UPcycled 3 drawer chest

DRAT!!!  I could have SWORN that I took a picture of this ‘nasty’ three drawer chest before I started working on it!?!  Alas, apparently I did not; but from the looks of these drawers, I think you can imagine what it looked like.


Layers of old paint colors, mismatched drawer pulls . . .


Contact paper on the top?!?!?  (I REALLY should have looked at this more closely and with my glasses ON; before I decided to buy it!)  Fortunately, said contact paper was SO old that it was really BRITTLE, and scraped off with a paint scraper fairly easily.


And MORE contact paper was covering this mess on one side!!  That ‘indent’ is far too big to just fill with wood putty.  Time to get creative.  (Just in case you are wondering WHERE that indent came from; this piece must have been the side drawers from a desk.  And this is the side the desk top and drawer was attached to.)


The repair in progress.  I found a ‘strip’ of wood that was almost the right size; then filled the rest of the gaps with bits and pieces of bamboo skewers.  Sanded all that smooth, then filled any remaining gaps with wood putty.


Sanding down the top revealed more layers of colors.

Lots of pink under the brown on the drawers.  Filled the holes from the previous drawer pulls.

A couple of layers of paint and lots of sanding with the orbital sander; purposely revealing some of the old pink and yellow paint on the top.

The side with the damage on the right; the good side on the left.

Good (right) and bad (left) sides again; but in better light.  My ‘repair’ job IS noticeable, but not very!  Most of the time, you don’t even SEE the sides of a chest when it’s in use in a home anyhow.

Found the perfect vintage drawer pulls for this piece.

Available for purchase in my booth at Stars.

Outdated / Updated little end table

Poor little outdated and unloved end table!!  I’m not sure exactly WHEN this was ‘in style’, but I actually LIKE this style; with the drawer and open area.


It was pretty banged up, but I’d need to sand it to prep it for painting anyhow.  What’s a few more minutes of sanding to remove the scratches.

Sorry about all the shadows in the photos!  We’ve had some crazy sunny spring weather.  (Our spring weather typically consists of April showers with lead to May showers which lead to June showers.)   A couple of pretty deep gouges on the side there that required a bit of wood filler to repair.  Nice clean drawer innards.  Since I had to remove the drawer pulls to sand and repaint; I decided to fill the holes and add a single knob.  It just looks strange to me for the single drawer to have two knobs.  (Does that bug you too?!?)


I only had ONE of these fabulous cast iron lion’s head drawer pulls; so I’ve been saving it for the ‘perfect project’.  THIS seemed like the perfect piece to use it on.

P1270144With the lion’s head drawer pull creating a bit of a ‘Gothic theme’ to this make-over; I decided to add to enhance that theme with a cast iron sconce added to the top, at the back.


I resisted the urge to add and stenciled designs.


I kind of wish the sconce was longer and reached the sides, but it will look better once there is ‘stuff’ sitting on the top.


I’m really liking how this one turned out.

It’s at the bottom of a stack of three furniture pieces in my booth at Stars, so you can’t see the sconce in the pictures.

Visit my Stars web page to get a 50%0ff coupon valid on EVERYTHING in my booth through 5-31-2016.

I will NEVER shop at Home Depot EVER again!!!

Over the past few months I’ve spent at LEAST $500.00 at Home Depot on garden stuff, (plants, potting soil, fertilizer, garden tools) power tools, (a new hand drill and orbital sander) wood stakes etc.


I bought two one gallon Jasmine plants to plant in pots on my back patio.  Nice BIG patio pots for those plants, pretty metal trellisses, B-1 to prevent transplant shock, a new hose and nozzle to water them.


I also bought a couple of Japanese Holly shrubs at Home Depot.


So, a couple of months have gone by since I purchased and planted the two Jasmine.  One has grown and thrived, and One of them DIED.  Completely dead; not one bit of green left on it.  So, I dug it up out of the pot, put it in a plastic bag, got the receipt out of my receipt box and headed to Home Depot to request a replacement.

I explained that I had purchased two of them and planted each exactly the same way; but this one died; I would like a replacement.  The guy at the returns counter opens the bag, looks inside and shakes his head.  “According to our store policy, we can only accept returns that are in their original containers.”  Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?!?!?!

Do you meant to tell me that if I had bought this plant and taken it home and just left it sit all root bound in it’s original pot and didn’t take care of it at all and basically LET it die, that you would take it back???  But you WON’T replace this one that I spent a good $100.00 on supplies for, and planted and took care of???

There is something SERIOUSLY WRONG with that return policy!  I will NEVER shop at Home Depot ever again!!

**** So, I guess this is your ‘heads up’, that if you have recently purchased any plants from Home Depot to; SAVE THE POTS after you plant them.  Then if they die on you; put them back in their original pots to return them!

But, I still needed a replacement plant for my patio pot.  I headed to Fred Meyer and the FIRST thing I did was ask the cashier in the Garden Center what their return policy was for plants that have died.  The cashier directed me to the manager at the other end.

I told her about my ‘problem’ at ‘some other’ (did not give the name at that point) garden center and asked how they, Fred Meyer, would have handled the same situation.  The first thing she said was “That sounds like a lot of stories I’ve heard about Home Depot!”  Apparently their reputation precedes them!

She assured me that if I had bought those plants at Fred Meyer, the dead one would have definitely been replaced.  I know where I’ll be buying any more plants or starts that I need from now on!!

Unfortunately they didn’t have any Jasmine plants.  I ended up with a Trumpet Vine; which has similar leaves.  I can only HOPE it doesn’t look to lop-sided to have different plants in the pots that flank my garden ladder.

Then I bought a Clematis too; because the one that I ordered by mail only has ‘seven leaves’ and is going to take FOREVER to grow!!  Planting it by the front door, where it will be able to vine up and across a rope I’ve attached under the overhang.

So, you have been WARNED!!!  Don’t buy plants at Home Depot!  Tell your friends and family too.  I REALLY do NOT like businesses that have such poor practices!

Second life for a Chocolate box (belated Mother’s Day post)

For Mother’s Day, my sweet son and precious daughter-in-law took me out to lunch on Saturday*,  gave me a beautiful bouquet of flowers and a ‘carefully selected’ box of (my favorite flavor, salted caramel!) Moonstruck chocolates.

*You couldn’t PAY me enough to get me to go out to eat ON Mother’s Day!!  After working in the restaurant biz for 27 years, I KNOW it’s one of the WORST days to go out to eat.  


Oh!  And a pair of hand carved salad tongs they bought in Fiji while on their honeymoon in February.


Isn’t this the most beautiful floral arrangements you’ve ever seen!  Simple but elegant!  The roses are as big ans my fist!!  I don’t know what the purple ones are, the buds look a lot like rosebuds.  ALL of them are hanging to dry right now so I can save them.


This little box that the chocolates came in was emptied pretty quickly.  Much too cute of a box to just toss into the recycle bin.  Time for a craft project!


So I wouldn’t need to cover the WHOLE thing, I found some paper that worked well with the gold on the bottom of the box.  The paper is actually wrapping paper that I bought on-line, specifically to use for craft projects.


After looking at the photos I took, I realized that the ‘seams’ on the box bottom were VERY noticeable.  I probably should have covered the bottom too.  Instead I decided to fill the box with some brown paper shred.  (but I didn’t get a pic of that.)


I rifled through several different metal charms I had on hand in search of something to decorate the top of the box.  Settled upon a pair of gold tome arrows because they worked best with re-using the gold elastic bow.


I love prettying up little boxes like this!  I think if I could make a living doing so, I’d spend ALL my time doing this!


Garden ladder

I think I’m DONE with garden projects . . . other than maintenance, that is!  My final project was planting containers  for my ‘Garden Ladder”.


Petunias (for fullness), Wave Petunias (to cascade down), Lobelia and Alyssum (for spilling over the edges) and Snapdragons for a little height.


It doesn’t look like much in this photo that I took right after planting a couple of weeks ago; but it’s starting till fill in nicely already.  I’m envisioning the ladder completely COVERED with flowers by mid-summer!


I decided I needed ‘something’ on the backside of the ladder too; so I bought a six-pack of Sweet Peas that will trellis up.

Prettied up trinket boxes

Cute little trinket box with magnetic closure makes for a quick and easy make-over.  (found the box at dollar store!)

I cut a piece of paper big enough to cover the existing image; but left the pretty border still visible.


Then I glued a stamped piece of muslin on top of that; just a little off-center.


I added a little scrap of matching paper to the underside of the lid.


The sticky label on the bottom of this one just so happened to peel off perfectly; which is NOT usually the case.  IF it had not come off without damaging the bottom of the box, I would have glued another piece of paper to the bottom as well.

Just so happened to find another box at a different store, with the exact same design.  Went with a simpler design on this one.  Covered the whole top and front with vintage dictionary page; added a vintage post card image and a ‘paper’ key.

This one is a soap box that I saved.

This one had a very pretty design on the existing paper, so I just needed to partly cover it.  A piece of paper and a crown stamped on muslin, off-center.

A little piece of matching paper to cover the ‘non-removable’ label on the bottom of the box.

And a little piece on the underside of the lid ‘just for fun’ (this piece wasn’t really ‘necessary’ because it’s not covering anything  . . . I just thought it added a little interest!)

Frugal gardening

As I mentioned previously, I’m TRYING to add to my flower gardens this year by starting plants from seeds, instead of buying ‘starts’ or bigger ‘potted’ plants.  I have a LOT of area to cover and since I’m ‘just a renter’ I’d like to keep the expenses to a minimum.

Although I did ‘splurge a little’ last year and bought about a dozen gallon perennials (on sale of course!) to give my front garden a bit of a ‘jump start’.  Since I moved here the end of June though, it was close to the end of July before I was settled in enough to start ‘decorating’ the outside.  I KNEW it was really ‘too late in the season’ to get much out of them last summer; BUT they put me AHEAD of the gardening game THIS year. With a fair number of big established plants, I don’t mind starting the rest from seed.


All too quickly my ‘thrifted stash’ of the little pulp starter pots was used up.  I found a ‘few’ more at Dollar Tree; 10-packs of the little 2.5″ pots; but not nearly enough to plant all the rest of the seeds I had.


HINT:  Do NOT try using the cardboard egg cartons to start seeds in.  They will fall apart almost INSTANTLY when they get wet.  Yep!  I learned that one the HARD way.

Next on my list of things to try was TP roll I decided to try to make some of my own.  I had seen where the TP rolls were made into pots by cutting slits and folding the slits in to create a base, like this:


But I wasn’t confident that the dirt wouldn’t just ‘fall out’ when you picked it up?!?!  So, I nixed that idea and came up with my own.


I cut my TP rolls in half; paper towel rolls can be cut into fifths.


I actually use a small square of paper towel in the bottom of my ‘store bought’ pots to prevent the soil from falling through the hole; so I knew that it would hold up.  For the TP pot bottoms I used 1/2 of a ‘select-a-size’ paper towel; folded into fourths.

Then stapled the four corners to the TP roll.  HINT:  The ‘cut end’ of your TP roll half MIGHT pull away when it gets wet.  I just try to be sure that I use the cut end for the BOTTOM where I attach the paper towel; but with paper towel rolls you will have TWO cut ends.  In that case I just added another staple at that second cut end.

P1270074THEN, after spending a LOT of time stapling paper towels to the TP rolls; I decided to re-think the ‘folded ends’ option.  BUT, I added slits to the last two folds to interlock them to prevent the bottom from falling out when handled.  I have NOT yet had time to ‘test’ this method though.  The paper towel method holds up very well, and I have transplanted several of those.


The BACK side of my place is the most ‘daunting’ area to tackle.  I live in a duplex and in the back, the two units ‘run together’ and visually appear to be a single unit.  I added some big concrete stepping stones in the middle where the faucet is so I don’t have to get muddy every time I use the hose; but visually, it STILL looks like a ‘single canvas’.  The designer in me felt compelled to plant the ‘whole area’ as if it were one; and my neighbor gave me permission to do whatever I wanted.

This big area is going to need some BIG plants.  Since it faces west, it gets the hottest sun of the day, so that instantly limited my plant options to those that like full sun.  As with the front garden area, I wanted to plant perennials so as to not have to plant again every year.

The Delphiniums I planted at the trellises you see in the above photo just were NOT ‘coming up’; and I found a GREAT deal on bare root roses.  I dug up the Delphiniums and replanted them in the front; and moved the Japanese Holly (between the trellises) closer to the patios on both sides . . . to make room for the roses.


It was late afternoon on a Saturday and my doorbell rang.  I opened the door to find a 4′ tall box waiting for me.  What IS this?!?! Holey smokes!!!  It was my ROSES!!  HUGE bare root roses.  Ten of them.  I had ordered ONE bare root rose from the nursery that I bought my strawberries (also bare root) from; and that one was about the size of my pinky finger.  So the enormity of these (especially for the BARGAIN price I had paid!!) was quite a surprise.

The only ‘bad thing’ about this order was that I couldn’t tell which ones where which color?!?!  I had ordered two ‘sets’ so that I could plant them to ‘match’ on each side of the back of the unit, so I really NEEDED to know what colors the were.  I searched the website for the nursery that I ordered them from, to no avail.  Each start WAS labeled with the NAME of the rose; (Sunset surprise. True Love etc) so I did a ‘general search’ on the internet for those names to find out what colors they were.  NOW I was ready to plant them.


This area is a bit of a ‘challenge’ to plant as there are underground wires that run right down the middle!?!?  sigh.  So I planted the roses towards the back, close to the unit.  Those are ever-bearing strawberry plants, two rows of them, closer to the front.  I don’t remember which color rose I planted where (off the top of my head that is)  but I planted them so each side will ‘mirror’ the other side.  So, instead of planting them “1-2-3-4-5” and the other side the same order “1-2-3-4-5”.  I planted them “1-2-3-4-5” and “5-4-3-2-1”.  In my MIND they will look better in that order.  I hope the reality matches!


Can you believe how BIG these starts are?!?!  I got them from Springhill Nursery; via a special offer I got in the mail.  It was called a ‘Rainbow of Roses’ 5 bare root plants for $19.99.  And you could DOUBLE the offer for just $37.99.  You can’t even buy ONE potted rose-bush for that price!  The colors they sent me are Red, Pink, dark yellow, Peach, and Deep Purple.

A few days after I had planted the roses, and while I was pondering what to plant in front of / between them; I found a bag of ten peony starts at Costco for $19.99.  It’s going to be SO pretty when they all finally bloom.  I’m not expecting much in the way of blooms this year, but next year should be spectacular!!

One more time!

I painted this BIG vintage suitcase quite a while ago.

I was just learning to stencil, and, as you can see, I did NOT  do a very good stenciling job on this suitcase.


Between the bad stenciling job and the black paint so easily getting scratched up; I’m not surprised that it didn’t sell.


But it’s a really NICE old suitcase; big and with pristine ‘innards’.  ( It still has the original key to lock the suitcase!) I decided to hang onto it until I figured out something else to do with it.

After ‘over thinking’ about what to do with it for FAR too long; I decided to go with my ‘go to’ color.  Combined a couple of different stencils to decorate it with, and added a big decorative key, tied on with a tulle bow.


It’s available for purchase for $65.00, in my booth at Stars.


Beach cottage decor in my etsy shop

It’s been a while since I blogged about my etsy shop; so here you go!  A post about the great beach cottage decor items in my blog.

LOTS of Framed white fingerling starfish.

Great hung alone, or in a group.

OR hang a sea glass wreath with a couple of framed starfish.

 This is the very LAST of the sea glass wreaths that I will EVER be making.  I had stumbled upon a ‘once in a lifetime’ AMAZING buy on the glass to make these; and I’ve finally used it all up.


For as ‘simple’ as they appear to be; they are EXTREMELY time consuming to make also.  There is NO way I could actually charge for the amount of time I put into them. Lesson learned.   Even though they were so labor intensive that they can’t be make ‘profitably’; they really are beautiful in person.

When I first got the sea glass and was sorting through it, I had set aside a few ‘extra pretty’ pieces.  Some uniquely shaped; perfectly round or square or like gumdrops.  they were just too special to mix in with all the other pieces on the wreaths.  So, I put together some little ‘treasure’ boxes for them.

I custom blended this glitter for these mermaid crowns.

And of course, beach cottage SIGNS in my etsy shop!

Mini mixed media easel collages

I did the ‘backgrounds’ on these a while ago, along with several others.  Set them aside for a while until I decided what MORE to do with them.

Assorted scrap papers, book pages, sheet music and pattern tissue papers.  No real ‘method’; just layer upon layer upon layer until it ‘feels’ right.

This is what the easels looked like when I bought them at Dollar Tree several years ago.

I decided they would make cute backgrounds for the Fimo fauxzen Charlotte’s that I make.  It’s really handy having the attached easel.

This first one I added just a ‘bust’; with kraft cardboard wings and cut one of my mini sheet music crowns in half to glue the flat side to the backing.

Some Monarch butterfly wings and a paper crown on this one.

Monarch butterfly wings #2; the other half of the previous sheet music crown and letters cut from a book.


I’ve only taken this one to Stars; saving the rest for ?????


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