A Dream Day in Kansas . . . Part 1

 First things first.  Since I last posted, Hurricane Sandy took two of our trees, one butterfly bush that was fairly big and a huge old tree that provided privacy for our driveway.  It took Rob 5 hours to cut it all down after it had been ripped up roots and all by this tremendous Hurricane which no one truly understood it's power and rage.  Thankfully we didn't loose our power which around here we loose our power if we sneeze too hard.  Our Cape May shore home was miraculously spared did not suffer any damages.  But my husband has not been able to go into his office in NYC due to flooding.  Incredible!

Black Eyed Susan's event was cancelled due to the storm but postponed for next Thursday.  So I promise I will be posting about her Christmas unveiling next week.

Finally, Today I spent the day in Kansas and Missouri.  I should rephrase that and say I spent a few hours today in Kansas and Missouri.  Just for a few hours. I know I know what your thinking, but it honestly was my anniversary present.  My wonderful husband who was so sick today with a terrible cold, escorted me once more to Mary Carol's open house.  I survived the flights, although I have permanent rosary bead imprints on my fingers and hands and wrist from squeezing the beads during the flight.  Both flights were very steady and tranquil, but I must say the pain I feel in my chest, the jolts and sharp jabs as I stress in my seat is enough to give me a heart attack.  I don't think I can do it again and I drive Rob insane with my constant questions "what was that?"  "Is that supposed to happen?"
and checking his watch incessantly.    This helps me. . .Okay take off is about 20 minutes and landing is 20 minutes so if you deduct 40 minutes from any flight you get the actual time you are flying straight at the desired altitude.  It just helps me what can I say.  It's 1020 pm here and I'm blogging because I couldn't wait but my chest still feels sore after sitting crunched up on the plane squeezing my rosary beads to death.

Alright, so I'm about to begin so I suggest you get something warm to drink and settle in your coziest chair because I have alot to post.
I made something for Mary Carol.  Last time I visited her I told her "My mother always taught me never go to a house empty handed.  Always bring a hostess gift."  Well the last time I had purchased a lovely beaded shawl for her.  She loved it and I had posted photos of it.  This time I wanted to do something different.  I decided to make her something special.  Since she shares the same love that I do,  a love for shawls, wraps, scarfs etc, I found a lovely shawl that I decided to embroider.  My mom always used to do that to dresses, and shawls and scarfs and I thought, hey why not, I've seen her do it only 100 times.
Well it took me 3 weeks just because I only worked on it at night when I wasn't busy taking care of my mom, doing the mom or wife thing, or working with my editor on either one of my books.
Here are a few pics.  And I hope you don't mind I'm going to post them in XLarge for everyone to really see detail.  (Don't know if I have any typos, will check tomorrow, can't even see I'm so tired.)
I just bought some pretty yarn and began outlining.  No cross stitch or anything fancy like that.  Just simple in and out.  
I then had some swarovsky crystals and some crystal beads and I decided to put beads in parts of the flowers and on the border of the shawl.
This was in the beginning when I had just started only doing the grey flowers and the lavender parts.
This was the finished product.  
Here is Mary Carol with it on.  The craziest things, it matched what she was wearing perfectly.  She immediately put it on and didn't take it off, even as I watched as Rob and I walked out of her home to our car.  I was so happy.
I want to say that for anyone who has never met Mary Carol, she is the sweetest and loveliest lady who is so stylish and makes you feel so welcome.  Today was freezing in Atchison and the buses kept dumping loads of fans lining up along her sidewalk.  I'm talking hundreds of people and I'm sure thousands by 4 o'clock.  Do you know Mary greeted every single person standing at her doorway sporting that famous smile and being as gracious as she can be.  It's so wonderful when you admire someone for something that they do and then meet them and realize they are that person you have guessed they would be.  In all her books she is inviting and welcoming, has a sense of humor and incredibly gifted with ideas.  So many women, including myself were hugging her and she was hugging them and it was just so delightful.  
Even my poor husband who was loaded on Mucinex, dayquil and enough cough drops to turn your tongue red said "she is very gracious."
We were standing on the stairs waiting to greet her when she looked at us and said "Oh you guys made it!  And then proceeded to explain to the crowd that I had come from Pennsylvania and was terrified of flying.  
(Okay now wait a second, I have 113 photos.  I can't blog them all so I'm gonna have to pick and choose)
Can you see the line, or part of the line?
Those silver balls are amazing.  They sold them at the Briarcliff store.

The Foyer, How I love this foyer.

                Mary Carol put a statue on her bottom banister instead of her traditional candelabra.  Hmmmm. " Oh Robby!, can you go outside and bring in my statue from the garden please.  I need it!"

I just love how she put all these lovely books and photos in the tray in the study.

The banister leading upstairs.  Can't even speak!  Just look at it.

I gasped when I saw this tree in the urn on the table like that.  Very dramatic!  Stunning.  Rob said "I guess your doing that huh?"  I laughed and shook my head as I was planning ahead how to do it.  Hee Hee.

There was also a larger tree in her dinning room.   In her fall open house she puts a smaller tree in her dinning room.  This one was spectacular.

These white branches that appear to have snow on them were dramatic and stunning in person.  My photos do not do them justice.  There is my poor hubby.  He couldn't breathe or hear well due to his terrible cold but there he was taking photos for me and walking through the house with me.  He's a keeper!

 Mary Carol's kitchen is so charming.  I love it.

Below Mary's half bathroom.  Too sweet.

 Her outdoor sunroom.

 This was stunning.  I loved her outdoor urns and vases with dramatic greens and there were cherubs everywhere.  These little statues of I believe they are cherubs.  Please correct me if I'm wrong as to what they are called.

Hmmmmm!  Hey Rob, I need a little cherub to put in our lanterns!  Rob?  Hee Hee.

Here you see Mary Carol, still wearing my shawl.  I'm so happy!
To be continued . . . 
Part DEUX  Tomorrow!  The Briarcliff Store.  I can't wait.
Sorry my eyes are shutting down.  I've had a long day.


Blondie's Journal said...

Oh, Lee, I feel for you and your fear of flying. I have twinges of what you feel but I just think that people do it everyday and some travel for 10 hours and up to Europe and they all make it fine. It's hard.

The shawl you worked on is stunning and it was so sweet of you to gift it to Mary Carol. She looks thrilled with it and you're right, it matches what she is wearing! You look very pretty, too. And yes, your guy is a trooper!

Your pictures of Mary Carol's home have me convinced to get another one of her books. I only have her Christmas one and she signed it (I won it from a blogger). Lucky me!

Thanks so much for sharing your incredible day!


Paula said...

So glad you posted these photos! I have not been to Mary Carol's house, so this is a real treat :)

I just booked tickets to Missouri and boy oh boy your post makes me want to try and get to Atchison! I might have to do Briarcliff though. Anyway, thank you for posting about your day. Can't wait to see part 2!!

BB said...

I checked your blog first thing this morning, but I didn't expect a post; I knew you had a very BIG day. I was so plesantly surprised!

After touring M.C.'s house two times, I was excited to see the decor for the 2012 holidays. Thank you, thank you!

The shawl you gave her is so beautiful and such a work of love! And you looked gorgeous in the photos; nobody would guess the stress you endured.

I can't wait to see more photos!


Heather said...

I'm so happy you were able to make the trip. I went to her open house today. I loved seeing your pictures. You may like to stop my blog to see mine. I heard her tell a friend that she had been under the weather the past week so your gift was probably appreciated!

Lynne (lynnesgiftsfromtheheart) said...

Hi darling, I'm glad you survived the flight, hope Rob is feeling better. Mary Carol is the most gracious person alive. She is always so caring and open. The shawl is beautiful, I can't imagine receiving something that gorgeous. Thanks for taking us along,another year and I didn't get to go. :-( I'm hoping to stop in at Briarcliff next dr. visit for Mr. P. I haven't been there in ages either. You know the blue and white won my heart, would love to do that for my open house, I'm afraid the winds would take them. I'm sure you came away with tons of ideas, now girl; you didn't tell us what you actually purchased, come on give! lol hugs ~lynne~

Lynda @ Happenstance Home said...

All that work you did on that shawl is so beautiful and so thoughtful. She must adore it! Beautiful photos - Oh, I'm terrified of flying too! Terrified!

Shady Lady! said...

Wow! I swear you and I could be best friends! I love that someone else has as big of a MCG/NH obsession. Really enjoying the pics!

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