simple details.

Last summer I snagged this trio of galvanized buckets at a garage sale.

Admittedly, they aren’t really anything special.  They aren’t vintage, but they are heavy, good quality galvanized metal rather than the flimsy, cheap stuff.

Plus, I thought I could dress them up simply and quickly using some with prima transfers.

And bam!

Just by adding that simple detail they have a lot more personality.

I used two different sets of transfers.  The Sky Valley Farm transfer is from the Everyday Farmhouse set.

While the other two buckets have sections from the Paris Valley transfer.

You can just pop a hanging basket into these and have an instant fabulous flower box.

Or you could punch holes in the bottom for drainage and then plant directly in them.  Wouldn’t they be fab with just some simple geraniums?

I’m often asked if I add a sealer over transfers, or whether or not they will hold up outside without being sealed.  In my opinion, you only need a sealer if the surface you put your transfer onto needs a sealer.  For example, if it’s painted wood or metal.  I’ve never sealed a transfer that has been applied to glass, mirror or unpainted metal.

Last year I experimented with a transfer on an old metal picnic basket.

I left it out all summer and the transfer never budged.  That being said, the metal container itself rusted quite a bit, but the transfer held up great without any kind of sealer.

I took these buckets, along with a huge pile of other stuff, in to Reclaiming Beautiful this week.  They are open today and tomorrow, so if you’re local and you feel the need for some retail therapy be sure to stop in.  They will be implementing the following safety measures:

* No more than 10 people in the store at a time
* Hand Sanitizer will be available
* Card transactions will be done by customers with no
signature required (we will clean between each use)
* Curbside pick up is still an option

Also please note that they have new hours! They will be open every Thursday through Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm, but will no longer be open on Sundays.

As always, thanks to with prima for providing the transfers used on today’s project.

planter chairs.

I know I’ve shared planter chairs before, but I whipped up a couple of them last weekend and I couldn’t resist sharing these with you as well.

If you aren’t familiar, a planter chair is basically a chair turned into a plant holder.  I particularly like them for holding big baskets of flowering annuals, as you’ll see in a minute.

But first, I start with chairs that have seen better days.

Typically they are chairs that have ruined cane seats and I can usually pick them up super cheap at garage sales.

Let’s face it, repairing cane is probably best left to the professionals.  Or at least to people with far more patience than I have.

It takes all of my patience just to remove the bad cane, I can’t imagine sticking with it long enough to also replace it with new cane.  So instead, I turn them into planter chairs.

Once I’d removed the cane from both of these chairs (using a utility knife and a pair of needle nose pliers), I painted one in Dixie Belle’s Bunker Hill Blue and one in Kudzu.

Once the paint was dry, I sanded the chairs to distress and then added a topcoat of Dixie Belle’s Gator Hide.

Gator Hide is their most durable topcoat option, so it’s a great choice for outdoor pieces.  I will point out that the Gator Hide has a bit more sheen than I normally like for furniture, which is why I tend to stick with either clear wax, hemp oil or the flat clear coat.  But in this case, I thought I’d go for durability.

Here’s a  q tip for you on finishes.  The more shine to your finish, the harder it is to achieve perfection.  Drips, brush marks, streaks and imperfect coverage will all show up more readily in a satin or semi-gloss finish.  Shhhh … don’t tell anyone, but this might be the real reason why I usually go for a flat finish.

For these planter chairs though, I wasn’t concerned about perfection.  The gorgeous flowers will draw attention, not any possible flaws in the finish.

These chairs would be perfect as is for peony cages, much like the non-painted chair in my own garden that I shared last week.

But they also make great plant holders.  Just buy a big hanging pot of your favorite flowering annuals and pop it in the hole where the seat once was.

If your pot is smaller than the hole, you can staple a strap in place to hold it.

I added a big pot of Wave petunias and one of my wordy plates, and ta da …

I add words to pretty plates using adhesive vinyl and my Cricut machine (for more details on this process, check out this post).

It works great on old enamelware pot lids too.

And if you don’t happen to have a Cricut machine, the Classic Vintage Labels transfers from with prima work beautifully for this purpose as well …

This pair of planter chairs, and some more wordy plates and enamelware lids are going into the growing pile of stuff that I’ll be taking in to Reclaiming Beautiful this week.  I’m so glad they’ll be able to open back up again on Thursday!

With some warmer weather finally here, and lots of plants coming up in the garden, it’s finally starting to feel like summer is coming this year after all.

As always, thanks to Dixie Belle Paint Co for providing the products used on my planter chairs.  If you’re looking for Dixie Belle products you can find them here.

old shovels.

There’s just something about worn, old garden tools that really appeals to me.

I have quite a few of them around my yard.  I’ve even used one as the handle for the door on my photo cottage …

I often use them as props in my photos too.

So when I see old gardening tools at garage sales, I generally snap them up.  Last summer I accumulated a few old shovels …

They don’t look like much there, do they?  I’m sure I didn’t pay more than a dollar or two for each one, but I thought they had potential.  After giving them all a good scrub with some soapy water, I experimented a bit to see what I could do with them.

Let’s start with the one in the back that looks more like a snow shovel, rather than a garden shovel.  It’s my least favorite, so it goes first.  The wooden shaft and handle were quite dried out and any finish they once had was completely worn off.  I decided to paint them black using Dixie Belle’s Midnight Sky.  Once dry, I distressed them heavily with sand paper and then added a nourishing coat of Dixie Belle’s Big Mama’s Butta, which is sort of like a mix between hemp oil and wax.  Finally, I added a with prima transfer to the blade.

In hindsight, the blade was a bit dark for using a black transfer.

So let’s just quickly move on to the next one.  This one had a bit of red paint left on the blade, but again a very dried out wooden shaft and handle.  I darkened up the shaft with some Dixie Belle No Pain Gel Stain in Walnut, then I painted the handle with their Honky Tonk Red.

Once again I distressed it heavily and coated it with Big Mama’s Butta.

Then I added one of the sections of with prima’s Vintage Seed transfers to the blade.

Wouldn’t that be fun hanging on the side of your potting shed?

This last one is my favorite, mainly because the wood had such a beautiful patina already.  I just brightened it up a bit with some of Dixie Belle’s Howdy Do hemp oil.

Then I added a transfer from the Classic Vintage Labels set to the blade.

It doesn’t show up quite as much as I would like, but it adds a little subtle detail.

Does anyone else use old seat-less chairs as peony cages?  They work great to keep your peonies from flopping over when the flower heads get heavy.  I have a couple of them that I found at garage sales for a few dollars.  They only hold up for a few years in the harsh Minnesota weather, but I pay so little that I don’t mind if they get ruined.

I’ll be adding these shovels to the pile of goodies that I’m bringing in to the shop where I sell on consignment, Reclaiming Beautiful in Stillwater, MN.  Now that our governor has switched us from a ‘Stay at Home’ order to a ‘Stay Safe’ order, retail shops can re-open next week.  So those of you who are local, if you’re ready for some much needed shopping therapy, be sure to stop by and shop safely by wearing masks, physical distancing and not congregating in groups.

As always, thank you to Dixie Belle Paint Co and to with prima for providing the products used for today’s projects.

If you’re looking for Dixie Belle products you can find them here.

If you’re looking for with prima products you can find local retailers here, or online sources here.

the seed store rocker.

First, under the heading of ‘whatever happened to …’, here are some updates in case any of you are even remotely interested.

  1. Princess officially canceled our European Capitals cruise this week.  Of course, I didn’t really think there was much chance of that still taking place, but it was a little disappointing to have it made official.  At this point I think we are all realizing that it’s going to take a lot longer than we thought before we can return to traveling the world.
  2. My progressive bi-focals came back in and work much better than the first version.  I still can’t really wear them for computer work, but I think they’ll be great for garage saling … if we ever get to do that again.  I’m also pleasantly surprised to find that they work quite well for working on painting projects, as well as for gardening.  Again, thanks to all of you who left comments suggesting I should take them back in for adjusting.
  3. After a couple more visits to the Endodontist, I think I might finally be recovering from my 2nd round of root canal problems.  Phew.  I’m glad to put that behind me (although I still have to get the crowns done, my regular dentist is not opening until June).

I know that compared to much of what’s going on in the world, these were all very minor things.  I feel a bit guilty even mentioning them here.  Everyone in the q is for quandie family is healthy including handyman Ken (who I do worry about with this COVID thing, since he is 80+), and I’m very grateful for that.  I hope all of you are staying safe and are also staying well.

Hopefully I can take your minds off world problems for just a few moments today by sharing a small project I worked on.

While I had the Dixie Belle Sea Glass paint out for the piece I shared on Monday, I decided to also use it on this little vintage rocker I purchased ages ago at a garage sale.

I’d been waiting for inspiration to strike before painting it.  I thought it might be fun to use another of the Vintage Seed transfers on it.

I started by painting and distressing the rocker.

Then I added a section of the Vintage Seed transfer to the seat.

But I felt like the chair back was crying out for a little something too, so I pulled out the Classic Vintage Labels transfer and found the perfect thing.

Once the transfers were applied, I waxed the entire thing with clear wax.

I feel like I could create an full back story on how this little rocker came from a seed store in Pella, Iowa.

Can’t you just picture it in the window of an old fashioned Main Street general store?  One that not only has basic goods, but also has a full section of gardening implements and seeds?

Maybe one like the old general store in Marine on the St. Croix that my husband’s ancestors owned in 1907.

I’m planning on taking this little chair in to Reclaiming Beautiful to sell once it re-opens.  In fact, I’m building up quite the pile of smalls waiting for the Stay at Home order to be lifted.  I feel a little bit like we’re going to totally miss the spring/garden season this year and I have all kinds of fun goodies waiting in the wings.  Fingers crossed that shops can open up again soon!

In the meantime, as always, thanks to Dixie Belle for providing the paint and to with prima for providing the transfers for this project.

If you’re looking for Dixie Belle products you can find them here.

If you’re looking for with prima products you can find local retailers here, or online sources here.

the flower collector secretary.

Finally, I have a piece of furniture to share with you guys today!

I purchased this secretary desk/hutch last fall, as evidenced by the fall colors in the ‘before’ photo which I took right away when I brought it home …

I partially chose this piece because the price was right, but I also thought it would be a fun challenge to totally change it up.

I’ve been storing this one in the carriage house all winter, so it feels good to have it out of there now.  When I first started to work on it, I pulled out the little drawer inside the drop down desk section to find that the previous owners hadn’t emptied it out.

Once again, I was disappointed when I didn’t find a wad of cash or maybe a lost Van Gogh.  Instead I was gifted with Hannah Montana tattoos and some questionable film negatives.  But I did find it slightly magical that the owner of the handmade drivers license and I share the same birthday.  It feels meant to be.

Step one with this piece was to remove that header on the top.  I think this may end up being a controversial approach, but I feel like that colonial sort of look is pretty dated … and not in a good way.  I also removed the fretwork in front of the glass, the faux key hole escutcheons and the drawer pulls (also decidedly colonial in style).  Finally, I removed those very 80’s looking round ball wheels.  I’ll admit, they worked really well … but they looked totally out of place on this piece.

I painted the interior of the piece in Dixie Belle’s Sea Glass, and the exterior in their Drop Cloth.

This is such a pretty combination.

It was seriously putzy to paint the interior of the drop down desk portion using a brush.  But back when I started on this piece it was only in the 30’s outside, so I had to paint inside the house which meant I couldn’t spray it.  If only I had known that it was going to warm up to the 70’s within a week or so.  I may as well have waited just a bit longer to work on this one.

By the way, I’ve totally cheated on these photos by taking them before putting the glass back in those doors.  I always get so much glare from glass doors.  But I will be putting the glass back in before listing it for sale.

Once two coats of Sea Glass were dry, I added a small section from one of the newest with prima transfers called Paris Valley to the little drawer.

The Paris Valley transfer is a collage style mix of various graphics …

Once again, this is one that you could use as is, but I’ll definitely be cutting it up to use various bits and pieces on lots of different projects.  I circled the little bit that I used on that drawer above.

Then I coated it all with Dixie Belle’s flat clear coat.  I chose to use the clear coat rather than my usual wax for more durability on both the writing surface of the drop down desk and the shelves.

Next I pulled out another of the new Spring 2020 with prima transfers.  This one is called Flower Collector, and I’m fairly sure it’s going to end up being one of my favorites.

It’s another gold transfer, and for this piece I chose to put it over the Drop Cloth for a more subtle look.  These gold transfers also look amazing over dark colors (like this piece).

I’ll point out that I switched up the layout of this transfer, using the bottom section of it on the drop down desk and the rest on the drawers.

That was a much better fit for my piece.  Always keep in mind that you don’t have to use a transfer ‘as is’ out of the package.

Once the transfer was applied, I added a coat of clear wax to the exterior (all of the Drop Cloth parts).

I was planning to put clear glass knobs on the drawers, but then I discovered these knobs in my stash.  I had just the right amount, and they were the perfect color.  I’m pretty sure I bought these at Hobby Lobby, but it was at least a year ago or more.

One last little detail to share, I did put the brass key hole escutcheon back on the upper door.  But first I used Dixie Belle’s patina paint in Copper with their blue spray to give it a verdigris sort of finish which worked beautifully with the Sea Glass color.

It feels so good to have this piece finished at last!

I absolutely love how it turned out.  I’m tempted to keep it for my front porch.  If it doesn’t sell right away, I might just have to do that.

So, now I’m curious.  How many of you wish I had left those original colonial elements in place?  And how many of you prefer my slightly modernized version?

As always, thanks to Dixie Belle Paint Co for providing the paint and to with prima for providing the transfers for this project.

If you’re looking for Dixie Belle products you can find them here.

If you’re looking for with prima products you can find local retailers here, or online sources here.

And if you are local and in need of a flower collector’s secretary desk, check out my ‘available for local sale‘ page.  Although our ‘Stay at Home’ order has now been extended another two weeks, I am willing to set up a physically distanced appointment if anyone local is interested in this or any other pieces I have for sale.

vintage seed.

It’s official, today I can reveal the brand new with prima transfers coming out for Spring 2020.

The transfer I’m using for today’s project is called Vintage Seed and it’s perfect for spring.  It’s basically a collage of vintage canning labels.  It has some gorgeous colors in it, and a mix of floral and fruit images.

Also, here’s a great new feature on the with prima packaging …

Specific sizing information!  This will make it so much easier to determine whether or not a transfer will fit nicely on your piece.  I don’t know about you guys, but I’m rather particular about that.

You could use this full transfer on a piece of furniture, maybe on the door fronts of a hoosier style cupboard or something like that.  But I decided to cut mine up and thus get a lot more use out of it.

My first project was dressing up some of the glass canisters that I use for storing my craft supplies.

It was super simple to cut the labels out and apply them to the glass.

Aren’t the colors on these gorgeous?

I also recently dressed up a mirror that I removed from a dresser.  I have a stash of these mirrors out in the carriage house from dressers that I have painted over the years.

I started out by painting the frame in Sweet Pickins milk paint’s In a Pickle, which turned out perfectly chippy.

Then I added a section from the Spring Flowers transfer to the mirror.

You have to be very careful when applying a transfer to glass, whether it’s mirror glass or clear glass canisters.  It will be drawn to the glass like a magnet, and once it connects, it is stuck in that spot.  So be sure you have it aligned exactly where you want it before you allow it to come in contact with the glass.

Now, I haven’t had a lot of experience with washing these items yet.  However, I would recommend cleaning the mirror by spraying glass cleaner on a paper towel (not directly onto the transfer), and then wipe the mirror gently.  For the canisters, I would not submerge them in soapy water.  Instead, clean the insides and lids with soapy water on a cloth and then gently wipe the transfer.

The transfers can be removed from glass completely using a razor blade, if you should ever grow tired of them and want to switch them out for something else.

Be sure to check back next week to see the other projects I’ve been using the new transfers on including an actual piece of furniture that I’ll be sharing on Monday!

As always, thanks to with prima for providing the transfers I used on these projects.

If you are wondering where to buy with prima products you can search for online stores here and  retail stores here.


a tape dispenser.

I continued to work on several fun projects over the weekend using the new, not yet released, with prima transfers.  So unfortunately, I can’t share any of those with you today.  The official reveal date for the new transfers is this Friday and the new molds can’t be revealed until June 1.

So I had to dig deep to find a project to whip up that didn’t involve any of the new items so that I would have something to share with you guys today.  I’m going to admit up front that as a result, today’s post is not terribly exciting.  But it was a satisfying little project.

I purchased this old (dare I call it vintage?) tape dispenser while out thrifting last year.

I have the tackiest burgundy plastic tape dispenser on my desk at the day job, so I thought it would be nice to have something a little bit more my style.

And I knew I could dress this one up a bit.

So I sanded it lightly, washed it with soapy water, and then painted it with two coats of Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth.  Once totally dry, I sanded lightly to distress.  Next I added a small section from one of the Classic Vintage Labels transfers from with prima.

But I couldn’t just stop there, I also added a few more transfers from Tim Holtz and 7gypsies.

Once the rub-on’s were applied, I added a coat of clear wax over the entire surface to protect it.

My original plan was to put the plain Scotch tape back in, but then a little light bulb went off in my head.  Why not load it with some fun washi tape instead?

Sure enough, the washi tape fit perfectly on the little plastic wheel that holds the tape.  What luck!

By the way, if you aren’t familiar with washi tape, it’s sort of a flimsier version of masking tape that’s not quite as sticky.  The Tim Holtz brand washi tapes are acid free, making them safe to use in scrapbooks because they won’t damage your photos over the years.  And he has some gorgeous designs …Now I’m no longer sure I want to take this tape dispenser in to my office at the day job after all.  Maybe I’ll just keep it at home as a handy dispenser for washi tape.

Maybe now it’s just way too cool to hold plain ol’ clear tape.

What do you think?

when it rains, it pours.

I really don’t want this post to come across as a ‘poor me’ sort of post, but seriously you guys.  When it rains, it pours.

I’ve now had to have two emergency root canals in the last two months, the second one was this week and it required two visits (or about 3.5 hours of time in the chair) to complete it.  Apparently not only is the domino effect a thing when it comes to decorating, but it can also be a thing when it comes to root canals.


As I result, I have nothing to share today.

But rather than leave you hanging, here are some canals that are much more enjoyable than root canals.

Of course, when I think ‘canal’ I immediately think of Venice.

I’d much rather be enjoying the canals of Venice than a trip to the endodontist, wouldn’t you?

The canals in Copenhagen are really lovely too.

Naturally you can take a guided tour of them by boat.

Prague has some of the most picturesque canals I’ve ever seen.

And you can tour them as well on these charming little boats.

When my family lived in south Florida back in the 70’s, we lived on a canal.  Granted, a much less grand one than this one in Ft. Lauderdale …

But it had ocean access and we were able to keep a boat right at our own dock.  We often spent Saturday’s or Sunday’s cruising around the canals.

All in all, any one of these canals is much preferable to a root canal, wouldn’t you agree?

OK, not to worry, I do have some fun projects coming up.  I’ve been working with the newest with prima transfers that are being released next Friday.  Here’s a little sneak peek at one of them …

OK, I know, you can barely see it back there, but it’s called Vintage Seed and it’s right up my alley.

You’ll just have to check back next Friday to see the full reveal!

a buffet of buffets.

Oh no, you guys.  Although I’ve been trying to minimize the time I spend watching COVID-19 related bad news these days, I made a huge tactical error the other night and started watching some YouTube videos about its impact on the cruise industry.

In case you hadn’t heard (and maybe many of you don’t actually care), on April 9 the CDC extended its ban on cruise ships sailing in U.S. waters to 100 days.  In addition, the cruise lines are going to have to make some fairly significant changes to the way they operate before they can resume business.  At least in U.S. waters.  I don’t know if the E.U. or other areas will follow suit.  Nonetheless, it seems like the chances of Mr. Q and I actually going on our European Capitals cruise in September are looking slimmer and slimmer.  If you’re an avid cruiser and want to learn more about this, check out this guy on YouTube.

One of the many expected changes for cruise ships is an elimination of buffet style food and drink on board.  So no more self-serve ice cream, no more taco bars, and no more midnight buffets.

So, as a sort of fond farewell to the buffet, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite buffets starting with one I actually called ‘the midnight buffet.’

I painted this one back in October 2016.  It’s painted in Fusion’s Midnight Blue.  It only required one coat of paint (thanks to the dark color over a dark existing stain), plus Fusion doesn’t require a topcoat.  So this was a definite plus when working on such a large piece.

I had so much fun staging the midnight buffet outdoors using some funky whisk brooms in cages and taking advantage of the falling leaves.

I painted another buffet in dark blue, this time using Dixie Belle Paint Co’s Bunker Hill Blue.

This blue is a little bit brighter than Fusion’s Midnight Blue, but I toned it down by adding a black glaze over it (if you want to see this color without a black glaze, check out this piece).

Another option for achieving a similar color using Dixie Belle paint is to make a 50/50 mix of their Bunker Hill Blue and In the Navy.

This time around I stripped and refinished the wood top with Fusion’s furniture wax in Espresso (a dark brown wax).

Just for fun I added a bright pop of color to the interior using Fusion’s Coral.

Not all of my buffets have been dark blue.  When I first starting painting with Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint I went through a definite Kitchen Scale phase starting with painting my own buffet (at the time, I have since sold it) in this color.

I loved it so much that I painted two more buffets in Kitchen Scale.

This next piece was so pretty, but it was quite large and since I painted it in the winter I wasn’t able to do my photos outside.

Plus this was back when I first started blogging and my photo skills were in need of practice.  So, I don’t feel like my pictures did this one justice.

But the chippy finish of milk paint was perfect on this piece.  Just check out those chippy legs!

If you’re wondering why those three pieces all seem to be a slightly different color, there are a few factors at play.  First of all, as per Miss Mustard Seeds blog, there can be as much as a 15% variation in the color from one bag of milk paint to the next.  In addition, milk paint tends to be a little less opaque than some paints so the color you are covering up can make a difference in your final color.  Finally, the white balance in my photos isn’t perfect in any of those photos.

Not all of my buffets have been left as buffets either.  I turned this one into a wine bar with the help of my handyman, Ken.

I had finished it just prior to one of my Carriage House sales, so I was in a hurry to get photos taken before the sale.  The hemp oil topcoat was freshly applied when I took these, and that’s not really a good look for photos.

Another fun piece was this buffet re-styled as a TV stand.

Ken cut holes in the back behind each of those center shelves so that one could run the electrical cords for a DVD player or other components out the back.

I’ve done a few more buffets in varying shades of grey.

A few years back I decided to try the General Finishes Milk Paint.  I think this product did more to confuse people about milk paint than any other product out there.  That’s because it’s not really milk paint.  Here is what they say about that on their website:  We named our product Milk Paint with the intention of putting a clear, bright, contemporary spin on an old fashioned furniture paint tradition. With that said, GF’s Milk Paint is not a true Milk Paint as it does not contain any milk powder.

Instead, General Finishes is a mineral based acrylic paint.  I found it very similar to Fusion paint.  Much like Fusion, it does not require a topcoat, although you can add one if you want to.  If you like using Fusion, you’ll like General Finishes Milk Paint and vice versa.

Anyway, this next buffet is painted in their Queenstown Gray.

On this next piece I used a fun technique.

  I started out by painting it with Fusion’s Ash.  Then I used the Imperial Damask stencil and the Galaxy Decor Wax from with prima to add a subtle design.

This one has a fun pop of color on the inside too, this time using Dixie Belle’s Peony.

This last grey piece is really more of a dresser, but I think it would work beautifully as a buffet so I decided to include it in this post.

That one was painted in Homestead House milk paint in a color called Bedford.

Although I usually call them credenzas, I always enjoy doing the mid-mod version of a buffet using a bit more color.

There’s my absolute favorite green, Fusion’s Park Bench.

And this next one was a fun combination of turquoise and warm white.

I did some color blocking on this next mid-mod piece in grey, yellow and white.

And although this next piece is meant to be a dresser, I think it would work really well as a buffet too.

In fact, I staged it that way for the photos.

That pretty shade of green is a Sherwin Williams color called Aloe from their Vintage Moxie collection.

I hope you enjoyed this ‘buffet of buffets’ with me.  On the plus side, it was calorie-free!

Let me know what you favorite buffet was.  And if you’re also fond of cruises, are you also going to miss the buffet?

a carriage house flashback.

As it’s starting to feel like spring might be just around the corner … well, maybe not this week, but soon … I have been thinking about yard sales.  Are we going to be able to have any this year?  How long before people feel like they can be out and about, mingling with other shoppers again?  I suffer through garage sale withdrawal every winter, but usually about now I’m planning which spring neighborhood sales I’m going to make it to this year.

I guess we just have to accept the uncertainty for now, not knowing when we’ll be able to get our yard sale fix.

In the meantime, I thought we could all take a walk down memory lane and visit some of my previous Carriage House sales.

If you’re a little bit new to my blog, you may not be familiar with my former sales.  Up until 2016 my friend/co-worker/picker/garage sale mentor Sue and I used to hold occasional sales out of my carriage house.

I started keeping records in 2002, but we started the sales even earlier than that.  Originally it was nothing more than a slightly upscale garage sale.  But over time it grew bigger and better.

Usually we did a spring sale and a fall sale, but some years we just had one sale.

One thing I did find with this style of sale is that the furniture didn’t sell terribly well.  Furniture doesn’t tend to be an impulse buy, something you can purchase on a whim and know you’ll find a spot for.

We had much better luck selling the smaller items.

Genuine vintage items were always a hit …

including vintage linens.

Plus, the linens were always fun to display …

We even sold the occasional vintage handbag or dress.

Our final sale was chock full of amazing stuff.

We often had a table of baked goods at the sale.

In case you’re wondering, no, I was never the baker.  We had various bakers over the years.

At the fall sale we always had a section of vintage Christmas items.  They were rather hit or miss.  People aren’t usually thinking ahead to Christmas quite yet in late September.

One of the biggest problems with the sale was that we had really outgrown the carriage house.  As a result, a lot of our merchandise had to be displayed out in the driveway.  That tended to be a problem when it rained.

The weather was always unpredictable.  Sometimes it was ridiculously hot and humid for our June sale, and then freezing cold for our fall sale.  One year the severe weather sirens sounded just after we opened our doors.  You might think that no one would show up in that kind of weather, but on the contrary, it was one of our best years in terms of gross sales.  We just tried our best to stay dry under some tents and hoped nothing would get ruined.

As much fun as it was hosting the Carriage House Sale, it was also quite a lot of work.  The space where the sale was held is also my workshop.  In order to hold the sale I would have to completely empty out my workshop, set up the sale, hold the sale, dismantle the sale, then re-set up my workshop.  In the end, I just felt it wasn’t the most efficient way to handle things.  So I shopped around to find a place to sell my items on consignment and that’s when I ended up at Reclaiming Beautiful.

So the Carriage House sale became a thing of the past.  I’m still grateful for all of the people who came to our sales though!

You never know, some day I may bring the sales back again.  But probably not while I’m still working full time at the day job.

How about you?  Are you a garage sale fan, wondering when we’re going to be able to get out there and hit the sales without having to wear masks or worry about staying 6′ away from each other?

P.S.  Many thanks to those of you who left comments on my ‘social distancing glasses‘ post last week.  I took the advice that many of you gave and went back to my eye doctor.  Turns out the glasses were two degrees weaker than they were supposed to be.  That sure explains why the whole world felt out of focus to me … well, that plus this whole pandemic thing.  While I can’t do much about the pandemic, except stay home and try not to breath on people, I can get the glasses fixed.  So they have gone back to the lab to be re-made and hopefully they’ll work better when I get them back 🙂