Sunday, October 23, 2011

Create a Personalized Sign for Your Home

Visit the website for easy, beautiful projects to make your home beautiful and all the stencils, plaster molds and window etch designs you need to create a gorgeous space!

In my last post, I showed you how I transformed my tired, weathered, quite ugly exterior doors in to elegant entrances in to my home.

I love this home; It's beautiful, it's serene, it's peaceful and I'm making it very elegant.

I wanted to voice that sentiment to all visitors which I did by creating a special sign that greets visitors.

I started with a 1" thick  square of wood that I sanded and primed, then painted with the same exterior paint color I used for the doors.

I had custom lettering cut out of exterior vinyl from our friends as and applied them to the face of the sign. "Chateau De L' Amour" which means "Castle of Love" in French. R.A. Smith has a great little tool on the website that allows you to create the phrase you want, choose the font and the color and then whips out a quote for the design before you ever purchase. How cool is that?

I then used a raised plaster stencil with joint compound, in a small border design to do the edges of the sign. 

After it was dry, I painted it with the same exterior paint to seal it.

Adding metallic gold paint to the design and a coat of exterior varnish over the metallic completed the sign.

It now hangs lovingly outside my back door (the main entrance to the house). Always a reminder of how I love my oasis in the forest. How grateful I am to have the opportunity to add to the history and beauty of this home.

See the cute floral etched glass design on the door glass? That's from my new Etched Glass Vinyl Window Collection! See it on my website: Etched Glass Vinyl Window Decal Designs

The way I see it, we never truly "own" our homes. We are simply care takers. Placed here to add to the longevity, the history, the beauty and love of these structures; these properties. We have the honor of adding to their character and just a little bit of us stays with the property forever.....our "foot print". What a cool thought.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

How to Give Old Doors New Life

Visit my website at for many easy, fun, elegant projects for making your home the home you always wanted! Find painting and plaster stencils and ornamental molds to give your home a uniqueness that is totally YOU!

How to Give Old Doors New Life

Having a home in the high mountains of northern Idaho has it's drawbacks. The climate, both winter and summer, can be absolutely brutal on a home.

Though I've owned the home for 6 years, it mainly served as a vacation home and got neglected, simply because I was rarely here to do common maintenance.

Now that I live here permanently, I find many chores that needed to be done simply to prepare for the pending hard winter snows.

The exterior doors were cracked, dry and badly in need of repair. But you know me, I had to go one step beyond and make them look elegant as well!

After patching the cracks and sanding the doors, I added my English Traditional Raised Plaster Stencil to the bottom of the doors using wood patch (instead of joint compound) and then gave the doors two coats of exterior paint in a custom color I mixed myself.

The final step was to add that "Ooohhh LaLa" look by painting just the design with pewter metallic paint. A quick coat of exterior sealer will protect it from the harsh winter.

All of my exterior doors have now been embellished with the same treatment, giving my exterior a uniform appearance. The house trim was painted the same color, bringing a charming look to my new home!

Ah, the plans I have for this place....I'll keep you posted!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

New Stainless Steel Paint for Tired and Outdated Appliances!

It's fun being a global moderator for the website. I get to connect with some of the world's top faux finish artists and beginners alike. The cool thing is, there is always something new to tickle my fancy and set my brain on fire.
This morning, there was a post about a new stainless steel paint for appliances.

Rima Bechara tested the process on her own refrigerator with amazing results! The cool part was that she used one of my stencil designs in the center of the freezer door with glass beads and the result was so "designer"! Check it out!

Stainless Steel Refrigerator Make Over.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

4 Months of Change

Since the big move to my northern Idaho home this past April, life has been a whirlwind of change and activity. Whew! Maybe I can actually take a breath now?
I have found that living in the mountains, far from the city lights and traffic, that life is a heck of a lot different here than anything I've ever known. Angry porcupines under the back stairs, a black bear in my driveway who took off through the forest with my bag of kitchen garbage, strewing it through the woods like a crumb trail that I had to clean up, baby fawns who want to play and huge wild turkeys staring in the window at me. Yes, it's different indeed...different and AWESOME!

These first months were spent putting everything away in this 4,000 square foot chalet and re-setting up my business to operate at some level of efficiency. But alas, I am settled and back on the road to creating! Yipee!

The cool thing is that I have walls and ceilings completely void of my artistic additions which means I have a whole blank canvas to play with! I'll be updating you with each new blog post.

So I'm BACK! And glad to be here once again!

Visit my website at to see new designs and new decorating projects to inspire you!

Monday, April 11, 2011

It's Not Luxury If You Don't Use It

Visit the website for fascinating ways to use stencils and molds to create a high end looking home on a budget! And watch this blog and the website for updates as to what I do with my home in Northern Idaho!

It's not luxury if you don't use it!

When I was little, I was fascinated with the old black and white movies of the 40's that my Mother would watch. I loved the houses with their decorative plaster, the grand bedrooms, the long flowing gowns the women would wear and the elaborate table settings in these films. I was smitten from an early age!

 I always dreamed of candelabras on my dinner table, linen napkins, fine china and exquisite silver. I dreamed of beautiful dresses in my closet, wonderful and unusual jewelry and fur rugs on my floors.

As I've aged, as I've collected these gorgeous articles of the finer life, (even if they came from thrift stores!), I also them! 

Where most people keep their fine china hidden away on an upper shelf in the cupboard , keep the linens tucked away for use only at Christmas, and the real pearls in the back end of their jewelry boxes, I choose to use mine on a daily basis.

My thinking is: "Why did I buy them if I am not going to enjoy them"?

For years, I went through the "silver" stage, collecting silver serving pieces from thrift stores and I now have a most luscious serving set for my table. And I use them!

There is something to eating from your fine china and digging out the special dishes. It makes you "feel" special! It makes even the simplest dinner, somehow more wonderful. Using those fork rests, pouring your coffee from your lovely coffee decanter, sipping your tea or coffee from those beautiful cups you have tucked away. All of it makes you feel like you are living the high life, even when your budget is for mac and cheese.

So just as I believe in making even the most modest home something elegant and beautiful, I also believe in using the beautiful things I have in my life as a reward for all my hard work, for all toil and worry and sweat and tears. It brings me joy.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Raised Plaster Wall Frames Add Interest and Detail to Any Wall

Visit the website for hundreds of Raised Plaster and Painting stencils along with great ideas to use them creatively in your home.

Raised Plaster Wall Frames Add Interest and Detail to Any Wall.

I've long loved plaster frames on the walls to not only create more interest and architectural detail, but to also provide a framed area for paintings or photographs and even simple faux finishes, cast plaster ornament arrangements or small murals.

Any of the straight border or molding stencil designs on my website will accomplish this. 
For instance, my husband's music studio had blank walls and I wanted to do something spectacular to dress them up for him.

I plastered large columns with our Life-sized Column Stencil on the wall and then created raised plaster frames between them, using my Raised Plaster Ornate Frame Stencil set.

I plastered the frames and let them dry.

Inside the frames, I then hand painted sheet music over the top of a faux marble finish and stenciled my Violin stencil and Guitar stencil in the center of different frames. 

Everyone from our house appraiser to the many music clients he's had over the years just raved about the walls, running their hands over the raised designs in amazement.

Consider adding raised plaster frame treatments to large, empty walls, thin frames that run vertically down the sides of your fireplace, over your mantle or on the ceiling. Any of the straight border or molding stencils work well for this application.
Click the links below to see great stencils that work well for frames.

Two of my most favorite for creating wall frames are:

The degree of ornateness is simply dictated by which stencil design you choose.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Creating Life-sized Trees on Your Walls is Easy!

Visit the website for lots of tips and tricks to creating a beautiful home along with hundreds of stencil and plaster mold designs to suit your needs.

Large, lovely tree designs inside the home has become quite the rage for the past few years! And I love it!

Where they used to simply be part of a large wall mural, now, tree designs are being used as a single focal point.

Our Raised Plaster Aspen Tree Stencil has been used to create that single focal point, but also to literally cover the walls in a forest of trees! And every time someone sends me a new picture of what they did with that stencil, I'm so amazed at the different variations.

Some people, such as Kitty Ariza (one of my favorite and most creative customers) decided to do an interesting little twist on my Aspen Tree Stencil. Instead of adding the branch of leaves stencil, she opted to glue metal leaves to the tree that she found at a craft store. How cool is that???

The look is fabulous!

The tree actually begins down in the stairwell and climbs all the way up to the upper ceiling!
I also love the beige tone she used on the wall which sets off the gold tone of the leaves perfectly! The slight shading on the right side of the trunk helps to give the raised stencil design even more depth.

So if you have a blank wall space in your home that needs something grand, consider this design option.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Raised Plaster Aspen Tree Stencil Used For Fine Art

I loved Carmen Tome's blog this morning. Using our Raised Plaster Aspen Tree Stencil, she created the most beautiful "tree of life" design using awesome materials....

Check out here Utterings of a Mad Artist to learn more.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Instant Stick on Frame for Mirrors

Visit the website for new stencil designs, ornamental plaster molds for walls and ceilings and fascinating new decorating ideas YOU can do to give your home a touch of class and drama.

Perusing my latest issue of Traditional Homes Magazine, I came across a fascinating advertisement for Mirrormate Frames for those plain mirrors we have in our bathrooms.

My curiosity was peaked when I read "Press on". Press on? Really? So I checked it out.

Sure enough, they are! And you can have them custom sized for your mirror.

From very plain to very fancy, there's a style that will suit your tastes and budget.

Check it out at

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Creating Textured Patterns in Drywall Mud

Visit the website for exciting new stencil designs for plaster, concrete and paint.

As you all know, I help to moderate the website.
While there this morning, I became fascinated with Wayne from
I looked him up on and simply searched Tajmawall for his videos.
What a kick in the pants! You have to watch what he does to create a planter out of an old ice chest using concrete! Very cool.

Ah, but I'm not done! His videos lead me to videos on plaster and I came across "Look,Read,Learn" videos. In this video, you are shown how to "comb" designs in to wet joint compound (plaster) on a ceiling.

I've had a blast doing this same sort of treatment on the bathroom wall in my home in Seattle. I thinned joint compound down with water to create a slightly thicker than pancake batter formula, rolled it on to the wall with a paint roller and then used a wallpaper brush to create a fun "feather" type pattern on the walls.

You could create really cool patterned scrapers by simply cutting a unique edge on to a heavy piece of plastic (such as a coffee can lid or even heavy duty mylar), then using that tool to create some of the interesting patterns this fellow is doing on the ceiling.

I'd truly love to tackle and entire ceiling with this idea. Imagine how it would look with raised plaster stenciling done along the border edge! Wow!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

New On-line Magazine for the Decorative Finishes Industry

After loosing favorite decorative finishes magazines to the poor economy this past year, I'm happy to announce the launch of a new one! Pittura Platform is a new free on-line (but also available in print version) magazine for the faux finish industry that offers articles and information by some of the leading names in the faux finish industry; Regina Garay, Kathy Carroll, Leslie Vigini and more.

Pittura launches in March and I can't wait to see what treasures it holds for those of us in the industry and those of us simply wanting to learn!

Check it out and sign up early!

Visit the Website for fabulous stencils, ornamental plaster molds and more inspiration than you thought possible by our very talented customers!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Chaos of Moving Results in A Creative Surge!

I've had the weirdest experience lately. Here I am, sorting through my entire business; all the stored paint and art supplies, all the files, all the myriad of boxes loaded with past projects that weren't quite finished or the box of "to do someday" ideas that got set aside.

All in an effort to downsize so that I don't have to move as many items this spring over to my new home in Idaho, I've suddenly become overwhelmed with creative ideas!

Seeing all of that, remembering what was in my head when I started those projects has sparked the desire to sit down and finish them, to create new designs and to imagine some of these treatments in my new home.

As a result, all this month you will see new designs up on the website. OK, I just couldn't help myself!

And with each one, I imagine the place it will go in my new home. Before, I always dreaded the thought of a move (especially one as big as this one) but this is FUN!

My new Raised Plaster Moroccan Medallion. It really needs to go above my stove in the kitchen!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Experiments with Faux Finishes

Visit the website for exciting stencil designs, ornamental plaster molds and a gallery chocked full of incredible ideas to make your home a truly beautiful place to live, all while staying within your decorating budget.

I'm a busy designer. So busy and involved in the day to day operation of my business that I just don't have time to take the  classes on the newest faux finishes involving plasters and concrete that artists in my industry take. 

A couple of weeks ago, I started playing with colored plasters and my trowel and wow! Some of the finishes I was able to come up with were just incredible!

Stroking on random layers of various colored plasters then sanding back once they were dry gave me some really cool effects. Some looked like real granite, others like authentic marble. Now I have visions of walls in my Idaho home being done with these treatments. Maybe doing them over the top of my raised plaster stencil designs.

In this sample, I troweled gray, green, rust and beige over the top of white. With each stroke of my sander, different shapes began to appear. And I became excited!

This sample was done by troweling black, deep gray, white and pale brown over the top of a taupe background which resulted in a granite look. My mind started thinking "counter tops" and my excitement grew.

My point? Sometimes it just takes "playing" to create something totally fabulous! Playing sparks new ideas, new techniques, new inspiration to creating new and dramatic finishes.

Friday, February 4, 2011

New Raised Plaster Tree Stencil Design

Visit the website for unique stencil designs, ornamental plaster molds and fabulous ideas that YOU can do to create the home of your dreams.

I've been working on it for weeks now and it's finally finished. My new Life-sized Raised Plaster Sapling Tree Stencil Set!

Like the Raised Plaster Aspen Tree Stencil, this design is created to give you the opportunity to create trees as tall as you wish. You have total control! With thin trunks and branches, these trees are much more delicate. The trees in the photo are between 5' and 6' tall but my plan is to make them around 7-8 feet tall on my master bedroom walls.

My master bedroom in Idaho is just screaming for this design. With long walls and tall, 10 foot high ceilings, I could do groupings of these delicate trees in the corners then light them up from the floor with some of the many floor canister lights I own. Wouldn't that be spectacular? I just can't wait to move so I can do it~

Right now, the room is pretty plain simply because I had it on the market to sell. But now that I will be moving there, I can go hog wild!

You can't imagine how I can't wait to see the carpeting changed from it's current royal blue color to a soft beige. The entire room will take on a whole new look once that happens.
I love decorating! Seeing the visions in my head then watching them become a reality.
Stay tuned as these projects all come together over the next months.

Do you have any big decorating projects planned?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

New Stencil Designs

Visit the VictoriaLarsen.Com Website for new stencil designs, new ideas and inspiration!

I've been dreaming about it for awhile. A new raised plaster tree stencil that features delicate, thin little saplings instead of heavy trunks and branches as with our Raised Plaster Aspen Tree Stencil.
I did the final test cut last night and started creating trees with my bucket of joint compound. I love it! It will be available soon.

And wait until February 15th! TONS of new raised plaster stencil designs being released on the website. Crocodile skin, Alligator skin, more palm leaves and others you are going to envision ideas for. Stay tuned!

Friday, January 28, 2011

How to Make an Easy, Inexpensive, Fake Fur Rug

I love fur! (Sorry, but I do and can't help myself). And I do own two absolutely beautiful sheep skin rugs. But I want more without either the numerical price or the cost to the lives of the animals. 

So I was perusing an old issue of Veranda magazine this morning and saw a home that was designed in the 60's by a very inventive designer. He'd used a goat wool rug in the room and it was stunning!

Suddenly, my mind drifted to thoughts of making my own "fake fur" run. Instantly, the solution came to mind:
Purchase a large section of fake fur in your favorite color (mine would be white and I actually have quite a large piece of this!).

Stitch it to a section of rubber rug backing. Why stitching instead of gluing? Because fake fur should never be washed. It needs to be dry cleaned and I'm not sure that can be done with the rubber backing attached.

So it you simply stitch the edges and then tack it here and there through out the center, the rug would lay flat and not skid. 

Tah Dah! There truly is an answer for just about everything and now I can't wait to try this!

Let me know if you do one.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Thrift Store Saves the Day!

Now that I'm planning to move to my second home in Northern Idaho this spring, I've begun thinking about things I will need there in order to make it truly my "Palace". Curtains! Yes, I need curtains. Many of them, since right now, the window coverings I have at that house aren't necessarily what I would want as permanent coverings. 

Taking a break from work, I perused my local "Value Village" thrift shop in search of high quality window coverings in colors that I love to decorate with. Wha La! I found curtains alright....Lots of them!

You can find cheapo curtains all day long, but finding those of "quality" usually takes a bit of hunting or numerous trips.

Four absolutely gorgeous, heavy velvet panels in pale beige ($4.99 each) and in pristine condition made their way in to my cart right off the bat!

2 really lovely traditional style swags with a pale beige background and sage green scroll pattern ($4.99 each)

A gorgeous pale beige swag that must be 100" long with beautiful darker beige fringe along one complete side ($14.99) I'm sure I'll find a cool use for it!

 4 heavy brocade panels ($4.99 each)

So for $64.00, I wound up getting window coverings that are perfect for my style of decorating and will go really well with my furnishings! I figure that I saved myself at least $300.00 if I tried to purchase them all brand new.

I love, love, love, thrift store days like this one! 

Friday, January 21, 2011

Designing in the Forest

Visit the website for inspiring rooms filled with murals, faux finishes, ornamental plaster and unique wall treatments that YOU can do!

The comments I'm getting this morning are how wonderfully inspiring it will be to design in my home in Northern Idaho. That's an understatement!

There is a sense of euphoria as soon as you drive up the driveway to the large, chalet style home. It is surrounded by 20 acres of forest with a luscious view of the valley below.

Each morning, I grab my coffee and dog friend Sadie and I take our morning walk. In the spring time, those walks are through areas of wildflowers that suddenly arrive as colorful paintings as you turn a corner or round a group of trees. If that isn't inspiration, I don't know what is. 

I've done my best designing there over the past 6 years. The trees outside the windows were my inspiration for my Raised Plaster Aspen Tree Stencil Design which has now been featured in Gary Lord's most recent book "Simply Creative Faux Finishes". 

I look forward to many more innovative processes happening there!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Welcome to My New Blog Site

Visit the Website for exiting ways to decorate your home with stencils, ornamental plaster decorating and faux finishes.

Wow, it's been awhile since I posted on my blog and trust me, it's been a whirlwind few months! The last of 2010 found me making the decision to take my Northern Idaho home off the market and actually moving there come this spring (March/April). You can't imagine my excitement over that decision!

I have 4,000 square feet of home with walls that have 10 foot ceilings to create, decorate and show off my skills and designs. What more could a girl ask for besides that stunning view and laid back life style!

With 1300 square feet of space just for business, I can spread out, all the while taking in the valley view from every office downstairs. 

So please bear with me as I make this transition over the next 3 months (I have to wait until the snow disappears before I can get a truck up that very long driveway), and then watch the blog for all the incredible home decor projects to come!

In the mean time, check out the new designs on my website at and all of the new decorating projects to inspire you to create the home of your dreams!