Sunday, October 28, 2012

On Blackbirds' Wings

Thank you, friends, for your kind words of condolence regarding our dear, departed Wilberforce.  It was important to me to share the joy of his life, so, in a way, you may carry a bit of him with you, as well.  He truly was a gift from God.

Today's post was a response to my daughter, Gracie's fear of Halloween.  She recently told me she didn't want to celebrate Halloween because it was just too scary.  Though we don't subscribe to the gore that has become the trend, she was hesitant to even go into stores this time of year, lest she be accosted by an errant head or shrieking skeletons!

I created the Raven-Drawn Carriage after Grace went to bed last night.

I was inspired by the carriage to write this poem for Gracie as she slept in her bed this morning.

Without further ado...

 On Blackbirds' 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...

What dreams are made of...I created the Raven-Drawn Carriage with bits of ormolu that I have collected.  The concept had been floating around my head for a while.

Marie never left the sunroom this year.  Perhaps next year she will stand watch over the parterre or the potager?  I considered using a white pumpkin but since I made this for my daughter I wanted it to be more "of the Season", something a child would relate to and, perhaps, dream about.  Initially, I had planned on using a real pumpkin but came to my senses and realized I only wanted to do this once!  In retrospect, a real pumpkin would be too heavy for the chassis, fabricated of dowel rods.

Detail of the Raven-Drawn Carriage.  Escutcheon keyhole covers for windows, ormolu as door and rein attachment.  Drapery tiebacks as wheels.  The angels were taken from a 1960's lamp table that I bought on Craigslist.  The table was hideous but the ormolu was heart stopping!  You may recognize the angels on the table beneath the carriage as well.

I added the ostrich plumes for a bid more grandeur.  See where I glued the tiebacks together?  This was a fairly simple project! I purchased the foam pumpkin at Target, under the assumption it was hollow and could be carved.  I was wrong.  It would have been nice to have a candle inside.  Oh well!

Crown detail...actually a candleholder from Wisteria.

Blackbirds take flight...

To the land of dreams...Did you know a group of crows is called a "murder"?  A murder of crows...spooky!


Another angle...the chassis was the most challenging part of this endeavor. I actually had all the parts in the basement, including the dowels.  I used wire and screws to fasten them together. I painted long dowel rods with bronze paint, then drilled holes to wire the birds through.  They came with wire attached to their feet. I screwed a brace at the base of the dowel rods to the birds would remain upright, then wired it at an angle to the chassis so it looked as if the birds were in flight.

After I read the poem to Gracie and showed her the Raven-Drawn carriage that I made while she slept last night, she told me she could imagine herself in the carriage being drawn by blackbirds.  It is precisely what I wished for!

I hope I have changed the face of Halloween for Gracie.



I am participating in Boogieboard Cottage,  Masterpiece Monday
No Minimalist Here, Open House Party
Between Naps on the Porch, Metamorphosis Monday
A Stroll Thru Life, Tabletop Tuesday
Savvy Southern Style, Wow Us Wednesdays
French Country Cottage, Feathered Nest Friday


  1. What a wonderful world you have created~I love this carriage! Thank you for sharing how you did it. it is so fabulous and imaginative!~~

  2. What a wonderful carriage.. Thank you for sharing it with me today.



  3. O'k that's 2X in 2 posts that you got me all weepy...and its not just hormones;) Beautiful poem, such a lovely gift to your daughter.

  4. You are SO talented and creative! To have that lovely gift for your daughter always be a happy memory, NEVER let her watch Hitchcock's THE BIRDS :-)
    But, seriously, I DID think of that awful movie.........but your pumpkin led by the ravens is so imaginative and beautiful it almost overtook the movie memories! Happy Beautiful Halloween memories to you and your little girl!

  5. Poetry too! You have to be the most creative person I know! I love the poem and the pumpkin carriage. x Sharon

  6. Amazing Andie,
    such a beautiful Mom to write a poem for your Gracie.
    Her dreams will be filled with beautiful spirits.

    Love your carriage wish I thought of it...but theres always next year watch out.
    I would love to walk through you amazing home, I love its grandeur, I love your over sized statues and your aviary cages.

    Thank you dear one for gracing my place with your beautiful words.

  7. Truly incredible, you have a way with words and such artistry.
    How fortunate are we that you shared this with us. You certainly have a special gift and one very lucky daughter to entertain and amuse.


    I am blessed. I am intrigued and impressed with your poem to your daughter, for YES, we write to let each other know that we are not alone in our fears, our joys, etc...well done my dear for it SPEAKS to the child in us all! Oh how I love that you did this! Being a teacher, I take joy in seeing everyone extend their imaginations to tactile things....and that crow driven pumpkin carriage...OH MY...this is stunning. I made a pumpkin carriage similar to this once, pulled by rabbits! But the crows are fabulous as this is perfect for this time of year. Your home has always inspired me and you always find the best pieces to make your house into a grand ch√Ęteau! LOVE IT ALL! Thank you so much for coming to visit me and I so love what you have done here. CHEERS TO YOU MY DEAR and keep writing!! Anita

  9. Andie I love your poem and carriage! You are some kind of special Mom. Everything you touch is amazing, I love your carriage!


  10. You are very artistic, but I must say that the poem is very impressive. You should try to get it published.

    Seriously, I had to go back and read what you said about it, thinking maybe it was an old Halloween classic. That poem is astonishingly good.

  11. Beautiful Andie! The poem AND the carriage!

    I remember having so many fears as a child, and though they have no foundation, they still seemed very real to me. It is beyond wonderful that you went to such great length to assuage hers! It bothers me that Halloween seems to have been taken over by adults and not in a pleasant way.

    Is it just me or does Marie-Antoinette seem to be eyeing that pumpkin carriage for herself, lol?

    Where did you get 1) that lovely little crown 2) that amazing bird cage in the background?

  12. Andie,
    A perfect poem and your very artistic creation for you to allay your daughter's fears.
    2012 Artists Series

  13. Gorgeous!!! And I especially enjoyed seeing the room in the background, it is amazing!!!
    The furniture pieces and the windows are so lovely. I visited your post about making the dress on the mannequin,
    wow!!!! She is delightful!!!!!

    ~ Violet

  14. Oh so sweet! I love your story and your poem! Your carriage is precious with the blackbirds to carry it away!
    You handled her fears beautifully! Love the room this is in and the bird cages...That large one is fabulous!

  15. Andie, I am so impressed with your creativity! The carriage is absolutely fabulous and I love the poem. Thanks for sharing it at the Open House party.

  16. Andie, You are sooo creative...I was lucky to get a few pumpkins outside. Love your poem too. Happy Halloween. Mona

  17. Andie, please give me a minute as I massage my chin after I hit it on the kitchen floor when my jaw dropped on seeing your pumpkin carriage. This is wonderful! Gracie is so lucky to have you as her Mom. The poem is beautiful and full of love and the carriage is also a labour of love. I am full of admiration for you.

  18. What a beautiful poem, Andie, I'm sure your daughter will learn to enjoy Halloween. And my goodness, your carriage is a dream! Love all the ideas but especially the curtain tiebacks as wheels, that is genius!

  19. I can't decide which I like best, your poem or your blackbird pumpkin carriage because they are both incredible. I am blown away by your imagination and creativity!

  20. andie! that "carriage" is wonderful. you are so talented. I really enjoyed your poetry and your resourcefulness. donna

  21. I don't know which is more Beautiful Andie... your Precious Poem or your Magical Blackbird Carriage paying Homage to departed Loved Ones! A Wonderful way to Impart to your Daughter the Spirit of the Season in a way that we have always Celebrated it too... though our Family is a bit Addams-Family-ish *winks* the Children especially enjoy Halloween and aren't frightened by it because of the meaning of it to our Family, Honoring the Memories of those who have passed. Princess T has always wanted to dress in Exotic Dance Costume for this reason, to Dance for the departed Grandpas and Great-Grandpas... I think this is Beautiful in it's Intent and because I know they must be Smiling from Heaven. This weekend we placed our Love on Butterflies Wings placed upon a Dia de los Muertos Sacred Heart Altar in Honor of our departed Loved Ones, Human and Fur Baby alike. I'm glad that Gracie Received your Message as you had Hoped she would, you're such a good Mommy!

    Happy Halloween from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian

  22. Oh my word, that carriage is unreal. What a fabulous idea. Love the vignette. Thanks for joining TTT. Hugs, Marty

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  24. What a beautiful poem - I love the way you write. How lucky your daughter is to have such a thoughtful mother - and not mention creative too!!


  25. I just love, love, love your room and especially the decoration. That pumpkin is just devine!!! As is Mary. :)
    Very well done.


  26. Hello Andie! I sent you a convo from Etsy regarding your request. I would love to do it, but view my comments and we can get started! Oh how I love this post! Anita

  27. Oh my dear,

    YOUR POEM on my comments page, WOW!!! Not only is the message great, but your execution of rhythm and imagery....FABULOUS! Oh, we are going to have fun. I cannot wait to attempt at the watercolors!

    I am now dreaming of riding in a carriage pulled by giant crows!


  28. I, too, read your poem over at Anita's and had to come visit. Wow, you are amazingly talented! The poem above is equally as incredible. I have to say that this poetry has truly touched my heart. I'm definitely following along with you now.
    So sad to hear about your loss. I appreciated reading about your sweet Wilberforce. Our sweet Sadie Mercedes came to use last March. She has given us joy beyond measure. She came to us from Wee Rescue.

  29. What a lovely poem and beautiful carriage! It is truly amazing! Thank you for sharing. Would love it if you would share this at my Make it Pretty Monday party at The Dedicated House which goes live at 8am CST on Monday. Hope to see you at the bash. Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  30. This is my first visit to your blog (through Marty's) but NOT my last. This is exquisite! You have a wonderful imagination and talent to execute your vision! The poem is beautiful, your daughter is a lucky little girl. XO, Pinky

  31. Truly beautiful and amazing. Such talent. Your daughter will never forget this. What an incredible memory you have made for her lifetime. Glad I found your blog. I will be back. Patty


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