Before we start into the magnificent creations featured on the cover (There are hundreds more inside, all with easy-to-follow instructions!), a word about Vivian Abell. In 1973, she was a 25-year devotee of crafting and the owner of Craft Town in Verona, N.J. where 20 different craft classes were taught each week. She co-hosted a TV show called "All About Crafts," and in 1972 judged the national decoupage and egg decorating contests. Repurposing Goddess!
Just what did Vivian create? Let's start with the tall-backed chair in the middle of the page. Why that's a hall coat rack and bench, made out of two washboards, a wooden ironing board and scrap lumber. And then just to its left is a an old military boot turned into a dainty pink lamp that she suggests as a whimsical accent to a child's room
And what to do with that old meat grinder? For some reason, meat grinders must have been a prevalent find back in 1973 since Vivian demonstrates several ideas to spruce them up, one being the bright yellow confection of a lamp just below the pink boot. Don't you love the pink ball fringe for a touch of added oomph!?! Let your eye wonder on down to a jaunty pink pin cushion fashioned out of a tin can, peruse over to a bleach bottle snowman and then head right up to the left-hand corner of the book where there's a delightful bird feeder fashioned out of two salad bowls.
The ideas go on and on for using things like kitchen graters, peach and olive pits, panty hose, or even flashlight lens! I'll leave you with a few words from Vivian: "People are doubly pleased when they can make an exciting new possession from what would have been a discard," she wrote from her home in Upper Montclair, N.J. " There's a special satisfaction from almost nothing or turning an old eyesore into a useful, attractive object."
I couldn't agree more!
For more current ideas on breathing new life into old objects, pick up The Find: The Housing Works Book of Decorating with Thrift Shop Treasures, Flea Market Objects, and Vintage Details at Borders, Barnes & Noble, Amazon or Powell's.
The Elegant Thrifter
Always Frugal, Always Fabulous!