Monday 24 May 2021

 Happy Spring! 

Pardon my absence, I have been keeping myself busy Spring Cleaning. 

Over the past few months, I have been working evenings and weekends organizing hoards of items stored in the basement at my flophouse. This was a repository for extra supplies, unwanted furniture, leftovers from renovations and the abandoned possessions of previous tenants. I had collected these items...until it got out of control. 

Here are some before and after pictures:

Before...the clutter gives me a headache

In April I buckled down and finally started organizing! I have donated many boxes of dishes and other miscellaneous items. I sorted through building materials and salvaged anything I thought I would use in the forseable future, the rest were donated.

Every item you see had to get moved FOUR times!! A very tedious process which was more tiresome due to the low ceilings.

I spent 2 days solely to organize my light bulbs and light fixtures! This cubby shelf is great for organizing them. It was a $50 find when our Sears store went out of business and sold all their shelving.

I was profoundly proud of myself when a light fixture blew and I had to replace it. I knew *exactly* where to look for the replacement fixture! Huzzah!

Do you see the dangling chains suspended from the ceiling? They were my solution for holding trim for doorways. The trim is flimsy and prone to breakage. And so the chains keep them suspended out of harms way. I used the top of the cubby shelf to store lumber. With lumber fetching high prices...I salvaged every usable length I could find. They were all leftovers from previous projects.

The finished result. A compact storage room where I can easily find everything! This took 5 weeks of work to get to this result. I still have 2 other rooms to organize at my leisure. Thankfully they have higher ceilings and are not a disaster.

I need to go rest my aching back...this week I start landscaping and painting ;)

happy thrifting 

Sunday 7 March 2021

I had a dream...dainty flowered china.

Well friends...the second week of March is upon us. 

And the air is starting to smell sweetly of spring. I love the longer days. 

 I promised you pictures of the china I found. Here it is...

 ...first, I spied the flowered saucer. I thought it would look pretty displayed on a wall with the rest of my plates. 

 Then I saw the matching cup! 

And then the rest of set! Complete with teapot! 

 Miraculously, this dainty old china doesn't have a crack, a chip or any discoloration. I think it sat in someone's cabinet and was never used. Always a pity I say. These pretty things were meant for tea!! 

 The set includes the teapot, the creamer and 6 cups and 8 saucers. As soon as I get my curio cabinet set up I shall display this set. I'm sooo excited! I need to dash off to declutter and dust a corner of my living room now. 

 happy thrifting ;)

Friday 5 March 2021

I had a dream...jewelery bonanza haul.

 I had a was back in 1990. I was in my second year of university. I was relatively wealthy. I was working several part-time jobs, and slowly building up a respectable collection of jewelery.  Money was fairly disposable, as I was renting an apartment, and I didn't own a car. I remember coveting the fabulous Byzantine jewelery line by Vendome. Lavish broaches, bold necklaces and precious earrings...on the trademark Vendome blue-velvet cards. 

I remember the Vendome jewelery rack at our larger Shoppers Drug Mart. I would go there every week to salivate over the opulent baubles.  Whenever I got a raise, that was my go-to shop to buy a new piece. The jewelery started at $25, which was a good chunk of my day's wages, and represented half of my weekly food budget. I remember plunking down my money and happily living off of cereal for a days, it was worth it to own a piece of this jewelery. Fast forward to 1995..and large gaudy jewelery was being replaced by sleek and minimal jewelery.  I remember walking through our mall, and being immediately distracted by Vendome jewelery on clearance....there were bins of it...hundreds of earrings, on the distinctive velvet cards. Reduced to $8.


I bought 2 pairs of earrings. And now, when I look on eBay, I see these earrings going for upwards of $40 a pair. I wish I could go back in time to scoop up all the jewelery as some sort of long term, investment scheme. Haha!

Today I was in sore need of a work break. As luck would have it, the local Salvation Army thrift was open, and so I nipped in and browsed happily.  I walked over to the jewelery cases, as last year I was lucky enough to scoop a Byzantine Vendome earring and broach set for $3 (insert shrieking noise here).

Well, I didn't find a earring and broach set...I found this.


(insert the sound of music playing as I started running in slow motion)

Some fancy jools.

Someone must have cleaned out their jewelery box. And as luck would have it, the entire lot was for sale for a very reasonable price (therefore I am not eatting cereal).

I don't need this jewelery, but I didn't hesitate to fork over my money. This type of haul keeps my endorphins high for weeks. I spent the last hour oohing and aahing at myself in the mirror. These earrings instantly add glamour and mystery to any outfit. If Sex and the City has taught us anything, it's that a beautiful piece of jewelery elevates even the most mundane clothing.

I was very happy to discover some vintage jewelery brands that I had never heard of before (thank you Etsy for being so informative).

Let me show you what I found.

My beloved Vendome. You can just make out the trademark "V"

The broach was unmarked, and it isn't the same quality as the Vendome. But it will do as a set. It's quite pretty, and I do not have any jewelery with tangerine marbled stones.

This blue set is soooo pretty! Art glass, aurora borealis rhinestones and blue crystals. I'm OBSESSED!!

This set is unmarked.  As a former ebayer, I'm confident I could flip it for the price I paid for the whole haul. But I plan to keep it and wear it lots!!

Karu Arke Inc. Emerald Green circular broach with matching earrings.  I"m not certain, but I"m pretty sure when I clipped these earrings on that I went back in time. I became a sultry vixen, in a form-fitting satin gown, with elbow length opera gloves and pancake makeup to die for. Then I blinked and I was me again...pony-tail, no makeup and an oversized men's sweater.

Another mis-matched set. I had to squint hard at the earrings to read the maker. It was John Lewis California. Blimey! Someone's granny had good taste in jewelery!

Thank goodness for the zoom feature on the iPhone. No need for a magnifying glass to read tiny writing anymore!

This set was easy to read. It's a Weiss fuschia pink rhinestone set. Pretty!

Another mismatched set. The earrings are Coro, and the exquisite broach is unmarked. It's GORGEOUS!!!

The crystal is heavy with sparkly, leaded facets. No hint of aurora borealis finish, so it's likely from the post-war era. It's sooo pretty and the crystals are pristine and clear, like the perfect winter ice. This will be gracing the neck of a white button-up in the near future.

I also found some fabulous china on this trip. I"ll show it to you next time, after I have setup my new (new to me!) cabinet!!

Until next time,

happy thrifting ;)

Monday 1 March 2021

The last February thrift trip!

Good morning friends! Whew, after a week or so of balmy temperatures...the mercury has dipped to -26 Celcius again. It's cold and blustery, but later on I will bundle up for a walk before I start work. I am working from home, and I am getting alarmed at the amount of time I spend glued to a monitor. So I am forcing myself back into my walking regimen. 3km in the morning, and a longer 5 km on the weekend.

Remember the plague of garbage that Vix experienced? I collect my share of garbage too. And sometimes litterbugs are kind enough to throw away something useable. Here are 3 reusable shopping totes. After quarantine, and a good soak in dishwashing detergent, they are good as new. Here they are draining in my bathtub. 

Throwing litter on the streets and on people's property is a terrible thing. I used to suffer a plague of litter at my flophouse. It wasn't uncommon to find McD wrappers (it's everywhere!), empty liquor containers, cigarette butts etc. Since I have erected a fence, the garbage hasn't stopped! The dirty blighters drop their garbage in the gap between my fence and an adjacent low wall. They sit on the wall to enjoy their snacks and smokes, and then leave their garbage behind. I guess I'll have to install spikes next.

I come from a long line of garbage pickers. I hate it when things are wasted. I remember visiting my mom's parents in Turkey. It was the seventies. And I remember leaning out of my grandmother's salon window to watch the pedestrians and the odd horse-drawn wagon along the cobblestone street below. The street was narrow and always immaculately swept by local labourers. I remember watching an elderly gentlemen going for a stroll when he stopped suddenly, stooped down, and picked up a 8" length of discarded cord. He thriftily coiled it up and tucked it into a pocket. He resumed his stroll. Waste not, want not. Sadly the last time I visited Turkey, there was McD and Starbucks everywhere..and a lot of garbage.

I hope that we don't get buried in McD wrappers. 

Onto my last February thrift.

 Our Covid cases have increased dramatically. And pent up from staying inside so much,  I went on a spree. I visited a Salvation Army, Value Village, and a sewist shop.

Here is my new white serving dish. I use it for flowers.

Thrifted white tray holding my new plants. Tablecloth, Pyrex fridgie, condiment set and tray are all thrifted. Dining table and chair purchased second hand or thrifted. 

I purchased this dish at Salvation Army. I think it was meant to hold an assortment of ors d'oeuvres. I already had one that I use to hold necessary clutter on my kitchen counter. I like it because it corrals the small bits and pieces.

A local sewist shop is going out of business.  It's a sad day when we loose another small business. I stopped in to purchase some ribbon and zippers (I bought lots!). I chatted with the proprietor, who is a hard-working independant woman. Sadly she is another victim of mass consumerism. When Covid appeared she sewed masks and seemed to prosper. But then mass produced masks became available and her business declined.  She decided to sell everything and move away. 

The ribbon will be used to mend a thrifted cardigan.

My shopping didn't end there. The Salvation Army store had more kitchen treasures. 

I already have the dinner plates in this dish set. I remember buying them when my youngest was a baby. I dithered over this set, which is complete with lunch plates and 4 mugs and saucers. I couldn't leave them behind.   On a nostalgia trip, I also bought the avacodo Pyrex dish. 

I absolutely love the designs!

This little white dish is nothing particularly special. But I have a small collection of blue plates, and I think this will be a nice addition. I plan to display them on a wall.

The Salvation Army was having a 50% off sale on jackets and winter outerwear. Because as soon as the temperature starts to spike, people want to buy spring clothing.

I snapped up this wool plaid jacket. It looks very pretty on! Lately I have been inspired by plaids and oversized althleisure. I've been watching YouTube vidoes for a South Korean brand called Ader Error. I absolutely luuuurve how the pieces are mixed together. I am absolutely a fan of comfortable well-made clothing that you can travel in...and also swaddle yourself in for a quick nap on the bus.

I plan to pair this jacket with a knit maxi skirt, plaid boots and a touque. And lavish amounts of rhinestone jewelery!

After the Salvation Army thrift store, I nipped into Value Village.

I found something.

Vintage 80's men's shirt.

        I found this fabulous oversized silk shirt. I was a little shocked at the price! I remember that these shirts were always on special for $30. Nonetheless it came home with me. After quarantine, I tossed it in the drier at high heat, as a prevention against bed bugs. Then I washed it carefully. It's hanging to dry and I can hardly wait to wear it!!

A few other things jumped into my cart as well! Some large pieces of fabric...

....and this!!

This pristine top is another vintage find. Circa late 1980's  I plan to wear it with my new plaid jacket!

I didn't stop there. 

Federal Circus Mixing bowls

I had been eyeing the circus set of mixing bowls. They were posted for sale on our local marketplace. The price was high, but reasonable considering it was a complete set.  I spent a week thinking about the purchase. Then I checked and it was still available. I decided it was meant to be mine. I haggled a bit with the vendor and she was gracious enough to add this fridgie set.

Pyrex fridge set

I ended my spree with one last purchase. I moved into my house 8 years ago and I am still furnishing it. I found a second hand curio cabinet for $80!!! It was from a moving sale! I immediately snapped it up. When the quarantine is over, I will set it up, and get rid of the makeshift shelves that currently occupy it's place. Bliss!

 Happy thrifting everyone. I'm off for a quick walk before work.

Stay safe :)

Sunday 21 February 2021

February Frugal Hacks part deux

 Hello friends! Today was a good day! It was warm enough to venture out in shirtsleeves...and after I finished work, I went thrifting!

Pliers, jump rings, earring studs and some little bits I stashed away 20 years ago...add a discarded gold chain...then add some seashell pendants from today's thrift haul.  It pays to know how to make jewelery, how to sew, how to knit or crochet etc. I keep a stash of jewelery making tools, beads, fabric, yarn..I have a mini warehouse of craft supplies. Some of it was free!


I am very pleased at how these turned out. I can hardly wait to wear my new seashell jewelery!

Here are some free and thrifted crafty items. Can you figure out what I made?

Spring's coming! 

happy thrifting ;)