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!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Happy Howl-O-Ween!

Katie says......

Friday, October 25, 2013

Gray, Pink & Cream

 Gray is such a popular color these days.  Truth be told, I have never been crazy about gray.  You could even say that it's my least favorite color.  So I surprised myself when I discovered that it's actually growing on me!  I really like it when paired with pale pink and creamy white.  So today I thought I'd share with you some recent creations from my Etsy shop, featuring those colors.

 I created this custom set for an Etsy buyer a little earlier this fall, and I really love the way it turned out!
 Soft pale gray, light pink and creamy white are the perfect partners, I think!
 I especially love the pink frames!
Below is a set that I have listed in my shop right now.  I have so much fun hunting for interesting picture frames that I can paint and transform with a little tlc!  For this set, I painted some of the frames both light gray and a darker charcoal gray.  Two shades of pale pink, as well as creamy antique white pull it all together.

 Isn't the little pink daisy frame adorable?

 The set below is my most recent creation.  I also added the vintage octagon shaped mirror, as I thought it was a good compliment to the octagon shaped frame.
 While it looks like wicker, it actually is a vintage Dart Industries molded plastic frame!

 I also really love finding nice shelves to paint, and I always have good luck selling them in my shop. Who couldn't use another shelf (or two, or three!)?
 I painted this one a charcoal gray,and really wasn't happy with the look.  I had a bit of a brainstorm, and decided to give it a white washed treatment, and I really love it now!

 Ok, are you tired of seeing so many picture frames?  I guess you could say I officially have a frame obsession!  
 This set includes both vintage and newer frames, and again I paired two shades of gray with the cream and pink.
 This set just sold, but you can find the other goodies in my shop, if you care to take a peek!
 Have a great weekend!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Decoupaged Mini Pumpkins

Bonjour Mes Amis!
Hope you all had a great weekend.
So many of you have been busy decorating for fall and Halloween, but I've been feeling oh so far behind in that department!  I had purchased a set of faux pumpkins at least a month ago for the project that I am about to share with you, and just never had made the time to do anything with them.  Well, I finally got around to it and finished them today, and had alot of fun in the process!

 I've created a little vignette on our dining table with my pumpkins, that I'll tell you about in a sec.  But first, I knew that I wanted to use my large vintage silver tray, found a few years ago at a thrift shop.  Like so many of you, I also love cloches and pedestals, and wanted to incorporate that into my look. 
 So here is what I did.  I began with cheap-o faux pumpkins from the Dollar Tree. They looked so sad and, well, tacky that I had my doubts that I could turn them into something pretty!  Thankfully I was able give them a new lease on life, by decoupaging them with pages torn from a vintage dictionary and adding some pretty embellishments.  I know that some may have trouble tearing books apart, but that is what I bought the dictionary for.  Our local library has used book sales each month, which is where I picked up this dictionary, and for only a buck! 
Oh, I almost forgot to mention that I first spray painted the pumpkins cream, as I didn't want any of their former bright orange and gold tones to show thru the dictionary pages.
 I've perched one on a wonderfully tarnished vintage silver pedestal that my parents received years ago as a silver anniversary gift.  A cute little glass cloche tops it off.
 Here is a better look minus the cloche.  The most fun part of creating the pumpkins was the embellishing!  For all but the tinest pumpkin, I replaced their ugly plastic stems with small bits of driftwood that I collected on our trip to Lake Superior.  I also added wonderfully crinkly creamy seam binding, tied in generous bows.

 Isn't this petite pumpkin just the cutest?  I thought it really didn't need any embellishing, so I left it as is.  I've nestled it inside of a vintage tarnished little creamer, another thrift store find.
Also to the tray I've added a few bits of green moss, some tiny pinecones, and a pretty silk flower that I spray painted to tone down its former bright color.
 I had fun thumbing thru the dictionary for a few appropriate words.  I was super excited to find this graphic of a pumpkin.
It may be hard to tell from the photos, but I also dusted each pumpkin with some clear coarse glitter ('cause you know how much I love my glitter!).  I just dusted it on while the final coat of Mod Podge was still wet.

 I also added silk leaves that I painted cream, and coated in glitter.  They were green and orange, but that just wasn't the look I was going for!
To the pumpkin above, I added a pretty vintage rhinestone pin that was in my crafting supply stash.  It was missing a few rhinestones, so I just took a few little ones from the craft store, and glued them on with tacky glue.

 The two other pumpkins were embellished with vintage Mother of pearl buttons and faux pearl and rhinestone brads.  Love!
 Here's one last look.
I had so much fun with this project, and lots of fun creating this little vignette!
Hope that maybe it inspires you as well!
Joining Becky for Blissful Whites Wednesday.
Debra for Be Inspired Friday.
Be sure to visit for lots of beautiful inspirations!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Before & Afters

Hi everyone, hope you are all having a great week so far.
One of my favorite things to do when we travel is visit thrift shops, as well as consignment and antique shops.  You never know what treasures you might find!  When we were in the UP on our camping trip, I lucked out and found loads of goodies!  Thankfully I had plenty of room to stash things not only in the motor home, but in hubby's car as well!
So today I thought I would share with you a few of those things that I have made over so far.
I nearly passed up this mirror, as I just couldn't get beyond all of that blindingly shiny gold!  Not to mention thick, thick dust!  I picked it up and put it down several times, but now I am so glad that I brought it home with me!  I wasn't trying to get Katie's shot in the picture, but she just was pretty insistent on being part of the picture!
So, after giving the entire piece a good cleaning and painting it my favorite creamy white, this is what it looks like! 
So much better, don't you think?
I really love the unusual floral and swirl design on the side.  It's made by Syroco, and is now in my Etsy shop.
Mirrors, shelves, and picture frames are always good sellers in my shop, so those are the things that I am always searching for.  Below are a few shelves and mirrors just waiting to be transformed.
I've already painted the oblong mirror. I thought this glossy turquoise really took it from drab to fab!
Ok, I was a bad blogger and forgot to snap a before shot of these pretty sconces.  I was just too eager to cover up the gaudy gold with creamy dreamy white!  Actually I only found one of these sconces on our trip.  I thought that I might have one that matched back at home in my "to paint" stash.  As luck would have it, I did indeed have the exact match waiting for me!

Also getting in the makeover act is Katie!  She had a haircut the other day, so I just had to get a few photos of her and her new 'do!  The groomer did a great job, I think, and even gave her a cute little candy corn print bandanna.
Getting her to sit still, let alone look towards the camera and not away, was no easy feat!
Ok, once again I was too hasty and neglected to take a before shot, but trust me when I say that this shelf looks oh so much better now that she is painted!  Actually I'll have to give hubby credit for finding this beauty!  It is a vintage Syroco shelf, very heavy and big!  Much bigger than any other Syroco shelf that I've seen, at around 2 feet wide.  Anyway, hubby spotted her in a carriage house turned antique shop, that was filled to the brim with dusty overpriced stuff  treasures.  The price was way more than I was willing to pay, so hubby asked how much they wanted for it, since there were "sale" signs everywhere.  Well, the price ended up being right, so after bringing her home and giving her a good bath, I think she is so much happier in her new creamy white!  Although it's very tempting to keep, she is in my Etsy shop right now.
I have many more goodies that I bought on our trip, and I'll be sharing their transformations with you in the coming weeks.
Hope you have a great weekend!
Au revoir!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

More Fun in Michigan's Upper Peninsula

Hope you all had a great weekend!  It's hard to believe that we are already into mid October, isn't it? 
The other day I shared with you some of the many photos that I took while we were camping in the Upper Peninsula. Since I took so many pictures, I thought I would share some more with you!
I think that most people who have never been to Michigan would be surprised at the natural beauty that they find here, especially in the wilderness of the beautiful Upper Peninsula!
While there are hundreds of waterfalls in the UP,  Bond Falls  has got to be one of the most beautiful.  I wish you could have been there, as my photos just don't do it justice!  It was a cold and rainy day when we visited, but even the weather really didn't detract from the natural beauty.

 The really neat things about Bond Falls is that they have a hiking path and stairs that run right along side the falls.  So you literally can step right up to the side of these powerful falls!  It can be a bit unnerving though, I think!
 They use the falls to generate electricity, which I am very happy to hear!
 Wait, what is this???????????
Let's get a closer look!
 Someone obviously had a sense of humor!  Along side the trail at the waterfall, someone had placed this smiley face painted rock, tucked into a crevice of a tree.  What a fun surprise!
 We also enjoyed spending time walking the nice long sandy beaches along Lake Superior.
Here's Katie, testing out the waters.
 Brrrr!  Too cold for me!
 She didn't stay in long!

 One of the highlights of our trip was visiting Eagle Harbor and the Jampot, which is run by a group of monks.
They have the most amazing bakery with the best pumpkin muffins ever!  They are huge!
They also have fudgy brownie and yummy truffles that are delish, as well as homemade jams.  Their raspberry is heavenly!
 Notice the no parking sign?  Just a little monk humor!

  The monastery is across the road from their bakery.  Isn't it amazing?  While we were not able to go in (their services are open to the public on the weekends), we were welcome to walk around the grounds.
 We had visited here twice before, and could hardly wait to return to this little piece of paradise.
 Just look at their neat bell tower!
 A tranquil spot at the monastery.
 And this was their "backyard"!  Gorgeous Lake Superior.
 The next photos are of Brockway Mountain drive.
The panoramic views are just amazing!
 We were so excited that the colors were at their peak!

 It was super windy at the top of the mountain!
(hubby would kill me if he knew I included this shot!!)
 And last of all, I just couldn't resist snapping a photo of this sign that was at our campground!
Guess bears like to camp, too!:)
I'll be sharing with you later this week some of the thrifting finds that I purchased on our trip, I came home with a ton of stuff treasures!
Have a great week!