Charlotte NC, Country Style, crafting, Fun with friends, Rubbish Rescue, rustic, the Southern Belle

Making a Bottled Drink Holder

Want a quick and easy gift to take when you are an invited guest this summer that even the dudes will like? I have just the project thanks to Rogue Engineer.  I love his detailed directions.  Check him out.

Here is the link to his very detailed plans including how to cut and assemble.

Beer Carrier

DIY Beer Tote | Free Plans | Rogue Engineer

Source: Rogue Engineer

Mr. Math cut four of these puppies out in less than an hour.  We used reclaimed scrap wood so we probably had to work a little harder than necessary sanding, and adjusting for the wonky wood sizes but the wood was F-R-E-E.  They were totally out of scrap wood left over from the media console.

reclaimed wood media console

The carrier works great for small bottles of soda as well as for beer and would be a fun host/ hostess gift for outdoor summer parties.

The total cost of the project for us was for the handle (check out ReStore if you have one close by) I paid two dollars fifty cents for my handles only because my hardware is all locked up in storage right now and our nearest Restore is thirty minutes away.

Bottle opener from Hobby Lobby ($1.49 right now.). They are 50% off  at least once a month.

Brown Cast Iron Pop Bottle Opener

The first one is going to the sweet lady who called me to let me know she had cedar siding that she was getting rid of and wanted to know if I needed it.  The wood for the project came off her house.  She will enjoy seeing what we did with it.  I left a lot of the green paint from her lake house on the cedar.


We added a lot of poly to the knot hole so that it won’t fall out.   I love that piece of wood best.

          The other three are headed to Charlotte, NC.

I can tell we will be making a few of these in the near future.

Mr. Math has already figured out the dimensions for a four bottle wine holder.  I know I will have some takers on that, too.

I think the wine holders may be made from our red cedar hanging out in storage.

Oh how I long to have our shop up and running again!   July is coming.  Woo Hoo.

July 10 we close on our new spot.

Chair, Coldspring, DIY Furniture, reclaimed wood, vintage style

Mid Century Chair Makeover

We picked up these beauties at the best garage sale of the year this past winter.  They were rough.  They were broken. They were two dollars each. They were meant to be mine.


       I loved the classic style, and the solid wood frame.  Two of the three are going to go in my guest shed.  The third is going to The Southern Belle.  She will have a project on her hands.

I like mid century style, but my partner in crime, life and projects- Mr. Math, doesn’t.  He has given me free reign in our soon to be guest house.  The colors are going to be vibrant and the style is definitely modern mid century.  I cannot wait to get started on this project.  I stand and stare at the guest shed every time we go over to the place we are buying.  

These chairs were a serious upper body workout to make over.  After the glueing, clamping, and weighting down to fix warps in the wood from hanging out in a barn for oh- fourty years or so, I moved on to stripping, then sanding.  It took f.o.r.e.v.e.r. Sanding such a simple wooden frame should not have been so hard but the spindles, the curves and the crevices all had to be hand sanded.  I’m not whining.  I promise.  I love these chairs and even when I was in the middle of getting them sanded, I knew it would be worth it.

When the natural wood- walnut- was revealed I knew that bringing these back to life was the right choice.  The wood grain is interesting, especially on the arms.

One thing I regret for this project was using gel stain.  I should have gone with traditional stain on the chairs because the gel tended to goop up in the had to reach areas.  I had to use paint thinner to get the dark spots out.  Live and learn.  I went with walnut stain because I wanted to return the chairs to their original look as much as possible.

I polyurethaned the frames with an exterior poly because the guest shed is going to have a window air conditioner so the climate won’t always be controlled.  Everything that goes in has to be able to stand up to heat, humidity, and cold.

The seats originally had leather strapping.  One of the chairs still had the strapping in place when we got them and it was gross.  The humidity in the barn and time had turned the leather to a sticky but weirdly brittle mess.  After removing the old nails, we used hemp upholstery webbing to replace the leather.  Mr. Math did this for me using an air nailer to secure it.  I really do like him being off in summer!

 The cushions were a happy surprise from Mr. Math.  He ordered them online for me.  The bottom cushion needs to be altered, but I love the outdoor fabric, the bright turquoise color and the clean lines.  They look like they could have been original to the chairs.  He snagged them at Target when they were on sale 40% off plus using the 5% off Red card meant they were about $30.00 each.  Way to be a good shopper, Mr. Math!  


All in we have just over fourty dollars a chair so they were not cheap but in my opinion they are so very worth the effort and money.

The chairs turned out even better than I hoped.


The chairs are so comfortable and beautiful.  We were lucky to have found them.



Country Style, DIY Furniture, reclaimed wood

Reclaimed Wood Table

We are getting ready for a trip across the country to see our kids in the Carolinas.  About a month ago I got an email from my daughter asking if we could make a table and media console for two of her buddies.  It just so happened that we had a pile of reclaimed wood hanging out in our garage and even more in a burn pile that I was itching to save.  (Mr. Math made me get rid of a lot of wood as part of the big moveūüėü.  It was awesome to go down to the burn pile and drag some back out!)

I was excited because what my daughter’s buddies wanted could be done with our wood. 

Today, I get to show you the reclaimed wood entry hall table.

The only instructions I got from The Southern Belle’s buddy were in this email:   ”  I’ve been dreaming of a long, narrow table for in our front hallway for a while now. I don’t have anything super particular in mind but it needs to be pretty skinny (maybe ballpark 8″ deep?) and long (4′ – could go longer but not too much shorter) and I like the open style (no cabinets).”

She also shared photos of her Atlanta home so we could see where it would be located.

Corey's House

Corey's hallway

After sharing some Pinterest pictures with her of tables I could see that she likes reclaimed wood and a little industrial.  Mr. Math and I drew up a plan to make a table that looked like it had been used in a warehouse or workspace. I wanted the wood to be irregular, gouged, warped and darkened with age. The used cedar boards were perfect for the project.

It took us some trial and error.  The first redition was too tall and narrow.  It had to come all apart again and get cut down four inches.  We also added a ten inch board to the top of the eight inch board.  I stained the cedar with a mix of walnut and a lighter color called natural.  The color unified the wood, and aged the wood. 


Sanded but I stained 


Stain on the wood. 


The stain did not eliminate the wood grain and knots from the wood.  I was worried. 
We glued the top down then attached it with screws.  Clamps held it all in place while the glue dried.   We used a satin poly on the piece. 

   I love the nail holes and irregular thickness of the wood.   


I will post pictures when this is delivered.  

Thanks for following along with us.

Have a wonderful day.



cedar lumber, Country Style, Pottery Barn Knock Off, reclaimed wood

Reclaimed Wood Media Center

Well hello there! ¬†I am feeling accomplished for us today because we have actually finished three projects this past week. ¬†By far my favorite is a reclaimed wood media cabinet. ¬†This is a project for my daughter’s coworker and friend. ¬†The fact that Mr. Math is driving out to Charlotte next week really helped with the whole get it finished process. ¬† My daughter’s friend sent me a link to this amazing piece from Pottery Barn and said she wanted something like this.¬† ¬†I had to be honest with her. ¬†We are working off our suburban back porch right now with most of our tool stored until the big move in less than a month. No way could we make beveled cabinet doors. ¬†She was fine with a more rustic look. ¬†I also told her we would be using reclaimed cedar so the color would be different. She was fine with that. ¬†Finally, I told her that we would be carrying it in the back of our truck so the length had to be no more than 60 inches. ¬†Unbelievably, she was fine with that, too. ¬†¬†

Her ¬†timing was perfect. ¬†There was a pile of reclaimed cedar that Mr. Math Had decreed was too nasty to store then move to our new digs. ¬†It was making me crazy(er) to see this burn pile. ¬† Mr. Math tried to burn it but our recent rains meant he couldn’t get the pile to light. ¬†(Yay!)

reclaimed wood burn pile

I was very, very excited to be able to go save some of it for this project.  A few of the boards even had scorch marks from the attempted fire.  I put those boards in strategic locations so they could be most visible.


The plan was fairly simple. ¬†Mr. Math built a skeleton for the project out of new 2X4’s. ¬†I sanded, and sanded, then sanded some more on the boards. ¬†Many of these boards had been painted when they were on our lake house or my friend’s who gave me a load of the wood when they added on to their house. ¬†I sanded through the layers of paint but did not remove it all. ¬†I love how the layers of paint provide a sense of history and rustic charm to the wood. ¬†We laid out the wood for the top, figured out what cuts needed to be made and which boards needed to be ripped down. ¬†After the top was figured out, we got the sides and front done. ¬†For the back we added hardboard. ¬†The weight of this piece was a deciding factor. ¬†Even though we had enough reclaimed wood for the back, it will never be seen and would add unnecessary weight to the piece. After the front and sides were done, we added plywood shelves inside. ¬†The doors were the last part built once we had exact measurements of the openings.¬† ¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† I love the look of the wood. ¬†¬† When you polyurethane the wood, the color depens and it become richer. ¬†We¬† ¬†¬†¬† The interior is painted a light cream color. ¬†Mr. Math picked the color because he said it would be easier to find things in the cabinet. reclaimed wood media console reclaimed wood cedar reclaimed wood reclaimed wood cabinet rustic hardware

We love the look and are excited to get it to the new owners.

Thanks for taking the time to read my post.  I appreciate each and every one of you.



Behr Paint with Primer, moving, new home, Painted Furniture

The Expand-O-Matic Facelift

This past spring I bought this beauty at a community garage sale for $20.00.  I had no ideas what it was, but I thought it was cool the way that the front slid out and turned in to a table.

Expand IMG_0125 IMG_0124 IMG_0127 IMG_0126

A little research, and checking out the drawers for a label, taught me all about the mid century Expand-O-Matic.

It was designed at a time when we Ameicans were moving off the farms and into the city.  Space was tight in apartments so furniture had to do double or triple duty.  Here is a a 1960’s advertisement after they tried to update the name by calling in EXPANDWAY.  I like the 1940’s/ 1950’s version- Expand-O-Matic.

expand advertisement

I find it ironic that I bought it because I am moving to the country not the city.    My plan is for the desk/table to move into the back guest room.  I plan on us making a Murphy bed for the room along with the desk.  It will be able to convert between office space and bedroom as needed.

The room looks like this right now: 
As you see above, the room needs love. 

The room is going to be kiwi ( a little richer than lime but bright green), cream and teal.  The top and legs were stained with a Minwax gel stain  called special walnut.  I am so excited to have my own space inside he house to paint, sew or just piddle as my mom calls it.  It will be a fun, bright, creative space with my awesome painted chair which will have cream legs when we move in, this super cool desk/ worktable, and a kiwi colored cabinet with a Murphy bed in it.  I am thinking I will be painting a rug to go in the space in case of disasters that occur when I craft.

lime green legs

Here is the inspiration room:  

Of course my room will have a little more of a rustic vibe.

The hardwood runners that allow the table to expand to 6 feet are all cleaned, waxed, and now move easily between open and closed.  We still need to fabricate the leaves, but  the body is painted (Behr Real Teal) the drawers are a mis-tint sample I picked up for fifty cents.  The mis-tint is darker than my go to “sea salt” cream, but still an off white color.  I tried to stain the drawers but they were too far gone to save.  I was able to save the top and legs even though ther is an ink stain on the top.  (I wonder what happened there?)


Ink stain

stained drawers

The drawers above were sanded until I almost sanded through the veneer but they still were not going to look right.




I tried to polish up the hardware but in the end, I had to spray paint them with metallic spray paint.  (Rustoelium Soft Iron).

Wouldn’t this piece be great in a mini house?

IMG_1188 IMG_1189  IMG_1191 IMG_1192 IMG_1193 IMG_1194 IMG_1197 IMG_1198 IMG_1203

I found these awesome curtain panels for $5.99 each too!  The color is a perfect match to the teal color on the Expand-O-Matic.  There are three windows in the office so getting the curtains for under $40.00 is amazing.

I hope you have a wonderful day.

I love to hear from you.



new home

Getting “Floored”

The home we are buying has off white carpet in every single room.  (Bathrooms, kitchen, laundry, included.)  That won’t work for us. ( Frankly, I am not sure where carpet in a kitchen, laundry or bathroom ever works, but the sweet couple we are buying the house from are very neat and clean.) We have tried to figure out the flooring for our soon to be second home. (That carpet is coming up before the first thing gets moved in.)  I love the look of hardwood, but that is not in our near future.  We are dog people (The big, loves to jump in the pond and creek then roll in the mud kind of dog people),

lumi running lumi nose lumi

We are messy, hard-working, outdoor folk.  Mud, dog dirt, dirty shoes and assorted tools (accidentally) walking right into our house would mean our floor would be a mess in a short time.

Source: Lumber Liquidators

I loved this look above, but at $3.50 a square foot plus the cost of glue it would be an investment that I am afraid would be damaged too soon.  It does have a 30 year warranty, but not against water damage or heavy use.  

We looked at engineered hardwood but the reviews said it scratched easily and I was afraid we would have the same problems as hardwood.  I think that it would honestly be a good option down the road for us and we may be doing this in our suburban home before we sell it.


Source: Home Depot

Isn’t the engineered wood pretty?

The next option I explored, (and fell in love with) was tile that looks like wood. I love the look, the durability, and I know for sure we could install it in a short time without help. The problem is our ranch house shifts in the gumbo soil.  Don’t know about gumbo soil?  Here is the Audio English definition.

 What the definition doesn’t tell you is that when it is full of water it swells.  When we have super dry weather, it shrinks, and cracks open to leave gaping holes in the ground.
The foundation of our new home is sound but the house will flex as the clay based soil around and under it expands and contracts because the builder did not install bell bottom piers or a cable lock system. That means that 48 inch wood look tile I want is likely to crack as the tile is stressed with the movement. Bummer.

I liked the 24 inch tile here but I really liked the 48 inch tile at Lowe’s.

Source: Lowe’s

I am just not a fan of laminate flooring.  My mom has it and loves it.  I have tried to like it. It is cushioned and great to stand on.   I just don’t like the clicking noise.  I think there is beautiful laminate, it just isn’t for me.

After flaming out on the wood look tile, we were stumped.  I even thought about staining the concrete but that would involve pouring a new top coat of concrete on everything because of the nail carpet strips, glued down carpet pad and the fact that the first owners did not plan on ever seeing the concrete so it is a mess.

We went out looking for options on a rainy afternoon and found an unlikely floor that I like… Vinyl.  Yep, I said vinyl,  I know what you are thinking.

Vinyl Flooring Rolls With Vinyl Flooring Is A Plastic Material Sold In The Form Of Either

I am talking about  luxury vinyl planks ( LVP).  Heard of it?  I hadn’t.  I made the salesman lay out some, clicked together, so I could walk on it to listen for the noise.  Here is what I learned:

  • It is quiet.
  • It clicks and locks easily but the edges are fragile before they are locked so you have to be careful with them.
  •  It looks like wood. I mean it really looks like wood even when laid next to a solid wood floor in the showroom.
  • There is texture on it that feels like wood. 
  • No underlayment is required so it saves money.
  • It is still a floating floor so it works with the gumbo soil.
  • It is waterproof.
  • No glue, no fancy tools, no mess.  The only tools are a chalk line, a box cutter and a straight edge.
  • It has a 50 year warranty.  I am thinking I wont be the one cashing that warranty in.

 Source: Lumber Liquidators

The floor above is the one we bought a box of to try out at home where we tested it  to see how hard it was to click and lock, looked at the color in a real home, and felt the texture.  Did you notice I didn’t go with the gray colors I was leaning toward? I had time to think about it and the weathered wood I love to build with will show up better if there is contrast, I think.  The cost will be just over $2.00 a square foot.  We are fans for our country home.


The choices for flooring these days are huge and everyone has different situations, homes and styles.  I am glad we found an option that works for us.  I will keep you posted on how it really works out.

I would love to hear from anyone who has used luxury vinyl planks.  Also, show off your floors if you have installed something different.

Have a wonderful day!