Posts tagged ‘trash to treasure’

September 26, 2013

How I became a trash-picker + Apartment Therapy’s Room for Color Contest

When I moved to Columbus from Pasadena, CA. I didn’t have much. Before leaving I purchased a compact Saturn with a roof rack and brought along what I could pack into (and onto) the car. Arriving here, I took a decent paying job training as a vending machine driver. This required me to get up at the crack of dawn, to be at the shop to take inventory and to load my truck, repetitively lifting 50lb. at a time. Oh and I also was expected to drive a 20ft. box truck on the freeway, in a large city, which I had obviously never done before. But I had a crazy positive attitude AND I needed money.

The first couple weeks were hell. I had to navigate around an unfamiliar, busy city in a hulking vehicle, sometimes parking downtown in very tight spaces, all in the name of restocking goodies. The job was very physical. I went from just riding my bike as my only form of transportation and exercise to, what felt like boot camp, a full-on complete body work out 5 days a week. I didn’t have any furniture, so I slept on the floor and my muscles ached, to say the least. It wasn’t all bad though. I could eat more than my share of cookies, candy and snack cakes without gaining an ounce. And it was all for free. One of the perks of the job. It was marvelous.

Out on my route one day, I spotted a disheveled looking dresser by the edge of the road. You would definitely say it was ugly, with green paint that could be described as the color of pond scum. Which was overlaying a darker green that peeked through in areas and could be accurately named “Mold’. I couldn’t imagine why anyone held onto this hideous thing to begin with, but I desperately needed a dresser. I pulled my truck over and upon closer examination, found that it was a very nicely constructed, solid piece. With my newly acquired strength, I hustled that 5 1/2 ft long x 3ft tall x 2ft wide bad-boy (by myself) up onto my truck (with no ramp) and was on my way.

I only lived in an apartment, so out on the balcony this beast went. I taught myself how to strip, sand, prime, paint and seal it. Being that it was my first, it didn’t turn out exactly like I would have wanted it. But I still have it 14 years later as my bedroom dresser. Since then, I’ve hauled home quite a few pieces of furniture, a lot of them for free. My daughter’s dresser and bookcase in her room. The mirrored dresser in kitchen that we used as our drink station for our wedding as well as quite a few of the lovelies in our living room. Check out our room here: Erin’s Happy to be Home Room Read about which pieces were reworked and remade to what you see now and HEY! while you are there, be sure to vote for us! We’d love to win some paint to use on Hallie-the-Duplex!

September 18, 2013

Always looking for a deal!

One of our favorite things to do on the weekend is go to yard sales. When I say we, I mean Arden and I. Joel is always with us, but I’m pretty sure he could take it or leave it, as most of the time he doesn’t find the awesome-ness that we do. As soon as the weather starts warming, we are up and at them every Saturday. A few weeks ago, I happened across a total goldmine! The best sale I had seen yet. A church rummage sale over on the outskirts of campus. We had already been out and about and were heading home when I spotted this one. Despite being famished from our already extensive ‘saleing, Joel being the sweetest and most patient man ever, kindly obliged and pulled over.

As soon as I strode up, a friendly-looking girl working the sale came over to me. She spoke in hushed tones, letting me in on an apparent secret that a generous lady had donated a bunch of Abercrombie clothes. Saying that I could stuff whatever I wanted in a paper grocery bag for five bucks. Seriously?! Woo-hoo! She didn’t need to say more, ’cause I was off! In retrospect, I definitely should have packed my bag better, but I already felt like I was getting away with something bad and didn’t want to be greedy.

Kids clothes were separate and not as plentiful, but also the same price. This time I didn’t hesitate. If it was cute and Arden could wear it at some point in her during her childhood, then it was stuffed in the bag. The check out workers chuckled to themselves as I went to town on the clothing pile. They remarked later how I was so focused. I was getting tan from the sun, it was incredibly hot and I was about to pass out from hunger and heat, but I was so pleased with myself.

Here’s a list of my haul. Not bad for $12.00! (2 dresses were purchased at a different sale)

for me:
5 dresses (2 of which were Abercrombie and still had tags)
5 tops
1 skirt

for arden:
12 tops
1 pair of jeans
1 dress
2 pairs of shorts
6 pairs of tights
3 pairs of socks

Full view of our stash!

Full view of our stash!

Rummage sale clothes dress 1 copy

The star, showing off her new shirt. She did our hair and make-up for this fashion show

Me looking like a clown. (Many thanks to the jokester that bought Arden makeup for her birthday. )

Me looking like a clown. (Many thanks to the jokester that bought Arden makeup for her birthday. )

October 1, 2012

From trash to treasure

Yes, I know, I have been totally MIA. I won’t go into a huge tirade about how the Summer has flown by and I was way too busy with work to enjoy it. Thankfully, I’m starting to be able to breath again and dig out from under my office of card stock and clutter to enjoy the beginning of Fall. One thing we love doing that is semi-cheap, fun and relaxing, is just driving around the city. Checking out new renovations, building murals & billboards, admiring architecture, people watching, listening to music and enjoying the crisp air. {I will provide some photos of these in the weeks to come, just to show you what I mean.}

On our adventure yesterday, through German Village, there was a pile outside of trash by the curb and of course, me the always-ready-to-spot-a-diamond-in-the-rough was on the look out and my husband, always-ready-to-stop-the-car-at-a-moments-notice was on the ball as usual.

I have been recently trying to cut back {a little} on dragging things home, because our garage is PACKED with furniture I can barely find time to redo, despite my best intentions. Fortunately, this time, it was just a little item. I spied a leather messenger bag/satchel on top of the pile. *Pull over please, honey!* It was scratched and roughed up, but clean, without spills! {which is way more than I can say for the insides of purses and totes that I use!} So I hopped out of the trusty Outlander and ran down the street to claim my prize. Later that evening, after an hour spent rubbing on polish, buffing, more polish, a sprinkle of water and a good rubdown, it is a true find for sure!

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