a new family tradition.

Before I get into today’s post, I want to say congratulations to Paula.  I randomly drew her name to win my blogiversary giveaway.  I think there may have been a couple of Paula’s that commented, but I have exchanged emails with the winning Paula so she knows who she is.  Thank you all so much for all of your kind comments on my blogiversary!

Like many Americans whose families have been in the U.S. for a few generations, I suspect that my ancestry is pretty much a Heinz 57 sort of mix.  However, both my sister and I identify the most with our Norwegian heritage.  That’s probably because we were most involved with my mom’s side of the family growing up.

Don’t they look like a fun bunch?  Well, OK, maybe not, but the younger generations of cousins on my mom’s side really are a fun bunch of people to hang out with.

The dude in the dark glasses at the back on the right in that photo is my great grandfather (he was blind, hence the dark glasses).  He was a child when his family emigrated from Haltdalen, Norway.  You can read more about that here.  I believe the baby in his arms is my grandmother, Carrie.

Check out that gal on the far left.  Is she scary looking or what?  She’d be the perfect employee for the Haunted Mansion in Disney World.  You can just tell it was nearly impossible for those kiddos in the front row to hold still for the photo.  I’m pretty sure she’s reaching down to pinch the one closest to her who is so focused on the toy in his hands.

Back in 2016, my sister read about the Gingerbread Wonderland at the Norway House in Minneapolis and we decided to check it out.  I wrote a blog post about it back then, and it’s still one of my most viewed blog posts this time of year.

The pepperkakebyen, or gingerbread village, is a Norwegian Christmas staple.  The largest pepperkakebyen in the world is in Bergen, Norway.  Wouldn’t it be fun to go see that one!

But Minneapolis is a lot closer than Bergen.  Still, we hadn’t been back since 2016.  Of course, the Gingerbread Wonderland didn’t take place during the Covid years, and then last year reservations were required and we weren’t able to get in when we wanted to.  So this year we made sure to get our reservations early.

It was a bit of a shock to the system, but after flying home from Mexico on Saturday, we went to the Norway House on Sunday.

I turned out to be a great way to jolt myself back into the holiday spirit after a tropical vacay.

There are a wide range of baking skill levels on display in this pepperkakebyen with quite a few structures that were made by children, like Christmas Eve at the Cabin

and the Better Batter Bakery.

As well as some much more professionally baked looking buildings, like the Arctic Cathedral …

and Nisse Stabbur

A stabbur is a traditional Norwegian storage building.  I saw some when I visited the open air museum in Oslo back in 2017

It was fun to see all of the different options for creating a gingerbread house roof, like this pink one …

Or the red hot pattern on the roof of this next one.

Or this house’s roof made of slivered almonds.

I also enjoyed seeing the variety of methods used for adding trees.  There were flat cookie trees …

layered cookie trees …

and frosted cone trees …

but my favorites were the whimsical Sandbakkel trees next to the Nisse Stabbur.

It looks like they were created using peppermint sticks, peppermint candies and Sandbakkels, a traditional Norwegian Christmas cookie.

In the end, the gingerbread house that got my vote for best in show was The Little Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe by Annette Korolchuk.

I loved her unique concept and thought it was expertly executed.  Isn’t it adorable?  Maybe not quite as Christmas-y as some of the other gingerbread houses, but I loved it all the same.

We once again enjoyed our visit to the pepperkakebyen so much that we’ve decided to make it a new Christmas tradition.

If you’re local and looking for something fun to do during the holiday season, maybe you should consider a trip to the Gingerbread Wonderland.  Although maybe don’t schedule it so that you finish up at the same time as the Vikings game (yep, that was a bit hairy, traffic wise).

How about the rest of you?  Is there a pepperkakebyen in your neck of the woods?  Or do you have any other Christmas traditions that speak to your ancestral heritage?  If so, leave a comment and let me know!

a growing village.

Well, I made it home from Mexico.  We had a great time, the weather was absolutely perfect.  I’ll be sharing a little bit about the trip later in the week, so stay tuned for that.  I’ll also be sharing who won my blogiversary giveaway later, as soon as I get to it.

In the meantime, today I thought I’d share my growing Department 56 Dickens Christmas Village.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Department 56, it began in 1976 as part of Bachman’s and is still headquartered in Eden Prairie, Minnesota.

The Original Snow Village was the only village offered initially.  The Dickens Village came along in 1984.  These days they have six core villages, and 12 Licensed villages like the Disney village that my sister is collecting and the Harry Potter village (and I have to say, if you’re a Potter fan this one would be amazing to have).

I have to admit, although these villages were all the rage back in the 80’s and 90’s, I think maybe the Dickens one has fallen from favor.  Or maybe it’s just that the people who collected them back then are all downsizing as they age.  Whatever the reason, they seem to pop up at estate sales, garage sales and thrift stores on a fairly regular basis.

The new pieces are priced at $100 and up, with the most elaborate priced at $250 or more.  I do want to note here that the quality of these pieces is much higher than the cheaper, generic sort of ceramic pieces you can find out there, though.  So I’m not saying they aren’t worth those prices.  However, my pieces have all cost less than $20.  This past summer my sister and I came across a garage sale where they were selling dozens of pieces for $10 each.  So my Tower of London piece, which is selling for $249.99 on Amazon, cost me $10.

As did the Kings Road Post Office.

I certainly was never planning to collect (or should I say non-collect) a Christmas village.  I did not hop on board with this trend back in the day when it was immensely popular.  But back in 2016 I shared a tour of my friend Amy’s house and I fell in love with her little village vignette.

The juxtaposition of the giant books with the lighted village on top was perfect.  So when I saw a few pieces at the thrift store, I decided to pick them up.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

When I find pieces at prices like $10 each, I just can’t help myself.

Last year I displayed the village on the Welsh cupboard in our dining room …

But I needed to expand this year.

So I went back to the pine cupboard in the Q branch …

as well as the top of the rooster cupboard in the same room …

and finally I displayed Victoria Station on the stack of suitcases next to the pine cupboard.

Those of you who are Christmas Village pros are probably already savvy, but I thought I’d share a few q tips on displaying a village for those who are newbies like me.

My first tip is to layer your display.  Just like on a buffet table, use props to place things at different heights.  I achieve this using vintage suitcases and old books.

I set these up first to create a stage for my village.

Next up is electrical.  I just discovered that you can buy strings of multiple lights for the villages from Amazon last year.  You can light up three, five, or even nine buildings with just one string to plug in.

I also purchased a remote control outlet to plug them into.  Now with one touch of a button I can turn them all on and off.  Well, technically I have two buttons.  One for the group over the pine cupboard and one for the group over the rooster cupboard.

One more tip for today, on adding trees.  When I was at Gertens a few weeks back, they had some fabulous faux flocked pine trees in their village display.  Unfortunately, they were $49.99 each, yowza!  Granted, they were lit.  But I also thought they were just a tad too large for the village.  So I didn’t buy any.

Then later, while perusing the Christmas décor at Target I came across these trees.

They are very similar to the Gertens trees, but about half the size.  They aren’t lit, but they also were only $3 each.  So I was able to get 10 of them for less than just one of the Gerten trees.  And I’m OK with them not being lit, that allows the village to be the star of the show.

I think they make for a very realistic looking snowy looking background.

I get the most enjoyment out of my village at night.  I leave all the lights off in the room, and just light up the village.  It’s so pretty!

I suspect I’ll continue watching my village grow over the coming years.

How about you, do you have a Christmas village?  Leave a comment and let us know.

the Christmas birdcage.

The other day my neighbor Karen asked if I’d like to have her grandmother’s birdcage.  She was in the process of cleaning out her upstairs, and trying to clear away all of the ‘stuff’ that she didn’t use.  Although she has a sentimental attachment to the birdcage, it really isn’t her style at all.  She leans much more towards mid-modern .

Yep, definitely not mid-century modern.

I decided to take it to use as a photo prop.  I already had a brass birdcage prop that I used now and then though.

Clearly it’s not nearly quite as fabulous.  So I’m replacing it with the one from Karen, and turning this one into Christmas décor.

The first thing I did was line the bottom of the cage with some sheet moss.

I thought the moss would both create a natural looking base for my vignette, but also give the faux snow something to stick to.

Next I used my hot glue gun and added some bottle brush trees and a golden reindeer.

Once again, the trees and deer were from Target.

I also added a couple of small vintage glass ornaments from my stash.

Finally, I just sprinkled some freshly fallen faux snow over the whole shebang.

I didn’t add any fairy lights to this one, but it would be pretty with some.  They’d be super easy to tuck in since the whole top of the cage comes away from the bottom.

The Christmas birdcage is for sale locally, so if you’re in the area be sure to check out my ‘available for local sale‘ page for more details on this and other items currently available.

Now, here’s some homework for you.  Check around in your house, I bet you have a vintage item like a birdcage or a lantern that you can add a Christmas vignette to.  Then just pop over to Target and get some bottle brush trees and some tiny deer and see what you can come up with!

light up your life.

Before getting on with today’s post, I want to thank all of you who took the time to leave a comment on my blogiversary post last week (FYI, if you haven’t commented yet, there is still time to get in the giveaway, just go back and comment on that post).  Your comments light up my life!

And speaking of lighting up one’ s life (insert eye roll here for the cheesy segue), you know what are a dime at dozen at thrift stores?


Last year I was inspired by my friend Amy’s lantern filled Christmas tree …

I decided to start accumulating lanterns myself after seeing Amy’s tree.  My plan was to use them on my garden Christmas tree.  There was one small hiccup.  Last winter the tree blew over in a massive wind storm and it bent the metal base beyond repair.  I was hoping to figure out some way to prop it up, but in the end it wasn’t salvageable.

I’d found quite a few lanterns over the past year at both thrift stores and garage sales, and now I had no tree to put them on.

I found spots for a couple of them outdoors, but I’m waiting for a pretty snowfall to get some photos of my outdoor décor to share here on the blog.  Fingers crossed that we’ll get some more snow before Christmas since the snow we had has all melted.

Meanwhile, I’d pulled out a tall, gold lantern to use outside.  However, the gold wasn’t really working for me.  So I got a wild idea to try painting it black.  Once again, I wasn’t really planning to blog about this project.  It was just going to be a simple project for myself, so I didn’t bother with a ‘before’ photo (when will I learn?!).

The glass wasn’t easily removable, so I wasn’t sure how well I’d be able to paint it with a brush.  As it turned out, it was pretty easy.  I just used a small artist’s brush, and gently painted over that filigree detail with a dry-ish brush and some of Dixie Belle’s Midnight Sky.  I find that a chalk style paint like theirs is the best bet for sticking well to metal.

Once I had it all painted, I used a razor blade to remove any paint that had gotten on the glass.  Then I sanded to distress the edges, revealing a little bit of that gold, and then added a top coat of clear wax.

Next I added a portion of the Dixie Belle Vintage Post transfer to the glass door.

Then I decided to add a pretty little Christmas vignette inside.  Only one small problem, I wanted to add a tiny deer but I didn’t have one.  So when my sister asked if I wanted to make a trip out to Gerten’s (a local greenhouse/nursery) I thought that would be the perfect place to find one.

Sure enough, I found one.  And he is adorable.

But he was $14.99!  Yikes!  Am I the only one who thinks that he was ridiculously overpriced?  But I bought him anyway because I was there, and he was exactly what I wanted for my lantern.

With the addition of some bottle brush trees, some battery operated fairy lights and a little fake snow, my lantern was complete.

A few days later I ended up in Target and just happened across some very similar deer ornaments for … wait for it … $3!!  Jeesh!

I honestly think they are of an equivalent quality to the pricey deer.

So anyway, I purchased a few different deer ornaments at Target to dress up a few more of my lanterns.  And this time I took a quick before photo.

Once again, I added some transfers to the glass starting with the two bronze lanterns.

I used hot glue to hold my trees and deer in place.

One has the more stylized wooden deer, and the other has a sweet furry deer.

I situated the battery pack for the lights so that you can easily reach in and turn them off and on.

After finishing up the two of these lanterns, I realized that you can’t really see the diorama well unless the doors are open.

So for my final lantern, I decided to tone down the transfers.  I just added some simple, small Tim Holtz transfers.

I switched up the bleached bottle brush trees for some in shades of green.  You can find these for $3 each at Target as well.

In the end, I think this one might just be my favorite.

The only thing remaining is deciding what to do with these.  Well, the black lantern is already spoken for.  I might just keep the galvanized one.  That leaves the two bronze ones and I’ll be attempting to sell them.

If any of you locals want to snatch one up, they are priced at $38 each.  Let me know via email at qisforquandie@gmail.com if you’re interested.  If they don’t go, I’ll be bringing them in to the shop … but that won’t happen until I get back from Mexico!

Wait!  What did I just say?  Oh yes, by the way, I’m in Puerto Vallarta for the week.  My neighbor’s family invited me along on their family vacay.  I’m probably sitting by the pool with a book in one hand, and a margarita in the other as you’re reading this.  Poor Mr. Q has remained behind to hold down the fort.

I just have one more post lined up while I’m away this week, but if you miss me then I recommend going back and checking out the tour of Amy’s house from last year (part 1 and part 2).  Her holiday décor is totally inspiring!  And if that doesn’t keep you busy, maybe go back and check out some of my favorite Christmas projects from years past in this post.

a tree topper toolbox.

Well, I told you guys that if my latest Christmas toolbox didn’t sell I was gonna have to keep it.

And it hasn’t sold yet.

So I decided that maybe it was meant to be mine.  At least for now.

I had a feeling it would be perfect for displaying my non-collection of vintage glass tree toppers.

You’ve seen my tree toppers before.  Last year I displayed them in a primitive wooden caddy.

Back in 2019 I explained my method for displaying them.  I use floral foam and wooden skewers to hold them in place.

I place the foam in the bottom of my container, add some faux greens over the top of it, and then poke in the skewers and add the toppers.  Easy peasy.

I store all of my supplies for this in vintage suitcases.

As soon as I finished the toolbox I realized it would be perfect for showing off the toppers.  But I decided I’d attempt to sell it first.  After all, I could always make another one for myself.

But no one immediately snapped it up, so …

clearly it was meant to be.

I used the same foam and skewers, added some greens and then placed my toppers.

I wove some fairy lights throughout for a little extra sparkle.

Yep, it definitely feels meant to be.

I love it.  What do you think?

gradually decorating.

Back when I was a working stiff, I tended to put up my Christmas decorations in one long marathon session on the day after Thanksgiving.  But now that I’m retired, I’m finding that I prefer a more gradual sort of decorating.  Just putting things up here and there and not feeling pressured to have it all up in one day.

I’m also realizing that I’m rather bored with a lot of my Christmas décor.  I still really like the things, but I don’t want to just put them up in the same place and the same way that I’ve done for years.

So I’m taking my time and trying to come up with new ways to use my existing decorations, but also adding a few new items to the mix.

As I mentioned last week, I asked Sue to sew up some more drop cloth stockings for me.  I ended up stenciling four of them to keep myself.

I’m more of a neutral décor sort of gal, so I used Dixie Belle’s French Linen for the stripes and Midnight Sky for the grain sack stencil (these are JRV stencils, fyi).

Unfortunately, we don’t have a fireplace or any sort of faux mantle to hang them on.  Every year around this time I look around our house wondering where I could fit one in, but we really just don’t have the perfect spot for one.

So I decided to make myself a cupboard door sign to hang the stockings from.

Once again, I stuck with neutrals.  I began with a new cupboard door (from the ReStore).  I gave it a base coat of Dixie Belle’s Putty paint mixed with some of their Sea Spray for texture.  Once dry, I painted over it with DB’s Drop Cloth.  Then I sanded heavily to reveal some of the Putty.  I added some stencils using more Putty and Coffee Bean.  Finally I added some wood knobs to the bottom that had also been painted in Putty.

The next step was to find somewhere to hang it.  After carrying it around the house a bit, I ended up deciding to layer it over an old arched window that hangs in our dining room.

It was the perfect fit.

I filled the stockings with some faux greenery …

and I draped a faux evergreen garland around the window.

Finally, to give the whole thing a little more presence, I hung some old chippy shutters on either side.  I purchased four of these shutters at the Bryn Mawr neighborhood garage sale back in 2016.  I’ve used them in a few different locations over the years.

I may still add some battery operated fairy lights to the garland, but I need to stock up on batteries first.

But so far I’m loving this bit of holiday décor in my dining room.  How about you, do you put up your decorations all in one go?  Or do you take your time?  Do you switch it up from year to year, or do you like to keep it the same?  Leave a comment and let me know!

the ornemanistes toolbox.

I hope you guys aren’t getting tired of the toolbox transformations because I’ve got another one for you today.  And I have to say, I think ‘transformation’ is definitely the right word for this one.

Let’s start with some ‘before’ photos.

Yep, I have to admit, I wasn’t sure this one was going to be worth the effort.  This toolbox certainly didn’t seem like anything special in its ‘before’ state.  However, as you’re about to see, it totally was worth it!

Earlier this fall I spent a sunny afternoon cleaning up a pile of toolboxes and lock boxes out in the backyard using the hose.  I then took a quick photo of the pile before I gave them a good scrub …

As you can see, the interior was just as rusty and flakey as the outside.  Also, this toolbox included the red tray that is shown above on the upper left.

I started by sanding this one a bit more thoroughly than usual to remove any of the flaking paint.  Then, as I mentioned, I washed it up with Dawn dish soap and the garden hose.  Once dry, I coated it inside and out with Dixie Belle’s B.O.S.S.

Then I studied that tray for a moment.  I kind of liked the patina on the handle, but wanted to clean it up a bit.  So I opted for painting just the inside of the tray in Dixie Belle’s Honky Tonk Red which ended up being a perfect match for the original color.

Then I added a little Christmas bird from Dixie Belle’s Evergreen and Holly transfer.

Isn’t he sweet?  I followed that up with a coat of DB’s flat clear coat to protect it all.

I also went ahead and gave the interior of the toolbox a couple of coats of Honky Tonk Red followed by some flat clear coat as well.

Next up I painted the outside in my favorite Dixie Belle Drop Cloth.

Then I thought about the I.O.D. Cosette transfer that I had on hand.

I’ve had this transfer for a while, just waiting for the right piece of furniture to put it on.  But I have to confess, I’d been hesitating to use it because I didn’t like the red wording.  I felt like adding even that little bit of red to something would make it more difficult for someone to work into their décor, thus making a piece more difficult to sell.  I don’t know, I certainly could be wrong about that, but I really was wishing all of the wording on this transfer was black.

So decided to do something a tad reckless (LOL, for me anyway).  I cut out that center section of wording to use on this toolbox.

I’m calling it reckless simply because this transfer costs around $40, and here I was just hacking a section out of it for a toolbox.  But then again, I wasn’t using the full transfer because of that red.  Now the red is gone, and I could fill that center section with something else when I find the right piece of furniture for the size of the rest of the transfer.

And the red was perfect on this toolbox!

I added some poinsettias from the Dixie Belle Evergreen and Holly transfer to tip the look over into the Christmas category.

I also added a little Tim Holtz number transfer.

I also used part of that center section of the Cosette transfer up under the handle, and the tiny red “PARIS” on the latch.

This might be the last Christmas themed toolbox I do this year.  I’ve mostly run out of Christmas transfers and don’t think I’ll be finding more this season.

I sure do feel like I’m going out with a bang on this one.  I have to admit, if it doesn’t sell I won’t be sad about that.  I may just have to keep it.

But that being said, if any of you locals are interested be sure to check out my ‘available for local sale‘ page for details.

Thanks to Dixie Belle Paint Co for providing their products used on this toolbox!

a holiday open house.

Happy Thursday everyone!  I don’t normally post on a Thursday, but I wanted to make sure all of my local readers know about Reclaiming Beautiful’s open house later today.

If you’re in the Stillwater area, be sure to stop by.

Unfortunately, I won’t actually be there myself.  I have my neighbor’s birthday dinner to attend.  But I did bring in a bunch of fun merchandise last night including some more drop cloth Christmas stockings.

As I mentioned last week, I asked my friend Sue to sew up a few more of these for me.  I stenciled some of the new batch very simply with the JRV Grain Sack Mini stencils.

I also did four of them with the red grain sack stripe that I experimented with last time.

I also brought in this fabulous vintage kid sized snow shovel.

I added the wallcutz Most Wonderful Time of the Year stencil to it after first painting the blade in Dixie Belle’s Midnight Sky.

Is that frickin’ adorable or what?  I was really tempted to keep this one for myself, but I also have another vintage, kid-sized snow shovel that’s green and I’m going to do something with that one.  I’ll be sure to share it when it’s done.

I also painted up a couple of cupboard door signs to bring to the shop.  These were brand new cupboard doors that I purchased at the ReStore.  They usually have a big bin filled with them.  To first give them a little bit of age, I painted on a base coat of Dixie Belle’s Putty mixed with their Sea Spray to add some texture.

Once that was dry, I painted over it with Drop Cloth on the first one.  Then I sanded it with 120 grit sandpaper to smooth out some of the texture and reveal little bits of the Putty beneath.  Finally, I added some Christmas stencils and some painted wooden knobs.

For the second one, I painted over the Putty with Dixie Belle’s Midnight Sky.  Then I added another of my favorite wallcutz stencils called North Pole.

I have one more stenciled item that I brought in.

My friend Sue found this decorative sled for me.  Unfortunately, once again I missed getting a ‘before’ shot.  It had a very ‘country’ sort of look with stylized blue flowers painted on it.  I sanded those down and painted the slats in Dixie Belle’s Honky Tonk Red, and the runners in Drop Cloth.

Then I added the Comfort & Joy stencil, also from wallcutz.

Finally, rather than replacing the rope handle with plain rope, I added this beaded garland from Hobby Lobby.

Last up, remember those adorable toy kitchen items I shared a while back?

Well, I picked up a little wooden tote at the thrift store to put them in.  I painted it in Drop Cloth, and then I gave stamping another shot.

That’s the I.O.D. Crockery stamp.

I’ve mentioned in the past that I struggle to get the results I want with rubber stamps (with the exception of stamping on paper).  I followed some suggestions from a few of you and used VersaFine Clair ink over unsealed chalk paint (the Dixie Belle Drop Cloth).  But once again the stamp got a little squiggly on me.  So far that is the best combination I’ve found, but stamping still doesn’t agree with the perfectionist in me.  I’m not giving up on it though, I’ll keep working at improving my skills.

But in the meantime, wouldn’t this little set be the perfect gift under the tree for some tiny baker?

I hope you enjoyed seeing some of my latest Christmas projects, even if you aren’t local and can’t make it to the shop.  And for those of you who are local, if you aren’t busy tonight be sure to stop by and check out all of the wonderful things Reclaiming Beautiful has to offer.

one tool tote, two ways.

I mentioned a while back that I had one of these wooden totes that I was reserving for a Christmas look.

It’s your basic tool caddy, freshly made out of unfinished wood.  Sometimes I will layer these unpainted items in several colors to add the illusion of age, or maybe use some of Dixie Belle’s Sea Spray to add some texture.  But this time I opted for a simple black paint job using DB’s Midnight Sky.  Once I had it painted inside and out, I pulled out my smaller Rudolph and Co Reindeer Treats stencil from wallcutz.  I have this stencil in two sizes, the smallest and the largest, and it’s one of my favorites.

I wanted to give my stencil a little more dimension, so I first stenciled just the “Rudolph and Co” in Dixie Belle’s French Linen.  Then I moved the stencil slightly up and over and stenciled the larger wording, plus the top section in DB’s Drop Cloth.  I left the ‘and’ just in French Linen.

I stenciled the back side without a shadow, mainly because I find it’s trickier to get it to look good with smaller, fine letters like these.

I do like to have something on both sides of a tote like this in case the future owner wants to display it in the center of a dining table.

Once the paint was dry, I sanded to distress the edges.  I was distressing back to fresh, new wood though.  So in order to give this a more aged look I waxed it with brown wax to darken up those areas where the sanding revealed fresh wood.

I thought it would be fun to style the tote in two different looks.

I started with some natural looking greens, my unfinished nutcrackers, an old cloth tape measure and some metal cash register numbers.

This neutral sort of look is right up my alley.  You can find those unfinished nutcrackers at most craft stores it seems.  They are meant to be painted, but I like them left ‘as is’.

The sort of papery looking greens with the little white berries are from Hobby Lobby.  I  purchased them recently and they were super cheap at only $1.49 each (Christmas stuff was already 60% off the day I shopped).

If you’d rather have a little bit of bling in your holiday décor, this next look might appeal to you more.

I swapped out the greens for some that are a little less rustic and added fairy lights, then I decked it out with vintage gold balls, some golden crowns, a tiny birdcage …

and a little star shaped ornament that I’ve had forever.

I can’t really decide which look I like better, what do you think?

I’ll be bringing this tool tote into the shop this evening, unless one of you locals wants to snatch it up first for $38.  If so, be sure to let me know in a comment or by email at qisforquandie@gmail.com.

baked fresh every day.

I think ‘never say never’ should really be my motto.  I often think certain products just aren’t going to work for me, or I dislike certain styles, and then given a little time, they grow on me.

I have to say, I still wouldn’t be likely to purchase the I.O.D. Noel paint inlay again, but I did find another project to use it on.

I purchased this bread box at a garage sale last year …

I’d kind of forgotten about it.  But I came across it recently while digging for some leaf bags out in the carriage house.  I thought it might just be the perfect size for the gingerbread bakery portion of the paint inlay.

So I painted it up in Dixie Belle’s Sawmill Gravy.  Then I cut up the paint inlay to arrange it on the front of the breadbox.

I applied it using my normal process, you can find the step by step instructions in this post.

I ended up eliminating the image of the gingerbread house itself, it was a bit too cartoonish for my taste.  So I just used the wording on the door of the breadbox.  Then I added the section of greenery and orange slices to the top and bottom.

The image of the greenery on the bottom of the box is the 2nd use of that image.  It’s hard to see in my photos, but it is slightly more faded than the first use.

But certainly I easily got a 2nd use out of it.

One the inlay was dry, I sprayed those areas with a matte spray sealer before attempting to sand the edges to distress.  I recommend doing that as the paint from the inlay easily wipes away otherwise.

One thing to keep in mind with the paint inlays is that they do add a bit of texture to your piece.  If you look closely at this next picture you can see what I mean.  I’m referring to those creases in the paint.

Since you’re pressing the paper into fresh paint, it’s going to leave an impression.  I used a brayer to get this one as flat as possible.  If you don’t like that look, you may not like using the paint inlays.

In case you’re wondering, this door on this breadbox is hinged at the bottom and opens up like this …

In the end, I think this one turned out pretty fab.

But now I’m hungry and I haven’t had breakfast yet so I’m going to go eat my props!

The breadbox is for sale locally, so be sure to check my ‘available for local sale‘ page for more details.

As always, thank you to Dixie Belle Paint Co for supplying the paint used for this project.