So much has happened since my last post. We moved! We were not planning for this move to happen for a few years yet, but everything fell into place so perfectly that we jumped. After less than 2 days on the market, our lovely Salt Lake City home sold, and on October 1st we closed on our Desert Dream Home in beautiful Yucca Valley, California. (Near Joshua Tree National Park). The home is so very unique and quirky, just like us :-), and finally, we’ll have the room to explore our creative endeavors. This house is just for US. None of the upcoming house projects will be geared towards resale like the last house, but for own fun and enjoyment. In the upcoming months and years you will see many unusual DIYs and funky decorating blogs.
A little background on the house…
The house was built in 1991 by a local builder for his very eclectic mother. Among other things she was a collector of odd materials, including huge timbers from an old train bridge in Montana, a high school gym floor, and tons of beautiful scavenged rocks, all of which were incorporated into the home. The ceilings soar (to 20 feet in some places!) and nearly every room has skylights. There is a very large entry courtyard with the beginnings of a running stream with a bridge (which I will be finishing). The backyard has a koi pond, grape arbor and 4 large concrete block gardening raised beds, custom stepping stones, and a gazebo. To say the house is odd is an understatement. It sat empty for over 3 years after the owner passed, and is in need of much love and updating. Already we have done some light demo and completely painted the interior, added new carpet and lighting, heating and cooling, a new roof and much more. The infrastructure updates are finished, now it’s time for the fun stuff: decorating and art projects! Stay tuned, and Subscribe to this blog! There is so much fun to come….
This project has been a long time coming, and honestly went way over budget, but I’m so happy with how it turned out. In an effort to save some cash, we did not move any of the fixtures, and for the color scheme I designed around the existing (and still very nice) blue washer and dryer. As is most always the case with big projects, there were unforeseen circumstances, like the sub floor having to be rebuilt, and a few add-ons that were not accounted for in the original plan. I had originally budgeted $8,000 but it wound up being a bit over $12,000, even with me doing the wallpaper. (Which, with all the angles in the room, was a beast!) Remodels are never easy, and this was my first serious bathroom redo. There are just a couple tiny things left to button up but here it is (95% finished) in all it’s glory The majority of the heavy lifting was done by Seiler Design LLC (demo, tile, paint). I did the wallpaper and the designing of the room, picking out tiles, colors, fixtures etc.). So happy with how it turned out! It’s a grown-up bathroom now
(All the tile is from Home Depot: fixtures, lights, mirrored cabinet from Wayfair.com: wallpaper by Antonina Vella in “Kaleidoscope”: outlet covers were found on Amazon.com: glass shower enclosure was custom by Ryan Olson Glass.)
Hello Spring! It’s finally warm enough to move the plants back outdoors, and I’ve been dying to divide 3 old succulent planters that were very leggy and overgrown. Succulents are easy as pie to grow and divide up into many new plants. (Side note: “easy as pie”? anyone who has baked pies knows they are not so easy…or maybe they mean they go down easy, which is so true 😉
I’ve had these 3 succulent planters for years now, and it was beyond time to split them up. I wound up dividing them into 8 planters! My main goal was to create inserts for my tall black planters that sit just at the entry.
I’m so happy with how they came out! I planted them in pots that insert into the big ones so I can easily pop them out and bring back inside next Winter.
Here is the mess I started with:Poor overgrown devils. I’m sure the will all be much happier now. I’ve been struggling with keeping annuals happy in the big black pots as it gets hot sun all summer. I’m sure these succulents will be easier to deal with in there.
I also planted up a bunch of extras in the old pots they came out of plus some:
I love succulents more and more…so easy to deal with, such happy little things 🙂 I made up a little patio area outside of Carmen (my vintage rv) and added a couple of my extras. I love it!
There will be many more spring projects to come! With the extra time on my hands right now I am getting a ton done. What garden projects are you working on?
Very simple but pretty DIY…I’ve had the 2 two beautiful gold frames (both found years ago at yard sales) that are odd sizes which are challenging to find art for. I was inspired to this idea when a storm blew down the neighbors tree and I saw the beautiful bird’s nest on a downed branch. It was a work of art, deserving of a frame. I attached it to the gold frame with fine copper wire (just wrapped around so I would not damage the frame). The wasps nests were found around our yard over the last couple years and simply stacked in the corner of the bottom frame. I love how this looks! I will likely add more as I find them. Simple and quick!
I’ve been wanting to do this for years…Necronomicon Halloween prop!
I started with a hardbound artist sketch book, but you could use any old hardbound book. The thrift store would be a great place to find one.
I used brown paper grocery bags, ModgePodge (white glue would work just fine), and Celluclay.
First I created a base by wrapping the book with the brown paper. I used ModgePodge mixed with 50% water (white glue in the same proportion would work fine). I brushed it on the book to help hold the paper, then wrapped the paper and taped on the inside.For the next layer I soaked the brown paper in the 50/50 solution, crunched it up to wrinkle it and give it texture, then added it to the front cover. I wrinkled it up around the edges to give it the right look.
Next I mixed up the Celluclay. It is basically paper pulp used for sculpting. It is easy to use, mixes with water and dries hard and ready to sand, paint, or add to. In this case I used the 50/50 solution, as I had extra, and it worked great.I formed the chunky bits with my fingers and spread the Celluclay on the cover, looking at my reference photo for guidance. I used a chopstick and flat screwdriver to press and gouge.At this point I let it dry till the next day when it was ready to paint. I could have sanded it a bit to smooth it out but this was good enough for me 🙂 I let it dry overnight.I used acrylic paints, starting with a dark layer to give depth in the deeper areas.I used it watery then dabbed off the excess with a rag.Next came the more flesh-toned layer. I mixed my own but you could easily just buy an appropriate flesh-tone paint. This is brushed on a bit more lightly, and watery. I again dabbed up the excess with a rag.The final paint layer is light highlights. I used white mixed with the flesh-tone, fairly watery, and lightly brushed it across the highest parts, again dabbing off with a rag to blend and get up the excess.
I am very happy with the end result.
My very own Necronomicon! Ashy Slashy would be proud 🙂
It’s HALLOWEEN!! I’ve saved the best for last. I do most of the decorating in the dining area, as it can be seen from every part of of the house and is a pass-through to other rooms. Our Victorian Glam Goth theme is in full swing…
The table, center of it all, is where I usually put the most attention. This year I added a black sequin table topper from Amazon and led candles on sale from Costco. Everything else we’ve had for years.
This is Mistress Tia, our Voodoo Queen, standing at her Voodoo altar. We used to have her in our entry at the old house, but that doesn’t work here. My husband had the great idea of putting her on our covered back porch looking in. I love it, so spooky. (Mistress Tia is a vintage mannequin dressed in one of my old handmade Halloween costumes).
I kept the kitchen bar counter more simple and elegant this year, to go with the table decor.I still love these little monster portraits I added a plastic spider to cover the pin in the wall. (Artwork by Travis Louie)
Have a Delightfully Spooky Halloween!! Thanks for looking 🙂
It’s HALLOWEEN!! My very favorite holiday. Come inside for a look. I’m calling this year’s decor Victorian Goth. Every year I try and use our old decorations in new ways. We do have a couple new things this year, cute ceramic creepy eyes from Target, and paper bats from Amazon. Some of the pumpkins came from our own garden, the rest are from Trader Joe’s.
The Front Room
I love these creepy little ceramic eyes from Target. I have sprinkled them all over the house. This is just inside the entry door.Our old black skeleton has seen better days, but is still having a ball sitting on top of our antique wood stove. He’s sitting in a bit of a forest thanks to an early freeze here in Salt Lake (I had to bring the plants in early this year). (Link to the garland DIY HERE)Even my desk gets a bit of spirit.These shiny paper bats from Amazon form a colony across the wall and onto the ceiling. They were super easy to apply, and came with their own sticky pads.The garden window in the kitchen gets a little touch of Halloween.
…and here is a Sneak Peak of the Main Event (the Best will be Part 3!)
Day & Night on the kitchen bar counter.My beloved Victorian Halloween collection (all reproductions collected over the years) adorn the side table in the dining room with a couple of framed Monster prints (art by Travis Louie). One of my favorite Halloween tricks is replacing the usual artwork hanging on the wall with creepy art.
It’s HALLOWEEN!! My favorite holiday. I’m one of those annoying neighbors who puts up the decoration in September. I try to change it up each year, using the same items in different ways. The only new things outside this year are the fresh pumpkins, flowers, and terracotta pots for the crows.
I still love my skeleton howling dogs, snagged at 75% off at Big Lots a couple years ago. The human skeleton was a dumpster find.I really like the way my planters turned out this year. It’s a combination of mums, ornamental kale and cabbage, ornamental peppers, black pansies and the only surviving plants from the Summer plantings, Creeping Jenny and purple petunias. I added a little dried Spanish moss to cover the edges. This will transition nicely into thanksgiving as well.
This fun scene was my husband’s idea, the crows feasting on the skeleton. The dog skeleton looking at the dead guy was a gift from a Burning Man camp-mate this year.
The Crows! I’ve had these plastic crow decoys for well over a decade. I admittedly stole this idea from the amazingly talented owner of 5 Green Boxes in Denver, CO. I went to a yard sale she had at her gorgeous home about 16-17 years ago where she had these crows in pots on her fence. I’ve finally made it happen, though I’m sure not as well as she did 🙂 The terracotta pots are from Home Depot, I painted them to match the fence.
A couple more crows flank the entry gate. The sign on the gate is another old dumpster find.
I kept it more simple around the door this year, a bit more elegant. All my fancy pumpkins and the mums came from Trader Joe’s, the big orange one from Costco. I made the Victorian-looking banner years ago, here’s a link to the DIY. One of these days I need to create a nice way to cover up those electrical boxes…
That’s it for Part 1! We’ll move inside for Part 2 and 3. Follow this Blog and see it all!
Today brings us to the final installment of my RV Makeover Story. I’ve always wanted to do this, and it’s amazing to get to fulfill a dream. I actually drove her to the mechanic this morning (she’s ok, just some expected work that needs to be done) and I miss looking out the window and seeing her; miss going out to have an evening glass of wine with her. Sigh…she’ll be back in a week or two, all tuned up and ready to go.