a thrift store haul.

My sister and I were out the other day and just happened to be driving past the Goodwill, so we decided to pop in and see what they had.  We had actually been in the same Goodwill store about a week earlier and didn’t find a single thing.  But this time I managed to fill up a shopping cart with goodies.

Nothing earth shattering, but I did find some simple things that made for fun small projects that I’m going to share with you today.

First up, the chicken box.

You’re probably wondering why in the world I picked that up, but what you can’t see in that photo is that it’s really just a simple box made out of old barn wood with an ugly chicken on the front.

I cut off the broken rafia handle, sanded down the chicken and re-painted just the front of the box in Dixie Belle’s French Linen.

Then I added just part of the Farm Fresh Honey Bee stencil that I purchased from Wallcutz.

My q tip for today is to always remember that you don’t have to use a stencil in its entirety.  You can tape off sections to fit on a smaller item like this little box.  Stencils have tons of versatility!

Once the paint was fully dry, I sanded to distress and added a clear wax finish.  Then I used some decorative cording to replace the handle.

And as I was writing up this post I realized that you still couldn’t see the barn wood that makes up the rest of the box, so here’s a shot that shows it off a little bit better.  Sort of.

Next up is the blue box.

The very flat finish on this box makes me think it was painted in either chalk paint or milk paint.  The color reminds me quite a bit of Miss Mustard Seed’s Flow Blue, or maybe Dixie Belle’s Antebellum Blue or Annie Sloan’s Aubusson.  Although I really like all of those colors, I felt that the color wasn’t really working on this box.  However, the real problem for me was the hideous black wrought iron handle more than the color.

OK, maybe ‘hideous’ is too strong a word, but I really didn’t like that handle.  So much so that I tossed it in the trash as soon as I removed it and I never really got a good photo of it.

Anyway, after removing that handle, I painted the entire box, inside and out, in Dixie Belle’s Sawmill Gravy.  Once dry I added one of the Classic Vintage Label transfers from re.design with prima to the front.

To jazz up the inside of the box, I added some of prima’s decoupage décor tissue papers to the inside of the lid.  This one is called Floral Wallpaper.

I luckily just happened to have a scrap of this tissue that was the perfect size leftover from another project .  It’s always good to hang onto those scraps!

By the way, I really do love these decoupage tissue papers.

They go on beautifully using Dixie Belle’s Gator Hide (check out this post for more details on that).  They don’t wrinkle or get bubbles because they are made out of a porous material, and at the same time they are really strong and don’t tear when wet.  Now that I’m no longer a brand ambassador for re.design with prima, I am totally out of the loop on new designs that come out.  However, I happened to do a little googling, and I found some new ones to purchase online.  I’ll keep you posted on those when they arrive and I find something to use them on.

Finally, I pulled out this pretty distressed mirror knob that I had in my stash of singles and added it to the top of the box.

I have a whole jar of single knobs.  I used to buy a lot of knobs when they were on sale at Hobby Lobby.  You know, sort of on speculation.  I figured I’d eventually have a piece to use them on.  But what I discovered was that nine times out of ten I would need 8 knobs for a piece, but I’d only have 6.  Or I’d need 6 and have 8, so now I had two left over.  It rarely seemed to work out perfectly, and as  I result I have a whole pile of single (or maybe a pair of) knobs.  Now I’ve sworn to only buy the knobs when I need them, and when I know exactly how many I need.

Still, it’s always a good feeling when I find a use for one of those singles!

You can see that a little of that original blue color is peeking through my distressed edges.

OK, the next makeover was the cold, black heart of love sign.

I really shouldn’t make fun.  The person who created this could very possibly be a reader of my blog, in which case, I apologize.  The bones of this sign were fantastic, but I’m just not sure about that big black heart.

Not that I have anything against black, because in the end I repainted the entire sign black.  Dixie Belle’s Midnight Sky to be exact.

I added a stencil using Dixie Belle’s Putty and then sanded to distress.  Unfortunately I can’t share a source for this stencil because I purchased it on Etsy from a seller that isn’t out there anymore.

It looks pretty good hanging in my piano room, but I won’t be keeping it.  It’s going in the pile of stuff to sell.

Next up, I always debate picking up these reproduction-ish decorative watering cans.  To me they always look just a bit too faux.

This one has an antiqued copper paint job that I didn’t particularly care for, but I liked the shape of it and the  style of the spout.  Plus the price was right, so I grabbed it.

Paint doesn’t always want to stick to a surface like this metal, so I usually spray paint something like this.  That was the plan here, except I didn’t have enough spray paint on hand.  So instead I gave it a quick base coat of spray paint, and then topped that off with some of Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth.  I really prefer to make do with supplies that I already have rather than buy something more.

If you’re wondering how I spray paint in the winter in Minnesota even though I don’t have a heated workshop space, here’s my trick.  I take the item outside in a big cardboard box lid with low sides, spray it quick, and then bring it all back in.  It’s probably not ideal, but it does seem to work and my house doesn’t end up filled with spray paint fumes.

Once the paint was dry, I sanded to distress and added another Classic Vintage Label.

Then I added clear wax as a finish.

A bit of an improvement I think.

Alright, so out of the six items I picked up at the Goodwill, I’ve made over four of them.

That leaves the little rocking chair, which I’m going to save for another day.  I purchased that chair because it has awesome, authentic, chippy green paint.  However, it’s filthy dirty.  Rather than try to clean it up in the house, I’m going to wait until I can give it a good bath with the hose out in the yard.  That’s gonna be a while.

And last up is the little wooden recipe box.

I purchased it fully intending to paint it up (like this one or this one), but after I got it home I started to second guess that.  It has that fab vintage decal on the front, and although it’s a little beat up, the patina on the wood is quite lovely.

So now I’m torn.  Should I paint it up, or should I just clean it up and otherwise leave it alone?  Let’s take a poll, what do you think?

And what do you think of the rest of my thrifted item makeovers?

small garage sale finds.

Last weekend my friend/picker/garage sale spotter Sue texted early in the morning to give me a heads up on a garage sale that was only two blocks away from my house.

So I ran a comb through my hair, brushed my teeth, threw on a particular undergarment that was necessary for appearing in public, made sure I had some cash in my pocket and headed out.

It was one of those sales where nothing was marked, but the proprietor said ‘everything is for sale, even if it’s nailed down’.  So one of the first things I grabbed was this little wooden box that was hanging above a workbench and had some old plastic shopping bags in it.

I can’t even really say how much I paid for it because I paid a blanket price of $20 for everything I purchased from the sale.  That included this item, a small cheese box that I’ll share in a minute, a dozen floral plates (that I’ll add words to for summer), a vintage nativity set, a wooden bucket, a gingham tray, and a small homemade bench.

So let me show you what I did with this one first.

I painted it in Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth, and then added part of a Classic Vintage Label transfer to the front.

Easy peasy.

I lined it with some polka dot scrapbook paper too.

Now it’s perfect for containing a non-collection (because I’m in denial when it comes to whether or not I collect things) of old salt & pepper shakers.

I won’t be keeping it though, it will go to the shop to be sold.

Next up is the little cheese box, which started out like this …

If you look closely, you can see just how grungy it was!  So step one was to give it a good cleaning.

I didn’t want to lose the Land O’Lakes label on the sides of the box …

so after cleaning the box, I decided to just spruce up the end that had already been painted black with a fresh coat of Dixie Belle’s Midnight Sky.

After sanding that to distress it a bit, I glued on that Design Studio tag from Tim Holtz with some E6000 glue.  It’s from his Factory Tags set and I found it at Hobby Lobby.

After waxing the whole box with some clear wax, I lined it with some more of the polka dot paper.

The box isn’t quite big enough to accommodate some old silver knives, but it would make a sweet little container for something.

I’ll be taking both of these little items in to Reclaiming Beautiful, the shop where I sell on consignment in Stillwater, MN sometime soon.  Hopefully they’ll find a home with someone who loves them!

Thanks to Dixie Belle Paint Co for providing the paint used on these projects.

more random garage sales.

As my sister and I headed to Excelsior last Friday, I had to put blinders on in order to ignore all of the garage sale signs I passed along the way.

I know exactly what was happening.  People were looking at the weather forecast (sunny and a high of 83), and then looking at the calendar (the last weekend in September) and thinking ‘crap, this might be my last chance to have that garage sale I was planning for this summer’.

I can relate, can you?  I have a long list of things I meant to get to this summer.  Like washing the windows.  Still haven’t checked that one off the list, and here it is October already.

There was no time to stop on Friday though, so I ignored all of the signs.  But when I woke up early on Saturday, I texted my sister on an impulse and asked if she wanted to check out some random sales.  Luckily my sister is pretty much game for anything, even when I wake her up with a text a 7 a.m. on a Saturday.

So we headed out.  And I managed to fill up her SUV not just once, but twice.  The first couple of sales were just a block or two away from my house, so it was easy to come back and unload.

It was lucky we’d made space in the car, because when we headed back out again I found this fabulous mid-century dresser …

Honestly, I think it’s rather ugly right now, but it’s going to look great with a paint job.

I also found this fun bar cart …

and these two never would have fit in the car with all of that other stuff.

I’ve already done a makeover on the bucket I purchased in that first load.

That just involved giving it a good cleaning, and then adding a portion of the IOD Label Ephemera transfer.

And while I was at it, I had a couple other buckets I picked up recently, so they got the same treatment.

I’ve also made over the little egg crate …

Somehow I just wasn’t digging the color combo of the original red and black design, so I taped it off and painted it solid black using Dixie Belle’s Midnight Sky.

Then I pulled out some mini-stencils I ordered recently from Jami Ray Vintage.

I thought these would be fun to use on a variety of smaller projects.  I used Dixie Belle’s Putty to stencil just part of the Kroger stencil over the Midnight Sky.

These stencils are pretty adorable.  My only complaint is that they are a little thick at 15 ml.  I know it seems like thicker = better quality, but I find it easier to get a crisp finish with a thinner stencil.  Especially when the design itself is really small, like on the line that says ’98 lbs. when packed’.  It was hard to get paint in there without it getting blotchy.  The stencils from Maison de Stencils are 10 ml and I prefer working with that thickness.

That being said, I’m still sure I’ll get a lot of use out of these mini-stencils!

I also painted the handle on the box in Midnight Sky.  Isn’t it funny how such a simple change can make such a big difference?

And lastly, I lined the inside of the box with re.design with prima decoupage tissue in a pattern called Grid.

The black and white grid pattern worked perfectly.

Next week I’ll be sharing the makeovers on the bird cage, the bar cart and the mid-mod dresser, so be sure to stay tuned.  And in the meantime, have a great weekend!

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!

old bessie.

Even though today’s projects are really basic, I still wanted to share them with you guys.

Let’s start with a quick photo of a pile of some of the smaller items I found at last weekend’s sales …

I haven’t gotten to everything in this photo quite yet.  The sock stretcher that is underneath everything will be tucked away until the holiday season (in the meantime, check out these sock stretchers I upgraded last year).

I’m still on the fence about the little child’s pull toy with the yellow ducks on it.  I’m tempted to paint it sort of like I did with the elephant pull toy last year.  I’m just not fond of those original colors.  They seem a bit garish, what do you think?

The wooden recipe box is the perfect size to hold my recipe card scrapbook project unlike the last one that I found that was too small, so that will get a custom makeover especially themed for those cards.

The rolling pin wasn’t anything special, I just thought it would be fun to give it some green handles.  I painted them with Dixie Belle’s Kudzu.

Oh, the bucket above is another garage sale find from last weekend that I simply dressed up with another Classic Vintage Label transfer.

I did makeover the remaining two items though, starting with the wooden cow.

Sometimes you guys must really wonder what in the world I’m thinking.  I mean, seriously, why would I grab this old thing?  At some point someone must have thought this cow should have blue eyes because they blobbed a bit of blue paint on both sides of her face.

Honestly, I don’t know what it was, but something about old Bessie appealed to me.

After taking a closer look at her base, I realized that it screwed off so that made it easy to decide on a two tone paint job for her.  I started by painting the base with Dixie Belle’s Caviar, and then painted the cow with their Drop Cloth.  Once both were dry, I sanded them lightly to distress and then added a transfer from re.design with prima’s Classic Vintage Labels to the cow.

I finished everything off with a coat of clear wax and then just screwed the base back on.  That was it.

I think she’d be pretty cute on a kitchen counter, don’t you?

The shoe stretchers received a very similar makeover.  I simply painted them with Drop Cloth, sanded to distress and added some transfers.

How fun are those?  Once again I was torn about keeping one, or both of them.

But seriously you guys, I can’t keep everything!  I get a little twitchy if I have too much stuff in my house and I already have a buyer lined up for them so they didn’t stick around long.

Tomorrow is a holiday at the day job, so I’ll probably get up early and get some more painting done before the heat sets in.  We’re expecting lots of humidity and a high in the 90’s.  Yuck!  I’ll take 3′ of snow over heat and humidity any day.  I’ll also be posting one last daily post tomorrow featuring some restyled garage sale finds, so be sure to stay tuned.

there’s a hole in my bucket.

OK, so I promised a post every day this week, but I never said each post would be extensive, did I?

Today I’m sharing the quick and easy makeover of this pair of buckets.

You may remember that I picked these up at those back to back barn sales I found back at the end of May.  They have obviously been around the block a time or two.  I don’t think either one could actually hold water at this point.  But that makes them perfect to use as planters, or just as decor somewhere in your home.

I started with the smaller of the two buckets.  I rather liked the original patina on it, so I simply cleaned it well using Dawn dishwashing soap, and once dry I added a section from the Paris Valley transfer from re.design with prima.

It’s definitely a more subtle look, which I like personally, but fully realize would not be everyone’s cup of tea.

For bucket no. 2, I decided to paint it white first, thus allowing the transfer to take center stage.

Once again, I washed it well and this time I also sanded the outside lightly to give the surface more gripping power before painting.  Then I mixed up some of Miss Mustard Seed’s milk paint in Ironstone, which is her brightest white.  I ended up painting three coats on the bucket to get good, solid coverage.  Milk paint tends to be a little more sheer than other kinds of paint, so if you’re using the white or very pale shades it can take up to three coats.

Once fully dry, which happens pretty quickly with milk paint, I sanded the paint to distress the finish.  Then I added another section from the Paris Valley transfer to this bucket.

The milk paint worked perfectly.  It mostly adhered, but got chippy in just a couple of spots giving this an authentically aged look.  I find that milk paint will adhere to a dull metal finish (like galvanized metal), but it won’t adhere well to a shiny, smooth metal finish.

I filled the bucket with some Annabelle hydrangeas which have just started to bloom here in my Minnesota garden.

By the way, I added a coat of clear wax to each of the buckets after applying the transfers.

It’s so easy to add just a little something extra with some paint and a transfer!

Which one is your favorite?

la cage.

As promised, I’m back again today with another revamped garage sale find.

I purchased this metal cage at a sale being held by a woman who said she used to sell in a shop, but the shop has not been open due to COVID.  I wasn’t really clear on whether the shop has permanently gone out of business, or is just closed for the time being.

Either way, she had lots of goodies at her sale, including this cage, and they were priced to move.   So I was happy to help her out by buying quite a few things.

Initially I wasn’t planning to do anything more than clean this cage and re-sell it.  But once I washed it up I realized that the existing finish was rather tired looking, and not in a good, vintage, sort of way.

So once again I broke out the Rustoleum spray paint in Heirloom White.  It takes a while to spray paint something like this.  Mainly because you have to make sure that you’ve gotten to every angle.  So it’s a lot of spraying and waiting for it to dry, flipping it around, spray some more, waiting some more, etc.

In the end, I’m really glad I lightened this one up.  Going white gave me the opportunity to add some transfers to it.

The bee on the door is from re.design with prima’s Classic Vintage Labels, and the ‘1888.’ on the drawer is from IOD’s Classic Pots.

I used a vintage French invoice to line the drawer.

It’s from a packet of ephemera that my friend Terri gifted to me a while back.

You can see the paper even when the drawer is closed, so I definitely needed to use something pretty.

As pretty as this one turned out, I won’t be keeping it.  I already have a few birdcages, any more and I’m in danger of starting another non-collection.  So I’ll be bringing this one into the shop to sell.  If any of you locals are in need of la cage, be sure to head in and check it out.  Or if you want to call dibs on it in advance, let me know.

the button box.

It seems like there are wildly varying reactions to the COVID situation these days.  Some people are still wearing masks everywhere, avoiding social gatherings like the plague (can we use that expression anymore, or does it hit too close to home?), and continuing to work from home.  While others are having weddings with buffet style dinners (Mr. Q’s nephew, in Wisconsin) and heading to the casino for bingo night (my mom, in Nevada).

Here in Minnesota, I’m measuring the decreased vigilance against COVID based on the number of garage sales happening.  For most of May, garage sales were few and far between.  I happened upon a couple of barn sales out in the country at the end of May and that was about it.  Since then it seems like the number of sales each weekend has been growing steadily.

The weekend before last, my friend Sue texted me about a sale happening just a few blocks away from me.  I hopped in the car and headed over.  I ended up having to run back home and get the van to haul away my finds.

Then during this past week, the number of garage sale signs in my area seemed to explode.  I went to several sales on my lunch hour.  At one of them I had to once again go home and get the van and come back.  I came home with four sleds and several iron trellises.

I was especially excited to find the sleds.  I revamp them and they tend to sell really well as winter decor.  I usually find 3 or 4 at various sales each summer, but I did not have high hopes for this year.  So I was really tickled to find 4 of them in one go.

This past Saturday my sister and I drove around randomly looking for garage sale signs and I ended up coming home with lots of great vintage pieces.  Here’s just the big stuff.

I also brought home several boxes of smaller items that will get a quandie-style makeover.

I spent most of yesterday working on a few of them, so I thought it might be fun to share one per day for the rest of this week.  Yep, you read that right.  I’m planning to post every day until Friday.

I’m going to start with this adorable little button box.

I found it at an estate sale on my lunch break.  It was the only thing I purchased at that particular sale.

If you know me at all, you probably realize that the fact that it looks like a miniature dresser is what really appealed to me.  But I was also drawn to the pretty colors of all of the spools of thread.  Whoever owned this must have been fond of colorful things.

It was still full of old buttons and other sewing supplies.

I felt a little bit sad knowing that someone once used this button box when mending clothes or replacing a lost button.  Do people even do that anymore?

I also knew it would be adorable with a few little tweaks, and maybe someone will love it once again.

To begin with, I decided to spray paint it.  Painting around all of the little pegs for the spools of thread would have been putzy using a brush.  I had some Rustoleum spray paint in Heirloom White on hand, so I just used that.

Next I pulled out an IOD transfer that I recently ordered online.  Lest some of you get confused, IOD is no longer associated with re.design with prima.  I am a brand ambassador for re.design with prima, but that doesn’t mean I can’t occasionally check out the competition.  Back in the day when IOD and prima worked together, they had a series of transfers meant for clay pots.  I totally LOVED them and used them on pretty much anything that wasn’t nailed down.  So when I realized that IOD had re-issued them on their own in a collection called Classic Pots I simply had to have them.  They arrived in the mail on Saturday, and you’re going to see them on a couple of the things I share this week.

I cut apart one of the 14 different designs on the transfer to add to the front of the box.

I also added part of the transfer to the trim piece behind the spools …

Seriously, how cute is that?

The spools of thread that came with the box were the old fashioned wooden ones, not those darn new-fangled plastic ones.

I don’t know how much a spool of thread costs today, but I’m guessing it isn’t 15 cents.

And why does it say ‘fast to boiling’?  Why would you want your thread to boil quickly?  Oh … wait, I get it.  They mean the thread is color fast even if you boil it, don’t they?

I had the perfect paper for lining the drawers.

This paper is from October Afternoon’s Farmhouse collection and was called Button Box.  Sadly, they went out of business so you’ll have a hard time finding any of it.

The 12″ x 12″ sheet of paper has three rows of four different button package graphics.  One row of 3 fit perfectly in each drawer.


Now comes the hard part.  Do I keep this for myself, or do I sell it?

I’m planning to head in to Reclaiming Beautiful on Wednesday with a few things, so I guess I have until then to decide.

What would you do?

back to back barn sales.

I’m sure most of you have been hearing about the civil unrest that started in Minneapolis last week and has now spread to many other cities as well.  I’m not going to comment on that situation here on my blog because I like to keep this space positive.  Usually I’m a ‘glass half full’, ‘look on the bright side’ kind of person.  But I truly can’t find anything positive to say about what is happening in the Twin Cities.  The entire situation is simply heartbreaking.

After watching things go from bad to worse over several days, my sister, niece and I decided to literally put the city in the rear view mirror and head out into the country on Saturday.  It was a gorgeous, although a bit cool, sunny day.  We grabbed sweatshirts and hopped into my convertible VW bug and headed east.  We then drove north along the St. Croix River to Mr. Q’s home town, Marine on the St. Croix, where we stopped off to score some snacks at the general store.  Restaurants are still not open here in Minnesota, so we have to improvise.

Next up was The Garden Gate at Crabtree’s, a cute little shop with lots of garden ornaments.  From there we headed back west to the Gammelgården Museum in Scandia.

If you’ve followed me for a while, you know how much I love open air museums.  I’ve visited them in Stockholm, Oslo, Aarhus and of course there was The Beamish, in County Durham, England.

The Gammelgården in Scandia doesn’t really hold a candle to any of those, but it’s still fun to check it out.  Unfortunately, although we escaped from rioting and looting, we couldn’t escape from COVID.

The giant Dala horses all wore masks, and none of the historic buildings were open.  We were able to wander around the grounds and admire them from the outside though.

The Präst Hus was built in 1868 and I find the construction fascinating.  Just look closely at the corner of the building …

It’s dovetailed, like a giant piece of furniture!

After leaving the Gammelgården, we stopped at another historic site, the Hay Lake School.

Once again, the site was not open due to COVID, but we did peek in the windows.

This one room schoolhouse was built in 1896 and was in use until 1963!

As we started to make our way back home, we spotted a sign for a barn sale.  I can’t tell you how excited I was to see that!  A barn sale!  Of course we had to stop.

We followed the signs, made our way down a dirt driveway, and behold …

A legit barn sale!

I found a few goodies to purchase including a set of 4 old cupboard doors that I’ll turn into signs …

Some old buckets that I’ll dress up with transfers to be used as planters …

And this fab old shoe form.

And then, as if that wasn’t good enough, the proprietors of this sale told us there was a 2nd barn sale just up the road.  Back to back barn sales!  It was our lucky day.

This 2nd sale was actually more of an occasional sale, although it was technically in a barn.  They were selling pieces that have already been given a face lift, lots of painted furniture and other goodies.  As the guy at the first barn sale put it, he was the K-mart of barn sales and they were the Macy’s of barn sales.

None the less, I found a few things to buy including a glass jar and an old coffee pot that will both get dressed up with transfers.

Also, I had been looking for something to perch my Lunch Menu planter on and this $10 stool looked just about right.

I know it won’t hold up well outdoors forever, but for $10 it’s OK if it just lasts a season or two.

Our escape to the country on Saturday provided a much needed getaway for all of us.  We were able to forget about the world’s problems for a while and just enjoy some peaceful scenery on a beautiful sunny day.

Capping it off with back to back barn sales was the cherry on the sundae.

While normally Debbie and Kris would have stayed at our place afterwards for a bonfire, or a game night, they had to get home before the 8 pm curfew that was in place over the weekend.  That being said, we are all safe and healthy and I hope you are all the same!

st. anthony park 2019.

This past Saturday my sister and I planned to go garage saling, but if it was as stormy as predicted we had a backup plan of heading to the mall instead.  Sure enough, I woke up at 5:30 a.m. to the sound of thunder.  However by 7 a.m. the storms had passed leaving behind just overall dampness and overcast skies.

But I was especially motivated to get out there and garage sale because this was the last big neighborhood sale of the season (or at least that I know about, if you any of you locals know of more please leave a comment).  So clouds and occasional drizzle weren’t going to hold us back.  We threw rain jackets and hats in the car just in case and headed out.

This time we were in St. Paul’s St. Anthony Park neighborhood.  This neighborhood was developed in the late 19th century as a streetcar suburb (ie. you could commute to the city via streetcar) for the wealthier residents of Minneapolis/St. Paul (wikipedia).  It’s full of large 100 year old homes and each one is unique (unlike more modern developments).

Debbie and I decided this house was most definitely haunted …

This pretty yellow and white house had a charming farmhouse look with its wrap around porch.  Check out that chippy bench under the window.

And this next house had another of those gorgeous hydrangea trees.

I didn’t come home with any super amazing finds, but I really loved each thing that I threw into the car starting with this kid sized cupboard.

These tend to be a little more difficult to sell, but they are so fun to work on!  I’m hoping to come up with an adorable look for this one and I may use some vintage wallpaper to line the back of it.

Funny enough the tiny tea set came from a different sale a couple of blocks later.

As soon as I saw it I thought “that would be perfect for staging the little cupboard!”

And then, I found another little vintage tea set later in the day too.  It’s funny how often this happens, you find several of the same random items on any given day.

I’m planning to bring these sets to Reclaiming Beautiful for the Christmas season.  Wouldn’t they make a fabulous Christmas gift for some lucky little girl?

Yep, I’m already thinking Christmas.  I know, it’s way too early, but somehow it always manages to sneak up on me in the end, so this year I am planning ahead.

The foot board that is leaning in the back of my first photo is just that, a lone foot board.  The sellers said they are using the headboard but had no use for the foot board.  It was definitely priced to sell, they just wanted to quit storing it.

I may add a shelf to it or maybe turn it into a ‘sign’ of sorts.  I’ve done a few foot board makeovers in the past and you can see them here, here and here.

I found a couple of creamy white McCoy’s to add to my non-collection.  I have a little empty space on the shelves in my piano room so I need just a few more to fill in.

I’ll save that little aqua planter for spring and take it to the shop to sell.

My sister came home with a couple of items this time.

She’ll definitely use the old cast iron corn bread pan.  We all love her cornbread and with this pan every piece will be a crispy end piece.

There really wasn’t a stand-out choice for ‘find of the day’ this time, but I decided to give that status to this King Radio box.

I have no idea how a radio fit inside, or even if a radio fit inside, but it says King Radio inside the lid so I’m going with it.

As you can see, it has dividers inside.  Maybe those were added later?  No idea.  But this will be fun to paint and turn into some sort of keepsake box.

On the one hand I’m sad to see the 2019 neighborhood sale season coming to an end, but on the other hand I’m ready to have my Saturdays back for other things like actually painting furniture.  I’m working on a really fun piece currently that I hope to have done soon.  In the meantime, check back on Wednesday as I continue my house tour in the pantry.