CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The items on display at the "Mixed Greens" arts and crafts show April 20 and 21 vary greatly, but they all have one thing in common: They're all made from recycled, repurposed or reused materials.
In celebration of Earth Day, which happens to be Habitat for Humanity ReStore's 12th anniversary, artists and craftsmen offer their creations at the Habitat ReStore at 301 Piedmont Road. Proceeds from the booth fees benefit Habitat for Humanity.
The idea for "Mixed Greens" came from Lesa Smith. She and her husband, Chuck, refinish furniture and create decorative pieces from recycled materials. They sell the items at their booth at the Somewhere in Time antiques mall in Nitro.
During their travels to antiques shows, the Smiths noticed some displays showcased creations made from recycled and repurposed items.
"I had an idea that we should do that here as well. I sent off the idea to [ReStore director] Amy [McLaughlin]. We brainstormed about it, and here it is," Smith said.
Smith will display chalkboards and message boards she makes from salvaged doors.
"I find a lot of my treasures at ReStore," said Smith, whose favorite salvaged items are chairs and chandeliers. "I've been turning trash into treasure for years."
The nearly 20 vendors who will participate in "Mixed Greens" were charged simply to bring items they made that contained an element of recycled and repurposed things.
"This is a great way for us to celebrate all that ReStore does, by showcasing how people use the items we have here. It's not just for contractors. People can see creative uses for items from ReStore," McLaughlin said.
Like Smith, Anna Copenhaver has long created new items from recycled materials. Copenhaver, an operating-room nurse at Saint Francis Hospital, said she's been crafting and sewing all her life. She honed her skills during her years as a Girl Scout leader for her three daughters. She still makes the birdhouses her Scouts built as a fundraiser.
She makes sturdy rag rugs from discarded, durable polyester clothing. She sews potholders and eyeglass and silverware holders from colorful scraps of fabric and makes aprons and reusable shopping bags from clothing she saved from her mother's home when she settled her estate.
"I have lots of ideas. Some are in my head and I see others in magazines," Copenhaver said. "I just hate to throw things away."
She separates salvaged dishes of differing sizes with a clear glass to make tiered dessert trays.
"I find lots of stuff at ReStore. These tiles are from here," she said about some tiles with ribbons attached as hangers. "My daughter will paint little sayings on them."
Her daughter, Caroline Copenhaver, will display the earrings she makes from beer bottle caps and buttons.
Other vendors such as Beth Carenbauer just recently began to give their creative sides free rein. Carenbauer creates wearable art from vintage jewelry and hardware.
She files the backs off vintage brooches and pairs them with bold, chunky chains into necklaces or into bracelets made with salvaged men's watchbands. One necklace features a belt buckle that frames three rows of repurposed beads. In another necklace, a vintage gold belt buckle frames a deconstructed brooch.