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Showing posts with label retailers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label retailers. Show all posts


bewitched, bothered, & bejewelled!

I'm so crazy busy this week getting ready to open the homewardFOUND shop,
that I've decided to just share my Instagram posts here instead of writing a whole post!
Working on creative display ideas for the vintage costume jewelry that I'll have 
in Room #1 at Needful Things Addiction in Lake Elsinore, CA very soon... 
If you want a stylish new pair of earrings or chunky necklace 
to wear to Thanksgiving dinner, I've got them!
stay tuned for my Opening Date announcement 
follow on Instagram . Pinterest . Facebook


which wine???

Years ago, I had the pleasure of working in the wine industry in the Pacific Northwest, 
where I learned more than I ever thought possible about the fruit of the vine....
Still, when I am stymied on a food and wine pairing,
I call on one of my friends to help me out with advice I can trust:
Scott Carlson is an experienced, knowledgeable wine & beer specialist for BevMo Stores
and he's been sharing some great information about wine pairings for years.

  I've rounded up some of Scott's best points on the subject
of pairing wines with Thanksgiving Dinner,
and added in a few of my own comments and recommendations
to help you select several wines for your upcoming holiday meal... enjoy!

<< click on 'continue reading' for Scott's recommendations!


Garden House ReVisited

The photo above is what it looked like after my whirlwind two-day flurry of activity.

This is what it looked like BEFORE I got started:
See the entire transformation - that took place in one weekend - here.
It's always fun to see how spaces change over time...
Two days ago, my friend Todd shared this photo on social media:
He's decorating this tiny space for some fall picnics and enjoyment...
and yes, that's the same garden house!

You see, Todd built that garden house many years ago. 
He owns the house and the yard that it sits in.

I lived in that little bungalow for a few short months back in 2011,
after life collapsed and I had to leave my dream farmhouse & life on an island.

Todd allowed me to make over his little garden house, and I am forever grateful to him for that. 
Not only was a lot of fun and a creative gold mine -
giving me content for my blog here and many great photos - 
but it was a distraction from stressful situations at a time in my life when I really needed it. 
It gave me space and time to think. 

And now, he lives in that bungalow and enjoys that garden.
Seeing Todd out there decorating and loving that sweet little space just makes my heart happy. 
My screen door is still there, some of those tiny pots on the wall are mine, and those white shelf units were mine, too - 
though I used them in the laundry area of the house, not where they are now. 
But I LOVE them in this location!

I love that Todd was a generous friend who saw my sorrow,
and helped to turn it into a measure of joy by letting me create in this special space.
It is a gift I will never forget.


Haunted Mannequin

Once again, the master visual stylists at Roger's Gardens in Corona del Mar, CA
have outdone themselves with this years' Halloween decor...
the theme is 'Haunted Elegance', and this Haunted Mannequin is a perfect example.
She's elegant and scary and vintage-looking
she has secrets!

I thought there were some ideas here that could easily be used to create your own mannequin
for Halloween decor in your home...

The mannequin herself is a simple black cloth figure on a black wood stand - 
you can find those new or simply paint an existing mannequin form black.

Her first secret is her clothes. They aren't clothes at all.
See that cabinet behind her? It's holding damask and netting linens for sale.
The visual crew used it as fabric to create her wardrobe.
(It's kind of a 'Project Haunted Runway' thing going on there)

And there's another secret to be shared:
Her skirt has an underlayer to give it shape.
It's not a petticoat or a hoop. It's more a SKELETON of a hoop - 
created with
(drum roll, please)

( I LOVE using tomato cages as a decor element! See more here!) 

Cut open on one side and then bent and connected together, 
the wire tomato cages are partially wrapped with cloth tape (like medical tape) to hold them together - 
and it looks very musty and old.
Then the layers of fabric are added, tied on, pinned,
bustled and flounced to give her Edwardian-era gothic fashion style...
open in front to allow a peek at the underskirt framework.
A sash of black satin holds the 'skirt' on and is finished with a sparkling pin.

On her back, a swath of the netting tablecloth is gathered up to form a cowl collar on top,
and then fall like a cape behind her.
Her bodice is expertly adorned with bones.
Not an actual 'skeleton' showing her ribs, this effect is more artful and suggestive.
More bones on her shoulders give the effect of epaulets.

Bones can be found at the Dollar Tree or party supply store...
and no, they won't look like these!
However, after a wash of thinned light gray paint
and then some 'antiquing' with a dark gray paint wiped on,
you'll get an old, decrepit look to them.

...and then there's her jewelry!

This stunning necklace was created by combining multiple sparkling rhinestone 
pins, brooches, earrings, belt buckles, and necklace pendants.
The assemblage is pinned right onto the mannequin form, 
but you could hang a real assembled necklace on one, too.

I just love how the designers there come up with fun new ways to use materials
that we see EVERYWHERE for Halloween...
I mean, other stores put tablecloths on tables, for goodness sake.
But at Roger's Gardens, they elevate the everyday to ecstasy!

shared online:

Practically Functional | Creativity Unleashed

Yesterday on Tuesday | Project Inspire{d}


le Style du Jour....

On Saturday afternoon, I spent a lovely and relaxing few hours with friends
as we attended an event at a beautiful local vintage/antique shoppe...
Vignettes is located in Ocean Beach, Ca (near Point Loma in San Diego)
It is one of the prettiest antique shoppes around, 
and the events there are frequent, inspiring, and always CROWDED!

This event was the store's 19th anniversary celebration, 
and the decidedly French theme 'La Vie en Rose' was everywhere.
To my mind,  nothing was more stunning than the 'front room', 
which was all decked out as a boulangerie/patisserie.
 This color scheme is so perfect...
the deep charcoal chalkboards (made on bread boards, did you notice that?)
and blue-green pumpkins create contrast with the warm brown wicker, wood, and bread tones.
 Up close, the details are even more inspiring...
vintage labels made into patches on a burlap-covered bench, vintage signs, 
onions and pumpkins - and more gloriously rich wicker.

Even the simple addition of the word 'VIN' in black paint on a plain old wicker basket
adds incredible interest here.

...and can we talk about that SIGN???!
It's an old walnut and maple footboard,
with the simple addition of some painted lettering and varnish.
Tres Chic! (and tres eeeezeeeee, oui? )

I was looking everywhere, inspired, shooting tons of photos, 
and I kept thinking:
Why couldn't this stunning display inspire 
the color palette, theme, and accessories for a ROOM?
Why couldn't a kitchen look like this?
Why not? Inspiration is everywhere. 
And Francophiles would certainly feel right at home here!

This chair was NOT in this room. In fact, it was in another store altogether.
But if I were decorating, I'd PUT in in this room!

Then on Sunday, while I was decorating my office, I uncovered an old photo
torn long ago from a magazine (possibly 'La Vie Claire'.... but I'm not certain....)
To me, this is EXACTLY what the outside of that sweet boulangerie would look like:
See more from Vignettes on their facebook, website, and blog.


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


I Have a Sink-ing Feeling About This...

Here at HOMEWARDfound, my goal is to provide you with as many ORIGINAL ideas 
and as much seasonal inspiration as I possibly can. I'll go to [almost] any lengths to do that.
Heck, I'll even throw in the kitchen sink!

 In my 35+ years of designing and styling home decor and retail displays, I've come up with some whopper ideas.
But THIS one is one of my faves - and it was a mistakeuh huh. a total fluke. great story, too.
But you don't want the story, you want PICTURES!
BRILLIANT IDEA, right?!!!!! thank you. thank you very much.

[it's really not brilliant... scroll down to the end of the post and read the story]
Perfect in your store or show displays. Or garden. or... while GLAMPING!

My friend Marybeth ended up with that sink for her sweet shop poppyseeds,
and did exactly the same thing with it.
[That shot on the left above was taken at her store in Washington in June!]
She also did something similar with another sink she has:
Can you say CLEVER?!
Long before Marybeth took my sink to her store, 
and before I sat it on that cart, I used it on top of a pedestal:
The top of the wood pedestal was hollow, so the sink fit right on top perfectly.
The addition of a bucket full of herbs was a charming touch, outside the entrance to my farm store.
I later added lots more buckets of blooming flowers & herbs...
Here's a shot of the whole storefront while it was being worked on:
That was a huge (tall, deep) garage, turned into a store on my farm on an island.
The barn door on the left and the double doors on the right replaced the regular garage door,
for a much more welcoming entry. The awning up above was found for $10 bucks at ReStore -
and it was a perfect fit down to the last inch. Some things are meant to be!

I miss it, and wish I was still there on my farm with my store and my show...
but then, some things are NOT meant to be
It was all dismantled when we moved out. The barn door now lives at a neighbors' house.
It looks like a garage again. (BOR-ing)

I've used some other sinks in displays, as well...
 *The sink on the left is a double-bowl + countertop unit that topped a bank of vintage metal cabinets.
I filled one sink with white holiday ornaments (that looked like soap bubbles!)
and it held white milk glass & ceramic dishes in our booth at the Farm Chicks show in 2010.

* The sink on the right is sitting on two wood sawhorses (out of the photo),
and holds the same holiday ornaments and clear glass dessert plates & cups
at the snack bar area of our Petite Retreat Summer Market in 2010.

What do I always say?
Don't think literally about the stuff you have. Move it around.
See it differently. Use it in a way it's NOT supposed to be used!

Sinks aren't just for kitchens and baths...
They are great in store & booth displays, and even in the garden!
I would NOT, however, recommend using toilets for those purposes. [wink]

ok, NOW here's the story of my sink:
I was at a vintage show, unloading the trailer, setting up the booth with furnishings and accessories
and I needed to move the vintage enamel sink from the trailer across the parking area and to the booth.
And I was tired. I didn't want to carry it. (those things are HEAVY) so....
I plopped that sink on the top of a folding wire cart that I had stuffed with burlap fabric in the trailer,
and then I rolled the sink over to where I wanted it - which was in a chair.

But when I looked at the cart, and saw the sink sitting there, and realized that it was TOTALLY secure 
because the sink's apron was wrapped around the top edge of the cart
and that it was awfully darned easy to maneuver it around like that, 
well, the proverbial LIGHT BULB went on over my head:

Leave. the. sink. on. the. cart, Deb!

I grabbed the burlap and wrapped the outside of the cart with it
- and that, as they say, was that.
BRILLIANT IDEA. from outta' nowhere. Gotta' love it!


Pumpkins on Parade!

I spent Thursday on the road with a van full of Sweet Sweater Pumpkins,
 delivering them to two of my FABULOUS local retailers here in Southern California - 
let me share them with you!

 One was A Beautiful Mess by Kymberley Fraser, located in Agoura Hills.
Her daughter took one look at the orange pumpkins and declared that the front window needed one...
I think she found the perfect place for it!

[although if it were ME, I might have tucked the pumpkin under his ribcage, in the place where his heart would be....'cause, well, these babies are the heart of my business right now!]
Kymberley's store is beautiful, and the neutral pumpkins fit perfectly
with all of her soft, warm, colors and the elegance of rustic industrial style.

I love how she has them displayed in this old wooden goat cart on a harvest table...
Kymberley has a selection of pumpkins in a neutral palette in sizes from mini to Extra Large
[the Extra Large size is ONLY available from these two retailers]
and now, she has some very special pumpkins made from Angora and Cashmere sweaters!
I delivered 12, and half of them sold before they even went into a display!

I so enjoyed meeting Kymberley's husband and daughter,
her store manager Amy,
and her really sweet customer Heather and daughter
(thank you so much for your enthusiastic support of my little product!)

I want to let you know about a VERY special event this weekend
over at Julie O'Keefe Home & Garden in La Canada
[um, that's pronounced "Lah Can-yah-dah" for those not from the Southland. It has nothing at all to do with our neighbors to the North!]

Julie is hosting a party on Friday & Saturday, and Sweet Sweater Pumpkins were invited!

She's all stocked up and even has some new colors and sizes to offer,
please click HERE for information about her event.

Her shop is as lovely as her booth at the Remnants of the Past show was... 
speaking of which, here are a few photos from last weekend!
 Julie is an incredible floral designer with applause-worthy original ideas,
like these darling vintage linen flower pockets...
I can just see this on a doorknob, a doorknocker, an armoire handle, 
or filled with flowers as a sweet hostess gift for ANY season!

 The Limited Edition 'Luxe' collection Cashmere & Angora Pumpkins were very popular,
and perfectly presented some one-of-a-kind artisan button bracelets...
The regular Sweet Sweater Pumpkins nestled into several displays, 
showing how they coordinate with many kinds of decor:
 All of the vintage linen accessories you see here are handmade by Julie...
beautiful lavender sachets, cell phone purses, tote bags, aprons, flower pouches,
pillows, tea towels, tree & gift package ornaments.... I don't think Julie ever SLEEPS!
I am just so very grateful that Julie had my pumpkins in her booth at this wonderful show, 
and allowed me to come and be her booth helper.
We had so much fun working together to set up the booth, and then during the show!

This is the very best part of being in business - 
the amazing people I meet, the support I can give AND receive, 
and the wonderful experiences & opportunities that come my way.

and just think...
it all started with a pumpkin ;0)  my grandpa would love that! 

I've been collecting pumpkins my whole life, and I love to decorate with them in fall.
my grandpa used to call me, his first-born red-headed granddaughter, his 'Little Pumpkin Eater'.
his nickname for me started a collection that my mom and I have been adding to for decades.
that's what seasonal decorating is to me: meaningful.