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Take It Outside!

Want some unique decor for your alfresco fall dinner this weekend?
Take a chandelier OUTSIDE!

In this scene, a thrifted brass chandelier has been sprayed silver 
and hangs from the center support of an A-frame wood ladder, 
using a metal shower curtain hook and sturdy wire. 
The chandelier cord has had a plug added,
and a very long extension cord allows the light to be plugged into a socket in the nearby barn.
Frosted night light bulbs add just enough light for ambiance.

The A-frame ladder is flanked by two smaller ladders, 
and sections of old picket fencing are propped up to form a 'house'-shaped backdrop to the setting. 
The openness of the display allows diners to look through to the fields and pastures beyond...
add food, friends, flowers, and music, and you have a lovely pastoral evening!

[The table made from reclaimed fenceboards and the benches crafted from old headboards and chair arms 
were created by Bob Kennedy for Retreat, 2009. Setting by Deb Kennedy.]

Are you looking for fall decor inspiration with PUMPKINS? 

Head over to Funky Junk Interiors' 'Party Junk' link party - it's ALL about DIY Pumpkins!
[three ideas from HOMEWARDfound are on there!]


Walls of Paper and Wood

I am currently looking for some old wood crates to use in a display at an upcoming artisan show
[more info on THAT coming soon!]
Because I've been focusing on crates, a display I created years ago has been on my mind...
it's something that can be easily replicated in a home,
and I thought you might like to see it!
 This is a 'before' photo of the wall I decorated.
Actually, this is the second photo, because it started out blood RED.
As soon as I could, I painted the whole barn interior WHITE!

Um, yeah, you read that right.... this was inside a horse barn!
We had a small 2-stall barn on the farm, and I decided to turn it into a seasonal store.
After the cleanup and paint, lights were added
[bought at the ReStore for $3 each!]
and the french doors on the left were installed on the inner wall
so that the huge barn door could still slide open & closed on the outer wall.

 So then I decided to add some interest to that big white wall...
and I 'wallpapered' it with strips of vintage piano player music!
[I had a box of fifty rolls, so there was a LOT to work with.]
After the wall was covered, I added extra pieces that curled up and out, to give it texture.
I even hung some of the strips of paper with the roller dowel still attached,
and some from the rafters up above to make the wall seem even taller.
 Then I took a collection of miscellaneous wood crates & boxes
and screwed them to the wall in a free-form configuration.
I didn't measure - I just started at the bottom with the biggest crates, and worked my way up the wall.

I liked it when it was empty, but the whole point was to create areas for product to be displayed...
... and I crammed a LOT of small items into those boxes!
Furnishings and lamps and other accessories were grouped in front of the wall, 
and the whole room came together in a very organic, country, almost 'Anthropologie' display.

I say 'room' but really, it was still just a barn stall!
[that french door you see was set on the inside of the opening, and the dutch barn door opened out]
You could certainly do a treatment like this in a home...
in a wide hallway, office, or guest room.
or in your store, like Peggy did at Down Home Country Antiques in Orange, CA!
[more in this post from last fall]
or, like Roger's Gardens Nursery in Newport Beach, California did above,
create an outdoor wall treatment that will hold your garden supplies and plants.
I could even see this arrangement on the side of a garage leading up to the front door,
with beautiful natural elements displayed every season of the year!

I'm editing my post to add that I nearly fell out of my chair laughing
when I clicked into the blog Thursday night to find
an ad for a HORSE BARN below this post!!!!
Adsense, really???
Out of all the content on this blog, THAT one term in one line of this post
is what you come up with as correlated marketing? sigh.....

shared online:

One Project Closer | My Blessed Life


Long May She Wave

Every year on this date, people ask the question
"Where were you on 9/11?"
Like many other Americans, I DO remember.
And I'd to share my story for a very special reason: For my son.

This is a very different kind of post for HOMEWARDfound, 
but HOME is all about what matters most to us...
and this matters to me.

In 2001, my son was a junior in high school.We lived in a small town in rural Western Washington, the kind of place where the high school kids hold a Homecoming Parade on the main street every fall, with football players (including my son) riding on fire engines and cheerleaders riding in convertibles.The marching band plays, the flags spin,the entire school empties and walks down the streets displaying their Panther Pride for the whole assembled town.The Snohomish Serpentine is tradition and history and pride.

He may have been the one who sang the fight song the loudest after every football game, but I never knew how deep my son's pride ran...

On the morning of September 11, 2001, my kids left for high school and I was cleaning house. My husband called me from his workplace, to tell me what had happened in New York. I didn't believe him. I thought he had misunderstood.The World Trade Center could not be GONE. Because we had just moved into a new house the week before, we didn't have cable yet. No TV. No News. I turned on the radio and listened to the accounts. I had vivid pictures in my mind from what I heard.

A few hours later, I had to leave to go to work before my kids came home from high school (and I was not very happy about that).

I had to drive fifteen miles to the winery, where I was one of the staff for a corporate event. Frankly, every one of us who had to work that night were surprised that it hadn't been canceled. It was a dinner for over 100 HR Managers for a large locally-based computer company. (You know, the one I can't name....) They were at the nearby headquarters/campus for a conference, and had come from several other countries as well as the US.We were told they had no where else to go for dinner, so the event was not canceled.The staff was quiet, hushed, wanting only to be home with our families to absorb the news and comfort one another. Many of my friends and co-workers had seen news reports and images of the devastating events of the day.

One hour into the dinner event, those 100 HR managers
They tossed bread and flicked vegetables across tables, and laughed their heads off like children in a lunchroom. Not one of those people assembled stood up to say 'ENOUGH!'. NOT ONE.

The supervisor of our staff quietly gathered us, and instructed us to begin removing all wine and utensils from the tables. And we did.The 'guests' got mad when we took the wine away. 

Then our supervisor stood in front of them and calmly announced that the event was over. Their buses were out front and they needed to go now. If I remember correctly, she used the words 'evacuate the facility'.The crowd dispersed loudly but quickly, and left.The dozen staff members and four kitchen staff stood together, and cried. We hugged. And we said goodbye to head home to our families. We all knew that we'd back our supervisor if anything was ever said about the way the event ended. We were just glad it HAD.

I drove the fifteen miles home in complete amazement and anger that those 100 people had behaved so badly, so callously, in the face of what had happened in the world that day. As I drove around the corner and onto our street in our little town, after midnight, I looked at our house and saw the most amazing sight...

My son, seventeen years old, had rummaged through my (many) bins in the attic, and found all of my vintage American flags. He hung one in EVERY window in our house,and turned the lights on in every room. And he had put the largest one on the whip antenna of his truck in the driveway.

The place glowed like a beacon of Patriotism, Hope, Pride, and Reverence for all those who had lost their lives that day. For everyone who had lost hope that day. For the innocence we all lost that day. I had to stop my car in the street because my eyes were so filled with tears.

I parked and ran inside, to find my family huddled around the television. My husband had hooked up the cable and they were watching live news coverage and taped film of the collapse of the towers. It was the first time I had seen it, and I fell to my knees on the floor. The 'vivid images' my mind had conjured earlier that day hadn't even come close to the devastation I was watching. My son put his hand on my shoulder, and we cried.

I was even MORE angry at those HR Managers at that point. I will never understand their reaction that day. A seventeen year old high school boy grasped the meaning, the solemnity, the horror of it all. And could not help but show his emotions in a way that honored the victims.
A man was born that day.
He is a good man, a proud man, and a man that his parents are very proud of.

My favorite vintage flag flies outside my house each September 11th, in honor of the victims and the heroes of 9/11. And I fly it for my son, who is a hero in my eyes and my heart. I pray the pain of horrific loss never revisits him again.

I pray the same for our country...Land of the Free, Home of the Brave.
Alan Jackson said it all very well:


Fifty Shades of..... naaahhhh.....

This post isn't about that book. It's about lamp SHADES.
Oh, yeah, those look pretty nice, don't they? They didn't start out that way!

Take a gander at the... ah... swanky?..... lampshades below.
I got them from my junking friend Beth Evans-Ramos 
[of Salvage Studio book fame, now known for Mama Knows Her Cocktails]
 who gave me these shades after no one would buy them at her garage sale. for a buck.
Yeah, they were THAT bad!
We had a pretty good laugh about the cheap plastic-tablecloth-like material they are covered in
and the little bits of tinsel that gather it in several places.

[Seriously, who came up with this design?!]
Worst part? The smell.  These babies were victims of secondhand smoke, for sure.
When I started removing the plastic from the frame, I saw that it actually started out as WHITE. 
That nice warm ocher/gold tone? Smoke stains. iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiick.......

Once I got all that smelly tacky plastic off, the frames emerged as FABulous vintage accents.  
LOVE the shape. Now THAT I can DO something with!
Because I love to see the shape of the wire frames, I usually finish off lampshades like this simply:
These have criss-crossed two lengths of twill fabric tape around them.
I tied a small bow at the top edge of each bend in the frame, to hold the twill tape in place.
And, as shown up above, they looked fabulous in my booth at the Farm Chicks Antique Show...
for all of five minutes. Just long enough to snap that photo.
Because they were the FIRST thing that sold. For $20 each.

Let's Review: 
two fugly plastic lampshades at a garage sale = $1 each FREE
time to strip frames bare = 20 minutes 
[which included putting on a mask so I couldn't smell the smoke odor]
cost of twill tape =  $2.00 at thrift shop
time to embellish bare frames with twill tape = 10 minutes
two stylish lampshades at one of the biggest antique shows in the USA = $20 each

THAT is why we go junking!!!
I made so many lampshades over 5 years that people called me 'the lampshade lady' at shows.
[I guess it's better than 'shady lady'.....]

Here are just a few of the ones that I have created with still-visible bare frames:
 lacy doilies sewn together and seam binding tape   .   glass crystal strands
 rik-rack, seam binding, and a button strip from a linen shirt  .  gold velvet ribbon and manila stencils
 dollhouse china, seam binding and ribbons  .   metal shoe stretchers
 a strip of burlap with a canvas military belt  .  wood clothespins to hold photos
 and of course, there are these lampshades from this popular post!

I recommend using faceted clear or frosted white 'candle flame'-shaped incandescent bulbs
or edison bulbs when you are working with shades like this.
The light from them is softer and won't glare in your eyes on cool fall nights!

shared online:

Worthing Court | Home{work} Wednesday


Tablescape Contest Winner!

Last July, I created a tablescape in the dining room of my brother and sister in law's home,
as part of a whirlwind three-day Weekend Makeover of their house. 

And when fashionista tableware designer Rosanna Bowles of Rosanna Inc.
announced her 7th Annual Tablescape Contest,
I sent in photos of what I had created - along with the fun story of my makeover ambush!

I found out on Thursday morning that my design was a finalist.
And Friday night, when I clicked into facebook, I saw the update: 
My design tied for third place!
Along with our entries, we had to share a story about the tablescape...so I did.
And Rosanna is sharing it on her Table Talk blog.

[I didn't realize that the WHOLE story I sent in would be published,
as it's a bit more personally revealing than I have been publicly. But that's ok.
Perhaps it will serve as an encouragement to someone who reads it...]

I am so honored to have been chosen by Rosanna and her employees...
[I also really miss being able to shop her fabulous warehouse sales in Seattle!]

Here are a few more photos of my tablescape

 In this post, I showed you how 'the Judy's' used a plain pine board as a centerpiece base - 
I did the same thing on this table, using a white wood shelf that was sitting in the garage.
Clear glass vases filled with sand, shells, and a candle now stand out from the dark table.

 [I'll have new ones soon!]

Order Sweet Sweater Pumpkins HERE - now in FIVE colors, including PINK!

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


A Fabulous Fall Fete!

OK, just so we start off on the right foot here, that word is not 'FEET'! It's more like 'FATE':

fête [ fāt , fet/ ] (faet / fate)
noun: fête; plural noun: fêtes; noun: fete; plural noun: fetes
  1. 1.
    a celebration or festival.
verb: fête;
honor or entertain (someone) lavishly.
"she was an instant celebrity, fêted by the media"

Let's go with BOTH definitions, for they certainly fit this story!

Today, I'd like to share with you some welcoming, elegant fall event decor.
I took the photos in this post back in October, 2010, at the Remnants of the Past Antique Show - 
which was held at the historic Dana-Powers House in Nipomo, CA at that time.
[it's now held at the glorious Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo]

Judi Powers (left) owns her family's historic property, and Judy Watkins (right) owns the show.
 Together, they created beautiful decor to welcome the show vendors for a party.
The gathering was held on the beautifully landscaped grounds of the farm on the night before the show.
And 'the Judys' always make things SPECIAL!
They have great style, and I know you'll love seeing what they did...
The setting was the beautiful gardens surrounding the historic house...
 a private and perfect site for weddings and parties all year long!

continue reading for more inspiration...