Adorable, Adoptable Black Cats (And Halloween Tips for Pet Owners)

In honor of Halloween, I would like you to meet five black cats who are currently up for adoption through the Dumb Friends League in Denver. Because of the number of cats currently in need of shelter, the organization is offering a fee waiver for all cats over one years old through the end of October (that’s today), and each of these lovable cats qualifies for this incentive. If you are interested in adoption, please contact the Dumb Friends League at (303) 751-5772 or visit their website or one of their shelter locations. If you’re not able to adopt, there are still many ways to help. And next time you’re picking up peanut butter, soap, or baby food, grab extra for our furry friends. You can see a full wish list of items you can donate to homeless pets at the Dumb Friends League here.

Check out the bottom of this post for a list of Halloween tips for pet owners.

Abby_A0284661_CatAbby (A0284661)
An 11-year-old spayed, domestic short hair cat located at the Quebec Street shelter.

I can’t decide which I prefer: snuggling on your lap or purring when you pet me! Perhaps we can combine all my favorite activities into one. That’s something we can work out when you get me home. I should also tell you that I’ve been described by a previous owner as “very sweet” and I do love cat treats. It takes me a bit of time to warm up, but once I do I’m all yours. Let’s meet today!

Mardi_A0315332_catMardi (A0315332)
An 11-year-old neutered, domestic medium hair cat located in a foster home. For more information, please call the Quebec Street shelter at (303) 751-5772.

It might take me a little while to warm up to new people, but I enjoy chin scratches and being petted once I feel comfortable. My favorite past times include using my scratching post and looking out the window. If you would like to learn more about me, please stop by for a visit!

Valerie_A0429413_catValerie (A0429413)
A 6-year-old spayed, domestic short hair cat located at the Quebec Street shelter.

If you would ask me how I envision my “perfect world”,  I would say in a loving home where I would be the only pet and with no children under the age of 10. I just want to be the star of the show and have all the attention for myself! So, if you are a devoted cat lover, please come visit me today–I’ll be waiting. Click here to see an adorable video of Valerie!

Gloria_A0650268_CatGloria (A0650268)
An 11-year-old spayed, domestic short hair cat located in a foster home. For more information, please call the Quebec Street shelter at (303) 751-5772.

Greetings! My name is Gloria. My fur is a beautiful deep black. On top of that, I have beautiful alluring eyes that are searching for you. I’m an independent girl you can pet me but don’t expect me to sit on your lap, that’s just not my style. I’m not that fond of dogs I’ve lived with them before but when they want to play I’ll swat them with my paw. You know you are out there, so jump in the car and come down and visit with me. Click here to see an adorable video of Gloria!

Nicky_A0495290_catNicky (A0495290)
A 7-year-old neutered, domestic medium hair cat located at the Quebec Street shelter.

Handsome guy looking for a loving forever home! It might take me some time to get used to new people, but I like attention once I feel comfortable. My favorite past times include sitting in laps and relaxing. If you would like to meet, please stop by for a visit!

Tips for Pet Owners on Halloween, from The Dumb Friends League:

  • Protect your pets on Halloween by keeping them indoors. Pets that are out at night with trick-or-treaters might get spooked by noises and costumes, which could cause them to run away.
  • Cats should be kept indoors at all times, and if you have a black or white cat, you should be especially careful about keeping it indoors on Halloween. Some people are superstitious about cats and may try to scare or harm them.
  • Keep pets confined and away from the door while you’re greeting trick-or-treaters to prevent them from darting outside.
  • Your dog may feel that his territory is being invaded by the constant onslaught of visitors. Keep your dog in a secluded area of the house to help him stay calm and prevent him from growling or possibly biting visiting ghouls and goblins.
  • Keep Halloween candy out of your pet’s reach because it can make your pet sick. In fact, chocolate and raisins can be fatal to dogs.

Tips for Pets Wearing Costumes:

  • Don’t restrict your pet’s ability to walk and sit down comfortably. If your dog looks miserable, he probably is.
  • Don’t make your pet wear a mask that covers his eyes, ears or nose.
  • Don’t put your pet in a costume that makes it difficult to breathe. This is especially important for flat-nosed dogs such as bulldogs, pugs, Boston terriers and Pekingese.
  • Always supervise your dog while in costume so he doesn’t chew or eat any costume parts.

If you have pictures of your pet on Halloween or photos of a beloved rescue animal, share them with us on Facebook here!

Making the Old New Again, with The Barn Antiques and Specialty Shops


Today I introduce you to The Barn Antiques and Specialty Shops in beautiful Castle Rock Colorado for some advice on vintage decor. The Barn is a rustic, open space that was once home to a lumber company. The structure was built almost one hundred years ago, making it a charming setting for a sprawling array of old and new today. I spoke to manager Amy Smith, who offers a unique perspective on antique items and the many ways we can incorporate them into our lives.

Antiques Aren’t Just for Your Home

We often think of antiques as elaborately carved furniture or precious heirlooms in glass cases. Smith asserts, though, that shopping for antiques these days puts you in touch with some of the hottest design trends–and not just for home decor, but for weddings and parties as well. “A really popular thing right now is the rustic, romantic look. That’s also a huge trend for weddings. If you go on Pinterest you will notice that.” So, for brides who have spotted mismatched colored glass, vintage lace, burlap, jars, or worn wooden elements on Pinterest, an antique shop should be one of your first stops for inspiration.

Smith also reminds us that antique elements can be blended into many types of decor for upcoming holiday festivities. Adding a special vintage platter to a Thanksgiving table might be a great conversation piece for the family dinner. “I always love the unexpected. I recently took a bin from an old scale and put lace, velvet, and pumpkins inside,” she says.

DSC_0023What’s Hot

I asked Smith about the strongest trends in the antiques market today, and I was pretty surprised at the answer. For some reason, I often associate gold-gilt furnishings and tapestries with antiques, but Smith points out the many ways that vintage items often show up in contemporary design. “Right now I think the trend is almost like a shabby chic meets industrial look. Anything that is primitive or farmhouse is huge right now.  Also recycled farm house–with lots of old barn wood. But incorporating  that into traditional decor as well, so it’s not all antique–just part of it. Today, it’s always old primitive furniture. Not so much stuffy and formal, like Chippendale furniture.”

Smith also reminds us that the shabby chic, industrial look is family friendly. If you are worried your little one might destroy antiques of the heirloom variety, then worn, distressed pieces might be a great fix.

How to Mix Old and NewDSC_0059

Many of us have Pinterest boards brimming with vintage fabrics and furnishing, and in the real world we have no idea how to mix that with our existing furniture. Smith claims that the answer to that problem is easier than it seems, if you approach it from a designer’s perspective. “I think what I would suggest is go through magazines. Tear out anything you love. Use Pinterest. That way you can see how the mix would go together.You have to have a plan. You have to ask yourself questions–like it’s beautiful, but is it functional too, which is important, especially depending on the size of your space.” She advocates adding pops of feminine decor to blend antique and new items, suggesting that Amy Butler fabrics can help marry the two styles.

Smith advises readers to always think outside the box when it comes to vintage items and to listen to your heart. “I’ve always thought that you should buy what you love and it works.”

DIY Advice

For those of us who have dreams of  grand refinishing projects, Smith (who has years of experience in this arena) has a few tips for success. “I’m a painter, so I don’t really strip furniture. I used to do that years ago–sanding, stripping, sealing. Today, though, if you want to paint something, chalk paint is amazing. It’s a little more expensive than traditional paint, but you also use less and it’s an easier process.  We sell a product here called van Gogh. There is also Annie Sloan and CeCe Caldwell’s. If you go on YouTube, you can watch tutorials on how to do it.”

Chips, scuffs, and wear are not bad things when it comes to vintage items, since they often highlight the age, charm, and history of an object. “You want to use the integrity of that piece,” Smith claims. For those who are a little hesitant to take on a refinishing project, Smith speaks from experience: “You have to be passionate about the whole project, otherwise it’s probably better to have someone else do it for you. But if you are really interested in refinishing an item, start small. Otherwise it can be pretty daunting. That way you can see if it’s something you are truly interested in doing.”

All photos by Deborah Walden Ossi and Eddie Ossi


Sharing the Love: Are You Ready to Relax for the Weekend?

summer-pastoral-1749.jpg!LargeEach Friday, I’ll share the love with some helpful links. What were your favorite finds this week?

A beautiful girl’s room in pink–and blue!

I think these pillows are for kids, but any adult would want them. 

Butternut squash and kale quesadillas, plus dreamlife pictures from a farm.

Add fragrance to your home without candles. 

Do you like beautiful photos of roses? I thought so. 

Prince George!

How to Use Halloween Candy in Fall Decor, Featuring Lola’s Sugar Rush

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We are less than a week away from November first, the day when most of us realize that we have stockpiled too much Halloween candy. If you are the kind of person who likes to keep seasonal displays in your home beautiful and up to date, you may find yourself wondering what to do with all of that orange and black. I decided to consult a local expert on candy for advice. Lola Salazar, owner of Lola’s Sugar Rush in Littleton, CO, is just as sweet and magnetic in person as her childhood nickname of “Sugar” implies. She gave me the scoop on what to do with all of that Halloween decor and some other amazing tidbits on styling with candy year round.

Candy Isn’t Just for Holidays

One mistake that we often make is thinking of candy too narrowly. We put it in a candy dish, in an orange pumpkin, or in our tummies, and that’s it. Salazar is  here to change our minds about that. “Candy is a universal decorating tool that everybody can use. You can make any display really pretty and fun with candy,” she claims. Looking around Lola’s Sugar Rush, it’s obvious that Salazar practices what she preaches. Every shelf features candies, which are often incorporated into whimsical displays. Salazar has traveled the U.S. and Europe looking at the aesthetics of candy displays, and her research often pays off for Denver-area design buffs. “We do not go into houses and decorate, but we always try to have the front display set up in a way that someone could use to decorate their house. A lot of people come in and say ‘I want to do it just like you have here.’ We try to make it so that the first display that you see is something you can replicate at home. In fact people want to come in and see our displays before they decorate for the holiday season.”

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The Halloween display on the front table at Lola’s Sugar Rush is a lesson in candy styling. It features glass jars in a variety of heights and sizes. The seasonal touches on the display pieces are minimal, with only a few orange ribbons and a festive witch’s hat. This makes it easier to transition Halloween favors into fall decor and gives a classy, rather than kitschy, look to the holiday. Salazar advises readers to use pretty jars with lids instead of candy dishes to achieve this style. “The focal point isn’t just the candy–the candy is part of the entire design,” she explains.

Expand Your Color Palette

Before you toss out all of those orange candies or hide them away in the cupboard, Salazar has some great advice to make sure your Halloween decor stays current: “Bring in colors of yellow and green. Take orange and black, and add yellow and green and a little brown to it.” By adding greens, yellows, and browns to your Halloween candy you can easily transition to an autumn theme without wasting your treats. Add candies in these colors to glass jars, mix in some seasonal accessories, and you are on your way to a stylish and sweet Thanksgiving centerpiece. (Another great tip we can all learn from Salazar is to take photos of seasonal displays for inspiration next year.)

Sweet Advice

As an expert on all things candy, Salazar offers some parting wisdom for those who are purchasing candy for any event–Halloween parties, weddings, showers, and beyond. Her biggest tip: “If you are giving candy as a favor, try to estimate about a quarter of a pound per person. That’s how we do it here. Do it by weight if you are doing bulk candy. And have a variety. Not just sour candy. Not just hard candy. Mix it up a little bit.” For those who want to add the fun and whimsy of candy but don’t have space for elaborate displays, again, Salazar has great advice: “Candy bars and wrapped retro candies are always fun just loose on a table.”

For more information visit!

All photos by Margarita Mosina

How to Transform Old Books Into Beautiful Stationery

Notebook with seashells cut from old guides.

I’ve always loved old books, but I realized that I had accumulated almost too many when I began to run out of room on my bookshelves. I knew that I needed another option–and one that didn’t include parting with all of them. Now, some of my old books are in great shape and are totally worthy of a prized place on a shelf or coffee table. Others, though, are diamonds in the rough. Like my numerous seashell guides and coastal travel books. The covers are sometimes unappealing, even though the interiors are filled with beautiful images. Oh, what to do?

Inspired by Etsy and craft fairs, I decided to transform them–nothing too bold (I wasn’t ready to start intricate paper cuttings or book sculptures). I tried my hand at making stationery sets, and found it to be fun and relatively easy. It shows off the beauty and charm of old books, giving them some new life off of the shelf. I wanted to share one of these projects with you today.

For these stationery sets, I tried to capture the style of old botanical prints and natural museum displays. I found that placing the shells in uniform lines on a solid background helped me achieve that look. Here are some tips to make your own:

Step One:

Find an old book with images that have clean lines, which makes the pictures easier to cut out. There are some beautifully illustrated books out there, but remember that the pictures you choose should still look good when cut away from the original page.

Step Two:

Select a notebook with a flat surface (no texture). Canvas, moleskin, and other textured finishes make it hard for the images to stick to the cover.

Step Three:

Use small scissors to cut the images out. I have found this to be easier than using a utility knife since old paper can sometimes tear easily.

Step Four:

Use an archival glue stick to adhere the images to the cover. Wet glue can sometimes make the ink in old pictures run or smear.

You can find the notebooks pictured in this post in my Etsy Shop. Feel free to email me with questions about making your own. I would love to see creative projects that you have made with old books. Leave pictures and links in the comments box below.


Hello World!

onelovetwolove_oI’m Deborah Walden Ossi, and I would like to thank you for visiting One Love Two Love and welcome you to this site. I started this blog because I’ve been a writer for many years now, but I wanted a place to explore the creative life more fully–with lots of new friends. I have always loved art. I started taking drawing lessons at age twelve, and I took all of the courses I needed for my art major (but I only have a minor since I was on study abroad when my senior show was due–France was just more fun than a senior show:) I later got my MA in art history, but like many other creative people out there, I stopped making my own art as I got more busy with my career.

Part of the goal of One Love Two Love is to inspire readers through educational posts with people who are living creative lives. Even something as simple as making crepes for the first time or decorating for your daughter’s graduation party can become a creative outlet. Art and creativity make me happy, and I want the tone of this blog to be inspiring and motivational. I would love for you to join me on your own creative path.

Creating this this blog has been so much fun, and I am excited you are here to share it with me! I have enjoyed making this site beautiful (I went overboard and even hand-lettered all of my logos) and meeting the wonderful experts in Denver who have helped me make this possible. I’ve talked to many creative people in Denver, and I look forward to telling their stories.

I would also like to say a big thank you to my husband Eddie, who has helped me so much with this project, and to my family who has always encouraged me to be creative and embrace what I love.

All The Best,