Holidays, Home Decor

Add Style with Thrift Shop Finds to Your Patriotic Mantel + Good 4th of July Movies to Discover!

Happy weekend to y’all, dear friends! All of the patriotic decorating posts I am seeing out on your sites has inspired me to redo my mantel!! A trip last week with my mother-in-law to her appointment with the Texas DPS in Gainesville to get her driver’s license (about 30 minutes north of us) had me out thrifting and antique browsing… And guess what I found?

While she waited for her turn, I went out to look around town’s shops and found a consignment antiques/thrift store just catty corner across the main street from where the Department of Public Services’ building is.

We had just stopped for lunch at Braum’s for burgers (they have great ice cream, too!), after touring the historical Medal of Honor outdoor park sites over the course of an hour-plus, and this little store was nice and cool on a hot 95 degree day…

Henry Hunt is a novel which was given to my husband by his mother who met the author at somewhere (B&N?). The book is signed. The blue textbook is one from my Political Science class in college. Really enjoyed that class!

The shop owners were very nice and I met a lady adding items to her section of the consignment shop. There were three floors inside and I was good and didn’t buy any more dishware (though I could have; always!).

What I found is this patriotic couple which are stamped Occupied Japan ( from the late 1940’s/early 1950’s is my guess) along their bases. Gini was excited about this little couple’s beginnings!! Of course she would be, she lived through that time right after World War II when Japan was occupied by the United States military and later as the Japanese military and people began rebuilding their country.

This man and lady in their 1776 costumes are a welcome addition to my small but growing collection of figurines! They go quite well with the French Sweethearts which I found in Denton a couple of years ago.

“L’homme et la femme parlent.” I have been busy studying French in both Duolingo and Rosetta Stone. Moving along and my pronunciation is getting better! I played with the chroma here. Our walls really look more this tan color, but it’s hard to catch it without “browning” everything else, lol!
Here is another look. I like this photograph better as the French couple’s colors are more true to life.

They also go equally well with the pair which Mr. Ethereal has had since forever…

Bluish-grey book on left: Of Plymouth Plantation ~ 1620-1647 by William Bradford, edited by S.E. Morison and found at Half Price Books, Austin, TX. That location has a massive older book section with a nice variety of used and signed books.

Hubby says that this couple (pictured above left, and another pair that are over at my MIL’s house) have always been in the Chapman family. It wasn’t something that they picked up when they toured Independence Hall in Pennsylvania during one of the summers when they traveled cross-country. Every summer for years they would drive to visit family and visiting historical sites over a two week period. I’ll have to ask Gini where they came from.

Sorry this is kinda blurry! I had to really lighten it up and pull out the blacks since the sun comes in through this westerly window late in the afternoon. Summer is really dark inside this house; winter photographs much better as the sun moves around more North-West in the late afternoon with the Earth’s rotation.

Our 4th of July mantel

  • Books ~ History and poli-sci books from school, that one Plymouth Plantation/Colonial history book, and a children’s book I picked up at our Scholastic Book Fair this spring are what I used as our mantel books this year.
  • Patriotic transferware plate ~ bringing in one blue dinner plate with Independence Hall on it as a central focal point was all that was needed. *
  • Colonial French and American figurines added the final touches with their red, white and blue.

*This set is Liberty Blue – Independence Hall made in England, Staffordshire Ironstone and says that it is “detergent and dishwasher safe.” I found some on Replacements Ltd. but there seems to be quite a few sites which carry them from anywhere from $10.80/plate to $23.00 (Replacements, Ltd.)

Back in 2019 I went with this on our mantel ~ sharing American Civil War and anything military since Hubby was a Marine. We have several sections of our big bookcases in the living room which hold a bunch of great tomes covering United States military campaigns and our country’s history, in general.

This second patriotic post was part of a Pinterest Challenge back in 2020, I believe. I need to redecorate our coffee table again but I’m in the middle of carpet cleaning and moving furniture around. I’ll share the new look as I get things finished!

More books up on the right side of our fireplace mantel. Really interesting reads!

Favorite Movies

Oh!!! If you haven’t seen the HBO mini-series John Adams, you should! It’s good!!

John Adams

I really liked Paul Giamatti’s portrayal as Adams. Laura Linney does a nice job of showing us Abigail Adams in much of their early married lives as the “harried housewife.” Mrs. Adams was busy raising kids in the late 1700’s, running a farm, and dealing with being a single mom much of the time while John Adams was away running the country.

At least that’s part of my take on the movie and the Adams’ lives! I recommend watching it over the 4th of July long weekend since it’s going to be super hot anyway… 😉

1776: 50th Anniversary 4K UHD

My inlaws introduced me to the musical 1776 back when Mr. Ethereal and I were first married and I instantly fell in-love with this film! It is based on the play of the same title by Peter Stone. Released in 1972 (I was 10 years old then.), I’m sure we saw it on reruns once a year on television, since my parents loved musicals, but I was probably too busy playing outside then and might not have been interested back then. 🙂

And that’s a wrap on our Patriotic Mantel (and a bit more) for this summer! I hope you have enjoyed this post and learned about some new books to check out at the library. I added the movies since you might be looking for copies of them, too. We actually don’t have 1776 so I think I will order. We’ve always just sat down and watched Gramma’s grainy video copy, though I think she has since updated to DVD or Blu-Ray. The old video is kinda nostalgic, I have to say. 😉

Happy 4th of July hugs,

Barb 🙂


A Spring Mantel Blooming in White + How To

Our mantel was all abloom this past weekend, so… I just had to rearrange the mantel!!! I have been studying many other design influencers’ blogsites for just how one puts together a “good vignette,” so I thought I’d share that here today as well!

This all came about from last month’s Bunny Mantel, which I realized I wasn’t quite ready for… I moved the bunnies off to our tea table, which is now over in the family room area under our television. They look nice there and I’ll share them later on.

How to layer a mantel (or any vignette, really?)

Other than the mirror at the back, there were only two layers here and I think that was bugging me! That’s one of the reasons I decided to change-up our mantel display.

There is one problem here that I cannot change: the mantel is really thin on top, so everything has to be thin, or be able to hang off. A few things are hanging off but are heavy enough to stay on regardless. 🙂

So let’s check out some arrangements for details, shall we?

Layers, lots of layers:

So I went searching over on Follow the Yellow Brick Home for details… I love how rich Amber’s rooms always look so I’ve been studying how she does it. And it’s layers…

From back to front in each display Amber creates a mass of layers which gives each of her vignettes a really nice personality and 3-D effect.

Here in her Christmas Music Room she begins with what’s up on the wall: the garlands with a large rectangular mirror underneath.

An oval frame laid sideways infront of the mirror, then a large bust of Mozart (I think!) with a whole smattering of Christmas trees, other smaller busts, flowers in a vase and more…

Debra over at Common Ground creates her layers in this lovely photograph much the same way and she uses another technique…

Create a theme:

The china cabinet in the background creates the first layer; then the large ceramic rabbit and stacked upright platters is the second; with a third layer of spring teacups, a sweet birdie in a nest of moss and little eggs and two or three whorls of grapevines creating nest shapes; finally the fourth layer is the wooden trough itself holding all the springtime decor inside it. Of course her theme is springtime!

Debra is really good with themes!

Color and texture:

Another designer who I really love her religious art pieces and the way she stacks color and texture is Cindy at Edith & Evelyn. Cindy uses beautiful European soft furniture colors with whites and neutrals to great effect. She also uses gold ~ gold as a main accent on picture frames, on many of her French and European-style furniture pieces.

a nighttime photo lightened for effect…
Future projects lying on the chair… 😉 I thought you’d like to see the living room, too.

For our mantel…

I looked at how these designers put their rooms or vignettes together and went for it!

I removed everything except the two hurricane lamps, which I kept flanking the mirror on either side. then I brought over the little lying down angel ~ I like how she is relaxing! Made me think she is out relaxing under the blooming pear tree and enjoying its shade.

I played around with where the angel fit best moving left or right, and also facing more forward or not (without making her fall off the mantel).

My main elements:

  • cement
  • nature
  • white
  • greenery
  • heights

Cement pieces were brought in with the capital (just found at Hobby Lobby)used as a riser for the ceramic pitcher (also earthen)holding the pear tree branches. The candlestick I made a couple of years ago also has a “cement look” with its layers of grey and green chalk paint. And another smaller cement wall angel lays down by the left hand hurricane lamp.

Nature of course was front and center with the gorgeous blooming pear branches!!! I am sooo happy that I remembered to share them with you. After last weekend’s rains, I looked over and there they were saying, “See me!” I am sooo glad they called me over so I could share them with y’all. 🙂 The books are mostly gardening books, too. I love the David Austin Rose booklets the company sends out each spring for gardeners to pick their next roses to try in their yards!!!

White was brought in with books, the pitcher, the flowers themselves, a small creamer and a small white flower pot holding a moss ball.

Greenery in the flowers, of course, plus several moss balls in a couple of sizes add their spring touches.

Heights which I forgot about originally but realized added impact! I have one moss ball on the candlestick (high), a second on the white flower pot (medium), and another ball on the mantel itself (low).

These blooms put off an odd scent, too, which my husband said he though he smelled a dead rat… NOT the best way to describe beautiful blooms! But he didn’t know how else to say what he was smelling. They do have an unusual scent and my guess it is to attract bees and pollinators.

I really love how this mantel turned out with it’s bits of green and a little pink here and there! For once, I have the mantel just the way I like it. Busy but happy!

Here I photographed the next afternoon when we had sun again… Love the whites and this is really my favorite way to decorate ~ the ethereal effect I am usually looking for in vignettes…

Hope this was fun for you, too!

Barb 🙂


A New French Transitional Summer Look for the Mantel

Coming home  from California, this lovely French-style clock face just jumped from my inlaws’ garage and into my hands… I couldn’t get it into the car fast enough as it had to come home with us! I am sooo happy to tell you about it and how it just makes our mantel’s fresh new summer look…

Changing the mantel for summer 

I have wanted to redo the mantel from its spring look for a while now. The other morning, I walked into the living room and a bit of magic happened…

I saw the early-morning light falling across the mantel and I began a small photo session.  Afterward as I was getting breakfast together, I spied the clock face quietly  propped up along the garden wall in the dining room from my view in the kitchen, and voilà


Scrap the first photographs!

While Charles had been out cleaning, making piles and moving things around in my mother-in-law’s garage, he had moved this pretty piece up onto a box of stacked items. It was sitting pretty precariously when I went out to do laundry or something, so I went over to the stack to move that “thing” before it fell off and broke.

That’s how I spied this clock face… The clock must have originally fallen inside the house and the frame and glass cover must have broken. So that’s how it came to be stacked on top of a bunch of boxes. My sister-in-law said it only needs batteries to work.

I realized what it was as I went to move it and said, “It’s mine!!!”

Love the soft early morning light… It reflects off the back fence and
graces us with its beauty.

A New Mantel Look*

Earlier this week, I asked Mr. Ethereal if he’d take down the French mirror and help me put up this more contemporary mirror in its place. I’ve come to realize that I like the juxtaposition of Transitional decor. 

A few years ago when we went up to see our son and daughter-in-law’s then-new home, I began noticing that I was being drawn to the cleaner look of Transitional Style. 

I wrote a post about their home and what the elements are of that style. Basically, Transitional Style is still Traditional but with some Modern design and design pieces tossed into the mix. Lots of clean lines, more geometric, less frou-frou.

*BTW, if you like the French-style script I wax poetic with here on the blog, it is called Edwardian Script and I think it is a standard font in MS Word. I copied it over onto a post several years ago and now just re-copy it from an older post whenever I want to use it. It isn’t used all of the time because SEO and phones hate it, but I still love it for its ethereal quality… 💝

Changing out the mirror gives this a refreshed French Transitional look, in my opinion. Less Old World maybe but still having some of the curves and French-style that I love…

An evening photo…
Here is how the mantel looked before for Mother’s Day. I kept our sweet little Maiden and moved her to the opposite side of the mantel.

Don’t you just love changing up your mantel for different events or seasons?  

Opening up the front door let more light into the room ~ perfect for making our mantel’s vignette glow!

I played around with different things: leaving the small creamware creamer with its flowers from Mother’s Day, different candleholder options. I brought in a cement stand but that didn’t do anything. Bringing in the resin vase with its bird handles and faux hydrangea blossoms gave the mantel beauty and balance in height opposite the maiden statue. 

Adding a few candleholders finished the pretty new look…

Loving the mantel’s new French Transitional style! 

Sharing with
Friday at the Fire Station ~ A Fireman’s Wife

Let me know what you think of this new look and if you like this particular mirror here. I am working on the hallway next so the French mirror will be making a comeback there… 

Grandes Calins et Grosses Bises, xoxo


A Spring Mantel Style Vignette ~ A Pinterest Challenge

Welcome to this month’s Pinterest Challenge and this time it is all about creating a springtime mantel project! I am honored to be working again with Cindy of County Road 407 who has picked out a really gorgeous inspiration piece for us this month…

Deborah of Hip and Humble Style (H and H) graciously lent us her beautiful rustic springtime mantel for us to use as our inspiration this month. I love how beefy but elegant her mantel is!

Here is a breakdown on what I took away from her vignette:

  • large round transitional black-edged mirror ~ perfect for reflecting light around the room and also for reflecting the beauty of the objects placed infront of it.
  • a soft living plant in a creamware tureen
  • branches of faux cherry blossoms ~ a tutorial in her post!
  • black candlesticks for height and scale to balance the branches’ height
Cindy’s latest Pinterest Challenge logo… Love it!!! {Of course, pink is my color!}

If you are coming over from Carol at Bluesky at Home and it is your first time visiting me here at French Ethereal, welcome! For all of my returning friends, I am happy you are back for a visit!! I wish to thank all of you for coming and to Cindy our fearless leader in all of these Pinterest Challenges. If you missed any, just click on my sidebar and scroll through the past months to see more inspiration.

I have just put up a number of mantel decor posts recently so I thought I’d do something a little different today…

Using the beauty of Deborah’s wood mantel as a starting point, I would like to share my Country French desk from the late 1940’s/1950’s made by Drexel Heritage with all of you. I found it years ago in Orange, California in the antique district. 

If you are familiar with that area of Orange County in Southern California off the 91 Freeway, you know that is the area around the main circle roundabout where the trees are lit each year at Christmastime and also where you can find a really cool 1950’s diner to eat at for lunchtime. Yum!!!

But I digress… ;)’

My mantel idea uses the same principles as our inspiration piece in that:

  • I have a large wooden piece on which to display my spring vignette.
  • A large mirror hangs behind my display desk and reflects light and everything in my vignette.
  • In place of candlesticks, I chose to display a spring message on the chalkboard I shared in a Valentine’s Pinterest Challenge last year and in this post.
  • A large bouquet of roses and florals fit nicely in this French style tin flower bucket in place of those in Deborah’s photograph.
  • A little spring rabbit found recently at Hobby Lobby on sale adds a little whimsy to this otherwise more formal French-style vignette.
A view looking outside our front door.
The best thing about an inspiration piece is how will it inspire you?

I hope you will leave me a message and let me know how this post helps you move into springtime in your own home decor. 


Next up on our PC tour is Julie of My Wee Abode who has the cutest spring mantel display! I always love whatever Julie creates. 
I hope you will take a few moments to visit the other ladies on today’s tour too as you have time. 

Please stop back by to pick up the tour as needed, and you’ll find these same links at the end of each of our posts if you’d just like to hop from one post to the next… 😉

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Happy touring, friends!


An Early Fall Mantel Refresh

Summertime is  quickly coming to a close and with that it is time for a mantel refresh at our new home! Come along and check out what all is going on…

One  of the things I really love about this new-to-us home is our living room mantel so I’m trying to really get in here and change up the decor more often. Make this place comfy and cozy so that when we come home and friends come over, it is always welcoming!

I found a few goodies at Target in the dollar section this past week and the black and white checked pumpkins set the tone for this mantelscape. I haven’t really decorated with black and white before so I thought I’d challenge myself to incorporate it into my usual Shabby French style.

Until we can repair the wall where plugs used to run through for a television above the mantel, I always have to be mindful to put something in front of the ugly white plastic cover. Searching around the house for items with black, I pulled in this old candy tin which I have had since my mother turned over sewing to me when I was very young. With its beautiful roses painted on tin it is the perfect piece to place near the middle.

I began thinking about October coming and Halloween and went looking through all of our books for props. A couple of semi-spooky stories I have had since I was in grade school are placed over on the right side of the mantel. 

Nancy Drew Mysteries are perfect for bringing in that fall fun feel! The books’ yellow color brings in the pop of color I was looking for to balance the muted fall colors and the black.

Trying different looks

On the left side of the mantel I tried out a couple of different looks. The first is with this purple candleholder my mother-in-law found at their IOOF thrift shop. She thought I’d love to use it in my decorating and she was right!
When I first saw it I immediately thought of fall and fun dusky candlelit evenings… One of my first posts five years ago was a candlelit mantel at the Big House and I have missed a mantel filled softly twinkling light…

Keeping with the mildly spooky theme I thought of doors and locks of a haunted house so adding in a door escutcheon and vintage door knobs add extra charm.

This ironstone pitcher with colorful fall blooms was the second look I tried. Even though this mantel look is asymmetrical I needed to balance the height of the black sparkly Target tree placed on the right side with something taller on the left. 

This is ultimately what I decided to go with (for now) until I find the right vase or lantern to finish out the left side. Not perfect but getting closer.

Decorating challenges

Playing around with a couple of books as lifts was a small challenge. The mantel’s top is narrow so each book had to be just the right width to fit the space. I love the look of books without their bindings but I won’t rip off covers of good books just to create a look so I went with turning a couple books around instead.

The mini velvet, checked and real Baby Boo 

pumpkins make this a fun spot! 

This is a mantel with a lot going on but I like it for its difference from the summertime mantel look or from the patriotic mantel that was up earlier. 

I am loving this fall look ~ perfect with bits of autumn color!

What’s next at French Ethereal?

I have a few pillows that I’ll be sharing soon which will tie in with the black and white theme for the living room. Check back soon for that post in the next couple of weeks. 

I am just about finished with the t-shirt quilt for our son so I’ll be sharing it.

And I am the chairperson of an upcoming IOOF event with a Downton Abbey theme so look for a post (or two) sharing what all went on there soon!

Happy  fall  decorating!

A Summer Mantel Refresh ~ July’s Pinterest Challenge

Welcome to this month’s Pinterest Challenge where a group of us get together to share our take on fun decorating ideas found on Pinterest. 

Cindy of County Road 407 is our fabulous host and she picked a gorgeous mantel to copy! Here it is below:

If you are coming over from Paula of Virginia Sweet Pea and are here for the first time, welcome!  This month’s Pinterest Challenge mantel comes from Samantha who writes Little Bits of Home. Her mantel is all about the seaside and is bursting with charm and bright pops of yellow. 

I am loving this mantel with its clear aquamarine glass in the candlesticks, sweet little medicine jars and vases.  These cool pearly white vases with their yellow explosion of color bring another summery dimension to the mantel . The addition of the two white bound books repeat the color.

I looked through all of our goodies pulling out similarly shaped glass vases and greenware. I then looked through my stash of faux florals and found only one lone sunflower. 

Altering my mantel to feature pops of pink instead of yellow is more in keeping with my style and this is what I came up with for my mantel recreation. 

This French mirror was already in place and takes the place of the painted and carved mahogany mirror from the inspiration vignette. I thought about switching out this mirror for a white wooden framed mirror we have, but Mr. Ethereal needs to be home for this to happen! So, not this time.  😉

Gone are the lanterns and whimsical rabbit from last month’s Pinterest Challenge and the white capital has been brought up onto the mantel giving height to the green glass jars.

For height on the left side I brought in one of the altarsticks I made last fall. This balances the height of the hydrangea-filled jars on the opposite side of the mantel. The addition of a larger deep pink vase mimics the shape of the inspiration piece’s white vases. 

My mantel is quite different from the mantelscape in the inspiration piece but I worked to keep the scale in mind. By bringing in glassware in aquamarine green and pinks with florals in deep pink hues, this mantel has an essence of the original without being an exact copy and that is what inspiration is all about.

How will you use this vignette to change up your
mantel’s decor?

Thank you for stopping by and if you enjoyed this post, consider subscribing to French Ethereal. Thanks again, to Cindy for creating this month’s fun Pinterest challenge! Katie of Let’s Add Sprinkles is up next on the tour and I know you’ll love her bright and cheery mantel!

Katie’s sweet daisy-filled mantel!
All of the participants on today’s tour are linked here below making this an easy hop. Do stop by and see all of the other ladies on today’s Pinterest Challenge as part of your inspiration tour! 

Summer hugs to you!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter


Our Summer Mantel ~ A Study in White

Summer light spilling into the living room yesterday evening was so bright and warm that I had to capture it! Ethereal and fleeting in its beauty the lighting was perfect for a study in white…

Playing with color and then the absence of it in editing was fun! After the brightness of our earlier patriotic mantel taking everything down and starting anew brought a fresh look which I love ~ I hope you do, too.

The original photograph.

Over the years my decorating tastes have run from the primitive antiques and country blues of the late 1980’s and early 1990’s and to then to brighter colors with purple pillows, floral sofas and mauve recliners. 

Then with the new century something happened, or rather my friend Kathy happened, and I found decorating in white…

Friends Kathy (left) sitting beside another good friend of mine, Julie.
Oh! Julie just opened up a store online and she is making wonderfully
scented all-natural soaps. Her Instagram account is @Rosecottagesoaps.  
You’ll find her soaps online at:

At her previous home in San Diego County about a half-hour from mine in Riverside County, I found the ethereal home I had been craving as a busy working mom. Unfortunately the one photo I shared a year ago put me in hot water… So, no photos to share though her new home is absolutely stunning with a large peaked beamed ceiling in her living room, a gorgeous white carved framed mirror over a white painted fireplace, white and pale bamboo furniture draped with old white tablecloths and linen, lots of natural light coming through many windows.

She decorates with crystal and wire chandeliers in every room, glass-topped end tables and a large round coffee table set with the prettiest crystal decanters draped with beaded covers, cut-crystal bowls filled with those cute grass balls painted white, and always candles of all sorts but especially mercury glass with its mottled look…

My style evolved from hers with a little more whimsy as I love animals and they do show up in my decor as you know…

Here on this summer mantel I’ve brought in the reflective sparkle of Kathy’s mercury glass with vintage crystal doorknobs overlaid with fresh white cotton bolls and my great-grandmother Julia Foley’s cut-crystal serving bowl set atop a small white cake plate.

The silver in the doorknob parts begat looking for more silvery items. Recently unpacked, a pewter creamer my mother had given us as a wedding present makes its debut. I love the richness this one piece of pewter brings to the vignette!

A sparkly swan and a small white bird, both really Christmas decorations, and two tall altar candlesticks add their pearly beauty. With this we’ve almost finished our vignette…

The 1990’s didn’t completely leave as this little angel got to stay…

I didn’t have any fresh white flowers but I did have some saved white German statice which promptly went into this little white bucket with its embossed heart on its front ~ a gift one year for Valentine’s at a tea given by my friend Gloria.

Love the details shown in this close-up of the mantel center
with its horizontal layers of golds, silvers and whites!

The addition of a favorite framed card I have had since we first married set against a vintage Limoge plate complete the scene.

Here is a list of some other “studies in white” posts I have shared over the past five years. A breadth of etherealness for you…

Sharing with
Thursday Favorite Things ~ Follow the Yellow Brick Home
Share Your Style #216
Friday at the Fire Station ~ A Fireman’s Wife

Happy summer daydreams…

Short + Sweet ~ 5 Minute Spring Mantel Refresh

Welcome everyone, if you are new to French Ethereal
or are already a good friend now, I am so glad you are here!
Today I am sharing a quick and easy 5 Minute Mantel Refresh using things found around the home. Joining me are friends who are part of this month’s Short + Sweet blog hop hosted by
Benita at Chasing Quaintness, thank you Benita!  

If you are coming over from Judith at Botanic Blue welcome!
If you missed last month’s Short + Sweet posts you can find them here

Let’s put together our mantel, shall we?

For this mantel

For this spring mantelscape I looked around at the spring bunny centerpiece I had put together recently and decided to pull the second bunny to use in today’s decor.

This little French Script bunny I found last year at H.E.B. grocery down in Waco, Texas. Here is a similar little rabbit if you are looking for one of your own.

Destination Holiday Sitting Bunny Decor

This is not a sponsored post ~ I just love H-E-B grocery and the fun decorations
and their flower selections!
With this bunny I brought in some of the green moss to put under her feet, then picked out some faux pink peonies, white rose stems and a couple of white hydrangeas.

For your mantel add in your favorite flower stems real or faux ~ part of the fun in decorating is changing something to suite your particular decor!

Next to bring in are: candlesticks with a little sparkle and a few tea light holders. I balanced the taller candlesticks with two on either side of the vintage mirror. The tea light holders I used the “rule of three.” The tall and short complement each other ~ just a little decorating hint ~ the contrast in heights adds visual interest to one’s decorating.

The last thing to add is something really personal ~ in this case the chocolate bunny molds, also used in the centerpiece challenge.
Simple and Sweet and easy to recreate in your home with items you have in your own stash of spring treasures.

Thanks for stopping by today! Benita at Chasing Quaintness is up next and I know you’ll love what she is sharing with us.
Also follow the links below to see what everyone else has
for you on today’s Short + Sweet tour.


A Happy Rainy Monday!

It was a lovely rainy morning here yesterday!
A hot mug of tea along with a bran muffin while 
watching a little news about what was in store 
for the day’s weather was on the menu
as I sat and planned out my day.

My hubby and I were awakened
by heavy thunderstorms moving by overhead.
Some lightning and not a little rain 
dropped down upon
the little town of Sanger.
It was sooo nice to 
have to go outside
until the rain let up!
This morning reminded me of another rainy day 
we had at our old home…

When it was cold and windy outside
inside was always nice and toasty
with a crackling, hissing fire
glowing away 
in the stone fireplace.
Candles flickering atop the mantel
spread their glow
and light
around the room ~
especially nice and heartwarming!
Pouring a second cup of Winter Time tea,
thoughts about the holidays and 
what I hope to find
here in Texas 
ran through my head.
Our new home is about an hour-and-a-half
north of Dallas up in the hills.
Driving around the freeways
I’ve seen billboard signs
Holiday at the Arboretum
in downtown Dallas.
Maybe I’ll head down there later this week
and make a day of it!
I’m needing a kickstart to this holiday season
and some inspiration.
What is inspiring you this
time of year??
Tomorrow I’ll be sharing
the final Tombstone photos
about the Architecture and Beauty I found there
in that historic city filled with saloon and gunfights.
Later in the week, I’ll be sharing the beautiful
ornaments I found online
and finally broke down and bought…
{silvery and swirly etherealness!}
Oh, and I found some flowers that I’ve never
had the good fortune to find in
Southern California.
They will be coming your way soon.
Have a great day!
Barb 🙂
Sharing with:
Create Link Inspire ~ Naptime Creations
WOW Us Wednesday ~ Savvy Southern Living
Feathered Nest Friday ~ French Country Cottage
Dishing It And Digging It

Antiquing ~ Second Impression Palace, Mitchell, SD

What makes the heart
go pitter~patter?
That excited feeling one gets 
when you KNOW
 there could be
Something out there really special just
waiting for you
to find it…

Second Impressions Palace Antique Mall

(605) 996-1948

You know that feeling when it hits you full force
at least it does me!

Last week as we were driving across the
prairies in South Dakota
we kept seeing road signs for
an antique mall in Mitchell.
We decided to stop and check it out!

I found lots of older camera equipment at 
Second Impressions
perfect for that person 
who is a collector of such goodies.
My son began collecting a few pieces
especially older lenses 
as they can often be adapted 
to work with today’s digital cameras.
Two summers ago, we found a 1970’s~era 
camera body, several lenses for that model and
a flash at an estate sale.
My son was very excited that weekday
when I came home and woke him up 
to go back with me to take a look.  
This is always a score in our book!

I love this darling little pillow!
Wouldn’t it be cute 
with other vintage pillows
in delicious shabby shades
sea foam green, soft pinks and sky blues?

Of course there were lots of vintage and 
antique books to peruse ~ I found a number of vintage 
Hardy Boys Mysteries
as well as this 
Harper’s Third Reader.
The stories within are good still and its fun to read
these hundred~year~old school books
to see what life was like back then!
Vintage books are also wonderful to decorate with ~ 
stack them to raise items creating height or
balance in a tablescape ~ 
anything which needs a little boost 
when you are decorating a shelf or mantel.
True antiques these former gas chandeliers
now electrified would look wonderful hanging in a 
period or transitional home.
Surprisingly not much china was available
as I overheard the shopkeeper tell someone that
tea sets weren’t selling well…
A shame really as I found this tea set to be quite charming!
Shopping this time for me had to be easily
packable and small since we were full in the car
so the crystal chandelier pieces
a packet of silver-plate knives
and these two door escutcheons are all the antiques
that came back with me from this trip.

Finally, the last and the pièce de resistance
a mantel unlike any I have seen anywhere ~
If I could have forked over the $895 price
I would have in a heartbeat…
This is actually three separate pieces: the mantel piece,
the greenish patinaed metal insert
and a metal medallion of a woman down below.
All lovely and beyond my budget… sigh!
So now you know what makes my heart skip a beat
and makes me swoon.
Anything here make you swoon, too?
Happy antiquing,
p.s. ~ As always, feel free to “share” and “like” my little ramblings.  I’m looking at adding 
Mail Chimp to make it easier to send you mail updates of when blogposts publish.  
I do appreciate your comments even though the goofy Google+ thingy says comments are 
“from me”…  Still trying to find that and fix it.  Let me know if you happen to have had the same issue… Thank you!!!
*Will be sharing with ~
Feathered Nest Friday ~ French Country Cottage