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DIY Barn Quilt

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I just love our guest house porch. I am thrilled with the swing and rocker. I am crazy about the door to the house and am looking forward to our wood plank porch ceiling. The one thing I didn’t like was looking directly at a blank wall while on the swing.

I have wanted to make a barn quilt for a while and the blank wall seemed like the perfect place for one.

If you search “Barn Quilt on Pinterest you will see a ton of designs and pictures of quilts. I knew I wanted something simple and selected a modified version of the Ohio Star. It is really just nine equal squares with some of the squares divided diagonally.

I found this version on House of Hawthornes. Her quilt is on her porch too. She has great instructions and makes a three color quilt. I am not going to go through all the steps because the instructions are on their site and easy to understand. I am just going to tell you what I did differently.

I made my quilt 3 foot by 3 foot for the scale of the porch and used 3/4 inch plywood because that was what we had here to make a 4 color quilt.

I sanded, primed, and painted the entire board the light color that is in the corners and the edges of the stars then drew the design on top of the painted board.

Let me tell you that taping and untaping the different blocks on the quilt are tricky. I should have painted the base color over the tape because even though I pushed, smashed, and, pressed the tape it still bled when I painted.

I used the trim color, Behr Dove for the base color, our house door color Behr Whiskey Barrel because I wanted some brown to coordinate with our cool vintage porch door. The center is the turquoise color of the interior Behr Ocean Boulevard. I wanted some green in the quilt because of our tree filled property and found a color I liked for 50 cents on the Home Depot mistint rack. I always check that rack. It is 9.00 for a gallon of mistint, 3.00 for a quart, and 50 cents for samples. I am a fan of mistint paint.

I used a small brush to touch up the areas where the paint bled once everything was good and dry.

Once I was satisfied with the touch up it got a coat Polycrylic to seal it and got mounted on the wall. I really like the look.

It looks so good mounted on the wall.

I enjoyed making it and look forward to having it for years.

I would love to hear from you.

Blessings,

Karen

The Guest House Porch

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We spend a lot of time outside and porches are important to us. It shouldn’t be a surprise that the guest house has a little porch to welcome guests. The original building had a sort of porch but we took out the original slab and reconfigured the space. We now have an eight foot by twelve foot porch that is blocked by the north wind and rain we get in the winter but open to the prevailing southern summer breezes. It has a great view of the garden and down the road will have a nice front view. I have plans.

The porch ceiling isn’t finished yet ( or the top section of the house caulk and paint) but we are still moving forward.

Our future plans for the porch are to put in a shiplap ceiling painted haint blue, cover the front posts and beams with cedar, and possibly do something with the concrete slab.

I am excited to say that the house got a coat of Behr True Taupewood, it is a gray with brown undertones. The trim is almost done and is painted Behr Dove. It is going to look beautiful with the door, swing, and cedar trim.

Speaking of swing, my goodness this four foot cypress beauty is a show stopper. A friend makes swings and other items in his shop. I love that it was custom made for us, It is stained a cedar stain and has three coats of Spar Urethane so that it can hold up to the weather.

We also have an Adirondack style rocking chair that was literally salvaged from the trash and rebuilt by Mr. Math. It got a good coat of black spray paint and has a place on the porch.

On top of the finishing up we need to do, I also want to make a barn quilt for the blank wall by the door. The view from the swing is just a blank wall and this house is all about quilts.

I found this pattern https://newlywoodwards.com/how-to-make-a-diy-barn-quilt/
I like how simple it is.

The Behr App has a project tab where you can save colors and look at how they go together.

All of the paint is in my shop right now so the 36 x 36 inch plywood is all that is needed.

We are making great progress now and it feels like we are getting somewhere finally. I am so thankful for all the work my husband has put in to get here.

Thanks for following along on our journey.

Blessings,

Karen

Hanging up the Quilt

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Recently I shared the inspiration for the color scheme of the guest house was a fun quilt my great grandmother made. I just love those little houses. I always knew it would be hung on the north wall above the beds. I just didn’t have a plan for hanging it.

Thank goodness I have a problem solving hubby.

We laid out the quilt and decided to display 9 squares in a 3 x 3 pattern.

Mr. Math designed a quilt hanger using two sections of 1 x 6 painted boards and four bolts to basically hold the quilt in place by squeezing the folded quilt in place.

Slipping the folded quilt in was tricky but the idea worked!

Mr. Math cut off the bolts then we hung the quilt with some small brackets that held up the wood part without touching the quilt.

It looked good the first try but a little too low. I could just see it getting pulled down.

The second try was much better.

I am so glad to have a place for the quilt. The frames next to the quilt hold two framed prints of quilts that we bought in the early 90’s and a piece of tatting my grandmother made. Still working on getting something cohesive for the pillows on the beds when using them as daybeds.

It is so nice to have another project done.

Thanks for following along with us on our journey.

Blessings,

Karen

Paint Changes Things

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I bought this piece of Ethan Allen cabinetry at a resale shop years ago. It would have been part of an entertainment center. It hung out in storage then had legs added and moved into my principal office as a printer cabinet after it was painted a vivid turquoise. It served me well until I moved to another position where I couldn’t bring my furniture.

It was moved with us and ironically ended up stored in almost the same spot where it now is in the guest house for years.

When we got all the furniture out I thought it would work with the color scheme but the two 1950’s chair cushions were too much for the space.

Of course the solution was to change the color. The only color I could see it as was red. I also wanted some of the turquoise to come through because even though it is bright, I like it. Believe it or not there is a bit of a paint shortage in our area. Apparently it is the time of the year that students paint their parking space and red was hard to find. It took three stores. I would have loved that… back in the day’

I brushed a few areas with paint thinner, painted the cabinet classic red, then sanded over places to let it look a little distressed.

It is amazing how it changed the look. Of the piece.

Not sure the folks at Ethan Allen would approve but we like it. We have installed a television so the cabinet is going to hold dvds etc.

The paint thinner made the wrinkles you see in the corner.

Still plugging along on the exterior but soon there will be paint.

We love hearing from you.

Blessings,

Karen

Learning to Love the Imperfections

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Our guest house started life as a greenhouse complete with harvest gold fiberglass corrugated panels. It wasn’t designed to be lived in, insulated, air conditioned, or heated. There probably wasn’t much electricity needed so there weren’t many outlets. Because you could see all the studs inside there was no concern about how far the studs were apart. The walls weren’t insulated and their wasn’t Sheetrock.

This is what the greenhouse would have looked like. The same as our small greenhouse near the home.
During demo you could see the fiberglass corrugated panels with light shining through.

At some point the greenhouse turned into a wood shop. Water was run to the building along with to the garden and outside the shop at some point, a wooden floor (reclaimed from a high school gym) was installed, insulation and pegboard covered the walls, the corrugated fiberglass was spray painted grey to look like metal, a wood burning stove was installed, and a 48 inch wide door was built. There was an awesome wood burning stove the owner had built out of a propane tank and other assorted parts inside that took three men to get out.

Nothing about the building was plumb, square or level. In order to straighten the back wall Mr. Math pushed it with the bucket of his tractor while the roofer added support beams so it could be firmed up.

When the roof was raised the two by fours above the old roofline don’t exactly match up to the new ones.

The vertical boards above the old roofline are right, below not so much.

All of my explanation is to remind me that what has been accomplished is that much more special. The walls may not be perfect, our contractor may have done a terrible ( really, really terrible ) job on the Sheetrock and siding but in spite of everything the house is solid, the house wiring is done correctly ( the wiring to the building still needs work), the plumbing is all straightened out, and Mr. Math has spent a lot of time fixing everything from over cut outlet holes to installing a vintage door into the most crooked wall, to removing screws the Sheetrock crew put into the pocket door works.

Measure twice cut once.

What I have learned is that this cute little house isn’t going to be perfect but the quirks and imperfections are what makes it special. The slightly unlevel floor, the patches in the Sheetrock, the wonky v groove planks, the ripples, the wood floors that are patched in several places with pine boards that aren’t the same width or exact color, the concrete slab in the corner where the wood burning stove was located are all a part of the little space that make it our own.

When you come to visit us we will gladly show you the quirky things that make the little home ours.

Right now we are working on the exterior. Caulking, adding nails, patching holes, adding additional trim work. Very soon we will paint. Woo hoo!

We aren’t the fastest but we really are making steady progress.

We love hearing from you.

Blessings,

Karen

The Struggle is Real. Remodeling a Home is Hard Right Now.

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Well hello there everyone. Sorry I didn’t update you on our progress last week.

Last week was a bit of a challenge. Well actually this whole project has seemed a little rougher than anything else we have done. That is saying a lot for a couple of serial DIY-ers. It seems we, along with the rest of the country, are in a home improvement boom. According to these articles by NPR, and CNBC the pandemic is only partially responsible. The data below is from the two articles linked and a Forbes article on the rising cost of lumber.

  • Deck construction is up 275% ( We built a deck so I guess we were part of the crowd.)
  • Fence construction installation is at 144% compared to 2019
  • Home Depot, sales for the second quarter of 2020 were $38.1 billion, up 23.4%
  • Lowe’s reported $27.3 billion in sales for the second quarter, compared with $21.0 billion for the same period in 2019
  • Houzz, an online home remodeling platform, reported a 58% annual increase in project leads for home professionals in June.
  • Kitchen and bath remodels saw a 40% jump in demand in June compared with a year ago.
  • The Lone Star State added nearly 374,000 residents between July 1, 2019 and the same day in 2020, according to the Census Bureau’s December 22, 2020 report
  • Conroe, our nearest large city, has consistently been one of the top ten fastest growing cities in Texas since 2017. People are moving here. Conroe’s population has doubled since 2000 and continues to grow at record speed.
  • Lumber prices have increased 171% since COVID started.

All that information plus the great Texas freeze means finding construction materials and manpower in our neck of the woods is harder and more expensive than a year ago. It makes the whole building process more complicated and stressful. There have been times on this project where we looked more like Building Alaska than the happy couple on Fixer Upper. We scoured every barn on our property for left over lumber and removed nails and reused lumber removed during the remodel, checked all storage areas for screws, nuts, lock rings… all because getting materials for construction is like shopping Black Friday or looking for bottled water or generators before a hurricane.

All that said, and that is a lot, we are making big progress. Most of the insulation is up, all the interior wiring is done, all the hot and cold water Pex pipe is in along with the drain pipes, and we have cleaned around the house.

We have found a contractor that we really like and his crew is working hard in spite of the electricity to the building going out and rain. I am so grateful for their good attitude and work ethic. Because we have help we now have most of the house covered in siding. They have also started planking the eaves of the main house.

We have had about nine inches of rain in a week, a blowout on our trailer, our washing machine line stopped up, and a friend had to help Mr. Math replace the underground electric line to the shop and guest house. I have to wonder what lessons I am supposed to be learning!

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In spite of all our little problems, we have so very much to be grateful for. We are healthy, we have friends and family that love us, and in spite of everything, we are still moving forward.

We love hearing from you.

Blessings,

Karen

Week 2 Update

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Y’all, I can tell you that we made real progress this week.

First of all, there are no blue tarps on the building. We now have OSB and house wrap on almost all the building. Hooray!

What a difference!

Also, there are windows installed. We have six new super cool windows that Mr. Math spotted on clearance at Home Depot. I am so happy with how they look. They are dark frames which is going to look nice with our light paint.

We got all the nasty, disgusting insulation that was filled with wasp nests, spider eggs, and just general grossness. Even better a friend gave us enough brand new insulation to do the house. Life is good.

I got busy on the sink I bought way back when for two dollars at a garage sale. I was happy to see that under all the grime, oil, and calcium deposits the sink is not in bad shape. That was a good surprise. Now to get it and the claw foot tub refinished.

The sink was cast on 05/05/1935

Finally. The electrical is getting put in. My husband wasn’t excited about what was already in place so everything got ripped out and five new circuits are getting installed.

We have to have all our part done by next Thursday because Friday our contractor starts on the siding and sheet rock. It is going to be glorious! Seriously we are excited to see the progress we have made but a crew will make it so fast.

In spite of everything going on in the building we got 1/2 the garden weeded. Mr. Math did a lot but I put in some hours too. Next week the other half.

We are loving this cool April weather!

We love hearing from you!

Blessings,

Karen