A Victoria-Worthy Tea in the Library

Evening light is beautiful in “The Library” as the living room is now affectionately called. The bookcases are coming along, the corner hutch is filled, and the mantel is decorated for summer.

But today is all about reading, ethereal light and tea…

Victoria is  my favorite magazine of all times ever since my sister-in-law Linnea left a few issues at my mother and father’s new home then in the early 1990’s. I came to visit and found something I didn’t even know I was looking for ~ ethereal photography in a magazine fresh and light and utterly beautiful.

The Library bathed in sunlight is the best place for reading in the late afternoon with its ethereal lighting. Beautiful light ~ a bit overblown but the light changes rapidly as the sun continues its descent beyond the oaks and fence and neighboring home outside.

Capturing a bit of the essence of Victoria’s now retired photographer Toshi Otsuki was the ideal for me…

Just beyond crickets are beginning their evening song. The robins snack at the birdfeeder just hung beyond the windows and Mr. Squirrel scoots around picking up fallen treats along the ground.

Peaceful and airy and dressed in white ~ the Golden Hour has come and one must capture it as best one can…

“Take a break,” the tea table calls to me. 

“Come read a bit and let your heart be free!”

Pulling up a chair I do sit for a bit thumbing and revisiting 
Old Friends…

Sip by sip the tiredness washes away on the dust particles floating by in the waning light.

To be lost and forgotten in a world of one’s imagination…

Sharing with
Feathered Nest Friday ~ French Country Cottage


Decorating Inspiration ~ Favorite French Finds

French furnishings  are ever timeless and right now are
so plentiful and can also be found at really good prices!
I am finding so many beautiful pieces of furniture and table decor available at local shops so today I thought I’d share
some with you.

Perhaps a piece or two is just what is needed which could just transform your home into a
little French getaway…

French inspired furniture 

Let’s begin with these beautifully carved chairs found at HomeGoods.
Right now velvet is sooo the fabric covering of choice
for designers and decorators alike!
I saw a ton of velvet covering chairs at High Point Market last fall.
First I found this lush green velvet chair and thought… Hmmm?
I could store it in our little local storage unit until we
find our next house
{plus my daughter really likes green and it would look cute at her apartment!}
Then I found the blue armchair as today’s opening photograph
and thought, oh my!
Both are nice but if I had to choose between the two?
I don’t know if I could….

A little closer detial of the carved leaves along this armchair’s upper back.  Pretty!
I really like the light stained ash or beech wood with the two different colorways of velvet.  Very pretty!
Sumptuous and sturdy this chair would wear well and the fabric would last for years before needing to be recovered.
I believe each chair was just $299.00 ~ a good price for a very
well made chair.

A photograph I put out on my Instagram account ~ love these Cinderella chairs!
Then I found these molded lucite {acrylic} armchairs perfect to pair with a vanity in one’s bathroom or to place in a girl’s bedroom
as her princess chair!
Ethereal and light enough that a young child could easily
move these chairs around they visually don’t take up much
room so they’d be perfect in a small room.
These chairs have carvings so reminiscent of that beloved French Louis styles us Francophiles love.

From left to right:  a white and gold eyelash pillow, a tufted and twisted round velvet poof,
and a beautiful garden-inspired hydrangea square pillow.

Here I wandered the store and picked out some of my favorite pillows to see what would look good with these chairs.
I love those fluffy and sparkling eyelash pillows and thought one might add a little more seat comfort if one was sitting for
a long time ~ beautiful but perhaps maybe a little big
for this style of chair.

The purple goodness of the round poof fit this chair the best
I thought.  I love it’s twisted edges and I still have yet to figure
out how that is done as these pillows are sewn.
Comfortable and beautiful this pillow would also look
good on a sofa or bed.
The hydrangea pillow was another that didn’t really fit
but was fun to try!

I had fun decorating these chairs with pillows…

These chairs remind me of last year’s post where I shared
some other French inspired furniture created by designer
Cynthia Rowley and another post where I found
more French inspiration at a mall about an hour away.

French inspired vases and table decor

As I wandered the store some more I came across this endcap with this incredible curvy vase and these creamware pieces on it!
I was sooo tempted to put it in my cart and bring it home with me but Mr. Ethereal would probably have my hide.
There just isn’t the storage available in our little Prairie Home
but I’ll definitely keep it in mind for the future.

Couldn’t you see it with fresh cut garden roses cascading about and over those gentle curves?
Or with a bouquet full of many luscious flower types reminiscent
of those fabulous bouquets found in the dark-background
Dutch-artist Vermeer paintings falling over those edges??
Very ethereal!!!

Okay, these vases were really all made in Italy but I had to include
them in my French finds because sunflowers do indeed
grow in France!
Sunflowers in French is tournesols and literally means
“turns towards the sun” and they do indeed follow the sun
from east to west.

I could have brought home any of these vases ~ they would
be just as lovely on a buffet in one’s dining room as they
would be on a side table anywhere else in the home.
Lovely vases to feature and to feature whatever beautiful
bouquets were placed inside them ~
faux, dried or fresh!

Next  I spied this toile de Jouy-covered mannequin.
Her picturesque scenes on burlap of a farmer and his lady quietly speak of harvest time.
Love the little tower with its thatched roof ~ perhaps a grainery where he stores his harvested crops??

Wouldn’t this mannequin look lovely with an apron or
ballerina tulle dress tied around her waist?
I thought so too.

Ah! Sunflower

William Blake1757 – 1827

Ah! sunflower, weary of time,

Who countest the steps of the sun,

Seeking after that sweet golden clime

Where the traveller’s journey is done;

Where the youth pined away with desire,

And the pale virgin shrouded in snow,

Where my sunflower wishes to go.

Arise from their graves and aspire;

Found this sweet poem by British poet William Blake on Poets.org
{which erroneously listed Mr. Blake as an American ~ this is the update!}
and thought it would be fun to share with you.
Did you know that you can get poems sent to the inbox
of your email everyday?  You can.

Lastly I found several clocks with French style and
a sweet patio set…
I have wanted a French mantel clock for quite some time
and this reproduction clock would do nicely!
I love the vintage look this one has with its burnished and
antiqued gilding and with its ebony case and finial.
Batteries go in the bottom in case you are wondering
so that the back can face out on a bureau or desk ~ love
how today’s modernity is hidden.
Tres magnifique!

This patio set is sweet with its faux bois legs and little
branchlets and leaves.  
It is a nice take on the French look of crafting furniture to
look like it is made from trees though it is made from iron
cement or stone.
I found a site called Hen Feathers which creates faux bois furniture and you can find their link here.
Hen Feathers shares a nice history on the making of
faux bois furnishings.

All in all a pretty round up of French
inspired furnishings…
Wouldn’t you agree?

Sharing with
Dishing It and Digging It ~ Rustic and Refined
Inspire Me Monday ~ Create with Joy
Paris in July ~ Thyme for Tea
Thursday Favorite Things ~ Petite Haus
Feathered Nest Friday ~ French Country Cottage

 A bientôt,


A Little Bit of Paris Aujourd’hui

Paris is a dream… 

 I often think of Paris and how I missed an opportunity to go and
visit The City of Lights when I was an exchange student to Germany back as a young 19 year old and new to college
and to life…

Paris  is still on my bucket list of places to visit with its
Arc de Triomphe, all the bridges leading over water into
the heart of the city, and let’s talk about the architectural
detailing and wrought iron railings on balconies!

So while  I may never have been to Paris or to any city in France ~ a girl can dream… and create a home while waiting that has a little French charm in it instead.

Bring in some lovely wicker and woven baskets and find
a long baguette basket or two at your local thriftshop
to give your kitchen some Parisian flair.
Here I’ve added this small square basket to hold our napkins
and it is often dressed up with various linens to make it
even prettier.

Beautiful  soaps on display still in their wrapper-jackets
tucked in a lightly gilded Haviland Limoge dish will add a
friendly European touch dressing up
one’s powder room.

I also like to display gifts around my home as in these small
jars of bath salts.
When left open they add a lovely scent to the room
infusing a bit of roses to clean the air.
The one jar displaying Handmade with Love was created by
Laura Ingalls Gunn who writes the blog Decor to Adore.
Here is the link to her post about creating these
sweet rose scented bath salts.

And speaking of roses…

Go anywhere in France and rose gardens will be found!
This rose garden was one I visited last fall while out visiting
Biltmore Estate.
Truly a remarkable take on a garden worthy of King Louis XV and Versaille or Malmaison and filled with David Austin roses which
were breathtakingly beautiful in their cooler weather
October bloom.

A French style garden wouldn’t be complete without somewhere
comfortable to sit while admiring those roses so be sure
to bring in a pretty metal bench.
My inspiration were those benches seen in the movies
that fill the parks in Paris and in New York City’s
Central Garden.

Turning our attention back indoors

What speaks to me of Paris are caned back chairs and twinkling chandeliers with their brilliant pendants casting their sparkling rainbows on floors and walls.
Outdoor cafés have the cutest caned chairs dressed in haute couture
black and white weavings.
While we can’t always change out our furniture whenever
we feel the urge to do so
we can take what we have and give our chairs a makeover
with some paint and a fabric cover refresh.


The City of Lights also includes fantastic mirrors in every chateau or estate and this beauty {currently with our storage in California} came home with me from Northern to Southern California
for my birthday one year.

Pier mirrors which are fairly tall mirrors are very Parisian and
so de rigueur. 
Gilded mirrors like this one at 4 1/2 feet tall really help bring
that French European feel to a room.
Plus they are quintessential to adding light to darker rooms
hallways and to areas that just need a bit more sparkle.

A tablesetting out of doors set for Valentine’s Day this past winter.


Chandeliers and table candelabras are truly something we
can all find inexpensively at our local thriftstores and add such French drama to our homes.

In our current home ~ our 41′ fifth wheel travel trailer
which I call our Prairie Home ~
we have hung up a chandelier as I needed some sparkle
and “pretty” where there was none before.

Just a little bling in any home whether small or grand definitely reminds one of Paris and its grand chateaus with their
spectacular lighting…


Although right now this lovely armoire is sitting in storage
it used to grace our upstairs hallway in our Big House.
With its large beveled mirror and carved “mermaid” along its bonnet top, an armoire is a perfect piece of furniture for holding large amounts of bed linens, quilts and the like.

In our next home it will either live in our master bedroom
and be used for holding clothing ~ as probably was its
original intention ~ or may hold a smaller television and
equipment inside and live in our future dining/living room.

Plus if the one you find is in rough shape and the marquetry
and veneers can’t be fixed ~ it’s an easy job to sand it
and paint it from top to bottom.

However a fabulous armoire is used, it is a magnificent
French addition to one’s home and equal to any task
beset before it.

Lastly  to add a little Parisian-French flair to your rooms
bring in some Old World styled paintings.
This cutie was found while thriftshopping in England about
10 years ago and with its pheasant scene
and antiqued gilding
this little painting brings in more of that je ne sais quoi
that speaks to
our French-loving hearts.

Sharing with
Paris in July ~ Thyme for Tea
Wonderful/Wordless Wednesday ~ Oh, My Heartsie Girl!
Style Showcase ~ Shabbyfufu
Feathered Nest Friday
Sweet Inspiration
Thursday Favorite Things ~ Follow the Yellow Brick Home
Keep in Touch ~ Let’s Add Sprinkles
Friday at the Fire Station ~ A Fireman’s Wife

*An update ~ this post was featured at
Feathered Nest Friday ~ French Country Cottage
Thank you Courtney!

How do you bring a bit of Paris home?

A bientôt,

Les Macaron Comes to Town ~ Une Revue Délicieux!

A new sweet shoppe has come to town
here in North Central Texas and I’d be willing to bet 
one may be
coming your way soon!
I’m talking about the shop called
Les Macaron.

Owner and manager at Les Macaron is Fabien Daure.
Les Macaron recently opened at the 
Golden Triangle Mall in Denton, Texas 
and if the line of people waiting to be served 
on the day I went is any indication, 
Les Macaron is an instant smash hit with local 
sweet-tooth aficionados. 

Serving twenty flavorful macaroons in choices such as
Belgian chocolate, raspberry, basil white chocolate,
Colombian coffee and lemon crême,
there’s sure to be a flavor to temp every palette.

The official website for Les Macaron shares that
in addition to their flavorful macaroons,
they also sell specialty coffees and pastries
gelato and gourmet chocolates and candies.
I only purchased macarons the day I went
but I did see a yummy selection of
the pastries and chocolates!
{Just a tempting reason to go back and sample some more!}

 A lovely shop with all gluten free products
and also some diabetic versions so everyone
can enjoy a piece or two!

Sharing with
Friday Features ~ Oh, My Heartsie Girl!
Friday at the Firehouse ~ The Fireman’s Wife
Share Your Style ~ The Red Painted Cottage
Vintage Charm ~ Blue Willow House
Sweet Inspiration ~ The Boondocks Blog
The Pit Stop ~ Home with Mimi

Bon appétit!

Inspirational Furnishings ~ Cynthia Rowley’s Gorgeous Furniture Pieces

Riding the downward escalator inside
at the 
Shops at Willow Bend, Plano, Texas
a couple of weeks ago
I spied this gilded bedroom beauty and 
an armchair that made my heart go

“Mimi” wing chair ~ available at Dillard’s online and in stores.
I tend to fall head over heels for rose strewn pieces
and having two upholstered couches decorated with roses 
just waiting to come out to Texas…
this lovely armchair 
would fit right into my home perfectly!

A year ago in the spring at the
Design Blogger’s Conference in Atlanta
Cynthia Rowley came and spoke during one of the
sessions about becoming a designer.
In her slides, she shared this table from her new line
which was then going to be coming out in the fall
and of course I remembered it 
because of the roses!

The Antoinette gilded upholstered bed, king size along with other Cynthia Rowley designed furnishings

The gilded twig mirror in that first photograph
{sharing again!}
is also part of her collection for
Hooker Furniture.
I love the play on faux bois with the twigs
around this gorgeous mirror!

The tables, chairs and other items you see around the 
Antionette bed and the rose armchair are also
part of the collection.
I am thinking my daughter would love
that mirrored dresser ~ it’s so glam and
Old Hollywood with its retro 1930’s/1940’s
vintage look.

One last quick photo ~ I only took a very
few photographs with my iPhone while I was
looking at these lovely pieces.
The part of me which loves anything and everything 
in a vintage French style wanted to share this 
amazing detail with you.
Loving the soft blue grey velvet
paired with the gold ormolu crest!

Trés bien, non?
Have a great Wednesday!

Sharing with
Wow Us Wednesday ~ Savvy Southern Style
Create Link Inspire
Welcome Home Wednesday ~ Five Kids a Dog and a Blog
Vintage Charm ~ The Blue Willow House
Talk of the Town ~ My Simple Home
Dishing It Digging It ~ Life and Linda
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Places to Visit ~ Fort Worth Botanical Gardens

The Rose Garden ~ a version worthy of Versaille in France.

I kinda complained to my
next door neighbors a couple
of weeks ago
since moving to Texas I hadn’t
really been anywhere fun

We made a plan to go down to the
Fort Worth Botanical Gardens
this past Thursday…

Springtime for me is all about gardens
so visiting the botanical gardens
is just about as high as 
I can get 
on my list of fun things to do!
Luckily my neighbors and 
their daughter and granddaughter
love gardens as much as I do, too!

Potted plants ~ planted with a mass of one plant {like this one} or with a main plant and then underplanted ~
are mini gardens with their own micro-climates.  Stunning and sooo simple ~ just Johnny Jump-ups.

It was a match made in Heaven!
And these gardens don’t disappoint…

We enjoyed passing wildflowers blooming
along the freeway medians
as we made our way down to Fort Worth.

Quietly bright ethereal Iceland Poppies ~ sunny side up eggs in the sunshine!

Turns out the botanical gardens are free
except for a small entry fee ($7.50) to visit
the Japanese gardens and another small fee
(I want to say it was $2.00 or $4.00?)
to go into the Conservatory, but 
we didn’t get to see in there.
It was closed for repairs.

Not to worry!  
There was much to see out
in the rest of the park!
My neighbors in a small allée of wisteria vines clamboring up and over enornous arches ~ on my next garden’s bucket list!
At 110 acres and 22 specialty gardens,
the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens
are spectacular in spring
but I can 
imagine them in all seasons.
Can you imagine the trees around the park
blazing in the fall?
There are all kinds of oaks, elms,
and maples galore ~ and 
all would come into their element
in autumn.

Heading from Versaille to Monet’s gardens in Giverny… that’s what the lily pond reminded me of… sigh!

Maiden fern peeking out of crevices between stonework ~ lovely and cool under the canopy of trees above.
Spectacular water features,
plants potted up or set into curving planters,
large fields of deciduous and evergreen trees
create vignettes everywhere one looks or 
passes into another

Part of those 22 gardens…

There’s so much to take in, to learn
from visiting a large 
park garden like
Fort Worth’s Botanical Gardens.

Here the takeaway is to plant pansies in massive
drifts of not just a few plants
but thousands!

Everywhere we went over the whole park
pansies were the mini stars of this time
right now at the gardens.

I knew this post was going to be long
as I took about 225 photos…
I’m thinking I’ll break this up and share the 
Rose Garden and the 
Japanese Garden
in a separate post.
It wouldn’t do those two gardens 
if I didn’t…

A beautiful Easter lily ~ perfect for this time of year!
In yesterday’s wildflower post 
I wrote about
seeing so many bluebonnets and primroses
along the sides of roads and highways
all around North Central Texas.
At the gardens here, drifts of snapdragons are 
like their wilder lupine cousins
with their large flowers
running up and down their stalks.
Standing tall in a vertical blaze of color glory.

Well, let’s end here for today ~ I’ll pick
up again in a post
in a couple of days…

Photo from a breakfast tea earlier this month.

I’ll switch gears and take us back 
indoors to share an 
Easter table setting next 
to gear up for Easter Sunday,
of which 
that lily above plays a part…

Happy Tuesday!
Barb 🙂

Sharing with
Wow Us Wednesday ~ Savvy Southern Style
Totally Terrific Tuesday ~ The Savvy Apron


Finding French Inspiration…

the pastry case at Rockafellas 
Everything this year is
coming out French…

I’m finding French~inspired items
everywhere I go…

When we went out for dinner about a month ago, 
and finding
Rockafellas Restaurant
which is not exactly a French bistro
but does have a patisserie case 
plum full of perfect French pastries!
It’s more pastrami sandwiches with try-tip roast
thrown in for yummy deliciousness
than a fancy French restaurant
but it had that essence…
{loving the black & white awning over the front door!}

I brought home two French cookies called
biscuits or galettes 
and an enormous rocky road cake for 
our family to try.

The cake was wonderfully chocolatey
and these cookies
were light and buttery!
Perfect with a cup of tea…

Then I found these sweet little paper blocks with 
French wording on them over at
Joann Fabrics.

In April, our son and his university track and field team flew out to California
for several college track meets and I stayed at the
Holiday Inn Buena Park.
Out in their back garden courtyard,
I found this lovely sitting area.
More French-inspired etherealness!

Here are a few more pieces I think of
when thinking of…

French style…
More from 
Joanne Fabrics.

Target also has new 
Shabby Chic items
in their bedding department
and I always find French~
inspired goods there!
Baskets are also big again this year
and Target has a bunch!

This chandelier I found on Pinterest, I think. 
Years ago I found a similar one in an antique shop in Idaho.
It was about $100 and a little smaller
but the same glass~style bobeche candle drip~catchers…
{I knew I should have bought it then!}

Of course we couldn’t leave off roses!
Makes me think of Empress Josephine’s garden
and the hundreds of rose bushes
she had surrounding her
La Petite Malmaison.
You can click on the link above to visit there…
Redouté was her botanist and would paint the roses
he pollenated and grew there,
those that we see forever blooming
in his watercolor prints and paintings…

Lastly, another shot of these ethereal purple blooms!
I know there are many types of lavender
being in California most of the time
and never having been to France,
{though I almost got to go there for a weekend when I was 19
and an exchange student to Germany!}
I’m not sure if this is a type of lavender or not.
There are tiny lavender bells on this flowering bush
and bees were buzzing around
trying to drink up its pollen.
Quite lovely!

Until we meet again, à bientôt,

Monsieur Rabbit Comes to Tea!

Time for tea!
Monsieur Rabbit came to tea
the other day…

First, Monsieur ate a little salad with his sandwich
sipped on a large teacup filled with iced tea
(since it was a hot day).
He also ate the season’s tastiest green grapes
with just a hint of frost
on their cool spring~green skins.

After chatting awhileabout the wonderful weather
the area has had of late,
Monsieur was delighted to nibble on
wonderful chocolat in his muffin!
“Perfaitement délicieux!” enthused
my new friend.
“Mais bien sûr,”
But, of course, I replied with the utmost sincerity.
“Another muffin?”
“S’il vous plait!”
And so we enjoyed each other’s company whiling away
 the warm afternoon,
sipping tea, 
listening to birds chattering in the trees,
and a more contented day 
there never was…

A bientôt, dear friends!

Thrifting in the New Year

Happy New Year to you!

My husband and I have been visiting with family
just for a few days
over the New Year’s holiday.
The day after driving up Highway 99,
I invited my nephew to go thriftshopping.
Turns out it’s something he likes 
to do!

We visited several thrift stores throughout the suburbs of Sacramento. He found books and record LP’s to enjoy,
and I found a bunch of fun silver-plate and solid silver
goodies! But that’s another post!

As we were out and about, we came across a consignment shop called Sunrise Consignment Center and we turned into the driveway…

The antique mirror that I was considering. Most likely manufactured by the same company as the one we have over our family room fireplace.
This is a really nice consignment store
with lovely period and reproduction pieces!

My husband found an antique miner’s or jeweler’s scale, possibly for weighing gold, today when we went back to look at the shop.

This area is where the California Gold Rush of 1849 
began of course so it’s nice to see that you can still find
a “little gold” and antiques around from California’s earlier days! 

Some other things at this shop were nice decorator pillows and furniture that is higher-end, clocks, vintage violins, and garden patio sets. My nephew also found 
an vintage Coca~Cola dispensing machine he would like to have had. I found several hutches and armoires,
buffets and French coffee tables, and several
French-style gilded mirrors!

My birthday is in a few days so I talked with my husband later in the afternoon about the two mirrors.

It’s not always in the budget to purchase such a lovely piece, but it’s also often true that lovely pieces aren’t always to be found, or for a good price.


He asked me to draw up where
this mirror would go.

I thought it would be lovely

up on the wall of our staircase.

He was afraid it was too big.

I created the “mirror” then cut it out to fit on the wall ~ I had forgotten that! Lol!

He needed to see itWould I draw it for him?
Of course!

The first sketchings are above, top.

The second drawings are more to scale with measurements given over the phone of the landing’s wall by our daughter, who was at home that day from work, are below that.

Thank you, Amy!!!

Our mantel mirror at home over the fireplace ~ it used to be in the dining room.  The five antique rose-strewn bowls arched over the white mirror there are set to go around this mirror.

Ultimately, it was the larger pier mirror
I hoped would come home with us.
Both were beautiful and the other one
would be lovely inside our maison.

It came down to already having one so similar.

Will share this mirror again when it’s mounted
in its new home.


Sharing with:

Centerpiece Wednesday @
*still when I was just learning about link parties… ;)*

So glad to be sharing with you!

I hope you have a
great year this year! 

Happy New Year to you!