Amelia Earhart

Friday, December 30, 2011

This lovely little Amelia Earhart suitcase is homeward bound with my brother tomorrow. I've packed it with all my Christmas goodies to be discovered again when I return from theatre land.


Granville Christmas

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Some fancy Christmas salt and pepper flare. Happy holidays from la plume de ma tante


Irish Intelligence/Emerald Elegance

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

There has always been a lot of green in my life.  A colour I find comforting, yet still a little mysterious.  Today I was dreaming of my old room when I first moved to Toronto, on Markham Street.  The first thing I did when I moved in was paint it this glorious green.  I spent the day with a stranger who helped me fill the holes and "cut in".  My lovely roommate Steven made us a delightful meal, "His Mother's Tilapia", and we all dined together, an instant community.  This stranger is still with me, much less strange now, and I feel lucky. This past fall I was surprised with this wonderful little green velour chair that looks as if it fell right out of the fifties, perfect condition, not a mark on it.  It is just the right size for my 5'3" stature or,  more realistically, holding the otherwise strewn about clothing in my bedroom.  My mother was just here for a visit.  She stayed in my bedroom and seemed to enjoy the chair as well.  We spent a week visiting museums and eating nice food.   When my mother was closer to my age, she took a trip to Ireland and brought all of her sisters and herself back claddagh rings.  They are an Irish family and have always worn them proudly.    Knowing that the history and the green stone have a whole new meaning for me now, she felt it was the right time for me to have her ring.    Leaving it with me the morning she left,  it hasn't left my finger since.  


Mirror...mirror...on the wall.

Friday, October 28, 2011

I stumbled upon two rather fortunate mirrors as of late.  The first of which I will feature here today.  It was probably made in the late 60's to the early 70's from from a weird and somewhat miraculous substance called Syroco - a mysterious wood/plastic blend. Hmm...  I contemplated painting it but decided that I like it's worn gold sheen just fine.  It also casts a pretty dramatic shadow.


White Whimsy

Friday, September 30, 2011

Last Tuesday I ventured to the Distillery District to join a group of around 400 other diners dressed in white for Toronto's first Diner En Blanc - a flash-mob picnic of sorts.  We received a text message informing us of the secret location an hour before the meeting time, loaded our picnic baskets with delights and furnishings for our table and set out to dine al fresco with a group of strangers.  It was a lovely evening.   La plume de ma tante was able to lend a few items to the occasion.  I was very proud of how the table and the food turned out. Seems the Toronto Star agreed.


Ex Libris

Sunday, September 11, 2011

la plume de ma tante's vintage spread is on display for the month of September at the Spadina Road Library in Toronto.  Many Thanks so Mariella for bringing me in for a wee stay.  Come by and visit.


Summer Scavenge

Monday, August 15, 2011

I've been lucky enough to run the roads a little this summer.  A couple of weekends ago I traveled to Port Elgin Ontario to visit with my dear friends Tom and Ali at Tom's childhood family cottage.  I was treated to numerous lake Huron swims, a canoe ride at sunset, the Keady Market, family feasts and a country road garage sale.  Above is a photograph taken by Ali on our way home from the sale (it wasn't much of a sale as everything had turned to "free" by the time we got there).  Ali suggested it might be nice to see me in action as I hunt down the trinkets and wares I collect and photograph.  I ended up taking away this lovely little serving bowl which we then filled with dark pickled beets for dinner.   


La Belle Epoque

Sunday, July 24, 2011

This entry comes to us direct from the muddy banks of Granville Ferry, NS. (photography courtesy of my mom and dad)  On a recent trip to Ontario, my mother was able to collect her late sister Wendy's carefully preserved antique wedding dress.  Upon returning home, she put it on her Judy and sent me a few of the photographs as she knew I'd appreciate the detail.  My aunt had purchased the dress at a vintage shop in Toronto in the early 80's.  It is Edwardian and is all hand done - the lace to the overcasting.  Pretty remarkable really.  Directly above is a family photo from the wedding, circa 1983. You can see how delightful it was on my aunt, she reminds me of a Gibson Girl.  My mother is on the left, pregnant with my brother,  in a dress she made for herself.   I'm the wee lass in the front in my lavender smock dress.     


treat me with kid gloves...

Monday, June 6, 2011

I've been off for a month - recovering and reevaluating. I'm hoping to be more present over the next few months.  There are many summer antique and Goodwill jaunts to be had.  I thought these kid gloves that have traveled with me near and far since high school would act as a nice segue back into blog land.  I've missed it.


bloomers blooming

Monday, April 11, 2011

Wouldn't ya like to wear these in the summer?  A new/old age equivalent to the sundress?


travelin' case

I ventured to the Wychwood Barns vintage market yesterday afternoon and accumulated a few lovely little treasures - this amazing old leather traveling case in mint condition with decal and keys to fit.  Also copious amounts of lace and ribbon on offer so I thought I'd show you some of the other little gems I picked up in a grab bag.


My Bookhouse

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Growing up we had a full collection of these My Bookhouse children's story books.  My mom and her sisters and brother grew up with them and they have been transferred down to all the cousins at various points over the past 20 years.  I think the collections lives in Ottawa now.   I stumbled upon Number 5 "From The Tower Window" in my ramblings and thought I'd pick it up for old time's sake.  This particular edition is  copywritten 1921.  I had forgotten how stunning the illustrations are. 


Explosion in a Paint Factory II

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Growing up, I remember my mom had a dress that my grandfather had dubbed "The Explosion in a Paint Factory".  I think she made it for a wedding in the 70's and it was tailored to fit her perfectly.  For years it lived in our old dress-up trunk.  I loved the intricacies of the design of the fabric - terrific bold colours with gold and sliver threads woven in.  I remember sliding it on over my clothes, holding it up as I carried on (I think I usually transformed into a princess).  My sister is almost ten years younger than I am and despite being a rather feisty tomboy as a child, got it in her head that she had to be Glinda The Good Witch for Halloween (we were all seriously obsessed with The Wizard of Oz).  This is when "The Explosion in a Paint Factory" was quickly and cleverly remodeled by my mom - sliced and sewn into a magical gown for a three year old - wand and all.  This has always remained a fond memory for me.  A couple of years ago when I was on contract in Halifax,  I stumbled upon this little number in a North End vintage shop.  It instantly brought me back to my childhood and that whimsical dress.  I had to have it and have now dubbed it "The Explosion in a Paint Factory II"


Spring has Sprung...in my kitchen at least.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

One of the things that gets me through these dreary days filled with what seems like an unbearable abundance of sleet, snow and taxes is that it somehow feels like it's spring in my kitchen.  I picked up this lovely pale pink dress the other day.  It fits like a glove and I can't wait to wear it when it's not just spring in my kitchen....but spring everywhere.


Peace Bell...

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

We had a lovely lunch yesterday with my brother and his lady who are just back from a six week jaunt in South America.  They said that everywhere they ventured there were amazing little antique and trinket shops lining the landscape.  Seeing many things that they thought might peak my curiosity, they settled on this lovely little bell from La Paz, Bolivia.  I love how weathered it is and the intricate detailing allover.  It also has a great little ring to it.


workshop weakness....

Sunday, February 27, 2011

I've been madly puttering away at things over the past few days, my workshop/livingroom might look like this...


 I've managed to finally open my Etsy shop, la plume de ma tante, of course.  I'll be listing my designs and vintage wares slowly but surely over the next few weeks.  It seems that my necklaces have been moved to the front burner over the last bit but rest assured I'll also be paying some keen attention to some other delightful vintage finds.


Lace and ribbons...the key to my curiosity

Thursday, February 24, 2011

 I've been busy working away at these.  Thought I'd put up a few more examples.

bold black lace.....

wildflower vintage wide lace bracelet...

here's what it looks like on with my new denim skirt...

burnt rose detailed cord......

fiery red cotton lace....


Look what the cat dragged in....

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

My collection of antique skeleton keys.  Soon I will string them with ribbons and make necklaces.  They are so intricate and beautiful.


Travellin' Shoes

Monday, February 14, 2011

My friend Sasha and I stumbled upon these little beauties Christmas shopping in a local vintage spot way back in December.  He pronounced that "I simply must have them" and if I didn't buy them myself he would have to buy them for me in protest (he pays keen attention to quality Italian leather and is partial to a good old fashioned, solidly crafted brogue himself).  I heeded his advice and have never been more pleased with an impulse purchase.  They have done me well over the past months.  I even took them to Halifax and wore them on stage in my last production.  I love them.


Virtual Chocolate.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

I'm always looking for new things to display on the old crockery I collect.  I figured since it is that "romantic" time of the year again,  I would take a shot of something you might actually find useful.  You can find these delicacies at a place very near and dear to my heart.  XOCOCAVA, 1560 Yonge Street, just north of the Yonge and St. Clair intersection in Toronto. 
This picture is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of all the beautiful and tasty things they produce up there, so I'd suggest you head on over and see for yourself.  The folks are just as delightful as the product.


The Things We Make

Thursday, February 10, 2011

My sister "Ex Libris Clocks" makes these amazing vintage book clocks.  Now available at Love Me Boutique in Halifax .  This is just an example of one - they are all one of a kind.

I used to do a lot of needlepoint as a kid.  I've returned to my crosstitch roots and have been working on several designs.  This is one that took me forever.  I spent most of Christmas day slaving away in front of the fire and managed to finally complete it.  I'm looking for the right old frame to put it in before it goes up on the wall.


Ready for Service

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Here's some of the things I like to collect on my Goodwill ventures:  Milk glass (always) I'll someday fill this entire shelf.  Fancy old martini glasses.  Gold rimmed shot glasses perfect for Akvavit.  Deep mauve mini-goblets and pastel coloured creamers, tea cups and saucers.


The Art Of Plain Talk

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A bunch of things I collected recently....now in my livingroom


"la plume de ma tante...

Sunday, February 6, 2011

....est sur la table de mon oncle"

French for - "my aunt's pen is on my uncle's table"

 The expression comes from the really odd sentences used in some old vintage textbooks to demonstrate grammar.  It is often quoted as a notorious example of one such misleading statement that probably confused the student more than teaching them anything functional about the language. "La plume de ma tante est sur la table de mon oncle" is not really the sort of phrase you are likely to need in daily conversation and "plume" can also mean feather.

The phrase has since been quoted in many books and movies including a very famous scene in The Exorcist.  It was also the title of a Broadway musical.  Here is the program from the Royale Theatre in 1960.


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