July 29, 2016

Vintage Links, Life, Love: July 29, 2016

Can you guys believe that we're just two days away from the end of the month? As touched on recently in this post, I wouldn't say that July has felt like the speediest of months in the slightest.

In a way this is a good thing - after all, who doesn't want summer to feel like it stretches on! - but in another, it's not so fabulous, because I know the personal life + health (+ earlier on in the month, the Canada Post strike situation) reasons why such has been the case and do really wish that such weren't the reason for July's leisurely pace.

Oh well, that's life. There are smooth months (and years) and rocky ones, and certainly July housed some really lovely points, too, please don't get me wrong.

From Canada Day to my birthday to those rare moments of sunshine (we're had 3.5 months of the wettest weather I've ever experienced in the Okanagan – or anywhere in Canada, for that matter!), plus some more positive highlights, that I'll touch on later on in today's brand new edition of Vintage Links, Life, Love, there were positives and I’m very grateful for each of them.


How to make (tie) a glamorous 1940s turban: When the sun is out in full force, and conversely, if you live south of the equator and want an extra layer of warmth on your head, the last thing most of us want is to have our hair on our necks. Enter the endlessly chic turban, which this great post from Glamour Daze takes you through the genuine 1940s steps of mastering.

Why I Love Mechanical and Early Electric Televisions: Though most of us think of television as having entered the scene in the 1950s, in reality, earlier versions had already existed for more than two decades and this detailed, informative post from Carrie Anne does a wonderful job of highlighting some of the ground breaking sets that would lay the foundation for the future of TVs everywhere.

DIY Victory Brooch: Bianca’s tutorials are always fantastic and so well laid out, and this recent entry on how to make a dead simple - yet incredibly impactful - hand painted Victory brooch from basic craft store supplies is no exception. Trust me, once you've read it, you'll be making a beeline for Michael's pronto!

Tips on dressing for a 1920s Lawn Party: The epitome of summertime chic, lawn (and garden) parties are a wonderful tradition that deserves dressing to the nines for. You'll be well on your way to doing just that with this lovely, imaged filled post from Blue Velvet Vintage's blog.

How to make vintage style shoulder pads: Though they gained, fairly justifiably, a fairly harsh reputation following the 1980s, the fact of the matter is shoulder pads have been around for quite some time now and were an integral part of many mid-century (especially early to mid-1940s) fashions. They can help a garment fall/drape in the style it was intended and are not all to be shunned entirely. If you've ever wanted to know how to make a modest sized pair of your own, this great how-to from Carla is just the ticket!

Confessions of a Small Time Blogger: From the always engaging blog Happy, Pretty, Sweet, comes a hugely easy to relate to post about what it's really like to be an established, well known, but still (compared to some of the household name fashion bloggers) small fish in a large pond. Honest and insightful, I highly recommend reading this post no matter the size of your blog and its audience.

DIY Floral Crowns: What would summer be without the sweetly charming classic that is the floral crown. If you're ever wanted to whip up your own handmade version using real blooms, Madison's beautiful tutorial will have your noggin' looking festival (and/or photo shoot) ready in no time.

WW2 Yearbooks Directory: If, like myself, you're an avid fan of collecting or simply looking at vintage yearbooks, than this awesome site from The National World War II Museum in New Orleans - is sure to find favour with you and likely be where you spend numerous hours in the next little while.

Harem Pants: A Most Interesting and Scandalous History: Nicole has put together one of the most detailed, fantastic looks at the rich history or harem pants that I've ever seen. Chocked full of informative facts and splendid images, after reading her excellently presented entry, chances are you'll never look at this voluminous style of bottoms quite the same way again. (And speaking of the always lovely Nicole, I also really enjoyed her recent tutorial on The Unconventional Way to Make a Hat.)

Things bloggers wish they could tell brands: I could nod until the end of time and I still don't know if it would convey just how much I strongly agree with the majority of what Amber said in this poignantly spot entry regarding some of her thoughts about the blogger + brand relationship (the main point that we differ on is that I personally experience some great benefits from hosting giveaways and am always sincerely touched when a company wants to team up with my blog in that capacity).

I really commend her for speaking so openly and truthfully about this topic and suspect that many of you who collaborate with companies on your respective sites will also be nodding up a storm as you read this post.

‘Brawny and Buoyant’: A Portrait of West Coast Youth of the 1950s: Starring snaps taken in 1951, this eye-catching entry from Life Magazine highlights youth being, well, youth during the summer months and captures the spirit of what life was like, for some people at least, who grew up during that vibrant era.


As touched on above, July has been a mixed bag sort of month, complete with soooo much more rain (to the point where such is honestly impacting my ability to post outfit photos here as frequently as I usually during the summer months).

Thankfully things have calmed down, for the time being, on the Canada Post strike front, and as such, last Friday, I launched the first ever Christmas in July Sale over at my Etsy shop, which is still going underway (pop on over and save 25% off everything in my shop until July 31st).

Looking ahead to the second half of the summer, fingers crossed, things may be all the more enjoyable. The first week of upcoming month launches the off the August long weekend civic holiday, which falls on the 1st this year.

This is swiftly followed by Tony's (36th) birthday on the 6th, and then either on the very last day of August or the 1st of September, we'll be heading off for a much needed getaway, which I'll be blogging about here in much greater detail very soon.

Beyond that, summer will start to wrap up and we'll ease into my absolute favourite season, autumn (and in turn, Halloween), which always brings me an inordinate amount of joy. In fact, for those who you who eat/breath/sleep/live for it as much as I do, you'll be thrilled to know that there only 94 days to go until All Hallows' Eve returns.

I'm already giving major consideration to my costume, my party menu, my decor, and my blog posts for the spooktastically fun season, and so much more surrounding my all-time favourite holiday. It's going to be awesome!!!


All of the kind, touching birthday wishes you guys showered me with online (and in a few cases, off, too), earlier this month. I just have to say, with all my heart, thank you again for your lovely words and positive wishes for my 32nd year of life. I really like to think that they'll help such to be even better and more upbeat.

Binge watching the British TV series Mr. Selfridge. In less than a month, I plowed through the first three seasons (on Netflix Canada) and am very eagerly awaiting the fourth, which is set to be released later this year. For those who aren't familiar with the show, it's a period series that starts off in the early Edwardian years and focused on the life of the Selfridge family, who opened the world renowned Selfridge's department store in London.

Much as with Downton Abbey, the show progresses quite quickly from the turn of the century to the years of WWI to the roaring twenties and provides a treasure trove of vintage fashion inspiration for anyone with an interest in that time frame (or, really, vintage fashion in general). A good blend of drama, fun and suspense, this is one of my favourite historical series in a long time and definitely a must watch for vintage fans everywhere.

Getting a morning (or, anytime!) dose of "awww" care of the Daily Puppy. This site has been around for quite a while now and never fails to make one gush and feel better, no matter what's transpiring in your life. Looking at puppies = happiness, after all. :)

Finally carving out a speck of time to craft again. I know, honestly, this one just about bowls me completely over, too. After, for all intents, not having crafted for more than three years, and in any sort of regularly occurring capacity for the better part of five, I have given myself the gift of a little bit of time to craft (chiefly scrapbooking so far), when my health permits each week, and honestly can't put in towards how amazing it feels again.

I'm happier, (much to my surprise and delight) I'm sleeping a touch better, I feel more at peace, and my creative mojo is running at mock one speed in just about all areas of my life (blogging very much included) thanks to this fact.

Though I know full well all the reasons why so little crafting has happened in recent years, I've made a promise to myself to try and craft at least 2 - 4 times a month from now on and suspect that doing so will continue to have a profound and deeply important impact on my life.

Thunderstorms aplenty. While I do so wish that the rain would hightail it out of town and we could finally experience full-on summertime weather here, one of the perks (to my mind at least, as I greatly enjoy them) of all the damp weather has been the period thunder and lightning storms that have been transpiring over our heads lately. On one occasion, while we were driving along side Okanagan Lake in the vicinity of Peachland, we even saw lightning and a rainbow at the same time, which was a first for both Tony and I.

This incredibly touching story about a woman and her husband (with three children of their own already) who adopted her dear friend's six children when the mother (her friend) passed away at the age of just 39 years old. If that doesn't personify love, compassion, goodness and grace, I don't know what.

Blueberries! Last week Tony and I received two large sized containers of fresh blueberries as a free gift with purchase for spending above a certain order total at Superstore and noshed on them all week long, freezing those that we couldn't get to while they were still in peak shape. They were a fantastic - and very healthy - way to liven up our meals and will stand as one of the culinary highlights of this season for me.

{While we did find ourselves with a slew of plump, sweet little blueberries recently, they weren't quite enough to take a bath in, like this lovely Blueberry Beauty Queen did back in 1955.}

{To learn more about a specific image used in today's post, please click on it to be taken to its respective source.} 

♥ ♥ ♥

And so here we are, at the last Friday of July. Even if this month didn't feel as quick as all that lightning we've been having lately, the season as a whole is bouncing along a speedy clip, as it usually does.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that August will be a drier month, but objectively, wouldn't place any wagers on such, given how bizarrely rainy things have been here lately. No matter what Mother Nature has up her sleeve, I'm sure we'll make the best of it - especially while celebrating the August long weekend (which coincides with our town's annual Peach Festival) - and my sweet husband's birthday.

What's on the agenda for you as we get ready to welcome August back into our lives, my dears? Have you been getting treated to a fabulously sunny summer or slogging it out with raindrops a plenty, too?

I hope that you're all doing great and want to take a moment to wrap up this post by wholeheartedly thanking everyone who left a blog (and/or social media) comment for me on any of my posts this month. The summer blogging slump is a very real phenomenon and I truly appreciate those who take the time to comment even in the midst of the busy, exciting summer season.

Things like that never go unnoticed or unappreciated by me and are a big part of the reason why I can safely say that I have one of the best group of blog readers in the world.

July 27, 2016

Beautiful deco style earrings meet a thoroughly forties inspired outfit at my very favourite grey wall

Outfit details

1940s black hat with millinery daisies: A Vintage Affair
Art deco inspired handmade black dangle earrings: c/co Mon Carrousel
Mid-century vintage yellow flower embroidered blouse: Foxy Brit Vintage
1940s style black jumper dress: Tatyana Clothing
Gold coloured faux leather skinny belt: eBay
C. 1940s cream gloves with mini button detailing: Unknown, had for many years 
Gold tone metal bangle bracelet: Payless
C. 1930s cream celluloid flower bangle bracelet: Unknown, had for many years
Vintage style black plastic flower stretch bracelet: Thrifted (Value Village)
1940s black and cream telephone cord handbag: Armstrong Antiques
Black seamed nude stockings: eBay
1940s style black faux suede round toe pumps: Walmart
Lip colour: MAC Partyline

Special offer just for Chronically Vintage readers: Etsy shop Mon Carrousel has very generously offered my readers 15% off all of their merchandise between today and August 31, 2016, when you use the discount coupon code MCSave15 at checkout.

Photography by Tony Cangiano

In the moment at least (I'm the first to admit, I have cringed years later looking back on certain outfits - but, hey, that's all just part and parcel to one's continually developing personal style), I tend to really like, if not flat out love, everything that I wear. My closet is, objectively, one of my greatest sources of joy in this world and I delight in the act of putting outfits together and curating my wardrobe.

Sometimes however, one hits upon a look that they're so in love with, they know that it bound to be a favourite for the rest of time, and for me, the ensemble highlighted here in today's very recently captured photographs is just that.

While, objectively, it is not an overly complex or formal ensemble, the sum of its parts equal a whole that I'm genuinely pleased with - and that I know I will reach for many times to come in the future.

The starting point for this particular look is an elegantly gorgeous pair of art deco inspired handmade earrings from the Spanish brand Mon Carrousel.

Called simply Romantic Black Earrings, this pair – that are, like some of Mon Carrousel's other offerings, made from nickel-free components, thus letting nickel allergy suffers like myself safely don them – combines genuine vintage Czechoslovakia mourning jet with vintage black vulcanite and marries the two with brass components and lovely little clear rhinestones.

Though big on style, these sophisticated earrings (which I want to sincerely thank Mon Carrousel for bestowing on me) weigh next to nothing and are, really and truly, one of the most comfortable pairs of earrings in my whole collection. They're immensely stylish, wonderfully classic and such a pleasure to wear.

Mon Carrousel's designs are hand made in Spain by a lovely lady named Diana, who looks heavily to the past when she creates to compose beautiful, often dainty jewelry that is equally wearable by vintage and modern fashion fans alike.

She's a relatively newcomer to Etsy, where she set up shop last year, and has a standalone online jewelry shop for longer that, however it is only presented Spanish, so instead when she approached me to team up for a collaborative post, we both felt that it made more sense to focus on her Etsy shop, given that most of my audience speaks English.

Diana's pieces are classy, fun, and eye-catching. She is especially inspired by the look of the early 20th century (including how it is portrayed on the Spanish TV show Seis Hermanas), and it wouldn't be a stretch in the slightest to think, at first glance, that you were looking at an actual antique or vintage piece of jewelry when you browse Mon Carrousel's curated collection.

Well priced and expertly made, I'd happily shop from Mon Carrousel and highly suggest checking out and favouring their Etsy shop, where, as mentioned above in this post, you can currently save 15% off on all orders between now and the end of August when you use the exclusive coupon code MCSave15.

I don't have a lot of 20s or 30s garb or newer styles that look the part, so instead of trying to scrap together an outfit of that nature, I opted instead to take my look in a strongly forties direction.

To do so, I reached for my super beloved black 1940s style jumper dress from Tatyana (purchased back when they were still called Betty Paige Clothing), which, despite having owned and worn many times, has only appeared here once before and that was just in a single photo (in this 2013 travel post), not as a key player in a dedicated outfit post.

I teamed it with a dusty yellow hued vintage blouse that features beautiful floral embroidery, a fun 1940s hat with millinery daisies on the underside of the brim, my treasured 1940s telephone cord handbag, an assortment of bracelets (including a 1930s cream celluloid one, in a further nod to the deco-ness of the earrings), a pair of vintage cream gloves, and my black forties style faux suede pumps that have appeared here more times over the years than I can recall.

As has been the case so very often over the past nearly 3.5 months now, these snaps were taken quite literally between rain showers (early on Saturday evening while there was still some daylight). They were snapped at a location which, if you've been following my blog for a while now, you may recall having seen before. It's a relatively basic painted grey wall in the nearby city of Kelowna, which I've loved from the moment I first laid eyes on it.

There's scarcely an outfit around you can't partner with its neutral tone and I'm sure that if we lived in Kelowna, it would probably appear here several times throughout any given year. As it is, this is now the wall's third CV showing and chances are, far from its last.

It occurs to me, as I pen these words, that it's really fitting that one of my favourite backdrops would team up with a new favourite outfit.

Love that - just as I do these marvelous art deco inspired earrings from Mon Carrousel, which even though my wardrobe is primarily 1940s – 1950s focused, transcend eras enough that I know they’ll be sported often and with much handmade jewelry adoring happiness.

July 25, 2016

Giveaway: Enter to win a $100.00 store credit from The Best Vintage Clothing's wonderful Etsy shop

Earlier this month I celebrated my 32nd birthday and as such, wanted to make sure that lots of gifts were on the docket - not so much for myself, but as for all of you, my wonderful readers.

In mid-July we celebrated with a giveaway from fabulous Etsy artist Sabrina from Inky Notions, and today I'm genuinely excited to bring you a second giveaway before the month wraps up.

If you've been following my site for a while now, chances are you may know that The Best Vintage Clothing has been a long time blog sponsor here. We've held numerous giveaways and collaborative outfit posts on CV over the years, each of which focused on The Best Vintage Clothing's main website.

For this fun giveaway however, the spotlight is on The Best Vintage Clothing's Etsy shop, which - much like their standalone site - teams with a beautiful selection of curated vintage and antique pieces spanning the Victorian era to the late 20th century.

Helmed by Laura (aka, Miss Kitty), a lovely lady who has been in the vintage selling business for many years now, The Best Vintage Clothing is a yesteryear fashion lover's dream.

From frocks to jewelry, hats to handbags, the frequently updated selection of offerings that TBVC provides is sure to delight, inspire and tempt just about any fashionista (see for example, the selection in the image below, all of which are, at the time of writing, available in TBVC's Etsy store).

In addition to the giveaway taking place here today (more dets on that in a moment), The Best Vintage Clothing's Etsy shop is currently holding a fabulous 25% off storewide markdown sale this week (the sale is on until Monday August 1, 2016), so if you've been eyeing a treasure of two over there, now is definitely the time to pounce!

Giveaway details:

This giveaway is for a $100.00 USD Etsy store credit to the The Best Vintage Clothing's Etsy shop

The winner can apply the store credit, as part of one transaction, the cost of any item(s) in TBVC's Etsy shop that they wish. Any costs, including shipping, above $100.00 USD, that occur as part of that transaction/purchase, will be the responsibility of the winner.

The giveaway on from today's date (July 25, 2016) until 11:59 PST on Monday August 1, 2016.

It is open to participants worldwide, who are welcome to enter with as many of the following Fifteen different Rafflecopter entry methods as desired.

The more methods with with you enter, the greater your odds of winning become.

The only entry method that is necessary to take part in this giveaway is that you visit The Best Vintage Clothing's Etsy shop and then leave a comment here telling me what one of your favourite items there is (if you are the winner of this store credit prize, you do not have to put it towards the item that you mention in your comment).

If you have any questions about this giveaway, please don't hesitate to email me.

♥ ♥ ♥

It's such an honour to count The Best Vintage Clothing as one of my blog's longest continuously running sponsors and to have the wonderful opportunity to partner up with them again here this month. We'll be doing so, for an outfit post, a bit later in the year and I can hardly wait for that collaboration either.

I want to sincerely thank TBVC on Etsy for this awesome $100.00 store credit giveaway prize, as well as to express my thanks to all of you who take part in this contest.

Best of luck to everyone who does!

July 23, 2016

This delightful 1950s Square Dancing Cake is sure to do-si-do its way into your heart

In recent years, multi-coloured, intricately layered cakes have been all the rage (and for good reason), but it might fascinate you to know that such culinary works of skill and art are anything but new.

They may have grown more complex in recent decades, but their history stretches back for many years and those who are not uber talented professional cake arts (myself included!) might find that they have better luck with vintage versions that are less apt to result in one's next Pinterest Fail.

Hard as it is to believe, we're more than 2/3rds of the through the beautiful month of July and that means that the August long weekend is just around the corner. With it, for those in my town, will come the return of our annual Peach Festival, which always include a big square dancing event with participants from far and wide visiting Penticton to take part.

In the spirit of such, I knew the moment that I spotted today's vintage recipe for a two-tone checkered dessert called Square Dance Party Cake that I wanted to share it with all of you (which greatly resembles a classic Battenberg cake).

Though I haven't made it yet myself, I definitely hope to whip up a GF version come the early days of August (interestingly, while putting this post together, I discovered that I'm not the only one there who wanted to give it a spin; Amanda from the blog Amanda's Cooking did just that, complete with photos, back in 2014 and shared her results in this recipe post).

This is one of those marvelous mid-century cakes that looks like it might be complicated, but actually really isn't. A few simple steps are all it takes to achieve the compliment inducing checkered pattern - plus this beautiful vintage dessert is quite budget-friendly, making it amply well suited to weeknight meals and special events/holidays alike.

{Hailing from 1950, this beautiful vintage cake utilizes two different colours of batter, a classic white frosting, and yummy squares of chocolate to create a dish worthy of any square dancing, summertime, or otherwise noteworthy event. Vintage recipe ad via Click America.}

I know, I know, I've probably said it a dozen or more times now over the years, but as folks tend to comment and ask for alternatives if I don’t mention as much, I'm all the more happy to say again that if shortening isn't your cup of tea, then by all means substitute in your favourite cooking fat, such as butter, margarine, vegan margarine, or coconut oil, here instead.

As pretty and pristine looking as the white icing shown here is, I'd be rather tempted to jazz it up a bit. Perhaps opting for a chocolate or fudge frosting, though that would of course alter the taste of the cake. Caramel, coconut, lemon, orange, cherry, strawberry, pineapple, raspberry, blueberry, mocha, mint, almond, walnut, peanut butter, cotton candy, and seven-minute frosting would all be awesome choices here, too.

And to keep the checkered theme going all the more, you could even use two different types and/or colours of icing on this cake, if you wanted - perhaps one on the inside and different version on the outside.

The chocolate squares on the top are a fun touch, but certainly not a requirement. You could swap them out for chocolate curls, fresh or candied fruit, nuts, sugared rose petals or citrus peel, any candy you please (given the Southwestern connections that square dancing has, I can't help but think how cool a choice these classic prickly pear cactus candies would be), marshmallows, sprinkles, pralines, chocolate covered coffee beans, or anything else that you felt would suit this beautiful pink and white cake nicely.

I'm not able attend our to our town’s fun annual square dance event each year, but I can whip up this charming mid-century cake cake anytime my heart desires – as can you – and that alone is worth doing dancing a few happy steps over! :)

Have an absolutely fantastic weekend, my sweet friends!

*PS* In case you missed yesterday's post about it, I wanted to let you all know that I'm currently holding a 25% off storewide Christmas in July sale in my Etsy shop until the end of this month.

July 22, 2016

25% off Christmas in July sale on now in my Etsy shop (+ an update on the Canada Post strike situation)

In a statement that I don't often make, this July has actually felt like something of a long month so far. I don't see this as a negative or positive per se, but rather the by-product of a rocky June that progressed into a new month with somewhat unsure footing as well.

No small part of such was due directly to the swirling vortex of uncertainty that was the Canada Post strike situation, which I discussed in detail here back on the 1st of the month.

Though we experienced a wide range of postal service disruptions and ensuing ramifications (such as many online sellers having to temporary cease shipping and/or shut down their stores briefly), and while the risk of such happening isn't off the table yet entirely, so far a complete strike has not actually materialized.

This is absolutely fantastic, of course, and meant that - when the official news of a negation truce was announced - I was able to promptly reopen my Etsy shop, for business as usual, back on July 8th.

There is still the risk that a strike might happen (though, really, I suppose there is at anytime), but again, for now, Canada Post has officially said that there are no service disruptions or other issues that will impact the general public at the moment.

Earlier in the year I'd been planning to hold a sale in my Etsy shop to celebrate Canada Day, the 4th of July, and my birthday (on the 10th), but when the worst of the strike situation was underway and I was forced to temporarily put my store into Vacation Mode, that possibility went straight out the window.

Hop ahead some three weeks, and as things are back to normal on all fronts, I felt like I still wanted to off you all a fabulous sale. There's no major holidays here at the moment to directly tie this sale into, so instead I've decided to have my Etsy shop's first ever Christmas in July sale!

{All the fun of December sales without any of the seasonal hecticness, lineups, or holiday mail rush!}

That's right, months before jolly old St. Nick comes bounding down the chimney again, you can shop and save with the same sort of discount that I offer during the holiday season (you might even to do some actual holiday gift shopping now ahead of time).

Between today (Friday July 22nd and Sunday July 31st) absolutely everything in my Etsy shop - more than 950 listings (including hundreds of exciting new vintage and antique offerings that have been added there in recent months) - has been marked down by 25%.

This discount has already been applied to the entire store, so there's no need for coupon codes or anything of that nature. Simply shop and save big with this festive sale.

And, I'd like to mention, for those who may be new to my shop or otherwise unaware of such, that I happily ship worldwide, offer very low combined shipping rates on all orders, and only ever charge true shipping costs (refunding any overages of $1.00 or more, if such does occur).

So while July got off to a less-than-ideal start, it is my sincere hope that this sale can help the month do a full 180 before it wraps up, and love being able to offer you a summertime sales event after all (please note: the next sale in my Etsy shop won't happen until at least mid-autumn).

Thank you, truly, so much in advance to everyone who shops - and saves - with this fun Christmas in July sale.

July 20, 2016

Meet Janey: The Disney and Southwestern loving, incredibly stylish vintage blogger behind the Atomic Redhead

"Passionate" is the one of the first words that spring to mind when I think about July's exciting new interviewee in our fun ongoing post series, Meet a Fellow Vintage Blogger.

A truly dear friend and fellow veteran vintage blogger, this month I sit down with none of than Janey Ellis, (also) known affectionately to many by the name of her stellar blog, the Atomic Redhead.

Like myself, Janey has been vintage blogging for seven years now (though her blogging roots stretch further back in time than that, as she touched on in today's interview). During that time she has become on the best known and most respected vintage bloggers around, and her way with styling her gorgeous outfits is the stuff that yesteryear fashion dreams are made of.
Janey is a devoted blogger who posts frequently, plays an active roll in the vintage blogging community, and is keen on using social media, too. She has a multitude of different interests (a topic that we'll delve into her today), many of which are woven into the rich and exciting tapestry that is her blog. In addition, Janey is a deeply sweet, intelligent, caring person and someone that I feel sincerely blessed to count as a friend.

I was elated when she volunteered to take part in this series and equally excited to put together an array of interview questions for this immensely stylish mid-century fashion + Disney + southwestern + cosplay + so much more adoring lady.

Janey is a true delight and whether you're meeting her for the first time today, have been following Atomic Redhead for quite some time, or perhaps even know her in person, chances are you'll be as delighted as I was to learn (so much) more about her here in this post.

Thank you very much for sharing your time with us here this month, Janey. It is a true joy to chat with you! For those who might be meeting you and your awesome blog, Atomic Redhead, for the first time, can you please tell us when you started blogging, what inspired you to do so, and the story behind your site’s delightful name?

Thank you for including me in this wonderful series, Jessica! It’s been wonderful meeting new bloggers and learning more about ones I already follow!

I actually started blogging around 2003 on a movie website, where I wrote movie reviews as well as offered glimpses into my life. I didn’t have total control on that platform, and around 2009 the website was overhauled, and what little control I did have in terms of styling was taken away, so I chose to leave.

Patrick (my now husband, but then boyfriend) offered to make me a new blog, one where I would have complete control over design. So that is when I started blogging as the Atomic Redhead. I wanted to move away from movie reviews, and into vintage and sharing both my passion and knowledge if history.

The name has a rather silly origin story. When I was in high school I was up very late one night drawing, and I thought “What if I had a band? What would the name of that band be?” Of course I have no musical talent to speak of, but late nights are times for silly fancies.

I thought first of “The Atomic Cherries”, but then I thought “What if we were all redheads?” and “The Atomic Redheads” were born. I drew a lot of album cover art type illustrations for the band, but I also designed my original logo, the atom with the red flip hair-do at that time.

Much like myself, you’ve been fascinated by, and in love with, history and all things vintage for as far back as you can recall. In particular, what would you say were some of your earliest vintage related influences? Do they still continue to shape your passion for the past to this day?

My parents for sure. My parents were in the antique business, although their passion was really in Victorian furnishings. But I grew up going to antique shows, shops, and thrift stores with them. But my dad is into classic cars and hot rods, so we always had multiple old cars, and were involved in car shows. We also listened to nothing but the oldies station.

My parents were also good about showing me old movies and TV shows. Some of my earliest fashion inspirations were Jeannie (post-wedding) from I Dream of Jeannie, and Marilyn Munster from The Munsters. And, yes, I would say that these early experiences still shape my passion.

I still love old cars, and even though the mid-20th century is my favorite time period for furniture, I still love the Victorian era and its furniture, and I continue to listen to oldies and seek out outfits inspire by these early inspiration idols.

I greatly admire the fact that you are so vested in history and how it relates to your interests (including the fact that you have a BA in history). How would you say that such factors into the types of topics and outfits that you share on your blog?

Well I love sharing history. And when I learn about things, especially when the subject matter still has a physical element, like an important location/building or a museum, I want to go there, and then share that experience with readers, and hopefully inspire them to learn more about the topic, or even visit the particular location. I think a lot about the subject matter of a location when getting dressed. I love to tie in something that I am wearing with the location or persons related to it.

Your style is a stellar mix of different eras and influences. What are some of the decades/time periods and factors that currently inspire you the most when getting dressed?

Gosh! I do love nearly every decade! Lately I have been super digging the 70s. And what is funny is that it was the late 1960s and 70s where I got started with vintage fashion. When I was in middle school I told my mom I wanted to dress like the girls on the old TV shows I was watching, so she gave me some of her items from the 60s and 70s.

Is there anything in your closet that it might really surprise people to know that you own?

I have a shirt that is covered with images of Evan Peters’ characters from American Horror Story. Those that know me super well know I’m insanely in love with James Patrick March, his character from the last season, Hotel, and since the shirt had images of that character I just had to have it. And I have quite a few kind of silly and/or geeky tees that I want to start working into the blog more though that may also be kind of surprising.

And conversely, is there anything people might assume, being a vintage fashion fan, that you have, but which you don’t actually?

I’ve had nearly every “classic”, or “must have” item that people associate with the 40s-60s, and at times have called them “must haves” myself. But I had parted with many, so I actually no longer own saddle shoes or a snood.

Your wardrobe is one of the most beautiful, impressive, detail oriented and inspiring I’ve ever encountered in my whole life. I realize that doing so isn’t always easy, but how would you sum it up in a few words (e.g., creative, vivid, feminine, casual, formal, etc)?

Thank you! And let’s go with… Eclectic, western, adventuress, fatale.

You have a great love for vintage Southwestern styles. Was there anything in particular that sparked this interest?

The southwest and western images are another style that has kind of been with me my whole life. I adored Annie Oakley growing up, and had a cowgirl outfit when I was little. My grandfather on my dad’s side grew up on a ranch in Texas, and while I never got to meet him, the images of him on a horse or in chaps and a hat stick with me.

Additionally, my dad, being of the baby-boomer generation was very into cowboys as a kid, and still is. I remember going to the Roy Rogers Museum when I was very young. But it wasn’t until college when I spied a 1950s ladies Panhandle Slim sweater that I really got into it.

It was so unique as it was a knit sweater, but cut and styled like a western shirt, with collar, pearl snaps, and a yoke made of a different material. I wear it very little, and I don't think it’s ever been on the blog, because it’s just so rare, I’ve never seen another one like it. But that really kicked the western wear into high gear, followed by the Mexican and Native American influences.

What are some of your favourite types of vintage Southwestern pieces to collect and wear?

Oh, so many! I love the western themed boarder print skirts, they are like a wearable painting! I also love squash blossom necklaces. I would love to have more western wear suits, like what I wore to the Autry recently (seen in the first photo at the top of this post).

On the fashion front, you’re also very keen on Disneybounding and sporting outfits of this nature. When did this passion begin and what are some of your favourite Disney inspired looks to date?

I’ve always loved Disney, but what is funny is I didn’t give too much thought to Disneybounding until some time within the last year. Mainly because I lacked a lot of solids in my closet. But I’ve slowly been able to fill that gap.

I love my Maleficent (pictured below), because she is among one of my favorite villains. I also love the Nick Wilde I did recently, because I feel like it was the most successful with color blocking to reflect Nick’s outfit.

Dream Disney related outfit that you haven’t sported yet?

My favorite Disney villain, Ratigan from The Great Mouse Detective.

You sew (and handcraft/embellish – such as your awesome Disney themed parasols) some of your own clothing and costumes (including some cosplay related ones). How much of your current wardrobe would you say is currently comprised of “me made” pieces?

Not very many actually. Sewing still very much intimidates me. I continue to admire those like Carla of Tiny Angry Crafter (who is a past interviewee in this series – see her post here), and Tasha from By Gum By Golly, who make so much of their wardrobe. But most of my sewing is now focused on repairs and cosplay.

How do you personally feel that the vintage fashion landscape has changed in the years since you first began sporting old school styles?

It’s become more mainstream. When I first started thrifting as a kid, I thought everyone did it. But I learned that wasn’t the case in a rather cruel way. When I was in middle school I scored some awesome bellbottoms with sunflowers around the hem.

I thought they were the coolest thing, and one day a popular girl told me she thought they were cool and then asked me where I got them, and I told her the truth, “Goodwill”. She laughed at me, thinking I was joking, but when I said it was the truth she showed up the next day with a bag of her old clothes, because she thought I was poor because I shopped at Goodwill. Today, especially with the popularity of Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop”, and shows like American Pickers, thrifting and finding old stuff is now in/cool.

I think the environment has also played a factor. “Going green” is more popular and people now look to vintage/antique/thrift stores for items. On a different level, things have gotten more expensive. Skirts that used to be $125 a couple years ago are now going for $300. Especially for novelty prints.

It’s wonderful that your blog is still going strong and that you’ve continued to keep on blogging, even in the face of rising social media domination. What are some of the main driving forces that keeps your blogging mojo alive and well?

History. Sharing history really. I want to let people know about historical locations and why these places are important and cool. I’m a very firm believer in George Santayana’s quote “Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.” So I want to share as much as I can with people so they can learn from our world’s past.

In addition to vintage fashion, you have a huge love of many other history/vintage related things, spanning architecture to 1960s presidential race memorabilia to pinup art. What are some of your favourite non-fashion related vintage things to collect?

The 1964 presidential race is really one of my favorites. Lyndon B. Johnson is my favorite president, and I find the campaign between him and Barry Goldwater so interesting. I also love the Zorro television series that Disney did from 1957 to 1959, and collect the various items that were produced for it.

Do you feel that, as vintage wearers and bloggers, we sometimes run the risk – often through no fault of our own – of being pigeonholed in a way? (By this I mean, people see our vintage attire and blogs and forget that there’s more to us than just these things.)

Yes, totally. And it is something I’ve been working on with the blog with visiting historical locations, etc., but I know a lot of people come to my blog for the vintage fashion, so I try to combine the two with “What I wore” images, followed by location images and information.

But I also want to expand out of the strictly vintage fashion aspect, and I’ve done that a few times by showcasing a more eclectic and unique style that may feature vintage elements. I also have been working to expand my geek culture type posts.

What are some non-vintage related things that you wish people knew (or knew more) about you?

I really try to cover everything I like on my blog. I want to avoid being pigeonholed, as you mentioned. But I do love cosplay very much. Along with weird comics, movies, and TV shows, (even though a lot of them tie into the time periods I like).

And with that though, is attending comic conventions or visiting locations that have a significance to something of those genres. Like I have a few trips planned to filming locations of Star Trek and Star Wars. I also love auto racing. I don’t go to races as much as I used to, because it was something I did with my dad back in Oregon.

You live in sunny California these days, along with your husband, Patrick (who also has a deeply rooted passion for the past). How have you found the vintage scene (shopping, events, community, etc) to be there so far?

It’s amazing! The shopping is different from Portland, where we used to live. I shop a lot more at pure vintage clothing stores rather than resale shops or thrift stores. There are way more events, and a wide range of people create and attend them. And new ones are being created all the time!

I was overjoyed to bring Fur & Feathers to LA this year. We’ve been here a little over a year and a half and I still haven’t done all of the annual events that occur and am constantly meeting new people.

Has anything surprised you a lot when it comes to such in comparison to your previous home in Portland, Oregon?

On the vintage front, it’s how large the community is. In Portland everyone knew everyone. Here, many of us are meeting new people and making friends all the time, it feels. While not necessarily cliquey, the area is so populated that it allows for people to find and build niches around different eras. For example there is a heavy Art Deco and 20s presence, as well as a big 40s swing community, and a large rockabilly community, too.

Then there are the people like me, and many of my friends, who love all of it, and move throughout the various groups.

Your wardrobe includes a fantastic blend of true vintage, vintage reproduction, vintage inspired, and vintage inspired pieces. What sorts of garments and/or accessories, of any of those types, do you wish that you had more of at the moment?

Patrick always says I want everything, and it’s kind of true! The list is so long! There are some very specific vintage items, including several western boarder print skirts, more Re-Mix shoes, and I always want more turquoise.

But I also want to build up my vintage repro/inspired collection too, because they prove to be the best pieces to wear to Disneyland and the other amusement parks in the area.

If you could design your own vintage reproduction line, what sorts of pieces would you fill it with?

Trust me, this is something I have honestly given thought to! (Jessica's side note: So have I!) And it would be to have a line inspired by TV shows and movies. Many of my friends and I are obsessed with Lucy’s open skirt over pants ensemble, made famous in her scene with William Holden in I Love Lucy, and we dream of one day owning such an item.

What advice would you give someone who is just getting into wearing vintage for the first time these days?

Know your measurements! And carry a tape measure with you when you shop. This will make life so much easier, and means it is less likely for you to damage a garment when trying something on because you won’t attempt to squeeze into something that is too small. Which will make shop owners super happy!

Also, learn how to sew! You don’t need to learn how to make a garment from scratch, but knowing how to fix popped seams, buttons and such will add to the longevity of your wardrobe, plus you’ll save money, between doing your own repairs and being able to buy damaged pieces, which are often less expensive.

And last, but certainly not least, as a huge fan of traveling, what would your dream vintage related destination be and what would you hope to buy while there?

I’m not sure I have a destination in mind, as much as just a massive road trip coast to coast, but along the south, over through Arizona, Louisiana and into Florida. There is so much I want to see in all of those states! In the southwest though I would hope to buy loads of turquoise, vintage patio dresses, and more fun western wear!

Connect with Janey on the following sites:

Meet the past interviewees 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 | December 2015: Porcelina | January 2016: Nora | February 2016: Kate | March 2016: Carla | April 2016: Jessica E. | May 2016: Skye | June 2016: Kate-Em

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Thank you, majorly, Janey, for this terrific interview and for speaking about so many of the things that spark your interest and fill the pages of your marvelous blog.

I've admired you since the moment I first discovered your blog, and adore that we've become close online friends over the years. You, your blog, your creativity, and your incredible sense of fashion inspire me day in and day out, and I wholeheartedly look forward to continuing to connect with you for a long time to come.

If you're not already following The Atomic Redhead, I really can't encourage you enough to do so. Janey's site is sure to speak to your vintage loving soul to no end as well!

Next month, it's looking quite likely that we'll be climbing back into our virtual jetliner and hightailing it to Europe again.

Exact details remain to be finalized however, and as such I don't have too much of a hint to give regarding just who it is that we'll be chatting with in August. Whoever they are though, I assure you that they'll abound with style, joie de vivre, and a love of all things old school as well.

Have a fantastic week and a great tail end of July, everyone!

July 18, 2016

Adventures in Vintage Advertising: Sealtest Ice Cream

 Hands down one of my favourite reoccurring post series on this blog is Adventures in Vintage Advertising. For those who may be newer followers here and thus not familiar with these posts, they’re a detailed, image filled look at the history of a given product (for example, toothpaste) or one or more specific offerings (such as Heinz Ketchup) from a particular brand.

Today, on this balmy, immensely beautiful mid-July morning - with temps set to climb near triple digits again - it seemed like an ideal time to whip up another edition of this fun post series.

Given the sky high temps and the fact that no other time of the year is so heavily associated with this classic dessert, I thought we'd take a peak at the history of a well known North American brand of ice cream that was especially popular during the 1950s - 1980s: those offerings from Sealtest Dairy.

{The St. Louis Dairy Building on the corner of Chestnut St & 20th St in St. Louis, Missouri, c. 1970s.}

Though Sealtest made, and still produces, a wide range of dairy goods (from cottage cheese to milk to butter), they are perhaps best known for their scrumptious varieties of ice cream and vibrant, wonderfully inviting ads that they produced during the mid-twentieth century to help promote these sweet treats.

While not an epic amount is to be found online about the history of Sealtest Dairy, I was able to discover a bit more than I knew before I sat down to pen this post. The brand appears to have been founded during the early decades of the 20th century and was able to successfully weather the years of the Great Depression to come out stronger than every before.

{The large staff of the Detroit, Michigan Sealtest Dairy plant, 1934.}

Sealtest Dairy was a division of the larger National Dairy Products Corporation (which itself was a predecessor for the now epicly huge Kraft Foods, Inc). As mentioned above, the brand sold a variety of products to US consumers in its early days, including ice cream, lemonade, and milk.

Interestingly, many of Sealtest's offerings were also available in Canada, where they were distributed by a few different companies. These days, Sealtest's products are licensed in this country by Agropur and are still readily available in many parts of the Canada (particularly in Ontario).

Founded by Mr. Vernon F. Hovey (isn't that a great vintage name?), the Sealtest Dairy Company was later taken over, after his passing, by his two sons, who operated out of New York. It was later sold to Kraft and then, in 1993, to another huge company, Unilever (who also own Breyers Ice cream).

{A late 1940s ad for Rich Toys brand dairy trucks that featured the nationally known Sealtest Dairy logo on one of their vehicles.}

Back during its heyday, Sealtest had dairy plants peppered across the Midwestern and Northeastern areas of the United States, with some of the largest areas of operations being found in cites such as Cleveland, Milwaukee, Rockford, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, and Huntington, as well as a Mid-South plant located in Nashville, Tennessee.

For many in the mid-twentieth century, Sealtest was a household name and the brand enjoyed a good deal of success - so much so, in fact, that they even had a branded ice cream parlour located at Disney World.

In addition, the company had a sponsored pavilion located at the 1939 Flushing World Fair (pictured above), as well various national network broadcasts including, in the 1950s, the Sealtest Big Top Show (which featured none other than Ed McMahon).

Though I do know that I've had various Sealtest dairy products over the years, including their milk and whipped cream, I don't actually have distinct memories of consuming their scrumptious ice cream, though it's certainly possible that I may have.

I know that many of my readers on both side of the 49th will have such memories though and that in general, vintage fans the world over will appreciate and enjoy the peppy colours, fun copy, and lip-lickingly delicious photos depicted in the following assortment of yesteryear Sealtest Ice Cream ads.

This ad, from 1936 for the timeless favourite flavour that is vanilla, was one of the earliest I was able to track down online for Sealtest Ice Cream. It suggests pairing their offering with citrus fruit, which is still a great way to enjoy vanilla flavoured ice cream to this day!

The space race was just in its infancy when Sealtest created an add with the tagline of "out of this world" for their creamy strawberry ice cream, but if they were tapping in such (the copy points towards a "heavenly" connection, not a man-on-the-moon sort of one, but still), one can certainly appreciate the foreword thinking-ness of their marketing department.

Well before brands like Haagen Dazs (founded in 1961) and Ben & Jerry's (1978) hit the frozen dessert aisle scene, Sealtest was busy at work dreaming up some delightfully fun, and often very creative, ice cream flavours. One such example of their inventive thinking can be seen in this ad for Sealtest's Berry Patch ice cream, which included three different flavours - strawberry, raspberry, and blueberry, respectfully - of ice cream combined Neapolitan style in the same carton (an idea, as we'll see again in this post, that Sealtest was very fond of doing - much, I'm sure, to the delight of many customers).

Sealtest billed itself as "America's Favorite Ice Cream", as this adorable mid-century ad for their classic vanilla variety demonstrates. Given the immense popularity for Sealtest's products, such may very well have been a valid claim!

With its charmingly spelled name and thoroughly mouth watering sounding flavour, I bet that Pecan Crunch was a well received favourite with consumers back in the day (you just know it would have been incredible as the base for a chocolate syrup or hot fudge sundae!).

Sealtest excelled at offering both unique (especially at the time) flavours and more classic standbys. I'd venture to guess that Devil Mint - a chocolate (possibly Devil’s Food Cake) mint ice cream - fell somewhere in the middle at that point in time (and no doubt the name raised its faire share of eyebrows!).

A whole month's worth of different sundae varieties, all featuring Sealtest's ice cream (natch!), star in this lovely two page colour photo ad from 1953.

You just know that it was a major lightbulb moment for someone at Sealtest when they dreamed up this flavour. Turn the hugely beloved treat that is a banana split into an ice cream flavour? So many yeses!!!

As time went on, Sealtest branched out and began offering an assortment of frozen ice cream treats, such as bars, cones and sandwiches, as pictured in this hues-of-the-era filled ad from 1967.

Yes, I'm certain that I would have. Cherry ice cream is one of my favourite varieties ever and given the array of different ads for various cherry flavours that I found from Sealtest, such as this lovely example for Cherry Vanilla, it was clearly well received by other fans back in the day!

It's orange! It's tangerine! It's both and its wonderful! Of that I have zero doubts. Yum, yum and yum again!!!

Like many brands of the era, Sealtest targeted the growing youth demographic that was comprised of the baby boomers by offering fun promotional giveaways and prizes, such as the cute circus animal themed buttons shown here in this c. 1950s ad (I found one of these very buttons for sale on Etsy here, and would imagine that they surface there, on eBay, and elsewhere fairly regularly).

A colonial era inspired cross stitch serves as the lovely background for Sealtest's Blueberry Royale Ice cream in this ad from 1957 (then as now, ripple style ice creams were popular flavours with frozen dessert consumers).

As touched on above, cherry varieties were some of the Sealtest's best sellers and were hugely adored by the ice cream eating public back in the day. This c. 1960s ad highlights two wonderfully tasty sounding offerings: Cherry and Vanilla Checkerboard, and Cherry Nugget (which included almonds). Another such variety from Sealtest, which isn't pictured here, was Cherry Pineapple.

Taste the lemon twice! Proclaims the text in this eye-catching ad from 1957 for Sealtest's thoroughly appealing looking Lemon Drop flavour of sherbet.

Catering, at least in part, to a more upscale demographic of frozen dessert buyers in the 1960s (based on the earliest ads for such that I've come across so far), Sealtest launched their Prestige line of French Ice creams. They were, as one might imagine, accompanied by ritzy looking ads like this one that sees a dish of ice cream served up on a slab of marble (while a silver ice bucket keeps the rest of the tub perfectly chilled).

Sealtest was huge on offering what they delightfully called "Checkerboard" varieties of ice cream, which saw the marriage of at least two different complimentary flavours in the same carton (this particular ad highlights their tiki party perfect pairing of pineapple ice cream and orange sherbet).

Fabulously patriotic and wonderfully well suited to the 4th of July, Sealtest's Red, White and Blueberry variety was sure to have been a hit with festive costumers back in the day.

As an epic lover of candy apples (I even have a Pinterest board devoted to them!), no other Sealtest flavour highlighted in today's post appeals to me more than this splendidly original Candied Apple Ice Cream.

Over the years Sealtest offered customers the chance, on multiple occasions, to win a year's worth of free ice cream for either dreaming up flavours or naming existing ones (the blog My Pretty Baby Cried She Was a Bird has a great post from 2014 that even shares photos of one of the winning families of these Sealtest promotional contests), as this ad invites folks to try their hand at.

Like many brands (food and otherwise) over the years, Sealtest produced holiday themed ads - such as this crimson hued one for Strawberry Macaroon Ice Cream from 1957 - and *possibly* (I can't say for certain one way or the other based on my research for this post) seasonal varieties of their products, too.

A super cute Polynesian dancer and a great tagline "The flavour you'd most like to be marooned with" call this darling 1950s ad for Sealtest's Coconut Fudge Ice Cream home.

Peach is a fabulously classic ice cream flavour that we don't (at least where I live) see near enough of these days. One can only imagine how rich, creamy and flavourful Sealtest's version was (at one point the brand also produced an equally appealing sounding Peach Melba variety of ice cream).

Kitschy ad and a pun filled name telegraph serious fun, even if this flavour is one that might not have been everyone's favourite (personally I love both dates and nuts and bet I would have really enjoyed this variety of ice cream).

No doubt the generously sized colour photos of their rich, scrumptious ice cream that appeared in most of Sealtest’s ads - including this late 1950s one for Black Raspberry - helped to sell their products big time!

Tapping into food crazes of the era is always a great way to help boost sales, which is precisely what Sealtest was doing when they added the word chiffon (as in cake) to their buttercup hued Pineapple Lemon Ice Cream flavour back in 1959.

In part, I'm sure, because they knew that they were targeting children and their parents, Sealtest excelled at producing adorable ads for their delicious frozen treats, such as this c. late 1950s/1960s example for their rocky road-esque Chocolate Marshmallow variety.

{To learn more about a specific image used in today's post, please click on it to be taken to its respective source.}

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Despite the fact that such would seem like a natural business move, I did not find information to indicate that Sealtest ever had ice cream trucks (just milk and similar dairy product delivery vehicles).

Instead this beloved summertime dessert staple was sold to consumers (like the mom and her two children pictured in the mid-1950s ad below) through their local supermarkets and small grocers shops across Canada and America.

It does appear, however, that Sealtest’s name was used in conjunction with the packaging on ice cream and milkshake products offered by various diners, soda fountains, fast food and other types of restaurants during the mid to late twentieth century (with Sealtest branded glassware and other similar items from such eateries surfacing periodically on the vintage market these days). As the ad below, for three soda fountain exclusive frozen treats, demonstrates.

I ran into conflicting accounts as to if any of Sealtest offerings are still available in the United States or not. They definitely are in Canada, but it seemed like I just found a lot of news stories online discussing the fact that Sealtest milk was discontinued several years ago now throughout most (or possibly all) of America.

So, my dear US readers, my question to you then is, can you still find Sealtest ice cream or any of this brand's other offerings where you live or has this once iconic brand gone the way of the dinosaur in your fine country?

I'm pulling for Sealtest to still be available there, even if the brand no longer puts out the sorts of appealing, vividly hued (and often downright cute) ads that they once did.

No matter what, we can all delight in these fun vintage ice cream adverts, which are very apt to have you running for the nearest carton, pail or tub of your own favourite modern ice cream faster than you can say 100 degrees Fahrenheit! :)