A Stitch in Time Saves Nine

It was a beautiful day today, the birds were chirping, the sun was shining and I was in the mood for a Sunday drive.

Sewing box

It took me only a moment to decide that I was heading out to McHaffie Flea Market which is less than 30 minutes from my home and not far from downtown Ottawa. If you haven’t been, there are tons of antique & vintage vendors all under one roof. This time of year they also start setting up outside and there are quite a few new item vendors. Trust me, it is well worth the drive!

Scotch decanter

Last week at a sale I picked up a sewing machine so today it only made sense to grab this $10 eclectic sewing box from a booth called “Just Shut Up and Paint” – this seller has some amazing things & taste. “A stitch in time saves nine” it says on it, which essentially means deal with the sewing problem before it gets bigger – literally. I highly recommend you visit her booth if you go to the market, she is very artistic.

Shortly after, I laid eyes on this magnificent Scotch Decanter made by Royal Victoria Wade Pottery in England -W & A. Gilbey Limited Wine Shippers and Distillers Since 1857. The pour spout still worked but I noticed it was missing the screw top lid. This piece is so charming either way and so vibrant that it hurts! These decanters usually sell online for $15 dollars in good condition. I purchased for $10 knowing its fault.

So the other day I was using my hands to take crumbs and other random pieces of stuff off my kitchen counter when I thought to myself there must be a better way to do this. Turns out there is and it was invented a long time ago! Give a warm welcome to the elegant Table IMG_6825Sweeper/Crumb Sweeper/Crumb Tray, this wooden silent butler is one of the  most practical things I ever have come across. I also paid $10 for this but these items can fetch anywhere between $30-$150 depending on what they are made of and their age. Definitely an interesting find I wanted to share in case you see one in your travels.

I hope you have an amazing rest of Sunday and my adventures today encourage you to hit the road real soon.


Canada’s Second-Hand Shocker

pendalumDid you know the second-hand market contributes 34 billion dollars to the  Canadian economy?

I was astonished to hear this number today and quantify how our economy benefits from recycling second-hand items.

People are really starting to tap into the practice of buying and selling their items. I remember growing up in a time where everyone wanted shiny and new and buying used was not super marketed and openly discussed.

We partake in second hand selling and shopping but likely do not think about the overall impact it has on the shopping statistics. Whether its baby gear, clothing, furniture or entertainment related equipment and goods we are always on the hunt for a bargain or to offload our current inventory for a little extra moola.

Super amazing to hear this news and see how our provinces are contributing to a greener planet. I am trying to buy a used gazebo this month, what used item are you on the hunt for?

I saw this statistic on an advertisement on Kijiji this morning and also took a peak at their cool Second-Hand Economy Index. If you are liking this topic, read more here.


Read all about it – The 10 Best Antiquing Towns in the U.S.

shopsmartHowdy on a Monday,

I came across this article today on the 10 Best Antiquing Towns in the U.S. and thought I would share.

For those of you who may be from some of these “mentioned towns” I would be curious to know your thoughts. Is the relayed town a must visit?

Is it time for me to make my way to Millerton, New York or Buchanan, Virginia?

Have fun reading and I will be back real soon with my latest teak find, some bewildering gems and more.

Article Source: Fodor’s Travel: www.fodors.com

Smart Shopping and Dropping Weight with the three R’s

Used wicker table, princess phone and game-board. Home-made NFLD gift. Only store bought item is the lamp.
Used wicker table, princess phone and game-board. Home-made NFLD picture [gift]. Only store bought item is the 8 year old lamp.
On the one hand, we’re constantly told about recycling and cutting back, and on the other hand we have to buy the next gadget that comes along three weeks after the last one you bought. It’s absolutely insane. We’ve been suckered into buying and buying and upgrading and upgrading. We’re being given two very different mantras at the moment, I think. – Martin Freeman

Everyday with breakfast I read one of my new country skills books, today it was a few impactful pages from the hardcover called, A Slice of Organic Life. A couple lines that struck me:

The average person in the West throws out their own body weight in garbage every three months.

Further to this almost 75% of garbage from the average household is due to packaging.

Reusing, refurbishing and recycling items from your home definitely plays a major role in eliminating or reducing your garbage output and the creation/requirement for packaging.

A few tips to contribute to the three R’s (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle)

  1. Dropping a few eco-friendly pounds: Bring household items to your local consignment or thrift store, host a garage sale and sell them off or seek out community organizations in need of your unwanted things.
  2. Shopping Smart: Get a few reusable shopping bags and leave them in your car, at your workplace (in your office) or carry them with you (in your purse of bag) everyday. *They have some real compact styles these days. If you are more of a plastic bag kind of shopper –  reuse them. They are not as sexy looking but do the trick.
  3. Create with Containers: I just started doing this myself – keeping all glass jars and certain plastic containers. Pickle and salsa jars are the best! My thought is I can use them for canning my own foods in the summer, holding my own flavoured oil and vinegar inventions or allow them to keep me organized in the garage ex. holds screws, nails etc.

Doing these items above initially takes a little bit of time but you will start to notice big changes fast including:

a less crowded home;

smaller loads at the end of your driveway [or trips to your garage chute] and;

savings in your pockets from not having to journey out to buy bag after bag, storage containers/jars or new things.

Looking to refurbish some of your own items rather than buying new? It is one of my absolute favourite Sunday afternoon past-times. Check out my Uses for Old Furniture & More.



Where to shop for antiques & vintage this holiday season

ID-100225918Treasure-filled Thursday presents,

The excellence of a gift lies in its appropriateness rather than in its value.
~Charles Dudley Warner


Holy macaroni! Christmas is just around the corner! Are you looking for that truly original gift for that someone special this holiday season?

Within the Ottawa, Ontario area there are a few gems – stores full of treasures you can stumble upon. However why spend the time driving around in search of these places when you can just grab my quick list below and hit them up a.s.a.p?

I generally prefer to go places that I know have a wide range of things to choose from. I have spent some time tracking down some of the best shops for antique and vintage items in the Ottawa, Ontario Canada area. I have also added a few unknowns (places that I would like to check out but have not paid a visit to yet) to the list just for a little bit of fun.

Where to buy vintage and antiques in the days up to (or after) Christmas:

1. Familiar – Antiques Etcetera  (Arnprior, Ontario): This place is really charming and rather large. It has two storeys and holds quite a mishmash of discoveries. Best known for: Lighting, China and Art

2. Familiar – Ottawa Antique Market (Central Ottawa, Ontario): You will not leave this store empty handed! It truly has an astonishing selection. It is a bit of a maze of masterpieces. Best known for: Collectible furnishings big & small, Jewellery and Knick Knacks

3. Unknown- The Lachapelle Furniture Refinishing and Antique Store (Ashton,Ontario): I have seen this place in the distance many times from the highway but never stopped in. These folks sell their items in Almonte, Ontario and I have seen their stuff there. They have quite interesting items for sale a reasonable price points. Best known for: Fine wood furniture (larger pieces for sure)

4. FamiliarAlmonte Antique Market (Almonte, Ontario): This place seems to keep going, going and going. So many things to see! Don’t come to this place if you a in a rush -it definitely has staying potential. Best known for: Collectibles and neat one of a kind pieces

5. Unknown- Antique Hoarders  (West Ottawa, Ontario): I have heard through the grapevine that this place is cool. I shall check it out for myself sometime in the nearer future. Best known for: Variety and plenty of vendors

6. Familiar – The Clothes Secret (Central Ottawa, Ontario): This clothing store has got some major fashion finds and really good prices. From what I recall it is only a women’s boutique. You have to dig a little but it is well worth it. Best known for: Eclectic purses and a vast assortment of dresses long & short.

7. Familiar – Conversation Pieces (Ottawa, Ontario): I have not been in store however have seen these conversation pieces at many Ottawa antique shows. They have really unique items. Best known for: Estate sale type items including rugs, special/rare pieces of furniture and decorative pieces. 

My list is just shy of 10 spots but I promise you that your vehicle or shopping bag will be full of goodies.

Happy gift giving friends! For more on second hand shopping and gift ideas visit my recent posts Thoughtful Christmas Gift Ideas for him & her, Second Hand Clothing Shop (in Store) Like a Pro and Second-hand Gift Giving: Is It Okay to Give a Used Gift?

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