Tee-se-itse TUESDAY! (Do-it-yourself) décoration d’automne

After a very long hiatus, I am finally back to my blog. I can never get anything done during the summer when my kids are off school. Then, tragically, my mother-in-law was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer that had aggressively metastasized to her lungs, kidney, lymph nodes, spine and liver. We quickly moved her from Ohio to New Jersey to live with us and receive treatment. Sadly, she died a month later. I am just now regrouping enough to be creative. The beautiful Fall foliage around me here in Princeton, NJ has helped!

I came across this very easy Tee-se-itse (do-it-yourself) autumn decoration on Dea Vita. It has inspired me to once again be creative! I came up with my own twist to this unique and beautiful  design.


I bought a little burlap bag instead of using the cone element. Then, I bought artificial floral pieces.


I inserted a few pieces of cardboard to stiffen it up and filled the bottom with bunched up plastic bags. I also cut off one of the handles and made a bow. I then arranged the floral pieces.


I love it! It is both simple and festive.

automn decor

I hope you’ll try this simple and inexpensive tee-se-itse décoration d’automne project!


Tee-se-itse TUESDAY! (Do-it-yourself) Wall Clock

I came across a very cute and creative tee-se-itse idea for a wall clock! A personalized wall clock using picture frames! I will definitely be doing this myself once our basement renovation is finished.

I love the idea of using different colored frames (above).

The frames can be placed in a circle, or not! And I love the idea of using phrases to emphasize the importance of the people in the frames (below).

If you’d like to follow very easy tee-se-itse (do-it-yourself) instructions, check out Homemaker’s Challenge. They list exactly what you’ll need and how-to directions.

Check back to see my own attempt at making a tee-se-itse (do-it-yourself) personalized wall clock!

Che Figata FRIDAY! (that’s cool, in Italian)

My husband was recently in Aarhus, Denmark at the Nordens Folkekokken restaurant. He knew I love cool things. He spotted this very simple candle décor and took a few snapshots for me.

IMG_3650The restaurant used two white wine glasses, crossed the stems and inserted tea lights.

So simple yet so cool.

I love how they use any glass that is available. Why complicate things?

Che figata!

My “française provincial” furniture redo

I recently stumbled upon the work of designer Pamela Pierce. I love her calm neutrals, over-sized dramatic antiques and her light and airy approach of the French Provincial aesthetic.

It was these striking images of Pamela Pierce’s refined yet rustic provincial style that inspired me to take on my own “francaise provincial” furniture redo.


Fifteen years ago before I moved to the east coast, my father had given me a china cabinet he picked up at a Bay Area auction house. I bought the currently popular Annie Sloan’s chalk paint and wax. Using the colors Country Grey and Old White, I attempted to transform this piece into a rustic French provincial work of art.

IMG_3374I began by painting the entire piece with the Country Grey.


I painted two coats of the Country Grey. Once the base coat was dry, I then painted the entire piece with a coat of Old White.


I hate using painter’s tape, so I used a small paint brush to get into corners and curves and around the glass panes.


Once the Old White was dry, I then waxed the entire china cabinet with Annie Sloan’s clear wax. Surprisingly, I noticed an instant transformation. The base coat of Country Grey along with the texture of the brush strokes began to be revealed through the Old White.



Base coat and texture revealing itself

Base coat and texture revealing itself

Then, according to Annie Sloan’s own instructions, I wiped the wax with a cloth.


I also used her technique of painting the hardware as well. I was too lazy to remove it all and also wanted to add a little shabby-chicness.


I then sanded the corners and edges to reveal the base coat Country Grey through the top coat of Old White.



I love my “française provincial” furniture redo! Inspired by the refined and rustic beauty of Pamela Pierce’s French provincial design aesthetic and using Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint, I created a timeless and classic work of art that I will cherish for years.

J’aime le chemin de table en toile de jute!

J’aime le chemin de table en toile de jute! I love a burlap table runner! I saw one in Pottery Barn recently for $69.00 USD. Rather than buy it, I decided to knock-it-off!

Burlap can add a rustic or cottage feel to an elegant table.

A burlap runner placed over a white linen tablecloth exudes an organic simplicity.

Burlap can be dressed up or dressed down. You can leave as is, paint on it, add a lace trim or monogram it.

It can be incorporated into a provincial exterior or a modern interior.

I love the french country tablescape (below) layering burlap with linen and lace.

A burlap table runner can be kept simple, have fringe or sewn.

I like the white burlap (below) on a dark wood table.

Because my dining room table is made from a dark wood, I decided to buy a white burlap. I simply cut it and pulled strands off the edges to make a fringed border.

My own burlap table runner!

My own burlap table runner!

J’aime le chemin de table en toile de jute!

Inexpensive Decor Ideas

If you’re anything like me:  you love and appreciate interior design and décor but the practicalities of life get in the way, specifically money. Here are some inexpensive décor ideas that I think you’ll love.

From  Lina pa Landet (above and below) comes the inexpensive idea of using an old door as a headboard and a simple wine crate as a nightstand. Inexpensive while also being modern and cool.

You can also use simple frames and rope or twine for wall décor (also above), without worrying about the expense of prints and mattes.

From My Scandinavian Home, I love the idea of a simple branch with a simple garland or string of white lights being transformed into wall décor (above). And the star made from twigs is an easy diy project.

Using paper lanterns (above) is another cheap way to add texture and interest.

Make your own artwork. Knock-off artwork you see in magazines or in galleries (I like the image above). A simple white canvas with paint or colored paper can add a modern and original touch.

I love the idea of bringing the outside in (above). Use tree branches for art. Adds a modern 3-dimensional touch.



From HGTV comes an easy and inexpensive décor idea:  use rope or twine to hang curtains. Adds a fun rustic feel!

Another way to “bring the outside in” is to use a log or tree stump (above) as an end table.

Can’t afford expensive dining chairs? Find miscellaneous chairs at estate sales, consignment stores or thrift stores and paint them all the same color.

Again, using thrift store finds and old wooden crates (above), a room can be fabulous.

Decorating with rocks, sand and pebbles is an easy and inexpensive way to fill up a sparce space.

Incorporating iron gates and ladders (above) and other unusual elements adds a rustic and unexpected touch.

Use your own old books or find some at thrift stores and paint them all white. Stack and glue. Voila! A stack of old books becomes a night stand. Love this idea!

Take a simple pallet (above), paint it and attach industrial wheels. Great coffee table! Or stain it and use it as a display rack for dishes (below).

Use a simple inexpensive string of lights (usually on sale at the end of a season) in place of an expensive lamp. Very modern.

Great idea to use wooden skirt hangers (above) or metal clasps (below) to display art.

I love the idea (below) of using an ordinary ladder as a bookcase.

I hope you are inspired by these inexpensive decor ideas to create your own masterpieces. I will definitely be knocking-off some of these unique low-cost design concepts myself.

Tina voi, tina voi – What to do with a tin can?

With three children, we use a lot of ordinary tin cans. Normally, I throw them into our recycling bin, until I came across the beautiful tablescape below featured on Déco en Nuances.



My ordinary recyclable items became tina voi – the beautiful Finnish word for tin can. Its amazing how they can be transformed into elegant centerpieces and décor.





Its incredible how such an everyday item that is usually discarded can be utilized in so many different ways.







You can strip the labels off and let the natural aluminum shine or keep them on to add to your décor. Finding vintage cans at junk stores, antique shops and yard sales is a great idea.








They can be used as containers in so many different ways.



Covering them with decorative paper can add to a theme – spring, baby shower, destination wedding, etc.










I loved the idea of spray painting them a gold/copper color and using them as vases. So I began by collecting various cans over time.

My own aluminum cans.

My own aluminum cans.

I bought a metallic spray paint and sprayed each one.


My spray painted cans.

Like Deco en Nuances, I added white flowers for an elegant monochromatic look.


I love my “tina voi” tablescape!

globalknockoffstincans2A simple, inexpensive yet elegant décor piece! Now, I know exactly what to do with a tin can!


Constantine’s Art

For months now, I have had two blank canvases sitting on a shelf over my desk waiting to be used. Along came a day which my kids had off school. And, it was raining! I didn’t want my kids watching tv or playing video games all day, so we decided to get creative. I pulled down the blank white canvases and pulled out our paints. First we painted the blank canvases a solid blue and red, the primary colors of my son’s room.


Then we began to get creative. Since these were going to hang in his room, I let my son, Constantine have free reign and decide what he wanted to feature in his paintings. He wanted to do handprints and footprints.



For his second painting, he wanted to feature something he loved, “going to the park.” With the help of his sister, he painted a landscape of his park.



Now, his bedroom features his very own masterpieces. What could be a better and easier way to personalize your kid’s bedroom than their very own art.


bedroom art

He loves them! And I love the fact that my seven year old son expressed himself creatively in an easy and unique low cost way. I hope I have inspired you to create your own home art with your kids!



Καλή Ανάσταση! – Greek Easter Eggs

Easter eggs are a big part of the Greek Orthodox Easter (Pascha) tradition. They are died red to symbolize the blood of Christ.


Today, on Holy Thursday, after a morning Liturgy, the ladies of our church at St. Anna in Flemington, New Jersey got to work.


First they boiled brown eggs. Brown eggs make the red dye more vibrant. Then, using a special Greek red dye (this one is from Astoria, NY), they dyed each egg, let them dry and then rubbed them with olive oil (so the color won’t run when the eggs are handled).


We then wrapped them in white tulle and tied them with red ribbons. The eggs are handed out after the midnight Resurrection Service.

greekeggsRed eggs are also added and baked into the traditional Greek Easter bread (tsoureki). After observing and making the Greek Easter eggs for our church, I thought I’d make my own version of Orthodox Byzantine Easter eggs.

IMG_2802I  like to make eggs that will last for more than one year. So, I bought paper mache eggs and painted them red. I then sprayed them with a clear enamel glossy spray. The paper mache absorbs the spray, so I had to apply several coats. I also bought very small self-adhesive clear gems to make Orthodox cross designs.


 I applied the gems using tweasers.


 I love how they turned out!


I hope you have been inspired to make your own Greek Easter eggs. Καλή Ανάσταση! Happy Resurrection!

Joyeuses Pâques! – French Easter Eggs

Every year for Easter I love decorating eggs. My daughter and I have made glitter eggs, decoupage eggs, Ukranian Pisanky eggs, etc. This year I wanted to express my love for everything French.


I love this black and white vintage French egg (above) from Bonya. And the romatique one from Nostalgi och Romantik (below) featuring French typography is exquisite.

nostalgi och romantik

I loved both so much that I decided to knock them off! I bought a few ceramic eggs from Hobby Lobby and painted them soft pastel colors. I love color rather than the simple black and white.



I copied some French typography designs from The Graphics Fairy (see above). You could also just do a search for French typography images on Google. Using Microsoft Word, I pasted the images in reverse and resized them to fit eggs. Many of the images online are already in reverse so you don’t have to do it yourself.


I used a transfer method from Graphix Rub-Onz. I carefully followed their directions for transferring the black and white designs onto the eggs, which included printing the images on their matte paper first. I ended up cutting the images into small pieces before transferring them onto the egg because some of the images were too big and wouldn’t lay flat. The clear sheet that sticks to the egg can get difficult to handle and often curls up and causes bumps. I pressed firmly and pulled off the bumpy residue with my finger nail. At first it can look a little messy, but the vintage French shabby chic look isn’t neat and perfect anyway.


Because the images were on a shiny surface you noticed the cutout of each. I sprayed the entire surface of each egg with a glossy clear enamel. Now the entire egg is glossy and shiny.


J’aime mes beaux oeufs de Pâques français. I love my beautiful French Easter eggs! The entire process took about 5 hours, so it is time-consuming. I also recommend using ceramic or wooden eggs. The eggs are handled and pressed on quite a bit. Fragile real eggs might break.


Joyeuses Paques! Happy Easter. I hope you have been inspired to create your own beautiful French Easter eggs.