Thursday, October 30, 2014

Holiday Pop-Up is One Week Away!

One week from tonight, we will hold our final Holiday Event. We have been busy creating lots of holiday d├ęcor for our customers. 
I have just completed a collection of Santos cage dolls.   They are dressed in  relics of old fabrics, trims and embellishments.  They would look perfect on a buffet or mantle with a grouping of large candlesticks for the holidays.

From a street  artisan in San Miguel, Mexico-  hand made crosses with tiny metal findings.
Each one is unique and very special.

These crosses look great with the cage dolls or simply lying on an old book.

Also, from San Miguel, hand crafted Ex Votos.  Ex Votos are symbols of hope and miracles.

A collection of jeweled fruit-

Use as ornaments or fill a compote to enjoy!

Hope to see you next weekend.
 November 6th   4 to 7 pm
  November 7th and 8th    11- 3  pm

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Our Final Christmas Holiday Event- Two Weeks from Today!

It's that time of year again!   Ready to start thinking about Christmas- decorating, cooking, entertaining and getting the right gifts!  It's only 8 weeks away!   Two weeks from tonight, we will have our final Christmas event !  After having Christmas shows for over 18 years at Romancing the Home,  it is a decision that I have made with mixed feelings.  It is time to pursue other dreams, sell our home in Illinois and build a new retirement home in the beautiful state of North Carolina!    But before we leave behind so many great memories,  we are going to have a final fling!  This year's Holiday event will be full of unique merchandise! 

One of my all time favorite finds-  a twig bush with rhinestones!  It can be used so many ways, - in a urn, as a nest for ornaments or your velvet pumpkins, tucked in the arms of an angel, on a mantle, the ideas are endless.

A gilded angel napping in a nest of twigs and rhinestones.

Another great find while in California last weekend- I met an artist that makes these adorable trees.

Completely covered in vintage ornaments and old jewelry, they are adorable.  Four sizes available.
And finally to share with you  for today's Holiday show update, a collection of Santos  cage dolls dressed in vintage finery. A collection of different sizes will be at the Holiday show.
The Santos dolls get  their name from the Spanish word for Saint, and are also known as Santons (French) and Santibelli (Italian). The Santos that started the genre of dolls we sell (primarily Spanish Colonial and Western European style),  originally started as copies of 17th century carvings by priests. Originally, Santos were created for use as in-home altars.  They were needed in small villages that did not have a priest, as well as for when it was not possible to travel to church.
I really prefer the Italian name- Santibelli_ and think our girls should be called Santibelli's !!!
It definitely sounds more Romancing the Home!!!!

Each doll will be dressed in vintage fabrics and adorned in gilt and rhinestones. 

 A beautiful belt of rhinestones and brass cherubs is at the waist of this Santos doll.

Beautiful painted faces and bodies, make these reproductions look like the original antique.

A vintage 1930's collar forms the shawl on this lady.

Remnants of 1920's and 30's dresses will become the skirts.
A beautiful heirloom piece to use on a mantle, buffet or entry table.
I'll be updating this blog every couple of days with new items available at the show.
November 6th    4 to 7 pm
Friday  November 7th   11 am to 3 pm
Saturday November 8th   11 am to 3 pm
Hope to see you there!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Fall Touches for a Fall Dinner Table

I needed a little inspirations for a fall dinner table.  It all started when I went into a new store in Lake Bluff- Vintage Re-Imagined.  Spotting two small baskets with handles, I asked the store owner about them.  She informed me that they were carrying baskets for your glass as you went to drink the healing waters from a natural hot spring in France around the turn of the century. Well, I couldn't resist them!

  Purchasing them, I went next door to Twigs- our fabulous local florist- and asked them to design a small arrangement in one for my dinner table .  While I went to the grocery store to get the items I needed for dinner, Twigs created their usual floral magic!

The small arrangement was tucked inside cellophane and tied with a pretty ribbon.
I love peaking through that shiny cellophane at the flowers. 

 Unwrapped, the petite arrangement is packed with tulips, berries, ranaculus.  And if that isn't enough to delight your senses, a rhinestone covered velvet pumpkin is found in a bed of moss in the lid to the basket.  Has there ever been anything so sweetly designed?  I think not!

 One of my favorite household duties- I set the table with cream Juliska plates, over-sized linen napkins and silver and antler flatware!  

The table needs a little sparkle, so I add crystal wine glasses to the mix.

The Twigs arrangement  is placed in a compote to elevate it above the tray of larger velvet pumpkins.
Moss was tucked in  to fill in the gaps.

We all piled in to the kitchen banquette to enjoy candlelight, conversation  and
a simple fall dinner of Chicken Caprese,  Italian Green beans and a bottle of good red wine. Dessert followed- Mountain Dew Apple Dumplings and Vanilla Bean Ice Cream.
Here's the recipe for the Apple Dumplings.
Try it- it's fun and it's good!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Fall Color at the Chicago Botanic Gardens

This weekend, we took our visiting guests to the Chicago Botanic Gardens.  While the wind was nippy and the temperature definitely fall like, the floral displays captured our senses. I want to share a couple of the stunning landscapes with you.

The top of the bridge entering the gardens- laden  with hanging flowers.

I have never seen such huge pots of mums!

 Inside one of the buildings,  large spheres of mums were hanging over the water feature.

Clumping several kale together, really makes a bigger impact.

This garden was beautiful- different tones of purple and greens.

Large pumpkins lined the wall of the vegetable garden.

The larger size pots allow space for many more plants- making a bigger impact.
Kale and lettuce - ready to pick.

Notice the wind in the willows- so graceful.

Chilled from our walk- time to head home, light the fire and fix a hot toddy.
The perfect fall afternoon!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Fall Containers

It's that time of year!  Time to switch out all the summer annuals for fall mums.  While the annuals aren't really ready to go, they have lost their perky summer personalities.  Time for them to say good-bye until next summer!

After living here for over 30 years, I have just been told of a fabulous nursery in Grayslake called Mini Earth.  How have I missed it?  I made a trip out last week to gather some fall plants for my front and back door pots.

Some of the summer plants just don't want to leave yet- the trumpet vines and the ferns.

But the summer impatiens are replaced with mums, kale and purple peppers.  The maiden hair fern is still doing well, so I keep it and mix it with the peppers and kale.  Mini Earth was also growing this tall black waxy leaf plant- perfect for adding height to the container.

Kale is tucked in the maidenhair fern pot with the summer coleus.
  I like the contrast of colors together.

 Next to the back door.  I decided to use the vintage olive baskets that I purchased in North Carolina this summer.   The potted mums fit perfectly in them.

The little statue holds the perfect gourd that I selected for it's curly stem from Mini Earth.

Another gourd is tucked into the pot with kale and peppers.

Another container is freshened up with kale.

My old broken angel- who has lost her arms repeatedly in Lake Bluff wind storms- is
gussied up a bit. I hide those broken arms by tying a pot of kale into her midriff.
She's good to go for another fall season!

A green pumpkin is placed in the arrangement to add the final touch.
I do love Lake Bluff in the fall. But my husband and I just spent a couple of days on our new property
in the Asheville area, working with the architect who will design our home. 
The natural beauty of the area is breath taking.

  While our property is on the river, a short drive up the mountain to 4100 feet, gives us these 360 degree views. On this trip, we finally had the time to drive up there.
 Yesterday morning, clouds hung low in the mountains and the air was crisp.
The leaves were just starting to turn. One can only imagine this scene in a couple of weeks.

 I leave you with this majestic view.  Nothing but the sound of wind and birds-

 Happy Fall!