Category Archives: DIY Projects

Outdoor Sink/Potting Table

So.

On Friday I bought myself this magazine

at my happy place, Barnes + Noble:

magazine small spaces big

Look at this idea

for an outdoor sink/potting table!

magazine sink in backyard

Do you see what’s happening here?

Looks like someone put some legs

on an old sink,

hooked up the faucets to the outdoor spigot

+ placed a galvanized bucket underneath

to catch the drain water.

G E N I U S !

magazine-sink-in-backyard-1.jpg

Wow, could we use something similar

next to our back door,

replacing this bench + birdhouse vignette:

backyard next to door

Here’s the same space in yet another configuration,

being photo-bombed by Chloe the Dachshund.

backyard next to door with chloe

As you can see,

we have the galvanized bucket-drain situation handled.

We also had a long, vintage kitchen sink,

similar to the one used in the magazine,

magazine-sink-in-backyard-2.jpg

but wouldn’t you know it — we SOLD IT!

Seller’s remorse!

No worries, though.

I bought this vintage cutie at a garage sale for $10!

sink from yard sale

Sorry for the bad snapshot,

but you get the idea — isn’t it perfect?

Now all we need is a table.

Perhaps G.O. could make one himself,

like this project from last summer,

table with pipes that greg made

for which he repurposed an old wooden ironing board top

+ some black pipe from Menards.

Sold it, though!

He could make another large table/island

like this recent project,

table ski jet

made from reclaimed lumber

+ an outboard motor shipping frame.

Turns out we sold that, too,

but we might just still have this old table:

table white top painted green sides

We got it at some long-past flea market

or perhaps another garage sale.

I can’t remember;

nor can I remember if we still have it!

I’ll check, though, so stay tuned!


Upstairs Bedroom + Stairway News

So.  What’s happening with the Dutch colonial,

are you even asking anymore?

I just checked, + my last blog post about it

was written on March 8, 2018!

Our upstairs kitchen was just getting underway:

kitchen upstairs during

Thankfully, that room’s been completed,

+ it’s beautiful!

Unless you follow RedBird on Facebook (please do!),

where I’ve shared many Dutch colonial photos,

you’ll have to believe me.

Okay, here’s one more peek of the “during”:

upstairs kitchen cabs in place

I promise to write an entire kitchen blog post soon!

First, though, let’s view some recent progress

in the upstairs bedroom.

I failed to take any “before” photos (AGAIN),

but trust me, it was bad.

Now it’s almost completed,

with this photo taken from one corner

looking toward the closet + hall doorways:

stair -- bedroom from se corner

Fun fact: the closet was painted pink when we bought the house.

See the boards inside the closet?

That pink.

Since then, its walls + those of the bedroom

have been repaired + painted white,

+ all the beautiful, original woodwork

was painted Pittsburgh Paint’s Ghost Writer gray:

 ghost writer

Man, do I love white walls with gray woodwork!

There’s a pair of huge, south-facing windows,

so it’s going to be nice + bright!

stair upstairs bedroom window

From another corner of the room,

a view toward the closet + hall doorways:

stair -- bedroom from sw corner

A new sub floor has been laid

in both the bedroom + hallway —

seen here, looking toward the kitchen,

with the stairwell about midway to the right:

stair -- hallway looking north from bedroom

All we need to do to complete those areas

is to install a closet organizer + carpet.

But first.

Perhaps, we’ve saved the worst for last,

+ this time, I got some juicy “before” photos!

Behold the staircase,

as seen from the upstairs hallway:

stair shot of landing taken from hallway

Here’s a close up of the stair landing:

stair landing

Just as they were throughout the rest of the upstairs,

the original plaster walls were a wreck.

This corner, at the stair landing, was badly cracked,

but earlier today G.O. began patching it.

stair landing corner

This is the view from the landing down to the foyer + front door:

stair looking down from landing east side

Here’s G.O. now, scraping yet more plaster boo-boo’s

from the walls at the bottom of the stairs:

stairwell with G.O. scraping looking east

This is what one sees, entering from the front door:

stair view taken from front door

Even though things look pretty hiddy right now,

you can tell that the original staircase was quite beautiful.

We’re both so glad that this project’s finally been started!

I think we’re just NOW seeing the end approaching,

+ it’s been YEARS.

Meanwhile, I owe you a post or two.

Stay tuned for some belated kitchen updates!

 


My French Mattress Cushion Obession

F I N A L L Y ! ! !

IMG_1228

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!

IMG_1226

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!


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!

IMG_0844 (1)

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:

IMG_0860

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.

IMG_0817

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.

IMG_0809

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:

DSC07608

DSC08059

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:

DSC08085

Not so coincidentally,

those living room walls are Flagstone,

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

DSC07640

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:

DSC08082

WINNING!

Meanwhile, let’s see some more black doors.

Here is the pocket door

 between our bedroom + the main bath:

DSC08051

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

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

dsc00737

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!

IMG_0516(1)

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?

DSC07064DSC07066

My plans for said-same:

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

BEFORE:

DSC06998 DSC06999

AFTER:

DSC07971

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

DSC07970

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:

DSC06868

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.

DSC06887

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!

IMG_4363(1)IMG_4365(1)

It’s reversible!  2 X’s the fun!

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

IMG_4424(1)

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.

IMG_4367(1)

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:

IMG_4332(1)

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:

IMG_4330(1)

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

IMG_4414(1) IMG_4416(1)

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:

IMG_4407(1)

$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:

IMG_4399(1)

$34 — SOLD!

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

IMG_4282(1)

Check out how I lined those drawers.

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

IMG_4288(1)

SOLD!

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

IMG_4269(1)

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

IMG_4273(1) IMG_4402(1)

* * *

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

IMG_4347(1)

THE SIDING IS DONE!

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

Stay tuned!

IMG_4347(1)


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.

IMG_1395(1)

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:

IMG_2876(1)

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:

IMG_1762(1)

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.

IMG_2585(1)

Just above G.O.’s head.

IMG_2584(1)

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:

P1010711(1)

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):

P1010035(1)

Here’s the larger version:

P1010036(1)

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!


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