Monday, September 15, 2014
Sunday, September 14, 2014
If all is going well the Fashionista and I (plus Rudi and Franz the doxies) are driving through the great state of Texas by now. We hope to reach Fort Worth by sundown tonight.
When I began planning our travel route I remembered that I had never written about the gorgeous church we had visited while in Santa Fe two years ago. Today I was ready to share this miracle.
The Loretta Chapel is a former Roman Catholic church and now a museum and wedding chapel. In 1827 the archbishop of Santa Fe, Jean-Baptiste Lamy, commissioned the building of a convent chapel to be named Our Lady of Light Chapel. It would be in the care of the Sisters of Loretto, a group of nuns who are committed "to improving the conditions of those who suffer from injustice, oppression, and deprivation of dignity".
French architect Antoine Mouly designed the chapel in the Gothic Revival style which features gothic arches, spires, and buttresses. It is rumored to be on a smaller scale of the famed Sainte-Chapelle in Paris. The stained glass windows were imported from France.
Mouly passed away suddenly during construction before the builders realized the chapel was lacking any type of stairway to the choir loft. Given the chapel's small size, a standard staircase would have been too large. For a time the sisters used a ladder but this was a difficult and dangerous solution given the long habits the nuns wore. In addition, there was no money left to fund any additional construction.
So the sisters began to pray. This is a historical account of their story.
“Needing a way to get up to the choir loft the nuns prayed for St. Joseph’s intercession for nine straight days. On the day after their novena ended a shabby-looking stranger appeared at their door. He told the nuns he would build them a staircase but that he needed total privacy and locked himself in the chapel for three months. He used a small number of primitive tools including a square, a saw and some warm water and constructed a spiral staircase entirely of non-native wood. The identity of the carpenter is not known for as soon as the staircase was finally finished he was gone. Many witnesses, upon seeing the staircase, feel it was constructed by St. Joseph himself, as a miraculous occurrence.”
Can you imagine??? This amazing staircase was built with three tools: a carpenters square, a saw and warm water!
The staircase ascends twenty feet and makes two complete revolutions up to the choir loft. It was somehow constructed without the use of nails or an apparent center support and is not attached to the wall. Numerous specialists have inspected the staircase, even x rayed it and all concluded with the same verdict~it is a miracle.
The railing was added 10 years later, in 1887, for safety purposes.
To further add to the mystery the sisters reported that they never saw any lumber being delivered, even though the staircase is made of non native wood. The carpenter also disappeared before he could be paid by the Sisters.
I never wrote about this church because shortly after our visit our family met with a tragedy. At the time we could not imagine that sunshine would ever fill our lives again. We have rebuilt….slowly. Through it all we prayed.
This move to Texas feels like a beautiful fresh start for our family.
Although at times we may feel far from God, He truly is never far from us.
So if you are struggling, I offer this story as a form of hope. There are always miracles.
Friday, September 12, 2014
As you read this the Fashionista and I are probably driving across New Mexico with two travel loving dachshunds in the backseat :) Mr. Décor and Sweet Guy went ahead of us in a separate car.
Recently, my marvelous friend Marty arranged a going away luncheon for us that was truly magical. She also made me a darling photo album of all of our precious times together AND brought me the pretty white statement necklace I am wearing in all the shots.
Many of my dear friends came to wish us well.
Meri you may know from ImagiMeri’s Creations. I am SO going to miss her fantastically fun crafting workshops. She brought me a darling vintage salt and pepper shaker set that I truly adore.
Lovely Liz from Rose Vignettes brought her daughter Jana who will soon be married. They have promised to blog about this wonderful event. Liz is of course the manicure and crochet queen. She made a darling sunglass holder I’ll share very soon. It was filled with a few of her nail favorites.
My British friend Louise is the world best esthetician. I shall dearly miss our lovely tea parties.
Catherine was one of the first friends that I made when I first moved to Phoenix. We met via the Junior League. She is a truly gifted artist and I will do a full profile on her very soon.
Then there is my sweet sister in law Melody. You saw her beautiful garden HERE. She’s up for the sister in law of the year award because she kept a really good secret…
…My dear sweet sister Sharalyn flew in from California to surprise me. I just felt so incredibly LOVED at this moment that I burst into tears. You can see the Fashionista was wildly waving her hands in excitement when she also saw her aunt.
It truly was such a special day!
Now of course it wouldn’t be a “Laura” party without a party favor.
I began with some premade bags, assorted cardstock and two paper punches then gave a twist to a paper craft I saw on Damask Love.
I followed Amber’s fantastic tutorial deviating slighting by making the stems out of florist wire instead of bakers twine.
To fill the bags I made my lemon blueberry tea bread in mini loaf size.
I cut sections of wax paper to wrap around each loaf. (My apologies for the dark lighting I did all of this the night before.)
The waxed paper was held in place by what else? Bakers twine. I also tucked in some herbal tea that had “LOVE” written all over it.
Hopefully my dear friends hearts were indeed warmed not only by the tea but with the joy and happiness I hold for each of them in my heart.
Life truly can be a bowl of cherries when you have good friends.
Thursday, September 11, 2014
Our moving date was delayed a bit due to the massive flooding experienced by Phoenix earlier this week. We finally got the moving van loaded late yesterday. Today we are doing a bit of touch up painting and steam cleaning the carpets on our home we are trying to sell here.
Mr. Décor and Sweet Guy are on the quick path to Fort Worth as Mr. Décor will begin his new job on Monday. The Fashionista, myself, as well as our two dachshunds, Rudi and Franz, will be Texas bound on Friday.
You can follow all of our traveling shenanigans on the Décor To Adore instagram page.
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
This sitting area was relatively small in size so smaller scaled furnishings were selected.
Here was the “before” shot of the space.
Here is another “before” shot that shows a different angle of the room.
The client wanted “a traditional feel with a pop”. I think the warm aqua and soft camel color palette gave her the best of both worlds. (Drapery panels will be installed when her budget allows, so for now the curtain rod was taken down to provide a clean look.)
For those with a limited budget I think the Ikea Ektorp couch is a great choice. It is sturdy yet comfortable and offers a wide variety of slipcovered options. I selected the Tygelsjö beige option. The dark wood side table, lamp and the pillows came from HomeGoods. The coffee table was a Habitat For Humanity thrift store find. (I should have taken a “before” shot of that. :)
Above the sofa hangs artwork found at Ross that features the homeowners favorite flower, the hydrangea.
On the coffee table are simple design and art books and wooden birds from a thrift store.
I got creative with the floral arrangement. A thrift store vase was wrapped up in a small bit of simple upholstery webbing. (My friend Marty had graciously given me a large amount awhile ago.) It was dressed up with three mother of pearl buttons that I hot glued on. The vase was filled with faux hydrangeas purchased at Hobby Lobby with a coupon. The arrangement ties into the artwork giving the room a cohesive feel.
Given the small footprint of the area the two slipper chairs were a great choice. With no bulky arms to maneuver the homeowner can access the couch quite easily. The chairs were purchased on sale. They are from the Threshold line at Target. The dark wooden legs tie into the dark side table.
The envelope pillows are from HomeGoods.
So let’s talk budget. As you probably surmised the homeowner had nothing in the space. The budget was $1,000 to outfit both the sitting area and the dining area. (This did not include my design, sourcing and furniture makeover fees, but they were very minimal.) The room was a definite budget challenge given that bigger ticket items such as a couch, chairs and dining set were needed.
You can read the post on how the vintage dining set was transformed HERE.
I’d love to hear what you think.
Between Naps On The Porch, Classy Clutter, A Stroll Thru Life, Not Just A Housewife, A Bowl Full of Lemons, We Are That Family,Someday Crafts,The 36th Avenue, Ivy and Elephants, Savvy Southern Style, Katherine’s Corner, Posed Perfection,Craftberry Bush, Stonegable, Jennifer Rizzo, French Country Cottage, The Shabby Nest, Imparting Grace,My Romantic Home,The Charm of Home,Tatertots and Jello, Funky Junk Interiors, My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia,The Dedicated House