in memoriam.

It has been a sad week for our family.  Mr. Q’s sister Christina passed away unexpectedly on July 5.  She was only 48 years old and in addition to siblings, her father, cousins, aunts, uncles and so many friends, she also left behind three children.

I really hesitated sharing this news here on q is for quandie because I would rather keep things happy and light.  I don’t want to bring people down.  But normally I would have a post to share with you guys today, and this week I don’t.

Instead of painting furniture, or photographing a rusty pedestal makeover, we spent the last couple of days in the small town of Mountain Lake in the southern part of Minnesota for a visitation and funeral.

I considered just not posting at all today, but instead I decided to share one of my most recent happy memories of Chris.

Last September Chris was in Texas for a business trip and she made the time to visit Magnolia Market.  She was a big Fixer Upper fan.  She rented a car and drove to Waco by herself because she just had to visit, and hopefully catch a glimpse of Chip & Joanna.  She posted a live video on Facebook showing that she was the first person there that morning.  The sun was just barely up.  She was so excited and you can hear the joy in her voice at just simply being there and taking it all in.  She took all of us watching on a tour of the place and laughed about the fact that she was there so early and apparently no one else was!

I remember sitting here at my computer watching her live video with my morning coffee and just being happy that Chris was so obviously enjoying herself immensely!

Although Chris and I weren’t terribly close, we shared that love of vintage farmhouse style.  She was always so supportive of my blog and that meant a lot to me.  Unfortunately I have to admit that I never told her that.  Somehow I always thought that there would be time down the road to bring it up and now it’s too late to let her know how much I appreciated her.

So do me a favor today.  Instead of leaving a comment here, tell someone in your life how much you appreciate them.  You never know when that opportunity will be gone for good.

a quick Sunday post.

Hello everyone!  I hope you’re enjoying a lovely Sunday where you are.  Unfortunately it’s raining here in Minnesota, but I’m hoping it will clear up later because we’re headed out to a wienie roast for Mr. Q’s mom’s birthday.

You may remember that Mr. Q’s mom and step-dad’s workshop burned down back in February.  Well, I’m happy to report that they were able to replace it with a new pole barn.  It’s not going to have the same charm as the original workshop, but it will be just as functional if not more so.

Naomi and Tom are the type of people who always see the glass as half full, so they have pointed out that the new building is all on one floor which will make more sense for them as they get older.  The stairs in the old workshop were fairly steep and Naomi was already finding them challenging.

The new pole barn is nearing completion, so I’m looking forward to checking it out later today.

I’d like to take this opportunity to again thank all of you who helped support them during that difficult time with either a financial donation or just your thoughts and prayers.  It meant a lot to them, and they were able to use the money to replace some of Tom’s tools.  Although insurance did provide enough money to put up the pole barn, it will never pay to replace all of the tools that Tom lost.  So thank you for that!

In other news, I have drawn the names of all of the winners of the Prima Marketing transfers from my posts last week.  They are Cherie, Debbie, Jacqueline, Jill, Toia, Laura and Carolyn.  I’ve sent an email to each of the winners and all but one have gotten back to me.  So if you didn’t get an email, I’m sorry to say that you did not win.

Thank you so much for all of your comments on those posts!  I’m sorry I wasn’t able to respond personally to each one (and I also wish each one of you could have been a winner), but I did read and enjoy every single comment.  I also took the time to check out some of the blogs that you guys recommended on Friday.  There were a few that I already follow, and there were a few that were new to me and I’m looking forward to giving them a closer look.

A couple of people mentioned in comments that they didn’t receive an email notifying them of last Friday’s blog post until after the midnight deadline for the drawing.  That can be the result of the settings that they chose when they signed up to follow my blog via email.  If you are following via email you can choose to be notified about new posts immediately, daily or weekly.  If you want to change those settings you can do so by clicking on the word ‘manage’ in parentheses over on the right under ‘you are following this blog’. Next look for my blog listed under ‘followed sites’ and click on ‘settings’. You should be able to change that setting there.

Just for fun I thought I’d share where the garden beds from last Monday’s post ended up.  Susan, the buyer, was kind enough to share a photo of them in their new home with us!

I love that the room has a garden theme with the watering can and pots up on that shelf!

One last thing before I leave you today.  I don’t know if all of you know that I also produce a blog for Reclaiming Beautiful, the shop where I sell on consignment.

I usually only post once a month there, but during the month of June I posted every week to share a gorgeous wedding venue called Redeemed Farm.

This place was simply stunning.

If you haven’t seen those posts and you have some time on your hands you should head over to the Reclaiming Beautiful blog and check it out!

In the meantime, enjoy your Sunday.  I’ll be back tomorrow with another furniture makeover!


public service message.

This is a rare evening post here on q is for quandie and its only purpose is to alert my local readers to some great sales taking place starting tomorrow.

First off is the Reclaiming Beautiful Annual Backroom Garage Sale.

I’ve never actually been to this event because I happen to have a day job.  Ugh.  I can’t tell you how many amazing shopping opportunities I miss out on because they take place during the week.

Basically this is Reclaiming Beautiful’s opportunity to clean out their back room and they promise ‘garage sale’ prices.  So hopefully some of you can head to the sale and score some bargains!

Reclaiming Beautiful is located at 216 Myrtle Street W in Stillwater, MN.

Next up is the Stone Hill Farm and Friends Vintage Barn Sale.

You may remember that I posted about the Barn Chic Vintage Sale last year around this time.

Well, they have re-branded with a new name and some new vendors, but the same fabulous location in Kim’s barn.  They’ve been sharing lots of photos on Facebook and it looks like they have some amazing stuff this year.

They are also open starting tomorrow (Thursday, June 28) and will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday through Saturday.  They are located at 2946 Oakgreen Avenue in Stillwater, MN.

Both of the sales have a Stillwater address and they are about 10 minutes apart so it’s a great opportunity for a two-fer!  Although don’t be thrown off by the Stone Hill Farm location which is on the southern outskirts of town not far from the Lake Elmo Park Reserve, not in downtown Stillwater.

Happy shopping!

a bit loony.

Way back when I first used the Iron Orchid Designs transfer called “Seed”, the one that I used on the linen press dresser last Friday, my sister noticed that it says “Richardson & Gould’s” on it.  See it?  At the top …

Our maternal grandparents were named Richardson, so that really appealed to her.  So I definitely wanted to make something for her for using that transfer.

Although we’re keeping an eye out for the perfect piece of furniture for a particular spot in her kitchen, that hasn’t come along yet so instead I decided to makeover a garage sale box that I purchased last summer.

The box was a bit ‘loony’ to start out.  What can I say, Minnesotan’s love their loons!

After sanding the box lightly and wiping it down with some TSP Substitute, I made quick work of painting over the loon with some Fusion paint in Midnight Blue.

I painted the box inside and out.

When painting a box with a hinged lid like this with Fusion paint, be sure to leave the box to cure a bit with the lid open.  If the paint is even a little bit tacky and you shut the lid it will pretty much seal shut.  Another lesson learned the hard way.

My sister loves this dark navy blue color.  I knew from prior experience that the charcoal grey IOD transfers would not work over a dark color, plus I’d been wanting to try the white IOD transfers so I ordered the smaller version of the Seeds transfer in white via Etsy.

Once the paint was fully dry, I placed my transfer over it to see how it would fit.

I did have to trim a little bit of the design off the bottom.  I’m saving that piece for another project.

Once I had my design placed where I wanted it, I rubbed the transfer sheet with a the popsicle stick type tool that comes with it, made sure all of the design was well adhered, and then pulled away the backing.

I have to admit, I have mixed feelings about the white transfer.  It definitely did not look as crisp as I was hoping it would.  I tried the trick of sanding it slightly, but that didn’t really help and might even have made it worse (and I also sanded the edges of the box to distress while I was at it).

I have seen photos of pieces with the white transfer online that definitely look much better than mine.  I’m wondering if the white transfers have been improved upon since the one I purchased from Etsy was manufactured.

But the important thing was that my sister loved the box when I gave it to her for Christmas, so that is all that matters right?

I’ll definitely try again with the white transfers.  Maybe they look better over black, or over a more matte finish.  I’ll have to experiment one more time and let you know how it goes.  But in the meantime, have any of you used the white transfers?  What was your experience with them?  Any tips you want to share?



the laundry co.

Here it is mid-April in the Twin Cities and winter is still going strong.  I’ve been so patiently waiting for signs of spring.  But lately it seems like just when enough snow melts for us to see the ground, another round comes in.

This past weekend the snow started Friday night, we had blizzard conditions by Saturday afternoon and the snow continued to fall until sometime after midnight last night.  I believe we broke some records and got well over a foot of snow.

But on the bright side, it was a weekend.  So we didn’t have to go anywhere, which left us with plenty of time to just hang out at home and binge watch some Norwegian TV.  Mr. Q and I got through all of season 1 and halfway through season 2 of Okkupert (Occupied).  Somehow it seemed appropriate to be watching this show while the snow came down.  But the weather also gave me a great opportunity to work on some projects.

One of the projects I worked on was updating an old wooden ironing board.  I’d painted it several years ago with black chalkboard paint and tried to sell it at a couple of my occasional sales, and there just weren’t any takers.  So it ended up shoved in the back of the carriage house.  Out of sight, out of mind.

But then Prima Marketing sent me some of their new transfers including the design called ‘Laundry’ (in the middle).

It was the perfect size to add to the old ironing board and turn it into a sign.

I started out by painting over the black chalkboard paint with a coat of Miss Mustard Seed milk paint in Shutter Grey.  Then I used some Homestead House Salad Bowl Finish to create a resist (read more about that technique here) and then added two coats of Homestead House milk paint in Raw Silk which is a white with a grey undertone.

Once the paint was thoroughly dry, I added the transfer following the directions provided in the packaging.

 After the transfer was in place, I sanded it very lightly with 220 grit sandpaper and then added a top coat of Miss Mustard Seed’s Furniture Wax.

The transfer was the perfect size for my ironing board.

I set up a little laundry folding scene against the designated blank wall in my piano room.  Some bloggers might have been able to stage a laundry sign in their fabulous, light filled laundry rooms.  Not me.  My laundry facilities are in my ancient 100+ year old dark basement complete with damp concrete walls and cobwebs we can’t keep up with.

I wish I had a pretty spot like this for folding my laundry down there.

I have so many tablecloths to fold …

Don’t these vintage linens have the most gorgeous colors?

I won’t be hanging on to the laundry co ironing board since I don’t have a spot for it that will do it justice.

If you’re local and you have a nice blank wall in your laundry room that would be perfect for a vintage ironing board turned sign, be sure to check out my available for local sale page for more details.

In the meantime, we’ll be here shoveling out from the storm, watching the rest of Occupied and hoping that spring really is coming this year.  Eventually.

winner, winner, chicken dinner.

First thanks so much for all of the many comments you guys left last week during milk paint madness!  I appreciated every single one and I wish you could all be winners.

But, I only had six prizes to give away.

I say only, but seriously, how incredible were my sponsors in giving me so much fabulous product to give away to you guys?!  I’d like to once again say thank you to Homestead House, Miss Mustard Seed, The Real Milk Paint Co and Sweet Pickins.  They made this all possible.

I used a random number generator to choose a winner from among the comments left on each day’s blog.  Yesterday I notified each winner by email, so if you didn’t get an email, I’m sorry to say that you didn’t win.

But here are the people that did win!

Jeanne R. won the milk paint basics prize.

Constance C. won the milk paint topcoats prize.

Sharon V. won the milk paint chalkboards prize.

Paula G. won the milk paint advanced techniques prize.

Paris B. won the milk paint magic prize.

And Laura W. won the bonus Sweet Pickins prize.

I hope I inspired a few of you to get out the milk paint and start painting something! with prima.

A while back the folks at Prima Marketing contacted me and asked if I’d like to try some rub on transfers from their new line.

After I danced around the room with glee for a few minutes, I promptly responded with um, yes!

One of the designs they sent to me is called L’Amour Et Des Reves.

As soon as I saw it I knew it would be perfect for the blank wall above my guest bed.  Normally I use the rub-on transfers on furniture, but did you know that they can also be adhered to walls, windows or even mirrors?

So last Saturday I decided to get to work and apply it to the wall.

The first thing you’ll notice when you remove the transfer from the tube it came in is that it’s in separate pieces.  If you’re used to the IOD transfers that come on one big sheet, this is going to be different for you.  The L’Amour transfer came in four sections.

I laid them out on my guest bed to get a better look at them.

First of all, let me point out that I have the floral section upside down in that photo.  Oops.

But what kind of clicked in my brain at this moment was that I could pick and choose which sections of the transfer I wanted to use quite easily.  Also, this would be super handy if you’re putting the transfer on the front of a dresser and you want to put each section on a separate drawer front.

Initially I didn’t think the full design was going to fit on my wall centered above the bed.  I had to contend with that slanted ceiling.  So I thought I might not use the floral section (as shown above), or maybe just remove that one narrow section of wording (as shown below, with the flowers still upside down).

However, as I studied the design I bit closer I realized that I could overlap the sections a bit and then the entire design would fit my wall.

Make sure you notice that at this point I still have the waxy backing paper in place so that my transfers aren’t sticking to the wall yet.  I wanted to be able to play around with the layout first and make sure it was going to fit.  And apparently this was also fortunate since I still had the floral section upside down, duh!

Once I had the entire design placed where I wanted it, I removed the lower three sections and put them out of the way on the bed.  Then I moved my yellow tape from the side of the transfer to the top.  That makes it easy to keep the transfer in place while you carefully lift the top sheet and remove the waxy backing paper from behind it.

 Next I just followed normal procedure for applying a rub on transfer.  Using the flat stick that came in the package, just start carefully rubbing over the design while lifting the clear sheet slowly making sure that everything is sticking to the wall.  This is really the trickiest part of the entire process.  Just go slowly watching to make sure that each part of your design is sticking before lifting away the transfer sheet.

And remember, if you mess up in a couple of spots you’ll probably be the only one who notices.  I messed up in about 4 different places on this one.  I challenge you to find them.

Once the first section was applied, I kept going.  Putting each section in place, carefully removing the waxy backing paper and then applying the transfer to the wall.

And hey, look, I got the flowers right side up finally.

I didn’t time it, but I would say it took me about an hour from start to finish to get the entire transfer onto the wall.  That includes frequent stops to take the photos for this post.

Isn’t it gorgeous?  Seriously.  Every time I walk past the room I have to stop for a moment to admire it.

By the way, were you able to pick out my mistakes?

I lost the bottoms of a couple of S’s, and the very bottom of the F.  My point in showing you these is to show that it doesn’t matter if your application isn’t perfect.  The designs are meant to look distressed a bit, not new and shiny, but old world aged.

That’s just my kind of design!

If you want to order your own transfer, you can order online from Red Posie.  You can also find them on Etsy.  In addition, currently both the How to Paint Like a Pro and the Paint it Beautiful Facebook groups are hosting giveaways from the line so be sure to check those out too.