Ransack The Universe – Vintage stuff, Toronto

November 8, 2010

The other day I wandered into a Toronto vintage shop, only to discover that (a) it’s full of full of cool stuff, and (b) it’s run by some people I’d already met. Small world (still wouldn’t wanna paint it, though, haaa).

The shop’s called Ransack the Universe and they sell all kinds of stuff made by indie artists and crafters, along with awesome vintage finds.

Look at these amazing vintage pictures I bought. I think they’re meant to be classroom art; I fell for them because they reminded me of early 1980s Sesame Street clips:

This one’s my favourite, look at that dreamy little face:

I also drooled over, but managed not to purchase, this wire-art Unicorn.

The shop is huge (a whole basement level) and totally packed with great stuff- books, kitsch, clothes, furniture. I browsed for almost an hour and still kept finding more cool things.

photo by Valerie Marchand.

I also liked these screen-printed T-shirts by local artist Michelle Bemister (that’s her on the right, accompanied by my old roommates-turned-models, Leslie and K).

Ransack the Universe is located at Bloor & Lansdowne (1207 Bloor, below 69Vintage). Mention you read this and get 10% your purchase for the month of November. Yaaaaa.


The Secret Lives of Dresses

May 31, 2010

Soon she stopped crying and then she was asleep. I don’t like being slept in. It makes creases. When she had been asleep for a while, the man came back in with a nightgown, and took me off her. He was pretty gentle. I’d heard stories of men ripping dresses, but he didn’t. He was upset that she wasn’t wearing anything under me, not even a slip, but he just sighed and went off for a minute. He came back with a bra and panties, though they didn’t match. I guess he hadn’t noticed that hers always matched, or maybe he didn’t think it was important. Then he put a coat around her and carried her out.

I didn’t get hung up until the next day. It was odd to spend so much time off a body but not hung up. She always hung me up right away.

Great short fiction by Erin McKean, written from the perspective of vintage dresses, online at A Dress A Day. I’m really enjoying these. This one– the red satin bombshell- is particularly good.

Stewardess uniforms through the ages

April 25, 2009

Here’s a site with a great collection of American Airlines flight attendant uniforms since the 1940s. I swoon for these dresses:





They make me want to drink a tiny glass of iced tomato juice and kick back with a Skymall magazine. Maybe pick up a little something practical, like a minibar in the shape of a sepia globe.

Weight Watchers recipe cards, circa 1974

August 11, 2008

In the 1970s, ladies maintained their girlish figures by eating rather different foods than we eat nowadays. And back then, if they photographed their culinary achievements, they often included inedible objects in the background, objects that stand today as a sort of bric-a-brac time capsule for the era, or else as ornamental evidence of the extensive and inappropriate pharmaceuticals usage of the era.
CandyBoots has a whole site full of this gold, but to whet your appetite (you see what I did there?), here are some examples:

Liver Pate En Masque:

I didn't think liver could look worse, but I was incorrect.

I didn't think liver could look worse, but I was incorrect.

Personally, I would have been inclined to call this next one the Frankfurter Anaconda with Pineapple Victim, but maybe I’d have found it more spectacular in the mid-1970s:

I refuse to make a joke about this.

I refuse to make a joke about this.

And behold the fragrant Shrimp-Orange Sump Pump Salad of Mexico, complete with creepy ceramic cats and indigenous hallucinogenic amphibian:

Toad in photo, do not want.

Toad in photo, do not want.

Actually, you know, the more I look at these monstrosities, the more I start to think I might just skip lunch. Maybe that’s how the cards were supposed to work.