the art of presentation.

My friend Sue has a lot of titles here on q is for quandie.  She is my picker, my co-worker, my garage sale mentor, my occasional sale partner, my garage sale spotter, my garden advisor and of course, my friend.

She is also the master at putting together amazing gift baskets.  Every year she gifts me with a spectacular collection of stuff for my birthday.

A while back when my sister and I were shopping in Excelsior, I came across this book …

and I immediately thought of Sue.  She loves the art of presentation, and this book is all about that.

The book also provided a jumping off point for creating a cheesy themed gift basket to give Sue for her recent birthday.

I started out by pulling out a galvanized container that I used to give a gift to Ken a couple of years ago.

Although he enjoyed all of the contents, as is his style, he returned the container for me to re-use.

So I started by sanding down the chalkboard paint on the front, and then painting the entire box with Dixie Belle’s Midnight Sky.

Then I added some transfers from prima’s Somewhere in France.

They don’t quite have a cheesy theme, but I thought they would do.

While I was out thrifting with Meggan last week, I asked her to help me keep an eye out for some items that I could add to my cheesy themed gift and she helped me spot a couple of good options.

I like finding things that I can add my own touch to using paint.  The wooden handle of the cheese knife got a coat of Dixie Belle’s Midnight Sky, and the wooden wedge shaped gift set got a paint job in Drop Cloth.

Then I added a JRV stencil to the front using the Midnight Sky.

Here’s the inside …

Next it was just a matter of adding some edibles.

Hopefully Sue will have fun putting together some cheese plates that will change lives!

the ugly, old, rusty, crusty ones.

I’ve long been a fan of old metal toolboxes.

But I have to say, it’s rather rare to find them with an original painted finish in a good color.  The ones in nice colors tend to be priced a bit higher too.

So I’ve been known to make do with the ugly, old, rusty, crusty ones that no one seems to want.  I clean them up and give them a paint job, like this fun one that I painted as a gift for my Secret Santa recipient at work last year.

That was such a fun one to fill up!

Another of my favorite painted toolboxes of all time was this one that I also did last year just before Christmas.

Over the summer my friend Sue found a nice little pile of the rusty, crusty toolboxes for me to work some magic on.  I’ve been hanging onto them until the weather got too cold to paint out in my workshop, thus requiring me to move my painting production indoors.

Well, it snowed this past weekend, so I decided that meant I could get going on these.

But wait a minute, back up a bit … a week ago Friday it was 80 and sunny here in Minnesota  (yep, we went from sunny and 80 one week, to snow the next, that’s how we roll here in the Midwest where there aren’t any moderating influences from a nearby ocean).  Knowing that cold weather was coming, I prepped all of these by washing them in the yard using my garden hose and spray on Dawn dish soap.  I let them air dry and then gave them a coat of Dixie Belle’s B.O.S.S. in clear.  I’ve used B.O.S.S. to seal up rusty toolboxes before and it seems to work well.

Today’s q tip:  Only use B.O.S.S. as a sealer if you’re going to paint over it.  If you want to just seal a rusty toolbox without painting it, use one of the clear top coats.

I worked on toolbox no 1 first.  It was definitely the rustiest of the lot.  I started out by painting it in Dixie Belle’s Midnight Sky on the outside, and Sawmill Gravy on the inside.  If you’re going to try this at home, I have to warn you, painting a toolbox inside and out can take a while.  Not because you’re spending a lot of time painting, but because you’re spending a lot of time waiting for paint to dry.  You have to let the top dry before you paint the bottom, let the inside dry before you can shut the lid, and so on.

Anyway, once I had it painted I added some bits and pieces from the Somewhere in France transfer from with prima.

I also added a gold bee to the top from their Gilded Home & Nature transfer.

As you can see, I did leave some bits in their original rusty condition.

Finally, I lined the inside of the box with some of with prima’s decor tissue paper.

The inside of the box is sealed with Dixie Belle’s Gator Hide, which is also the product I used to decoupage the tissue paper.  The outside of the box got a coat of clear wax (Gator Hide can leave black looking filmy or streaky).

I also completed toolbox no 2 over the weekend.  This one is painted in Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth on the outside and Peony on the inside.

Isn’t that pop of pink brilliant?  I just love it.  I used some decor tissue to line this one too.

Next I pulled out the IOD Label Ephemera transfer and added some wording to the outside.

The bees are from the Classic Vintage Labels transfer from with prima.

The crown is from the Lovely Ledger transfer, also from with prima.

I ended up adding a quick coat of Dixie Belle’s Midnight Sky to the handle to clean it up a bit.

Initially my plan was to take both of these in to the shop to sell.  I need another painted toolbox like I need a hole in my head … but … I really love how this 2nd one turned out!

I liked it so much that I rearranged my living room shelves in an attempt to accommodate it.  But no, it really didn’t work there, so I will take it off to the shop after all.  Probably on Wednesday.

You can check out my ‘available for local sale’ page for pricing info.

As always, if any of my local readers want to snatch it up first just let me know by either leaving a comment or emailing me at

Thank you to Dixie Belle Paint Co and with prima for providing some of the products used in today’s makeovers.

a thing for boxes.

I really seem to have a thing for boxes.  Not cardboard boxes, but wooden boxes.  Preferably old wooden boxes.

Sometimes I just leave them as I find them because they are the perfect shade of green and have a deliciously shabby patina.

But most of the time I like to give them a makeover.

My favorites are those with hinged lids like old recipe card boxes …

They are quick and easy to paint and then dress up with transfers, or stencils, or old hardware …

They are the perfect project for a rainy afternoon.

I went to an estate sale with my sister a couple of weeks back and picked up a simple wooden box with a curved lid.  I didn’t even take a ‘before’ photo of it because it didn’t feel like something that would be special enough to share here on the blog.

But then I added some paint, followed by a couple of transfers, and just like that it was transformed.

I started by giving it a base coat of Dixie Belle’s Sawmill Gravy, and then added a stripe of their French Linen down the center.  These two colors are the perfect companions.

Once dry, I sanded to distress and then added a Classic Vintage Label transfer from with prima to the top of the box …

and a couple of bits and pieces from the IOD Label Ephemera transfer to the front.

If you’re still keeping track, this is the 8th piece I’ve done using just the one Label Ephemera transfer.

I didn’t stop there either.  I also used some of with prima’s decoupage tissue paper to line the inside of the box.

I adhered it using Dixie Belle’s Gator Hide, which works like a charm.

Once it was all done I loved it so much I wanted to keep it.  But then I decided it would be even better to gift it to my bff.  This way I can visit it every now and then at her house 😉

So I’m curious, which of these boxes is your favorite?

As always, thanks to Dixie Belle Paint Co for providing the paint and the Gator Hide used on this project, and thanks to with prima for providing the Classic Vintage Label transfer used on the top of the box.

abdicating the throne.

I’ve always been fascinated with British history.  Somehow their stories of kings and queens, princes locked in towers, and wives who lose their heads have always been far more interesting to me than our plain old American history.

One bit of English history that I’ve found interesting was Edward VIII’s abdication of the throne.  It all seems so romantic.  He falls in love with a twice married American woman and gives up being the King of England in order to … gasp, the horror … marry her.  But that’s just one way of looking at that particular story.  I watched the Wallis Simpson:  The Secret Letters documentary a while back and that film seemed to imply that Edward simply didn’t want to be King and having a relationship with Wallis provided him with an excuse to get out of it.

  But I don’t suppose we’ll ever really know the truth behind that, will we?

Speaking of kings and queens, when I posted my painted pumpkins a week or so ago, Kathy M left a comment calling me the Queen of Transfers.  The timing was ironic since I was right in the middle of deciding whether or not to sign a new contract with with prima.  This time around they were asking me to commit to using their transfers, molds and stamps exclusively.  In other words, I couldn’t use any of their competitor’s products.  Ever.

Ironically, I had just placed an order for over $100 worth of IOD (ie, their competitor) transfers when their email arrived.  So, after some long, hard thinking, I made the decision to abdicate my throne.  I am not renewing my contract with them and thus giving up my spot on their Brand Ambassador team.

But I can’t help but draw a parallel to Edward.  Maybe my refusal to commit to exclusivity is my own ‘Wallis Simpson’.  In other words, it’s just an excuse I’m using to get out of something I no longer wanted to do.

Lately I was struggling with feeling obligated to use new release products even when I didn’t feel inspired by them.  I was also finding it difficult to juggle the re-scheduling of my posts when release dates were changed at the last minute.  I also wasn’t really loving any of their latest designs.

There are lots of florals, and color.

But what there aren’t a lot of are words.

Simple, black or dark grey, words …

Or even just gold words …

I love words.  And I love adding them to furniture.

To be honest, I feel like a weight has been lifted.  Now I can just create what I want to, when I want to.  I don’t have to worry about when my posts are scheduled and whether or not I’ve used products that are new or not.  And I don’t have to feel guilty about using the competitor’s products.

Now, you’re still going to see plenty of with prima transfers on my pieces going forward.  I have a stockpile that includes quite a few of my wordy favorites like Parisian Letter …

and Somewhere in France

And Fresh Flowers

and Laundry

I also have a few Classic Vintage Labels to use up.

You’ll also still see me using the with prima metallic waxes too.  Those things are amazing.

But you’re also going to see more IOD transfers, because I just can’t get enough of their Label Ephemera transfer …

which is why I ordered two more of them and am waiting for them to show up so I can finish the amazing cupboard I’ve been working on.

You’re also going to see me working with more stencils going forward including some fun German stencils that just arrived from Daggi at Gonepaintin’ (you can check out her blog here, and her Etsy shop here).

And who knows what other products I might explore using in the future.  Any recommendations?

for sale.

I’m afraid this post is mainly intended for my local readers, so I hope I’m not annoying those of you who don’t live in the Twin Cities.  But to cushion the blow for everyone else, I have a small giveaway at the end that is open to everyone, so be sure to check that out.

Last week I brought home a few items from Reclaiming Beautiful that haven’t sold there, so I thought I’d take a shot at selling them to my local readers via my blog

First up are the ironing board signs I made late last winter.

The white one in front, 2nd from left, was sold.  The other four all came back home with me.  These are vintage wooden ironing boards with the bases removed (to make them easier/lighter to hang on the wall as signs).

I’m planning to rework the apricot colored one, and possibly also the blue one.  But the black one is available in its original form with that gorgeous french laundry stencil for $40 …

Although the obvious place to hang these would be the laundry room, I think you could also hang it in your mud room, or even a bedroom.

It might also be fun hung outside, on a fence or on the side of your potting shed.

The Laundry Co version (left, below) is also available for $40 (sale pending)

For now, the blue one is also available for $40 so if you’re interested let me know.

If it doesn’t go I plan to re-do it as well.

Next up is one lonely yard stick shelf.  I’d brought in several of them to sell and for some reason this lonely last one didn’t sell.

I use a couple of these shelves in my living room to display my vintage alarm clock non-collection.

This unique shelf can be yours for a mere $12 (sale pending).  I suppose if it doesn’t sell I can always add a third shelf to my living room, which will give me an excuse to look for more clocks!

Next up are some vintage lamps that I had in my pile to bring in to the shop, but then, as I mentioned on Monday, the shop put a moratorium on vintage electrical items.  That’s totally understandable, they don’t want to be liable for faulty electrical wiring.  But now I have a handful of really cool vintage light fixtures that need to find new homes.

Starting with this fabulous green number …

I added some french words to the metal shade, and the green base is fantastic.

The original wiring on this one was definitely a bit dicey though, so I re-wired it.  It’s actually relatively simple to re-wire a lamp like this.  Just a question of taking the lamp apart, removing the old wiring, feeding new wiring up through the stem, and re-attaching everything.

It works great now and is perfectly safe …

This lamp is available at $22 for anyone local who can pick it up here at my house.

Next up, another vintage desk lamp.  This one is a traditional brass desk top lamp …

This time I added a fun Tim Holtz metal tag to the shade.

Although vintage, the electrical cord looks to be in good condition.  No fraying or cracks.

The lamp works well, and it provides a nice downward beam of light perfect for working at a desk.

This lamp is available to anyone that can pick it up for $20.

And finally, we have this little beauty.

This one also has its original wiring, which looks to be in good shape.

I tested this lamp as well and it fired up perfectly.

This one can be yours for $15.

If you are local and interested in any of these items, please email me at

OK, so as promised, I’ll wrap this up with a little giveaway.  I also recently came across four of my old ‘hello fall’ book page banners that didn’t sell in previous years.

You can drape them just about anywhere to add a little Fall decor to your space.

So I’d like to give them away.  And they are super easy to ship (unlike lamps and ironing boards), so this giveaway is open to anyone.

The rules:  to be eligible to win today’s prize leave a comment on this blog post.  Your comment must be left on the blog, not on Facebook or Instagram.

I will randomly draw the name of four winners of ‘hello Fall’ book page banners from all of the comments left on this post by Sunday, September 20 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 $8, if the prize is not claimed by Sunday, September 27 , another name will be drawn at random to win, blah, blah, blah.


painted pumpkins.

I have mixed feelings about the color orange, how about you?

I love wearing it.  Over the years, some of my favorite articles of clothing have been orange.

I also tend to like orange foods.  Pumpkin, sweet potatoes, carrots, oranges, Dreamsicles … all good.

But I’m not a big fan of decorating with orange for fall.  At least not inside the house, outside might be a different matter with all of those beautiful fall colored leaves accented with some orange mums or pumpkins.

But inside, I want to go in a different direction so I decided to paint up a few pumpkins to match my decorating style a bit more.  I actually purchased these faux pumpkins last year after the fall season when they were 75% off.  I was thinking ahead for once!

I decided to give these a base coat of grey primer spray paint because I felt that would be easier to cover with my Dixie Belle colors than the orange.  Once I had them fully coated in the primer, I painted each one a different color.  I used Dixie Belle’s Sea Glass, Sawmill Gravy, Drop Cloth and French Linen (from left to right).

Next I added some transfers to each pumpkin.  This one got some bits from the IOD Label Ephemera transfer …

A couple of them got Classic Vintage Label transfers from with prima …

and this one …

And this one got a section from their Paris Valley transfer …

Once the transfers were in place I pulled out some of my metallic waxes from with prima to add to the pumpkin stems.

I used Eternal, which is a brighter gold, on two of them …

And I used Bronze Age on the other two, which is a little more subdued.

So, how about you?  Do you prefer a more traditional approach to decorating with pumpkins in the fall?

or would you be happier with something a little bit different?

You can find a recap of my less traditional fall decorating projects from previous years here.

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

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

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

some pig!

First up, congrats to Sue P and Jackie for winning the two Dixie Belle problem solver giveaways from last Monday (both winners have been contacted by email).

OK, I think it’s safe to reveal one of the new designs from with prima today.  As you may know, as one of their brand ambassadors I get the opportunity to work with new designs before they are released to the public.  When they send these preview items to me, they come all rolled up together in a tube for a different transfer because the official packaging isn’t available yet.  In other words, I don’t really know what I’ve gotten until I take them out of the tube and unroll them.

Well, as soon as I unrolled the Farm Life transfers I fell in love with the pig.

Even Mr. Q said that was some pig.  It totally made us both think of Wilbur from Charlotte’s Web.  He does look ‘terrific’, ‘radiant’, and ‘humble’, doesn’t he?

You’d think I had a thing for pigs.  This is the 2nd time I’ve fallen in love with a pig.  The first time it was these knob transfers from prima’s Farmhouse Delight set.

But no, I don’t normally especially admire pigs.  Something about these two designs just spoke to me.

Anyway, as soon as I saw the new Farm Life set I knew I wanted to create a quartet of signs made on old cupboard doors.  There was only one problem, I didn’t have any old cupboard doors that were the right size.  So I decided to check out my local Habitat for Humanity ReStore.

I’d never been to a ReStore before, so I didn’t know quite what to expect.  I also was keeping my expectations low because really, what are the chances that I would find specifically what I was looking for at a 2nd hand store?

Well, as it turned out, apparently pretty good.  I found 4 cupboard doors that were exactly the size I needed.

Well, in fact I found 5.  So even though I only needed 4, I bought all five.  I can always do something else with the 5th one.

The prices were right too.  I got all 5 of them for just under $20.

I would have preferred old cabinet doors with several layers of old paint on them, but three of these were unfinished and the other two had a clear poly on them.  And I knew I could recreate that look myself.  I started out with a layer of Dixie Belle’s Cocoa Bean.

I just painted around the perimeter in this dark brown color because I wanted to see just hints of it when I distressed the edges.

Next I added a layer of Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint in Kitchen Scale.  I think this color has a historic feel.  As though these cupboard doors were painted back in the 50’s, and then painted over again later.  Perfect for adding a little age to them.

Finally, I added several coats of Sweet Pickins Milk Paint in Window Pane.

I did get some good chipping, which is what I was going for.  However, I was surprised to find that the paint chipped all the way down to the original finish.  In other words, even the Dixie Belle Cocoa Bean paint chipped off in spots.

But that only happened on the two doors that had started out with a clear poly, so in hindsight that does make some sense.

Once all four cupboard doors were painted and sanded to distress the edges, I vacuumed away any loose paint and then added the transfers.  There are four designs in this set and each one is approx. 11″ wide x 16″ tall.

There’s the cows …

The chickens …

The horses …

And of course, the pigs …

There are some interesting bits of info on each one …

Who knew that the chicken was the closest living relative of the t-rex?

Once the transfers were in place, I added a topcoat of The Real Milk Paint Co’s Finishing Cream.  I used the Low Sheen version this time, but I have used the Dead Flat version in the past and I really don’t see much of a difference between the two.  I like using this product over chippy milk paint because it’s thick and therefore I’m not in danger of getting any runs.

Once that dried, I added some label holders to the bottom of each cupboard door.

I purchased these in sets of 3 from Hobby Lobby for $3.99. (although I’m sure I bought them during a 40% off sale and probably only paid $2.40 for them).

They are technically for scrapbooking and came with brads to attach them to paper, but I swapped out the brads for little tacks to hold them to my cupboard doors.

I filled them with some vintage price tags that I also had in my stash of scrapbooking supplies.

And just like that, I created some unique wall art.

Wouldn’t these doors be fun hung on the wall in a farmhouse style kitchen?

Although I’ve turned old cupboard doors into wall art, you could apply these transfers right to your kitchen cabinets.  They would also be perfect for adding to the cupboard doors on an old hoosier cabinet or hutch.  Or, you could cut up the designs and use smaller sections on canisters.  There are so many possibilities.  What would you do with them?

As always, thank you to with prima for providing the transfers used in today’s project.  If you’re looking for a place to purchase their products, you can find info on online or retail stores here.

I’ve also used products from Dixie Belle Paint Co, Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint, Sweet Pickins Milk Paint and The Real Milk Paint Co today, all of whom have provided me with free products (although I haven’t necessarily kept track of which ones I’ve paid for and which ones were complimentary!)

Finally, these Farm Life doors are for sale locally at $30 each (you must be able to pick them up at my house in a suburb of St. Paul, MN).  I’ll soon be taking them in to Reclaiming Beautiful (the shop where I sell on consignment), but in the meantime if you’re local and need some cute signs be sure to leave a comment or reach out via email at

the vintage medicine cabinet.

First things first, congrats to Jennefer!  I drew her name as the winner of the red, white and blue giveaway from last Friday.

Now, on with the final post for this week.  I have to admit, sometimes I make choices that aren’t financially savvy.  I can get away with it because I’m just doing this as a hobby.  But if I was really trying to make a profit, or run a business, I’d be in trouble.  I know lots of you out there are working hard to do that and you probably just shake your head when I share projects like the one I’m sharing today.

But sometimes I just have to save a piece, even though I know I’m going to invest more time and money than it might be worth.  Maybe I should think of it in terms of emotional value rather than financial value, because I found the end result of today’s project really satisfying.

OK, so let’s start at the beginning.  I saw an ad on Facebook Marketplace for a pair of really beat up old chairs that would make perfect planter chairs so I made arrangements to go see them.

I seriously should have just walked away after looking at the chairs.  They were in really awful shape, they were filthy dirty and they were totally overpriced at $10 each.  Seriously, even if they had been free at the curb I think most sensible people would have passed them by.  At a minimum I should have bargained on the price.

But the sellers were super nice, and we got to chatting, and we’d come all that way (OK, well, really just to the next town over), so I bought them.  At that point the sellers must have seen ‘sucker’ written on my forehead, because the gentleman said ‘hey, I have some more old stuff you might be interested in, like this old cabinet …’

And after a bit of searching, he pulled this out of the pole barn.

As if the outside wasn’t grungy enough, just check out the inside …

Ewwwww.  Good grief, why would I take this on?  But there was just something about it that appealed to me.

The initial asking price was $20, but this time I at least had enough sense to bargain a bit.  I paid $15 which was still a bit high considering the condition.

That being said, I’m sure most some of you will agree that it definitely had potential.

So I brought it home, and washed it up using my Dawn Powerwash and the hose.

Next, I painted the inside using Dixie Belle’s Gravel Road 

I used Dixie Belle’s flat clear coat over the Gravel Road.  The dark grey is the perfect backdrop for a few pieces of ironstone.

I would have liked to salvage the original chippy paint finish on the outside of the cabinet, but it was just too grungy looking.  So instead I chose to use milk paint to refresh it without completely covering the entire piece.  I used Sweet Pickins milk paint in a color called Window Pane, a white with a grey undertone.

When I’m working on a piece like this, and I want it to retain its chippy, worn look, I try to be selective with my application of paint.  I avoid painting areas where the paint is totally chipped away …

I do end up allowing some of the original color to show (the cream colored areas), but overall the piece looks less dirty and more simply chippy and worn.

So, let’s talk about that transfer.  This is another section of the IOD Label Ephemera transfer that I used on yesterday’s card box.  Well, technically it’s two sections that I pieced together to fit on this cabinet.

Now, I think we all know that I don’t speak or read French.  So for all I know the wording on this makes absolutely no sense.  But it looks cool, and that works for me.

I also added a transfer to the inside of the door.

That is pieced together from the with prima Ephemera Collector transfer.

This cabinet is meant to be hung on a wall.  If it’s just sitting on a table top it has a tendency to tip forward when the door is opened, so it has to be anchored in place somehow.

But I think it would be perfect for hanging on the wall in a bathroom.

Of course, you probably wouldn’t fill it with ironstone in that case.  Or maybe you would.  Who am I to judge?

For now I haven’t decided on the fate of this cabinet.  I kind of love it.  I’ll be carrying it around my house today trying to find a wall to hang it on.  I’m not sure if I can bear to part with this one.  You’ll just have to stay tuned to find out whether or not I found a spot for it.  In the meantime, have a great weekend!

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 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 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 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!