perfection is not the name of my game.

I bet you guys have practically forgotten that I also paint furniture.  It definitely has been a hot minute since I worked on any.  That tends to happen this time of year though.  I usually have a big push in the fall to finish up any pieces that are out in my workshop, and then I go into Christmas mode and mainly work on smaller items of some sort.

Then shortly after the holidays I get itching to work on furniture again.

So with that in mind, I started searching Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist to find a likely candidate and I came across this dresser.

I chose it for a couple of reasons.  First of all, the price.  I got a great deal on it.  Second, I thought the style was fairly versatile.  It has a bit of a mid-mod vibe without being overtly mid-mod.  I liked the relatively clean lines and the curve.

The dresser needed a few quick repairs before I could get around to the fun part of painting it.  Ken replaced a missing runner underneath one drawer …

Then I did a lot of gluing of loose veneer.  If you look closely at the before photo you can see that there was a lot of veneer damage on the sides of the drawers and on the base.  So once I had the loose pieces securely glued down, I used some of Dixie Belle’s Mud to fill any gaps.

Next up I stripped the finish on the top of the dresser using CitriStrip.  It wasn’t until I had the top completely stripped that I noticed there was a chunk of veneer missing up there too.

Well, drat!  I know nothing about patching veneer, so I wasn’t going to attempt that.  I also hated the idea of filling it and then painting the top after all of that work stripping it.  So ultimately I decided to just live with it.  Since when am I aiming for perfection?

Well, about that … here’s a little sidebar for you … I tend to fall down rabbit holes on YouTube and my most recent rabbit hole is Baumgartner Restoration.  He does fine art restoration with painstaking attention to detail.  After spending too much time watching his videos I was starting to think that I should be aiming for perfection myself.

But then I remembered, this is cast off furniture not fine art.  My goal is functionality and decorative appeal, not perfection.  This flaw is towards the back and any potential buyer is likely to have something on top of this dresser that covers up that spot anyway.

A pile of books does the job perfectly.

So after sanding the top smooth, rather than re-staining and adding a clear coat, I decided to just give it a coat of clear wax to bring out its beauty but also leave it a bit more on the rustic side.

I decided to hedge my bets and give the base a coat of Dixie Belle’s clear B.O.S.S. before painting it.  I wasn’t sure if the orange-y stain would bleed or not, but I’ve learned over time, better safe than sorry.  It’s so much easier to just go ahead and add that B.O.S.S. from the get-go (too bad I didn’t apply this knowledge to the boxes I shared on Friday!).

Next came two coats of Dixie Belle’s Bunker Hill Blue.

It’s such a gorgeous, rich shade of blue.

While the paint dried, I decided to brighten up those figure 8 drawer pulls with some metallic wax.

In this case, I used the with prima décor wax in Eternal.  I find it easiest to just apply this stuff with my finger while wearing a latex glove.  Before applying the wax, I prepped the pulls by simply washing them in hot water with Dawn dish soap.

I let the wax dry for about 24 hours, and then buff it up just a little with a soft cloth.  Those gold pulls really pop against the Bunker Hill Blue.

Before putting the pulls back on, I lightly sanded the paint with 220 grit sandpaper and then finished up with a coat of Dixie Belle’s Big Mama’s Butta in the Orange Grove scent.

If you’ve never used this product, I like to describe it as halfway between wax and hemp oil.  It contains all-natural hemp seed oil, coconut oil, beeswax, and carnauba wax.  It works really well for rejuvenating dried out wood, but it can also be used over chalk paint (or milk paint for that matter).

I apply it with a wax brush and then buff away the excess with an old t-shirt.  In this case, a dark blue t-shirt to avoid leaving white fibers behind.

This dresser is super sturdy, and crazy heavy.  They really don’t make them like this anymore.  It’s also quite large.  I’m not sure it looks it in the photos, but it is 4′ wide.

I hope that even though I didn’t achieve perfection, I did breath a little new life into this one.

What do you think?

This piece is for sale locally, check my ‘available for local sale‘ page for more details.  And as always, thank you to Dixie Belle Paint Co for providing the paint and butta used in this makeover.

mistakes were made.

I picked up a pair of wooden boxes while thrifting a week or so ago.

After sanding and cleaning them, I painted them with Dixie Belle’s Endless Shore, which is from their Silk paint line (ie. an acrylic paint with a built in primer and top coat).

I pulled out I.O.D.’s Floral Anthology transfer to decorate box no. 1.

After applying the florals, I added some French wording from the I.O.D. Label Ephemera transfer.

Full disclosure, I have only the vaguest idea of what these words mean so it could be total nonsense.  But it looks good to an English speaker.

After decorating the first box, I was about to do something similar with box no. 2.  But then I remembered a customer who once told me that she wished I didn’t put French words on everything!  So, I decided to go in a slightly different direction on the second box.

I first added some grain sack stripes using Dixie Belle’s French Linen.  Then I added the sheep from the I.O.D. Brocante transfer.  The little “No. 1120” and the date in the corners are from a Tim Holtz transfer.

I also added a farm name to the side of the box from the Everyday Farmhouse transfer from with prima.

Finally, I applied one of the with prima knob transfers to the top of the box.

I didn’t paint the insides of either box for a couple of reasons.  First of all, they aren’t real roomy inside and getting in there with a brush would have been a pain.  Second, they are clean inside, so they didn’t really need to be painted.

So far, so good, right?

But this is where I made my mistake.  As you can see in the photos, I distressed the edges of my boxes quite a bit.  Although the Silk paint has that built in topcoat, the transfer still needs some sort of sealer.  In addition, because I sanded the edges down to the bare wood, the Silk paint finish is compromised and will benefit from some protection on those edges as well.  Unfortunately, I decided to topcoat with Dixie Belle’s flat clear coat.  As I’ve learned in the past, sometimes a water based sealer will draw tannins out of the wood.

Honestly, I should have known better.  Look back at that ‘before’ photo, this wood was very orange-y red.  The Silk paint has a built-in stain blocking primer, and it was working quite well up until I added that flat clear coat.  All of the preceding photos were taken before the clear coat was added.

But about 24 hours after adding that clear coat, the boxes started to show bleed thru.

It’s much more obvious on the back of the boxes, but if you’re familiar with the look of bleed thru you can see it on the front as well.  Especially in the area I’ve circled below.

Also, FYI, the bleed thru continued to worsen over time.  Be forewarned, that can happen with bleed thru.  It has been about two weeks since I finished these and they seem to have stopped getting worse now.

If I could go back and start over I would opt to give these boxes a coat of Dixie Belle’s B.O.S.S., followed by their chalk style paint in Drop Cloth, and then a top coat of clear wax after applying the transfers.

But I can’t go back in time, so now what?

If these were pieces of furniture there is no way I would feel good about selling them ‘as is’, but these boxes?  Maybe?  I don’t know, what would you do?  Leave a comment and let me know!

typography transfers.

By now you all know that I have a love of typography.

I like putting words on things.

Sometimes that’s with a stencil.

Or sometimes with an I.O.D. paint inlay.

But most often it’s with a transfer.

My all-time favorite is the Label Ephemera transfer from I.O.D.

I do have one complaint about this one though, that the designs overlap each other.  It can be challenging to cut them apart, and some sections are simply unusable on their own.  In addition, this transfer has been retired, so it’s going to be harder and harder to get my hands on it.

I also really love I.O.D.’s Traditional Pots transfer.

However, all of the designs in this set are curved to fit on a cylindrical kind of object, ie. a pot.  So I think they look a little wonky on flat objects.

This button box is a good example of what I mean by that.  Here’s how it looks on a flat object.

And here’s how it looks on a curved object.

Yep, definitely better on a curved object.

I find that the Classic Vintage Labels from with prima are a little more versatile in that regard.

Although many of them have some curve to them, they also have some straight lines so they tend to work well on flat or curved surfaces.

I just ordered two more sets of these, so I’m looking forward to updating more thrifted finds with them.

But they are rather small.  They are perfect for little stuff, but don’t really have enough impact for bigger projects.

Speaking of small, I also sometimes use Tim Holtz transfers which are even smaller, or the knob transfers from with prima.

That’s one of the knob transfers on that miniature toolbox above and the dresser has a combination of Tim Holtz and I.O.D. Traditional Pots transfers.

Dixie Belle has recently come out with a typography transfer that works well for smaller items called Vintage Post.

I’ve used bits of it on various things like this tackle box.

But again, there is a lot of overlap of designs on this one that makes it challenging to cut out specific elements to use on their own.

Dixie Belle also has their On the Farm transfer that has some typography in it.

I particularly love that one.

And speaking of a ‘farm’ theme, with prima has Everyday Farmhouse.

It’s fairly basic.

Nonetheless, I’ve used it on lots of items.

I keep hoping that someone will come out with more designs similar to the Label Ephemera from I.O.D., whether that’s I.O.D., with prima, Dixie Belle, or some other manufacturer of transfers.

In the meantime, for a change of pace I recently ordered some of the new French Labels Middy transfers from with prima.

I picked up a no-name crock at the Goodwill recently.  I call it ‘no-name’ because it doesn’t have any markings on it anywhere, it’s just plain and not a collectable antique.  So I tested out one of the French Labels on it.

It dressed it up perfectly, taking it from drab to fab!

If you’re just starting out using transfers and you want something easy to apply, these Middy transfers are a great option.  They come on an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet and for around $16 you get three sheets of them, so you aren’t making a big financial commitment and you have plenty to play around with.

As far as quality goes, I find that all of these brands I’ve mentioned work quite well.  I can’t honestly say that the quality of any one brand is better than the others.  The I.O.D. transfers come on a gridded sheet that makes it easier to keep them straight which is nice.  But basically I tend to choose based on the look of the graphics themselves.

You have some options for purchasing transfers.

You can try to find a brick and mortar shop near you that carries them.  Here are links to the ‘find a retailer’ page for I.O.D., Dixie Belle and with prima.  I will warn you though, many of the brick and mortar retailers don’t have a full inventory of products so it can be very hit or miss.  Before driving very far, I would call to see if your nearest retailer has the item you want.

I almost exclusively order my transfers online.  There are lots and lots of options for purchasing from online sellers.  One resource is Etsy.  One caution there, make sure you are looking at transfers.  You’ll also find decals, and digital prints and other things that look like transfers, but aren’t.  Read the fine print before placing your order.

Initially ordering via Etsy has led me to retailers that I now order from directly.

For I.O.D. products, I like The Painted Heirloom.  She always ships items super fast, however, you will pay $6.95 for shipping if you spend less than $60.  She doesn’t offer free shipping until you’ve spent $150 or more.  She also doesn’t have any back inventory of retired designs, so I’m out of luck on getting any more Label Ephemera from her (check Etsy for retired designs, there are usually people out there with back stock).

For with prima products, I ordered my Middy labels from Flipping Fabulous.  She also ships super fast, and offers free shipping for orders over $75.  The Classic Vintage Labels I ordered recently came from Sweet Pickins.  That can be a handy way to order if you also happen to need some of their In a Pickle milk paint!

I always order my Dixie Belle transfers directly from their website, but they do charge shipping.

As for small Tim Holtz transfers, you can find some of his stuff at Hobby Lobby or Michaels, although I don’t know what their current inventory looks like.

I hope I’ve answered a few questions about transfers today.  Now how about you?  Do you have a favorite brand of transfer?  And if so, why?  Leave a comment and let us know.

the naturalist’s box.

My picker, Sue, found this box for me.

As you can see above, the top half of the latch wasn’t attached.  However, it was inside the box so I was able to re-attach it as you’ll see in a minute.

After sanding and cleaning the box, I painted it in two coats of Dixie Belle’s Sawmill Gravy.

I have to say, after painting the other two boxes from my thrift haul in their Silk paint (an acrylic paint, and you’ll see the results of that in a coming post), I think I prefer working with the chalk style paint on these sorts of items.  It adheres better, it distresses more easily, and since I will be adding transfers that have to be sealed anyway the fact of the built-in topcoat in the Silk paint is irrelevant.

That brings me to the fun part, adding bits and pieces of transfers.

The wording on the top is from the I.O.D. Label Ephemera transfer.

The floral bit on the front that flows up onto the top is from the I.O.D. Brocante transfer.

As are the bee and the butterfly (on the top).

That smaller wording is all from a Tim Holtz transfer called Specimen.

After sealing the box with some of Dixie Belle’s flat clear coat, I reattached the original latch.

I then lined the inside of the box with some scrapbook paper and called it good.

Now it’s ready to hold some field notes, specimens, curiosities or evidence … or whatever one wants to keep inside a box.

If you are local and have need of a box to store your specimens in … wait, that sounds gross … but you know what I mean … be sure to check my ‘available for local sale‘ page as this box is for sale.

Thank you to Dixie Belle Paint Co for providing the paint and sealer used on this box.

beating the winter blues.

A little while back one of my readers, who also happens to live near me, offered me a box of bottlebrush trees and this blue tacklebox.

That was awfully kind of her, don’t you think?

I rather liked that pretty shade of cobalt blue, but I didn’t love the stenciled yellow wording or the big patches of rust.  The lid was a bit banged up too.  So I used a hammer to mostly pound the lid back into shape (pound gently from the inside to push a dent out), then I did my usual cleaning/sanding/priming with Dixie Belle’s B.O.S.S.  Then I decided to pay homage to the original color of this tackle box by painting it in Dixie Belle’s Cobalt Blue.

It’s a bit brighter than the original color of the tackle box, but who doesn’t need to brighten up these gloomy winter days a bit?  Might as well beat the winter blues with some Cobalt Blue.

I painted the box inside and out in the Cobalt.

So far I’ve used the I.O.D. Rose Chintz paint inlay over white, black and green, so this was my chance to try it over blue.

Sure enough, it works beautifully over blue too!

I ran the paint inlay all the way around the bottom portion of the tackle box.  Next came deciding what to do on the top.  I wasn’t sure that the black lettering of my usual I.O.D. Label Ephemera transfers would work.  So I decided to do a test board.

I painted it with the Cobalt Blue, then I pulled out some transfer scraps in black, gold and white to see how they looked over the blue.  The black was my least favorite, but then I’ve never been a big fan of the combination of black and blue.  The gold actually looked quite nice over the blue, but I didn’t think it would work as well with the paint inlay colors.  I was surprised to discover that I actually liked the white the best.  That is a scrap from the I.O.D. Traditional Pots transfer.

I have to say, the newer white transfers are a huge improvement over the old ones.  Or, at least these Traditional Pots are.

So I went with some bits and pieces from that transfer on the top of the toolbox.

Looks pretty good, right?

The white transfer ties in nicely with the little touches of white in the paint inlay.

I used clear wax to seal the top and interior of this box, and I used a spray matte sealer over the paint inlay.  If it were summer I would have spray sealed the entire thing, but this time of year I try to keep my spraying to a minimum.  It involves taking the item outside, spraying quick, and then bringing it back inside to dry.

I have to admit, I wasn’t sure at first how I was going to stage this one.  Then I remembered my pretty blue and white tea cup, and I thought it would make the perfect prop.  But what to fill it with?

Q tips of course!

And that led to staging this one as a makeup case.

I mean, why not, right?  Who says you can’t keep your cosmetics in a tacklebox?

If the Cobalt Blue is just a bit too much for you, I recommend trying Dixie Belle’s Bunker Hill Blue as an alternative.

Next time I think I might try a 50/50 mix of both colors, which might be just perfect for a piece of furniture.  But for today, that pop of Cobalt Blue is perfect for beating the winter blues.

If any of you locals would like a Cobalt Blue tacklebox for your makeup, or for anything else, be sure to check out my ‘available for local sale‘ page for more details because this one is for sale.

Thank you to Dixie Belle Paint Co for supplying the B.O.S.S. and paint used in this makeover.

the birds and the bee.

I’ve got a couple of signs to share with you guys today.

The first is a short and sweet makeover of the cupboard door sign I whipped up last November.

I don’t know, I thought it was pretty cute.  But it didn’t sell.  So I brought it home from the shop and I was planning to just tuck it away until next November and try again.

But as I was looking at it the other day, I thought it just might be the perfect size for the row of birds from the I.O.D. Brocante transfer.

So I sanded down the stenciled Christmas wording, vacuumed away the dust and then added a fresh coat of Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth.

That gave me a clean slate for adding those birds.

Aren’t they adorable?

Full disclosure; the Brocante transfer comes with two different rows of these birds.  It took a row and a half to fill my sign.  I trimmed one of the rows in half and pieced it in with the other full row.

The wording is from my usual favorite, the I.O.D. Label Ephemera transfer.

It was a quick and easy makeover, and now I plan to take it back to the shop and see if it sells this time around.

I just had to stage it up with my Custom Laundry Co hanger.

Last summer my neighbor/handyman Ken called up and said he had something I might want.  He’d been cleaning out the basement and he was going to throw it away, but at the last minute thought it might be something I’d like.  A vintage hanger that says “French Dry Cleaner” on it?  Yes, please!

Did you know that dry cleaning was invented by the French in the 18th century?  Originally it was referred to as “French” for that reason, but it’s the same dry cleaning technique as any other.  Who knew?  Well, google knew apparently.

Certainly “French Dry Cleaners” sounds way more posh, am I right?

Either way, I’m sure glad that Ken didn’t just throw that hanger in the trash.  It will be right at home with the rest of my vintage advertising hangers.

And in the meantime, it also looks good hanging from the birds.

Whether you do your laundry the old fashioned way with a bucket and washboard, the new fangled way with a washing machine, or you send it out for some French dry cleaning, this bird sign would be adorable in a laundry room.  Or a potting shed.  Or your foyer.  Or really just about anywhere.

I pulled out another cupboard door to turn into a sign last week as well.  This one was a blank slate, a factory finished door.  To give it a bit of age, I painted it in a base coat of Dixie Belle’s Collard Greens mixed with some of their Sea Spray to add some gunky old texture.  Once that was dry, I added a coat of DB’s Drop Cloth and then sanded it all down once the Drop Cloth was dry to reveal hints of the Collard Greens underneath.

Next I pulled out my I.O.D. Kindest Regards stamp …

and my VersaFine Clair ink in a color called Pinecone.

As I’ve mentioned here a few times, I’ve struggled in the past with using stamps on painted items.  I’ve never been totally happy with my results.  However, thanks to tips from a couple of my readers (using the VersaFine Clair ink over unsealed chalk paint) I think I’ve finally found success!

I stamped randomly onto the door creating a wordy background.  I let the ink dry for several hours before proceeding on to add some I.O.D. transfers.

I think using the stamp as an imperfect background rather than a focal point was the secret to making the stamped look work for me.

What do you think?

I’ll be bringing both of these signs into Reclaiming Beautiful in Stillwater this week, thus giving you locals another reason to head out there (remember, they are only open Thursday to Saturday each week).  While there, you could also check out the snow sculptures in Lowell Park (along the riverfront).  We stopped by on a foggy morning last weekend to see them.

This one from Team Flozen, the team from Florida, was my favorite.

It’s free to go see them, and you can go anytime of day or night.  I recommend going in the early morning to beat the crowds.  I think I’d also recommend going before the sub-zero temps kick in on Friday night!


faux enamelware.

Remember the galvanized hanging bucket thingies (I don’t really know what to call them) that I found while thrifting a week or so ago?

They have a black rolled rim and handle, so I thought that if I painted the galvanized part white they would look just like vintage enamelware.

One of my readers suggested I leave them as is and just add a transfer to the front, and I did consider it.  After all, I do like the look of galvanized stuff.  But these had that blotchy look that feels a little faux to me.  In addition, my ‘before’ photo doesn’t really show how dark they were.  I knew I wanted to dress them up with some transfers, and the black wording of most transfers doesn’t show up very well on the darker galvanized stuff.  Here’s an example of that.

It can create kind of a cool aged look, but I wanted to go for that enamelware look with these.

So I washed them first, and then painted them in Dixie Belle Silk paint in Endless Shore.

They really do look like classic enamelware now, don’t they?  Although not quite as shiny.

Next I started thinking about which transfer I wanted to use on them.  I considered going with more color and adding some I.O.D. florals, but then I decided to stick with the black and white theme.

You might be surprised to learn that I used transfers from two different companies on these.

The one on the right has a portion of the I.O.D. Astoria transfer on it, with some wording from the with prima Paris Letter added above it.  The one on the left has a portion of the Lovely Ledger transfer from with prima on it.  All three of these transfers combine beautifully.

My next challenge was to try and think of things to put in them.  Of course, you could always go with the classic florals.

This silk lavender stems came from Hobby Lobby a few years back.

Since the bucket itself is rather neutral in color and style, you could change them up seasonally and it would still work.

When you see evergreens like these, do you think they are strictly for Christmas, or would you leave them out until Spring?

I’d love to get some feedback from you guys on that.  Are you sick of evergreens and ready to see them go by the end of December, or do you leave them out until the end of February?  Leave a comment and let me know.

You could also put a small glass vase inside for the water, and fill these with real flowers.

But I wanted to try and think outside the box a bit.  How about filling them with old altered paint brushes?

Definitely unexpected.

You could also fill one with your non-collection of whisk brooms.

Or am I the only one with things like whisk brooms and gunky old paint brushes lying around?

How about you, what would you put in one of these buckets?  Leave a comment and let me know.

Meanwhile, I’ll be taking these into the shop later this week so if any of you locals are interested, you’ll have to head to Stillwater later this week and do a little shopping.

the rose chintz toolbox.

It’s time for another toolbox makeover everybody.

Unfortunately, I have once again dropped the ball on getting a ‘before’ photo of this one.  Whoops.

Suffice to say, it was red, and maybe a little rusty and crusty.  But now it looks like this.

After my usual prep of cleaning, sanding off loose bits, and priming with Dixie Belle’s B.O.S.S., I painted the outside in Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth and the inside with their Kudzu.

I added the I.O.D. Rose Chintz paint inlay to the angled sections of the top (here is a how-to post on using the paint inlays).

Once I had the inlay sealed, I added some wording from the I.O.D. Label Ephemera transfer to the top and front of the box.

I also added a sweet little bee to the latch.

That bee comes from the French Maison knob transfers from with prima.

I sealed everything up with some of Dixie Belle’s flat clear coat.

This box didn’t come with a tray, but I did add some pretty green and white gingham scrapbook paper inside.

This one is nice and roomy at 15″ wide x 8″ deep x 8″ tall.  You could keep all kinds of fun things inside.  The paper is not adhered and thus could be easily removed if you want to use this toolbox for things like garden tools.

I sure am getting my use out of those Rose Chintz paint inlays.  Here are links to a few more projects I’ve used them on; a black toolbox, a tackle box, a green bench, another toolbox, some books, a watering can, and a green flower crate.

This toolbox is for sale locally, so be sure to check my ‘available for local sale‘ page for more details if interested.

Thank you to Dixie Belle Paint Co for providing the paint used in this makeover.

a pottery predicament.

About 20 years ago, Mr. Q and I took a cruise in the Baltic.  It was an amazing trip with lots of fabulous ports of call like Oslo, Copenhagen, St. Petersburg and Stockholm.  I think Mr. Q’s favorite city though was Helsinki.

We made our way to the Tourist Info office there and picked up a brochure for a self-guided walking tour from the Market Square to Kaivopuisto Park.  Eventually the tour would take us past the Mannerheim Museum where we got a personalized tour of the exhibits, likely because absolutely no one else was visiting the Mannerheim Museum that day.  Mr. Q was in heaven chatting with our unofficial guide about … well … you know, historical military stuff.

But before we headed out from the Market Square, we checked out the open air market stalls there.  Mr. Q ate some reindeer paella, and tried on some fur hats.

And I purchased a mid-century vase.

In my mind it had that quintessential Scandinavian look, and I loved the colors.  I thought it made a great souvenir from our trip.

I have no idea how much I paid for it.  I’m sure it wasn’t terribly much (because we all know I’m pretty cheap).  Plus, 20 years ago mid-mod stuff was not all that hot.

We’ve displayed it in various spots over the years, and most recently it has been on the window ledge at the bottom of our staircase.

Over Christmas I replaced it with a row of nutcrackers.  After taking down my Christmas decorations, I went to put the vase back in place and I thought (as I often do) that it really doesn’t jibe with the rest of my décor.

All this time I’d been hanging onto it because I thought it reminded Mr. Q of the awesome time we had in Helsinki.  But when I asked him about it, he said “What vase? I just remember the fur hat.”

So I thought I’d go ahead and bring it into the shop to sell it.  I was just about to make out a price tag of $25 for it when I thought, gee, maybe I should make sure it isn’t valuable.  After all, it was signed on the bottom.

Maybe Google would have some clues.

Turns out that my vase was made by Pirjo Nylander, probably in the 1960’s.  I found quite a few examples of her work online including this vase …

It has that same motif of rectangles, so I’m sure I’m on the right trail.  This one is listed for €475 at  I found another of her vases on Etsy for $475, but it’s still available so I’m not sure what that means.  There is also a Pirjo Nylander vase listed on 1stDibs for over $1,000.  But then, we all know that the prices on 1stDibs are horribly over-inflated (called ludicrously expensive by some), right?

Well, even so, now I feel like putting a price tag of $25 on my Nylander vase would be a mistake.  But I’m fairly sure a price tag of over $100 would be puzzling to most of the shoppers at Reclaiming Beautiful.  And that brings me to my pottery predicament.  What to do with this vase?

How many of you remember my blog post about the ‘death star’?

This goes back to 2014.  I had purchased some mid-mod furniture at an estate sale, and on a whim I asked about this metal sculpture that was hanging on the wall above the credenza.  The sellers threw it in for free.  After some research, I discovered that it was a signed Curtis Jere, and the exact same piece was listed at 1stDibs for $5,900!

Again, that’s a 1stDibs price, so you have to take it with a grain of salt.  But I did do some further research.  I sent inquiries to two auction houses that specialize in mid-century modern.  Palm Beach Modern Auctions said they would love to take it.  They estimated it would sell for $800 to $1,000.  But, I would have to ship it to them in Florida (and it was extremely heavy and large), and then they take a 20% commission.  So that was a no go.  I also contacted Wright in Chicago.  They estimated its value at $2,000, but they felt it wouldn’t be worth it to ship it to them and pay their auction fees (they did not elaborate on what those are) so they suggested I try to find a local buyer.  I did eventually find a local mid-century dealer who offered me $300 for it, and I took it.

You know what?  I actually kind of hate finding out that something I have is ‘worth something’.  I really regard most home décor as discardable.  I enjoy it for a while, and then I sell it onward or take it to the Goodwill when I’m tired of it.  I don’t have any collectibles that I consider valuable in any way (one of the many reasons I call them non-collections).  Or at least, not that I know of.

One of these days I’m probably going to buy a Rothko for $20 at a garage sale and then sell it on to someone else who will make millions on it (if you’re as fascinated by art that sells for millions as I am you might want to watch Made You Look, it’s a documentary on Netflix about the largest art fraud in American history, to the tune of $80 million).

In the meantime, what am I going to do with my Nylander vase?  Keep it?  Try to find a mid-century lover who will pay what it might or might not be worth?  Or just go ahead and bring it to the shop, maybe with a price tag just a tad higher than $25?

What would you do?


a thrifty tuesday.

My friend Sue and I hadn’t been out thrifting since … um, well … gosh!  Could it really have been October?  I think it may have been that long.  The holidays just got in the way I guess.  Well, the holidays plus my trips to Disney World in October and then Puerto Vallarta at the end of November.

But Sue and I finally made it out again this past Tuesday and I was reminded that I need to make a point of going more often.

I didn’t bring home a massive haul, but I did find a few things that I thought would be fun to share with you guys.

First up is this brass road runner.

He reminded me of the brass pheasants that I picked up at a garage sale last summer, remember them?

Ahhh, and remember when the grass was green and not buried under three feet of snow, and I could take pictures outside on the deck?  Those were the days.

But I digress.

I also brought home this copper pitcher.

Copper continues to be a good seller for me, so when I see nice pieces I grab them.

I also continue to pick up white cannisters so that I can add the blue I.O.D. Traditional Pots transfers to them.

I’m pretty much down the the last couple of blue transfers.  I sure do wish they would come out with more of these!

If you’ve always wanted to win a golden globe, this next item would be right up your alley.

This globe is a bit smaller than your typical globe, it would be perfect for desktop décor.

I threw this marble cake stand into my cart as well.

I did a search after I got home and found that it’s from Target’s Project 62 line.  It’s solid marble and has a great mid-mod vibe.

Speaking of a mid-mod vibe, I just couldn’t resist this set of 4 shallow bowls.

I think that green is just gorgeous.

I picked up the metal egg basket in anticipation of Easter.

I think I’ll paint the wooden handles, and then I want to come up with some sort of fun egg project for filling up the basket.  Maybe I’ll stamp some papier-mâché eggs like my former co-worker Jodie did.

I shared her project with you back in 2018.

And speaking of Jodie, the enamelware coffee pot actually came from her as well.  She was going to take it to Goodwill, but offered it to me first.  I just added the Farmers Market transfer, which is from the Dixie Belle On the Farm transfer.

Last up, I grabbed a few things that will make fun small makeover projects.

I’m debating painting those galvanized hanging bins.  They have a nice thick black rim, so I thought I might paint them white to look like enamelware.  What do you think?

Then there are these boxes.

Sue brought me the larger box, and I thrifted the two smaller wooden boxes.

It will be fun to paint these up and add some transfers, much like I did a while back with this box.

So be sure to stay tuned for that!