a pretty darn good year.

Happy New Year!

I’m back from my blog hiatus and I have to say, it was a little weird.  I’ve taken some breaks from blogging before, but usually I take them while I’m traveling so my time is pretty much occupied.  This time I was just at home, and although I was busy with holiday gatherings, taking down the decorations and even painting a couple of pieces of furniture, I really missed interacting with you guys!  Plus, it was frigidly cold here in Minnesota.  Yesterday we woke up to a windchill of -37.   Funny side story, Mr. Q told me that when he was a kid he thought it was the “windshield factor” and they were talking about how cold the windshield of the car would feel.  Well, either way, -37 feels cold and I was not motivated to go out much.

But that gave me a good opportunity for reflection, and thinking back I realized that 2017 was a pretty darn good year.

In March Mr. Q and I went looking for bald eagles along the Mississippi River with my sister and niece, and we found plenty of them.

I still thank my lucky stars almost daily that my sister and niece moved to Minnesota over two years ago.

Mr. Q and I took an amazing trip in May that started in Copenhagen.

Then there was Norway.

And Scotland.

And finally, England.

I inherited my travel bug from my mom who still works as a travel agent at the age of 77.  Mr. Q and I have been fortunate in being able to travel to some amazing places over the years.  Check out the ‘travel’ category under ‘stuff.’ over on the right side of the page to read some of my travel posts.

My sister bought her house and we helped her move in June.

I feel like this really made it official.  My sister will definitely not be deciding that she hates Minnesota (even though the windshield is -37) and wants to return to New Jersey.  Not that she ever was considering that, but it still feels good that she has put down permanent roots here.

In late summer we redecorated our master bedroom.

We had the floors refinished, added a faux ship lap wall, new light fixtures, a new to us headboard, and I painted all of the furniture in the room (except that bench).

We had help from Ken on the ship lap and the bed, help painting from my sister and help from nnK finding some college kids to do the floors.  I really couldn’t do these things without help from friends and family!

Although we missed a few of our favorite neighborhood sales while I was gone on my trip in May, my sister and I did score some hauls in the fall.

My sister has become the perfect garage saling companion.  She drives, she brings snacks, she’s an expert at packing stuff into the vehicle (all of that stuff fit into her SUV), and most importantly she doesn’t really compete with me for the good stuff.  We have very different styles, so that works out quite well.

I met my idol, Miss Mustard Seed, in October.

Much like many of you, I have been following the Miss Mustard Seed blog for several years.  Earlier this year when Marian announced that she was moving to Minnesota I thought that maybe, just maybe, I’d get a chance to meet her in person.  So it was super exciting to not only get the opportunity to meet her, but also to spend a day at a painting workshop she co-hosted with Carver Junk Co.

That was followed by a fun trip to Disney World with my sister and my niece over Halloween.

I was included in my first magazine just before Christmas which was pretty exciting.

I celebrated my 4th blogiversary in November.

And sprinkled in between all of that I did some painting.

A few of my faves from 2017 include the antique headboard that we used in our master bedroom makeover.

I discovered the Iron Orchid Designs transfers last year and immediately fell in love with them.  One of my favorite pieces with a transfer was this gorgeous Eastlake style dresser.

 A friend of mine suggested using Fusion’s Mustard on this union jack desk, and I loved how it turned out.

My next favorite also included an IOD transfer.  The sizing of the transfers is just about perfect for a typical piece of furniture like this linen press.

My final fave for 2017 isn’t exactly just one thing, and it isn’t exactly a piece of furniture.  It’s more of a … well … what should I call it?  It’s the idea of turning a mirror frame into a chalkboard frame with a shelf instead.  This was one of my greatest discoveries in 2017.  Well, technically I did the first one in November 2016.  I love re-purposing these beautiful frames into something that people want to have in their home.

So there you have it, 2017 was a pretty darn good year.  In fact, I’m beginning to suspect that there is no way I can top it for 2018.  Well, we’ll just have to wait and see.  I did paint some fab pieces during my blog hiatus so be sure to check back later this week to see them.

But in the meantime, did you have a favorite from among the pieces I painted in 2017.  Check out my ‘fab furniture’ page and let me know which one was your favorite!

44 thoughts on “a pretty darn good year.

  1. My far and away favorite piece of 2017 is the specimens de la decoration cupboard. And although this was not a painting project the equally coveted giant English cupboard. As long as I am mentioning coveted pieces I have to include the gorgeous giant Welsh cupboard. I realize this was not a 2017 acquisition but just wanted to say you do have an keen eye. Love them all. Happy New Year look forward to quanding.


    1. Happy New Year Victoria! If my list of favorites had been longer, both of those cupboards would have been on it for sure. Hopefully I can add a few more pieces like those this year 🙂


  2. Happy New Year! When you put the year in one blog it reminds me why I enjoy it so much. Enjoy the humuor, the challenge to try something new and the inspiration that comes along with.


  3. Happy New Year! I love so many of your pieces that it is hard to pick just one or more. What I truly love and appreciate is all of your tutorials. I have learned so much from you. Thank you! May your year be filled with joy, good health and prosperity.


    1. Thank you so much Susan, and same back at you! I will plan on sharing many more tutorials this year. I’ll have one coming up soon on the new Homestead House All in One Stain and Finishing Oil, so be sure to stay tuned.


  4. Happy New Year! Thank you for sharing your year with us, I look forward to your posts every day!! But please quit sharing the “windshield”, it was -12 actually temperature this morning and WC of -25………..BRRRRRRRRR!!


  5. Welcome back and HNY to you, too. I don’t think I could pick a favorite post, they are all chatty, informative and inspiring. One thing I would say is my favorite is your willingness to try new things and the creative ways you use products like transfers, vinyl cut outs, painting techniques and paint products. You are not a one trick pony! Best of all are your ‘Q-tips’ and your ability to share where things went wrong and how you kept going and resolved issues we all might experience. Thanks for your blog, it’s a light in my day.


    1. You are very welcome Laura! And thanks for your comment 🙂 One of my goals for this year is to continue to try new products and share them with you guys, so hopefully I can bring you more of that this year!


  6. My all time favorite “The Catalogue Dresser” is now happily residing in my sewing room. Everytime I walk in there, it makes me happy. It stores all my fabric and what-nots and is just so beautiful. I’d put a picture on here, but don’t know how to attach it. 😯 Here’s to many more years of friendship Quandie…🥂🍾🍷🍻🍹


    1. It’s always awesome to hear that my furniture is making someone happy! I feel the same way about some of my favorite pieces in my own house. They just make you smile a little when you walk into the room. It’s a simple thing, but important I think.


  7. I smiled throughout your entire missive, and recalled each of your visits and tips and tasks and stories. Each time, you spilled glimpses of memories and hopes and yearnings. Much looking forward to new adventures in the Land of Quandie.


  8. The specimens cupboard is my favorite! May be because I am a nurse and have dealt with a lot of specimens, Lol!
    I can say there have been very few of your pieces that I do not love. If you lived closer I would be begging you to paint a bunch of furniture for me. I really do not enjoy the process, but Love the outcome! We would have to find a new Ken, and that would be a daunting task! I don’t think there are many Ken’s left in this workd, he is part of a rare breed! I love your Blog, and have missed reading you daily! You got us hooked on daily posts for a while and now we are having withdraws! I wish you and yours a Happy New Year and Ken too!


    1. I’m glad I’m not the only one who was having blog withdrawals over the last 10 days Shelly! Well, not to worry, I’m back. I won’t be posting every day, but still plan to post several times a week 🙂


  9. Having you back is the best way to start my new year! I can’t wait to see what you have for us next. I love the memories you shared with us from the past year in today’s blog especially the chalkboard which is my favorite. Well… one of my many favorites! Stay warm and Happy New Year Linda!


    1. I do love those chalkboards, so I’m glad you do as well Ginette! I’m trying my best to stay warm today, I had to run out to my carriage house workshop for a forgotten tool and just those couple of minutes outside were enough to convince me to stay inside for the rest of the day! Brrrrrr….


  10. Reading your blog has been the highlight of my year and cannot wait to see what you are going to surprise me with this year. I might even surprise you and get to like etchings. Happy New Year to you, your Mr.Quandi your lovely Mom (with good taste) and your great sister. Have @ great year. Love Betty from Ontario, Canada


    1. You never cease to make me laugh Betty! I’m glad you’ve stuck with me despite my insistence upon, as you call it, ‘etching’ up my furniture! I’ve got some scritchy ones coming up, but I also am working on a piece with no distressing whatsoever. I’ll be watching to see what you think of it …


  11. Hi there I would much rather meet you over MMS [not to be nasty] as I love, love what you do.
    But alas I’m in sub tropical Australia………..damn!!!
    It’s currently +27C here in sunny Brisbane at 8.00am.
    I do enjoy reading MMS’s blog but I always read your’s first, my two most favourite blogs.
    Cheers Jackie,
    Spring Hill Brisbane Queensland


  12. I am still amazed when you come up with new and fun ways to re-purpose old things. Your creativity astounds me!! Happy New Year!


  13. I LOVE how your turned the mirrors into chalkboards !! I have several gorgeous antique mirrors from dressers (I find not too many people want the mirrors) so I have these gorgeous mirrors starting to pile up and love your idea !!!! Question …do you use the original mirror for the chalkboard or do you use something else? These old mirrors are sure heavy hahaha


    1. Yep, precisely right Corinne, the mirrors are just too heavy to be practical. I just use a sheet of inexpensive thin hardboard and Ken cuts it down to size for me. It makes the whole thing much lighter for hanging on the wall. I also often use milk paint for the chalkboard itself (the Homestead House Bayberry is the perfect green).


      1. I used to always use black too, but then Miss Mustard Seed did a green chalkboard and I realized that I really liked it. For me the color I choose for a chalkboard depends on the color of the frame now.


    1. Thanks Cynthia! Well, it warmed up a bit yesterday, but now we’re back below zero. But it is nice and sunny! I’m going to enjoy this sunshine while we have it 🙂


  14. Happy New Year Linda! Wow what a busy year! I could not even begin to choose a favorite. There are so many. Just when I think that “this is my favorite,” you create another awesome piece! I enjoy your work so much. Thank you for sharing all of your wonderful talents with all of us.


  15. Wow, that was a big year. One of my favorite pieces is of course the new dresser in my bedroom. Of course its not new but new to me and painted by you. Looking forward to 2018 and all our new adventures.


    1. When I was at your house for Christmas I was admiring how nice that dresser looks in your bedroom. If anyone else is wondering what we are talking about, it is {this dresser} painted in Fusion’s Ash. In fact, I just got another jar of Ash because I was reminded how much I like it!


  16. I look forward to each one of your posts. Your furniture is so inspiring and beyond beautiful. The posts are written to be interesting, intelligent and educational. I love them all! But, this post had me cracking up because when I was a kid I thought it was the “wid shield factor” too – how cold the windshield felt! I’ve told this to quite a few people over the years but never found anyone else who mistook it for the same thing! I love it! It shows the innocence of a younger age. Too bad we lose that as we grow up and, as my oldest told me when he was 16, “the world comes along and sh-ts on ya” taking that naivete’ away. Anyway, I loved this post just a tad more than your others because it brought back happy childhood memories. Although, some of your other posts have done the same.
    Keep up the gorgeous, awe-inspiring work and don’t burn yourself out to where you lose your passion for it. I, for one, will always be here waiting.


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