Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Impulse Shopping on Craigslist (aka It's Not Pretty, But It Will Be)

Technically I'm still banned from Craigslist. 

You see, I'm a bit addicted. 

For a brief moment I thought I could bring in some extra money by buying furniture cheap off of Craigslist, giving it a quick redo, and then sending it on its way in exchange for a large wad of cash.  I'm really good at Step 1 (buying it cheap) - it's just the second two steps which are giving me problems.  And taking up a bit too much square footage in our small itsy bitsy house.

So the boyfriend put his foot down and banned me from buying anything else off of Craigslist until I actually finished some pieces.  Have a mentioned that the boyfriend can also be adorably naive?  Some days it's like he hardly knows me at all.  Me - finish projects?  Why ruin the streak?

Well, the ban on Craigslist lasted for a couple of weeks.  I still looked, mind you.  (Okay, I admit - I do at least half a dozen searched under "Furniture by Owner $1-50" a day.)  But I restrained myself. 

Instead, I started to go to garage sales.  Because they weren't banned.  Some days I really think I should have been a lawyer.  I love loopholes.

Then came the great $700 Land of Nod bed for free find.  Technically, I didn't BUY it.  So, the boyfriend didn't say anything.  But he might as well have been waving a white flag, because that's what it looked like from over here at the computer desk.

So, last Saturday I was doing a quick search and came across this dining set.


Wait, what?  $50!!!!

I just had to have it.  The boyfriend was less than thrilled.  Mostly because we already have  a very nice dining set that my mom gifted us.  It's modern and has leather Parson chairs and has served us well.  We didn't need  a new table.

So I had to make a case, and a really good one because I needed the boyfriend on board.  (Admittedly, part of the reason that I was originally banned from Craigslist was the fact that I repeatedly snuck off to buy something without alerting Mr. Purse Strings.)  But there was no way I could get this set home in our little car, which meant that the boyfriend needed to borrow a van from his job (i.e. - he had to know about it and go along for the ride).

The picture didn't do much to help my cause.  The table was taken apart for storage so those are the legs to the left and the leaf is on top.  But it has 6 chairs - which a family of 6 needs (because, surprisingly, no one seems to enjoy eating dinner while sitting in a rocking chair).  And a leaf for even more flexible seating arrangements!  And the backs - they look like quatrefoil - which is huge right now (technically, they are not quatrefoil, but they are close enough for me).  And it's solid oak.

The boyfriend wasn't budging.  So I went for the heartstrings.

"It can be my birthday present.  You won't have to get me anything else!" 

See what a great negotiator I am?  I'm not only volunteering to pay for my own birthday present - but also letting him off the hook completely.  Sensing a trick, the boyfriend was still non-committal.

"I'll list the set we have on Craigslist and sell it for at least $100.  So we'll be making money."

Bingo.  I should just start with the money every time. 

So, friends, guess what's sitting in my dining room now?  Right next to the old dining room set that I haven't even listed yet ("We have to have a place to eat while I'm refinishing the new set.")  That's right, Project #1,083.

Does anyone else see a diamond in the rough - or is it just me?
(If you ever want a break from reading about my gazillion of  unfinished, half-started, never get past the idea stage, projects, may I suggest a visit at Design Intervention.  The author finished 200 projects while her husband was deployed - and we're not talking about painted cookie tins, but full on reupholstery and everything. A-frickin-mazing!)

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