Thursday, December 16, 2010

Joyeux Noel and Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

.......wishing you all good things in 2011! Many thanks to all my blog friends and wonderful customers for making 2010 such a great year!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Christmas Gift Ideas...

Looking for something a little different this year or for that "hard to buy for" person on your list? Here are a few gift giving ideas from French Vanilla to help you out:

Aunt Sadie's "Tree in a Can" Candle

"Springtime in Paris" Music CD in a Tin
Eiffel Tower S and P Shakers

"Oh Christmas Tree" Container/Box

Crown Glass Tree Ornament

French Market Bags (made of recycled plastic)

Wall or Table Sign (quote from Marilyn Monroe)
"My Other House Is In France" Cushion

"Noel" Flour Sack Tea Towel

Glittered Eiffel Tower Ornament

Juggling Star Snowman (artist Dee Foust)


Sunday, November 21, 2010

A Country French Christmas....

It's that time of year again and the store is all decorated for Christmas. The color scheme this year is mostly white, cream and grey (including silver) with a touch of aqua. Not your typical Christmas colors I know but I thought it would be nice to try something a little different this year and go with a more French Nordic theme.

I found these darling faux fur creations at the Toronto Gift Show last January and though they would be cute for my Christmas window display. From the comments I have received so far my customers think so too !

Monday, October 25, 2010

Are you crafty?

If you love doing crafts as much as I do, then you might want to try your hand at making these cute cloth Halloween Pumpkins:

These are so fun, easy and inexpensive to make. However I can't take credit for the idea as it is an original design from Deb Kennedy of "Retreat Lifestyle Decor". Deb is obviously a very talented and creative person. She calls them her "Sweet Sweater Pumpkins". Check out her step by step instructions on her blog  at

Using an old orange sweater from the Thrift Store, I followed Deb's instructions for making the pumpkins, then added my own personal touches. I used natural twine, curly stems from a "grape vine" and moss to give them a more rustic primitive look. I finished off by tying on a cute "Halloween Baby Witches" tag to the larger pumpkin.   

Hope you have fun making these and Happy Halloween!!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Halloween Fun.....

Halloween is such a fun time of year, even for the adults! I think more people are decorating for Halloween than ever before, at least it seems that way in my part of the country. I really enjoy decorating the store at this time of year. Some of the items I brought in are new while other products are hand-made. Below is a sampling of some of the whimsical Halloween products available to help you get into the Halloween spirit:

Hand-made Fleur de Lis White Pumpkin

Another Hand-made White Pumpkin

Hand-made Burlap Cushion

with matching Flour Sack Tea Towel

Rat Cushion 

Hand-made "Witchie" Flour Sack Tea Towels 

Hand-made Old Fashioned Gingerbread Cookies
Hand-made Halloween Gift Tags
Add some bling with glittered Crows and Spiders
and decorating in traditional orange and black is still classic

Monday, September 20, 2010

Enjoying Autumn.....

The word autumn comes from the Old French word autompne (automne in modern French).  Before the 16th century, harvest was the term usually used to refer to the season. However, as more people gradually moved from working the land to living in towns, the word harvest lost its reference to the time of year and came to refer only to the actual activity of reaping, and autumn, as well as fall, began to replace it as a reference to the season.The alternative word fall is now mostly a North American English word used to reference this time of year. FALL has to be my most favorite time of year. I love the change in colors and the crisp fresh air that only comes with the fall. For some beautiful pictures of fall in Canada click on the following link: .

Fall is also a great time for decorating.  With Canadian Thanksgiving just around the corner and then Halloween this is the perfect time to introduce some fall colors. Incorporating colors like yellow, red, orange, gold and brown into your color scheme will allow you to transition easily from summer into fall.  Fall "Garden Mums" are a great and inexpensive way to introduce fall colors. Whether you buy cut flowers for a table arrangement or the whole plant for your outdoor planters, they can add that punch of color to your fall decorating.  
Another great way to add fall color is with a fall wreath to hang on either your front door or wall or use as a table centerpiece.  

This link provides some great ideas on how to create your own fall wreath:    

Saturday, September 4, 2010

"Maria's Place"....

My talented friend Maria (she creates wonderful things using vintage tin tiles) has such a lovely, quaint and vintage inspired home. She is a collector of sorts and has surrounded herself with all the things she loves, the old....the rusty....the worn....sometimes finding new uses for the things she has collected, creating a space that is warm and inviting.  Below are pictures of her lovely home that I wanted to share with you:   

Hello Bonjour....

Well this is my first attempt at blogging! It's been quite a year and a half for me. I retired from the Federal Government after 34 years and in October 2006, I started a new retail store called "French Vanilla Home and Garden". In July 2007 I launched my store's e-commerce website and now this....blogging! Who would have thought! Has it been challenging?....a bit, stressful?.... some days, rewarding?....most definitely! I love owning my own retail store, filling it with things I love and helping my customers find that perfect item or gift! I am enjoying this new phase of my life and look forward to learning new things, having new adventures and making new friends along the way!

(established July/2008)