Dumpster Diving for Vintage Gold Mannequins

Just in time for the Academy Awards.

But the best part is ….

I have two of them.

I know what you’re wondering so I’ll address it right now.

I found them in the garbage.

Yup.  Clearly what needs to be said right now is “And the Winner is …. ME!”.

Seriously. About 5 years ago I was driving around, sipping a hot coffee and doing a little dumpster diving in an attempt to replenish the stock in my antique booth. I found a huge pile of trash outside of an apartment complex. These were in it. Bright, shiny, beautiful garbage, surrounded by old microwaves and velour couches.

Every time I look at these things I think,  Who would throw those out?  Who in their right mind would ever throw those out! If they happened to be looking out their window as I shoved them both into my car, the previous owners were probably thinking Who would take those things?  Who in their right mind would ever take those things? I would.  Me.  I’m the one.

I had them on display for a little while, then decided they were a bit much.  So I put one away and left one out.  Then I decided even one was a bit much.  So into the basement they went, which is where they live, all year long,  until Oscar night.

Every Sunday morning of the Academy Awards, I drag my pretend Oscars out, flank the living room with them and start preparing my appetizers.  For as long as I can remember I don’t make “dinner” on Oscar night.  I make appetizers.  Lots of em.  Crackers and cheese, olives, bacon wraps, hummus and pitas, vegetables and dip, chips and dip.

At 7 o’clock I sit down for the pre-show, surround myself with my Oscar appetizers and get my Oscar pool sheet ready.  Which is exactly what I’ll be doing this Sunday when the 83rd Academy Awards ceremony takes place.

I can’t make you any appetizers, I certainly won’t be giving away my statues, but I can share my Oscar Pool Sheet with you.

Which I will  … tomorrow.


  1. Karen, you crack me up!

  2. Jan says:

    Haven’t seen any of those beauties laying around (or would that be lying around?), but I am admiring your beautiful hanging light. Will you share the source? Thanks!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jan! Classic Ikea. They’ve carried this pendant light for years, but I think they discontinued it last fall. :( ~ karen

  3. Julie Anne says:

    Okay. CLEARLY I live in the wrong city. We have yet to find cool stuff like that on our Saturday rummage runs–That’s it! This spring we’re rummaging in different cities.

  4. Tina says:

    OMG, I want one! I’d love that in the corner of my room. Not sure about two but one……..i’d die.

  5. Paula says:

    I’ve found some pretty cool free stuff but these are the best. I don’t know if anyone throws anything that cool away in Kansas. I will keep looking though Thanks for inspiration.

  6. cred says:

    Hilarious! Love the boob shot in the 1st photo- don’t know what that says about me but I knew right away this was a boob of something.

    they’re awesome

  7. In the garbage? What luck!!! I think they are beautiful & totally unique!!! =)

    Melanie’s Randomness

  8. sky says:

    We’re sistas! Love em
    Would have done the same thing
    Would you think about sprayin’ them ladies gold?
    Just a thought

  9. Angela N says:

    OMG! I am totally cracking up at these! I am a total dumpster diver, but I probably would have passed these guys right up. Perfect for an Oscar party though! And I agree with some of the other posts, if they were dressed up a bit, I might be able to see them being out for a bit. My kids would probably wonder where her head went though. lol

  10. Michelle says:

    I can’t even think straight right now after seeing that. Please leave. (I’m so jealous).

  11. Jill@BarrioAdjacent says:

    They are wonderful! What a lucky find!
    How about a few Oscar predictions?

  12. Bromeliad says:

    Leave one out! Hang some joolz on her.

    Cool cool find.

  13. Lin N says:

    Absotootly fantabulous finds! I’ve found a thing or two in my garage saling but nuthin as grand as your finds…I probably am not a ‘focussed’ a hunter as thou! lol….

  14. Yvonne says:

    NO WAY! You probably would have had to pay a couple hundred dollars for it at an antique store. I want to be your garage sale buddy!

    • Karen says:

      Yvonne – LOL. Oh Noooo you don’t. Just ask my boyfriend. He used to go with me at 6 a.m. every Saturday morning. Not *anymore*! Something comes over me … it’s like I’m in a garage sale prize fight, and I fight to the death. NO ONE wants to be around me during garage sale season! I take it … mmm … probably a little too seriously. :) ~ karen

  15. Yvonne says:

    I also LOVE that gilded mirror by the window.

    • Karen says:

      Yvonne – I got that mirror for $5 at a garage sale. I almost didn’t buy it because it wasn’t free. Like the Oscarette statues. ~ karen

  16. Stacey says:


  17. Heather says:

    Also, lovvvvve that light fixture.

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Heather. Ikea. They don’t sell it anymore. :( ~ karen

      • angie says:

        I think I just saw this same light fixture at Lowes home improvement store. Like the OCD nut that I am I had to go search their web site until I found it.
        Yes. I know. It’s not exactly the same. It seems to be missing the final tier of light covers. Yours has five and the one at Lowes only has 4. But for $39.98, it’s not a bad knock off. Here’s the link for everyone who wants to be Karen when they grow up.
        Now all I need to do is make myself that tree stump table, cover a chair with sheep skin, order, put together and arrange wall of book shelves…or take a nap and just dream that I live in your house. Yeah, I think that’s what I’ll do. I’m allergic to cats anyway.

  18. Heather says:

    You should have a contest where one of your loyal readers could win a prize for the best photoshop of one of those statues. Seriously. I’m not joking.

    • Karen says:

      Heather – Good idea. If I can get someone to sponsor a prized valued at $100 or more I’ll do it! Either that or I’ll give away a bag of Dill Pickle potato chips like I’m about to on the AODS Facebook page. ~ karen

  19. Pam says:

    These would be great seasonal yard ornaments. You could dress them up for each holiday or season, like people do with those pitifully hilarious geese. But I would definitely lock them up- they are begging to be stolen. Or set them in cement laced with lead shot. Also, strobe lights reflecting off them would be siezure-inducing magic! I know how to be the best neighbor ever…

    Also, you made it sound like you were prepping to host an annual Oscar party. I love that you’re (or appear to be) setting all this up for yourself!

    • Karen says:

      Pam – Well … it’s for me and my boyfriend. To be fair, I did this long before he came around. (minus the statues … didn’t have them yet) I love a party for one. You *do* need someone on standby on the phone though, so you can bounce thoughts off them. Like opinions on dresses/hair/speeches etc. Twitter is also good for this, but not quite as good as your mother on the phone screaming “Oh my GOD … that dress is AWFUL!” ~ karen

  20. Jacque says:

    Karen… I like your style…. we should kick it sometime…

  21. GiniGL says:

    Wait a minute – these are lifesize?????? Oh I SO didn’t get that until I read the “coatrack” comment. I know, clean my glasses – but seriously, I agree – a room full of these would not be too much. Have you been to the Constitution Museum in Philly? A room full of life-sized bronzes of all the signers of the Constitution. You keep saying “Excuse me” to each of them because you get that creepy “someone’s looking over your shoulder” feeling no matter where you turn. These would do the same. Did you talk to them when you had them upstairs? LOL! FABULOUS!

  22. lori says:

    Too Funny!! i laughed out loud when i saw the pair of them!

  23. Liz S. says:

    I can see my dad hiding these around the house just to scare my mom.

  24. Paula Raymond says:

    I want them! LOL!

  25. Charlene says:

    I love you more and more with every basement treasure you haul up. Not in a creepy” Internet-girl crush “sort of way but in a “OMG she’s a loud & proud dumpster diver” sort of way. But I am glad you aren’t my neighbour; you’d be competition for all the garbage day treasures. Those are fabulous BTW.

  26. blake says:

    I want a peak at the basement…my basement has a shop-vac and a weird cat pee smell…your basement has these! Color me jealous!

  27. Michele says:


  28. Lynn says:

    Oh Geez. Add me to the insanely jealous crowd. I would keep them out year ’round, adorned in holiday and/or party appropriate gear. They could be in the living room, on the patio, overlooking the buffet table. They could come along for outings and picnics, perfect for barhopping. They could star in their own calendar!

    ummmm…that’s just a few things I would do with them.

  29. You’ve seen the Portlandia episode called “Dumpster Diving”, haven’t you?


    Not that I’m comparing you to them… I’m just saying…

    • lori says:

      I just went to that show…. oh boy !!! i hope that,that was a joke.
      i am not one to get queasy at such things but that one… boy! yuck!! thanks for sharing thou

  30. Tracy says:

    I skipped right over the “How to peel/chop a mango” to get to ” What I found in my basement” !!! Can you PULEEEEEEZE just do a video of what’s down there??????? I PROMISE to watch it.
    I have basement envy ! In more ways than one, being a Floridian and all :-)

  31. Farquist says:


  32. Jamieson says:

    I am emerald green with envy.
    And the Oscarella goes to… you!

  33. Adrienne Audrey says:

    Your basement is like Mary Poppins bag. What don’t you have in there?

  34. Nicole says:

    oh you should dress them after Oscar season…for wedding season you could do awesomely awful bridesmaid dresses…

  35. Those statues make my life.

    And YEAH! The Oscars are my favorite! BRING IT.

  36. christina says:

    Just as you are saying, “who would throw these out?” Some of us are saying, “who would put these in their basement?!!” Two are not too much. A room full of these would not be too much. I am SO incredibly jealous & though this is a bit out of character for me? I wouldn’t even say I’m jealous in a nice way!! LUCKY!!

  37. Rea Niece says:

    You could put cute little bib aprons on them to make them not too much. :)

  38. Vee says:

    Karen, only you could go dumpster diving and come out with these glorious statues. I’ve tried before, and frankly, all I find is garbage. Nice one.

  39. Pati says:

    Wow what a score! I can see why they would be a bit much in your house, but one would be cool. I would use it as a coat rack…? Maybe..put it in the garden?
    Anyways your Oscar night sounds fun…Thanks for the post :)

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