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Saturday, September 24, 2011

County Fair

What a blast.  The annual county fair with roosters, chickens and all kinda farm animals.  And the exhibits, I have talents I didn't even know might qualify for a blue ribbon.  Just wait till next year!

Too bad the blue ribbon obscured the head of this beautiful rooster.  I told the people waiting for me to take the picture that this was Suzy's bird.  They were impressed.

The rodeo was fun too.  Best part was watching about 50 kids chase calves around the arena to grab a ribbon for a prize.  Great hometown fun.

Official Texans

Yep, we've finally made to Official Texan Status.  We're the proud owners of a truck that's too big to fit in the 3 car garage.  Who woulda thunk?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Crackers & A New Table Top

It's been a good weekend here on the river.  The weather is getting better and the Mertz family have been here 3 days in a row.  I made rye crackers on Saturday that were delicious with swiss cheese.
This morning we went to a Gospel Brunch with friends and then home to work on sanding and painting reclaimed floor boards for an outdoor coffee table my DH will put together.

Here's how they'll look put together.  They'll be cut to size, sanded and finished with a shellac to protect them from the elements.  More pictures to follow. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Our Barn Door

This is it, finally refinished and hung on the vintage hardware.  It functions beautifully and really adds a lot of personality to the room in addition to the privacy for the guest wing of the house.  

The backside is a different color and look but I forgot to take a photo of it so I'll add it soon.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The New Chandy

Love, love, love the new chandelier with the burlap shades!  The scale is perfect for the table and the room and it looks so much better than the $38 Home Depot special. 

See the new shelves and the refinished mirror?  Did you know that if you click on the picture you can see a larger version?  The mirror is a work in progress.  Love the placement and that it reflects the light from the new chandy but it was gold and now is a burnished Spanish Copper over the gold.  Not liking that much so I'm investigating silver leaf and may try it on this mirror.  Again, stay tuned.....

I may experiment with some antique crystals to add a little bling and will surely be adding something to it for the Christmas season.  I'll be on the hunt for something suitable when I go to Wimberley Days this Saturday.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Wait is Over

No, this isn't a post about our son coming home.  Darn.  It's just a good picture of the black wire shelves that I used to hold and display a lot of my beautiful serving dishes.  I liked the shelves, but they were making the room feel cramped. So this is what we did with the barn boards from our previous post.   

Here's my DH, he's the Alan Luxmore to my one half of the Texas Picker Sisters (you have to watch that series).  I'm the idea man, he's the contractor in chief.

Dry fit assembly in the great room.

Here it is in place.  You might remember that I bought 4 boards (and have the black iron pipe and fittings for 4) but the shelves are only 3 boards high.  We decided that 4 boards would be just too high for the space.  I couldn't be happier with how they look and function.  I'll post another picture of the entire room after we hang the mirror and the new chandelier (it arrived last night, yay!) so you can see the difference the lower shelves make in the room.  
Hope you like them.
 Details;  Old reclaimed barn siding was washed, sanded, cut to fit and then a white brining wax was applied followed by a coat of clear wax.  Buffing was necessary and the newly cut ends were dry brush painted with a Martha Stewart gray paint and then waxed.  The legs and posts are 3/4" black iron gas pipes and fittings.  The legs have a 3/4" to 1" reducer fitting that make a very stable base.  Normally the black iron pipe is a bit expensive but I found an Ace Hardware outlet store in Brooklyn New York that has prices almost 2/3 less than the local big box stores.  They also offered free shipping on orders more than $50.  Score!!!  Let me know if you want their web address.  

Friday, August 19, 2011

Our Latest Project

Not going to tell you what we're doing yet.  You'll just have to guess.  Today I drove all the way to Johnson City to find these old barn wood pieces.  
Love the age and the patina on them and hope y'all will like them after we're done. 

Decided to buy them after my attempt to convince an old guy to let me have 4 boards off his very old barn failed.  I guess he doesn't watch Picker Sisters.

Stay Tuned!

Hatch Chiles

They're in and we are so excited.  Chiles from Hatch, New Mexico were available at our local HEB and I bought a bushel.  Of course given the choice of mild or hot, I chose the hot and boy they weren't kidding.  Here's my version of a Chile Con Queso a la Chope's, our favorite Mexican restaurant when we were in El Paso.  I came close but the heat of the chile nearly blew our heads off!

Adventures in Grilling

Here she is, my new grill.  5 burners and a zillion BTU's.

The first cookout was great and using it as an oven to avoid heating up the house has worked out pretty well.

Pizza, yum.  I can get two pizza stones on the grill and still have room on both sides.

Here's what I mean about using it as an oven.  I don't have to give up bread making in the summer.  And you know we have a very long summer!

Ciabatta, before it went into/onto the grill/oven.  Forgot to take pictures of it after but I'll do it next time and post it after this one. 

Here's a picture of bread from a different batch but using the same recipe.  You  should see the holes I'm getting and  taste the garlic bread made from these loaves.  Fabulous if I do say so myself!

The Couch

Even though it's not totally finished, I'm posting it anyway.  If you look closely you'll see I've pinned the hem. New pillows are needed too but I'll wait to find just the right fabric. 

Still need to do some topstitching around the arms and back to give it a more finished look.

I wimped out on making welt partly because it adds a huge extra step and complicates the pinning process and also because I like the look of the topstitching.  I'm determined to complete it before Labor Day.  

Friday, July 8, 2011


This is my first attempt at slipcovering something ala Miss Mustard Seed (check out her blog and tutorials if you're interested).  We replaced the giant footstool with a smallish one from the Pottery Barn outlet store.  It had a basic muslin cover but was missing the slipcover.  Great price though and it fits the room much better.  So here I go.
 This is a painter's drop cloth purchased at Lowe's for $20 and I only used about 1/3 of the material for this project. It's an oatmeal colored cotton that has a lived in linen look that we love.
I figured out making slipcovers is not an exact science and the tutorials I had watched kept playing in my head while I was pinning the fabric.  

I also kept remembering it was only $20 and my labor, so not much to loose if I didn't like the results.  

Last pinning step with everything inside out.  First time I pinned the skirt, I did it backwards and had to re-do all of the pins.  Other than that and a few things I would do differently next time, I think it came out pretty well.

It's washable too, as I pre-washed the drop cloth before starting.  Sorry for the dark spots, I seem to have a smudge on my camera lens.

My next project is to slipcover the gray couch.  I'll be making my own welt or covered piping to add to the difficulty factor.  Wish me luck!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

4th of July

There were many Aggies present for the 4th of July this year.  They are all great kids and we had a blast hosting them.

I think they had fun too!

Many meals were consumed and many dishes were dirtied.  We thanked God for the invention of paper plates!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Painting Continues

About mid June we started painting the hallway outside of the front guest room and bathroom and the new wall that was created when we had the closet put in.  It looks like we're planning on leaving the ceilings unpainted but don't worry, we just painted the easy stuff first!  

Here's a picture of the door we found at an estate sale (fancy name for garage sale).  I did some refinishing and waxed it after I got it looking as good as possible.  It was an exterior door so this side is a different color than the other side.

We're waiting on the Barn Door Hardware to finish out the trim around the doorway and then mount the door.  It will slide across the opening when it's complete and give the "guest wing" of the house a little privacy. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Mertz's Return

They're back, and they brought with them 3 new members of the cast.  Lucy, Ricky and Little Ricky.  We were so excited to see them.  They're not ready to come all the way up the hill yet so we're throwing corn down to them.  

Fat Albert returned too.  He brought a girlfriend that is the exact opposite in coloring but just as homely.  We haven't named her yet.  Any suggestions?

Alien Visitors

Here they are, all the way from the Left Coast.  
John Deere Racing would have been in order if we only had two.  

Never forget the Alamo!  I really should have taken pictures of all of the meals we ate.  It was epic and the most fun we've had since moving here.  

Veges for everyone soon

Not quite enough to share yet, but it looks like most everything will be ripe at the same time.  Ann was right, I put too many tomato plants in my limited space.  It's a jungle now but we're getting lots of cherry toms and picked our first normal size tomato today.

Lemon cukes are delicious and I'll have way too many very soon.

Our first eggplant.  Fried it, of course and it was delicious.
 Used these to make an eggplant agrodolce, also excellent.