Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Accents From Nature

Hey Homies! 

After this post, you may be tempted to call me Mother Nature, instead of Home Girl.  Ewww, nevermind, that makes me sound old.  I'll think I'll just stick with Home Girl!

It’s no secret that I’m a tightwad thrifty.  And I’m also a nature girl.  Throughout my home, I tend to bring in nature inspired designs…..like painting trees around our fireplace, or leaves in our bay window, or even in the fabric that I gravitate toward.  Photos of these will eventually show up in later blog posts.    I also like to have at least one plant in every room.  A REAL plant, no fakies, no silk, no plastic, just the real McCoy!  So it’s no surprise that I also like to use items that I’ve found in nature as accents.  Not only are they beautiful, but they’re FREE! 


I’m also a sentimental old gal, and I tend to collect nature things from each vacation we go on, from each city we live in, or maybe just from a hike.  They all have meaning and memories for me.  For example, we visited Alaska a couple of years ago and I was searching for a souvenir.  Wouldn’t you know that I found the perfect rock to take home while we were climbing the Byron Glacier?  Even though that hike kicked our butts (while being empty handed), my sweet husband STILL carried that rock for the rest of the hike and back to the car for me.  When I look at that rock today, it literally almost takes me back to being on that glacier!  Yes, for some reason, I LOVE rocks.   Why did I not photograph my Alaska rock for this post since I’m making reference to it?  

This vignette on my tub is a collection found on the beach during a recent trip to the Bahamas.  The conch shell is especially sentimental to me.  My husband went for a jog along the beach, saw this conch shell, picked it up knowing that I would love it, and then had to finish his run carrying the thing.  It’s dirty (although I did clean it a bit), beat up and has a couple of holes in it, and it’s not shiny and clean like one you would buy at the store.  It has the Bahamas stuck all over it!  And I LOVE it!   


Doesn’t it make the perfect planter for this mini orchid?


My children found some of the other shells for me.  And I found that webby stick thing.  


Check out the fossil!  Isn’t that cool!!!!


And that one too!


I swear that white rock or shell above looks like a man’s face, and it looks like he’s sniffing that wooden thingy under his nose.  Huh?  Can you see it?  Or maybe I'm just spending too much time in the bathtub.

Speaking of faces and rocks, this brings me to another memorable vaca.   My husband is from Denmark and while spending the day on a beach there with his family, we collectively found a wonderful group of rocks.   I’ve handed down this love of collecting nature to my children and wouldn’t you know that my mother-in-law has it too!  I keep the rocks from that trip in this large pewter plate which sits on a very old wooden truck.  Both items (trunk and plate) belonged to my husband’s grandfather.  We acquired them when he passed away.  The pewter plate sat on this same trunk just inside his entry door and he would empty his pockets of keys, etc.  when he came in the door and put them in the plate.


I thought it was fitting to keep the plate sitting on the trunk just as he had it, and eventually ended up putting the collection of Danish beach rocks in the plate.


 An orchid eventually made it’s way there too.

Many of those Danish beach rocks have faces too, just like the Bahamian man!  Don’t believe me?  Take a lookey!


Can you see the faces in the rocks above? No?  Here are a few close-ups below.


Here’s the Pokémon rock.  Or I guess it’s actually Pikachu from Pokémon.  Huh?  Do you see it now?


Or maybe you can see the old man sticking his tongue out? 


This one is the opera singer’s happy friend.  I guess I didn’t get a close up of the opera singer.  She’s in the middle of the group shot above.


And this is poor Mr. Sad Face.  He must have lost his best rock friend.

Sorry, my imagination tends to run wild sometimes.  I’ve been told that I might have spent too much time alone as a kid. 

Okay, so here’s a few more things we found that day………


Heart rocks = LOVE!


Oops, this little guy was turned over the wrong way in the other photo.   Here’s a better shot.  My kids have given me several heart rocks over the years.  If you’re ever creek walking, look down!  They are plentiful!


Isn’t penguin guy adorable?


My son SWEARS this is an actual shark tooth from a gigantic shark!  We almost got into an argument about it and then I decided just to let him win that one.  There’s no harm in letting him think it’s a gigantic shark tooth, right?  Pick your battles!


This appears to be some sort of knee or hip joint….possibly from someone lost at sea?  Poor soul.  (sad face)


Just look at the variation in color of these rocks we found at that Danish beach!!!  B.eau.ti.ful!!!!  Great assortment!

Okay, almost done with rock talk..........

Lastly, I’d like to show you my beloved holy rocks.  Yes, holy!  HOLY ROCKS!


Each of them has a hole all the way through it.  My kids thought it would be a great idea for me to make a necklace with them.  But that’s not the kind of rock I like to wear!  (hint hint)  I prefer the not-so-heavy ones that are clear and sparkly!  BLING BLING


I did use one at the end of our dinner bell ringer though!


I also had a large Danish holy rock seen above that I used outside as a candle holder until someone broke it in half.  GRRRRRR!  Don’t mess with my rocks, people!  Actually, the dog broke it.  This pile of rocks is a collection from Denmark, Sweden, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio and Maryland.  I like to use them in our landscaping. 


Like this one from the little farmette we had in Tennessee.  I found it one day hiking through our 5 acres.  Actually, only 2 1/2 acres were wooded so it was a short hike.  But I made a trail and it was a special place I liked to hike to with my son (our daughter wasn’t yet born), to go see the rock.  He was only 2 - 3 at the time and he enjoyed our little adventure.  So when we moved to Sweden, I took it with me as a reminder of our little farmette.  I loved that place.


Isn’t it cool!!!!


I do have a girly side, and I love this pink quartz rock I found on our property when we lived in Maryland.


This one was from our Maryland property too!  It’s rather large, and I think it’s beautiful.  The best part is that they remind me of where I’ve been.

The other best part is that they didn’t cost anything.  Okay, enough about the rocks!!! 

Would you be surprised if I told you that I like sticks too?  LOL


One afternoon, I was walking home from a friend’s house and noticed this fallen branch lying on the sidewalk.   I immediately knew what I wanted to do with it.  Since there were lots of houses around, and potential witnesses people peeking out their windows, and since I had a pretty good way still to walk and would look like an idiot dragging this tree branch home, I decided to leave it.  When my husband got home, I asked if he would help me get the branch.  We agreed to wait until dark so nobody would see us.  (hehehe, we were sneaky)


The branch had beautiful moss and bark that I didn’t want to cover up, but after painting the teal dresser seen here http://home-girl-decor.blogspot.com/2012/02/command-central.html, I really wanted to bring the same pop of color to the other side of the room.  So, I decided to color wash it.  I mixed a little bit of teal paint with water in a spray bottle and simply sprayed the branch several times. 


Color-washing allowed the beautiful texture of the bark to show through.


Screwing the branch to a block of wood helped it stand.  I call it my tree sculpture.  The color doesn't really show up in the photograph though.


For a little extra mood lighting, I added a couple of strands of tiny lights.  They almost look like little branches.  It’s really cozy at night.  I think it’s neat to lay on the sofa and look up!  Fiber optic lighting on this thing would be sooooo cool!


And this little jewel, a hummingbird nest, was sitting on our sidewalk one morning.  It must have blown out of a tree during the storm we had the night before.  I love my hummingbirds so this was a special treat for me to find.  It’s so tiny and cute!!!!  It got a new home in the tree sculpture.

The tree sculpture did lose a few branches when I squeezed it through the back door so I decided to bring a little more of the teal color to another high, bare spot on top of a shelf in this large family room/kitchen combo. 


I found the short wooden branch with holes, seen center here, while hiking a creek near our house with my family one winter day.  I thought it was beautiful but I have no idea what kind of tree or plant it came from.  Then, another day, I was at a thrift store and saw a bundle of three more of them for 99 cents!   SOLD!


I found those other interesting looking dried pods laying in my parent’s yard. 


So one day I threw it all together!  I think it makes a nice, natural, colorful, FREE arrangement.  Well, free except for the 99 cents.   Also, I found that antique USA pottery piece at an antique store for just a few dollars. 

I just get so excited about accents from nature and could go on and on.  But I’m almost done, I promise!!!


I wanted to also share the center piece of our kitchen table.  They are cypress stumps from Florida.  I bought them from a yard sale about a mile down the road one day and the older couple selling them told me that the husband waded into the water to cut the stumps that were sticking out.  They then boiled and shellacked them.  I LOVED them and was happy to give them the entire $1 to bring them home.  This photo only shows their beautiful shape, but the warm color of this wood is a perfect match to fireplace surround on the other side of the room.  There is another, better photo of them in the link to the teal dresser above.

My final “Accents From Nature” tip today is for your flowerpots.  You don’t always have to buy a plant to fill your planters.  For example, these three planters below were filled with beautiful wild violets. 


Unfortunately, I did not photograph them when they were blooming, but they were full of tiny, purple flowers.  They pop up in my lawn and garden and instead of killing them, I like to dig them up and save them.  They are hardy…..and FREE!! 


Also, they remind me of my maternal grandmother.  At her retirement home apartment, she didn’t have a lawn, but she did have a little flower bed outside her door that she filled with wild violets.  I told you, I’m a sentimental old gal. 


Nothing is more beautiful than nature!!!!  The next time you're out and about, look down!  Even if you're not a nature girl, you'd be surprised how special a piece of nature can look spray painted silver or gold, or whatever other color you might need to add to your space.

Nature ROCKS!  (Get it?)  hehe

Peace out........ from your Home Girl!    Thanks for stopping by!!!! Pin It

1 comment:

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