Thursday, February 12, 2015

Wow! and Ow!

Can winter just be over already? There has been so much snow, and it's been so cold that I have been coming back from a few of my regular garbage runs empty handed again. However, I can always count on those big first of the month garbage days where people can throw out their large items and anything else that won't fit in their municipal issued garbage cans. There wasn't much this month, but my persistance did pay off big time.

 Let's take a look at what was saved...

This colourful funky material caught my eye. They are actually slip covers for outdoor chair cushions. The chairs were wood and broken and rotted in some places, but the material was taken off the foam pillows and left in a pile on top of them. One side is very weathered and faded, but the reverse side is still bright looks new. I grabbed it because I think the material will look great on the old vintage kitchen stool that I picked up a few months ago which I plan on restoring this spring.

I initially grabbed this framed horse print because I liked the faux leather frame and thought my husband could use it for his old map collection, but once I got it home I realized what a nice print it was and didn't want to destroy it. I ended up giving it to the horse loving daughter of a friend.

I think Frosty looks happier here in my front yard than he did sitting at the curb. He still lights up just fine and isn't even faded. Why would he be garbage?

This 3 drawer storage unit has nothing wrong with it and it's clean...Lego storage!

This piece of art was odd enough that I had to grab it. It seems to be some kind of Chineese or Mongolian scene maybe. If anyone recognizes it, please leave a comment.

 A perfectly fine mirror

All in all not the greatest first of the month finds, but then I hit the breaks when I saw something amazing. Underneath a pile of cushions and the pieces of a totally disassembled couch, I spotted a bench. I have been thinking about getting a bench for our front entry, so I got out, moved all the stuff in the back of my car to make room, got all the couch parts off of it and shoved it into my car. When getting it into my car, I saw why it was thrown out. One of the spindles on the back is broken and being held together with a piece of tape, and the back bar above that is cracked and wiggly at the back. Not even noticeable!  No problem, a little wood glue should fix that right up!

Isn't it gorgeous??

Check out the beautiful spindles...

And then I thought "This bench looks really old...older than I thought it might be..." So I went online and posted some pictures of it to see if anyone recognized it and could give me some info on it. Turns out it's a Hepplewhite style Settee of the Slover & Taylor Form, c.1890!! Whaat?! 

At first it was thought that it might be a 1940-50's reproduction, but I posted some pictures of the "upholstery history" (That's the holes that would have been left all over it from having been upholstered many times over that last 100+ years. Ya, I didn't know that either lol) and a picture I took of the inside through a gap in the bottom upholstery showing straight parallel saw marks which mean it was cut by a water run saw mill.

Lots of holes from having the upholstery redone over the years

Parallel evenly spaced vertical saw marks left on the wood

Here is the matching chair which sold for...wait for it... $1500. This similar bench sold for $3500, and this one for $6250 *faint puke omg!* I'm now looking into getting a professional to come look at it to appraise it and see about getting it professionally repaired. Holy crapola!

And that's where my luck ran out. The next day was large item trash day in another town, and right at my first stop, I did this...

Can you see the bruising?

I stopped at a pile and saw a few boxes of books, I picked one up and walked to the back of my car, but the hatch was stuck and wouldn't open...It was frozen shut. I put the box down and grabbed the hatch handle with both hands and wiggled to try to get the icy seal to break. This usually works fine, however this time, my hand or thumb slipped on a slushy/wet/icy part of the handle and my thumb ended up going totally backwards. I froze and grabbed my thumb thinking "Omg, did my thumb just go backwards? Omg it did! I'm so going to puke!" I wiggled it and it still moved without pain, I felt the bones and nothing hurt, and nothing felt broken. Phew! I thought I had just dislocated it and it had luckily just popped back into place. I bent down to grab the box of books by the edges and bam! It happened again. I had no pinching strength without my thumb flipping back again. Great!

I kept driving through the rest of the town, but about 4 streets in, the pain and burning started. I drove with one hand,while my left hand held onto a frozen water bottle I had in the car to help the swelling that I was sure was going to happen. There wasn't much else to see in the town. There was a cool looking retro vintage school desk with an attached seat at one curb that I think was from around the 60's, but after I took a look at it, I didn't want to risk picking it up and hurting my thumb again, and the plow was coming, so I had to get out of the way. I ended up leaving it which of course I now regret. 

At this point the pain was making me a bit nauseous, so I called my husband to let him know what happened and that I was on my way home. The next day Dr.Google diagnosed me as having a sprained thumb which takes 4-6 weeks to fully heal. I bought a brace at the pharmacy, and now I wait.

Here are the books I got...3 different series from Time Life. One series on world war 2, one is on flight, and the other is on civilizations and eras. Unfortunately because of being left at the curb in the snow and slush, 2 boxes of books were totally ruined. The pages were wet, warped, and dirty. A few of these got a bit warped as well on the bottom from when the snow melted in my car, but it's not too bad and they are still readable. My husband is a history freak and says they are worth it :)

I have adapted pretty quickly to not using my thumb, you don't really realize how much you use and need it in everyday life until you can't. It hasn't stopped me from picking though :) This week I was on my way to meet my parents for lunch in a town I never pick at and I spotted a pile with 2 chairs. Usually this town doesn't pick up anything other than bags. Anything big bulky or extra has to be taken to the dump yourself.

I got out and grabbed a stainess steel trash can and a nice big front door mat (no pics), the 2 chairs, and 2 trash bags that looked interesting.

Inside the bags I found  a grey sheet and matress sheet (in my washer, no pics) a vase with fake flowers, a Cars tin bucket, a Corona beer tin bucket, a half empty box of Glad ziplocks, a candle holder, 3 baby books, a hanger, a dime, a Winnie the Pooh glass mug filled with pens and pencils, a candle powered scented wax warmer, an Ottawa senators insulated coffee mug, and an awesome spice rack. There was also a plastic shopping bag filled with more plastic shopping bags which they always desperately need at the second hand store.

Speaking of the second hand store, I popped in there after lunch and found a brand new faux silk curtain panel that I think will be perfect for recovering the chairs. The chairs have removable washable covers, but they are pretty dirty and I don't think it will wash out easily.

Now to wait for my thumb to heal so I can use the staple gun!


  1. Wow! I loved that bench even before finding out it is so valuable. What an amazing find! I love that fabric from the slip covers too. Is the Frosty blow mold vintage or new? He's very cute. Hope your hand heals quickly!

  2. Thanks :) Frosty isn't that old, I think light up yard decorations like that were popular in the 80's. I actually also have a light up Santa that's the same size which I rescued from the curb about 15 years ago. :)

  3. Nice stuff so glad you rescued it. Too bad about your hand hope it gets better soon.

  4. Fabulous bench find! And love the pattern on the cushion covers in the first photo :) - Karen

    1. Thanks! I`m checking out your blog right now. I`m a thrift store hunter as well :)

  5. WOW super bench. It looks quality and why would anyone throw that away into landfill? Crazy. Nice other finds too, well done for saving them.

    Sorry to hear about the sprained thumb. Hope it heal quickly