As promised, here is the entry and stairwell, all set up and ready for this year’s Halloween shenanigans…
Did I happen to mention I LOVE HALLOWEEN! I live in an old “Denver Square” Victorian home, so our decorating tends to be a sort of “Victorian Goth” style. Today we’ll tour the Front Room, where most of the Halloween Magic happens. Everything you see is either DIY, found, reused, or picked up cheap at the thrift store. This year the only things I spent actual cash money on are a couple of pumpkins, the little gourds, and of course the candy. The biggest splurge was a giant 20 pound white heirloom gourd. It was just too cool to pass up, and I’ll use it for Thanksgiving too. TIP! The trick to keeping your Halloween decor fresh is to use your old stuff in new ways. Move it to another room, create new combinations, or paint it.
I love Halloween!!! I go a little nutso decorating every year, but always on a budget. Most of our things we’ve been reusing for years, (like the fake pumpkins and crow decoys, though we do add a few new things here and there from yard sales, thrift stores, even dumpster-diving. I try and change it up a bit every year by moving things around and using things in different ways. I acquired these “hand-me-down” Dia De Los Muertos skull graphics from a big party I helped with a couple years ago, so they were Free! And I love them. It’s because of them I decided to go all Day of the Dead-ish outside this year. I used a unifying theme of hot pink fabric. (all leftover from other projects) Here is all I did, step by step:
I know I haven’t done a fashion post for awhile, so here it goes! I really liked the funky outfit I put together last night so I’ll share it with you.
I always like to prove you can do almost all your shopping from the thrift store and look great, so here is what I wore last night, with descriptions and prices on everything…
(Pictures taken at Denver’s Union Station)
I love a little pop of color when wearing neutrals! It makes the outfit.
From Top to Bottom:
The long-sleeve square-neck black top is by “Velvet”, Goodwill $3.99, purchased this Summer.
Faux Fur Vest by Charlotte Ruse, also from Goodwill, $6.99, purchased last Fall.
DIY Black Heart Necklace (see it HERE) Created February this year.
Leopard-print brushed cotton jeans by Jones New York, Goodwill $8.99. Purchased last year.
HYPE black and gold clutch, Neiman Marcus Last Call, $38 (Originally about $200) purchased about 6 years ago. (this bag was a splurge for me, but I actually use it a ton.)
Costa Blanca Hot Pink satin ankle boots, Neiman Marcus Last Call $18. (originally over $100) purchased about 7 years ago.
Bracelet, Goodwill, $2.99, purchased a couple months ago.
So there you have it, more great looks from your neighborhood thrift store. What have you found lately? I’d love to hear about it.
The charming New Orleans home of Valorie Hart is full of personality and great ideas. I know it inspired me…
I had some fun getting all glam with my Easter eggs this year. Gold & Silver leaf! It was easy. I dyed the eggs with standard dye, and limited it to two colors (though you can use any colors you like). The tricky part was blowing out the eggs first. (I wanted them to keep long-term, and well, you wouldn’t want to eat them after the leaf is applied).
This weekend I unified the art on the “Art Wall” by simply painting the frames. A hodge-podge of thrift store frames is made to look a bit more professional by painting them all the same color. In this case I chose black, as there were already a few black frames on the wall. And I like black. Yes, you will notice a couple new frames and a new screen print. I snagged these at a garage sale this morning (screen print $5, frames $2 each).
First, I removed everything from the frames and cleaned the dust off. Then it was off to the back yard on a rare Spring-like day in February to do a little spray painting. I used 2X Cover in Black Gloss by Rustolium. I love this paint. Two coats, no priming, worked great.
I love Chanel. The first thing I’d buy if I won the lottery is a big fat Chanel handbag. And some Chanel shoes. And belts, and scarves, and jewelry…ok, you get the idea. So in the meantime, I’ve created this Chanel-esque camellia necklace from painted polymer clay (Super Sculpy) and a vintage faux pearl necklace.
Paint your love a picture. It’s not hard, I promise! The trick is in the layers…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Now it’s time to edge the heart in a rough, uneven way, still scraping over the lines with your palette knife.
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.
Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope you’re having a fun one.
Here it is, the final piece of Valentine’s Jewelry, at least for now. I saved the easiest for last…