Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Old Montreal House - The Meaning of Atmosphere


I'm departing from my own house to show you one for sale in Montreal, my birthplace. It's fair to say that I'm an old house enthusiast. I will choose an original work of art over a print, authentic over fake. You get the picture. What is truly difficult to achieve in a home is real atmosphere. We live in an era of consumerism where people tend to decorate their homes with the latest trends; cheaply made, massively produced objects that have no history and no personal connections with the owner. I wish I could have met the owner of this house.

An article from the Huffington Post

Spooky Montreal Home For Sale Gives Us The Creeps

Described as "certainly the last to be renovated" 1920s homes, the cottage-style house at 6878 St-Denis looks like it's made for an American Horror Story set. "Everything is original. All floors, paneling, doors woodwork are all of Oak. Astonishing richness!" the listing says, and goes on to describe many of the house's features — crystal handles on the doors, a "decorative fireplace mantle in the living room" and a "basket of resin!" Clues to the property's popularity: It's been on the market since May, 2012, and has gone from an original list price of $715,000 down to $660,000 and now lists at $579,000. The four-bedroom house was built by a businessman for his wife and six children, CTV reported when the house first went up for sale. The listing ends with this line: "Sale without legal warranty of quality, at the buyer's risk: Yes."


Entrance
Foyer
Foyer
Dining room
Believe it or not, we have the exact same dining room set, though our chairs are covered in tapestry.
Our set was handed down from Brian's grandparents, who lived in... you guessed it: Montreal.
Dining room
Dining room

Living room

Living room
Staircase
Hallway
Hallway
Master bedroom
Master bedroom
Bedroom
Bedroom
How wonderful. Yes, it's spooky, but certainly not creepy.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Day Trip to Guelph - Not Waisted Time



During spring break, most families we know did "outdoorsy" stuff and got nice winter rosy cheeks. We kept our white pasty complexions and went to the Guelph Civic Museum. The main attraction, for me, was the undergarment exhibit. Not big, but nicely done. I love seeing up close, the amount of work that goes into making such a complex garment. 



This is the oldest corset at this exhibit, dating to the 17th century.




Inspiring for 2013 brides, I think.


 I had never seen a skirt cage up close


Great thing about smaller museums is that things are more accessible visually.


Few items are behind glass, such as these hip baskets and bustle pads, but one can walk around the display box.


Mid-20th-century lingerie


If you thought that a corset would be hell to endure all day, what about a rubber girdle.




Below are a few more antique and vintage apparel items from the Guelph Museum.




Hat pins, as mentioned in a newspaper article of the time, could be lethal self-defence weapon if jabbed in the face of an assailant. I guess you have to aim for the eyeball?



I'm leaving you with these lovely spring coloured hats and wish you a Happy Easter.

Monday, March 18, 2013

St Marys Museum and Our Chemical Contribution




Join me on my trip to the St Marys Museum where you will find treasures from Victorian, Edwardian and early to mid-20th-century times. Furniture, fashion, decorative elements, artifacts, anything and everything relating to the household and lifestyle of this rural area. Typical of small town museums, it's quaint and charming, the staff is sweet, professional and very knowledgeable. Just ten walking minutes from the Dusty Victorian, the museum provides a lovely, nostalgic way to spend an hour or two amongst well crafted things made to last.


I would like to get my hands on this hall tree, unfortunately, this is not a store. 
These two vases were painting subjects also found in my studio







Just a very small sampling of the museum's collection; so much more is on display. 

The museum accepts items donated by local residents as long as it has a St Marys connection. Below is our contribution to their wartime collection. A bottle of Larvex found in our basement, it dates back to the Second World War. Not very glamourous and most certainly the most unappealing name for a product. I wasn't certain that it would be of any interest to the St Marys Museum, and so wrote to Trisha McKibbin, archive manager. She answered back "Yes, bring it in... it tells a story".



Unopened, with all its pamphlets and labels. Particularly interesting is this label that instantly brings the reader back into those rationing war times and talks about an object (a Larvex sprayer in this case) that would last for years because it's made of quality rust proof material. 


With disposable plastics saturating the market and landfills, a
 label such as this nowadays is unthinkable.