a little bit rusty.

Between my most recent trip to my mom’s and then to Florida, I feel like my painting skills have gotten a bit rusty.  Since coming back I’ve been so busy in the garden that I haven’t even picked up a paint brush … well, except to paint the obelisk trellis in my garden.

But more on that later in the week.

In the meantime, speaking of rusty, I did pull out the Dixie Belle patina paint before my trips to turn some small garden statues into rust.

As you probably know, I just love this stuff.  The Iron paint combined with the green spray creates a perfectly authentic looking rust.

Here’s where my two pieces started out.

The pretty girl on the left is from the thrift store, and St. Francis came from my friend Sue.

Both are made from some sort of plastic or other man-made material, and have faux finishes.

After cleaning them up, I gave them a base coat of spray red primer from Rust-Oleum.  Dixie Belle does make a primer to be used with the patina paint called Prime Start, and they recommend you use that on metal pieces to prevent the patina paint created rust from becoming actual rust.  But I prefer to use a spray primer on pieces like these that have lots of nooks and crannies simply because it is easier.  In addition, neither of these are metal, so technically they don’t require the Prime Start.  However, both of them have a surface that may not hold onto paint well.  So rather than attempting to scuff sand, I just spray primed them.

For the full instructions on using the patina paints, check out my how-to post here.

I painted both pieces with the Iron paint, followed by the green spray.  After a day or two, they still weren’t looking as rusty as I wanted so I sprayed them with water.  That’s not an official technique for using this product, but I have noticed on my outdoor garden pieces that more rust comes out after they get rained on.  Sure enough it did the trick.

Here is how St. Francis turned out …

And here is how the peasant girl turned out …

I’m always rather particular about faces when it comes to statues like these.  Some of the cheaper versions have some fairly awful faces.

But her face is quite sweet I think.

At this point you may be wondering how this rusty patina holds up outside, and if it continues to develop more rust over time.

I’ll start by first noting that the durability of any paint treatment really depends upon what you are painting over, and in addition whether or not you applied it correctly.

But here are some examples of my rusty pieces that have been outside for a while.

I painted both of those last summer, and they both sat outside all winter.

Sometimes, in fact, even literally buried in snow.

They get some pine sap drips on them from the tree overhead, but otherwise they look really good.  I didn’t blog about the bench specifically, but I did share the two matching chairs and small table with all of the details here.

But how about items that have been outside for more than one year?

You may remember that I rusted up a pair of planters back in the summer of 2019.

These are made out of that molded plastic composite stuff, I don’t know exactly what that material is made out of.  But they are lightweight, not iron, not metal, not concrete, but some kind of man-made material.

These have been outside since they were painted, including winters.

So they are going on four years and are holding up fairly well, except for the very bottom where they often sit in snow.

When I purchased these pots, they were dark brown.  So actually, it’s the original paint that has failed down to the white material underneath it here, not the patina paint.  I plan to touch these up with some more patina paint, and that will be quite easy to do.

Also, you may notice that the pot looks a bit rustier now than it did when I first finished it (first photo with purple flowers).  So yes, these items will get rustier over time when outside in the elements.

I think my advice would be to take these items in for winter (if you live in a climate like mine in Minnesota) if you want them to last for many years.  However, if you only paid $30 for the pair at a garage sale, and you don’t mind having to touch up the patina paint down the road here and there, I say enjoy them outside in the winter!

Tell me what you think of my garden statues, was the rust an improvement?  Leave a comment and let me know.

goodbye snow, hello flowers.

You may remember this tote from a recent thrift store haul.

I always feel a little bit bad about painting over someone else’s hand-painted item, but that snow covered pine cone branch had to go.

As I was working on this post last Saturday morning, it was lightly snowing off and on outside, so I thought maybe if I symbolically removed those snowy pine cones it would also bring about a change in our weather.  Wishful thinking?

Either way, I’m about done with snow both on the ground outside, and on this tote.

I sanded the hand-painted bits down so that they wouldn’t show through my new paint job, then I painted the outside of the tote in Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth and the interior in their Holy Guacamole.

I love pairing this avocado green with the Floral Anthology transfer from I.O.D. that has a similar shades of green in it.

That’s the backside of the tote, which I left word free.

For the front, I added some wording from the I.O.D. Label Ephemera transfer.

I wrapped the florals around both sides as well.

Now the tote is pretty from all four sides.

Speaking of being done with snow, I’m heading off to Florida with my sister on Saturday.  We’re spending another week at our favorite Disney resort, Port Orleans – French Quarter.  This time we’ll be at Epcot for the Flower & Garden Festival, so I’m betting I’ll have a Sunday morning garden post for you when I return.

But in the meantime, due to my back to back trips, I’m a little short on projects to share here.  However, I do have a couple of flashback posts scheduled for next week to keep you entertained while I’m gone so I hope you enjoy them!

an altered recipe box.

Have you made yourself a recipe box scrapbook yet?

I shared this idea a few years back when I made one for our Adriatic cruise.

That cruise went to some of the most beautiful ports I’ve seen; Venice, Ravenna, Kotor, Split and Valletta.  If you’re considering a European cruise, I highly recommend looking for one that visits those ports of call.

But, I digress.  This isn’t supposed to be a travel post.  This is a post about a makeover for this recipe box.

I found it the last time I went thrifting with my friend Sue.  It’s a nice, big one which would make it perfect for photos.

After sanding the box down, I painted it with one coat of Dixie Belle’s Sea Glass.  Once that first coat was dry, I blended more Sea Glass with some of DB’s Juniper around the edges (FYI, I believe Juniper is no longer available, it was a seasonal color back in 2021).

I’m still practicing my blending skills, I do like the way a little blending adds some depth to a piece.

Once painted I added some I.O.D. transfers from the Brocante and Label Ephemera sets.

The floral and the butterfly are from Brocante, the wording is of course from Label Ephemera.

I didn’t paint the inside of the box, but I did line it with some scrapbook paper.

Unfortunately, the previous owner of this box had defaced most of the alphabet index cards.

I have only A thru J in their original state.

The tabs for the rest of the alphabet have been obscured with white out.

Still, someone creative could work with those cards.  Especially if they happen to have any of the October Afternoon word stickers.  They all have index tabs on them, like the “Family History” one below.

You can still find some of the word stickers on Etsy, but October Afternoon has been out of business for several years.

I decided to go ahead and paint over the white with some of Dixie Belle’s Mint Julep to make it a little less obvious.

I used my cute little Savoy camera to stage these photos.

This is one of the few items I’ve ever purchased at a legit antique shop.  It was $30, but I fell in love with the colors, which happen to work beautifully with the colors in the October Afternoon supplies I’ve used on my index cards.

You might be thinking that I plan to save this one for myself, but actually I am going to sell it (without the photos).  If I do eventually decide to make one for my old family photos, I’ll likely theme the outside to something more ‘family like’.  But it was fun to break out the scrapbook supplies and show you what you could do with this box.

So tell me, have I encouraged you to create your own recipe box scrapbook yet?

a little junkin’ and a little drinkin’.

Last week I spent some time helping my neighbor, nnK, paint her parent’s kitchen cabinets.  They live out in Amery, Wisconsin on Lake Wapogasset … or as I like to call it, Lake Pop-a-gasket.

We headed out there last Friday afternoon to add a few finishing touches, and we were done so quickly that we had a little extra time to kill before dinner so nnK and I checked out a few of the shops in town including Acme Junk Co.

I’d only been to this shop once before in their previous location, so I’d been wanting to check out this spot for a while now.

We headed down to the basement level first.  They had a very clever license plate treatment on the stairs.

How long do you suppose it takes to accumulate that many vanity license plates?

The lower level seemed to be mainly small booth spaces that I assume were rented by various different vendors.

Each little space had its own personality.  We had to laugh in one of the spaces that was devoted to paintings of naked women and vintage Playboys.  I didn’t take photos of that one to share with you guys, for obvious reasons.

There were some spaces that harkened back to my shabby chic days.

And some spaces that had a little bit more of a vintage industrial sort of style.

Overall the basement felt more like your typical antique mall, not what I would necessarily call a junk shop.

The main level of the store was much ‘junkier’, and I mean that in the most complimentary way.

They definitely had some cool stuff, including several really amazing antique dress forms.

At $475, this was way out of my price range as were the others in the shop unfortunately.

There were also lots of old typewriters, and clearly someone has gotten tired of bored children banging away on the keys while they wait for their parents to be done shopping.

This next one was particularly cool.

They certainly had some unique finds, hammerhead shark anyone?

I really liked this set of three cobalt blue apothecary bottles.

I thought $43 for all three was a decent price, but I don’t really have this color anywhere in my own décor so I couldn’t think where I would put them.

I was also extremely tempted by this large wooden toolbox.

It was a little pricey at $95, but I would have been willing to pay that for it if I’d had just the right spot for it.  Ultimately though, I realized that I’d want to add some wording to it and I wasn’t sure that I should mess with the original patina.  So I left it behind.

At this point you might be wondering, what did I buy?

First up, I purchased this little ironstone covered soap dish.

It’s rare to find ironstone at reasonable prices in our area (at least in my experience), and this one was $18.

I love the mark on the bottom.

I’m really trying to pare down my ironstone non-collection these days, but then I come across an item like this and I decide why not?

I’ve saved find of the day status for this guy though …

You may remember that I once had a planets and stars themed ornament just like this, only it was a pretty shade of blue.

And I broke it!

One of my generous readers had sent me a replacement that is red with glittery gold stars and planets (thanks again for that Melissa!).

But still, when I saw the silver one I had to have it.  As a bonus, it was only $2.  Definitely a bargain.

I’m still keeping an eye out for one in that pretty shade of blue, maybe one day I’ll find it.

That was it for my purchases at Acme Junk Co.  We did stop at a couple of other shops in Amery including Ruby Mae’s Treasures and Bittersweet Homestead Boutique.  Ruby Mae’s had some great vintage furniture pieces and is definitely worth a visit.  Bittersweet Homestead has more of a gift shop vibe with lots of seasonal items, candles, soaps, dip mixes and that sort of thing.  So if any of you locals are looking for a fun afternoon shopping trip, I can recommend heading to Amery.

We capped off our day with the Friday night fish fry at a quintessential Wisconsin supper club.

If you aren’t familiar with the Wisconsin supper club culture, there are a few things that make a genuine supper club.  Here is how Kevin Pang from the Chicago Tribune describes them  …

“A Wisconsin supper club is an independently owned, fine-dining destination restaurant, typically in a picturesque locale on the edge of town. The menu comes from yesteryear, void of pretense and decidedly non-froufrou — prime rib, broiled white fish, shrimp cocktail — with enough complimentary sides and trimmings to satisfy a second meal. A relish tray should begin the meal, and three hours later, is bookended with house-made bread pudding or cheesecake. On Fridays they should serve an all-you-can-eat fish fry. A band might be performing. Mixed cocktails such as Manhattans and brandy old-fashioneds are preferred over wine or beer. If you leave hungry, you have not dined in a supper club.”

This one definitely had the location down.  A picturesque locale on the edge of town.

I’ve only been to a handful of supper clubs, but they have all been lakeside.  By the way, as a sidebar, there were people out ice fishing on that lake while we were there.  In April.  I definitely wouldn’t have chanced it.

Most supper clubs feel like a blast from the past when you walk in.

OK, yes, we were the first people to arrive for dinner.  It was early, but we were hungry from a day of painting and shopping.  Most of those tables were occupied by the time we left.

Naturally, I had to order the iconic supper club drink, a brandy old-fashioned.

Since we were there on a Friday, everyone else at our table had the fish fry.  I’m not a big fish eater though, so I opted for the prime rib.  However, the conversation around the table was entertaining, and that drink was mighty tasty, so I completely forgot to get a photo of my dinner.  Suffice to say, it was delicious and we definitely did not leave hungry.

Speaking of leaving, I’m heading off to spend some time with my mom later this week.  I’d been hoping to get out there 3 or 4 times this winter, but other life stuff has been making it difficult to schedule.  But I finally found a semi-open time frame, and was able to use my Delta Skymiles for a free ticket, so off I go.

I’ve scheduled just a couple of posts in advance, so I’m not abandoning you all together.  So I hope you’ll stay tuned!

the top heavy cupboard fix.

I promised I’d share what I ended up doing with that top heavy mini-cupboard.

If you’ll remember, I found it while thrifting a week or two ago.  I almost put it back on the shelf because I wasn’t sure it would be worth the effort to save it.  It had such a wonky, top heavy look.

In addition, what I didn’t show when I mentioned it last was that it was filled with gross contact paper.

I think yucky old drawer liner might be near the top of my list of things I really don’t like to deal with.  Right after smoky smells and mouse pee.  I mostly try to avoid old contact paper, but I completely draw the line at the other two!

Fortunately, the adhesive on the contact paper had really deteriorated, so it came off rather easily.

Next I had to deal with that top heavy look.

I asked you guys for suggestions, and several of you had some really good ones including just removing the door, or maybe moving the door to the bottom, or even flipping the cupboard upside down turning the top into the bottom and then cutting off the old legs and adding new ones.  I did pop it upside down to see how it would look and that might have been an option that worked well.

However, after consulting with my handyman Ken, we decided to remove the door and then cut back the top half of the cupboard so that it was stepped back rather than flush with the front.  If you look closely at the photo below, you can see where I marked the new measurement for Ken.

Ken simply used a jig saw to cut everything off beyond that 5″ mark.  Then he did his best to recreate the curved sides below the upper shelves.

I wanted to possibly re-use the door on the bottom section, but Ken felt it was too warped to use.  I suppose we could have added a new door, but in the end, I think it’s fine without a door.

After sanding and cleaning the piece, I painted the inner bits with Dixie Belle’s Kudzu, and the outer bits with their Drop Cloth.

I just love this combination of white and green, especially in springtime.  OK, well, spring is definitely not here yet, we still had some single digit temps last week while I was working on this one.  But surely it’s just around the corner, right?

Next I lined the shelves with that pretty gingham scrapbook paper you’ve been seeing me use a lot of recently.

Once again, I am totally kicking myself for putting the majority of my garden themed props out in the potting shed, including my green flower frogs.  There is still a 3′ bank of snow in front of the door.  So for now, I have to make do with my basic uncolored frogs.

Finally, I added a Classic Vintage Label transfer from re.design with prima to the ‘work surface’ before giving everything a coat of clear wax.  Well … not the paper of course, but all of the painted parts.  The paper, by the way, is not adhered.  It’s loose, so if someone wanted to switch it out for something else they could easily do so.

In addition to those frogs, I also staged this one up with the itsy bitsy dresser that I painted up a while back and few other bits and bobs.

Isn’t it sweet?

This little cupboard would be the perfect addition to a craft room, potting shed, desk top, etc, etc.

I think Ken and I did a good job of eliminating that wonky top-heavy look and giving this little cupboard a fresh new look with some paint, paper and a small transfer.  Ultimately, I’m glad I didn’t put this one back on the shelf at the thrift store.

What do you think?

The cupboard is for sale, so if you are local be sure to check out my ‘available for local sale‘ page for all of the details.

Thank you to Dixie Belle Paint Co for providing the paint used in this project.

a march thrift haul.

Housekeeping item no. 1 – Congratulations to Marguerite.  I drew her name at random to win the Moody Blues giveaway.  Mr. Q sent it off in the post yesterday!

Housekeeping item no. 2 – Some nefarious person has created a fake profile on Instagram using my photo and the name ‘lindastrand1234’.  It is not me!  Do not be fooled.  Please note that my only profile on Instagram is qisforquandie!

OK, now on with today’s post!

I headed out for a bit more thrifting with my friend Sue last week.  Thrifting can really be hit or miss, and last week it was mostly a miss.

That’s about it for the smaller pieces.  Pretty blah, right?

I had to laugh at the reindeer candle holder.  He seems to be solid brass, but someone spray painted him brown.  Do you think they were trying to create a chocolate reindeer?  It really doesn’t seem to work in the same way as those chocolate bunnies.  Maybe because candlesticks made out of chocolate would probably be a bad idea.

I grabbed him because I thought it would be an interesting experiment to try and strip that spray paint back off.  And if that fails, I can always spray paint him gold.  Either way, I’ll hang onto him until the Christmas season.

Next up, these metal ceiling tile/ceramic tile thingies.

Again, I only grabbed these because I thought they might present the opportunity for a fun project.  I’m challenging myself to come up with a way to give these an updated look.  You’ll have to stay tuned for that one.

This next piece was a no-brainer for me.

I always grab these wooden totes when I see them.  They are so fun to makeover (take a look at a few I’ve done here, here and here).  This one will go into the stack of small projects for a snowy day (which we’ve had quite a few of lately).

Last up for the small items are these two galvanized pieces.

Let me ask you guys something here, do you think galvanized is on the way out?  Is it too closely associated with farmhouse style?

You may remember this galvanized tray that I thrifted quite some time ago …

I added that Vanilla Bean Farm wording to the front and took it to the shop, and there it sits.  Not selling.

So I was hesitant to pick up these two galvanized pieces, even more so because they were both priced rather high for what they are.  I literally will be lucky if I can make more than a dollar or two re-selling them.  But as seems to be the theme in this post, I thought they would both make fun projects.

I have been having a lot of luck lately selling pieces that have the I.O.D. Rose Chintz paint inlay on them, so I decided to go that route with the first galvanized tote.

I painted it in Dixie Belle’s The Gulf, and then blended in just a little bit of their Sea Glass in the center to add some depth.  Then I applied the paint inlay (my how-to post on this process can be found here).  Once dry, I sprayed it with a matte sealer to keep the inlay from smearing.  Then I sanded it very lightly and gave it a final coat of clear wax.

I painted directly over the galvanized metal without any sort of primer.  I find that chalk style paint does a very good job of sticking to galvanized metal like this as long as there isn’t a shiny topcoat on the metal.  I did wonder if the process of pulling off the paint inlay backing sheet would pull off any of the paint and there was just one small spot where that happened.

I’m OK with a little chipping, but if you’re not you may want to apply a coat of Dixie Belle’s Slick Stick before your first coat of paint over galvanized metal.

Next up is the galvanized container with the brass handles.  I actually picked this one up because I was looking for something to hold the amber bottles that I shared a little while back.

I was hoping they would all fit in this galvanized container, but it’s only big enough for three of them.  Nonetheless, I decided to do it up for that purpose.  I started by cleaning it, of course.  Then I painted the inside in Dixie Belle’s Anchor because it was a little stained and grungy looking.

Next I wanted to clean up those handles a bit.  I suppose I could have tried polishing them with some brass cleaner, but instead I decided to add some of Dixie Belle’s Gilding Wax in Bronze.

It was just enough to freshen them up a bit.

Next I added some sections of the gold Somewhere in France transfer from re.design with prima to the front …

and back …

The gold over the galvanized metal is pretty subtle, but I think it adds just a little something extra.

In addition to that meager pile of small items, I also picked up this kid sized cupboard.

I have to say, I put this in the cart and pushed it around a bit, then I almost took it back out of the cart because I just wasn’t sure I wanted to tackle it.  But it was only $6.99, so I figured if nothing else it would be yet another interesting experiment to see if I could improve upon it.  My biggest problem with it after the cherry red paint is that it looks so top heavy.  I’m really not at all sure how I’m going to solve that problem.  If anyone has any ideas, please share in the comments.

That brings me to my find of the day.

I dug that gold framed mirror out from behind a few other large mirrors.  I’d seen just the tip of it poking out.

Isn’t that lovely?  I think I’m probably going to hang onto this one.

What do you think?  Which item would have been your find of the day?  Leave a comment and let me know!

the biscuit box.

You might remember this simple wooden recipe box from one of my thrifting hauls in February.

There’s nothing particularly special about it.  I just really enjoy giving these small sorts of boxes a new look, so I tend to grab them when I see them (except apparently when I’m visiting my mom and don’t want to pack it in my suitcase, kind of regretting passing that one up now).

I gave it a light sanding with 220 grit, then I cleaned it and followed that up with two coats of Dixie Belle’s Sawmill Gravy.  Once the paint was dry, I sanded the edges to distress them a bit and then wiped away the dust.

Then came the fun part, pulling out all of my transfers and deciding what to use on this box.

Originally I was going to go with something more colorful, but I ended up picking out a subdued floral from I.O.D.’s Brocante transfer to begin with.

But before I applied that floral to the left side of the box, I filled in the other half of the front of the box with some wording from re.design with prima’s Paris Valley transfer and then layered the floral over it.

The Brocante floral went up and over to the top of the box.

Then I filled in the opposite corner with some of I.O.D.’s Floral Anthology transfer.

The transfers from the top and front of the box wrapped around to the sides a bit.

And I added a bit more to one of the sides using transfer scraps I had on hand.

Once again I didn’t bother to paint the interior this time around because it was in great condition.  I did line the box with some scrapbook paper though.

This size box is perfect for storing a pile of old black and white photos.

If you happen to have some that you need to protect from the elements a bit.

II think the box itself has that old sepia/black and white sort of look, with just a touch of hand-tinting on the top, don’t you?

By the way, here’s a follow up on the bleed-thru boxes that I shared back in early February.

The majority of you suggested that I go ahead and try to sell them ‘as is’, so I did.  I’m happy to report that they both sold.

I do want to be careful to note here that I wouldn’t recommend trying to sell furniture with bleed-thru though.  If you have stains or wood tannins bleeding through your paint on furniture, you should that Dixie Belle B.O.S.S. out and seal your piece and then paint it again.

Also, as I noted in that post, it was the final clear flat coat that drew those wood tannins through the paint.  So this time around I opted to topcoat the biscuit box with clear wax, although I don’t think this box would have been a bleeder anyway.  Still, better safe than sorry, right?

In the meantime, how do you like the biscuit box?  I plan to take this one into the shop, unless one of you locals wants to snatch it up first.  If so, be sure to check out my ‘available for local sale‘ page for more details.

Thank you to Dixie Belle Paint Co for supplying the paint used for this project.

hoppin’ down the bunny trail.

Throughout the year, I’ve been picking up cute bunnies whenever I see them at the thrift store or garage sales.  I’ve managed to accumulate a handful of them.

And now it’s time to pull them out and get them spruced up for the shop.

The galvanized bunny mold just needed a good cleaning, and some goof off to remove the residue left by the packing tape that was holding his two sides together.

Isn’t he sweet?

The copper mold bunnies also just needed a bit of cleaning.

Next up came the faux stone bunny.

I think he was supposed to look like he was carved out of granite, or something like that.  I’m not sure.  But in reality he is some sort of resin or other man made material.

I decided he could be improved with some of Dixie Belle’s Patina Paint.  I debated going rusty at first, but ultimately decided to go with the bronze paint paired with the green spray (you can find all of the details on using this product in this post).

The patina paints lend a very authentic looking faux finish, in my opinion.

I went ahead and added a couple of quick coats of Rustoleum’s matte clear coat to protect him from any excess handling.

Next up is the cute bunny pull toy.

I really didn’t like the heavy grain of the wood, or that particular shade of brown, so I gave him a paint job using Dixie Belle’s French Linen.  I followed that with a quick stencil job using a portion of one of JRV’s Crock Minis stencils and Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth paint.

I also painted the wooden dowel handle to the pull toy in Drop Cloth.

While working on the rest of the bunnies, I also remembered that I had a trio of ceramic bunnies that my friend Sue found for me.

Normally this sort of thing is not my style at all.  But I’d seen a video … or maybe it was a blog post?  I really don’t remember … but I’d seen someone, somewhere, spray paint these in a chocolate brown to make faux chocolate bunnies.  So I thought I’d give it a shot.

Of course, when you live in Minnesota, it’s winter and you aren’t blessed with any sort of well-ventilated spray painting booth, you have to get creative.  So here’s what I do …

I rest a big flat piece of cardboard on a snowbank, spray quick, and then haul everything back inside to dry.  I had to do that about 4 times to get the bunnies fully coated on all sides.  But I made it work on a slightly warmish afternoon last week.  Well, OK, it was 37°, but hey, that’s above freezing.

My paint of choice for chocolate bunnies was this one …

It’s a paint and primer in one, and they say it will work on any surface.  Since I was painting glossy ceramic bunnies, I wanted to be sure it would stick.  It’s also has a satin finish rather than the matte finish that I usually prefer, and I think that makes these look more like glossy chocolate.

Yum!  Doesn’t he look delicious?

These would be great to incorporate into a tablescape for Easter when you don’t want anyone to eat the decorations!

Or you could just pop them into an Easter basket.

I’ll be hoppin’ on into the shop with these on Wednesday, hopefully there’s enough time left between now and Easter for all of these bunnies to find a good home.  And maybe I’ve inspired you to create some faux copper or chocolate bunnies of your own!

my las vegas thrift haul.

Well, I’m back from visiting my mom out in Las Vegas.  I always call it Las Vegas, but technically she lives in Henderson, Nevada.  Anyone familiar with the area knows that Henderson is a sprawling residential area to the south between Las Vegas and Boulder City.

Our trip was a bit of a roller coaster.  On our first day in town my mom’s car broke down as we were headed out to dinner.  It completely died while we were driving down the road.  So we spent the first evening of our vacation waiting two hours for a tow.  That was Saturday night, so we then had to wait until Monday to get a prognosis on the car.

While we waited, my sister and I decided to walk over to the Goodwill.  I’ve mentioned before that my mom conveniently lives just around the corner from a Goodwill store.  Since we were on foot, and I’d have to carry anything I purchased back to mom’s house, I didn’t actually buy much.  But I thought it might be fun to share what I would have purchased if I’d had a car.  Well … and also if I didn’t have to pack it in a suitcase to get it back home again.

First up, this metal sphere.

Those are always fun for the garden.  If you can read that tag you’ll see that it was $4.99 which I thought was a good price.  It was actually light enough to carry back to mom’s, but it would have taken up a lot of space in the luggage.

Next up, this pair of funky metal candlesticks.

I’m not sure if you can tell the size of them in that photo, but the tallest was about 3′ tall.  These never would have fit in my suitcase.  Plus, they were a bit pricey, as was that giant brass bowl in the background.  Overall, I have to say I did find most items my mom’s Goodwill store to be a bit overpriced for me.

However, it would have been fun to give those the rusty treatment using the Dixie Belle patina paint.

Speaking of candlesticks, I also thought about grabbing these …

However, they ranged in price from $5.99 up to $9.99 and I didn’t think there was enough of a profit margin for re-selling them.

I should mention here that I don’t qualify for the senior discount at my mom’s Goodwill, you have to be 65.  Here in Minnesota you only have to be 55 or older.

There were a few glass bottles that would have been perfect for adding apothecary labels to like the amber Kombucha bottles that I shared before I left.

But since I haven’t attempted to sell my apothecary bottles yet, I’m not at all sure if there is a market for them so I didn’t grab them.

I found a few copper pieces too.

These were in pretty rough shape though.  Both were missing the handles on their lids, but I’m sure I could have come up with a way to replace those.  But again, far too bulky to put in my suitcase.

There were also a handful of wooden items that would have been fun to paint including this trash can (it’s upside down on the shelf).

Wouldn’t that have been fun painted?  Maybe with a transfer or a stencil of some kind added?  Or even just a simple swiss cross (like this pair of trash cans I painted)?

Again, that item was far too large to put in a suitcase.

However, these two little wooden boxes would have fit nicely.

I’m really not sure why I didn’t purchase those.  I think I was hoping to find something better.

I was truly bummed to have to leave these next few items behind.  First were these metal baskets.

They had handles, and were reminiscent of a locker basket.  I totally would have grabbed all six of them had I been at home.  You never know when you might need a cool basket to contain stuff.

And I also would have loved to purchase this buffet.

It was $49.99, so a reasonable price.  Wouldn’t that have looked amazing with a paint job and some fresh hardware?

Dang, it was hard to walk away from that one.

So, what did I buy?

LOL, yep, that’s it!  I mean, really?  How could I resist that reusable bag?  It’s perfect for me.  Now I just have to remember to bring it when I go thrifting with Sue next time.

As for the wooden bowl …

Well, I really just wanted to see what it would take to bring this back to life.

I gave it a good wash with hot water and Dawn dish soap, then I sanded it lightly with 220 grit sandpaper.  After wiping away the dust, I pulled out my Salad Bowl Finish from Homestead House.

I’ve had this one little 1.75 oz jar since 2017, so a little goes a long way.  I looked it up, and you can purchase this jar for $10.99 from The Painted Heirloom (which is where I like to order my I.O.D. products online as well).

A quick q tip for you in case you’re not in the know.  Homestead House, Fusion and Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint are all made by the same people.  So The Painted Heirloom calls this product “Beeswax Salad Bowl Finish by Fusion Mineral Paint”.  Don’t be thrown off by that, it’s the same thing, as is the Miss Mustard Seed’s Beeswax Finish.

What I like about this product in particular is that it is food safe.  It was originally formulated for use on things like cutting boards and wooden salad bowls.  So it was exactly what I needed for my thrifted bowl.

Isn’t that wood grain lovely?

By the way, after our visit to the Goodwill on Monday, we learned that the engine in my mom’s car was toast, and were told it may or may not be covered under warranty.  At that point we went ahead and rented a car to drive while we waited on that news.  Fortunately, by Friday the warranty work was approved and my mom got a loaner car.  I have to say, she was a little stressed that entire time not knowing if she was going to have to cough up $6,000 for the repairs.  Thankfully, it will all be covered under warranty, even the loaner.  Clearly she has a guardian angel looking out for her!

I have a couple more posts I plan to share from my trip out west, so stay tuned for those.  I also have a few projects underway, and since I came home to something like 17″ of fresh snow outside, I’ll probably have plenty of time to work on smaller projects indoors over the next few weeks!


this little piggy.

I picked up this pig shaped cutting board a while back.  Well, to be honest, far enough back that I don’t really even remember where I got it.  Was it a garage sale?  A thrifted find?  I’m not sure.  But I had it in the stash waiting for a makeover.

I have a feeling that there was a time when every high school shop class churned out these pig shaped cutting boards by the millions.  They seem to be fairly common around here.

I added a French Market stencil to one way back when I was still hosting an occasional sale out of my carriage house.

In fact, I stenciled quite a few different cutting boards back then.

But lately I’ve been more into painting them.

But for this pig, I decided to go back to my roots and give him a quick stencil using one of Dixie Belle’s silk screen stencils from their Farmhouse set.

First up, I washed the cutting board thoroughly with very hot water and some Dawn dish soap.  Often times these old cutting board are pretty grungy.  Then I sanded it down to some fresher wood.

Then I applied the stenciled design using Dixie Belle’s Midnight Sky paint.

Let’s talk for a minute about silk screen stencils.  They are a bit different from traditional stencils.  For one thing, they are made out of a flexible, adhesive backed vinyl rather than the stiffer mylar of typical stencils.  Also, rather than a fully cut out design, the area to be stenciled is backed with silk screen.  That means bridges aren’t required in the design.

If you aren’t familiar, bridges are the areas that hold inside pieces in place, like below in the letters “P”, “O” and “A”.

So silk screen stenciled designs can look less, well, stenciled.

One downside to the silk screen stencils is that they don’t hold up to tons of use though.  I find that the silkscreen gets a little clogged with paint after a few uses if I’m not super diligent about cleaning them immediately after use.  And as we all know, I’m definitely not super diligent about that.

So if lots and lots of repeated use is something you value, and you aren’t all that good about cleaning your stencils, you may not like the silkscreen stencils.

You can see the result of a slightly clogged silk screen stencil on my pig.

Once I saw that rather rustic result from the stencil, I decided to make it work by adding some age back to the wood using Homestead House’s Antiquing Wax.

In hindsight, I kinda wish I had followed my own regularly given advice to lay down a coat of clear wax before adding the dark wax.  That allows you to move the dark wax around a bit more for a uniform look.

But no, I didn’t do that.

So I did end up with the dark wax being more pronounced over my stencil, basically where the cutting board was more worn.  This is definitely a case of do as I say, not as I do.

I will say that I think I certainly accomplished my goal of adding back some age though.

This definitely doesn’t look like freshly sanded wood with a newly painted stencil, right?

I should be sure to point out that this little piggy is no longer food safe, but rather intended for décor only.

What do you think?  Do you prefer the stenciled look, or the painted with transfers look?  Leave a comment and let me know.