the herbier cabinet.

It becomes more and more apparent as I write this blog year after year that I am definitely a creature of habit.  And it seems as though one habit I can’t break is bringing home larger pieces of furniture, and then procrastinating on finishing them until winter is looming and I have to get them out of the carriage house.

Last year it was the Cabinet of Curiosities, this year it’s this large cabinet …

This piece was afflicted by a series of delays, mostly because I couldn’t make up my mind on how to paint it, but there was a bit of procrastination involved as well.

Let’s start at the beginning, shall we?

One of my favorite customers alerted me to this cupboard because it was sitting at the curb with a ‘free’ sign on it in her neighborhood.  I sent Mr. Q to snatch it up, but he returned empty handed.  It was too big to fit in our Ford Transit van (delay no 1).  But my neighbor/handyman Ken offered to hitch up his trailer and go back with him to get it.

I neglected to get a true ‘before’ photo of the inside once they got it home, but originally this piece had a very heavy mirrored back.  That made absolutely no sense to me since you really could only see the lower half of your body in the mirror, and then only if the cupboard was empty.

So, the mirror came off right away to be replaced by some faux bead board paneling.  Unfortunately, 4′ x 8′ sheets of paneling also don’t fit in our Ford Transit van.  No problem, normally I would have one cut in half at the store and a half piece would be sufficient for the back.  However, Home Depot wasn’t doing custom cuts during the initial COVID shut down (delay no 2).

Luckily I have some connections.  My sister works at Home Depot.  Just not the Home Depot near me.  So we made arrangements to meet her at her store where she was able to finagle someone to cut the paneling for me.

Next up was coming up with a solution for the shelving.  Again, I don’t have a proper ‘before’ photo to show this, but the cupboard came with metal shelf brackets and shelves that were made out of cut down cheap hollow core doors.  Hmmmm.  Can you say tacky?  That stuff all went into the trash.

Instead Ken made new shelves similar to the ones he made for my giant English cupboard.

Ken also did some patching on the top of the cupboard where some notches had been cut out, I assume to make it fit around trim or something as a built-in.

I used Dixie Belle Mud to fill the seams, and now you can barely see them …

Next up was painting the interior of the cupboard.  After giving it a bit of thought, I decided I really wanted to repeat the color combo I used on the vintage medicine cabinet I did earlier this summer, which meant using Dixie Belle’s Gravel Road on the inside.  However, I didn’t have enough Gravel Road on hand to complete the job so I had to place an order (delay no 3).

The interior received two coats of Gravel Road, followed by a coat of Dixie Belle’s Flat Clear Coat.  That took some time to accomplish with painting top and bottom of the shelves, three sides and top and bottom of the interior, and allowing for drying time in between each coat.  It also took nearly a full 16 oz. of paint.

I love this dark color for showing off some ironstone.  But of course, the doors are not glass so this cabinet isn’t meant for display.  Instead it’s meant for storage, and you could fit quite a lot of stuff inside!

The next step was painting the outside.  I thought this would be the quickest step, and it really should have been.  I mixed up the same Sweet Pickins milk paint that I used on that medicine cabinet, Window Pane.  I started to paint and quickly realized that my milk paint was too clumpy to use and no amount of mixing was dissolving the clumps.  So I had to get out a strainer and strain the paint in order to use it.  FYI, to do that I just use a handheld metal mesh strainer like this one …

VINTAGE POST 1935 Wire Mesh Strainer Handheld Metal Wood Handle 2 ¾” Basket - $7.99 | PicClick

I’m sure I purchased it at a garage sale for a quarter or something like that.  I use it just for paint.

So I persevered and painted on the first coat.  I know from experience that the first coat of milk paint always looks bad, so even though I wasn’t loving the way it looked so far I kept going and added a second coat to the top of the cupboard.  And you know what?  I still didn’t like it.

At that point I was out of mixed paint and would would need to mix and strain some more to keep going.  Instead, I decided that milk paint just wasn’t going to be worth it this time.  So I cut my losses and switched to Dixie Belle’s Sawmill Gravy.

As soon as I started painting again, I knew I’d been wise to make the switch.  The color of the Sawmill Gravy is just a tad warmer than the Window Pane, and it was covering beautifully.

Two quick coats later and the painting was done.

For the final touch I decided to use the IOD Label Ephemera transfer on the doors, but naturally I did not have it on hand.  So I ordered two of them online from Jami Ray Vintage (delay no 4).

I’m sure you are wondering why I didn’t just get everything I needed all at once in the beginning, but sometimes my ideas evolve slowly over time. Originally I was planning to use a with prima transfer on this piece, but in the end I just had to have the IOD one instead.

To clarify, here is what the entire Label Ephemera transfer looks like.

I’m using just parts of it on this cupboard.

My biggest complaint about this transfer is that they overlapped a bunch of the elements rendering sections somewhat unusable on their own, which drives me a bit mad.  I think they meant this transfer to be used as one big design, but as you’ve seen, I like to break it up and use the elements separately.

Since this cupboard has two symmetrical doors, I really debated whether to make them the same or put different sections of the transfer on each door.

I just couldn’t break out of my symmetrical shell though, so I made both doors the same (which meant ordering two of the same transfer).

Lucky the cupboard was free at the curb, because these transfers were $25.50 each (on sale) plus shipping.  I ordered a few more things to make the shipping cost a little more palatable, but it still adds up.

But I’ll get quite a few more projects out of the rest of each transfer as well.

You may have noticed that I painted over the hardware on this piece.

Not so much because I didn’t like them ‘as is’, but more so because I wanted them to not stand out quite so much.  This way they blend in a bit, but still have a lot of character.

So finally, after several months of stopping and starting, this cupboard is finally finished.

This is one of those times when I would really love to keep this one for myself, but the only way I could find a spot for it would be to get rid of something else.  I debated getting rid of the Belgian bed bench next to my back door, but we sit on that to put our shoes on so I think we’d miss it.  I also considered replacing my Specimens cupboard with this piece, but I really love that one too.  Plus it’s on wheels so that I can easily move it and use that spot for furniture photo shoots.  This piece is a little too heavy for that.  I’d replace my Rooster cupboard with this one, except this one is a tad too wide for that spot.  Ditto for the botanical cupboard on my front porch.

So this piece is for sale to a local shopper who can pick it up.  Be sure to check out my ‘available for local sale‘ page for more details.

Thanks to Dixie Belle for providing the Mud, Sawmill Gravy, Gravel Road and Flat clear coat used on this project.

hello fall.

I had such an awesome time at my girls getaway last weekend.

The cabin we stayed in is about 3 1/2 hours north of the Twin Cities and it was fun to watch the fall colors growing in intensity as we drove north.  We have some trees starting to change color here, but they are much further along up north.

We had gorgeous weather, so we spent quite a bit of time on the water just enjoying the scenery.

Although I’ll admit, we froze our butts off on our sunset cruise even though we were bundled up and had brought some blankets along.

I had to borrow that selfie from Katie because I neglected to take any photos with the actual people in them.  There were 8 of us (front:  Katie, Krissy, Vonda & me, rear:  Lindsey, Mariem & Nancy).

Here’s my bff and me trying to huddle together for warmth …

That photo also borrowed from Katie.

I always enjoy scoping out the various cabins along the shore.  There was a total mix of styles ranging from super expensive (and huge) newer cabins to original vintage ones.

I’m sure it’s no surprise to you guys that I love the vintage ones best.  The old cabins tend to be closer to the water too.  Newer restrictions require buildings to be further away from the shore.

It is nice to have modern amenities like electricity and plumbing though, so as much as I admire the looks of those vintage places, it’s definitely nice not to have to use an outhouse.

For the record, my first visit to the cabin we stayed in was back in the mid-70’s and it did just have an outhouse back then!

My bff called this next spot the ‘million dollar island’ because it recently sold for just under a million dollars.

Although technically an island, there is a bridge so that you can drive to it.  And apparently the entire island is owned by one person.  I’m not sure if there is a cabin somewhere in there, but I assume there must be.  Wouldn’t you love to enjoy your morning coffee while sitting in those blue Adirondack chairs?

This little getaway up north was the perfect way to usher in the fall season.

And speaking of saying hello to fall, I ended up realizing I had six ‘hello fall’ book page banners to give away instead of four.  I drew six names at random and sent emails to the winners on Monday.  The winners are Holly, Wendy, Linda, Joyce, Sandy and Gay.

So, congrats to them, hello to fall, and be sure to stay tuned because I have an actual furniture makeover to share with you guys on Friday.  See you then!

abdicating the throne.

I’ve always been fascinated with British history.  Somehow their stories of kings and queens, princes locked in towers, and wives who lose their heads have always been far more interesting to me than our plain old American history.

One bit of English history that I’ve found interesting was Edward VIII’s abdication of the throne.  It all seems so romantic.  He falls in love with a twice married American woman and gives up being the King of England in order to … gasp, the horror … marry her.  But that’s just one way of looking at that particular story.  I watched the Wallis Simpson:  The Secret Letters documentary a while back and that film seemed to imply that Edward simply didn’t want to be King and having a relationship with Wallis provided him with an excuse to get out of it.

  But I don’t suppose we’ll ever really know the truth behind that, will we?

Speaking of kings and queens, when I posted my painted pumpkins a week or so ago, Kathy M left a comment calling me the Queen of Transfers.  The timing was ironic since I was right in the middle of deciding whether or not to sign a new contract with with prima.  This time around they were asking me to commit to using their transfers, molds and stamps exclusively.  In other words, I couldn’t use any of their competitor’s products.  Ever.

Ironically, I had just placed an order for over $100 worth of IOD (ie, their competitor) transfers when their email arrived.  So, after some long, hard thinking, I made the decision to abdicate my throne.  I am not renewing my contract with them and thus giving up my spot on their Brand Ambassador team.

But I can’t help but draw a parallel to Edward.  Maybe my refusal to commit to exclusivity is my own ‘Wallis Simpson’.  In other words, it’s just an excuse I’m using to get out of something I no longer wanted to do.

Lately I was struggling with feeling obligated to use new release products even when I didn’t feel inspired by them.  I was also finding it difficult to juggle the re-scheduling of my posts when release dates were changed at the last minute.  I also wasn’t really loving any of their latest designs.

There are lots of florals, and color.

But what there aren’t a lot of are words.

Simple, black or dark grey, words …

Or even just gold words …

I love words.  And I love adding them to furniture.

To be honest, I feel like a weight has been lifted.  Now I can just create what I want to, when I want to.  I don’t have to worry about when my posts are scheduled and whether or not I’ve used products that are new or not.  And I don’t have to feel guilty about using the competitor’s products.

Now, you’re still going to see plenty of with prima transfers on my pieces going forward.  I have a stockpile that includes quite a few of my wordy favorites like Parisian Letter …

and Somewhere in France

And Fresh Flowers

and Laundry

I also have a few Classic Vintage Labels to use up.

You’ll also still see me using the with prima metallic waxes too.  Those things are amazing.

But you’re also going to see more IOD transfers, because I just can’t get enough of their Label Ephemera transfer …

which is why I ordered two more of them and am waiting for them to show up so I can finish the amazing cupboard I’ve been working on.

You’re also going to see me working with more stencils going forward including some fun German stencils that just arrived from Daggi at Gonepaintin’ (you can check out her blog here, and her Etsy shop here).

And who knows what other products I might explore using in the future.  Any recommendations?

spread the sunshine.

Hi guys!  I’m headed up north to my friend’s cabin for the weekend so I’ll be taking a social media break for a couple of days.  Rather than leaving you hanging though, I thought I’d spread some sunshine.

But first, I want to thank those of you who responded to my ‘for sale.’ post on Wednesday.  I’ve got sales pending pickup for almost everything.  The lamp with the green base is still available, and the blue ironing board.  I have some fun ideas for re-working that ironing board, so I won’t be disappointed if it doesn’t sell ‘as is’.  Also, if you didn’t leave a comment to be in the running for one of my ‘hello fall’ book page banners, you can still do that.  Just leave a comment on that post by Sunday at midnight.

OK, moving on.  Back on Labor Day weekend, my sister, my niece and I drove up to Andover, MN to check out some sunflower fields.

My sister-in-law had mentioned these to us the last time we got together, so we just had to check it out.

The team at Fish Sunflowers has been planting random sunflower fields for five years now.  As they say on their website, their ‘goal is to spread joy and provide a free and beautiful place for families, photographers and sunflower fans to gather and soak in the beauty! No politics. No donations or admission fees. Just joy, joy, joy!’

So, all you have to do is show up and enjoy.

This year it looks like they planted 11 different fields around the Twin Cities.  You can find a list of their locations and the dates they are open here.  Although I’ll tell you now, they are all done this year except for the Albert Lea field.  But if you’re local, keep this in mind for next year.  Or maybe you need to take a road trip to Albert Lea this weekend!

We happened to visit on an overcast day, but I always think that’s a good thing for photos.  No glaring sunshine, no harsh shadows, no washed out colors.

I was surprised to find that there were props provided at each of the sites, and in some cases quite significant props.

Both of the fields we visited had a piano.

And one of them had a mirrored vanity.

How cool is that?  Although I have to admit that part of me really wanted to rescue that vanity!

I’m curious, does anyone plant sunflower fields like this where you live?  Or maybe you are a local and have been to one of the Fish Sunflower fields.  If so, be sure to leave a comment and let me know!

Hope I was able to spread a little sunshine with this post.  I’ll be back next week with some more painted projects, so be sure to stay tuned.

for sale.

I’m afraid this post is mainly intended for my local readers, so I hope I’m not annoying those of you who don’t live in the Twin Cities.  But to cushion the blow for everyone else, I have a small giveaway at the end that is open to everyone, so be sure to check that out.

Last week I brought home a few items from Reclaiming Beautiful that haven’t sold there, so I thought I’d take a shot at selling them to my local readers via my blog

First up are the ironing board signs I made late last winter.

The white one in front, 2nd from left, was sold.  The other four all came back home with me.  These are vintage wooden ironing boards with the bases removed (to make them easier/lighter to hang on the wall as signs).

I’m planning to rework the apricot colored one, and possibly also the blue one.  But the black one is available in its original form with that gorgeous french laundry stencil for $40 …

Although the obvious place to hang these would be the laundry room, I think you could also hang it in your mud room, or even a bedroom.

It might also be fun hung outside, on a fence or on the side of your potting shed.

The Laundry Co version (left, below) is also available for $40 (sale pending)

For now, the blue one is also available for $40 so if you’re interested let me know.

If it doesn’t go I plan to re-do it as well.

Next up is one lonely yard stick shelf.  I’d brought in several of them to sell and for some reason this lonely last one didn’t sell.

I use a couple of these shelves in my living room to display my vintage alarm clock non-collection.

This unique shelf can be yours for a mere $12 (sale pending).  I suppose if it doesn’t sell I can always add a third shelf to my living room, which will give me an excuse to look for more clocks!

Next up are some vintage lamps that I had in my pile to bring in to the shop, but then, as I mentioned on Monday, the shop put a moratorium on vintage electrical items.  That’s totally understandable, they don’t want to be liable for faulty electrical wiring.  But now I have a handful of really cool vintage light fixtures that need to find new homes.

Starting with this fabulous green number …

I added some french words to the metal shade, and the green base is fantastic.

The original wiring on this one was definitely a bit dicey though, so I re-wired it.  It’s actually relatively simple to re-wire a lamp like this.  Just a question of taking the lamp apart, removing the old wiring, feeding new wiring up through the stem, and re-attaching everything.

It works great now and is perfectly safe …

This lamp is available at $22 for anyone local who can pick it up here at my house.

Next up, another vintage desk lamp.  This one is a traditional brass desk top lamp …

This time I added a fun Tim Holtz metal tag to the shade.

Although vintage, the electrical cord looks to be in good condition.  No fraying or cracks.

The lamp works well, and it provides a nice downward beam of light perfect for working at a desk.

This lamp is available to anyone that can pick it up for $20.

And finally, we have this little beauty.

This one also has its original wiring, which looks to be in good shape.

I tested this lamp as well and it fired up perfectly.

This one can be yours for $15.

If you are local and interested in any of these items, please email me at

OK, so as promised, I’ll wrap this up with a little giveaway.  I also recently came across four of my old ‘hello fall’ book page banners that didn’t sell in previous years.

You can drape them just about anywhere to add a little Fall decor to your space.

So I’d like to give them away.  And they are super easy to ship (unlike lamps and ironing boards), so this giveaway is open to anyone.

The rules:  to be eligible to win today’s prize leave a comment on this blog post.  Your comment must be left on the blog, not on Facebook or Instagram.

I will randomly draw the name of four winners of ‘hello Fall’ book page banners from all of the comments left on this post by Sunday, September 20 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 $8, if the prize is not claimed by Sunday, September 27 , another name will be drawn at random to win, blah, blah, blah.


lowry hill & east isles.

It has been a weird summer, right?  No pool days at my bff’s (she lives in an apartment complex that didn’t allow residents to invite guests to the pool this summer due to COVID).  No concerts in the bandshell at my local park.  No trips to the zoo.  No state fair. But I think the biggest change for me this summer was no neighborhood garage sales.

Usually my calendar is filled with neighborhood sales from early May through the end of June, and then again for most of August and September.

But COVID put an end to large gatherings this summer, and that meant most neighborhoods didn’t have their organized sales.

Sure, I found a few random sales, like the back to back barn sales we stumbled across back at the end of May.

But I’ve really missed my neighborhood sales, especially those in Minneapolis.  My sister and I just love going to those neighborhoods and having an excuse to wander around and admire the houses.

So when my picker first mentioned to me that the East Isles & Lowry Hill sales were taking place this past Saturday I was super excited.  But then the temperature took a nose dive and rain was in the forecast for Saturday morning.  I have to admit, I was ready to just skip it.  But my sister was more than willing to give it a go and her enthusiasm was contagious.  So she picked me up at 8:30 and we headed out.

As we were driving in to the city, there were low hanging clouds obscuring the tops of the high rise buildings, but it wasn’t raining so that was a plus.  As we headed towards the Hennepin Ave exit, my sister and I both remarked on how much we’ve missed going in to the city this year.  Between COVID and social unrest, this has been a rough summer for Minneapolis and we have pretty much avoided going there.

But it felt so good to be back, even if the sky was a bit cloudy.

There were plenty of people out and about enjoying the sales, the only obvious difference this time was that almost all of them were wearing masks.

Once again my sister and I had fun picking out our favorite houses, you know, the ones we would buy if we won the lottery.

I love the cottage appeal of this one.

My sister would love to have the amazing lake views from this one.

But, the reality is that neither of us is likely to ever win the lottery (especially me since I don’t even buy lottery tickets), so we just have to admire these gorgeous houses from the sidewalk and then buy their cast off items at their garage sales.

I came home from the sales with a few goodies.

There seems to be a seating theme.

All four of the wooden options (firehouse captains chair, bench, piano stool and small oak chair) are going to be transformed with paint.  I’ve already cleaned up the kid-size white metal chair and added a little something to the back …

How cute is that?  And it would work inside the house, or outside in the garden.

I’ll be taking this in to Reclaiming Beautiful, unless one of you locals want to snatch it up first ($28).

I’m starting to think ahead to Christmas (I know, it’s too early, but I have to plan ahead if I’m going to have things ready).  The smaller wooden chair is probably going to get a Christmas look similar to the chairs I did last year …

I also purchased this brass horn …

with the intention of adding it to the pile of similar pieces I purchased last year and used to decorate my Christmas tree.

And isn’t this tiny wooden sock stretcher totally adorable?

I’m trying to decide whether or not to paint and stencil it like the larger ones I did last year …

Coincidentally I just ordered some mini-stencils that would be perfect for the job.

Buying the footed ironstone bowl was a no brainer.

It’s the perfect size to use for fruit on my kitchen counter.

I also snagged a few old buckets, two enameled and one galvanized.

I’m not sure if these will be saved for next spring to be marketed as planters, or if I’ll come up with something for the holiday season.  They would be great for containing small evergreen trees like this example from pinterest, wouldn’t they?

So maybe they’ll make their way into the shop before the holidays.

I’ve saved find of the day status for a pair of light fixtures (just one of them is pictured below, but there is another).

The funny thing is that I almost didn’t even buy them.  Reclaiming Beautiful recently decided to no longer carry vintage electrical fixtures, so even though I thought these fixtures were too good to pass up at $5 each, I knew I wouldn’t really have a way to sell them on.  I was literally getting back in the car when I decided I just couldn’t leave them behind.  So I went back and purchased them.

I think I’ll keep them for my three season porch.  We need some reading lights out there and these will be perfect.  I’m also contemplating making over my home office (a.k.a. the Q Branch) this winter, and these lights might be perfect for the look I’m envisioning for that space.

Unfortunately, I think this might be my one and only neighborhood garage sale post for 2020.  Next weekend I’m heading up to my bff’s family cabin, and then the next thing you know, it will be the end of September already.  Let’s hope that the 2021 garage sale season is back to normal … or at least the ‘new normal’ that everyone keeps talking about!

upgraded seats.

My picker has been finding some fun things for me lately including this old school chair and stool.

These two pieces have a few things in common.  They both have blonde colored wooden seats.  They both have unattractively colored metal legs.  And they were both in pretty rough shape.

So I knew right from the start that I would paint both of them entirely, including the metal legs.

I started with the stool first.  I sanded the wooden seat and then cleaned everything with some TSP substitute.  It looked like this stool may have been in someone’s workshop, and I just wasn’t sure if there were any oily residues on it that might resist paint.  I like to use a grease cutting cleaner in these cases rather than my normal plain ol’ water.

Next I pulled out The Gulf from Dixie Belle Paint Co.

Isn’t that just the most delicious aqua?

I painted the entire stool, legs and all, in The Gulf.

Once dry, I added another snippet from the IOD Label Ephemera transfer to the seat.

By the way, in case you are keeping track, so far I have used this one transfer on 7 pieces (the medicine cabinet, the folding chair, a painted pumpkin, a wooden box, a mirrored box, a recipe box, and now this stool).  The funny thing is that I mishandled the transfer when I first took it out of the tube and ended up ruining a section at the top (it stuck to itself), so I could have gotten even a couple more projects out of it if I hadn’t done that.  I still have a couple of small pieces left too.

Once the transfer was applied, I used clear wax over the entire stool.

Next up is the school chair.  I had some Chalked spray paint in Charcoal left after painting the table I shared a couple of weeks ago, so I started by using that on the legs.  I thought it would work well paired with Dixie Belle’s Sawmill Gravy on the wooden parts, but after getting one coat of the Sawmill Gravy on I really didn’t like the two toned look.  So I pulled the spray paint back out and painted over the Sawmill Gravy.

Then, I was stumped.  The chair was a perfectly blank canvas with the solid dark grey color on it.  I debated adding a grain sack stripe and stencil (like I did on this one), I also considered painting a union jack on the seat (maybe in grey and mustard like I did on this school desk), but that is a lot of work and I didn’t think this chair was worth the effort.  I even went through all of my with prima transfers looking for one that would be perfect on the chair, but I didn’t think any of them were quite right.

Finally I went through my stash of stencils and came across my notice of decommission stencil from Maison de Stencils.  You may remember that I used it last October to create a sign …

The stencil was the perfect size for the chair.  I masked off the border on the design, since I was placing part of it on the chair back and part on the seat.

I love the way it turned out.

I used Dixie Belle’s Putty to do the stenciling.  Once it was dry, I sanded over everything to give it a worn appearance.

Then I used clear wax to finish.

So, what do you think of my upgraded seats?

I took both of them in to Reclaiming Beautiful this week, so if any of you locals are interested you should head to Stillwater and check them out!

I also brought in the notice of decommission sign because I never managed to get it there last year.  You’ll also find some of my painted pumpkins at the shop …

And my Farm Life cupboard door signs …

And the mirrored box …

And the boxes …

And the camp stool …

In other words, a whole bunch of stuff!

painted pumpkins.

I have mixed feelings about the color orange, how about you?

I love wearing it.  Over the years, some of my favorite articles of clothing have been orange.

I also tend to like orange foods.  Pumpkin, sweet potatoes, carrots, oranges, Dreamsicles … all good.

But I’m not a big fan of decorating with orange for fall.  At least not inside the house, outside might be a different matter with all of those beautiful fall colored leaves accented with some orange mums or pumpkins.

But inside, I want to go in a different direction so I decided to paint up a few pumpkins to match my decorating style a bit more.  I actually purchased these faux pumpkins last year after the fall season when they were 75% off.  I was thinking ahead for once!

I decided to give these a base coat of grey primer spray paint because I felt that would be easier to cover with my Dixie Belle colors than the orange.  Once I had them fully coated in the primer, I painted each one a different color.  I used Dixie Belle’s Sea Glass, Sawmill Gravy, Drop Cloth and French Linen (from left to right).

Next I added some transfers to each pumpkin.  This one got some bits from the IOD Label Ephemera transfer …

A couple of them got Classic Vintage Label transfers from with prima …

and this one …

And this one got a section from their Paris Valley transfer …

Once the transfers were in place I pulled out some of my metallic waxes from with prima to add to the pumpkin stems.

I used Eternal, which is a brighter gold, on two of them …

And I used Bronze Age on the other two, which is a little more subdued.

So, how about you?  Do you prefer a more traditional approach to decorating with pumpkins in the fall?

or would you be happier with something a little bit different?

You can find a recap of my less traditional fall decorating projects from previous years here.

As always, thank you to Dixie Belle Paint Co and to with prima for providing the products used for today’s project.

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

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

a folding chair do-over.

Many moons ago a friend of mine gave me a rusty, crusty vintage kid sized folding chair.  I painted the seat with chalkboard paint and recovered the back cushion with stenciled drop cloth …

I tried to sell it at my carriage house sale back then, but there were no takers so I hung it up in my home office, a.k.a. the Q Branch.

A year later I decided to erase that original design on the chalkboard seat and replace it with my Q Branch logo.

It was a fun piece and I had it hanging on the wall for nearly five years.  But recently I took it down to hang something else in that spot and decided to give it a fresh makeover and then take it in to Reclaiming Beautiful to sell.

This time I decided to paint over the chalkboard seat and add a transfer instead.  A couple of coats of Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth covered up the black chalkboard paint.  What I love about Drop Cloth in particular is that it blends well with other shades of white.  It doesn’t make the old original white paint on the frame of the chair look dingy by comparison.

Next, I cobbled together some bits and pieces from the IOD Label Ephemera transfer …

Once the transfer was in place, I added a quick coat of clear wax over the entire chair.

Finally, I decided that rather than having an upholstered back it might work to use some of the with prima decoupage tissue paper rather than fabric.

First of all, I should explain that the cushion on the back of the seat comes off quite easily, it’s just held in place by a couple of screws.  It’s basically a piece of particle board that had some batting and a piece of fabric over it.  I removed the batting and fabric and then decoupaged the tissue paper right to the particle board using Dixie Belle’s Gator Hide (you can read more details on that technique here).

I did not cut the tissue paper to size before adhering it, instead I left a good inch of so extra all the way around.  Once the Gator Hide was dry, I just ran a sanding block all the way around the edge of the seat back which trimmed off the excess tissue paper perfectly.

The tissue paper I used is called Dark Damask, and it worked beautifully with the rest of the black and white on the chair.

Now that the chair is finished, I’m feeling really tempted to keep it.  It looks awesome hanging on the dark grey walls in my living room.  Then again, maybe I’ll part with it.  I haven’t really decided yet.

I spent a few hours working on some other projects yesterday, so I’ve got a few things coming up for next week.  Be sure to stay tuned!

As always, thanks to Dixie Belle and with prima for providing some of the materials used for today’s project.



I had taken a day off at the 9 to 5 job recently to get started on a large cupboard that I want to get painted before the snow flies.  I know, I know, it’s only the beginning of September, I shouldn’t be talking about the ‘s’ word yet.  But our fall weather can be unpredictable.  We might get gorgeous, sunny days in the 60’s and 70’s.  Or we might get this …

And this particular cupboard is too big and heavy to wrangle into the house, so I really need to get ‘er done.

But then my niece texted to ask if I wanted to go hiking with her in Banning State Park.  Not only was it a gorgeous day, but I’ve recently decided to work on getting out more.  In light of the whole COVID thing, I think it’s more important than ever to get out and do the things we can do safely, like hiking in the woods.  Plus, I always benefit from a little ecotherapy.  There is just something about immersing yourself in nature that feels rejuvenating.

So, rather than having a post about a finished project for you guys today, I just have a post about Banning State Park.  For those of you who are local, but haven’t been there (you could have included me in that category prior to this visit), Banning is just north of Hinckley, about a half mile east of I35 N and I’d say it’s worth the drive.

The trails we hiked were mostly flat, packed earth through a lovely, leafy forest.

(that’s my niece, Kris, and her dog, Jade)

But there were a couple of slightly more challenging spots …

There were also significantly more challenging trails that we could have chosen.  For example, the Hell’s Gate Trail.  The map said it was not recommended for small children though, so we chickened out 😉

Instead we did the Quarry Loop Trail which took us past the ruins of the old sandstone quarry that operated in the 1800’s.

We were also hiking along the Kettle River, although we couldn’t often see it well from the trail.

But when we could, it was magnificent.

And even when we couldn’t, the trail was still interesting.

I had read some reviews before we left and the one common denominator in all of them was the mention of how bad the bugs were.  So we came prepared with bug spray, and it was a lucky thing.  The mosquito population was definitely thriving in Banning State Park.

In addition to all of the trails in the park proper, you can leave the park and drive through the town of Sandstone to get to the Big Spring Falls Trail.  It’s a short, easy trail that leads to the Big Spring Falls.

Now, you might be wondering if the water is brown because it’s polluted, but that’s not the case.  The water in the Kettle River is amber colored due to tannins from wetlands that drain into the river.

We were hoping to see some kayakers or canoeists on the river, because this is a popular spot for white water enthusiasts, but no such luck.

We plan to get out and do a bit more hiking before winter, and hey, maybe we’ll even do some winter hiking this year.  I bet some of these trails are absolutely gorgeous in winter.

But in the meantime, I have a couple more days off at the day job this week so maybe I can get that cupboard painted!