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, August 30, 2012

Sneak Peek of My Redecorated Craft Room!

Hello everyone!
Today I wanted to give you a little sneak peek at my craft room, which I've been busy redecorating.  I still have some finishing touches to complete, then I'll be sure to show you the entire room.  I must admit that I never gave much thought to actually decorating the room where I create (or should I say "play"?!).  Of course I always wanted it to be functional and look nice.  But once saw so many of your gorgeous crafting rooms, I was inspired to pretty up mine as well!

 Ok, I know that I am missing a handle on this desk (which I am looking for a replacement for!), but I am so excited about this new area in my craft room, that I just couldn't wait to share it with you!  Anyway, I had been wanting to add a new piece to my room that not only would allow for more storage of my supplies, but would provide an attractive display area for things that I've made for my Etsy shop, as well as treasures and mementos of mine.  The catch was, I challenged myself to do it on a teeny tiny budget! You see, our cross country move back to Michigan was very costly. And if you've been following me for awhile, you know that our "lovely" renter that was leasing our home while we lived in Washington caused thousands and thousands of dollars in damage to our home.  Which we have been left to pay.
So, I had a brainstorm!  The desk, hutch and chair that you see here actually was mine when I was a young girl!  My mom still had it in storage in her home! Like so many little girls "back then" (and I won't even tell you how many years ago that was!), I had a bedroom set of white French Provincial furniture, that I loved! 

 So, I brought it home, and guess what I did to it?  I spray painted it Heirloom White!  I know, that may have been cheating a bit, but I've been doing so much painting since we've moved home, that I thought a short cut was in order!  And with hubby's help, I reupholstered the chair, which I am so happy with!  I just so happened to have the blue & white toile, which I think goes perfect with the Shabby French look that I was going for!  So, total cost for my redo, including 1 can of primer, 2 cans of spray paint, and new foam for the chair:  a whopping $15!!!  Now I just need to find a new handle for the bottom drawer, and I'll be all set!

 Another redo that I am super excited about is this gorgeous pair of antique sconces, which I've placed on either side of the desk/hutch.  A sweet blogging friend sent me a photo of them, asking if I might be interested in them.  No pressure to accept them, she said.  What?  No Pressure?:)  I couldn't say "yes" fast enough!  They are cast iron, and originally were wired for electricity, which had since been removed.  They needed a bit of tlc, so I painted them Heirloom White (of course!), and distressed them a bit.  I'm cheating a little here, as I "stole" the crystal bobeches from the chandelier in our bedroom for this photo shoot.  I've been looking for some affordable ones for the sconces, which I have yet to find (but I know they are out there somewhere!).
 Aren't they gorgeous?  I thought that was so thoughtful of my friend to share them with me!! Love them!
 Ok, back to my desk/hutch.  I am having so much fun with it!  I've placed two baskets on the top to neatly store things.
 And I've added a wooden organizer that I found at a garage sale a few years ago, and finally got around to painting.  Love all of the little cubbies!
 I added a new green glass knob from Hobby Lobby.  And I love my vintage books, one a French textbook, and another a children's dictionary. In my favorite color, blue, of course!
 The cubbies are perfect for stashing my handcrafted tags and other miscellaneous supplies.
 I found this lovely vintage print of the Virgin Mary a few weeks ago at the thrift store. Isn't she beautiful?  The frame was originally brown and cream, and a bit dingy looking.  So some HW was in order!  I had intended on putting her in my Etsy shop, but I love her so much that I decided to keep her for myself! (Whoops, I just noticed a reflection of my arm to the left of Mary!)
 I really love looking for interesting baskets and containers to store supplies in. Right now I'm keeping some of my handcrafted notecards in this pretty fleur de lis cream tin.
 Wire baskets are another love of mine.  Thought Pinky and Blue Boy looked so pretty displayed here!
 A vintage paperweight and vintage French vocabulary card.
 I made this sweet birdie plaque a few years ago, using a graphic from the Graphics Fairy.  Here I've displayed it on a pretty little cream easel.
 A basket which I spray painted HW holds my stash of vintage sheet music that I love to use for crafting. Isn't the cover of this book charming?

And here is a glimpse at where I spend lots of my time!  My crafting cubby!  I've had this for a few years, and just love it! I found it at a moving sale (for a mere $15), and hubby added the pegboard to the side, as well as to the wall.  I've painted the pegboard my favorite shade of green.  There are 12 cubbies on each side, and they hold a ton of my crafting supplies!
I've got lots more to show you, which I will share in future posts!  Thanks so much for coming along on my little tour!

I'm linking up with the following fun parties:
Debra at Common Ground for Vintage Inspiration Friday 
Courtney at French Country Cottage Feathered Nest Friday 
Shabby Art Boutique Shabbilicious Friday 
Faded Charm White Wednesday

Monday, August 27, 2012

Pedestal Cloche

Bon Jour Mon Amis!
By now you may have noticed how much I love cloches.  Or should I say, you may have noticed my addiction to cloches!  At least it's a healthy addiction!
So today I thought I'd share with you my latest, and so far most favorite cloche that I've created!
 And of course I am addicted to pedestals, so to marry the two is a match made in heaven, don't you think?  I found the base while out thrifting, and was immediately drawn to its' unique shape.  The base and top of the pedestal are wood, while the sides are a fun scalloped metal border.  It's quite heavy, and originally was a rather blah brown and mustard color (which I'll show at the end of the post).  So of course I just had to paint her heirloom white, then distress her a bit.  I happened to have a glass cloche from a previous thrifting trip.  Sometimes I just find the glass tops, other times just the wooden bases.  At any rate, I always quickly snatch them up as soon as I find them!
 You've seen me use this tag before. It's one of my favorite images from the Graphics Fairy (geez, I think I say that about all of her images!!). Anyway, I printed it out on parchment paper, then added it to a tag which I tea dyed.  Some glitter and a tiny rhinestone add a touch of bling. ('cause you gotta have some bling in your life!) I tied it on with a generous bow of wonderfully crinkly aqua seam binding (another one of my "healthy addictions" is seam binding!).
 She's got great curves, don't you think?
 I put her in my Etsy shop, though I am super tempted to keep her for myself!
 And here is what the base looked like when I found it.  Not bad, but so much better in creamy dreamy white, don't you think?
Hope you have a great week!  Now go out and find something to create!!
I'm linking up with the following wonderful parties:
The Dedicated House Make it Pretty Monday

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Quick & Easy Project

Aren't those the best kind?  You know, those little projects that you don't have to spend hour after hour on.  That give (almost) instant gratification?  I sure love 'em!
So today I thought I'd share with you one of my latest quick and easy re-dos!
A vintage wooden napkin holder with a neat "cafe" graphic!
Of course, she didn't start out looking that pretty!  Oh, no!  As soon as I spotted her at a church rummage sale, I just knew that a makeover was in order.  While I thought she was kind of attractive in her "before" state, she was looking a bit tired and dated!

So, a bit of sanding, followed by priming and my favorite creamy dreamy white, and viola!
She was given a new lease on life!
Don't you just love the "cafe" graphic?  I found it over at the Graphics Fairy, and have used it for quite a few projects.  All I did was print it out, cut around the details, and Mod Podge it to the front.  Easy, peasy!
Oh, I almost forgot to mention that I distressed around the edges a bit to give her that "aged over time" look!
I'm giving her to one of my friends for part of her birthday gift.  I love trying to think of little gifts that aren't only practical, but good looking as well!
So next time you spot something while out thrifting that's looking a bit worse for wear, remember that a little paint and decoupage can give it a new lease on life!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Late Bloomers

The hot and dry summer we had here in Michigan took its tole on my flowers, but thankfully we've cooled off, and gotten some much needed rain.  Despite the heat and drought, many of my blooms did actually seem to thrive in the heat. So today I thought I'd share some of them with you!

 Aren't these wave petunias gorgeous? 
 I think they are so bright and cheery!  I've got three of these flower boxes hanging from our front deck railing, filled with spike, geraniums, and sweet potato vine.
 Of course black eyed Susan's always seem to do well no matter what the thermostat says!

 Below is a close up of lantana.  I love how the orange center contrasts with the hot pink!

 Marigolds are another one of those tried and true flowers!

 I adore blue flowers!  It's hard to find true blue blossoms like these pretty lobelia and ageratum.

 Not sure what these cheery orange flowers are.  I planted them from seed, so I'll be sure and collect some of their seeds for next year.
 What could be cheerier than a pretty sunflower?  I really love this shorter lemony yellow variety.
 Zinnas are another one of my favorite late summer annuals, though I didn't grow as many this year as I usually do.  Oh well, there's always next year!

 Of course I love bringing in flowers to create pretty bouquets thru out the house.  I think these pink lilies are so beautiful!  Wish you could smell them, their scent is amazing!
 And here I've created a simple little bouquet of black eyed Susans and zinnas.
 Speaking of late bloomers, I'm not ashamed to admit that I consider myself one!  I didn't get married til I was thirty something.   And, after spending many years in the wrong careers (including 7 years in the corporate world, which I was definitely not cut out for!).  I finally found my calling!  I am oh so thankful that I can work from home, happily creating away to my hearts content!
So, it's never too late to bloom where you are planted!:)
Have a great day!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Cloche Love

Hello ladies, hope you all are having a great weekend!
I know that so many of you love cloches, and so do I!  Why is it that just about everything looks better under glass?  So, I'm always on the hunt for those old "cheese domes", that I can transform with a little paint and tlc.
Here is my latest, that I created for my shop.
 You know how much I love all shades of aqua!  So I decided to paint the wooden base of this former cheese dome (cloche sounds oh so much prettier, don't you think???!) a bright and cheery aqua!  I love to use what paint I happen to have on hand, and mix up a bunch of different shades, til I get just the right hue (plus, it's so much cheaper than going out and purchasing a bunch of different bottles and jars of paint!).
 I embellished this cloche with one of my tea dyed tags, and a pretty image from the Graphics Fairy.  Oh, and I tied it all on with wonderfully crinkly aqua seam binding!
 I really am in love with this gorgeous French bird print!  Isn't it beautiful?  I sure would be lost without the Graphics Fairy!  I printed the image out on parchment paper, which I really love working with.
 And you know me, I just had to add some glitter, and a tiny rhinestone for a touch of bling!
I'd love to hear how you use and enjoy cloches!
Enjoy the rest of your weekend!