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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

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Welcome to Our Little Corner of the World

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If you are new to The Weekend Country Girl, Welcome!  If you are one of my long-time friends, please indulge me as I introduce myself to the newcomers. My blog has literally doubled in readership over the last month.

My name is Karen and I am not a professional blogger or furniture repurposer.  This blog and my projects are my hobby.  I am a professional educator in a suburb of Houston.  I am a high school principal who loves her job, works crazy hours, and has a lot of stress in her daily life.  On the weekends, and any other chance I get, I head to the small town of Coldspring, where I wear sweat pants, go thrift store shopping, and work out in the Garagemahal.  I am a happy chick  when I am covered in paint or sawdust on the weekend.  Come visit if you ever in the area.  For real.

I am happily married to the love of my life, Mr. Math, who is a small town farm boy from Troy, Texas.  We have been married for 33 years and have two great kids.  I am lucky enough that both of my parents are still with us and active.

Both kids are married to wonderful spouses and live a long way from us.  We miss all four of them terribly.

family

We also have a rescue dog named Lumi.  She keeps me humble and reminds me that I am not in charge of the world.

lumi running

karen

If this photo looks like a school yearbook photo, that is because it is!  Does it take you back to high school?

Here we are in the first ever selfie I took of us.  It was on our Christmas cruise this year.

If you are new to my site it is probably because of my recent post about a corrugated tin wall on Remodleaholic, or the Facebook post on their site about our super simple buffet table for the deck, or because of my mudroom bench.  That bench has been my most popular post, ever.    Whatever the reason, I am thrilled to have you here.

Finished Mudroom Bench

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I started blogging as a way to show my friends and family what we were up to at our little cabin in the piney woods near Lake Livingston. We are both cheapskates frugalistas who would rather figure out how to do something ourselves than pay someone a crazy amount of money to do the work for us.  Buying a second home eight years ago was a stretch for us financially so we really had to figure out how to furnish a home on the cheap.  I never envisioned that my blog would be read by anyone who did not know me personally, in fact, I remember when I had my first post with 50 page views.  Man, I thought I was something else.

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Along the way I have learned a few things about blogging (okay, not so much here), design, and how to re-imagine furniture but who I am has not changed.  This site is still just a hobby and way to show my friends what we are up to and to get input.  ( I really do want your input when I ask for opinions. )

drink station sailboat blue

Beverage station from sewing cabinet.

finished red headboard bench

Bench from headboard and footboard.

green sofa table

Buffet table from dining table legs and re-claimed wood.

I make mistakes, I am a terrible photographer who can’t take a good shot indoors to this day, I have a hot temper that gets me in trouble more than I like and I get my feelings hurt when people are mean.

I love a variety of styles, I like mixing painted wood with stain. I think every room should have one piece of furniture or accent that makes folks smile when they walk in the room.

Happy Camper green end table

mid century

western dresser

Funky Dresser

We are hoping and praying right now that we can sell our beloved Star Hill so that we can buy 15 acres in Coldspring with several buildings that will be our retirement home.   I hope you follow along on our journey into mid-life and beyond.

barn and pond

Thanks for finding this blog and welcome to our little corner of the world.

Blessings,

Karen

My Most Popular Posts

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Well hello there.  If you are new to the blog, welcome.

In the last week I have a lot of new friends who have chosen to follow my little bitty minnow of a blog  Thank you for choosing to follow along.

It is winter here in southeast Texas. That means high humidity, rain, and lots of days I am not able to do any furniture work. Add to that my full time job is at its busiest an that adds up to not much getting accomplished.  The garagemahal is loaded with projects just waiting for a warm sunny day to come along.

I thought you might enjoy some of the most popular posts that you might have missed in the past.  If you are one of my long-time followers, indulge me as I take a walk down memory lane.  🙂 If you click on the underlined writing  by each number it will take you directly to the post about the piece.

1. Mudroom Bench ( You probably found me through this piece but I am including it just in case you found me some other way.)

Finished Mudroom Bench

2. Beverage Station ( Old sewing cabinet and stainless sink make parties more fun.)

beverage station 1

3. Green End Table Makeover (Yes, Virginia, there is a Junk Fairy.  From time to time she drops things off at our house.)

Junk Fairy End Table

4. Buffet Table (My son’s favorite piece.)

buffet table

I hope that each and every one of you is inspired to look at furnishings differently and see the potential in even junk pieces.

(There may be a treasure hiding in there.)

Have a wonderful day.  I love hearing from you.

Blessings,

Karen

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.

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.

suitcase shelves

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.

hutch on table

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.

lime green legs

Painted Fabric Chair

and finally…

I enjoyed making a rustic Christmas mantle.

deer head

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

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.

5 Reasons I Could Never Make A Living Blogging

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I could never in a million years make a living being a blogger. I wish I could be like The DIY Showoff, All Things Thrifty, Remodelaholic, Finding Home, Southern Hospitality, Furniture Flippin or one of fifty other bloggers I read regularly. Here is a peek into my weekend. With five reasons I could not do it for a living.

1. I am unorganized. Yep I mean like seriously, pathologically flawed in this area. This weekend I got up to the lake without one of the projects I was going to do, I left the nail gun here, and I forgot we were out of paint thinner. The combination means that I came home pretty much empty handed. And Grumpy! My garage is a mess, my craft closet is a dump right now and there are two unfinished projects laying on the dining table. Nothing to see here folks. Real deal bloggers would have had it all together.

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2. I take terrible photographs. See the picture below? All I have is the after picture. I must have deleted the before and during photos. A pro probably has files lined up, photos named, and backed up.

barstool repurposed

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3. I am impatient. I HATE, HATE, HATE when things don’t go as planned and I have to wait. The lack of supplies this weekend along with the 150% humidity meant that even the floor was wet inside the garage. Paint wouldn’t dry and I was left waiting. That meant I was forced to surrender. We cleaned house instead. A good blogger would have muscled through and gotten something crafty done.

4. I don’t understand what the public wants. I love the teal dresser that we painted and turned into a media center. I posted it, I pinned it, but… Crickets. No comments, no repinning, nada. My silly post on how I clean granite gets pinned or viewed almost every day. A five minute cheapo project with terrible photos. If I were a decent blogger I would understand what the public wants and do more of that.

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Perhaps it was my bad photography?

5. I have thin skin. I do get my feelings hurt. It always hurts when strangers write mean things on my blog. I delete them before they go public, but I see them. I even have thin skin for the bloggers I read. Sometimes I get mad for the real professional bloggers when I see mean things written about them. A true pro would eat those folk for breakfast, right? See what I mean? After almost two years of blogging, I have come to the conclusion that I better love what I do for a living, because blogging will always be only a hobby for me. I have about 150 people a day who find my blog. Most of them find it by searching for repurposing furniture, but some of you guys found me trying to clean granite. To those of you who choose to follow my blog, thank you and I apologize. I hope you keep reading, because in spite of the fact that I will never be a pro, I enjoy letting you in on my little corner of the world. I hope you had a productive weekend. I do have a new blog, (glutten for punishment) My Burb Home. I hope you follow it and like the Facebook page. I will be updating the progress on our new home there.

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