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 30, 2012

Fun Valentine's Day ideas

Bon jour, Mon Amis! Since Valentine's Day is just a few short weeks away, I thought I'd put together some inspiring ideas, compliments of Better Homes and Gardens.

I don't know about you, but the first thing that comes to mind when I think about Valentine's Day is sweet treats!  Anything chocolate, and you can count me in!   How about some mini raspberry and white chocolate whoopie pies?  Yum-O!
 Cheesecake is my absolute favorite dessert, so these cheesecake brownie bites would fit the bill nicely, I think!
 Equally drool worthy is this amazingly looking chocolate malted milk ball mousse!  I really want to try this recipe! I remember as a little girl, eating so many malted milk balls, that the roof of my mouth got sore!

And what would be more romantic for the day than candle light? While this vignette was geared towards Christmas, you could easily swap out the little ornaments for a few fresh flowers tucked here and there. Or maybe a sprinkling of rose petals for some added romance! I really love the idea of turning interesting glassware, and vintage silver pieces, into candles. Notice the vintage jello mold turned candle, how cute is that?  I am going to try that one for sure! 

What would the day be without a special Valentine card for your loved ones?  I rarely buy cards any more, I prefer to make them myself.  I thought this one below was so pretty, and a great way to use up bits of scrapbooking paper.  Cards don't have to be elaborate to be special!

 I really love this idea, above.  Take a box of store bought candy, cover the box with gorgeous papers and trim, and viola!  Even an inexpensive drug store box of candy seems elegant now!
 Here are some fun packaging ideas for your gift giving.  I love keys, and thought it was such a neat idea to add one to a gift. The packaging is so pretty here, making it a gift within a gift!
I also really love the idea of adding goodies to a plain ol' brown paper lunch bag.  Make a cute tag by adding foil wrapped chocolate hearts to the tag, and clip it on with a clothespin.  How fun for your kids to give to their friends or teachers!
 Of course, we can't forget the flowers for Valentine's Day, can we? (hint, hint, hubby!)
 I especially love this sweet little bouquet in a silver mint julep cup.  And the tussie mussie is oh so romantic, I think!

all photos courtesy of bhg.com

You can find more great Valentine ideas over at BGH.com, as well as the recipes for the yummy treats that I've shown here.
On a side note, I'm starting to feel alot better, still moving slow, but improving.  I'm having some issues going on with leg numbness and a terrible burning sensation in my leg.  The dr's office said that a nerve may have been disturbed during surgery.  I hope that whatever it is, it's not permanent nerve damage, as it is really freaking me out.  I'm going to the dr. tomorrow, so I hope I get some answers!  Thank you again for all of your support and prayers, you guys are my life line!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Home Sweet Home

Just a quick post to say that Thank God, the dr was able to perform the surgery yesterday laproscopically.  So I was able to come home last night, very happy about that:)  

When I was in the hospital, I pictured all of you and your prayers and encouraging words, surrounding me in a big warm hug!  And you know what?  I wasn't afraid.  I wasn't nervous.  I knew that I was in good hands.  Hubby and I even made little jokes while we were waiting in pre-op:)  I have nothing but good things to say about the staff at Skagit Valley Hospital.  They were kind, caring, and very attentive.  So your prayers made all of the difference in the world to me, and I appreciate it soooo much!
Not feeling very frisky today.  I'm in alot of pain, but look forward to when I am fully recovered, and can get back to doing fun things like blogging, thrifting, and glittering everything in sight:)  I have a good nursemaid by my side today, hubby took the day off, and is at my beck and call:)

Thank you again for your encouraging words and prayers, you guys are the best!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Upcycled Pedestal and Cloche

Bon Jour, Mon Amis!  Today I thought I'd share with you a recent project of mine, an upcycled wooden pedestal, topped by a glass cloche.
If you're like me, you have a closetful (or more!) of potential craft projects, just waiting to be transformed!  Well, I'm always hunting for wooden candlesticks, and usually have a small collection in my stash.  Wooden bases (make that wooden anything!) are also high on my list when I'm out thrifting.  Glass cloches are always on my thrifting wish list, and I just happened to have a couple of extras on hand (yeah!).
So, one day when I peeked into my closet, I suddenly saw the makings of a beautiful wood pedestal.  Of course, it was there all along, I just didn't invision it til that moment! 
So, with the help of my handy hubby, I was able to transform drab to fab!
(ok, I promise next time to take some "before, during, and after" shots!)
Light blue is my very favorite color, so I knew that it would be perfect for this new beauty!  I then gave her what I like to call "a generous dose of distressing", and viola!
A pretty new baby blue pedestal was born!  I've placed her in my Etsy shop, and now I need to make one for myself, too!
On a side note, have you heard that Picnik is going to be ending in April?  I just found out the other day, and I'm so disappointed!  I really rely on it not only for my blog (I enjoyed playing with it and altering all of the photos you see here today), but for my Etsy shop as well.  Not sure what the reasoning is. So, if any of you have another free (and easy to use) photo editing program that you could recommend, I would love hearing about it!
See the gorgeous tag, below?  My sweet bloggy friend Myric, over at Petites Passions, created it, and sent it to me!  I just love it, and also love how she mixed sand with glitter (be still my heart!) for the border!  The girl is a creative genius!  Thank you again, Myric!

I'm linking up with Cindy Adkins Whimsical Musings  for her awesome linky party!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Trivia Time

Hello ladies, hope you are having a good weekend.  All of our snow is finally melting, yeah!  \My friend Myric over at Petites Passions has tagged me, and posed the following questions:
(sorry, blogger was NOT cooperating as I was writing this, hence the numbers being off!)
  1. Where is your ideal retiring place?
    Someplace warm and sunny!  I love the Carolinas, maybe North Carolina.
  2. Which food you do not see yourself eating?
  3. Believe it or not, steak!  I hate steak.  Oh, and I would never eat sushi, I like my meat well done, thank you:)
  4. If you have an opportunity to ask one question to your favorite celebrity, who and what question will it be? 
     Well, Robert Redford has been one of my favorites since I was a teenager and had a major crush on him!  We actually got to see him a few years ago when we were in Savanah on vacation.  He was directing the movie "The Consipirator". I was too star struck to ask to have my photo taken with him.  Plus, I don't think the police officers guarding the set would have appreciated it!  I probably would ask him some silly stupid question, like, what did he eat for breakfast that morning?
  5. What do you think is the most romantic food?
    Just about any food can be romantic, in the right setting! Take out pizza can be romantic, eaten by candle light!
  6. Who's blog do you visit the most?
  7. Ok, now you are putting me on the spot!  Yours, of course:)!
  8. If you are to award one blogger who and what would it be?
    That would be Nana Diana! She's kookey, she's funny, and she has a heart of gold!!
  9. What are you most passionate about?
  10. Ok, it's too hard to narrow it down to just one!  My crafting is so important to me!  It helps me keep my sanity!  I thank God for Etsy!  And of course spending time with hubby and our little furry girl.  Simple stuff like that!  Oh, and glitter, gotta remember the glitter!
  11. What other foreign language do you wish you could speak?
  12. French!  I try, but I would love to be fluent1  I've not practiced in a long time, I think I'm getting rusty!Which era in history would you like to go back to,and why?
  13. Believe it or not, I'd rather stay right here!  When I was younger, I was fasinated with the Victorian Era.  But then I realized that I really do love my conveniences, like contact lenses, and hot showers1  plus, I can't imagine wearing those killer corsets all day!
  14. Were you a memeber of a club in high school?
  15. No, I was way too shy!!!
  16. Do you prefer a sweet or savory dish?
  17. Do I have to choose between the two???!  Well, I have a real sweet tooth, but I also love cheese, pasta, and pizza!
Well, that's it!  I hope I've not bored you all to tears with my answers!  Mryic's rules stipulated that I tag 11 more bloggers with my own questions, but I'm going to take the liberty and break the rules, and not pass on the torch!  Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Snow Business!

When hubby and I moved from Michigan to the Pacific Northwest last year, we were really looking forward to the luxury of having a mild winter for a change.
 Well, it had been mild.  Until this week, that is!
 Look what Mother Nature decided to gift us with!  Over the past several days, we've had at least 12" of the fluffy white stuff!  I could hardly believe my eyes when I awoke the other day to all of this!  And here we were told that when it does snow out here, which isn't that often unless you are in the mountains, that it melts right away. Well, I don't think this will be melting any time soon!  And to think that there is no snow back home in Michigan (well, that's all about to change soon, I hear!!)
 I snapped all of these photos from inside of the house.  Since I've been fighting a cold, I've not even set foot outside for days!
 Check out our deck!  I will have to admit that it is pretty, though I would much rather see it from the distant mountains rather than this up close and personal.  I'm just thankful that I don't have to be anywhere!  In the mountain passes, they received a foot of snow a day for five days straight!  So I'm thankful we don't have that do deal with, at least!
 Believe it or not, these little guys stay put year round!  I guess they must be alot hardier than they appear!  This poor little hummer was trying his hardest to drink from the feeder, but I don't think he had much luck. The sugar water was frozen!
 I felt so sorry for him!
 I wanted to thank you all again for your continued prayers and support as I face upcoming surgery.  I am taking it easy, trying to get over this cold so I don't have to postpone the operation any longer.  And, thanks to your prayers, I'm not feeling nearly as anxious about everything as I had.  So that is a miracle in and of itself!
You ladies are the best!  Keep warm!

Monday, January 16, 2012

An Update

Hello Ladies, I want to thank you all so very much for your prayers, and your words of encouragement! It means more to me than you will ever know!  I'm glad I decided to share with you about my surgery, and my fears.  Knowing that you all are thinking of me will make a world of difference!
Unfortunately, I just found out today that the surgery will be postponed until next Wednesday the 25th.  I have a cold (which I was hoping to throw off), and the dr. said that she wouldn't recommend surgery at all while I am sick, as it could lead to pneumonia.  So, I am disappointed that I have to wait (I just want to get it over with!), but yet relieved, as I know it would not be a good thing going into this not feeling well.  Again, thank you so much,  hearing from you all is just like getting a big hug!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Asking for Your Prayers, Please

Hello everyone,
I'm not normally the type to talk much about personal matters here in blog land.  I would much rather chat about fun things like glitter, spray paint, and thrift stores.  I wasn't planning on sharing this at all, but after thinking about it, decided to ask for your prayers.  I just found out this past week that I have an ovarian cyst the size of a grapefruit.  I'm having surgery to remove it this Wednesday afternoon.
 I've been having lots of abdominal pain for the past two months, and have had lots of testing done.  Dr's told me it was everything from muscle pain from exercising, to my gall bladder. Well, neither was the case.
 I've never had surgery before, other than when I was a little girl and had my tonsils removed.  So, I am scared, shocked, nervous, and worried.  So I ask to you please keep me in your thoughts and prayers.  It would mean so much to me.  The dr. said that due to the size of the cyst, she didn't know if she could remove it thru the laporoscope.  If not, it would require more invasive surgery, which would mean an over night stay in the hospital, and 6 weeks of recovery vs 1 week for the less invasive.  I have a feeling that it'll have to be the more invasive surgery.
 I've not really had the heart to blog much lately, as I've been so upset by all of this.  Again, it's not easy for me to talk about personal things here.  But just knowing that you are thinking of me will really help to lift my spirits.  The dr. said it is rare for it to be cancerous in women under 50, so I am trying not to even think about that!!
By the way, I snapped all of these photos from our "backyard", the Puget Sound, the other night.  I do believe that it was the most gorgeous sunset I've ever seen! And believe it or not, I've not altered these pictures in any way, it really was that stunning!

Thanks so much for your prayers, I'll be sure to keep you posted!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

White Washed French Country Basket

Bon Jour, Mon Amis!
Do you love the look of rustic baskets as much as I do?  Oui?  Well, today I thought I'd share with you one of my latest creations, a wicker basket that I gave a French Country accent to!
What could be more French Country than chicken wire? I really love the look.  I began by giving the basket a white washed treatment, which really gives it Old World charm, I think!
 Next, I created an oversized tag from one of my all time favorite French graphics from the Graphics Fairy.
The piece de la resistance is a key that says "dream".  As in "dreaming of Provence"!
 Oh, and I can't forget the big floppy bow that I made out of rustic looking burlap.  This was a fun project, which transported me to the French countryside (in my mind, anyway!!). I'm adding this lovely to my Etsy shop, if you care to take a peek!  Au revoir!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

French Flower Market Buckets

Bon Jour, Mon Amis!
Hope you all have had a great weekend!  Wow, it's hard to believe that an entire week of the brand new year has already come to a close!
Today I'd like to share with you a pair of French flower market inspired buckets, featuring one of my very favorite motifs from the Graphics Fairy. Well, I seem to say that all images from the Graphics Fairy are my favorite!  But, I just can't help myself!  Karen has so many wonderfully gorgeous images to chose from, it's impossible to pick just one favorite!!
 Isn't that label just gorgeous?
 After finding these large tin and galvanized buckets on separate thrifting trips, I just knew that the rose label would be the perfect addition!
 Love the copper toned finish of this bucket.  Can't you just imagine it with a huge bouquet of springtime wild flowers?

 And forgive me if you've already seen the photo below, but I just couldn't resist sharing it again!  I snapped this shot at one of our favorite  flower markets in Paris.  Doesn't the sight of all of those pretty blooms make you yearn for spring?

Hope you all have a great week!
I'm linking up with the Graphics Fairy for Brag Monday

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Hau'oli Makahiki Hou! (or, "Happy New Year!")

Hello Ladies!
Hope you all had a wonderful holiday season!  Hubby and I returned from Maui in the wee hours yesterday.  We had a wonderful trip, but it always feels oh so good to be home!  Thought I'd share with you some more photos of beautiful Maui (hope you're not sick of seeing them!).
 The first few shots are of protea flowers, which were at the Ali'i Kula Lavender Farm.  Aren't they beautiful?

 You might not think of lavender when thinking of the Hawaiian Islands, but the farm, which is in "Upcountry", (up the mountain) provides ideal growing conditions with dry soil, sunny days, and mild temps.
 The view at the lavender farm is just stunning!  You can see for miles, with West Maui and the ocean in the distance.
 Also in Upcountry is Surfing Goat Dairy. I know, you normally don't think of goats and Hawaii together!!!
 This sweet little goat was just 7 days old!  There were several week old babies, and it was so cute to watch them try out their wobbly legs.  The farm makes award winning goat cheese, and hubby and I shared a slice of their yummy lilikoi cheesecake.
 Ok, did you know that there are cowboys on Maui, too?  Upcountry is also home to many cattle ranches, as well as "paniolo's" (cowboys).  The western style town of Makawao makes for a fun day trip.  Bet you've never seen a cow wearing cowboy boots before!

The western style buildings, dating from the late 1800's I believe, now host interesting galleries and shops.
Below is a Hawaiian cardinal.  Isn't he pretty?  He was enjoying a bit of our leftover popcorn (even though the condo we stayed at posted a "do not feed the birds" sign, we just couldn't resist!).
This is the second time we've stayed in the same condo, and we love it!  It was so hard to leave and come back to reality!  If it weren't for our little fur baby (which we dearly missed!), and hubby's job (minor detail!), it would have been so easy to stay the rest of the winter!
I would never get tired of this view!  The sunsets in Hawaii are spectacular! 
Since we fly standby, it was quite an ordeal trying to make it home!  The airport was beyond a zoo, all of the flights to the mainland were totally full, and we ended up spending Sunday night at a hotel near the airport.  That's after spending all day trying to get out!  Our suitcases made it on the plane to Seattle without us, meaning I didn't even have so much as a change of clothes with me, or my toiletries, either!  Needless to say, I was pretty stressed, and so happy when we finally made it on a flight the next afternoon to Portland.  Since we couldn't catch a flight to Seattle, we ended up renting a car and driving back.  But at least we made it! 
Here's wishing you a wonderful 2012!