Welcome to my blog!

Thanks so much for stopping by! I believe that everyone can have a beautiful home without spending a fortune! One of my favorite things to do is find creative ways to re-purpose things I already have on hand, or have picked up at yard sales and thrift stores. Join me as I share with you some of my favorite ideas for crafting and decorating, as well as travel adventures, and fun things that I pick up on my treasure hunts! Much of my work is influenced by my love all things French, nature, and of course shabby chic! I have gotten so many creative ideas from you very talented bloggers out there, and I hope that I can be an inspiration to you as well!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

French Stenciled Crate

Bonjour Mes Amis!
Hope you all had a great weekend.
It's been so nice getting back to work creating in my craft room, after such a crazy summer. Boy, did I ever miss it!
So today I thought I'd share with you one of my latest creations, that I made for my Etsy shop.
You know how I love all things French. And aqua is one of my favorite colors.
Well, combine the two, along with some stenciling, and what do you get?
 Viola!  A fun and Frenchy aqua crate!
To the front I hand stenciled one of my favorite designs.
"L'Auberge" means inn or lodge.
 I added the number 4 to each side, representing the street address.

I used my favorite shade of aqua chalk paint by DecoArt.
So cheerful, I think!

 My grandma's antique treadle sewing machine made for the perfect backdrop for my photo shoot!
Thanks so much for stopping by!
Have a great week!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Turning a Small Wood Crate into a Cute Petite Serving Tray

Hi everyone!
Today I wanted to share with you one of my latest creations, a project that I completed for DecoArt.
As a designer for DecoArt, they submitted a challenge for those of us who wanted to participate.
The challenge was a "mystery box". Everyone would receive the same exact supplies,
but it was totally up to us to decide what to do with them!  It was a "mystery", as we had no idea just what they would be sending us!
Of course I find it hard to turn down DecoArt projects;
(disclosure:  I do receive compensation and products for participating.  The opinions I share are totally my own.)
The opportunity to create and do what I love is just too irresistible!
But, I was afraid that maybe I had bitten off more than I could chew, with our upcoming move.  Well, the project ended up turning into a blessing in disguise, what with our moving fiasco.
Not only did it help take my mind off from things, but I had fun in the process!
I will show you a peek of the finished piece, then share with you what items I had to work with!
I guess you could say my theme was
cute, cottagey and colorful!
 Ok, so here is what was in the mystery box............
 This small shadow box like wooden crate, and the acrylic paint that you see below, as well as decoupage medium.
It was totally up to us what to create, we were given free reign, we just had to use all of the supplies in the box.  Now those are the kinds of projects that I love!
We could use additional items or supplies.
 When I am waiting for inspiration to strike,what works for me is to just look at an item or supplies for a little while, and usually an idea will come.  The first thought was a cute little serving tray!
I just love trays, and have created many over the years, so I could hardly wait to begin.
So, off to the craft store I went, and came home with this pretty pair of iron drawer pulls, some small wooden dowel finial covers (that would become "feet" for the tray), pretty scrapbooking paper......
 and piece of clear glass, which I had cut at my local lumber yard.
 I really wanted to keep the handles their original color of aqua (love aqua!!), but decided to paint them black and distress to show a bit of the aqua below.
I then painted the cute little feet this bright and cheery green.
 I was more than happy to see they included this beautiful shade of aquamarine in the box,so I painted the underside and outside of the box in that.
 Since the pink paint in the mystery box was much brighter of a look than I was going for, I mixed it with the white paint, til I achieved this pretty light pink.

 Then after a bit of distressing around the edges, I began the fun part: decoupaging!
 I found the neatest scrapbooking paper that looks like a distressed barnwood with gorgeous roses, in pinks and aquas.  Perfect!
I cut the strips just a bit narrower than each slat, to fit the inside bottom, and around the outer sides as well.

 I loved mixing the patterns for a coordinating but not "matchy-matchy" look!
 Then I glued the cute little feet to the bottom at each corner.
 I placed the glass inside, added the handles (handy hubby drilled the holes for me), and, viola!!
 A cute, cottagey colorful petite serving tray!
 I think the tray also would be cute in a bathroom to attractively store pretty bottles of lotion, shower gel, etc.
 Or it could be used on a dresser in a bedroom to corral jewelry, photos, and display mementos.
I hope my tray project has helped you to see outside of the mystery box!
Thanks so much for your visit, have a great week!


Monday, August 10, 2015

When All Else Fails, Just Add Glitter!

Hi everyone,
I hope you all are having a great summer.  I sure didn't intend to take such a long break. But I am sure you can relate when I say that sometimes life gets in the way of blogging!
When I last wrote, I shared how we had found a home in North Carolina, and we had sold our home here in Michigan.
Well, life sure has a way of throwing us curve balls sometimes.
Less than 4 hours before we were to close on our home here, our realtor called and said that our buyers were backing out!
What the heck???
I thought for sure that this must be his idea of crazy realtor humor, 'til he informed me that he was totally serious.
Unreal!  We had been under contract with these people for 2 1/2 months, and they backed out at the very last minute?
To say that we were shocked was putting it mildly.
I honestly don't understand how anyone could do this to others!!
I was a strange combination of relieved, but yet disappointed at the same time.
We had been packing.  The movers were all set to come.
We were going to be moving into the new home 10 days later.
We had sold a ton of our stuff.
So now, we are back to square one, with our house back on the market, and not sure of what the future holds.
Boy, I sure am more than ready to get off from this roller coaster ride of the last 4 plus months!!!
So, I took a much needed break from all of the stress and broke out the glitter!
It seems like forever since I've been able to take the time to play with some of my favorite materials such as cute graphics, glitter glue, and crinkly seam binding.
 I had so much fun creating these tags.  I found all of the images on Pinterest.  Aren't these little birdies just the sweetest?
I thought the ones below were pretty neat too with their French accent.  Of course I just had to add tiny rhinestones to their crowns for some added bling!
 I always like to tuck a little surprise in with my Etsy orders, which is what I'll be doing with many of these tags here.
Some of them I mounted on extra heavy chipboard.
Others were just mounted on a backing of scrapbook paper.
 I used my favorite glitter glues for some sparkly fun.
I was feeling better already!
 Boy, buying and selling a home sure isn't nearly as easy (or fun!) as they make it look on HGTV!  Let me tell you, it is not for the faint of heart!
So, while not knowing what the future holds is driving me beyond crazy, I will just have to remember my old saying..............
"Glitter makes everything better!"
In the mean time, I look forward to getting all caught up with you.  I have SO missed you all!
Have a great week:)

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Moving On

Hi everyone,
I sure have missed everyone in blogland, and hope you haven't thought that I've fallen off the face of the earth.
Thought I would do a quick update to say that hubby and I finally found a new home down in beautiful western North Carolina.
We will be moving to a cute town that is very dog friendly, and has lots of neat shops and sidewalk cafes.
(Our cocker spaniel Katie has already made lots of friends while we were down house hunting last week!)
source

Since I am not one to gloss over anything, or candy coat the truth, I will say that this move is a hard one.  It is not something that I welcomed or wanted.  Leaving a home that I love, and my big craft room, and the gardens that I have tended here the last 15 years is going to be difficult. Even harder is leaving family and friends, especially my 88 year old mom. But, we will be just a little over 600 miles away from Michigan, so I know that there will be visits back and forth.
For me change is hard.  I am not talking small changes like a new hairstyle or paint color on the walls.  I mean big life changes.
But, I do look forward to getting settled into our new place, decorating it just the way I want, and sharing it all with you!
I've missed you all!
One really great thing about our new home is that the former owner had a wonderful, light filled artist studio at the back of the house, overlooking the yard and woods.  So that will be my creative space!  It seems that God had this place in mind just for us, as He knew just how important creating is to me, and how I already am missing my craft room here.
So for now we are very busy packing and getting ready for our move.
Tomorrow we are closing on our home here in Michigan, something that I am dreading and have such an oh so heavy heart.
Then 10 days later we are on the road to North Carolina.
So please visit again, once we are settled, as I am looking forward to sharing our new place with you.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

It's a Dog's Life!

Hi All, Katie the Cocker Spaniel here.
My mom said she's been neglectful of her blog as of late.
(what is a blog?  is that something I can eat?????)
She has been more than a little stressed with trying to sell our house and trying to find a new place for us all to live,
and said that her blog has sadly fallen by the wayside.
So I thought I'd pop in as her special guest blogger to say
"Woof"!
And to show you what my idea of the perfect day looks like................

Stretched out in my wicker chaise lounge in the sunroom.........................
(ooops, does this pose make my belly look fat???)

 Seriously, I think it's true when they say the camera adds 10 pounds!!!
 Now if only my mom could take a cue from me, and just chill out for awhile, we'd be all set!
 Oh, I forgot to add that a perfect day also includes lots of tummy rubs:)!
Hopefully my mom will be back soon, talking about her usual favorite stuff like glitter, paint, and thrift shopping......................
Woof, y'all!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

More Adventures in Paris

Bonjour Mes Amis!
I apologize for being missing in action for the past two weeks!  I promised you that I'd share more photos of our trip in May to Paris, and I've not forgotten!  Of course, life gets in the way, we've been going crazy with selling our house, trying to figure out details like where we will live, etc, etc.  Let me tell you, it is not fun, and I've been more than a little stressed, to say the least!  But, I will save all of that for another time.  For now, let's just talk about the fun stuff, Paris!
Of course it's not a proper trip to Paris without a visit to the Eiffel Tower!
It was a glorious warm and sunny day the day we were there.
On our last trip to Paris, we climbed to the top. But this time, we decided it was much easier to enjoy the view down at ground level!

 Notice that large round ball suspended from the center? We couldn't figure out what that was til we got closer.  I swore that it looked like a giant tennis ball, and I was right!
I didn't get a shot of it, but in one of the park areas at the base of the tower, a tennis match was being broadcast on a large screen, and several hundred people were watching from the lawn.
 Oh, you can get a glimpse of the screen to the right of hubby! (above)
 And a shot I snapped while standing underneath the tower!
 Just look at all those roses!  They weren't fragrant, but they were oh so pretty!
Next lets visit another favorite of ours, Luxembourg Gardens.  The gardens are a short walk from our hotel, and a very popular spot, especially on the weekend.  It was Sunday when we visited, and the park was full of sun bathers, runners, picnickers, and people just relaxing and having fun people watching.
 First off, the park is huge (over 56 acres) and very impressive!  
The amazing building you see here was built in 1612, and was the palace of Marie de Medici, widow of King Henry IV.
Now days it's owned by the French Senate.
Gorgeous urns, statues and flowers are everywhere.
 I love the tranquility of this shaded pool and fountain.

 The large pond, below is always full of toy remote control sail boats, that young children race.

 I was loving all of the pink foxglove, behind me.
Thanks for joining me on my little tour!
Hope you have a great week!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

A Visit to Versailles

Bonjour Mes Amis,
How is your week going so far?
Today I wanted to share with you our trip to Versailles.  Hard to believe we were there a week ago today!
This was our third trip there, and let me tell you, the place is amazing!
Versailles is just a short 30 minute train ride from Paris, making it super easy to reach.
If you ever have the opportunity to visit, go!
But be prepared for lines, very long, long lines!

 We thought we were being oh so smart and bought our tickets on line.  We figured that would cut our wait time to get in.  Well, weren't we in for a surprise when we got there and found this?  Yikes!  Yes, that is the line for people who already have their tickets!
We later heard that Tuesday is not the day to go!  It wasn't nearly that busy on our previous visits.  If we hadn't already paid for our tickets, we seriously would have hopped right back on the train for Paris!
 Thank goodness it wasn't raining or anything, as we stood outside waiting to enter for nearly 2 hours!
 And once inside, it was elbow to elbow.  Geez, you would think a place this huge couldn't possibly become crowded, but it does!
Can you believe that it's more than 721,000 square feet, and 700 rooms???
 I snapped so many pics, I'll let the photos do most of the talking.


 To say the palace is sumptuous is putting it mildly.  No surface was left bare and unadorned.  The ceilings were amazing!
Below is the chapel.



 It was so crowded that I had a hard time getting some good shots.
Below is a painting of the young Louis XVI.
Just look at that amazing wallpaper, which actually is fabric!
of t

 I was drooling over the chandeliers!
 One of the most fabulous rooms in the palace is the Hall of Mirrors.
Note the crowds?

 How would you like to clean all of those chandeliers??
 At the time it was built, most people didn't even own a mirror. They were a rare luxury item.
So to have a huge room lined with floor to ceiling mirrors was unheard of.

 Imagine waking up in this bed, below.

 Marie Antoinette's bedroom, below.
Did you know that the queen had to give birth in front of the public?
Yes, that's right!  As was the custom of French royalty back in the day, public births were a way to prove the new baby was actually of royal blood.  Can you imagine????
 Below is the Hall of Battles.  Huge paintings depicting French wars lined the enormous room.
   
A goofy picture of me, below.
 The grounds were equally amazing, and provided a welcome relief from the crowds inside!
Lots of fountains.




 The Orangerie, below, was one of my favorite gardens.
Amazing topiaries, huge potted lemon and orange trees, and perfectly groomed grass.
 I can only imagine the work involved maintaining it all!

 Thanks for joining me on my little tour.  Hope you aren't getting tired of my trip pics, I have more to share in future posts!
Au revior!