Barn Chic Antiques

Barn Chic Antiques

Monday, January 9, 2012

Drive Bys and Leprechaun Invasions

So the title of this post may be (ok, is) bizarre, but I promise there is more behind it than just a crazy title to make you look (though it worked, right?!). Both are actually related to my antiquing this week! So the term 'drive by' may make some think of a violent act, while others may remember the term to reflect what you and your girlfriends did during high school (drive by the house of your crush...or your ex! Not that I ever did this.). At this stage in my life, though, the 'drive by' is what junkers and pickers do just before bulk trash pick up day. That's right, you drive really slowly down the trash-lined streets in search of those great finds that cost, well, nothing but possibly some pride. 

I was first inspired to assist the city in recycling neighbors' unwanted goods after purchasing an amazingly great old scale from a lady off Etsy. She was super nice and I was just getting started with my Etsy shop, so we corresponded several times. I asked her where she found this great piece and how she could offer free shipping on it. She told me that she actually had found it on bulk pick up day - say no more, I was sold! If I could score great pieces like this, and for free, I was in!

Check out that green patina! I'm in love! (Yet another purchase that has found a home in my house.)

This past summer I did my first "junkin' drive by" in my neighborhood. Well, technically, I started with the 'run past.' I would wait until the temperature dropped from 120 degrees to about 112 and then head out on a little jog in my neighborhood. The great thing about the run/walk past version of neighborhood trash stalking is that you don't look quite as sketchy. You stop and stretch for a bit, examine the goods, stretch some more, and then venture on. I might have looked a bit foolish criss crossing the street a time or two to check out the piles, but I was running when it was boiling hot - it was an established fact that I was a fool. 

I spotted a few things I was really interested in and I wanted to go fetch them before the guys with the trucks and massive flat bed trailers got to the goods. Seriously, do you have people like that driving around your neighborhood during bulk pick up time? I made the mistake of attempting to strike up conversation at the gas pump with a guy whose trailer was filled to the brim with old grills, broken patio furniture, and abandoned mattresses(?). I asked him how he finds out about the bulk trash days around the city - apparently he didn't want to let me in on the secret as he didn't say much.

Anyway, it was dark when I got home from my run, so I upped the sketchiness factor ten fold when I got into my dark vehicle and slowly cruised the street searching for the house that had the garbage I wanted. I find the house and load this into my truck:    

It is an awesome old column - I am awaiting the right opportunity to showcase it in the booth.
Perhaps this spring?

Another item that has a useful function in our garage (holding all of our junk) is this small table. I made my husband pull over so I could grab this.
Andrew has actually been my accomplice in two out three drive bys; he also secured a great old pottery planter for me that I sold at the booth! Kudos to him for his assistance is saving treasures from the trash.

The point of all this is to say that today is bulk pick up day and the rain has held me back from shopping the curb! I hope I am not missing out on anything good...

Invasion by Leprechauns
Part two of this blog post has to do with the booth. I went on Saturday morning to take in a new cart to stack on another cart, since I sold the great industrial cart on Friday. I couldn't believe it! I take in another typewriter cart and this is how it looks when I leave around 11am Saturday. 

Theresa, if you are reading, two out of three of the pieces in this picture came from you!

Sunday morning I go back in because I thought that I sold the metal rack that the ornaments/skeleton keys hang on...but there it was, tucked back in the corner. This is what I walked into:

Notice the two carts in the middle of the booth. Just behind the first cart was a pile of books and the smaller grey stool that was stacked on the cream-colored cart. There were dishes everywhere, skeleton keys in random cubby holes of boxes, handkerchiefs on the floor, typewriter on the cabinet, and moss balls scattered throughout.

I'm not exactly sure what happened, but I finally realized that I sold the red cart. My sales report said that I sold a metal rake...hum. I thought they meant the metal rack...but alas it was neither of those. I am guessing someone was being a thorough shopper and comparing all the carts. They just went with one and left the rest in the middle of the booth. Well, at least they bought one!

All of the chaos of the merchandise took me back to kindergarten - all my Heyworth Grade School buddies can relate right? On St. Patrick's Day, our wonderful teacher Mrs. Kearny would allow the Irish 'leprechauns' to visit our class during recess and literally turn the classroom upside down! Things were a mess, the chairs were on the window sills and stacked on the tables, our backpacks were hanging off of the flag stand, funny notes were written around the room...I thought it was magic and it was obviously memorable! [Kinda like my middle school classroom each day after school now except not quite so magical.] So I would like to think that the leprechauns visited my booth (and just forgot to leave little notes).

I did what I could with the ten minutes I had before closing time. These are always good problems to have! I hope the leprechauns visit every weekend and like what they find!

Loving this vintage baseballs! A little bit of spring..

Sorry for the long-winded post (as always). Thanks for reading!

Have a chic week,

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  1. Love the "dumpster diving"! Is the green scale a "Hanson" scale? If so, my Chicago condo is in the old Hanson scale factor building :)

  2. You are too funny! You know I was reading...Now you are making me wonder about you *smile* I love the drive bys. In a previous building I worked at, on break I would walk around a strip mall and always check out the dumpsters. I found an entire cabinet in one and had my husband come and dig it out. Yes I love drive bys, or walk bys or run bys, whatever you want to call it. Just wish we had neighborhoods that would throw away a column!

  3. I will let you know when I get a notice from the city for collection in Barton Hills. There's lots of stuff worth a drive by.


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