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, December 30, 2011

Aloha From Hawaii!

It sure is easy to leave all your cares and worries behind on the mainland when vacationing in Hawaii!  As a matter of fact, I've decided to make my resolution for the coming new year (and I never make resolutions!!) to worry less and take one day at a time!  We are having the best time here in Maui, but sadly our time here is coming to an end, as we have just  a few more days le ft here. 

We went snorkeling both Wednesday and today, and saw tons of amazing tropical fish.  We also were thrilled to be snorkeling right next to gorgeous Hawaiian green sea turtles.  ( I can't take credit for the first three photos, I've never had luck with those underwater cameras.).  Anyway, being so up close and personal to those beautiful creatures is one of the most amazing things we have ever done!  As they are protected, it is illegal to touch them or harass them in any way.  Just being able to witness them in their own habitat is truly a treat that we won't forget!

We had another surprise today as we were about to get out of the water.  We saw a beautiful, and very large, Hawaiian monk seal!  He was busy munching away on a fish that he had caught, and we were amazed that we were so c close to him, and that he swam so close to shore!

Yesterday was another adventure, as hubby rented an airplane, and we spent several hours flying over the island, as well as along the Molokai coastline.  Below is a photo of the condos we are staying at.  The cove you see is where we snorkel.  It sure is going to be hard leaving this beautiful place!
                                                           Isn't the water just gorgeous?

Below you will see the coastline of Molokai.  I wish that you could have been with us, as the photos just don't do it justice!  Molokai has the world's tallest sea cliffs, and the views are just incredible!
Ok, I got my photos a bit out of order here.  Below you will see the coastline on the way to Hana, which is one of the most beautiful little towns I have ever seen!

                                                           More of the Molokai cliffs.
                         Not sure if you can see it in the photo below, but there was a really beautiful waterfall       
                                                         amid all of the lush greenery.
I am continually amazed at all of beauty that God created here in Hawaii!  It truly is heaven on earth!

                                      More of the stunning coastline on the way to Hana.
                                                     Notice the sea cave below?
Here we are coming in for a landing at the Hana airport, a tiny little airport right on the coast!

And here is yours truly in front of our ride!  It was a very, very windy day, making much of the flight super bumpy!  We hitched a ride (which is a story in and of itself, and issomething I wouldn't even dream about back home on the mainland!!!) into town and back, and had a bite to eat for lunch.

Tomorrow we are heading to "upcountry", to visit the "Surfing Goat Dairy" (don't you love that name?), as well as a lavender farm.  I'll be sure to take lots of photos!
Thanks for coming along on our adventures!
Wishing you all a verry Happy New Year! 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

1,200 Feet Over Maui

Hubby and I are renting a plane later this week here in Maui, so yesterday, I went along when he had to go up on a test flight.  Even though hubby has been flying for many years, whenever you rent an airplane, you have to first go up with an instructor and perform a few basics, such as several "touch and goes", landings and take offs.
It was a beautiful, sunny day, but very windy, which made for a very bumpy ride!
 This is Hookipa Beach (above).  If you click on the photo, you might be able to see all of the windsurfers (there were dozens of them!), and it's considered the best place in the world for the sport!

 Acres and acres of sugar cane fields.  So pretty, I think!

This is a first for me, flying over a cruise ship!  As we flew over, I could see people lounging in chairs by the pool, and people playing basket ball on the court!  The looked like miniture people from above!

Coming in for a landing.  We landed and took off with the big jets, which is always exciting!

And back on land, a beautiful sunset at our place!
Hope you are all havinng a great week!  I'll share more photos of our adventures in a few days!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Mele Kalikimaka! (or, "Merry Christmas!")

Aloha!  Wishing  you all a wonderful Christmas, and a very Happy New Year!  Hubby and

 I have been sitting on our lanai this morning, watching the surfers and rainbows, too! A bit surreal for my first Hawaiian Christmas!  Thought you might want to see a few of the beautiful tropical flowers here!  Hope you all have a great day spending time with those you love!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Have a Very Maui Christmas and a Happy New Year!

It sure is hard to believe that Christmas is just right around the corner, isn't it?  Now that hubby and I are living in the Pacific Northwest, with no snow and fairly mild temps, not only does it not feel like Christmas, but it doesn't look like it either!  But hey, I'm not complaining, I'm definitely not a snow person!  This Christmas will seem even more different, as we are headed to Maui in a few short days to celebrate the holidays!  I've never been anywhere remotely warm at Christmas, let alone somewhere tropical for the holidays, so it will indeed seem strange!  But a good strange!!
We are renting the same condo that we stayed in two winters ago, so this will be our view for the next week or so!  Wish I could take you with me!  I'm taking my laptop (gotta get my blogging fix in once and while, can't go cold turkey that long!).  So hopefully I'll be able to share some photos with you of what we are up to!
Wishing you and your family a wonderful Christmas, and a Very Happy New Year!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Christmas Tree Diet

Ok, did that title catch your attention??!!  Maybe I should have said "The Christmas Tree that Went on a Diet", 'cause that's what our tree looks like this year!
 Hubby and I were about to head out in search of a Christmas tree that we could cut at a tree farm.  But then our neighbor told us that she had a tree that she wanted cut down, and she thought we might want to use it as our Christmas tree.  Well, I was a bit apprehensive when I first saw it.  I personally love big fat, full trees! The fatter and fuller the better!  And this tree, well, it needed some help!  It looked especially sparse when hubby brought it into the house!!  So I joked that it looked as if it had gone on a diet!
 While I still am not in love with this tree, at least it was free!!  I've used only a small fraction of our ornaments on it. and hubby liked having to put only one strand of lights on!  I really love this sweet little birdie.
 And just look at the sweet face of this cute little angel!
 Of course there just has to be some glitter and glitz!
 Isn't this little squirrel adorable?  He is made out of seed pods and other natural materials.
 Ok, here in the day light you can see just how skimpy he is!  I wasn't even going to share him with you this year, but then I thought, "let's go ahead and keep it real!!"  I bet he is the skimpiest, scrawniest tree you have seen here in blog land!  He makes me think of a Charlie Brown Christmas tree!  Hubby joked that we didn't lose our view of the Puget Sound.  We can sit on the couch, look at the tree, and enjoy the water view thru the branches!

 He does look better at night, I think!  Next year, I'm definitely going to get the biggest, fattest, fullest tree that I can find!!
 I also wanted to share with  you today a wonderful gift that I received from my sweet friend Cindy over at Cindy Adkins Whimsical Musings.  Cindy is one of the nicest, most thoughtful people you could ever meet, not to mention incredibly talented to boot!  She created for me this gorgeous collage on a vintage book cover! And she also sent this cool necklace made from an upcycled domino.  How fun is that?
Cindy's attention to detail is impeccable.  I just love this pretty rose made from cheesecloth.  Who would have thought cheesecloth could be so beautiful?  Thank you again, Cindy!  I love it all!!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

More Aqua and Turquoise Love!

Ok, so I know that todays post has nothing to do with Christmas, but I thought I'd share with you a few of my latest projects!
Do you love aqua, turquoise, and all shades of blue and green in between?  I sure do!  No matter what the weather outside, how cold or gloomy it may be, I always get a lift with these wonderful, cheery hues!
 This wooden bistro sign is one of my favorites.  I painted it a pretty aquamarine color, that I absolutely love!
 I have so much fun mixing lots of different paints to achieve a new custom shade.  That way, I can get alot more mileage out of a handful of bottles and jars of paint, rather than having to go out and buy a ton of different colors!
 I've also been busy hunting for interesting picture frames that I can transform with paint.  My frame collections have become one of my best sellers, so I spend lots of time each week searching for more to add to my stash!

 I really love all of these beachy feeling aqua blues!!

 I also am always searching for cloches, and painted the base of this one a vibrant turquoise (another one of my own color creations).

 And you know how I love all things French!  So I was thrilled to discover this vintage print of the Arc de Triomphe, which is on one of the most beautiful streets in Paris, the Champs Elysees.  The frame was a really dull, totally drab creamy gray color when I found it.  I think the aquamarine really makes all the difference in the world, and really makes all of the other colors pop!
 You can find all of these in my Etsy shop, if you care to take a peek!
That's it for today!  Now go out and find something that you can transform, and have a great weekend while you are at it!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Upcycled Vintage Jello Mold Ornament

How are you doing on your Christmas preparations?  Is your home all decked out, cards all sent, cookies all baked, and presents all purchased and wrapped?  No???  Well, join the club!  While I am officially thru with decorating, I've not really done much in the way of baking, and still need to send out cards.  As for gifts, this is going to be a less is more kinda year!  All of which will hopefully allow us to focus on the true meaning of Christmas, and not just on all of the commercialized stuff!

 I have been enjoying a bit of Christmas crafting, though!  Since I'm a "use what you've got" kind of girl, I've been trying to focus on creating with what I already have on hand, rather than buying a bunch of supplies at the craft store.  Awhile ago, I found a stack of petite vintage jello molds at the thrift store, and quickly snatched them up.  While not at all sure what I would do with them, I just knew that inspiration would eventually strike!
My oh so crafty friend Kim, over at Musings From Kim K came to the rescue, and gave me some tips and ideas, as she had created some of these herself.
So, I gathered bits of this and that, and began filling a mold with moss, faux greenery (glittered, of course!) and berries, and this adorable little German glass glittered bird.  A glittered silver snowflake adds even more sparkle!
 I also added a petite aqua vintage Christmas ornament, and fashioned a handle out of a silver pipe cleaner.
 Just look at that cute little face?  Isn't he just darling?
I had so much fun making this (thanks again, Kim for your help!), and can't wait to make some more.  I think a bunch of these hung on the Christmas tree would be so cute!
Now go out and find something to create, and be sure to add a little glitter while you are at it!!!