Tag Archives: lifestyle

Tuesday in Rosemont pt.2

Last week I returned to Rosemont in hopes of finding more neat stuff. There wasn’t much at that spot this time around, though I did find a little box of threads and a decent, if slightly rusty pair of vintage scissors. Kudos to the reader who noted that the figurines from the last post may have been bingo-related good luck charms, as the box also contained some bingo game pieces.

I also found a ziplock bag full of aluminum pull-tabs. I remember various people, including my grandmother (she still does it, in fact) saving these thinking that they could be donated to a charity which would then turn them into wheelchairs. I’m not sure there are actually any charities that do this in Quebec, though I did find a couple that collect them in the Toronto area. Either way, though pull-tab collectors certainly mean well it doesn’t seem like a particularly effective way of raising money for charity. According to Encorp, a beverage container management nonprofit, you need around 12,000 pull-tabs to get about 5$ worth of aluminum, the same amount you’ll receive if you return 100 small cans. Apparently it’s also a lot easier in modern recycling plants to recycle an intact can versus just the tab. Overall, it doesn’t seem to be worth the effort, though it’s nice to see that people care enough to do it in the first place.

This find made me wonder if this pull-tab thing is a specifically central Canadian phenomenon. Is anyone in BC, or the US, or anywhere else collecting pull-tabs, or have heard of people doing so? Let us know in the comments!

Though I found little of value at that last spot, I was luckier at another familiar location.

You may remember these nice perfumes I found a while back, which came from the same recently sold house. That was around a month ago.

In subsequent weeks I found some lightly worn, and sometimes unused shoes and bags. Also a nice jewelry box, a few unspectacular watches, some nail polishes…

… and another nice perfume. This large 100ml bottle of YSL Opium Fleur Imperiale is worth around 100$.

I also happened to meet the lady who was throwing these things out. She drove up in her car and seemed mostly fine with my picking but asked me to close the bags. She looked mildly irritated, perhaps because someone else (maybe a can collector) had torn a hole in one of them. She went inside, but eventually came out and asked if I wanted some stuff. I ended up with a bunch of extra junk, nothing super exciting but decent yard sale items (a box of picture frames being the best get). The lady seemed nice enough, but I think the gift was more a result of her being sick of the moving process than it was an act of generosity.

I went back the next week and saw nothing on the curb. I figured that she finally moved, and that there would be nothing left to find. I was surprised when I passed by last week and saw a large collection of bags on the curb. Inside was my best haul from that spot to date. I have to wonder if she threw it out knowing that someone like me would find it, though she also threw out some nice stuff before our encounter. It’s possible she didn’t care one way or the other.

I found more lightly used items, including a pair of leather Blondo boots, a North Face bag (which I sold to a friend for 5$ at my most recent yard sale) …

… and a pet carrier, which I sold to the same friend for another 5$. He just got a kitten.

Otherwise, I picked up some more quality junk, including some mirrors, pictures frames, decor boxes, change purses …

… other stuff, some of which still had price tags attached;

… as well as a vintage pencil sharpener and silver plate thingy. Both of those sold at my most recent sale.

This jewelry box was one of my better finds. The latch was stuck so I had to pry open the top.

Inside was a lot of junk, but some quality stuff as well. There’s a bit of silver (like the chain on the left, at least) and some gold (the broken earrings near the bottom right, and the tangle of chains and pearls on the left). The spotted gold and black metal jewelry on the right is all signed Laurana, and may fetched a decent price because it’s a set. The earrings near the middle with the spiky things are pretty cool but unfortunately unsigned. The black, white, and bejeweled brooch looks Pierre Bex-y, while the pendant near the bottom left may be a chunk of raw silver with a real pearl set in.

There’s a few cool earrings that unfortunately don’t have a match, but I’ll try to find them a home regardless. If anyone knows what that star brooch with the numbers is supposed to represent let me know!

My best single find however might be this cute ring box, which appears to be British sterling silver.

The inside is in nice condition as well!

The stamps on the bottom indicate that it was made in Birmingham in 1928, if I’m reading this guide correctly. Unfortunately I can’t make out the makers mark, though it might be easier to read if cleaned of tarnish.

I found a British sterling silver box, also from Birmingham once before and sold it cleaned of tarnish for 195$. We’ll see what I end up getting for this one.

Otherwise, I also found a little bag filled with change and change rollers (as well as a silver chain with a Star of David pendant). I’ve been needing to roll my found coins for quite some time, but I refused to buy coin rollers because I knew I would find some eventually. Garbage picking makes me cheap in some ways, but the strategy worked out and I saved a few bucks.

Don’t get too excited by that bag that looks like toonies, they’re only Mexican pesos! They don’t have much value, even if you do happen to be going to Mexico.

My mom was in town this past weekend and she helped roll all my found coins. Here’s what I found that day all or partially rolled up. I forget the exact total, but it was somewhere around 25$.

While on the topic of change, here’s my accumulation of found change in rolled form. I’m very grateful to my mom for helping me tame this beast! This collection is around a year and a half old, dating approximately to when TD Bank removed all their free change counters (which were very convenient at the time). The total came to nearly 110$, and I’m sure I spent a few quarters or dollars along the way. This 25$ haul was been my biggest in some time, so this collection grew largely little by little, thanks mostly to people ditching some layabout coins as they moved or cleaned.

A new collection has already begun to grow. I found a roll of pennies in NDG the other day, and found some other coins last week that didn’t make it to the rolling party. In case you’re wondering, my biggest single haul of coins is still the 56.85$ I found in Westmount a few years ago. It’s hard to believe that someone would throw out that much change, but I guess that’s chump change when you’re a multi-millionaire.

I returned to both these spots yesterday but found nothing. Perhaps these sources are extinguished now, though I think I’ll return once more next week. If I find nothing again I’ll retire the route for a bit and focus my energy on other areas.

Relevant links

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

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

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Stranger things / yard sale

Before we start, allow me to invite you to tomorrow’s yard sale! My new garage, which I share with a friend whose main interest is furniture, is already full of stuff and we need make room for new trash. This would be a good sale to attend because a lot of the former garbage hasn’t been in a yard sale yet, and much of it hasn’t even made it to the blog (though some of it will eventually, I plan on doing a bunch of photography today).

If there’s anything you’d like to see at the sale, please let me know via email, Facebook, or blog comment and I can tell you if I still have it, if it’ll be there, or if I can bring it. The sale will be at the northwest corner of Laurier Park, on Mentana near the corner of St Gregoire. We’ll probably be ready for customers between 12-5pm, maybe a bit earlier or later depending.

I’ve been going for more walks lately, in an effort to simultaneously relax and get more exercise. Of course, I also can’t help but notice what’s on the curb while I’m out there, and sometimes I’ll make some finds I wouldn’t have made otherwise.

This little pile in Outremont provided a few interesting and unusual items. I haven’t seen anything there in the two subsequent garbage days however, so maybe the trash was the result of a one-off basement clean. Or, maybe I missed out on some good garbage in previous weeks. Who knows.

As usual most of the best stuff was in the bags. The first thing I pulled out was a box full of coloured glass pieces (there’s more wrapped in the newspaper below). I don’t think they’re particularly valuable, but my friend thinks she can use them in art.

I also found a fez. I’d never seen one in the trash before, so that’s a first.

This clay mask was a bit unusual. I expect it was someone’s art project, but if you know anything about the style let me know.

I also spotted a collection of much smaller faces. They look older and rougher than the larger one. If I were to guess I’d say that they were bought in a Colombian tourist shop back in the 50s, but really I have no idea of their origin. I’ve never seen anything quite like them.

I found a bunch of tools, most of which look to be crochet or needlework related. Other than the crochet hooks I have no idea what most of these do, so please enlighten me in the comments!

There was a little box with what I’m guessing are stone chess pieces inside. A couple of them have little chips, but I’m sure someone will be interested in them regardless.

These were my favourite finds though, the little bits of jewelry I saved from the bottom of one of the bags. There’s a classic spoon ring, an Avon ring, and a broken Mexican silver ring. But the more intriguing pieces are the bracelet and the necklace on the right, both of which I’m pretty confident are elephant ivory.

If so, I think this is the first time I find such a thing. Here’s a closeup of a section on the necklace, which appears to show the Schreger lines (the crosshatch pattern) typical of ivory. The necklace is unmarked, but I think the metal bits are sterling silver. One of the connecting rings is broken off, but I bet that’s an easy fix for a silversmith.

I think both are pretty old. The necklace has an S-hook clasp, which I don’t think has been the style for quite some time now, and the ivory (if that’s indeed what is it) is very yellowed. Still, I don’t really know much about old ivory, so I’m hoping one of you can fill in the blanks! Ideally I’d like to know for sure whether or not they’re ivory, roughly how old they are, and where they might have came from.

Regardless, this spot provided a lot of things I don’t often see. It should end up being a good learning experience.

That’s all for now, but I hope to see some of you at my yard sale tomorrow!

Relevant links

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

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

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Mousely Crew / Garage

I forgot to mention in my last post this box of dolls, figurines, and other miniatures I found in Westmount. I was pretty busy at the time and I only got around to looking at the things inside this week. I knew the box held some very cute figurines, but as it turned out it contained some minor treasures as well.

As you can see, many of the figurines were wrapped in toilet paper. The box looked like it had been tossed without much of a thought.

There were lots of mice, but also plenty of other animals.

A lot of the fabric figures are kind of dirty but maybe someone could clean them. I think a bunch of them are supposed to be Christmas tree decorations, they have green string coming out of their backs. It’s a shame that both those rabbits in the back right are missing a part of their ear – fortunately, they still look nice viewed from their profile. I found a similar rabbit a while ago, I forget who designed them but I remember that they are collectible in good condition.

Otherwise, there’s a Wade cat figurine, a few other vintage cat figurines, and a stone mouse marked as being made in Italy.

My favourites are the extra small pieces. I wish the photo turned out better, but you can still get a better look by clicking on the picture and zooming in. The dragon-like creatures on the left might be made by the same company that did the rabbits above, the glaze is quite similar. Otherwise, there’s lots of other animals here, and many of them are vintage as well.

I did some research on the little metal mouse at bottom, second from the right, which had Austria stamped on the bottom. As it turns out it was designed by Walter Bosse, a noted mid-century craftsman. 1stDibs has one for sale at 250$. The prices at 1stDibs are super marked up (it’s a website for interior designers and the super rich) but I still think I can get at least 50$ for it.

If you know anything about any of the other figurines let me know! I’m not really an expert on the topic.

There was also a tiny Windsor Star newspaper, made around the time of Pope John Paul I’s death in 1978. I’ve never seen anything quite like it before.

Inside the box were several bracelets. None are wildly spectacular, but the two on top are made from sterling silver.

My favourite find might be this thimble, which is made from 10k gold. This is the first time I’ve found one! It’s worth close to 100$ in scrap, but I should be able to sell it for a bit more than that.

Otherwise, I mentioned in my last post that I was looking for a garage. Well, I finally found one. It’s not too far away either, in the Plateau near Laurier Park. I’m still going to use my other storage place, but this one has a few features the other doesn’t, like electricity, running water, and lights. It’ll be a lot easier to take photos of my finds which should lead to more garbage making the blog! I also like that I can easily test my electric finds and clean some of the dirty ones, making for better and more organized yard sales.

The rent is 200$ a month, but I’ll be sharing it with my friend who wants to repair and bring new life to largely dumpster dived furniture, some of which I’ve found or we’ve found together. Once she repairs a few pieces I’ll post some before and afters so that you can see the transformation!

It’s going to be a bit of work cleaning it up and getting it set up, but I’m excited to have a space like this at my disposal.

Relevant links

1. Facebook page
2. My eBay listings
3. Etsy store
4. Kijiji listings
5. Contribute to garbagefinds.com

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

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