Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Bud Vase Holder DIY

Hey Everyone!  So glad you stopped by today....I'm showing something that's a little bit crafty, with a little bit of my "builder" side showing.  

What do you think of this cute little bud vase holder?  It's great as a centerpiece, on a side table, or on a shelf.  The size makes it pretty versatile, and of course you can use real flowers or faux!
The best part is, if you are wanting to try your hand at building a little something, this is a perfect beginner build project.

You'll need some simple tools and supplies:
  • 1X4" pine board (buy the shortest piece, which I think is 6-foot)
  • a tape measure
  • a saw to cut the board (at Dollar Tree they had small hand saws!)
  • wood glue
  • 3 oil/vinegar bottles from Dollar Tree (or 3 matching bottles about 8-1/2" tall)
  • drill
  • 1-1/4" hole cutting saw that fits your drill
  • 150 grit sandpaper
  • hammer & finish nails or brad nailer
  • paint or stain, your choice (it doesn't take much)

Now, don't get scared about the power tool! That drill is lightweight but still powerful enough to use the hole-cutting drill bit. (You'll need that to cut the holes.) 

Cut your wood:
2 pieces will be 12 inches long each for the base and top.
2 pieces will be 6-1/2 inches long each for the sides.

Now take one of your longer pieces, and mark the center of the board, which is 6-inches, and also mark the middle of the board, which is 1-3/4 inches, and mark that with a X.  That's where the center hole will be cut!

The other 2 holes will be marked at 3-1/4 inches from each end, plus that 1-3/4 inches for the middle.

That's your top board done, and now the rest is pretty simple!
  • Using the sandpaper, sand any rough edges and around the holes
  • Paint or stain your pieces
  • Assemble the bottom with the sides, using the wood glue, one side at a time
  • Hammer 3 finish nails into each end (or use a brad nailer)
Wow, you are nearly done! Wasn't that easy?
  • Insert your bottles (angle the bottom outward to get the neck of the bottle through the hole)
  • Add your favorite flowers! And I won't tell if you use faux, because that's mostly what is in my house all the time. 
You've just completed your first build!  You can show it off and say, "Hey, I made this!"

Did you enjoy this post?  I'm combining my blog with my new business, Brushed Up Furniture & More, so you'll see even more easy builds like this one, as well as lots of furniture makeovers to inspire you to pick up your paintbrush!
It's wonderful when I hear from my readers, so please check out my Facebook pages and my Instagram pages:  

Monday, June 12, 2017

How I Repaired a Deep Gouge in my Pottery Barn Table

Hi and Welcome!  With my new business, Brushed Up Furniture & More, I'm finding myself pretty busy these days, and it feels good!

Today, I'm sharing with you

When Ed & I moved back to Texas in 2014, we had a huge U-Haul truck with all our earthly belongings in it:

Except one thing: we had gifted our oak dining room table to our youngest daughter and her husband.  She loves it, uses it every single day, and we were happy to let them have it for their growing family. Here it is below, with chairs that they found on craigslist:

It's a beautiful oak table, and we have LOTS of great memories of family gatherings, birthdays, Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts, etc. around that table; I'm glad we've kept it in the family.

Now that Ed & I were settling into a new place in Texas, we had to search out the perfect-for-us table, which we found on Craigslist at a bargain price.  We scored a solid pine Pottery Barn table, which fit in perfectly with our farmhouse-style! (I bought those chairs from a craigslist ad, as well.)

We LOVE it! The look and size fit us just right.  And then, there is this:

This deep gouge was on the table when we purchased it, and of course, we were aware that the table had lived through another family's life for a few years. See all those other scratches and dents? Just adds to the character and history of this table, if you ask me.  But, the unsightly, poorly repaired gouge was pretty hard to photograph around.  (Sometimes the light would hit just right, and actually make it fade out of photos!)

Well, I FINALLY decided to repair it correctly!  I started with a few items to get the job done:

The first step was to very slowly and carefully dig out the old material that was used:

I have no idea what they used, but it was hard, uneven and the wrong color.  As I worked my way down, I was searching for the place where the filler stopped, and real wood began.  I finally found it about a quarter of an inch down!  The hole is actually kind of "football" shaped, as it's wider at the surface, and deepest at the narrow bottom.

To get the hole completely clear of the old material, I used my vacuum hose to get out every last bit.

To fill the hole, I used:

and a metal putty knife. I like the metal kind, because it has more flexibility than plastic putty knives.
I pushed the wood filler into the hole, and used the flat part of the putty knife to push and flatten the wood filler to a consistent level. Then I scraped away any excess on the surrounding area, but left some to "feather" the putty out when it's sanded.

The wood filler needs 24 hours to dry completely!  This is important for such deep gouges.  I had to apply more wood filler the next day, because as it dried, the putty sank into the gouge, leaving a very slight bowl-shape.  Again, I left it to dry another 24 hours.  It's important not to rush the drying process, otherwise I'd have to start all over again.

Next, I used 100 grit and 220 grit sandpaper to carefully sand down the wood putty, flat & level on the surface of the table.  Finally, I used 2 different stains to try and match the color of the knots in the table (the darkest part).  I felt that going with dark stain - basically "faking" another knot - was easier and less likely to stand out than if I tried to match the lighter stain of the pine.  A protective coat of polyurethane finished the job!  Here's a close up:

If I had it to do over again, I think I would have tried to make the area more oval-shaped to look more like a natural knot, but what's done is done, and I'm happy that it looks so much better and blends in with the rest of the tabletop.

Can you see the repair from this angle? It certainly blends in SO much better now!

One day, I'm hoping to give the table and bench a matching's an "inspiration" photo from the web:

I'm thinking Rust-Oleum's Chalked paint in Linen White for the base, and Minwax's Wood Finish stain in Dark Walnut!

I guess you'd say I'm like the plumber with the leaky faucets in his own home....I'm the Makeoverist with an unpainted, non-made over dining table!  One day, I WILL do this!

Until next time, be sure to follow me on Instagram and Facebook, or you can catch up with me on my Brushed Up Furniture Instagram and Facebook pages! Or Both... I'll see you there!

Friday, March 31, 2017

Reclaimed Pallet Shelves

Hey Everyone!  Thanks for stopping over!  I hope you have a tall sweet tea, or your favorite coffee in front of you so that you can relax and see what I was up to the other day:

Back in 2012, I was given a couple of pallets to try my hand at creating something from them.  We lived in Idaho at that time, and it was a beautiful summer day when Ed & I started separating the pallets.  We got some good wood out of them and I made a couple of signs...

This Pantry sign:

and this Bakery Sign:

and this Pallet Wall Art with removable Paris canvas:

which also had a short life as this hand painted pallet art:

However, I really wasn't using it the way I wanted to.  I've seen quite a few inspirations online, like this one from Find Your Countryside on Etsy:

and this one I found on Pinterest by The Wood Garage LLC on Etsy:

Aren't they so cute??
Yesterday, one of my neighbors asked on the Next Door app if someone could build the shelf (above), since it was no longer available.  I told her I could build one for her, and got to work.  Naturally, I wanted to use what I already had, and at this time, I don't have much in my pallet wood stash, so I decided to give mine a makeover, and see if she liked what I came up with.

I sanded off nearly all of the paint, to get it to that cool, rustic texture that she wanted.  I cut three shelves to mimic the ones on the inspiration piece, and then attached them from the back using screws. Because the vertical pallet boards are different depths, I couldn't glue the shelves on. The hardest part was making sure each shelf was level, so I pre-drilled holes first and inserted one screw from the back into one end of the shelf, and double-checked the level before continuing to secure the rest of the shelf.  After I had that part figured out, it went pretty quickly.

 Brushed Up Furniture & More

After all of them were attached, I really didn't want to part with it!  I LOVE how it came out! And, so did my neighbor....she bought it from me!  Well, I guess I need to start looking for some more pallets to make another one for myself.

It actually feels really good to have something sell so quickly that I didn't get a chance to list it! Makes me feel like my efforts are appreciated.

Until next time, you can always find me posting photos on Facebook and Instagram, or stop over to see my Brushed Up Furniture & More page!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Engaging Hygge Year Round

Do you ever feel like you're the last one on the train when it comes to home decor, fashion, or new trends?  Sometimes I'm slow to catch on, or catch up for that matter!

When I first heard of Hygge several months ago, I was seeing quite a few Pinterest pins about it, so I saved them out of curiosity, then I went back and looked at all the articles and blog posts about it.   The more I read about it, the more I knew I wanted to incorporate it into my life and home.

Today I'm sharing a little insight on what I've learned about Hygge (pronounced something like hue-gah, and luckily pronouncing it is probably the hardest part!).  Hygge is a way of life and living that is traditionally practiced by the people of Denmark, Sweden, and other Scandinavian cultures, especially embraced during the wintertime. There is no single-word definition or explanation for Hygge:
  • Togetherness with friends and family
  • Relaxed & Cozy
  • Soft candle glow
  • Warm & Cozy
  • Calm & Peaceful
  • Cozy furnishings and clothes
  • Soft lighting
  • Warm drinks
  • Simplifying life
  • Switching off screens
  • Embrace nature and Get outdoors
  • Bring a little of nature indoors
  • Read, Draw, Paint, Craft
  • Embrace & Celebrate your Faith
Just reading that list helps my mind to relax, does it for you?  Seriously, look at how many times the word COZY is used!  I may not live in a place that has long, dark, snowy winters, but I've found plenty of things on this list to embrace and incorporate into my home and life.

Since it's still "winter" here in Texas (okay, stop laughing! We do have colder days, sometimes....) Ed and I have been enjoying many of our evenings by candlelight.  This not only gives an atmosphere of peace and calmness, it's also very romantic!  Now, I'm sure we're not really saving a lot of money by keeping the lights off, because I'm now obsessed with candles!  Like I said yesterday on Facebook, I think I'd better learn how to make my own candles, because I'm always on the hunt for the best, longest burning, best smelling candles.

Warm drinks and a roaring fire can be enjoyed in different seasons, so don't think that hot chocolate and logs in the fireplace are just for a cold December night. Hygge is not just practiced in the wintertime!  Picture a summer night, friends gathered around the backyard fire pit, laughing and enjoying each other's company without a TV or cell phone in sight! Well, maybe if you are using your camera phone to capture a S'mores moment like I did last summer.  Here's my precious mother-in-love, getting her marshmallow the perfect shade of burnt! (She went to be with Jesus in January, so these kind of memories with her and our family, are so precious to remember now!)

Snuggling together on a lazy Saturday morning can be enjoyed in October as much as in January.  Grab the kiddos for some whispered plans of "what we'll do later today after we cuddle", for instance: a family hike!  Even if you only stay in your own neighborhood, there are things that happen when you get everyone outdoors: neighbors mowing their lawns or raking leaves will smile & wave; you'll hear the birds singing and squirrels chattering, and the breeze blowing through the trees. All those things you'd be missing from the inside of an air-conditioned SUV.
There goes Big Sister and Little Brother on a new adventure, right in their own backyard! Photo: © SLH

Here's a great summer Hygge idea! Dip your toes in the water together!  Don't have a lake nearby? Well, grab the kiddie pool and fill it up. Taking time to be together is part of what Hygge is about.  These two beauties are "The K2s": our daughter Katie & her daughter Ky at Lake Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.

Cookie-baking day, anyone? Here are all five of our grandchildren at Christmastime, having a blast making cookies with the mommies and Grandma Juju! It might  not be "relaxing", but it was a fun first time for all the cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents to be together, and we all enjoyed eating the yummy fresh cookies, too.  Warms the heart, don't you agree?

How about an evening playing board games or cards?  You might think about making game night a "screen-free zone", by putting everyone's cell phone & other devices into a bowl or box, and put it out of ear-shot.  Enjoy each other's company, talk, laugh, and play with no distractions.  Put family game night on the calendar once or twice a month and make sure you make that time as important as any other appointment in the month!

Do you live in or near a city with a zoo?  Why not buy a family season pass and enjoy an afternoon seeing a few of your favorites, like the giraffes!  You can spend as much or as little time as you want, because you can re-visit another time to see other favorites. If the kids are feeling tired, you can feel free to leave, and return another day. Our son and his family have had lots of fun doing just that!  Last May, Ed & I joined them, and everyone took turns feeding the giraffes! Look how our littlest granddaughter was sizing up that friendly giraffe, while her big brother waited his turn very patiently. 

Just remember to keep the focus on being together as a couple or family, or with friends.  "Be where you are" is a good phrase to keep in mind. It's not about planning something detailed and extravagant or expensive; it IS about being grateful to be together, and stepping into an atmosphere that's peaceful, calming, mindful and cozy.  Oh, and if you hear or read that Hygge is "going out of style" or "sooo last year", don't believe it. It's been trending in Scandinavia for centuries!

To learn much more about Hygge, you might find my Pinterest Board, Make Life Peaceful - Hygge helpful. 
You can almost always find me over on Facebook and Instagram, too!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

New Business Launch!

Y'all, I am SO excited to announce the launch of my new business, Brushed Up Furniture & More!

It seems like I've always had a dream of doing something that I love, and turning it into my own small business. As you've seen here for the past 2+ years, I've been doing my own furniture makeovers, and I've discovered that I really love doing them!

How Did I Start?

After Christmas, Ed & I decided to clear out some of the excess furniture.  I began by placing ads on Craigslist, and on about 10 Facebook sites in my area.  I sold the Farmhouse Coffee Table; Glider Rocker & ottoman; a small blue cabinet; the Art Deco Vanity Desk, and even my prized Pallet Bench, and Pallet Console Table!  Parting with the last 2 items was a little difficult, but I am so glad that they both went to nice families.

Once I had the first few sales under my belt, I was encouraged by my daughter, Steffanie, to finally turn my creative energies into a business.  Steffanie has also launched her own small business, Sew Truly, featuring her awesome sewing skills!  Do you need a flower girl dress?  Costume for Halloween that will win prizes?  Go see Steffanie at

Is it scary to start a small business?

Well, yes it can be a little scary!  Steffanie told me about Christy Wright's Business Boutique website, which I have been reading faithfully; I'm also listening to Christy's podcasts and I've pre-ordered her book!  In addition, I'll be attending Christy's 1-Day Business Boutique Event in San Antonio in April! I'm excited to learn how to grow my business with Christy's tools and advice.  Starting a small business can be made easier if you have the motivation, tools and encouragement of someone who has been there.  If you are dreaming of turning a hobby into a small business, I encourage you to check out Business Boutique.

I currently have two new pieces that I'm working on for my business....the first is this sweet little round accent table.  When I'm finished giving it a gentle "refresh", it will be for sale locally in Georgetown, Texas.

I take worn, well-loved furniture and give it a fresh look for today's casual, comfortable home.  I specialize in Farmhouse-style, shabby-chic and country styles.

You know that I would LOVE for you to visit & like my business page at or follow me on  where you'll get sneak peeks and before & after photos of all my projects!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Thrift Store Furniture Makeover

Hey Friends!  So glad you stopped by!  I've been away for a short while because Ed & I recently experienced the loss of his sweet mother.  Sometimes, you have to take time for family and yourself to start to heal from such a loss.  Thank God that we know that she is in heaven with Jesus, praising around the throne of God.  I appreciate all of you who prayed for us during our time of loss.

Today I'm sharing a recent makeover of a 1920's Art Deco Vanity that I picked up at Goodwill for $30.00.

When I looked the desk over, I saw that it had dovetailed drawers, original drawer pulls, and it was nice and sturdy.  If a piece isn't sturdy, or has to have major repairs, I will usually pass it up.

This desk didn't need sanding or repairs so I removed the handles, cleaned it up and let it dry before applying the first coat of three of Waverly Chalk Paint in Plaster.  This paint went on so smoothly, and I was happy that I chose to use it on this piece!  After allowing each coat dry for 24-hours between coats, I applied Waverly White Wax as a sealer.  I applied 2 coats of the wax because I'm sure that this desk will get a lot of use.

While waiting for paint to dry, I thoroughly cleaned the handles, and then painted them with Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint.  This has been my go-to color for handles, metal accents, etc.

What do you think of it as a makeup table?

Oh, and I lined the drawers with some pretty contact paper:

You might recognize it from an earlier project, my Dresser-to-TV Media Console:

That Contact paper is so versatile and goes with many kinds of decor, don't you think?

And there you have it, the completed makeover of this 1920's Art Deco style Vanity Desk.  I love it, and I love the small investment that I made to get it looking good, and it turned out so well!

Do you want to share a photo of a makeover that you've completed?  Go over to my Facebook page, and show me your projects!