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The Almost Finished Kitchen

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Another epic project is almost finished. We are just lacking the pantry doors, adding a shelf, and painting behind the fridge way from calling this project done.

The quartz counter top is Zodiaq Concrete.

The farmhouse sink has not disappointed.

We ordered it from Wayfair and it is amazing.

The faucet was ordered online, too. I️ cannot remember where it was from.

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e sage green wall, and the cabinet makeover. The hardware was already here, and it is fine.

The plate was my great grandmother’s. It is just the right color.

I️ love our ceiling fan. Yep, it is a small fan and it helps in this climate. Here are a few more shots. I️ am so happy to be finishing up.

Thanks for following along on our journey.

Blessings,

Karen

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Sometimes the Answer is Not Yet

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This week Mr. Math and I went to look at the home that is for sale to be moved.  He thought it was cute too and was also excited about it.  That thrilled me.  I sometimes run ahead of myself and was worried that I was stepping out where my husband wasn’t willing to go.  He gets me and what I want to do and for that I am grateful.

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As we walked around the house, there were some issues that are going to make moving the house very hard and expensive.

  • There is a concrete foundation wall completely around the perimeter that would have to be demolished before the under the house work could begin because of the design.
  • The porch is not stable and would have to be removed in order to move the house. The porch beams are attached to a concrete porch and the chances of us successfully removing the porch intact to reattach would be slim.
  • The bathroom was added on at a later time than the house was built and would have to come off.
  • The main support beam that runs along the bedroom side of the house has dry rot and would have to be replaced.          Mr. Math checked it out top to bottom. 

All of that information was a bummer, but still potentially doable.  (We still hadn’t given up at that point.) The nail in the coffin on this house for us was that chimney.  Well not exactly the chimney, because I already knew it had a chimney that would have to come out.  It was the dummy who removed that structural wall between the two front rooms that now has the chimney stack holding up the ceiling weight.  The chimney has to go for the house to be moved and in order for the house to be stabilized enough for that to happen.  The interior work required for that to happen would be an unreasonable amount of money and would destroy the flooring in the front room.

  
The brick showing through the Sheetrock

Soooo… the house is not the house is not the one for us.  That doesn’t mean that there isn’t a house for us out there.  I have Craig’s List set to notify me by email everytime a home to be moved is listed.  Today this showed up.  It is cute, and new, and I love the vaulted ceiling, but it is not what I am looking for.

We have decided to “be still” and wait.  I guess my version of being still may not be everyone’s version.  My version is to focus on getting things in order to make another life change so that when the opportunity arises we will be ready.  Yep.  I know you saw this one coming a mile away.  When I tell my friends this life change, no one is surprised.  NO. ONE.  How have I been so personally unaware?

We have decided to put our suburban home on the market, hopefully this spring, if we can get the list of “to do’s” taken care of.   We will be commuters to work which I never wanted to do, but our heart is in the country.  I never, ever, thought I would say that.

My Burb Home

Once our suburban house is sold, we will make the big move to the country.  We will be “one home” owners for the first time in 10 years.    Frankly, that scares me a little lot.  We currently furnish over 4800 square feet.  We have six bedrooms, two living rooms, two dining rooms, four bathrooms, and an office.  Paring down to 2200 square feet means that we will be getting rid of a lot of things and will have decide what stays and what goes.  I am committed to making the hard decisions as we go and letting go of things I do not need or does not have a spot in my home no matter how much I love it.  Things like my beloved mudroom bench, my funky bedroom furniture, and one of my media center dressers.

Finished Mudroom Bench

Hold me to that, friends.

I slept all night for the first time in weeks after thinking this all through and getting this post written.

Thank you all for following along on our mid life journey. 

 In the next six months we will have our first grandchild, put our house on the market and will hopefully make the move to our forever home.  There are plenty of projects ahead for me to keep busy.

Blessings,

Karen

 

Creating a Ship Lap Wall for the Mudroom

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Eight years ago the second owners of Providence Acres, our weekend home, took in the garage of our rambling ranch.  The end result was that there was more room inside the home, space for a dining room and more usable space.

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See the beam  in the photo above?  That is where the garage wall used to be.  The garage space is what they used as their living space, as you can tell from the photo.  They largely ignored the space around the fireplace that we use.

The downside to the former homeowner’s room configuration was that entrance to the house most used did not have a place to drop muddy shoes, coats, bags, and other assorted items. That door at the end of the room is the most used door in the home.

My solution was to build a wall at the end of the garage addition.  Although it was my solution, Mr. Math did all the work to build the wall with a doorway connecting it to the main room.

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Wow we have come a long way.  No more concrete floor.
The great thing about  the location of the mudroom is that we will be able to enter the house go directly into the laundry room and kitchen.

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Before the wall was even up, I knew it would be covered in ship lap siding.  I could not imagine the wall looking any other way.  Oh, and it needs a barn door.  An X style  barn door.  With black hardware…wait.  I digress.  We are not there yet.

Back to the ship lap.  This time we went back to a product we used eight years ago.  V Groove pine planks.  We used them to fix the ceiling at Star Hill when we realized that the ceiling needed insulation

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You can see the ceiling in the photo above.  We installed it and allowed the wood to naturally darken over the years.

The wood comes in packages of six eight foot boards and is reasonable.  Like less than $11.00 a package. All in, to cover two sides of a fifteen foot by eight foot tall wall it was right at $200.00.  We added 1X4 pine boards as trim for the door, ceilings, and baseboards for another $50.00.    Mr. Math put it up with the air nailer after he located the studs and marked them so that they could be quickly nailed.

We picked one crazy weekend to get the wall up.  A tropical storm blew in.  It rained. Buckets.

Insert Coldspring into the red band north of the 13.40

The wind blew. Hard.  Our dog was totally freaked out by the  air compressor being in the house. She got out and  ran to hide at our neighbor’s house.  She wouldn’t come home. Even in the rain.  Fun times.  Add to that a dead battery in the truck Sunday and you can imagine how grumpy we were.

We started by laying a plank on the floor and using it as a spacer.  Be warned about this wood.  You have to look at every single package.  This is not first quality wood.  I personally like the look of cracked boards, a bit of bark showing through and knot holes.  Mr. Math…not so much.  Neither one of us liked the warped boards that we had to convince to lay flat on the wall with a block and hammer.

In spite of everything, the wall got finished,the nail holes spackled, everything put away by dark Sunday.

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I love the look.  The texture is exactly what I wanted in the house.  I plan on adding this treatment to the other end of the room eventually and our bedroom wall.  But first, we need to get the mudroom done.

It was my plan to prime and paint the wall, like this room done by House of Smiths

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but Mr. Math, the wood lover, has asked me to at least try whitewashing the wall.lie our suburban master bedroom.

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He even agreed to sand the walls where I spackled. I am going to give it a shot, even though I see it painted white in my head.  We shall see.


After the wall is taken care of, I will be sanding a beautiful two inch thick live edge cedar plank that is going to be our bench and the wall behind the bench needs to have some simple wainscoting and cabinets installed.

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After the bench we get to build the barn door.

Thank you all for following along on our journey to turn this home into a place that reflects our rustic, easy care, dog friendly, family and friends welcome, home.

I love hearing from you.  What are your thoughts? Painted ship lap or whitewashed?

Blessings,

Karen

Whitewashing a Dated Fireplace 

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This was our fireplace at Providence Acres when we bought the place.  The photo is from our first walk-through of the house so the furnishings are not mine.  I found I did not have another picture… probably because I did not like the look of the fireplace very much.

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I have one word to describe the fireplace.  Dated.  Dark stained trim around the fireplace, reddish brick, and brass blower vents.

I decided that while Mr. Math was busy getting the flooring down, I should get busy whitewashing the fireplace.

Inspiration for whitewashing the fireplace came from a friend of my daughter who updated her fireplace and totally changed the look of her room.  I knew it would be the fix for the hulking giant in our family room.

I went to the source of all things home related for instructions- Pinterest- and found a ton of sites that explained how to get it done.

Farm Fresh Vintage

The Yellow Cape Cod

Heap of Love

I believe that there are two reasons that whitewashing a fireplace is so common on Pinterest:

  • There is not a lot of skill that goes into whitewashing.
  • The change in the look of the fireplace is quick and dramatic.

The process is very labor intensive, but there is not much skill required.

To quote The Yellow Cape Cod  “I apologize if you were waiting for a long, drawn out, step by step tutorial.  This project is too simple and easy for me to complicate.  If you are a fan of intimidating, stressful, complicated, multi-step, time-consuming, DIY projects that require a ton of special supplies and mad skills, this isn’t the project for you.”

Remove what you can before you start then cover everything with drop cloths and or blue tape that you don’t want painted.

Collect a bunch of cotton rags, a paint brush you do not love, and disposable gloves then get busy.

Mix one part water to one part latex paint.  Paint the watered down paint on in small sections then use a damp cotton cloth to blot the excess paint from the bricks until you get the desired effect.

One blogger said she did this in three hours.  I am not saying she didn’t, I am just saying that I worked as hard and fast as I could and it took me a little over 6 total hours and an Epsom salt soak for soreness to get mine done.  An additional hour to paint the trim and vent covers.

It is scary to start.  The contrast made me think I had lost my mind.

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Once I got going, I really liked the look.

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    The top is whitewashed the bottom is not.  The drips were a pain to clean up.  Drop cloths would have helped as I worked down the fireplace.
 FYI.  I painted the vent covers with Rustoleum White Heat Resistant Spray Paint.  No worries about the fireplace ruining the paint.

I love the look.

 The screws are now painted, but I lost the light before taking another shot.  We need lighting in that room!
The mantle decor for fall is not something I am crazy about but I am working with what I have this year.

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Lumi loves her bed in front of the fireplace.

I would love to hear from you.

Blessings,

Karen

Reclaimed Wood Signs

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I love the look of reclaimed wood and I have been smitten with reclaimed wood signs for a while.  This week it was my turn to do the craft project for our ladies craft night so of course I planned a reclaimed wood sign project.  We picked up  a ton of cedar fence pickets off the side of the road a while back and have been putting them to good use.  We have used them to cover my office wall, our bedroom wall at the lake, and I covered the top and drawers of a dresser with the wood.

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This week we cut the wood to length for 8 signs and I glued and nailed two thin strips of scrap to the back of each set in order to make a canvas for our signs.

I used the vinyl cutter to cut out some sayings, brought a set of stencils, paints, painter’s tape, brushes, sanding block, sander, and anything else I thought we might use.

Each lady chose a canvas and set off on their project.

First, several of us whitewashed our boards.

The steps are easy.  Remove the letters from the vinyl and keep the part that you removed the letters from.  Lay the vinyl on the wood, make sure to press it all down really well.

     

 Lightly apply paint  to the spaces.

   
     

Allow the paint to set for a little bit the gently peel off the vinyl. You will end up with a picture or saying.

   
          

One of our friends decided to paint a picture on her canvas.  Wow! 

   

 

It was a fun, rainy night.  You will see my “Kiss me” picture in our new place.  It still needs some work to be done,

It was a fun night.

The Workshop

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We have had a setback on the sale of the house.  I am still expecting that Star Hill will sell in time for us to buy our dream property so I thought I would show you guys the space we will be using as our paint booth, workshop, and carpentry shop.

There is a three stall corrugated tin building on the property that will be perfect for our workspace.

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See the long building next to what will be the Guest Shed?

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It doesn’t look like much from the outside but looks can be deceiving.

We plan on turning the end bay into a paint booth. That means I will be able to paint and poly furniture inside out of the weather, away from bugs, dust and wind.  It will increase the number of days I can work on furniture.  After this very wet winter, that is exciting to me.  I did not get any pictures of the paint booth.  It is large and empty right now.

The center bay will be our carpentry shop or large tool shop.  The table saw, air compressor, compound miter saw, drill press, table sander, and scroll saw will be in this space.  This will be where the building and repairing takes place.  At Star Hill we only have one space and we are constantly having to wait for the cutting to be done before I can get out tools for assembly,  sanding,  or staining.  There is a glass French door in in the space with a separate storage space.  I am sure that the glass door will need to go but I like having a space that can be closed off.

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The end space that is now a welding shop will be the workshop space.  There is even a wood burning stove for my cold, wet, winters.

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We are so hoping that it works out.  It would be a dream come true for us to have this amazing space to put our own stamp on. Think happy thoughts for us.  Fingers crossed.

I hope you have a wonderful day.

Blessings,

Karen

A Weekend Country Christmas

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The weather was beautiful up in the country this weekend.  Temperatures in the 60’s and 70’s with some sun.

The great weather meant everyone, and I mean everyone, showed up for Christmas on the Square in Coldspring, Texas.  When the population of the city is less than 1000, a crowd like this boggles the mind.

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Daytime was Fair on the Square.  They literally close the entire square to traffic.  You park and walk in to the square vendors, the shops, and the roadside mom and pop vegetable stands.  It is so much fun to see everyone.

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This poor dog’s name is Booger. He did take the Santa suit in stride.

The booths are fun, the food is great, but the Christmas parade is the best. You have to get there early enough to get a good spot. For us, a good spot is one that is near the announcer and where we can watch the floats make a 90 degree turn. The announcer cracks me up. He tells way too much about the folks on the floats and sometimes gives his opinions on float design.

The 90 degree turns are just funny. This year they didn’t have to empty a float to make the turn. It is fun to sit out by the parade, watch the kids on the floats and in the crowd.

The floats are classic small-town America. They are still hand made, with roll paper painted signs, pulled by tractors or trucks.

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The band plays Christmas music.

The water tower has a cross on it. The county courthouse has a nativity scene on the lawn.

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It reminds me every year why we love this small town.

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Hay bale reindeer with lighted antlers.

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Yes, there are county inmates following the parade.  They are the clean up crew.  Only in a small town.  It reminds me of Otis in Mayberry RFD.

I hope you get a chance to slow down his season and enjoy Christmas. Next year, come visit our weekend small town at Christmas. You will be welcomed with open arms.

Merry Christmas!

Karen

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