Behind My Red Door

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The old and the new and the old….

For many years when working first as a teacher and later as Director of the small preschool that was a huge part of my life for many years, I took advantage of summers to get a lot of my projects around the house done. Even though I only worked part time, it was when I had time so it became an OLD habit. During the school year, I always brought home curriculum to prepare and I did many of the newsletters and notices for the school long before I was the Director. And of course there were sports and dance events to attend, school meetings, room mother duties, play dates and more for the kids. And now, even though I am no longer on a school schedule for myself or the kids, it seems like summer is still when I have the most time. I don’t entertain as much in the summer because if the heat. There aren’t as many family events to celebrate coincidentally. We prefer to travel in the cooler months of fall and spring so we don’t take summer vacations anymore. So with the extended heat waves this summer, I have been really hibernation and using my time indoors to tackle several projects. You saw my office and the dining room chairs and the dining room walls already. Those were small projects compared to what I had in mind next!

After tackling the dining room, I gathered up all my old articles from old magazines that had pictures of painted kitchens that I love. I had my plan in place to show Mr. Red Door how nice our cabinets would look all painted in a warm tan – namely Tyler Taupe. Now for those newer followers, I should add I have been attempting to persuade him that the cabinets would look better painted for many of the 24 years we have lived here. He really is a sweet easy going guy and usually doesn’t care what I want to paint, move, redo etc. But some things he just has his mind made up about. Namely wood in an unpainted state! UGH! Did you know it even took me 20+ years to get him to see the light about the dark outdated ugly 70’s paneling in our big lower level family room? YUP!! Everyone loves the room looks now that it is painted, but I am not sure HE is convinced. But despite that, I was feeling like maybe now I could FINALLY convince him. So I got those pictures ready to show him when the time was right. But before I could even show him, we had a conversation that eventually went like this.

M = Me and H = HIM.

H- why did you move the furniture all around and then move it back?

M- I wanted a change but didn’t like the new arrangement so it is on to plan B!! (all positive and excited and about to reach for those pictures and articles).

H- what is plan B?

M- I am going to paint the kitchen cabinets in a nice… (that is as far as I got)

H- Oh honey please don’t got there again? I like the cabinets the way they are!

M- But they are so OLD and dated and …..

H- And they can stay dated until I die. I like them this way! We are not painting them!

Humm… I guess this means..

END of conversation!!!

Please don’t tell me I should do it when he isn’t home, or that he will get used to it so just go ahead and paint them. That’s not my style. I respect him and wouldn’t do that to him when he is SO set against it. And like I said, I get to do what I want most of the time. In the greater scheme of life, the importance of painted cabinets comes in very low but my marriage is very high.

So after sulking for awhile, and still in need of a NEW project and change, I remembered my ‘to do list’ and decided to get to the stenciling in the living room. At one time every room was stenciled and as I have been repainting each room, am also adding back more stenciling. The stencil I chose for the living room is an OLD one I have had in my stash since the late 80’s but never used. It is from Liberty Design and is called the Newington Border. It was found in an 18th century Federal home in Newington, New Hampshire and also in a home in Strafford, New Hampshire. I like using stencils with New England ‘roots’. The paint colors I used were the Tyler Taupe from the dining room and other rooms, and Folk Art craft paint in Barn Red. I think stencils add a nice finished touch to a room without being as busy as wallpaper can sometimes be.


You can stencil an average room in a few hours and the cost is minimal.


But of course anytime a prim gal makes one small change, it usually leads to others, right? I know that you know exactly what I mean!! So I had to tweak the room a bit and come up with a NEW look. I moved my firkins over here….




because my black jelly cupboard was feeling neglected in Mr.Red Door’s office. (it’s OLD used to be natural pine and I had the gall to paint it black a few years ago!) So she came out here to live… 028

…and that meant my antique ironing board needed to be moved as well. And then a few of the small tables played musical chairs as well. And in the end, with a NEW look, we were all happy!


041 146

I still need to stencil the long wall that is part of the hallway.


It will go all the way down the hall…


.. and all the way back to the stairs.


I hope to have the time for that soon.

I did finish the stenciling above the chair rail in the hall though. That only took about 90 minutes one morning and didn’t require a step stool or moving lots of furniture. It is a much smaller stencil but the design is made up of the same shapes as the bigger stencil that will be on the wall near the ceiling so they coordinate well. I don’t know who made this stencil or the name because it too was an OLD one that I have had it for many years and it has no printed packaging.


I know I will get many questions about where to find stencils, so I’ll refer you this OLD post ~HERE~ from last summer when I stenciled the dining room and gave some resources. And although I am not a trained expert, I did do a stenciling tutorial for what it is worth ~HERE~. It really is not hard at all if you follow some simple guidelines! So go for it! I saw this quote today and it is so true. “Whether you believe you can do something or you believe you cannot do something, you are right!”

Believe in yourself!


During this busy time, something very excited happened! The wholesale orders for the NEW magazine were shipped and now the subscriptions are being mailed!! WOOHOO!!

Kristine shipped a few boxes to Bonnie for some of the personal appearances we are going to be doing this fall (more about those soon!). Doesn’t she look beyond excited??!!!


So of course Mr. Red Door and I drove the 45 minutes to her home and I came home with some. Oh I wish I could share every page with you!

This is Bonnie’s gorgeous daughter Ashley. She is also a photographer for the magazine. She is the most charming, sweet young lady and I have so enjoyed getting to know her. It has been my pleasure to have her shooting homes along side Bonnie and I.


Sometimes I still have to pinch myself that this is real. From the first time I heard about the plans to start the NEW magazine up until now, it has been to exciting!! And I thank you for all the support and kind works as this was coming to be. I feel I should explain my role in this wonderful NEW primitive magazine since I think there is some misconception. I am not a business partner nor do I make any of the business decisions. When it was still in the early planning stages, I volunteered my help in whatever way I was needed. So though I am committed to helping Kristine and Bonnie in my limited free time with scouting homes, shooting homes, promoting the magazine and writing articles, I certainly cannot take any of the credit for the layout, styling, pictures chosen, articles used, etc. Most of that credit goes to Kristine, the editor. And even though many others submitted articles and photos, she really deserves a huge pat on the back for this premier issue.

The response has been overwhelming and Kristine has placed an order for more magazines so she is extending the deadline to start your subscription with the fall issue. Click ~HERE~ for info on ordering subscriptions, placing a wholesale order, how to advertise in the next issue and for a link to the primitive shops that will be carrying the magazine.



Today has been a little bittersweet for me. I had lunch with my dear friend Jenn before she moves to California. BOOHOO!! Jenn and I met when we both did volunteer work for a cancer organization. We met online and found out we lived just minutes from each other! Even though she is much younger than me (in other words, not as OLD) and she is not prim, we still just hit it off and have enjoyed card making and shopping and lunch out many times over the last few years. It was not an easy decision to move all the way across the country and I know she has some trepidation about it while being excited at the same time. I am happy she and her family have this NEW opportunity, but I will miss her dearly. Jenn makes some of the cutest cards you have ever seen. You can see them on her blog ~HERE~.

After saying goodbye to her, I came inside and this was in an email from another dear friend. It was no coincidence that it came today. If you read to the end, you’ll see what I mean!

“I grew up with practical parents. A mother, God love her, who washed aluminum foil after she cooked in it, then reused it. She was the original recycle queen, before they had a name for it. A father who was happier getting old shoes fixed than buying new ones. Their marriage was good, their dreams focused. Their best friends lived barely a wave away.

I can see them now, Dad in trousers, tee shirt and a hat and Mom in a house dress, lawn mower in one hand, and dish-towel in the other. It was the time for fixing things. A curtain rod, the kitchen radio, screen door, the oven door, the hem in a dress. Things we keep.

It was a way of life, and sometimes it made me crazy.. All that re-fixing, eating, renewing, I wanted just once to be wasteful. Waste meant affluence. Throwing things away meant you knew there'd always be more.

But then my mother died, and on that clear summer's night, in the warmth of the hospital room, I was struck with the pain of learning that sometimes there isn't any more.

Sometimes, what we care about most gets all used up and goes away...never to return. So... while we have it..... it's best we love it.... and care for it... and fix it when it's broken......... and heal it when it's sick.

This is true for marriage....... and old cars..... and children with bad report cards..... and dogs with bad hips.... and aging parents..... and grandparents. We keep them because they are worth it, because we are worth it.

Some things we keep. Like a best friend that moved away or a classmate we grew up with. There are just some things that make life important, like people we know who are special........ and so, we keep them close! Good friends are like stars.... You don't always see them, but you know they are always there. Keep them close.”

Jenn I wish you, Jeremy, Cass and Trevor a safe journey across this gorgeous country we live in, and a wonderful NEW life in California. I might not always get to see you, but I will always know you are there my friend! PEACE!

And to my NEW and OLD fans, friends and followers, thank you for stopping by!

Warm Prim hugs, Grammee Linda