Thursday, January 27, 2011

Does It Make You Heartsick Too? What have YOU Saved?





Mr. Morris in his Summer Coat

RAT BOY (The Girl)

My Friend Judy over at FRENCH LAUNDRY and I were recently trading humorous stories about the lengths we've gone to save discarded Found Treasures from being lost to the Garbage Man and the landfill... or perhaps even the wrecking ball.   And though we may look like a Circus sideshow act doing it, balancing these precious objects on our little hand held carts, strollers or dragging them behind us when we come across them and realize time is of the essence and this may be the ONLY opportunity we have of saving them before they're lost forever... or trying to load large heavy objects into our small vehicles on big Garbage day before the truck comes round to haul them to certain destruction... the fact of the matter is, it's a drop in the bucket of what is being lost daily around the Country... perhaps even the World!  Does this make you Heartsick too my Friends?  When I think about what is buried in our landfills, crushed by the Garbage Truck machinery or razed by the wrecking ball... it truly grieves me beyond words.  Not that I want it all for myself mind you, where on earth would I put it!? *wink* But it grieves me that it was not valued nor appreciated enough by someone to consider saving, salvaging, offering for salvage to someone who would appreciate or repurpose it into something that gave it new life, and preserved for future generations to enjoy the beauty of, the History of, the workmanship of, the quality of, the uniqueness of.   It's not just a cliche, they just don't make it like that anymore... and even if they could, they probably wouldn't due to costs and lack of skilled craftsmen that even remember the Art of how it was once done!  

So today I thought I would ask you, what have you Saved?  I don't mean what Salvage Treasures have you bought, though I give props to every Shop that offers such items and creates a market for them so that perhaps even more will be Saved in the future because the value of them and potential profits is finally being recognized.  I'm talking about the nitty gritty... the items YOU SAVED because you discovered them discarded, ready to be destroyed, unwanted by anyone else, and you dragged them Home to either cherish, repurpose, offer for sale or gift to someone you knew who would be over the Moon to receive such a Found Treasure?  What is now still here because you took the time to rescue it, that we can still behold and enjoy because it didn't end up destroyed or buried in some landfill?   I thought I'd share a small sampling of what we've Saved... our Home being the biggest project of coarse since it was condemned and ready to be razed when we fought the City almost three long years to purchase and restore it.  I'm sharing some of the amazing rock and adobe work of the exterior walls of the Main House and the 4-5 foot walls that surround the entire acre the buildings sit upon.  This was done at the turn of the century in the fierce, brutal Arizona Desert heat... BEFORE AIR CONDITIONING... decades before a Town was even founded and grew up around the property, when this area was still the Wild, Wild West... what a labor of Love... a true Pioneer, Artist and Visionary this Man was!   But they ran out of heirs... and when the last owner of the Family that built it finally passed from time into eternity, there was nobody that cared enough to want to save this amazing place... until yours truly took up the fight that is... because I had befriended and gone to Church with the Old Man, the last of the Family that had built and continually occupied this property... and I knew how much he had loved it... the ancestral Home his Uncle had built... and which now there was no living heir to pass it down to.  It was just the right thing to do... and I believe it was worth the sacrifices and effort, I see this ole House as a Blessing from God... a dream come true for me to FINALLY own the Historic Home I'd always dreamed about owning... and at a cost that was so ridiculously low that it was nothing short of a Gift... like all these other objects Found and Saved... Gifts really because fate connected them with each of us that stumbled upon them... and they lay waiting there for us to discover and rescue!    Treasures like our Cast Iron Claw Foot Tub found discarded and dumped far out in the Desert on a washboard dirt road out in the middle of nowhere.  And yes, because our outdoor Tub Room is not yet near completion, we bathe like Gypsies out in the open on our acreage under the Stars in it... divine Bliss for old Gypsies or Hippies who have few inhibitions! *wink*  Treasures like the discarded Antique Hutch with novelty glass windows... well, those that aren't missing... but I love it 'As Is' and married it to a Vintage Rustic Storage Cabinet as a repurposed piece of furniture that is beautiful AND useful in our smaller front Kitchen.... yep, that's right, in this quirky ole House there is a larger back Kitchen!!! *smiles*  Treasures like a plethora of  Old Doors and their fabulous antique Hardware and Knobs gleened curbside... I've lost count of how many I've Saved... but there have been times a STACK of them has been lying there in eminent danger of being chucked like trash!  There's the small Antique two door Cabinet that I balanced Home on top of my Grand-Daughter's Stroller!  No, it's not leaning like the Tower Of Pizza, it's just a very small hallway and photographic angles are limited! *LOL*   There's the Treasure of beautiful Antique Gesso Frames that The Man found in remote Desert Landfill sites, no telling how many years they'd braved the elements until discovered... but my favorite one now frames an Antique Last Rites Crucifix beautifully against a Black Silk Velvet backdrop.... a Salvaged Fabric swatch of coarse! *wink*  There's the Treasure of old utility cabinets aged to perfection that were abandoned and recovered by us for our Work Studio Storage.  There are the numerous rusted old Treasures of interesting Machinery that are now Garden Art.   And my List would not be complete without the most precious discarded Treasures of all... our beloved Cats... each of which was also thrown away or not valued by those that did not behold and appreciate the Found Treasure that each of them were.  There have been many over the years and for now there are the trio...  Mr. Rusty the youngest member, a feral kitten that decided trained people weren't so bad after all *wink* and now is a big hambone whenever he sees and poses for the camera... he adores having his picture taken.  The more elusive Mr. Morris, who came to us as a massive adult stray and decided to stick around for the past several years, he's a big old strong Boy but has the demeanor of a lamb, and he strongly opposes being photographed and tries to hide whenever he spies Mommy with the camera... Oh, no, here she comes again *LOL*... and the look of disdain and tolerance is quite evident whenever I insist he strike a pose!  Okay, if I MUST, lets get this over with shall we!?!*Smiles*  And finally a Treasure that I value more than any other that has been Found... my old Girl... Miss Rat Boy... yep, when she came to us as a frail wee kitty orphaned at a Plastics Factory she was the size of a Rat and we thought she was a he... and well, the name stuck.  It's difficult to get photos of her these days where she's not napping... but at 20+ years that's quite ancient in 'Cat Years' I think... and she is at Mommy's side faithfully every day, she particularly enjoys the creation of my Art and has steadfastly watched each and every creation being manifested... well, when she is able to remain awake during the long process that is! *wink*  So... now I've shared some of mine... feel free to share some of yours... be they beast or objects... of what you have Saved and Treasure... Dawn... The Bohemian

I'm linking with Doni over at FAITH, GRACE AND CRAFTS for Pearls And Lace Thursday, come join us!


  1. One of my favorite saves was an old 1950's pink doll highchair. It was in good shape with the beads and all on the tray. It was sitting on top of a garbage can in town. It was wonderful. Sold in my booth. judy

  2. One of my best saves was a stripped Victorian dresser, it was missing it's two hanky drawers, but boy what a cutie, I did a u-turn and drove into their driveway and loaded it into my truck...this is why I'll never own a car...or at least till I'm too old to pick up a dresser and heave it into the back of it...Ha!

  3. Do you know how rare a female orange tabby is! She looks like my Scotchman, McGillicuddy!
    I cannot recall any inanimate objects I have "saved" but I will divulge some secrets for the garden!
    Old doorknobs fastened atop plastic coated wire garden stakes (I paint mine bronze) make ornate stakes to hold up your flowers. Antique lampshades stripped of their fabric also look lovely holding up the azaleas!
    Unfortuately Northern Illinois is a vast wasteland of plastic homes and public housing ghettos. That's pretty much it. Everything was destroyed in the modernization attempts of the 1970's. That makes anything that IS found valuable beyond measure and it is reflected in the pricing!

  4. Oh goodness"found treasures" have been a way of life for me for more than 20 yrs. The list is very long. But my most important found treasures are my pets. Each one of them unwanted and unloved until I came along and then they became LOVED beyond words!!

    Dawn I really enjoyed hearing about your house. How special and rewarding it must feel to carry on the legacy of your friend. Nothing but awesome karma in that house!! I dream of someday saving an old house. We'll see...I'm looking at Buenos Aires. Vanna


A life touched by God always ends in touching others. - Erwin McManus

I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars. - Og Mandino (1923-1996)

For creativity to flourish one should try to look at everything as though it were being seen for the first or the last time. - Quote from "A Thousand Paths To Creativity" by David Baird

Is what I'm about to say an improvement on silence? ~ Galen Pearl