Sunday, July 5, 2015

Nashville Wedding at the Hermitage

Last weekend , the wedding of the daughter of one of my dearest friends was held in Nashville.  It seems like yesterday that we were talking about what Santa was going to bring for Christmas, and now we are talking about what the wedding flowers and food will be for the wedding.  Where did time go?

But a glorious wedding it was!  First of all. the architecture of the Hermitage Hotel in Nashville is
beautiful and a true architectural treasure.

Beautiful ceiling details

 The hotel's lobby where cocktails were served
Guests signed a globe as they entered the hotel lobby for the wedding.
The ceremony-  The father of the bride and the beautiful bride- Erin

The entrance to the dinner - scattered with rose petals and white votives

Gorgeous arrangements of blush roses and white hydrangeas filled the room.

While a bag pipe was played to greet the guests.

 The bridal party sat at the communal table in the center of the room.

Erin and Lynda pose for a photo for me.

Best wishes to the happy bride and groom for a wonderful life together.
Erin- you are a gorgeous bride!  

Monday, June 15, 2015

Where Did All My "Stuff" Go?

The day is here.  Time to pack up 31 years of memories and treasures.  Professional packers are here and somewhat astounded that this much "stuff"  could actually fit within the confines of this old house without exploding.

Packing up your "stuff" is very emotional.  It is traveling down memory lane- where did that come from, who gave it to me, it was my mom's, who I was with when I spotted that incredible treasure. And the tears flow easily.
It's like saying good bye to an old friend that's going away for a year and a half.  You will not be able to chat for a while as they are in a far away, unreachable place. For my stuff, it's the storage facility of North American Van lines. Certainly, not the most exciting place to visit!

So I take a few last pictures of my "Stuff". Kind of a bon voyage celebration with only me and my stuff at the party!!!   I can stare at the pictures  during the next 18 months and try to remember their little faces and plan their homecoming to their new home in North Carolina.

My very favorite amphora pottery collection.

You guys had better behave yourself and return to me safely.

Lots of sparkly stuff-  I will miss you.

And I just got this horn handle trophy back from the silver plating company.. We didn't have a lot of time together, but I promise you a great time in North Carolina. You will just have to wait a year and a half.

Meanwhile, the other barware will keep you company in a big old  Dish Pack box.
It's certainly not the Ritz Carlton, but it will have to do!

Antique Venetian glasses question my decision to send them away in a box. 
At least put us in a special box.

 Threatening to tarnish while away,  silver goblets are not happy about the trip.

My most special goblets- not replaceable.  I must have a special talk with the packers. 
 These little babies require special attention.

And let's not forget the glasses that I made my husband "hand carry" back from Venice, while we
ran through the Paris airport to catch a plane.  One can only guess the words that were exchanged between us as we pushed to the front of the security line with our 8 boxes of fragile glasses.
Our connecting flight from Venice was late and we were about to miss our flight back to the states.

And one of my newest obsessions- Palais by Bayel.  Discontinued in the 70's.

Special pillows, fur throws, - how am I going to survive without you?

And then there's my collection of vintage dresses and handbags. Not that I could even
fit an arm in them, I like to stare at them and imagine myself actually fitting in one.
Good bye my loves.

And now time to dismantle my jewelry cabinet.

Filled with vintage jewelry, flowers, powder dolls and compacts.  Can't wait til we meet again!

 Old books from Paris, decanters from Scott's and a mask from Venice. One of my favorite pictures of my mom and dad on the beach.  Time to tuck you all away.

And now to my great  horror, I look out the window and see the party crashers arriving!

Just how many of them came?

Not one, not two, not three of them.  Oh yeah baby- four big semi's here to collect my stuff!

130 Dish Packs later- probably a world record according to my packers.

 Box by box,  chair by chair,  my stuff was sent into  the protective custody of another person.
All 31,000 pounds of it! 

All that is left is what is being sold at the upcoming house sale.

So the party is over. 
Empty shelves and mantels- what a disgraceful scene!

Only the whispers of 31 years of wonderful memories remain. 
It will be weird living here for the next few  weeks without my stuff.  The walls echo sounds so easily without any "stuff". 
But then again, it's a blank canvas for the new owners to fill with their "stuff".
 I can't wait to see what they do with the place.  Change is good. 

Friday, June 5, 2015

Antique Collections- Acquiring and Relinquishing - Really?

I have collected so many wonderful antiques through out the past 40 years.  It is my very  favorite hobby and even though I need absolutely  nothing, I continue  the hunt!   Many of you can  totally relate to what I am saying!   I call it my "editing phase"-  find something more wonderful, get rid of something less wonderful!!!  Visiting new towns is extremely exciting, because new antique stores are virgin territory for me!    While in Greenville, SC and Hendersonville, NC last week,  I scored several fabulous finds-

Hendersonville, NC has some great antique shops.  I spotted  this silver lazy Susan in the window of a shop on Main Street while walking to a restaurant.   The store was closing, but the ladies kindly informed us that they would open at 10 am the next morning.   Trust me- I was there waiting for them to open at 10 am!  And after a non stressful negotiation of price with its owner, the lazy Susan was going now  home with it's namesake!  Happy, happy me!  

It has 4 vegetable dishes, 4 sauce dishes, 4 salt and peppers and a soup tureen, all part of a spinning
silver platform that can be filled with hot water to keep things warm.  I love the more organic handles.

This will make a great centerpiece and will be so much fun to fill with different seasonal items.

Peach season is here and the first roses started to bloom, so they got the honor of being the first
participants in my new centerpiece.  Fall might just be apples and cinnamon sticks- fun to plan!
And maybe I will even serve food from it-  an elegant way to serve chili and all it's toppings!

The day before, my girlfriend, Linda Lee, had spotted this alencon lace tablecloth from Paris.  It was still folded, pressed and had the original tags on it.  I was shocked that she didn't grab it! After all, she had just scored a fabulous pair of oversized vintage Ralph Lauren candlesticks in another store!

 After dreaming about that "gem of a find" overnight, I knew I had to go back and get it!  Arriving back at the store, I started digging through piles of linens to find it and thought it was gone.  Finally, a sweet lady came over to help me and found it tucked away!   It was mine to buy!

Greenville, SC has great shops too!  Happily finding one open early  on Memorial Day Monday morning,  I found this ornate silver champagne bucket and  couldn't resist! It still has the liner for the ice.
Getting back to Chicago,  peonies are just starting to bloom
and I couldn't wait to use my silver cooler.
So now for my rule following-  what do I get rid of????  Can't think of anything right now!
I am much better at  the Acquiring part  than the Relinquishing part.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Wedding Magic in the Carolina Mountains

It seems like yesterday that my dear friend Jill and I were sitting on the porch of our rental cabin in the Carolina mountains and discussing the biscuit bar for this wedding. It seemed  so far away. And now after all Jill's  careful planning,  this magical event has happened.  And I do believe that she outdid herself! 

First let me say that there has never been a weekend with such perfect weather- low 80's, light breeze, and nothing but sunshine. On Memorial Day,   in Greenville, South Carolina, family and friends gathered to see Laura and Charlie married. 

Let me share with you this  magical wedding day in the Carolina mountains.

The Ceremony Location - The Chapel at Glassy Mountain in the Cliff's community

The ceremony took place at the most beautiful chapel- high on the top of a mountain, tucked up in the clouds  with the valley below. So high and glorious, that you could almost  touch  the angels. 

Not a cloud in the sky-

Inside the stone chapel- a view like no other.

Greg- the very talented Greenville florist- putting the finishing touches on the flowers
at the gate to the chapel!

Hydrangeas mark the pews for the family.

The wedding programs await the guests in the foyer of the stone chapel.
Jill, the mother of the bride, inspects the chapel before the ceremony.
Laura arriving at the chapel.
A stunning bride -  soon to be a wife.

Mother and daughter before the ceremony.

Jill and her beautiful daughters- Katie and Laura.

A final picture of mom and her  three children, before the ceremony. What a  gorgeous family!
But where is Dad? 

Proud papa Barry is bringing the wedding veil for his daughter to the chapel..

The bridal bouquet

The chuppah  with the incredible blue sky in the  background.
It looks like we are in heaven.
The Ceremony

Katie and Annie - such pretty bridesmaids.

Charlie's mom and dad escort him down the aisle.

Walking down the aisle to " Somewhere Over the Rainbow"- here comes Laura with mom and dad.-
 I think Dad is a bit teary eyed.
Watching as Laura comes down the aisle.

Married at last!

The happy couple-  Laura and Charlie!
And just for those of you that doubt  angels can fly- take a look at these!

A happy bride, smiling as the wind swirls her long veil over the magnificent view.

Now down the  mountain to Mountain Park for the wedding celebration.
The Cocktail Hour
Cocktails and appetizers on the terrace by the barn at Mountain Park.


Burlap tablecloths with dusty pinks and sage colors in the flowers.

Ferns, ivy, and ficus trees lit with white lights outside the bar. 

One of the signature cocktails- "THE LAURA" - a peach sangria.
Along with delicious passed appetizers such as Crab Cakes and Shrimp and Grits Shooters,
wedding guests were treated to the quintessential southern food- a biscuit!

 The Biscuit Bar

The Homemade Pickle Bar

Gnarly vines on wooden boxes held flowers on the Escort Card table. 

The Escort Card Table- 
Wedding Dinner in the Barn
Enter through white curtains flanked by beautiful  arrangements on top of old barrels.

Communal farm tables with rows of floral "hedges" in wooden boxes with grape vine handles.

Pinterest worthy pictures!

The most beautiful shade of pink that I have ever seen.

Soft pink napkins under glass vessels ready for the peach gazpacho. 
 Love the way the charger anchors the entire place setting.

Rows and rows of roses, hydrangeas and succulents on all the tables.

The peach gazpacho has been served and the dinner begins.

Love the touch of the rosemary sprigs in the butter.

Great looking bar made of old whiskey barrels.
The Cliff's culinary team outdid themselves on the food.  It was sensational.

The menu boards were created  by one of Jill's friends- Laurell.  Awesome job.
Even though I missed it, I heard the Banana Pudding was out of this world!

Sweet Potato Wedding Cake with Chai  Cream Cheese Frosting.
Time to Party!
First the wedding speeches- then we dance!

Father and Daughter Dance to My Girl.

Barry shows his daughter a few new steps!

Laura and Charlie's first dance.

Cutting the cake

Laura's brother, sister-in-law and nephew- baby Wes.  Baby Wes rocked the night away!
A future party animal for sure.

Jill lighting a sparkler for the getaway.

Hand in hand- down the row of sparklers- Laura and Charlie leave as a married couple.
A toast to the Bride and Groom
Laura and Charlie- May all your wishes come true together! 
What an incredible wedding weekend!   
To my friend Jill- not the smallest detail went untouched by your gracious style.  
It was truly a "masterpiece" wedding- one we will always remember.
 Congratulations to you and Barry for  creating these  unforgettable
moments in your daughter's life.