Christmas House Tour & DIYs ~ 2017

Hi Friends!  Now that the house is set up and we have settled in, I thought I'd give you a little view of what our Christmas decor looks like this year.

We decided to keep things fairly simple this year.  With all the packing and unpacking we've done these past few months, we didn't feel like unpacking and repacking every single piece of Christmas decor!  Even though I've purged out a BUNCH of Christmas decor, we still have a LOT, and funny thing....I still keep adding to it every year!

I'm so thankful for a mantle on the fireplace. I would have missed not decorating a mantle this year.  We decided that the Nativity scene fit perfectly right under the Magnolia Cathedral Window with my DIY wreath on it, and off to the side I have some angels of various kinds. (Including the 2 beautiful ladies in the photos - both of our Mom's have gone from this world and into Heaven, where they are rejoicing and praising God along with the heavenly host!)

Here's a link for the Free Printable "O Holy Night" banner.

In front of the fireplace I displayed my German sled with some fresh cut branches from the tree in the backyard. On top of that the burlap bow from last year's Christmas tree joins an adorable log cabin birdhouse.  I made the Christmas Trees sign a couple of years ago, and I'm still in love with it.

This lantern was on clearance a couple of years ago at Target, and this year I decided to try a "Little Red Truck" display. Isn't it cute?

The ledge on the side of the fireplace holds our two Thomas Kinkade prints paired with a church and 2 log cabin "smokers" (we got them all when we lived in Germany).  When you burn incense inside of them, the smoke comes out the chimneys!

In the kitchen and dining area, I took frames and covered them with Dollar Tree gift bags! Simple, easy and inexpensive DIY for the season that's easily put back to normal later on.

For a simple table centerpiece, I flipped over a wooden tray, and made this little Christmas Tree Lot snow scene featuring Ed's little Red and Green trucks.  We like to display the trucks year round, and now they get to take center stage!  This is probably my favorite thing for this year.

Continuing the Little Red Truck theme, this little display sits atop the video cabinet in the living room:

Our 7 year old granddaughter visited us last week because she had Fall Break from school. She loves how I set up the Christmas Village in the china cabinet! Papa lifted her up to see the top shelf of buildings.

Here is the final version of the tree!  I had originally put a matching burlap ribbon bow on the top, but I changed my mind after I made this Burlap & Twine star, using supplies from the Dollar Tree and Walmart. Cost: just $5

The Burlap and Twine Star Christmas tree topper was an easy project and I'm adding a photo tutorial to my YouTube channel, so please look for that here.

Easy DIY twig stars use jute twine in keeping with the theme!

Another cute and easy DIY project was this Jingle Bell Garland. It's SO simple, you won't need a tutorial! Just get thin twine, large and small jingle bells, and hot glue. I strung the large bells on, and hot glued the smaller bells in between the large bells. That was it! You can use it on your tree, or as a garland on your fireplace. Cost was just $4 because I had the twine and hot glue on hand.
(I also made a garland using mini pinecones for my daughter's tree. Just twine, hot glue and mini pinecones!)

This is the project below that started it all for me this year:  I found this plant stake at Walmart, but it was just brass color all over. I grabbed my paint stash and gave it more life!

So, that's most of my decor for this year!  We kept things simple and stress-free, and now we are ready for the Holiday Season!

Wishing you many blessings during the coming Holy Season: Time with family & friends; time to relax and rest; and time for celebrating the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!

Don't forget to join me over on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube!

Whew! Life Has Been Happening!

Some of you might be wondering why I've been MIA lately, and it's all good!  My Sweetheart and I just moved 800+ miles from Texas to Colorado.

Ed drove a 26-foot Uhaul truck and towed a 12-foor trailer, while I drove the pickup truck with the Harley in the bed.  We took it easy by doing the drive in 3 short days, and we had wonderful weather for the entire trip!

Due to time constraints, we decided to rent this cute house for a year or so, to give us time to look around the area and find a place that we want to call home for a LONG time!  Yep! We will actually be looking for our Forever Home at last!

Ed has a great new job that he will be starting soon, and he's very excited about that. We are both glad to have a short break to recover from the physical trauma that our bodies have gone through because of doing this move ourselves.

In the near future, I'll be doing some new decor posts and probably some furniture makeovers, too!  We have a large, unfinished basement that Ed is going to help me set up shop in, and I'm really excited about not having to move the car in & out of the garage every time I'm working on a project.

Did you check out my YouTube videos of the Fall decor that I whipped together before the move?
If not, check them out, because they won't break the bank and you can put them together fast for your Autumn home decor!

Easy Fall Decor

Fall Florals in Metal Vase All From Dollar Tree

Thanks for hanging in there while life happened for us.

Almost-Homemade Peanut Butter

My husband Ed and I love peanut butter. Lately, we've discovered that we can grind it ourselves in the bulk food department at our local grocery store (HEB).  The only down-side is that the peanut butter is very coarse and grainy, which makes it hard to spread.
Now I've figured out a way to fix that, and add a little touch of flavor at the same time:

To make this recipe, you will need:

1 lb. (16 oz in weight) of ground peanut butter from the bulk food department
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt (this enhances the flavor)
    --- and if you like it just a tiny bit sweet:
2 Tablespoons of sweetener like Stevia in the Raw (you can also use your choice of honey, sugar, or your favorite sweetener)

Process in a food processor for 3 to 5 minutes, checking after every 90 seconds or so.  You will see the peanut butter oils release as the mixture gets smoother and has a more glossy appearance. This helps it spread more easily, too!

After it's to the desired consistency, scrape it into a clean jar that has a well-fitting lid.  No need to refrigerate! At least, not in our house because it gets eaten up quickly around here!

Don't forget that I have a YouTube channel where I post recipes like this one, DIY crafts & decor, and tutorials of furniture painting tips!

Easy Fall DIY Decor {All From Dollar Tree}

Even though it's still been in the 90's here in Central Texas, seeing all the vibrant Fall decor in the stores has given me inspiration to make a few new things for my home, and I want to share them with you!

First up is a very easy way to embellish inexpensive candle holders and give them some Fall flair!

The new wreath and candle holder set looks so welcoming in my front entry hall!  The glow of the candles (real or battery-operated) brings out the colors in the leaves, and the burlap ribbon wrapping around gives it a slightly rustic, farmhouse-style.

My next project shows you how you don't need to be a floral designer to create really lovely Fall arrangements for your home:

What do you think? Are you ready for some Fall decor to grace your home?  Having made these projects on a couple of hot days, made me pray for cooler weather....Maybe I'll get my prayers answered this week!

If you are not already subscribing to my YouTube channel, I'd love it if you'd pop over there and click on that red Subscribe button.  Don't forget that "thumbs up" button if you liked these videos!

Come over and chat with me on Facebook or Instagram, and be on the lookout for some upcoming new DIY gifts for the candle-lovers in your life.

Journeys With Juju has a YouTube Channel!

One thing I never thought I'd want to do was have a YouTube channel.  I enjoy watching other people's videos, and since I have this blog, I didn't think I "needed" one.   But, one day it crossed my mind about how different people learn in different ways, and that YouTube is actually meeting a need for a lot of us out there.  So, without further ado...........

Please check out my channel, Journeys With Juju, and I would be thrilled if you'd click on that thumbs up if you like any (or all) of my videos, and hit that Subscribe button while you're at it.

There will be new videos added once a week (as long as "life" doesn't interfer).  If you are a Peanut Butter lover, like my Ed is, you might want to check out: Almost Homemade Peanut Butter.  More recipes will be added before the holidays arrive!

If you are a newbie at furniture makeovers, you might enjoy: How to Paint Drawer Pulls & Knobs or learn How I Fixed Bleed-Thru While Painting Furniture.

Now, I'm being honest here....I'm still learning the video editing process, so I guess I won't mind if you laugh at my little minor glitches here and trying to figure out how to fade in or out the audio!

Tomorrow, I hope to record a Dollar Tree DIY Fall Crafting video that I think you crafters and DIYers will all enjoy.

Don't forget you can always find me on Facebook, Instagram and now YouTube!  If you have any questions or comments, you can leave them below or send me an email by clicking the link "email me".

Utility Table Transformation for Just $2 !

Hey Guys!  I've been busy this week, tying to get a lot done which included getting my workroom back into a neat & tidy order.  In March, I sold my desk & chair because I needed more space to work on Brushed Up Furniture & More projects, so I decided to get creative and transform my paint-splattered utility work table into something more desk-like.

As you can see from the photos below, my worktable had quite a lot of undesirable spills and splatters from previous painting projects.  I tried scrubbing half-heartedly wiped the table off, but alas! I think they were embedded into the surface.

Since I had already been cleaning and organizing the workroom, my eyes fell upon my basket of Contact Paper that I use for lining drawers, etc.  I had 2 rolls of Granite-look paper from The Dollar Tree  that I wasn't using for anything else.  The small pattern & texture would also work well in hiding not only the seam when I covered the table, but in case there are any future spills!
(If you want to see other patterns available, check out The Dollar Tree website. I personally have purchased nearly every pattern they carry.)

Since the table was already clean of loose debris, I peeled the backing off of the first roll and smoothed it all down, leaving a pretty ample amount overhanging the edges on the front & both short ends.  It's not that difficult, just take your time, and it's re-positionable in case you need to move it. Note: one roll wouldn't cover the entire table, which is why I had to overlap.

After the first roll was smooth, I trimmed the corners and made slits to position it around the curved corners of the table. Oh, and an old credit card worked perfectly for sliding the bubbles out.

Alright, so putting on the second roll was a little bit trickier, but patience helped me. And a credit card, and a straight pin.
I overlapped the second roll of contact paper about an inch or so, making sure I had enough overhang to cover the edges.
The bubbles will drive you crazy, so just pierce each one and flatten it with the credit card.  There might be quite a few bubbles, just keep running your hand over the contact paper and find all those little buggers.

Then, I repeated the process of trimming the remaining 2 corners.
Of course, since the tabletop is made from plastic, the vinyl contact paper didn't want to hold firmly when I was smoothing the edges under.  Naturally, I was not giving up...Painter's tape for the win!
I flipped the table over and taped the edges down, easy-peasy.

 Now, tell me that you liked the paint splatters Okay, me neither.

For just $2, I was able to quickly and easily transform my workroom utility table from paint-splattered to faux granite in just about 20 minutes!

Head on over to The Dollar Tree for some Contact Paper, and see what you can transform!
Don't forget to find me over on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and get sneak peeks of what I'm up to!  (and YouTube!)

Laundry Sign on a Vintage Ironing Board + Free Printable!

Isn't it nice when you get something for free?  And if you've been looking, like I have been, for a vintage wood ironing board and it is offered to you for FREE?  Even better!  (Thank you nice couple in Georgetown, Texas!)

Oh, and if you stay with me to the end of this blog post, I'll share with you a Free Printable that I created especially for my readers, to make your laundry day a little more cheerful!

There was instantly an idea in my head from this sign I saw at Hobby Lobby:

Now, I just LOVE this sign, it's perfect, except for one's horizontal, and what I need to have is vertical, to go from the top of the ironing board to the bottom.

So, it I did a little easy "art" work on my ironing board.

First, I took off the wooden legs (just 3 screws), then it got wiped down with some mild soap & water, and after it was fully dry, I put a coat of Waverly Chalk Paint in Plaster color on it:

Those three holes on the bottom got filled with small wood plugs and painted, too.

Now, for the lettering....I went to both Michael's and Hobby Lobby and found the letters in all the different shapes and sizes.  (I could have just paint the letters on by hand, but I love the dimensional look the letters give to it.)

Next, I painted the letters, and after they were dry, I glued them on with wood glue:

What do you think of my new Vintage Ironing Board?  Even though no one will be ironing on it any more, I'm so glad I was able to re-purpose it, and keep it out of the landfill!

For all of you that would like it, I've made up a cute Free Printable for your laundry room:

Just click on the photo above, and you'll be able to download and print the adorable sign.  I recommend using card stock if you have it. (The gray lines on the PDF show where to trim for an 8 X 10" frame.)
To make the frame:

- Cut 2 paint stir sticks to 8-3/4 inches each
- Stain or paint the sticks your choice of color. I used Dark Walnut
- On the back, use hot glue to attach the sticks to the top & bottom of the printable

I attached it to an antique wash board that's in our laundry room, and it makes me smile every time I throw in another load of wash!

Thanks for stopping by today! You guys really make my day, even if it's laundry day!
Join me on your favorite social media sites: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Peanut Butter Nutty Granola - An Updated Family Favorite!

Ed and I really like granola! But, since we have a some food allergies in our family, I created a recipe a few years back, that I could easily modify.

This week, I added fresh ground peanut butter! It's the kind that you grind yourself in the bulk food department, so that there is no added sugar, only dry roasted peanuts. Perfect for those that are avoiding refined sugar. 
And yeah, it's good stuff. 

3½ cups rolled oats (old fashioned oatmeal)
1 cup chopped or sliced almonds
1 cup chopped pecans
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1½ teaspoons ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ cup natural peanut butter <<<<<  the new ingredient I've added! 
6 tablespoons butter
½ cup honey
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
Also need – parchment paper and a rectangular baking sheet

1.       Preheat the oven to 250° F. Cover a rectangular baking sheet with parchment paper.
2.       Mix the dry oats, almonds, pecans, and spices together in a large mixing bowl.
3.       Heat the peanut butter, butter and honey together in a small saucepan over low heat.
the butter melts stir in the vanilla and salt.
4.       Pour the hot liquids over the dry ingredients and stir together with a rubber spatula until
    evenly coated.
5.       Spread mixture onto prepared pan in an even layer. Bake for 75 minutes at 250° F.
6.       Cool in pan, on the counter top.
The granola will become crisp as it cools at which point you can break into pieces (if making bars) or break it up into small chunks (if making cereal). Store in air tight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Truth be told, this doesn't stay around in our house for 2 weeks.  Now that I've added Ed's favorite food group peanut butter, I'm sure it will disappear quickly!

Once you try this new version, let me know what you think!  You can always chat with me on Facebook, Instagram or right here in the comments below!
And if you like this recipe, please give it a Pin!  

Kitchen Pallet Wood Shelf - Easy Beginner Build!

A few years back, I used to wish for a house with an "open concept" floor plan.  Now that we've lived in one, I miss walls!  One place I'm especially missing walls is in my kitchen, because I'd love to hang this:

It's a kitchen shelf that I made out of leftover pieces from a pallet!  It was fairly straightforward, no special angled cuts or anything, and I just used my Ryobi Brad Nailer to put it together.

Here's what it looks like "au naturale":

Bud Vase Holder DIY - Perfect First Build

Hey Everyone!  So glad you stopped by today....I'm sharing 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.

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

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:

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!).

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!