Thursday, March 1, 2012

Makin' Lemonade from Lemons - Vintage Reflections

You likely read about my mis-buy at the auction in the last post.

The remnants of the deal was a 1950s, faux-paint-textured cardboard print in a faux-antique frame. The thick cardboard these sorts of prints are made from is useful as stiffener when shipping paper collectibles and other thin items, to prevent bending in transit. So, off it went into the shipping room to be sliced up for that purpose.

I suspect in 50 years I'll be lamenting my destruction of 1000s of those things, cursing myself for not hoarding them...a potential million dollars destroyed. Then again, with inflation the way it is, "a million dollars" then might not be what it is today. So, I may only be loosing out on covering the cost of a meal at a good restaurant by not hoarding them...Ah heck, I'll probably be sucking my means through a straw by then anyway.

What to do with the frame....

It was sort of attractive...could paint it white, and distress it...

Toss a mirror into it...but, that means buying a mirror...

Or does it?

I had a broken mirror, removed from a cheap, paper/fibre-board dresser acquired from a clean-out I did. I smashed up the dresser itself, as it was beyond repair, and tossed it in the trash.  The mirror was intact, for awhile. My main storage space is, well, just that, space...outside.   It was in a frame that did a poor job of imitating real wood...other than being made of the industrial equivalent of laminated sheets of paper. That materials acts like a sponge for water...especially rain. Yes, it got wet,  warped in 5 directions, then the thin mirror fell out...and broke.  Never saw nor heard it break, so should I assume I missed out on the predicted 7 years of bad luck?

 Does a mirror make a sound when it falls, breaks and no one is around?

Anyway, there was a chunk that was big enough to cut to size to fit the frame!

VOILA, add a piece of "junk" mirror to a "junk" frame and you have a $35 - $45 hall mirror!

Two negatives DO make a positive!

Hmmm...might make some profit on my bad buy yet!

Yes, I am being melodramatic... it didn't quite happen with the "voila" with magician type flair. I already was thinking about how to make lemonade out of my lemon of a purchase, after I was done flogging myself for the stupid mistake.

The lesson here is that 2 pieces of junk can still make you MONEY

Combining things that are otherwise useless, have no value, etc is like creating gold with Alchemy...except in this case, using junk as your ingredients CAN create gold from combining other things, unlike using Alchemy to create gold...which is far as anyone has revealed, anyway! And if you HAVE figured it out, let me know, I won't tell a soul! I promise!

Janet Picard, friend from years back, an artist, and the original owner/founder of Ragpickers Anti-Fashion Emporium of Winnipeg, created jewellery from found, salvaged objects. She created works of quality, long before the now commonly seen pieces with watch gears, brass buttons, bits of china, chain, etc, in a collage form. She created many wearable sculptures in the form of earrings, brooches, necklaces and assorted other jewellery.  She called her artistic enterprise "Salvage Alchemy".  After doing a quick online search, I see many others of a similar artistic bend, as well as folks in different areas of "salvage" have found/thought/adopted the use of the name as well.

To me, though, "salvage alchemy" a perfect term for what many of us in the junk business do...

Or rather, those of  us who can think "outside of the box."

That trash can be made into CA$H with a little effort, and it can pay you back in spades for that little bit of time and imagination.

If you wish to survive in the "junk biz", as a picker, antiques dealer, storage auction locker buyer, scrapper, flea market seller, swap meet seller, etc, etc, my advice is to embrace "salvage alchemy" as part of your business wholeheartedly.   

Ok, junk alchemists, now go dig into those piles of mis-buys, junk, trash and scrap and see what gold nuggets you can come up with!

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