Happy Holidays House Tour, Inside – 2016 (with helpful hints & tips)

 

2016 has been a rather mad year (broken foot in March, graduating my tattoo apprenticeship in July, getting married in September, hubby’s surgery in November, and that crazy election). I am very much ready for 2017, but that won’t stop me from sending 2016 out with a good time. We have so very much to be thankful for…

I scaled back just a bit this year (I know, it’s still completely over the top ๐Ÿ™‚ We now have a smaller tree (I’ll describe what I did below) and I left a few decorations packed in the basement this time.

The table isn’t too different from last year, I did add a fuzzy leopard runner just for fun. (I had bought it at a yard sale for $5 years ago). Everything else I had, just moved things around a bit. The beautiful flowers are from Trader Joe’s. (Tip: They have the best price on flowers in town! Better than wholesale in most cases.) Everything you see has been collected from thrift stores and yard sales over the years.

The one addition to the mantle this year are the gold “pine” branches, a thrift store find from a couple months ago. (Everything on the mantle has been collected from the thrift store over the years). I usually add some fresh pine boughs but decided to stick to the fake garland this year for easier clean-up :-).

I was lucky enough to find a second set of clear bubble lights at the Goodwill this year for $3.99 (I LOVE bubble lights! I’d happily cover the house with them.) and put them on a garland by the front window. I usually put all the peacock feathers in the tree, but since we scaled down the tree this year I made a little display of them with the green balls in a vase in the corner.

I love our tree this year! A bit smaller and fits the space better. It is still covered with all our delightful Asian/Indian inspired ornaments along with feathers and new this year, flowers! (see below for a step-by-step on the tree).

Because I went so nuts on the front room, I keep the living room a bit more simple. Just my favorite pink tree and the big pink ornament. And of course flowers (Trader Joe’s again) Holiday Decor Trick!: Many places that sell fresh trees will let you take the branches they trim off the bottoms for free! I use these in my flower arrangements and outdoor pots. Just be sure and ask first if you can take them ๐Ÿ˜‰

Here is the step-by-step on the tree:

Our new tree. It is a 6.5′ fakey with white led lights. I put it on top of 4 paint cans to make it taller (and keep the pups off it). Stage 2 I added 4 strings of pink lights as well as my favorite string of color-changing star lights. (Hint: wrap the light strands around the branches for a professional look). Stage 3 I layered extra bits of fabric to form a tree skirt. Next came 3 pink feather boas tucked inside the tree and a few pretty pink silk orchids. I love the way the pink feathers add a glow to the tree. Next came all the ornaments. (Hint: layer your ornaments throughout the tree, from inside by the trunk all the way to the tips, saving your nicest ornaments for the outside.) And lastly, I added some jewel-toned feathers to fill it in and top it. The only new thing this year is the tree, everything else I had from previous years or was re-purposed from other projects.

Happy Holidays everyone! I’ll post pictures of the outside tomorrow.

A Fabulous Red Shelf For the Bedroom…Free!

Another fabulous Alley Find…someone threw out this great red Ikea shelf unit just a block from the house, and it works great in the bedroom. The bottom shelf was broken off, but easily repaired with glue. Gotta love free! My neighbors toss out the best stuff ๐Ÿ˜‰

(all the stuff on the shelves we already had. Matchbook art by artist friend Paul Moschell. The black hand is a recent thrift store find for $3. See more of the bedroom projects on the Decorating link.)

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Artist House Tour: Marie M. Vlasic and Jiva Armetta Create Design Harmony at Home

Our home has been featured in Westword!

Artist House Tour: Marie M. Vlasic and Jiva Armetta Create Design Harmony at Home

Here is the link to the article: http://www.westword.com/arts/artist-house-tour-marie-m-vlasic-and-jiva-armetta-create-design-harmony-at-home-6631496

Lots of pictures of the house and artsy Q & A with yours truly. Here are some teaser images:

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Me and my Man Our Living Room.

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The Glam Rock Star Bedroom, with Pugs.

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My Art Studio.

There are lots more pics at the link above. Thanks to Jeanne Connolly for the article, and Anthony Camera for the great photos.

Actually, a lot has changed in the house since these photos were taken. (for instance, we are almost done with a total revamp of the living room), and I’ll be posting all the changes and details here soon. Be sure and subscribe to this blog so you won’t miss a thing!

Fun Space-age Faux Fur Chair DIY Make-over on a Found 60’s Chair, plus Furry Ottomans!

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I had a lot of fun with this one! A neighbor who moved left this awesome chair behind. It needed some work, but hey, it was FREE!

This is what it looked like BEFORE:

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Apparently someone’s dog had made a meal out of the legs, so my first step was to fix them.

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After sanding all the wood, I used Magic Sculpt to fill in the nibbled bits on the legs. Then more sanding after the Magic Sculpt dried.

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Then I sprayed them with a white gloss paint (primer and paint in one, about 3 coats).

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After the paint dried thoroughly, it was time to get furry! I used a long-pile Mongolian-style faux fur from Distinctive Fabric, combining white and black. Usually I would use a staple gun, but faux fur loves hot glue, it holds the fur like nothing else. Do be sure about your placement, as you will not be able to separate the fur once it dries. And of course, be very careful. Hot glue burns are no fun. Have a bowl of ice water on hand just in case, it really helps if you do burn yourself. I used an old screwdriver to push the fur into the cracks to avoid burns.

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I did the seat first, measuring and cutting the fur in place on the chair. You’ll want to pull the fur away from the backing when you are cutting as much as possible to avoid cutting into too much of the long pile. Fair warning, faux fur is really messy! It will cover everything, including you, so dress appropriately.

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The gluing was actually pretty easy, it just took some time. I worked in about 6-inch sections, laying the glue, pulling the fur into place and pushing down to stick it into the fur well. The great thing about faux fur is, the longer stuff covers a multitude of sins, so even a bit of a messy job will look great. And be sure and have a lot of glue sticks on hand, I used about ten long ones.

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For the upper part of the chair, I pinned the fur into place and then glued it.

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And it’s done! What a mess. My pug Max doesn’t seem to mind.

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Here it is in the living room. Next up, the furry ottomans…

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This was an easy one. I was tired of the boring black storage ottomans, so I used a staple gun to give them matching faux fur tops. This time I didn’t use the hot glue so I have the option of easily removing the fur in the future if I want.

Here they are BEFORE:

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I just removed the tops and stapled fur under the lids. Easy-peasy.

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And here they are! The pugs love them.

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New Fabulous Finds! Awesome Z Gallerie Vases from the Thrift Store…

New Fabulous Finds!

I love these big decorative vases from Z Gallerie. I found them at my favorite Goodwill this week, and they look great in the living room. They are in new condition, and still have the original price tags on the bottom ($49.99 each). I snapped them up for $14.99 each. Yay!

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Want to see the DIY on those vintage folding chairs? I found them in the alley and made them pretty.

That great acrylic cart came from Goodwill, too, and only $14.99!

What amazing things have you found lately? I’d love to hear about it in the Leave a Reply/Comments section.

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#

Valorie 013

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

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

adamwallacavage

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.

https://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.

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