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!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

French Themed Lazy Susan, and other Fun Things

Bonjour Mes Amis!
Just thought I'd share with you some of the newest creations that I've made for my Etsy shop.
I love finding lazy Susan's that I can transform with a little paint and tlc!
So I had alot of fun giving this recent find a French twist!

It's been painted with my favorite shade of creamy white chalk paint.
And since you know I love all things French, I thought this stencil advertising a French bakery was quite fitting.
Oooh, la, la!
Another thing I love hunting for are nice wood candlesticks.  There are many I come across that I turn down. But when I am lucky enough to spot nice chunky ones, I quickly snap them up!
I decided to paint these in a pretty light French blue chalk paint.
Then I gave them my special distressing and aging treatment.
Light blue is my absolute favorite color!!
Next up is this nifty wooden tool box/tote. Well, it wasn't very nifty when I discovered it!
It was just plain unfinished wood, and was practically begging me for a makeover!
So, I mixed up several shades of chalk paint to come up with this pretty mossy green.
I thought the French flower market stencil was pretty fitting to add!
Ok, if you aren't sick of seeing my stencils, here is another recent creation of mine!
I've painted and sold quite a few of these wood crates.  
They are so fun to transform with chalk paint and French themed stencils.
I decided to go with a lovely light blue for this one, and creamy taupe lettering.
I can think of so many uses for these crates!
Fill them with books, as I have here.
Or they would be so handy in the bath to hold towels and other supplies in style,
In the living room, store extra throws, pillows, or even board games.
The possibilities are endless!
To each end I stenciled a large fleur de lis, which is quintessentially French!

And since we are on the subject of French flower markets, I couldn't resist sharing a few pics that I snapped of markets around Paris!

Thanks so much for stopping by, have a great day!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Dreaming of a White Christmas???

Ok, I know what you're thinking!!  
"Geez, Halloween isn't even here yet, and this nutcase girl is talking about Christmas???!!"
Well, in all honesty I am usually not one to rush the seasons.
Oh no!
I cringe when I walk thru the craft stores in August and see the Christmas supplies and decor already out.
And I usually don't like to start even thinking of the holiday til, well at least Thanksgiving!!
But, since I am having major blogger block, I thought I might as well share with you my latest project, which I just completed for DecoArt.
(and I hope you forgive me for even mentioning Christmas this early in the game!!)
If you are a fellow crafter, I'm sure that you usually get a leg up on creating for the holidays well before the season actually starts.
When DecoArt put out the challenge to create Christmas decor in non traditional colors, I knew right away which direction I would take things:
So with that, here is what I came up with...........

 I had so much fun creating this piece!
I began with a large unfinished wooden crate, styled after an old fashioned soda crate.
As soon as I spotted the crate at the craft store, I just knew it would be the perfect canvas for what I had in mind!
I used both chalk and acrylic paints, in vibrant shades of aqua's and blues.
Each opening is painted a different hue, which was pretty time consuming!!
 I knew that I wanted to include the words to a Christmas carol, and since 
Bing Crosby's  famous tune is one of my favorites, I went with that.
So I stenciled a few lines from the song on each long side of the crate.
That was pretty time consuming, as I was using an alphabet stencil and had to do it letter by letter!
For the piece de la resistance, I added wooden laser cut snowflakes, that I painted and glittered.
Because you know my saying.....
"You can never have too much glitter!!"
 For my little photo shoot today, I had fun filling the openings with pinecones, vintage glass Christmas ornaments, faux greenery, and even a tiny wrapped gift!
 Of course all of that involved getting into the attic to retrieve my big red and white Christmas tubs!

It did feel a bit strange doing that on a sunny and mild day in October!
I must say that I am happy with the end result!!
 Maybe this will inspire you a bit as you dream of a White Christmas!!
Ok, I promise not to get ahead of myself season and holiday wise next time!!
Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Petite French Chest Reveal

Bonjour Mes Amis!
Last week I shared with you the little chest that I was about to transform for DecoArt.
Well, after much blood, sweat, and tears, I am now ready to share it with you!
Ok, I may have lied about the blood part, but it truly was a labor of love!
Are you ready to see the "after"?
Voila!  Here she is!
 And if you forgot what the "before" was like, here she is.........
 I am so happy with the end result, all of the work was worth it, I think!
And after so many hours, I decided to keep this puppy for myself!
 One of the reasons it took me so long was first, I had to come up with a plan.
DecoArt challenged us to use at least 8-10 colors. That is indeed a challenge for me!
And the project was supposed to involve textures and/or faux painting.
So I spent a great deal of time just plotting and planning.  Often if I just look at a piece for awhile, inspiration will eventually hit.

 Since you know how I love all things French, I thought it was fitting that I give this little keepsake chest a makeover with a French Twist!!
I love mixing paint colors, to create truly one of a kind looks.  That is how I came up with this pretty blue that I painted the spindle legs.
 Plenty of distressing, followed by dry brushing several different colors, gives instant aging and dimension.
Ok, I skipped ahead of myself a bit.
Here is the chest (I took the lid off while painting), before I dry brushed the legs, but after I painted the chest portion in my favorite creamy "Lace" chalk paint.  I painted the inside a few shades darker.

 Another reason why this was such a lengthy project and labor of love was I tried out a new to me product by DecoArt, called "Dimensional Effects".  It is a water based dimensional paste which can be used with stencils to create neat raised effects.  I found it quite tricky to work with initially.  After plenty of trial and error, I think I finally got the hang of it!  I used it to add fleur de lis to both sides of the chest.  
Because what could be more French than the fleur de lis?
 Here I am applying it with a putty knife.
You can mix paint with it before applying, or let dry and then paint. 
I chose the latter, as I wanted to paint the raised designs several different colors.
 You can apply several layers, to build up even more of your design.  
I wasn't happy with how it was turning out, so I ended up adding another coat to fleur de lis that you see below.
 I also used the paste to the swirl motif on the lid.

As a fun surprise, I decided to decoupage pages from a vintage French book to the inside of the chest.

 I think the chest would be perfect for holding treasures and mementos.
 Oooh, la, la!
 Below you can see some of the raised detailing I did along the front of chest.
 I also used a pearly paint as a finish over the raised designs.
Love the subtle iridescent look it gives (which unfortunately you can't see in my photos).

 I am so happy with the transformation, and I think my little chest is loving it, too!

 Here is one last look!
Au revoir!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Dinosaurs Recently Spotted Roaming Michigan's Lower Peninsula!

Yes, it's true! We have dinosaurs currently living here in Michigan!

 And they have been busy laying and hatching their baby dino eggs!

 Pterodactyl soar overhead.
Ok, maybe I fibbed a little bit!
Actually, all have been spotted at our local botanical gardens that we belong to!
Every fall, the gardens put on an amazing, creative display of scarecrows, made mostly of burlap.
Yep, plain ol' burlap!
The dino you saw in the first shot is huge!
I'll try and get some more photos of him to give you a better idea of just how large he is, as well as some of the other fun characters that are at the gardens.
We are so fortunate to live very close to the gardens.  We walk with Katie there every day, on the many trails. She loves it as much as we do!

 Ok, wait, what is this?
A giant furry green and pink spider???
 Oh, that's right!  It is Katie's new fuzzy squeaky toy!
She is feeling a little camera shy...........
 Now she's warming up for the camera:)
 Trying to look her cutest!
Don't let that innocent looking face fool you! 
Thanks for stopping by, have a great weekend!