Thrift Store Finds

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Hi! Here’s what I got during a recent visit to the Value Village Thrift Store at Bloor and Lansdowne in Toronto.

First up is this vintage piece that goes along with my small collection of amber pressed glass items. I use these things to serve hors d’eouvres when company comes over, and this elongated bowl will be handy for crackers or sliced French bread.

This particular piece has the added feature of being “carnival glass”, meaning that it has a finish to it that gives it a colourful iridescence.

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Displayed with the other previously thrifted pieces …

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Here’s a nice thick silver-plated serving tray to add to another of my small collections. I use these old trays often, even more-so now that the weather has warmed out and we’re regularly bringing stuff outside.

This one, made in the USA by F.B. Rogers, is in perfect condition, although it needs of a bit of cleaning up. I prefer a bit of an old tarnished look, so I’ll just wash it with soap and water and then give it a “baking soda and aluminum foil” bath, as described in this post. I find that this method removes some of the tarnish while still leaving a desired patina.

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Speaking of sitting outside, it’s time for candles out there and this heavy purple crystal holder will display them in style. It still had its original paper tag saying “Made in Czechoslovakia” on it before I washed it, which then disintegrated in the water. The fact that it said Czechoslovakia rather than Czech Republic indicates that it was made prior to 1993, making it at least 23 years old. You’d never know because it looks like it’s brand new. It’s a lovely luxury piece acquired at a thrift store price!

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Here’s a small ceramic vase with a metallic finish, that I thought was quite nice. I was on the look out for a vase with a narrow opening, within which one or two blooms would stand upright. This one will go well with all the silver and chrome things we have about the place, and will go perfectly with the winter wonderland / frosty decor that I put out in January and February.

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I was happy to find this pretty pure cotton bed-sheet, made by the now defunct Canadian brand Tex-made, a division of what was once one of Canada’s premiere companies, credited with keeping many people employed during the great depression, Dominion Textile.

The fact that the label doesn’t specifically state that it is 100% cotton, indicates that it was made prior to the invention of polyester. Back then it was assumed that all bed linens were 100% cotton, so they didn’t have to state that on the labels. This leads me to conclude it is from the early 1950s. Seems that it’s been stored in someone’s cupboard for the past 60+ years.

And now I’m wondering if I’ll have the guts to wash it and use it! That is my plan anyway, though I haven’t thrown it in the washer yet. While I was excited to find this previously unused vintage treasure, sometimes I prefer my thrifted linens to show some signs of wear, so I don’t feel badly about going ahead and using them without worrying about ruining their pristine condition. Removing tags and washing these kinds of things feels like ruining them for a future generation. I guess I’m still remembering the frown I got from an old friend in the vintage business, when I told her I’d washed away the sticker-tag from an old figurine of an elf that I once bought off eBay.

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I’ll be putting this next item away for a few months, but will surely be glad to pull it out once the weather cools down again. This very large and thick silk scarf, with hand-rolled edges, was made by an Italian company called Coruso, who made scarves in the 60s and 70s. It is very soft and lush and features one of my favourite colour combos, red and black.

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Lastly, I found a little something for Nick. He uses Daytimer planners and every Christmas I get him the calendar for the new year as a stocking-stuffer. I also like to pick up some accessory pages or items to go with the calendar. So, since I shop for Daytimer products regularly, I’m fully aware of how pricey those things are! That being the case, I knew this never used, fully-loaded, genuine Daytimer Planner was an extremely good find for $3.99.

It has all kinds of goodies in it, including a calendar that you write the dates on yourself, making it good for any year — I’ll have to think up a new idea for Christmas this year! I especially like the colourful pocketed pages.

He was very happy with his present and has wrapped it up to save until his current binder calls it quits.

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And that’s it. I got all this goodness for under $30 cdn!

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Thanks very much for checking out my post.
xo loulou

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Posted in Thrift Store Shopping | 2 Comments

A Beautiful Night Out : The Royal Occasion at The Royal Conservatory of Music

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Our friend Isabel works at The Royal Conservatory of Music, who host a lovely gala every year, called “The Royal Occasion”, during which three people who’ve made a significant contribution to Canadian music are named Honorary Fellows.

Lucky for us, for the last four years, Isabel has kindly offered us a couple of tickets to the show portion of the evening and the drinks and dessert reception that follow it.

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^ Nick happened to look back at me just at the right moment. ^

There is also a dinner preceding the show, for their fundraising supporters. We usually get a quick peek at the dining area as we pass it to go into Koerner Hall, and the decor and tables always look absolutely gorgeous in their candle-lit setting within the glass enclosure that is the galleria area of the hall.

This year, the colour theme was hot pink, black and white.

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In Koerner Hall …

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^ I had no idea what the colour theme would be this year, but I fit right in with my hot pink nails and vintage mohair wrap. ^

This year the recipients of the fellowships were iconic singer/songwriter k.d. Lang, concert piano player Jon Kimura Parker, and generous supporter of arts and culture in Canada, the W. Garfield Weston Foundation. The show combines speeches, the unveiling of the plaques, and performances by the honorees and by some current students and alumnus of the conservatory, who this year included 15 year old violinist Alice Lee, leading an ensemble in Vivaldi’s Spring part of Four Seasons. The music was wonderful, made better by the excellent acoustics inherent in what is thought to be one of the finest concert venues in the world.

I’ve always loved k.d. Lang’s extraordinary singing voice and was really excited for her part. Accompanied by a pianist, she sang Tony Bennett’s What a Wonderful World and Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. The links lead to Youtube videos of her singing these same songs, if you’d like to hear how beautifully she does them.

I was informed by an usher who spied my tiny camera, that photos weren’t allowed during the show, and it took all my efforts to refrain from snapping a few sneaky shots to show you, especially as I watched all the bright lights of phones taking pictures, sprinkled throughout the audience. So, I’ll leave you with a descriptive visual instead – the presenters and performers were resplendent in formalwear and pretty gowns, with k.d. wearing a black pant-suit and bare feet.

Leaving the hall after the show, we entered the enchantingly decorated reception area. Strategically placed lamps and flickering candles lit the wide variety of tempting desserts, set out on counters. Gorgeous bouquets of perfect pink flowers decorated the tables, wine was offered, and live New Orleans Style Jazz music was performed by the Red Hot Ramble. The stunning effect was the work of 10tation Event Catering, Frangipane Patisserie, and Emblem Flowers — anyone getting married this summer would do well to consider these talented event creators for their party. It was all so very well done.

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^ The desserts I tried were as delicious as they were nice to look at, with these exquisite lemon meringue tarts being my favourite. ^

Our friend Andrea was there too. We actually first met her through Isabel at one of these events four years ago, so it’s our friendiversary this week!

Since we’d been in the balcony for the show, we exited up on the second floor, where we found a nice table away from the thick of the crowd.

Now in hindsight, I regret not having wandered away for a bit to take more photos than I did. I may even have been able to snag a selfie with k.d., like I did with Ron Sexsmith a couple of years ago – seen in this post.

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Midnight rolled around too quickly and it was time to go. I realized I hadn’t asked someone to take a picture of Nick and me together, so we quickly grabbed this one on the way out. It’s badly lit but what the hey.

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That’s the historic part of the building behind us. I wrote about it here when Isabel took me for a tour of the believed-by-some-to-be haunted space.

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^ haha … We couldn’t resist having a quick word with Ferenc Liszt. ^

We headed for our chariots (aka, the subway train) home …

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What a wonderful night this was. Thank you to Isabel for inviting us and thank you to The Royal Conservatory of Music for making the whole thing possible. It is something we look forward to every year, for sure!

And thank you kindly for checking out my post. I hope you have a great weekend. It’s a three-day one here and we’re planning to get our outdoor space all set up for the season, with some friends coming over to test it out. We went to Shaw Flowers yesterday to pick up a bunch of flowers, which I look forward to getting into pots.

xo loulou

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Posted in Art, Poetry and Theatre, Live Music | 5 Comments