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…

 

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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Craigslist Lunatics

This lady wanted to buy my markedly underpriced vintage rusted orange La-Z-Boy Rocka Recliner. I have researched La-Z-Boy vintage chairs and the authentic handle/reclining lever piece with the brand logo on it is being sold on eBay and other sites for more money than I’m asking for the entire chair!

I was going to sell this chair to her for $35. The part that kills me the most is not the precise combination of psychotic rudeness she projected while fastidiously examining the chair until she found something slightly wrong with it, but how much of my time I spent  talking to her about church and smart phones and service providers, for free! She did tell me some advice that was once told to her, about not looking a gift horse in the mouth, that one person might pay a far higher price for the value they find in the piece.

Damn right. 🙂

Here is the unsold wonder, looking for a home near you!

orangechair2

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 Pink Princess

So I’m driving along (in an alley, of course) when a young-looking guy (approximately 21) emerges from behind a fence carrying what I knew could become a beautiful nightstand. It had one of my favorite features, which is that the drawer was on the bottom, not the top. There’s no name for this type of drawer placement, btw, at least not per the research that I conducted. He was quite nice, and even helped me secure the piece in the back of my vehicle.

“Are you sure you don’t want it?” I said.

He replied, “Yeah, it’s time for it to move on to someone else.”

ME!!!!!!

I wasn’t sure what to do with the piece at first (I never am) and then the idea struck. You will see this idea in the finished photo below. I think inspiration came from various sources, but in particular I was inspired by this site, found randomly during one of my net-surfing extravaganzas.

I had bought some pretty pink paint from The Home Depot, but at the time I didn’t have any particular use for it at the time of purchase, and I have a huge can of alley-FOUND linen white paint that has been rocking my world. So I decided to do a sweet combination utilizing both colors, that was totally not in my personal taste, or at least not meant for my current home decor, but bound to be perfect for someone else’s.

And it was. I posted it in two sections on Craigslist because I thought it would be perfect for a child’s room (which is ultimately where it went) and threw in some bemusing SEO buzz words like shabby chic and cottage chic, which the piece really was. What befuddles me sometimes is when I read descriptions of other postings that end with something like this: Perfect for your cottage beach home/romantic Parisian apartment…. etc. Who actually has these homes, and wouldn’t they be living off the beach or in Paris, and why would they be on Craigslist? But I digress. It could be more of an Etsy thing, and i don’t play in that space – not yet anyway.

My buyer might have had a cow if she saw the piece before i had done the work. it needed sanding, oh did it need sanding, but luckily I had my favorite toy, this Black & Decker Sander. I also primed the piece to make sure the paint went on as beautifully and smoothly as possible, using this good ole primer. If you ever wonder about what primer you should use, here’s a quote from one of the great employees at Home Depot: “Primer is Primer.” Sound advice, simply stated.

Then on with the paint! I had to decide where to place the linen white so that it didn’t overpower, but rather accented the piece. I think I hit the nail on the head, or the paint on the primer, so to speak.

BEFORE

refurbished nightstand

AFTER
pink1

Now folks, readers, and fans alike, I swear this piece was not commissioned. Here is a photo of it in the child’s room. Could there be a more perfect fit?? 🙂

pink princess

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.

Craigslist Spammers: Their Latest Trick

Here are a few samples of the scammers/spammers to IGNORE. Can’t they at least get their grammar right?

  • Careful now pls don’t be spmming me I beg you but here is my email Foltaj80@hotmail.com
  • I guess people are just exchanging their emails due to this system blocking ours so here is mine – Mondenyo893@hotmail.com
  • Still available ? if yes i will like you to get back to me with your email address
    racheljjg@gmail.com
  • This e-mail is getting shut down end result of spam. Make sure you reach me at Cornetiq53@hotmail.com

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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