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.
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.
We also have a rescue dog named Lumi. She keeps me humble and reminds me that I am not in charge of the world.
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.
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.
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. )
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.
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.
Thanks for finding this blog and welcome to our little corner of the world.
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.)
2. Beverage Station ( Old sewing cabinet and stainless sink make parties more fun.)
3. Green End Table Makeover (Yes, Virginia, there is a Junk Fairy. From time to time she drops things off at our house.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. http://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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Well this week will be a week of milestones for us here in the burbs.
It is my first “Back to School Week” in the new school district we have moved to.
I love it here. I am over the moon about my staff. They are awesome. But there are times I feel a little lost.
My textbooks and technology arrived! Yay! I was beginning to think we were going to start school with a stick of chalk and slab of wood!
My husband started his first week in his new job too. He is going to have a great year. He is an amazing teacher. I think he is feeling the same as I do.
There are also a few milestones in the blogging world too.
I started blogging two years ago. I blog because I enjoy sharing what I was already doing with others. I would never in a million years try to sell my work. it is my hobby, not my job. I never have gone outside of my friends on Facebook to tell people I was blogging because frankly I didn’t know what I was doing (I still don’t most of the time.) I switched my blog from Blogger to WordPress, and survived…barely.
I didn’t know how to “link up” or even what that meant six months ago. (I still mess this up from time to time.)
I didn’t know that I could create a Facebook page or even why I would want to create one.
Heck. I was a blogging train wreck!
Roadkill Rescue featured my mudroom bench this past spring. Wow! I had 1042 views on one day. My highest view day before that event. Did any of you find me there?
About a month ago I was contacted by Remodelaholic and asked to do a feature. A blog that gets 100,000,000 (yes, 1 million) views a month found my little, itty, bitty blog and liked my husband and my work. This past Saturday the feature was published. Thank you to the folks at Remodelaholic.
Did you find me there?
The feature leads me to the blogging milestones:
This week I have had almost 100 new folks like my Facebook page. Wow. Before this week, I had 37 whole people who liked my page. I have found that I enjoy the page because I can post sneak peeks of projects I am working on, Craig’s List finds, and quick updates.
Welcome to this little glimpse of my world.
It looks like I will hit 30,000 page views on my blog today. It took 18 months to hit the 20,000 mark. Thank you all for taking the time to read my rambling thoughts and for looking at our work.
We have a lot planned as we continue to work on our homes. We have a few gifts to get done before Thanksgiving that I hope the recipients, and you, enjoy.
I discovered Pinterest…it changed my life:)
and… I have sort of learned to tweet.
We are also setting personal goals for ourselves.
We are also going to work on finding balance. Hubby has taken up golf again. I’m feeling the itch to paint…I mean really paint, again. I plan to take more photography classes.
20,000. That is the number of times my blog has been read, by anyone, since I moved from Blogger to WordPress. It happened sometime during the night while I was out in the Garagemahal working on some side tables for my buddy the social planner. Here is a link to my very first ever blog post on Blogger. First Blog Post. In the “Blogosphere” I am the equivalent of what a dude making beer in his basement is compared to Budweiser but I felt that 20,000 views was something to celebrate. I have 100 people who get an email every time I blog and about 140 people a day read one of my posts. I picked up an HGTV magazine the other day and it featured a blogger who gets 10,000 view a day just to give perspective on how microscopic my blog is.
I seriously did not know a single thing about blogging when I started. (About as much as I know about Twitter right now!) I was an empty nester who had two great kids that were moving on with their lives and feeling a little lost. I was inspired by the man who has now become my son through marriage to start writing. He is a blogger and I thought it would be fun to put my thoughts into words. If you notice, there are no photos on the first blog. I did not know how to add a picture. I worked and read and even viewed You Tube videos to improve my site. I learned about widgets, buttons, sidebars and linking tools as I made my baby steps. Since I began blogging both my babies married, I have changed jobs and we are in the process of relocating. I still find it funny that my Pinterst page on healthy foods is one of my most popular…(maybe I should actually use those recipes) and the blog post I did on how to clean granite is viewed almost every day…(maybe I should clean more often because anyone who knows me knows that cleaning is not my idea of fun!)
Since that time I have learned a little about blogging. It is hard work, it takes time, and it can be incredibly frustrating when learning something new. I now have a Pinterest account, a Facebook page, where I often share just a sentence or two and where I post great things I find and yes I have dipped my pinkie toe in the Twitterverse. Blogging also nudged me into taking photography lessons. My long-suffering husband has been Mr. Fix it for years and we have totally renovated two homes and the lake house over the years. I have always loved redoing furniture and was surprised to find that other people did too.
Here is one of the projects I did about a year ago that will be coming to the new house. The day this was published 19 people viewed my site. Farm House Table on the Cheap Notice I did not even take a picture of the whole thing finished.
Here The Farmhouse Table is in our city house decorated for Christmas. The table did not turn out too bad for $40.00 and a weekend. I love that the reclaimed wood came off our lake house.
Here it is too.
I blog because I enjoy it. I do not have or want advertisers, I do not sell my work, (unless I am moving and then only to my friends!) I do not make any money from my blogging. If I hate a product I say it- I hate Duck brand packing tape for instance- because it does not stick well. Don’t buy it if you are moving. If I like a product I get to say that too. I love Behr paint with primer in satin. I love furniture roadside rescues. Hubby even picked up three roadside tables the night before we moved! There may or may not be salvaged cabinet doors and drawers in my storage unit waiting for me to do something with.
In the next few months I will be moving into and decorating a new home,
resale shopping for great vintage items, and spending some quality time at our Lake House, Star Hill.
I guess right now I am a full time country girl, not a weekender, but it is too much trouble to change the name now. Thank you all for reading my blog. I appreciate each of you and love hearing from you. I hope I inspire you to put yourself out there warts and all, and that you are challenged to try new things.