not exactly impressive.

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

In fact, they were a bit sad.

Oh boy, do I miss my Minneapolis neighborhood sales!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That’s a lotta meat!

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

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


faux flour sack towels.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

the rose box.

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

And then it turns out like this …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


gone paintin’ stencils.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Paint furniture with Fusion Mineral Paint in Cathedral Taupe

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What would you place inside this cage?

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


a folding chair do-over.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


dogs in side cars.

Earlier this week I was on my way home from work when I noticed a car pulled over just in front of me.  The passenger had popped his hand out of the window with his phone as if to take a photo.  At first I thought he was taking a photo of me, but I figured that couldn’t be right so I took a look in the rear view mirror.  Just behind me was a guy driving a motorcycle with a side car, and perched in the side car was his dog.  And the dog had googles on!

Now, I didn’t actually pull over to take a photo, but I found a good one of a different dog in a side car to borrow from the web (and I also found out that this is kind of a thing and they make Doggles just for this purpose!)

I had the biggest grin on my face all the way home after seeing that dog.  He looked so blissfully happy riding down the road in that side car with the wind in his fur.

It just made me realize that we all need to take a moment and just enjoy the simple things.  I don’t know about you, but I could use a few more ‘dogs in side cars’ moments these days to remind me of that.

OK, I just had to share that story with you guys.  But now we can move on the official post for today.

In addition to new transfers, with prima also released some new decoupage decor tissue paper designs this week.

‘Huh?  What is decoupage decor tissue paper?’ you ask?

Well, this product itself is not new.  They’ve had these decor tissue papers for a while now, but I haven’t done much with them aside from cutting one up and leaving it loose as a drawer liner.  Basically these are a fibrous textured paper that is thicker and more durable than normal tissue paper, or even just decorative paper.  The feel of it reminds me a bit of dryer sheets, or possibly interfacing material (if you have done any sewing and are familiar with that stuff).  Not only is it harder to tear, but it also is breathable which makes it perfect for decoupaging.  No more dealing with air bubbles!

I decided to finally do a little experimenting with it to see how I liked it.  OK, I’ll be straight with you guys, I didn’t especially love some of the original designs that came out so I hadn’t really felt inspired to work with them.  But I pretty much love all of the new ones that came out this week and that prompted me to get to work with them.

For my first project, I chose a design to use inside the hinged box on the mirrored box I shared with you last Friday.  I went with a design called Floral Parchment and I used Dixie Belle’s Gator Hide as a decoupaging medium.

The first thing you need to know is that this paper is not fully opaque.  In other words, it’s a little bit transparent.  Enough so that the color you put under it will make a difference in the final look.  Here’s how this paper looks over Dixie Belle’s Apricot paint color …

See what I mean?

I’ll share a few more examples in a minute, but first, here is the technique I used to apply the paper which was definitely easy peasy.

When lining something like this, I think it’s easiest to cut the tissue paper to size first.  Then do a test fit by placing it in the drawer dry.  Then pull it back out and brush a layer of the Gator Hide inside your drawer.  Next, place the tissue paper back in over the Gator Hide.  As long as the Gator Hide remains wet, you can maneuver the tissue paper around to get it straight and into place.  The paper is very easy to work with even when wet, I never felt like I was in danger of tearing it or leaving an unwanted crease somewhere.  You can even lift it back up and re-situate it if you need to.

Once you have the paper in place, go back over the top with another layer of Gator Hide.  Then use your fingers or your brush to go over the surface of the paper making sure that it is laying flat everywhere.  This is super quick and simple, nothing at all like trying to get those dreaded air bubbles out when decoupaging with other papers.

Don’t panic if it seems like the paper has gotten rather dark and obscured looking with the Gator Hide.  Once it’s dry it will lighten back up and be clear.

I was so happy with how my first example turned out that I decided to do a few more.  I pulled out some old wooden boxes that my picker found for me recently.

I rather liked the patina on all of them, so I opted not to paint them (for the most part).

Let’s just look at them one at a time to see what I did with them.

First up is the old cheese box.  Here’s how it looked after I cleaned it thoroughly.

I wanted to keep that worn look on the outside, but also make sure the inside was suitably cleaned up and sealed.  So I lined the bottom with the Washed Damask decoupage tissue and carried the final coat of Gator Hide up the sides inside the box.

Now you can store stuff in this box without feeling like it might get contaminated.

Next up was the rather plain box.  Initially I’d thought about painting it, but instead I cleaned it up and then added some scraps from IOD’s Label Ephemera transfer to the outside.

And then I lined it with the Flower Market tissue paper (by the way, this is one of with prima’s older decoupage tissue papers, not one of the new ones).

Last up is my favorite of the boxes.  This box seems like it has been cobbled together from left over bits of wood.  The top slats on the sides had a couple of coats of paint on them (there is a lovely minty green under the brown), while the lower slats must have been from an old packing crate of some kind.

I added the “Specimen Blend” wording, but the “Montreal” was already there.

I did a little more work on this one by adding some old drawer pulls to the ends.

Next I painted just the bottom inside with Dixie Belle’s Mint Julep and once dry, decoupaged some Floral Wallpaper tissue inside it as well.

What I really like about using the Gator Hide as a decoupage medium is that you know it will create a durable surface.  So you could place some potted plants inside without worrying about doing too much damage to the bottom of the box (although I would remove them from the box for watering just to be on the safe side).

I love how all of these projects turned out.  I’ve also seen others doing some really fun things with the decoupage decor tissue, like covering old books or putting it on the sides of drawers.  And of course, you can also put it on drawer fronts too.

Here’s a q-tip for you on that though, keep in mind that these papers come with just two sheets to a package and each sheet is about 9.5″ tall x 30″ wide.  So there’s a good chance you’ll need several packages if you want to cover (or line) multiple drawers.  They are fairly inexpensive at around $8 to $11 per set, but if you need three or four sets that can add up quickly.

But I only needed about half of one sheet for the insides of my boxes.  I could have lined all four using just one set if I’d kept them all the same.  But these with prima papers are all so pretty I couldn’t possibly have used just one!

Now, before you go hog wild and start decoupaging everything in sight, I have to note here that I have no idea how hard it might be to remove this stuff once it is applied.  I suspect it might be quite a mess.  So be sure that you want whatever you are decoupaging to stay decoupaged!  I’m not sure there is any going back.

As always, thanks to both with prima and Dixie Belle for providing the products used in today’s post.

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

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

And finally, I highly recommend looking for dogs in side cars.  They are the perfect way to bring a smile to your face when you least expect it.

use your words.

OMG you guys!  I almost did it again!  I almost posted the reveal of the new transfers and decor tissue papers too early.  When writing the post I shared this past Monday, I didn’t realize that the release date had been changed from yesterday to this coming Monday.  Thank goodness I noticed that before I posted my project using them today or I would have been in trouble again with the ‘release police’.

Now, before you think I’m a complete idiot who can’t keep track of dates,  the only notification of the change was a note on the Facebook group page for brand ambassadors.  In case you don’t already know this about me, I am notoriously bad about paying attention to Facebook.  I pretty much only see something on Facebook if I’m specifically tagged.  Otherwise, yeah … who has time to read everything that’s posted on Facebook?

Anyway, I apologize to all of you.  I’d promised you the big reveal today and now you aren’t going to see it until Monday.

In the meantime, thank goodness I had another project waiting in the wings to be shared or I would have had to have another giveaway today 😉  And speaking of giveaways, you still have until midnight tonight to leave a comment on Monday’s post to enter that giveaway.

My picker found this adorable little … um, what would you call this?

A mirrored box maybe?  I’m not sure.  But it was obviously meant for jewelry because there was a padded velvet lining inside, so maybe a mirrored jewelry box?

Regardless, I ditched the velvet, because I think I’d be more inclined to keep makeup inside the hinged box.  Although it would work well for jewelry still too.

I gave it a paint job with Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth on the outside and their Apricot on the inside.  Then I added some words from the IOD Label Ephemera transfer.

I added some above the mirror too.

Isn’t it amazing how much using a little paint and a few words can totally change the look of something?

And this one is pretty on the inside too.

I can’t tell you much about that though, because I used one of prima’s new decoupage tissue papers on the inside.  I can’t tell you the name of it or show you the entire sheet of tissue until next week.  But this is just a little bit of it, so I think I can get away with calling it a ‘sneak peek’.  And honestly, even if I wanted to share the name of this one I wouldn’t be able to because I don’t know what it is.

But stay tuned.  Next week not only will I share more on this one, but I’ll share a couple of other new decoupage tissues and also more about the technique I used to adhere it inside my mirrored box.

But in the meantime, how do you like this mirrored box’s new look?

As always, thank you to Dixie Belle for providing the paint used for this project. If you’re looking for Dixie Belle products you can find them here.

And if you are local and could use a sweet little mirrored box, this one is for sale for $38.

Be sure to check back on Monday when I can officially reveal the new with prima designs!

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 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

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 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 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 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 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.