Tag Archives: 1980s

Thrift Store Finds: Vintage Earrings

22 May

As I boasted in a previous column, I have an amazing talent for picking the best costume jewelry at Value Village, a local second-hand chain store.  And so, to drive this point home I would like to present to my dear readers and followers, a selection of some of the best colourful 80s earrings I have purchased in the last little while.  These are only a few of my favorites, I will have to show the best rhinestone earrings in another post.  All were found at Value Village unless otherwise noted, and some, if pictured so, do not have mates.

And now, without further ado, here are my best costume jewelry earrings, a collection that must only be rivaled by that of the Golden Girls’.

These are all plastic clip-ons, except the pink circles, which have posts, all from Value Village

A close-up of an unusual pink pair. I’ve never seen anything quite like these, which were made of two independent layers of soft plastic spiky circles, attached in the middle with a pink rhinestone. Very sea creature like

The biggies; all were clip-ons. The red and black and white striped pairs were plastic, the ones on the top right were large pinkish rhinestones bordered by small white stones, the purple ones in the bottom right were suede, and to give you an idea of the scale of all these earrings, the purple ones were about two inches in diameter! All from Value Village

This pair had a lovely pink stripe in the centre of the stone with dusty gray sides, an effect I’ve never seen in a rhinestone before

More colourful plastic: The pink and blue circular pairs on the left I found tucked away in a hard to reach box at Odds and Ends junk shop, the box also contained a few mood rings from the 1970s and some vintage band pins. The yellow pair are actually enameled metal.

This si one of my most favorite earrings ever, but alas it has no mate. I love the gradient of lavender separated by white. I use this as a tack to hang some photo-booth pictures on a lampshade.

This green flower clip-on is also missing its mate, but i feel that its climbing vine like appearance makes it more suitable to be worn as a solo accessory, higher up on the ear.

The Red pair in the back are clip-ons, as are the green daisies, the lone blue enameled circle (has a mate which is temporarily misplaced) and the black diamond shaped pair.   I love the Indian princess feel of the purple and gold pair. All purchased at Value Village

All of these earrings are from a lot of costume jewelry I purchased on eBay. I bought the lot to use for scraps to embed in acrylic bowls, but these were to good to be encased in plastic.

The details of these earrings give them that extra something.This awesome red pair is not just flat with printed stripes, the red lines are recessed areas in the surface.

Well, there you have it, proof positive that I am the best Value Village costume jewelry picker there is.  Now if only there were some way to turn this into a career…  I know, if anyone wants to hire me as a thrift store picker, contact me at helloladyheart@gmail.com, but remember, if  I find anything good, its mine.

Pink striped and blue checked circular earrings found at Odds and Ends, 703 Queen St. W., Toronto

All other earrings found at Value Village, 1319 Bloor St. W., and others, Toronto


Found Photographs: Off-Brand Celebrities

15 May

I used to live in a neigbourhood that was very friendly towards garbage pickers like myself.  Year round, but especially in the summer, people would put discarded things on their front lawns, encouraging passerby to find treasure in their trash, which I often did.  One day I found among such a pile a few Polaroids, each of a woman wearing very distinctive red glasses standing next to people who seemed more attractive and charismatic than the average person, but not as striking as a Hollywood star, leading me to guess that they were likely Canadian celebrities, the people equivalent of  “off-brand” products, the “Lime it Up” counterpart to “7 Up”, if you will.  See for yourself what I’m talking about, and bonus point for anyone who can tell me who these people are:

Unknown celebrity, left, patriotic Canadian fan, right.

And check out the guy’s outfit, he’s wearing a tie, and possibly suspenders with a collarless shirt.  Where’s a celebrity stylist when you need one?  Not here, evidently; no stylists please, we’re Canadian.

Look how starstruck the fan on the left is!

The woman who’s pictures these are looks so happy in all of them.  It makes you wonder why she decided to get rid of them.  Was it her waning interest in the stars she’s pictured with?  Has she grown out of her celebrity obsession? When I first got these pictures several years ago I laughed at her clothes and giant 80s glasses, but now enough time has passed that she’s back in style in an ironic hipster way, especially in this last one:

The cyclical nature of fashion

Look at her; The long hair parted in the middle, the black silk screened t-shirt, and the jean jacket she’s wearing,  all totally hip now.  Even those giant, unflattering glasses are the type of things you see on so many hipster girls today who are trying for this whole cliche  “awkward girl with huge glasses and baggy worn out guy’s clothes who’s actually gorgeous but just doesn’t know it* because she’s so busy being artistic” thing.

* she knows it and spends a lot of time cultivating this “I’m so over it” look

This type of clothing and glasses are exactly what you see at Urban Outfitters (a very trendy store) these days, all pre-ripped and faded for your convenience.

Who would have known all those years ago that the one in these discarded pictures who would have a lasting impression would be the girl with the glasses, and not the fame seeking actors and or musicians she’s standing next to?


While going through some old photos I discovered one more Polaroid from this series, the only one that shows the lady with the red glasses with a celebrity i think I recognize:

Is that who I think it is?

Now, correct me if I’m wrong here, but is that not a young Eddie Cibrian?  A man most known for inexplicably leaving the mother of his children for for stupid-face Leann Rimes?  I think it is!  This actor’s only redeeming quality is his appearance in the hilarious movie “But I’m a Cheerleader”, which starred an adorable Natasha Lyonne and featured a non drag RuPaul Charles.

Found Photographs: THOR!

19 Apr

When I was around 17 I landed an internship at eye Weekly, an alternative Toronto newspaper, now called The Grid, that centered around arts and local politics.

An eye Weekly cover from 2008 ( a good 5 or 6 years after I left) Isn't it sooo ironic and hipster and ironic? I mean, could you be any more...whatever!?

This internship entailed fact-checking, compiling music and show listings,  (both extremely tedious tasks in a paper like this where every band and artist featured had some special, stupid way they wanted their name spelled) writing small blurbs on upcoming events, and other time consuming work that actually made up the bulk of the paper beyond the 8 pages of articles at the front.

As most of you know, an “internship” is that special kind of  job where you do a lot of work for free, and in exchange they get to treat you like dirt.  Despite this arrangement, the people at eye added an extra twist to the  fair exchange of free work for writing exposure, wherein they take ideas for articles pitched by interns that would be written for free, and “give” them to paid freelance writers, thereby circumventing the cost/benefit balance that is so delicate to maintain, creating a situation in which the possible value accorded to each the intern, (in terms of potential published writing for their portfolio) and the paper, (for what could be a free article) is reduced in direct proportion to the value, in this case actual money, that now has to be paid to the freelance writer.  Clever, no?

And so, like every intern or poorly paid employee who seeks to recoup that lost value, (a feat usually accomplished with stolen office supplies) I set out to recoup what I felt I was owed.  But, this being an arts and culture paper where all sorts of bands, artists and film-makers submit press-packs for review, I was afforded the chance to make up for all that I endured and then some, when I found, and stole this photo:

THOR on Enigma records

Now the photo is aged, and curled, so I know it may be hard to see how awesome it really is, so let’s take a closer look, shall we?

Here, in a rare pic from his gay Mexican wrestling caveman days, we see Jeremy Irons on lead vocals.

And the band: From left, Adrien Grenier in his 'caveman chic' phase, Carrie Fisher, Jeremy Irons in his ninja-goalie Chippendale's outfit, The Wire's Dominick West as "Thunder Thighs" and a young Jon Lovitz. For superior enjoyment, click to enlarge!


With this photo in my possession, I consider the time I worked for eye Weekly as paid for in full.