My friends and I often joke that I can be a tad bossy sometimes, and that my tone comes off like a drill sergeant’s, so what better fashion theme for this week’s Dear Edna collaboration than the military-inspired look? Check out Week 2′s post here, and if you missed the first round of my fall fashion review, click here. March, march, march!

Part 2 – Junkin’ Jewels

As promised, here is Part 2 of the junkin’-junket weekend of vintage treasures:

So obviously these are not “vintage treasures,” but the stop at the St. Jacobs farmers’ market took up at least a couple hours, which therefore meant ample time to maximize my purchasing power. Darcy and I cooked up the homemade pasta tonight, and it was good, good, good.

This is my one and only purchase from the Stratford Antique Warehouse. It’s a reproduction of a map of Edmonton from 1907 that was co-published by the Association of Canadian Map Libraries and the University of Alberta in 1979. There were only 500 made, and I got one of them for $15, but why was it in Stratford? How did it get there? So many questions!

I spotted this sweater at a super-cute vintage clothing shop in St. Marys called Pass it On. It wasn’t priced, so I tried it on thinking I wouldn’t be able to buy it because it had this tag and seemed expensive:

When I was changing back into my clothes, I told my mom to go find out how much the sweater was – I thought it might be about $50, but the answer was $4.50! SOLD. I can’t wait to pair this sweater with leggings and boots!

I also spotted this pin, which wasn’t priced, either. It ended up being $2. SOLD. The owner of Pass it On noticed that it was a Sarah Coventry brooch, which is a brand I had never heard of before, but apparently there is a lot of this brand of jewelry out there because it used to be sold during the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s at home parties a la Tupperware, PartyLite, etc. This information prompted me to check out my other brooches when I got home, to see if I had anything else SC, and just didn’t know it:

Nope – no other Sarah Coventry stuff in this collection!

This was my final purchase at Pass it On. For $5, I thought this overnight Jetliner bag was a steal!

I love decorating at Christmastime, and this record will make for a nice decor item, as well as satisfy another holiday obsession of mine – listening to Christmas carols! I bought this record for $1 at Eclectic Treasure in St. Marys.

On to Day 2 of the junket. This broom looks a lot bigger than it really is – it’s only about two-and-a-half-feet long. I have decided I am going to decorate my bathroom with an antique theme, so this is only one of the perfect pieces I found over the weekend. Lucky me, everything was half price at this particular vendor’s booth at the Aberfoyle Antique Market, and I bought this broom for $11.

Also bought, for $1, at the same booth, was this hanger. My coveted fur cape would like nice hanging on it. *Tear*

My first officially purchased Pyrex bowl! This was bargained down to $6 at Aberfoyle, and it’s the Horizon Blue pattern (with my St. Jacobs Bosc pears sitting pretty inside it!).

My second piece of newly acquired Pyrex! Technically, I didn’t purchase this because my mom bought it for me as a gift (for $10.95 at the Freelton Antique Mall), but it is part of my wares from the weekend, so I thought I would show it off anyway. This is the Friendship pattern, and I have decided to collect this size (two-and-a-half quart) of Pyrex bowl to place in a lovely display on the top of my kitchen cupboards.

Here is my collection of Pyrex bowls – the middle one is part of a three-piece set that was my great-grandmother’s. It’s the Butterfly Gold 1 pattern. Wheeeee!

Also purchased at Freelton was this vintage washboard – for only $5! I had been considering buying one earlier at Aberfoyle for $17, so I’m happy that I waited.

Another purchase at Freelton, and another purchase for this year’s Christmas decor. It was $3, and there were two, so my mom and I both bought one. We opened them, though, and one of them smelled OLD. Junkers and thrifters, you know the smell.

The last item purchased at Freelton, and, coincidentally, the last bought item of the day. This flour sifter was $3, which I thought was a great price. My mom bought one, too, but hers was in better shape.

And that brings me to the end of my buying bonanza. In there are some purchases for the Tally it Up total (the sweater, bag, and brooch), and I also bought an umbrella on the weekend at Wal-Mart for $14.68, so that brings my Tally thus far to $589.56. It would be higher if I had the fur cape…

A junkin’ weekend

My mom came down to Burlington to visit me this past weekend, and “junkin’” is a new word we discovered on Saturday and whose meaning is clear when I tell you all we did for two days was visit antique malls and Value Villages everywhere from Stratford to Toronto. While we were on our way into a Liquidation World in Mississauga, I yelled at my mom, “We’re on a junkin’ junket, y’all!” and that was pretty much the tone from Friday evening to Monday morning. Here’s what a junkin’ junket looks like, from beginning to end:

My car’s tires are known by all to leak air, so here I am, in a familiar pose to everyone who has travelled with me.

Here we are, back at the St. Jacobs farmers’ market. The picture doesn’t accurately show how HUGE these carrots were!

What if there was a miniature Jack climbing up these brussel-sprout stalks? What if…

Johnny Appleseed would like this picture.

I discovered I might love kettle corn a little too much because I think it made me ill on Saturday night. I believe this because I ate it before lunch, after lunch, before supper, after supper, and before bed, and I have felt ill after eating it in the past, but I didn’t want to believe I needed a self-imposed kettle-corn limit.

About to enter the Stratford Antique Warehouse. My mom and I thought it was high-priced in here, and I only bought one thing.

I wanted to buy this so badly, but it was $55, and I just couldn’t bring myself to pay that. Since I left the store on Saturday afternoon, I have thought about this fur cape constantly. Non-buyer’s remorse!

Waiting for lunch at Pathway Fish & Chips in St. Marys. We didn’t know what we were in for…

…Fish and chips wrapped in newspaper! This was one of the best meals all weekend.

Can you spot me among the clutter at Eclectic Treasure in St Marys?

The wallpaper in the front hall of the Freelton Antique Mall, a.k.a. the best antique mall my mom says she’s ever been in

I also regret not buying this Pyrex warmer set. My mom has a new obsession with Pyrex after reading this article in the Toronto Star, and she has been busy seeking out where to find it, cheap (this set was only $17!). Her zeal effortlessly rubbed off on me this weekend, and I am also hooked on a new blog she recommended, The Pyrex Collective.

This item presents an odd mixture of non-buyer’s remorse and practicality. I REALLY wanted to buy this (why it was only $18, I have no idea!), but I have absolutely nowhere to put it, and it doesn’t match with any of the colours in my apartment. I think this sense of futility has placated me in a way the pass-up of the fur cape has not, which could have had infinite uses. I WANT THAT CAPE!!

Here is the upper-level view of a portion of the Freelton Antique Mall. What treasures to be found here!

And there you have it – Part 1 of a storyboard chronicle that details my weekend with my mom. Part 2 will be revealed tomorrow, when I show you my wares. I wish I was gearing up to display my fur cape. But I won’t be. Because I didn’t buy it. Because I’m DUMB! Argh!!!

Read this, and you never know what you might get!

OK, I had three people weigh in on the question of whether to grab-bag blog or not (thanks Ami, Caroline, and Joanne!), so I am going to go ahead, twist the math, and consider them a true representative sample of my readership. Data-man Darcy would not approve! But enough about him and more about me! Let’s go way back, like old-school back, to the Thanksgiving weekend…

The Reaper’s Realm bus!

Yes, this bus is cut in half, and yes, it is amazing! Vrooooooom! Off you go into the woods on a Halloween adventure that consists of creatures crawling onto the bus and down the aisles, things popping out from the trees, and huge 18-wheeler cab trucks chasing you alongside a corn field. Wheeeee! This thrilling ride that makes me feel like a kid again (and that was the finale after an extremely giddy ride to the Reaper’s Realm site) is out in Lambton County, near where Darcy’s dad and sister live, in the Sarnia/Petrolia area. We went on the ride a few years ago, but then Darcy and I moved away, and that was the end of that tradition. Until now. Reaper’s Realm 2011 already has Darcy, his sister Candice, and I making plans for mid-to-back-of-the-bus seating positions for optimal spooking chances. We sat at the very front for Reaper’s Realm 2010, and we were annoyed by the surly and unenthusiastic bus driver. We wanted him to cut a jugular or something! Anyway, I still screamed at the actors who caught me unawares, and I was laughed at mercilessly. But when we’re this happy afterward, it had to be good:

This shot is blurry because it’s from a camera phone (I still like it, Danielle!), but you can see the sheer Halloween joy on our shining, earnest faces. [Me, Darcy's dad's girlfriend Sue, Darcy's dad Gary, and Darcy (in his University of Alberta colours).]

Darcy’s sister Candice, mine and Darcy’s nephew Ethan, and Me preparing to go up to the top.

So, obviously I spent the Thanksgiving weekend in Sarnia and Petrolia with Darcy’s family, since here we are at the Brigden Fair. I can’t remember the last time I was on a ride, so this was so much fun. Darcy and Joe (Candice’s beau) didn’t go on the ride above, and both found it quite funny that I screamed (again) when this mini-Drop Zone gave way. Needless to say, I was not holding Ethan’s hand at that point – I was gripping the seat handles like death was imminent. But I enjoyed myself, and ate the kettle corn I bought within, oh, a day. Good times! *Side note: I spotted a true Nanny McPhee front tooth on one of the carnie workers. Fascinating!*

The Thirty Bench winery in Beamsville.

Besides working at home, my job definitely has its perks, such as complimentary events like this one – a winery tour last Friday! I was there for business, of course, to interview the winemaker for the website I write for (check out here!), but I had also never been to a winery, so this was much more than just work to me. In fact, it barely felt like work at all! I got a great interview, and submitted my article today. Writing it was easy after seeing the vineyards, the wine-tasting room, and the cellar, where I got to sample two merlots that had been barely fermenting for more than two days. The wine came out of huge oak barrels with little spouts on them that reminded me of Disney cartoon casks, and it tasted so good – like juice! There were little pieces of grape skins in the wine, too, which just added to the authenticity of my experience at Thirty Bench. In fact, you can watch this video and hear me talking to the winemaker. Haha! I told Darcy we have to go back and have a full tasting with a wine consultant. Here is another picture from Thirty Bench, of part of its vineyards:

So pretty! So idyllic!

Don’t you wish this was your house?

Here I am, last Saturday morning, the day after the winery excursion. Yes, you’ve seen this outfit before, but I don’t care because I like it! Anyway, the outfit is not the focal point of this picture – it’s the house in the background! My good friend Peter works at Canadian House & Home magazine, and its pros (including Peter!) are behind the design of the Princess Margaret Welcome Home Sweepstakes for Cancer lottery home in Oakville. Lucky Susie and I were invited by Peter to go to what was a ticketed event that let us sit in the house’s AMAZING kitchen with Lynda Reeves and food editor Amy Rosen while they demonstrated how to cook a “Cheese Strata” and sticky buns. Afterward, we toured the house, which took forever because it was so big, and because Susie and I had heart attacks just about every time we turned a corner. *”Ooooh! Ahhhhh! Look at this!!” they squealed.* Moving along, we were eventually ushered into the garage, where samples of the cooked food was waiting. I discarded of the gross raisins in the sticky buns, but other than that, it was time very well spent! Not to mention the welcome acquisition of a pretty good gift bag. “Why, yes, I’ll take this bag for free,” I said calmly before doing a lunatic’s leprechaun dance in the driveway.

After we left the lottery home, Susie and I stepped back in time, and I had horseshoes made for my nag.

OK, not true. But we did go to Starsky, which is a wild time in a grocery store. You might not think that’s possible, but, oh, it is. I dare you to go here and not be awed by the dessert, deli, and cheese counters. If you aren’t tempted by at least one free sample, well, you must be dead inside.

Happy 30th Birthday, Mike!

Last Saturday was a really busy day (and night). After I got back from roaming around Oakville, I only had a few hours before it was time to get on the road again – but this time to Hamilton. Erin‘s beau was celebrating his 30th birthday, and Darcy, Caroline, and I made the trek out to the Hammer together. Here’s a picture of Erin, Caroline, and I before we left for Gallagher’s:

I look a tad slit-eyed, but we all look happy and well supplied with drink, so the photo was a keeper. What isn’t pictured here is us, still up at 4 am, eating crackers, meat, and cheese. Let’s leave that one to the imagination.

Me and Susie out at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto.

And here we are, finally into this week! October has definitely been my month for free events, because on Tuesday night, I was Susie’s date to Ballroom With a Twist. She had obtained tickets through work, and I was happy to oblige and take one off her hands! This particular production was created by Dancing with the Stars‘ Louis Van Amstel, which I thought gave it immediate potential to be a great show. Um, not so much. By the end, Susie and I were in agreement that it was a 2.5- or 3-star show at best. Dancers were out of sync, and there was an odd interlude during which amateur dancers who had won a local contest had the opportunity to dance onstage. There was then a Q&A with the Dancing With the Stars pros who were in the show, after which the audience was led through a hokey dance routine. Why? Why? Apparently a lot of other people had the same thought, because about a third of the audience in our section began inching out the doors at this exact moment. Oh, but wait! The show isn’t over! That’s right – the whole production started up again and went for about another 25 minutes. So bizarre.

From left, clockwise: Bryony, Kristy, Caroline, Me, and Susie.

All right, last event of the week! On Wednesday night, the ladies and I went out to Milagro on Yonge Street in Toronto to support Susie in her job at the Canadian Cancer Society. The event was called Feast for the Fight, and a portion of our dinner tab was donated to the cancer society. The restaurant we went to is Mexican, and I’m not a big lover of this type of food, but as I said to Darcy when I got home, “It’s always nice to see my friends.” And Susie’s pick of the Holy Grail of cheese pots (the “Queso Fundido”) was pretty friggin’ good, so that counted as a plus, too. I love being back in Ontario!

A passion for fashion

Hi, De Facto Redhead readers! Last Friday, as part of an ongoing fall-fashion project, the lovely Dear Edna posted a guest blog entry that I wrote for her about – you guessed it – fall fashion. I am going to appear over there for the next little while, as every two weeks I will be writing about a trend you are sure to see on the streets in the months leading up to Christmas. My first pick to blog about was the lady-like silhouette. Check it out and say hello here!

P.S. I have tons of things to blog about – again! Did you like the grab-bag blogging style of my last post? Should I keep that up until I can keep pace? Let me know what you think!

Grab-bag blogging

I haven’t blogged since the brandSampler post, and even before I wrote that one, I had other things I wanted to share with you, from antique and farmers’ markets, to new outfits, to Tally it Up purchases. So, before this long weekend gets started and I have more even more things to write about, let me cleanse my blogging soul! I give you:

1) A trip to St. Jacobs with my parents, who were visiting for the weekend. The farmers’ market was incredible, and I’m going again in two weeks when my mom is coming down for a visit. It’s amazing that none of these pictures needed to be touched up – the colours really were that bright!

My bounty, clockwise from top: kettle corn popcorn; potato bread; Ontario garlic cloves; homemade pasta noodles; dill; roasted red pepper and garlic jelly; and Ontario Royal Gala apples (my favourite kind!).

I also bought this vintage food scale. I tried to barter, was shot down, paced around the market frozen with indecision, and then conceded defeat, after which I lovingly cradled my scale in my arms. Scaley was saved from the market orphanage.

2) A new camera (on sale at Best Buy for $119)! And here is one of the flattering first shots Darcy decided to take:

Darcy and I had just finished putting together our couch (OK, he put it together and I watched), and visitors were due to show up any moment. I was frantically cleaning the rug with lint roller. I’m glad he had time to stop and take a picture.

3) My friend Jen’s bachelorette party last Saturday, after the lint-roller escapade. Here is what I wore:

Shoes: Guess via The Bay; tights, Fruit of the Loom; skirt, H&M; jacket, KensieGirl; clutch, Aldo; brooch, bracelet, and earrings, vintage; vintage fur collar, Aberfoyle Antique Market.

My friend Susie absolutely hates this fur, but, really, it’s all I want to talk about when it comes to this outfit. I bought it a couple weeks ago at the Aberfoyle Antique Market (thanks for telling me about this place, Ami!) from a woman who used to have a vintage shop in Windsor, but had to close it due to lack of business. I snatched this collar up as soon as I spied it, and haven’t been so thrilled with a purchase for quite a while. It was priced at $10, I offered $8, and she accepted. Whoop! I also bought a vintage clear-rhinestone-and-silver ring for $5. (Those things, plus a necklace I bought through Aldo Accessories online for $11.28 equals $24.28 to add to the Tally it Up total. That brings me to $561.88. Only three months to go!)

I was also quite proud of my new hairdo, which Susie didn’t have time to take any pictures of because we thought we were going to be late for Jen’s party. But, after reading Orchid Grey’s tutorial on how to do “Heidi braids,” I decided it wasn’t a style that was out of the question for a non-hair person such as myself. And it’s a good thing I put some effort into my hair, otherwise I would have been completely stood up by the hairdo of the party’s surprise guest:

Welcome, Rod Stewart!

ALL of that pretty much covers what I’ve been up to, plus the constant home decoration that’s still going on, but is nearing completion. That’s another post for another day. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!