simply fabulous.

I was online recently and saw that IOD has released another version of their ‘Pots’ transfers.  This time it’s called Traditional Pots and you get 4 sheets of the transfer designs; two in black, one in white and one in blue!

I’ve been a fan of these ‘Pots’ transfers going way back. The first few sets I had came in a grey color and were called French Pots I, II, III and IV.  Each set only included 3 of the various designs, rather than all of them.  I used one of those on a galvanized watering can once and that wasn’t such a good choice.

The grey really disappeared on that galvanized metal.

However, that being said, it did work great on other surfaces if you like this more subtle look …

Then they switched to black with their Classic Pots, which worked much better on galvanized metal.

But now, they’ve added white and blue with Traditional Pots.  How exciting is that?  Or am I the only one to find that thrilling?

A quick q tip for today.  When ordering online, be sure you are ordering the set you want.  I see all three versions of these transfers still available out there, so pay attention to which one you are looking at.

To recap; French Pots = grey (and only 3 designs in each), Classic Pots = black, Traditional Pots = blue, white and black.

Anyway, I ordered a set of the Traditional Pots online and while waiting for them to arrive I stocked up on potential transfer candidates at the thrift store.

Once I started looking for white porcelain, I found a fair bit of it.

Then it was as simple as washing it all up and applying some transfers.  As always, use care when applying transfers to glass/ceramics/porcelain.  They are attracted like a magnet and once any part of the transfer touches the glass, it is stuck.  Make sure you have it aligned properly before you get to close to the surface.

Doesn’t that blue look amazing?  It totally takes that cannister from boring to simply fabulous.

This next one is my favorite …

I even added just a couple of lines of blue text to this little ironstone dish.

Such a tiny detail, yet it adds so much.

This little pitcher was one of my picker’s finds, and the blue edges it already had made it the perfect candidate for a blue transfer.

I have just one complaint about this new set of Traditional Pots transfers … that they aren’t ALL blue!

In addition to the one sheet of blue, there is one sheet of white transfers.  I have to admit, I’ve never been much of a fan of the white transfers.  I’ve always felt like they left too much of a shadow around the edges (like on this piece).  But these look pretty darn good.

You might see a few more black toolboxes with white transfers from me in the future.  This toolbox contains a bunch of my scrapbooking supplies (why can’t I part with them?  I rarely scrapbook anymore) so it’s not for sale.

And then of course, there are two sheets of the black versions included in the Traditional Pots.  Not that I don’t like the black ones, obviously I do since I’ve been using them for a while.

Remember that adorable button box!

That’s one of the older Classic Pots transfers, and you do get this same transfer in black with the Traditional Pots.

Since I had a feeling about the blue transfers that was very similar to how I assume hoarders must feel, I decided to use black ones on the pair of cannisters (thus hoarding the remaining blue transfers).

I painted the wooden lids black using Dixie Belle’s Midnight Sky to work with the black transfer.

I used a black transfer on the enamelware refrigerator box as well.

The question I’m always asked when I use transfers on glass, or on enamelware, is whether or not I put any sort of sealer over them, and I do not.  I find that the transfers really want to stick to these surfaces (sometime even more than you want them to!).  However, I would advise gentle handwashing only.  If you scrubbed on them, I’m sure they would scratch. But gentle washing with warm soapy water is fine.

So, what do you think?  Are you as big a fan of the blue transfers as I am?

I brought most of these items into the shop last week, so I’ll have to see whether they sell well or not.  I’ll be sure to keep you posted.

copy cat table runner.

I think I’ve already established here that I’m absorbing ideas all the time, and I’m sure the rest of you are as well.  Whether by looking at design books or magazines, surfing Instagram or Pinterest, or following my favorite bloggers, I am regularly seeing pictures of things that inspire me.

Sometimes I pretty much copy them outright.  I see something and think “oh, I can do that!”, and that’s the case with today’s project.

I saw a table runner in Liz Galvan’s new book that I just loved.  Here’s a photo of the photo in her book …

How simple, right?  Just paint a Swiss cross in white on a drop cloth table runner.  Easy, peasy.

First I needed drop cloth that wasn’t splattered with paint, all of the ones I had on hand are well used.  So I picked up a new one at my local Menards.

  I went with the medium weight canvas in 4′ x 15′.  I ended up cutting it in half lengthwise to make a 2′ wide runner (and I’ll likely make the other half into a runner as well), and I also cut it down to the length that fit my dining room table.

Speaking of, Mr. Q made our dining room table and it’s a bit oversized.  Which means that the few times I have tried to purchase a ready-made table runner, they have always been too short.

First things first though, I washed and dried the drop cloth before I cut it, just in case it did any shrinking.  Then, after cutting it down to the width and length I wanted, I measured and taped off my cross.

Next I pulled out my favorite Dixie Belle off white shade, Drop Cloth, and a large stencil brush and started stippling on the paint.  I was surprised to realize that the Drop Cloth totally blended in with the color of the … well … duh! … drop cloth.

I don’t know why that surprised me!  In my mind, I thought the Drop Cloth paint was a little bit lighter than that.  So I switched gears and brought out Dixie Belle’s Cotton instead, which is their purest shade of white.

Ahhhh, much better.

It took about three coats of paint to get this level of coverage.  Mainly because I was stippling it on with a stencil brush, not painting it on directly with a regular brush.  I did three light coats rather than one or two heavy coats.

I was a little worried that I wouldn’t get crisp lines because the tape I used didn’t stick to the fabric that well.  In hindsight, this project would probably work better with regular painters tape rather than this yellow Frog tape that is meant for delicate surfaces.

But when I pulled away the tape, my lines were just fine, so it worked out alright in the end.

I ended up making my swiss cross a little bit larger than the one in the inspiration photo.  I’m not sure whether I like it my way, or if I’d prefer the inspiration version.

I opted to photograph it out on my front porch because it was fairly gloomy outside and I couldn’t get good light in my dining room.  But size-wise, obviously the table runner is more suited to a much larger table than this one.

Although I have to say, I am rather liking it on this table as well, so maybe it’s more versatile than I thought.

Measuring and taping off the cross was a bit putzy, but otherwise this little project couldn’t have been any simpler.  Or cheaper, for that matter.  For less than $20, I’ll get two runners and still have some additional drop cloth fabric left over.

You may have noticed that I didn’t bother to hem the raw edges of my runner.  Mostly because I don’t sew.  And because I’m keeping it for myself and I’m never as picky about such details when I’m keeping something.  I will note, however, that this runner probably would not wash up well as it is.  It would fray quite a bit at that raw edge, and the paint would wash out a bit as well.  One way to set the paint would be to tumble the runner in your clothes dryer on high heat, and another would be to iron it from the back with high heat and no steam.  And of course, you could hem the drop cloth to help prevent fraying.  I think using a serger to do the hem would give the best look (hmmm, pretty sure I have a friend or two with sergers, I may have to seek them out).

So, what do you think?  Kind of fun for a quick and easy project, right?  Will you whip one up for yourself?

been there, done that.

I know, I know.  These craft paper scroll signs have been around for years.  As tends to be the norm for me, I’m the last one to catch on to a new (and by now, old) trend.

I really debated even sharing this project, fearing that you guys will all be thinking ‘been there, done that’.

But I’ve always wanted to try my hand at making one of these, and I never found the time when I was a 9 to 5’er.  Now that I am retired, I’m going to have time to get to more of these little side projects.

Not only that, but for me this project was completely free, only requiring supplies that I already had on hand.  Now that I’m on a fixed income, I’ll need to be watching my budget more closely.  Ha … who am I kidding?  I’ve always been a penny pincher, nothing has changed there.

First up, I gathered my supplies.  I always have a giant roll of brown craft paper on hand.  In addition, I pulled out my Dixie Belle paint in Caviar, my with prima 1.5″ wax brush (which works great for stenciling larger designs), some stencils and some string (oh, and not pictured, some paper toweling and some Frog tape).

I rolled out a section of the kraft paper and weighted down the ends with heavy items that were close at hand to keep it from rolling back up as I worked.  Then I used yellow Frog tape to secure my stencil (I ended up going with my North Pole Trading Co stencil from Wallcutz).  I left about a foot of paper at the top and bottom to roll up later, and then cut this piece from the roll.

The yellow Frog tape is the one for delicate surfaces and I really recommend it for this project in particular because it won’t leave a mark on your craft paper when you pull it up.

Libby left me a comment last week suggesting I write a post about my stenciling technique, and I plan to do a more detailed one later, but for now, here is one of my most important q tips … always use a dry brush for stenciling.

What does that mean?  Well, basically you load your brush with paint and then dab most of it off onto a paper towel before using it.  It feels rather wasteful, but it’s the best way to get a clean result.

Another of my stenciling recommendations is to use a thicker paint.  In this case, I am at the very bottom of this particular jar of Caviar.  I’ve gunked up the threads on the jar so badly with dried on paint that the lid no longer seals tightly.  As a result, the paint has really thickened up, making it perfect for stenciling!

Patience is also key while stenciling.  If you aren’t getting immediate coverage with your dry brush, that’s OK.  Wait for the first coat to dry and then go back over it with a 2nd coat.  Just make sure your stencil hasn’t shifted in the meantime.

Once the paint was dry, I used my Carpenter Square to make a pencil line where I wanted to trim down the width of my craft paper.

After trimming off the excess on the side, I simply rolled the top and bottom and secured the rolls using paper clips.

Then I threaded my string through the top roll, tied it in a bow, and hung my scroll on the wall.

Ultimately I felt like it needed just a little something more, so I added a garland of faux greenery to the top to dress it up.

This project couldn’t have been more simple, or more cheap.

Have you ever tried making a craft paper scroll?  Am I hopelessly behind the times with this project?  Been there, done that?  Leave me a comment and let me know.

birthday treats.

Believe it or not, one of the things I’m going to miss most about the day job is celebrating my birthday there.  That might sound a bit odd, I know a lot of people prefer to take their birthday off work.  But my co-workers have always been so generous about bringing in birthday treats, or planning a special lunch.

I’ll never forget my 40th birthday when my co-workers arranged to have me pulled over on the road just outside City Hall where I was presented with a ‘ticket’ for going 40 birthdays over the limit.

Gosh I have some fond memories of those days, it was always so fun to be at work on my birthday (right up until this year when it was just awkward since I’d given my notice by then and management wasn’t speaking to me.)

Another of my favorite things about celebrating my birthday at work was getting some fabulous gifts from my co-workers, especially the one from my co-worker/picker Sue.  She always finds the coolest vintage things.  But really it’s her presentation that is so special.

Remember last year?

This year was no exception.  She presented me with an old galvanized bucket full of a few of my favorites things like some ironstone platters, and some old books.

Aren’t the colors on these books fabulous?

She also included a salt cellar this year.

I’ve always wanted one of these.  Somehow it makes one feel so much more chef-like to grab a pinch of salt from a salt cellar instead of using a shaker, or even just the container the salt came in from the store.

Anyone who knows me at all, knows that I’m about as far from chef-like as one can get.  But still, I love the idea of a salt cellar.

Of course, that plain wooden lid was crying out for some quandification.  So I sanded it down a bit, and then painted it in my favorite off white, Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth.  I sanded the paint to distress the edges and added a Classic Vintage Label transfer from with prima.

Easy peasy.

I filled it up with the salt that Sue also gave me, and voila!

I’m practically a real chef!

OK, really, not even close.  But it looks great on my kitchen counter.  And I’m going to feel like a real chef every time I need to salt my scrambled eggs.

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