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!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Nutella Crepe Recipe

Bonjour Mes Amis!
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. Wow, it's hard to believe after all of that planning, preparing, decorating and shopping the day has come and gone.  I don't know about you, but I always look forward to the quiet days after the holiday.  After all of the hustle and bustle, time for reflection is a good thing!
Today I wanted to share with you the most delectable recipe for Nutella filled crepes.
The recipe comes from the Jan/Feb issue of Romantic Homes magazine.
I am not thrilled, by the way, that the magazine has now decided to double up on their issues.  As a long time subscriber, I was none too happy to see that instead of receiving 12 issues a year, they are now just printing 10.  Oh well, I digress.
Back to the important stuff, crepes!!
The first time I ever tasted Nutella filled crepes was over 14 years ago, when hubby and I went on our first trip to Paris together.  Ooh, la, la!  Nothing can be more Parisian than crepes, and it seems as if there is a creperie on nearly every block.
Ever since my first taste, I vowed that I wanted to learn how to make them.  Well, all these years later, I finally did give them a try!

Mixing the batter couldn't be easier!  Just a quick whirl in the blender is all it takes for a super smooth batter.
For me, the tricky part was in the flipping. They make it look oh so easy in Paris, where crepe making is a true art form! I will have to work on perfecting my technique!

So, here is what mine looked like, below.
Not quite as perfect looking as the ones pictured above, but let me tell you, they were delish!
Sprinkled generously with powdered sugar, and served with a dollop of whipped cream, I was instantly transported to the streets of Paris!
Now I think I've started a new tradition, Christmas Crepes!
Below are a few shots that I snapped a few years back on one of our visits to Paris, where they take their crepe making very seriously!  The little stands are everywhere, it seems.  They front many little bistros and cafes, and have a window open to the sidewalk, where you walk up and place your order.  They always have a large chalkboard listing all of the filling options, everything from savory to sweet.  Jambon and fromage are very popular (ham and cheese), but our very favorite is the Nutella!
The wonderful scents of butter and sugar fill the air as you walk by, making it nearly impossible not to stop!!
It is so fun watching them create your crepe.
First off, they have two very large round griddles.  They ladle the batter onto one of the hot buttered griddles, then use a little rake like tool to spread the batter very thinly over the entire surface.  It only takes a minute or two for the crepe to cook on each side.
This is where they make it look easy, flipping the crepe.  They use two long metal spatulas to flip the crepe onto the other griddle, cook for a minute, and then fill!
Is your mouth watering yet?  Mine sure is!
This is what a typical creperie looks like in Paris.  Notice the walk up window and crepe menu board.  Of course you could walk in and have a seat at the bistro, too.
They always fold the crepes into quarters, never roll them up.  Then they wrap them in parchment, hand them to you, and WOW!  Strolling the streets of Paris, nibbling on your hot fresh crepe, you feel that all is right with the world, even if just for a brief fleeting moment!

I do hope you try making the crepes, let me know if you do!
Bon appetit!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Joyeux Noel

 Sharing pics my antique hutch all decked out for Christmas (made by my grandparents over 100 years ago!).  It resides in our living room and is one of my favorite pieces.
 I'll let the pictures do the talking................
 Joyeux Noel
 Buon Natale
 Frohe Weihnachten
 Feliz Navidad
 God Jul
 Merry Nollag
 However you chose to say it..............
 Wishing you and yours...........
 A Very Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas Mantle

I like to keep things simple and easy on our mantle for Christmas.
With a few quick add ins, the mantle was looking festive and sparkly!
I began by draping some faux pine greenery over our large antique mirror.  Then I hung a Christmas wreath that I made a year or so ago over the mirror (I'll show you close ups of that in a bit).
I borrowed a trick from my friend Celestina over at Southern Day Dreams,
and used an over the door wreath hanger to suspend the wreath from the frame of the mirror.  I picked up the hanger up for next to nothings at Hobby Lobby.  Only problem was it was black, and too long!
So, I just bent the metal to shorten it up a bit, and spray painted it creamy white, so you don't even notice it peeking over the top of my wreath!
 I added this beautiful glittery angel, given to me by a friend last year (love it!)
 Year round I keep the tall wood candle sticks on either side of the mirror.
I painted them my signature creamy shades.

 A roaring fire keeps us warm and cozy!
 The mercury glass votives are also a year round staple.  I just love mercury glass, and can't seem to get enough of it!
 I love the reflection of our tree in the mirror!
The frosty white looking wreath was made with the addition of pinecones, mixed faux greenery, and my large glittery paper roses, made from vintage sheet music.  Topping it off is a large wood "W" for our last name,
which I painted silver and coated in clear glitter.
 On the left of the mantle is our Eiffel Tower clock for a Frenchy touch!
The only thing I would change if I could would be that red brick!
I am not a fan of it, to say the least!  But "someone" in our house is.........!
 So there you have it, my easy peasy sparkly-festive mantle!
I'll get one more post in before Christmas, I want to show you my Christmas hutch next time.
Hard to believe it is just 4 short days from now!
Wishing you all a peaceful holiday season!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Christmas Ornament Redo

Bonjour Mes Amis!
While I admit I'm more than a little tempted to go out and buy a bunch of new Christmas ornaments each year (especially when I spot anything sparkly or silver!), I usually try and stick to my rule of 
"making the most of what I've got"!  So that often means redoing or repurposing those items that I already have on hand.
So today I thought I'd show you one of my latest creations, these pretty Frenchy decoupaged ornaments!
 They actually started out looking like this:
 I'd picked them up years ago at a garage sale, for next to nothing.  While I really loved them and enjoyed them as is for many years, I was in the mood to give them a French accent, in keeping with my
"glittery-silvery-creamy-Frenchy" theme this year!
 So here is what I used to transform the ornaments (which are made with a styrofoam like base).
I began by tearing pages of a vintage French dictionary into small pieces.  No worries, the dictionary is not valuable!  I picked it up a few weeks ago at our library's used book sale for just 50 cents!  I never would tear up a valuable book, I bought it just for crafting.
Besides, I already have a nice French dictionary that I use:)
 I then used my handy-dandy Martha Stewart fleur de lis punch (love!!),
and punched out a bunch of them from pretty light blue scrapbook paper.
I wanted the ornaments to be a bit glittery, but I didn't want them shedding all over the place!  Believe it or not, even though I am a glitter nut, I really don't want to find the stuff on every square surface of our house!
And since I am a cheapskate  budget minded,  I hate wasting anything!!!
So, I had a bit of a brainstorm!  I had a large bottle of iridescent glitter glue that had gotten too thick to really use.  So, I cut open the bottle, and mixed it with satin Mod Podge.
 I save the little trays that my "Lean Cuisines" come in, they are perfect for decoupaging and painting projects.
 I didn't take any photos while I was decoupaging the ornaments, it was more than a little messy!
Anyway, once I had the balls all covered with the French dictionary pages, I let them dry.  They I added a fleur de lis cut out to both the front and back of each ornament, went
over the entire ornament with more Mod Podge,
and lightly sprinkled with iridescent mica while still wet.
 I wish that the glitter and mica showed up better in my pics!
 Anyway, I am so happy with the way they turned out, and am glad that I hung onto those ornaments, I was about to donate them to the thrift store!
 They look so pretty hanging on our tree, best of all, they cost next to nothing to make!
Oh, notice the little crocheted angel hanging to the left behind the ornament?  My mom made that years ago, and I really treasure it.
Hard to believe Christmas is just over a week away!
Have a fun and creative day!

Friday, December 12, 2014

A Few Fun Ornament Ideas

Wow, it's hard to believe that Christmas will be here in less than two weeks!
Seems as if the season goes faster each year, doesn't it?
For me, one of the best parts of Christmas is creating!  And sharing those creations with family and friends.
So today I thought I'd share a few ornament that I made for gifting.
 Instead of running out and buying a bunch of supplies, I think it's fun to challenge myself and see what I can create with items that I already have on hand!  You know how much I adore the image of the sweet French Christmas angel.  I just had to use her yet again!  With inspiration from Pinterest, I created this pretty and glittery shadowbox scene ornament.   It is actually made from the lid of a small and sturdy cardboard  box that once held jewelry.  I ended up making two just like this, one from the lid, the other from the base of the box.
 And since I was on a glittery roll, I had fun creating this snowy ornament above, fashioned from a petite wood picture frame.  I'd had the frame in my "to do" stash forever, and was actually about to donate it to the thrift store, when inspiration struck!  So, I removed the glass, went over the frame with one quick coat of cream spray paint, then added this fun snowy scene.  I brushed the frame with Mod Podge, then dusted with shimmery mica flakes. To the inside of the frame, I added a snippet of vintage sheet music and a pretty piece of snowflake velum paper that I happened to have.  White foam snowflake stickers were added, as well as a generous dusting of clear coarse glitter and "snow" glitter.  I printed the words "let is snow" on the printer, mounted them with foam squares to give a bit of dimension, and glittered the edges.  To the top of the frame, I screwed in an eye hook and hung from vintage looking silver tinsel trim.  Oh, I also glued a piece of Christmas scrapbook paper to the back for a neat finish.
 Ok, getting back to my angel shadow boxes..........
I had so much fun creating these!!
I first used some white craft paint to paint the sides and inner edges of the box top and bottom.
Copies of vintage French Christmas sheet music were glued to the insides (found at the Graphics Fairy).
Cotton was hot glued to the inside bottom of the boxes, then I added pretty silver glittery snowflakes, "Joyeux Noel" on chipboard, and the cute little angel.  I first cut the angel silhouette out, mounted her on heavy paper, then added her to the boxes with foam mounting squares, again for dimension.
Then I did the same as for the frame, and coated the heck out of it with my clear glitter, mica and snow glitter!  I also used glitter glue on the angel.
 Silver tinsel trim was hot glued around the edges of each box, and I used silver cord to hang
(I just punched a hole in the top of each box).
 I gave these to my hairstylist the other day when I went in for a cut. She was so surprised.  I remembered last time I was in, she mentioned she didn't have much in the way of Christmas decor.
The other angel shadow box is a gift for a friend.
 Here is the backside of one of the boxes, covered in pretty paper.
 So fun, and so glittery!
 And this is part of my crafting arsenal (hahahaha!), my Martha Stewart glitter and mica. 
(I forgot to include a pic of the glitter glue.)
Martha, if you are reading this, I am still more than willing to become your official 
International Glitter Ambassador!:)
 Here is one last look!

Happy creating!