Home of The French Marketplace

La joie c'est le partage
{ the joy is in the sharing }

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

My Blog Has Moved!

Good Morning Everyone!!

Musings From a French Cottage has moved! You can now find me on Wordpress at The French Marketplace. 

Nothing has changed really. I just needed a cleaner, more streamlined look for my blog. I also wanted my blog name to be consistent with my Etsy shop, Instagram, and my Facebook page.

I'll leave this one open too. There are a lot of tutorials here that are still visited regularly.
Thank you to everyone who has followed along for so many years! 

Please join me over there for more tutorials, painted furniture, and lots of French decor!

xo and God Bless,

Friday, July 29, 2016

Master Bedroom Makeover

Just a quick post here, a little peek into the work going on in the master bedroom over the past week.

I've been doing a bit of re-arranging as well as some furniture painting. There were some pieces in this room that are just not working and I moved them into another room where they will serve their purpose much more efficiently. I wanted to use small dressers as nightstands that will do double duty as more storage space for off season clothing. I found one dresser and painted it {above} and am now on the hunt for another to put on the other side of the bed.

Here is the other dresser and it's one of my favorite pieces. I found it at a thrift shop and may or may not have raced to grab the tag before anyone else could get it ;)

I can't wait to finish this room and share the whole thing!

Have a great Friday everyone.

xo and God Bless,

Friday, June 10, 2016

Vintage Style French Sign From a Flea Market Find...Featuring IOD Decor Transfers

I have THE coolest new product to share with you!
I made this amazing French sign with an old flea market cast-off, some paint and wax that I had on hand, and the amazing new Décor Transfers from Iron Orchid Designs {IOD}

Do you want to make a sign too?
Here is how I did it.
First, lets gather our supplies. You will need the following:

an old frame or plywood (anything that you'd like to use as a base for your sign)
white chalk type paint
black acrylic paint
paper towels
sanding block
IOD Décor Transfers {Item #814489 "Catalogue"}
spoon or other burnishing tool

This is how my project started. This is a piece of decorative wall art that I found in a thrift store. I wasn't crazy about the Tuscan look of it, but I loved the shape and decorative scroll work on the frame. I bought it knowing that I could make something amazing with it.

The first thing I did was paint the entire thing white. I used Waverly Inspirations Chalk type paint in white.

I painted two coats and when it was dry, I went over it with a black paint wash. I mixed some black acrylic paint with water and brushed that over the entire piece. Work in small sections and wipe away the paint with paper towels as you go.

This will leave you with a beautiful chalky gray color.
Once that dries, get out your white paint again and lightly dry brush over the chalky gray. You'll notice that I did this paint treatment all over the entire surface, including the area where the transfer is going to go, I changed my mind though and decided that I wanted that area to remain white. I went back and repainted just that area in white. You can see what I mean in the photo below.

Now I have a wonderful aged finish on the frame and the center is all white.
Lightly sand the entire piece with your sanding block and wipe away the dust completely.

Okay, now for the really fun part!!
The transfers!
Iron Orchid Designs has come up with these amazing Decor Transfers. There is no transfer medium or drying time involved. You simply peel away the protective paper backing and position the transfer right where you want it. The transfer is on a clear sheet of acetate-like material, so positioning is very easy. You can see exactly where your design is going to go.

Once you have your transfer right where you want it,
start burnishing. I used the back of a metal spoon and that worked perfectly for me. You can use a spoon or any similar item to burnish.  As the image starts to transfer, you will see it appear a shade lighter through the acetate-like material. You can see what I mean in the above photo. See how the letters I'm rubbing are dark, but the ones that I've finished to the left are lighter? When you're all done, slowly lift away the plastic to reveal your masterpiece! If you notice that an area didn't transfer all the way, no biggie, just put the plastic sheet back down and burnish again.

These transfers sand and distress beautifully if you want that look. If you don't, that's okay too. Just leave it as it is. I wanted an old and worn look to mine so I did distress it a lot. It's entirely up to you. Have fun with it!
As a final step, you will want to seal your piece. I used Annie Sloan clear wax, but any wax or sealer will do.

What do you think? I really enjoyed these transfers and the possibilities are endless when it comes to what you can create with these. You can even cut them into sections that you want to use, allowing you to mix and match different ones. They can be applied to furniture, signs, walls - be creative and enjoy the process!

Until next time...
xo and God Bless!!


Thursday, April 28, 2016

Vintage Breadbox Transformation!

While at the thrift store a few weeks ago, I came across an old breadbox. It came home with me and was transformed into a charging station for our phones and other electronics.

I recently became a design team member for Iron Orchid Designs and used their amazing Vintage Decor Moulds for this project.

Head on over to the Iron Orchid Designs website for a step-by-step tutorial on how it was done!

Have a fabulous day everyone!

xo and God Bless,

Friday, April 22, 2016

The New and Improved Coffee Bar

It's Friday!!
I wanted to share with you, the newest addition to our kitchen.
We have had a coffee bar set up here for several years now and I love having it here. It's central to the whole kitchen and it's really nice having the coffee pot here because I can't stand having lots of appliances out on my counter tops.

The problem though, was that the table I had was just too small. I've been on the hunt for the perfect farm style table to use and I finally found it while out thrifting.

Here it is just as I found it. Perfect for the space and exactly what I had envisioned.
Not very pretty - I know, but this table has loads of character and is a good, solid piece

I really loved the hardware too.

So here she is mid-makeover. I gave her a quick coat of paint. Just one coat and I really wasn't worried about neatness because I was going to sand the whole piece anyway. 

I painted on stripes to resemble an old grain sack and when I was finished, I sanded the whole thing to give it a nice, chippy look.

I left the original hardware just as I found it.

Even the lamp was found on the same thrifting trip. I painted it too, but I'll show you that in another post.
As you can see, this table also hides that awful return vent for the heating and air conditioning.

My French bottle drying rack and some of my Rae Dunn collection.

My tins that I painted to resemble old hat boxes. I store extra coffee pods in them.

and last but not least, this old soup tureen. It was missing it's lid but it made the perfect planter to hold a bit of boxwood.

And there she is! Our new and improved coffee bar.

Thanks so much for visiting and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

xo and God Bless,

Monday, March 21, 2016

It's Spring Again!

It's hard to believe that a whole year has come and gone since I last posted. I've decided to get back in the saddle and re-visit this blog of mine. I got so caught up in Instagram a year ago and discovered that it took a lot less time to post there than it did here. I guess I became a bit - dare I say, lazy. There, I said it. That awful "L" word. Well actually, lazy isn't quite the right word. Maybe "easier" is better. As the kids get older, we get busier, and I went for quick and easy. It took a lot less time to create a quick post for Instagram or Facebook and I just went for it. The truth is though, I have missed blogging. So here I am and I'm hoping that you all will discover this little blog again. That you'll pop in and say hello. I'll still be regularly posting on Instagram and Facebook too, so if you don't already follow me there, come on over, I'd love to see you!

Instagram - @thefrenchmarketplace
Facebook - The French Marketplace

So, In the time since my last update, I've painted a lot of furniture, I've re-done our kitchen, and most recently {like, three days ago}, I have decided to start selling my furniture and other painted goodies in an antique mall. My sister-in-law and I will be opening a space together and I am so excited!!

Happy Spring!

xo and God Bless,

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Air Mail

There is just something about a stack of old airmail letters that I love.
They speak of romance, hard times, the war.
They tell a story - 
of someone's life,
of an era.

Several years ago, I came across an old collection of these beautiful letters. I cannot imagine who could have parted with them, but I took them home with me and enjoyed reading them. They were written by a man who has been assigned to Le Havre as Assistant to the Regional Executive of the American Red Cross. He writes to his sister and his aunt.
 It's 1945 and he is in Rouen, France.  He talks about the city and his travels around Normandy. He writes about the destruction that surrounds him from the bombings. In one of the stories he writes home about, he talks about a French pastor and his family - food supply is scarce and the prices are highly inflated. The pastor's children have never tasted oranges before. They next day, the soldier is able to get oranges from the Army mess hall and he takes them to the children.
They are absolutely delighted by the oranges.

Reading these letters will transport you to another time, put you right in the middle of the action.
Maybe that's why I love them so.

Anyway, this little stack of airmail history that I found, inspired me to create a few note cards of my own.

I bring to you...Handmade Airmail Inspired Note Cards.

Send a little note to someone you love and create a bit of your own history!

Enjoy your weekend.
xo and God Bless!