back to the drawing board.

Sometimes you just gotta go back to the drawing board.

Perhaps you remember this dresser that I painted back in February …

I loved how it turned out.  But then, I happen to be a fan of toile (that is the Simplicity transfer from re.design with prima).  Especially the black and white version.

It would seem that not very many other people are.  Or, at least that’s what I’m blaming for the fact that this dresser hasn’t sold.  Of course, it could be many other things, like COVID-19 for example.  Or it could be that I haven’t stayed on top of keeping ads for it posted and updated online.

Regardless, it has been collecting dust for six months now, so I decided it was time to re-think the design.

I began by sanding the transfer off the top two drawers.  I’ve found that sanding is the easiest way to remove a transfer (to read more about removing a transfer, check out this post).  For those of you who have wondered about the permanence of a transfer, I can say that once properly adhered they will stay on until you want to take them off.  And when you do want to take them off, you can do so, but you won’t be able to salvage the finish beneath them in the process.

So once I had the transfer (and most of the paint) removed, I simply repainted the top two drawers in the same paint I used on this piece back in February, Amulent paint from The Chippy Barn.

Back then, this color was called Cottage White.  For some reason, The Chippy Barn decided to rename it and now it’s called Country Cream, just in case you are looking for it.

Anyway, with very little effort, I then had a totally blank canvas on which to start over.

Quite some time ago I ordered a few IOD transfers.  You’ve seen some of the smaller ones that I’ve used on watering cans, a step stool, and a button box.  But I also ordered the larger version of their Le Petit Rosier (it’s 24″ x 33″).  I’d been waiting for just the right piece to use it on.

Turns out, this dresser is the one!

It took quite a bit of elbow grease to get this transfer applied.  I really had to work at each individual letter to make sure it was down before continuing to lift the backing.  And there are a lot of letters …

And I messed up on quite a few of them losing half of an ‘a’ or the top of an “L”.  But overall I think those mistakes just sort of blend in.

Once the transfer was on, I waxed over it lightly with clear wax and then put the same glass knobs back on.

The polka dotted paper I used to line the top two drawers continues to work with this new look as well.

Now, all that remains is to see whether or not the dresser will sell this time around.

And if it doesn’t, then I am going to find a way to keep it because I absolutely love it.

But if any of you locals want to snatch it up, check out my ‘available for local sale‘ page for more details.

a heartless hope chest.

A couple of weeks ago my niece asked if I would paint a trunk for her, and when she added that I could paint it any color I chose, I was in.

Actually, I say that, but you all know the truth.  I would have happily painted it for her even if she wanted it to be orange (or purple and green) or something.  But I was glad to be given carte blanche.

Now, those of you who are wood lovers (and if so, I can’t imagine why you are still following my blog) should look away at this point.  I will fully admit that the wood on this particular trunk was still in beautiful condition.  It is a cedar chest made by Lane.

That being said however, that lacy heart really had to go.

And as Mr. Q likes to say, it’s only paint.  If sometime down the road Kris decides she no longer wants the trunk painted, she can always strip it back down to bare wood and refinish it.  That wouldn’t be too difficult because it has such clean lines and no carved details.

Back in the day, a piece like this was called a hope chest.  I’m not sure whether or not my niece calls it that.  The Wikipedia definition of a hope chest is …

‘a piece of furniture traditionally used to collect items such as clothing and household linen, by unmarried young women in anticipation of married life.’

Hmmmm.  That feels like a pretty dated idea these days.  But I suspect that my niece was originally given this trunk to serve as a hope chest.  That heart kind of gives it away.

But I gave it a whole new look starting with a paint job using Dixie Belle’s Sawmill Gravy.

You know, when I first saw this color I really didn’t think it was anything special.  But since then I’ve used it on numerous pieces and I seem to keep coming back to it.  There is something about it that I love.  Maybe that it’s not a bright white, and it’s not quite grey or beige or cream either.  It’s just the perfect pale neutral.

To start, I sanded the chest and cleaned it with a damp rag.  Then I painted it with two coats of the Sawmill Gravy.

After giving it a light sanding with 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the finish, I added the bottom half of the Cosmic Roses transfer from re.design with prima to the front.

I’ve yet to see this particular transfer look bad over any color.  It’s amazing over pretty much any shade of blue …

It also looks great over a mid-tone grey like Dixie Belle’s French Linen

I’ve also seen others use it over yellow, or even some really dark colors, and it still looks fantastic.

But I happen to love it over this color in particular.

I happen to know that Cosmic Roses is one of my niece’s favorite transfers, so it was the perfect choice for her trunk.

Before I forget, I’ve got a really important q-tip for you guys today; don’t try to apply a transfer in your non-climate controlled carriage house workshop when there is a heat advisory.  I had a heck of a time applying the first sheet of this transfer (it comes in a total of six sheets, I used two full sheets and two half sheets on this trunk).  So much so that I gave up and had Mr. Q help me haul the trunk into the air conditioned house to complete the job.

Once everything (me, the trunk, and the transfer) cooled down, it went on perfectly fine.  So, lesson learned, 90 degrees combined with high humidity does not work for applying transfers.  Keep that in mind.

But, I finally got it applied.  Once that was done, I added a topcoat of clear wax to protect it.

So, what to you think?  A definitely improvement?  Or did you prefer the heart?

As always, thanks to Dixie Belle Paint Co for providing the paint and to re.design with prima for providing the transfer for this project.

If you’re looking for Dixie Belle products you can find them here.

If you’re looking for re.design with prima products you can find local retailers here, or online sources here.

another pair of chairs.

Considering the fact that I usually tend to avoid painting chairs, I seem to have been working on lots of pairs of chairs lately.  They seem to be finding their way to me despite my best efforts.  There was the pair of folding chairs that my neighbor, nnK, gave to me.

Then it was the pair of library chairs that I purchased at a garage sale.

And then there is the pair of chairs I purchased to turn into planters …

Although I still haven’t worked on them yet.

And today I’m sharing a pair of chairs that one of my co-workers, Jackie, found for me at a garage sale.

It’s another pair of folding chairs.  The original paint on one was black, and the other was a dark red.

The existing paint on these was so dry that it mostly came right off with the lightest touch of 220 grit sandpaper.  I sanded them to remove loose paint and then cleaned them with my Dawn/garden hose method to prep.

I decided to go dark with this pair in contrast to the previous pair of folding chairs that I painted in Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth, so this time I used their Midnight Sky.

I used the same stencil that I used on the library chairs.

By the way, I used Dixie Belle’s Putty for the stencil.  Because the Dixie Belle paint is fairly thick, I find that it works really well for stenciling.

Once all the paint was dry, I sanded them to distress and then finished them off with some Fusion antiquing wax.  I love the way the dark wax kept the distressed edges from looking too freshly sanded.

I wish I had a cute little bistro table to go with the chairs, that would be adorable on a veranda or in the garden.

But they are also perfect for holding a watering can full of hydrangeas.

One of them would be perfect next to the front door holding a potted plant.  It would also make a great alternative to a piano bench.

Regardless of where they end up being used, I think they are vastly improved with just a little bit of paint.

As always, thank you to Dixie Belle for providing the paint used for this project. If you’re looking for Dixie Belle products you can find them here.

And if you are local and could use a pair of vintage folding chairs, be sure to check out my available for local sale page for more details.

the rebel yellow rocker.

I recently decided to try out Dixie Belle’s Rebel Yellow.

It’s a pretty shade of pale yellow.  It reminds me quite a bit of Fusion’s Buttermilk Cream, which is the pale yellow on this stool …

It’s also very similar to Homestead House milk paint in Ocher, color no. 2 on these pots …

If you’re already a fan of either of those two paints and colors but you want to use a chalk style paint, or you’re just looking for a nice pale yellow, I’d recommend Rebel Yellow.  I always like to have a pale yellow on hand, just in case something comes along that is calling out for that color.

To test out the Rebel Yellow, I pulled out a child sized rocking chair that my niece found for me at the thrift store over two years ago.  Unfortunately, I neglected to get a ‘before’ photo of it.  Just picture it in a medium toned wood with a shiny poly finish, OK?

Here it is with a couple of coats of Rebel Yellow, some sanding to distress and a top coat of clear wax …

Sweet, right?

I added one of the IOD Classic Pots transfers to the back (always add the transfer before waxing) …

This is the same one that I used on that adorable button box I shared a few weeks back.

It seemed appropriate for a little kid sized rocker.

I staged it with some colorful vintage books and my favorite tiny teacup and saucer.

It would be adorable in a nursery.

It really fits in well in my guest room and pairs up nicely with my Jenny Lind bed that is painted in the Homestead House Ochre milk paint.

But I definitely didn’t need a kid size rocking chair in there.  So when one of my regular customers swung by the other night to pick up the step stool from Monday, she decided to take the rocking chair home too!

As always, thank you to Dixie Belle for providing the paint used on this rocker. If you’re looking for Dixie Belle products you can find them here.

the great river road, part 2.

I promised I’d share the rest of our trip along the Great River Road with you guys today, so here we go.

We started out day 2 of our trip in Winona, Minnesota.  Winona is quite charming and definitely has the feel of a college town.  The first item on our agenda after checking out of our hotel was to find Bloedow’s.

We’d heard they had the best donuts in town.  Normally when we stay in a hotel, we choose one that has a free breakfast included.  We did do that this time, but due to COVID the free breakfast was pre-packaged cold cereal and milk.  Not terribly appealing.

Instead we opted for donuts to go.  As you can see, even the bench outside was off limits for dining at Bloedow’s.  So we decided to drive up to the scenic overlook in Garvin Heights City Park to enjoy our breakfast with a view.

Even at 9 a.m. it was already turning into a sultry day, once again you can see that haze of humidity off in the distance of that photo above.

We were really just killing some time before we could head to The Watkins Co.

My sister had read that they had a museum and gift shop, and she loves to cook and bake so this was right up her alley.  As a safety measure, the museum was limiting capacity to no more than 4 people at a time, so we basically had the place to ourselves.  Granted, there wasn’t a line of people clamoring to get in, so we would have had it to ourselves anyway.

Mr. Q took a trip down memory lane because he sold Watkins Double Strength Imitation Vanilla Extract as a fund raiser when he was a boy scout.  He and his friend Timmy Johnson were the top sellers for their troupe, selling over 500 bottles of the stuff!

Personally my main interest in the Watkins museum were these fantastic vintage wooden totes that the salesmen used to carry their wares from door to door.

Much like the church shaped birdhouse in Old Frontenac, this would have made a perfect souvenir for me.  But alas, they were not for sale.  I wonder if I could somehow replicate that look?  I might see if Ken could make me one of these.

These cool old wood crates weren’t for sale either …

We did manage to score a few items in the gift shop though, including this cute little gift set that I put into the galvanized container that was one of the thrifting finds I shared last week.

The next item on our plan for the day was to check out the stained glass windows in town.  According to Debbie’s guide book, Winona is the stained glass capital of the U.S.  Yeah, I was skeptical too, but if you check out that link you’ll see it’s true.  Well, sort of true.  And sadly, I can neither confirm nor deny their claims because none of the public buildings were open due to COVID.  Once again, denied.

So instead we checked out a couple of shops downtown while Mr. Q enjoyed the local coffee shop.  We stopped off for a picnic lunch in a public park before hitting the road to continue south.  Before we head out of Winona though, I have to share this sign …

You can’t tell from the photo, but the paddle wheel turned in the wind.  It was really adorable.

Our next stop was meant to be The Bunnell House.

This gothic revival style house was built in the 1850’s.  I was fascinated by the fact that it was constructed out of white pine and has never been painted.  That sounds odd, but I’ve read that it wasn’t all that unusual to leave wood houses unpainted back then.  Obviously I wasn’t around, or everything would have been painted!

Unfortunately, our theme for the day once again reared its ugly head.

Yep, the Bunnell House was closed.  We were able to look at it through the fence, but that was about it.

So we moved on to the next stop on our itinerary, the Pickwick Mill.

But once again, you guessed it …

Closed.

Although we were disappointed to find both of these locations closed to visitors, I have to admit that the surrounding area was really lovely and we were traveling on some pretty scenic back roads.

We continued south to La Crescent, Minnesota where we crossed over the river to La Crosse, Wisconsin on this bridge …

Once again, there were several places we had wanted to explore in La Crosse that were closed.  We’d also planned on just walking around their charming historic downtown but as you can see in the photo above, a scary storm was blowing in.

We managed to make it into one shop before we decided it was best to head back to the car to ride out the storm.  Our plan after La Crosse was to head back up north on the Wisconsin side of the Mississippi.  We made it as far as Trempealeau, Wisconsin where we found a cute little motel overlooking the river.

I must have misplaced my camera at this point in our trip because I didn’t take a single picture in Trempealeau.  We visited the Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge and then ended the day with dinner at a traditional Wisconsin style supper club, Sullivan’s.

Quite honestly, by day 3 of our adventure we were all fairly disillusioned.  Not only were most of the places we wanted to see closed, but the weather continued hot and humid making it difficult to enjoy the outdoor activities that were available.  So we decided to head to some of the nearby Rustic Roads in a last ditch effort to salvage the last day of our trip.

If you’ll remember, we discovered the Wisconsin Rustic Road program last summer.  Since then we’ve driven on all of the ones that are within an hour or so of the Twin Cities.  So it seemed like a good plan to check out some that we hadn’t seen yet.

This plan truly had us driving around in circles in what seemed like the middle of nowhere, but we sure saw a lot of the back roads of Wisconsin!

Eventually we realized we needed to head back to civilization.  We ended up in Alma, Wisconsin at the Buena Vista Park overlook where we had a picnic lunch and made reluctant use of a truly disgusting outhouse.

But we also enjoyed the spectacular view from the overlook.

Well, maybe ‘enjoyed’ is the wrong word since both my sister and I are afraid of heights.  My niece was the only one brave enough to stand at the edge that was totally free of any kind of railing!  It makes my palms a little clammy just to look at that photo.

From Alma, we headed north and made our way back home to the Twin Cities.

At this point it’s probably obvious to all of you that this was not one of the greatest trips we’ve ever been on.  Of course, it has some pretty fierce competition for that title (like the best day ever in Invergordon, Scotland or our visit to Flåm, Norway).  We made a few mistakes in planning this one, like not checking to see what historic sites would be open (pretty much none) or making sure there would be things to do.  That being said, hotel accommodations and food were fairly easy to come by.  We totally enjoyed spending time with my sister and my niece, and we did see some beautiful scenery.  But hopefully by the next time we travel there will be a vaccine and life will have gotten at least a little bit more normal.

How about you?  Have you managed any travel this summer?  Or are you playing it safe and sticking close to home for now?

 

the step stool.

I did a little lunchtime garage saling last week with my friend/co-worker/picker/garage sale mentor Sue.  We were in my VW bug, so saying I managed to fill it up isn’t really saying much.  But I did find a few fun things including this step stool (which just barely fit in the trunk).

The stool was a bit beat up and the rubber treads on the steps were pretty grungy, but what I most needed to fix (in my humble opinion) was the shiny paint job.  I’m just not a fan of shine.

Step 1 (pardon the pun) was to remove the rubber treads from the steps.  Luckily they were not glued down, but just had little tacks a each corner holding them in place.

Next I sanded the whole piece to take off some of that shine.

It was fun to note that this stool had been several other colors in the past.  Clearly at one point the top was red, and there were hints of green, pink and yellow in other spots.

A good rule of thumb is that shiny surfaces of any kind will not hold onto new paint as well as dull surfaces.  So always give them a good scuff sanding to remove some of that shine.  In this case I also sanded the edges back a bit more than usual to remove that red because ultimately I didn’t want to see it when I distressed this piece after painting it.

I’ve been on a bit of a black and white kick lately, so I opted to keep its most recent color scheme and just freshen it up.  I used Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth on the base, and Midnight Sky on the top.  The beauty of this plan is that it only took one coat of paint for each.

And as you can see, when I sanded the edges to distress I was careful to not sand back as far as the red paint so none of it shows.

Originally I’d thought I would add a transfer or stencil to the top of the stool.  But after contemplating that for a bit, I realized that this piece would be perfect to use as a plant stand or a small side table.  In which case, there is likely to be stuff on the top that would cover it up.  So instead I decided to add a transfer to the steps.

I used the bottom 7″ or so of the IOD Le Petit Rosier transfer (the smaller version, which is 11″ x 14″).

I had this bottom section left over after I used the top section on a watering can.

If you’re getting that weird déjà vu feeling, that’s because I’ve done something similar before.  I used the top half of the transfer on a watering can, and then the bottom half on the ceiling fan light fixture in my piano room.  Back then I sold the watering can.  Later I realized that I wanted one like it for myself.  So I ordered the transfer again specifically to use it on one of my watering cans, another non-collection of mine.  Not only do I have some unpainted versions displayed outside …

But I also have a few painted ones in the pantry.  See them there up at the top?

One of them is this pretty blue one that I painted using Homestead House milk paint in a color called Maritime Blue

And you can barely see it, but the one furthest to the right is white with a red spout.  It has a fantastically chippy finish, and now it also has a transfer …

And this time I’m keeping it!

But I digress.  The real subject of this blog post was supposed to be the step stool.

Even though I didn’t make sweeping changes to the look of the stool, keeping the original black and white color scheme and swapping out the rubber treads for a transfer … I think the difference is night and day.

Don’t you?

As always, thank you to Dixie Belle for providing some of the products used for this project. If you’re looking for Dixie Belle products you can find them here.

And if you are local and want an adorable step stool, be sure to check out my available for local sale page for more details.

a classic mid-mod blonde.

I bet you are all thinking I’ve completely given up on painting large pieces of furniture these days, and in some ways that is true.  I’ve mainly been working on small items, and when I do work on furniture it’s smaller pieces of furniture too.  Things like the folding chairs I shared a week ago, or the pair of library chairs.

Today’s piece is no exception.  My neighbor, nnK, gave me this nightstand.  She had purchased a larger dresser and the seller gave her this matching piece as a freebie, so she passed it on to me.

It’s just your classic mid-mod blonde.

It was pretty beat up, which made it a good candidate for painting.  I started out by re-gluing some veneer, patching some spots of damaged veneer using Dixie Belle’s Mud, cleaning it well and then painting it in Dixie Belle’s Bunker Hill Blue.

I finished it with Dixie Belle’s flat clear coat.  Then I cleaned up the drawer pulls with some soap and water and put them back on.

The hardest part of this project was trying to get some decent photos of this color!  I tried going for an industrial vibe inside the carriage house …

Then when I didn’t like any of those photos, I tried taking some outside …

Slightly better?  Maybe?  OK, not really.

What I really need is a fabulous mid-mod bedroom to use for staging this piece, but I don’t happen to have one of those.  So this will have to do.

In addition to staging problems, I was also having technical difficulties with PicMonkey last night while trying to edit these photos.  For some reason I simply could not get all of the fonts to load, including the one I usually use for my watermark.

Ultimately I threw in the towel.  I used a different font and called it good, shut the computer down and went for a walk with Mr. Q.  It was a beautiful evening and I figured it was better to spend it enjoying a walk rather than fighting with my computer.

See?  Like I said, a beautiful evening.  I’m glad I enjoyed it with Mr. Q, even if it does mean a substandard blog post to share with you all today.

As always, thank you to Dixie Belle for providing the products used on this mid-mod nightstand. If you’re looking for Dixie Belle products you can find them here.

And if you are local and like the looks of this piece despite the less than stellar photos, be sure to check out my available for local sale page for more details.

the great river road, day 1.

As I’ve mentioned before, later this year Mr. Q and I were supposed to take an amazing vacation.  It was a cruise starting in London and stopping at eight fabulous ports of call in Europe.  Back in March, when I last wrote about it, we were still optimistic that we’d be able to go.  It wasn’t until early May that Princess officially canceled the cruise.  It didn’t take long after that to realize that we most likely weren’t going to be taking any sort of vacation that involved air travel this year.  So that just left us with either a stay-cation (staying at home and visiting local spots) or a road trip.

We were really itching to do some sort of getaway though.  My sister and my niece also wanted to get out of town for a bit of a break.  So we decided to plan a road trip.

After a little research, we settled on exploring some of The Great River Road.  The Great River Road is a series of state and local roads that follow the Mississippi River all the way from its headwaters in Minnesota, to where it flows into the Gulf of Mexico in Louisiana.  So last week the four of us set off on our adventure.  We’d put together a loose itinerary for the first day, and we figured we’d just play it by ear from there.  We just had one rule, that we would stop anywhere that looked like it could be interesting.

So we loaded up the car and headed south on highway 61.  Our first stop was the town of Redwing, MN.  After refreshing ourselves with breakfast at Perkins, my sister wanted to visit the Pottery Museum of Redwing.  We arrived there only to find that it was closed because it was Monday.  Dang!  Little did we know that ‘sorry, we’re closed’ was going to be the theme of our little adventure.

So, we piled back in the car and considered our next move.  Since it was now around noon, and there was a heat advisory because it was in the upper 80’s with 1,000% humidity (or at least that’s what it felt like), we decided a hike up Barn Bluff was not in the cards for us.  So instead we drove up to Memorial Park which also offered a view of the city without as much sweating required (you can see the haze of humidity in the air in this next photo).

It also offered a porta-potty (a.k.a. portable toilet, jiffy john, what do they call them where you live?).  Another discovery we’d made at this point in our journey was that many of the state run rest stop facilities were closed.  We definitely had to use some very questionable toilets during our trip.

After checking out the rest of the park, we piled back into the car and headed to Old Frontenac.  Old Frontenac is a small village along the river that was established in the 1850’s and hasn’t seen a whole lot of change over the years.  There aren’t any tourist shops or places to get ice cream, but there are a bunch of houses that are over 100 years old.

Obviously, this stop was one of my picks.  I just love looking at old houses, and this was a whole village of them.

Winona Cottage (below) was built in 1889 as a wedding present for Israel Garrard’s son and his wife.

Gosh, getting a house as a wedding present, and not just any house but a gorgeous house overlooking the Mississippi River, wouldn’t that be nice!

  Most of the homes in town were well maintained and obviously lived in, but this one was appeared to be in need of some TLC …

It’s called Locust Lodge and was built in 1854.  I did a little google research and learned that it is owned by a woman who lives in Boston and has been unoccupied for years.  I think it goes without saying that the house is probably haunted!

Almost all of the houses in Old Frontenac were white with dark green shutters …

which led me to wonder if there were strict rules about using historic colors or something, but there was also one lone purple house …

Is this a house where rebels live?  Actually, according to the info I found online this is the Lowell House Bed & Breakfast, but I couldn’t find a website for them.  So I’m not sure that it still operates as a B & B.

Before we leave Old Frontenac I just have to share this little detail.  One house had a birdhouse that matched the town’s old church.  Here’s the life size church …

And here’s the birdhouse …

How cool is that?  If only they’d had a gift shop selling these birdhouses, I’d definitely have snatched one up as a unique souvenir.

If any of you that live in the Twin Cities haven’t been to Frontenac, I’d definitely recommend it for a day trip.  You can visit the old town (here’s a link to a self guided walking tour that you can download), and also visit Frontenac State Park to do some hiking.  You could also stop off in Redwing for some antiquing, or a nice lunch.

After exploring the town and checking out a gorgeous field of wildflowers …

we hopped back in the car and continued to head south towards Lake City.  We had planned on exploring there a bit, but there was road construction that detoured us around a bit and we never did make it back to Lake City.

Instead, we followed some advice I’d found online to check out a collection of restored historic windmills nearby.  So we drove a bit out into the country on roads with views that mainly looked like this …

And here is what we found …

So … I have to admit … when I read that this guy had a collection of restored windmills on his property I was picturing this in my mind …

Which I now realize was totally ridiculous of me.  We were in Minnesota, not the Netherlands.  Talk about wishful thinking.

After that little detour we continued on to Kellogg, Minnesota where we stopped off at Lark Toys which apparently was named one of the top 10 best toy stores in the world by USA Today.

It’s not just a toy store though, there is also a toy museum.

You know you are getting older when the toys you played with are now in a museum.

I had that blue Easy Bake oven when I was a kid (upper shelf, left).

They also have an amazing carousel with the most fantastical creatures.

Each animal is handcarved out of Minnesota basswood.

Isn’t the otter totally adorable?

I think my favorite might have been the flamingo though.

After buying some fudge at the gift shop we headed back to the car and drove the rest of the way to Winona where we found a hotel for the night and some down home cookin’ for dinner.  Mr. Q had liver and onions (his favorite, gack!) and I had a hot turkey open faced sandwich with mashed pototoes.  You can’t get much more down home than that.

I hope you enjoyed checking out some of the sights along the Great River Road with me today.  Have any of you traveled any portion of the route?  Or maybe you have another road trip that you can recommend.  If so, I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

thrifting finds.

It seemed to be the general consensus that once thrift stores opened up again after the COVID shut down that they would be packed to the gills with fabulous finds.  I believe the thinking behind that was that people had nothing better to do while sheltering at home, so they were cleaning out closets, attics, garages, etc.  Once the thrift stores opened back up, I also heard tales of cars lining up at Goodwill to donate items.

So I was optimistic when my sister picked me up to head to a few thrift shops last week.

Unfortunately, I did not find a bunch of fabulous stuff.  I really didn’t see piles of extra items on the shelves.  In fact, one of the Goodwill stores we visited had semi-bare shelves.  My sister speculates that they don’t have enough staff working to get the newly donated stuff out to the shelves very quickly, which is certainly a good possibility.

I did come home with a couple of fun things though, so I thought I’d share them with you today.

I always hope to find vintage items while thrifting, but more often than not I only find ‘new’ things, like this adorable jug.

How cute is that?

I also purchased this Hearth & Hand with Magnolia recipe box.  I dressed it up a bit with a Classic Vintage Label transfer.

Also under the heading of ‘new-ish’ is this galvanized container thingie with wooden handles.

I painted the wooden handles in Dixie Belle’s The Gulf, and then added a fragment from a transfer that seemed totally appropriate.  This container is going to work perfectly for a birthday present I’m putting together for someone, but I haven’t given it to her yet so I have to keep that under wraps for now.

This faux copper french flower bucket got a paint job too.  I painted it in Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth and then added a transfer from IOD’s Classic Pots.

I may need some sort of intervention on this next item because I’m dangerously close to starting a new non-collection.

This is Oxford Stoneware.  It’s not terribly valuable or anything, but isn’t it the prettiest shade of blue?  As you can see I already had one just like it and I keep my pens and pencils in it on my desk.  It paired really nicely with my blue & white Staffordshire pitcher.  I really don’t need a second one though, so I’ll probably take it in to the shop to sell.

Last, but not least is this … um, what do you call these?  A mini-greenhouse?

In addition to being quite dirty, the off-white metal parts were weirdly discolored.  You can’t see that very well in the photo, but in person it was quite obvious.  I’m guessing this item sat in a sunny window too long.  Also, those silk flowers leaned a bit towards the tacky side.

So I started by removing the three flower pots.  Then I decided it would work best to spray paint the metal framework and that meant either taping off all of the glass, or removing it first as well.  Luckily all of the glass was held in place by little bendable metal tabs, so it was fairly simple to take it all out.

Once I’d done that, it was simply a matter of spray painting the metal frame, washing all of the glass, and then putting it back in without breaking any of it.  I always hold my breath a bit during that phase.  I’d hate to break a piece of the glass.

But I managed to get it all back in safely.  Once that was done, I pulled out some transfers to add some pizzazz.  I’d had such good results with the bee transfer on the bird cage that I shared recently, so I decided another bee was in order.  The bee transfer is part of the Classic Vintage Labels set from re.design with prima.

The “Curiosities Collector” wording is from a Tim Holtz transfer set that I found at Hobby Lobby last week.

I’m sure you’ll be seeing those metal tags on a few things soon too.

If I could find a magic lamp that would grant me three wishes, I think one of them would be that Tim Holtz would make larger versions of his rub-on’s.  They would be so fabulous on furniture, if only they were bigger.

I also used some of the vintage French ephemera paper that my friend Terri gave me to line the inside, along with some more October Afternoon scrapbook paper.

I didn’t put the three metal pots back inside.  This way you can use you imagination when it comes to deciding what to display inside.

I’ve added a pair of vintage books and an old black and white photo held up by a flower frog.  That’s my grandparents by the way, with their two older children in front of their house in south Minneapolis.  I’m guessing this would have been taken in the late 1920’s.  My mom didn’t come along until 1940, her brother and sister were in their teens when she was born.

I’m working on another pile of stuff to take into Reclaiming Beautiful and a few of these items will be added to the stack.

I’m afraid I am not going to manage another week of 5 posts this week, but I am going to throw in a post on Wednesday about the road trip we took last week with my niece and sister so be sure to stay tuned for that.  In the meantime, how about you?  Have you been thrifting lately?  Has there been an influx of goodies at your local thrift store?

the vintage medicine cabinet.

First things first, congrats to Jennefer!  I drew her name as the winner of the red, white and blue giveaway from last Friday.

Now, on with the final post for this week.  I have to admit, sometimes I make choices that aren’t financially savvy.  I can get away with it because I’m just doing this as a hobby.  But if I was really trying to make a profit, or run a business, I’d be in trouble.  I know lots of you out there are working hard to do that and you probably just shake your head when I share projects like the one I’m sharing today.

But sometimes I just have to save a piece, even though I know I’m going to invest more time and money than it might be worth.  Maybe I should think of it in terms of emotional value rather than financial value, because I found the end result of today’s project really satisfying.

OK, so let’s start at the beginning.  I saw an ad on Facebook Marketplace for a pair of really beat up old chairs that would make perfect planter chairs so I made arrangements to go see them.

I seriously should have just walked away after looking at the chairs.  They were in really awful shape, they were filthy dirty and they were totally overpriced at $10 each.  Seriously, even if they had been free at the curb I think most sensible people would have passed them by.  At a minimum I should have bargained on the price.

But the sellers were super nice, and we got to chatting, and we’d come all that way (OK, well, really just to the next town over), so I bought them.  At that point the sellers must have seen ‘sucker’ written on my forehead, because the gentleman said ‘hey, I have some more old stuff you might be interested in, like this old cabinet …’

And after a bit of searching, he pulled this out of the pole barn.

As if the outside wasn’t grungy enough, just check out the inside …

Ewwwww.  Good grief, why would I take this on?  But there was just something about it that appealed to me.

The initial asking price was $20, but this time I at least had enough sense to bargain a bit.  I paid $15 which was still a bit high considering the condition.

That being said, I’m sure most some of you will agree that it definitely had potential.

So I brought it home, and washed it up using my Dawn Powerwash and the hose.

Next, I painted the inside using Dixie Belle’s Gravel Road 

I used Dixie Belle’s flat clear coat over the Gravel Road.  The dark grey is the perfect backdrop for a few pieces of ironstone.

I would have liked to salvage the original chippy paint finish on the outside of the cabinet, but it was just too grungy looking.  So instead I chose to use milk paint to refresh it without completely covering the entire piece.  I used Sweet Pickins milk paint in a color called Window Pane, a white with a grey undertone.

When I’m working on a piece like this, and I want it to retain its chippy, worn look, I try to be selective with my application of paint.  I avoid painting areas where the paint is totally chipped away …

I do end up allowing some of the original color to show (the cream colored areas), but overall the piece looks less dirty and more simply chippy and worn.

So, let’s talk about that transfer.  This is another section of the IOD Label Ephemera transfer that I used on yesterday’s card box.  Well, technically it’s two sections that I pieced together to fit on this cabinet.

Now, I think we all know that I don’t speak or read French.  So for all I know the wording on this makes absolutely no sense.  But it looks cool, and that works for me.

I also added a transfer to the inside of the door.

That is pieced together from the re.design with prima Ephemera Collector transfer.

This cabinet is meant to be hung on a wall.  If it’s just sitting on a table top it has a tendency to tip forward when the door is opened, so it has to be anchored in place somehow.

But I think it would be perfect for hanging on the wall in a bathroom.

Of course, you probably wouldn’t fill it with ironstone in that case.  Or maybe you would.  Who am I to judge?

For now I haven’t decided on the fate of this cabinet.  I kind of love it.  I’ll be carrying it around my house today trying to find a wall to hang it on.  I’m not sure if I can bear to part with this one.  You’ll just have to stay tuned to find out whether or not I found a spot for it.  In the meantime, have a great weekend!