July 6, 2015

Wrapping Up the 4th!

I hope you had a nice long holiday weekend in America! Although the weather was pretty ghastly here, again on a Saturday, the day was very special for those of us in Baltimore. As I mentioned the other day, I was attending the re-dedication of the Washington Monument, the first built to honour George Washington, pre-dating the one in Washington, DC by several decades. Although it was chucking down rain, nearly 1,000 people showed up for the dedication ceremony. image

We had tried to get downtown for the naturalization ceremony for 39 new US citizens, including one of my dear friends, whom I have known since she arrived on these shores from the UK, many years ago. They moved the ceremony to the elegant Garrett-Jacobs Mansion because of the rain, so we missed it.image Here’s the story and a beautiful picture of Helen, who is overcome with emotion.

With the generosity of our friends at Hotel Indigo, the entire square was draped in beautiful red, white and blue bunting and it looked terrific!image

This included the stunning Peabody Library, one of the most beautiful buildings in Baltimore. IMG_3058

There were soldiers in the streets, imageas well as a line of bag-pipers and Freemasons as far as the eye could see.imageimage Washington was a Freemason, and they’ve been very involved in the restoration project.

I love this picture of our friend Faith Millspaugh, the Vice President of the Mount Vernon Conservancy, opening the door to the Monument to welcome visitors for the first time in many years. image

Faith and another friend, Lance Humphries, imagedid the most spectacular job managing the restoration, raising the funds and bringing the job in on time!IMG_3066

If you look closely, you will see a Scalamandré red zebras umbrella and two people huddled under it!imageWe are both clutching our straw boaters in hopes that they won’t get soaked like we were!IMG_3055

It was a lovely event, and I am so proud of my friends who made it happen through lots and lots of hard work and persistence. As the day wound down, the Monument was lit with its new lighting scheme, which shows off its beautiful and elegant shape.


To top off the day, we headed out to a lovely dinner in a friend’s meadow and celebrated the birth of our nation!image

Thanks to friends Wesley, Curtis and Martin for “lending” me their pictures!

July 4, 2015

Happy Independence Day!

For the first time in nine years, I don’t have a dog to decorate for the holiday. That makes me sad.

But I will be decorated for 4th for the re-dedication of Baltimore’s Washington Monument, which is 200 years old. You might remember last year I had a tour of the renovations of this historic monument, which you can read about here. We got to the top of the Monument, more than 180 feet high, via a series of stairs, creaky construction elevators and finally, ladders, and our views from the top were unparalleled. image

At the risk of being totally cliché, I am wearing full red, white and blue! I have a great red eyelet skirt, which I am pairing with one of my numerous stripey sailor shirts, and then topping with an old Brooks Brothers straw boater, which my friend Andrea at Bosom Buddy Bags, decorated for me. July 4th

You can see the hat a little better here, along with Andrea’s grand-dog, Natty. image

This will also be the first time in many years that I don’t spend all night trying to calm Connor and worrying about his mental health with all of the fireworks. I guess that’s a good thing.

Have a safe and happy 4th!

June 30, 2015

The Barn Sale

Well, the Barn Sale is over and it was a massive success, despite more than two inches of rain that fell on the first day! IMG_2821All of Friday, we’d spent doing the final preparations of the barn, making sure everything was tagged and styling the furnishings to make them look fabulous. IMG_2802

If you look at the header picture and then at this one above, you will see that we’ve added a ton of pea gravel, some cool lounge chairs, some urns, a table and a great glass ball. The rest of the patio has more chairs, lanterns and some wire plant holders. Most everything in these pictures was gone by the end of day one!IMG_2804

As I said, it was chucking down rain all of Saturday, but the crowds still came. We had everyone line up to wait for the opening, and they had their Wellie boots and big umbrellas.IMG_2824

When we finally let people into the barn, at 9:00 a.m. on the dot, people sprinted to get first dibs!IMG_2826

We knew it was going to rain, but no one had any inkling that it would rain so much and so hard. But even so, everyone was cheerful and patient.IMG_2834

Prices ranged from thousands of dollars to one dollar and people bought at every range. IMG_2830

When things finally wound down on Saturday afternoon, we realized that we’d sold most of the big pieces of furniture, including a gorgeous antique Baltimore table for the tidy sum of $9,000. So much for the person who complained that we only had “old stuff”. We estimated that we’d probably sold 2/3 of what was in the barn at the end of the first day.IMG_2545

After everyone left, we shifted a lot of things around so the barn wouldn’t look so empty and made the space look fresh again!IMG_2851IMG_2853Luckily, overnight, a big front blew all of the rain out and the crisp sunny air in!IMG_2863

We had decided that at noon, almost everything would be half price and that’s when the crowds came! Things were flying out of the barn! We roped Jonathan in to ferry people and their items up to the upper field – the lower one had turned into a mud bath after the rains – and it was such fun to see the Gator filled with fabrics, pillows and china!IMG_2868

After having been at the barn setting up the sale for weeks and weeks, I finally got around to doing some shopping at the end of the second day, when more than 3/4 of everything was GONE! I picked out some fabrics, including a fabulous Brunschwig & Fils deep chocolate brown zebra print on linen!IMG_2900

I found a beautiful blue and white serving dish that has so much detail to it. This is the handle, although that’s hard to tell. IMG_2903

Here’s the mark on the reverse, and that’s even detailed, too!IMG_2922

I love old linens, especially when they’re actually LINEN, and picked up two beautifully monogrammed top-sheets which I am going to make into a duvet cover. I am sure that somewhere in my family tree, there’s someone with these initials!IMG_2907

Here are some more of the fabrics I picked up.
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It was a fun weekend, and we thank everyone who volunteered and attended the sale! Thanks for taking the time to introduce yourselves to me. I really loved meeting you.

When people asked us when the next sale was going to happen, we cheerfully told them NEVER EVER AGAIN!

June 24, 2015

Busy, Busy Bee!

The next four days are going to be crazy. Fun, but crazy! I am coordinating a big lecture at work, and have been pulling all of the loose ends together. In addition, I’ve been transcribing a book that was written in the 1930’s, but never published. We are going to be publishing it, and are really excited.

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I segue right from the lecture into the final preparations for our Barn Sale. We have tagged more than 2000 items and have everything from chandeliers to barn buckets. Prices range from $1.00 to $8,000. But there’s every price in between!IMG_2544IMG_2537IMG_2542IMG_2540IMG_2550

For more detailed information, please check the Facebook page for the Barn Sale. HERE. If you do come, please say hi!

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My name is Meg and I am an addict. I might have a slight addiction to this fabulous mother-of-pearl silverware. I bought a couple of lots of it a few weeks ago, and when more came up for auction this week, I bought some of that, too. This was the first time I’ve seen spoons, since many early sets did not have spoons!IMG_2738IMG_2744

I have sold almost everything I’ve put on my Etsy shop and I just added a few more pieces this evening. I am having a lot of fun photographing the pieces, using different pieces of china. You can see some of the first sets here. IMG_2752IMG_2768IMG_2613IMG_2382

The details on these pieces are exquisite and I am having such fun checking and polishing each and every piece. Look for them on the Etsy shop sometime next week. I won’t be posting anything until then as I will be consumed by the barn sale!

June 23, 2015

Concours d’Elegance

Each year, the Baltimore Architecture Foundation hosts a golf tournament, cocktail party and car show. Each year, friends and golfers bring their most amazing cars to show off. It’s getting to the point that we have people who only come to the cocktails and car show, because they know that the cars are going to be spectacular. As they were again this year.

This was my absolute favourite. It’s a friend’s 1956 Jaguar. It is simply stunning! IMG_2680

Months and months ago, I created the save the date postcard for the Golf Tournament, and photoshopped the chairman of the event into an old woody station wagon. 2015 golf postcard copy

And then this happened! And no, it’s not the same car!IMG_2658

This was the cutest car. Someone said that you just wanted to hug it. It’s a 1940 Bantam.IMG_2679

This is a 1930’s era Pierce Arrow. The colour on this car has so much depth.IMG_2638

From the same collector, a 1930’s Packard. These cars are impeccable. IMG_2687

I did rather like this one – a four-door black Maserati. Very swish!IMG_2697

A line of primary coloured cars including a Citroen, a Fiat, the little Bantam and a Triumph.IMG_2617

Of course, I wouldn’t say no to this Aston Martin!IMG_2684

And for fun, an old Army Jeep… except it’s a Ford.IMG_2685

Which do you like best?

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On a totally different note, a huge storm blew through earlier this evening, leaving us with the most amazing sky! IMG_2716IMG_2725IMG_2726IMG_2732IMG_2734

They’re called Mammatus clouds and are generally a sign of unstable weather. A huge storm had just passed and the temperature dropped about 30* in two hours. These clouds were seen as far north as Philadelphia, about 100 miles from Baltimore. There were loads of images of them both on Facebook and Instagram after the storm. I wrote about them a few years ago, here.