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Our Belated Christmas Home Tour

Christmas day has just passed, the busy craziness of getting ready for the season is hopefully done for most of us, and now is a time of respite…

Here at The Manor, our door is still quietly surrounded with colorful twinkling fairy lights as well as a pretty lit wreath…

Hubby brought a bunch of poinsettias from a big box store’s Black Friday sales and some have gone to new homes as Christmas gifts. Such a nice way to say hello and I love you to friends so dear!!!

Come inside and enjoy our living room! Even not quite finished and late on a school night, it was fun to snap a few photographs as the Christmas decorations were brought out and the regular decor put away…

A tree skirt was fashioned from an old double bed bedskirt. An antique English child’s school chair pulled out for our soon-to-visit grandson… He did touch it but didn’t climb on it this time.

I love that now two generations of Chapmans have enjoyed this little chair!

He did sit in a very old one, though! Originally a handmade rocking chair from the 1870’s, I bought it in Carlsbad, California on one of my first antiquing expeditions when I had a day off from apartment managing, when we first moved to Southern California with the US Marine Corps. I think I bought this chair in 1989 and I immediately knew I’d weave a seat for it!

I found a spool of calico trim, which has some padding inside the length of it. I used the whole spool running the trim first one direction then back across perpendicularly. I made all kinds of home furnishings back then as a newlywed!

This year’s decor all began with the mantel… Quiet decor with just woodland animals and little Christmas trees, it was perfect with simple greenery tucked in and around each little figure!

Setting the tone for the rest of the room’s decorations:

  • the aforementioned woodland animals up on the fireplace mantel and soft sculpture animals I’ve collected since high school sitting along the hearth and around the Christmas tree
  • the little children’s chairs
  • coloring books and story books for gifts
  • a very simply decorated tree with lights and just a very few non-breakable ornaments
Mr. Ethereal enjoyed our early family Christmas, too! New stockings
welcomed everyone home!

My original plan to bring down all the boxes of family ornaments went awry… Hubby has travelled since late September almost every week to California on business, so… I didn’t have anyone to help me bring down the boxes. Our son and I talked about his helping me the week before they drove down. But when it came down to it, the tree was pretty just with the very few paper houses and churches, a Nordic Christmas star with a little straw reindeer inside it, and one snowflake garland placed casually across the tree’s midsection.

Sometimes simple is best. 🙂

And what do you think of my husband’s creative gift wrapping?? That’s my Christmas surprise inside that red throw and two belts…

More about that another day. ;)’

But for now…

The Chapman family ~ Amy, Peter, Justine and Milo, me and Charles

From our family to yours,

Happiest of Christmases and a Happy New Year!

Barb 🙂

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For the Love of Nöel Bleu ~ A Visit to Judith’s Christmas Sale

Welcome, friends! Today we are taking a Christmas trip to see Judith Stringham at her lovely French-styled home in Mansfield, Texas…

On the first weekend in December, I drove down to visit Judith at the annual Christmas Sales Event she has hosted for 12 years. Each year I see new and inspiring ways we can use to decorate in a French Nordic style…

Love this sweet girl! She reminds me so much of our Stuffy and Tigger, from my high school and early college years.

Her sweet calico cat greeted me as I stepped out of the car and kindly showed me the way back to the potting shed outback. Here Kitty is up on the front walkway to the family home’s front door.

A weird FYI

Notice the *Arc du Bois fruits used as Christmas ornament balls in these urns… Lovely in their limey green skins, these 2-5 lbs. fruits can and do break car windshields when they fall. Here in North Texas, these seed pods can be turned into a petroleum-type product and there was a man near the last trailer park we lived in who bought 50 gal. barrels-full for $10.

*also called horse apples

But I digress…

Down the garden path

Walking around the side and into Judith’s garden, tufts of mondo grass edge the paved walkway guiding us through the park. Old oak trees give the garden really nice structure!

Pink and white lantana (?) or maybe a dwarf butterfly bush decorate this pretty hayrack.

Taking a peek up onto the south-east facing front porch, one can see Judith’s love of French blue, brilliant pops of color brightening up the wintertime porch… She told me she loves blue pansies this time of year!

I love all the conical topiaries she has!!! Tall ivy clamors up a trefoil topped trellis.

Back out along the pathway, an enormous butterfly bush is still blooming in December! Our weather has been so warm, much warmer than usual for North Texas, so many annuals are still going strong coming into the winter season.

The Stringhams have kept much of their acreage as Texas forest which adds a nice layer of privacy from close neighbors.

Judith’s Christmas Potting Shed

Doorways and trim painted a pretty French blue, the double doors welcome us into Judith’s world, Botanic Bleu… I personally love the contrast of textures outdoors! The potting shed’s white limestone walls, the rustic wood decking contrast nicely with the brick pathways. Fallen leaves nestle into cracks and crevices, adding their own brand of texture to the scene…

Let’s check out what’s for sale!

This pretty bowl filled with juniper greenery caught my eye. I loved the pretty gilded cage topper. Of course this came home with me along with six horse apples to decorate the inside. The pretty birdcage to the right also came home. 😉

Stepping inside, a tiny office is set up snugged underneath this hanging area. As I write this, I just noticed the silver urn with a little bird on top along the front wall shelf… Always so much to see!

Looking further right, large scrolls of sheet music lend their beautiful backdrop behind Pêre Nöels…

A lovely nativity scene decorated the middle of the room with a deeper French blue…

Judith creates this large wall hangings with her signature fleur de lis in the background.

This year she has added English boxwood hearts to her collection of boxwood for sale. Last year she had large and small round boxwood wreaths, and I bought one then. This day, I picked up one more to decorate our hallway.

Airy glass ornaments and icicles hang from the rafters, on Christmas trees and in front of some windows. Judith has candles and Old World style candleholders, mini narcissus bulbs, and more gilded wire garden cloches for sale.

Out in the Garden

Back outside, Kitty is back for another pet. She is just a beauty!

This year, this outdoor patio hosts a collection of potted plants. I love the basket weave pot! Judith’s sister helps take care of the garden, her special gift.

Here I think Judith “planted” some of the faux narcissus bulbs… Pretty!!!
Love this urn! I believe the little garden shed in the background is her husband’s workshop.

If you’d like to see more…

2019 Part 1 touring Judith’s garden and home ~ Meet Judith and the Home of Botanic Bleu.
A Bleu Christmas ~ Part 2 of the 2019 pre-Covid visit with friends Cindy of County Road 407 and Laura from Decor to Adore.

Last year’s Christmas event ~ A Christmas Visit with Judith and Botanic Bleu

Well, friends, I hope you’ve enjoyed these Christmas visits with Judith and seeing her pretty French country home! She is very gracious and I always wish there’d be time to just sit and visit (we do, but it’s while shopping). 🙂 Hopefully soon!

Happy Christmas time,

Barb 🙂

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Share Your Style #329

Welcome to this week’s Share Your Style #329! Happy Wednesday to you all, dear friends!!

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. I appreciate you! I appreciate your subscribing, also. As always, I am glad that you are here… 💜

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!💜 

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

***Oh my! I should have just cancelled the rest of this year for SYS, lol! Between finishing the inside of the shed with the last of the insulation, primer and paint (so it is ready for Mr. Ethereal to come home and put up the last of the bead board walling in the front of the shed), and getting ready for family coming… I just run out of time!

So, Share Your Style will be up (again) at 7:00pm this evening and next week will be the last SYS for 2021, so be ready for all the New Year’s posts then! 😉 I DO have to say: there are soooo many good posts this past week (and I am sure today, also!). Please take some time, either this evening or over the Christmas break as you find a moment, to wander by some of these beautiful posts. Everyone’s homes look lovely and they each gladden my heart…

Let’s get this party rolling… Hopefully you can connect and that this post is working properly. We are having 40mph gusts this evening out of the south… And please keep our friends in the mid-west, especially in Kentucky, Arkansas and their surrounding states in your prayers… The tornadoes which wrecked havoc this past week left so many homeless and sorely in need…

And here are this week’s featured posts…

Love this! Wendy from My French Twist brings us this traditional Christmas Nativity post ~ Building a Traditional French Crêche.
Sandra from Come to Dinner at Eight brings us her holiday table set with reds and golds… Just lovely! Christmas Dining – The New Traditional.
Debbie from Debbie-Dabble Blog shares her outside garden tour in this fun festive post ~ Christmas Front Porch and Yard, 2021. Love it!!!
Debra from Common Ground is back with this fun last-minute craft idea for Christmas ~ Elegant Gold Gilt Pears. And its all set in a bit of French Country style! Also, check out her post Snowy White Churches on the Old Sideboard. Pretty!!!
Lisa from Fresh Vintage by Lisa shared her Holiday Home Tour – 2021. Love the double front door wreaths!!! You’ll love her tour, too. <3
bricolage flocons de Noel en sac de papier
Marie from Rêver en Coleur (Dream in Color) shared this fun DIY post to make these awesome paper stars ~ Bricoler des Flocons de Neige Fait de Sacs en Papier (Make Snowflake Stars with Paper Bags ~ my loose translation!)
Friends, you’ll have to stop by Jeanie’s at The Marmelade Gypsy… Her friends are back and they DON’T hold back on hilarious comments about the Cork Poppers Taste International Wines… I’d like to add a good Valpolicella from Zenato Winery, Italy. Really good Old World wine and paired with an Italian sausage dish… Yum! ;)’
A Southern Charm Christmas
Paula from Virginia Sweet Pea shared her home all decked out in this post ~
A Southern Charm Christmas – Family Room and Breakfast Room. Beautiful and look at those curtains!!!
Lynne from Thrifting Wonderland brings us a quick DIY in her post ~ Creating a Holiday Outdoor Planter. So pretty!!! Lynne also shared a lovely table setting in this post ~ Angels We Have Heard On High… Really beautiful!
CoCo from The Crowned Goat has the most ethereal holiday tablescape this week… I love all the greys, soft greens and whites! (My personal favs!) ~
White Christmas Inspired Patio. Do stop by!
Table setting for ten using a beautiful mix of dinnerware and accessories.  Floral arrangements, birds nests, vintage cloches and lovely gold rimmed glasswear.
Renae from Peacock Ridge Farm shared her lovely table in this Christmas-y post ~ How to Create a Beautiful Mix-and-Match China Tablescape. Lovely and what a lovely mahogany table!
And let’s end this week’s SYS fun festivities with our friend Shelbee from Shelbee on the Edge who shared a really cool post on holiday footware (mainly boots!!!) in her post ~ Reminder: The Good Buy/Goodbye Book – Sparkles! Totally in love with this pair of black boots… Don’t you just love sparkles??!

***

Thank You so much to everyone who linked up this past week. A special thank you to everyone for always promoting Share Your Style on your blog and on your social media channels! I do see it when I stop by and I appreciate the love. 💜

I sooo appreciate your stopping by each week! It is a joy and my pleasure to bring you the best of your wonderful posts each and every time Share Your Style goes up.

Thank you for sharing with all of us.

Love and Christmas hugs,

Barb 🙂

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Share Your Style #328

Welcome to this week’s Share Your Style #328! Happy Wednesday to you all, dear friends!!

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. I appreciate you! I appreciate your subscribing, also. As always, I am glad that you are here… 💜

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!💜 

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

***Getting out a bit late tonight since I’ve been on the phone with Hubby and my MIL (in reverse order, prepping for her to come here to stay with us while she finds a home in Texas.)

No new posts out this week but the shed is almost done! While Hubby has been away on business and helping his mother finish packing on the weekends (in California), I’ve primed and painted the main three walls of the shed. This weekend I hope to add the corner moulding and get that glued and nailed in, add garland and lights around the front entry, and wrap presents.

Family drives in a week from tomorrow for an early Christmas, but I should actually get some posts out later this week. 🙂 If not, well… Then it’ll happen over Christmas and you can see how I decorated then. Life is short and this year, I am just not going to worry about it. 😉

So…

And here are this week’s featured posts…

Debra of Common Ground shared a trip she and her hubby took over to
The Ozark Mill and Other Updates (you’ll WANT to read this post if you’re friends with Debra!). Check out the view!!!
Soooo adorable! Miss Sadie gets a spa treatment and hugs from friend Joelle in this posting by Sarah at Hyacinths for the Soul ~
Tales of the Traveling Tote.
Traditional Flocked Christmas Tree with Swarovski Snowflake Ornaments
Paula over at Virginia Sweetpea shared this festive post ~
Traditional Flocked Christmas Tree with Swarovski Ornaments. Lovely!!!

CHOCOLATE PEPPERMINT NO-BAKE TART

NOVEMBER 29, 2021 BY ELIZABETH 18 COMMENTSThis post contains affiliate links.Good morning friends, happy Monday. I had such a jam packed and fun Thanksgiving(weekend) I feel as if I need a vacation from my vacation. In addition to all of the Thanksgiving festivities, we shopped, went to a Christmas fair, assembled a pinecone garland for the front porch, foraged in the woods for pine, holly and magnolia to make 4 huge planters  and baked Christmas cookies. I will be honest, I have never made garland before and this one took so much more time, and pinecones than I thought, not to mention it was incredibly painful! Did you know that pinecones have “thorns.” I have band-aids on 4 fingers, and cuts and splinters on my hands, but it was all worth it because it turned out so beautiful. I will share a photo with you this week.

NO BAKE CHOCOLATE PEPPERMINT TART

As we are gearing up for Christmas parties, festivities and gift making I thought I would share the easiest tart to make ever. There is no baking involved so that saves a lot of time. It is basically an Oreo crust with a ganache filling topped with candy canes. It cannot get any easier and the presentation is beautiful, it looks as if you worked in the kitchen all day but the good news is that is doesn’t take more than 10 minutes to put together!

Chocolate-Peppermint-Tart on a white ruffles plate on a white table with red bulbs on the table

This chocolate peppermint no bake tart is perfect for your dessert table at Christmas, to give to family and friends, or to take along to any parties you are attending. If you do not like peppermint you could add berries, or dulce de leche, or even crushed or chopped chocolate for decorations, the possibilities are endless.

Newcomer Elizabeth from Pinecones and Acorns shared this easy Chocolate Peppermint No-Bake Tart. Delicious!!! Welcome Elizabeth!

5 Tips for Hosting Overnight House Guests for the Holidays

Published: November 30, 2021Spread the love

These tips for hosting overnight house guests will help make your holiday extravaganza run smoothly and be way more fun.

Hosting overnight house guests can be as fun as a sleepover when you were a kid or dreadfully overwhelming.

The tips I’m sharing with you today will help move you in the direction of the fun side of hosting overnight house guests based on many years of experience.

Ever since we moved states, we have had a lot of overnight house guests. We even host Christmas every year for at least three families.

Granted I really like my in-laws, but the reason we always have a great time is because we do as much as much prep as we possibly can and then focus on keeping it simple during their stay.

So today, I’m sharing with you my unaltered truth on how to make hosting overnight house guests super fun for everyone.

JUMP TO…

Disclaimer: This post does include affiliate links for your convenience. This is at NO additional cost to you but earns me a small commission. To read more, check out our disclosure policy.

CREATE A WELCOMING GUEST ROOM

Rug Placement in Bedroom in Guest bedroom

First things first, you want to create a welcoming guest room.

This is their home away from home for the time they are staying with you, so you want to make sure it’s as cozy and accommodating as possible.

This includes fresh linens, blackout curtains, luggage racks, and plug accessibility to name a few.

You can read my full list of how to create a great experience for overnight guests to make sure your guest quarters are in tip-top shape before your guests arrive.

THINK LIKE A HOTEL

When you know your why, you can make focused, correct decisions the first time! Follow our Pursuing a Homier Home Plan today!
Love these ideas! If you are having guests this Christmas, you might enjoy this post, too!!! 5 Tips for Hosting Overnight House Guest for the Holidays ~ from our second newcomer Christin from My Homier Home. Welcome to French Ethereal and SYS! ~
Our third newcomer to FE is Sujatha from Crystal Grandeur with this lovely table setting for Christmas ~ French Inspired Table for Christmas. Don’t you just want to be a guest? Welcome, Sujatha!! 🙂
Corine over at Junk to Gems shared her crafty post to make these sweet mini Christmas trees ~ How to Make Some DIY Christmas/Winter Trees. Truly easy, friends!!!

Last up for this week is a fun post from Amber from Follow the Yellow Brick Home who shared Vintage Christmas Decorating with Bottlebrush Trees. Yes!!!!

Thank You so much to everyone who linked up this past week. A special thank you to everyone for always promoting Share Your Style on your blog and on your social media channels! I do see it when I stop by and I appreciate the love. 💜

Happy getting everything prepped for Christmas over your way,

Hugs, Barb 🙂

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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 🙂

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Share Your Style #312

Welcome to this week’s Share Your Style #312! Happy Wednesday to you all, dear friends!

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. I appreciate you! I appreciate your subscribing, also. As always, I am glad that you are here… 💜

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!💜 

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

Happy Wednesday to you all! Hubby and I spent another weekend outdoors working around the back garden. I’ll be sharing what we are working on out there soon, but it’s starting to take shape. Other than that, two days are done for this new 2021-2022 school year, yeah! Only 180 to go… 😉

I worked on some posts but none got published yet, so… Next time! 🙂

Let’s check out this past week’s featured posts…

And here are this week’s featured posts…

About this time every year, we gardeners get the doldrums out in the garden, but Penny from Penny’s Treasures shared this wonderful post on what to plant for late summer prettiness out there! ~ Freshening My Stale Flower Beds.
A wonderful post here about family, fun and Christmas inspiration in July…
Thoughts on Loving Well with Coco from The Crowned Goat.
Oh, I was at such a quandery as to which perfect photo to choose from Jeanie of The Marmelade Gypsy‘s wonderful post ~ Paris in July: Something Old! But of course I went for roses… 😉
I love Debbie of Debbie-Dabble Blog‘s posts as they are a fun mish-mash of daily life! Good stuff!! In this post ~ And the Landscaping Continues ~ she shares more about the new neighbor, helping landscape that home’s yard, and more. 🙂
Lisa from Fresh Vintage by Lisa shared this lovely post about How to Make a Paper Snippet Roll. I love all the combined ephemera!!! Such a great idea for repurposing little ribbon rolls! <3
Cloches capture the heart, don’t they? I love Debra’s of Common Ground‘s beautiful late summer vignette. Do stop by and check out her woodland scenes!
French Vintage Treasures French antiques decorating with vintage decor
Amber from Follow the Yellow Brick Home shared a bunch of lovely French finds in this rosy post ~ French Vintage Treasures – Junkin’ Finds from Summer 2021. Love them all!!! (They can come over here anytime…) ;)’ Amber also shared How to Make an Edible Strawberry Roses Bouquet. Yum!!!
Lastly for this week is this lovely crochet piece created by Maya Kuzman from The Little Treasures Blogspot ~ The Charlotte Crochet Pouch. Lovely… <3

Thank You so much to everyone who linked up this past week. A special thank you to everyone for always promoting Share Your Style on your blog and on your social media channels! I do see it when I stop by and I appreciate the love. 💜

If you’d like to follow my Share Your Style board on Pinterest I’d appreciate it, thank you! I do post all of the featured posts from each week’s SYS there. 💜  Thanks so much!!!

Let’s party, friends!

(my wishing for fall to come a little quicker!)

Barb 🙂

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Share Your Style #287

Happy Wednesday, everyone! Welcome to this week’s Share Your Style #287! 

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. I appreciate you!
 As always, I am glad that you are here… 💜

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is barb-square-headshot-copy.jpg

I am Barbara Chapman and I’d love it if you’d follow me here on my blog and on any of my other sites! Thank you, sweet friends!!!

My sites:  French Ethereal  Instagram  Facebook  Pinterest  YouTube

We had a very nice Christmas and ended up driving down to Austin over New Year’s to visit our daughter since she couldn’t come up our way afterall. Just a quick two-day getaway, but also very nice!

I am picking up posts from our last Share Your Style (#286) two weeks ago. Thank you to you all for this time of relaxation! I didn’t take much time off when I was ill in October, so it was nice to follow the example of other blogger/design influencers and take these past two weeks off… Thank you! <3 Happy to be back, though!!!

A Christmas Birthday Tea by the Tree ~ Fabby of Fabby’s Living shares this gorgeous holiday table for a family friend and caregiver for her mother. Just lovely!
twas-the-night-before-Christmas-place-setting
Debbee of Debbee’s Buzz shared her table set for Santa’s arrival in this festive post ~ Twas the Night Before Christmas Eve Table

*Two lovely red and white transferware posts for you because we all love these pieces so much!!! Look for more of these lovely patterns around Valentine’s Day… <3

Debra of Common Ground shared this garden style Christmas post ~ French Country Christmas in the Dining Room.
10 minute Christmas Wreath
Rachelle of My Hubbard Home brings us this fun skating wreath in this post ~ Holiday Door Wreath (That Only Takes 10 Minutes).
A Leopard Print for Style Imitating Art
Michelle Churchman from My Bijou Life Online brings us some fashion to take us into the new year in this post ~ A Leopard Print for Style Imitating Art. Totally fun go-to dress!!!
Style Imitating Art, Charles Bell, Gumball II, bright colors, fashion over 40, Shelbee on the Edge
Shelbee of Shelbee’s On the Edge shares her fun wintery style in this post, also part of Style Imitating Art, Gumball II by Charles Bell.
For anyone who follows Amber of Follow the Yellow Brick Home she and her hubby have finally finished their kitchen remodel and here is that post… Just in time for the holidays and bright and clean welcoming in the New Year! ~ Vintage Traditional Christmas Home Tour and A Festive New Kitchen.
 Kerstboompjes van bakvormen Papier
Inge and Else of ElseRBlog bring us this adorable Christmas Tree with Cupcake Papers DIY (Kerstboomjes von Cupcake Bakformen Papier — DIY).
DIY-Gingerbread-Snowflake-Ornaments-The-Crowned-Goat-2-1 DIY Gingerbread Snowflake Ornaments Christmas Crafts Holidays
Coco of The Crowned Goat shares an easy tutorial perfect for leaving up all winter long in this post ~ DIY Gingerbread Snowflake Ornaments.
Debbie of Debbie-Dabble Blog brings us her sweet doll house decorated in holiday attire in this final post for this week ~ Christmas at Nelson Crest.

A big Thank You to everyone who linked up this past week. A special thank you to y’all for always promoting Share Your Style on your blog and on your social media channels! I do see it when I stop by and I appreciate the love. 💜

If you have been featured here at Share Your Style… Here is a button to copy to your site and to share...

If you’d like to follow my Share Your Style board on Pinterest I’d appreciate it, thank you! I do post all of the featured posts from each week’s SYS there.

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Happy New Year, Y’all and welcome to 2021!

Barb

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The Final Candle of Advent ~ The Christ Candle

It’s Christmas Eve and we are finally here! Kids are snuggling down in their beds, presents are wrapped and under the tree. Family friendly holiday movies have been playing on repeat for weeks along with the predictable but still-fun Hallmark movies, too…

A Christmas wish…

As we arrive on the night before Christmas, we light this fifth candle along with the others ~ the Christ Candle ~ which is also part of Week #4, the week of Love…

God loved us so very much that he sent his only begotten Son to save us ~ a grand gesture of ultimate Love. A tiny newborn babe lying in a manger, the Savior of the world…

The Holy Family…

15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, so the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.’ 16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. 17 And when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, as it was told them.”

Luke 2:15-20, NKJV

Throughout this Advent series, I have pulled quotes from Christianity.com and other articles. I like what this section says about the fifth candle, the candle of love, the Christ Candle: (and really, I can’t say it any better!)

Heavenly Father, the whole meaning of Christmas can be explained in one little four-letter word…LOVE. You sent your gift of pure love to us that first Christmas. Love descended from heaven to be born of a virgin. Love lay in the scratchy hay of a manger in a meager barn in Bethlehem. All of your love, God, was robed in the delicate skin of a baby and wrapped in swaddling clothes. This final week of Advent helps us to reflect on the magnitude of love that was made manifest in Jesus.”

Hope Bolinger

Jesus was a sweet precious baby come down to earth to save us all from sin. This thought makes me realize that each time a new baby is born on this earth, it is a reflection and a reminder of Christ Jesus and his birth.

We are given a gift to celebrate when each new life is born and to love that child as He has loved us!

Love the amazed look on Milo’s face! Milo is looking at me in my son’s camera/FaceTime call.

Milo’s first Christmas!

One of my favorite photographs of our grandson! Love how happy he is!!

Our fifth candle reminds us to “love one another as Christ has loved us.” (My paraphrase of part of John 13:34.) Traditionally the center candle is all white signifying Jesus’ holiness and purity. I have white candles but this one with holly and a few pine needles melted inside and surrounding the candle reminds me of the manger wrapped around and cradling Baby Jesus…

A wintery scene in a transferware bowl found several years ago on Galveston Island at an antique shop there.

Our table is set with my best china pieces today, the Old Country Roses by Royal Albert pottery in England. My husband bought eight place settings for me from the Royal Albert outlet we had in Lake Elsinore, California about twenty years ago now. It became the china pattern I used for many teas I hosted and for many family Christmas dinners. We will use it again this Christmas and when our daughter drives up from Austin for New Year’s.

Again the little turned “Noel” signs are used in this tablescape ~ I like this table’s welcoming plaid and simplicity. Many Christmases and teas I would set one extra place setting for Jesus, honoring Him as a welcome guest.

I love it that in the Bible there were so many meal times with the apostles but also with Mary and Martha, the two sisters, and with many other people! Meals are such special times to reconnect with family and share intimate thoughts and secrets and hopes… Wouldn’t you like Jesus to come over and eat dinner at your home? 🙂

This tablecloth would have made a lovely swaddling cloth, don’t you think?

Our holiday table and dining room with the only two crystal pieces I found to decorate the chandelier this year! Two stars above!! I never shared the dining room hutch but you can see it pretty well here. I hung a small wreath I found in my Christmas ornaments and created a small doll house on the left for the family living in the hutch’s dining room. I found the fireplace my parents bought me for a Swiss doll house I had in high school and brought it out to warm the family’s Christmas…

Our Holiday Home Tour

From the dining room we get a little view into the living room. Since Thanksgiving, I have been pulling off the slipcovers and giving everything a fresh wash, vacuuming and polishing.

This holiday season I went for a family Christmas with red plaid and a reindeer themed ribbons twining down the Christmas tree. Red continues in the few Santas sprinkled throughout the room and the main one on the coffee table.

a view from the dining room
a view from the entryway

Winters in the living room are filled with clear and bright light! This home is so light-filled this time of year making it really cheery. The pillows I found this fall are reversible so I’ve flipped them around to the checked sides for wintertime…

Mr. Ethereal and I are working on two projects these two weeks: putting down some new insulation in the attic and hanging the French iron fencing outside in the new garden area.

I picked up a 9′ x 6′ drop cloth at Home Depot this morning to make a new slipcover for the wing chair this week. I should be able to get it done before Amy comes up this next week. Eventually the chair will go to her new home when she finds one she loves. She really loves this chair to sit in and read in it. I have to say, you do get nice and warm snuggling in it and the wings are perfect for keeping your head from flopping when you fall asleep… We bought it and its ottoman from a neighbor at his garage sale when we lived in our first home.

With all the uncertainty of this year and being ill twice with the COVID virus, I went for a simple look this year in our decor. Just some plaid on the tree and here on the coffee table.

Simple seemed the way to go this year… I’ve heard sooo many friends saying they craved simplicity this year instead of over-the-top Christmas looks! Here are all the Advent posts if you missed any of them…

Advent Week #1 ~ Advent Wreaths and Thankfulness
Advent Week #2 ~ The Candle of Peace
Advent Week #3 ~ The Candle of Joy
Advent Week #4 ~ The Candle of Love

The greatest gift of all came that first Christmas. It wasn’t wrapped in a beautiful package and set under a decorated tree. The greatest gift came wrapped in the flesh of baby Jesus and laid in the rough wood of a manger. Our perfect gift would later be rewrapped in the scars of our sin and nailed to the rugged wood of a cross on Calvary, all because of love.

Hope Bolinger

Our presents are few and unwrapped. A box from our son and his family (maybe a family portrait?? We shall see tomorror. 😉 )… Presents and Christmas ornaments which were our daughters growing up to go home with her for her future trees… A new spice rack for the kitchen in need of real organizing! A new tea kettle from Mr. Coffee to replace the one which died over Thanksgiving…

It’s all good! I made two Gothic arched windows from the leftover styrofoam from the winterizing Hubby did on the garage doors this late summer/early fall. They are really rough but it was to save $70… The ones at Hobby Lobby are on sale and I may still grab them after Christmas. ;)’

Saw some homemade Gothic arches on Laura and Aaron’s Garden Answer YouTube channel this fall and thought of creating these similar to the ones she made for their church a year or so ago.

And here is the storage box I made which should have been part of a Pinterest Challenge this fall but didn’t happen in time as I was just over being ill, so I made it after the fact. This was the beginning of the plaid theme…

My favorite photo… Grace and Peace

Silent night! holy night!
All is calm all is bright
Round yon virgin mother and child
Holy infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace!

Silent night! holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight
Glories stream from heaven afar

Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia
Christ the Saviour is born!

Silent night! holy night!
Son of God love’s pure light
Radiant beams from thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord at thy birth.

Silent Night was written and composed by Franz Xaver Gruber (music) and Joseph Mohr (words), a Christmas song of Austrian origin (as per Wikipedia.org). It is a perfect song for a perfect night, a perfect time of year.

The most perfect day in all the year…

‘Silent Night’ is a popular Christmas carol, composed in 1818 by Franz Xaver Gruber to lyrics by Joseph Mohr in the small town of Oberndorf bei Salzburg, Austria. It was declared an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO in 2011. The song has been recorded by many singers across many music genres. The version sung by Bing Crosby in 1935 is the fourth best-selling single of all-time.”

Wikipedia.org

More candles for Christ…

Grace and peace to you this Christmas,

Barb

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A Christmas Visit with Judith and Botanic Bleu

For over ten years now, Judith Stringham, who writes the blog Botanic Bleu, has hosted a Christmas sales event at her home…

Upon arriving to her home about an hour away from where we live, Judith has a couple of teuteurs set up with lights and signs. This year with the COVID virus floating around, she has signs reminding everyone to wear a mask and also that this sale is not open to the public. Visitors had to sign up for the time they wanted and then confirm that you would be coming. Love her family’s acreage!

Totally love how Judith laid sprays of greenery around the base of each teuteur then placed green Arc de Bois (Horse Apple) seed pods like holly and its leaves! Btw, those “apples” are HEAVY and I can attest that they weigh about 2-5 lbs., EACH. Several people at the campground we lived at last had their windshields broken on their cars plus their RV’s dented. Happily, you can buy just “male” Arc de Bois trees; they are the ones in the springtime which lose their “ball blossoms.” Look for those in your garden center ~ awesome shade trees!
A quick look at the front of the Stringham’s home. Her sweet kitty is just in front of the garage door on the right.

Judith, her husband and sister have built all of the pathways surrounding their home and garden over the past 20+ years. The garden shed you will see was originally just a wooden structure but evolved to become a permanent solid rock beautiful building…

Isn’t this just the cutest??! Her home is part of my inspiration in my own garden, especially the pathways. On this day early in December, Judith’s sister was staying and was helping planting out in the upper garden. Let’s go check out inside!

I really wanted the large reindeer but just couldn’t afford it… Of course, I want everything inside! 😉

The sun was peeping in and out this day so I am sorry if some of these photos are a little dark. My appointment time was in the afternoon as I was working when the sign up time opened, so there aren’t nearly as many goodies as there were still available, as can be seen at last year’s event.

One of Judith’s big sellers are her boxwood wreaths and this year she has heart-shaped wreaths as well as her signature round ones. I bought one of her small wreath last year and it is still nice and green and dried perfectly. This year I brought home little “Noel” laser-cut signs to use in my Christmas decorating and to give as gifts:

from this year’s Advent week #3 post

I also remembered that Judith found these wonderful white-handled silverware sets and since I love all white place settings, this was my big splurge this year. Mr. Ethereal and I don’t buy each other Christmas gifts anymore so we usually just say, “Go get what you want and enjoy from me!” This is his gift to me this year. 🙂

They are stainless steel and can go into the dishwasher but I will probably wash them by hand just to keep them nice. I like the ceramic Shabby Chic look of the handles…

As I am writing this post, I just noticed the cute bee skeps… I’ll have to look for those next year… I did buy a White Christmas potholder to go with the kitchen towel I found last year. I also bought a softly scented candle which came in its own pretty box; it can just be seen up on the second upper shelf to the far right.

Last year I found a couple of sweet Belsnickel Santas and Judith had a few this year available. My “pile” of goodies is right there on the bureau: the potholder, a Christmas soap, a Noel sign to hang and the little Noels, plus a large heart (reminds me of those French cemetery hearts I would see in some blogs and in former Romantic Homes magazine editor, Fifi O’Neill‘s books ~ never could find any! ~ this is a good substitute).

I loved this birdcage, too, but unlimited space and funds… Maybe next year! Hubby wants us to clear stuff out, which I agree needs to be done.

Okay, enough about what I found and loved! Isn’t this such an adorable garden shed? She has another studio towards the rear of this potting shed (you can find it in this second linked post from last year… It has three sets of French doors and chandeliers…). The studio is larger and it is where she stores many things and also where she creates her treasures.

Judith had a post earlier this fall about making new shelves inside this smaller potting shed and I believe this is one of them (upper right with fleur de lis hangers). Love how she decorates!…

If you don’t already subscribe to Botanic Bleu you should check out Judith’s blog. She is a retired teacher and administrator now saleswoman and design influencer. You’ll enjoy her beautiful home and blog posts!

Her acreage reminds me of my last family home before I was married in the town of Shingle Springs, in the Northern California foothills. Part of the Gold Country area around Highway 49, and appropriately named for the gold miners who really mapped out California from 1849 onward, Judith’s two acres with its tall oaks really remind me of my old home…

A visual treat taking the eye “beyond”…

Even piles of downed tree trunks just look “right” in this setting… I miss being surrounded by trees but that’s also why we purchased our current home. I need tall trees; they are comforting.

Funny, this post isn’t going where I thought it would?… Does this happen to you when you write?? Now you know why I have the “pen pal” part in my bio! I write generally what I think. ;)’

I am going to try and build some French Teuteurs this next year and found a pattern on another blogger’s site. I forgot to ask Judith if she built hers or purchased them. They are quite expensive to buy so I am pretty sure Judith and her husband built theirs.

Don’t you just love her French garden?!! She has been to France a number of times and has such style…

Up on the deck

Inspiration…

A real French park bench… Ahhhhh….

I hope you’ve enjoyed this look at Judith’s beautiful home and her potting shed and annual shop! If you are ever in the North Texas area, Judith has her shop open the first week in December and shares more about it on her blog and on her Facebook web page. Do come and visit!!!

Christmas hugs,

Barb

Uncategorized

Share Your Style #286

Happy Wednesday, everyone! Welcome to this week’s Share Your Style #286! 

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. I appreciate you!
 As always, I am glad that you are here… 💜

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I am Barbara Chapman and I’d love it if you’d follow me here on my blog!

My sites:  French Ethereal  Instagram  Facebook  Pinterest  YouTube

This week we are jumping right in with last-minute craft ideas from this past week’s highlights! We have fashion and tablescape ideas and a recipe or two, also. Love this time of year which brings out so many of your fun ideas!!! Hope you find lots of inspiration for buttoning up your Christmas and Hanukkah shopping…

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

No description available.
Liz at Howling Liz created this adorable Mathilda Reindeer in this short and sweet post.
Inge and Elsa of ElsaRBlog are back from Holland with this quick and easy post to make these fanned Christmas Trees!!! Really cute and oh so easy!
Tiffany of Tee Diddly Dee brings us this perfect DIY Santa’s Mailbox just in time with Christmas just over a week away! This cute letter box could easily become a Hanukkah or Kwanzaa post box, too. Tee also had another fun post, this DIY Gumball Snow Globe, which I know you will love!
paisley skirt styled 5 different ways
Shelbee from Shelbee on the Edge shows us One Thrifted Skirt Styled Five Different Ways ~ Perfect from fall all the way through winter!
Sherry at My Journey Back shares her grandson and family in this lovely post about family ~ Crazy Blessed Days. Perfect for this time of year when family is everything…
Christmas-Inspired-Bedroom-Ideas-The-Crowned-Goat-1-1 Christmas Bedroom Inspiration Christmas Holidays
CoCo over at The Crowned Goat brings us her lovely bedroom all decked out for Santa in this festive post ~ Christmas Bedroom Inspiration. Love it!!!
Pear Frangipane Tart - Tarte a la Frangipane aux Poires / www.delightfulrepast.com
Jean at A Delightful Repast shares this recipe for Pear Fragipane Tarte. Delicious!!!
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Cindy of Cindy’s Online Recipe Box brings out the best in this yummy holiday recipe ~ Bûche de Noel.
winter-woodland-deer-centerpiece
Debbee of Debbee’s Buzz shares her Woodland Tablescape in this holiday-filled post. Love love love this reindeer!!!
A christmas mantel 4
MaryJo from Master”Pieces” of My Life shared her beautiful mantel in this winter wonderland of a post ~ A Christmas Mantel. Lovely…
Debra from Common Ground is back with A Christmas Mix on the Front Porch. Love the buffalo plaid and JOY pillows!!!
Amy of A Day of Small Things shares this fun post (Can you find the elf?!) ~ Christmas Cozy in the Kitchen.

A big Thank You to everyone who linked up this past week. A special thank you to y’all for always promoting Share Your Style on your blog and on your social media channels! I do see it when I stop by and I appreciate the love. 💜

If you have been featured here at Share Your Style… Here is a button to copy to your site and to share.

If you’d like to follow my Share Your Style board on Pinterest I’d appreciate it, thank you! I do post all of the featured posts from each week’s SYS there.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Happy Christmas Time,

Barb