DIY Valentine Heart Painting. Give Original Art! (Yes, You CAN Do This…)

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Paint your love a picture. It’s not hard, I promise! The trick is in the layers…

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That is my inspiration piece on the left (I pulled it out of a magazine and the artist was not mentioned.) I started with a simple 12″ x 12″ canvas (from Meinenger’s here in Denver, but you can get one anywhere they sell art supplies), acrylic paint (I used red, pink and white, but use any color combo that tickles your fancy), a medium flat paint brush, a smaller round brush,  and a skinny palette knife. My inspiration piece had what looked like scribbles, I chose to hand-write words from that famous Elizabeth Barrett Browning poem “How do I love thee?” (Sonnet 43). If your love has written you a great love letter, use that! Or choose something a bit saucier if that’s how you roll.

The first later is just a dark red brushed on thick. Let it dry.

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Next, I used a tick layer of a darkish pink. This is the tricky part of the project. You have to move fast here before the paint dries to scratch in the letters. I used the butt end of my paint brush and just loosely long-handed the lettering, scrapping off the top layer, and stopping periodically to wipe the paint of the end of the brush.

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Let that layer dry. Next draw on your heart shape with a pencil. (I free-handed my heart, and it is not symmetrical. I’m ok with this, but make yourself a heart template and trace it on if you want a perfect heart.) I used a lighter pink and started filling in the heart with only up-down, and side to side strokes.

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Then continue adding a couple different shades of your colors in the same motion to fill in, and start using that palette knife to gently scrape over the wet paint to give it more texture.

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Have a damp rag and some water standing by in case you mess up. You can remove the paint if it is still wet. You can fill in with a little paint up to the edges of your heart if you like. Remember to keep scrapping with the palette knife in up-down, side-to-side motions.

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Then comes some more palette knife fun. Get a little paint (on the thick side, not drippy) on the knife and randomly scrape it on the whole painting in the same vertical-horizontal motion for added artsy texture. I did this in a couple colors.

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Now it’s time to edge the heart in a rough, uneven way, still scraping over the lines with your palette knife.

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Lastly, paint a few more words (I did a few in a light pink and a few in red) on top, and that’s it! A sweet, personalized artsy Valentine’s Day painting.

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Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope you’re having a fun one.

 

My Bloody Valentine DIY Human Heart Pin in Polymer Clay with “Blood” Beads

My Bloody Valentine, Part Deux: the Pin.

In yesterday’s blog you saw the delightfully creepy Frida Khalo-esque Heart & Roses Necklace I made. In today’s post is the matching pin I made for my man. The spurting “blood” beads were actually his idea.

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Frida Khalo-esque My Bloody Valentine DIY Human Heart & Roses Necklace in Polymer Clay

Frida Khalo-esque My Bloody Valentine DIY Human Heart & Roses Necklace in Polymer Clay

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I admit, this necklace is not for the faint of heart (pun intended ;-)) nor the beginner crafter, but I promise it’s easier than it looks. Polymer clay (in this case, Super Sculty) is very forgiving and easy to work with. The key is taking it one step at a time.

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I based this necklace off a wall piece I made for my man last Valentine’s Day (see image at the bottom of this page). I was commissioned to make another for a collector, and I decided to make a heart necklace and a pin while I was at it. (you’ll see the pin in the next post, stay tuned!)

Grab that Sculpy, start kneading it, and get to the shaping. The key is taking it one step at a time, one shape at a time. I formed each part of the heart separately, using a Googled heart image for reference. I used basic sculpture tools to form the details. You can’t mess it up. If it doesn’t look right just smooch it back up and start again. The veins are the final step. (you’ll see those Sculpy heart-shaped hearts in this project and in another one coming later this week.)

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Here it is ready to go into the oven to cure. I imbedded a metal hanger in the back just before baking.

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Next came the roses. They are really easy. Form a bunch of petal-ish shapes, start with the inside of the rose by rolling it up fairly tight, then keep adding petals on until it looks, well, rosey. The underside of your rose will get chunky, but you can just squish it together and pull off the excess. No one is going to see the back but you. Then I added a few leaves, using the sculpture tools to carve in the veins. In this case, I imbedded round hoops in the larger roses. It’s important to really get them in there deep. You can add extra clay over the back if needed. The smallest rose has a hole put through it like a bead.

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After they have been baked and cooled, it’s time to paint. I used acrylic paints. The painting was done in layers. Again I used a Googled image for color reference.

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The final thing to get painted was the veins. When the paint was dry, I coated it all with a semi-gloss clear-coat.

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Now it’s time to bead. I kept it pretty light using just three sizes of red glass beads left over from a previous jewelry project (I think they came from Michael’s). I used simple crimps and jump rings to attach the beaded strands to the hoops and the fastener. (Ignore the chains in the upper right, I used those for another project.)

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And here is the final product. It’s kinda Goth, kinda creepy and kinda cool.

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Here’s what the back looks like…

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Remember to glue a soft piece of fabric like cotton or felt to the back of your painted pieces where they will touch your skin, and be gentle with your Sculpy jewelry. It may feel hard, but it is rather fragile and can break when dropped. (I once had a large piece crack from an over-exuberant hug.) If the worst happens they can usually be repaired with glue and touch-up paint.

Go get yourself some Sculpy and get creative! Make some jewelry and have fun with it. Oh and here’s that wall piece I made last year that I based this necklace off of (Design Copyright C. 2013 Marie Vlasic).

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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

I know, It’s Cold Outside. Bundle Up and Go See Some Art…It’s FIRST FRIDAY in Denver! (plus more Free Events all Weekend and Beyond…)

ImageProxy.mvc Artist Ryan Rice, Courtesy of R2 Gallery

It’s a chilly fun-packed weekend here in Denver! Get that Winter coat out of storage and join us out on the town…

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Denver Art Museum FREE DAY Saturday the 5th.

Denver Museum of Nature & Science FREE DAY Sunday the 6th.

Denver Botanic Gardens FREE DAY Monday the 7th.

Saturday & Sunday is the Four Mile Historic Park’s Pumpkin Harvest Festival this weekend – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Pie-eating contest, pumpkin bowling, music, dancing, historic games, arts & crafts, horse-drawn wagon rides, “make a life-sized scarecrow” and, of course, a pumpkin patch…plus, much more. Plus, you can’t have a fall festival without homemade caramel apples, old-fashioned kettle corn and other goodies for sale. Admission is FREE, though additional charges apply for some activities. 715 S. Forest St., Denver.

Join us at Artsmyth’s Boxed Wine & Wear Bazaar!  Saturday, 11am-8pm. The wine and cookies and browsing are free, the merchandise is all 10-15% off. This ship is worth a visit just to admire the incredible handmade masks.

It’s not Free, but it’s Cheap…50% off Day at Goodwill.

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Mark Your Calendars for Saturday October 12th for the Colfax Block Party at the Shoppe for Second Saturday. Zombie Fashion Show, Live painting, Denver Fashion Truck, DJs, and the High City Derby Divas giving out free brain mini cupcakes. It doesn’t get better than that.

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And of course, ART! Courtesy of DenverArts.org, here is the Art Opening Line-up this weekend:

                  [Upcoming Events from the DenverArts.org Calendar]

October 03, 2013
October 04, 2013
October 05, 2013
October 06, 2013
October 09, 2013

WIN THIS MASK! Score this gorgeous handmade mask from Artsmyths Studio, just in time for Halloween!

WIN THIS MASK! Score this gorgeous handmade mask just in time for Halloween from nationally known mask maker extraordinaire Tiffany Smyth’s Artsmyths Studio!

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This handmade and hand-painted leather mask is gorgeous as well as light-weight and comfortable to wear. You’ll be the talk of the party in this beauty! The contest ends October 14th and the mask will be shipped to the winner right away so you’ll have it in plenty of time for your Halloween shenanigans. (the Winner may alternately choose a $70 Gift Card to Artsmyths!) Here’s how to enter:

There are TWO STEPS and both must be completed in order to be entered into the contest:

#1. FOLLOW this blog using the “FOLLOW” button above to the left, or the “Bloglovin'” button to the right.

#2. LIKE Artsmyth’s Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/ArtsMyths

Plus, Earn a SECOND ENTRY by SHARING this blog post on your Facebook or Twitter! (Just tag me so I know you shared. Facebook: @theyearoflivingfabulously, Twitter: @livethefablife) Use the links at the bottom of the post.

The contest runs from Monday, September 23, 2013 through Monday, October 14, 2013 at 12pm Noon Central Mountain Time. Winner will be selected by random drawing after 12pm on Monday, October 14, 2013, from all completed entries (both steps described above must be completed). Winner will be notified by email and/or Facebook message and their name will be announced on this blog by 5pm Monday, October 14, 2013. The winner will have until 12pm Wednesday October 16, 2013 to respond with their address for shipment of the prize. If the first person selected does not respond in time, another name will be randomly selected as the alternate winner. One winner, one prize. Winner may choose to receive a $70 Gift Card in lieu of the mask shown above, however winner will be responsible for any shipping costs of goods and price of any mask over and above $70. The retail value of this prize is $76 plus shipping cost (if mask above is chosen), or $70 if the gift certificate is chosen. Prize must be redeemed by December 31, 2013. (Please Note that if the gift certificate is chosen and used for a Custom Order, depending on the mask it may take up to 3 months and may not be ready by Halloween 2013) Employees and relatives of Artsmyths and the Year of Living Fabulously are not eligible to enter the contest.

See all the beautiful handmade and custom masks from Artsmyth’s Studio here: WWW.ARTSMYTHS.COM Here is just a small sampling of the masks available:

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Please join us at Artsmyth’s on October 5th for ArtSmyths’ Halloween Boxed Wine & Wear Bazaar! 10-15% off Everything, and, wine and cookies! Here’s all the information:https://www.facebook.com/events/521837314567097/

An Industrial Found-Object Garden Delights! More Fun Ideas to Steal for Your Garden…

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Deep in the Heart of the industrial Rino Arts District lurks a little Secret Garden full of recycled wonder. The immensely talented artist duo Sabin Aell and Randy Rushton took a run-down industrial factory space and transformed it into something Ultra-Cool…

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FIRST FRIDAY in Denver and Fun Abounds! Lots of Free Goodness to be had this Weekend.

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At Pattern Shop Gallery,  John Fudge – Hello Rusty (Existential Pain #1) – Oil On Canvas, 17 x 19 inches, From the Collection of Karen Holen Lyda
There’s a lot of Free Goodness to get out and enjoy as this fine Summer starts to wind down…
Of Course this Friday is FIRST FRIDAY! All the Art Districts are sure to be in full force. (September is one of the busiest First Fridays of the year) Get out and see some art! See the Denverarts.org listing at the end of this post for all the art openings this weekend (and beyond)
You may want to add to your usual First Friday gallivanting: the South Broadway First Friday Block Party: Galleries, restaurants, bars and shops on Broadway between First and Alameda avenues host receptions, fashion/trunk shows, live music and special promotions monthly.
Saturday is FREE DAY at the DAM (Denver Art Museum) I highly recommend getting there when they open at 10am.
Saturday is the yearly Day of Bicycle Debauchery known as Tour De Fat. Hundreds of people dressed weird on wacky bikes. And Live Music. And good Food. And Beer. Can’t beat that! The event is free (though there may be a fee to do the actual ride, and obviously the food and beer is NOT free) https://www.facebook.com/events/461504710589142/
Saturday The Valverde Market returns for it’s second go-round in full force. Seriously, there is some cool sh%t here. The event is free, but bring some cash because you will find something great to take home. https://www.facebook.com/events/529334020466568/
Sunday September 8 is FREE Day at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. http://www.dmns.org
And now, with out further ado, here is the famous denverarts.org events calender for the next week:

[Upcoming Events from the DenverArts.org Calendar]

September 05, 2013
September 06, 2013
September 07, 2013
September 11, 2013

Anatomy of a Bookshelf – A Simple Redo that Makes a Big Difference

It’s one of the oft-neglected spots in a home: the Bookshelf. I’ve been “neglecting” this one for ages and finally got fed up. Time to rearrange!
This Bookshelf is on the landing at the top of the stairs. It is passed many times a day on the way to the bedroom, my art studio, the music room and the bathroom. Jiva’s music students often sit in that chair waiting for their lesson. Everyone who visits the house sees it, and it is a bit embarrassing. So messy!

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