Sunday, June 11, 2006

Recycling, reusing...resourceful!

Presenting my short visual lesson on interior and exterior decorating with style and resourcefulness for next to nothing. We can find an abundance of the things we need (and do not need) in yard sales, dumpsters, thrift stores, and from friends, etc.

Here are some recent finds for my current Tucson home:

I found this chair next to a dumpster on the Saturday that was really Friday. It's now under my ramada on the front porch.

Purple wooden desk with an old blue metal chair from Shankara's yard sale.

This blue dresser makes a good stand for my flute. My flute needed a stand.

Laundry basket from a thrift store.

I liked the orange flower-like lamp bottom with stand that looks like bamboo all the way up, so it went home with me.

The paper shade gives off a warm golden glow when the lamp is turned on.

The papasan rocker is from a yard sale five years ago that I let go of when I moved to Monterey. I found the tray table at Casa de los Ninos thrift store; it's all wood and the sliding parts are spring loaded. I think it was made in the 50s because the manufacturer's sticker on the underside looks like it is from the 1950s.

I found this mini chest-stool-seat at Shankara's sale.

Jesse needed a piece of furniture to eat her food away from Yuki's reach. This not-so-elegant piece has added benefits: the secret hiding place for Jesse in the bottom and the top that lifts off for storage. The Japanese calligraphy on the wall says hakusetsu or shirayuki (white snow) and was written by my calligrapher friend, Inso, from Pacific Grove, CA.

My new drinking glasses. Three different colors of textural glass in pink, blue, and green with raised ovals, lines, dots, and curvy lines. They're not too small or too large and they're fun to drink out of. Fifty cents each at Casa de los Ninos--you can't beat that.

I needed a shelf or something to put between my little O'Keefe & Merritt stove and the fridge. I found this cabinet with shelves inside. Jesse likes it, too.

We have a small pond right in front of my house that we keep filled up for the visiting and resident birds, but it's always nice to have extra little bird baths for our feathered friends. I've placed this shell-shaped bird bath beneath the salt cedar (tamarisk) trees in an area that stays shady for most of the day. Already, I've seen the quail family and some doves enjoying the water.

At Casa de los Ninos I found a bedspread from which to make covers for my newly acquired UA bleacher seats (two for $3, one for $2). The bleacher seats have padded bottoms and backs and fold up compactly. I sewed covers for each of the three seats that still allow for the folding action. Since I like to sit low and near to the ground, these little seats are perfect for the small tea table that my neighbor lent me until I find or make my own little tea table.

Jesse enjoys the little seats, too, but the real reason she is sitting there is to snatch some kim from the table. Kim is Korean style laver seaweed, similar to Japanese nori, but seasoned with sesame oil and salt.

With some of the extra material, so far, I've made coasters and the small pouch below.

Viva dumpster diving, gleaning, reusing, sharing, gifting, and trading!


Alanna said...

Hi Nicole,
I forget, now, how i stumbled onto your blog, but I'm here in Tucson and part of the yahoo group EDM...I enjoy checking out your blog since I discovered you're here in the Old Pueblo as well...and I especially felt urged to comment on this entry as I'm a HUGE proponent of dumpster diving (without the actual diving and getting gross) and thrift storing...My apartment currently holds mostly thrift store goods and hand me downs. Also, Hippie Christmas is big in these parts (near the university) so finding treasures next to the dumpster is not rare....
I REALLY like your tea table and chairs...and of course, your cat is gorgeous sitting in one of them!

Nicole said...


At first i didn't know what you meant by "EDM", but now I know it stands for "Every Day Matters", the online sketch community started by Danny Gregory. I made a comment once on his site to ask what kind of stool to use for "plein air" sketching. Maybe you found my blog there.... As the yard sale gods and goddesses would have it, I found two lightweight collapsible stools for $1 at a yard sale!! So, i may try them out on an early 5:00 am to 9:00 am (max!) sketch crawl here soon.