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!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Thrifty Finds!

Happy Friday, all!  Hopefully you all are having a wonderful weekend.  I had much better luck this week at yard & garage sales than the past few weeks, so I thought I would share some of my finds with you.  I just love this welcome sign, which only set me back 25 cents!  I have already started painting it (of course!), and will be sure to show you the end result.
I was really excited to find this set of wooden candlesticks at the same sale for just a buck!  The shortest tow will become part of the base of some shadow boxes that I plan on making, and the larger one will get painted (big surprise!).
At a church rummage sale, I found these two cute corner shelves for just a dollar!  I love shleves, and have a hard time passing them up.  The one on the right is on it's side, and the one on the left shows the top view.  I really love the cute little circle cut outs.  Again, more painting in my future!  Not sure what color yet, maybe a pretty coastal blue.
Also at the church sale I found these adorable vintage wire shelves, for just 50 cents!  It''s funny, but at the same sale several years ago, I found a set of 3 of these very same shelves, that I have since painted green and use in my craft room.  I really love the cut out design!
I found these pair of mirrors there too, which I can hardly wait to paint!  They are made of a syrocco type material, but they will definitely not look plasticy when I am thru with them!!

One of my girlfriends had a sale, and I bought this pretty little cabinet from her.  I plan on giving it a decoupage make over.  I thought I would Mod Podge the inside with pages from vintage French books.  Won't that look tres chic?!  Not bad for a buck, either!
I also bought this cute clock from her for $2, that I plan on decoupaging with a French theme as well.
I was surprised and excited to find at another sale the same exact vintage wire shelf like the one I found at the rummage sale!  Except this one is black (or course!) and a bit rusty.  I also found there a neat matching wall sconce.  I am going to paint them both, and while I really like the sconce, I think it needs something else added to it to give it some more ooomph!  Not sure what, though!  Oh, I got both of these for just $1!

So, I will be busy painting (and sometimes decoupaging) all of the things you see here!  Guess I better get started!  Can't wait to see what treasures you found this week!
I am linking up with Debbie Doos Garage Salen Partay, be sure to stop in and check out all of the fun!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Beachy Themed Birthday Card

Hello, hope you all are having a great day!  The weather here is thankfully not so darn hot and muggy, which means that we can have the a/c off, and the windows wide open!  I just love to hear the birds singing, and the wind blowing in the trees.  Don't get me wrong, I love air conditioning on those hot and steamy days!

I wanted to share a fun card project I made for a girl friends birthday card.  She loves anything beach related (so do I!), so I thought this fun vintage graphic of a bathing beauty would be perfect. Of course, I got it over at the Graphics Fairy, love, love, love her site!  And I also found the neat vintage sheet music over there, which I thought was especially appropriate, as it was titled "By the Crystal Sea".

I began with a brown cardstock card, then I attached the copy of sheet music (which I tore some of the edges of, love that look!), and lightly inked the edges. I then cut out the image of the woman with decorative scissors, and mounted it on blue textured cardstock cut in the same scalloped edge design.  I used used an ordinary glue stick for the adhesive.

I used "zots" to attach this really neat braided raffia type trim, that I found at an amazing scrapbooking shop while on vacation in Maui last winter.  I absolutely love shells, and so does my friend, so I thought they would be the perfect adornment on the card.  I used those thick foam adhesive squares (can't think of the name right now, and I am too lazy to run down to my craft room & check!) to stick the shells on the braided trim.

The card still needed a little something else, so I glued on a small piece of this neat seaweed type thingy that I found at the beach.  (notice that when I can't think of the name of something, I just refer to it as a "thingy"?!  I hope I'm not the only one who does this!)   Of course, I can't make a card without using some Martha Stewart glitter!  I used a lot on this card, including a bit on the shells!

As one last bit of embellishment, I added this pretty dimensional orchid sticker.  I found a bunch of these, from Martha Stewart, at that same scrapbooking store in Maui.  We have lots of Martha's crafting items here in Michigan, but I have never seen the orchid stickers here.  They even came pre-glittered! 
Here's one last look.  I wouldn't make a card like this and send it in an envelope, as the shells can be fragile.  I mailed it in my friends birthday package, so it was well cushioned.  If you need some inspiration for card making, be sure to head on over to The Graphics Fairy  Karen has a ton of gorgeous graphics to share!
I am linking this project up with Brag Monday over at The Graphics Fairy.  Be sure to check it out!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Vintage French Glittered Clothespins, a Fun Project!

Hello everyone, hope you are having a terrific Tuesday!

Today I made a fun little project that I thought I'd share with you.  I have seen some of you talented ladies out there in blog land make decoupaged clip style clothespins. Well, when I spotted a bunch of vintage wooden clothespins a few weeks ago at a sale, I just knew they would be perfect for a similar style project!  Mine aren't the spring type of pin, but I really love their shape!  I wanted to put my own French twist on the project, so the wheels started spinning, and this is what I came up with!  Viola, glittered vintage French clothespins!

I just adore the look of vintage French text, so I thought, why not French clothespins?  I pick up vintage French books at our local libraries used book sale that occurs each month. For just a buck each, I get tons of crafting possibilities!

I traced the clothespin shape on the book pages, then used just a small amount of Mod Podge to adhere to both sides of each pin.  After they were dry, I brushed another coat of Mod Podge on, then sprinkled with some of my Martha Stewart coarse clear glitter. I am afraid I don't have a photo of that step.  I really envy you ladies who are so good at photographing each and every step of your projects!  My fingers were covered in Mod Podge and glitter, so I wasn't even about to attempt snapping photos during that step!  I need another hand to do that!

Here I have displayed them on a wire photo/card holder thingy that I picked up many years ago. I love its fan shape, and the green color is perfect!

I picked up all of these reproduction vintage postcards in Paris.  I think these pins would be fun just gathered in a bowl, clipped to the outside of a present, or on your desk to gather miscellaneous papers.  It would be a fun project to do with kids, and it's inexpensive, too!
 You can never have too much glitter! Magnifique!

Here is a closer look.  Oooh, la, la!
I am linking up with these fun parties.  Be sure to check them out!
White Wednesday
Under $100 Party at Beyond the Picket Fence
Tickled Pink Friday at 504 Main  
Flaunt it Friday at Chic on a Shoestring 
Saturday Night Special at Funky Junk Interiors
French Obsession Party at Le Chateau des Fleurs  
Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch 
Cindy Adkins' Whimsical Musings Linky Party

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Swans and a Few Blooms

Hi there ladies, hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  the above photos show what the baby swans on our lake looked like back in May.

This is what they looked like in June.

And this is what they look like now!  They are so fun to watch, and they are almost as big as their parents, now!  Not sure if you can see in the background (I didn't notice it until I uploaded the photos), but their is a Schwan ice cream truck in the background.  I don't know if Schwan's are in business where you live, but the logo on the side of their truck is a swan!  How appropriate!
Check out the swan stretching his neck! How funny is that?!

Nothing like the simple pleasures of nature to help forget all  of our worries and cares, even if just for a moment!
Thought I would wrap up this post by sharing a few blooms in our yard.  I love this hibiscus!
We have both pale lavender and white.

I love pink flowers, and I love zinnias, so this is one of my favorites!

One of my friends gave me this hydrangea for my birthday back in May.  I hope I can keep it alive!
This little cherub is watching over our back door!  It was given to me by the same friend, several years ago.  She knows my taste so well!
Here's a closer look.  Wishing you all a wonderful week!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Transforming a mirror into a chalkboard

It's the weekend, and that could only mean one thing garage sales!  Yeah!  I don't know if I will get the chance to go to any or not, so I am trying to use what I already have in my makeover projects.  A few years ago, I purchased a syrocco mirror at a yard sale.  What is syrocco, you might ask?  Well, it is a type of heavy resin like plastic, that was quite popular in the 1970's, I believe, and usually came in just one color: gaudy gold!  I am sure that your Grandma's, or your Mother's had a bunch in their homes!  Anyway, you would not believe how it can be transformed with just a bit of paint and tlc!

Ok, here is just a little teaser photo of the "after".  Unfortunately, I don't have a "before" picture of when I originally bought it a few years back, as I had no idea that I would be blogging one day (I probably had never even heard of a blog at that time!!).
So, the above photo is what it had looked like until yesterday.  Bad me, I forgot to take a picture of it while it was still hanging up in our bedroom!  I removed the backing, which held the mirror in place, and then realized "hello, picture time"!  So that is why you see the ceiling and our dining room chandelier in the photo!  Oooops!

After removing the mirror, I lightly sanded the frame, since I had used some Rub-n-Buff on it in my original makeover.  I was afraid that if I just painted over it, it might show through.  I then primed it, and followed with two coats of good old Heirloom White spray paint.  After that was dry, I used my Ralph Lauren antiquing glaze in smoke, just brushing a bit on with a foam brush, and wiping it off with a rag.  I really love how it highlights the wonderful floral details of the frame.
I know that some of you out in blog land just paint over the mirror with chalkboard paint.  I chose not to do that for two reasons, one being that I am putting this chalkboard in my Etsy shop, and I don't want to worry about breakage, and two, because the mirror had a few cracks in it!  So, I had hubby cut a piece of wood to fit where the mirror originally went.  After lightly sanding and priming it, I was ready for the chalkboard paint.  I have used successfully both the spray on kind, and the brush on kind, but my favorite way is the brush on one.  I use Rustoleum, which I found in a quart size at Lowe's.  The reason I like that the best is you don't have to rely on the weather for outdoor spraypainting!  And, with spraypainting, you have to be so carefully in timing between coats, and it's just so darn easy to get runs & drips.  This might not be such a big deal if the chalkboard is for yourself, but since I am making this to sell, I want to be extra particular!  I find that a small paint roller works best for the application.  Just make sure to overlap your coats.  I like using 4 coats, so the chalkbaord will be extra durable.  Be sure to use thin coats, & let dry thoroughly between each coat.

I used epoxy to adhere the chalkboard in place.  Again, just use a small amount, so that you don't get any excess on the chalkboard itself.  I really love how it turned out!

For the last few weeks I have been on the prowl at garage sales trying to find more syrocco stuff that I can transform, and wouldn't you know, it's no where in sight!  Seems like I used to see a ton of it at sales before, when I wasn't really looking for it!  Why is that?!

Hope you all have a great weekend!
I am linking this project to the following great parties! Be sure to check them out!
Flaunt it Friday 
Tickled Pink
Funky Junk Interiors

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Pretty Pink Pillows, and some neat Passport Covers

Hello Ladies, hope you are all keeping cool!  It's still really hot and muggy here, good day to work on projects indoors, and to get caught up on some blogging!

I have always loved supporting cottage industries.  I think it is so satisfying to purchase something from a "real" person, something that the creator has put their heart and soul into.  One of my biggest pet peeves is mass produced items with the inevitable "Made in China", or "Made in India" label! Well, I won't get on that soapbox today, but I would like to share with you a few wonderful things that I bought from two lovely ladies on Etsy.  If you have never shopped on Etsy, I would highly recommend it!  It is a venue that I am so excited about, and truly believe in!  Anyway, I had been wanting some pillows for our bedroom, and I came across PattyPillows on Etsy.  I ended up buying these two beauties from her, which I also like the look of on my white wicker love seat & chair downstairs.  So, I think these pillows will get moved around alot, as I like them in both rooms!
I just love the pretty pink floral fabric!  Patty used two different fabrics on each side, so I got two looks for the price of one!  Brilliant, Patty!  And I love the ruffles!

Here is the other pillow.  What I love is that while they match, they are not "matchy-matchy"!  The ruffle on this one is a bit different, and the fabric on the flip side is just a bit different than on the other pillow.

She added a cute little double ruffle on the flip side.  How sweet is that?!

I love wicker, and I love blue & white.  The only thing that could make it better would be the addition of pretty floral ruffly pillows!  Patty was super sweet & great to work with.  We really enjoyed "talking" about our shared love of all things French.  She sent my pillows out right away, and even included a gift of a wonderful smelling sachet, filled with French lavender!

The other fun things that I purchased on Etsy a few weeks ago were these great passport covers. I first saw them on Wendy's blog.  I am a follower of Wendy, and I encouraged her to start selling them in her Etsy shop.  Well, Wendy doesn't waste any time!  She promptly made me these two great covers, and I can't wait to use them!  I was always so afraid that I would lose our passports in the dark depths of my purse!  The fabrics are gorgeous, and Wendy is the nicest, sweetest and most fun person to work with!  She sent them to me super quick, and with a sweet note, too!

So, hop on over to Etsy if you get a chance, and check out all of the wonderful, creative treasures there!