The Awesome Alta Vista Garage Sale

Hey Readers,

Just a reminder that every week on Thursday nights I post upcoming antique and vintage events on the right side of my blog main page. Before last weekend (June 7-8) I was advertising an upcoming Alta Vista area sale. I totally checked it out!

I was barely even a minute into the neighbourhood of Alta Vista this past Saturday when I started to become distracted by all the neon signs, arrows and cars (bad drivers lol) as far as the eye could see. Apparently everyone was putting stuff out on their lawn and it was epic.

IMG_2221We parked the car and travelled by foot. The first sale I went to I got this classy yet country serving tray. I was surprised when the guy said it was $1, I didn’t even bargain this time around. This tray boasts some hen imagery and is signed by H.Arndt. After doing some research I was left a bit empty handed but think this image may have been created by an artist by the name of Hermina Arndt. I have come across plates with the same image on it selling between $20-$30. I am curious how much my new sturdy tray is worth.

After a few turns we found ourselves in the mansion-filled few blocks and unfortunately came out of those parts with notta. Back to the main drag we went.

There was this adorable 1.5 storey home and a whole ton of antiques out front. To my dismay the man had jacked up his prices to market value because he knew what all his little treasures were worth. It was okay as I did a bit of bargaining and ended up with these horse book ends for $8. These vintage carved stone agate onyx horse head book ends can sell online for between $30-$85 depending on their condition and if they are a matching set or not.IMG_2222

Next door also proved to be profitable as I scored this $5 table (seen a little further down in post)  which I have future plans of refinishing. The lady said it had been in her family forever.

IMG_2220A few hours later I returned home and went for a walk to my local book store where I found this awesome book titled, Woodworker’s Handbook by Roger W. Cliffe.

The book covers everything including hand tool woodworking, wood finishing and power tools. I will let you know what new things I learn as I get through the chapters.

All this to say that this Alta Vista Garage Sale sure was awesome.

Come back daily to check out my finds. discover the history behind the pieces and keep up -to-date about what’s happening in the world of all things vintage and antique.IMG_2224

Searching is half the fun: life is much more manageable when thought of as a scavenger hunt as opposed to a surprise party.

-Jimmy Buffet

Things to do in Ottawa on May 24: Neighbourhood Sales Whipped into a frenzy (includes tips on how to prepare for the sales of the year)

Sometimes I enjoy seeing fancy knick-knacks, go figure!

Wowza. A suprisingly amazing, oh my gosh, out of the ordinary expression. Source Urban Dictionary

Two giant sales, one day, what is a girl to do? Attempt to visit both!

This Saturday I am going to be in a frenzy and hopefully so will you. Ottawa area shoppers get your car starter ready, bike basket intact and granny cart by your side.

What’s on the agenda you ask? My game plan…

My first stop will be just a short walk away from my dwelling over to the Glebe. The referrals are spreading as I type and the word is definitely out. The Great Glebe Garage Sale has become a landmark Ottawa May event. The homes are old and the objects within them are even older. I will be ready [with bells on] to go at 7:00am.

This event promises to be a treasure trove!

If the day is still young I will hop in the car and make my way to Fallingbrook. I used to live in Falling and Ridgemount so shopping in this part of town is no surprise to me. The sales will be plentiful and the people, sweet as always.

The community of Fallingbrook will be hosting its annual garage sale on Saturday May 24, all day long. Make your way through the streets and do not forget to bring your eco-friendly bag. I always forget and end up in an awkward juggling act by the third house visit.

So here is the deal I am moving in a month and a half (my place officially sold) and still need to find a new home to buy. Nothing says I can’t imagine it and get some sick new furnishings in the meantime. I will report back on the things I see, the people I meet and the items I buy this Saturday.

Before going to promising sales I do 3 (well it’s sort of 5) things:


1. Brush up on my values and identification. I bought a book last week titled, Warman’s Bottles Field Guide 3rd Edition for $6 at a local book store called Black Squirrel Books. 

The plan is to read all about bottles over the next few days so my eyes are sharp to spot the top bottles.

2. Go online and search my local classified resource to see what homes I should visit at the neighbourhood sale first. Note: All of the best places put there own ads up with photos. I have two three hot spots in mind for this weekend already.

3. Gas up, clean the car and run to the bank and grab some moola the night before. Nice gesture: Break bills into small change if you have the time…it is courteous. Sellers don’t like when they get a $20 bill for a $1 object. Holding small change also helps you to bargain more – the more cash you show – the more they know you have.

Friday is upon us and Saturday is only a few sleeps away.



Rockland, Ontario – Reveals Deals

Take a break Tuesday presents,

Rockland rocked my world!

Who doesn’t look forward to a holiday Monday garage sale? This wasn’t just any garage sale – it was a parking lot full of deals this past Monday.

Rows and rows of sellers packed the lot as well as crowds upon crowds of thirsty buyers.

2014 077My first find was this brass bicycle key holder. I thought it would make for a slick back door wall hanging, especially for $1.

I like when things are both pragmatic and trendy. This years sale had hundreds upon hundreds of decorative items. I noticed everything from art and ceiling lights to pillows as well as snazzy bottles.

It wasn’t long until I came across a set of red chairs that were so polished. The one thing about older chairs is they sometimes not only look weathered but are quite fragile. I decided to pass up on the older chairs and go with this vintage solid wood chair.2014 078

The sleek lines and printed wild cat seat definitely made me think ” how fun”. I tried to bargain but ended up paying a tad more than I wanted for this chair at $35. P.S ALWAYS sit on a chair before buying it – listen for cracking sounds and test for a teeder-todder or”wobbly” feeling. Also check the legs for any indications of breakage.   

Just around the corner my spidey sense was at it’s peak and I quickly grabbed a pale yellow princess phone. I dashed over to the owner and said will you take $5 -she said sure.

2014 0752014 074I was back on track with my bargain budget when I realized it was 9:30am already and I had not been around the town of Rockland to pay attention to all the street sales.

My mom and I lugged my new belongings over to the street corner where my dad would eventually meet us. I carefully placed my items in his SUV and we drove around town, windows down.

My last purchase was this little spice rack that reminded me of the one my mom had in our country house growing up. I was super excited to get this for $2 and I will be even more excited to put all my latest spices in it. I bought if off a nice chap who was holding a garage sale. My dad got a wooden sleigh from him.

2014 076After a long day in the sun I discovered a few key things:

1. Don’t let looks full you! I came across a really nice record player however it was way newer than it looked.

2. Don’t forget that skimming is good but when there are people everywhere sometimes there is more than meets the eye. I couldn’t see everything from just one quick glance – like usual. I really had to go into each stand (seller area) to get wind of what was on and/or under the counter and scattered around.

3. Remember if you go to large sales early (I was there at 7:45am) sometimes all the people aren’t fully set up yet so you may have to go back for seconds.

Hungry for more?

Come back this week for the skinny on my latest record collection discovery.




Mantiques and Cash Cows – Ottawa Area Auctions Coming Soon

antique car detailLove feeling the heat?

It doesn’t matter if it’s hot outside; 

or hot inside the auction room;

it’s all good to me.

There is nothing more invigorating than raising that number and getting the deal of the day or decade.

Come on over to 106 Read Street in Merrickville, Ontario on May 17th at 9:30am to the Mantiques Auction. If you want to jazz up your man cave with some eye-catching vintage, this is the place to be. Signs, Tin, Gas Pumps, Bumper Cars, Cast Iron – you name it -you will find it here.

Even if you aren’t a dude you can find some awesome basement decor bargains. Visit Colin Latreille Auction Services for more and please note online bidding is available for this auction. Preview is May 16 and May 17.

Eastern Ontario is home to some astounding nostalgia and advertising auctions and this one is no exception. In a later post I will tell you all about my day trip to The Jewel of the Rideau and all the jewels I found.

Before I go for this evening…

I was not born in Cumberland, Ontario but I was raised in the village so I wanted to give a shout-out-about a Cumberland Village auction coming up on May 31st.

It is an on site auction sale located at 1961 Sarsfield Road. You will find an array of ornate furnishings, kitchen items, antiques, horse drawn items, a Chevy and a little bit of everything under the sun. Visit Guy Bissonnette – Auctioneer for the details.

If you are bringing your family along to the auction you should make a day of it and take a drive over to The Cumberland Heritage Village Museum. The museum is all about being old fashioned and that’s why I have always had a good time there.

I like to spend the day awakening my senses;

there is nothing like a live auction;

or exploring a new town.

Have a great Friday,






Monday Auction Fever – Feel the Burn

dreamstimefree_114721“I may have some pieces that are considered important, but most of the objects are things that evoke a feeling of visual pleasure. I think that part of the pleasure of collecting is to go out and find that great object and then introduce it into your environment.”
– James Marinaccio in Art and Antiques, October 2001


Early to bed, early to rise – that is usually my motto.

I jumped in the car at 7:30am today and my first stop was at an old white building about an hour away from home in the town of Smith Falls. I walked inside, grabbed a number and wandered around for about an hour checking out all the display items ready to be auctioned off by Dave Reid.

There were quite a few speciality antiques and many collectibles including hockey memorabilia, vintage posters, photographs, knick-knacks, lamps, designer hats in fancy boxes and bottles. The place was jammed packed with people!

After assessing for a while my dad and I decided that even though there was a wicked selection, there was nothing worth sticking around for (for us in particular) so we headed down the street to Dan Peters auction which was home to mostly newer items. I am sorry to report I did not snag any older history pieces this holiday Monday however I did get some deals at Dan Peters and had a few chuckles.

I was at the auction from 10am-1pm today and learned that you can get some MEGA SAVINGS on small kitchen appliances, clothing and childrens toys at these auctions. It also was apparent that Dan Peters and the team have a great time doing what they do -Auctions.

I was sitting in my seat seeing all the numbers flying up and prices being called when I heard “s-t-e-a-m-e-r.”

After using the dryer for the past little while to de-wrinkle all my vintage clothes and remembering my Tobi Steamer is broken and I no longer have an iron – I threw my number in the air with no hesitation. After battling for a few seconds [what felt like forever] with a nice gentlemen – I won. My heart was racing and I realized why people go to auctions – that feeling of winning [and getting a deal] is powerful.

I ended up buying a brand new Rowenta Precision Valet 1550 Commercial Garmet Steamer valued at $189.95 for $47.00 taxes in. Woot Woot.

Moral of the story (for me today) is even though I am a collector of many things, I don’t settle and buy just for the sake of buying something. A piece has grab my attention, evoke a feeling of visual pleasure and make me feel something. When you see that item that is “just you” you picture where it will go in your space and there is usually no second guessing. Today I surprisingly just didn’t have “that feeling” for anything antique.

Looks like I will have less wrinkly vintage clothes and one less antique object in my house tonight. I am on the hunt for a big old box of jewellery this coming week – I will keep you posted on my findings.

P.S I booked a few days off next week from work and I am going on the road again. Stay tuned for my Dora the Explorer few days off. I will be embarking on antique and vintage quests and going to any place by car that I want to go. I will not be accompanied a purple backpack or a monkey but I promise you that it will rock.