Tag Archives: vintage

Convenience Store Treasures: Suburban Edition

3 Jul

The key hitting the old toy conienience store goldmine is to find a store that has been open for a long time, and which has not been renovated or sold between too many different owners, as these provide opportunities to rid the shelves of old, dusty merchandise.  Usually these types of stores are to be found in the city, where the neighbourhoods and commercial areas have been established much earlier than in the suburbs.  But sometimes, the suburban convenience store should not be discounted, as its presence in cultural hell can virtually guarantee that anything cool that they may have put on their shelves will still be there when you happen upon the store.  And with that in mind, I ventured into a Mississauga (a suburb of Toronto, Ontario) variety store looking for treasures, and I was not disappointed.  Here’s what I found:

Show Off Barrettes

There were a few different kinds of these” Show Offs” barrettes, each of which I purchased.  I love the ‘funky’ early 90s font used for the brand name.  This was the only type of barrette that was packaged in a way where you could see both the girls printed on the cardboard, showing off their barrette overkill hairdos.  In all the other packages, the white girl gets the shaft, her face obscured by the moulded plastic.  These were awesome barrettes too, they are like baby barrettes, but they have metal backings which make them much easier to use than the more common, all plastic baby barrettes, which only hold, like 5 hairs.  All the riot grrls out there know what I’m talking about.  But alas, despite the awesomeness of all of the Show Offs barrettes I bought, I cannot bring myself to open any of the packages, and ruin what I see as installative, readymade pieces of art.  And, due to the short-sighted thoughtlessness of the designers, the moulded plastic tray that holds the barrettes to the cardboard is glued across the innocent face of the little blond girl on the other packages, making the opening of the package fraught with anxiety and guilt, as the barrettes can only be accessed by tearing through her tiny, barrette decorated head.  But seriously though, it would toatally ruin the package.

Are you insane enough to rip the cardboard right through this girl’s face?

These are the other packages, where the blond girl has plastic glued to her face.  The barrettes are pretty sweet though.  Good colours.

Little plastic “‘jaw” clips with heart shaped grips.  And see?  Little blond girl: denied.

More heart gripped jaw clips. Note how the glue is so old it’s turned yellow.  This hasn’t happened on the above package, where both girls’ faces are visible.  Isn’t that facinating?  It could be…I guess if you…are a boring person or something.

There was also a couple of other sets of barrettes that I thought were cool, but lacked the flair and dramatic tension of the Show Offs.

Red and white bows

Colourful Flowers

I guess these are actually hair elastics with little plastic things glued to them.  The one on the left has the same jazzy-party-confetti early 90s look of the Show Offs barrettes, while the flowered elastics try for a more refined, fancy script logo look, an aspiration further hinted at, yet also confused by its brand name “Choice & Toy” a pairing of words that both fail to describe the quality and category of item contained within.  So close though.

And speaking of hair, they also had a number of hair nets, all of which I bought, which came in these great envelopes.  I loved the bold colours and the image of the woman, but the shape of the envelope, including the familiar back flaps, and the clear window in the front which could reveal an address, make them totally usable as mailing envelopes, plus they give the sender the added option to include the two old, totally useless hair nets already enclosed within!

Mirage Stretch Fashioned Hair Nets. You can see the hair net through the window in the centre.  Pretty gross eh?

The back of the hair net envelopes; just like a regular mailing envelope.

Despite the wonderful aesthetic of these hair net envelopes, I must say they are a tad misleading.  The woman on the package is meant to represent the invisible control of the hair net, and the confidence and poise that come with it, but there’s no way she’s wearing one of these hair nets over that hairdo.  When I tried one on all it did was flatten whatever volume I had while leaving the elastic fully visible around the hairline.  Plus, the hairnets are not even big enough to be lightly fitting around hair as long as hers, nor would they allow her hair retain that volume or shape.  This is what would really happen if she wore one of the hairnets:

I also picked out these things, which are apparently called “Balloon Squawkers”.  I’m not really sure what that means, but they appear to be plastic straws with feathers at one end.  I mostly just got them because I’m a sucker for things that are installed/packaged under clear plastic, not to mention easily pleased by pretty colours.

The pretty pretty colours of the Balloon Squawkers

Plus, I was also into this little guy, who appears on top of the “Fun Fair” logo:

Seems like a pretty chill guy overall.

The store had a few cute little pins.  The yellow rabbit kind of reminded me of the above balloon.  The stick pins were really tiny, like an inch long with animals on them not much larger than an apple seed.

The super tiny stick pins; from left: a butterfly, a seagull and two bunnies

And lastly, I found these awesome puffy glitter stickers that were very much like the “Happy Sticker” robot sets that I wrote about in my post “Convenience Store Treasures: Stickers”.  But these sets were even better, not just because they were glittery and had a better cardboard package tops, but also because the robots were even cooler!

I love the cardboard tops; the black background with the word “Glitter” in rainbow letters is just so great.

These sets had a mix of some of the same stickers as in the “Happy Sticker” sets, and some different ones.

Here’s the glitter version of an odd pink jester-like robot face, which I highlighted in my previous post:

Pictured here is the glitter pink jester-bot. He is next to his best friend.

This was my favorite from the set; its a big flying, pink and purple dragon kazoo. With a sparkly yellow belly.

The colours and geometric shapes of these robots make them very enjoyable. I like that this one has a green sword and a bent pipe or hockey stick or something.

I feel this spaceship is pretty cool.

I was pretty happy with my haul.  It was a good, colourful assortment of things, and I’m satisfied I got everything cool they had.  Yes, it was a good day in suburbia.  So be on the lookout for convenience store treasures when you are out in the middle of nowhere, it might be the only thing to do out there anyways.

All items purchased at Southdown Convenience, 1375 Southdown Road, Suite 7. Mississauga, Ontario

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Random Collections: Pantyhose!

8 Apr

I have many random collections of things, as I mentioned in my introduction.  I like to save things like plastic rosaries, Whitman books ( a series of cheap, cardboard books, published in the 1960s), old clothing tags, baby-doll nightgowns, vintage crackerjack prizes and much more.  It is my desire to share these collections with you, dear reader, in the hopes that we can bond over what might be a shared passion for the mundane.

In this post, I would like to present for your approval a new collection I began recently, a collection of pantyhose packages.  (Three items is a collection, right?)  What links these particular pantyhose packages is that they all have a cut out in the shape of a woman’s leg in the cardboard that allows the pantyhose inside to be seen, giving the customer an idea of just what these hose will look like on themselves, an amazing marketing innovation that elevated these pantyhose from merely an item in a store to item in my heart!

The first pack is of a pantyhose style that every woman covets for it’s chic style and youth bestowing properties: The knee high, semi-opaque beige stocking!

I love the suggestion of pairing these with a short (or no) skirt and black high-heels.  Thanks, Watson”s.

As surprising as it is that someone donated these to charity, I actually found these at  Value Village.

Value Village, 1319 Bloor St. W. Toronto, and others

The next set has a name I find particularly attractive: Lady Rose.   The “Sheer Elegance” of these “One Size Fits All”  pantyhose are also best paired with black heels, according to the package:

This pair I found at my favorite convenient store, Sherwood Variety.  Along with an awesome selection of old stickers and toys, I’ve purchased a few old household and beauty products that, like a fine wine, have become more beautiful and valuable with time (in my opinion).  The actual pantyhose have been lost to time, leaving only the cardboard cover and opened plastic wrapping to carry on the hose’s legacy, a fact that didn’t stop the good people at Sherwood Variety from displaying the item for sale, or selling it to me for $4.99.  Money well spent, if you ask me, especially during these difficult financial times.

Sherwood Variety, 2547 Yonge St., Toronto

And finally, The last item in this small collection is this lovely, pink “Beauty Sheer” pantyhose “The Hosiery of Quality”, if you must know.  The typography and the sensual curve of the legs really caught my fancy when I saw these at Gadabout, a wonderful vintage store on Queen St. East.  This pair was what started my interest in collecting more pantyhose packaging.  Like the others, this company also feesl that their hose should be worn with black heels.  The artistry of this package is not lost on the designer, as they also saw fit to use the colour of the hose, a hue they dubbed “Sundown”, to render a small artist’s pallet in the top right corner:

Perhaps, with the support of this blog, and you, dear reader, collecting pantyhose packages may one day become a popular and legitimate hobby, with conventions, price guides and mounting albums to follow!  Let’s start rallying around this cause today!

Gadabout, 1300 Queen St. E., Toronto

Convenience Store Treasures: Stickers!

5 Apr

What is it about stickers that girls like so much?  Even as grown women my girlfriends and I still get excited when we acquire some new cool stickers.  One of the convenience stores near my home had a few packs of stickers from one of my favorite brands, “Happy Stickers”  which the company boasts “Sticks By Itself”!  These stickers are are super colourful, and the animals and things they depict can be quite humorous in their expressions.  Below I’ve posted some of my collection with an accompanying close up of the best sticker in the pack.

The first are one of two sets of donkeys with my favorite being the little yellow one that looks like a chihuahua:

The Happy Sticker Donkeys

The cute chihuahua-like donkey

The other Donkey set was also great.  the unnatural colours and expressions are what make them so appealing, especially the green one, which had a rather Scooby-Doo like air to it, wouldn’t you agree?

The second Happy Sticker Donkeys

The Scooby-Doo green donkey

There were also these odd transformer rip off space craft stickers that contained this pink horned jester like robot (?) face:

The Happy Sticker robots

The weird pink robot face

The flowered and polka dotted cows were fun,  and  trans-positive, with some sporting both bullhorns and udders.  The set features a cow with a big headed bird pecking it’s back, a bashful looking cow in a vest and tie, a suspicious cow, who seems unsure about the pink barrel that is part of her sticker, a cow wearing a lei with a birthday cake and present, and a striped cow with a bib, among others.

The trans-positive cow stickers.
You guys know you can click these images to see them larger, right? I didn't know that at first.

The bib-wearing striped cow

And lastly there were three sets of dog stickers which I thought had the funniest expressions of the animals in the Happy Stickers repertoire.

Here’s one that had this big jowly brown dog with it’s tongue out:

Happy Stickers, pack one of dog stickers

Is this snobby dog unhappy with the drumstick in it's bowl?

Conversely, the dog I’ve highlighted in the second dog set seems a pleased, if perhaps incontinent dog, as can be inferred by the odd brown forms that seem to be dropping from its hind quarters.

Happy Stickers, featuring the pleased dog

Are those supposed to be muddy paw prints, or just dog mud? Only time, will tell.

And lastly, my favorite set of dog stickers, as this set has quite a few hi-larious dogs on it.

The best of the Happy Sticker dogs

this wiener dog has an excellent dinner

This dog had none.

This dog looks like someone put hot sauce into it's water.

While this fancy, necklace-wearing poodle seems unsure about her cake.

I love these happy Stickers so much I cant bear to open them and use them.  To me they are like a readymade piece of art, suitable for framing just as is.  The colours and the expressions make these a treasured and valuable item to me.  I found these at a convenience store near my home called Sherwood Variety that is a total jackpot for old toys and stickers and things, more of which you can see here at the Miss Lady Heart Blog, so tune in next time dear reader, to see more convenience store gold!

Sherwood Variety, 2574 Yonge St, Toronto, at Yonge and Sherwood, (Yonge and Eglington area). An excellent place to find old toys and stickers.

Thrift Store Finds: Jesus is my Sweetheart

4 Apr

I love to shop for costume jewelry at Value Village, and the cumulative evidence of this and future posts will prove that I’m awesome at it.

Value Village, 1319 Bloor St. W., Toronto

One of The things I found was this awesome Jesus pin that bears a striking resemblance to the sweetheart pins that boys would buy or have made for their girlfriend or mother to wear while they fought overseas.

The jesus pin from Value Village

A WWII sweetheart pin

AWWII sweetheart pin to give to one's mother

There are many variations on the sweetheart pin, but the heart outline with a name or the word sweetheart going diagonally across it is a more popular and  recognizable type.  That’s why I loved the Jesus pin right away,  the design implies that it’s not just for someone who loves jesus, it’s for someone who really Loves… jesus.

I also found a couple of pins of a type I hadn’t seen in a while, but I predict are going to come back.  Be the first of your friends to get in on the trend:

Does this pin bring back memories?

What was that plastic stuff called that is being used here?  It came in strips and you would boil it until it was soft and then you could shape and cut it.  I remember getting some in that same iridescent colour used on the first pin but I never made anything more complicated that a wobbly and warped plastic cuff.  I thought these were pretty rad and I think they are going to come back in style.  What do you think, dear reader?