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An Update

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Well hello there. What in the world are you doing still hanging around? The past year has been a real world wind. I will never say anything bad about my job. I love it, a lot. As I wind down to retirement one year from now though my job has been busy.

The demands for the job have meant that I haven’t had much time to do any creative work. That will be changing.

So, here is a quick update on life as a weekend country girl.

  • We are expecting granddaughter number two in mid June. Sweet Amanda and Baby Boy are going to be giving Lucy a sister and we are thrilled. I am getting busy on nursery preparations finally. The sweet girl may not have everything finished before her arrival.
  • The Southern Belle and Joe have left the city that they love and have moved to Denton, Texas for work. I now have all of my kids living in a four hour drive. I am thrilled and will be filling you in on that quirky town soon. They have bought a house and it is going to get a mini makeover before they move in this month.
  • We bought an RV. We have taken it out on the maiden voyage and love it. We have plans for a lot of trips in the future.
  • This week we will start an exterior makeover of our house. I am so excited! We are getting an enlarged front porch, a carport, and exterior paint on the bricks.

I hope you are all doing well. I promise that I will be doing a better job of keeping you up to date from now on.

Thanks for hanging in there. I appreciate you all more than you know.

Blessings,

Karen

Rodeo Season

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I seasonally decorate our ranch house In the country.  I am sure you know what I mean about seasons.  I decorate the house for all the major holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentines Day, Easter, 4th of July, and Rodeo.

What? You haven’t heard of rodeo season?  It is an event here in the greater Houston area.  Kids dress up at school, we go to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, and connect with our cowboy roots.  We have already been once Saturday to see the rodeo and Alan Jackson and are headed back tonight for more rodeo and Sam Hunt.

I am no cowgirl.  I just got my first ever pair of cowboy boots for my birthday but in our little neck of the woods, rodeo is a big deal.  The Spanish Trail, one of the trail rides that travels  into Houston and coverages at Memorial Park before the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, originates very near our home.

Our house always has a bit of  a western vibe ( cattle roamed the acreage less than 10 years ago) but we crank it up a notch here around rodeo season. I thought you might enjoy seeing our mudroom bench and our dining tables decked out for rodeo.

Our live edge cedar bench  and mudroom are my favorite thing we have added to the house so far.


The boots? The hats? One pair are mine. And of course everyone here needs rubber boots. My daughter in law gave me these rubber cow print cowboy boots. I’ve also seen some cool cowgirl boots on King Ranch’s website.  They have a really cool shop set up at the rodeo, too.

Our two tables are fun places to decorate.  We love having friends and family over and those two tables aren’t enough for everyone. I have few over 30 more than once.

The buffet was one of our first purchases as a married couple.  It has traveled with us to seven of our eight homes. The salt glazed pitcher on top was rescued by my grandmother under a house they bought more than sixty years ago. The flag graced my veteran father in law’s casket and is a treasure to us.

Faux cowhide on our bench is a nod to our ranch home.

Our breakfast table has a Texas theme.  Thank goodness those placemats wash.  They get some action.  The galvanized jug in the center with silk bluebonnet  is new from Michael’s .  It looks great with our amazing coffee bar in the background.


I love, love, love our coffee bar and the shelves. It makes my clutter look like a collection.  That is my story and I am sticking to it.


Make sure you notice that our one cow, Bessie, made an appearance.

I love hearing from you.  Happy Monday!

Happy trails,

Karen

Reclaimed Wood Barn Door

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This past weekend we built a barn door.  It took a little less than four hours and cost us zero dollars.

Don’t believe me?  Well here is the story:  we have a barn door in our hallway.  It is stunning.  The wood is from a hundred year old barn on my husband’s family farm.   We collected the wood before the farm sold and all of the buildings were torn down.  When we decided to sell our suburban house, the hubby made it clear that the door was coming with us to Providence Acres.  I knew that the door makes a statement in our house and will attract buyers.  The only solution for us both to be happy was  to make a replacement door.

We decided to dig into the wood pile hoard and make it.  The wood is cedar fencing that we actually picked up a block from the suburban house when the homeowners had it replaced.  We snagged it off the road before heavy trash pick up could ad it has been in a pile outside for the last three years just getting cooler, more weathered, and ancient looking.

reclaimed fencing washed

When I am using reclaimed cedar fencing here is what I do.

  1. Wash the wood with a jet washer setting on the hose sprayer.  Use a brush if there are dirt dobbers (for those of you who don’t live in the south they are a wasp-like bug that builds mud nests on wood), muddy spots, or anything that needs extra attention.  Clean both sides.
  2. Leave the cleaned wood to dry in the sun.  I usually lean them against a fence.  The wood has to dry several days in the sun.
  3. After it is dry, sort the wood and pick out the best pieces. What I consider the best is wood that is not split, and relatively straight.
  4. Cut off the dog-eared  top of each board and the ragged bottom of them to see what you have to work with.

I knew we would need 19 boards cut to 40 inches in order to get what I wanted.  We would also need 9 foot long trim board and a few boards for the connecting boards.

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The boards on the left are my 40 inch boards, the rest went back into the hoard for another use.

We still have a few precious 12 inch wide long cedar boards from replacing our lake house siding but our stash is dwindling.  One board was sacrifed for this project.  Hubby cut the wood into three inch widths.  That gave us four boards to use as the long side boards.

We laid out the boards on the shop floor then glued and air nailed the long boards to them. We added cut down cedar for the top and bottom sections.  I decided to use the same pattern as the gate Hubby found in one of the barns on our new place.

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The gate on the wall was inspiration for the barn door design.

The diagonal section adds strength and stability to the door.

Our method for cutting the corners was to lay the board down diagonally in the center of the corner then draw the corner on the board.  Very unscientific but it worked.

Once the front was done, we added trim boards to the back side.

There were a few places that needed a little sanding where it felt rough.  Here it is all put together.  Nine feet is tall, folks.

img_1251img_1252img_1259img_1254img_1258-1The edge of the boards were left raw.  I wanted it to look just like it would have on a barn.

It took three coats of satin polyurethane on each side to turn the wood into this beautiful color.


I love how rich it looks.

Here it is hung up in the hallway.


  
  
I love how it looks in our house.

I really do like hearing from you.

I hope your week is wonderful.

Blessings,

Karen

 

Craft/ Guest Room Update

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Over the holidays we got a little done on the craft/ guest room.  We aren’t finished with the room, but I am excited with how it is turning out.  I love that this room really will have two functions.

The Guest Room

It is a guest room when the Murphy Bed is down and the Expando-Matic is closed.



See my zinc mirror?  It found a great home after I changed offices and lost space at work.

I am planning an accent wall inside the Murphy Bed.


The quilt 0n top was made by my great grandmother.  I just picked up the turquoise suitcase for fifty cents at a resale shop.  I had to show it off.


The shelves that hold my globes collected over the years are made from left over plywood from the Murphy Bed build and brackets from Lowe’s.  The yellow clock has a story.  My dad was getting rid of the clock frame so I snagged it.   The shutter was out of my stash.  It got a coat of paint and will be my idea board.

The Craft Room

When the Murphy Bed is up and the Expando-Matic is pulled out I have six glorious feet of craft space.  The most unfinished function of the room is the craft part.  I need the leaves for the epansion built, some things installed, and the closet redesigned.

It is going to be awesome.





I am a lucky girl.

Here are some closer shots of the walls.  The Texas map was rescued from the trash.  Someone used permanent marker on it, the frame was broken and the bottom was messed up.  It was perfect for me.  I got the market off with hairspray in case you didn’t know that trick.


  
  
The room is coming together.

Thanks for following our journey to make our ranch into our forever home.

Blessings,

Karen

Week 5 Progress

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Knowing company is coming can motivate a person to get busy on their home.  Knowing several of those guests are active elementary and junior high students really motivates me to get the house de cluttered and ready for the crowd.

Here is the weekend progress:

1.  The Guest Room is now presentable.  There are still areas that need touch ups.

  • The walls got painted.
  • A set of donated shuttered got painted and hung on the wall.
  • At
  • Art, a mirror, and a window got hung.
  • New curtain rod.

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2.  This awesome light now hangs where the light I lovingly called the pool table light was over the bar.

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Before

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The awesome after.

3.  A section of the bathroom now is under way.  The mirror will be framed with rustic wood and the bathroom cabinets will be painted white. The rest of the bathroom needs to be painted still.  The color is a pale bluish green.  Never judge a color until the old paint is out of the way.  Look at them together… yuck.

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Before

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During… did you notice the name of the bathroom hardware?  I did not until I edited the picture.

You have to wait to see the bathroom.  Sorry.  I want you to see the full effect once it is done.

We also did some really boring but necessary things like mow, organize closets, and unpack boxes.

Then… the fun started.

5 kids and their parents showed up.  They played, they explored, they fished, they ate s’mores, they went tubing, jet skiing, they threw the frisbee for the dog, they played nines, the ate… A Lot.  Those kids can flat eat.

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We were sad to see them go.

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This week I am going to give you our tricks for feeding a crowd and a few hints for Christmas presents if you have outdoor space.

Happy belated Labor Day to all of us who get up every day and go to work.

Have a great week.

Blessings,

Karen

  How to Install a Barn Door

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I love barn doors.  They solve the problem of swing out doors in small spaces, can be made to fit odd sizes, are easier to install than a pocket door and they look cool.  I love them so much that soon we will have three.  One on the giant bran door that allows us to close off a section of our suburban home when we have guests.

   
 
The wood in the barn door above came from my husband’s family barn.

We will soon be putting a barn door over the opening to our mudroom.  It will be open most of the time but can be closed off.

  
And finally, we installed a door on barn door hardware last weekend.

Our master bathroom at Provdence didn’t have a door.  That bugged me.  

A lot. 

The opening was 36 inches wide so o immediately thought of a door we have had for 16 years or so.  I bought it for $20.00 at a community garage sale.  It was an unfinished, solid wood pine exterior door that I stained and used as my  daughter’s headboard.  It then became our headboard.   I knew it would work as our bathroom door and best of all, it wouldn’t cost us anything.

The reason there wasn’t a door on the bathroom was that there just wasn’t room for a swig out or in 36 inch door.  A pocket door should have been installed there 30 years ago when the home was built.

The best solution for the door was a solution I had already used before on an odd opening, a barn door.

I bought the hardware from Tractor Supply. 

The rails come in two styles, a rounded bottom rail and a square bottom style. 

We like the square style.

  The roller kit we buy comes with everything needed to attach the door to the rail.     

    
  

We are probably going to eventually paint the rail and hardware black, but right now it is about getting a bathroom door. Fast.

  

This particular door is heavy. Mr. Math had to make sure the door stays securely attached. The bolts go complexly through the door and are tightened down.
  

I recommend phoning a friend to hang the door.  Our frien, Larry saved the day.

  

I don’t have a picture of the first step.  Hang a 1 x 4 into the studs above the opening.  This allows for the door to move across the door facing.  The next step is to hang the rail.  You have to buy the hangers separately.  We bought 3 to hold up our 6′ 8″ rail.
    

The hangers are adjustable by twisting the nuts on the bolts.
    
   

I am so happy to have a door.  

I hope you all have a wonderful week.

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.

My Moving In To Do List

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It looks like we will moving into what I believe will be our home we will happily (weekend for now) house, so I am making my list of must do or must find items. Feel free to join in if you have suggestions.

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We aren’t even going to start on the outside this summer. It has to work inside first.
I don’t have any interior  photos of our soon to be home yet.  I am going to get some soon.  The house is a traditional ranch home built in the 1980’s.  The two car garage at the end of the house has been taken in and makes for a long continuous room.  The fireplace is on a side wall in what would have been the middle of the original family room space.

We included a lot of our lake house furniture in the sale of the house so I have some work to do.

Master Bedroom: We have the essentials. We have a bed, night stands, dresser and chest. We need a headboard and I wouldn’t cry if I got the dresser and chest refinished before moving in. I plan on staining the tops and drawer fronts darker and paint the body of the pieces creamy white with glaze. We have our sewing machine base side tables but my sweet door headboard is not coming with us. I am not going to make major changes to the master because an addition to the master is on our short list, but it is not an immediate project . Any ideas for the headboard?

7-IMG_9832 my side table side table chest of drawers

Family Room: We have a couch, two recliners (don’t judge me, I have to make the husband happy and a recliner is high on the list along with a ceiling fan), the funky dresser that is going to serve as our media center and a television. That is all we have, really. We need everything else. No tables, no shelving, I am not even sure what we need in this space. We will be re configuring the galley kitchen that runs parallel to the family room as one of our first projects so right now it is hard for me to even imagine what the space is going to look like. We are just going to have to see what we can find or build to make this room comfortable until we get the remodel done.

funky dresser

couch

Dining Space: We sold everything in our current dining room. Hutch and buffet, chairs, table are all gone. I have a table hanging out in the Garagemahal that has these super chunky legs. I was given these amazing chairs and have the parts for a bench so that part is done. I need to figure out a rustic “China” cabinet.  Do you have any suggestions?  Please send photos!

We have two bedrooms that have absolutely nothing to go in them. I am thinking seriously about a Murphy type bed for one room and turning that room into an office/ study/ reading space. I want a set of French doors in that room for light. We will be taking out a window and adding the doors as we can afford it. If we are going to live there in the winter months I will need a well lit room to escape to. A bed that only comes out for company will be perfect. I have no idea about the third bedroom.

I like the one above minus the bench that seems very complicated. Relax Shack

This one seems easy and there is even a video.

The master, den, and dining will be about all we get done because there is one project I did not mention is that every, and I do mean every single room has cream colored carpet. Bathrooms, kitchen, family room carpet must go even if we move in with concrete floors it will be better than dealing with carpet. We hope to get tile down in the bathrooms before we move in.

Guess who will be busy for the foreseeable future? Feel free to help out on our upcoming projects. We welcome free labor.😄

Thank you for taking the time to read the blog and connecting with me.

Blessings,

Karen

Master Bedroom Pinning

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Well, I had time on my hands in my day this week while out on school visits. Not enough time to go back to the office but too much time to be idle.

Two thoughts kept running through my brain.
1. I want to change the look of our master bedroom.

2. If we get the land we are looking at buying, the exterior of the house must change.

If you follow me on Pinterest (kasmithson) then you can probably see what I am thinking about working on because I start pinning like crazy when I am collecting ideas. This week I started a new board for the master bedroom and one for the front of the plain Jane ranch house with an undersized front porch that we are hoping to buy.  (Crazy, I know but we love the land, the location, and the outbuildings.  The house will be a project for years to come.)

Since we don’t have our lake house sold or the other place purchased yet, I decided to focus on the master bedroom at our Burb house.

I am totally blaming this upcoming redo on Joanna Gaines and HGTV.  I love the look the homes she decorates.  The rooms are restful, stylish, and have a sense of history.  Our home is a newish, tract home that is long on space but short on character.

Here are a few shots of our master bedroom today.

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It isn’t awful, but we really need to have a king sized bed, and the room is lacking in character.    When our son and daughter in law come back from overseas and collect their furniture, the master bedroom furniture will move into our guest room.

Here is my wish list for our bedroom update:

A “Shiplap” wall.

( I did not know I loved this so much until HGTV’s Fixer Upper)

DIY Wood Planked Walls Tutorial - The House of Smiths Blog

The House of Smith has a great tutorial for getting it up here.Planked Wall

A reclaimed wood headboard.

DIYbed

I want the bed to look just like this one from The Accent Piece

Faux built in cabinetry.

I like something like this for This Old House only I want the window seats under our two windows and  drawers instead of cabinet doors in the center section.

wall unit

I want a tripod lamp.

tripod lamp

I already have the parts for one like this:  Dwelling Cents Tripod Lamp

What stays:

The triple mirror and the crystal lamps will be a part of the design.  The lamps will be going on the side tables and the triple mirror on the side wall.

triple mirror

The coolest chair ever.  It was rescued by my mom and dad.  When it was delivered to me it was in pieces.  I love this 1940’s low-slung chair .  It is so comfortable.

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The side tables.  They are a pair that I made over a while back.  They used to be part of an entertainment center.

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The bench. It will get recovered.

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The curtains, although they will need to be raised to the ceiling so that they are raised enough that they fit with the benches that will go under each window.  I really like those lined burlap curtains.

That means the headboard- which I love- goes, and the oak furniture will head to storage until the kids come home to get their furniture then move to the guest room.

The biggest project will be figuring out the built in wall unit. I want it to look like a built in wall unit but really be a piece that will come apart and move with us. It will need to go from one side of the room to the other with a drawers, closed storage and drawers.  I am looking at ReStores and at Hotel furniture sellers for base cabinets.

I have a feeling we will get on this as soon as the lake house is on  the market.

Thanks for reading my blog.  I love hearing from all of you.

Blessings,

Karen

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