Servire Populo Pt.4

I got my new photography light in the mail the other day and set it up not long after. I went yesterday to test it out and I’m pretty happy with the results! I look forward to sharing those shots here on the blog. I took them with the garage floor as the background. I might take future photos on a white sheet, but for now I’m happy just to process the accumulation of former trash that was building up.

Otherwise, I thought you might get a kick out of this box I sent to a customer in BC. I covered it in found stamps, thus saving myself about 15$ in postage. I’ve mailed a few other smaller packages this way and have probably saved about 30$ in total. That find is paying off nicely!

Today I’ll share the remainder of the finds from that place in St Michel. I haven’t seen anything there in quite some time, so the chances are good that this is the last you’ll see of it.

This vintage female reproductive organ chart was interesting. It was published by Tampax and probably dates back to the 40s. It was nicely preserved thanks to it being laminated, but suffered an unfortunate accident when I squished it in a drawer. A small piece from one corner broke off, thus damaging an otherwise nearly pristine piece. I had listed it on eBay, but with the damage it went into the yard sale pile. Still, it’s pretty cool and I’m sure someone will buy it. The page is double sided – see the other image below.

Here’s an interesting paper that seems to advertise some kind of reflexology course. It’ll go into my yard sale box of miscellaneous papers.

I appreciated finding this 1983 Sears catalogue. I could sell it fairly easily, but I think I’ll keep it as a reference guide. I like being able to date objects to a certain time. For example, the lawn chairs I love so much were featured in this catalogue. I’m sure there’s lots of other stuff in there that I’d recognize as well!

Vintage scissors are always a hit at yard sales. My grandma gave me a milk of magnesia tin exactly like the one at top right many years ago.

Here’s a little Canada Post flag, a porcelain feeding cup, and a never opened Minnie Mouse table cover.

I found a few Expo 67 trinkets here. None were particularly noteworthy, but they do sell at yard sales.

Those Ray-Bans are real, but the fact that they’re prescription hurts their value. The little bottle on the top was a made in the USSR trinket. Serge Joyal was a Liberal MP in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve for many years and still serves in the Senate.

That empty bottle of Extrait Chanel #5 went to a local buyer. The other stuff has either already sold, or is waiting in a box for yard sale season.

On the right is a cute micro-mosaic brooch. Some of those sell for pretty good money, but I decided that mine was best suited for the yard sale bin. The watches are nice, and should sell for a dollar or two at a yard sale.

This spot may be done producing but I’ve been having luck elsewhere in St Michel. Last night I picked up bags full of clothes, a cool plant stand, a chair and plenty of other miscellaneous junk. I’m sure I’ll share a bit of that on the blog sometime soon.


1. Facebook page
2. My eBay listings
3. Etsy store
4. Kijiji listings
5. Contribute to
6. Follow me on Instagram

Email: I often fall behind on emails, so I apologize in advance if it takes me a while to get back to you.

11 thoughts on “Servire Populo Pt.4”

  1. We had some of those Expo ’67 trays, but I can’t remember if there were more than one image. These were small, kind of the size of a book. I remember using them for lunch, they weren’t very big.

    The photo on your tray looks familiar, but I suddenly realize it seems to be a photo of a model, rather than the actual site. I guess they needed to get the souvenirs in production early. Even if the site was ready well before opening, it would have been covered in snow.

    One thing that turned was our season passes (labelled “visa”) to “Man and His World”, the Fair kept alive for a few years. Just a piece of laminated cardboard, a big step down from the “passports” of Expo ’67. But I’d forgotten about them. Probably they may be more rare because people valued them less. I don’t have them handy, but the price dropped a fair amount each year.


  2. Great savings on postage. I’d love to receive a stamp-plastered package like that one. Fun!
    That Sears catalogue is older than you are! But it is the same year your sister was born. 🙂
    Do you still have that spider brooch?

    1. I don’t know if I still have that, but it could be in my yard sale stuff. I won’t find out until the spring probably, ha ha

  3. I hate minimalism,extreme decluttering and all the shows telling us to throw out a lot.I read your blog because I appreciate vintage stuff and love collecting good stuff.Read this great article.

    Why minimalism is overrated

    Marie Kondo can colour-code her socks all she likes, but the new thinking is that mess is your friend says Deborah Hill Cone.
    Mar 31, 2017 11:20am
    By Deborah Hill Cone

    If I glance around, where I am sitting right now on my shabby purple velvet couch, this is what I see: A wobbly pile of 27 books, with brainier looking ones on the top to impress visitors, then there is Sidney the Burmese cat, his collar frayed, a Lego dragon, a pair of discarded Star Wars pyjama bottoms, a strawberry-flavoured Smiggle pen, a lump of Blu-Tac, Mum’s swear jar (full), a candle which says “If you’re going to get in trouble do it at the Chateau Marmont”, a purple blanket crocheted by (now departed) mum, an ugg boot, a glittery sandal.

    Clutter is my natural habitat.

    I suppose some of these things around me are ‘bringing me joy’ – the candle smells like aviation fuel – but I’m hardly Marie Kondo-ing it (Japanese magic art of tidying up). I’m not even ‘hyggeing’ it either (Danish art of cosiness); I’m just a bit of a shambles. It seems I was gifted the genes for bad hand-eye coordination but missed out on the DNA for alphabeticising your spice rack.

    And yet: good news! It’s suddenly becoming okay to be messy. In fact, it could even be beneficial.

    It seems we’ve gone as far as we can go into the rigorous business of decluttering and being minimalist and the pendulum is swinging back to embrace a bit of muddle.

    In his book Messy: The Power of Disorder to Transform Our Lives, economist Tim Harford argues the forces of tidiness have marched too far.

    The rigid thinking around tidiness and control disempowers us, so in being messy we are “recapturing our autonomy”.

    Who knew?

    And there I was just thinking I was a bit of a sloth. But in the age of big data and algorithms where everything is measurable, it makes sense that some forward thinkers are starting to ask whether there are some parts of life that are not improved by technology, efficiency and organisation. Not only that, they’re asking whether the effort we put into systematising everything, being proud of your sock drawer, is worth it.

    Cognitive scientists study ‘neats’ and ‘scruffies’ – also known as ‘filers’ and ‘pilers’ – that is, people who establish a formal organisational structure for documents and those who let piles of paperwork accumulate.

    They found filers had bloated archives full of documents they never used. Whereas pilers just kept documents on their desks for a while and sooner or later picked them up, realised they were useless and biffed them out.

    It seems a messy desk is instead a ‘pragmatic system of organisation’ where the most recently used things get placed on the top. Given most scientists are by definition neat freaks, this is quite a radical admission.

    “Disorderliness is no bar to success,” Harford says. I could kiss that man.

    The artistic process is by its nature, messy. Originality demands saying yes to whatever comes up, not just whatever fits neatly into a pre-conceived category, and that means there will be mess.

    It might get loud, and dirty. Mess is sexy. Kate Moss will always be hotter than the Duchess of Cambridge: a hot mess, sometimes.

    The thing is, it’s not just that I’m too lazy to be neat. I find tidiness oppressive. I don’t like the way neatness makes me feel I have to be on my best behaviour. Being in very tidy places – Japan was weird – makes me want to go hog-wild and muck everything up. I exult in, rather than endure, a certain level of chaos. It is life affirming.

    “Open your eyes. This horrible mess is your life. There is no sense in waiting for it to get better. Stop putting it off and live it,” as fantasy writer Robin Hobb said.

    I’m not sure I entirely trust people who always have clean cars. I always suspect they’re the kind of people who get up and wash themselves after sex. But it’s not surprising. There’s more and more pressure to be engaging in improving endeavours, being healthy and balanced and sober. No wonder mess can feel so liberating. Because mess isn’t just about hanging up your clothes or stacking the dishwasher, it’s a state of mind.

    Haven’t you ever noticed a high-powered career woman occasionally sneaking out for a cheeky fag? You can’t be virtuous all the time – all those spin classes and low-fat smoothies – without needing to break out occasionally.

    In her essay The Perverse Allure of Messy Lives, Katie Roiphe says it’s precisely because we’ve all become so conservative that we are fascinated by the retrograde glamour of programmes like Mad Men in which people led messy lives, drinking too much, smoking too much, falling into bed with people they weren’t married to.

    Roiphe advocates a ramshackle personal life: “I have two children, with two different fathers, neither of whom I am living with. It did take me a little while to achieve quite this level of messiness but I did it in the end.”

    This isn’t new. The Bloomsbury Set – including writers like Virginia Woolf – styled themselves as an “experiment in living” with (for the time) loose morals and shoddy habits, all in the pursuit of living a free, creative life. Being bohemian looked fabulously louche, although children of some of those rule-breakers say amid the panache were sadder stories of alcoholism, breakdowns and suicides.

    I guess there is mess, and then there is MESS. Because I confess while I’ve been writing this column, I had to take a break to get up to make all the beds. That brought me joy.

    1. finally someone telling the other side of the story theres always 2 sides but you already know that. You get extra credit for grinding on a few off subject topics which i personally like thats the sign of a good story teller anyways thanks

    1. I’d have to dig deep into my yard sale stuff to find it now. I doubt I’ll see it before spring, but you never know.

  4. Your blog should inspire folks in Montreal to throw out less reusable stuff.There is only so much reusable stuff you can humanly salvage.Personally,I am fond of people who accumulate stuff,hoard and collect vintage stuff as long as they are not filthy and keep their houses or apartments quite livable.
    As the long article posted above mentions,there are just too many anti-clutter shows on TV and too many extreme decluttering articles in magazines and newspapers. and they are tiresome for me.Hope your readers will resist the urge to throw out useful stuff .

  5. My mom served us tea at Christmas on a round Expo 67 tray! (She and my Dad went to Montreal for their Honeymoon in ’68.) The same tray she used to bring down treats to my sis and me as kids. Still kickin!

Comments are closed.