Saturday, October 5, 2013

Picking Lesson 1

Very little home improvement has been going on at our house lately.

I've been busy picking. Not the glamorous road trip down I-10 with the truck and cute wellies farm-yard picking, but the rooting around town in my Cube and having to borrow my father-in-law's truck for the 3rd time this week picking.

Prepping my space at Rusty Saturday, I was bursting with joy. Loving it. So when the opportunity to apply as a vendor for the Junk in the Trunk (JITT) market in November came about, I quickly signed up.

Got accepted.
Looked at the dimensions of my event space.
Freaked out.

The space is 15 feet huge by 15 feet ginormous.  And when I mapped it out to scale in Photoshop, it was virtually empty with the few items I had on hand.

But its getting there.
Almost there.
And mission pick is shifting into mission transform.
And I look forward to sharing those transformations with you soon. As soon as I share some of my lessons.

Online auctions - Read the descriptions.

I've participated in a couple of online auctions. They post pictures and descriptions and then as the clock winds down you bid against whomever else is online. Fun. And dangerous. And they have your address and credit card info, so if you don't pick up your purchases on time they ship it to you at your expense.

A few weeks ago, I was into an auction for a couple of ladder back chairs that were posted. While I was waiting, a white bird cage came up with the next set of lots getting ready to close out.

Bird Cage.
Current bid at $2.50.
I was in. After some black spray paint it was going to make a cute home for a horrified doll trapped in there as a Halloween centerpiece.

I got bid up a bit, but won the cage at a cool $3.75.

The next day I showed up at the auction facility to make my pick up.

"So what kind of a bird do you have?" the woman asked as she charged me for the items purchased.

"I don't. I got the cage for Halloween decor."

She called up one of the guys from the warehouse to bring my stuff up and help me load. He looked over my order and the numbers and told me that I should pull around back to the loading dock.

"What kind of car do you have?" he asked. I assumed that while I was inside there had been a rush of traffic besides the one car that was there when I pulled up and he was going to need to direct me back through the herd.

"Nissan Cube."

"Um, oh. OK. See you around back."

There was a different warehouse worker waiting on the dock when I pulled up.

"What kind of birds do you have?"

Why does everyone assume I have a bird when I buy a cute little bird cage? Why aren't they commenting on the chairs or the old wood water skis I nabbed? I was expecting 'Great buy on the chairs. They should clean up nice.'

Then the warehouse worker from inside brought out the birdcage.
That was twice as wide as he was.
With a height past his waist.
On a rolling dolly.
And the other guy was there to help him lift it. The birdcage. Made of iron.

It took the entire space of my Cube. The chairs were on hold. I was going to have to drive back to get them before the end of the week, when I'd be charged for shipping. But the skis fit. They managed to shove them in along the top so that when I drove home, they would keep banging against the iron cage like a metallic little laugh at my expense for not reading the description before I bid. It was my 'Nevermore' moment.

Read the descriptions. And the measurements. Do it.

The cage won't be at JITT. I toyed with the idea of still painting it black and then having the neighborhood kids pose in it for pictures on Halloween, but it has already found a new home. I put it on craigslist to see if anyone would bite and the Monday after an exotic bird show found a man who could use it for its intended purpose.

After I delivered it to him.
Because it didn't fit in his car.
Because he didn't read the measurements either.


  1. It's on my birthday! I want to attend!!

    1. If you get in 100 miles of this event then I'm going to put you to work. ;-)