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Last Minute Spring Tablescape

have you ever thought you really had a handle on things, 
were totally prepared and ready for something...
and then all of a sudden you realize there is something very VERY wrong?

 i once FORGOT all about the table decor for a family Easter dinner.

Easter Sunday arrived and the food was in full-swing prep mode. all was well in the kitchen.
and then, i walked into the dining room - and stopped dead in my tracks. 
i had no decor. no nuthin'. and the family was coming in an hour!

i have no defense. i was just busy, and forgot all about it.

 so after i started breathing again.....
i kicked into 'search and recover' mode.

whatever decor i was going to use had to be toddler-grandson proof. 
he was 16 months old and in that stage of climbing, 
pulling on tablecloths, and grabbing at everything
[it's ok, i didn't mind that he did - 
it's kind of a boy's job to investigate everything at that age!]
i just wanted to eliminate the chance of damage to him - or anything else.

 in the days leading up to that, i had been cleaning out my office
and came across a page that i had saved from a Martha Stewart Living Magazine  
ages before. like.... YEARS before.
i still don't know why it was sitting on the top of a wire filing basket that week, but it was.

and on Easter Sunday, an hour before guests arrived, Deb had a flash of inspiration:
 photograph from Martha Stewart Living Magazine 200?
that photo ^ from Martha's mag saved my hide.

this 'last minute idea' meant that i grabbed some packing tape and scissors, and 
i wrapped the tabletop with white wrapping paper!
 [nothing was hanging over the edges for lil' man to pull on]
if you  want to do this but don't have white wrapping paper,
almost all of them are white on the back side. 
[no one will know that rudolph or birthday balloons 
are on the side of the paper that faces the table]

i used green felt pens to draw charger and flatware outlines at each place setting, 
along with a drawn-on placecard.
[this is not detailed fine art here, like Martha's -
it's a fast solution half an hour before everyone arrived!]

i popped 3 dozen yellow daffodils (from my birthday the week before)
into 3 cylinder vases wrapped with antique velvet ribbon
and ran them down the center of the table, along with some tea lights in clear glass cups.
[WELL out of a little somebody's reach!]
 the china has a light sage green border that matched the linen napkins
and it was a perfect way to add color to the crisp white table setting. 

 the whole look is very simple, contemporary, and un-fussy
and i did it all in thirty minutes!

and incidentally, the photo of that 'last minute' table that you see at the top of this post
is one of my all-time favorite shots of my spring decor!
sometimes the easiest solutions really do make the most impact

for me the important part wasn't the decor, though...
the BEST part was this lil' guy peeking through the daffies at me:

shared online:

Saturday Night Special #178 | Funky Junk Interiors


Looking For a Sign?

old signs are a hot decor item - always have been, really
and there are so many ways to make them.
one easy way to get a lot of detail in your signs is to use old wood headboards!

there are many shapes and sizes to be found, some very detailed with carved edges,
and the detailed posts add even more charm.

the sign above is made from a twin-size headboard.
it was stripped and sanded down, then hand painted with simple acrylic paints. 
hooks were added to the tops of the posts for hanging.

another headboard was found with peeling wood veneer..
the veneer was removed and the wood sanded down to its raw state.
washes of thinned-down white house paint were used on the ogee-routed edge and for the letters.
the letters have a translucent shadow that allows the wood grain to come through.
[this method makes the sign look older and worn]

another sign was made in much the same way,
with lettering creating a seed company logo:

i do my own freehand lettering, 
but stencils or decals could certainly be used!

as i was preparing this post, a serendipitous 'meeting of the minds' occurred:
this past weekend, i attended The Vintage Marketplace antique & vintage show in Rainbow, California.
show hosts/producers Rita Reade and Christie Repasy 
used an old wood headboard to create a new sign for the entrance to their show...

Christie added her famous painterly touches to the piece
once put into place at the entry to the show, 
propped with spring accessories and flowering plants,
the sign becomes a perfect harbinger of Spring...

even the smallest bed pieces can be re-purposed: 
here, twin-sized footboards are transformed into vintage signs

and even the bed posts can be re-used as sculptural pieces:
many thanks to Rita Reade and Christie Repasy, 
for granting permission to use their photos of their Vintage Marketplace sign

shared online:

Saturday Night Special #178 | Funky Junk Interiors


robin's glorious 'nest' for sale!

i am going to suggest that you don't read this post on your iPhone or iPad...
it simply won't do the photos justice!

today i am thrilled to share some incredible photos of a beautiful location
[keep reading, that's below]

my friend Anne Lorys was invited to photograph
the Bandera, Texas home of fashion designer Robin Brown of Magnolia Pearl
Robin and her husband John have moved to Fredericksburg, Texas
and are now selling their 38-acre Bandera ranch.

and oh my heavens, 
this is NOT what most people think of when they hear 'Texas ranch'! 
[JR Ewing would not fit in here!]

this is VINTAGE STYLE taken to glorious excess
Robin's inimitable style is apparent in every detail of the multiple buildings on the property,
in the whimsical, delightful touches and vintage materials.
It's 'artsy', no doubt about it... just like Robin and her fanciful fashion line.

photos courtesy of & copyright Anne Lorys Photography

...and that's just the kitchen/dining area/living room 
of ONE of the multiple buildings on the property!
 [there are so many amazing DIY ideas in there using salvaged & FOUND materials, 
i can't breathe just lookin' at it....]

the ranch has been published in many magazines, both in print and online, 
and was the subject of a book by Hearst Publishing and Country Living Magazine.
photos courtesy Magnolia Pearl

Fiona and Twig
Robin, being a sweet, kind, generous, creative, playful person,
decided to thank everyone for sharing the news of her ranch being for sale, and
is giving away TWO full Magnolia Pearl outfits!

enter the giveaway, 
and you could win one of these darling prairie-style ensembles:

to see MORE stunning photos and read ALL of the details 
about Robin & John's property  for sale
AND to enter the giveaway,
please visit Anne's blog post HERE

i am not including the 'pin it' button on this post because the photos aren't mine.
they belong to my friend, photographer Anne Lorys,
and to the very talented fashion designer Robin Brown of Magnolia Pearl.
i linked them here from Anne's blog, but ask that 
if you want to pin them, please go to Anne's blog post and pin from there
so that they source correctly. Thank you...

for more decorating ideas for every season,
  visit the HOMEWARDfound blog 
and these social networking sites:


$4 Spring Wreath Makeover!

Springtime! it's time to break out the greens and yellows...
last fall, i shared a few quick tips for a wreath makeover here

why not re-visit that idea for spring?!

you can find wreaths for next to nothing at thrift shops,
but you probably have one shoved on a shelf somewhere in your garage, right?
it's dusty and maybe some of the flowers are missing...
but for less than $5, you can give a wreath a fresh new look for spring!

this wreath actually had pink roses on it when i found it
[languishing on a hook in the garage, behind the washer...]
but the roses were faded and just didn't seem very 'fresh'. so i pulled them off.
some yellow fake mums from a nearby bunch were easily popped onto 
some of the stems that the roses had been on.

if the roses hadn't been faded, i'd have left them on
and then gone on to the next step:

two bunches of fake daffodils from the dollar store ($1 each) got the same treatment - 
pull off the flower heads and pop them onto the stems already attached to the wreath.
[of course you can just shove the daffodil stems into the wreath, too,
just like we did with the fall leaves in the tutorial here]

a small piece of wire holds a cute little pair of green polka-dot garden gloves ($1) 
and a packet of seeds (4 for $1) - you could do more than one packet,too!

the dollar store usually also has small metal watering cans,
small clay pots, and metal gardening tools
that could be wired onto the wreath, as well...

shared online:

Thank you to the DIY Village for including this post in THEIR post!


My Bloomin' Secret

potted spring bulbs look and smell wonderful indoors
[especially if they are potted up in a cute teacup or coffee mug, as shown here]
but within a week, you're going to have a bloomed-out plant.

i have a stylist's little secret for you
that will keep your indoor bulbs looking fresh for WEEKS...

tuck a test tube or floral tube into the pot, snugged right up next to the plant stems
and slip a fresh-cut daffodil or tulip from the florist or your garden into the tube.

you end up with a healthy green plant that has perpetual blooms
in as many colors as you'd like throughout the season!
one week you can have bright yellow King Alfred daffs,
and the next enjoy soft white Ice Princess Narcissus.

...and if you don't tell anyone about your bloomin' secret, they'll never know!


...and the Oscar Goes to...

Pin It
there are five seasons, right?  
Winter, Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Holiday.
don't forget AWARDS SEASON!

early on Saturday, my mom decided to host an impromptu and intimate
OSCAR PARTY for four people.
so, she became the producer/director/writer
and i became the production designer/cameraman/editor
to create a setting for Sunday night's viewing of the Academy Awards show...

i rummaged through the garage, kitchen, dining room buffet and upstairs closets,
grabbing everything she had on hand in her decently-sized stash of entertaining supplies.
then we put together award-winning decor that evoked old Hollywood glamour
using black, gold, and sparkling crystal.
[no, not Billy Crystal.]

let's see if i can put this in 'industry' terms:

family room
subdued lighting, candles burning in etched clear glass containers

big screen television tuned to ABC for Oscars pre-show

tables draped in gold lame' and black satin damask
white roses in tall crystal glasses with vintage crystal strands dripping from edges
black ceramic tableware and gold flatware
cut crystal goblets and tumblers
black satin napkins

characters enter room, partake of appetizers and champagne in lounge area
while viewing celebrity Red Carpet Entrances on tv.
fashion opinions are shared. loudly.

male character asks 'who IS that?' a hundred times,
and female characters attempt to educate him on film stars of today.
[as opposed to 1962, when he last knew who the stars were]


SCENE 002:
characters move to dining area behind lounge for dinner & dessert
while viewing Academy Awards program

candles burn down, wine bottles are emptied, and laughter ensues.
applause, cheers, disappointments, and celebrations commence
as favored films and actors win awards - or not.


sorry, i didn't photograph the food. BAD cameraman (girl, whatever)
i was too busy enjoying Seth McFarlane. helloooooo Stewie...

* the white roses were left over from a bouquet that my nieces gave to their grandma.
* the Hollywood clap board was $2.49 and the five gold paper stars were $1.69 at Party City.
* there's no fancy food here (no caviar, etc.) we used what was already in the house,
except for four $4. chicken pot pies from Boston Market
[Mom says that Chasten's in Los Angeles used to be famous for their chicken pot pies, and everyone who was anyone would go there after the Oscars. who knew?]
* the bottle of Wilson Creek Almond Champagne (Ca.) was $11.99 at BevMo

so we spent less than $35 to produce this fun event. 
i'd say we made a blockbuster on an independent budget!

 the only thing i would have changed?
i would have had each of us stand up to give a speech:
 "I'd like to thank the Academy for this honor...."

[and can i just say that it was hilarious that the orchestra played the theme from JAWS
to get winners to wrap up their speeches?! love the sense of humor there.]


for more decorating ideas for every season,
  visit the HOMEWARDfound blog 
and these social networking sites:


Cup O' Spring Freshness

this week, i linked up & shared two photos on the HOMEWARDfound facebook page
that my friends Sandy & Debi had posted on their pages,
where they were showing off their spring-theme displays at recent vintage shows.
i loved that both girls had made use of coffee & tea mugs as plant pots!

i've used this idea before in my spring decorating,
and also as a sweet teacher gift at Spring Break.

this is so simple, easy to complete in about five minutes,
and it costs less than an actual latte'!

 water sparingly and enjoy - indoors and out!

i found the green coffee mug for one dollar on the clearance aisle at Marshalls
and there's a pretty good selection over at Dollar Tree, too!
the white mug is one i had on hand (there's an old ugly logo on the back, but who cares?!)

my local Armstrong Nursery had a pony-pack of four 2 1/2" flowering bulbs for $2.98

it took me all of five minutes to remove the price tag and plant both mugs.
[i spent way more time photographing them than MAKING them]
now THAT is my kind of 'Fast, Cheap, & Easy'TM decorating!

and kids would just love the chance to get dirty making some!