Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas & Our Dining Room!

It is just after noon on a lovely Christmas day!  The family just finished watching our new copy of Guardians of the Galaxy…which I will frankly admit didn’t impress me that much when I saw it in the theater…so I decided to take a few pictures and blog! 
That *is* rest and relaxation for me!  I have been too bush (or distracted) to do much of it lately.  The holiday house tours have come and gone, but I thought I’d share a few pictures of my (mostly) COMPLETED dining room before the Christmas decorations come down.
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Yes, you read that right…mostly completed!  That means I finally built a dining table that I intend to keep!  Maybe I’ll do a full “reveal” at another time, but I wouldn’t hold my breath…
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I bought this set of eight chairs almost a year ago from Ruffles & Rust in Snohomish, WA.  They showed pictures of them on their Facebook page, and I think I was in at opening the next day.  I built the table to go with them, and I think I used something like seven different coats of five different stains to get the color right!
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Here’s my Christmas centerpiece…and old shutter, an IKEA sheepskin, some wooden beads, and a pretty candle arrangement I got from my mother several years ago.  I texted a picture of it to my sister and asked, “Is this too weird or just weird enough?”  She responded, “Just weird enough!  It suits you!”
Still not sure how to take that….
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In the background you can get a glimpse of my antique pie safe.  This is the wall where my suitcases used to be…
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…but I moved them to the largest wall (painted in chalkboard paint!) and added a couple new additions (the gray suitcase on the bottom left and the little train case on the bottom right).
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I have a small collection of reindeer that gets displayed on my suitcases every year.  I love how they look on the chalkboard wall.
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This is another new addition…this beautiful old pine hutch.  I’ve wanted one for years, and I scooped this one up for $75 from Craigslist. 
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My girls helped me glitter some paper mache stars to hang on this old ladder.  I’ve had the ladder for over two years, and it just barely got to come in the house!
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I made the curtains out of my beloved ikat…I have ikat curtains in our vintage geek family room too!
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It has made me happy to have a pretty dining room for the holidays this year, and it will make me happier still when we fill this table (as well as our kitchen table) up with friends and family in a few hours!
From the Red Hen’s Home to yours…we hope you are enjoying a wonderful Christmas holiday!
2014 family 3

Linking up here:
My Repurposed Life Elizabeth & Co.
Primitive & Proper Miss Mustard Seed
Mod Vintage Life Coastal Charm
The Scoop!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

More Christmas Signs 2014

This batch of signs went to Seaworthy Home in Seabrook, WA.  

Red Hen Home Christmas Signs 4

Red Hen Home Christmas Signs 5

The owner, Lisa, likes to send me a challenge every once in a while!  This time she asked if I had ever made a lighted sign, which I hadn’t….but hey, why not?!

Red Hen Home lighted joy

This one was my very favorite!  I used a battery-operated string, so it can go anywhere.  I bought a couple more strings of lights, in the hopes that I may make another one someday!

Red Hen Home Christmas Signs 6

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Christmas Signs 2014

<Sigh.>  There have been a lot of weeks that have passed since my last blog post again.  I have such good intentions, but time just flies by!

Here are some of the things I have been working on lately.  I made a batch of Christmas signs for Ruffles & Rust in Snohomish, WA.

Red Hen Home Christmas Signs 1

The shop has started carrying some amazing gourmet food items for the holidays, so several of the signs were also very specific advertising!

Red Hen Home Christmas Signs 2

Red Hen Home Christmas Signs 3

This last one is my very most favorite.  I hand-painted it, based on a Christmas card, on a piece of luan, and then backed it with beadboard.  It almost didn’t get to leave the house!

Red Hen Home Noel

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

French Country Hutch

One of my latest furniture projects had a mind of its own…but what else is new?? Red Hen Home French Country Hutch 3 I have been in love with this hutch (below) for months and months…in fact, I have it pinned to at least two different Pinterest boards!

I haunted Craigslist for days/weeks/months/(who knows) to find a similar piece for a good price, and finally came across this one:
Red Hen Home French Country Hutch before
It was $75!!  The only problem…it was in Kirkland, WA, while I was in Portland, OR, for spring break!  The owner was moving, and it HAD to leave on one specific day, and I wasn’t going to be available.  I fretted over that for a while, until an elegant solution occurred to me.  I was supposed to paint a small chest of drawers for a client that she was picking up IN Kirkland!  I made a deal…if she would pick up this hutch for me, I would paint her chest for free.
Everybody wins!
So the hutch came home in April, I think…and then it sat….and sat…and sat…until finally I was ready to do something with my dining room.
Red Hen Home French Country Hutch 5
I tried my best to re-create the look of my inspiration picture.  I painted the body with a DIY chalk paint made from SW Creamy ceiling paint!  I distressed everything heavily, and also glazed it with a dark walnut stain .
Red Hen Home French Country Hutch 4
I had a different vision for the backing other than beadboard, but I had to bring the hutch inside before I got to it in order to keep it “safe” from other garage projects. 
  Red Hen Home French Country Hutch 7 I placed it against the dining room wall that was supposed to be it’s new home…and promptly hated it.
Red Hen Home French Country Hutch 8
It was too. darn. big.
Sadly, I knew right then that it wasn’t staying.  I decided to use beadboard for the backing, painted a couple of shades darker than the rest of the hutch.
  Red Hen Home French Country Hutch 2
After putting it all together, I could appreciate that it was a pretty piece…just not for me!  It has moved on to a new home now.
<Sigh.>  Better luck next time!

Linking up here:
  Elizabeth & Co.
Primitive & Proper  
Friday Remodelaholic The Scoop!
Funky Junk’s Saturday Night Special The DIY Show Off
Miss Mustard Seed
Beyond the Picket Fence  
Knick of Time  
Common Ground My Repurposed Life
  Mod Vintage Life

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Home Theater Signs

The power supply on our main computer died, and it’s just not as easy to write blog posts on my “vintage” laptop!  But I thought I’d pop in to show one of my latest projects.

Back in 2011, I participated in “Crafting With the Stars” and knocked-off the Ballard Designs home “theatre” signs (you can see the original post here). 

I multi-tasked for this project, and used the signs as a Christmas gift for my sister! (They look better in her house than in mine, shown below.)

CWTS 007

A friend of mine asked if I would make another set for her, and I agreed to do everything except the film reels (never again). 

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I “americanized” the spelling of “Theater,” and changed the ticket number to one that was meaningful for her.

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It was fun to revisit an old project!

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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

So God Made a Farmer

I was thinking about what to write this morning, and I had one of those “ah-ha” moments when I was reading the My Repurposed Life blog.  Gail gives a handy tip she has learned from all her sign making, and it was one of those things that had me wanting to do a face palm!!

Red Hen Home Farmer 1

You see, a few weeks ago I was asked to make a HUGE sign for Ruffles & Rust Square with Paul Harvey’s famous “So God Made a Farmer” monologue on it.   The finished size was something like 44” x 36”, if I remember correctly.  I framed it in with some stained 1x3’s, and accented the corners with some mending brackets. 

Red Hen Home Farmer 2

You can see that there are a lot of tiny little words!  Weeding out the vinyl took a very long time, and then transferring the stencil to the wood involved a lot of fiddling with “oodles and boodles,” as Gail calls them. 

Red Hen Home Farmer 3

So what was her tip, you are asking??  Well, she DOESN’T weed UNTIL she has transferred the vinyl.  That way she only has to fiddle with the “oodles & boodles” ONCE!

Ah, so brilliant…I love learning something new that will save time!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Two shall become One

In the last days of getting ready for The Barn vintage market last August, I was fighting some serious burn-out!  I still had a list of projects I wanted to do, but I was rapidly approaching the “who cares” point…  Have you ever been there with me??

Here’s one little project that barely squeaked in, and I’m so glad it did!

I came across the parts to an antique treadle sewing machine at a garage sale last spring.  It was disassembled, filthy…and I talked the lady down to $7!

Here’s how it looked after I cleaned it, put it together (you can see that the actual foot pedal part is missing, but I didn’t care…see, there’s a theme going on here), and gave it a coat of some black spray paint.

Red Hen Home treadle table 2

The plan was to build a new top, like this other treadle table I made here

But…then I remembered another table top I had in my “stash.”  It was a Goodwill find from over a year ago that I rescued it off of three spindly legs (the legs I burned). 

Red Hen Home treadle table 1

Angels sang!  They were a perfect fit.  I refinished the wood top, added a graphic (of course), and put the two together. 

And then…I took a lousy cell-phone picture.

Red Hen Home treadle table 3

<Sigh.>  Now that…in retrospect…I wish I had cared about!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Black Beauty

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Much to my dear husband’s delight, our dining room has a table in it again…although not for long!

Red Hen Home Black Beauty before

I refinished this set for a client who had picked up this set for a song from a neighbor at a garage sale.  You can see that the finish on the top was pretty worn (it looked worse up close).  She had hopes of refurbishing it herself, but only got as far as replacing three of the seat covers (red instead of white) before losing interest!  I was happy to step in and help!

Red Hen Home Black Beauty 10

After removing the original finish, the top got several new coats of stain in a mix of Minwax Dark Walnut and Early American.

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The chairs and the apron were painted in a DIY black chalk paint, and I distressed with a wet sponge to let some of the original finish show through.  I sealed the top with Minwax Wipe-on Polyurethane followed by a coat of DIY dark wax, and the painted parts were sealed with General Finishes High Performance TopCoat (satin finish) and DIY dark wax.

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I recovered the chairs in this pretty dark fabric she brought me.  She has little ones, so DARK fabric was a must!

Red Hen Home Black Beauty 1

This set is HUGE!  The chairs are very generously sized and nicely padded, so it’s a very comfortable table to sit at.  There are two extra leaves for this table as well, so it’s perfect for large gatherings. 

I really love how it turned out…my dining room is moving up on my priority list of rooms to finish!

Linking up here:

My Repurposed Life Elizabeth & Co.
Primitive & Proper Miss Mustard Seed
Friday Remodelaholic Coastal Charm
The Scoop!  

Friday, September 19, 2014


I stepped out of the “furniture” zone a couple of times this summer to play with TOYS!  I came across this little unfinished barn set at an estate sale on the day that it was half off…and it had to come home with me.

Red Hen Home toy barn before

I thought it needed a little color!

Red Hen Home toy barn 2

I wanted it to look as if it had been well-loved over the years, so I first stained all the pieces, and then used the “vaseline trick” to make the paint chip off in places.  I also let my 10-year old daughter paint some of the details on the cow (the udder) and the chicken (the eyes and feather details).  She had a great time doing it! 

Red Hen Home toy barn 1

She was not particularly happy that I sold it!


The other treasure I came across was this dollhouse at Goodwill.  It was definitely dated, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t a TRUE antique.  All the windows were missing the “glass,” and some of the railings by the front door were missing.  The inside wasn’t in bad shape, just out-of-date.  The outside, however, had a TERRIBLE paint job!  The trim paint had been splattered everywhere, even on the shingles.  Amd the green color wasn’t working for me.

Red Hen Home dollhouse collage

Re-painting the dollhouse was a much bigger challenge than I had anticipated.  There seemed to be miles of trim!  I also had to go over many of the shingles where paint had splattered on them.  Then I “glazed” the trim to make it look a little more worn—it was OK if it looked old, but not sloppy, you know??

Red Hen Home Dollhouse

I didn’t touch the inside at all.  I rather envisioned this little dollhouse as being a conversation piece/focal point in someone’s home.  In fact, if it had fit in my little alcove in my living room, that home would have been MINE!  Alas—it was about 4 inches too tall!