the vintage seed bin door.

If you’ve been reading my blog for long, you know I am a big fan of Disney.  Not necessarily Disney movies, but the Disney parks.  My sister and I have been to three of them, Disneyland, Disney World and Disneyland Paris.  I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that we passed up a visit to the Louvre to go to Disneyland Paris instead.  That was probably a bad call, especially since the park was pretty disappointing.  The crowds were insane (considering that at the time everyone said putting a Disneyland in France was a mistake and no one would go).  We literally stood in line for 30 minutes just to use the bathroom.  Next time I’ll definitely choose the Louvre.  But I’d love to get the chance to visit Tokyo Disney one of these days!

But I digress.  Currently my sister and I are planning a trip to Disneyland at the end of September.  For us, Disneyland is the OG park.  It opened in 1955, and our first visit there was way back in 1969.  Here’s photographic evidence.

That’s me on the right and my sister on the left with my brother in the middle.

Anyway, we typically go to Disney World these days, but on a complete whim we decided to combine a trip out to visit to our mom with a trip down memory lane to Disneyland this fall.  We have been suffering from some serious travel withdrawal during this COVID business and we both have some travel dollars burning a hole in our pockets.

So what in the world does any of this have to do with today’s blog post?

Well, my sister and I have been watching the Behind the Attraction show on Disney+ in anticipation of our trip and one recurring theme for all of the rides (and really everything) in the Disney parks is that they all have a back story.  It may not smack you in the face, but even the décor in the queue is weaving a tale around you while you patiently wait to get on a ride.

And that had me thinking.

Maybe I need to come up with some back stories for my pieces, like this one.

That’s an old seed bin door from the Perry Seed Store in Syracuse, NY.    You know, one of those bins where the door is hinged at the bottom and you pull it down to access the seed.

Perry Seed Store has been around since 1898, selling seeds, bulbs, hardware, implements and bird supplies.

The proprietor, F.H. Ebeling, immigrated to New York from Austria in 1914.  Upon his arrival in Syracuse, he quickly found a clerk position in the Perry Seed Store selling all of the farming accoutrements needed for new settlers coming to America.  In 1918 the Spanish Flu broke out in Syracuse, but luckily Franz was a very diligent mask wearer and he was unaffected.  The original founder of the shop, Matthew Perry (a distant ancestor of the actor of Friends fame), was not so lucky.  He died tragically from the Spanish Flu in 1919 and his only heir, his son Joseph, had joined the circus as a sword swallower two years earlier.  Thus Franz was able to acquire the store at a bargain price.

The store contained a giant wall of seed bins and when you pulled open each of the 100 doors you could find anything from seed corn to tulip bulbs.  In order to make the shop feel more like his own, Franz hired his cousin Albin Egger-Lienz, a painter from Vienna, to add customized advertisements to all of the seed bin doors.

Handily enough, the shop was just opposite the post office so it was quite convenient for both Franz and Albin to send regular letters to the folks back home in Austria.

What do you think?  Are you buying my back story?  In case it’s not already obvious, I absolutely made all of it up.

Here’s the real story behind this piece.  This is another of the new cupboard doors that one of my readers shared with me recently.  Once again, I gave it some layers of age using Dixie Belle’s Sea Spray paint additive and three colors of paint, Mint Julep, Rebel Yellow and Drop Cloth.

Next I pulled out the Vintage Seeds transfers from with prima and picked this section to use on the cupboard door.

As you can see, the transfer was just a tad bit bigger than the raised panel in the center of the door.  But, no problem.  I cut apart the ‘seeds and bulbs.’ and the ‘wholesale and retail.’ sections and placed them below, and I didn’t worry about the fact that the “P” and the “E” from Perry Seed Store fall off the edge a little bit.

Once the transfers were applied, I distressed the entire piece by sanding it well.  That was followed by a top coat of clear wax.  Finally, I pulled this old beat up cup pull out of my stash and added it to the top of the door.

I’ve had that thing for literally years just waiting for the right piece to use it on and I finally found it.

And ta da, a vintage seed bin door is born.  What do you think?

As always, thank you to Dixie Belle Paint Co and with prima for providing the products used in this cupboard door makeover.

the belles fluers suitcase.

Remember that I told you my neighbor, nnK, brought me some suitcases?  They were from her uncle’s estate sale in Iowa.

One of them was a simple (i.e. inexpensive) cardboard-ish suitcase with a plastic handle.  I’m not really sure how these were constructed, but they seem to be paper applied over a wood and cardboard sort of frame.

Anyway, here’s the before …

Technically that’s not a true ‘before’ shot because I had already cleaned it up before taking it.  But you get the idea, just picture it a bit dirtier.

After cleaning it up, I decide I really quite liked the look of the beat up paper surface and I didn’t want to paint this one.  So I decided to just play around with some new IOD transfers that I purchased recently.

So I pulled out the Floral Anthology transfer.

Sorry, I stole that image off the web and it doesn’t even come close to doing justice to these transfers.  But hopefully you get the idea.  With the Floral Anthology set you get 4 sheets of transfers and they can be combined any way your heart desires.  In my case, I just started cutting the different elements apart and then placing them on my suitcase to create a sort of floral border.

Once I had the floral pieces in place, I added the wording from the IOD Label Ephemera transfer.

The sort of faded look of the Floral Anthology transfer was just perfect over the beat up suitcase.

I struggled just a little bit with getting the transfer to stick to the flaking paper suitcase in some spots.  The paper would come up with the transfer, rather than the transfer sticking to the suitcase.  But I figured out that if I put down a coat of flat clear sealer from Dixie Belle, let that dry, and then tried again in those spots it worked like a charm.

So, in hindsight, I realize it would have worked better to seal the suitcase with the flat clear coat first and then add the transfer.  I’m going to try to remember that for next time.  You know, should I ever happen to be adding a transfer to an old cardboard-ish suitcase again.

But even though there might technically be a flaw here and there, overall it turned out fabulous.

I really don’t think anyone would even notice that it’s not precisely perfect.

This really is just meant as a decorative piece.  You could place it on top of a cupboard, on the floor at the foot of your bed, or just in front of your dress forms.  You could easily use it to store some of your off-season shoes, or maybe your Christmas decorations (that’s what I do with my vintage suitcases).

This was really just a super satisfying project to work on.  It just took adding a few transfers to really make this suitcase feel like something special.

As much as I’m tempted to keep this one, I’m going to be selling it.  If any of you locals are interested, be sure to check out my ‘available for local sale‘ page for more details.


wash, dry and fold.

T.G.I.F. everybody!

It has been another crazy week for me at the day job, to the point where I almost didn’t have a post again today.  But I managed to crank out this one little project to share with you guys.

This sign was the result of experimenting with a couple of different products.

But let’s start at the beginning.  One of my regular readers contacted me recently and offered me a whole bunch of old cupboard doors.  She was cleaning out her house and workshop in preparation for a move and decided she wasn’t ever going to get around to turning them into signs herself so she brought a bunch over for me.

Now I’m fully stocked for creating some more signs for the holiday season this year.  But the thing about these cupboard doors (and most of the ones that I find at the ReStore) is that they are usually new.  And that tends to make them just a little bit too pristine for my taste.  So I wanted to experiment with aging them up a bit.

Unfortunately, I totally neglected to take any photos of the process.  But perhaps I can explain what I did.  I started out mixing some of Dixie Belle’s Mint Julep paint with some of their Sea Spray additive.  The purpose of the Sea Spray is simply to add some texture to your paint.  Once I had mixed those to a brownie batter like consistency, I used a cheap chip brush to apply it to my door in a few spots.  I did not put it all over, just dabbed it on here and there.  Once that was dry, I added some swipes of Dixie Belle’s Rebel Yellow here and there (without Sea Spray).  Once that dried, I painted a couple of quick coats of Drop Cloth over everything.  Finally, again once dry, I sanded over the entire thing.

As you sand, that Mint Julep with Sea Spray texture really comes through the top coat of Drop Cloth.  You can also see bits of the Rebel Yellow here and there.

Next up I pulled out some leftover scraps from the Cosmic Roses transfer from with prima and added them to the door.

Finally I pulled out the Laundry & Co stencil from Maison de Stencils.  I originally thought it would look great to just add the stencil in a dark blue paint color.  However, after I had it stenciled, it really just looked flat and one dimensional.

So I grabbed my Dixie Belle Gemstone Mousse in Golden Gem.

Then I used my trick of placing the stencil just up and to the left a tad so that a slight shadow would be left behind by the dark blue paint.  I used a stencil brush to add the Gemstone Mousse right over the dark blue.

The mousse was the perfect consistency for stenciling and the metallic Golden Gem color helps tie in the gold wording from the transfer.

Once the stencil paint was dry, I added a quick coat of clear wax over everything.

This was such a fun project to work on.  I tested out a couple of techniques that I’ve been wanting to try, using the Sea Spray and the Gemstone Mousse.  I’m definitely going to continue using that Sea Spray to add some texture, a.k.a. some faux age, to pieces going forward.  And I’m also sure to get lots of use out of that fabulous gold.

How about you?  Have you tried any of these products?  If so, how did you like them?  And what do you think of my sign?  Be sure to leave me a comment and let me know.

As for you locals, this laundry co sign is for sale.  Be sure to check out my ‘available for local sale‘ page to see more details.

random small projects.

This week I’ll be sharing a few random small projects that I’ve been working on lately starting with this fire house captain’s chair.  Here is how it looked when I purchased it …

You can’t really tell in that photo, but there was a rung missing from the bottom right (your right, chair’s left).  Ken replaced that for me some time last year, and then this chair just patiently sat in the photo cottage (which has now become the furniture storage cottage) awaiting its makeover.

I painted one of these chairs two years ago (you can see it here) and that’s when I discovered that this style of chair is called a fire house captain’s chair.  I wasn’t able to find any info online that explained why they are called that, but if you google it you’ll see many examples of the style.

I finally pulled it out last weekend and decided to paint it using Homestead House milk paint in Midnight Blue.  But before I started painting with the milk paint I needed to put a coat of something on that new rung.  It was bare wood and had I painted it right off with the milk paint, the paint would have soaked into the unfinished wood and given a much different look on that rung than on the rest of the chair.  So I simply gave the rung a quick coat of Dixie Belle’s Coffee Bean.

Once that was dry, I mixed up my Midnight Blue and gave the whole chair two coats of that.

Speaking of fire(s), sort of, you may notice a lovely golden glow in some of my photos.  We are getting a lot of smoke from the wildfires in Canada these days.  Like, seriously, ‘worst air quality on record’ sort of smoke.  I snapped a quick photo of the cottage to see if I could capture the smoke in the air …

There wasn’t a cloud in the sky when I took that, just a smoky haze.  You can also see my brown grass.  We’ve decided to let the lawn go since we are under a watering ban (we can only water on odd days, before 10 a.m. or after 5 p.m.), instead I’m just focusing on watering the gardens and some of my plantings that were new this year.

The quantity of smoke in the air is quite surreal, but it does make for some pretty lighting for outdoor photos, making the golden hour even more golden.

Anyway, once again, I would have been fine with some of that milk paint chippy goodness on this piece, but the finish was super dry and thus didn’t really chip.  But I gave it a good, harsh sanding once the paint dried because I wanted a very worn appearance.  Especially on the arms of the chair that would have worn down naturally from use.

Since I’d chosen a navy blue color, I decided to go with a nautical sort of theme.  I pulled out a stencil that I had from Maison de Stencils called East Coast Yacht Club and used some Dixie Belle paint in Putty to do the stenciling.

Initially I wanted to use the full 12″ x 12″ stencil on the seat of the chair, but because the seat is fairly curved, I couldn’t get the stencil to lay flat enough to get a crisp, clean result.

So I went with just a small section of it on the seat back, and another on the seat itself.

I was totally stumped when it came to staging this chair for photos.  I really don’t have a stash of nautical-ish props lying around.  So I just went with a simple vintage suitcase and some old binoculars.

Wouldn’t this chair be absolutely perfect for a lakefront home?  Or maybe just for someone who wishes they had a lakefront home?

Next up today is this antique piano stool.

This was another garage sale find from last year.  The seat was not attached to the base properly, so every time I would pick up the stool, the seat would come off in my hands and the base would be left behind.  So, Ken fixed that up for me and then this piece sat in the photo cottage waiting for its makeover along with the firehouse chair.

I began the job by stripping the seat.  In hindsight, I’m not sure I really needed to do that.  It wasn’t in terrible shape.  It was maybe a tad too shiny for my tastes, but that probably wasn’t worth the effort to strip and re-stain.  None the less, that’s what I did.

I re-stained the seat in Special Walnut, and then added a very subtle stencil (also from Maison de Stencils) using Dixie Belle’s Midnight Sky paint.

Once all of that was fully dry, I coated it with some of Dixie Belle’s flat clear coat.

I painted the base of the stool in the Midnight Sky as well.

Then I sanded the edges to distress and added a top coat of Dixie Belle’s Big Mama’s Butta, which I love using over a dark paint color like this one.

You may not have a piano, but this stool is perfect to pair with a desk or makeup table, but I also think it would make a nice small side table, just big enough to place a beverage on.

That brings me to a couple of mirrors that were due for a quick makeover.

As you all know, I like to remove mirrors from dressers.  Personally I prefer most of them without their mirror.  Then every now and then I pull out the mirrors, paint the frames, add hangers to the back and sell them separately.

These two each got a coat of Miss Mustard Seed milk paint in Typewriter on the frames.  Once again, I didn’t get much in the way of chipping.  I seem to be 0 for 2 on the chipping for this post.

Once painted, I cleaned the glass and added some old IOD transfers to them.

It is next to impossible to do justice to these in a photograph.  My camera refuses to focus properly on them.

But hopefully these pics give you some idea of how they turned out.

So that’s it for small projects today.  I have a couple more that I hope to have finished and shared with you by the end of the week.  In the meantime, all of these items are for sale and will likely eventually end up at the shop where I sell on consignment, Reclaiming Beautiful in Stillwater, MN.  But if any of you locals need a chair, piano stool or mirror, be sure to let me know (you can check out the details on my ‘available for local sale’ page or email me at

whitewashing on wicker.

While out garage saling a little while back I purchased this wicker picnic basket.

It’s definitely not a fabulously vintage picnic basket, but it was in great condition and I loved the shape of it, and the slatted lid.  Plus it was priced right, so I grabbed it.  I thought it would be fun to try and give it an update.

Have you ever painted wicker?  It can be a real pain.  If you spray paint it (which seems like the logical solution), you have to do a lot of spraying to get in all the cracks and crevices.  You have to come at it from all angles to make sure you haven’t missed any spots.  And I usually end up using most of an entire can of spray paint.

It can also be a test of one’s patience to paint it with a brush.

So I decided to try whitewashing it (or in this case, greywashing?) it instead.

All you need for this technique is your paint, some water, a brush, your container of choice (I went with the classic red solo cup) and some paper towels.

I used Dixie Belle’s French Linen paint, a chalk style paint like this one works beautifully for creating a wash.  This pale, warm grey was the perfect color for this technique too.

First up, water your paint down alot.  I probably had about 2/3 water to 1/3 paint in my cup.  Then just ‘wash’ this mixture onto your piece with a brush and quickly wipe away the excess with the paper towel.  You’ll want to act fairly quickly and not give the paint a chance to dry before you wipe it away.  In other words, you do this in sections.  You can’t paint the entire basket and then start wiping.

There are two big benefits to whitewashing on wicker.  First the paint is really liquid-y so it tends to settle into those cracks and crevices without any extra effort.  Second, the end result is a semi-transparent look so it doesn’t really matter if you missed some spots because you aren’t aiming for 100% coverage.

I went with just one coat of whitewashing to keep the look quite sheer.  If you want a more solid look you could add a second coat.

Once the paint was dry, I decided to add a little extra something to the basket with a transfer.

This is the French Ceramics transfer from with prima.

It’s such a lovely transfer.  I used it on the interior drawers of this linen press dresser

The only downside was that it took two sets of the transfer to cover all of those drawers and that can be a pricey proposition for most people.  Although, that being said, I do think it would be worth it!

Anyway, back to my basket.

The top of the basket only took one of the three sheets that come with the French Ceramics transfer, so I have two sheets left to use another day.

To apply the transfer between those cross pieces, I took some measurements and then cut my transfer into three strips before removing the backing paper.

Once applied, I sanded the edges of the basket top to distress and then I ran my fingernail down the transfer between all of those vertical slats to give them more definition.

Finally, I added a very light coat of clear wax over everything.  When I say a light coat of wax, I basically put a little wax on a cloth and then wipe it gently over the surface, focusing a little extra on the handles for better durability where the basket is likely to get worn.

And that’s it.  A little white greywashed wicker basket.

What do you think?  Would you give this technique a try yourself?

As always, thanks to Dixie Belle for supplying the very teeny tiny amount of paint that it took to greywash this basket!

not exactly impressive.

Well, my sister and I made it out for our first garage saling Saturday of the season this past weekend and I have to say, the results were not exactly impressive.

In fact, they were a bit sad.

Oh boy, do I miss my Minneapolis neighborhood sales!

Typically there is at least one, if not a couple, of neighborhood sales in Minneapolis every weekend in May leading up to Memorial Day.  We usually start out with Bryn Mawr the first weekend, and then Tangletown, Linden Hills, Armitage Kenny and ECCO usually follow.  Last year they all were canceled due to COVID, no surprise there.  This year they seem to all be canceled again.  Although COVID is sometimes given as the reason, I can’t help but feel like the social unrest that is happening in Minneapolis is also playing a part in the decision to cancel.  Or possibly the people who organized these sales realized how much work it was and they enjoyed not having to do it last year!

Regardless of the reason, I am mourning the loss of my favorite sales for the 2nd year in a row.

That being said, this past weekend both my own home town and the neighboring town had city wide sales.  In the past I have never gone to either of these because they conflicted with the Minneapolis neighborhood sales.  And I always chose the Minneapolis sales because they tend to be ‘Saturday Only’ sales.  Both of the nearby city wide sales started on Thursday.  As you may know, I have a Monday thru Friday office job.  By the time I can get there on Saturday, everything is pretty picked over.  In fact, one of the proprietors we talked to on Saturday said he shouldn’t have even bothered being open on Saturday because he’d only made $2 so far.  I purchased that wooden box from him for $8 though, so I quadrupled his sales.

I did buy a couple of jar-type items while we were out.  In both cases they are new jars designed to look vintage.  But the lids just look too new to pull that off.

I also had another jar in my stash that needed sprucing up, so I decided to do some lid makeovers yesterday starting with this ‘coffee’ jar …

For this lid I used the Copper Gilding Wax from Dixie Belle to give it a new look.

I often apply the gilding wax using a q tip, but that would have not worked at all for this lid.  When doing a larger-ish flat surface like this one, I find it’s easiest to apply the wax using a disposable latex glove and my finger tip.

To get that look I applied two coats of the copper wax, waited a couple of hours for it to dry, and then buffed it with a clean t-shirt.

I’m constantly amazed how the smallest change, like adding copper wax to this lid, can make such a difference.

Next up was that set of 4 jars in a vintage style metal locker basket.

I have to say that I only purchased them because I loved the little locker basket.  Then afterwards I had buyer’s remorse and I thought “gosh, that was dumb, I don’t even like those jars and what am I going to do with a little locker basket?”

I painted the lids in Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth, once dry I sanded to distress them a bit, and then I added some of the knob transfers from with prima.  Finally I topped them off with some clear wax.

Seriously, how perfect were those knob transfers for the tops of these jars?  So cute.  This transformation definitely alleviated my buyer’s remorse!

Next up is this jar that I had in my stash.

I use this type of jar for flour, sugar, etc in my own cupboard.  But that blah beige lid just wasn’t working for me on this one.

So I simply painted the lid using Dixie Belle’s Kudzu.

And then I dressed up the jar itself with one of IOD’s French Pot transfers.

If you’re one of those people who don’t like the look of the ‘halo’ around transfers, you should probably never use them on glass.

But personally, I don’t have a problem with that look.

So, there you have it.  Some quick and easy jar updates.  Which one is your favorite?

But wait!  Before I go, even though my haul from Saturday wasn’t exactly stellar, I still want to share my ‘find of the day’.

I just love the colors on this Land O’Lake recipe box.  I don’t know how old it it, but I’m pretty sure the butter boxes themselves no longer say that the herds are tested for Tuberculosis (just checked the box in my fridge, and nope, they no longer say that).

My sister and I got a kick out of reading some of the recipes that were inside, like this one for a hearty he-man stack to be served with beer …

That’s a lotta meat!

I’m pretty sure that these recipe boxes didn’t originally come with Byerly’s recipes, so I suspect whoever owned it swapped out the originals for these.

I did a little googling and found some of these recipe boxes online for prices ranging from $79 to $249.99 … seriously?  Surely no one in their right mind would pay those prices.  I always look at online prices with a very healthy dose of skepticism.  How about you?  That being said, I am going to sell this one on with a price tag of $20.  Much more realistic I think.  If any of you locals are interested, be sure to hit me up (in other words, email me at


faux flour sack towels.

The other day my sister stopped by with some flour sack dish towels.

She had a pack of 10 for me, and a pack of 10 for herself.  We ended up going shopping and doing some other things that day, and I never did get around to asking her what her intentions were for these towels.  But she did leave them all with me, so I was guessing that she wanted me to dress them up a bit … both hers and mine.

It seemed like a no-brainer to use my mini-stencils from Jami Ray Vintage on them.

I really wasn’t sure how well paint would withstand the frequent use and washing that dish towels experience.

But what the heck?  My sister bought them, so no loss to me if it didn’t work (I’m smirking as I’m writing that, sorry sis).

I decided to use acrylic craft paint for this project rather than chalk paint.  Since chalk paint doesn’t have any sort of built-in top coat, I felt fairly sure that it would mostly wash out of the fabric.  As you may remember, I have used chalk paint to dye fabric and quite a lot of the color did wash out (although setting it with heat helped with that).  I suppose the ideal medium to use would be fabric paint, but I didn’t have any on hand.

I started out with washing the dish towels in hot water first, then drying them in the dryer.  If they were going to shrink (and since they are 100% cotton I was guessing they would), might as well get that over with before painting them.

I chose a navy blue paint and the more ‘American’ of the stencil designs for my sister’s towels …

And I used grey paint and the ‘French’ stencil designs for myself.

They looked fantastic freshly stenciled, but that’s not saying much is it?  The real test is whether or not they’ll hold up to washing.

Before washing them, I decided to heat set the paint in the dryer.  When I did that with my dyed linens it made a huge difference.  However, my online research says you don’t have to heat set acrylic paint.  Well … I did it anyway.  Better safe than sorry, right?

So I ran them through the dryer on a high heat setting, then I threw them in the wash on a medium heat cycle and dried them on high again.

As you can see, the dark blue (left above) fared better than the grey (right above).  So the lesson learned here, stick with dark paint colors for stenciling flour sack towels.

Of course, I suspect the designs will continue to fade away over time with multiple washings, but these weren’t expensive towels to begin with and they definitely won’t last forever anyway.

Let’s face it, nothing can beat the quality of vintage flour sack towels, they just don’t make ’em like they used to.

But still, this was a fun craft project for a January afternoon and I’d definitely do it again.  In fact, I’m going to do it again.  I saved 10 of the towels to experiment on with the new Dixie Belle Silk paint that is coming out soon so be sure to stay tuned for that.

One last thing I want to mention before ending this post, if you are struggling to perfect your stenciling skills I highly recommend stenciling on fabric to practice.  Because fabric is very … what should I call it? … rough? textured? toothy?  None of those words seem exactly right, but basically fabric is not as slippery a surface as painted wood, so you can easily get a clean, crisp result stenciling over it.  So give it a try if you want to work on improving your stenciling technique!

the rose box.

Every time I paint a box lately I don’t bother with a before photo because I think ‘no one wants to see another painted box on my blog,’ so I don’t plan to blog about it.  Instead, my usual plan is to give it a quick makeover and then take it to Reclaiming Beautiful to sell.

And then it turns out like this …

and I realize that I really do want to share it with you guys.

Even if the bulk of you aren’t all that interested and really only want to see furniture.

But you know what?  This technique would translate well to furniture, so maybe this post does have some value for those of you who are furniture refinishers.  And in fact, it inspired me to do something entirely different than originally planned on a little washstand I’ve been working on.  I’ll be sharing that later in the week, so you’ll see what I mean.

But in the meantime, I’ll share what I did with this box.  It started out as just a plain wooden recipe box.  I painted it with Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth first and once two coats of paint were dry, I sanded the edges to distress.

Next I pulled out a bunch of transfer scraps to see what I could cobble together for this small box.  I started out with the wording, and that came from the Paris Valley transfer from with prima.  Once I had the wording transfers on, I decided to add some florals so I pulled out the Redoute 4 transfer from IOD.

I have to say, I fully appreciate the irony here.  I gave up being a with prima brand ambassador because they were doing so many floral designs and not enough words.  And here I am using their words, and IOD’s florals.  Go figure.

But I have to say, this rose transfer from IOD is the perfect floral for me.  The colors are slightly faded, and I love that the transfer has a distressed look with scratches built in.

That distressed look might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it definitely is mine.

By the way, if you aren’t familiar with this transfer you might be surprised to find that it’s quite large (24″ x 33″) and the full transfer looks like this …

I just used the flowers from the upper right corner.  I suspect that when I’m done with this transfer I may have a few leafy stems left over that I never use, but we’ll see.

This transfer costs around $30, but I’ve found a local retailer now so at least I don’t have to pay shipping.  I can use it on multiple pieces so that helps distribute the cost, but buying the entire transfer for one little box would be cost prohibitive in my opinion.  If I use it on four little boxes, that’s just $7.50 per box though.

I wrapped the floral design around the sides of my box.

I had to separate some of the elements and re-arrange them to make this work, like the two rose buds shown above.

I love working on little projects like these.  They are quick and easy and they allow me to test out some ideas without committing to them on a big piece of furniture.  I can also use up some scraps left over from other projects.  As I mentioned earlier, this one provided a jumping off point for a piece of furniture I’ll be sharing later in the week, so be sure to stay tuned.

But in the meantime, tell me … floral, yes or no?


gone paintin’ stencils.

Remember the trip Mr. Q and I were supposed to take this year?  It was going to be a cruise round trip from London stopping at 8 ports of call in Europe.  Not only was it an amazing itinerary, but we had gotten upgraded to a mini-suite.

I have to admit, I had a feeling it was too good to be true.  Us?  In a mini-suite?  Hard to imagine.

Sure enough, along came COVID and that put an end to our travel plans.  And at this rate, I have a feeling it might be 2022 before European cruises come back.  Damn!

Well, no use crying over spilled milk and I’m sure most of you are playing the world’s smallest violin for me.  I know, I know, there are far worse things happening out there.  A missed trip is nothing.  But I have been thinking about it a little bit lately because had our trip taken place, we would have just gotten home this past weekend and by now I’d be sharing stories from our travels.

I’m mainly bringing this up as a segue to today’s post.  You see, one of our ports of call was Hamburg, Germany.  So when Daggi from Gone Paintin’ sent me some of her stencils to try out recently, knowing that I was going to miss visiting Hamburg, she included a postcard!

That’s because Daggi is located near Hamburg.  The last time I shared a link to her blog, several people asked how to translate it.  I’m really not all that savvy with techie stuff, but when I bring up her blog using google, the google translate pop up box comes up automatically in the upper right hand corner and gives me the option of translating to English.

Hopefully that will work for you guys too because Daggi’s blog is definitely worth a visit.  Her style is very similar to mine, so if you like my stuff I can almost guarantee that you will like her stuff too.  It’s like my stuff, but with a European twist.

Paint furniture with Fusion Mineral Paint in Cathedral Taupe

She painted that dresser in Fusion’s Cathedral Taupe, and I especially loved how she rusted up the handles (you should check that out in her post).  She used a European product that is very similar to Dixie Belle’s patina paint.

When Daggi contacted me a while back and asked if I’d like to try out a couple of designs from her new line of stencils, naturally I said yes.  You guys know I love a good stencil.

That brings me to the birdcage that I purchased recently at a garage sale.

The birdcage actually came with a broken plastic tray at the bottom that was held in place with some clips.  I immediately trashed the tray, prior to taking the ‘before’ photo above.  It was a little gross.

But I kept the clips because I was optimistic that I could come up with something else to use for the bottom.  Then I remembered the wooden chargers from Prima Marketing.

I’ve done a couple of different things with these (you can find them here and here), but I still had a few of them left from my brand ambassador days.

Sure enough, the largest 14″ size was perfect for the bird cage.  I tested it out and found that I could even attach it to the cage using the clips.  It was kismet.

I painted the charger with two coats of Dixie Belle’s Sawmill Gravy first.  Then I taped off some grain sack style stripes and painted them in DB’s French Linen.  Once dry, I sanded the whole thing to distress it a bit.

Then I pulled out one of Daggi’s stencils called Getreide Müller, which apparently translates to Grain Miller as per google translate.  I stenciled the design onto the charger using Dixie Belle’s Gravel Road.  I wasn’t able to fit the entire design onto the charger, so I re-arranged it a little.

While I had the Gravel Road out, I also painted the little swinging perch that came with the cage.

Once everything was dry I gave it all a coat of clear wax and then reassembled the cage using the clips.

I wouldn’t necessary use this cage for a real bird, but it would be fun to use for decor purposes.  Plus, since the bottom so easy to remove and then re-attach, you could put whatever you want inside the cage.

Like a vintage book, an old pair of binoculars and a black and white photo for example.

It’s would also be perfect for a plant since you could easily remove it for watering.

What would you place inside this cage?

You can find Daggi’s stencils in her Etsy shop (click here).  Although they ship from Germany, the shipping cost is not prohibitive and in fact is quite a bit less than I paid to have stuff shipped to me from Utah recently.  So I encourage you to check them out!


a folding chair do-over.

Many moons ago a friend of mine gave me a rusty, crusty vintage kid sized folding chair.  I painted the seat with chalkboard paint and recovered the back cushion with stenciled drop cloth …

I tried to sell it at my carriage house sale back then, but there were no takers so I hung it up in my home office, a.k.a. the Q Branch.

A year later I decided to erase that original design on the chalkboard seat and replace it with my Q Branch logo.

It was a fun piece and I had it hanging on the wall for nearly five years.  But recently I took it down to hang something else in that spot and decided to give it a fresh makeover and then take it in to Reclaiming Beautiful to sell.

This time I decided to paint over the chalkboard seat and add a transfer instead.  A couple of coats of Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth covered up the black chalkboard paint.  What I love about Drop Cloth in particular is that it blends well with other shades of white.  It doesn’t make the old original white paint on the frame of the chair look dingy by comparison.

Next, I cobbled together some bits and pieces from the IOD Label Ephemera transfer …

Once the transfer was in place, I added a quick coat of clear wax over the entire chair.

Finally, I decided that rather than having an upholstered back it might work to use some of the with prima decoupage tissue paper rather than fabric.

First of all, I should explain that the cushion on the back of the seat comes off quite easily, it’s just held in place by a couple of screws.  It’s basically a piece of particle board that had some batting and a piece of fabric over it.  I removed the batting and fabric and then decoupaged the tissue paper right to the particle board using Dixie Belle’s Gator Hide (you can read more details on that technique here).

I did not cut the tissue paper to size before adhering it, instead I left a good inch of so extra all the way around.  Once the Gator Hide was dry, I just ran a sanding block all the way around the edge of the seat back which trimmed off the excess tissue paper perfectly.

The tissue paper I used is called Dark Damask, and it worked beautifully with the rest of the black and white on the chair.

Now that the chair is finished, I’m feeling really tempted to keep it.  It looks awesome hanging on the dark grey walls in my living room.  Then again, maybe I’ll part with it.  I haven’t really decided yet.

I spent a few hours working on some other projects yesterday, so I’ve got a few things coming up for next week.  Be sure to stay tuned!

As always, thanks to Dixie Belle and with prima for providing some of the materials used for today’s project.