Can She Sell This??

green vase 1

It is photographed (finally), although not yet posted for sale. Working title is “Green Vase.” There was a price tag on it, that said $49.50. I will report back in when it officially becomes available to the public, and then the countdown to sale shall begin! So stay tuned!

P.S. I’m taking suggestions on both names for the item and suggested prices. 🙂 In fact, if you want to bid on this and live in Chicago, it could be all yours!

 

 

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Save The World, One Piece of Furniture at a Time

While researching some dining chairs made by Cochrane Furniture, preparing to vastly under-price them on Craigslist to get them out of my cramped apartment, I came upon a great blog, authored by Jackie Hirschhaut, Vice President of the American Home Furnishings Alliance. This interesting post about “going green” when it comes to home furnishings caught my attention. Perhaps it was because of these whacky but cool hippy chairs:

hippy chairs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I just sold a lamp, and threw in the word “Upcycled” in the headline of the post. It got several hits, incurred the loss of interest or sheer laziness of several inquirees, and finally got dropped off in Bridgeport by me to the new owner. The artist was a neighbor I never met living in an art co-op near my house. He/She threw this lamp out! I’m nearly certain that this lamp was made from plastic bottles sandblasted into plastic sheets then beautifully crafted, much like the work of Sarah Turner. Here’s the “Upcycled White Daisy Lamp” that I found and sold:

white lamp3

If anyone is up for searching, I’d love to be directed to more earth-friendly furniture info/DIY projects, etc. As for me right now, the dining chairs await their fateful posting on Craigslist…

 

Live From the Trenches with Julie

by Laura Barron 

On a bitter cold night in February I’m with Julie walking her spirited Patterdale Terrier pup, Macie. We trip through the snowy alleys looking for discarded furniture and clothes with resell potential while Macie jerks to the right and left to check out interesting smells. Julie pauses by a dumpster and bends over what looks to me like a heap of drab, bulky fabric.

She immediately recognizes a rolled-up 5′ x 7′ rug and springs into action, giving me Macie’s leash. After a moment of struggle she’s lifted the damp, unwieldy mass. She treks home along the icy sidewalks with the rug sagging from her arms. To a passerby it might look like she’s disposing of a body. I don’t know why she’s bothering with this crappy length of carpeting but she moves with purpose and I decide not to question.

Once inside Julie unfolds the rug full-length. I have a hard time believing this is the 30 lb. bundle we just lugged up a flight of stairs. It’s patterned in coral and green, colorful and fun but classy enough to add interest to a room and pull it together without overwhelming it. The rug was in like, perfect condition too.

I’m totally impressed at Julie’s ability to spot the potential in what others would pass by. I know now not to question her instincts as when it comes to alley finds Julie’s a pro. This rug easily and quickly commanded a keen fifty dollars on Craigslist.

Turns out, that this rug is made by the high end, Nuloom, named the Barcelona Faded Medallions Spa Blue Area Rug. This “junk” julie eybealled out retails for $249 at places like Rug Studio

JULIE’S FIND

Nuloom Barcelona Faded Medallions Spa Blue Area Rug

pastel rug1

JULIE’S ALLEY COHORT
macie 1.15.14

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Furniture Bonanza!

Yesterday, I had 4 furniture buyers in 1 day. It was great. It was a lucrative day. It was a bit cray cray.

First thing in the morning, I went out and photographed this turquoise patio table, which only needed a little soap and water clean-up.
patio table1

I then wrote about it, and posted it differently worded enough so as not to be flagged on Craigslist under two categories: furniture and farm and garden. Within the hour I had been contacted by three buyers, including sweet white farmhouse. however, the neighbor who gave me her number and said she can be here within the hour got the table. First come, first serve.

Then I had Chris, also known as 3-Chair-Boy. For $70, he got me to deliver these 3 chairs heartchair1 in the back of my Honda Accord while driving on some very worn down brake pads. To his end, he gave me an ice cream bar and some sore throat drops, and appeared to be pleased that I had delivered something that was to his satisfaction. Sale closed, back on the highway.

Then I fielded a dresser situation and an art buy. The dresser was gorg, but I messed it up, trying to remove what I thought was a paint stain on solid wood. Turns out the wood was either stained or painted, because whatever I did caused some of the finish to rub off. Rather than work on it, I decided to try to sell as is. which worked.
dresserexquisite1

No sooner did the dresser buyer leave, than the Gustav Klimtz lady arrived, not knowing or caring who the artist was, lol. I had spent all that time researching him in my post. She was a cute little Mexican lady who loved to buy trinkets and art, and as a fellow “packrat”, I sold her five pieces of found art for $35 – none of them being the original prints she came for. They were all found in alleys and I already have more art than I know what to do with, so I consider that I good deal! One piece was advertised on craigslist at the time as “equestrian art.”
horse art2

Transformation

This was a lot of work for such a little guy! Many angles to paint from, and much old paint to remove! The new color scheme was inspired by the SKOW desk.

BEFORE

before brown stool2

AFTER
stool4

SOLD FOR $20.

Some Kind Of Wonderful: The Saga

I was commissioned to do this piece by someone from Craigslist. She had contacted me originally about a TV stand I was a-sellin’ that ended up not living to see the light of day, due to a Gorilla Glue mishap. Suffice it to say, the would-have-been-tv-stand-buyer and I remained in email contact, and as it turns out, she needed a desk. She sent me a picture of one that she liked, here it is:

INSPIRATION
desk inspiration

Just days later, while I was doing some errands, in a not-so-good neighborhood in Chicago known as K-town (for Kill town) I found it. The desk that would become hers.

When I found this desk, its striking resemblance to the one my buyer, Sonya, had sent me stopped me in my tracks. I had to acquire it no matter what. It was in an alley, in someone’s backyard with a bunch of junk, so I don’t know if I was technically trespassing or if it was the garbage area, but some of it was gated. The desk was behind the gate (i guess that would mean I trespassed), and I got out of the car in this ghetto hood in my fancy dress with tights on, and thought about climbing the fence. Then I noticed that the neighbors had pitbulls – and not the friendly ones. In essence, I had to work fast, and I was at risk. Gunfire could transpire at anytime. I grabbed that desk, grabbed three of the four drawers, and figured i’d come up with a solution for the missing drawer. It was just too far and the gate was locked. I tried driving around front to trespass from that angle, but the gate was locked there too.

I got the desk home, and had to figure out what to do with it.
BEFORE:
SKOW desk before
Happily, I realized I needed to use.. the saw. I sawed the crap right out of that place on the right where a little drawer would have been, pulled/unscrewed any remainder pieces, and immediately created more leg room. Nobody would ever know that a drawer had once been there.

Then I simply had to clean all that crap on top of it. I wanted to retain the neutral ivory-tone of the desk, and Sonya had told me she loves metallics, so I thought I’d keep the gold trim too. She also told me she wanted something with pastels, particularly coral, as that would match the room she was putting it in.

So I got out some Benjamin Moore paints that I already had in the house, that industriously, I had found in an alley as well, and sent her the color palette for approval, which I received. I then decided each drawer would be painted a different color, and the top drawer would be coral to pronounce its presence. I also repainted the entire base with a very neutral beige-gray paint from Behr (which I also found – crazy huh?). I’d like to take this opportunity to say that paint brand/quality does indeed make a difference. These paints looked beautiful, and went on smoothly. By comparison, some of the Rust-oleum paint I use, which is cheap, doesn’t look-a so good. Although I suppose it sometimes depends on its purpose.

After painting the base and the drawers, I then repainted the trim with a metallic gold (WHICH I ALSO FOUND), let everything dry, and put a protective top coat on (which I bought). Note: I had been making a mistake in the past, putting top coat for stain over paint. So I asked at Home Depot what to use over paint, and they gave me actually a Rust-oleum Paint Cover. Shit takes some time to dry, but is definitely worth it both for the protection it provides and the polished look achieved.

The final touch would be the knobs. This required an emergency trip to Anthropologie, as Sonya was on her way, because I discovered that the knobs I planned to use had broken. This desk would be all about the shabby chic differing knobs on each drawer. The top and bottom drawers have Anthropologie knobs, and the middle drawer has one of the antique original knobs that came with the desk when I found it. Looks very cool, methinks!

Sonya was so happy with her beautiful desk, she decided to take a glamour shot on it.

AFTER
sonya on desk

Sonya was also kind enough to send me a picture of the desk in its new home.

DESK IN SONYA’S HOME
IMAG1116

So, I am now available for commissions. woot!


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