breakfast and lunch.

I purchased one of those IKEA Bekvam step stools at a garage sale a few weeks back.  Normally I’m not a fan of IKEA furniture, but in this case the price was right (at $3).  I knew it would be cute painted up.

I have to admit though, I wasn’t expecting to blog about this one.  I just thought I’d paint it quick and take it to Reclaiming Beautiful to sell.  Nothing fancy, it would be an easy project.  So I didn’t really take a ‘before’ picture of it, but then it turned out so fantastic that I had to share it with you guys.

So now I’m borrowing a ‘before’ photo from the web.  Try imagining this stool, but dirtier and marred with some spots of paint (it must have been used in a workshop) …

I wanted to paint the entire thing using Fusion’s Buttermilk Cream.  This is my favorite shade of pale yellow.

But when I pulled out my jar of this color it had only the smallest amount of paint left at the bottom.  So sad.

Therefore I just used the Buttermilk Cream on the tops of the stool, and I used Fusion’s Limestone on the legs.  These two colors make a lovely combo, I’ve used them before on a couple of pieces.

Once the paint was dried I pulled out Prima Marketing’s new Re.Design transfer called Delicious Menu.

I used parts of this transfer last week to dress up an old metal picnic basket and a couple of other things like this old enamelware coffee pot.

I simply pieced together different words that would fit on the stool and make some kind of sense.

Once I got started I couldn’t seem to stop.

What can I say, I just love adding words to things.

Super cute, am I right?

One last bit of info.  I often see people asking what is used to ‘seal’ the transfers.  I use different things depending on what paint I’ve used.  In this case, since Fusion is so durable and has its own built in top coat, I just add a little bit of Fusion clear wax over the transfer itself and over the raw edges where I sanded the paint away to distress the piece.

So how about you, are you a fan of things with words on them?  What do you think of this Bekvam stool update?

prospecting for gold.

I can’t remember if I mentioned it or not, but the weekend before last was a total bust for garage sale finds.  My sister and I went to the Nokomis neighborhood sales.  Usually Nokomis is fabulous for us.  Not only have I found amazing things there, like this haul of vintage cameras from 2015 …

But Nokomis is also the neighborhood where our parents grew up, so it has some sentimental appeal.

This year it was a total bust though.  I came home with very little.  Most of the sales were really junky.  I’m always tempted to hand out flyers for a trash hauling service when the sales are that bad.

After that experience I was a little reluctant to head out again this past Saturday, especially when the forecast called for rain.  Plus the only neighborhood sale I could find was Prospect Park and there were only 26 sales (not the 80+ of my usual neighborhood sales).

However, this was the last weekend of sales before the July hiatus.  Neighborhood sales won’t pick up again until mid-August.  So I thought we should just go for it.  As an added bonus, not only was Prospect Park having their neighborhood garage sale but they combined it with a free garden tour (there was also a home tour, but you had to buy a ticket of some kind so we skipped that part).

Basically not only did we get to dig through people’s cast off items looking for treasures, but we also had free reign to snoop around in their gardens too.

I can’t even think of a better way to spend the morning, can you?

Especially when the neighborhood in question looks like this.

And as it turned out, it never did rain.  Instead it was sunny and the perfect temperature (around 70).

Our strategy was to hit all of the sales first, and then take the garden tour.  That did have us retracing our route for some parts of the garden tour, but the early bird gets the worm at garage sales so we couldn’t be lingering in any gardens until after the sales.

We mostly filled up my sister’s SUV.  Unfortunately I only have one bad, blurry photo to share of everything we found.

I accidentally switched off the Auto Focus on my camera without realizing it.  Oops.

But you can sort of see that I found a pair of old motel chairs, a pretty little walnut washstand and some fun galvanized pieces.

I also purchased a trio old canning jars …

They didn’t actually have any lids, but I just happened to buy a set of 5 zinc Ball jar lids at the junky Nokomis sales the prior week.  It’s as if it was meant to be.

I don’t know much about old Ball jars, but I’m pretty sure these are quite old based on the shape and the quality of the glass.  I found an online article on how to date a Ball jar, but it only helped with one of my jars.

Apparently the block letters for “BALL” were only used from 1895 to 1896.

If there are any mason jar experts out there and you know anything about these jars, I’d love for you to leave a comment!

I also purchased this Perfection Clothes Drier.

If you aren’t familiar with what this is, you hang it on the wall as shown and then when you want to dry clothes, the ‘arms’ lift up horizontally to the floor and you can hang wet clothes on them.

I’m going to clean it up and then carry it around my house looking for the perfect spot to hang it.  If I can’t find one, then I’ll take it to Reclaiming Beautiful to sell.

I also couldn’t resist a random pile of pretty plates.  What can I say?  It’s a sickness.

I already have a stack of pretty plates that I don’t know what to do with out in the photo cottage.  Last year I sold quite a few plates with words on them at Reclaiming Beautiful, but this year they aren’t selling at all.  They look adorable tucked into a planter or window box, see …

This will be the 4th season that I’ve had this one in my copper boiler planter and it is holding up perfectly.

I may have to try coming up with some sort of marketing idea so people realize that these plates aren’t meant to display in a cabinet, but rather to stuff into a planter or hang outside in the garden.

I’ve already added words to one of them using Prima Marketing’s Words to Live By transfer set …

But I may just have to keep the platter with the simple blue edge.

Isn’t it pretty paired with some ironstone?

You may have noticed that oval framed photo on the chair in the first blurry photo of my haul from Prospect Park.  I’m generally not a huge fan of those typical old portraits that are framed like this, but take a closer look at this one.

Isn’t that awesome?  I kinda want to live there, don’t you?

I’m going to clean it up and possibly paint the frame and then we’ll see what happens with this one.  Will I find a spot for it, or will I have to let it go?

And more importantly, will I manage to avoid breaking that convex glass in the process?

After we filled up the SUV, we checked out the gardens and continued to admire this lovely neighborhood.

I also noticed that the map showed a Frank Lloyd Wright house in the neighborhood so we decided to check that out before heading home.

The Willey House was built by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1934.  It’s a privately owned home, and unfortunately wasn’t participating in the garden tour so we couldn’t go snooping around like we wanted to.  It was still interesting to see just this much of it though and to read about it online.

My sister and I definitely had a great time prospecting for gold in Prospect Park.  We may not have found any actual gold, but we certainly came home with some fab finds.  This neighborhood is definitely going back on the list for next year!

the botanical cupboard.

I’ve been painting furniture for a very long time.  Since the early 90’s in fact, when Rachel Ashwell made painted furniture a hot commodity.  This was way before I knew about things like chalk paint or milk paint.  Back then I painted everything with plain old latex, including my black cupboard which has been used in a couple of different spots in my house, most recently on the front porch.

It made a great display piece for my vintage camera non-collection.

But then last winter I restyled my living room and I moved a bunch of my cameras into the shelves in there which left the black cupboard mostly empty.

That had me feeling all Marie-Kondo-ish.  You know, discard everything that doesn’t spark joy.  And I thought, gosh, maybe I’ll just touch up the paint and sell this cupboard because it no longer brings me joy.

Then Prima Marketing sent me those samples of their new Summer 2019 release transfers including this one called Beautiful Botanist.

Now let me preface this next part by saying I’ve never particularly been a fan of the idea of using a transfer inside a cupboard with glass doors.  I’ve always thought that doing so makes the cupboard less useful.  After all, the purpose of the glass doors is to allow you to display something inside on the shelves.  And putting stuff on the shelves pretty much blocks whatever is behind it, right?

But, as you know, my motto is never say never.  Just when I’m convinced that I’m right about something like this I generally manage to prove myself wrong.

So I decided to try this transfer at the back of the black cupboard to give it a little more personality before selling it.

First things first, I repainted the inside of the cupboard.  The shade of grey that I used the last time I painted it had a bit too much green in it.  I’m afraid I can’t really tell you what the color is that I replaced it with, it’s a custom mix of chalk paint that I had left over from a previous project.  I felt like this color would work well with the transfer.

Applying the transfer was just a bit complicated because the shelves in this cupboard are not removable.  The transfer comes in 3 pieces though, and I used it that way here.  I had to trim just a little bit off the middle piece and several inches off the bottom piece.  But because of those shelves, you really can’t tell that any of the design is missing.

Application was further complicated by the fact that the back of the cupboard is not flat.

I solved that problem by using a razor blade to slice the transfer vertically on either side of each raised section (like I did with the picnic basket I shared a while back).

The application of this transfer would have been a lot easier if I’d had Prima’s new Transfer Tool.

I didn’t get the package with the tool in it until after I’d already finished this cupboard though.  I have used it since I got it though and it’s pretty slick.

Once I had the transfer in place, I was contemplating what to use to stage the photos of the cupboard.  I wanted something that would work with the botanical theme of the transfer, and then I remembered my clay pots.  Perfect!

I also added a few old books, a rusty garden ornament and an old wooden radio.

As I was playing around with stuff, I was loving the way it looked more and more.

In fact, dare I say it?  It was even starting to spark a little joy.

And then I noticed the piece de resistance … did you already notice it?

Yep, there it is.  Our name.  Just like it was meant to be.

So, as you’ve probably guessed by now, I’m going to keep this cupboard on my front porch after all.

I added a couple of vintage suitcases to the lower shelves, and they fit perfectly.

I ended up having to take the glass out of the doors to get some good photos without glare, and I think I love it even more this way.

As for whether or not it’s worthwhile to put a transfer in the back of a cupboard, I’ll let you judge for yourself.

But personally, I am loving it so much that now I have to keep this one.

Thank you to Prima Marketing for sharing this new transfer with me.  If you’re wondering where to buy this transfer or the transfer tool, check out Prima’s ‘where to buy‘ page.

out to lunch.

I’m sharing another of the brand new 2019 Summer release transfers from Prima Marketing’s line today.  This one is called Delicious Menu.

This is definitely another one of those transfers that you can use on a ton of different projects, much like one of my other favorites, Everyday Farmhouse.

Just think of the possibilities!

In fact, I’ve already pulled together three quick and easy projects using this one, so let’s get started shall we?

First, I picked up this vintage metal picnic basket at a garage sale last year sometime.  I love these old metal baskets.

This one was in kinda rough shape though.  A bit rusty and crusty.  Which is probably why it was only $2.

Initially I thought I would just sell it ‘as is’ as a planter (because obviously, how cute would this be filled with red geraniums?), but after I received this transfer I knew I could add a little bit more.

It was super simple to cut out the sections I wanted to use and rub them onto the basket.

Next, I added some holes to the bottom of the basket so that it would have good drainage for plants.  It’s easy to do this with a drill, if you have one, but you can also just pound a nail in which is just as quick (or even quicker if the battery on your cordless drill is dead).

Then I just filled the container up with some potting soil and some pretty annuals.

I see a lot of people online asking whether or not the transfers will hold up outside, and also wondering whether or not you have to seal them with something.  I don’t like to give advice on that sort of thing without testing it first myself.  So, I’ve decided to keep this basket now and see how it holds up over the summer.

Oh, who am I kidding?  I’m keeping it because it’s frickin’ adorable.

I can already tell you that I’ve had this outside since the end of May and so far so good.  I didn’t seal it with anything.  In my opinion it’s more likely that the basket itself will rust out and fall apart sooner than the transfer comes off.  But we’ll see.  I’ll keep you posted on that.

But my philosophy is this.  I paid $2 for the basket.  The section of the transfer that I used on it would be about $2 too (assuming you use the rest of the transfer on other pieces).  So I’ve got a whopping $4 invested in the container.  Meanwhile, I spent about $30 on the annuals I planted in it and I know they are only going to last a year.  Therefore, who cares if the transfer doesn’t last?  Or if the metal rusts out?  I can toss the whole thing at the end of the season.

Next up is a super simple makeover.  I just added ‘Fresh Roast’ to a vintage enamelware coffee pot.

Doesn’t that just seriously add a lot more character?  And so quick and easy to do.

Last is another really quick and easy update.  I added the word ‘CAFE’ to this straw dispenser.

As it turns out, not so easy to capture that word on a curved surface with a two dimensional photo, but you get the idea.

I used this transfer on one more really cute piece that I’ll be sharing with you guys next week, so be sure to stay tuned.

Thank you to Prima Marketing for sharing the Delicious Menu transfer with me.  If you’re wondering where to buy it, check out Prima’s ‘where to buy‘ page.

a tale of two washstands.

It was the best of garage sales, it was the worst of garage sales …

Sorry, I couldn’t resist a little play on classic literature there, but actually it was just the best of garage sales because I found two fab washstands a week or so ago.

I purchased this one from a lunchtime garage sale first …

Looks pretty fab in that photo, but the finish was dried out and there were quite a few stains on both the top and the sides of the piece.

When I brought it home, I had just gotten a shipment of Prima Marketing’s newest transfers from their 2019 Summer line-up which debuts today!  There was one design included in my shipment that I thought would be perfect on a piece this size and style, Out on the Farm.

  I planned to put just the top half of the transfer (the photo of the barn) on the front of the washstand.  To prep for that, I stripped the top of the washstand and painted the body in Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth.

But then, I hesitated.  The transfer wasn’t quite large enough to fill in the entire front of the washstand.  I wasn’t sure I would be happy with the results.  So I hemmed and hawed, and then delayed some more.

And then I found a second washstand!

Unfortunately, I neglected to get a good ‘before’ photo of this one alone, but you get the idea.  It was even already painted, and better yet, it was nearly the perfect size for the transfer.

What luck that I had hesitated on applying the transfer to the first one, it was going to work so much better on the second one!

Ta da!

Oh my gosh you guys, I totally felt like I was cheating with this project.  I didn’t even have to paint it!  I just went with the existing paint job and simply added the transfer to those lower doors.

It was a little bit tricky getting it applied because of the raised trim, but not too bad.  I did trim a bit of excess from the top of the design so that it would fit.

I also swapped out the brass knob that came with the washstand for a glass knob on the door.  I wanted the knob to disappear allowing that fabulous barn to get all of the attention.

As you can see, the design was not quite as wide as the doors on the washstand.  I sanded those edges quite heavily to help them blend a bit more.  If I was good with custom mixing paint colors, and if I was aiming for perfection, I could have painted the uncovered edges of each door to blend even better.  But no, I didn’t need to make it perfect.

I think it looks pretty sweet as is.

Oh, by the way, the ‘1871’ on the top drawer was a remnant left over from one of the Prima Marketing Seeds transfers that I used on a piece a while back.

I sort of neglected to get a good photo of that trim piece at the back of the washstand, which is pretty unique.  You can see it a little bit better here …

As for the other washstand, I went back to the smaller version of the Seeds transfer (it came in two sizes, and I say ‘came’ because they are no longer making this one, so if you love it you should order as many as you can online and then hoard them because that’s what I did).

And, funny enough, I swapped out the original wooden knob that came on the door with the brass knob from the other washstand (that I replaced with a glass knob).  It worked beautifully with the original brass drawer pulls.

If you remember, I mentioned that I had stripped the top of this one.  I have to confess I did a rather imperfect job of it and I had trouble eliminating some of the stains.  So I decided to try using white wax on it to help mask some of those imperfections.

It’s definitely still not perfect, but I still think it looks pretty.  This washstand had a fairly heavy grain to the wood which really catches that white wax.

I used a mishmash of products on this one.  The paint is Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth, the top is waxed with Fusion’s white wax, the body is waxed with Fusion’s clear wax.

You guys are probably getting tired of seeing my clay pots, but I’m digging the ‘gardening’ theme these days (pardon the pun).  So you’re going to be seeing them again at the end of the week too!

I’ll probably be over it about mid-August.

In the meantime, what do you think of my two washstands?

Which one is your favorite?

Many thanks to Prima Marketing for choosing me to help them reveal their new transfers.  I’ll be sharing a couple more of them later this week too.

If you’re wondering where to buy them, check out Prima’s ‘where to buy‘ page.

And if you are local (in the Twin Cities), these washstand pieces make amazing bedside tables.  Check out my ‘available for local sale‘ page to see if either of these pieces are still available.

baring your legs.

Here in Minnesota, I always feel a bit self conscious the first time or two that I bare my legs in the spring.  Oh, who am I kidding, spring?  As if!  I don’t let those suckers see the light of day in public until at least June.  This year I had a bit of a head start because we took our trip to Punta Cana in May.  I was able to get a little color on them before I had to expose them to the world back home.

But this post isn’t about that kind of bare leg, it’s about the furniture kind.

I’m sure you’ve seen the bare leg look on other people’s pieces.  They paint everything but the legs, or the legs and the top.  Katie of Katie & Co. furniture is a master at this look (check out some of her work here).  She paints some really lovely pieces.

I have mixed feelings about the bare legs though.  Personally, I love the way they look, but I wonder if the average buyer will be saying ‘um, I think you forgot to paint the legs.’  But when I picked up this dresser at a lunch time garage sale a month or so ago, I thought it might be the perfect candidate for trying out the bare leg look to see how it goes.

The first thing I did was strip the top.  The wood veneer on the top was in really great condition, but the finish was shot.  Once stripped, I sanded the top smooth and then stained it with Varathane wood stain in Dark Walnut.  Once that dried, I added a top coat of Fusion’s Tough Coat.

Next I prepped the body of the dresser, and then painted it in Fusion’s Midnight Blue.  Once that was dry I added the top 2/3 of Prima Marketing’s Somewhere in France transfer.

I should note here that this color and transfer combo was inspired by a similar piece by Denise at Salvaged Inspirations (you can see her piece here).

The gold transfer over a dark blue paint color was so striking on her piece, I just had to try it on my dresser too.

Before I move on here, I have to add that I’ve also seen this transfer used over a burgundy color and over a creamy white, plus I’ve used it over black …

and it looks gorgeous over all of these colors!  This really is a versatile transfer.

The Fusion paint doesn’t require a top coat for durability, but I like to go over the transfer itself with a little bit of their clear furniture wax which I think helps blend the edges of it more.

Next came those bare legs.  I wasn’t really sure if I needed to strip them entirely, or if I could get away with just sanding them down a bit and then staining them.  So I decided to just give it a try and see how it went.  It seemed to work great.  I sanded them, cleaned them and then wiped on the Varathane stain with a rag.  Once dry, I added a coat of Tough Coat Sealer.

I think they turned out pretty good, don’t you?

Honestly, there isn’t a huge contrast between the dark stained legs and the dark painted body of the dresser.

So, it doesn’t totally jump out at you that the legs are bare.

Next time I might go for a more pronounced contrast between the body and legs.

I brightened up the original hardware by adding some of Prima Marketing’s Vintage Gold Metallique wax.

The gold drawer pulls work beautifully with the gold transfer.

By the way, I don’t know if you noticed, but in the ‘before’ photo the drawer with the little raised detail on the front was at the bottom of the dresser.  That just looked wrong, so I moved it back up to just under the side by side top drawers which looks a lot more appropriate.

So there it is.  A gorgeous French themed dresser in Midnight Blue.

What do you think of bare legs?  Do you allow your’s to see the light of day before June?  Have you left any legs bare on your furniture, and if so, did anyone point out that you forgot to paint the legs?  Curious minds want to know!

Thank you to Prima Marketing for providing the Metallique wax and transfer and to Fusion for providing the paint and Tough Coat sealer.

If you’re wondering where to purchase the Somewhere in France transfer, check out Prima’s ‘where to buy’ page.

If you’re wondering where to buy the Fusion paint and Tough Coat, check out their ‘where to buy’ page.

And finally, if you happen to be local (Twin Cities, MN) and in need of a French themed dresser, check out my ‘available for local sale’ page to see if this one is still available.

a farm style crate.

I just love quick and easy updates that take less than 30 minutes and turn something plain into something fabulous.

I purchased an old wood crate at a lunchtime garage sale a couple weeks back (oops, forgot to get a ‘before’ photo).  Then I dressed it up with a Prima Marketing transfer and some cup pulls from Hobby Lobby.

Once again I used part of the Everyday Farmhouse transfer set for the wording.

Then I added these fun, rusty looking cup pulls to the sides of the crate to use as handles.

This crate would be super cute filled up with potted flowers, or maybe just a bunch of vintage blue ball jars.

I’m continuing to get tons of use out of that one set of the Everyday Farmhouse transfers, but I am starting to run out!

I definitely need to get my hands on another set!  In the meantime, remember on Monday I mentioned that new summer release from Prima Marketing?  Well, they have another awesome set of wordy transfers in the new release too.  I’ll be sharing a few things with those words added to them next week, so be sure to stay tuned.