Monday, October 15, 2012

It's Tough Out There!

The competition is getting fierce out there, and there is no place for "the indecisive" on the streets of my town.

Seeing as I have no place to put anything right now and way too many things to deal with, I really didn't need to be out scouring the streets last Wednesday night and Thursday morning (several times). It would make a lot of sense NOT to take to the hunt right now since I'm trying to finish other things up and clear things out.

But I did. Of course I did. Where for art thou, sense and reason?

Well, I just hate the thought of missing out on something fantastic just because there is junk aplenty lining the walls of my home already. Surely I would miss something amazing if I didn't go. Plus I figured I can always trade out good junk for bad; I could just look for small things and ignore the big...right?

If it's free, it's for me!

So Wednesday night at about 6:30, I took to the streets. I wanted to give people time to get their stuff out to the curb. Well, apparently that was a tad too late. I got behind one of those guys with a truck who hunts for metal, and he was already loaded up with a glorious assortment that put a pang in my heart, like I had missed out on all the best stuff already. He made a left to look down another street, and I drove on and felt like I got a jump on him as I headed towards an area I often find a treasure trove of castaways. I did snag an old rusty red toolbox full of screws, etc. (I'm a sucker for a rusty toolbox.) (It ended up taking half a day to pull out the wood dividers someone had screwed inside and then clean and sort through all the goodies inside.) Then I happened upon a pile of metal real estate signs. I love signs! I didn't take the actual big realtor brand signs, just the ones that said, POOL, TOWNHOME, WATERFRONT, etc.

I got a couple of small metal sign holders too.

Then I spotted a giant plastic Pepsi barrel, taller than an outdoor garbage can, but I didn't take it. We'll, we're Coke people and I didn't know what it was (there was something attached to the side) and I didn't know what I would do with it, forgetting that I could throw it away if I decided later it was no good. I keep forgetting! Then I came home and decided I could live with the word Pepsi and use it in place of an ugly garbage can I have in my partial garage storage area. I ran back out as fast as I could and happened to get behind some people making a beeline for a pile I had already ransacked on Saturday, so I didn't have to freak out. They were in competition with another guy who was coming at the same pile from across the street. Do you see what I mean that it's getting tough out there!

I thought, "oh good, while they're distracted, I can go to the Pepsi barrel before they get to that street." [Heh, heh] However, when I got a few streets over to where it was, the laughs were on me. There was another guy just putting the Pepsi barrel thingy into his truck. Dang! You have to be decisive and quick and I am just way to indecisive and I drive around "thinking about it" all the time. My only consolation is that we really do sort of despise Pepsi, so I'm telling myself it's okay that I didn't get it. I'm sure Casey will back me up on that. I might have gotten an earful bringing any sort of Pepsi product home.

Meanwhile, I did spot a great wood door that I desperately wanted, but once again, without a truck I had to come home without it. [Sigh]

After all that, I thought about the wood realtor sign holder that I thought I had seen on the ground by the signs and decided I could use it to hang a wood sign in the future, so I ran back out. It was gone of course. Double dang! So I drove home and on the way, someone had put out a new pile on my own street. Sweet! Now, I am decidedly not in the market for any wood furniture right now, but there on top of the pile was a little cabinet on wheels.

Locking wheels. Be still my heart. I abruptly stopped, threw it in reverse and thought...what to do...what to do... I don't need any more furniture projects. I DO NOT NEED ANY MORE FURNITURE IN THE HOUSE! However, I saw that it was a newish little kitchen island type cabinet with decent hardware and those great locking wheels, just no top. There had been a towel bar on the side but one end of the holder was gone, and there was a missing front piece by the top. So I snagged it for the casters and handles. It barely fit in the back seat.

At this point, I finally remembered to snag it first and think about it later. Yea! I'm learning. It also helped that the garbage men would soon be there and I knew it was now or never.

Upon my arrival home and having done a complete inspection, I was torn. It WOULD make a great little island and it seemed a shame to discard something with so much potential. But then I realized that the space where there's a piece missing on the front is where a drawer goes. I wondered if it was back in the pile. Hmmm...

That led me to hop back in my car where I sped down the street as fast as I could to beat the trash truck. I had to force myself to make complete stops at all the stop signs. I did not need to get myself a ticket. I went back to the pile and despite my digging through the humongous pile, I did not find the drawer. However, the top was there, which I hadn't noticed the first time because it was buried underneath other stuff and it had been stained a darker color (poorly done too). It was broken and had been repaired somewhat, but I took it just in case. I also got a couple other cabinet fronts with hardware on them and took those knobs and a keyhole off when I got home, and I threw the fronts away. While I was at the pile that time, some metal guys came by and I alerted them to a hidden TV or monitor under the wood and a printer in there. So we picked together, inspecting the junk we pulled out and I headed home.

Yesterday afternoon after church and some time dining out with friends, I got busy on some projects. Sanding the top to this new island was on the list (in between rain showers, that is). Unfortunately the glare keeps you from being able to see the reddish brown of the poorly stained and thickly varnished finish.

After two pieces of sandpaper, I got this far. Much better. I now know I cannot give this up for the hardware. If I can't make a drawer, (although, I bet I can if I put my mind to it), I will just create a false front. I have some wood just about this size that has this same finish.

I also worked some more on the sidelights I got at a yard sale a month or so ago. One of them has been done but the other needed another coat of paint, sanding and waxing. I got both sides painted and one side sanded and waxed, between bouts of rain. You should have seen how fast I was able to haul those huge things in the house despite their size and weight once the rains came. I had to do that several times.

Here is one of them before distressing or waxing. See how I'm using the barstools I found in the trash?My finds all seem to come in so handy. These make great sawhorses for the time being.

I'll show you how the sidelights turned out and where I put them later. I have found a spot for them for now and will be so happy to have them out from where they were leaning up against the windows in the family room by the back door. I'm getting somewhere! And I just love how these turned out. I had wanted to make some doors to my hallway out of them, but it was going to require a build out that I am not currently in the mood to do, plus Casey gave the thumbs down on that, so I have decided to use them elsewhere until I decide if I am going to sell them. I also cleaned out the big island I got for my brother and sister-in-law yesterday. Over the weekend I went through scores and scores of papers and did a marathon shredding session. I feel like I got a lot done.

Casey took this (it's blurry, but how often do I have a shot of me actually working!) while I was still in the closet cleaning stage of my paper sorting that led to an all day event of sorting and shredding. I ended up using two of the suitcases I've bought at garage sales for my storage. I stored my son's Marine Corps papers and stuff in the big one and I have no idea now what I put in that little one. One day I'll discover what's in there again and it will be a fun surprise. Maybe.

Now it's time to go to work! Have a great week!

Fridays Unfolded @ Stuff & Nonsense
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday @ Coastal Charm


  1. you need to upgrade your car to a 15 passenger van :)...or maybe not...great finds. I need a kitchen cart for my friend.

  2. I'm so envious! Our town doesn't have those special curbside junk days, so I just keep reading about all these exciting opportunities others have to grab the freebies and go. Oh, I wish . . . For being on a small (space) budget, you did well. Great work on that cart!

  3. Oh, I would so love to go with you on your hunt! :)

  4. I really like the sidelight. Would love to see where you're using them. How are things going with your shop start-up?

    Have a great week.

  5. Wow you had a busy weekend! Feels good to get stuff done huh?!

  6. My husband keeps telling me that I need a pick-up - I think you do too! Great finds - love the door.

  7. You sure find a lot of stuff, Liz. Thrifting has slowed down a bit here with the cold weather. I love your real estate signs. The sidelights are lookin' good with the paint.

  8. I totally agree - you DO find the best stuff! I have never envied another's trash so much as I do yours! :)

    I can't imagine what you'll do with a truck or even a mini van and a shop! Are you getting close?


  9. Wish our town had curbside junk days like that!! You found some great things and I had to laugh seeing how you get things in your car for I am the same way- I find a way to get that treasure home!

    bee blessed

  10. Tell your kids you hide money in old junk so they will look in all the stuff before giving it away after your gone. I told mine they better take apart all the photo frames because who knows what's behind the picture they see.


  11. I'm really happy to see about your new finds every time I visit your blog. Good finds, best buys. And your projects are unique and absolutely wonderful :)

  12. Well, once again I am green with envy about a place that allows curbside shopping! I am loving those sidelights more and more. I don't think I could give them up. Have you thought of hanging them on a wall? Who is that rare and endangered species cleaning and sorting?

  13. Hi Liz! I love me some good trash pickin! Nice finds -- especially that rusty red toolbox!

    BTW - your comments on my blog about the canisters and bundt pan made me LOL! I've been trying to figure out how much those canisters are worth -- do you remember where you bought yours?


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