Monthly Archives: March 2014

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:

walpole woodworkers entry pergola

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!


Vintage Sink In Our New Kitchen

As mentioned previously, I am designing our new kitchen myself.


My goal is to make it look as vintage + charming as all get-out.

G.O.’s goals are more storage + maximize the counter space!

Oh, dear.  Another conflict of interests seems to have arisen.

cat fight

Like I didn’t see this coming.

* * * *

But enough about that, for now.

Let’s view what I like, shall we?

I spied this on Facebook just the other day,

so I’m now kind of obsessing!

sink -- country living

Country Living magazine

I mean, COME ON!!

That sink is some serious fabulousness, isn’t it?

Stay tuned — I’ll discuss further, in just a moment.

But first:

Let’s have a look-see at my tentative kitchen sketch:


I desire a farmhouse sink.

G.O. might be on board with this.

In fact, we have IKEA’s Domsjo sink in our current kitchen:

sink -- ikea farmhouse

A mere $312.98

Here ’tis, in our current kitchen:

IKEA's farmhouse sink is affordable but has chipping issues.

There’s too much clutter!
Note to self: EDIT!

That sink looks good, doesn’t it?

Does it look even bettah, now that I’ve shared that it costs a mere $312.98?

I thought so.

I’m sure G.O. thought so, when he saw the price tag!

sink -- ikea farmhouse

One might think we’d spring for this again, but sadly, we won’t.

Here’s why:

Those grooves on the back are kind of impossible to clean,

+ we’ve had some chipping issues, too.

* * * *

So, as is true of most everything, it’s time for a plan B.

This stainless farm sink might be plan B . . .

sink -- stainless farmhouse


. . . but it doesn’t really make me as happy as it should.

This does, though:

sink -- country living

Yes, we’re back to that pale blue awesomeness.

Check out this Plan B contender:

We already have our very own vintage sink (FREE!)

It’s currently languishing downstairs in our cellar hide-a-way:


I KNOW!!  It’s kind of scary, isn’t it?


But, if you can get past the squalor,

it’s really a cool sink, + it’s in good shape, too!

I think there’s a problem with its size, though.

Buzz kill!


The sink comes in at a whopping 66″ long.

Since we’ll have a mere 96″ of counter space for it,

you do the math (I used a calculator!)

There just won’t be a lot of counter space leftover.

G.O. will not be pleased.

* * * *

But please.

Let’s not discount the fact that it would make me deliriously happy!

Should I go for it?

Stay tuned!

Range Hood Hopes + Dreams

Lately I’ve been having the most fun,

planning the range hood for our Dutch colonial kitchen.

In our current hacienda, we have one of these restaurant-style hoods from IKEA:

range hood from IKEAAt the time  (6 or 7 years ago — I can’t remember),

 I thought this was so daring + cutting edge!  HA!

I was too scared to spring it on  share my plans with G.O.

so I waited until we were IN the kitchen dept. at IKEA, ordering cabs!

Cue: his “I’m displeased” face.


Poor G.O.!

Thankfully for me, the IKEA girlie was on my side

+ talked him down from the ledge

persuaded him that it would look cool!

* * * *

But please.  While I do amuse myself with this anecdote,

I’m also rolling my eyes just a bit,

as I am no longer burdened by fear!

I just point to the bozoputer + show G.O. what I want,

 wait for him to loudly veto my idea (as is his way),

+ then proceed as planned.

People.  He’s going to end up liking it.  Trust me.

 * * * *

But I digress again.

Re: range hoods!

I’d be so bored if we had the same range hood in the Dutch colonial,

so it’s OUT with the stainless steel + the restaurant styling,

+ onward to plan B!

Here’s plan B:


That range hood is my interpretation of this:

range hood -- straight #2 -- houzz

Notice that it’s just a plain Jane box that’s been trimmed out

in a Shaker style, similar to the IKEA cabs we’ll be using:

IKEA white cabs -- solid door


What’s cool is G.O. can make this for practically free!

Here’s another, this time with a slightly slanted front face:

absolute black granite #4

Nobody loves a glossy bead board kitchen ceiling more than I do.

(Riddle me this: HOW can I persuade G.O. that we ‘need’ a vintage stove?)

* * * *

But I digress yet again.  Back to the range hoods.

My plans include tricking things out just a tad,

with some small brackets + a shelf, just like this:

range hood straight #4 -- jennie hunt


Okay, so now I’m majorly obsessing about blue transfer ware platters.

transferware platter -- onekingslane

Excuse me while I head to etsy + madly search for said-same.

Seriously.  You can find almost anything on etsy.  Check it out!

Stay tuned!

Shopping For ‘Wacky’ Tiles

‘Tis time for us to choose tile for our Dutch colonial’s kitchen + baths!

I knew I wanted this vintage awesome-ness for our main bath floor:

tile -- main bathroom

Black + white floral mosaic

So, we gassed up the car + searched for said-same.

7 different places in 3 different cities — incl. Chicago — but nothing.

Apparently, my tastes are so ‘wacky’,

that nobody — ever — carries what I want!

Does this happen to you, too?

* * * *

Anyway, the good news is that moments later,

G.O. found it online at (free shipping, no waiting!)

+ ordered it just yesterdee.

tile -- main bathroom

$5-something sq. ft.
Plus, amazon’s free shipping.
Not bad.

Thank goodness for the internet, am I right?

* * * *

But wait.

Back to the brick-and-mortar tile search.

I was hoping to find kitchen backsplash tiles, too.

Something 3″ x 6″ + medium gray, please.

Let’s have a look-see at said-same in my latest kitchen sketch:


Look how a medium gray contrasts so nicely

with both white cabs + dark countertop:

backsplash #6 -- pinterest


The humanity, though!  We struck out again!

Who’d have thought 3″ x 6″ gray tiles would be too ‘wacky’ to find?

Anyway, it was back to online shopping for us.

* * * *

I’ve already sent for samples, + these 2 have arrived in my mailbox:

tile 5th avenue smoke glossy $3.99 per sq. ft.

5th Avenue tile in smoke glossy @ $3.00 sq. ft.

Methinks ‘smoke’ is code for too brown-ish, so this was nixed.

tile 5th avenue gray glossy $3.99 per sft

5th Avenue gray glossy @ $3.99 per sq. ft.

This is pretty but too pale to pop nicely against white cabs.

So it’s back to the search!

I’ve already found something that appears pretty spectacular:

tile -- crackled glaze from Home Depot

Ms International from Home Depot
Dove Gray @ $8.98 sq. ft.

It looks suitably medium gray, appears hand-crafted, it’s crackled.

Nobody loves the crackle glaze tiles more than I do!

Here’s what Home Depot sez about it:

With the MS International 3 in. x 6 in. Dove Gray Porcelain Wall Tile, it’s easy to add a splash of contemporary styling to your decor. This attractive tile features a crackled look on a smooth surface in a trendy subway style. Handsome gray shades of this glossy porcelain create a distinct pattern for various install projects in bathrooms, kitchens and other residential or commercial spaces.

* * * *
So.  Excuse me while I whip out my Visa card

+ order a sample box of these wacky cuties.

Fingers crossed I’ll love them!

Stay tuned!



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