Sunday, May 27, 2012

Garden Plant Stakes


These plant stakes were at our local farmer's market last year, and wanted to make some for myself...it's just taken me a year to get around to it! It looks like the crafter that made these used stencils, but I went with  hand-lettering.  They add a lot of charm to our gardens!


1. Assemble the stakes: Using some scrap wood that was in the garage, it was easy to use an electric staple gun to attach the "sign" portion to the stakes. My signs are about 4 to 6 inches long, and about 1-3 inches wide. Making them different sizes keeps things visually interesting.
2. Apply a coat of primer, if you wish, but I skipped that step.
3. The hardest part was choosing the colors I wanted to use for each stake, but the rest was easy going...You don't have to be too neat about applying the paint, but be sure to protect any surfaces that you don't want paint on, like the kitchen table! (Michael's and Walmart both had the small bottles of acrylic paint on sale for just 50¢ each...so I stocked up!)
All of the signs are hand-lettered.


















4. After the background colors are dry, choose contrasting colors for the lettering.  I actually opened up a Word document to choose the fonts that I wanted to use, but you can do free-hand lettering if you'd like. OR you can get some transfer paper and trace the lettering onto the signs.  I just "eyeballed it" while looking at what I had designed on the computer. As I painted, I got creative an added some embellishments, too.
5. Apply a protective coat of clear spray paint.  Do this in a well-ventilated area or outdoors! I found that a can of Krylon® was half the price at Walmart over buying it at a craft store.
6. After they are dry, tie a few strands of raffia into a bow below the sign and stake them into your gardens! 
The Strawberry Patch!
The new Lavender mound!
See my blog about the Pruning of the Lavender:
http://journeyswithjuju.blogspot.com/2011/09/pruning-of-lavender.html


Blessings ~ Juju




Wednesday, May 23, 2012

FAMILY wood blocks

It's all about family. That's been our motto/ mantra for about 30 years now.  And this week, our oldest  daughter and I decided to do a simple craft that puts our words into action.

Grandpa R. obligingly cut some scrap 2x4 lumber into 2 each of the following sizes: 6",         5-1/2" and 4-1/2".  Daughter and I then painted the back and sides of each block with black acrylic paint.  

When dry, the fronts were then painted in lavender, cream and soft blue.


We used my Cricut™ machine to cut black vinyl letters with the Don Juan™ cartridge. We had to adjust the letter m a bit to fit with width of the block, but as you can see, it turned out really well.

Here is the original idea we saw on Pinterest, and modified/ simplified it for our blocks.  If you'd like to see other ideas from Pinterest, type "family blocks" into the search bar.


Blessings ~ Juju


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Semi-Homemade "Mod Podge"

Yesterday, I was looking online for some gift ideas for Father's Day and found a great {and almost free} gift to make for the Hubs.  (I'll share it in a later post, so I don't give away the surprise! Yes, he reads my blog!)  The only thing was, I was going to need some "Mod Podge" and I think I'm fresh-out of it.  Of course, I went on Pinterest to see if anyone had a recipe for homemade Mod Podge and I found several that were identical and extremely simple!

1 - 4oz. bottle of Elmer's White Glue
1 -8 oz or larger jar (my sister's jam came in this one)
4 oz. water

Pour the glue into the clean jar.
Add the water.
Put the lid on snugly and SHAKE IT UP!

Yep, that's it!  It's a thinner version than what you'd buy in the store, but I've read that many people think it dries faster and clearer than the original. This is a matte finish, not glossy.

Here are the slight variations that I read:
*add 1 Tablespoon of clear varnish to the mixture to make a glossy finish.
*and some folks use 4 oz. glue and only 2 oz. water...it's thicker, and more like the original probably.

Blessings ~ Juju



Thursday, May 17, 2012

Furniture Makeover - Craigslist Tables

$20.00 investment for BOTH tables!


Recently I decided to change the tables in our living room.  We used to have "the shrine to oak"...everything that was wood, was oak.  I still love oak, but the former tables were 20+ years old and I was over them. So, I sold them thru a craigslist ad, and then found these "beauties" in another ad!
After looking around on Pinterest for some inspiration, I decided to paint them.

I used Zinsser 1-2-3 primer for the first coat...I was told by the paint guys at Home Depot that I wouldn't have to sand if I used the primer...for that I was willing to shell out an extra $8.00!

After drying for 24 hours in the garage, I set about applying the first coat of paint.  For the legs and base, I chose Cafe Cream and for the top I went with Espresso Beans, both by Behr.  I used a brush for the primer and bottom half, but I applied the dark paint with a small foam roller so I would avoid excess brush strokes.

I applied 2 coats to the base, and 3 coats to the tops, allowing a day's drying time between coats.


I am in LOVE with the finished product!  Especially since I sold my old tables for $150.00 and the total cost for the new ones and the makeover was just $70.00 total!

This is a first attempt at this kind of a makeover, and I think I'm hooked!  I'm going to get my old hope chest down and do the same paint on it, too! 


Blessings ~ Juju

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Semi-Homemade Body Wash

Semi-Homemade Body Wash


6 cups of water
3 bars of DOVE soap

This is an update of a post that I did a few weeks ago.  I originally posted the "no-grate" recipe, but today I discovered that I like the grate recipe better.

1. Bring the water to a boil in a large pot. Lower the heat to medium-high and keep hot.
2. Grate 3 bars of soap. (Yes, this step is more time-consuming than the microwave method, but it dissolves SO much easier!)
3. Sprinkle the grated soap into the water, and stir. (I used a wooden spoon.) It should ALL dissolve and look like a milky soup.
4. Turn off the heat and let it cool down for a couple of hours.
5. Using a funnel, pour the soapy soup into clean plastic bottles for use in the shower & tub. (I saved bottles for a few weeks, so I didn't have to buy any.)

This is my second attempt at making body wash, and it was easy and kinda fun! It made about 48 ounces of liquid body wash, and since I used coupons for the Dove soap, it was about $2.00 to make. Please try this, and let me know about how YOUR body wash "soup" turns out!

Blessings ~ Juju