Tag Archive: thrifting adventures

How to give brass an aged patina

Call it luck, call it fate, call it whatever you like…

Do you ever have those moments where you happen to find the exact thing you are looking for while out shopping?  If you have, then good for you!  I, on the other hand, rarely find what I am looking for.  Whatever it is that I want is no where to be found!

Two weeks ago, on a Saturday, I decided to pay a visit to my local Antique Mall.  I had my heart set on finding a world globe that day.  Yes, I am a little late to the “globe decor party”!  Better late then never, I say!  I didn’t want just any globe though.  I set my sights quite high.  It had to have an antique look to it and it had to be pretty enough to be out on display; either on my desk or on the top of my bookcase. No plastic, tacky globe for me.

I did my usual loop of the store.  I found one globe but it was plastic.  Strike one.  I was just about to leave and saw another globe behind the sales counter.  Bummer!  It was on hold for a customer.  Strike two.  That’s ok, it was a little too big anyway.  Then the stars must have aligned for me when I had decided to do one more pass of the last aisle.  What did I see in one of the booths at the bottom of a shelf tucked behind some wicker baskets?  You guessed it!  The perfect globe for me!

Well, it was almost the perfect globe for me.  I loved that the base was brass, it was also the exact size that I had wanted, the color of the globe was antique looking and it was in great shape with only a few minor scuff marks.  And the best part of all… it was only $20.00!  What a steal for sure!

So what was the problem then? I just wasn’t loving the color of the brass.  It was way too shiny and it made the globe look so cheap.  I wanted it to look like an antique that had been sitting around in someone’s study for a long time collecting dust.  I wanted its finish to look almost like an old penny.

After bringing it home and giving it a good cleaning, I contemplated about what I would use to get the look I was going for.  Why not use my favorite Rub n’ Buff in Spanish Copper?




Have you ever used Rub n’ Buff before?  If you haven’t you are missing out!  This stuff is amazing!



Amaco’s Spanish Copper Rub n’ Buff


You can even tell by my sad looking tube of Spanish Copper above that it has been well used.




You know the one important thing that I forgot to do when working on my globe? I forgot to take a before photo showing its shiny brass finish. Oops!  You can still see a little bit of its former self near the left arrow above.  Don’t you just love it now that it has received a little makeover with Rub n’ Buff?




Spanish Copper gave my globe a gorgeous aged patina.  It only took about five minutes of my time to achieve this new look. Time well spent for sure!



If you haven’t had a chance to try out Rub n’ Buff yet, it is very easy and straight-forward to use.  You just do what its name implies… You rub and then you buff. That’s pretty much it!  I made a set of tips for those of you that are interested.  In case you think you might mess this up somehow.  Believe me, you won’t.  It is that easy!




Two things that  I forgot to add to my list above was to make sure to give your piece a good cleaning before applying the Rub n’ Buff just to make sure all of the grimy spots have been taken care of. Also, a little bit goes a long way with this stuff. You need only to use it sparingly.

Finally, to protect your finish you may want to consider adding a coat of wax over top or if you are applying to something that will be getting a fair amount of use and handling, you will want to seal your finish with a few coats of a protective topcoat.




I just love my globe now!




I also picked up this little wooden cutie that Saturday as well. I was thinking about painting it white or cream but I think I may leave it just the way it is. What do you think?




It must have taken someone a lot of time to carve this.




I hope I have inspired you to give Rub n’ Buff a try sometime. Maybe you have some bright, outdated brass candlesticks, light fixtures, picture frames or ornate mirrors that could use a little bit of Rub n’ Buff.

So far my absolute favorite color out of the 16 colors Amaco offers is Spanish Copper. I also used it to give some interest to the hardware for my thrifty dresser transformation HERE. Other colors of Rub n’ Buff that I have collected are the antique white, the autumn gold and the silver leaf. I have used them to give some patina to many items in my home.


Until next time,




Disclosure: All of the thoughts and ideas expressed in this post about Rub n’ Buff are 100% my own and are of my honest opinion. I have not been asked to give my opinion on this product nor have I been compensated in any way.



Parties I’ve Linked Up To:

~ Home Stories A to Z – Tutorials and Tips Party ~ The Trendy Treehouse – Create and Share ~ Savvy Southern Style – Wow Us Wednesdays ~ The Thrifty Home – Penny Pinching Party ~ Embracing Change – Creative Inspirations Linky Party ~ The Brambleberry Cottage – Time Travel Thursday ~ Shabby Creek Cottage – Transformation Thursday ~ House of Hepworths – Hooking Up with HoH ~ Days of Chalk and Chocolate – Link Party ~ At The Picket Fence – Inspiration Friday ~ Somewhat Simple – Blog Link Party ~ French Country Cottage – Feathered Nest Friday ~ Liz Marie Blog – Link Up With Me Liz Marie ~ Redoux Interiors – Link Party #65 ~ Craftionary – Friday Fun Party ~ What About.co – Show Off Friday ~ The Shabby Nest – Frugal Friday ~ My Romantic Home – Show and Tell Friday ~ Chic on Shoestring Decorating – Flaunt It Friday ~ It’s a HodgePodge Life – It’s a HodgePodge Friday ~ Beneath My Heart – Best DIY Projects of July Linky Party ~



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A little country road trip & my newest furniture find

This past weekend I drove out to my Mom’s house for a visit. She lives out in the country, about an hour away from the city I live in. I mainly went to her house to finish up the makeover on her buffet turned TV cabinet. Once I got there, we ended up needing to make a run to the nearest town to pick up some clear coat because I totally forgot to bring mine when I left my house. Doh! I just had to have some though because I needed to add a few more coats of topcoat to her cabinet that day.

While we were out and about we thought it might be fun to go on a little road trip to some of the local towns in my Mom’s area.  First we headed over to Willingdon, Alberta to check out their town garage sale. It is a tiny little town with a population of only about 250 people. The goods they were selling at their garage sales were also slim pickins. Too bad!  I did manage though to find a vintage sewing cabinet for next to nothing. I will be sharing its before photo further down in my post.



Willingdon, Alberta


We also came across this little antique store in Willingdon. In addition to the goods being sold in the garage sale out front, the place was packed from floor to ceiling with every vintage/antique collectible imaginable. I was excited to go inside just in case they were some amazing treasures to be found. Unfortunately,  I was a little disappointed to see that everything was way overpriced, so I left empty handed.


Andrew, Alberta


Next we headed over to Andrew, Alberta (about 30 minutes away from Willingdon). During the drive from town to town, all that can be seen are farmer’s fields for miles and miles. Every once and a while you will come across a large house or some farm buildings spotted here and there along the road. That’s about it!

To my surprise, we happened upon this gorgeous Ukrainian Orthodox church and I told my Mom that I just had to stop and take some photos. Isn’t the roof-line on this building amazing?



Andrew, Alberta


Here is a photo of the back side of the church. Still stunning!



Andrew, Alberta


I also thought it was a little funny that almost every small town in Alberta has its own town mascot/monument. Andrew, Alberta is famous for having the world’s largest Mallard Duck monument.



Mundare, Alberta


Mundare, Alberta (about 30 minutes away from Andrew) is famous for the world’s largest sausage monument. Yes, my Mom and I made sure to pick-up some Stawnichy’s sausage while we were there to take back home. Yum!



Vegreville, Alberta



Lastly, the final town that we ventured out to was Vegreville, Alberta. As you can see it is famous for its gigantic Easter egg.


Does these photos remind you of some of the small towns in your area? Don’t you agree that is fun sometimes to head out to the country once and while to get away from all of the hustle and bustle of the big city?

So when was the last time you went on a little road trip in your province or state? I think another road trip may be in order this summer so I can check out some of the other small towns in Alberta.  I found this trip interesting to say the least.

Anyway, if you have some time on your hands and you are interested in viewing some more photos of the country-side in Alberta, Canada, this site has some beautiful photos.





Here is the before photo of the little 1950′s sewing cabinet I ended up finding at one of the garage sales in Willingdon for only $1.00. Although I think it is very outdated and a little bit on the ugly side, I am convinced that it has some great potential.

My plan is to give this cabinet a full makeover. So it will be getting a paint-job and I plan to immediately remove the really ugly handle on the front and possibly the outdated feet at the bottom. I would also like to create some custom storage for the inside of the cabinet. This cabinet doesn’t have a sewing machine inside anymore but it still has some of the workings that will need to be eventually removed.

I most likely will be selling this cabinet when I am finished because I don’t have any room for it in my house. I need your opinion on something. What else can you see this cabinet being used for besides a sewing cabinet? I would be love to hear all of your great ideas.




As you see, I just couldn’t pass it up for that price!


This little sewing cabinet is next on my list of makeovers, right after my drum table gets finished. Make sure you stop back to see what this cabinet looks like after I have had my way with it. I figure that it can’t get any worse than it is. It can only get better from here!


Until next time,







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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!



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.




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.




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.




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




What about this beautiful white cottage night stand?




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






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




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




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.




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.




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






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.






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




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




I see another tutorial in the near future!




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




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.




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!




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!






Parties I’ve Linked Up To:

~ Decorating Insanity – Furniture 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.








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.




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




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.




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.




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




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.




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!








Close-up of a fuchsia pink tulip



 Fuchsia tulips in May



 Purple Pasque flower



 Close-up purple Pasque flower



 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 ~

Tip Junkie handmade projects




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Junkin’ at the Wild Rose Antique Show 2012

I hope you had a wonderful Easter holiday with your family. My family and I went out of town to my Mom’s for Easter dinner. So yummy! Us adults had a really relaxing visit while the kids had a great time running around together almost non-stop. I wish I had their energy! To think of all of the things I could get accomplished.

While visiting, I had a chance to take some photos of a couple of furniture pieces of my Mom’s that I had previously refinished for her. I will be sharing them this coming week. Stay tuned!

On Good Friday I went junkin’ at the Wild Rose Antique Show here in Edmonton. This annual show is host to approximately 140 vendors from all over Canada showcasing everything from fine china and antique furniture to vintage ephemera and cottage/shabby chic home decor items.



I arrived about an hour after the show opened and the place was overrun with shoppers! It was really difficult to wander into any of the booths to take a look at what was being offered. Note to self: Next time go later in the day!



Again, I was trying to take these photos with my Android cell phone without being too inconspicuous, so I’m sorry if my photos are a little blurry. I thought you would like to see them just the same.




Since I am drawn to anything cottage style or Shabby Chic, most of my photos from the show are of that nature. For instance, my most favorite was this white chippy antique dresser. I am sure I could have very easily found a place for it in my home, had it come home with me.




I also really loved this aqua wicker table. Gorgeous!



Another vendor had filled her booth with smaller cottage decor items. Her prices were very reasonable and she had a great selection. Here are some of the pieces that she had for sale.





Don’t you just love these original chippy tin ceiling panels? What beautiful patina they have!




Below are some of the other items that caught my interest at the sale. I really wish that the vintage sewing drawer cabinet was in my budget because I have a dream of painting up some sewing drawers for use in my craft room. They would be perfect for storing so many odds and ends.




Here is what I ended up buying at the sale.




I found a couple more pieces of Transferware to add to my collection. I have been collecting for just over a year now and I have quite a few really nice pieces.




I also found these two small platters in the $1.00 bin. They both will be painted and aged at some point. I think I am going to put a photo transfer in the middle of the brass one after it is painted and then use it as a piece of art for my wall.




I fell in love with this vintage chenille pillow, so it had to come with me. I think the raised floral detail is gorgeous and I think will add some great texture to my collection of pillows.






Finally, this vintage tea towel was in one of the bins at the front of a vendors table. It really caught my eye with its cream linen fabric and its bold black graphic design. For only $2.00 it was a steal! I think I am going to frame it one day and use it as art somewhere in my home.




This towel originally came from from the Canterbury Cathedral in Kent, England. Click here for the virtual tour of the Cathedral. It looks like a very beautiful place. I can only wish that I would be able to visit such a beautiful place some day.




I hope that you found my junkin’ adventure interesting. I would love it if you would please leave me a comment and let know which one of the items I have shown is your favorite.


Till next time…




Parties I’ve Linked Up To:

~ Southern Hospitality – Thrifty Treasures ~



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