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!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Thrifting Fun

Today after dropping our pup off for her grooming appointment, I hit up a bunch of thrift stores, and found some terrific treasures!
 I am so thrilled about this first find! A vintage 3 tiered wooden pedestal!  I nearly squealed with excitement when I found it!   I have never seen one like it before, and this is a keeper!  I am going to paint this beauty Heirloom White (I know, big shock!!), distress her a bit, and use her in my craft room.  I think it will be perfect for holding supplies like punches, spools of ribbon and seam binding, and lots more. 
I am in love!
 I am always on the lookout for pretty mirrors, so I just had to snap this lovely one up!  While I love the way it looks now, I plan on putting this in my Etsy shop, so she will receive a paint/distressing treatment.
 This pair of vintage framed floral prints are much prettier in person than they are in these photographs!  The prints are textured a bit to make them appear to be hand painted (though they are not).  I plan on painting the frames, and putting these in my shop as well.  Not sure what color to go with, any ideas?
 I really love the colors!
 I was also thrilled to find not one, but two pairs of huge decorative vintage spoons and forks!  They are much larger in person than they look here!  The first set is wooden, and is well over 2 feet long!  The second set looks wooden, but I'm really not sure, I think they may be ceramic.  (They are nearly 2 feet long).  Don't worry, they are going to look 1000 times better when I get thru with them!  After a good cleaning, and some painting and distressing, I think they will look super cool, and will be making their way to my Etsy shop.
I found much more than these things here.  I will have to share more with you another day.

 Emily doesn't look too thrilled with me, she hates going to the groomer!
Hope you are having a good week. We are in for a huge snowstorm here at the Chateau!  Between tonight and Thursday, we are supposed to receive up to 16" of snow!  Yikes! Each time I hear the weather forecast, they keep increasing the accumulation!  After all of my thrifting, I went to the grocery store, and it was jam packed with people!  Everyone had the same idea:  stock up now, who knows when we will be able to make it out again! 
Have a great week, and keep warm & cozy!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Best Ever Triple Chocolate Brownie Recipe

It's been a cold and snowy day here at the Chateau, so what better to do than to bake a batch of yummy brownies?!

 Nothing that a good dose of chocolate can't cure!  I let my Kitchen aide mixer do all of the work!  (I just realized that you can see my apron clad reflection in it, how funny is that?!)
 Yuuuummmm, I can hardly wait for these to bake.  Then comes the agonizing wait for them to cool, before cutting and eating!  (is your mouth watering yet? mine is!)  While they were cooling, I went down and worked in my craft room a bit.
 But wait!  What is that big missing chuck out of my brownies?  I stepped away for just a few minutes, and now there is a big gaping hole in my brownies!  (note to self:  do not leave hubby alone and unsupervised with a pan of freshly baked brownies.)

 So come on over for a cup of coffee and one of these tasty, oh so chocolaty treats!  Heck, we can really live it up and have some hot cocoa with our brownies!!

Triple Chocolate Brownies


  • 1 cup plus 2 T all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup vanilla  or white chocolate baking chips
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease one 9x9 inch square baking pan. 2. Add all of dry ingredients to mixing bowl, and mix well. 3. Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla, 2/3 cup vegetable oil, and 3 eggs. Beat until just combined. 4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes. 
  2. Enjoy! 
     Speaking of sweet treats, look what my friend Cindy from Cindy Adkin's Whimsical Musings sent me in the mail yesterday.  A gorgeous Valentine's Day tag!  I love it!  It even has my initial on it!  Thank you, Cindy, you are the best!!
    I am linking up todays post with Sweet as Sugar Cookies
              Saturday Sweets Party

      Thursday, January 27, 2011

      Glittered French Inspired Cards, Oooh, La, La!

      Hello Ladies, hope you all are having a great week!  Today I thought I would share what I have been up to lately.  I took a break from all of my painting projects, and made a bunch of these:
       Pretty cards featuring my very favorite elements:  copies of vintage French advertising, glitter, vintage sheet music, and wonderfully crinkly seam binding!  Be still, my heart!
       Aren't these vintage French soap labels just adorable?  I bought the original print, which is a reproduction, in Paris, and had copies made for these cards.  I had so much fun creating them!
       It's hard to tell in the photos, but I have embellished each card with a generous dusting of glitter.  Hey, a girl's gotta get her daily glitter fix in!!
       I love using vintage sheet music in my projects, and I was running just a bit low on my stash, so, The Graphics Fairy came to the rescue!  I printed out some of Karen's sheet music, and I really think it's hard to tell the difference between what I printed out, and the real deal!!
       I am really loving all of the wonderful colors of the seam binding, it's one of my latest (of many!) addictions!!

       I made so many, my workspace looked like a card factory!  Why buy greeting cards when you can send hand crafted ones instead?!
      I also wanted to share with you the most wonderful surprise that I received in the mail the other day.  My sweet friend Cindy send me the most gorgeous book!

       It is a beautiful book that she had made just for me!  I was so touched!  The book is a portfolio of her gorgeous creations!
       Just look at these stunning photos!  I really love this sweet angel bingo card, and of course I am in love with Cindy's tussie mussies.  Look at all of the beautiful details!
       And I love all things beach related, so I especially love this sea themed tussie mussie and adorable card!
       Here is a photo of a beautiful bird themed tray that Cindy has created.  I love the colors and all of her wonderful embellishments!  If you have never visited Cindy and her blog (she has two of them, which you can visit here, and here), be sure to do so!  You are in for a real treat.  Cindy also has a beautiful Etsp shop, featuring the oh so pretty work that you see here!

       And you know how much I love all things French, I am loving this tray and Parisian themed tussie mussie.  Tres Chic!!

      And what woman doesn't love shoes?!  Check out this amazing confection that Cindy made!  A paper shoe!  Can you believe it?!  Thanks so much Cindy, that was just the sweetest gift, I love it!
      I have linked up todays post with these fun parties:
      The Graphics Fairy Brag Monday

      Tuesday, January 25, 2011

      Painting Obsessions!

      Hello Ladies!  Happy White Wednesday (a day early, of course!).  It's no secret that I am in love with white, cream, and all shades in between!  I've been busy lately painting just about everything in sight (no surface is safe with me!), and wanted to show you my latest creations that I have placed in my Etsy shop.  Sorry, I was so anxious to begin my makeovers, that I neglected to take before photos of most of these!  I vow to do better next time!  I am especially thrilled with the way this chalkboard turned out! She began life as a Syroco type framed mirror, and the mirror had seen better days, so I replaced it with chalkboard!
       I could hardly wait to paint formerly brown frame white!  Love, love, love!
       And here is another frame that I rescued from boringness!  (ok, is "boringness" really a word?)Once brown, it held a very faded and dated print.  I love the woven insert, and I think she is much happier in her new life as a pretty chalkboard!

       Did you know that chalkboards are all the rage as wedding reception decor?  Yes, they are! So with three oval openings, I just couldn't resist the "Mr. & Mrs."!
       I really love all of the beautiful details of this frame!  This is one where I remembered to take a before shot, which you will see a few photos down.
       Cream paint, distressing, and Ralph Lauren antiquing glaze, and oooh, la, la!
      And here she was before.  Not terrible, but definitely in need of some sprucing up!
       I just love the key motif, so I was really excited to discover this vintage Syroco wall plaque, just begging for me to take her home!  Nothing that a little Heirloom White and antiquing glaze can't solve!
       Look closely at the key.  It is wearing a crown!  How cool is that?!

       I was especially thrilled with the way this vintage shelf (which was marked made in Italy on the underside) turned out!  It began as a slightly gaudy gold (luckily I remembered to take a photo before her makeover!).
       I really love how the paint and distressing bring out all of the wonderful details of this piece!  Tres magnifique!
       See, I told you she was a bit on the gaudy side!  I get such a thrill whenever I find pieces like this.  Even hubby has been on the hunt for Syroco for me to transform!

       Well, gotta go do some more painting!  What have you transformed lately?
      I am linking up with the following tres magnifique parties!
      Faded Charm White Wednesday

      Monday, January 24, 2011

      Doggy Tales

      Today I wanted to share with you our pup Emily. Emily is a 7 year old cocker spaniel, who as you will see is more than just a little bit spoiled!  Emily came into our lives when she was just a little 8 week old ball of fur.  I had just lost my first cocker spaniel, my beloved 10 year old Maggie, very unexpectedly, to cancer.  I was devastated, and very depressed.  One day three weeks later, hubby came home with a little furry surprise.  Now, I would never recommend surprising anyone with a pet.  But, hubby and I had already been talking about getting another dog (I really wanted another cocker spaniel, as they are so near and dear to my heart).  Eventually.  I just wasn't ready.  And I told him not to surprise me.
      Well, I am so glad that he did!  Suddenly I had this active, playful little puppy to take care of, and to potty train.  She helped heal my heart!!
      One of Emily's favorite things to do is go camping with us!  Hubby pulls her along in this little wagon, and believe me, we get the stares!  Most people think we are pulling along a small child, you should see the looks on their faces when they discover that it's really a dog!
       Don't let her serious face fool you, Emily is all about the fun!
       Well, make that "all about the naps"!  I think she has been in hibernation mode this winter!  All she wants to do is sleep and eat!
       Of course we still go for our daily walks, despite the freezing temperatures.  All of that cold air really tires a little pup out!!
       More camping fun!  This is what goofy people like us do who don't have kids!

       Emily loves nothing more than to sit in her favorite chair, and watch all of the comings and goings.  She is quite the watchdog, and will bark at anything that moves!  Anything!  Neighbors, the mail man, birds, squirrels, and don't even get her started on the UPS man!!
       One day a couple of years ago, there was a giant snapping turtle that made it's way into our back yard.  Well, I think that mean and scary looking old turtle was actually afraid of Emily!  Emily was barking her head off, and he just couldn't get away fast enough (well, fast enough for a turtle!).
       (no turtles were harmed in the making of these photographs!)
       All set for her photo shoot!

      This was taken on our most recent camping trip last fall.  Here we are trucking down the road in our motor home.  This is Emily's favorite perch!
      Playing shy and hard to get!

      Emily loves spending time with us on the lake.  While she is not too fond of swimming, she will dutifully make a lap or two with me around the boat, though she would much rather just take a spin around the lake!
      I'm linking up with Debbie and Lucy, who are having a fun puppy linky party!  Be sure to join in on all of the excitement!