Hi there, and welcome to Red Barn, a blog with oodles of creative and fun ideas for design-savvy parents and kids! We hope you find our Merry Menagerie of Style inspiring, helpful, imaginative, beautiful, smart, quirky, clever, silly, and yummy, with a dash of cheekiness and whimsy added for good measure.
So come and join our extravaganza of style and fun! Say hi to the girls on your way in the barn… Meet Wilma (black face) and Mabel (white face). Frannie is to the left of Wilma (just outside the photo) and looks just like her.
You might run into some of our cats. Here’s some help with knowing which one is which:
- Cleona (the loft cat except when she’s parked in front of someone’s computer)
- Rose (3-color, just tries to stay out of every other cat’s way)
- Sophie (Marty’s closet cat, hates Rose)
- Felix (gray-and-white kitty)
- Miss Kitty (gray kitty)
- O-SOBE (Other Son of Booger, longhair black)
- Tuxedo (black-and-white shorthair)
- Charlie (after Chaplin, black-and-white shorthair with black mustache)
- Yellow Fellow (cream-colored longhair from who knows where)
Can you guess which cats these are?
Several laying hens also call Red Barn home.
Who else might you meet, you ask? Well have a look below to meet our editors and staff. They’re an eclectic bunch for sure! Check out our general weekly schedule too, and plan to see lots more fun added here and there.
A lover of “things that tell stories,” Associate Publisher and Creative Director Suzanne Gibbs Taylor has a myriad of collections, including vintage Thermoses, books, games, advertising collectibles and cowboy boots. An admirer of the creative spirit inherent in natural, handmade things—whether vintage, rustic, primitive, or new—Suzanne enjoys creating and building unique, rustic pieces using interesting color palettes. She also loves transforming homes, porches and rooms using existing items. “It all starts with moving things around,” she shares, along with, “Everything looks better en masse.” Suzanne lived in Texas, Michigan, Ohio, New Jersey, Idaho and Oregon before moving with her husband and two sons to Layton, Utah, fifteen years ago. Her favorite adage is, “when all else fails, add red,” and she loves the energy of Pantone 711.
Madge Baird has been at Gibbs Smith since 1974. Currently she is managing editor for trade and oversees the home reference and cooking lines. She is also the zookeeper, wrangling Red Barn’s menagerie of sheep, laying hens, and cats; she’s very grateful to have regular assistance from some of her coworkers. On the home front, Madge tends more cats, chickens, bees and a large garden. She’s the sole proprietor of Farmgirl Produce, a small farmer’s market business. She has written three cookbooks: 101 Things to Do With Rotisserie Chicken, 200 Soups, and 101 Things to Do With Apples. She plans to die with her (mucking) boots on.
As editorial production manager, Melissa Dymock is the one behind the scenes no one ever meets and who makes the books look pretty. When she isn’t designing, editing, reading or writing, she’s up on the ski slopes chasing the powder. During the summer, she water skis on that same snow now melted and competes in the occasional triathlon when she’s feeling particularly crazy. Learn about her outdoor adventures on her blog, Weekend Woman Warrior.
At work, Renee Bond is primarily a production editor, which means she tweaks book layouts to please editors and authors, along with myriad small tasks that get books ready for the printer. Having grown up in a family of electronic engineers, she also has the know-how to bend her computer to her bidding, which she uses to create digital products and speed up tedious tasks. Currently her main focus is learning to be a good mom to her tiny daughter, which you can read about in detail in Red Barn’s New Mommy Madness feature on Thursdays. With luck and generous support from her wonderful husband, she hopes to also fit in some time for her hobbies of live theater, fantasy stories and dressing up for any kind of excuse or occasion.
Editor Bob Cooper is passionate about baseball, comic books, mid-twentieth-century American history, classic science fiction, global politics and the dream of world peace, the decline of common sense, and the proper use of the serial comma, and is still looking for the perfect project to bring all those interests together. He revels in uncovering bits of mundane minutiae, and was tickled to discover, for instance, that one of his favorite Golden Age comic artists, Reed Crandall, was a cousin to Harrison R. Crandall, the first official photographer of Grand Teton National Park. The San Francisco Giants’ two world championships in the last three years have brought him that much closer to nirvana, but he’s still hoping for that elusive world peace.
A self-proclaimed geek of aliens, zombies and sci-fi, Hollie Keith’s other obsessions include her family, classic literature, textiles, surface pattern design, crafting and cooking. And lots of books! You might not think these worlds could ever collide and make sense, but they do—sometimes at four in the morning while on the computer or watching TV, sometimes trekking to dusty antiques or fabric shops with her kids in tow, and sometimes while whipping up “test kitchen” creations for which her loving husband and kiddos are guinea pigs. Hollie is senior editor and blog coordinator for Gibbs Smith and enjoys the mix ’n’ match of vintage and modern design and is a fan of Herman Miller, Alexander Girard, House Industries, Vitra, Orla Kiely and Helen Dardik. You can also catch Hollie at her craft blog, Little Miss Marmalade.
Here are some fun photos of the rest of Red Barn’s menagerie.
Family Fun: Activities
Little Red Hen feature—Get inspiration/wisdom/how-to/advice on family and life
Craftsy Kids feature—Vanessa of See Vanessa Craft visits us every second Tuesday of the month
I Made This feature—Kids can share their fabulous works of art
Family Fun: Party + Entertaining
- Sara of Confetti Sunshine is here every second Wednesday of the month
- Kim of the Celebration Shoppe shares with us every third Wednesday of the month
Cool Spaces + Decor
- Jill of Baby Rabies stops by every fourth Wednesday of the month
New Mommy Madness feature—Red Barn editor and resident new mom Rene Bond shares the challenges and joys of being a parent
French Lesson Friday feature—Be tres chic by learning a little French from fun illustrations by artist Anke Weckmann of Linotte
- Krista of Budget Gourmet Mom cooks up something for us every second and fourth Friday of the month