Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Gone trick or treating. Have a fun night,

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Vintage Made in Japan Plates

Thanks to all who endured my recent ranty posts. I'd rather be randy than ranty anyway - LOL. Here are some pretty plates I found today at Goodwill: three Misty Mint coloured divided plates. They cost $1.99 each, but the cashier charged me .99 each. Start the car!

Does anyone remember this groovy Black Label commercial from the late eighties?

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Eighties are Back!

I usually don't go much for the whole fashion magazine/super model thing, but Bryan Ferry has always done a good job of mixing the superficial with the arty. Somehow, it works in a European kind of way.

Judging from his new song and video for "You Can Dance," it looks like he's returned to the sound and feeling of Roxy Music and solo albums from the eighties, Boys and Girls and Bete Noire. He even samples Roxy's "True to Life" on this song. See for yourself.

Here's the song sampled. It makes me want to be riding around on a scooter in Paris without a care in the world. Café cognac for breakfast and good bread...

Here's "Slave to Love." Ahh, the eighties. It wasn't all Huey Lewis and the News.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pyrex Rip-off

I had a weird mid-day doctor's appointment today about a possible respiratory infection. She kept me waiting over an hour and then I had to have chest x-rays and get a prescription. In short, I spent the better part of the day getting caught up on my reading, while being tormented by the soft sounds of E-Z Rock. To cheer myself up, I got a big bucket of bubble tea and hit Value Village, looking for a Halloween costume. It was there that I saw the exact Pyrex divided dish you'll see above, that I bought at the Value Village in St. Catharines for $9.99, but the VV in Toronto had the cheek to ask $12.99. One woman kept hovering over it. She moved away for a minute and I picked it up and actually considered buying it. I decided against it, since I don't really need two of a kind. The woman moved back in. I hope that article I wrote about Pyrex didn't alert the pricing people at thrift stores to jack up the prices. Eesh!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Top TV Wankers

I removed my last post because Rob Ford actually got voted in as mayor of the fine city of Toronto. When I heard the news, I felt like crying. Ford gave CBC Radio's As it Happens a disrespectful interview the other night that was toe-curlingly awful. He was coaching a football game and yelling at the players while the interviewer was asking him questions. He abruptly told her he had to go and hung up on her. This guy is the man that will be running the city for the next few years. I weep for Toronto

Due to Ford's victory, I thought it would be fitting to round up my top TV wankers for your consideration. Feel free to add to my list.

1. Bear Grylls. Alright, if you don't know who he is, he's the Irish-born English adventure seeker on Discovery's Man Vs. Wild. This show is so contrived. Here's how it works: take one man who comes from a well-heeled background, drop him out of a helicopter onto the shores of a land with dangerous territory, allow him to chew the heads off live animals to show the average TV viewer how you can find food in the Namibian bush if you're willing to stun a poisonous snake and eat raw meat, let him show you how to distill water from your own urine and drink it, lastly - let him mingle with indigenous people who actually hunt for snakes a and grubs because they don't have a Discovery expense account. You just know as soon as the camera stops rolling, his personal assistant gets out of the Land Rover and passes him a towel and latté. And what's with his name? It's either phony or just unfortunate. Who calls their kid Bear Grylls? I give Bear a D- for insincerity and killing animals that could either still be living, or food for people who actually need it to survive in ways Bear could never imagine.

2. Next up is the Food Network's Aaron Sanchez. Like most Food Network celebs, he's on way too many Food Network shows and he loves himself. On Chopped, he's billed as "Latin cuisine authority Aaron Sanchez." On this show, he's one of the nicer judges, but he can still be nasty at times to the chefs. If someone makes something remotely Mexican, Aaron is happy to cut them down to size about their use of hot peppers, etc. Watch him on Chef vs. City though, and he's the guy who can't manage to eat a few bowls of chili. What kind of Latin food authority can't eat chili? I give Aaron Sanchez a C for failing to live up to his billing and not being able to connect with the TV viewers.

3./4. While we're on the topic of Food Network celebrity chefs, we have to discuss Bobby Flay and Robert Irvine. I try not to watch any show with Bobby Flay because he's so cocky and unfriendly. He has absolutely zero charisma for television. I'm sure he knows how to work the grill, but I just don't like him. I give Bobby a C-. What about Robert Irvine? Has anyone watched Dinner Impossible? This is another ridiculous Food Network extreme food challenge type of show. Irvine, who looks like he bench presses elephants in his spare time, is given insane instructions - "You must feed 10,000 school children a five course meal only using foods that are purple and you've got two hours to do it." Like Flay, Irvine has no charm and exudes very little warmth. How are we supposed to warm up to someone like that? I give Robert a D for his Rambo-ness way in the kitchen. See for yourself...

5. Last up, Dragon Den's Kevin O'Leary. This is a Canadian show, but I believe it's broadcast in other parts of the world. Basically, a group of budding entrepreneurs try to win over a bunch of super rich business people to see if they'll buy into their product or concept. O'Leary is just nasty. He seems to take great delight in reducing people to tears - especially women - by insulting their ideas. I usually don't even bother watching this show, but we watched it last night and they were profiling the dragons. O'Leary seems to live a loveless life and when he's not wheeling and dealing in the city, he's living out the baby boomer dream by playing his electric guitar on his dock at Muskoka. He doesn't appear to have a network of people around him who actually like him. Maybe it's because his such a misanthrope? Oh look, here's the profile. O'Leary gets an F for being about as appealing as dried out headcheese. Check it out.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

December Will Be Magic Again

Walking into the Value Village on Bloor St. W., I had no expectations. I've never found any Pyrex there and the store always seems to be crawling with hipsters no doubt searching for the same stuff I am. Not that I'm hip by any means. Surprisingly, I found a few treasures like the Christmas elf above. I realized later that the peppermint stick was actually a broken candy cane, but I still thought it had a lot of charm for $1.99. This looks like an old timey family decoration from my childhood.
This set of brand new Frank Lloyd Wright holiday cards cost $2.99 for 20. I hate spending big bucks on cards when most of them end up being glanced at and then discarded shortly thereafter.

In a bag with a $1.99 price tag, I found two boxes of Christmas tree ornaments. Some of the ornaments were kind of ugly, like the fuzzy ones and the disco balls. But...
I also found some stunning vintage ornaments, like this aqua-coloured decoration.
It's got a concave centre. See?
Two-tone ornament...
with Santa painted on it. So sweet.
Graphic designs...
and hand-painted swirls where you can still see the brush strokes.
I've never seen daisies on a Christmas ornament before.
Here's the second box. I even love the beaten up old box.
Made in Poland. For goodness sake!
Again, a strange mix of the gaudy with the gorgeous. We thrifters have to be magpies.
and again - ta-dah!
Aren't these beautiful?

So that's it, folks. Thrifty droughts don't last forever. It's all down to timing that you can't control.

Here's Kate Bush's Christmas song. I know, I know. Any excuse to play Kate Bush.

Sixties Nostalgia From the Eighties & Autumn Joy

So here were are - another Saturday. I don't know what's happened to all the rummage sales. My mother chalks it up to aging church congregations not having the steam to run them. This is understandable. Today, I'd like to have fun with my son and if possible, buy something old and beautiful at a thrift store. Pyrex would be nice, but I'd settle for a little plate or funky old tea towel. We'll see where our paths take us.

Well, I've survived another busy school week. Hey, here's something my class did that may appeal to old-school crafters. Take beautiful fall leaves and iron them between two sheets of waxed paper. It's kind of funny. This activity was almost overdone when I was a kid. Now it's fallen off the craft radar. I keep having younger teachers at my school walk in and marvel at them. How did you do that? Did it cost you a fortune? Well, it cost next to nothing. The kids wrote leaf poems using adjectives to describe the colour, sound, and texture of the leaves. Simple and pretty, don't you think?

On a different note, back in the eighties, there were a bunch of bands that rode the wave of jangly sixties psychedelia. Paisley shirts made a comeback. I'm not big on the sixties, but I kind of like how the styles were revisited in the eighties. Here are some videos to illustrate the point. Happy hunting this weekend. I'll be jealously looking at your blogs soon. P.S. If you thrift and have no idea how to set up a blog, drop me a line in the comments and I can help you out. It's free and super easy.

The Church, from Australia

Another band from Australia

Here's Doctor and the Medics doing "Spirit in the Sky." I have a hilarious picture of me with the singer down at the old City TV building on Queen Street East. I'm wearing a crazy paisley shirt. I'll see if I can find it.

For fun, here's Prince's Raspberry Beret. Stylistically, the look is a cross between sixties psychedelia, Frederick's of Hollywood, Belgian surrealist Rene Magritte, and Adam and the Ants' pirate theme. It still works. I hope Prince doesn't shut down my blog for showing it.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Five Things I'd Never Thrift

5. Trophies. I'm always amazed by the never-ending supply of hideous athletic trophies at thrift stores. Unless you were a set designer for a film or TV show, who would actually buy a trophy that someone else won?

4. Stuffed furniture. If Toronto wasn't in the midst of a near bedbug epidemic, I may be more relaxed about this one.

3. Ugly old ashtrays. Even if I smoked, I still wouldn't want to stub out my cigarette on some stinky old ashtray, unless it was seriously cool and vintage.

2. Hats. Maybe it's because I'm a teacher and they're checking for head lice every couple of months, but I've become paranoid of putting anything on my head that may have been a breeding colony for lice. I'm sure most used hats are fine, but I get itchy just thinking about getting lice, so I remain cautious.

1. Underwear. I'm not talking vintage bras here. I'm talking undies. I couldn't ever fathom buying underpants that have been previously enjoyed, unless I knew for a fact they had belonged to Johnny Depp. And even then, I'd need some sort of verification. Let me have a I'm-wearing-Johnny-Depp's-undies moment. There. I'm good.

Go to fullsize image

I was raised not to laugh at other's misfortunes and I do try to stick to that. Still, I can't get enough of the Mexican singer falling off the stage. If he hadn't made such a grand entrance, it wouldn't be so hilarious.


Monday, October 18, 2010

You Kids Nowadays!

Welcome to my newest followers. You are more fabulous than you know - yes you are!

Anyway, here's the kind of technology I grew up with. We didn't have those fancy i-Pods. We took our Merlins and trudged through the snow while arctic wolves chewed on our little legs. "Back off wolves. I've got a Merlin!"

Here's Merlin's proletariat cousin - owl calculator. I love the angelic proclamation of Kmart at the beginning. We don't have Kmart in Canada anymore. Sniff.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Anchor Hocking Mug

There was zilch going on at Goodwill today in the funky-old-things-for-the-home department. I'm at the gnawing off of foot stage again. There aren't any rummage sales going on in East York/Scarborough either. Grrrrr. Oh well. I did find this milky glass Anchor Hocking mug with groovy stars for .49.

I also bought a pile of fantastic books for my classroom. I wasn't going to share the books on this blog, but I have to show one of them. Oliver Jeffers is a brilliant Irish author/illustrator. The Incredible Book Eating Boy is about a boy who starts devouring books and becomes really smart because everything he eats goes to his brain. Eventually, he starts getting sick and the facts become all jumbled. At this point, he starts reading books and the story has a happy ending. I love everything about this book. It's Tim Burton-esque to be sure.

The back cover actually has teeth chomp marks cut out. Nice touch.

Hope you had a fruitful thrifting day. I'm hoping for something good tomorrow.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Something Old, Something Newish...

Something old

Something new-ish

Something borrowed...

Something blue...

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Thankful for Ikea?

It's Thanksgiving in Canada tomorrow, so Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian blogging buddies. My son made this crafty foam "Tree of Thanks" picture frame at his daycare. My husband and I can't stop laughing at the fact he's thankful for Ikea. Oh yeah, Mommy is there, it's just upside-down. Thanks a lot!
Here he is at his school's recent Terry Fox Day run, holding the Terry Fox flag. I'll treasure this frame and picture for years to come.
- Erin

Monday, October 4, 2010

Start the Car!

We've all had a "Start the car," moment when we think we've been undercharged. I keep waiting for a Pyrex "Start the car," moment. I have a feeling this was a Canadian Ikea commercial. My American friends can correct me if it ran throughout North America.

This woman is hysterical. She reminds me of the actress who was in that show Moonlighting with Bruce Willis back in the day. I can't think of her name. I'm tired.


Saturday, October 2, 2010

Swellegant Glass Canister

I bought this tasteful little biscuit canister at Value Village today for $2.99. I love the simple design of green strips and gold pine needles. It has an air of sixties Canadiana.

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.