Thursday, April 28, 2016

Colorful Cape May: Victorian Bird House

Admittedly one usually visits a beach resort for sun and sand more than history and Victorian architecture, but delightful Cape May NJ offers the best of both worlds.
 In fact some of my favorite times to visit are "off season"; and while a dip in the ocean might not be a possibility during these cooler months, the country's first "beach town" still offers plenty to see and do. 
A recent quick girl's Spring getaway found us enjoying a painting workshop at historic Congress hall, sampling fabulous seafood at the many restaurants and browsing for treasures at the countless colorful boutiques and antique shops.
photos: CPaul2016 starting top left, sweet treats, Spring at the Virginia hotel, Exit Zero newspaper office, Mad Batter restaurant and Carroll Villa Hotel, historic Congress Hall lobby and entrance, colorful shops, The blue Pig tavern, the famous Pink House, Angel of the sea B&B

The famous Pink house now sells estate jewelry
Naturally we arrived home inspired by Cape May's charm. 
Among the most distinctive features of this delightful town are the
"painted ladies". These whimsically adorned buildings, many historic, boast intricate "gingerbread" woodwork and often brilliant combinations of cheery candy colors, distinctive to the era. So with hints of Spring in the air, I thought I'd fashion my own painted lady in honor of my feathered friends here at home.

Victorian Inspired Birdhouse
 I used
a wooden birdhouse 
Most craft stores carry very inexpensive unfinished versions-
 or maybe redo a thrift find or birdhouse you already have that needs a facelift
colorful acrylic and craft paints
dimensional puffy paints
My birdhouse is for indoor decor so I'm not sure how it would hold up outside, but outdoor friendly paint is best if it will be in the elements
lace or trim
shells and sand 
spray varnish
I mix and matched pastel acrylics and chalky finish colors 
playful - not too perfect patterns add whimsy
Spray painting trim adds a smooth finish and makes it sturdier and easier to be added as "gingerbread woodwork" detail.
 I trimmed it to size and accented with contrasting colors and dimensional dots of paint.
a playful cat and simple bike add character
Shells and sand give a nod to the beach setting

To Happy Summer Days ahead
Thanks for Visiting!

Monday, April 18, 2016

April in Paris: Parisian inspired round-up

While April can call to mind less than pleasant associations (rainy gray days, tax time) on a lighter note, turning the calendar page always brings to mind the classic song, (and later movie) April in Paris; those three words now epitomizing Springtime glamour and romance.
So, as an avid francophile it seemed a fitting time to revisit some of our french themed DIY"s, recipes and travel posts in a quick recap.
 It's easy to bring a little Joie du Vivre to your day with some easy projects. 
We made faux macarons in vive le macaron
a petit Eiffel tower from a garden store trellis in Springtime in Paris

We celebrated l'amour with candy wrappers, pink birds and a sweet dessert in

and we shared some of our (budget friendly) travels 

A Big 
Merci Beaucoup!
to all our
 lovely readers