Monday, November 19, 2012

Offering Thanks

I have collected ex-votos for many years.  Ex-votos are offerings to a divinity or saint in fullfillment of a vow.  They take many forms. The tradition of offering votive objects (that is, objects pertaining to a vow) to Christ, the Virgin, and the saints in expectation of, or in thanks for, divine aid, dates from the early years of Christianity.  My collection is mainly silver flaming heart ex-votos from churches in Italy, Portugal, France and South America. Some have the letters GR in the center, meaning Grace Received. Some  thanks are hand engraved, some ornately rendered in pure gold. It gives me so much peace to look at these beautiful milagros and think about the person who created each one, their strong faith and the connection we all have, though time and distance separate us.
At one time, my silver ex-votos hung upon the boughs of a Christmas Tree.  Their message of hope and faith seemed apropos.  However, I wanted to be able to view them year round.
I also collect ornate gilded frames.  They always make my artwork look spectacular, be it something I painted or a giclee' copy from ebay.
Since we are expecting Gracie's piano in a few weeks, I decided to begin on the Music Room.  It has been the catch-all for errant furniture, paintings, etc.
With the red velvet fabric I had left over from Gracie's nursery (just enough!), gilded frames and foam board from WalMart...and tons of staples and Duct Tape, I constructed frames for my cherished ex-voto collection...

The antique jeweler's cabinet was perfect here!  I almost gave it away!  It is over six feet long.  The ex-voto collection is over six feet high.  I could not have asked for things to go any better!  The interesting bench was a Craigslist purchase.


Ex-voto vignette with wings and candlesticks I purchased on Craigslist.



This large ex-voto expresses its gratitude in ornate gold letters...


The smaller ex-votos fit into this large frame.  This is a bit blurry because I was vying for the same spot as McGillicuddy the Big Orange Cat.  He won. McGillicuddy always wins!


This ex-voto is from Italy.


This ex-voto is from France.


This one came from Portugal.



After much contemplation I decided to paint the majority of the walls in my home white.  Since I prefer to decorate with heavy ornamentation I did not want my home to look like a museum.

Come to think of it, most museums are white.  Nevermind!

Happy Thanksgiving, my friends!  Please enjoy your many blessings and pray for those less fortunate.

xo

Andie

Participating in:
 The Dedicated House, Make It Pretty Monday
No Minimalist Here, Open House Party
My French Country Cottage, Feathered Nest Friday
My Romantic Home, Show and Tell Friday
Savvy Southern Style, Wow Us Wednesday


40 comments:

  1. Amazing collecting, you have some really interesting pieces. So nice to see a collection presented so beautifully rather then being locked away.

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  2. You have such unique collections. This is beautiful.

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  3. Well, I grew up Catholic, and just learned something...blink, blink...

    Seriously, you need to get red velvet rope for your home, and conduct tours, Andie!

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  4. Hi Andie...
    That is a spectacular collection...love those beautiful milagros and your display is stunning. I can't decide which one is my favorite! :)

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  5. Stunning!! I love how you framed them! I have three ex-votos hanging in my living room, after seeing yours I just might frame them.

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  6. I love these Andie. They represent something very special.Perfect for this time of year and always. I love the collection framed.

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  7. Hi Andie, breath taking collection, and I love the wings you have Hannging in the grouping :)

    Amazing beauty ovre here, and O, so inspiring.

    xox
    Dore

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  8. andie
    just love a post when i learn something new! ex-voto's, did not know that term. the way you displayed your collection is STUNNING!

    i have a prayer heart from france that a friend added to a necklace for me. it is metal and thick. i was told people used to put their prayers in there and leave on an altar. tried to open it to see if a prayer was in there and could not get it open. one day it dropped and out fell an old prayer, it was lovely
    thanks for the lessons!
    xo
    debra

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  9. Beautiful. You really inspire me & also give me home in Craigslist! Happy Thanksgiving. I'm really glad I found your blog.

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  10. Andie, I've always admired ex-voto pieces. You have an amazing collection, and it's impressive how you've grouped them in the frames. It's also touching that you have collected these from your travels. Great idea.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family........Sarah

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  11. How beautiful! You have such a knack for putting things together. x Sharon

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  12. Andie I love this post!!!! I too have a very small collection of ex-voto and now thanks to you I know what to do with them. Your display is fabulous!

    Thanks for the heads up on the laurel wreath name setting now to find them! OK going back to look at your pictures again and thankfully I have antique frames that will be perfect for my ex-votos!

    Hugs to you my friend!
    Debra~

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  13. Andie,
    I was going to send you over to Debra at Acquired objects....and low and behold, I see she has left you a comment. I love your collection of ex-votos....and the way you have displayed it. Could you tell me a bit about your history and love for antiques. You obviously have a passion for this as I feel your enthusiasm and zest in every post with your unique collection, artfully arranged.
    Happy Thanksgiving.
    pve

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  14. Andie...this is astoundingly beautiful! Wow....so impressed, I absolutely love what you have done! You are one talented lady!!
    Wishing you a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!

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  15. Hi Andie! Oh, this is a beautiful collection. I love how you used the red velvet - everything looks like it was professionally done! You're very good and what a pretty area! :)
    I'm glad you found me!! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

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  16. Andie, this is truly a gorgeous arrangement! The framing of these stunning pieces is beautiful! You have such an amazing eye! And once again, thank you so much for being there for us! I have a catnip puff toy with your name on it, one with Gracies name on and I was going to donate one with your cat's name, but I don't know it. If you want to just shoot me an email and give my the name, I will get that onto one of the toys. I hope you and your family have a beautiful Thanksgiving filled with many blessings!

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  17. Now that, is absolutely gorgeous. I just love your collection, Andie. Is Gracie your daughter's name? My little granddaughter has the name Gracie for a middle name, but her father always uses it first with her. Have a blessed Thanksgiving.

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  18. “ Happy Thanksgiving “ My dear friend to you and your family..Many Blessings..Hugs and love Gloria
    I hope to be back to blogging after the first of the year..This triple by pass has really kicked my old butt girl ha ha!! I love coming by here and seeing your BEAUTIFUL home..Love all you do..

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  19. LOVE your framed collection!
    So pretty.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours~
    xoxox
    Alison

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  20. Andie, This is such a pretty way to display your AMAZING collection! Thanks for sharing this at the Open House party and I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

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  21. Your ex-voto Collection is Divine and you have it Displayed so Beautifully! I have several as well and now you've given me ample Inspiration to group them and make a Display. Thanks for coming by for a Blog Visit... and sadly, no, we have not had any word about the Burglary nor do we expect to... though it would be nice to recover some of what was stolen since The Son worked so hard to earn the money to purchase it all and as crime rises in these older neighborhoods, procuring Insurance is near impossible due to risk factors. *Le Sigh and an Angry disposition about such things!*

    But may you also have a Wonderful Thanksgiving... we still have much to be Thankful for. Dawn... The Bohemian

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  22. Many furry critters would utter many thanks to you dear Andi for all the love and time you've given on their behalf! Tallulah is adorable.
    Your e-voto collection is very special...and beautiful!

    Wishing you a lovely Thanksgiving...
    xo J~

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  23. Hi, Andie!
    I'm not sure if this will print as a reply to 24 Corners but, if it does, it's because the comment section wouldn't come up!

    Anyway...HAPPY THANKSGIVING to the most TALENTED blogger who visits GeeeZ!! (and I'm SO SO glad you've found the time to come by more often; your comments are always terrific food for thought...or they totally agree with ME which is even BETTER :-) (smile)!!!)

    I LOVE coming by here and seeing more of the beauty you have come up with in your home...thanks for that blessing.
    xx Z

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  24. Hi, Andie!
    I'm not sure if this will print as a reply to 24 Corners but, if it does, it's because the comment section wouldn't come up!

    Anyway...HAPPY THANKSGIVING to the most TALENTED blogger who visits GeeeZ!! (and I'm SO SO glad you've found the time to come by more often; your comments are always terrific food for thought...or they totally agree with ME which is even BETTER :-) (smile)!!!)

    I LOVE coming by here and seeing more of the beauty you have come up with in your home...thanks for that blessing.
    xx Z

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  25. Hi, Andie!
    I'm not sure if this will print as a reply to 24 Corners but, if it does, it's because the comment section wouldn't come up!

    Anyway...HAPPY THANKSGIVING to the most TALENTED blogger who visits GeeeZ!! (and I'm SO SO glad you've found the time to come by more often; your comments are always terrific food for thought...or they totally agree with ME which is even BETTER :-) (smile)!!!)

    I LOVE coming by here and seeing more of the beauty you have come up with in your home...thanks for that blessing.
    xx Z

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hi, Andie!
    I'm not sure if this will print as a reply to 24 Corners but, if it does, it's because the comment section wouldn't come up!

    Anyway...HAPPY THANKSGIVING to the most TALENTED blogger who visits GeeeZ!! (and I'm SO SO glad you've found the time to come by more often; your comments are always terrific food for thought...or they totally agree with ME which is even BETTER :-) (smile)!!!)

    I LOVE coming by here and seeing more of the beauty you have come up with in your home...thanks for that blessing.
    xx Z

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hi, Andie!
    I'm not sure if this will print as a reply to 24 Corners but, if it does, it's because the comment section wouldn't come up!

    Anyway...HAPPY THANKSGIVING to the most TALENTED blogger who visits GeeeZ!! (and I'm SO SO glad you've found the time to come by more often; your comments are always terrific food for thought...or they totally agree with ME which is even BETTER :-) (smile)!!!)

    I LOVE coming by here and seeing more of the beauty you have come up with in your home...thanks for that blessing.
    xx Z

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hi, Andie!
    I'm not sure if this will print as a reply to 24 Corners but, if it does, it's because the comment section wouldn't come up!

    Anyway...HAPPY THANKSGIVING to the most TALENTED blogger who visits GeeeZ!! (and I'm SO SO glad you've found the time to come by more often; your comments are always terrific food for thought...or they totally agree with ME which is even BETTER :-) (smile)!!!)

    I LOVE coming by here and seeing more of the beauty you have come up with in your home...thanks for that blessing.
    xx Z

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  29. The hearts look great grouped en-masse. A lovely theme for the music room, as music often makes the heart full.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family, Andie!

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  30. WOW YOU have the most extensive collection I have EVER SEEN! My goodness Andie, your home is DIVINE! And I am very honored that you have some of my little works in your fabulous abode. Thank you for coming to visit this morning! BLESSINGS of love to you, Anita

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  31. Your collection is amazing...I'm trying very hard not to covet. Happy Thanksgiving weekend. XO,Mona

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  32. Wow, what a beautiful collection! You are quite talented.

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  33. Your ex-voto collection is beautiful! What a lovely thing to collect (never heard of these before so I learned something new). I love them framed but can totally see them hanging from a tree.

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  34. Aw, Andie, you're just a little darling!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

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  35. I love your collection and it is the perfect reflection of your style. Hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful!

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  36. Que linda sua coleção. Não conhecia esse objetos, nem a historia dos ex-votos. Ficou muito bonito e o aparador deu o toque perfeito.
    Tenha uma ótima semana.

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  37. These are really charming, I had not heard of them before, but I can see why you would collect them. I collect cameos and have not been able to figure out a way to display them, you have given me some ideas, thanks!!

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  38. What a treat to find your blog this evening.
    I love what you did!
    I am a new follower and I am off to read more!

    Laura

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