We love things that are fun; things that make people stop and smile. We love the unexpected.

By now those who have followed Dusty Old Thing for very long know that we are minimalists at heart. We love antiques, but we tend to like a sparse display…unless the display is wild and colorful and it, itself, is the focus of attention. We’re generally not much for yard art except for urns and benches and fountains and statutes and strange columns and whirlygigs and old water pumps and hitching posts and carriage steps and anything iron…oh, well, it’s obvious we’re not THAT minimalist.

Of course no one advocates putting good antiques outside where they could be harmed by the elements or “re-purposing” that ruins a piece. But that leaves a world of room for creativity using things that are no longer serviceable and that might, otherwise, end up junked. They can turn heads, bring back memories, start conversations, bring smiles and provide new homes for flowers and birds.

Here are a few we’ve selected from our readers’ recent posts. We hope you like them. Our thanks go to Judy, Donna, Gypsy and Carol for sharing them with us all.

from: Judy Zahn: “A photo from Judy”

from: Donna F Wheeler: “This plow belonged to my husband’s granddad. The handles are not original but we do have them. His dad mounted it on the board. He has since past on and now we are pleased to display it in our flower bed. “

from: Gypsy Obermiller: “This water cooler used hold cool water every summer at my great-grandparent’s cabin. The inside is now not safe to use for drinking, so I’ve planted basil seedlings in it. I can’t wait until they’re tall enough to smell!”

from: Carol Slavens: “Old news paper holder now to become a birds new home.”