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, December 30, 2015

Boring Wood Stools Get a Makeover With a French Accent

Hi everyone, how was your Christmas?
I hope it was a wonderful one!
With the new year, most of us seem to have that
"out with the old, in with the new"
So with that, I thought I'd share with you my latest transformation, a project that I just completed for DecoArt
Actually, rather than out with the old, I wanted to take it one step further and
keep the old, just make it better!
So, here is a sneak peak at my new-old kitchen stools!
And here is what they used to look like!
Pretty boring, right?
Well, I was about to get rid of them and purchase some new ones.
I am so glad that I had a change of heart!!
Before I share with you more, I'll back up a bit and mention that we're planning to renovate our kitchen.  Yeah!
We'll be getting new counters.  I decided rather than get rid of all our cabinets, as they are still in very good shape, that I'll paint them antique white, and add some new hardware.
We do plan on splurging a bit and replacing the island, which you see below.
Ok, more on that later!
Here is what I did to give my stools a French accent!
After painting them all with DecoArt's "Lace" chalky finish paint (my hand's down favorite color of theirs!),
I used their image transfer medium to add these fun graphics, found over at the Graphics Fairy.
(gosh, I think I'd be lost without the Graphics Fairy!!)
I was pretty nervous about trying the image transfer method.  I'd attempted to a few times several years ago, using the Mod Podge method, with pitiful results.  But, back then I made the mistake of using copies from my ink jet printer.  You really need to use laser printed copies in order for this method to work. 
Trust me, I found this out the hard way!!
So, I took my graphics to Staples and had them make laser copies (since we have an ink jet printer at home), the cost was super cheap.
If you are using graphics with words, just make sure you use a mirror image (flip the print backwards)!
I followed DecoArt's directions, and I must say I am happy with the results!
It was pretty tedious, and not a project that you can rush.
This graphic, an advertising sign for a French candy and pastry shop, is my favorite!
Now that I'm getting the hang of the transfer method, I can't wait to try it on something else!
Oh, I almost forgot to mention that I used Deco Art's "soft touch varnish sealer" as a protective top coat.
Please ignore the unsightly metal pipe in the photo below!  It will be hidden soon by our new larger island!
Actually it's the gas line to my new gas stove, which I love cooking on!
We'd had an electric stove for years, and I never liked cooking on it.
I still can't believe how different the stools look!  I really do love them now!
So my challenge to you is rather than just going out and buying a bunch of new stuff
(to replace the old), try looking at what you already have and see how you can transform it in some way.
It's amazing what a little paint and tlc can do!!
Disclaimer:  I'm compensated for my projects for DecoArt, but all of the opinions here are my own!
Linking up with Creative Country Mom for Flea Market Fridays

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Peace on Earth

Wishing you all a peace filled Christmas.  May your day be a special one, a time spent with those you love.
I'll try not to talk alot here, mostly share photos, as I know everyone is busy.

 My petite tree in our sunroom.

 Except for the angels and tree topper, I made all of the ornaments.
 Lots of glitter and silver and sepia tones that I love so much.

 Along with my Frenchy touches.
 Our "chateau" at night.
 This shot is with the flash on.  The lights down at ground level are luminaries that I lit when we had my family over last night.  Just a bunch of jars,
mostly from our recycle bin (!), filled with sand and small votives.  It was just magical!
 And beneath our big tree in the living room, Katie admires the ornaments.
 Ok, all this Christmas business is wearing me out!!
Praying for Peace on Earth and that you all have a wonderful Christmas!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Quebec City Christmas, Part Deux

Hello everyone!
How is your week going so far?
Just 4 more short days 'til Christmas, can you believe it?
Today I thought I'd share with you some more pics from our trip to Quebec City.
Dusted in snow, decked out with lights, Christmas trees and greenery, it was absolutely magical!
Doesn't the restaurant below look straight out of a fairy tale?
Dating from 1675, it was once a former home, which is the oldest in the province, and is considered one of the best restaurants in all of Quebec.
 I just loved the quaint cobblestone streets and old buildings.

 Notre Dame cathedral is quite grand and feels as if it should be in Europe..

 The 1640 Restaurant, below, was our favorite of this trip!  As a matter of fact, we ate their 3 times on this visit!
It's foundation dates to 1640, thus the name.
The staff was super friendly, and the food was amazing!
 A view of the interior.
 We enjoyed breakfast there twice.  
Wow, those French Canadians sure know how to eat!
Huge and hearty portions, perhaps fitting for a lumberjack:)

 Our waiter that morning was so nice, helping me with my French.  He was such a good sport to pose for a photo with moi!
 Our best dinner was also there.  My photo of the beautifully presented goat cheese salad, below doesn't really do it justice.  They served it on a large slate (super cool, I thought!), and garnished it with candied pecans and a poached sweet pear..  
 Hubby and I both had the tagliatelle pasta with salmon and spinach.  It was amazing!
 I usually am not a fan of creme brulee, but I must say I loved their maple creme brulee!
Of course, maple syrup is king in Canada, and is featured in one form or another in many of their dishes.
Thanks so much for stopping by!  I'll try and squeeze one more post in before Christmas, to share a bit more decor around our home!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Christmas in Quebec City

Hi Everyone,
Just one short week away from Christmas, can you believe it?
I know you are all busy planning, doing last minute shopping, baking, decorating, and more!
Such a busy time of year, isn't it?
I am trying hard to not get stressed from all of the
"should do's" and "need to do's",
and instead
remember the real reason for the season.

Hubby and I returned last night from a trip to Quebec City.  It was our third time there, and is such a magical place at Christmas time!
Thought I'd share a few photos with you today of our getaway.
Here was our home away from home, the historic Chateau Frontenac!
 I felt like a princess staying here:)
Quebec City is not a cheap place to visit, but thankfully for us Americans the exchange rate is great for us now!
So now is the perfect time to visit!
Loved our room, my photo just doesn't do it justice.
And here is the view out our window!
 When visiting Quebec City, you truly feel as if you are in a quaint village in the heart of France.
French is the language spoken, and of course all of the signs, menus, etc are in French.
And the architecture is amazing!
 The city really goes all out decorating for Christmas.
I was just mesmerized by this adorable and oh so sweet window display of an antique shop that we came upon.
(I wish I could figure out how to photograph thru glass and not get a bunch of glare.)
It was just the cutest ever!
An antique doll is decorating the tree while her friends watch admiringly.

Perched on a ladder with a garland in her hands, she is having such fun getting the tree just right!
As her dolly friends look on.............
I just had to snap a photo of this sign below, certainly nothing we see at home!
Watch out for snow falling from the rooftops above!
You would just love walking the cobblestone streets!
Here's hubby in front of "our" chateau!
Meet Daphne!
She is the ambassador of the seeing eye dog program in Canada, and comes to "work" each day at the hotel.
She is part Labrador and part Bernese Mountain dog, and is just gorgeous!
The grand lobby was decorated with some amazing Christmas trees.
 This blinged out one was my very favorite!
They were all decorated by different organizations for a charity fundraiser.
 Just magical!
Thanks so much for stopping by, I'll share more of our trip in a few days!
Au revoir!