Home of The French Marketplace

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

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Merry Christmas

From our family to yours, we hope you all had a very Merry Christmas!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Manger

The decorating is finished

 and this week we're baking and tying up any last minute projects.

I came upon something today that I thought was cute and I wanted to share.

While my little ones are fascinated with the twinkly lights on the Christmas tree and the shiny, sparkly ornaments, 

 the one thing that really captivates them is the manger scene.

  I have three of them in different places throughout our home and my youngest children have discovered all of them.  I frequently find them with a chair pulled up to the table or lying on the floor, playing with the animals and the wise men.

  My youngest adores the baby Jesus.  She calls Him her baby.  It's not unusual for me to discover a sheep buried in the couch cushions or a camel sitting on the desk.  Today though, I noticed that the baby Jesus was missing from each of the mangers.  I wondered if maybe she had them tucked away somewhere safe.  Some secret place where she could play with them later.
But I was wrong.
 She found the statue of Mary in our family room and she placed them all there.
This is exactly how I found them.
So sweet.
Even the very young know...especially the very young.

Have a peaceful evening.
xo and God Bless,

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Ballard Designs Stocking Knock-off and...Christmas all Through the House

The windows
all adorned...
...the chandeliers too...

the coffee pot is on,
ready to welcome you!

Our hearts are set on home,
no place we'd rather be...

gathered all together to trim the Christmas tree!


We have been busy decorating and fluffing, enjoying this Christmas season.  I've been working on a few projects ~ super simple and inexpensive that I will share.

First up are these stocking I made - inspired by Ballard Designs.  I saw them on the current cover of Country Living magazine...LOVE them but not for $39.00 each!

So, I made my own. 
Very simple really.
  Take an inexpensive stocking that you can buy at Walmart and lay it out on a piece of burlap that has been folded in half {or freehand it}.   Cut around the stocking so that when you're finished you have two matching pieces.  Sew them up, wrong sides together.  Now turn it right side out and sew a piece of upholstery webbing onto the top edge of your stocking.  Lastly, sew on a loop of ribbon, jute, or whatever you have on hand so that you can hang it.  I used seam binding.  That's it!  For less than a dollar each, you have a pretty Ballard inspired stocking to hang on your mantle.    
Another fun project I did were these faux mercury glass ornaments. They're actually plastic and from the dollar store (shhh...don't tell anyone)
They were an unattractive gold color when I bought them.  I simply spray painted them with metallic silver spray paint.  Now here's the cool part about this project.  The plastic and paint that these ornaments are made of don't completely agree with  spray paint.  The silver paint covers it well enough, but it bubbles up here and there creating a look that resembles mercury glass.  I loved the finish that this created.

the ornaments needed a little something paired with them so I also made this chalkboard.  The tray is another dollar store find that I taped off and sprayed with chalkboard paint. 

throw in a pretty glass bowl of citrus

and you have an instant vignette for the kitchen island!

Underneath the coffee station in the kitchen, I added this basket of old percolators and tucked in a bit of white pine greenery.

I put a Christmas tree laden with candles up on the mantle.  See the champagne bucket it sits in?  A great French bucket look-alike until I can actually find an old authentic one{I found these for $6.99 at the Christmas Tree Shops}! 

I hope you are having a blessed advent season.
From our home to yours, Merry Christmas!

xo and God Bless,

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Christmas Bird Decoration Tutorial

First I have to apologize that I didn't have this posted two days ago like I said I would.  I just got a little busy and it had to wait....I'm sorry!

Anyway, on to the glittered bird ornament.  This is so simple really, I should probably call it a "where to find the birds post" rather than a tutorial.

I was at Walmart with my husband last week and he was looking for a few hunting supplies.  While standing there next to him, I spotted this bag of birds.

Only, I wasn't picturing them hanging up in the trees fooling other doves...I was imagining three French hens, two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree...sorry...but you get the idea.

I excitedly picked them up and threw them in the basket, all the while my husband is watching me, wondering what I'm going to do with a bag full of dove decoys. 

I smiled at him and said, "I'm going to put them on the Christmas tree.  Just wait, you'll like them."

They really aren't all that spectacular on their own so this is what I did.
I simply spray painted them white with Rustoleum 2x Painters Touch in Heirloom White.  After the paint dried, I brushed the whole thing with Mod Podge then sprinkled them with clear glass glitter.  Once they dry, brush off excess glitter and clip onto the tree!
(they already have clips attached..or loops of you prefer to hang)

I love them now!

The birds can be found in the hunting section of your local
Walmart.  They're on clearance right now for $9.00 for a pack of six.  They are also sold separately if you only want to make one or two.  They're priced at $1.50 if you buy them individually so the cost is the same.
Enjoy and have a great week!

xo and God Bless,

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Christmas in the Air

We're doing lots of decorating and lots of listening to Christmas music.  I love this time of year... it's true meaning is very special.  There is much peace, love and happiness and I enjoy making the house sparkle to reflect that!

I've redone my chalkboard on the mantle for Christmas.  Now I just need to get some fresh greenery to tuck in here and there.

These are the birds I worked on last week that I mentioned earlier.  I'm going to post tomorrow about how I did them.  A fun project that was very easy to do.  The product of sudden inspiration while at the store shopping with my husband. 
Be sure to come back tomorrow for the how-to!

Some reindeer that I added to the mantle alongside the chalkboard

Hope you're all having a wonderful weekend!

xo and God Bless,

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Meet Jack!

Meet Jack!
He's the newest furry addition to the family.
After much thought, we decided to get another lab.  They are such wonderful dogs and so good with children too.  

This sweet little guy fits right in and is loved by all.  The children are beside themselves and our current lab loves him too!  We picked him up last night and everyone has been enjoying him so.  There has been much running, playing, laughing and dare I say...barking!

I think we've worn him out!

~ ~ ~

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  We had a lovely one and are gearing up for Christmas now,  We've got one of our trees up and of course Jack is fascinated with the lights.

Have a happy weekend!
xo and God Bless,

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.  May you all have a blessed day!!

xo and God Bless,

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A French Coffee Table

Hello!  Is everyone just about ready for Thanksgiving?  Two more days!!
I have been working on projects like a crazy woman all weekend as well as yesterday and today.  I have completed a lot though.  I painted and finished three tables, finished 3 burlap table runners, reworked our coffee station, hung a menu board, worked on some really cool glittered birds for Christmas decorations(which I cannot wait to show you!!), did a little furniture rearranging and last but not least, I began just a teensy bit of Christmas decorating today.  Whew...that was a mouthful!  I promise you though, I did not ignore my husband or kids...I kind of worked these projects into a bit of spare time .  I typically don't go on project binges like this but I just had too many unfinished things lying around that needed my attention.  It was time to get them done. 
 Okay, I've gotten off track...so back to the French table
I found another wonderful graphic from The Graphics Fairy (love her!)  I have been wanting to paint this on a table for awhile now, but didn't know how to enlarge it without having to invest in an overhead projector or pricey photo software.  Well, as luck would have it, there is a website that will do this for you for free!  Wha??  Free?? 
Yes!  Karen has a complete tutorial on how to do this.  The site is called BlockPosters and you can upload any photo from your computer to be enlarged.  You just decide how many sheets of printer paper you will need to cover your surface and block posters will enlarge your photo into a grid pattern.  Then you print it out, piece it together and voila!  Instant pattern.

So here it is all taped out, ready to trace with my pen.  What you do is rub over the back of your paper with chalk, lay the image down on your surface as pictured above, then begin to carefully trace over the whole thing.  When you're finished, pick up your paper and the image is left behind.  Now you fill it in with a paint pen or a very thin brush and acrylic paint.

Here it is after I finished all of the lettering.  Notice anything missing?  Um yeah, the "DE" in between the first two words.  You see, after I spent a half hour tracing each little letter, flourish and scroll, I excitedly lifted my paper to reveal......a BIG giant smear of yellow chalk.  Yep, that's right.  I couldn't tell one letter from the next.  I couldn't see where one word began and the next one finished and since my hand was about to fall off  a little sore from all that tracing, I just decided to wing it...do the best I could and not worry about whether or not it was perfect.  It's supposed to look old and vintage anyway right?  Since I couldn't see the "DE", no "DE" went in there.  The funny thing is, I didn't notice it right away.  Something was off, but I couldn't quite figure out what it was.
When it was done, I kept looking at it, feeling like something was missing. 

When it dried, I distressed it a bit and then I glazed it.  Despite the missing "DE" I still really like it!  There was a lot of love put into this table and now she's sitting all cozy in front of the sofa in the basement family room.
Would you believe it took me two days to figure out that the "DE" was missing?
Go figure!

Have a great week!
xo and God Bless,

Saturday, November 12, 2011

To Market, to Market...Make a French Market Basket

A French market basket, who wouldn't want to have one?  I know I always have but they're quite pricey!
Never fear though, I found out how to make one of your very own.  

You see this basket?  I got it from Joann Fabric's.  It even comes with wheels!  A little bit of craft paint and a little bit of sewing is all you need to transform it.

Now, I didn't come up with this idea all on my own.

No, I found it on someone else's blog and when I saw it, I couldn't believe my eyes.  I was so excited to try it myself that I ran right out to JoAnn's with the kids in tow, to find this basket.  I had all of the paint and fabric at home so all I needed was the basket. 

I wasn't crazy about the green liner that came with the basket so I sewed a new one.  I just used a piece of leftover drop cloth that I had from another project and then made a ruffle for it.

So here it is again, as I found it at JoAnn's

and here she is with her new paint job, a ruffled liner and her wheels!
~ ~ ~
Now, for where I found this amazing tutorial...the fabulous Rosemary from Ozma of Odds!!  She is simply charming and she has a treasure trove of a blog too.  Rosemary has so many beautiful things that she shares with all of her readers and her tutorials are very easy to follow.  I'm not going to re-type the whole tutorial here, but if you go on over to her blog, you will find step by step instructions on how to make one of these baskets! 
I was so excited to find this tutorial!!
I can give you the info though, about the basket in case you would like to make one too.

It can be purchased at JoAnn Fabrics (make sure to take your 40% off coupon though)
here is a direct link to the basket...if you buy it online, it's on sale right now for $19.99
if you buy it in the store, it's full price so take your coupon!
Have fun and go see Rosemary!!

xo and God Bless,