Category Archives: DIY Projects

My French Mattress Cushion Obession

F I N A L L Y ! ! !

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As our porch nears its long-awaited completion,

we will soon be enjoying this kind of happiness,

found on the website Style + Design:

porch swing with rope

 How much do we LOVE this?!

Now I must do that rope trick on our own porch swing!

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Yes, we have a porch swing!

I think we bought it around 5 years ago:

Now I am officially on the hunt for a nice, soft cushion

that looks totally awesome, too!

Exhibit A, from a post from the blog Homestilio,

French Mattress Cushions 5 Ways:

french mattress on bed homestilo

Exhibits B + C:

But wait.

What kind of crazy cushions are those?  You might be wondering.

As the Homestilio blog post title says,

they are called  French mattress cushions.

Unless you’re the Ballard Designs catalog,

then they’re called farmhouse cushions:

Call them whatever you want — I’m calling them

MY LATEST (in a long line) OBSESSION!!

Take their 2-seat bench cushions, priced from $73.99 to $140.  Please.

cushion

The black check 37″ cushion, that I want for our porch,

is sadly 3″ too short for my porch swing.

But how lucky am I?!

I can buy myself a custom cushion on etsy,

starting at around $300 from Irish And Company:

french mattress striped with plaid pillow

Come ON!!  How adorable is this, for $122.76??

french mattress striped dog bed

But wait.  Aren’t you the sewing queen?  You might wonder.

Yes, I am, + luckily for me

 there are French mattress tutorials all over the place.

Here’s one, from August Blues Slipcover Studio.

I mean, look how cute their logo is!

august blues

When it comes to French mattresses, it’s all about that edge:

french mattress side close up augustblues

The French mattress cushion edge is actually a hand-stitching technique.

Furthermore, the top + bottom seams should line up to create this look:

french mattress side augustblues

  By now, I will have ripped out my stitches about 1,001 times,

in a crazy attempt to make it PERFECT!!!

Yes, while I fear that this project could render me insane,

I love them so much, I just have to give it a try!!

surprised baby

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get back to the tutorial.

Next, there’s tufting, which doesn’t look so difficult:

french mattress completed august blues

Annnnnnd DONE!

french mattress blog white with blue stripes august blues

I’ll probably risk everything + give it a try.

As always, thanks for reading, + stay tuned!

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Yet More Canned Ham Progress

Yesterday I shared some exciting new progress in our canned ham’s interior.

Turns out our new bedding

is the reason why we painted our refrigerator black + red!

NOW it makes sense!

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Both G.O. + I really love those new arrow decals on the wall!

My thoughts are to repeat them on the opposite end wall of the ham,

which is way too plain Jane:

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Wow, what a yawn!

I’d like to see a single row of arrows on each side of the window,

 similar to this photo that the etsy shopkeeper posted:

decal of arrows single row

Not too much — just enough to “have a conversation” with the wall

on the opposite side of the ham.

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Oops! Please disregard the dusty stove top — somebody needs to fire the house keeper (me!)

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Hey!  What’s going on with those curtains?  You ask.

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I am sewing them with this fabric from Fabric.com.

It’s a very lightweight white cotton,

so our ham will be bright + light, even when the curtains are closed.

fabric for ham curtains

But that print!  I couldn’t love it more!

Turns out it’s “having its own conversation” with something in the ham,

but I’ll share that fun story tomorrow.

Back to the curtains.

Here’s Plan A for hanging them, with clip-on rings:

IMG_0809

I’ve gotta admit, I’m not in love.

Maybe they would look better if we just shirred them on that rod,

OR how awesome would they look with black grommets!?

I think I want grommets.

grommet

OF COURSE I DO.

G.O. has the job of grommet installation at our house,

wouldn’t you know it?

cats fighting

  Stay tuned.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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:

DSC08058

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:

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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:

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Not so coincidentally,

those living room walls are Flagstone,

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

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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:

DSC08080

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:

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WINNING!

Meanwhile, let’s see some more black doors.

Here is the pocket door

 between our bedroom + the main bath:

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

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

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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!

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I KNOW!!??

 

 

 


A NEW FAUX CEILING BEAM — UP + RUNNING!

Even though I’ve not blogged about it,

progress at the Dutch colonial has been fast + almost furious!

  Remember this day when we retrieved some old lumber

from our neighbor’s garage tear down?

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My plans for said-same:

A faux beam spanning the ceiling between our kitchen + dining room.

BEFORE:

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AFTER:

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YUMM-O (at the beam, not so much for my photo!)

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YUMM-O (at that vintage sign of mine — once again, not my photo!)

* * *

Sorry about that — we had a torrential rain storm this afternoon,

which made the lighting less than favorable for photos.

There’s more progress to share,

but I’ll save all that for another time with new + improved photos.

Here’s just a sneak peek:

DSC07973

Stay tuned!

 


Hardwood Floors, Step One

Our hardwood floors are being beautified at the Dutch colonial.

Here’s the dining room floor, mid-project, as seen from the kitchen:

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You can see that the first task was sanding the edges.

We rented an edge sander at our local build-o-rama;

it cost $40 for 4 hours.

Here’s another view of the dining room, looking back at the kitchen:

DSC06872

This next photo was taken from a corner of the living room,

facing the dining room on the left + the front door on the right:

DSC06871

While most of the house’s wood floors are the traditional narrow oak,

the bedroom has wider pine boards:

DSC06884

We briefly considered painting it,

but we decided that we’d opt to stain it, too.

I’ve had that plaid rug for years,

the colors of which I still like very much.

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One of those blues could become an accent wall,

as seen in this inspiration bedroom,

designed by Emily Henderson (past winner of HGTV’s Design Star):

bedroom with blue accent wall

That Target rug is more ‘now’ than my plaid rag rug,

so I’m tempted to spring for it.

I’d like that throw, too, please.

Stay tuned to see which rug will make the cut!


Too Bizzy To Blog; Here’s Why

Hola!

Man, I’ve missed blogging, but here’s why I’ve been absent.

I’ve been bizzily making “stuff” like this,

using old wood salvaged from our Dutch colonial!

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It’s reversible!  2 X’s the fun!

It’s also currently for sale in my brick-and-mortar space, or store:

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I call my biz REDBIRD Vintage Home,

+ I really couldn’t love anything more.

I share my space with 12 other vendors in this new-ish cool store:

 true north flyer

true north -- amy's toucan true north -- front interior true north exterior

Let’s have another look-see at REDBIRD.

Here I am, at left, inside my space,

 with 2 of my high school classmates who visited last week!

Guess the name of our high school.

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Kay – Janet – Kathy

I’ve been making + selling pillows for several years.

I have an etsy shop for them, plus 2 galleries sell them for me —

1 in Jackson Hole, WY + 1 in Los Angeles.

Lately, I’ve focused more on signs + furniture + other “stuff”.

By “other stuff”, I mean measuring sticks.

Here is a close-up of a couple:

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Wow, all that old chippy paint — I love it!

I like to think of these as the world’s hippest growth charts

or just a cool, industrial accent.

* * *

My plans are to combine my work

with other “merch” that I order for the store,

like these glove molds from NYC:

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. . . and this fabulous-ness from New Hampshire:

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Meanwhile, it’s time to view a few more of my projects!

I love the word “HOME” + opted to stencil it on this old, wooden step ladder:

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$22

Next up, I stenciled a faded Frenchie stripe on some off-white canvas,

+ G.O. used it to reupholster this old, red metal mechanic’s stool:

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$34 — SOLD!

This cute table was tricked out in a Swedish kind of way:

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Check out how I lined those drawers.

It’s old Mary Emmerling wallpaper from a recent past bathroom of ours!

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SOLD!

A pub table turned a little British with its stylized Union Jack top:

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. . . and a couple more vintage items received their RedBird crosses:

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* * *

So.  What’s going on over at the Dutch colonial? — you ask?

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THE SIDING IS DONE!

Next up (soon!): tricking out THAT PORCH!

Stay tuned!

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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.

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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:

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That range hood is my interpretation of this:

range hood -- straight #2 -- houzz

houzz.com

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

Winning!

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

houzz.com

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

YUM!

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

transferware platter -- onekingslane

onekingslane.com

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!


More Red + White Signage

Yesterdee (that’s how they say it in St. Louis, I swear)

I posted about my collection of much-loved red signs.

https://redbirdv.wordpress.com/2014/02/18/do-i-need-a-red-exit-arrow/

My friend, Tal, gave me this for my birthday one year.

This birthday present from a few years back
rests on the woodwork in our kitchen.

A mere hour or so after I posted,

I realized to my horror (J/K) that I forgot to include

my most prized red sign of all:

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This is 2-sided + says ROCKFORD on the other side.

We pretty much think this was in a bus or train station.

Why do I love it so?

Well, St. Louis is my homeland,

+ at the time, I lived 20-ish miles s.w. of Rockford, Illinois.

Speaking of “needing” something — how could I resist

(even though I think I paid $95 for it!!)

surprised boy

What can I say?  I was single at the time

+ could buy anything I wanted!

* * *

This happiness occurred when we lived in the groovy apartment

that I built above my old retail store.

My ST. LOUIS/ROCKFORD sign hung on the ceiling beam

just over my head in this snapshot from long ago:

christmas -- apartment -- kay in squalor living room

Circa 1993 — maybe 94

My plans for hanging it in our Dutch colonial project

involve yet another (future) beam,

which will hang between our dining room + kitchen.

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Just above G.O.’s head.

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Re: that beam.

I’m still on the fence about whether or not to investigate the price

they’re charging these days for salvaged beams.

Methinks I probably should.

Stay tuned.

* * *

Meanwhile, let’s have a look-see at another red+ white sign of mine:

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2012

I love this one, too!

I made it myself, back in my letterpress phase.

It was also the era in which I most recently had a brick+mortar retail space.

Here’s 1 of 3 that I made, hanging outside our shop(s):

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Here’s the larger version:

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Right now, these beauties (if I do say so)

are languishing in our cellar hide-a-way,

but I think these need to be included in our home + garden décor . . .

. . . if not here + now, then FO SHO in the Dutch colonial!

Stay tuned!


Hudson’s Bay Blanket Love

When one is me, one never knows when design inspiration will strike.

This week, I was struck on Facebook — not once but twice.

First up was my Canadian BFF, Sarah Richardson . . .

sarah richardson

. . . who shared that this winter’s Canadian Sochi Olympics team

was being outfitted by the Hudson’s Bay Company!

Check it out . . . you can even buy your own Olympics wool duffle coat:

Regularly $275,
now on sale for a mere $199
http://www.thebay.com

* * * *

Speaking of coats — also on Facebook last week,

one of my favorite vintage shops

Betty’s in Morris, Illinois

posted she had this vintage Hudson’s Bay jacket!

Swoon!

Now, there’s your iconic, striped Hudson’s Bay blanket,

the one with which we’re all familiar, am I right?

Pinterest

Pinterest

* * * *

I remember having recently seen these towels from Pendleton:

Only they don’t call them “Hudson’s Bay” towels;

on Pendleton’s website they’re Glacier National Park towels!

* * * *

Quickly,  my mind raced back to a photo

I’d seen in Country Living magazine,

in which a pair of Hudson’s Bay blankets were hung as drapes:

hudson bay curtains sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net

Hubba hubba!

* * * *

And soon, I was off on an online trip

to find yet more Hudson’s Bay inspiration!

The treasure trove of all things Hudson’s Bay can be found

in the Hudson Bay Collection, here:

http://www.thebay.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/en/thebay/search/hbc-/hbc-home

People.  Hudson’s Bay bedding?!   Yesh, please!

striped flannel sheets

If my budget was just a tad larger than it currently is

I’d get myself this awesomeness:

$395

$395

Or, for a lot less, how about a stylish umbrella that no one else will have?

$28

$28

I could order a hipster travel mug for G.O.

Happy Valentine’s Day, sweetheart?

striped travel mug

Or I could just order a pair of these mugs:

Only $7 each

Only $7 each

And for our doggies:

Regularly $45 Clearance $31.50 http://www.thebay.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/en/thebay

Regularly $45
Clearance $31.50
http://www.thebay.com

Somebody pass me my credit card!

* * * *

But wait!

There’s lots more online Hudson’s Bay merch!.

For babies!

FarmFreshBaby hats etsy.com

https://www.etsy.com/shop/FarmFreshHats
OMG — you have got to head to this shop
+ see all the adorable-ness!

baabaabaxsheep on etsy

https://www.etsy.com/shop/baabaabaxsheep?ref=shop_sugg
Please. If you love north woods ANY-thing, you must check out this shop!

* * * *

For the wackiest of Hudson’s Bay apparel . . .

. . . there’s even footwear!

$120 Jack Purcell for Converse www.thebay.com

$120
Jack Purcell for Converse
http://www.thebay.com

Hudson's Bay booties anthropologie.com

Hudson’s Bay booties
anthropologie.com

Disclaimer:  these shoes have been out for a while;

the sizes are very limited for the Converses.

* * * *

This adorableness wins the prize

for most unusual Hudson’s Bay merch:

A wacky pin cushion!

I love it!

* * * *

In my opinion,

for the pinnacle of Hudson’s Bay merch,

one must head to Pinterest + search for

Hudson’s Bay blanket upholstery projects!

Hudson's Bay Thonet Chair by modernhause on etsy

Hudson’s Bay Thonet Chair
Mid-century modern your thing? Check out this shop on etsy:
https://www.etsy.com/shop/ModernHaus

Source unkown

Source unkown

Yes, you can even buy pillows from Hudson’s Bay blankets . . .

. . . but now I’m pondering how I might incorporate their iconic stripes

into some pillow projects of my own!

Stay tuned!


Amazing Bargain Countertops — Yay Or Nay?

SO, the January Amazing Bargain Issue of Country Living magazine is out.
It’s pretty amazing, alright — it’s one of their best, I’d say!
CL bargain issue cover
I think I was most intrigued by a bargain kitchen
in which the owners installed faux soapstone countertops.
Have a look-see for yourself, from CL‘s Facebook page:
CL kitchen with the plywood countertops
Instead of shelling out for (pricey) soapstone countertops,
fake the look with inexpensive plywood
coated in chalkboard paint
+ sealed with paste wax.
* * * *
How much does that idea rule???
(Please note those shelves + brackets; we’ll discuss them later.)
* * * *
Back to the countertops.
I was so smitten with the idea of faux soapstone
that I immediately shared with G.O.
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Seems that “what rules” is in the eye of the project beholder,
as he nixed it immediately.
The humanity!
* * * *
But I digress.
While I plot to coerce him, let’s look at some soapstone kitchen counters:
absolute black granite #2
Sorry — didn’t get the source here.
soapstone counter -- kat dev
Kat Dev via Pinterest
* * * *
Perhaps you’ve noticed that both the CL kitchen + this one (above)
have similar open shelving + identical brackets.
* * * *
I found ’em for us!
Here they are, your Classic Iron Shelf Brackets
from Signature Hardware:
CL bargain issue -- shelf brackets
Talk about a bargain — these are priced at $7.95 – $11.95!
* * * *
As of this moment, I plan to use these in our own kitchen.
Please view said-same, in its current, “before” state:
Our kitchen island will end up in the approximate location of this 2x4.
Here’s my kitchen design sketch
(pardon the faintness; I didn’t realize I was going to share!)
kitchen sketch #1
As you can (barely) see,
my plans include open shelving
on at least one side of our restaurant-style range hood,
similar to the winning kitchen I shared:
soapstone counter -- kat dev
Kat Dev via Pinterest
* * * *
love it when a plan comes together!
Now, back to those faux soapstone countertops I want.
We now know that G.O. thinks they’re crazy.
What do you think?
As always, stay tuned!

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