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A Gift for Myself...

One of my goals with this blog has always been 
to underscore the point that decorating isn't limited
to the massive renovations you see on HGTV home shows.
Or the 'before and after reveals' in magazines.

It can be the simple activity of arranging small items 
on small shelves on an office wall or an entry table,
so that you experience the beauty of nature, the season,
and your own creativity EVERY DAY.

In my mind, I've always been focused on showing you how to make small changes
without spending a lot of money
so that your home can reflect the changing beauty of the seasons
and INSPIRE you every day.
(If you haven't read my 'about' page yet, 
hit the 'start here' link up above
to find out why and how HOMEWARDfound came to be...)
Mary Engelbreit, one of my favorite artists,
says 'Bloom Where You Are Planted'...
I say, Decorate the space you have with what you have.
And love it. No matter how small it is.
No matter where it is, or how long it is for.

I've spent the last three years living in two rooms of my parent's home,
thanks to their generosity... and I'll bet you didn't know that about me.
It's a far cry from the gorgeous dream home I had on an island in Washington,
or the many other homes I have been blessed to have lived in over my life.
but I have worked to make the best of it... to love it, no matter how it limits me.

During this time, I have enjoyed creating and sharing ideas and inspiration with you 
here at HOMEWARDfound Decor.
I've employed some very creative tactics to focus on the small details and areas,
rather than offer 'room reveals' and wide shots -
because I simply don't have the space to do that.
I've made use of old photos of my past homes & decor,
as well as creating new projects and products for you to enjoy.
At times, it has been easy. Often, it has been remarkably difficult to continue.
It's been a cathartic and expansive exercise for me, 
 helping me to find myself again, after losing sight of who I was in the face of loss.

Through HOMEWARDfound,
I have been blessed and honored to be published in and write for many magazines, 
to have made and sold my original creations, providing me with an income,
and to have met so many people who are 'my tribe' of decorating-minded people.
It has healed and warmed my heart
to have read your encouraging and kind words in comments here and on facebook,
to have received your support and friendship across the miles.
And I am SO very grateful for each and every one of you,
for choosing to spend some of your time
reading this blog, trying the project tutorials, leaving comments...
it means the world to me.

This year,
I am giving myself a gift...
the gift of peace. time. freedom. acceptance. LIFE.

my word for 2015.

Friends, the time has come for me to stop blogging and facebooking,
to take my life that I have made public off of the social media stage, 
and just LIVE...
to create when I want, for me, and not worry about doing it on a time schedule
or having to edit photos and create graphics and promote posts.
To stop feeling driven to produce and compete for an audience 
in the blogosphere, Pinterest, and facebook.
To stop feeling the need to produce or compete ANYWHERE.

Through my blogs Hummadeedledee, Debi Ward Kennedy retail design,
the Retreat Style blog, and now HOMEWARDfound Decor,
I've been blogging since 2004 - that's ten years.
And I'm just ready to stop, my friends...

I wish you all many creative hours making your homes reflect the beauty of each season
and of your own beautiful personalities...
May God bless and keep you, and may every day bring you cause to
Celebrate life, every day!

With Love, Affection,
and my deepest Appreciation,

 HOMEWARDfound Decor content on the blog and facebook page will remain online, 
with content for every season available to you all year long...
I hope that you continue to enjoy what I've shared here!

All copyrights remain in effect for all content on this blog.


Black & White & Winter All Over!

It's finally beginning to look a bit like Christmas around HOMEWARDfound central!
I've been so busy working that I didn't even remove the fall pumpkins from my office until SUNDAY.
Yes, you read that right.
I debated even decorating at ALL, but the urge got the best of me and I went for it - 
although in a different way than I usually do.

This year, I decided to focus on decorating for the winter season
rather than just for Christmas...

I don't have tons of bins of Holiday decor anymore, just a few with special items,
so I selected some things from there
and then added in everyday 'stuff' that helped me create a color scheme.
I went for a crisp black, white, and silver look:
The shelves on the wall in the office are rather triangular,
so when filled they remind me of a tree shape.

Along with my growing black & white coffee mug collection,
I used sparkly paper bags from the dollar store, two of my Original Sweet Sweater Snowmen,
a glass nativity scene, white tissue snowflakes, sparkly glittery metal branches, a lace mask,
and the rare white candy canes that I have been hauling around since 2009
(and OH are they STALE!)

Here are a few of the other elements I used:
 I do still collect white Santa china & ironstone mugs...
I wash all of the red paint off of them, though, so they fit my pale neutral color scheme!
This year, I found these tiny little tophat ornaments at Dollar Tree,
and they sit perfectly on top of the smallest size mugs!
 You've seen this truck before... it has a place of honor every season, 
because it reminds me of my Grandpa Ward's truck.
And the castle ornament.... well, I don't really need to explain that one, do I? ;)

Across the room, a breakfront/dresser is a large display space,
and I have been putting the tree here each year...
This year, I decided to create a DIFFERENT kind of tree...
 and used my wire tomato cage dome instead!
I could have used a plain ol' wire tomato cage tree,
but I was lazy and in a hurry and so I used what was already in the room.

 I placed the dome on a platter on top of a china pedestal bowl to raise it up,
and my special vintage ornaments in silver hang delicately from the wire crosspieces.
A birdsnest that I made cradles a broken ornament at the base of the dome,
and a mini-sized tophat that I bought at Disneyland serves as a jaunty dome topper.

 White china & ironstone holds more ornaments across the vignette,
and some black accents really POP against the white... especially that Chanel box :)
 Last Christmas, when I was having a blast with my kids and grandkids in Seattle,
I bought the white ceramic Space Needle salt & pepper shakers.
(They were the least cheesy souvenirs I could find down at Pier 39!)

Then this year, I found the white ceramic Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland.
(I love the way the snowflakes show up behind it in the flocked black shadow box frame here...
they remind me of the Disneyland fireworks!)

As I worked, I realized that I have a growing collection here - figures of the places I love best!
Now my plan is to find a ceramic figure of the Alamo in San Antonio
(even if it's not white, I can paint it white)
and then some other places that are really special to me.
I can use them in my decor all year long, instead of just at Christmas!

 Just a few more detail shots of little decor touches...
I don't have the light strands for the clear bubble lights anymore,
so I just piled them into an enamel pail. They still make me smile!

Another handmade nest found a home in an ironstone chamber pot,
hung by its handle on an old wood gate section.

...and my vintage wire shopping cart corrals all of my gift wrap supplies!

SO, even though I waited a REALLY long time to get my decorating mojo on,
it was worth the wait.
Mostly because I don't have to take it all down in two weeks!!!

Practically Functional | Creativity Unleashed


I'm Not ELF-conscious....

Friends, I'm gonna' brag. Sorry, but I have to!
I just scored THE ultimate in Christmas decor - at least, in my little world.

My kids are grown, so I have no reason to get into the 'Elf on the Shelf' craze sweeping the world...
and I had absolutely no intention of doing so.

Until late one recent day, when a box of donations came into the resale store
where I work as a display stylist. (Job #2, along with Disney)
Buried in the depths of that box was a vintage treasure that I simply could not ignore
even if it WAS an elf
(or in this case, elfs. elves?.... 'elves on shelves'??):
Aren't they CUTE?!!
These little guys are circa 1960's, made in Japan (stickers still attached), and in brand-new condition.
I can't even FIND any that look as good as they do on etsy!

Just like the newly-popular Elfie in a red onesie, they bend and pose and sit up,
all while casting sidelong glances in the direction of the trouble that is brewing...
and let me tell you, they've already invaded my office with their shenanigans.
See photos below for proof.

So now, I am completely enamoured of these two.
I am trying to figure out what to name them...
Stick with the Holiday theme and try
No and El?  Happy and Holly?  Dancer and Prancer?

Maybe I should go with an obvious direction, 
and call them Dis and Ney ;) ?  Miki and Mini?

There is one set of names that keeps dancing in my head:
Dubble and Trubble.
Because clearly, one is a goody two shoes - and one is just hell on wheels.
This is definitely one of my BEST Christmas decor scores ever.
What marvelous finds do you have to brag about?  Share in a comment!

shared online:

Practically Functional | Creativity Unleashed


Santa Babies

I was surfing through my facebook news feed the other night,
and a photo on a Page I follow jumped out at me....
it's such a simple idea, easy to execute by adding one thing to the existing decor,
and yet it added SO much to the room it was in that it made me smile.
The emphatically creative artist Mary Engelbreit
(she of the perpetually encouraging quotes and cheerful colors)
shared this photo of her kitchen fireplace Holiday decor:
which is, again, a simple embellishment of her every day decor.
Miss Mary collects statues and busts of children, and displays them on her mantel.

And at Holiday time, 
she dresses her little babies up by placing perfectly-sized Santa hats on each one:
It's charming, sweet, and it makes you smile.
The only thing I might change is that I'd replace that painting in the background
with a large-scale version of 'The Night Before Christmas'...
preferably with Miss Mary's illustrations :)

I love this easy idea, for indoors or out!

Can't you just IMAGINE the possibilities???
 There's always one in every crowd... and his name is usually Bob.
 Whaaaaaaat? You said wear it. I'm wearing it!
 He's up to no good, I can tell you that...

Just think about it ;)


Bubbling with Joy

First, may I offer a HUGE 'Thank You' to all of you
for your kind comments here and on facebook, 
and for the prayers and thoughts you have been sending for my Dad.
This challenge is not over, however it IS being seen in a much more positive light
after his doctor came up with a solution that will help him have a few years left with us,
instead of a few months. 
For that, we are extremely grateful!

And so as the Light of Hope reigns in my heart, 
I see a little bit of Holiday joy returning to my soul...
and I thought a post about 'light' was perfect.
Now, about that picture up there:
You all know that I love using things in unexpected ways... well, a few years back,
  I put white bubble light bulbs into my chandelier!
My grandma Ward had bubble lights on a tree when I was a little Debby, 
and they always bring back sweet memories for me.
Having the whimsical sparkly bubbling lights on my chandelier 
reminded me of her every time I passed through the dining room. 
My grandson loved them, too!

The clear/white ones shown here (found at Restoration Hardware) were just too perfect to pass up,
as my style is more neutral than my Grandma's brightly-colored preferences.
Lights like this will work on a chandy with small bulb sockets, not full size ones.

The other thing you might notice about that chandelier is that it has some pretty-fied candle STICKS.
I wrapped pieces of vintage sheet music around each 'candle stick'!
A quick swipe from a glue stick secured them, but made it easy to remove in the future.

This is an easy project, using scrapbook papers, gift wrap, any kind of paper product...
back in 2010, I used shiny red and polka-dot gift wrap paper on some chandeliers for sale:
I also used happy round bulbs on those,
just because I thought they looked more like tree ornaments than light bulbs.

Another way to embellish your chandeliers is to dangle ornaments from them, as shown above.
Simple glass balls, or crocheted or faceted crystal snowflakes will really 'foof' it up!

Here's the chandy from the photo at the top of this post
with loads of glass ornaments suspended from it
(before the bubble lights were found!)
Along with the very expensive glass figural ornaments,
I used resin crystals found at the thrift store, and cheap plastic snowflakes from the dollar store.
Those don't detract from the elegant look!!!
See more of my past 'Vintage White Christmas' decor theme HERE

shared online:

.Practically Functional | Creativity Unleashed

Yesterday on Tuesday | Project Inspire{d}


Unplanned Break...

My friends, I am just not up to finishing the post I had in progress for Wednesday morning...
my Dad is in the hospital, fighting cancer,
with developments today that have overwhelmed our family.

My mind is just not on decorating or the holidays right now.
Hopefully I will get back to blogging for a post on Saturday, 
but depending on how things progress over the next few days,
that may or may not happen.
My family is my first priority, and I know you understand that.
I'll be back when I can.

In the meantime,
I am offering this 'commercial break':
You'll find loads of holiday cheer, inspiration, tutorials, and projects
on my December: Everything Holiday! Pinterest board.

And if you are so inclined, 
your healing thoughts and prayers would be very much appreciated
by this girl who just wants her Daddy around for a long time to come...


Glass Lamp Globe Snowglobes

If you've seen my original glass globe pumpkins for fall,
then you know I love using everyday things in new ways to decorate with!

Here's another idea for glass globe light covers:
Take the simple clear glass ones, and make them into snowglobes!

* find small figurines at thrift shops or the dollar store

* spray paint them gloss white
* hot glue them inside a shallow white bowl or pedestal
[i like using hot glue  - 
because if i want to change it all later, i can!]
* flip the globe upside down with the opening facing up

* add some snow flakes or glitter inside.

* put a bead of hot glue all along the rim of the globe, 
and place the base upside down onto the glass globe's opening.

* trim the edge of the base with vintage trims, ribbon, jewelry if you like.
 * in the globe shown below, i also glued a clear plastic snowflake behind the little angel figure.

You can use glass fishbowls from the dollar store, too!
see MORE ideas for using glass lamp globes in your winter decor HERE!
(this content originally appeared in that post)