Tuesday, September 9, 2014

As Summer reluctantly eases into Fall ...

I look forward to embracing the new season. Fall, ushers in a season of change, celebration and natures painted leaves. A time to gather and share in friendship. Autumn's when we open our hearts and homes to entertaining and easing into a casual mood reflected in warmth and relaxation. Perhaps it's the shorter hours of daylight that encourage us to fluff our nest and enjoy a mellow state of mind.

We are slowly changing our decor from Summer into Fall. Slowly it seems because Summer was reluctant to give up temperature in the 90's and high humidity. Our Central air conditioning is running while I daydream of cuddling under a cozy throw with a good book or movie. 

Fall brings more rustic textures and more color to our Row-home. I've heard so many people say "It's been a strange Summer weather wise". I completely agree ... Totally!

New introductions are occurring in our living room's color palate, we have been living with neutrals in a sepia color tone, but with the Fall season come's change. I've developed a total appreciation for Black and White photography and it's being displayed more and more throughout our row-home. I find the greyscale alluring and it's making it's debut. We have recently purchased Simon (our 22 pound panther cat) a new sofa. I say this not in jest but in reality. Once delivered it became his. As in - slide across it, happy paws, Stretch out and nap his! It is from Room and Board and named Stella. We went with the stocked soft velvet ultra fabric in the grey Otter fabric ... But seriously if I had known it would be cat nip for Simon I might of rethought the fabric choice! Of course we love it ... Almost as much as Simon >^_^<

Slight fall touches ... In a Philadelphian style gorgeous Indian Summer.

Extremely sofa velvet, no wonder Simon adores the sofa! 

Since my last post I had another Birthday and all I can say is WHOA that's too many candles! Perhaps I should adopt my Dad's outlook on Birthdays. When it works flip the numbers. Well I'm guessing this year I should, because I sure would be once again young.

My sweet and very creative blogging friend Kris from Junk Chic Cottage sent me a Birthday gift. I swear I almost passed out with delight when I opened her gift. I love velvet pumpkins ... Simply love them. Well Kris sent me a large, like very large and beautiful rust colored (my favorite color) velvet pumpkin. See the one on the left? How gorgeous is this??? All of mine are much smaller. Thank you so much my sweet creative friend.

A fall vignette of velvet pumpkins in grey and rust displayed on two antique Senufo African stools along side a glass vase of birch branches and faux pepper berries, Rustic and posh races my heart! With Fall comes more color.

Back on April 23rd I received an email from my friend Doré Callaway from Burlap Luxe who has an incredibly soulful etsy store and beautifully serene blog. I have Doré as a VIp in my email preferences and while writing poetry an email from Doré came in which I instantly read. It included a link to a new piece of art she had just created, A angel altar as she explained was inspired by my dream I had on Christmas and that day purchased a star in my sons name Chris (who  passed away suddenly on November 2nd). I had posted about it on January 5th, 2014. 

Doré explained she normally doesn't explain what inspires her art but this time she did to me. Doré wrote that there's no obligation to purchase it, just take a look.

Well within seconds of viewing it was in my etsy cart from Burlap Luxe and sent out to me that day. We display it on the mantel in our sitting/reading room under my favorite photos of Chris. It's a magical work of art in Burlap Luxe's beloved hauntingly aged style... But for me it speaks to my heart and the never ending love of my son with it's the artistic soulfulness of star and angel. I recently purchased one of Doré's 19 inch rosary's and draped it on the altar. The rosaries are new additions to her etsy store. 

Close up of the interior of the Angel and star altar.

Going through the grieving process you must jump over many hurdles, a difficult one is birthdays. My son's birthday was August 23rd. We spent the weekend with close friends Gary and Chris at their home in Westport Connecticut. It was where we needed to be, because John and I were headed out the door to spend the weekend with them on November 2nd when I received the call from the ME's office informing me my son had passed suddenly.  This was the first time since Chris's death we would weekend with Gary and Chris ... A hurdle to overcome and trying not become a complete puddle on Chris's birthday but turn it into a celebration. It was healing and comforting to be with Gary and Chris as we continue mending ours hearts.

I believe friends become our Earth Angels, each one guided by a star up above.
Who gift us with their friendship and generosity of caring for us through love.

For my part I know nothing with any certainty but the sight of stars makes me dream.
~Vincent Van Gogh~

I've loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.
~Galileo Galilei~

Ye stars! Which are the poetry of Heaven.
~Lord Byron~

In memory of Chris, I wrote a poem for him as a Birthday gift, I want to share it with you as I know Chris would like that.  When I was considering blogging over a year ago I talked to him about my desire to write things of substance on my blog. He asked if I would share my poetry, to which I replied, don't think so ... want to have it published one day. Chris said but Mom I think you should share it on your blog, in addition to your stories and design style you have much to offer, I think it will be good for you. That's why with every post there is one of my poems. Be it observational or a fable if it is enjoyed consider it a gift from my son.

I will return in two weeks with a walking tour of the oldest residential street in America which happens to be in Philadelphia. 

Feeling inspired on a celestial evening as I sat down to write...
When the sky forms a canopy of twinkling glitter at night ...
And the stars in their luminescence are an absolute delight
I feel energized and protected in their purity of glorious light.
There is one bright star in the Heavens for me that's a beautiful sight,
Part of the Big Dipper, I purchased for my son because it just felt right.
Forever my son you will shine radiantly bright in your heavenly flight.

© Vera

Photo sources:
Photo of Birthday candle hat source is unknown
Both of the star photos are from google images

All other photos were taken by me - Vera


  1. Dear Vera, I am so sorry for the loss of your son. Your poetry gift is the perfect treasure to share in his honor. I am so glad he encouraged you to blog and share your poetry, designs and insights. He sounds like an amazing guy!!

    Your home is beautiful taking on the look and cozy feel of the new season.
    Happy Belated Birthday. I love the pumpkins that Kris sent you. How sweet she is to gift you with these pretties.

    Love your new sofa in that gorgeous grey velvet fabric and it looks like your sweet fur baby thinks so too. It must be so comfy!!
    Grey tones are going to be all the rage in home decor and fashion going into the new season. Love it with neutrals too. Well, grey just goes with everything really!!

    Was so excited to see your email and came right over. I signed up to follow by email now too so I won't miss a thing!!

    Wishing you a wonderful evening and rest of the week.

  2. Hi Vera- I am just back from a long break. I did not realize you had lost a son. What a horrible thing to go through-not at all the order of life that we are led to expect- -- never do we think of a child predeceasing a parent. We have had that happen with a grandchild and I know the horrible feelings you work through...none of them easy---for us it has been 9 years and often, it seems like yesterday. God bless you and I will pray for your peace of heart.

    That Kris is a piece of work, isn't she? lol She is a friend to me and I love her to bits. She does just the perfect thing ALL the time!

    Hope you have a wonderful night- xo Diana

  3. Hello my sweet friend. The tears are streaming with reading your beautiful poem from the heart for Chris. Very powerful. So fond of how your emotions can transform into such beautiful words. Your gift to write is your sanctuary. I am so happy you have that gift for your soul.

    The angel alter from Dore is well all I can say is I am speechless. It is gorgeous in so many ways. What a beautiful piece. Dore has a true gift to do the most beautiful art.

    I am so happy my pumpkin I sent fit in perfectly with all your others. Glad mine it the big one and really sticks himself out there with all the others. LOL! Your new or should I say Simon's new Stella is so pretty. I can see where he finds it to be a little peace of heaven for his naps. So sweet.

    Well my sweet friend. I love you and so happy you liked your birthday pumpkin.

  4. Vera, this post brought tears to my eyes!! What an incredible tribute to your son! I adore the pumpkin that Kris sent you (and the others-they go perfectly together) and your new sofa is gorgeous! Our kitties do have a way of taking over, don't they? I wondered if those were photos of Chris over your mantel-LOVE them!!
    The art created by Dore is exquisite...everything in your home is just so thoughtful and meaningful, and I never tire of seeing pics of your space!
    (oh, and Happy Belated Birthday! xo)

  5. Happy Birthday, Vera! First of, you can never go wrong with velvet pumpkins and Chanel. I need to make myself those gorgeous velvet pumpkins!!! I adore everything Dore does and the angel altar is simply amazing. I am so happy you are sharing your poetry with us.

  6. Oh Vera, darling Vera,
    I am speechless, when I got to Kris and her heart in gifting the Pumpkin to you, I thought to myself, of course I know her heart well, it was I who has experienced her generous heart as well.

    To include me in this post....what can I say, there are no words just tears. It's just beautiful in what you have created around the love for your son (Chris)
    As I have said many a times, long before you became a blogger that how could he not be the brightest one in the heavens. I know that his love lights up the sky's for you and carries your heart gentle in rest. Your beautiful home, your new sofa, your fall inspiration inspires nothing more or nothing less then what's to come.
    Just so sadly beautiful, sad only because I know how much Chris was loved, and where he got his passion from.

    Oh, Vera my arms are wrapped tightly around you in comfort.
    See you soon, I will be getting back to you in email.


  7. Dear Vera,
    Although very sad, this is truly a beautiful post.. I remember you mentioning that you had named a star for Chris. Your poem touches my heart...

    I love your pumpkin from Kris, what a beautiful gift.. And dear Dore... Her work has always inspired me. This piece says it all.. It belongs in your beautiful home that is filled with love.
    Sending you a warm hug,
    p.s. Does everyone see a child's face in the star photo above your poem?

    1. Penny, I was going to say that as well, I too see a face in the star photo, I saw two faces one on the right and one on the left right at first glance.
      This is a message I am sure of that.


    2. Penny and Doré,
      The photograph is from Nasa - official Hubble photography. It does cause you to pause and think. I find the photograph captivating.

    3. Dore, so you see it also... Ok, I was just curious.. It is breathtaking, that is for sure.. And yes, there is a message, for sure.
      Vera, you are so right...It is captivating. Beautiful photo from Nasa...

  8. Good morning dear friend.

    I am having great difficulties keeping up with my beloved friends in Blogland, due to my job. I love what I do, but it's time consuming, and I don't even know if I'm being the type of teacher I am supposed to be, i.e, staying late after school, etc....I get there early to prepare, but the amount of meetings I should probably attend is overwhelming! I am here, enjoying your post, before I run off to school.

    Dorés art is unique and beautifully made with the patina and love that we adore. Your poem is what is is supposed to be: an expression in words what others want to say, but can't. Your décor is making me excited to spend a weekend putting away summer objects and to bring out the cozy colors of autumn. Thank you Vera, for always being an inspiration! Much love, Anita

  9. Opening your new blog posts is an event for me...yes, I wait until I can sit undistracted to take it all in. This morning I'm savoring your post over a cup of coffee. What I treat I had to get another peak into your gorgeous home. I'm in love with exposed brick, especially in an historic home. Your living room looks sooo warm and inviting, and I have velvet pumpkin envy going on here. The large letter "B" with the little pumpkins tucked inside...LOVE IT!!! Beautiful new sofa...not sure you'd get me out of it on a cool crisp day.

    Dore is so talented, and the star and angel you purchased from her is stunning. I adore her creations!

    Thank you to your son who encouraged you to share your gift of poetry with us!!
    Mary Alice

  10. Although I have suffered loss of parents and other elderly relatives, I have not suffered a loss like your loss of Chris. I know how I felt losing my dear friend and colleague, Chris, last April and I have so many reminders of him weekly. That loss gives me a mere inkling of your grieving process for your son. How wonderful that Dore made something special as a visual reminder of a such a special person.

  11. My heart hurts so bad for you and your loss, I get all choked up and can't even write...so sorry. I'll be back soon....

  12. To read your words, I feel you baring your aching but healing heart. The aching heart that we share. Your love for living and for family is strong and beautiful, Vera. You are an amazing friend and I admire you for your strength and devotion.

    xoxo laurie

  13. Dear Vera,
    How sweet of you to come for another visit this morning.. your kind words bring a smile.. So you are going to make more velvet pumpkins.. I do hope you will share photos, I would love to see them..
    Sending you a warm hug,

  14. The poem is beautiful dear Vera. I know that healing a grieving heart can sometimes take years, and we all grieve so differently. I also turned to writing at a time of grieving and it helped so much in bringing me back to who I was before---actually a much better version of me. Spending time with your friends must be such a balm to you.
    I loved seeing around your Autumn living room and seeing the lovely things you choose to have around you. It's so warm and inviting and lovely!
    many hugs from here...

  15. xoxoxo Dear Vera, I'm so sorry for your loss of your son. How wonderful that he was the inspiration for sharing your poetry. Everything looks so beautiful and welcoming in your home. Blog friends are wonderful. Happy birthday.

  16. Vera...I stumbled upon your blog when I read one of your comments at Victoria's. I was curious. And then to find that we share so many friends! I have actually met Kris. We both live in Illinois about 30 miles apart and we were so lucky to have met up a year ago.

    Your home is absolutely lovely. You have a wonderfully candid yet creative way of writing. Your poetry made my heart soar and your feelings on losing your son...the worst sort of suffering I think a mother can go through, made tears come to my eyes. I don't know what else to say other than I hope we become good blog friends. I look forward to following you, I think it will be quite interesting and good.

    Sending love during your troubling time,

    Jane xx

  17. Vera,
    Your heart shines forth in your poetry, images and writing.

    May God bless you in unimaginable ways and comfort you.

    Dore's art piece is beautiful and so meaningful.

    ~ Violet

  18. Thank you so much Vera! I always look forward to your visits, and this one was great...Your very kind words made me smile from ear to ear.
    Have a wonderful Sunday

  19. Ah......the stars. We never tire of them, because they are so far away and unreachable, yet close enough to make us want. My sweet friend, thank you for coming to visit my post today! Ruben and I just got home from a very fun day out in the cool air walking around the lakes, seeing the mansions, and hunting in a great French antique store.

    Sweet September my friend.....it is a blessing to live indeed in parts of our country where we can feel, taste, see, hear and smell the seasons. Glory!!!!

    Off to go make some CHICKEN STEW to warm up and cozy in for the night. Hugs to you dear friend...enjoy your evening with your beloved! Anita

  20. beautiful new sofa! simon will love! as i was falling asleep last night, i could feel the air had a bit more cold than normal in it (despite AC still pumping)... fall is on its WAY!!!

  21. Happy Birthday! I celebrated 50 this July - the cake can get hot:) Love the warm fall additions to your home. Thinking of you and that very special bright star.

  22. Beautiful pumpkins add a softness, and warmth to the Autumnal mood in your gorgeous home.
    Lovely thoughts shared of your precious son. God Bless You dear Vera.

  23. Chris was right. You have much to offer, Vera. I am so sorry for your loss. I too have lost dear loved ones, and their birthdays and holidays are especially difficult. But having them in our lives is one of the most precious gifts in life, and I cherish every moment we had together.

    I hit 62 this year. But my twin brother and I think it's quite fair to divide the number in half... so I'm really only just 31. Hope you had a lovely birthday.


  24. Dear Vera,
    Please don't apologize for being late.... It is always so nice to have a visit from you... Your ever so kind words this evening are appreciated more than you know.
    I came by earlier this evening to soak up the beauty of the stars...
    I hope your weekend was a joyful one.
    Thank you again dear friend.
    Sending you a warm hug,

  25. What a beautiful and touching post Vera! I am so sorry for the loss of your precious son and that poem is so lovely. Happy Birthday all year long and I love your velvet pumpkins! xo Nancy

  26. I can't imagine your pain. I pray that you will solace and comfort in the memories you have. Thanks for sharing your heart with us. Thanks for being vunerable, open and honest about your grief. It is through sharing and helping others through their grief that we are made stronger. Prayers for you. I love your pumpkins! I am following you now. I'm wild about that brick wall! I found you through another blog and I'm now following you. Hope you'll visit me when you can and take a look around.