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New Art from Jeremy Novy and Mark Lifvendahl

Jeremy Novy Koi on Glass

Before Adam and I moved in together, I lived in a studio apartment above the Orbit Room, and beautiful stenciled koi were painted all over the sidewalk below my window. In fact, these beautiful painted fish are on sidewalks all over San Francisco and their simple and elegant images, to me, will always be a striking reminder of my time in this vibrant city. Imagine my surprise when walking through the cute town of Guernville, CA (where I first wore and photographed my new paisley Anna dress) when I saw a series of the koi stenciled on the sidewalks. I didn’t know much about Guernville or the elusive koi artist at the time, but have since learned that it’s not as incongruous as my initial thoughts. Guernville is actually something of a vacation mecca for queer Bay Area folks and Jeremy Novy is himself an openly queer artist (with a mission …

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Thrift Store Score

dancing pair embroidery

I had to share this sweet thrift store score that my stepmom just made. She picked up these needlepoint ballet dancers initially thinking she would just use the frames. However, by the time she finished painting the bathroom, they had grown on her to the point that she decided to hang them on the wall. It turns out that they are the perfect colors for the new bathroom!

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Cranberries and Coffee Beans

Lit Candles and Cranberry Centerpiece

I like to change little bits of our decorating to reflect the season. This year I put together a simple centerpiece for our dining table with lots of differently sized candles. I filled a large vase with cranberries and floated them with water.

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Sweaters Blanket Tutorial

Sweaters blanket on railing

This is one of my favorite projects. I have one of these blankets in my living room, my mom has one in her television room, and I gave one to my cousin for her wedding this summer. It’s certainly a bit more involved than the last several days of tutorial projects that I have shared, but it makes for such a lovely finished project and is so easy to customize for anyone on your gift list (or yourself!).

There’s a T-Rex in My Living Room, or How to Paint a Plastic Toy Tutorial

White Dinosaur on Coffee Table

This is a tutorial for painting a plastic dinosaur  to make it an item of decor. While this is a tutorial for painting a dinosaur, I suppose that you could use it to paint other plastic toys. It doesn’t have to be used on dinosaurs. Additionally, it doesn’t have to be white. If you think another solid color would go better with your décor, go for it! This is a great gift for anyone who likes kitsch and a perfect decorating compromise for me and Adam – subtle and classic yet kitschy at the same time!

Handmade Souvenirs from Baja

Handmade Mango Wood Bowl from Baja

When we travel, I like to come home with a souvenir or two that was handmade in the place we just visited. I brought home three things from our trip to Baja last week.

Mom Made Household Dec

Red White and Blue Quilt

Welcome to my mom’s house! This is just a tiny glimpse of some of the lovely handmade touches she has added to her house to make it a home. Here is a shelf in her TV room. The folded quilt is all made of fall fabrics and is displayed seasonally. The red white and blue quilt and begonia applique (design by Primitive Gatherings by Lisa Bongean), while designed to be overtly Fourth of July, become more subtle and year-round when part of a broader decorating scheme that includes other colors (yellow) and lots of pattern.

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My Hexagon Quilt is Finished!

grey purple green cat couch quilt

I’m so excited to be able to say that I’ve finished my hexagon quilt! The first step was piecing the top. Then I sent it to my mom to quilt it. Then I had to sew all the binding along the edges. Mr. T decided to “help”, which made the process cuddlier, but not any faster. It took several movies worth (how I measure units of time for hand-sewing) to make my way all along the edge to hand sew the binding down. It was helped by being sick a while ago which left me bored, stuck on the couch, and needed something mindless to do with my hands. Here you see the backing fabric and an external point. I’m proud of these as they (almost) all came out sharp and looking quite good, if I do say so myself. The pattern included instructions on how to turn the corners …

DIY Mini Bulletin Board Tutorial

Mini Denim Bulletin Boards

This is a quick and easy tutorial for DIY mini bulletin board. It uses a square of styrofoam, a hot glue gun, fabric shears, and some fabric. I found my styrofoam lining the inside of a box as packing material. It’s 3/4″ thick and roughly 10″x10″, but thickness and dimensions don’t really matter here. For fabric, I used the legs from an old pair of jeans, cut open. You can use just about any fabric, thick or thin, just make sure that a pin will go through it easily. It doesn’t matter how wide around your styrofoam you cut your piece of fabric, just make sure that it will fold up and over the side and reach the back of the styrofoam piece. Once you have the fabric glued on, flip it over and nail it into the wall. You can hammer straight through the front of the board as …