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10.25.2015

It's Not Too Late to Get Your SPOOK On!

Looking for last minute Halloween decor ideas?
(it's okay!)
Have no fear! I have a TREAT for you in my archives:
a bunch of my trademark 'Fast, Cheap & Easy' TM ideas...

just click on the 'read more' link!

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 ;)