Saturday, September 20, 2008

Thrift Store Au-Go-Go!

Things have been bustling here at GLENMULLALY.COM world headquarters recently with a pile of deadlines and preparation work frantically being completed before I'm off on a road trip this week. So to celebrate and tide you over until I'm back from the exotic vacation destination known as the Pacific Northwest of the good old U.S. of A., here's some high ( and low ) lights from a one day road trip I took not too long ago with friends.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s on any given day off there were better than even odds that a thrift store visit was in the cards for me. Sometimes just a quick stop at a local Salvation Army or St. Vincent de Paul. Other times a whole day of out of town thrifting trying to hit as many stores as possible to pick up all those .25¢ vintage records or $1 tiki mugs I was actively collecting at the time. As the years went on and my collections grew to fill out my humble abode I slowly cut back on the frequency of these visits to the point of only a small number of thrift visits in the past year.

That went out the window a not long ago with a day long Thriftaganzaroad trip with good friends to as many out-of-town locations as we could fit into the often limited opening hours of these meccas of household miscellanea. We made it to 9 stores ( the cream of the crop that we could hit in a day ) in around 12 hours. Not exactly rapid fire, but we spent most of our time driving the 250 or so kilometre distance between them dodging roadkill ( one that was half the size of our car! ) and enjoying the sights.

At our second stop we were regaled with the splendor that was this original oil ( or maybe more specifically indoor/outdoor alkyd ) painting. Note the subtle highlights and soothing bright orange colour scheme ( not unlike my website's, actually! ) that would fit well with the average 1978 family's chocolate brown velour couch and matching end tables. A photo to remember it by was enough for me.

At the same location my eyes fell upon this touching inscription in the endpapers of a late 70s early 80s copy of Nancy Drew's classic adventure, "The Double Jinx Mystery". What a rebellious rapscallion that Santa can be after too much egg nog.

A good time was had by all. Much loot was bagged. Vittles were had. But nothing, not anything, could have foreshadowed what we were to find at our last stop...

Over 60 copies of the record sleeve to Kim "Tootie from the Facts of Life" Field's 1984 7" single "I Love You Michael"! No records mind you, just the sleeves. 60 plus copies of this single turning up at a mid-sized Canadian thrift store?.. sure, that was bound to happen one day. But with no records inside? They're obviously used - notice the wear from the heartfelt vinyl that once lay nestled betwixt the cellulose sandwich of these covers. So just how did these paegns to bad celebrity synth pop turn up? Who went to the trouble of collecting, or at least storing these obscure treasures for 24 years only to give them up to a Nanaimo charity shop? How could I have not bought them?! Better minds than I have pondered these weighty questions. Best left to the ages, perhaps...

On the other hand I did bring home a trunkload of great finds! From mint condition cool vinyl from the 1950's - 70's to tons of amazing kid's books from the likes of Mary Blair and Alice & Martin Provensen. In fact I picked up an entire set of 1964 Childcraft Encyclopedias containing art from just about every top kid's book illustrator working at the time, for 99¢. Not 99¢ a volume, but 99¢ for THE WHOLE SET! Kirby comics, a classic Clue board game ( the version I grew up with ) and even a few vintage tiki items and an vintage paper bag from the Island Casuals shop at the International Market Place in Waikiki. Grand total for the whole shebang? Under $20. Yep.

A big thanks to the fine folks at Urban Eye Photography for photos #2, #3 and #4. In fact, scoot on over for UEP co-conspirator Little Acorn's posting on this self same topic, why dontcha! In the meantime I'll see you in week or so, rested, relaxed and rarin' to go with some more content-filled posts.

I hope.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

New Know!

Once again it's time for the new Know magazine, the science magazine for curious kids. On the newsstands now it's features Gold as the theme. I've once again contributed the puzzles and games content with my regular "Know Fun" 2 page feature - this month in the form of a gold-themed board game.

Pick you yours up now!

Here's a couple of details from the game to whet your appetite.

Sunday, September 7, 2008


Yes, you heard that right - the swankily stylized illustrations of the one and only Robert Turnbull are now featured on my flickr photostream. Hard to believe you say? Never thought you'd live to see the day, I hear? Don't have a clue who this Turnbull character is you ponder?...

...well, neither do I! But I love his work from the pages of 1960 issues of Canadian women's magazine Chatelaine and I'm spotlighting a bunch of them right now. So quick like a bunny hop on over and revel in the mysteriously marvelous work of Mister T.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Paper maché Madness.

Each spring or summer growing up in the late 1970s and early 80s our local public library system would hold contests for kids. Art, costume or, in this case, a mask contest all intended, I assume, to encourage the children of the bustling community of Nanaimo, BC to get more involved with the books that we were reading. The idea was to create a mask representing characters from books, but I guess they were a little laid back on that stipulation. I have no idea what literary tome I told them my paper maché gorilla mask ( far right ) was from ( the novelization of King Kong perhaps? ), but at least it wasn't out-of-place next to a non-bookish, very fun duct-tape Cylon from the tv show Battlestar Galactica.
Shortly after this I removed the face from this mask and replaced it with a much more fierce teeth baring version. Even back then I was always one for revising work I wasn't 100% happy with. I still have both versions of this monkey mask stored away in the bowels of the cavernous Mullaly Archives Complex, although the paper maché is a little worse for wear.

Two years earlier in 1979 I had entered a library costume contest with this smashing outfit that I ended up using for Halloween that year as well. Once again I pushed the boundaries of non-bookland with this made-up masterpiece.