Monday, April 30, 2012

The Thrice Picked Pile

This morning, on the way to work, I was driving and thinking... still thinking about that pile from Saturday... you know, the one I have already picked twice! See my post, Sweet Saturday Haul.

I couldn't get it off my mind and even though I barely had time to get to work without being late, I veered in the direction of that pile to do a drive by and see if the trash collectors had come. I'm like that. I salvage things the first time, then regret not going for the full monty. But three times to one pile? Is that necessary? 

I could be so much more efficient.

On the way there, I spotted a new pile. [Heart skipping beats.] I wouldn't have given it a second look, except that it contained a long table with drop leaf ends. Now my heart was flipping. I'm a sucker for a drop leaf table, and this one was a bit out of the ordinary with the leaves at the ends. Could I get it in my back seat without creating a scene?  

I called my boss. She gave her blessing to a reasonable amount of "picking tardiness" and I soldiered on. Thanks, Kathryn!

The original pile was still there and while someone had gotten to it, the drawers remained! I grabbed the three that were left and a good piece of wood, threw them in the back seat and went back to the new treasure.

Sadly, when I got closer, the drop leaf table was in really terrible shape. And it was really long. The legs were falling off and the top was made of three pieces of very damaged wood. It did have three nice wood front drawers with heavy duty hardware. I pulled one out and it fell apart in my hand. Not a good sign. Still, the front was a hard reddish wood of some sort and the sides were solid and stamped, Century Furniture of Distinction. The insides were water-damaged, moldy and disgusting, but into the back seat I threw them. 

I truly wanted that table, and it could have been made into a patio potting table, but sadly I knew I could not make it fit. Besides, I told myself as consolation, it might have termites. 

Of course, I thought all day about the one that got away [sigh]. I will keep its memory as my inspiration and see about salvaging more wood and trying my hand at making one of my own in the near future. 

If I had been smart, I would have dismantled that thing and taken the legs. They were a simple shaker style and would have been perfect for something else. Kick me, kick me, kick me!

No regrets

One of these days I'll learn to pick a pile clean... the first time. I can always throw it away when I get home if I don't want it. When will I learn?! I hope you are more pick savvy than I. If not, take a lesson from my regrets. Take it all now and decide later. 

So here's what my third pick to the Saturday pile and my one pick of the new pile yielded today:

Unfinished drawers and wood. I got home and piled it all inside by the front door. Casey made the expected exasperated exclamations.

The scary drawers were taken straight around to the back porch. They came complete with some boxes of prescription "ointment."

...but aren't these beautiful?

After holding my breath as I tore down the moldy, disgusting drawers and after throwing away the unusable part, I lined them up and here's what I have left to work with some day. The ends are dovetailed. Nice.

I moved the new unfinished drawers from the "thrice picked pile" to the Florida room to reunite with the cabinets I had taken from the pile on my two Saturday picks. 

Why is it my house always looks like we are in the middle of a move?

Don't answer that.

And... ta, da... a bonus! Here's what one of the drawers yielded...

 (The name has been redacted to protect the patient.)

There were four boxes of this stuff. Ick. Just goes to show ya, though, you never know what you'll get when you pick a pile or when you open a drawer. So get looking. Just always remember to look out!

Happy hunting!

Fridays Unfolded

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Easy - Breezy Before and After

Found this sad little table destined for doom in a pile of trash near my house on a Thursday morning trash stalking adventure.

Nothing a little cleaning, sanding, painting and more sanding couldn't cure. 

The big burned spot was tricky, but the dent it left adds character.

(It's not white on top, that's the reflection of the sunlight. The whole thing is the same greenish-blue color - which also doesn't translate in the photos. It's not as green as it looks here.)

I had a cute Anthropologie knob perfect for the drawer.

Doable and done.

It was an easy, breezy and fun little project.  We love this little table. My daughter is currently hogging it in her room. My other daughter wants it for her new apartment. Would love to find another and make a match for it and use it in my coastal - always-a-work-in-progress - living room decor.  

Sadly, I mixed the paint myself and I'm not sure which of the numerous similar colors I have were used. Not sure I could make another one the same, but then, maybe that doesn't matter.

Even if I never find a companion piece, there'll always be something new in the next trash pile to make over. 

I wonder what will show up next! 

Find me at Nifty Thrifty Sunday this weekend.

Sweet Saturday Haul

Sweet Saturday indeed! Yesterday I performed feats of junk collection that made me feel like a Garage Sale Queen, despite the gritty and humble sensibilities that accompany one on a day rummaging through peoples old junk and crawling through trash piles.

I found so many things I'd been wanting while I was out, and I only spent $9.00 during my garage sale circuit. I was doing so well.

I even managed to score several things for free. Oh, what fun...

...then I went to Goodwill. Darn that Goodwill! Goodwill ruined my positively stellar track record for the day and got me for $19.16. Drat.

You must know, however, that they had 13 cups and 5 bowls in the most mesmerizing shade of aqua. (The image above doesn't do them justice.) The huge picnic basket shown in the picture above was also from Goodwill, which was just what I had been looking for. Hooray! Then I stumbled upon the quilt rack. Why didn't I just stop looking around and leave?!

Oh well, too late...once an item is seen, it cannot be unseen, and you know it's nearly impossible to just walk away. So I was thinking I could take it apart and use it as a couple of ladders and see where they would best work and what I could hang on them. Then again, since the dryer is broken, this could come in handy for hanging up wet clothes. Casey and I also discovered while messing with it, that when extended wide, it would make a great tent frame for a kid to play under. So many uses and so much fun for a few measly bucks.

Here's what I got for my time and travel:

The boots I got from Target the day before, everything else but the planters was scored on my morning hunt.

Garage Sales:

Collander: $0.25
Videos: $1.00 each (we needed these, even if they are VHS)
Glass topped Ball Jar: $0.25
Milk bottle: $1.00
Tele-Tone Record Player: $5.00 - Woo hoo! This was the most exciting thing I found. I have been looking for a record player in a suitcase for some time and everywhere I find them online they are expensive and then I'd have to pay shipping as well, which always stops me.

My eyes went wide when I saw this. Such a score! I was so excited. It needs a needle and who knows if it turns at the proper speed, but for $5.00, I decided it was worth a shot. Casey has been warned that I will soon be playing my old albums once I get a needle...

...She wanted to know what she's ever done that I would torture her like that.

Wood crate: $0.50
Small basket with lid and handles: $1.00
Sweet white shell: FREE!
Three round cake pans: FREE!
Two heart-shaped cake pans: FREE!

All the pans were free because the lady who was selling them was so mad at the people before me who were rudely trying to get things for nothing when she already had them marked so inexpensively, and they were being jerky about it as well. When I came up and started talking to her and showed an interest in them, she said, I want you to have them. Just take them. No charge. She said, I would rather give them away to someone nice than accept money from someone who is so rude. Score!


Aqua Cups: $.69 each
Aqua Bowls: $0.89 each
Basket: $6.00 (I asked and got $2 off because it was starting to rip underneath)
Quilt Rack: $3.00

The big fun of the day for me, aside from all the other great finds, was when I found the pile of trash across the street from a little church flea market. It looked promising, so as soon as I scored the great little glass topped Ball Jar at that sale, I went over to the pile to start rummaging. It had rained the night before so things were soggy and heavy.

Trash Pickin':

Single Door Cabinet with undermount light: FREE
Bunch of scrap wood: FREE

This photo was taken after I already got my first haul out of it. I always forget to take a photo before.

I could see that there was some salvagable wood, but alot of what was there was particle board. There wasn't much I wanted, and I don't even know what half of this stuff had been, but I did spot unfinished cabinets, one with a door the exact size I have been looking for in order to make a chalkboard for a skinny spot in my kitchen. Yes! I was able to slide that out from under the pile with a little work, and I did it without a crash, despite all the stuff on top of it. I was also able to score a few pieces of wood that looked decent.

The louvre doors near the very bottom of the pile would not budge with everything on top them and I was not in the mood to rework the whole pile even though I really wanted them. Besides there were nails and staples sticking out of everything. I was feeling a bit self-conscious too (picking does that to me) especially when there is an audience, which there was, across the street at the sale... and cars going to the flea market drove by slowly to see what this crazy woman was up to in the trash.

After I got the heavy cabinet (with the undermount light on it) into the backseat with the scrap wood, I called it good enough and took off.

Whoever had taken that trash out to the road obviously did not consider the pickers who would inevitably come. Tsk, tsk. They could have put the good stuff on top so I could have gotten more, but noooooooo! They piled it up all wrong. And why do people put huge mirrors at the bottoms of their piles where they will inevitably be broken break right away. Some people could use a lesson in trash piling etiquette so that those who come to treasure hunt will have an opportunity to score as much of that loot as possible. Ah well, all part of the fun and adventure, I suppose.

After I came home and got this door off and sanded it and realized how perfect it is and how nice this cabinet is, I thought I really need another. I could keep one as a cabinet, and use one to make a chalkboard with. I looked at the photo I had taken of the pile and I realized that there was another cabinet in there and a cabinet of drawers. I remember seeing other big things, but most everything was falling apart. However, I started to think that if I could get another cabinet, I could at least take the doors off and throw the rest away or use the good wood for something.

So, I drove back at the end of the day to repick the pile. The cabinet with two square doors was falling apart, but I managed to get it into the car (very heavy). With the big, heavy cabinet having been removed from on top of the louvre doors, and after a lot of huffing and puffing and pulling... and determination, I got them out, crossed the street with them, narrowly avoiding a car, opened the car door and realized that once again, I had forgotten the limitations of a mid-sized Nissan sedan. 

My eyes are bigger than my back seat

Crud. I hate making a scene and struggling as onlookers watch me dig through a pile, only to get something awkward out and then not be able to fit it into the car. Embarrassing. My eyes are so often bigger than my backseat. I didn't give up. I went at it, determined it would work, even if it meant opening my trunk (gasp! It's full of junk) and moving the stuff around to fit the louvres through the opening that goes through to the back seat. In the end, I managed to finagle it into the car, wedge it in place and drive home safely, despite the huge passenger side companions the louvres were. 

My car is filthy now, but then, it was for a good stuff!

Second run on the Trash Pile:

Two-door Cabinet: FREE
Large Shelf: FREE
Hinged Louvre Doors: FREE

Found this big shelf on my second pick through the pile. It was made of good wood with a finished edge along the front. I think it is exactly the length I need for over my kitchen window. How cool is that!

Other scrap wood came home with me as well. Handy, especially since I stopped by Lowes later in the day and took a look at cabinet and wood prices. Yikes! Trash pickin' is the way to go!

There was a cabinet full of drawers in the pile that I didn't bother with. It was quite large and was turned the wrong way to get to easily. Since I don't need a bunch of drawers lying around right now, I passed. I have limited storage space, except I could just pry the fronts off of them. Hmmm. I also see now that I also should have taken the hardware from the black drawers. Too bad I didn't. It would be a shame for those to get thrown out. Yes, I'm thinking maybe a third run to the pile is in my evening's future.

I came home and got all the doors off and all the nails and staples out of all the wood. Tore apart one cabinet and salvaged some good thin laminate backing pieces that will come in handy for something some day, then cleaned the louvres. All that took about a half an hour. Then I did a quick sanding of the doors, and they are ready to be remade. All in all, a good day, even if Goodwill did get me for $19.16.

The little crate I got for $0.50 was soaking wet, but I stuck it by the front door to dry and liked it there, so I went and got some flowers and set them on top. Nice. 

Now I have some chalkboard painting to do, among other things. It's raining like crazy though. Don't like to paint when the weather's bad, but I may just do it anyway. I'll post my finished product as soon as it's done.

The little basket with the lid went inside to hold the Christmas tree ends I've collected the past couple of years for a project that didn't pan out. It works perfectly. It will hold them in style until I come up with something new for them to do.

By the way, I went back to Goodwill to get the last cup and bowl (I had left them to keep my expenditures down the first go round, but decided they were needed) and look what I found. 

Made in America and only $8.00! Nice. I couldn't find one of these online to figure out how old it is. If anyone has an idea, please let me know. I'm thinking 1950's or 60's. Anybody else have one of these or know?

Anyway, I had to have it. We really do need a heater (no, not now, but we will next Winter) and this one was entirely too cool to leave to someone else to snag. And it works like a dream.

When deals come your way, you might as well just go for it. 

And I did...all day long.

PS: After all my hunting and scoring, I have already put many of my finds to good use. I had my coffee in one of the cups this morning and we've had cereal and ice cream out of the bowls, and I rearranged another grouping by my "fireplace" to incorporate the big picnic basket as well as the little one with the Christmas tree ends. Success!

Until the next hunt...

Nifty Thrifty Tuesday at Coastal Charm

Friday, April 27, 2012

Raspberry Red & Happily Ever After

Once upon a time...

I found Raspberry Red Rain Boots. 
(garden boots, sloggers, whatever you want to call them)

I thought I was dreaming...

...but this was no imaginary fairytale.

~ My heart smiled ~

It was a sumble-upon match, made in Target. 

~ They were on sale ~ 

I never thought we'd find each other, ever.

 Then one day (today)...

There. They. Were.

They came home with me.

 Me & Rasperry Red...

...we were meant to be together. 

This is just the beginning of our story.

May it be happily ever after

House of Misfit Furniture

I had a great day of treasure hunting one day and came home with this bounty:

A great haul! (Some day soon, I'll show you what I did with the buckets.) There among the mix of treasures was a barstool I paid too much for - $2.00. Yet, I liked it's weathered look and figured I could recover the seat and make it my own. It turned out that, better yet, my friend Lynette covered the seat for me - oh, happy day! She's a doll!

Since that time, I've come across barstools galore in people's trash, but I think twice before snagging them. I'm not sure Lynette intends to make a career of recovering barstools, and I'm sure I don't. And I don't want too many more barstools gracing the few empty spaces left in my home. I'll need that space for other treasures.

The seat on this one was a mess...

 ...but I liked the weathered cream colored paint job.

This bird fabric came from Ikea (it's been great for all sorts of things) and had been in my stash awaiting just such an occasion to shine. The cream legs had to go black (I spray painted them for speed) in order to make a nice contrast with all the white, and since Lynette offered to cover the seat for me, I said "YES!" (I'm no dummy.) She has mad seamstress skills and a just do it attitude. I accepted her offer, grateful not to have to worry about wasting my fabric on my own botched sewing job, which may or may not have even begun for who knows how long. 

 Much better, isn't it?

Finished product.

Since we did this one, Lynette also covered another one for me. Well, she's a project queen, like that.

I found this second little beauty in the trash on a garbage day junk run in a nearby neighborhood. You have to take what you get when treasure hunting, of course, and decide its use later. So I didn't have a plan for this one any more than the last, and since it was lying there getting pelted by a sprinkler and destined to doom if I didn't rescue it, I went ahead and threw it onto the back seat of my car, figuring I'd find a way to fit it into my life or the life of someone I know eventually. "Who can I give this to?" is the question I beg of myself as I hunt. Heaven knows I can't use all I find. Since this one had an entirely different feel from the first one, I couldn't exactly make the two match. As a result, I was now the caretaker of two barstool orphans. 

This got a good cleaning, and I shored up the broken strapping on it as best I could. I didn't want to put too much into it, not knowing what I was going to do with it. The top was a mess and had to come off - it was wet and smelly and torn.

Lynette - yes more Lynette - let me raid her fabric stash for something that would be suitable to the rattan. I thought this pattern would do nicely and would give it a kind of happy Florida flair, despite the brown background. 

Even though I don't need it, this fits in with the look of my Florida room, so it's hanging out there right now and has been a perfectly pleasant guest. 

However, now I have two barstools and no bar.  Hmph... I need to do a little matchmaking, I guess. Until the day I stumble upon some other lonely barstools to pair them with, they will hang out in the middle world that has become of my house... the house of misfit furniture. 

And that, my friends, is only the beginning.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

There Are Good Intentions, And Then There's Reality

I got up with every intention of beginning the sanding of the last leg of soffit work, the part on the back side of the house. (Last leg, yes, but then there is still an "ankle and a "foot" over on the West side of the back room above the awning left to do. I'm seriously considering pretending that part doesn't exist and just moving on.)

Cael and I kicked butt on this house prepping and painting project nearly every day for 3 months.

I forgot to put something down before he started pressure cleaning. Although, I found that moving sheets around as he worked and dumping the junk into a pile was not much better than cleaning up the mess. It was still everywhere, and it was nearly impossible to keep the stuff landing where it should.

It was cold out too! Cold and wet is no fun.

Glad that's done.

After that we went ahead and primed the walls, asap, for the sake of the neighbors, knowing it would be a while before we'd be anywhere near ready to paint. It looked horrendous. Then we began the scraping and sanding of the wood areas, the trim, soffits and fascia. 

This was our glory section. I mean doing it stunk on ice, but we got ALL the layers of paint off and let me tell you it was not fast, and it was brutal work and took many, many days. But we were pretty proud of this part because it was quite a feat.

There was the little problem of the chunk of rotten wood that disintegrated as Cael scraped there. The hole remains. We never got to figuring out how to fix it before he left because we had so much other scraping, sanding, etc. to do that we couldn't shift gears. I stuck something in there to prevent lizards and other unthinkable creatures from slithering, scampering or crawling in, and the method I used is a serious rig job. Embarrassing. I wonder if it will ever get fixed. Rather I doubt it will ever get fixed.

Then when Cael left for CA, I lost the will to scrape or anything remotely required for this job. After three months of doing nothing else, I had to rest from my labors. I have only worked on it for two days in the month since he's been gone. For shame! Although, I do claim a legitimate excuse, for the few days I was sick (I mean truly sick, not pretend-because-I-don't-want-to-do-gruelling-work-sick). Although, that's valid too.

Here is my challenge today. This job has to be done either before the sun gets cooking or late in the afternoon when the shadows start to fall back there. This side of the house faces the sun all day and a person (read: me) would have to work up a good deal of mojo to begin.

It has been scraped.

Now it must be sanded, wiped down, caulked and primed. Sigh. It's so hard. [Yes, I'm whining.] It's such dirty, sweaty, achey work. Not exactly rewarding either. No one wants to come over and admire the soffits you've been scraping. They also have the nerve to say things like, you're still working on that? Why does it take so long? 

It's a wonder I carry on.

So I took pictures of flowers and shells and stuff instead.

That makes sense, doesn't it? 

For the record, I did start the first load of laundry, did dishes, made Casey breakfast, cleaned it up and cleaned out the fridge and took out the trash...and picked up junk scattered about. 

So after months of hanging the laundry all over my back patio on old ladders and awning poles and patio furniture (the dryer broke and I'm too cheap to get a new one), I finally tied a piece of rope across and underneath one of my awnings. Brilliant, I am! We started having rainy laundry days for a while and I had to have some cover.

Why did I take pictures of clothespins? Um, frankly it's unexplainable. I guess I find them oddly intriguing. Probably because they remind me of being a kid on Honeysuckle Avenue. We didn't a have a dryer back in the 1960's either. Laundry on clotheslines and the practical genius of clothespins was a part of everyday life that makes for the stuff of nostalgia now all these years later.

My neighbor has every right to wonder about me though. I can be seen out there at all hours aiming my camera at any-and-every-thing. 

When I went in to pull the wet clothes out of the washer (thank goodness it works!) the lovely sound of coinage hitting the floor chimed in my ears. A dime had fallen out of someone's pocket, and I yelled to Casey that I had found a dime and was keeping it. I continued to tell her that laundry rules state that any money which falls out of pockets is the property of the one who does the laundry, and that if any more money fell out, it was mine too. She was like, "What?! That's not right." "Oh, yeah!" I said. Everyone knows this; it's a universal rule." She was indignant, saying if it was in HER pocket, it was HERS. Oh, contraire, I politely rebuffed. I proceeded to state that if it fell out of the pockets on my laundry watch, it was legally mine. 

"Wait!" I had $5.00 in my pocket," she said. You can't have that. I got it as tip money last night." I shook my head, respectfully and matter of factly, of course, and told her if it fell out, I was keeping it. We squabbled back and forth about this and I went out and started shaking all the clothes around which is a necessity, not an attempt to lure $5 dollar bills out. Lint is kind of a problem when you don't have a dryer. So is crispiness. So you have to shake it out. As I flung a pair of her black pants around, yes siree, I hit the jackpot! Out flew a neatly folded bill. I started whooping it up and yelling how I was rich and had struck pay dirt. "Too bad," I taunted. "It's the law." 

Casey did not believe I was really serious or that I would keep her money, however, I provided the evidence of my find, and as I unfolded it to wave it around in jubilation, it was a measly $1.00 bill. Bummer, I thought I had a five. I handed the wet bill over for her to inspect, and let her consider the rights of those who do the work in the house. I was gonna let her have it; I wanted a $5.00, and I figured there was still a chance for a windfall. Sadly that didn't pan out. However, after I hung all the clothes out, and came back inside, she told me I could have the dollar. 

She understood the sanctity of laundry law, after all. These are hard truths that kids must learn, and I was not above snatching up that dollar, after all, as I reminded her, I would no doubt end up spending it on her anyway. She concurred, and I went out to hang it on the line to dry with the rest of the laundry. 

Money laundering.

I took my camera and was out there longer than I should have been. She came out and I could feel her behind me staring. I turned to see a very curious look on her face. Why on earth was I out standing on a chair taking pictures of clothespins and the very clean dollar bill hanging on the line, she wanted to know. 

[I sigh and shake my head.] Casey and my neighbors have so much to learn. 

Me, I have so much to do...because when you take a zillion photos of flowers, clothespins and money hanging on a line, you have to also upload and decide which to keep and throw away, and then, if you are a serious procrastinator of projects, you write about it. Which I am. Which I did. 

Meanwhile, the sanding hour has long since past. Another load of laundry has been washed, the first one folded, the second, hung. 

The lawn has yet to be mowed (That was also today's must-do because I didn't do it last week), the grunge on the floors must be vacuumed (also not done last week) and we've got to eat! I'm in the mood for neither, much less spending the evening hour standing on a ladder holding a sander over my head and giving it all I've got as paint dust and chips rain down on me in the sweltering heat. 

If I end up out there, I will also be clad in reading glasses with safety goggles over top. I will be a sight to behold. Hopefully no one will... behold me, that is. At least there will be no photos. Casey and the neighbors don't do that sort of thing. Hallelujah for that!

All I can say is, does anyone know where I can get a manservant about this time of day? I need just a little more time to smell the roses.

I'll be at The Charm of Home 
and My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday. 
Stop by and join the parties!