Holidays at the New House Part Deux…plus the First Big Project!


As promised, here is the outside of the new house gently done up for the Holidays. You may recognize the decorations from previous years at the old house, all recycled here this year. The one new addition is our delightful Christmas Goose, a curbside find (ie: free) here in Salt Lake City a few weeks ago. I’ve named him Gustav the Goose (yea I know, I’m a dork :-). He is lit by a section of led rope light. (I just poked it up through the hole he has in his feet 🙂

Also FIRST BIG PROJECT REVEAL!  We had new steps and a gate put in a couple weeks ago. We love what it does for the entry to the house both functionally and aesthetically. We are planning to add wall caps to the new concrete walls as well as paint the house a coordinating grey in the spring and will also refinish the deck. Here are the before and afters, during the day and at night.




…and here are some more decorations outside.


…and at night.

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Until next year!

Have the most amazing holiday season & a an incredibly prosperous New Year.

Thank you so much for reading my blog!

We Moved! First Holiday in the New House…

2 months ago we moved from Denver, Colorado to Salt Lake City, Utah. It’s been a crazy whirlwind but we are finally starting to feel settled in our new city. There is still a ton of work to do, lots of painting, wallpaper, landscaping etc. etc., and of course I will be blogging lots of “Before & After” projects as things progress. It’s been a big challenge as we have seriously down-sized (the new house is much smaller) and got rid of at least half of our stuff in the move. It’s been good for us 🙂 Even though I havn’t had time to do any painting yet, I just had to get some holiday decorations up. It’s definitely scaled down after our over-the-top Denver Victorian, much more streamlined. On the bright side, I can do it in a day instead of the 2-3 days it took in the old house. You’ll see that most of the decor has been “recycled” from the old house. The only new holiday stuff are some stunning flowers and fresh greens from good ol’ Trader Joe’s (I wouldn’t have moved here if SLC didn’t have a TJs 😉  I spent a total of just $29 on 3 bunches of flowers, a bunch of greens, and cedar garland, and got enough goodies to make 3 flower arrangements and had enough greens left over to spread around the house. Oh and a tried a couple waxed amaryllis bulbs on the dining room table (also from TJs, $7.99 each) and I love them! Zero maintenance, perfect. TJs is the BEST place for flowers!


I will get pics of the outside in the next couple of days. In the meantime, enjoy. Happy Holidays!


The entry to our house is actually what was originally the back of the house. Long story, but they apparently moved the street some time ago, so we live in the Backwards House 🙂 For now our front door is a sliding glass door ( we may change it to French doors in the future). The front room serves as an entry and my art studio. More pics in the near future, I promise. holidayhouse2017o

I spoiled myself with a lovely flower arrangement and an orchid on my desk. (all from TJs) It’s the perfect spot to work at, with a view of the yard and the city and mountains to the West.holidayhouse2017m

Our quirky home came with this antique wood-burner (yes it works!) Right now it is functioning as a fancy plant stand.holidayhouse2017e

Our little dining room is just big enough and flooded with light. This area gets the most action in the house so it has most of the holiday decor. You may recognize most of these metallic ornaments as being on our mantle in the old house in previous years. They look great in their new space.holidayhouse2017lholidayhouse2017j


The living room is much more minimal than at the old house, just the tree and holiday flowers under the TV (I really need to work on hiding the wires! Add that project to the list 🙂holidayhouse2017dholidayhouse2017c

Can’t wait to see how it all looks next year after I’ve painted and wallpapered…

I will post the outside decorations in a few days. Have a great weekend everyone! Happy decorating!

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 😉

(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.)



Found Mail Box Victorian DIY Re-Style (and it was FREE!)

Found Mail Box Victorian DIY Re-Style


OK, I know most of you probably don’t have gee gobs of art supplies lying around like I do, but even if you had to buy the supplies for a project like this it would be pretty cheap. I found this old mailbox abandoned in an alley near my home, and I used supplies I had on hand to fix it up to match our Victorian house so this project didn’t cost me a dime. Admittedly it is a temporary fix, as we have our eye on a really nice proper Victorian mailbox in the future, but for now, this one is cute, and is much much better than the basket we had sitting next to our door for mail 😉

Mail Box – BEFORE (yikes!)


First things first, I cleaned it up, scraped off the vinyl house letters on top, and did my best to remove the industrial crud stuck on the front. I couldn’t get all of the cement-like substance off, but planned to cover it up with a fun design…


Then I painted the inside a gloss purple. Why purple? It matches our house trim. Most people don’t think about the inside of a mailbox, but you see it every time you get the mail (and maybe the mail carriers appreciate it too 😉


Next came the outside. I painted it in a copper metal paint because most of the metal (the gutter, the rain chain, etc.) is copper on the front of the house. This paint is real copper, patinas with time, and wears well. I couldn’t find this exact brand online (I’ve had it for years) but there are many great metallic paints out there at home improvement stores. This paint took 4 coats to cover completely. Any nice color would work equally well, especially nice in gloss.

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Next came the fun part. I pulled out my big box of bits and jewels and played around till I had a design I liked, then glued it on with Duco Cement. The jewels I chose to use where wrapped in copper metal tape, so were an obvious choice (I acquired all the jewels from artist Lonnie Hanzon’s studio auction years ago. I’ve been using them up bit by bit over the years.) You could glue anything onto a box like this: beads, findings, whatever tickles your fancy.


I decided to write “Mail” on the box, and had a little fun using my old calligraphy skills. (it’s far from perfect, but it will do.) Writing not your cup of tea? Buy some nice stick-on letters at the home improvement store or decoupage it. If your box is away from your door, you may want to put your house number on the box instead. Here I used permanent marker and metallic paint marker for the accents. (the box is in total shade so will not be faded by the sun)


And here it is hung by the front door. A fun, funky one-of-a-kind mailbox.

I hope you’ve been inspired to create your own fun mailbox! For more inspiration, do a Google image search for “unique mailbox”. There are some amazing creations out there!