I have been going to garage sales, vintage stores, antique shops, and salvation armys for as long as I can recall. I remember there was a period of time (late teens early early twenties) when I wouldn’t have wanted to be caught dead looking at “old ratty stuff” and now I have come full circle. Clutter filled stores, and lawns are some of my most favorite places. I don’t know why but there is something familiar and comforting about it. As I have gotten older I have gained an appreciation for the knowledge passed on to me by my grandmother, mother, and the rich old lady. Who all knew their antiques and bargains and when to buy what could be worth something later.
For a long time it seemed as if I had no where to put the things that really caught my eye. Like, it would just become clutter, or it wouldnt match.
Then, inspiration struck.
During the course of several visits to Kholes department store I kept finding dish sets I loved. I couldn’t get them all, so in the end we settled on mixing and matching two different sets. Shortly after that, one dish became chipped which made me very sad. Then I went to Salvation Army where I found (yet another) coffee cup I liked. Then I found another in the Dollar store and declared, “Who cares if they don’t match everything else!” I almost cringed when I said that but then I went to Kholes AGAIN and say ANOTHER place setting I really liked. “Fine, I will just buy one of each place setting I like, then if one matching set breaks I won’t have to worry that I am off-balance at the table.” Its a lovely Idea that I fully plan on using.
It will save me much effort really, buying only one place setting. So what if all 6 at the table don’t match, at least they will match themselves. Fast Forward several months and I have aquired four very different sets of plates, all of which get used at some random point in time when my main-set isn’t availiable.
I have the same frustration when it comes to my furniture. Since starting out in my own place, I have aquired pieces… either inherited from my grandmother, gifted from friends and family, or picked up at yard sales. None of it matches.
Lack of significant amounts of money prevent me from going out and buying really nice furniture, and other things… So what does this have to do with my garage-sailing and what I buy there? Well it’s rather simple and ingenious really.
If nothing I own matches properly, then I need to find a way to make it blend with the enviroment so it doesn’t stand out like a sore thumb.
Color, accessories, and garage-sailing cheapy fix-it-up items have been slowly… painstakingly helping me do just that.
It’s like my apartment is a slowly shifting ever changing piece of artwork as I collect more and more. Nothing matches, but then again why should it? Who wrote the book that said “you may only have blue here, and you may only have walnut colored furniture from a victorian style in here.” Not me thats for sure.
Ok I admit, some area’s of my house are still horrible eyesores (to me)… and there are more than a few pieces of furniture I’d love to find buyers for (that 19-something china cabinet is soooo not my style)… while I could, make it work. I don’t want to. But in the very least I have stopped worrying about “where will i put this? or that?” when I go to the sales. I can pick it up, and fix it up, and if it really doesn’t work I am sure I can find someone else who wants it.
But who wouldn’t want a very sturdy bedside table for 50 cents? Who wouldn’t want what has to be the most interesting lamp in the world (wheres its shade? what sort of shade is it supposed to have?)
Oh, and you can’t forget…
So, here’s the thing. I went Garage Sailing because I was looking for front-poarch or back-yard furniture. I even hit up every single vintage/consignment/antique shop within 30min of here. Not a one had anything that fell in my fix-er-uper cheapy budget. Really if I was going to spend more than 60$ on furniture I might as well get something new. Here’s what I found when I was looking.
After the first busted garage-sailing trip, and after a few consignment shops had nothing I was Refered to an antique store.
Man he had some gorgeous stuff, but nothing I’d feel quite comfortable picking up and putting on my porch.I was also starting to look in the $100+ range. Some of the 1970s tables and chairs DID make me kick myself because I’d seen a woman selling a gorgeous set for 70$ the day before. Little did I know how much they ran in the antique shops.
Then I saw this sitting outside a little used-shop… He wanted 20$ for a set that was old, rickety. Sure 20$ sounds decent until you take note that it has no cushions. Cushions, brand new, from a store are expensive. Quick math… crappy furniture + new cushions = over $100.
Then I stopped at the craft store. $98, for a build it yourself set of wood chairs connected to a table. At the furniture shop next door they had these Adirondack Chairs for 100$ each.
And of course then you have the 160$ bench from Pier 1… I’ll admit by the time I saw this I was ready to give up. Most things were 100$ or more. New. I could get a Bistro set from Lowes that would run me 89$ brand new…
I shouldn’t need to spend that much! But I had been every where in the city and beyond. No one had anything that I could pick up fairly cheap. Everything that needed fixing was… well needing a LOT of fixing.
Frustrated and sad I started ripping out weeds.
Then I set Howard to work helping me clean out the garage… Partly so he could get to his “project car” and partly so I could have somewhere to store my gardening supplies.
In Fairly Short order we had it all sorted out… Things weren’t as bad as they first appeared and not only was the 1937 MG fully un-buried for the first time. So was a plethora of antiques, old construction tools… old architecture and gardening stuff… I now know I am fully stocked on wood, pipe, and anything else I might need should I decide on a construction project.
Now after ALL of this, I put a Wanted Add on Craigs list.
After a few days went by I really began to seriously consider saving up the money for something new. Then a wonderful person down in Herkimer Responded. They had a few pieces rotting in their barn, and had just upgraded to something a bit nicer. If I wanted to come down and pick it up, I could have it all free of charge.
Sight Unseen I accepted and made arrangements to drive down on Wensday with my Van…
Truely I cannot thank this wonderful nice craigs list responder enough.
Not only was it being given free of charge, it was far better than I’d been hoping to get on my dirt-cheap Budget…
So, thank you thank you thank you. I have a very nice thank you card almost ready to be mailed. It should be on its way to Herkimer shortly.
2 Chairs, a Glider… Free.
Flower Pots… Free.
Chain and Lock (to keep chairs and glider in place)… 30$
Now for a few more very random photo’s.