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Back to Nature

the best thing i learned as a display designer & stylist is this:
there is a LOT of FREE STUFF out there waiting to be found in the world!
it's just waiting to be reinvented into something else.

it's free for the taking (sometimes it takes WORK, but it's worth it) 
and once you get into the habit of looking for it,
you'll be picking up stuff everywhere.
i am NOT talking about dumpster diving this time, either!
nope. i'm thinking about your yardthe alley behind your house.
the vacant lot at the end of the street. the park, the office complex, the schoolyard.
the ditch next to the country road on the other side of town.
i'm thinking of all the trees that drop leaves and pinecones and seed pods
of all of the weeds and grasses that grow in clumps and through cracks in sidewalks
of all of the ivy vines that climb over fences into schoolyards
tumbleweeds that blow across deserted parking lots 
thistles and cattails that grow in ditches by the side of the road
and of all of the dead branches on old trees laying in piles next to dumpsters.
all of those elements of nature are out there, waiting to be discovered.
waiting to be gathered, brought inside, and arranged with purpose on a mantel, table, or shelf
so that the gorgeous colors and delicate details can be seen up close
every photo here shows simple grasses used in various settings
all of the grass was free for the picking practically everywhere i looked...
all i had to do was cut it with a pair of scissors
or pull it out of the ground, shake off the dirt, and use it.

it really doesn't get much easier than that!
so when you head out on a drive this weekend, look on the side of the road -
and see if you can't discover some really amazing feather grass
or maple leaves or seed pods in a eucalyptus tree to add to your Fall Decor!

all photos by debkennedyimages [for retreat, 2009-11]


  1. Deb- you are absolutely right! I love picking up whatever I find outside and using it to decorate or in my artwork...I found three dead beetles yesterday in the yard...I'm debating...its a litte creepy...but they are so shiny black!
    loving it all...

  2. Deb,
    I agree! And you have shown how beautiful nature is!