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100 Thousand Thanks

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Ever since I started blogging,  I have stopped 25 thousand page views to look over what happened since we started. I just hit 100,000 page views.  I had not been paying much attention to the stats so this one was a bit of a surprise.   It used to take a long time to reach 25 thousand page views. I mean a really long time. This time took 5 months. I was worried that in the last five months I wouldn’t have much to show you guys. It felt to me like we were sort of stuck and not getting a lot done. The kids moved out of the country, the garage is full of unfinished projects, school got started, life happened.

When I actually looked back over the last five months , I was pleasantly surprised. We got a little more done than I remembered.

My favorites from the last five months are below.  If you click on the link below each picture it will take you to that actual blog, complete with DIY and pictures.

Our biggest project was updating our suburban bathroom and figuring out how to get that restoration hardware weathered wood look on a dresser.  Board and batten, cool shelf, zinc finished towel rack and chandelier made to look like wood beads.

bathroom makeover

Bathroom Makeover

beautiful chandelier

Chandelier

The next big thing was creating a fun office at work that included a reclaimed wood wall, suitcase wall and a giant marquee letter.

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Suitcase Wall

We made one of my favorite benches from a queen sized bed.

finished bed to bench

Bench

We finally got started on our pile of cedar and are making headway with projects there.  My favorite so far is a cedar barn door.

close up of the door

Cedar Barn Door

I repurposed a 1980’s dresser hutch top to look go with our green buffet table.  I now have a place to display my milk glass that makes sense.

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Hutch

I worked off and on for a while on a funky dresser that is now 99% complete.  I love the look of this piece that is going to be an entertainment center.

funky dresser

Funky Dresser

I tried my hand at painting fabric.

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Painted Fabric Chair

and finally…

I enjoyed making a rustic Christmas mantle.

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Rustic Deer Head

Not too bad for a “slow” few months. Being a weekend country girl is a great life.  I am blessed to have the opportunities that I have.

Thank you all so much for joining my husband and me on this empty-nest, third quarter adventure. Repurposing furniture and blogging has helped me to stay active and has enlarged my circle of friends.

I appreciate you taking the time to read my blog and travel with us on this adventure. We have a lot in store and look forward to the future.

I love to hear from you,

Blessings,

Karen

Keeping an Eye on Resale Home Value While Making a House Fun

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One of the blogs I read is Jennifer Allwood at The Magic Brush.  I love this lady.  She is fun-loving, runs her own business and manages to stay involved with her family activities all while offering advice to others about following their dreams and having a successful business.  Oh and she loves glitter.   She owns a faux painting business in Kansas City.  Right now she is struggling with selling her beautiful home.  It is a very beautiful house that reflects her unique style.  Unfortunately her home is such a reflection of what she loves and her style that potential buyers have had a hard time seeing themselves in her home.  She has now launched what she calls Operation Vanilla on her home and is making the home more neutral.  She has removed the bright colors in bedrooms, the faux painted ceilings, Bible verses in the tray ceiling… The list is long.

Source: The Magic Brush

The photo above is Jennifer’s dining room.  I love her table. I mean I have even been looking for an old sign to make my own because I think it is so cool. Her room is beautiful. It looks like a magazine page, but I think I would personally be a little overwhelmed with the finishes and would have a hard time envisioning my furniture in the space. I don’t think my furniture would measure up in such a fancy home.

Each of you reading this has your own personal preference when it comes to your home’s style. You may like sleek and modern, beachy, traditional, cottage, shabby, rustic or eclectic. Our differences are what makes each home unique and are reflections of our lives. There really are ways to insert your own unique style along with fun touches in your home without affecting the resale value of your home. We have sold four homes over the years that had my own quirky style and all of them sold almost immediately even in tough markets and less than the most desire able areas so I feel confident providing a little insight in this area.

  • Keep the “permanent” items neutral. I would love a vintage stove in my kitchen. I mean one of those 1940’s stoves that has been refurbished and looks super cool. I haven’t put a vintage stove into my kitchen even in our last remodel because I knew we were going to sell our house and even though I would love having that stove, other folk might not love it and it could have kept our house from selling.

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In my opinion items like doors, appliances, flooring, and light fixtures need to be mainstream and have a nod to what is popular yet classic when the house is for sale. ( Granite is a must in our area right now.)
No checkerboard flooring, mason jar pendant lights, or unique features like a bright colored sink.  If you have them and you love them, take them down, pack them up before you put the house on the market and move them to your new home.
If and when (oh, there will be a when) we sell our suburban home, our barn door will come down. I will also take down my big S before showing the house because believe it or not, it could seem too personal.
 

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.view of the barn door

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I do not, have not and will not make the entire house beige, blah, and well…boring, in order to sell a house. I will tell you that my experience has been that those totally neutral houses do not sell as fast as ours have. One of the things that has helped our houses to sell is that they are memorable but not something so personal that a homeowner is thinking about changing the second they move in. I also think that we have made our houses feel warm and loved.
A few pieces of painted furniture like our mudroom bench, my farmhouse table, and the teal media dresser will be in the house. The walls, curtains, and flooring are neutral, so that the buyer can see themselves in the house but the colorful pieces are in the rooms to help the buyer, who is probably looking at multiple homes, remember the house.

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  • The artwork needs to be unique, but not specific. Over our bed is a simple one color piece that says Truly, Madly, Deeply.

DIY Monochromatic 3 Dimensional Art

It is one of a kind, but is also something that doesn’t scream at you when you walk in.

  • Put your money into the kitchen and bathrooms if you are going to update anything.

bathroom makeover

Paint the picture for your potential buyers with furnishings.  Depersonalizing does not mean empty and sterile. Help the visitors see what a room could be used for.

If you have moved into your forever home and the next address for you is the Pearly Gates, have at it.  Make your home as personalized as you want… someone else will have to deal with it when you are gone 🙂 If, on the other hand you know you will be moving, I hope you aren’t afraid to leave a little of your personality in the home.

San Jacinto County Christmas Open House

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For the fifth year my buddy, the social planner, and I got to go on our annual snoop visit of beautiful homes located in San Jacinto county. The home tour is a scholarship fundraiser for students in San Jacinto county.

Home tour sign

Three years ago, our Farkle group started going with us. Each year is a different group of homes, usually geographically grouped. San Jacinto county is the smallest county in the great state of Texas so the location is never more than 30 minutes from our home, Star Hill. The first unofficial stop this year was a trip to the social planner’s house. We met up, toured her home and loaded up for the tour after yummy chili and chicken noodle soup.

We have such a tiny speck of a home in San Jacinto County that I tend to forget there are million dollar homes around us. I really enjoyed the tour this year. All the homes were in Cape Royale, a gated neighborhood about four miles from our near the lake house.

Stop number one-  I was so excited to get started I did not get a photo of the outside.  This is the only one I missed.

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There were four trees in this house. I have pictures of two of them. I liked this one because it was so different.
laundry room decorated
I really liked how they used the cabinet doors in the laundry room for Christmas card display.
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Even the dog got into the act.
scrapbooking room
The home owners are weekenders, like us… well not exactly like us… their home is huge. The owner has her own scrapbooking room at the house. She had some of her scrapbooks out for us to see.
angel tree

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I liked how they took all the dishes out of the china cabinet and put in a village.

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The second home on the tour was huge. We were greeted by a gigantic flagpole turned into a light tree. Oh, and four bronze life-sized horses.

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Here is the front of the house.

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I really liked the burlap wreaths in all the windows. I have the pictures from inside too.

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I wasn’t the only one taking photos.

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What a great idea to wrap burlap around the bottom of vase.

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I love the dining room here.
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There is a saying up at the lake that if you are lucky enough to live by the lake, you are lucky enough. I agree.

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My Christmas cactus is blooming too. I love how they decorated around their cactus.

House Three
On our way to house three we spotted these deer.
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house three
The front of house three.

front of house three
I really liked this house.
Christmas door
The front door was beautiful.

house three tree
The owners are not even weekenders. They come when the kids and grandkids can hang out. They traveled all over the world with Exxon before retiring. The owner was a CPA with the oil company. I had no idea a CPA could make this kind of money.

house three back porch
The owners have a view of Pine Island out their back. One day I will have to take you all there.

pine island house three

metal joy sign
This JOY sign is the perfect mix of rustic and modern.

wreath in kitchen
Above the kitchen vent.

copper sink
I would love to have this kitchen sink. In my real-life, every day home.

master bedroom

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beautiful door

house three pool
I love the pool looking out on the lake.

workout room sink
This was the sink in the workout room bath. wow.

outdoor fire pit
This fire pit looks like fun. I hope it gets used.

House Four
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This was my favorite home.

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Here is our group. The owner took our photo.

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village in bookcase

house four living room
What a peaceful room.

Christmas bedspread
I loved this vintage bedspread.

house four tree

christmas dining room
I liked the dining room.
House five
house five outside
You finally made it to house five. Almost done.

front porch
I really liked this home owner. They are getting ready to retire here, but still weekenders.

black and green christmas
What a pretty table setting.

table up close

tree in wagon
This wagon was her father’s. He used it to take the grandkids on rides. What a special way to honor him.

vintage aluminum tree
This is a real vintage aluminum tree. Did you grow up with this type tree?

ready for company
This house is designed to hold a ton of folks.

ginger bread house
The owner even made a gingerbread house.

Thanks for coming on the tour with us. The houses were beautiful.

Open House at the Rockin’ F Ranchito

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Map of Texas highlighting San Jacinto County

Map of Texas highlighting San Jacinto County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you remember my Social Planner, Tanis? She and her husband Larry retired to Coldspring, Texas and have spent the last year selling their two homes- a lake house and their city home, clearing land, planning a new home, and finally building and moving in to their dream home. They really did find a slice of heaven when they found the 22 acres that they are quickly turning into their family gathering spot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This past weekend they held an open house. Friends and family were invited up to visit and enjoy their world. The Social Planner went all out.

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You know it is going to be a place in the country when you have to have signs  because the GPS might not work.

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The house was in full fall decorating mode,

rockin f front porch

 

I love the front porch.  I wish I could bottle the view,

Texas Wreath

 

The Social Planner’s niece made this awesome wreath.  Love it.

 

fall door

 

 

The barn red front door looks perfect.

pebble fountain

 

Beside the front door there is this great fountain.  It is so peaceful and the etched rocks remind the person sitting on the porch why the couple chose this spot.

 

fall mums

 

I love the fall mums.

There was a hay ride, the covered porch was loaded with ice chests, places to sit and eat and things for the kiddos to do.

hay ride

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lola

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on hay ride

 

hay ride on property

The Social Planner has three grandkids already and another on the way. She also has a nephew with three kids and when all of them are over the place is hopping. It is great to see a place that is so full of laughter and love.

Out at the back of the property the guys hunt doves, do target practice and just hang out.

dove hunting

The Social Planner got lots of loot at her open house. I am so happy for both of them. They have a beautiful home and open hearts.

 

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The frame above and the chalkboard below are in their awesome laundry room.  The Social Planner found the two windows on the side of the road.  They are as found, except for a couple of coats of poly.   One day the house will be empty enough for me to take pictures of the room.  This weekend it was full of purses, phones charging, dogs, and toys.

 

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The Social Planner and her childhood friend working in the kitchen.  This kitchen fed a ton of people.

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Enjoy the photos from their beautiful home and friends who visited for the weekend.  I hope the photos reflect their style, the love their friends feel for them, and family.

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Turning a Headboard Into a Faux Mantle

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A young friend Elizabeth, and former student, of mine posted on Facebook a while back that she was looking for a mantle. She and a friend have moved into an apartment in Kemah, Texas. One of my favorite Texas cities. Elizabeth has a vintage, shabby, once grand now aged style.

I started looking for a mantle for her on my expeditions but wow! Even at the ReStore the small not so great mantles were north of $250.00.

I got a text from a friend asking if I wanted some furniture. The text picture looked like the furniture was wood so I jumped on it. A dresser with a mirror, night stand, and headboard. Hubby went to pick up the furniture and when it came home I realized it was not solid wood. It was particle board with a laminate over the tope that looked like wood. Even worse, the top of both the dresser and night stand had gotten wet and was swelling. I knew it would not be a project for me, but I loved the detail on the headboard. I thought immediately that it looked like a mantle.

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This is one of those projects that as soon as I drew for Hubby what I wanted he ran with it. He bought some trim, used some from the hoard, and got it done in a matter of an afternoon.

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I did not get my part done, until today.

Basically Hubby cut out a section from the headboard then divided what he cut out to use on either side to make the sides longer. He purchased some cheap pine to make a wider mantle top and fill in where the trim ended.

After a coat of Zinzer bonding primer and filling the holes with wood filler it was on to paint. I love, love, love Behr Revival Mahogany. It is the perfect vintage color of brown. I panted it several times and in different directions so that it looked old and gave the impression that layers of paint were applied over the years. I glazed it all with a charcoal colored glaze so that hopefully it looks like something that is old and may have some soot on it. Today was one of those perfect painting days. The weather here was in the high 60’s low humidity and not much wind. I was able to whip it out in almost no time. The funny thing is a neighbor stopped by while I was painting. I hadn’t told her it had been a headboard when she said “I have been looking for something like that to go behind my bed.” I laughed and told her it was a headboard that I have turned into a mantle. She said it should be a mantle turned into a headboard, turned into a REALLY COOL headboard. … How nice.

What do you think about the results? I love it with my $2.00 plaster mirror. It is going to look great in Elizabeth’s home.

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Decorating the Mantel Between Seasons

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It is that time of the year that I struggle with decorating the mantel in our den. Now that we are getting ready to sell the city house, I wanted to decorate it for more mass appeal and for my own enjoyment. I took down everything Valentine’s Day related, moved some things around then went on a house hunt. The silver stuff came from the yellow and gray bedroom. I quickly drew an owl on the chalkboard, but it is only temporary. I am just trying to figure out what I want it to say. I do love the stack of Bibles. My grandfather and my grandmother’s Bible are there along with my “cradle roll” Bible I carried when Hubby and I got married. What do you thin? Be Honest!

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Valentine’s Mantle

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I will bet that a few of you are thinking that you are tired of seeing my mantle. Well, here is the finished Valentine mantle.

Old windows from the garage, chalkboard from the upcoming wedding, silver candlesticks and pedestal from thrifting, string art,toilet paper roll art,ribbon wreath,topiary
I love it! It makes me smile.

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I also brought home my chalkboard suitcase to welcome Cupid!
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