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, June 21, 2016

Wine Tasting Fun in Northern Michigan

Hi everyone, how is your summer going so far?
For many of us Michiganders (that's what we here in Michigan are referred to as!), summer just wouldn't be complete without a trip to beautiful Northern Michigan!
Last week hubby and I traveled there in our new (to us) motor home. A bit more about our motor home later, we are very excited about it!

I'm sure many of you would be surprised to know that Michigan produces wine.  Not just any wine, but award winning wine!  And we have some amazing wineries that would rival those of more popular wine producing regions, such as California or Washington State!
So nearly each summer we venture north of the Traverse City area, where there are two gorgeous peninsulas, both of which are home to dozens of these amazing wineries!
For this trip, we stayed on the Old Mission Peninsula, which has stunning views of Lake Michigan and the lush surrounding rolling hills.
This first winery, below, just opened up.  It was built to look as if it were in the middle of the Italian country side instead of here in the Midwest!  It was pretty impressive.
Another winery that we like to visit, Chateau Chantal, has this wonderful patio area where you can take your tastings.  
I think this is one of the most beautiful areas of our state!
And here is our home away from home! We'd looked far and wide for a motor home that had all of the features we were looking for.  In fact, we traveled all the way down to North Carolina to buy it!
Notice Miss Molly in the window?
All of these photos were taken with my cell phone and haven't been retouched.  I know the below picture is pretty blurry, but I just couldn't resist sharing it with you!
The motor home has a small window on the side, down at floor level.  It acts as a little peep hole of sorts for Molly!

Up next is Bonobo Winery, which I was very excited to visit for the first time. They opened up less than two years ago, and is owned by Carter Oosterhouse of HGTV, along with his brother.
Carter is a native of Traverse City, and designed the building himself.
While it may look a bit utilitarian on the outside, just wait til you see the inside!
That's me, below.  If you look closely, you'll see Molly on the dash in the front window!
That's super hunky rather handsome Carter on the right, and his brother on the left.

We visited on a Monday, when it wasn't crowded in the least.
I just loved these large fabric covered panels that were suspended from the ceiling.  I'm sure they act as great noise baffles.
The design of winery was so well thought out. There are several rooms here and there which are also used as tastings and private tastings. They have the look and feel of being at someones private home.
Ok, I am sure I was the only one to photograph the women's room!
Sorry for the poor picture quality (again, this was taken with my cell phone).  I 
just thought the wire shelf holding the rolls of tp was such an amazing idea, loved it, and the cool light over the sink too.

Mario Batali, a long time fan of  Northern Michigan (he has a summer home in the area) designed the tasting menu of Bonobo. Sadly, we didn't see Carter or Mario on this trip!  I sure would've loved to meet them though!
If you ever get the chance to visit this beautiful area of our state, I would highly recommend it!
Ok, now we are back home, below!
And no, you are not seeing things!  The front two tires really are off the ground!
Our driveway has a bit of a slope, and when the stabilizing jacks are down, the front end comes up!
 Our home, and our home away from home!

Thanks so much for stopping by!
I've gotten so behind in my blog visits, but I promise to stop in as soon as I can!
Have a great rest of the week!

Friday, June 3, 2016

S'Mores Bar, A Fun Party Idea!

Hi everyone, hope your June is off to a good start!
Today I thought I'd share with you a fun idea for your next backyard party or get together,
a S'mores Bar!
I had so much fun creating this project for DecoArt, and couldn't wait to show it to you!
The theme of the project had to be backyard entertaining.
So, after some brainstorming this is what I came up with!
A super fun s'mores bar, which I've set up in our back yard, on my picket fence plant stand.

First I stenciled a pre made burlap banner in a bright reddish orange.
 I made cute little mini chalkboards for signage.  You can't see it, but I hot glued clothespins to the back of the chalkboard, making it easy to clip wherever you want to display them.
 Going along with my yellow-ish orange theme, I painted this neat galvanized caddy, which holds all of the yummy s'more fixings.  I painted just the outside, since I wanted a bit of a rustic touch with the natural galvanized look.  I just love this caddy, it has a total of 10 divided compartments. When I first spotted it, I thought it would be perfect for storing the chocolates, marshmallows, and more.
 Taking a thrift store frame, I painted it this vibrant goldish orange.  I found a really neat "gourmet s'mores" menu on Pinterest which I printed out and just stuck in the frame.  My mouth is watering just thinking of all of the yummy possibilities!

I wanted to think of something that people could use to hold all of their s'mores fixing, so I spent quite a bit of time hunting around Hobby Lobby.  It's amazing what you will find at craft stores when you go down isles you don't usually shop!
As soon as I discovered these "fry boxes" as they are called, I just knew they would be perfect!
I covered them in fun patterned scrapbook paper, using a glue stick.
Here's a look at my caddy empty.
I had so much fun with this project, and creating this little vignette!
We're going to have a party here later this summer, and you can bet I will be setting up my bar for sure!
Who doesn't love s'mores???  Yum!
Want to come over and join me?
All we need now is a bonfire!!
Here's one more look.
Thanks so much for stopping by, hope you have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Puppies and Projects

Bon jour!
How is your spring going so far?
It's been cooler than normal here at the Chateau, but the sun is shining, the birds are singing, and the flowers are blooming!
So I thought that was the perfect time for a little visit with Molly.
 I took these pics last week, while Molly was enjoying a little break beneath the crab apple trees!
It was no easy feat trying to take her picture with one hand (while holding her leash with my other!) using just my cell phone, and getting her to hold still!
Not to mention look my way!
It was such a beautiful day, with a nice gently breeze.  The petals that were falling looked just like confetti that was being tossed!
 She is growing by leaps and bounds, and is really learning and soaking everything up!
At 3 1/2 months old, she will undoubtedly be a wild and crazy little puppy for quite some time!
Ok, moving on to a few projects of mine.........

I found these neat and very large candlesticks while treasure hunting a few weeks ago.
They didn't look this lovely when I discovered them, though!
They are made of metal, and very tall and heavy.
Anyway, around their middle sections was glued printed burlap.  I just didn't look right, and gave them a cheap feel, I thought.  I knew right away I could make them pretty.
Well, removing the burlap proved to be much more challenging that I thought!
It was glued on, and I must have spent well over an hour getting it, and the glue residue off!
Then came the fun part, the painting!
Using chalk paint, I gave them a special 6 step treatment to give a faux zinc look.
I had alot of fun with this project, and think they look so much better!
Just wish I had thought to take their before pic!
 I've been on an angel wing kick lately, and painted these sweet little cast iron cuties in a pretty soft pale pink.  It's hard to tell from my photo, but I added a final coat of shimmery pearlized paint, making them even more angelic!
 I used the same shade of pink to paint these metal wings, that feature a cross and heart in their center.
 This next pair of wings is huge!
They are wood, with unique metal "feather" accents.
I've painted them my signature creamy white chalk paint, and added some of the pearlized finish.

 They are massive, at 40" tall, and together weigh 13 pounds.
I think they would make quite a statement wherever they are hung!
 I've added all of the projects you see here in my Etsy shop, if you care to take a look!
Thanks so much for visiting, I do really appreciate it, and your comments!
Looking forward to seeing what you all have been up to!
In the mean time, I leave you with one more pic of Miss Molly.
I picked up this basket at the Salvation Army to not only store her toys in, but used it to bring her home when we first adopted her back in April.
The other day I spotted her as she had hopped in, and just had to run and grab my camera.
I couldn't resist taking a picture of her with her little paws crossed!
(she posed that way herself!)

Have a great rest of the week! 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Master Bath Renovation Reveal and a Visit with Molly

Hi Everyone,
how is your week going?
Today I wanted to share our master bathroom redo.  I had intended on sharing it quite some time ago.
Anyway, we are beyond thrilled with the end result!
While it was many months in the making, it was well worth the wait.
The great thing is that my handy hubby did 99% of the work!
From the demo to the drywall, plumbing and electrical work, the beadboard installation, to the tile work, he did it all!
The only thing he didn't do was install the frameless glass shower enclosure.
For some strange reason, the walls look yellow in my photos. They are not yellow!
They are a soft and creamy color which I love (Behr).
We chose white cabinets by Merillat, and a gorgeous sand colored quartz counter.
For the hardware and faucets we went with brushed nickle, and I am so glad we did.  Initially I wanted oil rubbed bronze, but the only hardware we could find had lots of copper tones in it, which I did not like.
This is a small room, with very high ceilings, so we had to make the most of every square inch!
I'll give you a reminder in a bit of what our bathroom used to look like.
One of the best parts of the transformation (well, they are all good!) is now we each have our own sink!
Yeah!  Prior to that, we just had one, and it drove me nuts having to share.

Ok, here is what it used to look like!  This photo actually made the room look better than it really did, as it was taken with a wide angle lens (by hubby's son for our then real estate listing).
I can honestly say there wasn't a thing I liked about thus room!
Ok, there was one, the light fixture! And that was only because it wasn't that old.
Everything else was very 1980's, and not in a good way!!
 I cringe just looking at this mirrored sliding shower door.  Ugh!
 And as much as I love blue (it is my favorite color), I don't want a blue bath tub or fiberglass shower enclosure.  Or a blue toilet!  Notice the "lovely" wooden toilet seat in the mirror?
 I was more than ready years ago for this room to be transformed.
Now we couldn't be happier with the end result!
Ok, remember those upper walls are light cream, not yellow as they are showing!
I am loving the beadboard, and also our double towel rack.
Hubby did an amazing job with the ceramic tile floors and shower.
 I picked out most everything for the bath, including what I call my "fancy tile", the pretty glass mosaic tile used as an accent in the shower, as well as back splash above the vanity. They are made in Italy, are iridescent, and change colors with the light. They remind me of the inside of a seashell.  I just love them!
They were not cheap, but I am so glad that I decided to splurge.
The rainshower head and hand held  are made in Germany, and come with a lifetime warranty.
You don't find that much these days!  Nothing like German engineering!
 We both feel like we're staying at a fancy spa hotel!
 Ok, what do you do when you have huge and unsightly shampoo and conditioner bottles?
Well, I just wasn't happy with the way the looked in our niche, they hid my fancy tiles!
So, I found some clear acrylic soap and lotion dispensers at Bed Bath and Beyond, then created labels for them.  The pretty graphics are from the Graphics Fairy, and I just added the writing on PicMonkey.
I then used outdoor ModPodge (which I happened to have on hand) to attach the labels. Then I gave them a few more coats.  So far, over a month later, the labels are holding up beautifully.  And the pump dispensers  look so much nicer, I think!

 At Home Goods (love that store!) I found the most gorgeous mercury glass soap dispensers, tooth brush holder, and soap dish.  I like corralling all of our things in these ceramic trays, which I purchased years ago at Home Goods.  We each have our own.

 We just love the frameless glass shower enclosure. The door swings both in and out.
It is a huge improvement from our tub with sliding mirrored doors!
I was always stubbing my toes or bumping my shins when I climbed in and out of that thing.
I may or may not have yelled a few choice words over the years!
 Up above our vanity, I've hung this pretty cream colored iron piece, found at Hobby Lobby.
I think it's a perfect fit for the space.
 Oh, who do we have here??
Well it's little Miss Molly!
We've had Molly for a little over 2 weeks, and she has already made herself at home.
She won our hearts, and came to us at a time when we were totally heartbroken over the sudden loss of our Katie.  We still miss Katie terribly and always will.  But having Molly in our lives has been a big help.
Plus, she keeps us more than busy!
 Hey!  Just look what happened at the end of my little photo shoot today!
Someone decided that the toilet paper is just way too fun to unroll!
 "Hey, it wasn't me!"
 Thought I'd share a few more pics of Molly.
We just love her.
 She is almost 3 months old, and is full of energy and mischief, like most puppies are!

 I can't get over how quickly she is growing.  I snapped the photo below (which is one of my favorites) a week ago. She already has grown by leaps and bounds.
Thanks so much for stopping by.  I really do appreciate your visits and comments.
And all of the support you've shown me, it has meant more than you know.
Have a great rest of the week!