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!

Saturday, May 24, 2014


There's a saying here in Michigan that says if you don't like the weather, wait 15 minutes and it will change.  Well, as with life changes, that often rings true!  While some changes are welcome and easy, others can be quite difficult and stressful.
For me, major life changes don't come easy.
If you've been visiting me for awhile, you know that hubby and I lived in beautiful Washington State a few years ago for his job.  Well, Washington has been calling, and we've been dreaming of moving back there ever since.
So, we are putting our house on the market!
We've been hard at work for the past few months sprucing up our home, working on projects both big and small.   I've been decluttering, purging, cleaning and organizing.  I've lost count how many trunk loads of things I've donated so far!
Hubby's son is a professional photographer, and the other night he came over for a photo shoot. We knew his photos would be so much better than we or our realtor could take!
We were really impressed with his work and are so thankful for his help!
So, here is a little tour of our home...........
 I'll let the pictures do most of the talking!

 The hard part for me is not knowing when or even if our house will sell. We aren't desperate or anything, we don't have to move.
But, if our house does sell, our plan is to move back to Washington for good!
 I've never shown you an overview of my craft room.  Notice my treadmill at the far end of the room, gathering dust?  In all the craziness, I have neglected my exercising and desperately need to get back into a routine!
This by far was the most challenging room for me to declutter!
We are both neat nuts and never have alot of stuff just laying around the house. But with all of my craft supplies and things from my Etsy shop stashed here and there, I had my work cut out for me!
 So, the thought of possibly moving is bittersweet. We love our home and yard, and I know that we really would miss it.  It is a huge part of us.  I know that so many of you can relate to that.

 Hubby even flew his son around our place to get some cool aerial shots!
I just love this one, below!  
 And this is a view of our lake.
So, we are anxious, nervous, and worn out!
I am trying my best to leave it all in God's hands (for me that is easier said than done!).
 He knows what path we should take.
I'll keep you posted.................
Enjoy a safe and fun Memorial Day Weekend!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Transforming a Gaudy Frame into a Glam Chalkboard

You know how much I love making chalkboards, right? Well today I thought I'd share with you my latest gaudy to glam chalkboard project!  When we were down in Savannah this past winter, I found a large vintage framed print while out thrifting.  While it was looking a bit worse for wear, I immediately was drawn to the ornate details of the frame.

 Here I am giving you a sneak peek of the end result, but it didn't start out looking this great. 
Oh, no! 
Here is what this puppy started out life as!
While I actually liked the vintage Italian print, which was mounted on hard board, it was looking pretty tired. And it just wasn't the look I was going for!
The frame actually was even gaudier in person than in this photo. The inner boarder was a gold velvety type material. But I didn't let that deter me!  Did you know you can actually paint over fabric?
Yes, you can!

So, after removing the print and giving the frame a good cleaning, I mixed up several shades of chalk paint by DecoArt, til I created a pretty shade of Robin's Egg Blue. One of my very favorite colors, I might add!
For that gold velvet border, I first painted it with Behr latex wall paint in cream. I didn't want any of that gold to show thru my chalk paint.  Once dry, I went over the entire frame with several coats of the Robin's Egg Blue.
Did I tell you how much I love that shade??!
 Then, I mixed both clear and brown creme waxes, also from DecoArt, and applied to the frame (but not the velvet border).  After letting dry, then buffing out, I was amazed at how the wax not only gave the frame an Old World feel, but highlighted all of the wonderful details that had been lost!

 I had hubby cut me a new piece of Masonite board, which I then covered with heavy duty chalkboard vinyl, and 
A glamorous new chalkboard was born!
 I must say that I am very happy with how it turned out, and now I'm glad I gave that tired looking frame a second chance at life!
I've added it to my Etsy shop, if you care to take a look!
I wanted to thank all of you who visited my feature last Saturday, over at Junk Chic Cottage, and left such sweet comments!  I was beyond thrilled to be included in the Blogger Spotlight, and your kind words made it even more special!
Have a great day!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

I'm Featured Today at Junk Chic Cottage!

Bonjour Mes Amis!
I am so excited to be the featured blogger over at Junk Chic Cottage today!
Kris contacted me awhile back and asked if I would be interested, and I was thrilled and excited to say yes!
So you can visit me here today:

Thank you Kris, you made my entire week!

Friday, May 16, 2014

French Lavender Pot

My sister's birthday is at the end of this month, one day after mine.  It's so fun to celebrate together, so I wanted to think of something special to make her as part of her gift.
She loves gardening like I do, so inspiration struck and I created this French pot that I've planted a wonderfully smelling lavender plant in.
I began by painting a large terracotta pot in a pretty shade of light blue.  It's a blend of several different chalk paints, mixed to create just the right shade.  I really love creating my own custom blended colors!
After painting it several coats, I then aged it a bit with a watered down brown craft paint.  I also dry brushed a bit of white craft paint here and there to create a white washed effect.  I was going to take photos of all the colors and products that I used, but I got lazy!

I knew I wanted to add a pretty label to the front, so I headed on over to the Graphics Fairy and found this gorgeous French lavender perfume label.  Isn't it pretty?  I thought it was perfect for my project!
To age the label a bit, I used a bit of Tim Holtz distressing ink, then decoupaged the label to my pot using outdoor Mod Podge.  I then used a clear sealer and went over the entire pot.
I'm so happy with the way it turned out, and hope that my sister will love it!

 Oh, I almost forgot to show you two little visitors that were hanging out on my picket fence plant stand!  I moved my watering can to set up for my "photo shoot", and these little guys were hiding underneath it!

 I wish you could smell the lavender, it is heavenly!
 I also painted a terracotta saucer to match the pot.  I am bummed though, as I wasn't thinking when I put the label on the pot, that the bottom portion was going to be hidden by the saucer.  Darn, I should have placed it a bit higher on the pot!
 Here's one more close up shot at this oh so pretty label!
 Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

A Mother's Day Bouquet

It's finally starting to look and feel like spring around here at the Chateau!  Actually, today is more like summer, with temps in the 80's. So it seems as if we've skipped from a chilly spring right into summer, but I'm not complaining!
Today I thought I'd share with you one of my latest creations, a floral arrangement that I made for my Mom for Mother's Day.  It's hard to believe that it's this weekend already, isn't it?
Anyway, I usually get Mom a bunch of flowering plants that she can enjoy outside.  I thought this year I'd do something a bit different, that was low maintenance, that she could enjoy year round, and that wouldn't need watering!
So, I made her a silk floral centerpiece, that is nestled inside of a pretty and large ceramic white basket.

 I just realized that I should have taken a shot of the basket before I added the flowers!  I filled it so full of flowers, that it's hard to see the actual basket in my photos!
 So you know how I love to spray paint just about everything that doesn't move, right? Well, that is just what I did with this floral arrangement!  You may have seen my silk flower wreath some time ago that I gave a spray paint treatment to. Well,  I purchased a very large silk bouquet at Hobby Lobby, on clearance last winter.  It began life in autumnal colors of gold, orange, rust and yellow. I knew when I spotted it that it would be perfect to tuck away for a project just like this!

I took the entire bouquet outside and spray painted the heck out of it with Heirloom White spray paint, my favorite creamy color!  It took quite a bit of paint, as the flowers seemed to suck it all up!  I really was happy with the end result, how the colors still show thru, but in a more muted and softer faded over time look.
 To the inside of the basket, I place blocks of floral foam, also from Hobby Lobby.  I then cut each wire stem of each flower, and randomly stuck them into the foam, in a pleasing manner.
I also added a few of my paper roses made from vintage sheet music. They each have a tiny little rhinestone in their centers, for a bit of bling!
 My favorite part of the arrangement is this cute little bird's nest and eggs!  I fashioned the nest out of Spanish moss and other mosses.  Nestled inside are three sweet little eggs that I made from pink Sculpy clay.  I added little brown speckles to make them look realistic.
(though I don't know how realistic pink eggs are, hahaha!) 
My Mom loves pink, so I think she will be excited!
To top it all off, I tied a ribbon of crinkly cream seam binding around the handle of the basket.
 I must say that I'm really happy with how it turned out!  It was a fun project, and I think my Mom will really enjoy it!
 Wishing you a very Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Trash to Treasure Makeover

Hi, hope you are all having a great weekend!
Normally when I share with you one of my makeover projects, I like to begin by showing you the "after", as so often the "befores" are so darn ugly that I'm afraid I'd scare you off!  Well, I just couldn't resist starting out by showing you what my latest transformation began life as:
 See, I wasn't joking!  What an ugly duckling this wooden coat rack was!  
(or should I say "ugly gosling"?!)
I actually found it a few years ago at a church rummage sale, and had it in my stash, just waiting for inspiration to hit.  I knew when I first spotted it, it had potential, as it's made of solid wood, has good lines, and the pegs made it functional.
I'm sure that many a person who spots me purchasing these oh so hideously ugly treasures in the making thinks to themselves:  "That poor, poor woman!  She has absolutely no taste!"
So here is what I used to make over this puppy:
A great Frenchy stencil, black chalky finish paint, brown cream wax, clear wax, and white acrylic paint, all from DecoArt.

Are you ready to see the finished product?
 After sanding the entire piece, I painted several coats of the chalky finish paint, then used the white acrylic to stencil a French street address, as well as the wonderful fleur de lis at each end.  I then gave it a generous dose of distressing, and followed with several coats of cream wax.  I used the brown wax to tone down the white stenciling, so that it had more of an aged appearance. Then I used a few coats of clear wax, buffing between each coat.
 I must say that I like this a whole lot better than the 1980's country geese!

 I'll be putting this in my Etsy shop.  You can be sure that I'll be looking for more ugly ducklings to transform, as I had so much fun working on this project!
Ok, here is one more look at the "before":
 And the "after"!
I've not been compensated for writing this post, though I was provided with the products from DecoArt.
Now go out and have a creative day!