my 15 minutes of fame.

If, like me, you continue to be a big fan of farmhouse style, there is a new magazine out that you will love.  It’s called Farmhouse Home & Living and the premier issue is available in stores now (I found my copies at Barnes & Noble).

But the really exciting bit, for me anyway, is that I’m in it!

A while back, while I was on vacation in Charleston in fact, the editor reached out to me and asked if I would like to be included in their upcoming “Farmhouse Flips” story.  She had already chosen the piece she wanted to feature, my farm fresh honey washstand.

I was super flattered, and of course I said yes!

I didn’t have to do much, just send her some high res versions of my photos and give her permission to use them.

The magazine staff did the rest, and they did a fabulous job.  I have to laugh though, they got some of their info from my ‘about me‘ page, and reading it in the article made me realize that I hadn’t updated that page since I retired from the day job.  Whoops!

I’ve since rectified that on my blog, so we’re all good now.

By the way, if one of the things you love about my blog is that I don’t have any ads, you’ll love that about this magazine too.  No ads, just 97 pages of great farmhouse style content.

I thought it would be fun to celebrate my 15 minutes of fame with a giveaway!

I’ve included a copy of the magazine, one of my oil can photo holders, and a few of my favorite Dixie Belle Paint Co products; chalk mineral paint in Drop Cloth, Iron Patina Paint, Green Patina Spray and Easy Peasy spray wax.

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 Friday, July 29, 2022 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 $125, if the prize is not claimed by Friday, August 5, 2022 another name will be drawn at random to win, blah, blah, blah.

Thank you to Dixie Belle Paint Co for providing their products that I’m including in my giveaway today.

when biscuits get vicious.

Whenever I travel, I like to look up local brick and mortar shops that carry the products I like to use such as Dixie Belle Paint, or I.O.D. or re.design with prima transfers.  If a shop carries those products, they also tend to have other things that appeal to me.

So when I was planning our trip to Charleston, I visited the ‘find a retailer’ pages on the Dixie Belle website and the Iron Orchid Designs website.   I ended up finding a shop in Summerville, South Carolina called A Brush of Color that carried the I.O.D. stuff, and another called Antiques & Artisans Village that carried Dixie Belle products.

In addition to that, one of my lovely readers, Victoria, lives in South Carolina and when I asked her for recommendations on things to do she suggested eating at a place called Vicious Biscuit.  I looked them up online and found that they had a location in Summerville as well.

Then I did a little more research on YouTube and learned that Summerville has a self-guided historic homes tour and that you can get a guide and map at their Visitor’s Center.

Well, it seemed like a day trip to Summerville was a no-brainer.  It was also easily accomplished because we had a rental car.  It’s about a 40 minute drive from Charleston, so a car was necessary.

Our first stop in Summerville was Vicious Biscuit so that we could fortify ourselves for the day.

Having lived in the south for a decade or so when I was younger, I developed an appreciation for a good biscuit.  So I was super excited about this place.

There was a bit of a line to get in when we got there, so we knew it was going to be good.

I ordered what I consider one of the quintessential southern breakfasts, and also one of my personal favorites, biscuits and gravy with a scrambled egg on top.

Yum, it was delicious!

By the way, for those of you who have always wondered about the Dixie Belle paint color called Sawmill Gravy, this is what it’s named after.  The sausage gravy that goes over biscuits.

Mr. Q ordered the Vicious Beignets.

He was a little disappointed that these weren’t authentic beignets, but instead were deep fried biscuit dough.  But once he got over that, he loved them.

All I can say is that it seems to be a good thing when biscuits get vicious!  Thanks for that recommendation Victoria!

After filling up on biscuits, we headed to the Summerville Visitor’s Center to grab that historic homes guide.  While we were at it, we picked up a couple of other visitor guides as well.

As it turned out, we had missed their Flowertown Festival by one week (it was the previous weekend).  Judging by the number of porta-potties they still had in town, I’m guessing we dodged a bullet there.  I’m not sure we would have enjoyed dealing with those crowds.

Instead, we pretty much had the place to ourselves for the self-guided home tour.  And that was just fine with us.

All of the homes on the tour were built in the 1800’s including the one above which dates to somewhere around 1885.

One of my favorite houses on the tour was the William Prioleau House.  This house was built in 1896 in the Queen Anne style.  I just love that metal roof, although I’m guessing the rusty-ness of it is probably a bad thing (I’m sorry, but the practical, accountant side of my brain is now thinking how crazy expensive it would be to replace that roof, if you could even find someone willing to tackle the job!).

The Oliver House (below) is well known for its mansard roof and the distinctive circular wrought iron gate leading to the front walk.  It was built in 1888.

The Samuel Lord/Elizabeth Arden House (below) was built in 1891 and is considered more representative of Charleston homes.

This house was purchased by Elizabeth Arden in 1954, and that red door is the door that inspired her Red Door perfume.

I was a little confused when Mr. Q read from the guide and told me this next house was a crack house.

It seemed like a strange thing to put on a historic home tour.  But no, it’s actually the Kracke House and was built in 1886.

The Blake Washington House (below) was built in 1862.

This is a typical plantation style house with wide open porches both up and down that wrap around the house.  I am green with envy over those porches, wouldn’t they be fun to furnish?  If you look closely you might be able to see that the ceilings of the porches are painted in a pale sky blue.

Painting your porch ceiling blue is a southern thing, and I’ve heard two explanations for it.  The first, more pragmatic, reason is that it confuses wasps and/or birds into thinking the ceiling is really the sky so they don’t build their nests there.  But the second explanation I’ve heard is that painting your porch ceiling the color of water was supposed to keep ghosts away because spirits can’t cross water.  In fact, this color is called ‘haint blue’ for that reason, ‘haint’ being a Gullah term for a ghost, or more specifically, a restless spirit.

So, hey, that explains another Dixie Belle color, Haint Blue.

And as a sidebar, my own porch ceiling is painted in this color because I always loved the blue porch ceilings when I lived in the south.

Little did I realize that I was also keeping restless spirits at bay.  It’s a win/win.

After checking out the historic homes, we headed to the first shop on my list, A Brush of Color.

Just from the setup outside, I knew this shop was going to be right up my alley.

And just inside the door I knew I was in the right place.

Doesn’t that look just like something I would do (for those who don’t recognize it, that is a portion of the IOD transfer called Label Ephemera).

And isn’t this buffet gorgeous?

That is the IOD Midnight Garden transfer, and since this shop sold Annie Sloan chalk paint, I’m sure those are Annie Sloan paints.  But you could create a similar blended look using Dixie Belle’s Collard Greens, Kudzu and Spanish Moss.

The shop owner here was super friendly and welcoming.  I chatted with her for quite a while.  Unfortunately her shipment of the newest IOD release hadn’t come in yet, so I wasn’t able to find the newest paint inlay that I am obsessed with (I did order it online when I got home and you’ll see it here eventually).

After checking out a couple of other shops on the main street of Summerville, we hopped into the car and headed to the second shop on my list, Antiques and Artisans Village.  I neglected to take any photos of that one.  It was your typical strip mall location with a big space divided into ‘booths’ for various vendors.  It was mostly antique dealers, which I only enjoy in very small doses (high prices, lots of knick knacks, etc).  They did have a fairly good selection of Dixie Belle products though.

One last thing before we leave Summerville.  I just had to share this …

We saw this near the park, and I have to admit it brought a tear to my eye.  What a sweet gesture and a lovely way to remember a beloved pet.

After drooling over the window boxes, taking the hidden alley tour, walking around south of Broad, and visiting Middleton Place and Summerville, the last half of our Charleston vacation was spent at the beach.  I’ll have one last post next week about that, so stay tuned for that.

Typically in the past when I’ve traveled I’ve brought home something to give away here on the blog, but I neglected to do that this time.  But that doesn’t mean I can’t still have a Charleston themed giveaway!

It was easy to find lots of options in the Dixie Belle paint line that were appropriate.  I debated including Haint Blue, Sawmill Gravy, or Collard Greens but I ended up with these three colors; Kudzu, Antebellum Blue and Spanish Moss plus one of their flat medium brushes.

The rules:  Simply leave a comment on this blog post letting me know what has been your favorite post about Charleston 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 Sunday, May 15, 2022 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 $95, if the prize is not claimed by Friday, May 20, 2022 another name will be drawn at random to win, blah, blah, blah.

Thank you to Dixie Belle Paint Co for providing the paint I’m giving away today.

life is a journey.

I’ve got one last post today from my recent trip out west.  Be sure to read all the way to the end, because we’ve finally gotten to the giveaway!

When I was out at my mom’s place the first time this year, back in February, one of the things she wanted me to do was paint her front door.  Well, that is a project that is right up my alley!  And so much more fun than washing windows or doing her taxes, which are the typical sort of things she wants my help with.

So we popped out to her local Lowes to pick out paint for her door.  She wanted either a navy blue or a dark green.  We picked a lovely color from the sample chips and went up to the paint mixing counter to have it whipped up.  And you know what?  They couldn’t do it.  They did not have the appropriate dark base paint to mix up a dark color!  I have to admit, I was flabbergasted.  I mean, I’d been hearing that people were having some trouble getting paint these days but I guess I just didn’t expect Lowes to tell me that all they had available were pale shades.

Since I knew I was going back to visit again in a few weeks, I told my mom that I would bring some Dixie Belle paint with me for her door.  She ended up deciding that she wanted dark green rather than navy, so I chose Midnight Green from Dixie Belle’s new Desert Collection.  After all, a color from the Desert Collection seems appropriate for a door in the Mojave desert, right?

The beauty of the Silk All-in-One paint is that it has a built in primer and top coat.  So I only needed to pack the one 16 oz. jar in my suitcase.  I wrapped it in bubble wrap, and then enclosed it in a zip lock bag as an extra precaution.  I have to admit, I was a little nervous that the jar would explode in my suitcase and I’d be wearing paint splattered clothing for my entire visit (not as though wearing paint splattered clothing would be anything new).  But it survived the journey just fine.

To prep the door, I cleaned it with some spray cleaner that my mom had on hand and then I sanded it with a 180 grit sanding block that I did find at her Lowes.  Then I gave it two coats of Midnight Green.

Her door went from boring brown …

to a vibrant green.

One thing I hadn’t considered was how incredibly fast paint dries in a desert environment.  It was a gorgeous day, somewhere around 70 degrees, so not hot.  But the air out there is really dry.  I struggled to maintain a wet edge in order to avoid brush strokes on the large surface of a door.

But my mom loved how it turned out, so that’s the important thing, right?

Have you seen all of the colors in the Desert Collection?

There is the Midnight Green on the lower right.

I used the Mojave on the inside of a washstand I painted earlier this year.

I wasn’t sure what I thought of this color at first, but it really grew on me after using it on this piece.

It pairs beautifully with Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth.

Since I happened to be out in the desert, I decided to see if I could find some of the paint colors from the Desert Collection at the Ethel M Botanical Cactus Garden.

Cactus was easy.

It’s a cactus garden after all.

I was really hoping that Prickly Pear would be easy too, but this vibrant pink is the color of the flower.  Apparently Prickly Pear cactus blooms in May through July, so there were no blooms to be found.

I think you can get a hint of Mojave in the spines on these cacti.

They don’t really have an oasis at the cactus garden, but I thought maybe Oak Creek from Sedona would count.  The color is certainly right.

I also found a bit of the Morning Sunrise color during one of our sunrise hikes in Sedona.

There are 5 more colors in the Desert Collection, but I’ve chosen these five to include in today’s giveaway!

But before we get to that, I had to share this funny coincidence.  When we popped inside the Ethel M Factory after checking out the cactus garden, there were signs announcing their revamped packaging that pays homage to the color palette of the Mojave Desert.

There is Fiery Sky, Midnight Green and Morning Sunrise.

And here is some Mojave.

And here is Umber.

OK, of course these colors are not based on the Dixie Belle colors, or exactly the same, but I just had to share the fact that two entirely different products (paint and chocolates) on two opposite sides of the country (Florida and Nevada) were thinking the same thing at the same time.

That brings me to my giveaway!

It will include five colors from the Desert Collection; Morning Sunrise, Cactus, Oasis, Mojave and Prickly Pear.  Plus some Prickly Pear taffy that I picked up in Sedona, as well as this bracelet, also from Sedona …

I purchased one of these bracelets for myself, and then thought it would be fun to include one in the giveaway as well.  Life is a journey, not a destination.  Although, as destinations go, Sedona was a pretty good one 😉

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 Friday, April 15, 2022 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 $160, if the prize is not claimed by Friday, April 22, 2022 another name will be drawn at random to win, blah, blah, blah.

Thank you to Dixie Belle Paint Co for providing the paint I’m giving away today.

shades of white.

Hey guys, tomorrow is Mr. Q’s birthday!  I thought maybe we could celebrate with a giveaway so be sure to read all the way to the end to get all the details on how to qualify for the giveaway.

Actually, the idea for this post has been brewing since way back in October when I compared the different shades of black Dixie Belle paint.

I think someone suggested that I do the same with shades of white at the time, and that sounded like a pretty good idea to me.

So I went to the Dixie Belle website to review all of the different shades of white, and guess what?  There are quite a few of them!  There are 4 in their chalk style paint line and 5 in their all-in-one Silk paint line.

That’s a lotta white.

So I’ve decided to break them down into separate posts (and separate giveaways).  Today I’m just focusing on the chalk style paint … and oh, not all 4 of the colors that Dixie Belle includes in their ‘white’ category.  I neglected to include Buttercream.  I think of that as more of a pale yellow or cream rather than a white, so I hope you’ll forgive me.

For today that leaves us with Fluff, Cotton, and Drop Cloth.

If you’ve been following me for any length of time, I think you know which is my favorite!

Drop Cloth!

I’ve used this color on a multitude of pieces.

Seriously.  I don’t think I could even begin to count all of the things I’ve painted in Drop Cloth.

Dixie Belle describes this color as “a stylish linen white with a touch of warmth,” and that pretty much nails it.  I really prefer working with a warm shade of white that you can bring into your home and it doesn’t instantly make all of the other white items look dull.

When standing alone, Drop Cloth reads as warm white to me.  It’s only when you put it right next to a bright white that it appears so much darker.

I am not a fan of a harsh, bright white and that brings me to the Cotton.  Dixie Belle has this to say about Cotton:  “Cotton is our purest white, perfect for a clean and classic look. This color is for anyone who wants to decorate their home with stark simplicity.”  Yep, that pretty much sums it up.

The fact that I’m not really a fan was readily apparent when I tried to find samples of my work in this color.  The best I can do is the table runner that I shared back at the end of December.

I ended up painting that swiss cross on the drop cloth in Cotton because my usual go-to white, Drop Cloth, was … well, duh!, the nearly the same color as the drop cloth itself (no wonder they named it that!).

I also used the Cotton on the Skate Rental sign that I shared last week, just to do the laces on the skates.

That brings us to Fluff.  Dixie Belle describes Fluff as “a serene, soft white with a slight gray undertone.”  Spot on again.  I have to say, if you are wondering what a color really looks like, read the description.  Many times the photos can be deceiving.  It’s so hard to get a color right on a computer screen.  But I find that Dixie Belle does a really good job of describing the colors.

Once again, examples of Fluff are few and far between on my blog.  I did use it on this bookcase.

And here is Fluff on a picture frame.

It would be fair to say that when I want a whiter white than Drop Cloth, Fluff would be my choice.

Speaking of Shades of White, have you seen Fifi O’Neill’s newest book by that name?

If you are a fan of decorating with white, vintage and pale wood tones, you will love this book.

I’d say the trick to making a mostly white color scheme work is using varying shades of white such as white with the barest hint of grey like the cupboard above.  Or warm white walls with a brighter white beadboard wainscoting like shown below.

And of course I love the tone on tone look of this next dresser …

So, in other words, one can embrace all of the shades of white and allow them to mix together.

And that brings me to my giveaway!

The lucky winner of today’s giveaway will receive a copy of Shades of White, 16 oz. of Drop Cloth, Cotton and Fluff, and the medium oval paint brush from Dixie Belle.

The rules:  Simply leave a comment (if nothing else, wish Mr. Q a happy birthday) 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 Sunday, February 27, 2022 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 $135, if the prize is not claimed by Friday, March 11, 2022 another name will be drawn at random to win, blah, blah, blah.

Thanks to Mr. Q for ordering the book for today’s giveaway from amazon.com, and thank you to Dixie Belle Paint Co for continuing to provide me with products that I can give away 😉  Good luck!

time flies when you’re having fun.

When it rains, it pours.  There seems to be a lot going on in my world these days.  This week I’ll have celebrated my birthday, Thanksgiving, my niece’s birthday, and next Tuesday I’ll be celebrating my retirement!

And with all of that celebrating going on, I almost completely forgot about my blogiversary!

Wowza, can you believe that 8 years ago today I posted my first blog post?  Time really flies when you’re having fun.

Over the years, I’ve gone from this header …

to this header …

to this one …

And then last February I gave myself a fresh, neutral look with this header …

In 8 years, I’ve written 1,271 blog posts.  My posts have been viewed 875,743 times.  And you guys have left 31,782 comments!  Thank you for that!

My furniture painting style has certainly evolved over the years too.  My color choices have definitely changed.  Early on I used a lot more color overall, especially that pale aqua/sea glass sort of color.

And who remembers all the pieces I did with vintage wallpaper?

That was a fun phase.

Lately I’m doing a lot more neutral pieces.

I’m not entirely sure if that’s because neutral is more marketable, or just because my own preference is leaning more towards the neutral.

Maybe it’s a little bit of both.

Up until the last couple of years I shared far more vintage garage sale/thrift store find makeovers.

They are still one of my favorite things to post about.

But COVID did a number on garage saling, with barely any sales in 2020 and things just starting to come back in 2021.  Hopefully going forward I’ll have a lot more vintage find makeovers to share, especially now that I’ll be able to garage sale on weekdays!

For that matter, COVID messed with my travel posts as well.

I’m happy to report that after meeting with our financial planner, it appears that we’ll still be able to afford to travel in retirement.  I’ll admit that I was willing to give it up if that meant I could leave the day job, but thankfully we won’t have to.  So hopefully I’ll have more travel posts to share in the future too.

I’ve shared a few home tour posts over the years, including Nancy’s house

And Amy’s house at Christmas …

I really need to get back to doing more of those.  After all, Amy has since moved and has another fabulous home that I’d love to share (hint, hint Amy)!

I’ve done quite a few room makeover posts from my own house over the years as well.

Since beginning the blog I have made over the living room, the piano room, the dining room, the pantry, the principle bedroom, the guest bedroom and the q branch (ie. the study where I write this blog).

Now that retirement is going to free up a bunch of my time, I hope to tackle a few more redecorating projects going forward too.

And let’s not forget the garden tour posts!

Sue’s peaceful garden is one of my favorites.

And Jackie’s scented garden is amazing as well.

And of course I like to share my own garden on occasion too.

I think that being retired from the day job is going to result in a renewed enthusiasm for blogging, and I’m really looking forward to it!

So I want to express a huge THANK YOU to all of you who have supported my blog over the past 8 years whether it was with a purchase of one of my pieces, becoming a follower, leaving a comment, or simply just clicking on a post and reading it.  I appreciate every single one of you!

It wouldn’t be a blogiversary without a giveaway, would it?  Since this one sort of snuck up on me, I didn’t have a lot of time to compile a super fabulous giveaway.  But recently someone commented on how they scrutinize the books I use to stage some of my furniture photos looking for clues on what decorating books I like.  She also suggested I write a blog post about my favorites, and I still might get around to that.  But in the meantime, I thought it would be fun to give away a couple of fabulous decorating books by two of my favorite bloggers.

First up is Liz Marie Galvan’s new book, Cozy White Cottage Seasons.

Who doesn’t need 100 ways to be cozy all year long?  And has anyone else noticed that even her dog matches her preferred color scheme of whites and pale wood tones?

I’m also including Marian Parson’s (a.k.a. Miss Mustard Seed) new book, Feels Like Home …

which is filled with the beautiful photos that we have come to expect from Marian.

I have to be honest though, I still miss the old days when she painted furniture on the regular.  I don’t think we’ll ever see that from her again though, more’s the pity because her painted furniture pieces were to die for.

Her work, especially her photo staging, has totally influenced my own style.

And her new book is fabulous and definitely worth a read.

I’m also going to throw in this gorgeous Staalmeester brush, just in case the winner wants to do a little painting.

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 Tuesday, November 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 $60, if the prize is not claimed by Friday, December 3, 2021 another name will be drawn at random to win, blah, blah, blah.

Thanks to Mr. Q for ordering the books for today’s giveaway from amazon.com 😉  Good luck!

 

comparing shades of black.

After painting the spooky nightstand that I shared a while back, I had an idea that it would be worthwhile to compare the shades of black paint that are available from Dixie Belle Paint Co for you guys.  Be sure to read all the way to the end of this post because there’s a giveaway today too!

So, the thing is, much like with white paint, there are lots of options for black.

With the spooky nightstand, I painted it overall in Dixie Belle’s Midnight Sky chalk mineral paint, and then stenciled over that in Dixie Belle’s Anchor Silk All-in-One Paint thus making this piece a good representation of the difference between those two black paints.

There are two factors at work here; color and sheen.  The Midnight Sky is what I would call an off-black, it has a slightly more faded look than Dixie Belle’s Caviar.  In addition, the chalk mineral paint is very flat.  The Silk All-in-One Anchor paint is a little bit darker than Midnight Sky and has a bit more sheen, thus creating the look above when it’s stenciled over the Midnight Sky (the diamond pattern and the damask pattern).

Now, I know the differences between the three are pretty subtle, but I’m hoping you can see them here.

That’s paint only, no added topcoat.  The Anchor clearly has a bit more sheen than the other two, and the Caviar is a bit darker than the Midnight Sky.

When I first starting using Dixie Belle paint, I originally fell in love with the Caviar.

I used it on so many pieces!

One of my favorites was this bed …

So gorgeous!

Caviar is a deep, rich black.

But then I discovered the Midnight Sky and I used it on my baby grand piano.  This is a slightly more faded version of black, still definitely black, but not quite as deep and dark as Caviar.

I feel like the Midnight Sky is just a tad more forgiving when it comes to dust and fingerprints.  My baby grand gets a fair amount of wear and tear because I basically use it as a workbench most of the time.  For that reason, I thought Midnight Sky would be a better choice for it.

I also used Midnight Sky on this Eastlake style bedroom set.

This shade of black is the perfect complement to brass or gold hardware.

This brings me to the new-ish Silk All-in-One black paint from Dixie Belle called Anchor.

First, to save you from the confusion that I experienced, I want to point out that the Silk color called Black Sands is not black, but a dark charcoal.I ordered it thinking it was black.  Even looking at it in the jar, you won’t immediately realize that it isn’t.  Now don’t get me wrong, I love the color.  It was perfect on this dresser

But it’s not black.

If you’re looking for a fabulous charcoal grey though, it’s perfect.  In fact I just ordered more of it to paint some wooden folding chairs for my porch.  I think it will be perfect on them.

But the Anchor is the true black in this line.  Aside from stenciling it on the spooky nightstand, I haven’t actually painted a full piece of furniture in this color so I don’t have a picture of one to share with you.  But I wanted to include it here in my line up anyway.  As you may already be aware, the Silk line is Dixie Belle’s version of a primer, paint and top coat all in one.

To recap, Caviar and Midnight Sky are more flat (but of course you can add sheen with a top coat).  Anchor has more sheen due to its built in top coat.  Midnight Sky is a faded black, while the other two are darker.

Now, please don’t read too much into the brush strokes in that Caviar example above.  I let my brush dry out, and then still tried to paint with clumpy bristles.  Rooky mistake, and something I would never do on a piece of furniture but this was just a practice board.

Now for the fun part.  I’m giving away a 16 oz size jar of all three of the Dixie Belle blacks, plus three of their brushes to use to apply them.  So one lucky winner can try out all three and decide which one is their favorite!

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 Sunday, October 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 $140, if the prize is not claimed by Thursday, November 4, 2021 another name will be drawn at random to win, blah, blah, blah.

Thanks to Dixie Belle for providing the paint and brushes I am giving away today.  Good luck!

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!