I’m very happy share my ideas and tips for bringing the wild inside with The WON. Nature offers so much beauty, and can be so inspiring — why not bring it home with us?
I just returned from a fly-fishing adventure in New Mexico, so what better way to launch my debut column at The WON than with some tips on how to bring the angling lifestyle inside?
I collect new and old sporting memorabilia. Some of my treasures include inherited fishing creels that add just the right touch of nostalgia and interest. They come in many varieties and have many uses:
Here is a vintage iron English creel or bait bucket used as a planter, with a collection of antique ice fishing decoys swimming about.
Here are 2 classic creels: my grandfather’s split willow creel on the bottom and a potbellied tin creel above. Both are decked out for Christmas with combinations of fresh and fabric greens, berries and tartan ribbon.
Consider the vignette
Little groupings, or vignettes, of fishing-related items can be grouped in a corner, on a bookshelf or table. I always prefer to have “like” items in odd numbers, and I include items in the vignette that vary in height.
Here are 3 old British Starback reels of different sizes, paired with an old wooden fish decoy.
These related items are all different, but they complement each other. The wooden disk is a hand-painted Salmon fly called “Kate” ($95). This classic British fly is one of the few originated by a woman in the mid 1800s, and still widely used today!
During the holiday season, flip the lid of the creel and add bright red Poinsettias, a small vintage net tucked inside with a pinecone or two.
Pillows with sporting motifs will also bring a little of the wild inside. Here are a few of my favorite handmade pillows accented with painted lambskin inserts ($165 to $210). I like the soft, iridescent and irregular texture of the lambskin that, in many ways, resembles a trout.
Front and back porch decorations
It’s almost inside, after all.
I use this creel on the back porch. It’s lovely with just a few fresh flowers right through the hole in the top. It could also be terrific hanging on an inside or outside door!
Protect your creel and tabletop when using fresh greens and flowers by placing a vase or plastic container inside to keep foliage moist and prevent leakage.
I wanted this summertime creel to have the feeling of just coming off of a lush stream, so I used different ferns from a hobby store (using the weekly coupons) and found an empty turtle shell, a turkey feather and branches with lichen on them for the look.
I collect these things from my journeys in the wild and use and re-use them in many vignettes and arrangements. I had some wide burlap ribbon and decided to paint a black stripe to compliment the turtle shell, turkey feather and my front door.
Press blue painters tape down each side of the ribbon, and then paint in with black acrylic paint. Put a little piece of felt or tape on the back of the creel to keep from scratching the door’s surface when the door opens and closes. Then, hang your creel from ribbon that is attached on the top edge of the door with thumbtacks — it makes for an easy, neat presentation that saves your door from nail holes.
Think how nice this will look in the fall by replacing the summer flowers with fall colored leaves, berries, a pine cone and a couple of pheasant feathers. Or, you can bring it back inside and use it for an indoor decoration!
Now, after all this angling advice, you deserve a glass of sweet tea on the veranda!
Visit Heritage Game Mounts to see more angling lifestyle-decorating ideas.
This retro WON was first published on Aug. 7, 2014.