Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Junk Legacy

You never know what the street holds for you until you get out and drive. I headed out on Thursday morning at the crack of dawn just to see if there was anything impressive on its way to the dump via the curb. Turns out that the streets were fairly barren of junk this week. Hmph! I'm just not used to that! With each turn, the empty streets were a big disappointment. After hitting up my neighborhood with no luck, I remembered a pile I had seen down a street in another neighborhood on my way home the night before, but which I hadn't had time to stop and check out at the time.

Off I went, and the pile was still there! Right on top was this sweet old shelf from back in the day. Although weathered and missing it's feet, it still held possibility. Just after I found it, I happened upon a link that led to THIS POST at Penny's Vintage Home. Stop over and see what she just so happens to have at her place.

Well, since my shelf was missing its feet and I have no where to put a spindly shelf anyway, I thought maybe I'd take a shot at making some other use of the spindles, finials and shelves. The shelves look to me like they would make great signs, either separately or joined together with chains or rope or maybe with some of my salvaged hardware items.

I jumped right into painting one set of the shelves. I wanted the base coat black, and the only black I had was chalkboard paint.  So I just went with that, but as you can see, I was too impatient to wait for the second coat to dry before I got a picture. For some reason it looks blue, but it's black. After I got the chalkboard paint on, I thought maybe I could leave them that way and create a border of white around the edges instead of choosing a color and wording.

And that's where I got stuck. I have some lettering ideas for a full blown painted sign, but they would be person specific, and I need to discover whether or not they would have a desire for such a thing before I go all crazy customizing them. I also thought they might work as box lids of some sort. If you have any brilliant ideas, let me know. They can always still be painted and turned magically back into the shelf unit (the whole thing just screws together quite simply). Makeshift feet could be crafted out of any number of casters that I just so happen to have on hand from my finds. Old knobs or other short spindles could also do the trick. Now, if someone I knew was in need of such a shelf, I might just put it back together and save myself the trouble of making decisions, but I haven't heard of anyone who is shelf-poor lately.

Meanwhile, at the same pile, there were loads of these jute type carpet pieces rolled up and stacked nicely. It looked like someone got new flooring and tore out a whole room full of this stuff. It didn't appear to be in bad shape, so I snagged a small roll, just in case it was alright, trying to remember that I could throw it away if it was no good. Don't worry, I wasn't planning on bringing it in the house. I'm not one to ever salvage other people's cloth type items, and definitely not from a trash pile, but I really just wanted to see what kind of shape this was in because...

...my patio needed something. So I unrolled it and found it to be in decent shape with no pet stains or stink. Whew! One edge was straight and bound, the other jagged and unravelling. So I unravelled the odd edge until it was straight and cut off the excess backing that was sticking out. I was going to stitch along the edge a tad to hold it in place, but why put my delicate fingers to such a task? I'm the only one who ever goes out there, and it's not likely I'll beat it up and cause it to unravel. Since I am at war with my patio stones, this does a nice job of covering them up a bit (it would have been nice had it been wider), and it softens the look of the space a little. When it gets ruined by the rain, the dirt and the beating sun, I'll have no worries. It can be rolled right back up and tossed in the trash. Easy come, easy go. This is actually just a temporary test for how a rug might weather outside, which I've been wondering for some time, not wanting to invest in something that won't last. So now I get to do a rug test for free! The next step could be to fringe the ends a little so it looks intentional.

Oh yeah, I did actually find something in my neighborhood. I almost forgot because it was anything all that fun. But it sure is practical and that's good too. It was these jalousie window panes. I didn't count them, but I might have gotten about 15.

Jalousies are what give windows like this their old Florida room style. It so happens that these horribly filthy windows belong to me. My back room (Florida room) is made up of these jalousie style windows on three sides, floor to ceiling. I've always despised these, yet in recent years, I've started to look at them differently, with a little nostalgia that keeps me from hating on them too much. This is an aspect of my home that I would definitely change if I could afford it, but that's not happening. I'd love to have French doors all around. I've come to terms with having just the two back doors replaced with French Doors. They originally had jalousie windows also. We replaced those shortly after moving in back in 1984. Jalousies are just a pain to clean and they don't close tightly, so all the wrong temperatured air comes in and out at all the wrong times.

Anyway, if one of these panes breaks, the place near me that sells the replacements wants $11 a piece. So I was really happy to find a pile of them in someone's trash, intact. From time to time one of mine meets its demise. I want to keep some of the ones I found, and if any of the glass stores around here are willing to buy them, I'd be more than happy to sell the rest to them. I have a feeling they get them in much the same way I did though, for free.

Finally, here's what became of the tomato support I found in the trash a week ago. After painting the finial raspberry pink, I bought a bleeding heart with a gift card from my sweet and wonderful friend, Lynn, and I painstakingly threaded the vine in and around the wire the best I could. I'm pretty sure I ruined a bunch of really good branches that had lots of buds by bending the vines, but it couldn't be helped. So once this baby gets growing, I think it will cover the support quite nicely. I like the look of it on the patio by my old pallet, pitchfork and the bike basket of flowers. My son was not impressed by either the pallet leaning on the wall with the basket of flowers and the pitchfork or the salvaged tomato support. He doesn't exactly see the glory in junk. I mean, you've seen my back patio and my recent raspberry pink overhauls to the round tables. He came to the door to survey my results and "Well", he said, "It kind of reminds me of the Smurfs."

Ha! Okay, you know, I think he has a point, after all, it does have a certain silly colorful cartoon world feel to it (I think that finial on the support does sort of allude to a Smurf's hat) , but come on, the whole patio looks like the Smurfs? Give me Looney Tunes, sure, but please not the stupid Smurfs. La, la - la, la, la, la...

Well, you know, I never considered it before, but maybe he's color blind, because the only sort of blue on my patio is on the chippy aqua colored cast iron chairs. At the least, I can tell you it's obvious he doesn't see the beauty or the point of my junk conglomeration.

He may not actually be color blind, but he IS junk blind.

What a shame, especially since the whole house is pretty much populated with glorified junk. With time, he'll learn, I hope. He'd better. Much of this is going to him when he moves. It's a "junk legacy" that I leave. Heh, heh... "All this can be yours," I say. In return I get blank stares or raised eyebrows, and all I hear is crickets.

~ ~ ~
Stop by and visit these fun parties:

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

Furniture Feature Fridays

French Country Cottage


Lavender Garden Cottage


mop it up mondays


  1. I love the tomato support with the finial and bleeding heart. You just may find a clever use for the spindles in a project. Otherwise just put it back together. It does have a unique shape even if there are a lot of shelves out there.

  2. I'm in love with it all!!! And can't believe the treasures you found - love love love the tomato thingamajig and love that you painted it in red.
    SMURFVILLE forevah!!!

  3. I know just what I'd do with those shelf parts! I'd turn one so the flat part is on top and the decorative rounded part on the bottom. Then I'd add a small wood shelf on top of it with cute little wood brackets holding it up. You know, like those vintage wall shelves from the 40's? You could even paint it Disney pink!

    I've got small jalousie windows in my basement. Not a Minnesota thing at all, but they're original to the 1921 house. Imagine if you will, -30 windy days sitting in the man cave. Brrrrrrrr!!!

  4. My first thought for the spindle shelf was signs too. I have a broken spindle shelf in my workshop also, but the shelves aren't as good for signs as what I think yours are. Good luck!

  5. More good finds! I think your idea to make signs with the shelves is great! The spindles could be painted and shabbied up for decor. Just a thought! You'll think of something!

  6. LOVE the sign idea and that leaves lots of great projects for the spindles:) i also, love the pop of color on your patio, liz.

  7. For some unknown reason when I began to read this post, my mind used a Sam Spade voice - like a forties detective movie. The mean streets of curbside shopping! I am lucky - my nieces have demanded that my "junque" be theirs. So be it! I see beautifully distressed white lace bobbins for those spindles - mainly because that is what I do with them!

  8. Although I would not have considered making signs of the shelves, and since I always seem to be shelf poor, it is a very clever idea! And I've seen some lovely lamps made from finials...maybe spindles would work, too?

  9. I love your patio area!
    Looks so inviting. I'd love to put a rug on my covered porch...you know, Magnolia Pearl style... just tossed out there! But The Honey won't have it...he says, he'd have to devise a way to keep the free range chickens off of it. I get his point, we already have to keep the porch clean from the chickens.
    Now...the son, neither of my grown sons see the power of junk to turn a drab spot into a conversation station! what gives?
    ...and yes, one of my sons IS COLORBLIND...but it doesn't matter what color my junk is, both of them turn their noses up to it.

    blessings to you! Pat

    (great score on the window glass)
    I need replacements for my camper...don't suppose you picked up any short ones and we could work a deal on payment and shipping?
    Seriously...email me! I'm looking to buy some. If the measurements are the same.
    see ya!

  10. The patio looks lovely, not Smurfy at all. Great find with the replacement windows... our 1963 holiday trailer had them. :) LOL on your son's take on the whole thing. Sometime's men just don't 'get it'. I think you have to keep your eyes peeled for a few actual Smurfs to tuck in here and there. Just for fun. :)

  11. Hi, Liz

    How are you? I see you have been busy. I love your back porch area. Looks awesome. I plan on going over your area for spring break with hubby and the kiddos. We want to enjoy the beach. You know there is no beach in Lakeland. LOL. Keep picking and inspiring. Have a great week.


  12. You have the most creative ideas! Love the use of the carpet as a patio rug - it looks great :-)

  13. I can't believe that you found that piece on the side of the road. No one ever puts anything out in my neighborhood and I have no idea about other parts of town. You sure scored.

  14. You find the most amazing things on the curb, Liz! I think I need to follow behind you.
    Mary Alice

  15. Wow, I never see any cool stuff on the side of the road. Maybe I don't have the eye for it. But I love what you did. You also motivated me to add a bold, cheery color to my patio. I like your style! :)
    Leslie (Gwen Moss)

  16. Another great junk haul!! Think of the possibilities with all those spindles. I like your idea of a decorative edge and then leaving the chalkboard paint finish. This way you can write your own message to the recipient, but they can still change it. Love the basket with flowers and all the pops of color in your yard. Sometimes guys just don't get it, lol.

  17. Wow! You found some great stuff!!I love the idea for the shelves....you can leave them separate and hang them with the straight edge as the bottom! I agree with painting the carved edge. If you want something permanent on them just put "memo" or something at the top with white paint! I think all your ideas are just great!

  18. It still just amazes me that people are able to find such treasures in the junk. They just don't do that here. I think maybe in the S.L. Avenues, but no where else. Boy if they did I'd be riding around neighborhoods constantly. lol! Maybe it's a good thing. Love to see what you create with your trash finds. My hubby doesn't get my love for junk either. We are finishing our basement. I found an old door for the pantry and a transon window to go above it. The other day they had installed it and I trapzed him down to see, "isn't it fab I said." He just kind of shook his head. What? I asked. "I just don't understand why you don't want new". You'd think after 41 years of marriage he would get it, NADA! Still, he puts up with me. For that he's a keeper! Thanks for sharing with Share Your Cup!

  19. If this is glorified junk - it is WONDERFUL - very fun posts here!!!


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