Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Gone Junkin' Lately?

I tell you I have been on a junkin' craze lately! Hot Rod is getting a little perturbed about it I think even. I've just been so inspired by all the wonderful things I've been seeing on Pinterest and all of the wonderful blogs I follow that I just really felt the need to stretch my creative wings so to speak and get on the Trash 2 Treasure, Shabby to Chic, Ugly to Beautiful bandwagon! I've always been a Trash 2 Treasure girl. I think it comes from growing up incredibly poor and having to be pretty creative to make a house feel warm and inviting on a very low and limited budget. Now that our finances are not so dire anymore I still just enjoy the feeling of turning something that others have cast out as trash into a wonderful accessory for my home.

Unfortunately for me we are in typical May weather for my area which means high heat and high winds every day! Ugh! Does the wind Gods not realize I have some spray painting to get done? If you are unclear why that's a big deal, just trust me on this. Do not even try to spray paint something outside when the wind is blowing 30-40mph. TRUST. ME. All you will do is end up spray painting your fence or something about 5 miles away as the wind carries every speck of paint up, up, and away. Not much lands on the object you are trying to paint and all you end up doing is wasting a precious can of spray paint.

So, as I'm patiently *ahem, or unpatiently waiting as the case may be* working on all my wonderful treasures, I thought I would do a post on junkin' first. Where to go? What to get? What to look for? etc, etc, etc.

First though I need to give a little disclaimer. I've been reading Trash 2 Treasure blogs for several months now and I've seen post after post of "I got this for 50 cents at Goodwill and made this with it". Now, I don't know if I just happen to live in the Goodwill Royalty store area or what but my Goodwill NEVER has prices like that. In fact I would dare to say that my Goodwill charges almost retail for some of the stuff in there. You have to be pretty darn picky about things and REALLY look for the hidden treasures that are actually priced decently. I really envy those other people who apparently have Goodwill's run by people that are actually trying to give people a break instead of my town where I think they must be getting cutbacks they charge so much. *Disclaimer...I am NOT saying they do that, I'm just suggesting that maybe they might be charging a bit much for their wares is all.* But, I still go to the Goodwill about once a week these days and just have a looksee to find that hidden diamond in the rough. I have been fortunate a time or two in fact.

Besides Goodwill though, there are countless other places to find those wonderful transformations just waiting to happen. I went to Amarillo last Saturday (I think I mentioned it already) and we went "Junkin'" all around town. Turns out the Salvation Army Store was the bomb there! I got the best stuff and the prices were AMAZING! They actually wanted to sell their stuff, for reals! I've got so many plans in the making, just hold on to those reins because the posts are about to accumulate BIG time in the very near future showing off all my wonderful powers of transformation.

I've also been stopping by Antique stores lately too. Sometimes you will find something in them priced very reasonably that is just so cute. I've been looking for old salt and pepper shakers for this project I'm working on and the local Antique Mall had about 10 of them for about $1.00 each. Not bad at all.

Garage sales are also a wonderful place to find good stuff. Now if you are like me I always seem to show up a day late and a dollar short for the good stuff at garage sales. Usually by the time I get up and going all of the dealers have hit all the good stuff and basically stole things from unsuspecting and ill prepared rookie garage salers. It makes my heart hurt to know I've lost out on some wonderful things sometimes but that extra hour or two of sleep on Saturdays just means too much to me. I wish with all I had sometimes that I could just work 4-10 hour days and have every Friday off so I could really hit the garage sales when all the good stuff is still there...on Friday! But alas, that won't happen so I just keep trying. I do find good things every now and then at a good garage sale too. The season of garage sales is really on now so if you are new to this, get a Thrifty Nickle and head out on a Saturday and just look to see what you can find.

The next place to find some good stuff is Estate Sales. Now I have to give a HUGE word of warning on Estate Sales though. First of all, depending on who is actually running the Estate Sale you can either get some wonderful things at reasonable prices or you can walk in, hold your breath (for fear they will charge you for the air you breathe) and walk out as quickly as you possibly can. An example: on our trip last Saturday we saw a sign for an Estate Sale so we quickly did a U-ey, and stopped at this magnificent old home. We walked in and they had 2 rooms with stuff in them, the entire rest of this huge house was blocked off. I personally don't count that as an Estate Sale. It was more of an inside garage sale in my book. But, as we looked around I realized VERY quickly that this was not the sale to buy things at. I saw a bread machine (just your average run of the mill bread making machine) for...wait for it...ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS!!!!! Are you freaking kidding me? I could buy a brand new one for half that and one at any thrift store in town for $5 - $10. Needless to say, we walked out of that house very quickly. My idea of an Estate Sale is you walk into a home and just about everything in the house is for sale. You walk from room to room and the things that are not for sale are all pushed into one room that is locked off.

I happened upon one just like that the day before yesterday. I was on my way to Lowes to get some paint for another project during my lunch hour and saw a sign for an Estate Sale. I turned in and to my delight it was wonderful! I ended up spending $220 there but I got some really cool stuff, stuff like an art deco ashtray stand from the 30's, an old music stand (I just can't wait to use as a picture holder), 2 side tables, tons of frames, a few glass pieces, an antique camera, and a few other knick knacks. It was fabulous! I spent my entire lunch hour (and then some...oops!) at the sale. Needless to say the paint run to Lowes had to wait until after work. I even called Brandi and told her about it. She went later in the day and found some cool stuff too. Then she asked me if I noticed this hanging light fixture that was behind the desk they were sitting at taking money and I told her yes I did. It was so cool! It was a 3 light hanging light. Each hanging thing is a metal cylinder shape with 3 candle lights in each of them. The metal cylinders are cut out kind of like a Moroccan flair to it. Well it was $85 so Brandi wanted to wait until the next day (yesterday) to try and get it when they were going to put everything at half price. I told her I would run by there on my way to work and see if it was still there and get it for her if it was. Well, I drove by at 8:00 and there was no one there. I was walking back to my car and the guy running the sale said they would be opening at 9:00 since it was half price day. I should have told him right then and there that I wanted the light and give him the money for it but I just wasn't thinking. I couldn't go back for her until my lunch again. So, I went back and the house was PACKED with people snatching things up left and right! I'm just glad I got some of the stuff the day before because I can guarantee it would not have been there now. Well, I went in the house and the light was still hanging there. I told the guy sitting at the desk that I wanted the light and he said "it's already sold, there is a sold sign on it." Wah Wah Wah! Oh bummer. Oh well, so I started looking around to see if any of the things I wanted the day before was still there (I had to cut myself off eventually the day before!) Well I found 2 glass things (goblets) and this old RCA radio that I had my eye on still there. I was thrilled! Then I saw the guy that was running it and he recognized me from the day before and earlier than morning. He said "oh you're back." I told him yes I came to get the light hanging behind the payment desk but it was already sold. He said "oh, yeah, I bought that myself, I was going to take it back to the store and sell it." Then he said "is it for you?" I said yes, because it basically was, sure my daughter actually wanted it but I wanted to get it for her. Then he said "well since you are such a good customer I will go ahead and sell it to you!" YIPPEE SKIPPY!!!!!!! I walked out with the radio, the light, 2 wonderful glass goblets, and a very cool tin pitcher! Success!!!! So this Estate Sale was what I consider an estate sale. Wonderful things at great prices.

So there you have it, the good, the bad, and the ugly of junkin'! My first suggestion is to google search Thrift Stores in your area. It will list all of the stores that qualify for that. Next, get on the email list of the people that run Estate Sales. I am definitely getting on the list of the guy running this one. The one in Amarillo? I wouldn't put my name on that list if they paid me to do it!

Next, what do I look for? You just need to remember one thing mainly...try to ignore the color of anything. Paint is a wonderful thing so don't be discouraged because something is an ugly avocado green, you can paint it! What you need to look for is things with a unique shape, or some cool detail, or even something with just good clean lines. Also, I've been looking for certain things in particular lately. I am working on my gallery wall so frames are at the top of my list. I also want to make some tiered holders made from candle holders and plates so I've been looking for them. I also look for anything that looks old and antique'ish. I love antiques. I just feel like they talk to you and tell you they have a history. Oh how I wish I had that super power, where anything I touched I could tell you it's entire history. Wouldn't that be a super cool super power?

So, here's a few pictures of some of my recent finds while junkin'. You may think to yourself, "geez that is so damn ugly" and you would be right. But be patient and I will show you how I transform it into something beautiful and wonderful for my home, or for someone else even for gifts. Behold...

This was my haul from the Saturday trip to Amarillo. Frames, frames, frames, glass, some kiddy chairs (for Miss Sidney for later on), and more!

This is the art deco ashtray stand. While I won't use it as an ashtray because I'm not putting it outside and no one is allowed to smoke in my house, I just love the shape of it and I know I can do something cool with it. It was marked $55 but I got it for $40. I still think it was a great bargain.

One of the side tables with the camera and glass pieces on it from the Estate Sale. The glass goblet was $1, the table was $20, and the camera was $20.

The other table, the top of it is really cool even though you can't see it. The center is an antique looking mirror. I'm not sure if I'll keep that on there or not, we'll just have to see! The plates were 4 for $2, the linens were hand stitched and were $1 each. The old rulers at the bottom were a quarter each. You can also see a valet thingy behind it. It is really cool, just a stand that holds a padded hanger. It was $8

The frames and a mirror from the estate sale. The most expensive was the mirror and it was $10. I still think that is a bargain. Mirrors (especially those with a somewhat interesting frame) are really expensive! The total for all of this was $27

This was a Goodwill purchase. I bought it for the frame. I'm taking out the print and using the frame for my chalkboard for my entry way. I'm making a chalkboard to write quotes on it. It wasn't that cheap actually...$20 but I really liked it and the size was perfect and I can't buy one that size for $20 anywhere else so I went for it.

This is an old bed spring from a crib. I got this at the Salvation Army store in Amarillo for...wait for it...$1.99!!!!!! I have big plans for this puppy, just wait and see what I'm going to do with it. I promise you once you see it you will start looking for one yourself to copy the idea.

This is a metal magazine holder that hangs on the wall. I got this at Goodwill for $2. I'm going to paint it and hang it in our bathroom to put reading material close to the toilet. See how ugly this is though? But look at that cool frame surrounding the thing, it's fab!

So, these are just a few of my recent acquisitions! Stay tuned as I transform them. I'm almost finished with the big reveal of my entry way. I am going to finish it this weekend so hopefully that post will be done on Sunday. Come back...I promise it will be worth it! I'm very pleased with my progress thus far.

1 comment:

inspired30 said...

so excited about what you transform all those fabulous items into!! great blog post!