hello 2020.

Happy New Year everyone!

Well, here we are not only saying hello to a new year, but also a brand new decade.  At my age (I’m 56 now), it is shocking how fast time seems to fly by.  Who’s with me on that?

I like to take a moment at the end of each year and reflect back on my favorite pieces from the previous 12 months, so here, in no particular order, are my top five from 2019.

The Lovely Ledger dresser.

I painted this dresser in Fusion Mineral Paint’s Limestone.  This is a warm shade of off-white, which is generally what I lean towards when painting something white.  For that reason, I also love Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint in Linen, Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth, and Homestead House Milk Paint in Limestone.

The re.design with prima transfer on this piece is called Lovely Ledger.  I have another of these in my stockpile of transfers and I’m hoping to find another tall dresser to use it on sometime this year.

The Romantic Prairie Style washstand.

The color on this washstand was inspired by a piece in Fifi O’Neill’s book, Romantic Prairie Style.  It’s painted in Sweet Pickins milk paint in one of my favorite shades of green, In a Pickle.

This is one of those pieces where the milk paint did exactly what I wanted it to.  After a little encouragement with some painter’s tape, it chipped in all the right places, not too little and not too much.

I’ve used this gorgeous shade of green on a few pieces now, and as I usually find to be the case, they take longer to sell than more neutral pieces.  Still, I can’t resist this gorgeous green.  This one ended up selling to an artist who wanted it for her warehouse style loft and she absolutely loved it.

My farmhouse table.

It’s not all that often that I work on a piece just for myself, but that was the case with this table.  The base is painted in one of my other favorite shades of white that I mentioned above, Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint in Linen.  The top of the table is waxed with Fusion Mineral Paint’s Liming Wax.

The lines of text on the table base are part of an old Prima Marketing transfer that is no longer available.

This table sits out on my front three season porch (which is really just comfortable for part of one season here in Minnesota) and I mainly use it for staging photos.  I can’t tell you how many hours I spend out there freezing my butt off this time of year while taking photos like this one …

But the light is awesome out there, so I put on fuzzy slippers and a sweater and suffer for my art.

The flower power dresser.

I definitely had to include this piece in my top five from 2019.  I absolutely love this one.  It’s painted in Dixie Belle’s Sawmill Gravy and then finished off with re.design with prima’s Cosmic Roses transfer.

I have been holding off on listing my pieces for sale on Craigslist and FB Marketplace until after the holidays.  I didn’t want to juggle being home to meet up with potential buyers and holiday parties.  So this dresser is still available.

I’m always a little nervous about how long pieces like this will take to sell, but that remains to be seen.  Fingers crossed that someone out there will fall in love with it.

My baby grand.

This list really wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the piano.  I had procrastinated on painting it for years thinking it would be a huge undertaking.  But I really couldn’t have been more wrong.  It didn’t take long at all to paint it using Dixie Belle’s chalk style paint in Midnight Sky.

The stencil I added on the top is from Maison de Stencils and is one of my favorites, mainly just because I love that pretty script font.

I painted the piano itself back in March, but I didn’t get around to painting the chair until September.

What can I say?  My own stuff is always at the bottom of the list.  But now that it’s painted I absolutely love it.

Well, there you have it.  My top five.

  Take a look at my ‘fab furniture‘ page to see all of my furniture ‘before & afters’ and let me know what your favorite was in 2019.

As always, thank you to re.design with prima, Dixie Belle Paint Co, Fusion Mineral Paint, Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint and Maison de Stencils for sponsoring my blog by providing the products used in these projects.

a jewel tone jewelry box.

My picker, Sue, texted me a few weeks ago and told me she was at an awesome estate sale and I should check it out.  My sister was on her way over so we could do some holiday shopping anyway, so we just had to take a little detour when she got here and head to Stillwater.

One of the items I purchased at the estate sale was this wooden box.

I think it might be homemade, although I’m not entirely sure of that.  I’m also not sure of it’s original purpose, but I’m going to call it a jewelry box.  It could also have held small hand tools, or nuts and bolts I suppose.

Clearly it was in need of some paint.  I painted it in Dixie Belle’s Sawmill Gravy.

Once the paint was dry I pulled out the Royal Burgundy transfer from re.design with prima.  This transfer comes in six sheets, but I only used two of them for my project.

I did the front and the top of the box.

You might be thinking that it was a total waste to use just two of the six sheets for this box (and trust me, I was thinking that too at first), but I can always use the other sheets for at least one if not two more small projects.  In fact, I already used the scraps from just the two sheets I used on this project on the ice skates I shared last week.

So really, this is a great way to get more bang for your buck with the transfers.

Aren’t the colors in this transfer gorgeous?  I love the combination of the chartreuse with the bright pinks.  Jewel tone colors are perfect for a jewelry box.

I lined the drawers with some patterned scrapbook paper.

And I swapped out the original knobs for these petite glass knobs from D Lawless Hardware.

This box ended up being so darn photogenic I had a hard time deciding which photos to use for my post.

You probably didn’t really need to see quite this many.  But I just couldn’t help myself.

By the way, I did draw the winners for the last two days of my 12 days of giveaways.  Congrats to Lynn and Alice for winning those!

Thank you to Dixie Belle Paint Co and re.design with prima marketing for providing the products used in today’s project.


better not pout.

Today I’m sharing the gift that I put together for my Secret Santa recipient at work.  Since we’ve exchanged our gifts by now, it’s safe to go public with this one.

I started out with another crusty old toolbox that my picker found for me.

When they start out this crusty, plus are an unappealing color like … hmmm … what can I call that color that is blog appropriate? … I like to give them new life with paint.

In this case I also decided it was a good idea to seal it (after washing it thoroughly of course).

This time I used the Dixie Belle BOSS as a sealer.  I gave it one coat inside and out and let it dry 24 hours before painting.  I probably could have gotten away with painting sooner this time, but the BOSS is most effective if given a day to dry.  Better safe than sorry, right?

Next I painted the entire outside of the box in two coats of Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth.  Once that was dry, I taped off a red cross and then painted that plus the inside of the box in Honky Tonk Red.

I sanded the edges to distress and then added one of the newest re.design with prima transfers.

I bet you guys are going to love this new set of transfers as much as I do.  This one is called Classic Vintage Labels and contains a collection of 27 ‘labels’.  These are going to be perfect for use on clay pots, galvanized watering cans, glass jars … the possibilities are endless.

I decided to use a more durable top coat than wax on the inside of the box so that it would hold up to potential liquid spills (based on the contents, which you’ll see in a minute), so I pulled out Dixie Belle’s Clear Coat Flat.  I applied it using a new to me tool, their blue sponge.  To use, simply dip the sponge in the clear coat and wipe it on.  It worked really well for this project.

My red and white color scheme had a double meaning.  First, I wanted the box to look like a first aid kit (sort of an ‘open in case of emergency’ vibe) and second, it also has a peppermint theme.

I’ve included all of the ingredients for making Peppermint Patties.  In case you aren’t familiar, that’s basically hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps.

I threw in this pair of vintage shot glasses that I found at an estate sale …

Plus this cute mug from Hobby Lobby …

You might think I was super creative when I thought to add some broken candy cane stir sticks to my photos, but that wasn’t quite how it happened.  Actually, as I was setting up for my photo shoot I dropped the mug with the sticks inside.  Fortunately the mug survived the fall, but every single one of the candy canes broke.

Luckily I just happened to have a second package of them so my photo shoot was salvaged and I decided to put the broken sticks to use as props for my photos.

Hopefully my Secret Santa recipient loved her gift!

I know I really enjoyed putting it all together!

Thank you to Dixie Belle Paint Co and re.design with prima marketing for providing the products used in this project.

projects that didn’t make the cut.

A very merry Christmas to those of you who celebrate Christmas!

I wasn’t planning on having a blog post today.  In fact, I was actually planning to take a bit of a blogging break from Christmas through New Years.  But as it turns out, instead of running out of blog posts over the holiday season, I had too many.  I was so absorbed in my 12 days of giveaways that I never found time to blog about some of the projects I finished.

In addition, this year most of my friends and family have decided to move the Christmas celebrations to after the holiday.  Last night was just a quiet dinner at our house with my sister and my niece.  Today we have a family brunch with Mr. Q’s side.  But over the next week we have three more dinner parties and another brunch.  So, aside from the brunch, I actually have a little down time today so I thought I’d go ahead and post something.  Plus, I wanted to make a last ditch effort to share some of my holiday projects that didn’t make the cut.  So, get yourself a beverage and kick back, because this is going to be a long post.

First up is this pair of ice skates that I picked up at an estate sale.

I added sections from the re.design with prima transfer called Royal Burgundy to dress them up.  I posted these on some Facebook groups and on Instagram and several people asked if I sealed them.  I did not.  These are old skates, not skates someone would actually wear anymore.  At least I assume so.  I don’t actually ice skate, but I’m guessing that modern technology has vastly improved the ice skate since these were made.  So I meant these to be used for decor only, and therefore they don’t really need to be sealed in any way.

Next up is this vintage pink dust pan.

My picker found this for me a while back and as soon as I saw it I wanted to turn it into a holiday decoration.  The rusty, chippy pink finish works perfectly with vintage pink Christmas ornaments and some evergreens lightly dusted with snow.

Another project I worked on, and took lots of pictures of, but never really shared here was the galvanized bin in front of my carriage house.  When I put it together, it looked like this …

But it wasn’t long until it looked more like this …

Hmmm.  Most of the contents were completely buried in snow, but it still looks really pretty lit up at night.  One of the items I included in my arrangement was this …

I wanted to add a pop of color and I didn’t have a branch with red berries or anything like that, so I grabbed this … hmmm … do these things have a name?  This is one of the arms that would have held the mirror on a dresser.  I have a few of these lying around since I tend to take mirrors off dressers and not put them back on.

Anyway, I painted it in Dixie Belle’s Honky Tonk Red, sanded to distress and then waxed it.  Wax is not a durable enough top coat for outdoor use on a regular basis, but I don’t really care if the paint job on this doesn’t hold up beyond the holidays.

Another post I was planning to share, but never found time for, was the new way I found of displaying my non-collection of vintage glass tree toppers.  First, I was going to show how I store them in my vintage suitcases.

In the past I’ve displayed them in the window.

But they were literally held in place with some Stick-Um Candle Adhesive wax which wasn’t terribly secure.  I realized I was living dangerously and it was only a matter of time before one fell off (or, gasp, even several at a time).  So I needed to come up with a better plan.

I did a bunch of searching on Pinterest and found several ideas, but none that I loved.  It occurred to me that putting them over some kind of pointy stick that was somehow secured to something would be the best option.  So I decided to go with wooden skewers and floral foam.

I secured the foam in my wooden tote, added some silver platters and some greenery, then poked the skewers into the foam and placed my toppers over them.

It was easy to get the toppers to sit at just the exact angle I wanted them to.

I put the wooden tote back on the window ledge in my dining room.

After the holidays are over, the toppers will go back into their suitcases along with the floral foam and the skewers.  Easy, peasy storage.

I’m still not done with the rejects folks.  Next up are these sled ornaments.  Here’s the ‘before’ …

I purchased these after Christmas a couple of years ago for just a dollar each.  They looked pretty cheap and tacky, but I knew I could dress them up.

I painted them with Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth, then I added various segments from some of the re.design with prima knob transfers.

I had initially planned to share these on the re.design with prima Facebook page as part of their 12 days of ornaments, but I was overcome with self-doubt.  I just didn’t think they could compete with the amazing ornaments that others were sharing.

To be honest, I often feel like my more simple, not so embellished, creations pale in comparison to other projects out there being shared.  I have to remind myself that I’m not the only one who loves a more simple, clean look.  Right?

Plus, it’s not a competition.  At least I hope it isn’t 😉

This brings me to my last reject for today, our Christmas tree.

You’ve normally seen it in the past filled with my huge non-collection (I swear I’m not a collector, remember?) of vintage ornaments (and there are those toppers in the window too).

In the past I haven’t had a great spot for the tree, and I also didn’t have a lot of room for a large tree.  So I have a slender, silver tree and I placed it in the corner of the piano room (above), and I also tried tucking it beside the pine cupboard in the q branch one year.

But now that I’ve changed up my living room, I’ve opened up some space in one corner that seemed like the perfect spot for a Christmas tree.

Unfortunately, my slim silver tree looks completely lost in this corner.

I have to confess, I am totally envying all of those big, full, flocked trees that everyone seems to have this year except for me.  I’m still debating whether or not I’m going to hit the after Christmas sales to look for a new tree.

But in the meantime, this year I decided to change it up and keep my tree monochromatic.  I also decided to play around a bit with some less than traditional ornaments starting with the brass horns that I purchased at a garage sale last summer.

I borrowed this idea from my friend Amy who creates the most amazing Christmas trees.  I simply tucked them in place throughout the tree.

Another unique addition was this old framed black & white photo of my mom.

Quite a few of my vintage ornaments made it onto the tree as long as they were silver or gold.

The sleds were added as well.

Well, that’s a wrap on the holiday season.  I hope you enjoyed seeing the projects that didn’t make the cut today.  Once my social calendar slows down a bit, I hope to get back to painting more furniture.  First I have to find some though, so I’m off to Facebook Marketplace to see what I can find!

Thank you to Dixie Belle Paint Co and re.design with prima marketing for providing the products used for some of these projects.

day 12.

Welcome to the final day of my 12 days of giveaways!

I first want to say a huge thank you to everyone who participated by leaving a comment.  I so wish that each and every one of you could be a winner … well, in my eyes you are all winners … but I wish I had enough prizes to share with all.  I very much appreciate each of you and want to again say that without you, there would be no q is for quandie.  So thank you for following along, leaving the occasional comment, or otherwise supporting my blog.

A couple of you have been asking if I was going to announce the names of all of my winners, and I have to confess that I had to make some time to pull together an organized list.  So I sat down with my coffee this past weekend a came up with the list:

Giveaway no. 1 was already shipped out to Susan Williams.

Giveaway no. 2 went to Laura Hopwood.

Giveaway no. 3 went to Kim Moran.

Giveaway no. 4 was shipped out to Jennifer Knopf.

The lucky winner of giveaway no. 5 was Melissa Sullivan.

Giveaway no. 6 (which is yet to be shipped, because I only want to send Mr. Q to the post office one more time in this busy holiday season) will go to Regina (please note, I won’t reveal last names if the winner did not make it public in her comment).

Giveaway no. 7 went to Paris Burns, who happens to be a neighbor of mine so she stopped by and picked up her prize.  Paris is an amazing gardener and she lives near the park where Mr. Q and I walk most days, so I’ll be looking forward to seeing some rusty stuff in her garden next summer!

Giveaway no. 8 was won by Wendy Olgine.

Giveaway no. 9 was won by Debbie Payne (check your email Debbie, I’m waiting to hear back from you).

Giveaway no. 10 was won by Carrie (Carrie, you also should check your email if you’re reading this), a name near and dear to my heart since my grandmother’s name was Carrie.

The deadline to comment on Friday’s post and be in the running for giveaway no. 11 was last night at midnight, and no, I don’t stay up late to draw the name of a winner.  I’ll draw the name later today, but your comments are time stamped so any comment left after midnight will not be eligible to win.

And this brings us to giveaway no 12.  I wish I had some kind of amazing grand finale prize, you know, like a new car or a trip to Italy.  But instead I have another complete set of the same stuff that made up prize no. 11.

So this gives you a 2nd chance to win these fabulous products from Fusion and Homestead House!  Not quite as exciting as a car, but still a fabulous prize.

Thank you to Homestead House and Fusion for sponsoring this giveaway by providing all of the products I’m giving away today.  In addition, extra thanks to all of the companies that provided items for my 12 days of giveaways including Homestead House Milk Paint, Fusion Mineral Paint, redesign with prima marketing, Dixie Belle Paint Co and Maison de Stencils.

The rules:  to be eligible to win today’s prize leave a comment on this blog post.  If you can’t think of anything to say, tell me if you’re a Scrooge or more like Buddy the Elf this time of year.  Your comment must be left on the blog, not on Facebook or Instagram.  You are not required to follow my blog, although it would be awesome if you did!

I will randomly draw the name of a winner for today’s prize from all of the comments left on this post by Wednesday, December 25, 2019 at the stroke of midnight (U.S. Central time).

The fine print: no purchase necessary, you must be 18 years of age or older to win, void where prohibited by law, the number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning, approximate retail value of prize is $100, if the prize is not claimed by Friday, December 27, another name may be drawn at random to win, blah, blah, blah.

Good luck!

homestead house milk paint.

When I decided to do this 12 days of giveaways thing, I reached out to my friends at Fusion/Homestead House and they were super gracious and provided some great stuff for me to give away.

First, a little background info for you all, because this all gets a little confusing sometimes.  Homestead House Milk Paint is a Canadian company that has been around since the 1980’s.  They also have been manufacturing Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint since 2012.  The MMS Milk Paint is branded differently (the packaging looks different) and comes in color palette that Marian Parsons (a.k.a. Miss Mustard Seed) developed herself.

However, aside from colors and branding, these two products are manufactured by the same people.

Check out all of the gorgeous colors available in Homestead House Milk Paint here.

Fusion Mineral Paint is an off-shoot of Homestead House too.  Fusion paint is an acrylic paint though, not milk paint.  Regardless of whether we’re talking about Fusion Mineral Paint, Homestead House Milk Paint or Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint, the one common thread that runs through all of these products is the company’s commitment to high quality non-toxic paint and wax.

If you are someone that paints a lot (like me), you really need to be aware of what you are exposing yourself to on a regular basis.  So be sure that you are using a product that is safe for both you and the environment.  And if you are using a more hazardous product, be sure to use the proper protective gear such as gloves, eye protection and/or air masks.

One of the colors of Homestead House Milk Paint that I’ll be giving away today is Barn Red.

I used it on a pair of faux ski’s that I painted and stenciled back in 2017.

Some of my other favorite Homestead House Milk Paint colors include Maritime Blue, which is the really pretty periwinkle blue that I used on this watering can

And Laurentien, which is the fabulous aqua that I used on these small vintage chairs

I tested several of their shades of yellow

before landing on Ochre for the Jenny Lind bed in my guest room …

They have some great neutrals too, like Bedford which is the light grey on this beautiful dresser.

I consider Midnight Blue to be a neutral too, and it was gorgeous on this dresser.

And of course there is Coal Black which I used on our master bed.

If you are a lover of Miss Mustard Seed’s milk paint but want to branch out and explore more colors, you really should check out the Homestead House Milk Paint line.

If you’re familiar with Fusion Mineral Paint, you may have noticed that many of the Fusion colors are the same as the Homestead House Milk Paint colors (like Laurentien, Coal Black, Bedford and Midnight Blue).

This brings me to day 11 of my 12 days of giveaways.  In addition to the Barn Red milk paint, today’s prize also contains a package of Homestead House Milk Paint in a color called Soldier Blue.

Um, hello.  Can you say gorgeous?!  I haven’t tried this color yet, but I kept a package of it for myself and can’t wait to use it.  It looks like just the right blue for Pantone’s 2020 color of the year, doesn’t it?

This prize also includes an array of Fusion waxes including their metallic waxes in Rose Gold, Copper and Pearl, their clear furniture wax and the Homestead House Antiquing Wax.  You’ll also get a package of the Fusion Fresco, which is a powder used to add texture to your paint.  I’m also including another fabulous Staalmeester brush.

Thank you to Homestead House and Fusion for sponsoring this giveaway by providing all of the products I’m giving away today!

The rules:  to be eligible to win today’s prize leave a comment on this blog post.  If you can’t think of anything to say, just let me know whether or not you’ve tried milk paint.  Your comment must be left on the blog, not on Facebook or Instagram.  You are not required to follow my blog, although it would be awesome if you did!

I will randomly draw the name of a winner for today’s prize from all of the comments left on this post by Sunday, December 22, 2019 at the stroke of midnight (U.S. Central time).

The fine print: no purchase necessary, you must be 18 years of age or older to win, void where prohibited by law, the number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning, approximate retail value of prize is $100 if the prize is not claimed by Thursday, December 26, another name will be drawn at random to win, blah, blah, blah.

Good luck!

the stockings were hung.

I get a lot of my inspiration from pinterest, and I bet a few of you do too.  Quite a while back (probably at least 4 or 5 years ago) I pinned this …

I wish I could give credit for this photo, but there were no links or watermarks or anything.  I really loved the look of that painted and stenciled sock stretcher.

So I started snatching up sock stretchers when I saw them at garage or estate sales.

In case you’ve never heard of sock stretchers (or sock blockers), they are used to keep your woolen socks from shrinking as they dry.  You wash the socks, and then put them over the sock stretcher to dry.

Based on the numbers stamped on the backs, I’d say you must have been able to buy them in your size thus keeping your socks shaped just right for your feet.

The thing I can’t figure out is why every time I’ve seen them at sales, the seller has just one of them.  Wouldn’t you at least need to have a pair?  I don’t know.  But check out this article for more info on sock stretchers.

Anyway, I pulled out my selection of sock stretchers to give them a little makeover for Christmas.  I started by painting them in Dixie Belle’s Sawmill Gravy.  Turns out that a couple of them were bleeders.  This provided me with a great opportunity to show you what that looks like in a side by side comparison.

These were both painted in one coat of Sawmill Gravy. The one on top has an orange-ish stain that is bleeding through the paint.  This was easily fixed by adding a coat of Dixie Belle’s BOSS, letting it dry overnight, and then painting over it.  Then one more coat of Sawmill Gravy was all it needed.

Next I pulled out some of the new stencils that I received from Maison de Stencils.  This time I used Dixie Belle’s Gravel Road paint to do my stenciling.  I like using Dixie Belle paint for stenciling because it’s nice and thick.  People often ask for tips on getting a crisp look with stencils.  Using a thicker paint like the Dixie Belle paint, or re.design with Prima Marketing’s Chalk Paste, helps keep your paint from seeping under the edges of your stencil.

I didn’t use any of the stencils ‘as is’ exactly, instead I just placed portions of words where I thought they looked best on the sock stretchers.  I tried to space them out so they looked uniform, but also so that they filled in most of the space.

Once the paint was dry, I sanded lightly and then gave them a coat of wax.  Some of them needed holes drilled into the top so that I could hang them with string.

I think maybe I need to add some sprigs of greenery to the tops of mine like the one in the inspiration photo has.

In the meantime, the stockings are hung on the pine cupboard with care.  In hopes that St. Nicholas will … well, I guess he can’t really fill them up with any goodies, now can he?

Now, for today’s giveaway!  If you’ve been following along, today is day 10 of my 12 days of giveaways.  I’ve drawn names for the winners of prizes 1 through 8 so far.  You can still leave a comment to win prize 9 from Monday if you leave a comment on that post by midnight tonight.  If your name is drawn as a winner, I will notify you by email so be sure you’re checking your mail.

Today’s prize package includes lots of fun stuff to use when stenciling.

If I draw your name at random you will receive 4 stencils from Maison de Stencils including the very handy grain sack stripe stencil.  Plus these re.design with Prima Marketing products; the mini paint roller (which works fantastically when doing larger all over stencil work like on my velvet inspired wrapping paper), a 1″ stencil brush, their chalk paste in Iron Gate and Vintage Lace and their Decor Wax in Diamond Dust.  Did you know you can stencil with their Decor Wax?  Check out this post to learn more about that technique.

Thank you to Maison de Stencils for sponsoring this giveaway by providing the stencils, and to Prima Marketing for providing the roller, brush, chalk paste and decor wax.  Also, thank you to Dixie Belle Paint Co for supplying the paint I used on my stockings.

The rules:  to be eligible to win today’s prize leave a comment on this blog post.  If you can’t think of anything to say, just tell me, have you seen any good pinterest inspiration lately?  Your comment must be left on the blog, not on Facebook or Instagram.  You are not required to follow my blog, although it would be awesome if you did!

I will randomly draw the name of a winner for today’s prize from all of the comments left on this post by Friday, December 20, 2019 at the stroke of midnight (U.S. Central time).

The fine print: no purchase necessary, you must be 18 years of age or older to win, void where prohibited by law, the number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning, approximate retail value of prize is $100 if the prize is not claimed by Sunday, December 22, another name will be drawn at random to win, blah, blah, blah.

Good luck!