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Posts Tagged ‘vintage’

I really enjoy the way you tend to meet some really absurd and interesting people at garage sales. Sounds crazy coming from me, I know. But the fact that in most cases you don’t even know the person’s name, and don’t know anything about them except what they choose to reveal, is intriguing. Some people choose to share the most obscure and personal information, as if they had known you their whole life. One lady shopping at our garage sale told me that her doctor advises her to stay away from her own 28 year old daughter, and that she has to take medication to keep her daughter from affecting her health too much. She also seemed to think I was a really great person, but I’m wondering if perhaps this is only relative to how she feels about her daughter.

Yesterday I had a few people, during the course of casual garage sale conversation, ask me if I were still taking photographs and making art. I’m happy to say that I could answer with an emphatic yes. The ability to have the time to design and create has been a really wonderful thing in my life lately. I consider my blog to be my prominent means of creative self-expression this summer, and it has been a motivation to keep producing more in order to keep my readers thoroughly engrossed, as I’m sure they all are. (right?) Creativity is something that takes practice. The more I create and dabble and write about my intentions, the more ideas come flooding into my brain. There simply is not enough time for it all.

I’m currently working on a little project, but it is not yet ready to be shared. Instead, I’d like to show you an inspiration board that I have made which helps me to put together designs and ideas in a way that appeals to me visually. It might be boring to you, but perhaps when I reveal my finished product you will appreciate having seen the building blocks in process…

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I’m far from completing my task to repurpose all the vintage “containers” I’ve found lately, but I have come up with a few good ideas.

I snatched up a few old cage lights, which are all the rage in vintage industrial lighting these days. But I have so many lights around the house already, and I wanted to come up with something different to use them for. In my quest for container gardening ideas, I came across this lovely little blog called augury, and found my solution. I ordered three air plants from the self-described southern lass’s etsy site, and eagerly awaited their arrival. When they came, I gave them a good soaking per the enclosed instructions and set them on the windowsill to dry. They are so pretty!

I salvaged some cords from broken appliances and plan to make a sort of mobile that will hang in a sunny window and display the cage light air plants, something similar to this arrangement:

The front of the cages open on a hinge so I will be able to take the plants out every week or so for a good soaking. I’m pretty excited to see what the finished product will look like!

I found another light fixture to turn to the dark side. I couldn’t resist these cute little musicians sitting at the base of this broken lamp…

So I cut the cord, replaced the ugly light fixture with a pretty little milk glass shade, and came up with a new addition to my vintage container garden!

I chose ivy because I wanted a dark green to complement the tarnishing copper base, and because I think it will look really neat when the ivy drapes down over the sides of the globe.

I didn’t realize I had hit upon such a good thing with the light-fixture-turned-plant-container idea. I also found these flat bottomed glass light covers, flipped them upside down, and viola! Instant vase. These were prettier before the water inside got couldy from the roots of the plants, but I was too lazy to replace the water before taking my photo. 🙂

They will work great for establishing new roots on plant cuttings.

I also have a few enameled washbasin-type containers that I want to use for larger houseplants. This yellow one makes for a happy hosta.

Not all my containers turned into plant containers, however. I brought home some more manly specimens, and Jeff found good uses for them. An old Sawzall toolbox now houses some of his guitar supplies…

And this lidless ammo can is usefully repurposed for those, um, heavy artillery bathroom breaks.

It’s been great fun collecting broken unwanted pieces and trying to find a good home for them. My work here, however, is far from over. I still have a good stockpile of items just waiting for inspiration to strike at any moment…

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I’m been coming across some pretty cool old stuff recently. More on that another day.

But the whole experience has gotten me into thinking about how to put some really old, really useless stuff to good use.

I’ve grown up around people who appreciate old crap. Thus, I’ve developed an eye and a soft spot for the chipped, the rusted, the molded and cast-off, the burdensomely-heavy-but-made-of-RealWood objects that just can’t be thrown away.

It may have something to do with the Japanese notion of wabi sabi, which is an aesthetic based on the beauty in things that change with time. It may also have something to do with plain old nostalgia, remembering and longing for the simpler days gone by.

I’ve never been much of an interior designer, but I do know that antiques can be really cool when used well. I’m not at all into that whole “my house is just like an antique store!” look, but I do appreciate a well-placed vintage item. Today I thought I coined a new term—vintage industrial—but it turns out the design world is way ahead of me on that one.

The trick is to use antiques sparingly. Most people don’t, but I know how easy it is to get sucked into the idea of treasuring old things to excess. I’ve been seeing a lot of it lately, in fact. And I’ve begun hoarding a few rusted and battered items myself.

I need to find a use for them, quick.

Naturally, my thoughts lately are crowded with growing green things. So what better way to utilize my hoard than to make a cute little vintage container garden? I’ve done some mighty googling and come up with some inspiration.

I’ve decided, due to the questionable nature of antique materials, that my container garden will be strictly for decorative purposes. A nice mix of annuals and houseplants should make for a colorful and quirky set of greenery. Deciding where to put my container garden to maximize our enjoyment of it will be a different set of decisions altogether. The possibilities are endless.

As always, stay tuned for updates on my capricious whims.

Or don’t. (though I know you will)  🙂

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