French Ethereal Memories ~ Happy 3rd Birthday to Us!

Google reminded me this week that 
little old
French Ethereal
is celebrating a 3rd birthday today ~ July 11th!!!

The beginnings of a sofa slipcover made out of giant painter’s dropcloths.

Three years ago today my son Peter sat down with me
and helped me begin a blog ~ just a little place where
I could share some sewing tips, share tea parties
and my garden.
I had no idea how to write a blog though
I loved reading several others online
that I’d stumbled upon
quite by accident, really.
Some blogs I’d found because they were
mentioned in decorating magazines, like
French Country Cottage and ShabbyFufu.
Two favorites, Schwannennest and 
My Shabby Streamside Studio are 
no longer written.

A beautiful tablecloth found over in England but probably Irish-made.

Schwannennest {“Swan’s Nest” in German} was a lovely
blog with an all-white Nordic look
set in Bavaria, I believe.
I would stay up late at night reading on my iPad
and dream of an all-white home and 
how ethereal it was!
The author had hung four large doors with
windows as a big screen separating her
living room from her dining/kitchen area
and I always found that really unique.

Our mantel at the Big House decorated for summer… still a favorite way to decorate!

My Shabby Streamside Studio was a blog
also mostly done in whites with pops of
pink on dishes and fabrics.
It became a huge sensation and was written up
in home magazines and even was
featured on television.
Sandy, whose lovely hunting-cabin-turned-cottage
had such an ethereal quality to it
that I just wanted to go up into her
reading loft and while away
an afternoon!
You can still find Sandy’s postings
They are worth the time to go back and read.
Just lovely!
Really, these were where I got
my inspiration…

Another one of my Girls draped with the usual array of necklaces plus a
photo of my children when they were small. 
I realized then just how much I really liked 
decorating in whites
and even though my home had lots of color
on our walls
we also had some walls and lots of furniture
painted or purchased which were
painted white.
My daughter’s bedroom had all-white furniture
in it which I totally loved.
For Amy, though, she grew to 
love stained wood.
{Though funny enough, she has a white car now! The pendulum
swings back…}

That first blog was hosted over on Weebly.
Soon after, I found out that a lot of bloggers
were on another site called Blogger.
So, for the rest of that first year,
I double-blogged.
I’d write in Weebly and copy/paste
over here to Blogger.
It was crazy!

That first year I worked on writing whatever
popped into my head, but I did share
lots of tea-related posts since I had hosted
many a tea for about 15 years leading up to then.
I also wrote up lengthy, very detailed posts about 
making those sofa slipcovers in the photo
up at this post’s beginning!
You can find those here:
Post #1
Post #2
Post #3
Post #4

We had a lot of dry rot, so replacing posts and cross beams was a necessity.  Afterall, we planned on living here
a lot long, though that wasn’t meant to be. 🙁

The First Anniversary 
came and went and I don’t remember 
why I didn’t mention it
but I didn’t.
Oh!  I know why ~ I was too busy building
and painting the patio cover out back!

My son and a friend Jim rebuilt the patio cover
then I decided I wanted to totally cover the patio
to provide more shade.
It turned out well, but then a month
after it was finished…

My husband lost his job.

There wasn’t much to celebrate after that, 
let me tell you…

The accent wall in our living/dining room painted a lovely blue-green {color-matched from a pair of pants}.
But we muddled on through that first year
he wasn’t working.
And I kept blogging.
It was a good way to step away from
our troubles
focus on something ethereal and happy.

God was working through all this planning 
what was to come, though I didn’t see it
at the time.

A fall tablesetting ~ one of my favorites!
Christmas was tough that year and I think
we gave the kids one or two small presents
and Peter stayed in South Dakota
at school.
He went home with his girlfriend, Justine, to her
family’s home over Christmas
since we couldn’t afford to bring him home.

That year I made mini Christmas trees to give to the
ladies I worked with at school
and to friends.
I sent a couple to Peter and Justine.
It killed me not to bring our son home for Christmas
and it was his first Christmas away from home.

We all soldiered on.

Our warm barn red front doors decorated with twin wreaths festooned with new ribbons!  Before, the ribbons
were a 1990’s pink rose pattern.
On Valentine’s Day, I drove down to a book signing at Vignettes in San Diego and met author Fifi O’Neill. 
The Second Anniversary
saw us preparing to move out of our beloved house
and move into a 27′ travel trailer
with no slides, no extra room.

July came and went as we were busy showing
the house and trying to finish up packing
enough belongings from
28 years of marriage,
a four bedroom plus den 
complete with three car garage.
We were beyond busy!

A Valentine’s mantel ~ another favorite!
Moving to our Tiny Home
was a new challenge but we loved it for
the new life it provided
and we got our own private lake
after the summer and fall campers left
on Sunday afternoons!

The roses bloomed beautifully that last spring on Spinning Wheel!
Yoda loved going for two-mile walks each weekend.
The bird calls were peaceful ~ something we really needed.
Lake Skinner was the best thing that could
have happened to us during that awful time
Charles was out of work for two years.

We had a home with new scenery.
The lake was serene and when the campers
were gone from Sunday through Thursdays
that fall into spring
it was the best place we could have been
to console us.
It reminded me of my parents’ last home.
Lots of tears were shed but God
wasn’t done.
He knew we needed a break-away
from Murrieta
but a slow breaking away…

Our Coleman travel trailer over at Campground C, site 372 with a view of the moon rising over the mountains every night…
My birthday going into January 2016 and the new year.
I didn’t write for several months; I just couldn’t.
My heart was broken.
But, I realized pretty quickly that I had
a new opportunity to pull up my bootstraps
and get on with life
and that I still loved decorating
and sewing
and making crafts.
So, I did.

Second Impressions Antique Mall
Visiting Magnolia Market at the Silos
A Bridal Shower Tea
Then last summer, there was a wedding…
Peter and Justine with our daughter Amy on the far left in lavender.
And we were doing alright!
Hubby was still coaching and the school district
gave him an emergency credential to teach.
He made as much as I did, which was HUGE.
And, we had a lot less stress without the house
payment and all the utility bills.
And it was good.

Another photo from Magnolia Market at the Silos.

Fall came around again and it looked like 
we were going to be spending a second year
at The Lake.
We were looking forward to it
But God had other plans.

A whirlwind of internet phone interviews
and Hubby now had work in his usual line
of employment ~ and we were moving!
Out of state!
To Texas!
Longhorns, prairies, horses, wildflowers
and here we are.

Celebrating the end of Year Three
My life has kinda followed those scenes in
the movie Forrest Gump ~ where the feather
kinda floats through life.
Do you know it?
Exactly!  My life has been a lot like that.
Who knows what this fourth year will bring
but I know where I will be.
Right here, bringing you my best photographs,
and gardens, and some tea parties
and places to visit.

Blessings to you, always,
Sharing with
Welcome Home Wednesdays ~ Five Kids a Dog and a Blog
Create Link Inspire ~ Life Sew Savory
Feathered Nest Friday ~ French Country Cottage
Vintage Charm ~ Blue Willow House
Share Your Style ~ The Red Painted Cottage
Friday at the Firestation ~ A Fireman’s Wife
Wow Us Wednesday ~ Savvy Southern Style
Gathering Place #8 ~ Gratefully Vintage

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