faux flour sack towels.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

a ReStored bed.

My sister and I popped back into the ReStore last week and this time I picked up this bed.

Sorry for the poor quality of that photo.  As you may be able to see, my driveway was pure ice that day and it was really cold out.  I took a quick snap and called it good.

Anyway, I’m not especially trying to find beds these days.  I was actually hoping to come home with a dresser or a buffet maybe.  But, I didn’t find any of those sort of pieces that day, so another bed it was.

Compared to the gorgeous details on the bed I shared last week, this one seems a bit plain in comparison doesn’t it?  I’m afraid that bed is going to be a hard act to follow.  Still, I liked the fluted legs on the foot board of this one as well as the curve to the top of both pieces.

Lately I have been binge watching YouTube videos by Crys’Dawna at Bella Renovare.  I became familiar with her work when I was a brand ambassador at re.design with prima.  I also see a lot of her work on the Dixie Belle sites.  Now, any of you who might also be familiar with her work are probably thinking to yourself that Crys’Dawna’s style and mine are drastically different, and that is absolutely true.  I’ve seen her use as many as five or six colors on one piece, and we’re talking the brightest colors available.  For example …

I’m pretty sure that you’ll never see me painting a piece quite like that (although I’ve learned to never say never).  But that doesn’t mean that I don’t admire her work.  Her blending of colors is flawless.  Even though I probably won’t ever copy her exact style, I can still learn from Crys’Dawna’s videos and possibly modify her techniques to suit my own style a bit more.  Or that’s what I was hoping anyway.

So I thought I’d give blending a try on this bed.  The first step was to gather my supplies.  I decided to go with shades of grey, so I pulled out Dixie Belle paint in Gravel Road, Hurricane Grey and French Linen.   I also needed a brush for each color, plus a brush for blending them, and finally a spray bottle.

You can get a spray bottle like this from Dixie Belle Paint Co.  It sprays in a continuous fine mist which works well for blending paint.

Now, let me stop here and say that this post is not going to turn into a tutorial on blending paint for two reasons.  First, you’d be much better off just watching some of Crys’Dawna’s videos to learn how to blend paint.  And second, as it turns out, I kind of suck at it.

Crys’Dawna makes it look so easy.

I spent half a day painting, spraying, and then blending, and then adding more paint, and spraying, and blending, and letting it dry, and then deciding it was awful and adding more paint, and spray, to try and blend it, and then letting it dry … you get the picture.  No matter how much I sprayed and painted and blended, I just never liked the end result.  It just looked like a splotchy paint job to me.  And for the life of me, I could not get rid of the obvious brush strokes.

So why am I sharing this failure with you?  I’m just keeping it real.  Sometimes things just don’t work out for me.  I definitely don’t have the patience to keep working at a finish like this.

After giving up on being able to achieve anything even closely resembling a smoothly blended look, I decided to go back to techniques that I’m good at.  I re-painted the bed in a solid coat of Gravel Road (the darkest gray) and then I pulled out the French Damask stencil from re.design with prima.

I placed the stencil horizontally, rather than vertically as shown above, and I used the Hurricane Gray to do the stenciling.  I just wanted a hint of the pattern, not something that was totally in your face.  Using a color that is just a bit lighter or a bit darker is perfect for creating that look.

I added a faint ‘1902’ to the bottom of the foot board as well.

I was going for a very faded, imperfect look with the stencil so I wasn’t too particular about thoroughly painting every little detail.

Once the paint was dry, I sanded over everything and then added a coat of clear wax.

So what is the moral of our story?  I’m not really sure.  Of course we should all try new things and push ourselves outside of our comfort zone periodically.  But at the same time, every technique out there isn’t for everyone.  In this case, Socrates was right, “To know thyself is the beginning of wisdom.”

Sometimes you try something new and realize it’s just not for you.

How about you?  Have you tried this blending technique?

Well, if you’d like to give it a shot, I’ve decided to give away my gently used spray bottle because I’m pretty sure I’m never going to use it again.  To give you something to blend, I’m also throwing in a couple of shades of green that I think would be lovely blended together, Kudzu and Palmetto.

Who wants to give it a try?

The rules:  I’m going to make you work for it just a little today, so to be eligible to win today’s prize please leave a comment telling me about a failed experiment of your own and what you learned from the experience.

Your comment must be left on this blog post, not on Facebook or Instagram.  You are not required to follow my blog, although it would be awesome if you did!

I will randomly draw the name of a winner for today’s prize from all of the comments left on this post by Sunday, January 31, 2021 at the stroke of midnight (U.S. Central time).

The fine print: no purchase necessary, you must be 18 years of age or older to win, void where prohibited by law, the number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning, approximate retail value of prize is $54, if the prize is not claimed by Friday, February 5, 2021 another name will be drawn at random to win, blah, blah, blah.

As always, thanks to Dixie Belle for providing the paint I used on this bed as well as the items I am giving away.

In the meantime, this bed is for sale.  If you are local and in need of a twin bed, be sure to check out the details on my ‘available for local sale‘ page.

the recipe box.

Well, you guys spoke and I listened.  When I posted the little wooden recipe box that I thrifted recently, I asked you guys if I should paint it or not.

I have to confess, I was rather surprised that almost all of you said don’t paint it.

Well, OK then, I’m willing to give it a shot.

What isn’t super apparent in that ‘before’ photo is that the box was filthy dirty.  Like … totally gross really.  So the first step was to clean it well.  I used my spray Dawn dish soap for that.  I scrubbed it with one of those plastic scrubby pads and the soap, and rinsed it with warm water.  You should have seen the dirt that came off it!

Once clean, I let it air dry.  Here’s how it looked after that cleaning.

Definitely not an improvement, right?

But don’t be put off by this step, this box is still salvageable without totally refinishing it.

Next I sanded it lightly all over (except over that Recipes label) with 220 grit sandpaper.  I followed that up with some of Dixie Belle’s Big Mama’s Butta.

Ahhhh, so much better.  Isn’t it fantastic what that stuff does for old, dried out wood?

Several of you also suggested that I paint just the inside of the box, so I took that advice as well.  I painted it in Dixie Belle’s Gravel Road and then I added a little bit of the decoupage tissue paper from re.design with prima.

I love the way the dark grey works with the wood tone on the outside.

I just happened to have a set of index cards that fit the box perfectly.

I don’t suppose one typically uses alphabet index cards for recipes though, do they?  You’d probably more likely find cards that say ‘salads’, ‘appetizers’, and things like that in a recipe box.

Well, personally, if I was keeping this box I think I’d use it as a scrapbook instead of using it for recipes.  You may remember that I have done that before

So I’m going to leave the alphabet index cards with the box and see if it inspires anyone to do something similar.

At this point, it just remains to be seen whether or not the box will sell.  I’m going to price it at $18 and see what happens.  I’ll keep you posted!

the st. paul hotel bed.

I recently saw the ad for this twin bed on Facebook Marketplace and I just knew I had to have it.  Just check out those curves …

My sister and I headed out on a gorgeously frosty day to pick it up.  The seller shared a bit about its history with us when we got there.  Apparently her grandmother purchased this bed when a hotel in St. Paul was selling off their old furniture.  Unfortunately, she didn’t know which hotel.  Later, the seller herself used it as her bed as a child.  Eventually it ended up in storage because no one had a use for it.  The seller was hoping that when her own kids grew up one of them would want to restore the bed, but no such luck.  None of them were interested.  So she decided there was no point in continuing to store it.  It should go to someone who would put it to use.

And that’s where I come in.  I’m not actually going to put it to use myself, but I am going to refurbish it so that someone else can put it to use.

I started out by giving it a light sanding, vacuuming away the dust and then giving it a good cleaning with some TSP substitute.  As I was wiping away the cleaner, the water was slightly tinted orange.  That’s always a clue that the stain is going to be one that bleeds through your paint.  So once again, out came the Dixie Belle BOSS.  Over the years I’ve learned that it’s just easier to be safe rather than sorry and go ahead and use BOSS when I even slightly suspect the stain will bleed.

So, everything got a coat of BOSS and I let that dry overnight.  The next day I added two coats of Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth.  Once that was dry, I sanded the edges lightly to distress, once again vacuumed away any dust, and then went over it with a clean microfiber cloth.  I followed that up with a top coat of Dixie Belle’s flat clear coat (and if you’re wondering, yes, I did add the clear coat before applying the transfer).

Have I mentioned yet how much I love that foot board?  The curve!  The scrolly legs!  The perfectly framed space for a transfer!

IOD’s Le Petit Rosier transfer was practically made for this bed.  It was just a tad long, so I cut about 4″ off the bottom that I’ll save for another day, but the width was perfect.

And the top section of the transfer looks gorgeous on the headboard.

I have to tell you guys, applying this particular transfer is not for the faint of heart.  Because each little letter is a separate piece you have to be sure that you’ve got each one rubbed on individually.  I really thought my arm was going to fall off after finishing that foot board.

But it was absolutely worth the effort.

The bed does have side rails and slats.  I really don’t have enough space in my house to get good photos of complete beds, but I gave it a shot so you could see the full effect of the bed put together.

This bed feels super sturdy to me once assembled.  I think having four feet on the foot board adds a lot of stability.

I think I’ve given this bed a totally fresh new look.

What do you think?

As always, thank you to Dixie Belle Paint for providing the BOSS, paint and clear coat used on this bed.  If any of you locals need a fabulous twin bed, check out my ‘available for local sale’ page for more details.

a thrift store haul.

My sister and I were out the other day and just happened to be driving past the Goodwill, so we decided to pop in and see what they had.  We had actually been in the same Goodwill store about a week earlier and didn’t find a single thing.  But this time I managed to fill up a shopping cart with goodies.

Nothing earth shattering, but I did find some simple things that made for fun small projects that I’m going to share with you today.

First up, the chicken box.

You’re probably wondering why in the world I picked that up, but what you can’t see in that photo is that it’s really just a simple box made out of old barn wood with an ugly chicken on the front.

I cut off the broken rafia handle, sanded down the chicken and re-painted just the front of the box in Dixie Belle’s French Linen.

Then I added just part of the Farm Fresh Honey Bee stencil that I purchased from Wallcutz.

My q tip for today is to always remember that you don’t have to use a stencil in its entirety.  You can tape off sections to fit on a smaller item like this little box.  Stencils have tons of versatility!

Once the paint was fully dry, I sanded to distress and added a clear wax finish.  Then I used some decorative cording to replace the handle.

And as I was writing up this post I realized that you still couldn’t see the barn wood that makes up the rest of the box, so here’s a shot that shows it off a little bit better.  Sort of.

Next up is the blue box.

The very flat finish on this box makes me think it was painted in either chalk paint or milk paint.  The color reminds me quite a bit of Miss Mustard Seed’s Flow Blue, or maybe Dixie Belle’s Antebellum Blue or Annie Sloan’s Aubusson.  Although I really like all of those colors, I felt that the color wasn’t really working on this box.  However, the real problem for me was the hideous black wrought iron handle more than the color.

OK, maybe ‘hideous’ is too strong a word, but I really didn’t like that handle.  So much so that I tossed it in the trash as soon as I removed it and I never really got a good photo of it.

Anyway, after removing that handle, I painted the entire box, inside and out, in Dixie Belle’s Sawmill Gravy.  Once dry I added one of the Classic Vintage Label transfers from re.design with prima to the front.

To jazz up the inside of the box, I added some of prima’s decoupage décor tissue papers to the inside of the lid.  This one is called Floral Wallpaper.

I luckily just happened to have a scrap of this tissue that was the perfect size leftover from another project .  It’s always good to hang onto those scraps!

By the way, I really do love these decoupage tissue papers.

They go on beautifully using Dixie Belle’s Gator Hide (check out this post for more details on that).  They don’t wrinkle or get bubbles because they are made out of a porous material, and at the same time they are really strong and don’t tear when wet.  Now that I’m no longer a brand ambassador for re.design with prima, I am totally out of the loop on new designs that come out.  However, I happened to do a little googling, and I found some new ones to purchase online.  I’ll keep you posted on those when they arrive and I find something to use them on.

Finally, I pulled out this pretty distressed mirror knob that I had in my stash of singles and added it to the top of the box.

I have a whole jar of single knobs.  I used to buy a lot of knobs when they were on sale at Hobby Lobby.  You know, sort of on speculation.  I figured I’d eventually have a piece to use them on.  But what I discovered was that nine times out of ten I would need 8 knobs for a piece, but I’d only have 6.  Or I’d need 6 and have 8, so now I had two left over.  It rarely seemed to work out perfectly, and as  I result I have a whole pile of single (or maybe a pair of) knobs.  Now I’ve sworn to only buy the knobs when I need them, and when I know exactly how many I need.

Still, it’s always a good feeling when I find a use for one of those singles!

You can see that a little of that original blue color is peeking through my distressed edges.

OK, the next makeover was the cold, black heart of love sign.

I really shouldn’t make fun.  The person who created this could very possibly be a reader of my blog, in which case, I apologize.  The bones of this sign were fantastic, but I’m just not sure about that big black heart.

Not that I have anything against black, because in the end I repainted the entire sign black.  Dixie Belle’s Midnight Sky to be exact.

I added a stencil using Dixie Belle’s Putty and then sanded to distress.  Unfortunately I can’t share a source for this stencil because I purchased it on Etsy from a seller that isn’t out there anymore.

It looks pretty good hanging in my piano room, but I won’t be keeping it.  It’s going in the pile of stuff to sell.

Next up, I always debate picking up these reproduction-ish decorative watering cans.  To me they always look just a bit too faux.

This one has an antiqued copper paint job that I didn’t particularly care for, but I liked the shape of it and the  style of the spout.  Plus the price was right, so I grabbed it.

Paint doesn’t always want to stick to a surface like this metal, so I usually spray paint something like this.  That was the plan here, except I didn’t have enough spray paint on hand.  So instead I gave it a quick base coat of spray paint, and then topped that off with some of Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth.  I really prefer to make do with supplies that I already have rather than buy something more.

If you’re wondering how I spray paint in the winter in Minnesota even though I don’t have a heated workshop space, here’s my trick.  I take the item outside in a big cardboard box lid with low sides, spray it quick, and then bring it all back in.  It’s probably not ideal, but it does seem to work and my house doesn’t end up filled with spray paint fumes.

Once the paint was dry, I sanded to distress and added another Classic Vintage Label.

Then I added clear wax as a finish.

A bit of an improvement I think.

Alright, so out of the six items I picked up at the Goodwill, I’ve made over four of them.

That leaves the little rocking chair, which I’m going to save for another day.  I purchased that chair because it has awesome, authentic, chippy green paint.  However, it’s filthy dirty.  Rather than try to clean it up in the house, I’m going to wait until I can give it a good bath with the hose out in the yard.  That’s gonna be a while.

And last up is the little wooden recipe box.

I purchased it fully intending to paint it up (like this one or this one), but after I got it home I started to second guess that.  It has that fab vintage decal on the front, and although it’s a little beat up, the patina on the wood is quite lovely.

So now I’m torn.  Should I paint it up, or should I just clean it up and otherwise leave it alone?  Let’s take a poll, what do you think?

And what do you think of the rest of my thrifted item makeovers?

making it my own.

A bit before Christmas, my sister and I stopped in at Hobby Lobby.  While we were browsing around, I mentioned that I needed a bigger vessel for holding my colored pencils.  So I wanted to look at their galvanized containers.

I found just what I wanted, but unfortunately the storage & organizing pieces weren’t 50% off that day.  I think we all know by now that you should only buy things at Hobby Lobby when they are half off (or with a 40% off coupon).  Otherwise, they are simply 100% overpriced.

As luck would have it, neither of us had thought to bring a 40% off coupon with us either.

I was about to put the item back on the shelf when my sister took from me and said “I need one more thing to get you for Christmas.”  I tried to talk her out of it.  It just made me cringe to see her spend twice as much as she had to for it.  But she brushed me off, pointing out that she wasn’t too worried about the extra $12.50 (the container’s full price was $25).

Here it is …

Yep, definitely overpriced at $25.  But from the start I planned to add a little something to make it my own.

I started by painted the wooden parts of the handle black using Dixie Belle’s Midnight Sky.  Prior to being painted, the upper part of the handle was a cheap looking wood tone, and the lower part was a bronze color.  I knew black would be more my style.

I distressed the black and then added a clear wax finish.

Next I added a Classic Vintage Label from re.design with prima to the front.

It has so much more personality now, right?

This container is divided into 4 sections, so it’s perfect for organizing my pencils by color.

I was always searching for the different shades of a color with my last storage system, which was basically everything thrown together in a mish mash.

Coloring is entirely a winter hobby for me.  In the summer I’m usually busy out in my workshop in the evening, but this time of year I can’t be out there.  Plus, it’s dark and cold and I really just want to put on some fleecy pajama pants and watch TV on the sofa after working all day.  Unfortunately, that kind of behavior also leads to excessive snacking.  But I find that if I keep my hands busy with something, I’m not as tempted to snack.

The one downside to this plan is that it’s difficult to watch anything in a foreign language (and we do tend to watch a fair amount of foreign stuff).  You can’t really read subtitles and color at the same time.

My favorite coloring books are those by Johanna Basford.  Her World of Flowers book is probably my most favorite.

My niece gave me her Christmas book for my birthday this year, so it’s been fun working on some seasonal designs lately as well.

Now that I have my colored pencils organized properly, I’m sure I’ll be able to crank out a few more pages before spring.

And speaking of making things over in my style, this amazing antique bed is the next project I’ll be tackling.

So be sure to stay tuned to see how it turns out!

the ReStored armoire.

I promised you all a makeover of this armoire this week, and here it is!

I found this antique armoire at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore and I fell in love with its potential.  It was in fairly rough shape.  The veneer was chipping off all over the place, one of the back legs was broken, the bottom was warped and coming apart, and the top was lifting off as well.

And here’s the inside.

It felt like this forlorn old armoire had been kicked to the curb.  It had been marked down at the Restore so I suspect that it had been there awhile because no one wanted to tackle a piece in such rough shape.  I just had to save it and give it a new life.

I started by getting Ken to come over for a consultation.  We came up with a two-step plan. First up was fixing the back leg and shoring up the bottom.  Ken added some new support pieces underneath the bottom.  He also repaired the back leg.  Meanwhile, I glued up a bunch of loose veneer and added some Dixie Belle Mud filler where needed.

The second part of our plan was to add shelves to the right side of the cupboard to make it more functional for storage.  I don’t think too many people really need an armoire with space for hanging clothes, shelves seem much more practical.

Now this piece is perfect for clothing.  You can keep your undies, socks, etc in the drawers and then stack your jeans, sweaters and t-shirts on the shelves.  I keep my clothing in a cupboard with shelves and I think it’s much easier to find things on the shelves rather than in a drawer.

As you can see, I painted the inside of the cupboard in Dixie Belle’s Apricot.  I thought it would be fun to have a pop of color on the inside.  At first I was a bit worried that this would make it too ‘girly’, but then I realized that the lines of this armoire were a bit girly anyway so why not go with it?

And if you’re going to go girly, you might as well go all the way and add a gorgeous floral transfer right?

This is just about 1/3 of the Wondrous Floral II transfer from re.design with prima.

By the way, I added two coats of Dixie Belle’s flat clear coat to the interior of the armoire.  I wanted those shelves to have some extra durability.

Since my plan included painting the exterior in a shade of white, I decided to hedge my bets and add a coat of Dixie Belle’s BOSS to the outside first.  BOSS will block stains, and that original exterior stain looked to me like it could be a bleeder.  I did not use BOSS on the inside because it did not have the same dark reddish color as the exterior.

It only took two coats of Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth to cover over the BOSS (and I used the clear version, not the white version).  It might be my imagination, but I always feel like the BOSS helps light colors cover better.

The Drop Cloth created a perfect neutral background for one of my old favorites, the Seeds transfer.

The front of this armoire definitely needed something to add a little interest.  Without the transfer it was just a large, flat, white space.  I finished the exterior with Dixie Belle’s Big Mama’s Butta.

If any of my newer followers are wondering about the dress form, I’ve shared it a few times here on the blog but here is the original post about how I decorated it.  I have to say, it remains one of my all time favorite projects.

I’ve suggested this armoire would be perfect for storing clothing, but really it would provide excellent storage in any number of settings.  It could hold spare bed linens, or you could use it in a large bathroom to hold extra towels and toiletries.  Of if you’re super fancy, you could use it to store your painting supplies in your workshop.

What would you store in this cupboard?

This is normally the part where I mention that this piece is for sale and that you can check out my ‘available for local sale’ page for more details, but this one is already spoken for.  One of my regular customers stopped by to pick up some other items and got a sneak peek at the armoire.  It will be perfect for her granddaughter’s room.  So yes indeed, I have given this formerly forlorn armoire a new life!

As always, thanks to Dixie Belle Paint Co for providing the products used in this makeover!

talk to the hand.

Today’s post is going to seem totally out of context for January.  I started this small makeover last summer and I never shared it with you guys because quite honestly, I just wasn’t all that happy with the results back then.

But let’s start at the beginning.

I purchased one of these hand shaped signs quite a few years ago online.

I’m willing to bet that many of you have seen one of these yourself.  I think they might have been offered by Decor Steals at one time, and I also see them now and again at local boutiques.  They were a mass produced, reproduction sort of a thing.  One of those things that look really cool in photos, but under closer inspection they look a bit fake-y.

Anyway, I attached mine to the photo cottage and it looked pretty good there … at first.

However, the problem with buying something like this online is that pictures can be deceiving.  This looks like something that can be used outside, right?  And it looks like it’s paint on metal.

Well, that was not the case.  It is metal, but the design is printed on paper that was glued to the metal.  The photo above was taken in 2017 and the hand was starting to look a bit shabby then, despite my spraying it with a clear sealer every spring.

Flash forward to spring 2020, and the hand now looked like this …

Yep, not good at all.

So I decided it was more than time for a refresh.

I took it down, sanded all of the paper off and gave it a paint job using Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth.

Then I decided to decorate one side with some transfers, and the other with a stencil to see which I liked best.  I started with the stencil …

Nope, don’t like that look at all.

So I tried some transfers on the other side …

Nope.  That look isn’t really working for me either.

So recently I took it down again and started over.  I sanded off the transfer, and decided to go back to black.  So I painted it again, this time with Dixie Belle’s Midnight Sky.

Then I searched through all of my stencils (and I do have quite a few) and I simply couldn’t find anything that I thought would be perfect for the hand.  So I went online and looked around to see what I could purchase.  I ended up ordering the Fresh Honey stencil from Wallcutz that I shared a couple of weeks ago on the small chair.

It was a perfect fit for the hand.  Well, at least the way I placed it.

I placed the bottom portion of wording vertically, and the rest of it fit perfectly on the palm of the hand.

I’ll admit, I still don’t love this as much as the original look.  But I do like it much more than the first two refurbishments I tried.

I took the photo above the Sunday before Christmas and as you can see we had no snow.

According to MPR, we have around a 70% chance of having a white Christmas each year in the Twin Cities.  I really thought we were going to be in that other 30% this year, but at the last minute (December 23) we got around 5″ of snow during the Holiday Lights Howler (LOL, they just love coming up with clever names for storms, don’t they?) so we had a white Christmas after all.

I have to admit I have mixed feelings about the snow.  I do think it’s really beautiful, and I love nothing more than cozying up on the sofa with a warm blanket while watching it fall.  A layer of white snow on the ground also really brightens up the dark nights, especially if there is a clear sky and a full moon.  I also like how much more quiet my neighborhood gets when there is a little snow on the ground, I don’t know if that’s because the snow dampens sound or if people just don’t go out in it, or maybe it’s a little bit of both.

However, spending most of November and December without snow sure made me realize how much easier it was to get around without it.  I could still get to things I had stored in the photo cottage without having to drag out my boots.

So how about you?  Are you a fan of snow, or do you consider it a four letter word?

imported and domestic.

In my 2020 recap post I mentioned that you guys were going to see more signs made out of old cupboard doors this year.  Now that I know how easy they are to come by at the ReStore, I’ll probably be painting these up when I don’t have any other projects going on.

I picked up 4 cupboard doors that are approx. 13″ x 28″ the last time I was at the ReStore.

You’ve already seen one of them …

I painted up two more of them over the long holiday weekends.  One white, and one black.

The white one is painted in Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth.

I stenciled it with another Wallcutz stencil (I have the 9″ x 20″ size).

Here’s a little tidbit I learned while googling to find that photo of the stencil.  The stencil from Wallcutz (shown above) has a border.  I had to tape that off to get the stencil to fit on my cupboard door.  But guess what, this exact same design is also available from Stencil Revolution, and their version does not have the border.


I’m curious about these two different companies offering what is nearly an identical design.  They obviously don’t create the designs themselves.  Do they buy them somewhere?  Are they using non-copyrighted images that are available to anyone?  I wonder.

Here’s some quick comparisons for you.  The similarly sized version from Stencil Revolution (8″ x 18″) is $18.99.  My Wallcutz stencil was $13.95.  Wallcutz offers free shipping if you spend over $50, Stencil Revolution offers free shipping if you spend over $35.

The Stencil Revolution version has more ‘bridges’ in the letters.  Take a close look at the “G” in each stencil.  The Wallcutz version doesn’t have any bridges, the Stencil Revolution version has three.

It’s a small detail, but if you aren’t a fan of that ‘stenciled’ look, or if (like me) you tend to fill in those bridges with a small paint brush after you’ve stenciled … well, you’ll be doing a lot more of that with the Stencil Revolution version.  Just sayin’.

I’m not affiliated in any way with either of these brands, I’m just sharing the info as I found it.  And I can say that I’m quite happy with the Wallcutz version that I purchased.

For the Drop Cloth sign, I added a small shadow to the words “GENERAL STORE” using Dixie Belle’s Hurricane Grey.  The black is their Midnight Sky.

Much like with the Christmas signs I did in November, I added a couple of wooden knobs along the bottom of the sign so that one could hang something from them.  This time I used the little piggy knobs that I painted up way back in August 2018.

  The transfers on the knobs are from the Farmhouse Delight set from re.design with prima.

Gosh, time flies!  I’ve had these knobs sitting around for 2 1/2 years just waiting for the right project to come along.  For those of you who have followed me that long, can you believe it was so long ago?  In some ways it seems like just yesterday.

I think they worked out rather well on the sign.

I painted a second cupboard door in Midnight Sky.  The stenciling is done with a Hurricane Gray shadow with Drop Cloth over it.

I think the pig knobs worked nicely with the black as well.

I’ll likely end up taking both of these in to Reclaiming Beautiful to sell (and until then they are available locally).

In the meantime, while at the ReStore picking up these cupboard doors I also purchased this …

Ken and I have been hard at work on this one and I hope to be ready to share it with you next week.  So be sure to stay tuned!

As always, thank you to Dixie Belle Paint Co for supplying the paint used on today’s signs.

don’t let the door hit ya.

I don’t know about you, but I feel like 2020 is going to be remembered as the year that wasn’t.  So many things were just ‘on hold’ for nearly the entire year, things like travel, neighborhood garage sales, social gatherings, dining in restaurants, and festivals of all kinds.

I think most of us will be happy to see 2020 in the rearview mirror.  So long 2020, don’t let the door hit ya in the ass on your way out.

But then again, as I’m looking back over my blog posts for 2020, I see that it wasn’t all bad.  Once again I managed to crank out a few projects here and there, so let’s review, shall we?

One thing that jumped out at me for 2020 was all of the things I painted white.  Not only do I find that white pieces sell more quickly, but white pieces just really appeal to me.  So I found myself reaching for the white paint quite a lot in 2020.

My current favorite white is Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth (on the bench lower right and the serpentine cabinet with the gold transfers shown above upper left) followed closely by their Sawmill Gravy (on the other two pieces).

Another trend for me in 2020 was working on smaller items rather than larger furniture pieces.  I tend to find the bulk of my furniture pieces on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace, but I found myself avoiding interacting with too many strangers in 2020.  To be honest, it doesn’t really make any sense.  I probably encountered more strangers at garage sales than I would have buying furniture online.

None the less, that led to a lot of smalls.  And again, with lots of white!

I didn’t entirely abandon my other favorite color to work with in 2020, black.

And I did also use some color in 2020.

I may have had to dig deep into the archives to find it though.

I also shared quite a few do-overs in 2020.

I was trying to work on things that I already had on hand, and that included a few pieces that hadn’t sold in their original look like the bench and the dresser).  Both of those pieces sold quickly after a do-over.  I also took advantage of the time and made over a couple of my own pieces like my Welsh cupboard and that little folding chair that is now hanging on the wall in my living room.

Then there was also the bench flip that I shared on Monday.

So over all, 2020 wasn’t all that bad.  My storage areas are pretty well cleaned out now, so that means I have a clean slate for starting 2021.

Here’s what I know you’ll see a lot more of from me in 2021 …

Black and white.  Because let’s face it, they are classic and never go out of style.

Signs made out of old cupboard doors.  Now that I know how easy these are to find at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, I’m pretty sure I’m going to keep making lots of them.

Stenciling on unpainted wood.  This was an experiment for me recently, but I really love how it turned out.  I think you’ll see more of this look from me in 2021.

Thrifted items given new life with paint, stencils and/or transfers.  I just love taking a worn out item and giving it a fresh new life.  It’s so satisfying!

And here’s what I dearly hope you’ll see more of from me in 2021 …

Great hauls from neighborhood garage sales.  Because surely the awesome neighborhood sales will be back in business for 2021, right?

Travel posts.  Please, please, please let there be travel in 2021.

Garden posts.  Even if the world opens back up again, I still hope to keep up on my gardening.

Home tours.  Because everybody enjoys an awesome home tour.

So, let’s all raise a glass and ring in 2021.  It has to be an improvement over 2020, right?!

Happy New Year!