Friday, October 30, 2015

From the Victory Garden - Tomato Sauce

Making your own tomato sauce is super simple. We had so many tomatoes in our little victory garden this year that I thought I would give it a try. If you don't have a garden of your own, check out your local farmer's market!

What you will need:
- Tomatoes
- Sharp knife
- Pot with cover
- Measuring cup and/or a large bowl
- Metal sieve/strainer (the kind with crank handle and mesh bottom)
- Freezer bags
- FoodSaver (optional)

Take your fresh tomatoes and rinse them well to remove any dirt. Next cut away any bad spots. Dice your tomatoes into small chunks and add them to your pot. You can add a little bit of water but if your tomatoes are nice and fresh you should have enough liquid from them.

Simmer covered for 20 to 30 minutes stirring occasional. You may choose to add a dash of salt and pepper at this point. I also added some fresh basil from my garden. Because this sauce was going to be frozen for future use I didn't add very much in the way of seasoning. You can always add more spices etc. later on.

Once the tomatoes are cooked you are ready to put them through your strainer. I placed my sieve over a glass measuring cup to make things a little easier. I added about a cup of stewed tomatoes at a time. Turn the handle in one direction several times and then back the other way to scrap the bottom. Then turn again. Discard any seeds and skins.

I then poured 1 1/2 to 2 cups of the tomato sauce into my freezer bags. Dividing your sauce into smaller portions makes it easy to defrost only what you need at a time. We make a lot of home-made pizza so one bag with 1 1/2 to 2 cups of sauce is the perfect amount!

The FoodSaver is great because it vacuum seals these bags. Regular freezer bags works great too and can be purchased just about anywhere. Be sure to label your bags. And that's it!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Results Are In! Winner of the Fall Photo Contest Is ...

Alright ladies and gents! The moment you have been waiting for! The winner of my vintage 2015 Fall Photo Contest is ........

But first! Let me says this was sooooo HARD! For my spring photo contest, I had 10 people enter (see the results here and view all the spring entries here) and this time around 30 people entered!! Oh my goodness, I never expected this contest to become so popular! You can view all the contestant's gorgeous photos and their outfit descriptions in the 2015 Fall Photo Contest Album. I am so glad to have had Jessica of Chronically Vintage and Lauren of Wearing History help me judge this contest, and donate some truly awesome prizes, because wow! WOW ladies! Each and every entry truly stands out! As Jessica said, "So many people brought their vintage styling A game to the table with this contest" and we were all consistently impressed as well as inspired by you wore! The colors, the attention to detail, stunning backgrounds, everything! Some of you even incorporated props which was really a nice touch! Many of you mentioned not having specific colors or articles of clothing as described in the articles, and yet each out you put together great outfits! You should all be proud of your beautiful creations. I definitely want to hold another photo contest next year. Yes, oh yes!!

~ Maybe make it an annual event? ~
~ Should I keep it seasonal, summer and winter contests? (since we did spring and fall this year) ~
~ Or just do one contest next year with categories for day wear and/or evening wear? I can't decide! ~
~ What do you think? ~

Putting these photo contests together has most definitely been a blogging highlight for me this year. I hope you have all enjoyed them too. For me, reading these historical newspaper articles forced me to think outside the "vintage box" when planning an outfit and to look at my vintage wardrobe in a new and different light! I would never have thought to combine certain colors or items of clothing together. Lime green with navy blue for spring, why not?! Pink and orange for fall? That works too! It's been a fun challenge and one I have greatly enjoyed. These photo contests have also been a great way for me to meet and interact with new people who enjoy this crazy vintage loving hobby as much as I do. :) Thank you one and all!

And now, without any further ado ......

Because there were so many great entries, Jessica, Lauren and I decided to name a few Honorable Mentions in addition to our winner and runner up. I will start with those, in no particular order ...

Honorable Mentions
Debbie Wagner! (Debbie often appears on her daughter Esther's blog, Dolly Creates.)

“… plaid topcoat in tones of rust and brown. Its soft luxurious collar…”

Using the newspaper article as inspiration, I chose to wear a wool dress “in tones of rust and brown.” Accenting my outfit are a mink collar and hat, along with powder blue pumps, which bring out the subtle blue tones in the plaid. A hand beaded purse and gold necklace add the finishing touches to this refined casual fall ensemble.

Sabrina W. of Vibrant Vintage! (You can see more of Sabrina's outfit here.)

I was immediately inspired by a vintage 1940s tweed suit I had recently found, and knew it would be the perfect thing to build an Autumn ensemble around.  I paired the suit with a black fur collar, a brown fedora, and t-strap heels.  I particular liked this passage in one of the articles: Brown appeared again and again in both accessories, suits and coats. One noteworthy ensemble included an imported tweed suit in a soft cinnamon brown shade worn with dark brown accessories and a nutria fur coat…  This was worn, too, with dark brown accessories, and the brown felt hat had a sweeping profile brim.  I felt something sporty, such as the fedora, paired with ladylike fur would be a wonderful combo.  Black and brown can be a striking combo, I believe, and I also paired it with a jewel-toned red blouse and pearls.

 Frances of Polka Polish!

Change Basic Black Effect
The possibility of changing the looks of a basic black dress with a variety of accessories began with an all-black ensemble as to shoes, off-the-face hat, bag and gloves, but with a heavy necklace of Balenciaga's honey pearls. I had a 1940s black dress to start with, and simply chose my largest black hat to compliment.  Dress, hat, and gloves are all vintage, paired with a pair of modern shoes with a bit of '40s flair.  For the "honey pearls" I chose a strand of large carved Bakelite beads, with similarly carved earrings to match.  As a final touch, a large plastic maple leaf (80s Avon, but does a good Bakelite impression) helps keep everything a little more autumn.

Maranda Borgerding!

"Suit: was made by myself, using a few late 1930's patterns as well as a copy of Make and Mend (1942) I wanted to keep it as close to the ration era as I could.  It is made from a mid weight stone gray wool with very faint blue stripes running through it.
Hat: was gifted to my by the daughter of the lady that originally purchased it in the late 40's (she said)
Shoes: basic black oxfords with a stacked wooden heel
Purse: gifted to me with the hat.
Corsage: I purchased it at a antique shop a bit ago, and it is what would have been sold at bond rallies.
Earrings & collar pin: They were passed down to me from my husbands aunt, who was gifted them from her husbands grandmother. 
Star pin: The owner of the antique shop gifted it to me since I am a military wife and I love old jewelry, she thought it may be something I would like.

I'm not sure what more I could say, but think you for allowing me to be a part of this wonderful group! I am extremely new to this era but I am loving every single second of learning more and more." 

The Runner Up
The prize for the runner up goes to Jennelle Gilreath!! Congratulations!

 "I chose my outfit to reflect my personality and love of colors I like to mix and match together. I felt wearing trousers would be a nice spin on the look and I had them in a lovely chocolate shade that is very fitting for Fall. I noticed the article quoting shades of brown appearing "again and again" as staple pieces or in accessories, so I felt it would add to my ensemble to go with this shade.

I love green, and any chance I get to wear green, I take advantage of it, especially it being next to my hair. My blouse is original vintage from a skirt and shirt set, and my snood was created from an early 1940s pattern. I wanted to do a spin on something different with my hair instead of a hat, but keep true to the era so my inspiration for the quote "green took a brighter curtain call" drew me to use one of my favorites colors, especially when it was compared to being paired with shades of brown. I wanted to finish off my ensemble with my favorite vintage wool blazer. Photos of the models in houndstooth and plaid suits and jackets, were the cause for my pairing of my jacket."

The Winner
And the grand prize goes to Kristen Stoltzfus of Verity Vintage Studio!! Congratulations! (You can see more of Kristen's outfit here.)

"…Red kid gloves provided a startling accent for a soldier blue jacket suit, otherwise ensembled with brown accessories was the line from the article that inspired me to use my deliciously detailed vintage 1940s “soldier blue” jacket and the plaid suit skirt I made to coordinate. Red cotton gloves replaced the kid ones, tying in the lipstick, patriotic brooch, and red lines on the skirt, and I accessorized with a simple-but-stylish 1940s chocolate brown purse, hat, and heels for a colorful and tailored wartime ensemble."

Congratulations Kristen and Jennelle! (I will be in contact with you both shortly about your prizes!)

THANK YOU to everyone who submitted photos, you all looked amazing! I wish I could send a prize to everyone! Also another huge THANK YOU to Jessica and Lauren for their help and donation of prizes!! It was a pleasure (as well as great fun!) collaborating with the two of you and hope to do so again in the future!

I would love to hear your feedback on my spring and fall photo contests and suggestions for any future contests! Are you interested in guest blogging, sponsored posts, giveaways, link swapping, pattern swapping or other collaboration ideas? Feel free to contact me about that too!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Fall Photo Contest - Our Inspirational Outfits

Hello everyone! I am so excited about today's post!! If you have been following along you will know all about my vintage fall photo contest. If you are just joining us, you can view this post will all the details on how to enter. There is still plenty of time! The contest, which is open to everyone worldwide, is open until October 18th.

Lauren of Wearing History and Jessica of Chronically Vintage have graciously agreed to help me judge the photos for this contest. Not only that, the three of us will be offering the winner and runner up each a fantastic prize package. Here is a look at what you could win!

Winner Will Receive the Following Prize Package
Vintage Related Goodies Bag Plus $30 in Store Credit from Emily's Vintage Visions
Beautiful Collection of Autumn Themed Accessories from Chronically Vintage
Vintage Sewing Goodies Bag Plus $30 in Store Credit from Wearing History

Runner Up Will Receive the Following Prize Package
Vintage Related Goodies Bag Plus $25 in Store Credit from Emily's Vintage Visions
$20 in Store Credit from Wearing History
$30 in Store Credit from Chronically Vintage

To help inspire you Lauren, Jessica, and I have put together our own vintage outfits inspired by the contest newspaper articles. (Read the articles here.)

Emily of Emily's Vintage Visions, Jessica of Chronically Vintage and Lauren of Wearing History

My Outfit
While I did not intend to recreate an exact outfit from the newspaper articles, I found that I was able to get really close. Brown was one of the colors mentioned over and over in the articles - brown suits and accessories such as hats, alligator bags and shoes. Brown can often be a blah color but happens to be a color I really like. It can be worn so many different ways and paired with an endless variety of other colors.

Brown appeared again and again in both accessories, suits and coats. One noteworthy ensemble included an imported tweed suit in a soft cinnamon brown shade worn with dark brown accessories and a nutria fur coat. - From the Dallas Morning News, July 25, 1940

I wore my brown 1940s wool suit, first blogged about here, and paired it with a variety of orange and pink accessories. The turban I made using a vintage sewing pattern and fabric from my stash. (I plan to post a turban tutorial soon!) I chose orange as it fits the fall theme so well. My pink leaf pin may seem a bit out place but I thought the color made an interesting contrast to the brown and orange. You can read more about my outfit here.

Jessica's Outfit
I really like the selection of colors and accessories that Jessica picked! Her blue jacket brings to mind the blue Schiaparelli jacket mentioned in one of the articles. You can read more about Jessica's outfit here, as well as view the prizes she will be providing here.

Here is what Jessica said about her outfit.
"I really didn't have a lot of pieces in the specific colours mentioned, so instead I focused more on the colours themselves and went with a look that struck me as someone that could have been worn to cheer on a football game or the like back in the day. The articles talked about brown, red, green, and blue, so I included all those along with a coat, which was another frequently discussed piece."

That all important question of what to wear while cheering on the favored eleven ...
all designed to take the attention away from the football field and put it on milady in the stands. Come football weather, the quarterbacks will have to look to their laurels to get the crowd looking their way. From the Dallas Morning News, September 18, 1940

 photo 1940s denim jacket red and brown fall outfit 3_zpszouu03bv.jpg
Photography by Tony Cangiano
Photography by Tony Cangiano
Lauren's Outfit
Plaids and tweeds are mentioned several times in the newspaper articles. The color green was mentioned many times as well. I really enjoy plaids but somehow my vintage wardrobe is lacking, something I think I will need to remedy. Lauren's lovely plaid jacket and green knit dress - knitted items were very popular in the 30s and 40s! - fit the bill for this contest perfectly don't you think? The yellow hat and shoes are a nice complement to the green dress and plaid jacket! Lauren's hat, purse, jacket and pretty brooches are all vintage. Her earrings are from the lovely shop Dames a la Mode. Lauren's shoes are from Remix Vintage. You can read more about Lauren's outfit, the prizes she is providing here.

Green took a curtain call in a brighter shade ... Black and pale blue, black with benedictine brown and black with vivid greens were outstanding in the daytime ensembles both in suits and dresses. - From the Dallas Morning News, September 18, 1940

A striking coat for casual wear was made of imported tweed in huge plaids with fuchsia and red on a gray background ... A two-piece suit of hound's-tooth check in silver and gray ... green and electric blue check woolen cape. ... a three-peice affair, with swagger length coat over a trim two-piece suit, ... A striking coat for casual wear was made of imported tweed in huge plaids with fuchsia and red on a gray background. This was worn, too, with dark brown accessories, and the brown felt hat had a sweeping profile brim. From the Dallas Morning News, July 25, 1940  

Photos by Wearing History
Photos by Wearing History
I hope this post gives you some ideas of how to put together your own outfit inspired by the newspaper articles. As you can see we all used a mix of original vintage as well as reproduction and vintage style items. We certainly had fun with our outfits, I hope you do too!

Photos for the contest must be submitted by October 18th. Don't miss out!! Contest rules and how to enter here.
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