Flooding in Ottawa, Garage Sales & Wet Weekend Woes

I just put down the hammer for a few minutes to write this post. I am building a boat “an Ark” that me and my animals can use perhaps at some point this weekend. Noah and I aren’t friends, so I can’t call him up and I believe you should always be prepared.

Ottawa, ON is getting hit with more rain and has already been hit pretty hard. The river on my property is the highest its been in years and my dad lives near another river which is slowly swallowing the land around it. Flooding is scary and being someone who has experienced a flood in my basement only (which was terrible enough) I feel the need to talk about this a little…flush it out

Not only is garage sale season a.k.a. the best time of the year to grasp vintage & antique finds being delayed & shortened due to the weather but it’s got me thinking about the environment. I’ve seen a drastic change in the weather even over the past 2 years…

  • Crazy ass wind and stronger storms! My trees are all broken, breaking or falling over on my property!
  • One hot summer last year and a record hot summer for some areas (good for peppers in my garden, not so good for lettuce)
  • Large amounts of rainfall right now and flooding all over the place
  • One-day nuts snowfall records

Global warming, climate change or a coincidence – call it what you will but something is up. In an effort to save our planet or do what I can to make a difference, I am turning it into high gear fellow vintage & antique friends.

Here are some small things one can do to make a difference:

  1. Buy used clothing ONLY (get on the vintage bandwagon with me or get some nearly new finds at thrift stores) – Fast fashion as they call it is causing mega problems. Clothing ends up in the trash in astronomical amounts and due to the way most clothing is made it does not compost/biodegrade properly.
  2. Repurpose furniture, purchase used furniture ONLY or properly recycle your belongings When items are manufactured (created, shipped etc.) they create some sort of emissions and when you buy stuff second-hand you are cutting that out to some degree. You are also using something for a longer duration (extending its lifespan) which is great! You can also feel good because you are saving landfill space & perhaps saving some trees going this route. I am only going to buy used! I am only going to bring my unwanted items to a thrift store or give away- on Kijiji Free.
  3. Cut down on my meat intake (LESS MEAT TO EAT) I did some immense reading after a horrible fishkill in my river and found out Cow poo poo is more of a threat to the environment these days than car pollution. I love me some beef but I eat it way too much – I over consume and as a whole we (the world) over consumes. Everything you see around suggests take a bike to work, carpool blah blah blah (which yes will help too and is great) but I discovered livestock contribute more to our earths destruction than cars currently do. Perhaps this is up for debate but the latest facts don’t lie!

I personally love antiques & aged clothing because I find the quality much better, they are original and I do feel they contribute to a greener earth. I hope to share some of my thrift store & garage sale deals with you all very soon, in the meantime try to stay dry. If I spend this weekend indoors I may just go stir crazy thinking about if this rainfall warning is part of a bigger problem – I need to care (and do) more about.

My thoughts are with those dealing with Flooding (Floods) in Ontario, Québec and abroad.


Antiques & Animal Exposure

elephantsR.I.P HARAMBE (17 Year Old Western Lowland Silver-Back Gorilla) – Cincinnati Zoo 

This post was inspired by recent events and people relaying that all zoos are bad zoos and serve no purpose.

When I was a child I grew up with no money to travel, never went to Africa or anywhere I wanted to go. Even as an adult I struggle to find the extra income to go off and see all the beautiful animals of the world in their natural habitat.

If it were not for zoos, I do not think that elephants would be my favourite animal, nor do I think that I would have ever seen one (in person) in my lifetime so far.

I am learning right now about the ivory trade because of my work in antiques and because of my love of elephants have become a strong advocate against the sale of items using animal parts for profit.

I would say that what occurred (at the Cincinnati Zoo) is tragic but the pro to having zoos is that they are not only used as a educative piece but give exposure to many people that otherwise may not have the opportunity (to view these animals and creatures) which in the end may assist with developing a larger following of animals lovers in the world.

A child falling into a cage at the zoo is one part a parental observation problem, one part child not listening (likely) problem and a one part zoo does not have proper measures or security in place problem. Secondly a series of people screaming problem (and worrying the gorilla) and a quick decision making moment – wrapped up into one unfortunate scenario.

I am upset about what happened but I would still say that zoos serve a purpose even though some could for sure be better managed. I understand “the cons” of the zoo but was feeling the need to share one big pro. Love elephants as much as I do, check out my past elephant posts:

  1. PBS Antiques Roadshow Takes a Stand for Elephants
  2. Find of the week: Vintage (1987) Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus King Tusk Elephant Plush Stuffed Animal (April 28, 2014)
  3. Part 2: Key Antique Objects Made from Animals and Plants

Beatty Bros Antique Wash Tub Stand

IMG_6958Dear Readers,

I came across this ultra delicate early 20th century antique wash stand recently at a yard sale.

This stand (some refer to it as a bench) is made by Beatty Brothers Limited, Fergus, Canada. The Beatty Brothers family run business specialized in farming equipment and was established in the late 1800’s.

I paid $10 bucks for this piece and it’s now the first thing you see when you walk in my front door. These stands sell for between $60-$125 depending on the condition they are in.

It appears to be made of elm wood and spent a bit of time near some paint over the years, I just think it is so industrial & cool. A little piece of advertising heaven!

This stand used to typically hold two big galvanized steel wash tubs on top. These type of stands were typically on wheels for easy movement and some of them even folded up.

I love items circa 1920’s they have so much flavour. Can’t wait to show you my latest find it has a bit of astrology wonder and the world mixed into one vintage package.

Stay tuned and have an amazing long weekend.






Smooth Like Butter

IMG_6955Dear Readers,

I had a “gotta have it” moment today! I don’t get those too often these days…

On the way to see my mom & dad this afternoon I came across a big country garage sale. I snagged this Antique Wortman and Ward Butter Churn for $31.75 – it was all the change I had on me and the seller accepted it. It was a lovely transaction and the homeowner had one of the nicest properties (and vintage lawn decor) I have seen for a while.

This showpiece is a revolving barrel-style butter churn and was manufactured in London, Ontario. Gotta love good old Canadian antiques!

Butter Churns can also be called a Dairy Swing Churn or Creamery. On average they sell IMG_6956for between $100-$150 depending on the condition and size. The one I got is a little smaller. Interestingly enough some of the bigger, more impressive ones sell for up to $450.

If you are looking for one of these for lawn decor or your home make sure you…

  1. Pull off the lid and take a look at the condition of the inside of the barrel
  2. Ensure all the rings are around the exterior of the barrel. If they are not all there perhaps you can bargain the price a little more. More often then not they may be missing one.
  3. Check out the handle and take it for a test run/turn
  4. Check for manufacturing details on the bottom of the barrel and more details on the front of the stand/holder

IMG_6957I believe many of the Wortman and Ward Butter Churns came about in the 1890’s – early 1900’s but I am still doing some investigative research.

Regardless if you can pick these up at a good price they would make for a good quick flip item or household treasure.