For those keeping score at home,

we are now in Year 2 of our Dutch colonial project.

There has been a flurry of activity inside, involving a lot of drywall.

While that’s a lot of hard work + great progress,

sadly, it’s just not that photogenic.

* * *
Recently, our attention has turned to our exterior, at long last.

Here’s what she looks like now:


We just got a bid on wrapping + siding the house,

+ I couldn’t be more pleased.

* * *

This means that I’ve been pondering exterior colors,

which is pretty much fun on a stick!

I love Dutch colonials with light first stories + dark uppers, like here:

dutch colonial darker upper story


and here:

dutch colonial with gray shingle 2nd story


I am really drawn to white with gray.

This isn’t a Dutch colonial, but it’s the same idea, + I love it.

white + gray hacienda

* * *

Meanwhile, even though I’m 95% sure I want white with gray,

once in a while I entertain the idea of something else, like this:

Country Living magazine

Country Living magazine

I love red houses!


But I dunno . . . red’s a major commitment I don’t think I can make.

I fear that our Dutch colonial’s barn-like shape with RED would be a cliché.

* * *

Maybe it’s because it’s finally spring here,

+ this year, I’m seeing pastel colors just about everywhere . . .

. . . + I’ve always loved pale yellow houses, like here:

Country Living magazine

Country Living magazine

How could you not be in a good mood, as cheerful as this is?

Same here:



It certainly looks great paired with white!

I love the white vertical siding + dovecote (faux birdhouse in the gable)!

Oh, well, I don’t have to decide TO-day, but soon.

Stay tuned!



RedBird Retail, The Sequel!


I am beyond pleased that my fabulous BFF, Stacey,

asked me to join her equally fab, new antiques shop venture,


true north flyer

Who wants to like us on Facebook?  Thank you!

Here we are at our recent West Elm shindig pop-up shop:

west elm shindig -- my booth

And now, here’s the before pic of the new antiques store:

true north before

And now, here’s the awesome TRUE NORTH after!

(If you look closely, you can tell which space is mine:)

true north after

Yesh, of course, it’s the one with the RedBird sandwich board!

I have a $150 price tag on it for now.

Everything’s for sale, so this can be yours for ‘only’ $150! Any takers?

As per usual, G.O. helped me set up my space.

Just look!  There he is now!


Okay, so it would be a stretch to say that my new ‘project’ has him this happy,

but I do think that he’s having a good time.

Here’s one tall, handsome reason why:


It’s Stacey’s fabulous husband, Erik

a.k.a. “E.O.” 

(I’m so not kidding — that is his nickname!)

G.O. + E.O. are the 2 halves of a super swell bromance,

so it’s win win for Stacey + Kay!

 * * *

But I digress.

Back to my new shop:

In progress!

In progress!


Ready for opening day!

Speaking of opening day, I sold not 1 but 2 large pieces of furniture!


I’ll post more pics later; ’tis time for me to stencil something.

Don’t forget!


My Latest Retail Adventure: True North

Lately, I’ve been working like a BEE!

10 + 12 hour work days, in fact!

(I didn’t know I could still pull those off!)

Anyway, here’s why:

true north flyer

I’m joining this awesome co-op happiness

+ will soon have another retail space for

RedBird Vintage Home!

Please LIKE us on Facebook!

* * *


I have been having the time of my life,

seeking out vintage stuff to repurpose.

Here are some photo ops of a few of my ‘finds’:




We’ve not yet decided what to do with this great metal desk.

Stay tuned.

Wouldn’t it be cool in  my 9-year-old grandlad’s room . . .

. . .  paired with this equally cool vintage rolling stool (in progress)?


Our plans include reupholstering the stool’s seat,

using vintage ticking stripe fabric.


Meanwhile, here’s more chippy, yellow metal:


Did we all get the memo that the color yellow is trending now?

I think it’s as cheerful as all get-out!

* * *

Of course, I’ve been sewing like the wind, too.

What do  you think of this letterpress-style pillow?


I’ve always had good luck with city ‘merch’.

Fingers crossed these will sell like hotcakes!

And now . . . a few close ups!


I love the texture of the canvas!

I purposefully stencil with a light touch,

as I think it makes my pillows look more vintage.


Speaking of vintage, I always use old buttons for my pillows’ closures.

Stay tuned for more True North updates on our Facebook page:

Thanks, in advance!



Primitive Americana Quilt Inspiration

This a.m., as always, I perused Pinterest for inspiration.

How did we do anything creative without it?  One wonders.

Today I was most inspired by this Civil War era quilt:

quilt -- civil war

The fabulous Polly Minick pinned it.

She’s a quiltmaker, rug hooker, fabric designer, etc. etc. etc.

whose work I’ve loved from afar for years.

Go look:

 * * * *

Meanwhile, the gears in my brain

are working on incorporating that primitive flag onto something.

Stay tuned!


Farmhouse Wares Shopping Happiness

SO.  This a.m. began as it does every day.

I waste spend a whole lotta ‘quality’ time on the bozoputer!

Your Pinterest — Your Facebook — Your e-mails –  Your What Nots

* * * *

Any-hoo, today I spied the following cool item, from here:

farmhouse logo

farmhouse antique style metal pie rack $59.95

Antique style metal pie rack $59.95

Despite the fact that I made a vow

to EDIT my countertops, over at the Dutch colonial,

I kind of want it!

Ditto for this:

farmhouse vintage style enamel bread box $42.95

Vintage-style enamel bread box $42.95

Oh, darn.  ‘Tis sadly out of stock.

* * * *

Speaking of stock, I used to stock these pedestals

in my late, great brick-and-mortar:

farmhouse galvanized tin pedestal $32.99

Galvanized tin pedestal $32.95

But enough, with the retail memory lane.

Here are a few additional cool items from Farmhouse Wares:

farmhouse apothecary soap dish $16.95

Apothecary soap dish $16.95

Seriously.  I don’t know what my deal is, but I’m crazy for soap dishes!

I already have more than plenty of said-same.

If I’m not careful, G.O. is going to stage a soap dish intervention!

Or I shall blog about my collection, whichever comes first!

* * * *

farmhouse fresh pie sign -- $64.95

Fresh pie sign $64.95

Cool sign — but that price is a tad steep, don’tcha think?

Disclaimer: I don’t really want it,

but I do wish to forward the photo to my sign-making friend,

because inspiring each other is what friends do!

Isn’t it?

Has today’s blog post inspired you to order something online? I wonder?

You’re welcome!










Grandma Kay At West Elm

Here we are at the Chicago West Elm Makers’ Market event on Saturday.

We set up inside the store.  I had a couch + a chair to display my pillows:

west elm shindig -- my booth

L: Stacey of Kismet Junk R: Me of RedBird
Disclaimer: I dislike my hair + shall get it cut, stat!

I sold lots of pillows of the CHICAGO persuasion,

just as I hoped I would.

Meanwhile, here’s Stacey’s (Kismet Junk) beautiful space:

G.O. + my grandlad arrived on the scene around 4:30-ish,

at which time, fun ensued!

Disclaimer: my camera setting was off, so my photos are sadly dark.


BUT back to the good news.

As my grandlad + I were dashing through West Elm (at his request),

what did he spy + love but the red SMEG refrigerator of my dreams!

west elm smeg front


I know!!??!!  GROUP HUG, everybody!!

Also on his ‘I love it list’ – terrariums!


West Elm had a front + center display of said-same,

along with dozens of very swell succulents.



I told my grandlad to choose 4 succulents

+ promised we’d build him his own terrarium.

(Yes, I’m that Grandma!)

Maker Marketplace At West Elm


Do we all love West Elm?

I do, because of my insane love of home stores + catalogs.

In addition to its being totally modern-rific,

West Elm hosts etsy sellers pop-up shops on occasion.

maker marketplace west elm

I’ve been chosen, out of all the Chicagoland etsy sellers, to participate!

I know!!  It’s kind of a big deal!

Anyway, I am not ready yet, so I shan’t type long.

Here’s the scoop:

Maker Marketplace

Saturday, March 22, 1-6 p.m.

Chicago (Lincoln Park) West Elm store

1000 W. North Avenue

west elm facade lincoln park

Live jazz + refreshments!  BE there!

My gal pal, Stacey, will BE there;

she’s bringing her awesome vintage jewelry!

Like her on FB, please!

kismet junk #2

Walpole Woodworkers Dreamin’

Let’s have a quick look-see at a really UGLY before photograph.

This is the back of our Dutch colonial, definitely in progress (last summer!):


Disclaimer: it looks a tad better than this now,

but, sadly, not nearly enough to warrant another photo op.

Instead, let’s focus on what awesomeness

I have in mind for that back door’s immediate future,

courtesy of Walpole Woodworkers:

I’ve never met a pergola that I didn’t love!

* * * *

What I’d really prefer is a larger pergola

combined with a small-ish patio, like this:

walpole woodworkers attached pergola #2

Or this:

walpole woodworkers attached pergola

YUM — + definitely stay tuned.

I’m not sure we’re going to do a lot of landscaping,

not this spring, anyway.

* * * *

Tragic, I know . . . but I’ll just dream about landscaping,

courtesy of Walpole Woodworkers’ website:

Care to join me?

walpole woodworkers arbor with privacy fence

What a stunning privacy fence + arbor! Yes, please!

walpole woodworkers arbor with roses

Omigosh, I’m such a fan of climbing roses!
Fingers crossed that our tree-filled new yard
has a sunny spot for said-same!

walpole woodworkers moon arbor

This bit o’ divine-ness is called a moon arbor.
What do you think of the dark-ish color?
I’m a fan!

walpole woodworkers gate

Who can resist the classic white picket fence?
This gate spells P-E-R-F-E-C-T-I-O-N
in my little world.

walpole woodworkers picket fence


New Lampshades For Some Older Lamps


I have issues with being able to make decisions.

Here’s why:

I’m the middle of 3 sisters,

+ every Saturday during the decade of the 70′s,

 we sisters, along with Mom,

would go clothes shopping at the Venture store.

venture signage

Show of hands!
Who remembers
Venture stores?

Back in that long-ago Venture dressing room,

I always needed my peeps’ approval.

If anybody laughed at my platform shoes, that did it!

OUT of the shopping cart they were flung!

* * * *

So.  today I need your input on my candlestick lamps.


I ordered a pair of these at least 10 years ago,

+ just last month, I gave them a ‘refresh’

with a pair of Frenchie stripe lampshades from Pottery Barn.


I love the lampshades!  I knew I would!

So what’s the problem?  you ask!


Here are my concerns:

1. Do the lampshades go with the lamps?

2. Do we still love the bronze metal?

3. Should I spray paint the bases another ‘now’ color?

4. What color?

5.  Should I just fling those naughty bases aside + start over?


Whaddaya think?

What would you do?

Thanks, in advance!

Progress! Of The Drywall Persuasion

Most of the drywall is up + at ‘em at the Dutch colonial!

Won’t be long now for the really fun things to start happening!

Before we gaze at all this exciting drywall,

let’s look back at my sketch for our downstairs powder + main bathroom,

as we’ll view them first:


Everything remains exactly the same,
except there’s no door between the 2 rooms.

Here’s the power room, all decked out in drywall:


This room was created when we eliminated a former hallway,

so it’s a bland, white box right now.

My goals:

1. tone down the silo effect

 2. give the room some character

3. make it look original to the house.

Here’s one idea for doing all of the above:

bathroom wainscoting -- hooked on

I’m also contemplating wallpaper, which I love.

 Stay tuned for more on that.

* * * *

Next up: more progress just next door, in the main bath:


Oh, dear.  Can a tub look dorky?

It can if I say it does.

Here’s a plan to change ours from dorky to fab – a makeover with bead board!

Yes, please!!

I’ve shown this to G.O., who has already vetoed it.

Stay tuned, though.

* * * *

Back to the drywall.

Not only has it been hung,

but so has the backer board for the shower surround tile.


The all-important style of that tile will be determined later,

but knowing me, I think I’ll opt for classic, plain Jane white subways . . .

. . . tricked out with matching special tiles for around the window,

like here:

bathroom window in tile

The tile floor in the main bath:

tile -- main bathroom

We ordered this from Amazon, + it’s already here.

* * * *

Back to the main bath.

Just to the right of the dorky tub is the toilet + sink wall.

You can spot the plumbing for both, here:


L: toilet R: vanity + sink

* * * * *

Our next photo’s been taken from the vanity location,

looking out + into the adjacent bedroom.

This opening will be a space-saving pocket door.

You can see the “pocket” at the right.


Now, please view the narrow wall space between the door + tub.

We have ourselves a vintage metal floor cabinet which will go there.

It’s kind of like this, but without the glass door:

bath-medicine cabinet BHG

G.O. found it on his own!!!

More about that later.

* * * *

Next up, here’s a photo taken from the bedroom,

looking past the same pocket door + into the main bathroom.


* * * *

This next photo (below) was snapped from the middle of the bedroom.

Look at all the doors!


At far left is the pocket door to the main bathroom,

+ at far right is the bedroom closet.

In the middle, closest door is the main entry to the bedroom,

+ just beyond is the entry door to the powder room.

* * * *

I fear I’ve lost everyone, but here’s that sketch of mine again.

See the shadow at the bottom of the photo?

That’s the bedroom.


* * * *

I also fear that you are yawning already, with the dull drywall,

wondering, “WHAT!?  WHY?!  WHO CARES!?” . . .

. . . well, here’s a reminder of what the bathroom(s) looked like,


Are words necessary here?  I think not!

Now you know why I’m excited!

Stay tuned!



Hommemaking with Orlando Soria!



Hooked on Houses

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