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Burn Pile Barn Door

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Today I am going to show you the amazing barn door I made from wood that was destined for the burn pile.

close up of barn door

I have an odd obsession with things saved from the trash.

I own (or it owns me depending who you talk to) a rescue dog.

lumi nose

I cheer every year when this rose blooms because Mr. Math mowed over it twice trying to get rid of it before giving up and leaving it alone.

hardy rose

I have saved several pieces of furniture from the trash or the burn pile. They are some of my favorite projects.

the finished vanity

 

Burn Pile Vanity

roadside credenza

 

Roadside Credenza

Finished Mudroom Bench

 

Mudroom Bench

My dad, the original junker in our family, had some cedar cut on his property on “halves “. Basically that means he got half of the wood and the person who cut it into lumber got half for payment. Some of the cedar had imperfections that went into the cull pile. It was wormy , or bowed or split.

cedar lumber

 

Cedar Windfall

My dad saved that wood for me. He knew I would want it. My dad knows me well, I did. There was a lot more wood than I expected , and it has been consuming almost a third of the Garagemahal for almost a year drying. I wasn’t sure what this wood would become but I knew that one day I would find a home for it.

I found a home for some when The Social Planner’s son bought a FEMA trailer that he and his dad are gutting and turning into a cool home for this single guy who works on yachts in a very expensive bayside community.

fema trailer turned to solar powered rv dubbed emergency response studio 14   From FEMA Trailer to Solar Powered Studio and Home

You might check out what people are doing with these trailers online.  They were filled with formaldehyde when they were built for families after the hurricane decimated New Orleans and were dumped by the government as soon as possible.   You can pick one up for a couple of thousand dollars now but they need all the junk on the inside removed.

The look he is going for is rustic industrial. I can’t wait to get some shots of the inside.  Right now the kitchen is done but everything else is under construction.

We made the door quickly out of some of the cedar.

First we sorted out the wood and put it out on the floor to look at and move around then cut them all to length.

cedar door cedar planks sawdust cedar boards

 

Next we clamped the wood and added a board at the top, bottom and across diagonally to make a Z.

clamped cedar barn door

z barn door

 

Here it is finished.  The door has five coats of polyurethane on all the door and seven inside the crevices.

the finished barn door close up of the door close up of barn door

It is going to look amazing in the trailer along with this piece that is going to be a counter once it is coated with bar coating.

cedar counter

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.

Thank you for reading my blog.  I appreciate hearing from you.

 

Blessings,

Karen

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Our First Stay in a B & B

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Mr. Math loves me. He knew that with the start of school, our son and daughter in law going overseas for a year, and even the addition of our rowdy rescue dog, Lumi, I was exhausted and ready for a break. He surprised me with a trip to a Bed and Breakfast in Fredricksburg. Texas. We even took a day off work to extend the weekend which is something I almost never do during the school year.

Fredricksburg is a town with a strong German heritage in the Texas Hill Country about four hours from Houston. It is a picture postcard, small town that has worked hard to preserve historic buildings. (In Texas, historic means late 1800’s up to early 1900’s.)

Fredricksburg TX Downtown Fredricksburg

Link to the Fredricksburg website is HERE

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This was our first ever trip to a bed and breakfast after hearing about them for years from our buddy, The Social Planner. The room wasn’t cheap. It would have been comparable to the cost of a room in a downtown Doubletree in Austin, Dallas, or San Antonio during the fall.  Once Mr. Math let me know we were going, I got to pick the room.   We looked at room photos when choosing where we would stay. I was smitten with the room I chose.   It was a mix of vintage and eclectic furnishing.  Totally funky and bohemian.

We got our reservation through this site: HERE

Here is the 360 degree view of the room at theroadrunnerinn.com .  HERE The photos don’t lie.    It was a cool space and looked exactly like the photos. The inside was exactly the type space I would create for myself.

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We arrived just after 3:00 pm at Main Street Bed and Breakfast to get our room key. The young lady at registration handed us the key, a map to the location of our building, two $6.00  breakfast vouchers for a local restaurant and told us good luck finding parking because our room did not have parking and that there was no sign for the Roadrunner which was our room.  We found parking a block behind the location and walked up to the room.  Here is a photo of all the information we got from the young lady.

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I will be honest and say that this is not the B and B experience I thought we would have.    I guess this is tip number one if you are going to a B and B.  Ask about parking, ask about breakfast, ask if someone will be on site 24 hours.  (By the way, breakfast was really good but we had to pay the balance on our meal Saturday.  It cost over the amount of our vouchers. Sunday we each got a breakfast taco and coffee and it was within the allotted amount.)

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The Little Roadrunner on the glass up to our room was the only sign.  We walked by it twice.

 

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I really like the mix of modern with mid century chairs at the top of the stairs.

 

I feel a little like a whiner when I say this but here goes.  I had expectations that a Bed and Breakfast would be more intimate.  I thought we would have human contact while we were there at a more personal level than at a hotel.  Except for the young lady who gave us the key and paper we did not see another soul related to the B &B the time we stayed there except the shop owner in the shop below our room who helped us with the door when our hands were full and a man who told us to leave the key in the mailbox Sunday morning when the office wasn’t open. We were just another set of patrons at the restaurant and frankly we could have found a place to eat on our own had we stayed in a hotel.   There were no notes, suggestions, or “Where to find…” information provided except this large picture over the kitchen area.

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Coffee was provided in the room along with basic dishes, which was nice.

We have rented beach houses several times and this felt much more like a beach house rental than what I thought we would find at a B&B.

Tip number 2:  Ask more questions and check rating sites like Yelp. 

The final ask more questions occurred Saturday night when we discovered that a band was playing in the beer garden next door after the posted hours for the Beer Garden and during the bar open hours. (It rained Friday night or we would have discovered this sooner.)   Nothing on the website mentioned that a beer garden was right outside our window or the physical address of the Roadrunner Inn.  If we were partying folk, this would have been great.  It would be a draw to know we could stay up until 2:00 am drinking then stagger back to the room once the music finished without having to drive anywhere.  We are not those folk.  After a day of shopping, exploring, and walking in cooler than expected and wet weather we were ready for bed about 11:00 pm.  By 12:30 am we were tired and frustrated.  By 12:35 there were words exchanged between Mr. Math and the manager of the Beer Garden.  It was a long night with little sleep after the words were exchanged.

Tip number 3:  Ask for the physical address of the B and B if it is not provided on the website, then go to Google Maps and Look at the Street View.  I think it would have saved us some of the aggravation Saturday night.

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FYI- This  nice looking pair playing music on the porch of said Beer Garden WAS NOT the band playing late at night and the seats were full at 12:30 am.

Will we go back to Fredricksburg?  Probably not.  We enjoyed our visit but the town was very crowded, the shopping was nice, but things were a little overpriced, and frankly our B and B experience tainted our enjoyment.  We ended up paying for a really nice weekend away and got the equivalent of Motel 6 experience in a really nice room (really it was less than Motel 6 in service- there is usually parking, 24 hour on site personnel, and ice at a Motel 6).   Will we try a Bed and Breakfast again?  I hope so.  I have already heard from two different folks about great B and B locations to try that offer what we were hoping to find.

Have you had a great B and B experience?  I would love to hear about it.  Have you been to Fredricksburg?  If so, what did we miss that would have made our trip more enjoyable?  I would love to hear from you.

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog and share in our mid-life adventures.

Blessings,

Karen

 

 

Keeping an Eye on Resale Home Value While Making a House Fun

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One of the blogs I read is Jennifer Allwood at The Magic Brush.  I love this lady.  She is fun-loving, runs her own business and manages to stay involved with her family activities all while offering advice to others about following their dreams and having a successful business.  Oh and she loves glitter.   She owns a faux painting business in Kansas City.  Right now she is struggling with selling her beautiful home.  It is a very beautiful house that reflects her unique style.  Unfortunately her home is such a reflection of what she loves and her style that potential buyers have had a hard time seeing themselves in her home.  She has now launched what she calls Operation Vanilla on her home and is making the home more neutral.  She has removed the bright colors in bedrooms, the faux painted ceilings, Bible verses in the tray ceiling… The list is long.

Source: The Magic Brush

The photo above is Jennifer’s dining room.  I love her table. I mean I have even been looking for an old sign to make my own because I think it is so cool. Her room is beautiful. It looks like a magazine page, but I think I would personally be a little overwhelmed with the finishes and would have a hard time envisioning my furniture in the space. I don’t think my furniture would measure up in such a fancy home.

Each of you reading this has your own personal preference when it comes to your home’s style. You may like sleek and modern, beachy, traditional, cottage, shabby, rustic or eclectic. Our differences are what makes each home unique and are reflections of our lives. There really are ways to insert your own unique style along with fun touches in your home without affecting the resale value of your home. We have sold four homes over the years that had my own quirky style and all of them sold almost immediately even in tough markets and less than the most desire able areas so I feel confident providing a little insight in this area.

  • Keep the “permanent” items neutral. I would love a vintage stove in my kitchen. I mean one of those 1940’s stoves that has been refurbished and looks super cool. I haven’t put a vintage stove into my kitchen even in our last remodel because I knew we were going to sell our house and even though I would love having that stove, other folk might not love it and it could have kept our house from selling.

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In my opinion items like doors, appliances, flooring, and light fixtures need to be mainstream and have a nod to what is popular yet classic when the house is for sale. ( Granite is a must in our area right now.)
No checkerboard flooring, mason jar pendant lights, or unique features like a bright colored sink.  If you have them and you love them, take them down, pack them up before you put the house on the market and move them to your new home.
If and when (oh, there will be a when) we sell our suburban home, our barn door will come down. I will also take down my big S before showing the house because believe it or not, it could seem too personal.
 

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.view of the barn door

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I do not, have not and will not make the entire house beige, blah, and well…boring, in order to sell a house. I will tell you that my experience has been that those totally neutral houses do not sell as fast as ours have. One of the things that has helped our houses to sell is that they are memorable but not something so personal that a homeowner is thinking about changing the second they move in. I also think that we have made our houses feel warm and loved.
A few pieces of painted furniture like our mudroom bench, my farmhouse table, and the teal media dresser will be in the house. The walls, curtains, and flooring are neutral, so that the buyer can see themselves in the house but the colorful pieces are in the rooms to help the buyer, who is probably looking at multiple homes, remember the house.

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  • The artwork needs to be unique, but not specific. Over our bed is a simple one color piece that says Truly, Madly, Deeply.

DIY Monochromatic 3 Dimensional Art

It is one of a kind, but is also something that doesn’t scream at you when you walk in.

  • Put your money into the kitchen and bathrooms if you are going to update anything.

bathroom makeover

Paint the picture for your potential buyers with furnishings.  Depersonalizing does not mean empty and sterile. Help the visitors see what a room could be used for.

If you have moved into your forever home and the next address for you is the Pearly Gates, have at it.  Make your home as personalized as you want… someone else will have to deal with it when you are gone :) If, on the other hand you know you will be moving, I hope you aren’t afraid to leave a little of your personality in the home.

Buffet Hutch

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I absolutely love this buffet table.

green sofa table

Beside the fact that it is really pretty and functional, the top is a piece of reclaimed wood that my dad held on to for years.  He rescued it from the trash at his job.  ( I come from a long line of dumpster divers.)  The base was a solid wood dining table I scored for $20.00 one blistering summer day.  You can read all about how we turned it into a buffet table HERE

Even though I love it as it is, I have been looking for a hutch for the top of the buffet in order to display my milk glass collection.

This is the inspiration piece I found on Pinterest.  I like the wood back and the painted hutch.

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While out and about in Huntsville, Texas  I spotted a dresser top mirror thingy that had barley twist sides, a mirror in the center, shelves on the sides of the mirror and drawers at the bottom.  It was in the back of a thirft store jammed against the wall.  I love those type of items because you know that they are not something the store knows what to do with.  That means they will deal with you.  I got this one for $20.00.  Not bad for a solid oak piece of furniture.

The style was nothing like the base table I was planning to use, but the size was good and it was solid, and I kind of like that put together look. The twists were a tone that would work with the wood top of the buffet so I knew it would work.

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I apologize in advance but as soon as we got home and before I could go fetch the camera, Mr. Math was ripping out the mirror and shelves.  Who am I to stop progress?   I snapped a few shots with my phone before it was totally destroyed.  The photo above shows it laying on the side but you can see the curved shelves, the spindles, and where the mirror was if you use your imagination.

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By the time I got the camera out this is what I got a picture of:

green hutch2

green hutch

The electrical cord you see is for a light located in the top of the hutch.  I decided to keep it for now because I think this winter I will get out my village pieces and I think it will look pretty with a light.

I did not have my camera all weekend so I apologize in advance for the phone shots, but this is what I have to show.  The first thing I did after Hubby finished gutting the mirror, moldings  and shelves was to use a lot of wood filler to fill in the holes left behind. I painted the frame Behr Jungle Trail and did my best to match the stain of the spindles with the attached beadboard.  Here is a hint with matching stain.  You can mix stains to get a color you want but always stick with the same brand of stain when mixing.  I personally buy Minwax stains.  Not because I think they are superior but because they are readily available if I run out.  ( I do run out in the middle of a project.  A. Lot.)

You can see in these shots that I did not have the interior board stained.  It is done now.

The hutch came with only three knobs but I keep hoard hardware and had four brass knobs.  A quick spray with flat espresso spray paint gave me the look I wanted.  I honestly wanted the beadboard to run vertically but I just could not justify two sheets of beadboard to get what I wanted.  I think the horizontal look is growing on me already.

After moving furniture around at my house I was able to get the piece where I wanted it.  It makes me happy to see some of my milk glass out on display.

Here is the piece in place.  Let me tell you now that I will be re-taking the photos.  The crooked candle on the table is driving me crazy. ( Try to ignore it now that I pointed it out.) It was 5:30 am when I took the shots so the overhead light was on and created a glare.  The windows will be hung beside the hutch and the lighting will be better but I did want you all to see that I made a tiny bit of progress this week.

Hutch with fall table

I really like how the dark wood and the white glass contrast.

hutch on table

 

I have the light on the picture above.  I think it is going to work well as a display.

 

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milk glass in hutch

milk glass

using the top for decoration

 

A new space to change out seasonally.

Jungle green and stained wood

 

I hope everyone had a a wonderful week and that you are getting to enjoy some fall weather.

Thank you for reading my blog.  I appreciate each of you.

 

Blessings,

Karen

The Fear of Being a One-Hit Wonder

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Okay, here is a quiz. What is Carl Douglas famous for?

How about The Knack?

Do you know what Rednex is famous for?

I will bet you know their work.

Do you remember “Everybody was Kung Foo Fighting. It was fast as lightning”?  Kung Foo Fighting was   Sung by Mr. Carl Douglas

 

How about My Sharona?  The Knack knocked that one out.

 

Rednex is famous for a song that is played at least once a night at almost every Texas bar… Cotton Eyed Joe.

After that these bands/singers either broke up, stopped singing, or just never produced another hit.  I guess it really ages me that I do remember all of them, and they were pre-music video era.

I jokingly say I am a one hit wonder, too. You see, my mudroom bench is without a doubt the single most viewed and pinned post I have ever done. All the rest of my posts combined would be about half what the other posts have been viewed. I think of the mudroom bench as my one hit wonder.  Don’t get me wrong, I love that bench.  It is the first thing I use when I walk into the house every day and my last stop on the way out the door.  But, I like other pieces I have done just as much.  They just didn’t get noticed like that one did.

I think it was the lighting in the photo I took.  We are after all visual folk.

Finished Mudroom Bench

I wonder if it would have been as popular if this was what I put out for the world to see?

The Finished Mudroom Bench

 

Here are a few of my other projects that I think get looked over.  It may have been when they were posted, how they were photographed, or maybe I really am a one hit wonder who just got lucky the one time.

western dresser

 

My Western Dresser for the lake house Bunk room.   It makes me smile when I walk in the room, still.

Finished Yellow and Grey Guestroom

 

The yellow and gray bedroom.  It all started with a table I picked up on the side of the road and a son moving out.  In case you are wondering, yes I stenciled the wall.  I still love the look.  I miss that room the most of all the rooms at the city house.

green sofa table

 

The green buffet table.  This was a thrift store dining table turned into a more narrow buffet with a reclaimed wood top.  I love this table.  Baby boy says it is his favorite piece in our house.  It is about to get an addition.  I am adding a hutch to the top for my milkglass that is about 80% complete.

farmhouse table

 

Our farmhouse table.  It has at least ten, 1-0 coats of poly on top and I am crazy about this table.  It started out life as a white tile and golden oak table and cedar siding from our lake house.  I am about to change the color of the legs so that it plays nice with the buffet and hutch.

beverage station 1

 

Finally, the second most popular post is the beverage station.  I have now made three of these with numbers four, five and six in the Garagemahal waiting for their turn.  I have made a green, bright blue and navy blue.  Soon a burnt orange, a green and a cream colored one will be done.

I love showing you all what I do and I really do value your input.  Thanks for taking time out of your busy days to see what we are up to in the country.  I hope your day is wonderful.

Blessings,

Karen

Industrial Pendant Parts for under $20.00

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I am always in the lookout for parts that when added together make something awesome. It takes me a while to walk the isle of Home Depot. I love looking at new stuff.

I love this look.

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I like the industrial look, I like the vintage bulb, and I think I like the copper. I think I would even like it if it was black.

I do not love $138.00 for the light.

In HD I spotted this for just under $5.00.

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Immediately I could see how easy this could become a pendant light.

In the real world I would buy an ugly lamp for less than $5.00 to take apart for my own lamp kit, but for those of you who want to buy a lamp kit they have them at Home Depot.

The $138.00 lamp does not come with a bulb but in case you are wondering, they carry them for about $10.00 each.

Krylon has a copper spray paint that I like.

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This would be a super simple project to do.

See the cool things you find when you take your time at Home Depot?

I hope you have a wonderful day.

Blessings,

Karen

Back Yard Dreaming

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I am dreaming of getting our back yard spruced up.   I mean I go out there at least twice a day and stare at our yard just dreaming of how it will look.

One of the things I liked about our house in the burbs was our big back yard.  We live on a cul de sac so the biggest part of our lot is in the back

In the city house we moved from a year ago we had a teeny tiny back yard.  It was a major bone of contention between my husband and me.  I want flower beds, plants, and and shade trees, and privacy.  He liked our big front yard on a corner lot.  He did and still does, like grass.  I, on the other hand, like space in the back yard where I can be a hermit.  I crave a retreat.  A low maintenance retreat to be sure, but a retreat none the less.

Right now I call our back yard the pasture.  It is a vast expanse of grass.  Hubby even pulled up the Oleander  in the corner because it was in the way of the sprinkler head watering the grass.  No lie.  One of my five scrawny bushes in the backyard was in the way of a sprinkler head so it had to go.

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My goal for our first fall to work on the yard is simple.  I want trees.  I want ONE flower bed with native plants that are easy to keep alive, I want to amend the soil in our raised bed garden, and I want our fire pit set up.

What the almanac says about low maintenance gardening.

My grandmother was a big believer in the almanac and it says planting trees in the fall is the right time.

The following trees are in my plans:

crepe-myrtle-pruning-m

Crepe Myrtle.  They grow super fast, stay fairly vertical, and have pretty flowers.  They are HARDY here is south east Texas.

 

lime tree orange tree

Citrus trees

In our area and even further north there are varieties of orange, grapefruit and lime trees that are able to stand up to our winters.

The cool thing about citrus trees is that the fruit ripens in the fall and winter.

silver leaf sage

Silver leaf Sage is about the toughest plant around.  It blooms after a rain with beautiful purple flowers.

 

lantana-2 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA BlueDaze

 

Lantana, day lilies, and Blue Daze are all plants that will grow even if I forget to water them,  which of course I will.

I also want to work on our raised bed garden this fall.

bolting_cilantro dill

Cilantro and dill will get planted for us to enjoy.

I am not setting my sights high this fall. I know we cannot do everything that needs to be done at once but I am excited to get started.

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