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, November 8, 2011

A Drab to Fab Makeover With a French Accent!

Bon Jour Mon Amis!
Today I thought I'd share with you one of my latest creations with a French Accent!
I began with a large wooden plaque that I discovered at a thrift shop.  The plaque has seen better days, and I'll show you that in a second.  But first, I wanted to show you the "after", below!

Ok, this is what it used to look like!  Yikes!  I thought for sure that the woman checking me out at the thrift shop would surely think that I had the most horrid tastes!  But no, she actually loved this plaque!  She kept raving about how beautiful it was, and I didn't have the heart to tell her that the violin print was going to be quickly going buh-bye!!
It took alot more elbow grease to remove this baby than I imagined it would!  Lots of sanding and hard work later, I finally succeeded and began with a blank slate!  After painting the plaque a creamy color, then distressing it and putting applying an antiquing glaze on, she was feeling better already!

I actually wasn't sure when I purchased the plaque what I would do with it, but I knew that it was calling out for a French makeover!  I ended up using one of my very favorite French images from the Graphics Fairy.  I had it enlarged, then applied it with Mod Podge.  I love the scalloped edge of the plaque, and I think it's a nice compliment to the Graphic.

Ok, here is where I have a bit of a confession!  Initially, I planned on doing the Mod Podge image transfer technique to the plaque, rather than decoupaging the image on.  If you are not familiar with that process, basically you print out a mirror image of your graphic (printed in reverse), apply Mod Podge to the image side of the paper, then place the image side down on your surface, smoothing out any wrinkles or bubbles as you go.  Let it dry overnight, then remove the paper portion buy moistening the paper and rubbing it off with your fingers.  In a perfect world (haha!), the paper will come off, magically leaving just the image on your surface.
 Well, as we all know, life isn't always perfect!  I should back up a bit and say that I first spent a ton of time trying to print out the image into several different sections, as my plaque is over 19" across. I had to print it out in 4 different pages, then get everything to perfectly align.  Not to mention the fact that I always forget how to print a mirror image!  Anyway, let's just say that the process was not a success, more of a disaster actually!  Too much of the image kept coming off rather than transferring to the plaque, and I was not a happy camper, to say the least!

So, I then spent several hours just trying to remove the remainder of the paper, and the image that did manage to transfer.  I then made the executive decision to decoupage an enlarged copy of the graphic on instead!  Oh, so much easier!
So, while this project ended up taking much longer than I had planned, at least I learned a thing or two along the way!  And I must say that I am very pleased with the way it finally turned out!

I'm putting her in my Etsy shop (even after all of that work!).  In the mean time, I had fun with her photo shoot, and thought my Eiffel towers that I've collected on trips to Paris would create a fitting vignette. A small glass cloche and a tiny nest (isn't it darling?), as well as a couple of vintage books sans their covers, and viola!  One of my favorite drab to fab Frenchy makeovers!
I'm linking up with Kathleen over at Faded Charm for White Wednesday.  Be sure to visit!
Au Revoir!


Myric said...

Oh it looks so cute with that Eiffel Tower. I am planning to make the same project sometime soon!

I have exact the same Eiffel towers as you do which we got from Paris!

See you at White Wednesday!


Linda said...

What a transformation, Donna! Turned out really beautifully!

Debbie said...

This turned out so pretty Donna. I love the vignette you've set up..very French.

Anna Rosa Designs said...

Hi Donna,
The end result is fabulous!

Thank you for sharing your UPS and Downs of this project. I'll know what not to do next time I'm applying graphics like this.
Creative hugs,

Kim K. said...

Beautiful transformation. Sounds like it was "quite" the project. I'm glad your crafting magic was able to come through!

sissie said...

Hi Donna,
Sometimes what seems like a simple project can turn into a "big" project! All your efforts paid and the tray looks wonderful.


Okio B Designs said...

It looks gorgeous! I have tried the Mod Podge transfer technique but I must be doing something wrong b/c all I get is gook!


BECKY said...

Wow Girl! Way to go! You sure did persevere! I don't know if I would have!! AND it looks fabulous! Love it! I have to try some of this stuff...just. need. more. time. {sigh}

Hugs to you! Hope you're having a great week!

Kathy said...

Very pretty...

Gail said...

Hi Donna, well I am so glad that I'm not the only one who forgets to flip the graphic before she prints and has a bit of a scrat round !! Mind you the finished product sure looks lovely and your photos of the snow covered mountains on Sunday are stunning !
Have a lovely week !
Gail x

Susan said...

That was definitely a 'drab' tray, no offense to that clerk...but you certainly did make it FAB Donna! It was worth all your effort!
- Susan

Love of the Sea said...

This really came out great. I love it. The label is beautiful.

Cindy Adkins said...

Oh wow, it's gorgeous, Donna!!! You are so good at Mod Podge creations for that Ohh-la-la gorgeousness!!!

Cindy said...

It's wonderful, Donna! I always have trouble smoothing out all the bubbles when I use Mod Podge! I've never heard of that other technique! Wow - must look gorgeous! Thanks for all the inspiration.