More Dino-licious Kitsch…DIY Jar Toppers from Thrift-store Toy Dinosaurs

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Yes, I know. You’ve seen these all over the interwebs, too. There’s a reason for that. They’re cute! And crazy-easy. Here’s how:

Step 1: Gather your jars, dinos, glue and spray paint. Glue your Dino to the lid. (I scored both the jars ($1.75 for 4 jars) and the Dinos (a few bucks for a bag full) at Goodwill.) I used a hot glue gun to attach the dinos to the lids. Took less than a minute. (Note: because these were proper canning jars I also had to glue the 2 parts of the lid together.)

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Step 2: Spray the lids. I used Rust-Oleum 2X in Gloss White, (I thought gloss white would make the dinos more “classy” ;-)) but you can use whatever color tickles your fancy. 2 coats is plenty. Do let them dry thoroughly. (I made the big dinos into planters. See that DIY HERE)

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Step 3: Put something in the jars, screw on the lid. You’re done! I’m using mine for dog treats.

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This is hands-down the fastest DIY I’ve done to date. There’s about 5 minute actual labor time, and the cost was about $3. Can’t beat that with stick.

Dino-licious Kitschy DIY Planters from Thrift-store Toy Dinosaurs

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Yes, I know. You’ve seen these Dinosaur planters all over the internet. Ho hum. Well I don’t care, I made a couple, and I’m going to show you how whether you like it or not.

I bought a bag of assorted dinosaurs at the thrift store for a couple bucks, determined to do something fun with them. I decided to turn the bigger ones into little planters. You can put pretty much any small plant in there, I know Tillandsia (air plants) have been a popular choice, as have small succulents, but I wanted to do something different. I found these tiny 1″ ornamental kale plants at the floral wholesaler and thought they’d be perfect (you should be able to find tiny plants at pretty much any nursery. I’ve also seen them at Home Depot.) I’ll probably have to transplant them if they get too much bigger, but for now they are a nice punch of color for our dreary Denver Winter.

I started with the rubbery Dinos, and cut out appropriate size holes with a sharp Xacto blade (If you have the really hard plastic Dinos, you will need to use real tools, like a drill & jigsaw.) I also popped out the squeaky bit on their undersides, which makes a perfect drainage hole.

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Next came the painting. I chose a gloss white, but you can paint them any color you like. Be sure and plug up the planting hole so no paint gets inside, as the plants wouldn’t like that very much. (those other little dinos are for another project you’ll see later this week)

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I let them dry overnight before planting. I filled in the deeper bits with some soil before squishing my little plants into the holes.

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After planting I gave them a good soak, and here they are gracing the kitchen window sill.

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Note: If were doing this again I would have given them 1-2 more coats of paint. That being said, I like them just fine as is. I little fun color for a Winter’s day that makes me smile, and it only cost me about $6.

Stay tuned for another Toy Dino Project later this week!

Simple (ie: Cheap) DIY Valentine’s Day Heather Hearts + Dried Flower Pots

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The day of Hearts & Flowers is almost upon us! These sweet little Heather Hearts are fast, easy and cheap to make. Hang them on a door, stick them in a pot, or wherever you want to show the love. All you need are a couple stems of fresh heather (the longer the better) and a little raffia or thin ribbon.

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Start by overlapping the ends at an angle and winding the raffia (or ribbon) around the crossed bit, side to side and up and down. Tie it off securely.

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Then tie one end of a long piece of raffia at the base and wind it around the stem of heather, not too tight, just enough to hold the side branches in a little. Tie it off about 3″ from the top end. Repeat on the other stem.

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Next, cross the tops over each other where the raffia wraps ended and tie together. Add a longer piece of raffia to tie to the bottom of the heart. BE CAREFUL NOT TO BREAK THE STEMS! I did on one of my hearts, and well, it looks funny. Pull down gently. And you’re done!

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Cuteness. These will dry in place pretty well, but be warned, they will drop some leaves. I used my hearts as centerpieces to my outdoor pots.

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All year I save and dry the flowers I buy for the house when they are no longer suitable for fresh vases. (Not all flowers dry well. The ones with woody stems, like hydrangea and roses, dry best.)

Here’s what I had accumulated:

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I stuck the heather hearts in the middle, and started adding the dried flowers around them with the taller stuff in back. I just stick them right in the dirt. (Dried flowers are fun to use here in Denver this time of year when it’s still too cold to put anything living outside.)

The funny-looking heart is the one where I broke the stems by bending them too far. Don’t do that!

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And here they are all done:

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More fun Valentine’s Day fun & weirdness to come. FOLLOW THE BLOG and you won’t miss a thing!

Stealing From Other People’s Homes (Decorating Ideas that is): Killer Glam Chicago Loft Full of DIY Goodness

I confess, I’m doing it again: Stealing. Stealing great decorating ideas from other people’s homes. This awesome Chicago loft was another one just too good not to share. Below I’m showing you a few pictures with Ideas to Steal from this glam space. You can see the whole article and many more pictures here: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/shaun-matts-glam-loft-house-tour-198170# (Apartment Therapy is one of my favorite decorating blogs, I highly recommend subscribing if you’re into decor www.apartmenttherapy.com)

Here are my favorite ideas from this amazing abode (and everyone of them would be cheap to do):

(all images from apartmenttherapy.com)

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The collection of art is a pure delight! If it were just a couple pieces it wouldn’t work, but en mass like this it’s an ode to kitsch. Great Idea: Strings of pearls draped on the portrait of Jaclyn Smith. It just works.

That chandelier made out of cheap gold earrings is genius! How many times have I seen those big grab bags of jewelry at the thrift store and not known what to do with them. Now I do!

A sequin wall? Oh Hells yes! Total Hollywood glam. This would be great on a door, on a headboard, a small bathroom wall, there are so many places this could be fun to try. It’s especially good against the black gloss fireplace.

Every home needs a mannequin. Mine is named “Talullah”. She’ll be getting a new paint job this year. That gold looks pretty good…

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This one is so simple and looks terrific! Funky lamp shades hung at varying heights from the ceiling. So easy! A fun assortment of shades from the thrift store, light kits from Home Depot, and your done! Love it.

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Note the doors, covered in a lovely brocade. Another great idea. Could be fabric or wallpaper or stenciled.

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Old door as decor. Makes a great backdrop. Plain wood or painted a great color, doors are great wall space fillers. Would also make for a unique headboard, connect 3 or more with hinges as a room divider, you get the idea. I would add a light behind this hanging door, would look amazing at night.

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There you have it, my personal picks from this great home. Again, see it all here: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/shaun-matts-glam-loft-house-tour-198170#_

Until next time, Happy DIY!

An Extraordinary Artist’s Home Just too Good not to Share (and Chock Full of Unique DIY Ideas)

Looking from entrance hall through to kitchen.  Horse’s head from Strange Trader.  Railway light hanging overhead.  Timber and bronze sculptures to the right by David Bromley.  Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
(Yes, you can paint your walls BLACK! Especially great with the white ceiling and trim. That hand-painted graphic piece on the left looks amazing and is totally doable with some painter’s tape and a steady hand…)

Artwork, magazines, collected ephemera in the entry hall.  A mix of artwork by David Bromley and Heidi Yardley, timber carving by David Bromley, Gypsy girl painting by an unknown artist in the USA.  Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

(I LOVE the art collections all through this home. Notice most of the paintings are not framed? A collection of fun thrift store paintings could look equally good, especially against the dark walls.)

Master Bedroom 1! (There are two!).  Quilt and wall mural by David Bromley.  Painting above bed – old Russian propaganda painting – find similar Russian paintings at Bromley and Yuge’s shop in Byron, In This Street.  Bottom right – Bernard Buffet lithographs.  Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

(The hand-painted wall mural is killer. I love that art is EVERYWHERE in this home, even down near the floor.)

Dining and living / TV room.  Incredible hand painted wall mural by David Bromley.  Printed Bonnie and Neil cushions from Ahoy Trader.  Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

(Man, that half-wall mural is marvelous. Sharp and graphic and at the same time soft because of the simple color scheme. I love it against the dark walls. I may have to steal this one (not the actual mural of course, but something similar…) There is a whole lot going on in this home, but it’s not overwhelming because of the simple, consistent underlying color scheme)

Ok.  I promised you something special today and by GOLLY am I going to deliver on that!  This home is so freaking amazing.  It rendered Toby and me pretty much speechless in person… which always makes for a daunting shoot, in which you’re desperately hoping your shots will capture some of that magic, and that the camera lens will accurately convey the visual feast before your eyes.  I do hope we’ve succeeded in that mission today, and that this story feels like a true and honest documentation of one of the most amazing homes I have ever set foot in!

Clearly, this magical property is the Byron Bay home of artist David Bromley, his wife Yuge, and their gorgeous little baby, Wen.  David and Yuge have lived here just about two years, after relocating from Melbourne.  David was always drawn to the relaxed lifestyle here, and had often travelled here before setting up a more permanent home in Byron with Yuge in 2011.

Ironically though, there doesn’t appear to have been much ‘relaxing’ going on since David and Yuge moved here!  No sooner had they relocated, and David was up to his usual tricks – the property, which Bromley previously held as a weekender, was significantly re-worked, turning it into both a functional living and working space. David soon also acquired the property next door – pulling down the fence to create a dedicated studio and office space, and headquarters for Yuge’s fashion label.  The pair have also created an incredible sculpture garden shared by the two properties, filled with David’s own work and an ever-growing collection of artwork, vehicles and vintage collectables.

Whilst they have worked tirelessly to create a special home here, both David and Yuge have been careful to retain the original charm of this property, with its rambling gardens and out houses.  One of these outdoor pavillions has now been turned into an incredible summer bedroom adjoining the main house (so amazing!), whilst another serves as a painting studio.  Though they’ve made impressive progress in just two years, David and Yuge’s home has evolved very much organically, and changes made have been cosmetic rather than structural.

‘We are big believers in working with the original construct of buildings’ explains Yuge. ‘Renovating, wall removal and subtle reconfiguring is awesome fun and amazing, but building for us is daunting and disruptive. We’re not opposed to painting the walls though – painting a room a new colour is like having a holiday!’.  Indeed, soon after relocating here, Yuge recalls she and David would often end their work days to go and spend early evenings paintings the rooms in their house together.  I can so imagine that.  I hope it involved a glass of wine in one hand, and a paintbrush in the other!

Though it’s clearly a seriously impressive and kind of mind-bloggling space, the charm of this home really rests on its sense of light-heartedness and sponteneity.  It’s clear that this house has come together very intuitively, rather than adhering to a grand master plan. This is evident everywhere you look – in the wide stripes painted freehand on the kitchen walls, and the ad hoc placement of artwork from floor to ceiling, wherever it will fit, underneath windows and above doorways.  Yuge and David see furniture and objects as very much part of the architecture of a home – ‘placing bits and pieces we love around the house is how we build a space’ says Yuge.  Despite it’s devilish good looks, there’s nothing precious about this home – like so many of David’s creative endeavours, the space is ever-changing.

I feel so very lucky to have had the opportunity to document this truly special Australian Home.  MASSIVE thanks to David and Yuge for being so open and generous, and for trusting us to share their private world with you all!

ALSO, a reminder – we have an amazing giveaway running all week, thanks to David and Yuge, and their retail store In This Street!  One lucky reader will win a choice of any piece from Yuge’s beautiful womenswear range, and a stunning linen quilt by David Bromley, valued at $1,100.  Please visit Monday’s post and leave a comment over there before 10.00pm this Friday to be in the running.

 

Amazing TV room!  Incredible hand painted wall mural by David Bromley.   ’Moon rock’ felted cushions from Japan.  Printed Bonnie and Neil cushions from Ahoy Trader.  Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Loungeroom details – a mix of mid century and African artefacts. Wall mural by David Bromley.  Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Kitchen with amazing monochromatic stripes, painted freehand by David – around the artwork in some areas! Two portraits at top by David Bromley, below – a Russian painting by an unknown artist.  Rug from Loom Rugs.  Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

(Hand-painted free-hand strips! This took guts and a steady hand, but it looks great. Give it a go! If you mess up you can always paint over it. It’s just paint. The island on wheels clad in old signs. Great idea! And of course, art, art and more art! I admit I’m in love with that wacky cat’s head.)

Kitchen detail.  A painting found in China. Printed pottery on shelf to left by David Bromley.  Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Looking from dining to kitchen.  Early painting by David Bromley on the kitchen walls, created as studies on the Bloomsbury Group.  Michael Pugh ceramic pot in foreground.  Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Joe Furlonger painting in dining room. Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Looking in to kitchen from the garden.  ’We love the inside being linked to the outside, and the outside linked to the inside’ says Yuge.  Paths throughout the yard are made from garden stakes.  Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files. (I would love to open up our kitchen to the back yard, though that may be too much of a DIY for me.)

A long timber shed adjoining the main house has been converted into a summer bedroom, complete with in-room bathtub and private courtyard.  Quilts and painting above bed by David Bromley.  One bed is for David and Yuge – the adjacent bed is for little Wen.  Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

(How charming! A “Summer Bedroom”, with it’s own bathtub. Great guest room. Who wouldn’t want to stay there? We’ve been seeing lots of hand-painted quilts in these pictures. This is an idea I WILL be stealing. It could be just simple geometric patterns if you don’t want to get all artsy with it. I love that the edges are unfinished, makes life simpler.)

 

 

Summer bedroom, complete with in-room bathtub.  Quilts by David Bromley.  Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

A long timber shed adjoining the main house has been converted into a summer bedroom, complete with in-room bathtub.  Quilts by David Bromley.  One bed is for David and Yuge – the adjacent bed is for little Wen.  Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Outside bath on back porch, from Reece.  Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Side door and entrance hall.  Timber carved sculpture by David Bromley.  Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Amazing gardens.  ’The gardens here grow so well, and with some adventurous planting you can be living in a forest in no time’ says Yuge. ‘Bamboo grows in front of your eyes, and the weather here makes you look like a good gardener, whereas truthfully it just nature doing its thing!’  Enormous painted mesh Giraffe sculpture by Melbourne artist Tom Ripon (Tom has no website but is stocked in Melbourne by The Cool Roomin Balaclava).  Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files. (I want that giraffe! Makes me want to try my hand at outdoor sculpture.)

Exterior of David’s favourite backyard studio.  Paths made from garden stakes.  Pizza oven bought from a cooking school. French antique glass vase.  Lights made from Japanese fishing floats.  Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

(The simple garden paths are marvelous, and could easily be duplicated with treated scrap wood from old deaks or palettes.)

Of course they have an airstream caravan too…!   Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

(An Airstream? OK, now I am SERIOUSLY jealous…)

Bromley’s favourite backyard studio. Butterflies painting on easel by David Bromley.  Rug from Loom Rugs.  Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Detail from David’s backyard studio. ‘Sulky Boy’ painting by David Bromley. Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Painted schoolbus by David Bromley.  Elephant sculpture by Melbourne artist Tom Ripon (Tom has no website but is stocked in Melbourne by The Cool Roomin Balaclava).  Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

(The Painted Bus! I love it! If only I had a bigger backyard…)

Old Studebaker found in Daylesford, perched in the garden!  Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Start the New Year off Right with some Fabulous Art! First Friday and More to do this Weekend in Denver…

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Painting by Clark Richert, Image courtesy of Gildar Gallery

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I hope you had a marvelous holiday and are all geared up for a Fabulous 2014. Let’s start it off right with some art this weekend. Friday the 3rd is First Friday and all your favorite Denver Arts Districts will be in full swing. The weather is supposed to be great this weekend (60 on Friday!) so get out of your jammies and into the galleries.

The art opening listings are below, and remember that Saturday (and the first Saturday of every month) is FREE at the Denver Art Museum!

AND next Tuesday the 7th is FREE DAY at the Denver Botanic Gardens!

(OK, I know it’s not Art, but Saturday is also 50% off Day at GOODWILL.)

Here are the Art Openings this weekend, courtesy of DENVERARTS.ORG

[Upcoming Events from the DenverArts.org Calendar]

January 02, 2014
January 03, 2014
January 04, 2014
January 08, 2014