a cherubic thrift haul.

For those of you who also frequent garage sales or thrift stores, let me ask you this; do you often find that sometimes a theme seems to emerge on any given day?

For example, there was the time I came home from a neighborhood garage sale with a jumble of chairs.

I once decided that a grouping of chairs should be called a ‘jumble’, sort of like a school of fish or a murder of crows.

And then earlier this summer I found tons of toolboxes one day.

I wasn’t particularly looking for chairs or toolboxes on those occasions, but there they were.

Well, a couple of weeks ago when my friend Sue and I went thrifting another theme seemed to emerge.


They were everywhere.

First it was the tall urn that I found at Goodwill.

Well, OK, probably best not to look too closely at what’s happening on that urn, I don’t think those are cherubs after all.

However, I also found a plaque at Goodwill that definitely has cherubs.

The shorter urn was from Turnstyle, and also definitely cherubic.

And finally we have the golden cherubs, and they were also from Turnstyle.

I have an embarrassing confession to make regarding these.  I paid $14 each for them at Turnstyle, and when I got them home and was cleaning them up, I turned them over to find the original Marshall’s tag for $12.99 each.

I’m fairly sure I’m going to lose my status as an expert thrifter for that one … not that I have ever claimed to be an expert.  Clearly I’m not.

You’d think I learned my lesson from the last time I purchased an item at Goodwill that still had a Marshall’s tag on it.  That time the clerk at Goodwill charged me the Marshall’s price, which was quite a bit higher than the Goodwill price.  And I didn’t notice that one until I’d gotten home either.

But I don’t really feel too bad about it, they have turned out pretty cool as you’ll see in a minute and were worth every penny of that $28.

I had one thing in mind when purchasing all of these cherubic pieces, rust!

(if only I’d gotten the shirt!)

So I cleaned them all and then gave them a coat of flat red primer spray paint.

I could have used the Dixie Belle Prime Start, but that has to be brushed on and with all of the nooks and crannies in these piece, spray was just easier.

Next I pulled out the Dixie Belle Iron patina paint and gave them all two coats.  Yes, the Iron paint does get brushed on, but I recommend stippling it on with dabbing motions to avoid getting any brushstrokes which will become more obvious as the green spray will settle in those.  In addition, I find that you don’t have to be too particular regarding coverage with this technique.  Any spots missed with the Iron paint will barely be noticeable with that primer red base color, or they can be easily touched up.  While the 2nd coat was still wet, I sprayed everything with the green spray to create rust.

After waiting a day or so for the rust to fully materialize, I realized that I’d missed a few spots on the undersides of several of the pieces.  So I flipped them all over and dabbed more Iron paint on those areas and sprayed again.

After another day I still felt like there wasn’t enough rust for my taste, so I tried a little experiment with the two urns.  I’d noticed that the rusty pieces I’ve placed in my garden tend to get more rusty after they get a little rain.  So I decided to use my Dixie Belle Continuous Mister Bottle to spray them with a fine mist of water.

That totally did the trick.

When I’m leaving my rusty pieces outside, I typically don’t seal them.  I have several planters, and some iron garden furniture, that I’ve used the patina paint on and then left outside … even in the winter … and they hold up just fine, although of course they do continue to get rustier over time.

However, in this case I was bringing these into the shop and I didn’t want them to damage other items they might come into contact with so I gave them a couple of coats of Rust-oleum Matte Clear coat.

I find that the matte finish of this spray clear coat doesn’t alter the texture of the rusty patina quite as much as a glossier finish, although it does still change it a little.

So here is how those urns turned out.

And here is the plaque …

As for the golden cherubs, I think they would be perfect for Christmas décor, but the gold was a little too precious for me.  Now that I’ve made them rusty, they have an earthier feel.

I can see these added to a Christmas planter outside, but they could be used inside as well.  Maybe as part of a table-scape.

So tell me, which do you prefer?  Rusty or golden?

I’ll probably hang onto these cherubs until the Christmas season, unless one of you locals want to snatch them up now.  If so, check out my ‘available for local sale‘ page for more details.

You’ve probably noticed that I only had small projects to share with you this week.  Well, that’s because I’ve been hard at work behind the scenes painting the potting shed.  Phew!  I forgot how much work such things can be, and this one required A LOT of prep.  Luckily my friend Annie came over to help me, which motivated me to get ‘er done.  I’m hoping to share the completed shed next week, so be sure to stay tuned!

thrift find makeovers.

Whenever I’m out thrifting I’m always on the lookout for simple wood items that I can give new life to with paint.

I’ll readily admit that none of these are spectacular finds, certainly nothing to write home about.  But all three were fun makeovers.

Let’s start with the basic cutting board.  After sanding it down and cleaning it with a grease cutting cleaner, I painted it with Dixie Belle’s Sawmill Gravy, and then added some grain sack style stripes using their French Linen.  Once dry, I sanded to distress and then added the farm animal transfer from Dixie Belle’s On the Farm transfer set.

The “Precious Stone Farm” wording is from re.design with prima’s Everyday Farmhouse transfer set.

I just love how it turned out, so cute.  It’s no longer food safe, but would make great decor.

Next up is the rooster shaped cutting board.  Once again, I prepped as usual and then painted it with two coats of the Sawmill Gravy.  Then I pulled out some scraps from the I.O.D. Floral Anthology transfer and pieced them in around the edges of the rooster.

Finally, I added some wording from their Label Ephemera transfer and now he’s a funky french floral rooster.  Again, no longer food safe, but perfect for decorating the kitchen counter top.

By the way, I top-coated both of these pieces with clear wax.

Last up is … well … I really don’t know what to call this thing.  I’m thinking it was originally a napkin, or paper guest towel holder, maybe?  Do you have any idea what this might have been used for?

Well, regardless, I painted it in Sawmill Gravy and then I decided to do a little experimenting with stamping once again.  Take note that I did not use any kind of sealer over the paint before stamping, and this is a chalk style paint.

The last time I tried stamping on paint I wasn’t terribly happy with the results.  But a couple of my readers gave me some tips including Teri B. who specifically recommended VersaFine Clair ink for stamping over paint.

So I went out and purchased some from my local craft store (I can’t remember, it was either Hobby Lobby or Michaels).

First up, I have to say that no matter how good the ink, nothing can help if you’re a clumsy stamper … which apparently I am.  On my first go around, after applying the stamp semi-perfectly, I then dropped it right back down on my surface.  Ugh.  So I wiped it back as much as I could, re-painted with the Sawmill Gravy and then gave it another go.

The 2nd time around I ended up not liking the stamp I chose (and by the way, all of these stamps are from the I.O.D. Crockery set), so once again I wiped it off using a damp cloth.

At that point it occurred to me that I rather liked the washed out look I achieved when wiping off the ink right away so I took a quick photo to share with you.  At some point I may want to use this technique on another project.  But for this piece I once again painted back over it with the Sawmill Gravy.

I will say that this is one of the benefits of stamping over paint, you can re-do it multiple times at no extra cost.

The third time is sort of the charm with this one.

I say ‘sort of’ for a few reasons.  I didn’t apply even pressure to the stamp, and I also managed to smear the ink just a little bit by accidentally brushing over it with my hand.

But those are pretty fine details, and unless you are an uber-perfectionist (which may, or may not, apply to me) this is good enough.  And really, if you’re an uber-perfectionist, stamping probably just isn’t for you.

I also achieved decent results with the stamp at the bottom too.

Teri was definitely right, the VersaFine Clair ink is the way to go if you’re stamping over chalk paint.

After 24 hours, the ink appeared to be dry enough to add a top coat over it without fear of smearing, but I chose to hold off on adding a coat of clear wax.

Why?  Well, I may keep this piece to corral some flashcards and maybe a pair of readers or two and I’m not sure I love this look.  I may decide to give it an entirely different look next, so I’m holding off on waxing in case I decide to paint over it one more time.

After working on all three of these thrift find makeovers, I have to say that I still think transfers deliver a lot more punch than stamps.  But of course, you can only use a transfer one time, while stamps can be used over and over.  So tell me, what do you think?  Do you prefer transfers or stamps?  Leave a comment and let me know.

berry baskets and other things.

I brought home a few wooden totes … tool caddies … garden trugs … berry baskets … I don’t know, what do you call these things?

Regardless of what you call them, I purchased three of these while out thrifting and my picker Sue found the 4th for me (the lime green one).

Last weekend I gave all four of them a much needed makeover.

I’ll start with the smallest one.

The previous owner had given it a sanded down, distressed sort of look.  Either that, or they had sanded it in preparation for painting, but never got around to the painting part.  I’m not sure which.

But it was quick work for me to add a couple of coats of Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth, sand just the edges to distress …

and then add a transfer from re.design with prima’s Classic Vintage Labels.

I finished it off with a coat of clear wax.  It was a super simple makeover.

Next up is the one that Sue found.

That was quite the bright lime green, and it was filthy dirty.  If it weren’t for those factors, it wouldn’t have been bad to try and save that original chippy paint on this one.

But no, it wasn’t really salvageable.  So I decided to honor the original green … just tone it down a bit.  I mixed up a custom blend of Homestead House milk paint in Upper Canada Green and Sweet Pickins milk paint in Patina.  The resulting color is that sort of jadeite, vintage, 50’s kitchen, everyday green.

I added a bit of an old prima transfer from my pile of scraps.

When painting over an existing color (especially one as bright as that lime green), always keep in mind that it is going to show when you distress the edges.

This one is also finished with clear wax.

Next up is the bare wood version.

Since this was bare wood, I decided to give that DIY Dark & Decrepit a try.  I wasn’t going to leave the stained, dark wood as the final look, I just wanted to create a base that would show under the paint when I distressed the edges.

In typical quandie fashion, I totally forgot to take pictures along the way to illustrate my process.  Jeesh, you’d think I’d be better about that by now.  But I get focused on a project and then I just keep going.  Since I don’t have photos, I’m not going to go into detail on using this product.  I’ll have to do that another time.  But suffice to say, it worked quite well for my purposes here (although it would have been better had I wet distressed those edges rather than sanding).

Once the Dark & Decrepit was dry, I mixed up Sweet Pickins milk paint in Patina and added three coats.  Once that was dry I sanded it with 220 grit to smooth out the surface, removed the dust with a microfiber cloth and then added some of the Whimsical Wonderland transfer from Dixie Belle.

I wrapped the transfer all the way around the tote.

I have to admit, this look is a bit outside of my wheelhouse.  This transfer has some very bright colors.  I will say that putting it over the Patina did tone it down a tad, and so did sanding over it lightly with 220 grit paper after it was applied.

I also like the worn aspect that sanding over the transfer gave me.

So, although the bright colors aren’t quite my style, I still think this turned out nicely and will appeal to someone who likes a more colorful look.

By the way, I topcoated this one with Dixie Belle’s flat clear coat.

I saved my favorite of the four for last.

I often see this style of wood tote referred to as a berry basket.

This one is a bit rustic.  And it needed a better color, for sure.  So I pulled out one of my favorite greens, In a Pickle from Sweet Pickins.

Using milk paint on this piece resulted in some awesome chippy-ness.

I couldn’t help staging it up with those fabulous dishes I picked up while thrifting last week, and of course some strawberries.

I already had one of those green jars.  I use it as a photo prop all the time.  So when I saw another one while thrifting last week I had to snag it.

Initially I was thinking I’d sell it on, but now I think I might have to keep it for further photo staging.  Is two better than one?  What do you think?

FYI locals, I brought all four of these in to Reclaiming Beautiful this week along with a bunch of other goodies.  So if you’re looking for something to do this weekend, I recommend a shopping excursion to Stillwater.

So, which one is your favorite?

The smallest one?

The one Sue found for me?

The brightly colored one?

Or, like me, is the chippy green one your favorite?

Leave a comment and let me know.

an april thrift haul.

I still have lots to share from our trip to Charleston, but just in case some of you are growing bored with my travelogue, I thought I’d break it up a bit today and post about my recent thrift haul.

Sue and I headed out Wednesday morning to see what we could find at our local thrift stores.  The forecast called for rain, but the rain held off until we were almost done for the day.  I did have to unload the van in a downpour, but at least it wasn’t snow!

First up are the items that I can flip ‘as is’, although I always wash everything I bring home first, such a these ironstone-like pieces.

I’m not sure if any of those qualify as legit ironstone, but they have the ironstone look.

I also brought home this stoneware pitcher.

It’s super heavy, and looks vintage to me.  But I don’t really know much about stoneware.  There are no marks on the bottom, but I did find these embossed marks.

Does anyone know anything about this stuff?  If so, please leave me a comment and clue me in.

I purchased this silver footed tray just because I liked the shape of it, and the fact that it’s footed.

I thought it would be perfect in the kitchen with olive oils and spices on it.

I also grabbed this set of six copper mugs.

Moscow mules anyone?

Someone really needs to stage an intervention to get me to stop buying pretty china.

After reading about grand millennial style I gave myself permission to consider china again, and so far I haven’t actually managed to sell any of it.  Also, unfortunately, although the dinner plates in this set aren’t crazed, the salad plates are.  I didn’t notice that before I got them home.  So I realized after the fact that I can’t really sell these as functional plates.  I may have to just turn them into garden china.

But that green!

How could I resist that green?

I also picked up a few things that just needed a little something-something added.  I added a quick transfer to this plain white pitcher.

I also added some transfers to these enamelware pieces.

I think any of these would be great as flower pots.  Just punch some holes in the bottom for drainage (I usually do this with a hammer and a large nail), and fill with your favorite flowering annual.  As I’ve mentioned before, in my experience these transfers hold up perfectly well outside.

When I picked up this barn bird house at the thrift store, it was obvious that there were some things rattling around inside.  I had to take 4 screws out to get the bottom off, and here’s what tumbled out.

A strange little mish mash of items; some craft paint, a chapstick, a little foam brush and a fake plastic strawberry.  Someone was having fun figuring out what they could fit through that hole in the front 😉

I thought it would be adorable to add a transfer from Dixie Belle’s On the Farm set.

Now I can’t decide if I want to keep this for myself, or sell it at the shop.  Decisions, decisions.

I love this tall wire basket that I found, although I’m not 100% sure how one would use it.  Of course, you could always put some tall faux stems in it, or maybe some french bread?

Or hey, maybe hang it from a peg and fill it with rolling pins.  To show the height of the basket, I staged the photo with a pair of rolling pins that I picked up while thrifting too.  I subsequently have painted the handles on the rolling pins to give them a more vintage look.

I went with red and green and I think I’ll hang onto these for the Christmas season.

Whenever I see a pretty original oil painting at a good price, I always grab it.

This one is perfect for someone’s lake cabin, and it’s just about to be cabin season.  I gave the frame a quick freshening up with a coat of Dixie Belle’s Silk paint in Deep Sea, which is a deep navy blue.

It wasn’t until I was about to photograph the painting that I remembered that I had this wooden buoy.  I picked it up while thrifting over the winter and I tucked it aside to be a summer project.

I wish I’d thought to take a ‘before’ photo of the buoy, but no such luck.  It was white with a seafoam green colored stripe.  I gave it a fresh coat of Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth and then added some red stripes in their Honky Tonk Red and a blue tip using Bunker Hill Blue.  Then I added the numbers, which are from re.design with prima’s Everyday Farmhouse transfer.

It’s the perfect companion to the nautical painting.

I did grab a few more things that I’ll be sharing next week, some garden items that will get the Dixie Belle patina paint treatment, a foursome of wooden totes that are all going to get painted, and I even picked up a couple of dressers from my friend Annie.  She and her husband have recently moved back to Minnesota from New York, and she had a little more furniture than her new house would accommodate.

I’m going to get started on this one over the weekend, so hopefully I can share the finished product with you guys soon!

So be sure to stay tuned!

swanky swigs.

I’m hearing more and more about things like pretty vintage china and glassware, pattern mixing, blue and white pottery, chinoiserie, and even chintz coming back into fashion.  Some are calling this resurgence ‘granny chic’, but I’m definitely not a fan of that name.  I prefer grandmillenial style … probably because it sounds more ‘grand’.  Whatever you call it, here is what Etsy trend expert Dayna Isom Johnson told TODAY Style, “Millennials are saying goodbye to minimalism and looking to express their personal style with unique, standout pieces, so it only makes sense that ‘granny chic’ accessories, which are filled with character and charm, are on the rise.”

Well, I for one am excited about this trend and ready to be ahead of the curve for once!  I am a huge fan of character and charm.  So I’m starting to dabble a bit with finding pretty dishes and/or glassware at the thrift store.  I merchandise them up a bit with my own unique packaging, and then send them to the shop to sell.  So when I saw this set of glasses at the thrift store, I snatched them up.

They looked vintage to me, however there weren’t any sort of markings on the bottoms so I wasn’t 100% sure of that.  But they certainly look like they would qualify as grand millennial style to me.  Once I got home I did a little google research and discovered that Kraft Foods began selling their cheese in these reusable glasses in the 1930’s calling them ‘swanky swigs’.  Well, dang, just the name alone makes them worth the purchase I think.  Who doesn’t want a swanky swig now and then?

I also grabbed this crate on the same thrifting trip for about $2.

It wasn’t until I was playing around at home that I realized the glasses fit perfectly in the crate.  So I gave the crate a quick paint job using Dixie Belle’s Silk paint in Endless Shore (one of these days I’m going to do another comparison post showing all of the shades of white in the Silk line, complete with another giveaway, so stay tuned for that).  I added a couple of simple transfers (from re.design with prima’s Everyday Farmhouse) to the sides of the crate, and voila!

A match made in thrift store heaven.  I figure with that transfer, this set could appeal to either lovers of farmhouse style or grand millennial, right?

Of course, it remains to be seen if it sells.  I’ll keep you posted.

On the same thrift trip I also purchased another pretty set of china.

I’m still working on packaging for this set, but I know I can come up with something.

Here are a few more of my recent thrift haul finds.

Apothecary bottles are always cool, right?  This one was plain when I found it at the thrift store.  I added one of the IOD Brocante transfers to it.  There are 4 slightly different versions of that transfer, I wish I had 3 more apothecary bottles to put them on.  But no, I just found the one.

I added a re.design with prima Classic Vintage Label transfer to the lid on this galvanized bucket.  I initially assumed this bucket was for kitchen scraps intended for the compost heap because it has a heavy plastic liner inside …

but then, why would it have a scoop?  Those don’t typically come with a scoop.  You could use this for potting soil, but it’s not terribly large.  How about using it for granular fertilizer in your potting shed.  That would work.

At a recent vendor meeting, the shop owners at Reclaiming Beautiful said they’d love to see vintage cookbooks and copper items.

I aim to please.

This french bottle drying rack was a fun find.

It’s not vintage, but it has a vintage feel don’t you think?

According to Eye For Design, “the purpose of the French bottle drying rack was to provide a place for French families to dry and store empty wine bottles before returning them to the vintner for refills.”  How fabulous is that?  I’ve seen anything from drinking glasses, coffee cups, clay pots, and spools of ribbon or thread as ideas for what to put on one of these.

Most of the things in the next photo came from my picker friend, Sue.

There was a little washboard, some old wooden clothespins, and a few pieces of ironstone inside that cardboard suitcase.  I found the bunny mold and the pretty floral platter while out thrifting.

I’d painted one of these cardboard suitcases before, so I thought I’d give this one the same treatment.

I painted it in Dixie Belle’s Midnight Sky and then added a stencil using their Drop Cloth paint.

That stencil is from Maison de Stencils, in case you are wondering.

Once all of the paint was dry, I sanded lightly with 220 grit sandpaper and then used Dixie Belle’s Big Mama’s Butta to seal it.

To jazz up the inside, I added some decoupage paper from re.design with prima called Cobalt Flourish.

I have to admit, it would be about 10 times more fabulous if I had lined the entire interior of the case rather than just the bottom, but that would have taken at least another package of the decoupage paper, and possibly two more.  At around $8 apiece, I just couldn’t justify adding that much expense to the suitcase makeover.

Some of these items already went to Reclaiming Beautiful, and some of them will go next week.  Which is your favorite?


blame it on the cabin fever.

First things first, congrats to Patty.  I drew her name at random to win my Shades of White giveaway.  There were a couple of Patty’s who commented, but I have been in contact with the winning Patty so I apologize to the other Patty’s who may have momentarily thought they won and now realize they didn’t.

My friend Sue and I went out thrifting on a cold, but sunny, day last week and I managed to fill up the trunk of her car.  That’s saying something, because as Sue likes to say, she originally purchased her car for the size of the two-body trunk (yep, you could easily fit two bodies in there, or a ton of garage sale/thrift finds).  On the other hand, my car (the VW bug convertible) has a trunk about the size of a bread box.

Anyway, I came home with A LOT of stuff.  And not my typical haul, I have to say.  I don’t think I purchased a single item that needs to be painted.  Want to see what I found?  That’s rhetorical, I know you do.

Let’s start with the clear glassware.  Normally I totally steer clear of glassware (lol, pardon the pun), but for some weird reason I was just drawn to it this time.

Ideas came to mind for most of these items.

For example, I added transfers to a few of the canister type pieces.

These two glass vessels would be great for holding gardening tools, or kitchen utensils (or paint brushes for that matter).

I initially thought this next one would just make a great vase, but I also like it filled with vintage silverware.

You can’t quite see it in the group photos, but I purchased a clear glass hobnail jar.

I’m keeping it to use for casual bouquets of flowers from the garden next season … or maybe even just tulips purchased at the grocery store while it’s still bitter cold outside.

Sue suggested I try turning the larger vase I purchased into a cloche.  She’d seen it done on White Cottage Co’s YouTube vlog just that morning.  So I gave it a shot.

All I did was flip it upside down and use E6000 to glue a glass knob to the top (former bottom).

I’m always looking for cute little jars to put in metal baskets or wood totes that I find, so when I saw this trio I thought I’d tuck them away for the next container that comes along.

They fit pretty nicely into this one, for example …

And speaking of containers, I purchased this metal one separately from the jars that are in it.  I only bought the jars for their zinc lids.  I needed lids for some older, cooler lid-less jars that I had at home.

Instead of filling that wire basket with jars, I decided it would make a fantastic windowsill herb garden.

My local Bachmans just happened to have these potted herbs on sale for $3.99 each so I grabbed four of them and put them in clay pots and then in the basket.  This is my feeble attempt to bring a little summer to my wintery world.

Last up in the glassware category are these corn on the cob dishes.

I purchased these just for myself.  Probably the last thing in the world I need is specialized dishes just for corn on the cob.  But as I stood in the aisle at Goodwill looking at them, I could just picture a summer BBQ on the deck with steaks sizzling on the grill, a delicious cocktail in my hand, and fresh picked corn on the cob swimming in melted butter in those dishes.

What can I say, there’s a foot of snow on the ground and it was about 9 degrees outside that day.  I’m totally blaming that decision on the cabin fever!

I was lucky this time out and came across the holy grail of thrifting … ironstone.

I rarely find ironstone at our thrift stores here in the mid-west.  I am separating the pitcher from the bowl.  I think a pitcher in a bowl has that 80’s country antique vibe, but separately they are both great pieces.

You can’t tell from that photo, but the pitcher is a big one at about 8.5″ tall.  I’m probably going to end up adding it to my non-collection.  It was definitely the find of the day.

The bowl is 14″ across and would be perfect to use as a fruit bowl in the middle of your kitchen table, it’s going to go to the shop to sell along with a couple of other large ironstone bowls that came from my picker.

I wasn’t planning to keep the gravy boat, but I just happen to have the perfect spot for it on my Welsh cupboard so I may just have to.

That tall piece in the background of my ironstone haul photo is not ironstone.  It’s a sort of faux, crackly … I don’t know what material it’s made out of.  But I knew it would look great with a transfer on it.

I came across a few galvanized items that day as well.

The two pieces on the left are from the Hearth & Hand line.  And all three of these are much bigger than they look in the photo.  The tallest one is 2′ tall, and the squat one is 16″ across.

I had to dress up the two tall ones with some transfers, but I left the short one unadorned.

I also came home with some dishes.  I seem to be a sucker for these sets of decorative plates.

They are perfect for tucking into a gift basket.

I happened to have purchased another cute metal basket and a book called The Cheese Course while thrifting that day.

I added some cheese knives that I had on hand.  Now all it needs is a couple of fancy cheeses, and it’s the perfect hostess gift.

In the ‘fail’ department, I also purchased this fabulous cheese baker that I was going to include in my cheese themed basket …

But I made a rookie mistake.  The cheese baker was in a box when I picked it out, and I never pulled it out to look it over.  When I got it home and out of the box, I discovered it was chipped.

Drat!  Now what do I do with it?  I certainly can’t sell it like that.  Is there a simple way to repair that chip?  Do any of you have any ideas?  I may just have to toss it.

I also grabbed this set of china as a sort of experiment.

I thought the colors on them were lovely.

They were in perfect condition, and there were six dinner plates and six salad plates.  And hey, they say right on the back that they are ‘vintage fine china’, so who am I to argue?

I googled them and found some interesting info on them.  They were manufactured from the 1950’s through about 1964.  In addition, according to antigotrunk.com “this was an exclusive pattern for Max Schoenfeld (that’s the MS on the back stamp). Max was was a California distributor of china and pottery in the Los Angeles area and distributed for many different porcelain houses.  Some designs were given to him as “exclusives” only he could sell them, and the initials MS would be added to the back of the each piece.”

Anyway, I thought I’d give it a shot and see if a set like this will sell at the shop.  I’ll keep the price very affordable and see what happens.

So there you have it, a bunch of fabulous finds from the thrift store.  Which one is your favorite?

just around the corner.

And just like that, I’m back from visiting my mom.  Isn’t it funny how trips fly by so quickly?  Oh, what am I saying?  Time in general just flies by so fast these days, am I right?

I had a lovely time visiting my mom.  The Las Vegas area was experiencing a warm spell last week and temps were above average while I was there, so I was able to enjoy five glorious, sunny days in the 70’s … only to return to -8 in Minnesota!  Jeesh!

That patio makeover that my sister and I gave Mom last year is really paying off.  I spent a fair amount of time sitting on the patio, soaking up that warmth with a cup of coffee and a good book from the local library.

I’ll be sharing reviews of those books later in the week, so be sure to stay tuned for that.

I also visited the Goodwill that is literally just around the corner from my mom’s place.

I usually stop in there when I’m visiting.  Although obviously it’s not like I can buy much, only items that I can fit into my suitcase.  But honestly, that’s not usually much of a problem since they don’t typically have much in the way of my kind of vintage out there.

This is a good example of the usual sort of thing I see …

Creepy, right?

But this visit was the exception to the rule.  I saw a couple of items that I wished I could purchase starting with this copper boiler …

It was $19.99 and I would have snatched that up in a heartbeat if I was at home.  It would have made a fantastic window box like the ones I have on my carriage house and photo cottage.

Of course, mine are just galvanized.  Copper would be so much more fabulous!

I also saw this adorable kid sized antique roll top desk.

It was also $19.99.  And it would be such a fun project!  Can’t you just picture it painted in some chippy milk paint?

By the way, my mom’s Goodwill offers a much better senior discount than mine here in Minnesota.

She can get 40% on Wednesdays, and 20% all other days.  At my Goodwill I get 25% on Wednesdays only.  I was surprised to find that these details were different in a different part of the country.

I did find one thing I could purchase, this set of canisters …

They were half off (with an orange tag), so a bargain price.  And to be honest, even more of a bargain for me since my mom insisted on paying for them!

There are actually three in the set (they were all stacked inside of each other at the store).

And being able to stack them meant I could fit them into my suitcase!

The wooden lids on these do not fit tightly, so I knew they would not be suitable to use for food storage.  But I thought they’d be great for storing art/crafting supplies.

Another great option would be to use them on your potting bench and fill them with seed packets, flower food, or garden tools.   Gardening season is also just around the corner!

They had lots of possibilities, so I brought them home and gave them a quick makeover.

I started by giving them a good cleaning, including using a Magic Eraser to get any scuff marks off.  Next up I added some of my favorite IOD Pots transfers to them.

These are the black ones from the Classic Pots version of the transfer, although the black ones in the newer Traditional Pots set look pretty much the same.

I ended up painting the lids black using Dixie Belle’s Caviar.

Originally I thought I would leave the lids ‘as is’ because I liked the sort of faded driftwood-ish appearance of them, but once the transfers were in place I felt like black was a better option.

I finished everything up with a coat of clear wax for some protection.

I’ll probably bring these into the shop on Wednesday, so if any of you locals need some canisters for your craft room or potting bench be sure to stop in.

I had a very relaxing get away at my mom’s.  I have to say, now that I’m retired it practically feels as though my mom’s place is just around the corner.  It’s a quick 3 hour flight, and I can generally find some pretty good deals on flights to Vegas.  Now that I don’t have to ‘use up’ vacation time to go, I think I’ll be visiting much more often.  In fact, my sister and I already have a trip out there booked four weeks from now and I’m already looking forward to some more of that warm weather!

the café cupboard.

You guys know I just can’t help myself when it comes to mini furniture.  Today’s piece isn’t quite up to my usual standards.  I usually prefer more vintage pieces.  But when I saw this piece at the thrift store I thought ‘why not?’.

First up was removing the faux punched tin inserts.

I could have just painted them, which may have improved their look somewhat, but I didn’t care for the wheat theme.  So I tossed them.

I had a couple of ideas in mind for replacing them.  I considered using window screening like I did in this mini-cupboard of my own.

But then I couldn’t find my stash of old screening.  It’s out in the carriage house somewhere, but I wasn’t going to spend a lot of time digging for it in the sub-zero temps we had while I was working on this one.

Next I thought maybe I’d just use some drop cloth fabric.  But in the end, I couldn’t come up with a good way to install it that would look neat and tidy on the inside.  Hot glue, maybe?  But I know myself well enough to know that making hot glue look tidy is a bit beyond me.

And in the end, I really wanted to be able to use some transfers on the doors, so I decided to just cut some new inserts out of a very thin piece of wood.  But … that didn’t quite work out either.  I didn’t have any wood that was thin enough.  So Mr. Q came up with some heavy duty cardboard that he had in his bookbinding supplies, it’s meant for creating book covers.  I cut that to fit, and then painted it, which worked out quite well.  I was even able to add the transfers to the pieces before installing them.

Then I just glued them in place (with regular glue, not hot glue).

The outside of this little cupboard is painted in Dixie Belle’s Sawmill Gravy, and the inside is painted in French Linen.

I pretty much chose those colors simply because I already had them out for the barrister bookcase that I shared last Friday.

You may have noticed by now that I also added some ‘hardware’ to the front of the cupboard.

That’s not exactly meant to be ‘real’ hardware.  It’s a scrapbooking do-dad, made out of very thin metal (Hobby Lobby carries the Paper Studio brand).  The color it comes in originally is called ‘antique gold’.

These come with little brads to attach them to paper.  I used some little tack nails that I had on hand to attach mine to the cupboard doors.

I also tried to give them a new look with some of Dixie Belle’s Gilding Wax in Zinc.

The Gilding Wax had nothing to grip onto because the metal had a slick, shiny coating on it. The usual remedy is to scuff sand the surface in a case like this, but this little latch is very small.  I wasn’t really able to rough it up as much as I wanted to.  I ended up with a patchy sort of look.

Still, it looks pretty cute I think.  And by the way, in case you are looking for them, those transfers on the doors are from re.design with prima’s Classic Vintage Labels.

There is only one of that design in each set (I just happen to be addicted Classic Vintage Labels and have purchased several of them).  I cut out just the wording and didn’t include the laurel wreath that surrounded it.

I really haven’t decided whether or not to hang onto this one.  It does look good on the shelves in my living room though.

This was a fun little project to tackle on a cold January day.  And really, any of the changes I made to this piece could apply to a larger piece of furniture too.  Replace cupboard door inserts, add hardware, change the color of hardware with a gilding wax, add transfers, modify transfers by eliminating portions you don’t want to use, and of course paint.

What do you think?  Am I tempting you to go look for some mini furniture at your local thrift store?

simply fabulous.

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

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

The grey really disappeared on that galvanized metal.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This next one is my favorite …

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

Such a tiny detail, yet it adds so much.

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

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

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

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

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

Remember that adorable button box!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

the barrister bookcase.

I shared the ‘before’ of the barrister bookcase that I found at the thrift store in Wednesday’s post.

I’ve always loved these bookcases with the glass fronts that drop down, so I snatched this right up.

I couldn’t remember off the top of my head what these were called, so I did a little googling and that landed me on the Wayfair site where these little babies go for over $700 for the two section version like this one!  I definitely did not pay that much at the Goodwill.  The finish on this one was quite beat up, but otherwise it is in good working order.  Nothing that some paint and a little imagination couldn’t cure.

After my usual prep, I painted the outside in Dixie Belle’s Sawmill Gravy and the inside in their French Linen.  Once dry, I sanded lightly to smooth out the finish and distress the edges and then I added a couple of coats of their flat clear coat.

Then came the really fun part.  I added some sections from re.design with prima’s gold Flower Collector transfer to the glass doors.

FYI, here is the full transfer …

I tweaked it a bit to fit on my piece.  I removed some curlicues, and I tightened up the space between a few of the lines of text.

I also didn’t use any of the bottom 3rd of the transfer, so I’ll have that on hand for a future project.

I really struggle to capture the color of the Sawmill Gravy.  Dixie Belle calls it a ‘smooth beige’ on their website.  I’ve never really thought of it as a beige, it has the slightest hint of a grey undertone as well, a really warm gray.  Or maybe I just think that because I always pair it up with the French Linen.  Either way, I hope my photos do it justice.

I think the gold of the lettering plays really well with the warmth of the Sawmill Gravy.  I kept the original brass knobs for that reason as well.

Wouldn’t this piece be perfect for a little reading nook?  I can also see it being used under a window with plants on top.  I think it would work well next to a sofa too, it’s just the right height to function as a side table. Another idea would be to put it on top of a dresser to function sort of like a hutch.  So many possibilities with this one!

This piece is for sale locally, so be sure to check my ‘available for local sale‘ page for more details if interested.

As always, thanks to Dixie Belle Paint Co for providing the paint and topcoat used for this makeover.