Saturday, July 31, 2010

Slim Pickins at Value Village on Bloor St. West

We started off the day going for a stroll through beautiful High Park in the west end of town. Check out the beautiful baby white deer below. I wanted to snuggle with them.

We later went to Value Village on Bloor Street West. It's a huge store, but alas, nothing funky, nothing vintage. I've been there before and it was the same. It must be a popular haunt for people on the lookout. I did get these fun jack-o-lantern cake tins. The cupcake tins were $2.49 and the cake tin was $1.99. I LOVE Halloween!
I like the How and Why Wonder books from my childhood. This fall, I'm starting my Science unit teaching about water. Children's books are .99 at Value Village. If you buy four, they give you one free. Not bad, but I remember not so long ago when they charged .49 each. "And that was a lot of money in those days. Arrrrrr!"
The illustrations are so pretty.
And the water cycle cannot be updated. I hate the way old books are looked down upon by teachers as if they're all just outdated, musty, and politically incorrect. This is not always the case.
Hope you had a better haul than myself.

Sweet Mystery Solved

You'll remember how I bought this bowl at Value Village last week for $4.99. I assumed it was Pyrex (although I should know the look and feel of Pyex by now). No, it wasn't Pyrex. Vonlipi thought it might be Federal Glass. I couldn't find any leads looking up Federal Glass. I just noticed that antique dealer Yutha left a comment on my CSI Toronto post. She suspected it was made by Hazel Atlas before they began putting a maker's mark on the bottom.

Well, Yutha was right. I discovered that Hazel Atlas started up around the turn of the century and closed in the early sixties. This mixing bowl originally came in a set of three (of different sizes) and was produced in the 1940s if my information is correct. I can't believe I found a beautiful 1940s bowl at a thrift store for a song.

I guess the moral of the story is this: if you're passing by a thrift store, it's always worth having a poke around. You never know what you will find and every vintage treasure has at least one great story behind it.

I'm all happy now. Time to learn how to crock.

Crock Pot Love

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Look, a modern crock pot. I'm so out of the loop.


I set off an avalanche of wisdom from crock pot enthusiasts after my last post. I'm happy that crock pots never went away and that they are allowing people to make slow, tasty meals without all the fussing by the stove.

The fact that I didn't know crock pots are still in use says the following about me (all true):
1. I'm not a natural cook. I can make about five things well but otherwise need a recipe book. Sigh.
2. I don't get out to department stores very often and when I do, I'm usually buying a present for someone.
3. I never got into the whole slow food thing - although I like the idea.
4. I'm afraid of kitchen appliances.
5. I blog without thinking about the "big picture" sometimes.

Anyway, thanks for the great comments. Now I'm thinking I've got to get into crock pot cookin'. Erin
P.S. My husband would never do the "Wow" face (as seen in the commercial below) when he comes in the door and smells delicious food. He might do the "Finally, you made stew" face, but not the "Wow" face. LOL

Friday, July 30, 2010

A Sign of Something Good & '70s Crock Pots

I was at Valu Mart (a grocery store at Woodbine/Danforth) today. I was looking at the bulletin board to see if there were any advertised yard sales in the neighbourhood. What caught my eye was this wonderful letter calling on local residents to contribute to a big gift basket for a 61-year-old woman who was sexually assaulted recently at an east end cemetery. I remember reading about it in the paper and being utterly shocked that this would happen. Fortunately, police have apprehended the suspect, but the pain continues for the victim. I often read about stories of this nature in the paper and think I should do something, but I never do. I'm inspired by the person who has taken on this gift of healing and I will be contributing to the gift basket. If you live in Toronto, consider helping out by dropping off a small gift to the Body Shop on Queen St. E. by August 9th. Thank you, whomever you are. There are so many bad people in the world, but your kindness reminds me of all the good people out there. - Erin
On a very different note, I popped into the Value Village today. It wasn't a brilliant day for vintage treasures for the house. I saw a seventies linen tea towel that had stylized beer steins on it, but I didn't love it enough to hang it and I just don't need anymore tea towels for drying dishes. I did notice the crock pots (above). I think the golden age of crock pottery was the late seventies/early eighties. They must have been marketed towards working moms because I remember my mom getting one (probably as a gift from my dad - LOL) and telling me how it would make her life easier because she could throw ingredients into it in the morning and by the time she dragged her weary bones home from work - voila- stew! She probably didn't say "weary bones" to me, but I can only imagine that working and raising four kids left her with very weary bones.

Of course, as soon as we got a microwave oven, the love affair with the crock pot came to a crashing end. All the crock pots you see in thrift stores seem to be in those seventies earth tones and once again, feature the woodland motif. Fondu seemed to be big in the seventies and eighties, hence the fact that most fondu pots are orange or brown.

Have crock pots made a comeback? Do you have a seventies/eighties crock pot or fondu story. Dish on my comments.
Good luck tomorrow, everyone!

Attention East Toronto Yard Salers

This message was posted in my comments box from Sam.
Sam, I'll do my best to swing by. It could be a hike for my little guy on his bike, but I'll look at a map tonight. Thanks - Erin

Just wanted to let you know there is going to be a Street Sale (a whole bunch of garage sales at the same time) at Norlong Blvd tomorrow saturday jul 31. All the residents on the street have been mailed and invited to have their garage sales on at the same time jul 31. Its the first annual norlong street sale and will run all day long.

Norlong is at woodbine and o'connor drive. Im going because there will be a large number of comic books and books sold by one of my friends garage sales there but everything under the sun will be available from all the garage sales going on at norlong (furniture, books, household items etc etc). thought you might be interested. The ads are online all over the place if you type in norlong street sale jul 31
here is a link to one of them:

Thursday, July 29, 2010

I'm Free!!!!!!

Thanks for hanging there while I ranted and raved about the mission almost impossible reading course. The good news is that I'm all done now.
What do you have to say, Mary?

I'm going to sit on my duff tonight and watch SYTYCD, even though it's pretty bad this year. I miss Mary! They need a ballroom expert on their panel of "jewdges."

I hope to do some thrifting over the next couple of days and I'll sort out the Pyrex blog.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Pyrex Update

Two of my fabulous neighbours. I love the way grandma balances a bag on her head. She walks down the street like this. Amazing!

Hello there and welcome to my two latest followers. I haven't even had a chance to see who you are, but I'm very excited as I always am. Thank you!

I've set up the communal Pyrex blog. I actually used it today for a presentation at school. One student in my class came up and asked why it said pyrexpleasure in tiny letters at the top of the screen, even though the blog was called "Retelling & Summarizing." I had to explain that the blog was going to turn into a blog for vintage Pyrex collectors. I got the bemused smile.

Duncan pretending to be a puzzled Shel Silverstein. This was used on the reading blog, which will soon be glowing with Pyrex treasures.

I'll delete everything from the blog and send the info to Jeni from In Color Order and when she has a moment, she can work her design magic. Once the blog is ready for the hot typing fingers of you lovely Pyrex fans out there, I'll send comments to your blogs with my email in order to give you the password and sign on info. If you do not have a blog already, please leave a comment on Yard Sale Snoop with the best way for me to contact you.

Thanks. Tomorrow's the last day of this crazy busy reading course and I'll be back in the summer saddle. Yee haw!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Late Night Lullaby

Just finished the last big piece of writing for my reading course. It's 1:38 and I have to get up in a few hours, but I'm wired. Time for Bryan. This is from the movie Legend. Does anyone remember it besides me?
P.S. The posting time is not accurate. I'm not sure how to fix it. I wish it was just after 10:30. Calgon, take me away!

CSI Toronto

I did a little hunting around on Flickr and ebay last night looking to ID the maker of this cute little bowl I picked up on the weekend. I also Googled Federal Glass, vintage bowls with teal utensils, etc. The closest I found was a picture of the same bowl, with a matching small version of it. The info with the picture also said the bowls did not have a maker's mark on it. If you have any leads, let me know. I may just not have the right touch when it comes to researching this stuff.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Pyrex Blog Full Steam Ahead!

Oh pseudo Pyrex, how you toy with my emotions.

Thanks to the enthusiastic response from my Pyrex loving thrifty pals, I'm going to go ahead this week and set up a Pyrex blog. It may not be until the end of the week that I have it up in its bare bones stage.

If there are any takers for designing a banner, let me know. It could just be some of your gorgeous Pyrex sitting on a well-lit table with the blog title which is TBA. Bounty Huntress had some good titles (although I don't know how I'd explain Porno for Pyrex to my mom - LOL) . If there are no takers, I'll try to cobble something together until someone with a pretty, funky, or pretty funky design comes along.

You can post as much or as little as you like. We'll just let it be what it is. I can already think of themes: The piece of Pyrex that made me a collector, my first piece of vintage Pyrex, memories of Pyrex growing up, awkward Pyrex shopping moments (Thrifted Treasure's crash scene?), people who think you're a little weird for obsessing over crockery, etc. You can reprint Pyrex episodes from your blog - whatever. Let's keep it loosey goosey and fun.

That's it. Let me know if you are good with setting up tags and stuff like that that I've never done.

P.S. My pseudo Pyrex (which is not real Pyrex) has nothing stamped on the bottom, so the mystery continues.

Here's some Billy Joel to get us pumped. There's lot's of images from the fifties and sixties, but no overt Pyrex stuff that I can see. I remember not being a Billy Joel fan, but loving this video. "JFK, blown away, what else do I have to say?"

Thanks so much,

*** News update*** Jeni from In Color Order has offered to design the banner. Thanks, Jeni!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Pyrex Plan - Are You Interested?

Friendship Pyrex - Aren't we all Pyrex friends?

I've been chewing on this idea for some time now and thought I'd finally be bold enough to put it out there.

One of my greatest pleasures lately is:
A. Finding and buying Pyrex.
B. Sharing what I've found on my blog.
C. Looking at and reading about other people's Pyrex on their thrift blogs.

Soooooo, I have an idea. How would you feel about starting up a communal Pyrex blog? By this, I mean that one of us (I don't mind doing it) would open up a new Blogger blog for the sole purpose of sharing all things Pyrex. People who are rabid or even modest collectors would be given the sign on information via email and you can upload your Pyrex photos and write about Pyrex whenever you feel like it.

I just thought it would be a great way for us to consolidate all our bits and pieces, share info related to Pyrex and generally have a good time. I'd want it to be fun, more than anything else. I'm just starting out as a collector and I'd love to see what you Pyrex lovers have in your cupboards.

What do you think? If I can get even five or so people who would be interested, I'll get the ball rolling. This need not take away from your other blogs as you can still show your Pyrex and all the other funky things you collect. This would just be a blog for Pyrex lovers.

Please leave a comment. I love hearing from everyone.
Yours in hard-wearing and beautiful crockery,

Jackpot at Value Village

Duncan and I were biking down to the park near the Value Village at Woodbine and Danforth. As luck would have it, raindrops started to fall and we took shelter at VV. Sometimes when I'm there, the MUZAK is playing a back-to-back power pack of Air Supply and Celine Dion and I don't find anything. It's like penance for when I climbed up the monkey bars and dropped a toy tractor on Evan's head in the kindergarten playground, which I'm still feeling guilty about to this day. Well, this afternoon, the MUZAK was playing Booker T and the MGs' "Green Onions" and I found myself in Pyrextasy. Yes!
Ok, Volipi. Help a sister out. I did go to Pyrex Love, and I couldn't figure out which pattern this was. I looked under all of the obvious names and colours, but couldn't find this bowl. What is it?
Now I'm wondering if Six Balloons went to the same VV where she recently scored on the Butterprint bowl. This bowl cost me $4.99. I know I'm trying to be frugal with the housekeeping but what's a girl to do?
To all my American, Australian, English friends and others, do your thrift stores bundle up random things and slap a random price on it? I thrift for greeting cards because unless it's a very special occasion, most people spend about one minute looking at the card before going for the gift. Hey, I'm just being eco-minded and thrifty.
The real reason I bought this pack of greeting cards was just to get this wonderful Hallmark card. I will frame it for Duncan's room. It's got a real 1960s old west boy's bedroom look about it that I thought was charming. By that I mean boy's bedroom in the sixties, not the scene on the card.
I was getting ready to leave, when I noticed this cute vintage gold-rimmed Paris drinking glass. All glasses are .99 unless otherwise marked. This wasn't otherwise mark.

And then I noticed Madrid...
and London...
Athens, Greece...
Bombay, India...
Havana, Cuba...
and the Hague, Netherlands. I thought they were the most charming glasses ever and they were all in perfect condition. What did I do to deserve such a haul? I'm a grateful thrifter.

Hope you hit the jackpot too today.
Your thrifty pal,

Play it and Feel Good

Here's one of my fave bands from when I was a teenager. I love the emotions captured with stick figure drawings.
Bop along and then go thrifting...

Hey, and while I'm on the topic of good times, is it only Bounty Huntress and myself who dig these Old Spice commercials? I just want to watch them over and over because A. the actor is hilarious and easy on the eyes - not that my eyes are roaming - I'm just saying... B. I like trying to think about how they filmed the effects. I may slip some Old Spice body wash in the bathroom and see if it helps get our kitchen reno rolling along.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Your Friday Funny

I rarely read the Sports section of the newspaper, but I've been following the Tour de France. Here's what I found in today's paper! I had no idea that Borat's man hammock was still such a hot look in Europe. I love how the headline works with the photo "in the bag" wink, wink.
I missed this moment on TV, but the clipping will go on our fridge and provide countless morning chuckles for months to come.
P.S. I'm busted on the financial front due to a perfect storm of bills that all came at once, including our massive property tax bill (Thanks Mayor Miller). In order to have thrifting money, I'm considering having a boring yard sale of my own, selling boring baby stuff. I can't part with all my cool bits and pieces.
I'll keep you posted on what I do.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A "Brief" Encounter at Goodwill

I've been so bogged down in my course work this week that I haven't done any laundry. My husband usually does it, but I guess he didn't get around to it either. I thought I was down to my last clean pair of undies, only to discover that Ken's briefs had somehow made it to my sock and undies drawer. I did what any woman on the run would do, I put on his man knickers, pulled up my pants and took off out the door.
Powered by my man knickers (they're very comfortable by the way - not that I'm weird about it), I biked up to Goodwill when my course was over. They're having a 50% off sale tomorrow, but I thought I might score some good things at full price and beat the crowd. I did.
Look, another "Made in England" JAJ Pyrex dish for $1.99.

Sorry for the fuzzy pics, it didn't photograph well.
Before there was Twitter... This Made in Japan bird was $1.99.
I couldn't get over how beautiful these Made in England teacups were. They remind me of the designs of Charles Rennie MacIntosh.
The mauve saucer and the yellow cup have a little bit of wear, but I still loved them for $3.99 each.

I liked this Made in England deep saucer/shallow bowl for $1.99.
I was equally charmed and puzzled by these Scotch glasses. I think they're new in a retro old "school" style. They're a bit like Mad Men meets Leave it to Beaver. "Mom, I had a hard day at school." "Oh Beaver, it's alright. Have a Scotch."
They cost .79 each. That's good classroom Scotch glass value for money.
That's all. I guess if you can take away anything from this post it's this: never underestimate the good luck man knickers can bring you when thrifting.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sweet Felt Board on the Cheap

Alas, my inner thriftquake was left to rumble silently in discontent while I figured out how to finish this insane book review. I did have to trek over to big sister's house this evening to feed her daughter's guinea pigs while they're away. En route, I stopped at Dollarama where I found these awesome felt boards for a twoonie a pop. That's two dollars for the non-Canadians reading this. My thrifty satisfaction is tempered by the fact that someone in China got paid peanuts to make this. That's not right!
Anyway, I had been looking into buying felt boards online and there's some high quality ones out there with big price tags. The irony is that someone in China still probably got paid peanuts to make them.


Stuck in basement writing book review for my reading course. Feeling a thriftquake coming on. Can I do both? Giggles beginning to subside.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

No Laughing Gas

Thanks Vonlipi and Pompoms for the good wishes for my dental visit. Although I've been flossing like crazy for the past two days, no floss has passed betwixt my teeth the other 118 days or so since my last appointment, giver or take those evenings when I've had lamb chops for dinner. When asked if I floss regularly, I said, "Some nights I forget, but I do my best." I'm sure they know who's fibbing.

Anyway, I've had a case of uncontrollable giggles for the past two days. Can you believe it? I mean, we all laugh at inappropriate things every now and then. It lasts for a few minutes and it then passes. No, not me. Here I am, on the brink of 40 and I almost crashed my bike today when I got the giggles again. I think giggling to yourself is worse than drinking alone. At least if you're drinking, you can use inebriation as an excuse for irrational behaviour. When you're peddling through your neighbourhood laughing, people just think you're a kook.

It all started yesterday in my reading course. We had an equity workshop. The topic was equity to literacy. I'm all about equity and I've been to many equity workshops in my school board before on my own volition. The equity rep seemed like a decent man, but very, very earnest. Towards the end, he began talking about an academic. I thought he said her name was Ginny the Gay. My jaw almost dropped as I scrambled to make sense of how an equity person could use such a monicker to describe someone. As he kept repeating her name, I began wondering if this woman was some sort of radical who gave herself a counter culture nickname. Later, he passed around an article written by this woman. Her name? Geneva Gay. I snorted and bit my lip hoping that somehow the pain would make me stop laughing. It didn't. I spent the rest of the class pinching different body parts to keep from losing it. It wasn't even funny, but my ignorance was. In my defense, I've never heard the name "Geneva" used outside of Switzerland.

From that moment on, the slightest thing would trigger the giggles. We've been watching the Tour de France and every wacky bearded spectator dressed as a nun, or flabby French man in a Speedo who decides to "run with the cyclists" at the summit of the Pyrenees, just made me crack up. Today, the woman who sits beside me in class began crunching on celery shortly after a fellow student read a picture book about elephants dying in a Japanese zoo during WWII. Of course, with each loud crunch, I laughed until tears were running down my cheeks.

Make it stop! Perhaps I'll survive until tomorrow...


Going to dentist. Been flossin' like madwoman for the last two days.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Bounty Huntress - The Quicker Picker Upper

My new pal Bounty Huntress from Texas (love it) commented on the notorious Herb Alpert album. Yes, it's Whipped Cream and Other Delights. I think everyone's dad or uncle had a copy of this in his stash of LPs back in the sixties. I had no idea that it spawned so many parodies.

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P.S. I just can't get enough of this Old Spice commercial. Hilarious. It almost makes you forget about how horrible Old Spice is.

Pictures A-Rockin'

I finally got my pictures of our weekend getaway to Owen Sound up on my blog Five Ways to Disappear Do check them out if you have time. This part of the province is stunning, plus hardly anyone visits this blog of mine (sniff).

We went out east to Brighton, Codrington, and Campbellford yesterday. I will be sharing some of those pictures soon too. Lot's of ghost barns and even a ghostly former cheese factory.

Bye for now,

P.S. On our way home yesterday we were listing to Randy Bachman's "Vinyl Tap" on the CBC Radio. The theme was "Ear Worms" - songs that get stuck in your head. My favourite was Herb Alpert's "Spanish Flea." Ahh, memories of the Dating Game. Enjoy.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Shake, Rattle and Roll at the Legion

Just got back from the Legion's yard sale. It's been so long! Last year, I discovered creepy curiosities such as boxes of maxi pads from the eighties. This year, it was more of a straight forward affair: lot's of elderly people standing around smoking and odds and ends priced to sell. Woo-hoo!
On my first walk around, I missed this unremarkable bashed box. When I came back, I caught a better look.
Awwww yeah, it's a seventies cocktail shaker, unused and still in the original box dated 1976 - the beginning of the golden era of ABBA.
Which one would be inside? Please be the orange one, please be the orange one...
Oh fiddlesticks, it's not the orange one, but it's still a beautiful shaker with groovy seventies artistic embellishments and some handy cocktail recipes. Who's ever heard of the Rob Roy? I can just imagine some party scene with women in big floppy floor-length skirts. "I asked for a William Wallace, not a Rob Roy!"
The best part? It cost .50! That's good cocktail value for money.
I fell in love with this slightly tattered house box. It's signed on the inside by the person who made it.
It only cost $1.00. I think I'll keep extra pencils in it for my students next year.
In a clear, produce bag, I noticed some Christmas decorations. For .50 I got this funky reindeer on a heavy chain...
and these two awesome Mexican folk art Christmas tree decorations. I collect Mexican folk art. What are the chances of this happing?
Hope you enjoyed and hope you're having fun thrifting today.

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.