a stitch in time.

One of my regular customers brought me a present the other day (thanks again Suzy).  She had seen my post about the button box, and she thought this piece had a similar feel.

I photographed the ‘before’ shot with it lying on a table, but it is supposed to be hung on the wall to hold spools of thread.  It’s not in terrible shape, and the little daisy chain at the top is pretty cute, but that shade of yellow … well, it’s a little garish, isn’t it?

But, that was nothing that a little spray paint couldn’t fix.

First I sanded off the daisy chain though.  The paint used for the flowers was a bit thick, so had I just painted over it you would have still seen the outline.  So I sanded those flowers off completely, then added a few coats of Rustoleum’s Heirloom White.  Next I added a little section from the Classic Vintage Labels transfer from re.design with prima to the top.

I had remarked on how much I loved the look of the old wooden spools that came with the button box compared with modern plastic ones …

But I’d included them with the box when I sold it, so I didn’t have any of those left.  All I had were the 4 spools that came with this rack.

So it was kind of kismet when I happened to find a big box of old thread at a lunchtime garage sale for $1.

They weren’t all old, but there were enough vintage spools in there to make it worthwhile.

I put all of the plastic ones in the Goodwill pile, and added the vintage ones to the spool holder.

Wouldn’t this be sweet hung on the wall in someone’s sewing room?

I don’t actually happen to sew though, so that someone won’t be me.

But if you’re local, and a seamstress, it could be you.  It is for sale for a mere $22.  If you’re interested, leave a comment or shoot me an email at qisforquandie@gmail.com.

And if there aren’t any takers, I’ll be putting it in the pile to take to Reclaiming Beautiful, the shop where I sell some of my things on consignment.

a box full of memories.

If you’ll remember, I’ve been on the hunt for a paint-able, vintage recipe box to hold my index card scrapbook for a while now.  I created the index cards back in March 2019 after seeing a post on the Miss Mustard Seed blog.

My picker Sue found a fun box back in March of this year that I thought would work to hold them, but it was too small.

But recently I came home from garage saling with a recipe box that was just the right size.  There it is under Bessie the cow.

It wasn’t particularly special, just a plain box with no extra features.  But we all know what a little paint and some transfers can do, right?

I ended up deciding to paint it with Sweet Pickens milk paint in a color called Patina.  I’d mixed the paint up for a mirror frame that I painted and I had plenty left for the box.

To be honest, it would have been much easier to just use Dixie Belle paint.  The qualities of milk paint didn’t really shine on this project.  Plus I mixed it up with a little too much water so it took 4 coats to get good coverage.

Although, I guess if you look closely, I did get a little chippy-ness around the edges.  It’s subtle, but it’s there.

The words on the front of the box are from an IOD transfer called Label Ephemera.  I had to cut some of them up and re-arrange them a bit to both fit my box, and to make better sense.  But in the end, isn’t it just perfect for a box full of travel photos?

I also added a transfer to the top of the box.

This one is from a transfer called Ephemera Collector from re.design with prima.  So I guess it’s fair to say that there is an ‘ephemera’ sort of theme here.  Also, fair warning, this is another transfer that is being retired so if you want one you should act now.

I also painted the inside of the box, and then lined the lid with the same October Afternoon scrapbook paper that I used on Monday’s box.

And as you can see, my cards fit inside perfectly!

I’d like to say that I’ll be inspired to finish up the cards now, but I know that won’t happen during the summer.  Scrapbooking has always been more of a winter activity for me.

No worries, time has been flying by so fast for me these days that winter will be here before we know it!  Right?!

Last night at midnight was the deadline to get a comment in to be eligible for the giveaway from last Friday.  I go to bed way before midnight though (early to bed, early to rise hasn’t always been my motto, but it is these days) so I haven’t actually drawn a name yet.  I’ll get that taken care of today though and announce the winner’s name on tomorrow’s post, so stay tuned!

ok, let’s do it again!

First off, thanks so much for all of your comments on Friday.  If you haven’t already commented, you have until Wednesday to leave a comment on that post (not this one) to be eligible for the giveaway.

I was really surprised that Bessie the cow was such a fan favorite.  I never thought that one would get so many votes!  And I was especially happy to hear that so many of you enjoy seeing these smaller projects, and also that so many of you really appreciated seeing 5 days of posts.  So guess what?  I decided to do it again!

I thought about it and realized I have five more things completed that I could post about.  Much like last week, none of them are earth shattering revelations, but I hope you guys will enjoy them nonetheless.

I’m starting out today with the simple wooden crate that is front and center in this photo that I shared last week …

I have to tell you guys, it was from the ‘free pile’ at a garage sale.  I’m sure the person getting rid of it thought no one in their right mind would want some dirty, paint splattered old wooden crate.

But I knew I could paint it up and turn it into something special.

I started by cleaning it well.  Maybe I should elaborate on that process today.  In the summer I like to pile all of my dirty finds (hmmm, that sounds a little off, doesn’t it?) in the yard.  Then I bring out a small table that I often use to paint on because it’s just the right height for working standing up.  Next I bring out the Dawn Powerwash Dish Spray (and by the way, this post is in no way sponsored by Dawn, I just love this stuff).

Have any of you guys tried it?  I especially like the Apple scent.  This product is the perfect solution for us.  We don’t have a dishwasher, so we like to keep up on the dishes by washing them as we go.  We rarely have enough dirty dishes at one time to require a sink full of soapy water.  Instead we just spray, wipe and rinse and we’re done.  Easy peasy.

I’ve also found that it works really well for washing up my garage sale finds.  I put an item up on the table, spray it with the Powerwash, scrub it down with a scrub brush and then hose it off.  I do this on sunny days so that I can then set each item out in the sunshine to dry off.

Washing years of someone else’s dirt and grime off of things has never been one of my favorite parts of what I do, but this makes it much easier.  Plus the grease fighting properties of dish soap are beneficial for items that are going to be painted as well.

OK, so I washed the box and let it dry thoroughly (it was a few days before I got around to painting it).  Then I painted just one quick coat of Dixie Belle’s Sea Glass.  I didn’t even try to get full coverage because my plan was to sand it back quite a bit anyway.

I wanted it to look clean, but not freshly painted.  As though that could be an original, old paint job.

Next I pulled out some left over bits of the Cosmic Rose transfer from re.design with prima (if you’re keeping track, I used part of it on a bed and then another section on a re-sized drawer, and I’ll probably get one more small project out of it after this as well).  I cut and rearranged various sections of the transfer to fit my box.  For example, I cut the “Spring Flowers” bit out separately and applied that to the bottom.

Then I centered the floral section on the front of the box and wrapped the excess around the sides.

Once the transfer was applied, I sanded over it lightly with 220-grit sand paper to give it some age as well.  Then I added a topcoat of clear wax.

The inside of the box was a little stained, so I lined it with some more of my favorite October Afternoon scrapbook paper.

It was the perfect color to match the Sea Glass.

So, there you have it.  Another super simple makeover using paint and a transfer.

Eventually this will be going to Reclaiming Beautiful to sell.  I won’t be making it in there this week, but maybe the following week.

In the meantime, if you’re local, I’m always willing to sell items to people who can pick them up.  I apologize to all of you who live further afield, but I just hate shipping things!

As always, thanks to Dixie Belle Paint Co for providing the paint and to re.design with prima for providing the transfer for this project.

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

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

I don’t typically add the small items to my ‘available for local sale’ page, but I will start doing that just in case anyone is interested.  So if you are local and in need of a fabulous wooden box, check out my ‘available for local sale‘ page.

old bessie.

Even though today’s projects are really basic, I still wanted to share them with you guys.

Let’s start with a quick photo of a pile of some of the smaller items I found at last weekend’s sales …

I haven’t gotten to everything in this photo quite yet.  The sock stretcher that is underneath everything will be tucked away until the holiday season (in the meantime, check out these sock stretchers I upgraded last year).

I’m still on the fence about the little child’s pull toy with the yellow ducks on it.  I’m tempted to paint it sort of like I did with the elephant pull toy last year.  I’m just not fond of those original colors.  They seem a bit garish, what do you think?

The wooden recipe box is the perfect size to hold my recipe card scrapbook project unlike the last one that I found that was too small, so that will get a custom makeover especially themed for those cards.

The rolling pin wasn’t anything special, I just thought it would be fun to give it some green handles.  I painted them with Dixie Belle’s Kudzu.

Oh, the bucket above is another garage sale find from last weekend that I simply dressed up with another Classic Vintage Label transfer.

I did makeover the remaining two items though, starting with the wooden cow.

Sometimes you guys must really wonder what in the world I’m thinking.  I mean, seriously, why would I grab this old thing?  At some point someone must have thought this cow should have blue eyes because they blobbed a bit of blue paint on both sides of her face.

Honestly, I don’t know what it was, but something about old Bessie appealed to me.

After taking a closer look at her base, I realized that it screwed off so that made it easy to decide on a two tone paint job for her.  I started by painting the base with Dixie Belle’s Caviar, and then painted the cow with their Drop Cloth.  Once both were dry, I sanded them lightly to distress and then added a transfer from re.design with prima’s Classic Vintage Labels to the cow.

I finished everything off with a coat of clear wax and then just screwed the base back on.  That was it.

I think she’d be pretty cute on a kitchen counter, don’t you?

The shoe stretchers received a very similar makeover.  I simply painted them with Drop Cloth, sanded to distress and added some transfers.

How fun are those?  Once again I was torn about keeping one, or both of them.

But seriously you guys, I can’t keep everything!  I get a little twitchy if I have too much stuff in my house and I already have a buyer lined up for them so they didn’t stick around long.

Tomorrow is a holiday at the day job, so I’ll probably get up early and get some more painting done before the heat sets in.  We’re expecting lots of humidity and a high in the 90’s.  Yuck!  I’ll take 3′ of snow over heat and humidity any day.  I’ll also be posting one last daily post tomorrow featuring some restyled garage sale finds, so be sure to stay tuned.

there’s a hole in my bucket.

OK, so I promised a post every day this week, but I never said each post would be extensive, did I?

Today I’m sharing the quick and easy makeover of this pair of buckets.

You may remember that I picked these up at those back to back barn sales I found back at the end of May.  They have obviously been around the block a time or two.  I don’t think either one could actually hold water at this point.  But that makes them perfect to use as planters, or just as decor somewhere in your home.

I started with the smaller of the two buckets.  I rather liked the original patina on it, so I simply cleaned it well using Dawn dishwashing soap, and once dry I added a section from the Paris Valley transfer from re.design with prima.

It’s definitely a more subtle look, which I like personally, but fully realize would not be everyone’s cup of tea.

For bucket no. 2, I decided to paint it white first, thus allowing the transfer to take center stage.

Once again, I washed it well and this time I also sanded the outside lightly to give the surface more gripping power before painting.  Then I mixed up some of Miss Mustard Seed’s milk paint in Ironstone, which is her brightest white.  I ended up painting three coats on the bucket to get good, solid coverage.  Milk paint tends to be a little more sheer than other kinds of paint, so if you’re using the white or very pale shades it can take up to three coats.

Once fully dry, which happens pretty quickly with milk paint, I sanded the paint to distress the finish.  Then I added another section from the Paris Valley transfer to this bucket.

The milk paint worked perfectly.  It mostly adhered, but got chippy in just a couple of spots giving this an authentically aged look.  I find that milk paint will adhere to a dull metal finish (like galvanized metal), but it won’t adhere well to a shiny, smooth metal finish.

I filled the bucket with some Annabelle hydrangeas which have just started to bloom here in my Minnesota garden.

By the way, I added a coat of clear wax to each of the buckets after applying the transfers.

It’s so easy to add just a little something extra with some paint and a transfer!

Which one is your favorite?

la cage.

As promised, I’m back again today with another revamped garage sale find.

I purchased this metal cage at a sale being held by a woman who said she used to sell in a shop, but the shop has not been open due to COVID.  I wasn’t really clear on whether the shop has permanently gone out of business, or is just closed for the time being.

Either way, she had lots of goodies at her sale, including this cage, and they were priced to move.   So I was happy to help her out by buying quite a few things.

Initially I wasn’t planning to do anything more than clean this cage and re-sell it.  But once I washed it up I realized that the existing finish was rather tired looking, and not in a good, vintage, sort of way.

So once again I broke out the Rustoleum spray paint in Heirloom White.  It takes a while to spray paint something like this.  Mainly because you have to make sure that you’ve gotten to every angle.  So it’s a lot of spraying and waiting for it to dry, flipping it around, spray some more, waiting some more, etc.

In the end, I’m really glad I lightened this one up.  Going white gave me the opportunity to add some transfers to it.

The bee on the door is from re.design with prima’s Classic Vintage Labels, and the ‘1888.’ on the drawer is from IOD’s Classic Pots.

I used a vintage French invoice to line the drawer.

It’s from a packet of ephemera that my friend Terri gifted to me a while back.

You can see the paper even when the drawer is closed, so I definitely needed to use something pretty.

As pretty as this one turned out, I won’t be keeping it.  I already have a few birdcages, any more and I’m in danger of starting another non-collection.  So I’ll be bringing this one into the shop to sell.  If any of you locals are in need of la cage, be sure to head in and check it out.  Or if you want to call dibs on it in advance, let me know.

the queen’s glory chalkboard.

Chalkboards, are they in or are they out?

I’ve heard others say that they are definitely out, but I still love them.  I have five of them decorating my house.  My favorite still being the one that hangs over my sofa.

I’ve made quite a few of them in the past because they are my favorite way to upcycle a mirror that isn’t being returned to its dresser.

Recently one of my readers, Suzy, came across a mirror that she thought I might like to have and she dropped it off for me.

Initially I was planning to keep it a mirror.  But as I started working on it I changed my mind.

To begin with, it had a bit of water damage at the bottom.  The damage was worse on the particle board backing, so that got ripped off and thrown away.  At that point the mirror came right out, which made the frame much easier to paint.  I simply sanded it down a little, cleaned it with a damp rag and added two coats of Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth.

Next I added the bottom section of re.design with prima’s Parisian Letter transfer to the space at the top of the frame.

Once I had that in place I realized that it would really pop with a black chalkboard in the frame rather than the mirror.

So handyman Ken cut a piece of hardboard to fit and I painted it with some black chalkboard paint and voila!

You have some options when it comes to creating a chalkboard.  You can use milk paint to create a chalkboard

You can also just use chalk style paint, like Dixie Belle paint.

But I already had some of the Rustoleum black chalk board paint on hand so I just used that.

It made for a quick and easy afternoon project.

I’ve got a couple of more detailed projects underway that I hope to complete this weekend.  How about you?  What’s on your agenda this weekend?

vintage seed.

It’s official, today I can reveal the brand new re.design with prima transfers coming out for Spring 2020.

The transfer I’m using for today’s project is called Vintage Seed and it’s perfect for spring.  It’s basically a collage of vintage canning labels.  It has some gorgeous colors in it, and a mix of floral and fruit images.

Also, here’s a great new feature on the re.design with prima packaging …

Specific sizing information!  This will make it so much easier to determine whether or not a transfer will fit nicely on your piece.  I don’t know about you guys, but I’m rather particular about that.

You could use this full transfer on a piece of furniture, maybe on the door fronts of a hoosier style cupboard or something like that.  But I decided to cut mine up and thus get a lot more use out of it.

My first project was dressing up some of the glass canisters that I use for storing my craft supplies.

It was super simple to cut the labels out and apply them to the glass.

Aren’t the colors on these gorgeous?

I also recently dressed up a mirror that I removed from a dresser.  I have a stash of these mirrors out in the carriage house from dressers that I have painted over the years.

I started out by painting the frame in Sweet Pickins milk paint’s In a Pickle, which turned out perfectly chippy.

Then I added a section from the Spring Flowers transfer to the mirror.

You have to be very careful when applying a transfer to glass, whether it’s mirror glass or clear glass canisters.  It will be drawn to the glass like a magnet, and once it connects, it is stuck in that spot.  So be sure you have it aligned exactly where you want it before you allow it to come in contact with the glass.

Now, I haven’t had a lot of experience with washing these items yet.  However, I would recommend cleaning the mirror by spraying glass cleaner on a paper towel (not directly onto the transfer), and then wipe the mirror gently.  For the canisters, I would not submerge them in soapy water.  Instead, clean the insides and lids with soapy water on a cloth and then gently wipe the transfer.

The transfers can be removed from glass completely using a razor blade, if you should ever grow tired of them and want to switch them out for something else.

Be sure to check back next week to see the other projects I’ve been using the new transfers on including an actual piece of furniture that I’ll be sharing on Monday!

As always, thanks to re.design with prima for providing the transfers I used on these projects.

If you are wondering where to buy re.design with prima products you can search for online stores here and  retail stores here.


a tape dispenser.

I continued to work on several fun projects over the weekend using the new, not yet released, re.design with prima transfers.  So unfortunately, I can’t share any of those with you today.  The official reveal date for the new transfers is this Friday and the new molds can’t be revealed until June 1.

So I had to dig deep to find a project to whip up that didn’t involve any of the new items so that I would have something to share with you guys today.  I’m going to admit up front that as a result, today’s post is not terribly exciting.  But it was a satisfying little project.

I purchased this old (dare I call it vintage?) tape dispenser while out thrifting last year.

I have the tackiest burgundy plastic tape dispenser on my desk at the day job, so I thought it would be nice to have something a little bit more my style.

And I knew I could dress this one up a bit.

So I sanded it lightly, washed it with soapy water, and then painted it with two coats of Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth.  Once totally dry, I sanded lightly to distress.  Next I added a small section from one of the Classic Vintage Labels transfers from re.design with prima.

But I couldn’t just stop there, I also added a few more transfers from Tim Holtz and 7gypsies.

Once the rub-on’s were applied, I added a coat of clear wax over the entire surface to protect it.

My original plan was to put the plain Scotch tape back in, but then a little light bulb went off in my head.  Why not load it with some fun washi tape instead?

Sure enough, the washi tape fit perfectly on the little plastic wheel that holds the tape.  What luck!

By the way, if you aren’t familiar with washi tape, it’s sort of a flimsier version of masking tape that’s not quite as sticky.  The Tim Holtz brand washi tapes are acid free, making them safe to use in scrapbooks because they won’t damage your photos over the years.  And he has some gorgeous designs …Now I’m no longer sure I want to take this tape dispenser in to my office at the day job after all.  Maybe I’ll just keep it at home as a handy dispenser for washi tape.

Maybe now it’s just way too cool to hold plain ol’ clear tape.

What do you think?

getting ready for gardening season.

This past weekend was your typical spring weather in Minnesota.  On Saturday it was 60 degrees and sunny.  Mr. Q and I took a long walk, started clearing the winter debris out of the gardens, and then sat on the deck and enjoyed the feel of sunshine on our faces.

On Sunday, those same chairs looked like this.

And my Scilla siberica looked like this …

This always happens here in April.  We get teased with a glimpse of spring, and then shot back down with the realization that this is Minnesota and we can’t actually count on good gardening weather until May.

Well, we can still dream of gardening weather.  And that brings me to my quick and easy project for today.

I started with one of the aprons from re.design with prima.

I couldn’t find a single online photo of this product that didn’t have the re.design logo blocking the front pocket.  In some of the photos it even looked like the logo was actually part of the apron.  It isn’t.  This is a 100% cotton apron that is essentially a ‘blank canvas’ that you can paint, dye, or otherwise embellish to suit your tastes.

It has that front pocket that I mentioned, plus a sweet ruffle along the bottom hemline.

Since it’s made out of 100% cotton, I recommend washing it before you get started.  I did wash and dry mine first.

Since I tend to like simple, uncluttered designs, I decided to add a quick and easy stencil to my apron to dress it up.  I used Dixie Belle Paint Co paint in Gravel Road (which is a warm, dark grey) and a couple of stencils from Maison de Stencils.

I placed different sections of each stencil wherever they fit best on my apron.

You can set the paint with heat by either throwing your apron in the dryer on high heat, or pressing the apron on the reverse side with a high heat iron.

It’s probably far more likely that I’ll use this apron to protect my clothes while painting, but it would work great for keeping the dirt off while re-potting plants.  And I also suppose one could wear it while cooking … but we all know I don’t do much of that.

How about you?  Are you much of an apron wearer?

As always, thanks to Dixie Belle Paint Co, re.design with prima and Maison de Stencils for providing the products used for this makeover.