Winter Photography Fun in the Fall… More From South Dakota

How much  is that doggie in the window?  So sings the song and it was especially apropos on this early fall snow day at our son and daughter-in-love’s home.  
Our trip to South Dakota just a short time ago was plumb packed with apple picking, 
Mall of America shopping and lots of photographic moments like this one.

Come along as we enjoy a little fall snow fun!…

Snow is  enchanting when there is just a dusting of it on the ground ~ it is a bit magical with each tiny snowflake sparkling as the sun peaks through the clouds and sets it aglow.
Our son and daughter-in-law’s dogs were excited to go out and play in the snow as was I.

 Snow is also fun to enjoy from a dog’s point of view.

Luna ~ part Siberian Husky, collie and sheltie, if I remember right.  She has the long nose and a collie’s face with those pale blue husky’s eyes!  Striking!!!

Part of what I wanted to accomplish while I was visiting was to try and capture Luna and Bandit’s expressions.

Bandit ~ like his name, he is hard to photograph.  A bit shy and very quick, I had to focus on his body where I thought his face would be later and click-click to get him to turn.  Love this of him!

I started taking pictures the first morning after we arrived.

This photo of Luna I had to sharpen ~ she moved ever so slightly as the shutter clicked.  Also added a bit of blue to her eyes, backed off the whites and highlights.  Decreased the blacks.  🙂
The lead photograph for this post says it all.
Luna and Bandit are best friends; attached
at the hip.
Where one goes so does the other.

Happy with these pics I then went on to shoot pics
of the October snow day outside.
According to the weatherman this day and snowfall tie the record for the earliest day since recorded snow in Sioux Falls history.

This was just a study of leaves and eaves.
Ha ha, pun not intended.

I love how the snow highlights the rolled up
garden hose…

Pristine snow and leaden skies with just a
hint of blue…

The doormat says it all…

A neighbor’s cute entryway.
How much  is that doggie in our homes’ windows
waiting patiently for us to return each day ~ our best sparkling home decor ever??


Sharing with
Friday Features ~ Oh, My Heartsie Girl!
Sweet Inspiration ~ The Boondock’s Blog
Thursday Favorite Things ~ Katherine’s Corner

If you missed Photography Lessons at the Falls of Sioux Falls or apple picking at Country Apple Orchard just click on these highlighted sections.  🙂

Sweet doggie dreams,

$10 Antique Store Challenge ~ Sweet S&P Shakers

This summer was such a whirlwind of activity!
With taking our daughter and all of her worldly possessions 
to her new home and to a new job in Texas,
then turning our car~compass northward and
heading up to our 
son and daughter~in~love’s wedding…
Anyway, I never got to share all of the places that we visited,
the quirky cool things that we saw 
{TEXAS itself was HOT being that it was summertime but it is COOL 
as it has some really neat BIG THINGS there!}

I have more fun places and ideas
to share with you
these cute salt and peppers
are a little part…

As we were almost but not quite
to my son’s new
home state of South Dakota
{after the long haul driving out of Oklahoma, through Kansas, into Nebraska,
and into Iowa ~ after the previous day’s driving up through the top of Texas}
when we made a pitstop at a little area just before
Sioux City, Iowa.
We still had an hour’s driving time before reaching Sioux City,
so it was a nice to stop for awhile.
I had a bit of free time to visit 
this antique shop that I mentioned
I would get around to writing up in my last post
$10 Antique Store Challenge ~ Sweet Salt & Pepper Shakers
Finders Keepers
Antique Mall & Coffee Shoppe
2085 Crossroads Drive, I-29 & Hwy #2, Exit #10
Percival, Iowa 51648

 Finders Keepers is right off the highway
there in Percival, Iowa.
I’ll have an article written up
for you hopefully by tomorrow sharing all that I found 
for you!
While looking around though seeing what
Finders Keepers had and snapping a few photos
that I could share with you…
I found these little 
doggie salt and peppers
and thought they looked an awful lot like
our Yoda.
What do you think?? You be the judge!
Here’s Yoda happy and playful during a recent walkabout.
Here’s the photograph I was thinking these
little doggies looked somewhat
like, far right:
Well, there’s the one {ok, two!} things
I purchased that weren’t t-shirts
a gift for someone else 
from our two~week trip this summer!

Happy Saturday!

Sharing with
Wordless Wednesday ~ Create with Joy

Crafts to Make ~ French Toile de Jouy Dog Bed Cover

Yoda testing out his new bed cover last night after it was just completed!  He approved! 

With the tiniest hint of fall 
in the early morning air
grocery stores beginning to put out their 
fall produce for sale 
along with all of the seasonal 
berry pies 
This year’s crop of gourds and pumpkins
should be coming in just around the corner…
With this, I’m feeling
energized and ready 
for a little fall cleaning
plus I’m feeling a little
sewing bug coming on!

My “sewing table”
I’ve have a list of simple projects
I want to get done for our
Tiny House this fall 
one of these projects includes something for
our little dog 

Laying out the fabric over the current insert ~ rough-measuring leaving an inch over beyond each edge for the seam allowance ~ past the sides’ midpoints ~ where the top and bottom are sewed together.

Yoda’s dog bed has been
in need of some 
for quite some time…

We found his dog bed
about ten years ago at

when we first picked him up from the
Animal Friends of the Valley 
Animal Shelter
in Lake Elsinore ~
not too far from
where we were
living in our Big House.

Yoda snoozing during our trip across country this summer.

The main body
is still holding up
 I haven’t found anything like this
with which to replace it
I thought I’d make him a new padded inside piece
to sleep on
as the current one is flat and bunching up
when washed… a lot…

But first I wanted to make
the cute outside cover
I’m heading back to my
French Ethereal roots
using this really pretty
100% cotton dusky aquamarine blue
toile de jouy fabric 
I found recently while browsing the
craft section at

Just like eating your favorite dessert 
before dinner ~
it’s loads more fun to make
the finished cover first!
And I will go back later and make
a new insert with muslin and new stuffing,
but for now
I had to make this cover!
I am loving this fabric!!!
Oo la la!

Here you can see how I draped the fabric 
over the insert and didn’t pull it taught but 
let it “fall” into the padded area.
This creates the extra needed 
seam allowance and “give”
to later stuff with a new insert.
I sewed a normal 5/8″ seam allowance
around the dog bed cover, then snipped every 
1/2″ or so around the curves to make the piece 
lay flat once turned and ironed.
Tools of the trade: embroidery scissors for snipping threads, quilter’s pins {I like these ever so much better than those short pins we all grew up with for sewing!}, various scissors {I can’t locate my good Ginghers… 🙁 }, and a small box I like to keep my seam rippers and sewing machine dusting brush in.  I think there’s a small Exacto knife in there, too. 🙂

Day Two {rather Evening 2}

I debated about how to close this cover
and decided to use buttons
as I’d like to be able to whip this doggy bed cover off
to the laundry whenever it is in need 
of a washing.

So, I added an extra piece of fabric to the bottom piece’s 

seam allowance, right sides together. Then, after sewing up the side 
edges equal with the opening’s size, I reversed the “pocket” 
now~created then folding under its remaining raw edge over the 
original seam which was then stitched closed.  This will
become the part where I will sew the buttons.  
This whole piece will be unseen once flipped 
inside.   The top piece will get button holes once I know
what size buttons I am using.  For now, Yoda get a 
free~flapping bed cover!

Trés Magnifique! 
And there you have it…
A not too difficult dog bed cover 
that is contemporary
and classic…
and so much more 
suits my 
Shabby French Style!

Have a great Monday,
and let me know what fall projects
you are working on!

Blessings to you,
Barb 🙂

Sharing with ~
Create Link Inspire ~ The Crafty Blog Stalker
WOW Us Wednesdays ~ Savvy Southern Style
Feathered Nest Friday ~ French Country Cottage


A New Year ~ A New Home

The first cool Saturday morning we had in September, I set out to bake some of my banana chocolate chip muffins!

A new year for
French Ethereal~

Of course as you know we are no longer living in our
lovely home in the town of Murrieta, California…

Our new home is a travel trailer approximately 27′ in length
and about 8′ wide ~ one tenth the size (basically!)
of the home we just vacated as the sale 
 finally went through in August 2015.

Yoda enjoying one of his daily walks at beautiful Lake Skinner!  Yoda thinks all 14000 acres belong to him and her barks at
every new dog that comes out to camp.
{And also at the dogs who belong to other camp hosts who live here! Lol!}

Life full-time in a 27′ trailer has its challenges, cooking being one of them! The extra-large cutting board provides some
much needed counter space (of which in this trailer… There is NONE.)
We use the stove to dry dishes set into the stovetop’s wrought iron
grates propped up on their sides, and ALL dishes have to be washed after every meal.

We ended up moving our trailer several times already
for various reasons.
One of which is… We have become “camp hosts” which means we are here to help folks who are camping
if they have a need or there is a problem
after hours.

So far, so good!

Lovely little flower blooming in the wild grasses surrounding the campgrounds.

Where one door closes… God opens another ~
I spent a lot of this year really stressed knowing that we would have to leave our home of 12 1/2 years.
We put EVERYTHING and I do mean everything
into two 10′ x 25′ storage units.

There were many tears, fits of anger, depression,

the works…

we are on the other side now and I think God was
very loving, very gracious and very sure that He knew 
we would love being here in a beautiful area with
many species of birds,
raccoons, skunks, mule deer, 
bobcat, and coyotes
(Yoda loves sniffing for all of the new animals!).

I’ll share the photos of the inside of our home

in another post soon,
but for now this will be all.

I’ll share some of the craziness of trying to make

good meals
while having to pull up every seat cushion
to get at the right pots and pans!
But, truly, this is a lovely place to be
and since 
French Ethereal rolls with the punches,
and I was once called

French Ethereal 
will be evolving with the changes…

Just a quick post on this Tuesday evening

to let you know I miss visiting with you
I will be trying to post more
and share 
The New French Ethereal!!!

Blessings to you, always,

Welcome to French Ethereal!

Happy Friday, Everyone!

My name is Barbara, but I go by Barb most of the time.
I am married and have two children in college.
My daughter is studying art
and my son is studying 
broadcasting and journalism.  

Our house is a French ranch-style home
set into the rolling hills of Southern California.
My style is French country, Shabby Chic,
a bit Victorian with Prairie-style all thrown in!

I like that ethereal quality of English gardens, 

graceful statues, boxwood, 
potted plants under the patio
of course,

Original header over when French Ethereal was hosted on Weebly. 

Inside, I like that etherealness of
airy fabrics, white and floral china,
chintzes and toiles,
gilded or over brushed mirrors.

(Photographs are of our Pekingese 
our backyard garden!)

On a separate note:

I have been hand-sewing since I found my mother’s 
sewing box when I was seven-years-old. 
At 10, I created dolls with cotton balls, paperclips,
old pantyhose and embroidery floss.
I learned how to embroider
and cross-stitch next.

My parents gave me my first sewing machine when 

I was in 9th grade.
My first sewing project with it wasn’t an apron, though 
I now really like them!
It was a three-tiered sleeveless dress
out of eyelet fabric with ribbons sewed 
on the tiers’ edges.

I ripped out that zipper several times, 

but that dress was totally ethereal at 15!!!
I also made Barbie doll clothes that summer
for my first boyfriend’s little sister.

When my children were young, I sewed

baby blankets and tooth fairy pillows, dresses 
and Easter outfits.  
As they grew, the sewing included patches on 
Scout and soccer uniforms.

Today, I sew slipcovers for chairs and sofas, 

paint rooms in our home, 
decorate and redecorate for the seasons,
designing projects as I go. 

Come along with me as we

create a bit of 

French Ethereal-ness together!