Blog Description

A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

So Close To Amazing Stories

Monday, August 21, 2017

Do you plan to view the solar eclipse today? An AMAZING event... a total solar eclipse for a wide path across the United States. The next total solar eclipse in the United States won't occur for 7 years... April 8, 2024, and the next one after that won't occur for 28 years... August 12, 2045. This is an amazing lifetime event today, and I don't want to miss it. 

We are so excited about the eclipse that we traveled to visit my brother who lives in north Alabama where we can see 97% total coverage of the sun during the eclipse. ***Remember to follow safety guidelines for protecting your eyes while viewing an eclipse.***  

So CLOSE to 100% coverage. So CLOSE to amazing. 

Wait, 97% IS AMAZING! 

Do you have days when you feel less than amazing? I do. I feel only 97%, let 3% overshadow my day and spirit, and forget that 97% IS amazing. 

Today is not one of those days. There are at least two amazing things happening today. A DOUBLE amazing day. 

It is an amazing day because of the solar eclipse.  And it is an amazing day because I am excited to co-host a blog Tour of So Close to Amazing Stories and Reviews with twelve other incredible bloggers. We are excited to host a linky party of stories and book reviews with our awesome friend, KariAnne Wood.

So Close To Amazing

KariAnne Wood's new book is due out on September 5, 2017.

Pre-order before Sept. 4 and receive fabulous pre-order bonuses. 

Pre-order your copy at 

Anyone who has read KariAnne's Thistlewood Farms blog knows you will love reading her book filled with tales and adventures of how she and her family jumped by faith from the big city lights of Dallas to the 

*fire*fly* lights of rural Kentucky. 

a blog Tour of So Close to Amazing 
Stories and Reviews 
August 21 - September 16, 2017 


We invite you to link-up your book reviews about KariAnne's book, So Close to Amazing. Plus, we invite you to link-up your stories of So Close to Amazing happenings in your life. Share your "...Stories of a DIY life gone wrong... and learning to find the beauty in every imperfection." 

We can't wait to see/read all the hilarious, or life-changing, and/or touching stories inspired by KariAnne and her new book, So Close To Amazing. Link up from your blog, Pinterest, Facebook, or Instagram posts/photos that tell your so CLOSE to amazing stories

That's right, you do not have to write a blog to join the linky party. You could share an Instagram story, or a Facebook post, or a Pinterest photo. Whatever you link-up either needs to be a book review of KariAnne's book and/or tells a so CLOSE to amazing story

Used by permission: Rachel Lane

We all have those so CLOSE to amazing projects that didn't turn out as amazing as our minds planned. One of my good friends and her sister used to label their less-than-perfect projects as "skunked." If a star turned out crooked, they said, "Skunked that one," laughing together the whole time.  

If you ever shared one of those "project fails" on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, or your blog, here's your chance to share it one more time (or share it for the first time) ... how you learned to laugh it off and/or learned "to find the beauty in every imperfection." All of us sometimes feel less than amazing, and by sharing with one another, we encourage and build one another up to embrace we really are amazing regardless of our imperfections. 

Do you love prizes? Then start jumping up and down. We have PRIZES. Yes, we do. Each time you link-up to the party, on any of the thirteen blogs hosting the party, you are entered to win. Link-up any time August 21 - September 16, 2017. 

TWO lucky winners... 

Winners will be selected at random and announced on 
September 17, 2017 on Thistlewood Farms 
and on other co-hosts' blogs.  

1st PRIZE: 

$100 Amazon Gift Card plus a signed copy of So Close to Amazing 

2nd PRIZE: 

Signed copy of So Close to Amazing


Be sure to visit all of the co-hosts to read their So Close to Amazing Stories and Reviews that kick off the first day of the linky party. You will laugh, you will cry, you will celebrate...

... beauty found in imperfection...

"Come sit by me." 

Need help with linking up to a blog Tour of So Close to Amazing Stories and Reviews party? See Linky Party Help for detailed directions. 

Come back all during August 21-September 16 to read the latest link-ups and to link up your amazing stories/reviews. Every link-up is an entry to win!   

French Design on Friday 25

Friday, August 18, 2017

~ ribbed vaulted ceilings ~

Architectural features of massive castles, cathedrals, and municipal buildings are awe inspiring. With our heads tilted back to take in all of the lofty vaulted ceilings, we marvel at the engineering as well as the beauty.  French designs over the ages sometimes took generations of architects and masons to complete their grand designs, leaving behind buildings of such magnitude and beauty they still stand centuries later. 


French Chair for a Desk

Monday, August 14, 2017

...a versatile chair with French style can fit several places in a French-inspired garden and home... 

even as a desk chair 

Finding a French style chair for a desk may be easier than you think. You just have to know where to look... beyond antique French chairs in French flea markets. Instead of looking at flea markets for vintage chairs or at office furniture stores for new chairs, look at dining chairs. 


French Design on Friday 24

Friday, August 11, 2017


~ Dining en plein air
Knowing the culture

Sidewalk cafes are synonymous with France. Thus, synonymous with French design. Dining en plein air (in the outdoor air) is prevalent in cities, towns, and villages. No city is too big nor too small for eating outside. No restaurant is too elegant nor too rustic to have outdoor dining. The smallest village has outdoor tables and chairs for its lone restaurant, and metropolitan areas have a variety of outdoor dining options. Settings everywhere can be on terraces, in courtyards, along narrow passageways, overlooking rivers, in town squares, on sidewalks, and in pea gravel gardens.  

French Design a beautiful way to hide wall plugs

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Having lived in several HUMBLE abodes while growing up in rural Alabama, I appreciate all the modern conveniences in new houses including electrical wall plugs. However, I do not like wall plugs to take center stage in my French-inspired garden and home. 

French-style white ceramic pots filled with "garden grower" extra large white hydrangeas are meant to be the center of attention in my modern home. The large medallion on the vase/pot is much more pleasing to see than a conveniently-placed wall plug.