UPdating MY old dresser

P1150899I’ve been trying to remember WHEN I got this 8 drawer dresser.  I honestly cannot ever remember NOT having it for most of my adulthood.  I do remember that my mom bought it for me at a garage sale; and it was ‘antiqued BLUE’!  (which I LOVED at the time!)  Remember those antiquing kits in the 70’s??


These are the original drawer pulls that it came with.  Always PLANNED on replacing them, just never ‘gotaroundtoit’.  Then when my son was born, I thought I’d pass it down to him and get a NEW dresser for myself.  But that never happened.


So, the blue beast served faithfully until around 1988.  At which time I had purchased my first electric sander and decided it was time for a make-over.

P1150902Since I still had it in the back of my mind that this dresser was just a temporary fixture until I could buy REAL furniture; I didn’t want to do anything too time consuming.  Just the sanding off of the old paint took me a week!  Turns out the antiqued blue was it’s ‘second life’, and it had been white in it’s first life.

So by the time I got done sanding, I was ready to be DONE.  I gave it a quick coat of natural Danish oil and called it good.  It was very pretty wood grain, but the oil yellowed a bit over the years.

So, here we are, darn near FORTY years later and I STILL have the dresser.  Can’t imagine getting rid of it now.  Time for a face lift.

A bit of sanding to prep the wood for the new paint.


Some Ralph Lauren soft white paint, more sanding to distress.  New (upcycled!) knobs and she’s ready for another 40 years of service!

P1150794Found these knobs at the thrift store.  Fortunately the existing drawer pulls only had ONE screw, so I didn’t have to fill any holes of match preexisting ones with the new knobs of pulls.  Just needed to shabbify the knobs.


Some white spray paint and antique glaze, then a protective clear coat will do for now.


I’m not entirely ‘sold’ on these knobs, but they’ll do until something better comes along.


I’m debating whether or not to add a decorative piece along the bottom to ‘dress it up’ a bit.  I can’t believe took me SO long to do this particular make-over.  We’ll see how long THIS style holds up, eh?!?

OUTDATED – UPDATED; Little decorative cupboard

P1150860The manufacturer’s tag called this an Easter decoration.  It’s just over 16″ tall; but I thought it looked like spare rolls of toilet paper might fit in the two open cubbies and that it would be a cute bathroom storage piece!

P1150861The decorative painting was NOT ‘raised’ (as it typically tends to be on mass produced pieces like this; necessitating a LOT of sanding to make it smooth before repainting)  so this would be QUICK to make over.  I did end up having to sand the front of the drawer, but only because I scratched it up trying to remove that pink PLASTIC drawer pull!  It would NOT budge, so I git out the pliers.  The pliers just BROKE off part of the knob and I STILL could not get it to un-screw!  Ended up breaking it off, bit by bit, and scratching up the front of the drawer in the process when my hand slipped with the pliers.

P1150862Except for the area ‘just under the moulding’  was able to paint the entire outside with a foam roller.

P1150895I did succumb to using spray paint for inside the cubbies since the space was just too ‘tight’ to get a brush into.  Spray painted them FIRST so I didn’t have to tape off the edges for over-spray.

P1150893I replaced that pink plastic knob with a pretty clear crystal one.  *(I keep a stash of knobs and pulls on hand.  This particular one came from Michael’s craft store; on sale of course!)

P1150896I opted to NOT distress this piece since it was lavender paint that would have shown through.

Keeping this one for now as I have a bathroom make-over coming up in the near future and I just might use it for a TP holder!  With my bad back and the placement of TP holders in some homes, I can’t always REACH the TP because I can’t turn that far around.  In this house the hall bathroom TP holder is on the same wall as the toilet and you almost have to turn all the way backwards to reach it?!?!?  So I keep the roll on top of the lidded hamper just across for the toilet, within easy reach.

Maison de Stencils SALE!!

You know all the fabulous stencils I buy to make my signs?  I constantly get asked WHERE I get my stencils and I ma very happy to let you know that I get MOST of them from Maison de Stencils.

And I am even happier to let you know that they are having a SALE right now!


Save 20% on all purchases with code sept20.

or save 30% on purchases of $100+ with promo code sept30. Now through the 18th of September ONLY.

GO check the site out!!!  Just  click on the hyper link above to go directly to their site.

Hand made signs would make great Christmas gifts!!

Published in: on September 15, 2014 at 3:51 pm  Leave a Comment  
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UPdated vintage smoking table

P1150618At least I ‘think’ it is a smoking table!  They were usually quite small and with a drawer or door to store the smoking supplies in.

P1150621Smoking table or not, it was CUTE; and has great LEGS!  (and you know how I love furniture legs and feet!!)

P1150619Pretty ‘beat up’ and shiney varnish inside and out.  Since the inside would have been impossible to sand (even by hand, I could not have gotten the inside corners!) I opted to PRIME this piece to prep for painting instead of sand.  I used brush on KILZ primer.

P1150711It took two coats of white paint on TOP of the coat of primer to fully cover this piece.  Good thing is was so small!  After letting my paint sure overnight, I sanded it using my orbital sander to distress it.

P1150714I debated long and hard whether or not to add some kind of decorative wood embellishment or stenciled on design to one or both large areas on the sides.  For now, I’ve left it plain.  But I could still change my mind!

P1150712The inside was the most time consuming to paint.  I would have ‘papered’ the inside instead of paint it, except for those added side slats (they are on the top of the inside too!)  I may still add paper to JUST the bottom of it so there is a bit of a surprise when you open the door.

P1150713And the perfect little crystal knob adds the finishing touch!

Two drawer nightstand make over: Outdated – UPdated.

Remember when big CLUNKY furniture like this was ‘in style’?

P1150622I didn’t really even like it ‘back then’!  But white paint can make just about anything look soft and sweet!

P1150623It had a satin finish, and was pretty scratched up, so it needed a really good sanding to prep before painting.

P1150624A bit MORE hand sanding that I ‘like’ to have to do, but ‘the price was right’ so a little extra work was worth it!

P1150715Two+ coats of paint (the detailed areas that had to be painted by brush needed a third coat of paint; larger areas that I could ‘roll’ paint on just needed two) and some sanding; both by hand (detailed areas) and orbital sander (flat surface areas); some new drawer pulls and it’s an entirely NEW piece!

P1150716The new drawer pulls were a thrift store find, still in the original packaging and had a grey background, so I didn’t notice that they were actually a very pale AQUA in the center.  (Happy accident!) I had some other pulls to choose from, but they all had WHITE handles and the white was TOO white to go with the creamy white paint finish.

P1150717Differing levels of sanding (some spots ALL the way to the wood, and some just through a layer of the paint) add more depth to the piece and help it look more ‘naturally distressed’.

P1150719The backing was particle wood (YUCK!) so I painted over it.  Applied two coats of varnish to the TOP only.

P1150721The drawer ‘innards’ were in pretty good shape, just a few ‘pen marks'; still I decided to add some paper as a drawer liner; using old road atlas pages, glued to the bottom.

P1150718I think I’m going to hang on to this one for now.  Have a bedroom make-over rattling around in my head that I might want to save it for.




Happy September!  This has been a record hot and dry summer for us here in Oregon, and I am SO ready for fall weather!

A new month means a new half price sign on the month in my etsy shop!  This months half price sign is a BRAND NEW design instead of an old favorite.


“LOVE & HAPPINESS” (regular price $24.00) NOW REDUCED to $12.00 for the month of September, and while the current supply lasts*.


*(When current stock sells out, more signs will be added, but at the regular price)


Shop early for the best color selection.

A few more new signs just added to my etsy shop also:


BIG (approx. 14″ x 15″!) “TRULY  MADLY  DEEPLY” SIGN.


And a couple of ‘custom’ versions.  The one on the right is in my booth at Stars (2 of them) The one in the center is being saved for a gift.


New colors of “What happens at Grandma’s . . .” signs; in my etsy shop AND at Stars.


My own original design; “The French Market & Brocante” sign; on etsy only.


“OFFICE” sign; etsy only (for now)


Garden sign in my etsy shop only (for now.)

Will add more signs ‘in general’ to Stars when I get more made.  Right now I need to start ‘stocking up’ for the fall craft show!  Just 2 months away!!

Gold Artichoke book ends; Outdated – UPdated

P1150350Found this pair of gold artichoke book ends at the thrift store.

P1150349Liked the SHAPE, but not fond of the color.  Easy make-over project!

P1150351Because they have a SHINY finish they will have to be sanded or primed in order for the new paint to properly adhere.  Because of all the detail, spray paint primer is the easiest solution.  I used flat black spray paint.

P1150480I only repainted the FRONT side of them.  There was felt on the bottoms and I left the back the original gold.  Whenever possible, I like to leave  a ‘hint’ of what the items I make-over originally looked like; as a point of reference and inspiration to those who look at them.

P1150485For example, a shopper is looking at them and says ” I love how shabby chic these are!  I have some gaudy old gold ones like them that I just hate!”  And when they pick them up and look closer, they have that ‘light-bulb’ moment and realize that they could make THEIRS over to look like this!  (that’s my hope anyhow!!  OR that someone will see something similar at the thrift store after reading this post, and buy them to make over)

P1150482After the flat black primer paint was dry, I gave them several LIGHT coats of flat Ivory paint.  Let that paint cure overnight then distress with a coarse sanding sponge.

P1150486Let your distressing be very ‘organic’.  Don’t worry about perfection.  You want different areas to be more and less distressed than others for a naturally aged look.

Published in: on August 31, 2014 at 8:24 am  Comments (1)  


The big “End of Summer” sale starts TODAY at all three Stars locations; and runs through Labor Day.

As always, each vendor decides what type of discount they will be offering, and signs are posted in each booth telling you what % off items each booth are.

ALL “Regular Priced” (*) items in my booth are HALF OFF for the sale.

(*) Sale discount is NOT valid on already reduced ‘red tagged’ sale items.


On my soapbox ~ Grocery store rant!

I absolutely HATE going grocery shopping anymore!  It’s SO time consuming and exhausting having to read EVERY ingredient label and compare prices per unit on every item you buy.  Buy you almost HAVE to these days.  Here’s why:


Remember not so long ago when everyone was promoting their food products at NOT containing MSG?  (Or did I just imagine that?)  I could have sworn that the general consensus a while ago was that we did not want MSG in our food anymore, and food processors heard us.  Well, I guess I missed the memo that says it’s now okay to start putting MSG in anything and everything.

campbell label

For quite some time, Michael and I noticed that after we had certain things for dinner that we had a hard time sleeping because something we had eaten was making our hearts race.  Certain preservatives will do that to me, and I’ve learned to avoid them.  And I wasn’t buying any different products other than what I normally did, so it really didn’t make sense.


So I read the ingredient labels on EVERYTHING in my pantry and freezer.   Ah-HA!!  Campbell’s soups (at least ALL the kinds I had on hand) ALL had MSG in them!!   I’ve since checked nearly ALL Campbell’s soups in the grocery store and every one I checked contained MSG.  A lot of Progresso soups did too.


KROGER brand soups at Fred Meyer are the only ones that I’ve found withOUT MSG.

I also discovered that Hamburger, chicken and tuna Helpers all had MSG.  As did most of the other brands of packaged rice and noodle side dishes.  ALL bottled alfredo sauces (except Newmans Own) contain MSG.  A lot of the ‘foil pack spice mixes’ like taco seasoning; most have MSG in them too!

READ YOUR FOOD LABELS IF YOU DON’T BELIEVE ME.  You are in for quite a shock!

And if it doesn’t have MSG in it, it probably has SPLENDA (sucralose, generic name) in it.

Remember when the words ‘light’ or ‘lite’ on a label meant low FAT?  Not anymore!  Nearly every item I have looked at lately that is labeled as being light contains Splenda.  And it’s in a LOT of other stuff now too, other than just light items.  Just about everything that is sugar free now has Splenda in it.  Even things that never contained artificial sweetners before, now have Splenda in them.

“WHAT’S WRONG WITH SPLENDA?”  You may ask.  The commercials say it tastes like sugar because it’s made from sugar, don’t they?!?  Ahhhh . . .but it’s HOW they remove the calories from that sugar that’ s the issue!  They CHLORINATE IT!!!

The truth is that sucralose does start off as sugar, but it is what happens after that is the problem. In the factory, three chlorine molecules are added to the sugar molecule to make sucralose. This alters the chemical structure of the sugar, making it a molecule that does not exist in nature. Because it doesn’t exist in nature, the body does not metabolize or digest this molecule. If our bodies were able to metabolize it, then sucralose would no longer have zero calories.

So, HOW did I find that out?  I looked it up on the intenet of course!  You see, the first time I tried Splenda in a cup of hot tea, I had an instantaneous asthma attack.  I have had asthma for some time now, but NEVER have I had such an instantaneous attack like I did that time.    “What’s in that crap?!?”  I needed to know.  As soon as I saw that it was a chlorination process they use on the sugar I knew why I had an asthma attack.  I’m allergic to chlorine!!!

Remember how a lot of people discovered that they had bad allergic reactions to the artificial sweetener Equal?   And they had to start putting that special symbol on the FRONT label of items that contained it?  I sure WISH they’d do something similar with Splenda!  It’s is in foods that have NEVER before contained artificial sweeteners.  Flavored coffee creamers, bottled smoothies, low calorie bottled JUICES, Ice cream, popsicles . . . 

I saw some new kind of low calorie fruit juice / green tea energy drink at Costco the other day.  It sounded pretty healthy.  Until I read the ingredients. Yep.  Splenda!  And they are TRICKY about it because MOST food labels list the generic name ‘sucralose’ and that looks and sounds VERY similar to sucrose (sugar!)

Most low calorie drinks and sodas now contain Splenda.  Low cal Yogurts too.  So now I have to read EVERY label EVERY time I go grocery shopping because this stuff is popping up in more products every DAY.

And if having to read labels to watch out for those two ‘nasty ingredients’ wasn’t enough, NOW you have to really watch the PRICING.

When did ‘economy size’ and ‘family size’ labeled items start costing MORE than the regular sizes?!?!?!  Now I have to PRICE COMPARE every item I buy!  Sure, all that info is labeled right on the shelf, but I have to get my glasses out to read them, then look at the three different sizes, then I forget what the first price per ounce was and it just takes forever!!!  And food is just too dang expensive to be spending money we don’t have to!

The 12 packs of granola bars; more per ounce than the 6 pack.  The family size box of Toaster Strudel (Michael HAS to have his toaster strudel!) MORE per pound than the regular size.  EVEN peanut butter and Jelly for crying out loud!  Just about ANY thing that comes in more than one size anymore, the larger size costs now more per measure.  What the heck is up with that?!?!

What about people with big families who NEED to buy the bigger sizes?!?!?  This is just crazy!!!   Now, of course I was not terribly thrilled ‘back when’ the small convenience sized food products cost more per unit than the bigger sizes; but at least it made SENSE!  Producing and filling and packaging four smaller containers COSTS more than one big container; so the ‘added price for the sake of CONVENIENCE’ was at least justifiable. But PUNISHING those who NEED to buy in larger quantities is just plain GREEDY!!  And it’s NEVER the larger sizes that are on sale. 

I honestly do not know WHAT I would do if I had a big family to feed and NEEDED the larger packages  and KNEW that they cost more per unit than the smaller.  Not to even mention how much added WASTE the smaller containers contribute to!  What the heck is up with this?!?!?  Do manufacturers just think that no one will ever notice??  Have YOU ever noticed this??

I can’t believe that the FDA does not have stricter labeling regulations for some of these additives  AND/OR that they even still ALLOW it to be put in food.  But I suppose if we keep buying, regardless of what kind of CRAP they put in our food, the manufacturers will continue to get away with whatever they can. 

I hope you’ll join me in my  Facebook campaign  <click on the words Facebook campaign to go directly to my FB post>   to  tell the Campbell’s soup company to stop adding MSG to their soups; by liking my post and sharing it on your FB wall too.  AND refuse to buy Campbell’s products until they do so!  The ONLY way we are going to get the message across to them is to ‘hit them where it counts’ (in the pocketbook!) 

Let;s use social network to effect a POSITIVE change in the food we eat and feed our children.

New stencils

I took advantage of ‘Maison de Stencils’  recent sale to add some new stencil designs to my repertoire.

P1150400You would think that 5 or 6 different “Paris” stencils were enough?!?!  But I really liked this font . . . .  and they were on sale!


P1150403I know that doesn’t look like a WHOLE lot, but even on sale this batch of stencils cost me over $120.00!  So be sure to watch for those sales.  Sign up for their email list to get sale and new stencil notifications.


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