It’s Wanderlust Wednesday, and as much as I would like to be jetting to some fab location on the globe, this week I have to settle for repurposing a couple of globes instead. My shop in this weekend’s Vintage Thymes Market is all about back to school, and I have so many maps and globes, it’s a bit ridiculous. So a couple of them got a little makeover. A plain Jane, run-of-the-mill globe is now a chalkboard- thanks to some Benjamin Moore Chalkboard paint.Unpainted Globe

Super easy to do: literally take a globe (we found all of ours at yard and estate sales for just a couple of bucks), paint on a coat of chalkboard paint to cover. Wait a day. Add a second coat.

Globe Chalkboard Painted 2 coats

Wait a couple of days. Now you want to “size” the surface so when you write on it, you can change it easily by wiping with a damp cloth.

Chalking the Globe

You literally take the side of the chalk and paint the entire surface until it looks like an inverted snow globe…then wipe it with a damp rag.

Chalked Globe

The finished globe-guess this is what earth looks like at night when viewed from Mars. Kinda cool, right?

Chalk Globe Completed

The other great find was a standing, light-up globe-awesome! The base was an old, scratched and scraped cherry wood.

Stand Globe in Car

So I hit it will some steel wool and Liquid Sander. A little goes a long way. I think I’ve had this can since 1999!

Klean Strip Liquid Sander It cleans and preps the surface and creates a solid bond for the paint to adhere. I use this when I don’t want to use a white primer or chalk paint. The paint is Behr’s Enduring. I used two coats and then, to finish, I mixed some Annie Sloan Soft Wax with a bit of Behr Stealth Jet (my newest color obsession-it’s dark charcoal with a hint of chocolate)

Soft Wax and Paint Mix

and painted that into the crevices and molding edges to highlight the details.

Brushing On Wax

Wiped most of it away,

Rubbing Off Wax

allowed to dry, then finished the whole thing with a light coat of wax.

Stand Globe Painted

The results are out of this world!

Stand Globe Lit

Both will be available this weekend at the market, so if you happen to be wandering about on the south shore, stop by and say hello! I will be there on Friday, and would love to meet you all! Happy wandering…Susan

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I am just about finished with our downstairs 1/2 bath budget remodel. The original plan was to remove some old wallpaper and freshen up with a coat of paint. Well, you know how that works out…decorating dominoes. One thing leads to another and before you know it, you’ve remodeled your downstairs bath!

Bathroom floor

Before I show you the before and afters of the completed entire bath, I wanted to share a couple of simple projects that require little work and supplies and $$$, but make a huge impact in a space. You’ve already seen my Oh, Deer Towel Rack,

Oh Deer Completed

now hanging next to the sink. Next up is the old vanity makeover.

Vanity Before Open Doors

This was built back in the 80’s, using some old lumber and planking and painted a tan color. Since this was a budget remodel, every penny counted, and replacing the sink and vanity was not an option. The color palette I chose for the room was based on this awesome rustic wallpaper I found in a markdown bin at our local paint store, over a year ago!

Bathroom Color Palette

I hung on to it, knowing that someday I would be using it somewhere… So here is the vanity base how-I-did-it:Vanity Before White Coffee1.Removed the old (not-so-shiny anymore) brass knobs. Sanded down the old paint on the vanity. The old paint was an oil semi-gloss and after 20+ years it was rock hard. But I managed to rough it up enough. BTW- my favorite workshop toy is this little mouse sander (perhaps the little mouse I discovered a few weeks back was looking for his buddy?).

Black & Decker Mouse Sander

This thing is small and the pointed tip makes it easy to get into crevices and corners. I use it to sand, but also to buff and shine with a foam pad or a soft cloth. The sandpaper is attached with Velcro, super easy and quick!

2. Base coat of Behr Midnight Dream, then a second coat of  Mood Indigo  blue, dry brushed to add color but not completely cover the undercoat. The little sample pots at Home Depot are perfect for small projects! The hinges were painted right along with the doors and frame, so that they just blended in.

Vanity Blue Coats

4. I sanded it all down so that the wood grain showed through, but the colors were still there. (woops, think I was a little overzealous on that middle section!)

Sanded Middle

5. Added the Rustoleum Glaze to bring down the blue, enhance the wood grain and give it a more rustic, aged feeling.

Rustoleum Transformations Decorative Glaze

The left side is unglazed, the right side with a coat of glaze that you paint on and then rub off with a soft cloth.

Glazing Before and After

You only need a little, and you can wipe off as much or as little as you like to achieve the richness of the color.

6. Added a coat of Varathane Polyurethane Matte finish. I love this stuff. It dries fast and leaves a hard, durable finish, and hardly has any odor! And, it doesn’t yellow the color of the paint at all, like some polys do.

Varathan Polyurethane

This is a bathroom, so I needed a water resistant finish that looked good but not shiny, in keeping with the “old worn blue jeans” look I was going for. It needed to look old and chippy without actually being old and chippy. Don’t want any rough surfaces where water and germs could collect!

7. Added these rustic polished nickel knobs to complete the look.

Brushed Nickel Pulls

Done! So, for a total cost of about $14, $3 each for the pewter knobs, $3 each for the 2 Behr Paint Pots, and I only used a tiny bit of the Rustoleum Glaze and the Varathane Poly that I already had on hand-so $1 each for those-all purchased at The Home Depot. Now we have a brand-new-old-looking rustic vanity base!

Vanity Complete

But, you’ll have to tune in again to view the bathroom remodel in its entirety. In the meantime, have a transformative Tuesday, everyone! Susan

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We’ve all seen those signs…everywhere. The original



Keep Calm Batman


Keep Calm Gallery

clever original versions. Me want cookies!

Keep Calm Cookie Monster

I’ve been working on a chalkboard sign for my back to school booth next weekend. I knew what I wanted to say, but I needed the correct font to get the look. Google search tells me that it could be Avenir, Gill Sans MT, or a few other. But the Google search also brought me to this awesome website:


This brilliant site from the UK (that is where the phrase originated, after all) allows you to enter any original saying you would like, make color changes and even add backgrounds and photos. They will print it up for you on any number of items including mugs,

Keep Calm Mug

shirts, aprons,

Keep Calm Apron

If you can dream it up, they will make it.  So now knowing what the font was, I made my sign using the reverse chalking method. See Here:

Reverse Chalking

And I transformed this old, unused paneled cabinet door

Keep Calm Door

into this vintage chalkboard, perfect for any classroom!

Be NICE Sign

Try out the website, it’s free and so fun! The creative possibilities are endless. And, KEEP CALM & RELAX, everyone, it’s the weekend!!! Susan

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Vintage Clocks Bubby & Bean

A few of my favorite images on the Pinterest boards are of vintage clocks. I LOVE clocks. The bigger and bolder and older the better.

Large Blue Vintage Clock Shelterness
Photo via

Since I am always so stressed for time, and oftentimes so immersed in my work that I forget the hour, clocks keep me in line and on time. (Except for the time when I was so busy sparkling up my holiday wreaths that I actually forgot to go to work!) Since I don’t wear a watch, I depend on my cell phone to tick away the hours and notify me when my time is up.

CDH iPhone clocks

But old timepieces, worn and shabby and oftentimes not even keeping time, evoke memories of simpler times passed by.

Cherubs and Clocks Indulgy
Photo Via

Which is why, I believe, they are so appealing in today’s interior designs. No matter what the style, they blend perfectly and give a timeless presence.

Vintage Clock Shelterness
Vintage Clock Vignette via Shelterness

You will find vintage and shabby clocks on the pages of Pottery Barn

Vintage Clocks Pottery Barn
Pottery Barn Square Pocket Watch Clocks

 Ballard Designs

Vintage Clock Vignette Ballard Designs

Joss & Main

Clock Vignette Joss and Main
Joss & Main

and, of course, on Country Design Home! These are two of my favorites- this Paris clock sits in the alcove in my kitchen

CDH Kitchen Clock

and this one graces the glass and mirror bookshelves in my living room. Both are from, where else, Home Goods : )

CDH Living Room Clock

But my favorite vintage clock is this little beauty. Sooo love this! (Anyone happen to know where I can find one of these?)

Vintage Rhinstone Clock

So it’s about time for me to get back to work! One more week til the Vintage Thymes September Market– aptly name Vintage Thymes. To see more beautifully timeless images, click here.  Have a great time this weekend everyone! Susan

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This week I have been up to my eyeballs in maps-all kinds, shapes and sizes-in preparation for next week’s Vintage Thymes Market.

Maps books

My September Theme is Back to School-you won’t believe all the cool retro school stuff we have found! But the maps are Coach’s thing, and these are not the hundred plus he already has at a Ward Maps Shop in Cambridge! This is an expansive collection of are all sorts of maps: countries, cities, roadways, the heavens, the earth, the ocean floors. My favorite is this gorgeous 1950’s Map of Outer Space- the colors are amazing!

Map of Outer Space

And they will all be available next week at the shop. Well, except one. I decided I needed a blotter for the desk I have been working on-also for the shop, so I grabbed an Upper Northeast map to cut up and use for the blotter.

This is the How-I-Did-It:
Supplies: foam board cut to size, fabric or paper (or one of the maps you will be purchasing at my shop next week : ), glue, vinyl sheet (optional), backing paper or mat board, cutter & T-square or scissors, tape
1. Measure out your foam core board to the size you wish to have the finished mat. Cut with scissors or rotary cutter and T-square.

Foam Board Cutting

2. Measure out the map, making sure the design you want to show on the front is positioned correctly. Before you cut it, make sure it is very smooth with no wrinkles. You can iron paper, BTW. Just use a no-steam, cotton setting and keeping moving the iron!

Ironing Map

Cut with at least a one inch border around the edges. You will be turning these under to give the edge a smooth finished edge.

Map Edges on Board

3. Spray adhesive on the foam board, then position the cut map with even edges on all sides.

Elmer's Craft Bond

I love this Elmer’s Craft Bond glue because it is temporary before its permanent, so it gives you a bit of time to reposition if you need to. It is quite messy, however, so make sure you mask the entire area you are spraying or you’ll end up glued to the table!
4. Add a layer of vinyl (this part is optional). I happened to have a roll left over from when we shrink-wrapped the porch last fall. I know, it’s almost that time of year again, yuck. This will give the blotter a wipeable, durable finish.

Vinyl Coated

Measure out the vinyl, leaving at least a couple of inches all the way around. This stuff is thick, so you need some extra to grab on to the back. By the way, vinyl is one of those things that tends to attract dust and dirt, especially in the basement. The cleaning solution? A dryer cling sheet!

Cling Sheets
5. Cut away the corners at an angle and then fold the vinyl in like a Christmas present corner. Tape securely to the back. (don’t worry, you are not going to see it anyway)

Vinyl Corners6. Add the sides.

Side Pieces

These are great for tucking in papers and paint chips and such. Measure out two pieces of foam or cardboard as wide as you like, but exactly the height of the blotter.

Side Pieces Measured

Measure out the map paper so that there is a few inches hanging over the ends.

Cutting Side Pieces

7. Position the side pieces, spray glue them, and then fold the ends over the edges and secure to the back with tape or glue. (The only thing I would have done differently would be to fold three sides over the edges to give it a cleaner look. The more you know…

Side Pieces Taped

8. Measure out a piece of backing to finish the reverse side.

Backing Paper

You can use paper, fabric, mat board, anything you would like, but remember, you are not going to see it anyway. If the surface is delicate or scratchable, I would definitely go with felt or fabric for softer protection. Glue the backing to the foam board, covering up all the messy folds and tape.

Glue on BackingAnd …

Blotter Completed

9. Voila! You have a customized, durable blotter for your desk! Have fun customizing it to your room- the skies (or the heavens) are the limit! Have a terrific Thursday, everyone! Susan

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Inspired. Rustic. New Country the suburbs. Because you don't have to live on a farm to create a warm and inviting country-styled home. Follow my DIY junkin' journey as I give tips of the trades and inspired fresh country design ideas to create your own Country Design Home.

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