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4.29.2014

Sweet Simple Nests

Years ago, I was bent on cleaning up some flower beds near my front entry.
I had endured the garish orange day lilies blooming there (planted by the owner of the house),
and now that they had finished, I was ready to eradicate them from my yard. 
I wielded cutters and rake, bringing them to their proverbial knees...

and quite by accident, I discovered a new material to create with:
DEAD foliage.

Deb has not gone 'round the bend here, I swear....

The dried, browned stringy leaves of the daylilies had landed in piles as I trimmed.
And those piles looked like something to me,
so I picked up a hunk of foliage and twisted it around in my palm, 
and Lo and Behold, a NEST emerged!

I created a whole bunch more, and decorated my home with them.
Then I made even  more, and sold them at vintage shows.
When those ran out, I found pots of dead daffodils at the nursery, 
and they GAVE THEM TO ME!
So I made more nests. With FREE STUFF. We ALL like that, right?!

So in case you'd like to try this, here's my SUPER SIMPLE method to
 turn dead leaves into nests in just three simple steps!


Prep:  Get a pair of scissors and some cotton string or hemp twine,
and cut it into a three-inch length for each nest you want to make.

Step 1:
If the foliage is still attached to the plant, in the ground or in a pot, make this easy on yourself...
grab the foliage just above the bulb area, and cut there.

Step 2:
Bunch the foliage into a long strip, and begin twirling it into a circle shape in your hand
by curling the cut ends around toward the strip. 
Twirl it once or twice or three times around, depending on the length of the foliage.

The uneven ends of the foliage should be on the outside of the nest,
giving a more natural appearance to it when done.

OPTIONAL STEP:
Add pieces of thread, ribbon, twine, etc. to the strip of foliage before creating the nest
to make it look more like a real one made by a bird.

 

Step 3:
Tie a piece of the string / twine around the foliage on the side where the cut ends of the foliage are -
just like threading a needle, feed one end of the string into the hole - and then tie a knot.
This will hold the nest together and keep it from unwinding.
Then cut the string ends off.

Add any charming little details you'd like to...
a tuft of moss, a fading gardenia bloom, rose petals, a precious found object.
I just sit mine in there because I like to change them,
but you can attach yours with glue if you'd like.

Then display your sweet nest as part of your Spring decor!
Here are two ways I displayed the nests I made:

An aqua glass candle holder lifts the nest up like sculpture,
while the galvanized lantern functions like a tiny house for a bird nest.

You can see more of my nest creations on HOMEWARDfound
 Here . Here . Here . Here

shared online:

Yesterday on Tuesday | Project Inspire{d}
(Malia Featured my sweet nests!)



4.24.2014

Going Green!

 I half-jokingly posted on the HOMEWARDfound facebook page the other day,
letting out a dirty little secret of my total decorating obsession....

When I change the graphics on my social media sites, 
I ALSO change the decor in my office / studio. To match.
So that when my fresh new home pages are up on my laptop screen, they coordinate with the room.

I know, I know... #Imayneedtherapy

ANyway, the new HWf graphics that I created for May 2014 are all about green and white:
I uploaded the new graphics on Monday. So, on Tuesday, the decor in the office changed... 
out went the yellow from March & April, and in came the greens.

It's amazing how simple accessory and color changes can freshen up a room!

when i redecorate, I just round up and grab everything in the color scheme I can find,
then sort through it as I create vignettes around the room.
If I don't use something, I just pile it into a wire basket as part of a color montage!




These two images show projects that I've shared here on the blog:
The wire dome made from a tomato cage and the seed packet tin can vase.
I've used them both in dozens of ways!

Many of the things I use in my office decor ARE 'green' as far as eco-friendly goes,
because there's a LOT of re-imagine, re-use, re-cycle action going on here!
From thrifted, vintage and antique items to everyday materials re-purposed into another use,
nothing is off-limits.

Well, not unless it's red or orange or something. ;)
Just call me #ColorObsessed!

shared online:

Yesterday on Tuesday | Project Inspire{d}

4.22.2014

Mossy Mossy Mossy

So, after the Easter eggs and bunnies are packed away, 
what does Spring look like for you?

Me? I'm partial to MOSS.

...and yes, just as my silly title above indicates, I can't say 'Mossy' without thinking
"Fosse, Fosse, Fosse" 
[ which is a funny line from the movie 'The Birdcage'... look it up ;) ]

 I don't go for that 'sanitized' & bagged moss from the nurseries & garden centers, however...
nope. I like my moss straight from the shadiest corner of the yard, thankyouverymuch.
Twigs and weeds and all. Just scoop it up (using a pie server or spatula, of course) 
and pop it into containers like terra cotta pots and brandy snifters!

I shared a tutorial on making FREE moss terrariums HERE last Spring!

I loved this 'moss handbag' planter when I saw it at Roger's Gardens in Newport Beach, CA.
It inspired the moss-filled wire basket that I just made for Mom's front door.
[ The moss is real, the roses are faux - salvaged from an old wreath ]

These hanging moss balls used as planters are at the entrance to Roger's Gardens this spring,
and they spin a bit in the wind. 

Very sweet - and EASY to replicate!
* Grab a grapevine orb from the craft or dollar store 
* Wrap it up with sheet moss 
* Fill the inside of the ball with potting soil
* Plant a little fern or begonia into it
* Attach a string or wire, and hang from your patio cover....
OR, simply place the moss ball into a martini glass to display it indoors or on a table!

 One of my favorite haunts up in Washington state was Christianson's Nursery in the Skagit Valley.
There is a little shop in the center of the nursery called 'Primrose',
and every season, they create charming displays with natural elements and vintage goods.
I was always inspired when I visited,
and looking at these images of a spring tablescape, you can see why!
They really know how to use the ABUNDANT moss in the Pacific Northwest!

I would even put up with sanitized moss to create a table like that ;)

4.18.2014

Now That's Spring Water!

Here's a simple and pretty idea for your Spring Celebrations,
inspired by something I've done before...

At the 'Summer Retreat' vintage show I hosted on my farm on an island in Washington state,
I created a container of flavored water for guests to enjoy.
Frozen blueberries sank to the bottom of the container, and red strawberries floated on the water -
creating a perfect 'Red, White, & Blue' striped effect.
And I snapped a photo of it because I thought it was pretty:
red white and blue water farm fresh entertaining ideas from homewardFOUNDdecor.com
Then last summer, I shared it here on the blog.
Apparently, y'all liked it -
because this last-minute image is my MOST POPULAR PIN ever!

I thought it was time for an update on that idea for Spring, 
so I created flavored water using citrus and flower petals!
It's a bright, pretty Spring look for your beverage station at a brunch or luncheon.
[ Now let's see how THOSE pics do on Pinterest ;) ]

Here's how to get the separated floating layers:

 * Fill container 3/4 full of cold water. 
* Add citrus slices. 
* Add ice cubes carefully so that they float on top of the citrus.
* Then add in the flower petals, which will float on top of the ice cubes.

I used pretty pink geranium petals and bright yellow lemons...
but there are SO many color and flavor combinations you could try!

... and you know, you COULD put some plastic Easter eggs in the container, too ;)
___________________________________________________________

 * * * IMPORTANT NOTE: * * *
 Some flowers can be toxic to humans. 
Make sure you research before adding them to water for drinking. 
Photos shown are for visual inspiration only - this is NOT A RECIPE.
____________________________________________________

shared online:

One Project Closer | Creativity Unleashed


Common Ground | Be Inspired

Cupcakes & Crinoline | Project Inspire{d}

Denise Designed | Sunday Features #174

4.17.2014

Fix It Up: FAB Folding Chairs!

You may have to break out the folding tables and chairs for Easter guests, 
but here's an option for doing it in STYLE:

 Give them a shot of color with a fresh paint job and new upholstery!

Take the upholstered back and seat cushions off of your chairs,
spray paint the metal chairs a bright, happy color,
cover the upholstered cushions with fresh new fabric and re-attach with screws.
Protect the fabric with Scotchguard spray - or use oilcloth fabric!


My Mom was inspired by this idea when she saw it on Pinterest
[ she loves a good project as much as I do! ]
and now several of her 'drab' folding chairs have been transformed into FAB decor accents - 
ones that most likely won't be going back into storage
because they match her colorful tropical decor out on the patio!

[ Have you seen my Weekend Makeover of her patio? Check it out HERE ]

4.16.2014

Not Just a Cookie Cutter!

use holiday cookie cutters for napkin rings, tree ornaments, and more - all year long!
"Can't see the forest for the trees".
Ever heard that?

Something has happened to me REPEATEDLY over the past three weeks.
At first, I thought 'huh?'. Then I laughed. Finally, I got creative.
And that's when I realized my brain was trying to tell me something....

So, here's the situation:
In my new position in retail at the Happiest Place on Earth, 
I see a LOT of certain products. The ears, for example. They are EVERYWHERE.
And there's this ONE item that is right by the registers, 
where people routinely pick it up. They look at it. Some buy it.
But many - and I mean MANY  - many more than you would expect -
pick it up and look at cashiers and ask 
'What IS this? What's it FOR?'
every.single.day.

May I present said item?:
use holiday cookie cutters for napkin rings, tree ornaments, and more - all year long!
words FAIL me.
I just don't get how people do NOT know what this is.
I am not talking about people from far-flung foreign lands here, friends...
These are people from first-world countries with stores and books and web shopping.

It's a cookie cutter. 
In the shape of Mickey Mouse ears.
Pretty standard item. At least, I THOUGHT it was!

Anyway, after wiping the astonished look off of my face and replacing it with a suitable Disney smile,
I began to share different ideas for using this apparatus with those who asked about it.
I solve the mystery for guests and expound the versatility of said item,
sharing 'value added' uses with them.

The guests and my co-cast members have repeatedly told me that 
I have a very unique way of seeing things.
Is that a compliment???!

... and that's when I realized that the reason I HAVE this blog
is because I do not think like other people do,
and I need to take the things that smack me across the face on a daily basis 
and turn them into blog fodder!


continue reading to find out the ideas I had for the Mickey Ear Cookie Cutter
[ which are borne out of things that I've done for YEARS in my own home ]
because they are applicable to ANY cookie cutter at ANY time of year...