crafts, DIY Projects, Fashion, Gardening, Home Decor, Recipes

Share Your Style #380

Welcome back, friends! This week’s Share Your Style #380 is back after a two week hiatus. The first week I can’t even remember why I missed (exhaustion?), and last Wednesday I was recovering from eye surgery in the morning. So, instead of my usual photo I am sharing “Pirate Barb” with the eye patch I had to wear the first day ~ all day and night. Then I only had to wear it at nighttime. 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

I apologize for not letting you all know I’d be off last week. I thought I’d feel good and be able to post that evening. I was home early enough from the surgery center, but I didn’t think about the effects of anesthesia on the body. I was sleeping pretty much all afternoon and evening as soon as I got home.

So, again, I apologize for not having SYS these past two weeks, but sometimes I just need some time off. ๐Ÿ˜‰ And this evening, I was out planting veg in the garden and then critter-proofing the bin with lots of hardware cloth, chickenwire until 8:00p.m.

Better late than never! Let’s get this party started!! ๐Ÿ™‚

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

Let’s Sew! Making a Balloon Curtain for the Kitchen ~ I’m back sewing for a bit! Feels good to get back to my roots. I’ll be back painting in the family and living rooms soon.

And here are this week’s featured posts…

First up this week is this beautiful tray post from Debra of Common Ground ~
Early Spring Garden Tray with Paperwhites. Love it!!!
leprechaun-centerpiece-supplies
Can you believe it’s already St. Patrick’s Day? OH! And Happy Ides of March today… ๐Ÿ˜‰ Wasn’t a good day for Caesar, though… Debbee from Debbee’s Buzz shared this fun post ~
Quick and Easy Lucky Leprechaun Centerpiece. Soooo cute!
Ann from Apple Street Cottage brings us this pretty vignette of
Birdcages and Candles.Lovely…
Jennifer from Curated by Jennifer wears this fun outfit proudly in this post
It’s My Birthday!!!
IKEA shelving hack black and white dishes
Karin from Karin’s Cottage created this great shelf in her post ~ Ikea Shelving Hack. Great job!!!
Meagan from Decorative Inspirations shared this springtime post ~
The Best Spring Cleaning Practices for the Gardens, Yards and Patios. Great tips!!
MaryJo from Master”Pieces” of My Life shared this gorgeous tablescape in this post ~
Forced Spring Bulbs Tablescape. Love the green and pewter coloring!!!
DeeDee from Clover House shared Simple Spring Vignettes. Adorable!!
A DIY Dutch tulip crate filled with assorted Spring decor. A large bunny, wood beads, a wooden Easter egg in a clay pot, and a large vintage jug holding greenery.
Lastly for this week, we welcome Leanna from Pretty DIY Home who shared this sweet post ~
How to Make a Dutch Tulip Crate for Spring. Adorable bunny and look at those large plaid carrots!
So glad you made it over, Leanna. 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.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day and Ides of March, everyone!

Barb ๐Ÿ™‚

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

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 spring, y’all! Enjoy the party,

Barb ๐Ÿ™‚

Home Decor, Sewing

Let’s Sew! Making a Balloon Curtain for the Kitchen

Happy March, everyone! This past weekend while I was recouping from eye surgery (cataract), I worked inside making this balloon curtain. Making one is super easy and here’s how to do it!

I found this inspirational fabric at Hobby Lobby (Slate “Friend” print cotton calico, #1415181) after my first follow-up appointment at the eye doctor this past Thursday. Gramma Gini was driving since I wasn’t allowed to be out driving yet, and we didn’t feel like going right home, so we went browsing for French toile fabric.

I didn’t find the fabric I was looking for but instead I found this soft brownish-grey, almost a toile, instead…

I’ve loved seeing words cut out and hung on other bloggers’ walls or sitting on their fireplace mantels, but I haven’t really got into all that… until now! This is my attempt at adding words in our kitchen. ๐Ÿ™‚

How to make a balloon curtain

I have written this as if the reader has never sewn, so bear with me if some of this is repetitive. Feel free to jump ahead if you are more experienced! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I bought 3 yards of fabric for this project. When you make a balloon shade/curtain, you will need three panels of the same width and length.
  • I washed and dried my fabric, then cut the 3 yards in half crosswise to have two beginning panels the same length of 1 1/2 yards (54″).
  • Next, cut both pieces of fabric lengthwise down the center of each piece, creating four lengths of equal width fabric.
  • Choose three pieces and seam them together lengthwise: If you wish to make French seams, begin by sewing on the right-sides out ~ sewing a 2/8″ seam.
  • Iron the seam flat, then place right-sides together (the normal way one creates a seam). Sew a 3/8″ seam on the wrong side encasing the first 2/8″ seam. This closes the first seam inside the final seam so no selvage shows. Very clean! (see photo above)
  • Sew both side seams, turning under 1/4″ once, twice. Sew along the turned-under edge.
  • Make a header next by first ironing under 1/4″, then turn a second time 2 5/8″. I began with an extra 5 1/4″ of fabric to create the rod pocket and small ruffle.
  • Sew close to the turned under edge and a second seam 1 1/2″ from this lower edge. This leaves 1″ at the top for a small ruffle when the curtain is gathered along the curtain rod. To prevent “pulling,” sew from the middle outward in one direction, and sew the rest of the top-stitching from the middle outward in the opposite direction.

My sewing machine has measuring lines on either side of the metal sewing plate (see photo below) and also along slide-on table, which I slid onto my machine’s sewing arm.

  • This creates a rod pocket for a 1″ curtain rod with a 5/8″ ruffle along the very top of the curtain once run on the rod.
  • Sew a 1″ hem at the bottom of the curtain with 1/4″ ironed under first. (For a curtain without a ruffle).
  • If adding a ruffle, cut the remaining 4th panel of fabric into 5 1/2″ strips width-wise. Seam those together on the wrong side, then iron in half width-wise, right side out.
  • Sew a basting line 1/4″ from the upper edge of the ruffle and a second baste line 3/8″ from the same edge. Don’t do the “sew from the middle” here. No need as you want the pulling effect. *Sewing from the middle works really well for clothing to keep it from pulling around you, feeling uncomfortable when a garment is worn.
  • Pull the bottom threads and adjust your gathers to the fit the bottom edge of the curtain. Pin to the curtain.
  • Sew a 1/2″ seam at the bottom of the curtain after gathering the ruffle. Iron the seam flat towards the curtain. Tack the seam just to the bottom of the vertical seams, in those four locations.

Note: Here I’ve added the gathering rings. The lowest rings were too far down (shown in the photograph) and I removed them and moved them up two inches higher so the ruffle could be seen when the curtain is hanging.

I am getting a little ahead of myself but you’ll see more of these rings below. ๐Ÿ˜‰

My inspiration

Years ago I found these pink rose curtains at Mervyn’s department store (went out of business sometime during the 1990’s, during a recession), and hung them at my first home in California.

I remember buying them one or two panels at a time as I couldn’t afford to buy them all at once! I think each panel cost $14.00 at the time. Maybe they were more, but I’d wait for a sale. ๐Ÿ˜‰

These balloon curtain panels came with these slotted rings to gather up each row of rings making gathering each balloon curtain soooo much easier than adding strings and trying to pull them all correctly.

I tried looking at Joann Fabrics but found none of these special rings. I brought home little lobster claws to try but they were too tiny to gather four rings into each claw. They will go back to the store.

So, I “borrowed” four of these slotted rings from my inspiration panel to gather my freshly created Friend curtain.

In my stash of things, I had leftover large and small rings from when I made a blue calico balloon curtain for our USMC Camp Pendleton, California duplex we lived in when Mr. Ethereal was promoted to Captain. We lived on base for two years in that nice duplex! (1989-1991)

This is how I know about pulling the strings and trying to get them equally pulled across the curtain… ugh! You had to tie the bunch of strings off to one side to a hook thing mounted on the wall.

It was crazy…

Reshowing for reference ๐Ÿ˜‰
  • For this curtain, I needed 16 rings for the whole curtain, with four across and four down. Begin them at the bottom of the header rod pocket and sew them to each of the side seams and middle French seams.
  • Sew the second, third and fourth rows, spacing evenly apart. My panel ended up being 48″ from the header hem to the ruffle seam (Sorry, I forgot to show!). Fix the bottom row of rings as needed to make a curtain ruffle show when hung in the window.

I am really pleased with how this balloon curtain turned out! Mr. Ethereal helped by hanging the curtain rod hangers on the wall about four or five inches above the window opening (maybe higher).

I wanted to let in a lot of light yet still have a lot of drape to the curtain, hence why we hung them so high on the wall. With balloon curtains, you can hook up all of the rings or less, depending upon the look you desire!

Love how this balloon curtain dresses up this window! Jewelry for the finished kitchen and its new paint job!!

Let me know if you’ve ever made balloon curtains before and if you have found these special slit rings. I’d love to know a good source and what they are actually called. Gini thought that I might find some at an upholstery shop. I might go searching as we have this week off from school.

Happy spring!!!

Happy sewing, dear friends,

Barb ๐Ÿ™‚

Home Decor

An Early Spring Tea Tray & Tea

Welcome to my Spring Teatime on a Tray, dear friends! I was joining a wonderful group of ladies who are sharing their beautiful spring tea trays with you… But, I blew it, so I thought I’d share this double-header post with you nevertheless. ๐Ÿ˜‰

My Inspiration

{Sophie’s tea tray}

I began my spring tea tray with ironing a tatted tablecloth I purchased in 2005 from an antiques faire in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, England. My kids and I were visiting my brother and his family over spring break that year.

I love its vines and Morning Glories!

Next, I picked out a metal tray I painted white back when I was in a tea group in California (see 2014 posts) , a choice of two different dessert plates, chintz tea pot and accoutrements.

Last week I whipped up some mock Devonshire cream, so this was a perfect time to bring the remainder out for this tea tray. This sweet double pot is wonderful to fill with jams and honey or lemon curd.

I enjoyed looking in the linen closet and choosing these sweet napkins… I found these at another antiques and crafts fair.

And here is the beginning of my spring tea tray…

Here is a first look at our freshly painted dining room. It has gone from coffee-colored to a soft French grey.

Perfect to share this first tea tray and table!

And then I realized I had forgotten the teacups (it’s been a week, friends!)…

A lovely table but still needs those cups. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I brought out some leftover heart-shaped scones, too.

Here is the finished spring tea tray! My favorite colors are shared here ~ pinks and whites.

With the finished tea table… Finally with teacups! I am really pleased with this table.

Thank you so much for stopping by and I hope you will check out Katherine from Katherine’s Corner and the main tea tray tour!

Wednesday Tea ~ Peacocks & Pink Roses — one of the first teas I shared here on my blog (2014)

I love how this table and tea tray turned out. It’s nice to come full-circle back to where French Ethereal started ~ with tea tables and tea trays.

Spring blessings to you,

Barb ๐Ÿ™‚

Gardening, Home Decor, Pinterest Challenge, Tablescapes

A Spring Garden Lantern + A Little Story…

Hoppy 4th Tuesday, dear friends! Our friend Cindy of County Road 407 has challenged us to create a Spring Lantern for this month’s Pinterest Challenge, and boy do we have cuteness inspiration ideas on overload for you…

Welcome, everyone! If you are coming over from Carol at Bluesky at Home for the first time, an extra big welcome!! For anyone who has never been to one of our Pinterest Challenges, Cindy finds a photograph for us to recreate in our own way, and we run with the idea.

Ann from On Sutton Place has created our inspiration tablescape this time. She has used a couple of white lanterns filled with coconut fiber bunnies, some easter grass, and a sweet pitcher of pussywillows. I personally love all the white!

How did I begin my Spring Lantern?

I began by sorting through my box of spring decor, of course! I looked at everything and pulled some things out and put others back.

I went to Hobby Lobby looking for an new lantern but they weren’t on sale, and I just didn’t want to spend a lot. So, I pulled out the lantern I used in a previous Pinterest Challenge to use again. ๐Ÿ™‚

I didn’t come home with a new lantern from the store; however, I DID come home with these cute flower-strewn Easter eggs, some fun paper carrots, and a new vintage-looking sign!

Love ’em!!!

So, I set down this grey tobacco basket and began tucking in shredded green grass, then I added a tree cut as a base for my lantern, and picked a bunny and the whole lot of Easter Eggs to put inside the lantern…

That’s when a story popped into my head:

The Story ~ BunBun’s Jam

BunBun, our sweet little girl, busied herself bringing in Easter eggs to fill her glass lantern garden greenhouse. She worked diligently and swiftly prepping for the year’s early morning Easter delivery of eggs to good little girls and boys of the town.

She was so busy bringing in all of these freshly painted eggs, tucking them here and there inside that lantern greenhouse, she didn’t think about how she was going to get herself back out the door again once those eggs were all indoors…

All of a sudden, BunBun realized that she was stuck! Poor little bunny…

What was she going to do? She’d really gotten herself in a pickle this time.

Meanwhile, her friends were busy outside…

Ducky and Princess Chicky-Poo were busy with spring gardening. They were planting more carrot seeds, seeing that the fall-planted ones had grown so well (and they were still picking those delicious carrots to eat!).

The rabbits were busy setting out spinach starts, a few chive seeds, as well as some daisy and Texas bluebonnet seeds for future picking! The rabbits especially love purple flowers for their dining table bouquets!!!

Looking up and hearing BunBun’s muffled voice and seeing her tap-tapping on the glass, they quickly realized her predicament. The group thought swiftly and hatched a plan. They would lift one corner of the glass lantern so their friend could slip underneath without disturbing the carefully placed eggs.

“Okay, on three!” shouted Ducky to the others. “One, two, three!!!” Everyone grunted a bit while paws and palmate feet slowly lifted the lantern side skyward.

As the glass house was tilted up, BunBun slid down and underneath. She was free! Cheers arose from this gaggle of friends! Everyone hugged BunBun, and she hugged and thanked each friend in turn.

They celebrated BunBun’s release with a cream tea and, of course,…

a slice of carrot cake. :)’

*****

Thanks for stopping by, friends! If you haven’t subscribed to FE, I’d love it if you do. We swing back up to Cindy at County Road 407 next and I know you will love her lantern idea!! And please stop by all of our friends and check out what everyone has created for you.

Big spring hugs from North Texas,

Barb ๐Ÿ™‚

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Holidays, Home Decor

An Inspiration Challenge ~ Styling a Vintage Valentine Cloche

Happy Valentine’s month, dear friends! Don’t you just love the month of February? I love wearing more pinks and reds than usual, wearing the heart-shaped diamond necklace even more than usual which Mr. Ethereal gave me for Christmas 35 years ago now, and reading everyone’s Valentine’s posts. February is such a happy month with volumes of inspiration!!!

We had an unexpected extra four days off this past week with the “Icepocolypse” hovering over the mid-west from Jan. 31-Feb. 3rd, so it has been rather like a six-day weekend. Really wonderful to have an extra week off during wintertime to get things done around the house! With it, I have been busy painting and working behind the scenes on Valentine’s posts… This is my second Valentine’s post as I guess the Valentine’s cake I made last month counts as my first. ๐Ÿ˜‰

๐Ÿ’œ My Inspiration ๐Ÿ’œ

I actually got the idea for this post from our friend Amber of Follow the Yellow Brick Home who linked up a post sharing how she decorated a large cloche she has with vintage Valentines:

I loved this post and chose it to feature it along with others at this past week’s Share Your Style, as you may recall. I love all the ephemera with antique buttons, sewing notions, the little birds and, of course, the vintage Valentines!! Amber’s cloche was part of a Pinterest Challenge which I missed last year. I think I just couldn’t get a post together in time; it happens! ๐Ÿ˜‰

In revisiting Amber’s post this past week, I became inspired.

I thought, “Why don’t I do my own challenge?! Challenge myself to do something similar.

It’d be fun to create a cloche inspired by a cloche which was inspired by yet another blogger! You’ll have to check out Amber’s post to see who was her inspiration and the cloche this person created. Really cute!!! ๐Ÿ’œ

Now I knew we had done another cloche post with Cindy from County Road 407′s Pinterest Challenges! Where is it?…

Pheasant Under Glass ~ A Fall Cloche Styling — I missed the Valentine’s one from a year ago.

Found it! I thought I’d share this one along with the Christmas cloche as with just a changeout of decor items, you get an entirely different look. This pheasant cloche was the first time I’d ever used an actual cloche in decorating. My daughter and I would use our small, glass-topped marble cheese board as a cloche for little Christmas displays, but never a large cloche.

Anyway, I digress!

These challenges are all about taking an inspiration photo and taking the idea and making it yours…

How I made this Vintage Valentine Cloche my own

First, I retrieved my cloche from atop our kitchen cabinet. It has been hugging little houses since early December… I snapped a bunch of photos to try and get posts created that month, but they never materialized.

Eventually, after Christmas, I moved the cloche display up above the cabinets for a nice wintertime display (another unpublished idea; it’s been that kind of winter).

It’s nice to share these two photographs here with you today!

So leaving the three little cottages up on their cake plate village green, I cleaned the cloche and began with ideas!

The small pile of Valentine-sy books, antique and new Valentines made to look old, and vintage hand-painted rose plates were all tried but didn’t work.

The sun was going down so I worked quickly to get a few sunlit shots.

I started with a pretty painted serving tray I spray painted white when we lived in our Prairie Home trailers.

Next, I added this little book by Susan Wheeler called We Belong Together ~ a Holly Pond Hill story. It won the spot inside the cloche for its size and sweet rabbits… and their love story.

Very cute, if you’ve never read any of Susan Wheeler’s books. Her artwork is beautiful, too! Heartwarming and ethereal… Can’t get any better than that, in my humble opinion! Several of her books have been in our bookshelves since the early or late 1990’s/early 2000’s.

Rabbits are timeless!

Hardcover We Belong Together Book
Found on Thriftbooks.com

Sidenote: As a sometimes artist, when you create something which is all your own, if you believe in it, others will too. ๐Ÿ’œ

I wish I had listened to my heart way back when and studied more art, but my father told me artists starve and artwork doesn’t sell. In this country, maybe. But Europeans and others appreciate good artwork more, and nowadays we have Etsy and other places to sell our beautiful creations. (I’m preaching to myself, more than anyone else!)

It may be harder, but you’ve got to have a BFA in Art plus a BS in Business to back it up. You’ve just got to promote yourself, don’t you think so?

I look at all of your artwork and think, that is my retirement: to be the artist I dreamed of being when I was a little girl.

Thirdly, I flipped through my small stack of Valentine’s cards and leaned them, laid each one down. None of those worked. Rejected many as being too big, too small.

Then I found these two: one is a note from a friend last year, and the young girl on the right-hand card is a true antique…

Hard to photograph through wavy, curving glass; however, she still looks sweet and ephemeral in her white dress and surrounded by roses…

The addition of a tear-shaped antimacassar my grandmother Rosa tatted almost a century ago and a Shabby Chic rose napkin ring completed this vignette. I scrunched up the antimacassar a bit in behind the book.

I am very happy with how it all turned out!

Oh, and the pink heart napkin I made, (and another set when we were living in our trailer, is a tutorial), as a little under-cloth.

There’s my challenge for myself! ๐Ÿ˜‰ And now…

A Valentine’s Cloche Challenge for You

Please link up your Valentine’s cloche idea below, just for fun!! Can be old, can be new. Take a few moments later on to visit some of the folks who share theirs. ๐Ÿ’œ

The party is open as of now through February 14th at 12:00 noon, and I can send you the link for the link party in an email so you can put it on your post.

Should be a lot of fun!

My email is: french.ethereal@gmail.com

(Warning, though: I’m not great at creating parties for others to share, but if you help me when I get stuck, we should muddle through. I do have the link on Inlinkz to share with you! Really only my second attempt at a party on my own, although I put up Share Your Style all the time! Lol!!! ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

Happy Valentine’s hugs,

Barb ๐Ÿ’œ

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Holidays, Home Decor, Tablescapes

Share Your Style #375

Welcome to this week’s Share Your Style #375, dear friends! I’m excited to share all the cool features we have for you this week…

This link party is for home decor, DIY, crafts, recipes and the like, but you are more than welcome to share any of your family-friendly posts with us all. Please feel free to share this post too and join my small but loyal band of friends.ย I appreciate you! I appreciate your subscribing, also. As always, I am glad that you are here… ๐Ÿ’œ

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

Can you believe we are coming to the end of January 2023 already? It was just New Year’s and now we are speeding towards Valentine’s Day! With that, I’ve chosen some wonderful Valentine ideas for you.

So let’s get to this week’s features!

***Quick update on Thursday morning: I fell fast asleep as I was writing this and putting together this week’s SYS features last evening, so… I’m finishing this morning and actually POSTING IT. Lol!

I took half a Benedryl yesterday around 11am because I guess I’m now allergic to Prednisone. Anyway, it knocks me out and so somewhere around 7:30p.m., I was out for the night. I did make it through the school day and the hives never fully erupted, but I still feel itchy…

Anyway, happy to get this Valentine’s-y post out for you! Plus a touch of football, too. <3

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

A Rosy Valentine’s Cake to Bake ~ part of this month’s Valentine’s recipes in our Pinterest Challenge.

And here are this week’s featured posts…

MaryJo of Master”Pieces” of My Life shared a bunch of beautiful tablescapes for inspiration at your own home in this post ~
Setting the Mood for a Valentine’s Day Tablescape. I loved this alfresco setting!
Penny from Penny’s Treasures shares this pretty in pink post ~ Vintage Valentines are the Stars of My Pink Valentine’s Tree. Love ’em!!! (I’m a sucker for pink!)
Lynne from Thrifting Wonderland shares winter whites in her winter cupboard ~ Winter Display in the Hutch. Love all the creamware!!!
Lynne from Thrifting Wonderland also brings us a couple of easy and fun crafts to make for Valentine’s Day. I can see this being so fun with kids!!! Our double feature for this week ~ Two Quick Valentine’s Crafts.
Chocolate Rice Krispies Treats are turned into Football Rice Krispie Treats for game day! Theyโ€™re a chocolate treat base cut into football shapes then dipped in chocolate with white laces piped onto resemble footballs. This easy, no-bake dessert is perfect for tailgating, football parties, playoff games, and Superbowl parties. Game day desserts are the best part about game day foods so these are a must make dessert recipe! #gamedayfood #footballfood #ricekrispietreats #glutenfree #nobakedessert
Newcomer Shay from What the Fork shares this easy peasy recipe for
Football Rice Krispie Treats! Perfect for this weekend’s big Super Bowl Game!!!
20-valentines-day-ideas-table-crafts-decor
Debbee from Debbee’s Buzz shares her fun post (love all her tablescapes!) featuring
20 Sweet Valentine’s Day Ideas. Love it!!!
Hawaiian style pork spare ribs with pineapple served on a plate with fresh berries and yellow rice
Newcomer Arlene from Flour on My Face brings us her yummy recipe for
Sweet & Tangy Crock Pot Hawaiian BBQ Ribs. Seriously delicious!!!
Last up for this week we have Meagan from Decorative Inspirations with her sweet post ~ How to Make a Salt Dough Garland. Love it!!!

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 linking!

Barb ๐Ÿ™‚

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter
crafts, Holidays, Home Decor

Share Your Style #374

Welcome to this week’s Share Your Style #374, dear friends! As we come to the middle of January, we have lots of great features to share, including some Valentine’s ideas!

This link party is for home decor, DIY, crafts, recipes and the like, but you are more than welcome to share any of your family-friendly posts with us all. Please feel free to share this post too and join my small but loyal band of friends.ย I appreciate you! I appreciate your subscribing, also. As always, I am glad that you are here… ๐Ÿ’œ

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

It’s always amazing to me how quickly Valentine’s sneaks up on us on what feels like just a few short weeks after Christmas and New Year’s Days. I personally am still putting away Christmas decorations but only because Mr. Ethereal hung a new I-beam style system of 4x4s from over our garage door.

Going up and down from the attic to retrieve boxes was getting to be a chore, and also a little unsafe. Both of us are over 60 years of age and falling out of the attic space is always a real possibility. Critters ate through a few things, too, which ticked my husband off so he brought EVERYTHING down from above to clean, repair, throw away, and to find new homes in the shed, in this new hanging rail system, or to be given away.

So, I am reboxing ALL of our spring, summer, fall and winter decorations into tidy, black and yellow Big Box store boxes. Ugly colors (to me) but they do hang well and are very sturdy. The used boxes will store something new, go to my mother-in-law’s garage to rebox things she wishes to store, or be given away.

But in all of this, I am finding beautiful things to put in our hutch and onto our mantel to share hopefully soon. ๐Ÿ™‚

While doing this, let’s check out our features, shall we?

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

Arctic Blast & Indoor Plant Overwintering, Production & Shed Insulating ~ prepping the garden to survive single digits (our thermometer registered -1 F. as the lowest temperature we had in our backyard). Also, this is a look at my first attempt at seed production. Hope you will take a look!
Sick at Home ~ Turns out I’ve had a third round of Covid, dear friends! I am thankfully feeling better and on an anti-viral, an antibiotic and a steroid. This particular strain of Covid tends towards bronchitis and not pneumonia, which is yucky but better for all. ๐Ÿ™‚

And here are this week’s featured posts…

Our first feature this week is from Debra of Common Ground. She shares winter whites in her post ~ Neutral Winter Dining Room with Paperwhites. Lovely!!!
Debra‘s post ~ Winter Whites Tabletop Vignette ~ is our double header this week.
Pom~Pom and Heart Valentine Garland
Carol from Bluesky at Home brings us this crafty post ~ Make a DIY Pom-Pom & Heart Valentine Garland. Sweet!!!
Linda Kilsdonk from Paperseedlings shares her 1 year self-challenge to paint 365 birds. Come check out the beautiful birds she has drawn and painted! ~ #365birds November 2022.
CoCo from The Crowned Goat shares 52 Weeks to a Simplified & Organized Home Challenge. Good thoughts to get us all going! ๐Ÿ™‚
Penny from Penny’s Treasures brings us her family’s Winter Family Room 2023. Love all of the pink with white!
Red Cashmere Sweater with Printed Skirt
Jennifer from Curated by Jennifer shares her winter fashion post ~
Red Cashmere Sweater with Printed Skirt. Perfect for upcoming
Valentine’s wearing!
big red chicken under the banner of how to take care of chickens
Charlene from The Secret Life of Homesteaders shares good advice on How to Take Care of Chickens. Love this!! I have always wanted to keep chickens, if only I could get Mr. Ethereal to agree. ๐Ÿ™‚
Emily from Hunny I’m Home DIY shares what to do with those waiting-to-be-used jar lids in her post ~ Rustic Farmhouse Mason Jar Lid Wreath. Easy and pretty!

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 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday week!

Barb ๐Ÿ™‚

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Christmas, Holidays, Home Decor, Recipes

Share Your Style #373

Welcome to this week’s Share Your Style #373, dear friends!! Sorry this is going up a day late, but I HAD to get a big project done for our Odd Fellows lodge. It’s mostly done, my writing hand is very tired, but it’s just about ready to turn over (the project, that is). So, let’s hop into our features!!!

This link party is for home decor, DIY, crafts, recipes and the like, but you are more than welcome to share any of your family-friendly posts with us all. Please feel free to share this post too and join my small but loyal band of friends.ย I appreciate you! I appreciate your subscribing, also. As always, I am glad that you are here… ๐Ÿ’œ

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

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

Sunday Sentiments ~ Our Mary Had a Little Lamb Mantel – and why I chose this title. ๐Ÿ™‚

Have you taken down your Christmas displays yet? I always find it a little sad but it is nice to have a clean slate for doing some winter whites in our living room. I’ll share how it looks now with you soon.

I know many of you are still celebrating the 12 days of Christmas with the Festival of Kings, until January 6th, when traditionally the Wise Men showed up to greet the baby Jesus, so there might be a few Christmas posts featured here again. ๐Ÿ™‚

Let’s dig in!

And here are this week’s featured posts…

First up this week, we have Debra from Common Ground‘s beautiful hutch filled with Christmas pretties ~ Gathered for Christmas in the Holiday Cupboard.
So pretty!!!
Debbie from Debbie-Dabble Blog shares her holiday cupboard and living room in Christmas finery ~ A Thomas Kincade Tree, Village and the China Cupboard in the Den. You might enjoy her Christmas at Nelson Crest post, too!
new-years-eve-tablesetting-ideas
Our third friend, also named Debbee from Debbee’s Buzz, shared a lovely New Year’s Eve Tablesetting Ideas ~ Isn’t this penguin just the cutest?!!
Chili Mac and cheese recipe
We need something to put on all of our dinner tables this winter! Newcomer
Michelle from The Wooden Spoon Effect brings us a yummy recipe called
Simple Chili Mac Recipe. Perfect for our chilly winter weather! Welcome Michelle!! We are glad you are here. <3
penguin craft image collage with the words penguin name craft
Our second newcomer Sam from Simple Everyday Mom shared this really cute idea to make with your kids and grands!!! Welcome to you as well, Sam!!
So happy you found us here at French Ethereal!
New Yearโ€™s Eve In the Smoky Mountains
Vera from Veravise brings us a little New Year’s Eve in the Smoky Mountains ~ great place to visit, if you’ve never been there! This is where I went for my nephew’s wedding a year-and-a-half ago Memorial Day weekend.

And that’s it for this week, friends! A great bunch of holiday and supper recipe ideas, if you haven’t checked out last week’s SYS entries. I love looking back at your ideas and picking something to cook or bake, thank you. <3

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 January, y’all!

Barb ๐Ÿ™‚

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Click here to enter
Christmas, Holidays, Home Decor

Sunday Sentiments ~ Our Mary Had a Little Lamb Woodland Mantel

Mary had a little lamb, its fleece was white as snow… Just a lovely nursery rhyme… Today I’m sharing our Christmas mantel and the crazy mishmash of putting it together. Definitely a layering! ~ it took several weeks to put together into what it is now.

Of course I know it is after Christmas now, but I thought you’d enjoy seeing our mantel anyway.

Have you ever had the realization that this sweet nursery rhyme, Mary Had a Little Lamb, could be allegorical? It occurred to me here at Christmastime, that this rhyme could be saying much more…

[His] fleece was white as snow. From a Biblical perspective, Jesus was sinless; he was pure as new-fallen snow.


knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.

Source: https://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Jesus-Christ,-Sinlessness

1 Peter 1:18-19

Everywhere the child went, the lamb was sure to go… Okay, maybe this part, isn’t so allegorical, but… Then again, everywhere we (humanity) go, the Lamb, is sure to follow. Meaning that Jesus follows us, that He is interested in us. He is concerned about our welfare!

There is more to this nursery rhyme and I don’t feel those lines are very allegorical, but for me this first stanza is.

I just thought I’d share that here on our first Sunday in the new year…

And I am sorry I haven’t written more about my faith this past year.

Confession time:

I visited several churches when we first moved to Texas and I was enjoying a church up in Sanger a lot. Living in our Prairie Home, our big RV, I went with several friends to this church on Monday evenings for a community dinner. Then I went to a couple of Sunday services and I was enjoying going.

One Sunday, there was a thing which happened which kinda freaked me out since I was feeling really insecure and vulnerable living in an RV and still feeling very homeless, plus being new to Texas… One of the people who used to live in the RV park shouted out my name before the service began, in the middle of the sanctuary, and I felt all eyes on me. She has little tact, and I hate saying this, but it is true.

It wasn’t good and I was mortified! I never went back because I felt called out.

I don’t know if you are secretly very quiet and private, but I often am. And though I blog, I don’t always share everything, and I think that’s how most bloggers are. Maybe I am wrong on this, do let me know!

More Type B than Type A, really.

Our new nativity found at Hobby Lobby a couple of years ago, before the other crash-landed.

Anyway, all that is to say that I haven’t been too keen on visiting more churches. It’s an excuse, I know.

I visit my old church, Calvary Chapel of Murrieta, from California online, still read Christian literature and donate to charities and read my Bible. I pray all the time for our students and for the safety of our school, our community, our home, my family.

My mother-in-law introduced me to her old church in Sacramento, which also has an on-line presence. Covid was good for getting churches and worksites to get online!

She flew out to California for Christmas and with Southwest Airline’s computer system crash, and her flight back to Texas cancelled… She decided to extend her stay. She needed a good visit home… <3

She didn’t get the extra year to adjust to moving out of her house of 57 years like we did when we lived at Lake Skinner.

Anyway, I just feel hypocritical, so… That’s why I haven’t written many Sunday Sentiments in a long time. Maybe you are experiencing something similar? Let me know. <3

But I plan on writing more of them as part of my New Year’s resolution, as it were. ๐Ÿ™‚


Our old Kirkland nativity (post from which this photograph was pulled) which was unbroken until a year ago. I am going to try to use car bonding to see if I can put back each figure. This very much mirrors what happened to a Nativity figure in Jan Karon’s book, Shepherds Abiding.
This older nativity’s statues were more than 12″.

I love Christmas, and nativities!!!

My mother-in-law loves them, too, and has quite a nativity collection! My own mother had a lovely old wooden creche and nativity she put out each year. One of my brothers has it now, I’m sure.

Sadly, when Mr. Ethereal was putting ours away last year, the 34-year-old box just disintegrated while he was holding it, and the foam inside fell out. The Wise Men and Joseph shattered.

We swept up all of the pieces, even tiny parts, all that we could see, and they were lovingly put into a clean shoebox.

I just haven’t had the heart to sort through the pieces and begin trying to glue them together.

So we needed a new nativity! I found a nice one, a bit smaller, at Hobby Lobby so this is what I featured on our mantel this season. This one is about 3/4 of the size of the old Kirkland one.

Choosing a nativity is such a personal thing, isn’t it?

I saw some really pretty ones at The Christmas Place in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, when my daughter and I were there for my niece’s wedding.

Putting our Woodland Mantel together

So, getting back to how this mantel came together, it really began with the two outlying grapevine trees. I found them on sale at Hobby Lobby in early October when I went in search of a couple of papier mรขchรฉ pumpkins to craft (a project for 2023!).

Hubby brought down a few Christmas boxes for me when I was prepping for November’s Pinterest Challenge putting together the Christmas tree and when I was making the little Salt & Pepper Snowman.

In those few boxes, I found the vintage style Santa tins and I added the Norman Rockwell tin I found around Thanksgiving time at a thrift shop here in Denton. Gini and I were creating gift baskets for the IOOF poker tournament fundraiser and there it was, waiting!

The little fuzzy reindeer I found at JC Penney on Black Friday with Hubby. They were so cute! I had to bring them home. ๐Ÿ˜‰

It really was a mishmash put together over several months and somehow it all works…

Really not a surprise when you think of Whom watches over us… ๐Ÿ™‚

On another note…

Have you seen The Chosen? It is a crowd-funded show about the life of Jesus from the Apostles’ perspective. I really enjoy the series and to me, it’s a really cool show!

It is Biblically based with ideas of what things the characters as real people would have talked about, in addition to portraying real events which happened during the lifetime of Jesus (and beyond, with the apostles) some 2000 years ago.

Much of what is said is straight out of scripture, and the actors who portray Jesus, Mother Mary, and the others, give their best performances. You can really feel God’s presence behind their portrayals!

Plus, I like that the actors are from all faiths and ethnic backgrounds! They make the show and Jesus so much more real.

My mother-in-law introduced us to the series last winter while she was staying with us.

I think you’ll like it! (That’s my plug). ๐Ÿ™‚

New Year 2023

Work for me is going really well. I am enjoying working in a middle school library full time getting to share favorite books with our students, giving advice and counsel as needed. I got approval for a scholarship to teach needlework to students after school; I just need to put together a purchase order for supplies. Our librarian and I are already staying late on every other Tuesday working with these girls and boys. I love seeing how eager they are to learn!

Mr. Ethereal has his own changes with work coming, so that will be a big change for us in this new year. Not my favorite thing, as you probably know… But, Life is always changing so it is nice to find solace here with you.

I appreciate you for this!!! And I thank you for your friendship. <3

Happy New Year, dear friends,

Barb ๐Ÿ™‚

Christmas, Holidays, Home Decor, Tablescapes

Our Christmas Table, Our Christmas Hutch, and A Little Weather…*<:)

Merry Christmas, dear friends!!! No Share Your Style this week as I was just too busy prepping for the Arctic freeze on Tuesday and Wednesday, which blew in all over America. I hope you are faring well where you are and keeping warm!

We are enjoying a bit of relaxation with our daughter who drove in from Austin, Texas after work a couple of nights ago. Mr. Ethereal is off this week and next from work, as am I.

Later in this post, I will share our yard and how I used almost every spare brick we have to pin down sheets, blankets and frost blankets from the big box stores to keep our baby garden nice and warm, but…

Right now, I am sharing our table set for Christmas dinner!

What I used:

  • metal serving plates as placemats (link to the post where I painted them)
  • large Wedgwood Sarah’s Garden plates as chargers
  • Royal Doulton’s Old Country roses dinner plates, cup and saucer
  • white handled silverware found at Judith’s Christmas Sale last year
  • Old Country Roses Chintz pattern tea set on a thrifted silver serving tray (EEK!! I think I might croak at the price to replace this teapot! $399.00!!)
  • Christmas tree red checked tablecloth and napkins (found separately) at Home Goods
  • Christmas cactus as our centerpiece
  • Red & white striped fabric ornaments found at Hobby Lobby (much more affordable!)

* none of this is sponsored, but I thought you might like to know where you can shop for these goodies!

This was especially fun to set!

Just like over Thanksgiving, we actually used this tablescape for our Christmas dinner today for lunch.

I cooked Aunt Nellie’s pot roast with added carrots and red potatoes. YUM! ;)’

Aunt Nellie’s Pot Roast

“Use a rump roast or watermelon roast.” Ours was something else but turned out just fine. ๐Ÿ™‚

“Put tenderizer on it, then poke it and rub tenderizer over it.”

I didn’t put on tenderizer (does anyone anymore?? I think it’s a health thing) to this roast (never liked it), but I did poke it all over with the carving set fork and then used an English Rub I picked up in Fort Worth at the Stockyards a couple of years ago. Turned out great with all the herbs and spices!

“Cook in a cast iron skillet, cook dry for 1 hour at 275 deg. F. After an hour, put in water (2 1/2 cups) and turn up the oven to 350 degrees. Cook about 1 1/2 hours more (3 lb. roast).”

I put in about 3 cups of water, or maybe a bit more, and the veggies added their own water so a lot was leftover in the pan to make gravy. ๐Ÿ˜€ When I added the water, that’s when I added the pre-cut potatoes and carrots. They cooked up absolutely perfectly! Soft but not over soft.

“Drippings should be almost dry (normally with 2 1/2 c. water used) and crusted to the pan so that you make the best gravy! Dark, dark brown gravy.”

This is what I wrote down over 30 year ago, literally… Funny to read it that way.

Our daughter has to leave Christmas afternoon to be ready for work on December 26th, so we had our dinner today. I am soooo thankful she was able to drive up!

Great Gramma Gini was gifted tickets by my nephew and sister-in-law to go out to Sacramento, California, to their home for Christmas. She was really happy to go as she misses all of her friends (and family!) there. <3 It would have been fun to sit down with Gramma and Granddaughter together… They keep missing each other!

upper left side of our china hutch

I’m sorry I haven’t posted hardly anything this fall! Part of me just wasn’t feeling like writing, though I have a number of unfinished drafts. It’s tougher with my MIL around all of the time. We were off on our own for 34 years so it has been a big change for me. I am used to seeing family only occasionally and not every weekend. A lot of my free time is taken up there and with work, in general, as you know how it is. We did a number of fundraisers here in the fall, too, with the Odd Fellows (IOOF) and Rebekahs. I cannot tell you just how much having these two weeks off from school means! I can finally rest…

Yoda is struggling to get around, too. He has accidents pretty much everyday, and with his doggie Alzheimers, he gets stuck under everything… I’ve spent many an evening carpet cleaning, and getting him out from behind furniture. He paces and I am constantly picking him up off the tile floor in the kitchen. Rest in the evening is rare until he is taken back to bed in our bedroom.

I tried taking him for a walk about two months ago, as it turned into fall around here in North Texas. He just turned his head and wanted to go back home… Sad for all of us, but he still loves his food and tonight he will have leftover roast mixed in. Usually I put in Little Caesar’s chicken and veggies into his Iams Senior kibble for smaller dogs, but today is feasting day!! Btw, he really enjoyed it!

A new glass Santa found on Black Friday at JC Penney for 1/2 price, I think. Middle right of the hutch.

Here is our china hutch

I know this is a mishmash-kind-of-a-post, but since I’ve hardly shared anything all fall, I wanted to at least share a little of what Christmas I did get put out. I didn’t even get all of the stuff cleared off of it. Real life! ๐Ÿ™‚

There’s a fun picture frame waiting for tiny gold nails to nail the hanger on it, then I can hang it in the hallway. Some jelly jars for Gramma as she would like to make some peach jam next year. A little fallish gnome I found at Winco while grocery shopping one day….

That picture frame I picked up at a store with the kids when they were down last Christmas (our son, DIL and grandson from South Dakota), and we had gone shopping down by the racetrack.

Or maybe it was found at the mall in Garland… It was Garland.

We had taken Milo to see the aquarium there in the morning, then had lunch and shopping at the mall there. We went to a second outdoor mall down towards Fort Worth later in the late afternoon, then had dinner out before driving home.

Was a fun time that week before Christmas 2021!

centerpiece of the hutch ~ the angel door!

Here in the hutch, I really only swapped out the plates from fall for the brown winter Johnson Bros. set. I added in the seaside photograph I picked up in Grenoble, France, at the little thrift shop I found while out looking for antique stores the Saturday morning before my niece’s wedding.

La Vierge ร  l’Enfant avec Catherine et un berger, dite La Vierge au Lapin (detail) ~ Tiziano Vecellio dit Titien (vers 1488/1490 – 1576).

I still need to share that adventure. I need to share more from France, too. On the list! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Meanwhile, out in the garden…

I finally finished planting everything except one small boxwood, so I put it in the shed until it warms up next week. When we knew that the freeze was finally coming in, I spent a good 6 hours on Tuesday raking leaves around all of the tender plants and putting mulch around many of them as I could.

On Wednesday morning, as the cold north winds were swirling in, I was busy tarping plants and putting the leaves back over them as I could. The bricks came in handy to hold things down. ๐Ÿ™‚

Hubby has almost finished putting up the insulation along the roofline inside the shed, so I’ll share that in the next post, how that is looking. Even down to 9 degrees F/-12.77 Celsius, it stayed at 40 degrees with the little floor heater churning away.

All that insulation I put up a year ago, plus the wood panels over top, the shed is staying pretty warm and cozy. The plants inside all look good. I water them about once a week as they dry out quicker with the heater on full time. On nice days, I shut it off and open the door wide to let air and light inside.

One of my squirrel buddies! He likes walnuts and pecans but not those filberts.

Well, that’s about it, friends! I think I’ve caught you up other than saying I am enjoying working in the library at school. I could do this until I retire in a few years. ๐Ÿ™‚

Here’s a little duck from my walk this afternoon… I posted more up in my Stories on Instagram.

Merry Christmas!

Barb ๐Ÿ™‚