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!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Sweet Memories

It's been a busy week here at the chateau.  A week of sorting and purging, cleaning and house showings. We listed our home for sale just over a week ago, and already have had quite a few showings.
It's been a challenging time for me, full of all sorts of emotions and stresses.
The good news is that I've had alot of luck selling quite a few items on Craig's List.
I could hardly believe we even managed to sell hubby's ice fishing shanty 
(that he's not used in the 15 years that I've known him!) this morning.  I didn't think anyone would be interested in it this time of year!!
I also decided that my three remaining favorite dolls from when I was a little girl needed to find new homes.  Unfortunately, I never had little girls of my own, like I always dreamed of.
Well actually I decided to keep the first that I'm about to show you, I just couldn't bare the thought of parting with her!  The other two will go to my sweet little great nieces, who I know will love them as much as I did.
So, I gave them all baths and shampoos today, and even used conditioner on their hair!
Then of course I had to wash and iron their little outfits.
Meet Kissie.
Just look at this sweet face!
I can't remember if I received her for Christmas or my birthday, but I think I was about 5 years old when my parents gave her to me.
Did any of you have one just like her?
Poor thing, it looks like I gave her a bang trim at one point!
I really love her adorable face, and she still wears her original outfit that she came in.


 During our little photo shoot, Katie was quite inquisitive!!
 I wish that I'd gotten a close up of her dress.  It has the cutest navy blue rick rac, and nautical anchor and boat wheel trim.
 Squeeze her arms together, and she actually puckers up her lips and makes a kissing sound!
Even after all these years:)
So for now I will keep and enjoy her, before I give her to one of my little nieces to love.
 But I know they will love Mia and Velvet.  
I was a girly girl by all means, and spent many many hours playing with my dolls.
The youngest in our family (there was a large age difference between me and my other siblings), I spent most of my time playing alone.  My dolls were my friends!
 Velvet, the blonde, was my very favorite.  The purple dress (made of velvet!!) is original.
One year for Christmas, my mom surprised me with a big box full of outfits that she made for Mia and Velvet.  I don't know how she managed to keep it a secret. She sewed her heart out while I was at school.
I remember that the clothes were one of my very favorite gifts ever!
And she made the oh so mod lavender and white polyester outfit, above.
Ever the resourceful one, my mom never threw anything out!  She saved every little bit of fabric, lace, and more, from clothes she sewed for us, and fashioned the scraps into doll clothes.
She made flannel pjs, party dresses, and even faux fur coats for the dolls!
 These two girls have a little secret!  Push in their "belly buttons", and their hair gets longer!
 Want a shorter do?  Just turn the knob on their backs for a brand new look!
 It was fun to have these sweet memories today.  It was a much needed break from the selling/moving stress!
Hope you have a good weekend!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Spring Green

Has spring sprung in your neck of the woods?
It's been slow to arrive here in the Midwest. Thankfully the grass is slowly starting to green up, and my daffodils are sending up their shoots.  I can hardly wait to pick a big bouquet of them!
When I think of spring, I think green!
Several years ago, I went thru a green stage, where I painted nearly everything in sight light green!
It is still one of my favorite colors, though now you will find me turning to cream, white, and all shades of blue when it comes to painting.
So the other day when I was about to makeover one of my thrifting finds, I was getting a bit bored with the same ol' same ol'  I am sure you know the feeling!
You know how I love finding trays to transform. So last week when I found a folding wooden bed tray, I knew right away that I could turn it from drab to fab!
Of course I forgot to take a before shot, but it was just ho hum boring white and oak toned wood.
I pulled out a bunch of different chalky finish paints from DecoArt, and began mixing til I came up with a pretty light green, that has just a tinge of blue.
 I love how the tray has legs that fold out, perfect for breakfast in bed!
(wouldn't that be a treat?!)
I did a bit of dry brushing, then a hint of distressing to give what I like to call "that aged over time look".
 I then grabbed one of my favorite French patisserie stencils, also by DecoArt, and added the design to the top of the tray in a creamy color.
 I really love all of the swirls and fleurishes in this design!
 I've added it, as well as this neat vintage wooden tool box to my Etsy shop.  I fell in love with the tool box as soon as I saw it!  Believe it or not, I resisted the urge to paint this puppy, as I just loved the original light green paint she's wearing.  I just gave it a really good scrubbing.
 While I would dearly love to keep her, I have to try and downsize, as we have our house back on the market now.
 It's a very stressful time for me, something that I definitely do not find fun!
 For me change does not come easy.
And of course fear of the unknown is getting the best of me.
So I will play with my paints, and glitter (my stress release!), between trying to sort and purge.  
Thanks so much for stopping by, hope you have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Vintage Tea Cup Collection

Hi everyone, hope your week has been a good one so far.
It's been a long time since I've shared with you my vintage tea cup collection, so I'm sure that many of you haven't seen it before.
Since I've been having major blogger block for the past week (does that happen to you?)
I thought I'd share it again!
And, I've been busy working on spring cleaning projects around the house, and finally got around to the tea cups last week.  So now that everything is all sparkly, I can show you the collection!
It's been gloomy here for the past few days at the chateau, but I did manage to snap these pics this morning, just had to lighten them up a bit:)
Anyway, we have a large expanse of wall in our dining area, which really needs something that makes a statement.
Plus we need to have something to detract from that God awful ugly large a/c vent which you see above the tea cups!
 The tea cups actually belonged to hubby's mother.  He designed and built her the cabinet, backing it with a mirror to not only reflect the pretty tea cups, but reflect light as well.
When she passed away, he inherited the collection.
Hubby gave her many of the tea cups, which he picked up on various travels (this was before I came on the scene!).
Here is an overall view of our dining area.  It is one large room, which includes our living room.
I think the collection is perfect for the space.
Since there isn't a glass front to the cabinet, it is a real dust catcher.
Cleaning it means taking each and every cup and saucer down and washing and drying them by hand.
And dusting and polishing the cabinet and mirror backing, of course!
But, I think it's well worth the work!

 I like to place my very favorite tea cups on the lower shelves.  There are 36 in all. That is alot!
Here are a few that I especially love.
Isn't this one below pretty?  I love the pedestal that it sits on, and it just feels oh so French to me in design!
 Lily of the Valley is the flower of May, my birth month, so I especially love this beauty, below.
 I think this lusterware cup and saucer below is just lovely!  Isn't the cutwork on the saucer pretty?
 And since wild violets have always been my absolute favorite flower, this cup and saucer below is also one of my very favorites!
 I adore blue flowers, and think this forget me not cup and saucer is so sweet!

 I think hubby did a great job designing and building the cabinet all those years ago.
 Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Frame Love


One of my favorite things to hunt for when I'm out thrifting is pretty picture frames!
Don't you just love the thrill of the hunt?  You really never know what you will find.  Many times I leave empty handed, but sometimes I luck out and find some real beauties!
Well, they don't always start out so lovely.
Oh, no!
I don't have any before shots of the frames that I'm sharing with you here, but most were pretty ho-hum when I first spotted them!

 What is even more fun than searching high and low for the frames is painting them, and combing them into pretty sets for my Etsy shop.
This set here is my latest creation.  You will notice a theme here, I just love combing pink and creamy white!!
 Frames are one of my best sellers, and it's always so exciting when a buyer tells me they are using them for their babies nursery, or as part of their wedding.
Many of the frames that I find are vintage, like these.
I was super excited to find this gorgeous ornate pair, below.
They are vintage and made in Italy.
 They are simply shabbylicious!!

 Even hubby helps me hunt for frames.  He knows now just what to look for!
I almost always include pretty decorative paper or vintage sheet music to the insides of the frames, as I think it makes them even prettier for their photo shoots!

I love mixing my own paint colors, which is what I often do to create lovely shades of pink.

This set below I created awhile back.  I could hardly believe my luck to find a matching set of these vintage metal filigree frames!
 The floral details are amazing!
They were gaudy gold when I found them, and I think they are so much happier painted my signature creamy dreamy white!

 I just sold this last set.
So that means only one thing..........
I need to get out and look for more frames to paint!
Thanks for stopping by, hope you have a great day!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Stenciled Crates Project

Bonjour Mes Amis!
Hope you've been having a good week!
Today I wanted to share with you one of my latest projects, a pair of painted and stenciled wood crates, which I completed as a project for DecoArt.  I am on the DecoArt design team, so I was super excited to work on this!  The only requirement was that I paint something with their Chalky Finish paint, and use their stencils.  Other than that, it was free reign!
So, I ended up with a couple of wooden crates that I purchases from Home Depot.
Actually they don't carry them in their stores, you have to order them on line.  I really didn't know what to expect, as this was my first experience ordering anything from Home Depot.  I was very pleasantly surprised at not only how quickly they arrived, but the quality of the crates!  They are solid pine and very sturdy. For the price and quality, it wouldn't have paid for my handy hubby to build them!
And, they are made in the USA!
Anyway, back to the crates!
For the one below, I painted the entire piece with DecoArt's "vintage" chalky paint.  It is a really pretty light blue.  I distressed it a bit around the edges, then used their stencils to add a French accent!
I used "night sky" in their satin acrylic paint for the stenciling.

 I took the crates to our botanical gardens for a little photo shoot, and had so much fun among the blooms!
 Love this French themed stencil!
 I then added "No 4" to each end, using DecoArt's "Old World Numbers" stencil.
 For the second crate, I painted it in "Yesteryear" Chalky Finish paint, a soft light gray.
A bit of distressing around the edges, then the fun part of stenciling!
 I chose the "Brocade Motif" for this one, and used "Promise" Chalky Finish paint for the stencil.  It is a really soft pale pink, and such a pretty color along with the gray, I think.
I thought this cute little flower cart at the gardens made a fun backdrop!
 Here is a crate before I painted and stenciled it!
 What could be more French than the fleur de lis motif?  I thought that was very fitting to add to the ends of the crate.
 After the crates were painted and stenciled, I then covered them all with a coat of DecoArt's light satin varnish, for protection.
All in all, it was a super fun project!  I can hardly wait to get some more crates to work on!
I was compensated by DecoArt for this project, but the opinions are my own:)
I've added the crates to my Etsy shop, if you care to take a peek.
Have a great weekend, and thank you for stopping by!
Sharing with:
Inspire Me Monday
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia