Tag Archives: recycling

Blessings pt.2

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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.

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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.

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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$.

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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.

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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Mercury

I found some nice stuff on Thursday, and also saved something toxic from making it to the landfill.

In one of those bags was a little jar of mercury! Judging by its label I’d guess it was made in the 40s. The listed weight is one pound, but it’s around half full (weighs about 240 grams according to its scale, and presumably about 30 grams of that is the jar). Regardless, for its size the jar is quite heavy, and it’s interesting to feel how it sloshes around in there.

From what I can tell mercury is safe enough in this form, ie: in a glass bottle at room temperature. It’s even relatively safe to play with it in your hands – my friend’s mom apparently used to break thermometers and play with the mercury, and I also read some accounts of students touching it as part of a high school science class. However, it is still quite toxic, especially if inhaled. It’s especially bad for the environment, particularly in the food chain. Seafood is particularly vulnerable to mercury, and through biomagnification it can affect larger animals (like us) as well.

So, it’s good that I saved this from going to the dump! It’s also probably good that it didn’t get crushed by the garbage truck, as the mercury in theory could vaporize and end up in the face of the garbage collectors. I’m guessing whoever tossed it wasn’t paying attention to what they were throwing out, or didn’t know just how toxic mercury can be.

This is the first time I find a significant amount of mercury. I’ve seen a few old mercury thermometers before, but those apparently contain only up to around 2.5 grams. Finding this makes me wonder if there are any other toxic elements collecting dust in people’s basements. Maybe someone has a jar of cadmium, arsenic, or radium kicking around.

Fortunately, I also found some stuff here that I can use or sell.

I found a couple little plastic containers, once of which held a small collection of Wade figurines.

They’re not worth much, probably around 3$ a piece, but it’s definitely better than nothing.

I saved plenty of neat old junk, including two card games from Canada’s centennial (1967), a couple pairs of cool no-name frames, and two rolls of veneer.

Sorry these photos aren’t as good as they are usually, I’m still figuring out how to take photos at my new garage space. The lighting definitely isn’t as ideal as it is in my light box, but it’s better for taking larger group shots (which saves me a lot of time, and generally makes it easier to share extra finds).

Here’s a couple of cute strung together cardboard animal figures. I’d guess they’re from the 60s or 70s.

The jigsaw was a nice find. It’s old and a bit dirty, but still seems to work great. My friend will likely make use of it in some future woodworking project.

Otherwise, I saved some leather scraps, powder paints, and some vintage watercolour paints. I’m not sure if any of the paints are still good, but I figured I’d give them a chance.

I’ll definitely be returning to this house this week. Hopefully I find more old junk, and less mercury.

I’ve been having a lot of luck lately in my garbage runs. In fact, I have a backlog of photos on my computer waiting to be shared. I’m sure I’ll have another post up by the end of the week!

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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