Category Archives: Uncategorized

Embracing Our Black Appliances

canned ham at arbys drive thru

In my most recent past post,

I mused about our canned ham camper’s appliances:

canned ham -- kitchen

After Plan A (replacing them with vintage-style red ones)

+ Plan B (spray painting them red) were quickly nixed by G.O,

 Plan C arrived — my embracing the black appliances.

Here’s what’s involved with Plan C:

IMG_0443

Let’s break it down, starting with the cabinets.

I want to paint them Pittsburgh Paint’s Black Magic:

IMG_0449

Black cabs are not only a ‘thing’ now,

but they will also make that black microwave disappear.

canned ham -- kitchen 2

Let’s also say goodbye to that bad beige kitchen wall,

+ hello to this peel + stick tile backsplash:

trailer -- tiles with grout

YUM!  That dark faux grout is pretty dreamy, isn’t it?

Next, we’ll change out the beige counter + table top

with this faux marble laminate:

canned ham formica sample with tabletop

The subtle veining adds just enough gray

to complement my mostly gray scheme — again, here:

IMG_0443

Our plans for edging the counters

are to go completely old school, with this product:

metal edging

One can find it online, from either Home Depot or Lowe’s;

sorry, I don’t have the link.

* * * *

Now, then.

Since I haven’t taken a photo of the ham’s existing vinyl flooring,

(it’s also beige — imagine that!),

you’ll have to trust me that I dislike it, too (imagine that!)

Here’s its replacement:

yet more peel + stick product — gray-ish oak vinyl planks!

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Now for the worst ‘offender’ in the canned ham’s interior:

canned ham settee and fire extinguisher

How quickly can we say ‘bye bye’

to the dinette’s very, very bad Motel 6-ish upholstery fabric?

Just say NO, am I right?

Well, it should be ‘leaving’ very soon,

as I’ve already selected my replacement upholstery fabrics.

The seats will be covered (by ME!)

in this crazy good indoor-outdoor gray from Calico Corners:

IMG_0444

I use the words ‘crazy good’

because it looks just like linen + is as soft as velvet!

(Did I mention that it’s indoor-outdoor fabric?!)

It’s going to wear like iron + clean like a breeze!

IMG_0445

Amazing!

But wait.  Here’s where things get even more exciting.

The seat backs will be covered with this blanket fabric,

San Miguel, from Pendleton:

pendleton blanket fabric by the yard

(Please notice the small red crosses;

more on adding red accents later!  Yay!)

Meanwhile, I’ve sketched out my design hopes + dreams, here:

I ordered the fabric last week,

but it’s not yet landed in our mailbox.

When it arrives, who knows?

The scale of the crosses might be wrong,

the gray might not play nicely with my Calico Corner gray,

or who knows what?

Fingers crossed, however,

or I may find myself scrambling** to come up with Plan D!

(**Not really — I’ve got it cued up + ready, just in case,

’cause, people.  That’s what I do.)

Anyway, stay tuned while I wait for the mail to arrive;

I’ll keep you posted!

 


Canned Ham Interior, Take 2

Yesterday I blogged about my blue + red Ralph Lauren hopes + dreams

for our canned ham’s interior.

Natch, a lot of blue + red stripe upholstery fabric was involved . . .

fabric of blue and red stripes 2

 . . . + I was going to add even more red

by replacing the ham’s existing refrigerator + microwave . . .

. . . with these red beauties:

Daewoo retro microwave — $89

Daewoo retro compact refrigerator — $249

appliances -- red microwave + refrigerator

OMIGOSH, WOW!  Am I right?

Those 2 would be just the things

to propel our ham’s interior straight over the top!

But wait.

There seems to be a pesky issue with camper appliances.

It involves complicated things like voltages + propane fuel.

Whaaaaaatt!!??

Anyway, the bottom line is this: I can’t have my retro appliances.

surprised baby

Heart break!

So, as one does, I immediately went to plan B.

We (+ by “we” I mean G.O.)

would spray paint the existing black appliances red!

paint -- appliances rustoleum red from lowe's

Sounds so easy when I just type or say it, doesn’t it?

Not so fast.  Let’s break it down.

The burner top + range hood might not be too problematic,

 but that microwave was gonna take rolls + rolls of masking tape!

Meaning I didn’t insist (for once) when G.O. nixed the idea.

I just said to myself, FINE.

Let’s embrace the black.

Stay tuned for how I plan to do said embracing.

Here’s a sneak peak at my design + color inspiration:

pendleton san miquel knit throw


Canned Ham Re-Do, Part I

In my last blog post,

I casually mentioned that we’d gotten ourselves a used, vintage-style camper.

Here ’tis — a 2013 Riverside Retro-Style RV:

trailer -- vintage red and gray 2

I am not normally the kind of person who names my vehicles,

but I’ve broken with tradition

+ nicknamed our new camper “the canned ham” 

or “the ham”, for short.

Believe it or not, G.O. bought it on eBay!

In fact, this was his 4th eBay vehicle purchase — who knew?

Anyway, the seller was from southern Illinois — Sparta,

which is not far from my hometown of Greenville!

We picked up the ham on Sunday, spent the night at my dad’s house,

+ here we were, heading back home again on Monday afternoon:

canned ham at arbys drive thru

I shan’t lie — I love how well our ham + our new/used Flex go together!

Now let’s get real.

The camper’s exterior is pretty awesome, yes — but the interior?

Not so much.

Kinda hiddy, actually.

Exhibit A:

canned ham settee and fire extinguisher

Disclaimer: today’s weather is gray + gloomy, which isn’t the best for photo-snapping.

But please!  That fabric!  So not me.

canned ham settee and window

I shall also sew new curtains, but first, back to those cushions.

I am going to reupholster them with an indoor/outdoor fabric,

which is hard-wearing + very easy to clean + won’t fade in the sun.

I’ve already been online shopping on Fabric.com

+ just this morning, I ordered sample swatches ($3 each) of these 2 stripes:

Fabric A:

fabric of blue and red stripes

OR

Fabric B:

fabric of blue and red stripes 2

My inspiration is classic Ralph Lauren — could you tell?

I’m going for a coastal-cottage-farmhouse look,

+ we shall use many of the same colors that we have in our Dutch colonial.

Another project is to remove all the beige (+ there’s lots of it!),

starting with the original dinette top:

canned ham formica sample with tabletop

In its place, G.O. shall go old-school + iron on some faux marble laminate,

Wilsonart White Carrara from Lowes:

counter top faux marble willsonart laminate

Continuing with the retro theme, I want to find some metal edging, like this:metal edging

Time to start shopping, so stay tuned!


GUY WOLFF POTS

People.

Surely we’ve all noticed that houseplants are a ‘thing’ again.

I’m on board, of course,

but, sadly, one of our naughty kitties thinks they’re SALAD.

IMG_0425

Thankfully, there’s an excellent Plan B,

+ that would be the deliciously realistic-but-faux plants that are available now.

Get thee to IKEA, where I bought these faux lavender plants,

which are now nestled in my beloved Guy Wolff pots on our kitchen window sill.

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Let’s talk a little bit about these awesome pots.

Here’s the fabulous potter, Guy Wolff . . .

guy wolff photo at the wheel

. . . whose Bantam, CT studio is on my ‘must-visit’ list**

(more on that later!)

guy wolf headquaters in conn.

His pots are stamped with his name, the date,

+ the number refers to the wet weight pounds of clay used to make the pot.

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I bought this pair in the year 2007 (obviously)

at the late, great Smith + Hawken store in Geneva, Illinois.

I bought my very first Guy Wolff pot in a wonderful store called Hammertown,

in the Berkshire mountains of western Massachusetts.

guy wolff story hammertown rhinebeck

No doubt we’ll be stopping there again on our way to see Guy Wolff in Connecticut.

This inaugural pot of mine is currently buried somewhere in our potting shed,

so I can’t share right now, but it looks something like this one:

guy wolf white pot like mine

Are our heads spinning yet?

If not, here are dozens more on Guy Wolff’s Pinterest board!

Perhaps, like me, you’ll be wanting to purchase his book.

guy wolff book

You can buy Guy Wolff pots at his studio**, on his website

+ at various shops around the U.S.

**My planned visit to see said studio will no doubt be very soon,

+ here’s why:

trailer -- vintage red and gray 2

We bought this ‘canned ham’ cutie on eBay this week!!!

We’ll drive to southern Illinois on Sunday to retrieve it,

after which we’ll perform a little re-do

+ then set sail for somewhere — anywhere — sunnier + warmer than here!

Stay tuned!


RANGE HOOD, PLAN B

Many, if not all, of our Dutch colonial projects

start at Plan A but end up at Plan B, or Plan C, or beyond . . .

Take our range hood.  Please.

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The tape marks the size + location of our Plan A,

which we carefully planned + about which I recently blogged.

G.O. was going to build ours with wood, painted white.

Here is our inspiration:

range-hood-one-we-will-do-2

We soon realized that this was a way more complicated

+ time-consuming project than we had anticipated.

Our Plan A quickly switched to Plan B!

Here it is — the Datid range hood from IKEA:

range-hood-ikea-datid

I love those decorative rails very much

+ have long wanted this hood for my own kitchen.

Its cost, $679, was more than we wanted to spend,

but sometimes, these things can’t be helped.

Yes, even though it’s quite perfect,

I still wished to tweak the design just a bit.

Since our kitchen appliances are white with stainless accents,

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I asked G.O. to spray paint the body of our new hood white,

leaving the decorative apron + rails stainless.

(Please notice our white + stainless dishwasher in the background.)

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  Here is the painting, in progress:

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G.O. is using Rust-oleum Appliance Spray Epoxy

from the home center:

paint-spray-rustoleum-appliance-epoxy

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I am very anxious to see this final bit of kitchen FINISHED,

at long last.

I’ll keep you all posted, so stay tuned!


Vintage-Style Trailer Happiness

So.  This past Sunday, we went to the Greater Chicago RV Show,

where I found the awesome vintage-style trailer of my dreams.

More on that in a minute, but may I ask, first:

Does the same designer work for 99% of the RV companies??

Exhibit A:

trailer-gaudy-two

Does this mean that 99% of RV enthusiasts love this look??

Exhibit B:

trailer-gaudy

And another query, When would we ever see something that I like??

(I mean no disrespect for these trailers; they’re just not up my alley.)

+ + + + +

Say no more.

The Vintage Cruiser by Gulf Steam

gulf-stream-smaller

gulf-stream-vintage-red-trailer

I KNOW!!!  Isn’t it great???

Natch, I want the red + white, but it’s available in aqua, too:

trailer-vintage-cruiser

Before we go inside, I must share another query, re: trailer interiors:

Are 99% of them are designed by the same person??

Do 99% of RV enthusiasts love all that beige??

Exhibit C:

trailer-interior-o-beige

So much beige, + always with the generic hotel print fabric.

I would have to do some reupholstering before we ever leave town!

Sad!

Exhibit D:

trailer-beige-interior

(Again, no disrespect intended; I love things that are different from the norm.

If you read my blog, perhaps you feel the same way!)

+ + + + +

Viva la difference, though — inside my vintage dream:

trailer-vintage-cruiser-red-white-dinette-with-knotty-pine-paneling

We could move right in without me sewing a single stitch!

Not sad!

+ + + + +

The Gulf Stream Vintage Cruiser is also available in this fun “woody” version,

which looks very cool + campy, which is a thing now:

trailer-woody-exterior

 Inside, though, is what really rules — it’s KNOTTY PINEpeople!

camp

Just like inside your grandparents’ vintage lake cottage!

+ + + + +

The dinette + counter tops are really sweet + not the standard-issue faux granite.

I’m pretty sure they are solid surface material (a.k.a. Corian):

trailer-vintage-red-with-range

+ + + + +

Now feast your eyes on the (yelling like Oprah) RED REFRIGERATOR!!

gulf-stream-refrig

Please.  I’ve only  wanted a red Smeg refrigerator forever.

($2 grand, BTW)

smeg-of-red

+ + + + +

So.  I suppose it’s high time to reveal the floor plan that we’ll get.

It’s their smallest — #17RWD — which weighs 2,825 pounds:

gulf-stream-vintage-floor-plan

I would rather have a sitting area than a relatively huge bedroom,

so my plans are to do away with that bed

+ replace it with this navy blue Novogratz futon from Wal-Mart.

People.  It’s $339, + in person, it’s cool!

futon

Since that tiny kitchen desperately needs more counter space,

the bed’s going away will also allow us to have a rolling cart/island

between the TV mount + shirt closet.

gulf-stream-vintage-floor-plan

Perhaps something like this one,

one that G.O. made for our biz, RedBird Vintage Home:

island-of-gregs

+ + + + +

My dream trailer’s bathroom has a separate sink, toilet + shower.

Exhibit E:

gulf-stream-vintage-floor-plan

Most small trailers sport something called a Wet Bath.

Exhibit F:

trailer-floorplan-with-wet-bath

That looks as if a simple shower

would require some serious gymnastics or yoga skills!

Scary!

+ + + + +

Stay tuned for more of my trailer musings,

as I’m suffering from quite the case of wanderlust.

+ + + + +

If you’d like your own small trailer, may I suggest looking here?

small-trailer-enthusiast-logo

+ + + + +

If you, too, would love to buy your own Vintage Cruiser,

check out Gulf Stream’s website!


Galvanized Metal Baskets

This just in:

I finally hemmed the curtains I started last November!

curtains-ikea-unhemmed-2

(Please forgive me for these bad + dark photos.)

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You may very well be asking,

“YAWN, Kay!  Curtain hems!?  Who cares?” . . .

 . . . but we procrastinators know that completing one’s projects is a big deal!

I want to sew a tartan plaid bed skirt (stay tuned!), you see . . .

. . . but I forced myself to finish the curtains first.

+ + + + +

Anyway, speaking of completing tasks, our kitchen re-do is back ON!

This has happened:

img_0331

Galvanized baskets!

The cabinet that G.O. had installed beside the range was too narrow + deep,

+ thus, a tad too dysfunctional.

This had me thinking of baskets in cubbies, instead!

Initially, I wanted woven baskets, like these:

shelves-with-baskets

However, when my online search for baskets took me to these

from World Market, I was totally smitten!

basket-of-galvanized-world-market

Only $14.99 for the small?  I’m in!

 The website sez that these are NEW,

but that they are sold out online + available in stores only.

We had to drive to 2 different World Markets to find our 3,

but it was worth it, in my opinion!

img_0332

I feared that, in person, they might look cheapie + bad,

but they don’t, + I love them!

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Disclaimer: we still need a toe kick here.

+ + + + +

Suddenly, the blank wall next to our stove is calling out for open shelving.

Funny how that happens.

kitchen-wall-for-shelves

I am thinking galvanized metal, + here’s why:

Notice how our new galvanized baskets play so nicely

with the handles of our stove + the Kitchen Aide mixing bowl:

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I’m loving the continuity,

so off, I go, on yet another online search, for metal shelving!

Turns out, my 3 finalists are all from Pottery Barn.

These:

shelves-galvanized-from-pb

These:

shelves-galvanized-modern-from-pb

 Or these, with painted metal:

shelves-metal-with-scallops-from-pb

I think I will wait to decide,

once our range hood is (finally) installed.

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Stay tuned!


2 Houses, No Waiting

It’s time, once again, for us to head to my happy place– realtor.com.

Today I want to buy this house — or I should say housES?

This is the very rare listing for not 1 but 2 houses, both only $199,900!

Do the math!   What’s that, per house?

Whatever it is — let’s start here — The Brick Possible Story + A Half:

redbird-blog-brick-house-2

I’m smitten with that inset porch + the brick piers flanking the steps.

Those evergreens, however, have long outlived their usefulness,

+ let’s get real — awnings like that were never a good idea.

Check out the small-ish upstairs window, though:

redbird-blog-jackson-st-brick-house

One has to ask, Is there an upstairs?

I’m saying a little prayer that there is!  Here’s why:

attice-bedroom-wood-wall

Did you recognize those light fixtures from our living room?

+ + + + +

Next up, house #2 — The Small, 2-Porch, White Farmhouse:

redbird-blog-jackson-st-house-expterior

How adorable is that front porch?

Very.

But wait.  There’s more!

Porch #2:

redbird-blog-jackson-st-house-side-porch

I have to admit, I’ve always had a thing for the side porch.

Meanwhile, our G.O. has a thing for a spacious garage, like this one:

redbird-blog-jackson-st-garage

Please.  Look at that eagle.

In the dark ages, when I bought my very first house, eagles were a major thing.

Yes, I had one on the exterior + only about a 1,00 of them inside.

HA!  Embarrassing!

redbird-blog-jackson-st-garage

 But I digress.

What’s that charming outbuilding that I’m spying, out back?

How quickly can I turn it into the potting shed of my dreams?

Or chicken coop, if we were so inclined.  I don’t think we are.

+ + + + +

Now it’s time to have a look-see inside,

but disclaimer:  it’s not clear in which house these photos belong:

redbird-blog-jackson-st-house-woodwork

No, I think it’s the brick house, because the windows are the same.

Well, brick or no, they had me at all that natural woodwork,

+ the columns + built-in cabs., too?

Yes, please!

Looks like those cabs have leaded glass doors on both sides,

which I don’t think I’ve seen before.

Speaking of awesome built-ins, let’s head to the kitchen:

redbird-blog-jackson-st-house-kitchen-original-cabs

People.  What’s this I’m seeing that looks like an original butler’s pantry?

WOW — I would totally buy a house for just that one feature!

Sadly, it’s time for those replacement cabinets to be replaced, themselves:

redbird-blog-jackson-st-house-kitchen-2

It wouldn’t be any fun if I wasn’t able to design my own kitchen, would it?

redbird-blog-jackson-st-house-kitchen

I’m practically salivating!  HA!

Time for one last room, the bath:

redbird-blog-bathroom

One’s first impulse might be to yank out that original sink,

but just say NO!

I would totally design the rest of the room around it!

Something along these lines:

tile-vintage-green-and-black-houzz

tile-vintage-black-and-white-bathroom

Yum!

While my creative juices are flowing,

methinks we’ll do a little drive-by of these 2 houses, later today.

Somebody grab the camera — stay tuned!


OMiGosh! Range Hood!

Since I’ve been doing so much nesting this winter,

things are looking better + better inside the Dutch colonial.

Yay!

However, the more we do in all those other rooms,

the more I dislike our unfinished kitchen!

I can’t stand it!

Calm down.  We’re finally on our way.

We’re finally getting a range hood!

First thing I do is head to Pinterest to find something that I really love.

Found it!

range-hood-chippy-paint-with-scallops

HA!  So funny!

Maybe I should have said “something that both G.O. + I like!”

Perhaps this one?

range-hood-pretty-steel-with-scallops

Oops!

It may be a tad more mainstream, but those pesky scallops!

I fear G.O. would snap, + we can’t have that.

Now, this is more like it!

range-hood-one-i-like-stainless

I love the chunky design, but not in stainless.  I want white.

This next one is similar:

range-hood-i-like-in-wood

We both agree that the wood is too rustic for our kitchen.

Could this be the one?

range-hood-one-we-will-do-2

YES IT COULD!  (With a little tweaking, that is!)

Anyway, once the design was finally chosen,

it was time for us to break out our trusty blue masking tape

+ start marking out the hood’s location on the wall:

img_0243

OMiGosh, you guys!

Just having the tape up there makes our kitchen look better!

I immediately barked out instructions for G.O. to find + order

the actual range hood machine thing, or whatever it’s called.

Just a sec.  Let me check on that.

He sez he hasn’t yet.

Maybe tomorrow, if I bark more instructions?

Stay tuned!


Post-Christmas Paring Down

Funny thing.

This November found me a little down in the dumps.

To try + boost my morale a bit, I opted to decorate for Christmas earlier than usual.

Exhibit A:

dsc00862

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER:

I totally know that Dachshund Santa is tacky, but how could I resist?

He’s almost as cute as Chloe the Dachshund!

img_0112

Everything else is vintage + simple + natural, so I tell myself that things get balanced.

Exhibit B:

img_0114

I’m keeping those darling vintage pitchers + tiny bottle brush trees out for a while.

Look!  There’s Chloe’s predecessor, Susie the Dachshund,

with our very young, very adorable grandlad (who’s now 11.5!)

img_0115

But I digress.  Back to my holiday decor.

Away it all went, almost the minute Christmas was over.

How unlike me, Queen of Procrastinators!

 But isn’t it always great to see how spare the house looks after the holidays?

Take our sorter + art ledges.  Please.

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You might recall that I was inspired by this photo to turn my books around:

living-room-books-turned-around-joe-r

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I really like the way it keeps things looking a little less busy,

so my books are staying turned around, at least for now.

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I also purged about half the stuff that had been on my art ledges:

img_0104

img_0105

They look great!

I hung our vintage map of Illinois on the front of the sorter:

img_0133

We bought it at a pop-up antiques market in Grand Central Station

during our first visit to NYC.

img_0134

Among all this paring down, perhaps you noticed one new item in our living room.

It’s an ottoman!

img_0124

I’ve had it about 20 years or so.

It came with a matching chair + 1/2 (a.k.a. “Grandmother’s chair”),

which I sold about 10 years ago.

Its new upholstery will be a heavy horse blanket I’ve had forever, too.

img_0126

I think it adds yet more texture + a little pattern to our room.

My plans are to attach it with some off-white twill tape + dozens of upholstery tacks.

(Sooner than later, I hope.)  I told you I was the Queen of Procrastinators!

img_0127

Stay tuned!


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