Behind My Red Door

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

My Summer Vacation


Do you take a vacation in the summer? Now that our kids are long out of the house, Mr. Red Door and I prefer to take our vacations when the weather is cooler. In fact MUCH cooler than the 100+ degrees we had last week. But I got to take a mini vacation this summer and it was a much needed respite from the stresses of life. I think most people in this position realize that as rewarding as it is to be in the position to help your parents in their time of need, we also need to take time for ourselves. My sister and I are careful to cover for each other in this way. She went to Disney for a week and I had a short break last week.

Long before my mom’s diabetes diagnosis my dear friend Jill had plans to travel home to Maine with Jim and their wee dog Sasha to see their families and then stop here and stay with us for 4 days on the way back to SC. There was only one problem with her trip ~ I think she brought the extreme heat and humidity with her! Boy it was HOT! 100+ two days and the high 90’s the other two. You know how much I enjoy the heat ~ NOT~ but that didn’t dampen our plans none the less!

Because there is very little prim shopping in her area, that was one of her two requests while she was here. And did we ever shop! She had a list of the stores she wanted to visit and I drove her to them. Two days in a row we were on the road as she checked off things on her MUST BRING HOME list. She could barely close the doors and trunk on her car when they left here! And since it was my summer vacation ~ minus hotel and meals costs ~ I took home some treasures as well. It’s no secret I have been on a mission to get back to a more colonial feel in my home and to that end, I am very pleased with my newest treasures and tweaking that resulted.

Three guesses (and the first two don’t count) on what was on the top of my list. YUP….002

…some by Pied Potter Hamelin … LOVE Rick’s work….011

..and I will actually be able to use the creamer and sugar because they are lead free. 009

This piece is by Stephen Earp….032

The jug on the dry sink…055…and the plate on the center shelf below are by the potters at Old Sturbridge Village. The museum shop carries many pieces and the prices are reasonable and the purchase helps support the village.011

This little folk art sheep made out of old textiles…029…and my new chair came from Homestead Primitives in Fitchburg, MA. They are having a sale until they close at the end of the day on Saturday July 30th for a month. 40% off upholstered and wooden furniture. Yes, you heard that right… 40% off. Now you know why this chair just had to come home with me! 009

And I just love this gorgeous sconce! Jill spotted it behind some other things in another store and I knew it was just what I needed for this spot. 016

I was plum broke after that but Jill was like the energizer bunny, she kept going and going and going. We had such fun with her last purchase, this yellowware chamber pot. I spotted it and wanted it but like I said, I was done, so she took it home. I will still get to enjoy it though, it will be placed on the bench at the foot of the bed in MY room at her house. photo

On Friday, we had a brunch here with our friends Laurie and Audrey, two of the gals she enjoyed visiting with when she lived up north still. Then she, Jim and Sasha put the last of her goodies in the trunk and headed home. It was a short but fun vacation break for me and being with a dear friend was just the perfect way to spend it. I will savor our time together forever.

It’s back to the grind this week. And thankfully for a short time at least the temps are lower. It won’t last long though so I am off to get some things done before I need to get my mom to one of her Drs appointments this week.


Today I am thankful for:

The slow steady rains we had enjoyed yesterday.

The cool temps overnight.

My generous and hard working hubby.

The pharmacy clerk who helped with my mom’s prescription mix up.

The end of the football lockout. Not for the overpaid players, but for the thousands of other workers in the concession stands, gift shops, field workers etc. who might not have a paycheck otherwise.


Thanks so much for stopping by my blog today. I hope wherever you are, you get much needed rains and more comfortable temperatures and a summer break as well!

Prim blessings and hugs, Linda

Monday, July 18, 2011

A quiz and giving credit where it is due!


Are you ready for a quiz??

If you are then look at this picture closely…062

Now tell me what is the biggest change in this next picture…016

If you guessed the shutters you are correct so pat yourself on the back!

For some time now I have been trying to find a way to make colonial looking shutters and get rid of that large expanse of brown wood on the huge expanse of window that plagues the living room. There are 5 of those ugly windows and 10 shutters. You rarely ever see a picture with the entire sofa and window span because it is ugly and with a southern exposure ALL day, ALL year, it is a big challenge for me. The existing shutters were the perfect footprint, just not the perfect design. After 20 something years, they didn’t stay closed in either direction and they just weren’t my style anymore.  I took the old shutters off the windows. I single handedly removed each and every louver in all 10 of the shutters. Go back to that first picture and see how many louvers are in each shutter. By the time I was done, I was so good at it, I  could karate chop a brick!

Well maybe not.

Next I measured the opening created and had my DH cut 10 rectangles of thin luan wood slightly larger than the opening . Then I had him cut 4 pieces of trim for each shutter as well. I choose strips of lattice because it is flat and square and would match up nicely so he didn’t have to deal with mitered corners. He and miters are not friends.  His wood cutting time was about an hour. He then spent the rest of the weekend golfing while I did the rest of the project. I am  just sayin….018

Next, I sanded all that wood he cut and attached the rectangles of wood on the front of the shutter to cover  up all the opening left by each louver and the divot where the louver bar rested. Then I attached the 4 pieces of trim to each shutter – framing each piece of the new wood. Then while Mr. Red Door played 36 holes of golf, each shutter got 2+ coats of paint.  And when they were dry, I rehung them and viola!  I love the difference! 046 (2)

I already have plans to change the shutters in my office as well.014I just haven’t told Mr. Red Door just yet. Shh! It will be our secret for now!

I have done more even more tweaking here and there since I took those pictures and and I’ll share some of that with you as well. Some changes are minor and some, like the new paint color on the back of the bench…106


… and another Kathy Graybill tavern sign are more obvious.042

This wall is still a work in progress and really challenging me!!018 (2)


And more changes… wait – didn’t I just show you this corner? LOL Yup, right after I started this post a few days ago, I finished painting this wonderful shelf that was a gift from my friends Jill and Kathy and I hung it up all myself while Mr. Red Door was golfing. He is always willing to help, but sometimes I can’t wait! So I hung it up and it needed to be decorated and well, you know how that goes…011

…you change one thing and move another and before you know it, 10 place need tweaking.  My new candelabra didn’t fit well in front of the shelf…002

…so I put one of my jug lamps there instead. And I took the large redware platter off my big shelf over my settee…010

…and then THAT shelf needed tweaking. 016

And then of course I needed to move my candelabra but it didn’t look good on the dry sink that was here.032

And truth be known, I have had plans to move the dry sink to my bedroom anyway!  I am just waiting for a blanket chest I am having made for this spot. I won’t be getting that until I go to SC in November but I decided to move the dry sink to my bedroom now anyway (maybe ONE  room can get finished) and this little cupboard will fill in until the blanket chest comes home with me. The blanket chest will be a big bigger but this gives me a good idea of how nice a solid piece will look there. 022

By the way, are you keeping track of all of this because I just might need to quiz you again.041

So the living room was all coming together nicely…020

..until I got my package in the mail from Circa Living today. I had ordered a larger plate for the shelf so I could put the smaller one back in the dining room where it came from. 020

And the mustard candles went here and I put the green ones back in the dining room too. The dining room is happy now. By the way, you can visit Circa Home Living by clicking ~here~! Noel and Verge choose the nicest pieces to sell!  011Now I am done in there for awhile.

I think.

Did I tell you that Jill is coming tomorrow for 4 days and we are going shopping. I am just sayin…

The dining room needs some more work but I am happy with this corner looking into the kitchen. 121

I did a bunch of tweaking in the kitchen too and when Mr. Red Door admired the finished shutters I told him that the kitchen cabinets would look WONDERFUL in the same color and I would do all the work myself066

..and as you can see, it didn’t work. Phooey! 075

When I went to Walker Homestead’s Simple Treasures of the Past show in June, I picked up the two marbled redware pieces I had ordered from Rick Hamelin of Pied Potter Hamelin redware.058

I wanted lead free food safe jars for my counter.  I just love these! To go to Rick’s  website, click ~HERE~. Rick and his wife Garine will be at the show in September so make your wish list now! Mine is growing! 026

More tweaking…057



This is just for Kris and Audrey…here is the dry sink in the master bedroom along with the blanket crane that used to be in the living room. 035

I also took home the little plate on the top shelf and the little bowl on the bottom shelf from Rick and Garine’s booth at Walker Homestead and they live in my bedroom now. Yes, my list for the next show is growing…161


Outside My Red Door, we enjoyed the hatching of 10 more ducklings. Momma took them to the brook shortly after they were born as she always does but the next evening we noticed them back at the nest. They were all wet and Momma was acting rather frantic. We know that once they are born, they don’t usually come back to the nest and it wasn’t until the next day that our neighbor told us he had  scooped them out of his in ground pool!  He saw Momma duck lead them all in but the ducklings could not get out. Luckily George saw them and using his skimmer,  he rescued them. Why Momma did that when the brook is right there and why she then took them back to the nest is a puzzle to us. We haven’t seen them since but it sure was a treat to have her hatch 2 broods here this year!  007


I always say this is not my dream home but where our dreams come true.  And this week, it became OUR home in every sense of the word when Mr. Red Door paid off our mortgage years ahead of schedule! WOOHOO!!!!!  We could have done it years ago, but everyone knows that he has spread sheets for things like this.  And he had it figured out to the day and to the penny when it was no longer fiscally smart to keep the mortgage and Tuesday was the day. My man may not be able to handle a miter cut but he can manage a multi million dollar spread sheet down to the penny and that’s no exaggeration!  Unfortunately the millions aren’t ours!  Shucks!  So while you all know that that I we don’t always agree on painting wood, I want to give credit where it is due because I am blessed that my wonderful husband has taken such good care of his family and all that time I have always known that he was planning ahead for our senior years as well. No mortgage will just add to that security. Now if it were up to me, I'd put that money each month into an account for ME to spend on redware, pewter, antiques and more, but something tells me he will want to stick it in our retirement account. And truth be told, I am glad he will! 


And before I go, I really need to give more credit where credit is due. I got so many wonderful comments and emails after the last post about A Primitive Place and Country Journal’s anniversary issue and I appreciate every single one of them. But I need to clarify that the magazine is no way MY magazine. I know it may seem different because I am one of the more visible faces of the magazine, but I only play a small part in it’s huge success. I came aboard after it was conceived and already in the works, at first as just a friend helping friends and then later as a part time employee. I am not in charge of it in any way, shape or form. I have always worked hard to help promote it and share it with everyone because I wanted to help friends achieve success for their magazine. And because I love primitive decorating and I love sharing it with everyone. I love meeting homeowners and shopkeepers who share this passion. I love sharing their homes and shops with you and readers of the magazine. As you can tell by now I am not shy so sharing this passion just comes naturally to me. The fact that it eventually turned into a part time job that brings me a little bit of pocket money occasionally is just a bonus. I am very blessed that I can fit it in around my families needs – because my family always comes first.

So again,  thank you for all the wonderful sentiments but they need to be shared with the Editor and Publisher Kristine ~ who does so much of the work herself ~ along with the rest of the other dedicated and very hard working employees. You can see all their names and positions on the APP blog. 


Jill, Jim and their dog will be arriving here tomorrow so I best post this and get to some last minute things.

Today I am thankful for some things that bear repeating:

This roof over our heads that is all ours!

I can’t say it often enough – our window a/c units (as ugly as they are!)

Reliable electricity. Thank you SELCO!

Peapod grocery delivery

My wonderful family

and all of you that come by and make Behind My Red Door part of your day. I appreciate you!

Prim blessings and hugs, Linda


Monday, July 11, 2011

A very special sneak peek at the fall issue….

Tonight on Facebook, and on the APP blog,  A Primitive Place unveiled some sneak peeks at the fall issue – and some big news! I have copied the news as written by the Editor Kristine Berg-Doss into this blog post. I hope you enjoy!

Cover photo from the home of Loretta and Ray Spiak. "Its a WonderFall Life" written by Dan Weaver.

Photography by Linda Rudman.

Fall 2011 Issue

With this issue, we commemorate the one year anniversary of A Primitive Place magazine! To celebrate, we have incorporated some exciting new changes! The first change that you may have noticed already is the addition of Country Journal to our name. We are very excited about the new name, the new look and the additional content. A Primitive Place & Country Journal will be what A Primitive Place was plus more! We have added more pages to an already great magazine!
With the addition of the new name, we have added a new section. In our new Homesteading section, we will be offering practical advice on gardening, food, health, saving money and overall, ways to achieve a simpler way of life, for both the urban and country lifestyle. In this issue you will read about canning & stocking your pantry, the history of the butter churn, how to make homemade butter, harvesting & freezing apples, using coupons to save money & “The Homesteader’s Journal.” In this issue, the article in “The Homesteader’s Journal is entitled “River Cats: Reeling on the Red.” We will feature a different story or showcase a special event in each issue that will be directed a little bit more towards the men out there.


Home of Loretta and Ray Spiak "It's a WonderFall Life" Written by Dan Weaver.

Photography by Linda Rudman.


Home of David & Lana Testa "Falling for Primitives" Written by Dan Weaver.

Photography by Linda Rudman.


Home of Maria Cardillo and John Nealon. "A Cornucopia of Primitives" Written by Dan Weaver.

Photography by Linda Rudman.


Home of Cathy Liddell "The Power of a Pioneering Spirit" Written by Jeremy A. Doss.

Photography by Linda Rudman


Home of Karen Gerhart "A Colonial Transformation" Written by Dan Weaver.

Photography by Karen Gerhart


Garden Sheds. Photography by Linda Rudman


Special Feature: Ghoultide Gathering "A Halloween Artist Spectacular"

And here is a little additional sneak peek…

THE 5th in The APP Collector Series
Percy, our " Not So Scary" Scarecrow, stands 11" tall. He is a great addition to your fall decor. A grungy gourd head, a flannel coat with handcrafted stars and a hand dyed mustard cheesecloth hat give him such a folky look, that you just might want to leave him out all year long! The only thing he is scared about, is that someone might take his new fall issue of A Primitive Place Magazine! Each is handmade by the artist Lana Testa of Winterberry Primitives with our original design.

It is going to be a great issue and you don’t want to miss out on it!


Things are crazy busy Behind My Red Door lately but I did have make time to do a pretty decent project this past weekend. My online time has been cut drastically with all the time I spend driving back and forth to my folks house. On top of that, next week Jill arrives for 4 days with Jim and their dog Sasha, so I have to turn Lili’s playroom into a guest suite this weekend. But I still hope to have time to share my project with you soon! Thanks so much for stopping by!!

Until then, prim blessings and hugs, Linda