Saturday, July 28, 2012

Decorating With Class Doesn't Mean Spending A Lot of Money

Two things for you today....

Firstly, I'm having a stencil giveaway contest. Help me name my new Raised Plaster Stencil Design and if we choose the name you come up with, we send you that large, beautiful stencil for FREE! (US residents only) Simply like our Facebook Page and then post your suggested name. The contest ends later today so hurry!

I also wanted to share a train of thought with you:
Decorating with Class doesn't mean you need to dash out and spend a lot of money. It's truly about taste, about placement and colors, about the quality you can find.

I love thrift stores, garage sales, salvage shops and consignment stores and I've been decorating my home with many of the treasures from these places for decades.

The music studio in my home in the mountains is an enormous space with a concrete floor. I faux finished the floor to slab flagstone a few years ago which covered the "football field" green that it had been painted previously.

All I had since I moved in was a hodge podge of throw rugs to cover what I could of the floor. I'd spent all my time decorating the upstairs main floor for the past year but now it's time to get busy on this floor as well.

Yesterday, I stopped at the first country yard sale I've seen since I've actually lived here. An old couple who had decided to consolidate were the sweetest folks I thought I'd ever met. Everything I picked up had a price tag, but they would quote me much less than what was posted. "You're a neighbor" they would say.... A neighbor? I'm 5 miles up the road! Gotta love this place for the sweetness of the people.

Well, there it was...on the floor, all rolled up tight: A very large area rug in GREAT shape!!!! On the back was the Belgium manufacturer. No, it actually wasn't made in China!

$25.00???? They surely must be kidding! This was in GREAT shape! I asked: "$25.00? Are you sure?????" (Knowing what I had found). They said, "Make it $20.00". I about fell over. They wouldn't let me talk them out of it (and trust me, I tried).

Since they were being so generous, I bought more items just to make up the difference. They were delighted!

I took the rug home and found no stains, no tears, no wear! Didn't they ever walk on this thing?

I shampooed the dickens out of it and placed it in the music studio (since I've been doing a mega cleaning in there this weekend anyway, it was the perfect time to clean that as well).

Yes, I had been planning to decorate in more subdued colors, but with a find like this, my colors will now change to accommodate this incredible find...and it will be beautiful!

The hunt for high quality, little used pieces for your home can be tedious. But if you hold out and wait for the perfect addition, the hunt becomes fun... a "mission" of sorts. And when you find it, when you find that piece that's worth much more than what you paid (because you didn't buy it new), you feel like the goddess of bargain decorating.

Now, remember that round table I'm working on? The one I just finished priming and that will get painted black with gold raised designs? It's going to fit perfectly in this room because the carpet also has black. Tah Dah! This was simply meant to be!

Vist the website for exciting stencil designs, new Raised Plaster Stencils made just for furniture and cabinetry and ornamental plaster molds for exquisite interiors.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Win This FREE Large Raised Plaster Stencil

It's one of our newest designs and I decided to have a contest to help me name it!

Simply go to Facebook, like my facebook page and then post your name idea for this stencil.
The winner will be decided on Saturday. I will then contact the winner for their name and shipping address and they get this free, large and brand spanking new medallion stencil design.

Use this stencil to create ornate medallions on doors, large furniture pieces or as a random, all over wallpaper pattern on walls.

Best of luck to you all!

Visit the stencil website for great stencils, plaster molds and home decorating ideas that YOU can do!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

How to Stencil Raised Designs on Furniture Part llI

Continuing the stenciled table project, I decided to use my Raised Plaster Tremont Furniture Stencil to create the raised design on the round sides of the table.

Taking that design just a hint further, I used a cake decorating bag and tip to create arched lines under the stenciling to add even more flavor. A few raised teardrops and I called that portion "done". I like it! It now looks a bit more Victorian and ornate.

I'm now on the second coat of primer and the painting begins!

Visit the website for exciting stencils, plaster molds and decorating projects YOU can do!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

How to Stencil Raised Designs on Furniture Part ll

As I sat looking at the table project last night, I got a brilliant idea! I think I will add piped flowers to the peaks of the raised stencil design. I'll simply fill a cake decorating bag, cut a small hole in the tip and start creating! If you've never done this, it's a blast!

Try creating your own raised designs on your walls (such as vines, poke-a-dots or geometric shapes. It's a kick in the pants and when you do it with joint compound, if you don't like it, simply scrape it off and start over.

Monday, July 16, 2012

How to Stencil Raised Designs on Furniture

Applying raised designs to furniture is easy with a raised stencil specifically made for that application.

This old table I found at a flea market becomes my target "save it" project and I can't wait to see the finished product of my efforts.

I first sanded the piece, fixed a broken leg and then applied the Raised Plaster Furniture Borders Stencil design around the entire edge of the trim piece. Simply tape the stencil in place over the intended area. If need be, mask off areas you don't want to expose the medium you are using.

Once the medium is completely dry, I'll then lightly sand any weird raised areas that appear abnormal.

I applied the raised stencil to the trim of the table to create a piece that winds up being much more ornate than the original version. I love hand carved designs on furniture and that's exactly what this will look like once it's completed.

Now I'll wait for it to dry so that I can get it primed, painted and "prettied". I LOVE projects like this!

Visit the website for lots of projects, stencils and plaster molds for your decorating design needs.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Give Your Old Shed a Dramatic Make-over

I finally finished the make-over of my nasty, old shed! See older posts for a photo of the shed before the changes and the step by step process. But don't look too was truly awful!
I loved watching this project come together with a few 4x1" boards for trim, painted a cheery green color and then the awesome pine design done on the door panel.

But the kicker was that I cast pine cones out of plaster from our Pine Cone Mold and attached them with adhesive caulk.
Now the door design takes on yet another dimension.

Neighbors are just going crazy over the concept (I can see their wheels turning as they view the artwork).

So if your shed, the dog house, even your own home exterior needs a bit of flair, consider this project as a fun and super easy idea!

Visit the website for exciting decorating projects, fabulous stencil designs and unique plaster molds to make your project come alive with design.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A Fabulous Make-over For a Tired Garden Shed

Sheds can be an eye sore. I sometimes wonder why manufacturers (or builders and DIY home owners) don't think about adding elements and trim to make them more appealing in our landscapes.

I was sick of mine. It wasn't built well to begin with but being structurally sound (basically), I knew that with the few carpentry skills I have, I could at least give it a face lift. And that I did!

After adding trim, a new paint finish and a cheery accent color, I then decided to do a pine design on the door.

Yesterday, I showed you the pine branches I piped with exterior brown caulk. Today I'm going to show you how I did the pine needles.

If you closely examine any plant or tree, you will see that it's over all color comes from a number of different colors. So I used three colors within my pine needles painting.

First came brown pine needles:

Then I added yellow green pine needles:

Finally, I used the same cheery blue/green I had used for the trim. Incorporating this green brought the entire design together and allowed it to coordinate with the shed color scheme.

The varying colors within the pine needles create more interest.

Now the shed begins to take on a whole new look. What fun! And so far, the neighbors are dying to see what's coming next. It's fun being the "artist" of this tiny mountain valley neighborhood.

In the next few days, I'll be back to show you the icing on this decorating cake! You're going to love it!

Visit the website for many more fun projects like this. Check out the gallery section.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Give Your Old Shed A Make-Over

The shed project continues as the heat climbs in the mountains of Northern Idaho. 98 degrees in the afternoons means I can only work an hour or two in the mornings so the progress is slow, but a huge difference has already been made.

The old shed began as a hovel suitable only for the resident chipmunk who got evicted along with all of her nesting debris.

Sanding, priming and a new coat of paint made the surface of the shed look much better. No, I didn't want to replace anything. I need a new deck first!

I added 1x4" pine trim and with a little primer and the same custom paint color I used on the trim on my house, the shed began to take on a much more lively look. Notice the difference on the door? Who even built that shed did a crappy job. With new trim on the top and bottom of the door, it now appears completely straight! Tah Dah!

See all that pine debris on the roof? I'm waiting on sweetie to drag out the huge ladder so I can remove it. At just 5'3" and under 100 lbs, that ladder is bigger and heavier than I am. So muscles are the solution!

I decided to paint the very center of the door pure white to match the white garage doors. This, dear friends, becomes the canvas for my art. it comes.....The fun part!

I decided that since the shed sits right against a 100 foot tall pine tree, that I would use a pine theme for the door decoration.

I decided to create raised pine branches on the door.

But guess what I created the branches with? Brown exterior caulk! What a hoot! I simply put the tube in my handy calk gun, cut off the tip and went to town creating cool pine branches angling from the sides of the white interior frame.
Where did I get this fabulous idea to use caulk? From Gloria Uhler, The Domestic Diva, who used my
Raised Plaster Aspen Trees Stencil in her living room using caulk instead of joint compound. What a creative gal! And she gave me a new medium for raised designs that I'd never thought of.

Stay tuned as you watch me apply pine needles and a surprise element to these great pine branches.

(c) Victoria Larsen 2012

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Turning an Old Shed in to a Work of Art

The sun finally came out in the forest of northern Idaho, and when it did, all indoor projects came to a screeching halt! (Meaning, the round table I've been working on, now sits in the garage unfinished for the moment).

Our beautiful valley came alive with the sounds of tractors and hammering, mowers and yard tools. I added to the breaking of the peaceful calm with my own project noises. The re-do of my old shed.

It started out as an eye sore. One I've been wanting to change since I moved here a year ago.

Neglected and tired, it needs new life and I am just the gal for the task! You would think it was a total waste of time. But I simply see a diamond in the rough since it's structurally sound.

My first task was to evict "Prissy" (the chipmunk) since she's been using it as her home for the past 7 years. Prissy didn't take that well and sat on a limb above me in constant chatter as I removed all her many nests, her stockpile of pine cones (that were even stuffed in to each piece of PVC pipe that had been stored in there), and piles and piles of debris from her many years of residency. ICK!!!!! But it's now all been cleaned out and my yard tools now take her place.

Seated beneath an enormous pine tree, I've gotten the idea to give it a "foresty"  new look with paint, caulk and plaster. All in a pine design. Watch it all un-fold over the next few days. You're going to be amazed at the transformation!

Back to my saw horses and tape measure. Stay tuned!

(c) Victoria Larsen 2012