Home of The French Marketplace

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

Monday, December 3, 2012

Grain Sack Inspired Dresser Makeover

If you have been reading my blog for awhile, you know that I have a real love for old French grain sacks.  I would cover everything with them if I could!

Even a dresser...well, sort of. 
 I found this dresser last week at the thrift store.  I wish I had a before picture of it but I don't.
My husband had my camera with him on a hunting trip and I couldn't wait for him to return to start on this project.  I was just too excited to start painting.  I'll tell you though, it was bad.  Really, really bad.  It was very sturdy and in excellent shape structurally but it had this awful 70's style brown wood.  Not pretty.

Anyway, it has lots of drawers and one of them is divided with little cubbies in it.  Perfect for my craft room storage!  As soon as I saw it, I pictured a grain sack stripe running down the length of it.  When I got it home, I removed the hardware and sanded it down.  Then I painted it white, added some grain sack striping and a hand painted number.  Finally, I distressed it all over with a bit of sanding and then replaced the old hardware with some pretty new hardware from Hobby Lobby.

Et voila!
A new storage piece for my craft room that reminds me of a grain sack.

What do you think?

Have a great day!

xo and God Bless,

Saturday, November 10, 2012

DIY Clay Tags

How fun are these?!!
Just wanted to share a quick project with you...

DIY Clay Tags

While searching the internet for a recipe, I discovered that there were several different recipes out there, each with variations on the measurements of ingredients. Here is what I did and it worked for me:

For these you will need:
1 cup cornstarch
2 cups baking soda
1 1/2 cups water

Mix all three ingredients in a saucepan.  Stir over medium low heat until the mixture thickens.  Once it thickens, pour into a heat proof bowl and cover with a damp cloth to cool.
Once completely cool, turn out onto the counter (or other smooth surface) and begin to knead the clay until smooth.  This is the point where I had to change things up a bit.  The dough was so sticky that I had to add more corn starch to it.  When it was all said and done, I ended up adding almost an additional 1 cup of cornstarch.  Your results may vary so I would recommend following the recipe and then add what you need to knead (no pun intended). 
Anyway, knead until nice and smooth and then roll out the clay just as you would do if making sugar cookies.  Cut out with your favorite shapes, and then you can stamp them if you wish.  I used my French script rubber stamp.  Ink it up with a regular stamp pad and then just stamp your image right into the clay.
Make sure to use a straw, skewer, or toothpick to add a hole for stringing.
Pop these into an oven that has been preheated to 175 degrees.  Bake for 1 hour.  Flip them halfway through the baking time.
Note:  the recipe called for 1 hour, but mine took almost 2.  Experiment and see what works for you.

When they're cool, you can add jute twine or bakers twine or whatever you wish.  Use as tags on gifts or ornaments for the tree!


xo and God Bless,

Friday, November 9, 2012

Dollar Store Christmas Village Makeover

When I saw this project here, I wasn't sure that I could actually pull it off.  
I was afraid that my results would look like a spray paint job gone bad.
I was wrong.
This was one of the easiest projects I have ever done and I love that it turned out well.
Desiree...you are a genius!

So this is what it starts out like.  This is a Christmas Village set from the Dollar Tree.  I didn't buy the entire set, just about $12.00 worth.  The little people come in three packs so you get more bang for your buck there.  Even the adorable little bottle brush trees are from the Dollar Tree {2 pack}

For me, the colors were a bit too bright and the painted faces are not really on straight
 {eyes painted where the nose should go, etc..you get the idea}

Look what happens though when you give your little village a very light coat of spray paint
{Krylon Indoor/Outdoor in Ivory Satin}

The transformation is simply amazing!
You want to make sure to give these a very thin coat of paint.  You want some of the original color to still show through.

It gives them a more subtle, frosty appearance and everything looks a bit antiqued.  
I love the way these turned out!
The only thing I didn't do yet is to glitter them.
I didn't have any Krylon Glitter Blast on hand at home, so I will complete that step as soon as I get to the store to buy some.
I just couldn't wait until then to show you this.  Once I start my Christmas decorating and get this baby glittered and set up, I'll be sure to share it.

I think I may go back to the Dollar Tree and get a few more pieces.

Happy crafting everyone and have a great weekend!!

xo and God Bless,

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A Footstool Makeover

I wanted to share a fun little makeover that I did on a Salvation Army footstool.  I found this and thought it would be the perfect stool for our little one to use to step up into her big girl bed.

First, I completely removed all of the old fabric.  The batting was in great condition and so were the springs and horse hair stuffing.  I just re-used them.

I covered the top with some blue and white striped ticking that I had on hand, then made cording and pleats out of  some leftover drop cloth.

Not too bad for just $2.

It inspired a whole new look for our little one's room.  I'll show you that when it is complete!

Have a great evening.
xo and God Bless,

Monday, November 5, 2012

Shawnee's Secret Santa Swap Questionnaire

Yay!!!  It's swap time!  I have joined Shawnee's Secret Santa swap and part of the fun is answering this questionnaire so that our partner can learn a little bit about us.  I'm really excited about this one so here goes...

Shawnee's Secret Santa Swap Questionnaire

What are your hobbies? 
I enjoy crafting, sewing, and re-purposing old finds into new and useful things.  I love flea markets, thrift stores, and yard sales.  Finally, I love painting furniture!

What are your favorite colors?
Gray, cream, pale blue gray 

Do you collect anything?
Yes!  I collect French grain sacks, old mirrors, burlap coffee sacks, old weathered baskets....oohhh and I adore tarnished silver that I find in the flea markets.

Are you allergic to any fibers or animals?
Nope, no allergies.

Do you have any pets?
Yes, we have 2 dogs.  A black lab and a yellow lab.

Coffee, Tea, or Chocolate?
Definitely coffee...my Keurig and I are besties!

What do you like to read?
I love to read decorating magazines as well as inspirational Christian fiction novels.

Do you prefer Cookies or Candies as a sweet?
Cookies ~ iced sugar cookies are my absolute favorites.

What is your favorite holiday treat?
Sugar cookies with a good cup of coffee.

Describe your favorite holiday tradition.
I always look forward to the day that we unpack the Christmas decorations and start decorating the tree.  We put on some classic Christmas music and reminisce about all of the ornaments as we unpack each one.  Another thing that we love to do is bake.  My husband will take a day off of work and we will spend the entire day baking Christmas cookies with the kids.  So much fun and I always look forward to it.

Did you believe in Santa as a child?

When do you open presents?
When we were kids, we were allowed to open one thing on Christmas Eve and then everything else was opened on Christmas morning.  Now, we get together with my in laws and all of my husband's family on Christmas Eve.  We always have a white elephant gift exchange for the adults and everyone draws names for the kids.  Everyone exchanges those gifts on Christmas Eve.  Then Santa comes and we open gifts on Christmas Morning.  We will usually go to my mom's house for Christmas dinner and have an exchange there too.  We have such fun!!

Do you put up a tree and when?  If not, how do you celebrate?
Yes, we put up a tree.  In fact, there are 3 trees.  These always go up on the day after Thanksgiving.

Does your tree have a theme?
Yes.  The tree in our family room is always filled with the ornaments that my husband and I have collected since we were married as well as all of the ones we have collected for our children.  I guess you could call it the Family Tree.  In the living room, I love to decorate in a vintage French theme.  This tree is always covered in lots of vintage silver balls, white, glittery birds and burlap/jute ribbon.  It has a European feel to it.The dining room tree is also a vintage theme filled with old German glass ornaments that belonged to my grandfather.  We used these same ornaments on our tree when I was growing up too.

What has been your favorite gift to give?  to receive?
My favorite gift to give was when we were expecting our first baby.  We decided to announce the good news at Christmas so we had coffee mugs and ornaments made for all of the grandparents.  They said  "World's Best Grandma" and "World's Best Grandpa"  As soon as they read the words, they knew our big secret.  That was a great memory! 
My favorite gift to receive?  My husband proposed to me on the day after Christmas 15 years ago.  This has to be my best Christmas gift ever!  

Friday, November 2, 2012

A Fall Photo Shoot

Every year in the fall, I take the kids out for a photo shoot.  They play and have fun while I snap  a gazillion photos of them.

I usually do it right in our backyard, but this year I decided to take them up to our cabin in the mountains.
It was the perfect setting for fall photos.
{more on the cabin in another post}

It was a fun time and they all got a chance to run through the field, play in the woods, and jump in lots of crunchy fallen leaves!

I took these photos two days before hurricane Sandy came along.  I'm so glad that I did because it doesn't look quite like this any more.

We were very blessed though.  Aside from a few downed trees and a power outage, everything was okay.     

I hope everyone made it safely through the storm.

xo and God Bless,

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A Dropcloth and a Sharpie

A dropcloth and a sharpie pen...each one by itself is practical and ho-hum.
However, marry the two and you get something pretty fabulous in home decor
{cheap too}

Yes, you can make some pretty cool pillows and you don't even need a printer, transfer paper, or citra-solv.

Just a sharpie marker and your imagination.
The sky is the limit!

I took the existing throw pillows on my sofa that I had made last year with a dropcloth and I simply flipped them over to the blank side. 
I whipped out my sharpie and drew on them - gasp!  Yes, I drew on my pillow covers with a black permanent marker!

Now I have some cool Halloween inspired pillows that I will just flip back over at Christmas time.  The other side is a red striped faux grain sack.

Thanks for visiting and happy Wednesday!

xo and God Bless,

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Fall Planters with a French Twist

I know, it's been awhile.
I decided to take a bit of a break.
We had a full summer and guess what?  I'm homeschooling now.  It's taken some time to get into the swing of things, ease into a schedule that works for us, and of course keep up with my little projects.
However, I'm back and have lots of fun stuff to share.  I figured I'd jump right in with something that I just finished up today.
Add caption

It's a wall planter.  I found it at Hobby Lobby and it's 50% off right now!  I loved the simplicity of it - perfect for adding my own touch.
I went to the Graphics Fairy and found this French graphic.
I printed it onto a piece of canvas and then cut it down to size.  I added a piece of burlap behind it to add some texture.  Finally, I attached the fabric to the planter by wrapping a piece of jute twine around the whole thing {more texture}.

Now I have these super cute planters with a French twist...all decked out for fall!  
I can picture these with greenery at Christmas too.

Happy Fall!

xo and God Bless,

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Card Catalog Drawer Makeover

I wanted to say thank you again to everyone who voted for me in Circle of Moms Top 25 Design Moms.  I really appreciate your votes.  I finished up at No. 61 and while I didn't quite make it into the top 25, I was thrilled that I made it as far as I did. 
Thank you for helping me get there!!
~ ~ ~
I thought I would share a quick project with you.
One day, I would LOVE to find one of those really big card catalogs like the ones I can remember from elementary school. 
However, I also love these little single card catalog drawers too and I have been on the hunt for one for quite some time.

 I was in the Salvation Army a couple of weeks ago {it's my favorite place} and I came across this nice one for a dollar.

I sanded it down to the original wood with my brand new {awesome} sander that Mr. French Cottage bought for me.  I love this sander.
 I left just a little bit of the original green so that when I painted it gray and then sanded it again, I would see some of the green peeking through.
A nice, layered effect is what I was going for.
Once the paint was dry, I sanded and distressed the drawer and as a final step, I went over the whole thing with Minwax stain in Dark Walnut.
I applied it in small sections and then wiped it off with a paper towel.  I left the hardware in its original condition
 {a little rusty and crusty}

She looks pretty now!

Much better!

Have a great week!

xo and God Bless,

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

 Wife to him...mother to them...there is no place I'd rather be

Happy Mother's Day!

xo and God Bless,

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Ironstone and Silver

What is it about tarnished silver and old ironstone that is so inviting?
I think it speaks of a simpler era. 
It's pretty to look at and it warms up a room.  It's  inviting and it's homey.
It says welcome, come on in.
It's heavy in the hand,
solid, yet feminine.

I came across this amazing stack of ironstone in perfect condition and it was priced at 25 cents per plate.  I bought all eleven plates.
When I walked up to the cashier to pay for them she said, "these things are so heavy, I just gave away a whole box of them.  I never did like them." 
I had to pick up my jaw off of the floor.  She didn't like them?  Too heavy?  What?
I just couldn't imagine not liking them.  Ironstone to me is just about as pretty as the finest china. 
In fact, I might even prefer it over the finest china.

Hope you're having a great weekend!
~ ~ ~
Thank you to everyone who has been voting for me.  I really appreciate it.
I'm halfway there!!
Please keep voting ~ contest ends Wednesday and I'm so close!!
~ ~ ~
xo and God Bless,

Friday, May 11, 2012


I love baskets.  I guess you could call them a weakness of mine.  I never pass up a good basket when I see one.  I especially love the old ones and the patina they acquire. 
I recently put this one to use in the kitchen.

  We seem to go through several dish towels in a day, and this is the perfect place to toss them until they're ready to be washed.

Not only is it functional, but the towels look pretty in there too.

Today was wash day...
I love the way those towels smell when they come off of the line, still warm from the sun.

I hope that you're having a happy day.

xo and God Bless,

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Thrift Store Treasures, a Nightlight, and Circle of Moms

Guess what?  I have something to share that I'm pretty excited about.
I am in the running for the Circle of Moms Top 25 Home Design Moms!!
I would be thrilled to get your vote!
All you have to do is go to the top left of this blog (just under the header photo) and click on the purple circle button. Then click "vote"
You can do this once a day, every day until May 15.
If you've already read about this on Facebook, I apologize for the repeat of information.
Thank you to everyone who has already voted! I sure do appreciate it a lot!

On to the thriftin'...

I was in the Salvation Army thrift store last week and found a few things that I really liked.
I've got something fun in mind for those wicker paper plate holders and for the old spice rack too.
I really love the old Paris Opera House painting!!  I just don't know whether or not to paint the frame.  What do you think? 

I thought that the face on this chalkware boy was adorable!

I did paint these cherubs. 

They got Rosemary's gesso treatment.

This Madonna here was my favorite though.  I found her at a church rummage sale.

She is ceramic and had this hole in the back.  I had an idea.  I knew right away that I was going to turn her into a nightlight.

I had a little light on a cord that I bought about a year ago and
I decided to use Rosemary's Old World paint technique to make her appear a little older.

I love these little holes that the light shines through.

I like the way she turned out.


Don't forget to vote!!
Have a great afternoon!!
xo and God Bless,