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Chinoiserie Chic • Mid Century Modern • Palm Beach Regency Vintage Sales & Rentals


Make Sure Not to Catch on Fire

LeAnn Stephenson

Have you ever thought about something too hard and gotten dizzy? This is the question I posed to my children yesterday as we were shoveling out their closets and drawers, preparing for our "GI-NORMOUS CLEAN ALL THE CRUD OUT OF YOUR CLOSETS, SO WE CAN BUY MORE CRUD TO FILL THEM GARAGE SALE." They turned to shoot each other a "Did she take her meds this morning?" look, quickly pivoted toward the door and left the room, returning moments later, my daughter carrying a bottle of Diet Dr. Pepper and my son with a cold washcloth in hand, telling me to put my head between my legs and take deep breaths. I think there are often times when my family thinks that I might accidentally (on purpose) set myself on fire if not watched carefully. I suppose I don't blame them, because at that particular moment I was wearing a pair of the Hubbs old brown wingtip shoes, a lacy pink vintage slip over my running shorts, and T-shirt that I'd accessorized with a couple of those large black Hefty garbage bags tied at my waist and a pair of glittery sunglasses that would have made Elton John wince in disapproval. My question was treated as rhetorical and never answered.

But, here's the deal, I am a little light headed from the realization that I am not alone. I mean I knew I wasn't alone, but this week I sat mesmerized in front of my computer monitor looking at the blogs of fellow thrifters. I thought I knew the scope of "dumpster divers" that existed in the world . . . well, I had no idea! One of the things that has always perplexed me is the re-purposing ideas that flow out of these women and men - the cogs of my brain just don't function that cleverly. My finds just get stacked in piles until I'm able to restore them to their former beauty and sell them on the website, at flea markets, or at antique shows. I feel bad about my piles. Truly I do. If you saw my piles, you might feel bad about them too, but you'd probably be too polite to mention them. My daughter has begun referring to me as "Big Edie" (you know from the Grey Garden's story) and I snap back with, "Well. . . I guess that makes you 'little Edie then, huh?!'"

Just ask Stan Williams, he's seen my piles! And Stan is a perfect place to start, since he is the "Prince of The Find!" Here, he posted an idea he came upon using a bunch of hot water bottles. The Italian jean maker Energie, just sliced an opening in the side of the bottles, poured in a little water and grouped it together with all your others on a wall as hanging vases for assorted wildflowers for an awesome window display! Stan also has a marvelous interview with Amy of WhisperWood Cottage and Junkologie here.

Here's a nifty idea from Junkin Escapades I came across the other day. Old liquor bottles were paired with old brass house numbers to make some really cool looking vases. For more ideas check out Junkin Escapades blog where she writes about her quest for anything crusty, rusty, dusty, dirty, dingy and chippy!

Christine Terrell of Austin, Texas makes all of her pieces from upcycled decorative tins. The circles are punched, formed and then the edges are finished smooth. The basins are then drilled and strung on rigid german silver head pins and attached to sterling silver French hooks. My favorite is her retro rocket pins. See more of her beautiful creations at her Etsy store here and read her blog posts here.

Photos courtesy The Elegant Thrifter, Junkin Escapades, and Adaptive Reuser

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