Design Philipp Swan Lake Music Box

Music boxes are never scarce at thrift stores; particularly the retro boxy ones with the  wind up musical tune and twirling ballerina. Whether it was sitting on your bedroom dresser or your friend had one, you have seen one at some point in your childhood. Those simplistic, metal latched cardboard boxes wrapped in patterned paper were our treasure chests. It’s where we held our jewellery, secret notes or maybe even tucked away the key to our diary. This style of music box was so popular that over the years countless designs and illustrations have adorned them, yet this one in particular caught my eye.


Dark blue and framed with a contrast of tiny white flowers, this music box was much different from the white or pink boxes I’ve often seen. I picked it up off of the shelf and inspected the outer design; a whimsical night scene of a ballerina dancing by moonlight with pixies watching her from their toadstools. It looked like something out of a fairy tale.


Box made in Sweden by Design Philipp
Metal latch made in Germany


I opened the box and was a little disappointed to see that the ballerina was missing, but my disappointment changed when I saw the 3D forest display inside the lid! Never before had I seen such detail gracing the inside of a music box intended for children. I could look right into the mirror and imagine I was peering into an enchanted forest. When I wound up the back, Tchaikovsky‘s Swan Lake slowly played within the velvet lined interior.


Despite the missing ballerina, I couldn’t return this vintage box to the shelf. It is now sitting in the company of my own childhood music box and I have plans to sculpt a new centerpiece to twirl inside.



Another call to my childhood is Strawberry Shortcake. I was nuts about her when I was a kid, so I was super happy to find this 1980 Designer’s Collection “Spread some happiness around” sugar bowl at The Mission Thrift Store!



My final thrifted treasure is this little framed Village Green Country Crafts painting by Sharon Jervis. It is part of the Wildlife Miniatures series, the subject of this one is the Rabbit with Fly agaric Mushroom, Moss, Bramble and Ivy. This is the cutest painting and it’s made even more perfect because it features mushrooms! With all of the Sears stores being closed across Canada, I thought it was neat to see that the box still had the old Simpsons price sticker on it too.




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…


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.


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.


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.


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.
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!
A vintage mushroom creamer I picked up from Thrift & Gift in Wasaga. The mushroom handle was what originally caught my eye.
I bought this mushroom platter from Value Village. As you already know, I’m crazy about mushrooms!
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 (


Thrift Shopping Haul: Turner Wall Accessory and Enesco Owl

Over the summer I went thrifting several times so I decided to gather my best finds and share them here!

Turner Wall Accessory, item: 1465 J205, category: Venice Scenery

I picked up this Turner Wall Accessory frame at Value Village. I did a bit of research on the Turner Company and found out that they were based in Chicago and thrived for about 30 years selling fine art to art savvy individuals. The company claimed the copyrights to reprint popular works of art but they also made contracts with current artists to sell their original pieces. Their prints ranged from elegant portraits of women to city and country landscapes. They company went out of business in the 1970s but many pieces are still sold online today.


A collection of small frames which I will use for various creative projects.
More frames except these ones are mini!



This Red Rose Tea “Wade Whimsies” owl figurine (circa 1980s) practically called my name from the glass case at Value Village. I have a handful of the Wade Whimsies collection from my Great Grandmother and seeing how I adore owls I bought this one too.

This vintage mushroom salt shaker made the perfect addition to my mushroom collection!
I found this gem and had to grab it! A Warner Bros. Enesco Harry Potter musical snow globe featuring Harry, Hagrid and Norbert. The song it plays is “Fantasie Impromptu”. I had a Harry Potter snow globe when I was younger but I made the stupid mistake of selling it at a garage sale (even after my Mom told me not to).
I bought a ton of books at both Value Village and Salvation Army. Two of the books, Watership Down and Never Let Me Go were titles I had been looking for for ages.
My Mom picked me up two vintage umbrellas from Salvation Army. This is one of the two. I love the pattern and the colour! My cat needed to inspect first, of course.
I saved the best for last, an owl creamer! I’ve seen owl mugs but never a creamer. This was part of a five piece set made by Enesco in Japan, circa 1979. I just wish the rest of the set was included!

East End Vendors Market:Vintage black cat figurines and more…

Last week, while my family was vacationing at Blue Mountain, we popped in some of the surrounding antique shops in the Collingwood area. There is definitely no shortage of antique shops up there so we had plenty of options. This year we headed to Stayner’s East End Vendors Market. It was closed the day we drove there last year so I’m glad I had the chance to check it out this time.

The shop had a big selection but the shelf of cat figurines caught my attention above all else. I try to pick up an animal figurine each time I go antiquing and I’m building up a pretty steady collection now. The fact that there was a shelf dedicated to cats made me really happy since I’m a budding crazy cat lady.

I picked out a set of black cats; a mamma and three black kittens. I could tell that they didn’t actually go together because their faces, despite being mostly worn away, were painted with a different style and colour. After doing some research later on, I discovered that the kittens were part of a kitsch set made in Japan which included a mother cat with six kittens all held together with a gold chain. This set had green painted eyes, red ears and gold whiskers. The mother cat was also from Japan but made with red clay. Her eyes were painted yellow and her ears were painted red. I will probably end up painting in their eyes and whiskers at a later date.


I also bought another black cat figurine except this one was waving its paw and sitting next to a vase. I think the second figurine may have been made by the same company as the mamma cat from the first set because it is made from red clay in Japan and has a similar paint job.


Near the front of the shop there was a basket of vintage replica criminal photographs. As I sifted through them I came across a photo of a young woman pointing a rifle towards a man wearing a hat. I recognized the couple immediately as Bonnie and Clyde. There was only one photograph of the criminals’ iconic pose and I did not want to leave it behind!



During another day on our trip we walked along the shopfronts of Hurontario Street in downtown Collingwood. Treasure Tails was my most anticipated stop. It is a non-profit antique and thrift shop that sends its funds directly to the care of the Georgian Triangle Humane Society’s animals. If you ever find yourself in the Collingwood area I recommend popping into this little shop. There is lots to look at, the prices are fair and the volunteer staff are very friendly. I ended up getting two pre-loved treasures: a vintage photograph pin of a distinguished looking young man and tiny, dime sized bejeweled mouse pin.




Overall, it was a satisfying antique haul!


Vintage Arnel’s Mushroom Teapot

During one of my last thrift shopping excursions I picked up three new mushroom housewares to add to my collection. My favourite piece by far is the vintage  Arnel’s mushroom teapot from the 1970’s. I like how it not only features mushroom molds on the outside but the teapot itself is shaped like a mushroom! The lid stands out for me because it’s shaped like the cap and the outer edges show the detail of the gills.



The remaining mushroom finds were two mugs. One was a simple retro mug and the second was a bit more sophisticated. It is a fine bone china mug by Grosvenor titled Bittersweet. My Mom has the Harebell set so when I saw the Bittersweet mug I recognized the style of design straight away.



I tried to research Arnel’s but all I came across were sites selling their products which included very little information about the company itself. I’m interested in learning more about the history of the company. If anyone knows anything about them please feel free to share some information in the comments below! Also, if you have any Arnel pieces that are special to you (or any mushroom treasure in general) I’d love to hear about them as well!

Double Thrifting Haul

Today I want to share some of my finds from my last thrift shopping haul. That being said, my last trip to the thrift shop was during the final week of summer vacation so this post is long overdue.

When I went thrift shopping last I actually did a double trip in one week. Normally I space my time between visits to the store because I don’t need to see the same stock twice but it’s a little different with thrift shops. “New” items are put on the shelves and racks almost every day because of the amount of donations coming in. This means that what you see at a thrift shop at the beginning of the week won’t always be there at the end of the week. Instead, different knick-knacks will replace the sold ones and more paperbacks will be tucked in the shelves. Since most thrift shops are not pristine when it comes to organization (people are always picking up one thing at one side of the store and placing it somewhere else when they change their mind) you’re almost always bound to find a hidden treasure!


This cardigan is my new favourite!
I found this super warm beanie at Good Will and fell in love with the pattern. Hats like these actually make me look forward to the colder weather.
From left to right: A mini aluminum tray to bake my clay tiles and dragons. A cute kitsch painting of a bathing mouse… I thought it would be perfect to hang in my bathroom. A Hallmark frame for a taxidermy or oddity piece.
My Mom brought this feminine briefcase to my attention while at Salvation Army. I thought it was just darling. The perfect place to store schoolwork.
I bought this paisley square floor cushion for myself but Abigail insists that it’s her property.  When she has that look on her face I don’t want to argue with her.
Next Issue V-neck crop top from Salvation Army!
A new “Grandpa sweater” as my friend calls them.
A festive H&M pullover. Perfect for the holidays!
This earthy quarter sleeve top is so comfy.
The Boyds Collection, Ltd. “Cornelius’ Cat Bowls” #654652. Ideal for dips, snacks or cat food.
Digging the harvest colours. Can you tell I’m excited for Autumn?
I found this porcelain rose painted dish and thought it would be the perfect base for a taxidermy piece.

Toronto: The Beaches and St. John’s Norway Cemetery


Last week my Dad dropped my Mom and my younger sister and I off at my Aunt’s house bright and early on his way to work. We were going to spend the day shopping at The Beaches (or The Beach). After a few hours of chatting while drinking hot chocolate and eating breakfast we headed off towards the bus station. Our day’s shopping adventure was about to begin!

My Aunt has such beautiful flowers in her garden.
You can’t visit my Aunt’s house and not be tempted to explore her enchanting backyard!




Midoco Art & Office Supplies was packed with the most unique stationary and art accessories ever! I picked up a groovy mushroom duo-tang for school and some vintage paper posters. I plan on collecting some vintage frames at thrift shops for the posters and when I get more room I’ll hang them up around my oddities collection.





I picked up this antique brass door knob plate from Pippins. I think it will make a nice addition to my bedroom wall. My Dad told me that I could even add it to my bedroom door if I find a matching doorknob for it!


I adore this statue! It looks like something that you would see at Hogwarts. And just look at those owlets at the mother’s feet!



Cool graffiti on the walls of BAM! Breakfast & Bistro.
My Aunt and my Mom checking out the menu…


My Aunt suggested we stop in at BAM! Breakfast & Bistro for lunch as it was likely to have something on the menu to everyone’s taste. She was right! When we walked in the first thing we noticed were the walls. They were covered in graffiti and comic book heroes, giving off a cool, retro sort of vibe. The staff were super friendly and kept up the superhero theme with batman and superman logos on their t-shirts. After a long morning of shopping the classic diner dishes really hit the spot!


Fire Station No. 17


Instead of waiting for a ride back with the bus we decided to walk the distance and drop by St. John’s Norway Cemetery. We visited my Uncle’s grave and spent some time walking around the cemetery grounds to look at the old tombstones and statues. Some of the tombstones and statues were so old and weathered that the engravings and names were worn away. Others were covered with lichen or had hands or heads lopped off. Despite their wear and tear I still found them beautiful in an eerie sort of way.




My Mom spotted this little mushroom for me among the rows of the war heroes’ graves.


A cat was hunting for moths and birds in the cemetery and its ash grey coat let it blend right in with the tombstones. It was quite timid but eventually I managed to inch my way close enough to snap some photos. After a while he sniffed my hand before running off again.

“You know, a long time ago, men and trees used to be the best of friends” – My Neighbor Totoro
This broken piece of gravestone was being swallowed by tree roots and earth.


A sterling silver mushroom necklace I bought in one of the little shops along The Beaches.

To wrap up our day of shopping we checked out the Danforth Value Village…

What a darling tea pot brooch!
After searching many times I finally found a vintage mirror tray to display my trinket boxes.
This paisley pullover was a catch!