holy guacamole.

It’s time for another toolbox from the stash … well, technically a lockbox this time.

It was an easy decision to paint this one, that bankers box gray is nothing to write home about.

For some unknown reason I’ve been really drawn to avocado-y shades of green lately, so I ordered some of Dixie Belle’s Holy Guacamole.

This paint is only available in the 4 oz. size.  I hope that doesn’t mean they are phasing it out and all they have left is the 4 oz size.  Regardless, I ordered three of them, just in case I wanted to use it on something larger than a toolbox.

But for now, I used it on the inside of this lockbox.

I think this is one of those colors that people are either going to love, or hate.  I get it, it kind of looks like pea soup, but then, I love pea soup too.

I added a simple transfer from the Classic Vintage Labels from re.design with prima to the inside lid, and then sealed the interior with some of Dixie Belle’s flat clear coat.

And in the end, this color works perfectly with the I.O.D. Floral Anthology transfer that I used on the outside of the box.

The leaves in the transfer definitely have that same yellow-green in them.

This continues to be my favorite floral transfer, and this time I paired it up with a Classic Vintage Label on the top of the lock box.

I’ve shared so many ideas for ways to use these lock boxes in the past.  You can use them for your stamping supplies, your cosmetics, your seed packets, your sewing kit, your vintage photo stash, your arts and craft supplies, your ribbons, and on and on.  If you want to see all of my lock box posts, you can find them all under the ‘toolboxes.’ category under ‘sorted.’ in the right side toolbar (if you’re looking at this on a computer screen, it’s at the bottom of the screen on a cell phone).

This time around I just simply filled it up with paint brushes.

So what do you think?  Is Holy Guacamole for you?

Unless someone local wants to snatch this up first (see details on my ‘available for local sale‘ page), I plan to take this one into the shop next week.


the key to your heart.

My friend Sue found this red tacklebox for me.

When she handed it over she said something along the lines of ‘you don’t even have to paint this one.’  She thought it was perfectly worn ‘as is’.

Well, that threw me into a world of indecision.

The thing is, I agreed with her about that original patinated finish.  It is perfectly imperfect.  But experience has taught me that it can be difficult to sell a tackle box without adding some personality to it with paint and transfers.  Then there’s also the fact that it’s red.  Red isn’t super hot right now, and I usually only use red at Christmas.

So what should I do?

I started by cleaning it up, and then I went ahead and painted the interior in Dixie Belle’s Honky Tonk Red.  The inside was a bit grungy, and I want these things to be functional when I’m done.  To me, ‘functional’ means that you feel good about storing things inside whether it’s jewelry, art supplies, cosmetics, photos or love letters.  So a fresh paint job was definitely in order for the inside, and I stuck with the original red since I still hadn’t decided what to do with the outside.

I sealed the paint with some flat clear coat, but once I had that done I was a bit paralyzed.  I simply couldn’t make up my mind whether to leave the exterior alone, or to paint it.  So after looking at the thing for about two months, I finally decided to try something halfway between.

I added some transfers without painting the outside first.  Well, except that little inset rectangle in the handle, I did paint that.

Most of the transfers on the top are from the re.design with prima Middy French Labels set, except for the “Lost + Found” on the handle.  That one is a Tim Holtz transfer.

I also added a French Labels transfer to the inside of the lid.

And also a Classic Vintage Label to the front of the box.

It wasn’t until I started writing this blog post that I looked up cuir noir and found out that it translates to black leather.  I’m not even going to comment on my inadvertent combination of love and black leather.  Hey, whatever floats your boat, right?

At this point it did occur to me that this tacklebox was now the perfect place to stash your love letters, or those vintage saucy postcards.

Or maybe your favorite photographs of you and your Valentine, and most certainly the key to your heart.

That way you’ll always know where it is.

Normally this is the point where I mention that this one is for sale locally, etc.  And it is.  However, it’s already at the shop.  I brought it in last week before I left for my mom’s house.  So … it may still be there, or it may have sold last week.  It’s hard to tell from out here in Las Vegas!  But I’ll be sure to keep you guys posted on whether or not this one sells with it’s original red paint, so stay tuned!

beating the winter blues.

A little while back one of my readers, who also happens to live near me, offered me a box of bottlebrush trees and this blue tacklebox.

That was awfully kind of her, don’t you think?

I rather liked that pretty shade of cobalt blue, but I didn’t love the stenciled yellow wording or the big patches of rust.  The lid was a bit banged up too.  So I used a hammer to mostly pound the lid back into shape (pound gently from the inside to push a dent out), then I did my usual cleaning/sanding/priming with Dixie Belle’s B.O.S.S.  Then I decided to pay homage to the original color of this tackle box by painting it in Dixie Belle’s Cobalt Blue.

It’s a bit brighter than the original color of the tackle box, but who doesn’t need to brighten up these gloomy winter days a bit?  Might as well beat the winter blues with some Cobalt Blue.

I painted the box inside and out in the Cobalt.

So far I’ve used the I.O.D. Rose Chintz paint inlay over white, black and green, so this was my chance to try it over blue.

Sure enough, it works beautifully over blue too!

I ran the paint inlay all the way around the bottom portion of the tackle box.  Next came deciding what to do on the top.  I wasn’t sure that the black lettering of my usual I.O.D. Label Ephemera transfers would work.  So I decided to do a test board.

I painted it with the Cobalt Blue, then I pulled out some transfer scraps in black, gold and white to see how they looked over the blue.  The black was my least favorite, but then I’ve never been a big fan of the combination of black and blue.  The gold actually looked quite nice over the blue, but I didn’t think it would work as well with the paint inlay colors.  I was surprised to discover that I actually liked the white the best.  That is a scrap from the I.O.D. Traditional Pots transfer.

I have to say, the newer white transfers are a huge improvement over the old ones.  Or, at least these Traditional Pots are.

So I went with some bits and pieces from that transfer on the top of the toolbox.

Looks pretty good, right?

The white transfer ties in nicely with the little touches of white in the paint inlay.

I used clear wax to seal the top and interior of this box, and I used a spray matte sealer over the paint inlay.  If it were summer I would have spray sealed the entire thing, but this time of year I try to keep my spraying to a minimum.  It involves taking the item outside, spraying quick, and then bringing it back inside to dry.

I have to admit, I wasn’t sure at first how I was going to stage this one.  Then I remembered my pretty blue and white tea cup, and I thought it would make the perfect prop.  But what to fill it with?

Q tips of course!

And that led to staging this one as a makeup case.

I mean, why not, right?  Who says you can’t keep your cosmetics in a tacklebox?

If the Cobalt Blue is just a bit too much for you, I recommend trying Dixie Belle’s Bunker Hill Blue as an alternative.

Next time I think I might try a 50/50 mix of both colors, which might be just perfect for a piece of furniture.  But for today, that pop of Cobalt Blue is perfect for beating the winter blues.

If any of you locals would like a Cobalt Blue tacklebox for your makeup, or for anything else, be sure to check out my ‘available for local sale‘ page for more details because this one is for sale.

Thank you to Dixie Belle Paint Co for supplying the B.O.S.S. and paint used in this makeover.

the rose chintz toolbox.

It’s time for another toolbox makeover everybody.

Unfortunately, I have once again dropped the ball on getting a ‘before’ photo of this one.  Whoops.

Suffice to say, it was red, and maybe a little rusty and crusty.  But now it looks like this.

After my usual prep of cleaning, sanding off loose bits, and priming with Dixie Belle’s B.O.S.S., I painted the outside in Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth and the inside with their Kudzu.

I added the I.O.D. Rose Chintz paint inlay to the angled sections of the top (here is a how-to post on using the paint inlays).

Once I had the inlay sealed, I added some wording from the I.O.D. Label Ephemera transfer to the top and front of the box.

I also added a sweet little bee to the latch.

That bee comes from the French Maison knob transfers from re.design with prima.

I sealed everything up with some of Dixie Belle’s flat clear coat.

This box didn’t come with a tray, but I did add some pretty green and white gingham scrapbook paper inside.

This one is nice and roomy at 15″ wide x 8″ deep x 8″ tall.  You could keep all kinds of fun things inside.  The paper is not adhered and thus could be easily removed if you want to use this toolbox for things like garden tools.

I sure am getting my use out of those Rose Chintz paint inlays.  Here are links to a few more projects I’ve used them on; a black toolbox, a tackle box, a green bench, another toolbox, some books, a watering can, and a green flower crate.

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

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

embracing the dark side.

Phew!  I don’t know about you, but I am so done with Christmas projects.  Part of my problem is that I have to start really early (usually in September) in order to get everything done by November.  Well, at least for projects that I am planning to sell.  I always feel like I need to have everything ready to go by the first week in November or I’ve missed the boat.

So by the time Christmas actually gets here, I’m more than ready to move on.  I know many of you probably leave your decorations up through the New Year, but I tend to start taking them down right away.  I’m always champing at the bit to get everything cleared away.

So, while I’m working on that, I thought I’d share my latest lock box makeover.

This one started out pretty rusty and crusty.

I gave it the usual prep; a good sanding to remove any chippy bits and smooth out the rusty spots followed by cleaning with a grease cutting detergent.  Once it was thoroughly dry, I coated it inside and out with Dixie Belle’s B.O.S.S. to block any future bleed thru of rust or dark stains.

Next I painted it inside and out in Dixie Belle’s Silk paint in Anchor.  The Silk line of their paint has a built in primer and top coat, so although I usually prefer to use their chalk style paint on metal, I thought I’d give the Silk paint a go this time.

I have to admit that I was planning to go in a totally different direction with the embellishments on this one.  I was going to use the I.O.D. Rose Chintz paint inlay on the top.  But first I pulled out a left over scrap of gold lettering from the re.design with prima Flower Collector transfer and added it around the bottom of the box.

I have to admit that initially I didn’t like the look at all.  I was even considering just sanding it down and starting over.  I definitely felt like I was stepping outside my comfort zone of Dixie Belle Drop Cloth and black typography.  But then I decided to just keep going and see what happened, and I’m glad I did.

The first thing I did was add a coat of Dixie Belle’s flat clear coat over the gold lettering.  That went a long way towards toning down that halo around the letters that always shows up so much more distinctly over dark colors.

Next, I changed my mind about the Rose Chintz inlay.  I felt like it just wouldn’t work with the gold lettering.  I needed something a little darker, a little moodier.  Maybe a little less sweet.

After going through all of my floral transfers, I decided that I.O.D.’s Floral Anthology was the best option.

The florals in this transfer are outlined and shaded with fine black lines and cross hatching which makes it work perfectly over black paint.

After adding another coat of the Dixie Bell flat clear coat to the exterior for protection, I decided that I needed to add a pop of color to the interior rather than leaving it black.  So I painted it in a custom mix of Dixie Belle’s Silk paint.

I mixed this paint up quite a while ago.  At the time I was trying to come close to Annie Sloan’s Scandinavian Pink.

I’d seen Scandinavian Pink on a dresser at a shop out in Henderson, NV while visiting my mom and I thought it was so pretty.  I think I came fairly close with my custom mix of Dixie Belle Silk paint.  I didn’t measure, I just kept adding a little of this and a little of that until it felt right.  I started with mainly their Desert Rose, but it had a slightly cooler/bluer undertone.  So I added some of their Mojave to warm it up.  Then I added a little Drop Cloth to lighten it up just slightly.

I was planning to use the color on the interior of a cabinet that I painted back in February, but I ended up going with an olive green on that instead.  So I pulled out my faux Scandinavian Pink for the lock box.

Since I’d used Silk paint with its built-in top coat on the inside, I didn’t feel that I needed to add an additional top coat.  However, I did end up top coating the exterior because of the addition of the transfers, so I could just as well have used the chalk style paint for the outside.

I staged this as a sewing box.  It would be a convenient place to store your extra buttons, needles and thread, and other sewing paraphernalia.

In the end, I’m glad I decided to go ahead and embrace the dark side.

It’s always good to try something different and just see where it takes you.

That being said, I’ve already gone back to using Drop Cloth. as well at that Rose Chintz paint inlay, on the next toolbox I’m working on.  I’m sure I’ll be sharing that one soon, so stay tuned for that.

In the meantime, this lock box is for sale.  Be sure to check out my ‘available for local sale’ if you are interested.

Thank you to Dixie Belle Paint Co for providing the paint and top coat used on this lockbox makeover.

which way is up?

You may remember that back in August I shared a metal roller skate case that I painted up.

The case was originally black, so I’d simply given it a fresh coat of black to clean it up a bit, and followed that up with one of the German Grain Sack stencils from ellen j goods.

Unfortunately, the case didn’t sell.  So I brought it back home from the shop a few weeks ago to try giving it a different look.

I sanded down the stencil, added a fresh coat of black and then followed that up with the I.O.D. Rose Chintz paint inlay.  I love the way this inlay looks over black paint, gorgeous.

But I didn’t leave well enough alone.  I had this idea that the white Seeds transfer would be perfect over the floral.

Ummmm.  Yeah.  That didn’t really work out so well.

You know, sometimes you just have to try something to find out whether or not it will work.  However, it can be a real bummer when you’ve used up product that wasn’t exactly inexpensive.  Hopefully I can save you from that by sharing my fails here on the blog.

So it was back to the drawing board for idea no. 3.  I sanded it all back down again and gave it another base coat of black paint (in this case, Dixie Belle’s Silk paint in Anchor).

You know, one of the problems with a case like this is that you have to decide which way is up.  If the case will be sitting upright with the handle on the top, the wording will go one way.  But if the case is sitting flat with the handle on the front (like shown above) the wording needs to go in the other direction.

I struggle with the question of which way is up with suitcases (or in this case, a skate case) every time I do one.

I tend to opt for the upright position the most.  This is a much easier decision when the suitcase has angled sides since they don’t sit flat if you put them on their side. so it’s unlikely to be displayed that way.

I often do the non-angled versions this way too.

I figure the majority of people are going to display them like that.

But with the smaller cases, like this roller skate case, you never know.  One might want to stack it on top of larger cases instead of sitting it upright.

While considering what I wanted to try for makeover attempt no. 3, I decided to go with something that would look right either way.  That meant no wording, or designs that have a distinct top or bottom to them.

The swiss cross seemed like a great solution.  It can go either way.

I did leave the bit of writing from the Seeds transfer by the handle though.

I love the idea of stacking this case on top of a couple of other vintage cases.

You could store any number of things inside it, including the old photos that I shared the first time around.

But I thought it would be more appropriate to the season to stage it as an ice skate case this time around.

I purchased these skates at the thrift store (or was it a garage sale?) and they came with some sparkly gold laces.

The sparkle wasn’t quite doing it for me though, so I swapped out the gold laces for some alphabet ribbon that was in my stash.

Now they are the perfect companions for my swiss cross case.

Whether or not the case will sell better with this design remains to be seen, but I’m going to give it a shot.  If any of you locals are interested, both the case and the ice skates are listed on my ‘available for local sale‘ page.

As for the rest of you, what do you think?  Are you a fan of the swiss cross look, or would you have preferred the rose chintz?  Leave a comment and let me know.

a tree topper toolbox.

Well, I told you guys that if my latest Christmas toolbox didn’t sell I was gonna have to keep it.

And it hasn’t sold yet.

So I decided that maybe it was meant to be mine.  At least for now.

I had a feeling it would be perfect for displaying my non-collection of vintage glass tree toppers.

You’ve seen my tree toppers before.  Last year I displayed them in a primitive wooden caddy.

Back in 2019 I explained my method for displaying them.  I use floral foam and wooden skewers to hold them in place.

I place the foam in the bottom of my container, add some faux greens over the top of it, and then poke in the skewers and add the toppers.  Easy peasy.

I store all of my supplies for this in vintage suitcases.

As soon as I finished the toolbox I realized it would be perfect for showing off the toppers.  But I decided I’d attempt to sell it first.  After all, I could always make another one for myself.

But no one immediately snapped it up, so …

clearly it was meant to be.

I used the same foam and skewers, added some greens and then placed my toppers.

I wove some fairy lights throughout for a little extra sparkle.

Yep, it definitely feels meant to be.

I love it.  What do you think?

the ornemanistes toolbox.

I hope you guys aren’t getting tired of the toolbox transformations because I’ve got another one for you today.  And I have to say, I think ‘transformation’ is definitely the right word for this one.

Let’s start with some ‘before’ photos.

Yep, I have to admit, I wasn’t sure this one was going to be worth the effort.  This toolbox certainly didn’t seem like anything special in its ‘before’ state.  However, as you’re about to see, it totally was worth it!

Earlier this fall I spent a sunny afternoon cleaning up a pile of toolboxes and lock boxes out in the backyard using the hose.  I then took a quick photo of the pile before I gave them a good scrub …

As you can see, the interior was just as rusty and flakey as the outside.  Also, this toolbox included the red tray that is shown above on the upper left.

I started by sanding this one a bit more thoroughly than usual to remove any of the flaking paint.  Then, as I mentioned, I washed it up with Dawn dish soap and the garden hose.  Once dry, I coated it inside and out with Dixie Belle’s B.O.S.S.

Then I studied that tray for a moment.  I kind of liked the patina on the handle, but wanted to clean it up a bit.  So I opted for painting just the inside of the tray in Dixie Belle’s Honky Tonk Red which ended up being a perfect match for the original color.

Then I added a little Christmas bird from Dixie Belle’s Evergreen and Holly transfer.

Isn’t he sweet?  I followed that up with a coat of DB’s flat clear coat to protect it all.

I also went ahead and gave the interior of the toolbox a couple of coats of Honky Tonk Red followed by some flat clear coat as well.

Next up I painted the outside in my favorite Dixie Belle Drop Cloth.

Then I thought about the I.O.D. Cosette transfer that I had on hand.

I’ve had this transfer for a while, just waiting for the right piece of furniture to put it on.  But I have to confess, I’d been hesitating to use it because I didn’t like the red wording.  I felt like adding even that little bit of red to something would make it more difficult for someone to work into their décor, thus making a piece more difficult to sell.  I don’t know, I certainly could be wrong about that, but I really was wishing all of the wording on this transfer was black.

So decided to do something a tad reckless (LOL, for me anyway).  I cut out that center section of wording to use on this toolbox.

I’m calling it reckless simply because this transfer costs around $40, and here I was just hacking a section out of it for a toolbox.  But then again, I wasn’t using the full transfer because of that red.  Now the red is gone, and I could fill that center section with something else when I find the right piece of furniture for the size of the rest of the transfer.

And the red was perfect on this toolbox!

I added some poinsettias from the Dixie Belle Evergreen and Holly transfer to tip the look over into the Christmas category.

I also added a little Tim Holtz number transfer.

I also used part of that center section of the Cosette transfer up under the handle, and the tiny red “PARIS” on the latch.

This might be the last Christmas themed toolbox I do this year.  I’ve mostly run out of Christmas transfers and don’t think I’ll be finding more this season.

I sure do feel like I’m going out with a bang on this one.  I have to admit, if it doesn’t sell I won’t be sad about that.  I may just have to keep it.

But that being said, if any of you locals are interested be sure to check out my ‘available for local sale‘ page for details.

Thanks to Dixie Belle Paint Co for providing their products used on this toolbox!

one tool tote, two ways.

I mentioned a while back that I had one of these wooden totes that I was reserving for a Christmas look.

It’s your basic tool caddy, freshly made out of unfinished wood.  Sometimes I will layer these unpainted items in several colors to add the illusion of age, or maybe use some of Dixie Belle’s Sea Spray to add some texture.  But this time I opted for a simple black paint job using DB’s Midnight Sky.  Once I had it painted inside and out, I pulled out my smaller Rudolph and Co Reindeer Treats stencil from wallcutz.  I have this stencil in two sizes, the smallest and the largest, and it’s one of my favorites.

I wanted to give my stencil a little more dimension, so I first stenciled just the “Rudolph and Co” in Dixie Belle’s French Linen.  Then I moved the stencil slightly up and over and stenciled the larger wording, plus the top section in DB’s Drop Cloth.  I left the ‘and’ just in French Linen.

I stenciled the back side without a shadow, mainly because I find it’s trickier to get it to look good with smaller, fine letters like these.

I do like to have something on both sides of a tote like this in case the future owner wants to display it in the center of a dining table.

Once the paint was dry, I sanded to distress the edges.  I was distressing back to fresh, new wood though.  So in order to give this a more aged look I waxed it with brown wax to darken up those areas where the sanding revealed fresh wood.

I thought it would be fun to style the tote in two different looks.

I started with some natural looking greens, my unfinished nutcrackers, an old cloth tape measure and some metal cash register numbers.

This neutral sort of look is right up my alley.  You can find those unfinished nutcrackers at most craft stores it seems.  They are meant to be painted, but I like them left ‘as is’.

The sort of papery looking greens with the little white berries are from Hobby Lobby.  I  purchased them recently and they were super cheap at only $1.49 each (Christmas stuff was already 60% off the day I shopped).

If you’d rather have a little bit of bling in your holiday décor, this next look might appeal to you more.

I swapped out the greens for some that are a little less rustic and added fairy lights, then I decked it out with vintage gold balls, some golden crowns, a tiny birdcage …

and a little star shaped ornament that I’ve had forever.

I can’t really decide which look I like better, what do you think?

I’ll be bringing this tool tote into the shop this evening, unless one of you locals wants to snatch it up first for $38.  If so, be sure to let me know in a comment or by email at qisforquandie@gmail.com.

the christmas curiosities box.

It’s time for another Christmas themed lockbox, and this time I managed to get a ‘before’ shot!

This one wasn’t in terrible shape, with just a few rusty spots here and there.  Nonetheless, I followed my usual prep process of sanding lightly, cleaning, and then priming inside and out with Dixie Belle’s B.O.S.S.

Then I painted the inside with Dixie Belle’s Collard Greens.

Next I painted the outside in DB’s Sawmill Gravy.  Both of these colors have a greyish undertone and they make perfect companions.

Once again I applied bits and pieces from various transfers to the outside.

The holly and poinsettias are from Dixie Belle’s Evergreen and Holly.  The cursive wording on the top of the box is from a re.design with prima transfer.

The cherubs are taken from Dixie Belle’s Vintage Post transfer.

This is a great example of how something not meant to be Christmas-y at all can be mingled with the holly and given an instant holiday vibe.

There was a little spot on the handle that must have been originally meant for a label of some kind, so I painted it in and then added a Tim Holtz ‘curiosities’ transfer.

I finished everything off with a coat of Dixie Belle’s flat clear coat.

Now this lockbox is perfect for storing your Christmas curiosities.  Or maybe just your Christmas cards as one of my readers suggested for the last Christmas themed lockbox.

What would you keep in it?

The lockbox is for sale locally while it lasts.  Be sure to check my ‘available for local sale‘ page for all of the details.

Thank you to Dixie Belle for providing all of their products used on this lockbox.