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8.01.2015

Original Sweet Sweater Pumpkin Tutorial

Better Homes & Gardens Magazine, fall, original designs, pumpkins, re-purposing, sweaters, Sweet Sweater Pumpkins, thrifted, tutorial, original designs, Sweet Sweater Originals, HOMEWARDfound Decor
mySweet Sweater PumpkinsTM
are popular every fall!
my free no-sew tutorial for THE ORIGINAL sweater pumpkin
helps you make your own versions of this classic fall decor accent!

this is an easy craft project, and eco-friendly way to decorate for fall,
because they're made out of recycled materials and totally no-sew.

i designed my original product in 2007, and it appeared on my Hummadeedledee blog,
then began selling them at vintage shows and stores in 2009,

and they have been published in magazines and on blogs, FB, and Pinterest ever since - 
appearing here on homewardFOUND first in 2012,
and in Better Homes & Garden's Halloween Special issue in 2013! 

continue reading for tutorial:

2.18.2015

Words Matter.

ok, so for anyone who doubts that the right words at the right time mean anything.... let me share my day with you.
This morning, after sharing my heart and speaking up about something in a private group and taking somewhat of a beating for it, I was really thinking about just shutting down my blog completely. I was thinking, why am I doing this, what good does it do, why bother, I"m sick of the games out there, blah blah blah.
This afternoon, I took a load of old magazines over to my storage unit, and went into the office to pay my fees for next month. As I walked in the door, the gal handed me her phone and said 'It's my daughter. We were just talking about you! She has something to tell you....'. Her daughter THANKED ME for my blog, for the ideas I share that help her decorate on a budget. That give her crafty projects to do with her kids. That inspire her to make her home special, even though she can't spend much. She said that getting an email from me about a new blog post puts a smile on her face and lets her know she's gonna' get some fun ideas.
I cried. On the phone, with a woman I've never met. I actually cried about my blog. Her words could not have come at a more perfect time....
She reminded me WHY I do this blogging thing. WHY I share the ideas and tips and tricks that I've discovered over years of living on an EXTREMELY low income, and by working as a retail visual stylist. Because home has always been important to me - important to create a place where my family felt loved and welcome and warm and comfortable. Where they were never ashamed to bring friends. Where even though were were often really broke, we didn't look like we were destitute. I want to share that love of 'home' with my readers. I want to inspire them to do what they can where they are with what they have - and be proud of it. I want women who say 'I'm not creative' to FEEL creative, to be brave enough to try a simple thing - and then find out that they ARE creative after all!
And I told her that. I told her how MUCH her words healed my hurting heart, how MUCH her gratitude and her enthusiasm meant to me. I even told her about the crummy morning I had, and my questioning if I should even continue with the blog anymore. And do you know what she said?
"God put you right where you are, Deb, and you are giving it all you have. And it's making a difference for people. Don't ever forget that."
O_O
WOW. I couldn't even talk at that point, I just whispered 'Thank you' and handed the phone back to her mom. She hung up, and looked at me with a smile a mile wide. "Talk about PERFECT timing! God is so cool!" she said.
Yeah. Yeah, He is. 

12.17.2014

Black & White & Winter All Over!

It's finally beginning to look a bit like Christmas around HOMEWARDfound central!
I've been so busy working that I didn't even remove the fall pumpkins from my office until SUNDAY.
Yes, you read that right.
I debated even decorating at ALL, but the urge got the best of me and I went for it - 
although in a different way than I usually do.

This year, I decided to focus on decorating for the winter season
rather than just for Christmas...

I don't have tons of bins of Holiday decor anymore, just a few with special items,
so I selected some things from there
and then added in everyday 'stuff' that helped me create a color scheme.
I went for a crisp black, white, and silver look:
.
The shelves on the wall in the office are rather triangular,
so when filled they remind me of a tree shape.

Along with my growing black & white coffee mug collection,
I used sparkly paper bags from the dollar store, two of my Original Sweet Sweater Snowmen,
a glass nativity scene, white tissue snowflakes, sparkly glittery metal branches, a lace mask,
and the rare white candy canes that I have been hauling around since 2009
(and OH are they STALE!)

Here are a few of the other elements I used:
 I do still collect white Santa china & ironstone mugs...
I wash all of the red paint off of them, though, so they fit my pale neutral color scheme!
This year, I found these tiny little tophat ornaments at Dollar Tree,
and they sit perfectly on top of the smallest size mugs!
 You've seen this truck before... it has a place of honor every season, 
because it reminds me of my Grandpa Ward's truck.
And the castle ornament.... well, I don't really need to explain that one, do I? ;)

Across the room, a breakfront/dresser is a large display space,
and I have been putting the tree here each year...
This year, I decided to create a DIFFERENT kind of tree...
 and used my wire tomato cage dome instead!
I could have used a plain ol' wire tomato cage tree,
but I was lazy and in a hurry and so I used what was already in the room.

 I placed the dome on a platter on top of a china pedestal bowl to raise it up,
and my special vintage ornaments in silver hang delicately from the wire crosspieces.
A birdsnest that I made cradles a broken ornament at the base of the dome,
and a mini-sized tophat that I bought at Disneyland serves as a jaunty dome topper.

 White china & ironstone holds more ornaments across the vignette,
and some black accents really POP against the white... especially that Chanel box :)
 Last Christmas, when I was having a blast with my kids and grandkids in Seattle,
I bought the white ceramic Space Needle salt & pepper shakers.
(They were the least cheesy souvenirs I could find down at Pier 39!)

Then this year, I found the white ceramic Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland.
(I love the way the snowflakes show up behind it in the flocked black shadow box frame here...
they remind me of the Disneyland fireworks!)

As I worked, I realized that I have a growing collection here - figures of the places I love best!
Now my plan is to find a ceramic figure of the Alamo in San Antonio
(even if it's not white, I can paint it white)
and then some other places that are really special to me.
I can use them in my decor all year long, instead of just at Christmas!

 Just a few more detail shots of little decor touches...
I don't have the light strands for the clear bubble lights anymore,
so I just piled them into an enamel pail. They still make me smile!

Another handmade nest found a home in an ironstone chamber pot,
hung by its handle on an old wood gate section.

...and my vintage wire shopping cart corrals all of my gift wrap supplies!

SO, even though I waited a REALLY long time to get my decorating mojo on,
it was worth the wait.
Mostly because I don't have to take it all down in two weeks!!!

LINKED UP:
Practically Functional | Creativity Unleashed

12.14.2014

I'm Not ELF-conscious....

Friends, I'm gonna' brag. Sorry, but I have to!
I just scored THE ultimate in Christmas decor - at least, in my little world.

My kids are grown, so I have no reason to get into the 'Elf on the Shelf' craze sweeping the world...
and I had absolutely no intention of doing so.

Until late one recent day, when a box of donations came into the resale store
where I work as a display stylist. (Job #2, along with Disney)
Buried in the depths of that box was a vintage treasure that I simply could not ignore
even if it WAS an elf
(or in this case, elfs. elves?.... 'elves on shelves'??):
Aren't they CUTE?!!
These little guys are circa 1960's, made in Japan (stickers still attached), and in brand-new condition.
I can't even FIND any that look as good as they do on etsy!

Just like the newly-popular Elfie in a red onesie, they bend and pose and sit up,
all while casting sidelong glances in the direction of the trouble that is brewing...
and let me tell you, they've already invaded my office with their shenanigans.
See photos below for proof.

So now, I am completely enamoured of these two.
I am trying to figure out what to name them...
Stick with the Holiday theme and try
No and El?  Happy and Holly?  Dancer and Prancer?

Maybe I should go with an obvious direction, 
and call them Dis and Ney ;) ?  Miki and Mini?

There is one set of names that keeps dancing in my head:
Dubble and Trubble.
Because clearly, one is a goody two shoes - and one is just hell on wheels.
This is definitely one of my BEST Christmas decor scores ever.
What marvelous finds do you have to brag about?  Share in a comment!

shared online:


Practically Functional | Creativity Unleashed

12.11.2014

Santa Babies

I was surfing through my facebook news feed the other night,
and a photo on a Page I follow jumped out at me....
it's such a simple idea, easy to execute by adding one thing to the existing decor,
and yet it added SO much to the room it was in that it made me smile.
 .
The emphatically creative artist Mary Engelbreit
(she of the perpetually encouraging quotes and cheerful colors)
shared this photo of her kitchen fireplace Holiday decor:
which is, again, a simple embellishment of her every day decor.
Miss Mary collects statues and busts of children, and displays them on her mantel.

And at Holiday time, 
she dresses her little babies up by placing perfectly-sized Santa hats on each one:
It's charming, sweet, and it makes you smile.
The only thing I might change is that I'd replace that painting in the background
with a large-scale version of 'The Night Before Christmas'...
preferably with Miss Mary's illustrations :)

I love this easy idea, for indoors or out!

Can't you just IMAGINE the possibilities???
 There's always one in every crowd... and his name is usually Bob.
 Whaaaaaaat? You said wear it. I'm wearing it!
 He's up to no good, I can tell you that...

Just think about it ;)

12.05.2014

Bubbling with Joy

First, may I offer a HUGE 'Thank You' to all of you
for your kind comments here and on facebook, 
and for the prayers and thoughts you have been sending for my Dad.
This challenge is not over, however it IS being seen in a much more positive light
after his doctor came up with a solution that will help him have a few years left with us,
instead of a few months. 
For that, we are extremely grateful!

And so as the Light of Hope reigns in my heart, 
I see a little bit of Holiday joy returning to my soul...
and I thought a post about 'light' was perfect.
 
Now, about that picture up there:
You all know that I love using things in unexpected ways... well, a few years back,
  I put white bubble light bulbs into my chandelier!
.
My grandma Ward had bubble lights on a tree when I was a little Debby, 
and they always bring back sweet memories for me.
Having the whimsical sparkly bubbling lights on my chandelier 
reminded me of her every time I passed through the dining room. 
My grandson loved them, too!

The clear/white ones shown here (found at Restoration Hardware) were just too perfect to pass up,
as my style is more neutral than my Grandma's brightly-colored preferences.
Lights like this will work on a chandy with small bulb sockets, not full size ones.

The other thing you might notice about that chandelier is that it has some pretty-fied candle STICKS.
I wrapped pieces of vintage sheet music around each 'candle stick'!
A quick swipe from a glue stick secured them, but made it easy to remove in the future.

This is an easy project, using scrapbook papers, gift wrap, any kind of paper product...
back in 2010, I used shiny red and polka-dot gift wrap paper on some chandeliers for sale:
I also used happy round bulbs on those,
just because I thought they looked more like tree ornaments than light bulbs.

Another way to embellish your chandeliers is to dangle ornaments from them, as shown above.
Simple glass balls, or crocheted or faceted crystal snowflakes will really 'foof' it up!

Here's the chandy from the photo at the top of this post
with loads of glass ornaments suspended from it
(before the bubble lights were found!)
Along with the very expensive glass figural ornaments,
I used resin crystals found at the thrift store, and cheap plastic snowflakes from the dollar store.
Those don't detract from the elegant look!!!
.
See more of my past 'Vintage White Christmas' decor theme HERE

shared online:

.Practically Functional | Creativity Unleashed


Yesterday on Tuesday | Project Inspire{d}

12.02.2014

Unplanned Break...

My friends, I am just not up to finishing the post I had in progress for Wednesday morning...
my Dad is in the hospital, fighting cancer,
with developments today that have overwhelmed our family.

My mind is just not on decorating or the holidays right now.
Hopefully I will get back to blogging for a post on Saturday, 
but depending on how things progress over the next few days,
that may or may not happen.
My family is my first priority, and I know you understand that.
I'll be back when I can.

In the meantime,
I am offering this 'commercial break':
You'll find loads of holiday cheer, inspiration, tutorials, and projects
on my December: Everything Holiday! Pinterest board.

And if you are so inclined, 
your healing thoughts and prayers would be very much appreciated
by this girl who just wants her Daddy around for a long time to come...

11.29.2014

Glass Lamp Globe Snowglobes

If you've seen my original glass globe pumpkins for fall,
then you know I love using everyday things in new ways to decorate with!

Here's another idea for glass globe light covers:
Take the simple clear glass ones, and make them into snowglobes!

* find small figurines at thrift shops or the dollar store

* spray paint them gloss white
* hot glue them inside a shallow white bowl or pedestal
[i like using hot glue  - 
because if i want to change it all later, i can!]
 
* flip the globe upside down with the opening facing up

* add some snow flakes or glitter inside.

* put a bead of hot glue all along the rim of the globe, 
and place the base upside down onto the glass globe's opening.

* trim the edge of the base with vintage trims, ribbon, jewelry if you like.
 * in the globe shown below, i also glued a clear plastic snowflake behind the little angel figure.

You can use glass fishbowls from the dollar store, too!
see MORE ideas for using glass lamp globes in your winter decor HERE!
(this content originally appeared in that post)