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What a Lake House Should Look Like

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Before I post this message I have to let everyone know how incredibly blessed I feel right now.  The Southern Belle ran in the Boston Marathon today and had only finished the race shortly before the explosions.  I am one lucky mom to have two great kids.  Now, enjoy my weekend.

My friends,  this is how a lake house should look:

I woke up early Sunday morning, just me, the birds, and the squirrels were up.  As I walked around the house I realized that this is exactly how I always dreamed that our house would look.  I quickly went back inside and grabbed my camera so that I could share with you what I saw.

Forgive me, but I did not want to edit or stage these shots.  What you see is what you get.  You will see that my dream of how our little Star Hill should look is probably different from other people’s idea of dream home get away.  For me, it is about the evidence of use, more than the decor.

There were clean dishes on the drain board.  Lots of dishes. (Thanks Tanis for doing dishes and helping to get the meal ready.)

dishes

  I love the fact that we fed 14 people Saturday night out on our little deck, in the house and on the porch. (Baby Boy was the grill master for the fajitas!) It wasn’t about the food; it was about the laughter, the sharing, and being with my children and their friends.

back deck

There were chairs around the campfire.  Chairs around the campfire meant that even when they could have gone home, they stayed.  They ate smores, the stoked the fire, put on jackets and hung out- they even met our sneaky raccoon who keeps breaking into the trash can.

the fire pit

smores

To quote C. S. Lewis ( yes, Baby Boy I read C. S. Lewis too!) “Is any pleasure on earth as great as a circle of Christian friends by a good fire?”

The Garagemahal was messy.  We even went to bed with the garage door up.  This is something we do not often do, because there is deer corn in there and the critters will come in.  If I had walked into a spotless workshop it would have meant that either nothing took place there or I spent the time that the kids were here cleaning it up instead of enjoying them.

messy garage

There were towels to wash, paint to put away, fabric to fold, trash to collect, and I knew that we had a couple of hours’ worth of cleaning to do Sunday.

paint

 When Baby Boy and Sweet Amanda got up to join us there were more dishes, the smell of bacon and eggs cooking and more time together.  They were a big help cleaning up!

It is my prayer that this is how my children and their friends think of Star Hill.  I want it to be a haven for both us and them as the world becomes busier.  A place to gather, laugh, make a mess, and enjoy nature.

As I left for work this morning I felt blessed.  We do not have days like this  often enough.

Hooray for Chair Painting Day

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I am still learning to use a hotspot, so I missed uploading a few photos. I will upload them as soon as I reach civilization. Enjoy.
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The long anticipated chair painting day has come and gone. It was so much fun and I can’t wait to show off the before and after photos. Sweet Amanda and Baby Boy have an amazing group of friends who are united in their love of The Lord, the lost, and college ministry. It is tough for them to connect as often as they would like because they are working on college campuses around the state, The United States and the world. The girls who came to this event I believe all lived in “The Tree House” with Sweet Amanda while in college or were members of her small group. Lauren has been her buddy since birth. I have another blog post in the works about these girls, but today it is all about the chairs.

As the girls arrived there was lots of hugging, squealing and general mayhem.
All the girls signed in on a chalkboard and this determined the chair that they would be painting then taking home. Beth was not going to be able to make the event so we signed her in and The Social Planner, Tanis, worked on a chair for her with help picking color and fabric from the ladies who know her well.

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Here are the lovely chairs before we got busy. I did not pay more than $5.00 a chair from Goodwill, Craigslist and resale shops. Every chair, except one had some structural issue. They had missing rungs, needed regluing, had need badly repaired… the list goes on and on. Hubby spent several days getting them all up to Baby Boy’s wiggle standard. He literally sat on them and wiggled around to see if they were sturdy. Remember that these chairs are going to live in homes that will have college students visiting often.


I numbered each chair with a post-it note so that the girls would know when they got up the hill what they would be working on.

Look at how nice and clean the ladies all looked in this photo! This was after inspecting chairs, but before the paint clothes went on and the work began. They really are stunning young ladies.

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Each of the girls inspected their chair, looked at the paint choices, chose something, then got busy. Some of the girls checked out their fabric options before jumping in, but not everyone!

It was fun to watch the girls working, side by side, each on a different project, laughing, catching up, teasing and commenting on each other’s work.
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Tanis brought her yard chairs for an update too.
As they finished the painting, the upholstery began on the chairs that had padded seats. A big thank you to my friend, Kandy for donating all this amazing fabric.

Here are the finished chairs-before and after.

Sweet Amanda
Behr Sailboat Blue with yellow chevron fabric. This chair originally had caning in the seat so hubby built a new top to go on it that is padded. It can be removed and re-caned if they ever choose to do so.

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Tara
Behr Rapids blue with burlap fabric. She is going to monogram the back panel. I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

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Yliana

Behr Coral. Oops. I forgot the Mod Podge for this project chair. The seat is going to have a map of Colorado- where she will be moving in July to join her new husband in his ministry to University of Colorado. She roughed out the edges and took the map with her, so I cannot wait to see how it looks complete. Sorry Yliana.

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Lauren
Behr Cinnamon Cake and flowered fabric. This is my favorite off white, brown toned paint. She really classed up this 1970’s charmer. I love the distressing.

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Molly
Valspar Elephant Hide with some fun, funky fabric. This chair gave Hubby fits and I think he was ready to throw in the towel, but at the end of the day it turned out so cute. The piping was in the fabric we got, already done and was plenty big for this little padded poof. It is going with Molly’s craft table that is painted the bright teal you see in the fabric. Yay for having a craft table.

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Beth
Coral that Molly brought so not sure the color. Fabric was teal upholstery fabric. I used the darker coral on the chair back to create an ombré effect. Darkest at top then diluted the color the paint with the cinnamon cake as I went down. I like the effect. Beth surprised us by making it at the end of the day, and we surprised her with a chair!

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chairs from an angle

Here are the lovely ladies with their finished projects all together at Star Hill.
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DIY Show Off

The Paint and Products I Use

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At the request of a few friends I am going to sort of walk those of you not too board with this amateur’s attempt at furniture refinishing.

The supplies I use on solid wood furniture:

Liquid sand

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Palm sander

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Behr Interior Satin paint with primer

My favorite off white- Innocence
My favorite brown- Revival Mahogany
My favorite green- Happy Camper

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Behr Faux Glaze

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Purdy Paintbrushes

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Foam Sanding Block

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Rustoleum Polyacrylic

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Old cotton t shirts for rags

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Minwax stain
I love dark walnut

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What I do:

Clean the furniture with water. No chemicals. If the piece is going to be stained, sand it down with the palm sander. If it is ornate or just going to be painted, I use liquid sand. Wipe on, keep using a clean area on the cotton rag.

Use good brushes to paint.
Apply the paint in multiple thin coats. Sand between coats if you see ridges in the dried paint.

Glaze- I use one cup paint to 1/4 cup paint. I use a charcoal color for black or my Revival Mahogany for brown tones.
Paint on, wait a minute then wipe off-with the grain of the wood using a cotton rag. Leave a little extra in the corners and ridges.

Stain the wood pieces. Wipe on the stain with a rag wait a minute then wipe off excess with a clean rag. Reapply when dry if you want something darker.

Polyacrylic the finished piece with several thin coats of poly. Sand lightly between coats.

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My Adventures at Star Hill

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Wellllll… I now have a mobile hotspot at the lake house. Spending the night here and pretty sure there is a bat in the wood burning stove. Pretty sure because there is no way I am investigating. Sweet Amanda has already had that moment of terror. Hubby comes up this weekend. Please don’t tell him I brought something in the house to paint. It is our secret! The June bugs were attacking outside.

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The Weekend

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Well until we get moved out of the city house we are staying at the city house every other weekend to work on projects. This weekend was to paint the outside doors. It has only been 14 years since they were last painted…if ever.

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The weather was perfect for painting.

I left Hubby working on the house Saturday to go to Baylor University with three amazing young ladies who are looking at colleges to attend. This is my third college visit this year and I have to say that Baylor wins on organization, events and freebies.

All the kids got a free t-shirt, cool stuff and lunch. The help was amazing and the schedule was totally doable.
One of the young ladies has set her sail toward Baylor now and will be filling out her application as soon as possible.IMG_1475

8:00 a.m. arrival  was rough.  It meant we left at 4:00 a.m. They had been awake all of 5 minutes in this picture.

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Picking up the information

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Opening ceremony was fun.  The girls were right up front.

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We met Joy and Lady, but Andrea still likes Mike the Tiger better.

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My science girls loved the science building, including the fountain.

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We stopped to take pictures in this field of bluebonnets when a train came around the corner.  I like the way it turned out.

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I love my girls.

Color Choices

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The office is getting this awesome sewing cabinet, a vintage school desk that hubby saved from destruction, an old mirror, and an empty frame that has wires running across to hang work. What color should it be?

sewing cabinet

I sort of like the green.

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Excuse the shadows. It was too pretty to go inside to photograph.

Sewing Cabinet

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I must have been very good. I got two three presents (food is definitely a present) when I got home from work yesterday. My husband got us tickets to Wicked, he cooked supper, and he had gone over to my friend Kandy’s house to pick up this beauty.

sewing cabinet

Yep, I know what you are thinking… jealous right? I love it. My friend is downsizing and had this sweet little sewing cabinet in storage. It belonged to her mom. The cabinet has three drawers and flip top sides that are pretty deep.

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The bonus was that there were crochet books still inside from 1960. They are going to my friend Patricia who can use them.

1960's crochet books

The bigger bonus is that two of the drawers were full of buttons. Old beautiful buttons. I know exactly where some of them are going to end up, but it is a secret.

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At the very bottom of the cabinet I found this sweet old spool of thread.

vintage thread

Back to the sewing cabinet. Guess who has a new office roughly three times the size as her old office? I know exactly where this will go as soon as it gets prettied up. The sewing cabinet is going to be a table between two chairs. I just have to figure out what color she will be.

I cannot wait to get my office fixed up. My old books will finally have a home. My Dick and Jane stuff will be framed and make sense along with my paint chip art and my vintage mirrors.

I need to get some sleep. I keep thinking of projects in the middle of the night.

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