Treasure Trove

James came home today with a big cardboard box full of old sewing notions. It had belonged to a friend's mother and had been in storage forever. The friend thought I might be interested. Boy, did she have my number! I spent the next hour removing petrified rubber bands from bundles of thread saved for "just in case". Such thrift! But there were treasures to be found too.
Wow, a vintage needle book with a design perfect for this weekend's Canada Day celebrations.
I love the spiderweb embossed foil papers. So colourful, like a box of chocolates! And I see the few remaining needles are indeed rust-free, as the caption promises.
Then I found what looks like an even older needlebook.
But it too has the same spiderweb embossed foil papers. Not only are these needles protected against rust, they are made of Swedish steel!
Now, what could be in this tiny felt pouch?
Diamonds!!! James tested them for hardness, and alas, they turned out to be acrylic. But I will save them for a party favour, so fun.
And what does this wee box of French Perfume contain?

 Red plastic beads, of course.
Check out the letter opener with a nattily dressed Fuller Brush man. I'm sure my mom had a couple of these in the desk drawer, they were probably a freebie. Who gets so much mail these days that they need a letter opener?

There was also a little wooden ruler from the American Pencil Company, and seven feet of Corticelli ribbon. (There was also quite a stash of thread, seam binding, elastic, snaps, etc., that were all made in either Canada or the USA. Most of those manufacturers are long gone, or relocated to overseas. I'll do another post featuring some of the wonderful old labels.)
But the sweetest find of all was this little handmade etui, just about 2 inches wide.
Doesn't it just make your heart go pit-a-pat?


  1. doesn't take much to make us happy sometimes, does it? ;)i have one of those old needle packs too, with kitties of course!

  2. What fun! I love the old labels. I think I even remember the one with the Mountie on it from somewhere.

  3. Anonymous10:19 AM

    well done James! lovely collection. I can't imagine my daughter-in-laws being excited about some old pkgs. of needles - let alone my grand daughters, they don't know what they're missing. Happy July 1st.

  4. What treasures!!!!! x

  5. Anonymous11:41 AM

    Alice Munro or Margaret Atwood couldn't have created a better visual short story. Well done! What you've got there is a wonderful portrait of an almost vanished domestic economy. I'm not one to romanticize the past. There was a lot of silly rubbish, like jello salads and rampant racism, but sewing and mending will hopefully never go out of style.

  6. i laughed out loud when i saw the 'fuller brush man' letter mom used her aqua colored one for years!!!! i have often wondered what happened to it in the hands of her great-grand daughter...will we find it stuck away in a dark corner someday?

  7. Really, what a lovely treasure!

    (And.. actually I do own two letter openers and I am even using them from time to time. :o Though mine are wooden.)


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