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, August 31, 2010

My Favorite Repurposing Project

Good Day Ladies, and Happy White Wednesday (a day early!).
I often try and participate in White Wednesday over at Faded Charm, and today I just couldn't think of anything!  So, I thought I would share with you one of my very favorite repurposing projects. It actually was the subject of my very first blog post back in April, but I am sure that it's new to you!  I just took all of these photos today, so I am not totally cheating by writing about it again :)!

Anyway, last winter my mom gave me an old clock that had belonged to my parents.  It stopped working long ago, and she had just been storing it away.  Since it wasn't a valuable antique or anything, she thought I'd like it for a possible craft project.  Well, the wheels began churning as I thought of all the possibilities!  At first I thought I'd make a little curio cabinet out of it, and then it hit me!  I desperately needed a place to store and organize my necklaces and bracelets.  I had been stashing them in an assortment of boxes, and they had become a totally tangled jumbled mess!  It was always so frustrating trying to find anything, let alone untangle the mess!

So, this is what I came up with!

This is the clock "before".  Unfortunately, I created this BB (before blogging!), so I don't have any "during" photos.  Luckily I thought to take this shot before the transformation though!I began by removing all of the internal clock parts (which I saved for future crafting possibilities, because you never know when a brainstorm will strike!!).  I then lightly sanded so that the primer and paint would adhere better.  I taped off all of the glass areas in the door, then primed and painted it a soft cream, inside and out.  I sure wish that I had painted this in warm weather so I could have spray painted it!  It turned out to be much more tedious to paint by hand than I had thought!  Oh, I almost forgot to mention that I added two pretty wooden appliques to the top and bottom of the clock cabinet.  If you have been following me for awhile, you know how much I love working with these appliques!
They really seem to give any piece instant character, don't you think?  I just applied them with a bit of epoxy.
I then used fine grit sand paper along the edges to age it up a bit.
You've probably seen me use this toile fabric before.  Love it!  I just cut two pieces of cardboard to fit inside the door and wrapped them with the toile, using spray adhesive.
To give a bit neater look on the inside, I hot glued some pretty braided trim.
Then I added a bunch of little cup hooks so that I could neatly hang my necklaces and bracelets!  No more tangles!  What a concept :)
I almost forgot to show you the knob! (the old clock didn't have one)  I had salvaged it from something a long time ago, and had it in my craft supplies stash.  I really love the swirly design!
Here's one last look!  The only thing I had to purchase for this project were the cup hooks, braided trim, and wooden appliques.  I already had all of the other materials on hand.  How great is that?!  So now, it is actually a treat, rather than a frustration, to pick out what jewelry I am going to wear for the day!

I hope this project challenges you to look at cast offs in a new light, and to dream of the unique possibilities you can transform them into!

As a side note, I want to say a big thank you for all of the wonderful anniversary wishes! You truly helped make our day even more special!!
I am linking up with the following fun parties:
Debbie Doos Before & After
504 Main Tickled Pink Party
My Romantic Home Show & Tell Friday
Funky Junk Interiors SNS Party

Monday, August 30, 2010

Our Hawaiian Wedding

August 30th, 2000

Hello Ladies! It's hard to believe it, but hubby & I have been married for 10 years! It sure seems like yesterday!  I have a funny little story to tell you. We first me on a blind date, that I almost backed out on at the last minute, as I was so nervous!  Well, that night he mentioned that Hawaii was his favorite place to visit.  Not just any island, but the island of Kauai, and he went there every year!  Why does this matter?  Well, for years I had dreamed of a Hawaiian vacation, specifically to the island of Kauai!  I had always heard what a gorgeous and special place it was, and I was beginning to think I would never get the chance to go there. Also, I had always said that if I ever got married, I would want to get married on the beach in Kauai!  So I about died when he said how much he loved it there!  Of course, I didn't mention any of this that night! (imagine if I did?  He would have been running for the nearest exit!!).  I didn't reveal any of this to him til after we were engaged!

So, you guessed it!  We got married at sunset on the beach in Kauai!  It was such a magical day! There was even a sailboat in the background (maybe you can see it), almost as if we had planned it! I have goosebumps just thinking about it!  Our Hawaiian minister said some of the vows in Hawaiian, then he translated them to English.  I think the Hawaiian language is just so beautiful and lyrical!!

We were fortunate to get to attend our friends' wedding a few years later there, with "our" minister officiating!  We have since visited all of the Hawaiian islands except for Lanai, and Kauai is still our very favorite!

Barefoot on the beach!  Hubby wore a "maille" made of fragrant leaves that traditionally was worn by Hawaiian royalty during special ceremonies.  I wish you could've seen my bouquet! The most gorgeous orchids and stephanotis.  And a few tucked in my hair,too!

Love this silhouette!  I loved my dress, too!  It was a very simple ivory chiffon dress (but so me!), with a long chiffon scarf that fluttered in the breeze! I sure wish I could still fit into it!!
The flowers you see here were impatients.  They were huge!  Sorry the picture quality isn't that great.  We don't have these digitally, and we don't have a scanner, so I had to take pictures of these photos.
Our cake was delish! And covered with tons of fresh orchids!
Thanks for letting me share a bit of our special day with you!  And a big thanks for your thoughts and prayers for hubby's recovery from his knee surgery last week.  He is starting to feel alot better.  We will be glad when he is off crutches and can get around better!

Hope you all have a great week!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Beachy Themed Wall Hanging Project

Happy Saturday Ladies!  Hope you are having a great weekend!  Today I wanted to share with you a little decoupage plaque that I made as a gift. It was such a fun and easy project, and I happened to have all of the materials on hand already.  How great is that?!

A couple of weeks ago, I showed you a birthday card using the same "bathing beauty" image, as well as a copy of vintage sheet music, titled appropriately "By the crystal sea."  I found both of these images over at the Graphics Fairy.  If you have never visited, be sure to check it out!  I have found so many wonderful images there, tons of great inspiration!  Anyway, I began with a piece of luan (it's like thin plywood, but nicer, I think).  Hubby cut me a bunch awhile back from a large sheet, and I had this piece left over.  You can find large sheets of luan at any hardware store, and get a ton of different projects from just one sheet, for not very much money!  Just make sure to sand the front & back, as well as sides before beginning your plaque.

First, I primed the back, then painted it with several coats of craft paint.  I am loving this color!  It's called "Laguna".  Love the name!! After the two coats (drying between each, of course), I used a bit of Ralph Lauren's antiquing glaze in  "Smoke".
Then I applied a thin coat of Mod Podge to the front, and added the copy of sheet music, smoothing out any air bubbles.  After that was dry, I added the bathing beauty image with more Mod Podge.
The sand dollar motif was from some scrap booking paper I bought when we went to Maui last winter.  I like to pick up fun things on trips that I can use in projects once I get back home, rather than just buying the usual souvenir t-shirts!  Anyway, I added another coat of Mod Podge over the entire front, and while that was still wet, I sprinkled on some clear coarse glitter by Martha Stewart.  Sorry, but I couldn't really get the glitter to show up in the photos!  When that was dry, I added one more coat.  I then used my handy dandy little dremel tool to drill a small hole in the top corners.  I then used some craft wire in an antique bronze tone, for more of a vintage feel.  I added two neat flower shaped buttons that are actually made out of coconut shells, that I found at a fabric store in Maui.  I didn't know at the time what I'd use them for, but I thought they were so cute I just couldn't pass them up!
Here's a closer look at a button. I just ran the wire right thru the holes.
I am lovin' the sand dollar!
Here's one more look at the finished plaque.
There you have it!  A fun project, to give or to keep!  And without spending a ton of $$$!
I am linking up with  The Graphic's Fairy for Brag Monday, where you will get lots of fun and inspiring ideas!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Blogger's are the Best!

Happy Friday, everyone!  Hope you are having a great day, this week sure flew by (as they all seem to!).

I must be on a winning streak, because I just received the most gorgeous tag yesterday that I won from Cindy over at I Owe It All To Him!

I was so excited to win this lovely tag! Cindy put great care and detail into the creating of it!  I just love all of the wonderful texture, such as the burlap, cheesecloth, and fibers.
And I really love the verse.  It is so appropriate for me right now!  Love, love, love the embellishments Cindy used, like the great tag and flower with a cute button center!
Here is another look.  Love it!  If you haven't yet met Cindy, I encourage you to visit both of her blogs. You can check them out here and here.  Cindy is just the sweetest, most generous and thoughtful person!  And she is oh, so  talented to boot!  And, to top it all off, Cindy featured me as a guest artist on her blog yesterday! (you can check it out here)  I was so thrilled and excited!  Thank you again, Cindy!  You have truly given me a lift, and you are just an angel!

When I began blogging this spring, I was so nervous about it! I thought to myself  "With all of the fabulous blogs out there, who would be interested in my blog, and what I had to say?"  "Would I ever have more than one follower?"  (that one follower being my sister who so kindly helped me set up my blog!).  Anyway, I have since met so many of you wonderful ladies out there, all so thoughtful, caring, talented and supportive! Not to mention the fact that I have become totally addicted to blogging in the process!

Any, I know you all have already discovered just how generous bloggers are out there!  Well, last week I won the gorgeous fabric from Provence, and the other day I received the beautiful Sanibel Island shells from Debbie!  And now the tag from Cindy, so I feel lucky indeed!  And so glad that I began blogging, wish I had started much sooner!

Hubby had his knee surgery yesterday, and unfortunately it was more extensive than we had hoped.  He had to have cartilage repaired, and is now on crutches and in alot of pain.  So it is discouraging, as he wasn't in any pain and was totally mobile before the surgery.  I really appreciate those of you who have sent get well wishes, it means so much!

Have a great weekend!  Hopefully I can get caught up on a bit of blogging :)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

She Sends Sea Shells From Sanibel

Try saying that three times fast!

I received the nicest gift in the mail today!  Awhile back, Debbie from Love of the Sea mentioned that she was going to Sanibel Island.  Well, I told her that hubby & I had gone there for a day trip when we were in Florida for a long weekend 1 1/2 years ago, and how I just loved it!  I was in shell heaven!  Well, Debbie is so very sweet and thoughtful, so she sent me a whole bunch of shells from her trip! (do be sure to check out Debbie's blog!  she has the most amazing house!  And I am in love with her kitchen!!)

Aren't they gorgeous?  And a beautiful sand dollar, too!  I love sand dollars!

They look so pretty on our coffee table with the other shells that I have had displayed this summer.
See, Debbie?  I told you I loved shells!  I made these shell framed mirrors a few years ago, and I like putting votive candles in the centers.  They look so pretty lit at night!
More shells, and a bit of moss, in a wire basket I found at a yard sale last year for only a quarter!
Here's a close up of some of the shells Debbie sent.  I adore the pink scallop shells!  I remember finding a bunch of those when we were at Sanibel. The neat mermaid card was sent to me by a girl friend when she visited Cape May, NJ.  Love it!

I am soooo lovin' the sand dollar and gorgeous conch shell!
And Debbie even sent me this pretty beachy card!  Thanks again Debbie, for such a nice and thoughtful gift!  You truly made my day, and I will enjoy them so very much!

On a side note, hubby is having orthoscopic surgery on his knee tomorrow. He slipped and fell in our back yard earlier this summer.  The doctor said that if he just has to trim the cartilage (I know, that sounds terrible!), he can just walk out of the operating room (it is out patient surgery).  If he has to do repair work he will have to be on crutches for up to two weeks.  We are hoping for the former, as we have  flight of stairs to climb to get to the main living level of our house.  I will keep you posted.  Have a great night!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

French Themed Cabinet Reveal

Hello happy bloggers!  At least I hope you are having a happy day!!  A few days ago I showed you a sneak peek at one of my latest projects.  I felt like such a meanie not showing you the entire piece!  Well, I am sure you have been anxiously awaiting the big reveal (What, you totally forgot about it?!! tee, hee! ), so without further ado...........

Viola!  My decoupaged French themed cabinet!
This is what she used to look like:

Not bad, but as soon as I bought her from a friend's garage sale, I knew I wanted to give her a makeover with a French Accent!  I began by giving her several coats of creamy white latex paint.  Oh, almost forgot to mention the addition of these pretty wooden appliques.  I think I am addicted to them, as I seem to use them on lots of projects!  You can buy them at Hobby Lobby or Michael's.  Just use a bit of epoxy to adhere them.  Remember, a little bit of epoxy goes a long way!  You don't want any seeping out.
And you know what comes next!  Yes, some distressing and antiquing glaze!  Good guess :)

I really love the adorable print that I used on the front of the cabinet. It is a copy of a reproduction vintage print I bought on a trip to Paris.  Since I didn't want to use the original print, I wen to Staples and had a copy made onto cardstock.  The print is of vintage soap advertisements, and I think it is just darling!  If you have been following me for awhile, you know I am crazy about the look of vintage French text.  Well, I knew I wanted to use it on this project both inside and out. 

So I decoupaged pages from a vintage French book around the border of the outside, since my print didn't come all the way to the edges.  Then I decoupaged them on the inside as well, so you get a fun little surprise when you open the door!

Here's another look at the appliques.  I love how they give instant character to just about anything!

And a closer look at the cute print!
One more look at the inside and out.

I did learn a few lessons along the way with this project!  I was lazy and didn't remove the hinges on the door (even though I knew better!).  Well, they got all goonked up (highly technical term!) with paint, making them difficult to open & close.  So, I had to remove them and buy new hinges!  Phooey!  Other than that, I had so much fun with this project, I think it's one of my new favorites.  I am going to put her in my Etsy shop, and if she doesn't sell, I won't exactly be heart broken!!

What projects have you been working on lately?  Hope you all have a wonderful day!
I am joining up with the following linky parties.  Be sure to check out all of the great inspirations!
Faded Charm's White Wednesday
Beyond the Picket Fence Under $100 Linky Party 
Chic on a Shoestring Flaunt it Friday 
504 Main Tickled Pink Friday 
The French Cupboard Paperie Party 
Funky Junk Interiors Saturday Night Special 
Le Chateau des Fleurs French Obsession Party
Cindy Adkin's Whimsical Musings Creative Challenge Party

Sunday, August 22, 2010

I Love Paint!

Wow!  The weekend sure flew by, I can hardly believe that it's almost Monday again!  Hope you all had a great weekend, things are finally starting to cool off a bit here and it feels so much better!
Isn't it amazing what a little paint can do?!  I think paint is one of the cheapest ways to transform just about anything!  I have been painting, distressing & glazing so much these past few months that I think I could almost do it in my sleep! ha,ha!  At least I could get alot more done that way!
Anyway, I am so pleased with the way these little round frames turned out!  If you read my post a week ago on my garage sale frenzy during Michigan's Longest Garage Sale, you saw what the "before" looked like (second photo).  Pretty icky!

See what I mean? As soon as I spotted this pair of vintage wooden frames, I knew they would look oh, so much better painted a nice creamy color!  And with the addition of my blue & white toile bark cloth fabric, I can almost hear the frames breathing a sigh of relief! I used this fabric in quite a few projects in our bedroom, that you can read about here.  I also used just a bit of "Rub-n-Buff" in "antique gold" to neaten up the metal hangers at the top.  If you have never used Rub-n-Buff before, be sure to use disposable gloves, or else it will take you forever to remove it from your fingers!  And just a little goes a long way!

I put these in my Etsy shop, but if they don't sell, I've got the perfect spot for them!!

Ok, here is another paint makeover using the same cream color (I know, big surprise, cream!)

Anyway, I really fell in love with this large wooden scoop, and I must say that I liked it black!  But since I am  putting it in my Etsy shop I painted it, distressed it a bit, then used my favorite antiquing glaze (Ralph Lauren, of course!).

It looks vintage, but it's not.  It's much larger than it appears, too.

I thought it looked so pretty filled with shells.  You can never have too many sea shells!  I put a few reproduction vintage postcards from Paris in it, and I like that look, too!  Well, I had better get back to my painting projects, I've got lots on my "to do" list!  Have a great evening!

I am linking up with the following great parties!
Between Naps on the Porch Metamorphosis Monday