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!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

I Tied One On!

No, it's not what you're thinking!
I've been busy creating fabric garlands, and this is my very first creation!
I had so much fun making it from pretty pink striped seersucker, sweet pink and white gingham checked material, white eyelet, lace, and other fabric.  All of that tearing of the fabric to create the strips was really a great stress reliever! (tee hee!!)
I tied all of the strips onto a long length of waxed twine, and this is what I came up with...........
 It was such a fun project, and a nice departure from my usual painted and glittered creations!
 I added this gorgeous silk blossom just for fun!
 I think this garland would be adorable hung in a little girl's room or nursery.  Or used at a party, baby or bridal shower, hung from the dessert or gift table.  I've even seen the garlands used as backdrops for professional photos, which looks super sweet!  How about hanging it outdoors, tied between two trees, for a garden party?  How pretty would that be, with the fabric "streamers" and lace fluttering in the breeze?

I will be placing this in my Etsy shop tonight, if you want to take a peek!

 I'm also currently working on an all lace and ribbon garland, I'll be sure to share that with you when I finish!
Have a great day!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

A Visit to Mackinac Island, Michigan

Hi everyone, hope you are having a great week!
Care to travel with me "Somewhere in Time?"
 Last Saturday, hubby and I, along with my nephew and his wife, flew to Mackinac Island, Michigan.  It is one of our very favorite places in our state, and something we Michiganders are very proud of!
Before I share my pics of the island, I'll show you some photos I snapped along the way.
(warning, lots of photos here!  So grab your cup of coffee, hot cocoa, Diet Coke, or other beverage of choice, and come along for the ride!)
 It was a perfect day for flying, nice and sunny, and the flight was smooth as silk!
The colors were just gorgeous.  Fall is one of my favorite times to fly!
 Colors around mid state were at their peak, and just stunning!

 So pretty!
 It's fun flying above the clouds!
 I love this pic that I snapped off the wing tip!
 Here we are, almost there.  The island lies in the "Straits of Mackinac", the point at which Lake Huron and Lake Michigan meet.
 If you look closely, you can see the Mackinac Bridge in the distance.
(click any photo to zoom in)
 Getting closer.............
 Downtown, and the Grand Hotel.
Just look at that amazing blue water!

 One of my very favorite parts about the island is that no cars are allowed!
So that means you walk, ride a bike, or get around via horse and carriage.
One of the islands claims to fame is that it was the setting for the Christopher Reeve/Jane Seymour movie
"Somewhere in Time".
It truly does feel as if you are stepping back in time! 
 We couldn't get over how beautiful the fall colors were!
 Approaching the runway.
But wait, it appears that the runway ends right in the water!
No worries!  It is an optical illusion!
 Here's another nice shot I took of the bridge before coming in for a landing.
 And here is our ride!
That is my and my handsome pilot hubby:)
 The island has some gorgeous homes and mansions. This is one of my favorites.  Love the porch and pretty blooms!

 I think this house, below is my favorite (if I had to pick just one!).
Look closely and you will notice the ceiling of the front porch is painted sky blue, with hand painted clouds!
I can so see myself there enjoying my morning coffee, or sipping a glass of wine and enjoying the sunset!
 Reminders of a gentler era.................
 The Grand Hotel.  Hubby and I have been lucky enough to spend the night there on previous trips.  Built in the late 1800's, it is truly amazing!
 It boasts the "World's Longest Porch", at 600', I believe.
 We were amazed at all of the flowers still blooming in mid October.
 Like this gorgeous dahlia!
 Pretty stone church.
Many couples get married on the island.
We rented bikes and road around the island.  It was great exercise, but boy was it cold!
The wind coming off the lake is more than a bit chilly!
 A view of the fort. which was originally built by the British in 1814.
Here is a view of downtown.  The island is known for their many fudge shops (yum!). 
We took a horse "taxi" back to the airport that night, first dropping passengers off at 
The Grand.  It looked to elegant lit up at night.
 Sunset over the bridge made for the perfect ending of a great day!
Thanks so much for joining me on my little tour!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Petite Pumpkin Vignette

Hi everyone!
I don't do much in the way of fall decorating, but I did add a few autumnal touches here and there.
A sweet friend who knows how much I love Becky from Timewashed's pumpkins, gifted me with this adorable creation of hers!
Isn't it just adorable?  Of course I love all things French, so this little cutie is totally moi!
Becky's attention to detail is just amazing, isn't it?  Not only is the Parisian peat pot tres chic, but the pumpkin that she created is adorable!  From the glittery bling she added to the stem, to the velvet leaf to the "automne" tag, I just love it!

  So in keeping with the French theme, I placed it in front of my decoupaged Frenchy wooden platters that I created a few years back.  You've probably seen my little Eiffel Tower beneath the glass cloche before.  Perched on a vintage silver pedestal, it's one of my very favorite things!
 I also added the petite decoupaged basket that I made earlier this year
(from a mushroom carton!).  You can read about that here.
 I tucked inside a pair of pumpkins that I decoupaged with vintage dictionary pages 
(can you guess that I love to decoupage?).

 So there you have it!  My version of "automne"!
 Have a tres bon week!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Want to Visit a Castle in the Clouds?

It's a cold and windy day here at the chateau, the perfect kind of day to cozy up inside and work on some projects!
On our trip out east, we spent a little time in beautiful New Hampshire, and visited an amazing mansion referred to as the "Castle in the Clouds".
(The first two photos you see here are from their website, all of the rest are mine, except where I have noted.)
"Lucknow Estate" was built in 1914, by Thomas Plant.
Perched high on a mountain with panoramic views, it truly does feel like a castle!
 At 10,000 square feet, the mansion was built in the Arts and Crafts style, using field stone which was found on the property. 
 Doesn't it look like something right out of a fairy tale?
One of the things I really liked about visiting the castle was that it was a self guided tour, and they allowed you to take photos inside.  A trolley takes you up to the estate, where you are first given a bit of history of the home and Thomas Plant.
 Mr. Plant was born of poor French Canadian immigrants, and he only had an 8th grade education.  Despite that, he made his fortune in shoe manufacturing, quickly becoming a young millionaire.
He then married Olive, and the two never had children.

 The day that hubby and I visited the castle was perfect.  Sunny but cool.
I just loved the attention to detail, from all of the stonework to the adorable dormer windows (below), that make me think of quaint old homes in Europe.
The views were amazing!
 From the back of the mansion, you could see for miles!
The grounds also host many weddings.  Can you imagine what a perfect fairy tale setting it would make?
As a matter of fact, on our trolley going up to the estate was a young engaged couple that are getting married there next year.
Below is a neat pergola heading out to the back yard.

 Imagine trying to cook on this puppy?  
At one point, they had around 30 servants (for just the two of them!).
 The master bath was one of my favorite rooms in the house!  Built at a time when no one had electricity or plumbing, the castle had it all!
 I snapped this gorgeous view thru the bathroom window.  Love!
 And just check out this shower!!!
 In many of the windows thru out the home were these pretty painted glass pieces.  I thought at first they were stained glass, but they actually are painted.
 Another thing I really loved about our tour was the neat little vignettes that were set up thru out the mansion.

 I was drooling over all of the gorgeous vintage gowns!
 As I'm sure was the custom of the day, Thomas had his own bedroom, and Olive had her own.  He wanted his to face the sunrise, she wanted to be able to view the sunset from her room!
This is her room, below.
 And her pretty sitting area.  I can picture myself taking my coffee here each morning:)
 At the top of the second floor hallway is a huge skylight by Tiffany.
Also is a large portrait of Mr. Plant. 
Ok, now we are back on the first floor!  
I had a hard time taking photos there, as the rooms were on the dark side, and there was alot of glare coming from the windows.
 In keeping with the Arts and Crafts style, there was alot of woodwork and attention to detail.
 A funny part of the mansion was this "secret room", that Thomas had designed just for himself!
Push a panel, and viola!  A private space that only he could retreat to.
Sadly, due to bad investments, the Plants lost all of their fortune, and the estate ended up going into foreclosure.  It was sold several times over the years, once to a very wealthy man from Boston, who bought it as a surprise anniversary gift for his socialite wife.  She took one step inside the mansion, and decided that she hated it!  And refused to have anything to do with it!  Can you imagine?
Thankfully, it eventually was purchased by a preservation society, and opened to the public for touring.
The society has done an amazing job restoring the mansion to its former glory.

If you ever are near Moultonborough, NH, I would highly recommend you visit the estate!
Oh, I almost forgot to mention that they have converted the carriage house and stables into a great restaurant.  Hubby and I had lunch there, and it was delish!  Our table was right inside one of the former horse stalls:)
Thanks for joining me on my little tour!  Have a great weekend!