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Creating Vintage Charm

Welcome to Day 9! 

 today I'd like to share an inspiring resource with you:
Creating Vintage Charm Magazine

this is an absolutely beautiful publication released bi-monthly
from the creative soul of writer, photographer, stylist, and editor Sonia Crouse.
Sonia has assembled a group of creative regular contributors for her magazine
that embody the many styles and moods of romantic decor with a feminine voice...

* photographer & stylist Janet Coons of Shabbyfufu
* photographer & designer Victoria Hayden of Whimsy by Victoria
* photographer Anne Christian Lorys of Fiona & Twig
* artist & stylist Sonia Crouse of Creating Vintage Charm
* designer & decorator Siobhan Volkanovski of The Vintage Dormer
 * designer & artisan Heather Anderson of Post Road Vintage
 and me,
* designer & stylist Debi Ward Kennedy of HOMEWARDfound Decor

each issue also features lovely guest features by and about women
who are traveling, cooking, creating, building businesses, decorating their homes -
all living with vintage charm...
women like Karen Hillman, who hosts the Queens of Art event

the magazine is available in print via MagCloud,
in single copies or an annual subscription.

 these photos are just a petite taste of the content inside each issue...

and NOW,

you can find the same beautiful kinds of inspiring images that appear in the magazine
on a new Pinterest board:"Creative Vintage Contributors"
features images of the original projects, work, creations, homes, and styling
pinned by the contributors to the magazine
 follow by clicking here for sneak peeks of upcoming issues! 
Creating Vintage Charm Links

 stay tuned for the next post in our daily countdown, coming up tomorrow
here on the blog or on ONE of these social networking sites:


Lovin' the Leftovers...

Welcome to Day 7!

let's talk about holiday leftovers.
[um, no... not the dried out turkey / soggy potatoes kind!]

ever since December 26, stores everywhere have been reducing prices 
on their leftover [ahem - unsold] holiday merchandise.
from Gimbels to Goodwill, stuff is marked WAY down - and yet it's not selling
because at this point in January, 
we think any holiday decor that is left in a store is broken or ugly and unusable.

or IS it?
today, we're looking at leftover holiday decor as a cheap way to create a sweet Valentine treat!
you can re-think what you see to make something out of 'nothing'

this broken and battered box of vintage bottlebrush bell Christmas ornaments
was shoved to the back of the bottom shelf in a Goodwill store.
it had been crushed - and probably thrown a few times -
but i found it and it made me smile.

and in a storyline not unlike Charlie Brown and his forlorn little Christmas tree,
i decided that i could make something of it
 because i LOVE making something out of bits and pieces of nothing.

i removed the UGLY green bows and the flimsy thread hangers,
 and the pink and red colors looked more like Valentine's Day to me than Christmas.
so i grabbed some pink and red plastic beads [dollar store]
and hot glued them onto the ends of the wire that already ran through the middle of the bells.

the yellow chenille trim that was on the bottom of the bells isn't exactly a Valentine color,
but it was bright and happy, so i decided to leave it on them.

i grabbed a small red heart-shaped box of candy that i had picked up [dollar store]
and ate all the chocolate in it.

what??? i needed an empty box! 
[i was a woman on a crafting mission and nothing was going to stop me]

 i cut two hearts the same size as the box lid and bottom
from pink and white striped gift wrapping paper
and lined the inside of the box with it, hot-gluing it into place.
i glued a pink and white polkadot ribbon around the outside of the box.

a small rectangle of the wrapping paper 
was embellished with hot pink velvet sticker letters [dollar store] that spelled out SWEET.
i attached that to the inside of the lid, and stood the lid up inside the bottom of the box.

and then i tucked the little formerly-bell-ornaments inside the box...

and helLO BonBons!

 this is no big fancy decor idea,
just the inspiration to create something with the bits and pieces that YOU already have -
maybe with the kids, maybe using pieces of broken toys or old blocks
or something you find in the thrift store or on the clearance aisle at Target.

look at those holiday leftovers a little differently...
maybe with the kind of hope that Charlie Brown had for his scrawny tree.
because it could be that those leftovers
just need a little love


You Light Up My Life...

welcome to Day 6!

 love that adorable lampshade up above?
it's made from vintage ribbons, laces, and GARTER BELTS!

i love using unusual materials to create lampshades!
here are more inspiring ideas that will light up your life...
 i created all of the lampshades pictured - 
some for my own use, and some to sell.
it's easy to personalize them for every room!


Chalk It Up to Inspiration!

this particular post could not have been planned for a more perfect day...
Donna over at Funky Junk Interiors has a great link party every Saturday
and as i was preparing to upload my images, i saw that this weekend, her topic is...

well, if this isn't a marriage made in heaven, i don't know what is!
 so, if you are visiting me via Funky Junk Interiors, WELCOME!

over the years, i've made chalkboards out of some interesting materials:
the one with the curvy edges? it's made from heavy cardboard! yup. 
the boards were stacked up six at a time and jigsawed to cut the ogee curves,
painted with chalkboard paint, had a hole drilled in the top, and hung from bias tape loops.

the one in a frame? it's a cheap thrift store painting!
it was really ugly, too... one of those where the print won't come out of the frame.
by painting right over that ugly scene with black chalkboard paint
and then painting the frame white, it looked brand new and totally fresh!
of course you've probably seen old doors used as chalkboards, like the one on the right above.
SO many uses for them, in just about every room in a home or business.
[top tip: great place to find inexpensive doors for this? 

 the chalkboard door with a table on the left above?
the hubs came up with the idea to use half of a drop-leaf table and an old door
to create a space-saving and very handy fixture for entry halls, landings, or small kitchens.
we made a lot of those over the years, in many different styles -
the old gray front door shown in the previous photo is one, too, using part of an eastlake table.

but hands-down, the BEST IDEA i EVER had 
for making chalkboards is this:

yep! use a sheet of cement tile backer board!
sand well and paint it, then drill holes in the corners and screw into studs in your wall.
it ends up looking, feeling, and SOUNDING exactly like 
an old slate chalkboard when you write on it!

i needed a chalkboard for my barn store, and saw that tile board sitting in the shop -
BADDA BING! an idea was born!
i also had some old wooden rain gutters on hand, 
so a piece was cut and attached to the wall just below the board to hold the chalk and eraser.


Thank You, Romantic Homes!

Romantic Homes Magazine's February issue [shown above]
JUST hit the stands today, and HOMEWARDfound is IN it!

I'd like to offer my appreciation and thanks to contributing editor Beth Livesay,
who gave HOMEWARDfound a half-page mention in her story
'Blogs That Make You SWOON'

  i am very honored to be included,
along with Pamela of From My Front Porch to Yours
Julie of Idyll Hours
Donna of My Shabby Chateau
and Anita of Cedar Hill Ranch

[and my sweet Texas friend Anne Lorys is featured as one of 'the Romantics'!
i am so very happy that her talent, originality, and all-around NICENESS are being recognized!
i truly enjoyed getting to know her when i wrote about her for FOLK magazine last summer]

since several of my embellished vintage bottles are shown on page 12,
i thought i'd share more about them in today's post
[ i'll be sharing the other items shown in images there VERY SOON!]

the photo in the magazine is this one,
showing a few small and medium sized bottles...
i embellished them by gluing on torn scraps of 
vintage sheet music, piano player music, and vintage book pages,
adding a simple wrap of string over the papers.

because i made these for a Valentine's Day event, i found songs and book chapters
with words like LOVE and HEART and WEDDED in them
[and here's a tip: 
if you can't find what you want in old books, find it in NEW books - then scan the pages, print in draft mode onto tea-dyed or tan-color paper, and tear the edges to make it look old.]

you can see some jewelry on my bottles up there...
those were inexpensive but pretty vintage pieces that i added as part of the embellishment.

here's an idea to try:

embellish a bottle with beautiful papers and ribbons, 
and then hang a beautiful necklace that is a GIFT on it 
or put a pin that is a GIFT on top of a lid using a magnet or ribbon,
and the bottle becomes the 'gift box' for the jewelry gift!

another example of this is shown below
where a double-strand pearl necklace circles a large bottle in a figure 8 shape
[the little rosette that you see on the bottle neck is actually the clasp of the necklace]

the bottle in the foreground shows another vintage necklace draped around the neck.
secure necklaces with a pretty ribbon tie,
and pop a beautiful flower (or maybe some sparkly glitter!) into the bottle to make it really special.

a manilla tag or a tag made from French language cards is the perfect finishing touch...

this photo shows a few more embellished bottles,
and these have FUN toppers!
i glued some resin chess pieces right to the cork and screw-tops of some bottles,
and glued two pawn pieces end-to-end to slip into the neck of another!
the soft ivory color looks like bone, and coordinates with creamy papers and silk ribbons.
[i found a BOX filled with these 'cheap' chess pieces at the thrift shop for $1.00!]

by the way, you don't need 'vintage' bottles for a craft like this...
just hit the thrift stores and look for interesting shapes of glass perfume or spice bottles,
save your empty glass condiment and liquor bottles (especially the tiny sizes!),
and you'll have fun making them a beautifully embellished gift for someone you love
or for your own Romantic Home!


talkin' about HOME!

 welcome to Day 3!

there are many creative ways to use vintage aprons as decor...
see five of them in today's post on

[click button for link to post]

 stay tuned for the next post in our daily countdown, coming up tomorrow
here on the blog or on ONE of these social networking sites:


More Office Organization Ideas!

 WOW! I can't begin to tell you how much traffic my office organization post
has generated!
it seems EVERYONE is looking for ideas and inspiration
to make their creative spaces work for them...
i want to thank you ALL so very much for coming to visit me from hometalk and pinterest!

I've located MORE ideas & images to share from my archives!

In that post shown above,
you saw images of my neutral color vintage-style office/studio space in dream house C.
the images i found are of farmhouse B, and cottage house A.
[i know that's confusing - i moved a lot! imagine how i felt!]

the great thing about moving a lot is that i discovered many ways 
for the fixtures and accessories that i had 
to work in ALL of those rooms, in ALL of those houses:
the IKEA shelf unit, the tall work table, the old shutters, the shallow IKEA drawers
were workhorses that i could fit into almost every one of my offices.

by using inexpensive paper from dollar tree and target, or thrift stores, 
i could create a whole new look in each room... sometimes in the SAME ROOM
[what can i say? i'm a decorator. stuff HAS to change! that's why i like doing it on the CHEAP!]

here's how my office in house B looked for awhile:

 the dollar store is a terrific place for cheap supplies to spiff up your office!
from wrapping paper and gift bags to file folders, stickers, scrapbook paper and tote bags,
there are a lot of paper and fabric items there that can be used to 
contain, separate, organize, cover, and decorate your office supplies...
it's also the easiest, cheapest way to take a bunch of old things like  boxes, tins, and clipboards
and make them beautifully usable again!

 by coordinating the color and patterns of the components, 
you'll instantly add a visual update AND a cleaner look to your office!
the selection of paper and fabric goods was gathered up at Dollar Tree stores 
[and also from the 'sale'-item aisle endcaps in the stationery department of Target]
the common theme here is black and white glamour, and every item has many uses...
[granted, items shown were not found there this year...
but the selection is always good this time of year]

*shown in the first photo above, i took the wrapping papers from Target 
and covered small boxes with them.
they hold post-it notes, pencils, and other small items on my desk and worktable.

*i also covered the drawers on two slim drawer sections from IKEA (had those already)
my mouse pad, and several composition books for notes - all it takes is a gluestick!

*several pieces of corkboard were covered with scrapbook & wrapping papers
for my inspiration board backgrounds [not shown],
and the waterproofed totes from the Dollar Tree store hold craft supplies, trims, etc.
elsewhere in the office, other black and white accessories add more interest:
*clear jars hold vintage bobbins, bingo cards, and white flowers
*paper-covered shoe boxes stack up to hold craft supplies or project components

of course, you can also use vintage sheet music and book pages
to cover everything in an office to coordinate the decor...
I've done that, too!

let's take a look at a few details from my House B office/studio space 
in a whole new color palette and style :
above is the office/studio in house B
[which was also shown in the black & white decor images in the other post]
only instead of being black and white, now it's filled with cozy neutrals.
it's simply a change of the paper that is covering containers & inspiration boards,
a wardrobe change for the mannequin, new paint on the chandelier,
and a few small accessory switches to make the room look completely different!

things that i really liked about that office:

* it felt bright all the time because of the mirrored closet doors (see in reflection)
and because i put MORE mirrors on the opposite wall.  
light bounced EVERYWHERE
[and in Seattle, you need all the light you can GET]

* this was the first time i had the tall work table and high barstools in an office,
and they worked SO well for me.
i stand up a lot and move around when i am working, making everything more accessible.

* you can see the dictionary-page-covered file cabinet 
[shown below in an image from the other post]
under the work table. i LOVED this piece!

below is the office/studio in house A
it's one you haven't seen yet...
[though other posts have shown the beautiful huge white mantel in this tiny cottage!]

tiny would be the operative word here - this room was only 11X9.
nevertheless, i fit a LOT of storage in here [used the vertical space!]
and even took the closet doors off so that built-ins could be used in there, too. 

and, okay, you may notice that at the time, i was heavily into chartreuse green. and pink.
[i am not preppy. i swear i didn't know that was 'the uniform' for Lilly Pulitzer fans!]

 but even though now i think i would go bonkers in that room, 
the happy, bright pink and green papers [yes, dollar tree and target!]
really went a long way in coordinating a bunch of haphazard elements in here.
it's REALLY important to reduce the LOOK of clutter as well as the ACTUAL clutter
when your space is only a hundred square feet
 things that i really liked about that office:

* the green damask paper was FLOCKED. uh huh! 
target. that was in 2007 - i think it's all gone now, girls!
it covered pinboards that were nothing more than simple squares cut from 4X8 sheets of rigid insulation! yes, building supplies!

* the glass jars holding colorful crafting supplies... and yes, candy

* the hot pink cards hanging from the wire mobile
tearsheets from O magazine, with encouraging quotes on them.

the wonderful enamel-top farm table.
i used that table in dozens of ways for over 18 years!

* did you see the chandelier?! it's green in this room.
it was about twelve colors in the twenty years that i owned it!

i hope these ideas inspire you to see what you can do 
with what you already have on hand and can get inexpensively!