Uncategorized

It’s Always Tea and Roses at French Ethereal!

Tea and roses  is an ever recurrent theme at a great many
of the tea parties I have shared here at French Ethereal.
Those two words for me go hand in hand…


Classic cream scones recipe shared in a past post around Christmas time ~ our previous trailer.
Whether   having tea in our backyard at our previous homes
or in either our current or past “RV prairie home”
sharing photos from tea parties with you and
sharing photographs of roses from my yard or in
store-bought bouquets is something
I truly enjoy.

Often it is just me for tea as my husband enjoys iced tea but he prefers coffee in the mornings when we breakfast together
on the weekends.
Sometimes I’ll bring tea cakes or scones with me to our
Bible Study group to share while we talk through
what we’ve just been learning.


A tea for two.

“The very act of preparing and serving tea encourages conversation.  The little spaces in time created by teatime rituals call out to be filled with conversation.  Even the tea itself ~ warm and comforting ~ inspires a feeling of relaxation and trust that fosters shared confidences.”   —  Emily Barnes

One of many vintage teacups and saucer sets I have ~ most currently packed away but ready to come out again soon.  🙂
The addition of roses at my teas came naturally as I began
growing roses at our very first apartments ~ it all began
innocently enough with three roses in pots.


A lovely rose found in the Biltmore rose garden.

In the past   I had many teas at my home for friends
I met through a group in Riverside County, California
called the Victorian Tea Society.
The group is still together and although it is just a small
group of women now compared to 20 years ago
they still get together for lunch once a month at
each other’s homes.
The friendships begun so many years ago are firmly
cemented in “taking tea.”


I am thinking that once we find our *next house I’d like
to start a new tea group.
 Isn’t it always fun to have a few friends come over for a
tea luncheon?
🙂
  
*We are looking at houses on a little land and I took my
hubby Mr. Ethereal to see one this week.
I hadn’t looked up the for-sale price until we returned
home from our drive…

It was listed only at $849,000.
Just a little over my price range ~
but perfectly situated!

A small pond, stables and corral, large metal workshop,
12 acres, a large home of 3800 sq. ft. {really too big}.
It sits up on a small bluff and the workshop, doughboy pool
and stables are down below.
Nice black angus relaxing out in the field near the pond.
Nice view of some of the surrounding area…

Our former Big House in Murrieta, California ~ still love this living room and the travertine marble floors we hand-laid.
The corner round cupboard held many of my rose strewn teacups and other sentimental treasures from my children.
For now though a new home will have to wait.
🙂

But tea and roses 
lives on…
🙂
My mother-in-law baked this chocolate cake with coconut
frosting for me for my birthday back when the above
photograph was taken.
Love her vintage transferware china with its colorful ethereal
flowers winding along each piece’s edges!


Souvenir de Malmaison pink roses and mini purple agapanthus ~ a favorite bouquet in summer.
This bouquet of roses was extra special as it was the bouquet
cut from our yard at its most beautiful in June ~ the day our
last home went on the market.


Some favorite roses since…
Loved this little garden we had when we first began
camping full-time.
The nice thing about having tea and roses together is
that like “home” they can travel with you
wherever you go.
🙂 
Sharing with
Make It Pretty Monday ~ The Dedicated House
Tea in the Garden ~ Bernideene’s
Wow ~ Savvy Southern Style
Feathered Nest Friday ~ French Country Cottage
Style Showcase 31 ~ Shabbyfufu








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Thank you for stopping by from the
Spring Tea Link Party!
Uncategorized

How to Glam Up Your Chandelier

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Chandeliers are  inherently beautiful no matter whether they have real rock crystals dangling from their Cinderella-like
glass arms or just sweet pink faux crystals or like mine here ~
the chandy itself is made purely of acrylic plastic.

Chandeliers are glamour unto themselves and today we will be talking about how to make your basic chandelier more beautiful
for any occasion.

Our current chandy with double pearl garlands and acrylic and glass drops and ornaments.
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Glamping  a Chandelier
Recently I was asked to do a post on how I glam-up
my chandeliers so today we are talking some
“chandy trash”…
😉

Depending upon the weight your ceiling can carry 
will basically dictate what you can
and cannot hang
from your home’s chandeliers.


Several years ago when we were in our last house I must
have been cleaning and redecorating the buffet and our 
small china cabinet. 
At some point in the cleaning process I must have
looked up and seen our boring 1990’s basic brass chandelier looking a little sad and that’s when I had the bright idea
to really glam up my chandelier!

I had already found and hung ropes of crystal drops and
glass bobeches online and had used them to decorate
our previous home’s dining room chandelier.
I brought those with me when we moved in 1994
to the Big House and added to them
for this chandelier.
{not hanging on it in this photograph}


Our last home’s dining room chandelier with faux greenery, pearl garlands, large crystal drops and swan ornaments.

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Like some things in life

 More is better and at Christmas time it was a free for all adding faux pine boughs and later I thought to use these dangling pearls.
Those pearl garlands?
They are found in the wedding section at the big craft stores!
My friend Kathy had hung some around her powder room
mirror and I thought they would look lovely hanging
off my chandy!
🙂


Our current chandelier dressed with acrylic and glass Christmas ornaments.
Dried Queen Anne’s lace flowers would look nice tucked in among silk flowers if you want your chandelier
to have a summertime look.
Hanging rose garlands such as in the previous photos above
replaced the wintertime greenery and swans.


This past year I had just been researching chandeliers for our
RV glamper home and ended up having to return
the first chandelier I found.
It was just too heavy for this spot but Home Depot had this
light-weight acrylic beauty and for the money and
only 6 lbs. of weight
it was the right choice for us!

Here’s the link in case you are looking for a light-weight
chandelier for a spot in your home ~ it is 24″ long x 22″ wide
if I remember correctly ~ and it has six arms.


Would you believe not all the pieces are even
hanging on it?
Nope.
We forgot to add the acrylic piece over top of the
bottom chrome bowl.
Actually without that crystal style piece it looks
a little more contemporary and that’s
the trend nowadays.
Happy accident!
🙂

My usual workspace ~ comfortable, bright and pretty and functional!
Since more than likely we will still be in our little
RV home this next Christmas…
I already know that greenery will be happening and that was 
partly why I wanted to hang a chandelier here
in our fifth-wheel.
Hubby thought I was crazy, btw.

I glamped up the barrel LED light in our last trailer.
The only thing different about putting up a chandelier
in a trailer -vs- a house is the amperage is different
so you need 12 volt bulbs instead of 120 volt
household lights.

Camping World helped me find these 12 volt chandelier
light bulbs and I am thrilled!
No need to rewire your chandelier either.
The voltage runs through the wiring but it’s very low
so getting the correct bulbs did the trick.
🙂

I am working on a new craft that will change the look
of our chandelier for summer so look for that soon.
Funny that I just bought the supplies to work
on this project when the suggestion came to 
talk about our chandelier!
🙂


Sharing with
Feathered Nest Friday
Wow
Dishing It and Digging It
Thursday Favorite Things




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How do you glam yours?
Uncategorized

Christmas Lights… Not Just for Decorating!

Looking like  something out of outerspace movie
much more than the other-wordly guts inside of an RV
we found a wonderful new way to transition
Christmas lights to the New Year
this week!

Looking at our different water plumbing pipes, the new blanket to wrap our new water pump.
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Have you ever had one of those weeks where
it seems whatever might go wrong did
and you worked one problem then
two more popped up in its place?
Well, this was one of those weeks…

It really wasn’t the worst week coming into
New Year’s Day ~ we had snow and
it was oh, so pretty!

Yoda was excited to go outside and walk
around in it.
He had his first snow experience last year
almost to the day and found that it was pretty fun
to play in!
🙂


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And earlier this week I wrote about
winterizing your garden
and shared some pictures of how I wrapped up
all of our plants against the biting cold
and 15 degrees overnight.
{Charles said it was 13 degrees one day he went to work…}

Now I know that’s nothing to what some of y’all
are experiencing this week with Old Man Weather
rampaging and blowing blustery blasting winds and
snow up under your eaves and leaving
sleet and snowflakes
brushing up against your window panes
but it was pretty cold
for us down here in North Texas
let me tell ya…


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So,repurposing those Christmas lights
in a weird way
ended up becoming another post about
transitioning one’s decor from the
holidays to winter…
😉

Hubby Charles had gone to work and I awoke to this
strange sound ~ a boom really ~ and our water
was still frozen from the day before.
It was 17 degrees at the time.
I thought I’d better go check things out underneath
as that sound didn’t sound so good
so I pulled out our trusty screwdriver and
took out the six screws holding this makeshift
RV door closed to take a look at our
plumbing underneath.



I found our water pump with a tiny bit of 
what had been a small leak.
That was wrong #1.
The day went on and after taking the dog out for
his morning walk and business
I got to experience bathing the old-fashioned way ~ 
today’s version of an ethereal
rose-covered bowl and ewer ~
mainly our old yellow Tupperware bowl
and a 2 gal. jug of water.
Not really wrong but definitely a throwback.

Christmas lights illuminating the scene ~ the new water pump motor under its warming blanket and all its plumbing pipes.
The large white box by the back wall with grey hose arms coming out of it is the propane heater.  It has been acting up
but it had to do with the propane not getting to the heater right and it not igniting it.  Happily that is fixed for now. 🙂
Wrong #2 came when I tried to leave to buy a new
water pump and the car wouldn’t start…
It had been glug-glugging for a couple of days with the cold
so I knew it had to be the battery.
AAA came out an hour later and jumped the car
only to then find out that the auto place
down the street didn’t have any more of our Sequoia’s
type of batteries; it would be in tomorrow’s
afternoon shipment.


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Wrong #3 showed up the next morning
with another BOOM and later as I was working
on the computer… the lovely sound of running water!
We had water again but not the way we had
hoped.
The waterline release valve for our residential refrigerator
had frozen and split and was gushing
water every which way!
Luckily our plants who were in need
and a bucket propped underneath provided
sustenance.
😉


Luckily this is a minor fix if we can find the part
but it did take talking to several people, lots of walking around
and one of our camp hosts to help me find the cut-off valve
under the kitchen sink and a button inside the freezer to
stop the ice maker from sounding off its
alarm pleading for water.
Did you know the ice maker makes an alarm sound
when it doesn’t get its water??
I sure didn’t!

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So… if you’ve wondered where my second post
I normally write each week went well this is where.
There was nothing left of me after the crazy mishaps of
Tuesday and Wednesday.

I’ll provide some links just in case you ever find
yourself in need of one of these:

Getting back to  the Christmas lights…
By the time Hubby got home from work and I had
called or texted at least 20 times over those two days
there just wasn’t enough light for him to see in the
storage compartment when he went to install the
new water pump and I had been putting away the two
Christmas trees and taking down all the ornaments
and lights…
and I thought just maybe…
😉

Under storage compartment fitted out with a blanket for the new water pump plus an extra heater!
🙂


Those lights worked out really well
at lighting up Charles’ work area!
{ps – It was fun closing him inside the compartment, too, with the heater to keep warm!}

Sharing with
Really Crafty Linky Party ~ Keeping It Real
Inspire Me Monday ~ Create with Joy


Now you know the rest of the story,
Uncategorized

A Year of Giving Thanks

This has been a year of
giving thanks
for us…


First of all, I’d like to welcome you if you are coming
over from Katherine’s Corner today with the
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Give Thanks Tablescape 
Blog Tour
W e l c o m e !!!


We are recent transplants to Texas via many years
in California.
My husband was blessed with a new position
here in the Dallas area last November.
We are very blessed to be here and for his work ~
our first reason to give thanks…


My former home’s backyard garden in Murrieta, California the year before we sold our home.

Giving Thanks

We have much to be grateful for ~ the least of which
is that we weren’t homeless over the past two
years while Hubby was out of his normal work.
We made it through having to sell what I thought
was our “forever home” and instead took up
a slightly nomadic life
living in a 27′ Coleman travel trailer for about
1 1/2 years before we traded it in for
our new 41′ fifth wheel
which we love for its room!

Looking west over neighboring rv’s here in North Central Texas.

Just a few photos from earlier this fall of my
kitchen and dining areas.
The lemon poppy seed cake on the back counter
is one I often bake when having friends
over for tea.

The garden area in September just after putting in the little square stepping stones.

Our little prairie rv home

This is the garden area just outside our fifth-wheel.
We had no “pop-outs” on the previous trailer so we were
really cramped and constantly having to move a box
to sit down to eat, watch tv, to do anything.

In this beauty, we have the luxury of five slides which makes
the inside about 16′ wide throughout most of the trailer.
It is really a small apartment in many ways.
We are staying nomadic for just a little while longer as we
begin looking for land and a house.
🙂

My friend Peggy came for an impromptu tea one day recently.

“One is silver and the Other is gold”

I am thankful also for my “old friends” in California,
whom I can visit with anytime via Facebook and Instagram,
and I am thankful for the “new friends” I have made
since moving here to Texas.
I believe God has provided for this need for friendship
with park owners who really care in every sense of the word
for the people and animals who live here.

Little Skidboot at his first shearing.  He is one of 13 alpacas here at Wagon Master
RV Park and Alpaca Farm, Sanger, Texas.


It is a great blessing for everyone here,
whether as short-term campers or as extended-stay residents,
 to be able to stay here.
The owners really act as caretakers of the land and
have a heart for people.
🙂


A tablesetting I did earlier this fall.


New beginnings

We are grateful for a chance to start over
and work on rebuilding our nest egg.
We also are rebuilding our household ~ of which
this “prairie home fifth-wheel” is a big part.

Traveling to new places as I work on making
my little blog into a real business
is also an exciting part of the new here in Texas!
I am grateful for the chance to do something
I love full-time.
🙂

A  recent Thanksgiving tablesetting with pumpkins and pansies.


Grateful for the little things

Mostly I am grateful for all the little things which
have “coincidentally happened” this past year…

Our daughter moving to Texas before we did to
move out and live with her friend
then…
my husband finding and getting his new position
also here in Texas.

Or like last Christmas time when I found a
J Broadhurst Constable series set of china
minus the lid for the teapot in an antique mall
I just happened to visit for the first time.
It had been in my heart for many years to have a set
of pinkish-red china like this as it so beautiful to me.
God knew it and led me to it!
Of this, I have no doubt.

Lastly, for meeting a new group of friends and a
Bible study being offered here at the park and farm
by a new wonderful friend.


Coincidence?

I don’t think these things are coincidences.
I believe they are gifts and blessings from our
Great Creator.

I hope you do, too.
😉

Our kitchen table set for a little Thanksgiving tea!

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Thank you for Visiting!
And follow me on any of my sites if you’d like.
The links are above and here in the sidebar.

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Thank You.
😀

Many blessings to you and your family
this Thanksgiving…

Please enjoy visiting with all of the lovely ladies
who are linking up today.
There are many wonderful and inspirational
tablesettings and ideas out there for
your holiday decorating…


Also sharing with
Tablescape Thursday ~ Between Naps on the Porch
https://betweennapsontheporch.net/nora-fleming-servers-and-minis-perfect-for-holiday-parties-and-special-celebrations/

No Rules Weekend ~ Life As We Know It by Paula



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Uncategorized

Buying a Crystal Chandelier ~ What to Look for

WHY am I perched on top of a chair
and taking measurements in our
“Little Prairie Home”
you might ask??

I am finally going to add in a beautiful
crystal chandelier!!!


Here is the chandelier {above} that I decided to purchase
after looking at many and deciding on a number of pros and cons
for each one.

A sweet brass chandelier like we had at our last house painted a lovely creamy white and doctored up with lots of
hanging crystals.
When considering buying a chandelier, there are a number of things to think about in addition to style and whether you like a more modern or a traditional type of chandelier.


Eloquence’ Albertina chandelier shown here in a silver finish.



Here are just a few of the things to consider:

Size for your location

Will this particular size chandelier look too big for
the area you will be hanging it in or will it be dwarfed by
the size of the room?

There is a trend now towards oversize lights and I saw
plenty at High Point Market last month!

Width and Height

In the top photograph, I’m measuring how long the incoming
Saint Mossi five light chandelier will hang.
It will be a little big for the space as our
dining area is rather small here in the fifth wheel
but
from the Pinterest photograph
you can see that most of it is clear glass
with some silvery chrome parts which
hold the chandelier together.

With all that clear glass and crystals it looks light and airy
as opposed to how a darker bronze or black finished
chandelier would look in the same location.
I did look at those options, too.
🙂

Crystal, Glass, Acrylic or Metal?


Real crystal chandeliers are very heavy and need a lot of
hidden structural support to prevent
this type of chandelier’s weight from tearing itself out of its
ceiling mount.





Rock crystal chandeliers have the most sparkle and fire and
are quite expensive ~ Swarovski Schonbeck chandeliers
are a very lovely modern version
which you might like to have
in your home.
I was looking for some of their crystal’s fire
in whichever “chandy” I was
going to be putting up.
🙂






Cast glass chandeliers have cast crystals and parts which are
machine cut and faceted letting them sparkle
when sunlight hits their lights.
Less expensive than mined crystal cut by hand
they are a good alternative and a good buy giving off a
wonderful glow and sparkle
without the expense.





Acrylic chandeliers are sturdy plastic alternatives
which are highly economical and practical.
I looked at one version yesterday at a big box store
almost identical to a glass chandelier I was looking
to purchase online, except all of the parts
were acrylic plastic.

These chandeliers are fun to have at birthday parties
on the back patio and just to have hanging outside
year-round.
If an acrylic chandelier falls and or gets damaged
replacing it is easier on the budget.

They are also a perfect alternative for children’s rooms, too,
as are many of the sweet metal chandeliers
available on the market today.





Metal chandeliers can be molded into all kinds of
shapes and often are fashioned with real-like
metal leaves and flowers.
Thin metal chandeliers can have small parts
easily broken off
so this is another thing to consider
as you are looking to purchase a “chandy.”


Why I chose the Saint Mossi chandelier (originally)

I decided on this glass crystal chandelier because it
is ethereal looking to me and would be mostly clear glass.
Also, it wouldn’t be overly heavy and would still have
the fire I love in its cut glass body, dangling crystal pendants
and in its hanging swags of .
There’s nothing wrong with the acrylic one I found and
I liked it for the weight.
{four pounds less than what I purchased}
I’ve could have picked it up yesterday and almost did.
Weight is certainly a concern in here as is movement
when the RV will be on the road in the future but for now
this place isn’t moving anywhere.


I could have rehung the acrylic one with cut glass crystals
myself as I have on both of our previous
dining room chandeliers but I decided for
almost the same price
I could get the more sparkly version
without having to spend more money later
adding more crystals.
Plus, the Saint Mossi is on sale now…

All the more reason!
😉

I’ve linked it below for you
in case you’d like one of your own.
See my affiliate profile HERE.





Here’s a really good article on the Lamps Plus website
talking more indepth about what I’ve shared
today plus much much more.

Oh, and just a corner of something hanging up
in the window next to me as merry and bright begins…


A spring chandy update:

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After all that  the crystal chandelier came in and…
Inside the little instruction papers that came with
said that the area to hold it must be able to hold
100 pounds {of force}…

Here in our Prairie Home in this particular spot
that just isn’t an option
so…
that chandelier had to go back.
🙁


Our final chandelier ~ an acrylic version from Home Depot!

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–>
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–>
Happy ending
After much thought I knew the answer to the burning
chandelier question: go back and pick up
the 6 pound acrylic chandelier from
Home Depot.
It is a lovely alternative and for the price and the weight
it certainly is a good option for our little home.


With the addition of a few real crystals from my

collection I’ve picked up over the years at
Christmas time
this chandelier turned out to be the
perfect addition to our little rv home
on the prairie.
🙂



Sharing with

Wow Us Wednesday ~ Savvy Southern Style
Create Bake Grow and Gather ~ Shabby Art Boutique
Friday at the Fire Station ~ A Fireman’s Wife
Feathered Nest Friday ~ French Country Cottage



Happy decorating,

Uncategorized

Crafts to Make ~ A Shabby Chic Glamper

Our fairy girls have their own glamper now! 😉
Over Easter I found this 
wonderfully cute little 
wooden camper 
while looking for other craft supplies at 
Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Store
with my daughter.




It was sooo cute that I had to get it!
I thought it’d be fun to turn this little cutie
{which is similar to the full-size “canned ham” campers}
into a glamorous camper or
“glamper!”

Wandering around, we found these 
wonderful Shabby Chic~style
Anna Griffin
papers for small projects.
Thinking they’d be perfect either in sheets 
or as individual roses cut out…
I put them into my basket, 
too.
🙂


Supplies you’ll need

(1) wooden camper
favorite craft paints in water-based acrylic
paint brushes
craft paper
white glue or Mod Podge

If desired

*glitter, silk flowers, small pot for “plants or flowers”
*lace for creating curtains for inside the camper’s windows
*any other trims you’d like

How to Make Your Camper

*First, paint the main body of your camper.
Let dry.  {I painted part of the top, too
so that anywhere the paper didn’t stick would show the “base color.”}

*Paint the trim, door, wheels and spindles next.
Let those dry.

*After that, glue on cutouts {or parts of a sheet}
from your favorite scrapbook papers.
Press down hard to make the paper stick.
{This paper I used was pretty thick, so it took a while to soften
and stuck better once it was soft.}

*Brush on more watered-down glue or
Mod-Podge over top of the paper
to create a protective finish ~ fix any areas
that didn’t stick well from beforehand.
Let dry.

*Decorate to your heart’s content!
🙂

This glamper’s goodies

This little glamper has a miniature license plate,
some lace trim as an awning to protect
these friendly fairies as they 
come and go about their business, 
and more 
lace fencing surrounding their
miniature
rose and pearl garden.
Wouldn’t you like a garden of pearls?
Me, too!
😉



These little wood crafts are sooo much fun to
paint and decorate!
As a family we used to make one or two a year
when my kids were little ~ they always
enjoyed painting everything!

I also had a Girl Scout troop for 6 years and
we painted lots of different projects
for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day
and other holidays
over the years.

This little birdhouse in the background is the one I kept ~ I used a lot of my saved-up broken china.
A similar project is the little birdhouse
I made about seven years ago
which I added pieces of architectural
trim to, painted and then used non-sanded
grout to plaster on pieces of broken china
to the roof.
{I didn’t paint the roofs (rooves?) of these bird houses at all ~ just filled in later
with my tiny paint brushes along the roof line.}
I made seven or eight of these and gave
them to the ladies in my tea group
that summer.
They LOVED them!!!

Maybe I’ll make a few glampers
for some new friends here…
and
It has been fun creating this little glamour camper
to share with you!
Sorry a little blurry ~ I am getting new glasses soon!



Blessings and Happy Trails 
to you,
xoxo Barb 🙂



Sharing with
Vintage Charm ~ The Blue Willow House
This project was featured!
🙂
Share Your Style ~ The  Red Painted Cottage
Feathered Nest Friday ~ French Country Cottage
Friday Features ~ Oh, My Heartsie Girl!
Wow Us Wednesdays ~ Savvy Southern Style
Sweet Inspiration ~ The Boondocks Blog





Uncategorized

Tea on Tuesday ~ A Friendship Tea

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My friends Scott and Marian just sitting down to tea.
This past Tuesday I had some new friends over for 
a real tea~ something that has been missing in my life 
since we moved out of our former home…
🙂




I have had friends in individually just for a scone and tea
but I haven’t had a full-on tea with courses like I used to do a 
couple of times a year for 17 or 18 years as part of the 
Victorian Tea Society
when we were in our previous two homes.


Sorry this is a bit blurry!  It was 11:45 or later and I was rushing to shoot a few photos before my friends arrived.

We had a wonderful time!  Spirit radio played softly

from out in the living room
candlelight flickered from the vanilla candles unobtrusively set on the dining room table and
the spicy scent of cinnamon~chip scones filled the sun-warmed air around us.

Zucchini quiche made with goat cheese replacing the usual mozzarella {why it’s so soft} and chicken salad sandwiches.

First Course

Our first course included cinnamon chip scones with mock Devonshire cream
made with goat cheese, almond milk and powdered sugar 
{since Marian has allergies to cow’s milk} 
whipped into to soft peaks.  
Because of using the goat cheese, this type of 
cream doesn’t stay whipped for long ~ just make a 
small batch and use it up quickly.
*If I had my big Kitchen-Aide mixer here the clotted cream
may have stayed whipped together better.

We also had cherry jam and Ikea’s orange and elderflower marmalade.
If you’ve never had this jam, it is incredibly delicious!
;)’

After each having one scone, the basket was passed around
a second time whereby Marian and I split a second scone.
We decided to save room for what was coming next…

Main Course

Next we partook in goat cheese zucchini quiche
chicken salad sandwiches on cinnamon bread and
fruits including 
raspberries, grapes, blueberries, and strawberries.
The fruit being the perfect complement
to the tanginess of the quiche and
the cinnamon spiciness of the sandwiches.

While we ate we talked about Texas… They had brought over a AAA book and a
couple of magazines with places to visit and 
things to do here in this great state.
We also talked about where they are going
and what they will be doing next.
They will become camp hosts at their next camping spot
like we were in our last spot in California from 
late summer 2015 – November 2016!
It’s a great way to see an area and work a little
to pay for a camp spot to park your RV.
Something to consider if you plan to travel
when you retire. {Since it costs so much to pay for campsites…}
🙂



Scott and Marian will be heading out of state

following their daughter and son-in-law with a change in jobs
{Fun! Always a good thing to get to see new places!}

but I realized that I will really miss them.
Having been neighbors here in the park for several months now
surviving a number of hail and lightening storms 
and 
this past winter hunkering down together through the real cold
strong winds and rains that happens in this part of North Texas,
we’ve built up a real friendship in a short amount of time.
Same with my friend Sondra and 
her dog “Shelby”
who are also traveling cross-country moving back home
to Oregon where she can be closer to family.
{She missed the tea as this was her first day to travel, but I made sure she had scones to go. :)}


“Shelby” is a sweet chihuahua terrier mix

These two photos were taken with my iPhone ~ a mutual friend took this one of Sondra and myself and our pups.


Scott and Marian took me down to the
Fort Worth Botanical Gardens

last month and we had a lovely lunch down there that day.


Marian, her daughter and granddaughter enjoying the walk through the various garden rooms at
Fort Worth Botanical Gardens.

The Last Course ~ Dessert

Dark chocolate cake with dark chocolate frosting
dreamily drizzled with mashed raspberries
was the perfect end to a perfect meal.
The one flavor complemented the other…
We moved over to the living room for this final course
and my guests were treated to the picturesque views
of the property out the back window…

The alpacas lay quietly under now fully leafed trees
down in the pasture to the left
or were grazing nearby.
Birds hopped about in yard and on the meadow hill behind our prairie home
picking up twigs and grasses and working industriously finding materials to build their springtime nests.
And we talked of future dreams…


All in all a lovely afternoon and 
great way to renew 
“sharing tea with friends…”


Sharing with
Friendship Friday ~ Create With Joy
Friday Features ~ Oh, My Heartsie Girl!
Sweet Inspiration ~ The Boondocks Blog
Friday at the Firestation ~ A Fireman’s Wife

Welcome Home Wednesdays ~ Five Kids, A Dog and A Blog
http://www.fivekidsadogandablog.com/welcome-home-wednesdays-91/
Blessings to you,
Uncategorized

Meet Janet ~ Of Wagon Master RV Park & Alpaca Farm

Meet Janet!  She is super sweet, very professional when you call in for reservations.
She was so excited to be moving into their new house!
Just check out this gorgeous kitchen!
When we moved to Texas in November 2016
one of the first people we met were
Janet Woolston and her husband Ken
of Wagon Master RV Park and Alpaca Farm.

Come along inside and visit her 
beautiful Texas home!

Wagon Master RV Park and Alpaca Farm
(940) 458-0077

is located in the small town of 
Sanger, Texas
off the I-35 north of Denton city,
exit 478.

The Woolstons have owned this property for
about 4 1/2 years now and
the site came with about 100 RV spots for
weekend camping and extended stays.
But enough about all that!
Let’s get to their beautiful home.

***You can read all about the camp itself
and the sweet alpacas
here and here.
🙂
The barn door separating the front office space from the house itself.
Love that barn door look!

Inside the Office

We came to the park our first weekend
in North Texas in mid-November 2016
then after a 
two week-plus stay down in Corinth at
Destiny RV Park
Janet had a long-term space come available
as of December 1st.
Hallelujah!!!

Turns out so many people are 
moving to Texas there aren’t so many places 
for people to stay and that includes RV parks ~
which are an economical way to live
for folks on a tight budget
or just for 
folks wanting to get away from the
noise and expense often associated 
with apartments.

Well, these first two photos are a little blah
in that there aren’t the cute decorations
up that there are now.
{I need to remember to get back over and shoot some new pics!}
But, this is the front office area where campers
register and can come and shop for
cute alpaca decor.

***
I did get over to snap a couple of newer
photos of the finished office!
However… My phone refuses to upload
these photos.
ugh!
🙁

***Please pop over to my Instagram page {Barbara Chapman/French Ethereal}
to see the photos.
I did get them posted over there yesterday. 🙂

Love the crystal chandy above the sink and the real hardwood flooring! I was soooo
envious of her dishwasher at the time.  I’m good now! 😉

Back inside the house

Janet had final inspections later that week
just before Thanksgiving
and
this is when I was invited inside!
A lot of her cabinets are stock cabinets you
can pick up at Ikea.
I always knew Ikea had cabinets
but it has been years since I really went shopping
inside their store.
It’s on my Design Bucket List…
😉

I love the farmhouse look

Throughout Janet’s home, she has farm-style faucets and 
bronze knobs and pulls on all the cabinets
creating a cohesive look to each of her rooms.
The cabinets and furniture are mostly white ~ 
very soothing after a long day working ~
which also helps create that cohesiveness
I think all well-decorated homes
strive to have.

Janet worked as a receptionist until
she retired from a local school district and 
her husband Ken retired as a principal.
So, now instead of teaching full-time
they are farming and on a smaller scale 
teaching others about the joys of 
raising alpacas.
The telephone bath wand is another luxury not to do without if you put in a raised tub.
This is the master bathroom’s bathroom.
Hardwood runs throughout the home and
both the guest and master bathrooms
have lovely tubs… sigh!
I don’t know about you, but one of the nicest
things I ever got to do years ago was
to float in a bubble bath in a clawfoot tub.
They really hold the heat well
so taking a bath in one is
just a real treat!

Here in the guest bathroom
extra shelves were installed for storing linens
and a vintage-style mirror
was going over the sink area.
Here’s a close-up of that reused vintage mirror
ready to be hung.

In addition to the lovely bathrooms, 
each bedroom has double hung windows
with incredible views of the park and pastures.

The living room has a gorgeous rock fireplace
which my photograph didn’t come out.
🙁
French doors lead from the dining/living room
out onto an enclosed sun porch ~ perfect for those 
warm evenings cuddled under a light blanket
sipping on a mug of sweet iced tea
while watching the farm animals
graze and bed down for the night.
Then later on for watching the moon rise up 
into the night sky.
What a wonderful way to finish out 
the day!

Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed this tour of 
Janet and Ken’s new home.
I feel privileged and blessed to visit
any day while we are here.
If you are looking for a great place to
come camping, do call and set up a reservation.

***The Woolstons also hope to have a second location
{this RV park-to-be near Aubry, Texas, will be a “dog-themed park!”}
opening in 2018.
Escrow on the property closes in April and 
work will begin on the property 
prepping RV camping spots straight away.

Happy Thursday, ya’ll!
Barb 🙂



Uncategorized

The Beast{s} ~ The Alpacas of Wagon Master Farm

I think this is Skidboot ~ he’s a black alpaca though his outside fleece looks brown with sun bleaching. He is just precious!
Saturday was shearing day
and this was this little beast{y}~guy’s first time
at a shearing.
Look at that face ~ isn’t he one of 
the most adorable creatures
you’ve ever seen??
🙂


The older alpacas knew what to expect
and some were a bit nervous.
As a quick disclaimer, none of these sweet and gentle
alpacas were injured though holding them down
looks a little scary.

Neighboring alpaca owners and their alpacas or ones bred here at the farm but sold were also invited to the shearing.

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–>

Known for their incredibly soft and 
hypoallergenic fleece, 
alpacas are friendly creatures who like being
around people but not necessarily like petting.
{a total bummer since everyone always wants to pet them!…}
They also “hum” as part of their speech ~ 
softly to say various things such as
 “I like you” 
and then can
hum loudly sometimes to say 
“I’m on alert.”


I think this might be Honey Money ~ who has the best fleece in the flock per Janet.
With names like Skidboot, Pearl Jam and Honey Money
Emily, Rosie and Texas Steele
who wouldn’t fall madly in love with alpacas?
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–>

It must be Kismet!

Kismet is the alpaca on the far left, I believe ~ she is a beige with a fawn-colored head.

Here’s a good shot of all the furry fleecy beasts
waiting their turn at shearing!
Now onto the shearing… 
The shearing itself is very quick ~ from the time
the handlers start tying the legs, stretching out and 
calming each alpaca
the actual shearing itself then letting the alpaca up ~
it’s over and done in less than 10 minutes.

These two gentlemen are originally from Australia
and travel about the country
shearing animals for a living.
They were very professional explaining a lot 
as they worked 
and 
answering any technical questions 
according to 
Janet 
who is the farm’s owner
along with her husband Ken.

Local students came to help and got in some 
community service hours 
volunteering 
at the shearing.
🙂
This young woman helped slip a leg rope
around Skidboot’s front leg
in this photo.

I know ~ it looks terrible but keeping the legs
apart and stretching out the alpaca makes
shearing easier and faster so there is less
time for the animal to be held down.
The animals aren’t hurt by this process
and this once a year shearing
keeps them cooler during the
hot summer months and this is also
when their teeth and hooves are shorn
which helps keep them healthy.
😀

Here Skidboot is being cuddled and calmed by
the handler…

I didn’t film Skidboot’s shearing but I did get this
big girl’s!
Check out the fleece on this beautiful alpaca!

This is just the very first pass ~ check out how much material there is for spinning! 🙂
The fleece comes off in great sheets ~ the best cutting
is called a “first.”
Later, the shearer goes back over the animal and 
gets leftover bits and the remaining
fleece off the legs, face and head {if needed}
and this is bagged as a “second.”

This woman is a ranch hand who works and lives on the Wagon Master property.
The firsts are the best fleece and produces
the longest fibers for spinning.
The seconds are used more for felting and craft projects.


Up in the office at 
Wagon Master RV Park and Alpaca Farm
little alpaca toys, refrigerator magnet faces
of alpacas, and yarn are available for sale.
I sent some yarn to my daughter for Christmas
this past December and she was
overjoyed to receive this yarn!
She’s been wanting to knit with alpaca wool
for a long time.

Don’t you just love their cute faces!
Several fleece “drawings” are also up on display
in the office showing what can be done with
alpaca fibers.
Like sheep wool, alpaca fibers can also be dyed
into any color one might desire.
The cream and white fleeces work
best for dyeing.

At the end of the day all of the alpacas are 
happy to be done
with shearing for another year and 
the shaggy beasts 
in need of a good haircut 
are turned back into
clean-shaven beauties.
😉

Look for another story from the farm 
next week…
This one will be about Janet and 
her new house ~
sharing her decorating style!
I think you’ll love it!
Happy Thursday from Wagon Master Farm
to you!  Please share, thanks!
xoxo Barb 🙂



Sharing with
Feathered Nest Friday ~ French Country Cottage
Friday Feature Link Party ~ Oh, My Heartsie Girl!
http://ohmyheartsiegirl.com/friday-feature-linky-party-60/

Friday Favorites ~ Creatively Homemade
Dream Create Inspire ~ Little Bits of Home

Uncategorized

California Gold ~ Massive Flowers in Bloom

California poppies ~ the state flower en masse, Lake Skinner
California dreaming…
While out in California last week,
I visited some favorite places
with “gold in them thar hills…”


Purple masses…

California gold…
Happy cattails
seeds
blowing…

Bluebonnets blooming
billowing
blowing…

Lake Skinner ~ Riverside County Parks
More golden goodness
painting meadows…

Northbound 15 freeway hillside above Temescal Canyon Road, Lake Elsinore

… and hillsides

beautiful garden roses ~ on a side fence in Murrieta, California

And it’s not just all about 
the wildflowers…


Birds of Paradise ~ Shivela Middle School
… but sometimes it is!
🙂
An old hiking trail now closed at Lake Skinner ~ about 3/4 mile from the entrance kiosk.
Time to slow down and
take a walk…
Loved being back in California
for an incredible springtime!
Thanks for stopping by,
Barb 🙂



Sharing with
Totally Terrific Tuesday ~ The Savvy Apron
Friday Features ~ Oh, My Heartsie Girl!
Sweet Inspiration ~ The Boondocks Blog