posts filed under the 'roadside finds' category :
December 18th, 2011

Christmas Crafts and Decor

Time is limited folks! I am smack in the middle of pre-Christmas-Sunday-Family-Holiday-Programming!!! But I wanted to share some of my Christmas Crafts and Decor with you!!!grape vine star

I was going to do this with driftwood, but I didn’t get a chance to scour the beaches yet for my driftwood stockpile, so I used some dried grape vine I had from an old arrangement. Jeff claims it’s a little Blair-Witchy, but I say Christmas Star all the way!

Next, I found THIS on pinterest, and had to give it a go. People always scoff when I say I save my corks to someday make a project, but to all those scoffers: how do ya like ‘dem wreathes!?cork wreath

I was going to document making this as a buoy bird craft, but the camera settings were all wonky and even after photoshop lightening the pics were STILL this dark!

cork wreath suppliesstringing corks

Eh, no biggie, instructions here! :)

Next was one of my favorite 2011 decorations. I found the most BEAUTIFUL hand cut paper snowflakes that my ridiculously talented friend Joanna made me a few years back, and I always wanted a special way to display them.

joanna's snow flakes

These babies deserved to be in a giant frame (found roadside in ol’ TO years ago)!

Some 1/2 off flowers for a cheery Christmas arrangement, a Tree, and I dare say we are ready for Christmas around these parts!

Christmas FlowersChristmas Tree 2011

Or at the very least, the Christmas Party we had this past Friday! Stay tuned to see how that turned out!

christmas elf 2011

Merry Hoho Everyone!

ps: MUCH love to my sweet boyfriend for making my blog “snow” yet again this Holiday season :) xo

July 5th, 2011

in my own front yard

Well, in my landlord’s front yard, but in front of my apartment! Found these beauties beside the green bins, waiting for the trash man. Not a chance!bi-fold shutter doors

My landlord is a pack rat. Have I mentioned that? Well, he is, God bless his soul (now ain’t that the pot callin’ the kettle black!?). His pack-ratty ways have made it so that sometimes I don’t have to go very far to find my roadside (or garage or garbage bin) finds. When I peered out my front window this morning to see how blue the sky really was, these old bi-fold shutter doors were there waiting for me. And the potential headboard gods sang, “Ahhhhhh!”chippy white paint shutter

Seriously, what says country cottage home more than white, chippy-paint shutters? Nadda! I’ve been hoping to find myself a set or two to implement into a headboard. Now, I know these are just old closet doors, but with a little love, distressing, and leveling out (see how one is taller?), I know these babies will look (not-so) fresh off the farm.needs a little love

potential shutter headboardStay tuned for unveiling! I just have to decide if they’ll be for this place… or the next! :D

ps: Need a visual of what’s to come? The coastal cottage goddess herself, Layla Palmer of The Lettered Cottage did a tutorial on ’em for HGTV; check it out HERE. There is seriously NOTHING that woman can’t do!

 

pps: sorry Jeff. They had to come in! Trust me, I’ll reenact how I had to lay on my back like a crab, spinning them around on my feet to get them in place whist avoiding the ceiling fan… and it’ll allllll be worth it. :)

May 30th, 2011

the return of roadside finds monday!?

…Perhaps. I’m sorry, it’s hard to be on the computer when it’s 31 (feeling like 41) degrees out: ya know that glare ya get off your screen from the sun? Yah, it just doesn’t work.

BUT BUT BUT! Lookie at what I found tonight! Mmmm delicious Ritz tin with Fred and Ginger. Thank you recycling night! Fred and Ginger Ritz TinFred and Ginger Ritz Tin2

I keep being told to stop bringing things in, but the thought of someone else snatching this off the top of a roadside blue bin is just too much to fathom! Alllll mine. :)Fred and Ginger Ritz Tin3Be back soon, promise promise. xo

May 15th, 2011

pick-a-little, talk-a-lot

Why hello blogosphere! Stuck inside enjoying the rain this weekend? If no: I’m jealous. If yes: join the club! But I can’t complain. The tulips are in full bloom here in neighbourhood 406, and wandering around under an umbrella does have a bit of a romantic vibe. And I certainly didn’t let the soggy weather stop me from being out and about! A rummage sale, a free Sloan concert, and a cozy sit in a local pub proved perfect fare for my rainy Saturday.

So the rummage sale: oh sweet springtime Portuguese village bliss. I am so happy that we live in this neighbourhood. All the locals are clearing out their basements, and every church, Kinsmen’s hall, and backyard is turning into a weekly free-for-all, in which I drool and bargain over what, in my mind, is pure treasure.

This past week I had a long conversation with someone about my love of “picking”: roadside finds, flea markets, cast offs from 406 tenants gone by. We talked about all the latest picking shows that are popping up on tv, and shared our enthusiasm about that fact that people are actually making a career out of turning trash into treasure. When I was asked about the touchy subject of haggling, I realized I kind of have a gift for this “looking out for number one” trade. With a little bit of head-strong, and a whole bunch of charm, you too can attend your local rummage sale and never once have to break a bill! Case in point:candelabra

Real brass candelabra. Asking price: $7. All mine for $4 (though I had to wait until the poor man’s stern wife turned her back…)

milk glass bowl

Milk glass bowl. Asking price: $2.stein

And funky (Greek, Ukrainian, or Russian?) beer stein. Asking price: $1.

How about both for a buck?bowl and stein

SCORE!

Silver platter (which needs a bit of love, I argued!). Asking price: $2. Got ’em down to $1.silver platter

Three lovely plates, each $0.25! I happily handed over the $0.75, no questions asked.three plates

And a sweet coin purse (which I now had no coins to fill it with). Asking price: $2. He let it go for $1.coin purse

And that is how I spent $7.75, saved $7, and came home with priceless finds! The fact that I got most of the items for $1 made me think of the dollar store, and I sure won’t find any milk glass or real silver at any dollar store! The character of these pieces is what makes me love them so, and knowing that they won’t end up in a landfill any time soon made both the buyer and the sellers smile.

Let me know about any special treasure you might be finding now as the days turn warmer. Keep your eyes peeled; you’d be surprised what you may stumble upon!

 

March 5th, 2011

love is all around

Remember a few weeks ago, when I celebrated “Valentine’s Day Week” with scads and scads and scads and scads and scads and SCADS of posts on love? Well to my best knowledge, I figured that would be all the hearts and love-related gobbly gook you would see here until next Valentine’s Day (ok, I might have given in a little bit for the V+J six year anniversary).

Anyway, I was wrong. It’s following me! Between then and now, little bits of *love* have been popping up EVERYWHERE!love thy neighbour

Jeff and I took in a movie at an old movie house (the kind with winding staircases up to the old fashion cinema lavatories), and I found this on wall. A happy sentiment to find in a big city center. pavement heartNext was a walk home from the local coffee shop. Outside the subway entrance, someone had scrawled a heart on the pavement. The man in the car next to it gave me a strange look for crouching down on the ground, photographing the sidewalk with my cell phone, but I just shared the love with a warm smile. At least now he thought I was a nice crazy person. heart ornamentFollow my journey another 200 feet, and I find this heart ornament in a snow bank! It was here that I decided that there would definitely be a themed post about all this found love on Buoy Bird. heart pencilBut before I got the chance to pen said post, I stumbled upon this heart pencil on the sidewalk. A dropped Valentine, to Issac, from Jack. It reminded me of when I was a kid, and we would make Valentine’s mail boxes out of brown paper bags to hang from our desks at school.

So apparently I can’t help it. Love is all around. And it’s not just reserved for Valentine’s Day: it pops up in the most unique ways, surprising you and making you smile. I hope all of you find little reminders of love in your journeys today and always!

(note: please excuse the shoddy picture quality; all photos were taken with my cell phone [read: NOT an iphone] ;) )

 

 

February 10th, 2011

maddenvallis.com – monthly love

Please go all the way through this post: the end might just kill you with joy.

Happy four month anniversary Matt and Kim! Whenever I write that – *month anniversary* – I feel like I’m back in junior high school, when month anniversaries with your shorter-than-you boyfriends were major milestones. In Matt and Kim’s case, they have celebrated many, many month anniversaries :)smiling pickford

February’s M+K post centers around their visit with a man by the name of Charlie Pickford, also know as Old Man Pickford. Matt says:

“Kim and I met Old Charlie Pickford down in the [Annapolis] Valley on our mini Honeymoon. He was sitting on the side of the road with his cats; we had to pull over and find out his story. Little did we know we’d be there an hour later as he recapped Acadian history from the 1400’s. If you’re in the Valley (Grand Pre) and see Charlie, be sure to stop by and buy some of the crafts that he carves from wood.”pickford and his pipespipes

Reason number 257 why I love Nova Scotia, and number 386 why I love Kim and Matt. Only in Nova Scotia can you see someone interesting on the side of the road and know you can pull over for an afternoon’s worth of great times, and Kim and Matt are two open, explorative people who would do something just like that.pickford and long pipe

Kim goes on:

“While we were there he showed us photos he had taken and insisted we take some fresh tomatoes home with us. We are going to bring him some cat food and some photos we took of him and his cats in the next few weeks.”

Isn’t she the sweetest!

This little guy is pretty sweet too. He actually reminds me of Matt and Kim’s own fur-baby, Mr. Caramel Swirls! Agreed guys???a carmel swirls lookalike

And this reminds me of all things amazing. A sweet old man in a Highliner cap with an armful of cats. Priceless.an armful

Please do take Matt and Kim’s advice and give Old Man Pickford a visit, and be sure to bring along some treats for those he considers near and dear to his heart. And please do take MY advice, and check out all of Matt and Kim’s work over at their website: pleasures like this and more await you, I promise.

happy cat

Ok, the moment I’ve been waiting for… to share this with you:old and young

Melt, melt, and melt again. Thank you guys for capturing such beauty! xo

all images by Matt and Kim Madden.

February 9th, 2011

days of love

Well hellooooo! Miss me? I know, I know, I’ve been absent and unpredictable at best. The only thing I can chalk it up to is having a serious case of Canadian city-locked winter blues, and being a little under inspired. My Canadian sisters and brothers, I can feel your empathy from here. Thank you :)

However, as I shouted from the rooftops (and hootsuite) last night, I have been bitten by the inspiration bug. Or maybe rather hit by Cupid’s arrow, as my inspiration this week came from… VALENTINE’S DAY! Love it or hate it, Valentine’s Day centers around all things pink, red, sweet, and sensual, and that my friends has inspiration written all over for me.

The idea was to just do a post on my Valentine’s Day crafting. I wanted to add a little *love* to our nest, without going too over the top with the campy-campiness of the holiday. Before I started, I decided to photograph some inspiration to get me in the Valentine’s/crafty mood. One vignette turned into many, and now I share with you the first of six days of V-day inspiration (well, five days, as tomorrow is reserved for Kim and Matt. Hollah!)!

I started with my pink mini eggs.mini eggs

Lady agreed that it was a very good place to start.eggs and lady

Next, a little pink bubbly.bubblypink bubbly

Lady also agreed with this but Ziggy was getting jealous of her being heavily featured on the blog.

So I moved on to a scene out of kittens’ reach: some lovely old antiques.vintage vignette

The typewriter, candelabra, and milk glass vase were all roadside scores (yeeees!), the Betty Crocker cookbook is from Ethel down in Leslieville (I still have to post on that adventure!), and that drawing of the girl and her dog is from my childhood bedroom. I know there is a story around it, but it’s not coming to mind. Mama, can you elaborate?vintage vignette two

Keeping with the vintage, I pulled out some old CHFI records I found (also on the side of the road); just tell me that album front isn’t exactly what you want your Valentine’s day to look like. I can’t get enough of it. So I photographed all four volumes together.recordfour records

Ha! There are actually some great tunes on these.

And there you have it, a little Valentine’s inspiration! Oh, the actual crafts for which I was seeking the inspiration? Well, you’ll just have to check back in the days to come.

It’s good to be back :) xo

November 25th, 2010

roadside finds – sarna bells

Let me start by saying that when I started this (couple day late) roadside find post, I was not banking on the wealth of information my roadside find would uncover!bells of sarna noel

This is a Bell of Sarna. I came across two of these little red darlings sometime within the last three years on the side of my road, and couldn’t help but pocket them. They have since graced our tree every year, and call it ignorance or just laziness, I never took the time to look into these seemingly handmade little gems.bells of sarna noel2

I knew the bells were beautiful, that is for sure. And I knew that they were previously well loved, as much of the red paint had begun to scratch off of the brass bell beneath. What I didn’t know was the amazing story that surrounds these lovely decorations. Heck, I didn’t even know that “Bells of Sarna India” was inscribed in each bell until tonight. Amazing what a macro photo shoot will uncover.bells of sarna happy holidaybells of sarna happy holiday2

The bells have hand-pounded lettering, one proclaiming “Happy Holiday” (no “s”), the other a joyous “Noel” on either side. That was apparently enough for me, as even though these bells obviously had history, I neglected to look into it. I’m a sucker for the pretty.bells of sarna india

Long story short, these bells became the livelihood, and ultimately the legacy, of one S. S. Sarna (yes, I too assumed Sarna was a location in India). His beautiful story about possibility and uprising is the perfect pairing to the spirit of the Holiday season.bells of sarna

I am so thrilled that one person’s past-treasure eventually became my forever-treasure. Knowing the history that these little guys hold makes it like finding treasure all over again. It’s because of stories, traditions, renewal, and growth like this that I cherish the Christmas season so.

Check out the story of the Bells of Sarna straight from S. S. Sarna himself right here.

November 9th, 2010

roadside finds – “that thing in your bathroom”

Oh man, what an appropriate day to share with you a piece from my bathroom, as I spent around three hours in there tonight. Cleaning (let’s be clear).

So today, my landlord finally stopped by to *fix* the broken coin operated dryer. We here at 406 have been doing everything but whispering sweet nothings to it for the past month or so just to get it to take our money and to dry our damn clothes. So… oh yay. It’s fixed. It is also up by 50 cents per load. WHAT!? I know, 50 cents doesn’t seem like a lot, but at four loads of laundry a week, four weeks a month, twelve months a year, we’re talking just shy of $100. And that is on top of the $2.50 a load we were already paying. HA! Needless to say, I was one PO’ed little lady.white dresser

I decided to take my anger out on my bathroom. I wanted to share with you *that thing in my bathroom*, but seeing as it too needed cleaning, I figured why not take out all of my frustration on the whole she-bang. Good thing too: even my soap scum spray had soap scum on it.

So my thing! As far as I’m concerned, it’s a dresser. Or maybe a credenza. Or a unit of drawers and cupboards in which I store my towels. Anyway, most people refer to it as “that thing in your bathroom”, stating that they love it. So really, it doesn’t need a finite name, as long as it’s making people happy.nothing white paint can't fix

I found this on the side of the road about four years ago. It was green and black, heavy, and ugly as sin. Think early ’90s shiny dark MDF. But I knew that with a little TLC, this baby could find a place in my then under-decorated abode. With the help of Jeff, we pushed and pulled and lugged it for what seemed like miles, but was really only about eight house lengths. It, like most roadside finds, probably sat out in the back yard for a month or two before it got the fixer of all fixers: white paint. Seriously, is there anything white paint can’t do?

Seeing as our whole apartment is lacking in storage, this was a welcome piece in our bathroom. A place for towels, bottles, kit bags, and band-aids. I hope to replace the Ikea knobs with beautiful crystal ones, but I think I might wait until our next move, after which it will likely get a fresh coat of paint.dresser and candles

My apologies for not having any before pics; it never dawned on me at the time. I tried to find a photo resembling what it looked like in it’s former “glory”, but had no luck. Maybe it’s for the best; a picture of the original might just break the internet.

By the way, I’m sorry I didn’t get this up for my bi-weekly Monday roadside find due date, but I didn’t go to bed yet so it’s still Monday, right!? ;)

October 18th, 2010

roadside finds – the gorgeous shade

Hey hey! Time for the second installment of roadside finds!glass shade

I stumbled upon this beauty a week ago about midway up my street, and I fell in love. I would die to have a long, dangling fixture with a shade like this in a corner of my home, so I tossed it in my bag, with every intention to create just that.

It then dawned on me that it might take a little more work, and possibly a little outside help, to turn this stand-alone shade into the light fixture of my dreams. So in the mean time, I had to find something to do with this so that it wasn’t just another piece of *junk* hanging out by the front door, waiting to have its true artistic nature revealed.glass pumpkin and leaves

Keeping up with the pumpkin theme, I came up with this! You like?add some candles

I decided to go a little further in inducing some warn autumn charm into the house by putting a couple battery operated tea lights underneath, and voila! Glowing antique glass pumpkin!glass pumpkin

Keep your eyes peeled folks! You never know when you might come across a holiday appropriate find to add some unique flare to your decor!