Share Your Style #293

Happy Wednesday, everyone! Welcome to this week’s Share Your Style #293!

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…

I am Barbara Chapman and I’d love it if you’d follow me here and/or on my other social media sites, thank you! 🙂

My sites:  French Ethereal  Instagram  Facebook  Pinterest  YouTube

Here’s what I shared this past week…

Well last week was a complete bust blogging-wise, wasn’t it? We had no internet from Valentine’s Day Sunday morning until late Friday or Saturday morning, I forget now. I just know that once we had internet service again, I was busy WRITING!!!

I had all of my principal photography done, I just couldn’t create any posts… But, since so many people were without power and heat, nor still some without water here in Texas (something some of our school families are experiencing right now because of major water main pipes freezing in last week’s storms), losing the internet was nothing in the scheme of things.

I do have FOUR back-to-back posts up for you this week:

This morning’s blog hop ~ A Hopping Good Spring Mantel Display, part of a new hop you will want to check out: Blogging Seasonal Inspiration with Terrie of Decorate and More With Tip and Cindy of The Crowned Goat. Do stop by and maybe look to join the fun!
And yesterday’s monthly Pinterest Challenge: Looking to Spring ~ A Sofa Table Vignette.

And here are this week’s featured posts…

Niky from The House on Silverado brings us our first feature with this easy DIY Farmhouse Coffee Mug Stand! I love how she used these hanging hooks!
Vintage natured inspired vignette with vintage bird pictures, vintage books, evergreens, pinecones, and moss hearts in a vintage wire heart basket
Amber from Follow the Yellow Brick Home brings us this lovely Nature-Inspired February Vignette. I love old bird and botanical lithographs and prints, don’t you?
Havarti Dill Mac & Cheese with Pulled Pork
Newcomer Estelle of Homemade on a Weeknight shares her recipe for Havarti Dill Mac and Cheese with Pulled Pork! Oh, man!!! Looks good, huh? ;)’
Welcome, Estelle!!!
MaryJo of Master”Pieces” of My Life shared her lovely remake of some baskets she had in this DIY post ~ Weathered Baskets DIY. (Personally, I want the basket above!)
Stylish Monday
Shelbee from Shelbee on the Edge has a new series you might want to check out ~ Stay at Home Date Night! Stylish Mondays. I love fashion sites and that’s why I often include those here for you because I think we all like to see what’s new (and pre-loved vintage, too!).
I am sooo stinkin’ proud of Katie of The Preppy Empty Nester! Here is her journey through weight loss (thought this was appropriate since we just got through the holidays!) and how we can change our dietary habits, too ~ Rules and Tools of My Weight Loss Journey. Way to go!!!

Honorable Mention

Valeria of J East of Eden shared a wonderful DIY knitting post but I couldn’t pick up any of the photographs of her knitting; HOWEVER, I could pick up this gem, which was in the sidebar! (Soooo me!!! )
I cracked up when I read this and I hope you will, too. Seriously, though, do stop by and check out Valeria’s Mod Denim Knit Kitchen Towel post. All the instructions and several knitting photos are right there to follow in this “How To.”

And that’s it for this week, friends!

Thank you to everyone who linked up this past week! I appreciate you! 🙂

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Big hugs,

Barb 🙂


North Texas’ Snow-pocalypse/Snowmageddon!!! ~ A Photo Retrospective

“Welcome to Texas weather! Just wait 10 minutes and it’ll change…” I heard this phrase a lot when we first moved here to North Texas in late 2016, and long-time residents weren’t kidding!!! That first year we experienced snow right after Christmas with temps in the teens (in our very thin-walled first trailer ~ not a four-season trailer!), biting “chiggers” (which are really a type of mite), puss caterpillars (a nasty stinging creature which looks like a white cocoon in the grass ~ treat with rubbing alcohol on the skin, btw), stinging nettles and poison ivy…

One of two puppies out on the front porch…
Love the snow on these guys!! Here is the other cement puppy following our real pup, Mr. Yoda, who actually really enjoys snowdays!!! This old tea pot is now used for watering plants ~ a good recycle idea. 😉
Yoda also really enjoys racing back inside for his rub-down with a towel to dry his paws, belly and cheeks, which always get snowy from sniffing for squirrels… ;)’
“It’s cold, Mama!”

Five years on, we are finally getting used to Texas’ swinging weather patterns and even the summer heat and humidity we are warming up to…

With this week’s crazy cold snowstorms across much of Texas, I thought I’d share some of our amazingly beautiful snowy weather with you that we’ve had on this Valentine’s Day and throughout this past week! And I have to tell you, I am so glad to be back up and running with internet. I cleaned around the house on Sunday afternoon, and I could work on crafts, I just haven’t felt like doing much, really. This winter has been all about rest for me and it’s enough to just work in the garden when the weather is nice and to create a few vignettes to share with you.

Have you felt the same this winter season?

Anyway, with notifications about the coming polar vortex broadcast the previous weekend, it was good to finish up planting the hollies and boxwood and get back inside! The garden was as prepped as it could be for this “Snow-pocalypse,” as my friend Kristen called it at school one day.

Snowmageddon for Valentine’s Day and beyond

I haven’t been able to get on the internet since early Sunday morning, so… All the posts I wanted to share for this week are getting out to you late. However, it has been a peaceful, restful week with schools closed down, most businesses throughout North Texas are also closed, no trash pick-up or mail service because they can’t get through, and interruptions in electricity a reality.

Many people are still without any source of heating due to power lines being down, so we are fortunate to have had only a few power outages here in our area. Our main issue is now unsafe drinking water, so we must boil for the time being… Really, a minor inconvenience if there ever was one!

Great job, Ferrell Gas!!! This was Tuesday, 2/16/21.

I did go driving around two days ago to get our 30# propane tank filled in case we needed it for heating (Hubby will set up the tent heater inside our fireplace WITH the flue open!) and/or for cooking outside on the grill. We haven’t needed it, but kuddos major to Ferrell Gas here in Denton, Texas, for their employees! These young men stayed long past their shifts had ended and kept filling bottle-after-bottle of propane for customers!!!

This was only half of the bottles… More were lined up around the corner to my left (where my bottle was). I came back to Ferrell Gas after 7:00pm, after getting some groceries and having some dinner, to see how far my bottle had moved (several customers had stayed most of the day and had helped move bottles forward throughout the day). I helped move bottles forward for the rest of the evening.

Ferrell Gas would get their power on in 1 hour blocks, so the young men could only fill during that golden hour, then they would have to wait until the next time the power was switched on. They needed power to run the gas pumps, but otherwise the gas was flowing just fine!

For those of us still at Ferrell Gas at 8:00pm when the power went off, if you stayed until 9:00pm when the power came on again, the two men filled our bottles as the last for the night, and everyone stayed and helped move ALL of the remaining unfilled canisters inside the barbed wire-enclosed area, keeping them in order of drop-off.

I think this was pretty cool as customers had written their names and telephone numbers on each of their propane tanks and everyone present kept these canisters in order as they were being trudged over, passed forward and moved behind the gated area. The men would fill them all beginning at 7:00am the next morning. There were well over 100 propane canisters left to fill…

City of Denton water trucks fitted with the few snowplows they have. Woot!!!

At the time I was out, Mr. Ethereal kept me updated with power losses so I decided to try and find fast food to bring home… McD had been open but their power was cycling, too (my guess) so I got out of that line, checked Jack in the Box next door but it, too, was cycled off.

KFC was open across the street and doing a booming business ~ it took an hour to get food but everyone waited patiently in line to order. Only a few selections were available, but hey! This beggar wasn’t choosey!!! The chicken was hot and tasty!

One no-no photo when I was slowly driving home… (No one was around…) It was 9:30pm. and the snow was beautiful!!! I couldn’t resist…
A car came into view just as I was taking the time-lapsed photo so the tail end of his lights appear center-back, which I love.

The first big snow…

I can’t remember now if this was Sunday, Valentine’s night (I think so) or the next night, Monday, 2/15/21, but I bundled up and trekked outside to shoot some photos in the 12 degree F weather. The wind wasn’t blowing so the cold wasn’t as biting and it was beautiful…

***ps I found another use for our PPD masks!!! They are great for keeping your face from freezing!

Our backyard (the test photo) under the first snows…
Shooting up the adjacent street in our subdivision… If I’d had a pair of 170cm skiis, boots, bindings and poles, I’d have come down this “bunny hill” for hours!!!
A visitor to our new birdfeeder… Hubby went out Monday around noon and picked up some new birdseed and a bag of sunflower seeds (after this was taken). The cardinals, pyrrhuloxia (a much larger cardinal), sparrows and chickadees are now really happy!
See? It’s a monster bird, these pyrrhuloxia! Must be 8-9″ in length though my bird book says it is a “medium sized bird.” Not these guys! Maybe it is a junco of sorts??
(Taken with my iPhone 7; blown up/resaved)

The Backyard

The first snow storm was a lot of fun and this is what we woke up to on Valentine’s Day with a few flurries throughout the day… Just a few inches of powered sugar snow, which when the sun came out on Monday, it sparkled!

Tuesday afternoon after the night’s second big snowfall.

It’ll be a few weeks before I know if I need to cut down any canes on the roses and what plants didn’t make it, but the roses should be fine. They have been covered with straw or leaves since Saturday and Sunday morning.

Most of the plants I purchased this fall are all cold-hardy down to -20 to -30 degrees, even the new hydrangea. I do have one lavender under straw and under a frost blanket along with the three camellias in the planter under our MBR window. It may or may not make it. I just didn’t have time that last Sunday to dig it up as it was getting dark…

This is partly why I put in the French fence here… To put this urn next to it with its sweet boxwood ball. <3 I hope to find another fencing piece identical to it to put in opposite along the fence, to create an entryway to this garden area.

The lavenders and smaller hydrangeas planted in pots, Mr. Ethereal helped me truck those indoors to the garage on Saturday ahead of the storms. The bougainvillea I already had in the garage along with the two unplanted rosemary plants.

The rosemary topiary and two mini agapanthus are inside the dining room near the windows. I sure hope we can build a new garden shed/greenhouse this year! It’d be a lot easier to haul them in there. 😉

This was definitely the first stormy day as the snow was low in the bowl. Now it looks like a bubble on top!

Our little angel’s head wreath crown is now the brim of her wintertime bun hat! So fun to go out and photograph when it sunny!

Love this photograph of our big girl… Wish I had thought to move the carpet junk out to the trash area just beyond the gate, but oh well!

Going out for milk

Tuesday was bright and cheery! I took Yoda for the shortest of walks around the house but he didn’t want to go far on Valentine’s Day, so he has only gone out for restroom breaks.

Me? I am ready for a hike, friends!!!

Well, this is getting long so I’ll stop here for now!

Hope you have enjoyed this small tour of North Texas snows. It is the coldest it has been here in Texas since 1898 when settlers began keeping records, from one story I heard on the radio.

This IS still considered prairie country so no doubt there have been many, many years of really cold weather before 1898, when these were just windswept prairies… Before all the buildings were built and towns and cities grew up, when just cowboys and cattle roamed the small hills and valleys of Denton County…

Someday when you come to the D/FW area of Texas, come check out the Stockyards down in Fort Worth! Lots of history about Texas’ early cattle-driving days…

Keep warm, friends!

Barb 🙂


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


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,



Share Your Style #280


Happy Share Your Style Wednesday, y’all! Welcome to this week’s Share Your Style #280This link party is for home decor, DIY, crafts, recipes and the like, but you are more than welcome to share 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… 💜

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! 💜 Thank you for all your well-wishes, dear friends… I am feeling much better. I finally was able to get into a primary care office yesterday and I began antibiotics today to clear out the rest of the pneumonia. 

I am scheduled to go back to work next Thursday. Discussions have been texting back and forth on really cracking down on our students to wear their masks 100% of the time… Pray, would you?, that I don’t get the virus again and that our school can get through this and get healthy. Thank you! 💜

Here’s what I shared this past week at

French Ethereal…

A Few Fall Pillow Finds ~ My small pillow fettish… 😄 Best part? Most of these are reversible and I love the checks on the backsides for seasonal decorating!!!

And here are this week’s featured posts…

Jeanie from The Marmelade Gypsy shares a lovely post about visiting a sweet farm restaurant ~ An Autumn Celebration Continues. You’ll have to head over and congratulate Jeanie on the reason why!!! Love this post with its maiden statue, another Grinam Niam!

Debra over at Common Ground shares her cupboards in this fun Halloween and Thanksgiving decor post ~ October Whimsy in the Holiday Cupboard. Love all the gorgeous dishware!

Thelma of Thel’s Kitchen shares her recipe for Red Cabbage Slaw and her homegrown cabbages and more in this yummy post!

Simple-Thanksgiving-Tablescape-Ideas-The-Crowned-Goat-6 Simple Thanksgiving Tablescape Ideas Decorating Thanksgiving

CoCo at The Crowned Goat shared a past Thanksgiving table which I love for its simple beauty… And that monster turkey tureen! ~ Simple Thanksgiving Tablescape Ideas.


Debbee of Debbee’s Buzz  shares this wonderful Craft – Thanksgiving Bread Cornucopia and Pumpkin Rolls. Can you believe how beautiful this edible display is?! Wonderful…

Penny of Penny’s Treasures shared this early Christmas post ~ Vintage Sewing Machine Drawer ~ for making a Christmas planner. Love the sweet decoupaged vintage pics!

Honorable Mention

Rachelle of My Hubbard Home shared a yummy recipe for The Very Best Ginger Cookies for Fall Treats. Wish I could share a photo but some new programs won’t let me bring over any photographs. Happy to share the link, though, and these cookies look super delicious!

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 linking!


Planting New Urns for Fall


Falling in love… I have been on the hunt for a while for a couple of beautiful urns to brighten up our front yard. I like the idea of planting them for each season and this is the perfect time of year for showing off autumn’s beautiful offerings…

I was thrilled to find two identical cement urns near me at a beautiful nursery Schmitz Garden Center in Flower Mound, Texas, over the October 12th-Columbus Day long weekend. I got these for a good price, I think. 

Rarely do I ask at nursery centers, but this day I did:  I asked if they could do a little better on the price if I took both, and I was given an extra 15% off.

The nurseryman loaded them up for me and on home we went!

On Monday, I wheeled our heavy garden cart around front and went to work trying to wrestle an urn out of the middle of our SUV. You see, the back hatch latch is broken (again…) so we can’t open the tailgate. It’s a cheap plastic part and Mr. Ethereal has to have a day to pull off the inside parts and replace the thing. It broke the weekend before…

So what do you think of the urns?? They are about 14″ tall by 24″ across and about 6″ deep. At first I was thinking maybe they were too shallow, but after planting them and realizing you can just pile up more dirt in the center, now I am really excited about them!

I really like how they look after planting them with just a few pansies, one big deep pink mum, and a little hanging vine in each urn. They add a nice formality to our small front porch area.

This photograph is really overexposed but it shows our fall porch well… Happy and balanced!

Totally in love… Now to convince Mr. Ethereal we need to expand out the left-hand garden bed to make both sides match better. 😉

A nice way to say hello to our second fall in our still 
new-to-us home… 🍂🍁

Sharing with:
Thursday Favorite Things ~ Follow the Yellow Brick Home
Friday at the Fire Station ~ A Fireman’s Wife

Featured at:


Fall Decorating Ideas, Fall Crafts and Fall Recipes

Hope your fall has been just as 
beautiful, friends,

Our Fall Garden and Potting Bench


Welcome to  our autumn garden! Fall’s cooler days have brought about a renaissance of blooms on the roses and all of the plants have perked up. My joy this weekend has been photographing the season’s changes and a bit of decorating on the potting bench…

Friday after work, I stopped by Lowe’s garden center and picked up more cement pavers for the pathway to match the ones put in by previous owners. I also picked up more bricks to use around and under potted plants here in the back garden. 

Hubby and I went out to lunch on Saturday and he found some much needed sneakers at our local sporting goods store. We then stopped by First United Methodist Church’s annual pumpkin patch, of which I totally forgot to put any pumpkins in the above display… 🎃
After two more trips to Lowe’s on Sunday, I was finally ready to decorate our potting bench for fall! Charles had seen some mini bales of hay (identical to these) last weekend so I looked for some to bring home. These are perfect for fall displays and will be useful for packing around plants as protection as the nights really begin to dip into the 30’s and below. 

The Generous Gardener is just beginning its fall blooming… It is a soft 
pink normally but is showing off as almost totally white. It is also the 
lead photo of this post. In the middle of fighting white flies and 
spider mites…
Seventy five degrees was the high on Sunday with Saturday’s high coming in at just over 80 degrees. It was an absolutely perfect weekend to be out of doors working in the yard! 

Remember in the olden days when we called this Indian Summer? That cooler time between the heat of summer but not quite the cold of later fall? 

It is still my absolute favorite time to garden… Not politically correct anymore to call it that anymore, but I still think of it this way.

I moved Sceptre d’Isle back to its usual spot near the brick wall and close to our Garden Maiden. I need to look for new plants to try here in this area since the two camellias, which did sooo well last year, croaked either from over-watering or just from the stress of summer’s savage heat and high humidity.

I lost one small rose, one of the new ones I had bought this past spring, also due to the summer heat. Thankfully, the older mature roses all made it just fine, other than spider mites (which I didn’t catch early enough).

We have been back building out in the garden as we move around the corner of the house out into the side garden. There is an area at the far back corner, which since the addition of the water softener unit last year, seems to me to be a perfect place for utilitarian uses. 

I’ll share more of that area later this week as we finish up this newest project but here’s how the pathway is coming along. You can see how “new” the pavers I just purchased look in contrast to the other older ones which were sunk into the ground. Time and rain’s muddiness should even that up, though.

We moved the potting bench on Saturday to protect it from the coming rainstorms. Eventually it will go inside the new larger shed, when we finally decide which one we want.

As summer sales happened in August, I found a couple of chair cushions I liked so although they don’t exactly fit the bench, they are very comfortable and add a nice navy and white to the area. The colors repeat the colors in the weave of the bistro chairs, which looks smart.

It was fun to look around for items to place out on the potting bench to dress it up! I found the larger French pot at Hobby Lobby early in the summer and it matches another smaller white one I found several years ago.

So that’s how things are going in our neck of the woods. How is your fall gardening going? Anything new growing? Have you begun decorating for fall and/or Halloween?  Let me know what you’ve been up to in the comments below. 💝

Happy gardening,

Sunday Sentiments ~ Our September Garden and Fall’s To-Do List


Fall is definitely falling around the North Texas/DFW area and with it Mr. Ethereal and I have been busy working on a list of projects to finish before the ground freezes, the air gets too nippy, and just some general clean-up. Our first project is the one he made for me ~ it is this lovely garden bench…

Using treated and untreated pine lumber, he built this as a special present while I was gone to California. This was his Labor Day weekend project and yes he labored! I love it and appreciate the love he put into it. 💏
Next up is the short pathway project I am noodling. This would be a transition area between the eventual artificial turf under the two backyard oak trees and the real grass out along the south side of the house.
I found this garden show on YouTube and this was a segment on some show, most likely BBC’s Gardener’s World. (Watching YouTube again, I watched an episode of  P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home the next day, it’s his pathway. Just saw the pathway again!) 
I like this pathway for its wonkiness and odd lengths of stone in the pathway. I also like the way it “swoops” around! Ours will swoop around either side of the tree. (Did I already mention that? School brain…)
This past weekend Mr. Ethereal helped me snap a chalkline and paint a straight line across the yard as a guideline for laying stones. Previous owners had placed a number of these approx. 8″ x 16″ x 2″ cement pavers vertically in the ground creating a straight garden along the south side of the house. 
I think it got too hot over there so the garden idea was abandoned. Hubby pulled these pavers up one day about a month ago and stacked them since he knew I’d probably reuse and repurpose them.

Here are three ideas of how I thought to lay this transition area out: 

1) normal horizontal brick layout (middle upper left, along chalkline)
2) off at an angle on the left and right sides of the further oak tree (top of the layout)
3) herringbone pattern (bottom middle) ~ Mr. Ethereal says I ought to do this one as “payback” for making him lay our travertine on the diagonal at our Big House in Cali… Lol!

Which one do you like best? I kind of like the angled around the tree best, which really only has the left side shown (top section above the chalkline). On Linda Vater’s YouTube channel, if you ever watch her garden show you’ll see how she uses a mishmash of pavers and brick together and I really like the “found look.” 

The added wonkiness of putting in a brick here or there to the longer pavers just really works with my repurpose style!

Not much is blooming right now and the little canteloupe plant that is bursting with small yellow flowers may not  have enough time left in the season to produce fruit before frosts and winter set in, but it’s giving its best!
With two weeks of cooler weather (just into the mid- to upper-80’s today, but has been in the 70’s), the supertunias are back blooming. The roses are putting out buds and should have a nice fall showing soon.

For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign LORD will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.

Isaiah 61:11


Other September projects

Our side panels on the garage were rotted down at the bottom from years of rain, so after Charles watched a bunch of YouTube videos on insulating your basic garage door with heavy compacted styrofoam and got that project done, he moved onto fixing these. I picked up the two 8′ x 10″ x 2″ boards at Lowe’s about a month ago. We let them dry under a fan in the really hot garage (was still about 100 degrees out then), then painted them with the leftover outdoor trim from the previous homeowners’ stash).

I’ll probably share this in another post since I don’t have those photos pulled off my phone yet, but it turned out well! Now to fix the mess of a garage door… Previous homeowners, in order to sell the home, used cans of spray paint to repaint the big door. (Should have just left it white…)

Wall decor

Last week as we held this month’s Reading Nook Pinterest Challenge, you could just see a peek out the window at the newly installed iron wall decoration along the garage wall out back.

I picked up this pretty iron wall decor piece from H. Potter garden center actually over a year ago. I really wanted this piece as our backyard gate, but Mr. Ethereal informed me we really needed a 4′ gate to bring things in and out of the yard, so… This was a no-go for the gate idea… 😞 

But then this year I thought of having a water fountain feature along this wall surrounded by plants and this would be perfect behind one!

Our sweet tall lady gets to stand here for now! 💝
H. Potter sent all the hanging brackets but it would have stood 4″ from the garage wall and I wanted it close to the wall since this area is pretty narrow, so Mr. Ethereal found some half-round silver brackets in his tool parts and I faux-painted those to match the hammered metal look of the wrought iron wall decor to use for hanging instead. 

The boxing when this iron piece arrived was well packed and all the nuts and bolts were there with clear instructions on how to put it together. It also comes with a separate piece that attaches at the bottom to push it into the ground (looks like a pitchfork, actually), but the cement along the wall prevented my using that piece. I would definitely recommend buying any of H. Potter’s wall decor pieces and will look for more in the future! It is sturdily welded and well painted; I am quite pleased with it!!!

Totally loving how it looks with our Garden Lady in front of it! Time to make her a new head crown for fall… 

Well, back to laying pavers in the yard… Been a busy month both at school and at home, and it’s not quite over yet. More to come… 🍂

Sharing with

Happy fall, y’all!


Share Your Style #271

Welcome to this week’s Share Your Style #271This link party is for home decor, DIY, crafts, recipes and the like, but you are more than welcome to share your family-friendly posts with us all. Please feel free to share this post and join my small but loyal band of followers. I appreciate you! 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! 💜

Here’s what I shared this past week at

French Ethereal…

The title says it all: How to Make Cinderella’s Glass Slipper ~ A continuation of previous Fairy Tale posts over the past few years.

Due to running late from a doctor’s visit after work and flying to California tomorrow, I will be skipping Featured Posts for this week but will pick up again next week! Thank you for understanding… ❤

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Thank you! 
Happy linking,

Share Your Style #270

Welcome to this week’s Share Your Style #270This link party is for home decor, DIY, crafts, recipes and the like, but you are more than welcome to share your family-friendly posts with us all. Please feel free to share this post and join my small but loyal band of followers. I appreciate you! As always, I am glad that you are here… 💜

I am feeling a bit fall-ish and I bet you are, too! This happens every August as I tire of the heat of summer and especially on days when there is just a hint of autumn in the air… So, with that we will have a few fall ideas featured this week.

This month is also my blog-iversary for becoming a member of Share Your Style, almost 100 SYS’s ago (#173). I became the sole writing of SYS in January 2019 as the other contributors went onto other things. I enjoy getting to see all that you share each week and it is my honor to be your host! 

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! 💜

Here’s what I shared this past week at

French Ethereal…

This month’s Pinterest Challenge is perfect for kicking off a bit of early fall decor ~ Pheasant Under Glass — A Fall Cloche Styling. I hope you will stop by and check out this fun monthly blog hop and see what everyone has created for you!
This week I shared a Magical Summer Evening Entertaining Out-of-Doors in the Garden, a post that was an off-shoot from our July Pinterest Challenge. I love setting a table in the garden and I hope to do many more as we move into fall and when the weather is good in winter. 
And here are this week’s
featured posts…

Up first this week is Rita of Panoply with a fun roundup of all the Vintage and Antique Finds Rita and her sisters found while estate sale and thriftshopping throughout this year pre- and post-COVID-19 lockdown. Enjoy all the neat things they found! 

Kristi over at French Creek Farmhouse shared this cool post on Hanging Antique Windows on a Wall. Don’t you just love old windows??! Love the chicken wire look!

Greenery in silver
MaryJo over at Master”Pieces” of My Life shared some of her lovely silver collection in this post titled Greenery in Silver. Love the gorgeous polished look with the green!!!

Debbee of Debbee’s Buzz shared this beary beary adorable 
Back to School Table just in time for the 2020-2021 school year! 

**I have to say, our first in-class day went well! Our teacher created back-up plans for when online parents and students couldn’t get online, just in case. 📚 Our district’s main program for teaching elementary students did crash but was fixed by 10:00 a.m. 💻

Debra over at Common Ground shared this fun fall set of apple canisters as part of Scenes from the Late Summer Baker’s Rack. Love vintage family pieces!!!

Fresh Strawberry Crostata Recipe @ treatntrick.blogspot.com

Trick and Treat shared this wonderful recipe for Fresh Strawberry Crostata, a type of free-form tart. Doesn’t it make your mouth water??! A wonderful treat for end-of-summer strawberries.

1930's vintage art decor chalkware lamp two ladies chalkware lamp twins chalkware lamp mid-century lamp

The title says it all… A Stunning Vintage Art Deco Chalkware Lamp is stunning in this vignette created and shared by Amber at Follow the Yellow Brick Home. Beautiful!!!
Do take some time as you link up today to visit a few other party-goers and enjoy their posts! Thank you, sweet friends! 💖

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 sure appreciate it, thank you! I do post the all of the featured posts from each week’s SYS there.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Enjoy the party, 😊


Magical Summer Evening Entertaining Out-of-Doors in the Garden…

Entertaining out-of-doors in summer is one of the best things about summertime! Here in the DFW area of Texas, nights  cool off into the 80’s and are perfect for having friends and family over for cookouts, pizza pies baked in outdoor ovens, and for toasting marshmallows over campfires. On this night, our library table was brought from inside and set with dining ease in mind…

You may recall that earlier this summer I shared this post about easy party ideas as part of a Pinterest Challenge. This tablescape was fun to photograph as I went for simplicity with just a few snacks, just a few items on the dining table, and a simple pot of flowers plopped on the table, straight from the nursery. 

Simple chargers made of painted tin add their elegance underneath festive paper plates. And those plates cost $2.99 for a pack of 24, I think. Perfect for outdoor entertaining with kids or adults! Cloth napkins and real water glasses were the only “upgrades” here.

Lighting is simple with the addition of Edison lights strung together and zip-tied to tree limbs, a couple of tealights on the table and a few candles in metal holders in the garden flowerbed nearby…

*Special note: make sure to square knot each connection from one light string to the next. I didn’t do that at first, and the long swag from tree to tree came undone… I had to replace six lightbulbs and it was good that each of the sets came with extras!

Sorry about the soft blur in some of these photographs… My camera is just a basic DSLR and not really meant for low light. I hope to upgrade one of these days. 

I like how these pics came out anyhow. The candlelight in these outdoor stands is magical… 💝

Soft and romantic, the addition of a couple of indoor chairs combined with the French café chairs makes for a nice combination. 

A nice contrast ~ wide -vs- narrow view
We had just had a hard summer rain so the limestone bricks are in their usual muddy state but this just adds to the casual garden scene. Our plans include putting in artificial turf back here where grass doesn’t grow well below the shade provided by these two oak trees with pavers staggered between the real and artificial grasses.

Framing the view

The central bed of boxwood and holly balls are filling in nicely with the addition of this spring’s transplanted iris. I plan to add in more annuals for color next spring. 

I love looking back on the house and it looks particularly pretty at night! I think when all the pavers are set for potted areas and more plants are brought in, and the sprinklers are converted from tall park-style sprayers for watering grass to lines of drip irrigation for garden beds, this will be especially nice for entertaining… and it will be easier and mean less hand-watering.

This year our visits have been just a few friends stopping by to switch-out borrowed books or for me to sign a check for our philanthropic group (IOOF). Next year as vaccines become available we hope to have friends over a lot more often. 

My favorite photograph… Still love the Martha Stewart pale yellow linen drapery fabric used to create these chair cushions. These cushions are reversible with a deep red paisley on the other side. I made them with summer and winter in mind.

Tonight’s virtual visit will have to do for now… 🙂 Enjoy the rest of your summer! I felt the first kiss of fall this week with a 66 degree morning… 

Happy summer evenings, friends!