Come Sit a Spell! ~ Create a Reading Nook


Welcome to this month’s Pinterest Challenge where my friend Cindy of County Road 407 sends a photograph to a group of us design influencers to use as inspiration to then recreate and make our own. September’s challenge is all about creating a Reading Nook! Of course, this is one of my most favorite places to be and I always have one wherever we live. Let’s jump right in…

If you are new here to French Ethereal, welcome! If you are just coming over from Michelle at Thistle Key Lane, I am happy to invite you into my home. 🌻 This time, Allison of Proverbs 31 Girl shares her beautifully renovated home with us and this reading nook in her casually cool, drop-cloth-loving, all-white style. Beautiful! 

plank fireplace

This particular post from Allison shows how her home has changed from before the renovation plus several reading areas throughout her home. 

Allison hand-stenciled these drop cloth curtains!

My inspiration takeaway

  • a comfy chair with a drop cloth slipcover set near a window’s bright light for daytime reading
  • soft linen pillows for extra comfort
  • a nice nubby throw to snuggle under while reading
  • an ottoman to prop the feet on
  • a pretty basket with just one moss ball for decor
  • a standing lamp for evening reading

I do love all the textures here from nubby pillow covers and chunky knit throw blankets to creamy whites with touches of black as accents here and there!

Our home

During the summer months in our North Texas home, it is very bright and sunny in this living room now that the trees have been limbed up and some of the branches were taken out. Last year it was very dark in here hence our fall and winter project was to thin out our oak trees front and back. 

It is much lighter inside now ~ perfect for enjoying the interplay of light throughout the day. Here in late summer/early fall a beautiful golden light comes in from these western windows which I love…

Iteration #1: I love to sit here with a cup of tea and while away an afternoon…The one pillow is turned sideways and is just where it needs to be for good back support.

Iteration #2: The first go-round I forgot all about having this knit throw and the pillows had been put away in our armoire. So glad I thought of them and pulled them out! Really love this spot now… You can see last month’s PC sharing a cloche here.

My reading spot and what I’ve done

  • slipcovers I already made dropcloth and matelassé slipcovers about six years ago for our two settees. You can find out how to make some for yourself in this five-part series beginning here.
  • pillows At the beginning of this year I found the nubby cream pillow (L) slipcover at a store going out of business for 75% off. Great buy!
  • a nubby knit throw this creamy knit throw came from the same store’s going out of business sale.
  • a second pillow The more patterned cream pillow with corner tassels is from Magnolia Market.
  • Bringing in color The bee skep pillow is from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.
  • basket with decor a round basket sits on our coffee table with its pop of green and pumpkin for fall.
  • a tall standing lamp is positioned behind the library table for evening and early morning reading.
  • nix the ottoman the coffee table takes the ottoman’s place and is ideal for putting one’s feet up to read or to enjoy candles or a gas fire in the fireplace.

I shot these photographs as the sun was rapidly going down so I’ve brightened some of these photos up a bit for you. I left the top one purposely darker to share the view out the back window: A bit of the garden beyond with a new garden trellis Mr. Ethereal just hung for me this past weekend ~ part of our fall house projects. Our tall lady statue is now sitting infront and can just be seen in an upcoming photo.

Past reading nooks…

Of course we have had various reading nooks over the years depending upon where we lived. In our Prairie Home (our big RV) our kitchen window sill was often a reading “library” as was a small plant stand, which was also in the trailer.

This post about creating a library in small spaces can be found

Under the slipcover, this is what that settee looks like.
One of my favorite photographs is of my daughter Amy as we were enjoying an evening of reading with candlelight at our last home in California. It is definitely my favorite reading spot photo! 💝 

She is all grown up now and looking to buy her first house soon which makes me excited to help her decorate when she is ready!

I am last this month so swing on back up to Cindy at County Road 407 to continue our Pinterest Challenge Book Nook tour. I know you will love the reading spot she has created for you… Do check out everyone’s reading nooks and bookmark this post to come back to for future inspiration! 📚

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Happy reading, dear friends,

Pheasant Under Glass ~ A Fall Cloche Styling

Welcome to this month’s Pinterest Challenge hosted by my friend Cindy of County Road 407. Each month Cindy sends out an inspiration photograph for all of us to get ideas from and make into our own. This is one of my absolute favorite times of the month ~ creating these Pinterest Challenges ~ and this month it’s all about decorating a Fall Cloche. Let’s take a look, shall we?…

If you are new to French Ethereal, welcome! How’d you like Julie’s cloche styling? Pretty cool with those sweet white acorns, huh?! 
I love everything Julie creates for her home!! 🌰 

This photograph above is part of my inspiration for this month’s cloche styling. It is from a Thanksgiving post I wrote a couple of years ago when we were still living in our Prairie Home, our 41′ Heartland Charleston Landmark fifth-wheel trailer. 

My style is definitely an elegant French country style and for this fall our little prairie chicken, vis-a-vis this little gilded partridge or quail, and another birdie friend are featured.

Now let’s take a look at our main inspiration photograph…

This soft fall colors cloche styling is by Beth Hunter of Home Stories A to Z. I love her warm farmhouse style with lots of whites and neutrals… Sooo pretty! 

Beth used mini faux Baby Boo pumpkins, dried hydrangea blooms both inside and outside of her cloche and other free fall garden gifts of acorns and pinecones to complete her cloche’s main look. I love how her vignette uses so much foliage and material straight from nature! Soft colors and I like the rope which makes the cloche look like a bell…

I didn’t have a glass cloche before thinking about putting together this post. So I was thrilled when I found this one at an early fall sale at Hobby Lobby a few weeks ago for 50% off! I have wanted one for a number of years but just hadn’t found one I liked or for a good price. This was $22.50 with the sale price; a bargain in my book!!

For this “pheasant under glass” vignette ~ a gilded quail, really ~ I looked through my stash of platters, cutting boards and such for something round to sit the cloche on, finally choosing this thrifted silverplate serving tray. I wanted a round wood cutting board but didn’t have one so the wood idea was out. 

The silver tray turned out to be the perfect size and it set the tone for a more formal look. To it, I added the small gilded acorns (which look a bit like small pumpkins), the gilded “pheasant” and this jeweled berry pick which was a White Elephant gift from my Bible study teacher a couple of years ago.

Loving this look!
I was shooting for mimicking the “pumpkin look” of our inspiration photo under the glass with these golden acorns, and then I added my larger velvety pumpkins outside the cloche, since they wouldn’t fit underneath and are bigger than those in the inspiration piece.

I looked for grasses to put underneath next to my bird but found only very expensive dried wheat ($29.00/bunch at Hobby Lobby). I ended up snipping some grass fronds from an obliging field and added in a few extra pics. I love the warm fall colors in this part of the room!

Setting my father’s retirement carved American goldfinch on some books brings in more natural elements, as do the actual pheasant feathers (part of my bird feather collection). The books used as risers are National Audubon Society books on bird watching from the 1960’s, my parents’ book collection. 

Creating the pheasant and finch vignette with the cloche and other fall goodies sparked a whole refresh around the living room! I brought out the late summer/early fall pillows and spruced up the coffee table with one of my large Cinderella pumpkins, a candle and faux flowers in a creamy ironstone creamer.

Thanks for stopping by today and if you are following everyone in order, please check out Michelle’s post from Thistle Key Lane, which I know you’ll love the way she used her cloche and her fun raffia pumpkins!

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An Easy Peasy Lemony Table Styling

Welcome to this month’s Pinterest Challenge where Cindy of County Road 407 selects a photo each month from Pinterest for a group of friends to take and create something of our own. This month it’s all about Lemons!!! 

Our inspiration photograph this month is from the wonderful writer Mary of Home Is Where the Boat Is.  All lemony goodness! If you haven’t ever been by to visit Mary’s blog, the garden behind her houseboat is beautiful plus she and her husband recently built a greenhouse that sets just perfectly into her yard overlooking the water. She also has the sweetest poodle pups… but I digress! 💛😊

If you are just coming over from Carol at Bluesky at Home, welcome! I am so glad you are here. And a hearty welcome to all my friends who’ve hopped over today as well! Wasn’t Carol’s citrusy centerpiece beautiful!

Well, friends, for me summer is all about decorating and entertaining in a way that’s easy and quick, and this post shares just that. A table that is easy to put together and a centerpiece that just says summertime.

Our inspiration piece standouts

  • lemon slices in a vase (of course!)

  • beautiful glassware for a hidden inner and an outer vase
  • lemon-decorated plates for serving
  • fun coordinating napkins
  • a bouquet of flowers with lemon picks poking out here and there
  • lots of yellow and natural decor including seagrass placemats

I began my table with a quick trip over to HomeGoods (not sponsored) where I found these larger botanical lemon teacups with saucers and also these fun lemon-covered paper napkins. 

There were many lemon choices available 

There were a ton of lemon decorated pieces in this season’s summer tableware: melamine plates, ceramic salad bowls, and more. I chose these large teacups to bring in the lemon theme because tea and tea parties are my thing. 

Problems I encountered 

1. Our weather has been super hot these past two weeks so please forgive these poor flowers… They are trying their hardest to look pretty for you!

2. Floating lemons is a trick I have never done before. You need way more lemon slices than you think you would. I had two lemons on hand and that’s what are sandwiched between an inner glass holding the flowers and the outer vase. So I will probably reshoot some photos for you… 🍋

3. The second photo shoot worked way better! Seven lemons and really packing them in is the trick, folks! 

First photoshoot
2nd photo shoot

First photoshoot ~ definitely needed more lemons! This sweet bee hive teapot came from my husband’s aunt’s collection of tableware. I inherited it after Aunt Doris passed away ~ a lovely gift! 🐝

My table’s takeaway

  • A country checked placemat with “together at home” written on it. 
  • pretty florals with lemons floating in a vase within a vase
  • tableware with pale lemon yellows as my main color
  • lemon macaroons served for a light dessert
  • tea served from a beehive teapot decorated with a couple of friendly bumble bees

And you get a double lemony post with two table stylings! I like them both but the second really shows off the centerpiece, which speaks to today’s challenge… How could we take the inspiration photograph and make it ours? 

Just like this: a bit of tropical florals and lemons… Amazing how just a weekend being in cool indoors and a recutting of stems perks up a bouquet of simple grocery store flowers… 

Thank you for visiting today!  

Next up on our lemony centerpiece tour is Michelle at Thistle Key Lane. I know you will love what she has for you!! If you are visiting everyone in order, all the links are here. Easy peasy, we try to make it easy! 

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Sparkly Patriotic Decor in the Living Room

Welcome to  this month’s Patriotic Decor Pinterest Challenge hosted by my friend Cindy of County Road 407. If you haven’t visited our Pinterest Challenge before, Cindy shares a photo from another blogger with us as home decor inspiration and to makeover as our own. Thank you, Cindy!!! Let’s go Americana, friends!!!

Red white and blue

Our inspiration this month comes from Liz Marie Blog whose fun sophisticated patriotic farmhouse-decor is breezy-coastal and fresh. I love her combination of comfortable-casual style where you just want to sink into the sofas and enjoy a sweet glass of lemonade!!

If you are coming over from Laura at Everyday Edits, welcome! I love Laura’s fun interpretation of this month’s Patriotic Decor!!

What strikes me with Liz’s decor:

  • white slipcovered sofas and a squishy slipcovered ottoman
  • soft reds in her gently faded American flags and red in her vintage-style tricycle
  • blue stars and stripes in those same flags and the sofa’s pillow covers
  • a round coffee table with a large round natural-wicker basket to corral everything together
  • an olive bucket with greenery
  • a sweet family photo in a white frame
  • three vintage canning jars in soft turquoise
  • and a demijohn of clear glass to hold the tall American flags
  • a big cabinet and some other decor off to the right of the main sofa
I love the idea of old canning jars for summer styling as it reminds me of catching fireflies and the glass demijohn with its gently faded patriotic flags soften the decor. The wood furniture is nicely stained in light and dark tones and a fun window with a jack-a-lope trophy round out her farmhouse style.

Well, I can’t come up with a jack-a-lope, but last year I shared a summertime patriotic post with soft reds and blues of my own in this post for July 4th. I do love this lighter take on our country’s patriotic colors. 

This was my first take on the look sans patriotic-coastal pillows.
So this year I am also going for the softer side of Americana. My style is a little more French-country but softer Americana colors fit me just right. 

I made drop-cloth slipcovers for my two camelback sofas when I first began my blog six years ago. If you’d like to read those posts, you can find the first post in that sewing series here. So, first need for this challenge ~ check!

My take on our Patriotic Decor Challenge

I knew right away I’d use this round tobacco basket as my centerpiece. I found it last fall at Joanne’s as a door hanger for $7.00 on clearance! Can you believe it? 

It had to come home with me that day. Originally it was stained dark brown and for this post I’ve dry-brushed the basket with grey chalk-paint then layered on highlights of white chalk-paint. I like its lighter soft-grey look now and even Mr. Ethereal commented on how much he likes it! (He has good taste!)

I was also able to bring in 

  • A small oregano plant in a well-worn clay pot sitting on a red transferware plate that became my greenery and brings in a little red to this tablescape vignette.
  • A tall LED lamp with its soft grey woven cover in a pear-shape atop a small vintage red leather-bound book (for added height) ~ mimicks the tall demijohn of the inspiration piece. 
  • I added in some fun red, white and blue with a pinwheel and  some “sparkle” with this tall “fireworks explosion-sparkler” ~ these two pieces take the place of the two large flags. Two tiny American flags tucked into the oregano add in the American flags that would be missing otherwise, and that would be unpatriotic.
  • Two canning jars in turquoise and a deeper green ~ from some pepper jelly a friend gave me ~ add in the green jars. I did try two of the turquoise Ball jars but they just wouldn’t quite fit so this was my compromise.
  • A French flow-blue dish filled with summertime deep-red cherries outside the basket is my own little addition ~ it takes the place of the blue in the ottoman’s striped slipcover and brings in a little more red to the scene.
  • An antique clear-glass apothecary jar (now clouded) brings in the clear glass from Liz’ tablescape and is the final addition to the centerpiece. This jar belonged to my husband’s grandfather and he collected old glass.  I found this in a pile of things Mr. Ethereal was cleaning out of one of three sheds while we were back helping his mother.
  • A small cabinet and tall planter with hydrangeas stand off to the right to stand in for the wooden case piece in the inspiration photograph.

The final elements of my Patriotic Decor

  • For the background: We just returned from two back-to-back trips and I brought home this faded and slightly torn American flag from my inlaws’ home in California, from our second trip. 

I tried to fade it more with bleach but it must be 100% polyester so it refused to fade. A 100% cotton flag will fade beautifully and is something I’ll have to look for next!

Yoda wanted in the photos, too!
  • My son and daughter’s heavy-duty tricycle brings in the family aspect of what Patriotic Decor means to me. My parents found this 28-year-old tricycle at a garden center near their last home in Southbury, Connecticut. It is soooo heavy-duty that my son was still racing this tricycle around our last home’s backyard pathways even at 17 years old! It will go up to our sweet grandson (his son) as soon as little Milo is old enough for it… 💝
  • Reversible Coastal-Americana pillowslips I just made bring in the stripes from the original plus a little extra fun with the  coastal look on the reverse print! This was a quick fun project done in less than an hour giving our sofa a new summertime look.  Love how these have turned out!
With the fireplace right behind the camera, this is as big and wide as my living room can show, lol!! Pretty happy with how this whole patriotic tablescape and vignette turned out. Here is one side of the pillows.

To make these pillow slipcovers

These pillowslips are easy to make with just sewing straight edges and leaving about 1/3 of the bottom edge open for stuffing before either pinning, putting in buttons and buttonholes, or a zipper for closing.

You’ll need 1 yard each of two complementary fabrics. Cut them to fit the width and length across the pillow, stuffed, plus 5/8″ more to each edge for the seam allowance. You’ll also need two pillow inserts, matching thread and a zipper or buttons to finish your pillows.

Big tip: Put right sides together and sew down both sides from the top of the pillowslip. Sew outward from the middle of the top seam to each side, overlapping slightly in the middle. Do the same on the bottom but leave the middle-third open for turning and stuffing.

***This technique is how you prevent “pulling to one side,” or something like a shirt that pulls in only one direction (You’ll not know why you hate that shirt but you’ll end up getting rid of it…). This is one of those reasons… 🙂

Lastly, grade your seam allowances ~ except the middle of the bottom seam allowance. Keep that full-width in case you need it for putting in a zipper or buttonholes. 

Cut diagonally across all four corners eliminating the fabric bulk. 

Turn your pillow slipcovers, press, and stuff in your pillow inserts. 

Voilà your pillows are done!

Here is the other side of the pillows.

Thanks for stopping by today and be sure to check out all the wonderful ideas my friends have created for you on today’s Patriotic Decor Pinterest Challenge tour!!!

Up next is Amber at Follow the Yellow Brick Home and I know you’ll enjoy her patriotic homestyle decor!

Here are some links to the Coastal-Americana fabrics and the sparklies from Joann Fabrics that I used. This post isn’t sponsored but I will earn a small commission if you buy anything through my links, thank you.

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Refresh Your Porch or Patio in Just One Week

Welcome to this month’s Pinterest Challenge and this month is all about getting ready for summer celebrations, cookouts and getting together with family and friends. This month’s challenge is to share our Porches and Patios with a clean inspired refresh… 

This month’s Pinterest Challenge patio inspiration comes from Bria of Bria Hammel Interiors. I love Bria’s coastal style with easy-style bamboo and outdoor wicker furnishings, a fresh blue and white color scheme, and a celebration of potted plants on the porch, in a teacart and hanging from the wall. 

I love her potted trees in those what I’d say are large square French-style planters! Gorgeous chalky blue color!! Bria used touches of black, too, and that’s what jumped out at me.

PC graphic
As we get into my post I’d like to thank Cindy of County Road 407 for once again hosting this challenge, thank you Cindy! 💝 And if you are coming over from Lora from Lora B Create and Ponder, welcome! Lora’s colorful vintage porch style is pure fun!! 
Last summer’s A Small Summer Home Tour.
This is how our back patio has looked since last summer. It was a bunch of mismatched furniture, a couple of potted plants and one of our “Girls” bringing in the French country style I love. 

Here is how our patio has changed since last summer. I worked on creating a little French café earlier this spring. Now it is a pleasant place for Mr. Ethereal and I to come outside and sit, and to enjoy cool mornings while the mourning doves, sparrows, the seasonal cardinals and other wildlife visit…

Simple, clean, and French inspired!

How the patio has changed

Even before I knew what this month’s Pinterest Challenge was to be I had already planned to repaint our park benches so this challenge was perfect timing! The green Wayfair bench I’ve only had for four years has rusted really fast because of North Texas’ hot and humid summertime climate. 

The white cast iron bench I’ve had for years and it came with us to Texas last year with our movers. In California, the lower humidity kept the iron pristine (except for paint peeling off the wooden slats). I think this bench is 15 years old?? I bought it when our last home was new to us.

My former rose garden parterres…


I sat down with some of my favorite French style design books and looked at what makes authentic French style so appealing. I realized right away what I wanted…

Our benches needed to look like those gorgeous park benches one sees at large public parks in France and even here in the United States (think Central Park, NYC). They needed to be able to move effortlessly from porch to yard on a whim. 

They needed to be black…

Over the course of a week I was able to repaint both benches, the new plant stand and also another hanging basket. Working with spray paint is easy ~ just as pie is a natural dessert for a summer picnic!

Our backyard patio porch now has the cohesiveness it lacked  and looks very close to our inspiration photo:

With wicker chairs and benches for relaxing, hanging baskets adding their lovely southern green touches, and lavender plants bringing in that French country style that is me. I am in-love with the curves and diamond patterns ~ how they repeat from piece to piece! Now to find the perfect seat cushions! (Always something, lol!)

Thank you for stopping by my patio refresh today and next up is my friend Michelle of Thistle Key Lane whose porch looks amazing! I love how elegant Michelle’s patio looks with all the blue and white, and her teacart is a favorite in my book!! 

Please pin, thank you! 💜

We have a big group of friends in today’s porch and patio tour for you. Please come back and restart here, or from any of today’s participants, if need be. 
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Wonderful Wednesday ~ Stilettos and Shiplap
Tuesday Turnabout ~ My Wee Abode

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Enjoy the tour,


Our Spring Garden DIY & Update ~ A Pinterest Challenge

Welcome to  this month’s Pinterest Challenge where a group of friends gets together and finds inspiration from a given Pinterest pin with which to create something beautiful. Cindy of County Road 407 is our host and this month we were given an idea to create a garden fountain. Let’s tour my garden, mes amies…

Like on our inspiration piece, a little butterfly has come to visit le jardin… A corner off our patio.


Our garden is very much a work in progress and is barely a year old. New plants go in the ground and into pots as money comes available. I recently finished a small patio area for our trash bins and am noodling ideas for keeping dirt down under the oaks here in the backyard. 

Thinking about bricking the whole thing although laying faux grass would be cheaper ~ and what Mr. Ethereal would like to do.

If you are coming over from Laura of Everyday Edits for the first time, welcome to my home and garden! Laura’s flower pots out front look beautiful, don’t they? She made me laugh with her post on The Five Dog Items to Clean More Often. Humor and style, the best!!!  Welcome back to all my other friends, too, as I am always happy when you come and visit me.

Our Pinterest Challenge garden fountain comes to us from Jane of Cottage at the Crossroads, a new blog to me. Jane and her husband Leo write from their 100 year old home and they have created a totally adorable cascading waterfall of Topsy Turvy Galvanized Buckets overflowing with plants. So adorable!

Tumbling flower pots

Jane and Leo used a plastic insert kit to create this waterfall of four galvanized metal buckets, a galvanized tub, plus a variety of coral flowers ~ totally love their cheerfulness! I have a bunch of clay pots but I thought there’s no way I could recreate this look with them. Too fragile.


I have had an idea for awhile to create a real water fountain from a galvanized horse trough, and you’ll see that in this next series of photographs. 

Water fountain ideas

My inspiration piece… The owner of The Victorian Sample Florist created this water fountain from a large oval galvanized trough surrounded by stacked paving rocks and a hidden piping system going up into the building’s wall.

This is the  Secret Garden in Corsicana, Texas that I wrote about last fall.
We have a similar brick wall in our backyard along our garage and this is where I’d like to have our water fountain. This whole month I have wracked my brain every since knowing of this particular Pinterest Challenge on how to create this fountain. Not everything is available online and many companies without online presence are just getting their websites up and running to meet demand. That was the challenge I found trying to create what I wanted to do for you! 

Watering troughs are easy to find locally and they run about $50-$70 depending upon the size needed. I am also looking for the perfect piece to have water spill from, so no horse trough water fountain right now.

*On a side note: While I was working on this post, I came across a company which sells galvanized chicken feeders and other poultry supplies ~ Premier 1 Supplies ~ in case you’d like some feeders for your brood. Chickens are also something I think about having in our garden. They are perfect bug removers!


My other thought was creating a fountain out of clay troughs and/or actual water fountain tiers but no luck there. My favorite stores for buying unusual size planters and pots are not open at present and these pieces I would need to create my fountain’s layers (if I go this route instead of the horse trough idea). I am also looking for the perfect piece to have water spill from, so…yeah.

I have come up with another type of waterfall, if you will, based off of our inspiration piece and it begins here…

Nursery inspiration

They have statuary and concrete bird baths, full-size trees and
old roses set in garden rooms… It’s an ethereal place!
I just found Meador’s Nursery this past week and it has been under my nose for a year now! It is still open because contractors need supplies for landscaping, hence the public can also shop ~ which gives me an open place to visit and shop for garden supplies.

Everyone wore face masks and the staff wore hats with face shields in addition to their own face masks ~ it is the first time I’ve felt free to wander since early March. What a delight!

For this fountain, part of me is thinking of using a medium-size watering trough or very large half round clay squat pot which will fit my space better as a recycling water fountain (like that in the Secret Garden). 

Garden plans

This is what I have come up with instead for you ~ a three-tiered plant stand. I saw this cute stand earlier this week at Meador’s and thought it was perfect. I have been looking for a plant stand to create a little herb garden in now I just need to find the right pots. Cindy’s post gave me an idea to look for small galvanized metal trays and pots to decorate this plant stand with ~ so now you know where this is going! 🙂


After finishing doing some volunteer work for school last Friday I headed back to Meador’s to pick up this stand.

This new rose bush is appropriately named “Iceberg.”
A white rose bush might have come home with me, too… 

“Gardening is cheaper than therapy and you get tomatoes.”
Author Unknown
In addition to finding a rose bush and then this plant stand coming home to the garden, I have been watching period films again. Last year I wrote about some garden shows to watch and one in particular is a movie: A Little Chaos which stars Kate Winslet and Alan Rickman. 

Madame Sabine de Barra (Kate Winslet) and famed French garden designer
André le Nôtre (Matthias Shoenaerts) 
It is a fictional story of the real André le Nôtre (1613-1700) and Kate Winslet’s fictional character, Madame Sabine de Barra, together creating one spectacular garden, tiered fountain and outdoor ballroom, part of the massive gardens in the countryside which would become King Louis XIV’s gardens at Versailles.

Madame de Barra experiencing a healing wish garden where people would come to remember loved ones.

“In every gardener there is a child who believes in 

The Seed Fairy.” 

Robert Breault

Talk about inspiration! The whole movie is a magical fairyland and then had me thinking our garden could be Un Petit Versailles… in the future. Just now it is still a garden in process…

I love my new little tiered plant stand and as time goes on it’ll
be styled prettily!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this petit tour of our garden and my garden inspiration today. 

Up next is Julie of My Wee Abode whose garden project is really cool! I love everything Julie creates for her home out by the beaches in Southern California. 💝 I know you will love seeing all the amazing creations these ladies have dreamed up for you! 

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Happy gardening, friends,

Make a French-Inspired Door Decoration for Spring ~ A Pinterest Challenge

Hello friends! Welcome back and welcome to this month’s fun Pinterest Challenge where a group of friends gets together and creates a vignette, a project or tablescape (among other things!) based off of an inspiration piece.

A Spring Door Decoration
 is our Pinterest Challenge this time and we thank Cindy of County Road 407 for bringing us all together for this challenge. If you are stopping by from Katie of Let’s Add Sprinkles I hope you enjoy my creation! Didn’t Katie have such a pretty door hanger? Love her sweet bunny! Well, gang, let’s get creating!!! 

This month’s adorable spring door decor idea comes from Jill at Create Craft Love. Jill calls her door hanger a Garden Hose Spring Wreath. It is simple and totally cute!

Here is what I took away from Jill’s inspiring front door decor…

  • an everyday rolled-up garden hose cleaned and dried
  • a fun striped pair of gardening gloves
  • faux flowers in bright colors
  • a cheerful ombre bow to tie it all together

Make it your own!

Now there is no way  I could possibly top this cute hose idea! However, I do have a French-style metal basket I have wanted to hang on our front door for a while now.

Supplies needed to make this French-Inspired Door Decoration

  • a wire basket to use as a base ~ this is like the one I found last fall at Hobby Lobby.
  • yellow parrot tulips and white daisies (or any spring florals to match your decor)
  • sheet and loose sphagnum moss
  • floral foam brick
  • pieces of felt (scratch protection)
  • a faux bird or two
  • grosgrain ribbon
  • jute twine
  • hot glue gun and gluesticks
  • a pretty spring glove

Big tip: Hot glue a piece or two of felt to the back of the wire basket to prevent scratches on your door or wall where your basket decoration will hang. Then…

Add sheet moss to the bottom of your wire basket. These cut pieces I used last spring for our Spring Centerpiece Pinterest Challenge.  Add pieces of loose sphagnum moss up the walls of the basket next.

Spiller, Filler and Thriller

Add a brick of floral foam into your wire basket and begin adding florals. I started with pieces of realistic-looking ivy tendrils as my “spiller” falling loosely over the basket edge. 

Next, cut off about 3′ of ribbon and fold the ribbon back and forth,  pinch in the middle and cut triangles out of the center of all folded pieces. Add a twist tie around the middle and attach to your wire basket.

*Fun ombre ribbon craft idea!

I added a grosgrain bow in a pale yellow to emulate the inspiration ribbon. I looked for ombre shaded ribbon but no go… 

  • It would be pretty easy to make-your-own ombre ribbon with lightly dipping the ribbon held horizontally into a bleach/water solution (cotton-based ribbon works best!) — 1/3 way up. Let the ribbon rest on a paper towel until the color changes. Rinse with clear water and let dry on fresh paper towels.

  • Once dry, dip a second time in the bleach/water solution but up to 2/3 of the way up. Let sit on paper towels again until the desired color is reached. Rinse in clear water a second time and let dry on fresh paper towels again. You should see two “colors” of bleached ribbon now ~ three colors total including the original color.  😊
  • Enjoy your ombre ribbon! 
*note: I did not make an ombre ribbon due to time constraints but otherwise I would have!

Love how realistic these tulips are!  They remind me of the
beautiful tulips I saw in planters when I was over in England
during the spring of 2005.
Then, add the “filler and thriller” parrot tulips and daisies so the tulips sit a little higher in the arrangement. The parrot tulips are the “thriller,” of course!


Tip: When you place your tulips into the floral foam, add the stems straight up and down to make those faux tulips look more realistic. Oddly enough, they tend to flop just like real tulips!

Taken while I was still noodling how and what to add…

Cut off a four-foot length of jute twine and weave and wind into a nest shape. Add this to your basket and place your birdie into its nest.

Tweaked just a little more for the final look!

And here is my French-inspired spring door decor basket hanging out on our front door! Thank you for stopping by today and I hope you will continue the tour with a visit to Terrie of Decorate and More With Tip whose door decoration is perfect for her style. You are going to love what Terrie did with her garden hose! 

A list of everyone on today’s tour is linked at the bottom for you. 💚

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Enjoy this fun spring door tour!

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… 😉

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Happy touring, friends!


Make It! ~ A Heartsy Garland for Valentine’s Day {A Pinterest Challenge}

Welcome to this month’s Pinterest Challenge and this time it is all about winter garlands and Valentine’s Day! I am excited to be working again with Cindy of County Road 407 who has picked out a really sweet inspiration piece for us this month…

Jenny of Refresh Living brings us her sweet pompom and yarn- heart Farmhouse Inspired Valentine’s Decor garland shown here on an 1870’s pie safe. I just love how this fun garland is simply made from just yarn and jute twine. (Okay, and maybe a bit of cardboard underneath each heart to give it structure.)
If you are just coming over from Carol of Bluesky at Home, a hearty welcome to you! For all my other friends, I am happy you are back for a visit!! Carol has created a really pretty red and white garland for today’s Pinterest Challenge. I love it!!!

Cindy’s wintertime PC logo ~ love it!
I have enjoyed each of the month’s I have participated in each of Cindy’s Pinterest Challenge. From last year’s Mixed Media Valentine’s Pinterest-Inspiration Project to “Some Bunny Loves Me” Spring Centerpiece and an Easy Patriotic Decorating Ideas, where we got to decorate a patio setting for our nation’s birthday, these PC’s really gives us something fun to look forward to each month. I hope each month brings you wonderful inspiration, too!
My Valentine’s garland interpretation

Last year I found this mini grapevine heart just after Valentine’s Day and I put it away in with my faux flowers for safekeeping. When this Pinterest Challenge idea came up I knew I wanted this little vining heart as the center of my garland.

Total $$ spent on this project? Nada! I already had part of a skein of white yarn leftover from some project years ago and the cardboard underneath each heart was just a thin piece of packaging I kept specifically for crafting.

Adding a little lace, some hanging ribbons and trim, and glueing on mini rosebuds made this heart just perfect (also part of my craft stash). I’ll do a little write-up later this week on how I actually made the whole garland but for now it is fun to just enjoy it!

For the little yarn hearts I copied Jenny’s idea as I thought they were sweet as they were. For my elegant French Country style I added soft iridescent pink ribbon in place of the jute twine to connect all my hearts. Pretty much picture perfect in my book!

Here is our mantel dressed for St. Valentine’s Day!

Hearts and angels mingle with candles and creamware in this wintertime mantel vignette… How will you make yours??

I am so glad you stopped over today! 

Next up is Laura at Everyday Edits and her sweetheart of a garland. I know you you’ll love what she has created! Please take a moment or two to visit Laura and also, as you have time, to visit the other ladies on this month’s Pinterest Challenge tour.

I’m glad you stopped by,

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One Potato, Two Potato ~ A Pinterest Challenge Food Bar

Welcome to this month’s Pinterest Challenge where our host Cindy of County Road 407 sends out a decorating photo for a group of us bloggers to draw inspiration from and refashion in our own creative style. This month’s Pinterest Challenge is all about foodie bars at its yummy best! Let’s dive right into this food bar and hope our tummies don’t grumble along the way…

If you are coming over from Laura of Decor to Adore and/or it’s your first time here visiting French Ethereal, welcome! I love French decor and have several antique French furniture pieces which you will see shared here regularly in our home. Wasn’t Laura’s White Christmas Cast Party post fun??! You’ll have to read all of her White Christmas inspired posts from this holiday season when you have time ~ really neat!

Now our Pinterest Challenge food bar this month comes to us from Chris of Celebrations at Home. Her soup bar shares two lovely creamware tureens filled with piping hot deliciousness!

What Chris used for her decor

  • wooden crates and a cake plate to display her tureens and creamware soup mugs
  • various wooden salad bowls for fixings
  • a charcuterie board to hold crudités and savories
  • greenery and flowers to pretty up her display
  • and a fun double framed sign to highlight her food bar

My take on this foodie bar

I immediately thought of a potato bar as Mr. Ethereal and I eat baked potatoes with various fixings and leftovers all year long. Sometimes it’s with leftover vegetables, those side dishes that always need “cleaning up.” Sometimes we cook up a pound of bacon on the weekend making sure there is plenty leftover expressly for creating a potato bar.

For this potato bar I baked up some large russet potatoes we had on hand and ground coarse sea salt on each damp potato right after cleaning them. This gives the skins a nice salty crunch with each bite and is something my husband found he loves and learned from the local steakhouse restaurants which serve baked potatoes.

What I’ve copied and did differently

  • Using my new HomeGoods creamware butter dish, three creamware bowls serving up sour cream, chives and shredded cheeses plus some ground beef seasoned with taco flavoring.
  • Sharing a double-framed sign, in this case I’ve reused my fall chalkboard from last year to announce that this potato bar is open!
  • Instead of a second larger frame surrounding the first, I backed my framed sign with a white painted serving tray ~ a piece which was first shown on the counter during last month’s Hot Cocoa Bar Pinterest Challenge
  • I added my Johnson Bros. transferware plates with their fall harvest scene to add a bit of French country style to my vignette.
  • The white horizontal subway tile of the backsplash happily mimics the beautiful brick wall in Chris’ inspiration kitchen setting.

What I didn’t do

I didn’t use any crates or cake plates for lifts to define my potato bar as our cabinets sit fairly low. Stacked crates look cool but would bump into the overhead cabinets here in our kitchen setting. 

The inspiration photo shared Chris’ soup bar laid out on an open buffet furniture piece but since we have gorgeous granite countertops (our first!) in this new-to-us home it seemed logical to lay out our potato bar along the back countertops.

Tinted with a bit of an old-timey feel for you!

Other food bar ideas for you

Thanks for stopping by today and I hope you’ve enjoyed your time here. If you like what you see, please consider subscribing. Up next is Lora of Lora B. Create and Ponder with another delicious potato bar idea for you! We were thinking alike… ;)’

Do check out all my friends and their food bar ideas as I know they will have many more ideas to inspire your next party event. All the links are listed below for you making it easy to hop from one post to the next! 

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Enjoy the tour,