Halloween Decor, Dia De Los Muertos Style! or…What I did outside the house this year…DIY

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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:

The Front Door. This was probably the easiest thing I did. The Katrina image I printed out on my computer, the old frame I had laying around, as well as the leftover silk flowers and neon flagging tape. I little hot glue and about 3 minutes and it was done. A fun change from the typical wreath.

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The Skull Altar. The silk flowers I’ve collected from thrift store, usually at about $2 a bunch. The dish I’ve had for ages, and the candles were another hand-me-down from that party of yore. (they are about $1.50 each at many grocery stores). The skull was a failed experiment from last year that I found another use for here. It is cello clay (fine Paper Mache) in a skull cake form from Wilton’s that I purchased on Ebay a couple years ago. I spray painted it white, was not happy with it at the time, and set it aside. I found it in the Halloween storage boxes this year, added a little stain to age it, and now it looks like a concrete skull. Great for the theme! I hot-glued it onto an old ceramic plate along with the silk flowers. I put some hot pink fabric scraps over the existing patio table, added a few of the candles and one of the big skull graphics* and voila! The Skull Altar.

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The Patio Table. The patio table is very simple, Just some leftover hot pink fabric (It’s acetate lining fabric originally from Distinctive Fabric that I got for about $1.50 a yard on sale), one of the old fake pumpkins, some of the silk flowers tied in a bunch with an orange ribbon, and a couple of the candles. One of things that makes it look good is that I knotted the fabric in a few random places. (the succulent garden has been on the table all Summer, I just moved it to the chair.)

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The Main Patio Display. The big display next to the door is also very simple. I draped some sparkly hot pink fabric over a string of pink lights, and added the skull graphics* on top of them. I also added a second string of pink lights behind the big skull to illuminate the tissue eyes. I put another fake pumpkin on the existing pots and added a few more of my silk flowers. (the white wrought iron things are always on the porch I just moved them to be part of the display.)

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Crows & Pumpkins. I love my crow decoys. I’ve had them for about a decade and use them somewhere every year. This year most of them are inside, but I played with the two outside ones and came up with this. The holes in the bottoms of the crow just happen to fit perfectly over fake pumpkin stems. I added a little hot glue to hold them there and then glued on a few of the silk flowers, and this is the result. I like the way it turned out.

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The rest of the yard. I placed the rest of the fake pumpkins around the yard, and the two I have that are missing their lights went on the plant stakes in the front pots. I kept it simple this year 😉 If you look closely, you can see a couple more of the big skull graphics in the upstairs windows.

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Here are some more pictures of the front for you. Enjoy!

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* The Skull Graphics. These were made by having Day of the Dead skull images (that were purchased from istock.com) printed out at about 2′ x 2.5′. These were attached to foam-core board with spray adhesive and cut out with an Xacto knife. I also cut out the eyes on a few of them and taped colored tissue on the backs so light could shine through.

A New Orleans House Tour Too Good Not To Share…

I ran across this delightful, eclectic DIY abode on Apartment Therapy and loved it so much I had to share it with you. It’s chock-full of some great DIY ideas. (See the full Article HERE)

The charming New Orleans home of Valorie Hart is full of personality and great ideas. I know it inspired me…

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Great Ideas in the living room: Simple wide black stripes painted on the left wall; Floor-to-ceiling luscious satin drapes (easy to make); and that old 70’s console, brought up to date with a coat of fresh white paint. The bright pops of color in the artwork finish the room perfectly.

 

 

 

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More fun art in this room, against that marvelous “ombre” wall (I AM going to steal that idea.) And of course, a static disco ball. (I have 2 of these in my house!)

 

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I love the fabric draping here, an elegant way to dress up a plain wall. (Attention renters!) The fabric cord cover on the lamps is the perfect finishing touch.

 

 

 

 

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I’m a huge fan of Fornasetti, but it’s way out of my price range. This is a fabulous idea! Print and decoupage your own wallpaper!

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A great example of making a color work by repeating it around the connecting rooms (Here, orange/red, but this can work with any color.)  And you’ve got to love the Union Jack-painted wardrobe!

 

 

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The outside patio is charming.Using the dark slate grey as a base and adding the pops of chartreuse green (and a little hot pink) works fantastically. I love the light-up ampersand with the plates on the wall.

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Yea, I could live here 😉

Hey DENVER! Happy April! It’s First-Friday Time…

It’s time for the best Free Date-Night in Denver, First Friday!

ImageProxy.mvcArtist Jessica Spring, Courtesy of Abecedarian Gallery

 

I know, I know. It’s cold out. It snowed today. Well quit your grousing, the snow will melt by tomorrow night. Put on a coat and go see some art!

Friday: All the Art Districts in Denver will be in full First-Friday mode. Santa Fe District, RINO District, Tennyson District…get out and have some fun. AND you’ll definitely want to hit the AFTER-PARTY at Redline from 8-11pm. Great venue, great artists, and they only do this a few times a year.

Saturday: FREE DAY at the Denver Art Museum, AND PENNY SATURDAY at the MCA! While you’re at the MCA, treat yourself to a coffee at the roof-top cafe’. It’s one of my favorite spots in Denver. You’ll thank me.

Have a great weekend everyone!

There are some great-looking openings this week. Here is the line-up, courtesy of Denverarts.org:

 

[Upcoming Events from the DenverArts.org Calendar]

April 03, 2014

April 04, 2014

April 05, 2014

April 07, 2014

April 08, 2014

April 09, 2014

Clean up the Art Wall: Paint the Frames. Easy & Fast DIY for a Pro Look.

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.

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When they were all dry, I replaced the art and hung them back up. Easy-peasy.

Here is the BEFORE:

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And here is the AFTER:

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…a little cleaner, a little sharper. I like it. The Art Wall is almost full now. Just a few more cool artsy finds to go!

What projects did you tackle this weekend? I’d love to hear about it in the Leave a Reply/Comments section.

 

Dino-licious Kitschy DIY Planters from Thrift-store Toy Dinosaurs

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Yes, I know. You’ve seen these Dinosaur planters all over the internet. Ho hum. Well I don’t care, I made a couple, and I’m going to show you how whether you like it or not.

I bought a bag of assorted dinosaurs at the thrift store for a couple bucks, determined to do something fun with them. I decided to turn the bigger ones into little planters. You can put pretty much any small plant in there, I know Tillandsia (air plants) have been a popular choice, as have small succulents, but I wanted to do something different. I found these tiny 1″ ornamental kale plants at the floral wholesaler and thought they’d be perfect (you should be able to find tiny plants at pretty much any nursery. I’ve also seen them at Home Depot.) I’ll probably have to transplant them if they get too much bigger, but for now they are a nice punch of color for our dreary Denver Winter.

I started with the rubbery Dinos, and cut out appropriate size holes with a sharp Xacto blade (If you have the really hard plastic Dinos, you will need to use real tools, like a drill & jigsaw.) I also popped out the squeaky bit on their undersides, which makes a perfect drainage hole.

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Next came the painting. I chose a gloss white, but you can paint them any color you like. Be sure and plug up the planting hole so no paint gets inside, as the plants wouldn’t like that very much. (those other little dinos are for another project you’ll see later this week)

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I let them dry overnight before planting. I filled in the deeper bits with some soil before squishing my little plants into the holes.

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After planting I gave them a good soak, and here they are gracing the kitchen window sill.

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Note: If were doing this again I would have given them 1-2 more coats of paint. That being said, I like them just fine as is. I little fun color for a Winter’s day that makes me smile, and it only cost me about $6.

Stay tuned for another Toy Dino Project later this week!

Stealing From Other People’s Homes (Decorating Ideas that is): Killer Glam Chicago Loft Full of DIY Goodness

I confess, I’m doing it again: Stealing. Stealing great decorating ideas from other people’s homes. This awesome Chicago loft was another one just too good not to share. Below I’m showing you a few pictures with Ideas to Steal from this glam space. You can see the whole article and many more pictures here: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/shaun-matts-glam-loft-house-tour-198170# (Apartment Therapy is one of my favorite decorating blogs, I highly recommend subscribing if you’re into decor www.apartmenttherapy.com)

Here are my favorite ideas from this amazing abode (and everyone of them would be cheap to do):

(all images from apartmenttherapy.com)

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The collection of art is a pure delight! If it were just a couple pieces it wouldn’t work, but en mass like this it’s an ode to kitsch. Great Idea: Strings of pearls draped on the portrait of Jaclyn Smith. It just works.

That chandelier made out of cheap gold earrings is genius! How many times have I seen those big grab bags of jewelry at the thrift store and not known what to do with them. Now I do!

A sequin wall? Oh Hells yes! Total Hollywood glam. This would be great on a door, on a headboard, a small bathroom wall, there are so many places this could be fun to try. It’s especially good against the black gloss fireplace.

Every home needs a mannequin. Mine is named “Talullah”. She’ll be getting a new paint job this year. That gold looks pretty good…

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This one is so simple and looks terrific! Funky lamp shades hung at varying heights from the ceiling. So easy! A fun assortment of shades from the thrift store, light kits from Home Depot, and your done! Love it.

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Note the doors, covered in a lovely brocade. Another great idea. Could be fabric or wallpaper or stenciled.

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Old door as decor. Makes a great backdrop. Plain wood or painted a great color, doors are great wall space fillers. Would also make for a unique headboard, connect 3 or more with hinges as a room divider, you get the idea. I would add a light behind this hanging door, would look amazing at night.

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There you have it, my personal picks from this great home. Again, see it all here: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/shaun-matts-glam-loft-house-tour-198170#_

Until next time, Happy DIY!

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.