a holiday open house.

Santa’s elves were busy re-stocking Reclaiming Beautiful last night in anticipation of their holiday open house today from 3 pm to 7 pm.

There are tons of adorable Christmas decorations to be found.

I was especially charmed by this adorable little …. I don’t really know what it was originally …

But now when you open that door with it’s sweet little wreath you find this inside ….

Seriously, how cute is that?!

These sweet pink skates are painted in Fusion’s new paint color called English Rose.  You can always grab a jar of the paint and freshen up your own ice skates.

Or perhaps you prefer more traditional colors for your holiday decor.

There is plenty of red and green to be found.

And don’t forget the furniture!

This is a great time to spruce up your house before the family arrives to celebrate.

Maybe you need a little extra seating to accommodate everyone!

So be sure to swing by this afternoon between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. for a glass of wine and some nibbles.

Get a free small candle with purchases over $20 while supplies last!


michele’s house, part 2.

Welcome back to part two of our tour of Michele’s house.  I got so many pictures of her lovely home that I had to break it out into two parts!  If you missed part one, be sure to go back and see it here.

Today we’re going to check out the rest of the inside and our very welcoming hostess Michele is ready to start our tour.

As soon as we walked in to Michele’s living room I knew that my sister (who had come along on the tour as my ‘assistant’) was going to love it.  She loves the lodge-y, cabin-y, lake house look and Michele’s house has plenty of that vintage cabin sort of character.

Michele and her husband have opted to keep the original finish on their knotty pine paneled walls which works beautifully with Michele’s many vintage pieces of furniture.

It also creates a great backdrop for Jim’s hunting trophies.  He has been as far away as New Zealand on hunting trips.

The dining room is just off the living room.

We’ll head upstairs next.  The upper floor is just a half-story above the kitchen and dining room and it contains a pretty little sitting room and guest room.

Michele lightened things up a bit in these rooms and they definitely have a more feminine appeal.

When Michele’s nieces were younger they used to come for sleep-overs and stay in the pretty guest room.

Wouldn’t this be a lovely spot to cozy up under the eaves?

Michele painted the pretty secretary desk that she’s using as a bedside table.

I asked Michele if she and her husband did the wallpapering themselves, and she said that they did.  I’m impressed because I have attempted wallpapering a ceiling and it’s not easy.  I did it one time and swore I would never attempt it again.

The angles were a little tight for me to get a good photo of the pretty dresser that’s in the guest room, but I really wanted to share it with you.

It’s such a pretty piece, with what I believe is an original paint job.

Michele’s master bedroom is back downstairs.  She recently gave it a makeover.

I love the pretty shades of blue she has used in this room.  The headboard is from Wayfair, and most of the bedding came from either TJ Maxx or IKEA.


Michele makes these pretty little teacup candles herself.

There is space in the room for a small seating area.

I think my favorite part of the room though was this adorable door knocker.  Isn’t that perfect?

A big thank you go Michele for letting us feature her lovely home here on the Reclaiming Beautiful blog.  I hope you enjoyed seeing her place and maybe it gave you some great ideas for using vintage pieces in your own home!

michele’s house, part 1.

Even though autumn is officially here and we are moving past porch weather, I took a little field trip to Michele’s house to check out her lovely three season porch a couple of weeks ago.  While I was there, I couldn’t help but snoop around a bit.

Michele’s is the sister of one of Reclaiming Beautiful’s owners, Monique, and she’s also a vendor at the shop.  She and her husband, Jim, live on the bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River in St. Paul.  Their house was built in 1940 and they have lived there for 30 years, and in fact her husband Jim grew up just two doors down!

We entered the house through Michele’s charming kitchen.

It may be modest in size, but Michele has made every inch of it pretty including adding the lovely chandelier over the sink.

We headed straight out onto the three-season porch next.  There is a lovely little dining area just outside the kitchen.  I believe that Michele mentioned that this is the perfect spot for coffee in the morning.

This is such a pretty set of furniture.

The other side of the porch contains this seating area that Michele says is perfect for reading.

Michele mentioned how much she loves pretty linens and her’s are all perfectly pressed and bright white.

Before we headed inside to see some more of Michele’s house, we stepped outside to see her patio.

The house sits on two acres.

This gives them plenty of room for a nice fire pit area.

I had some serious ‘urn envy’ (if that wasn’t a real thing before, it is now) when I saw these lovely flower urns on the back patio.

And that only got worse when I spot a huge concrete urn out in the yard.  Just look at the beautiful motifs on it.

Not to mention another pair of gorgeous urns that Michele has on her front porch.

Although our gardens are starting to fade for the season, Michele can still enjoy the view from this serene spot in her yard.

There is still so much more to see, so I decided I’d better break our tour up into two parts.  So be sure to check back next week to see the rest of Michele’s beautiful home!

getting creative with player piano music.

A while back I came across some old rolls of music for player pianos in a local antique shop.

I opened up the boxes and fell in love with the look of the old paper and the titles on them.  ‘A Good Man is Hard to Find’ indeed!

It was time to get creative and find a use for them.

At first I just used some of the paper for wrapping gifts.

Some of the rolls are more delicate than others, but you can give your package more structure by layering the player piano paper over brown craft paper.

Or how about using a roll as a table runner?

It would definitely make a great conversation starter!  And if you get a tear or a spill, just roll out a clean section of paper!

I ended up deciding to ‘wallpaper’ a portion of my dining room wall with strips of the paper.

I love the aged patina and the randomly spaced holes.

Some of the rolls have notations on them, and some even have the lyrics printed on them which adds a bit of whimsy.

I used a staple gun to attach the paper to my walls rather than any kind of adhesive.  This way when I get tired of it I can just pull out the staples and take it down.  I may have a few small holes in the walls, but that’s easier to deal with than glued on paper.

If you aren’t quite ready to commit to covering an entire wall, how about just using one strip of paper behind an old window?

Or maybe just display some rolled up paper in a pretty ironstone pitcher

Not inspired enough yet?  I found tons of great ideas on pinterest, check out my player piano music board for many more creative ideas {here}.  It includes some great ideas for wedding decor, lamp shades, altered art … even Anthropologie gets in on the action.

Reclaiming Beautiful has a limited supply of vintage rolls of player piano music for $4 per roll, so be sure to stop in and check them out this weekend!

Wendy’s house.

A while back I was looking for ideas for some posts here on the Reclaiming Beautiful blog.  Monique thought it might be fun to show how some of the pieces sold at the shop end up looking in a customer’s home.  Enter Wendy.  Wendy and her husband Rick live in a gorgeous house in Stillwater, just up the road from the shop in the Liberty neighborhood.

I swung by their lovely home a few weeks ago to get some photos of Wendy’s many Reclaiming Beautiful pieces.

But before we head inside, isn’t the outside gorgeous?

I got such a kick out of their dog, Milton.  Doesn’t he look like a statue in that photo?  But no, he’s a real dog!

Wendy’s spacious wrap around porch is the perfect spot for this charming old church pew that was painted by one of Reclaiming Beautiful’s talented vendors, Amy.

I love the Hungarian baby bath filled with ferns next to the door.  That piece isn’t from Reclaiming Beautiful, but is something Wendy purchased elsewhere.

This lovely aqua dresser is just inside the front door and was painted by Lisa.  Vintage dressers are perfect pieces for the foyer.  You can fill them with gloves, scarves and dog walking paraphernalia.

I headed downstairs first to see this gorgeous white buffet that was painted by Monique.

The detail on the front of this piece is amazing and the distressed white paint emphasizes it perfectly.

Heading back upstairs, isn’t this light fixture over the dining room table amazing?  It’s also from the shop.

As is the dining table (also painted by Monique) beneath it.

I was tickled to find some of my pieces on the shelves in Wendy’s dining room.  The stenciled bucket is one of mine.

This black sideboard that sits on the wall opposite the dining table is another piece from Reclaiming Beautiful.

Even though I don’t think any of the pieces in Wendy’s kitchen eating area are from the shop, I thought you guys would still enjoy seeing it.

The pretty framed florals on the wall are a Junk Bonanza find, and aren’t these throw pillows made out of vintage tea towels adorable?

You can head out into the back yard from the kitchen and there you’ll spot this awesome ‘Cottages for Rent’ sign, another Reclaiming Beautiful find.

I headed upstairs next and found this vintage dresser in the hallway.

When I walked into the bedroom I was so excited to find a dresser that was one of my pieces!  It’s painted in one of my favorite Miss Mustard Seed milk paint colors called Kitchen Scale.  You can read about its transformation over on my blog {here}.

The trunk at the foot of the bed was painted in another gorgeous aqua blue by Susan, one of the co-owners of Reclaiming Beautiful.

Wendy has a home office on this floor that has a couple of great pieces in it as well.

The aqua chairs were painted by Amy.  Wendy has another pair of throw pillows made from vintage linens on one of the chairs.

Turns out that Wendy has a thing for vintage linens made into pillows and she knows someone who makes them.  In addition to pretty embroidered linens, she also likes those made out of vintage barkcloth.  The colors in this next one are so lovely, aren’t they?

I hope you all enjoyed this little peek into Wendy & Rick’s beautiful Stillwater home.  A big thank you goes out to them for letting us share it here on the Reclaiming Beautiful blog!

Be sure to stop by the shop this weekend to find the perfect piece for your own home!

the succulent bar is back!

Succulents are all the rage right now.  And why not?  There are so many interesting varieties, and they are fairly easy to grow.  Plus they pair perfectly with vintage containers!

photo source: Stone Gable

During the Vintage Crawl back in May, Reclaiming Beautiful put together a ‘succulent bar’ and it proved to be so popular that they are going to do it again.

Here’s how it works:

step no. 1 – choose your vintage container.

There will be a variety of awesome vintage containers (all priced separately).  Perhaps some old silver …

photo source: An Oregon Cottage

Or an adorable vintage toy truck.

photo source: Life is a Party

step no. 2 – add a scoop of rocks to the bottom of your container (provided at no additional cost).

step no. 3 – choose your succulents (at $3 each) and plant them with the dirt provided.

step no. 4 – add some adorable tiny embellishments (priced separately).

photo source: Life is a Party

Once your creation is complete, simply take it to the checkout and pay for your container, succulents and any embellishments you may have chosen.

Couldn’t be easier!  And you get to go home with a completed project!

You can start small with a succulent in a pretty vintage teacup …

Or go all out with something really elaborate!

The sky is limit.  Well … while supplies last anyway.

So be sure to head in this weekend and create your own!







the Vintage Crawl is back!

It’s time once again for the Vintage Crawl presented by the Two Rivers Vintage Collective!

This year 8 shops along the St. Croix and Mississippi Rivers are participating; five in Stillwater, two in Afton, and one in Hastings.

The Crawl takes place from Thursday, May 4 through Sunday, May 7.  Crawl hours:  Thursday 10 -7, Friday & Saturday 10 – 6 and Sunday 12 -5.

Doing the Crawl is a great way to spend a day.  Especially if you love vintage, repurposed, chippy, rusty, shabby, one of a kind items for your home!

I suggest starting in Stillwater and working your way south, or reverse that and start in Hastings and work your way north.  If starting on the Stillwater end, may I suggest beginning at Apron Chicks.

Apron Chicks is a vintage home/accessory occasional sale operated out of a charming little cabin at Bergmann’s Greenhouse & Farm Market (12239 62nd Street N, Stillwater) just north of highway 36 off Manning Avenue.

It is super simple to head from there to Reclaiming Beautiful  at 216 Myrtle St. W in Stillwater.

Just head north on Manning and take a right on Myrtle.  Reclaiming Beautiful is about 2.5 miles east on the left hand side next to the Post Office.  Reclaiming Beautiful is all about taking old pieces of furniture and making them beautiful again.  Their inventory is always changing; painted furniture, vintage, home decor and pretty things!  You will love their prices!  They are open every week from Thursday through Sunday.

Next, continue heading east down Myrtle and take a left on 2nd Street to visit the Strawberry Patch  at 217 2nd Street N, Unit 2, Stillwater.

Once upon a time three friends, one blonde, one brunette, and one red head, were looking for a way to incorporate their love of vintage, shabby chic, crafting and of course shopping. They decided that the red head should start a business so she opened the Strawberry Patch.  Katie is joined by an ever growing group of vendors in her shop on 2nd Street.

It’s easy to head from the Strawberry Patch over to Main Street and visit both My Sister’s Cottage at 226 Main Street S and Mama’s Happy at 324 Main Street S.

The owners of My Sister’s Cottage, sisters Terry and Diane, have long loved the cottage aesthetic. In 2014, they decided it was time to share that love so they opened their shop in downtown Stillwater.

My Sister’s Cottage is truly an ode to “cottage style”.  Terry and Diane run their shop in a different manner than most, everything you see in their shop has been found, restored and painted by either Terry or Diane. There are no additional vendors contributing to their vintage look!  Their division of labor falls perfectly into their passions. Terry is the furniture/accessories picker and stager and Diane is the painter, sign maker, jewelry maker and general handy-woman!

Mama’s Happy is a hip little boutique featuring fabulous, one-of-a-kind repurposed and vintage merchandise crafted by local artisans using Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan.  It’s located in the Grand Garage.

Come to be inspired and get all the supplies to create your own or let them do the hard work and buy an already finished unique piece to take home.

You might just be starving after visiting all five of these shops, so now would be a good time to get a bite to eat in Stillwater.  If you consider yourself a ‘foodie’ I’d recommend Marx Wine Bar and Grill on Main Street.  It’s not cheap, but the food is amazing (note:  they are not open on Sunday).  If you want something a little faster and cheaper, how about checking out Tin Bins (just across the way on Nelson).  They have some great sandwiches!

After lunch head south on highway 95 to Afton and enjoy the scenery along the St. Croix River.

In Afton you can park once and visit both The Foundry on the St. Croix  at 3290 St. Croix Trail S and dwell. at 3192 St. Croix Trail S.

The Foundry on the St. Croix is a hidden gem.

You’ll find amazing vintage inspired pieces carefully curated for your viewing pleasure.

dwell. is home to 20+ vendors specializing in salvaging, re-finishing, re-purposing, re-envisioning vintage furniture and home decor. They are normally open every Saturday, plus the last Thursday to Sunday of each month.

Their inventory is always changing!

From Afton, it’s only another 20 minutes down the road to Hastings.  I recommend taking St. Croix Trail south because it’s a gorgeous, winding, picturesque route.  Once in Hastings, head for Eye Candy REfind at 218 2nd Street E.

Stop in for reimagined, vintage, repurposed and handmade furniture, home decor and gifts!

And now you’ve completed the entire crawl!

Be sure to turn in your completed Vintage Crawl card at the last shop you visit to submit your name for the prize drawings.

Reclaiming Beautiful turns two!

Reclaiming Beautiful is turning two!

To celebrate, they will be open from 3 pm to 8 pm today, and there will be door prizes, special event pricing and refreshments.  Plus as a added bonus they are giving away a Reclaiming Beautiful Candle with every purchase over $50!!!! (while they last, so get there early)

I just happened to swing by last night while they were setting up and I snapped a few pics of some of their latest merchandise, starting with these gorgeous chairs painted in one of Fusion’s newest colors, a fresh green called Park Bench

I’m afraid my mind was on dining sets since my sister will need one when she moves into her new house at the end of May.

They had several really lovely dining sets in the shop.

As well as this adorable hutch …

And don’t forget they also have some awesome jewelry from Mimi-Torias …

But really, this is just the tip of the iceberg.  You need to stop in to check out all of the great items they have in stock this week.

Reclaiming Beautiful is located in beautiful historic Stillwater, Minnesota next to the post office at 216 Myrtle Street West.  Hope you can swing by to help them celebrate!

using Fusion’s transfer gel.

We had a little taste of spring a week or so ago with our temps nearing 60 and even some rain.  The rain washed away the last of that pesky snow cover making it really feel like spring.  Of course, February is far too early for spring in Minnesota, right?  Winter came back with a vengeance for some poor souls south of here in the form of a foot of snow, but at my house we barely even got a dusting.  However, we did get some cold gusty winds, officially bringing an end to a false spring.


I don’t know about you, but that little bit of spring-like weather has me longing for gardening season.

Since it’s way too early to start that, I decided to turn an old bucket into a flower container instead.

I’m going to take this wonky old thing with some paint splatters and a warped bottom (hey, wait a minute, that sounds like me!) …


And turn it into this …


 For now I have it filled with cut flowers, but when spring really does arrive I can plant it with some pretty flowering annuals.

The first thing I did was clean it up by scrubbing it with a little dish soap and water just in case there were any oily residues on it.  Once it dried, I painted it with just one coat of Fusion paint in one of their newest colors, Brook.


This is such a gorgeous color.  It’s coming across as quite minty on my computer screen, but it’s got a little more blue in it in person.


I wanted to add a little extra pizzazz to my bucket, so I decided to use Fusion’s Transfer Gel to add a French graphic.


This stuff is so fun to play around with.  If you haven’t tried it, you should.

Here’s how it works.

First of all you need an image to transfer.  You can using any image printed onto regular paper with a laser printer.  It can be color or black and white.  The printer toner is what will transfer, so whatever color you see on your paper is what you’ll get in your transfer.  Important tip:  keep in mind that you will get a reverse of the image you see on the paper.  So if your graphic has words in it (like mine does), you’ll need to print a mirror image.  Personally I always have a hard time figuring out how to print a mirror image on my computer, so I have a bunch of reverse graphics saved on pinterest just for this purpose.  You can also find lots of great reverse images on the Graphics Fairy website.

The French beekeeper’s letterhead graphic that I am using today came from Graphics Fairy, and here it is …


Once you have your graphic printed, trim all the way around it.  The less paper you leave behind, the less paper you’ll have to scrub off your finished product.

Next, brush some transfer gel onto your surface (in my case, the bucket) where you want to put the image.  You just need a thin-ish coat, not a thick gloppy coat.  I use an inexpensive chip brush to do this, but one of those cheap sponge brushes will work too.  Then place your printed graphic image-side down onto the gel.  Be sure to press down and smooth out any wrinkles or air bubbles using your finger, sort of like wallpapering or decoupaging.  Important tip:  do not put transfer gel over the top of your paper!  If you do, your paper will be permanently adhered to the surface.  You do not want that.

Then let your transfer dry overnight, or for at least 8 hours.

Now it’s time to remove the paper leaving the image behind.  First wet down your paper and give it a couple of seconds to soften up.  Then using a cloth start to gently rub away the paper.  I find it best to use a terry washcloth for this.  You want something with a little texture to rub off the paper, but not too much (like a plastic scrubby) so that it scratches off the design.  Frequently move to a new spot on your cloth as your cloth gets full of paper.  I use a gentle circular motion which seems to work well.  Important tip:  while the paper is wet it can be difficult to see if you really got it all off.  But no worries, once it dries you can see any remaining paper more easily and then you can just go in again with your damp rag and rub that off.  Also, the gel can take on a milky appearance when it gets saturated with water.  Don’t worry, it will dry clear again.  This step in the process is where you’ll really appreciate working with Fusion paint rather than a chalk paint.  It holds up to the application of the water, whereas a chalk paint will wipe right off along with the paper.


If perfection is your goal, this technique might not be for you.  As you can see above, most of my graphic transferred but there are spots that didn’t quite make it.  I like a more distressed, worn look so this is ‘perfect’ for me.


And that is basically it.  No need to put a coat of anything over the top of this.


Currently Reclaiming Beautiful is not stocking the Fusion transfer gel, but if they get a few requests for it they will add it to their next Fusion order.  So if you want to give this product a try, be sure to let them know.  You can send them a message on Facebook here.

warm up here.


It’s January in Minnesota!  Brrrrrr….

But we don’t complain, do we?  No, we embrace the cold.  We build castles out of ice to celebrate the frozen beauty that is all around us.

This year Stillwater is home to an Ice Castle, if you haven’t heard about it, check out {this video}.  On Christmas Eve my family and I stopped by to check out the progress on the castle and it was looking pretty awesome.  It’s scheduled to open tomorrow.  Be sure to {buy tickets online} in advance if you plan to go see it.

Snow boots and warm clothing are recommended.  And if you do go see it, be sure to stop by Reclaiming Beautiful afterwards (see their hours at the end of this post).  They are just a couple of blocks up the hill from the castle.  They’ll be serving up free hot chocolate this weekend for anyone who needs to warm up after being outside for a while.

Just to get you in the hot chocolate mood, I stopped by the shop last weekend and Susan and I had some fun putting together a few different hot cocoa bars starting with this farmhouse style set up.


Isn’t the little cow creamer adorable?  If you haven’t tried adding a flavored creamer to your hot chocolate, you don’t know what you are missing.  I recommend a white chocolate raspberry creamer or peppermint.  Yum!

I love these green dishes, they have such a vintage farmhouse vibe.  There is a whole set of them for sale in the shop.  And who says you can’t serve hot chocolate using a vintage silver coffee pot?


We set up this cocoa bar in a rustic barn wood tray that was placed on this gorgeous blue sideboard.


I whipped up a couple of chalkboards for our photo shoot (and they are for sale in the shop).  I used one of them for this next holiday themed hot chocolate station.


I know, I know, Christmas is over.  But the shop still has some holiday merchandise at bargain prices.  I thought this set of red and white dishes was totally charming.  I love the gingham trim.

Why not use a rusty old caddy and some vintage canning jars to contain your cocoa ingredients?


I love the combination of the almost industrial looking galvanized tray with the soft furry faux sheepskin.


It’s all set up on this gorgeous empire style dresser that is marked down to $150.  Yep, you read that right, $150.  It almost sold right out from under me while I was staging it for these photos, but at the last moment the potential buyer walked away so you may still be able to nab it.


For our third hot cocoa bar we decided to get a little classy.


Silver, gold and white is always a classic winter-y combo.


You won’t go wrong serving up some treats in stemmed glasses.


This set up was perfect on top of this beautiful sideboard painted in a silvery grey.


We set up one last hot chocolate bar for you in the shop window.


There is a charming little red dresser in the window, so it was perfect for some more red and white.


Check out the farm animal knobs!  Adorable.


I couldn’t resist using that galvanized metal tray again here, and adding a sweet little ironstone plate full of cookies.



So remember, you have two options for warming up after visiting the ice castle.  Stop in at Reclaiming Beautiful for some free hot cocoa, or stop in and get some fantastic vintage supplies to set up your own hot cocoa bar at home!

Reclaiming Beautiful is open Thursday thru Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.  They are located in Stillwater at 216 Myrtle Street West right next to the post office!

 Please note, inventory moves quickly at Reclaiming Beautiful and each piece is one of a kind.  The pieces I’ve featured were all available as of December 31, but may have since sold.  If you would like to inquire about a specific item, please feel free to send an email to Monique@reclaimingbeautiful.com.