a thing for boxes.

I seem to have a thing for old wooden boxes.

Remember the one I found at the estate sale back in August?

I ended up simply adding a portion of the Prima Marketing Somewhere in France transfer to the front and then sprucing it up with a little furniture wax.

I was hoping it would work on the shelves in either our living room or piano room, but it’s just a tad too big.  So for now I have it in our bedroom.

We had a couple of my South Dakota cousins over for dinner a while back and my cousin David insisted that this box looks like a tiny casket.  It’s far too small to really be a casket for a person of any size though, so then he claimed it was a cat-sket.

Hmmmm.  Well, I guess it could work for that.  Luckily our cat Lucy is still going strong.  We did have a bit of a scare with her last week, but after a bunch of expensive tests her vet has decided she simply had a virus.  She’s doing much better now, knock on wood.  Plus all of those tests did show that she’s doing pretty good for a cat of 13, so hopefully we won’t be needing a cat-sket any time soon.

My love of old wooden boxes continued with my ‘find of the day’ from the St. Anthony Park sales.

I decided to give this one a paint job in Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth, then I added an old Prima Marketing transfer called Memoir (the small size).  This transfer is no longer being manufactured but you may be able to find one online if you search.

Just about half of the transfer fit on the front of the box, and I put another section on the top.

I decided to leave the inside of the box alone.  I didn’t want to cover up the King Radio decal.

Those dividers pretty much eliminate any chance that this one is a cats-ket 😉

I used Dixie Belle’s Big Mama’s Butta in Orange Grove on both the inside and the outside of the box.

That freshened it up a little and gave it a fabulous scent.

I was having a bit of a split personality moment while staging the photos for this one.  I was initially thinking that it would be perfect for storing old family photos or other ephemera.

But then I switched gears and realized it would also work well for storing some art supplies.

Either way, it’s a fun little storage box.

Once again, it’s too big for my living room/piano room shelves, so I’ll likely take it in to Reclaiming Beautiful to be sold.

If you have a thing for old wooden boxes too, check out some of the others that I’ve done here, here, here and here.

not reinventing the wheel.

OK, so I’m not reinventing the wheel or anything with today’s post.  I’m sure you’ve all seen old windows turned into photo frames many times before.  Initially I wasn’t even going to blog about this project, but it was a fun one to work on and I love how it turned out so I decided, why not?

What’s the worst that can happen?  You’ll all get bored, move on to the next thing in your day and not leave any comments.  I can live with that.  So here it is.

My neighbor, nnK, has a stash of old windows from a barn that was torn down.  I was over at her house one day because one my fellow vendors from Reclaiming Beautiful, Amy, was looking for old windows to build a green house (I can’t wait to see how that project turns out for her!)  Amy left with a truck load of windows, and afterwards I noticed that there was just one 3 pane window left in the stash and it had perfectly chippy white paint so nnK let me have it, sort of like a commission for finding her a buyer for the windows.

I brought it home and gave it a good cleaning.  Then I sanded it down to knock off any really loose paint.  Finally I used The Real Milk Paint Co’s Dead Flat Finishing Cream to seal it.

Today’s q tip:  Always remember that old paint may contain lead.  You can buy inexpensive testing kits at any DIY store if you want to know for sure.  Lead paint is more dangerous for children than adults, but still you should take proper safety precautions when working with it.  I like to seal chippy old paint like this to keep it from continuing to flake off.

Once the Finishing Cream was dry I added some random leftover bits from the Prima Marketing Seeds transfer.

I also added the old window hardware.  This was some old hardware that I picked up at a garage sale once upon a time.

Next I went through my photos and picked out some of my favorite travel pics.  I used PicMonkey to make them black and white and then printed them off as 5″ x 7″ photos on 8.5″ by 11″ matte photo paper.

I chose this picture from our trip to Budapest.

This one from our trip to Venice.

And this one that I took at the Beamish in England.

I totally loved that place, so if you’re ever in Newcastle upon Tyne you should absolutely check it out.

Initially I was thinking that the tricky part of this project would be trimming the photos just right to fit the window panes, and then figuring out how to adhere them.

But then I realized that I liked the look of the photos with a little space between them and the glass.  So taping them to the back of the window frame without trimming them at all worked out perfectly well.

And the 5″ x 7″ dimensions also worked perfectly leaving some visible white space around each photo, sort of like a mat.

I added these hangers to the back of the window …

I prefer this style hanger to the saw tooth version because they screw in and will hold heavier items like this with no problem.

So, to recap, the window was free, the photos were free (unless you count the ink and paper, which presumably one already has on hand), the transfer was left over from another project and the window hardware was something from my stash of old hardware.  The only things I had to purchase were the hanger thingies.

Although I originally intended it for the living room …

I’ve now moved it to the piano room.

Down the road I can always swap out the photos for different ones, or move this to yet another room.

Not bad for an investment of just a couple of dollars and about an hour or so, huh?  Do you have any old windows lying around that you can turn into photo holders?

thankful autumn.

I know it’s a bit early to be thinking about Thanksgiving itself, but this year I’m going to take some inspiration from one of Prima Marketing’s newest transfer collections and practice gratitude for the entire fall season.

On Wednesday I posted about the tree that came down in our yard and how thankful we were that nothing else was damaged, no one got hurt, and the entire mess was cleaned up before 9 a.m. by some tree guys that were already in the neighborhood.

Just the other day I mentioned to Mr. Q how blessed I am to have my sister and niece living nearby now.  For those of you who might be new here, my sister got married and moved away to New Jersey when I was 18 years old.  We didn’t live in the same state for over 30 years until she and my niece moved here to Minnesota 4 years ago.

Now I can’t even imagine them not living here.  We have so much fun together.  How did I ever get by without them for so many years?

I regularly give thanks for my neighbor/handyman Ken too.  Never more so than this past week as we’ve been working on a little home improvement project together.  I’m going to share it next Wednesday, so be sure to check back for that.

I also feel incredibly lucky that Prima Marketing chose me to be a member of their design team.

It’s so fun to get a sneak peek at the designs each time they come out with a new release, which brings me to today’s quick and easy project.

I started with a pile of vintage plates and platters.

Then I pulled out one of Prima’s newest transfer collections called Thankful Autumn.  This collection will be available to purchase on September 15.  You can find a retailer near you, or an online source for Prima’s transfers here.

Then I just cut out the various designs and added them to the plates.

A quick q tip for you:  when working with the transfers over glass (or china in this case) be forewarned that they stick like mad to these surfaces.  As soon as that transfer touches the surface, it is stuck there.  So be sure you get your placement right before allowing contact.

I was a little off on this next one.

But the sentiment is still there.  Even if it’s a little wonky, there’s no place like home sweet home.

the cart before the horses.

First off, thank you all so much for your comments on Monday’s post.
There was a good mix of city slickers and country bumpkins with a few suburbanites plus one ‘lake lassie’ thrown in for good measure.  It was fun to read all of your various reasons for your choice of country v. city!

Don’t forget, if you didn’t already comment on Monday’s post, you have until Friday to leave a comment on that post to be in the running for the prize.

You’ll remember back in May I purchased some handmade vintage wooden toys at a garage sale for $1.  They weren’t marked and there was a sign at the sale that said everything that wasn’t marked was a quarter.  But I really thought the seller would say “Oh, but not those …” when I asked about them, but instead she said “you can have them all for $1.”

My first makeover was the adorable pull-toy elephant whose head bobs up and down when you pull him along.

My handyman Ken had to do a few repairs on him before I gave him a milk paint makeover.

Next up was the truck.

Ken fixed the gate on the truck bed, and then I used Dixie Belle paint and some Prima Marketing knob transfers to dress it up.

I’ve saved the best for last though.  I called this one the Find of the Day when I bought it.

I just love those horses.

But I didn’t love the faded shades of red and green on the wheels and the wagon bed.  So I painted the wheels using Dixie Belle’s Midnight Sky and the wagon bed using Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth.  Initially I had also planned on repainting the horses, but in the end I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to recreate those faces adequately.  So instead I just gave them a good scrubbing to clean them up.

I mean really, how sweet are those faces?

And the Drop Cloth on the wagon was a pretty good match for the existing color on the horses.

Once the cart was painted I added some portions of the smaller Prima Marketing Seeds transfer to each side.

They were perfectly suited for it.

I filled the wagon with a set of Wonder Books of the World’s Progress.

I purchased them at a garage sale too.  There were quite a few sets of vintage books for sale and another shopper was scrutinizing them all, I’m sure looking for publishing dates and trying to figure out if they might be valuable.  But I just grabbed these because I thought they were pretty.

They are such a lovely shade of blue.  And they just happened to fit perfectly in the cart being pulled by these horses.

Small projects like these aren’t great money makers for me, especially considering the amount of time that goes into them.  I’d be much better off spending that time working on a piece of furniture.  But I love taking cast off things like these toys and bringing them back to life.  I know my handyman Ken really enjoyed working on these toys as well.

How about you guys?  Do you enjoy the blog posts about small projects like this, or would you prefer it was all furniture, all the time?

breakfast and lunch.

I purchased one of those IKEA Bekvam step stools at a garage sale a few weeks back.  Normally I’m not a fan of IKEA furniture, but in this case the price was right (at $3).  I knew it would be cute painted up.

I have to admit though, I wasn’t expecting to blog about this one.  I just thought I’d paint it quick and take it to Reclaiming Beautiful to sell.  Nothing fancy, it would be an easy project.  So I didn’t really take a ‘before’ picture of it, but then it turned out so fantastic that I had to share it with you guys.

So now I’m borrowing a ‘before’ photo from the web.  Try imagining this stool, but dirtier and marred with some spots of paint (it must have been used in a workshop) …

I wanted to paint the entire thing using Fusion’s Buttermilk Cream.  This is my favorite shade of pale yellow.

But when I pulled out my jar of this color it had only the smallest amount of paint left at the bottom.  So sad.

Therefore I just used the Buttermilk Cream on the tops of the stool, and I used Fusion’s Limestone on the legs.  These two colors make a lovely combo, I’ve used them before on a couple of pieces.

Once the paint was dried I pulled out Prima Marketing’s new Re.Design transfer called Delicious Menu.

I used parts of this transfer last week to dress up an old metal picnic basket and a couple of other things like this old enamelware coffee pot.

I simply pieced together different words that would fit on the stool and make some kind of sense.

Once I got started I couldn’t seem to stop.

What can I say, I just love adding words to things.

Super cute, am I right?

One last bit of info.  I often see people asking what is used to ‘seal’ the transfers.  I use different things depending on what paint I’ve used.  In this case, since Fusion is so durable and has its own built in top coat, I just add a little bit of Fusion clear wax over the transfer itself and over the raw edges where I sanded the paint away to distress the piece.

So how about you, are you a fan of things with words on them?  What do you think of this Bekvam stool update?

out to lunch.

I’m sharing another of the brand new 2019 Summer release transfers from Prima Marketing’s Re.design line today.  This one is called Delicious Menu.

This is definitely another one of those transfers that you can use on a ton of different projects, much like one of my other favorites, Everyday Farmhouse.

Just think of the possibilities!

In fact, I’ve already pulled together three quick and easy projects using this one, so let’s get started shall we?

First, I picked up this vintage metal picnic basket at a garage sale last year sometime.  I love these old metal baskets.

This one was in kinda rough shape though.  A bit rusty and crusty.  Which is probably why it was only $2.

Initially I thought I would just sell it ‘as is’ as a planter (because obviously, how cute would this be filled with red geraniums?), but after I received this transfer I knew I could add a little bit more.

It was super simple to cut out the sections I wanted to use and rub them onto the basket.

Next, I added some holes to the bottom of the basket so that it would have good drainage for plants.  It’s easy to do this with a drill, if you have one, but you can also just pound a nail in which is just as quick (or even quicker if the battery on your cordless drill is dead).

Then I just filled the container up with some potting soil and some pretty annuals.

I see a lot of people online asking whether or not the transfers will hold up outside, and also wondering whether or not you have to seal them with something.  I don’t like to give advice on that sort of thing without testing it first myself.  So, I’ve decided to keep this basket now and see how it holds up over the summer.

Oh, who am I kidding?  I’m keeping it because it’s frickin’ adorable.

I can already tell you that I’ve had this outside since the end of May and so far so good.  I didn’t seal it with anything.  In my opinion it’s more likely that the basket itself will rust out and fall apart sooner than the transfer comes off.  But we’ll see.  I’ll keep you posted on that.

But my philosophy is this.  I paid $2 for the basket.  The section of the transfer that I used on it would be about $2 too (assuming you use the rest of the transfer on other pieces).  So I’ve got a whopping $4 invested in the container.  Meanwhile, I spent about $30 on the annuals I planted in it and I know they are only going to last a year.  Therefore, who cares if the transfer doesn’t last?  Or if the metal rusts out?  I can toss the whole thing at the end of the season.

Next up is a super simple makeover.  I just added ‘Fresh Roast’ to a vintage enamelware coffee pot.

Doesn’t that just seriously add a lot more character?  And so quick and easy to do.

Last is another really quick and easy update.  I added the word ‘CAFE’ to this straw dispenser.

As it turns out, not so easy to capture that word on a curved surface with a two dimensional photo, but you get the idea.

I used this transfer on one more really cute piece that I’ll be sharing with you guys next week, so be sure to stay tuned.

Thank you to Prima Marketing for sharing the Delicious Menu transfer with me.  If you’re wondering where to buy it, check out Prima’s ‘where to buy‘ page.

a farm style crate.

I just love quick and easy updates that take less than 30 minutes and turn something plain into something fabulous.

I purchased an old wood crate at a lunchtime garage sale a couple weeks back (oops, forgot to get a ‘before’ photo).  Then I dressed it up with a Prima Marketing transfer and some cup pulls from Hobby Lobby.

Once again I used part of the Everyday Farmhouse transfer set for the wording.

Then I added these fun, rusty looking cup pulls to the sides of the crate to use as handles.

This crate would be super cute filled up with potted flowers, or maybe just a bunch of vintage blue ball jars.

I’m continuing to get tons of use out of that one set of the Everyday Farmhouse transfers, but I am starting to run out!

I definitely need to get my hands on another set!  In the meantime, remember on Monday I mentioned that new summer release from Prima Marketing?  Well, they have another awesome set of wordy transfers in the new release too.  I’ll be sharing a few things with those words added to them next week, so be sure to stay tuned.