Monthly Archives: October 2015

Finally! Curtains!

After much pondering about window treatments in the Dutch colonial,

I finally chose to sew 1/2 tiers for our living + dining room bay.


 Here’s 1 pair, already up + at ’em in our dining room.


My fabric is some very lightweight + soft handkerchief linen.

It’s so pretty!

Anyway, if you are wondering why I finally chose 1/2-tier curtains, here’s why:

Reason #1. This gorgeous fall foliage from next door.


How could I possibly cover up such natural beauty?

It’s great that we can see out, but passersby can’t see in!


And speaking of not covering up natural beauty,

here’s reason #2.

All our gorgeous original woodwork!


After all that work — stripping + refinishing —

it would be a crime to cover that beautiful woodwork with curtains,

don’t you think?

And now, reason #3 for 1/2 tiers — the curtains in this room:

alison kandler office-family room from above

They’re so simple!  So less-is-more!

So me!

Coincidentally, this room is my inspiration

for the dining room/office combination in our house.

alison kandler office-family room

Isn’t it great?

It’s a room in designer Allison Kandler’s California home.

I am a huge fan of hers, +I have blogged about her previously, here:

Meanwhile, I’ll share more curtain photos as I sew more of them!

Stay tuned!

  • DSC08303

Powder Room Finishing Touches, The Sequel

The other day, I blogged about our powder room’s finishing touches.

Turned out there were so many, I had to divide them into 2 posts!


I bought this vintage towel bar several years (really!) ago,

saving it for the front of our vanity cabinet.


It’s clear glass + has a pair of chippy white metal brackets.


Part of me wanted to sand + re-paint said-same brackets,

but my desire for a less “new” re-do won out.

Meanwhile, a vintage-style scale that we had made the move:


As did my beloved NYC skyscrapers night light (from etsy):


L – R:  (my personal favorite) the Chrysler Building,

the Empire State Building + 30 Rock.

Next up — our large IKEA floor mirror,

which had been in our bedroom, back in the brick bungalow:


At first, we put it in the bedroom at the Dutch colonial.

However, one afternoon I had a yen to move it to the powder room,

where it brightens + enlarges the space very nicely!


Full disclosure:

the door was supposed to be Flagstone, the same gray as the walls.

Some sort of mix up occurred, however,

+ I just didn’t have the heart to share with G.O.

surprised boy

I think the door is going to remain Black Magic, + I think it looks great.


But back to my powder room “groovies”, as I like to call them.

Check this out!


When I spied this vintage map waste can online, I knew I had to have it!


I bought it from my friend, Mary’s, booth — called hello vintage.

hello vintage upclose

I mean, come ON.  How darling, am I right?

Who doesn’t love white ironstone?

hello vintage

Fiesta Ware (+ lots of it!)

hello vintage fiesta ware

Follow hello vintage on Facebook, here:

Or, if you live in the Chicago area, visit her antiques booth(s) in person.

Hello vintage is in both the True North Downtown, here:

true north facade downtown

+ the new True North Warehouse, both in Morris, Illinois.

While you’re there, be sure to see my own space,

RedBird Vintage Home.

Disclaimer:  I no longer have my retail space.

Stay tuned for my next “big move”.

I’m inside the downtown True North, too!

501 N. Liberty St. in Morris.



RedBird is right across the aisle from hello vintage!

Powder Room Finishing Touches — Part 1

.On Friday I multitasked by filling my old sorter with books + things,


 while supervising the finishing touches in our powder room:


That curvy mirror once belonged to a dresser that we sold.


I love its beveled edges + pretty natural wood frame.

That pendant light is from Pottery Barn:

I bought it a long time ago for over the kitchen sink in our brick bungalow.


I love its brown cloth-covered cord + fluted white glass shade.


I found the sweet vintage shelf on etsy.

It has the prettiest shade of chippy, pale blue paint!


That’s on old photo of me, at age 3 or 4, with our beloved pet Beagle, Scamp.

.Fast forward several years, + here’s my current beloved pet,

Chloe the Dachshund!


Disclaimer: there will soon be a threshold at the intersection of the 2 tile floors.

Thanks for reading — I’ll post yet more powder room photos soon.

Stay tuned!

My Old Sorter Is Filled + Fabulous!

Last Friday I spent nearly an entire day,

very leisurely + very happily filling this:


That’s my old sorter ($50!) that I bought in the early 90’s

for my retail store, Heart-in-Hand.

Believe it or not, this is the very first time I’ve used it inside my home.

Here ’tis now:


My goal was to use it to display my books.

Since many of them have been in boxes for a while

(prepping for the big move, don’tcha know),

I honestly didn’t remember if I had enough to fill those shelves!

(G.O. + I collaborated on making that sign for my current biz.)


Anyway, back to my books — turns out I was pleasantly surprised.

I think my sorter looks just great + nicely full!


I left room for some of my classic décor magazines —

some neatly stacked on shelves + others inside this old box of mine.

(That retail store of mine was in Oregon, Illinois,

only about 20 minutes southwest of Rockford in the NW part of the state.)


I stacked my books in categories,

which is part of the reason the job took most of the day.

Here are some of my beloved décor books:


Here are some of my show biz books:


had to buy that cute Oscar statuette souvenir on my first visit to L.A.


My beloved grandson was only about 3 or 4 at the time,

so chances were he wouldn’t grasp the meaning of his Oscar.

Now that he’s 10, maybe he’d like to have this for his own room!

(Stay tuned.)


Since one of my goals is to go a tad less-is-more in our Dutch colonial,

I fretted about filling all those cubbies:


I have chosen mostly old, or vintage, things,

many of which were gifts from some of my very best friends.

This funny pair of Dachshund salt + pepper shakers

 were a “just because” gift from my friend, Doris Shull:


Oh, gosh — remember ash trays?

My mom was given a set of 3 of these mallards by her mother.

Seems to me that, for good luck, that duck should point in a certain direction.

I’ve forgotten which, so I’ll have to ask my sisters.


Here’s the foul ball that our dad caught at a Cardinals game

when we were just kids — late 50’s?  Early 60’s?

He can’t remember which year, sadly, nor who hit it,

but it’s still very precious to me.


My friend, Alan, gave me the Dachshund planter,

+ that pretty tan pitcher was from my grandmother I mentioned just now.


How I love the wonderful patina of my sorter’s original gray paint,

and how great it looks in our living room!



Our weather today is Fall-tastic!

Here is a photo from a recent past Fall, at Busch Stadium in St. Louis:

kay and justin at busch stadium

Our grandlad is here with us this weekend,

so who knows what the day will bring?

We might head to the bakery downtown this morning,

with a pit stop at the Dutch colonial en route.

I’d like to haul over a few boxes of my books to start filling this,

the 2nd of my 2 vintage sorters:


You may recall my saying that it ($50!)

like its companion, my postal sorter ($75!),

postal sorter

both served as display pieces in my late, great retail store,


way back in the early 1990’s.


Stay tuned for photo ops + updates on both sorters!

Meanwhile, another vintage piece of furniture

has been moved to the D.C.

It’s a tall dresser I’ve been using in my sewing room:

dresser o' green

I shan’t tell you what I paid because it wasn’t a bargain,

but these things happen on occasion, no?

Anyway, here it is in its new location — our bedroom!


It just fits in that narrow space, doesn’t it?

And yes, yes — I realize that it’s a beautiful shade of green,

which would no doubt complement our existing color scheme —

but SURPRISE! (not) — I’ve chosen dark blue.

Anyway, here’s the dresser, posing with possible options:


 I was fairly confident that one of these would work.

However, to save myself a little trouble,

(a.k.a. not having to make yet ANOTHER decision!),

I opted for this safe choice,

Hale Navy by Benjamin Moore.

hale navy #2

I knew I liked it because I already had a sample can

for my RedBird biz.


Here ’tis on our dresser:



For the drawer pulls,

I’d love to get a set of plain Jane vintage porcelain knobs,

like these, from etsy seller smreis:

porcelain knobs -- plain jane on etsy

. . . or something repro, perhaps.

I’ve loved porcelain knobs since I was a wee lass

+ bought my first fixer upper in the early 70’s.

However, as our budget is semi-small,

I shall opt to spray paint the original wooden knobs white.

See, their shape is very similar to my beloved porcelains:


Full disclosure:

whom am I kidding, re: spray painting anything?

That’s yet another task that G.O.  does so well!


Stay tuned!


A Beautiful Old Door + Gorgeous Original Hardware

Our bedroom is nearly up + running at the Dutch colonial.

There’s a bed, a rug, a nightstand + a leaning floor mirror in there now,

but stay tuned for photo ops.

Today G.O. finished painting the door

Pittsburgh Paint’s Black Magic,

just like all the interior doors throughout.

Here ’tis, as seen from the kitchen:


The powder room door is just to the right:


Next up, we have a view of the door from inside the bedroom.

This view is out into the kitchen, with the powder room door at the left:


Check out the original hardware!


That beautiful plate was covered with paint,

so G.O. stripped it + scrubbed it with a brass bristle brush.

Stunning, don’t you think?

Ch Ch Changes With My Old Postal Sorter

Yesterdee we were as bizzy as 2 beez.

bees on snl

We moved my huge postal sorter from our current living room,

where it loyally served as a media center + display piece:

postal sorter

Now it’s parked in our Dutch colonial’s dining room,

where it is being pressed into service

as a home office + display piece:


Wait.  What?

You exchanged the sorter’s original base

with our beloved pine farmhouse table? you ask?


Has the world gone mad?

No — the table works best for my home office hopes + dreams.

See?  It provides space for sitting + working.


I may or may not keep that vintage rolling stool there.

Stay tuned.

But where will you dine? you might be asking now.


We’ll park it on the couch, as always — HA!

couch eating on

But seriously.  If we do have guests,

we’ll enjoy our meals on this round table that we already had:


Does it not look like it was made for that window bay?

I think so!


Isn’t it great when a plan comes together?

Let have one more look-see.

Please notice my vintage blue library ladder,

which is very groovy, too:


Its pretty pale blue plays very nicely

with the pale blue of our ceiling, don’tcha think?

Now let’s look just a tad bit beyond —

into our adjoining living room.

There’s our new chair from IKEA:


It’s their gray chenille  EKENA chair:

ikea chair

Its combination of traditional + modern style

fits very nicely in our décor.

ikea chair close up of fabric

Plus, that chenille fabric should wear like iron.

Its tweedy gray color not only complements our décor —

it will not show any black pet hair!


We’re placing yet another vintage sorter of mine

on that blank wall behind the chair:


I can’t wait to fill its shelves + cubbies with all my books + ‘stuff’!

Fingers crossed we can move it today!

Stay tuned, of course,

but first, just one more look:


There’s my old easel, displaying my oil painting

of my sister, Kathy, + our late friend, Cindee.

I painted this back in my graduate school era (’78)

at Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville.

TY, as always, for viewing!

That Old Black Magic Has Me In Its Spell

We Greg are is painting all our interior doors black,

at my request, of course.

Here he is, intently looking for every perceived “flaw”

on our bedroom closet doors:


Oh, dear.

My mad painting skills aren’t up to his high standards,

so I just let him do it.

But first, imagine the 2 of us at the paint store,

with me insisting that yes, I want black,

+ yes, I want semi-gloss.

cat fight

Please.  Are we not all on board here?

Just go to Pinterest + search “black interior doors”

if you need to be persuaded.

Or just look at this before + after of our front door:



We’re using yet more Pittsburgh Paint.

It’s Black Magic, which is actually the darkest of dark grays,

here, at the bottom of this strip o’ grays:


Not so coincidentally,

those living room walls are Flagstone,

which is the lightest, top shade on the same strip.


Hint: that’s how I make sure my colors complement each other,

repeating shades of paint from the same strip.

We all do that, right?

But back to Black Magic.

When I say gray, even though it looks black, here’s proof:


There is our Black Magic on the left,

with an generic, inky black on the right.

See the (viva la!) difference?

And please!  Notice how nicely it “plays along”

with our “black” (but really dark gray) kitchen floor tile:



Meanwhile, let’s see some more black doors.

Here is the pocket door

 between our bedroom + the main bath:


Disclaimer: that bathroom’s been tricked out since this photo,

+ it now looks like this (below) + my blog post about it.


Our vintage-style medicine cabinet is from Home Depot,

the Zenith Early American @ only $119!

medicine cabinet home depot

Now for just 1 more quickie look-see

at our beautiful bathroom’s really naughty BEFORE!


I KNOW!!??





Yesterday I shared this photo

+ my big plans for the Dutch colonial’s dining room:


My goal is to make a combination dining room + home office space.

My inspiration is this family room + home office

in designer Allison Kandler’s wonderful California home:

alison kandler office-family room from above

Instead of having a wall of custom cabinets,

we will use my vintage postal sorter:

postal sorter,

It will fit nicely on the wall opposite our bay + dining table.

This view is from that bay:



Yes, that cast iron urn + its pedestal are pretty awesome!


As is the vintage-style U.S. map,

which I happen to sell in my booth space.

Did we know about this?


My biz, named RedBird Vintage Home,

 is inside a very cool antiques store,

True North in Morris, Illinois.

Check us out!



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