Friday, June 3, 2011

Curbside Treasures Bonanza

Hokay, my neighbors are Officially Crazy. On Memorial Day weekend, one of our newer neighbors put out a huge mound of stuff next to their trash cans. I first noticed it because the slightly off guy that drives the dilapidated ice cream truck through our neighborhood was standing in the middle of the mess, picking through it.

I was intrigued, but I didn't really want to romp through a pile of kitchen midden while Mr. Ice Cream Truck was there. So I promised my self I'd go back the next day, and if any part of the mound-o'-stuff was still there, I'd give it a look.

But I didn't really think there'd be anything left. Usually when folks put out good stuff by the curb, it's plucked up in a matter of hours.

Nonetheless I went back on Monday, Memorial Day, and what a haul! This is what I found, hiding in the piles of dirty clothes and broken toys and filthy cardboard:

Three beautifully made espresso cups, and four matching saucers, from Sur La Table, a high-end homewares store.

I tried really hard to find a fourth cup, but I couldn't. Maybe the homeowners broke it, and that's why they pitched the rest of the set out?

I also found four hefty soup bowls with a handles, perfect for individual mac-n-cheeses or French Onion Soup or a hearty chili.

Again, by Sur La Table. My neighbors may be nuts, but they have good taste!

I uncovered two gorgeous little Japanese tea cups:

The depth of the glaze, the range of colors: Lovely.

Hiding in the mess was this sweet little glass ring holder and an intriguing-looking pin:

Mind you, when I picked all this stuff off the side of the road, it was all filthy. The pin was almost black. But it seemed to be well constructed, and when I polished it up with silver polish, its beauty shone through:

I also found these kitchen-shelf racks. They may not be beautiful, but they are extremely practical. In mint condition, some still have their store tags on them. They will be very useful in the Funny Little House that Lovely Daughters #1 and #2 are moving in to:

A cardboard box turned out to be filled with Duplos. These, I'm keeping for myself. Whenever I have a very young visitor comes by with a parent, I like to have some gender-neutral toys available for the Little One to play with.

I discovered this huge, almost-blank canvas:

Along its length, it has three eye hooks, rendering it ready for hanging:

Somebody lightly sketched a wooden fence on the canvas, but that's no biggie. A quick base coat of white, and this canvas is ready to paint and hang in Funny Little House. It's large enough to fully command a wall in the dining room or living room.

What will be painted on it? I don't know! That's for LD's #1 and #2 to decide. When they were teenagers, I once bought a big canvas like this, along with five or so tubes of acrylic paint in colors that I pulled out of our family room's furnishings.

On a day they had several friends over, I ushered everyone outside, handed each kid a popsicle stick or a palette knife, and they painted the canvas, giggling and laughing. Within minutes, we had a unique piece of modern art, and they had an experience they'll always remember with fondness.

I suspect the LD's will do something like that with this canvas, too.

Also in the mess of stuff, I found this decrepit herb terrarium kit:

I tossed everything except the glass cloche, which has a pleasing shape. I wasn't sure at first what I was going to do with it.

And then I realized I had the perfect candidate! This horse statuette is a beloved souvenir I bought when I was a child on a family vacation in Murano, Italy. It is so delicate, he's lost bits of his ears, nostrils, and part of one foot over the years. I grew leery of displaying him, for fear an accidental swipe with a duster, or an overenthusiastic pug crashing into a table, might do him in. But under my newly found glass cloche, he is safe.

I never realized how modern, and yet also ancient, he looks. Doesn't he look like he could've come out of some Etruscan tomb?

And my final find is this: A pair of candlesticks. Again, when I found them, they were covered with a skim of dust and a puddle of white wax in each cup.

As I washed them, and they seemed exceptionally well made and hefty for their size. They caught the light so beautifully.

They got me to wondering....

So I got out my magnifying glass, and there it was:

A Waterford manufacturer's mark.

Yup, my friends. I scored a pair of Waterford crystal candlesticks! Out of a trash heap by the side of the road.

Thank you, crazy neighbors.

And Lovely Daughters? These, I'm keeping for my own house!


  1. I'm really thinking of moving to your neighborhood...apparently I would not have to bring anything, your neighbors would provide! Those are incredible finds!!!
    I saw the cutest things to do with old candlesticks and a platter on Beekman Boys website...Have a great weekend!

  2. Charming. I love a good side-of-the-road haul. In my 'hood I've gotten a pedigreed steel chair, an outdoor side table (perfect once painted sage green) and Obama's books on CD. Vive le trash heap!


  3. Wow! I cannot believe what you managed to score in your quest...Bravo for having the patience to pick through. Makes me wonder why all these items were pitched. And I love that the horse has his own case now--he does look ancient and and mysterious.

    Love the blog--it's so clear and visually pleasing!



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