23 April 2016

Curbside Treasures

I'm sorry to say it, but people are wasteful. 

This fact is painfully obvious at our community's annual "Clean-Up Day". Over the course of a few days, people put unwanted items -- furniture, grills, lawn decor, etc. --  out on the curb to be collected with the regular trash service. On those days, you can see all kinds of vehicles driving through the neighborhood collecting treasures before the trash guys arrive.

One of those vehicles would be mine. :) Much to Spouse's dismay, I love checking out the items on the curb. 

One year, I found a fabulous birdbath in perfect condition. It took all of my strength to lift it into my SUV. Another year, I snagged a great wire shelving unit for a closet.

Spouse reminds me that I am supposed to be getting rid of stuff, not bringing more stuff home, but I cannot help myself. First of all, I'm hopelessly sentimental. It breaks my heart to see once-loved items carelessly tossed aside. In addition, the creative side of me sees potential in just about everything. Beyond that, I'm just plain appalled by the amount of perfectly useful stuff we send to the landfill from our neighborhood alone. I really makes me sick.

This year, I could have collected so much more, but I knew if I pushed my luck, the next thing out on the curb would be me! :)

Why would anyone throw out this nearly new watering can? I'm sorry, but this is just plain wasteful. I brought it home for Bailey to use on her balcony. After washing off the mud and checking it for leaks, it is as good as new. Better than new, in my opinion, because it didn't end up in the landfill.

I'm mainly on the lookout for vintage-type items, and I scored big time with this cool old metal watering can which I found in a huge pile of garden decor. The owner had used it as a flower pot. Once I get this old can cleaned up, it will be a fun addition my patio plantings. And I guarantee I could sell it in my case at the antique mall. But I won't. :)

This year I ran across a lot of Christmas decorations. Sadly, it rained during the days when stuff had been left out on the curb, and a few items I would have rescued and delivered to my favorite thrift store (notably an adorable stuffed reindeer and gingerbread family) were soaked. I did snag this pink table-top Christmas tree, which still had the tag on it. WHY IN THE WORLD WOULD YOU NOT DONATE THIS TREE? The last thing I need is more Christmas decor, but this was just too ridiculous to pass up. Plus, I had a vision for it.

As soon as I saw it, I knew that I could spray paint it and turn it into a perfect tree to display some of my antique ornaments. Unfortunately, Spouse and Daughter have been slow to warm up to this idea. :)

I've never spray painted fake greenery, but it works just fine. It does take several sessions to cover up all of the old color but I'm getting there.

I have just a few more touch-ups and this awesome tree will be done. Imagine THIS:

This tree is going to look amazing tucked in a corner at Christmastime. 

 Who cares if it came from the curb? If I can give something new life or save one item from the landfill, what's wrong with that? 

Look out, because on Clean-Up Day, I'm unstoppable! :)

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