a garden stool.

I grabbed this little stool a while back when I saw it at a garage sale.

I love to buy small pieces like this to paint.  They are fun, quick little projects that bring a lot of satisfaction with just a little bit of effort.

They are also perfect projects for milk paint beginners.  So if you’re thinking about trying milk paint for the first time, look for something like this to experiment on.

I mixed up about 1/4 cup of Homestead House milk paint in a color called Upper Canada Green.  If you’re a Miss Mustard Seed milk paint fan, this color is quite similar to her Luckett’s Green.  I like to let my milk paint ‘simmer’ (I say simmer, but no heat or cooking is involved) a bit to be sure all of the pigments have had time to dissolve.  This is especially important with the greens.  So while I was letting the mixed paint sit for a bit, I sanded the stool and then wiped it down with TSP substitute.  I was trying to avoid getting too much chipping that would show that white paint underneath.

My efforts paid off because I didn’t get any chipping at all!

After two coats of paint and some drying time, I sanded lightly to distress the edges and then I added an Iron Orchid Designs furniture transfer.

This little stool is the perfect height to use for weeding your garden.  I don’t know about you, but I’m at a certain age where I pay later for sitting, kneeling or bending over the garden for too long.  So I like to use a little low stool when I’m gardening.  It just makes it so much easier!

I added a topcoat of Homestead House furniture wax to this stool, but I’m second guessing that decision now.  I’m not sure how well the wax will protect the rub-on from frequent sitting.  I probably should have opted for a more durable sealer, but … well … hindsight is always 20/20.

At this point I would not try to put a water based topcoat over the wax.  I don’t think it would adhere well or go on smoothly.  I wish I hadn’t been quite so quick to add that wax!  Live and learn, right?



another do-over.

Did you happen to catch my blog post over on the Reclaiming Beautiful blog yesterday?


If not, you should pop over there and check it out!

I used Fusion paint and transfer gel to upgrade an old bucket.  But I didn’t want my own blog readers to feel left out, so I did a second paint & transfer gel project for you guys too.

Every once in a while I throw in the towel and decide something needs a do-over.  In this case, it’s a cutting board that I added a stencil to.  I probably did this two years ago or so.  I’ve had it for sale at my occasional sale, but there were no takers.  So, I decided to pull it out and try again.


First I gave the entire board a coat of paint in Fusion’s Limestone.  I was surprised to find that only one coat was enough to cover the black stencil.  Nice.

Next I taped off some grain sack style stripes using my favorite skinny tape (Painter’s Mate, .23″ wide).

I painted the stripes with some of Fusion’s Putty.

Next I used Fusion’s Transfer Gel to transfer a graphic I found on pinterest.

This time I tried a new technique.  Instead of adding the transfer gel to the cutting board and then placing the paper on it, I brushed the transfer gel onto the face of the paper and then placed it on the board. This was far less messy.

I did end up with a couple of spots where the transfer didn’t ‘take’ real well though.  Mainly the “C” and the “M” of cream.


It may be that I had air bubbles in those two spots, or perhaps I didn’t have enough gel in those spots, I’m not really sure.

But regardless, I am still quite happy with how it turned out.  I like a distressed look.


This little cutting board is perfect for leaning against the back-splash on your kitchen counter (and if you’re wondering, no, I would no longer use this as a cutting board, I don’t think it would hold up well to a sharp knife).


You can always check the “where to buy” page on the Fusion website to find a local retailer for both the paint and the transfer gel.

a thrifty makeover.

I’ve got a quick thrifty makeover to share with you guys today.

I picked up this item at the thrift store over a year ago.  I’m guessing it was meant to hang on the wall next to the phone (remember when phones were hung on the wall?) with a pad of paper for taking messages (remember writing messages down on paper?).


Sometimes I like to pick out stuff that is hideously ugly just to see if I can re-purpose it, and this one is an excellent candidate.

Especially when you notice that the sheep are textured.


I know that back in 1983 or so someone hand-painted those sheep and absolutely loved them, so my apologies to the 80’s crafter who made this.

First things first, I had to sand down those textured sheep.

That was pretty simple.

Next I just added a couple of coats of Miss Mustard Seed milk paint in Farmhouse White.  I sanded to distress and got a nice little bit of chipping.  Then I gave it a quick coat of Salad Bowl Finish (a.k.a. MMS 100% beeswax).  Then I embellished with a couple of rub-ons.


Rub-on’s can be tricky with milk paint.  The plastic sheet that the rub-on’s come on is just slightly tacky on the back and sometimes that will be enough to pull off some milk paint.  So if you are going to use a rub-on over milk paint, be sure that you have removed all chipping paint first.  You can see below where the top half of the “8” came off with a chip of paint.  In this case I think it just blends with the overall chippy-ness, but I have had rub-on’s take off an entire section of paint and leave nothing of the rub-on behind, which doesn’t look so good.


Also, rub-on’s can dry out and no longer work.  If you ever decide to pick up some to try, be sure to store them in their plastic sleeves so they don’t dry out.  The rub-on’s I used for this project all came from Hobby Lobby.  The “Cherish each Moment” is from the scrapbook sticker aisle and the numbers are from the Tim Holtz section (which for some strange reason is tucked way in the back of my store away from the scrapbook supplies so you may have to hunt around for them).

So, I’ve turned an outdated useless item into a unique photo holder.


Unless you still have a wall mounted phone and like to write down messages, in which case you can still use it for that purpose too.

it’s all in the details.

 A while back my friend Jodie gave me this wooden spool.


She thought it might be something I could use in photo shoots.

But after seeing this page in A Touch of Farmhouse Charm, a new book by Liz Fourez …


I decided to doctor it up a bit and add a few fun details.  Liz made spools from dowel rods and wood discs and used a rubber stamp to dress them up.  I borrowed her ideas but gave them my own spin.

First I wound some blue and white twine around my spool.


And then I added a few Tim Holtz rub-on’s to the top.



And I think Jodie was right, this will be fun to use as a prop in future photos.


There were quite a few projects in Liz’s book that I want to try, it really is jam packed with great ideas.

By the way, that is the stack of books that I got for both my birthday and Christmas.  Lots of great eye candy.  I’m still working my way through the pile, but maybe I share some book reviews down the road, what do you think?  Do you see any books you’d like to know more about?

the possibilities of paint.

First things first, the four lucky winners of my wax giveaway have all been contacted and have gotten back to me.  Ruth, Julie, Katie & Cynthia, your waxes will be on their way soon (I have multiple readers with those names, so if you didn’t get an email I’m so sorry but you are not one who won).

Now for a quick garage sale find makeover!


I don’t know what these oval lidded tins were originally intended for, I just know that I like them.  I like that they have handles, and usually I like their original vintage finish. However, when I came across this one at a garage sale I almost passed it by because I really didn’t like the needlepoint look, or the colors.


But then I thought, hey, I can fix that with some paint.  So I brought it home.

I pulled it out the other day when I wasn’t feeling so well because it seemed like a simple project I could whip up even though I didn’t have any energy.  I washed it up and gave it two quick coats of Fusion paint in Little Piggy.

I feel a little bit like I am rationing the remains of my Little Piggy paint.  When Fusion came out with their Tones for Tots line of colors, they sent me a jar of Little Piggy.  Looking at it in the jar, I was not impressed.  My immediate thought was ‘flesh tone, hmmmm’.  Then I saw a dresser that Mary from Orphans with Makeup painted and I realized I had sold it short.  It was gorgeous.  Since then I’ve used it on a dresser, a vanity, and a small chair.  The one jar covered all of those pieces plus there is just a small amount left.  I had plenty for this project, and maybe, just maybe, I can eek out one more small project down the road.

Once the paint was dry I used Fusion’s transfer gel to transfer a French graphic to the edge of the top and around the side.  (If you would like detailed instructions on how to use transfer gel you can download my hatbox instructions here:  making a faux hatbox with transfer gel.)


Once that was done, I sanded the edges a little to give it a more distressed look.

Now it fits right in with the other two handled tins that I own.



And they are all right at home in my pantry.


So the next time you are at the thrift store or a garage sale and you see an item that has good bones, but isn’t quite the right color, don’t forget about the possibilities of paint.

Sharing at Silver Pennies Sundays.

signs, signs, everywhere there’s signs.

I’ve got a thing for signs.  I have to work hard to keep it in check.  How many signs are too many?

I’m not sure about a general rule of thumb, but I’m trying to limit myself to no more than two signs per room.  That seems reasonable, right?

And what exactly counts as a sign?

Anything with words on it?  Do I have to count chalkboard signs too then?

These sorts of rules are fairly fluid in my house, and I figure I can always find a spot for just one more sign.

So a while back I purchased this Merry and Bright sign at the Goodwill.  The yellow door behind it in the photo was a garage sale find.  I’m still working on the door, but today we’re talking about the sign.


The sign wasn’t bad ‘as is’, my sister thought I would just keep it and put it up for the holidays.  But I wanted to turn it into something else.

I started by painting the entire thing in Fusion’s Coal Black.  I chose Fusion paint for this step because I wanted a paint that would adhere well, you’ll understand why in a minute.

I let the Fusion paint cure for about a week just to make sure it was a little bit cured.

Next I used my Cricut machine to cut the wording for my sign out of white vinyl.  I placed the letters on my sign using a chalk line to keep them straight.

Next I painted over the whole shebang with Miss Mustard Seed milk paint in French Enamel.

Interesting to note that the milk paint did not adhere to the vinyl at all.  It did adhere to the Fusion paint though.  This blue is my undercoat of color, so I vacuumed off the chipping paint and then added a little wax all around the outer frame of the sign.  I then added three coats of Homestead House milk paint in Limestone (vacuuming off the paint that chipped off the vinyl between every coat).

Once dry, I peeled off my vinyl letters revealing the black Fusion paint underneath.  Then I sanded the entire sign to distress it up.

I got some nice chipping (thanks to the wax) that revealed the base layer of blue paint.


For now I’ve hung the sign over my Belgian bench.


I don’t plan for this to be its permanent home, but I’ll leave it there and enjoy it for bit.

Amy made me do it.

A while back my friend Amy (whose lovely home I recently featured) took a quick phone pic in a shop and sent it to me …


I think you can see why.

It’s a wonder I didn’t hop in my car and head straight for the shop, but she was all the way in Carver (which is on the other side of the cities from me), and she wasn’t 100% sure exactly which shop it was.  Well, I’m sure she was sure while she was in it, but not later when she sent me the photo.

Anyway …

Seeing this collection of all white mini dressers made me fall in love with the idea of unifying my little non-collection this way.  See why I’m saying that Amy made me do it?!

So I got out the Homestead House milk paint in Limestone and went to town.


The first mini in the line up was already white.  And it’s painted in Miss Mustard Seed’s Linen.  You can see that the Linen is just a tad warmer than the Limestone.

So I had a head start with this one.  I painted it way back in March 2015 and you can see that post here.  It was a two layer paint job with MMS Luckett’s Green under the Linen.


The second piece in the line up, the tall hutch style piece, was one of the first pieces I ever painted in milk paint.  It was in MMS Eulalie’s Sky and you can see it here.  Such a pretty color, but I was ready for a change.

Unfortunately there was a slight mishap while painting it.  I broke the glass!  Ooops.


Well, no worries, I just took out the glass and replaced it with screening.  I love the look of screening anyway.

It houses a small non-collection of flower frogs.


I’ve repainted the final mini multiple times!  You can read about the first paint jobs here.  This one is a chippy little thing.  The first paint job chipped off almost entirely.  I really liked the second paint job in MMS French Enamel, but I’m even happier now with my uniform whites.


It’s still pretty chippy as you can see.  It was missing the mirror when I bought it and I had some vintage wallpaper in that spot, but I switched it up for an old map.  But I’m kinda thinking maybe I should put a little chalkboard in that spot instead, what do you think?

And did you notice something else?  I now have a tiny mini camera!


Isn’t it adorable?  My niece gave it to me for Christmas.  It even has a tiny leather case.


It seems to be a real camera, although I can’t imagine where you would get tiny film to fit inside.

I’m quite happy with my trio of white minis.


So thanks for making me do it Amy!