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JOYful Home & Life

I am a woman of faith.
I don't bring much of that onto this blog,
but I am a girl who grew up singing at church, and later worked with youth groups and womens ministries.
And I can say with all honesty that I have come to where I am in life only because
I am absolutely certain that God loves me,
 and that my relationship with Him is my balance point in life.

I have been praying for an opportunity to contribute to a faith-based publication,
and a few months ago, an opportunity came right to my [digital] doorstep!
[ I just love it when that happens...]

Today, the new JOYful Home & Life website launches,
featuring a marvelously gifted group of writers, bloggers, and photographers
each sharing wonderfully inspiring and educational ideas - with a focus on faith. 
With content covering the subjects of home decor, entertaining, DIY, crafts,
recipes, holidays, organizing, family life, and even organic foods,
it's a wonderful new community and resource for families.

I am honored to be a regular contributor to this new site, 
and will be sharing simple seasonal decor and DIY ideas on the first of every month.
[maybe more in the future... but for right now, that's what I can handle!]

I invite you to visit JOYful Home & Life today!
You can also find additional content on Facebook and Twitter

Order the ORIGINAL Sweet Sweater Pumpkins HERE
- now in FIVE colors, including PINK!

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


Creating Vintage Charm Autumn!

The Autumn 2013 Issue of Creating Vintage Charm Magazine is here!

I am honored to be a regular contributor to this lovely publication, 
produced by a gracious and creative spirit, Sonia Cardona Crouse.
There is beautiful inspiration in each seasonal issue,
with ideas and projects from many incredibly talented designers, decorators, and photographers
... and autumn is packed FULL!
My contribution this season is a soft, warm, natural-themed tablescape,
perfect for any autumn day - and especially Thanksgiving.
[and yes, that's a peek of one of my Original Sweet Sweater Pumpkins from the issue!]
I'll share more images of my story after the magazine has been out for awhile...
for now, here's a beautiful slideshow preview of this issue that Sonia put together:
 visit the Creating Vintage Charm facebook page!


That's a - DOOR - able!

Imagine my surprise when I was scrolling down my facebook newsfeed Friday night,
and suddenly saw a VERY familiar image - one of mine, as shown above!
That photo appeared in this post on HOMEWARDfound last fall.

It seems that Miss Donna, of Funky Junk Interiors fame, included one of my decor ideas
in her 'DIY Old Door Rockstars' roundup for her link party this week:
[can I just ask the question.... this IS about old DOORS, right? 
Not like the 'rockstars' are all old? just wonderin'.....!!]

Well, I am thrilled and honored to have had my 'door turned into wall art' included!
Thank you so much, Donna ;) 

I thought I'd hustle over here and put together a brand new post
showing some of the things I have done with old doors over the years...

I shared this photo in this post last fall,
where I hung an old plank door sideways as a background for industrial pieces.
In this photo, I used a paint pen to draw a 'Mom's Diner' logo on a windowed door,
then placed it in one of the displays in my Petite Retreat seasonal store.

Now, that old white door shown in the first photo in this post?
It ended up becoming a tabletop, with old carved fence posts for legs:

Another old door became another tabletop, married to legs from a ruined Eastlake dining table:
That was the kind of brilliant stuff my late husband created, for our business 'Retreat'.
Our whole business was built around creating new furnishings and decor 
from reclaimed, salvaged, and upcycled materials.

But I bet you wanna' know about the red door on the LEFT up there, don't you?

I still have no idea WHY, but he called that original design his 'Butler's Table'.
[there was NO butler at our house... there WAS a maid, tho.
And you know who it was, right? I'm just sayin'...]

He married old doors with HALF of a table - 
dropleaf, demilune, split-top, anything.
He'd come up with the most amazing combinations - like these:

and I would paint them in various aged and faux finishes.
When you opened the drop-leaf ones, you'd see this:
...the table provided a work or eating surface, and then folded back flat 
for a perfect fit in an entryway, a small kitchen, or a bedroom.
Like I said, brilliant ideas!

There's so much you can do with old doors...
go check out Donna's link party to see more!

Primitive Pumpkins

Most people know that I have a 'thing' for pumpkins
evidenced by my connection with my Original Sweet Sweater Pumpkin creations...
but not many people know WHY I like pumpkins.
Cinderella is partly to blame... 
that magical coach made from a pumpkin captured my imagination as a child. 
I'm a Disney kid who grew up miles from the park, members of my family were involved in building it, 
and I just love a good fairy tale! Cindy was always my favorite Disney Princess.

The REAL reason I love pumpkins, however, is my grandpa.
I was the first redhead in our family, and apparently that captivated him.
For the first fifteen years of my life, he lovingly called me his 'Little Pumpkin Eater'
in his soft, gentle voice and with a twinkle in his eyes.

We lost him on the night I went to my first formal dance in high school, when I was 15,
and I'd give anything to hear him call me that again.

Since he can't, I collect pumpkins to remind me of him...
at one point, I had over a hundred pumpkins. [yes, I can say 'hoarder'!]
I've since learned that it's the QUALITY not the QUANTITY that matters,
and I make and keep and buy only the best pumpkins now.

Speaking of 'the BEST pumpkins'.... just look at these darling prim pumpkins!

My sweet friend Angela makes them, and I LOVE them. 

I just had to share them with you as one of the 'Products I Love'.

I adore her choices of various vintage repurposed fabrics
from burlap to feed sacks to muslin, to chenille bedspreads, they are all sublime

Now, I am not a 'primitive' decorator...
but these feed sack pumpkins make me go 'SQUEEEEEEEEEEE!'
They look more industrial than prim to me!
 Just look at these BLUE pumpkins made from a vintage chenille bedspread!
Yes, if your home has blue decor, you should do something original like this for fall!!!
Angie lives in Ohio, and we met in the spring of 2012
when Angie was a vendor in the FOLKbarn at the Springfield Antique Show.
I am so glad we did! She's a single mom with amazing creativity...
and a precocious young daughter nicknamed 'Princess'. I bet she likes Cinderella, too!
 Angie sells her beautiful pumpkins for remarkably reasonable prices,
AND she offers free shipping in the USA.

LARGE $20 - @11" wide and @9" tall including stem

MEDIUM $15 - @7" wide
Set of 1 MINI + 2 TEENIES $20 - @3" and 2" wide

Angie also makes stacks of three in a combo of large, medium, and mini on request,
and her pumpkins also come STAINED or unstained
Angie's pumpkins are limited editions, because of the vintage fabrics she uses.
So the exact pumpkins that you see here may no longer be available...
 To purchase pumpkins like these, please contact Angie directly
 through her facebook page Primitive Folk Artist Lil' Raggedy Angie


Madre de Dio de Los Muertos!

Having spent more than 35 years as a retail display designer and stylist,
I have a great appreciation for this art of merchandising products - when it is done right.

And let me tell you, I live five miles from one of the BEST visual merchandising teams in the WORLD!
The geniuses at Roger's Gardens came up with this AWESOME idea,
and so for my first HALLOWEEN post, I just had to share it:
Paint Dia de Los Muertos [ 'Day of the Dead'] elements onto classical statuary.
[I'm not sure, but those two on the bottom could be
Janet and Rocky from the Rocky Horror Picture Show.... smile]

These statues punctuate one of the SIX rooms in the 2013 Halloween House - 
a warren of six rooms on the grounds of the nursery that is transformed each fall
into a wonderland of scary delights.
This year, the theme is 'Night Gallery', and everything reflects a haunted museum/art gallery.
Ghoulishly clever!

Yes, you COULD do this!
Every time I walk into a thrift store, there's some errant knick-knack on a shelf
that looks like Marie Antoinette or Caesar or George Washington...
[usually they are concealing an AVON bath oil bottle, but whatever! They'll work!]
Paint them with flat white paint and then get busy adding dio de los muertes (Day of the Dead) motifs using paint pens, felt markers, poster paint, craft paint
....and those stale old 'busts' will be history. or... 'busted'. 
Take your pick! And have fun!

I have more photos of other brilliant ideas that they came up with, 
which translate into things for you to try at home... 
and I'll try to break them down into easy steps to get a similar look
without having a lifetime of experience in visual effects... stay tuned!

Photo credit: Debi Ward Kennedy . Photos of Rogers' Gardens displays