Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Bing, Bob and Judy

I was listening to old Bing Crosby songs on youtube today and this song came up in the related videos sidebar. It is one I actually hadn't heard before and from the sounds of it, it comes from a recording of Bing Crosby's radio show. Just thought I would share. I included the second video mainly because I think Judy looks so pretty in the background picture :)

Bing Crosby, Bob Hope and Judy Garland all together, whats not to love? (Note: Judy's voice doesn't sound the best in this one but I think most of that is due to the fact she is trying not to laugh)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Latest embroidery projects

Still been crazy busy with school, but I have managed to get some of my embroidery projects done. Any suggestions for my next project? I am running out of cool ideas for designs and for what to do with the embroidery once I finish. So far everything gets turned into a pillow....

Ok I don't really like this one but I was bored. It is a pillow, it just hasn't been stuffed yet. My BFF is going to be getting it in the mail as soon as I get around to finding a large enough envelope. The fabric on the back is a silky purple colour.
My first finished pillow. I think it turned out quite well. All the girls are supposed to be dressed in fashions from the late 1920s and early 1930s. The back of the pillow is a turquoise blue colour.

I just finished this lovely lady yesterday. The picture is a little weird looking, because of the lighting, but she looks better in person. Any idea of what to do with her? Another pillow?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Where's the Maple Syrup?

So I went to the Elmira Maple Festival on the weekend expecting to buy a whole bunch of maple goodies. The only maple related product I bought were some maple syrup apple fritters (basically just apple slices fried in a little bit of batter and a whole lot of maple syrup). There really wasn't that much maple related things at the maple festival, which I thought was a little silly. I didn't even get to go on the sugar bush tour since the line was HUGE! Luckily there was a lovely little antique sale in the community centre. It wasn't a large as I expected but I got some lovely goodies.

My purchases included:
-1948 hardcover copy of This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald for only $10! I almost bought it for $15 (for a new paperback edition) the other day, but I am so glad I didn't.
-3 new postcards for my collection. They are all from between 1909 and 1912, and are all written by the same girl to the same girl! I love how the first one starts with "What is the matter with you? Why haven't you written?", the next one says "I am still looking for that letter you said you were going to write", and the last one says "Why don't you write? It has been six months since I heard from you last." It is fun to guess what sort of relationship these two girls had. I feel sorry for Lydia who sent these letters. Sounds like Carrie wasn't very good at answering back!

-A magazine from 1944 called National Home Monthly. It is in perfect condition and I got it for only $5! I was stunned when the man told me the price. I thought it was going to be at least double. I will likely scan some more pictures from it later but it is a little too large to fit on my scanner so I will have to carefully select some pictures that will actually fit.

(A picture from one of the stories in the magazine)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Help, I'm drowning!

Oh no, I've done it again. I've bought more books. My book shelves were full years ago! But I only bought three new books so I thought I was being pretty good actually... There was a book sale on campus and I just couldn't say no to a lovely "Country Cookbook" (which is massive and was only $10!!), "Stephen Fry in America" (hardcover and stunning also for only $10) and a Bing Crosby CD (technically not a book but it is quite a good cd. It was $6). And then I went to Chapters and bought a lovely book called “Posters of the Canadian Pacific” which is filled with pictures of drool-worthy art-deco posters. That was bought with a gift card so I like to think it doesn’t actually count :) (And it was reduced to $15 from $50)I have always had a love of books. My mother was a high school English teacher so she always bought me books growing up. Over the years I have ruthlessly culled my collection a number of times, but I am still drowning in books... Which personally I think would be a lovely way to die.

One of the reasons my collection has been able to grow to the size it has, is the fact I never pay more than $15 for a book (normally I pay around $5 or less). So here are some of my tips for book shopping.

Note: There are many great places to buy books online but I didn't include anything about online shopping here since I think flipping through and feeling (and smelling) the book is part of the book buying experience. Does anyone else just love the smell of old books?

1) Know what you are looking for. When shopping used books stores it helps to have a game plan. Used books stores often have a lot of stock poorly displayed, so it helps if you know what you are looking for. I always check for my favourite authors first before aimlessly wandering. I also keep a list of books I want to read and always look for them when visiting used bookstores.

2) Check out the sale tables in chain bookstores. I don't buy many books from Chapters but when I do, they are almost always from the discount tables/sections. It is best to keep an open mind when looking here and not look for specific titles (since when you are looking for something specific it always seems to be full price...). I have gotten some amazing deals on completely stunning coffee table books.

3) Thrift stores often have a very cheap book section. Books are actually one of the few things I buy at the thrift stores around me anymore, since they are the only items at a reasonable price. Carefully check condition before buying since often the ones that end up here are not always in the best shape.

4) Look for books in unexpected places. I often find the best deals when I am least expecting them. Winner/Homesense stores tend to have some lovely books for cheap prices. They are best for coffee table books and cookbooks.

5) Books always make lovely gifts. As I mentioned, I always keep a list of books I want. This means when someone asks what I want for a birthday or Christmas I already have ideas and don’t have to try and come up with something on the spot.

It is hard to judge a book by its cover so take a chance on a lonely book and give it a home. Ok, it's a little sad how much I love my books but a girls got to have a hobby right?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Swan Lake

I actually went out and had fun this weekend! After all the work I have been doing, I finally got a break when I went home for the weekend to see Swan Lake. I haven't been to many ballets (this being my second) but I can officially say I am hooked. I love the combination of grace and delicacy with power and strength. And Swan Lake was absolutely stunning! The costumes and the dancing were just lovely and the orchestra was unbelievably good.
(Pictures from

The ballet also gave me a chance to wear the dress my grandma gave me. I always thought that she didn't have any old clothes left so I never bothered asking, but we were talking about vintage (which she is shocked to learn I love) and she said she still had a few dresses! I got two from the 70's (but one looks almost 1920's in style), this lovely green dress from the 50's, and she is also giving me a pair of lounge pajamas after she has them cleaned (she thinks maybe 70's but after looking at the label I would suspect earlier than that).

This green dress is my absolute favourite. It is in fairly good condition but the fabric is quite delicate and starting to wear in a few places. I have it carefully wrapped in tissue paper at the moment but I need to come up with another excuse to wear it! (Sorry the picture is a little blurry but my mother has no idea how to use my camera).

Speaking of swans, I never realised I had such a thing for them when I was younger. I mean, my favourite song was Swan Lake, my favourite movie was The Swan Princess, and my favourite poem was (and still is) The Silver Swan. You think I would have figured out the common theme before now...

"The silver swan, who living had no note,
When death approach'd, unlock'd her silent throat;
Leaning her breast against the reedy shore,
Thus sung her first and last, and sung no more.
Farewell, all joys; O Death, come close mine eyes;
More geese than swans now live, more fools than wise."
-The Silver Swan by Orlando Gibbons

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Jealousy will get you nowhere...

Sometimes things just don't seem fair. While I have been killing myself at school this week, my parents went on a little getaway to Niagara-on-the-lake. And look where they stayed!

The pictures above are from the website for the hotel, Charles Inn.

"Built shortly after the War of 1812, this grand Georgian-style inn, with sweeping verandas and stately gardens, takes you back to a simpler time, nicely overlaid with modern amenities."

They had a lovely time but I wish they would have taken me with them :'(

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Stocking Storage?

I have always thought the look stockings was much sexier than the look of bare legs. For years, while my friends went around bare legged, I always wore a pair of pantyhose. But I must admit, it was only recently I discovered the joys of real stockings (and by recently I mean last Saturday). I had always thought that real stockings would be uncomfortable, expensive and just too much of a hassle. I have never been so wrong in my entire life (ok slight hyperbole but you get the idea).

While browsing at the mall (I am not a big fan of malls but it was raining and I couldn't get anywhere else by bus), I happened to come across a black lace garter belt, peaking out among the pantyhose at Winners. I picked it up and to my surprise it was marked down to $5! I still wasn't sure but after walking around the mall for an hour I still couldn't get it out of my mind. I bought it, then realized I had no stockings to wear with it (my purchases always seem so smart at the time....). I went back to the pantyhose section but no stockings!

The only other place that I could think of to check was the Bay. And to my surprise they had a whole (small) section of stockings! What surprised me even more is that they were only $4 each! I normally pay at least double, if not triple, that price for the same quality of pantyhose. Plus if one stocking gets a run in it, you only have to throw out one, so it is even cheaper in the long run.

But what about comfort? I actually find they are much more comfortable than pantyhose. There also isn't that horrible line you get along your stomach, you know the whole "sausage casing" look. I am a total convert. Now I just have one problem. How do you store stockings? I tried googling it but with no avail. How do you ladies store your stockings? Any suggestions?

(Picture of stocking ad I bought a while ago. I tried googling some more images but I couldn't find anything decent. There is way too much porn on the Internet.)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Perfect Farm Dress

Pictures as promised! I figured out how to take photos of myself with my camera. It involves carefully balancing my tripod on my bed, focusing on some object then pressing the timer button, a frantic scramble to get to the same distance away from the camera as the object I focused on, then hoping for the best... Luckily a few photos turned out quite well.

I love this dress. It is the 1940's green gingham dress I mentioned about a week ago. I didn't think it was going to fit when I bought it (I had planned on altering it) but it fits perfectly! The dress would be the perfect farm dress. It is quite sturdy and has such a country look to it. I can't wait until the warmer weather when I can wear it out, perhaps to an afternoon picnic in the park...

Another recent purchase is this lovely beret. I had been eying it all season, and it finally went on sale. I got it for $8! (It took a lot of work though. Every few weeks I went to the store and would have to hide it behind all the other hats. Then when I went back it was always moved to the front and I would move it to the back again. I realize that someone would have likely bought that hat at full price if it wasn't for me, but it was from Zellers and I have no guilt about cheating them out of a few dollars.) I think it was the bow on the front that caught my interest. It makes it seem prettier or more special some how. Oh and it is 100% wool so it should keep my head warm :)


Hat: Zellers

Vest and skirt: Smart Set
Shirt: Costa Blanca

Friday, March 12, 2010

Lets have a party!

The dress finally arrived! I will try and take a picture tomorrow but I am having problems with my web-cam and my camera doesn't auto-focus (it's actually quite a good camera but it is an SLR and I only have older lens that won't allow it to auto-focus).

So until then I thought I would post a passage from my mother's old home-EC textbook "Homemakers of Tomorrow"(1958). It is so ironic that it is one of my favourite books but my mom considers that course to have ruined her high school experience. She tried so hard to do well in it but it was the only course she couldn't get a decent mark in. Oh well, luckily for me she kept the textbook :)

This is from the section "Lets have a party- Invitations"

A sample telephone invitation:
You: "Hello. This is Mary Jane Forrest speaking. May I speak to Brian please?"

Brian: "Hi Mary Jane. Got your science homework done?"

You: "Not yet Brian, but I'll get around to it soon. Say: I'm having a few friends from school in for supper after the game next Saturday. Could you come? Six o'clock should give us lots of time to get to our house."

Brian: "Gee, thanks Mary Jane. Sounds just great. Sure, I'll be there."

You: Good: Be seeing you then. Six o'clock, bye."

Can't you just imagine how different that conversation would sound today? I doubt it would be nearly as polite and there would likely be some mention of getting "smashed"/ "hammered"/ "shmammered". Well there wouldn't be if I was giving the invitation. Actually I think my invitation would sound a whole lot like the one from the textbook (except I doubt the persons respond would quite the same...).

Image from :

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Poetry makes everything better

This week is not going well. I have received bad marks on two midterms that I studied quite hard for. The first one I knew I did badly on, but the second I thought I had done relatively well. Guess I was wrong. I really hate how one bad midterm mark can ruin all the rest of the work I put into the course. My overall mark has dropped about %30 from one test! It's times like these when I need something to comfort me and sooth my shattered nerves.

I was going to bake cookies but then realized I didn't have all the equipment I needed (basically I was missing some electric mixers. I doubt I would be able to cream butter and sugar by hand...) so that didn't work out. So what's a stressed girl to do when she can't get baked goods? Watch RA fan videos of course!

RA=Richard Armitage in case you were wondering. He is by far my favourite living actor. Not only is he amazingly talented and intensely good-looking, but he actually seems like a really nice guy. He is one of the few modern actors who I think can be referred to as a gentleman (which is sad isn't it?). I needed more than just a pretty face so I listened to some of his poetry readings. I posted "Nightwatch for England" below for your listening pleasure. It was written in 1942 by Edward Shanks. It made me feel a little better...

And PS I still haven't received my dress :'(

Monday, March 8, 2010

In the meantime...

Still waiting for my dress to arrive in the mail. Pictures will be posted as soon as I get it. I have some pictures to post of this neat new (well technically old, but new to me) hair curling technique. Unfortunately I am swamped with work at the moment so the pictures will have to wait until after my midterm this Thursday (or at least until after I finish the 3 assignments I have due before then). In the mean time I felt I had to post something, so here are a couple of songs that have been stuck in my head all day. I have been in such a 1920's/30's mood lately.....

Friday, March 5, 2010

I'm late! I'm late!!!

I'm late! I'm late! For a very important date!
(but I wouldn't be if I had one of these adorable watches...)

Still awaiting my dress in the mail, but in the mean time I have been browsing through Etsy again. In honour of the new Alice in Wonderland movie coming out I have put together a list of my favourite pocket watches on Etsy (some I can afford and some I can only dream about...). I couldn't find many pocket watches that were actually meant to be kept in a pocket so some of these are actually necklaces (but still super cute!).
Antique Brass Pocket Watch Necklace- Timekeeper Series $9.90

Cute and simple, not to mention at a very affordable price.

Ancient. Vintage Style Pocket Watch Necklace in Black. $10.50

I just thought this one was so pretty and an amazing deal at only a little over $10!!!

Victorian Antique Black Nickel Pocket Watch Necklace with Pearl Sting $25

Ok this one I am completely in love with. I love the contrast of the more masculine watch with the delicate pearls. This would make a lovely birthday present (hint hint).

Max Factor - Exquisite Portrait Cameo Pocket Watch Compact Pendant Necklace $48

Technically not a watch but way too cute not to include on this list.

A Victorian Love Story- 1889 Pocket Watch Inscribed on Christmas Day Works Perfectly $250

Drool. I'm in love. This one in my favourite but the only way I could afford it would be if I sold a kidney. You don't really need both kidney's right?

What's the time Alice.... Alice in Wonderland Pocket Watch Necklace $25

And last but not least, a watch that really ties in with the Alice in Wonderland theme. Completely adorable.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Hello March!

It was such a lovely day out today. It has been so bitterly cold and windy lately that I haven't been outside very much. But today the sun was shining and the air smelled of spring.

After class, I headed over to the Waterloo Park with my lunch (a very yummy falafel pita) and sat by the lake quietly munching. For such a beautiful day, there weren't many people about, which was nice since it made everything seem so calm and still.

When I had finished my pita, I carefully walked along the end of the pond to my favourite spot. There is a little bridge there, tucked out of the way and surrounded by trees and bushes. I just stood there for a long time, watching two ducks swimming together.

It's times like those when I wish I had my camera, a sketchbook, a notebook, anything, in order to try and capture that moment forever. Everything was so perfectly calm and tranquil. After a while my hands were starting to get quite cold so I carefully trudged back to the main path.

The photo above was actually taken a couple years ago at a different park but it reminded me of today.

On a completely unrelated note, look what I just bought :)

I don't buy clothes online very often since it makes me feel like I am gambling. I have no idea if it will fit correctly or if the colour will even suit me but it was just too much of a deal to pass up. It's from the 1940's and was only $20!!! It does have a stain on one of the pockets (which I plan on covering with a small piece of lace) and isn't in the best condition so I suppose that explains the price, but isn't it cute?? I may have to get it altered though, since I think it will be too large around the bust for me. Oh well. I will be eagerly awaiting the mailman each day until it arrives :)
It's from