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9.02.2014

Welcome, Fall! Wait.... WHAT????!

Yeah, it's FALL, Y'all.... and I'm just not ready for summer to end!
Before we jump into ideas and inspiration for Autumn decorating here at HOMEWARDfound,
I thought I'd share what I was up to over my two-month 'break' from social media.
 
Yes, friends, I'm going to answer the eternal September question
that we all remember (fondly??) from those first-day-of-school assignments:

'What did you do on your summer vacation?' 

You had to either write about it or stand up in front of the class and talk about it.
(How many of you, like me, immediately thought 'KILL.ME.NOW.' when the teacher informed you
that you had to speak instead of write because she knew you LOVED writing??
Fortunately, I finally overcame my fear of public speaking!)

Just as I planned, I spent my 'summer vacation' doing things I love:
walking at the beach, going to flea markets and vintage shows and thrift stores,
reading books from the library, swimming in the pool, sitting on the porch swing,
seeing friends and family, and of course working at the Happiest Place on Earth!

 But the BIG thing, the ONE thing that made this summer totally awesome was that
We had a Family Reunion!
Four generations of my family - my parents, siblings, our kids AND my grandkids -
gathered in California to celebrate my Mom's 70th Birthday
and to celebrate that we are one AWESOME family - 
not 'despite' the difficulties we have faced, but in part BECAUSE of those challenges.
Love is stronger than anything - even distance that spans the continent.


26 of us spent five days together at my parent's home,
splashing in the pool, making a lot of noise, talking, laughing, 
and eating SO much good food... 
(my brother brought 100 pounds of fresh fish and King Crab with him from Alaska,
and that fish fry dinner was utterly decadent!)

It was such a joy to be in the same place with all four of my 'kids' and their families,
including my four grandchildren, 
enjoying the smiles and hugs and stories and laughter.
It's a bona fide miracle, folks,
and I could not feel more blessed to have had this time with them.

And then, on the last day....
We went to Disneyland!


We posed with my BOSS! (and isn't he the CUTEST boss ever?!) 


We posed by the Castle!


and we posed in front of the attraction that is VERY important to our family,
'It's A Small World'

We have family ties to the history of this wonderful place:
My Mom's Dad and brother, my Uncle Don, were electricians
who helped build many of the attractions at Disneyland...
Grandpa Ward worked on It's A Small World, Tiki Room, and Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln.
Uncle Don Ward worked on the Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean.

All of my life, I have had such pride that they worked to bring Walt's dream to life,
to make the magic real
(that's a HUGE part of why I have always wanted to work there!)
and since the day my first grandson was born,
I have dreamed of riding the little boats of It's A Small World with my grandchildren.
Just like my grandpa rode it with me when I was a Little Debby.

I got that wish ;) That weekend was the best part of my summer!

I created the graphic that you see at the top of this post, 
and had it made into buttons at PureButtons.com.
My sweet friend Julia Chow, who is my fellow cast member at Disneyland,
captured our dream of a day in photos.
(See more of her fabulous work on her Julia Lisa Photography facebook page)

OK, now it's YOUR turn...
"What did YOU do on YOUR summer vacation?"
Leave a comment and share!

I promise I won't make you stand up in front of anyone :)
_______________________________________

OK... now, as for fall....
It's here and I can't stop it, so I might as well join in the festivities!


Stay Tuned for my next post,
when I share a creative decorating idea that will make you whine... um, I mean wine.... !
Don't forget: You can find all of my past fall posts via the sidebar 'Autumn' tab!

 Find More HOMEWARDfound Inspiration for Every Season of the Year:

8.27.2014

Nostalgic Back to School Decor

I recently ran across some old photos that brought a past project to mind,
and it's PERFECT for 'Back to School' celebrating!
.
I don't know about you, but for ME, this time of year seems to stir faint memories of 
the smell of sharpened pencils and new paper
the need of a new tote bag, backpack, or lunch pail
wistful reactions to hearing school recess bells ring
and children laughing on the playground
hearing marching bands practice on the field
using typewriter fonts
and other nostalgic impressions.

Whether or not you have kids heading back to school right now,
it's pretty easy to pull together some items in a small display or tablescape
that will say 'back to school' in a whisper of neutral tones.
( If you want it to SHOUT, use bright color! )
I created this vignette in about five minutes,
by simply rummaging through my office and finding some things 
that could pass as 'school supplies':

a metal locker basket
two metal lunchpails
a small metal chalkboard
rulers and yardsticks
a large canvas satchel bag
a small metal memo board, magnet, and sheet music
a vintage vocabulary card that I treasure
 a tin can vase
scissors & pencils
a paperweight
several books in neutral tones
(total disclosure: they aren't school books - or even really old!
Two are Bibles. One is a library book. the other is a paper brochure. ;) )

The thing is, it's about creating a MOOD, a LOOK - by using what you have on hand!
If you have great vintage items, use 'em!
But if you don't, don't fret -
you'll be surprised at what you can create using everyday stuff from your desk, too!
Case in point:
I wish I had more pencils to fill up this vase, but I really don't USE pencils.
So I don't HAVE pencils, and that's ok - 
even though my designer eye wants to see a vase brimming with pencils.
Maybe I'll hit the Dollar Tree store and buy a pack for a buck. Maybe I won't. 
But I'll enjoy this little scene either way!

You can see my fave vocabulary card here, too - the back side says "Embellish". ;)
I've had that for about ten years now.
_______________

Back in 2004, I created a similar 'back to school' display on the deep window sill
of my Cottage kitchen's little bay window...
(display not shown in this photo)
sigh.
Yeah, I really loved the charm of that tiny 900-square foot rented bungalow.
It was a lot of fun to decorate for the seasons...
(and how I'd love to find something like it here in Southern California!)

The photos below are the ones I found in my archives,
that spurred today's post:

I did the same thing back then... was inspired to celebrate 'Back to School',
and just gathered up a buncha' stuff that I had on hand in a palette of black, silver, tan, and green,
to create a little vignette with them:
.
antique building blocks
small vintage chalkboards
old papers and composition notebooks
metal and wood rulers & yardsticks

a vintage fan and a jar full of pencils,
along with my little 'Ami' ceramic figure
(who ended up in a LOT of these window scenes!)
a vintage lunchbox that reminds me of my Grandpa's
(all these years later, I still have it!)
and
two vintage Stanley thermoses that remind me of my Grandpa

(not only because he used them, but because his name was Stanley!)

I also created a paper banner to hang across the window, over the display:
The banner was made using
lined pages torn from a composition book 
lined pages torn from a small green notebook
scrapbook papers in tans and greens
black & white paint pens

I just cut out triangle shapes, EMBELLISHED them :),
strung them on a length of vintage seam binding, 
and held it up with thumbtacks.

That's my kinda' decorating: Fast. Cheap. and Easy.
Class Dismissed!

Linked Up:

Cupcakes & Crinoline | Project Inspire{d}

Creativity Unleashed link party!
Practically Functional | Creativity Unleashed
.

for more decorating
inspiration for every season of the year,
  visit HOMEWARDfound on these social networking sites:



8.16.2014

Save Vacation Finds in a NeSt

As Summer winds down and I am enjoying my social media break,
I thought I'd send you a 'postcard' of sorts...
with an idea for preserving your summer vacation memories.

I don't know how I started this practice, but years ago, I began making 
Found Item NeSts
(and no, I don't know why I capitalize it that way, either!)

When on vacation or even a day trip,
I'd pick up shells and sea glass at the shore, 
or tiny pinecones and feathers and leaves in the mountains,
and then find long grass nearby to weave into a nest.

The NeSt shown below also contained a wine cork, 
since the day had been spent celebrating a special occasion.
You can put anything into a nest!
The collected items would then go into the nest for display,
giving smaller items a lot more presence so that they were more noticeable on a shelf or table.
To my amazement, the nests never lost the smell of their place of origin -
salty sea air or pungent pine forests -
adding another level of enjoyment to them.

I've also made NeSts to observe each season of the year,
gathering up tiny mementoes of spring or fall  
like dried daffodil blooms and little russet leaves to place into the nests,
then displaying them on my mantel or entryway table...
I previously shared a simple tutorial for making a NeSt here,
where you'll see that this project isn't time-consuming or difficult at all...
a perfectly relaxing 'last day of vacation' craft!

It's truly a simple way to gather items from nature that will enhance your home
and bring sweet memories to mind whenever you see it.

Another easy idea for preserving vacation memories:
I also gather a small bit of sand from the beaches I visit, 
then place it into tiny jars with tags identifying the beach.
This would work with rocks, tiny shells, cones, and leaves, as well.
And the bottles don't have to be expensive or antique - 
in this photo, you can see that I used an empty Starbucks Frappacino bottle
and even salt & pepper shaker bases!

Happy Summer, Friends.... see you soon!

Linked Up:
Yesterday on Tuesday | Project Inspire{d}


Creativity Unleashed link party!
Practically Functional | Creativity Unleashed
 

for more decorating
inspiration for every season of the year,
  visit HOMEWARDfound on these social networking sites:



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