Tag Archives: garbage

Random Collections: The Other Vinyl

21 May

I love small items that are made out of vinyl, the kind that is soft and rubbery and heat-sealed at the edges, especially when it has something screen-printed on it.  I’ve collected a few fun retro pieces, which I would love to share with you, dear reader.

The first is this great Barbie photo album given to me by a friend.  I usually can’t stand this kind of album, with the plastic sleeves for photos, preferring the old fashioned gummed cardboard pages with plastic sheet protectors (more on those in a later post,) but I was willing to open my heart to this:

Barbie Photo album

Just stunning, in  my opinion, but it took a little effort to achieve this streamlined, uncluttered look.  For you see, when I first received this album, along with the words “Barbie” and “Photo Album” some thoughtless designer saw fit to have some awful flowers and butterflies printed randomly around the cover, marring the beautiful hot pink surface.  To get and idea of the terribleness of these images, check out the front picture in the album which is partially visible through the heart-shaped hole on the cover:

The picture of Barbie on the inside of the album

Do you see what my eyeballs had to endure?  There were flowers and butterflies of this type and other such debris cluttering up the cover.  But, fortunately for all of us, I was able to remove these abominations with some nail polish remover, thus saving the day.

The second vinyl item in my collection is a wonderful calender and address book circa 1950s that I found in the garbage outside a used book store one late night after leaving a punk show at The Opera House, a venue on Queen St. East here in Toronto:

Calender/address book from garbage

A close up of one of the inserts on the cover

The inside of the 50s address book

Close up of the Phone number side of book, I love the font and hearts printed on the page. The black and white photo is a smile flyer I made for a zine I put out several years ago.

Isn’t it cute?  I about died when I found it as I was about fourteen and just beginning to experience the possibilities of garbage picking and how it can enrich one’s life.  I loved the little clear pockets on the front, some of which had the original inserts inside, the rest I added myself from some Spice Girls postcards that could be purchased at that time in packets from convenience stores.

Next up is a diary I also found in the garbage one day.  It didn’t have any writing in it unfortunately, but I love the pop-art style candy images on the cover!

Vinyl Diary

Now that is a diary for writing about sleepovers, boys, make-up toys and kittens.  And speaking of kittens, check out this diary, which is the only non-vintage item in the collection:

Sparkle Kitten Diary

I bought this at Ardene’s, which is a store that caters to the pre-teen girl set and offers mostly cheap earrings, hair accessories and make-up.  I check out the store occasionally because sometimes there is some cheap girly plastic fun available for sale, such as the above diary.  However, much like the Barbie photo album it had some extraneous text at the top that said something like “Keep your paws off!”,  which is exactly the type of awful cutesy pun crap that I won’t stand for, and so it was up to the nail polish remover again to save my eyeballs from that hell, which it did, but with less perfect results than achieved on the Barbie album.

Next is a small vinyl purse with a little “Precious Moments” type child couple on it:

My Friend Purse

I really hate that “Precious Moments” crap they churn out, like all those cheap statues and cards with the saucer eyed children and puppies on them, but these two kids have a sort of vintage Hasbro/Japanese cartoon thing going for them that saves it.  Plus I love the detached caption at the top that simply declares “My Friend” without any specificity as to who it is attributed to or by.  I cannot remember where I picked up this purse, but it was probably either a garbage find, or a thrift store score.

And, to go with a little vinyl purse, what’s better than a little vinyl wallet, in this case, a pink Hawaiian Hula Girl wallet:

Aloha Hawaii wallet

This cute little wallet I got on eBay, and while I’m going to refrain from blogging to much about things I’ve gotten from eBay as they leave little story to tell about them, I wanted to include this in the collection because of the great multi-coloured silk-screen image on it.  I also love that this wallet came with a little removable insert inside where you can keep snapshots, something people don’t really carry in their wallets anymore because they can store pictures on their phones.  Ah the wallet photo album, a dying cultural practice due to the progress of technology.

But, what a great segue into the last piece in this random collection, a vinyl photo frame:

My little Pony Photo Frame

Isn’t this so cool?  it’s a puffed up vinyl photo frame with purple haired My Little Ponies on them, a mommy and a little baby!  It has a 1985 copyright on it, as well as years of smudged in dirt that just won’t come off!  I’ve stuck in an old photo I’ve found of a young girl.  I took this frame from the room of an ex-roommate of a girlfriend of mine while he was not home.  Don’t feel bad for him though, he turned out to be a real weirdie, and not in a good way, in fact, in a bad way, like, the worst possible way, ever, like, of all time.  Seriously.

Anyways, I hope I haven’t left too sinister a taste in your mouth for you to consider collecting fun vintage vinyl.  Every hipster doofus out there thinks their some unique rebel for collecting vinyl records, so earn yourself a few bonus hipster points by starting your own vinyl collection, an “The Other Vinyl” collection, just like your crush, Miss Lady Heart!

Sparkle Kitten Diary purchased at Ardene’s, at the Toronto Eatons Centre, 220 Yonge St., 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: Confirmation Edition

2 Apr

When wandering around the city I always keep one eye on the ground and one hand in the garbage, as it’s a good way to find all sorts of wonderful things. While looking through some things someone put out on their lawn I found a frame with this photo in it, which I immediately clutched greedily to my chest before taking the most direct route home.  It now has a a good home in my album of found photographs, more of which you can see later.  But for now, feast your eyes on this baby:

Can you believe someone got rid of this thing?!