better not pout.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Plus this cute mug from Hobby Lobby …

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

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

Hopefully my Secret Santa recipient loved her gift!

I know I really enjoyed putting it all together!

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

projects that didn’t make the cut.

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

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

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

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

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

Next up is this vintage pink dust pan.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The sleds were added as well.

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

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

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!

one size fits all.

Welcome to day 6 of my 12 days of giveaways!  Gosh, how is it possible that we are already halfway through?

Before we proceed, congrats to Kim Moran the winner of day 3 and Jennifer Knopf the winner of day 4 (check out Jennifer’s shop here).

Each year I try to come up with a new idea for wrapping my Christmas gifts.

Last year was one of my favorites.  I had visited a workshop in Venice last November that made the most beautiful velvet …

And that inspired me to create some gift boxes and wrapping paper using paint and stencils.

In 2017 I went with a pretty in pink theme.

I painted boxes using Fusion’s English Rose and Little Piggy, then I used their Transfer Gel to add some Twelve Days of Christmas Graphics.

In 2016 I went with a more elegant approach using Fusion’s Studio Metallics paint in Copper combined with some old rolls of player piano music.

After painting the toolbox that I shared last week, this year I was inspired to try a rather muted neutral color scheme.  I pulled out some cardboard boxes and some brown paper gift bags.  Then I grabbed one of my Christmas stencils from Maison de Stencils, my Deer transfers from re.design with Prima Marketing and some Dixie Belle paint.

I started out simply by stenciling a grain sack stripe down the middle of the first box and then adding part of the Santa Claus & Co feedsack stencil in black.

I also used part of the stencil on some gift bags.

I have to confess, I flubbed up on stenciling the next box.  My stencil moved and I didn’t notice it until it was too late.  That’s what I get for not taping it down (remember, do as I say, not as I do).  So to salvage the box I pulled out my Dixie Belle paint in Putty and painted over the messed up stencil.

Then, rather than stenciling again, I decided to add a section of the Deer transfer.

I also added some deer to a couple of other boxes.

I have to admit, that one with the ‘fang-like canine’ is a little on the creepy side.  Maybe more suitable for a Halloween decoration, right?  It looks a little like Dracula Bambi.

My initial plan was to use some plain shipping tags as my gift tags, but I should have known I wouldn’t be able to just leave them plain.  When I found my box of shipping tags, there were a few photocopies of old photos nearby.

I also came across some rubber stamps that I forgot I had.

Next thing I knew I had totally fallen down a rabbit hole and was whipping up some gift tags to go on my packages.

Does this ever happen to you?  I completely lose track of time and forget about what I was planning to do (which was paint a dresser, coming soon).  Next thing I know I have made a huge mess and two hours have gone by in a creative haze.

I used some Tim Holtz rubber stamps on my tags  and the metal charms are also from Tim Holtz.  You can find his stuff at both Hobby Lobby and Michaels (at least that was true the last time I checked), and of course online too.

I know most people aren’t going to spend this much time on gift wrapping, and usually folks just throw away (or hopefully recycle) the boxes that their gifts came in.  But I hope my boxes inspire people to hang onto them and reuse them (less for the landfill).

Now, for the part you’ve all been waiting for, today’s giveaway.

Not only does the winner get a reindeer gift box and one of my tags, but you’ll also get a 10 oz. jar of Dixie Belle’s Big Mama’s Butta in the Orange Grove scent and a 10 oz. jar of their Clear Best Dang Wax.

But wait, that’s not all (said in my best game show host voice), you’ll also get a 4 oz. jar of each of Dixie Belle’s colored waxes.

So, if you’ve always wanted to try a colored wax but haven’t had a chance yet, this one is going to be perfect for you.

Thank you to Dixie Belle Paint Co for sponsoring this giveaway by providing the waxes.

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 whether you wrap your presents ahead of time or do you want until Christmas Eve and then scramble to get them all wrapped?  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 11, 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 13, another name will be drawn at random to win, blah, blah, blah.

Good luck!

my new favorite holiday stencils.

Welcome to day no. 5 of my 12 days of giveaways!

Way back last summer I ordered two new holiday stencils for myself from Maison de Stencils.  I had a feeling I would get a fair amount of use out of them when the holiday season arrived, and turns out I was right.

I used them on chairs …

And on sleds …

And on signs …

When my sister saw the Christmas Farm stencil …

she mentioned that she’d like to have a throw pillow with that design on it.

So I dug through my stash and pulled out a couple of pillow covers from re.design with Prima Marketing.

Their 18″ x 18″ pillow case is made with a nice and thick 100% cotton fabric that accepts paint beautifully and they have a zipper closure.

So I grabbed my stencils, some acrylic craft paint and a couple of re.design with Prima Marketing stencil brushes and got to work.

I started with the easier of the two designs.   I say ‘easier’ simply because I stuck with one color of paint which made it a quick stencil job.  First I placed a piece of thin hardboard inside the empty pillow case to give me a nice firm surface to stencil on and also to prevent my paint from bleeding through to the back of the pillow case.  Then I just taped my stencil in place and went at it with the red paint.

I love the graphic punch of the red on the white pillow form.

I know my sister is going to prefer the 2nd pillow though, and I’ll be giving this one to her for Christmas.  I warned her not to read my blog today, so hopefully I’m not ruining the surprise.

This one took just a little bit longer to do since I had to tape off the different areas for the three colors I used.  First the black, then the red, then the green.  It’s not hard to do, but you do need to wait a little in between each color to let the paint dry.

I loved both of these stencils so much that I reached out to Maison de Stencils and asked them if they’d be willing to send another of each that I could give away as part of my 12 days of giveaways.  And yee haw, they agreed!  Not only that, but they gave me a couple more to give away in the next two weeks, plus a couple for me to use myself on some upcoming furniture projects.

  Today I’m giving away both of the Christmas stencils plus  1″ and 2″ stencil brushes from re.design with Prima Marketing.

The larger 2″ brush makes quick work of larger stenciling projects, while the 1″ brush is better for more detailed work.

Thank you to both Maison de Stencils and Prima Marketing for sponsoring this giveaway by providing the stencils and the brushes.

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 which stencil is your favorite.  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 8, 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 $65, if the prize is not claimed by Wednesday, December 11, another name will be drawn at random to win, blah, blah, blah.

Good luck!

oh deer.

Congrats to Laura Hopwood, the winner of the day no. 2 prize.  I’ll be drawing a name for the winner of the day no. 3 prize tomorrow (is this getting confusing for you guys too?  I’m doing my best to keep track of it all), if you haven’t commented on that post you have until midnight tonight!

In the meantime, today is day 4 of my 12 days of giveaways, and I’m first sharing the transformation of this adorable (if I do say so myself) metal toolbox.

This toolbox started out looking like this …

My picker, Sue, found this for me.  She always grabs metal toolboxes when she sees them.  She knows I love to give these a new life with some paint.

To begin with I washed the toolbox using Dawn dish washing soap to cut any grease that might have been left behind by the former owner.  Next I added a coat of Miss Mustard Seed’s Tough Coat Sealer to prevent the rust from coming through my paint.

Today’s q tip:  Keep in mind that the Tough Coat Sealer does not block stain from bleeding thru (try the Dixie Belle BOSS for that), but I have found that it works well as a protective coat over rust.  It also works well as a top coat for a rusty piece when you want to retain the rusty look.

Next I pulled out a couple of new Dixie Belle paint colors, Sawmill Gravy and French Linen.  I can tell you now, both of these colors will be making their way onto my list of favorite neutrals.

I first painted the entire toolbox in two coats of the Sawmill Gravy.  Once dry, I taped off a wide stripe down the middle and painted it in the French Linen.  After that dried, I sanded the box lightly and then added a few sections from re.design with Prima’s Deer transfer.

I have to say, I totally underestimated the cuteness factor of this transfer!  When I first saw it I thought it was only going to be good for some sort of man-cave or hunting shack item.  But then I looked a little closer and realized it had a reindeer on it.

Seriously!  How cute is that?

If you have a few men in your life and you are looking for something that’s not feminine and flowery, be sure to check out the Deer transfer.  And if you really do need to dress something up for the hunting shack, this transfer would still be perfect for that too 😉

Now, for today’s giveaway.  I wish I had a spare Deer transfer, but unfortunately I don’t.  I do, however, have some Sawmill Gravy and French Linen to give away.  I also thought, why not give them away along with the toolbox itself?  They fit perfectly inside.

Thank you to Dixie Belle Paint Co for sponsoring this giveaway by providing the paint, and to Prima Marketing for providing the Deer transfer that I used on the tool box.

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 what you would keep in this toolbox.  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 6, 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 $65, if the prize is not claimed by Sunday, December 8, another name will be drawn at random to win, blah, blah, blah.

Good luck!

full service is our rule.

A while back one of my fellow Reclaiming Beautiful vendors stopped by and she happened to admire the yardstick shelves that I have in my living room.

After she left I realized that it had been a while since Ken and I teamed up to make these shelves.  So I dug through my stash out in the carriage house and I found six random yardsticks (I tend to grab them when I see them at garage sales).

I thought both the red one and the one with the green writing would be perfect for Christmas.  But the other ones needed a little something more, they didn’t have any color or that aged patina that I love so much.

So I decided to fake it with a little stain.

I just used an old t-shirt to wipe on a little Early American stain, and voila!  Aged patina.

Next I sent the yardsticks over to Ken to be added to some old bead boards to make shelves.  I shared all of the details on constructing these back in this post …

So be sure to go back and check that out if you want to make some for yourself.

Once the shelves were made up, I was trying to decide what sorts of things could go on the red shelf to give it a holiday look.  Santa and some green bottle brush trees give it a traditional look.

Then I remembered the really cool clock that my sister purchased at last year’s Holly Jolly Market.  I decided that I could replicate it using my Cricut machine, some red vinyl and one of my own vintage alarm clocks.

I want to reiterate that this clever idea is not my own.  I wish I had gotten the name of the vendor that my sister purchased her clock from so that I could give them credit, but I neglected to do that.

But I love the Christmas clock paired with the red yardstick shelf.  What a unique, vintage look for Christmas decor right?

Since I had the Cricut out, I decided to make up a 2nd clock to bring to Reclaiming Beautiful.

If you’re not so into red for Christmas, the plain yardstick shelves can also be dressed up for the holidays.

This monochromatic look is a little more ‘me’.  I purchased these little houses at my local Bachman’s store a couple of years ago.  They look great paired up with some bleached bottle brush trees.  I was hoping to add another to my non-collection (because I swear I don’t collect anything) this year, but when my sister and I stopped in there on Saturday all we could find were much bigger, more elaborate (and more expensive) ones.  So I guess I’ll just stick with the three that I already have.

I love the clever little sayings on some of the yardsticks like the “Full Service is our Rule” above.  These must have been fun customer giveaways back in the day.  And now they make unique shelves for displaying your non-collections!

I’m planning to head in to Reclaiming Beautiful this week with the clock, the shelves and a few more Christmas goodies that I threw together yesterday (unless our weather decides not to cooperate).  If any of you locals want to do some shopping over Thanksgiving weekend, please note that they are closed on Thursday but will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday & Saturday, and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.