Bake Sale Stand for Christmas

My granddaughter loves to bake and has been having small bake sales in the summer with her next door neighbor. I love going to them, not just for the baked goods, but it is a fun way to meet the neighbors and enjoy the sunshine.

Why am I writing about this now? Guess what some “Little” got as a Christmas present this year?!

There is pretty much nothing I wouldn’t do for my grand babies if it is within my power. So when this little and her friend, were asking me what they wanted me to build, this idea started to form in my head.

She is tall for her age right now so I needed to make sure that it wouldn’t be too short. I watched her as she stood next to my dining room table and measured it when she walked away. I decided to make the stand 3 feet tall. I used cedar fence boards as they seemed rustic and I could buy them in 6 foot lengths to cut in half. I cut the dog ears on the bottom halves to match the tops. I love the look of white wash so that is how I painted half the boards. (It is about 1/2 paint to 1/2 water.) It depends on my mood and what look I am trying to achieve.

I heard about another new way to add color to things from Debbie Doo’s. Let me just tell you how special she is to me. Not only does she have innovative new ideas, but she helped me when I was first starting this blog thing. I owe her for being so so kind. I wanted to try dying wood ever since I read about it and this seemed like the perfect time to try it out. I wanted to use yellow Rit Dye on the other 1/2 of the boards I was using.

I had this brainy idea, to add legs to one side and wheels to the other side, to make it easier to move from the garage to the yard but the idea was better than the execution. It became quite tippy and that would not work! I had visions of baked goods falling to the ground and girls trapped underneath. Needless to say, wheels have been removed!

I whitewashed a 1x12x10 board and cut it in 1/2 to make it 5 foot in length. Enough room to show those cookies and cupcakes at their best. I attached the fence pickets at the top and bottom but I made sure to recess the top shelf down to the notch to make sure nothing was slid off the front.

1x3x6 boards were dyed yellow and attached to the sides to hold the sign that I made out of the last  white washed fence picket. I hand wrote the “Bake Sale” and hung it on a slight slant to make it look more like a child made it. It seemed plain so I made a pennant from scrap material that had a spring/summer theme. I made a pattern from cardboard to make it easier to cut them uniformly.

I wanted to have it remain more rustic so I used twine to attach them to the stand.

I hot glued the inside to the twine so they would not come off. Briefly thought I would sew them.

Did I mention … briefly?! Hee Hee

I threw a large blanket over the top to hide until the Big Reveal …

“Christmas morning”

Yes, I also made a sandwich sign to go with it. That is a whole other post!

Nothing makes me happier than seeing “joy” on her face.


Making a Growth Chart Ruler

Somethings that I make, are super easy and fast and this is definitely one of those things! (Which is why it is surprising that it took me so long to make it for my daughter as she has been wanting one for about a year now.)  This Christmas, I made most of my gifts and included this fun project.

It is super cold here in Minnesota, so I do a lot of my work in my basement which might look crazy to some of you, but it’s warm, I can watch the Hallmark channel, AND work on fun.

You can find ideas all over the web by those who have done them but I knew I just wanted something simple so no pattern was needed. I had a 1x6x6 1/2 foot board that I wasn’t using, left over from another project, so I sanded down the board and stained it. I used a gel stain so there was less mess.

I measured the board starting at 1 foot because that is how high I will hang it off the ground. I used a Sharpie to make my marks.

I used a stencil I had to paint “Watch Gracie Grow”. I had been making marks on my wall that I used as measurements to mark on the board. I wanted to attach the paint pen that I used to the board so she could be consistent with what was started. I used twine and a small screw to attach it to the top and let it hang down the side.

One hour (or less) lighting project!

My bedroom, like most, needed reading light and I was NOT going to use bedside lamps! I want the light where I can use it. Not, leaning way over to the lamp on the nightstand where my back is sure to get a kink. Ask me how I know about that! Ouch!

I wanted to mount them where I would not leave them when I moved and since our bed happens to be BIG, if I mounted them to the wall, someone else would have to deal with either moving them to accommodate their bed size or remove them all together. I am going to attach them to my bed!

I ran to Ikea to find 2 lights that I could use and found these beauties.

Here is the easy part! Measure down how far you want the lights to be attached and duplicate it on both sides. I used my power screw driver to attach the mounts and then all I had to do was slide the lights onto them. SOOOOO easy!

I even incorporated the other “Joy” to help! She turned the light on for me to make sure it worked 😉

Master Bed3

Don’t you just love little hands?! Even the left over polish on the thumb nail!

“Houston, We have lift off!”

One for each side with their own on/off switch!

And …. now to kick back and enjoy some TV.

VERY easy and QUICK!

You have time to do something fast like this, with your extra hour of daylight savings time!


Happy Autumn!



A new look to an old front door

My daughter and her husband bought a home at the end of last year and since spring and warmer weather is finally here, she is anxious to make some changes outdoors.


Julie front door 1


Her first request was to paint her front door a fun new color. I have to give it to my girl, she knows what she likes, and how to find it. She found a photo of a door color that she liked on the internet and I used an app on my phone, ”ColorSnap” by Sherwin Williams, that will color match.


Julie front door 2


The color that she chose was Nautilus (SW 6780) and the work began. We took the door off its hinges and I sanded it down. Did you see how we used a hair dryer to get rid of the saw dust ? Hahahaha.  Who needs a compressed? Well, yes, that would have been nice! A repair of the outside corner needed to be done before we painted and since we bought a paint that had primer included, the transformation began.


Julie front door 3


My sweet girl is trying her hand at learning the ins and outs of home improvement. This is the first time that she has had an interest at doing it herself and I couldn’t be prouder of  how quick she learns. She is also very patient and gets the work done right. You can’t teach that! Even my granddaughter got into the fun. She is pseudo sanding. Is that a thing?!


Julie front door 4


After the first coat dried we had to wait a few days before I was able to come back and lightly sand the door again so that we could add a second coat. Correction. SHE added a second coat.


Julie front door 5

Julie front door 6


When I came back today to work on another project , the gorgeous door was the first thing I saw and it made me smile. I love a home that makes me smile!!!


Julie front door 7



Julie front door 8

(We had a freakish snow burst right before I took this photo)


Yes, we are working on something new here at her home. It was a gorgeous day here in Minnesota and it was glorious being out side with no coat and just wearing sandals! Bring on the sun!!!!

Hugs for a great day,



Installing a kitchen backsplash. Is it hard to do?

Have you ever started a project before you realized the timing of it was REALLY bad?

Yup, that was me, when I decided to put in a kitchen back splash the weekend before I was to host Easter dinner! In hindsight, it was great motivation to get it finished before company came the following weekend. But seriously, Yikes!!!

I got Mr Man involved with the lighting. It was divide and conquer time. He worked on disconnecting the lighting while I cleared the counters and assembled what I would need to get started. I usually work on this kind of project by myself but, I would have to say, it was quite fun to work together using our unique talents.

I found glass tiles online quite a while ago and I brought in a sample in with me to buy the grout. I had comments about how pretty and unique it was. I think it was mainly that they hadn’t seen it before as they don’t carry anything close to it. That is why I love it so much. It is not common and the pop of color is just what I need in my kitchen.

The starting point is so important. I had to make sure the black aluminum trim was set exactly level vertically because, if you have that off, everything that follows will be off. Take the extra time at the beginning to make sure that you have it right!!!

Going around ALL the electrical outlets was a colossal pain in the “you know what”!

For the most part it was fairly easy, but when you times it by 152 (ok, not that many, but it sure seemed like it). I took a sheet of paper and outlined the outlet, cut out the square, and then lined it up over the sheet of tile. I used a dry erase marker to mark the tiles that I was going to cut off the sheet because, when I finished, I could wipe them off.

If you find the tile is too close around the outlets after you have everything finished and dried, (*cough* me), you can use a Dremel with a diamond wheel to cut the tile. It is a bit tricky to maneuver if you are using it in a small space, but I found that if you start the line (score it) you can use a hammer and flat head screwdriver to separate the tile in a clean line.

There are extenders that you can buy made by “Ideal” to bring the electrical outlet flush to the tile. We found them at Home Depot. They are made to go in between the box and the plug like a washer but are made out of a hard plastic. I have tried electric box extenders before but I don’t like them nearly as well as these.

Sometimes I had to back butter the sheets of tile but for the most part I was able to apply it directly to the wall.

I waited 48 hours for it to dry and then I grouted. Once the grout was dry …

I don’t have time for all this drying, people! I have company coming for Easter dinner!

… I applied sealer. I read 2 schools of thought … some say you don’t need to seal the kitchen tile and that it could discolor the glass tiles if you did and some said you could do it. In my head (scary place that it is) I cannot imagine not sealing it. I want to be able to wash it down as needed, I don’t want grease splatter or whatever else to stain it , and I want it to stay looking nice for years to come. That means find a sealer that you can use with glass tiles.

I had a lovely new look in my kitchen in time for Easter. Now can someone remind me to check the calendar before I tackle a project just to make sure there are no potential holidays coming up in the next week? Hahahaha

Hope this finds you having a great day.



Guest post from Sharon Hines, author of “Creating Success at Home”

Creating Success at Home 2D book cover


BJ has hit the nail on the head with her tagline “Finding joy in my DIY journey.” Most of us want to skip to the end and move on to the next project when really there is so much reward in the journey itself.


Appreciating that journey requires the right mindset, which BJ obviously has. When I think of BJ, her home and her blog, I think “delightful,” “joyful,” “pleasant” and “nice.” Isn’t that a great way to approach life?


I’m reminded of this quote by Laura Ingalls Wilder, “Home is the nicest word there is.”  I think about what it must be like for BJ’s granddaughter who gets to enjoy the under-the-stairs playhouse built just for her, and everyone else who lives in or visits BJ’s home, and how they must realize the truth in that statement.


But, I also know that not everyone feels that way about home.


I’m helping to plan my 30 year high school reunion this Summer. Once we created a Facebook group for all of our old school friends, people began to reconnect and share. Some shared stories of hard home lives and going down dark roads in life and how that they overcame to create pretty good lives for themselves. But one person spoke up and said, “Not everyone just gets over what happened in their childhood.”


Unfortunately, my classmate is right. Not everyone moves on. Not everyone starts new or builds a better life. I don’t know what happened to her as a child, but I do believe that we were created to overcome and that “greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world.” In other words, God is for us. As a friend of mine often says, “God is for our joy.”


Because of my faith and because I believe that our homes are so foundational in shaping our lives, I took the opportunity to tell some students to whom I was speaking that if there is something they do not like about their current home life, then they can make a change as adults in their own homes.


BJ actually touched on this very idea in her post “When a Parent Moves In.”  She mentioned not quite fitting in with her family in her childhood home. BJ went on to say that she found ways to work through her feelings and develop a good relationship with her parents.


Our childhood homes have such an impact on who we become in life, for better or worse. And, just like I told those teenagers, we really do have the ability to choose “better” which makes me so proud of BJ as I follow along with Joy 2 Journey. She has created what I call success at home.


Thank you Sharon for the kind words. I learned a lot about making a house a home, and for me, here were 3 things that stood out the most for me in your book.

  1. “The Dish Towel” – You will have to read about it in her book! She is right in that it is all about the waiting, and the everyday, that make the special times that much sweeter.
  2. In Chapter 25 – “Defining your style” for me means I don’t have a name for what my style is, and I am ok with that! I am casual but I like to be surrounded by things that I enjoy and make me smile. Whether it is photos of my family (I hold them dear to me) or a pig that my husband bought for me, as a surprise, that I had really wanted!


My style … and my pig 🙂

   3.  In Chapter 27 – “Overcoming Indecision” is what I have learned about myself over the years. If I have to think about it too long, I know it is something that I will regret buying. It is almost as if I am talking myself into it. BUT, if I fall in love and just have to have it … I will never regret the purchase.


Sharon was so sweet in agreeing to share a sample chapter!

You can click here to read it.

For one week, we are going to let those of you who want to win a copy of the book, comment below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You may also click here to buy it right away.


Old table/New look!

I bought a table and 4 chairs. Around 2010 sometime. So long ago that I forgot where I bought it. Maybe GoodWill? It was a great deal though … I remember that part. I bought them all for $25!!! It sat around for years being a utility table for all my other projects. Unfortunately, I was loading it down with anything and everything and it ended up pretty messy. In fact, when I went back to find a starting photo, the only one I could find was one that is actually cleaner than it normally was. But hey,

Creativity gets messy!

(You may quote me.)


I digress…

My mother moved into her independent living apartment in October and needed a dining room table. She sold her table when she moved here to Minnesota and now is eating on her card table. I am in awe of how simple and content she lives. I would want to have pictures and color on my walls and of course a table to eat on. A real table. She is content that she has walls, white is fine, and her card table is a table.

You already know that I happen to have a table that is not being used and l wanted to see if I could make it into something that she would be proud to have in her home. I needed to keep it simple, so she would welcome it into her home. Simple doesn’t mean it won’t be classy!

Oh, and it was a Christmas present for her.

The finish was so bad on it that I decided to sand it down to see what I had to work with. There was grime to wash off, old paint and varnish to remove, and I was pleasantly surprised to find gorgeous wood underneath.

(Sorry for the bad lighting. I was working into the night with only the patio light to see.)


What we don’t do for love. Night time is cold here in Minnesota even though we are having a warmer winter than normal. You can see some snow on the ground. Brrrr!


I love working on projects. I usually have some noise going in the background (this time of year its Hallmark movies) and I get lost in my thoughts. I see what is developing and think about what I can do with it. I was going to stain the wood but I thought the contrast of the light wood and darker legs would be a pretty. I decided on a clear coat. It shows the definition of the wood without making it too dark.


I also had to tighten bolts, add missing nuts, and fix the back of one of the chairs (it needed the old dowel  drilled out and a new one placed).

It became sturdy again and I was getting excited to see something beautiful emerge. I found myself wishing I could keep it for myself as a game table downstairs. Maybe I should run out and buy her something different? Hahahaha. No worries, I didn’t.

The last thing that I did was to distress the edges. It was looking too plain and the distressing helped bring out the lines of the furniture.


In a throw away society, I enjoy finding something that can be revamped and used again.


This was a project made with love, knowing that my mom would be able to use something that I did for her, every day. I hope it reminds her of how much I love her and enjoy caring for her.


I am working on another project for her that I will post soon. As you get older you have different needs and I am having fun trouble shooting those needs to make her life easier.




What you can do when it is cold outside …

In my case, when it is cold outside, two things happen …  I clean and I work on things I haven’t had a chance to work on in a while.

The blog is one of those things. I have been taking an on line class to learn about enhancing my blog and it has been a fun hair pulling experience. Mr Man laughs at me, as I have the patience of a gnat when things in technology don’t work for me. (Mostly my fault of course) This is his super power but not mine!

Did you see my new header? Of course how could you miss it? That took an afternoon. But, I learned a lot! And, I added a profile photo of myself and the other Joy in my life.

My namesake and why I started to blog ♡

My namesake and why I started to blog ♡


I also cleaned my carpet. Even staying inside and giving a room a deep clean gives me joy.  We have two dogs who we love dearly …


but they leave dirt where they lay.


But after using my Hoover carpet cleaner and Hoover Pet Plus cleaner my carpet now looks like this …


A fan running helped dry it out quicker, although my Hoover cleaner can rinse, and has great suction. The living room is put back together again and if it doesn’t warm up soon, there will be more cleaning in my future!




Sewing machine chair refreshed

Inspired by …

“What inspires me?”  Anything that is unique and has a story. My Mom’s Antique Old Sewing machine cabinet and chair. I love old pieces with character, or in this case, a history. I grew up learning to sew on this sewing machine and spent many, many hours sewing my clothes. “Simplicity” and I had a love affair that went on for years.

I remember one Christmas getting a Simplicity pattern and fabric from my Mother. I was disappointed that my sister had the better pattern and material, but I fell in love with my new dress while working on the sewing machine and table. Honestly, I ended up with the cuter dress after I added the rickrack and other embellishments. My sister was asking to borrow mine all the time. (Just for the record … Rickrack was the “in” thing in the 70’s!)



It has been a busy month moving my daughter and family into their new home, and then a week later moving my Mother into her independent apartment. It was with haste and not much sleep that I pulled the chair apart and dove into this project.

The legs unscrewed and needed to be sanded and the tips painted. I had a great idea to wrap the legs in plastic bags from the store since I had extras, but, the bag seemed to get in my way. I wrapped the next ones with shop towels that I was able to use later to stain the legs and screwed them into a box to spray paint.

Don’t you just love how the stain brought out the grain in the wood? The seat needed  cleaning, sanding, staining, and a new covered seat cushion. The back of the chair was layered with grunge from hand oils and dirt from the many times I pulled it out and pushed it back in. For the inside under the lid, I placed cork to give it a more polished look, but I love the look of wood and cork together. Seems earthy 🙂

I also used cork inside on the bottom to line it and I love that my Mother still has her original #Kenmore sewing machine kit.

I wanted to redo something for my daughter that would mean something to her. Inspired by the past and the generations of women who went before her and sat in this very chair. Now with a bit of updating it will fit into her new home.

Refreshed in love! ♥

Materials used in this “Refresh“…


Rustic Mist Metallic paint and primer in one (tips of chairs)

Special Walnut stain (all wood)

Zinger primer (seat base)

Coffee Metallic Glaze  (to bring out the texture of the seat base sides)

Goodwill pillow sham for $1.99 to cover seat and ribbing.

cork on a roll (lining the seat inside)

and new hinges (old ones broke while disassembling)



Furniture Refresh

 Loading InLinkz …

Update on Stained walkway

I have had so many questions on this one post.

Click here →  Staining a walkway

The #1 question?

“How is it holding up?”

I think a lot of you are interested not only in the ease of application but that it looks so nice when it is finished. But the BIG question remains … How is it holding up, after more than 3 years? 

I love it!

I live in Minnesota where we have more winter than summer. Ice and snow. Shoveling and ice melt to put on the walkway for safety. In other words, “We are tough on our sidewalks here!” I have two spots where it has finally worn through because of water and ice melt from our roof. That being said … do you want to see it?! First, a close up of the two areas.

It doesn’t peel, (That was the #2 Question) It is just sort of wearing. A quick touch up will restore it to the other areas. Here is my walkway over 3 years later with the two spots marked for point of reference.

Not bad for 3 years, right?

Hugs and make it a great day,