style="text-align: center;">Poo-belle. 
 Doesn’t that sound prettier than trash can?
Leave it to the French.
We are all comfortable with some things and not with others.  I know people who swear by the Thrift stores for their wardrobes… me… not so much.  I’ll dress my kids from them if I find something quality but I just can’t get into it myself. 
I know some who can not leave the house without full hair and makeup, they are simply not comfortable.  And though styling my hair and going out with my “signature reds” makes me feel great; I am comfortable going sans maquillage too.
Some would not dream of hoisting something out of someone’s garbage pile… and that is OK but let me tell you.  I’d do it in a heartbeat.
It all started with an empty condo and a fake fireplace.
One day as newly, newly weds Joel came home hanging his head.  “What?”  I demanded.  “What is going on?”  He confessed to having had seen an old faux fireplace on the curb a few blocks away.  “Let’s go!  Come on!  NOW!”  I screeched.  His reaction?  
“I was afraid you would say that.”
This little tin faux fireplace served us well in our little condo. I faux finished the inside to look like stone… I would put candles in the bottom and line the top with family photos.  I can’t bare to part with it, though it really is a piece of junk.  It resides in the school barn now.  Perhaps some day when I put it on the curb a young wife with an empty home will drive by and to a little trash pickin.’

This little number is going to go in the nook in my office upstairs.  I just found it a few weeks ago.   I am going to paint it, fix the hardware situation and attach a large top cut to match that front curve… making it a big, deep, sewing desk.  Sure, it’s junky but give me two afternoons and a paintbrush and it will serve me well during many sewing projects.  F-R-E-E.

 My headboard?  Rattan and trés français.  Strait from the curb and proud of it.  Do you know how many years of antique and thrift stores it would have taken me to find a king size, cream colored rattan headboard?  I shutter to think.

When we first moved in a neighbor with plenty of lawn furniture of her own came by and told me about two pieces a block away.  She went and stood there til I came by with the truck.  Joel painted them black… I swear this is the most comfortable chaise…
It also has a matching love seat. 

And my latest find.  Not concrete but it sure looks like it…
Now at home on our patio filled with edible goodies.  Snapdragons, parsley, lemon thyme, rosemary and ornamental kale.

I think the key to garage sales, thrift shops or “dumpster diving” as some people call it; is to use a discerning eye.  You don’t HAVE to take it just because it’s free.  Think about how you will use it, any repair involved… are you the kind that will actually DO the repairs?  Or will you end up with a garage full of junk yourself?
Look, I know this stuff is not top quality.  I am not saying that.   It’s not a $300 concrete urn or a gorgeous chaise from the Restoration Hardware catalog but it’s working for us… we are such a wasteful country, so much prosperity… even in this horrible economy we are still the richest people in world.  It doesn’t mean you’re trash if you like to check out other people’s trash.  It means you have an eye towards the future… aware of what things were and what they can become.