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My Bloomin' Secret

potted spring bulbs look and smell wonderful indoors
[especially if they are potted up in a cute teacup or coffee mug, as shown here]
but within a week, you're going to have a bloomed-out plant.

i have a stylist's little secret for you
that will keep your indoor bulbs looking fresh for WEEKS...

tuck a test tube or floral tube into the pot, snugged right up next to the plant stems
and slip a fresh-cut daffodil or tulip from the florist or your garden into the tube.

you end up with a healthy green plant that has perpetual blooms
in as many colors as you'd like throughout the season!
one week you can have bright yellow King Alfred daffs,
and the next enjoy soft white Ice Princess Narcissus.

...and if you don't tell anyone about your bloomin' secret, they'll never know!


...and the Oscar Goes to...

Pin It
there are five seasons, right?  
Winter, Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Holiday.
don't forget AWARDS SEASON!

early on Saturday, my mom decided to host an impromptu and intimate
OSCAR PARTY for four people.
so, she became the producer/director/writer
and i became the production designer/cameraman/editor
to create a setting for Sunday night's viewing of the Academy Awards show...

i rummaged through the garage, kitchen, dining room buffet and upstairs closets,
grabbing everything she had on hand in her decently-sized stash of entertaining supplies.
then we put together award-winning decor that evoked old Hollywood glamour
using black, gold, and sparkling crystal.
[no, not Billy Crystal.]

let's see if i can put this in 'industry' terms:

family room
subdued lighting, candles burning in etched clear glass containers

big screen television tuned to ABC for Oscars pre-show

tables draped in gold lame' and black satin damask
white roses in tall crystal glasses with vintage crystal strands dripping from edges
black ceramic tableware and gold flatware
cut crystal goblets and tumblers
black satin napkins

characters enter room, partake of appetizers and champagne in lounge area
while viewing celebrity Red Carpet Entrances on tv.
fashion opinions are shared. loudly.

male character asks 'who IS that?' a hundred times,
and female characters attempt to educate him on film stars of today.
[as opposed to 1962, when he last knew who the stars were]


SCENE 002:
characters move to dining area behind lounge for dinner & dessert
while viewing Academy Awards program

candles burn down, wine bottles are emptied, and laughter ensues.
applause, cheers, disappointments, and celebrations commence
as favored films and actors win awards - or not.


sorry, i didn't photograph the food. BAD cameraman (girl, whatever)
i was too busy enjoying Seth McFarlane. helloooooo Stewie...

* the white roses were left over from a bouquet that my nieces gave to their grandma.
* the Hollywood clap board was $2.49 and the five gold paper stars were $1.69 at Party City.
* there's no fancy food here (no caviar, etc.) we used what was already in the house,
except for four $4. chicken pot pies from Boston Market
[Mom says that Chasten's in Los Angeles used to be famous for their chicken pot pies, and everyone who was anyone would go there after the Oscars. who knew?]
* the bottle of Wilson Creek Almond Champagne (Ca.) was $11.99 at BevMo

so we spent less than $35 to produce this fun event. 
i'd say we made a blockbuster on an independent budget!

 the only thing i would have changed?
i would have had each of us stand up to give a speech:
 "I'd like to thank the Academy for this honor...."

[and can i just say that it was hilarious that the orchestra played the theme from JAWS
to get winners to wrap up their speeches?! love the sense of humor there.]


for more decorating ideas for every season,
  visit the HOMEWARDfound blog 
and these social networking sites:


Cup O' Spring Freshness

this week, i linked up & shared two photos on the HOMEWARDfound facebook page
that my friends Sandy & Debi had posted on their pages,
where they were showing off their spring-theme displays at recent vintage shows.
i loved that both girls had made use of coffee & tea mugs as plant pots!

i've used this idea before in my spring decorating,
and also as a sweet teacher gift at Spring Break.

this is so simple, easy to complete in about five minutes,
and it costs less than an actual latte'!

 water sparingly and enjoy - indoors and out!

i found the green coffee mug for one dollar on the clearance aisle at Marshalls
and there's a pretty good selection over at Dollar Tree, too!
the white mug is one i had on hand (there's an old ugly logo on the back, but who cares?!)

my local Armstrong Nursery had a pony-pack of four 2 1/2" flowering bulbs for $2.98

it took me all of five minutes to remove the price tag and plant both mugs.
[i spent way more time photographing them than MAKING them]
now THAT is my kind of 'Fast, Cheap, & Easy'TM decorating!

and kids would just love the chance to get dirty making some!


Dancing with the Daffodils

 to me, spring is heralded by daffodils blooming
so i can't think of a better way to kick off the spring season here on HOMEWARDfound

 daffodils have always been my favorite flower...

it all started when i first saw the Disney cartoon version of Alice in Wonderland as a child:
the happy goofy silly 'daffy-o-dills' just made me smile!
 and every spring since, the nodding, bouncing, golden heads of narcissus
have been my spring flower of choice.
[image source]

when we moved from Southern California up to Seattle years ago,
we drove up to the Skagit Valley, North of Seattle, in March. 
as we crossed the river and drove in to the farmland,
 i saw a sight that quite literally took my breath away:
Fields of Golden Daffodils
 i was completely surrounded by
hundreds of acres filled with nodding, swaying, happy daffodil blooms!
i had never seen anything like that before... and i was in my own little heaven.
in april, those same fields are home to hundreds of acres of tulips, for the world-famous Tulip Festival.

but to me, the daffodils are the stars...

I wandered lonely as as a cloud
    That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
    A host of golden daffodils,
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
    And twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretched in never-ending line
    Along the margin of the bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced, but they
    Outdid the sparkling waves in glee: --
A poet could not but be gay
    In such a jocund company!
I gazed, and gazed, but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought.

For oft, when on my couch I lie
    In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
    Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

 ~ William Wordsworth

whether you get them at a farmstand, a garden center, the grocer, or your own yard,
a bunch of daffodils is a simple and inexpensive way to bring spring home
even before spring gets here! 



Heartfelt Thanks

thank you all for playing along for the past month,
visiting the HOMEWARDfound blog, facebook page, pinterest boards, and HOMEtalk posts!
the countdown is over...
but you can still catch up on all 31 posts - just click here!

[ and stay tuned.... SPRING IS COMING! ]


tout de suite

Welcome to Day 29!

imagine if the shelves shown in yesterday's post were in a kitchen, instead of in my office.
 you could create a quick little display tout de suite*
just by raiding the kitchen cabinets & drawers:

 cake pans, cupcake wrappers & box, cookie cutters, and a few edible goodies
become decor items! easy. or, rather...

[*tout de suite ]
which is one of the most common expressions in the French language,
and is just one of several ways to say "right away, immediately."

now what if you grabbed a little bit more from the kitchen,
and pulled together a candy bar beneath those shelves?

it might look a lil' something like this:

the best part? 
the candy AND darling 'cookies on a stick' ALL came from the dollar store
and the glass vases & candleholders came from thrift shops!

This is a simple, easy idea for a family-time Valentine's Day dessert
that your kids are sure to love

* leftover Christmas candycanes fit the color scheme and fill up a huge vase
* smaller lidded jars hold cheap but cute dollar store candies,
and a tiny butter dome holds some jellied fruits wrapped in red & white wrappers
 * decorated cookies-on-a-stick stand in a cup lined with doilies
* dotted wrapping paper forms the base of the decor

* an overturned custard dish acts as a pedestal for a cupcake
[and a flattened cupcake paper forms a colorful 'saucer' beneath it]
* small red glass heart plates stand inside raised candleholders, secured with hard wrapped candies

several other ideas from HOMEWARDfound are shown above:

wrapped glass vases [view post here]

bakers' twine tags [view tutorial here]

shared online:
2016: one project closer | creativity unleashed link party


All Together Now...

Welcome to Day 28!

this Valentine Vignette  
sits above my desk, and is the first thing i see when i walk into the office.
it's a small space that benefits from very little 'tweaking'
by adding new elements each season / month, along with just a touch of color.

you probably have a windowsill, or an entry table
that is the first thing you see when you walk into your home or kitchen...
it's a perfect place to create a seasonal vignette!

elements like the white ironstone pitchers & mini bowls and the white silk tulips 
are used almost all year long.
the simple addition of some aluminum heart-shaped cake pans
[picked up for 25 CENTS each at a thrift shop],
the L-O-V-E letter tiles, 
and the red & white striped hearts and cupcake papers
makes this arrangement say 'Valentine's Day'.

the photo above brings together two previous ideas from HOMEWARDfound:
 gift tags and hearts, cut from an old box [ see tutorial here ]

giant letter tiles [ see tutorial here ]