for sale.

Hey guys!  I don’t usually have a Thursday post, but today I’m going to shamelessly promote myself.

Last night I brought a huge load of goodies to Reclaiming Beautiful, the shop were I sell on consignment in Stillwater.  So this post is mainly for the benefit of my local readers.

I thought I’d share a few of the things that will be available this morning in the shop starting with all of these goodies from the estate sale …

If you’ve always wondered what kind of prices I put on things, the little measuring cup is $6, the set of 3 Bobbsey Twins books is $9 and the coffee pot is $22.

I also brought in the ironstone pitcher for $25.

The wood box I painted a while back went to the shop and is priced at $22.

I brought in a few stenciled pillows at $32 each.

This adorable milk painted chair is $28.

We’ll see if these upcycled cupboard doors sell at $38 each.

I priced the chippy blue scale at $22.  I have a few other scales in the shop priced higher and they aren’t moving so I thought I’d try something a little lower on this one.

I’m also bringing in a few things that I haven’t had the chance to share here on the blog yet including this black wooden tool box at $32 …

and this cupboard door turned into a tray for $28 …

I still plan to put together some blog posts about these in the coming weeks, but I just haven’t gotten around to that.

I brought the six legged table in as well.

In addition to my stuff, the shop is also opening up their backroom this weekend which is full of bargains!  So if you’re local be sure to stop in to Reclaiming Beautiful in Stillwater this weekend.

And for the rest of you, be sure to check back tomorrow when I’ll be posting my latest finished piece of furniture.

don’t take life (or decorating) too seriously.

Back when I began blogging I added a page on my blog called ‘tour my house’.  Although I have updated it sporadically over time, I haven’t really kept up on it.

I’ve also attempted to do ‘house tour’ posts at Christmas, but haven’t managed that either.

Quite honestly, I’m completely overwhelmed by the idea of cleaning/tidying my entire house and then photographing it all in one go.  So I decided to set a goal for myself of doing just one room per week until the whole house is done.

That being said, welcome to the first post of my home tour series!

It would seem logical to start with the outside, but Mr. Q and I are in the middle of a spruce up to our deck area, so I’m going to hold off on that for now.  Instead let’s begin at the front of the house on our three season porch.

I hand painted the black & white checkerboard pattern on the floor several years ago.  It was actually the 2nd time I’d painted a checkerboard floor out here.  The first time it was in shades of green.  I love the drama of the black & white, but kind of wish I’d gone for a more subtle look with grey & white.

If you’ve always longed for a painted floor, I will warn you that they get scratched up over time.  I did use Behr Porch & Patio Floor paint, which is formulated specifically for floors.  Nonetheless, the floor no longer looks pristine.  My advice to you is don’t paint your floors unless you are OK with an imperfect, worn over time, sort of look.

The most recent addition to my front porch is the updated farmhouse table that I shared last week along with the giant flour bin I purchased at the estate sale last weekend.

Looking at that photo you may be wondering ‘who in the world still has a wall mounted telephone?’, well, not me.  That a bakelite Masterphone.

When I purchased it (at a garage sale naturally) I thought it was some sort of phone for calling the servants since there’s no dial.  So I hung it in an ironic sort of way, because clearly we don’t have any servants.  Turns out these were really used on switchboards.

Just on the other side of the front door is my black cupboard.  I added a Prima Marketing transfer to the inside back in June.

I had been planning to sell the cupboard until I fell in love with the transfer inside, so for now it stays.

Way, way back in the day I had a complete set of matching wicker furniture on this porch that included a chaise, a matching chair, a matching foot stool, a matching table and a matching plant stand.  I was a matching fool when I was young.

I came to my senses over time and got rid of all of the pieces one by one except for this chaise.

Originally all of the associated cushions were floral in shades of peach and green (it was the 80’s after all).  But many years ago my friend Sue made me a simple linen slipcover for the chaise cushion.

Fortunately the cover is washable because in reality this chaise lounge really just functions as a large cat bed.

On most summer days you will find Lucy sleeping out here on the chaise.  Since it’s the most well lit room in the house she has to put her arm across her face to get a little shut eye.  Maybe she needs one of those eye mask thingies.

The pillow behind her is encased in one of my favorite finds ever, a gorgeous monogrammed pillow case.

Sadly, it has deteriorated over time and ripped quite a bit.  I need to take the time to repair and reinforce it, that doesn’t seem to be near the top of my very long to-do list though.

This bird house that I purchased many years ago at Oronoco Gold Rush perches on my Norwegian blue stool in the corner.

I’ve never wanted to actually put this outside and allow birds to live in it.  I don’t think it would hold up in the elements and I’d hate to see it ruined.

The 2nd seating option on the porch is another Adirondack chair that my handyman Ken made for us.  Mr. Q loves this chair and this is his spot on the porch.

The black pillows are from H & M Home several years ago.

This chippy blue stool adds a pop of color next to Mr. Q’s chair.

It also makes a convenient spot for a beverage when it’s not holding a tiny Spode creamer filled with flowers.

This trunk serves as another repository for drinks in between the two seats in the room.

The chippy paint job is original but I added the stencil.  One of these days I’d like to re-do this piece and use a transfer on the front.  But I don’t know, is three too many transfers for one room?

Well, make that four if you count the Bugs Bunny quote that I put above the windows.  Technically this is also a transfer.

I’ve always felt like this is a good reminder.  But I’ll take it one step further and say don’t take decorating too seriously either.

If you’re sensing any kind of theme in this room at all, it’s that almost everything is reused, re-purposed and/or restyled.  All of the items were purchased inexpensively at garage sales, or handmade.  I have lots of other things I’d rather spend my hard earned money on (travel!), so I decorate on the cheap.

Next Wednesday we’ll head inside the house and check out the living room, so be sure to stay tuned!

two times the fun.

On Saturday my sister Debbie, Sue (my picker), and another of my co-workers (Cathy) and I all met up at my house to go to an estate sale nearby.  The ad made it obvious that the owners of the ‘estate’ had been long time collectors.  I noticed that they had quite a lot of Disney stuff, which I knew would appeal to my sister, but they also had lots of vintage goodies for me too.

Oftentimes estate sale prices are just too high for me, but I found quite a few things at the sale on Saturday morning.

The sellers mentioned that they’d be open again on Sunday and everything under $100 would be half off.  Since the sale was only a few blocks from my house, Debbie and I went back again on Sunday and I found a few more fun things …

There were two things I specifically wanted to go back for and one of them was the black wooden box.

The day 1 price of $25 was a bit steep for me, but $12.50 was much more palatable.  I was happy to see that it was still there on Sunday morning.

The 2nd thing was a very lovely pink and white hand sewn quilt.  Unfortunately that was gone.  However, I did find this pretty blue and white one which I didn’t even see on day 1.

It has a few stains, but I’m hoping a good soak with some OxyClean will freshen it right up.

I’ve already given several of the items I purchased a little quandification.

The enamelware coffee pot now has a Prima Marketing Delicious Menu transfer added.

I also added a transfer from their Everyday Farmhouse set to this little pink enamelware pot.

Based on the shape, I would guess it was a chamber pot, but it’s so small.  Even for a child sized pottie, it’s pretty tiny.  Does anyone else have any guesses what this might have been meant for?  Could it have been meant as a toy, sort of a doll sized pottie?

Well, regardless, it’s perfect for a plant now.

This galvanized scoop also got an Everyday Farmhouse transfer …

Some of the finds don’t need any added embellishment like this fabulously chippy blue scale.

I love the shade of green on these Bobbsey Twins books.

And how about this large ironstone pitcher?

And who could resist this adorable little Spode creamer for only $2?

I’m giving ‘find of the day’ status for Saturday to this giant flour bin.

It’s a little hard to tell in that photo, but this thing is over 2′ tall.  It would make an awesome trash can for the kitchen or bathroom, but I plan to use it to hold all of my rolls of paper and vintage wallpaper.

Much more stylish than a plastic bin, don’t you agree?

For now I’ve got it out on the front porch next to my updated farmhouse table, but eventually I’ll probably move it into the q branch.

That photo does a better job of putting the size into perspective for you.  Isn’t it fab?

I have to say, it was two times the fun going to this estate sale on both Saturday and Sunday.  So tell me, which of the items I purchased is your favorite?


working for myself.

Every once in a blue moon I work on a piece that is meant for me.  It doesn’t happen all that often because usually my own projects get pushed to the bottom of the list.  Plus, my house is pretty much full, so if I bring in something new then I have to get rid of something else … usually something that I still kind of love, so I don’t do it very often.

But recently I decided to swap out the small farmhouse table on my front three-season porch.  Let’s first look at the table that I had there before …

FYI, I custom mixed the milk paint on the base.  It’s a lovely color, but not one that you can buy already mixed.

Having a small table in this particular spot is super functional for me.  I generally get great lighting here, even on gloomy days.  So this is where I take many of my close up photos of things, like this …

But it was bugging me that the top of this table was pretty stained, and it had black streaks in the wood.  I didn’t love seeing those flaws in my close ups.

Meanwhile, I had this 2nd small farmhouse table out in the photo cottage.

I tried to sell this table when I first painted it, which was way back in October 2015.  It never did sell, and somehow it was just abandoned out there.  While out there, a bird pooped on it.  Yep.  Gross, right?  Although I’ve been told that it’s good luck to have a bird crap on you, or does that not apply to tables?

I thought that the top was probably permanently stained from the dark bird droppings.  It became one of those out of sight, out of mind situations and the table just lingered out there.

But recently I decided enough was enough, I needed to deal with the table.  So I pulled it out and started by cleaning off those droppings.  Much to my surprise, they came right off and hadn’t left much of a stain at all.  So if you’re ever wondering just how durable a waxed wood surface is, well, there you go.  This table top had been waxed with Miss Mustard Seed wax almost four years ago and I was still able to clean that crap (literally) right off.

None the less, I decided that this would be a good time to sand the top down a little and add a fresh coat of wax.  This time I went with Fusion’s Liming Wax instead of the clear wax.  That really brightened it up.

I have to note here that this is one of my reasons for preferring a waxed (or hemp oiled) surface over a poly’d one.  It’s really quite an easy job to sand it quickly and apply a fresh coat of wax giving it a completely refreshed look.  I would say it took maybe about 20 minutes, and now it looks brand new.  Easy peasy.

After adding the wax I decided to try out my new toy, a car buffer.  Mr. Q purchased it for me to save me some elbow grease when doing large waxed surfaces.  It worked great, giving me just a little more sheen than I get when buffing by hand with very little effort at all.  Since I’ve only used it this one time so far, I’m really not ready to provide a recommendation or a proper review of it.  But I’ll keep using it and let you know how it goes.

I sort of captured the sheen of the wax in this next photo.

In the end, I loved the way the top looked so much that I decided I should keep this table and swap it for the other one on my porch.

Once I’d made that decision, I realized that the existing paint color, Miss Mustard Seed’s Shutter Grey, was not going to work on the porch.  But I could easily repaint the base in the color of my choice.  It didn’t take me long to decide on Miss Mustard Seed’s Linen.

I didn’t do any prep at all, other than cleaning it.  I knew that I would be rolling the dice when it came to chipping since I was painting over a waxed surface (I had waxed over the original milk paint as well as the top).  But the wax had been curing for almost 4 years, so I was betting it would be OK (a waxed surface is fully cured after 30 days).

Sure enough, I got just the right amount of chipping.  There are some spots where you can see the Shutter Grey color underneath, but there was no excessive chipping.

After I had the table sanded, I decided that again, since this was going to be for me, I was free to add my own personal style to it.  So I used just a small section from the old Prima Marketing Specimens transfer.

It was just enough to add a unique flavor to the table.

Finally, again, since this table was just for me and I could do as I liked, I did not add a topcoat to the painted part of the table.  Did you know that you don’t ‘have’ to use a topcoat with milk paint?  It will cure and harden over time to provide durability.  It won’t be super washable or water resistant though, so that’s something to keep in mind.  I’m OK with that though.  After all, I’ll probably want to re-paint it again in another four years anyway 😉

But for now, I absolutely LOVE how this one turned out.  As I was admiring the finished product, I said to Mr. Q, “I just love working for myself!”  Somehow it frees me up to make choices based solely on what will make me happy, not on what will sell, or be durable enough for the buyer, or how much something will cost and whether or not I can recoup that cost.

In this case I cut up a large transfer to use just a small piece of it on this table.  Sure, I’ll use the rest of it on something else, but I still probably wouldn’t have done this for a piece I was going to sell.

I don’t know, maybe I need to start treating more pieces as though I’m working for myself!

After taking these photos outside (because it was far too pretty of an evening not to do them outside), we moved the table into its new home on the front porch …

Yep, I have to admit, I really prefer this one over the previous one.

What do you think?

Thank you to Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint for providing the Linen paint, Prima Marketing for providing the Seeds transfer and Fusion for providing the Liming Wax.

a treasure box.

Remember the plain simple wooden box that my picker found for me a couple of weeks ago?

I love little pieces like this because it’s fun and easy to turn them into something pretty.

For this box I mixed up some of Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint in one of her prettiest shades of blue, French Enamel.

I painted the box inside and out.  One of the things I love about milk paint is that it dries quite quickly.  So when you’re working with a piece like this and you want to paint top and bottom, inside and out, the paint dries fast so you can keep flipping the box over to paint the bottoms.

Once it was fully painted and dry I added parts of a grain sack stencil to the top and front using a warm white craft paint.  Then I sanded to distress, wiped away the dust and added The Real Milk Paint Co’s Finishing Cream in Dead Flat.

Finally, I drilled a hole in the top and added a glass knob from Hobby Lobby.

Speaking of knobs, are you like me?  Do you buy knobs when you see them because they are on sale and you love them, but you don’t know what you’ll put them on?  I used to do that far more often, but I found that I always had 6 knobs, but needed 8.  Or I had 8, and only used 6, leaving two behind.  As a result, I have a big jar full of singles or pairs of knobs.

Now I try to just buy knobs when I have a specific project in mind for them but I still cave sometimes.

So it’s always good to find a use for a single leftover knob like this one.

I took advantage of the light outside on a gorgeous summer evening and set up a little photo shoot with some Annabelle hydrangeas, an old book and this funky little cigar tin that my picker Sue also found for me.

I’m already noticing that the sun is setting a little bit earlier these days, why does summer always fly by so fast?

Anyway, just imagine all of the ways you could use this pretty blue treasure box.  What would you keep in it?

Thanks to Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint for providing the French Enamel paint and to The Real Milk Paint Co for providing the Dead Flat Finishing Cream.

a six legged table.

First things first, congrats to Irene for winning the Prima Marketing Modeling Material and molds drawing.  Hope she has fun making up some molds!  Now, onward with today’s post …

A while back my hairdresser texted me to ask if I wanted a table that she was getting rid of.  The table reminded me quite a bit of the one that I use on my side of the bed as a night stand …

It’s the same general style, size and height.  These taller occasional tables are perfect next to a bed that has some height to it.   There isn’t any storage, but a little wicker box will do to hold lotion, tissues, etc.

So although I tend to shy away from smaller occasional tables these days, I knew from experience that this one could serve a practical purpose.  So I said yes.

Here is the ‘before’ …

Oh boy.  So dark it will need three coats of paint to go light, and all of those legs to paint!

More on that in a minute, but first, here’s a look at the ‘before’ condition of the top …

Pretty scratched up and discolored.  But I thought the wood grain pattern in the veneer itself was quite pretty.

So I started out by stripping the top.   Then I got a wild hair to try either white washing or lime waxing it to lighten it up, while still allowing the grain to show through.  But instead of either of those, when I reached into the supply cabinet I pulled out the Homestead House Stain and Finishing Oil in Driftwood which is a grey color.

After the first coat I really thought I’d made a mistake.  It was streaky and dull.  But the SFO (Stain and Finishing Oil) is meant to be applied in several light coats.  Each coat progressively adds a little more color, durability and sheen.  So I applied a second coat, which improved the look immensely.

But then I stopped after two coats because I liked the look, and I didn’t want to hide any more of that grain with a more opaque finish.  I could have added additional coats of the SFO in Natural at this point because it will add protection and sheen without adding color, but I didn’t have any of that on hand. So instead I added a topcoat of Miss Mustard Seed’s clear wax to give it a little more luster and protection.

Next up was painting the base of the table … but oh my, six legs!  That’s a lot of putzy painting with a brush.

I don’t own a paint sprayer.  Typically, spraying is just not for me.  I enjoy painting with a brush.  I know I would not enjoy the process of using a sprayer; taping things off, finding a way to contain the over spray, and most of all, cleaning the sprayer when you’re done.  Yep, that part is especially not for me.  I’ve been known to completely forget about the clean up step and throwing a paint brush away is bad enough.  Having to toss an expensive sprayer would really be a bummer.

But in the case of something like this piece, I’m not opposed to pulling out a can of spray paint to get the job done.

In this case I thought I’d try the Rust-Oleum Chalked ultra matte spray paint in Country Gray.

I taped off the top, and then sprayed three coats on the base of the table.

I pretty much used up the entire can on this one small table.  Spray paint is definitely not the most cost effective solution, but it can sometimes be the easiest.

I staged the photos with a chair and one of my stenciled faux grain sack pillows just to give it some scale.

I filled an old transferware tea pot with some coleus clippings and put it on top of a couple of books too.

One of my readers, Shelly, recommended the book on top, Country Brocante Style by Lucy Haywood.  So Mr. Q ordered it from amazon for me (gotta love that next day shipping).  Thanks for that recommendation Shelly, I love the book.  It fits my style to a t (or should I say a q?)

As for the table, I think it has a completely updated look now, don’t you?

Thanks to Homestead House for providing the Stain & Finishing Oil, and to Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint for providing the clear furniture wax.

If any of you locals need a fabulous new bedside table, be sure to check my ‘available for local sale‘ page for more details.

faux grain sack pillows.

The other day I was shopping in Home Goods looking for a birthday gift for my co-worker.  One thing you may have noticed about me is that I don’t shop in ‘real’ stores all that much.  Sure, I go to lots of garage sales and estate sales and I hit up Target every now and then for the basics, but I rarely shop retail home decor stores.

But there I was in Home Goods and somehow I ended up in the throw pillow aisle where I found these.

Before I knew it, they had jumped into my cart.

I loved the nubby linen in shades of cream and beige.  I thought they would look pretty awesome with some grain sack stencils on them.

One thing to keep in mind when choosing pre-made pillows to stencil is that they must have removable inserts.  Look for a zipper that will allow you to take the insert out before you stencil.

You’ll never get a crisp result trying to stencil on a pillow with an insert in place.

In fact, what I do is remove the pillow insert and replace it with a square of hardboard (the same stuff I use to make chalkboards in place of mirrors).  This gives me a nice flat, hard surface for stenciling, and also prevents any paint from bleeding through to the back side of the pillow.

In case you are wondering, I used Dixie Belle chalk style paint in Midnight Sky to do the stenciling.  The stencils came from Maison de Stencils, they have a fantastic selection of European grain sack style stencils.  When I last checked each of these designs were available for $8.50 to $9.

I am keeping a couple of these pillows for myself, but I’ll also be taking some in to Reclaiming Beautiful next week to sell.  Unless any of you locals want to snatch one up first.

In which case, be sure to check my ‘available for local sale‘ page!

And don’t forget, you have until tonight at midnight (central time) to leave a comment on last week’s post to be eligible to win the Prima Marketing modeling material and molds.  So if you haven’t left a comment on that post go back and do it now!