Back to Work!

Just a little quickie to let you know that I finally made it out to the workshop today and got started on what I think is going to be a real charmer.

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I’ll be back to post some pictures of the Golden Glow of Christmas Past convention – it was fabulous! If you go their Facebook page, you’ll see all sorts of photos people took – both of their treasures and the convention in general.

Stay tuned….

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Where in the World…

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We drove north along the beautiful Skyline Drive here in Virginia for the Fourth of July.

…have I been these past 3 months?  Well, honestly, I’ve pretty much been playing hooky.  I’ve taken some time off to take care of some things that I’ve neglected for the past few years – like my house, for one!

We are getting close to the end of renovating, painting, and papering, upholstering and picking out fabric for new curtains.  After 22 years, it was definitely time for a refresh. And like an idiot, I agreed (for reasons that are completely beyond me now) to open our house for a home and garden tour in early October.  The good thing about this scenario is that it forces you to get it done! Then you can sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labors.

Except when it’s the season that is the run up to Christmas and the height of show season!!  Oh, me.

We also had a bit of a health scare with a stint in the hospital over Memorial Day for the transplant patient.  But that was soon followed by a happier moment, our 31st anniversary!

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Not too long after that, I had a major milestone birthday (the one that involves receiving a red, white, and blue card). How is it even possible I’m that old???

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Birthday flowers

 

Tomorrow, I head off to Asheville, NC for the Golden Glow of Christmas Past convention. If you recall, I attended my first one last year. I hope to come home with some incredible things for wreath-making…and maybe even some treasures for my own tree.

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This was the scene at the hotel in Rye, NY last year for the Golden Glow convention

One of the most amazing things at the convention is the Museum Room where people display their collections. I saw some mind-boggling pieces last year. This is but a taste of the wonders.

 

Keep your eye on the Glittermoon Facebook page where I will be posting pictures from Asheville.

These are a few of the treasures I brought home (and subsequently made their way onto some of my favorite wreaths last year). Do you see any you recognize?

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Hope you all are having a lovely summer.  It’s going by way too fast for me!

I will leave you with a brand new Glittermoon Card featuring sweet Emma P. Buttercup. Enjoy!

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Patriotic Parade

Patriotic Parade

I finished it!

Meet “Patriotic Parade.”  I think you can guess the reason for the name.  Anyway, July is the perfect time to fly our beautiful colors.

I’m taking it with me to the Golden Glow of Christmas Past convention in Rye, NY next week.  Perhaps I will see some of you there??  I hope so.

Here are a few more pictures for your viewing pleasure (as always, click on them to make them larger – so much better!).

Happy Friday, everyone! And try to stay safe and cool this weekend.  It’s going to be a scorcher.

One Horrifying Moment

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When this photo popped up on my phone, my heart almost stopped.

It looked as though an elephant had sat on it.

Two days prior, I had packed and shipped a wreath to a customer in Georgia via FedEx, my carrier of choice.  I was both horrifed and desolated when Nancy sent this to me.  I knew in my heart that this beautiful wreath was destroyed.  All those wonderfully old, cherished ornaments broken.  Not to mention all the hours I had put into the making of it.

The feeling did not improve as I scrolled through her pictures.

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But to my intense relief she shared one last photo.

IMG_6808 - Version 2This one little hole was miraculously the ONLY damage that occurred.

Now you know how very well I pack my babies before they leave the nest.  It takes me the better part of an hour to carefully wrap and package each one.  I am relieved beyond words that I can now say it is worth every effort I take.

Whew.

Springtime at Christmas

“Springtime at Christmas” is now happily ensconced in her new home.  Because that one ornament was a one-of-kind, we decided the best thing to do was merely to cover up the hole with something else. Problem solved.

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I’m getting ready to leave for the Golden Glow of Christmas Past Convention next week in Rye, NY.  This is my first time and I’m looking forward to meeting some of the people I have only met virtually through Facebook.

Yesterday I started on a new wreath with patriotic colors to take with me.  It will also have this amazing topper on it.

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If I have a chance before I go to share the finished product, I’ll do it.  Wish me luck!

Anyone else going to be there this year?

Summer Interlude

It’s been awhile, I know, so I wanted to pop in and let you know that I’m still here.
IMG_4204 - Version 2Summer has come; the heat and humidity are a force to be reckoned with as is usual here in Richmond.  It cheers me to look out this tiny old window in the kitchen as the crape myrtle blossoms sway to the mysterious rhythms of Mother Nature.

Life is still topsy-turvy.

IMG_4022We now know that P needs both a liver and a kidney transplant.  The days and weeks are spent in an endless cycle of medical appointments, dialysis, unexpected hospital stays, and so on.  He has one more test to do before we meet with the transplant team at UVA, hopefully later this month, to see if they will accept him into their transplant program.  It all seems surreal.

The kitchen reno is almost done (4 months and counting – I promise to post pictures of the whole process down the road) and now we have embarked on a bathroom reno which was necessitated by the need for a walk-in shower.  I think I may not know what to do with myself when the house returns to normal.

All travel plans for me are on hold right now so the schedule is very much up in the air.  I am sorry particularly not to be able to make it to The Golden Glow of Christmas Past convention later on this month.  Maybe next year.

I have not been able to get back to work yet; other than P’s health, there is a laundry list of  “unfortunate events” that have plagued us recently: sewer line backups, car flooding, computer crashing, enormous tree having to be taken down ($$$$). Pile it on why don’t you.

I’m not actually complaining; just floating with the tide (even when it seems to be a flood).

I confess that I have indulged in a little bit of shopping in anticipation of actually getting back to work.  The day cannot come soon enough.  Keep your fingers crossed that it is soon!

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Emma P is apparently taking the summer easy.  Dog days.  As it should be.  IMG_0034I hope that all of you are enjoying the lazy, hazy days, too.

Happy summer!

I Fell Down a Rabbit Hole and Then…

I fell down another.  And yet another.  And, apparently, I shall not see the light of day for quite some time.

It’s been a fun series of detours, though.  Mostly.

Since you last heard from me just before Christmas (oh my gosh, what a blur that was – how about you?), let me bring you up to date a bit.

First, on December 21, my mom was put into the hospital with a terribly scary case of influenza.  Now, she’s going to be 93 next week, so I know you know just how dangerous the flu (and this was that awful respiratory one where the vaccine did not work) can be when you are that age.  I got the call about 6 in the morning and I spent a really anxious day wondering what was going on there so far away.  It was actually her 3rd contact with either the ER or the paramedics in as many days.  Good old Medicare – it was not until Sunday that we got an ER doctor who figured out a way to get her admitted.  Thankfully.

And just as thankfully, we were able to spring her on Christmas Day.  Happy Christmas indeed!  She still felt horrible, and it has been a difficult recovery for her, but she’s doing much better now.

This was the spectacular sunset on Christmas Day.  What an immense blessing, indeed.

Christmas sunset, complete with dog and moon.

Christmas sunset, complete with dog and moon.

Then I got sick.  The day after Christmas, no less.  So, I was not much help to her.  There we were, 2 sickies.  I had managed to dodge every bullet the entire year, but I was not able to dodge this one.  It was a beast.  I have not felt so crummy in years.  And so, the whole 10 days that I had planned to have a nice visit with my mom, I pretty much spent hacking and coughing and just sprawled in a chair, unable to summon up the will to do much of anything.  Ick.

We did, however, dig out and watch the Poldark series on DVD for the hundredth time.  I never tire of it.  Such an adventure!  Do you remember it from Masterpiece Theater in the mid-1970’s?  It is the prefect balm when you are feeling poorly.  If you are feeling hale and hearty, it’s mighty fine, too.  The books by Winston Graham are wonderful.

Mercifully, all that is now behind me and I left that rabbit hole for some far more interesting ones.

But before I get to those…I want to show you the final wreath of 2014.  I made this one for my oldest friend; we played together as little girls and have had a lifelong friendship that has been such a wonderful gift.  Even better, she lives a hop, skip, and a jump, from my mother and she pops in regularly for a cup of tea in the afternoons.

Susie asked me to make a wreath for her to give her younger sister, Sara, as a Christmas gift.  We emailed back and forth over the course of a few months; I had planned on making it in the summer but then I got overwhelmed, and so it was not until just before Christmas that I finally got busy on it.

We all called Sara, “Arsa” (get it?) as children…so this is Arsa’s wreath.

Sara's Wreath ©Glittermoon Vintage Christmas 2014

I am happy to say that she loved it. And so did Susie.  A good end to 2014!

Now back to the rabbit holes.

My house was built in 1935 and it still has the original kitchen.  For almost 20 years, I have not had a dishwasher.  I got used to it; washing dishes can be a pretty meditative process.    Except when you have a dinner party and you are up until the wee hours washing your good china and crystal and scrubbing pots and stuff.

The stove is a circa 1960 GE range with an oven and a half.  It’s marvelous but it’s looking pretty dilapidated and not functioning too well anymore.  The fridge is not the best either.  The large window that looks out over the garden is pockmarked with cracked window panes because I kept thinking, “maybe this year will be the year.” And so, things just didn’t happen.

But now they are!  After almost 2 years of designing and planning, things are moving forward in a concrete fashion.  If you have done your kitchen over, you know there are about a million and a half decisions to make.  I’ve been chipping away at them.  Appliances have been picked out and the cabinets are under construction.  We have had design meeting after design meeting.  All of which I have loved, design freak that I am.

Of course, I really did not have time to do a lot of this during show season.  But now, I’m going to town.  At the moment, I am in the midst of choosing countertops.  Ay yi yi.

I’ve always lusted after white marble.  Yes, I know, it’s not the most practical but…honestly, it cannot be denied as the most glorious material.  I’m also considering soapstone.  The yin and yang factor – light vs dark – is a tough question for me.  The cabinets will all be white.  In the butler’s pantry (!!!!!), the countertop is going to be walnut that we had milled from one of our trees that was felled during a hurricane years ago.  I’ve been saving it for years just for this very reason.

So I’m in the middle of educating myself about which is the best material for my counters. It’s been fascinating.

I got out last week to take a peek at stone at a couple of suppliers.  I think my tongue was probably hanging out by the time I was done.  Wow.  I saw some beautiful stone.

Calacatta Borghini Imperial Marble

Calacatta Borghini Imperial Marble

This is my favorite. It’s Borghini Imperial marble. As you might imagine with a name like that, it’s über expensive.  Sigh.  But, oh, what a  gorgeous thing.

I also saw these and was smitten.

Grigio Nuvolato marble

Grigio Nuvolato marble

White Moura Marble

Soapstone

Soapstone

Statuary Marble

Statuary Marble

Decisions, decisions.

I’m still on this quest.

But I’ve been stalled just a little now.  Yesterday, I had hand surgery.  It’s something that I had been putting off until after Christmas because it involved my right thumb, without which I can’t work, obviously.

Here’s what my right hand looks like at the moment.

IMG_3088Pretty isn’t it?  Anyway, my thumb is out of commission for at least a month.  I will be SO ready to get back out to the workshop by then.  I’ve got shows to get ready for this Spring!

Luckily for me, my surgeon did a fabulous job, it was not as involved as we first thought, and I have had pretty much zero pain (because I was a good girl yesterday and because the local anesthetic did not wear off until this morning).

So now, I actually have an excuse to sit around and read books!!!!!!  Be still my heart.  I’m on a Louise Penny jag at the moment.  Have you read any of her stuff?  She is Canadian and her protagonist is named Armand Gamache; he is a chief inspector with the Montreal police. I cannot recommend her writing highly enough.  Her books are reminiscent of another of my favorite writers, Donna Leon, whose books are all set in Venice.

And, speaking of books, this was a Christmas gift to myself.  Because, naturally, I was SUCH a very good girl all year-long.  IMG_3016

They weren’t kidding when they put the word fantasy on the cover.  Fabulous.

I’m also researching Ireland because….I’m going to travel there this summer!

AND, I’m going to be traveling to Lancaster, PA in late July to attend the Golden Glow of Christmas Past convention.  My friend, Jill Pillow, who owns Old World Accents here in Richmond, and I are going to go together.  I suspect that this will be a wacky and wild little jaunt.  Those Golden Glow folks are absolutely RABID about vintage Christmas!  I think that I am going to learn a lot.

Whew. What a year 2015 is shaping up to be!

Now I’m gonna give my thumb a rest, call my mum, and settle in for a nice winter’s evening.

Happy New Year everyone!