30 December 2012

This time next week

 By this time next week I will be in New Zealand......for 2 months!!

Once again wondering how these huge suckers get into the port of  Nelson 

 So much looking forward to this trip. As well as living in Nelson for a month we will also be staying near Hastings, an area I do not know yet.

I'll be blogging from there.

26 December 2012

Over for another year

Christmas is over for another year. Everything was under control at our house.

The wreath was on the door and the outside lights switched on.  I understand that the window cleaners now offer a 'put up the lights' service...if I am in the money next year I will use them as we have two 40 ft pine trees on the lawn.

The tree was decorated with all the old ornaments, including Sams gingerbread men.

The Christmas cactus bloomed right on time. This one is 38 years old,found by my daughter in the trash..

This year the poinsettias  from out local garden center were a rich coral pink.

We even had snow....well sort of.

The table was laid with the best china and the 'once a year' tablecloth....( bought at a garage sale about 12 years ago)

 The Christmas pud blazed merrily. I have not bothered to make my own for about 3 years, ever since I discovered 'allthebest'  here in Toronto.
Christmas cake was conveniently bought at the TGH volunteer bake sale....$10 each and I was very happy.
 BUT....I forgot the crackers and I am down to my last jar of my mincemeat made from Delias recipe about 6 years ago I think.

16 December 2012


1930s 40s 

Its a year since I opened my 3rd etsy shop fabriquefantastique, devoted to vintage scarves. If truth be known it is my favorite site because it is so easy to manage. Plus you all know how I love scarves.

 The variety is infinite.....from the delicate late 40s
 to the romantic 50s....that show such a sense of optimism after the austerity war years.

 Got my pics mixed up a bit here....The 60s and 70s with their ( then )  clashing  colours.

 On to the  Power Dressing 80s.

The scarves take up very little room, fit in an ordinary envelope ( I use tyvek ones) and can be popped in the letter box at the top of my street.

And, don't get me started about souvenir scarves......more on those later.

09 December 2012

wedding dress

I could not figure out why ' Salt Lake City bride and Groom. was showing in the statistics for one of my etsy shops. 

Turns out this lovely magazine had featured an enchanting local bride wearing a vintage dress she had bought on line from me earlier this year. Do have a look here.
 Lets send this attractive couple best wishes for a long and happy life together.
 The photographs were taken by Travis J Photography and they are gorgeous. I have gone through the entire site and am most impressed.
Travis.....if you were in Toronto I would send all kinds of business your way.  What a talented guy you are.

I certainly could do with some photography lessons. Here is my granddaughter in a vintage dress that is for sale

And thank you, Salt Lake Bride and Groom for the welcome publicity.

06 December 2012

Patriotic curiosities

Look what I found. A silk hankie that most likely was to be a coronation souvenir for Edward V111, 1937, in perfect condition. Not sure what uniform the POW is wearing, but this image is seen on many other coronation-that-never-was artifacts

A Canadian Red Ensign that I have just dug out.  Canadian Heritage dates this design at 1873, others were produced in the same year.....can it really be that old? Lovely rich color
Gromets on the end....selvedge to the upper and lower sides....J Hendry penciled on the binding.  Was he a sailor, a cadet? . The ensign was authorized for use on merchant ships and was also used on land.

 A 48 star American flag (?) which was used between  1912 and 1959. Oddly this is made of silk that is 32.5" wide. Quite unsuitable for a flag.  Was it used for other ceremonial   purposes, and if so, what?
Could it possibly have been a patriotic scarf?

All these beauties have been lying around my house for a few decades and I have been having a sort out.

***** imput from my family
* royal hankie should be sold...on etsy or at an antique show
* ensign should go to the cabin, to be hung in the gazebo or a wall hanging in a bed room.
* Old Glory may have been a flag or banner for indoor use, a church or school hall perhaps.

01 December 2012

Good bye to the Post Office

Ever since I began selling on line, about 10 years I have used the Post Office at 772 Dovercourt Road. Chosen as it was a short drive, parking often available and was a sorting office too.

The staff ,for the most part, have always been friendly, unknowable and helpful . Cathy (below, who is retiring) once repacked a quilt that was just over the 2k, going to Australia. She found garbage bags to wrap it in, rolled, taped and readdressed...not the prettiest parcel but it arrived just fine. This was much to the amusement of the other customers, some of whom lent a hand.

  Now Canada Post, in its wisdom, has consolidated sorting sites and is selling much of its prime, extraordinarily expensive Toronto real estate.

 New sites will be franchised to Shoppers  Drug Mart, a rather nasty drug store chain. The Shoppers poorly paid staff will, of course, not be unionized. If they are not at the desk they can be found stacking shelves or flogging Elizabeth Arden. But my pet peeve is that they a forced to wear ghastly promotional T shirts " triple Shoppers points this week" or  " try Shoppers saving plan"...not that you get triple points at the PO desk, of course.

As a small (very small) business it is not much fun having to struggle to the back of Shoppers aisles, with 5 or 6 parcels, knocking over the toothpaste and bumping into the Bourjois cosmetic Christmas display.

Yesterday was the last day for Dovercourt,the shelves are bare,
So long,guys. It was good to know you.

Oh....and what is  Canada Post going to do with its new found millions and savings......why? put the rates up,of course.

24 November 2012

my red socks

I am in love with my red woolen socks. They come from The Custom Woolen Mills  in Carstairs, Alberta.

 Bought at The Purple Sock, the LYS I frequent in the summer on my way to the cabin. We always stop in Coldwater.

There is another pair in a much larger size waiting to go under the Christmas tree.

22 November 2012

Indian Summer

Looks like today will be the last of our Indian summer,temperatures are expected to drop tomorrow.

The rusty planter on the front steps is looking forlorn....but the color combo with the mossy steps is rich.

 Tiny, button chrysanthemums will certainly be the last bouquet from the garden, I understand this,by now, rather ragged lot was planted in the early 1940s and they are my favorites.

A small Christmas cactus is putting on a show already, seems it likes being pot bound.

17 November 2012

Knitting du jour

A charming wee scarf, hand knitted in fine Merino wool, that I bought at an op shop in New Zealand last winter. I listed it in my etsy shop and it is now living in Hong Kong. But not before I copied the pattern. The first time I have ever done that and it was not so difficult.

Tired of knitting baby sweaters, I set out to use up some of my vast yarn stash. I remember working with this pink Phildar yarn in 1982 on a trip to Vermont. That was the holiday the youngest broke her leg skiing.

Some of the stash has been around the house since the early 70s. I never would buy man made yarn these days, but am enjoying how these are knitting up. Simple garter stitch looks completely different with every yarn.

Olive green chenille yarn of unknown content bought at a street market in Florence for 1 Euro.

Thought I had a unique, funky/vintage project until I found a million similar items for sale on-line. Great minds think alike I suppose.

12 November 2012

Yes, another one

Yes, there was another  big tub of  "lost" scarves in the garage. Not perhaps lost for 12 years like the last lot, but at least 4 or 5 years. The bottom layer I do not remember at all, then there were some plastic bags stuffed with scarves....seems as if I came home from some rummage/jumble/yard sales and just shoved them in, have a vague recollection of some of these.

 No Liberty scarves this time,or couture designer. I must have started my special Liberty box ( make that closet) and designer drawer by then. A pretty selection of fine woolens were there.

 Plus a couple of smaller boxes ....no doubting the contents. I must have been more organized in those days,

This cravat has just the right label.

 And, this Hermes wannabe. It may well be an early Hermes, no imprint, as often was the case.... guess folks were not so 'label' conscious back then.   The size of the scarf is right, the hem is right, the entire 'look' is right.
 I wish Hermes had a complete catalog of designs. There is a fancy coffee table book that I have, but its rather pretentious and does not tell me what I need to know.  

Shall I move it to my Hermes box?
Thinking it would be a fun thing to share with my granddaughter I was going to treat us  to this Hermes coloring book until I saw the price.....

lots more for the shop, think it will keep me going for a year or so.

06 November 2012

what was I thinking of???

R found a large tupperware box at the back of the garage. Chock a' block with vintage scarves that I must have bought at some point. About 350 darlings and  I can not remember one of them. They have not seen the light of day for at least 12 years and some still have the thrift store tags (thrift stores have gone up in price quite a bit, I note).  A bit damp and a little smelly by now, nevertheless it is like Alladin's cave to me.

Part of the yield is a bunch of Liberty scarves.

Whoops...forgot this one. Even I did not recognize this print.

1950s oblong  woven rayon scarves, most likely made in France.

 My all time favorites, these old foulards that I generically call Macclesfield prints,

 always with a modest colour range and selvedge to 2 sides....more about these at another point.

 A fun bunch of 1950s neckerchiefs,very 'Roman Holiday'.

Lots, lots more, so I am busy working my way through them one by one, washing, ironing, and listing in my etsy shop. They are coming up very well.
I will loose a few, about 10% from either my original mistakes or from storage.
I have a very vague idea there may be another box somewhere as well .....I do hope so.

02 November 2012

75% sure.....

Some more vintage Liberty silk scarves for my collection.

 The middle one, 1950's I think,   I have in other colourways, but the scarf at the top is a new pattern for me (60's 70's perhaps)

Usually,  I know definitely  when an unmarked scarf is a Liberty. Not sure why I am holding back on this one, the color is right, the printing is right, the size is right. I think is is the depth of the border that is throwing me off.
. Actually, the more I look, the more I think it is.....lets up date that title to 85% sure.....maybe 90%.

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