Thursday, 9 January 2014

decorating with nature's cast-offs !

On the 25th and 26th of last month (I hope you like my subtle reference) we walked my dog on a very wet and extremely windy beach.
I went with my ex and his daughter, but she turned back as soon as the rain started !

I love it, even in bad weather, but the rain did actually stop and the sun came out.

The storms have been very severe on the West and South coast of the UK, causing really bad flooding, fatally large waves and numerous power cuts.

On our stretch of the beach, the ferocious sea destroyed the lives of hundreds and hundreds of wee beasties.

When I saw the first two, I was thinking about running down to the now receding shoreline and trying to revive them , but then looking along the beach, we saw hundreds and hundreds.

I've never even seen one on the beach before, so it was all very unusual. It was even reported in the local newspaper.

I carefully collected three small ones in a doggy bag and took them home. I'm rather squeamish and they seemed so alive. So much so, that we put them in a bucket of salty water, just in case, but to no avail. The poor wee beasts had lost their fight with nature.
Now, they adorn my buffet, because nature is indeed beautiful.
The storms also left a lot of branches in my garden from my neighbours dead Robinia tree and I'd had them in the kitchen over the holiday season with decorations on.

On the shelf is a 'thing' I found on the road side, a metal plate from a small sign. It's not one of nature's castoffs, but nature has given it a wonderful patina.
This morning, on a different stretch of beach, I found this great lump of wood (well, two bits nailed together actually) and decided there needed to be a little change around.
  So my mini cloche got a new throne.

And another lump of driftwood got to be on show.
(I know there are crystals in the bird bath, that's another post for another day)

I left the reindeer, because reindeers are like puppies, they're not just for Christmas. And contrary to what it looks like in the photos, there's no danger of anyone poking their eye out as they walk through the door !


  1. So sad for the sea creatures, but they make for a nice natural tablescape! The storms sound devastating and I'm glad you weren't in the area that was the hardest hit. I think we're all ready for some warm sunny weather!

  2. So many things to comment on :
    . . . we see many starfish on the jetties when the tide is low, but I have never seen a starfish on the sand.
    . . . love the branches and wood pieces you found
    . . . I bought a little cloche yesterday and would love to have a little starfish to put inside it
    . . . love the cabinet holding all your finds - I am looking for something just like it for the living room

  3. Fiona, you are so resourceful and creative! What an interesting display; love all the muted colours of nature. Utilizing all these pretty wonders in your home, rejuvenating their spirit, in a sense, is wonderful to see. Thanks for sharing!


  4. You are the official queen of nature vignettes! Every time you do one, I'm inspired to go scrounging by the river. This time I think I'll put that off until the temp. gets about -40.

  5. I was reading about the huge waves, that is just crazy! The article I read didn't mention the starfish, that is so sad to never see any then to find so many washed ashore. But Fiona to the rescue of at least a few of them that will live on at her place.

  6. Looks fabulous. What a scene that must have been Fiona! Those images are stunning of the beach and then of course you have transformed them into beautiful vignettes in your home. I love it.

  7. I'm in love with your decor on top of your buffet (which I already loved before). I went on the beach after the storms and found lots of shells, but no starfish. I don't want to buy starfish that have been killed for decoration purposes, but I would have loved to find one that died naturally! And go for you for giving the deer a home even after the holidays!

  8. You just can't beat gifts from nature. Looks like you gave them a good "second life". I also think you just wanted to show me that awesome deer again to make me jealous! LOL!

  9. your storms must have been brutal. your buffet vignette looks great dressed with the bitty starfish, shells, and driftwood. and i would leave the deer out all year, too:) enjoy the rest of your weekend, fiona!

  10. Well you know I love a good discard from nature! Your home makes me want to come visit. I would just wander around and look at stuff. For hours. And say "oh I love this" "oh you're so blessed to live on the coast".... Sorry to hear about the destruction from the flooding though.

  11. I'm sorry for all the destruction in your area.
    how fun to live close to the water. I am constantly amazed at how pretty everything from the sea looks in homes.
    I live on the Plains of West Texas, with no water around for miles and miles....going to a beach is such a treat for us. I've found Sand Dollars but never Star fish.
    Your buffet looks amazing and I would leave that deer out all yr long, too. :)
    I am linking up to follow you....come by to see me when you have time. :)

  12. OK, following you thru bloglovin and Google Friends connect. :)

  13. I love the look of your new display. Using items from nature always makes a lovely display.

  14. Aw poor wee beasties, how sad - but also awesome that you collected a few to display. Fiona your display is just amazing - I love all your special finds. We're moving to the beach next month and even though we're pretty close now, I cant wait to be able to walk down every day and look for treasures. xxx

  15. I feel so sad for those little beasties but I do like your finds and how you displayed them. I love that metal plate (great find) and also the small branch of leaves tied to the frame. Very cool idea!


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