Thursday, June 25, 2015

Amazing ephemera

Continuing on with my finds from over the border in Ontario, here are my final finds from a few other towns participating in that big clean up week.

I'll start with some stuff I grabbed at a house with a sold sign out front...

In bag number 1, I found a box full of unused batteries. One package still completely unopened. All the loose batteries at the bottom of the box tested good on my battery tester.

 46 cents in pennies

and  $6.55 in Canadian Tire money

Bag number 2 contained this whistling and dancing jolly Santa

3 packages of unopened elastics for those silly band looms that kids are really into these days,  .30¢ in more Canadian Tire money, a small unicorn trinket, a piece of purple rock quartz, tiny sewing scissors, a plug-in pest control device, a computer mouse from the Caterpillar company, a packaged fossil which I assume came from a gift shop somewhere, and .83¢ in change.

 A Game Boy Advance with 4 games- Pokeman Fire Red, Pokeman Leaf Green, Pokeman Mystery Dungeon Red Rescue Team, and Yoshi's Island, 2 working flashlights, And 8gb & 32gb USB sticks. 

The garbage man was coming, so I quickly checked one more bag. I almost left it to get my car out of the way, but the garbage man was awesome and asked me if I wanted him to wait while I grabbed more stuff. I grabbed the bag, said I was all done, thanked him, and I was off again. 

Inside the bag I found assorted jewellery and .42¢ in loose change

and a few perfumes

At my next stop I grabbed 2 small sized hockey nets for my kids, and after I loaded them into my car, I decided to check the garbage bag that was out there with them.

I tore open a small hole and saw a small green circle that I knew was an XBox. Inside the machine was a Shrek game.

Not too far away I grabbed some art at the curb. I can't make out the signature on the painting to the left, and the framed piece on the right is a cross stitch piece.

There were 2 more empty frames as well that I also picked up...

 About a month ago I picked up a very old framed print. The frame was pretty plain with some raised flower details in the corners, but it was really wrecked. The flower details were all broken and the wood of the frame was chipped. I didn't post it on the blog, and I was considering just getting rid of it, but I really liked the print inside. I put it to the side until I could figure out whet to do with it. When I brought the above frame on the left home, I knew it would be perfect for the print. Amazingly, the glass from the print frame fit perfectly, as did the print itself.

Here is the print which has a signature of one W. H. Thompson. There isn't really any info online about the artist, but I found out the piece is called Autumn Golden Fleece. I think this new frame really compliments it well.

I also managed to get back to the pile where I found all the vintage educational stuff  in my last post. I wanted to look through it a bit more thoroughly as their garbage pick up hadn't come yet. I found one more piece of the Instructo felt board Farm set (yay!), and a bunch of vintage dinosaur prints sitting inside a folded up dinosaur poster.

Here is the poster, it's unfortunately got a pretty deep fold crease down the middle...

And here are the awesome prints that were inside...

At my last stop as I was going through some of the bags, I was greeted by a lady who was bringing out more stuff. She told me her father had recently died and that she was cleaning out the house to get it ready to sell. I assured her that I wasn't going to leave a mess, and she was quite happy to let me go through everything, even telling me what was in each bag and offering me more stuff as she brought it out from the house. 

Funnily, most of the stuff she was offering me I considered junk, and most of the stuff she showed me in the bags, she considered junk. Here is the stuff I managed to save from her pile...

An old gold plated Gillette razor set

3 old packages of hairnets

Wrapped in a bag was this souvenier set from Leask, Saskatchewan

An old Lowney's chocolates box

 Some old booklets. The ones on the bottom row are like greeting cards, except they are a few pages long filled with poems and nice pictures. I have never seen cards like this before, they are like little books. At the top we have the 1974 Ford car buyer's digest, and a Rip Van Winkle book. There is no date printed on the book. It is rather old, but I haven't been able to find anything online about it.

Here is the centre of the Ford booklet. Check out all those funky station wagons, they're as big as boats!

I also found this old Royal Readers school book

From 1902

As well as a few more old school books

These small mushroom themed Tally cards. I'm not sure what these were used for...maybe card games?

A tuning fork and small whistle in the tune of C

and this old globe savings bank

I also found a small "Uniform code of operating rules" book for CN Rail. With it was this awesome collection of CN Rail ephemera. There are all kinds of papers and cards pertaining to someone's job, or I should say jobs, because as I read through them, you could see how through the years he moved up from working in the yards to becoming an engineer, at CN Rail. There are eye exam cards, rail yard passes, insurance papers, pay stubs, ID cards, and more. Really amazing pieces of history dating back to as early as 1947.

Lastly, I pulled out this photo album and an old box. The box felt heavy, so I took a peek inside. The lady said that this was just "old junk, you don't want that" but I saw what real treasure was inside.

Inside was a collection of souvenirs from a well travelled man...

There were many old fold out post card books from various cities in amazing condition. Some of it dated as early as the 1940's

old maps, pamphlets and ticket stubs...

Tourist guides and so much more. Just an all around amazing collection. I can't believe it was considered junk. My husband and I spent hours looking through these beautiful blasts from the past.

All of the stuff I didn't post about added up to another nice amount of stuff to drop off at the second hand store.

I also found out about a town wide sale not too far from here, so I scoped it out and found a nice spot (so I thought) at the edge of town to set up all my stuff. I sat there for 4 hours, but people just drove by and didn't stop even though there was plenty of space to do so. I just didn't understand it. The town was packed with people, there were hundreds of cars going by, but barely anyone stopped at my spot. At the end of it, all I ended up with was a lousy $26.85, and 2 severely sun burned knees. 

The effort of packing it all up into my van, unpacking it all there, and then re-packing it all up to go back home really sucked, but in the end I still enjoyed a beautiful day, got some exercise with all that packing and unpacking, and made 26 dollars without really any loss to myself, so I still consider it a win :)

Until my next post!

Monday, June 15, 2015


As promised in my last post, here are some more of my finds from over the border in Ontario :)

I stopped at a pile in the middle of nowhere because I noticed some of those sparkly decorations you see in the box in the top of this picture. After checking out the pile, I pulled out 7 boxes full of craft supplies. I'd say 95% of them were still in their original packages or had tags attached to them. The rest were completed craft projects. Some of those were wrapped and had hand written price tags on them which made me think that someone possibly had some grandiose plans of making and selling craft items at craft fairs. Maybe it all didn't work out, or life got in the way, but it seemed like an entire craft store was tossed out.

There were also 2 reusable shopping bags full of beads. Some were still in their original packages, and some were opened and put in ziplock bags...and they were heavy!

Out of all of it, I had to do 2 gluing repairs on the religious plaques, and I saved a few ornaments with tags and price tags still on them that we'll be able to sell for my kid's school fundraiser at Christmas time.

In one of the boxes were also these 2 wall hanging plaques of Jesus and Mary. They seem to be made of plaster or maybe chalkware. 

At another spot I grabbed this H2O floor steamer mop. All the extras were put in a bag and tied to it which told me that it most likely worked just fine and the owners included everything in hopes that someone would grab it...namely me :D And yes, I plugged it in at home and it worked just fine.

This little Hoover vacuum was also in the pile, so I took the chance on it and grabbed it at the same time.

When testing it at home, everything looked fine, but the suction was pretty bad. One look in the hose and I could see what the problem was. There was a huge clog of wood chips inside. I managed to get it all out, and low and behold, it works fine now. My husband used it on the weekend to clean out his car :)

I stopped at another huge pile in the middle of nowhere again. This time some old encyclopedias and furniture caught me eye. The books unfortunately were in terrible shape. I took one piece of furniture with me, a small cupboard made of real wood (no pics, already donated), and then I decided to peek into a box that was set out with everything. 

Inside I saw a receipt for Michael's craft store and a bunch of stuff still wrapped. I didn't know at the time what they were, I thought maybe photo albums. I just grabbed them and threw them into my car.

At home when I went through it, I found 14 packages of unopened 40 count blank black invitations and envelopes, and one package of tuxedo favour boxes.

Here is the grand total for all of it on the receipt...Yowza.

 At another stop nearby I scored this indoor golf putting system.

Then a bit further, I came across a pile with this awesome vintage cat themed stand up chalkboard

A Massimo leather bag

A bunch of dish and kitchen ware. The pink bowl is a Pyrex which some collectors go nuts for. I donated this one, along with the dishes and spice rack, for someone to find at the second hand store.

The beer stein mugs are my favourite though :) How awesome are they? These I kept. I don't have room for them unfortunately, but they will make me a nice amount of cash, so they'll go up for sale.

Mixed in with the kitchen stuff was also a few shoe formers, an old measuring tape, 2 old frames that were attached together as a decoration, and inside a baggie, a bunch of wooden pegs or pins of some kind. If anyone knows what they are or what they do, please leave me a comment :)

The next pile I stopped at was one of the biggest wastes I've yet to come across. I stopped because there were some big piles of books out at the curb along with a big box and many oddly shaped bags. The books were bound together in groups with duct tape and mostly french, so I didn't grab any of them. I did grab one pile of english books because I saw one book on fishing that I knew my son would want to look at. I then peeked into the rest of the bags and started loading them all into my car.

Here is what I found inside them...

This beautiful angel is huge! The top of her head touches the edge of my counter tops in the kitchen.

She is gorgeous, why, oh why, would they bag her up and put her in the garbage?

In another bag was another angel and a Santa Claus, these ones are about 2.5 feet tall

and a singing & dancing Penguin. He still had his batteries inside and he worked fine.

Squished in was yet another angel decoration. This one winds up and plays a sweet little tune while the wings slowly move up and down and the hands/arms move to look like they are stroking the strings of the harp. Unfortunately, because she was shoved into the bag, the top part of the background (which is a very thick heavy cardboard almost like wood) cracked almost completely off. I managed to clamp it and glue it back on, but you can still see the line where it was bent off. What a shame :(

Next up in another bag was Mr. and Mrs. Claus. I plugged them in and not only did their lights work, but they also started gently moving :)

In the rest of the bags I pulled out:

A Keytar

An awesome mens vintage fringed leather jacket

and a woman's vintage fringe leather jacket

An NBA hoodie with various team jersey patches sewn on it

and a never worn pant suit with the tags still attached

 Suede-brand new, suede-brand new, leather-barely worn, and suede-slightly worn

A bunch of candle and decorative doodads. The snowman seems to be hand blown and very heavy. My husband took the Buddha(?) riding a koi to his office. If anyone knows who the staue is of, please let me know...searching "Asian man riding a koi statue" on Google is getting me nowhere :P

A Game Boy color with the game Solar Striker loaded in the back

An old ALF stuffie with suction cups to hang on a car window. Damn right he went right up in my car :)

Wrapped up in some bubble wrap in a non-descript box was this little set of stained glass moons and stars. It would make a cute little mobile I think :)

 This unused staionary set. There were 4 sets of cards with 4 different art photos on them with matching envelopes, a bunch of stationary and envelopes to match the paper. The only thing that was missing was the set's pen.

In addition to 2 full garbage bags of clothing which I put to the side for the second hand store, there were  many brand new never used hats, gloves and mittens

 And 3 strands of LED outdoor Christmas lights

 Here is what my kitchen looked like as I was sorting through it all. What a disaster area! I'll never understand why all this stuff wasn't put out at the curb without the boxes and bags and just a big sign saying "FREE!" It would have been picked up and taken in no time, but by hiding it away in bags and boxes, nobody sees it and it would have ended up in the landfill. What a horrible waste that would have been :(

I also had to go to the town where they throw all those books into the recycle bins, so I decided to stop to see if anything was in them. I guess I got there at a good time, because all 4 of their bins were lined up and full to the brim. Here are the books I managed to save...

and these awesome old Nancy Drew books from the 40's and 50's

It all added up to another big drop-off for the second hand store :)

Stay tuned for even more over the border finds coming soon!