Thursday, April 29, 2010

Andrea's kitchen...




Hello my friends!  Today I wanted to share with all of you a kitchen redo that my friend Andrea recently featured on her blog, Faded Plains.  I fell in love with what Andrea had done and asked her if I could feature her beautiful kitchen on my blog as well...she kindly said yes!

Here is the before...



Nice right?  But here's how incredible it looks with some paint, creativity, and new appliances...



*Sigh*





I LOVE all of the touches that Andrea added to give character to her new kitchen...




I think the island that she created by adding beadboard to an old dresser is especially fabulous!!!




I am always lacking a little in inspiration for my kitchen and bathrooms, so I really take note when I see a makeover that gets my wheels turning, if you know what I mean :)  I hope you are able to gather a little inspiration from Andrea's kitchen makeover as well!

Andrea also has a beautiful SHOP filled with truly lovely vintage and vintage inspired items for your home!



Lastly, I want to ask if any of you are going to the Farm Chick's Show in June???  I'm going for the first time and am really looking forward to it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  They are having a fab giveaway if you are planning to attend...the winner will get to be Serena's guest on vendor set up day, get in to the show early on Saturday, AND attend the super cool dinner on Saturday night!  Sounds good, doesn't it??!



To enter the giveaway, head on over to Serena's blog...and let me know if you are going :)



Have a wonderful weekend!!!


Tracey


Monday, April 26, 2010

French Flea Market Finds...




Happy Monday everyone!  I hope you all enjoyed your weekend!  It rained a lot here...not good for picture taking...nor did Blogger cooperate with me this morning {it kept rotating my pictures the wrong way when I tried to upload them}, but here goes anyway...my flea market finds from Paris...

First, I should say that the flea markets that I went to were expensive, so there was definitely no buying in bulk and then spending even more boat loads of money to ship stuff back here.  But, I did manage to find some fun things that I was able to squeeeeeeze into my already full suitcase!

...starting with a stack of old French button cards with my favorite white buttons on them...here's a sampling...



Lots of beautifully worn French books from the 1800's...



I found a nice stack of old sheet music in various shades of creams and browns, but this one that was almost a pale pink is my favorite...



Carte Postales...



Vintage French grain sacks in burlap {not so easy to find, even in France}...I'm not sure what I will do with my new ones, but I do like how they look just stacked up and on display...I love the juxtaposition of the rustic with the pretty that they add to a room...



And, sigh, my favorite find, a stack of the prettiest letters from the 1800's...


I just LOVE the script on them...they wrote so beautifully back then...



Many of these, are actually business ledgers and transactions that were just folded, tucked, sealed with wax and mailed off as is, no envelope at all...



And, of course, I brought back stacks of French decorating magazines to keep me inspired!


I would have loved to bring some of that gorgeous furniture back with me, but the hubby wouldn't here of it!  Fortunately, it doesn't take much to make this French loving girl happy :)


Did any of you find some great treasure at a flea market or thrift shop this weekend???

I'm so glad it's finally flea market season again!!! :)


Thank you so much for sharing in my Paris experience!!!  It has been so fun for me to do all of these recent posts...


Tracey

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Through my lens...





Bonjour!  Please join me over at Designing dna for Colleen's blog cruise around the world!!!  When Colleen asked me join in the fun, I naturally said I would be happy to help the boat dock at Paris for a little while :)  So if you haven't had enough of Paris yet, please head on over there and check out my guest post and Colleen's wonderful blog!  She is having a fabulous vacation themed giveaway to go along with her fun week!!!

For my last post on Paris, I thought I would show some of the more artistic shots I took...



On the day we visited the Louvre and surrounding area, I shot all of my pictures exclusively in black and white or sepia tone.  It's something I prefer to do by changing the settings on my camera, rather than changing them later in Photoshop...makes me feel more artistic for some reason :)  I did add some textures and actions to some of the pictures though...



I wanted to give a big THANK YOU to two kind hearted blog friends who made my Parisienne experience extra special:

First, merci to Barbara from the wildly popular Moveable Feasts who so willingly gave me a fabulous list of must try restaurants in Paris!  If you love delicious recipes, please check out Barbara's blog!!!


Second, merci to Mimi from Bonjour Romance who sent me a map of Paris and the most helpful personalized guidebooks from her travel company!  She so generously sent me all of these indispensable tools in a great little package from France before my trip.  We used them every, single day Mimi!!!  You can always find a beautiful dose of the French lifestyle over on her blog!






{Okay, maybe this one can't quite be considered artistic, but I just loved that the faucets in our hotel room had French words on them :)  What can I say, I love all things French!}


I will be back on Monday with the pictures of my flea market finds!  And no, I didn't bring any large crates home with me {darn} but I did manage to squeeze some lovely items into my suitcase!





Have a beautiful weekend!!!



Tracey


Monday, April 19, 2010

Bonjour




Bonjour!  Parlez-vous anglais?  Oh good, because my French is not so fabulous...parlez-vous anglais was the one line I perfected quickly when we arrived in Paris!  My hubby, on the other hand, really did try to speak the language and I was very impressed!  He also managed to get us on and off of the Metro many times inorder for us to really explore all areas of the city...and never once did we wind up on the wrong train!!  I could never have done it myself as I am completely, shall we say, directionally challenged?! 



Before we check out some of the sights of the city, let's stop in to Le Mistral for some cafe au lait...



and this...



I'm embarrassed to tell you how many Nutella crepes I had in the first two days we were in Paris!  I can tell you that Le Mistral made them the best!  LOTS of Nutella, just how I like it :)

Now let me take you around "our neighborhood"...



This lovely view was one block away from our hotel, The Britannique, which had such a great location for everything.  At night, we could see the Eiffel Tower all lit up...very romantic!

On our first full day, we decided to walk to Notre Dame since it was fairly close to our hotel and one of the number one things I wanted to see while in Paris...



It was crowded, but well worth seeing!  We lucked out and had sunny weather in the 60's the whole time we were in Paris, so I didn't mind waiting in line to get into places.  The outside of the building was so beautiful, I had to just stand there and take it all in for awhile!!





{When I was reviewing photos the other day, and noticed the odd sun spot on the above photo, I told my husband that maybe it was an angel hanging around the church and that's how it came out in the picture...you never know!}



I wish that I could have captured just how incredible the inside of the church was, but they did not want anyone using flash photography and the lighting in there was obviously very dim.  Upon entering, I was moved to tears...it was such a holy place to be, and I feel truly blessed to have experienced it.  I lit a candle at the Saint Therese statue for my children.

As we left the church, I was beyond delighted to stumble across an amazing outdoor French flower market!




Being that I love to garden, this was a lot of fun for me :)  I couldn't believe how perfect all of the plants were...none of them wilted or damaged like a lot of the plants I find at the nursery I go to.  Apparently, Paris doesn't get the mighttime frost that we get here in the Midwest during April, so they are able to plant things much earlier than we are...that made me a tad bit jealous!

Our day finished up with dinner at Le Zimmer, which was literally right across the street from our hotel.  The food was wonderful and with it being so convenient, we ate there on more than one occassion...


Oopse, how'd that get in there?!  Okay, maybe I needed a small "snack" before dinner, you know the French eat dinner at 8:00 at night and that was a bit late for me :)

Here's Le Zimmer...



The cafes and brasseries in Paris really are a wonderful part of the French lifestyle!



Of course I didn't forget about announcing the giveaway winner...it's Shellagh from Ticking and Toile!  I wish I could say I had time to photograph the goodies going out to her, but my weekend was jam packed with gardening and trying to get caught up on things.  So I'll just list them for you.  They are all like items to what I kept for myself, so when I photograph my own items for you, you'll see what she is receiving!

Giveaway package includes: a large vintage French grain sack in burlap, an old French button card with 24 mother of pearl white buttons, an old French postcard, the latest copy of one of my favorite French decorating magazines, and a beautiful book of French "poetes" from the 1800sThank you to everyone who participated in my giveaway, I really do wish I could have brought something back for ALL of you!!!


Happy new week!!!


Tracey

Thursday, April 15, 2010

For the love of Paris...




Bonjour!  I'm back, jet lagged, but back!  I've missed you girls :)  I have soooooooo much to share with all of you...but I need a little time to sort through all of my photos...

But I wanted to at least share some of my amazing time in Paris with you today, so here goes...


This is me, trying to look cool in Paris...hee hee...oh how I loved all of the beautiful old doors everywhere!




I was awe struck by the incredible architecture at every turn you went...lots more of that to come...




To make things simple, today I will focus on my excursions to the French flea markets.  To say I was in heaven, is an understatement!  And my husband was a real trooper...it was so nice to have someone to carry all of my stuff :) 

 
Here is a sampling...
























{You'll have to excuse the lighting on this one...my husband is still trying to figure out how to use my camera!}


I'll have to leave my purchases for another post, as I haven't had time to photograph them yet.

I'll be back soon to announce the winner of my giveaway {ends tonight at midnight}!


Enjoy the rest of your week my friends!!!


Tracey