Holidays, Pinterest Challenge, Recipes

A Rosy Valentine’s Cake to Bake

Happy Almost Valentine’s Day, dear friends! If you are coming over for the first time from Carol’s place ~ Bluesky at Home, welcome to my blog, French Ethereal! Our host Cindy from County Road 407 has graciously allowed me to jump in last minute. I had Covid over the past couple of weeks and so happily I feel great now (those vaccines DO work!). I was excited when Cindy gave us our assignment this month to create a simple Valentine’s Day recipe.

Here is mine…

Yes, I used one box cake recipe and it turned out moist, chocolatey and delicious!!

I do make a lot of scratch cakes but this time it was all about making it easy! When we get so busy with life, a simple box cake is the easy way out, my friends.

Just like the box cakes my mother used to bake during my childhood, and I’d sometimes make for my own family, these are basically NO FAIL Betty Crocker and others are tried and true.

Easy peasy, as Cindy herself likes to say!

This baking center is inside our kitchen island. Ever since our first house, I’ve loved putting all of our baking things in one area! So convenient. How about you? Where do you store your baking goodies? What do you put in your kitchen island?

Which cake pan to use?

I have 8″ heart-shaped pans, which I have used in the past, and I have smaller heart-shaped tart tins, too. However, I thought it would be beautiful and fun to our rose bundt pan.

All of the years I was in the Victorian Tea Society in Riverside County, California, I had a couple of friends who had rose pans and their cakes looked so chic when dessert was served.

I was soooo excited when I found one a couple of years ago! It really turns out a stunning cake.

Just spray baking spray all over the inside, add some flour inside and tap it all around and into the grooves of the pan. Dump the excess flour out, bake at the prescribed temperature, and after 42 minutes baking in the oven, this cake was done!

And that’s all there is to this Rosy Valentine’s Cake! If you are starting here with me, we circle back up to Cindy at County Road 407. I know you will love Cindy’s Valentine’s Day extremely cute cherry pastry envelopes recipe idea! Adorable!!! <3

Don’t forget to follow the trail of posts below to see all the great recipes from today’s participants. Lots of fun ideas to create!!

More fun Valentine’s posts to enjoy…

If you’d like to check out some of my past Valentine’s ideas, here are a few to enjoy…

Happy touring, dear friends!

Barb πŸ™‚

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Christmas, crafts, Holidays, Pinterest Challenge

A S/P Christmas Snowman Craft to Make (Pinterest Challenge)

Hello and welcome, friends, to this month’s Crafty Christmas Ornament Pinterest Challenge! I have to say, when Cindy from County Road 407 mentioned that this month’s challenge was to come up with a fun ornament for the holidays, I was all in…

If you are coming over for the first time from Laura at Everyday Edits, welcome! I hope you will consider subscribing to my blog. I share crafts, recipes here and there, home decor and a lot of gardening ideas. So let’s get to this craft idea without further ado!!

Let’s Make a Silver Salt & Pepper Shaker Snowman!

Supplies you will need:

  • a vintage salt/pepper shaker with a silver top
  • buttons for eyes
  • pepper corns or All-Spice corns for eyes
  • something to use for a hat
  • hot glue gun and glue
  • scissors
  • felt in your choice of holiday color
  • any other items you may wish to put on your snowman

How to make your snowman:

  • Begin by cleaning the s/p shaker inside and out (if it isn’t corroded on, like mine was, then just clean the outside πŸ˜‰ ), let dry
Isn’t hot glue a wonderful invention?? So useful for so many things!
  • Polish the silver top and wash again
  • Cut a piece of felt roughly 3/4″ wide x 6″ long
  • snip ends of felt along the short edges to make fringe of snowman’s scarf
  • try scarf on your snowman then hot glue it along the back, pinching some so it fits better (as needed)
These were my “eye” choices.
  • choose buttons for eyes; remove shanks on back with a grinder, as needed (this is where my hubby, Mr. Ethereal, came in to help! <3
  • hot glue “eyes” in place above some of the holes so holes are there for a “nose” and are part of the mouth
  • use a small, whole pepper corn or All-Spice and hot glue it on for a “nose”
This was some kind of electrical cap, I think.
  • choose something for a “hat” and hot glue on the top and back of your snowman’s head, if you wish to do so.

And you have a snowman! πŸ™‚

If I’d had a cute little crocheted hat (or could make one), I would have made her a snow-woman. And she kinda is anyway with her flower eyes. πŸ˜‰

**(Yes, I probably will go back and paint in the centers of the eyes black, but for now they are just as they are!)

And let’s check out what Carol from Bluesky at Home made for her Christmas ornament!! I bet it is bedazzling!! πŸ˜‰

This is our last Pinterest Challenge for the year but come the fourth Tuesday in January, we will be back. <3 Something fun to look forward to in the New Year!

So glad you stopped by today and I hope you will think of signing up for future postings!! Everyone on today’s tour is listed below so you can follow along in order, or just hop around!

Enjoy!!!

Happy holiday crafting, everyone!

Barb πŸ™‚

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Holidays, Home Decor, Pinterest Challenge, Tablescapes

Pumpkins, Pinecones & Cranberries ~ A Fall Centerpiece

Happy Tuesday, dear friends! It’s the fourth Tuesday of the month and you know it’s all about our monthly Pinterest Challenge. If you are coming over from Carol at Bluesky at Home, welcome! This month Cindy of County Road 407 has picked cranberries as our theme. I thought about making something yummy, but then I thought maybe I’d make a beautiful fall centerpiece…

Our inspiration piece comes just from a beautiful photograph Cindy has chosen and we were given free rein to do anything we were inspired to create, bake or decorate!!! I love themes like this as we can go with whatever feels natural to us.

Love love love Cindy’s new PC logo!!!

I hadn’t shared many fall posts this season, between work and meetings, I’ve been very busy with IOOF events (fundraisers) and spending time with my mother-in-law. It is nice to create something beautiful for fall and have it be an inspiration starting point for you! πŸ™‚

Transitional Fall Centerpiece Basket

I’ve chosen to make a fall centerpiece using pinecones, pumpkins and cranberries. As I was heading to bed one evening, that phrase popped into my head and I got up to write it down (so I wouldn’t forget). I am really excited to share it with you!

I think this centerpiece basket makes the perfect transition between early fall’s pumpkin-y oranges to Thanksgiving time and beyond.

Here’s what I pulled from around the house and purchased to make this basket:

  • a rattan basket from my collection
  • three mini pumpkins from outside our front door
  • pinecones in various shapes and sizes
  • a wood round as a lift
  • a fall candle
  • wire cutting pliers
  • a cranberry spray from Hobby Lobby (cranberries have little “stars” on their tops when they are picked fresh from the fields)

Beginning the arrangement. Wing chair re-covering project in the background.

I began by putting in pinecones in the traditional Christmas tree shape (the usual ones) and some of the elongated ones I saved from visiting Georgia several years ago when I went to High Point Market.

I found the elongated ones at Biltmore Estate, actually.

Next, I added in the little pumpkins I pulled in from out front ~ you’ve seen these guys already in last month’s Fall Front Porch challenge ~ and layered them around the candle.

Love these little pumpkins!

I bought three sprays of large cranberries but only needed one. I used a pair of wire cutters to cut off pieces with a length of stem to tuck in between the pinecones.

This was fun because you can put as much or as little as you like! Since I used (1) candle, (3) pumpkins, it seemed logical to use (5) small sprays of cranberries. Odd numbers always work well in decorating, don’t you think?

Let the decorating fun begin!

Then it was time to decorate the table. I brought in some books with fall colored covers, dark pink mums in their nursery pot from outside, and a small capital with two ceramic figurines who are also dressed for autumn.

And that’s how I chose to use cranberries in my transitional fall centerpiece. I hope you like it!

Next, we swing back up to Cindy from County Road 407. I know you will enjoy the festive autumn garland Cindy has created with cranberries! You’ll find everyone’s posts linked below to come back to visit.

Happy fall decorating, friends,

Barb πŸ™‚

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Home Decor, Pinterest Challenge

Front Porch Fall Fix-Up ~ Two Ways!

Welcome to this month’s Pinterest Challenge, friends! Our host Cindy of County Road 407 has picked a wonderful porch for us to use as our inspiration. Our photograph comes from Rachel and Kevin Quenzer at Sugar Maple Farmhouse…

Fall front porch decor and inspiration

Fall Front Porch Decor Inspiration

If you are just coming over from Laura’s at Everyday Edits, isn’t her porch pretty with all of its pumpkins?? Love it!! I personally have been sooo looking forward to this one (PC) as even though our front porch is small, it’s big on heart! And with the end-of-season sales, Mr. Ethereal and I picked up a new set of all-weather wicker including two chairs with back pillows and cushions in a soft teal, matching ottomans, plus a small table to set in between.

But first let’s talk about today’s challenge, shall we?

Taking a good look at our inspiration photo, Rachel and Kevin have several pieces of:

  • warm wood-toned furniture
  • throw rugs and pillows with stripes and nubby textures
  • shocks of corn stalks and potted fall flowers
  • and, of course, a massive amount of cream and orange pumpkins!

Here is how our front porch looked the first fall after we had moved in. I’ve been feeling pumpkin stacks for a couple of years now, but this year I think we will change things up a bit!

Look #1 – Our Fall Front Porch

I’ve made a big change to our front porch wrought iron chair since last fall by painting it! So this is Look #1, with just a simple pumpkin displayed on this chair. Striking all on its own!

Loving this!

Here in North Texas, pumpkins are just becoming available, so I used only a sprinkling of Baby Boo pumpkins and the one big Connecticut Field pumpkin on our front porch. Mr. Ethereal picked this big guy up at Costco for me. He’s a keeper! <3

Here’s our first look in full! The basket of little Baby Boos wasn’t in place yet but you will see them in just a couple of photos… πŸ™‚

These urns are planted with yellow lantana (2 plants this side, 3 in the other), blue lobelia (1 each planter) and three pink pentas in each. Loving this color combination!

The flowers I’ve used are both real and faux. From a YouTube gardener I follow, I learned a basic rule of thumb when gardening is to plant flowers, perennials and shrubs which bloom in blues, pinks, yellows and orange. I think I’ve ticked all the boxes here colorwise!

When I arrived home from work last Friday evening, a small Carpenter bee was hovering by my front door. Guess he liked this color combination, too!!

Look #2 – Our Fall Front Porch now

Just by changing out the chair, we have a whole new feel to the front porch! The teal of the pillow and cushion on the new all-weather wicker chairs brings out the blues in the two lobelias, making them much more visible now in the planters. We found this set of two wicker chairs (my Titanic chairs!), two matching ottomans and a small round table combination as a great end-of-season buy at Lowe’s! πŸ™‚

Simply changing out the chair really gives a whole new look to our front porch. Adding a soft throw brings a little more of a fall look as well as a bit of the soft carpet look from our inspiration photo. That’s my fall front porch two ways, friends!!

Now let’s check out Carol’s from Bluesky at Home. I know you are going to love how her porch turned out! Thank you for visiting today and I hope you will visit everyone on today’s tour. <3

Happy fall, y’all,

Barb πŸ™‚

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Home Decor, Pinterest Challenge

Let’s Decorate Pretty Fall Baskets with Pumpkins and Roses

Welcome, friends, to this month’s Pinterest Challenge! For an early fall decorating idea, we are creating beautiful autumn baskets with you in mind using all the bounty of the season…

As always, I want to thank Cindy from County Road 407 for leading our team of happy basket enthusiasts! If you are just coming over from Laura at Everyday Edits and/or this is your first time here, welcome!!

Isn’t Laura’s basket styling just beautiful?!! She is a navy girl all the way! No, not the military way (though her father-in-law is a retired colonel), but in that she LOVES navy as her favorite color. Check out her beautiful home!!!

Today’s inspiration comes from a post written by Janelle Trinette. Janelle’s style features lots of neutrals and woods with loads of nubby textures, which really stands out in her decor. She uses a lot of sisal and bark which gives her decorating scheme a real outdoorsy look. Recently I read a post she wrote about hiking Bryce Canyon in Utah (it was good!) ~ on my bucket list of fun places to go see and hike!

Interestingly, we shared Janelle’s photograph of a stacked pumpkin in one of last year’s Pinterest Challenges when we decorated our mantels and you can see that photograph here.

My recreation can be found here: An Early Fall Mantel Refresh.

Processed with VSCO with m5 preset
This is a second photograph from Janelle’s post.

I love that in this year’s inspiration photo so much texture was used with wood cuts, the nubby basket, the cat tails and wheat, and, of course, the sweet faux pumpkins!

Of course, I also went nuts over the ultra cool door…

Totally adorable and as soon as I saw it, I thought…

“I have a door!”

My son Peter and I picked up this grey-green door during the Great Recession of 2008. We were just heading home after a Scouting event, and someone was changing out their front door after buying a bank-repo house near a friends’ home. So, we hauled this door home in our Sequoia.

It was always meant to become the front door of a future she shed… πŸ˜‰ Hubby has moved it around as needed through our moves and it has been perfect for protecting things on shelving inside our current garage ~ until I needed it (now!).

This challenge inspired me to work on the door a couple of weekends ago adding new hardware and door knobs which I have had forever! Just so it could be a backdrop… πŸ˜€

My next thought was

“I have a large basket!” which I picked up on sale at Target a year or so ago. I love using it in winter to store firewood in it near our fireplace. Recently, it was used as a laundry hamper for my mother-in-law when she stayed with us through the winter.

I had a lot of fun pulling together things to create my basket scene!

Here I’ve layered in bamboo poles inside a Texas star-hung plastic basket behind the nubby willow basket. This takes the place of the grasses and reeds in Janelle’s photo.

pumpkin stack!

It was over 100 degrees when I was putting all of this together, but pulling all of my favorite decorated white and light colored pumpkins out of the attic gave me a burst of joy and energy!

Fall is coming, friends!!! And this past weekend’s rainy weather is a small taste of fall weather… πŸ™‚

Next, I added our bridesmaid’s basket on top of this bistro table to hold dried roses and a small bouquet of lavender. Paired with one of my “mistake” pumpkins made back around 2014.

I love the nubby “string of pearls” look of the Cinderella pumpkin (made by dripping Gorilla Glue on it and adding sparkle glitter) next to the roses and natural grass basket.

And I have a nice big garden shed!!

(Couldn’t get our shed builder to go for my door idea, though. Oh, well!) Our shed really is used for all things garden and it is the perfect spot for us to decorate for today’s Pinterest Challenge.

It just required me to move a few things around (Mr. Ethereal’s storage and some tools in black and yellow plastic storage tubs from my inlaws’ former home in California). Tools he needs to go through and decided what to keep and what can go.

Which is why it was a challenge to get a similar photograph to our inspiration piece!

I couldn’t back up too far… (haha) Too much stuff behind me, lol!! πŸ˜‰

I was also inspired to rehang this little chandelier we used in our Prairie Home RV! It is hung off of a little wrought iron bird hanger found years ago at Walmart.

Happy fall decorating, everyone!

I hope this post has inspired you to take stock of what you have laying around the house, and to pick out pieces to bring your fall decor together in a fresh new way…. Everything you see here was something I already had, so $0.00 were spent on this challenge! Always a win!!

Thanks, y’all, for stopping by! Up next is Niky from The House on Silverado with her fall basket rendition; her basket vignette looks so nice, don’t you agree?!!

Enjoy the rest of the tour!

And here’s to cooler weather,

Barb πŸ™‚

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Gardening, Home Decor, Pinterest Challenge

Spruce Up Your Front Porch with Bunting for the 4th of July

Welcome to this month’s fun Patriotic Porch Challenge! Cindy from County Road 407 has knocked it out of the park with this sweet porch’s perfect pooch and patriotic decor!

Love all of Cindy’s graphics!

If you are coming over from Laura at Everyday Edits and this is your first time visiting my site, welcome!! For all of my regular followers, now friends, welcome back!! Laura’s porch looks so good with those star-powered pillows, huh?

Our inspiration

This checked and striped-filled porch comes to us from Better Homes and Gardens’ website. Isn’t this just the prettiest porch and the little West Highland Terrier just adorable?!! I have picked up many a copy of BH&G magazine over the years and always come away with good ideas to decorate with in my home.

So let’s dissect this porch’s pretties…

Porch Ideas I Took Away

  • patriotic bunting swag hangings
  • wicker porch chair with fun RWB cushion and pillow
  • bench also with RWB cushions and pillows in checks and solids
  • nice summery white and blue striped floor rug
  • flowers and flags
  • small table with watermelon
  • perfect pup!

How I Recreated The Look

My front porch is more of a stoop and fairly small at 8′ wide x 8′ deep so I could only put out a few things, but here’s what I’ve picked out:

  • perfect patriotic bunting found at Party City for $15 (the exact one is linked) hung above the front door covering the palladian transom window.
  • metal patio chair, repainted white (this needed a good repaint anyway, so good excuse! Here’s that post…)
  • small pots tucked into the planter filled with RWB flowers to recreate our inspiration photo’s look.
  • little flags tucked into last month’s Pinterest Challenge door hanger! now spread out between the flower pots on the front door.
  • my perfect ceramic pooch, a little Lowe’s cement dog found when we first bought this house three years ago. Lowe’s still carries them!

I tried to get Yoda to sit still on the porch but with doggy Alzheimer’s he just couldn’t… So our cement pup stands in for him today!

Well, that’s my quick rendition of this month’s patriotic porch theme! Simple and easy to recreate and I hope it gives you some fun ideas to use on your own smaller porches.

Up next, we swing back up to Cindy and County Road 407 and her porch is totally ready for the 4th!!!!

Do check out the other ladies’ perfect patriotic decorating ideas on today’s front porch tour. Thank you so much!

Happy decorating, friends!

Barb πŸ™‚

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Home Decor, Pinterest Challenge

Having Fun Decorating with Patriotic Colors

Welcome to this month’s Pinterest Challenge, friends! Cindy of Country Road 407 has gathered us all together once again to celebrate the arrival of summer with a challenge using Patriotic Colors! (Don’t you just love our national flag’s red, white and blue?!!) If you are just coming over from My Family Thyme with Lynne, welcome!

OMGosh, I can’t wait to get to know Lynne!! Her style is wonderfully warm and welcoming, plus she paints gorgeous watercolors… Lynne hails from Connecticut (Go UConn!), where my parents last lived, and my youngest brother and his family still live right next door to my mother and father’s former home in Woodbury.

Jumping into our post, our Cindy found this month’s inspiration from another blogging friend Cindy from Edith & Evelyn Vintage

Cindy of Edith & Evelyn Vintage found this on the internet and used in her post Patriotic Decor Ideas.

There were a ton of great photographs to choose from with lots of inspiration in Cindy’s post and I just loved this faded Old Glory she shared; it really spoke to me…

Cindy also had this incredible chair in the same inspiring post:

Patriotic Decor | Edith & Evelyn | www.edithandevelynvintage.com

I loooove this chair and it is really a stunner with the Americana theme boldly proclaimed in its fabric choices! Plus it’s a French chair! (What’s not to love?) So I guess I could have gone soft or bold in my color choices this time. πŸ˜‰

But my personal penchant is to use the softer versions of these colors this year.

Like what’s-blooming-in-my-garden-right-now-colors…

I haven’t been writing much lately because I have been working hard in the garden. I do have an upcoming post with what’s happened since the last time I shared the garden. I’ve been planting and digging a lot on the weekends, plus visiting with my mother-in-law at her new home. She is really enjoying her new garden. We will take a trip over there this summer so you can see it, too!

My hydrangeas have come into their own this year! A glorious year for hydrangeas… Actually, I learned the secret here in Texas is consistent watering, just about every day. πŸ˜‰

Back to our patriotic basket

The past couple of years I went with our country’s bold colors in my Pinterest Challenge posts, like this outdoor patio patriotic decor post.

And this one where I created fun placemats using old jeans as the base for the placemats and pretty pockets became holders for silverware..

I do tend to hop back and forth between soft patriotic colors then bold, then right back! Here in this post, I gathered a number of patriotic ideas together, if you’d like to check them out:

Which leads me back to today’s project ~ making a softly colored Patriotic Basket to hang on your front door, set on a table as part of a tabletop display, or to hang on your garden shed like I’ve done here. πŸ™‚

For this mont’s Pinterest Challenge, we have the freedom to create anything patriotic we want, so I thought about bringing out my French style basket and filling it with faux flowers!

Making this basket is simple:

  • Add spagnum sheet moss to the bottom and sides of the wire basket.
  • Place a piece of floral foam inside (or bunched up chicken wire) to support floral stems.
  • Poke in soft pink faux hydrangea blossoms, along with daisy stems and lavender and cornflower-blue larkspur wands.
  • Tuck in more moss, like this spring green reindeer moss, to fill up the empty spaces after you’ve added your flowers and foam.

Hang up and enjoy!

And that’s all there is to creating this basket. πŸ™‚

I spent $0.00 on this project… right up until I needed more moss… The reindeer moss I found at our local Calloway’s Garden Center this past weekend and it cost $16.99 for a large box, which is still quite full. I will get a lot of use out of it for the price!

To make this basket more patriotic, just tuck in some little American flags! When the holiday is over, just pull the flags back out for a casual summertime door basket display.

Thanks for stopping by on the tour today! Next we swing back up to Cindy from County Road 407 and I know you will love all of her patriotic decorating ideas!! Do stop by and check out all the wonderful decor pieces our friends have put together for you.

Happy almost summertime!

Barb πŸ™‚

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Home Decor, Pinterest Challenge, Tablescapes

An Ethereal Springtime Basket in Whites and Silver

Hello, dear friends! Springtime baskets are on the menu for you in this month’s Pinterest Challenge. Thank you to Cindy from County Road 407 for hosting this hop and for giving us this basket challenge!

If you are stopping by from Michelle of Thistle Key Lane for the first time, welcome! Didn’t you just love what Michelle has created with her basket? Sooooo pretty!!

Well, our inspiration photograph this month comes from Emily at Le Cultivateur. I love her style and this centerpiece is just up my alley!

Love all the greenery with the whites and silver ~ which is what I picked up on!

When I first went over to view Emily’s post, I saw her Easter centerpiece version of this basket with it’s large white rabbit and it is still perfect (to me, anyway) for an after-Easter springtime table topper!

Here is the photograph I decided to copy:

This tableau just says, “Spring has sprung!”

What I loved about this basket

  • Whites everywhere! ~ a large white basket to hold spring plants, a large white rabbit with his adorable lace bow, the painted white raised board. A rumpled, white dresser scarf with lace around its edges added its softness.
  • Silver ~ I love silver candlesticks and they add just that touch of elegance!
  • Greenery ~ inside the large basket, live plants are nestled together with a grapevine hoop added as a “basket handle.”

What I put in my ethereal springtime basket

  • Whites ~ I looked at my handled baskets but they were too small, so I went with this whitewashed flat tobacco basket as my “board” and basket. I tried it with a white wood cake plate but it didn’t look right, so I just added my newer Lowe’s stone rabbit, a white paper mΓ’chΓ© rabbit, a small white plant pot, white inside a clear tealight holder, plus a white birdhouse.
  • Silver ~ copying our inspiration, I chose two silver mercury glass candlesticks plus one white metal one to hold softly pink tapers. Depending upon the lighting, each of the rabbits and the basket take on a silvery glow.
  • Greenery ~ This lavender-pink amaryllis stalk is the first to bloom in our northern sideyard and was my inspiration for this laying out the table in month’s challenge! It’s simple beauty paired with a faux paperwhite in a white plant pot bring in some of the greenery from our inspiration piece.
  • Table runner lace ~ I have dresser scarves but would have had to wash the one from our bedroom, so I looked in my linen closet and found this sweet, tatted window curtain to use on my table instead! I love its French Country farmhouse look and the rumpling on either end adds just the right look to this tableau.

Not having any Spanish moss to add to my basket, I added a garden saucer with moss balls I made last year paired with a couple of woven grass balls. This helped bring in more greenery to my table’s look.

I love the simplicity of this basket centerpiece and for me it is simple, ethereal elegance! If you are looking for something to decorate your table for Mother’s Day, just replace the rabbits with a bowl of garden roses or other flowers. That will give you more greenery and less of an Easter look.

Now let’s see what Carol of Bluesky at Home has created for you…

And please do stop by my other friends on today’s Pinterest Challenge tour!

Happy springtime,

Barb πŸ™‚

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Christmas, Home Decor, Pinterest Challenge, Uncategorized

Using Garland Throughout Your Home

Welcome friends to this month’s Garland Pinterest Challenge hosted by our friend Cindy of County Road 407! I am excited to share how I have used garland in every home I have lived in, as well as this sneak peek of our Christmas mantel…

This month we don’t have an inspiration photograph or blogger to share, which is very freeing. Just a message: “to share garland” was the text Cindy sent all of us on this month’s PC tour. If you are coming over from Laura of Everyday Edits for the first time, welcome!

Oh, and don’t you like the new Pinterest Challenge graphic??! I am going red and white this year, with mostly white for decorating my home for Christmas, so this new graphic fits my theme to a tee.

Garlands of Christmas Past

I love decorating our chandeliers every year for Christmas and decorating the very first year we were in our Texas home was a real thrill! Gleefully I glammed up this former dining room chandy with mercury glass ornaments set underneath a soft, very realistic pine garland.

I have been on a Nordic look for several years and this year might be similar, though our son, daughter-in-law and 18 month-old grandson will be down. So… we might add in a little more cute animals for Milo! (Which I have added on the mantel so far.)

When we were still living in our Prairie Home, our Heartland Charleston Landmark 365 RV, we hung a light-weigh acrylic chandelier and yes it had garland entwined in its clear branches!

Outside that same year, garland was swagged down the length of our outdoor dining table. It looked quite ethereal indeed and is a favorite beautiful way to use garlands out of doors.

Garlands for everyday

Now garlands don’t have to always be floral or greenery. In this instance, I used an old coat hanger bent into a circle and draped the “wire ring” with pretty white ribbon to hang crystal decorations in our first trailer home.

Quite a different kind of garland, really.

Pearl garlands from the bridal section of Michael’s and Joann Fabrics look lovely draped on the arms of chandeliers, too! Here in this post ~ How to Glam Up Your Chandelier.

This year we have installed a new Shabby Chic style chandelier, which I found on sale at Lamps Plus (not sponsored). Of course, it has to be decked out for the holidays!

And this is just a few of the ways I use garlands. I love decorating with garlands, how about you?

Up next, we begin at the top with Cindy of County Road 407 who has a fun garland project for you to create! Do stop by and take a tour of all of the garland inspired ideas everyone has for you.

Thank you for pinning!

Happy hopping and here’s to a wonderful holiday season,

Barb πŸ™‚

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home decor, Pinterest Challenge

Looking to Spring ~ A Sofa Table Vignette

Welcome to another monthly Pinterest Challenge, my friends! As always, a big thank-you to Cindy of County Road 407 for bringing us all together. This month we have a bunch of bright and cheery sofa table inspirations for you featuring springtime vignettes! After the crazy-cold 100-year-snowstorm we just had here in Texas (and across much of the USA), I am ready for spring!!! How about you??

Let’s hop on over and see what everyone is creating…

A big welcome to everyone who is just coming over from Rachel of The Ponds Farmhouse; I am happy to have you here!! I LOVED all three of Rachel’s ideas for her console table… Really pretty ideas! Well, if you like what you see on my blog, please consider following along. πŸ™‚ To all of my friends old and new, I am glad you are here, safe and well. and able to visit!

Here is our inspiration photograph

Sincerely, Marie Home

Our inspiration piece comes to us from Amanda Marie from Sincerely, Marie Home. She is a young designer whose contemporary farmhouse style is warm and inviting! I like her mix of neutrals, small green checks, brick fireplace and warm painted woods with traditional English style furniture ~ beautiful!

What strikes me about the inspiration’s sofa table

On the sofa table itself are three tidy stacks of coffee table books

A natural woven basket full of white flowers and greenery ~ this arrangement is set inside a low white bowl with two sweet brass quail adding to the feeling of nature brought indoors.

a wicker candle holder on its own white plate, a small glass mister and a small statuette

What inspires me in the rest of the room

the bleached dropcloth slipcover on the sofa

the use of greens, creams and whites in the room with a garden or botanical theme to the room

a checked wing chair across from the sofa and next to the fireplace

a beautiful antique white fireplace surround with matching hurricane lamps flanking the built-in mirror on the mantel

more books and greenery up on the mantel echoing the sofa table vignette

two botanical prints up on the wall behind the wing chair

In my sofa table rendition

I brought in a couple of stacks of interior design books in whites to freshen up my sofa table’s look and to bring in more white to my room. Our living room is naturally pretty dark with these tan walls so I like to add a lot of white to my decor.

I sewed my sofa and settee’s bleached dropcloth slipcovers a number of years ago and they add in that bleached linen look from the original.

Where the inspiration piece had a grouping of four items on the sofa table’s right side ~ two book stacks offset with a small statue and the wicker candleholder in opposing corners, I went with a grouping of three.

My maiden statue, one stack of books, and a tall bubble glass candleholder on a vintage creamware saucer create my look.

Here I was testing out which basket I wanted to use for this challenge. I added a piece of pink granite rock brought back from Crazy Horse monument, South Dakota, to the bottom of thiswicker basket; it balances the weight all of the floral stems. I added in a balled up piece of chicken wire about 12″ x 18″ with the ends tucked under and inward after the picture was taken.

A large centerpiece of faux greenery and flowers set inside an old wicker basket, plus a second stack of books and another glass candleholder make up the left side of the sofa table arrangement.

The painted tray and the fluted creamware saucer serve as bases for both the floral arrangement and the soy candle.

A matter of scale

I didn’t have a small statue or I would have used it here. I know the scale of the statue competes with the size of the floral arrangement, but when looked at from different directions ~ the statue is sometimes the centerpiece, and from the opposite viewing direction, the florals in their woven basket stands out.

Later on I added a small wood cut underneath the floral basket giving that arrangement a little more height. I think the flowers and the statue make a good combination together!

Adding a small pewter sugar bowl topped with a moss ball takes the place of the vintage plant mister.

The florals, moss ball and later a small sheep bring nature inside to my sofa table vignette. The greenery is repeated up on our mantel with more moss balls and some pear tree branches I am forcing.

Two hurricane candlesticks mimic those in the inspiration piece and the brass candleholder pieces copy the brass elements from the original.

My mantel almost always has a framed mirror above it and the mantel is decorated for spring. I’ll share more of that another day. πŸ™‚

Completing the scene

The wing chair with its deep green and blue plaid placed next to the fireplace and draped with a vintage white linen runner over the back, combined with this vintage print in its green chalk-painted frame copies the inspiration’s look.

Thank you for visiting today and I hope you will stop by all of my friends who are on today’s tour. Next up is Niky from The House on Silverado and I know you will like her sofa table styling! Check out that cute end table’s French style… (I think it needs to come over here, lol!) Niky always creates such pretty vignettes… Swoonworthy!!!

Enjoy the tour, friends,

Barb πŸ™‚

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