Vintage 4 Photo Family Locket

During my absence from this blog I visited a number of thrift shops and antique stores. I’ve mentioned in past posts that thrifting or antiquing is always hit and miss. Sometimes your basket is full and other times you can’t seem to find anything that appeals to you. Over the past few months I picked up some treasures that I’d like to share with you now. Let me start with one particularly unique find…

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While browsing the wall of jewellery at Value Village I spotted an old brass locket. I’ve always had a thing for lockets; before the days when everyone carried phones filled with thousands of photos, people wore lockets. Lockets, of course, usually only allow a person to carry one or two photos of their loved ones. This limitation meant that the wearer needed to choose their photos wisely; often times they may have only had the one photograph. The person the photo captured would have meant a great deal to them; be it a spouse, a child or a departed loved one. A locket was something to be cherished because it held memories and it was symbolic of the love geared towards the person inside.

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As I picked up the old locket I was surprised when it popped open in my hand! The once dainty piece of jewellery now looked like some sort of steampunk contraption. I inspected it further, looking closely at the four brass disks and how they all folded together with a tiny spring mechanism until clasped inside the locket once more. I came to the conclusion that it was made to hold multiple photographs. I had never seen anything like it before and I’m a sucker for unique pieces so I added it to my basket.

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When I got home I did some more research and it turned out that it was indeed, a four photo or “family” locket. Such lockets were popular during the Victorian era up until the 1940’s. As you can imagine, countless designs popped up in Google Images but after scrolling for a bit I found the same brass design as the locket I bought. The one I found online was a Gold Coro locket with the company’s logo stamped inside. My locket is bare of any numbers or company markings so I’m guessing that it is a knock off from the Coro line. Either way, I thought it was something special and found a place to hang it in my room until I decide which photos to put inside.

 

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I’m not sure what this is but I thought it was neat. I might turn it into a lamp one day (my Mom gave me the idea). This brassy cherub piece was purchased from a Re-Use Centre.
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I thought this faux onyx brooch was beautiful so I added it to my pin collection. This brooch was found at Treasure Tails, they have the best selection of pins!
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A vintage mushroom creamer I picked up from Thrift & Gift in Wasaga. The mushroom handle was what originally caught my eye.
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I bought this mushroom platter from Value Village. As you already know, I’m crazy about mushrooms!
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Found this cat figurine from the Re-Use Centre down the street from my home and the silver swan ring holder from The Salvation Army (it reminded me of Swan Lake)

 

This little sparrow tea cup caught my attention at the Thornbury Summer Antiques Show. I don’t often see tea cups this old with painted birds (there is even a moth fluttering on the plate). The bottom is stamped with a William A Adderley and Co trademark; W.A.A. & Co., “& Co” added from January 1886 and on (http://www.thepotteries.org/allpotters/8.htm).

 

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Visiting Degrassi Junior High

After hearing news that the school used for Degrassi Junior High was to be partially demolished to make way for condos, I knew time was running out. I grew up watching DJH so the show is very near and dear to my heart (my Mom even named me after the character of Caitlin!). I wanted to see it in person, so the other day my family, who have gotten used to driving to filming locations to fulfill my geeky passion, drove to the filming location in Etobicoke.

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“Proposed amendments to the Etobicoke Zoning Code to permit the development of 73, 4-storey townhouse units within 7 blocks. An existing school building, currently utilized as a childcare centre, would be retained (and partially altered- portion to be demolished).” http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2015/ey/bgrd/backgroundfile-82865.pdf

By the time we got around to visiting the school, the gymnasium was already gone (sorry boys, The Zit Remedy will need to find somewhere else to practice). Thankfully, the front of the property was not fenced off and we were able to explore a bit and take photos. With the exception of the demolished gym, a few missing trees and bike racks, we were pleased to find the school still looked as it did in the show.

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The school opened in 1929 but back then it was called Daisy Avenue Public School, and was later renamed after the former Governor of Canada. In 1983 the school was closed but reopened as Vincent Massey Daycare in 1985. The school was later used as the prime filming location for the Canadian teen television series, Degrassi Junior High, which ran from 1987-1991 (Visit Save Vincent Massey for more details). The show followed the everyday lives of the Degrassi students and looked into the ups and downs of teen-aged life; exploring crushes and friendships to harder topics such as teen pregnancy, drugs, death and abuse.

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Vincent Massey Public School wasn’t just a building. Fans of the series will tell you the school itself played an important role. Everyone wanted to go to Degrassi and hang out on the iconic front steps while they chummed with Arthur and Yick or laughed along to Joey’s wisecrack remarks. Degrassi was the place that brought everyone’s beloved characters together. It’s sad to know that this landmark, which is both historic and a part of Canadian pop culture, will soon be gone…

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The paved path by the steps where Liz and Spike ate lunch in Season 2 Episode 3 “Great Expectations”
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The curb where Joey wiped out on his skateboard in Season 1 Episode 4 “The Cover Up” (ouch!)
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The front steps where Stephanie Kaye gave her school president speech. Season 1 Episode 1 “Kiss Me, Steph”

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Sources:

SAVE VINCENT MASSEY

http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2015/ey/bgrd/backgroundfile-82865.pdf

 

Vintage Kittens Postcard

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Last time I visited the Thornbury Antique Market I sifted through postcards in a wooden crate and pulled out this gem. “No Rooms To Let” W&K London Series 251.¬† Anything with cats steals my heart!

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Great Britain
King George V Issues
1912-24 Watermark Simple Cypher
1d. scarlet

Miss M Harris
South View
Bagber
Sturminster Newton
Dorset

16/07/20

Dear M,
Thanks for card, sorry weather was so bad last week, but hope you have made up for it this week and that your sister and self have had a good time.
Kindest regards, A.S.

Abandoned Agawa Bay Gas Station

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As I craned my neck back to look up at the ceiling, I could see the cracked paint. It was peeling and flaked up like dead skin over a sunburn. The blades of a lone ceiling fan, seeming more like an alien claw from War of The Worlds, ceased to turn. There was no need for it though. Despite the beating sun on the hot asphalt outside, the place was much cooler within. The smell of oil, rubber and damp cement lingered in the air. Crickets chirped in the tall grass out back and passing trucks rumbled in the distance. The glass from the windows were shattered on the floor, along with empty beer bottles, rusted cans and other debris.

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Then there was the graffiti. Nearly every inch of wall space was plastered with coloured lettering, scribbles and drawings; a lot of it layered over top of graffit from years before. Some of the artists I recognized as Deadboy, Venise and Matthew Del Degan’s Lovebot, while others were the work of passing travelers. Even though the bricks were crumbling and the place seemed dead, the writings on the wall showed the traffic of all the explorers who wandered in over the years. Some to pass the time with a drink at hand, others to leave their mark with a spray can, and a few people who just took it all in through the lens of their camera.

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The graffiti scrawled ruins I described above are all that’s left of the Agawa Bay Gas Station (Northern Auto Service Center). It is located along Trans Canada Highway 17 near Agawa Bay, on the border of Lake Superior Provincial Park. The property not only held the gas station, but a restaurant and store as well. Unfortunately, in April of 2009, a fire destroyed the building and it has since become a pit of rubble (literally); just a spot of urban decay in the wilderness of Northern Ontario.

Scroll down for more photos…

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http://www.myalgoma.ca/2016/05/29/the-batchawana-volunteer-fire-rescue-called-to-derelict-agawa-bay-gas-station/

Michael’s Bay Pioneer Cemetery

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“Manitoulin is such a healthy place they had to kill a man to start a cemetery.” I came across this quote while doing research for this post and I thought it was quite fitting.

While on our visit to Manitoulin Island we drove by the historical grounds of Michael’s Bay Pioneer Cemetery. The cemetery has been caught within a legal limbo between the property owners and the requirements of the Ontario Cemetaries Act, with the graves in serious need of upkeep and some talk of developing the land. Despite all of this, the cemetery’s fate continues to be fought for by the dedicated individuals of The Michael’s Bay Historical Society as it has for the past thirty years.

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Forty-three graves were uncovered in the Methodist cemetery, which dates back to the late 1800’s. Little white crosses were made and put in place by The Michael’s Bay committee, some of which were labeled with the names and dates of identified graves. The property had become quite overgrown from neglect and if it weren’t for those markers no one would have imagined the forest floor was a cemetery.

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As I crouched down to look at the crosses poking out from the greenery, like skeleton masts of a ship graveyard, I was suddenly reminded of Stephen King’s Pet Sematary. This cemetery was not for furry departed companions, though, it was a cemetery for the local people and their children, laid to rest so long ago.

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William Richard Bonas ~ February 1, 1903 – May 5, 1903
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James Hilson

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For now the fate of this cemetery and whether or not it will be fully restored is still in the works. As long as The Michael’s Bay Historical Society and other concerned individuals continue to fight for this sacred spot in the woods, there may be hope for it yet.

For more information please visit the following links:

http://www.manitoulin.ca/2012/10/24/michaels-bay-society-fears-for-historic-cemetery-sites-in-pioneer-village/

http://www.manitoulin.ca/2014/06/11/michaels-bay-property-sale-faces-challenge-in-civil-court/

http://www.manitoulin.ca/2014/12/17/historic-townsite-michaels-bay-plus-resort-complex-default-canada-proceeds-crime/

http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~onmanito/mbhistory.html

 

Roadshow’s 400 Antiques Mall

Last weekend I celebrated my birthday with my family over brunch at Eggsmart Collingwood Eatery and later, shopping at the Roadshow’s 400 Antiques Mall. My Mom and I spent more than a couple of hours winding in and out of the aisles and booths filled with all assortments of vintage treasures. In the end I came away with three new additions to my owl collection.

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I just adored this one of a kind vintage flower dress!

The first was a miniature owl figurine I spotted in a glass cabinet. I have a Wade owl figurine but this one was smaller and its wings were outstretched. When the woman unlocked the cabinet and let me have a closer look at the little owl, I knew I would be taking it home for my miniature animal collection.

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How could I say no to this tiny cutie?

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The second was a vintage owl creamer with blue flower stamps and detailing. I have one owl creamer already but this particular one caught my eye because the opening was under the owl’s beak and I had never seen that before. It was this unique touch that drew me to the piece.

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My third owl find was a vintage owl Aladdin gift lamp with an Underwriters Laboratories sticker under it (Issue NO. 77,361). I really like the warm glow it gives off at night!

 

I tried searching for more information on this owl lamp but haven’t found anything specific. If anyone knows more about it or any of the other owls I purchased, please let me know in the comment section below.

New Town, New Bedroom, New Beginnings

I know I have been MIA these past few months, but I haven’t abandoned this blog. My family moved to a new town, about an hour north from where we used to live, so I was busy unpacking and settling in. We lived in the same house for nearly twenty years and, as you could imagine, the move was a big change. With change, though, comes new beginnings and adventures!

During the move I wasn’t able to work on any of my polymer clay dragons or tile art. Several weeks passed before I could unpack my supplies, clear a work area and start conditioning clay again. Being creatively deprived for that length of time resulted in me making several commission pieces and finally opening an Etsy shop!

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For ages people had been asking me if I had an Etsy and I had been considering¬† setting one up myself. With the move, I was faced with a fresh start and what better time to put that goal into motion than the present? Working up to the opening of my shop, I needed to build my “stock”. Between commission work I spent a good deal of time sculpting dragons big and small until I was satisfied enough to declare the grand opening.

Since starting up my shop I have been jotting down ideas for new dragon designs. My hope is to broaden my dragons to other accessories like hair clips and themed series. I have also been working on other clay critters and even learned how to crochet mushroom amigurumis!

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When I wasn’t setting up shop or making dragons I was designing plans for my new bedroom. My old room was all built-in; desk, shelves, etc. Moving to this house meant I had no where to set up my computer, sort my books or display my belongings. Aside from the essentials, most of my room remained in boxes for the first couple of months.

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I ended up finding a vintage desk, simple but just what I needed, at a consignment shop in town. Later, I bought a bookshelf for my literary friends to sit comfortably. The last major installments were my display shelves. I decided to go with “L” shelves because that seemed to be the best fit for the layout of my room.

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My “new” desk and shelves to display my Living Dead Doll collection.
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So many books, so little shelf space.

I am very lucky to have a Dad who is such a great handyman. I shared my plans and measurements with him and he set off to work. The end result was exactly what I envisioned and it felt so good to unpack my assortment of treasures and display them in my new room!

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Display shelves my Dad built for me. I reserved the bottom shelves for my natural history collection and the top for my antique and thrifted treasures.
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Purple bat curtains made by my Mother. Abigail approves.

More recently, my Mom lent me her interior decorator skills and we arranged a gallery corner on the two walls over my headboard. That corner was too bare so we arranged picture frames and other wall decor to spice it up, leaving room to expand whenever I choose to do so. My Mom also made purple bat curtains for my windows!


 

I am now spending much of my time taking commission work and creating new designs and products to list in my shop. This will keep me quite busy but there are plenty of trails to explore and antique shops to browse through in this new town; leaving plenty of opportunities for new adventures and treasures for me to share with all of you! Speaking of which, I have a couple of blog posts planned so stay tuned!