About Me

about me - profile

Welcome! I’m Renee, crafter, designer, and blogger. I love to create on a budget using things from nature or by repurposing what I have. When I’m not creating, I am designing patterns and graphics for home decor items.

My inspiration comes from the time we spend at our northern Michigan cabin. It is truly a retreat and gathering place for us with our kids and grandchildren. Through it all, I am passionate about blogging and sharing my ideas with you.

Construction and Renovation

In conjunction with my decorating passion, I also love the home construction process – especially the design!  In 1993, I acquired my builders license so that I could effectively be the general contractor for the new home my husband and I were building for ourselves. From modifying the house plans to working with the sub contractors, I loved it all!

Besides contracting the work for our home, we also built our cabin on our own. We did the majority of the work ourselves this time and came up with some unique finishing ideas that were also budget friendly. Then, in 2016 we completely renovated a 1905 home to flip. We basically tore it apart to the studs and started over.

Craft Business

Working on craft projects became a natural extension to the decorating that I loved to do.  Then, in about 1998, I went into a craft business selling primarily birch lamps as well as other rustic crafts.  My husband crafted the lamps and I decorated the lampshades and made all of the accessory crafts to sell.  We went around to various arts and crafts fairs throughout the state of Michigan as well as selling our items to some rustic decor stores.  A job change for my husband and relocation ended my business and I focused on decorating another new home. At this time I also started selling crafts on Etsy.

About Rustic Crafts & Chic Decor

At the end of 2010, I decided to launch this blog as my outlet for my craft and decorating addiction.  My main focus in on crafts and decorating projects that incorporate vintage accessories, flea market finds, junk decor, recycled materials and natural elements.  You will find tutorials, tips and ideas for decorating your home in a rustic and chic style.

To keep things exciting at our house,  in 2011 my husband and I built a cabin in Northern Michigan—- completely ourselves! ….with a little help from some great friends of course!  So, I also share some of our great experiences in building, unique design choices and ongoing decorating ideas from our cabin.

Along with tutorials, Rustic Crafts is also a resource for finding crafts supplies and craft room organization ideas along with recipes and business help. I’ve also recently earned a certificate in Web Design and Development and now offer tips for bloggers as well.

All of the wonderful feedback that I get from readers, inspires me to do more.  I love throwing new ideas or tutorials out there when I know that it has been a help to somebody.  You can subscribe to this blog through the RSS feed, email subscription, Facebook and Twitter.

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Thank you for visiting my blog.  I appreciate any comments,  feedback or suggestions you might have.  On a normal week, you can expect to see new daily posts on Monday through Friday with occasional weekend updates.

Thanks for stopping by!

about Renee
  1. Hello Miss Renee, this is great site. I love rustic and herbs. Currently I am in real estate in Ohio. I would love to teach and blog and sell. May I impose and ask if there is a tool, blog or site that hits most of what I need to do for all of this? I am the head of the household and have little start up money. Continued good luck on your ventures and any advice would be a blessing! 🙂

  2. Renee, just thought I would drop you a line to say how lovely your blog is and having read your info about your own personal story I see great similarities. I am also passionate about crafts (which I teach in the UK)and home decor and having bought a pretty English cottage. I am renovating each room with recycling, repurposing and hand crafts….living by the river also gives great rewards. I hope to be able to take inspiration from your ideas and will update my blog with progress. My problem is time…not having enough!
    Thank you for your inspiration and I will follow with great interest.

  3. You know how much I love your blog, Renee. So I nominated you for the Sunshine Award! Come over and check it out, createdinawe.

  4. Hi, I am incharge of our homeschools Thanksgiving Feast Gathering. I am looking for inexpensive ideas for centerpieces for the large wooden tables. Year before last, I made the flower pots look like pilgrim hats and inserted donated mums. Last year, donated mums and wrapped with pretty paper tied with rafita. This year, key word, still inexpensive, any ideas? I thought of glass jars with paper, made to look aged with a nice scripture, tied on with rafita. Not sure what to put in it. I don’t seem to have a problem getting nurserys to donate mums, which is why I lean towards them, and give them away as the families leave. Any thoughts are greatly respected and appreciated. May the LORD bless you and your family…

    1. I really like the idea you came up with! Aged paper with scripture is perfect for Thanksgiving. If you can’t get the mums, you may want to fill the jars with something like cattails. If you can find an area where you can cut them yourself, it will be free. The best time to cut them are between late August and October.

      1. The cattails are an awesome idea, never thought of that! You are a genius! If I cut the cattails in August or October, do you know how long before they start looking sickly? I woud but them in a bucket of water but wouldn’t want to cut them too early, not sure if they react like a cut flower? Thank you for taking the time to be helpful to me, you truely are sweet.

        1. You can actually dry them by hanging them outside and then spraying them with either hairspray, acrylic spray, or polyurethane spray to give them a protective coating. It takes about 72 hours or so, depending on the weather, to dry them. I have some that I dried over ten years ago and they are still in good shape.

          1. Awesome…. thank you again, for sharing your time and talent!

  5. Hey Renee…I just love your site! Thanks for the compliment on my window. I linked up with your party. I see you are from north Michigan?? I am from southwestern Michigan, by the lake. Thanks for stopping by my blog and I will frequent you often.

    1. Hi Tiki,
      Lucky you to be by the lake! We used to live near Holland and now are on the East side but our cabin is in Northern Michigan 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Hey Judy, I’m envisioning bundles of birch twigs wrapped together with a jute twine and made into a long garland. Then attaching these to the ceiling in some sort of pattern (like rows) in a bit of a drape. You could have pendant lights hanging from between the rows of birch garlsnd. Depending on the size of your coffee house, that may take a lot of twigs though.

    Otherwise, just cutting larger birch branches, with lots of the small twigs attached, and adhering these to the ceiling, with small finish nails, might be cool.

    My husband made a birch chandelier to go over our pool table which you can see here: http://song-bird.hubpages.com/hub/How-To-Craft-A-Whimsical-Lampshade

    1. You could also run white Christmas lights through the birch twig garland.

  7. Any ideas for making a birch twig ceiling with lights? We have a coffee house and want to do something, inexpensive, but WOW!

  8. Keep up the good work. It’s fun to see all the ideas and inspiration.

    1. Thanks Barbara! I’m glad you like it.

  9. Very nice site. Very creative.

  10. I like your site.
    Do you carry other people’s items, or only your own?


    1. I’m glad you like it, Mark. I currently only carry my own items and that is just through my Etsy store, The Rustic Attic.

  11. Love this site. Thank you for the inspiration. I do the similar things.

    1. I’m glad you like it Vesna!

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