When in Doubt, Paint it! A Quickie Paint Pick-Me-Up and Rearrange for the Front Porch.

The front porch has been bugging me for awhile now, so I got off my lazy duff and did something about it this weekend. I’d been meaning to paint the tables on the porch white since finding them (yes, they are both Freebee Alley Finds!) to blend them in with the other porch furniture and trim. TIP: How do you make a bunch of stuff that really doesn’t go together work? Paint them all the same color!

Here are the BEFORE Pics:

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I transformed the tables with less than 2 cans of spray paint, well under $10. I used Rustolium 2X gloss white. (I actually like the aged, worn and rusted look of the 4 folding chairs, so I didn’t paint them. They are real French antiques, not reproductions, and I love them. A fabulous yard sale find I’ve had for over a decade.)

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After the paint dried, I spent some time moving all the furniture around for a new arrangement, and settled on the table and chairs being centered under the chandelier and the tall table in the corner. It feels much more welcoming now, and suits our grand old Victorian house. I also added an old (cheap) rug that was gathering dust in the garage. I do plan on fixing and painting the concrete floor of the porch eventually, but this helps for now.

AFTER:

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At the last minute I added a little side table from the house to the right side, and now it feels complete. Ready for Summer!

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What house projects did you tackle this weekend? Tell me about it in the Leave a Reply/Comments Section.

The Happiest Happy Hours in Denver, a Series: Searching for the Best Deals in Town. Part 1: City O’ City

It’s no secret I’m a big fan of Happy Hour. Especially quality Happy Hour, where you get actual FOOD, not some little sample bite on a tiny plate, and serious drink specials, not just on crappy beer and well drinks. Today is the start of a New Series on the Year of Living Fabulously, this one just for Denverites, where I will attempt to ferret out the Best Happy Hours in Town ( the Best in my opinion, anyway ;-) )

Part 1: City O’ City

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Photo courtesy of Pure Presence Photography

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Being a vegetarian (ok, a Pescatarian if I’m being totally honest) I’ve always been a big fan of City O’ City. Seriously delicious food, fresh and creative, in a fun, artsy-hipster atmosphere. But where they really get me is Happy Hour. A very generous Happy Hour indeed (2-6pm & 11pm-1am Every Day!) where actual plates of real food are on special (not microscopic mouthfuls that just leave you hungry) and everything behind the bar is $2 off. There may not be a lot of food on special, but some of my all-time favorites are (the Buffalo seitan wings are good enough to convert a hard-core carnivore, and the poutine is a big plateful of melt-y gravy goodness on fresh french fries…ok now I’m drooling). Because every possible libation in the place is discounted, you can have whatever you want! Bonus: the well liqueur here is definitely decent. I can get my favorite Summer-time cocktail, a vodka tonic, for $2. Yes, you read that right, $2! My man and I try to come for happy hour once a week. We can both stuff our faces and each enjoy a cocktail for about $16 total. You can’t beat that with a stick.

City O’ City

206 e 13th ave

Denver, co 80203

Tel: 303.831.6443

http://www.cityocitydenver.com

It’s time for FABULOUS FINDS! It’s been a Great Summer for Designer Thrift Store Finds so far…

I’ve been having a blast trolling for labels at the thrift store this Summer! Last week I scored a gorgeous Tadashi gown ($8.99), 2 silk Nanette Lepore tops ($4.99 each), a Diane Von Furstenberg cocktail dress ($8.99), and 2 pairs of Tori Burch flats ($6.99 each)! How do I pay for all my thrifting fun you ask? Well I sell many of my finds on Ebay to support my habit. I’ve added the links to the pictures below.

tadashifront2Tadashi Shimmering Black Gown ( http://www.ebay.com/itm/121680037360?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l26490 )

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Nanette Lepore Silk Top ( http://www.ebay.com/itm/121679981503?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649 )

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Nanette Lepore Silk Top ( http://www.ebay.com/itm/121679987303?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649 )

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Diane Von Furstenberg Silk Cocktail Dress ( http://www.ebay.com/itm/121680022659?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649 )

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Tori Burch Ballet Flats (sold)

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Tori Burch Flats ( http://www.ebay.com/itm/121679890893?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649 )

It’s All About Style, a Shout-out to the Irrepressible New York Times Street-Style Photographer Bill Cunningham (Ie: Where I Get Much of My Style Inspiration)

Many of you may have heard of the delightfully humble style icon (and one of my personal heroes) Bill Cunningham. He’s not an icon because of his own style, but because of his uniquely talented eye. Mr Cunningham has been honing that skilled eye since 1978 as a now legendary NY Times fashion photographer. Bill is unique in that he takes photographs of ordinary people, socialites and fashion personalities every day on the streets of Manhattan (no pictures of celebrities here!), capturing the ever-changing trends and personal styles of the people of New York. This is the heart of style, showing what real people, not celebrities or paid stylists, are actually wearing on the streets. He has a way of uncovering and distilling the best of this street-style into a few well-curated images that capture perfectly the feeling and mood of the season and the people week by week. These stylish photos are printed up in the New York Times every Sunday, and much to my delight, they are also collected in a short and charming (and FREE) video, which is narrated by Bill himself, available to everyone online. See it HERE. I look forward to these charming slices of New York style every week, and they make for great inspiration! I’ve gotten some great ideas here and they always put a smile on my face. Do yourself a favor and watch a couple videos today.

Remember, you don’t have to have a lot of money to have great personal style! It’s all about finding what you love, what looks great on you, and having fun.

At 86, Bill Cunningham is still going strong, and I hope he will continue capturing style for many years to come. There is also a documentary on Mr. Cunningham called “Bill Cunningham New York”, available to watch on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon.

Bill Cunningham== ARTS CONNECTION 2012 Benefit Celebration Honoring MARK WAHLBERG and RICHARD KIRSHENBAUM== Skylight West, NYC== June 11, 2012== ©Patrick McMullan== Photo - CLINT SPAULDING/PatrickMcMullan.com== ==

Bill Cunningham
Photo Credit- CLINT SPAULDING

It’s time for FABULOUS FINDS! Featuring Dolce & Gabbana, Vivienne Westwood and Nanette Lepore!

It’s time for another edition of Fabulous Finds! I’ve unearthed more delightful treasures from my favorite thrift store over the last couple of weeks. First off is this lovely pair of gold metallic heels in very good condition from Dolce and Gabbana! For $8.99! Yee haw, what a steal. Since I already possess a beautiful pair of gold metallic heels (Jimmy Choo! But that’s for another exciting episode ;-) I am selling this pair on ebay to help pay for my other treasures. You can see the listing here:  http://www.ebay.com/itm/121657032070?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649

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Next up are these super-fun metallic gunmetal-color rubber heels by Vivienne Westwood. They are so funky, I love them! And surprisingly very comfortable. Only $9.95!

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Last but not least is this darling silver rain coat from Nanette Lepore. So cute, and a mere $8.99! This new addition to my wardrobe is getting lots of use with all the rain we’ve been having lately…

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I’d love to hear about your great designer thrifting finds! Tell me about them in the “Reply/Leave a Comment” section.

Artist House Tour: Marie M. Vlasic and Jiva Armetta Create Design Harmony at Home

Our home has been featured in Westword!

Artist House Tour: Marie M. Vlasic and Jiva Armetta Create Design Harmony at Home

Here is the link to the article: http://www.westword.com/arts/artist-house-tour-marie-m-vlasic-and-jiva-armetta-create-design-harmony-at-home-6631496

Lots of pictures of the house and artsy Q & A with yours truly. Here are some teaser images:

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Me and my Man Our Living Room.

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The Glam Rock Star Bedroom, with Pugs.

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My Art Studio.

There are lots more pics at the link above. Thanks to Jeanne Connolly for the article, and Anthony Camera for the great photos.

Actually, a lot has changed in the house since these photos were taken. (for instance, we are almost done with a total revamp of the living room), and I’ll be posting all the changes and details here soon. Be sure and subscribe to this blog so you won’t miss a thing!

Fun Space-age Faux Fur Chair DIY Make-over on a Found 60’s Chair, plus Furry Ottomans!

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I had a lot of fun with this one! A neighbor who moved left this awesome chair behind. It needed some work, but hey, it was FREE!

This is what it looked like BEFORE:

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Apparently someone’s dog had made a meal out of the legs, so my first step was to fix them.

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After sanding all the wood, I used Magic Sculpt to fill in the nibbled bits on the legs. Then more sanding after the Magic Sculpt dried.

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Then I sprayed them with a white gloss paint (primer and paint in one, about 3 coats).

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After the paint dried thoroughly, it was time to get furry! I used a long-pile Mongolian-style faux fur from Distinctive Fabric, combining white and black. Usually I would use a staple gun, but faux fur loves hot glue, it holds the fur like nothing else. Do be sure about your placement, as you will not be able to separate the fur once it dries. And of course, be very careful. Hot glue burns are no fun. Have a bowl of ice water on hand just in case, it really helps if you do burn yourself. I used an old screwdriver to push the fur into the cracks to avoid burns.

furchairbefore  furchairseat

I did the seat first, measuring and cutting the fur in place on the chair. You’ll want to pull the fur away from the backing when you are cutting as much as possible to avoid cutting into too much of the long pile. Fair warning, faux fur is really messy! It will cover everything, including you, so dress appropriately.

furchairglueing

The gluing was actually pretty easy, it just took some time. I worked in about 6-inch sections, laying the glue, pulling the fur into place and pushing down to stick it into the fur well. The great thing about faux fur is, the longer stuff covers a multitude of sins, so even a bit of a messy job will look great. And be sure and have a lot of glue sticks on hand, I used about ten long ones.

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For the upper part of the chair, I pinned the fur into place and then glued it.

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And it’s done! What a mess. My pug Max doesn’t seem to mind.

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Here it is in the living room. Next up, the furry ottomans…

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This was an easy one. I was tired of the boring black storage ottomans, so I used a staple gun to give them matching faux fur tops. This time I didn’t use the hot glue so I have the option of easily removing the fur in the future if I want.

Here they are BEFORE:

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I just removed the tops and stapled fur under the lids. Easy-peasy.

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And here they are! The pugs love them.

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