Vintage Tuesday: April Finds

Unlike the month before me and Victor have been doing a lot more thrifting than to vintage fairs so there is lot of random bits and bobs this month as there is nothing I love more than something useless under $5. I am a sucker for cheap, cute, pointless things, so much that sometimes for my birthday or Christmas Victor gets mad at me cos all I ask for is useless shit. It’s not my fault though (well…). April was a pretty good month overall for both vintage and thrift items but most of the time we barely found more than 1 thing at a place at a time. So I can’t wait to start biking and go to some stores I haven’t been since last Summer. Let’s see what we found in April!

vintage tuesday (1)I can’t even, like you have no idea. Thrifting and antiquing in Montreal is so hard because everyone here knows their shit. Unlike most blogs which seem to perpetuate that they find cool shit for $1, I usually buy pretty fair, high prices for the good things I picked up. This though is probably my biggest steal, me and Victor were tripping over ourselves at how lucky we got. It’s a beautiful Imperial  “The Good Companion” typewriter from 1936, in working condition was $60. I know its hipster thing but I use to want to be writer when I was little and have always appreciated and wanted a nice antique typewriter. I always looked at them in passing but it’s so rare to find one that even works well enough that I normally don’t even bother looking these days. So I’ll totally concede and say Victor spotted this and made me look at it. I was delighted when we arrived home and besides having dry ribbon (which I fixed pretty quickly, thanks Amazon), there is nothing wrong with this beautiful creature. It’s stunning, and I had to resist and not share 700 photos of every detail of it (but I will surely do that in an upcoming Vintage Tuesday).  Apparently it’s also pretty common to find newer models of this typewriter for over $250.

vintage tuesday (18) vintage tuesday (19)The typewriter came with this charming engraved brush, ribbon, and calendar as well which I have hanging by my desk now, it’s ship detail makes it feel so perfect to me.  

vintage tuesday (12)Antique photo albums are my newest thing I am on the hunt for. I have so many vintage photographs I feel like they need a proper home and I love the black paper albums with leather covers of old. I tell myself that some day I’ll fill hem up with the photos I have and then write fake stories of this pretend family and make some sort of art project out of them….some day.

vintage tuesday (15)vintage tuesday (2)vintage tuesday (16)vintage tuesday (3)Victor has been on a real kick lately with pocket tins and rounded tobacco tins, his collection pretty much doubled this month. My favourite out of the new pocket tins is Picobac.

vintage tuesday (17) vintage tuesday (11)We found this Jiffy camera in the most curated and hipster antqiue store ever, Victor spends a lot of time on Facebook finding obsture places for us to visit. It was pretty much a dud store that we will likely never go again but this cute Jiffy camera was a pretty good price of $20 even though it has a chip in the back.

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Vintage Tuesday: Kodak No. 0 Brownie

no 0 brownie kodak (1)Today I wanted to share with you my newest addition to my vintage camera collection the Kodak No.0 Brownie made between 1928-1935. I bought this lovely and unique camera for $20 just a few weeks ago while antiquing shopping at a market. It uses 127 film, takes 6 x 4 cm exposures is made almost entirely out of cardboard and wood. Below I have a more detailed looked at the camera below because I just love it’s texture and details.

no 0 brownie kodak (2)This is actually the backside of the camera, probably one of the only cameras I own where the back plate is much prettier and detailed than the front.   no 0 brownie kodak (5)The front side of the camera, and although it looks like glass should be there this camera original had none.  You can also see the aperture is open like a photo is being taken. 

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The top side of the camera where you can find the metal clasp to opening the back of the camera, a viewfinder and the metal tap that gives you unlimited exposure. no 0 brownie kodak (8)The side of the camera where you have the second viewfinder and the simple shutter. As well the  lever/knob for advancing the film. Out of all my cameras this is probably the most decorative film advancement I’ve seen, it’s so cute. no 0 brownie kodak (6) no 0 brownie kodak (7)A peak inside the camera, which is made almost entirely out of wood and velvet.

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Vintage Tuesday: Landscape Vintage Slides

vintage slidesLast year I made Victor a slide lamp with landscape vintage slides with voyages from around the world, including the Great Wall of China. I found the perfect selection of slides for him out of my collection for his travelling spirit. Before I make anything with slides I always scan them as I hate the idea of the photo be lost forever so here is look at some of slides I used on his lamp from various people! Ps. If you are interested on how I made the slide lamp, check out my DIY here.

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Vintage Tuesday: Girly Thrift

girly thrift (3)When I’m thriting or at antique fairs I normally end up seeking out and buying mostly camera and photography related type items so today I thought I’d share some of my ‘girly thrift’. I know girly might be considered a stereotypical nonexclusive word but I was looking for a broad term that included all the little nick nacks I have around the house for no other reason than they are cute. Anyways, starting off are my retro kitty porcelain salt and pepper shakers and cat figure that I adore.

girly thrift (8)Hello Kitty phone that lights up bought for $1, I don’t know who uses a landline anymore but I use it as a book end.

girly thrift (6)Two vintage frames of mixed media art consisting of an oil painted background with the swans and doves  made with real feathers.

girly thrift (7)A retro Coke Cola wooden display, likely made in the 1970’s based of an older tin sign.

girly thrift (15)A retro My Little Pony missing it’s tail given as a trade.

retro my little pony (3)retro my little pony (2)Found at Puces St-Henri this last weekend, I rarely find My Litte Pony’s while at flea markets that are worth buying so I was excited. The price of $20 for all 3 was a bit much but I caved.

girly thrift (9)Vintage taxidermy keychain, I consider it my Pokemon.

girly thrift (12)Darling chocolate tin featuring a cat, unsure of year but probably after 1950s.

girly thriftA vintage Talc tin for Evening in Paris, likely 1920s era.

sailor moon (2)Not thrifted but had to include my desktop Sailor Scouts.

girly thrift (14)And lastly my grandmother’s perfume bottle, which has a delightful shape and color.

Happy Thrifting!

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Vintage Tuesday: March Finds

march finds (1)Me and Victor have gone all in into antiquing/thrifting every month and have been finding wonderful things to add to our growing oddities, collections and general home decor. Although we have been antiquing far more than going to second hand stores this year but I find those in the winter season are a task. I thought however why not share what we find each month with you, I mean I usually end up sharing a bit on Instagram or a random post so it’d be nice to document the whole month. I may skip some months if I don’t find much but let’s get on with March…

no 0 brownie kodak (1)One of my favourite finds of the month is this adorable  Kodak Brownie No. 0 . One of the best cameras I’ve seen in awhile. It could have been made anywhere between 1914-1935.

vintage finds (2)My adorable creature. I know, I know. Please I get it if this isn’t your thing. To be honest with you, I don’t even know why I like them. I remember my dad having a pelt of a muskrat or beaver when I was younger and being horrified by it. Most taxidermy horrifies me still, but there is something about this one…This isn’t even my first one, I actually have three other ‘cat’-like creatures. The first one I bought because it looked like a Pokemon and very soft. The next two were a set and this one I almost resisted because I didn’t want this to be a ‘thing’.

vintage finds (9) vintage finds (10)View-Master from the 1940s made with bakelite, this was a such a find. I didn’t even know they made anything besides the plastic toy versions of my youth.

vintage finds (3)A Swee-Touch-Nee tea and chocolate tin from around the 1940s. I want to start a collection of tins that look like chests to decorate my bedroom with and keep jewelry in. 

vintage finds (1)Who doesn’t want a vintage metal bell? No? Just me? Alright. I actually stood at the table where they were selling a bunch of these and chimed everyone a few times to find the one with the best sound, which was probably a pretty annoying thing to do, lol.

vintage finds (7) vintage finds (8)A selection of vintage photography including one tintype. The last mounted photograph is so stunning, please enlarge it and look at the details – it’s breath taking.  Most of these are much larger format than I usually find for that era and a few landscapes so a really good haul, the cost was much higher than I usually pay but I couldn’t resist.

vintage finds (4)Victor has started collecting vintage tobacco pocket tins, this is a common standard Prince Albert tin. I think I’ll dedicate a whole post to all the ones he has because he’s actually gotten quite a few since Christmas however this is the only one picked up in March.

vintage finds (11)These camera are from a trip in February but I thought I’d share them anyways. The Baby Brownie camera from 1934-1941 and Instamatic X-15 from 1970-1976, both made by Kodak. Both were a steal at $20 for the Baby Brownie and $10 for the Instamatic.

vintage finds (5)I love this blue album, my mother actually had a bunch of these when I was a kid with pictures of her family in them. This album had a young women and her friends at a horse ranch.

Happy Thrifting! march finds (2)

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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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Pick of the Week: Haunted Air

haunter airHaunted Air

Haunted Air by Ossian Brown is a 216 paged book that shows off one man’s collection of vintage Halloween photography, from ghosts to ghouls. It includes a foreword by David Lynch and a prologue by Geoff Cox and a brief historical note. It contains hundreds of devilish photographs taken on Halloween from the turn of the last century, and even includes one tintype that is likely dated back before 1900s.  The photographs themselves are haunting and encapsulate the spirit of the holiday and incredible for one man’s personal collection. I enjoyed the way the photographs are presented as is, which I feel is important when showing vintage photography. However and this something I normally don’t talk about in my reviews as monetary value is very subjective to the person, I felt Haunted Air was lacking in the quality and quantity for the price I paid. The book is about two times too big for even the largest of photographs shown inside of it, the photographs are just swimming in white background and I think that greatly detracts from them. Not to mention about 50% of the pages don’t even feature any photography on them at all, leaving so much wasted space and adding to the book feeling lacking; the 216 pages probably yields less than 100 photographs which is kind of absurd to me. As well none of the photographs have any information on them, no dates, no locations, nothing about their historical context except and inferred interpretation that they are taken around Halloween. Not to mention with a quick Google search you can find the finest and creepiest of all vintage Halloween photography that exists that is vastly and far superior to any photograph you will find in this book. I understand one man is not going to have all the greatest Halloween photographs from a certain period of time at his grasp but why create a book of your collection if it isn’t worth being seen in its entirety? As well the foreword by David Lynch is most likely included at the beginning or at all mostly because of whom he is (and I love his movies). It’s not even close to a decent foreword as it basically can be summed up as “I had a friend who showed me these photographs and I like them”, it doesn’t even mention the core of the collection is based around the holiday so if you picked up this book and read the forward and wanted to gleam what the concept was, you couldn’t. And on the other hand the prologue is basically paragraphs and paragraphs about what can be described as poetry about Halloween using even word in the dictionary that is even remotely connected to the holiday. At times I didn’t even know what Geoff Cox was on about, it sounded like he was describing murder half the time. I also have a bone to pick when he says “These are pictures of the dead” – no they are not, they are photos of people who have most likely died but they were very much alive in the photo. It’s a rubbish thing to say when there are many examples of photography of actual dead people, a morbid and fascinating practice of the last 1800s that on its own is far more hauntings and fascinating than this entire collection. The historical note is the only thing I enjoyed reading and should have been at the forward as the photos are nothing without their historical context to begin with. I adore vintage photography, and if this book was half the number of pages and half the price I would be raving about it right now despite not being the greatest example of vintage Halloween photography. I’d love it just because it was one man’s collection and I respect the work he must have done to collect it. However it’s not, it’s a grossly overpriced and completely lacking in almost every way. If you are dying to see more vintage Halloween photography than what you can see for free online, it’s the only book like it so like me you may want to have it anyways despite of what I’ve said but if you don’t fall into the extremely niche subsection – I wouldn’t bother.

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Vintage Tuesday: Looking Back

family vintage photography

When I look back at 1900s photography it’s always with great fondness and admiration, however it’s a whole another thing to ‘know’ the people in the photos. I’ve never really had a close relationship with my family, especially my grandparents on either side so I really missed out being able to go through their photo albums and in their later years discovering more about them as an adult. The only impression about my grandmother’s side of the family besides knowing they were German famers in Alberta who lived in a mostly Ukraine populated area was the cameo portraits my grandmother had in her room of her great grandparents I believe. I loved look at them so much because they were very striking and regal and very much of a moment of history, that moment before photography became the way we captured ourselves instead of oil on canvas. Much to my delight I was given a few scans of that side of the family, dating from the early 1900s, like the above photo of my grandmother’s grandparents. There aren’t many photos from the war times so the ones below will be from the 1940s to 1950s but I thought I’d show the great photography of my one side of family today.

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My grandmother, who is in most of these photos is a small child with her older sister Trudie and other family members like her parents. Mostly taken in Southern Alberta where they lived.
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I will definitely be sharing some more another time, as I love these. The one of my grandmother and the bear that close is surreal. She always love camping and I can see why now. Let me know in the comments below if you have any great photos to remember your grandparents or great grandparents by.

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Vintage Tuesday: Thrifting Vancouver

When I was in Vancouver earlier this summer I had a chance to do some thrifting. I always say that Montreal thrifting if just not on par with what I was use to on the West Coast so it was great to do a bit of thrift shopping while there. It’s hard for me to really pinpoint why it feels like that but antique stores are abundant here in Montreal and I feel that thrift stores get picked apart way before the average person gets to really look through them. While in Vancouver we just wandered past a thrift store while exploring and it felt like we hit a goldmine of amazing stuff with no effort on our part. Same with used book stores, I love hunting for classic Agatha Christie books with covers from around the 70’s and I rarely find them here in French or English. So I went a little crazy and almost couldn’t fit what I got into my suitcase (it was really really close). It’s been awhile since I showed you my thrift finds so I’d wanted to show you all the random wonderful things I picked up!

thrifting  (2)As I mentioned above I love finding used Agatha Christie books with great covers. I am not looking for a specific illustration series as I feel like that’d be too hard to collect but I do tend to prefer the covers from the late 60’s and 70’s. These 3 books hit the bill to a tee. I had to stop myself from buying a suitcase of them because the one used book store we went to had a lot of them. I decided on these since they had the best covers and were $4 each.

thrifting  (1)All the items from the above and below photos were purchased in the same thrift store (the goldmine) in New Westminster for $16. We noticed as we walked in that they had a sale on for 50% off puzzles and games and I apparently decided I NEEDED puzzles that day. The first one is a holographic planet puzzle that I honestly think will take me a month to finish. Regardless how could I resist a puzzle where the image moves? As well I found a Clue puzzle where you can actually solve a crime but putting the puzzle together and using a red magnifying glass to find clues. That may seem really lame to some people but I am a huge Clue fan and it’s my favourite childhood board game so figuring who did it, in what room, with what weapon through a puzzle is cool to me.  I actually ended up purchasing a Harry Potter puzzle (not pictured) for my friend which does a similar thing and had a decoder that reveals hidden objects in the puzzle. We put it together while I was staying at her house and it was really neat but sadly the decoder wasn’t in the box. Luckily I will not having any issues with the Clue puzzle because despite being from 1990’s it had never been opened before, until of course we tried to make it too and utterly failed because it doesn’t show you a picture of the finished puzzle and is 70% made up of the same design – one day though I will finished it and it’ll be amazing.  For Victor I also picked up a mobile of glow in the dark plants as I want to create a sort of sci-fi theme to his studio room if he lets me and a Polaroid photo album from the 70’s or 80’s for my vintage photography.

thrifting  (3)The big find of the whole trip though and the biggest steal is the slide duplicator pictured above. It is like a basic microscope that allows you to put a slide at the bottom and expose to light while aiming your camera through to photograph the slide. Of all the things to find thrifting this was not something I would expect to find and it’s such a perfect item for me considering my ever growing collection of slides. Not to mention that it was only $4. Already tested it out and it’s perfect.

thrifting  (5)The last two items were found near my friend Nicole’s house who after seeing what me and Victor found wanted to go thrifting too. We didn’t find much but I did find this really weird book for teenagers that is very morbid and has quotes from a ton of 90’s alternative bands like Radiohead. It’s weird and really melodramatic but I wanted the book for a craft project so the story is not too important. The statue of the girl with cherry blossoms was a cute souvenir of the trip but sadly they covered it in tape so the paint job is ruined. I might spray paint it gold and try to customize it instead but I do love its current paint job. That is it though, all the random things I decided to buy. Let me know in the comments what your last haul was.

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Vintage Tuesday: Tintypes

tintype photography

For Christmas Victor bought me 10 tintype photographs from the 1800’s to add to my vintage photography collection. We found these together while at a flea market back in earlier December. The vendor had a huge selection of random stuff and just sitting in a cigar box he had over 40 tintypes. Originally they were $10 per piece which is usually the average the price for them; however I wasn’t too keen on paying that much considering the obvious damage and scratches they had (it always makes me sad when I see photography not being stored properly). I decided to go through the pile and select all the ones I really thought had interesting characters or were more on the unusual side. I am fascinated by dead portraitures that were common in the tintype era, as well as ones featuring taxidermy animals. After picking these out we were able to haggle the guy down to $5 for each which was amazing. Sadly he didn’t have any information about where these were from or dates but judging by the material I would say they are from late 1800s or possibly earlier 1900s. I thought I’d share them with you as I find them fascinating to look at.  Victor’s favourite one is of the dead child and mine is of gentleman I’ve dubbed “Wolverine”. Let me know in the comments which one is your favourite, and if you have any tintypes yourself.

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