Quickie Cute Stool Redo: A Faux Fur DIY Make-over for $3

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I did a super-quick little make-over on this stool today. It took less than 30 minutes! We’ve had this vintage stool in the dressing room for years (it was my boyfriends before I can along so who knows how long he had it) and I’ve been wanting to give it a redo. I found this heavy-duty piece of sheepskin-esque faux fur at the thrift store for $2.99 last year and it worked great for this. Faux fur is very forgiving for this sort of thing. I also had a piece of thick foam leftover from another project that was perfect. I grabbed my supplies (pen, knife, scissors and staple gun) and went at it.

Here’s what it looked like before:

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I started measuring the foam by turning the seat upside-down on top of the foam and traced it with a sharpie pen. I started the cut with a utility knife as it gave me more control, then finished it with a sharp knife, slicing with a steady up and down motion.

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Then it was time to get stapling. I placed the foam on the stool, then turned it upside-down in the center of the fur. Start by stapling opposite sides, pulling firmly but not tight. Once each of the 4 sides are tacked down, go to the middle of each tack and staple, again going to opposite sides.

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Because of the way the legs sit on this stool, I had to cut in and staple around them. I found the center point, cut a semi-circle where the leg would go and stapled on either side of the leg, again pulling firmly but not tight. Be sure and stop periodically to check that the fabric is fairly evenly pulled all the way around so it’s not lop-sided when you’re done.

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Then finish it off, going around the outside and tacking down the remaining open bits. Done!

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Now we have a fun and comfortable stool in the dressing room, and all it cost was $2.99 for the fabric from the thrift store :-)

Learn a New Language, for FREE, and it’s fun, too? Sign me up!

Happy New Year Beautiful Readers! Like so many of you, I’m going into the New Year with New Goals, and one of those is to learn French. It’s just something I’ve always wanted to do. Besides, being multilingual is infinitely cool and well, Fabulous :-) If you are a regular reader of this blog, then you know I had to find the cheapest way possible to accomplish this. How about FREE? Duolingo was suggested to me by Facebook friends, and it’s great! Simple, easy to work, and in a fun, game-like format. You can do as many or few lessons as you like, whenever you like. It’s available as an app for your smartphone or pad, or just go to their website on your computer. http://www.duolingo.com

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In addition to Duolingo, there is Mango Language, available for FREE through the Denver Public Library website, all you need is a library card (check your local library’s website to see if it is available in your area). http://connect.mangolanguages.com/languages I haven’t started in on this one yet, but looks great, very similar to Rosetta Stone, and uh, FREE!

Let’s get our learning on people! What are your learning goals for the New Year? Tell me about it in the Leave a Reply/Comments section.

New Fabulous Finds! Manolo Blahnik, Celine & Dolce and Gabbana! And a New Source for Cheap Designer Goods…

I have some terrific new finds to tell you about! …and a New Source for Designer Goods…

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Here are two recent AWESOME finds at my favorite Goodwill: A pair of wool logo pants from Celine in perfect condition for $4.99, and a Dolce’ & Gabbana silver mesh one-shoulder top ($4.49). I love them both, but am selling the Celine pants on Ebay this week, it’s a great way to help me pay for my thrifting!  ( http://www.ebay.com/itm/121536231714?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649 ) They are great pants just not quite my style. (I’m keeping the top! Can’t wait to wear it this Spring.)

…and as promised, I’m telling you about a New Source. Ok, it’s been around awhile, but it is new to this blog. Goodwill has a national auction website listing all sorts of goods from around the country. The catch is, there is a lot more competition for the good stuff, and you have to pay shipping and handling, but sometimes great things do slip through the cracks. Yes, you are taking a bit of a risk buying off the pictures alone, but if the listing was wrong in any way, you can return the item (minus shipping of course.) A couple weeks ago I scored big on a nice pair of classic black satin kitten heel Manolo Blahniks in excellent condition. The photos were not very good, and I’m guessing that is why not many people were bidding on them. I took a chance and got a great deal, only $14! I did have to add shipping and handling, so the total was $21, still WELL worth it.

Here is the address: http://shopgoodwill.com Happy shopping! And here are the great heels I snagged…blahnik

Crazy-Easy DIY Duvet Cover Made from Sheets! (In Less than an Hour!)

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Can you sew a straight line? Then you can make your own duvet covers, cheap! All it takes is two flat sheets the same size as your comforter. I found this beautiful 100% cotton designer (Yves Saint Laurent) top sheet Brand New at the thrift store for $6.99. I paired it with a (also New (with tags!) from the thrift store for $8.99) quality 100% cotton black flat sheet for a nice contrast when folded over. The detailing on the top edge of the sheet is so pretty I put it at the bottom to show it off.

It’s easy as pie (actually, easier!). I just matched up the two sheets with the facing sides together, sewed all around the outside of three sides, leaving the fourth (bottom edge) open. The whole project took less than an hour. You can create a proper duvet by sewing in buttons and holes or Velcro on the open end, but I like the extra length that drapes over the end of the bed and it stays in place just fine even with the long end open.

The possibilities are endless! Just pick out pretty sheets you like in the same size as your comforter and sew them together. This makes it inexpensive (Mine cost only $15 total!) to have new looks for each season or to just change it up when the mood strikes. Happy sewing!

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The two sheets before sewing.

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…just pin together and sew!

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Pretty New Duvet Cover!

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See the DIY for that fun Hot Pink Union Jack pillow HERE,

and the DIY for the Nightstand made from old Art Forum Magazines HERE

My Top Picks for the Most Inspirational Home Tours of 2014

As 2014 comes to a close (and being snowed-in and a bit cabin-feverish) I’m thinking about all the DIY projects I want to do in 2015. Below are my favorite fun, artsy and eclectic home tours that have inspired me. Some of them you’ve seen here before, some are new. Enjoy, and Happy Holidays!

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The second I saw the stunning exterior of the New Orlean’s abode of Artist Miranda Lake, I was hooked, but the rest of it blew me away. And there’s a double-Decker bus in the backyard next to the pool.

http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/miranda-lakes-curious-collections-house-tour-204899#

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Another New Orlean’s gem, the home of Valorie Hart is a DIY paradise.

http://theyearoflivingfabulously.com/2014/09/20/a-new-orleans-house-tour-too-good-not-to-share/

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Artist Adam Wallacavage has just about the most amazing home I’ve ever seen. He’s a Maximalist after my own heart, and his decorating courage inspires me to bring those over-the-top ideas in my head to life.

http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/adams-diy-meets-opulence-home-house-tour-195369#

I just love love love this gorgeous London apartment. It inspired my bedroom make-over.

http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/3308250/list?utm_source=Houzz&utm_campaign=u150&utm_medium=email&utm_content=gallery3

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A fun home form down under chock-full of great ideas.

http://theyearoflivingfabulously.com/2014/01/15/an-extraordinary-artists-home-just-too-good-not-to-share-and-chock-full-of-unique-diy-ideas/

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A Killer-Glam Chicago loft full of DIY Goodness.

http://theyearoflivingfabulously.com/2014/01/17/stealing-from-other-peoples-homes-decorating-ideas-that-is-killer-glam-chicago-loft-full-of-diy-goodness/

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!)