Planting Sequoias

In which I blog about a life (hopefully) well lived.


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Gray Shabby Chic End Table (in which I make Ken an accomplice by driving the getaway car)

You might recall that a few weeks ago, I found a veritable treasure trove of dumpster goodies over the span of just a few days.

It was a delightful time in my life, but for Ken, these few days were very stressful and, in his mind, completely and utterly embarrassing.

I mean, I get it. It takes someone with a strong sense of self to march up to a dumpster and claim someone else’s cast-offs.

While Ken doesn’t have the gumption to do that just yet (he’s in training), he does love me an awful lot, so he can sometimes be convinced to drive “the getaway car.”

Now, this role is very important, don’t get me wrong! Our apartment complex seems quite massive when you think about lugging a few dozen pounds of awkwardly shaped furniture across several parking lots.

So on this particular day, Ken drove one very-excited me over to the dumpster and I hopped out and wrangled the finds into the car. Did I mention it was raining?

Even though there was no one in sight, Ken kept glancing around to see if anyone would notice our dastardly deed. The man still has yet to come to grips with the fact that if someone puts things in/by the dumpster, said things are no longer wanted.

Unfortunately for Ken, his loving wife has the gall to post all about these escapades on the internet. Poor man.

But I digress. Back on topic: These sidetables.

Free end tables

I immediately got to work on them while Ken hid embarrassed in the apartment, Or maybe he was studying for the Bar exam. One or the other.

I was particularly excited about the table on the left in the picture above. It was your average dark-wood laminate table with sleek contemporary lines.

The other end table, while it had a lot of potential (despite the missing drawer), got the boot. This is a sad story, so brace yourself.

One of us (either Ken or Anne, not naming names) accidentally left the keys in the door of our apartment one night. OVERNIGHT. Unfortunately, this is not the first time this has happened.

While we were thankfully not murdered in our bed, some well-meaning neighbor DID remove said keys and they were unaccounted for for about 8 hours.

During that 8 hours, Ken went into survival mode. He called the locksmith to see about changing the locks. He called the car dealership to see about getting a new key fob made since yes, our new car’s key was on that keyring. And, worst of all, he announced that we would have to start parking the car in the garage again.

This was, sadly, a logical move, one with which I could not argue. Though someone somewhere had our car’s keys, if we parked the car in the garage, it would in theory be more safe since we maintained possession of the garage door opener.

This meant that Anne’s furniture finds were being evicted. The headboard (which I sold for a cool $85 last week) stayed since it was slender, but I had to tote the curved-leg end table back to whence it came. From whence it came? What’s the phrase? Anyway, it went back to the dumpster, along with another end table not pictured above.

But the sturdy laminate end table to the left got special treatment and a special spot perched precariously atop our boxes of camping gear.

You see, I had just listed it on Craigslist, after giving it a glorious makeover. Behold:

sidetable1

Though laminate (yes, I learned my lesson here), it took the paint much better than the headboard did without primer. So sometimes painting shortcuts do work? Not sure what the lesson is in this story.

I distressed this piece as well and listed it on Craigslist as shabby chic (even though I greatly dislike that term for no good reason).

sidetable2

While I’m not the hugest fan of the cottage-y style look, I do on occasion like a good distressed piece, if for no other reason than the fact that it can take a beating and still look awesome/rustic.

sidetable3

It is currently awaiting a lovely new home though yeah, I’ll be sad to see this piece go as well. Perhaps someday I can start a home for abandoned pieces of furniture, but right now, our 670 square feet doesn’t cut it.

Oh, and the keys? The same neighbor that found them the last time we lost them found them again. We need to give that man a medal or something. Or permanently attach the keys to our body so they don’t get left in the lock. Or both.

Anyone else have a good dumpster-find story? or a good key-losing story? or need a shabby chic (bleagh) side table?

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Fabulous Finds and Freebies (in which I horrify my husband by taking in other people’s cast-offs)

It is a well-known fact around these parts that Ken does not share my love of thrifting. To him, it is a particular form of torture that he would avoid at all costs if it were not for his lovely wife.

So Ken, when feeling particularly magnanimous and brave, will only on very special occasions suggest going to a thrift store.

I have come to terms with this fact about Ken, and I love him anyway. I usually try to spare him from my thrift store adventures because I’d like our marriage to last. It’s a sacrifice I willingly (yet sorrowfully) make.

Last week, I roped my mom and sisters into thrifting with me. They’re much better at Ken at enabling and therefore are much better thrift store companions.

Which is why, on our latest trip, I picked up this great piece of fake artwork. My mother and sisters were very supportive in spite of Ken’s text message indifference. The price? $6. The size? Rather large (scientifically). The frame? Simply amazing.

old artwork in antique frame

On the same trip, I also grabbed this piece for $5. The colors are a little “meh” (okay, a lot “meh”) but again, my mom and sisters sensed my deep desire to adopt this and gave me the go-ahead. I have big plans for this piece.

old artwork in antique frame

However, poor Ken could not escape my foibles entirely. Whilst out on a jaunt through our ghetto neighborhood, we had the good fortune to come across a veritable treasure trove of dumpster goodies.

Let me just pause to explain Ken’s inner turmoil.

The man does not like thrift stores. Which means that dumpster finds are COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY out of the question.

Luckily, the man loves me and I convinced him to drive the getaway car so we could snag these finds and usher them into their new home in our garage.

Free end tables

Can’t you just SEE the potential oozing out of these free beauties? This one was particularly intriguing to me, as it has a great brass strip around the base and very interesting curvy legs. Methinks Emily Henderson would approve. It is missing a drawer, but I’m willing to overlook it. Ken was quite disgusted and wholeheartedly NOT willing to overlook it.

Free end table

But then. THEN.

The best thing happened.

It was the day before the Bar Exam. I had to work, but Ken was going to fit in some last minute studying.

On my way out of our apartment complex, I spotted it. Sunlight burst through the clouds and angels sang a majestic chorus.

But, dressed in my business casual maxi skirt, cardigan, and strappy sandals (and running perpetually late), I had little choice but to throw myself at the mercy of the Free Stuff Hater. I would have to ask Kenny for help.

How could I not? Check out those curves.

free headboard

My husband, in his hopefully limitless love for me, carted this laminate beauty all the way from the dumpster to our garage on the day before the biggest test of his life.

The moral of the story: ladies, marry a great guy who loves you very much. It has worked out well for me.