Monday, November 30, 2009

Song of the Week #22 Phoenix "1901"

Just found out about this band. Fresh, clean guitars. Love it.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Girl Can't Help It

Duncan and yours truly went to the Holly Berry Bazaar at St. Luke's Anglican Church over on Coxwell Avenue this morning. We had a lot of fun shopping and even sat down in their café for a drink and a muffin. Nice people were everywhere.
This is one of the most charming egg cups I've ever seen. I can't believe no one had grabbed it before I discovered it. It was .50.
Hand painted in England
This crafty mouse in a stocking decoration cost a quarter.
I just realized that the box was upside-down! Duncan discovered this amazing crayon organizer. I think it was $1.00.
Don't ask me why a Graham Greene novel is sandwiched between retro cookbooks. I discovered Greene when I was in university. I'm intrigued by the Catholic subtext in all of his novels.
I love this sixties Canadian Fish Cook Book. I suspect the cook book is Canadian, rather than the types of fish.

This book is amusing. I thought it would be filled with seventies granola yoghurt smoothie recipes. Instead, it featured...
The sandwich that helped kill Elvis Presley.
And an entire chapter devoted to cakes. Not that there's anything wrong with that!
Speaking of cooking, I bought an egg slicer. Duncan destroyed our last one when he was two. I also bought this pastry masher. I don't think they're actually called pastry mashers.
A bevy of vintage book beauties
Detail from the book of British wildflowers.
Detail from the book of cacti. In my dream home library, I'd have a little cubby for these tiny nature books.
Gorgeous birds

How could you not pick up a book with these illustrations?
This book of art cards had a tissue cover on it. I remember being a kid and making book covers out of parcel paper and decorating them. Did anyone else do this?
I think I'll leave the cards inside the book. They've survived this long.
Books and a bunny puzzle for the wee boy. Most books were .50. The newer trade books were a buck, but the money went to the church, so I'm not about to quibble.
Duncan chose these London picture books because, "That's where Daddy comes from." He also wanted the book of the Holy Land. Interesting choice and well timed for Christmas.
A pile of books for my class. I love the feeding frenzy when I bring them in. "Oooh, can I read that?"
Choose Your Own Adventure books were all the rage when I was a child of the early eighties. Space Vampire is so Ed Wood.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Something Good is Going to Happen

tom palumbo
Picture taken from a post on Grain Edit featuring the photography of Tom Palumbo. Visit This blog profiles examples artists in the world of graphic design.

I've come off an exhausting two week period of report card writing, marking, late-night planning, and generally feeling dissatisfied with the state of my grinding daily routine. I love my job, but I find the work week very tiring: the morning rush, feeling like I'm never doing enough with my class even though I'm doing as much as I can, gulping lunch down and leaving work feeling like I forgot to do something important, not having enough time with my family... Does this sound familiar? Sometimes what I want more than anything else is to move to some big country house and spend my days with my family in the garden and looking after hens.

The last time I was truly happy about the state of my little universe was last Christmas holiday. I stumbled upon this world of arts and crafty bloggers and I had time to indulge in some of the projects featured. These blogs have brought me so much contentment. I love looking at hand-crafted items and pretty things. To this end, I'll start linking some of my favourite crafty blogs over to the right. Occasionally, I'll give a shout out to some to draw attention to blogs I think vintage/thrift bloggers would enjoy.
P.S. Life really is too short.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Our Sister In Thrift

My Photo
I just read the most recent post from Kelly (aka Grunge Queen). She had her apartment and love life featured in yesterday's Toronto Star. It's a hilarious feature story. I'm going to run out and see if my local convenience store still has a copy. Here's the link for your enjoyment. Nice going Kelly. Work those boys and work the thrift! P.S. Is it just me, or does Kelly resemble a young Karen Kain?

Finding Family Memories Through Thrift

How often do you thrift for things that you had growing up? I've psychoanalyzed the situation and I think that in some ways, I'm trying to preserve the happiest moments of my childhood.
My father, two sisters, and everyone on my dad's side of the family are Australian. Growing up, we were sent copious amounts of kitschy souvenirs from Down Under. I liked the goodies that were sent over, because I was a kid. My mother tended to shudder at all the tea towels. I found this Australian bamboo snack plate at Value Village for $1.49. I also bought this cheerful rolling pin for $1.99. I've got about six rolling pins in my collection now. They get used in my classroom when we're working with salt dough, etc.
Close-up of my Australia plate.
With throbbing arm (see my H1N1 needle story from the previous post), we went to St. Catharines yesterday to visit my folks. My parents took us out for lunch and on the way back to their house, we stopped at Goodwill. My mother and husband sat in the car, while my father, Duncan and I hit the store. I found this amazing vintage children's book of facts. It was so fascinating that I took it to bed last night. I learned a few things...
such as telling poisonous mushrooms from the edible ones...
and whether shock can cause grey hair.
I love the illustrations in the book. It cost $2.00 The book prices at Goodwill could be a little cheaper, but I was still pleased.
I also got this book for Duncan called Gluey about the friendship between a rabbit and a snail who goes around gluing things with his slime. I read it to Duncan and we both thought it was funny and beautifully illustrated.
Score! I got these vintage candlestick holders at Goodwill for $2.00 each. We had similar ones growing up. They were actually made in Toronto, so you know they're old.
Arty post-war Japanese double candlestick holder. I love the colour combination and the swirly pattern.
I think I paid $2.00 for it.
This little Christmas tree decoration isn't vintage, but for .50, I still had to have it.

Lastly, here's my song of the week #21 - David Sylvian's "September." Sylvian started out in a glammy/new wavey band called Japan. They were good. His solo music is even better. He writes music that is often dark, introspective and experimental. Not to everyone's taste, but to mine anyway. This is a short clip.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

A Cautionary Tale

Yesterday afternoon I got the H1N1 shot. I hope what I'm about to say won't put anybody off getting the shot if you were thinking about it, but I must be honest. I'm one of those people who NEVER has a side effect after having a vaccination. I have no allergies and no health conditions whatsoever. I'm blessed and happy knowing this.
After lining up for the shot, a friendly nurse gave me the jab. My first reaction was that the needle hurt. Normally, it's no big deal. My son had the shot a couple of weeks ago. He whimpered a little, but was fine. I sat in the recovery area for about 15 minutes and then walked home. Within an hour, my upper left arm began aching like you wouldn't believe, and it just kept getting worse. I took Tylenol, but it did nothing. By the time my husband came home late from work, I was in a lot of pain. He gave me some T2s or T3s - the one with Codene in it. Yes, I know that I should know and I know it's not good to share medication, but I was a desperate woman. Finally, the pills took the edge off and I was able to go to sleep. Today, my arm is still tender and aches a little, but nothing like the pain of a dozen angry pigs raging through my veins that I felt yesterday. My husband said a man at his work had to take a week off work because the vaccine made him delirious. I'm glad I'm protected now, but that was a heck of a ride to get there.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Love Sandwich of Fabio Commercials

These commercials are for Crazy Suburban Mom and Shara at Monkey Box. CSM can believe that it's I Can't Believe It's Not Butter, while Shara had a touching moment with Fabio. The shampoo commercial is a hoot. In a moment of clarity, Fabio realized how cheese he was and decided to make money lampooning himself. I guess that's something to respect. Too bad this shampoo was never on the market. I wonder if the butter spray could double for hairspray?

Thursday, November 19, 2009


I just emailed Misty (winner of my Thriftacular Contest) telling her not to come to this blog until she gets her package of thrifted bits and bobs. Misty, in case you didn't get the memo - go away! Come back later. I just got Shara's comment (including a rather blue comment about a chance encounter with Fabio's wedding tackle - egads!). She mentioned that my Fabio cheesecake shot didn't take. I've removed the original picture of Fabio with a tiger on a chain and replaced it with this news item about the time that Fabio got hit by a goose while riding a rollercoaster. Funny and strange all at once. Thank goodness he was alright. Never mind the starving children and wars - Fabio required one stitch. Animals are so smart! Anyway, if Misty is still reading. Do not go any further. Let Fabio block you from viewing your gifts.

Alright. She's gone.
Here's what Misty is getting:

In this funky little box is...
A very cool Japanese bamboo brooch. This is the backside of the brooch. Brooches make me think of my long-departed grandmother on my mother's side of the family. I've taken to wearing these underrated pieces of jewelery lately.

I find it hard to thrift for someone else. It's too easy to buy stuff you like and then you want to keep it all. I loved these old fashioned salt and pepper shakers. They came from the Japanese Anglican Church rummage sale a few weeks back. I hope Misty will like them.

Last weekend, I found a pair of adorable hand-stitched pillow cases featuring a cat who has discovered a sparrow in a tree. They were in very good condition.
I loved this vintage elephant chiffon scarf. I found it at Value Village the night I ran out to find a Halloween costume.
That's all. I've been knee-deep in report card writing. I hope to do some serious thrifting over the weekend. Stay tuned.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Song of the Week #20 Gary Numan "Cars"

I took Duncan down to the Santa Claus Parade today. Later, we were walking down Queen St. and some store was blaring "Cars." It's pretty darn-diddly catchy, you gotta admit. I noticed a recent concert clip on YouTube of Gary Numan performing "Cars" with Nine Inch Nails. Gary Numan must be at least 82, but he still looks good. He looks 82% better than Trent Reznor anyway. Genetics. Go figure.

How Bazaar!

Yesterday morning I ducked into the Annual Bazaar, Food Fair and Rummage Sale at the Holy Trinity Eastern Orthodox Macedono-Bulgarian Eastern Orthodox Church (phew, that was a mouthful). It's a pretty little church in my east-end neighbourhood. It's so close to our house that I walked there.

I was charged $1.00 to enter the sale, which I thought was a bit cheeky of them. What if there was nothing I liked? Oh well, I guess it's all for a good cause. And it was only $1.00. I shelled out and went in. Turns out it was worthwhile. When I hit the basement, I was greeted by an army of seniors eating a hearty Bulgarian lunch. I contemplated buying a sausage, but decided to save my pennies for the rummage sale. Here's the first thing I saw.

Oh, Pyrex. You knew I'd be coming. Here's my turquoise mini mixing bowl with roosters and Amish folk. I have the butter dish from a sale last year. I've started a new collection, I guess.
A couple of months ago, my husband and I ordered a Shaker dining room table, which is being made by Amish craftsmen in Ohio as we speak. I found this pretty hand-embroidered tablecloth. It will look stylish on our first ever beautiful dining table.
The tablecloth is fairly large and features geometrical patterns in the centre.
This needs a good ironing, but I couldn't resist this hand-embroidered fabric featuring swallows swooping down on poppy flower heads. I can see it turning into a wall hanging.
I loved these little wooden carvings. They seem Scandinavian, but could be from somewhere else.
In my recent post from the Japanese Anglican Church Bazaar, I mentioned how I try to find something from the culture of the church sale - if the church is affiliated with a particular culture. At yesterday's sale, I found these cute little Bulgarian churches (I think). They both said "Bulgaria" on them at one point, but the word has rubbed off one of them. I'm wondering if I can turn them into Christmas tree decorations.

Everything you see above (not including some goodies for Misty - the winner of my thrifty contest), came to $5.00! The woman originally asked for $8.00, which I would have paid, but she didn't have change for a $20.00, so she just took my fiver. Sweet.

About Me

My photo
I'm a slightly off-beat Toronto-area teacher who enjoys writing and photography. I come from a family of collectors and now I'm dragging my own family around to yard sales. It's just a bit of fun. Enjoy the scenes.