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Showing posts with label What Matters. Show all posts
Showing posts with label What Matters. Show all posts

12.22.2023

wishing you the happiest holidays

terra cotta Christmas 2023,Christmas,What Matters,holiday,new year,home decor,decorating,diy decorating,DIY,winter,
Christmas arrives in just a few days,
with a New Year on the horizon...

as we wrap up 2023,
i want to express my deep gratitude for your visits, likes, and comments
on my seasonal home decor content across social media platforms,
as well as to the generous bloggers and home publications
who have featured my projects over the past year.

i love the creative community we have all built together,
and truly appreciate your support & encouragement. it means the world to me.
and i really LOVE it when you tell me that i inspired you to make something new!

terra cotta Christmas 2023,Christmas,What Matters,holiday,new year,home decor,decorating,diy decorating,DIY,winter,
i so enjoyed your happy responses to my 'terra cotta Christmas' themed posts,
and you can imagine my smile when i spied these items on the Terrain website:
apparently i wasn't the only one obsessed with terra cotta pots this holiday season!

i'd love to hear from you what your favorite homewardFOUND post was this year,
and what you hope to see from me in 2024...
some fun project images are already sent off for publication,
with ideas for new winter-into-spring decor projects percolating in my brain.

terra cotta Christmas 2023,Christmas,What Matters,holiday,new year,home decor,decorating,diy decorating,DIY,winter,

i'm currently enjoying the end of this year and the dawning of the new one
while embracing some quiet time and 'artist dates'
to refresh and refuel my creativity as i plan for 2024 projects + content.

i hope you find time to do the same - 
disconnect, rest, renew, and revive yourself
in whatever ways you need to.

wishing you the merriest of Christmases
and happiness in the new year!

creatively, deb

terra cotta Christmas 2023,Christmas,What Matters,holiday,new year,home decor,decorating,diy decorating,DIY,winter,

4.07.2023

how i see Easter... an essay

for the past eight years or so, i've been sharing an essay on my facebook profile on Good Friday, Saturday, and Easter Sunday.
three years ago, i published it in its entirety on my blog - because it is a message that is so important that i want it to remain after i am gone, i want it to last and make a difference.
this year, instead of publishing my essay in parts, i'm going to share the link to where it lives on my blog. it's been hidden away on a page, with a link in the sidebar, but now i'm being brave and publishing a link to it in a post on this Good Friday because i don't want you to miss it. i do this in hope that my friends and family and blog readers and social connections will take a moment to click the link and to read the words that i know are the best i have ever written, the most important thing i will ever have to say, and to consider just why it is that i put this out there on a public platform, opening myself up to the inevitable reaction that will come.
it's because i care about what really matters in the lives of the people i care about from an eternal perspective... because we're spiritual beings having a human experience right now, but when our human bodies die, our souls live on. our souls all have eternal life. death is not the end of life, only the end of the body. the question is, where will that eternity be spent? with God, or separated from Him? i know i'll be with Him, and with many many loved ones who have accepted His truth.
...and i want you to be there, too i hope you hear my heart in this. i hope you hear the truth. i hope you accept it.
click this link to read my essay:

https://www.homewardfounddecor.com/p/how-i-see-easter.html

with love,
deb

12.20.2022

a sweet 'gingerbread' creche & nativity

holiday,Christmas,Christmas Decor,Christmas Decor Themes,DIY,diy decorating,re-purposed,up-cycling,What Matters,home decor,nativity,nativity scene,creche,gingerbread holiday,gingerbread house,gingerbread holiday theme.
for me, Christmas is not just about decorating or food or gifts...
it's about the birth of Jesus.
so each year, i either bring out my childhood nativity set
or create a new rendition of a creche scene that coordinates with my theme.

this year, i reworked the simple nativity scene that i created last year,
and added a new element that reflects my 'gingerbread' theme.
while the nativity figures would certainly work without the creche,
i like the way it focuses attention onto the holy family.

continue reading for the details of how i made it...

7.05.2022

summer break

this was unplanned, but is necessary:
i'm taking a break from 'content creation' for the rest of the summer.

if you care to know why, continue reading...

4.14.2022

the old rugged cross

wall art,art,What Matters,spring,Easter,woodcrafts,DIY,diy decorating,decorating,re-purposing,up-cycling,trash to treasure,salvaged,dollar store crafts,easter cross decor,spring home decor,spring easter decor,salvaged wood crosses,dollar tree crosses,painted easter eggs.
in my last post, i shared my new faux Kintsugi painted eggs,
and in the background of a few shots you saw a small collection of wood crosses.
today, i'm focusing on those and how they are made from 'everyday' materials.

Easter arrives in just a few days, and it is one of the most important days of the year to me.
my faith is built on the miraculous events celebrated on this day centuries ago,
and my hope resides in the promises God made about what it all means for the future.

Easter is also the day that my sweet Dad went home to Heaven seven years ago,
just as the sun was rising and beaming through the windows onto his peaceful face...
a precious reminder about what is really important in this life.

having a cross (or collection of crosses) in my decor is important to me,
and i love being able to make them unique and personal.
i hope these ideas inspire you!

continue reading for details...

4.07.2022

faux painted 'kintsugi' easter eggs

spring,Easter,painting,DIY,diy decorating,decorating,faux finish,tutorial,home decor,spring home decor,spring decorating,easter eggs,painted easter eggs,easter, passover,faux paint treatments,kintsugi,faux kintsugi,nests.
last fall, when i created my faux painted 'kintsugi' pumpkins,
i knew they were just a 'practice project'...
because i always envisioned that paint treatment on eggs, for Easter.

honestly, i couldn't be happier with the results!

this is a simple paint treatment with elegant results,
one that can be applied to any type of egg - paper, ceramic, wood, glass, or real eggs.

continue reading for my easy tutorial...

1.01.2022

a quiet beginning...

What Matters,winter,inspiration,new year,new year resolutions, word for the year, one word, new year goals, new year motto, 2022 motto
the beginning of a new year is like an empty room or a blank canvas or page to me...
as i open a new calendar and stare at the month of January,
i see a fresh start. possibility. space. time. freedom. opportunity. 
i like the idea of letting go of the old and embracing the new - 
even when it's sometimes scary to make big changes.

in mid-December, i read a post by one of my favorite authors, Ann Voskamp,
and felt a great weight lift from my soul when i scrolled down and saw these words:

Let go of Plan A — Go with 'Plan Be.'

it hit home because Deb is a planner, my friends. a list-maker. a 'DO-er'.
and i most definitely gauge my worth and value on my output and productivity.
i always have - long before social media made it a daily goal visible to the world.
and it's a very bad habit. it drives me into burnout in every area of my life.
i've been struggling with that since October.
 but after spending much of December not creating online content,
and thinking about what i can do to remedy the predicament i find myself in,
i know what to do now...

continue reading

11.22.2021

Sweet Sweater Nativity

Christmas,Christmas Decor,Christmas Decor Themes,holiday,What Matters,sweaters,Sweet Sweater Originals,DIY,diy decorating,re-purposed,dollar store crafts,ornaments,nativity,nativity scenes,diy creche,diy nativity,Dollar Tree crafts,Jesus Is the Reason for the Season.
i've made a lot of things this year,
and this project ended up being my very favorite one.

i've selected it as my very first 'official' holiday decor post
because for me, this is the 'reason for the season' -
observing and celebrating the birth of Jesus.
it is at the foundation of my faith, and fills my soul with joy.

this project began with the beautiful blown glass art of artist Helle Mardahl...
i was so inspired by the luminous colors and soft forms of her art in photos on Instagram
and they immediately made me think of human forms.
i turned a few small ceramic vessels and some tiny tree ornaments
into a charmingly sweet and simple nativity scene that reflects her art.

after i added sweater scraps to the mix, i HAD to call this a 'Sweet Sweater Nativity'!

continue reading for the very easy details...

12.23.2020

Merry Christmas!


i want to thank you so much for joining me over the past two months
as i have shared a lot of crazy colorful 'merry and bright!' inspiration for the holidays!

see all of my merry and bright! posts here

this simple nativity scene was a last-minute idea,
with a few paint chips quickly glued together in a house shape.
the figures you see are decades old, set up in our home when i was a little Debby.
saved, protected, and passed down, i set them up when my kids were small
and then watched my first grandson play with them when he was two.
they are an enduring reminder of my many memories of Christmas...

i chose a 'merry and bright!' theme this year not just because of the need for merriment,
but as my homage to creativity, to imagination, to childlike wonder.
staying creative this year has helped me more than i can explain,
to stay in a grateful and positive mindset during this pandemic.


my goal has been to use and REuse as much 'stuff' from home as i can,
shop for as little as possible, and just PLAY. it's been a fun creative exercise!

i hope that you are finding ways to express your creativity - 
and everyone is creative, in so many different ways
and that you've discovered how much joy you can create in your own life and home,
even when the world outside those doors is going a bit haywire.

let's carry that attitude into 2021, shall we?!


i wish you all a very merry (and bright!) Christmas
and a new year that holds hope, joy, and faith in your heart.



see you in January!


deb

11.30.2020

paint chip advent calendar

art,art class,wall art,crafting,crafting with kids,paper crafts,Christmas,Christmas Decor,color,colorful home,What Matters,winter,holiday,DIY,diy decorating,re-purposing,up-cycling,roygbiv,colorized,colorful Christmas decor,holiday decorating,holiday advent calendar,Christmas advent calendar,kindness,gratitude activity,family crafts,family advent,paint chip crafts, paint chips,paint chip decor,diy paint chip crafts.
it's time to start the official Christmas countdown!
here's a simple way to create an advent calendar that you can personalize for your family
.

i've used paint chip squares, since they coordinate with my theme this year,
but other easy ways to create something similar include manila tags and post-it notes!
the process is very easy - everyone can get in on the fun!

continue reading for the how-to and suggestions for personalizing an advent calendar...

5.01.2020

colorful office makeover

art, Blast from the Past, color, color palettes, crafting, creative spaces, DIY, diy decorating, fast cheap and easy, inspiration, makeover, neutrals, room makeovers, style, weekend makeover, What Matters, home decor, office decor, colorful decor
i thought i'd start off the month with a #MAYkeover story!
a week ago, i undertook a massive purge / cleaning/ reorganization of my studio/office.
while it has needed a deep clean for over six months just to get rid of things i don't use anymore,
the truth is that this project was the result of color overload...

before we talk about how my creative space ended up having a BAD effect on me,
we need to go back a bit... to my 'neutral phase'....
office decor, home decor, creative spaces, diy decorating, vintage style, vintage, repurposed, upcycled, salvaged, thrifted, diy decor, neutral decor, weekend makeover, #MAYkeovers, color palettes, room makeovers
you've seen my neutral-tone studio that i created in my farmhouse on an island.
i loved that peaceful, serene room that allowed me to focus on my work,
and for over a decade now, i've embraced neutrals as the basis of my home decor.
sure, i sometimes add a small 'pop' of color each season to the porch or other rooms -
but i've kept my creative workspace neutral. it worked in the past, so i stuck with it.
until i realized something about myself...

continue reading for the story of how i got from there, to here, and what happened in between!

3.14.2020

home-making

decorating, DIY, diy decorating, creativity, dollar store crafts, fast cheap and easy, junk makeover, re-purposing, salvaged, seasonal, spring, up-cycling, wall art, gallery wall, salvage art, home decor, spring home decorating
friends, i just want to offer an encouraging note to you today...
i know things are scary in this world right now. i feel it, too.
.
in the midst of all of it, i am purposing to choose to keep my mind in a place of faith not fear, 
a place of peace not panic, a place of still finding things in everyday life to be grateful for. 
to find simple, comforting ways to be creative and content at home. 
to make home a place of respite, refuge, and happiness.

and isn't it good that we can make our homes a retreat from the worlds' chaos?
 

in the midst of the current sense of uncertainty, 
i hope that you can all 
focus your mind and your thoughts on still seeing beauty in the world around you,
extend patience and kindness to others (but not your hands! LOL),
and fill up your homes with a daily celebration of life:
music, cleanliness, and a calmness of spirit built on gratitude for what we DO have.

.
we have a choice, and our choices affect others around us and in our homes...
we can still shine the light of hopefulness and BE the bright side of life right now.
we can still pull together here on social media and encourage & uplift one another.

.as a way of sharing good news and encouraging messages & images,
i invite you to share your social media links in a comment on this post:
facebook page, blog, instagram, pinterest, twitter. you can share someone else's, too!
.
this is a way we can 'visit' some new people, find uplifting content, and let it brighten our days! 😘
____________________________

oh, and that project pictured above?
i've had a few questions about it, so i'll share the details...


continue reading to see more!

10.01.2018

creatively speaking...

.
for the past few months, i have posted a quote on social media every Sunday.
the quotes are always about creativity, 
these words of wisdom have been helpful to me while wrestling with some facets of my own creativity...

you see, a while back, i lost my joy in creating. 

oh there was still the undertaking of projects and posting about them online, 
but really it was pretty much just a lot of going through the motions 
and hoping that my mojo would return.
nothing about my creative process was easy or flowing or remotely satisfying.
add in the pressure of keeping up with what's happening on social media,
and the result was complete overwhelm and a shutdown of the creative cycle.

something had to change.
i began to journal and read and spend time in nature, getting away from screens 
that were filled with the results of other people's imagination and creativity, 
taking time to consider what my aching heart was trying to teach me.

and then... an epiphany....
(continue reading)

3.31.2018

Salvaged Cross Wall Art

easter, easter art, easter home decor, religious home decor, christian home decor, wood cross
 as fun as the bunny ear napkins were in my last post, 
i couldn't let Easter go by without sharing much more meaningful content...

the cross in the photo above is a wood planting box, 
handmade by an artisan* who gifted it to me in a parking lot. yes, a parking lot. 
his truck was parked next to me at a local nursery, and he walked out as i was getting out of the car.

i complimented him on the two planters that he had in his hands - the cross and this heart
and he told me his good news, that he had just landed an account for them to sell his planters.
he smiled a mile wide - then he handed the planters to me. 
i was shocked and tried to refuse them, saying he didn't need to 'pay' me for the compliment.

and that young man said something profound to me that will be forever linked to this cross planter:

'hey, good news needs to be shared, and celebrated!'

 yes, yes it does. 
and on Easter weekend, i can think of no Good News better than that of the Cross.

that particular cross is now something i see every day in my home.
when i was creating a gallery wall arrangement, i grabbed the cross planter from the potting bench,
intending to include it in my decor. but it needed something more... and it became a project!

continue reading to see what i did with it!

10.25.2016

Thank You, Friends...

Hello, my friends... 
I want to thank you for hanging in here with me lately. I know there haven't been any new blog posts, and there have been scant few posts on the fb page, as well.
Life has just been hard lately, with a LOT of stress and frustration. I don't know about you, but for me, I find it hard to be creative when I am stressed out! I TRY, but my mind wanders and my heart just isn't in it... that's where I've been lately. My Mom has had a huge burden on her shoulders and there hasn't been a single thing I've been able to do to help solve the problem, and it's been wearing us both down... we've just been 'surviving', not really living.
Thankfully, that big, ugly situation was resolved last Thursday: Mom & Dad's old house FINALLY closed escrow and sold! She's endured seven long months of situations you would not believe if I told you - including FIVE failed escrows! - and has had to deal with an agent and broker that have been far less than forthcoming and pro-active. It's taken a huge toll on her, but at last it is over.
She is free now to move forward with a new life after Dad's passing, with a clean slate and hope for a joyful future. I see a huge difference in her spirit just over the weekend, which brings peace to MY heart - I was really REALLY worried about her. Our family gathered this weekend to celebrate and 'christen' the new house, and it made her so happy to have everyone here together. Memories were shared and made, of course a few tears were shed, but the time together was good for all of us. Loss is hard, grief is hard, but love heals. We also celebrated the engagement of my nephew to his wonderful girlfriend, and that added to the joy of our day.
With the stress of the old house mess behind us, I hope to find my enthusiasm and energy return so that I can take on projects around the new house again. I am ready to get back to creating and sharing decor ideas that will inspire you as you decorate your own homes! I am ready for JOY - which is our theme for Christmas this year, btw ;) I'm ready to find joy in my creativity, in daily life, in our home, in seeing things in a fresh new way... and I hope you will join me!
<3 Hugs to you, my 'HOMEees', for your continued support and kindness - I appreciate you more than I could ever express <3
With Love and Gratitude, 
Deb

2.10.2016

the Language of Love

 Contrary to just about everything I share here on homewardFOUNDdecor, 
the truly important things in life aren't decorating or crafting.
The decorating and crafting have always been - for me, anyway  
the way I show people that I love them...

The kids' rooms were always cute and fun and bright and happy, with handpainted furniture and murals that expressed their own style. The house was always clean (ish!) and decorated because I wanted my family to be proud of where they lived. The birthdays and special days of the year were greeted with simple decorations and fun food at the breakfast table (like pink milk and pancakes on Valentine's Day). The 'big' holidays like Halloween, Christmas, and Easter were celebrated with fun traditions and decorating.

ALL of those efforts on my part resulted not just in happy moments and lasting memories, but in a deeper meaning that leads my now-adult offspring to do the same things for their own kids.
This has become a 'language of love' for our whole family,
and nothing could make me happier.

My Mom started it all when I was a girl, and I added to it... as have my kids. It's not about money - because we've never had a lot of that - but about using what you have, being creative, and investing time and effort into doing things for those you love. For me, the BEST gifts ever were the handwritten, handpainted, handdrawn cards made for me  by my children and grandchildren.

Sometimes, the simplest things can mean the most.

 There's another 'hand made' gift that is the very best one I ever received:

Valentine's Day 2015 came in the midst of some very hard days.

My Dad was fighting the battle of his life - FOR his life - against cancer.
He was weak, and tired, and spent a lot of time in his comfy chair downstairs. He wasn't going out of the house anymore, so I asked him if I could find a card for him to give to my Mom on Valentine's Day... he said yes, and I did. (I ended up overwhelmed by tears in the card department of the local CVS store, on the phone with my little sister to give me the strength to find a card expressing the love of a dying man for his wife of 35 years...) I gave him the card, he signed it, and gave it to her a few days later. 
She loved it. She still reads it from time to time.

And then, when I awoke on Valentine's Day, I found little notes taped to my bedroom door, my office door, my bathroom mirror, and my laptop:


... little love notes for me, from my Dad. 

He had written them on scrap paper and come upstairs to tape them where I would find them.

Handwritten love notes from my Daddy...
there isn't anything more precious to me now,
no other Valentine that could mean more than these.


Just a few short weeks later, on Easter morning, my Dad passed away.

I moved those notes to the back of my bedroom door, and I see them every single day. They are a constant reminder of his love, and of the effort it took him to climb the stairs to put them there for me. 
He gave me all he had to give... his love. And it is more than enough.

The language of love is time. It's effort. It's thoughtfulness.

Maybe to you, it's a cupcake, or a card, or a perfect door wreath and mantel. Maybe it's a date, or a diamond, or chocolate and champagne. We all want to be shown love in the way that makes us feel special and loved, and to show love to those who are special to us.
For me, it's the little things done with a caring heart that mean the most

 Whatever you do to show your love this year on Valentine's Day,
may it be from the heart.
Even if it's simple post-it notes... because you just never know.

 .

2.18.2015

Words Matter.

ok, so for anyone who doubts that the right words at the right time mean anything.... let me share my day with you.
This morning, after sharing my heart and speaking up about something in a private group and taking somewhat of a beating for it, I was really thinking about just shutting down my blog completely. I was thinking, why am I doing this, what good does it do, why bother, I"m sick of the games out there, blah blah blah.
This afternoon, I took a load of old magazines over to my storage unit, and went into the office to pay my fees for next month. As I walked in the door, the gal handed me her phone and said 'It's my daughter. We were just talking about you! She has something to tell you....'. Her daughter THANKED ME for my blog, for the ideas I share that help her decorate on a budget. That give her crafty projects to do with her kids. That inspire her to make her home special, even though she can't spend much. She said that getting an email from me about a new blog post puts a smile on her face and lets her know she's gonna' get some fun ideas.
I cried. On the phone, with a woman I've never met. I actually cried about my blog. Her words could not have come at a more perfect time....
She reminded me WHY I do this blogging thing. WHY I share the ideas and tips and tricks that I've discovered over years of living on an EXTREMELY low income, and by working as a retail visual stylist. Because home has always been important to me - important to create a place where my family felt loved and welcome and warm and comfortable. Where they were never ashamed to bring friends. Where even though were were often really broke, we didn't look like we were destitute. I want to share that love of 'home' with my readers. I want to inspire them to do what they can where they are with what they have - and be proud of it. I want women who say 'I'm not creative' to FEEL creative, to be brave enough to try a simple thing - and then find out that they ARE creative after all!
And I told her that. I told her how MUCH her words healed my hurting heart, how MUCH her gratitude and her enthusiasm meant to me. I even told her about the crummy morning I had, and my questioning if I should even continue with the blog anymore. And do you know what she said?
"God put you right where you are, Deb, and you are giving it all you have. And it's making a difference for people. Don't ever forget that."
O_O
WOW. I couldn't even talk at that point, I just whispered 'Thank you' and handed the phone back to her mom. She hung up, and looked at me with a smile a mile wide. "Talk about PERFECT timing! God is so cool!" she said.
Yeah. Yeah, He is. 

4.21.2013

Re-Framing Your Dreams

On Saturday, I had the honor of being part of a remarkable event:
Launch Your Creativity.

If you were one of the guests in attendance,
I would like to thank you from my heart for your warm reception, your trust, your attention, 
and your grateful responses to the message I shared.
(more about my message later in this post...)

This inspiring gathering is held each Spring in a gorgeous Parisian-themed tearoom, 
and attended by 45 women who are seeking guidance, support, and encouragement 
as they pursue their own creative dreams. 
Most dream of launching a new business – a store, a fashion line, a business service – 
and there are women who attend as a 'jump start' to a new life.

I am one of those women, too.

My friend and LYC founder Sharon Hughes had been asking me to speak at her events for two years. 
My background in retail visual styling and store design 
was a great addition to the other subjects covered by the experienced and successful speakers, 
and I was honored to be asked to participate. 
Yet because the events are held in Southern California, and I was based in the Seattle area, 
the logistics just never worked out. 
I was busy running two businesses, and couldn't get away from them.

Well, all that changed in the fall of 2011.
Everything about my life changed then...

Without sharing the 'Lifetime Movie' details of what happened,
I'll say that the result is that I am single (separated, then widowed) after 32 years of marriage,
 live in Southern California again, and am rediscovering who I am and what I want to do.

I attended this beautiful event last April as a guest.
I went because my life had undergone radical changes over the preceding seven months. 
I needed to be surrounded by positive energy to assist me in shifting my own perspective, and to heal. 

And my friend Sharon knew that I would find what I needed there. I did.

This year, I was able to finally accept her request to speak at the event!
But I didn't talk about retail visual concepts or displays or stores or brands...

In the 19 months since the awful day that everything changed for me, 
I have been on a journey of release, recovery, healing, rediscovery and rebirth. 
And it is from that journey that I learned some valuable lessons...
those are the lessons that I shared in my presentation on Saturday.

Titled 'Re-Framing Your Dream', my presentation asked this question:
“What do you DO when your dreams don't work out the way you planned?”

Because I have been an artist all of my life, I presented my subject wrapped in a metaphor:
'Dreams as a Masterpiece'. A one-of-a-kind Masterpiece that only WE can bring to life.
Just as an artist begins with a vision in his head 
then transforms a blank canvas with color and brushstrokes, light and shadow, depth and perspective, 
our lives give us the opportunity to create something from our vision:
Our Dream.

And as we do, that 'canvas' finds itself in many different 'frames'...

With the visual aid of eight very different picture frames, 

I talked about the process that a Dream takes as it is being created
and how situations affect it - and us.
Not every journey is the same, but the cycle is similar and most people can relate...
 dream a little dream

This is your secret 'hidden in my heart' dream.
The one that begins as a thought like 'what if...'
(there's a WORLD of possibility in those two little words!)

The frame is tiny, but valuable and beautiful.
We cherish it, hide it away, and keep on dreamin'...
 a growing dream

 This is the phase when your dream begins to grow.
You think about it constantly, you doodle and make lists, 
you start your research, and you can't sleep at night
Because the dream has you SO excited!
The frame is more detailed, a little bit bigger, more clear.

At right about this point, you want to tell everyone about it.
DON'T!!!!!!
Tell your mom, tell your BFF, tell your sister. maybe your husband/partner.
Do NOT tell the neighbors and the gals at church or work, 
and definitely not the lady behind you in line at Target!

Protect this little dream! It's like a baby bump...
because once you start showing, it seems like everyone on Earth has questions and advice for you.
All of that will overwhelm you and confuse you. It will make you question every choice and decision.
Only the people that can support you and help you need to know about it right now...
Don't let strangers touch the baby!
 a grand dream

You've spent time researching and preparing, making a business plan and lists,
finding resources and continuing to add to your 'idea files'.
You have people you trust around you to give advice and answer questions.
The more you grow it,
your dream becomes the GRAND dream:
Your way to share what you value with others, with the world.
The frame is larger, very detailed, elegant, beautiful, and ready to be revealed.

Whether it's a product or a service, small or large,
will impact five people or five million people, 
it is a worthwhile dream
because it comes from your heart, your passion, your own unique talents and skills. 
It is your heart on display!
When you reach this point, you're sharing your dream with everyone.
But now, it's strong enough to hold up under the questions and doubts and opinions of others.

Sometimes, other people even share it FOR you...
 a spotlight on your dream
Sometimes this happens, and sometimes it doesn't:
 You become 'noticed'. You get media attention.

the frame for this is large - but plain. 
because the focus of any spotlight needs to be what it is SHINING ON.

Here's what happens:
Your facebook LIKES and Twitter followers are growing astronomically.
Your photos are shared all over facebook and Pinterest and Instagram.
Bloggers are talking about you, linking to you, and asking you to write guest posts.
Popular magazines start calling and want to run feature stories on your or your business or your home.
Ellen wants you on her show!

Yes, the spotlight is FUN! It can be a great experience,
and it CAN help you grow your business awareness and reputation.
...But it should never be the POINT of your dream.
It should be a by-product of your dream growing and moving forward according to your plans.

Never exhaust yourself pursuing the spotlight.
Never let reaching or being in the spotlight be the focus of your dream.
(unless your dream involves acting!)
 a messy dream

This happens to everyone, to every dream, so get ready...
At some point, something is going to go wrong and get VERY messy.

The frame that I used here has a great story:
It was gold when I bought it at a thrift store.
I brought it home and spray painted it white, so it would match the other white frames I already had.

I don't know if you can tell from the photo above, but that frame is not white.
It's ivory. And the paint is drippy, runny, separated from the base coat in cissed spots
and it looks like it's got smoke damage from a fire.

After my momentary frustration over the dismal results,
I realized that it was the perfect visual for this part of the presentation...
Because that frame is a HOT MESS.

Life, business, and dreams can  - WILL - get that way, too.
Things won't always go according to plan.
You are going to face some whopper messes along the path to your dreams.

Bad marketing campaigns, products that are ill-timed (or copied!), 
supplies that don't arrive, clients that don't pay, 
illness that causes you to miss a huge opportunity...

Need I say more?

What do you do? You clean up the mess the best you can.
You fix it, spin it, recall it, refund it, repair it...
eat crow if you have to.
and then move on to the next step.
live, learn, apply, go forward.

forward to the next phase:

Have you ever heard of an 'underpainting'?
That's when an artist paints OVER an existing work with gesso
to create a clean canvas.

And then they start over...
a revised dream

There are points in the growth of a dream and business
that force you to stop, take notice, and then take action.

Perhaps you've spread yourself too thin and are overwhelmed.
Maybe your sales are down and you don't know why.
Maybe this dream just doesn't reflect your vision anymore.

what do you DO?

STOP.
Get those trusted advisors together for a pow-wow.
Look objectively and honestly at what's happened and why.
Then make hard choices and necessary changes...

Usually, that means scaling back. Cutting things away. Slowing down.
A step back or a step sideways is NOT FAILURE! It's EXPERIENCE!

The frame is smaller than the frame around your Grand dream, but it's more valuable.
You can see the swirls and curves that reflect the Grand dream frame, even though it is smaller.
What you can't really see is that it's made from a far more valuable material!

Redefining and restructuring your dream may just make it more valuable.
 a destroyed dream

Sometimes, due to something that comes out of nowhere,
our dreams are destroyed...

A natural or other disaster. A pile-up of factors that just can't be cleaned up.
The choices and actions of others who impact our lives and our dreams.

Unbidden, those things come like missiles from out of nowhere, and destroy our dream.
(And sometimes US in the process.)

The frame is broken, cracked, damaged,
and the dream is torn, dirty, and unrepairable...
There comes a point, my friends, that you have to stop fighting for it.
A point where you have to accept that the dream is no longer breathing.
It's gone.

And that is the point when you have to release it. Let go.
Grieve the loss, celebrate the memories, learn from the experience, 
heal from the hurt, and move forward in a new direction. 

My own story is that my cracked, broken, and unrepairable frame
held not only my dreams, but my whole life.
Moving on is hard work... but you can do it.

and when you do, you have to remain open and ready for the arrival of
 a NEW dream

It may just turn out that the new dream you dream -
another one that is born out of your heart, your passion, and your purpose -
will be even BETTER than the one you had in the beginning...

the frame is larger, more beautiful, more detailed, and more substantial
than the Grand dream frame that seemed so perfect before.

At the end of my presentation, I shared this: 
Although I have grieved and released my former dream and my former life,
though I have learned so much that has allowed me to understand why much of it happened 
and why it ended the way it did,
and though I am ready for and excited about the new life that lies in front of me now...

I have NO IDEA yet what my NEXT dream will be!

I truly don't. I have ideas, I have some things I am going to pursue and see how they 'pan out',
but I don't have a huge vision and goal in mind. YET.

But I know that I WILL have another Dream. It's just not time yet.

I know without doubt that my new dream will grow from my true passion
for finding simple ways to make spaces and environments beautiful and enjoyable,
and from my desire to share that with others to enrich their lives.

Whether it becomes creating sets for an entertainment giant,
or creating displays for a well-known retailer,
or opening a store of my own or starting another vintage show,
or simply continuing with my consulting and writing and speaking,
I know that the 'big picture' will come into focus soon.

I'm just going to keep on taking one step forward – 
or at the very least, on those days when it's SO hard to be starting completely over at 51 – 
I'll just keep FACING forward. Because even that is progress.

A masterpiece is made one brush stroke at a time
 
And then the perfect frame is found.

I will never lose faith again – not in me, not in good, not in God.
And not in the fact that I am here to share my unique gifts and abilities and vision with the world – 
however it is framed, my dream is one that the world needs. 
And so is YOURS!
So I find myself smiling a bit wryly as I share this unusual post on my blog...

This blog is where I have shared ideas, information, and inspiration that is all about how things LOOK. 
Your store, your displays, your brand image. 
And for many years, I focused on exactly that in my own life: how it all looked from the outside. 

This journey I am on has taught me to deal with the reality of how it really looks – inside and out. 
It has taught me to be authentic, and to follow my own advice and 'Tell My Own Story'. 
As I continue to write and speak and consult with retail businesses, I will stress this to my clients. 
Open your eyes, see the situation for what it truly is, and then get to work. 
Re-define your business, and be authentic. 

The canvas of your dream may be 'framed' in a brick and mortar store, 
or an online boutique, or a space in a vintage mall or show. 
No one else is you, no one else offers what you do the way you do. 
Tell Your Own Story. Create your dream. The world needs you, and your dream!
_______________________________________________________

I find myself smiling a bit wryly as I share this unusual post on my blog...
homewardFOUND is where I share ideas about 
re-thinking, re-imagining and re-defining 'found objects' into décor. 

Now it's my turn to re-think, re-imagine, re-define my life and my dream...
maybe it's your time for that, too.
 
so I thought that sharing this post here was appropriate...


The same principles apply to a dream as to found decor:
* Use what you have NOW - Look around you and see what's been overlooked that you can use.
* Work from your strengths, purpose, and passion - Use the skill set you have!
* Stay true to yourself and your style - Be Authentic.

I might just make my own frame out of reclaimed lumber 
and paint over a canvas from the thrift store 
as a visual reminder to myself that we can always make things new... 
even our dreams. Even our lives.