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!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Destressing at the Garden Center

Bon jour Mes Amis!
Hubby and I just returned from a week of camping in our motor home in northern Michigan. We had such a great time, and Katie loved it too!  I neglected to take any photos, other than a visit we took to a beautiful garden center that's just a few miles from the campground we stayed at.  
Not only do they have some gorgeous plants and flowers in their huge green houses, but they have really neat gift shops, a cute little cafe, and lots of display gardens to enjoy and inspire.

 Isn't this angel serene looking among the blooms?
 I wish you could have seen the hydrangeas, they were stunning!  I am in love with these gorgeous blue ones!
 I thought this was the neatest table, in the patio outside of the cafe.
Notice the center?  They built a "trough" and planted it with herbs.  How fun!
Hubby and I split a really yummy sandwich for lunch on the patio.
What a great setting for the cafe.
 I was loving all of the water features.  I would love to have one of these fountains at home!  The sound of trickling water is so soothing, I think.
 This pine topiary was so neat, and must have been over 6 feet tall.
 Another water feature, below.
 Just look at this darling little garden fairy village!
 The stone like homes were made of concrete, and were just the cutest ever!
 Beautiful astilbe.
 It'snot showing up well in the photo, but below is a cute little bike planter.  I love the metal sunflower stake next to it!

 I was drooling over the cosmos, spider flowers, and purple salvia!
 Cheery sunflower.
 This cute little metal fence featured pretty hibiscus at the top.
 This clematis was even prettier in person than my photo could capture.
 How about this friendly looking squirrel planter?!
 I love lavender!
 Also on the property is this cute little blue guest cottage that you can rent out.
 In front was the biggest hosta plant I've ever seen!  It's much bigger than it looks here, it came nearly to my chest, and must have been almost 8 feel across!
 I loved this pretty statue, below.
 Notice the sign, hanging above moi?
It truly was a stress free environment!
And let me tell you, it was so needed!  With our house on the market for nearly 2 months, the stress of not knowing when, if or where we will be moving, along with other life challenges, really got the best of me, in all honesty.
It was just so good to veg out and decompress on our camping trip.
 Another pretty fountain.
 Pretty window boxes greeted you as you walked in the front door of the main greenhouse.  I love the vibrant colors of these pretty orange begonias.

 And I thought this window box was so cute with the gnomes!  Notice the gazing balls inside?
 Here is a view of the outside.  It's much larger than I could get in one shot!
Thanks for joining me on my little tour, hope you have a great weekend!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Painted and Embellished Mason Jars

I'm sure you've all seen the painted Mason jars, that have been all the rage for awhile.
While I'd painted a few sets in the past, I wanted to do something a bit different this time around.
Rather than go out and buy a bunch of crafting supplies, I am trying hard to use what I have on hand, and just so happen to have a cupboard full of canning jars!
 For this set, I painted the outside of both a quart size and two pint sized jars a pretty cream color, using my Deco Art chalky finish paint.  I bit of distressing reveals all of their great details, and gives them rustic appeal. I then added a couple of coats of clear matte sealer for durability.
 So I thought I'd put my own glittery spin on these jars, by adding some of my paper roses that I've created from vintage sheet music.  You can't really tell in the photos, but I've added clear coarse glitter to the roses, as well as tiny rhinestone centers for a bit of bling!!
If you've been visiting me for awhile, you know how much I love making these roses! While they are a bit labor intensive, they are so much fun to make.  All of that hand tearing and glittering is a real stress reliever, and cheaper than going to therapy!!
 I tied some of my crinkly cream seam binding around the tops of each jar, then hot glued the flowers on.
 I think these would be so lovely with bouquets of fresh flowers in.
They also would be magical with votive candles, or even flameless tea lights added!
I've added them to my Etsy shop, but I think I'll have to make myself some to keep:)
 Wishing you a great week. Now go out and find something to paint or glitter, ok?!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Happy Independence Day!

 Wishing you all a very Happy 4th!

We are so fortunate for so many things, including our freedom!
Have a fun and safe weekend!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

From "Udderly" Ugly to Fab and French!

You know how much I love to do what I refer to as "drab to fab" makeovers, right?
Well just check out my latest transformation, which I think qualifies for the drabbest, tackiest "before" ever!
Hello, the 1980's are calling, they want their "udderly" ugly tray back!!
This past week I came across this beauty in the thrift shop.  I was drawn to the neat shape, as well as the fact that it was solid wood and sturdy and substantial.
Of course I had to look beyond the cutsey country painting of the cow and  milk maid!
When I was standing in line to pay, the woman behind me said how cute it was.  
I'm sure she was secretly thinking 
"This poor woman needs help!"
I quickly told her that I was giving it a makeover, that I really didn't have awful taste!
I knew right away that I wanted to give the tray a French twist, so here is what I came up with..........
 Viola! Much better, don't you think??!
I began by sanding down all of the painted design.  I didn't want to take any chances that anything (udders included!) would show thru after I'd painted the piece!  Then I used some of my Deco Art chalky finish paint in a pretty cream color.  After multiple coats, the tray was feeling happier already!
 I then chose a French Patisserie stencil, also from Deco Art.

 I used acrylic paint in black for the stencil, and I'm so happy with how it turned out!
 I distressed it a bit here and there, then followed up with a clear sealer.
 I'll be putting this puppy in my Etsy shop.
So remember, if you come across anything on your treasure hunts that is beyond "udderly" awful, don't be too quick to pass it up! With a little imagination and tlc, you can take it from
drab to fab!!


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Exploring Italian Hill Towns

Buon Giorno!
Ok, today we are concluding our tour of Italy by visiting a few Italian hill towns in the Umbria region!
Hopefully you aren't sick of seeing my trip photos, I promise that this is the last post I'll do!
I was in love with all of the beautiful architecture, shutters, and flower boxes.  I could have spent forever just soaking up every last detail of these towns and villages!
I just loved this stone and brick archway, below!  It made me think of a secret window that opened onto the Italian countryside!


No, this is not an alleyway, above.  It is a street, a very narrow street!
And the large arched wooden door, below, is actually someone's garage door.  How cool is that?
Visiting the medieval villages feels as if you are truly stepping into the past! 

We had lunch at this pretty little restaurant, below.  It was way out in the middle of no where, and the views of the countryside were amazing!  I wish I'd thought to take photos of some of our meals.  Here we had the best home made pasta with pesto, it was delish!  How can food that is so simply prepared taste so incredible??!
Sorry for the poor photo quality below.  I snapped this as we were driving along in the countryside.  I just love the tall cypress trees, which are quintessential to the Italian countryside.
There was hardly a day that went by that we didn't visit an amazing church or two.
Here we are in the town of Spoleto, the most beautiful of the Umbrian hill towns.
Dating from the 12th century, the San Pietro church, below, was just gorgeous!


Words can't express just how beautiful it was inside. Notice the pretty mosaic floor?
There were several chapels inside, this one, below was my favorite.
More amazing painted and carved ceilings.
The colors were gorgeous!
A view of the town and surrounding hills.
Mysterious and romantic alleyways.
We stopped for lunch in the cutest little restaurant!  With the checkered tablecloths, hanging bunches of garlic, and old family photos, I felt as if we were eating in an Italian relatives house!
While it feels so good to be home, I really do miss Italy, and think of our trip each day!  We saw so many beautiful places, ate the best food, and met lots of warm and genuine people. 
As they say, we have memories to last a lifetime!

Ciao!