time flies when you’re having fun.

When it rains, it pours.  There seems to be a lot going on in my world these days.  This week I’ll have celebrated my birthday, Thanksgiving, my niece’s birthday, and next Tuesday I’ll be celebrating my retirement!

And with all of that celebrating going on, I almost completely forgot about my blogiversary!

Wowza, can you believe that 8 years ago today I posted my first blog post?  Time really flies when you’re having fun.

Over the years, I’ve gone from this header …

to this header …

to this one …

And then last February I gave myself a fresh, neutral look with this header …

In 8 years, I’ve written 1,271 blog posts.  My posts have been viewed 875,743 times.  And you guys have left 31,782 comments!  Thank you for that!

My furniture painting style has certainly evolved over the years too.  My color choices have definitely changed.  Early on I used a lot more color overall, especially that pale aqua/sea glass sort of color.

And who remembers all the pieces I did with vintage wallpaper?

That was a fun phase.

Lately I’m doing a lot more neutral pieces.

I’m not entirely sure if that’s because neutral is more marketable, or just because my own preference is leaning more towards the neutral.

Maybe it’s a little bit of both.

Up until the last couple of years I shared far more vintage garage sale/thrift store find makeovers.

They are still one of my favorite things to post about.

But COVID did a number on garage saling, with barely any sales in 2020 and things just starting to come back in 2021.  Hopefully going forward I’ll have a lot more vintage find makeovers to share, especially now that I’ll be able to garage sale on weekdays!

For that matter, COVID messed with my travel posts as well.

I’m happy to report that after meeting with our financial planner, it appears that we’ll still be able to afford to travel in retirement.  I’ll admit that I was willing to give it up if that meant I could leave the day job, but thankfully we won’t have to.  So hopefully I’ll have more travel posts to share in the future too.

I’ve shared a few home tour posts over the years, including Nancy’s house

And Amy’s house at Christmas …

I really need to get back to doing more of those.  After all, Amy has since moved and has another fabulous home that I’d love to share (hint, hint Amy)!

I’ve done quite a few room makeover posts from my own house over the years as well.

Since beginning the blog I have made over the living room, the piano room, the dining room, the pantry, the principle bedroom, the guest bedroom and the q branch (ie. the study where I write this blog).

Now that retirement is going to free up a bunch of my time, I hope to tackle a few more redecorating projects going forward too.

And let’s not forget the garden tour posts!

Sue’s peaceful garden is one of my favorites.

And Jackie’s scented garden is amazing as well.

And of course I like to share my own garden on occasion too.

I think that being retired from the day job is going to result in a renewed enthusiasm for blogging, and I’m really looking forward to it!

So I want to express a huge THANK YOU to all of you who have supported my blog over the past 8 years whether it was with a purchase of one of my pieces, becoming a follower, leaving a comment, or simply just clicking on a post and reading it.  I appreciate every single one of you!

It wouldn’t be a blogiversary without a giveaway, would it?  Since this one sort of snuck up on me, I didn’t have a lot of time to compile a super fabulous giveaway.  But recently someone commented on how they scrutinize the books I use to stage some of my furniture photos looking for clues on what decorating books I like.  She also suggested I write a blog post about my favorites, and I still might get around to that.  But in the meantime, I thought it would be fun to give away a couple of fabulous decorating books by two of my favorite bloggers.

First up is Liz Marie Galvan’s new book, Cozy White Cottage Seasons.

Who doesn’t need 100 ways to be cozy all year long?  And has anyone else noticed that even her dog matches her preferred color scheme of whites and pale wood tones?

I’m also including Marian Parson’s (a.k.a. Miss Mustard Seed) new book, Feels Like Home …

which is filled with the beautiful photos that we have come to expect from Marian.

I have to be honest though, I still miss the old days when she painted furniture on the regular.  I don’t think we’ll ever see that from her again though, more’s the pity because her painted furniture pieces were to die for.

Her work, especially her photo staging, has totally influenced my own style.

And her new book is fabulous and definitely worth a read.

I’m also going to throw in this gorgeous Staalmeester brush, just in case the winner wants to do a little painting.

The rules:  Simply leave a comment on this blog post to be eligible to win.

Your comment must be left on this blog post, not on Facebook or Instagram.  You are not required to follow my blog, although it would be awesome if you did!

I will randomly draw the name of a winner for today’s prize from all of the comments left on this post by Tuesday, November 30, 2021 at the stroke of midnight (U.S. Central time).

The fine print: no purchase necessary, you must be 18 years of age or older to win, void where prohibited by law, the number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning, approximate retail value of prize is $60, if the prize is not claimed by Friday, December 3, 2021 another name will be drawn at random to win, blah, blah, blah.

Thanks to Mr. Q for ordering the books for today’s giveaway from amazon.com 😉  Good luck!


keep on truckin’.

It’s Wednesday!  I’m posting!  And I’m not even retired yet!

But I’m anticipating having plenty of projects to share with you guys from here on out, so I’m planning to go back to posting three times a week starting now.  Hopefully I can keep it up throughout the winter.  Now that we’re both retired, I’m planning some thrifting dates with my buddy Sue (yep, in case I didn’t already mention it, both Sue and I are retiring from our day jobs with the same employer), so fingers crossed that we find good stuff for me to work on.

I picked up this wooden toy truck last summer at a garage sale.

I knew it would be a fun one to paint, and that I wanted to turn it into a Christmas decoration.

I took some measurements and ordered a Christmas themed stencil from Wallcutz in a size that would fit.  Last weekend I pulled it out of storage and gave it a couple of coats of Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth.

Then I added my stencil using Dixie Belle’s Midnight Sky.

You might recognize that design.  I used a larger version of the same stencil on my drop leaf signs.

You’ll be seeing it a couple more times before the end of the season!

I debated using the same red, green and black color scheme on the truck, but ultimately decided to go with a more neutral palette.

I used the top portion of the stencil on one side …

and the bottom portion on the other …

The number 25 stencil on the front bumper is part of another stencil.

I have to admit, I don’t find the black and white to be quite as festive as red and green.  But I’ve been known to decorate for Christmas in black and white, so I went with it.

The truck is open on the top, making it perfect to use as a table centerpiece when filled with greens, pinecones and fairy lights.

How do you like the nutcracker?

I just picked him up at Hobby Lobby for $5 (he was half off).  He’s meant to be a craft project, you’re supposed to paint him.  But I rather love him as is, so I’m planning to use him just like this.  Once I have my Christmas decorations up, I’ll share where I put him.

They had two sizes.  This is the bigger one.  The smaller one came packaged with some cheap paints, and I think was only about $4.

As much as I love this one, I am going to sell it ($45, SOLD).  So if you’re local and want to snatch it up before I take it into the shop, you’ll need to act fast and send me an email at qisforquandie@gmail.com.

As for the rest of you, what do you think?  Would you have gone traditional with red and green?  Or do you like more of a neutral Christmas like me?

sleigh rides since 1932.

Before getting on with today’s post, I want to express my very heartfelt thanks to all of you for your congratulatory comments on my retirement post.  I can’t tell you how much it means to me to have such a supportive group of blog followers.

Quite honestly, having this blog is one of the factors that made it easy for me to make the decision to retire.  I’m so excited about moving forward and having more time to devote to bigger and better projects on q is for quandie!

But for today, I’m just sharing a simple chair makeover.  I purchased this pair of chairs at a garage sale last summer.

If you’ll remember, I painted up one of them with a Halloween theme back in October …

It was the perfect canvas for stenciling.

At the time, I purposely kept the 2nd chair knowing that I wanted to give it a Christmas look.  I’d recently been at a planning meeting for the vendors at Reclaiming Beautiful and they had mentioned wanting Christmas items with a Scandinavian look.  I remembered the small chair I painted back in 2019, I thought it had a bit of a Scandi look at the time.

So I decided to do something similar with this larger chair.

But before I got Dixie Belle’s Honky Tonk Red out of the cupboard, I first gave the chair a coat of their B.O.S.S. in gray.  I’d read somewhere that a base coat of gray will make it easier to get good coverage with red.  If you’ve ever painted anything red, you’ll know that it often takes 3 or more coats to get good coverage.  So I thought I’d give that a shot.  After one coat of the gray B.O.S.S., I did get great coverage with the Honky Tonk Red,  although I did still need two coats.

I think going forward I’d also use the gray B.O.S.S. under Dixie Belle’s Flamingo.  I found that it took 4 coats to get good coverage with that color on a dresser a while back and I bet I could have saved myself some effort, and some paint, had I used the gray base coat.

After the Honky Tonk Red was dry, I sanded the chair down, focusing on the edges for a distressed look.

Here’s an important q tip regarding stenciling with white paint (in this case it’s Dixie Belle’s Fluff) over red.  Do not plan to sand much after adding the white.  Your sandpaper will drag the red sanding dust into your white stenciling, and that’s not a good look.  That’s why I did most of my sanding before moving on to the stenciling.  After stenciling I used a very light hand and 220 grit paper to sand the white just ever so carefully to smooth it out a bit.

I used portions of a couple of different stencils on the chair.  On the chair back, I used the Santa Claus and Co Feedsack stencil from Maison de Stencils.

Next up I added the Sleigh Rides stencil from Wallcutz to the seat.

I followed all of that up with a top coat of clear wax.

It doesn’t get more festive than that!

I love the graphic punch of the white on red.

Wouldn’t a chair like this be cute placed in your foyer to greet Christmas guests?  Or maybe just tucked next to the Christmas tree.  I can also see it being used in the guest room as a substitute bedside table, how fun for your holiday houseguests!

This chair is one of the items that I took into Reclaiming Beautiful before I left for Florida, and it has already sold!  I usually find that red items aren’t quick sellers, with the exception of Christmas items.

So which is your favorite?

Christmas red or Halloween black?

my big announcement.

I have big news to share with you today.  I’m retiring from the day job!

Honestly, I can hardly believe it myself.  It hasn’t really sunk in yet.  But November 30 will be my last day as a 9 to 5’er.

Most people plan months, or even years, in advance for retirement.  They have a target date in mind and they count down the remaining months, and then days, until the big day.  They have plenty of time to wrap their heads around the idea of being retired.

It didn’t quite happen that way for me.

Up until recently, I always said that I would work until 65 to avoid paying the high cost of health insurance.  After all, I loved my job.  It was my home away from home.  I had a beautiful office, tasks that I enjoyed doing, great benefits and pay, an easy commute, and co-workers that were like family to me.  Why wouldn’t I keep working?

But then the uppermost management position turned over.  Things started to go downhill, and then people started leaving.  One by one, people that I had worked with for decades were handing in their notices.

The atmosphere has grown increasingly stressful and I have never seen such low morale throughout the entire workforce in all of my 34 years with my employer.  It got to the point where the stress was causing me to toss and turn at night, and to dread Monday mornings.  When I found myself crying in my car in the Target parking lot over my lunch hour, I realized that it was time to move on.  Life is too short to spend it this way.

Fortunately, I am eligible for a pension and Mr. Q and I have been putting money away for years in anticipation of retirement.  Both of which will make it possible for me to retire so much earlier than I ever planned on.

And that brings me to the fun part of this post.  As of December 1, I am FREE!  No more full time job.  No more struggling to cram blog projects into the weekend.  No more alarm clock.  No more commuting in a snow storm.  No more feeling inadequate because I can’t meet unreasonable demands.

I am super excited to discover whatever the future might hold, the possibilities are endless.  And I’m also really looking forward to having more time to devote to painting furniture, repurposing vintage finds and posting here on q is for quandie!


flipping a switch.

Well, I’m back from a week at Disney World.  I had planned to be able to share a blog post or two about Disney at Christmas-time, but in the end I took a grand total of about a dozen photos on the entire trip.  Anyone who knows me well is now thinking ‘What?!  How is that even possible?!’  Usually I take at least 200+ photos on a trip.

What happened?

Well, first of all, I found it really challenging to get good photos on the fly.  I would have needed to take much more time with the composition to get anything good, and I didn’t want to make my family stand around waiting while I did that.

Also, the parks were super crowded!  Supposedly early November is one of the ‘least crowded’ times to visit.  If so, I can’t even imagine what it’s like during peak season!  There were very few opportunities to get photos without a ton of people in them.

The only times the parks were a little emptied out was at the very end of the night right before closing, at which point I was exhausted, my feet were killing me, and the last thing I wanted to do was take photos.

That being said, the parks were definitely dressed up for the holidays and it was fun to see that.  I especially loved the window displays along Main Street.

We attended the Disney Very Merriest after hours event while we were there.  We saw the Christmas parade with Santa at the end and the holiday fireworks show.  We ate the cookies and drank the hot chocolate that was included.

But in the end, I had a hard time getting in the Christmas spirit while wearing shorts and a t-shirt.  Palm trees and sunshine just don’t scream Christmas to me.

We returned home on Saturday evening to a snow storm though, and when I got up Sunday morning and saw an inch or so of snow on the ground it was like flipping a switch.  There it was!  The Christmas spirit.

I guess to me Christmas is all about cozying up on the sofa with a furry blanket and watching the snow fall outside.  It’s good to be home!

I’m looking forward to sharing a few more Christmas projects with you over the coming weeks, and I also have an exciting announcement to share later this week.  So be sure to stay tuned!

where did the time go?

First up, congratulations to Lisa K.  I drew her name at random to win my paint giveaway from last week.  I wish I had a prize for everyone who left a comment.  I don’t know if you guys realize how much your comments mean to me, a big thank you to each and every one of you.

I have to say, I can’t seem to wrap my head around the fact that it is already November.  How did that happen?  In my head it’s still summer.

We’ve certainly had a mild autumn here in Minnesota this year, so I think that’s part of it.  It has been relatively sunny and warm and I’ve barely even needed a jacket up until this week.  I was even able to keep working out in my unheated carriage house workshop until this past weekend.

And then there was my trip to visit my mom back at the end of September.  It was still in the upper 90’s at her house in Henderson, NV.

So that certainly extended the season for me.

Although in my head it’s still summer, I’m now working on Christmas projects!  The shop where I sell a lot of my small items (Reclaiming Beautiful in Stillwater, MN) is preparing for their Christmas Open House which is taking place on Thursday, Nov 11, so I wanted to have some things ready to go for them.

One of my favorite items I finished up over the weekend is this suitcase.

You may remember that my neighbor brought home a couple of suitcases from her uncle’s estate sale for me this summer …

This is the cream colored one just in front of the green one in the photo above.

I cleaned it up, gave it a coat of spray primer in flat black and then added a quick coat of Dixie Belle’s Midnight Sky over that.  You may be wondering why I opted to use a spray primer this time, and really it was mainly just laziness.  I knew I wanted to paint the entire thing, hardware and all, black.  I had black spray primer on hand.  And I knew I could get into all the nooks and crannies with spray easier and more quickly than with a brush.  So I just went for it.  I followed up the primer with just one coat of Midnight Sky, which was totally sufficient.

I used Dixie Belle’s Cashmere, one of their fall colors, for the stencil (which is from Wallcutz, if you want to find it).

I love how it turned out!  It would be perfect to just place in the foyer somewhere to greet your holiday guests.

I also painted up a couple of sleds.

Nothing super exciting to share on these.  If you’ve been following me for long you’ll know that I’ve done a bunch of these sleds over the years.

I brought both of these into the shop, but I do have one more to finish up.

I also painted up a few cupboard door signs.

Isn’t the detail on that stencil fabulous?  It’s another one from Wallcutz, and so is this one …

Those are a couple of old table leaves that I’ve turned into signs.  Wouldn’t they be adorable hung on the wall outside your front door?

I totally ran out of time to get these properly staged and photographed, but I wanted to share them here today in case any of you locals want to head to Reclaiming Beautiful this weekend to check them out.

Also under the heading of ‘where did the time go?’, in other news my sister, niece and I are heading to Florida today for our 2nd Disney trip this year.  In some ways it feels like we just got back from our Disneyland trip, while in others it feels like that was ages ago.  Either way, we fly out today and return a week from tomorrow.  Once again, I’ll be taking a break from blogging while we’re gone.  But stay tuned, I’ll be back soon and I plan to share a few more Christmas projects over the next month or so.  Hopefully I’ll have more time to stage them and get proper photos for you!

is painted furniture going out of style?

Every once in a while I wonder to myself ‘is painted furniture going out of style?  and if so, what will I do?’ and then I feel a little panicky.

First of all, our whole house is full of painted furniture …

I certainly can’t replace it all.  Or at least not all at once.  And would I even want to?

I still really love my own pieces of painted furniture whether they are ‘in style’ or not.

But the bigger question is ‘what about my hobby?’  I call it a hobby because I haven’t come up with a better word to describe what I do here.

/ˈhɑːbi/ (plural hobbies) ​an activity that you do for pleasure when you are not working.

‘Hobby’ doesn’t really quite do it justice, but based on the Oxford Dictionary definition, it does fit.

Hobbies have come and gone from my life over the years.  One of the first hobbies I took up after we bought our house way, way back in 1988, was making stained glass windows.  I wasn’t going to be satisfied with just making those little doo-dads that you hang inside a regular window, I wanted to make full blown windows.  But you have to start somewhere, and I did start with making those suncatcher type things.  And after I had developed some still very rudimentary skills, I made the window that is in our piano room.

But I eventually grew bored with that hobby and I moved on to cross stitch.  Who else remembers the hey day of cross stitch?  I even belonged to a club, the Stitch and Bitch club.  We spent weekends at a friend’s cabin listening to the oldies station and stitching and bitching away.

But cross stitch went out of style and I replaced it with scrapbooking.

I loved scrapbooking.  But after years of doing it, I have 30 or so scrapbooks in the guestroom closet that I rarely ever look at.  And really, scrapbooking has gone out of style too, although on occasion I still enjoy creating scrapbook alternatives like the index cards

Painting furniture and otherwise refurbishing vintage finds has really stuck with me though.  I started this particular hobby way back in the 90’s when the shabby chic movement was all the rage.

Back in the day I painted everything in the Rachel Ashwell palette of white, pink, pale green or pale aqua.  And I did all of that lettering by hand!  Isn’t that crazy?

Eventually I moved on and added more saturated colors into my work, like Miss Mustard Seeds’ Kitchen Scale.

Sometimes I cringe now when I look back at some of the pieces I painted in the early days of my blog though.

I mean really?  What was I thinking painting those trim pieces white?  I want to go back and paint them in the same color as the rest of the dresser so that they blend rather than pop now.  And by the way, that is Miss Mustard Seed milk paint in Artissimo on that one.

But even though I’m cringing when I look back at some of my earlier work, what I’m also realizing is that my style has definitely evolved over the past 25 years.

Ahhh, so much better without that contrasting trim, don’t you think?

And stencils are so much better than my old hand painted lettering.

Yes, these pieces are still painted, but they are painted in a more current style than those shabby chic pieces from two decades ago.

And I’ve gradually leaned towards leaving more things unpainted, like knobs, and tops …

or even an entire chair …

So in the end, maybe it doesn’t really matter whether or not painted furniture is going ‘out of style.’  We can all just continue to grow and let our styles evolve naturally over time.  That’s my plan anyway.  How about you?

comparing shades of black.

After painting the spooky nightstand that I shared a while back, I had an idea that it would be worthwhile to compare the shades of black paint that are available from Dixie Belle Paint Co for you guys.  Be sure to read all the way to the end of this post because there’s a giveaway today too!

So, the thing is, much like with white paint, there are lots of options for black.

With the spooky nightstand, I painted it overall in Dixie Belle’s Midnight Sky chalk mineral paint, and then stenciled over that in Dixie Belle’s Anchor Silk All-in-One Paint thus making this piece a good representation of the difference between those two black paints.

There are two factors at work here; color and sheen.  The Midnight Sky is what I would call an off-black, it has a slightly more faded look than Dixie Belle’s Caviar.  In addition, the chalk mineral paint is very flat.  The Silk All-in-One Anchor paint is a little bit darker than Midnight Sky and has a bit more sheen, thus creating the look above when it’s stenciled over the Midnight Sky (the diamond pattern and the damask pattern).

Now, I know the differences between the three are pretty subtle, but I’m hoping you can see them here.

That’s paint only, no added topcoat.  The Anchor clearly has a bit more sheen than the other two, and the Caviar is a bit darker than the Midnight Sky.

When I first starting using Dixie Belle paint, I originally fell in love with the Caviar.

I used it on so many pieces!

One of my favorites was this bed …

So gorgeous!

Caviar is a deep, rich black.

But then I discovered the Midnight Sky and I used it on my baby grand piano.  This is a slightly more faded version of black, still definitely black, but not quite as deep and dark as Caviar.

I feel like the Midnight Sky is just a tad more forgiving when it comes to dust and fingerprints.  My baby grand gets a fair amount of wear and tear because I basically use it as a workbench most of the time.  For that reason, I thought Midnight Sky would be a better choice for it.

I also used Midnight Sky on this Eastlake style bedroom set.

This shade of black is the perfect complement to brass or gold hardware.

This brings me to the new-ish Silk All-in-One black paint from Dixie Belle called Anchor.

First, to save you from the confusion that I experienced, I want to point out that the Silk color called Black Sands is not black, but a dark charcoal.I ordered it thinking it was black.  Even looking at it in the jar, you won’t immediately realize that it isn’t.  Now don’t get me wrong, I love the color.  It was perfect on this dresser

But it’s not black.

If you’re looking for a fabulous charcoal grey though, it’s perfect.  In fact I just ordered more of it to paint some wooden folding chairs for my porch.  I think it will be perfect on them.

But the Anchor is the true black in this line.  Aside from stenciling it on the spooky nightstand, I haven’t actually painted a full piece of furniture in this color so I don’t have a picture of one to share with you.  But I wanted to include it here in my line up anyway.  As you may already be aware, the Silk line is Dixie Belle’s version of a primer, paint and top coat all in one.

To recap, Caviar and Midnight Sky are more flat (but of course you can add sheen with a top coat).  Anchor has more sheen due to its built in top coat.  Midnight Sky is a faded black, while the other two are darker.

Now, please don’t read too much into the brush strokes in that Caviar example above.  I let my brush dry out, and then still tried to paint with clumpy bristles.  Rooky mistake, and something I would never do on a piece of furniture but this was just a practice board.

Now for the fun part.  I’m giving away a 16 oz size jar of all three of the Dixie Belle blacks, plus three of their brushes to use to apply them.  So one lucky winner can try out all three and decide which one is their favorite!

The rules:  Simply leave a comment on this blog post to be eligible to win.

Your comment must be left on this blog post, not on Facebook or Instagram.  You are not required to follow my blog, although it would be awesome if you did!

I will randomly draw the name of a winner for today’s prize from all of the comments left on this post by Sunday, October 31, 2021 at the stroke of midnight (U.S. Central time).

The fine print: no purchase necessary, you must be 18 years of age or older to win, void where prohibited by law, the number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning, approximate retail value of prize is $140, if the prize is not claimed by Thursday, November 4, 2021 another name will be drawn at random to win, blah, blah, blah.

Thanks to Dixie Belle for providing the paint and brushes I am giving away today.  Good luck!

cake and pastries, cakes and pastries, cakes and pastries.

As I shared last week, or was it the week before?  I don’t know, time flies so quickly these days it feels like the weeks all blend together.

Anyway, as I shared, I decided to take this bench back to the drawing board.


It started out as a bed, then it became a bench, and then it sat unsold for about 9 months.

I decided it was either the color, the transfer, or the price.  But I reduced the price and it still didn’t go.  Let me take a moment to reflect on that.  In all of my years of selling furniture I have found that lowering the price on a piece that isn’t selling almost never makes a difference.  My prices tend to be on the lower side anyway, so if a piece isn’t selling it’s not usually because of the price.  That being said, I do charge more for these benches because I pay Ken for the materials and for his time to turn them from beds into benches.  So I tried lowering the price, and still, no sale.

Ken thought the problem was those posts sticking up above the seat level on the front corners though.  Those has always bugged him, and he really wanted the chance to try something different.  So he brought it back to his workshop and cut the posts off the front corners, tapered the remaining top of each post to make it look more natural, and then replaced those two outer boards on the seat.

I do prefer this look over the old one, it’s definitely a little less fussy.

Next up I sanded off the transfer.

Today’s q tip:  when removing a transfer from something, you do have to fully remove it before painting over it.  Otherwise you will see an outline through your new paint.  I have found that the quickest solution is to put an 80 grit paper on my orbital sander and go to town on it.  I have tried using mineral spirits and that didn’t work for me.  After lots of elbow grease with a 3M scrubby pad saturated in mineral spirits, it still didn’t remove the transfer fully.

So, I sanded the transfer off, wiped away any dust and gave the bench a coat of Dixie Belle’s Midnight Sky.  I had decided to just go back to basic black, which I know sells well.  And you know what?  I can’t really say why, but black just wasn’t working on this piece.  So once again, I decided to pivot (because that’s the trendy thing to do now).  I pulled out the Dixie Belle Drop Cloth and covered up that black.

The warm, almost creamy but not quite, off white shade of Drop Cloth just really does it for me.

The bench felt a little too plain without anything on that big framed rectangle on the back though, so I decided to add a fairly simple black transfer.

This is a section from a newer re.design with prima transfer called French Specialties.

The top section fit the space perfectly.  It went on super easily.  I love the ‘Paris 1889’ part in the middle.

It wasn’t until I was applying clear wax over it that I noticed a problem.

Do you see it?  Let me give you a minute.  I sort of gave it away in my blog post title.

Yeah.  It says the same thing three times over.  Top curved line, and bottom two lines.  Cakes and pastries, cakes and pastries, cakes and pastries.  What the what? Not that I don’t love cakes and pastries, and I’d be OK with the top curved line, and just one of the bottom lines.  But those two bottom lines did me in.

All I can think is that because the wording is French, I just simply didn’t take the time to ‘read’ the transfer.  I was too busy looking at the overall layout, admiring the fonts, thinking the scale of the design was perfect for my piece.  And frankly, assuming that the wording was vetted by re.design with prima.

Once you’ve seen it, you can’t un-see it, am I right?  Or maybe it’s just me.  Am I too particular?  Are any of you not bothered by the repetitive lines?

Since I’d already waxed over it, the process of removing just one of the bottom two lines becomes much more complicated.  If only I’d noticed before waxing.  I could have sanded one line off, touched up the paint, and moved on.  But with wax on it, and because those lines are fairly close together, I’m not sure I can successfully sand off that section and blend the touch up paint into the waxed areas that remain without damaging the rest of the transfer.

So tell me, what are your thoughts on this?

Would you …

a.  List it for sale as is because it’s just not that big of a deal and only neurotic perfectionists like myself are going to notice.


b.  Try to remove one of those cakes and pastries lines from the bottom by sanding and hope that you can blend the repair seamlessly.


c.  Shove this bench in the corner for 30 days while the wax cures and hope that you can paint over one of those lines without sanding (see q tip above before choosing this option!).

Leave me a comment and let me know what you would do!

the mini’s.

One of my readers recently gave me the idea of sharing a flashback post on all of my mini’s (thank you for that idea Connie).

Since I’m in the middle of working on a bunch of Christmas items, and my bench makeover isn’t quite finished, I thought this would be a great way to create some content that wasn’t hopelessly out of season for you guys today.

Plus, it doesn’t take much encouragement for me to share my favorites, starting with this one.

It’s the perfect spot to perch my mini camera.

That is actually the 2nd look for this piece.  I’d originally painted it in Miss Mustard Seed milk paint in Eulalie’s Sky.  In fact, it was the first thing I ever painted in milk paint.  Eventually I re-painted it in Homestead House milk paint in Limestone when I unified my mini non-collection by painting them all the same color.

Adding the IOD transfer on the front was definitely the icing on the cake though.

Another of the mini’s that I’ve kept for myself is this one …

I use it as a jewelry box.

The third piece in the photo of mini’s above is one that I actually parted with.  I’d had it tucked inside a cupboard for a couple of years and decided that I wasn’t enjoying it enough to keep it.

So I brought it into the shop where I sell on consignment and sold it.

Even though I didn’t paint this next one, it’s still a piece that I haven’t been able to part with.

It’s perfect for holding all of my washi tapes.

This next piece is another one that I haven’t painted.

I haven’t really come up with a purpose for this one, so for now it lives inside a birdcage out on my front three-season porch.

Don’t even ask what possessed me to put it in a cage.  Who knows?  But I like it.  I keep debating whether or not to sell it though.

I also can’t really explain why sometimes I want to paint over these original finishes, and sometimes I don’t.  With the piece that I shared last week, I painted over its original yellow paint color.

This next piece is another one where I painted over the original paint …

mainly because the inside was a dark red, and the outside a really dingy cream color.  I just didn’t love it.

It turned out super adorable in a new color scheme though, and it sold quickly.

Here’s another hutch that I painted up.

I really wasn’t in love with those colors on that vintage wallpaper liner, but it was so perfectly vintage that I left it along and just painted the rest of the piece.  This one sold quickly as well, so someone must have loved it.

I’m not quite sure that this next one really counts as a miniature piece of furniture, but it definitely has the same flavor so I thought I’d include it.  This is another one that sold quickly, and who can be surprised by that?  Anyone can use an adorable button box to contain all of their mending supplies.

I’m not sure that this next one counts as a mini-dresser either, it’s more of a little storage box-ish thing really.  But I’m including it anyway.

I guess I can include anything I want to here, right?  It’s my blog, and I’ll post what I want to 😉

Anyway, that’s another one that I sold so that someone else could enjoy it in their own non-collection!

So how about, which one of these was your favorite.  Be sure to let me know in a comment.