Monthly Archive: May 2012

Fueling the creativity: junkin’ on my lunch break

Hello friends! One more day and it is the weekend! Yeah! I am so looking forward to it!

How about you? What do you have planned for this weekend?

 

When it starts getting closer to the weekend, I find that it is really hard for me to concentrate on my work during the day when all I can think about is heading on over to our local antique mall to check out the new arrivals. What’s a girl to do but sneak over to the said antique mall on her one hour lunch break to get in her “junkin’ fix” for the week.

Shhhhh… please don’t tell my husband. Haha!

Actually, he knows that I sometimes spend time there. He just tells me “don’t bring anything else home!” In reply, I tell him that I am only going there for some inspiration. This is true for the most part, unless I find something that just has to come home with me!

Does your husband or wife say the same thing to you?

I do know that I usually only buy something if it is a great price. I will only go above my budget when I find something that is so incredibly awesome that I just have to have it and if I pass it up I will regret it. So most of the time when I go shopping I come home empty-handed.

I recently made a guideline for myself that I won’t bring anything into my house unless I absolutely love it or I have a use for it. Otherwise if I went crazy shopping everyday and brought all of the things home that caught my attention, my house might be scheduled in for an episode of Hoarders!

 

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Old Strathcona Antique Mall

 

This is the Antique Mall that I visited yesterday. The Old Strathcona Antique Mall has over 300 booths on two levels and it is filled to the brim with everything vintage and antique including a large assortment of antique furniture. Sometimes there are deals to be had here but most of the time I just go to look around. Unfortunately, some things are way overpriced because the vendors know that people here love to shop for vintage items and they think that people should have to pay extra for it.


 

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There are quite a few booths there displaying Shabby chic and cottage style decor like this one. Do you see the bookcase in the middle of the photo? I like the idea of lining the inside of a bookcase with sheet music! It updates a plain bookcase from boring to fabulous for very little money.

 

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I would of snapped up these transferware dishes in a second but they were a little out of my budget. That’s ok. I will keep an eye out in the thrift stores and at garage sales for some other pieces to add to my collection.

 

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I also loved this bubble milk glass cream and sugar set.  Very unique!

 

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What about this beautiful white cottage night stand?

 

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Or the gorgeous Gothic-style display cabinet on the far left?

 

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There are a lot of these vintage kitchen scales to be found…

 

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and large collections of vintage tins and jars. Do some of these bring back memories or what?

 

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I thought this large framed world map was really cool. If I were to buy it I would paint out the frame white and then distress it before hanging it on my wall in my office.

 

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I really liked this bottle because of its time-worn finish. I think it would be very easy to replicate. All you would need is an empty liquor bottle, a color copy of a vintage label and some Modge Podge and you would have your own distressed bottle.

 

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These vintage books really caught my eye too. I love the raised scrolled design on the spines.

 

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This lamp almost looks like alabaster to me. I think that you could easily replicate this look with a ceramic lamp, some creamy satin spray paint and some modeling clay.

 

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Loads and loads of inspiration around every corner in this place!

 

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I especially loved this picture frame. I want to paint one of my frames in this finish one day.

 

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I see another tutorial in the near future!

 

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Almost the entire top level of this antique mall is filled with antique furniture.

 

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This display just reads “garden style” decor to me. I love the white enamel buckets and the galvanized bins. Wouldn’t everything look wonderful in a potting shed?

 

 

There is another important reason why I like to head out to the antique mall every once and a while. They have quite a selection of vintage candy that can be purchased. It brings back great memories from when I was kid.

 

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My husband would be so proud of me this time! I didn’t come home with anything except some great inspiration to fuel my creativity and some of my all-time favorite candies!

I love these things! Once I open the package, 10 minutes later I have eaten the entire thing without even realizing it! They are so yummy!

 

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What are your favorite places to go for inspiration where you live? What vintage items have you found lately? I would love to hear about them.

 

I hope you enjoyed my little tour of one of our local antique malls. I would have liked to have stayed longer so I could have taken more photos to share with you but there is only so much that can be done in an hour on my lunch break! It’s ok because I am sure I will feel the need to head to the antique mall one day soon when the mood strikes again and I will have more to share.

 

For those of you that live in the Edmonton, Alberta area I want to pass on a promotion that Leanne over at Apple Box Boutique has going on this Sunday during the Highlands Street Festival. She will be demonstrating the technique of applying Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, answering questions etc. and she is also offering ASCP at $50 per can. Please stop by her blog for more information.

 

Apple Box Boutique

 

Well, I am off to bed after a very long day. I injured my back today while helping my husband lift my Mom’s old buffet out of the back of his truck. Oops! I know, I should be more careful! I am fine, just a little sore. I am hoping some good rest will help.

 

Have a great evening!

 

 

 

 

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Parties I’ve Linked Up To:

~ Decorating Insanity – Furniture Friday ~

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It’s almost there! A buffet turned TV cabinet

It was some time ago that I had shared with you the before photo of this maple buffet here. My Mom lives out of town and although this cabinet was painted and clear-coated a couple of weeks ago, I was finally able to drop it off at her house last night. She was so happy that it was finally finished!

A little background on this buffet…I had picked it up for my Mom off of Kijiji from a couple who were selling some of their Mother’s estate items. They had really wanted to refinish it themselves but never got around to it.

I called up my Mom and she thought it would be perfect for her. She had been looking for a small buffet to use as a flat screen TV cabinet for quite some time. This cabinet was small like she wanted and the price was very reasonable. Nowadays, where can you buy a solid maple buffet at a store for $50.00?

The photo below is the actual photo from Kijiji. It looks to be in pretty good shape in the photo. Well, actually the bottom part of the cabinet was. The top of the cabinet was another story though. It looked like…

 

 

this…

Someone had tried to paint chalkboard paint on the top and did a really lousy job. That’s ok. I could live with that! I planned to paint the entire buffet anyway, so it was ok that it was a little rough around the edges.

A little tip from me..When you are out shopping for vintage furniture, don’t be turned off by a piece of furniture that is an ugly color, is too plain, is outdated looking, etc. As long the piece doesn’t require major structural repairs, try to look past the imperfections. With a little bit of elbow grease, some paint/stain and some embellishments, your piece of furniture can turn out to be beautiful!

 

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When I had asked my Mom what her vision was for this cabinet she said that she just wanted it updated with some turquoise paint and new hardware. I could have easily added some wooden appliques to the doors, distressed it like crazy or attached some extra molding. See, she already has some cabinets with appliques in her living room and she thought that something a little more simple would help to balance everything out.

When I brought the cabinet over to her last night she was so excited. She loved it! Then she called me tonight and said, “You know what Carrie? What if you added some stenciling or something to the front of the doors and drawers to give it some “oomph”?”  Awww, my sweet Mom! I should have went with my initial gut feeling from the beginning and just surprised her.

So the below photos are what my Mom’s buffet cabinet looks like now. Keep in mind that this is not the “final” look for this cabinet. I think it has already come a long way though! What do you think?

 

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Hmmmm… something still doesn’t look right here. There’s something missing isn’t there? Yes, the bottom handles on the cabinet are MIA! Darn!…my Mom had the handles at her house!

Last night I was just about ready to load her cabinet up into our truck when I decided that should at least take some photos of the cabinet mostly finished, even if the handles were missing and I wasn’t able to stage the photos. I am glad that I decided to take some photos then because by the time we arrived at my Mom’s house and unloaded her cabinet it was way too dark in my Mom’s living room to take photos. Too bad!

 

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See the cabinet above? This is my Mom’s old TV stand which is actually also a buffet.  The handles on the bottom of this cabinet are the ones she plans on using on her new turquoise cabinet. What do you think? Do you like them? They actually match perfectly with the old brass door brackets that came with the turquoise cabinet.

I was lucky enough to bring my Mom’s old cream TV cabinet home with me. I am not sure if I should paint it to sell it or if I should keep it. What do you think?

I love the metal mesh on the doors and the top folds out into a long surface used for serving food. It’s current color is a little too yellow for my liking so it will be my next painting project. Stay tuned for its makeover in the next little while!

 

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I love the crystal knobs that my Mom chose for her cabinet. She picked them up on clearance for $2.95 each at Anthropologie. I think they give the cabinet some lovely sparkle.

By the way in the photo above it looks like there are some white marks around the knobs. It is just the refection of the sun on the knobs.

 

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Here are some close-ups of the “bling”!

 

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Now for the finishing details…

I started off with stripping the top of this buffet to remove the black chalk paint-gone bad. I used my favorite paint stripper that I recently shared here.

This cabinet was primed and then painted with Behr Paint and Primer in One in Gem Turquoise mixed at 50%. I decided that I needed to age the turquoise a little bit so I mixed up some glaze with the Gem Turquoise and Martha Stewart’s Araucana Teal. This helped to bring out the distressing I had done and highlight the moldings. I then coated the entire cabinet with four coats of my favorite top coat in a satin finish.

 

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{Source}

 

Here is the color sample of Behr Gem Turquoise #500-B4. Keep in mind that I mixed my paint color at 50% so it is half as strong of a hue as it shows in the paint sample above. Another reason why my Mom’s cabinet is a slightly different color than the paint chip is because I did an aqua glaze over top of the Gem Turquoise. I love Gem Turquoise though; it is a beautiful color.

 

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I love the curvy recessed doors on this cabinet…

 

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and the apron-detail at the bottom. I love me some curvy furniture!

 

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I tried to take photos that were not in direct sun but it didn’t work out too well. The sun really washes out the color here so it is a little brighter than it is in real life. It is really a nice medium-toned turquoise.

 

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I decided to leave the inside of this cabinet unpainted to save me a bit of work and it was in really good shape anyway so why mess with a good thing? I added a hole at the back so my Mom could pass her electrical cords through.

She plans to place her DVD player, her collection of DVD’s, and her magazine files on the shelves and I think in the end she will get some great storage out of this cabinet. When she wants to watch a movie she can just open the doors to use the DVD player and when she is all done she can close the doors and everything will be hidden from view again.

 

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If you are looking for a piece of furniture to turn into a TV stand, these small buffets are the perfect size for a small space. A bonus is that they are solid maple, no particle board to be found! These buffets are plentiful around here and can easily be found on Kijiji/Craigslist and at local auctions. You may have seen them before as a china cabinet with a hutch on top.

Why not make some use of  these outdated cabinets? Just remove the hutch and use them for your flat screen TV! They provide ample storage, they are very sturdy and are a great height for TV viewing.

Just paint one up to match your decor and you will have a stylish vintage TV cabinet and your husband/wife will also be happy because they will also have a functional piece of furniture.

 

Have I sold you yet?

 

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Please stay tuned for the final reveal of this buffet turned TV cabinet in the next couple of weeks.

I can’t wait to share it with you!

By the way, my Mom totally loved the little french stool that I painted for her and shared with you here. I think that is where her idea for a stenciled cabinet came from.

 

Until next time,

 

 

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Parties I’ve Linked Up To:
~ Not Just a Housewife – Show Me What Ya Got ~ Skip to My Lou – Made By You Monday ~ DIY Showoff – DIY Project Parade ~ Coastal Charm – Nifty Thrifty Tuesday ~ A Stroll Thru Life – 118th Table Top Tuesday ~ Talent Tuesday – Way Cool Linky Party ~ My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia – Tuesdays Treasures ~ Savvy Southern Style – Wow Us Wednesdays ~ Domestically Speaking – Countdown to Summer Party ~ Organize and Decorate Everything – Home Decor & Organizing Link Party ~ Uncommon Creating the Extraordinary – Uncommonly Yours ~ Home Stories A to Z – Tutorials Tips Party ~ Primitive and Proper – POWW 90 ~ Elizabeth & Co. – Inspired Features and Link Party ~ The DIY Dreamer – From Dream to Reality ~ Embracing Change – Creative Inspirations Linky Party ~ The Thrifty Home – Penny Pinching Party ~ Seven Thrifty Three – Sugar and Spice ~ Mrs Hines Class – Show and Tell ~ French Country Cottage – Feathered Nest Friday ~ Miss Mustard Seed – Furniture Feature Friday ~ Days of Chalk and Chocolate – Latest and Greatest Link Party ~ Liz Marie – Link Up With Me Liz Marie ~ Finding Fabulous – Frugalicious Friday ~ Craftionary – Friday Fun Party ~ Chic on a Shoestring Decorating – Flaunt It Friday ~ The Shabby Creek Cottage – Transformation Thursday ~ The Brambleberry Cottage – Time Travel Thursday ~ Somewhat Simple – Blog Link Party ~ The Shabby Nest – Frugal Friday ~ My Romantic Home – Show and Tell Friday ~ Decorating Insanity – Furniture Friday ~ Redoux Interiors – Link Party ~ Funky Junk Interiors – Sat Nite SpecialBe Different Act Normal – Show and Tell Saturday ~ Tatertots and Jello – Weekend Wrap Up Party ~ Craft Envy – Saturday Spotlight ~

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Some of my absolute favorite products for furniture refinishing

Ever since I have been thinking about writing this post, I have had the lyrics from The Sound of Music’s “My Favorite Things” song stuck in my head… and I can’t seem to shake them. Haha! I am really aging myself, aren’t I?

 

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
           Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eye lashes
           Silver white winters that melt into spring
           These are a few of my favorite things!   ….La La La La….

 

Um, ya!  I am such a dork!

 

Anyway…I digress.

 

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Thrifty Dresser Transformation

 

Recently, I have been working on making over a couple of pieces of furniture and I decided that I really want to share with you some of the products I use whenever I work on a furniture transformation. Not only do these products make my life a little easier, but they help me to create a professional looking finish every time I paint.

I am not sure if you have had a chance to try out some of these products before, but I highly recommend them. Maybe, they can help to make furniture painting an enjoyable experience for you too!

 

So, on to the first product…

 

 Circa 1850 Soft Strip 182044 Gallon

 

You may be able to relate to this one.

If you ever have had to strip a piece of furniture before, you will know that it can be a messy, stinky and sometimes a very frustrating job. Most paint strippers take a long time to work, or don’t work at all. They can also only be used in a very well ventilated area outdoors because they are so toxic and the clean-up is a real P-I-T-A!

My absolute favorite go-to paint stripper is Circa 1850 Soft Strip Stripper. It works like a charm for me and a little goes a long way with this stuff! I have had this bottle above for quite some time and it is still at least half full and I have used it on at least 2 buffet tops and a dresser.

Another huge bonus with this stripper is that it is made without extremely toxic Methylene Chloride or any caustics. It is not non-toxic, but it is a big improvement to regular strippers. It has a pleasant odor (no chemical smell) and it doesn’t make me sick or give me a headache like other paint strippers do (I seem to have developed sensitivity to chemical smells over the years because of the toxic cleaning products I used to use).

Please remember though, when using this product, you must still wear eye protection, a face mask, gloves, preferably the nitrile kind, and long sleeves/long pants. Keep in mind that this stripper is supposed to take paint off so you can imagine what it could do to your skin or your eyes if you get some on you! It would also be best to work with it near an open window or in your garage where there is some ventilation. Also, if you are making over an older piece of furniture, make sure you test for lead paint before stripping the paint or even sanding. Your health and your safety is the most important thing!

Finally, I have found that this paint stripper also has an easy clean-up. So helpful!

I won’t get into details right now about its application, but please stay tuned for my upcoming tutorial on how I strip furniture.

 

 

img_3263Home Hardware’s, Natura Safe Prep

 

As you may know, the majority of second-hand furniture that can be found today is very grimy and is covered in oils and other nasties that can cause paint not to stick, especially if it is a vintage or antique piece of furniture. Most people regularly use TSP (trisodium phosphate) as a preparation before painting their walls or pieces of furniture. The only problem with using TSP is that it is toxic to the environment.

I have found a safe alternative. It is called Natura Safe Prep. This stuff is the goods for sure! It is safe for the environment, safe to use, odorless and you don’t have to rinse it off like you do with TSP. It is also very affordable at only $4.99 for a Litre here in Canada. A little goes a long way with this stuff. I just put a couple of tablespoons of Safe Prep into a litre of warm water, wash my furniture piece with a rag, let everything dry and I am ready to paint. So easy!

 

 

Glidden Company GL3250 QT Gripper Gray Interior / Exterior Primer

 

Another product that I use on a regular basis is Glidden Gripper Primer. This is a wonderful bonding primer that also blocks stains. I use it on everything, even pieces of furniture with a very shiny finish. I just give the piece I am painting an all-over light sanding before applying this primer to give the wood a bit of “tooth”. To-date, I have never had a problem with my paint chipping off or the paint not sticking. I usually apply two coats of this primer, letting it dry well in between coats.

If I am working on a few pieces where I will be painting a similar color, I have my primer tinted closely to whatever color I am planning on painting. My favorite color for tinting is Behr Dark Gray. I can post the exact formula here if you like later today. Just let me know if you are interested!

 

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 3M SandBlaster 20400 Between Coats Sandpaper, 9-Inch x 11-Inch, 400-Grit

 

What’s next? Carrying on!

Let me count the ways I love my 400 grit sandpaper! It is ah-mazing! This is a large part of why my finished pieces of furniture are as smooth as velvet or as soft as a baby’s little feet.  If you haven’t ever used 400 grit sandpaper to sand your furniture before, you are seriously missing out!

I like to sand with 400 grit sandpaper between each and every layer or finish that I apply, whether it be when I am priming, painting or topcoating. I especially like the 3M Sandblaster sandpaper above as it makes light work of what you are sanding.

What I like to do is take one of the sanding sheets out of the package, fold it in half down the middle and then in half again. I then tear the sheet into 4 where I have folded. Lastly, I wrap one of the torn sanding sheets around a rectangular sanding block. This makes a perfect sanding block which works wonderfully to sand the flat parts of your furniture piece like the top, the sides or the doors. I find this method is also cheaper than buying multiple sanding blocks because they wear out really quickly. This way I can re-use my sanding block just by adding new sandpaper around it. Don’t throw out your old sanding blocks! With some new sandpaper, they can be used again and again!

 

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 Hyde Tools 44280 Tack Cloth, 18Ó

 

What also helps to give your piece of furniture a flawless finish?

Tack cloths do! These little pieces of gooey cloth work perfectly for removing all of your sanding dust, bits of fuzz or any other nasties that will get stuck in your paint finish. They are so inexpensive (only $1.50 each) and find that I usually use at least two tack cloths per piece of furniture that I am working on. I tend to use one for the primer and paint layers and then I reserve a brand new one for the top coat layers.

I can’t say enough good things about tack cloths! To me, they are essential!

 

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Lastly, I have been buying these inexpensive dollar store paint brushes for at least 6 months now. These are not just any paint brushes from the dollar store. Why do I love them so much? First of all these paint brushes barely shed as compared to regular cheap paint brushes. I can finish an entire project and these brushes haven’t lost a single bristle or the odd time it only happens once. There is almost nothing worse than painting and having to pick bristles out of your newly painted finish.

These paint brushes are also super soft and very easy to wash. I love to use them for applying gel medium to my photo transfers (I use the biggest brush), applying Mod Podge to a finished project, doing touch-ups to my paint finish or for cutting-in on a piece of furniture before rolling the rest with a roller. Because these brushes are so soft, there are barely any brush strokes in my paint finish.

You can see my love for these brushes in my previous posts below.

 

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Framed Storage Box {How To}

 

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A Spring-inspired Photo Transfer Project – Tutorial

 

Where can you find out more about these products? For most of the products I have mentioned, you can just click on the link below each of the photos to go to Amazon (my affiliate sponsor) or Home Hardware or you should also be able to find them at your local hardware store.

I hope you found this review of my favorite products helpful. I really wish when had I started painting way back when that someone had told me what products they like to use because it would have saved me buying a lot of crappy things that didn’t work worth a darn. What a lot of money I wasted!

So please stay tuned for more product reviews. I plan to share some more of my other favorite products with you again soon.

 

UPDATE: To read PART TWO of this post please click here.

 

I would love to hear if you have used any of these products in the past and whether you like them or not. Also,  if you have any of your own favorites, we would love to hear about them!

 

As always, thank you for all your support, comments, Facebook likes, tweets, and pins this week.

 

I hope you enjoy the rest of your day!

 

 

 

 

 

This affiliate-sponsored post has been written by me. All of the thoughts expressed about the suggested products in this post are 100% my own and are of my honest opinion. Please take precautions when using the products I have mentioned and familiarize yourself with the instructions on the labels before use.

You can read my full disclosure here.

 

 

Parties I’ve Linked Up To:

~ Trendy Treehouse – Create and Share ~ It’s a HodgePodge Life – It’s a HodgePodge Friday ~ Fingerprints on the Fridge – Feature Yourself Friday ~ Chic on a Shoestring Decorating – Flaunt It Friday ~ My Romantic Home – Show and Tell Friday ~ The Shabby Nest – Frugal Friday ~ French Country Cottage – Feathered Nest Friday ~ The Craftionary – Friday Fun Party ~ Liz Marie Blog – Link Up With Me Liz Marie ~ Days of Chalk and Chocolate – Latest and Greatest Link Party ~ Tatertots and Jello – Weekend Wrap Up Party ~ Doodles and Stitches – Fabulous Friday Link Party ~Redoux Interiors – Weekend Redoux Link Party ~ Funky Junk Interiors – SNS Link Party ~ Be Different Act Normal – Show and Tell Saturday ~ Craft-o-Maniac – Craft-o-Maniac Mondays ~ Homemakers on a Dime – Creative Bloggers Party ~ Sumo’s Sweet Stuff – Market Yourself Mondays ~ Under the Table and Dreaming – Sunday Showcase Party ~ I should Be Mopping the Floor – Mop It Up Mondays ~ Lines Across – The Cure for the Common Monday ~ Skip to My Lou – Made By You Monday ~ DIY Showoff – DIY Project Parade ~ Coastal Charm – Nifty Thrifty Tuesday ~ A Stroll Thru Life – 118th Table Top Tuesday ~ Talent Tuesday – Way Cool Linky Party ~ My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia – Tuesdays Treasures ~ Kampen Lane – Show Off Monday ~ Maiden D’Shade – Maiden D’Shade Link Party ~ Savvy Southern Style – Wow Us Wednesdays ~ Domestically Speaking – Countdown to Summer Party ~ Organize and Decorate Everything – Home Decor & Organizing Link Party ~ Uncommon Creating the Extraordinary – Uncommonly Yours ~ Home Stories A to Z – Tutorials Tips Party ~ Primitive and Proper – POWW 90 ~ Elizabeth & Co. – Inspired Features and Link Party ~ The DIY Dreamer – From Dream to Reality ~ Embracing Change – Creative Inspirations Linky Party ~ The Thrifty Home – Penny Pinching Party ~ Seven Thrifty Three – Sugar and Spice ~ Mrs Hines Class – Show and Tell ~ Decorating Insanity – Furniture Friday ~ Free Pretty Things For You – Whatever You Want Wednesday ~ Adorned From Above – Blog Hop ~ What About.co – Show It Off Friday ~

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My latest thrifty finds & one of my favorite pastimes

I’m back to work today after a fairly busy long weekend spending time with my family, working in the garage on my projects and running around doing a bit of shopping. Monday was Victoria Day here in Canada so we all had the day off. Woo hoo! I wish every weekend could be a long weekend, don’t you? I could get so much more accomplished if only I had an extra day to myself each week!

On Saturday, I left the house early and headed over to our local Farmer’s Market so that I could pick up some goodies for my children (Ukranian chicken dumplings, organic garlic & rosemary chicken sausages and locally-grown baby carrots. YUM!). On the way back I stopped to check out some garage sales and I ended up finding a few cool things this time.

Before I share with you what I found, I have been meaning to show you this Paris map art that I picked up at Home Sense (aka Home Goods) a couple of weeks ago. It was on sale for 50% off so decided that I had to have it. This piece is quite large and it is a steal at that price. I have been searching for a large map to frame for one of my walls and the added bonus is that this map has been transferred onto burlap. I love burlap and the texture it provides in a space! Once I get my living room painted and decide exactly where this is going in the room, I will post some updated photos so you can see how it looks.

 

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Here are the treasures that I found while out garage sale’n (a word I made up) this past weekend. These cute milk glass compote dishes caught my eye so I had to have them. I thought that they would look great stacked up inside each other so made a tiered display with them and added a seeded sphere to the top to give the vignette some texture and interest. I have sometimes seen these compote dishes at thrift stores so now I am on the hunt for a tiny compote dish that matches the other two so I can make a three tiered stand. I think it would look cool on a buffet with candies in each of the dishes at Christmas time, with a candle at the top or with some glittery baubles spilling out of them.

 

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Check out the scalloped design on the edges. This is my favorite part!

 

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I also found this pair of hobnail milk glass candle sticks and a little glass leaf dish. The candlesticks were $4.00 for the set and the leaf dish was only $1.00.

 

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The dish already has some patina as it is losing a bit of its silver leafing on the back. I kind of like it that way so I think I will leave it alone for now.

 

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This cedar storage box and milk glass goblet also came home with me.

 

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I love the design on the top of the cedar box but I don’t really care for its finish so I have plans to paint it in the next little while. I will share the after with you when it is all finished.

 

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I think overall, it was a pretty successful morning of garage sale shopping. How about you? What new things have you found lately at garage sales, in the stores or at flea markets?  I would love to hear about what you’ve found.

 

 

I have something else that I have been wanting to share with you…

 

You may not know this about me, but I have another favorite pastime besides painting furniture and working on other decorating projects for my home! I also love to garden!

I started gardening about 9 years when we moved into our current home. Prior to this, we had always lived in apartments and townhouses so I never had a chance to try out my “green thumb” other than taking care of a few houseplants.

I kind of threw myself into gardening as our backyard started out as a clean slate and something needed to be done with it, and quick! The 35′X75′ space consisted of 50% grass/50% vegetable garden which took up the entire yard. Oh and there were so many, many invasive weeds that I couldn’t keep up!

It took me at least seven years of hard work to get my garden where it is today. We put in a cottage-style wooden shed that my uncle helped us build and also a brand new fence. Most of my backyard is now mulch, trees, shrubs and perennials with only a small grass area in the middle. It still needs a lot of work but since we are planning to move next spring, I won’t be making too many more changes. I am just going to enjoy what I have done so far and try to finish off some unfinished projects to get our house ready to sell. I am hoping that when we move I can create a brand new garden at our new house. I will already know what works and what doesn’t and then I can make a plan so that I can include everything in a space that my family will use and enjoy.

Below you will find photos of some of my plants that are currently in bloom in my garden this week. Hopefully one day I will feel comfortable sharing some full-view shots with you after I have a chance to finish up a few outstanding projects. Perhaps having this blog will help me get my rear into gear to finish up my projects so that I can post the photos here for you to see. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy these photos. I know they are not decorating related but just the same, looking at them and sharing them with you puts me in good spirits. So, you may see some garden shots shared on my blog from time-to-time.

 

 

In other news, once this rainy weather clears up later this week I will finally be able to take some photos of my Mom’s buffet turned TV cabinet makeover. I can’t wait to show you what she looks like now!

 

Until next time!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Close-up of a fuchsia pink tulip

 

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 Fuchsia tulips in May

 

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 Purple Pasque flower

 

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 Close-up purple Pasque flower

 

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 Purple Primulas (Primroses) in my shade garden

 

Parties I’ve Linked Up To:

~ Uncommonly Yours – Uncommonly Yours Link Party ~ The Trendy Treehouse – Create and Share ~ Savvy Southern Style – Wow Us Wednesdays ~ Coastal Charm – Nifty Thrifty Tuesday ~ Vintage Wanna Bee – Talent Tuesday ~ Not Just a Housewife – Show Me What Ya Got ~ A Stroll Thru Life – 117th Table Top Tuesday ~ How to Nest for Less – Just a Party With My Peeps ~ Home Stories A to Z – Tutorials & Tips Link Party ~ Somewhat Simple – Blog Link Party ~ The Brambleberry Cottage – Time Travel Thursday ~ The Shabby Creek Cottage – Transformation Thursday ~ Embracing Change – Creative Inspirations Linky Party ~ My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia – Tuesdays Treasures ~ Chic on a Shoestring Decorating – Flaunt It Friday My Romantic Home – Show and Tell Friday ~ French Country Cottage – Feathered Nest Friday ~ The Craftionary – Friday Fun Party ~ Liz Marie Blog – Link Up With Me Liz Marie ~ Days of Chalk and Chocolate – Latest and Greatest Link Party ~ It’s a HodgePodge Life – It’s a HodgePodge Friday ~ Fingerprints on the Fridge – Feature Yourself Friday ~ The Shabby Nest – Frugal Friday ~ Tatertots and Jello – Weekend Wrap Up Party ~ Doodles and Stitches – Fabulous Friday Link Party ~ Redoux Interiors – Weekend Redoux Link Party ~ Funky Junk Interiors – SNS Link Party ~ Be Different Act Normal – Show and Tell Saturday ~ Craft-o-Maniac – Craft-o-Maniac Mondays ~ Homemakers on a Dime – Creative Bloggers Party ~ Sumo’s Sweet Stuff – Market Yourself Mondays ~ Under the Table and Dreaming – Sunday Showcase Party ~ I should Be Mopping the Floor – Mop It Up Mondays ~ Lines Across – The Cure for the Common Monday ~ Skip to My Lou – Made By You Monday ~ DIY Showoff – DIY Project Parade ~ Coastal Charm – Nifty Thrifty Tuesday ~ Kampen Lane – Show Off Monday ~ Maiden D’Shade – Maiden D’Shade Link Party ~ Seven Thrifty Three – Sugar and Spice ~

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French quatrefoil step stool makeover & tutorial

Good morning! How are things with you?

See the little wooden step stool below? It is kinda cute, right? Well my Mom bought this stool a couple of years ago from Home Sense (aka Home Goods) and it has been a chameleon of sorts.

It originally started out with a solid-painted turquoise top. It didn’t really fit into my Mom’s living room color scheme at the time so she painted it a taupey-cream. Over time she got bored of it, so she asked me to paint it a sage green. That also didn’t work out as planned and she just wasn’t feeling the “new look”!  Then recently she decided that it was time for a change again. It was out with the green and back in with the turquoise. Ha!

Honestly, I wasn’t very happy with the creamy-yellow distressed paint finish on the bottom of the stool anyway, so I decided this stool needed a full makeover this time around.

 

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Here is my Mom’s stool after its makeover. It has a bit of a French personality now!

 

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I really love its new look, but my Mom hasn’t seen it yet. I hope she will love it too!

 

What do you think?

 

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The top of this stool was given an aged-turquoise quatrefoil stenciled finish and then on top of that I did a photo transfer using a gorgeous Paris Wreath graphic from The Graphics Fairy. To finish it off, the bottom of the stool was given a wash with some light cream craft paint.

 

Ugly creamy yellow be-gone!

 

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Too bad this is my Mom’s stool, because now I wish that I could keep it for myself! Oh well, I am happy that I get a chance to do re-do things for my Mom. Besides, I can always paint something similar on one of my own pieces if I am missing her little stool too much!

 

 

So, would you like to paint one of your own stools like this?

You don’t have a stool to paint? That’s totally ok. You can create this look on so many other things. Here are some ideas for you…

How about on the seat of a chair, on the top of a side table or nightstand, on the inside of a serving tray, on an art canvas to display on your wall or maybe as a decorative finish for a storage box? There are so many possibilities! You also could paint this finish in any color to match your decor or even use another graphic on the top.

 

Here is the tutorial:

supplies-youll-need_4

 For painting:

          • your stool, storage box, chair etc.
          • turquoise latex paint (I used Behr Gem Turquoise 50% strength)
          • taupey gray latex paint (I used Martha Stewart’s Sharkey Grey)
          • burnt umber craft paint & antiquing medium
          • light cream craft paint
          • Martha Stewart’s Arabesque stencil set
          • paint brushes, including a stencil brush or a foam pouncer
          • some rags
          • 220 or 400 grit sandpaper

 

For the photo transfer and for top coating your project:

          • your laser photocopied/printed image to transfer (printed in mirror image mode if there is text in the graphic) (I used this Paris Wreath graphic from The Graphics Fairy)
          • Golden Soft Gel Gloss Medium
          • Matte Modge Podge
          • scissors
          • rubber brayer or scraper
          • spray bottle or sponge
          • paint brushes
          • dish scrubber (see previous instructions HERE)
          • a moist rag

 

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 Martha Stewart’s Arabesque Stencil

 

 

instructions

PART 1:


  1. Lightly sand your stool and then paint it with one coat of turquoise latex paint. Leave it to dry
  2. Prepare a mixture of half turquoise paint and half taupe paint to use for stenciling. Only stir the paint lightly so that the mixture is not consistent. It gives the finish a bit of variation
  3. Find the center of your stool and make a light pencil mark. Position one of stencil cut-outs right in the middle of your stencil mark, make sure the stencil is straight and then start stenciling using your 50% paint mixture above
  4. TIPS for stenciling: Try to keep your stencil firmly in place with one hand while stenciling with the other hand (you can also tape it down with painters tape if you like). Using the stencil brush and very little paint, tamp in an up and down motion to evenly distribute the paint. Carefully lift your stencil and then use a hair blow dryer to dry your previous section before moving on to the next. Wash your stencil in between applications if you wish

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PART 2:


  1. Once your stenciling is completely dry, lightly sand the entire stenciled area with 400 grit sandpaper to age it and give it a smooth finish
  2. Create a mixture of antiquing medium and a small amount of burnt umber craft paint to use as a wash. I would use about 7 parts antiquing medium to one part paint
  3. Working in one section at a time, brush on the aging glaze with a paintbrush and then before it has time to dry, use a damp rag to wash off the excess. You will be left with a lovely aged finish

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PART 3:


  1. Mix up some of your turquoise basecoat with a small amount of light cream craft paint
  2. Stencil over your original stenciled area again with this new color (you don’t need to line up to the original stenciled areas perfectly-close is good enough!)
  3. It is hard to see in this photo but you will end up with a gorgeous striae (lined) effect in the dark painted areas surrounding the quartrefoil shapes. You will also see a bit of your two stencil colors coming through (see the 2nd photo below for a close-up)
  4. After the top of your step stool has dried, use your burnt umber glaze mixture to give it another wash as in PART 2 above. After that has dried, lightly sand with 400 grit sandpaper

 

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PART 4:

For Detailed Instructions on How to Transfer Photos, Please Read My Tutorial HERE


  1. Prepare your photocopied/printed Paris graphic to be transferred (Again, make sure your graphic is reversed if you have text on there). Cut around your graphic neatly leaving a bit of white space all around your image. It can be helpful to cut a straight box around your image first and then cut away any extra parts. Having a straight line on the bottom and top will allow you to line up your image perfectly straight on your stool
  2. Coat the printed side of your image evenly with Soft Gel Medium. Before it has time to dry, flip it over face down and line it up as best as you can on the face of your stool. Once the image is down, it cannot be moved
  3. Smooth out the image with your hand and then use a brayer to remove air bubbles. Use your damp rag to wipe up excess gel medium then leave your image to dry for at least 4 hours or preferably overnight
  4. When your transfer has fully dried, soak the back of your image lightly with your spray bottle or sponge. Using the pad of your pointer finger, lightly rub away the paper one section at a time. Keep the area you are working on moist. Remove all of the residual paper that you can from your image and set it aside
  5. Use your pot scrubber with some water to lightly scrub away any last bits of residual paper. Don’t scrub so hard that you scrub away your image
  6. Leave your stool to dry

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PART 5:


  1. Once your transferred image is thoroughly dry lightly sand over it with 400 grit sandpaper to age the image. Wipe away any sanding dust (My transfer came out crisp and clear but I wanted it to look quite aged so I sanded my image a lot. I didn’t want it to look perfect!)
  2. Paint the bottom of your stool with light cream craft paint leaving a little bit of the basecoat showing through. You can also paint on some light gray paint here and there to create more of an aged look
  3. Once the bottom of your step stool is dry, you can sand the edges of the stool to distress it. Lightly wipe away  all of the sanding dust
  4. Coat your entire stool with two coats of matte Modge Podge for protection

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That is all there is to it!

 

It may seem like there are quite a few steps involved in finishing this stool, but it is actually quite easy. Since it is a small item it takes very little time to paint. I think this step stool took me about an hour to finish total, but of course there were some waiting times in between for the paint and the photo transfer to dry.

 

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I hope you decide to give this tutorial a try sometime. If you do, I would love to see what you have done! Please send me some photos of your finished project and I may feature your project on my blog; with your permission, of course!

And as always, if you have any questions about this tutorial or any of my other projects, please leave me a comment and I will get back to you as soon as possible. I love me some comments, if I haven’t told you already!

 

Happy Thursday!

 

 

 

 

product-links

Acrylic Medium Golden Soft Gel Gloss 8oz

Mod Podge CS11302 Original 16-Ounce Glue, Matte Finish

3M Wetordry 9085NA Sandpaper, 9-Inch x 11-Inch, 5-Sheet,Super Fine 400-Grit

3M 10132NA Tack Cloth

School Specialty 4 Semi-Soft Extra-Fine Foam Brayer, paint supplies

Martha Stewart 32266 Large Stencil, Arabesque

Staining/Antiquing Medium-2 Ounce

Stencil Starter Kit

 

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Parties I’ve Linked Up To:

 ~ The Shabby Creek Cottage – Transformation Thursday ~ Somewhat Simple – Blog Link Party ~ Brambleberry Cottage – Time Travel Thursday ~ The Trendy Treehouse – Create and Share ~ Domestically Speaking – 112th Power of the Paint Party ~ Savvy Southern Style – Wow Us Wednesdays ~ Embracing Change – Creative Inspirations Linky Party ~ The Shady Porch – Rock N’ Share ~ Mrs. Hines Class – Show & Tell ~ At the Picket Fence – Inspiration Friday ~ French Country Cottage – Feathered Nest Friday ~ Liz Marie – Link Up With Me ~ Chic on a Shoestring – Flaunt It Friday ~ My Romantic Home – Show and Tell Friday ~ The Shabby Nest – Frugal Friday ~ Craftionary – Friday Fun Party ~ Simply Designing – Simply Link Party ~ Days of Chalk & Chocolate – Latest Greatest Friday ~ Redoux Interiors – Friday Features #56 ~ Tatertots and Jello – Weekend Wrap Up Party ~ Funky Junk Interiors – Sat Nite Special ~ Be Different Act Normal – Show and Tell Saturdays ~ Craft Envy – Saturday Spotlight ~ I Gotta Create – Wildly Original Round-up ~ Craft-o-Maniac – Craft-o-Maniac Party Time Monday ~ I Should Be Mopping the Floors – Mop It Up Mondays ~ The Graphics Fairy – Brag Monday ~ Lines Across – The Cure for the Common Monday ~ Vintage Mauve – Mauvin’ Monday ~ Coastal Charm – Nifty Thrifty Tuesday ~ My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia – Tuesdays Treasures ~ Skip to My Lou – Made By You Monday ~ Sumo’s Sweet Stuff – Market Yourself Mondays ~ Between Naps on the Porch – Metamorphosis Monday ~ DIY Show Off – DIY Project Parade ~ A Stroll Thru Life – 117th Table Top Tuesday ~ Vintage Wanna Bee – Talent Tuesday ~ Under the Table and Dreaming – Sunday Showcase Party ~ Homemaker on a Dime – Creative Bloggers Party ~ How to Nest for Less – Just a Party With My Peeps ~ Very Merry Vintage Style – STL Wednesday Link Party ~ Home Stories A to Z – Tutorials & Tips Link Party ~ Restore Interiors – Restored It Wednesday ~ Today’s Creative Blog – DIY Craft Projects ~ Organize and Decorate Everything – Home Decor & Organizing Link Party ~

Tip Junkie handmade projects

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