The Hours They Do Go By

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I’ve been trying to count only sunny hours lately. It’s challenging on many fronts. I know I’m not alone in this.  But spring is on the way again, the days are getting longer and despite snow (!) warnings for this weekend, it will come. Just as it does every year.

Since I last wrote to you, I’ve been playing hooky but that doesn’t mean I’ve been idle.  I’ve just been working on things on the personal side. SO many things have been put on hold for far too long and it’s time to get moving.

Two years later and we still have a storage Pod in the driveway…I think this wave of construction is finally complete. Now comes the task of bringing everything back into the house and either getting it organized or letting it go.

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Looking at trim for new curtains

I’ve finally re-engaged with the remake of the living room, too. After 21 years, both the curtains and the furniture need rehabbing. For 2 years I have had a bolt of fabric standing in the corner, waiting for me to have the time to pick out trim and get it made into new curtains. As a closet interior decorator, this is a fun project. Except that I am having a dickens of a time finding fabrics that I actually love. I’ve been hitting all the fabric stores for 3 months now and have yet to find a combination that gets me really excited.

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Major pruning and garden clean-up is underway

I’ve also managed to get some much-needed time in the garden.  It had been so neglected for the past couple of years that I felt really sad every time I went outside.  There’s a ways to go but at least we’ve made a start. I’ve gotten all the roses pruned and we’ve cut out a lot of dead stuff from the shrubbery.  Garden beds are getting cut back and raked.  And with this crazy weather – 75 degrees one day and then 35 the next – Mother Nature is pretty confused. With this last stretch of warm weather, all the cherry trees are in full bloom, the daffodils are already on the wane, and even the hostas have broken ground.  We are about a month ahead of schedule! People love the warmer temps but, honestly, it is not a good thing. We’ve already had to cut the grass for goodness sakes!!!

The other thing I’ve done is to make 2 trips home to work on sorting my parents’ house out.  This last trip, at the end of February, was concentrated on getting their bedroom cleared out.

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This is the view from one window in my parents’ bedroom. Pretty special.

As you may imagine, it’s been a bittersweet project.  My dad has been gone since June 2011 and it is still really, really hard for me to part with his clothes.  But my sister and I managed to go through all their clothes, separating them into piles for the church rummage sale, those that were good enough to go to the hospital commission shop in town, and those which just weren’t good enough to go anywhere.

This process has taken me back to the 10 years I spent doing estate sales.  I know how to clean out a house.  But when it is a house that your parents built and lived in for more than 60 years, it’s an emotional minefield and not a task to be rushed.  I am incredibly fortunate that I have had the blessing of time.

I stumbled across some marvelous finds. In the back of a closet was a large portfolio; when I opened it, I found a cache of handmade Valentines that my grandfather LaMotte (my mother’s dad) made for my grandmother.  Every year of their married life, Grandfather made Grandmother a Valentine.  Isn’t that wonderful?  But these are not Valentines in the usual sense – they are HUGE.  Some of them measure 2 feet in diameter!

Like this one from 1957:

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Grandfather’s 1957 message of love to Grandmother

It’s in the form of a play that reads clockwise all the way around.  I love everything about it. The thought of him cutting out all this stuff and pasting it together charms me no end.  What a treasure.  And what a testament to love.

In this same closet, way in the back on a shelf was a small metal box.  When I opened it, I saw 2 rubber-banded stacks of correspondence.  They were letters, telegrams, and flower cards people sent when both my sister and I were born.  I had no idea that this stash even existed.  I opened the top letter in “my” pile; it was from my godfather, “Uncle” Chuck Lloyd, congratulating my parents on my birth. And the tears started to flow.  My heart felt so full and yet so sad at the same time.  I couldn’t read any more. I just couldn’t. I put the rubber band back on and brought them back here with me for the day when I could sit down and read them all. And maybe just have a good big cry.

In a bottom drawer of my mom’s, I discovered 2 tiny perfectly starched embroidered infant dresses.  Just these 2 little things – I’m guessing 1 for each of us – out of all the clothes my sister and I have had during our lifetime, my mother lovingly ironed and saved for herself to remember her babies.  I don’t think I can explain the feeling in my chest when I unearthed these.  It was overwhelming.

But there was more. I reached back in the drawer and found a large envelope.  Inside were more letters.  As I pulled out the top stack, I was looking at my dad’s familiar handwriting.  The postmarks were all from 1950 and the dates were in perfect order: June to November.  These were the letters my father wrote to my mother during their courtship. They met on a blind date of all things and I think it was love at first sight. He wrote her several times a week for the next 6 months until their wedding on November 25, 1950.

I was faced with a dilemma: read them or not?  After all, my mom had burned her parents’ love letters, feeling that they were just too personal for anyone else to read.  I feel a little differently. I think letters are a gift, a tangible reminder of your parents’ love for one another.  But still…actually reading them is another matter altogether.  In the end, I did read a couple of them and then slipped them back into place to save for the next generation.

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A letter to Santa from my sister

In this same envelope were cards, all in my father’s hand – some from him (all with “to my darling” on the envelope) and some from us before we were old enough to write our own. There were some of those, too, once we started writing for ourselves.  Valentines and letters to Santa and Mothers Day cards.  What a trip down memory lane.  And all of it gathered meticulously together in this single envelope.

There were plenty of less emotionally charged moments, too.  I found my dad’s top hat from the 1940s for one thing.  They sure knew how to dress back in their day. Times have changed.

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Trying on my dad’s top hat

And there was this stuffed in the furthest recesses of a cupboard, all by itself:

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I’m back home now, continuing to count my blessings.

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I’ve been concentrating on Ginter Park Garden’s Club’s 4th Annual Spring Market.  Once again, I am co-chair and I’ve spent countless hours getting vendors lined up as well as trying to get the word out. We have an amazing group of local artisans and vendors this year. If you are in the Richmond area on March 25th, please join us.  We’d love to have you!   You can find out about it here.

I’m off to the Philadelphia Flower Show next Wednesday! I’ve never been and am soooo excited! The theme is Holland this year. Windmills! Tulips! Oh, my!

Oh, and I almost forgot! The Beekman Boys, Josh (l) and Brent, were here in Richmond last weekend at the Garden and Home Show. I caught up with them on Friday. What a treat to get in a little visit with them.

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Have a wonderful weekend everyone! Stay warm and don’t forget to set your clocks ahead Saturday night before you go to bed! Next week will be so much lighter! Yippee.

Soon, I’ll be back in the workshop making new treasures, too!

I’ll leave you with some flowers, the lovely Lenten Rose (hellebore) to cheer you. Til next time, xoxo

Off to the Big Apple

I’m coming up for air briefly to check in since it’s been a while. I’m still toiling away in Santa’s Workshop, Southern Branch, making goodies though I have found it darn near impossible to keep up with demand this season.  In fact, at the moment, I do not have any available wreaths for purchase. You can, however, find something on the Beekman1802.com website if you act quickly. Those of you who are still patiently waiting, I truly apologize but don’t give up hope quite yet. I do have some of my charming little topiaries in the Etsy Shop.

I have a confession to make though – I’m going to play hooky for a couple of days and head up to New York on a girlfriend excursion.  The past couple of years have been pretty tough (if you have been following along with me, you know why) and it seems like it has been ages since I did anything fun so when the chance popped up to do this, I jumped. We’re going up on the train Sunday and will be back home late Tuesday night.

I want to do all the usual cornball things you do when you visit New York at Christmas: goggle at the lights and the store windows, go see the Rockettes, and, hopefully, do a little Christmas shopping.

The other thing I am going to do is visit a store named More & More Antiques. Why, you ask?  Because Steve, the owner, commissioned 5 wreaths from me to have in his store this Christmas. From what I understand More & More Antiques is absolutely magical at this time of year.  Steve travels to Europe every year to pick out and commission ornaments for his shop.  He sent his nephew to pick up the wreaths from me and I was about to swoon by the time he finished telling me all about it.  I CANNOT WAIT to visit!

So, if you are in the Big Apple, you can find these 5 wreaths at More & More Antiques, 378 Amsterdam Ave., New York, NY 10024.

Keep your eyes on my Instagram feed.  I’ll be posting photos of our trip. Besides, that and the Glittermoon Facebook page are where you will find news and photos first.

Like this (terrible) picture of a lovely green wreath I finished this evening for a special lady in Florida.

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Once again, it’s the cobbler’s children syndrome as far as Christmas decorating goes here…I’ve got a wreath on the front door, candles in the downstairs windows and that’s about it.  Except for a new faux tree in the living room. A first for me – and it may not prevail after this year.  Thanks to the hubby and my niece Sophie, who stopped in for an overnight on her way home from SCAD.  While I was away at my show in McLean, they got the thing out of the box and set it up. Right now, it looks like Charlie Brown’s tree – its in desperate need of fluffing. Oh, well…maybe next weekend I will get it decorated.  The beautiful thing is that it already has lights.  Whoopee – I HATE putting lights on the tree.  Hate it.

But if you look across the room at the reflection in the window, it’s not bad. I can imagine how lovely it will look once it’s had some loving attention paid to it.  Perhaps even Henrietta Maria will approve in the end.

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The other thing that is bringing some Christmas spirit into the house is this year’s Advent calendar.  A repro of a 1955 German calendar, it just charms the pants off me.

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And for right now, that’s good enough.

Happy weekend everyone!

Inspiration

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I’m always going on about how wonderful a Glittermoon Vintage Christmas wreath would look hanging over top of a mirror.

Well, I just received this picture of Ding Dong Bell after it was hung in its new home.  Talk about a WOW factor!! Jan took the mirror thing a step further and hung it over this amazing round plaque which itself is on a mirror.  It looks fabulous! And, what a festive atmosphere; check out what else is in the photo.  Looks like its time to party! I love it.

Ding Dong Bell

Ding Dong Bell – this one has that fabulous bell music box on the bottom that plays Silent Night.

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If you are near Richmond, this Saturday, November 19, is the Northside Artists Holiday Artwalk.  I’m back this year and will be located in the Atrium at the Ginter Place condos, 1350 Westwood Ave., Richmond 23227.  We will have 7 artists here alone! This is a terrific way to kick off your holiday shopping by walking the lovely streets of my own neighborhood, Laburnum Park and Sherwood Park in the beautiful Northside of town.

This year we have 48 artists representing a multitude of mediums: everything from artisanal chocolates to jewelry, pottery, painting, fiber arts, and much more. I hope you will join me. This is my last event in the RVA area for the year!

For more information, please click here to go to the Facebook page.

Hours are from 9-5.

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In other news, I’m still totally swamped trying to get things made. At this point, I only have 1 wreath that is available, Blue Rocket. I’m still working feverishly to meet commitments and to have some inventory for you all to choose from so please don’t despair. As we get a bit into December, I hope to have more to choose from. I appreciate your everlasting patience!

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Blue Rocket Wreath $250

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And, finally, I am so honored that Brent and Josh, the Beekman 1802 Boys, invited me to once again be a part of their holiday website.  It went live this week. These are the 2 wreaths that are up first (though I have to tell you that the Santa one sold immediately).  I will keep making more for them as wreaths sell so please do visit their page, Beekman1802.com.  Their products are phenomenally good and are all artisanal.  If you are not familiar with them, they are 2 guys with a fantastic story, who work very, very hard, and who believe in giving back. I’ve written numerous posts about them and about their hometown of Sharon Springs, NY if you want to check them out. I’m incredibly proud to be one of their artisans.

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Santa’s Very Merry, made for the Beekman 1802 Holiday website

 

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Greetings from Paris, featuring Polka Spot the Llama, made for the Beekman 1802 Holiday website

And just in case I don’t get back to you before then, Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  I have more things to be grateful for than I could ever count.  I hope you do, too. xo

Getting Ready for Lift Off!

Hi, everyone and a happy Memorial Day to you all!clf616-612x612-31016-1

I’m scrambling – truly – to get ready to depart on Wednesday for the Country Living Fair in Rhinebeck, NY.  I hope you will think about coming if you are in the beautiful Hudson Valley area next weekend. You can find out all about it here. The Fair is an amazing experience with artisans from all over the US as well as lots of antique and vintage  shopping plus talks and demonstrations by lots of people, including Brent and Josh, the Beekman 1802 Boys, you’ve heard me talk about so often. They will be there on Saturday and will have a pop-up version of the Beekman 1802 Mercantile set up for the duration of the show.

I have been assigned an amazing booth space in Barn 29,  right on Main Street.  It’s an end spot directly across Main St. from the Earth Angels. Here is a Map of the Fairgrounds for you: Rhinebeck

And here is the schedule:Rhinebeck schedule

See? You’ve gotta come!

I quickly wanted to share with you the “real” pictures of those 5 wreaths I recently finished. I will be taking a total of NINE wreaths with me to the Fair, as well as the Golden Halo Centerpiece, and about 4 DOZEN  (Four Dozen!! See – I told you I’ve been busy!!)  “Tiny Topiaries.”  I love them all – haven’t photographed them yet (hopefully tomorrow before I pack them) but they are totally charming. Plus, I will have my full stock of Glittermoon Cards and original photography.  Oh, and some really fun vintage merchandise to boot.  I’m so excited!

Without further ado, here are the 5 new ones:

Ding Dong Bell - this one has that fabulous bell music box on the bottom that plays Silent Night.

Ding Dong Bell – this one has that fabulous bell music box on the bottom that plays Silent Night.

Harlequin Hugger

Harlequin Hugger

Going to the Chapel

Going to the Chapel

Palomino Pink

Palomino Pink

Shabby Sweet

Shabby Sweet

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Finally, in honor of Memorial Day, I’d like to share a picture of my Dad who served in the US Navy during World War II.  As a Lieutenant on a Destroyer Escort, he sailed in both the Atlantic and Pacific campaigns.  Thank you, Daddy,  and thank you to all the brave souls who fight for our freedoms.

Lt JG Barclay Haskins Trippe, Jr

Lt JG Barclay Haskins Trippe, Jr

 

New Wreaths

I’ve been silent for a while, I know, but so much has happened since my last post.  I’m not able to sit down and write about everything yet, please forgive me.

But…I do want to share with you that these 3 Glittermoon wreaths are available for sale on the Beekman 1802 Holiday website right now!!

If you are in a bit of a hurry and don’t want to ooh and ah over all the wonderful artisan-created products Brent and Josh at Beekman1802.com have for your holiday gift-giving (though you really ought to do yourself a favor and do just that), you can cut to the chase by going straight to the Holiday Decor at B1802.com section.  Or by just searching for “ornament wreath.”

Happy shopping, my friends!

Santa's Ski Party

“Santa’s Ski Party” wreath

Flying High Wreath

“Flying High” Wreath featuring a rare 1955 Italian Olympic Ski Jumper ornament

Llama Takes Over Wreath

“Llama Takes Over” Wreath

Back in the Saddle Again

At least momentarily, anyhow.  And so very glad!

Just to update you a bit on what’s happening, we are still waiting for the transplant team’s call; they say it could come at any time.  Patrick is right at the top of the list.  Keep sending those good vibes our way.  We will need to be able to get ourselves (and the animals!) together as quickly as we can and hop in the car for the drive to Charlottesville.  I have never had a baby, but the scenario appears to me that it could be oddly similar.

The tile finally came for the kitchen and all that is left is for me to hang pictures and do some decorating.  That was a long time coming!  Once it’s finished, I’ll share pictures with you. It really is gorgeous.

I finished the 2014 taxes over the weekend – what an incredible load off that is, oh my goodness.

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I can snatch some time to get back to work!  Yippee.

I have, of course, been collecting loads of cool stuff in dribs and drabs all year long.  And since I have not been able to make anything to date, the workshop is about to burst at the seams.  Really, it is crammed to the gills – I can hardly move around in there.  I fear I may need an intervention.  Someone please lock up the credit card.

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If you have been looking at Glittermoon Vintage Christmas designs over the past few years, you may have noticed that I often tend to use a sort of signature piece as a centerpiece or jumping-off point.  So when I get started on a new design, I usually have something in mind that I am anxious to build around, and it’s usually fairly sizable.

Additionally, I tend to restrict the color palate to a few colors most of the time.  For me, that helps establish a rhythm to the design.

To that end, I wanted to show you a couple of very cool things I have recently found that I am excited about.  I can’t wait to come up with something using this stuff.

IMG_4585This guy is actually 14 inches tall!  I’m going to use him in the center of a wreath.  Isn’t he marvelous?!  Santa Baby.

I have a terrific fondness for the large (I mean BIG!) reindeer.  They are very hard to find.

So imagine my delight when I scored FOUR supersized ones from Japan.  They are in near perfect condition.

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You get a good idea of the scale when you look at the itty bitty one on the right.  He’s about 3″ tall so you can imagine how large his cousins are.  Be still my heart. How fabulous they will be on their respective wreaths.  Their hooves are bright hot pink!

I’ve also got this poinsettia bell that actually plays Silent Night.  It’s about 8″ tall and works perfectly.  Pull the string at the bottom and it chimes away, sounding just like a beautiful music box does.  I want to try to incorporate it into a wreath as well.IMG_4591

It may look a bit tacky but I think I can make it look pretty swell, especially in a traditionally colored wreath. And how cool is it that it works?!

Stay tuned.  Hopefully, I can make these and more stuff for you this fall.  If you see something you absolutely must have on a wreath just for you, pop me an email and we shall see what we can do.

I am very, very happy that Josh and Brent of Beekman 1802 have asked me to make wreaths for their holiday website again this year.  I have made a good start on the first one.

I will not be able to show you the finished product until they launch it on the website in November, but here is a peek at a detail of the beginnings: IMG_4606 - Version 2

So, you have probably guessed that I am using a Bradford mantel decoration as a focal point; it’s the reindeer pulling Santa’s sleigh across the wreath.  Only there will be a bit of a surprise in the sleigh.  The color scheme for this one will be silver, red, and deep pink I think.

These type of pieces were  originally candy containers.  Santa’s sleigh was loaded with yummy goodies.  This particular one actually still has the listing of the contents on the bottom of it.  It is first one like that I have ever had (and I have made numerous wreaths with these mantel pieces).  IMG_4607 - Version 2

I wonder if the Spier Candy & Novelty Corp.’s candy was delicious?  Anybody know?  I can’t find out anything about them. You probably could have bought this in your neighborhood drug store or five and dime back in its day.  What a far cry from what you find in those places nowadays.  Makes me feel pretty nostalgic.

Have a good night everyone, and please stay safe out there.  We are keeping a close eye on this nasty weather that seems to be heading our way.