Try, try, try again

I started this blog back in 2014 and did a couple of posts.  However, I didn’t like my theme and couldn’t get into the grove of posting on a regular basis. Three years later and I’m giving it another try.  I plan on starting small and see if I can do one or two posts a week. Hope you enjoy!

Antique finds from San Miguel.

Test one, two, three

I pulled a piece a scrap wood to test combining two different paint colors and transfers.  It sat on my dining room table for months and everyone in a while I place something on it to see how it looked.  I fell in love with a combination of shells flowers and a vintage door place and handle. I loved it so much that it has found a home in my dressing room.

Made of reclaimed wood, vintage door plate and shell flowers
Made of reclaimed wood, vintage door plate and shell flowers

Salvage Kind of Weekend

This past weekend I went to Hanover, PA to go to two antique stores I like to visit regularly – Yesteryear Antique Center and Black Rose Antiques & Collectibles.  I was surprised that I didn’t purchase one thing.  There were many things I picked up and went back to looked at but I’m trying to be more selective these days.  It was still early after going thru both malls, I decided to another antique mall in Emmitsburg, MD while I was up this way.  I set my Garmin and off I went.  I ended up going thru New Oxford which was very cute and found several antique shops and a fabulous Christmas Haus store.

PVL - New Oxford Christmas Store

As I continue to drive to Emmitsburg, I pasted a salvage place and quickly turned and headed back to Shelley’s Country Crafts & Antiques. I was excited to see what goodies I would find and hopefully at a bargain.  There were a lot of doors, cabinets and windows outside that were looking fabulously chippy and worn.  I stumbled upon a cabinet door and so many ideas popped into my head about what I could do with it.  I’ve been wanted to attach blue mason jars to barn wood and thought why not add a jar to this cabinet door.

PVL - salvage

When I got home, instead of doing my taxes, I pulled out the drill and made two holes in to put the wire thru.  I wrapped the wire around the jar and tied it to the cabinet.  I added wire to back as a way to hang it and I was done.  Well except for the flowers. I went out the next day and grabbed these pretty purple flowers.

PVL - Wood jar vase logo

Revolving nightstand

I’m not really a fan of my bed.  It was my grandmothers and really wanted to keep it but I’ve always wanted a romantic vintage metal bed.  So I’m trying to make it work.  I’m afraid to paint it until I know what I’m doing with my bedroom.  So to make the bed look better, I tried out a lot of nightstands.  I couldn’t seem to get them right either.  They were either too big, too small or not the right color.

PVL - Nightstand After

In my basement I found an old nightstand from when I was a kid.  It had seen better days.  The veneer was pulling away and it had water stains.  I did a lot of research and found that the secret to fixing it is wood glue, water and a hot iron. It worked and you wouldn’t even be able to tell once it was painted.  I painted it with CeCe Caldwell’s Destin Gulf Green.

PVL - Nightstand before

I took a workshop at Community Forklift with Shabadaba Chic on transfers.  She showed us how easily you could print an image and then transfer it to furniture or fabric.  I wanted to give it a try on the nightstand and found an image I liked from Graphic Fairy . The hardest part was getting the image exactly where you want it.  I thought I had it right but  it was either a little high or a little too low.

PVL - Transfer

I loved the nightstand so much, I went on a search for another one on Craigslist to use in my bedroom.  I’m happy to report I found one for $30.

PVL - Nightstand Upclose

Happy mistakes

I can honestly say this is not how I wanted the cabinet to look.  I had a completely different vision for it. I guess it is true when people say “the piece spoke to them”.  Or in my case the mistakes spoke to me.

PVL - Children's Cabinet Redo top

This was my cabinet from when I was a little girl.  It had stickers all over it and my sister and I wrote our names inside the door.  I’m not sure why but we also wrote the words cat and dog on it.  I bet we were feuding about which animal was better.  I liked cats and she liked dogs.

PVL - High Gloss Cabinet

At some point and time I painted it a high gloss blue and it was that color for many years.  I was planning on painting it with Annie Sloan’s Duck Egg Blue.  I’ve never painted on high gloss paint before with Annie Sloan’s paint and was curious to see how it would turn out.  So I went to town and I painted the whole cabinet in no time flat.  Then a few hours later I went back and the cabinet looked just like it did before.  WHAT…the paint didn’t take!!!  I thought it didn’t work on high gloss paint and I headed to Google to do a little research.  My solution was to try putting primer on first. I just finished painting my dressing room with paint and primer combo by Marth Stewart in Butternut Squash.  I didn’t have any other primer handy and thought it really wouldn’t matter because you wouldn’t really see the pink/peach color.  After the primer/paint dried I added another layer of Duck Egg Blue.

PVL - Children's Cabinet Redo

I wasn’t sure what I was going to end up with but I started sanding.  Not sure why but I moved from lightly sanding with my hand to using my electric sander.  I couldn’t believe what was being revealed.  In my opinion it was gorgeous.  I always liked dressers that look like they have been really roughed up but never thought I could do that.  I was so happy to see all the colors coming thru.

I finished it up with some antiquing wax and added the handles I found at one of my favorite places The Pink Cabbage in Ellicott City.

PVL - Pink Cabbage Handles

Now here is the crazy thing,  the Duck Egg Blue chalk paint DID work on high gloss paint without primer.  I figured this out when I started putting wax (by accident) on the inside of the door where I didn’t put any pink primer.  So really I did all that for nothing.  However, I’m so happy I did because it is my favorite piece.

PVL - Black & White

UPDATE: I moved the cabinet into the hallway and I use it to store my bathroom towels.  The hall is painted yellow.  I don’t think the cabinet displays well with the yellow paint.  So guess what has been added to my to do list.


Now you see them, now you don’t

I live in an 1894 folk Victorian house with no central air. So twice a year I go thru one of my least favorite rituals….the changing of the AC units. I used to take them down two flights of stairs to the basement. UGH!!!! I always waited too long and end up installing them when it is humid and 90 degrees or removing them when it is freezing cold outside.  Now, once they are removed they don’t go far.  Usually they end up in front of the window on the floor and become the new table in that room. All sorts of things would end up on top of it even my cat Pablo. Every day I would pass by it and wish that it would go away or that I had a closet it would fit in. If you ever lived in an old house you know that is almost impossible. My closets aren’t deep enough to hang clothing in let alone put an AC unit it in.

Pretty Vintage Living - Bird's Nest
Somebody made a home under my AC

So I had an idea!!!!!  I wanted them to disappear. I didn’t just want to cover it I wanted it to be unrecognizable.  My goal was to use what I had and not spend any money.  So I looked around the house and thought why not dress them up.  I had several mannequins, a lot of costumes and left over fabric from co-producing a variety show called Tilted Torch with my friend Miss Joule.  I made most of my costumes and thought why not use them rather than having them sit on a rack.

I put the heavy AC units on a dolly.  This way I could just wheel them back to the window they need to go in.  Then I looked for a dress that was long and wide enough to cover the AC unit.  In order to not mess up the dress, I thought I should first put a petticoat on the mannequin.  Once it was all dress up I put the mannequinn on top of the AC unit and adjusted the height so the dress almost touched the floor. I was in LOVE!!

Pretty Vintage Living - Now you see it
Yes, the AC unit is under the dress

I’m so happy with how it turned out.  I ended up creating another one with a vintage mannequin and left over fabric. Can you believe the previous owner of the house left the mannequin in the attic.  They covered it with a sheet and used it as a ghost for Halloween.






My Nest

I’ve always craved a romantic Victorian bohemian bedroom.  At first, I thought I would have to spend a lot money to get the look I wanted.  I didn’t have the money and I wanted to use what I had but for some reason I couldn’t get it right.  I started with painting the walls since that is a cheap fix.  That is unless you paint the walls four different color.  It is now blue and has been for a couple of years.  I like it better than all the other colors I picked previously but it still isn’t what I want.  I love the look of vintage venetian plaster.  I’m sure one day I will give it a try but just not today.

Pretty Vintage Living -Reading Nook
The rocking chair was one of my first recycled projects

I guess you could say I’m a hunter with a little bit of luck.  I spent many weekends at flea markets, antique and thrift stores (and I can honestly say I’ve picked a few things up from the side of the road).  I would bring home all these treasures but never really did anything with them.  I also received a lot of furniture from my family, that I liked, when I bought my house. However, I was always waiting to pull it all together.  I just couldn’t figure out how to make it all work.

Pretty Vintage Living - Wings
Exciting find at the Worlds Largest Yardsale

Something happened this past December and I stopped procrastinating and decided to make my house a home.  I started with creating a reading nook in my bedroom.  I recently purchased a crystal sconce and thought it would be great in the corner.  I hung old and new frames together but what gave the room the romantic feeling are the lace curtains from Value Village.  I think I got all three for $3 years ago and they just sat in the fabric pile to use one day.  Of course the reading nook wouldn’t be complete without a rocking chair.  This chair is very special to me.  It was sitting in my parent’s basement for as long as I can remember and it wasn’t something they really wanted but I did.  However, it needed a little bit of work.  It was my first restoration project.  My dad helped my replace the broken slats, sand and stain it.  My mom helped me re-upholster it.

Then it was on to the nightstand area. Over the years, the only thing I changed as much as the paint in my room are the nightstands.  I felt like Goldilocks and changed them because they were either “TOO BIG” or “TOO SMALL”.  I remembered that I had a nightstand in the basement from when I was a child.  I gave it a new look and it was “JUST RIGHT”.  You can find out more about the cabinet on a previous post called Revolving Nightstand.

PVL - Bedroom nightstand

One thing I want change about my bedroom is the bed.  I’ve always dreamed of having a romantic iron bed.  I saw one that I loved at the World’s Longest Flea Market and didn’t pick up.  I’ve been kind of regretting it every day.  I was ready to try out my collection of bedspreads.  First I tried, the blue chenille peacock bedspread and it was too much blue in the room.  Then on to the purple chenille peacock bedspread.  I liked it and lived with it for a couple of months but it just “WASN”T RIGHT”.  I’ve been waiting to use a vintage sarong bedspread that I picked up in Saint John’s will visiting my good friend Silver Raven.  Up until now I didn’t want to use because it is delicate and I need to add a back to it.  So it up sat on the back of the rocking chair.  However, I knew it was “JUST RIGHT” when I put it on my bed.

The room is still a work in progress but I love the feeling when I’m in my nest!

Pretty Vintage Living - Nightstand
My nightstand display
Pretty Vintage Living - Image Transfer
My childhood nightstand upcycled with a new paint job and an image transfer

Tea Party

I have a love of pretty vintage dishes.  I’ve inherited several sets and purchased a few of my own. Sad thing is I never use but one day I decided to get rid of my ugly everyday dishes and start using the pretty ones.  I loved creating a pretty table setting but I never have dinner parties.  The problem is I don’t like to cook and CAN’T!!!!

PVL - Close up

My life was very busy and wasn’t being very social.  So I wanted to invite a small group over to my place for a tea party.  What a wonderful way to visit with friends and not as intimidating as a diner party since I could make finger sandwiches and cookies.  A quick trip to the library and many hours online and I came up with a menu.  I was happy to see the library had books on hosting a tea party.  Of course I started daydreaming how wonderful it would be to have a tea party every month with a different theme.  This way I would use all of my dishes and get to spend time with my friends.

I started setting the table days before.  I went thru all of my grandmothers linens, napkins and doilies and decided to go with the pink and blue theme.  I also used my collection of grandfathers vintage bottles.  I added some bling and rose to each one and placed it in front of each table setting.

PVL - Tea Party Roses

I even got use these name tags that I probably purchased about 15 years ago and have never used them.  I surprisingly didn’t take any pictures of the event and not one of the food.  Next time I will have to do better.

PVL - Tea Party Name Tags

Oh…guess how many tea parties I had last year?  ONE!

PVL - Tea Party table


Welcome to my blog, my home and my life

Wow…I can’t believe how long it has taken to get to this point.  It feels like years filled with many moments of doubt.  It seemed like it was such a major job to take on and I’d rather spend my time creating something else.  I lost count how many times I said I wish I had a blog to share the process while I was making something. But no more!!!!  Here it is my Pretty Vintage Living blog.

Pretty Vintage Living - Roses
Rose display for a tea party