Home of The French Marketplace

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

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,