Gallery 512 Boutique

Modern and affordable clothing, accessories and furnishings…

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My son’s new dressers!

Yesterday I got dresser #2 done for Keaton’s room and I LOVE it!! This picture doesn’t do the pair justice…..because of the lighting and the really, really small space I had to take a picture it’s hard to compare them together but in the room the stains look the same and they look like a completed set.

Now it’s inspired me to completely change the rest of the room, I’m going to paint his walls a light grey and his bookshelves and the Ikea loft bed are also going to get the refurbished treatment. I’m excited about all the new ideas I have for this room!! ~Jess

dresser3 room


Rustic Stool Makeover

This stool has been with me for a long time. I bought it in 2004 to use in my photography sessions and I used it in pretty much every session including this one from my daughter taken in 2005.


Taylor 2005

Since then it’s seen better days. It’s still a nice, sturdy old stool but the finish was rubbing off and you were bound to get a sliver if you rubbed it the wrong way. I struggled with redoing it because of the memories, but ultimately decided that it’s doing me no good hiding in the basement and I really wanted to see what this stool would look like with a makeover and I just love the results – I’m so glad I finally did it.

Here is a before picture of the stool in it’s current 2013 state (along with some other pots I plan to repaint to fit my current décor)….

Stool Before

And here are the afters…

Stool Full 2

Stool Closeup 1

Stool Closeup 2

Stool Full 1

I used two coats of Annie Sloan chalk paint on this one and was starting to panic a little as the paint was drying. It was looking like a bright, bright red. But after the initial paint layer dried I applied a layer of clear wax and then went over it with the dark wax and immediately started to love it again. I absolutely love how the dark wax fills in where it needs to and showcases the years of age and memories this stool has been through. Thanks for looking! ~Jess


Photograph the Details

A project I’ve been working on for a little over a year now is to get my family’s digital photographs organized and printed so we can get them off the computer and enjoy them!! I got my first digital camera in 2004 and I have only edited and printed a handful of those pictures so I literally have thousands and thousands of pictures to print – it can be quite overwhelming. I stumbled upon a few posts last year about Blurb Books ( and I loved this concept of being able to create my own layouts and have them all printed and bound together into a book. They do have easy to use software as well but I’ve choosen to upload my own layouts created in Photoshop.

I’ve been challenging myself to create at least two layouts a week and wanted to share this one from 2004. I took these pictures of my daughter’s room in 2004 and she would have been 2 years old. She’s 11 years old now and looking back I’m so very glad I took these pictures. It brings back so many great memories of her childhood – her favorite movies and favorite toys that I had forgotten about. And her adorable bunny towel! How could I forget that? LOL. So my photography tip of the week is to remember to photograph all the small details in your family’s life.

For this layout I used Cinzia Loosemore’s templates from O’Scraps but had to customize this one a little to fit the 8×10 size I’m using for my 2004 album. Thanks for looking! ~Jess



Duck Egg Blue Side Table

This is one of my favorite recent finished projects. I really love this Annie Sloan Duck Egg Blue color. I only bought a sample size of it and now I want to paint everything Duck Egg Blue!!

It’s been said many times that you don’t have to prime pieces when you paint with chalk paint but I did prime this one because it was a laminate piece and I wanted to prevent scratching as much as I could. I used a white primer and about three coats of the Duck Egg blue with AS Clear Wax to seal it. This was my first time using the ASCP and just clear wax by itself without putting a layer of dark wax on top and I absolutely love how clean and fresh it looks! Very beachy and perfect for my porch! I can’t wait to get more of this paint – I will definitely order a quart this time!!  ~Jess


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Potting Bench

I’m so lucky to have an amazing and talented boyfriend who has furnished almost half of our house with his handy skills!  I wanted to share the completed pictures of the potting bench that Peter built. I mentioned to him one day that it would be great to have a potting bench and a few days later  he had a potting bench all made up! It’s he awesome? I think we are going to sell this one and he’s going to make me another one just a little bit longer so I can have some more space to work and I’m going to hang some hooks on it to hold my gardening tools.  I’m thinking of painting it a fun, bright color to add some personality to the outside. Any ideas?

Hopefully by the end of the week I can get a few of our other completed projects up to share. We’ve completed a cute, rustic little stool and my jewelry holder project is really coming along too! I’ve found two more frames to paint and I’m pretty excited about the ideas I have for it!!  Be sure to check back!!


Potting Bench 1

Potting Bench 2

Potting Bench 3

Potting Bench 4


Executive Desk Project…

At Danielle’s request I’m putting up a picture of the desk Pete and I picked up yesterday. It was a  find on Craigslist and we thought it may look kinda cool after we get it all fixed back up. We even found some hidden treasures in this one. Kinda funny.

Stay tuned for the finished pictures – Pete has made this one his own little project and he’s on a mission to get it done. He started stripping it immediately after getting it home and off the truck, as you can see in the before picture. ~Jess



Refurbished Dresser

It’s been a busy weekend here in our household! Pete and I have spent the majority of it in the garage working on some of our projects. I’ve acquired quite a few pieces over the past few weeks and they’ve started to overtake the garage. Pete would really like to have at least half of his garage back so he’s been helping me get some of it done.

I’m so excited about how this dresser turned out – I just love it! I’ve been wanted to do a two toned grey and dark stained dresser since I saw these two blog posts pinned on Pinterest:

I decided to use one of the dressers I bought last weekend. I loved how the natural wood looked and knew this would look great stained! Here is the before (forgive bad picture – I almost forgot to take the before picture; as you can see I was a little too excited to start this project and had already taken off two of the handles LOL)

Dresser Before

And here are the afters:




I love this so much I’m working on doing the other dresser I bought last weekend in this same fashion for my son’s room!



“Spring” in Northern Minnesota

As I write this post I look longing out my bay window at my garden, which is currently only visible by about a foot of fencing that has not been completely swallowed up by our record snow fall this “spring.” I should be used to it by now, I’ve lived in Northern Minnesota, Duluth to be exact, for over ten years now, but as a transplant I still foolishly believe that “spring” will mean budding trees and new growth greens, silly me! Okay so enough belly aching, onto the reason for this post.

To help me look to greener pasture ahead, I always start my tomato plants from seed in February. Tomatoes are my favorite plants to grow because of their utility for canning and preserving. Modern day homesteading is a passion of mine, and nothing gives me more pleasure than canning the finished product in September that I have begun indoors in February.

I have had many requests from family and friends for my tomato sauce recipe which my family uses universally for spaghetti, lasagna, pizza sauce and marinara. Below is the recipe that I got from my mother in law that was given to her from a friend whose family immigrated from Italy. The recipe was written for canned tomatoes, I use garden fresh so conversion can sometimes be a little tricky but I just guesstimate. I use a combination of different tomatoes for a full bodied flavor but my favorite types for sauce and salsas are the roma tomato as they are meatier with less water content. Other types may have to cook down a little longer, but no worries, it is always worth it in the end! Last year I grew black tomatoes for the first time and really appreciated their smokier flavor in the sauces.

Okay here is the homemade spaghetti sauce recipe, it calls for 2 large cans of whole tomatoes but I use fresh, which for his last batch was a mixture of roma and beefsteak tomatoes so I just kind of eyeball how much I think two large cans would be.  Even when using fresh tomatoes I still use the tomato paste in a can though because it makes it less watery.  Okay here you go, hope you enjoy it as much as we do and maybe even can and freeze it for all year long.  Apologies for picture quality, at the time I took it, I wasn’t intending to share it with anyone other than my mom and sisters:)  ~Mic


*1st sauté the onion and 2 cans tomato paste in the olive oil for a few minutes.  Then I use the food processor to puree the tomatoes and throw everything into a big pot and let it simmer for about an hour or so.  Let me know if you have any questions and how you liked it!

1/2 chopped onion

2 large cans whole tomatoes

2 small cans tomato paste

2 teaspoons garlic powder

2 1/2 tea. salt

2 1/2 tea. pepper

2 tbls grate romano parm cheese ( I don’t add this if I don’t have it and still fine)

2 tabls olive oil

2 tea parsley

2 tea basil (fresh if you have it)

4 tea. oregano

4 bay leaves

2 tea. italian seasoning

1/4 red pepper ( I don’t always use this)

sugar ( to your taste)

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Sneak-ish Peek

On Saturday, Jess and I discovered a trove of treasures (which have now consumed my garage, or at least until Kyle returns home soon), and one of the many finds was this chair turned foot stool.  I’ve had an incredibly busy week at work and have slowly upcycled it in my “spare time” — once it’s all said and done, it will accompany my next ‘desk into vanity project’ so I’ll no longer sit on a dinning room chair to do my make up.  I’m hoping to put the final touches on it this weekend, including reupholstering the seat and adding brass or gold nail heads >> D.


Here it is, Hot off the lot (i.e. Garage Sale):


After sanding the fine groves, my fingers were stiff but well enough to capture a progress photo:


Here’s where I struggled… to paint or stain?

I went w/ stain as I can always go back and paint, and So far I’m happy with my decision to stain (however, knowing how impulsive/indecisive I am, in the end I may just paint if I don’t feel that the fabric is receiving the attention it needs up against the dark stain)…


so far, so good… I’ll post my final before and an actual After once it’s all said and done, soon!! 🙂

>> D.


My work in progress….

Recognize these frames from my shopping trip this past weekend?




I fell in love with the texture on these and knew that they would look awesome painted.




I’ve been searching for the perfect frame to use as a jewelry hanger and I think this just may be the one! So far I’ve painted it with Annie Sloan’s Granite paint and used the dark antique wax on it and I’m loving the results so far! Here is a peek at where I’m at with this project right now….