Old shelf ~ New paint

Found this grubby black metal shelf in another booth at Stars.

Nice and big with lots of room for ‘stuff’, but it was very lightweight.


You can’t really see it in this photo, but the black paint was chipping off quite a bit here and there; and I didn’t want to completely hide all that naturally occurring distressing with the new paint.  I opted to ‘dry brush’ paint it.


The dry brush technique doesn’t completely cover the original finish; and it’s such a ‘light finish’ that the areas that had begun shedding the black paint, will more easily continue to do so naturally, over the course of time.


Dry brush painting is pretty ‘fast and easy’ too!


Perfect size for the crowns in my booth at Stars.


And lightweight enough to easily place on top of another shelf to get the crowns at ‘eye level’.


Wood and wire CD holder? Outdated – Updated.

At least that is what I am GUESSING this thing was originally created as!

P1190825The wire shelves are about the size that would hold CD’s, so I can’t imagine what else it’s intended use might be???

P1190826And it’s actually NOT a bad color to begin with.  A sage green with very lightly  dry brushed white to make it look distressed.

P1190827My first thought was to just add more dry brushed white to enhance the distressed look.  THAT was an epic FAIL of an idea!  It looked awful!  Too awful to even take photos of!  Because of the wire shelves, my only other option for painting it was spray paint.

P1200009I decided on white spray paint.   LOVE how it looks painted white.  So much so that I was tempted to KEEP it for myself.  Decided that I ‘better NOT’ keep it though, as I have been ‘stashing stuff away’ for my upcoming move for over a year now; and I have a feeling I have a lot MORE stuff that I realized.  Unpacking in my new place is going to be like Christmas!


Kitty Spike oversees the photo shoot.

The shelf was a perfect display piece for some of my vintage white creamers and sugar bowls in my booth at Stars.  As I had expected, it didn’t last long and has already sold!

 If I ever come across another similar piece, I will most definitely grab it!


Quickie make-over that is!

P1180996Thrifted textured metal and wood wall shelf.

P1180995The original color wasn’t baaaaaad, but it just didn’t grab me, ya know?

P1190001My first instinct was to spray paint it white, but I just happened to have my aqua paint out at the time.  So I decided, why not do a ‘quickie aqua dry brush’ that LITERALLY takes 60 seconds per shelf.  Then if I don’t like them like that, go ahead with the white spray paint.

P1190068This is how I frequently ‘display’ wall mounted shelves.  I have so little wall space to hang shelves on, plus people don’t always like taking shelves off the wall to buy them at Stars.  Sales staff IS always willing and able to help with stuff like that, but for some reason people just don’t always ask.


You can see the color better in this picture.  The white ones in front of the aqua are shelves that I left ‘as found’.

And MORE updated picnic baskets!

For some reason, I’ve been finding a lot of picnic baskets lately.  They are ‘one of those things’ that seem to be perpetually popular; so if they are in good condition, I buy them!  Here’s the latest one that I ‘prettied up’:

5.27.13 CURIOSITY  baskets 009And it’s a nice BIG one too!

5.27.13 CURIOSITY  baskets 037I did put it out ‘as is’ for a while; then brought it home to ‘fix up’ when it hadn’t sold in a while.

5.27.13 CURIOSITY  baskets 014As I’ve been working on various picnic baskets, I’ve discovered that the ones with the ‘split’ and hinged lids (like this one) tend to hold up the best.

5.27.13 CURIOSITY  baskets 013The ones with the solid lid, like this, tend to become misshapen more easily.  The lid no longer fits ‘perfectly’ on the top rim of the basket.  It still WORKS just fine; just might not be a sturdy in the long run if you are filling and stacking your baskets and it ends up near the bottom with a lot of weight atop it.

P1080149I used a greener shade of aqua this time; and a ‘dry brush’ painting technique for the woven parts of the basket.  (super fast and easy!!  I LOVE dry brush painting!)

P1080147Used a foam roller to paint the lid, the sanded to distress; and added a “FRENCH Market” stencil as a variation from the beach themed baskets I’ve recently done.

P1080148I was a little concerned that the 3/4 lid would look odd with a design on it.  But I just centered it and it looks fine.  (had I NOT liked how it turned out, I would have sanded it off and repainted.)


Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm???? I guess I forgot to show you the one I did just BEFORE this one too!

P1080001This one has a solid lid.

P1080002But it still fit quite well.

P1080038Aqua paint; dry brushed on.

P1080036And a French Bee design stenciled on the top.



P1080175Here you can see how much bigger the ‘French Market’ basket (second from top)  is that the ‘Bee’ basket (top).  And the very slight difference in the colors.

P1080176All of these are available for purchase in my booth at Stars Antique Mall in Portland, Oregon.

Seaside Picnic Basket

But first, and because someone asked how I had displayed the recent white bust I repainted; here she is:

P1070564I’m actually not certain that she won’t get repainted a cream color.  I really don’t have much bright white in my living room.

P1070563So, for now, I’ve got her sitting on this chest in my living room; amongst my angel and Santos collection.


I’d really like to find (or MAKE!) some kind of pedestal to set her on.  Until then . . . this is where she shall reside.

P1070540Recently thrifted picnic basket.  Notice how the lid is hinged on the lid?  I’ve discovered that this kind of lid has proven to be the sturdiest and longest lasting.  (as opposed to one that is hinged on the edge)

P1070542Nice and clean ‘innards’!  Clean innards is really MORE important than the outside.  The outside can easily be painted.  Innards are harder to clean and/or paint.

P1070541The only think I didn’t like about this basket is the eagle painted on the lid.  But that’s easy enough to remedy!

P1070647A couple of minutes of sanding with an orbital sander removed enough of the eagle so that I could paint the lid.

P1070650I dry brush painted the body of the basket.

P1070649Then completely painted the lid.

P1070651After the paint dried (about five minutes in this heat!) I sanded the lid to make it look weathered and faded.

P1070655I stenciled the word ‘SEASIDE’ on the lid.

P1070652And glued a big white fingerling starfish (using e6000) to the front of the basket.

P1070653And there it is!  All set to be filled with goodies for a trip to the beach!

P1070722It is available to purchase in my booth at Stars Antique Mall in Portland; $29.00.


Another orphaned picnic basket

6.1.13 laundry sign WONG 001Ant this one has FEET!!!  I love things that have feet!  The first thing I usually do when I come across an old picnic basket that is for sale, is to look inside; and if it has a fabric lining, I pass.  I just don’t like the gingham check or plaid fabrics they always seem to have.

6.1.13 laundry sign WONG 003But this one had STRIPED fabric, and I was instantly smitten!

6.1.13 laundry sign WONG 002And even though the fabric in the bottom part was noticeably more faded and worn than the fabric on the inside of the lid;  I was not dissuaded.  While it as most definitely faded and worn, it wasn’t STAINED or DIRTY.  (Maybe THAT’S what I don’t like about most fabric lined baskets?!?  You can’t really tell if they are CLEAN or not?!?)

6.1.13 laundry sign WONG 005So I brought this little lovely home and decided to make her outsides as lovely as her insides, by dry brushing some cream color paint.

6.1.13 laundry sign WONG 006I really like this kind of ‘overlapping’ handles too.  Keeps it closed up nice and tight!

6.1.13 laundry sign WONG 007The paint helped cover up the few visible bumps and bruises, AND will help extend the life and usefulness of the basket.

6.1.13 laundry sign WONG 011I added a little felt chandelier tag and a tulle bow.    Not sure WHICH mall this one will be going to just yet.  Will have to wait and see which has room for it first.

Now I KNOW many of you prefer to leave things like this ‘au natural’ and as found.  I love to find them in good enough condition to do so too!  But, seldom could I afford to BUY them in such ‘perfect condition’ and sell them in my booth and make any money.

Besides, my philosophy leans more towards ‘adopting’ the sad and ugly items that no one else wants; that might otherwise end up in a dumpster or a burn pile; and give them a NEW LEASE ON LIFE.

Quick project

GOTTA LOVE how a three-minute dry brush paint job can pretty up a plain ole seagrass chest!

Remember this thrift store gem from a few weeks back?

5.21.13 finds signs projects 063You don’t HAVE to be crazy to live in Oregon. But if you aren’t, the weather here will DRIVE you crazy!  Last week I was wearing shorts and it was even hot enough that we needed to run the air conditioning in the house.    Then this week, WINTER has returned with a vengeance!  Windy, COLD and stormy.  Back to wearing jeans and sweatshirts and running the heat and grabbing a blanket to keep warm while watching TV!  CRAZY I tell you, just crazy.

5.21.13 finds signs projects 065

We had a brief respite for the winter resurgence on Monday morning.  I decided to take advantage of  it while it lasted and loaded things in my car for my trip to Stars on Tuesday.  Finished that and the sun was still shining!  So I started looking around for ‘Quick outdoor projects’ that I could take inside at a moments notice when the rains returned.  Dry brushing this seagrass trunk was one such project.  It even stayed warm and dry long enough for the paint to dry completely!  

5.21.13 finds signs projects 066Once dry I went ahead and loaded it in my car.  Then it occurred to me that it ‘needed something’.  So I grabbed my tube of e6000 and plopped a big white fingerling starfish onto the front.  ALmost put the starfish on the top, but caught myself as I thought of where I’d put it in my booth and realized I’d probably want to STACK it.

5.23.13 stars etsy signs 049And here it is in my booth at Stars!  Sitting atop a vintage picnic basket that I repaired a while back; and with a stack of pillows on top.  (Carolyn C – that’s the one you talked me into getting that day we went shopping together!)

5.23.13 stars etsy signs 053After I got home from Stars and was looking at my pictures from the day, I realized that I could have /should have stacked those other two on top of these two!  Oh well, maybe next time, IF they haven’t sold already!  


More crafting . . .

Vintage wicker picnic basket, as found.

And here after a ‘five minute dry brush paint job’!  I LOVE dry brush painting!

The latches and handles take a ‘little more time’ to work on, but STILL it’s a very fast process.  You’ll find the instructions for dry brush painting under my FAQ’s category.

I just might have to KEEP this one for myself!

Thrifted gallon jar without the lid (which usually means they are CHEAPER!)

  I just added some burlap ribbon (Hey Beth?!? Recognize this stuff???) satin ribbon and old keys to dress it up a bit.

Big ole jars like this are very useful for displaying small stuff in my booth at Stars.

Cloches with metal shell on top.  I’m not really sure WHAT these metal shell things were originally.  They are quite heavy, and have a ‘slit’ in the top, so maybe place card holders?  These cloches already had a little ‘stem’ , so I  glued the knob on top of the stem, then wrapped the stem with ribbon.

Making some ‘full size’ vintage sheet music crowns.

This one is mine, and displays on the wire hat display in my living room.

This one is for sale at Stars.

Slightly smaller ‘Winter Queen’ crowns are also for sale at Stars.

Front of crown.

Winter Queen tag hangs slightly off to the side.

Happiness Queen crown for sale at Stars.

Silver plastic glittered crown.

The plastic glittered crowns are ‘real’ size and for sale at Stars.

Black plastic glitter crown with silver tinsel trim.

You probably already noticed these table top trees in the last pictures from Stars.  These are just closer up views so you can see the decorations.    Lime green metallic tree with ice blue decorations.

Light blue tree (was white, I spray painted it blue!) with lime green and clear blue decorations.

LOVE how these 2 trees look side by side!  Sure wish I had a third tree to round out the grouping!

Little cherub candle holders in the front.

I filled the candle holes with ‘soft’* styrofoam peanuts and glue.  (* the soft styro peanuts are more spongy, as opposed to the ones that CRUMBLE and make a mess if you scrunch them!)

Took the bases off some little flocked white bottle brush trees, added a bit more glue to the candle hole and inserted the trees into the compressed styro.

LOVE the face!

A snowflake and gem for the top of the tree, and a crown for the cherub OF COURSE!

Better shot of the white tree tops.

One for sale and Stars and one for my etsy shop.

Sweet white cherub with little bird and little crystal angel mini candle holder; just add crowns!

Vintage porcelain baby shoes and bleached green bottle brush trees.

Stuffed the shoes with the soft popcorn styro peanuts and glue like the previous project.  removed the base from the tree and glued  and screwed it into the styro in the shoe.

Little stars on top are the perfect finishing touch!

Thrifted finial with added embellishments.

Another QUICKIE dry brush project

Found this nice sturdy woven wood picnic basket at Goodwill.  I’ll almost always stop and look at picnic baskets that have flat tops that could be stacked.

This one didn’t have any material glued to the inside, like I see all too often with picnic baskets at the thrift stores! I( pass on the ones with the material inside.  You just never know what condition the basket will be in underneath when you remove the fabric)

It was missing the latch to secure the lid shut, but since I will just be using it for storing craft supplies; that doesn’t bother me.

It’s actually in perfectly fine shape to use ‘as is’, but from my experience, this kind of yellow stain tends to yellow even more with age and I really didn’t want a yellow basket.

Dry brush painting to the rescue!

It literally takes only MINUTES to dry brush something like this.  Just be sure to go as LIGHT as possible with the paint on your brush.  You can always add MORE if you need it.  But if you go too heavy, you can’t take it off!

Now it’s a much softer shabby chic color.  Just waiting to be filled with craft supplies when I sort and organize my shabby chic room!

I LOVE dry brushing!!!

Found this cute grey concrete cherub planter on a recent thrifting trip.  And while I’m LEARNING to like grey, this one just looked DIRTY.  I had to brighten it up.

And the detail was just lost in all that greyness.  Dry brush painting to the rescue!

I just pulled out my white paint brush from my storage bag (that I recently showed you) and didn’t even have to re-dip it in the paint.  Was able to just use what was already on the brush.

In the first picture you barely even notice the bows on either side of the cherubs, or the detail along the bottom.

It literally only took me ONE MINUTE of dry brush painting to brighten up this little beauty!