Choosing “The Right” Navy Blue is Hard


The Southern Belle and Big Cat are getting a few pieces of furniture that I have collected just for them. A sewing cabinet turned into a beverage station for their awesome screened in porch. The next time we venture up to North Carolina I am going to take pictures of their back yard space. It is amazing.

Big Cat is a die hard Georgia Southern fan so navy for the cabinet was an easy decision. Navy blue. Not the bright sailboat blue the original beverage station is. I also decided to make a bar cabinet for them. They have a small dining space but entertain a lot so any space that they could use to hold glasses, bottles and things that don’t fit in their limited cabinet space. The interior of their home is also navy along with creams browns, and tons of natural fibers. Want to see it? I took pictures last fall Click Here. The cabinet is going to be navy too.

Hubby went to Coldspring without me. We went together to pick our paint, so there is no blame here. We are just learning that navy blue is a tricky color. The first color was WAAAAY too vibrant. Hubby sent the picture to me and TSB. I will bet she almost had a stroke.

The cabinet door confirmed my suspicion that we needed a color change.


Hubby went back to town ( 30 minutes one way) to get a darker color.
Here are the results:

Here is the cabinet in a darker shade:


I am not sure I love it, but I am withholding judgement until we go back to the Garagemahal. I am guessing that a coat of black glaze will tone it down. Hope, hope. I love the 1970’s vibe of the cabinet.
I will let you know about the paint. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Creating a New Blog


I have been toying with the idea of creating a new blog for a little while. I love Star Hill, Coldspring, and my weekend country life but right now most of our projects and life revolve around our new lives in our new community and new suburban home.

My Burb Home

I am going to be chronicling the rapid growth of this booming community , our progress as we turn our builder basic home into something that is more unique and us finding our way in a new place.

I hope you will consider following My Burb Home. I will continue to write about our wonderful weekend home and the projects up at the Garagemahal on The Weekend Country Girl, but the things going on in the new house will be on the new blog.    We have a few projects in the wings right now up in the country.

I started blogging because I wanted an outlet to share with my family and friends. Never, in a million years did I expect others, from a variety of states and countries to read my blog. I often wonder what in the world would someone who lives so far from the Texas Piney Woods ever want to read what I write. Thank you for choosing to be a part of our lives.

I look forward to continuing to share my small, small corner of the world as we explore the third quarter of our lives!

We have a lot planned and I am excited about the possibilities.  Here is a link to my first post:  My New Blog



First Fall Dance

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Wow.  My little, baby blog will have 40 thousand views by the end of the day.  Thank you, to those of you who read what I write and follow my family’s  very ordinary life.  I am honored and blessed to feel that I have made friends I might not have ever met without the blog.  My life is so full right now that I feel a little guilty about progress on the new house.   We are getting serious about it because Thanksgiving is coming to the burbs!  This past week was our first major event at the school where I am principal.  It is a brand new school with only a freshman class this year.   I spent this past week preparing for an amazing dance at school based  on a masquerade theme.  It was a fun way to use my creative side while getting to know my kids in a more relaxed setting.   It was a long night last night but the kids seemed to have fun.  I am so very lucky to have a career that I love and get the chance to work with amazing teachers and students.

drawing on foarm board

foam board makes great decorations.  Stiff enough to stand, easy to cut with a serrated knife, cheap, and lightweight.


foam board mask

spray painted mask

candy bar


broken mirror turned into welcome sign

My amazing secretary gave this project to some students.  They made a welcome sign from a frame with a broken mirror.  I love it.


candy bar

cute candy bar

chocoalte fountain

This chocolate fountain is now soaking in my sink.  Messy, but a fun addition to the dance.



Star Hill Images

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It seems that I spend all my time in the Garagemahal when we are at Star Hill.  Not true!  Here are some shots I have taken recently but haven’t shared.

I love how beautiful and green everything is now that the drought is lifting in our area.  The rain gauge showed 4 inches when we pulled up this week.  We are blessed to have such a beautiful place to retreat to from our busy lives.

No words here.  Just enjoy what we get to see every time we go to Coldspring, Texas.  We are blessed.

This past weekend we had our first fire in the wood burning stove and got to sit on the porch wrapped in blankets while we watched the birds go to the feeder.  There is a quiet in the woods that sinks into your bones when you spend time there,

red flowers

boats in marina

Piney Wood Skies

vintage rose


american flag

lake livingston

sky over lake livingston

hummingbird wind chime

tick weed



Star Hill Bell

chippy paint

bird house collection

hummingbird feeder


When Pinterest Finds My Old Stuff


This week two of my posts were “found” on Pinterest this week. It was fun to see so many people find something that I loved doing and saving it to pages like this:
Craft Party Ideas

Or; Tryna Do It, or My House

I love the names people give their boards. I am so very boring!

Chair Painting Party

It was such a fun day. I hope that one day you can hold your own party.


Sewing Cabinet Into Drink Station

This one has been pinned over 200 times this month. Wow. Thank you to those of you who are going to attempt our version of a beverage station! I am humbled that anyone wants to do something that I have done. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE send pictures when you actually do this.

Feel free to look at or follow my Pinterest Page.

I use my name on Pinterst: Karen Smithson.

I hope you are having a wonderful day!

Wine Bottle Table Numbers

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Wowsers, this is an old post.  I wrote this a while back but for some reason it sat in my list unpublished for six months.  I did want you to see this because it was an easy project that was almost free.

We made table number holders for my daughter’s wedding using recycled wine bottles.

The first thing needed was to round up some wine bottles.  We cut the wine bottles with a bottle cutter because we wanted them to be low enough that they did not interfere with the flowers on the tables.  We own the bottle cutter and have used it to cut down jars, bottles, and now wine bottles.  The bottle cutter is available online.  We got ours on Amazon.

wine bottles

Next I spray painted all the bottles silver.

cut bottles


spray painted bottles


spray painted bottles

The next thing was to put in corks and cut a slit in the top of the corks.   I used a box cutter to make the slits.

I printed the table numbers from a free table number template.  There are a ton out there.  Here is a link to the one we used.

Table Numbers

Here they are on the bottles.



table numbers

I used cardstock paper from an office supply store so that the numbers would be stiff enough to stay uncurled and upright the whole night.


They looked great!

A cheap way to mark tables at a wedding or other large event.


What Makes Someone An Expert ?


I have been steamed this week about a comment Martha Stewart decided she needed to share about bloggers. Here is the link to her comments: Martha
I contacted Home Depot to let them know I was not happy with the comments and got a nice letter back from Latilda Stewart Bush letting me know she was not aware of Martha’s comments but that she would pass this along. Please feel free to contact her too if you are so inclined. her number is (800) 654-0688 extension 76434 if you would rather talk to her.

All this steaming about the expert comment got me thinking…What makes someone an expert?
What is the tipping point that changes a person from being good at a certain skill to becoming an expert?

I am not an expert blogger. I am not very skilled with technology.
I do not have the time or energy to keep creating content for readers and I mess up projects regularly. I could not make a living off my blog even if I did have advertisements and went all out. I am better than I was a year ago, but man do I have things to learn!!

I am not an expert furniture painter, refinisher, or re-purposer. I have about an 80% personal satisfaction rate with my finished projects. Some projects I have to start over, some get pitched, and a few I pass along to someone else to fix. As a mediocre blogger, I try to lay it out there for you all warts and all. It is my hope that as I learn from trial and error, so do you.

I do consider myself an expert educator. I sound pretty full of myself when I say that but I am being honest. I know how kids learn, I can see straight through all the crap swirling around a kid to see real potential within him or her. I believe passionately that education changes lives. I get the opportunity to help other educators improve their craft. I get paid by districts to help them improve the education of children. I am paid a good living for what I love to do. I feel that I became an expert the only way anyone can in any field. I had and continue to have, a desire to learn. I learn all I can, read anything I can get my hands on. Early in my career I found mentors and peers who I could go to with problems or to bounce off ideas. I put in time in the trenches. I was a classroom teacher for 17 years at a variety of grade levels before moving to administration. I still network with others any chance I get. I try new things and sometimes I make mistakes but I keep at it. It took time, passion and dedication to the craft. It also takes a little courage to put yourself out there.

I spent all that time talking about me just to get to my point. There are bloggers who are experts in their fields. They draw you in with personal stories, they have amazing creativity, they are changing how we think about our homes and have emboldened us to try new things. They teach, encourage and redefine design, cooking and construction. My guess is that those bloggers became experts in their field much the same way I did my field.

Shame on anyone who belittles what they do.

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