Thrifting

In the last two months Victor and I have been thrifting a lot more than usual. We’ve been going at least once a week if not more and have started to exploring a bunch of different stores, bazaars, vintage fairs, etcetera instead of our usual flea market and Village de Valeur.  I think part of it has to do with the fact we recently started watching a show called Canadian Pickers which is two guys who go all over Canada in a van and buy antiques (there is 3 seasons you can check out btw, it’s a really interesting show, they mostly focus on advertising and tins but it’s still fun to watch).  Victor has fallen in love with the idea of finding hidden gems and is even debating about opening up an online store to sell vintage items. I’ve always be into thrifting but never explored too much of Montreal scene as I’ve said before on here because it is a lot different than Vancouver’s which I was so use to. Out of us both I seem to be the only person who buys anything though. I’m also one of those people who hates to leave without buying at least one thing. Victor is picky. I will admit I am very random and like a lot of things most people wouldn’t bother with which makes it easier for me to always find something but he seriously loves going to these places and rarely comes with anything. It’s a lot of fun to do together regardless of what we find and have a shared thing we can do together on the weekends or before we go to work. Anyways enough rambling I wanted to show some of our finds from the last 2 months.

Photography

thrifting (3) thrifting (12) thrifting (13)I am always on the hunt for photography related items, it is my favourite thing to collect and hunt for. In the last month I’ve been able to pick 2 interesting cameras for $20 each that are still in working order which is amazing. I even found a few rolls of 127 film which are over 40 years old. Now the film probably will not work well but I really want to shoot with it and see what I get.  On top of that I have found a plethora of vintage photography, from 1800s tin types for $3 each to pre 1950’s photography for a quarter. I also found a Polaroid album to hold my vintage photography in and a slide viewer in a stunning blue color. I was so delighted after find the slide viewer because I’ve been looking for one for months and kept finding ugly brown versions of this that were too expensive, this one is cute and only $5. Lastly a simple frame and a Dymo gun that Victor will add to his growing collection of them.

Nerd and Childhood Things

thrifting (9) thrifting (11)thrifting (4)Christmas time is around the corner so why not buy some retro ornaments? The Grinch is my all-time favourite holiday movie, and they were $2. The Star Trek ornament of Spoc wasn’t in the original box but it’s a Hallmark edition from the late 90’s as well. I already have the Star Trek Enterprise from the same series that lights up so I thought why not and maybe I’ll end up with the entire collection so I can make a Star Trek tree someday.  Speaking of Star Trek I picked up another book to add to my budding collection for $1 and a vinyl book combo for $5.  Other nerdy items are Lord of the Rings audio books on tape which is a silly buy but childhood memories and the $5 price tag made them impossible to resist. Also disappointing Dinosaur collector cards that I thought would have cool artwork but sadly are dull. Only wasted a few dollars on them though so not all bad and I’ll probably give away to my friend’s kids. For toys I found a troll doll, a Muppet toy and book, a Fraggle Rock toy to finish off my collection of those (my first complete toy set!) and a rainbow slinky. I did mention I like random things already right?

Porcelain

thrifting (10)thrifting (15)There is one area Victor and me disagree when it comes to thrifting and collecting. He thinks porcelain anything is a waste of money but I can’t resist because they are usually very cheap and if all else you can repurpose them. Saucers and tea cups are especially easy to repurpose, I bought mine to use a decorative dish on my dresser to hold jewelry in, either individually or I might make a tiered tray out of the three. I also got a cabbage sugar dish with a matching spoon because it was undeniably cute even though I am not sure what exactly I will use it for. There are a few of them at this time that I don’t have any intended purpose for like the swan dishes and the seashell salt and pepper shakers but I will. The black elephant though is for Victor’s desk to go in-between his plants.

Odd and Ends

thrifting (8)thrifting (5) thrifting (1)thrifting (6)All the little bits and piece from all our trips: Ukrainian Easter eggs, a Coke Cola wooden sign, 70s containers, tins, pieces of a stop watch (for two separate DIY projects), a naughty newspaper clipping, communist pins,  and the one piece that rules them all – a possible mouse/Pokémon style taxidermy piece. The latter is enthralling to me, I don’t know why I like it because I don’t like taxidermy that much (vintage taxidermy is ethically okay with me but I take great offense to the killing of animals). It’s just so cute and weird, and strange, and very very odd.

Puzzles & Boardgames

thrifting (19) thrifting (18) thrifting (17)thrifting (16) thrifting (20)I started collecting vintage My Little Pony puzzles last summer and it sparked all these memories of making puzzles as a kid with my grandmother. So anytime I go to thrifting I am always on the lookout because I’d love to complete my collection someday. One thing I’ve noticed is when you have your eye on one particular type of item you notice everything else around it, in this case puzzles and board games. Most of these I imagine we will resell but right now I am just having fun bring them home and completing the puzzles. I look for 80s puzzles, odd ones that glow in the dark, sparkle, or have an interesting gimmick. We also might have found a store that sells board games and puzzles for a few bucks which helps. The one exception is the Star Trek puzzle which I bought for $10 after bargaining it down. The best find out of this lot is the games Pass the Pig and Clue, I still can’t believe that I found on same trip my favourite camping game and the 1960s version of my favourite board game.

What have you found lately thrifting?

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Things That Make Me Smile

Another Things that Make Me Smile post this month because the last one was a special one just for Easter. It’s been a really random month so these photos are all over the place. I can’t believe we are almost finished, April went by way too quickly for me. I guess being bedridden didn’t help, anyways here are the some of things that had me grinning ear to ear…

things that make me smile butter (3)Butter has been hanging out more and more on her cat palace.

things that make me smile (1)Origami paper, this set is so vibrant and has that Spring feeling – I love it.

things that make me smile (4)My friend Billy (Starchild Stela) gave me one of her adorable shrink pieces.  If you like you can check out her store where she has plenty.

things that make me smile (3)My new milk carton purse for those days I’m just walking around. It fits seriously nothing.

double exposure vieux montreal (18) double exposure vieux montreal (19)These two double exposures. Probably my favourite I took this weekend. Also being outside made me smile – I can’t wait for more walks when the weather is nicer.

things that make me smile butter (1) things that make me smile butter (2)We moved Butter’s old cat tree into the bedroom in front of the window and now she can spend time chillin’ there when I’m being lazy and still in bed.

things that make me smile (2)Star Trek engraved wood pieces I’m going to DIY into brooches and the newest zine from an artist I love Funnyskullgrin (Ally Burke).

things that make me smile (5)My small Hoya plant flowered! I love that I now own flowering plants.

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Spring Reads

spring reads (11)I don’t know about you but I love hearing about what people around me are reading. However I find online most websites/blogs I run into are geared mostly to YA novels (which I have no interest in) or post about very niche genres that for someone like my who dips my toes into various genres it seems too hard-core (that probably isn’t the right word but that’s how it feels). For a long time now I’ve wanted to find a way to share what I’m currently into reading without having to necessary do a review. I think it is a great thing to share but I also don’t want to feel like I’m doing a High School book report. I love getting intellectual about art books which is why I review them but I honestly feel like I have very limited knowledge about the history of comic books for example so most of my insight wouldn’t be that in depth enough to justify a review. Spring Reads was born out of all that and hopefully I will be doing one post every season to share with you guys great books/comics/zines and everything in-between that I’m reading. Also no plant was harmed in the making of this post, I just happened to amputate one of my lovely vine plants (that had grown as long as the length of my kitchen) by accident right before I planned to take these photos and I thought what better way to immortalize is before it died than use it as a bit of decor.

Biography

spring reads (13)The Dirty Version: On Stage, in the Studio, and in the Streets with Ol’ Dirty Bastard is a biography of the late ODB by his best friend Budda Monk and rap historian Mickey Hess. I’m half way through reading this book and it’s a compelling read. I am a long-time fan of ODB, and never knew much about him beside his persona and Wikipedia page so I thought this would be a good read. The author Budda Monk can be self-severing at times but you do get a sense of what Dirty’s life was really like behind the scenes. Anyone with a deep connection with their best friend knows that they sometimes know us better than ourselves. While I love biographies of musicians and don’t think you necessary have to be a fan to read most of them, due to the writing style of this book I wouldn’t recommend it as a standalone but if you have any interest in his music or rap history in general this is worth it.

Art

spring reads (8) spring reads (6)Fischerspooner: New Truth is a larger than life book (book size pun – hoo hoo) about the synth-pop/performance artists group, put together by no other than Fischerspooner. It’s really a book for fans of the group so it’d probably not be very interesting to anyone else. They just happen to be one of my favourite musical artists so it was an easy decision to pick up. I do actually plan on reviewing this book sometime this summer, so far I have only skimmed it and it looks like it has promise but might suffer a bit from self-indulgence.

spring reads (9)Elvgren: All His Glamorous American Pin-Ups was actually a spur of the moment purchase last month and I am so glad I did. It’s a beautiful book showcasing many of Elvgrens pin-up illustrations; in fact I wouldn’t be surprised if they managed to squeeze in all of them. Highly recommend if you love pin-ups or illustrations from that era. In fact I’d recommend it even if you aren’t – his work is sublime. I loved flipping through this book and I plan on doing a full review of it in early June.

Fantasy

spring reads (3)Tales from a Perilous Realm is a collection of fairie short stories from J.R.R. Tolkien, accompanied by illustrations from long time Tolkien illustrator Alan Lee. Included are the short stories: Farmer Giles of Ham, Leaf by Niggle, Smith of Wootton Major, Roverandom and poems of The Adventures of Tom Bombadil. Even though Tolkien is one of my favourite writers I just can’t seem to finish this book. I feel like I shouldered through most of this book so unless you are a Tolkien fanatic I’d probably skip out on reading this. It has an academic foreword which although informative is desperately dry. I also found parts of the book much weaker than I usually find his writing (the poems are not my favourite thing). Highlight of the book is the story of Roverandom which is precious and a must read in my opinion even if it’s more aimed at kids. I also enjoyed the story of Farmer Giles of Ham.

spring reads (2)Star Trek: The Undiscovered Country & Memory Prime are two books I found last week at a used book store on the way out to dinner and just had to get. I’ve just recently rekindled my love for Star Trek after rewatching the first two seasons of the original series and can’t get enough. Plus for $2 each it’s hard to not give them a shot. The first one was written after one of my favourite Star Trek movies and the second one, well it has a badass cover. I can’t wait to read these, it’s my first time reading anything in the Star Trek extended universe and I have no idea if these two will be any good. Excited to read! There is hundreds of Star Trek books so it’s hard to really start off but I think used books are a great way to get into an established fan base.

Gaphic Novels & Comics

spring reads (4)The Sworn Sword was original written by George R.R. Martin, adapted by Ben Avery, and illustrated by Mike Miller. This is the second book in a two part series of prequel graphic novels to accompany the existing graphic novels for A Game of Thrones (adapted from the original books). I’ve been having a hard time finding time to read Martin’s books and was curious to check out the graphic novels to get a better idea of material without necessary having to dedicate all my time to reading (lazy I know). I thought I would start with the prequels and work my way up to the other graphic novels. I have already read the first one and just finished reading The Sworn Sword earlier this week. I love the art style of Ben Avery and these stories stand alone as is, no prior knowledge about Game of Thrones required. With the lush illustrations and great story, both are easy recommendations. I plan of picking up another set of these to gift to my younger brother for his upcoming birthday. Worth checking them out if you are a fantasy fan.

spring reads (12)New X-Men Academy: Choosing Sides 5/6 is a comic I found while in Toronto this winter. It was in the $1 bin and after searching the whole store for a comic to buy I didn’t feel like walking away empty handed. Although I haven’t heard good things about this particular series I thought I’d check it out as I mostly only read vintage X-Men from the 70s and 80s and haven’t fallen in love with any of the newer series. It’s decent, and I probably would pick up the rest of them if I found them in a compilation.  For $1 I can’t complain. Let me know if there is a series of X-Men you love because I’m dying to sink my teeth into a good storyline.

Zines

spring reads (1)The two zines I pick up as far this spring are Uncommon Spaces & Everyday Places Vol. 2 by Erin Dorbin and Fur, Hide, & Bone by a community under the same name. Uncommon Spaces is photography zine about Erin’s trip down the transcontinental roadway in the US. All shots are taken with a vintage Polaroid 195 camera using expired Polaroid and Fujifilm 100C film. It’s a lovely collection of photographs and I have no doubt it will be a future zine of the month! The second zine Fur, Hide, & Bone is a mixture of drawings and stories about their favourite pieces of bones, taxidermy, and leftovers from dead animals. I really wanted to pick it because I’ve always been fascinated by dead creatures and terrified at the same time from an early age. Although I don’t think I would ever start my own collection I wanted to read about others and this zine was perfect for that. I love the illustrations the most.

Random

spring reads (10)Lighthouses Of Atlantic Canada: A Pictorial Travel Guide to Lighthouses of Quebec, New Brunswick, PEI, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland, which is a mouth full and not actually my book. I bought this for Victor because he has an obsession with lighthouses (no idea where he got that from) and wanted a book of lighthouses in our neck of the woods. He wants to use the book as a guide to figure out which lighthouses are accessible so me and him can go on adventures to visit them. Which is a grand idea and I hope this year we can knock a few off our list. We already sat down together and went through the book picking out our favourites. I just wish we had a car then we could make a much better go at it but I have faith. The book itself is really helpful as it has instructions on how to reach each, lovely photos and plenty of information about each lighthouse. So if you are into lighthouses or live on the East Coast and want to find something to do this summer this book is great.

Let me know in the comments what you’ve been reading this Spring!

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