Thursday, September 18, 2014

I didn't get the memo...

Has the world gone mad? Did I miss the memo? It was another week that left me shaking my head wondering what people are thinking when they bring those bags and boxes to the curb. Let's take a look at what would have ended up in the landfill...

A briefcase that will go to my friend who I mentioned in a previous post. It's a bit scuffed up, but she'll paint it up and use it to display her wares at the farmers market.


Next to the briefcase was a stack of boxes. The one on top was filled with a jacket, so I took a quick peek in the other 3, saw that they contained more interesting stuff, so I put them all in my car to sort through at home.

Box #1 contained a down filled jacket (nothing at all wrong with it), Helly Hansen rubberized work pants in perfect condition, and 3 small stuffed animals: a Christmas bear, a black and white pig, and an orca.

Box #2 contained a vintage singing Santa. He still works, but he is unfortunately missing an arm :( Wrapped up in all that paper was a bunch of beautiful Christmas ornaments. Some with the tags still on! The brown and gold ornament is priced at $4.99, the stocking at $9.50, and the box of silver balls is priced at $11.99.

Box #3 contained clothing all in fine shape. 1 cap, 2 winter hats, a pair on anti-slip socks, a nice burgundy sweater, a pair of ear muffs, 4 t-shirts, Nike shoes, and a pair of leather work gloves.

Another stop at a pile that looked like a move out. There was a bunch of broken up press board furniture, and on top of one of the bags was a blue plastic basket. I decided to take a closer look into the garbage bag and spotted a bunch of clothes...

This bag was huge and heavy, and it's no wonder...look at all the stuff inside! 7 mens underwear, 7 pairs of socks, a swim cap, 4 bikinis, 3 t-shirts (Denver Hayes, Reebok and Old Navy), 2 dress shirts (Hang Ten & George), 2 pajama pants, 2 leggings, 1 CP Rail train berber vest, a nice scrunchy scarf, a hat, a Guess wallet, 2 bras, a paddle ball, a screwdriver, a flashlight that plugs into and charges in a car's cigarette lighter, 1 giant can of fish food (half full), 6 complete Bionicle Lego sets, and 20 cents in Canadian Tire money.

There were also 3 CDs that I saved and placed in the blue plastic basket. Yes, I even saved the Justin Bieber CD :p

Once again, this pile was right across the street from a donation bin :(

Another move out pile was a bit further down the road. This time there was a couch, a pool liner and a bed included in the pile. I peeked into all the bags and found 2 that looked like they potentially had good stuff in them. The rest of the bags had food and construction materials inside.

 Bag #1 contained 2 shirts, 2 tank tops, 1 Disney shirt, 2 long sleeved shrugs that tie up in front, 2 pajama pants, a pair of Tokyo jeans, a bra, 2 pairs of socks, a scarf, a pillowcase, ear buds still in the package, an anklet still packaged, and a dime.

Bag #2 contained a nice road atlas, some kind of contraption from Samsonite for folding your clothes, a huge ball of yarn, 2 binders with dividers inside, a pad of scrapbook paper, a Wii Sports game, some kind of Tupperware contraption, an allan key, a par of scissors, pens and markers, a small picture frame, unused lip gloss in a heart shaped tin, a spool of red thread, eye make-up remover, nail polish, 2 small baggies of crafting bows, a bungee cord, a hanger and a bracket. Not pictured here but visible in the bag above is a spray bottle half full of Scrubbing Bubbles bathroom spray, and a pair of safety glasses.

I came upon this Rubbermaid bin with a bunch of stuff sticking out of it. I was hoping for another free bin, but alas, this one was cracked. It still looked like there was a bunch of good stuff inside, so I just threw it all in my car for sorting later.

Inside I found a pop-up kids toy. It was unfortunately missing 2 of the shape blocks, but all you have to do is push the shape holes and the parts of the toy pop up anyways, no need for the shape blocks really.


There was also 3 candelabras, one had a bit of wax still on it that I was able to just pop right off, 1 tea light, 2 wooden shelf brackets with hardware,various small kids toys, an extension cord, a hanger, a small artificial flower bouquet, a dusty tab curtain panel that I'll be washing, a navy tie, and an unopened bottle of 2004 Chardonnay.

Yes, chardonnay. This garbage picking stuff is getting fancy! 

This stuff was picked up in front of a home that has stable where they board horses and give riding lessons. They were holding an open house about 2 months ago and I guess some of this stuff was left over from the event. 

This picnic basket was sitting right on top of another pile. I grabbed it because a closing basket could come in handy for storing any number of things, however I was surprised to find that other than the missing plates, the set has been unused! I'll visit the dollar store to see if I can replace the plates, and then the set will be as good as new!

On another day at another house, they had a huge pile at the end of the driveway. Unfortunately, they also just dumped a bunch of stuff straight on the wet ground. There were some really nice items that could have been salvage if they had been more careful. There was an adorable airplane piggy bank being flown by 2 teddy bears that had it's wings broken off, and art work that was sopped and ruined. I managed to take 2 pairs of sandals for my 2.5 year old who is out growing his pair, and I picked up this complete bedroom set out of the wet grass. Thankfully I had a spare garbage bag in the car to put this in so it wouldn't soak and mess up my car. Here it is once I got it all washed out. There was just one small stain on one of the curtains, but it came out easily with some OxyClean. Who just goes and throws this out? This would be an easy sell for sure, it's adorable! I can't believe it almost rotted in a land fill :(

There are 2 twin size duvet covers, 2 pillowcases, 2 tie tab matching curtains and even a matching floor rug.

I also found this dollhouse that I'll have to hose off before I bring it to the second hand store because I left it out in the rain and it's a bit mud splattered. Thankfully it's all plastic!

This whimsical garden statue was at the end of a gated driveway, so I'm sure it wasn't cheap. It has unfortunately lost a few chips of paint here and there. I'm going to power wash it and see if anymore flakes off, or maybe even get it all off, and then try to repaint it. If it doesn't work out, no loss right? 

I came across these blue garbage bags at the curb on a weekend when there was no garbage pick up in this town until the following Friday. I mainly saw a bunch of loose giant Lego pieces, but decided to take a chance on the bags anyways.

Inside I found 2 Easter baskets, a small mirror, some baby themed fabric, some anti skid mats, a roll of shelf liner, some 3D Christmas cards, an unused Bingo dauber, a mesh bag full of some small dolls and Littlest Pet Shop figurines, some wings for dress up, a Christmas antler headband, a play hair set with a brush, comb and hairdryer, a Tarzan Disney book, a Barbie mouse pad,  and a home made box for a Skip-Bo card game,

There was also this...I thought it was a vase, but there is a round hole on the bottom about the size of a dime, so I'm wondering if it may have been part of a hanging lamp. In any case, I think I'll buy a "make your own lamp kit" at the hardware store and turn it into a lamp anyways as I really love the bumpy glass pattern.

29 cents in change

3 bedazzler rhinestones that are coincidentally in the same colours as my kids' birthstones...weird!

This pair of clogs in a size 7 (I'm a 9, bummer!)

and all this childrens clothing...a knitted scarf, a pair of mittens, a hat, a creepy ghost puppet, a ballet dress up costume, a pair of slippers, 2 underwear, 2 shirts, a bib, and stockings.

Another great haul for the second hand store! I'll crack open the chardonnay and toast the trash!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Car trouble

A little while ago I posted a picture of a haul, but didn't mention much about a little stool that I got with it.

It was covered in some kind of gross plastic-y fake leather.

I thought the legs and feet looked pretty old, so I was hoping that once I took off the "pleather" I would find a really nice antique stool. Instead I got this...


So on a trip to Vallue Village I spotted a nice pillow case sham for $2.99 and I knew it would be the perfect cover for the stool. After grabbing my scissors, staple gun, glue gun, and paint, I went to work. A few hours later, and it's a brand new stool!

The sham had the funky material in the front, a silky cream coloured material at the back and a nice rope finish all around. I used the cream material underneath and glue gunned the rope all around that to finish it off and hide the seams. I painted the legs, and then finished them off with a nice shiny acrylic enamel spray.

I think I did a pretty darn good job! Unfortunately, I can't kick back and enjoy the fruits of my labour as my husband promptly stole it to use under his desk at work. It's probably for the best anyways as my cats would have thought I had made them a new scratching post :p

On to the finds for this week so far!

This cabinet was sitting at the curb with a whole pile of construction junk and bags of broken drywalling. There was also a mirrored bathroom cabinet, but it wasn't in the best shape. This cabinet however looks great. I will probably put it up in our own bathroom. We need all the storage we can get. :)

Just got to change out the handles, vacuum out some sawdust and spider webs, and it's good to go!

Next up, another Christmas tree! This one has a sticker on the box with the date it was purchased: 10/12 October 2012. It seems practically unused. According to the date it's only been used a maximum of 2 seasons...why throw it away?

 Another day I stopped at a huge pile in front of a house and saw the homeowner sitting on his porch. I waved and asked him if he minded if I took a look. He was very friendly and happy to go through all his bags and boxes with me to show me all the stuff he was getting rid of and telling me what was in each bag and box. He had a bunch of stuff that was still good and usefull such as Christmas decorations, lightbulbs still in the packages, cute painted flower pots, mugs, glasses, mason jars, vases, bedding, clothing, etc... It wasn't anything I was interested in, but I realized my car was getting pretty full, so I ended up driving it right over to the donation boxes right down the road.

I did take some stuff home that I wasn't sure what to do with yet at the time...There was some kind of over the door extendable towel holder, 2 cast iron hangers for hanging flowers, a glass from Red Lobster, and a large candy cane decoration (only 1 burnt out bulb).

There was also a box in his garbage can that he told me only had junk and old costumes in it and nothing good, so I told him that I liked all kinds of junk and costumes, and looked in it anyways. Inside was a bag full of 6 male action figure dolls and some kind of hovercraft boat. The costumes were mainly old clothes from the 70's, a plastic sword, and a plastic gun that makes shooting noises when you fire it. The green dress below is my favourite. It just screams 70's summer dress. I might try to sell it on Etsy or something. The funky lamp was also in the bin under the box, as well as another glass light globe that has a funky pattern blown into it. 

Funk does not belong in the dump!

This is the action figure guy, does anyone recognize him? I couldn't find a name on him anywhere.


These are 2 other dresses that were in the box that I thought were nice...

I couldn't read the brand name on this label anymore, but the rest was in Italian and said it was made in Italy.

Once my car was empty again, I cruised around but didn't find much more. I came across another move-out pile (the mattress and/or boxspring is always a dead give away), but there wasn't much. I grabbed one box that contained matching moon and sun candle sticks, a ziplock bag full of pens, a note peper holder, a box of security envelopes, some index cards, a roll of raffle tickets, a roll of white ribbon, 2 bags of ballons, a box of thumbtacks, a small dog magnet and a turkey tray.

And then it happened...The next night was large garbage day in a neighbouring town. I was so excited because there is always tonnes of good stuff, and I had missed it last month because of a family function. I was in the middle of collecting stuff when I went back to the car....and it wouldn't start! I was on some small dark dead end street, and every time I called home, it was busy, which meant my husband was on the computer. I desperately tried to call his cell phone, and I instantly heard it ringing behind me in his jacket as I was using his car this night. Ahhh! I called our local garage guy out of desperation and no answer there as well. 

A car pulled up to the pile I had just checked and 2 scrap metal guys got out and started to load up their trailer. I asked them if they knew anything about cars, but they kind of just shrugged their shoulders. One guy took a look and tried to start it and said "Boy, that doesn't sound good!" He looked under the hood at a few things and said it looked like it was out of coolant, but other than that, he didn't really know.

So that was it, I was stranded. The scrap guys wished me luck and took off and I just sat there panicking and re-dialing home every few minutes. Finally after about 20 minutes of sitting there with the hood up, I tried to start it one more time. It was weak sounding, but I slowly gave it some gas and it was moving! I didn't dare stop it again, I got out, slammed the hood down and carefully drove back home. At least if it broke down again, I would be that much closer to home and hopefully on a main road where I could get some more help.

I managed to make it all the way home after pulling over halfway to call my husband. By that time he was wondering where the hell I was and was starting to panic himself. I practically kissed the ground when I got into the driveway. I was so freaked out, I don't want to have to experience that again!

The car went into the shop the next morning while I sorted through the stuff I did manage to find. There were still so many streets I hadn't covered yet. I get upset thinking about how much stuff I missed!

My first stop had a stainless steel garbage can full of things. The can itself was broken, but it was easier to grab it all and put it in the van instead of picking through it. Inside I had spotted a wrought iron kettle, and some kind of mystery item. I don't know what it is, but it looks interesting. I'll have to put it up on Reddit's "What is this thing" board to see if I can find out.

Inside was a small tin piggy bank, a neatly shapped gl;ass jar, an old metal funnel, and a complete clothes line. It took some time to unjumble that mess, but everything is there. We already have a clothesline outside, so this one will go to the second hand store.

 Next up was what looked to be a condo move out. There was a wicker laundry basket full of bedding, and at the bottom was a ton of miscellaneous stuff, so I just grabbed it all to sort at home.

Inside was a winter jacket in excellent condition ...

Three telephones, 2 of which were cordless, a twin flowered sheet set, 2 small childrens sized shirts, glasses lens cleaner, a bunch of small sample sized cosmetics and creams, a picture frame with "family" on it in french, a pet brush with the tags still on it, a phone charger for the car, a few different combs, hair elastics, 3 pens, one of which has a record and play button on it for notes, sticky tape, a packet of kleenex, a radio plate, a small plastic bin full of jewellery (all costume), a knapsack, a diabetic blood testing machine and a nice heavy comforter. This ain't no cheapie bed in a bag Wal-mart comforter, it's really nice and heavy. I bet it's really nice and cozy on cold winter nights. I am going to keep the smaller cordless as I called my husband at work with it the next day and he said it was clearer than our regular phone.

The last stop where I broke down had a huge pile, there was so much stuff I couldn't believe it, most of it was old appliances, a 40" flat screen TV, patio umbrellas, and a desk top computer tower. I managed to take away a hug box of clothing before discovering that my car wouldn't start. I wasn't pulled over that much, and I saw the scrap metal guys coming in their trailer. I wanted to move over to make sure we all had enough room, but in the end there was plenty of room for both of us anyways. Thankfully no other cars needed to pass us though.

Out of this pile I got 14 shirts, 8 pants, 2 scarves, 2 pairs of boots - one leather and one suede, 1 jacket and 4 tie-on chair cushions. The brand names included: Levi Strauss, Chaps Ralph Lauren, Kenneth Cole, Giorgio Brutini, Tamarak, Penmans, Nevada, 725, and Board Dökter.

All in all a good haul, but there was so much more of the town I wasn't able to get to because of the car breaking down. However, it's not an experience that I'd want to repeat, so I'll take it!