Framing Nature: Creating Art from Objects Found in the Yard

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!

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Thanks for looking!

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DIY Necronomicon! Happy Halloween!

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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.

IMG_7200IMG_7202First 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.IMG_7203IMG_7205IMG_7206For 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.IMG_7207IMG_7209IMG_7211

IMG_7210Next 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.IMG_7213IMG_7215I 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.necronomiconcreation2necronomiconcreationAt 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.IMG_7232I used acrylic paints, starting with a dark layer to give depth in the deeper areas.IMG_7233IMG_7234I used it watery then dabbed off the excess with a rag.IMG_7235Next 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.IMG_7236The 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.

necronomicon8necronomicon2necronomicon7necronomicon4necronomicom6necronomicon3My very own Necronomicon! Ashy Slashy would be proud 🙂

 

It’s HALLOWEEN!! Part 3 of 3 Spooky Decor 2019: Saved the Best for Last…

(Part 1 HERE) (Part 2 HERE)

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…

halloween2019diningtable4The 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.halloween2019diningtable3halloween2019diningroomnighthalloween2019diningtablehalloween2019diningtablenight

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).

halloween2019mistress2halloween2019mistressnighthalloween2019mistresshalloween2019counterdayhalloween2019counter I kept the kitchen bar counter more simple and elegant this year, to go with the table decor.halloween2019diningroom2halloween2019monsterpicsI 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!! Part 2 of 3 Spooky Decor 2019: Come Inside…

(See Part 1 HERE)

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

halloween2019entryinsideI love these creepy little ceramic eyes from Target. I have sprinkled them all over the house. This is just inside the entry door.halloween2019eyeshalloween2019stoveOur 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)halloween2019deskEven my desk gets a bit of spirit.halloween2019bats2These 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.halloween2019batshalloween2019planteyehalloween2019kitwindow2The 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!)

halloween2019counterdayhalloween2019counterDay & Night on the kitchen bar counter.halloween2019diningroomhalloween2019collectionMy 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.

I’ve saved the Best for Last…Part 3 tomorrow!

It’s HALLOWEEN!! Part 1 of 3 Spooky Decor for 2019: OUTSIDE

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.

halloween2019frontI still love my skeleton howling dogs, snagged at 75% off at Big Lots a couple years ago. The human skeleton was a dumpster find.halloween2019front2I 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.

halloween2019scene2This 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.

halloween2019crows3The 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.halloween2019crows2halloween2019crows

halloween2019gateA couple more crows flank the entry gate. The sign on the gate is another old dumpster find.

halloween2019entryI 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…halloween2019doorhalloween2019door2

That’s it for Part 1! We’ll move inside for Part 2 and 3. Follow this Blog and see it all!

Thanks for looking 🙂

Carmen, an RV Makeover Love Story, Part 3 (of 3)

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.

the Kitchen, Bathroom & Exterior

rvrearkitchenareathe Kitchen, BEFORE

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Carmen, an RV Makeover Love Story, Part 2 (of 3)

It’s time for Part 2 of our RV makeover adventure. (See Part One HERE) Today it’s about the loft and cab, as well as the closet and a few extras.

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BEFORE

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Carmen, an RV Makeover Love Story, Part 1 (of 3)

Please allow me to introduce you to Miss Carmen Amaya, a 1984 vintage GMC Vandura 3500 21″ Recreational Vehicle, made over in the name of that iconic Flamenco-dancing Bad-Ass Carmen Amaya. This lady has taken me on quite a journey over the last 4 months. She’s been pretty well gutted, and then glittered up, dangled and frocked within an inch of her life, and I hope now worthy of her glorious namesake. It took about 100 glue sticks, 2 packages of industrial staples, 3 big cans of spray adhesive, 4 gallons of paint, about 45 yards of fabric, 50 yards of gold gimp trim, countless trips to thrift stores for pillows, bedding, and assorted chotchkis and Home Depot for wood and screws and other industrial what-nots…Not to mention a world of bumps, scraps, bruises and hours and hours of labor. She is worth every bit of it.

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BEFORE

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That’s my friend Xavier, who was good enough to help me out with some of the early stages of the transformation. Couldn’t have done it without you bud!

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Happy Holidays! A Night & Day House Tour

Happy Holidays All! No matter how you celebrate the season, I hope you are having fun! Here is our new home all done up for the holidays. It is scaled back quite a bit since moving into our new (and much smaller) home, but I just can’t let go of my Maximalist leanings 🙂 Long-time followers of the blog will recognize most of our decor from the old house recycled in new ways for the new.

The only “new” things this year are the fresh wreaths and garland from trusty ‘ol Trader Joe’s, our adopted curb goose we brought home to live with us last year, and new sequined ribbon on our tree (75% off from an after-the-holidays sale at Neiman Marcus).

First, the Outside.

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Living Room Deluxe Redoux

As promised, here is the living room in all it’s Maximalist glory, finally (mostly) complete since buying the house in October 2017. I completed all the painting and wallpaper in a busy two-day whirlwind of back-aching labor, and it was worth it! So happy to have this part finished. There will be a couple small odds and ends to come (like a proper curtain and rod and the main window) but it is for all intents and purposes Fini!

BEFORE

This is what the living looked like when we moved in, sans the previous owner’s furniture.

 

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