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!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Please Pray for This Little Boy

Hello and Happy Thanksgiving everyone.
Today is a day that we can gather together with family and friend's, enjoying not only a feast, but each other's company as well.
While you are busy preparing, could you please remember this sweet little boy in your prayers?
He is the grandson of my dear blogging friend Nana Diana.
He is very sick, and has been in the ICU for several days.
The doctor's have been running lots of tests, to try and find out what is wrong and making him so sick.

My heart goes out to Diana and her family and this sweet little boy.  Please pray for healing and for comfort for the family as well.  I know that Diana appreciates each and every prayer.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Graduation Day!

We have a graduate!
For the past 6 weeks, we've been taking little Katie to PetSmart for obedience classes.
It was our final class last night, and all of the dogs got to wear little graduation caps for photos!  It was hilarious!
Katie turned 10 months old today, and has made alot of progress since starting "school".  We've been working on the basics like "stay", "leave it", "come", and much more.  This past week, she learned "high-five", it's so funny to watch!!  Of course, she is still a wild and crazy little puppy, there is never a dull moment here at the Chateau!

 Our trainer was great, she really knows her stuff!  She made class time fun, and really has a deep love of dogs.
I plan on taking Katie back in the spring for the intermediate class.
My goal is to eventually have Katie become a certified therapy dog, so that she can visit hospitals, nursing homes, etc.  She really loves people, and she has a way of melting the hearts of everyone she meets!
Edited to add:
On a somber note, I just heard that the sweet little grandson of Nana Diana is very sick, and was admitted into the ICU.  The dr's are doing lots of tests, as they don't know what is wrong.  Could you please pray for him, as well as the family?  I can't imagine dealing with something so scary, he is just a little guy.  You can read about it here.  Thank you, I know that Diana really would appreciate it!
Wishing you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Easy Christmas Gift Tag Ideas

Bonjour Mes Amis!
It's been a brisk and windy day here at the chateau, so I've been staying cozy inside working in my craft room!
Today I thought I'd share with you some pretty gift tags that I made the other day, that are super easy, and make use of little scraps of paper and bits of cord and ribbon that you may already have on hand.
Pretty much all you need are scissors, a hole punch, glue stick, images of your choice, cord or twine, and scrapbooking paper and some glitter glue.
I began by cutting my tags from chipboard (sorry, I didn't get a shot of that!).  I actually never buy chipboard, I just save the inserts that often come in picture frames.  Whenever I come across chipboard like cardboard in various packaging, I squirrel it away, as you never know when it will come in handy!  
Why buy something when you don't have to, right?!
For the angel tags above, I used a gorgeous image of a pretty angel, compliments of the Graphics Fairy.  I also found the French Christmas sheet music there as well. 
I covered the backs of all of the tags with pretty Christmas scrapbooking paper and vintage sheet music.  
 Here's a look at some of my tags.
 Aren't these chandelier tags the cutest?  I thought the paper was so pretty, so I kept these tags simple and just embellished with some glitter glue.  Luckily I happened to have some red and white baker's twine left over from Valentine's day projects, so all I did was punch holes in the top of each tag and add the twine.
 Here's what the backsides look like.
 I also happened to have a few of these pretty dimensional snowflake stickers left from last year.
 More tags, front and back.
Since these tags are weightier and more substantial made with the chipboard, and many of them oversized, the recipient could hang them from their Christmas tree if they wanted to.  
 The little birdy tags below are some of my favorites!  I made a bunch of them last year too similar to this.  A sweet little chickadee and vintage sheet music, as well as pretty vintage gold cording, makes for a charming addition to your packages.
 Of course you know how much I love glitter!  And the holidays are a great excuse for me to add some sparkle to just about everything (not that I need an excuse!!).
So I used my favorite glitter glue "Stickles" to add some bling to all of the tags.
 Isn't this little metal caddy just the cutest?  I found it awhile back at the thrift store, and just love it!  It's perfect for storing my crafting supplies as I'm working on projects.
 I thought about embellishing each little pot, but I actually am enjoying it as is for now!
Hope this gives you some ideas for making your own tags.
I think they would be so pretty on a simply wrapped gift, hung from a bottle of wine as a hostess gift, or even give a set to a friend as a little gift!
Enjoy the rest of your weekend!
In a few days I'll be sharing with you some of my stenciling experiments. I'm having a blast using my DecoArt stencils and chalk paint!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Exciting News!

Bonjour Mes Amis!
Hope you are having a great week so far!
A few weeks ago, I was contacted by the Creative Marketing Director of DecoArt.  She found me thru my Etsy shop, and wondered if I would like to be a part of their Design Team.  DecoArt would send me products to try (they produce some amazing decorative paints, specialty finishes, and more), and I would create pieces for them.  Some I could keep or sell in my shop if I chose, other pieces would end up as sample work in craft stores such as Michael's or Hobby Lobby, as well as appear at their trade shows.  
Hmmmm, let me think about it............
  Let's see, receive a bunch of products to play with, and get paid for my creations????
Yes, Yes, Yes!!!
At first I thought that this was just too good to be true, maybe this was just someone's idea of a joke??
When I discovered that it was indeed true, I let myself get excited!
I honestly thought that I would be receiving just a small bottle or jar of paint for starters.
Well, look what the UPS man delivered to me yesterday!
 Wow!  I could hardly believe my eyes!  I was literally squealing with excitement as I opened box after box of paint.  Over 3 dozen jars of their Chalky Finish Paint, decorative finishes, waxes, and more!

 And dozens of little bottles of their craft paint, in a rainbow of colors!
 It felt like an early Christmas here at the Chateau!
 And, if that weren't enough, a huge stack of gorgeous stencils.  I am in love with their amazing Frenchy stencils, I can hardly wait to try them out!
 So, I am super excited, not only for all of the wonderful products, but for the chance to create for DecoArt.
 To say that I am thrilled and flattered is putting it mildly!
Can't wait for my first "assignment"!
I'll be sure to share with you my creations:)
 Have a great day!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Some of My Latest Creations

Bonjour Mes Amis!
Well, another week has flown by, and we are already halfway thru the month of November!
There just doesn't seem to be enough time in the day to complete all of the projects and ideas that are swirling thru my head (I am sure you can relate!).  And with the holiday season fast approaching, I know that it's time for me to try and get super organized (notice I said "try"!).
So today I thought I'd share with you some of my latest creations that I've added to my Etsy shop.
 I'm always hunting for frames to paint, and when I find a matching pair, I quickly snatch them up!  For these little cuties, I've added copies of gorgeous vintage floral wallpaper.  I am really loving the look!
 Why didn't I think of that sooner?  I can't wait to put some more together!
Love the sweet flowers and colors, too!
 Next up is a set of glass vases, that I hand painted in pretty shades of coral. I've been having fun playing with coral, it's a popular color right now.  And it's also really popular to use painted vases at weddings, bridal showers, baby showers, and more!
 I gave these a generous dose of distressing, and embellished them with some of my glittered hydrangea blossoms, all tied on with sweet creamy cotton lace.
 Love how all of the details just pop, with the addition of the paint and distressing!
 I never realized just how much I love coral!  For the frame below (that comes with glass and backing), I mixed up my own pretty hue, and was pleased with the end result!  Love the pretty wooden appliques at each corner.

 You've probably seen my frame collections in the past.  They are one of my favorite things to do.  I hunt weekly for interesting frames that I can paint.  While the recipient can of course add their own photos or artwork to the frames, for their photo shoots I like to add decorative papers to jazz things up at bit!
For this set I painted the frames, all vintage, gray, cream, and pale pink (love that combo!).
 The frames all have great curves  Isn't this gray one cute?
 And you know how much I love chalkboards!
I repurposed this vintage Homco frame into a new and pretty chalkboard.
I hand painted it a very pale pink.  Notice the cute little flowers that go all along the border?

 And still feeling in a coral mood, I painted this sweet cottage style shelf the same pinky coral that I did the larger picture frame that I shared with you.
 Shelves are always very popular in my shop, and this one just sold.
The other goodies can be seen here if you want to take a peek!

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Antique Mirror Reveal

It's a cold and snowy day here at the Chateau!  While I must admit that it is pretty, I am not ready for the white stuff yet!  Not to mention the fact that we usually don't get much in the way of snow this early in the season. So it's a perfect excuse to snuggle up inside by the fire, cup of hot cocoa in hand.
The other day I showed you the vintage mirror that I found at my favorite consignment store.  I could hardly wait to paint it my favorite creamy, dreamy white!
 It turned out prettier than I had imagined that it would!  I can't believe what a difference the paint makes, and how it brings out all of the wonderful details of the solid wood frame!
 In case you missed it, here is what she used to look like.
 While pretty as is, I just knew that she could look much, much better with a few coats of paint and a bit of distressing!
Hubby hung it above our mantle, and I am thrilled with the way it looks. Like many of you, I adore mercury glass, and have placed some of my favorite votives on the mantle.  I should have taken a shot of it at night, as the reflection of the flickering candlelight in the mirror is just magical!
 One of the big reasons that I wanted a mirror for above our mantle was that I thought it would help detract a bit from all of that ugly red brick, which I really detest  am not terribly fond of!
But, someone (who's name will go unmentioned!) is in love with that ugly lovely red brick, and didn't like my idea of white washing it!
 Just look at all of that amazing detail!

 And check out the long, long red chimney!  I had to lay on the floor to get this shot!
(what we bloggers don't do for a photo, huh?!)

 I can't wait to decorate it for Christmas, the ideas are whirling in my head!
Hope you all have a great day, thanks for visiting!
Sharing over at Be Inspired Friday

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Glittered Acorns, and a Lucky Vintage Mirror Find

Bonjour Mes Amis,
I've been into the glitter again!  For those of you who visit me regularly, you know just how much I love all things that glitter.  For me, there's nothing more stress relieving than drinking a big glass of pinot grigio playing in my craft room with the sparkly stuff!
 I collected a bunch of acorns earlier this fall on our walks, and couldn't wait to cover some of them with my favorite glitter!  Isn't this aqua color just gorgeous?  I thought the nuts looked oh so appropriate in this cute little glass squirrel candleholder that my mom gave me years ago.
 Here he is, among a little Parisian vignette.
 While it was a fun project, I must admit that it was more than a little messy!
 I also covered a bunch in this gorgeous silver.
Before I even begin the glittering process, I first place the acorns in a low oven for at least an hour, on a baking tray.  That way, there won't be any unwanted "hitch hikers", if you get my drift! (believe me, I found this out the hard way, ick!!).
Then I hot glue any loose caps back onto the nuts.
 I've placed the silver ones in my Etsy shop, but since they are pretty labor intensive, I think this will be the only set that I sell!
 I just love how they shimmer in the light!
 Ok, I could hardly wait to share with you my latest find, this huge vintage mirror!
I've been looking for months for just the right mirror to hang over our fireplace.  
They either were too small, out of my price range, the wrong shape, or just not the style I was going for.
Then I lucked out and spotted her in my favorite consignment shop the other day for 20% off.
So for $60, I thought it wasn't bad!!
(ok, I do have to give credit for my wonderful hubby for spotting her first!)
I am going to paint this beauty today, but wanted to show you the "before" first!
I'm not sure how old she is, but she is made of solid wood, and is quite heavy.  I am guessing she is actually more of an antique than vintage.
She's much larger in person than she looks in the picture. Almost 3 feet wide and nearly 2 1/2 feet tall.
I'm going to paint her creamy white, and of course distress her a bit.
 Yes, that is my hand and camera in the reflection above!  Do you know how hard it is to take a picture of a mirror and not appear in it?!
Here is a closeup of some of her amazing carved details!
I'll be sure to share her transformation with you!
 Of course I had to close by showing you a few pictures of our Katie!
I snapped these shots yesterday, after we returned from a very wet and windy walk!
She hopped up on the fireplace hearth on her own, to try and warm up and dry off a bit!
 Nap time!  
That walk made me sooooo sleepy.................

Sharing with Be Inspired Friday.