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, November 18, 2015

Faux Mercury Glass Ornament Project

Hi everyone!
Today I wanted to share with you my latest project which I just completed for DecoArt, faux mercury glass Christmas ornaments.  I know, it's not even Thanksgiving yet!  But for those of us who craft and create, we need to get a jump start on the season, right?!
So, here is what I came up with............
 Do love mercury glass as much as I do?
I just adore it and can't seem to get enough of it!
So, I decided to create these using plain ol' clear plastic ornaments!
Yep, I used plastic!   While I would rather have glass ornaments, I didn't want to worry about breakage if I were to ship these. So after much debate, I went with the plastic (you can easily find them at Hobby Lobby or Michael's).
For my project, I wanted to make a coordinating storage box.  Something that would not only be a convenient place to store the ornaments after the holidays, but would be a pretty addition to Christmas decor.
 I decided on a French theme, all dusted with plenty of glitter!
(still holding Paris close to my thoughts and prayers.)

I sat up my little faux tree in our sunroom for the photo shoot. 
Making the ornaments was a bit of a process. But thru trial and error, and more than a bit of lack of patience, (I might have tossed out a few 4 letter words, gasp!), I finally got the look I was going for!
 First, you spray a fine mist of water into the insides of each ornament.
 Squirt in a bit of metallic silver paint...............
 Sprinkle in a generous amount of fine silver glitter (I know, you are shocked by that, right?!)
Then swirl it around in the ball.

 Place them upside down in disposable cups overnight.
If you are like me, you can't stand the thought of wasting anything!
Don't worry, you can reuse the excess paint for another project if you wish!
I was really liking the look so far.
But, the next day, not so much!
 More of the paint drained out than I had expected, and I just wasn't happy with how things were looking.
 So, a bit of brainstorming, and I decided to swirl in some more silver paint, along with just a few squirts of black to give more depth and again.
 Ahhh, just what I was going for!
I repeated the steps a few times, letting the excess paint drain out overnight.
It took quite awhile for the paint to totally dry inside.
 Then I could begin decoupaging them!
I found my images on Pinterest, as well as the Graphic's Fairy.
Those pretty butterflies are from the premium membership that I bought from the Graphic's Fairy (love!!).
 And surprise, more glitter was added!
 I tied narrow silver ribbon to the caps, and must say I am really happy with the end result!

 Who would guess that these are just plastic?
This sweet little angel, above it one of my very favorites!

 I bought a large paper mache box, which I painted with chalky finish paint.
Then I decoupaged the sides and lid with my French graphics, and dusted with more glitter.
Pretty creamy cotton lace trim was added to the lid as a final touch.
Here is one more look..........
Hope this enspires you to create something fun and glittery!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Hearts to Paris

Words just don't seem adequate to express the sadness felt after hearing of the terrible events that happened in Paris over the weekend.  My heart is heavy as I think of all those who have lost loved ones, and everyone affected by such a violent act. 

It is just unthinkable that a city that I hold so dear, my very favorite place in the world, experienced such a horrible thing.

So, I am praying for peace, and praying for comfort for all.
When I think of Paris, I don't just think of the amazing monuments, the gorgeous flower markets, or the wonderful cafes and bistros.
I think of the people.
Often I am asked if people in France, and Paris in particular are friendly. For some reason, many are under the impression that the French are rude.  In my opinion, nothing could be further from the truth!
So, I answer the same each time:
"Yes, they are very friendly!!"
 I think of the staff at the little hotel on the Left Bank that hubby and I stay at each year.  The same employees have been working at the hotel since we first started going there 15 years ago.  Each time, they greet us with a hug and a warm handshake.
I think of the beautiful Parisian woman who I purchased lovely scarves from, at my favorite street market.
While we didn't speak the same language, we were able to communicate, and she gave me the most beautiful smile.
I think of the woman who owns the adorable little chapeau shop (hat shop) around the corner from our hotel.
As I was trying on one of her beautiful hats, she came over to help me, and showed me how to adjust it
just so.

I think about the guy selling produce at one of our favorite street markets.
We got such a kick out of seeing him in the University of Michigan shirt!
(we live in Michigan).
And I think about the friendly young man who helped me with my purchase of French soaps and dried lavender.
We were so touched when he told us that the French are grateful to the Americans for helping liberate their country during WWII.  He said, in perfect English,
"If it weren't for you, I would be speaking to you in German right now."
Meaning:  France would have been overtaken by the Nazi's and they no longer would be a free country.
Regular people.  Just going about their regular lives.
I remember our first trip to Europe.  How I was so shocked at the sight of young soldiers walking around with assault riffles, fingers poised on the triggers.
It still is shocking to me, but sadly is part of daily life there.
At the airports, and around all of the major monuments, museums and more.
Now I am sure they will be even more of a constant sight, unfortunately.
Please remember those who have lost.  It could happen here.
It has happened here.
Praying for peace.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Fun Glittered Tag Project

Bonjour Mes Amis!
Hope your week has been a great one so far.
For me, any day that involves glitter, vintage images, and decoupage is a great day!
So with that, I thought I'd share with you a few vintage inspired tags that I just created.
I began with some extra thick and heavy chipboard.  Actually it came from vintage picture frames that I picked up while thrifting. Since I didn't need the backings any more, I put them in my crafting stash.  I never throw stuff like that away, as it's just full of crafting potential!

 Then the really fun part began!  I pulled out my stash of lace trims, tiny buttons both vintage and newer, rhinestones, and bits of this and that.
Throw in some Mod Podge, glitter and copies of gorgeous vintage images, and 
 I had so much fun creating these tags.  I like to keep them on hand to give as little gifts.
Wouldn't they be pretty hung from a door knob, or added to a wrapped present as a gift within a gift?
And I think they would be gorgeous hanging on the Christmas tree, too! 
I started by decoupaging vintage looking sheet music to the chipboard, which is actually decoupage paper.
The images of the beautiful women are from the Graphics Fairy. Aren't they beautiful?
For the tag below, I added this adorable glittery cut out of a birdcage, that I had in my stash for quite some time.  Love!
 To the bottom of each tag, I hot glued on pretty lacy trim and buttons.

 I then pulled out my vintage Children's dictionary and cut out various definitions, which I mounted on thinner chipboard.  No worries, the book is not valuable or anything!  I bought it for a buck at our libraries used book sale, just for the purpose of crafting.  I never would tear up a valuable book!
 Oh, the women are mounted on chipboard, too.
 I had these fun little keys in my stash, just waiting for the perfect project!
I added thin wire for hangers, leaving it a bit crinkled just for fun.
Then I tied to the wire gorgeous pale pink hand torn silk ribbon.
 Rhinestones add even more bling!

 I had so much fun with this project, I can't wait to create some more!
 The best thing is that I already had everything on hand.
Hope this inspired you to create something with what you already have sitting around!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Vintage Jewelry Box Makeover

Hi everyone, happy November!
Wow, it sure is hard to believe that Halloween is already past, and soon the holidays will be upon us!!
Today I thought I'd share with you one of my latest projects that I completed for DecoArt, a vintage jewelry box which I transformed.
Here is a peak at the "after".  Of course, it didn't look like this when I discovered it!

 When I first spotted the piece while thrifting, I just knew it would be fun to give it makeover.
I was drawn to the raised panels on the doors and each side, as well as the pretty embossed design on the top.  Plus, it was made in Japan and very well built, and the music box still worked!  It plays "Lara's Theme" perfectly.  While the ballerina designs on the panels were pretty, they were showing some wear, and one was starting to peel off.  
The two doors opened to reveal three velvet lined drawers.  Only problem was, they were red velvet!
While the material was still in very good shape, the color just did not fit with what I had in mind.
No problem!  I decided to remove the velvet and paint and decoupage the inside of the drawers. Sounds easy enough, right? Well, was I ever wrong!
Can you believe I literally spent hours removing every last trace of that velvet and cardboard backing from the drawers??  It was very frustrating, to say the least!  In the end, I am glad that I decided to redo the insides.  With that said, the next time I make over a jewelry box, I will leave the insides alone!:)
Ok, I am getting a little ahead of myself in all the excitement!
I first removed the hinges on the doors.  Then I painted the entire box in my favorite light blue chalk paint, called "Vintage".  It has just a bit of gray undertones and is oh so pretty!
I also used some creamy white "Lace" chalkpaint to dry brush the piece and give a bit of dimension.
I knew I wanted the drawers to be a bit darker, so I mixed in some black "Carbon" chalk paint with the light blue, resulting in a nice dove gray.
I also gave the entire piece a little glazing treatment for instant aging.
The piece de la resistance is the pretty floral design that I decoupaged onto the raised panels.
It is from DecoArts new decoupage paper line, and I just love it!
Aren't those blue roses gorgeous?
I've done quite a bit of decoupaging over the years, and this was my first experience using actual decoupage paper.  It is the perfect weight and texture, and is so easy to work with!
Here's a look at the embossed design in the top.  It's hard to see in my photo, but the glazing settled into the design making it a bit more pronounced, just as I was hoping.

Oh, another thing I forgot to mention!  I painted the border of the raised panels in creamy "Lace" to help set them off.
I also used Lace to paint the inside of the drawers.  Then I lined them with more of DecoArts decoupage paper in a vintage sheet music motif.  Love!
I must say that I am thrilled with the end result!
Aren't the cute little wooden feet darling?
In the end, it was worth all of the work, and it was a very fun makeover!
I can't wait to find another box that I can transform!
Thanks so much for stopping by, hope you have a great week!
Disclaimer:  I am compensated by DecoArt, but all opinions
are my own.