Kijiji is a magical invention and we love it. We’ve bought and sold many, many things on Kijiji. What can you sell on Kijiji, you ask? Well, have a gander at the following photos:

Yes, those are Beanie Babies (mother-in-laws) and yes, that is a collection of Red Rose Figurines. Yes, the ones that used to come in boxes of tea. Yes, there were 42 more including the rare gingerbread man and black sheep. This particular sell was for a friend and a definite “solid”. It was a difficult item, or collection, to get rid of but we did. Oh yes, we did.

We’ve purchased rugs, exercise bicycles (don’t ask) and amazing local art on Kijiji, but more importantly we’ve sold a lot on Kijiji. For example, we recently sold so many things from the new house (cabinets we no longer wanted and cast iron radiators) we made enough money to cover the cost of reupholstering the couch. Now, the cast iron radiators.

They are in demand. I listed an ad on Kijiji for them mid-Saturday morning past. They were sold by early afternoon. I got an ominous email about wanting to purchase the radiators and a request for our phone number. Within seconds of sending the email with our phone number, the phone rang – I gave directions. Within minutes of hanging up a gigantic Dodge Ram 3500 along with a gigantic man and his two lackeys showed up at the door. This man reminded me of Hagrid, but with red hair, from Harry Potter. Not a lot of conversation exchanged – I was slightly nervous and became painfully aware of my striped cardigan and Lulu Lemon pants. C was up a ladder on the side of the house and decided to stay there.

The men inspected the radiators and then made their move. The Dodge was backed up over the curb, sidewalk and front steps to the front door. The radiator was muscled onto the back of the truck. The truck was then pulled around back and the scene at the front was repeated. While standing in the kitchen Big Fella says “Ya, you gotta black sheep for sale”. A what? “A black sheep. You know, one of them there figarines”. OMG. He wants the last of the Red Rose figurine collection. Why yes we do… however, I don’t know where it is. I will be right back. Out to the ladder I go “WHEREISTHEBLACKSHEEPHEWANTSTOBUYIT!”. It is in the storage locker. GAH! I go back to tell him but he is already in the truck with the second cast iron radiator in the back. One lacky is left and I deliver the message – we will have it tomorrow.

I took my chances and sent him an email the next day “I have the black sheep” – yes, we are dealing figurines. Within an hour a knock came at the back door so thunderous the cat ran to the basement. He stepped inside, slammed $10 on the kitchen counter, picked up the sheep and exclaimed he had never seen one so small before. And I’ve never seen a man so large standing in my kitchen before.

I love Kijiji. You never know who you are going to have show up at your door. Like the lady who brought a zip-lock back of her own dirt when buying an old vacuum cleaner from us. No, I really do love Kijiji. I love it because, in the words of my mother, “You Never Know What You Are Going to Get”.

Mark Butcher

I have always been a bit of an armchair history buff.  I’m not necessarily talking about political history, or global economic history, or religious history.  I’m talking about local history.

Perhaps my love of antiques has spurred this on, or perhaps it is my love of history that has spurred on my love of antiques.  In any case, I am always fascinated and intrigued by how things used to be, how things used to look, and more importantly, how people who have lived in our community in the past have shaped the present.  Mark Butcher was one of those people.

Mark Butcher (1814-1885) was Prince Edward Island’s most prolific and perhaps most influential cabinet-maker.  The manufacture of furniture was a flourishing industry in PEI in the nineteenth century, and each locality had its own chair maker just as they had their own blacksmith. Mark Butcher, emigrating from Ireland when he was 15, set up shop in Charlottetown, in and around King Square.

Mark Butcher lived in a happy time, as far as cabinet making was concerned, as politicians and newspapers continually and strongly encouraged the support of local industry.  It seems their actions spoke just as loudly as their words also, for the government of the day employed him to furnish the Central Academy, the Prince of Wales College and also items for Government House and some government offices.

Butcher operated a factory on the corner of Kent and Hillsborough streets, now the site of the Maritime Christian College.

So what was produced at Butcher’s factory you ask, where at times as many as 40 men were employed?  Well, along with furniture for every room of the house they also made picture frames, ladies work-tables, butlers’ trays, bidets, bootjacks, snuff boxes, venetian shades, washing-machines, office, school, and church furniture, caskets, and last but not least, croquet sets.

In 2008, the city of Charlottetown erected a monument to Mark Butcher, in the middle of historic King Square.

Though prolific in his manufacture, Mark Butcher also had a very recognizable style, especially with his chairs, which often can be identified by a ‘bell’ or inverted tulip turning on the leg.  And this summer, during our much talked about shopping spree I was very lucky to come across one of these such chairs.

 I am now a very proud owner of a piece of Mark Butcher furniture, and therefore, a very proud owner of a piece of local history.


Bergere – reveal

A bergere is an enclosed, upholstered French armchair, though our particular pair of bergeres are not from France.  We found them in Victoria-by-the-sea on our summer shopping spree and had to have them.

Originally upholstered in a green velvety stripe, they were faded and worn.  One of them was missing a cushion, and they were still stuffed with their original horsehair.

They were tired, and desperately begging for a new life.  So we gave it to them.

We had the back upholstered in the fabulous vintage looking citrine fabric with this smashing bird and twig design from Tonic Living.

We had the inside upholstered in a complimentary stripe that we found at Fabricville.

And to top it off, we added this amazing pillow from Dwell Studio.

Here’s one last look.  We hope that you love them as much as we do.

For those of you that have been asking about the couch fabric, stay tuned.  A reveal is forthcoming.

Today’s Treasure

Fabulocity comes in many shapes, sizes and colours. True, this is not as fun as plastic pineapple lamps or Stations of the Cross but it is nevertheless fabulous. This, Ottomonites, is a fiberglass oil tank German engineered for the North American Market. When dealing with something that could cause a small environmental and financial disaster, you go high-end. You find out what your insurance company would prefer, what your plumbing and heating contractor suggests as the best of the best and you do your online research to find out which oil tank is truly “fabulous”. Well, for us, this is it. It does look a bit, as KL so aptly described, like an alien. However, if this alien keeps us and Mother Earth safe and allows us to sleep well at night, I am ok with that. Fabulocity is indeed about fabrics and paint colours but it also about ensuring those fabrics and paint colours have a healthy and safe home.

To aliens!