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A Christmas Mystery!

Two weeks ago, I went out to get the mail - and discovered a surprise on the front step:
It was a large ziplock bag, filled with what at first glance appeared to be Fourth of July Sparklers.
with a thrift store price tag on the bag.

On closer inspection, I realized that they were not sparklers after all - 
but vintage Christmas decor parts!
They are old metal branches, 
covered in a heavy coat of thick black and silver German glass glitter!

I'm pretty sure that I have seen these in antique stores, assembled into trees
by inserting each branch into an upright metal 'trunk' with holes in it.
But of course I can't find an image of that online to show you :/

In ANY case, as soon as I realized what they were, 
I set to work adding them to my Christmas decor here at HOMEWARDfound Headquarters!
I simply stuck them into the diminutive white tabletop tree that I have
their bold, dark forms stand out against the white perfectly,
and the extra length of each branch allowed me to hang more ornaments on my little tree:

These ornaments are truly vintage, collected over the years.
I adore their tarnished silver/gold hues...
Mixed with modern crystal snowflakes, circa 1970 thread-wrapped balls, 1950's glittered balls,
a half-dozen wire stars from the late 1800's, and some of my hoard of pure white candycanes,
the old ornaments add depth and interest to a tree created in a limited and pale neutral palette.

Every single ornament stands out - just the way I like it!
The tree topper is a combination of elements
 centered around a tall glass figural spire from the 1960's that I've had for years.
It has a very long 'stem', and I don't like how it looks on a tree.
So I always 'hide' the stem with other things, grouped together.
Here, I used one of my original wire 'Junk Princess' crowns,
some old seam binding ribbon, and a few large crystal snowflakes...
it sparkles and shines and glimmers in the light.

About those vintage tree branches:

I've checked with my parents, and with several neighbors.
No one admits to leaving the bag on the front steps.
I have NO IDEA where it came from...
it's a Christmas Mystery!


Fanciful Glass Assemblages

 I love discovering unique, original ideas to share with you...
most often, they are my own ideas.
But when I see something that just BLOWS MY MIND with a preponderance of creativity and design,
well, you can BET I'll be asking permission to share it here!

Such is the case with these charming and original upcycled glass assemblages,
created by the prolific creative genius of artist Lisa Loria.
Lisa is a friend of mine, but more than that she's a MUSE. And amus-ing!
I am constantly amazed at the stuff her artistic mind cranks out!
Lisa isn't a crafter or a maker - she's an ARTIST.
Published, teacher, show vendor, and art / product designer extraordinaire.

Miss Lisa took a bunch of old clear glass parts and pieces,
like decanter tops and bowls and candlesticks and perfume bottles and vases and salt & pepper shakers
and even some glass lamp globes [and ya' KNOW I love that!]
and arranged them into recognizable Holiday forms, like trees and snowmen.
Then she glued them together. As you can see above, they were really cute!

And then the glue turned yellow.
Not cute.

Lisa told me how she was just seconds away from pitching the whole lot of them into the recycle bin
when her boyfriend suggested that she paint the whole shebang with paint.
[Talk about a 'DUH' moment, hmmmmmnnn?!]
So she did. And then she added some glitter because, well, honestly, what's NOT better with glitter?!

Here are Lisa's creations AFTER the paint and glitter job...
I think they look even better than before they were painted!
[... and let's give kudos to the bf for a stellar idea for saving what looked like a lost cause!]

In these photos, you can see how she stacked and nestled and fit parts and pieces together
to create the darling trees and fanciful snowmen shown up above...
Nothing there is precious or expensive. Or, to be honest, very pretty on its own.

We've all heard - and said - the phrase 'One man's trash is another man's treasure.'
This is taking what might just be trash - and making it into your OWN treasure!

[and remember MY tip for painting: Krylon Appliance Spray Paint.
It sticks to EVERYTHING, including glass!]

Follow the creative escapades of Lisa Loria on her blog !


Happy Hula Days!

I know it's December, and cold almost everywhere...
but let's time-travel back to the sunny, warm days of June, shall we?

Remember the 'FREE Weekend Makeover' Project here
when I turned my parent's home into a tropical paradise using what they had already?
Mom loves it so much that she wasn't about to remove it all when fall and winter came...
but what do you do about CHRISTMAS with a tropical theme? On a BUDGET?
You turn Christmas into a beach party, that's what!

Stealing an ever-so-charming slogan from retailer Tommy Bahama,
around here, it's now HAPPY HULA DAYS!

take a look at what we did....

 This tall, thin pre-lit faux tree sits next to the fireplace and window,
and is decorated with very simple things we found around the house... and on the patio.
We let the existing color scheme of the room dictate our choices
[ white, aqua/turquoise blue, green, yellow and soft tan ]

The tree topper is a star - a starFISH! Perfect for the beachy theme.
Nestled behind it is a soft blue flower lei and a bright yellow hibiscus flower.

The ornaments on the tree include the gorgeous tassels shown here,
made from silky white yarn and glittered sea urchins.
Garlands are simply shell necklaces, draped across the branches.

You wanna' see 'everyday items' as tree decor? Here ya' go!
Paper drink umbrellas in yellow, green, and blue nestle into the branches next to lights.
The lovely plumeria bloom is actually a foam flower on a barrette - it clips right on!

There are also flat foam flowers in yellow, green, and blue that slide over the branches -
they're actually drink coasters/glass markers!

Actually, the only actual 'ornaments' on the tree are the vintage aqua balls!

The base of the tree is a metal plate, which has been wrapped in an aqua sarong and some fishnet.
Another light blue flower lei tucks into the netting, with some faux white flowers
An ivy plant sits behind it, just to keep the spindly trunk from looking lonely.

Just outside the window by the tree is a humorous last-minute touch....
The thatched 'hula skirt' umbrella on the back patio looked like a tree shape to me.
So I added lights, and moved it here so it's visible from the room.
At night, it glows a warm tan color and really does look like a tree!

[ psssst... Tommy Bahama has 'hula skirt' trees in their stores and catalog right now, too!]

Mom has never done a tree like this before... and she can't stop smiling at it!
Sometimes it just takes a little bit of summer to warm up your winter!


Pink Holiday

So, if you're a Shabby girl and have a pale pastel color scheme in your home,
how do you escape the abundance of red and green in the store decor aisles?
Get inspired by the elegant pink, white and gold color palette of this display...
and then head to vintage stores to go shopping! 

This GORGEOUS setting was a photo booth,
 set up at the recent Vintage Marketplace Show in Southern California.
[Props provided by 'Touched by Time' Vintage Rentals
Styling by Deborah Watts of 'Blossoms Vintage Chic' & Monique Hemminger]

I don't think too many words are necessary here...
just sit back and enjoy the beauty of vintage, second-hand, found, and heirloom items
combined into a stunningly feminine and glamorous Holiday decor scheme!

 [inserting a word or two here: the photo above is my favorite image from this series!]

The photos below were snapped in show hostess Rita Reade's booth, 'Mammabellarte':

... from big props and large visual effects to tiny details, 
incorporating your favorite hues into your Holiday decor is as simple as
letting your existing decor lead the way!

shared online:

OPC & TBH | The Humble Brag


Bird in a Gilded Cage!

Years ago, I had the pleasure of presenting Holiday decorating workshops
at 'Girlfriend's Weekend' events in a gorgeous lodge, located in the wine country near Seattle.
 At each annual event, I created several vignettes...

[okay, I must digress here for a moment...
as I was typing the word 'vignette', I typed 'Viognette'.
If you know wine, you are smiling right now!  
I may have just coined a phrase there....]

back to our story...
vignettes to illustrate inspiring Holiday decor ideas and themes.
This 'Bird in a Gilded Cage' theme was one of them.
Since Gold is once again a hot decor trend, this is a perfect opportunity to share it!
I began with the hydrangeas...
Found in my own yard, they had aged to soft green and tan hues.
When I popped them into a gold metal cachepot that I had on hand, the theme came together:

greens, tans & browns, copper, and gold
with natural elements from the garden
and the nest I had nearby inspired me to incorporate birds...

The tabletop elements above include:
*a ceramic sculpture that looks like wood with two birds - it holds the real nest and twigs.

*a gold damask stripe tablecloth and green embroidered placemats with a leaf motif.
*gold charger plates, paired with a white china plate and a transparent amber glass dessert plate. 
*A vintage bar glass has green and gold embellishment.
*gold flatware

continue reading for more details...