OUTDATED / UPDATED: old prints

6.14.14 projects etsy 001I really LIKED these vintage prints when I bought them several years ago.  They ‘worked well’ with the primitive kitchen area I had set up in our shop.

6.14.14 projects etsy 002Alas, no one else shared my vision or saw their charm, so they went into the ‘make -over’ pile.  And there they have sat for YEARS!  I’m sorting through all that old stuff and I have to ‘use it or toss it’ (into the donation box!) I actually put these in the donation box due to lack of any inspiration as to what to do with them.  Had a ‘brainstorm’ for what to do with them that night and pulled them out the next day.

6.14.14 projects etsy 091Ta~DA!!  Some new paint, a bit of sanding and some e6000 and fingerling starfish.

6.14.14 projects etsy 099Variegated shades of aqua/turquoise.

6.14.14 projects etsy 094Simple beach cottage decor.

6.14.14 projects etsy 095I just might put these in my etsy shop.  Sold all the similar starfish designs I had on etsy previously; and have even had people contact me from the sold listings to see if I had more.

I really could have used these for some of my signs too.

The finished dresser

If YOU are ever on the hunt for a dresser to ‘use as an art canvas’ and do a unique paint job on; THIS is exactly what you want to look for:

– perfectly clean lines on the front.  No ‘fancy stuff’ on the drawers.  (just like this one!)

– little to NO space between the drawers.   (just like this one!)

– as few knobs/pulls as possible.  (just like this one!  BUT, you can always fill in extra holes with putty)

And while this dresser WAS ‘the perfect candidate’ for the ART DRESSER I’ve been itchin’ to create . . . . I chickened out! I’m just NOT QUITE to the point where I can AFFORD to say “I don’t care if it sells or not!”.  I don’t mind re-painting something a different color if it has sat and not sold for a long time; (and HAVE done so many times!)  but I don’t want to have to spend DAYS removing an old design.   

SO, I went with my original thought and as someone commented, just did some unique drawer pulls.   My thinking is that knobs are super easy to change out and fairly inexpensive to buy new ones; especially when it’s as few a just four, as on this dresser.   And if everything else about the dresser was to their liking (size and paint color) that some wild and crazy knobs would NOT be a ‘deal breaker’ to a potential customer.  

These are the same wood ovals I pondered using with the numbered drawer pulls.  They were hand cut from pine years ago when I was doing primitives and folk art; so they are NOT perfectly oval.  I have 2 sizes.  The picture above is on the BACK side of the knob.  I added a thin wood piece to function as a washer, so to create a bit of space for easier handling of the knobs.

I painted the 8 individual pieces first; then glued them together with e6000.

Then after the adhesive completely dried, I sanded the edges a bit and applied a mat varnish for protection since they will be ‘handled’ a lot. (sheesh!)

Meanwhile, I had removed all the old knobs, and sanded the entire dressed.  Was HOPING to be able to get down to the bare wood, so that when I distressed it later that the brown would show through.  Alas, it had TOO many layers of paint for me to sand through; (except along the edges) so I just sanded off the sheen, then applied a coat of KILZ primer.  The above picture is BEFORE I distressed.

After distressing.  You can see a few specks of the brown undercoat, but it’s mostly the white primer that shows through where I sanded.  (it just doesn’t show UP very well in the photo!)

And there she is!   The little dresser with the funky oval knobs!

The white distressed stuff STILL is not showing through, even this close.  Trust me, it’s IS quite distressed.  

I do not typically apply varnish, or any kind of protective clear coat over my finishes.  I like to allow things to ‘continue to age’, and don’t want to worry about it getting scratched or knicked up while I haul it around.  But, as I already mentioned, I did varnish the drawer pulls, and I usually apply a coat of MAT varnish to the TOP ONLY of tables and dressers, for added durability.

Just be sure ALL your products are of the same BASE.  (ie oil based or water based)  I ONLY use water based products.  Have you ever repainted something and had it remain ‘tacky’ (sticky!) for ages???  That would be because you probably applied a water based paint over a water based; or vice versa.  Another good reason to ALWAYS sand off the old finish and/or use a GOOD PRIMER!

I must admit that I’m not as thrilled with the results as I thought I’d be.  I don’t dislike it.  I’m just not ‘over the moon’ with it.  She’ll be hanging out in storage for a short while before heading to Stars.  Michael is working on some wonderfully RUSTIC pieces made from sun bleached wood that will be going to Stars next.


Little sea horse table do-over

The longer I looked at my painted sea-horse table, the LESS I liked it.  See the entire  original project HERE.

I TRIED to like the neutral black/tan color combo.  Really I did!!

And THEN I painted these little metal  wall sculpture sea horses.  Had multiples of them so I could try different colors.  Liked the aqua SO much better on these, that I decided to repaint the table too.

Bits of the tan paint still show through in spots, adding more interest.

NOW it’s ready for me to take to Stars!


Show pictures

SO, here’s what I’ve spent the last 2 days doing:

As you approach my space.

On the outside left.

On the outside left.

Front and center when you walk in.

Beachy bistro table and chairs.

I’ll try to post the rest of the more detailed pics tomorrow.  Right now I just want to put my feet up!

Playing with sand and shells

I pretty much ALWAYS have some beachy decor items in my space at Stars.  But I usually create most of them all at the same time; once or twice a year.  A couple of sunny spring days usually gets me in the mood for creating some beach goodies.  Here’s what I done lately:

Big 1 liter bottle partially filled with sand and shells, and a fingerling starfish as a topper.  If the starfish isn’t big enough to perfectly fit the hole, and seldom do I find a ‘perfect fit’!; I wrap a bit of white string around the starfish until I get a nice tight fit. Add a little e6000 adhesive to the string to permanently hold the starfish in place.  

(I always ‘glue down’ small parts like this whenever possible.  This prevents the starfish from ‘accidentally’ jumping into someone’s purse of pocket; AND prevents the curious child from seeing if he can pour the sand and shells out on the floor!


These bigger starfish (I think they were called sugar starfish??) fit perfectly in the hole in a candle holder.  I t takes a lot of glue to fill the hole and hold onto the starfish, so I usually use tacky glue for this.

I have to ‘prop’ it up against a wall while until the glue sets enough to hold it steady.  These starfish are pretty heavy, so they tip over easily until the glue dries all the way.

Vintage Chambord (Raspberry liqueur) bottle I made the same as the first big bottle with shells, sand and a starfish topper.

Lots of small, simple ones with just a shell glued to the top.  For this I use e6000 around the rim of the bottle, then just set the shell in place.  Play around with shells to find which ones fit which bottle openings best.  Some pretty ribbon or jute adds a nice finishing touch.

A grouping of shell topped bottles in my BIG lantern in my space at Stars.

LOVE playing around and changing up the little vignettes inside this big lantern.  I was planning a post with a bunch of different groupings inside, but my computer ATE all those pictures.   Guess I’ll just have to work on more for a later time!

A little tray filled with assorted shell topped bottles.

Thrifted urns and candle holders; painted white.


Some topped with handcrafted shell balls.  Yes, I really did individually glue on every single one of those little shells using tacky glue.  The best way I’ve found to do this is, glue on one shell, and surround it with one row; stop and let your glue dry.  Then add row by row, letting dry in between each row.  Hot glue just does NOT work with a styrofoam base!

What’s up with the focus on my camera!  sheesh!!!   Guess I’m calling this one a ‘shell scape’ .  Glued the one big starfish into the candle hole  with tacky glue and let that set up.  Then gradually added the rest until it looked like it had enough!


Bigger, and IN focus (Hallelujah!) shell scape.  This one on a pillar candle base, was a little trickier to get started.  Glued  two of the big scallop shells together first,  let that dry; then glued them onto the base along with the bigger starfish, and the big shell in the front.  It was pretty precariously standing in place, but once the glue set up it was plenty sturdy.

Back side.

As with the other one, I just kept adding shells until it ‘looked right’ to me.



How cute is that mini fishbowl on the left?!?  I was looking for some containers with wider openings so I could put bigger shells inside.  These worked just right, using a sand dollar as a topper.  Just glued a sand dollar and a tiny starfish to the front of the smaller bottle.


One sand dollar didn’t quite cover the entire top of this one, so I added a second one.

I buy a lot of my shells at the dollar store.  Sand dollars I’ve mostly found at thrift stores.  The starfish I had to buy on line.  Used two different places.  I just look for the cheapest price/shipping.  STAY AWAY from sites that sell shells and mention the word WEDDING.  Their’s will be the most expensive!  Sad, but true.

I’ve seen all kinds of interesting things filling old gum ball machines.  One vendor at Stars had a big black machine and filled it with glitter covered chess pieces!  Of course, shells came to mind when I saw this white one at the thrift store!

Pretty much all of these shown have gone to my space at Stars.  I hope to get more done and added to my etsy shop, in May; after the spring show.


OUTDATED / UPDATED: Carved wood seahorse

Vintage carved teak wood seahorse I found at a thrift store.

It had a bit of a crack down the middle of the head, so before I painted it, I filled the crack with some tacky glue to be sure it didn’t crack further.

I just slapped on a couple of quick coats of my beachy blue paint and sanded it to distress (with a COARSE sanding sponge).

The eyes don’t show up very well in the photo, but they do in person.

For sale in my booth at Stars.  I’ll be adding more beach and spring decor after Valentine’s Day.

Good design . . . wrong color!

We made these little ‘bun foot’ shelves clear back when we still had our own shop.  This ‘granny green’ (as I call it!) color was pretty popular back then, so I used it quite a lot.

 The green worked well with pink, so I used it with the pink quite often.  Alas, the green shelves have just never sold.  Time for a make over!

I knew I wanted to paint them my signature beachy blue, but pondered whether they needed a little more OOMPH???

Finally decided to do a WIDE stripe like I’d done on the big dresser, so that they could work together.

And here they are, in my space at Stars; sitting atop my inspiration piece, the big dresser.

I can totally see these selling together and the shelves being used as bedside stands.


In case you’ve forgotten how I made those cute little bun feet, (or if you just haven’t been reading my blog for that long!)  click here to see the original post and what I used for the bun feet.  Of course you can BUY ready made, unfinished bun feet at a big box home and garden store; but they’ll cost you and arm and a leg!  Mine are very ‘budget friendly’!

Michael’s coastal cottage salvaged wood coffee table ~ trash to treasure!

He made one for OUR living room a year or so ago.  Finally got around to making one to SELL in our space.

Constructed entirely of reclaimed fence boards and 4×4’s.  ALL of which were procured for FREE from local fencing companies.  (They remove the old fence when they install new, and give away the old leftover stuff.  All you have to do is ASK.  Just be aware that USUALLY those old fenceboards will be in full 8′ sections!)

The legs are ‘stabilized’ with an ‘apron’ made using the same fence boards, just cut into narrower widths.

He left the wood UNsanded, at my request.  I wanted as much of the natural texture as possible to remain.

I did do a little bit of ‘prep sanding’ as you can see above, to get the ‘exposed’ part of the boards to more closely match the lower unexposed part in color.  I was planning on ‘dry brushing’ the paint on, which means the wood color will still show through some.

Not a perfect match, but close enough!

The legs, made from 4×4’s didn’t have the same weathered raised grain texture as the top and sides; so I painted them solid, instead of dry brush style.  When parts of your piece aren’t an exact match, it’s best to enhance the CONTRAST.

 This closer look at the table top so you can see how the raw wood shows through, AND how the little bit of sanding I did at the edge was sufficient for getting the finished top to match.

This distressed white finish goes with MANY different decorating styles: shabby chic, beach cottage, farmhouse, even Victorian, by adding a pretty lace doily.

It has gone to my space at Stars in Portland; $64.00.  Right now it’s ‘kinda buried’ with a bunch of other stuff stacked on top of it.   I will move it to the front of the space for better visibility, as soon as that window pane shelf sells.

Thinking about bringing in more white items in the near future, just to change things up a little.  I LOVE the beachy blue, just need a little variation once in a while.

The rest of the pictures from latest Stars re-do:

You saw MOST of what I re-did in the space in yesterday’s post, showing the re-done shelf.  I also moved some other things around and ‘thinned out’ stale product that had been sitting too long.

The other ‘big change’ I made to the space was pulling this vintage window pane shelf (which Michael made) to the FRONT of our booth; and ‘staged’ it with just a select few items on the shelves.

I really love this shelf, but for some reason it keeps ending up in the back corner and crammed full of odds and ends that I don’t really have room for and am too lazy to pack up and haul home!  It would make a wonderful ‘sofa back’ table.

Aren’t these white wire baskets the perfect complement to this shelf?!?!?  I wish I could have found MORE of them.  Alas, I got the last of them.

I really tried to ‘think ahead’ on this move.  Usually when something this BIG sells, I have to go back in as soon as possible to ‘fill in the bare spot’ and find another place to display the contents.  What I did this time is put a couple of small tables/stands on top of the shelf; and THEY can just be left right there after she shelf sells.

Another plus to having the stands up off the floor is that I can also display stuff UNDER them.

I filled the grey cubby shelf that sits atop the grey chest with a collection of bird/duck ceramic pieces.


So that’s what the space at Stars looks like for now!

Ready for some shopping therapy???

From ‘dark and drab’ to shabby chic FAB!!

This tall bookshelf has been around since ‘back when’ we first opened our shop and were mostly selling primitives.  The drab mustard color was PERFECT for that look.  Here’s a picture of it from back then, to the left of the softer yellow shelf.

I ‘made use of it’ in our space at Stars because I needed the shelf space; but was never really thrilled with how it looked with the rest of our shabby beach decor.

The backing was a less grainy luan plywood, and didn’t take very well the the dry brushing.  DRAT!  Was a little worried that the SOLIDLY painted back would look funny with the partially painted sides. 

I brought it home on Monday.  We actually had a WARM and sunny day on Tuesday!  Out came the paint and brushes!  Time to update this baby!

I was pondering possibly stamping a desing on the back in a light tan with foam stamps when Michael arrived home and gave it a thumbs up as is!! Yippee!

And here it is, back in our space at Stars, all chic and shabby and filled with lots of new goodies!

And noooooooo . . . it’s NOT still marked down to $79.00!!  After emptying it, hauling it to the truck, unloading it, dusting it off, spending an entire day painting it, loading it into the truck again, hauling it back to the space again and filling it back up . . . . . I’ve had to add a few dollars to the original price of $199.00.  It’s now $229.00.  (you’ve gotta GRAB those bargains when you see them!)

I absolutely LOVE how it turned out.  How it looks in the space.  How BRIGHT it makes the whole space look.  And how great all the old books, white and aqua dishes look on it!!

It’s truly my FAVORITE item in our space right now!  I just may have to see if Michael has any of the rough cut cedar boards left to make MORE of these, in different sizes!

Isn’t that vintage little piggy salt and pepper shaker set darling??

I’m becoming quite ‘addicted’ to the old book bundles with the covers taken off!  Just love the color and texture!

I left the covers on this grouping of brown books.  They were just too ‘perfect’ together to mess with.

I could really take this WHOLE thing home, the shelf and everything on it; and keep it all.  I like it THAT much.  (And I seldom like anything I do ‘the first time”.  I usually start thinking immediately of how I will CHANGE it all next time! )  Of course I’ll HAVE to change things around and add new items as things sell. 

I’ve got a LOT of product on it, but it doesn’t look ‘too full’.  Is it because the colors are so light and airy?