Wednesday, January 14, 2015

It all begins with a stroke that marks an interval in time...

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During my first year of blogging it became a self expression from deep down inside, sharing an adventure in honestly and choosing nowhere to hide. 
Mourning a loss that rocked me to my core, postings of substance that invited conversation, bringing new friendships and rewarding me with pride.

Year two begins with a giveaway and another year of willing commitments (sans resolutions) just wait and you will see....
Row-homes and Cobblestones blog promise's writing from my heart and thought provoking posts, just read and believe in me.

I have a message, a purpose, a desire to inspire, hopefully you'll enjoy the journey as I weave my stories in throughout 2015.
Leaving you looking forward to every two weeks with a photo essay, storyline and poetry about subjects that are not foreseen.

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As celebration of a new year spread throughout the world at the stroke of midnight and marked an interval of time ... people raised their glass of cheer, gave a New Year's kiss, banging on a pot or pan, perhaps blowing a New Year's party horn and celebrated with a wishful/hopeful/perhaps a drunken toast. Most making a resolution that from the bottom of their hearts they intend to keep. 

New Year's Eve found John and I home watching Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin as has been our choice for the past several years. Why? We find them hilarious!!! Somehow I was able to put together a meal of pan seared Scallops with a Lemon Butter herb sauce, French fingerling's, Haricot's Verts and champagne. My attire? Leopard pajamas, battling flu, tissue box in hand. Then 4 days later the flu turned into Bronchitis and my thoughts on posting on my first anniversary date of Jan. 5th quickly faded away with fever, rib and back pain from coughing ... Frustrated and too weak to accomplish my intended plans. 

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I don't make New Years resolutions anymore ... but instead I make promises- commitments I have yet to break. Annually I pick a charity to support and share of myself through education, service and donations and a country throughout our globe to commit to. To seek out and purchase from in my singular effort of support and appreciation. Perhaps not to travel to, but to learn of its history.

2015 it is Alzheimers and purchasing from America. Much thought and consideration weighs into my choices. But this year it was easy with the Alzheimers choice. My Dad passed in stage 4 on Memorial Day and it truly was a long 4 year goodbye. Funding needs to support discovering more successful drugs and hopefully a cure for Alzheimers. 5 million Americans age 65 and older may have Alzheimers. In case you're wondering last year I supported and donated to Autism and my country choice was India.

Now the double 1st anniversary giveaway details. Hand painted and made by me.
Statement pillows in English, Italian and French. John will draw two names out of my favorite winter hat and first name drawn will have first choice. This giveaway is open worldwide and winners will be announced on January 28, 2015.

Silk velvet, trims, vintage and new, I will give full descriptions of each. Please remember they are free hand painted with nuances and are one of a kind, not to be created again. To enter all that is required is leaving in your comment count me in, that's it. Made with love, perfectly and totally imperfect as I kick off my second year of blogging.

I've chosen sayings for these statement pillows in English, French and Italian. I find French and Italian very romantic languages. John grew up in an Italian family, you might think he would of learned a few romantic words to flow across his lips ... But no, although he picked up all the curse words, quite fluently I might add!

I am giving a choice of 6 to choose 2 from. Each made from silk velvet that has been slightly distressed for the look and feel of vintage. Descriptions of each below, each measuring 8x14 without trim. Stuffed with hypo-allergic faux down like fiberfill, freehand painted on the front, matching velvet on the back and hand stitched closed. As I stated perfectly imperfect and made from my heart.

à la belle étoile

1.  à la belle étoile - French meaning under a beautiful star: in the open air at night. Steel grey, shimmering silver paint with numerous applications. over the i I have attached a vintage flower like star with pink stones. Vintage, never used pale grayish white bullion trim.

2.  Ti amo tesoro mio - Italian meaning I love you my darling. Vanilla cream silk velvet with many layers of charcoal grey paint with a top coat of iridescent bright silver to add dimension. French vintage never used Chenille trim from the 40's, vanilla/taupe. 

Toss them anywhere you want...

3. Once upon a time...

Numerous applications of Titanium white paint to resemble chalk on a blackboard. I sewed a vintage rhinestone button on dotting the i. White/light silvered vintage bullion trim.

Closeup photo

4. La vita è un Sogno - Italian meaning : Life is but a dream
Vanilla/cream silk velvet with numerous applications of charcoal grey paint with a top layer of iridescent bright silver. Vintage chenille cream/taupe trim.

5. il était une fois... French for Once upon a time...
Shimmering silver paint, numerous coats painted on silk velvet Steel Gray. This velvet has a silver shimmer to
it. Vintage rabbit fur Pom Poms on each corner.

Closeup of rabbit Pom Pom.

6. déjà vu = French meaning already seen. Numerous coats of Venetian Gold with a faux glaze on top letters to appear old. Silk black velvet with Gold tassels. Tassels are new.

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For me it truly all begins with a stroke that marks an interval in time...

In 2014 I had an increase in dèjá vu moments. Èmile Boiric a French researcher and philosopher coined the term dèjá vu. A French word meaning "already seen". Over two thirds of adults claim to have experienced dèjá vu moments. A feeling you've already experienced the present moment. 

There are many explanations offered for dèjá vu moments such as psychic abilities, prophecy, past life experiences and a result of God revealing things to us before the event occurs. 

I believe déjà comes from the spirit. Jesus to Buddha has discussed a mind and soul connection to dèjá vu. In recent years it's been studied in psychological and neuropsychological research. My brother Kevin is a Neuropsychologist and we discussed the subject as I was planning this post. Yes, I share all my posts with family and friends. Anyway Kevin said it is being studied as a possible neurological phenomenon as seen in temporal lobe epilepsy and Parkinson's disease.

Well ... be it fact, occurrence or circumstance observed, I personally believe mine are sent by God with glimpses into my past lives. As I write about in my below poetry of Old Soul. In 2015 I hope to invite more dialog in my comments and emails so please feel free to express your beliefs. Your comments are always welcomed and appreciated.
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I know I'm an old soul and have had many past lives before.
To reach complete spiritual enlightenment I need to have more.

My past lives merge into glimpses of dèjá vu memories in this one.
Reincarnations of good karma signal rebirth's of my soul are nearly done.

In this life I'm married to a man that I've lived with in another time.
Intuition and unspoken understandings tell us we have more of a climb.

Ascending into enlightenment and blissfully living in our present state of being.
Karma isn't fate but power and influence, controlling the universe is what I'm seeing.

Meditation and prayers to hopefully guide me to a higher evolved state.
Rare and odd moments of déjà vu show me I still have more of a wait.

© Vera



  1. I always love coming here and reading every word you write, Vera. You are truly and old soul and that comes thru in all your writings. We have spoken about this before as we have some old souls in our family, too.

    I won your last wonderful giveaway (Poe) so I won't sign up for this one but there will be some lucky winners out there. God bless you- I hope you continue to heal and feel better. I think I have turned the corner and am finally on the upswing healthwise. xo Diana

  2. Dear Vera, I so enjoyed this post and the first writing from you into the new year. I am so sorry you have been so sick and sure hope you are now on the mend. I think the time to recoup gives one insight into what is next. You are an old soul and one of the most generous and giving I know. I would love to enter your lovely giveaway. Your pillows are gorgeous. Congrats on your blog anniversary and best wishes as you go forward in the second year.

    I have been so blessed by your friendship and talents. Thank you for sharing your heart. May God Bless you greatly!!
    Love to you! xo

  3. Vera...this is a lovely post, you truly have a gift for writing poetry. I love Old Soul. And I think you are. And dearly creative.

    Happy Anniversary! I do hope we see more of you this year, I'm always touched by your posts. And these pillows are absolutely beautiful. I never knew Italian phrases were so sweet! I'm glad you included some of those.

    I hope you are truly on the mend...sometimes it takes weeks after something big like you had. Take care and much love,

    Jane x

  4. Hoping you are feeling better Vera (and it sounded like we wore the same outfit on New Years Eve)!
    Your pillows are so pretty! My son is actually on a study tour right now in Italy and I'm looking forward to him painting a picture of the sights in my mind that he saw through his stories when he gets home on Friday!
    Congratulations on your blog anniversary...and I may not leave a comment all the time but I do visit often! Thanks for all that you share!

  5. So thrilled to see you posting...and so sorry you've been so sick. Mr. Sweet has the same exact thing and FINALLY went to the doctor...shot..pills...breathing treatments...we've been inside for a solid 2 weeks. Stir crazy..cabin fever...
    He is on the mend, tho...and I sure am thankful not to have caught it and glad he's better. At 80, it's worrisome when sickness hits.
    So glad you are better..take care and don't get a relapse of it.
    Those pillows...OMG...they are all beautiful. If I should be blessed to win, I have no idea how I could possibly choose...they are every one just beautiful
    Thanks for the chance to win such a generous giveaway. and I'll keep my fingers crossed..:)

  6. Such an intriguing post and topic. I enjoy reading here, because it always thoughtful and interesting. I hope you are completely well soon. xoox Your pillows are gorgeous! Su

  7. Dera Vera,
    I hope you are recovered.. It seems like so many of us were ill through the holiday's.. Sending you a gentle hug.
    Your post today was quite informative.. I really found the info on dèjá vu moments to be quite interesting. Thank you for sharing. Not to mention the beautiful pillow and most generous giveaway.. ~count me in~ please..
    Your poem was lovely

  8. Oh Vera your words always enlighten my soul. Love to read the words from your heart. You are an old soul with a young heart. So giving as with this giveaway and your beautiful pillows. Each made with your special hands and heart. I want you to throw my name into your hat and if John picks my name I want to gift back to you "à la belle étoile". This pillow should stay with you and I think you know why I say that. Thank you for sharing your inspiring thoughts and beautiful words my friend.

  9. As much as I want to be counted in, I am making room for another blogger or reader to win one of your treasured creations. Vera I often, I mean often experience déjà vu, it's something I come to quiet myself in and listen to its meaning. I know that you know this about me, and I know this about you.
    If John picks my name pay it forward to one of your bloggers who have not had the beauty of one of your wins or gifting's.

    The poetry speaks of an old soul (you) I too have been Called and OLD SOUL since a little girl so grown up, quietly listening and joining in On big conversation.
    I have called my daughter an old soul since she was very young, she says the strangest things to me that my great grandmother would say.

    Vera, you know how I love the bright and dark side of you, your spirit for life and travels, and your zeal to create and cook. This was a deep post and I want to know how did you ever come up with this thought? .... It must have been a
    déjà vu moment ! :)

    See you soon, yet I am sure we will be talking before then.



  10. Ps.... Love the stairway with the brick wall running along side it, and the faux finish on your walls, and that amazing armoire with its harlequin paint finish.
    I did this same paint pattern harlequin on my retail shop walls and old book pages and painted beat-up grey wood floors it was a great look for my miss it. But may do it again soon :)
    You are quite the artist and I am not sure many know this, perhaps this could be a share in a new post?


  11. Good morning dear Vera! Timing is you are celebrating another year of hopeful blogging, and here I am, leaving. But those 6+ years were some of my best - not because of the blog itself, but because of the evolution of my ideas, my skills, and most of all, ALL OF YOU who really care.

    Your creations are just beautiful, and I can imagine that velvet is so soft...and GREY! AHHHHH!!!

    I don't count however! Since I am no longer posting, it wouldn't be fair of me to enter. But some lucky winner will really love what you've created here. I wish you many years of true joy as you blog. LOVE! Anita

  12. It is always evident that your postings come from the depths of your heart and soul, Vera. You have the gift of drawing us in and stretching our minds to think deeper about the things of life. I look forward to all you'll be sharing in the coming year.
    And oh my, what a truly exceptional giveaway...your pillows are gorgeous! Thank you for the opportunity to win one of your beautiful creations.
    Mary Alice

  13. Your pillows are beautiful ~ a lovely gift from the heart that a blogging friend would truly cherish.

    I too struggle with loss. And I wonder what to do with myself in the autumn/winter of my life.

    You write with insight and clarity, and you inspire me to find ways to heal and grow. Thank you, Vera, for all you share with us.

    Much love,

  14. Lovely post Vera and truly from the heart.
    Your Old Soul lines are thought provoking to say the least. I've often felt I've lived another life before and relish in the fact that some surroundings though only just new have been travelled in the past...
    Your sweet pillows of expression shall be a wonderful gift to those that are selected. It is great that you are feeling well enough to have sewn them.
    I wish you the best for 2015 and what ever new adventures you seek.

  15. Vera, I am hoping you are feeling better. This winter has been awful for me too. I am trying to take lots of vitamins. You are right about our mutual love for roses and velvet. I can't get enough of them and how gorgeous are your pillows. I have to say as a lover of literature and poetry, I always enjoy visiting you. Of course words are easy to type but to really make a reader feel the meanings behind your words, now that is an amazing talent and you have that.

  16. A very thought-provoking post, Vera. When I was younger I experienced déjà vu fairly regularly. As I've gotten older it's diminished. However, now I have reoccurring dreams (which I used to have when I was a little girl but not as I got older, until now). In one of my dreams I am in a house for the first time, yet I know where everything is. It's a unique place, not like any home I've ever seen. I could probably draw it from memory, for I've dreamed of it so many times. Strange. I also have other dreams that are quite interesting. It could be the writer in me. . .my mind is creating stories while I sleep. I love your pillows. They're absolutely gorgeous and it would be fabulous if John picked my name. You're so generous and kind. Hugs, Nancy

  17. This is a very interesting topic Vera. I hope you have recovered from the flu and are feeling better. I am always fascinated by anything out of the ordinary and have had many dèjá vu moments myself, though not so many anymore as I had when I was younger. I tend to be somewhat skeptical but I remain very open minded about it and about other things that are not easy to explain. Your poem is just lovely, as are the beautiful pillows that you are so kindly giving away. I´d love to participate. I'm looking forward to reading your posts and poetry throughout 2015!

  18. so much to which I must respond

    ...I do hope you are finally in good health
    ...those pillows - beautiful fabrics and lovely messages ja vu - yes, I have experienced it multiple times
    ...I do not make resolutions, just plans and I love your idea of committing to a cause and a country - you have me thinking
    ...another lovely story from my dear Vera - you are so talented and need to write a book

  19. Vera, your little statement pillows are sheer delight as is all you create to share with your readers. Oh, please "count me in"! I'd be ever so excited if by chance I'm one of the lucky ones. Each one is charming!
    Love, love, love your commitment to a charity with your time and talents and also to a country. I'm going to think of doing the same. Absolutely stellar idea!
    Thank you for sharing your poetry. Old Soul is enlightening!

  20. Hello Vera,
    Your handiwork is gorgeous, love those pillows! count me in!

    So sorry you were sick. But are on the mend! Yay!
    A blogiversary is good reason to celebrate.
    I congratulate you!

    ~ Violet

  21. I am so glad that you are well enough to start blogging again, Vera...especially for your anniversary post. and what a grand post this is!!
    I can tell it comes from your heart, and that is what impresses me about you, Vera.
    You are so talented when it comes to words, and photography.
    It's such a delight to come here.
    The pillows you made are so whimsical, They would help brighten anyone's mood, AND decor! Count me in!

  22. Dear Vera,
    Your support and commitment to such wonderful causes and charities are truly inspiring! From one old soul to another, you are a treasure. And your beautiful pillows are works of art. Please count me in.

  23. Stopping by to see how you are doing?
    I have been busy, creating, and still battling that tickling caugh.
    Well, I am off to clean up here see you soon.


  24. Oh Vera, I wish you all the best for healing completely!
    The pillows are with such style, it is.... ahhh, I can´t find the right words as this is not my mothertongue.... But you, you are picking words just right were they should be, express everything like a true poet. Such a phantastic projekt.
    So I congratulate to the anniversary, mine will take three more months, as my blog is still a youngster here ;))
    So I wish you all the best, hugs from your friend Méa

  25. Vera this is my first visit to your blog. I look forward to following you. Your comments regarding your Father's struggle with Alzheimer's hits home as my Mom is in Stage 4. It's a nasty disease and it's hard watching a woman who raised 7 children slowly disappear into a frail shell of a human being.
    Marie@The Interior Frugalista

  26. Dearest Vera,
    I hope your health is good, and all is ok.
    Thank you so much for visiting and suggesting such a dear name.. Boy, this is going to be difficult, picking a name.. So many wonderful suggestions.
    Jasper is doing a little better each day... Thank you for your concern.