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

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!

 

 

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?

Rug Revival: How To Remove Furniture Indents

Well I happened upon a gosh darned so-so rug. But it was going to sell, being soft and neutral brown, and without piss stains or cigarette burns. It was an Ikea rug, and I’d had one in blue before, so the Craigslist copy was already written, sans a little smithing of the words to account for the difference in color.

But one thing was going to hold me back from closing this sale – the wretched indentations on the rug where a coffee table had once dared to stand. I thought to myself, there’s only one thing to do at a time like this: google.

Google presented two alternatives to me: hot or cold. In other words, I could use the ice method, or the steam method. The ice method didn’t sound right to me, as it entailed ice cubes and paper towels and overnight work that sounded like it could potentially damage the rug and leave weird fuzzy paper towel and/or water stains. But the steam method, that sounded like it just might work (and it did!).

So if you ever find yourself with a rug with undesirable furniture marks in it, here is what you must do.
1. Get your iron out and heated up
3. Once iron is hot, hold it down on the rug and steam baby steam – but not for too long. Chances are, you can apply the iron directly to the surface of the rug (there were some suggestions that you put a cloth or tee shirt in between the rug and the iron to prevent burning, but I did just fine without that stupid step)
4. While rug is still hot, use your fingers to pull the rug fibers back out and comb it back and forth so the rug returns to its original state
5. Repeat steps 3-4 a couple times if you need to
6. Vacuum it, for a nice and uniform look

It really works! Try it today!

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)

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

Now That’s One Dissatisfied Customer.

I got threatened today in the line of duty.

I sold a rug. I thought the rug to be in nice condition (i do not sell rugs that i think are not up to standard). My customer, who had been giving me the run-around via email and text for at least three days, mind you, decided she would show up at 3pm, not 6pm, so i had to adjust my plans, which i did. i met her at my house, and brought her the rolled up/taped rug, and asked her if she wanted to look at it. She denied this opportunity, saying she trusted me that it wasn’t burnt (why would it be burnt? i didn’t smoke on it…).

Well a few hours later… I get one helluva angry voice message. However, it still ended with decency. Although she said I am a person who does not live up to my word, and the rug was dirty and burnt (with an iron, apparently. i had not noticed this), she said that one day, the $35 she spent on me is going to be $35 i had to spend. Little did she know, I’d taken out a pole and lost my bumper like an hour ago, perhaps she has powers. And little does she know, before that i donated nice clothes to a stranger who was very touched and felt i’d done a mitzvah. But she said she wishes me well and “god bless.”

Apparently, anger grabbed ahold of her and she texted me that if she doesn’t get her $35 back, she’s going to show up at my front door and inform my neighbors how i do business.

1. my neighbors know damn well how i do my business.
2. that would be a written threat
3. she wants to play, i’ll call the police.
4. would have been happy to give her money back had she asked for it in a kind fashion.

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