abandoned hankie drawers.

I’m continuing to clear out the Carriage House.  Today’s project is this abandoned set of hankie drawers that I removed from a dresser some time in the distant past.

In fact, I searched back through my archives and for the life of me I can’t find a ‘before’ photo of a dresser with this section on top.  So it might even date back to the ‘pre-blog’ era.

Well, anyway, if you’ve followed me for a while you know that I’ve always liked to remove the hankie drawers from dressers.  I feel like a flat top makes the dresser more versatile so it can be used as a TV stand, or as a buffet type piece in the dining room.  I always save the cast off drawers though and turn them into a stand alone item (like this, and this, and this).  Usually they end up as individual drawers (like in those linked examples), but this one is a solid piece all the way across.

I painted the outside of the box in Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth, and then I painted the insides of the drawers in their Apricot.  I used the DB Flat clear coat over the Apricot to give the insides of the drawers a little extra durability.

Apricot is quickly growing to be my favorite shade of pink.  It’s a peachy pink to be sure, and I really love the warmth of it.

Once the painting was done, I sanded lightly to distress and then added a section from the Violet Hill transfer from re.design with prima.

Isn’t that just gorgeous?  I have to admit, I felt a little guilty not saving this transfer to use on a full piece of furniture.  But what the heck?  I knew it would be perfect for this, and now I have a bunch of the transfer left over for more projects.

I have absolutely no recollection of what happened to the original drawer pulls.  Maybe I never had them?  Maybe I took them off to use on something else?  Who knows.  But I found a set of 3 vintage pulls in my stash of old hardware that ended up working out perfectly.

At this point you’re probably thinking ‘ok, well, that’s real pretty, but what would you do with it?’

I’ve got a couple of ideas.  The most obvious, put it on top of a dresser and use it as a jewelry box.

If you have lots of jewelry, this would be a great option because it would hold quite a bit.

Another idea, add it to your desk under your computer monitor to store office supplies and to give your monitor a little extra height.

For those of you still working from home due to COVID, this would be a lovely way to organize your work space.

Finally, this would be a great addition to a craft room to hold all sorts of various crafting supplies.

I brought this piece to Reclaiming Beautiful this week, so I guess we’ll see if anyone out there has just the right purpose for it.

As always, thank you to Dixie Belle Paint Co and to re.design with prima for providing the products used for today’s projects.

If you’re looking for Dixie Belle products you can find them here.

If you’re looking for re.design with prima products you can find local retailers here, or online sources here.

 

back to back barn sales.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A legit barn sale!

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

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

And this fab old shoe form.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

when it rains, it pours.

I really don’t want this post to come across as a ‘poor me’ sort of post, but seriously you guys.  When it rains, it pours.

I’ve now had to have two emergency root canals in the last two months, the second one was this week and it required two visits (or about 3.5 hours of time in the chair) to complete it.  Apparently not only is the domino effect a thing when it comes to decorating, but it can also be a thing when it comes to root canals.

Ugh!

As I result, I have nothing to share today.

But rather than leave you hanging, here are some canals that are much more enjoyable than root canals.

Of course, when I think ‘canal’ I immediately think of Venice.

I’d much rather be enjoying the canals of Venice than a trip to the endodontist, wouldn’t you?

The canals in Copenhagen are really lovely too.

Naturally you can take a guided tour of them by boat.

Prague has some of the most picturesque canals I’ve ever seen.

And you can tour them as well on these charming little boats.

When my family lived in south Florida back in the 70’s, we lived on a canal.  Granted, a much less grand one than this one in Ft. Lauderdale …

But it had ocean access and we were able to keep a boat right at our own dock.  We often spent Saturday’s or Sunday’s cruising around the canals.

All in all, any one of these canals is much preferable to a root canal, wouldn’t you agree?

OK, not to worry, I do have some fun projects coming up.  I’ve been working with the newest re.design with prima transfers that are being released next Friday.  Here’s a little sneak peek at one of them …

OK, I know, you can barely see it back there, but it’s called Vintage Seed and it’s right up my alley.

You’ll just have to check back next Friday to see the full reveal!

my social distancing glasses.

Every now and then I drop hints about my age, and sometimes I even just come right out and say it out loud … I am 56 years old.  And these days that means I can’t see my hand in front of my face without ‘cheaters’.

Up until the age of 40 I had perfect 20/20 vision.  But I practically had to go out and buy a pair of readers on my 40th birthday.  Or at least it felt that way.  In many ways it seems like my previously perfect vision left me woefully unprepared to handle even the slightest blurring.

At first I only needed readers for the really small print, and only the lowest magnification.  But over time I found myself having to transition from the 1.25+ to the 1.5+ to the 2+.  Then I found myself needing the 1.25+ to see the TV clearly and read street signs while I drove, while I needed the 2.5+ to read small print.

For several years now I’ve found myself switching back and forth between a 1.25+ and a 2.5+ depending on whether I need to see up close, or far away.  It’s kind of a pain in the butt.

But when it really gets annoying is while garage saling … and we can’t have that!

I’d have to wear the 1.25+’s to scope out the whole scene and zero in on the items I wanted to head for first, but then switch out to the 2.5+’s to read the price tag.

I was constantly juggling two pairs of glasses over the past several years and it was really getting annoying.

So, in anticipation of garage sale season 2020, I finally made an eye doctor appointment a while back so I could get some bi-focals.  I paid around $600 for some progressive lens bi-focals (so they don’t have that line in them that immediately brands you as an old person).  Then COVID-19 starting going strong here in the U.S. and delivery of my glasses was delayed.  I finally got a call last week that they were in, but my eye clinic’s hours were reduced to 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. each day.  Fortunately, it’s not far from my office so I snuck out of the office one morning earlier this week to pick them up.

I have to say … bi-focals are definitely going to take some getting used to.

What I noticed about them initially is that in order to see someone’s face clearly I have to be right around 6′ away from them.  Any closer and they start to get blurry.

That’s when I realized!  I seem to have inadvertently purchased ‘social distancing glasses’.

In order to see the face of the person I’m talking to clearly, I will have to stand about 6′ away.

Did they make them this way on purpose?

 Recently I read an article that said we shouldn’t be calling this ‘social distancing’ at all.  We should simply be calling it ‘physical distancing’.  During these crazy, totally strange, emotionally unbalancing times, we don’t need to be socially distanced.  Instead we should be working on reinforcing our social bonds, or getting socially closer.  And we can easily do that by phone, email, text, Zoom video conferencing, Skype, Instagram, Facebook and any of the other multitudes of social media platforms out there.  The only distance we really need to maintain is a physical one, not a social one.

So how about we all start calling it ‘physical distancing’ instead of ‘social distancing’?  Who’s with me on that one?

And who else out there has graduated to the bi-focal?  How long is it going to take me to get used to these things?  Because for now I feel a bit sea sick wearing them, and it seems like nothing is perfectly clear … or maybe that’s just how everyone feels these days.

dying to try it.

Well here I am, like many of us, stuck at home.  I’m very fortunate to be able to do some of my regular day job work from home, and I’m still going in to the office every few days to take care of things I can’t do at home.  Aside from that, I’m trying very hard to do my part and comply with the Stay at Home order here in Minnesota.  The basic tenet of our Stay at Home order is that one should stay at home when at all possible.

For me, that means that for the time being I’m not buying or selling furniture via Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace.  If you’ve been reading my blog for long, then you realize that furniture painting/blogging is just a side gig for me.  It doesn’t pay the bills or put food on the table, I have the day job for that.  So in my case, I feel like I should avoid those transactions for now.

However, it’s important to note here that I do not think everyone has to be doing this.  I say more power to those who are finding ways to practice ‘social distancing’ while still working their businesses.  Reclaiming Beautiful (the brick and mortar shop where I sell on consignment) is posting their furniture pieces online and having some success with selling by appointment (check out their Facebook page here to see what they have).

But in my case, I’m going to try to continue to work with things that I already have on hand.  Of course, it’s a tad ironic that I started working my way through my stash of projects several months ago before we’d even heard of COVID-19.  In hindsight, I should have kept buying furniture to stock up instead, because then I would have plenty to work on now.

Instead, I’m having to dig deep for projects to work on.

When Victoria mentioned that she was sewing napkins in her comment last week it reminded me that I had a stash of linen napkins that I’ve been meaning to dye (thanks again for sparking that idea Victoria!).

Ding, ding, ding.  The perfect project to complete while ‘staying at home’.

So I grabbed some Dixie Belle paint in colors that I thought would be pretty on napkins.

I ended up choosing Mermaid Tail, Antebellum Blue and Honky Tonk Red.  That last one was meant to be Peony, but I grabbed the wrong jar.  However, as you’ll see in a few minutes, that worked out OK because I ended up with a pretty pink anyway.

Before getting started, I googled a few YouTube videos and blog posts about how to dye fabric using chalk paint.  As generally seems to be the case when researching online, I got some conflicting info.  So I tried to sort through the tips based on my previous experience with actual dye (I dyed lots of these vintage linen napkins back in the day using actual fabric dye).

Let’s run through the basic process first.

Step 1:  Wash the napkins in hot water.  This may or may not be necessary depending on the item you are dying.  Since I was using vintage linen napkins that looked as though they hadn’t been washed in decades, washing seemed like a good idea.   Another thing to note here, choose a natural fiber like cotton or linen.  Polyester can only be dyed with specially formulated dyes.

Step 2:  Fill a wash pan with luke warm water and then add your paint.  Stir well, making sure that the paint is fully dissolved and mixed in with the water.  If you have clumps of solid paint in your water you will get dark spots of paint on your fabric.  You should use approximately 1 part paint to 20 parts water.  I don’t think I used quite enough paint because I followed conflicting advice to use just one tablespoon of paint.  As you’ll see shortly, my color ended up very pale.

Step 3:  Add the napkins, still wet from being washed.  This is another conflicting piece of advice from my google results.  Some people added dry fabric, some added wet.  When I used fabric dye back in the day, I always put items in wet, so I went with that approach.

Step 4:  Swish the fabric around for about 5 minutes or so.  Again, this is another step where I read conflicting instructions online.  Some said to leave it absolutely no longer than 5 minutes, others said to leave it for at least 30 minutes or longer.  I went with five minutes on my first batch using the Honky Tonk Red.

Step 5:  Remove the napkins from the dye bath and rinse them (or not).  I found that rinsing removed quite a bit of the color leaving my napkins a pale pink.  Be sure to read to the end of this post to learn about the results I got without rinsing.

Step 6:  Dry the napkins in your clothes dryer using high heat to set to set the color.

Step 7:  Press the napkins using high heat to make doubly sure the color is set.

This was my first batch, and they turned out quite pretty.  If you keep in mind that you’re going to get a very pale version of the paint color, you will be happy with these results.

Also, keep in mind that hand dyed fabrics will have inconsistencies in the color.  But that’s part of their charm.

I followed the same process for my second batch, but used Dixie Belle’s Antebellum Blue as the color.

Again, the resulting color was quite a bit lighter than I expected. You can see how dark the paint color is in the spoon.

But the napkins ended up being a beautiful pale blue.

Things pretty much went off the rails with the third batch I tried using Mermaid Tail.

It sure looked pretty in the water.  But this time I wanted to try to retain more of the color so I decided not to rinse.  I was going to throw them in the dryer to set the color, but Mr. Q was worried I’d end up with paint in the dryer.  So I opted to try line drying them without rinsing, then setting the color with the hot iron.  That was pretty much a fail.  Line drying them left an obvious line of darker color where the napkin was hanging across the line.

I decided to cut my losses at this point and try washing out the color and starting over.  I can verify that if you don’t set the color with heat, most of it will wash out.

So it was back to the drawing board after that.  The second time around I put the napkins into the dye bath dry, added quite a bit more paint to the water (closer to the 1 part paint to 20 parts water), and shhhh, don’t tell Mr. Q but I didn’t rinse them.  I wrung them out and then threw them in the dryer.

Eureka!  We have a winner!  They turned out gorgeous.

However, they did leave a film of Mermaid Tail paint inside my dryer.  Ooops.  Luckily it wiped right out using a damp cloth.  But keep this in mind if you decide to try it at home.  You will need to clean out your dryer immediately afterwards.

If you’re stuck at home and looking for a fun afternoon craft project, I highly recommend experimenting with dying fabric using chalk paint.  To recap, for best results, wash and dry your fabric first, use 1 part paint to 20 parts water luke warm water,  agitate while soaking for about 5 minutes, ring out excess water but don’t rinse, dry with high heat and then immediately wipe out your dryer.  Got that?

I’m curious, have any of you tried it?  Got any tips for the rest of us?

As always, thanks to Dixie Belle Paint Co for supplying the paint for this project.  Please note that many of the local Dixie Belle Paint retailers are still available to ship paint, or they may be offering curb-side pick up.  You can find your local retailer here.  If you don’t have a local retailer, you can also order Dixie Belle products here.  Dixie Belle Paint Co is continuing to ship orders as well.

the statute of limitations.

I think I’ve already mentioned that over the last year or so I’ve been trying to work my way through my stashes of stuff out in the carriage house.  For any of you who might be new to my blog, this is the carriage house …

It has a 2nd floor that we use for storage.  It sounds like an amazing set up for someone like me who does furniture makeovers, but the stairway to get upstairs is steep and has a turn in it and as a result we never haul any of the larger/heavier pieces of furniture up there.  I do have a few smaller things in a pile up there though.  A couple of chairs, small tables, and other random stuff.

One of the random bits of stuff was a fun half-chair shelf that a friend of mine made.  Way back when I hosted an occasional sale out of the carriage house she had brought this chair/shelf over to sell.  It didn’t sell, but she never came back for it.  I reminded her a few times that I still had it.  That was nearly five years ago.  We’ve since lost touch.  Meanwhile, the chair/shelf has been sitting there taking up space and collecting dust for all of that time.

So I figure the statute of limitations is up.  This piece is now mine to do with as I please.  So I gave it a little makeover last weekend.

I neglected to get a ‘before’ photo, but it was painted in a glossy-ish black.  Too shiny for my taste.  It also had book pages glued to the seat, but they were mostly falling off, so it was easy to remove them completely.  Once that was done, I decided to just work with the black so I painted over it with Dixie Belle’s Midnight Sky to give it a flat finish.

But then I decided that black just wasn’t going to cut it.  It’s such a funky piece, it needed more of a statement color.  So I mixed up some Sweet Pickens milk paint in my favorite of their colors, In a Pickle.

I added two coats of the milk paint over the Midnight Sky.  I was surprised to find that I got quite a lot of chipping.  I didn’t think the fresh Dixie Belle paint would resist the milk paint this much.  And much more so in some areas than others.

In hindsight, I wish I’d put a different color under the green.  Had I predicted this level of chipping, I definitely would have.  I’m not really loving the black and green combo, but I decided to work with it, instead of against it.  So, I added a section of black wording from re.design with prima’s Everyday Farmhouse transfer to help tie in the black.

Once I had that in place, I added a top coat of Dixie Belle’s Howdy Do Hemp Oil.

My q tip of the day;  always apply a transfer before you apply wax or hemp oil.  You will struggle to get a transfer to adhere over freshly applied wax or hemp oil.  If you have a piece with a wax or hemp oil finish already on it and you badly want to add a transfer, you should wait until the finish has cured a full 30 days.

It wasn’t until I actually tried to hang the shelf for a photo shoot that I realized that it wasn’t going to be very structurally sound using the hardware that was already on it (three strategically placed saw tooth hangers).  I was able to hang it long enough to get some photos, but I wouldn’t have wanted to put anything breakable on it, just in case.  So now I’m going to add a couple of ‘L’ brackets to it before taking it in to the shop to sell.  I want it to be functional as well as pretty.

As always, thank you to Dixie Belle Paint Co for supplying the Howdy Do Hemp Oil and to re.design with prima for supply the transfer.

have suitcase, will travel.

I really didn’t mean to have a ‘suitcase’ theme lately, but I seem to have been on a suitcase painting frenzy.

In addition to the two thrifted suitcases I brought home a week or two ago (I shared one of them last week), I also had a third suitcase waiting in the wings.  This is one that I shared a while back when my picker, Sue, found it for me.

I took into Reclaiming Beautiful to sell ‘as is’, and guess what?  It didn’t sell.

I wasn’t really surprised because this style of suitcase doesn’t appeal to many.  It was nice quality though, so I thought it was worth a shot.  But it hadn’t sold after months and months, so I brought it back home to give it a paint job.

When re.design with prima sent me some of their brand new 2020 transfers they included this one called Spring Flowers.

Wouldn’t that one on the lower right be perfect for a piano!

Anyway, it turned out that these were the just the right size for the suitcase from my picker.  So I chose the one on the bottom left to use on it.

I started out by painting it in Dixie Belle’s Sea Glass.  Once it was totally dry (I usually wait overnight) I applied the transfer and then distressed the edges of the case.  Then I added a thin coat of clear wax.

Super simple.  But so pretty.

The second thrift store suitcase was the same style, but a bit larger.

The makeover of this one could have been just as simple as the Sea Glass one, but oh no.  I decided to switch horses mid-stream, as you’ll see in a minute.

First I decided to use the top half of the Fresh Flowers transfer on it, the part with the pick up truck.

I had used the bottom half on a table last summer …

so I was waiting for something to come along that would be perfect for the top half.

I thought painting the suitcase black would be the perfect choice to work with that black pick up truck.  So, I started by painting the suitcase in Dixie Belle’s Midnight Sky.  The transfer itself is one solid sheet, but it’s not completely opaque.  So the color behind it will impact how it looks and I felt like black would be too dark.  Therefore I measured out where the transfer would go and painted just that area in Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth (a creamy off-white).  Once dry, I applied the transfer.

Then I took a step back and looked at it.  Nope.  It wasn’t working for me at all.  I should have taken a photo, but it was evening and I didn’t have good light.

It’s possible someone else would have loved it, but I didn’t.

I decided it would look so much better if the whole thing was painted in Drop Cloth.

This project would have been SO much simpler had I just painted it Drop Cloth to begin with.  Instead I had to carefully paint around the transfer with two coats of paint.

In the end, I love how it turned out, but it could have been so much easier.

Not only did I have to go back to the drawing board while painting this one, I also had to start over not just once, but twice when trying to photograph it.  I felt like the first two attempts just didn’t do the suitcase justice.

I ended up setting up some garden themed staging just to create a backdrop for the suitcase.

Talk about overkill.

But, it was fun.  I love dreaming about gardening in the middle of January, don’t you?

I think I’m done painting suitcases for a while now.

On another note, by now you guys must be wondering ‘is Quandie ever going to paint another piece of furniture instead of all of these smalls?’

And the answer is yes!

I gave myself a bit of a break from the larger pieces over the holidays.  Then I got on a roll trying to finish up a bunch of smaller things that had accumulated over the course of last year’s garage sale season.  But I’ve been missing the furniture too.

First I had to find some though.  So over the last week or so Mr. Q and I brought home four pieces of furniture.  Here’s a couple of them …

I’ve also brought home another bed that my handyman Ken is working on turning into a bench.

The fourth piece is a dresser that I’m painting as part of a collaboration between the re.design with prima design team and a paint that I’ve never used before, Amulent Decor Paint from The Chippy Barn.

So, be sure to stay tuned, I’ll definitely have a few furniture makeover posts to share in the coming weeks.

As always, thank you to Dixie Belle Paint Co and re.design with prima for providing the products used on the two suitcases I shared today.

so sweet.

I don’t know about you, but I am always amazed by the level of detail that went into some of the vintage linens that I find out there.  Especially the baby dresses.

Last weekend I pulled out a small stack of linens that I needed to clean and iron before taking them in to Reclaiming Beautiful to sell.  Most of them came from my picker, Sue.  But a couple are pieces I found at garage sales last summer.

I’m no expert, so I hate to give advice knowing that there may be some of you out there who are really careful when it comes to laundering vintage pieces.  But if you’re curious, I just soak mine in OxyClean for an hour or two, rinse thoroughly by hand, line dry and then press.

I’m guessing that this one was an undergarment rather than a dress just based on the simplicity of the top.  But check out this beautiful detail …

I think that is tatting (although I’m not sure).  If any of you know for sure, please leave a comment.

But can you imagine the hours that went into making that?  It bums me out that someone put that much love into handcrafting this piece and yet it was going for peanuts at someone’s estate sale.

This next baby dress is nearly as light as tissue paper.

It’s a bit on the longish side, which makes me think maybe this one was a christening gown.  It’s so incredibly delicate though.  Maybe it was meant for a baby getting baptized in the middle of August in a tropical climate.

It certainly wouldn’t be warm enough for Minnesota except on the balmiest of days.

I can’t imagine actually putting this on a baby.  Wouldn’t it be ruined in about 2 seconds flat?

What beautiful stitch work!

Even the back of the dress is beautiful with its tiny little pin tucks.

This last one is a bit shorter and little bit more sturdy.

Still, it seems far from being practical for a baby.

I wish I could think of a really fabulous and unique re-purposing idea for these beautiful pieces.  I’ve seen a few great examples of people just hanging them on wall including this one from Miss Mustard Seed …

And this one from Cedar Hill Farmhouse …

But aside from that I can’t really think of another fabulous use for them, how about you?

lula gets a makeover.

Way back when my blog was new I shared a ‘dress form’ that I cobbled together using an old Styrofoam mannequin and the base of a small table.  I’ve used her as a prop in quite a few photo shoots …

She was painted with black chalkboard paint and the writing was added using a white chalk pen.

She’s named after my Great Aunt Lu who’s picture is pinned to her above.

Recently I decided to give Lula a bit of a refresh.  She gets a bit banged up when I’m manhandling her for photo shoots which allows the yellow Styrofoam to show through my black paint.  So I wiped her down with a damp cloth and then gave her a quick coat of Dixie Belle’s Midnight Sky.

I polished up her black enamel door knob of a neck and put it back on.

Instead of writing on her with the chalk pen, this time I decided to break out one of the brand new re.design with prima transfers called Gilded Home & Nature.

I used two of the designs in the set (I circled them above), I added the flowery swag to Lula’s decolletage …

And I added the golden crown to her … well, I hate to say this but Mr. Q called it a’ crotch crown.’  Let’s not call it that though, let’s call that area her ‘skirt’.

The gold wording at the bottom is part of the Somewhere in France transfer set.

Now that Lula is refreshed a bit, she has rejoined her pal Collette in our principle bedroom.

As always, thank you to Dixie Belle Paint Co and re.design with prima for providing the supplies used for Lula’s makeover.

If you’re looking for Dixie Belle products you can find them here.

If you’re looking for re.design with prima products you can find local retailers here, or online sources here.

 

irony … the opposite of wrinkly.

Believe it or not, one of my favorite chores while growing up was ironing.  I started out with my dad’s hankies (yes, believe it or not, ironing hankies was a thing … in fact, hankies themselves were a thing … in the 60’s and 70’s).

I graduated to his shirts as my skills improved.  Back then employees of IBM were required to wear white button down shirts with their suits, which meant a lot of ironing.  They also weren’t allowed to have facial hair (which would be a problem for me these days, ha!).  I still remember when they finally relaxed that rule and my dad immediately grew a mustache.

Clearly my mom did a lot of ironing before I took over.  Here she is in 1961, pregnant with my sister, slaving away over the ironing board …

Looks like she ironed his weekend shirts too, huh?

Ladies, let’s all take a moment and breathe a collective sigh of relief that this sort of thing is no longer expected of wives shall we?

Funny, as I study that photo I’m realizing that is the same ironing board that I used later.  I bet my mom still has it!

Anyway, all of this leads me to today’s post.  A funny thing happens when you have a reputation for refurbishing vintage items.  In this case, a neighbor of mine showed up at our door one day.  She wondered if I wanted some old ironing boards.  She used to run a laundromat, but had sold the business.  The ironing boards had been used there as decor.  Mr. Q was the only one home, and he said yes to the ironing boards.

I’m not so sure that I would have.  I tend to shy away from taking on things if I don’t know what I’m getting into.  This tendency helps prevent me from becoming a hoarder 😉

I would venture to say that none of these ironing boards would meet today’s safety standards.  In fact, most of them seem like they would collapse in a stiff wind.  For that reason I would not recommend actually using them as ironing boards or using them set up at all (so that leaves out using them as a makeshift bar when entertaining too).

In the past I have turned a couple of old ironing boards into signs (you can see those here and here).  But I remember at the time thinking that they were fairly heavy and clunky for hanging on the wall.  I suspect that many of you out there have spouses who tend to be a bit persnickety about hanging heavy things on walls, am I right?

So I decided the best solution would be to remove the legs/bases entirely to lighten them up some.  Seems like a simple fix, doesn’t it?  But no.  As it turned out, the bases on 4 out of the 5 ironing boards in my stash were riveted on.  Only one of them was held in place with simple screws.  I had to recruit my handyman Ken to help at that point.  He had to drill through each rivet to remove it.

Once that was taken care of, the rest was simple.  I decided to go with a slightly different look for each one.

I used quite a few different paint colors, some stencils and some transfers from re.design with prima.

The first one got a coat of Dixie Belle paint in Midnight Sky.  Once dry, I stenciled it using Dixie Belle French Linen paint and my french laundry stencil (the Etsy vendor I purchased this from is no longer in business, but you can find similar stencils on Etsy).

I really don’t think I’ll ever grow tired of the look of a distressed black finish with a french stencil.

The next two were painted in Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth.  I taped off some grain sack style stripes on one and painted them in Dixie Belle’s Yankee Blue.  Then I added re.design with prima’s Laundry transfer.  The 2nd Drop Cloth ironing board was stenciled using Dixie Belle’s French Linen paint and a stencil from Maison de Stencils.

Maison de Stencils gifted me with this stencil when they sent me the stencils I gave away during my 12 days of giveaways.  This was the first chance I’ve had to use it, and I absolutely love it.

The 4th ironing board received a coat of Dixie Belle’s Sea Glass, which seemed to be a top favorite among you guys when I shared my comparison of their shades of aqua.  Once that was dry and distressed, I added the Moment transfer from re.design with prima.

I painted the last ironing board in Dixie Belle’s Apricot.  Isn’t this a gorgeous color?  I think of it as halfway between a pink and a peach.  It’s not so pale as to be blush, but not too bright either.

I used one of the newer prima transfers on it called Hello Baby.

Aren’t those animals just adorable?

Rather than hanging this one in a laundry room, it would be perfect in a nursery.

As always, thank you to Dixie Belle Paint Co, re.design with prima, and Maison de Stencils for providing the supplies used for these ironing board makeovers.

And most importantly, thank you to Mr. Q for having the wisdom to say yes to these ironing boards for me!

If you’re looking for Dixie Belle products you can find them here.

If you’re looking for Maison de Stencils you can find them here.

If you’re looking for re.design with prima products you can find local retailers here, or online sources here.

And finally, if you are local and in need of a fabulous ironing board sign, check out my ‘available for local sale‘ page for more details.