Me at the Flea: Bella Rustica 2012

It was a perfect weekend for the Bella Rustica Vintage Barnsale here in middle Tennessee. Great weather, great vendors, great venue!


Bella Rustica Vintage Barnsale 2012


Bella Rustica was bigger and better than last year – more vendors and  a larger attendance, for sure.  Vendors included artisans, artists, collectors, upcyclers, entrepreneurs – you name it.  

Vintage Barn on Milky Way Farms


There was so much to see – and so little time!  Well, the sale was 3 days long, but unfortunately I only had half a day to spend there.

 trolling the vintage booths with Christiana from Ruffled Linens


The large stone barn hosted vendors selling handmade and vintage wares, but much of the sale overflowed to the surrounding field like this booth of 1970’s funky treasures.

quirky treasures 


You can imagine how my head was spinning with ideas – this painted buffet would be perfect for one of my clients!

 blue painted buffet


Not only was it a great place to find treasures for your own home, but was also an absolute wellspring of ideas for upcycling vintage objects. 

Garden Art – “flowers” made from vintage dishes 


This booth devoted to jewelry and beads gave me great ideas for storing and displaying my own jewelry – vintage baking tins are perfect for keeping small objects separate!

baking tins for jewelry storage 


Speaking of jewelry, I bought a wrap bracelet and ring as a present for my guitarist daughter. Much of this vendor’s goods were made from guitar strings – how cool is that? 

guitar string jewelry


This little vintage travel trailer showed up again this year, a dollhouse for grown-up women . . .  if you follow me on Pinterest you know I have a little fantasy about owning a vintage airstream!

 vintage travel trailer



My friends and I loved rifling through all the nostalgic schoolbooks and schoolhouse-themed wares in this booth.

 old school nostalgia


Chalkboards were EVERYWHERE at the barnsale – what a great way to post a schedule or calendar, or even to remind yourself of your family’s values.  I bought a small one in the form of a sign that I can hang on the door to welcome friends.




Here I am with one my favorite finds of the day:  vintage turquoise lamps!

bella rustica barnsale

fun finds!


I hate to haggle on prices, so my friend Glenna did it for me and snagged them for only $25 a piece!  

Junk Sisters


 Next year I think I’ll hang out all weekend, rather than just rushing through in one day.  There was so much to see and enjoy.

 Bella Rustica Vintage Barn Sale


My only complaint was the long wait in line for fried pickles.  I still have no idea what fried Kool-Aid is.  Anyone???

I suppose you can fry ANYTHING


Of course, that gave me time out from shopping to talk to DIY bloggers Donna from Funky Junk Interiors and Sandra from Sawdust and Paper Scraps.  

Bloggers Converge on Bella Rustica!


The day ended all too quickly, of course.  My girlfriends and I were pleased with our modest haul of treasures.  As we pulled away in my pal’s suburban, I realized that we totally had room for that blue painted buffet . . .  Ah, well!  

friends at bella rustica

shopping Bella Rustica with two of my favorite people


I’ll leave you with one more unique find – a vintage rhinestone pin I saw and HAD to have!  Never seen anything like it!  I know it’s a bit flashy, but . . .

vintage rhinestone JESUS brooch


Later this week, I’ll take you on a tour of the FABULOUS Milky Way Manor.  Did any of you make it to Bella Rustica 2012?  Tell us what treasures you brought home!


  1. Jamie

    I’ve actually written a joke about deep-fried Kool-Aid…I had no idea it was an actual THING! Sad I couldn’t make it this year, but glad I got to see your picture recap!

  2. Lezlie

    I’m so glad you got those lamps. I saw them on Friday and thought of you. I completely forgot to mention them to you. Thanks for featuring Bella Rustica and AGAPE. Support like yours allows this non-profit to serve families throughout Middle Tennessee.

  3. Meleia

    I saw the lamps Saturday morning and tried to think of a place I could use them. They are lovely! Glad you have them.

  4. Barbara

    SO much inspiration and creativity in one place! Yes the buffet was beautiful but the lamps saved your back and are perfect, too!

  5. Dianne Tant

    I love the lamps…I missed them only because I went on Sat. I asked the vintage trailer guy about it and he said it is a clubhouse for his son.
    I did NOT like the venue….too hard on me for walking the grounds…the “booths” were too small and dark..crowded. I skipped entire booths for that reason.
    I did buy some one of a kind jewelry from the lady from Snellville GA

  6. Susanne

    The turquoise lamps are indeed treasures. I’m not a haggler either. I’ve always felt very uncomfortable in any situation requiring it, so I’m glad you had a friend who could help. I’m sure that you’ll find another piece comparable to the one you had envisioned for your client. With your skills, it will be even prettier. Not only do you have great style when it comes to decorating, but your “eye” carries with you in your clothing. Love the pearls with the rolled up jeans and sneaker look. Just thought I’d mention Have a great day!

    • Kristie Barnett

      Thanks, Susanne! That was my version of the “Lisa from Green Acres” look 🙂

  7. Kelly

    Looks like so much fun Kristie! I love those kind of days walking around looking at ‘interesting’ items. You can find the best things!

  8. Paula Van Hoogen

    It’s been so long since I really got to go anywhere, that this was a vicarious treat, Kristie! I love your whole outfit & your hair! Love the pin–(great for Christmas time coming too!) The side board–bet if they didn’t sell it, they’ll be glad to find you…and that cute travel trailer–wouldn’t that make a neat guest cottage? And—the barn itself,what a beautiful building! Thanks for taking us with you, Kristie–almost as good as being there with you :).

    • Kristie Barnett

      Aww, thanks Paula – wish you could have come along!

  9. Lisa

    How fun. I’m loving those lamps you got. I have the same issue with haggling so I would need a haggler friend with me as well.

  10. Katy

    I bought a ladies writing desk, a barn wood frame and a large chippy painted mirror….I loved the sale! Some of my favorite bloggers were represented there and I was excited to see their goods in person. Great lamps, btw!

  11. Sheila @sZinteriors

    Yay, I was so hoping for you that you got to talk to Donna / Funky Junk! And oh my, how your photos made my heart pound! I would so love to take this in…. But how to choose what to take home… Oh, how to get it home? Such dilemas 😉

  12. LLH Designs

    I didn’t get to go, but how CUTE are you?!?! My outdoor antiquing outfit is pretty blah. A baseball cap and a backpack are staples. 🙂

    • Kristie Barnett

      well, i admit it – i knew i’d be taking photos . . .

  13. Jeannie Casey

    I love those lamps and they would look great In my dining room. If you not using them at your house.


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