Thursday, October 30, 2014

Raven-Drawn Carriage

A few years ago, I shared  with you a poem that I wrote for my daughter in honor of Halloween.
That post can be found here. 
I also shared the raven-drawn carriage that I created in conjunction with the poem.

Today, Gracie told me that it gives her peace to see the carriage, to know that Halloween is bigger and more meaningful than zombies and severed heads.

It worked!
It worked...worked, worked...yeah, that's right!  It worked!

I don't know about you guys, but when when one of my schemes goes as planned I tend to get pretty full of myself.
That is, until I burn dinner or forget to make dinner altogether because I am immersed in yet another scheme.
Plus, I can't sing.  So I should stop.  The cats are getting restless.

I thought I would share the poem with my new followers today.  Maybe you have children at home or perhaps it is you who needs to be reminded of the reason behind this holiday!

We placed the carriage in the Music Room this year.

We found a stunning Louis XVI secretary on Craigslist.  The desk is the perfect spot for dreams to take flight!
Note the fauteuil (pronunciation) on the right...I painted the fabric with Annie Sloan Old White.

I cannot believe this secretary didn't fly off of Craigslist!  Would you hate me if I told you I paid $500?
I feel like I stole it! Am I the only one who does this?  I have this nagging feeling like I did something wrong!  LOL!

The secretary desk also covers the opening in the wall!  Rather than pay to have walls installed in the openings, I placed tapestries, a pier mirror and this secretary over the openings.  That way, when we move, the house's open concept remains untouched.
...and it still cost way less than new drywall. How do you like that?!

The Louis XVI secretary is huge!  It is five feet wide and eight feet tall!

I love the wood, but...I just may paint it...

The night is upon us, so we had better get to it!

On Blackbird's Wings

Mommy, I’m frightened of Halloween
The spooks haunt my days
And enter my dreams!

My darling child
There is nothing to fear!
No need to be frightened
At this time of year

It is not quite as scary
As you believe
You see, love is the reason
For All Hallow’s Eve

To honor the memory
Of those who have passed
To make certain the bonds
They have forged still hold fast

I place my child
To sleep in her bed
A glowing light above her head

Her dreams turn to thoughts
Of Halloween
Of bumps in the night
And things unseen

Then, a loving hand guides her
To a magical scene!
Of pumpkins and carriages
Blackbirds on wing!

The carriage awaits...
The child arrives
Once she’s in safely
It takes to the skies!

Silken black feathers
In unison fly
To carry the child through a black, starry sky

Each star, the light of a loved one, since passed
So grateful to finally meet you at last!
The glow of the starlight sparks in your heart
Warm with wisdom of which you’re now a part

Upon the horizon
The light of the dawn
A new day awaiting
It’s time to move on

Wake in the morning
Sun on your face
Pluck your costume from its place

Pull the ensemble over your head
When something wafts and alights on your bed

And pulls you back to
The edge of a dream
The silken feather
Of a blackbird’s wing...



Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Having Fun in the Playroom!

Hello my friends!

It has been a long, long time.  Hasn't it?

Thank you for your well wishes and prayers for my father-in-law.  Though he was not able to have the surgery, he is doing well.  His very adept doctors chose another course of treatment and he is responding very well...better than even anticipated!  
I was moved by your kind words and prayers and shared them with my in-laws.  Thank you, my friends, from the very depths of my heart.

We needed a distraction from the harsh realities of life.
What could be more cheerful than a child's playroom?
This Summer, I turned my attention to Gracie's playroom.  As we all know, toys seem to accumulate, and before you know it, they can take over a room...or a house!  LOL!
This is HER playroom and toys are part of the deal.  We found lots of ways to store them so the room looks nice when she isn't playing, though.

I wanted her to feel as if she were in a real castle when she plays make believe.

It is very princess-y but even handsome husband enjoys spending time in a very masculine Knight of the Realm way, of course.  

I scoured Craigslist for pieces for Gracie's playroom.  The settee will be replaced with a Louis XVI daybed, which is currently being reupholstered.

I chose a neutral color for the daybed.
This one, from 1st Dibs.

Gracie chose these beautiful drapes herself, from Half Price Drapes!  They match perfectly with her antique French puppet theater!
The bright light from the wall of windows in the family room make this a sunny place year-round!

This bomb'e commode was a Craigslist find.  The gentleman we purchased it from used it as a prop in his photography studio.  He gave us photos from magazines that show this piece.  He also told us where to find the best Italian bakery in Chicago!

The chairs will be reupholstered in a unicorn tapestry.  For now, pink works!

I bought the tapestry to hang in another room but it doesn't work with the 18 ft tall ceilings.  It will be perfect for the upholstery.  Don't isn't antique.

I found this stunning French marquetry inlaid secretary on Craigslist!

It is the perfect spot for schoolwork or drawing ponies on her iPad!  

I created the kitten painting for Gracie before she was born.
The marble bust was the first piece I bought for her nursery.  I smile every time I look at it!

It is difficult to show the stunning details of this piece.  The marquetry inlay is like nothing I have ever seen before.

Her television is kept in this armoire and she can use the chess table to draw or play with her My Little Pony figures, when we are not playing chess.  I placed two ottomans under the table to use as footstools with the chairs, for watching television, or as stools to play at the table.
It is hard to photograph the true colors of the wood because this area gets lots of sunlight.  It is quite a bit darker than portrayed.  The French settee is gilt.

The playroom is in the loft area.  I can hear her from anywhere in the house, which is comforting.  Her dollhouse, a gift from Santa, sits on a bureau plat, which is difficult to see through the railing. We have the doors for the dollhouse openings and we will be spending more time on the dollhouse this Winter.  If you look in the lower right-hand corner, you can see our bulldog, Tallulah, snoring away on her back...feet in the air!  LOL!

I still cannot decide whether to paint the railings grey or white...or off-white...or black.
I do know I will go insane if I have to look at that builder's oak orange for much longer!

I hope you enjoyed these images of Gracie's playroom as much as I enjoyed creating the space!

I'm off to visit you!



Sharing with:
Kim, at Savvy Southern Style, Wow Us Wednesdays!
Pamela, at Between Naps On the Porch, Treasure Hunt Thursday!
Kathryn, at The Dedicated House, Before and After Wednesdays!
Courtney, at French Country Cottage, Feathered Nest Friday!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

A Call For Prayer

My Dear Friends,

Though I have been quite busy all Summer, working on my home and garden I have no photos to show you.  I will, soon, I promise.  Part of the reason is that the hard drive on my brand new computer crashed.  However, there is a bigger reason. A much bigger reason.

This is where you come in...

My beloved Father-In-Law, Gracies "Papa" is very sick.  He was recently diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor, a glioblastoma multiforme, an aggressive, cruel enemy.  The prognosis is dire.

However, he may be a candidate for  surgery at the University of Chicago, due to the fact that the glioblastoma has not seriously affected his vision, hearing, balance, etc.

There is hope!

He had myriad tests last week and they decided he would have surgery to remove cystic tissue IF his tumor has not grown during the last several days.

My friends, I am asking, begging you to pray for this dear man.

Please pray that his tumor is of suitable size so that the doctors can go ahead with surgery, that his surgery is successful and that his caregivers are competent and compassionate.

The world needs his dry wit, his loyalty, kindness...

His laugh, alone, is a cure for so much of what ails this world.

He is a Vietnam Veteran, a US Marine.  He has known much grief due to his service to our beloved country.

Please pray for him now.

Papa in Jerusalem

Papa and his beautiful wife, whom Gracie calls "Cutie".

I am selfish.  I want him here, with us. God can have him in 20 years or so.  I need him.  Gracie needs him.  My husband needs him. His family needs him.

His name is Michael...and he is loved.  Please keep him in your prayers.



Saturday, July 5, 2014

Gift Card Winner and NEW Contest!

Hi everyone!

I am delighted to announce the winner of the Hobby Lobby $100 Gift Card!

Victoria, of the wonderful Blog

Trois Petites Filles!

If you are unfamiliar with her work, please stop by her Blog...prepare to be amazed and astounded by her talents!

I would like to thank all of you for posting the pets in need.  It really does make a difference!

I am also here to announce...


Stay tuned!



Monday, June 30, 2014

Hobby Lobby Gift Card Giveaway!

Hi everyone!

Remember me?

Sorry for abandoning you! LOL!

The Spring kept me so busy removing and replacing all the trees and shrubs that were destroyed during the record cold Winter!

I promise to show you what we have been up to!

We have also been more busy than usual with pet rescue transports.  

...and I still have a giveaway pending from my friend, Lori's store, A Change in Seasons!

It's time for a different giveaway!

A $100 Hobby Lobby Gift Card!

...and a great way to bring attention to animals in need!

How do you enter?

Kindly be a blog follower or follow my HELP! Board on Pinterest!

Click on the HELP! link to my Pinterest board on the upper right hand corner of my blog.  See it? 

Now, please share at least one HELP post on your Pinterest board or on Facebook then come back to tell me which pet you shared!

That's all!

Contest ends July 5th at midnight!

I will announce the winner next Monday!

Please make sure to leave an email address if there is no link back to you!

Good luck!



Friday, April 25, 2014


Hello,  all you people out there in Blogland!

Just a small note to let you know that the giveaway from my friend Lori's store, Seasons, has been postponed!

I have been in bed with the flu all week. 

 It is no fun. 
I should know.  I have had fun before and it was nothing like this!

I am on the mend and Gracie and I are heading to Seasons tomorrow to find the perfect giveaway!

Stay tuned!

Sorry I have not responded to your comments or visited your blogs but I will stop by to catch up soon!

In the meantime, here is a sneak preview of a project I am working on...

This is the before. It stands five feet tall and four feet wide. I found it on Craigslist for $100.  It retails for $7,000!

Here is the 8 light version, which retails at $6131.70!   Mine has 10 lights. It was custom made for the home it was in.

However, it is a bit much. Too contemporary for my taste and the scale is off, I think.
I am going to change it a bit.

I have already used a pipe cutter to cut off the wrought iron curliqueues.
I have ordered 500 feet of crystal garland from China (on ebay) and I am not so patiently waiting for it to arrive!  LOL!
The color will be changed from faux rust to antiqued brass with gilt accents and new wax candle sleeves will be added.

I can barely contain my excitement!

Have a lovely weekend!



Monday, April 21, 2014

A Change in Seasons

Hi everyone!  I hope your Easter was as wonderful as ours..such a perfect day in the Chicagoland area!

Today, I want to share a magical place with you!  It is a store called A Change In Seasons, owned by my friend, Lori.

My photos do not do it justice...such a fascinating place! I could live there! I will run out of superlatives before I am done describing her shop!

Lori is making some changes of her own and is now offering a 50% discount on her already low prices.  I know I sound like a commercial but I am in love with her store!

She has such exquisite taste and her vignettes are swoon-worthy!

Truly an enchanted environment!  I am immediately transported back to the wide-eyed innocence of childhood when I wander the gardens and the shop...stopping every ten seconds to exclaim, "Oh my gosh!  Oh my GOSH!  Did you see that?  Can you SEE that?"

You get the message.
Her shop is cool.  Really cool.
Very cool indeed.

Let's take a walk through her store in lovely Crete, IL...shall we?

First, let's stop by my home to see the two iron bunnies and the fruit topiary I found at Lori's gorgeous store!

...and the bunny tureen...
Gracie and Handsome Husband colored the eggs...aren't they sheer perfection?!

Now, on to the shop!

If the taller finial looks familiar it is because I have a pair flanking my sunroom doors!


This urn and plinth would be perfect for any garden...formal or informal.

Lori told me that similar faux bois benches can be found in cemeteries!

I think this is a bird bath but it could be used as an urn. Or perhaps it is an urn that could be used as a bird bath? 
 Look at the iron arbor!

This isn't the best photo but the bowl sits atop a trio of neoclassical dolphins.  It is huge!

I would use this in the sunroom as a table with a thick piece of plexiglass on top.  How would you use it?

She has two of these 18" square lions!

I have decided to collect fruit topiary urns.  This one is huge!
Wouldn't it be lovely in a Dining Room?

There is a virtual sea of French wire planters!
I have seen them used in all areas of the home, not just outdoors.  Can you see them filled with towels in the bath?

Another stunning urn on plinth...

A better photo of the dolphin pedestal urn...I LOVE this!

This scrolly Victorian urn sits atop an ancient limestone capital.  
Note all the treasures behind it?  This place is a wonderland of interesting finds!
I would love this on my kitchen island, filled with apples!

Lori loves the way nature creates patina on these pieces so she keeps them outdoors...

I wish I had room for that cherub statue in the background!

The twin to the lion mentioned above.  I love the ivy growing over it!
It could easily be made into a fountain spitter!

This zinc table would be perfect indoors or out!

Wouldn't it be lovely to open this gate to your garden on a sunny June morning?

This urn with lid would be stunning indoors or out as well!

You are too late for this almost 5 ft tall limestone finial!  It is coming home with me to be the garden focal point outside my Dining Room window!

She is also selling her stunning display pieces. I need to go back and take more photos!  You would not BELIEVE the treasures she has amassed!

This case sits atop the marble on her antique Victorian store counter...also for sale! Lori is a trained artist...and it is evident in everything she does!

I believe this desk is Florentine?  The front folds back to reveal a writing surface and storage.  So beautiful!

This is not a reproduction.  It is an actual oil painting on an antique tin panel.  Soooooo pretty.

This might come home with me.  I have a thing for wreaths!  LOL!  Look at that angel!  

One of many cloche vignettes...filled with velvet gourds...

Again, I love how her outdoor pieces are accentuated by nature. That's Lori's give you an idea of the size... I am always so inspired when I visit Lori's store!

Tons of shutters with original paint!

One of a pair of scrolly iron brackets of oak leaves and acorns...

This bronze cornice is very long...six feet at least!  Did you notice how she embellished the silver platter with the looking glass?  There are many more similar to this!  The pine cabinet to the right is also for sale!

This is my all time favorite!  It is a corrugated zinc panel mounted on a frame for support.  It is six feet long and two feet high.
Wouldn't it be perfect on a kitchen island?  

This is a mere sample of what A Change In Seasons has to offer.  I am not exaggerating when I say I have never seen so many beautiful things in one place!

If you are interested in any of the pieces please call Lori on her cell phone...


Her store address is:

533 W Exchange St
Crete, Illinois 60417

But call before coming!
If you do go, stop by the coffeehouse down the street!  They have the BEST drinks!

This is not a paid advertisement!  LOL!  I just wanted to introduce you guys to one of my favorite places, owned by a lovely person whom I admire!

I will be hosting a GIVEAWAY from Lori's stunning shop in the next few days!  Stay tuned!




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