Where to begin? There is so much to say in regard to my love of all things with a story…I particularly enjoy telling the stories – especially the ones pertaining to the ‘dump’. Now, I need to clarify – when I refer to the dump, I am not referring to an actual landfill, I am referring to a transfer station. A transfer station is a town owned facility which collects and disposes of household and building trash, metal, wood, and recyclables for the citizens of that town. In some towns there is even an area for citizens to drop off unwanted, but still good items such as dishes, furniture, toys, books, etc. Everyday items. Granted, not all things left should be left, some should rightfully go into the dumpster; however, for the most part, a lot of fabulous stuff passes through on a daily basis – in other words – gets recycled, upcylced, re-used, found, utilized, re-purposed… best of all it doesn’t end up in the landfill and it usually leaves a smile on the face of the finder…
I have had (as have many friends and neighbors) such fun finding ‘treasures’ on dump day. I actually look forward to the days when the dump is open (I’m not the only one either) – you just never know what you might find – that’s the fun of it! I have picked up gardening tools, clay pots, dishes, glassware, baskets, toys, books, chairs, tables, lamps, vintage mason jars, antique kitchen utensils, lawn mowers, vintage wooden vegetable crates, mirrors, dressers, coffee mugs, wooden bowls, a childs easel…the list goes on – its incredible. Why not? Check out a few of my finds… “Gifts From the Sea and the Landfill”, NYTimes, Sept. 1, 2011.
Instead of simply throwing something out and adding to the ever growing world dilemma of trash – give it away – its the classic, “One’s mans trash is another mans treasure.” It’s a great concept. Many towns in New England have such a space, though many do not. I feel every town which has a transfer station should have such a space for its residents. It seems like a win win situation to me – keep town costs down by not transferring all that stuff people are ‘finding’, while also allowing the townspeople an opportunity to become a re-user, instead of a consumer…now, that is beauty.
Most of my finds have been utilitarian – and I love that. I think everyday items need to be beautiful, useful, and well made – so I’m always on the look out for new stuff. I love old things – I like new things too, but objects with age seem to have a particular hold over me…thus, auctions, yard sales, flea markets, and the ‘dump’ have a particular interest to me. They are places to find interesting and usually well made items at a reasonable price (sometimes even free!)… they have a story, typically a fabulous patina and best of all, can usually mix with a variety of styles – no one need not check out these resources; “Blue blood style on a blue collar budget” says Laura Spencer, … now that is beauty to me. It also simply makes sense for your wallet and the planet – regardless of income.
Check out my weekly finds and keep you eyes out for things ‘on the side of the road’, you may just be surprised with what you find…
I can tell this will be my favorite part of your blog, Jenn….
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Hi! I found you in the comment section of another blog. I loved the name and clicked! Have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know you here and am going to be a follower. I have a good friend who goes “dumpster diving”, as she calls it, and finds all sorts of things that she uses for “yard art”–lots of fun decoration for the garden.
Thank you so much for letting me know how you found me and now, for following me…glad you like what you’ve read thus far and hope to keep your interest…’dumpster diving’ is a lot of fun – a few of my friends and family practice this art as well. While it doesn’t actually mean ‘jumping into a dumpster’, it does mean recycling at its’ best and it takes the old saying, ‘One man’s trash, is another man’s treasure’ and makes it true today too. Also, glad you like the name – Ripe Red Berries – it took me awhile to get here…all the best to you and look forward to hearing more from you!
thanks for the time to reply later…ly
I just read the NYT article – your home is amazing! I wish we had a “dump” like you do. I would be there every time the doors were opened. Thanks for your comments on my blog.
Thank you so much! My house doesn’t always look as good as it did for the NYTimes shoot – I do have a 2 yr. old – but it was a lot of fun (and honor) to be a part of such a prestigious newspaper. I too wish more people (towns/cities) had a “dump” like ours – just think of all the landfills – they’d be so much better off, as well as the citizens of the area…thanks for checking out my blog and commenting. Look forward to reading more from you too! Hoping for more ‘freebie barns’ across the country!
Love your blog! We don’t have a dump, but I love Craigslist, estate sales, yard sales and bargains. Our Jetta is over ten years old and my husband is constantly amazed at what I’m able to stuff in the trunk and backseat; I’ve found some our our favorite freebies on the side of the road: a beautiful turned wood chair, a vintage child’s desk, a handmade ceramic planter, plants that were being thrown away and even a croquet set! I too love patina!
Thank you!! Isn’t it amazing when you have eyes to see, what you find? (: Thank you for sharing, it’s so great to meet like minded people!! Patina is so important for a good find, I agree…love the croquet set find and the plants – great!!