Monday, October 27, 2014

Second Visits

This weeks finds almost all came from the same curbs I visited in the past few weeks. The place where I found "The Box of Sadness" had skipped a few garbage days, but this week I found another big pile at their curb, including a mattress and a couch. I'm guessing someone finally made it back to the place to clean it out again. Most of the bags looked and felt like they contained the usual household garbage (I've gotten pretty good at figuring out what's in the bags just by feeling them up a bit :p) but 2 of them did feel like they contained some good stuff, I took a peek inside, confirmed that they looked good and threw them into my car. Can you see what caught my eye in this bag?

Yup, that's a Sega Genesis console peeking out. Along with that, there was also a picture frame with the stock photos still inside (It did have a few dings on the edge of the frame, nothing serious though), a fire safety DVD, a hotel soap still wrapped, a hair clip, a Coby Snapp mini camcorder/camera, some kind of magnetic building game, and a complete Nintendo Game Cube system with a Mario Kart Double Dash disk inside.

The next bag at this spot had a bunch of Lego pieces inside with about 4 empty Bioncle containers. Since I had no way of knowing what pieces went with what container, I just jammed it all into one. There was also a gift bag full of empty gift bags and tissue, a small bag of stryrofoam balls for crafts, 3 double ended dry erase markers, a pencil case full of pencils, pens, erasers, etc.. a small battery operated radio, linking star erasers, a small bracelet, some kind of small camera lens, 3 dinky cars, a small collection of Bakugans, a bunch of stickers, and a quarter.

Amongst all the Lego pieces in the bottom of the bag, I was surprised to find this Hipstreet 2G MP3 Video player.

Next up were 2 spots that had for sale signs up. The first pile looked promising, because there was a chair and boxes out, but on closer inspection, it looked more like a shed clean out. There were a bunch of old crappy looking garden tools, plastic pots, and planters. However I did manage to take away this ceramic planter which will make a cute Halloween decoration. I'm not sure if I should paint a carved pumpkin face on it, or plant one of those small ornamental pepper plants I often see for sale at the grocery store. Maybe I'll just do both :)

Also on the chair of this pile, under some loose paper and plastic was this beautiful handled box. It has 4 compartments inside and seems to be a tea box.

The next spot was another move out pile. They left all their stuff at the curb right by their For Sale sign. I grabbed one box, a bag, and a really nice flowered travel bag that looks like it hasn't ever been used.

Inside was a drawer organizer device still in the box, 7 paperbacks, a heating blanket, an alarm clock radio, an atlas of the body, a small clock and a tea tin full of jacks.

There were also a few framed art pieces and some needle point pieces inside

In the bag was a woodworking magazine, a few more books, a ball, a kettle wrapped up in it's plastic packaging, and a very old GPS

Can you imagine having to carry this clunker around?

Technology has come a long way, hasn't it? It's too bad people think it's disposable enough to throw out.

Friday, October 17, 2014

I want that

On my run out this week the first thing that caught my eye was a mountain bike leaned up against a trash pile. I decided to stop and take a look, and as I was looking it over, the homeowner came out and practically pleaded with me to take the bike.

"It's only a year old, I just bought the damn thing last year, it's my grand daughter's but she doesn't ride the frickin' thing anymore, go ahead, take it, take it." Then he said the only thing that was wrong with it was that the brakes don't work. I kind of hesitated then because I don't really know anything about bikes or how to fix them, and didn't want to have to store it until I could get around to even trying to fix it, but he was so insistent and seemingly happy that someone wanted to take it, that I just ended up loading it into my car anyways, figuring that if it didn't work out, I could just put it at my own curb with a sign saying "FREE!" 

However, when I got home and checked it out, the brakes worked just fine. My son got on, and rode it, and everything seems to work perfectly. Maybe his grand daughter was lying about the condition and was using that as an excuse to get rid of the bike or something...

I also spotted a clear garbage bag in the pile that looked to contain some interesting stuff. I asked the guy "Is this her stuff too? " He said "Ya, I don't know what else she's getting rid of, could be anything" So I told him it looked interesting, that I would take it home to sort through, and then donate whatever I could to the second hand store.

Inside I found this hat...

This gymnastics or figure skating outfit and stuffed monkey...

And a variety of other things like: A purse, tonnes of stickers, unused colouring/activity books, an MC Hammer CD, envelopes, many note pads and post-its, a bag full of pens, hair accessories, a belt,  costume jewellery, a Play-Doh pocket knife tool, a wallet, a wallet/purse combo, craft items and nail polishes.

Further down the street  I found this box full of junk. The old lamp caught my eye, so I decided to take it home for sorting. It contained a tonne of hardware, latches, knobs, hinges, and more. It even had 2 rusty old animal leg traps in it. I could swear I took pictures of it all, but they aren't on my phone or camera, so they seem to have mysteriously disappeared.

In any case, the old lamp was just too far gone to be saved which is a real shame. It was made of solid stone. I'm not sure if it was marble or not, but there were chips and cracks everywhere. The real treasure however was hidden at the bottom of the box. There I found this old pie plate from the 1920's. 

As you can see on the plate in the picture, back then when you bought a pie, you paid a 10 cent deposit which you would get back when you returned the empty pie plate. I just love this find and plan to hang it up over a door in my kitchen. I can't believe this little piece of history almost ended up in the dump!

On another day I picked up yet another kiddy swing...

Another pile that I drove by had a bunch of boxes, bags and skis out at the curb. I peeked into a couple that looked like they might be interesting...

Inside this bag I found: 2 vintage hats, 2 dress shirts and a tie, 2 pairs of jeans, 2 pairs of socks, and one pair of shorts, a few balls of wool, 4 pairs of airline issued head phones, 3 sleeping masks (also presumably from the airline), a pair of packaged ear plugs, a pair of scratch free sunglasses, a naughty ice cube making tray, and a real wig from the Sallie wig company.

Packaged and rolled up inside some paper and a plastic bag were also a bunch of film or camera pieces...

Another bag contained a pipe collection. These were the ones still in good shape, there were just as many that were cracked and held together by tape. This guy was a serious smoker!

A box contained 2 clean, brand new looking pet bowls, a red collar, nail clippers, and brush. Only the black halter lead looked dirty and used.

I peeked into another black bag and saw a machine that looked interesting so I threw that into the car as well. That bag contained a bunch of old dirty curtains, but on top of them sat this vintage 1960's Jules Richard Barograph. It's so freaking cool, and after messing with it for what seemed like forever trying to figure out how it works, I found a winding key inside, and yes it ticks and slowly spins!

More driving let to finding this excellent condition play pen. I took the cover/carry case off for the picture because I needed to sew a seam that had opened. I think this is the only reason (other than not needing it anymore) that it was put at the curb, because I can't find a single thing wrong with it.

I stopped at another pile that just had a bunch of construction junk, but I stopped because I saw this poor house plant out there amongst it all in the cold. It was in pretty rough shape, all the leaves were wilted and floppy, but I hoped that I could bring it home and make it all better. 

It's only been 2 days and it's already looking much happier. I picked off all the dead leaves and stems, and when it is healthy enough, I'll transfer it to a nicer planter. On the right you can also see a bit of my garbage rescued spider plant from last summer, who was thrown out because, according to the homeowner, he "made too many babies".

I call this bag "the break-up bag". There was a piece of paper inside from a woman saying she was hoping her boyfriend was as serious about the relationship as she was, but he didn't seem to be as invested. I guess he really wasn't, because it looks like he may have chucked the last of her stuff and any reminders of her from his place.

Inside I found: 3 pairs of silk boxers, a dress shirt, a pair of women's jeans, 2 leather belts (one with the playboy bunny on the links), various hair accessories, a Rock Band wireless video game adapter, an X-acto knife, stylus pen, toothbrush still in the package, a wall hook, a giant kinder surprise egg with an intact/unused puzzle game inside, 3 baggies of shoe laces, toiletries (including sexual lubes which I threw out using my 10 foot pole), a flat hair iron, a set of 3 butterfly candles, a cell phone case, a pen, a key chain tape measure, and some kind of strong magnetic glass votive candle holder.

Also inside was this Hipstreet portable speaker dock and Coby MP4 video player. Whaaaattt? There was an empty Apple Nano Pod package in the bag as well, so I guess that when you get something new, the old stuff automatically becomes garbage, right? When my son saw it he said "Is that a speaker like in the 'I want that' commercial?" Not quite, but close enough LOL

Along the last road before heading back home, I saw a bunch of furniture sitting at the curb. A dresser was in pretty bad shape, but there was a cute cabinet missing 2 back legs that I'm kicking myself for not taking. I did manage to grab two boxes which looked to have some interesting stuff inside.

 Inside were a bunch a brass plate and glass photo frames, some gift bags, and unused Christmas cards.

The other box contained some piano instruction books, a Roy Orbison Song Book, Glenn Miller Albums, and a little religious book from the 1950's in great condition.

I'm not religious at all, but I do love the look of old religious art, so I really enjoyed flipping through this little book and checking out all the beautiful coloured pages.

I also grabbed 2 sewing machine cases without looking inside first. I figured I'd just deal with it at home later as usual. The first machine had a pretty grungy looking case, but the machine inside was pristine and gorgeous. The brand name is White, and all I managed to find online was that this one is probably from the 1950's. Other than that, I couldn't find anymore info about it.

The second machine is a Singer 327J which was made in 1961. It has a nice wooden carry box and the picture doesn't do the beautiful robin's egg blue colour of it justice. 

I really wish I had the room to display these, but in reality, they will just sit there and collect dust, so I have listed them for sale on a local site.  

Here is another haul I was able to drop off at the second hand store...

Now to get all the stuff above packed up and ready for the next drop off!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Firsts of the month

My favourite days are the first days of the month. This is when some of the local towns have their large item pick up day. This month I discovered that another nearby town also had a designated large item day, so I went to check it was amazing! This area is a bit more affluent so the amount of stuff at the curbs was mind boggling. I really wish I had a trailer to save all this stuff, but alas, I once again had to leave some stuff behind.

The sad thing is that this town has 2 "treasure hunt" days every year to promote Earth Day and recycling. On these days, you can put out anything you want to give away for free at the curb, let the town know, and they will publish your address on their website. People go around with their lists and maps and hunt for "treasures". I have been to the treasure hunts 2 years in a row and it seems all anyone puts out is crappy little trinkets, wicker baskets, old kids toys, and water bottles.

All the stuff below was found 4 days after the treasure hunt. None of these people signed up for it, or left their stuff out on the treasure hunt day. Instead or recycling or donating, they decided to dump instead. :( Seems the real treasure hunt is on large item garbage day instead.

Let's take a look at what I got on Tuesday night...

My first pick up was this toddlers trike. It may be a bit faded, but it is still in good condition and ready for another child to play with it.

Next up, a large bird cage. Nothing at all wrong with it. There were some wood shavings at the bottom, so maybe it was used for a rabbit or guinea pig. Maybe the pet died or they upgraded to a better cage, who knows, but a perfectly good cage was headed for the dump. I ended up dropping this one off at my friend's house. She has a bunch of birds, and helps/rescues anything that comes near her, so I'm sure it will be come in handy for her to have an extra.

This baby swing is still swingable! It's just a bit faded from the sun. To the second hand store it will go!

The next stop had these 7 hula hoops in perfect condition at the curb. Leftover's from a party perhaps? I donated them to my kid's little school as they go through outdoor toys like crazy. This place also had a beautiful twin sized kids bed frame out. It was made of real wood and I wish I could have taken it. Hopefully someone else did.

And then I came across a huge pile at one house. There was so much stuff! I wondered how I would fit it all in my car, but somehow I managed!

Here is the first box I grabbed...

What was inside? A bunch of books, some instructional DVDs, a small magnetic mirror, hand cream, a pen, a small bracelet, and some single wrapped tampons. There was also a Movie Scene card and a $5 movie theatre coupon.

On top of all that were 3 purses. The one on the left is an XOXO purse, the middle one doesn't seem to have a brand, and the one on the right is a Chanel. Most probably a fake.

Box 2 was much bigger and heavier.

Inside I found...A novelty hockey team beer bottle piggy bank, a few VHS tapes, an unused face cage for a hockey helmet, a few toiletries, a soap dispenser, a timer, an electric razor, a stainless steel toothbrush holder, curtain ring clips (still in the package) a tray that says "Bath Girl" on it and features a little cartoon woman in a bubble bath, a hockey medal, 2 trophies, a battery charger with one battery inside, a few hot rod magazines, a fake flower, an LED monkey keychain still in the package, a drillbit, a dictionary, and a camera case.

There was also all kinds of electronic and computer cables, text books, 2 software CDs and one bootleg photoshop CD, an autographed Drake CD, "Marine Sharpshooter" triolgy CD-rom game(s), another unidentified CD, an entire season of the TV series 24, and an empty unused 2G memory card.

This photo frame still has the stock pictures in it

This wooden carved head is really neat

and this 3 piece painting ended up on my living room wall.

On top of the leather couch they were also throwing away, I found various pieces of art

including this massive canvas print.

I also grabbed this big bulletin board which I'll probably put up for my kids who are always hanging their paper drawings all over the house.

This cord cabinet was still unused in it's box

This bag was tossed on the pile

 as was this awesome like-new carry on bag that was stuffed full of... stuff

 Inside was 2 beachy tote bags, a binder, an orange slice make-up bag, and 2 other purses. The pink bag on the bottom left is a "Chanel", most probably fake as well.

Inside the purses I found: 2 combs, wrapped maxi pads, hair elastics and bobby pins, a pack of matches, a sewing kit and shampoo from a hotel, a small kiddy spoon, a paint brush and .53 cents.

 Out of one of the bags also fell this ring. It's marked as 925 silver and it's missing the center stone. I shook the purse out hoping the loose stone was in there, but nothing else fell out, so it must have been lost at another time.

At this time my car was stuffed to the point of exploding, and it was nearing 11pm, so I had no choice but to head back home. The next morning I was waiting for our computer guy to show up at 10am. I couldn't stop thinking about all the things that were still out there, all the streets I missed, all the stuff I didn't see in the dark and all the stuff that was going to get chewed up by the garbage truck. I was thinking that I would be back out there saving as much as I could if I wasn't stuck here waiting. As luck would have it, the technician called and said he wouldn't be able to come until much later in the afternoon. I quickly gathered up my youngest and headed back out.

I did spot the garbage men a few times ( I counted 3 different trucks) but I did manage to save the following:

A perfect like-new baby bouncer

a  booster seat

This wooden piece is actually a hamper

a great little round table

and this beautifully decorated faux leather trunk/foot stool. There is a tiny 1 inch slash on the top but it is barely noticeable. A little Krazy Glue, and 5 seconds was repaired! Now you can't see the slash at all :)

Again there were many things that just wouldn't fit in my car that I wish I could have taken...someone actually put an entire jungle gym with a twisty slide at the curb! At least now I know about this town and will be able to save more stuff from the landfill. Here is my car stuffed with donations for the second hand store. Yes, I kicked the cat out before I left!

Wednesday night I headed to a very small near by town that has their large item day on the first Thursday of the month. It's so small I can usually cruise the whole town in about 15 minutes. I wasn't really finding anything when I came across a pile. These people had a big exercise bike and a stepping machine out along with a large round table and a chair. I stopped to take a look, but decided that the exercise equipment was just too heavy, and I didn't really have the room for it at home. I also checked out the chair on a whim. I couldn't find anything wrong with it, no scratches, no stains, no tears, nothing. It was clean under the cushions, and last but not least, it passed the sniff test. However, I never really pick up furniture unless it is really something special, so I drove off.

As I was driving, I couldn't stop thinking about the chair. It was so awesome looking, so perfect, I couldn't believe anyone would just throw it out. I tried to get it out of my mind and told myself I didn't even have room in the car for it because of my seats. Then I pulled over, popped the back hatch and looked at my seats. I popped them out, and shoved them as far forward as I could and drove back to the chair. 

As I came around the corner, I could see a pick up truck had stopped and I thought "Nooo! I'm too late!" But as I pulled up, he was just finishing loading the exercise equipment into his truck bed, he looked over at me and gave me a friendly nod, and drove off. *phew!*

I popped my hatch and hoped that I could fit the chair in. Not only that, but I hopped that I could actually lift it! I don't know how I managed, but the neighbour and the person that lived across the street watched as I squatted down, lifted that chair, walked over to my car, and pushed it in. Thanks for the help there guys, geeze! :P

Here it is in all it's comfy, faux suede glory. It's so amazingly comfortable...I'm so relaxed in this chair, I love escaping here with my tablet or book. I can't imagine why anyone would throw it out! It's in like-new condition. The only thing I could think of was that maybe these people bought a couch that had this matching chair thrown in and it just didn't fit in their house. But then again...why just throw it out?!

To finish off the night, I also found this high chair in good condition. If I can't sell it, I'll be taking it to the second hand store.

Thursday night I headed off to yet another town to scope out their large item throw aways. In this town on my first stop I found...

This light generator set for a bike. I looked it up online and it was made in 1971. 43 years and still in the package, never used!

I also picked up this box and bag at one stop that turned out to be a 90's blast from the past. This wardrobe looked straight out of Beverly Hills 90210

Here it is all washed and ready to go to the second hand store. 2 items that stood out were a little hand knitted baby hat and mitts, a figure skating skirt with a club logo and achievement badges sewn on to it...

 and this faux suede jacket

Next stop threw out this carved wooden sun and clouds which I think will look great in a kids playroom, nursery, or even at a home daycare

They also threw out this large Christmas candy cane decoration. The lights don't work, but they can be replaced. There is a huge suction cup on the back so it can hang on a window or door.

 On another street I found this kid's activity table. The batteries were still in it, and it still works fine. You can kind of see that one of the lights is flashing on the telephone in the front. It is missing the little telephone handset, but when I was looking up this table online, it seems that a lot of people were selling it with a missing phone piece. I guess it was easy to lose!

 Next up, these 2 folding chairs. They are in a bit of a scruffy condition, just the lacquer is a bit chippy, but I think it gives them character and I like the way they look. I won't be able to keep them though, so they will either be sold or donated.

 This footstool and garbage can was at the next stop. The foot stool is in great condition except for a few stains on top. You can actually see the pattern of a shoe that made the marks. I grabbed it on a whim and decided I will spray paint it brown on a nice dry day and see how it turns out. I figure this way the stains get covered and the colour will help future stains from showing up. If it doesn't work, no loss, no gain, right?

I can't imagine why this 3 compartment garbage can was thrown out. It's in perfect condition. Each compartment is a bit small though, only fitting those small white kitchen garbage bags. Being too small is the only reason I could think of as to why this would be thrown out. It's so cool, I wish I had the room to keep it, but I don't. I listed it for sale online for $20 and already have a 7 person line up for it.

The  next few stops netted me a bunch of art...

This giant canvas print

This mounted Renoir poster

Ballerina Girls. I love how vintage this is. If only I had a girl's room to decorate...

and this buck. He's magnificent! :P Totally not my style, but I do like the colours used in the painting. It's an actual paintiung and it just screamed "SAVE ME!"

The last stop for the night got me these twin mirrors in which Marvin, my garbage cat, is admiring himself in...

And this great vintage bread box. I love the style of the writing. The B and the P were a bit faded, but I got one of my kids colouring pencils in a matching colour and filled it back in. It's perfect again! 

The 4th town I hit the next night was even smaller than the second town, but I didn't come away with much. I found a hockey goalie stick for my son in pretty decent condition, and this real leather foot stool. My husband claimed it right away so he could put his feet up at his desk, but I think it's too big for the room. I'm not sure what we're going to do with it yet.

 Lastly, by chance on the weekend when I went through a town I don't usually visit, I came across a curb pile that contained an old stove, some baseboard heaters, wood scraps, and this mountain bike. I checked it out and it looks great. My son spent all of Sunday riding it around. :)

And that ends my first of the month adventures for October! I can't wait until the firsts of next month!