Gardening, Tablescapes

Evening Tea in the Garden

Good evening, friends! I used some comp time today and left work an hour early heading to my mother-in-law’s home to check on it while she is away. As I came out into the backyard to water, immediately I caught the scent of two large roses perfuming the entire garden …

After I finished watering all of her backyard plants (and seeing that I need to help her with a ton of prickly weed removal), I came back out with her heavy duty scissors and snipped as many stems of these soft blush roses as I could.

Previous owners planted this heavenly scented rose and its twin on the opposite side of the garden. Funny, Gramma “plays ball” with a 2-year-old boy who lives on the other side of the fence when she is home. I found a good 12 balls of many sizes and types in amongst the roses and crepe myrtle along this shared back fence!

I tossed them all back over. 😉

After a quick run through the grocery store, I came home and promptly recut all the rose stems and created this lovely arrangement. Creamy white Iceberg roses from my garden filled in the gaps…

Then it was time for tea!

I brewed a cup of Constant Comment and set two lemon Girl Scout cookies on a plate. Nothing fancy! Just a paper napkin, the tea and those cookies.

I love that the cookies have upbeat sayings on them to boost girls’ self esteem nowadays!! They made me smile. 😉

Two of our newer rose bushes in their pots, getting ready for their first blooms…

As I cleared away the dishes, I took a few shots just with my iPhone 12 Pro. It takes quality photographs and I didn’t have to mess with the lighting, which my Canon was being finicky this evening (the overblown whites in some photos, lol!).

But it was a lovely 72 degree evening, perfect for a few minutes enjoying the back gardens as the sun was going down…

A few early iris are blooming, too! Just noticed this beauty as I was snapping away… I gave them all a good feeding yesterday.

Here’s hoping for lots of blooms to come!

Thanks for visiting & sharing a cup with me,

Barb 🙂

Home Decor

An Early Spring Tea Tray & Tea

Welcome to my Spring Teatime on a Tray, dear friends! I was joining a wonderful group of ladies who are sharing their beautiful spring tea trays with you… But, I blew it, so I thought I’d share this double-header post with you nevertheless. 😉

My Inspiration

{Sophie’s tea tray}

I began my spring tea tray with ironing a tatted tablecloth I purchased in 2005 from an antiques faire in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, England. My kids and I were visiting my brother and his family over spring break that year.

I love its vines and Morning Glories!

Next, I picked out a metal tray I painted white back when I was in a tea group in California (see 2014 posts) , a choice of two different dessert plates, chintz tea pot and accoutrements.

Last week I whipped up some mock Devonshire cream, so this was a perfect time to bring the remainder out for this tea tray. This sweet double pot is wonderful to fill with jams and honey or lemon curd.

I enjoyed looking in the linen closet and choosing these sweet napkins… I found these at another antiques and crafts fair.

And here is the beginning of my spring tea tray…

Here is a first look at our freshly painted dining room. It has gone from coffee-colored to a soft French grey.

Perfect to share this first tea tray and table!

And then I realized I had forgotten the teacups (it’s been a week, friends!)…

A lovely table but still needs those cups. 😉 I brought out some leftover heart-shaped scones, too.

Here is the finished spring tea tray! My favorite colors are shared here ~ pinks and whites.

With the finished tea table… Finally with teacups! I am really pleased with this table.

Thank you so much for stopping by and I hope you will check out Katherine from Katherine’s Corner and the main tea tray tour!

Wednesday Tea ~ Peacocks & Pink Roses — one of the first teas I shared here on my blog (2014)

I love how this table and tea tray turned out. It’s nice to come full-circle back to where French Ethereal started ~ with tea tables and tea trays.

Spring blessings to you,

Barb 🙂


Finding Ladybugs while at an English Spring Tea in the Garden

Welcome friends to a little Spring Tea in the new garden area! Part of this month’s $10 on the 10th…I can’t quite say that this new area cost $10 (every 16 bricks costs about $10, bought over time), but many of the plants were under $10 each! 😉 Mr. Ladybug was free!

No photo description available.

A big thank you to Tammy from Patina and Paint as well as Terrie of Decorate and More with Tip for organizing our monthly hop! Everyone on today’s tour are bringing you their Spring best this month with Ladybugs galore.

I had totally forgotten that I had this little ladybug! I can’t quite remember if a friend gave it to me or if I found it up in Sanger, Texas, when we were still living in our big RV fifth wheel. I really think a friend gave it to me as a gift.

I just know it has a sweet sound when the wind blows and is perfect for gracing the garden at our afternoon tea…

Here is another ladybug ~ from a post when my husband and I were installing this French fence here during the winter ~ Adding French Fencing to the Sideyard Garden. I love ladybugs and have been seeing several outside on Mr. Yoda’s and my daily walks. Aphids are out and ladybugs are busily taking them out. 🙂

The French lavender has been blooming continuously since January. The two potted lavenders were wheeled into the garage when the Arctic storms came to keep them alive.

Welcome to our side garden! It is still a work in progress with more weeding to be done, paver set to finish (had to put this off for a bit), and a lot of the middle of the yard to level out, but it is coming along. Plants are still recovering, too. The boxwood were hit really hard with 7 deg. temps (-12 wind chill).

The large leaf pile has been turned once in mid-January and is breaking down. The main compost pile has sweet pumpkin vines growing in it already (way too early, really!) and as I’d find earthworms, I bury them into the composting leaves, straw and kitchen scraps, to help everything break down.

I am sharing our new garden beds along the southern side of our North Texas home. Throughout the winter and after the Arctic storms, I was able to finish laying all 87 bricks. As time and money allows, more plants will be added and others will be shifted around to fill in the right-hand part of the bed (the newer section).

My favorite photograph from this tea!

So let’s have some tea!

Years ago now, for Mother’s Day, my husband bought me this Wedgwood tea set. It consists of two teacups and saucers, teapot, creamer and sugar. Part of the Duchess of York collection (the 1st Duchess), each piece features pretty blue butterflies and green limes on a smooth-as-silk bone china blank. I shared meeting Sarah, Duchess of York, at Macy’s in Costa Mesa, California in this post.

She was lovely and very gracious, giving a talk about Wedgwood’s china and how she travels with a tea set (she doesn’t like the feel of styrofoam cups to drink out of!). She shook hands with every attendee and chatted with each of us briefly. I think my friend Cheryl and I were there for four hours in all.

So today’s tea invites all of you to stop by for a little tête à tête… We will enjoy the shade provided by the red oak tree and our old green umbrella. Gentle breezes blow by also keeping us cool on this 85+ degree day…

Yoda came out to wander and enjoy the yard, too!

Mr. Squirrel was racing around up in the other oak tree.

And mama and papa dove take turns sitting on their impromptu nest…

Come sit a spell and tell me how you are? Friendship and a good chinwag = $0. Totally free! Sweet pink bacopa just plopped into this ceramic pot found at Hobby Lobby add spring style to our tea table.

This Duncan Phyfe table is one I hand-carried back on the plane from England in 2005. It comes totally apart and was a thrift shop find. The table top fit nicely into a large Land’s End bag my sister-in-law loaned me for the trip home. Usually it is acts as a side table in our Office/Spare Bedroom.

Tea for two ~ always a delight!

Thank you so much for visiting today! I hope you’ve enjoyed this Spring Tea in the Garden and our little Ladybug friend… I hear his little bell’s sweet tinkle!

Pour yourself another cup of tea and stop by for a visit with the other ladies on today’s tour:

Allyson ~ Southern Sunflowers

Patti ~ Pandora’s Box

Terrie ~ Decorate and More with Tip

Tammy ~ Patina and Paint

Barbara ~ French Ethereal

Spring hugs to you all,

Barb 🙂


My Little French Café

Bienvenue au café  out in our garden! On this day the sun was peeking in and out as the garden was coming alive and greening up so I had to get outside and enjoy it. Staying home has been a blessing for me with more time to work in the garden and to create a little café at home…

In early February I found these bistro chairs on clearance sale at HomeGoods (not sponsored) for $79 and $72 by Ralph Lauren. Made of outdoor resistant webbing, they are perfect for a small sitting area! One has broken webbing on one leg but I am okay with it.  

For a month I debated about returning them. Did we really need new chairs? Our outdoor patio set is fine and just needs new cushions. We did bring them from California in order to save money and not purchase a new set for some time. I could and still may repaint them to give them a refresh. 

Love, love the open look of the patio now! Less clutter and there is space for an umbrella when the sun gets hot later in summer (hence the umbrella stand in the corner).

Mr. Ethereal and I talked about them at length. It is nice to have something new and he really likes them, too. The pandemic was just starting to affect the United States when I found these chairs and travel anywhere outside the US was now off the table for 2020. 

This year of all years I was hoping he and I could take a trip to Italy and/or France for our anniversary next fall, so… 

This little café is partly my alternative to going away to Europe and part of this spring’s virtual travel series. 🔐 So today we have tea in the garden including a loaf of cranberry orange bread from Market Street  grocery in Highland Village making for a lovely al fresco afternoon tea for two…

I found many wonderful street cafés and restaurants from all over Europe online just be doing a Google search and I have fallen in love with this style of chair. I love their size and they come in amazing colors! 

Janet over at ShabbyFufu shared a manufacturer over in Paris in a recent post ~ Maison Louis Drucker ~ which may be the originator of this style of bistro chair. The company has been around since 1885, after all. 

outdoor dining room french style pea gravel
Outdoor Dining Room ~ French Style Patio Design

This is Janet’s beautiful garden setting in the Miami, Florida area… I looked up those chairs since Janet had a link. Hers are from Birch Lane

Finding these two chairs for such an great price is pretty hard to beat! The Drucker style chairs Janet has cost over $200 each (and may have been sponsored), so it wasn’t too hard to see that these were an amazing deal.

Most of what we own has been found that way ~ either on clearance or for $200 or less for whatever piece of furniture I was thinking to buy. Most of our sofas, living room furniture and French style dining chairs are thrift store finds or came from garage sales.

The bistro table above was on sale from Lowe’s found at the end of summer a couple of years ago for $29! I wrote this Parisian post sharing it for the first time.

More changes are happening out here and plants have been moved about but that’s pretty normal for me! Probably with you, too. 

Here’s the latest incarnation of this little corner off the patio. You may have seen this area when I shared the latest Pinterest challenge post.

And here’s our outdoor maiden in her spot that I shared when I worked on redoing these French style terracotta pots as part of a spring DIY and craft round-up…

The patio area now is pretty perfect and I am just doing some painting to update everything. I’ll share more of that later this week (I hope!). 

I did pick up a new plant stand and shared that last week in the Pinterest Challenge…

See how the Spanish lavender in the white plastic bucket doesn’t fit…
As pretty as it was the geometry of it was off… I couldn’t put any large pots in the lowest and middle tiers, so I called Meador’s Nursery. They were able to exchange it and the new stand is just right!

A view  out into the garden…
I am happier with the garden bench back where it has been for a year now and you’ll see the new plant stand in this next post. 


Thanks for visiting outdoors with me today! We have had really pretty nice weather this spring although now the humidity and heat are rolling in from the Gulf. (I like the cooler south-westerly breezes and breezes from Canada and the Dakotas much better!!)

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Blessings et bisous, mes amis, 

An Easter Tea and Scone Recipe

Easter week is here and with it I have put together an easy Easter table setting for you. My hope is that it brings you joy and inspires you to create a beautiful tablescape in your own home. Celebrating Christ’s resurrection is a glorious reason to celebrate…

On our table are the sweet momma and baby bunnies from this post.  There is a selection of teas both caffeinated and herbal for visiting bunnies to enjoy. Softened butter for warmed scones will also make our friends feel right at home.

Our table is set for a simple dinner tea. Colorful plastic eggs and a special bunny ornament grace the table. Candlesticks were added then subtracted as they detracted from the simplicity of this tablescape. Sometimes simple is better…

A new table runner found at HomeGoods during the winter graces our table and repeats our bunny theme. 

I love its sweet rabbits and the French style it has!

Are you doing anything special for your family as you shelter indoors this Easter Sunday?

I learned a neat idea this morning on a Zoom call with friend April J. Harris as one of the other ladies on the call said she and her husband would be having Easter dinner via a Zoom-type call with their children so everyone could be together virtually and celebrate Easter!! A really wonderful idea…

A simple scone recipe

 I think I have shared these baking powder biscuit-style scones before with you but it never hurts to share a good recipe again… :)’

Classic Cream Scones
Fine Cooking magazine, Winter 2004
published by freelance writer Carol Anderson
reviewed for a newspaper (unknown)
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour                                                                 For the glaze:
1/3 cup granulated sugar                                                             1 lg. egg, beaten with
1 Tbsp. baking powder                                                                  1 Tbsp. milk
½ tsp. salt                                                                                          sprinkle sugar on top
½ cup dried currants (or any dried fruit)                                             
6 Tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes                                   
¾ cup heavy cream
2 large egg yolks
Position oven rack in lower third of the oven; heat oven to 425 degrees.  Line a heavy baking sheet with parchment paper sprinkled with flour. 
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Add currants, tossing until evenly distributed and coated with flour (I put dried cranberries in my scones this time).  Cut in butter with pastry blender until the largest pieces are about the size of peas.
In a small bowl, stir cream and egg yolks just to blend.  Add this all at once to flour mixture.  Stir with a fork to begin combining the wet and dry ingredients, then use your hands to gently knead mixture together until all dry ingredients are absorbed into dough and it can be gathered into a ball.  Don’t overknead.  **Tip: if you don’t have any cream on hand, replace with sour cream thinned and whisked with a little milk. 
The dough is sticky at this point.  Set the ball on floured parchment paper and pat it gently into a round that is 1” thick.  Cut round into 8 wedges (*I used a heart-shaped cookie cutter).  Separate wedges slightly.  Brush scones with glaze; sprinkle a bit of sugar on them. 
Bake until the scones are deep golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of a wedge comes out clean.  This will take 13 to 15 minutes. 
Slide the parchment onto a rack and let the scones cool for about 10 minutes before serving.  Makes 8.
***Carol Anderson says in her article that “good scones follow three basic rules of biscuit making: plenty of cold butter and cream, a light hand when mixing, and a high oven temperature.  **My tip: If you’d like to make your scones like those you’d have as a mid-afternoon tea, make a bigger round scone.  The one I had in England was a bigger scone and was meant to eat almost like a meal.
*originally published in this post here.

Tea time!

Thank you  for joining me for tea today and I hope you have a wonderful Easter with good food, lots of FaceTime and phone calls to family and friends!

Share Your Style will be up tomorrow but after that I am going to take a small break until next week. Thank you, dear friends!

Jesus is risen indeed!!!


For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.

1 Corinthians 15:3-4 NIV 
Paul in his first letter to the people of Corinth, about 55 A.D.

Blessings to you this Easter,

A Rosy Valentine’s Tea…

Valentine’s Day is  one day away and with last month’s illness I have been behind in sharing with you, but today we catch up a bit with our dining room table set for a Valentine’s tea…

Valentine’s Day is my second favorite holiday after Christmas and I thought I’d begin this tea with a look at our hutch. I just love decorating our white china hutch with tea sets, favorite romantic cards, and various plates and platters. 

This year I have the pinkish-red transferware I found down in Frisco, Texas set throughout the hutch. The pretty florals and farm scene of each transferware piece really sets off the white of the hutch. I love how it sets off everything else around it, too!

Over the weekend I baked some scones to take to the Napoleon and Josephine Regency tea at friend Laura’s home. These few were leftover and Mr. Ethereal and I have been munching on them throughout the week.

Our tender plants come indoors when the temperature dips to 32 degrees and below, and this Valentines week has been COLD! Northern winds have swept into North Texas but inside it is nice and toasty. 

This weather is perfect for wearing warm pink and red sweaters for a “Valentinesy” feel and for enjoying visits with friends. Welcome! Please come sit down… 

Our local Winco grocery store had these lovely roses on sale so I brought home a bunch, trimmed them to fit this Old Country Roses pitcher and added some green fronds from the mini palm tree we have. A little floppy and loose I love the dark and light pinks of these tea roses!

Teatime is always a staple here at Chapman Manor and for this tea I’ve taken out the two leaves I usually have in our antique oak dining room table. For my birthday years ago, my father-in-law made two more 11″ leaves so this table can seat 10 – 12 comfortably and grows to 102″. In its 55″ square configuration, it is the perfect size for intimate conversation among friends. Perfect for our rosy virtual tea! 

Vintage French Limoge, Austrian and German tableware grace this table along with modern and vintage teacups and saucers. The blue plate underneath the scones is French and very old. I found it while thrift-shopping a year ago or so for $4.00 ~ it is a lovely flow blue.

The tablecloth is the same one I used in a story my first Valentine’s Day blogging.  In that post I had our two little Staffordshire dogs up in the hutch. I love the bright white California light we had there at that home! (This reminds me I should change out the lights in the chandelier here as these have a yellow cast. Amazing the difference…)

Love this card I found years ago mounted in this frame! The
hand-painted bowl above was a gift from a friend; her mother
painted it back in the early 1900’s.

On my agenda for this year is repainting the dining room and kitchen a pale grey or a white. What color do you think I should paint in here? This tan color is just not me…

I thought about painting these walls a pale aqua or pale blue, really a tinted white hue. I think that would be very pretty and would help brighten up this space. Maybe a white above the chair rail and an aqua below?

Getting back to our tea… Looking back over to the china hutch, a pair of love birds nestle inside the framed door cubby. British royalty commemorative teacups sit on a Wedgwood Sarah’s Garden platter below. The wheat-backed scroll piece is part of the hutch and came with it ~ part of what I loved about this cabinet when I saw it in a shop in Temecula, California, called Enchanted Home.

Here is a better view of the whole china hutch. The transferware really stands out and complements this year’s Valentine’s Day tea table. I’ve also used the checkered napkins I sewed for last year’s table when we were still living in our trailer. 

These napkins are a good size and are perfect for picnics in summer, for use around Valentines (and in posts, of course!) and for Christmas time, even, with their red and white checks. I bought a yard+ and made eight 12″ napkins and they have been used a lot. They are the perfect size for luncheons and tea time!

A couple last looks at this Valentine’s table set for our tea… I realized late that I had teacups set out but no teapot. A small faux pas! Here is the fix with a pretty sugar bowl, too.

Much better!

Let’s enjoy our teatime together ~ lemon curd is always on the menu and perfect spooned onto our scones…

Sharing with
Thursday Favorite Things ~ Follow the Yellow Brick Home

Happy Valentine’s Day to you,
dear friends,

An Ethereal Regency Tea…

This past Saturday  was a beautiful weekend filled with ethereal Regency costumes, sweet treats, finger sandwiches, talks on buttons and Regency-era sewing implements and, of course, a bit about the 200th anniversary of Napoleon and Josephine’s reign over France, and more. 

Come with me to a tea-fête fit for a king {and queen!}…

Gracie and her mama… ;)’
Laura of Decor to Adore  held a Napoleon and Josephine tea at her home here in the greater Dallas metropolitan area this past weekend. Held to commemorate the 200th anniversary since their reign (I believe) the tea was a resounding success!

I didn’t line myself up right as this was an “interactive mirror”
where one could put him or herself under the bicorn hat! I was
just trying to get a decent selfie, ha!… Love the bar cart!!!
I was one of many on Laura’s wait-list and luckily for me, someone dropped out so I was able to attend!

A few of the guests awaiting the next talk after tea.
Several guests including Jayne and Dartanyan (both left).
Here Laura is telling us about the upcoming courses of tea and as everyone chooses where to sit for high tea. Guests who happened to sit at a spot with a red dot upon their napkin were surprised with a sweet handmade pin cushion favor!

Twenty-five guests in total, many of whom are members of the Dallas-Fort Worth Costumers Guild, all dressed in Regency (English, 1800-1815 approx.) and Federalist (American, same time period) attire enjoyed a lovely afternoon.

Twins! Becky and her daughter who came along to help
share the family’s collection of buttons on cards and boxes.

Button, button… Who has the button?

The first talk was given by Becky Coker who belongs to the Fort Worth Button Club.  Becky shared some of her extensive button collection which are labeled and attached to heavy cardstock. She talked about all the different types of buttons from metal buttons, enamel and resin buttons, bone, shell and so much more. At the end of her talk, Becky passed out a letter-size pamphlet to each guest covering many of the different types of buttons ever made. Truly, truly interesting!

Here is the “Ice Skating” button…

Aren’t these Bicentennial commemorative buttons cool?!

One button was called “Ice Skating in Central Park” which cost $600 and could be sold for that amount today. One member asked how old was Becky’s oldest button and she answered that she has one from the mid to late 1600’s. Really incredible!

Everyone enjoyed learning this mini history lesson about buttons. Unfortunately, I was late in arriving so I only heard the last 20 minutes or so of Becky’s talk but I enjoyed what I did hear, and I am sure you would have enjoyed her talk, too.

Laura playing mother for each guest as she pours Ladurée tea.

Napolean and Josephine’s High Tea begins…

Our high tea began around 2:00pm with a black tea from the bakery house of Ladurée. (Funny, all this time I thought Ladurée was a parfumerie!)

The second tea course was a rose tea which was quite lovely and from a local source here in Dallas! 

The charcuterie and cheese board decorated with orange
pomanders and French flags… Tasteful and tasty!
Guest brought either a savory or a sweet to share. Laura and her attendees put together the main platters, of course.

Small dessert plates were perfect for partaking of each small savory. The French-wrapped crackers with gold foil stickers were gifts from Laura to each guest. Mine held small chocolates, hard candies and three pretty buttons plus red confetti!

I brought Victoria Magazine’s scones as my sweet carried in a Longaberger cake-taker basket ~ perfect for taking scones and more to parties! (Sorry no pics thereof except the heart-shaped scone, above.)

Laura shared that this cone of sugar is how you would have
received your sugar back in the 17th and 18th centuries. 

Tiered trays held the day’s fare as well as single platters with the cutest éclairs decked out as battleships flying the French flag or pierced with little swords! The French navy couldn’t have looked better or more regimented… 

Soft brie and cream cheese, red grapes, almonds and other fare typical of the time period were shared. I think my particular favorite was the custard or le flan. Oh my! C’était délicieux! {I had two small helpings…}

Gorgeous roses in teapots on every tea table!

A cute shot of Laura serving tea…


Holley is dressed in period style! She has been to England several
times and has a friend there whom she purchases old sewing pins
as well as other ephemera for sewing work.

Holley’s Regency Sewing Boxes

Here I will only share just a couple of photographs as Holley had so many incredible sewing implements to share that this short section wouldn’t do her talk justice. 

Love love love the paper etching which was either there in this sewing box originally or was added to replace the original mirror (which must have broken) when it was restored. Did you know old sewing boxes held mirrors? These boxes were multi-purpose items which were used as vanity mirrors for their owners and sometimes contained vials of perfume for cleaning one’s hands while doing whitework, etc.

One Regency era sewing box with its steel needles, tiny snipping
scissors, small barrels for thread, and mini lidded compartments
for holding sewing accoutrements.

As in Becky’s talk about buttons, had I been there earlier I would have a separate post on those, too.

Your author in the Regency era dress she finished hemming at
12 noon ~ hence why  I was late to the button talk before tea…

Throughout the day, Laura and a few other ladies had leftover fabrics for sale. Quite a few ladies bought goods for future projects, including myself.

The final fun of the day was a white elephant gift exchange where stealing was encouraged and several ladies, including Becky!, were vying for tins of buttons and laces. I came home with a beautiful lavender turban with pearl beads swirled into two fashionable pins along its front!

As the day came to a close everyone packed up their plates and favors, fabric they purchased, and said their farewells and thank-you’s to our hostess. French style was everywhere you looked and I particularly loved Storybook Cottage’s front door and little entryway garden…

Love the ostrich plumes and all the whole French style of Laura’s front door basket!

Isn’t this mini garden just perfect? Of course the statues had me as soon as I walked up…

And a fun last shot of Laura and her Gracie…

Sharing with
Shelbee on the Edge
April J. Harris
Blogging Fifty

Such a wonderful day,

Decorate Your Coffee Table for Fall ~ August Pinterest Challenge

Welcome to our August Pinterest Challenge hosted by my friend Cindy of County Road 407, and if you are new to my blog, French Ethereal, a hearty welcome to you! For all of my friends and for everyone stopping by from Lora B. at Create and Ponder, I’m glad you are back for a visit. 

This month’s Pinterest Challenge is all about creating a coffee table display gathering ideas and inspiration from a beloved Pinterest photograph. Let’s check it out, shall we?

Yvonne who writes at Stone Gable created this lovely tabletop display on her gorgeous wood coffee table. Don’t you just love it? It was part of her summer home tour this past year.

Let’s look at this coffee table in more detail: 

Yvonne has an old packing crate used here as a tray to corral a fun grouping of objects. The warm woods of the tray, the gorgeous coffee table itself and a woven basket down below bring in a nice warm wood-look ~ perfect for that transitional look from summer to fall.

Yvonne also used three pieces of white stoneware which lighten up this tabletop display: an Italian pitcher holding those gorgeous hydrangeas from her yard, a small white vase topped with a sweet boxwood ball and a white acorn finial.

The finishing touches are three burlap-wrapped books used to add height for the boxwood vase, a metal mixing ball, and a polka dot insert for the bottom of her tray.

Florals and greenery bring in a nice touch of nature to this coffee table setting. My coffee-table display looks very different but still uses many of the same elements. 

Here is my tabletop display again:

Whites are always part of my decor ever since I made slipcovers for these two sofas and painted this coffee table. I looked through my collection of baskets as I was going for a wood-themed basket to gather my collected pieces. I had already used the white tobacco basket in our spring Pinterest Challenge and again when I created another summer coffee table display for the 4th of July.

And since I do have an old crate but it’s buried somewhere in our garage at present, I looked instead to my tea cart where all of our silver and tin serving pieces are stacked for another way to corral my goodies! 

LOVE this photo! It was taken late in the day with the sunlight streaming through our back living room windows. A mirror project piece is in the background waiting to be fixed (previously moved out of today’s photos).

That’s the beauty of finding a photograph of something you like on Pinterest is that you can adapt it to fit your style and what you already own. I like an English and French country style so this is what I normally look to do.

It’s not always necessary to go right out and buy something new though I certainly love to do that, too.  Just look around your home and pull in pieces from your home decor stash and begin to build your look.

The elements I pulled from our inspiration photo were having a tray to gather some of my elements, using whites and wood in my tabletop decor, and adding bits of nature and a few books for height. 

The coffee table adds its wood look with the two 1/4″ thick birch luan wood inserts replacing broken glass from long ago plus the table itself is painted carved wood.

Here I’ve brought in pearly white Sarah’s Garden tea cups from my Wedgwood tea set, a gift from my husband for Mother’s Day one year. I’ve paired them with my Royal Winton’s Welbeck teapot bringing in pops of yellow and some much-needed florals. 

Two interior design books by favorite authors, Charles Faudrée and Courtney Allison (who writes the blog French Country Cottage blog), plus an English flower press bring in the stacked look and add lift to my father’s retirement present, a life-size American Goldfinch crafted by renowned Fairfield, Connecticut wood carver Dave Farrington.  

My gardening gloves were over in the laundry room as they are freshly cleaned (I’d pulled a noxious poison ivy weed with them!) so I added them here for even more nods to nature.

For a bit of metal candle holders in sparkly gold and ombré were brought in. Inside are two pumpkin-scented tea light candles which will scent our home nicely as we move into fall next month. 

Since I was going for a late summer-early fall look, I brought over the bee skep pillow I found at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center summer-sale  in June, and added the pumpkin pillow found at HomeGoods during an end-of-season sale last fall with its bright pops of teal. 

These two pillows round out the look I wanted with repeats of yellow, a look of golden grasses and a bit more florals. They also really complement the chintz flowers in the Welbeck teapot and tie everything together in this early fall coffee table vignette.

A quick recap:

Although my tabletop look is different than the inspiration photograph, I’ve carried over all of the same elements of the Stone Gable coffee table with the use of whites, stoneware, florals, woods and a bit of metal. The use of all of these elements together create a nice balance and welcoming coffee table look.

How will you use this to inspire you in your home decor?

Many thanks again to Cindy of County Road 407 for hosting our Pinterest Challenge and I hope you’ll stop over and visit Paula at Sweet Pea who is next as well as the other ladies on today’s tour. Please come back by if you don’t have time to visit everyone today ~ the links will be here! 

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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!

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  Happy Easter to you,

Happy Valentine’s Spot of Tea Alfresco

Happy Valentine’s Day to you!  Today I thought I’d share our newest acquisition in a special tea party set alfresco in my little Prairie Home garden!…

In my last post  I shared how I found this beautiful oak and walnut tea table/library table on Craigslist. I was just browsing our local Craigslist looking at possible furniture pieces which would be smaller than some of our case goods in storage. For the new home of course. 😉

Well, I sent a text to Mr. Ethereal at work and asked him what he thought. He was okay with the purchase if I paid cash.

Picking up this French Provincial table in the steady rain.
We have been working the Dave Ramsey plan and paying cash for everything over the past year, plus paying down old debt beginning with the lowest balance first, then snowballing payments into the next credit card/debt to pay them off.

A very good program btw if you are looking to get out of debt in an orderly fashion but not leave yourself strapped for cash every month, like some debt repayment plans will do to you. Trust me on this one!

I am inlove with this table! Love the carved details and the
shell atop the middle of the bottom stretcher… delicious!
So on Sunday I pulled money out of savings but with the weather so crazy windy that day and Siri taking me to a different teller location, I called and spoke with the seller and we rescheduled for Monday.

This little table made the trip home with me!

After our morning Bible study at friend Peggy’s home in Denton on Tuesday, I came back home and lifted this beauty out of our SUV and set her on our pallet porch. If you didn’t know it was a pallet the wood almost looks like hardwood flooring… 

I am totally in-love with this French style table and I am excited to share this first tea on it with you! I’ve used the little Valentine’s checked napkins and set the table with the J. Broadhurst teapot and sugar bowl and various teacups and little vintage plates.

I had baked and frozen some muffins a couple of weeks ago so it was easy peasy to pull a few out and they thawed beautifully while I snapped away…

I didn’t think to borrow the sugar bowl’s lid until after I was mostly done shooting pics, so… The teapot is naked in most of my photos. Oh, well! 

Keep calm and soldier on… 😉

Still love our angel with these garden roses and low
boxwood hedge in the background.
Just because… From last year and from California. 😉

Eventually I did sit down and really have some tea and polish off one of those banana chocolate chip muffins. I posted my view from the bench in highlights on Instagram.  🙂

Tea time was wonderful!

This time of year is especially nice to be outdoors as there are no bugs to bother, the breezes are light and the sun is warm without burning… This was my day
al fresco; I need to do this more often. We all should, weather permitting. 😉

Mr. Yoda kept me company and would sit under the bench or move out to the grass to watch for passersby. He has enjoyed being here at Wagon Master RV Park and Alpaca Farm and has really learned to love visiting people and has one good dog friend, Rusty.

Evening as the sun was going down…
Through the looking glass… i.e. our trailer’s little window.

This has been a good home… We close on our new Texas house tomorrow and will officially be handed the keys in two weeks. March will be crazy busy going to California to pick up our household goods but things will settle down after that.

Let the March madness begin!
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Happy Valentine’s Day!