An English Breakfast tea in the Garden…

Summertime breakfast  enjoyed outdoors is heavenly and on this lovely, perfect summer morning a breakfast table set for two was laid…

Ready for a friend to visit and a morning tête a tête as soft breezes whisper through shady overhead branches…

Lord, grant that our time together be steeped in serenity, sweetened by sharing, and surrounded by the warm fragrance of your love. Amen.

 A Teatime Blessing ~ If Teacups Could Talk, Emilie Barnes
We settle in for a nice breakfast warmed by the summer sun complete with fresh cranberry biscotti and a chocolate croissant
to share. German wine glasses provide cool water while hot tea (just one cup, please!) and a small prayer warm the soul.

A bit of a European breakfast, really! 😉

A mid-century rose-strewn  tablecloth begins the scene for this rosy tea. Goldenrod placemats are laid next reminding us of summertime harvests coming soon. 

English pink transferware plates act as chargers and repeat the deep pink of the tablecloth’s roses. 

Vining Limoges luncheon plates are last to be set on this summery table and another chair is pulled up in case another friend shows. This chair adds it’s warm wicker beauty to the day…

English Breakfast tea is served in mismatched teacups; a silver spoon rests casually alongside. Simple napkins with pink checked edging are older Simply Shabby Chic ~ large enough to cover one’s lap and dainty enough for this casual breakfast.

Previously two visitors came for their own tasty treats…

Late this week my mother-in-love is coming for a visit with my father-in-law. This table setting may just well appear again for my tea drinking family!

“If you are cold, tea will warm you; If you are too heated it will cool you; If you are depressed, it will cheer you; If you are exhausted, it will calm you.”

William Ewart Gladstone, shared in If Teacups Could Talk
by Emilie Barnes

A stack of dishes when breakfast is done… Prettiness in a cup.
Sharing with
Friday at the Fire Station ~ A Fireman’s Wife

Happy tea to you,

10 Minute Tussy Mussy Gift Bags for Mother’s Day + More ~ 10 on the 10th

Welcome to this month’s 10 on the 10th where 10 bloggers (and sometimes more!) get together and share ideas with you on the 10th of the month for under $10. 

Thank you to our host Katie of Let’s Add Sprinkles for putting this party together, and if you are stopping by for the first time from Cindy at County Road 407 welcome to French Ethereal!

This month’s theme is something for Mother’s Day, Graduation and Teacher Appreciation gifts.

With all of these events happening in the months of May and June, it is often nice to create a gift holder which can be made in batches to give out to all your recipients for not much money.  

Like making fresh plumeria leis picked then strung by the bags-full for my elementary school teachers in Hawaii when I was growing up, making a Tussy Mussy to fill with gifts is a welcome change from the usual wrapped or bagged gift! Homemade gifts are often the best and most appreciated (in my book, anyways!).

Easy to make in just a few minutes, Tussy Mussies can be filled with small candies, a special note, a small gift box containing a thoughtfully purchased necklace or earrings you’ve just picked out… The ideas for filling Tussy Mussies are endless and easy to coordinate with your theme.

Here’s how to make a Tussy Mussy

*Start by laying out your sheet of printed paper, printed-side down.

*Begin rolling the paper with holding the left side tight to create the bottom, pointed end. (or right side, if you are left-handed!)

This tussy mussy went to a little girl and the sweets theme was perfect for her!

Keep the left side tight/small as you roll the upper-end looser creating the cone shape.

*Put a bead of hot glue along the edge lengthwise to hold the edge in shape. I also glued a bit along the upper edge, next to the vertical long edge, just glued-down to keep it from unraveling.

*Make a slit 2″ down (or however long you like) 
to create a way to cut off and even up the top edge.

*Glue down the inside loose piece around the inside top.


*Pull out all of your laces, cheesecloth, buttons, whatever you have and have fun loosely wrap these around your cone.

*Hot glue in hidden spots to create the effect of bent lace/ribbon pieces and to keep in place. Working the laces around the upper-edge first seemed to work better for me.

Create the hanger

*Use more lace and form a loose knot on one end. Hot glue to the inside edge to hide some of the edge-glueing.

*Once the first part is glue on, then twist or layer your hanger piece, create the second, opposite knot and glue that in place.

An ethereal beauty ~ Two types of lace created this
tussy mussy’s hanger.


Each paper I picked up at one of my local craft stores from anywhere from 10 cents to $1.00 each. I think the sparkle papers were a bit more but these were in my stash so they cost me nothing this time.

A pack of hot glue sticks costs about $1.99 and lace costs a couple dollars a roll if you buy at Christmas time ~ well under $10 to make several!

And that’s all there is to creating a Tussy Mussy ~ perfect for putting that special gift for your mother, grandmother and all the moms in your life. 

If you missed any of this year’s 10 on the 10th posts
they can be found here:

January 2019 | February 2019|March 2019
April 2019

Thank you for visiting and if you enjoyed this post, please
consider following along ~ I appreciate you! 🙂  Please visit all of today’s 10 on the 10th participants ~ I know you’ll love what everyone has to share!

Terry at Decorate and More With Tip  begins our blog hop at
the top of the list as you begin with my post ~ Enjoy!

Happy Mother’s Day, 

Share Your Style #205

Welcome once again to Share Your Style and to week #205… I am Barb Chapman and I am so glad you are
here today. This week I am sharing a look at a tea and tablescape I held for two friends who came to visit
last week on
Maundy Thursday.

Here are friends Laura of Decor to Adore and Cindy of

It’s sooo nice to have blogging friends who live close by!
Hope you have a good group living near you, too.

This tea included a first look at our home in the mostly put together living room as it looks out towards the backyard.

A second post I shared was a spring basket door hanger as
part of this month’s Pinterest Challenge. I’d love for you to
stop by and check out both of these posts. So much great
door decor has been created all this month’s participants and
by our host Cindy of County Road 407! 

Great ideas for you to copy and adapt!

So let’s get to this week’s wonderful features
shall we?!

With Easter and Passion week just last week I believe another look is so appropriate… Therefore a few more Easter and bunny posts will feature this week.

Notre Dame Window by Jeanne Selep

Jeanne at her blog of the same name JeanneSelep.blogspot.com
shared the beautiful rosette window pre-fire which was saved during the fire at Notre Dame this past week.


Please pray for all those who have loved and are affected by the terrible fire which happened in this very old and beautiful cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, France, won’t you?

Many of you have toured this 850 year old church with its flying buttresses holding up its walls and though I have not, the faith we have, not in those relics and this church (and so many other houses of worship) but the comfort those pieces and places give us…

Notre Dame and the significance it has and has had on our fallen world remind us to continue “looking for the good” and to what the Son of Man went through to save this world from itself.

Fabiana who lives in Ecuador and writes Fabby’s Living shared this beautiful table set for Easter for all the family and company she had coming over. Simple beauty with sweet rabbits surrounding a gilded goblet and eggs nestled into sherbet glasses.
Simple and stunning!

I am on a bit of a tablescape kick lately as I love creating beautiful table settings for you all and for my family. Here is a stunning table from Sandra over at Dinner at Eight ~ love her Fitz and Floyd Easter rabbit in it’s Easter garden! And look at that tablecloth!!!
Love the Easter grass placemats…

Michele from the Scrap Shoppe Blog shares a round-up of Easter projects that we all can make now for next year and/or put on our Pinterest save boards for next year ~ adorable!!! 
And since this is French Ethereal here in an Honorable Mention for the week ~ from Stephanie at The Style Safari who is planning a trip to France in May and is making some clothes for her trip. Check out her blog for her creative clothing creations!

That’s it for this week, folks! Thank you to everyone who linked up last week and be sure to visit a few partiers while you are here and if you’ll pin my Share Your Style links as well, I send you bunny hugs through the airwaves!

 We all appreciate the love!

And just a quick reminder of the party rules:

This link party is geared towards home decor, recipes, gardening and related. I know many of you have so much to say about many other things, but here it’s always going to be a party towards life in the home. 

I would appreciate a link back to your blog, too.
Thank you!  🙂

Now let’s party!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter



An Easter Friendship Tea…

Our home is finally ready to share a bit more… I busted a gut putting books away in our three big bookcases all this past week but with good reason! Having friends over for tea is one of my passions and it is also good motivation for getting boxes unboxed; finding homes for things while organizing and cleaning; and then enjoying the fruits of one’s labor with those friends over for tea…

This is a bit of a double-feature tea as I reset the table from last week ~ I found the egg cups like literally 5 minutes after last week’s 10 on the 10th post went live – really! So the next morning when it was sunny I shot this quick table recreated for you. The eggs were already boiled and made a nice addition to this
spring table setting. I kept this table setting sans tablecloth as the nest-look of the woven gold placemats along with the bare golden oak of the table really created a nice contrast.
Our friendship table however was styled using a Battenberg lace tablecloth I have had for years, some vintage tableware pieces and a big bunny in mind.  Turns out the bunny competed with the flowers in the vase because of his size so… Out hopped our sweet little rabbit from the china hutch to grace this Easter table.

The sweet butterfly dessert plates I found after Christmas 2017 and shared previously at this tea table setting.

Our first roses…

Last week’s flowers have mostly faded away but the big white mum and some of the white daisies were hanging in there so I recut their stems and used them to fill in this mini bouquet. Our first Queen Elizabeth roses were just opening up and I am happy to share them from our new garden with you here.

 Little vintage butter pats were set out in case we decided to do tea bags instead of loose leaf ~ always a nice choice! Plus they are just too cute to leave in the cupboard as this tea was all about sharing favorite rose tea things with two friends.

Here are my friends ~ Laura (left) and Cindy (on the right).

You may know these ladies!

I have wanted to have several friends over since we moved in and many of you know me from the old days at our last home in California ~ I went to tea once a month for 18 years as part of the Victorian Tea Society there. I began this blog sharing several tea parties I had like this one and this one plus tearooms I’d visit.

Laura of Decor to Adore and Cindy of County Road 407 came over and we had a lovely tea luncheon! Cindy brought a Caesar salad to share and Laura provided a lovely English sparkling lemonade, which I had never tried before ~ very tasty both!

A little view outside the window this week.
We talked about blogging and how it has changed (something I’m sure you’ve found, too!), gardens, fabrics (Laura and I sew quite a bit) and dying fabric. You name it; we discussed it!

Scones mixed with homemade self-rising flour, Craisins and chopped pecans were filled with raspberry jam and mock Devonshire cream were the first course ~ delicious if I do say so myself! Making these scones was easy too as I was able to just roll out the dough right on the granite countertop of the island. 

We drank our English lemonade plus cups of freshly brewed English Breakfast tea. Really refreshing! 

A photo I posted on Instagram.

Chicken salad sandwiches were served on large croissants cut in half along with juicy fresh fruits ~ tart strawberries with green and red grapes. These comprised our second course along with Cindy’s salad.

We were all hungry and ate our fill. After a visit to see my new craft room we came out and chatted in the living room.

Cindy asked why I didn’t have this Shabby Chic bolster pillow out in the living room since florals are my thing ~ I don’t know. I hadn’t gotten that far with my decorating yet (or my thinking, since I’ve just been unpacking for what seems like forever…).

I am glad she thought of it though and brought this pillow out ~ it really adds to the room!  I had asked the girls if they would help me decorate in here as this house feels more contemporary than our previous homes. I have a lot of “littles” and my decor needs some editing to bring it up to date. Laura suggested having a swap with other friends ~ good idea!

So excited about this Regency pattern to use with this fabric!
Oh, I have to tell you the girls brought lovely gifts as housewarming presents! Laura spent a lot of thought and time hand-dying several yards of fabric a wonderful dark green. She also brought over a bunch of older sewing patterns for ideas to make a costume dress for attending future teas. I was and am still totally amazed…

This hat I refashioned to wear two ways ~ as a bonnet and then
with the mop cap over the back as a second look.

Laura dyed this fabric to go with a Regency bonnet I fashioned from a hat she gave me last fall so I could attend the Dickens Festival and a tea at the Lasker Inn with her down on Galveston Island. We had a really fun time that weekend and also previously when I visited the DFW Costumers Guild.

Love the green of this serving piece! So pretty…

 Cindy brought over a gorgeous large green-glass server for iced tea and other drinks. I am also thinking could act as a terrarium when not filled with ice tea, water with floating lemons and cucumbers, or lemonade. She had it wrapped in a beautiful bag ~ both came from HomeGoods, a favorite store we all like to shop.

Very thoughtful gifts both, thank you, Ladies!!!

Our final course included a lemon poppyseed cake with orange zest in the mix for a light citrus flavor. We ate this over in the living room with more tea and our water. Sorry I didn’t snap any photos as we were deep in conversation. 
And just a final couple of photos including one of me as I rarely get in photos since I am usually behind the camera. 😉

I should have looked in the mirror before snapping this selfie, lol! Not the best hair day… Staying up filling bookshelves until 2:00am didn’t help, either. 😉

More work to be done unboxing but you can see how the living room is shaping up.

A lovely Easter tea day with the greatest Gift
remembered this day as well!

Sharing with

  Happy Easter to you,

An Easter Tablescape ~ 10 on the 10th

Welcome to  this month’s 10 on the 10th where 10 bloggers (and often a few more!) get together and share ideas with you on the 10th of the month for under $10.  This month is all about Easter ~ from adorable bunnies to lovely tablescapes and some fun Easter crafts to make!

Our cute image was created by Carol of
Bluesky at Home. Love the bunny!

My name is Barbara and I am your host this month ~ I so appreciate your stopping by! We have a fun blog party planned for you today and after you’ve visited here please pop on over to see what Cindy at County Road 407 is sharing ~ I know you’ll love Cindy and her fun blog!

I am sharing  a first look at our new home with our dining room set for Easter. What I want to share with you today are these cool gold placemats I found after Christmas at Home Goods and they were just $6.00!

I thought they were perfect for an Easter tablescape with their lovely woven nest look!

Here I’ve paired these gilded placemats with some vintage serving trays I painted white a couple of years ago. As I was unpacking china from boxes this week, it was fun looking for china which would be good to go with this tablescape that said spring and Easter!

This set came straight from England in the early 2000’s from my sister-in-law and my middle brother. They had shopped the seconds stores up in the Stoke-on-Trent potteries area. (My brother was stationed in England for four years with the USAF at RAF Molesworth, a tri-base area in northern England.)  These were a gift for Christmas and my birthday one year.

My tablescape today doesn’t shout Easter with bunnies and such but is instead a gentle ode to spring ~ handmade tulip napkins; a fresh bouquet with soft yellow and white flowers; and the soft greens, blues, yellow and rust bands on Wedgwood’s Queen’s Ware “Sarah’s Garden” plates and teapot.

The teacups are fresh with their roses and florals and are part of my extensive collection of vintage china. Many are now quite old and are just used for display.

Bunnies however do make an appearance in the hutch!
Somewhere in a few last kitchen boxes are a set of creamy white eggcups from my original Villeroy and Boch “Botanica” set. When I was an exchange student to Germany as a 19 year old, I carried these eggcups home in my carry-on bag.

Guess they will make an appearance later on. Too bad as they would have been perfect with these placemats!

This tablescape would be easy to recreate in your home with simply decorated tableware you may already own ~ part of the fun of setting a beautiful table! I hope this table setting has inspired you.

Well that’s it for me for today ~ I will share more of this table photo shoot soon. I want to thank you so much for stopping by! If you have enjoyed this post, I’d love it if you’d follow me here on my blog and/or on any of my social media sites, too.

Let’s get this Easter party hopping along now with a visit to my friend Cindy at County Road 407.  Follow the links below to check out all of the wonderful posts shared by everyone in this month’s 
10 on the 10th blog hop!

Thanks again and enjoy the tour…

Also sharing with

Style Showcase 76 ~ Designthusiasm

Happy hopping,

"Some Bunny Loves Me" Spring Centerpiece Pinterest Challenge

Spring is in the Air is this month’s bunny-filled Pinterest Challenge and our inspiration came from Lisa of A Simply Styled Nest on Instagram. Lisa has graciously allowed us to use her Instagram photo to share with you. Thank you, Lisa!

I’d like to also thank to Cindy who writes the very cool farmhouse styled blog County Road 407 for hosting today’s hop, thanks Cindy!

We have a fun group of designers and decorators sharing their beautiful Easter + Spring centerpieces with you today…

If you are coming over from Carol at Bluesky at Home or are new to French Ethereal, welcome! 
Let’s get hopping, shall we?

Some bunny loves me 

Is the title of my spring centerpiece as sweet bunny rabbits are always fun to decorate with! Spring is in the Air lends itself to rabbits and eggs as there are so many possibilities for decorating with them for spring, Easter and Passover. 

Rabbits are historically a symbol of new life being that many litters of rabbits are born in the springtime. The symbolism behind eggs is also a sign of new birth and life so both feature prominently in today’s basket centerpiece.

Mr. Rabbit has had a little media press each year and you can
find his posts here and here

For this table setting 

I immediately noticed that Lisa used a wooden dough bowl as the base of her table’s centerpiece. Recently I purchased this painted whitewashed tobacco basket and thought it would work well with my Easter theme.

Bring the garden indoors

I had this bag of all-purpose moss that I found at Joann Fabrics last year. I used it around a little spring dried floral pot but had plenty left over for this project.
The beauty of moss is that it can be refreshed with just soaking it in water for a minute or two then letting it dry on a towel. Such a quick way to revive it and make it to puff up a bit ~ perfect for creating a natural look to any Easter or springtime display!

A sweet Easter ornament I found last year plus two metal
chocolate molds I picked up at the cash and carry sales during

High Point Market.

The goodies I started with… Fun plastic eggs and candies
picked up at The Dollar Tree.

To make a similar arrangement

*Look around your home for a similarly shaped basket or find one at
your local thrift shop or hobby store. One with a handle would be really cute ~ I have a handled flower gathering basket coming from storage which we used as our little bridesmaid’s basket at our wedding ~ so fun to repurpose these older baskets.

* Pick up an assortment of chocolate rabbits and egg shaped candies
to use for your themed basket.

*Add in a piece like this cement garden rabbit along with vintage chocolate molds, plastic Easter eggs and anything with a sweet bunny rabbit or two on it to fill in your basket. 

*Use a little floral foam to help prop up your items then decorate with strips cut from the sheet moss. You’re done! 😉

Photographs taken on our first day in our new home.

As this was our actual first day in possession of our new home I quickly put this tablescape together for you. The previous owners were stopping back by later on so I used some of the plastic eggs and candies and made a little nest for their daughters.

Aren’t these girls adorable? They are young gymnasts and just the sweetest!

Mom and Dad graciously allowed me to share
these two cuties with you today. Thanks, Mom and Dad!!!

Later on I found this little guy who wanted to
get in on the action, too…
I’d sure love it if you’d share my pin, thank you!

Thank you so much for stopping by!

Follow me if you’d like as I work around our new home ~ sign-ups are on the sidebar. I appreciate you!

My post is the last one on the tour today but if you are just beginning your hop around… Follow the links here for even more spring inspiration!

And do stop back by to pick up where you leave off at any time ~ the links will be here.


Tablescape Thursday ~ A Quiet Valentine’s Table for Two

Valentine’s Day is my second favorite holiday of all the unofficial holidays every year and this year I want to make it special for Mr. Ethereal since he works very hard to take care of us, plus it’ll be
our last in our little Prairie Home…

Yesterday  I shared a post on making these sweet Valentine’s Day table linens and you may wish to check out that post here

Today though is all about a soft ethereal Valentine’s tablescape for two.

Mr. Ethereal usually works late during the week and is gone many weekends during the year on business so it will be especially nice to share this tablesetting and a nice dinner with him.

Valentine’s this year will be on a Thursday evening and he isn’t traveling as much lately so he should be home in time for dinner.  Yeah! 

We have one extra special thing to celebrate this year:
we sign final documents on our new Texas home on February 15, the next morning sometime, and the keys to our new home will be handed over just
two weeks later.

Can I hear another “Yeah?!!!”

June Bouquet cup by Duchess pottery, England paired
with a Meritage ruffle-edged saucer.
This table styling began with the fabrics I found at Joann Fabrics. I ordered this all-over heart fabric and the companion checked fabric online and then went and picked them up at the store so I could make them the next day after a good washing.

After making the tablecloth and six napkins set I laid a simple table with just a couple of stacked plates: my favorite J. Broadhurst pinkish-red vintage ironstone plates as chargers and topping those with vintage Victoria rose-patterned plates from Austria.

Tea and coffee with dessert after a nice meal is always welcome so I set out some mismatched cups and saucers ~ this one is Stechcol Gracie by Coastline Imports, China, with its matching soft blush saucer.

I found it at HomeGoods a couple of years ago.  It is one of my favorite teacups as I love its realistic roses.

I added some silver edged stemware ~ also found at HomeGoods last year sometime. This repeats the silver in my vintage 1847 Rogers Bros. Remembrance silverplate flatware.

A little gold and silver mix with how I set up the window…

I set out a nice vignette in the window with dried pink grocery store roses set on another vintage plate by Theodore Haviland Limoges. The chafing dish is a recent thrift store purchase and you can read about that here.

The picture frame is getting a lot of use this winter and had changed up its look several times and will probably have a few more reincarnations as we move into our Texas home. 😉

I will probably bake something yummy from our many chicken recipes for dinner on Valentine’s Day.

And we may uncork one of our wine bottles which are just waiting for a nice occasion…

Until then the Valentine’s linens will stay on the table and wait for the Big Day.
{think big heart}

Sharing with

Happy Tablescape Thursday!

How to Make Your Own Valentine Table Linens

Valentine’s Day is… the perfect time to create a pretty sparkly heart-strewn tablecloth and napkin set to grace your special someone’s Valentine’s table.

Going out on Valentine’s Day is not always high on everyone’s list due to overcrowded restaurants and even less parking. Creating your own beautiful table with handmade linens is a fun and inexpensive way to liven up a Valentine’s Day party at home…

Affiliate links provided for your convenience. If you do
make a purchase I will earn a small amount, thank you!
Please click
HERE to read my full disclosure.

Make your own Valentine’s table linens

Start with some really pretty fabric like these
found at Joann Fabrics:  

A few years ago I made these Valentine’s napkins and tablecloth for a tea I was having while we were still in our last home in California. Then last year I found a book on napkin folding and set a tea table for that.

Since I don’t have that other Valentine’s table linen set here with us currently I thought I’d make another…
And here we are!

Sewing instructions

Measure your tablecloth fabric and cut off any excess to create a perfect square, in this case my tablecloth began as 43″ with selvage and finished is 42″ square.  1 1/4 yards usually gives you a 45″ square but all fabric shrinks differently; be sure to wash your fabric before sewing. 
Turn under your edges and miter the corners by cutting off about 1/4″ on the diagonal ~ this takes away the bulky corner when you are sewing.
Press under 1/4″ all the way around then press under a second time to enclose the raggedy edges of each side, pin as necessary. Hem stitch your seam on the right side from 1/8″ to a scan 1/4″ away from the fold with a regular straight stitch or any decorative stitch you would like. Be sure the seam catches all the edges inside and go back and restitch sections as necessary. {This is where a good seam ripper comes in handy!}
Make your napkins the same way ~ here you can see all the turned edges ready to be hemmed.
Press your tablecloth and napkins once more and you are ready for a party!
I’ll be sharing more of this Valentine’s table linen set and the tablescape I created to share with Mr. Ethereal tomorrow for a Tablescape Thursday post. Stop back by to see the table then!

(And remember that Share Your Style goes up tonight at 7:00pm EST/6:00pm CST/4:00pm PST.)

Sharing with

Happy sewing!

Christmas Teas with Friends New and Old

Christmas is  the such a wonderful time of the year truly and I find it such a blessing to be a guest at other friends’ homes! Getting to share the season with friends and family is such a treat and today I wanted to share two special days with you all. 

Two special luncheons where friends gathered to share the Love of the season… Pour yourself a hot cup of tea or another favorite beverage as this will be a bit of a journey; however, I hope you will be truly blessed…

Two luncheons  so different in decor and style of home but very much the same… The first place we are visiting today is my friend and Bible study teacher Peggy Hayes’ home in Denton. 

We held our last study of the year where two special stories about the birth of the Christ Child were shared.

Peggy read to us from the gospel of Luke ch. 2…

The Birth of Jesus

1In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2(This was the first census that took place while a Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3And everyone went to their own town to register.


There was no room at the inn… 

4So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

And an angel appeared…
8And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.10But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
A few tears ensued and smiles spread all around as we finished out study time and felt His holy presence.

Friends Peggy Luigs (L, Peggy #2), Carrie Ballard (back) and Peggy Hayes
(R, Peggy #1), our hostess.

 Our potluck menu

We moved all our study things off the table and shared our potluck luncheon of homemade chicken tortilla soup made by Peggy #1. A Raspberry Balsamic vinaigrette-topped salad with chopped pecans, mandarin oranges and ruby red Craisins and baby Roma tomatoes. There were tortilla chips for crunching on top of our soup and sides of crackers and cheeses and delicious Kosher bologna.

Now I don’t tend to “shove the Dove” as Pastor Brian used to say not to do at Calvary Chapel of Murrieta some years ago, so only a few times a year will you hear me really pour my heart out for our Creator.
Today is one of those days…

One of the many wonderful crosses in Peggy’s home.
Peggy’s home is filled with red everywhere ~ her favorite color! She also loves quilts and a casual country decor using long-loved and thrifted finds to create her loving home.  She has many beautiful crosses and Nativities, of which I’ve shared a few.

I shared a post last year about the scripture quilts which Peggy makes for friends ~ so inspirational! 

L-R:  New friend Jane, Carrie, Peggy #1, Peggy #2, and another new friend
Nancy, who is a pastor’s wife.

Food for thought

Here’s the gang! This was a wonderful day with good food of both kinds to nourish our holiday season-wearied souls. I for one am really glad that the Christmas Story was read as I needed to hear it again.

I hope you needed it too.

Laura’s super cute ornament display in her kitchen ~ based off the one I’m linking here!
Tea at friend Laura’s home  was the very next day and she invited three friends from her church to come hang with Cindy {who writes the blog County Road 407and myself for the day.

Laura as you know writes the blog Decor to Adore 
and has become a good friend over this past year as has Cindy. We like a lot of the same things just as my friends in California do ~ decorating our homes for each season, thrift shopping and antiques.  And of course a heart for Jesus!

Don’t you just love this pink decorated Christmas tree in it’s little cart??!

Laura’s theme

When Laura was thinking about what colors she wanted to do this year for Christmas her daughter suggested pink {I think it was} so Laura took a look through her Christmas decorations and ornaments to see if there was enough…

Happily there was enough and a pink-and-white decor for the Christmas season enveloped their beautiful home! 

This beautiful china hutch is part of a set of antique oak pieces brought
back from their living in Germany when Mr. Decor was stationed overseas.
Love, love the villages and castles on these vintage china pieces ~ so pretty!
Which goes along with the pinkish-red transferware china Laura collects ~ another similarity we have as I found some Johnson Bros. china a couple of years ago just after we moved here to Texas.

Here is a simple Christmas vignette on this blanket chest in their foyer complete with a sweet German Bavarian-style Advent carousel on top.  Fresh greens from their trees outside complete the decorations and show the Advent piece to its best advantage.

In a hutch in her living room near their Christmas tree sits a display of white ironstone creamware decorated with silvery Christmas balls set on beds of snow. Little cottages and tiny decorated chalets sparkle in the cabinet’s light… 

And more little Christmas houses beckon over on the antique carved server in the dining room.  Soft wisps of angel hair snow cozily wrap snow drifts around the town and church…

And the Gunn’s two weenie doggies came and visited with us, too!  This little guy is now 16 years old and such a lover and so jaunty in his Christmas neckerchief…

I apologize for not getting a good shot of both of them. I did try but you know how it is with kids and dogs and photographs ~ too much excitement to sit still!

A place setting for Jesus

After much visiting and meeting new friends we brought our soup bowls into the kitchen and served up the delicious chicken, spinach and cheese tortellini soup ~ heaven in a bowl!

Love this alcove for the range and all the brick!  The copper pans and sieves
remind me of the copper pans and moulds my mother collected.

Sprinkled with little slivers of parmesan cheese and pine nuts the soup had a nice crunch that satisfied all of our palates.  

I believe this is Johnson Bros. “Friendly Village.”

The Advent wreath

As we began the meal, Laura had us each in turn light a candle as she shared the story of the Advent wreath and what each lit candle means ~ this is a wonderful tradition her family has celebrated for years!

Each part reminds us of the coming of Jesus. The circle of evergreen branches represents “eternity.”
The candle lit in the center represents Christ as the “light of the world.”  The other candles lit in turn beginning on the fourth Sunday before Christmas represent as follows:

1. “Prophecy candle” ~ traditionally a purple candle and the first lit, in remembrance of the prophets but mostly Isaiah as he foretold of the coming birth of Christ.  This candle represents “Hope.”

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14, NIV) 

2. “Bethlehem candle” ~ or the “Love candle,” symbolizing Christ’s “Manger,” and is the second purple candle lit.

“This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:12, NIV)

3. “Shepherds candle” ~ which represents “Joy” as the shepherds heard the Good News and went in search of this great news.  This is the third candle lit and it is traditionally a pink or rose-colored candle.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. (Luke 2:8–11, NIV)

4. “Angels candle” ~ lit on the fourth Sunday of Advent, the Sunday before Christmas, is the third and final purple candle lit.  It represents “Peace.”

My own little scene at home…
The symbolism of the day was not lost on us and more happy tears were shed for a baby born long ago whose sole purpose was to come into this world to save us all from sin and claim us as His own.

Our next course was a lasagna Laura made and served with a light salad which was wonderful! There wasn’t much talking around the table as we were just enjoying the meal and the ambiance.

After visiting for a while longer, we were ready for dessert and I brought in my Victoria Sponge…

This naked cake was what I brought to share and didn’t look this pretty when it first arrived ~ LOL!

A funny story: I made a cake the day before but it completely flopped and didn’t rise.  I tried using Splenda instead of regular granulated white sugar and probably overbeat the mixture, so… Don’t do what I did when you mix your cakes, friends! 😉

These two vanilla sponge cakes came unfrosted from Wal-Mart’s bakery here in Denton, Texas and thankfully theirs were wonderful!  Put together with lemon curd in the middle and a Mock Devonshire Cream frosting topped with berries and sprigs of rosemary, since I didn’t have a sweet pine tree close by.

The Great Cookie Exchange

Laura had set up a fun cookie exchange between all her friends and each of us was gifted with a Dollar store lidded bowl for taking our loot home.  

This is Cindy and she is sooo sweet!

Here is Laura with Gerlie on the left.

Yours truly cutting us all BIG slices of the cake.

Here are Cindy who is my other blogger friend (L) who also lives close by in pink {was definitely the color of the day!} sitting next to Nancy {I think? I am terrible with names and I do apoligize and will correct as I ask forgiveness!}.  She and the other Cindy were running off soon to help feed a group of people their church supports.

And here is gang #2!  
These last photos are courtesy of Laura Ingalls Gunn of Decor to Adore
who lovingly sent the to me.

Two lovely days meeting and sharing a meal in our Savior’s honor with old and new friends.
Much to be thankful for…

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Christmas blessings to you,

An Ethereal Christmas Home Tour

Welcome to our humble abode  today and I hope you enjoy this little Christmas tour here at
French Ethereal! 

If you are stopping by for the first time and are coming over from the Merry Christmas Blog Party with Janet Coon of Shabbyfufu and
I am so happy you are here!

This time of year  is so fun to be able to share our festively decorated homes with family and friends.
 One of the things I love to do is set up a beautiful table and share a home cooked meal letting everyone know how much they mean to me and that I appreciate them so very much.

We currently live in our 41′ Heartland Charleston Landmark 365 fifth-wheel travel trailer which though it is pretty large still cannot hold too many people for dinner, so big groups are happily hosted out of doors. 

Too, we are in process of looking for our first Texas home since our move two years ago from California. Mr. Ethereal loves his new job and travels quite a bit so getting both of us to tour homes is a juggle so for now this is our home.

Summer of 2015 ~ the hollyhocks were blooming and one of our outdoor statues was enjoying the summer sun’s warmth!
Here is my former backyard at our second home in California and it is part of today’s inspiration for today’s outdoor Christmas table setting.

Two of the Girls made the trip to Texas with us ~ our big lady statue and our angel as they are fixtures of my style.

Here our leftover pumpkins were opened to share with the birds who frequent our birdfeeder and birdbath.  I don’t really know if they are eating any of the pumpkin seeds but it is part of the offerings. I am finding that the birds here love safflower seeds a lot!

What types of seeds do your birds like to eat?

Recently I set up a Thanksgiving table outdoors and this is where these lovely pumpkins were for most of the season.

Coming indoors I decorated with mostly pinks and whites on our tree but our window display changes frequently.
This sweet little Mary and Baby Jesus was found in McKinney at an antique store.

Our tree has a lovely golden cast to it in the evenings this year which I really love.

This is part of our sitting room and although I haven’t taken any new photographs this couch is usually decorated for the seasons.
Heading back outside our table setting is lovingly decorated with a Victorian Dickens theme.  It began with inspiration from this hat which I just decorated to attend the Dickens Festival and a tea at the Lasker Inn in Galveston just a weekend ago.  I’ll link this up once I am done writing those posts for you so please stop back by.
Along with the Dickens hat on our indoor maiden I’ve used a multi colored blanket scarf I found last year as a tablecloth.  With it I pulled out my box of flowers and added this garland of white flowers and some pinecones and acorns found on our trip to South Dakota.

Gold chargers gave an Old World look and adding in our Johnson Bros. pinkish-red transferware and some poorman’s silver candleholders from Pottery Barn gave just the right look ~ simple and elegant without the table being too busy.  

When guests arrive it is easy to remove our Maiden and bring her indoors for easy conversation and bring out the little pheasant from Thanksgiving.

Since moving here I’ve collected a mismatched set of wine glasses and two of these are ones my mother-in-law sent.  They are from an Odd Fellows dinner hosted in Sacramento, California.  I do find it is nice to decorate with family pieces and this was a welcome gift.   The patriotic linked rings go well with the plaid table scarf.

One last photograph for you!

Once everything  was put away and sprinkles of rain had begun yet again it was fun to run back out and wrap our Girl…  Thank you for stopping by today and I hope you stop by the other ladies on the Merry Christmas tour.  

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Happy Christmas to you,