Blessings pt.2


The yard sale was productive, and almost certainly my largest ever. I got rid of a lot of stuff, my friend sold a lot of clothes, and we did a pretty good purge afterwards. However, it was also a really long day, around 12 hours straight with no breaks and not enough food or water. Plus, our landlord’s wife got really mad at us for doing the sale. That was more or less worked out by the end, but it did add some unneeded stress right from the start.

That being said, I’m considering doing another sale if the weather keeps up. I’ve cleared out a lot of stuff, but as I get organized I keep digging up old finds from buried boxes, most of which haven’t made it to my previous sales. I’d like to give some of these items one more chance to sell before winter, because it’s unlikely I’ll want to hold onto them until spring. My plan is to purge all but the best trash at the end of the yard sale season; that way it’ll be easier to stay organized over the winter, and I can start fresh in the spring.

The sale definitely won’t be this weekend, but depending on the weather it could be the next weekend or the one after. I’ll keep you posted.

Today I’ll finish up with the spot where I found all those papal blessings. While taking the pictures of all those frames I forgot to include one of my favourites, which was this series of five pictures from a 1938 Cercle des Jeune Naturalistes exhibition in Rimouski. The exhibit features lots of neat nature-related stuff, including bird wings, a stuffed owl, many different types of leaves, and lots of artwork. Zoom in for a much better look. I’ve never seen any photos quite like this previously, and it’s always neat to find something a little different.

I found a few different posters, including this one from Bourbon Street in New Orleans. It’s definitely vintage and in good condition, so I’ll try to get a nice price for it on eBay.


This poster was cool but ripped a bit in the middle. It was a throw-in at my most recent sale.

I also liked this old French wine map.

I went there one recycling day and saved a whole bunch of vintage cookbooks.

The best of the bunch was this Five Roses cookbook from 1915. The covers were off, but the pages were still in great shape. I sold it at one of my previous sales for 3$.

I saved a few books. None were super exciting, but this one was published in 1782. It’s in poor condition, but it’s not everyday I find something that old.

I saved a few photos, including one that looks to have been taken in an old schoolhouse.


I also found a neat etched portrait from the 50s. I hadn’t seen anything quite like it previously.

There were boxes and boxes of old lamp parts out on one trash day. Most looked to be from junky mid-century lamps, but they could be useful for crafting or repair.

This lamp is made from a repurposed Cognac bottle. I think it sold for 5$.


I found a Quebec flag that looks fairly vintage. Though it looks the same as the current flag, it could have a bit of value on eBay due to its age. I’ve had luck with old flags in the past.

There was also plenty of small junk, which I consider my specialty. This person seems to have collected sand, and you’ll see a few containers in the course of these photos. I remember selling that USSR sticker at one of my previous sales.

The elephant drawing and snakeskin compact are also goners.

The horseshoe sold at my last sale, and that little book on the right is actually a pack of cards.

I found a couple of vintage syringes here. Those cat-eye glasses should have a bit of value online. I was surprised to sell that bottle of Worcestershire sauce at my most recent sale. I like having a few funny things around mostly as conversation pieces, but occasionally they do actually sell. It was a pretty cool bottle, probably from the 60s or 70s. It also contained some sauce which smelled pretty good all things considered.

Here’s another bottle of sand, an Opinel knife, and a MacDonald’s cigarette tin.

Those little seals look to be made from real fur. The antler is neat, and I’m guessing that the thing on the right is an immature antler of some kind. If you know what it is for sure, let us know in the comments!

In this last collection of smalls we have some separatist buttons, another syringe, a Koffoids tin, and a few dolls.

One of the last things I found at this spot was a bag full of books which also contained this hand-sized crucifix. One interesting detail is the skull and bones symbol at the base of the cross, which is something I’d never seen before. From Wikipedia: “On some crucifixes a skull and crossbones are shown below the corpus, referring to Golgotha, the site at which Jesus was crucified, which the Gospels say means in Hebrew ‘the place of the skull.’ Medieval tradition held that it was the burial-place of Adam and Eve, and that the cross of Christ was raised directly over Adam’s skull, so many crucifixes manufactured in Catholic countries still show the skull and crossbones below the corpus.”

The more you know! I still hold out hope that I’ll save more things from this spot, but a resurgence is unlikely given that I haven’t seen anything there in the last month or so.

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34 thoughts on “Blessings pt.2”

  1. The item to the right of the antler is a piece of fan coral. Long time reader, first time posting.

  2. That black americana fly swatter would be interesting to the right collector. Is it home made / folk art?

  3. I love your rescues. It’s obvious that the people who lived in the homes being cleaned out, were seniors. I would definitely Keep picking the ‘smalls’ as they are your bread and butter sales. I load up a large basket of smalls at my yard sales and always make $25-30 plus on 25-75 cent junk. It keeps the little stuff corralled and I don’t have to constantly tidy up. I would wager a guess that the containers of sand came from beaches the person visited. During WWII, soldiers often brought back a tin of sand from the beaches where they l landed or fought

    1. Yup, in a good number of cases they were seniors. Other times it’s from people moving, whether they’re young or old. I like small stuff because it takes up little space, and occasionally can be worth a lot of money on its own. I especially love small stuff when it’s made of silver or gold… haha. It’d be cool to find some WWII sand.

  4. I think what you have there is one antler. I’ve seen animals, and I can’t tell you which ones, where the antler is fuller in the back and smaller in the front. I don’t think it’s from deer, but maybe from elk. I’m not really sure, but maybe my rambling can send you off in some direction if you want to go there. I’m sure you learn quite a bit from investigating some of the things you find. Some, you might not care to investigate though.

    1. Yup, I’ve learned a lot from garbage picking, especially researching my finds. The only thing is that there’s only so much time.

  5. So glad you had a successful yard sale!

    Love the pictures from the 1938 Cercle des Jeune Naturalistes exhibition in Rimouski.

    I remember those seal fur toys. I used to have one, but I don’t know what happened to it. They were quite popular c1967 (Canada’s Centennial) and into the 1970s. Then seal things became unpopular.

    1. Interesting, thanks for the back story. They don’t seem to be worth much, but it’s good to know their history.

  6. Congrats on a successful sale. It was a great yard sale and if the weather holds, another one could indeed be possible. I hope so!

  7. I don’t know much about antlers but the thing to the right looks like a piece of coral to me. Super fragile but makes cool decor in a beach house or bathroom.

  8. I love the cross, I rarely find such great small things in Sydney, however last week found a beautiful Microscope in a wooden box with slides etc, made in London.On same pile an old oak chest and a Scalectrix car set, 70’s , which my son wants as he had one as a child. I love your posts

    1. Most of the small things I find come from inside black trash bags. I’m not sure how it works in Australia though. I found a nice microscope a while back as well, I ended up giving my roommate a good deal on it. Glad you like the blog!

  9. Hm, I always thought you had a license or some kind of athorization from yout town hall to organize those sales. The issue with your landlord’s wife lead me to think otherwise. If not, isn’t that considered illegal street vending?

    1. As far as I know there is no regulation against yard sales in my area. I’ve never had a problem, and there are some people who do yard sales every weekend, and some street corners where there are yard sales every weekend. The landlord issue was more of a disagreement about how to use the garage space (I don’t actually live there). We said we might want to have a couple sales there a year, I think they were just surprised how many people ended up going lol.

  10. Looking up for Tableau de Paris, This book has reprinted a million times in different editions and the original, even without the cover probably still has a good value..

  11. I’ll keep an eye on this New Orleans poster, love it ! But I don’t have this sort of money to put on decor right now.
    Any deal for local buyer ? *winks*

    It warms my heart to see so many Rinouski related things lately… Born and raised in this lovely town !

    1. Hi, send me an email and we can figure something out. I don’t think it’s worth as much as I listed it for (I just like to start at a high price for certain hard to research items) so I could most likely give you a much better deal

  12. The 2 little spoons in the picture of “smalls” might be caviar spoons which would be valuable to a collector.

  13. Random thought: Do you have trick-or-treaters on Halloween in Montreal? If so, as you purge set aside the low value “treasures” a kid might like and give out them instead of or mixed in with candy.

    1. I think some kids would like it, but like with the surprise bag I think the ones that don’t (or the parents that don’t) would just throw the thing back in the garbage.

      1. Sadly true. But how do you purge your quality junk? Even if you don’t throw it away and put it out in a free box, it may well end up in the garbage after a little while anyway.

        Kids with allergies, in particular, appreciate it when I do it ( I’ve been decluttering junk that way for a few years :). I now rescue trashed items just for Halloween.

        I enjoy doing this. But I do get that it can be just another thing to think about 🙂

        1. When I purge something I usually just put it out on the curb well in advance of the garbage truck. My area has good foot traffic, so by the time the garbage truck comes most of the good stuff will be taken. (Plus, people now know that my part of the curb provides some decent stuff sometimes, ha ha).

          But usually I don’t purge the quality junk. It’s mostly the stuff that’s closer to actual junk that I get rid of, the kind of things that people might take for free but are unlikely to pay for (or, I don’t feel like waiting around until they pay for it). So that stuff probably isn’t great for kids anyways.

          I think that quality junk would make for good halloween gifts. Toys, cool knick knacks, old coins, and so on would be fun for kids to look at.

  14. Have you ever thought about making “surprise bag” for sale? Like putting random vintage stuff and sell it at flat rate . I am always intrigued by your findings and it would be awesome to get little knickknacks you would like to get rid of

    1. It’s a fun idea but I wonder if people might throw away the stuff they’re not interested in. For example, a friend got me a bag of those mixed flavor jelly beans the other day, and while I like most of the flavours I’m not into the weirder stuff like chocolate pudding or daiquiri. So, if none of my friends eats them I’ll probably just throw them out.

      I do like the idea of a “junk box” lot on eBay though. I might do that this year after yard sale season is over.

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