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.

12 days of giveaways.

Here in the U.S. tomorrow is Thanksgiving.  If any of you have been following me since the beginning you may remember that I started my blog on Thanksgiving weekend 2013.  So yep, that makes this my six year blogiversary!  Well, technically speaking, it was yesterday.  But close enough.

Quite honestly, I never thought I’d make it past five years.

I also never thought I’d make it past 25 followers.

While I haven’t ‘gone viral’ and I don’t seem to have made it into the inner circle of ‘cool kids’ (just like in high school), today I’m feeling incredibly grateful for all of the amazing things this blog has brought my way.  But I’m especially thankful for all of you.  Without you, there would be no q is for quandie.  So thank you for following, commenting, sharing and otherwise supporting my blog.

Now it’s time to celebrate with 12 days of giveaways!

Starting today and running every Monday, Wednesday & Friday until December 23, I’m going to post a giveaway here on the blog.  That’s four weeks of giveaways!!  Woo hoo!

So let’s get this ball rolling, shall we?

I know it’s a little like picking my favorite child, and we aren’t supposed to do that, but I have to confess that Re.design with Prima Marketing is one of my favorite sponsors.  I feel incredibly honored to be included on their Design Team.

I get so excited when they have a new release and they send me a box of stuff.  The latest box even literally arrived on my birthday, what a treat!  And I can’t share any of it with you today.  The official reveal date of this latest release is December 16, so I have to sit here, all alone, drooling over these new designs until then.

In the meantime, today I’m giving away their Fresh Flowers transfer.  Last summer I used half of the transfer on this drop leaf table.

Here is the full design.

I’m still hanging on to that upper portion waiting for just the right project to come along.  But the lower portion was perfect for the table.

And of course, I am giving away the entire transfer (not just my unused portion, that would be tacky, right?)

Just to add a little something more to this giveaway, I’m also including the Queen Bee clay pot that I used for staging that piece.

I painted the pot using Miss Mustard Seed milk paint, and then used Fusion Transfer Gel to add the graphic (check out this post for all of the details).  Not all of my pots turned out that day, but this one is my favorite of the bunch.

Thank you to Re.design with Prima Marketing for sponsoring this giveaway by providing the transfer.

The rules:  to be eligible to win today’s prize leave a comment on this blog post.  If you can’t think of anything to say, just tell me what your favorite fresh flower is.  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, November 29, 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 $40, if the prize is not claimed by Sunday, December 1, another name will be drawn at random to win, blah, blah, blah.

Good luck!

instagram takeover.

Hey everybody!  For those of you who have Instagram accounts, I thought I’d give you a heads up.  I’m taking over the @redesignwithprima account today.

Each of us on their Design Team were given the opportunity to do a 24 hour takeover and today is my day!

I’ll be sharing some of my favorite projects using Prima Marketing products throughout the day, like this one …

And this one …

I had a hard time narrowing down which pieces I should share.  I figured nobody wanted me to be posting something every 30 minutes.

But they have so many gorgeous transfers, and I’ve done quite a few pieces with them over the past couple of years.

Plus, I’ll also be hosting an amazing giveaway of Prima products (you’ll have to go to Instagram to sign up to win).

Not only that, but many of the other Design Team members are also hosting giveaways on their takeover day.

So, if you haven’t yet drunk the kool-aid and joined Instagram, today might be a great day to do that.  And if you already have an Instagram account but you aren’t following @redesignwithprima (or, heaven forbid, me @qisforquandie) be sure to check them out.


For the past couple of Christmas seasons I have found that painted sleds sell fairly well for me at Reclaiming Beautiful.

I started out with a pair of black and white sleds back in 2017.

I sold one and I kept the one shown above for myself.

Last year I did another pair of painted sleds, one in black again and one in more traditional Christmas colors.

and they both sold.

You’d think, knowing that I wanted to do some more this year, that I would have grabbed all the sleds I saw at garage sales this past summer.  But no.  I only bought one of them even though I saw quite a few.  I have a tendency to do stuff like that, because who is thinking ‘sleds’ in the middle of summer?

I was kicking myself over that recently, so I went to Craigslist to see if there was anyone selling them online.  Sure enough, there were quite a few.  But almost all of them were way above my price range.  Some ridiculously so, like this one listed at $225.

I’m sure that is a ‘highly collectible’ sled because of the rocket ship motif.  And I hope it goes without saying that I would never paint over that sled.

But even the more beat up and less unique versions were mostly listed in the $45 and up range.  However, I did come across someone selling three sleds for $15 each.  They were appropriately roughed up to justify painting them, and as an added bonus they weren’t very far away.  So I sent Mr. Q to pick them up, thus giving me four sleds to work on this year.

I set up a bit of a sled painting assembly line in my dining room in order to get all of the sleds done in one weekend.  I started with the black one.  I painted the wood parts of the sled using Dixie Belle’s Midnight Sky.  Then I stenciled it with a warm white craft paint.  Finally I added some of Dixie Belle’s Big Mama’s Butta.

I know black and white aren’t traditional Christmas colors, but I love the look.  Two years ago I wrote a whole blog post about Christmas in black and white.

Be sure to check it out if you like that look too.

The smaller black sled above is the one I kept two years ago, but this year I gave it a fresh coat of Big Mamas Butta and took it in to Reclaiming Beautiful to sell.  You’ll see why in a minute.

The other taller sled got the same paint job that I used last year.

That is Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth on the sled, and red, green and black craft paint for the stencil.

I painted the handle and sides of the smallest sled using Dixie Belle’s Barn Red.  Well, wait, let me back up a minute.  I started out painting it with the same shade of red I used on the chairs I shared last Friday, Honky Tonk Red.  I painted the slats in Drop Cloth as a base for the Gingham Red transfer.

Once I had the transfer in place though, I felt like the Honky Tonk Red was just a bit too bright with the transfer so I pulled out the Barn Red and went over it with just one coat of that.

I really should have taken a picture of a chair and the sled side by side to show you the difference because I’m sure you’re thinking that this red looks the same.  But trust me, in person there is a difference.

This is the 2nd version of a red plaid that comes with the Prima Marketing re.design Gingham Red transfer set.  For this sled I only used one sheet of this plaid so I have another one left to use on something else.

When I got to the final sled from my Craigslist purchase I decided that the patina of the existing chippy red paint was too good to cover up with fresh paint.  I often work so hard to create this chippy look and here was a genuine version of it.

So for this one I simply sanded the surface lightly to remove any loose paint, added the stencil, and then gave it a wax job (again using the Dixie Belle Big Mamas Butta) to freshen it up and to protect it from the elements a bit.

As I was just finishing up my sleds, my sister stopped by for a visit.  I was telling her that I really loved how this last one turned out but I wasn’t sure I had a spot for it.  She suggested hanging it on the photo cottage door.

Sure enough, it looks freakin’ adorable there.  And once we get some snow on the ground and it starts looking more like a winter scene and less like a fall one, I think it will really look fab.  It has even motivated me to put some Christmas lights on the photo cottage this year.  I’ll be sure to share a photo of that if we get some measurable snow.

So the red one is staying with me, and that’s why I decided to sell the little black and white one.

And next year, remind me to grab those sleds when I see them at garage sales, OK?