Wednesday, July 27, 2011


I have always been a huge fan of paper mache.  We have such an abundance of paper and tossing it has always seemed wrong to me.  Paper mache is probably the least expensive craft project you can make.  It always brings me back to childhood and making huge messes on the picnic table in our backyard. Melanie Bourlon is a French paper mache artist and she is amazing.  Let her work inspire you.  
These remind me of the wonderful body cast that Frida Kahlo wore and then painted.
 I am blown away by the fantasy Melanie has created in her life.
 How wonderful to live with these creatures every day.
Such a wonderful idea an so simple. I would love to own one of these shoes just to keep in my curio cabinet.

This is out of this world!
I made this paper mache table for THE BIG ASS BOOK OF CRAFTS Vol. 1.  It took some time but I enjoy it very much.  Cardboard, newspaper and paper mache glue and you're on your way.
Now get that stack of newspapers and get busy!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Grab a cigar......It's a BOX

 Well, it finally arrived.  The 2012 Big Ass Box of Crafts Daily Desktop Calendar!
They are available on my Etsy site if you'd like one.
4 1/2" X 4 1/2" and a big bundle of joy.  This is based on The Big Ass Book of Crafts Vol. 1 and is filled with suggestions, tips and tricks that I use every day that aren't in the book.
 Great packaging!
 One project a week with clear instructions
It's true, Minwax is a favorite!
 Something to think about.
 Great suggestions!
Wow, that's a great idea!
If you would like one, they are now available on my Etsy site.  

Monday, July 25, 2011

PHOTO OF THE DAY...........Dining room in 5 easy steps!

There is something about this room that is totally attainable.  For instance, the chandelier. 1. Painted paper lampshades can be made by anyone!  A little paint, a roll of painter's tape and some inexpensive paper're half way there.  2.  The plates hanging on the wall.  I'm not exactly sure what pattern they are (maybe blue willow) but beautiful plates are pretty easy to come by and I'm pretty sure you already have some in your cupboard.  If not, head to Home Goods for an amazing selection.  Or even the Salvation Army.
3. Gray walls.  Until I saw this photo I would have never considered gray, but now, I'm loving it.
4. Framed mirror painted white.  This is a thrift store find and a can of Krylon waiting to happen.  5. Finally, the upholstered chairs.  You don't have to upholster the backs, get this look by only doing the seats and maybe making a small pillow for the back.  Either way, unscrewing a seat and using a staple gun is pretty easy to do.
Check out the small room divider in the back left.  You can make one yourself.  Here's how.
Speaking of a staple gun and a little fabric.  This is from The Big Ass Book of Crafts Vol. 1. It's a room divider made from 3 large canvases and some fabric.  
 Simply staple your fabric around the frame making sure it's even.
Add some simple hinges to keep them together!
So easy!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

THE LIGHT FANTASTIC.........Recycling at it's best!

I love beautiful things made out of discarded items.  These lamps are no exception and I am hoping they inspire you to reconsider what you toss.
This one may not be for everyone, but it's wonderful use of broken bottles looks amazing. 
This one is made out of the bases of 2 liter bottles.  They are long and cascade at least 5 feet.  I know what you're thinking!
I made this simple 2-liter bottle Sea Creature Lamp from 2 bottles, one on top of the other.  Instructions are in The Big Ass Book of Crafts volume 1, but I'm sure that my crafty friends have already figured out how to make it.  It's easy!  All you need is some heavy duty scissors and a small cord and socket set and you've got everything you need.  Fringe the bottle and put one on top of the other and thread the cord inside...Voila!
Kick it up a notch by hitting it with a small amount of spray paint at the top for some color!  I'd use Krylon Fusion as it's my favorite brand on the market.

Friday, July 22, 2011

SKULL PLATES......An oldie but a goodie!

For some odd reason my nephews love these plates.  I tell them over and over again that skull and crossbones mean poison but they still eat whatever I serve on them.  Kids!  The best thing about this process is that you CAN eat off of them and they are hand wash safe, but don't put them in the dishwasher!  All of the paint is on the underside of the glass.  This project is from THE BIG ASS BOOK OF CRAFTS vol. 1 and it's one of the most popular projects in the book.  Grab a copy!
Hugs, xoxo, Mark
Beauty skull plate 2
Glass plates
Laser color copies of a skull (or image you want to use)
1/2 yard of nylon athletic fabric or lace to use as a stencil.
Elmer’s Glue
Spray Adhesive
Plenty of newspaper for your workspace
1” paintbrush
2 colors of contrasting Krylon Fusion spray paint per plate
Minwax Polycrylic Clear Coat

STEP 1:  Wash your plate and dry it thoroughly
Step 1
STEP 2: Cut out your skull image

Step 2
STEP 3: Water down your Elmer’s glue a very tiny bit, paint it on the face of the image and adhere it to the back of your plate so that you can see it from the face of the plate.

Step 3..
STEP 4:  Cut out a piece of the athletic fabric or lace that is big enough to cover the back of the plate and spray it with the spray adhesive.  Place the plate face down on some newspaper and press the fabric over it.
STEP 5:  Spray your first color over the fabric.  Make sure you hit every spot.  Give it about 5 minutes and remove the fabric.  You will have a relief design of the fabric.  It's like a stencil.

STEP 6: After the first coat dries (I’d say about 15 minutes) spray it with the second color of paint and let it dry. SUGGESTION:  Spray a light coat first and let dry for a few minutes, then spray again for a better finish.

STEP 7: When the second color is dry, coat the back of the plate with the Minwax Polycrylic clear coat. Let it dry and coat again at least three times.  
Here's the image for you to print out for this project. 

COVERS together

Thursday, July 21, 2011

MY MOST POPULAR BLOG THIS SUMMER........Quick recycle project!

If you're like me, it's tough to toss jars when you're creative because you know they will come in handy for something!  TWO YEARS AGO I wrote an article for Hamptons Magazine and thought I'd share with you the project I made especially for them.
Jars in different sizes
Masking tape
White Krylon spray paint
Fabric cut on the bias 1 1/2" wide by 10" per jar
Tea lights
1.  After your jars are sparkly clean, tightly wrap them with yarn in a crisscross pattern and tape the ends on the underside or the inside so they stay in place.  Don't place the tape on the outside of the jar where you will be painting.
2.  Cover an area in newspaper and give the jars 3 light coats of white Krylon spray paint (waiting 5-10 minutes in between coats) and let dry.
3.  Remove the yarn and wrap the tops with the bias fabric securing them with a knot.  You could also use ribbon for the tops, it's up to you.
4.  Add your tea lights and set your table.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011


There is something wonderful about looking at people's collections.  You can tell so much about them. Personally,  I have never been able to understand minimalism.  There are just too many beautiful things in the world.
My favorite part of this mantle is the skull placed on top of the green statue.  One of my favorite things to do is switch the heads on things just to see what they will look like.  I am constantly cutting off the heads of my finds.
I made this Eagle Lady sculpture for my book, The Big Ass Book of Home Decor
All you need is a Dremel, some glue, joint compound and a couple of sculptures and you're good to go.  Just don't let the kids see you doing this!
I'd love to hear from you!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

PHOTO OF THE DAY...........

I love when things get crazy!  This bathroom is absolutely insane and incredibly beautiful.  It makes me want to glue seashells to the ceiling in my bathroom and use every kind of tile I can find for the walls.
I've said it 1000 times.  Not everything has to match! 
I made this project for The Big Ass Book of Home Decor.  It's still in my living room but as soon as I finish this blog it's heading to the bathroom.  All you need to make this is some E-6000 glue, transparent tape and a fun plaster bust.  More comprehensive instructions are in the book.
My mom loves seashells and she's always trying to snag this sculpture!

Monday, July 18, 2011

ONCE UPON A TIME.........I was a full time fashion designer.

This is one of my favorite collections from when I was a fashion designer showing with the big guns here in New York City.  Many of you know that creating just in fabric was limiting for me so I decided to expand into TV, publishing and crafting.  Me and my assistants sewed this entire collection and it was of the most fun shows I had during my years in the tents.  This collection was all about female mobsters in NEW YORK.  Some of the dresses were actually shot at the police academy to allow the red lining to peek through. Enjoy.......

INSPIRATION.......Hodgepodge (a confused mixture).....LOVE IT!

 I'm not sure where I was going when scanning these wonderful photos, but inspiration doesn't always have to make sense.  Enjoy!
Amazing mix of colors and patterns in this room.  I like the rag rug and the quilt used for a headboard.  Mostly, I like the oddness of the room, the position of the bed and the light.  When I look at this room I want to make tons of soft cotton pillows for my bed,  jump in the middle of them and nap.
This grouping is so elegant and light.  I particularly love the rope mirror which would be such a fun (and easy) project to make.  There are so many inexpensive mirrors out there now all it would take was a quick trip to the hardware store for some rope.
Beauty 2 Rope Side Table
I wrapped two waste baskets and a table round from Home Depot to make this table and it took less than 30 dollars.  The project is in THE BIG ASS BOOK OF HOME DECOR VOL. 1
This mirror floats my boat!  It would be fun to recreate this with mannequin hands.  It seems like something Tony Duquette would make.
Wonderful Gothic.  This room is so layered and special that I could spend all day in there looking around.  I really enjoy the pinks, burgundy, and gold mixed together.  It's so RICH.
Picture 1
I think my standing wood candelabra would look wonderful in this room.  It's made with two ornate shelf brackets on top and 4 basic shelf brackets on bottom.  Stained dark brown it would fit right in!  Directions in THE BIG ASS BOOK OF CRAFTS VOL. 1
I'm not really sure why I love this violin so much, but I do.  Plaid is back in such a big way and this makes me want to cover everything in different colors of plaid.  Even make some plaid pillows.  If you're afraid of too much, try covering some small lampshades and see how you feel.  If you can roll a lampshade on some fabric and trace it at the same time, you've got a pattern. Hit it with some spray adhesive and you're half way there!
This room is amazing and awkward all at the same time.  They've chosen to leave the window undressed which is a great idea because the room needs the light.  The dark rug anchors the room and I like how the chairs are two different colors.  I've said it before and I'll say it again.....Not everything has to match perfectly.
3 books together photo copy
For tons of decorating ideas (and ideas that just make your life more fun) check out these books at all fine book retailers.