Thursday, May 10, 2012

No Need to Mourn

There’s not an inch of space left in this house in which to force another stray chair or sundry shelf or stepstool. 
My little sewing/creative room (as if!) 
It has become, instead, a closet.

A supposed main thoroughfare in our home.

Although, in the back of my mind I always remember my friend Lynette saying "It's always worth it to pick up a chest of drawers." So how am I supposed to pass one up if her sage words are ringing in my ears? I drive with blinders on, afraid my eyes will fall in love with something reaching out with open cabinet doors and a needy finish from within a heap of someone’s leftover life...if you can call a head swinging wildly back and forth looking down every street "driving with blinders on". Sigh.

Don’t look, don’t see, don't know what's out there, that's what I try to say over the other voices in my head that egg me on. Nothing to see here, I tell myself. But it hurts as I pass by, hedge my bet, wait too long and know that a more decisive "Junkie" laid claim to what should have been MY find, or to know that the clawlike arm of the garbage truck has taken home to the great beyond that which I hesitated to snag on first discovery.

Surely there was something good in here! 
Yet, I moved on. (I'm so proud of myself!)

Oh, how the ones that got away pain me. They are "The Haunting". All that possibility was lying there free for the taking, "days gone by" ready to be conjured up once more. But, of course, I wasn't sure fast enough. I needed to think about it, then I came back and it was gone. Maybe it's the fact that treasures are found out of place in a heap of plastic paint buckets, old frames, broken children's toys and smashed TVs from the 90's that confuses my eye and makes me reconsider. 

Whatever it is, it casts doubt upon whether or not I should open the remaining walkways to another stray, and I move on, only to eventually circle back and find it gone. Yes, I HAVE been known to choose wrongly. That stings. But oh, the life I could have had together with some of the lost ones through the tender strokes of a sander, a handful of steel wool offering a little friction to shine up the past so it could travel through time to live another day in my presence, or fingers raw from ammonia on vinyl, removing the scent of another's life... 

Yes,sometimes I mourn.

But more often than not, my lament is more about the overgrown pile of needy wood and drawers and chairs and sundry little carts and louvres I have to maneuver to get to various places within my home. You name it. It's in the pile somewhere. The growing stash may house future gems or works of art, but in the meantime when you have to walk sideways and twist, lean and tip toe, you may be on the verge of getting an invitation to a reality show involving folks with psychological disorders. 

More from my "creative" place

I have to remember we live here, yes, but what to do when your living space is your only workspace? What to do when the other inhabitants of the house don't share your vision because they just want to get to a blocked closet or to the ironing board. Then the grumbling begins. And what to do when company is coming? Yes! Company is coming. Let's just say, I'm on the verge of an anxiety attack.

So today was to be my clearinghouse day. My little bungalow is to be the gathering place and self-styled bed and breakfast to 5 of us a month from now and that's a hugely tall order even on the most junk-free day. The truth of junk reality is that it's now a leviathan of an order to think of more than two of us in this house for 5 days. However, something has to get me on track and get some of this nonsense out of the way. As a result, projects were set to be fast tracked, attacked, finished, out the door or worked into my decor today.

Then, as I sat last evening plotting my plan of action, I became acutely aware that something was waiting for me out there. An unexplainable urge to scout the streets and see what was free for the taking overtook me, despite the fact I was already in evening attire. But you see, today is trash day, and one never knows what glories might lie in wait the night before. Despite the fact I was planning to do battle with the pile I already have, I uncharacteristically donned presentable attire near sunset, got in the car and drove. Surely there was something I would miss out on if I waited 'til morning.

I drove straight to the North side of town where the streets are sometimes lined with castoffs for the trash man or the Samford and Son types who comb the piles with their own ends in mind, such as making a few bucks at the metal recycling place South of here. 

Piles, piles, everywhere on trash day!

I began my eagle eye search and two blocks down, there at the curb was something big and made of wood. My heart started that little "Skip to my Lou" it does. Once I got close enough, I drew in a breath, and knew it had to be mine. I'm a sucker for midcentury treasures, and I knew the mourning that would follow if I left this lovely to the fate of The Claw. But I knew it wouldn't fit in my car and I forgot my phone.


After passing it up to decide what to do, I continued down the streets nearby. Upon my return, it was gone! [freak out] The mourning and lamenting began as it always does. Why did I hesitate? I drove around and thought and cringed and wanted to kick myself. As I drove on with my heart in a knot, there it was ahead of me, still waiting, longing to be mine. What?! I had been in the wrong place. Duh! After a few more drive-bys because there were people around, and knowing that it was not gonna fit into my backseat, I got home and called a friend who made tracks to my house. As darkness descended, we lifted and heaved this bad boy into the back of her SUV and hauled away the newest addition to my "collection" where it came home to make a new life among the good company of all the other things I have no room for. (Oh boy, just wait 'til Casey finds out.)

But, you know, you gotta do what you gotta do, and I had to rescue this. I have plans. I may actually make it work into my living room, the one that a rational being one without creative vision would say has no opening for new treasures. Something will just have to go or move or... I don't even know. For someone who doesn't like decisions or for my decor to change, I sure do put myself in situations where I have to do both rather often.

The plot thickens and things are getting tricky. Ah goes the life of one who travels the streets not only without her blinders in place, but with a decided intent to discover treasure and to prevent a reason to mourn. 

A beauty...

Okay,it's not without a few issues on the back.

and the top...

...but it has potential. 
I can see it living here with purpose and style.

Well, I have to go. I have a lot more to do now, and decisions to make. I'm thinking it's gonna end up a light aqua (like the wall pictured below), distressed, with white undertones in order to fit in with this room against a sand colored wall adjacent to this one. Or should I redo it and get it outta here?

Any thoughts? Suggestions? Help! Help me help myself. Please. I beg of you...make me see reason, or is reason even possible at this point? Is reason even necessary? Is reason overrated? That's what I thought.

Feel free to add your two cents worth! 

What would you do?

I'll be at:


  1. Oh, I know what you mean about the ones that got away! I do a lot of mourning myself, too. We just need a big ole barn to keep all our stuff! :)

    1. It really stinks that I don't live anywhere near barn country. :( That would be a perfect way to keep my treasure and would prevent the hoarder comments from my family. You're not considered a hoarder if your stuff is in a barn, right? :)

      Thanks for coming by and leaving me a note. Sweet!

  2. OMG!!! I am laughing out loud! I have the same problem, and my husband is getting really irritated that we can no longer park both cars in the garage. In fact he told me I have to stop for a bit until I decide what to do with all of my treasures.

    I too lament the wones that "got" away.

    Thank you for stopping by Once Upon a chocolate. Please come back and let me know if you make the triple chocolate cheesecake! It is SO SO SO fabulous!

    Also, some and visit my other blog, Pine Cones and ACorns I post all sorts of recipes that are not chocolate.

    Have a great weekend, Elizabeth

  3. Thanks, Elizabeth, sounds like a plan! I can use all the great recipes I can get, chocolate and otherwise!

  4. Holy crap where do you live?! I wish we had those kinds of treasure piles around here! I would be in the same predicament as you.

    I did get a lucky find last week of one of those fancy cat trees that retail for over a hundred bucks. I was going to make one for my cat but when I found this one (which looked like it had never been used!) I snatched it up. My cat loves it and has napped in it every day. Victory!

    I've found that's it's better to go ahead and grab it, especially if it's free. I set a time limit for how long I can hold onto an item without working on it. Sometimes, I have to face the truth that it's just not worth the work or money to redo something. Then, I let it go. That way, there are no what if's. I hate those.

    Wow that was a long comment. Sorry!

    1. CC, I have found that it is best to go looking in areas where there are apartments or the less affluent areas. People just ditch their stuff all the time and they often have great old junk. I did notice in that huge pile that I posted a shot of that there seems to be a green door at the bottom. Ugh. I was in a hurry and sometimes feel awkward sorting through people's stuff in the trash. I could kick myself for not trying to get it. But then, it is under a lot of stuff I probably couldn't lift. I have to remind myself too that I can throw things away when I get home if I want. Thanks for stopping to read and comment!

  5. Liz, we're alike in so many ways! Only you have WAY better free junk than we do here, I'd be in SOOO much trouble if I didn't have to PAY for the stuff. It's pretty cheap, but still...What we BOTH need is a retail outlet. Then we could hunt and gather, paint and sand, and do it with purpose, for profit and clear out our living spaces! I'm working on a garage sale, then maybe a space at a store...
    BTW, that new piece is great! Can't wait to see it after you work on it!

    1. Revi, I'm with you, I like it to have purpose. Let me know how the garage sale goes. Hope you do a post about it. Around here people will not pay anything at garage sales. You can get stuff really cheaply for sure. But free is much better. Small garage sale purchases each week really add up over the course of time. I'm off to work on my hutch now. Fingers crossed.

  6. Hi, Liz

    I think your are a hoot, but I felt your struggle. I do the same, but I keep reminding myself to hurry up and finish up my projects, so I can bring in the next lovely piece. This motivates me to finish projects and I know there will always be more Great finds out there. I found your love blog from farm house porch link party and I truly enjoyed looking around. I am you newest follower. Love for you to stop by Thanks again and have a great day.


    1. I keep thinking the same thing, Vanessa. Get this stuff done, or what's the point of getting more? Thanks for following and leaving me such a nice comment. I'm on my way to your place!


  7. How fantastic what you do with your finds. I love that vintage fan of yours and what you did with the ladder

    1. Kind of you to say, Sandy. Sweet of you to stop and comment!


  8. I love how you have re-invented that ladder.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog, I have just signed p as your latest follower & I look forward to popping back soon.


  9. Liz~ funny blog:) & what a great piece of mid-century furniture! I'm so jealous:) I love traditional & french country decor but my husband loves mid-century so I am having to marry the two....& his style is really becoming more appealing to me especially when I see pieces like this one you found! I think an aqua would look great or a darker more turquoise shade. Coral is also great and would really pop in this room with the colors you have:) Have fun with it!

  10. Tara, Thanks so much for stopping to read and comment! I'm working up to the color decision. Going bold is really hard for me! :O


  11. Thats a really nice piece and reason is totally overrated lol. I like the ideal of light aqua.

  12. I have the same problem!! I see the something, anything old and have to have it!! My garage is full and little by little I'm working on things but then I find more things!! Hey, could be worse I could be hanging out at the mall spending money lol

  13. first of all, you are a terrifically funny story your writing're speaking our truth ..don't feel so pressured, just enjoy your life and keep writing, it's laugh out loud funny!! luve your blog!!

  14. forgot to mention, you're competitive thrifting had me in stitches, you're not alone in your reaction to someone else eyeing "your stuff"
    each story funnier than the last..hugs, a follower


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