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!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Be sure to enter my Giveaway!

Emily says:  "Be sure to enter my mama's giveaway!  One lucky winner will get $25 credit towards anything in her etsy shop.  And she said the winner will get free shipping, too!  So get your paws over to at Jan's BobbyPins Boardwalk, who is hosting the giveaway, for your chance to enter!"

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

An Exciting Giveaway!

I am so very excited to announce that I am having my very first giveway!

I am giving one lucky winner $25 credit towards anything in my Etsy shop, including free shipping!  I have been a busy bee creating things for my shop, and am so anxious for my giveaway!! Jan over at BobbyPins Boardwalk generously offered to host the giveaway for me.  Jan is such a sweetheart, and I am so thankful for her offer!  If you have never visited Jan, be sure to hop on over, where she will give you all of the details about the giveaway.  You will have four chances to win, and one way that you can enter the giveaway is to become a follower of Jan (hint, hint!).  So go visit Jan & enter!  Good Luck!!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Another Tray Makeover, and a Giveaway Announcement!

Hello everyone!
I'm so very excited to announce that I am going to have my first giveaway this Wednesday!  I can hardly wait, so I thought I would give you all a little heads up.  I will be giving away $25 credit towards anything in my Etsy shop, and the winner will also get free shipping!  Be sure to check back here this Wednesday to find out how you can enter!

***Edited to add info about my giveaway***
Jan over at BobbyPins Boardwalk has so graciously offered to host my giveaway! One lucky winner will receive $25 credit towards anything in my etsy shop, plus free shipping!   Jan is a real sweetheart, so head on over to find out how you can enter!

You may remember a tray that I showed you a few weeks ago that I picked up at a yard sale.  She was pretty boring, but I just knew that with a little paint and decoupage, she would have a great future!   Well, I thought I would show you the "after" first, so, ta da!!

There she is on the right , before her makeover.  Kind of hard so see in the picture, but it was pretty ho-hum!

Here are some of the things I used to complete her transformation!  I love these little wooden dowel caps from Hobby Lobby.  They make great legs, and I thought that was just what the tray needed!  After epoxying them on, I primed the entire tray, then gave her two coats of aqua sprat paint by Rustoleum, letting it dry between each coat.  I had made a tray with a similar feel awhile back, that you can read about here.
I loved the neat vintage French advertising label that I used on that tray so much, that I wanted to use it again on this project.  I got the image from The Graphics Fairy, which is where I get the inspirations for so many of my projects.  Be sure to check her out if you've never visited, as she has some awesome graphics!  I didn't want the background of the graphic to be stark white, so rather than using regular white printer paper, I printed it on ivory resume paper.  I then got out my trusty Mod Podge & gave her several coats (three, to be exact!), letting dry between each coat. 

In the other aqua tray that I mentioned, I added cute little polka dots around the edges, so I decided to do the same for this tray, using cream colored craft paint.  I think the dots add a touch of whimsy & fun!

I let the paint cure for a day before I distressed it a bit with fine grit sandpaper.  I find that seems to work better.  Of course, you won't be surprised to hear me say that I used Ralph Lauren's antiquing glaze in "smoke"!  Love it!

And here are a few more shots. What do you think?  I really love the addition of the little legs.  Seems like I have been on a real "leg kick" (get it, leg kick?!), lately and have been adding them to alot of my projects!  What gives you a kick?!

I am linking up with these great parties.  Be sure to check them out!
The Graphics Fairy, for Brag Monday
The Shabby Chic Cottage, for Transformation Thursday 
Le Chateau Des Fleurs French Obsession Party 
504 Main Tickled Pink Party 
Chic on a Shoestring Flaunt it Friday
Beyond the Picket Fence Under $100 linky party

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Summer Blooms!

Hello there!  Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!  I am so excited that summer is finally here!  I am definitely a warm weather kinda gal! While I don't like the hot & humid weather that we've been having lately, winters are very long and cold here in Michigan, so I try to savor every bit of summer that I can.  Summer seems to go by so fast, and with all of the graduation parties, showers, weddings, and family reunions that come up, it's not always easy to find time to stop & smell the roses! I was thinking how nice it would be if we could all have little personal assistant fairies!  Someone who would magically clean the house, run our errands, cook, do laundry, help with child and pet care, etc, etc!  Kind of like a Mary Poppins!  Wouldn't that be nice?!  Then we could spend more time this summer lazing around, sipping iced tea, going to as many garage sales as we possibly can, well, you get the picture!  Ok, back to reality!  At any rate, I do know that I need to get better prioritizing my time this summer, especially since my new blog addiction seems to be taking up so much of my time!

Today was hubbies family reunion, hosted by my SIL & BIL.  Luckily the weather cooperated, except for a brief passing shower or two.  My SIL is an avid gardener, and has tons of gorgeous flowers, so I thought I would share some of them with you today.  She has the most amazing flowers, and has a ton of beautiful roses and lilies. The first one I have shown is an Asiatic Lily.  Isn't the color incredible?  And her roses are so pretty! I wish I could grow them, but we get too many Japanese Beatles around here, plus we have a ton of black walnut trees in our yard, which really seem to "poison" the soil. 

Beautiful purple coneflowers.  I am so excited that mine have been blooming for the past week, which is really early.  They are one of my favorites, because they are super easy and really no maintenance whatsoever!

More pretty lilies.  I didn't enhance the color of any of these photos.  They really are this vibrant!
Check out this cute little chair that SIL painted.  Isn't it adorable?  The lily below is just stunning!

This 1932 Model A car belongs to my BIL.  How cute is that?!  It even has wooden running boards!  They had it all decked out with a basket, flowers, and the flag!

That's it for now.  I hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Let's go Garage Saling!

Hello ladies, hope you have had a great week so far!
Today I am linking up with Debbie Doos, for her Garage Salen Partay!  If you have never visited Debbie, or her Partay, you are in for a treat!  She is a ton of fun, full of energy, and the nicest person!  Each weekend she hosts the best party, where she encourages us to share the goodies that we have found at garage & yard sales, thrift shops, & flea markets & antique shops.  I have had so much fun going to sales each week!  Some weeks are better than others, but today I managed to hit up several good ones.  I've been bringing in lots of stuff into my home since garage sale season began this year, so I am blaming thanking Debbie for junking up my house adding warmth and charm to my house!  (Just joking, Debbie!)

I wanted to show you these gorgeous candlesticks that I picked up a few weeks ago, and had forgotten to blog about.  The look so pretty on our table, and for $3 I thought they were a steal!  They are made of metal, and have the most beautiful little pink flowers, are totally shabilicous, and are so me!  When I bought them, they were really dirty, so I couldn't wait to clean (and sanitize!) them up!  I am always amazed when I go to sales and they haven't even bothered to clean the stuff they are trying to sell!  A few years ago I bought a squirrel baffle (you know, the thing you put under your bird feeder so the squirrels can't get to it), and it was covered in bird poop!  Eeeeew!  I would've been too embarrassed to try & sell something like that!
 My old rule was that for each new thing I brought into the house, at least one (or more!) thing had to leave!  Either donate, trash, or recycle. Well, I hadn't cleared anything out in a few months, and here I am bringing in more & more stuff each week!  (thank you,  Ms. Debbie! ) So today I took two boxes of stuff to the Good Will.  But while I was there, I just had to go in (couldn't resist!).  I found this mirrored sconce for $2.50.  Don't worry, I am going to get rid of the gold and paint it a pretty aquamarine color that I have been using alot lately.

I found this large frame at a garage sale (I am getting rid of the picture) for just $3.00, and I am going to turn it into a chalkboard, like the one I blogged about a few weeks ago. You can read about it here.  I plan on painting it the same color as that one, too.
At the same sale, I picked up all these cute wooden hand crafted toys for only a buck!  They even still have the label on of the man who made them (better than the usual "Made in China"!).  The little airplane has been colored on by some little person, so I will try & sand it off, or else paint it.  But for the price I was pretty excited. My 3 year old nephew will love them all!

For just 24 cents, I got this gorgeous roll of floral wrapping paper (it's a big roll!), a bag of little bells, that will come in handy at Christmas (I love putting them on gifts), and this neat basket for only $1.  I think it's meant to store napkins & silverware, but I am going to use it in my craft area for some much needed organization!

Ok, I got really excited when I found this brand new, never used heated back massager for just $5!  Complete with remote control. How cool is that?!  When we go away in our motor home, my lower back kills me for days after riding for 4 (or more) hours to get to our destination, even though I get up & stretch alot.  So this is going along with us!  Now you can picture me buzzing down the highway in our rv, getting a heated back massage!  "Honey, wake me up when we get there, ok?"

I am especially excited about this last piece that I picked up today for only 2 bucks!  While I try and look for things that I need or use, or can transform for my etsy shop, this met none of that criteria!  I bought it just 'cause I loved it!  It is a sweet little box that looks like a bird's nest.  Beneath the clear domed top is a picture of a bird's nest, and then the most adorable tiny nest with eggs, and flowers.  And if that wasn't cute enough already, open it up to reveal the entire box lined in vintage looking handwritten script!  I adore anything bird or nest related, and this will be perfect in our home!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Yummy Tzatziki Recipe


 I really love Greek food, and tzatiki is one of my favorite things to make and eat on a hot summer day!  If you have never tried MAKING IT, I highly recommend that you give this recipe a try!  I first discovered it in The Barefoot Contessa's "Parties!"  Cookbook, and this is really delish!  The recipe below is from the Food Network, and is the exact same one as in the book, except the book doubles the ingredients.  In my opinion, if you are going to go to the effort to make it, definitely double the recipe.  It is so yummy you will be glad you did!

While tzatiki isn't hard to make, it does take some advance planning.  You have to drain the shredded cucumber and yogurt in the fridge for three or four hours before assembling, otherwise, you will end up with runny tzatziki, and you don't want that!  A few things to keep in mind:  

Be sure to use hothouse cucumbers (the ones that are shrink wrapped).  Regular cucumbers are too bitter and watery for this recipe.

I know this sounds like alot of salt (and be sure to use Kosher!  That's the only kind of salt I keep in the house!)  When you drain the liquid off the cucumbers, alot of the salt will go with it, so trust me, your tzatziki will not be too salty!


Once I made the mistake of using low fat plain yogurt, and the end result was really blah.  I use just regular ol' plain Dannon (not the whole milk, while I am sure that would be really good!).  Of course, Greek yogurt would be especially yummy in this, but since I am too cheap budget minded, I just stick with regular yogurt!

I use the food processor to grate the cucumbers, using the largest grater attachment.  It does the job in seconds!

If you are like me and love garlic, I add a bit of extra than called for.  The tzatziki is best if you serve it several hours after assembling, to let the flavors develop.  It is even better the next day!

We love it with baby carrots or crackers, and it also would be great with grilled meats or thick slices of crusty bread.  Ok, enough of my blabbing!  On with the recipe!  Please let me know if you make it, & what you think about it!




  • 1 pound (1 pint) plain yogurt (whole milk or low fat)
  • 1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled and seeded
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (1 lemon)
  • 1 tablespoon good olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh dill
  • Pinch freshly ground black pepper


Place the yogurt in a cheesecloth or paper towel-lined sieve and set it over a bowl. Grate the cucumber and toss it with 1 tablespoon of kosher salt; place it in another sieve, and set it over another bowl. Place both bowls in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 hours so the yogurt and cucumber can drain.
Transfer the thickened yogurt to a large bowl. Squeeze as much liquid from the cucumber as you can and add the cucumber to the yogurt. Mix in the sour cream, vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, dill, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper. You can serve it immediately, but I prefer to allow the tzatziki to sit in the refrigerator for a few hours for the flavors to blend. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Monday, June 21, 2010

A little birdie told me......

Good Day everyone!  I wanted to share with you one of my garage sale makeovers that I just finished.  And yes, it involves Heirloom White spray paint, and Ralph Lauren antiquing glaze in "smoke".  I know, you are shocked and surprised!  There are very few projects that I don't use Ralph on, and while I seem to use HW on just about everything, I am getting bold and branching out to the aqua family!  I'll be sure to show you some of my aqua redos soon!

Do you see the plain ol' ordinary wooden wall organizer in the photo below? Well, I know it looks pretty boring here, but check out what I did with it!

I just couldn't wait to get this baby painted when I brought it home, and while I didn't know exactly what I was going to do with her, I knew HW and some decoupage would be in her future!  First off, I primed, then followed with Herloom White spray paint.  For this project, I hung it up outside from a tree with a bit of floral wire looped thru the hanger on the back.  I really like this little technique. Rather than having to wait for one side to dry before doing the other side, you can get it all done at once!  Just be sure you don't accidentally spray paint the tree!  Oh, I forgot to mention that I epoxied a pretty wooden applique to the top, before I began painting.  They were on sale last week at Hobby Lobby, so I stocked up! I really love how the appliques add so much interest & detail!

After the paint was dry, I lightly sanded the edges & followed up with the antiquing glaze.  Just wipe it on & wipe it off.  Couldn't be easier!  I knew that I wanted to decoupage vintage sheet music to the front, as I've really been liking that look lately.  I wasn't sure what I was going to use after that, then I remembered seeing these sweet bird images over at The Graphic's Fairy.  I love birds, and I think these are just the cutest!  I especially love the bird below.  So after several coats of Mod Podge, letting dry in between, my little organizer was almost done.

There were three cup hooks at the bottom, and while they didn't look too bad, I wanted to freshen them up a bit.  I got out the Rub-n-Buff in "antique gold", and with disposable gloves on (a must when you work with this stuff, or you'll never get it off your fingers!), I applied a bit to each hook, then rubbed off the excess with a paper towel.  I put the screws back in place, and voila!  A brand new look!  I love the way it turned out, and can hardly believe that it's the same organizer as in the "before" picture!

I am linking up with these fun parties!
Karen at The Graphics Fairy, for Brag Monday
Trash to Treasure Tuesday, over at Reinvented
Faded Charm, for White Wednesday
Bobby Pins Boardwalk Bragfest
Beyond the Picket Fence Under $100 Linky Party
Funky Junk Interiors Saturday Night Special
Between Naps on the Porch Metamorphosis Monday

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Let's Go Island Hopping!

Hello Ladies!  Hope everyone had a nice Father's Day weekend!  Today the hubs & I flew down to Kelley's Island, Ohio.  It's just a small island in the middle of Lake Erie, and is a short 45 minute (or less) flight away.  The first photo is of an island called Put-in-Bay (a funny name, don't you think?).  We went there about a month ago, and it's just before you get to Kelley's.

Here we are, getting closer!  I love how blue the water looks!

We bought some neat folding bikes that we put in the back of the plane.  That's hubby above, in front of his airplane.  The bikes are only single speed, which means you really have to work hard peddling!  My thighs were burning!
Isn't this a pretty sail boat?

Our first stop was this fun little winery, for some wine tasting!  Well, wine tasting for me, as hubby is the designated pilot!  I also enjoyed a glass of sangria.  Yum!

Check out the cork border, which they have going around the entire tasting room!  That's alot of corks!  I snapped a picture (a bit blurry, sorry!) of this old couple in a vineyard that I thought was really neat looking.
Isn't this house amazing?  It's huge, and made of local limestone. I really love the cuppula  at the top.

Ok, this is my absolute favorite house on the entire island!  I just love the gingerbread trim, and the white picket fence.  I love Gothic style homes, and this one is just so charming!  There is a great front porch with rocking chairs, and across the street is Lake Erie, so they get fabulous sunset views, I am sure!  I would have no problem living in such a gorgeous home!

Below is the harbor, there were a ton of boaters out today.

I really like this house too.  The trim work and color is lovely!

Another boat.
It's hard to tell in this photo, but this house us totally made of stone, and makes me think of a cottage in a Thomas Kincade painting!

The photo below is the end of the runway.  It looks like you are going to run out of room & head straight into the water!   No worries, though!  It's just an illusion!

The remainder of the pictures are islands we flew over on the way home.  Lots of fun, sun, & great exercise, which I am sure I will feel tomorrow!