Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Treasure Hunting

This has been one of the best junk set outs that we've had since I started this whole booth business.  I totally was not expecting that.  Usually the winter set out is pretty sparse.  Part of that is because it's still kind of new.  The city used to have four set out periods a year--one per quarter.  A few years ago, budget cuts reduced that to two per year.  A couple of years ago, they restored the winter set out, bringing us to three per year.

The first year that they did that, it seems to have caught people by surprise because there was NOTHING put out.  It was really sad.  Last year was the second year for this winter period.  It rained the whole week before and during, so nobody really put anything out.  This was actually a good thing, because it was also the time that the Dixie Peddlers Mall was closing, and I had NO time to be prowling the curbs.  If there had been tons of treasure sitting everywhere, I would have just cried.  Really.

Typically, the late spring set out gets all the stuff from people's spring cleaning.  The fall set out is the stuff from the big rush to finish projects and such before winter sets in.  Since people tend to burrow in and hibernate for the winter, I seriously wasn't expecting too much.

Instead, I got one of the biggest hauls ever!  While we have had some snow and cold, overall it's been a pretty mild winter, so there's been a lot of remodeling and such going on.  It was in the fifties over the weekend, so people really got out and put out the junk!

At first, I was a little nervous, because nothing was coming out early.  In my neighborhood, stuff usually starts popping out two or three days early, but there was nothing until last Friday.  All of a sudden, folks decided to start following the rules?  Don't do this to me people!

Of course, I was worrying in vain.  Once stuff started coming out, it didn't stop.  Treasure everywhere!  It was kind of wild that there was so much out there, because a few of the houses that always put out good stuff didn't participate this time.  I guess it's kind of like yard sales.  One year a sale can be super-fabulous and the next, not so much.

Since the weekend, it's been cold and snowy--not heavy snow, but on again, off again flurries, with a little bit of accumulation here and there.  I think that's kind of worked in my favor, since it seems to have kept most of the competition away.  I've only seen one or two scrappers out this time around.  The weather has kept the city workers who usually do the pick up on snow removal alert, so the pick up is slowed down and I have had more time to grab stuff.

I got smart this time and prepared better than ever before.  I took an old over the shoulder messenger bag I have and filled it with the largest reusable shopping bags I could find in the house.  This increased my carrying capacity so much that I didn't have to make as many drop offs back at the house.  It worked so well, in fact, that I'm going to keep that bag set up like that and put it in Mazda for yard sale season.  Maybe it will cut down on the number of plastic bags I accumulate.  I also found a small retail hand basket from a grocery store that's no longer in town.  I'm going to throw it in Mazda as well to take in big sales and corral my purchases.  That might cut down on the boxes I accumulate.

So let's get to the stuff.  That's what you're really here for.  Right?  By the way, this isn't all of finds.  Just some of the more blog-worthy finds.  I don't like to bore you with too much stuff.  I prefer to do that with too many words.

One final caveat, before we start.  I know I said last week that I'm in a period of minimal shopping and big backlog.  However, this isn't shopping!  It's just sitting there, waiting to be picked up!  I'm also making extra effort to get all this stuff to the booth this week, so that it doesn't add to the backlog. When I make my list of those events that are such sure things for finding good stuff that I have to go to them even when I'm minimalising, the set out periods are at the top of the list.

This is going to have to be in two parts, because some of the stuff is still in Mazda.  Also, these are the BC (before cleaning) pictures.

Oh, yeah.  This is going to be on the long side.

I guess we'll start with this stack of records.  All of them are box sets and most are quite old.  I tend to stay away from records when buying stuff, because I just don't know much about them.  There are at least three other dealers at the Peddlers Mall selling records, which translates to a lot of people coming through looking for them, so having a few isn't a bad thing, especially when they're free.  I also found two boxes of records across the street from the house that I forgot to photograph.

This has got to be the worst photo I have ever done for this blog.

This only scratches the surface of the frames I saw.  One of the houses down the street is the home of an artist and the owner of a vintage store.  Every now and then, they clean the place out and have a really funky yard sale.  Apparently, they didn't want to bother with that right now, because they put out a ton of stuff, including several gold frames of all sizes and styles.  I took several of the more ornate ones.  Frames turned into a theme for the set out, as I found large ones at two other houses as well.  Please ignore the stack of other finds cluttering up the picture.  Apparently, I couldn't be bothered to move them.  It can't be that I didn't notice that pile until I was downloading the pics.  Can it?  Can it?

The white platter is ironstone.  Seriously.  Just sitting in an alley.  Waiting for me.  Not a chip on it.  People are crazy.  Speaking of, there's a good post about why people just toss great stuff up at Things I Find in the Garbage.  The discussion comments are really good too, so be sure to check them out as well.  There is some serious brushwork going on in that painting.  You can't make it out in the pic, but it's really textured.

Two generations of soda crates.  I found the wooden one directly across the street from my house.  I wish I could convince the neighbors to just drop the good stuff off on my porch.  It would save me a lot of work.  I love that it's for Canada Dry, instead of the usual Coke or Pepsi.  There doesn't seem to be as much demand for the plastic ones, but it will eventually sell.  In the meantime, it's the right size, scale, and depth to hold action figures in the comic booth.

I am in love with this homemade doll size horse barn.  It's heavy as all get out and needs an intense cleaning and a little TLC, but nothing major.  It might be my favorite find this time around.

Assorted odds and ends.  I seem to be leaning towards salvage items an awful lot lately.  They're just so plentiful right now.  Our neighborhood is mostly hundred year old shotgun houses, and right now there's been an influx of hipster couples moving in who are doing a lot of renovating and remodeling.  That adds up to lots of old doors and windows and such sitting on curbs and in dumpsters.  Like I'm going to pass that up.

The window is from the artist house where I got the frames.  So are most of those awesome table legs.  The window is one heavy piece of work, let me tell you.  I thought I was going to have a heart attack carrying it up the hill.  Why is it that the good stuff is always heavy and located at the bottom of the hill?  There was another window just like this one, but I didn't think I could manage another hill climb that day.  By the time I got back to it, some asshole had come along and broken the glass out of it.  That happens a lot with windows in our neighborhood during set out.  They're hard to get.  I did find another one, but forgot to get a pic.  I was hoping to nab at least a couple, because I cannot keep them in the booth.

You can also see a photo-bombing Little Tikes chair in this pic.  I found two of them and, for some reason, neglected to get a pic.  Love me some Little Tikes!  I always beeline right to it.  It never stays in the booth long.  

Anyone for a game of water ski croquet?  At least I think those are water skis.  They're too big to be snow skis, but there isn't anything to strap your foot to the ski.  They're almost like mini surf boards.  I was on kind of a roll finding skimmer boards at pretty much every recent set out.  I didn't find one this time, but this is a variation on that theme.  They need a good cleaning, of course.

Randomness.  I love having a booth that makes all of these items worth picking up.  The white thing is an enamel refrigerator drawer.  There is an old cemetery in our neighborhood and one of the alleys behind our house runs right to it, ending behind one of the maintenance buildings.  There is ALWAYS good stuff there, like this drawer.  The Pumba toy fell out of a box at another place.  Since I am all about the small toys, I dug through everything looking for more, but it seems to be the only one.  I guess it was meant to be.  I actually did not run across too many toys this time around.  Usually there's one good sized box of action figures, Happy meal toys, and cars.

Miscellaneous.  So much of the fun is never knowing what you'll find.  The brown and silver thing is a lamp base that I found kind of intriguing.  There's a tacky little bird in that cage, but he'll be leaving soon.  I usually don't do plush toys during set out--too many of them are either wet, musty, or filthy.  This little Gund bear is kind of cute, so I'm taking a chance.  He does need cleaning.  I am trying to figure out how to do it and preserve the Gund tag in front.  I sell a lot of office supply stuff, especially clipboards, so I always pick them up.

More of the same.  That's a vintage hardshell American Tourister briefcase in excellent shape in the back.  I think those two vintage tins will clean up well.  The thing with the bird on it is the topper to a trophy.  I like the bird, so I'm going to take it off.

Absolute freaking oddball stuff.  Why would you even have dental lathe wheels at your house?  Who would pick these up?  Oh, yeah.  I would.  The gray things are the wheels.  There were also a ton of teeth in the box I where I found these.  (Ewwwwww.)  I was briefly tempted, but did not succumb.  Some things are over the line even for me, like body parts.  I did grab that small bit of teeth on the left, just to share with you all.  I tossed it after I took the pic.  You're welcome.

Vintage Singer sewing machine case lid.  I know I say this a lot, but I thought it was interesting enough to take a chance on.

There were a bunch of these books, but sadly, most of them were in rotten shape.  Sometimes, you gotta save what you can.  Also, photo-bombing kitty.

After I found this Daisy BB gun, I worried about wandering around the alleyways while carrying it, especially since my route for that day took me by a local government building complex that includes a police station. 

When I first started doing this, I used to regret that there was never time to get to all the parts of our set out area, which is pretty large.  What I have learned since then is that my immediate neighborhood is a pretty good picking ground.  Everything here was found within a few blocks of the house.  Much of it was along the routes I already take when I go out for a walk.  This makes it easy for me to spend an afternoon or two wandering around, picking up the smalls and casing the big stuff, then come back later with Mazda for those large items.  There's seriously no reason for me to have to go anywhere else.  Realizing this has made the whole experience incredibly easy to manage.

I've also thought on and off about hitting up other parts of town during their set out times, kind of like the scrappers do.  I even keep track of the schedule for two or three other neighborhoods. I'm starting to see that, if I really do that, I'll hardly have time for anything else!  This is an intense few days.  I'll still go through a pile if I happen across one in my travels, but I think I'm leaving my serious expeditions for my own neighborhood.  As much as I love the hunt during set out time, I think the fun would wear off if I did it all the time.

During the warmer weather, new piles of stuff appear all week, which makes moving to other areas unnecessary.  The snow this week kept that from happening, but did learn the value of revisiting a spot a second or third time.  There's always something that got overlooked.  Even in uncooperative weather, there are always boxes and stacks that stay dry and clean because they're under other stuff.

Now it's time to get this stuff cleaned up and in the booth.  After that, I'll be sitting back and counting the days until mid-May and the next set out.  It's like Junker Christmas three times a year!

Look for part two in a couple of days!


The Queen of Fifty Cents said...

Someone will want that Singer case lid for sure. I know I would!

Melissa said...

Such great AND FREE finds! Heck yes!! So happy for you!

Linda @ A La Carte said...

You can't beat free and such awesome stuff. Love the windows and the platters and the photo bombing kitty. I'm hurting a lot over losing Charlie but the tears are not as many as before. So be sure to include more kitty pics, I need them to make me smile.

Donna Wilkes said...

YOU DIDN'T GET THE TEETH!?! I would have jumped right on those but you know how I love body parts. My favorite is the horse barn - adorable. The broken window should have sold - just knock the other panes out. I took a stack of windows in today and the first to sell was the one without glass. Great finds!

Joy@aVintageGreen said...

Great stuff. Great finds. Wow, wish my area had 'put out' junk days. A couple of surrounding towns did but the cost of having garbage pickup for the stuff that was left had the various communities stopping that. You got really re-sellable stuff too ! Love FREE.

Shara said...

You would be crazy NOT to go out and gather all that stuff! A lot of great finds there. I love that giant window and for the record, I like window with no glass for decorating. But that was rude of someone to bust it out for no reason. I love the frames - would have taken all that I could find as they are great sellers around here. And the Canada Dry crate - I am so happy you saved that from the landfill! The next town over used to do Spring Clean Up and it was really just the best fun. People wanted you to take it and for it not to go in the dump. It was great.

Judy said...

Fabulous finds, Eddie. Boy do I wish we had junk days here. It's like having yardsales with everything FREE!! I agree - next time take the broken window. People love the architectural look and window frames without the glass are much lighter to hang.

We are: Clamco said...

Lots of good stuff! I think I would have taken the teeth. lol You're probably not allowed to sell them online anywhere, but surely someone would want them for a price. I just saw an episode of Face Off where they used real teeth in a creation.

Marci said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE big trash pick up days (thats what ours are called) but we only do it once every other year, BUMMER! People throw out the best damn stuff and nothing beats free stuff. You found some great treasures! I would have to keep the tins for myself, they are lovely.