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accent pillow case baby burlap housewares history as evidence, inspiration and guide (ww II) geometric cushion covers

Charles McFarlane, a Junior at the Rudolf Steiner school, is an avid scholar of 20th Century American social and military history. He recently sent us images he’;s collected from his research that he thought would resonate with ‘;the improvised life’;. In an email he wrote:

“;Necessity is often the mother of invention. This is no more apparent than in the situation of war. War is often said to be 90% boredom and 10% sheer terror. During the long stretches of boredom soldiers have often tried to improve their situationsaccent pillow case baby burlap housewares, to make their lives more bearable.

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…;In my study of historical photographs I am constantly on the look out for the odd and strange things in history that make you think “;what was that person’;s train of thought?”; I think you can see that in the photos I sent you.”;

Charles’; practice of imagining a person’;s train of thought when they’;re improvising is a great way to open your brain to possibilities, to mentally practice improvising. We are inspired by his images:

…;a makeshift radio transmission station

…;a guitar made from a wooden box…;

…;pin-up girl wallpaper…;

…;makeshift shelter…;(we are struck by the many improvised “;homes”;, including the one made out of a barrel, at top)

…;the simplest of beds


Charles, who partakes in rigorously researched World War II reenactments, wrote this article about ways to duplicate foods soldiers would have scrounged at the time.

Charles’; source was an extensive collection of Life Magazine images available through Google.

Thanks a million Charles!

Warm spring breezes always lure me outside to enjoy a bit of nature and sunshine. One of my favorite outdoor spots is my front porch and I recently decided to transform it into a festive-yet-cozy dining area for two.?I fell in love with colorful Raya lanterns and they became my inspiration for the entire table setting.??Hubby and I suspended them from the porch ceiling, letting them hang low so we could easily see and enjoy them. The rich jewel tones captured my heart and I knew they’d be perfect for the porch.?Each lantern has an LED flameless tealight candle inside, to add a cozy glow as the sun sets.

Checkout my new ottoman…it’s big, graphic, and only cost about $50!

The counter is in. It is my dream come true…a wall to wall workspace!