oh deer.

Congrats to Laura Hopwood, the winner of the day no. 2 prize.  I’ll be drawing a name for the winner of the day no. 3 prize tomorrow (is this getting confusing for you guys too?  I’m doing my best to keep track of it all), if you haven’t commented on that post you have until midnight tonight!

In the meantime, today is day 4 of my 12 days of giveaways, and I’m first sharing the transformation of this adorable (if I do say so myself) metal toolbox.

This toolbox started out looking like this …

My picker, Sue, found this for me.  She always grabs metal toolboxes when she sees them.  She knows I love to give these a new life with some paint.

To begin with I washed the toolbox using Dawn dish washing soap to cut any grease that might have been left behind by the former owner.  Next I added a coat of Miss Mustard Seed’s Tough Coat Sealer to prevent the rust from coming through my paint.

Today’s q tip:  Keep in mind that the Tough Coat Sealer does not block stain from bleeding thru (try the Dixie Belle BOSS for that), but I have found that it works well as a protective coat over rust.  It also works well as a top coat for a rusty piece when you want to retain the rusty look.

Next I pulled out a couple of new Dixie Belle paint colors, Sawmill Gravy and French Linen.  I can tell you now, both of these colors will be making their way onto my list of favorite neutrals.

I first painted the entire toolbox in two coats of the Sawmill Gravy.  Once dry, I taped off a wide stripe down the middle and painted it in the French Linen.  After that dried, I sanded the box lightly and then added a few sections from re.design with Prima’s Deer transfer.

I have to say, I totally underestimated the cuteness factor of this transfer!  When I first saw it I thought it was only going to be good for some sort of man-cave or hunting shack item.  But then I looked a little closer and realized it had a reindeer on it.

Seriously!  How cute is that?

If you have a few men in your life and you are looking for something that’s not feminine and flowery, be sure to check out the Deer transfer.  And if you really do need to dress something up for the hunting shack, this transfer would still be perfect for that too 😉

Now, for today’s giveaway.  I wish I had a spare Deer transfer, but unfortunately I don’t.  I do, however, have some Sawmill Gravy and French Linen to give away.  I also thought, why not give them away along with the toolbox itself?  They fit perfectly inside.

Thank you to Dixie Belle Paint Co for sponsoring this giveaway by providing the paint, and to Prima Marketing for providing the Deer transfer that I used on the tool box.

The rules:  to be eligible to win today’s prize leave a comment on this blog post.  If you can’t think of anything to say, just tell me what you would keep in this toolbox.  Your comment must be left on the blog, 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 Friday, December 6, 2019 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 $65, if the prize is not claimed by Sunday, December 8, another name will be drawn at random to win, blah, blah, blah.

Good luck!

me and Switzerland.

It’s day 3 of my 12 days of giveaways, and today I’m giving away a couple of my favorite shades of Dixie Belle Paint.  But first, congrats to Susan Williams who won the day 1 prize.  Last night at midnight was the cut off to be eligible for the day 2 prize so I haven’t drawn that name yet but I’ll get on it this morning.

I go through two Dixie Belle colors like there’s no tomorrow.  I have to say that, like Switzerland, I tend to stay neutral.  Partially because I find that neutral shades sell really well for me, but also simply because personally I currently prefer them in my own home too.

Drop Cloth is probably the color I use most often these days.

Drop Cloth is a warm, creamy white with a slightly greige undertone.  It’s not a yellow-ish cream, and it’s definitely not a bright white.

It’s my white of choice because I feel like you can bring this color into any room and it will play well with your other shades of white.  It won’t make any of them look dingy, although it may make some of your brighter whites look brighter.

My 2nd favorite neutral Dixie Belle color is Midnight Sky.  I originally favored their Caviar, and I do still love that color, but as I’ve been living with both of these shades of black I’ve realized that I prefer the Midnight Sky.  It’s just a hair lighter and leans more towards a deep, dark charcoal.

Because this color is slightly … well, for lack of a better description … less black than the Caviar I think it tends to be more forgiving when it comes to dust or smudges.

I used this color on my piano and quite honestly, I rarely dust.  So I need a dark color that is more forgiving 😉

The brush that I tend to reach for the most these days when using the Dixie Belle paint is their Flat Medium Synthetic brush.  It holds a nice amount of paint and I find that the shape of the handle makes it really comfortable to hold in my hand.  It’s also the perfect size to fit into even the smallest Dixie Belle paint jar without catching on the lip.  I know you aren’t supposed to paint straight out of the jar, but I do it all the time (maybe you guys should do as I say, not as I do on this one).  It may be my imagination, but somehow this brush also seems easier to clean that my Purdy brushes.  I have no idea why that would be, maybe the type of bristle?

Anyway, today’s giveaway is for all of you fellow neutral lovers out there.  It includes a 16 oz. jar of Drop Cloth, a 16 oz. jar of Midnight Sky and the Flat Medium Synthetic Brush.

Thank you to Dixie Belle Paint Co for sponsoring this giveaway by providing these products.

The rules:  to be eligible to win today’s prize leave a comment on this blog post.  If you can’t think of anything to say, just tell me whether you’re a fellow lover of neutrals or you prefer lots of color in your world.  Your comment must be left on the blog, 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 Wednesday, December 4, 2019 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 $65, if the prize is not claimed by Sunday, December 8, another name will be drawn at random to win, blah, blah, blah.

Good luck!

problem solvers.

Welcome back for day 2 of my 12 days of giveaways!

Today I want to talk about problem solvers.  When you’ve been refurbishing furniture as long as I have (25+ years), you know that running into problems is a given.  It’s rare to find a piece of furniture that just needs a coat of paint slapped on and it’s good to go.  More often, it has other problems that need to be solved first.

Luckily I have some help in that area in the form of my neighbor/handyman and number 1 problem solver, Ken.

Ken is a fixer.  He gets great satisfaction out of finding creative ways to fix things.  One of his favorite fix-it successes was the Humpty Dumpty dresser.  It was named that for obvious reasons.  All of the king’s horses and all of the king’s men may not have been able to put it together again, but Ken did.

After taking a fall off of the horses (the saw horse kind, not the kind the king’s men had), the Humpty Dumpty dresser looked like this …

But after a few days in Ken’s workshop, it looked like this …

To this day Ken still talks about how much he enjoyed rebuilding this dresser.  Sometimes I’m tempted to look for more pieces that are totally falling apart just to give Ken a puzzle to work on.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t think of a way to give away a ‘Ken’ today, but I can give away a couple of great products that help me deal with smaller problems.  The first problem being the dreaded bleed thru.

It’s always such a bummer when you realize your piece has stain that bleeds thru paint.  No matter how many coats of paint you put over this stain, the stain will just keep coming through.  But there’s a great fix for that though, Dixie Belle’s BOSS.  The drawers shown above are a great example.  They had some serious bleed thru issues as you can see on the top drawer, but the lower drawer shows how beautifully the BOSS worked to block the stain.

Another problem I run into fairly often is when a piece of furniture is missing just one drawer pull.  I always joke about this because if a piece is missing just one, it might as well be missing them all, right?

This washstand is a good example.  It was missing just one drawer pull, and I would have had a difficult time finding an exact match as a replacement.

So instead, I filled the holes for the original drawer pulls and added centered knobs to the drawers rather than pulls.

My favorite product for filling holes is Dixie Belle’s Mud, and I apply it using their little plastic spatula.

Today’s giveaway consists of these two problem solvers; Dixie Belle’s BOSS and Mud.

Plus a chip brush and the plastic spatula that works great with the Mud.

Thank you to Dixie Belle Paint Co for sponsoring this giveaway by providing these products.

The rules:  to be eligible to win today’s prize leave a comment on this blog post.  If you can’t think of anything to say, just tell me what problem you run into most often while DIY’ing.  Your comment must be left on the blog, 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, December 1, 2019 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 $40, if the prize is not claimed by Tuesday, December 3, another name will be drawn at random to win, blah, blah, blah.

Good luck!

12 days of giveaways.

Here in the U.S. tomorrow is Thanksgiving.  If any of you have been following me since the beginning you may remember that I started my blog on Thanksgiving weekend 2013.  So yep, that makes this my six year blogiversary!  Well, technically speaking, it was yesterday.  But close enough.

Quite honestly, I never thought I’d make it past five years.

I also never thought I’d make it past 25 followers.

While I haven’t ‘gone viral’ and I don’t seem to have made it into the inner circle of ‘cool kids’ (just like in high school), today I’m feeling incredibly grateful for all of the amazing things this blog has brought my way.  But I’m especially thankful for all of you.  Without you, there would be no q is for quandie.  So thank you for following, commenting, sharing and otherwise supporting my blog.

Now it’s time to celebrate with 12 days of giveaways!

Starting today and running every Monday, Wednesday & Friday until December 23, I’m going to post a giveaway here on the blog.  That’s four weeks of giveaways!!  Woo hoo!

So let’s get this ball rolling, shall we?

I know it’s a little like picking my favorite child, and we aren’t supposed to do that, but I have to confess that Re.design with Prima Marketing is one of my favorite sponsors.  I feel incredibly honored to be included on their Design Team.

I get so excited when they have a new release and they send me a box of stuff.  The latest box even literally arrived on my birthday, what a treat!  And I can’t share any of it with you today.  The official reveal date of this latest release is December 16, so I have to sit here, all alone, drooling over these new designs until then.

In the meantime, today I’m giving away their Fresh Flowers transfer.  Last summer I used half of the transfer on this drop leaf table.

Here is the full design.

I’m still hanging on to that upper portion waiting for just the right project to come along.  But the lower portion was perfect for the table.

And of course, I am giving away the entire transfer (not just my unused portion, that would be tacky, right?)

Just to add a little something more to this giveaway, I’m also including the Queen Bee clay pot that I used for staging that piece.

I painted the pot using Miss Mustard Seed milk paint, and then used Fusion Transfer Gel to add the graphic (check out this post for all of the details).  Not all of my pots turned out that day, but this one is my favorite of the bunch.

Thank you to Re.design with Prima Marketing for sponsoring this giveaway by providing the transfer.

The rules:  to be eligible to win today’s prize leave a comment on this blog post.  If you can’t think of anything to say, just tell me what your favorite fresh flower is.  Your comment must be left on the blog, 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 Friday, November 29, 2019 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 $40, if the prize is not claimed by Sunday, December 1, another name will be drawn at random to win, blah, blah, blah.

Good luck!

full service is our rule.

A while back one of my fellow Reclaiming Beautiful vendors stopped by and she happened to admire the yardstick shelves that I have in my living room.

After she left I realized that it had been a while since Ken and I teamed up to make these shelves.  So I dug through my stash out in the carriage house and I found six random yardsticks (I tend to grab them when I see them at garage sales).

I thought both the red one and the one with the green writing would be perfect for Christmas.  But the other ones needed a little something more, they didn’t have any color or that aged patina that I love so much.

So I decided to fake it with a little stain.

I just used an old t-shirt to wipe on a little Early American stain, and voila!  Aged patina.

Next I sent the yardsticks over to Ken to be added to some old bead boards to make shelves.  I shared all of the details on constructing these back in this post …

So be sure to go back and check that out if you want to make some for yourself.

Once the shelves were made up, I was trying to decide what sorts of things could go on the red shelf to give it a holiday look.  Santa and some green bottle brush trees give it a traditional look.

Then I remembered the really cool clock that my sister purchased at last year’s Holly Jolly Market.  I decided that I could replicate it using my Cricut machine, some red vinyl and one of my own vintage alarm clocks.

I want to reiterate that this clever idea is not my own.  I wish I had gotten the name of the vendor that my sister purchased her clock from so that I could give them credit, but I neglected to do that.

But I love the Christmas clock paired with the red yardstick shelf.  What a unique, vintage look for Christmas decor right?

Since I had the Cricut out, I decided to make up a 2nd clock to bring to Reclaiming Beautiful.

If you’re not so into red for Christmas, the plain yardstick shelves can also be dressed up for the holidays.

This monochromatic look is a little more ‘me’.  I purchased these little houses at my local Bachman’s store a couple of years ago.  They look great paired up with some bleached bottle brush trees.  I was hoping to add another to my non-collection (because I swear I don’t collect anything) this year, but when my sister and I stopped in there on Saturday all we could find were much bigger, more elaborate (and more expensive) ones.  So I guess I’ll just stick with the three that I already have.

I love the clever little sayings on some of the yardsticks like the “Full Service is our Rule” above.  These must have been fun customer giveaways back in the day.  And now they make unique shelves for displaying your non-collections!

I’m planning to head in to Reclaiming Beautiful this week with the clock, the shelves and a few more Christmas goodies that I threw together yesterday (unless our weather decides not to cooperate).  If any of you locals want to do some shopping over Thanksgiving weekend, please note that they are closed on Thursday but will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday & Saturday, and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

old school sign making.

Remember the foot board that I purchased at the St. Anthony Park sales last summer?

There it is peeking out from behind the little cupboard.

The sellers said they were using the headboard that matched this piece, but they had no use for the foot board.  I think I paid around $5 for it.  I’m sure when they put it out they wondered if anyone in their right mind would purchase a lone foot board.

My initial plan was to either add a shelf (like I did here) or turn it into a chalkboard (like I did here).  But if you’ve read my blog for very long you are probably beginning to realize that I rarely stick with my initial plan.

Instead I decided to turn it into a Christmas themed sign, adding hooks across the bottom for hanging stockings.

I started by painting the foot board in Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth.  Next I had to go back to my sign making roots.  I dug out my alphabet stencils to use as a guide, but rather than stenciling each letter I just traced them with pencil …

then went back and painted them in by hand.

I have been totally spoiled with the larger scale furniture transfers from Prima Marketing.  Those are so easy to apply and usually go on pretty quickly.  Hand painting letters is a bit trickier, and I’m never fully satisfied with my work.

But I reminded myself that a rustic, hand painted look was what I was going for so it didn’t have to be perfect.

Once I had the lettering painted I decided to fill in the rest of the space with some sections from the Christmas Farm stencil that I’ve been using on lots of projects this year (FYI – last I checked this stencil was on sale for $11 at Maison de Stencils).

I doctored it up a little this time using a “25” on the truck door rather than the wreath that comes on the stencil.  I also just flipped it over to have the truck facing the other way on one side of my sign.

I pick up old hooks whenever I see them at garage sales, so I dug into my stash and found 4 that were similar.  I painted them using Miss Mustard Seed’s milk paint in Boxwood that was leftover from the chair that I’m going to share in just a minute.

As you can see, they got pretty chippy.  But I’m a fan of chippy.  So I knocked off all of the loose paint and then sprayed them with a shellac type sealer so they wouldn’t be leaving chips of paint everywhere.

I didn’t actually have 4 matching Christmas stockings to hang from the hooks so I experimented with a pitcher and towel for some of my photos …

but then I decided to hang a kid-sized chair from two hooks to see how that would look.

Speaking of which, remember the trio of holiday chairs I shared two weeks ago?  Well, they sold like hotcakes at Reclaiming Beautiful so I found another set of 4 on Facebook Marketplace, picked them up last weekend, painted them, and brought them to the shop on Wednesday.

Three of them got painted in the Dixie Belle Drop Cloth with the Christmas Farm stencil, similar to this one …

I figured those weren’t worth sharing here on the blog since they are basically just a repeat of the ones I shared two weeks ago.

But I decided to try a different look with the 4th one.  I painted it in Miss Mustard Seed’s Boxwood milk paint.  I should back up a minute and mention that these chairs had already been painted multiple times when I got them (in the close up photo below you can see blue and white peeking out beneath the green).  I always do more prep work when painting over existing paint.  In this case I sanded them very thoroughly and then cleaned them with TSP substitute.  I also opted to use the bonding agent in my milk paint because it’s always dicey whether or not milk paint will stick to a previously painted surface.

Normally I wouldn’t choose milk paint for a previously painted piece, but I really wanted this particular shade of green so I went with it.

I painted the chair back using the Dixie Belle Drop Cloth and added a section of the Prima Marketing Gingham Red transfer over that.  Finally, I stenciled the seat using a warm white craft paint.

Adding the stencil totally made this one work.  I used Dixie Belle’s Big Mama’s Butta as a final finish over everything including the transfer.

My friend, and fellow Reclaiming Beautiful vendor, Lisa, gave me the pitcher.  She’d been planning to sell it, but it has a crack in it.  She thought it would work well for photo shoots though, and I have to agree.  It was perfect for this one.

The battery operated lights came from Target last year.  I’m not sure if they have them again this year.

I’m really enjoying working on these smaller holiday projects lately.  I’m not sure when I’ll get back to painting ‘real’ pieces of furniture, it may not be until after the new year.  It’s always good to take a little bit of a break before coming back with fresh ideas, right?

As always, thank you to Dixie Belle Paint Co and Redesign with Prima Marketing for supplying the products used in these projects.

what’s hiding in your attic?

Last weekend Mr. Q and I took part in our annual holiday tradition of getting the decorations out of the attic.

We can access our attic two ways.  There is a small door to it inside the guest room closet, plus the doors in the dining room (shown below) also open into the attic space (which is technically just above the kitchen and not the rest of the house).  I should mention that our attic is only about 4′ tall at most, so you can’t actually walk in there.

Mr. Q is always gracious enough to take the crappy part of the job, which is crawling in through the guest room closet and then lying on his stomach to hand things down to me through those doors shown above.

As a result, I never actually see what all is up there in the attic.  So this time I asked him to look around and see if there was stuff up there that we could discard.  Turns out we’ve been shoving things in there and forgetting about them for years.  I couldn’t believe all of the boxes and boxes of stuff that he was pulling out.  We’re still in the process of dealing with all of it.

Mr. Q even pulled out two boxes of old books that I had completely forgotten about.  They came from my parents when they moved out to Las Vegas.

Mr. Q claims that he has read every single one of them.  He went through them one by one and read them on his lunch hour back in the 90’s and it took him the entire decade.  But really Mr. Q?  Did you even read the Freud?

Anyway, I decided that I would try painting a few of these as holiday decorations and see whether or not they sell.  I’ve painted books a few times in the past and I’ve always loved them.   Here are some I did way back when I first started blogging …

I usually paint and then stencil mine, but I saw quite a few of them at the Holly Jolly Market that were painted and then stamped with words on the spines like “joy to the world” and such.

So I pulled out some Dixie Belle paint in Drop Cloth and painted a few.  But instead of stamping them with holiday words, I decided to try adding some Prima Marketing holiday transfers.

I first used the leftover bits from the Gingham Red transfer that I used on the kiddo sized chairs that I shared a couple of weeks ago just on the spine of one book.

This is a great way to use up some of those leftover scraps!

Then I pulled out the Christmas Greetings transfer and used sections of it on the other books.  I started out just using the smaller portions of the design that I thought would fit well on the book covers.

But then I realized that I could use the bigger sections and just wrap them around the spines, or cut them off at the edges.  Even though it feels a little wasteful to not use the entire image, I often prefer the look of a design that goes edge to edge like this.

Once I had all of my transfers applied, I sanded the books lightly to smooth out the finish and distress the edges.  Then I used Dixie Belle’s Big Mama’s Butta to add a light coating of wax for protection.

The final step was to put them in bundles and tie them with ribbon.

I’m betting that a few of you will totally relate, but do you have some crafting supplies that you never use because they are just too precious and you don’t want to ‘waste’ them?

That’s how I feel about this gorgeous vintage velvet ribbon.  I have to laugh because I only paid $2.50 for it at a garage sale, but still … I treat it like it’s gold or something.

I’ve had it for years but have only used the smallest bits of it.  And in the end, I didn’t actually use it on the books because I felt like it covered up too much of the transfer.  It sure looked pretty for these pictures though 😉

As always, thanks to Dixie Belle Paint Co and Prima Marketing for providing the products I used to restyle these books.

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

If you’re looking for Prima Marketing products you can find local retailers here, or online sources here.

And if you’re looking for my painted books you can find them at Reclaiming Beautiful in Stillwater, MN while they last.