Thursday, October 15, 2009

Reuse & Repurpose: Totally Rubbish

A pretty lady in a cowboy hat came to see me at a party that Theresa at Garden Antqs Vintage threw during the recent Texas Antiques Week to celebrate The Find: The Housing Works Book of Decorating With Thrift Shop Treasures, Flea Market Objects, and Vintage Details. The hatted lady introduced herself as Donna Fussell and invited me to drop by her booth, Reborn Rubbish, at the nearby Hillcrest Inn.

So with book in tow, and The Vintage Laundress, LeAnn Stephenson, leading the way, we trudged off the following day and happily weeded our way through tables laden with fabulous finds, odd knickknacks, unusual "junque" and funny gee-gaws, until we spied Donna from the night before arranging her wonderful wares on the wooden front porch of the inn.

Donna, quite simply, is a master of repurposing, taking vintage objects and whimsically breathing fresh life into them. Nothing she offers is too complicated or too tricky, but what she proves is that a fresh eye and a mind full of ideas can turn one person's castoff into another's pride and joy.

Take for instance this silver tray and toile covered table. Basically, you could take any type of tray, silver, tin, plastic or wood, and paint it with blackboard paint to create a fabulous message board. And the lowly wooden table gets a beauty school makeover with an application of glorious toile paper.

Hanging from the ceiling is a fanciful wind chime/candle holder that's fashioned out of an old bottle that was cut and etched.

Nearby this tinkling treasure was a vignette absolutely teeming with innovative re-purposing ideas. A coppery metal base of an old Victorian lamp becomes the perch for a porcelain bird; a vintage church hymnal is decoupaged onto the surface of a glass vessel, and a wooden, Irish spool is smudged with a bit of pink paint and turned into a pedestal for a precious pair of antique baby shoes.

Everything in the booth had a re-purposed polish, from the crystal candle holder that's artfully affixed to a patina-packed table leg to handmade doilies carefully attached to make apparel pieces. There's no rubbish left here! It's all become a treasure-seekers dream.

Always Frugal, Always Fabulous!

The Elegant Thrifter


  1. Stan,
    It looks like you and LeAnn had a fun outing, (you both have great style!), I love repurposing items and turning trash into treasure. I’ve been itching to try my hand at chalkboard paint, and this idea for using it on a silver tray is clever and classy. Thanks for sharing the inspiration.

  2. Oh Stan, I am tickled that you stopped by the blog! Thanks so much. I am so sad I missed the Fall Shows and a chance to meet you! I know Ms. Cano took great care of you. If you EVER want to come to Atlanta please let me know! xoox lulu of 2chippys

  3. Donna is super talented and sweet to boot! Thanks for making my blog party fabulous. Hope to see you again some day down the junkin road, T

  4. Love the chalkboard silver tray.
    Very clever.

  5. Donna Fussell - Reborn RubbishOctober 15, 2009 at 4:34 PM

    What a wonderful review of my booth! I am so honored. I am always amazed at the talent I find in Round Top. I love your book and it now has a "special" place on my coffee table....which of course, is an old trunk which I put on an iron base:) is never too late to be what you might have been.

    Donna Fussell
    Reborn Rubbish

  6. It really does look like a treasure seeker's dream! Love all the "reborn rubbish"

  7. Love your book! I bought It for myself and then gave a copy to a friend...I am so glad I found your's like getting additional chapters added to my book each time I stop by!
    Have a wonderful weekend...donna

  8. frugal and fabulous...right up my alley! love it

  9. Honestly I love toile - I don't know why I never use it...Everytime I see it I want some, and am attracted to it. And really it makes everything look elegant.

  10. Love it! All her things are great. I love taking something old and giving it new life. Warrenton was so much fun...saw so many great things. I was so inspired. I can't wait to go back in the Spring!

    Take care,

  11. Thanks for the tour of Donna's shop ~ everything looks gorgeous!
    I love visiting Theresa's blog ~ she always has wonderful things to share!



Blog Widget by LinkWithin