. Scarves aren't just pretty, come the nippier months of the years, they're a vital fashion accessory to help keep the chill at bay. Whether you wear it around your head, neck, or even as a belt (to wrangle some of those many cold weather layers, perhaps), this big, gorgeous c. 1950s fall hued rose print 30.5 inch square scarf is bound to keep you toasty in style. $22.00 from Chronically Vintage on Etsy.

2. Gear up for all manner of fabulous fall feasts with this elegantly pretty set of mid-century autumn leaf print paper napkins and coasters, which come in their original packaging. $7.25 for the set from The Weathered Bungalow.

3. Though bees are often seen as a symbol of spring, and that they rightfully are, I've always associated them - and their hives (and scrumptious honey!) - with fall as well, so the moment I spotted this gorgeous vintage appropriate cardigan from Gleeful Peacock, it was love at first sight!!! Available in modern sizes small to XL. $46.00 from Gleeful Peacock (who have very kindly offered my readers free shipping on all orders at their site when you use the coupon code Vintage15 at checkout).

4. They're not paper, plastic, wood, or even the real deal, nope, they fabulously lifelike looking fall leaf cake decorations are made from rice paper and would be stunning for any fall time cake, batch of cupcakes, doughnut tower, or other sweet treat (a wedding cake very much included). $6.18 for 14 edible fall leaves from Eat Me.

5. From the rich, warm brown hues to the timelessly gorgeous oak leaf, wood grain, and acorn imagery depicted on it, this early 20th century molded plastic belt buckle sings with the spirit of the season and will look sensational on any sewing or craft project. $20.00 from Chronically Vintage on Etsy.

6.Nothing says fall quite like pumpkins, be they used in our decor, recipes, or wearables. In the latter camp, I am thoroughly smitten with these elegant handmade pumpkin earrings that have such a serene, timelessly pretty quality to them. $15.00 from D'Rae Designs.

7. To use a spot of current lingo, I die...Seriously this stunning 1940s gold/mustard yellow hued blazer is so stylish, so classic, and so deeply attractive. It's reasonable price is the icing on the sartorial cake. Fits up to a 38" bust/30" waist. $85.00 from Blue Velvet Vintage.

8. An owl, warm seasonal hues, a beautiful quote from George Eliot, what's not to adore about this enchantingly pretty hand made metal cuff bracelet? $38.00 from Accesoreads.

9. Perfect for pumpkin spice milk shakes, iced chai lattes, festive punches and scores of other scrumptious seasonal drinks, these fun, retro style orange, white and brown paper straws are just the thing to jazz up any meal or party. $3.49 for 25 straws from Food with Fashion.

10. I am by no means the first vintage gal to make this statement, but I really notice that I tend to wear more separates in the fall and winter. Certainly the need for layers and oodles of warmth factors in there, but I think that the fact that we want to feel cozy in the process also plays a roll. If you've been hunting for a great vintage skirt that suits this season to a tee, this beautiful c. 1970s does 1940s/50s Tan Jay brand dusty rose hued wool blend offering may just do the trick. Fits up to a 31 inch waist/42 inch hips. $32.00 from Chronically Vintage on Etsy.

11. Splendidly pretty and immensely seasonally appropriate, this classy vintage mixed metal autumn leaf charm bracelet is just the thing for any old school, boho, or modern outfit. $35.00 from Coco and Orange.

12. Step into fall, quite literally, with these timeless, wonderfully pretty 1960s tawny brown hued suede and leather shoes. Listed as fitting a vintage size 7 1/2 foot. Currently on sale at the time of writing for $18.00 from Memorare Vintage.

13. Hunting for a stunning vintage fall statement necklace? Search no further! This sophisticated mid-century five strand plastic faux pearl necklace sums up autumn's earthiest shades in a chic, glamorous ombre array that is stop-you-in-your-tracks gorgeous!!! $28.00 from Chronically Vintage on Etsy.

14. As the days grow shorter and the temperatures chillier, one can't help but want to reach for an especially luxurious vintage hat - such as this mid-century cream feather covered stunner - again. Not only are they wildly chic, but they'll help you stay warm to boot. Total win-win! Vintage feather hat, currently on sale for $24.50 from The Best Vintage Clothing.

15. Pine cones might be more commonly associated with winter, but they've always been a lovely, familiar part of autumn - especially the second half of the season - for me as well. I love that this Mother Nature inspired mid-century Gerry's brand enamel and gold tone metal suits both seasons splendidly and yet is not so inherently tied to either, IMO, that it can't be worn all throughout the year as well. $12.50 from Chronically Vintage on Etsy.

16. Talk about the most perfect fall palette ever for a garment! This 1950s day dress is alive with cozy hues of orange, yellow and brown and would be utterly marvelous to wear for Thanksgiving. Fits up to a 41" bust/30" waist. $98.00 from Stutterin Mama.

17. Much like hats, gloves do double duty (style + practical warmth) in the colder months and no pair currently listed in my shop captures the colour palette of the season better than these fabulous 1950s -60s wrist length sparkly gold Lurex ones. Most likely to fit a size 6 or 6.5 hand (see listings for sizing details). $16.00 from Chronically Vintage on Etsy.

18. Dish up everything from crisp fall morning Sunday brunches to Thanksgiving dinner sides (or even some of the turkey itself) on this timelessly lovely mid-century Old Orchard pattern serving platter that measures 15.25" x 11". $18.00 from The Haystack Needle.

19. I absolutely, positively love acorns and acorn themed items, so the moment I laid eyes on this hand painted Woodland Wishes Pendant necklace from Gleeful Peacock (which is available in various colour combinations), it was love at first - the fact that it's design is timeless enough to wear vintage various vintage/pinup outfits certainly doesn't hurt either. $32.00 from Gleeful Peacock (who, as mentioned above here, have very kindly offered my readers free on all orders at their site when you use the coupon code Vintage15 at checkout).

20. I'm not a knitter, but I'm sure if I was, I would feel the siren's call to put my needles into overdrive each year as autumn reemerged, turning to fabulous mid-century knitting booklets like this c. 1950s Styles by Beehive offering if I was. $8.50 from Chronically Vintage on Etsy (check out the other knitting booklets that I currently have in stock here).

21. These darling vintage owl salt and pepper shakers are such a hoot! (See what I did there? :D) Liven up your Halloween or Thanksgiving party table with them or simply keep these adorable vintage owls out all season (or year) long for a great hit of nature in the home. $12.00 from Yell and Panic.

22. With a product name like Autumn Heirloom, it was a safe bet this beautiful sounding hand lotion would catch my eye instantly. It boasts notes of Anjou pear, pumpkin, apples, honeycomb and so much more. Swoon!!! $10.00 for a 5.5 ounce container of lotion from Debaucherous Bath.

23.The colours in this elegant handmade hair flower are so sweetly gorgeous! I feel like really capture the feminine side of autumn's palette. J'adore!!! $7.00 from The Two Wicked Magpies.

24. Our corner of the country is one of the largest wine producing regions in North America, with thousands upon thousands of bottles being produced locally each year. Early fall is grape harvest season for many growers around these parts and indeed Penticton even has a big annual wine festival each around the start of October. As such, this familiar fruit and its delectable ends results are big part of autumn for many around here and to celebrate that fact, I thought it would be fun to include this elegant c. 1950s - 1960s Sarah Coventry gold tone metal and faux pearl grape branch brooch here today. $16.00 from Chronically Vintage on Etsy.

25. As someone who rarely goes more than a few days in the fall without tucking into something pumpkin spice filled, this charming 100% cotton flour sack dish towel instantly spoke to me and put a big smile on my face. 28" x 29" tea towel, $10.00 from Kitsch Studios.

Not only is fall fabulous cozy, but it is also deeply elegant. The rich jewel tones, sensual fabrics (velvet, thick knits, corduroy, etc), and myriad ways we decorate for this time of the year makes it one of the most sophisticated and stylish seasons, too - a point that I also tried to weave into today's post.

I'm giddy as a squirrel who happened upon an unexpected acorn tree grove that fall is here again. I started decorating (for autumn) back in August and will begin putting out Halloween things - of which I've bought several new additions to my collection in recent weeks - very soon. Happy camper? You bet your bottom dollar! :)

Let's all celebrate and embrace autumn while it's here. Bake apple pies, go pumpkin picking, frolic in the crunchy leaves, take a peaceful Sunday drive in the county to admire the enchanting colours of the landscape, and savour each point that makes this time of the year such an incredible, joyfully cozy one.

September 23, 2015

Another autumn older

Outfit details

C. 1950s red velvet hat with faux pearl hatpin (they came together): Green Dragon Lady
Black micro crystal studded heart earrings: Claire's or Payless
Vintage appropriate autumn leaf sweater with crystal embellishments: Thrifted (Value Village)
1950s dark teal gloves: Unknown, had for years (probably thrifted)
Clear plastic butterfly stretch bracelet: Unknown, had for soooo many years
Red bow stretch belt: (An Asian clothing store at) Pacific Mall in Toronto
Vintage black velvet pencil skirt: Lady Kitschener's Vintage Emporium
Mid-century black patent purse: Probably eBay or Etsy
Black seamed nude stockings: eBay
Red patent pumps: Payless
Lip colour: MAC Russian Red

Photography by Tony Cangiano

Autumn, I have said before - and always felt - is my own personal new year. Of course I celebrate the changing of the calendar guards at the stroke of midnight on January 1st, like most folks, but in terms of what feels like the natural start of the year to me, it has been early fall for my entire life.

I believe in going with our inborn inclinations like this and joyfully welcome autumn as a time of renewal, bolstered energy, goal setting, decluttering, introspective thought and, yes, despite many things coming to a end around this time of the year, even a rebirth of sorts.

My birthday is in July, but I often think of the years of my life as beginning anew each time around in the fall. Today, as we kick off this most gorgeous of jewel toned seasons again, that is very much the case for me.

I also, in viewing these recently captured photos, notice that I look older. I don't say this as a complaint in the slightest (getting older always beats the alternative!), simply as an observation. I've been photographed heavily for a few years now and its fascinating to look back and see subtle signs of (further) age appear on the scene from one season - be it autumn or any of the other three - to the time it rolls around next.

Naturally, to greet this sparkling new autumn, a seasonally inspired outfit was in order. I reached for some familiar staples (the mid-century vintage skirt, bags, gloves, and hat - though I'm sure if this hat, which I've owned for a number of years, has appeared here before or not) and added this gorgeous, very vintage appropriate leaf sweater, which I thrifted several months ago and have been champing at the bit to sport it ever since (those who follow my YouTube channel may recognize it from this recent video featuring examples of vintage appropriate clothing from my own wardrobe).

I love the background and light colours in these images, which were taken at a beautiful woodland nature park in the nearby city of Kelowna (the Robert Frost worthy two paths diverging in the woods behind me in some of them only adds to it appeal to me). Though the leaves had not sprung into full on autumn splendor yet, there were subtle tinges of ripe pear yellow and coppery brown that let one know instantly that they would be doing so in a matter of days.

Connecting with, and spending time in, nature is incredibly important for me and I always love to greet the seasons by making sure to do so, so I couldn't be happier that my shoot for today’s vintage outfit post took place in a majestic forest setting like this.

Years roll on, the seasons pass like two ships in the night, one gradually morphing into the next, and we age. This is the natural cycle and pattern of life. Unchanged since time immemorial.

Am I older? You bet, and I don't mind at all. For each year brings with it new wisdom, new gifts, new lessons, new friends, new memories, and at the same time, the return of old favourites, like autumn itself and many beautiful joys that call this enchanting season home.