Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Acer move

I'm going to squeeze in a small entry before I get too swamped with the upcoming large item pick up and the Easter holidays. I only came across one good pile last week in front of a house with a moving/sold sign.

There were a few boxes of junk out at the curb, mostly filled with broken stuff. There was a dismantled cat tree and a cat wandering around the road, so I really hope they didn't leave their pet behind. The cat was too scared to come near me, so I'll probably never know. 

I initially stopped because I saw this reusable shopping bag filled with mason jars.

There didn't seem to be much else, but just before leaving I decided lift their recycle bin lid to have a peek inside. Bingo! Looks like this was where all the good stuff was hiding.

Inside was this cordless drill with a charger and extra battery. Cosmetically it looks a little bit beat up, but it runs just fine.

This lamp set was unscrewed and collapsed inside. I put it all back together at home and everything works.

As you can see though, someone painted a little flying ace bunny on the taller lamp...

It looks like they started to draw out a car on the smaller light, but it was only a faint outline in pencil which I managed to erase. I was thinking about how to get the bunny off the lamp, but when I looked underneath the shade, it looked like the person had gone over their pencil line with permanent marker before paining it in, so I guess it's on there to stay. 

Various other things I pulled out of bags jammed in there were a pair of strap on exercise weights, a hand held mattress pump, a baby bottle warmer, Christmas gift stickers, a small Creative Memories scrapbook, a knit mug cozy, a child's eyeglasses case, a stainless steel water bottle from La Ronde amusement park in Montreal, a set of fake glue on nails, and an iphone 4 box with earbuds still inside...

3 throw pillow covers, a LancĂ´me make-up bag, a pair of one size fits all gloves, 2 baby shirts and a pair of pants...

An aerobics dvd (I guess this goes with the weights), a romantic music cd, 2 small porcelain dishes , some pins, batteries still in the package, kiddy flossing tools, and 60 cents...

Next I grabbed a bag which I thought had a portable DVD player inside, but once I got home and pulled it out, it turned out to be an Acer laptop with all the cords. I charged it up and it worked! This is coming in really handy right now because last night my husband got the black screen of death on his desktop computer! Eep!

The next morning I had to go out, so while I cruised through the neighbourhood, I picked up this leather motorcycle side bag. It looks in perfect condition, and inside is the instructions and hardware to install it. It was one of 2, but the other one was completely destroyed. I don't know if this has any sellability (is that even a word?) because I assume the bike would need 2 equal bags for balance, so I'll probably just bring this to the second hand store.

All in all, a good little haul. Since the weekend was nice and sunny, I'm hoping people had a bit of the cleaning bug, and that there will be lots of treasures waiting for me at the curb for the firsts of the month!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Major Urquhart

This month I felt like I got a few bonus garbage days. As I mentioned in my last entry, I found 2 new towns to check out, and one towns large item pick up was temporarily moved to a different week. I also found out a certain towns local thrift store and library throws out a majority of the books it gets donated for its book sales, so I was able to save a few of those as well.

The following finds came from a local spot where I found the Arnold Schwarzenegger muscle booklet and the old lantern. It seems this place only has a pile out every other week or so, I think someone is cleaning out and renovating the place in their spare time. However I think this spot might peter out and stop producing soon because there was more old construction material thrown out this time instead of just household items.

These vintage knitting, crocheting and sewing magazines from the early 70's were in the recycling bin. It was really fun to go through them and check out all the styles that were popular back then. I'll probably put these up for sale cheap to see if anyone wants them, and if not they'll go to the second hand store.

This little case was really heavy, I didn't look to see what was inside, I figured maybe it was tools or something, so I just shoved it in my bag with the rest of the stuff I grabbed to look at later.

Inside...lawn bowling balls!

There were also other various household items that I grabbed, such as, 3 full rain suits (hat, jacket and overall pants) still in the package, a licence plate for my plate collection that I have on my house ( you can see it further down in this post) a full lighter, a few utensils, a nice pottery bowl, a Christmas mug, a little leather key holder with a built in army knife, a matching horse decorated shoe horn and brush, a flash light and a strange mug with a nude woman hugging a horse...

I have no idea what this is all about, it's signed "Rita" on it and underneath as well. Unfortunately, you can see a hairline crack to the left of the horses legs, when I went to wash it out, it split completely in half. Oh well...

These ceramic salt and pepper cats were also rescued before I left this spot.

My bonus large item day turned up a few good things as well...

This pile came from a garbage bag that was sitting on a discarded couch. I peeked into the bag and the first thing I saw was the work light, a bunch of papers, and the velvet jewellery boxes. I grabbed it as it looked like someone did a clean out. The jewellery boxes were unfortunately empty, but I can still use them for my jewellery at home. There was also a Tupperware brand bowl, a map, a cable box and remote, a battery charger, a velvet bag I'll give my son for his marbles, a sunglasses case, some Adidas shoelaces still in the bag, a pen, some kind of earphone jack from JVC, a small stainless steel flask, a quarter, that white rectangle is actually 2 stickers of the Apple logo, and an entire Kodak digital camera set up.

There is a battery charger that uses a standard wall plug, and also an adapter for charging in the car, the set up disk, and the camera itself. Inside the camera is the battery and a 1gb SD card. I downloaded the software and charged up the camera and everything works perfectly. I'm not sure yet if I'll try to sell this, or keep it for the convenience of being able to charge the battery in the car while were on little vacation day trips this summer.

Once I pulled everything out of the bag, there was just a small pile of screws, washers, pins and crumpled papers at the bottom. I left the bag on my porch and went back inside. Later on I had some of my own stuff to throw out, so I figured I'd go throw it into the bag on the porch. Something told me to take one last look in the bag, and there at the bottom I spotted this 1919 large cent. I guess it was hidden in the shadows of the bag and I didn't see it the first time. Good thing I took a second look! It's not valuable or anything, but it's really cool to have and look at. :)

I also picked up a few pieces of furniture. My no furniture rule that I had at the beginning of this whole adventure has totally gone out the window LOL I forgot to post about this head and foot board I found during last months large item day. It was so cute, but I passed it up the first time I went by. However on the way home, I had to pass by again and it was still there. Since I had room in the car, and couldn't bear to think of it going to the dump, I loaded it up. I ended up selling it within a week for $50.

 These chairs I picked up this month are in rough shape where they are upholstered... one backside is missing, and the seat on the other is made of presswood and is cracked, but the frames are very sturdy and in great shape. I'm hoping to come across some cool material to redo them in, and then maybe paint the frames. I have them listed for sale as is in case anyone else wants to tackle re-doing them before me because it might be awhile before I find the right kind of material, and I don't need them taking up space.

I also grabbed this table because I liked the look of it and the fact that it was made of solid wood. It has a few dings and scratches, but I thought I could probably sell it cheap or do something myself with it.

For a few weekends now I have been going to a little thrift store that I discovered in a near by town that's only open for 2 hours every Saturday. They always get a lot of cool antique and vintage donations and they sell them dirt cheap. I found out from one of the volunteers there that people actually arrive an hour in advance and that there's always a line up to get in. I decided I had to get there early the next weekend :) While I was waiting in line in the foyer, I noticed out a window that someone was opening the recycle bins out back and they were pulling out books. Then I saw another person doing it. I decided to check out the bins on my way out, and they were filled with rejected books. I didn't have anything but my one bag to carry them in, but I did manage to save the following:

I also went and checked out the 2 new towns I spoke about earlier. One turned out to be a total dud. I drove around to check it out anyways and didn't see anything but an old mattress. After doing some more checking around, I found out that for their large item days, they only accept furniture, mattresses, appliances, and renovation stuff like old sinks and toilets. They won't take electronics, TV's, or anything else. Since this town is a bit further, I won't be going back again, it's just not worth the gas.

The second town looked promising as there are no rules in this town and you can throw anything out. Since it's still winter, it's still hard to get a feel of what it will be like. I look forward to checking it out again when the warmer weather hits and people do their spring cleaning. I did manage to find a girls purple bike, it had a little white basket and sparkly tassels hanging from the handle bars. The chain had come off and it was a bit rusty, but nothing else seemed to be wrong with it. Since it seemed like a rusty chain was an easy fix, and I didn't have the space to store it right now, I dropped it off at the donation bins at a second hand store on my way home. I also picked up this chair and brought it home, but decided I'll bring it to my next donation drop off as well.

I ended up back at the little thrift store the next weekend and this time came equipped with some extra bags. 2 other people were going through the recycle bins when I got there. One lady was an artist who said she used the pages of old books to paint on. For my husband the old book nut, I managed to pick up an old encyclopedia set from 1874 ( No pics, those were hard to carry let me tell you! I had to go back and make a second trip!) and a few other fun books.

My favourite though is this British Army Staff  Duties in the Field manual from 1949

It apparently belonged to a Major Urquhart. I didn't think a Google search would turn up anything, but to my surprise, there were 3 Major Urquharts of significance in the British Army during this time, one of them, Major Roy Urquhart, was even played by Sean Connery in the 1977 film A bridge Too far. I don't know if I'll be able to find out which Major this manual belonged to, but if it did belong to the more famous Major, it could be a collectible worth something :)

In the meantime I decided to experiment with that table I found above. I decided to sand it, paint it, lightly distress it and then wax it. It turned out looking like this...

Quite a difference huh? I was planning on putting it up for sale, but my husband and 2 older kids out voted me and said they wanted to keep it as they like it better than our old log coffee table. And yes, that is the rug I posted about finding in my last entry :)  

Crazily, my living room is now mostly decorated by garbage and thrift store finds!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Get your motor running

My favourite garbage days, the first's of the month, were finally here and I ran into 2 snags. The first town I hit is my favourite because it's a bit more affluent and people throw out great stuff, I usually go the night before and do the perimeter of the town where the garbage trucks go first, and then the next morning I will go back and cruise around the center before the trucks get there.

This time the weather on the night before wreaked havoc with the roads. Everything was looking great outside, and I was so excited to get out there and hunt, but then around 4pm, it started pouring snow out. My husband always warns me about the road conditions when he gets home from work. Usually he is overly cautious and a tad bit of an over protective worry wart about me being out, but this time he came home later than usual, so I knew he was taking it slow and easy out there. I knew the plows weren't going to get out until the wee hours of the early morning, and I didn't feel like risking death out in a mini snow storm, so I begrudgingly stayed home and moped. :P

My kids were on spring break, so I was able to get out earlier than usual in the morning. I was doing good grabbing a few things here and there, when about an hour in, I looked back into my rear view mirror just in time to see my 3 year old projectile vomit all over my car 3 times. Oh lordy! I had to pull over on a side street to catch more barf in a bunch of kleenex and fling puke chunks out of my car. I ran out of kleenex to clean up, and I had to take my poor monkeys jacket off because he was completely soaked and crying, so the treasure hunt was cut short. Driving home with the windows cracked in the middle of the winter to dissipate the smell wasn't fun either since we were about 25 minutes away from home. It doesn't help either that I am emetophobic (irrational fear of vomit and vomiting). Thankfully I am better when it comes to my own kids, but I was still shaky and panicky getting home.

So here is what I did manage to get before vomageddon happened...

This pile looked promising as it was in front of a town house. 

There were boxes, a picture frame, and a broken wicker laundry basket, so I thought it looked like it could be a move out pile. I peeked in the box and saw a can opener, and then I looked in the bag and was sure I saw some office type things, however when I got home, it just turned out to all be garbage except for that can opener. Maybe my eyes were playing tricks on me? The can opener works great and is better than mine, so I'll swap it and bring mine and the frame to the second hand store.

This rug sat folded up at the curb with a bunch of baseboard heaters. I grabbed it pretty much site unseen and hoped for the best. Once I got it home, I saw that the only reason it was thrown out was because it has a faint yellow stain on it. It didn't smell at all, and a few inches away from the stain camouflaged on a similar colour was a small blob of what I assume was the culprit...curry. I grabbed my Oxy spray, and my little Bissel carpet cleaner, and went to work. Not more than 15 minutes later the rug looked good as new. The label on the back says it's 100% wool. I looked up the manufacturer online, but couldn't find the exact pattern. However, I found similar rugs for sale online for $350. Wow. That's quite an expensive stain! I'm so glad my son didn't barf on this in the car LOL

At the next pile this funky stool caught my eye. It turns out to be an Ikea Vitamin stool that retails for about $50. It works great, so it will probably go up for sale.

at the same pile I saw a shaped piece of wood under the snow which made me go back for a second look. Once I wiped off the snow, I saw that it was a Sleeman's beer chalkboard bar sign. It's a bit wethered, but I'll restain and laquer it and put it up for sale. It will probably look great in someone's man cave :)

This cabinet matches the cabinets I have up in my bathroom. I'll have to replace the knobs to match ours, but we can always use extra storage!

This piece looks like it may have been an extra shelf to a desk or something. There are screw holes in the bottom of the feet, so I think it must have been for a printer with the space underneath for the paper. It sat with a pile of construction type junk with no sign of the original piece it came from. One of my cats is sick and having a hard time getting around, so I'm going to use this as a little step stool to make it easier for him to jump on our bed. :)

At another pile I stopped to look at a small wooden table that I didn't end up taking, but in their bin I noticed a bag full of clothes and a pair of brown suede Reebok shoes (no pics) that looked unworn.

The clothes are all in like new condition with some big names like Nike and Adidas. I can't imagine why they were thrown out, but they are all my oldest son's size and he has really been into wearing comfy sports pants lately, so the pants and shorts will go to him, along with the 2 Carolina Hurricanes t-shirts, and the rest will be given to the second hand store.

The next day I checked out a new town's large item day. There were some piles but nothing that was worth taking, and the smaller residential roads were an icy mess, so I didn't fully check out the whole town, but there did seem to be good potential there. I only ended up grabbing this case that was sticking out of someones bin. I didn't know what it was, but figured if it was empty my husband could probably use it for his tools, and if it was something broken, I could just throw it out at home.

When I popped it open and looked inside I chuckled and called my kids over to see if they could guess what was inside. None of them could figure it out. I started making Transformer noises as I opened it up and yelled "Trans Table! More than meets the eye!" Inside that little case is a whole picnic table! As you can see in the pic, there are 2 chips in the upper middle of the table which is probably why it was thrown out, but it doesn't affect the stability of the table at all and it can easily be covered with a table cloth if you don't use a shade umbrella in the hole. I haven't decided if we'll keep this and attempt camping again this year, or if I'll sell it cheap as is.

The last town of the week also produced nicely for me again. I was blown away at the first stop that someone would actually throw this away when there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. My 3 year old loves it, and I keep singing "Born to be wild" to him while he rocks away on it. Once he gets tired of it or out grows it, it will be an easy sell.

This wicker basket is in perfect condition, I'm not sure why it was thrown out. I suspect that it may have had a matching wicker lid attached to it that fell off, but that still doesn't make it any less useful.

Another storage bin that got the heave ho. Just a small paint drip on this one that can be scraped off with a razor. It will be used to store all of my son's Thomas the Train tracks.

Another nice chair. I'm not sure yet if I'm going to recover this one and try to sell it, or just donate it straight to the second hand store.

I stopped at a pile that was throwing away some white melamine wood pieces and decide to stop and grab one so that we could add a shelf to the bottom of the white bathroom cabinet I picked up above. I'm glad I stopped, because hidden behind some of the pieces I saw an old picture frame. I checked it out with my flashlight, but couldn't see much behind the glare I was getting off of the glass. I grabbed it anyways because it looked old and if it was behind glass, someone must have thought it was important enough to frame and protect. 

At home I got a better look at it and it turns out to be old diagram sheet for flagging trains on the Canadian Pacific railway lines. I tried to research it online, but only came up with this link that said it used to belong to someone named Paul W Holm who was an engineer with the Cranbrook railway in British Columbia, and who had died in 1970. I'll have to do some more digging to see if I can find out any more info as to how it got from there to this little town in Quebec.

As you can see, it did get slightly damaged at the bottom by sitting in the snow and slush at the curb. I dried it, but it still has water marks on it.

Here is a closer look at the documents. I love old historical finds like this :)

At an apartment building I found amongst a bunch of broken crappy presswood furniture a basket full of catnip toys (which I washed before I let my cats near them) and an old jack that got my husband all excited.

If you know anything about this type of jack, please let me know in the comments as it doesn't have any markings on it that I can look up online.

The last pile I hit looked to be another move out. There were bags full of clothes and a broken bin full of blankets. After washing, the tally came to: 2 nice blankets, 1 red and 1 black tab topped curtain panels, an orange table cloth, a white fuzzy bathmat and a burgundy shower curtain. All will be donated, however, I really like that brown fuzzy blanket, so it might stay on as a keeper. :)

On the weekend we took our kids bowling in a town I never pick at as it's 45minutes away, but I noticed some bags at the curb of the apartment complex across the street. When we were done, I told my husband to do a slow drive by so I could check out the bags. The bags were slightly see through and I could see all kinds of clothing inside. I told him to stop and pop the back hatch, grabbed 4 bags and tossed them in.

My poor husband used to get so embarrassed when I would make him stop the car, but he's used to my craziness now. He still refuses to come out with me on my regular runs, but I'm still working on him. Here he is hauling my crap into the house for me. Thanks babe! :P

Along with a few household knickknacks that I didn't take pictures of, the bags ended up containing an insane amount of kids clothing. It took 5 loads to wash it all.

There are so many nice pieces here that I am now considering holding a used clothing sale, along with all my kids out grown stuff as well, where the people can buy a standard sized grocery bag for $5 and then load it up with as much stuff as they can fit inside. This way I get to clean out our closets, and make a few bucks as well at the same time.

I also discovered a few weeks ago that one of the towns that hasn't been producing for me at all the last few months had changed their large pick up day. I was checking out the towns website for a completely non-garbage related reason, and caught a glimpse of their town calendar that showed their large item pick up day had been moved to the second week for the winter months. It's no wonder I wasn't finding anything there! So this month I kind of get a bonus large item day. I wish they would keep it that way as it kind of spreads my runs out more throughout the month, but, after April it will move back to the 1st week again.

I also found another town a little bit further from here that has their large pick up on the 3rd week of the month, so I am hoping to check it out as well and see if it is worth the gas to get there :)