if at first you don’t succeed.

Sometimes you just have to try again.

I painted this twin bed back in January …

I have to admit, I didn’t absolutely love it when it was finished.  But that’s not totally unusual, there are plenty of pieces I’ve painted that didn’t exactly tug at my heart strings but they still found a home with someone who did love them.

But that wasn’t the case with this bed.  It didn’t get even a spark of interest from a potential buyer in the last six months.  And quite honestly, I probably didn’t promote it as much as usual because I didn’t really love it myself.

So, I decided to re-purpose it entirely by turning each piece into a sign, starting with the headboard.

To begin with I gave it a coat of Sweet Pickins milk paint in a color called Window Pane which is a white with a grey undertone.  I was trying to go for a chippy look.  But once it was painted I really didn’t love the color.  I’ve found this particular shade of white kind of finicky.  It either really works on something, or it really just doesn’t.  I’ve painted over it as many times as I’ve kept it.

So I went back to the drawing board again.  I mixed up some of Dixie Belle’s Mint Julep with their Sea Spray additive to add texture.  I stippled that onto the headboard in random spots, mostly around the frame.  I’m learning as I go with this product, I’ve found that I don’t really like lots of texture, I want my results to be a little more subtle.  So once the textured Mint Julep was fully dry, I sanded it down a bit to knock off the peaks.  Then I painted over the entire thing in my final color, DB’s Midnight Sky.

Next up I pulled out the Farmers Market stencil that I purchased from Wallcutz.

My favorite thing about Wallcutz is that you can order their stencils in different sizes.  This one is available anywhere from 10″ x 17″ up to a whopping 22″ x 38″.  Mine is the 16″ x 28″ version, which currently is priced at $21.95.  I think you get a lot of bang for your buck with these larger sized stencils.

I used my shadowing method to create a shadow behind just the word “Farmers”, and behind the little do-dads on either side of the word “Market”, and although it looks OK in person, it’s a bit too subtle to show up well in photos.

In hindsight, I wish I’d gone a bit darker with the shadow color.  The full stencil was painted using Dixie Belle’s Putty, and the shadow was Putty mixed with some Gravel Road to darken it up.

The first time around with the stencil, I kept the full design intact.  But then I realized that it looked off balance to have nothing at the bottom of my “sign”, so I sanded off the “DAIRY PRODUCE DRY GOODS” section from just beneath “MARKET”, painted back over that area with Midnight Sky, and then moved the stencil down to the bottom section of the headboard and added those words there.

Once everything was dry, I sanded with 120 grit paper to distress.  That revealed some of that Mint Julep texture that was under the Midnight Sky.  You can also see a bit of that Window Pane in some spots, as well as the original DB Gravel Road that was on the bed in the first place.

Really, nothing adds age as well as several layers of different paint colors.  I added clear wax as a final top coat.

But wait, we’re still not done.  My ‘sign’ still needed a little something more.  So I went through my stash of old hooks and found a set of three that just happened to have some old chippy paint on them that was very similar in color to the Mint Julep.

So I added those between the two sections of stenciling.

They are perfect for hanging some ironstone pitchers.

Oh, and I almost forgot one more step.  I asked my neighbor nnK to bring over her circular saw and cut down the legs for me.  They were a bit too long hanging off the bottom.

So, what once was a bed frame now is a Farmers Market sign.

I’ll be doing something similar with the foot board, although I think I’m going to make it into a Christmas themed sign.  I may end up turning the side rails into signs as well.  I’ve done that before, and in fact even have a ‘side rail sign’ hanging in my own living room …

So, what do you think?  Do you suppose I’ll have better luck selling a Farmers Market sign rather than a twin bed?  If any of you locals are interested in it, be sure to visit my ‘available for local sale‘ page for more details.

Before I let you go today, I thought that since I’m having so much fun playing around with the Dixie Belle Sea Spray maybe I should share the wealth.  So I’m going to give give away two bags of Sea Spray.

The rules:  Simply leave a comment on this blog post to be eligible to win.

Your comment must be left on this blog post, 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 names of two winners for today’s prizes from all of the comments left on this post by Friday, August 27, 2021 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 $25, if the prize is not claimed by Friday, September 3, 2021 another name will be drawn at random to win, blah, blah, blah.

As always, thanks to Dixie Belle for providing the paint and Sea Spray I used on this project as well as the Sea Spray for my giveaway.

keep it clean.

A little while back Dixie Belle sent me some of their new silkscreen stencils from their Belles and Whistles line.

I’d never actually tried using a silkscreen stencil before, so I decided to do a little playing around with one this past weekend to see how I liked it.

I pulled out a little wooden bench that my picker found for me and gave it a coat of Dixie Belle’s French Linen, followed by taping off some grain sack style stripes and painting them in Drop Cloth.  Once all of that was dry, I sanded it down with some 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the ridges left by the taped off lines and distress the edges.

Then I pulled out the Fresh Eggs stencil from the Farmhouse set and saw that it was going to fit on my bench perfectly.

Silkscreen stencils are a little different from typical reusable stencils.  First up, they are slightly sticky (on the sticky scale, I’d say they are sort of like a post it note) on the back and they come stuck to a backer sheet.  You’re going to need that backer sheet to store your stencil, so don’t toss it away when you peel it off for the first time.  They are also not rigid like a typical stencil and can be curved around an edge which could be a handy feature.

I peeled the stencil off its backer sheet and applied it to my bench.

A couple of things at this point.  First, you’ll see that I have yellow tape on the edges.  That’s not because I need it to hold the stencil in place, the stickiness has it firmly in place.  I added the tape because I used a large stencil brush and I didn’t want to get any stray paint over the edges of the stencil.

Second, I do kind of wish these weren’t made out of that darkish purple material.  It’s a little difficult to get your placement right because you can’t see through it terribly well.  I wonder if we can convince Dixie Belle to make them in a more transparent color.

Next up I grabbed my Dixie Belle paint in Gravel Road and applied the paint using my stencil brush.  I have to admit, I did that “wrong”.  It wasn’t until after I was done that I realized the little plastic thingie in the package was for applying the paint.

You can simply scrape the paint over the stencil using that bit of plastic (you know, as in ‘silk screening’).  Ooops!  Well, no worries, because my method worked beautifully too.  Clearly these silkscreen stencils are much more forgiving than traditional stencils.

The really great thing about using a silkscreen stencil is that you get a nice crisp result with very little effort.  No need to worry about getting too much paint on your brush and getting a sloppy, splotchy looking result.

So for those of you who struggle to get a crisp, clean edge with traditional stencils, a silkscreen stencil might be just the ticket.

Once the paint was dry, I sanded over the stencil to give it a more blended, faded appearance and then I coated the entire bench with some clear wax.

It seriously couldn’t have been any easier.  Recently someone asked me if the sticky stencil would pull off fresh paint, but I didn’t have any issues with that at all.  I don’t think it’s sticky enough to be a problem.

Now, here’s the kicker.  These silk screen stencils can only be re-used about 8 to 10 times, and then only if you wash the paint out of it after each use.  In other words, you have to keep it clean people.  I know myself well enough to know that I’m going to find that tricky.  I always intend to keep my stencils clean, and I always start out that way.  But two or three uses in I usually slack off.  We’ll see how many uses I can get out of this one before throwing in the towel.

So let’s recap the pros and cons of silkscreen stencils.

Cons:  You have to clean them, and even with dedicated cleaning they are only good for about 8 to 10 uses.  It’s difficult to see through the dark purple stencil material when placing the stencil.

Pros:  It’s much easier to get a crisp, clean result.  They can have a much higher level of detail than traditional stencils.  They don’t need to have those bridges in letters that you have to fill in later.  They are more flexible, so you could stencil around a corner.

I thought it might be fun to give away a couple silkscreen stencils so one of you can give them a try.

The rules:  Simply leave a comment on this blog post to be eligible to win.

Your comment must be left on this blog post, 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, June 30, 2021 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 $50, if the prize is not claimed by Friday, July 2, 2021 another name will be drawn at random to win, blah, blah, blah.

As always, thanks to Dixie Belle for providing the paint I used on this little bench as well as their silkscreen stencils.

a ReStored bed.

My sister and I popped back into the ReStore last week and this time I picked up this bed.

Sorry for the poor quality of that photo.  As you may be able to see, my driveway was pure ice that day and it was really cold out.  I took a quick snap and called it good.

Anyway, I’m not especially trying to find beds these days.  I was actually hoping to come home with a dresser or a buffet maybe.  But, I didn’t find any of those sort of pieces that day, so another bed it was.

Compared to the gorgeous details on the bed I shared last week, this one seems a bit plain in comparison doesn’t it?  I’m afraid that bed is going to be a hard act to follow.  Still, I liked the fluted legs on the foot board of this one as well as the curve to the top of both pieces.

Lately I have been binge watching YouTube videos by Crys’Dawna at Bella Renovare.  I became familiar with her work when I was a brand ambassador at re.design with prima.  I also see a lot of her work on the Dixie Belle sites.  Now, any of you who might also be familiar with her work are probably thinking to yourself that Crys’Dawna’s style and mine are drastically different, and that is absolutely true.  I’ve seen her use as many as five or six colors on one piece, and we’re talking the brightest colors available.  For example …

I’m pretty sure that you’ll never see me painting a piece quite like that (although I’ve learned to never say never).  But that doesn’t mean that I don’t admire her work.  Her blending of colors is flawless.  Even though I probably won’t ever copy her exact style, I can still learn from Crys’Dawna’s videos and possibly modify her techniques to suit my own style a bit more.  Or that’s what I was hoping anyway.

So I thought I’d give blending a try on this bed.  The first step was to gather my supplies.  I decided to go with shades of grey, so I pulled out Dixie Belle paint in Gravel Road, Hurricane Grey and French Linen.   I also needed a brush for each color, plus a brush for blending them, and finally a spray bottle.

You can get a spray bottle like this from Dixie Belle Paint Co.  It sprays in a continuous fine mist which works well for blending paint.

Now, let me stop here and say that this post is not going to turn into a tutorial on blending paint for two reasons.  First, you’d be much better off just watching some of Crys’Dawna’s videos to learn how to blend paint.  And second, as it turns out, I kind of suck at it.

Crys’Dawna makes it look so easy.

I spent half a day painting, spraying, and then blending, and then adding more paint, and spraying, and blending, and letting it dry, and then deciding it was awful and adding more paint, and spray, to try and blend it, and then letting it dry … you get the picture.  No matter how much I sprayed and painted and blended, I just never liked the end result.  It just looked like a splotchy paint job to me.  And for the life of me, I could not get rid of the obvious brush strokes.

So why am I sharing this failure with you?  I’m just keeping it real.  Sometimes things just don’t work out for me.  I definitely don’t have the patience to keep working at a finish like this.

After giving up on being able to achieve anything even closely resembling a smoothly blended look, I decided to go back to techniques that I’m good at.  I re-painted the bed in a solid coat of Gravel Road (the darkest gray) and then I pulled out the French Damask stencil from re.design with prima.

I placed the stencil horizontally, rather than vertically as shown above, and I used the Hurricane Gray to do the stenciling.  I just wanted a hint of the pattern, not something that was totally in your face.  Using a color that is just a bit lighter or a bit darker is perfect for creating that look.

I added a faint ‘1902’ to the bottom of the foot board as well.

I was going for a very faded, imperfect look with the stencil so I wasn’t too particular about thoroughly painting every little detail.

Once the paint was dry, I sanded over everything and then added a coat of clear wax.

So what is the moral of our story?  I’m not really sure.  Of course we should all try new things and push ourselves outside of our comfort zone periodically.  But at the same time, every technique out there isn’t for everyone.  In this case, Socrates was right, “To know thyself is the beginning of wisdom.”

Sometimes you try something new and realize it’s just not for you.

How about you?  Have you tried this blending technique?

Well, if you’d like to give it a shot, I’ve decided to give away my gently used spray bottle because I’m pretty sure I’m never going to use it again.  To give you something to blend, I’m also throwing in a couple of shades of green that I think would be lovely blended together, Kudzu and Palmetto.

Who wants to give it a try?

The rules:  I’m going to make you work for it just a little today, so to be eligible to win today’s prize please leave a comment telling me about a failed experiment of your own and what you learned from the experience.

Your comment must be left on this blog post, 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, January 31, 2021 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 $54, if the prize is not claimed by Friday, February 5, 2021 another name will be drawn at random to win, blah, blah, blah.

As always, thanks to Dixie Belle for providing the paint I used on this bed as well as the items I am giving away.

In the meantime, this bed is for sale.  If you are local and in need of a twin bed, be sure to check out the details on my ‘available for local sale‘ page.

lucky number 7.

Back in 2013 I had this crazy idea to start a blog.  A friend of mine had a blog at the time, and I thought it would be a great way to sell some of my painted furniture.

I remember thinking back then that it probably wouldn’t last for more than a few years, five years tops.  After all, let’s face it, most blogs come and go.

On my three year blogiversary, I took some time to reflect on whether or not I felt that my blog was a success.  By year three I hadn’t really met my goal of selling my furniture via my blog.  Sure, I occasionally sold a piece to a reader, but that was more the exception than the rule.  I was still mainly relying on Craigslist for furniture sales.

But I still kept going.  As it turned out, I really just loved blogging for the sake of blogging.  I loved the writing and the photography that goes into creating a blog post, and I also loved revamping vintage things to give them a new life and then sharing those projects with all of you.  And I still do.

And here I am, seven years in and I only just recently realized that these days I actually am selling quite a few pieces via the blog.  It happened so gradually over time that I didn’t even notice it. So, yes, it took nearly 7 years to meet my original goal for my blog.  However, along the way, I realized that my original goal didn’t really even matter.

But what I’ve also realized over time is that I don’t necessarily love all aspects of social media.  For example, I really don’t like the inevitable tendency to compare myself to others.  There are so many bloggers out there who are more talented, more prolific, more popular, more creative and overall way more successful than I am.  I often feel like I’m always running to try and catch up with the competition.

I also don’t like the constant pressure to do more.  Add Instagram, add Facebook Live posts, add TikTok, add YouTube videos, increase your number of followers.  All of which matters not one bit to me.

Recently Dixie Belle Paint Co contacted me and wanted to know what my social media goals were for 2021.  Uh.  Well.  Honestly?  I don’t have any.  I suspect that means I’m not going to be invited back as a Dixie Belle Content Creator in 2021.

So here I am after seven years wondering where to go from here.

As you all know, I have a full-time day job.  I also want to resume having a social life after this COVID thing is over.  So I have to pick and choose the things I spend my time on wisely.  I’ve realized that I need to re-focus on what I enjoy and ignore all of the other stuff.

In other words, don’t expect to see me on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, YouTube or any of the other various social media platforms out there.  And don’t expect to see my number of followers growing in leaps and bounds, because that’s unlikely to happen if I’m not playing the social media game.

But you can expect to see me continuing to provide what I hope is good content right here on my blog.  Going forward I am planning to focus a little more on that and let all of the other social media stuff go.  I’m going to take a little bit of a furniture break over the next month so that I can relax a bit and enjoy the holidays, but I plan to bring you some awesome furniture makeovers in 2021.

In the meantime, that brings me to my blogiversary giveaway!

Before Dixie Belle gives me the boot, I’ve ordered up some of my favorite products to give away.  This prize includes 16 oz. of each of my two favorite neutrals.

Midnight Sky

and Drop Cloth

I’ve also included 16 oz. each of my two favorite holiday colors, Honky Tonk Red and Evergreen.

To top things off I’ve included a 10 oz. clear wax and an 8 oz. Easy Peasy Spray Wax.

Thank you to Dixie Belle for sponsoring this giveaway by providing the products, and thank you to all of you for continuing to support my blog by leaving comments, following me, or just plain checking out what I have to say every now and then!

The rules:  to be eligible to win today’s prize I’m going to ask you to do me a favor.  Please leave a comment on this blog post telling me what kind of content you enjoy seeing most on my blog.  Are you just here for the furniture makeovers?  Or do you enjoy seeing the smaller projects as well?  Maybe you like the travel posts?  Or the gardening posts?  How about the garage sale finds posts?  Or the thrift store hauls?

Your comment must be left on this blog post, 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 4, 2020 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 $150, if the prize is not claimed by Friday, December 11, 2020 another name will be drawn at random to win, blah, blah, blah.

Good luck!

timing is everything.

Sometimes timing is everything, and I just get it wrong.  As a brand ambassador for re.design with prima, they send me products before they are released to the general public. That way I can work with them and have some projects ready to go when they are released.  They give me a release date and I’m not supposed to share the products ahead of that date.

I totally screwed that up with the molds I used on these clay pots back in May.

Yep, I completely forgot that the release date for the new molds was later than the date I posted them.  Ooops!

Well, re.design with prima is releasing some new designs this coming Friday.  Once again, they sent me some of them in advance and I’ve been busy creating some stuff to share here on the blog.  Unfortunately, once again I also wasn’t paying enough attention to the release dates.  I’ve been busy finishing up those projects and I forgot to factor in having something to share with you guys today.

There is one loophole though.  Today is the ‘sneak peek’ day.  That means I can share some sneak peeks of my projects, just not the entire thing.

Here’s one …

And here’s another …

Honestly, I’m never really sure just exactly how much I’m allowed to show in a sneak peek, but I definitely can’t share any details.

So you’ll just have to stay tuned until Friday to see it all.

And in the meantime, as a sort of consolation for not having a ‘real’ blog post for you today, I’ve decided to have a giveaway instead.

In addition to being a brand ambassador for re.design with prima, I’m also a content creator for Dixie Belle Paint Co.  They provide me with lots of their great products, enough so that I can pay it forward and share some with others.  So today I’m going to give away a few of their ‘problem solvers’.

First up is their B.O.S.S. which stands for blocks odors, stains and stops bleed-thru.  It comes in clear and white, and I’m including the clear version in the giveaway.  I think the clear is more versatile because you can use it under any color and when you distress the edges of your piece you won’t see a layer of white as you would with the white version.  However, the white version works well under white paint and reduces the number of coats of white paint needed for full coverage.

I have used B.O.S.S. to eliminate the smell from a piece of furniture that came from a smoker.  I’ve also used it to block bleed-thru stain, as well as ink stains.

You can really see it in action on these two drawers.  The top one was painted without the B.O.S.S., the bottom one with.  Just check out the stain bleeding through the paint on that top drawer, yikes!

Next up is Dixie Belle’s Slick Stick.

This product is used to help their paint adhere to a slick surface like glass, formica or laminate.  I love using this product on laminate pieces like this Thomasville faux bamboo dresser that I painted in Dixie Belle’s Peony.

Finally, I’m also including some Dixie Belle Mud in the give away.

Mud is a filler that you can use to fill in deep scratches (or burn marks like the one above), but the most common way that I use it is to fill in holes when I’m changing out the hardware on a piece.  In the case of this next example, the previous owner had taken off the original single hole knobs and replaced them with a drawer pull that required two holes.

I wanted to go back to the single hole, so I filled the extra two holes with Mud.  I like to add a little spackle after the Mud dries (check out the full technique I use here) and then look, you can’t even see those holes.

So, to recap, today’s giveaway prize includes:

a 16 oz. clear BOSS, an 8 oz brown Mud and an 8 oz Slick Stick.  Plus a little plastic spatula thingie that works great for the Mud.

Thank you to Dixie Belle for sponsoring this giveaway by providing the products.

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.  You are not required to follow my blog, although it would be awesome if you did!

I will randomly draw the name of two winners for today’s prize from all of the comments left on this post by Friday, August 21 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 $45, if the prize is not claimed by Sunday, August 23, another name will be drawn at random to win, blah, blah, blah.

Good luck!

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.

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!

flower power.

Have you guys heard?  The Pantone color of the year for 2020 is Classic Blue.

I think someone at re.design with prima must have had the inside scoop on this because one of their new transfers that is being officially released today is a gorgeous floral design called Cosmic Roses that has lots of Classic Blue.  As soon as it arrived in my preview box I knew I had to find the perfect piece to put it on so I started surfing Craigslist.

I really couldn’t believe my luck when I snagged this piece.  Sure, it needed a bit of cosmetic work.  It also needed some small repairs including replacing some glides inside to help keep the drawers straight.  I also added a bit of glue here and there, in particular the veneer on the bottom of each side was loose and had been chipping off.  But for the most part it was in good shape, and it was exactly what I was looking for to showcase this gorgeous new transfer.

Once the repairs were done I also removed those drawer pulls from the bottom drawer and filled the extra holes with Dixie Belle’s Mud.  I also removed the casters.  They were handy for easily moving the dresser around, but obviously not original to the piece and they looked a bit weird to me.  They sort of make the dresser look like a kid playing dress up in mama’s high heels, right?

Next I cleaned the entire piece with TSP substitute.  I realized as I was cleaning it and my white rag was turning slightly orange-ish that this piece would likely be a bleeder.  So I painted a test spot to see what would happen.  Sure enough, the stain bled through my paint.  So I coated the entire thing with some Dixie Belle BOSS and let that dry overnight.

Then came two coats of Dixie Belle’s Sawmill Gravy.

I’d call this color a pale greige.  It definitely has a warm grey undertone, but also leans a a bit beige … so, greige.  It’s one of those chameleon colors that really changes depending on what color is next to it.  I knew it would work beautifully with the blues and greens in the transfer though.

Overall the transfer was just a few inches wider than the dresser so I decided to wrap the ends around the sides, which worked out perfectly.

When I got to the bottom of the dresser I had about 5″ left over.  In hindsight, I think I would have been happier had I centered the design on my dresser vertically as well as horizontally.  But hindsight is always 20/20, right?  I did decide to bring the design all the way down to the bottom trim though.  I also carried it over onto the legs.

By the way, this transfer comes in 6 pieces.  To read more about how to apply these large transfers, check out my how-to post here.

Once the transfer was in place, I sanded the edges of the piece lightly to distress and then I waxed this piece with a new product coming soon from Fusion.

They are coming out with two versions of their furniture wax that are scented with pure essential oils.  The one I used is called Hills of Tuscany and is described as ‘citrus forward, balanced with beautiful herbal scents and a hint of floral’, and I have to say that description really hits the nail on the head.  It smells absolutely amazing.  I tend to be a bit particular about scents, and I have to say that I love this one.  This wax is a total pleasure to use.

The final touch for this dresser was to replace all of the knobs with these beautiful glass knobs from D Lawless Hardware.  These are their reproduction depression glass knobs that come in three sizes.

I used the largest size (1.5″) on this dresser.  I think this piece tends to look a little smaller in photos than it really is.  It is 45″ wide and 36″ tall (without its high heels), so it needed a larger knob.

I brought in my blue chippy chair for staging because it worked perfectly with the blues in the transfer.

But I also wanted to draw out the green, so I also used this old green garden tote that I usually keep in my pantry.

I think the Cosmic Roses transfer has a bit of a 70’s flower power vibe.  At least it takes me back to my days of daisy patches.  Make love, not war. Don’t trust anyone over 30.  Can you dig it?

It’s pretty groovy, don’t you think?

Now, not to worry, I haven’t forgotten that today is day 9 of my 12 days of giveaways.  I wish I could give away the Cosmic Roses transfers, but since it’s only just coming out today I don’t have a spare on hand.  Same with the Hills of Tuscany Fusion wax, which is also just being unveiled this week.  So instead today’s prize includes the Beauty of Life transfer, some unscented Fusion furniture wax, a Homestead House antiquing wax (which is the same formula as Miss Mustard Seed antiquing wax, just different branding) and a Staalmeester brush.  This is actually my favorite brush to use with the Fusion wax.

Thank you to Fusion/Homestead House for sponsoring this giveaway by providing the waxes and the brush, and to re.design with prima for providing the transfer.

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 if you remember the 70’s!  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 18, 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 $90, if the prize is not claimed by Friday, December 20, another name will be drawn at random to win, blah, blah, blah.

Good luck!

And one last thing, if you’re local and in need of a dresser with flower power, be sure to check my available for local sale page to see if this one is still available.