Coldspring, Country Style, Decorating, DIY, home decorating, Lake Livingston, master bedroom, Star Hill, Texas, The bedroom

Reclaimed Wood Wall

reclaimed wood wall titleI have wanted a rustic wall in our master bedroom for a while. This weekend that was the project. I first wrote about the wall in April but we are just getting the garage cleared enough that I didn’t feel guilty starting something new. #Hashtag inspired me to get moving on this long overdue project.  I actually started two projects and finished a few other small projects too.

We found this old cedar fencing on the free part of Craig’s
List. Hubby did pay the guy $20.00 to help him load it.

It has been sitting in the wood hoard since April. Here is how the project went up:

reclaimed fencing

7:30 am We set up the table saw, carried 50 pieces of wood to the porch and got busy. We have had Ole Betsy, our table saw for more than 25 years and bought her used all those years ago.

Hubby got busy “Truing up” the boards. That just means he cut the boars all exactly the same width and straight by running both sides through the table saw. He cut about a 1/2 inch off each side.

table saw IMG_3423

Yes, I made him use a wood pusher but in this picture he was finished with the cut and I wasn’t able to take the picture and help him catch the wood.


8:30 am Hubby got busy cleaning the sawdust and I carried all the boards down to the fence to clean them. This should have been step one but we don’t do easy at our house. I used the jet spray choice on the sprayer It took off the dirt but an added bonus was that it took a lot of the silvery aging off the boards. I made sure not to leave lines from the sprayer but I really liked the results. The wood looked a lot more like barn wood and less like fencing.

reclaimed fencing washed IMG_3428

9:30 am Hubby got out the compound miter saw ( chop saw) and, even though the wood was damp, he got busy cutting off the rotted ends and the dog-eared tops of the boards. That left a lot of different lengths of wood. We wanted a random pattern in the joints so we were happy with the wood left.

scrap wood compound miter saw

10:30 am We moved all the furniture to get started, went to borrow a stud finder and level… We left ours in the burbs. We removed the

crown moulding and baseboards,

painted wall


11:00 am I decided to paint the wall behind the wood. I was concerned that the light wall would show through at knot holes or cracks. In the end, it was probably paint and time wasted, because Hubby did such a good job with the wood there were few gaps and none showed through. As soon as I finished painting Hubby marked a level line and marked the studs with tape ( I will tell you why later.)


12;00 pm At this point we realized we only had a few nails for the 18 gauge air stapler but decided to go ahead and get started. We decided to put the row up below the window first to make sure we had that row where we wanted it and level.

Hubby manned the air nailer and called out measurements. I found the wood and cut it to length. He was able to move the tape as he went along to keep up with where the studs were in the wall.

4:00 pm We ran out of staples. Bummer. At this pint we were hot, tired and grumpy. We cleaned up, moved stuff so we could sleep bathed then headed over our friends’ house for supper.

reclaimed wood wall IMG_3439 IMG_3441 IMG_3444
8:00 am Hubby went in search of nails. I cut the boards to go on either side of the window while he was gone.

10:00 am Nails were found and we could get back to work.

sleeping dog

Well, some of us got busy. Others conked out on the floor and made us walk over them.

The wall went up quickly and we were able to get finished quickly.

2:00 pm The wall was finished! Enjoy the finished wall. I love the color.

IMG_3481 IMG_3483 reclaimed wood on wall

Did you notice the door headboard? We finished it when I painted the French Provincial furniture, but I wanted you to see it on the wall first. It even has door knob- that it did not have when we bought it thanks to my friend, Tanis.

IMG_3482 IMG_3475 IMG_3485 door headboard

We are going to have mason jar lights on either side of the door bed and I am planning to make roman shades for the windows. I am trying to figure out what color bedding. Any suggestions?





reclaimed wood on wall

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Country living, Lake Livingston, Star Hill

Star Hill Begins a Porch Makeover

Two summers ago we took down all the cedar siding on Star Hill, our lake house, and put up cement board.

Here it is with the new siding and ugly porch.

front porch

The azaleas are beautiful but take a gander at the post. That is how all the rails looked. They were rotted out out the bottoms and were never installed properly.

The cedar siding was rotting in many places and needed to come down. We saved the wood and have used it… a lot. See here:

It also has been used by others to make outdoor storage and we still have a little hanging out that Baby Boy believes will become a sauna for him… we will see.

We had every intention of getting the porch done at the same time but the summer got away from us, then weddings, then job changes. You get the picture. This summer we are actually living at Star Hill so Hubby is getting it done. The rails and posts came down easily. He was done in a day with the rails and did the posts one by one so he could support the roof as he went along.

For some reason the railing has gone a little slower getting put back up. There is a lot of measuring, cutting and leveling involved. If you are needing to replace your railing or have installed a deck, I definitely recommend buying the railings for decks that are pre-assembled. They are $29.00 per 6 foot section. We figured it out and it costs an extra $9.00 per section to purchase them pre-assembled. Well worth the money.

They make brackets now that make assembly a snap. You just have to know which bracket you need!

Front porch

I am so excited to get this project finished! Once the rails are up and the fascia board under the roof are replaced it is all getting a coat of paint. We are going to paint the porch and concrete foundation walls too.  Enjoy the pictures.

IMG_2837 IMG_2838 IMG_2840


Building a Home, Lake Livingston, Silliness, Star Hill, The Garagemahal

What a Lake House Should Look Like

Before I post this message I have to let everyone know how incredibly blessed I feel right now.  The Southern Belle ran in the Boston Marathon today and had only finished the race shortly before the explosions.  I am one lucky mom to have two great kids.  Now, enjoy my weekend.

My friends,  this is how a lake house should look:

I woke up early Sunday morning, just me, the birds, and the squirrels were up.  As I walked around the house I realized that this is exactly how I always dreamed that our house would look.  I quickly went back inside and grabbed my camera so that I could share with you what I saw.

Forgive me, but I did not want to edit or stage these shots.  What you see is what you get.  You will see that my dream of how our little Star Hill should look is probably different from other people’s idea of dream home get away.  For me, it is about the evidence of use, more than the decor.

There were clean dishes on the drain board.  Lots of dishes. (Thanks Tanis for doing dishes and helping to get the meal ready.)


  I love the fact that we fed 14 people Saturday night out on our little deck, in the house and on the porch. (Baby Boy was the grill master for the fajitas!) It wasn’t about the food; it was about the laughter, the sharing, and being with my children and their friends.

back deck

There were chairs around the campfire.  Chairs around the campfire meant that even when they could have gone home, they stayed.  They ate smores, the stoked the fire, put on jackets and hung out- they even met our sneaky raccoon who keeps breaking into the trash can.

the fire pit


To quote C. S. Lewis ( yes, Baby Boy I read C. S. Lewis too!) “Is any pleasure on earth as great as a circle of Christian friends by a good fire?”

The Garagemahal was messy.  We even went to bed with the garage door up.  This is something we do not often do, because there is deer corn in there and the critters will come in.  If I had walked into a spotless workshop it would have meant that either nothing took place there or I spent the time that the kids were here cleaning it up instead of enjoying them.

messy garage

There were towels to wash, paint to put away, fabric to fold, trash to collect, and I knew that we had a couple of hours’ worth of cleaning to do Sunday.


 When Baby Boy and Sweet Amanda got up to join us there were more dishes, the smell of bacon and eggs cooking and more time together.  They were a big help cleaning up!

It is my prayer that this is how my children and their friends think of Star Hill.  I want it to be a haven for both us and them as the world becomes busier.  A place to gather, laugh, make a mess, and enjoy nature.

As I left for work this morning I felt blessed.  We do not have days like this  often enough.

Lake Livingston, resale finds, rescuing damaged furniture, Star Hill

Choosing Bedroom Colors

Well, today was my first day of work in my new district.  I feel a little lost, but everyone has been so nice to me. I do not have internet at the lake house so my posts will be after work until I can get something worked out up there.  No photos today because while I did remember to bring this post already done ( I love the cut and paste option), I did not bring my SD card to upload my photos.  It is all going to be a learning curve.   I can tell I am going to be spending more time at Star Hill now that my job has changed just because it is an easier commute until the city house gets on the market and sells.  That means more of my stuff is going to end up in our very small lake house bedroom. (Star Hill is 950 square feet, divided into three bedrooms, a family room/kitchen, a laundry room, and a bathroom. The first thing I know I need to do is get rid of stuff I do not need there, then I need to look at storage.  ( I seem to be doing that a lot these days.)

Before this whole journey started I bought three 1970’s Ethan Allen pieces that were part of an entertainment center group at one point. They were a resale find and I loved them because they had sort of shutter looking doors that I knew would be fun to paint and give a relaxed vibe to the lake house. I know how old these pieces are because my brother-in-law and sister-in-law had the complete set just like these pieces at one point.  Two of the three pieces match in size and will make excellent side tables.  I already have a dresser and chest that will stay.  The headboard is taking a hike to the guest room and will be replaced by an old door that I am super excited to get up.

I am really stuck when it comes to the room color.  I think I want gray walls.  I love gray walls.  They are soothing. The gray has to work with red and blue because the entire house has red and blue accents. What to do, what to do… I would love to hear from you.

I already selected the color to paint the new night stands and have one painted.  Pantone Lunar Rock.  I tried a new type paint and I am RUNNING back to Behr.  Nothing I have found works as well as Behr Paint, but I will finish the other night stand with this paint then move on.  Lunar Rock is a light gray, almost white and will be beautiful on the night stands, especially glazed with a charcoal paint.  I sanded and stained the tops a great color called pine cone.

I am not sure what color to paint the new door-headboard.  I am thinking a dark red or navy blue.  Thoughts?

Hubby put up some wide, rustic, pine boards to trim the windows in all the bedrooms this weekend and hung new mini blinds (Don’t judge me, they are easy to take care of and that is the name of the game in a lake house.)  I am definitely going with white-white trim work in the bedroom.  I want my milk glass to make sense in there.  I think there will be dark rustic shelves to display the collection.

Pictures tomorrow, I promise.

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Easter Weekend.  We sure did. It was great to have family and friends over.


Chair, Lake Livingston, recycled furniture, Star Hill, Texas

Chairs for the Porch

Our country home, Star Hill, has a porch that runs along two sides of the 950 square foot “mansion”. The home is in east Texas, in a lakeside neighborhood. Our lifestyle in the country is slow moving, with a lot of time spent outside. We have two seasons here; hot and chilly. Right now I have two great rockers and a vintage swing on the porch which you will see soon as we get the porch updated. I also have two plastic chairs on the front porch that I I got from my mom. They were forest green and faded when we got them. I painted them with brown paint two years ago and have them on either side of a chest I got for three dollars then painted our door color to store bird seed. The plastic chairs are functional, but way less than amazing.

In my resale shopping I have been casually looking for some sturdy, cheap, rustic chairs that would hold up on the front porch and look like they belong in the country. I already had chairs that worked so this was not an emergency.
If I can give you one piece of resale shopping advice it is for you to get to know the owners of the resale shops you like. Deal directly with the owner when possible. Treat them fairly, tell them about your projects, bring in pictures of your finished projects, and always, always, always be nice. Even when the cost of an item is more than I am willing to pay, I never insult the shop owner. My favorite thrift store owner, Patricia, knows me well. She knows that I will be back and she knows that I am not afraid of a little work. On my last trip I told her I was looking for assorted chairs. I am planning on a chair weekend for Sweet Amanda’s friends. We are going to each redo a chair using our combined paint, accessories, and ideas. It should be fun. Patricia let me know that she had three matching chairs that need work she was willing to part with for $5.00 each. The chair bases were old and sturdy but the backs were loose and several spindles were unglued. I decided to take the best two. I loved the original vinyl on the seats and the nailhead trim. It did not have any rips or tears so I wanted to keep it. I knew as soon as I saw these chairs they would not be a part of the chair party. They were going on the porch. I thought I was going to paint the chairs a color of paint I bought a while back but did not use. It is a sort of cedar color that should blend well with the soon to be coming new cedar posts and rails on the porch but I decided the more I looked at the chairs the more I liked the weathered look.
The tricky part of the process was getting the spindles into the holes at one time. It took two sets of hands all working at once. So glad Larry was there to help out.

After the gluing, I taped off the vinyl and sealed all the wood with polyacrylic. The sealant will protect the wood from the elements. I also saddle soaped the vinyl to make sure it was clean. They should hold up well for years.
This is a definite upgrade for the front porch. The chairs will come in handy when we need to add chairs to the table on the deck too.



Lake Livingston, Nature, Thrifty Art, Thrifty decorating


Doesn’t this look like a claw in this picture?

Last summer in our part of Texas there was a drought. The lack of rain in the whole region caused the lake level to drop lower than it had been in years. We got to see the lake bottom like we had never seen it. It go to the point that we could walk out the boat launch and around a point that we normally boat by. On one of those long lake bottom walks I discovered a large piece of wood half buried in the sand. We dug the wood out and it was beautiful. This log had to have been already laying on the ground when the lake filled in 1967. It was clear that the wood had been under water for years and years. It was covered in worm holes, completely black from lack of oxygen, and beautifully preserved. Oh, did I mention it was HEAVY? It wasn’t so bad to carry for a little while, but we were a good mile from the truck. Hubby and I carried it back to the truck and put it in the garage.

 When it dried it was obvious that it needed to be cleaned up.  Our friend Larry has a power washer and he volunteered to clean it one day when I was over so I could show him what I wanted done.  The log was moved to their lake house garage.  One thing led to another and time got away from us.  Now that their lake house is being sold they needed to give us back the log, but Larry did loan us the power washer too. 

I have a fear of power tools but I LOVED the power washer. 

I power washed the entire thing three times, allowing it to dry between washing so that I could see what needed to be cleaned.
The next step was to polycyrlic the entire thing.  I am one of those people who think you should try to do things on your own but if you have never used poly this is not the place to start.  I almost ruined the piece and I have used it many times. It was almost impossible to see runs or drips and poly leaves foamy places if not wiped down.

 I love all the worm holes in the wood.

 This is the foamy look that has to be wiped off.  It just did not love going into the nooks and cranny’s.

 I planned on using it on the farm table.  It is too big.  I need to find a new home for it or Hubby is going break off some parts. 

Coldspring, crafting, DIY Projects, Lake Livingston

My Husband the Crafter

I went for a walk at the sandy beach on Labor Day weekend.  The rest of the crew made fun of me because I was looking for driftwood.  There was a ton on the beach but nothing that I couldn’t live without.  Lake Livingston is the second largest lake in the great state of Texas. 

It is surrounded by forests.  At the north end of the lake there is a large log jam called the jungle. 
Where there are heavy rains in the Dallas area logs are washed out and into the main part of the lake. We have amazing driftwood where we are at the south end of the lake.  It is light weight, weathered, rounded and is the most beautiful blue-gray color.

Hubby also went for a walk along the beach but he came back with a piece of driftwood.  I asked him what he was going to do with the wood.  He told us that he was going to make a pencil holder for his desk.  My husband is going to make a craft project!  Will wonders ever cease?

Beside being a great carpenter and general handy man he happens to be a fantastic teacher.  The students who are lucky enough to have him for math still talk about him years later.  He does not let students not do work because they come without supplies.  He keeps a set of pencils on his desk for the kids to use because there is no excuse in his class for not doing the work in his classroom. He decided that the driftwood would make a great pencil holder. Drilling just the number of holes needed will allow him to know that the pencils are all returned at the end of class and remind him of his beloved lake.

He drilled 12 holes in the wood that pencils will fit in.

The driftwood he picked was burned at some point.  It really has a lot of character and it is flat on the bottom so that it will stay in place.

Great job, Hubby.