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, January 28, 2015

One Party Animal!

 Yes, it's true!  We have a party animal on our hands!
 Our little cocker spaniel Katie turned two yesterday!  And to celebrate the occasion, what did I do but make her a party hat!  I know, it's ok.  You can call me nutty!  I guess this is what people do for entertainment when they are cooped up inside in the winter time:)
 "What is this thing on my head?????"
 Katie is so fun loving and sweet. She keeps us laughing with her crazy antics all day long!
Don't let that innocent face fool you.  Oh, no!  She is one very mischievous pup!
But, we love her dearly and admit that we spoil her more than just a bit!
 Ooops, looks like this pup is too pooped to party!
Getting her to pose for the pictures, all while wearing a party hat, was no easy feat!
I had to bribe her with treats while I was snapping away:)
 We're always ready for a party here!!!
Have a great day!
And to all of our friends snowed in on the East Coast, stay warm and safe:)

Monday, January 26, 2015

Wintery Whites

Cold and wintery outside means it's a good excuse to stay indoors and have fun creating!
With all of the white stuff on the ground here in the Midwest, I thought I would bring some more white indoors! With paint, that is!
So today I thought I'd share with you some of my latest creations that I've made for my Etsy shop, all done in my favorite shades of white to cream.
This large basket was a lucky find!  It's brand new, and came with the canvas liner.  I couldn't scoop it up fast enough!
Of course it didn't start out life this color. It was a natural wicker tone, but I immediately thought it would be so much prettier with a white wash finish.  So I painted it my favorite creamy white, allowing a bit of the natural tones to show thru.

And since the basket had a French feel to it, I just had to make a French graphic tag to go along with it.
 Oooh, la, la!
Shelves are always big sellers in my shop, so I am always on the hunt for nice ones that I can transform with a little paint and tlc.  I was super excited to find this ornate vintage Homco shelf, below.
Originally gaudy gold when I spotted it, I could hardly wait to take it home and give it some creamy love!
 The shelf has some beautiful detailing, and would also make a pretty bed crown!

 It can sometimes be challenging to photograph my shelves.  The one below is even cuter in person than I was able to capture in my pics, I think.
It is vintage and has great curves!
 It was an awful dark reddish-brown finish when I found it on one of my weekly treasure hunts.  Many coats of creamy white paint, and it's looking so much happier, I think!

 Also popular in my shop are picture frames.
Actually hubby found the next pieces that I'm about to show you.  I get so excited when he comes home with treasures for me to transform!  I guess I've trained him well, as he knows just what to look for now:)
I really love this sweet oval frame.  It is vintage and has the prettiest floral and ribbon motif at the top, as well as pretty raised details around the border.
 I took it from gaudy gold to glam with my signature antique white!
 It came with this sweetest little bird print, but that could be replaced with a photo or other artwork.
 Oval frames are especially popular in my shop.  This pretty matching pair below are also vintage.
From boring brown to shabby and chic cream, I am really loving them!
 They have a pretty raised floral and leaf design on both sides of the frame.
I like including either vintage sheet music or pretty scrapbooking paper in my frames.  I think they look pretty in the photos, but sometimes I also like to show what the frames look like empty, so the buyer could better visualize them with their own photos or whatever added.
 I was excited when hubby came home with not one, but two of these cute curvy shelves, below.  And I could hardly believe my luck when I found another identical shelf when I was out thrifting last week!
I painted this one pure white, so much better than the awful dark reddish brown finish.
 Love the curvy brackets and the scalloped edge top.
 That's it for now, so glad you stopped by for a visit!
Have a great day, and stay warm and cozy!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Coffee & End Table Redo

A few months ago I finally got around to giving our coffee table and matching end table a face lift.  So I've been meaning to share it with you and finally got around to snapping some photos today!
We bought these when we got married, over 14 years ago, and while I still loved their clean lines, they just really didn't go with our room anymore.  Especially since hubby now finally appreciates painted furniture!
He's always been all about the wood!  Wood tones everywhere!  You will see what I mean in a second!!
The tables are very well made, so I didn't want to just get rid of them.  They are solid wood and made by Broyhill.  I knew that some creamy white paint would totally change their look and feel!

See what I mean about lots of wood?  I am not a fan of the wood walls in the least (that is hubby's taste), but I guess a girl's gotta pick her battles, right?!
I keep telling him that our next home will have beadboard.  Lots of white beadboard!!
Notice Katie on the couch?  As soon as I was about to have my little "photo shoot", she decided she wanted to get in on the fun, and promptly hopped on the couch!
Of course I forgot to take before shots of the tables, but you can get a peek at what they used to look like in the photo below.
I used a nice creamy white by Behr, the same color we used on our dining table and chairs.
I'm so happy with how they turned out!

What a pretty puppy!
I used several coats of paint, let cure for a few days, then distressed just a bit around the edges.
Then I used a clear satin sealer for protection.  And since I loved the oil rubbed bronze drawer handles, I left them as is.  I think they make such a nice contrast to the creamy white.
I'm amazed at how a few coats of paint totally transformed their look and feel!
Of course, one thing leads to another, so I had to paint the basket that I keep magazines in, too!
I just gave it a quick coat of creamy white spray paint, to give it more of a whitewashed feel.

So now I want to repaint our other end table!
This is it, on the other side of the couch.  It belonged to my mom, and she gave it to me years ago.

I eventually want to replace the wicker rocker (which will go back to its original home in our bedroom).
I do love it, but it is oh so uncomfortable to sit in! I adore chairs with lots of tufted buttons on the back, so that will be the look I go for.
Here's a better look, without the tablecloth.  Since the top is very shiny, I'll use a deglosser first, and paint it the same creamy color.
I can hardly wait to start! 
Here is one last look.
Thanks so much for stopping by, hope you have a great day!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Less of Me!

Ever since I was a little girl, I've struggled with my weight.  I've never been one that you have to remind to eat!  Believe it or not, I went on my first diet when I was just 9 years old.  I know, sad but true.
I did manage to lose weight many times over the years, only to gain it back, and then some.  
And for the past several years, I really had been putting on the weight
(all of that stress eating!!), but never mustered up enough motivation to do anything about it.
I was miserable.  Not just with the way that I looked, but the way that I felt.
My knees started aching.  And I would get winded easily.  That made me mad!  I was way too young to feel that way!
Plus, my blood pressure and cholesterol were high.  I refused to go on medication for that.
Something needed to change, but I was in denial.  Sure, I knew I was overweight, but I never weighed myself, and stopped looking in the mirror.
The last straw came this past summer, after seeing pictures of myself, and then seeing photos of myself from 10 years ago.  I was shocked.  Not to mention very depressed.  That was a low moment to say the least.
I guess that is just what I needed to get me started.
So, since late last August, I have managed to lose over 29 pounds!
I snapped the below pic of myself today.
While I am by no means slim, I feel great!
I have so much more energy, and the best part is I never once felt deprived!
No, I'm afraid that there is no "magic pill" to lose weight!
I personally don't believe in diets.  In fact, I called it my "weight loss plan".
Just the word "diet" sounds painful to me!  And it implies something you go on, and then off.  Not something that you can maintain for the rest of your life.  Or that teaches you good habits that last a lifetime.

 The below pics are from our trip to Italy last June.  I am totally embarrassed to show them, but I wanted to keep it real!  I was so appalled when I saw them, I didn't show anyone, other than hubby, and I certainly didn't print them out and add to our photo album!
 I may have been smiling for the camera, but inside I was anything but happy.  I was just so mad at myself.  Here we were, on the Amalfi Coast, one of the most beautiful places we've been to in the world, and I was so ashamed of the way I looked and felt.
 I never want to fall back on my old bad habits.  This is the first time in years that I've managed to lose more than a pound or two,
So, I started watching my portions, and had to totally cut out my "trigger food" of potato chips!  I don't even want them in the house, I never could just have a few!  And I also cut way, way back on cheese, another weakness of mine.  No more non stop mindless snacking in front of the tv at night.  And no more nightly glasses of wine.  Wine now is just an occasional treat!  Boy, do I miss that!
 I also dusted off my treadmill and walk on it just about every day.  And I went from "wimpy" short little walks with our cocker spaniel Katie (where I got easily winded!), to long walks with her each day.
 I still would love to lose a few more pounds, but for now I am just so much happier with the way I feel!
I am amazed how much more energy I have, and I don't get winded!
And my outlook on life has vastly improved!
Thankfully I always loved healthy foods, so I am still eating plenty of fresh fruits and veggies, along with other good for you foods.  And I do allow myself little treats here and there.
I still am worried about the maintenance part.  I know this is something I will have to work at for the rest of my life.  I've never been one of those lucky people that is just naturally thin!
So, if I can do it, anyone can do it!!
Thanks so much for stopping by, have a great weekend!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Paper Heart Garland

One of the benefits of all the frigid temps and snow that we've been having is being able to stay indoors and create!  I've been getting so many fun and inspiring ideas from Pinterest lately. Wow, it's way too easy for me to spend far too much time there looking at all of the amazing ideas!
So today I thought I'd share with you my paper heart garland that I made the other day, inspired by those spotted on Pinterest.
I know, I know, we are not even half way into January, and here I am thinking of Valentine's Day already!
 I had so much fun with this project, and in the process learned what I would and wouldn't do the next time!
I used a large heart punch to cut out all of the shapes, from both scrap booking paper as well as vintage sheet music.
The fun part is that the garland is stitched on the sewing machine!  Yep, that's right, you can indeed sew paper!
 Each heart is three different layers, folded to give dimension and interest.
 I was having a total brain freeze when I made it, though!  I knew that I wanted to drape or swag it over something. What I hadn't thought of was that I should have had the hearts on one half of the garland facing the other direction!  Instead, I goofed and sewed them all going the same way. That would have been fine had I just hung the strand up vertically.  But to drape them, one side of the hearts would be upside down.  Phooey!
 So, I fudged a bit and cut one end off, and taped it going the right way on the side of my hutch.
I also would punch my hearts from double sided paper next time.  I thought about that, but really wanted to use the paper that I did, as the colors and patterns were just what I had in mind.
All in all I am happy with how it turned out, though!  You could use different shapes or sizes of punches of course.  I think the garlands could be used in so many different ways.  At birthday parties, bridal or baby showers, or just fun accents for your home!

 Oh, while we are here looking at my hutch, I wanted to show you this adorable bird silhouette, below.
 It was given to me for Christmas by a friend who knows my tastes so well, and I just love it!
The silhouette is mounted on a vintage French book page. So me, and so tres chic!
I just so happened to have the perfect frame for it in my stash, this beautiful vintage metal filigree frame that I'd already painted cream.  Love the contrast with the black.
And here's one final look at my hutch with the heart garland.  I can't wait to make more, and this time I'll be sure to remember what not to do!!
Thanks so much for stopping by, have a great week!