Friday, July 31, 2009

Fire Woman - I'm to Blame

We biked back to Goodwill on Overlea this morning, just for the heck of it. I didn't realize they were having yet another 50% off sale. This time, my booty was not as bountiful as the last.

Can someone please set me straight on the glassware above? It is not Pyrex. On the bottom, it has an "F" in a shield and says "Heat Proof U.S. A." I thought it was Fire King, but according to my not-so-thorough research, it's either Federal Glass Company, or some sort of generic impostor. I still love it and I can now make small chi-chi casseroles. If you know what this is, please enlighten me. With the discount, it was $1.50 (no lid).
This tiny Vino dish is not vintage, but it will complement my little cheese/olive dish that is (see pictures below). I like the word "vino." In the English language, calling wine "vino" is only slightly more complementary than calling whiskey hooch.

Here's my cute, little olive dish. I bought it at the Goodwill in St. Catharines for $1.00.
Made in Japan.
Here they are together. Where's the party?

Here's The Cult performing "Fire Woman" back in 1989. Yeah-yaw! Shake what yo mama gave ya.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Our Zoo

We are petsitting our niece's guinea pigs. I thought I'd share some pictures of the warm, fuzzy critters filling our house these days.
The third bedroom is currently a storage room until our kitchen is complete. It is also the summer home to our classroom gerbil, Rosie and now two guinea pigs. Here, Duncan prepares to give them breakfast.
I believe this is Peanuts.
Snickers and Peanuts devour bok choy.
Rosie in soft (blurry) focus.

Duncan holding Kiko for the first time last summer in our kitchen, before it was gutted (the kitchen, not the cat).
Kiko and Spook having a snuggle.
Spook is the world's most loving cat. His brain is the size of a pea, but we love him.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Room of One's Own - Fun For the Whole Family

The Room of One's Own in the basement is slowly turning into family office space. That's alright. Moving the office out of the dining room means we will actually have a dining room to eat in. There's a concept. In the basement, I've created an arts and crafts area for Duncan that will double as a teacher prep work station. When the room is completed, I'll take some snaps. I've been able to use some vintage garage sale finds to hold art supplies.

Magazine holder before.

Yesterday we attempted to go to Riverdale Farm. When got there, everything was all locked up. Those mean, striking city workers decided that three-year-olds do not deserve to have a happy afternoon frolicking with gentle creatures. I hope someone fed the horses.

Anyway, we traipsed through Regent Park. I remembered that there was a Goodwill at Gerrard at Parliament. When we got there, it was gone. To console Duncan, I took him to a convenience store for a frozen treat. I asked the owner what happened to the Goodwill. A friendly customer (who looked like a prostitute - not that there's anything wrong with that... or maybe there is), overheard and told us about a nearby thrift store called Double Take. We turned around and hit the store. It was a big, clean, and classy thrift store. They even had a piano, which a man was using to play some famous piece of classical music on. It was a tad surreal. There weren't too many funky finds to be had, but I did get this magazine holder for a lousy two bucks. My only piece of advice is not to carry one of these suckers on a streetcar. At least five people must have suffered lacerations due to my bulky cargo.

Magazine holder after one coat of rust paint. This will be used for Duncan's basement books in the room formerly known as the Room of One's Own.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Song of the Week #4 - Royksopp "The Girl and the Robot"

I was released from jury selection today. I can't tell you how happy I am. I won't be called for another three years! The people down at the courthouse were very nice and they made me miss Night Court. I loved that show...

Following last week's Goldfrapp-arama, I'm continuing on the theme of glorious Euro-disco. Royksopp have the coolest video ever for their song "Remind Me." Sadly, I can't copy it from YouTube, so you'll just have to go take a peek for yourself. In the meanwhile, blow some bubbles, file you fingernails or whatever and enjoy Royksopp and sassy Swede Robyn getting down Depeche Mode style. I give you "The Girl and the Robot."

Yard Sale Snoop and Joan Rivers - Together at Last!

My friend whose beautiful home was featured in my last post is, in fact, Malene Arpe. Yes, the most excellent writer of the Toronto Star's Stargazing section. If you live outside the city and haven't had the chance to read her column, go to this link now
It's very funny stuff - especially when she's on about the horror show that is Jon and Kate, or Jennifer Aniston's sad little frozen TV dinner of a life. Anyway, Malene sweetly gave my humble blogs a shout out. I can taste the book deal, the movie options, and the house in the South of France that comes with a guy who looks like Johnny Depp who skims the pool and brings me frothy cups of coffee. I can taste it all!

If you are visiting from her link, hope you enjoy Toronto Yard Sale Snoop.
Chin-chin, Malene.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

House Beautiful

There were no yard sale signs in my neighbourhood today and I was loath to hop on my bike at nine in the morning, only to find someone selling baby clothes and Indigo Girls CDs on their front lawn. I'm now in thrifting mode and holding out for incredible church rummage sales in a month or two.

I visited a good friend today. I knew she had some interesting vintage bits and pieces, so I brought my camera. Her place is beautiful and clutter-free. I suffered a tiny bit of post traumatic stress when I remembered what it was like before Thomas the Tank Engine took over our entire living room.

Here's one of her very cute cats chilling out on the rooftop. I know if we let our cats onto the roof, Kiko would high-tail it back to the farm he came from and Spook would end up on the pavement looking like a plate of steak tatare.

Gorgeous, original stained glass window.
Big, brassy pieces belonging to her other half.
These are very old typesetter cabinets. My friend now uses them to display tiny trinkets. She always buys something for the cabinets when she travels.
A slightly blurry close-up shot of some of the pieces.
An old cabinet is used to house her collection of vases and vintage German beer steins.

Looking through the hallway into the kitchen.
Vintage wooden table and stools.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Bowling Ball Glasses and Saffron Splendour

My sister Lise and I took our kids out to St. Clair West to photograph our mother's childhood house and buildings from her youth. In our travels, we discovered a Salvation Army and a Goodwill within a stone's throw from each other on St. Clair West. Neither store thrilled me, but we found a few things.
This poster and the one below were on a storefront window on St. Clair West. Ride Relaxed Work Relaxed should be my new motto.

I bought this book on Christo's Central Park installation at the Sally Ann for $2.99.
At the Goodwill, I bought this saffron yarn for a buck. I'm a forgetful knitter (I pull my beginner's scarf out every six months or so and add a few rows and then forget about it). I'd like to make something very small and cute with this yarn. One day...
These highball glasses (found at Goodwill), were too cool to resist. They were dirty, but otherwise in good shape. I left two scratched ones behind. I've cleaned up my seven glasses already and look forward to having a chin-chin with them soon. Not bad for 99 cents each.
I imagine people in the sixties coming home after bowling and drinking Scotch out of these glasses in a groovy basement bar.
My sister nabbed this cool VW backpack. I think it was $2.49.

SHOUT OUT: Please visit Leilani and Jade's Thriftaholic blog
After a hiatus, these cool women are back showing off their amazing treasures. This was one of the first vintage blogs I discovered and it helped inspire this little blog you're soaking in.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Vintage Scores at Goodwill's 50% Off Sale

We biked up to the G-Dub on Overlea for the big sale today. I would have been happy with one cool piece of Tupperware. When I got there, I didn't see anyone who looked like a vintage lover - just people carrying armloads of clothes, acoustic guitars, and small appliances.
I spied these fine little Atomic Age teacups. There were no saucers in sight, but I took the cups anyway. Each cup seemed to have a different price. The cashier pointed out that they were made in England (Sham Wow guy would say: "They're made in England, so you know they're good.") and sold them to me for half off $1.99 (each). I was happy. On the bottom, it seems to say Safari Motts England.

This isn't vintage, but I can't get enough pottery for my plants on the front porch. It's amazing how much pottery costs in gift shops and how much of it you find in yard sales and thrift stores.
Vonlipi wrote a very funny post about finding Pyrex at a thrift store. I know the feeling. You see that perfect Pyrex casserole dish with lid and all of a sudden it's as if you're running in slow motion with the Bionic Woman sound effects playing in your mind. Your voice becomes electronically altered to be five octaves lower and super slow. "Nooooooooooooo. It's mine. Back off!" Luckily I didn't have to pig wrestle anyone for it. The big bowl was half off $3.99 and the small bowl was half off $2.99. Was I lucky or what? This makes all those recent Saturday rain-outs worthwhile.

This mug isn't vintage, but I couldn't resist it for half off 99 cents. It's made in Ireland and has a picture of a couple of men fishing with a castle in the background. I'd love to be in that situation one day.

Back of my mystical Irish mug. I like the Celtic sword emblem.

That Seventies Mug Pt. 2. For 50 cents I had to have this somewhat gaudy floral pattern mug.
I'm happy that my son is inadvertently developing an eye for vintage. He scooped up this old wooden balance scale. I was so excited. He asked if I could buy it and I'm all like, "Yes, yes, yes. It's so cool - whatever you want." I was charged half off $2.99, but when we got home, I noticed it was originally priced at $4.99. "Start the car!"

Before we hit the toy section, he begged me to buy this white ski jacket. I almost gave in when I realized it's the same one that Bjork wore in the Joga video. It was too huge on him, so I let him stroll around the aisles in it.

Bad mother: I found this ridiculous green sailer man mug that's in the shape of a pipe. I told Duncan to pretend to smoke it. Of course, he sticks it straight in his mouth. The damage was done, so I took some snaps.
I also bought a ton of books for my classroom and for Duncan, Toy Story 2 on VHS, a toy and a Sponge Bob brief case for His Nibs, and a very cool shiny black jacket for myself. I spent $33.87. I'd say it was a pretty good haul in all.

Monday, July 20, 2009

A Whole "Ge-lotta" Love

Today we found a little piece 'o paradise on St. Clair Avenue West (Little Italy). If you like gelato, you MUST check out La Paloma. It's a gelateria. I didn't even know the word existed. They must have had 50 different flavours of this gorgeous stuff.
Here's the splashy carpet that greets you when you walk in the door.
They have freezer case after freezer case of gelato that they make on site. Mmmmm.
Junior in a moment of spaced-out gelato bliss.

I know "I Melt With You" has been used in too many commercials, but I still get a warm feeling inside when I hear it. Good music to listen to as you reminisce about a happy gelato experience. I do remember being slightly disturbed/confused as a child by the hair and facial hair of the blonde guy in the band - especially the part in the video where you just see their heads. Eeesh!

I've just added the link to Awkward Family Photos. It's not a yardsale blog (although awkward family photos do surface at yard sales). However, it is so excellent, I just had to share it. If you've had a rough day, just visit this site and you'll be doubled over in no time. Below is a sample of the strange wonders that await. Enjoy - Erin

Song of the Week #3 - Ride a White Horse

I love Goldfrapp. As a single, "Ride a White Horse" was one cool slice of Euro-disco. The video turns out to be the perfect remedy to Toronto's striking trash collectors. Allison Goldfrapp singlehandedly brings sexy back to piles of stinky garbage. Mayor Miller should sit up and take note.
I actually had the same shorts pantsuit in the late '80s. My mom thought I needed some cool summer clothes to help me get through Grade 9 Math summer school. I didn't wear it with high heels, however.
Time to get sassy!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Moments of Pleasure

This morning, I loaded up my girly-girl palm tree purse (as featured in the earlier post, "Treasures From Goodwill by the Pound") and Duncan and I headed out. We first stopped at a little fruit and veg store on the Danforth. I bought a newspaper, and some annuals to complete my planter boxes. Yes, I'm late - I'm a teacher! The store owner knows us and he tenderly packed the plants in a Maynard's Wine Gum box. It fit perfectly in my basket. For some reason, this made me REALLY happy.

Duncan insisted I take a picture of his new bell that Daddy put on his bike yesterday.

We then went to the walk-up window at Tim Hortons, where I bought a large tea and Duncan got a doughnut. (No jokes, please - every week, someone says "Hey, Duncan Donuts," to him. I hope that chain goes under, before he develops a complex.) The cup fit perfectly in my water bottle carrier. Some guy actually commented that I was biking with a Tim's cup. We rode off to the park, where Duncan played, and I read the paper in complete bliss. Simple pleasures are the best.

Whoop - there it is!

* Please visit Grunge Queen's terrific blog - it's loaded with great ideas. Do you think Martha has ever dumpster-dived? I think not. I've also added Vonlipi's Favourites. It's also wonderful. I'll be plowing through her older posts this week. Go Montreal! These two blogs are well established and full of great ideas and treasures. I'm not worthy!

About Me

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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.