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Our First Project- The Kitchen

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It looks like we will be closing on our home Friday.  We now have a closing date and time at the title company.  The insurance guy has gone to take pictures, and he survey is completed.  Whew.  This has been a struggle.

Before Mr. Math has to return to work, we want to get the kitchen up and running.

Here is how the kitchen looks today:

   
   
I found this inspiration picture on TomKat Designs

  
There are a lot of elements in this picture.  

Here are the plans to get the kitchen spruced up that should be doable this summer:

1.  The carpet must go.  Vinyl plank floating floor is going in as soon as it comes in.  Currently it is back ordered until August 5th.

  
2.  The fluorescent light is coming down and pot lights are going in around the kitchen.

3.  The ceiling fan is coming out.  

4.  There is a huge pantry on the other side of the refrigerator that is coming out so that a walkway can be put in to open up the space.  We are going to put in a pantry in the laundry room.

  
5.  Pendant lights are going over the island.  I plan on working on some IKEA pendants to get the look I want.

  
6.  A farmhouse sink is going in.  I have decided that I wNt a double farmhouse sink.  I love the way it looks in the kitchen of House of Smiths.

  
   
 7.  The cabinet doors are getting a makeover.

  
8.  The laminate will be replaced with Quartz.  

  
9.  The cabinets will be painted two toned and hardware added.

   

  
We will be keeping white appliances because one day I hope to have a vintage stove…one day.

We will keep you posted on our progress.

I hope your summer is going well.

Blessings,

Karen

Saginaw Furniture Company Expand-O-Matic

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I am always amazed at what I find at garage sales.  At the time I was at my latest garage sale, our house was being inspected so I wasn’t sure if the house would pass.  I had already told myself we were killing time, not buying.  I did pretty well… except for two milk glass mugs and a wooden bowl until I spied something I had never seen before.  It looked like a desk, and I could tell it was old, but what  clinched it for me was the fact that it expanded to become a six foot long table.  What in the world?  The leaves were missing but I had to have it for my long hoped for my craft/ Murphy bed room I am planning at our new spot.  When the bed is set up the table can collapse to be a bench.  

   
  

   

  

  

The price on the desk thing was $25.00, and I couldn’t resist. 

When I got home I started checking online to see what I had.  It took some searching but I finally found it.  Saginaw Furniture Company Expand-O-Matic.  It was probably from the late 40’s or early 50’s. They changed the name to Expandway later but I love the older name.

They were made for New York apartments and were sold up until the 60’s.  The top drawer is lined  and divided to hold silverware.  Apparently the morning mini home market has made these cool again and these puppies are selling for $600.00 complete.

  
Mine is going to get stainable leaves.  The top and leaves will be dark walnut..  The base is going to be painted teal.  I already have the perfect chair for it when it is a desk.

  
Here are some shots from Etsy.  All I could find were sold. 

   
I wish I had those leaves but we should be able to do something that looks nice.

  

  

Mine only expands 6 feet.

 

I also am changing jobs so the suitcase wall will be moving into the craft room along with the sewing cabinet.  As soon as the leaves are done and the Murphy bed built, the room will be done.  This may be the easiest room to put together at the house.

I hope you all have a wonderful day!

Blessings,

Karen

Weekend Home Tour Part 2

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Here are the rest of the photos from the weekend home tour.  The entry way was dramatic.  

House 3

   

          

I really liked the ceiling in the dining or office area.  

  

A black and white kitchen.

     

Mirrored side tables.

   
  
The house was fun to look at.

House 4

Much more my style.  

   Cedar timber ceiling.

  

  

  Copper colored tile entry.

  

  Master bedroom ceiling

  

  

  

   

   

I thought this wall/ headboard/ ceiling treatment was interesting.  It  

   

I like the rustic touches in this home.

   
 

I am such a fan of the herringbone brick ceiling. 

      

I love this wall, clock, and storage.

   

I hope you enjoyed my visit to the model homes.

I would encourage you to visit homes near you when you get a chance.  They really get the creative juices going.

Have a great day!

Blessings,

Karen

Weekend Home Tour

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i love to visit model homes. Near my sister in law’s house they have 7 model homes open for touring.  It was a muddy, stormy Sunday afternoon so she and I headed out to walk through the homes.  This builder’s homes are well built and are part of a 55+ neighborhood.  Today you get to see the first two. 

I have never seen this designer/ builder’s work, and I really enjoyed getting to see their ideas.  They had the most creative ceilings I have ever seen.  My favorite home happened to be the first home we visited. 

The very first room was… Navy and coral with a rustic, modern vibe.  I can honestly say it was the only room I could see myself in,  but I did take away some ideas.

We didn’t plan on going so excuse the iPhone photos. 

House One

I loved this house.

The front bedroom was so cool.  I really liked the china cabinet and the matching crib springs.  The stripes wet navy, burlap, and a cream color.  The art was stenciled canvas.   

 

Loved the coral tailored cloth on the night stands. 

     

Here is the rest of the house:

  The master was a little too fussy for me.  The side tables were way too full and the picture above the bed was too much.  The mosaic tile panels are throughout all the homes.

       

I had to ask myself if that design in the shower would get old?

I loved the zinc topped hammerd table.  

    

  I liked  the wood squares on the laundry wall.    

I loved the wood flooring!

  

House Two

This house was totally not my style but still fun to look at and even in this house there were elements I really liked.  I called this the mirror house.

  

Imagine dusting all those mirror frames.

  

A wall of mirrors in a 55+ guest bedroom? 

      

I really liked this piece.  

Loved the formal dining table.

     

I like the light fixture but two breakfast tables?

   

  

The backsplash was fun.

      

Oh my, the master was sensory overload. Tile and beam ceiling, tile insets on the wall, mirror edged headboard…

 

I did like the slate look ceramic tile.

How to Furnish a Second Home on the Cheap

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As we are getting ready to sell our sweet little near the lake house, I think I am getting sentimental.

I dug out our scrap book from the first few years of our journey and was pleasantly surprised at all we have done on the home. I also thought back to all we did not know or have when we bought Star Hill eight years ago.

scrap book

If you are anything like us, buying a second home is a stretch financially and a little scary. Buying a second home means there is suddenly a new house payment, electrical bill, home owner association dues, water, taxes, upkeep… the list is long.

First of all, buy only what you can afford comfortably, be aware in advance what to expect like how much to plan for utilities. I was such a nervous nelly that I insisted we make “payments” for two months into our savings account before we actually bought the house. That money we deposited was our contingency fund. Hubby was so desperate to convince me that we could afford it he packed his lunch for work.

What we didn’t have a great plan for was furniture. We bought a three bedroom home with very little furniture that would work in the small spaces.

I set a goal of getting the house move in ready for $1000 and we got it done. Move in ready does not mean perfect. It means we could spend the night, have guests, and have the basics.

There were a few things I learned from the experience that I think applies to any time you set up a new home. We followed the same strategy when setting up both of our kids in their first apartment.

1. Walk through your own home to see what can go to the weekend house . We were able to come up with linens, lamps, utensils, a chair, a cedar cabinet, and our first couch.  You can see the ugly couch in the trailer packed for our trip to move into the lake house.  It looked much better with a slip cover.

furniture for lake house

2. Let folks know what you need. Tell people what you are looking for. Cast the net and let people know specifically what you have on your list. We ended up getting to borrow a great table and chairs for several years until we built the set we now have. A friend gave me this ginger jar lamp and mom gave us a bedside table. Don’t turn things down because it is the wrong style, shape or color. Paint covers a lot of ugly, changing out parts makes things like lamps look better. Hardware can make something look totally different.

ginger jar lamp

3. Roadside rescue. Look every day you can on Craig’s list free stuff. Ask friends to call with curb alerts. Every home I have furnished has at least a few curbside rescues. Star Hill is chock full of rescues. The biggest- you really won’t believe me, but it is true, is our master bedroom dresser, chest, and a night stand we use in the guest room. We also have this cast iron typewriter table that  was left at our city house when the previous owners moved off.

chest of drawers dresser

Furnishing a Weekend Home on the Cheap

4. Get up early and hit garage sales. Go with a list of items you need. Wooden chairs, storage items, lawn chairs, beach towels, life jackets, and cooking items, and decorative items were picked up at garage sales for pennies on the dollar. Ask when you go to a garage sale if they have specific items. I asked about sewing cabinet at a garage sale a year ago and the man holding the garage sale took me to the back yard to see two old treadle machines. The wooden parts were dry rotted, but the bases are now my master bedroom side tables. I got this chair and bookcase for $2.00 each. Glue, paint and fabric helped them.

sewing machine to side table side table sewing machine parts my side table

A Bookcase Table for Star Hill

blue thrift store chair

5. Go to resale and thrift stores. Yes, they sometimes smell funny. Get past it and check out their furniture. Look for solid wood. Remember paint cures a lot. This coffee table was a Goodwill find. Blue paint updated the look and covered the scratched top.

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6. Shop the clearance sections of target, Lowe’s, Home Depot, Kirkland’s, and Marshall’s. We picked red, white, and blue for our home colors. When looking for dishes, pillows, accessories I mixed and matched. A lot of our red stuff came from after Christmas sales. I have mixed and matched dishes that are all solid colors.

7. Shop Craig’s List. Be safe and never go alone but we find a lot there. My most recent CL find was this wood stove. This twin over double

wood burning stove

twin over double bunk

 

 

8. Auctions are another source to furnish your home. One cold, wet January we got this brand new leather sleeper sofa ( our second sofa in the home) for $150.00. No one was bidding so we snagged it. It is great.

Furnishing a Weekend Home on the Cheap

9. If you just can’t find what you need, make it yourself. Check out Pinterest, Ana White’s blog, or just Google what you need instructions to make. I am lucky enough to be married to a woodworker so I can just draw it and get what I want. This buffet, these benches, and this table are all examples of his hard work.

Making Room for a Dining Area at Star Hill Making Room for a Dining Area at Star Hill Making Room for a Dining Area at Star Hill

Over the years we have added, replaced, and upgraded. That is the fun of having a place. Because we don’t have tons invested in the furnishings I have given myself permission to experiment.

The Aggie House; San Jacinto County Christmas Home Tour Part 2

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The road that runs adjacent to our neighborhood main road  is Harrell Cemetery Road.  Guess what is at the end of Harrell Cemetery Road?  If you guessed the Harrell Plantation Cemetery you are correct.  If you guessed a cluster of new homes, built on Stephens Creek and Lake Livingston, you are also correct.

This year it has been driven home to me that we are not the first or second or third or fourth generation to love this particular part of Texas.  A little research into the Harrell Plantation drove home this fact.  The land where our lake house is along with the cemetery road and oh 3000 or so acres that are now under Lake Livingston, were once owned by A. W. Harrell.   The plantation home built between 1840 and 1850 is gone underwater and that makes me sad.   The cemetery was where the black farm hands were buried and it now has a historic marker.

Interesting fact:  Sam Houston used to visit a Choctaw village that was located at the mouth of Stephens Creek.  He would put up a white flag so the steamboat would stop and take him to Galveston.  Right where we live.

In the last two years a cluster of new homes have gone up around the cemetery.  it sounds creepy, but it is really a pretty spot with a historic cemetery in the center.  All the homes are pretty and I am going to show you two of the others quickly tomorrow but today, I have to show you what I call the Aggie compound.  I am sure that is not what the owners call it, but you be the judge.

Welcome to the Aggie compound.

The Aggie House

See the gate?  Proud TAMU folks built this house.

Harrell Cemetery home

Here is the home as we walked up the drive.

Harrell Cemetery home

 

See the peak of the lake on the right?

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As you see, my buddy, The Social Planner, could not resist touching the wreath on the front door.  We were like kids in a candy factory at this house.  ( Oh, yes it is real evergreen.)

 

I am going to clump the photos of rooms together because your tour should not take longer than mine.  You are going to see the main room and kitchen, the bedrooms, the bunk room, the wine cellar, and the outdoors.  Ready to speed walk through this home?

The home is a split level home.  This is the entry hall.  Up to the main room and kitchen, right to a bedroom, down to the bedrooms.

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Oh my word.  That main room.

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Rustic, industrial, eclectic with lots of character.  Those beams.  Hand hewn.  Vintage industrial furnishings.

The kitchen

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Did I mention the farmhouse table that seats 16? Or the two-toned cabinet colors?  Or the cool pendant lights?

The Bedrooms.  There are Five regular bedrooms.  I think.  I may have missed one.  All of them are pretty and are in soft blues/greens.  Most of them look out on the lake.  Wow.  What a view.

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The hallway has built in seating and beautiful cushions.

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The master has two barn doors.  One at the entry and one at the bathroom.  Beautiful.

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This light fixture was in the master in front of the windows looking out on the lake.

The Back Porch

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The owner came out to point out the name of the massive fan.  See the picture on the fan?  It is called a Big Ass fan.  I wonder how it got that name?

The Wine Cellar

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Wine barrel oak ceilings, cool wine rack, live edge bar and stucco walls.  I couldn’t stop staring.

The Grandkid Room

Ever see this on Pinterest?

I would LOVE to do this for our kiddos! Also we need it. Otherwise they would need to live in the bathroom. :p

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I have had this pinned a while.  Wouldn’t it be fun in a weekend home?

I got to see it in real life on this tour.

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It was so cool.  Yes, I climbed the stairs between the bunks to take pictures.

This room also had a mudroom bench right off the porch so that when the kids come in wet and nasty there was a place to drop towels and stuff.

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I hope you aren’t exhausted from our whirlwind visit to the Aggie house.  It is hard to believe that this house is walking distance to our 950 square foot kit home built in the 1970’s with unlevel floors.

I hope you enjoyed this part of the tour.

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog.

I am at a conference this week so the afternoons are all mine.  I am enjoying the quiet time.

Blessings,

Karen

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch

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Thursday night I had the opportunity to visit SJ River Ranch just outside Coldspring.  I will tell you all that when I say I am a weekend country girl, that is a stretch.  I am really a “weekend go to the country girl”.  We have a deer feeder so that I can see the deer come up early in the mornings when the beasts leave them alone.   I feed humming birds, finches and have a general bird feeder.  That is about the extent of my interaction with wildlife.

Mary and Bill are real live ranchers who have a beautiful ranch where they raise cattle.  Here is a link  to their website that includes beautiful pictures.  I love the fact that Mary is the ranch manager.  She is also an artist and they have lived all over the world.  The stories they tell about their adventures are book-worthy.

We arrived at their home just before sunset so some of the later pictures are grainy.  I had to really adjust the light.

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The ranch is over 300 acres and is a mix of pine trees and pastures.  It is beautiful.

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The Austin stone on the home is so pretty.  I love the back porch that runs the length of the home.  There are windows that line the porch wall so that you can see outside into the beautiful back yard from every room.

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This gazebo is amazing.  It is huge.  There is a fire pit in the center and an opening in the roof for the smoke to get out.  I think I would live in the gazebo if I could.

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Sunset views.

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Mary took us on a ride around the property.  The containers you see in the distance are her raised garden pots.  She also has a greenhouse.

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They have a guest house.  We didn’t get to check it out because there were guests.  One day I want to check out how it is organized.

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They have a workshop that we got to check out.  With awesome metal cabinets.

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They have a chicken coop.  Mary has eggs of all colors.  Do you see Henrietta the spotted chicken?  Bill also fixed it so that they can get the eggs out without going in the coop.  That green box on the outside has a lid that lifts up to get to the eggs.

 

 

 

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There are two ponds on the property.

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The ride out to see the cattle was beautiful.  The views are spectacular.  It is easy to forget you are just over an hour away from downtown Houston.

The true lack of my  country experienc came out when we met Shooter.  You know how on cartoons they show bulls flaring their nostrils, pawing the ground and charging at you?

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I can now tell you that they do this in real life.  Shooter, a high dollar registered bull,  did not love us being near his girls.  My heart did race, the Social Planner and I may have squealed enough to scare Bill into riding out to see if we were okay.  The Social Planner and I thought for a minute we were in trouble.

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I did get brave enough to get some shots of Shooter but not brave enough to get any closer.  That wire was all that stood between me and sudden death.  Yep.  I am standing across the road from him thinking of an escape route if necessary.   I think that bull makes my bottom look big.   🙂

 

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See these bad babies?  They slipped under the fence and were in the hay barn when we drove up.  Look at how innocent they look… those little stinkers.

 

 

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These calves were out in the pasture.  All of the calves we saw were born in September or October.

 

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Lacey loves food.  She is on a diet so she now sneaking out to get the calf food.  Poor Lacey.

 

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This boy is head of ranch security and he is no joke.

 

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We had a lot of fun and love learning about the place we call home two days a week.   A big thank you to Bill and Mary for the wonderful gumbo, the tour of the ranch and letting us sit by your fire.  We loved it.

Here is a shot of The Social Planner and me on the back of the Kabota ready for our tour.

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Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.  I love hearing from you.

 

Blessings,

 

Karen

 

 

10 of My Favorite Posts and a Big Thank You!

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If things go as they have been for the last week, by the time I wake up tomorrow I will have had 50,000 page views on my little teeny tiny minnow of a blog. I will also be celebrating two years of blogging. There are blogs out there that get 50,000 page views a day and it has taken me two years.  I never said I was fast.  first and foremost, I want to say thank you, friends, for reading, thank you for commenting, and thank you for causing me to improve what I produce. I still have no idea what I am doing most of the time. By that I mean my husband and I are making it up as we go on our projects, and sometimes failing miserably. I am about the most technology challenged blogger out there. There have been many times when I did something on the blog but had no idea what I did, how to fix it, or if it was good, how to repeat that good thing. Between the time I started this blog and now both our children have married, my husband and I changed jobs, we sold a home, went a while “between homes”, bought a home and moved to a new city, my son and daughter in law have moved in part-time, I started a new blog called My Burb Home, and I have taken up photography as a hobby. Not bad for two folks in their 50’s.

This next year we plan to travel to two places on our bucket list, work on both our weekend home and our suburban home, build a raised garden, put in a fire pit,and continue to work on found furniture.  Life is good for this weekend loving couple.

I wanted to share with you some projects from the last two years.  As I looked back, there were others that could have or should have made the cut but I plan on rewriting several of them now that I don’t stink like when I started. Not many of you were around when I first logged in, set up an account and started rambling so some of the projects below may be new to you. Just click on the hyperlink and it will take you to the original blog.  I hope you enjoy.

10. French provincial furniture makeover.  I love that we were able to take a couple of homely particle board pieces of furniture and make them beautiful. I am seriously considering selling this set because I want to redo the room like now I recently saw on a home tour but I love the color combination and how much I learned on this project.

French Provincial Dresser

9. Western Dresser.  We found a homely little Goodwill dresser and made it something fun for the lake house guest room we call the bunk room.
western dresser

8. Table and Banquette seating out of reclaimed wood.  Wow! This is one of my oldest posts and my dinky little camera did not do this beauty any justice.  I will be re-photographing this set.  This was a collaboration between Hubby and me to come up with a solution to a tiny space using reclaimed siding from our house.  It is one of the most functional spaces in our home now.

Making Room for a Dining Area at Star Hill

7.  Farmhouse Table.  I love the look of a rustic table but man, they are expensive. Our $90.00 solution to this problem turned out to be one of my favorite pieces of furniture. It moved with us and was where we gathered for our first Thanksgiving meal in the new home.

farmhouse table

6.  Wedding Chalkboard.  I did tell you my kids got married, right?  I was fortunate enough that both my daughter and daughter in law wanted me to make personal items for their wedding.   I loved that they wanted things that I worked on as a part of their special day.  The link above is one of those items, an ornate frame my daughter in law, Sweet Amanda, found at a resale shop that I redid for the wedding and added a chalkboard.  I chose this one because it was the first wedding project. I love all four of my precious kids.

DIY Framed Chalkboard

5.  Map Chair.  Another piece of furniture that needs to be re-photographed.  This little chair would be easy to recreate for a friend moving to a new city or a college student who needs to remember where home is. I seem to have a thing for chairs.

Map Chair Seat

4.  Painted Suitcases.  I have made a total of seven of these painted suitcases now  The link is to four of them I did at one time.  I love finding cheap old hard sided suitcases, priming, painting, distressing, glazing then adding a chalkboard to one side.  It makes a great entry into a home when guests are coming over or to announce an event. If I ever started a business, I would sell these because I enjoy mine so much.

Chalkboard Suitcase

3.  Junk Fairy End Table.  The last three are easy.  They are my favorite, favorite projects.  They speak to my love of color, family and friends.  The junk fairy ( AKA The Social Planner) dropped off this homely table while we were gone one day. I did not need it, so posted a photo of it on Facebook and offered to redo it for a friend. Robin snagged it. I am happy that she chose green as the color for the table. I really like how the stained top turned out. I enjoyed it so much that I painted a table in my own home close to the same colors.
The finished green end table

2.  Beverage Station.  I am now working on number three of these babies. What a great re-purpose project for an old stainless sink and a sewing machine cabinet. I love the look and they make entertaining in a back yard or porch more inviting. My favorite blue color, Behr sailboat blue, got used here. My long-suffering husband gets major credit for the stainless sink idea here.
drink station
1.  Mudroom Bench.  When we moved this year I literally looked for homes that my mudroom bench would fit in. It is by far my most favorite project to date. I look forward to the day that someone sends me a photo of their version of the project.&nbsphttps://theweekendcountrygirl.com/2013/01/28/toilet-paper-roll-art/; A found dresser, waiting for heavy trash pickup, and a resale shop mirror turned into this beauty.
mudroom bench

I hope you enjoyed my little walk down memory lane. Thank you for taking the time to look back on my last two years. Thank you for allowing me to share what we do.

Creating a New Blog

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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

Blessings,

Karen

The Green Bedroom Is Coming Together

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Have you missed me?  I will bet not, but I have missed having finished projects to write about.  We finally have a minute to breathe and start dressing the house.  It is nice to not be opening boxes.   Most of my house is almost put together, but none of it is done. F.r.u.s.t.r.a.t.i.o.n.  The first room that I feel like is almost there is our green and coral guest room.  It didn’t hurt that the walls were already painted a pleasant color I could work with.  After one week of hard work we have it almost finished…I think…for now anyway. The smallest guest room is finished except for some way to display my milk glass and something interesting to go over the bed. I am still thinking about those projects, but something will come to me. Any ideas?  I also have a coral accent piece in mind, eventually.

The links below will take you to the projects that were added to this bedroom.

The French Provincial dresser is in place.

French Provincial Dresser

I did not love the mirror that came with the set with the dresser in this room, so I used a few of my vintage mirrors over the dresser along with a frame from my gray bedroom there. I like the look!

vintage mirrors

The bedding was my grandmother’s and so were the milk glass lamps on the night stands.  I love that they have found a home in this peaceful room.

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The rocker was my dad’s great grandmother’s. It needs to be re-caned, but I love that she sat in this chair so many years that she wore the cane out on one side, We bought the quilt years ago and I am always happy to find a place for the flower basket pattern.

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The coral accents on the milk glass lamp, pillow and table legs add to the green, black and white theme.

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The flowers were from Baby Boy’s wedding to Sweet Amanda and the Follow Your Heart sign was a Goodwill find for .99.

I love the chalkboard above the black rail. It is fun to be able to change the quote when the mood strikes.

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The clock has bounced around my offices, our house and the garage but I thought it looked good painted in the room.  The watercolor in the vintage frame I painted circa 1988.  My parents had it in their room for a while.

repainted clock

All in all the room was put together for under $200.  Not too shabby for a totally new color scheme and furniture.

The dresser and headboard were purchased for $80.00 and painted for $15.00.  The mirror went home with my friend Shahana.  She has the perfect spot for it.

The curtains were inexpensive black panels from Walmart and the white shears were on clearance at Anna’s.  They have a nice little embroidered swirl on the fabric. The whole window was dressed for $30.00.

There was no cost for the end tables. Roadside finds and left over paint.  The silver owls and other accents were picked up for the yellow and gray bedroom side tables.

Add in a $20,00 World Market shade and a 12.00 accent pillow and I am done for today.

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