Holiday Decorating 2014, Part 4 of 4…Outside…It’s a Multi-Colored Good-Time Christmas, on a Serious Budget.

Here it is Part 4 of the 4-part Holiday 2014 Decorating Series…Outside! Firstly, allow me to apologize for the picture quality. I use my iPhone and it just takes crappy low-light pics. Below are pictures taken both a dusk and after dark.

I changed things up a bit outside this year, as I managed to accumulate a decent amount of multicolor light strings over the last couple of years and decided to change the front to all multicolored. Every one of these light strings came from the thrift store, many of them new in the box, and most of them only a couple bucks. That amazing lit garland over the porch? The one with all the ornaments and multicolor LED’s? Believe it or not, someone threw it away! That, along with the lit wreath on the door, were found in a near-by alley. (This garland was inside on the stairs last year.) The tree in the yard was our old Christmas tree before we upgraded to the big one we have now. The tree next to the front door was yet another fabulous alley find. All the pine cones are leftover from previous years. The only new things are some assorted pine boughs I bought, which are in the pots and along the porch’s half-wall where the bubble lights are (yes, even those were found at the thrift store.)

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Next up, the 2014 Holiday Video!

Unique Christmas Holiday Decorating, Part 3, Other Spaces…

Happy Holidays people! It’s time for the third installment of the 2014 Holiday Decor, Other Spaces! In Part 1 & Part 2  you saw the entry and main room, now for those little touches of the holiday season in other rooms of the house.

The Kitchen.

I’ve been looking for the right place to display these sweet handmade ornaments my friend Gina made, and finally figured out the perfect spot in the kitchen. I found a fun way to cover up the nails with these colorful kids plastic magnet letters spelling out “XMAS”. They are simply hung on the nails, but a dot of glue from the hot glue gun would hold the letters more securely in place. (My friend Gina also made the ceramic chicken plate on the wall, and the rest of the art above the molding is some my old painted polymer clay art work. The colorful dimensional painting below the molding is a $10 thrift store find.)

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The Living Room.

This room is a tad more modern and funky than the rest of the house, and this hot pink tree fits it perfectly. This is one of those things that is the same every year (so far.) See the DIY on those chairs here. (The painting on the right is by Sandi Calistro.)

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The Master Bedroom.

I like to have just a little Holiday touch in the bedroom for us to enjoy. This is new (well, recycled) this year. All the bits were on a little fake white tree I’d had for years that just wasn’t looking so hot anymore, so I took all of the bits off and tossed the tree. I strung up the sparkly garland over the mirror and hung some of the ornaments from that, and put all the round ornaments in a silver dish. It’s subtle and elegant and suits the bedroom well.

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That’s it for the inside of the house! Next time, Part 4: the Outside. (And I promise a Holiday Decor Video soon as well!)

Elegant, Unique, and Sorta Victorian Holiday Decorating, Part 2, Christmas in the Main Room.

Welcome to Part 2 of my yearly Holiday Decorating series, the Main Room! This is the room we go all-out in. It’s in the front of the house and can be seen from the sidewalk, and is where we wind up doing the majority of the entertaining, so it’s where most of the madness happens for every holiday.

I really didn’t add anything new, just a couple odds and ends I picked up at the thrift store since last season and some new glittered ribbons. If anything I actually toned it down a bit from last year. I do like to change it up a bit every year, using things in different spaces and in different ways, leaving some things in storage, and finding new goodies from my “stash” of supplies to add to the mix. Moving things around is the key to keeping it fresh and fun.

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Coming into the main room from the entry.

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To the right as you walk in the room.

I kept it simple here, using the ornamental cabbage I already had in the white pots for Thanksgiving and adding in my old pine cones and purple balls. Nothing fancy, everything is just sitting in the pot.

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Going counter-clockwise around the room, next comes the bookcase. I simply added some pine boughs to the purple glass vase collection that live there most of the year as well as a couple candles. I hung our stocking (it’s just the two of us big kids so we share one) on the book shelve this year, and put a pine branch behind it. I still love this wacky stocking. I found it years ago at the thrift store.

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Next comes the mantle. It is very similar to last year, just toned down a bit. I used fresh mixed pine boughs instead of the faux garland and added in a new gold glitter ribbon. It has an Old World feel that I really like.

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Daytime mantle.

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Mantle at night.

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Display case to the left of the mantle.

I had some fun creating a little vignette in the display case to the left of the mantle. I put monochromatic ornaments in the glass jars (the same ones that had candy in them for Halloween) and added a little purple light-up tree from the thrift store, some purple glittered ribbon, and a few pine cones. I also added some fresh pine greens and cones around the candle on the little stool in front of the case.

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Next comes the tree. Again, it is very similar to last year, just toned down a bit. The one new addition is the teal ostrich feathers (the same ones I used on the stairs.) I still love our Bohemian India-Asia themed tree with all it’s feathers and unusual ornaments. I do want to get more of the glittered ribbon to add to it.

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Here are a few more shots of the room. I’m very happy with it this year!

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One of my favorite things, the giant gold ornaments hung from the chandelier (purchased at the thrift store a couple years ago).

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Looking into the main room from the living room.

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Next time in part 3, the funky stuff in the Other Spaces!

Elegant, Unique & Sorta Victorian Holiday Decorating (On the Cheap of Course), Part 1 of 4: the Entry

The Holiday decorating is finally done! It only took me 3 days this year ;-) I really didn’t add anything new, just a couple odds and ends I picked up at the thrift store since last season and some new glittered ribbons. I do like to change it up a bit every year, using things in different spaces and in different ways, leaving some things in storage, and finding new goodies from my “stash” of supplies to add to the mix. Moving things around is the key to keeping it fresh and fun.

Today for Part 1 I’ll share the Entry Way. (The Main Room, the Outside, and Other Spaces are coming to the blog soon!)

I actually toned it down considerably from last year, when I had the stairs done in ornament-packed multicolor garland (which is now outside, you’ll see it soon!) This year, I stuck with my jewel-toned decor and just made a few subtle changes. I still used my favorite decorating trick, peacock feathers (sooo cheap and what a great visual impact! Find them in bulk on Ebay), but added some dyed teal ostrich feathers left over from a big party decorating job I did a couple years ago, as well as a new wired purple glitter ribbon I fell in love with.

Instead of adding tons of feathers all up and down the garland like I usually do, I just used them in groupings at the newel posts and center point. They are simply tucked into the garland (this is the same garland I’ve been using for about 7 years now, purchased half-off at Target the day after Christmas.) At the bottom of the stairs I also added a couple of strings of big purple Mardi Gras beads from my supply stash that I acquired from a party years ago. The new purple glitter ribbon is simply added on top and held in place by the wired garland.

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The view upon entering the front door.

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A closer look at the stairs. That’s one of our Dogvacay guest dogs, Cleo the Weimeraner, towards the top of the steps.

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Here’s a close-up of the newel post. Yes, that is a taxidermy peacock “Herman” to the right, one of my most prized possessions. He “lives” there year-round.

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This is at the bottom of the stairs, just to the left of the front door. The big lamp is simply adorned with a bit of gold glittered ribbon (I used more of it in the main room) and a sprig of fresh pine. In the mirror is a “sneak-preview” of the Main Room, coming to the blog next!

Fall Fabulous Thrifted Fashion, or Yes You CAN Look Great in Clothes from the Thrift Store!

It’s time for a fun fashion post! As my regular readers know, I’m all about the thrifting, and find great designer clothes all the time at the thrift store. This week it’s admittedly not all from the thrift store, just mostly. I’m trying to do more of these little fashion posts so you can see it is actually possible to look great in thrifted clothes! And…how about a fashion blog for the over-40-and-not-a-freaking-size-0 set? Can I get an “Amen”? :-)

This week we had a post-Thanksgiving outing the the Museum of Contemporary Art for the Mark Mothersbaugh exhibit here in Denver. This is what I wore:

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Top: Banana Republic black silk blend 3/4 sleeve turtleneck, $3.99 Goodwill

Jacket: Charcoal gray fitted jean jacket by DKNY, $6.99 Goodwill

Skirt: Leopard print and lace Alberto Makali layered skirt, on sale at Neiman Marcus, $69 (regularly $150) (I’ve had this skirt for 8 years, I wear it often, so quite a bargain!)

Booties: Sam Edelman black suede booties, $7.99, Goodwill.

Jewelry: Acrylic with gold bracelet and gold-tone hoop earrings, $2.99 and $1.99, Goodwill.

Bag: Fuchsia leather Marc Jacobs, $400 (regularly $1200), Neiman Marcus Last Call. OK, this one is not a “great bargain” I admit. It was a special gift I bought myself after selling several paintings, and it was 7 years ago. I still LOVE this bag and use it just about every day. It pays to buy quality! That $400 works out to about $57 a year for the bag so far, and I have no plans to give up this bag any time soon.

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Here I am “contemplating the art” (ie: Having a goof), inside the exhibit, which was awesome by the way. If you are in Denver, I highly recommend it.

Fun DIY Fornasetti Decoupage Ceiling Design for the Rock Star Glam Bedroom

I adore Fornasetti. I’d love to paper a wall with Fornasetti wallpaper, but since $300+ a roll is a bit out of my price range (and it seems to be discontinued at that) I wanted to create my own look with the Fornasetti “Julia” images. I’ve been looking for the right project to use the imagery on for awhile now, and came up with this fun design that I decoupaged onto my bedroom ceiling around the medallion. It was easy and cost almost nothing.

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Ceiling Before:

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I started out by finding the images I wanted through a Google image search. In addition to the Fornasetti, I wanted to add a touch of color to the design, so I printed out these Damian Hurst butterfly images as well. I then sized the Julia faces all to 8″ and the butterflies about 2″ and printed them all on plain white paper and cut them out carefully. Then I played around on the rug with various layouts and finally decided on this one:

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Now it’s time to decoupage! Just mix 3 parts Elmer’s glue (any basic white glue should work), to 1 part water, brush it lightly but thoroughly on the back of the image and on the surface to be covered and carefully lay on the image. This can be a little tricky as you want to avoid air bubbles. I start at one corner and smooth it gently to the other corner. If you get a bubble gently work it out with the damp brush.

And here it is finished! The whole process took about an hour and cost only the cash to cover the ink, paper and glue, so pennies!

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…I also had a little fun on the back of the bedroom door with some Fornasetti arms and a couple more butterflies…

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A Note on Copyrighted Images: It’s ok to do things like this for your own personal use, but you cannot use copyrighted images on anything you are going to sell, or you can be sued for copyright infringement.

You can see some of the Rock Star Glam bedroom DIY’s here:

Ceiling Light Redo

Found Hipster Art Make-Over

And the rest HERE.

The Big Switcharoo…Halloween into Thanksgiving, Decorating Quick & Cheap.

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Halloween is over. Sigh. All the skulls and spiders and crows are packed away, (and the leftover candy has been packed away…mostly into my thighs ;-). It’s time to settle into the Fall, tone it down a bit, and gear up for the fabulous feast that is Thanksgiving. Here’s a look at what I’m doing for decor this year.

My favorite decorating “trick” for Fall are pumpkins and gourds. They serve double-duty, working great for both Halloween and Thanksgiving. By the way, another great decorating tip is to “shop” your own home! Moving things around and re-purposing stuff you already have is free decor at it’s best! You’ll see me do that a lot here…After I removed all the “spooky” stuff, I set aside the squashes along with the faux-Fall leaves and plan my Thanksgiving decor. This year, I added to the mix two ornamental cabbage plants and 3 tiny Kalanchoes for a total of $14. That’s it.

Because I go over-the-top for Halloween & Christmas, I like to tone it down in between. You can see all the Halloween madness HERE.

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The Table: The purple tablecloth is the one that is almost always on the table. I added an old purple runner that I sometimes break out for the holidays as a way to ground the gourd display. I put down a fake Fall leaves garland first, placed the giant gourd in the center, then arranged the smaller pumpkins, gourds, little Kalanchoe plants and my old stand-by Thanksgiving ceramics I’ve been using for years. (the trick to this is using the old stuff in new ways every year so it all looks fresh.) Lastly I threw in a couple votive candles and tea lights. (I use these for every holiday, they go with everything!)

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The mantle is similar to the table, nice and simple. I started with a pair of Mackenzie-Child’s plates in Fall colors that I’ve had for years, then I scoured basement storage for Fall-colored pillar candles. Putting the candles on the little wood pedestals gives them a look of importance. Then it was pumpkin and gourd time. Finally I added in my beloved old pair of purple glass turkeys and a few fake Fall leaves.

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I love my white pots by the window, and tend to just switch the contents out for the holidays. Here is where I placed those 2 ornamental cabbage plants, then I added in a few gourds and a few of those faux-Fall leaves. I love how these turned out.

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In the entry, I just simplified what was there for Halloween by removing the crows, black fabric and the tri-colored and pumpkin lights, leaving just the amber lights and Fall leaves.

That’s it! We’re all ready for the month of November. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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Want to see what I did last year for Thanksgiving? Just click here.