Friday, August 2, 2013

Victoria Larsen's Plaster Molds Get Attention from Glo Magazine

I've always loved it when our products get featured in a major publication!

Glo Magazine included us in their "DIY's That Instantly Change a Room" article!

It's easy and a lot of fun to create plaster wall art using our Plaster Molds.

For instance, choose a medallion mold and cast it in plaster of paris.
Create a wall hook by simply unfolding a paper clip. Bend it in the the shape of a "U".
Crimp the ends to create hooks then insert those ends in to the wet plaster leaving about 1/2" of the closed end of your hook protruding from the wet plaster. Once dry, this will serve as your wall hook.

Once the piece is totally dry, prime the piece and then paint it a pale color. Wall paint or craft paints are perfect for this.
Mix a deeper shade of the same color with translucent wall glaze and paint the piece with this mixture.
Now, using a dry terry towel, wipe off all the excess, leaving the darker paint in the recesses of the design.
This brings out the beauty of the piece.

Hang groups of different pieces on the wall to create a collage of ornamental plaster.
It's beautiful!

Visit the website for more great ideas plus tons of plaster stencils, painting stencils and plaster molds to help you create the beautiful home you've always dreamed of.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Decorating Your Windows Isn't Only About Draperies and Curtains. Introducing Etched Glass Elements

When we think of decorating our windows, our minds instinctively swirl around curtains, draperies, valances, tie backs and window bling such as tassels and hardware.

Now, open your mind to something new and exciting: Etched Glass Window Elements.

If you've ever investigated having glass "etched" with a design, you already know it can be incredibly expensive. But isn't that the case with most "high end" decorating? Not always. Now you can get the look of real etched glass for a fraction of the price with highly durable, realistic look etched glass vinyl elements.

 This vinyl material is high quality, impervious to high heat and extreme cold (trust me, I know, because my own windows are done and I live in extreme climate!). It's washable, has a 10 year life but yet can be removed with a razor blade at any time.

It doesn't lift, it doesn't peel and is easy to apply with a simple credit card or small squeegee.
Simply clean your window, then apply the design to the glass and use a credit card or squeegee to smooth the design to help the adhesive attach firmly to the glass.

Now, gently peel back the backing paper to reveal the design on the window. Wha La! It's just that simple.

 Why are Etched Glass Elements different from any other etched glass vinyl design? Because they are not created to cover an entire window, but to simply add a bit of "design" to it. Just enough to add "beauty" without detracting from the vision outside. And the designs are truly different and exciting.

Etched Glass Window Elements range from life-sized Aspen Tree Designs, to elegant designs, to modern, contemporary designs. Small, medium and large sizes are available for varying window sizes, so you can get just the look you crave.

Etched glass elements aren't only for windows and glass doors, but consider using them on shower doors, glass tables and mirrors as well.

Personally, I'm considering putting one of these elements on the front of my stainless steel dishwasher front. I just thought it would look so cool!

So the next time you're gazing out your window, think of how much more beautiful it would look with an Etched Glass Window Element.

Visit the website for more great decorating ideas, instruction and inspiration. 

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Create Your Own Removable Wallpaper. Great for Apartment or Rental Decorating!

Sometimes we are just in situations where we don't want to, or can't add permanency to our decorating. For instance, adding Raised Plaster Stenciling to walls or ceilings or putting up your favorite wallpaper stencil or rolled wallpaper. Well, here's the answer and it's easy!

Whether you are wanting the look of soft wallpaper patterns, a mural, embossed designs with plaster stenciling or brilliant flowers on your walls, the easy answer is DIY wallpaper out of canvas.

That's right! You can get large rolls of canvas on Ebay for very reasonable prices.

Protect your flooring with a drop cloth then un-roll the canvas on to the floor. The great thing is that it's easy to work on when it's on the floor.

Now, prime, paint, faux finish, stencil, do raised plaster stenciling, do anything you want to it! Anything you can do to a wall, you can do to canvas instead.

Now comes the even easier part! Putting it up on the wall.

Now, this little trick works SO well that you will just not believe it. What will you use as removable adhesive? Joint compound!

I'm the absolute queen of joint compound, and years ago, I painted a ceiling mural on canvas. I evenly spread joint compound over the ceiling, stuck the canvas to it, smoothed it out using a wallpaper brush (beginning in the center and working my way out to the edges. Wha La! What a fabulous adhesive!
That was 5 years ago and it's still there.
But I did a test first. Could I remove it?

I allowed the canvas to stay in place for 4 months. I then lifted one edge and pulled the canvas just slightly away from the wall to test the adhesion. It began to peel away quite easily. I smiled.

Where it became a little difficult, I sprayed a light spray of water between the canvas and the wall. With a plastic scraper, I began prying the canvas from the wall, repeatedly spraying and prying as needed until the entire canvas fell to the floor. Victory!

A bucket of warm water and a large sponge completed the job as I watched the residual joint compound melt away like old frosting on a cake knife.

The cool thing about joint compound is this:
1. It's water soluble so removal is easy.
2. It won't damage or discolor the wall.
3. Residual compound simply washes away with no tell tale signs of it's presence.

Joint compound is appreciated even by finish carpenters who recently posted that they were using joint compound to adhere moldings to ceilings. How clever!

Best of all, you can roll that canvas up and take it with you to your next home.

So the next time you think you "can't" decorate because you live in an apartment or rental, think again!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Add Super Style To A Plain Rug With Medallion Stencils

It's covered my deck for two summers and by golly, I was sick of how plain this rug was!

Besides that, an unfortunate spill had discolored the rug right in the center. I had to do something about this. I hate throwing out something that is completely usable. That's such a waste in my book and it's rare that I do it....I'd rather RE-do it!
 So I grabbed our new Amour Medallion Stencil and went to work. But my first order of business was to make sure the rug was clean as a whistle, so do vacuum or shampoo your rug first if needed.

Add a little fabric medium (available at your local craft or fabric store) to acrylic paint. Fabric medium helps craft paints to adhere to the fabric, but also keeps them pliable so they don't flake off over time.
Tape the stencil to the rug.  I used a 1" stencil brush and stenciled the medallion in brown first, using a swirling motion (rather than dabbing up and down) to create a solid pattern.
 Once the first repeat was complete, I overlapped the stencil over the previous medallion and this time, stenciled it in black for extreme contrast.
 Overlapping is cool! I love the look.
 Continue to add medallions to your rug. Some overlapped and some singular. Some half off the edge of the rug and some not. It's fun to decide just where you will place the next medallion.

Not only did I quite effectively hide the nasty discoloration, but my rug is worth of indoor or outdoor use to add a bit of style and fun to my home.

Consider using the same medallion stencil to place mats or large napkins and it makes an absolutely striking wall treatment!
Visit the website for a large variety of Painting Stencils, Raised Plaster Stencils and Ornamental Plaster Molds to help you create a beautiful home!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Selling Your Decorated Home; Is There Anything to Fear?

I'm in the process of selling my stencil and plaster decorated home in the high mountains of Northern Idaho.

Naturally, there are raised plaster stencil designs all over the house.

Since I realize (and was told by my agent) that my style or ornamental plaster decorating is not for everyone, I felt just a little nervous as the first showings were scheduled.

When potential buyers walk in to my home, they are immediately greeted by my

 Raised Plaster Aspen Trees on the walls. A glorious statement to "forest living".

In the master bedroom, they find my ornamental plaster ceiling frame and
Victorian plaster wall frames that were created using my line of plaster molds and stencils.

In the bathrooms, they find raised plaster stenciling on the doors of the cabinets and scattered over the walls.

I wished I could be a fly on the wall to hear their comments.

And then one day I was. I was asked to stay as a second showing to one set of buyers was conducted. I sat quietly in my office as I overheard my real estate agent tell the buyers agent that any decorating could be painted over or even removed (I cringed!). And then, I heard him say: "Heck no! These are artsy folks...they're diggin' it!". I loved hearing that.

Have I yet to receive an offer? No. (It's only been shown 6 times) But it's not because of my decorating. It has to do with location, home lay out and other issues that each buyer faces with their home buying decision making.

In fact, I'm wondering if it isn't the decorating that keep them lingering as long as they do.

So rest your fears my friends. It may be that when you go to sell the home that you have put your personal style on, you just might find it actually helps it to sell!

Visit the website for a complete line of Raised Plaster Stencils and Plaster Molds and so many decorating ideas that YOU can do with our products

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

An Amazing Cabinet Make Over With Stencils

I hated them!!!!! I mean, truly hated them....those nasty, ugly barn wood cabinets in my master bath. The rest of my home is elegant; decorated in traditional style with lots of corbels, soft materials, restful colors. So this thing had to GO!!!!
 Now, you know me...I refuse to simply go buy new when something old is still in good shape. These cabinets were custom made, with heavy, thick wood, sturdy construction and in excellent shape. I can't just tear them out!

My plan was to create 1/4" oak inserts for each of the doors and drawers; My dilemma was that the barn wood was seriously glued in which prevented the panels from seating properly. Trusty claw hammer to the rescue!

Panels were cut, sanded and inserted just fine.

The entire vanity was then sanded down, primed and painted rich brown on the doors and drawer inserts and I used cream colored cabinet paint for the rest of the cabinet.

I then used our Elegance Wallpaper Stencil to repeat the vine over the cabinet doors, drawers and sides. Using a roller with metallic gold paint made that project quick and easy! When stenciling with a roller, just be sure to roll off all excess paint on to newspaper or a paper towel before beginning. This helps to prevent paint bleed up under the stencil openings.

 I added a repeated leaf border from our Furniture Stencil Borders #4 Stencil Set to the front trim. That was a cute addition!
I decided to add even more beauty to the cabinet so I cast a plaster medallion from our
Ornate Plaster Medallion mold. I painted it the same gold and attached it to the front of the center door.

A coat of satin varnish was all that was needed to finish the project. Now the master bath has taken on the same elegant look as the rest of my home and finally, finally, my major decorating projects are done!

So what is stopping you? I know you have a list of things you'd like to do to give your home more personality, creating a prettier space. Get out that list, plan to start something this weekend and then feel the satisfaction of your efforts when it's done.

Visit the website for decorating projects, stencils and ornamental plaster molds to help you create the home of your dreams.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Fashion Stencils Create Awesome Designs on Jeans

The thing about someone like me who loves to decorate is that we decorate everything! And I mean anything and everything!
In this instance, that includes clothing. Jeans in particular! Jeans with designs on them has become a new fashion trend and I've been watching those designs get more and more elaborate an sassy.

I thought they were way too cute, so I developed my own designs for clothing. Now I'm decked with glam everywhere I go and I can't count the number of times I've been stopped by someone asking "Where did you get the cute jeans?".

These designs are now produced in my new line of "Attitude Fashion Stencils". Ranging from sweet to outrageous, there's something for everyone!

Stenciling clothing is easy! Click the link to see how.

Now, once your stenciling is done, glam your jeans even further by gluing on sparkly gems!

Mind you, this new line of fashion stencils isn't just for jeans! Dress up that plain little black dress, down the front or sleeves of a jacket, on the back of a coat or ski set....dress up your work out clothes and how about that plain robe you have been sick of?

And then? (You know me!)...use that design on walls, furniture, cabinetry and more! 

14 new designs on the website at Attitude Stencils.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Kathy Van Gough, a talented artist and friend to our business for many years had the insight to develop a new product line for her business. The Van Gough line of Chalk Paint.

I'd heard of chalk paint before but had never tried it until now. All I can say is WOW! What an easy paint to work with! It slides on like butter on warm bread, the coverage is spectacular, the bonding superb, the colors are delicious and her beeswax sealer is to die for!

Chalk paint was one of the first forms of paint man ever developed and why it was ever replaced with anything else is beyond my reasoning.

Chalk paint has seen a resurgence of popularity over the years and faux finish artists all over the world swear by it's performance. I now see why.

A favorite application is on furniture because of it's bonding capabilities and Kathy's color line is modern and beautiful.

I personally fell in love with her tinted beeswax sealer. This product is a fabulous alternative to varnish. Not only does it thoroughly seal your painted surface, but you can use it as (what I call) a "detail rub" for raised plaster stenciling.

Rubbing a deeply tinted beeswax over your raised stenciling does two things at once. It seals the surface and the design but also brings out the intricate detail of a raised plaster stencil design. I used her French Caffeine Beeswax and am now HOOKED!

Here I used it over our new Raised Plaster Preston Frieze Stencil. See that bit of shine? That's the beeswax as it has sealed the surface. See all that dark detail? That's the tint of the beeswax. LOVE this stuff!

So if you are thinking about throwing out that old table, re-doing your cabinets or thinking about a new wall treatment, visit The Van Gough Chalk Paint website and check out the gallery for fabulous ideas. Then visit our website at Victoria Larsen Stencils for the designs you crave to make your project truly beautiful.