You might see a sad tomato cage covered in dead vines, but Ruth Barnes sees a Christmas tree.
"I made a Christmas tree out of a tomato cage. I turned it upside down so the skinny part is on top, and then I covered it in used burlap and pearls. And I put a dried hydrangea plant from my yard on top," says Barnes, who founded the Southern Junkers Facebook group and regularly organizes spring and fall sales of crafts made from upcycled items.
On Saturday, December 13th, the Southern Junkers will hold its first holiday market, where eco-minded artisans will peddle gifts and holiday decorations created from repurposed furniture, knick-knacks, and other objects that many people would consider trash.
"There are lots of things in your house that you don't like anymore. They're dated, or you're tired of them. Some people have yard sales or take things to the Goodwill, but a lot of people just throw things away. And it just blows me away," Barnes says.
For example, Barnes recently created a holiday plaque using an old frame that she said many would have considered destined for the trashcan. First, she painted a stencil that says "Merry Christmas" over some sheet music. Then she painted an old frame and framed the sheet music.
"It went from this drab, crappy frame to this really fun, bright, cheery frame with Merry Christmas on it," Barnes says.
While much of the show items will be "trash to treasure"-style crafts, there will also be vendors selling vintage Christmas ornaments and homemade jams and jellies. Local baked-goods company, Sweet Potato Baby, will be selling cupcakes and other treats.
The sale will take place inside the historic home of Judge John McCall at 2034 James Road. The home is currently used by McCall's grandson, Dr. John. W. McCall, as the base for his ArkWings Foundation, a ministry that works with inner-city youth.