the cart before the horses.

First off, thank you all so much for your comments on Monday’s post.
There was a good mix of city slickers and country bumpkins with a few suburbanites plus one ‘lake lassie’ thrown in for good measure.  It was fun to read all of your various reasons for your choice of country v. city!

Don’t forget, if you didn’t already comment on Monday’s post, you have until Friday to leave a comment on that post to be in the running for the prize.

You’ll remember back in May I purchased some handmade vintage wooden toys at a garage sale for $1.  They weren’t marked and there was a sign at the sale that said everything that wasn’t marked was a quarter.  But I really thought the seller would say “Oh, but not those …” when I asked about them, but instead she said “you can have them all for $1.”

My first makeover was the adorable pull-toy elephant whose head bobs up and down when you pull him along.

My handyman Ken had to do a few repairs on him before I gave him a milk paint makeover.

Next up was the truck.

Ken fixed the gate on the truck bed, and then I used Dixie Belle paint and some Prima Marketing knob transfers to dress it up.

I’ve saved the best for last though.  I called this one the Find of the Day when I bought it.

I just love those horses.

But I didn’t love the faded shades of red and green on the wheels and the wagon bed.  So I painted the wheels using Dixie Belle’s Midnight Sky and the wagon bed using Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth.  Initially I had also planned on repainting the horses, but in the end I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to recreate those faces adequately.  So instead I just gave them a good scrubbing to clean them up.

I mean really, how sweet are those faces?

And the Drop Cloth on the wagon was a pretty good match for the existing color on the horses.

Once the cart was painted I added some portions of the smaller Prima Marketing Seeds transfer to each side.

They were perfectly suited for it.

I filled the wagon with a set of Wonder Books of the World’s Progress.

I purchased them at a garage sale too.  There were quite a few sets of vintage books for sale and another shopper was scrutinizing them all, I’m sure looking for publishing dates and trying to figure out if they might be valuable.  But I just grabbed these because I thought they were pretty.

They are such a lovely shade of blue.  And they just happened to fit perfectly in the cart being pulled by these horses.

Small projects like these aren’t great money makers for me, especially considering the amount of time that goes into them.  I’d be much better off spending that time working on a piece of furniture.  But I love taking cast off things like these toys and bringing them back to life.  I know my handyman Ken really enjoyed working on these toys as well.

How about you guys?  Do you enjoy the blog posts about small projects like this, or would you prefer it was all furniture, all the time?

65 thoughts on “the cart before the horses.

  1. Please keep the mix-up of projects. The “smalls” can add such a nice punch to the over all look of a room.
    Thank you.

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  2. Love, love!!

    I agree that they aren’t money makers but they are always so much fun to transform that you just can’t resist!

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  3. I love large and small projects … they inspire me to relook at items I already have and update them. I pretty much enjoy everything and look forward to your blog arriving .

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    1. I have to admit, I’m struggling to part with the books. I have them priced up and ready to go to Reclaiming Beautiful tonight, but I’m not sure they’ll get there. They’d be great props for future photo shoots.

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    1. I’m betting that you meant to leave this comment on Monday’s post Sharon. I can’t move it for you, but hopefully you’ll see this and go back and leave a comment on Monday’s post to be eligible for the drawing.

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  4. Your toys are charming!I like a good mix of smalls and the larger pieces. ,especially when you paint them blue,my favorite color.

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    1. I love blue too, but lately I’ve been on a bit of a green kick. I took a load of stuff over to the shop last night and green was predominate. And I’ll be sharing a little green here on Friday too. But I’ll be sure to get some blue pieces on the agenda too 😉

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  5. I love the little stuff! Especially for those of us that don’t have the time or space for bigger pieces. But of course, I do love living vicariously through your furniture adventures. So keep it up! Big and small, it’s all delightful🤗🤗🤗

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  6. Hi Quandie,
    Firstly, if that’s a word, I’m so glad I found your site. Sharing is caring and you must care about us an awful lot. This hit home because I have a huge French Style table I bought two years ago in the desert that’s topped with scarred veneer. Rather than tackling it and moving on I keep creating new small projects. It’s oddly satisfying. Your pieces are adorable!!

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    1. I’m glad you found me too Dorothy! And I know exactly how you feel. I have a huge cupboard out in the workshop that I’ve been meaning to get to since last summer. I really need to get that one done this summer!

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  7. The mix of large and small seems to make us all happy so you seem to have the perfect balance. Thifting is looking at items with potential and bringing out their sometimes “hidden” beauty. One of the reasons I read blogs is to get ideas for interesting pieces that seem like junk to others…the hunt is the best part of thrifting.

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  8. Love the smalls and the new life you give them.They are the treasures that make for a good garage sale. The books are amazing-love the blue, the size and the fact you could find a set.Your staging is always spot on!

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  9. Linda, I love your blog. I hope you can continue doing what you do! I hope companies will continue to provide you with products to inspire us readers! Thanks for all the inspiration!!

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  10. I love all your posts!! You always inspire me. I mostly do furniture and your furniture posts do give me new ideas. But, your posts on small projects may be my favorite as they often surprise me with what you create. Keep all your posts coming. I follow 6 or 7 bloggers. I’m not ‘blowing smoke’ when I tell you that your posts are the only ones I read faithfully!
    Thanks for sharing your creativity!

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  11. I DO love furniture but it’s so fun to see all your “little” projects too. It is wonderful inspiration for when I don’t have enough time or energy for a larger piece. All of your blog posts make me think “I want to do that!”

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    1. I think that is one of the best things about the smaller projects, they are really very do-able. No need for lots of tools, a dedicated workshop or even lots of product.

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  12. Love everything you do. Please don’t change a thing!! Finally ordered my first transfers from Prime and they should be here by Monday next. Ordered the “Finiky Fox” and the rooster. Thanks so much for the inspiration. When you get to be my age you have the fun of watching things cycle in and out…and they truly do. We had retail stores for 20 years and at one time could not keep roosters on the shelf. Then they went away. Now they are back and I love it. They have so much character!! Kaye

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  13. I love the mix of them all including the bigs, the smalls,the travel,gardening and scrapbooking. We can always count on you for inspiration.

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    1. Gosh, I’ve really fallen off the wagon when it comes to the scrapbooking. I need to get back to doing more of that, but it’s always lowest on the priority list.

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  14. Keep on doing what you’re doing – I love all of your projects. I’ve had a similar horse and wagon for years and am inspired by the makeover, but mine is missing a wheel. I NEED Ken!!!

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  15. All of these toys turned out darling. I do like to do various small projects occasionally. I do a variety of things. Sometimes the large pieces can be overwhelming and not go as planned. When that happens, I tend to do a few little things for awhile. I love just being creative. 😊

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    1. Me too! Since creativity tends to be frowned upon by authorities in my day job (creative accounting can get you into trouble), I need to find lots of ways to get creative in my free time 😉

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  16. I love all your posts ! Furniture is my favorite, but I really enjoy all make-overs. I was a faithful MMS follower as I adored all the furniture posts and then it became all about her house and I lost interest. Once in awhile is fine, but all the time really turned me off. I love seeing all the great things you do! Thank you!

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  17. 61 comments do far. Wow you asked the right question. All well made vintage survivals deserve a make over if rescued. You have the vision and resources. Great job.

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    1. Who would have thought this would be such a compelling question, right? But certainly sounds like lots of people are enjoying the small transformations 🙂

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