Reflecting With Ruth

I met Ruth on Christmas Eve day, and discounted this mirror for her because it was a Christmas gift to herself. I think it looks fantastic in her space! I had the mirror for many months, had various thoughts about painting it black or red, had friends who wanted it, but I think it ended up exactly where it’s supposed to be. 🙂 Enjoy, Ruth!

BEFORE
IMG_1409 1

AFTER
ruth's mirror

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There’s a certain satisfaction…

in receiving the following email just hours after a nice woman picked up this funky nightstand from me (I had forgotten to delete the listing), never once trying to haggle over my already ludicrously cheap price:

“I am very much interested in the nightstand, I was wondering whether a reduction in the price would be possible – or delivery, maybe?”

HA! Too bad, so sad, Craigslist Cheapskate that for once i can ignore :). Apparently, I’m not the only one annoyed by the hecklers, check out this Craigslist vent!

P.S. The buyer customized her new nifty nightstand by removing my shabby chic Anthropologie knobs and replacing them with some i found for free.

 

vintage night stand

 

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…

 

Rattan V. Wicker

Do you often find yourself writing the description of a chair for a Craigslist posting at 4:13 a.m., daring to dream of selling it over the weekend for $15, and not sure whether it is in fact wicker or rattan – or what the differences between those two even are? If so, read this. Then, let me know what you think this is! I’m going with “wicker.” Rattan has a nice upscale ring to it that this chair does not live up to.

NON-UPSCALE WICKER CHAIR

gray wicker chair 2

Be Careful Who You Let Into Your Home

from Craigslist.

I was open and friendly to a female customer last week who had sold things in the past on Craigslist. Albeit unsolicited, she gave me some advice about how to handle things to procure my safety. She suggested using a man’s name, making comments about my boyfriend being home, etc.

And I did only one thing. By happenstance I actually had my boyfriend and his male friend in the apartment when The Craiglist Killer II – The Serial Space Heater Buyer, came over. Luckily, they just happened to come back from Cleo’s down the street. They talked about going to another bar, but I sort of manipulated the situation so that they would chill at the apartment until my buyer came. I felt a little nervous.

and rightly so.

The item he alleged to want to purchase was a Holmes Space Heater. A perfect one at that – in great cosmetic and working condition, a 1-touch digital quiet and heat-generating slick piece of machinery. In fact:

holmes space heater

The Space Heater Serial Killer and I talked on the phone for about a half hour, during which some of the following rules of Craigslist Safety were disobeyed by me:

  • I talked on the phone for a half hour with a craigslist buyer – way too long
  • I revealed personal information about my physical appearance to a man, for example i talked about my hair color
  • I gave a gender and age
  • I’m not certain i said “boyfriend” or “husband” at any point
  • I was female
  • I discussed a current foot injury that imposed a physical limitation to my ability to run, should I need to

He talked to me to an annoying extent over my price. Perhaps not only is it important for me to stand up for myself and my pricing on principle, but also it is important for them – and they believe in what they are arguing. But more often than not, I feel like it’s an insult to the value of my product and service – and that they are arguing over a petty amount of dollars.

I usually veer towards what they are offering, although I have my limits. I know that a Holmes Space Heater is going to get at least $20. And I still ultimately agreed to $18. I do research on the market value of the product. Incidentally, he had offered me $17.50, but having done my laundry earlier that day, I was more than saturated in quarters.

I gave him my address and he said he’d be over for the heater in half an hour. During that time, my boyfriend and another male friend he had been out with came home. I didn’t plan that – although, I did ask them to stay, like I said. And it’s a good thing I did.

The guy – a personal trainer/bodybuilder – came to the door and said he had a present for me. He had JUST STOPPED at Walgreens (I looked at the time, the receipt was in the bag) to spend almost $25 on an ankle rap for me, as I told him I had an injury. That seemed so nice. I gave him the heater and chatted about about it (how hard is he gonna make me work to sell this to him, this is ridiculous, i thought, smiling my way through it).

I was very confident that the thing worked, and my place had guests, a hyper dog, and clutter – but i let him come in and test it. If I did not have people over, I’m not sure what would have happened. He immediately had weird and illogical reactions to the space heater. It’s clearly Grade-A (as verified by my bf and his friend afterwards), and there’s not much to really decide when it comes to an $18 space heater. I even brought a second one that was dirty from my back porch/laboratory that I used, in case he preferred that one. He just seemed like he wasn’t going to buy it, and possibly like he had no intention of buying it in the first place, or else he wanted something that didn’t exist – some huge heater to immediately shoot 90 degree air in your face or something. Like getting in your car, shit takes a minute to warm up. Because for example, he wanted something quiet but seemed to like the revving sound the non-quiet one made. Anyway, I quickly said “you can think about it” and that he could call me back, and he left, skittishly.

What do we think might have happened had i been home alone?

The Little Red Chair That Could

When I alley-snagged this chair, I saw several angles of potential appeal. First of all, with a fresh paint-job, this sucker could be ALL RED. That in itself is cool. Secondly, with the curvature and angles of the back, it could be positioned as mid century modern (mcm) to appeal to those who like that hot furniture trend. Even if it’s not actually an mcm chair (how do i know, i found the fucker in an alley after all), it could be worded to at least give a nod to the style.  It also had “soda shop chair” coolness going on with its wrought iron shapely base.  Lastly, I sensed this would appeal to just the right hipster (which it ultimately did).

BEFORE

red chair before3

Now this wasn’t a chair in trouble, but it wasn’t a chair that was at its most awesome potential. The wood of the seat was a bit weird, kind of like a pile of wood verses a solid block, and not particularly akin to sanding.  Plus there were some decorative holes in it. So I didn’t really think about what to do, I just primed.  Not only that, I primed like a moron. I put tape on the chair’s base to protect it, when in fact, i didn’t realize i could take the damn seat off with the wee use of a screwdriver.

DUMB & DUMBER
red chair before 2

Taking off the base made painting the chair’s base a helluva lot easier!
I had a nice shade of red that i picked up at http://www.dickblick.com/, one of my former employers actually, and i just basically reapplied to the entire base, and vadda bing, shines like a fire engine!

SHINY HAPPY REDNESS
red chair before1

To really pull off this chair, something needed to be done with the seat, and that something is called “antiquing” or “distressing.” There are many different ways to achieve this look, but I chose to follow Better Homes & Garden’s Tips. The only deviation was that while they started with a wood surface, I started with a primed surface. Although, I did somewhat sand it to allow some wood exposure.

So using the BHG method, which was really quite simple, and bonus, I had all the materials in the house, I antiqued away. And my friends, this is what you call a chair.

AFTER
redchair2

SOLD FOR $35. (not too shabby, pun intended)

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.

True or False

Which of the following statements is true:

In the name of alley furniture, Julie:

  1. once called the police on a hobo so she could get the chaise he was eyeing.
  2. carried home a lamp on New Year’s Eve, through a crowd of drunks in the streets of Chicago, and was mocked by every one of them.
  3. pushed a small child into a thorn bush to get her out of the way to gain access to a small table behind the bush.
  4. all of the above.

I will give a secret prize to the first person who guesses right! I will ship it within the U.S., but prolly not out of the country.


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To Paint, Perchance to Repaint

By the third time it happened… well i still wasn’t quite used to it! I have painted something beautifully, and in some cases painstakingly, and the buyer plans to repaint it a different color. What is this phenomenon? Perhaps I am sensitive because I was once a housepainter for the highly recommended Complete Home Care, and thus I have some professional experience. What the f do these girls know? Yes, they were all girls. Why would they buy an item that is the wrong color? Are they gonna die when they see the actual original surfaces, lol, or are they gonna just go over my smooth paint job? I know I told at least one customer about Klean Strip paint remover and even showed her my scraper and gave her some instructions for how to remove the paint.

Here is the first of three: “I painted it, now they plan to repaint it” incidents:

1. Now this one is scary. I had managed to conceal that underneath lie a piece of crap. My customer was a mother with her son, who wasn’t all that much younger than me, buying stuff for his new apartment. The mom said she just needed it to be a different color to match the room it would be in.

BEFORE
IMG_0644

AFTER
green cart

SOLD FOR $25

STAY TUNED FOR UPCOMING POSTS INVOLVING BACK-TO-BACK DRESSER REPAINTS!