crafts, Home Decor, Pinterest Challenge

Create a Late Summer/Early Autumn Wreath from a Dollar Tree Score

Hello, friends! Summer heat is still with us and fall weather is still a ways off, so our friend Cindy from County Road 407 has come up with a lovely wreath project for us to make and enjoy now here as we move into late summer. Of course, we always get to put our own spin on whatever we create for each month’s Pinterest Challenge ~ which makes each challenge super fun! My wreath will easily transition into autumn, and surprisingly, even beyond. Let’s make a wreath!

I want to say a big thank you to Cindy for creating this monthly Pinterest Challenge. It’s always a pleasure to create or decorate something new each month. If you are just coming over from Diane at South House Designs for the first time, welcome! Didn’t you just love Diane’s wreath decorating ideas? Soooo pretty!! I love the little wreath hung with all the creamware coffee mugs ~ perfection!!


Our inspiration

Here is the boxwood wreath made by Courtenay from The Creek Line House. This wreath’s simple style of boxwood clippings works well with all types of decor and they look fresh for a really long time.

Courtenay has hung her wreath outside on her backdoor underneath a covered porch. She has decorated around her doorway with galvanized buckets of what looks like dahlias and dusty miller, adding a whitewashed lantern filled with more boxwood shaped into large balls, and standing a small wooden ladder up against an old grey shutter.

A lovely garden-styled look!


A trip to Dollar Tree

I looked for some leftover pieces of a wire wreath form I had but I must have used it for another project a couple of years ago. So, off to our local Dollar Tree I went to see if I could find a wreath form there.

I found two choices. The one on the left above has a grapevine base so that is the one I chose to use.

I pulled off the styrofoam starfish and the little berries and corresponding greenery. I left the pieces which looked like boxwood as I thought I may need the “filler” if I didn’t collect enough boxwood trimmings to make my wreath.

So… Off to ask my neighbor if I could clip his big boxwood hedges! ๐Ÿ™‚

To my surprise, his gorgeous bushes which looked like boxwood from the street weren’t boxwood bushes at all…They were hollies!

So, my “boxwood wreath” will easily transition to Christmas, as you can now see. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Here I was halfway through clipping off the new growth and extra bits of overgrowth. Perfect to collect for my wreath-making project!

I felt a little like Red Riding Hood bringing a gift to her grandmother! I’m glad I got a full bag of holly clippings.

Our weather cooled off, so I sat outdoors to create. It was wonderful making little bundles of holly and wrapping them onto the grapevine with twine! (I couldn’t find my floral wire, but this worked better anyway. More natural.)

About halfway done… Did I mention that this grapevine wreath already has a round ring attached?

Oh! And it had a $5.00 price tag and I was okay with that price. However, when I got home and looked at the receipt…

Total cost: $1.09! That’s all that this project cost as I had everything else in my craft stash.

I finished it, hung it up, and thought it needed a ribbon or something… But we had to run over to my mother-in-law’s house and finish up her sprinkler retrofit/planting new bushes project there.

This was the first iteration as I had to come back and clip off the drooping “new growth” and hot glue in more of the older, sturdier holly trimmings.

That did the trick!


Fast forward to the next day

I had completely forgotten what the original photograph had in it other than the wreath but I am happy that my version has the same garden-inspired feel.

And I hung my wreath outside our kitchen backdoor under our patio as well. ๐Ÿ˜‰ This was totally a fluke as I just thought, “Oh, here’s a door I can hang this wreath on and it’ll be shaded most of the day.”

(There wasn’t any thought as to where to hang it, honestly. I’ve been on summer break from school too long, lol! My mind has turned to relaxation mush.)

Dappled sunlight invites you to come and sit a spell! Love the reflection of the farmhouse creamware vase with its sunflowers, purple eryngium bourgatii/Mediterranean sea holly and white heath asters.

I thought of using sunflowers as my floral inspiration in this transitional summer-to-fall wreath as they really are the perfect mid-to-late summer flower plus they really love the heat this time of year.


Still simple to go with any decor and with very much of a boxwood-wreath-look, this impromptu holly wreath has just a touch of faux sunflowers and a creamy lace bow for a bright pop of late summer/early autumn color with lots of texture. ๐Ÿ’œ 

Thank you for stopping by today and please subscribe if you enjoyed this post. Up next is our host Cindy from County Road 407 with her post sharing a bunch of ideas for decorating with boxwood wreaths (and this post doesn’t disappoint!). Be sure to follow the links below for more inspiration!


Happy creating!

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Home Decor, Thrift Shop Finds

A Thrift Shop Adventure, What I Found + A Little History…

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This summer has been glorious for getting out and visiting our local thrift shops! My mother-in-law Gini has been with me a couple of times for an impromptu jaunt, but on this day last week, I was solo. Let’s share a thrift shop adventure…

This is Twice As Nice Resale here in Denton, Texas. It is by far the nicest thrift store around these parts! I have noticed over the last year, it is getting a little more upscale. Like everything else, prices have gone up a bit, especially on furniture. However, overall, prices are good and the value for home decor, small appliances, clothing and more are competitive to other resellers.

I like the way clothing is displayed: buy size and type, and also by color! This makes it so much easier to shop. ๐Ÿ™‚ Sorry I didn’t get a photograph for you but I do like to look for gently used jeans there.

50% Off Days

Then there are the monthly 50% off days! Well, when Gini and I had been in here a couple of weeks before, I’d noticed a really pretty piece of furniture.

Something I’d been looking for for quite a while.

It’s BIG.

It has plenty of room for storage and would free up some space in a storage cabinet in the garage for Mr. Ethereal to use for his tools and such.

I also found some really pretty chairs I would have loved to own when I first started buying furniture when we first were married. I imagine this chair is a 1990’s or late 1980’s piece and it would have cost a lot more back then.

I loved these birds! Soooo pretty!!

But this isn’t what I purchased…

I sent a text with a photograph of this coffee table to my mother-in-law last week earlier in the week to see if she was interested. She actually is finally ready to get rid of a bunch of her pieces and free up some space in her new home.

She has Federal style pieces like this, but sadly, many were damaged by careless movers when she left her last house. Fifty-five years in one place and just moving 1800 miles caused a lot more damage than those previous years…

So Gramma needs a new coffee table to replace her old one. I thought this one was perfect as it had a drawer plus lower storage. You could put your feet up on it then wipe it down afterwards and not feel bad about it knowing that it came to you secondhand. ๐Ÿ™‚

On the sale day, I showed this one to Gini as she drove over to help me get my purchase back home. I was more than willing to buy this sweet sewing table for her as a thank-you gift for taking time out to help me haul and lift my big item into our house.

So what did I buy?


Our new flame mahogany buffet

I might be incorrect and it could be walnut. Nevertheless, it has lovely veneers and only needs one area fixed. Years ago, probably the same year I bought the French commode that I use as my bedroom dresser, a friend from the Marine Corps wives, Dawn and her two-year-old daughter and I drove up to Orange, California from where we lived on base at Camp Pendleton (Oceanside). I think on that day I bought silver-plated serving pieces but Dawn found a beautiful buffet similar to this one. I’ve thought of that beautiful buffet ever since! The antique seller was selling many pieces of Biedermeier furniture which were all from the same estate sale.


We both put items on layaway during that time period. This might have been when I bought the Drexel French style desk!. You know, I think that is right! I did a lot of layaways back then in order to have nice pieces in our home and then paid them off over a few months.

It’s still a great way to get fabulous pieces and stay on a budget. ๐Ÿ™‚

In this home, I keep that desk right by the front door. It is perfect for setting my purse on and keeping our household bills in a little tray carrier to keep them accessible. I know I bought my commode-turned-dresser on a different date because my deaf brother was with me then and we were in San Juan Capistrano, California. It was one of the few times he came down for a visit.

It’s also the same day a man ran out in front of my car on Highway 5 heading north, and I was speeding towards him at 70 mph!!!

Dawn and I were practically shouting, “There’s a man in the road! There’s a man in the road!” Her daughter was craning towards the middle of the car so she could try and look over the hood of the car to see what was going on. We assured her that we would not hit the man.

The highway patrol officer who was chasing him stopped at the freeway and let the man take his chances. He did make it to the other side of the southbound lanes successfully.

That’s 10 lanes of freeway traffic…This was 1988 -1989; probably was the spring of 1989.

Those yellow caution signs showing people running and crossing the freeways in California are TRUE! Here’s an article about the last one disappearing with immigration laws changing (linked above).

But I digress… ๐Ÿ˜‰

I have been drooling and waiting ever since… About 36 years!

The back of it is stamped with: Giant Furniture Company, High Point, North Carolina and the number 80. My guess is it is a late 1920’s to 1940’s piece?? I like it’s English look and it kinda goes with the tea cart my brother brought back from England for me in 2005.

Here is a good photograph of my tea trolley loaded with hot chocolate goodies for one of our past Pinterest Challenges.


Giant Furniture Company ~ A little history

Giant Furniture Co. opened their doors in 1910 and immediately had success. They were pulled into the aircraft industry with the advent of World War I and were doing a booming business even before becoming a government contractor:

By the start of the war, it was considered one of the strongest furniture companies in the city. Giantโ€™s modern equipment and expansive facilities made it an ideal contractor for government work, and so in 1918 it undertook a contract to produce airplane propellers. The resulting propellers were typically made of North Carolina hardwoods like white oak and were installed on Gnome, Curtiss, Penguin, and Liberty aircraft engines. As with other manufacturers in the state, Giantโ€™s government work came to an abrupt end when news of the armistice broke in November 1918.”

Jessica A. Bandel, “Portraits of War: Giant Furniture Company,”
North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

I haven’t really decorated it yet, but I did give it a really good soap & water cleaning straight away! It had that musty smell, like it had been sitting in a barn for a good long while… Thankfully, no cigar or cigarette smells at all! ๐Ÿ™‚

I would have had to turn around and resell it right away if it had been stinky. With my asthma and those smells as my #1 trigger, that could have been bad. But, no problems! I did sniff it over very closely before purchasing it. It’s totally fine now. I put bowls of baking soda in each drawer and the two side doors to pull out any remaining odors.

Oh! And a lady tried to tear of the purchase price ticket off this buffet while I was standing there measuring it! I grabbed it away and told her, “No way!” Maybe it was a family piece and her husband accidentally had the thrift store come and pick it up, I don’t know (my rationale for why I should ~ or could ~ have let her have it instead of me).

But I rather think they are resellers and were looking to resell it at a big profit. I see these buffets being painted (or not) and resold at antique stores for up to $3500.

Not me, if I can help it. It’ll be passed on to my daughter or daughter-in-love, if they want it. And I thought about maybe painting it, but I am rather a purist at heart with furniture. I do love the look of white furniture. ๐Ÿ˜‰


I think I got a good buy at $450.00. ๐Ÿ’œ  Let me know what you think. ๐Ÿ™‚


Stay cool, dear friends!

Gardening, Home Decor

Share Your Style #396

Welcome to this week’s Share Your Style #396, dear friends! I am sooo sorry that I did not get Share Your Style out on Wednesday. I am getting used to my husband coming home from work at a “normal” time, and I just really forgot! I am back painting in the house again, and it’s really hot and humid this week, as it is across much of America, so there’s my excuse, friends.

But I thought I’d put SYS up anyway and share your features, just a day or so late. ๐Ÿ™‚

I am Barbara Chapman and I’d love it if you’d follow me here on my blog and on any of my other social media sites, too.  Thank you!๐Ÿ’œ 

French Ethereal: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest

And with more painting, finishing up working on the sprinklers at my mother-in-law’s home, I didn’t get a post out over the past week, so…

Let’s get to this week’s features!


And here are this week’s featured posts…

First up this week, I am totally loving Debra’s post from Common Ground sharing all these seashells!!! Look at this buffet! Perfection bringing the beach home ~
Coastal Vibes with Seashell Buffet.
Woman standing in the lobby of the St Regis in Rome.
Newcomer Rosemary from Distinctly Southern Style shares What I Wore on the Plane to Italy. It’s all about comfort, isn’t it? Welcome, Rosemary!!! Enjoy your trip!
cat kissinger
Next up we have the cutest cat!!! I can’t wait to screenshot this cutie and send him to my cat-loving daughter… Kissinger the Cat is coming over from Aleksandra at Cats & Dogs ( ~ I know he is huge and those tuffted ears!!! You’ll have to check out Aleksandra’s posts. She features many furry friends. ๐Ÿ’œ 
Popular Types of Residential Fences
Kathryn from The Dedicated House shared a nice post on types of fences ~ 3 Most Popular Types of Residential Fences. Love this! I am still on the hunt for another iron or aluminum fence to finish off the backyard. ๐Ÿ™‚
Coco from The Crowned Goat brings out her summer whites on her cool and comfortable front porch ~ Cottage Inspired Summer Porch Tour. Lovely!!!
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Last up for this week, we have another of Coco’s posts and this one shares 11 Architectural Salvage Decorating Ideas. Love all the stained glass!!! I’ll take the tall triple window with the ethereal lady in the middle… ๐Ÿ˜‰

Thank You so much to everyone who linked up this past week. A special thank you to everyone for always promotingย Share Your Styleย on your blog and on your social media channels! I do see it when I stop by and I appreciate the love.ย ๐Ÿ’œ

If you’d like to follow myย Share Your Style boardย on Pinterest I’d appreciate it,ย thank you!ย I do post all of the featured posts from each week’s SYS there plus usually other photos from those posts to my boards. ๐Ÿ’œย  Thanks so much!!! If you are new to French Ethereal, I hope you will think about subscribing to my blog.


Enjoy the party!

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Home Decor, Recipes, Tablescapes

Share Your Style #395

Hello y’all and welcome to this week’s Share Your Style #395! Summer heat has arrived and Amazon Prime Days (in case you haven’t heard, lol!). Since we all need a bit of cooling off, let’s check out this week’s cool features… ๐Ÿ˜‰

I am Barbara Chapman and I’d love it if you’d follow me here on my blog and on any of my other social media sites, too.  Thank you!๐Ÿ’œ 

French Ethereal: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest

Oh, my goodness the weather has turned up!!! The furnace is going this afternoon and I don’t think our a/c has turned off since noon. It’s set at 78 degrees, too. Remember the good old days when we could set it at 72 degrees and that was the norm??

Mr. Ethereal and I have spent the past two weekends over at my mother-in-law’s fixing her sprinkler pipes in ground and finally getting to plant five Texas sage bushes (Barometer bush) for her. You should have seen the nasty roots winding around her sprinkler water pipes! It took Hubby literally 18-19 hours over two days to remove the set of HUGE roots from a crepe myrtle tree right up against the corner of her house. I know that tree is going to shock but it had to be done. Well, Gini’s pipes are redone and the plants are in. Gramma just needs to water daily in this nasty heat!

Let’s see what wonderful cool features we have this week!

Here’s what I shared this past week at French Ethereal…


And here are this week’s featured posts…

First up this week we have Postcards from the Lake – Finally! by Jeanie from The Marmelade Gypsy. Jeanie always shares such beauty and all the wildlife, plus visits with friends, from this idyllic part of Michigan. Come for a visit!
Our friend Sandra from Come to Dinner at Eight shares a trip to see her daughter and a wonderful visit to A Tea Room, a Botanical Garden and an Emergency. Stop by and find out more!
Sandra also shared this beautiful post about receiving these gorgeous flowers… Summer Decor with Flowers! Heavenly!!!
Strawberry Eton Mess Recipe
Oooooh! Claire Justine shares a dessert to cool our fired-up days ~ Strawberry Eton Mess.
Looks soooo good!!!
DeeDee from Clover House is back with this festive patriotic post ~ Dreaming in Red, White & Blue: Patriotic Bedroom Decor. I just want to shout, “Hip, hip, hooray!”
From Common Ground, Debra brings us this refreshingly cool decor post ~
Summer French Country Wagon in the Dining Room. Love love love the yellows!!!
I also loved this other yellow-filled post by Debra appropriately named
Lovely Lemony Vintage Basket & Decor. So summery!!!
Penny from Penny’s Treasures shares a look at her Summer Backyard Tour and
Happy 4th of July!
Love her roses!!!
Our final feature this week is from Rita from Panoply who sets such an elegant table in this post ~ July Garden Update and Just Bee-Cause Tablescape. Beeutiful!!! (And more yellow!)

Thank You so much to everyone who linked up this past week. A special thank you to everyone for always promotingย Share Your Styleย on your blog and on your social media channels! I do see it when I stop by and I appreciate the love.ย ๐Ÿ’œ

If you’d like to follow myย Share Your Style boardย on Pinterest I’d appreciate it,ย thank you!ย I do post all of the featured posts from each week’s SYS there plus usually other photos from those posts to my boards. ๐Ÿ’œย  Thanks so much!!! If you are new to French Ethereal, I hope you will think about subscribing to my blog.


Stay cool, friends!

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Home Decor

Summertime Decorating in the Living Room + A Little Chat

Bonjour, mes amies!! The soft patriotic influence is all throughout the house this season and here in the living room is no exception. I’ve brought in a light nautical look, too. Let’s explore!…

Of course, you’ve seen this patriotic decor vignette in last month’s Pinterest Challenge. I’ve kept the Americana theme light and airy adding it to this summer’s beachy nautical look.

I was with my mother-in-law at Hobby Lobby one day and I saw these chicken wire candle jars on sale… It was the inspiration for our summer coastal, beach vibe look!


Adding seaside decor

I found little seashells for $1.99 at our local dollar store and added them here on the coffee table around the candleholder. I’ve used this white wood tray to gather everything together.

A small tealight candle sits inside the other candleholder, a round crackle-glass jar I’ve had for many years.

A tiny bouquet of dried roses, which dried a lovely deep plumy-red, adds their soft patriotic accent at one end of the tray.


Our summer mantel

When I went to share photos from our mantel’s summertime look… I realized that I never photographed it. Eeeeek!!! It was the first thing I decorated after Mr. E rehung the mirror once the paint was fully dry.

So that’s what I did here just as I am writing. ๐Ÿ™‚

In this photograph, the mantel is dressed up with a some patriotic color. Yes, I know the American flag is laying down on the little cherub… I tried to find a way to have the cherub hold it, which is what I was going for. Didn’t work, so it drapes.

In a way it works for remembering those fallen in battle (a fallen flag look), as we remember our soldiers who didn’t make it home every Memorial Day and really during any of our American holidays.

In previous years, I’ve had a bunch of our patriotic books up on the mantel and shared their stories. Mr. Ethereal was Captain Chapman in a previous life (about 30 years ago now) in the Marine Corps, and he collected a number of books about men and women who were true heroes.

I forgot that I started our journey in this house with our curvy mirror up above the mantel. I changed it out for the white dry-brushed one for more of a contemporary look. That mirror now hangs in my “Hall of Mirrors,” lol! (photograph above)

Here in the living room, I’ve moved some of the furniture around putting the loveseat back to the left of the fireplace. This is a good afternoon reading spot. The size of this loveseat is a good size for this room and usually it sits under the living room windows, but I wanted to put the library tea table over there for summer… ๐Ÿ˜‰

When my daughter and I traveled to France last year, and we toured the castle at Versailles, I bought this book about Marie Antoinette (I think at The Louvre), and this sweet needlepoint pillow with Marie’s initial on it (found at Versailles).

I am slowly, and I do mean slowly, working my way (in French) through this book. The photographs and drawings are wonderful! I have to look up a lot of words, especially verbs, because I only studied one year in high school. I know a lot more Spanish and German. Funny side note, you should see me trying to use my very rusty American Sign Language at school with our deaf students! I know See-Sign, which is way different than ASL. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Did you know you can go online to the Louvre’s website and shop their bookstore? They carry something like 19,000 volumes from around the world, one of the gift shop attendees told us as we were checking out. Amazing!

I did take a couple of first shots of the mantel with our pups’ boxes on it as I forgot to take them off. They were quickly moved off, but I had them there together since Yoda’s remains came home a week ago. Yoda’s is the one on the left and Skeeter’s is on the right. I really need to bury them in the backyard, but the boxes are so lovely…

The boxes also are reminders of how much we miss our family and friends and furry friends at their passing. I hope this doesn’t trouble you. It isn’t meant to have that affect. Just good memories. ๐Ÿ’œย 


Add a favorite summertime photograph

I love featuring this photograph taken by my son when he and his wife went out to Oregon for a college friend’s wedding! He sent this to me for my birthday or Christmas a couple of years ago. They had taken a detour to the coast for a little mini vacation after the wedding and before driving home to South Dakota. Love this!

It reminds me of the standing rocks in faraway places like in Indonesia but here on our own North American coastline. Beautiful!


Changes to come

Looking at our living room, it is time to begin some changes. Our furniture is very large for this space so we need to weed some out. All of it is thrift store or garage sale pieces, most of it costing $200 or less. We rarely could afford better furniture back then, plus I’ve always been thrifty! ๐Ÿ™‚

I need to go through our bookcases, too, and let some books go that we no longer want. There are some here I haven’t read in years, and it would make it easier to reshelve books.

I did try to get our daughter to take the wing chair she wants for her future home, but they don’t have room for it right now. I thought maybe they could put it in their storage unit, but it is small and is already full. So much for trying to pawn it off last week! ๐Ÿ˜‰

This arrangement works for now but is a bit crowded. I think it is time to let this easy chair go to a local thriftshop. I like the size of the barrel chair on the right side of the fireplace. It needs a new paint job and a fabric update.

Maybe this will be a project for fall?

Here is a look in the corner round cabinet. I restacked a number of the teacups and rearranged some of the curios inside featuring different items on each shelf. This was fun to do after the Flag Day tea as I was putting those clean cups and saucers away!

Always a work in progress, this cabinet has come to overflowing in recent years. Do people like to give you things? Surprisingly, that is how a number of these teacups have come my way. ๐Ÿ™‚

Here is the opposite view of our living room! ๐Ÿ™‚ I love the clean and just simple textured look of white pillows on the sofa.

When I was painting walls in here in May and early June, I deep cleaned the bookcase and created a new vignette on top. It is the perfect place to display tall and larger items.


As always, thank you for stopping by! A cup of tea for you. ๐Ÿ’œย 


Share Your Style #394

Welcome friends to this week’s Share Your Style #394!!!! I hope you all had a wonderful American Independence Day yesterday, July 4th! We had a quiet day and went to lunch with my mother-in-law at our local Braum’s Restaurant.

Mr. Ethereal hung up a coat rack bar in her laundry room and also fixed her internet which had stopped working the night before. We spent the three days previous working on her front yard sprinklers, pulling out bushes and starting to plant new bushes for her. It was a busy four day weekend for us! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I am Barbara Chapman and I’d love it if you’d follow me here on my blog and on any of my other social media sites, too.  Thank you!๐Ÿ’œ 

French Ethereal: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest

So let’s jump right into this week’s features, shall we?

Here’s what I shared this past week at French Ethereal…

Just as the title says ~ Creating an Americana Look in the China Hutch.
Hope you will check it out. ๐Ÿ™‚


And here are this week’s featured posts…

Grilled Ravioli
Estelle from Homemade on a Weeknight shared this delicious summer grilling recipe ~
Grilled Ravioli Dinner #Blackstone. Yum!!!
Maya from The Little Treasures who creates beautiful crocheted clothing is back with this post Restoring a Vintage Crochet Blanket. Great work!
Our friend Jeanie from The Marmelade Gypsy shared a lot in this post ~ A Sale, a Farewell and a Garage Sale.
Penny from Penny’s Treasures brings out her best even in the New Mexico heat ~
Red, White and Blue Breakfast on the Porch. So sweet!!!
Debra from Common Ground has the cutest displays and her post this time definitely brings it ~ Summer Holiday Cupboard with Patriotic Flair. Awesome Americana!!!!
an image of a Blueberry Coconut Bundt Cake with cream cheese topping and decorated with blue berries
And our final feature for this week is this one from Esme from Esme Salon who shares this recipe for Blueberry Coconut Bundt Cake. Deliciousness!!!


Thank You so much to everyone who linked up this past week. A special thank you to everyone for always promotingย Share Your Styleย on your blog and on your social media channels! I do see it when I stop by and I appreciate the love.ย ๐Ÿ’œ

If you’d like to follow myย Share Your Style boardย on Pinterest I’d appreciate it,ย thank you!ย I do post all of the featured posts from each week’s SYS there plus usually other photos from those posts to my boards. ๐Ÿ’œย  Thanks so much!!! If you are new to French Ethereal, I hope you will think about subscribing to my blog.



Have a great week, everyone!

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Holidays, Home Decor

Creating an Americana Look in the China Hutch

I have been on a bit of a Americana/patriotic kick this spring into summer. So, it was fitting as I was setting the table for our Flag Day Tea to also add a bit of Americana to our china hutch…

Here is the dining room table all set for a Flag Day tea! We had a lovely time visiting, eating (of course!) and just enjoying the time together.


Decorating the Hutch

The last time I decorated our china hutch was for Valentine’s Day, so most of plates and items on the hutch have changed. I kept just a couple of the pink roses salad plates, to add their “red” to this patriotic look.

I brought in a couple of the harvest plates we have made by J. Broadhurst The Constable Series Bicentennial 1776-1976 for their pinkish red. For the blue, I looked around for other plates in our corner round cabinet.

I can’t remember if I found the hand-painted plate with blackberries on it or my mother-in-law did, but it is lovely. Blackberries are so summery to me! It is a true antique made in Austria by Imperial above a small crown, RSL below the crown, and Empire inside an oval with Austria written below all. It also has its number: 4622 24.

In California, the blackberries would ripen in late August into September, each year along the American River, in the suburbs of Sacramento and in the foothills of the Gold Rush country. When I was in college, my friend Rob was on the crew team at CSU Sacramento. We also worked togethere at Swensen’s Ice Cream factory and restaurant in Citrus Heights. So he had access to borrowing canoes and rowing boats, and we’d go gather buckets of blackberries for his mom to bake pies and for topping ice cream, etc. BUT, working at Swensen’s, we could go in and make ourselves (and everyone else working) blackberries milkshakes!!!

Oh, they were soooo good! :)’

The large blue Mason Crabtree & Evelyn teacup plate had a pretty large teacup that went with it, but it was broken soon after I bought it. So, here I’ve paired it with a realistic rose teacup from my collection, and they bring the RWB look together.

I also pulled out this Americana bread plate. It’s fun to see what works together! For our recent Pinterest Challenge we put together a patriotic themed vignette and I used a pair of Japanese-American figurines in it. Here I’ve placed my husband’s little bicentennial figurines.

I’ve shared them before and my mother-in-law has a set at her house. I think that Gini bought them for Charles and his sister Jodi back when they toured Philadelphia around 1976.

Mr. Ethereal also has a reproduction (non-working) wooden rifle from the period. Perfect back in the day for a kid to play with but also isn’t a real weapon.

Here is the whole hutch.I really love all the subtle red, white and blue displayed in it!

I had forgotten all about this sweet little blue and white kitten teapot drip catcher until I was looking underneath in the china hutch. There she was inside a small bowl just waiting to come out and play!


Happy Independence Day!!!!

Happy 4th of July to y’all or Happy belated 4th, if you are reading this after our American Independence Day! This has been a fun summer full of patriotic posts for me this year. I don’t have a lot of red or blue chinaware but what I do have, I love to bring out for the summer holidays.

On the buffet shelf, I kept the silverplate tea tray in its tarnished state and also the croched boy which my father’s mother Rosa tatted back in the 1930’s or 1940’s, is my guess. I have quite a few of her crocheted pieces and I love them all.

Just adding a simple patriotic napkin was all that was added here, with new china pieces of course!


And for all of my friends named Debbie/Debra/Debbee

Here is one of the few bee items I have courtesy my husband’s aunt who owned this teapot before me. It is really cute and I’d love to get a few more bee things but Mr. Ethereal wants me to pare down what is already here. ๐Ÿ™‚

But tea towels I always need, so I’ll have to search for some bee ones! ๐Ÿ˜‰

My self-imposed year of buying nothing new was 2022. The little Japanese-American figurines were about it for purchases that year.

There’s always a way around that, though… ๐Ÿ˜‰ Enjoy!!!!

Happy Independence Day, y’all!!!!

Home Decor, Recipes

Share Your Style #393

Welcome to this week’s Share Your Style #393, dear friends! Happy almost July 4th!!!! I’m sorry SYS is up a day late. My daughter and her roommate drove up yesterday to attend a concert and we had an early dinner with my mother-in-law, her grandmother. Time got away from me with the girls over, but publishing today helps make up for it!

I am Barbara Chapman and I’d love it if you’d follow me here on my blog and on any of my other social media sites, too.  Thank you!๐Ÿ’œ 

French Ethereal: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest

Let’s check out this week’s features! ๐Ÿ™‚


Here’s what I shared this past week at French Ethereal…

Come to a Flag Day Tea! ~ Come meet my friends from work and visit with my mother-in-law again.
Create a Simple Patriotic Vignette in Under 5 Minutes ~ part of this month’s Pinterest Challenge.


And here are this week’s featured posts…

Ann from Apple Street Cottage brings us these adorable and easy to make Firecrackers from Essential Oil Tubes. Fun!!!
Debra from Common Ground shares this fun Americana look in
Summer Patriotic Cupboard with Red Transferware. Love this!!!
Classy Home Decor
For any young parents out there, Kathryn from The Dedicated House shares some secrets in her post ~ Effortlessly Elegant: Balancing Parenthood and Classy Home Decor. Great tips!!
Spring Chicken Spaghetti
Estelle from Homemade on a Weeknight brings us this yummy recipe to share over the holiday weekend ~ Spring Chicken Spaghetti. Delicious!!!!
How to Create a Patriotic Grain Sack Wall Art-The Crowned Goat
Our final entry for this evening is this fun DIY craft idea from CoCo of The Crowned Goat ~ love this beautiful tribute to our nation’s birthday ~ Patriotic Inspired Grain Sack Table Runner.


Thank You so much to everyone who linked up this past week. A special thank you to everyone for always promotingย Share Your Styleย on your blog and on your social media channels! I do see it when I stop by and I appreciate the love.ย ๐Ÿ’œ

If you’d like to follow myย Share Your Style boardย on Pinterest I’d appreciate it,ย thank you!ย I do post all of the featured posts from each week’s SYS there plus usually other photos from those posts to my boards. ๐Ÿ’œย  Thanks so much!!! If you are new to French Ethereal, I hope you will think about subscribing to my blog.

Happy almost July 4th!

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Holidays, Home Decor, Pinterest Challenge

Create a Simple Patriotic Vignette in Under 5 Minutes

Welcome, friends, to this month’s Patriotic Decor Pinterest Challenge! I’ve created a very simple vignette easily put together in under 5 minutes of which you can recreate!

If you are just coming over from Julie at My Wee Abode, welcome! Didn’t you just love the soft red, blue & white homemade flags Julie made? Adorable!!!

Our hostess Cindy from County Road 407 has chosen the perfect photo from Liz Marie and her blog for us to take inspiration…


What inspired me

I love Liz’s wrapped wine jugs!!! As a teenager, I had one given to me by my parents which I loved to burn candles in using it as a candleholder, but I don’t have any currently.

Mainly, I was inspired by the American flags tucked into each jug and those I do have! ๐Ÿ™‚ Mr. Ethereal has been redoing how we store things in the garage, and unfortunately, I came across only one little flag.

I was also inspired by the group of three jugs but four flags.


My patriotic vignette thought process

Not having any jugs, I thought about using lanterns instead, however, what I did have didn’t all go together. You can see the one grey woven one up on the mantel in the background here above. This would have been a perfect replacement shape for a jug…

Barring that, I chose three statuettes to replace the jugs. Pearls on the large statue add their subtle lustrous white along with the the creamy white of the blue ticking napkin added as a ground for the grouping. The little statues bring in their red, white and blue, pulling this patriotic theme together.

Even though the statues are of varying sizes, the two Japanese American patriotic figurines scream Americana and are perfect in any patriotic decor! I found these last summer and they are post-WWII pieces made in Occupied Japan. My guess is they were made during the recovery phase after the war when the United States helped Japan get back on its feet with rebuilding the country.

I found an article online which might interest you about the United States helping with Japan’s economic recovery and this quote is from it:

After World War II, the United States also understood the strategic importance of using foreign assistance and other tools to aid and rebuild post-war Japan. Between 1946 and 1952, Washington invested $2.2 billion โ€” or $18 billion in real 21st-century dollars adjusted for inflation โ€” in Japanโ€™s reconstruction effort. 

US News & World Report

Next, I needed something to hold a flag since neither of the figurines has a vase attached. I chose a small milk bottle found at Magnolia Market a few years ago to hold our Stars & Stripes! The dried pinkish-red gomphrena are an added bonus and were already in place.


Adding a white candle in its glass vase brings in more of the white in our red, white & blue theme, while adding my favorite maiden statue gives the height needed as a replacement for which the three wine jugs had in the inspiration piece.

And that’s my patriotic vignette which was literally pulled together in 5 quick minutes! I hope this has inspired you to look around your home for items that you can round up to create a patriotic tableau for your upcoming 4th of July holiday table.

Next we have Laura from Everyday Edits sharing her American Flag door basket. I know you will love it as much as I do! As always, thank you to Cindy for creating our monthly challenge!! Enjoy visiting the other 13 friends on today’s Pinterest Challenge tour!!! Thirteen friends, thirteen colonies… You gotta love the Americana theme!!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Enjoy this patriotic tour, friends,

Barb ๐Ÿ™‚

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Holidays, Home Decor, Tablescapes

Come to a Flag Day Tea!

Welcome, dear friends, to a Flag Day Tea! Flag Day is June 14th each year, for anyone who may not know this. I know I didn’t until moving to Texas. It wasn’t something that was celebrated much in California, I guess. Here in Texas, though. Flag Day is big deal! So, let’s celebrate with a nice tea luncheon…

The history of Flag Day

In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation that officially established June 14 as Flag Day. On August 3, 1949, National Flag Day was established by an Act of Congress. Flag Day is not an official federal holiday.

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I shared how the table was set in a previous post, so today I’d like to share my friends!

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Potluck Tea

Why a potluck tea? Well, that way the hostess don’t have to do all of the heavy lifting creating food. I am not a cook by any stretch, so this frees me up to focus on making what I bake really well!

Time for scones!

New friend Linda lives not too far away from my house and we met when she subbed in the library for my librarian (my boss) for a week. We became fast friends! Here she is coming up to the door. (I just happened to have my phone/camera in hand so snapped a quick pic!)

Here is everyone!

Linda took this photograph. From left to right, my mother-in-law Gini, myself, my boss Anna, and Heather who is our library technician. I enjoy working with everyone at school so much! The school motto is that we are a family, and I have to say it makes a HUGE difference feeling loved and appreciated where you work. ๐Ÿ’œย 

We talked about work naturally, but also what all we were doing in the future, our summer plans. It was fun to introduce my mother-in-love to some of my friends so she could make some new friends!

Lunch is served!

I’ve been using the program Canva to make Pinterest pins for a number of years now. So for this tea, I thought I’d try my hand at invitations to text everyone. It also became our menu. This was really fun for me!

I used the Johnson Bros. pinkish red china with the farmers bringing in their harvested wheat to set the table. The red fits with our patriotic theme. Little flags were scattered around the table and the little roosters were brought out to add their pretty feathers.

We had scones as our first course, and I set the smaller red transferware salad plates on top of these larger dinner plates. For fun, at the end of the scones course, the ladies looked underneath to see if they had the magic blue painter’s tape stuck on the bottom. If they did, they won a prize of a pair of patriotic star earrings or a tin of tea!

For the remaining lunch menu, we had zucchini quiche, cucumber tea sandwiches, a refreshing fruit salad with blackberries, chocolate pรชtit fours, and lemon poppyseed cake served with the last of the black tea I brought back from France. Yum!!!

The napkins underneath each placesetting were gifts for everyone to take home. Everyone had a nice time and thought we should do this again!

As part of hosting, I was able to use my English teacart again, too! It is one of the pieces I picked up at at thrift shop over in Cambridgeshire when visiting my brother and his family with my kids back during Easter/spring break 2005. Gene brought it back with his household goods when they moved back Stateside later that summer. Another friend stopped by and camped at their homesite the next year and brought it back to California for me.

Friendships are a wonderful thing! I’m so glad Covid restrictions are through! It was a lovely day to share with friends.

I hope you’ve enjoyed our little tea and can use some of these ideas as inspiration for a patriotic tea of your own.

Happy tea,

Barb ๐Ÿ™‚