Saturday, February 27, 2010

You can never have too many postcards

I have so much studying to do for midterms (which is why I am blogging right now....), but I did take a break this afternoon to go to the Antiques Market again with Steve. They are having a huge sale that ends tomorrow so I had to go get a few more goodies. I bought 4 more vintage postcards to add to my collection as well as a pink depression glass candy dish. It was only $8.50 and I am completely in love with it. Now if only I could decide what to actually do with it... Anyways here are a few pictures of what I bought:

Three of the postcards. Two of them are from 1912 and the other is from 1917.

What I consider the post interesting part of the postcard: the back. I love reading the notes people have written and that's how I choose to buy which ones I do.

Ok, this one I bought for the front. It looks so romantic then you read the words. "I wonder who's kissing her now". It makes me giggle every time.

And this is my new candy dish. Isn't it pretty? Any suggestions on what to use it for?

Oh and while I think of it, what do you think of my new favourite hairstyle? (Photos taken before I was dumb enough to go out in the blizzard and completely ruin both my hair and makeup). It is so easy but I think it still has a vintagey feel. Good for those mornings when I don't have time for anything elaborate.

By the way, I am pointing to my new brooch, not my boob. I got two lovely new brooches at Michael's for only $3 each! The other one is more oval shaped and has faux pearls on it. I think they are just darling but I really need to come up with more outfits I can wear brooches with.

If you are interested in how I did my hair, I got the idea from this video from ThePinUpSweetShoppe on Youtube. She makes lovely hair tutorials and this one is my favourite at the moment.

Friday, February 26, 2010

5 Old Fashioned Hobbies

Everyone needs a hobby. Hobbies are especially good things to have when you are stuck at school, away from friends and family, and really don't feel like studying for your upcoming midterm. It's nice to have something to do that lets you relax and take your mind off your troubles. With that said, here is my list of my top 5 old-fashioned hobbies that you can do alone.

1) Knitting

Knitting has officially become cool again. Which makes me like it slightly less. But it is still a lovely way to relax and be productive all at the same time. There are lots of tutorials on YouTube on how to knit but I suggest getting someone to actually show you, as it is a lot easier to learn that way. Soon you will be knitting scarves for your friends and their stuffed polar bears.

Aren't they cute? :)

2) Crosswords

In true 1920's style, curling up with a good crossword is a wonderful way to while away the afternoon. The trick is to find puzzles that are challenging but, at the same time, not impossible. The paper is a good place to start but they get progressively harder later in the week. Another option is one of the many crossword puzzle books available. These are good but tend to reuse the same clues a lot.

3) Baking

The favourite pastime of many 1950's housewife's. Baking provides a good way to let off steam (whisking and kneading dough are great tension relievers) and you get a tasty treat at the end. What could be better?

4) Embroidery

Embroidery is surprisingly easy to learn (Threadbangers has some good tutorials on YouTube) and is a great way to customize your clothes, bags, linen, etc. I am working on a pillow at the moment while I am stitching on examples of fashions from the 1920s and 30s. (There will be pictures posted when I am finished).

5) Reading

This is likely one of the easiest and oldest hobbies. For authenticity I recommend reading Agatha Christie or PG Wodehouse. Or if you prefer to go farther back in time try reading North and South or Jane Eyre for some Victorian romance.

6) Old radio shows

Ok I lied, there's six hobbies I wanted to list but this last one involves cheating a bit. I am a huuuuuugge fan of old radio shows. The only thing is that you need a computer or a DVD player in order to listen to them. Not very authentic but it works. I buy mine from but they also have a lot of shows you can hear for free on their website. Philip Marlowe is my favourite show, with Bob Hope a close second. The next one I think I will buy next is "I was a communist for the FBI". They tend to be a little cheesy but that is what makes them so endearing. Perfect to listen to while you are knitting or embroidering.

Here's a few pictures from their website (in order, for the shows I mentioned):

Now go, unwind, relax and spend some quality "me" time. After a long day of studying, work or whatever, you deserve a nice break :)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

I'm Old-Fashioned

No time for a full post today I'm afraid. I am drowning in school work but I promise to post something tomorrow night. In the mean time here is a lovely little song from a movie I have never actually seen. (Don't you just love Fred Astaire?)

I giggle when he says "I am strictly from corn". I never think of him as "from corn" although I suppose technically he was. Fred always seems such a gentleman. Why can't modern actors be more classy?

Speaking of old-fashioned, what do you think of the pic? It is from my tea party. I look so serious...

Sunday, February 21, 2010

More ephemera for my collection!

Yay! Goodies from the antique market! (Sorry some of the photos got a little cut off but my scanner wasn't quite large enough)
Postcard from December 4, 1908

The Chautauquan Magazine from 1883
(I am particularly looking forward to reading the section on Etiquette since studying old-fashioned etiquette is a hobby of mine)

Ad for stockings with Ginger Rogers (1951)

Ad for Mallory Hats (1946)

Ad for Singer Sewing Machines (1947)

And my personal favourite, an ad for Penthouse Platforms by Naturalizer (1946)

The most exciting thing about my purchases? There was a big sale on so I got everything for $13 including tax! I may have to head back next weekend since the sale lasts until next Sunday :)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Gorgeous Gingham

So I may have made the stupidest purchase ever. I bought the most beautiful yellow gingham duvet cover I have ever seen... that is the wrong size and doesn't match anything else I own. Oh well. I will just have to save it until I can get a new comforter to put inside it and until I have enough money to buy new accessories to match it (since everything I have now for my bedroom has red in it). But I just couldn't leave it. It was the last one left and I was worried if I didn't get it now I would never see one as perfect ever again.
Gingham is my new favourite pattern and although I used to hate yellow I am starting to love some of the softer creamier shades that remind me of fresh churned butter. It will look so perfect in my farmhouse. Imagine, a sunny yellow comforter, creamy off-white walls, a warm creamy white wool rug underfoot, the early morning light flooding in through the open window covered with sheer white curtains..... ahhh..... I feel happy already.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Dressed for Dinner

Yesterday's Outfit:

Sweater: Rickis
Dress: I honestly can't remember its name but the store isn't there any longer so I guess it doesn't matter...
Shoes: Bigleys
Crinoline: Hey Viv (see previous post for details)
Earrings: By me :)

So yesterday, my mother and I decided to go out for dinner together (since my dad was away at a car show for the day). We tried this cute little vegetarian restaurant. It is called The Jasmine Garden and although I found the decor a little underwhelming the food was amazing. I had their Chunky Tofu which doesn't sound all that appetising but it was absolutely scrumptious.

It was a lovely evening and I enjoyed getting dressed up. Nobody "dresses for dinner" anymore but I think they should. It's quite a lot of fun.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Valentines Day Tea Party

Here's some photos from my Valentines Day Tea party. :)

Notice how I am the only one who got dressed up?
The Menu:
-Lemon Strawberry Squares (from scratch)
-Vanilla Cupcakes (almost from scratch)
-Mini Biscotti (not from scratch but still tasty)
The Tea:
-Vanilla Strawberry Rose tea
-Sugar Cubes (including some hand decorated ones I got as a Christmas gift)
-Milk (instead of cream since with all the other goodies I figured we should try and be a little healthy)
The Table Setting:
-An antique lace table cloth over top of a pale rose pink table cloth
-My moms Royal Doulton teacups, saucers and plates (with a paper doily between the saucer and place)
-My white teapot and creamer
-Pink flowers from the farmers market ($10 for all of them including the pink roses!) in decorated jars (actually spaghetti sauce jars that I revamped)
-Biscotti wrapped with a paper doily and with a pink gift tag (with the guests name on it) attached with pink embroidery floss
The Decorations:
-Silhouettes I made with my face on them
-Some red heart shaped balloons my Grandma bought for me
-A book on roses
-The pink cards are actually Victorian Parlor games I wrote out in case we got bored
-More paper doilies!
The Outfit:
-Dress from Smart Set
-Crinoline from Hey Viv (see previous post)
-Black pantyhose from Giant Tiger
-Necklace made by me (go figure!)
My hair was done with hot rollers :)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Because Baby, Love is Power.

I have been going through my bookmarked links (I have a lot; last count there was over 800) and listening to a lot of love related songs in honour of Valentines Day. While doing so, I came across this clip from an episode of The Monkees.

I have always loved The Monkees since I was a little girl, and this is still one of my favourite scenes. Mike was always my favourite (Peter and Micky tie for second, then last but not least comes Davy). His speech is just so well done and one of the few serious moments in the show. And now for your viewing pleasure...

Continuing with the John Barrowman theme...

Ok, my internet/computer is still having problems so here is another video in honour of Valentines day. I think this is one of the most romantic songs, but in an understated way instead of an over-the-top super gushy way. Some people prefer other versions of this song but I fell in love with it the way John Barrowman sings it so that's the one I will post here. Hope you all enjoy :)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Ok not what I was planning but who really cares?

So I was going to post about something else but something is screwy with my internet right now. Instead I am posting this clip from the show Torchwood. I think it is one of the most romantic moments on television, even if it is a little corny.

The basic plotline is that two members of the Torchwood team (a secret force that fights aliens that come through a tear in the fabric of space and time that they call "The Rift". See what I mean about a little corny?) have somehow been transported back to WW2. Captain Jack then meets with the real Captain Jack whose identity he stole when he came to earth from the future. He knows the real Jack is going to die the next day but they develop feelings for each other. Of course it's the 1940's and being gay isn't something to be too open about. Jack finally lets his feelings guide him and the Jacks have a last dance before a hole in the space-time continuum is opened and the Torchwood team members can return home. Confused yet? Even if you don't quite get it, you must admit it's quite a touching scene. Warning to those of you who are close minded and don't like guy on guy action. Torchwood is a show where conventional sexual boundaries are often crossed. Its actually pretty badly written sometimes but I still love it.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Those Darn Socks...

Todays outfit:

What do you think of the hair? I liked it but my hair didn't want to stay in the neat little rolls.
Today's outfit:
Sweater: Stolen from my dad :) It's very itchy but at the same time very comfortable.
Tank-top: Smart Set
Necklace: Liffey Gold Cutest little store. I know they look a little expensive on their website, but they do have cheaper things actually in the store.
Earrings: Made by me
Oh and I am wearing pants but they are just jeans from Winners.
Alright, I realize I have been doing a lot of posts but once the school week starts the post will most likely stop...

And now for my latest crafting project: Darning a pair of socks!

I was inspired by this blog post and decided to try it for myself. So I made a quick trip to Michael's to pick up some needles and embroidery floss (living so close to a Michael's is quite dangerous for me. I always come out with more than I went in for), I started my first darning project.

I don't know about you but I always get this weird sentimental attachment to my socks. I always buy socks with crazy patterns on them so once they wear out it's hard to find an exact replacement. One such pair are my Scottish Terrier socks. I bought them a Giant Tiger a few years ago and love them to bits. Unfortunately, one had a hole in the toe.

I must say that although they are now wearable, the darning looks a little ugly but I suspect that because I choose an ugly colour of floss (I wasn't sure if it would work so I didn't want to waste any of the pretty floss). It looks a little bit like a pumpkin puked on my socks. But you can only really see most of the darning from the bottom so I guess it doesn't really matter. At least I don't have to throw them out now :)

Vinegar: Miracle Product

Let me start off by saying I hate using chemicals for any purpose. All the beauty products I use are as natural as possible and I never buy commercial cleaning products (unless of course they are 100% all natural, and I mean actually all natural not just with a label saying so). Luckily there is a cheap and effective substance that can be used for a multitude of purposes. That's right, you guess it. Vinegar.

I love the stuff. I always buy in the largest size possible, since even for 4L it only costs a few dollars. There are so many uses for it but here is a list of my top 5 favourite uses:

1) Cleaning Solution: No need to buy chemical cleaners ever again. Just splash a little vinegar where you would normally use a cleaner of some sort and apply a little elbow grease. You can mix it with some water and clean counter tops or glass (mirrors, windows, etc). I actually can't think of many things you can't clean with it (but avoid using if cleaning delicate surfaces since the acid might damage them).

2) Facial Toner: Great for acne since it kills bacteria, vinegar can be used on your face as a gentle and effective toner.

3) Hair Rinse: Rinsing with vinegar is an easy way to remove product buildup from your hair. Just rinse though a little vinegar before shampooing.

4) Varmit Repellent: I often sprinkle a little vinegar on my garbage bags before setting them outside to be picked up the next morning. It tends to discourage any critters from getting into the garbage and making a mess. My mom also tried sprinkling vinegar on our flat roof to discourage the raccoons that had been "playing" there. It worked like a charm and we haven't had any problems since.

5) Fabric Softener: Just add a little vinegar before the rinse cycle in your laundry machine and it works to soften your fabrics and remove any left over detergent. (It also works well as a stain remover if you let it soak into the stain before washing).

All five uses have been tested and used by myself on numerous occasions so I can guarantee they do work. There are plenty of websites you can visit to get a more complete list of uses.

I like:
131 Uses for Vinegar
1001 Uses for White Distilled Vinegar
44 things to do with vinegar
The Vinegar Institute- Uses and Tips

Note: There is a lot of similarities between these lists but I still think they are all worth a look.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Farmers Market?

So this morning I got up early, got dressed, did my hair and makeup, and headed out the door to catch the bus. After a long, cold walk to the bus stop, I waited for a few minutes for the bus to arrive. I was so excited, since this was to be my first trip to the farmers market since moving back to Waterloo. I was to meet my friend at the mall and we would catch the other bus from there together. And he never showed up.

I waited for about an hour until I got frustrated and left. He tells me he got on the right bus but going in the wrong direction. So no farmers market for me this week. :( Maybe next weekend...

Oh well. Here are some pictures I took of my outfit anyways. I wanted to buy some vintage style dresses at this cute little booth (at the farmers market) that sells a lot of rockabilly clothing so I wore a skirt I could wear my new crinoline under. I actually made the skirt based on some instructions in my mom's Home Ec. text book "Homemakers of Tomorrow". I believe it was published around 1954 but I could be off my a year or two. I ended up totally messing up the waist band (hence the reason the tie is at the side and the waist is actually much too large for me) but that's what I get for sewing without an actual pattern and trying to rush through it.

Skirt: Made by me :)
Scarf: Thrifted (I got it for a dollar but I am sure it's 100% silk)
Sweater: Costa Blanca
Tank top: Smart Set
Shoes: Winners
Hair Flower: Also made by me :)

Friday, February 5, 2010

You mean you don't just add milk?

After doing my weekly grocery shopping I decided to spend my Friday night doing some cooking and baking, two things I absolutely love to do.

In terms of baking I made the most wonderful Lemon Strawberry squares. I am dying to try some of them with my afternoon tea tomorrow. (I was bad and had one before they had time to cool. I burned my mouth but it was so worth it :) They are very yummy).

Since one dessert wasn't enough after the stressful week I've had, I decided to make a pudding. From scratch. Now I know most people just buy a box of instant pudding, add a little milk and call it done, but that is not the old-fashioned way. Real pudding tastes so much better and more natural than the "powder puddings" most people eat nowadays. It's also super easy to make.

I don't use the stove-top method since it is so easy to burn the milk that way. Well that may just be because I am too lazy to constantly stir it but I have found the perfect solution. The Microwave!

I got this recipe out of my Milks Microwave Cookbook. It was published in 1989 so some of the microwave cooking times are a little off but I definitely recommend it for super easy, and yummy, desserts as well as the best Cream of Asparagus soup I have ever tasted (the best part about the soup is that it uses milk instead of cream so you get all the flavour minus most of the fat).

So here is a slightly edited version of the recipe, as well as some photos I took while making it.

Vanilla Pudding

Serves 2-4 (OK it says it serves 6 in the book but that makes the portions way too small...)

You will Need:

A large microwavable bowl

A whisk

1/2 cup of sugar

3 tbsp of cornstarch

A pinch of salt

2 and 1/4 cups of milk

1 and 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract (assuming you are making vanilla pudding)

Step 1: Mix sugar, cornstarch, and salt in the bowl.

Step 2: Slowly whisk in milk and continue whisking until smooth.

Step 3: Microwave on high for 6-8 minutes, or until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens. Don't forget to stir it every two minutes or so. (Older microwaves tend to take slightly longer to bring the pudding to a boil than the newer ones but I recommend starting with 6 minutes and increasing the time only if it hasn't thickened).

Step 4: Remove from microwave and stir in vanilla. I always add more than the 1 and 1/2 tsp but it you feel like following the recipe then I guess you could (but in my opinion more vanilla is always better).

Step 5: Allow to cool slightly and pour into your serving dish (or dishes. I used some glasses since I couldn't find anything else.) Place cling-wrap or waxed paper directly on the surface of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming (I ignore this step when I'm making pudding for myself since I actually like the skin). Chill in the refrigerator for around 2 hours or until set.

And Ta-Da!! You now have pudding!!!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Steppin' Out Tonight

I have had this song stuck in my head all day. It has to be my favourite Andrews Sisters tune. Why can't people make music like this anymore? I hate having to listen to Lady Gaga every time I turn on the radio (but speaking of radio, anyone listen to Rewind on CBC radio 1? I adore all the old archive radio pieces).

My First Crinoline!!!!

Upon arriving home from class today, I opened my door to find a small package between the doors. At first I thought it was the book I had ordered since it looked a little small, but after a closer inspection I realized it was the crinoline I had bought online last week.

I was disappointed since the package looked so small and I figured that it must be a lot smaller than it looked on the website. When I opened the package I was pleasantly surprised (not to mention amazed at how something so poofy fit into such a tiny package...). After trying it on under some of my skirts and dresses I can now officially say I'm in love. It makes everything look so much more fun. See what a difference it makes? (Sorry for the bad photo but my camera doesn't auto-focus and my web-cam hates me).

I bought it from Hey Viv Vintage and they come in 4 different colours. I kinda wanted the red one for Valentines day but I went with black since it will work with more of my clothing.

Now I just have to buy some more 1950's style dresses to wear it under...

Hello world.

So I always fear I have to say something memorable and important in a first blog post but then I think to myself "Who is going to read this anyway?". In all likelihood no one, but I still feel the need to write, to express myself to the world.

I suppose I will start by saying a little about myself. First of all I love old things (as I am sure you guessed by the title of this blog). It's hard to explain why I love them but I just do and always have. When I was little, I was really into the 1960's. I was the only one in my grade 4 class that listened to records of Hermans Hermits or watched I Dream of Jeanie. Since then my tastes have shifted to things of an older vintage. It's so hard to pick a favourite decade since I like elements of so many, but it's safe to say I love things from the 1850's to about the 1950's.

People often tell me I don't look or seem very intelligent, but it's actually quite to opposite (wait does that make me sound incredibly narcissistic?). I am currently studying for a degree in Honours Mathematics and I know my way around a chess board. But I have so much creativity that isn't allowed to flourish through my studies so I often find myself making/creating something. I love crafting, knitting, sewing, embroidery and anything else that involves making things beautiful. People often mistake me for shallow but I just prefer things to be beautiful (and when it comes to people I much prefer inner beauty).

Oh and I suppose I should mention now (although it won't take you long to guess) I have an absolute obsession with books. I love them and I buy way more of them than I should. I ran out of room on my bookshelf a long time ago but I can't seem to say no, especially when it comes to old books. What can I say? I love the old book smell.

Well that looks like enough for my first post.