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My Blog

From Trash to Treasures

Good morning and happy Saturday to everyone.  Well, here in Niles, the sun is shining and the re predicting 88 degrees for a high.  Warm, humid and pending showers is in the forecast.  Tomorrow is a day of stories at the Alzheimer Facility...so I will need to rehearse just a bit for a 4th of July program. 
Today's blog is about garage sales.  I find it most amazing how ones man's trash is another man's treasure.  I know how I find it exhilarating to find something that is considered trash to turn into a piece of art.  Each year, I plan out the items I am in search of for the years projects...and then somewhere along the line, I find added treasures...and sometimes, I have no idea what in the world I am going to do with them after I have bought them.  But I am sure that the revelation will happen at one point in time. 
One year I was crocheting collars and was is need of fancy pins to attach to them, another year I searched for baskets to make centerpieces with pine cones and lights...I have to tell you...I now own a plethora of baskets, because well, time ran out.  When I say plethora...perhaps you may think a dozen..well, it is more like DOZENS!!  I would now have a garage sale with just baskets. 
Well, this year...I have my list and checked it twice.  I am in search for a number of things...one being pots and pan lids.  Not the pot and pans....just the lids.  I want to paint snowmen and gingerbread heads on them.  Another item I am looking for is cake pans.  You know the kind....the train shape, the car shape, Christmas trees, snowmen and Santa's.  I want to paint them as well. 
shirts of various kinds to make wall art.  Men need gifts as well.  It is funny how an artist looks at an object quite differently than the average person.  A metal colander can become a lampshade, an old time hand boxed grater can become a santa.  Even empty wine and liquor bottles have a plethora of chances of being recycled.  I have cut them, painted them and even flattened them in my kiln. 
A garage sale is a wonderful way to find odds and ends and sometimes bags and boxes full of unwanted strays.  I most recently found a bag of art brushes at a Goodwill that was filled with some of the top named brushed made by Winsor Newton and Grumbacher. There were perhaps 30 brushes in the bag for a mere sum of $4.00.  Those brushes would have cost me a few hundred dollars if I purchased them in the store.  Yes, they were not brand new, but had been kept in great condition.  Evidently, the artist passed away...and they were of no use to anyone else...but I know that the artist that once owned them would be smiling now that they know that another artist is using them.
When I think of creative uses of garage sale items, it brings to mind a wonderful restaurant near me in a town called Evanston.  It is called The Lucky Platter.  Now aside from the fact that they have amazing food....and an old fashioned real Cream Soda Drink, there establishment is decorated with garage sale findings and some creative uses of items found.  You will find a fish hanging that is made completely out of coffee cans and coffee pots.  The tablecloths are all those old state tablecloths from the 40's and fifties.  There is a lamp in there that I once owned one exactly like it in the 70's.  It is a Grecian statue with strings all around it where oil drips down into its base and rerouted itself up to the top again and repeats itself.  When you look up on the ceiling, you will see spit balls everywhere.  Paintings from who knows who?  There is even a island man made from bottle caps holding a metal bowl...I remember my mother having one of those when I was a child in the 50's. 
Someone clever used someone else's trash and created it into a fun and interesting piece of treasure.  If you are ever near Chicago, take a trip to this wonderful little place for a meal along with an eyeful of delight. 
My husband laughs at me...as does everyone else I know when I am driving down the street and see the sign "Garage Sale".  I think my car already knows how to turn towards the sale all on it's own. 
I once had a getaway with my Red Hat group that I called from "Trash to Treasures"  We always do a get away in January or February and that year, the girls could only spend a total of $15.00  to create an entire outfit to model, and it all had to come from a garage sale or thrift store.  It was amazing what they came up with!  Not only did they have the budget to work with....but everything had to be in red and purple.  What a fun runway that was!  As activities, I found a garbage can and will it will the making for jewelry...along with some candy...like the ring pop and believe it or not...a gummy rat on the top.  It was hysterical to see them all open up the can.  I was also able to find miscellaneous items at garage sales that were pretty funny...ex. a pair of a child's superman underpants, a black leather bra, and so much more and wrapped it in a bag and attached a string.  The girls had to pull the string and whatever they got, that night after dinner, they had to tell us the made up...but a believable story about their object.  What a riot we had.  We never seem to stop laughing  when we are all together.  Someone's garbage had certainly given us loads of laughter and lots of pleasure.  
So, in ending...my thanks to all those people who hold garage sales.  I certainly enjoy the hunt and all the treasures and pleasures they hold. 

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