Sunday, October 7, 2012

{Curb Alert!} Salvaged Barn Boards

First, allow me to backtrack to last summer, when I picked up the book Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren at a yard sale and I shared how both Pippi and I are “Thing Finders.”

Now let me backtrack to a couple weeks ago, when I finally read this (first of 3 books) out loud with the kids. We were a couple of chapters in, a few paragraphs after the quotes that I shared in my original post about the book, when I discovered some more “Pippi wisdom” that I can identify with:

...“We shall see what we shall see,” said Pippi.  “One always finds something. But we’ve got to hurry up and get going so that other Thing-finders don’t pick up all the lumps of gold around here before we get them.”
All three Thing-finders now set out. They decided that it would be best to begin hunting around the houses in the neighborhood, because Pippi said that although it could perfectly well happen that one might find a little screw deep in the woods, still the very best things were usually found where people were living.

Earlier that same week, as I was driving around the houses in my neighborhood, my eyes spied what, in some circles, is the equivalent of lumps of gold. There’s a cool old barn down the street that’s always been somewhat of a mystery. A sign on the side advertises a handmade furnishings and cabinetry business but the only times I’ve seen the door open, it looks more like a workshop for old cars. I did a double take as I was driving by and realized they were tearing down all the old boards off one side of the barn and putting up new ones.

Ummm…did I just drive by a pile of old barn boards? Be still my beating heart! 

Of course my first thought was to turn around and ask if I could take some but I was on my way to meet a friend for some long overdue thrift shopping (where I ended up getting the chair at the end of this post) so I decided I’d just stop to ask about the boards on the way back - but I forgot.
The following day I was out on the same route with kids in tow and I saw the guy working on the barn again so I decided to pull over and ask about it. At this point, my kids are finally getting used to this routine and they rarely question me anymore. J

I tried not to look too giddy when the man told me I was free to take any of the wood. But I got a little more serious when he mentioned I was the third or fourth person that had stopped to ask about it. He also kindly mentioned that the wood at the top of the barn, which he had not yet started to tear down, was even better than what he’d already taken off, if I wanted to wait. I asked if I could come back later and he told me I could come and take it any time, even if he was not there. So I got back in the car intending to go back later in the day.

Well no sooner had I gotten home and distracted with kids and house that I forgot about it, again. That is... until my daughter and I cozied up on the couch later that afternoon to continue our Pippi Longstocking experience. When we read the paragraphs I quoted above I was caught dead in my tracks. “One always finds something. But we’ve got to hurry up and get going so that other Thing-finders don’t pick up all the lumps of gold around here before we get them.” THE BARNWOOD!!!

Pippi was absolutely right! I had got to hurry up and get back to the barn so that other Thing-finders didn’t pick up all the lumps of gold before I got them! “Hunny, when we finish this chapter we’re going back to get some of that wood!” Her eyes popped out of her head with an excited gleam in them. (She totally gets it.) J

Before we headed out, I made sure to grab my work gloves in case of splinters or rusty nails. I also had to empty my van of that chair I’d gotten at Sally’s the day before. With plenty of room in the van for my “gold,” off we went. They owner was gone, but with permission, I pulled right up beside the pile and started digging through it. I found plenty of beautifully gray and weathered pieces and a handful of rusty old nails to boot. Woo hoo!!

So what the heck am I going to do with this pile of salvage? I’m not exactly sure yet. But I know I’m going to need it some day. J   I’m forever inspired by this barn board backdrop that Sweet Pickins always stages her furniture makeovers in front of. 

And here are a few other creative DIY ideas found online (Pics link to sources.):

Rustic Headboard


Sign Art

Flower Planters (top pic)

Well, fast forward another week or so as the barn continued to be refaced. This time I drove by, beside a new pile of wood, there were a few windows sitting out by the road that caught my eye. Hmmm...old barn windows?! Sprinkles on the sundae! Can't not stop and check these out too! By this point, the guy recognized me and we ended up chatting about wood crafts, townies, who we both know, etc. And I'm promised he'll not only save the windows for me, but he'll even remove them from the casings and set them aside away from the road with the best of the wood in his newest pile. SWEET. When it ever stops raining long enough for my goods to dry out, I'll pick those up too. I may or may not share. I'm on blog sabbatical, remember?

Either way, when I get the 2nd round of old barn goodies, they'll just to go into storage, for now. I'm not sure who's gonna kill me first. My hubby or my in-laws...

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Chair Love

It's been quite a while that I've been on the hunt for a vintage wooden swivel office chair. When Pottery Barn first started selling these, I'd drool a little.

But the $399.00 price tag is pure insanity. And they look too new and polished for my liking - I've been wanting an authentic antique one, with character and patina.

Today I was at my in-laws' most of the day for their yard sale. I've been so good about weeding things out over the past several months that the only thing I had to contribute was our dining room table, originally their hand-me-down anyways. (Oh yeah, and a vintage crock/beaters I got $5 for. Woop-de-doo.)

We were all getting hungry for lunch so I headed downtown to pick up pizza and subs for us. But I couldn't resist stopping at one neighborhood garage sale on my way. Turned out to be a little jackpot. I got hubby a huge stack of Reformed theology books (his reading passion) for 25 cents each and I found . . .


The only thing I "settled" for was the style of the back. I would prefer to get something with a little more to the back, but this is surprisingly comfortable and forces good posture.

It swivels and the back adjusts up and down. The color of the wood, the old casters and aged metal...all exactly what I was hoping to find some day. Just needs cleaning up.

We are actually in the process of moving so for now it went right into my in-laws basement for storage. But I'm thinking it'll eventually go behind my computer and/or teacher desk or a crafting worktable.

AND....this chair - that I recently had to scoop up when I was thrifting at Sally's with a high school friend - will go where the swivel chair does not.

Just not in its present condition. This has great makeover potential - just repaint and reupholster. It was dirt cheap and I totally fell for the design on the back of the chair.

I have a weak spot for chairs. Somebody stop me.
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