Something different to make from thrifted candlesticks instead of finials.  Not that making finials is a BAD thing.  It’s just time for something different!

P1160105I’m not certain that this one IS a candle holder, or maybe the top piece was missing.  Regardless, it works for what I’m going to do with it!

P1160108I used a couple of these little routed wood plaques from the craft store; one slightly bigger than the other.

P1160115Glued the two wood pieces together; then glued them to the TOP of the pedestal.

P1160117This is the ‘upside down’ view; showing the edges better.  Since I was trying to emulate the look of the base of this piece, I put the bigger piece pf wood on TOP.

P1160109Here you can see how the top and bottom ‘balance each other out’.

P1160119Used flat black spray paint on this for the final coat.  Used acrylic craft paint for the wood squares I added on.

P1160121Hand sanded to distress the edges.

P1160120The distressing didn’t show up as much on the plastic parts.

P1160110Decided to do something similar with this carved wood candlestick at the same time.


It was a difficult decision to paint over all these pretty pastel colors, but I talked myself into it!


Glue the wood round to the candlestick top using e6000.  Then flip it upside down white the glue sets.


While this one would have worked to paint with ‘brush on’ paint; I used flat black spray paint . . . but only because I was doing these two items at the same time; and it saved me some time.  (time is money!)


Close up of the distressing done by hand sanding the raised areas.

P1160137This is how I displayed them; incorporated into my Halloween display.  Both have already sold.

How did THAT happen?!?!

60.  SIXTY???  Seriously?  sigh.  sigh AGAIN!  Yes, sixty.

I’m 60 years old today and I seriously don’t know how it happened?!?!  I don’t FEEL sixty.  I don’t think I ‘look’ sixty.  (at least I still get an occasional raised eyebrow and am asked to show my ID when I ask for the senior discount)

What IS sixty supposed to look like anyhow??   (and NO, I will NOT be posting a picture.  I honestly do not HAVE any recent pics of myself and that is FINE by me!)

I honestly thought I’d look AND feel much older when I turned sixty.  I think back to when my mom was 60.  My son would have been 6 years old and my mom LOOKED and ACTED sixty.  Didn’t drive anymore so I had to take her shopping and to Dr. appointments; help her with housework too.  She DID have several ‘medical issues’ (but so do I now; and mine are WORSE than hers were!)  Still, I do not FEEL or look any where NEAR as old as she seemed at 60.

I did not know my grandmother (mom’s mom) very well at all.  She did NOT like kids.  She stayed with us a few times, and she was a ‘old BITTY’!!  I remember her coming to help after my youngest sister was born.  I was six.  She taught me embroidery.  She was plump and wrinkley with soft flabby arms and a big grey bun on top of her head.  Mom would have been 32.  I’m not sure what year ‘Grandma Newman’ (that is what we HAD to call her!) was born; but I’d guess she was about 60 then.

And SHE looked much older at 60 than my mom did at sixty.  And I look younger still than either of them at 60.   There is ‘that point’ in your life when people see old pictures of you and have to REALLY look to see that is you.  When you facial features really change.  I wonder why or HOW ‘that time’ has changed so much over the years.  ALL of my high school friends are still very ‘recognizable’ from their high school pictures too.

Not that none of us looks ANY older, because we absolutely do.  Just not as old as I ‘expected’ to look at 60; based upon how my mom and grandmother looked at 60.  And it makes me wonder how long we can continue to delay the aging process.  And WHY are we seemingly aging so much slower than our parents and grandparents did??

SO, THAT is what is on MY mind upon the occasion of my sixtieth birthday.  But I really AM looking forward to this sixtieth year of my life and the marriage of my son to his amazing fiance.  And theeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeen to being a grandma a few years down the road.

Growing old isn’t all that bad, I suppose!

Published in: on September 26, 2014 at 7:32 pm  Comments (8)  
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REALITY CHECK: So you want to rent an antique booth?

How exciting!  You’ve decided to ‘take the plunge’ and look into renting a booth in a local antique mall.  You have a bunch of your granny’s old stuff in the attic and you LOVE going to garage sales.  Why not ‘make a little extra money’ doing something you love?

I literally CRINGE when I get an email from someone telling me that they are ‘going to do what I do’.  I fear that I make it look and sound TOO easy.  But I don’t want to discourage them.  Oftentimes they will ask for my advice (mostly regarding the pricing of items).  I started a blog post on “My advice for renting a booth” YEARS ago.  I revisit it every so often and then leave it unfinished.  It’s just TO DEPRESSING!  And it’s a lot of MATH!!  And you really NEED to ‘do the math’!  Most people do NOT do the math, thinking ‘ignorance is bliss’, but it’s NOT!  That ignorance is going to COST you money.


The REALITY of it is that it IS a lot of hard work for very little income.  But it CAN be done well and can earn a decent secondary income.  I’m just not good at ‘sugar-coating’ the facts and my ‘advice post’ would probably scare most potential booth renters away!!  I just couldn’t figure out HOW to say what needed to be said without sounding like I was trying to ‘burst their bubble’ or without making it sound TOO complicated.

HALLELUJAH!  I just came across a post by another blogger who has explained it all PERFECTLY!  I tried to ‘copy and paste’ her post, but wasn’t able to.  You’ll have to go over to HER BLOG HERE to read it.  It is absolutely a MUST READ if you are considering becoming a vendor in an antique mall.  Forewarned is forearmed I always say!

She shoots straight with the facts with a bit of humor without being too overbearing.  (something I never could figure out exactly how to do!)  It’s an INVALUABLE read if you have ever considered being an antique vendor! i sincerely hope you will read it.  Even if you already have a booth.  It will perhaps help explain WHY you aren’t making as much money as you thought you would.

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)  

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