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.

Old stock

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I went out a fair bit last week despite it snowing a tonne, or probably many tonnes. I think there was 20 or so centimeters one day and another 15 not long after. All that snow makes it hard to drive or park, not to mention bike. I took it easy the first half of the week while the snow removal went down. I didn’t want to lose my parking spot (it was unlikely I’d get one even half as nice) and figured that people were too busy shoveling to throw much out anyways. Thankfully, I did have a few productive runs later in the week.

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Let’s start though with an interesting find from the week before. I got around to sorting through all those clothes I found in the Plateau. A lot of them look pretty decent and likely yard saleable, perhaps even Etsyable. I’m not really a clothes guy though so this flag was of greater personal interest. I didn’t know what it was at first, but was able to quickly identify it as the flag of the Azores Liberation Front, a right-wing paramilitary group whose goal was to gain independence for the Azores Islands from Portugal. The organization was of note for only a few years in the mid-70s and this flag appears to be pretty uncommon as a result – I can’t find any on eBay, and there’s not even very many referenced on Google. My plan is to list it on eBay for 100$ and see if anyone bites. I think a flag collector, particularly one with an interest in aspirant peoples might find it interesting.

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I found a bit more junk at that spot in CDN where I found that silver picture frame. There were a couple of vintage Parker ballpoint pens, nothing too fancy but nice nonetheless. The Swiss Army Knives were cheap knockoffs, but a cheap knockoff is still better than nothing. That Timex watch looks to be in nice shape, though I don’t have a battery to test it with.

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I also found a couple of self-help tapes / cassettes that should make for good yard sale material. The Bruce + Kris Jenner exercise video is a blast to the past for a variety of reasons, and apparently Tony Robbins went by Anthony Robbins in the 80s. Both are still in their original shrink wrap.

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I stopped at another spot when I noticed two bags of books sitting on the curb. Inside the bin were even more books, and fortunately they were placed in bags. There’s nothing quite as annoying as coming cross a bin stuffed full of books, as getting to the ones on the bottom without making a mess is pretty near impossible.

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A bunch of them weren’t in great shape – they looked like the had spent a little too long in a basement. But a lot of them were still in good condition, including a number from a set of Victor Hugo books published I think in the 1930s. I don’t think that set is in good enough condition for me to list them on eBay, as book collectors tend to be a picky bunch and I don’t know think they’d be worth the hassle of describing and listing, but I’ll bet that they’ll be a hit at yard sales.

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I went back to that same spot on garbage day and found a bit of decent junk. Inside one bag was a collection of screws which should come in handy, especially to my roommate who does a lot of woodworking.

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I also found a box full of old photo junk. Nothing too exciting really, but there was a box of slides there that appear to have been taken at an Eric Clapton show in the late 70s. I have them listed on eBay for 40$, and they should sell for around that.

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I also saved this dark room enlarger doohickey that might make me 50$ on eBay.

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I came across this spot later on that day and saved a bunch of decent stuff. I’m glad that empty box was there, I needed somewhere to put my finds!

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I salvaged a bunch of nice jewelry boxes, a lot of which are from Birks. Unfortunately none of them came with any jewelry (though I did find a broken 14k gold chain that’s worth about 40$ for scrap), but some of will be useful for mailing out eBay junk. The ones that are less conducive to mailing, like the watch boxes I’ll try selling at a yard sale. Also in the box are a couple sample sized vials of Chanel #5, a 100ml bottle of Teck by Molinard (already sold!), a snow globe, and a few vintage lottery tickets from the 70s.

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I also saved these cool framed butterflies. I’m sure someone will pounce on this at a yard sale.

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My best find however was a large collection of wooden combs, toothbrushes, and safety razors, most of which were still sealed in plastic. The look to have been made for a local startup, but judging by their website they’ve since moved on to some different designs.

I won’t share the name of the startup here, as I’m sure they’re not the only one that has tossed out old stock over the years. And in a way I get how a small local company like this might not want to donate their old stuff, as by doing so they would devalue the very market they’re trying to access. Still, it’s a little frustrating to see these things get manufactured and then tossed out in favor of a slightly different design. It’s a waste of resources, and it’s obviously not great for the environment. Plus, the products are actually nice, so they really should be put to use.

Oh well, at least I was there to save it all! I’m not going to get rich here, but this stuff should make me a bit of money over time. I’ll probably bring several of each to every yard sale, maybe selling the razors for 2$, the wood combs for 1$, and the toothbrushes for .50$. I’ll probably still have some left by this time next year, but I don’t mind if it brings me some easy pocket change.

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Otherwise, I saved this cute three-footed dish from some bags in Outremont. It’s pretty small, about two inches tall, and looks to be quite old. I doubt it’s worth much – for one, it probably used to have a lid – but I’d be interested to hear if anyone knows where and when it might have been made. It looks similar to a lot of old Nipponware to me, but there’s no makers marks that would help identify it as such.

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I’ll finish with a funny story. A while back one of my roommates requested that I find him a French press. I did, and for a while it worked out well for him. However, the other day we were talking in the kitchen, and as he was trying to empty his can of coffee into the press he tapped the glass a bit to hard and it broke. Fortunately for him I had found this other French press just a couple days before, and it wasn’t long before he was able to drink his usual morning cup or three. This press is actually nicer too, it’s a real Bodum while the other one was a cheaper knockoff. This just goes to show that there are benefits to having me as a roommate!

Mini post! Seven things I found a month ago

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Around a month ago I got a text from a friend informing me of a big pile of trash in the Plateau. I went to check it out and found myself facing a massive pile about the size of two parking spaces. It looked like someone had emptied an apartment but saved the best things for themselves.

I heard some people discussing the waste while smoking cigarettes outside a nearby restaurant. I overheard someone saying that the pile was bankruptcy related. That’s a bit sad if true. It seemed like whoever owned this stuff had lived there for quite some time.

A truck pulled up to the pile not long after I showed up. Three guys came out and started hunting for scrap metal. They got a fair bit, including the metal bed frame on the left hand side of the photo. I handed them whatever metal I came across. I like helping scrap metal collectors do their work because everything they take ends up being recycled.

A few other scavengers (of the opportunist type) came by to see what the fuss was all about. I gave one of them a big jar full of buttons.

I didn’t find anything super valuable. I saved a few things though, including:

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… a crucifix adorned with mother of pearl (two pieces of mother of pearl are unfortunately missing);

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… a tiny creamer, measuring maybe 1.5″ tall;

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… a thimble;

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… a plastic visor from Canada’s Wonderland, an amusement park in Toronto;

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… a weird looking old thermometer (it looks like it was once stapled to something else);

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… and a rug. It looked beautiful but smelled super musty. I took it anyways, thinking that it might be salvageable. It’s been slung over my friend Sarah’s back porch railing ever since, in hopes that the fresh air and sunlight would fix things with time. It’s definitely gotten a lot better, but it still smells too much to use. If anyone has any tips on getting out that smell, let me know!

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However, my favourite find here was this cute folk art painting. It’s quite small – maybe 6″ long – and is painted directly on a piece of wood. It might be hard to tell from this angle, but the bottom piece (including the house) is actually a different piece of wood that’s nailed to the other from the back. It gives the piece a different sort of depth. It’s hard to tell exactly how old it is, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it dates back to the 1920s or 1930s.

I plan on sharing more of these smaller posts going forward. Look for my usual weekly edition later in the week – it’ll be a good one!