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:

vlasiclivingroom3-1mb

Me and my Man Our Living Room.

vlasicbedroom1-1mb

The Glam Rock Star Bedroom, with Pugs.

vlasicartstudio1-1mb

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!

furchairsidefront

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:

furchairbeforefront furchirbeforeback

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

furchairlegbefore furchairlegsbefore

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.

furchairlegfix

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

furchairpainting

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.

furchairbefore  furchairseat

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.

furchairglueing

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.

furchairpinning

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

furchairdone

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

furchairside furchairfront furchairsidefront

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

furchairwithottomans

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:

furottomansbefore

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

furottomancover

And here they are! The pugs love them.

furchairmax

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!

zgallvases1 zgallvases3   zgallvases2

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.

Fun DIY Fornasetti Decoupage Ceiling Design for the Rock Star Glam Bedroom

I adore Fornasetti. I’d love to paper a wall with Fornasetti wallpaper, but since $300+ a roll is a bit out of my price range (and it seems to be discontinued at that) I wanted to create my own look with the Fornasetti “Julia” images. I’ve been looking for the right project to use the imagery on for awhile now, and came up with this fun design that I decoupaged onto my bedroom ceiling around the medallion. It was easy and cost almost nothing.

ceilinglightdone

Ceiling Before:

ceilinglightbefore

I started out by finding the images I wanted through a Google image search. In addition to the Fornasetti, I wanted to add a touch of color to the design, so I printed out these Damian Hurst butterfly images as well. I then sized the Julia faces all to 8″ and the butterflies about 2″ and printed them all on plain white paper and cut them out carefully. Then I played around on the rug with various layouts and finally decided on this one:

ceilinglightlayout

Now it’s time to decoupage! Just mix 3 parts Elmer’s glue (any basic white glue should work), to 1 part water, brush it lightly but thoroughly on the back of the image and on the surface to be covered and carefully lay on the image. This can be a little tricky as you want to avoid air bubbles. I start at one corner and smooth it gently to the other corner. If you get a bubble gently work it out with the damp brush.

And here it is finished! The whole process took about an hour and cost only the cash to cover the ink, paper and glue, so pennies!

ceilinglightdone2 ceilinglightdone3

ceilinglightdone

…I also had a little fun on the back of the bedroom door with some Fornasetti arms and a couple more butterflies…

bedroomdoor bedroomdoor2

A Note on Copyrighted Images: It’s ok to do things like this for your own personal use, but you cannot use copyrighted images on anything you are going to sell, or you can be sued for copyright infringement.

You can see some of the Rock Star Glam bedroom DIY’s here:

Ceiling Light Redo

Found Hipster Art Make-Over

And the rest HERE.

The Biggest Mistake People Make in Decorating for Halloween…How to Pull it All Together: Helpful Hints & Tips

What sets a well-decorated home apart from the rest? You know it when you see a well-done house, it just looks good. But what is it that sets it apart? There are a few things that tie together a good Halloween house, but the Biggest Mistake is…

Mistake #1: Throwing up the Halloween decorations on top of the everyday decor. (This goes for every holiday, not just Halloween!)

It’s messy. It’s cluttered. It’s hodge-podge. It looks thrown together, like you didn’t care. It looks like “Why did they bother”? The best way to get a good look for your Halloween decor is to put away the everyday stuff (at least some of it) and create holiday vignettes where you want the decorations to shine. (Usually the best places to go all-out are where people will be gathering: The porch or patio, the front entry, the dining room. I have a huge antique trunk in the dining room. This is where all the “every-day” decor and tchotchkes are carefully stored away for the holiday season (Halloween-New Years) so I can get crazy and look good for the holidays.

Mistake #2: No theme.

All kinds of stuff, from different eras, tossed randomly around the house. It doesn’t really work. Organize your spooky goodies into themes, by area. I have all sorts of different goodies that I’ve collected over the years from thrift stores and yard sales, but I make it work by grouping by color, era, or subject matter. Do you have an awesome collection of vintage pumpkins? Group them on a table for a delightful vignette. Have a bunch of cool skulls? Display them together on the mantle. Collections have a much greater impact than objects placed individually. Have a bunch of miscellaneous Halloween stuff that’s just all orange? That works, too. And lastly, if you are into the scary stuff, keep that together as well. Cute and scary don’t get along so well in the same space. Try creating a theme in each room, or at least in different areas of the same room. In my main room, I have several different vignettes: The white and black stuff is together on the tall cabinet; the Devilish stuff is on, in or near the short cabinet, and a skull collection resides by the window. All my Dia De Los Muertos decor is grouped on the front porch.

Mistake #3: No unifying factor.

The unifying factor is what pulls it all together. It’s what makes the eye flow easily from one space to another. My unifying factor is sheer black fabric. It goes with every vignette in the house, and even though the displays may be different in the room, the use of the black flowing from one to the other pulls it all together.

Here are a couple examples:

halloween2014insidediningroomcabinetbefore2

BEFORE: the Tall Cabinet

fall2014cabinet

AFTER: the Tall Cabinet

I removed the purple glass collection and grouped all the what and black items here, with some of the “unifying” sheer black fabric.

halloween2014insidediningroommantlebefore

BEFORE: the Mantle

fall2014mantle

AFTER: the Mantle

Again, all the regular every day decor has been packed away for the glory of Halloween.

halloween2014insidediningroomcabinetbefore

BEFORE: the Small Cabinet

fall2014cornerdining

AFTER: the Small Cabinet

All the “devilish” things are in this corner. I cleared out the cabinet and put my devil head in there with some red lights. Instead of packing away the candles, I decided to just use them differently. You can never have too many candles, they create a great atmosphere. You’ll notice the sheer black fabric repeated here as well.

See all the Halloween decor here: The Front Room, The Entry & Stairwell, and Outside.

Victorian Gothic Halloween, A Home Tour: Part 2: The Entry & Stairwell.

As promised, here is the entry and stairwell, all set up and ready for this year’s Halloween shenanigans…

fall2014stairs4   fall2014stairs2

This year I brought all my old crow decoys inside the house (see the Front Room decor HERE) and I love the way they look on top of the newel posts, so dramatic! Attaching them was challenging, but I figured it out using zip ties. (Look below to see how I attached them.) I also used zip ties to attach the garlands and lights to the railing. So quick and easy, and super fast to take down. That’s our regular Dogvacay guest Cleo the Weimeraner at the top of the stairs in the second photo. Oh, I almost forgot the mice. Good ol’ Martha Stewart mice, from Micheal’s craft store. I’ve been using them for about 4 years now.

halloween2014insidestairs4 halloween2014insidediningroom

Here is how I attached the crows with zip ties. I then used sheer black fabric to cover up the bases and the zip ties. I also did the lights a little different this year. Instead of just stringing the tri-color and amber lights along the railing, I gathered more of the sheer black fabric around them, and draped more of the fabric down from the railing here and there. I like the look. On top of that I wrapped in my old fake fall leaves garland. (All of the garland was purchased at the thrift store years ago.) After Halloween, I’ll remove the black fabric, tri-colored lights, and crows and just leave the amber lights and leaves up for Thanksgiving.

fall2014stairs3   fall2014stairs5  

 

Here is the landing at the top of the stairs. I put a couple of those fun blinking eye shoe boxes here under the chair for a little ghoulish surprise.

fall2014topofstairs3   fall2014topofstairs
Lastly, here is the front entry at the bottom of the stairs. I used more of that sheer black fabric to drape the mirror (over a string of purple lights), the pedestal, and the chair. The skull on top of the pedistal “smokes” and changes colors. These are also from Target a few years back. I also added some little black bats across the front door. I just printed them off the computer, cut them out and attached to the wall. The graphic on the door is also just a printed image on glossy photo paper. The fun ghoul portraits on the walls next to the front door I bought at Target about 5 years ago, half-off the day after Halloween of course 😉 My vintage “trick” light at the bottom of the stairs is still one of my favorites. It was purchased at a garage sale over a decade ago for a few dollars.

fall2014entry2 fall2014entry

I promise to post a video tour of the Halloween decor within the week. Happy Halloween everyone!

Victorian Gothic HALLOWEEN!!!!!! A Home Tour: Today, the Front Room. Decorating on the Cheap DIYs, Tips & Tricks.

fall2014table

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.

Let’s start with the table shall we? (See picture above). Most everything on the table I’ve had for years. The candy jars and beakers I’ve been collecting from the thrift store whenever I find them, usually about $3-5 each.  Even the candy corn is “reused. (I put it in the freezer after last year’s celebration ;-). Those plastic bones were leftover from a cheap “Bag of Bones” that we used pieces from for our voodoo costumes last year. TIP! The awesome big skull, the black tablecloth, and the skeleton salad tongs were purchased half-off at Target years ago. The day after Halloween they mark everything half-off. That’s the time to stock up!

fall2014mantle  fall2014diningroom

The Mantle. TIP! The mass of sheer black fabric is what makes the look. I happened to get the fabric as free hand-me-downs from a previous large event I decorated, but you can find it cheap. The fabric is simply knotted and draped over the mantle, with red lights underneath. The red string lights serve double-duty for Xmas. The “Happy Halloween” garland I made last year. (See the DIY HERE). The pumpkins and gourdes are from the grocery store, and the glitter skulls came from Target a few years back. The pumpkins-and-crows graphic I printed out on the home printer last year and reused. See if you can spot the “ghost dog” in the second photo 😉

fall2014cabinet

For the cabinet to the right of the fireplace I created a new vignette by putting all the white decorations together there. These are all things we’ve been using for Halloween for years except the mask. It’s been hanging in our closet for a couple years and I decided to add it into the mix for Halloween this year. (we have a thing for masks 😉 And there’s more of that sheer black fabric. You’ll notice it all over the room, used as a “unifying” factor for the decor. Knotting it adds interest.

fall2014cornerdining

For the cabinet to the left of the fireplace, we had a little fun. I emptied the cabinet and created a little scene in there with a few “devilish” items we had elsewhere in previous years, keeping it fresh by moving things around from last year. The top of the cabinet is the same as last year (See a DIY on those candlesticks HERE) There is nothing new here, just the old stuff “re-purposed”.

fall2014diningcorner2

Remember those ghoulish blinking eyes that were outside last year? Here they are, moved inside. This is just 3 of the shoe box eyes stacked on top of each other and covered with the sheer black fabric. The black glitter sticks that were outside last year have been placed behind the eyes this year, and I removed the regular art on the wall and replaced it with a couple vintage dime store masks I’ve also had for years.

fall2014window  fall2014window2  fall2014skullcollection

The Window. I love how this looks. These are my old crow decoys that I usually put outside. I brought them all inside this year and put two of them in the big pots. I added some more of the sheer black fabric and some black feather boas to create a “nest’ for them and cover their bases. There’s that giant gourd I mentioned earlier. The skull collection inside the black and white display is actually there year-round. There’s a reason why our  friends call us “Gomez and Morticia”!

Here are a couple more pictures for you to enjoy. I hope you’ve been inspired! Next time: The Entry and Staircase.

fall2014withemma  fall2014diningroom2

That’s our pug Emma in the first picture, and our “guest” Miss Cleo the Weimeraner in the second. (we dog-sit through Dogvacay) What hams!