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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}
.

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:



7.01.2014

Taking a Break....

 In a world of increasing speed, business AND busy-ness, 
broadcasting our every meal and move and thought on social media,
and occupation with things happening outside of ourselves,
I crave simplicity.

I long for summer days that stretch into forever... 
a season of relaxation unfolding moment by memorable moment,
WITHOUT documenting it in photos or posts.

My heart yearns for a summertime like the one I experienced as a child - 
and if you want to see what that looks like, watch the movie 'Now and Then'.
The girls at the beginning of the film depict exactly the kind of summer vacation that I lived 
as a kid in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
I loved it. I tried to re-create parts of it for my own kids, who grew up in the 1980s.

In this recent post here on HOMEWARDfound,
I shared a bit about how a certain book influenced my summers and my life as a child.

That re-discovered book has stirred creative longings in me again:

To explore the local shops and parks and gardens that call to me as I drive by.

To spend my days off walking and sitting on the beach, 
photographing crashing waves and changing sunlight.

To be inspired to create something just for the pleasure of playing in the moment - 
not as a planned, scheduled, managed activity leading to a blog post.

To invest hours in writing letters to the people I love, 
rather than rely on texts and facebook comments to communicate with them 
in the midst of our busy lives.

To plan and enjoy a monumental birthday party for Mom and family reunion for everyone.

To spend days and nights wandering the magical streets of Disneyland,
seeing it again like an eight year old little girl with a dream in her heart
(and a camera in her hand).

To celebrate that my childhood dreams really ARE coming true 
as I work at the Happiest Place on Earth,
especially now that I have been promoted to member of the Visual Merchandising Team!

To lie in the shade and listen to music and read books that nourish my soul.

Actually, that word perfectly captures what I am craving:  
Nourishment.

I desperately need more than just a 'fast food' mindset when it comes to my creativity.
I need the freedom to immerse myself in an idea, a process, a project
and 'let it flow'...[ why, yes, I DO hear a certain tune when I read that! ]
instead of rushing everything to make it fit a blog post schedule.

There is only one way to satiate my hunger for simplicity and focus - 
and that's to simply STOP. 
Stop running through the equivalent of a drive-through for inspiration and motivation.
Stop worrying about making products and selling them online,
and marketing and promoting and... all of it. It's exhausting.

And now, finally, I'm ready to give myself the gift of summertime again...
I am taking a social media break for the rest of the summer.

I plan to spend the next few months feasting on time in nature, 
time with family and friends, time on a walking path and a bike, 
time in the sunshine, and time investing in my own creativity.

Heaven knows, I have learned that there are no guarantees.
No 'forever'. And sometimes, no 'someday'.

We have only each moment, each day, to LIVE. 

Enjoying every day: that's where I'll  be this summer.

While I am away, please enjoy my Summer content
here on HOMEWARDfound! 
Simply click on the links on the right hand side of this page to access:

* Tabs that are linked to my most popular projects for summertime decor.

* A 'Summer' tab that will lead you to ALL of my past posts that have to do with 
Summer decor, crafts, entertaining, and creativity.

*My most current Pinterest board is linked on my sidebar so you can see my most recent pins,
just click any image to see it larger - and follow me!

BTW, I'll be on Pinterest occasionally, pinning to my summertime boards.
where there may be a post every once in awhile to share something fun.
 .
Just think of them as postcards from my summer vacation :)
Happy Summer, everyone!

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