Vintage-Inspired Gifts for the Book Lover

Part 1 of our 12 days of vintage-inspired gifts is for the book lovers on your list.

Part 1 of our 12 days of vintage-inspired gifts is for the book lovers on your list.

1.Lit Inspired Fashion & Accessories:
Out of Print Press

Out of Print Press carries clothing and accessories inspired by classic lit in a wide range of genres.

ABOUT: “Since 2010, Out of Print’s mission has been to spread the joy of reading by transforming literary classics into bookish apparel and accessories. With every purchase, you help us to donate books and support literacy programs around the world.”

PRICE RANGE: $-$$

SOCIAL IMPACT: “Out of Print has donated over 5 million books to communities in need and supported a variety of literacy initiatives. With every purchase, you help us to make a difference, while also supporting the authors, publishers, and artists who helped bring these iconic works to life.”

WHAT WE LIKE: Out Of Print Press carries for book lovers the equivalent of band tees for music fans, and much more. Their stuff wears well, they’ve got every genre you can think of, and a range of products and prices to match every budget. Plus, their clothes come in a full range of sizes, from a XS to 4XL, and typical tee fits as well as “relaxed fit” for something a little looser.

2. Vintage and Antique Books:
Acadia Books

Acadia
232 QUEEN ST EAST, TORONTO

ABOUT: “We buy and sell antiquarian, out-of-print and used books. We are long standing members of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association Canada (ABAC). We guarantee the authenticity of all the material which we offer for sale. All books are as described, have been collated and are guaranteed to be complete unless otherwise stated. Our store is located in downtown Toronto.”

PRICE RANGE: $-$$$

SOCIAL IMPACT: Not only will you be supporting a local small business, you’ll be gifting something pre-loved, and we al know the most sustainable item is the one that already exists.

WHAT WE LIKE: It’s vintage books! What more can we say?

3. New Books On Old Things:
Spacing Store

Books about Toronto architecture, history, design and more can be found at Spacing.

ABOUT: “Spacing has been creating unique and award-winning Toronto-centric products since 2004. In 2014 we opened our permanent brick-and-mortar shop at the legendary arts and culture hub 401 Richmond. Our store works directly with local designers, artists, and makers to offer a selection of merchandise like no other shop in Toronto. Whether you’re visiting the city for the first time or have been a long-time resident, the Spacing Store has something for you to help celebrate this city.”

PRICE RANGE: $-$$

SOCIAL IMPACT: Spacing is a locally run business that works directly with local artists, designers and makers, so not only are you getting something truly unique, you know that it is actually help support the people behind it.

WHAT WE LIKE: Pretty much everything. There’s a ton of books about local history, fun little Toronto-inspired things like mugs with raccoons and cityscape tea towels, and all of it is really slick. Nothing here is cheap or gimmicky, even if it’s a little silly. It’s all good quality, unique, and perfect for any proud Torontonian (or a friend of one).

4. Book Tracking Bookmark:
Lewillowbean

Library Book Card book mark Tracker Vintage look Thick image 1
“Old-school” library card bookmarks.

ABOUT: From her Etsy page: “Hi there! Welcome to my shop Lewillowbean. My name is Thao and I live in Ontario Canada. Lewillowbean is an online craft shop filled with various items such as bookmarks, button pins, stickers and invitations. Each item is handmade and designed by me. They are stocked in limited quantities and take time to create.I hope you enjoy browsing my shop and if you need any help please feel free to message me.”

PRICE RANGE: $

SOCIAL IMPACT: The store is run by a young Asian woman from Ontario who makes and designs all the pieces herself.

WHAT WE LIKE: This fun little Etsy shop sells adorable little bookmarks, stickers, keychains and the like. Several of her items have a fun vintage vibe, and most others are kawaii. I love the idea of a bookmark that you can track the books you’ve read on – she’s got a few styles, including the one above and this one. Plus, they are all really low price, so they make either great stocking stuffers or a little something for someone on your list.

5. A Blind Date With A Book:
Secret Little Book Shop

Blind date with a book  GOODIES  bookish gifts  mystery image 1

ABOUT: From her Etsy shop: “Feeling a bit bored and wanting to go on a cute date? Look no further than you’re very own little blind book date! All books are in what I call, BBN condition, or, basically brand new! I choose books that have little to no: smells, wear/tear, and ones that are rated well on Goodreads! Feel free to send me your Goodreads list so that I can cross-reference the dates you’ve already been on and which we do not want to go on again! All ‘dates’ come with some little goodies for you to enjoy! These goodies change depending on stock available! 🙂

You choose the genre, I make the date. Deal?”

PRICE RANGE: $

SOCIAL IMPACT: You’ll be supporting a small, woman-run local shop that introduces people to pre-loved books they may have never thought to try.

WHAT WE LIKE: The idea is adorable. Perfect not only for book lovers but for a hard-to-shop-for person as well, because the concept is so unique. The wrapping is beautiful and we love to see used book being loved again!

Got something you think should be on our list?
Let us know in the comments.

Vintage-Inspired Gifts for the Top 12 Types of People on Your Holiday List

How to find vintage inspired gifts for everyone on your holiday list.

Sometimes people think of vintage lovers as a group unto themselves, but really we come in all sorts! This holiday season, check our lists for some vintage-inspired gifts for every sort you can think of, from sports fans to fashionistas, we can help you inject a bit of that retro style into your gift giving.

  1. The Book Lover
  2. The Film Buff
  3. The Foodie
  4. The Sports Fan
  5. The Fashion Lover
  6. The Makeup Lover
  7. The Music Lover
  8. The Homemaker
  9. The Gamer
  10. The Writer
  11. The Drink Connoisseur
  12. The Kid At Heart

These will be posted over the next week or so – follow us on Instagram and watch our stories to see when the next one is released!

Got a type that’s hard to shop for? Want some retro inspiration?
Let us know in the comments.

To Wrap or Not To Wrap: Minimizing Waste Over the Holidays

Here’s some tips on how to be a little greener this holiday season, without losing some of the magic of those pretty boxes and bags under the tree.

Many of my fond memories of holidays past involve me eagerly tearing away wrapping paper to find a surprise underneath – sometimes unwrapping was half as good as the gift itself. But as I get older, I feel an increasing level of guilt every time my eye is caught by the pretty papers at the store – isn’t this just adding to waste? How can I justify buying something that will have so little use?

This year I’ve decided on a bit of a half measure, which is to wrap (with paper I already have) the gifts for the young children in my life, and to use only reusable things for adults or any I’m not positive will appreciate it. When you’re trying to go green it’s ok to do it in stages – every little bit helps.

So here’s some tips on how to be a little greener this holiday season, without losing some of the magic of those pretty boxes and bags under the tree.

Knot Wrap

It's Christmas Deer
It’s Christmas Deer wrap from LUSH – sweet little retro vibe!

Knot Wrap has grown in popularity here the past couple years, but it’s not a new concept. LUSH states it nicely on their website;

“Based on the Japanese tradition of Furoshiki, Knot-Wraps are a great way to wrap any gift. Made from either organic cotton or two recycled plastic bottles, each one of our beautiful Knot-Wraps is extremely kind to the environment. And the best part? They’re meant to be used again and again as a scarf, accessory or tote, so it’s a bit like giving two gifts in one. How thoughtful of you!”

LUSH.ca

Natural Ribbons

Not only pretty and eco-friendly, you can let friends know their gift is wrapped in artisanal ribbon, because we all know the true meaning of Christmas is giving the best gift.

Probably 90% of my gifts as a kid can wrapped in that thin plastic curling ribbon that has been virtually unchanged since my parents were kids – until now! Admittedly, it’s a bit on the pricey side, but this seems to be a very pretty eco-alternative to that oh-so-synthetic stuff we all know.

Our artisanal ribbon maker in Milwaukee, Wisconsin is committed to the highest levels of sustainability. They use water-based dyes, soy-based non-toxic inks, and cotton yarn that is 100% grown and dyed in the USA. 

wrappily.com

Joy Wrap

joywrap x Sarah Gunn Collection
Hurray for adorable, diverse Santas! They also have some more winter and less Christmas themed bags.

Made here in Canada, these reusable sacks are washer, dryer and iron safe, and come in a variety of cute patterns – PLUS you can make your own. Who doesn’t want a bag with your face plastered all over it? Reuse them next year, store xmas decorations in it, use it to make your laundry more festive – the possibilities are endless. The best part? Made here in Canada.

With joywrap, you never have to throw wrapping paper away again.
A 2017 study by Zero Waste Canada found that more than 540,000 tonnes of wrapping paper ends up in Canadian landfills after the holidays.

That’s the equivalent weight of about 100,000 elephants of wrapping paper trash each year!

joywrap makes all the same fun sounds as traditional wrapping paper, but without any the waste.

Reuse joywrap as part of your family traditions or give it away as part of a gift.

IT’S TIME TO FEEL GOOD ABOUT THE WAY YOU WRAP.

JoyWrap.ca

DIY It

Christmas gift wrapping ideas
Brown paper packages tied up with string…

Ultimately, the most sustainable item is the one that already exists. Try reusing old newspapers, or magazines, have children decorate some brown packing paper with their own cute holiday designs. Attach natural items like cedar twigs, or pinecones – really the only limit is your imagination. And when you make something like this by hand, the person receiving it can really see the effort and care you put into it, which always makes it that much better.

Greenpeace has a great article on some ways to wrap presents without having to buy any wrapping – check it out here.

Got some eco-friendly wrapping ideas of your own? Let us know in the comments.

A Very Vintage Christmas Part II: Retro Reproductions

Have yourself a merry little Christmas with these retro reproductions.

Sometimes, try as we might, we can’t find our dream vintage piece no matter how hard we look. Didn’t find what you were looking for on our post about sourcing vintage Christmas decor? Read on to see some A+ reproductions.

Tru-Tone LED Bulbs

These traditional-style glass bulbs really capture the look of mid-century string lights, with the added bonus of being LED (less power wasted, less heat generated). Now you can recreate Christmases of yore without the fear of one bad bulb knocking out the whole string of lights, or an overheated one setting your tree ablaze! We love the eco-friendly combo of glass over plastic and LED over incandescent: “Tru-Tone LED bulbs consume 0.6watt. Standard Incandescent C7 bulbs use 5 watts. That’s a whopping 88% savings. Standard Incandescent C9 bulbs use 7 watts, so you’ll save even more at 91% energy savings! Put another way, a tree with 125 C7 Tru-Tone bulbs will use 75 watts and glow just as brightly as a tree with 125 C7 incandescent bulbs consuming 625 watts! No wonder the tree served as a space heater!”

Tru-Tone bulbs consume 0.6 watt. Standard Incandescent C7 use 5 watts. That’s a whopping 88% [energy] savings!

Kurt Adler “Early Years” Ornaments

Kurt Adler’s beautiful collection of vintage-styled glass ornaments have been on the top of our wishlist for years. From mid-century indented bulbs to beautiful wartime novelty pieces, Adler’s delicate, detailed ornaments make for a stunning addition to any tree. These are available in many stores and online, but before you go to order off Amazon, we suggest checking out Retro Festive, the pop culture and Christmas store in Oakville, Ontario, just outside of Toronto. Shop local this Christmas!

Vintage Tinsel Wreaths

A mid-century Christmas isn’t complete with tinsel. Lots of tinsel. Unfortunately the loose stuff can get a bit messy, so we recommend sticking to something cleaner, like this sparkly wreath from Putti Fine Furnishings.

Light Covers

When the first Christmas lights were introduced to a captivated public in 1884, they were not only expensive, but were unrealistic for most people as many still did not have electricity in their homes. However, by 1914 the cost of lights and electricity had come down considerably, and by the 30s most families had some sort of colourful light for the holidays. I’m not sure when exactly the first shaped and figural light covers arrived on the market, but I believe I’ve seen them from at least the 1920s. Early versions were glass, and ranged from mini Santa Claus to animals, fruit and even licensed characters like Betty Boop. Today you’re more likely to find ornaments that mimic this style, but some of the classics that pop over lights are still to be found, here and there.

Are you searching for a modern take on a vintage favourite?
Let us know in the comments.

Crew Spotlight: Larry Silverberg

Larry Silverberg is one of the producers of Twas The Cab Before Christmas.

What made you want to be involved in the cabaret?

I want to be involved because I love to support the incredible TALENT we have in this show. They MUST be seen.

What’s your favourite part of the holiday season?

The great spirit of the Christmas season. Family, spirituality, songs and Entertainment.

What’s your favourite Christmas song?

Too many to name one. Some of the most beautiful, sensitive songs have been written for Christmas.

Why should everyone come see the show?

Everyone should see this show because of the great talent that will be showcased , fun, entertaining and particularly Tom Finn. Who is one of the Great Entertainers of Our Time…. so much wonderful Stage Presence and skill

Tickets are already 50% sold out – get yours now, here.

Cast Spotlight: Kelsey Willmott

See dancer/choreographer Kelsey Willmott perform at ‘Twas the Cab Before Christmas on Friday December 1, 2017, at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre.

Kelsey Willmott Bygone Theatre

What made you want to be involved in the cabaret?

I love performing and why not do it beside the awesome cast. I was in from the moment I saw the last Cabaret of Finn and Friends. Working with singers is different then working with dancers and I was so excited for the chance to choreograph on some amazing performers.

What’s your favourite part of the holiday season?

Hmmm this question is always a hard one, the holidays bring people together and its a beautiful thing. However nothing beats curling up on the couch watching Christmas movies or listening to Christmas songs during the holiday’s.

What’s your favourite Christmas song?

There are wayyy to many to mention and I will sing them out in the middle of stores or where ever they are playing but I think my ultimate favourite would be “Santa Baby”, not my favourite when I was child though!

Why should everyone come see the show?

There are so many Great performers involved in this cabaret and I think the world needs to see more of them. Get yourself into the Christmas spirit and enjoy some pure talent.

Anything else we should know?

I’m sure there is lots I could say about what you don’t know about me but I’ll save them for if you see me after the show. I do teach drop in dance classes here in Toronto If your interested in working on your skills or learning how to walk in your heels and feel sexy. Men or women all are welcome! Also I am part of a show Nov. 23, 26, 28 with High Society Cabaret. Its a fun one where 1930’s Film Noir meets Vintage Burlesque. Make sure to check out “Silent Goodbye” and check out High Society Cabaret online.

See Kelsey’s dancing and choreography skills onstage Friday December 1, 2017. Get your tickets now.

Cast Spotlight: Heather Motut

Hear singer Heather Motut at ‘Twas the Cab Before Christmas, Friday Dec. 1, at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, Toronto.

You may remember Heather from her role as Teresa in our 2015 production of Kill Sister, Kill! A Musical.

Bio: Heather is a singer, actress, and improviser. Originally from Vancouver B.C, Heather studied at an interdisciplinary performing arts school in Victoria, and has been living and performing in Toronto for 6 years in various productions both on stage and screen. An eager collaborator, Heather enjoys working in ensemble productions, and on the original projects of her fellow musicians.

What made you want to be involved in the cabaret?

I’m big into Christmas and all it represents. (I mean love and joy and generosity, not any of that religious or commercial crap, but please buy a ticket to the show, buy so many tickets!) And it’s always a pleasure to work with Tom.

What’s your favourite part of the holiday season?

Being with my friends and family and eating too much. Also, openly sobbing through the last 15 minutes of It’s a Wonderful Life.

What’s your favourite Christmas song?

Fairytale of NewYork

Why should everyone come see the show? Because its gonna get you into the Holiday Spirit! Not the stressful and frantic one, but the good one that feels like magic and hope for humanity!

Cast Spotlight: Emma Ferrante

Emma Ferrante Bygone Theatre

Bio: Emma Ferrante is an Ottawa native, and splits her time between performing and directing. Select credits include: Nana in For the Pleasure of Seeing Her Again, Stephenville Theatre Festival, Lady of the Lake in Spamalot, Lower Ossington Theatre, director for New World, The Future Theatre Festival, and director for Love+Hate, SummerWorks. Emma is excited to be spreading some Christmas cheer with her Wonderful Life pals.

What made you want to be involved in the cabaret?

Getting back together with the It’s a Wonderful Life gang. Just wouldn’t feel like Christmas without those goons.

What’s your favourite part of the holiday season?

Christmas Eve at the Ferrante’s is full of Italian traditions. The feast of the 7 fishes, watching It’s a Wonderful Life…Watching George Bailey with Bailey’s in our Christmas PJs. Christmas is extra special with the addition of baby Ian.

What’s your favourite Christmas song?

Barbra Streisand’s “Jingle Bells?”…yes, Question Mark. If you haven’t heard it you’re seriously missing out.

Why should everyone come see the show?

To get in the Christmas spirit!! Yes, I said Christmas! How politically incorrect of me.

Anything else we should know?

Come see Emma singing Christmas Carols at the Christmas Market in the Distillery. Basically, I will be doing everything possible to be obnoxiously Christmassy! DIY presents (thanks Pinterest), baking up a storm, making mulled wine, and listening to Christmas records constantly.

Tickets to ‘Twas the Cab Before Christmas can be purchased online here.

Cast Spotlight: Moulan Bourke

Check out our cast spotlight on ‘Twas the Cab Before Christmas performer, Moulan Bourke!

Moulan Bourke Bygone Theatre

Bio: Moulan is a proud graduate of St. Clair College’s Music Theatre Performance Program. She is elated to be sharing the stage with Tom Finn once again. Selected Credits: Mina in Raise the Stakes (Void Room); Dolce Vita, Alice in Wonderland, Treasure Island, Jungle Book (Beaches Turks and Caicos); Broke Girls in the City (120 Diner); Trinity Tiller in Little Miss County Fair (Victoria Playhouse Petrolia); Aquata in The Little Mermaid (Randolph Theatre); White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland (Creativiva UAE Tour); Lilah in To a Degree, Sarah in Something for the Buoys (Eli Pasic); Florinda in Into the Woods (Hart House); Laurey in Oklahoma!, Amy in Company, Maggie in Working (St. Clair College); Belle in Beauty and the Beast (Act II); Lily St. Regis in Annie (Stars of Tomorrow).

What made you want to be involved in the cabaret?

I absolutely love Christmas and all of its cheer! Also, I am overjoyed to be sharing the stage with Mr. Finn once again.

What’s your favourite part of the holiday season?

I love the amount of happiness everyone has during the season. Also Christmas treats, fires, and snuggies.

What’s your favourite Christmas song?

Wintersong – Canadian Tenors

Why should everyone come see the show?

Everyone involved in the show is very talented. This show will have you reminiscing days from your childhood and have you slapping your knees in laughter.

Anything else we should know? 

Feel free to check out my website: www.moulanbourke.com

Come hear Moulan in ‘Twas the Cab Before Christmas, Friday December 1st. Tickets available online.

Cast Spotlight: Christopher Benjamin

See performer Christopher Benjamin in ‘Twas the Cab Before Christmas, Friday December 1, at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre.

Christopher Benjamin | Bygone Theatre

Bio: Christopher Benjamin completed a Bachelor of Musical Theatre (Honours) in Singapore and a Masters in Teaching in Sydney, Australia. He is a performer, director and facilitator in the arts both internationally and across North America. Favourite credits include: Lockstock in Urinetown (Stephenville Theatre Festival), Mr. Banks in Mary Poppins (Lower Ossington Theatre), Second City Musical Improv Conservatory, Toad in Wind in the Willows (Singapore Lyric Opera) and Co-director, Cinderella: A RATical retelling (Stephenville Theatre Festival). May ugly sweaters and marshmallows fill your holiday with joy.

What made you want to be involved in the cabaret?

I’ve been naughty all year long and need a chance to redeem myself; or it’s coal for me from Saint Nick.

What’s your favourite part of the holiday season?

Christmas to me is all about singing silly songs and consuming too many calories. So libations are accepted throughout the performance.

What’s your favourite Christmas song?

“Merry Christmas Darling” by the Carpenters. This sad melancholy song perfectly represents the loved ones we don’t get to see this holiday season.

Why should everyone come see the show?

We are really tight with Santa so I wouldn’t risk missing this show!!!

Anything else we should know? 

Wanna know who Santa’s favourite singer is?!? Why, Elf-is Presley of course!!! (Dad joke for the WIN).

Get your tickets to ‘Twas the Cab Before Christmas online today.