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6.27.2014

Nauti, Nauti....

In a recent post, I shared the flag that I found this week at the Disney cast member outlet store.
I found something else there that day:
Nautical signal flags, all in red, white, and blue!

Measuring @ 12 by 16 inches and made of nylon,
these babies are nearly brand new (I have no idea where they were used at the resort)
and they only set me back a dollar each!
They present creative opportunities for summertime decorating.
My first idea was to turn them into a decorative banner for the backyard:
I simply threaded the grommets on each flag onto a length of seam binding ribbon,
tied & swagged it from the strands of patio lights already installed overhead,
then used miniature white clothespins to keep the flags from sliding on the line.
[ note that the flag fabric is no where near the light bulbs. ]
Fluttering in the breeze, they bring bright patriotic color to the space.

So then I thought... what ELSE can I do with these out here?
What about a tablescape?

These flags lend themselves perfectly for use as placemats (easily washable nylon)
and they also bring color to the centerpiece-
simply a blue metal water cup filled with red geraniums from the yard.

They create a Nautical theme without too much fuss, 
and make simple details shine:
Easy little touches like folding a napkin into a sailboat shape make all the difference -
and yet take just seconds.
The white plastic food basket is available at Dollar Tree stores!

Picnic or poolside place setting tip:
Place plastic / paper cup over a (full) soda can or bottle to keep the cup from blowing away.

I know most DIY / Decor Bloggers will shudder that I actually put this super-simple table in a post,
but Red Solo Cups have their place (and it's not always at a kegger). 
Sometimes you just want easy. 
Forget the foofing and fussing and planning, and just sit back and enjoy - 
then dump the disposable plastic dishes in the trash.
I'm not advocating doing this ALL the time, mind you, 
but some days just call for EASY.
It's SUMMER, for goodness sakes!
[ More on THAT subject in Monday's post......]
.
... and you know what the perfect front door 'welcome' would be for this look, right?
uh huh.
seen sixty gazillion times on Pinterest, this utterly brilliant design and photo is by
Tell It to Your Neighbor

(so, see, you don't have to throw out the cups after all. CRAFT with 'em!).

shared online:


Practically Functional | Creativity Unleashed


Cupcakes & Crinoline | Project Inspire{d}

Creative Country Mom | Home Sweet Garden Party
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6.26.2014

My Creative Source

Many (many) years ago, there was a little redheaded girl who loved to read.
LOVED. TO. READ.
Loved it SO much that she hid in her room reading all the time,
and her mom & grandma would literally kick her outside and close the door,
entreating her to 'Go Play!'.
Most of the time, I DID go play - bikes, barbies, kiddles, house, swimming, skating -
with my neighborhood friends, 
until dusk fell and the streetlights came on and Moms called their kids in to dinner.

Other times, I sneaked a book out of the house - under my tee shirt - 
 and climbed the tree in the yard to read hidden among the branches, undisturbed.

And there was this one book.....
the 'Make and Do' volume of the Childcraft 'How and Why' Library from World Book.
ah, the wonders it held inside!
Every page revealed creative ideas GALORE.
Pages dog-eared from being folded over for 'things I want to make'.
Cover sticky with remnants of paste and glitter and paint.

I made things for Christmas and holidays and birthdays and every days.

Oh, how I loved that book.
In later years, my mom gave me the whole World Book set for MY kids, 
and they loved it just as much as I did.

A week ago, I went into a thrift store and there was the whole set of the books. 
[ not MY actual set, mind you ]

I rifled through them in a split second, looking for the familiar cover...

and breathed a huge sigh of relief when I found it!
I bought it for the grand sum of FIFTY CENTS and brought it home.
I sat on the twin bed in my office, which is covered with a white matlasse spread - 
reminding me of my own childhood bed all those years ago.
On hot summer days back then, I lived for 'rest time' -
 I was too old for naps, but it helped my mom get my little brother to nap if I laid down, too -
but I never argued about it,
because THAT was when I could curl up on my bed with this book, 
and just devour its enticing and inspiring contents - page by page:
 So, when I came home the other day,
I did exactly that... devoured it from cover to cover.

And on one particular page,
I spied something that I realized had been embedded in my mind all of my life.
It brought a smile to my face as I read it,
because the formation of my homewardFOUND philosophy
of using what you have to make beautiful things
started right in this very book when I was a child:
Tin Cans? yep. Buttons? yep. Balloons? yep.
I've shared posts for craft and decor ideas using all of those elements - and many more.
(Sweaters aren't specifically mentioned here, but let's just go with the 'cloth' reference, shall we?!)

What a thrill to see something that inspired me so much as a child
and formed one of my most definitive design qualities: re-purposing everyday items into decor.

I didn't just find a treasured book last week...
I found another part of ME!



6.24.2014

Flyin' My Flag

 Yesterday I made a stop at the Disney Cast Member outlet store.
Yes, that really does exist  ;)

End-of-line, out-of-season, slightly damaged and discontinued items are sent there
from retail shops on the resort property, along with old office supplies, and
decorative items no longer being used by the resort property enhancement department.

That includes used holiday decor.
smile.

So when I walked around a corner there and saw a bucket of American flags,
I eagerly grabbed one. One.
I was wondering where it had been used when another Cast Member grabbed a dozen of them,
and said she had heard that they were from the Main Street USA lamp post embellishments.
They would have looked like this when displayed there:

I still only took one.
Because that's one thing I've been learning lately...

SIMPLIFY.

I now have this beautiful, slightly worn flag
that came from a place I dearly love and have so many memories of
and it will become a part of my summer decor, every year.
The knowledge of the history of my little flag enhances its meaning for me. 
THAT is what is important to me now... not quantity.

Besides, there are thousands of other Cast Members who shop there
and they deserve to get one, too.

 I love flags!

I was a 'flag carrier' with the marching band in high school,
and have a great appreciation for the beauty of our National symbol.
My once huge collection of vintage US flags has been reduced to
 my favorite large one (from a boat) and this one.
Two flags, two histories - and many more memories to make...

I am perfectly happy with just a little bit of summer 
and a WHOLE lot of history and pride
in my HOMEWARDfoundDecor office.
Simple really IS better.

6.21.2014

Raise the Stakes: Poker Chip Decor!

A few weeks ago I shared a buncha' uses for a metal plant stand
that I found at a local flea market.
Another treasure was unearthed that day, and I've been waiting to use it...

I snagged a HUGE bag of vintage plastic poker chips for FIVE BUCKS.
These are thick, heavy almost 'bakelite'/resin chips,
and as soon as I saw them I knew what I'd do with them:

Fill up clear glass apothecary jars!

One jar is totally filled with the chips (background).
The front jar has a glass vase hidden in the center, surrounded by the poker chips.
That glass is holding a candle, but could also hold fresh flowers  - 
red, white, and blue ones, of course :) 

This is a simple arrangement with patriotic summer style
for your entry, guest bath, or kitchen counter.

Speaking of the kitchen: 
vintage poker chips make GREAT fridge magnets, too!

Just glue a small round magnet to the back of the chip.
[ I did the same with a souvenir wooden coin, just because it fit the patriotic theme! ]
PS: the projects listed above in the photo are all past posts - 
find links in my sidebar under 'Top Projects'!

As long as you can keep the boys in the house from grabbing the chips for poker games, 
you're good all summer long! ;)

6.19.2014

@ Liberty: Summer Ashore Decor!

Imagine, if you will, Lady Liberty... 
stepping down from her pedestal on Ellis Island to enjoy a summer yachting excursion.

That, in a nutshell, is the premise behind the summer theme
in my friend Liz's booth in an antique mall in San Diego!
Liz hired me to assist her in gaining some serious WOW factor in her booth,
which is in the WINDOW of the gorgeous shop.
She brought the goods, and I helped her with a design plan and styling services.

... and I think I can safely say that her booth is definitely a WOW!

These are simple yet stunning ideas
for combining Nautical, French, and Patriotic decor...

a vintage mannequin is dressed in a white petticoat and draped with a vintage flag.
Liz created her Lady Liberty crown out of tin!
a beautiful alabaster statue tips her crown to the colors
in a purely last-minute serendipitous combination,
a statuary head nestles in a silver yachting trophy, topped by a jaunty French beret 
Old Glory adds color to the sparkle of mirror and crystal in the corner
 a vintage French bed was rebuilt as a bench, then filled with nautical pillows and Old Glory
a life preserver forms a perfect halo above the mannequin
and a sailing ship is ready for the water
miniature Lady Liberties join in the fun!
.
Liz's business is 'My Little French Venue'
The store is Vignettes, in Ocean Beach, San Diego, California

shared online:
 

Practically Functional | Creativity Unleashed

6.10.2014

Perfect Pastels

Spring. Summer. Ice cream.
They kinda' go together, don't they?!

When I was styling Rita Reade's Mammabellarte booth
for the Vintage Marketplace show this past weekend,
the pale pink, white, and aqua color scheme
reminded me of strawberry and vanilla and mint chip ice cream...
it felt a bit like I was inside an ice cream parlor!

Let these pretty hues inspire YOUR summer decor
for a Home SWEET Home...

This was the main visual draw in the booth - the back wall.
Furnishings create a setting, then details bring it to life....

A darling dining table, painted with perfect pink stripes, conjures up a sweet shop,
a theme reinforced by ironstone creamers, wire urns, and vintage teacups
to create a party setting.

the white milk-glass chandelier sparkles in the midst of soft pastels.
Rita's own photos (STUNNING!) are turned into her line of greeting cards
with pure vintage style.

[ psssst..... have you ever tried PAINTING a CHANDELIER???!
yup. it can be done!
I shared a few of my painted chandy projects in a past post...
click to check it out here! ]

 It only takes a touch of color to create a theme....
bows, ribbons, patina on old pieces of furniture, even paper lanterns
easily add personality and style.

At every show, Rita dolls up her two mannequins.
They always have petticoats on, and special corsets or aprons to coordinate with her theme.
THIS time around, the girls wore sassy, sexy pink and Rita's original mesh crowns...
[ you've probably seen her famous crowns in many magazines! ]  
... even the back of the mannequin is stunningly detailed.

One final detail that just made me SMILE:
 Miss Rita created this darling 'Baby Bunting'
by clipping baby clothes and shoes to a simple length of twine.
We hung it across the back of the booth and it just charmed the heck out of everyone.
It's a simple idea that can be easily changed,
and it works perfectly for party decor AND nursery decor.
When I was painting murals in a little girl's nursery many years ago, 
the client (who became a dear friend) did this and used hers as a window valance!

See more photos of Rita's booth on her Mammabellarte blog