Have you ever been shopping at the Dump?  If you’re from Richmond, you may know the store The Dump.  It’s a discount furniture store that’s only open on the weekends.  They buy huge closeouts of furniture and then “pass the savings on to you.”   One of these days I’ll go and report back all the bargains to be had.  But not today.

You only wish I were talking about that Dump.

Nope.

I mean, the actual dump – as in – the landfill.

I don’t know about your local landfill, but the one we go to in Glen Allen has a “Too Good to Waste” section.  You know, the place you’re supposed to leave items that have more life left in them when you’re too lazy to make an extra trip to donate at the Goodwill.

Well, last week, my son and I were going out “antiquing,” and my husband asked me to drop some things off at the dump.  (Remember he is on a campaign to “lighten the weight” of our house.)  We could have gone either on the way to or from our destination.  Well, something told me that there was a treasure waiting for me at the “Too Good to Waste” area and that I better go first.  Well, that, and I figured I needed to empty the back of the van in case I found something and needed the space.

So off we headed to the county landfill.  I paid my $3 and then drove around to the “Too Good to Waste” area.  (Don’t you just love the name?!  Whenever I come home with something from there, my husband always begs to differ.)

As we pulled up, I saw it….an adorable little vintage baker’s rack complete with chipping paint.  It was sitting all by its lonesome, and amazingly, no one else was flocking to get it.

There was only one other woman in that area, but I keenly observed that she was ignoring it, not like me, who had started to pant.  As soon as I stepped out of the car, she came by to see what was in my trunk.  I was happy to give everything I had to her, and in return, she helped me load this little beauty into my van.

It is so shabby- not at all chic!  There are about 4 coats of old (lead?!) paint on it, and it looks like the prior owner started to peel it off and then gave up.  His lack of sticktoitiveness is my score!

Do you see the beads hanging in the front?  Adorable!  Can’t you just picture this sitting in an old kitchen with cookbooks on the shelves and a pie cooling on the top?  Best of all…it was F.R.E.E!

So I’m looking forward to spending some time with a stripper.   Wait.  That came out wrong.   But you know what I mean!  I’ve never stripped paint before, so I’m sure that will be an adventure, and I’ll be back to report how the project went.

I had intended on putting this little cutie in my booth at Odd Balls Antiques or even leaving it on my porch, much to my husband’s horror.  But alas, my friend saw her potential and has already claimed it as her own.  So having saved it from the landfill, and soon to be painted yellow, it will most definitely be a worthwhile restyle!

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This week I went to the goodwill outlet in Richmond.  I’ll pause a minute while you take that in.

The. Goodwill. OUTLET!

Did you know such a place existed right here in Richmond?

Now, if you’re like my husband, you’re probably thinking, “Isn’t Goodwill in and of itself an outlet?”  One would think, right?  But no!  There is an outlet for the outlet.  And I went there. But not alone.

I asked my best friend, Halle to come along to help carry all the crap to my car, er, I mean, to help with the baby.  The place is not located in the best part of town (think: strip clubs and hourly hotels), so I was glad to have her with me.

So, you walk through this windowless door, up a ramp, and into a huge warehouse. Looking up, you see a huge sign hanging from the ceiling with pricing. Most everything is sold by the pound.  You heard me right.  By the pound. Textiles are $1.29/lb and housewares (basically everything else) are 59 cents a pound. Furniture, electronics and a few other things were priced as marked.

So, feeling a little overwhelmed with the whole thing, we grabbed a cart and started shopping, otherwise known as, digging through crates.  On one side of the room are just rows and rows of tables with crates filled with housewares. On the other side were rows of giant bins with clothes.

Halle had heard that people can get a little pushy here looking for bargains, so I told her to keep a close eye on the cart as we shopped.  I kept my hand on the stroller, lest someone want to get a bargain on a baby.  I didn’t personally see any brawls, but I could easily see how it could happen, like if somebody wanted to get the mirror I spotted.

I love the arches at the top of this mirror!

It was the first thing I saw that got my heart pounding.  I am a sucker for beautiful mirrors. I’m not vain, but can you really have too many in your house?  I loved the mirror on sight and for just $9.99, I couldn’t pass it up.  I can’t wait to paint it some great funky color.  Any suggestions?

We trolled around the housewares bins for a while and then headed to the lamps, my latest obsession.  I found a super-great vintage yellow lamp for only $2.99!  It’s in such good shape, I didn’t think it was too old, until I saw the plug. Oy!  Note to self: learn how to rewire lamps.

I’m pretty sure this would be a fire hazard!

We weren’t in the mood to dig through the bins of clothing – that would be a whole other thing – but we did do a quick stroll-by.  And that’s when I found it…the most amazing (read: tacky) Christmas sweater ever!  I say “Christmas” and not “holiday” because it truly was a Christmas sweater – it literally has baby Jesus on it!

Let me describe it to you, because I know the picture is not going to do it justice.  Not only do you have the entire nativity scene, (Mary, Joseph & Jesus), you have an angel, some livestock, and a shepherd.  Of course the scene wouldn’t have been complete without the three wise men and the “yonder star” they were following.

Finding this sweater literally gave me chills. As I pulled it up and out of the bin, a light shone down from above, and I think I heard a heavenly host of angels sing Alleluia! Right then and there we decided to make Halle’s annual Christmas party one of those “tacky Christmas sweater” themed parties.  Now, I don’t want to brag, but I have a pretty good idea who’ll be winning this year.  And we’ll have the Goodwill Outlet to thank for it.

I would have left a happy girl with just the sweater, lamp, and mirror, but for $26, here’s what else I got:

4 pinecone finials
Oak clock
Velvet dress I’m going to salvage for the material
Wooden frame I’m going to make into a tray
Wooden magazine rack (my next project!)
Vintage salt & pepper shakers (so cute!)
Medium lampshade and small black lampshade
2 small frames with scary needlepoint clowns – gonna toss the clowns and use the frames on the pegboard in my new workshop/studio (Pics of this coming soon!).

My haul!

If you’re in the mood to treasure hunt, I highly recommend a trip to the Goodwill Outlet.  If you go, call me.  I’ll meet you there!