Pink Jesus, Vintage Jewelry, and Bella Rustica

Although it was hot as blazes, the 2013 Bella Rustica Vintage Marketplace was THE place to be this weekend in middle Tennessee!  With twice as many vendors as last year, this year’s sale was full of vintage treasures and one-of-a-kind finds.

bella rustica 2013

Melanie G Photography 


I brought a cart to load up with my own treasures, of course.  There was so much to see and so many crafty ideas to soak up.  My friend, Melanie of Melanie G Photography, joined me in the hunt and took gorgeous photos along the way.

melanie g photography

Melanie G,  psyched to shop!


Bella Rustica hosts vendors who sell vintage wares, upcycled items, and brand-new crafted goods.  I bought a few pillows upcycled from vintage bedding and hankerchieves, as well as a vintage folding table and pair of chairs reupholstered in retro oilcloth from the Junque Sisters booth.

vintage pillows

Melanie G Photography


Vintage jewelry has always been a weakness of mine!  These bracelets are made from vintage earrings by Lucy McClure, artist and owner of Bel Monili – Vintage Reborn.  Each is one-of-a-kind, and I snatched up one for me and a few more for gifts.

vintage upcycled jewelry

Melanie G Photography


Ecco Bella, a “spa fashion boutique” in downtown Franklin, TN had some beautiful clothing and jewelry for sale.  I fell HARD for this necklace:

vintage pearls

Melanie G Photography


When I spotted this vintage tole chandelier in the Vintage Styled Life booth, I knew it was meant for me to find it.  I have its twin hanging in my closet – to have a pair of anything vintage is always a SCORE, plus the one in my closet came from the former home of one of my dear friends who moved away to Texas a few years ago (which makes it extra-special to me).

tole chandelier

tole chandelier – photo by Melanie G Photography


Speaking of pairs, I also found a pair of standing candelabras (like the kind we rented for our wedding).  I came thisclose to buying these, but I couldn’t think of the “perfect place” for them in my home.  So I reluctantly walked away . . . 

standing candelabra

Melanie G Photography


I ran into my pal, Jenny, from JBS Merchantile, who had one of the prime booths in the interior portion of the marketplace.  Jenny and her husband (who live right here in middle Tennessee) specialize in antique typography, papercrafting kits, and flea market ephemera, and they travel all over the country peddling their vintage wares.

jenny bowlin and kristie barnett Jenny Bowlin and me, photo by Melanie G Photography



The thing I love about flea markets, besides finding special treasures, is finding inspiration!   Like the idea of painting these vintage suitcases with chalkboard paint:

chalkboard ideas



This drama queen gave me more ideas for dressing up my own mounted taxidermy deer.  My deer has jewelry already, but I love the crown and gold picture frame!

framed deer

Melanie G Photography 


Seeing how vendors merchandise their wares in vignettes really illustrates how much more impact collections have when grouped, like these vintage clocks:

vintage clocks

Melanie G Photography



I loved these handmade signs:


 Melanie G Photography


The best part of the day was spending time with my friend, Melanie.  Sometimes I get so busy that I just don’t work in enough space for girltime.

melanie g and kristie barnett

Melanie G and me


Melanie scored some fun photography props to use for when she does children’s portrait sessions.

vintage toys

Melanie G Photography



So here is our haul.  It’s mostly mine, actually!  So many fun treasures, so little time . . .

flea market treasures

Melanie G Photography



turquoise baseball mitt

Melanie G Photography



vintage tole chandelier

Melanie G Photography



My favorite find of the day?  This pink Jesus statue from The Feathered Nest:

pink jesus statue

Melanie G Photography



the decorologist

Melanie G Photography 



Good times, good times.  I’ll be back next year, that’s for sure!

the decorologist kristie barnett


What did you think of my finds?  If you happened to make it to Bella Rustica, tell us what you got!

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28 thoughts on “Pink Jesus, Vintage Jewelry, and Bella Rustica

  1. phyllis says:

    I was there…it was SO awesome…and SO hot 😀
    What a venue! Hope they land there again next year.
    I got a frenchy blue OLD frame with a silk blue bow.
    I am a vendor (Merci) at the Hayloft at Port Royal, coming up
    in October! Please share the word and come 🙂

  2. Shannon Hickman says:

    I went to Bella Rustica this weekend for the first time, and I admit that my expectations were kinda low because my style is very traditional. WOW! What a FUN SURPRISE!! I loved every minute of it! There were tons of ideas that transcend home décor styles. Like you said, the lovely vignette arrangements of simple, yet elegant, collectibles were amazing. I came home with several cool things plus lots of ideas and plans. Bonus — Bella Rustica supports AGAPE, which has helped my family with counseling in the past. Terrific event all around!!!

  3. Francie says:

    Enjoyed seeing all of your great finds! I want to know where in your house you have the deer and what jewelry it is wearing. I have fought my husband about hanging his deer at our house (he has a hunting camp where they can go), but maybe I need to try thinking of this in a different way. Would love to see pictures, and if you already have a blog post with this, please point me to it. Thanks, Kristie, and have a great week!

  4. CityGirlCountryBloke says:

    This makes me want to drive to middle Tennessee from Maryland next year! I love all your finds and can’t wait to see how you use them. Covering the suitcases in chalkboard paint is brilliant! And I love the pink Jesus too!

  5. Paula Van Hoogen says:

    Kristie, It’s YOU! You’re the best thing at that flea market! You look so cute with your hair tied up and your green shirt & jewelry is as pretty as anything there! What a great day–LOVE the BASEBALL GLOVE!!!

  6. Barclay Stone says:

    Looks like a fun day! I’m LOVING the Bel Monili bracelets that you photographed and the Ecco Bella necklace! It’s probably best for my pocketbook that I didn’t know about this!! Only a 3.5hour drive away…..
    maybe next year! 😉

  7. Susie says:

    Kristie, I saw that card table! Loved it! I have an old one that I think I will redo the same way with oilcloth. So many cool ideas and I did manage to pick up a few things. Plus I got to go down memory lane by touring the mansion. Ray and I were married there 13 years ago! Legacy Farms is a lovely venue.

  8. Jayme says:

    My friend Susie B. and I came, saw and purchased! I went home with a burlap wreath and burlap mesh roll (with thoughts of Christmas rolling around in my head) and Susie got some monogrammed linen towels. We really enjoyed our first trip to Bella Rustica-although summer seemed to rear its weary, um, sweaty head! We toured the house (love the tortoise shell kitty that greeted everyone!) and along with a trip to the Nashville Flea Market on Saturday, made a true girl’s weekend of it! Looking forward to the Pop Up Barn show in October-Kristie-I’ll be sure to attend your presentation and hopefully get to say “hello” this time!

  9. lesley says:

    Thanks so much for this post. I wanted to go so badly but got sick. I wanted to meet the owner of Bel Monoli and her friend from Juxtapostion as I follow them on FB> So glad you had fun!

  10. Pingback: Taxidermy Deer Decor

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