I've talked about my love of free things on this blog in the past. In Montreal, we have the most amazing roadside finds. On any given day (more often a day or two before garbage day), people leave out nice furniture, vintage toys, boxes of books, and weird, random, but potentially interesting items. It seems to be part of the culture here, or at least in my neighborhood.
When I started scavenging, I was a little shy about it. I might peek around nonchalantly as I slowly creeped toward a pile of refuse on someone's front lawn. I've come a long way since those first garbage-picking days. Now I pull over quickly, informing the chicks--"there's some good stuff on that lawn!" and speed over to my find like a shopper let into Walmart on Black Friday, racing toward a cute vintage bookcase instead of a $59.99 DVD player. Fellow scavengers beware--I'm fast, and I've got an amazing radar for the free.
A few months ago I picked up this divided display shelf from a curb somewhere. I have no idea what its intended use was, but I knew I could come up with something for it. It sat in our second bathroom collecting dust and annoying me with its presence until a few days ago when I decided to actually straighten the bathroom while the chicks were bathing instead of using it as "free time" to sit next to them and read. I pulled it out, wiped a centimeter-thick layer of dust and cobwebs off the top, and decided to use it for a nature display.
Until now, we were using a small nature bowl on the dining table to display and collect our nature finds. I was getting a little bored with that setup, and the chicks didn't seem to notice it anymore. It had begun to blend in with the landscape of our home. I installed the shelf-thing above their little table, used most often for drawing. We've been very happy with it so far. I've been finding little treasures all over the living room, which tells me someone is aware that they exist and is playing with them. I was thrilled to see Ninna pull a couple of pieces down for inspiration during a drawing session.
Here's a little close-up of part of the bark collection:
And the chicks' view as they're sitting at their little table:
I've said it before, and I'll say it again--Yay for free!