Monday, May 23, 2011


This past weekend was a long weekend in Canada. We have Monday off to celebrate Queen Victoria's birthday. May Long is often associated with the kick-off to gardening or camping season and is either the first holiday or the first busy house project weekend of the summer. We were the latter, choosing to pack our weekend full of projects and errands. Having spotted some cool-looking thrift shops in the area last weekend, I specifically planned an outing this weekend to scour those shops.

Upon walking into the first shop, which I can only describe as an extreme hoarder who decided to try to sell a few items, I realized I had forgotten to bring my camera! You'll have to be satisfied by my description this time and next time I'll take some pictures.

Hoarder's Heaven

- Stuff piled upon stuff in a small front room with a cubby-hole with a TV & chair set up.

- A nice, older man running the shop with a sweet and curious little dog.

- A small doorway led to a possible add-on which contained two-stories of stuff piled upon stuff. The larger area reminded me of a garage or warehouse. It isn't properly sealed for rain or weather and only windows for light. I'll bring a flashlight next time.

- Up the rickety stairs to spot many shelves and boxes of old books. Some can't be accessed for the piles of other stuff in front of them.

- Narrow passage ways in loops, I spot three antique Singer sewing machines and wonder how on earth someone would even get it out if they wanted to buy it.

- I am feeling slightly terrified... what if this floor gives out while I'm rooting through boxes of books? There is a LOT of stuff on this upper level. Slightly disgusted... I walk by a wall of rows of 10-20 mattresses stacked on top of each other. Some look like they may be 20+ years old. Slightly thrilled... it's like a treasure hunt and there must be hidden gems in here somewhere.

I scored three books; an illustrated children's encyclopedia and two wildlife encyclopedias.

When I paid for the books the gentleman gave me a hard time for not buying the entire set of wildlife encyclopedias (I think there are 20+). I said I had to limit myself to what I could carry. He told me I was to come back soon for the rest. I just may. Next time I'll bring a camera, flashlight and ensure I have a sound will & life insurance plan at home.


When I arrived at my next stop the fellow who runs the place was just opening and bringing out the outside items so that people could get in and move around his shop. He apologized for the mess and I had to refrain from informing him where I had come from and that this was immaculate in comparison.

After a bit of looking and only a small amount of rooting, I was able to score a big, fat German atlas. The outside has seen better days, but the inside pages are pristine.

Salvation Army

I was a little surprised to see how busy this place was. I skipped the rows of clothes and headed straight to the appliances, books and tchotchkes at the back. I was delighted to find a charming little cardinal pepper shaker (alas, no salt partner) and a box of rolodex paper.

I've placed the books on my shelves in my studio and the box of paper is on my desk, as I've been busy illustrating on the sheets already. The cardinal is on my shelf where I put all my favourite things. I think it will keep Chantal Vincent's print company and watch over me while I work.


  1. Like mother (and grandfather), like daughter!

  2. Jess @ Brown Paper BunnyMay 26, 2011 at 3:36 AM

    Do you keep expecting him to fly across the room and attack pigs, Angry Birds style? :D

  3. These are amazing finds, especially the Red Cardinal

  4. Thanks, Anna. I've been making a lot of envelopes from those finds.


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