the naturalist’s box.

My picker, Sue, found this box for me.

As you can see above, the top half of the latch wasn’t attached.  However, it was inside the box so I was able to re-attach it as you’ll see in a minute.

After sanding and cleaning the box, I painted it in two coats of Dixie Belle’s Sawmill Gravy.

I have to say, after painting the other two boxes from my thrift haul in their Silk paint (an acrylic paint, and you’ll see the results of that in a coming post), I think I prefer working with the chalk style paint on these sorts of items.  It adheres better, it distresses more easily, and since I will be adding transfers that have to be sealed anyway the fact of the built-in topcoat in the Silk paint is irrelevant.

That brings me to the fun part, adding bits and pieces of transfers.

The wording on the top is from the I.O.D. Label Ephemera transfer.

The floral bit on the front that flows up onto the top is from the I.O.D. Brocante transfer.

As are the bee and the butterfly (on the top).

That smaller wording is all from a Tim Holtz transfer called Specimen.

After sealing the box with some of Dixie Belle’s flat clear coat, I reattached the original latch.

I then lined the inside of the box with some scrapbook paper and called it good.

Now it’s ready to hold some field notes, specimens, curiosities or evidence … or whatever one wants to keep inside a box.

If you are local and have need of a box to store your specimens in … wait, that sounds gross … but you know what I mean … be sure to check my ‘available for local sale‘ page as this box is for sale.

Thank you to Dixie Belle Paint Co for providing the paint and sealer used on this box.

faux enamelware.

Remember the galvanized hanging bucket thingies (I don’t really know what to call them) that I found while thrifting a week or so ago?

They have a black rolled rim and handle, so I thought that if I painted the galvanized part white they would look just like vintage enamelware.

One of my readers suggested I leave them as is and just add a transfer to the front, and I did consider it.  After all, I do like the look of galvanized stuff.  But these had that blotchy look that feels a little faux to me.  In addition, my ‘before’ photo doesn’t really show how dark they were.  I knew I wanted to dress them up with some transfers, and the black wording of most transfers doesn’t show up very well on the darker galvanized stuff.  Here’s an example of that.

It can create kind of a cool aged look, but I wanted to go for that enamelware look with these.

So I washed them first, and then painted them in Dixie Belle Silk paint in Endless Shore.

They really do look like classic enamelware now, don’t they?  Although not quite as shiny.

Next I started thinking about which transfer I wanted to use on them.  I considered going with more color and adding some I.O.D. florals, but then I decided to stick with the black and white theme.

You might be surprised to learn that I used transfers from two different companies on these.

The one on the right has a portion of the I.O.D. Astoria transfer on it, with some wording from the with prima Paris Letter added above it.  The one on the left has a portion of the Lovely Ledger transfer from with prima on it.  All three of these transfers combine beautifully.

My next challenge was to try and think of things to put in them.  Of course, you could always go with the classic florals.

This silk lavender stems came from Hobby Lobby a few years back.

Since the bucket itself is rather neutral in color and style, you could change them up seasonally and it would still work.

When you see evergreens like these, do you think they are strictly for Christmas, or would you leave them out until Spring?

I’d love to get some feedback from you guys on that.  Are you sick of evergreens and ready to see them go by the end of December, or do you leave them out until the end of February?  Leave a comment and let me know.

You could also put a small glass vase inside for the water, and fill these with real flowers.

But I wanted to try and think outside the box a bit.  How about filling them with old altered paint brushes?

Definitely unexpected.

You could also fill one with your non-collection of whisk brooms.

Or am I the only one with things like whisk brooms and gunky old paint brushes lying around?

How about you, what would you put in one of these buckets?  Leave a comment and let me know.

Meanwhile, I’ll be taking these into the shop later this week so if any of you locals are interested, you’ll have to head to Stillwater later this week and do a little shopping.

a thrifty tuesday.

My friend Sue and I hadn’t been out thrifting since … um, well … gosh!  Could it really have been October?  I think it may have been that long.  The holidays just got in the way I guess.  Well, the holidays plus my trips to Disney World in October and then Puerto Vallarta at the end of November.

But Sue and I finally made it out again this past Tuesday and I was reminded that I need to make a point of going more often.

I didn’t bring home a massive haul, but I did find a few things that I thought would be fun to share with you guys.

First up is this brass road runner.

He reminded me of the brass pheasants that I picked up at a garage sale last summer, remember them?

Ahhh, and remember when the grass was green and not buried under three feet of snow, and I could take pictures outside on the deck?  Those were the days.

But I digress.

I also brought home this copper pitcher.

Copper continues to be a good seller for me, so when I see nice pieces I grab them.

I also continue to pick up white cannisters so that I can add the blue I.O.D. Traditional Pots transfers to them.

I’m pretty much down the the last couple of blue transfers.  I sure do wish they would come out with more of these!

If you’ve always wanted to win a golden globe, this next item would be right up your alley.

This globe is a bit smaller than your typical globe, it would be perfect for desktop décor.

I threw this marble cake stand into my cart as well.

I did a search after I got home and found that it’s from Target’s Project 62 line.  It’s solid marble and has a great mid-mod vibe.

Speaking of a mid-mod vibe, I just couldn’t resist this set of 4 shallow bowls.

I think that green is just gorgeous.

I picked up the metal egg basket in anticipation of Easter.

I think I’ll paint the wooden handles, and then I want to come up with some sort of fun egg project for filling up the basket.  Maybe I’ll stamp some papier-mâché eggs like my former co-worker Jodie did.

I shared her project with you back in 2018.

And speaking of Jodie, the enamelware coffee pot actually came from her as well.  She was going to take it to Goodwill, but offered it to me first.  I just added the Farmers Market transfer, which is from the Dixie Belle On the Farm transfer.

Last up, I grabbed a few things that will make fun small makeover projects.

I’m debating painting those galvanized hanging bins.  They have a nice thick black rim, so I thought I might paint them white to look like enamelware.  What do you think?

Then there are these boxes.

Sue brought me the larger box, and I thrifted the two smaller wooden boxes.

It will be fun to paint these up and add some transfers, much like I did a while back with this box.

So be sure to stay tuned for that!


thrifty wednesday.

Somehow ‘thrifty wednesday’ just doesn’t have the same ring to it as ‘thrifty thursday’.  None the less, Wednesday is the day our local Goodwill stores offer a senior discount, and since I’m older than 55 (really, only slightly, I swear), I qualify.  And so does my friend Sue.  So now that we are both retired, we schedule our thrifting get togethers for Wednesdays.

Sue and I headed out on a gloriously beautiful fall day last Wednesday and I came home with a nice little pile of goodies, so I thought I’d share my finds with you guys.

Actually, looking back, very few of these things were actually from Goodwill.  We went to two different Goodwill stores, and I only purchased one thing at each.

I found this set of 10 pretty vintage Grapevine pattern plates at the first Goodwill.

They definitely have a mid-century vibe, don’t they?  And maybe a little bit of a fall harvest sort of feel to them.

At the 2nd Goodwill I found this set of three copper molds.

The rest of the items are from various other stops we made; an estate sale, a garage sale and Turn Style (which is a consignment shop).

The estate sale was first, and let me tell you … the poor people running this sale must have put hours and hours into getting everything priced and set up.  There was so much to look at.  The living room was lined wall to wall with big folding tables and every possible inch of that room was full of just the Christmas stuff.

Apparently the former occupant of the home also collected anything, and everything, that had a giraffe on it.  There were giraffe purses, giraffe towels, giraffe throw pillows, giraffe luggage, giraffe china … and an entire bedroom was filled wall to wall with giraffe figurines of every kind.  Seriously, like easily 100’s of them.  I should have surreptitiously taken a photo to share with you guys, but I didn’t think of that.

There wasn’t really much in the way of vintage items though, and I didn’t really need a giraffe figurine.  Still, I did grab a couple of fun items including this little galvanized container with a lid.

As you can see, I’ve already added a Classic Vintage Label transfer to it.

I also grabbed this cute little wire basket.

I try to purchase good baskets when I see them at a reasonable price.  You never know when you’ll want to put together a gift basket so it’s nice to have a stash of baskets handy.

I also bought these two galvanized bin thingies at the estate sale.

I added the Everyday Farmhouse transfers to the fronts of them after I got them home.  They still had their Hobby Lobby stickers on the bottom, so I know these are just inexpensive reproduction sort of items.  The addition of the wording gives them a more authentic feel though.

I like the idea of filling them up with some ironstone pitchers …

or how about a quartet of potted herbs?

You could hang one in the bathroom and fill it with rolled up wash cloths, or maybe toiletries.  You could fill one with jars of spices in the kitchen.  There are so many different ways you could use them.

After the estate sale, we stopped off at a garage sale that was a few blocks away and I scored these fabulous candle holders.

I just think they are so elegant looking.

I’ll be putting them in the pile of stuff that I’m bringing in to the shop for Christmas.

I purchased a couple of items that I’m keeping myself from Turn Style.  The other day I had some former co-workers over for drinks and I realized that I was in need of some cute, small bowls for nuts on my charcuterie tray.  So I grabbed this set for $7.50 …

And I’ve been on the lookout for a kleenex box cover that was more my style than the one we currently have.

I found this one for $4.25 at Turn Style.  And of course, I added the Classic Vintage Label transfer to it, it was originally plain.  It’s actually from the Hearth & Hand collection at Target where it costs $14.99 new, so I think I got a bargain.

Oh, and I almost forgot the little enamelware cup.

That was from the estate sale, and I added the wording from the I.O.D. Traditional Pots transfer.

When Sue picked me up for our thrifty outing, she had a few goodies in the car for me as well including this tall ironstone pitcher …

and a green toolbox.

The red tacklebox and the blue toolbox were from the garage sale.

I spent a warm day last week out in the backyard washing up a bunch of toolboxes with some Dawn dish soap and the garden hose, so you should be seeing some painted toolboxes here in the coming weeks.  Later this week I’ll be sharing my latest wallcutz project with you too.  So be sure to stay tuned!

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 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 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 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 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 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 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 “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?