Moon and Violet

Life, love and loveliness


Once Upon a December

Our first Yule at Lion Hall was everything we wanted it to be–sweet, cozy, and full of love.  This year has had its ups and downs…but it gave us our beautiful home, and some beloved new furry family members, so I will always remember it fondly for that. ❤

Here’s a photo collage of our holiday decorations and festivities (click for larger images).

I hope the coming year brings light to us all.

~ Jenn


You’re my home. (III)

Finally, here’s the last installment of our house tour, starting with the adorable little balcony/deck off of the kitchen.

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We had great thrifting luck and found the Martha Stewart patio set–which looks brand-new–at a local Goodwill for only $100.

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Another happy thrifting find! We’ve always wanted a cute bistro set like this! ❤

The deck has no stairs leading to the ground, so it is more of a balcony and feels like a safe little oasis looking out over our backyard and the woods beyond. The dogs love it, and I think we’ll be spending large portions of our days out there when the weather gets warmer.

Okay, back into the house and heading upstairs…

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We’re hanging our vintage/antique fashion illustration collection (and a set of botanical prints) on the hallway walls but still need a few more to fill in the gaps. I didn’t take pictures of all of the walls here, but there are many more illustrations in the upstairs hallway, which is painted a slightly darker shade of pinkish-lavender than this.

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I love the Leda and the Swan illustration on the vase.

At the top of the stairs and to the right is the small but pretty bathroom:

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The bathroom is the only room that we didn’t repaint, because the antique cream color so perfectly matched our lace shower curtain. We like the fixtures that the previous owners had, so all we had to do in here was decorate.

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Curtains on the window.

Next to the bathroom is our writing room, which we haven’t fully decorated yet–and which we’re actually considering transforming into our bedroom, instead. It’s just too big and doesn’t feel cozy enough for writing. The plan is to move the writing room into the smallest room (our current dressing room), and then the dressing room into what is now our bedroom.

But this is the setup we have right now. Writing room (painted Irish Folklore by Behr, which we love!):

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On Bridget’s desk.

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Our cockatiel Nate Grey.

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Our bunny Cherry.

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Part of our collection of paintings by Guinevere Von Sneeden. The one on the right is a commission of us that I gave to Bridget as an early Yule gift. That’s me on the left holding a little white dog (representing our cotons Poesy and Pan), and Bridget is holding a likeness of our sheltie puppy Zelda. ❤

Our bedroom is still in a state of disarray…so here are just a few highlights!

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The paint color is Queen’s Violet by Behr.

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Vintage swan lamp. ❤ We got a pair of them for thirty-three cents each from a little yard sale at Olcott Beach.

Last but not least, one of our favorite rooms in the house: the dressing room. The former owners used this room as a nursery. Technically, it is a bedroom, but it’s really no larger than a walk-in closet.

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On Bridget’s vanity.

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On Bridget’s vanity.

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We collect vintage advertisements featuring unicorns–weirdly specific, I know! 😉

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The top of my “vanity”–an aqua-colored cart.

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Hello Kitty/Marie Antoinette papercut–a Valentine’s Day gift from Bridget. ❤

So that’s everything! Like I said, we are planning to switch things around upstairs, so once we’re happy with the changes, I’ll share some more photos.

Thank you so much for visiting Lion Hall!

~ Jenn


You’re my home. (II)

Continuing the tour of our new home, here are photos of the living room and kitchen, with the living room up first:

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Looking into the living room from the kitchen.

Originally, what we’re using as a living room was a dining room, but since we don’t have a need for a formal dining room, we decided to use it as our living room, instead, so that we could keep the television out of our library. There’s a loose theme of woodland animals in here–and unicorns. 🙂 The color of the walls doesn’t quite come through in these pictures; it’s a soft blue-green, and the paint is Folk Tale by Behr.

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This is the music corner. I’m not musical AT ALL, but Bridget plays piano, guitar, violin and is learning to play the ukulele! 

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Cute handmade tapestry, thrifted.

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Love these big windows looking out into our backyard.

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Knight on the window seat. ❤

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Bunnies hiding on the windowsill.

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The Alice-inspired cross-stitch came from a random garage sale; I love the anthropomorphized flowers on her head. 🙂 And the Ophelia below her, by Arthur Hughes, is my favorite depiction of that character.

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Above the TV.

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We put some of our crystal collection in trays beside the television.

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The beautiful stained glass windows were a major selling point for us. I love that, at certain times of day, the glass changes color–from lavender to pink.

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Sorry for the blurriness! This is looking toward the library to the left. We store DVDs in the “card catalog” against the wall. 🙂

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Bridget spotted these animals for me at IKEA, and I am so in love!

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I looove these prints! The bunny on top came from a Pittsburgh craft fair, and the purple bunnies below are by SarahDrawsThings.

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And on the other side of the doorway, Ms. Wolf and blue deer, also by SarahDrawsThings.

 

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Our china cabinet–which is not organized yet! Ignore the mess inside, please. 😉

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I’m a little obsessed with these teacups. They’re my favorite color of pinkish-purple!

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William Bunnyspeare.

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A little stamped print by one of our favorite artists, Guinevere Von Sneeden. Plus a golden horse figurine that reminds me of one of my childhood obsessions, Treasure.

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We found our vintage couch and chair set at a local antique store. My heart fluttered when I saw them for the first time!

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Close-up of the upholstery.

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Solstice is our couch warmer. ❤

 

Moving into the kitchen…which is not quite finished yet. We still have to put up the backsplash and apply one more coat of paint to the walls, but it’s come a long way from its humble beginnings! (You can see before pictures in a previous post.) Bridget did the renovations herself–the kitchen is her design and her domain. 🙂 I think she did an amazing job! It’s such a happy place to be. ❤

 

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Curtains close-up! My mom made them for us. 🙂

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We were so thrilled to find these unicorn jars on Etsy!

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The kitchen is full of Bridget’s plants, including the succulent in this cute turtle.

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Baba Yaga beside the bread box.

 

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Vintage purple cows! ❤

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Representing our three dogs. ❤

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We love the little wall niche. It makes a great kitchen altar.

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This door leads out to our balcony/deck–which I’ll show you in my next post, along with the rest of the house. 🙂

~ Jenn

 

 


You’re my home. (I)

In September, we finally moved into our forever home, a house we love with our whole hearts.

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Every day, Bridget and I are overwhelmed with gratitude for this place. It’s more than we ever dreamed of; there isn’t a nook or cranny that doesn’t make us smile. Since we work from home and spend the vast majority of our time at home, our living space is important to us, and this house–we’ve named it Lion Hall–is cozy, beautiful, and so beloved.

Over the past couple of months, with the help of friends and family, we’ve renovated/decorated most of the rooms–which involved carpet removal (to reveal gorgeous hardwood floors!), painting, and some small repairs. We have bigger projects on the horizon, like finishing the basement and turning the garage into an art studio.

My heart is so full, surrounded by the beauty we’ve collected together. A couple of days ago, I took photos of our place (before we deck the halls with Yule decorations!). So that this post isn’t several miles long, I’m going to break the pictures up into a few different posts. The entryway and library are up first!

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We’ve always dreamed of having lions on either side of the front door. Finally found our pair at a local pottery store near my hometown.

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Stepping inside…

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A small Salem tribute on my great aunt’s waterfall dresser. We store our scarves and hats in the drawers.

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Walk over the bunny welcome mat…

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…pass the stained-glass shield, and enter the library.

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It seems silly to call this the library when it hardly has any books in it right now, but it is our reading room–and probably my favorite room in the house. We’d never had a red room before, and I was nervous about the color… But it turned out to be so warm and cozy. Our inspiration was the Gryffindor common room! So there are tapestries and unicorns everywhere you look.061

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We fell in love with this couch at a thrift store in Buffalo; it is the comfiest thing on Earth!

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A Victorian saint statue, a gift from a friend.

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After we moved, we bought a pair of these lion chairs from a local antique store.

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The cats’ favorite corner! It’s rare to find this seat empty.

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Citrine on an iridescent table Bridget and I bought many years ago.

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My “La Belle et la Bete” poster above our coat rack.

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We found this stunning hand-carved mirror at an estate sale. Birds and pumpkins and pomegranates. ❤

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Candle collection.

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We are so happy to finally have a mantle (and fireplace)!

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I gave this Beauty and the Beast snow globe to Bridget years ago, custom-engraved with “You’re my home,” a lyric from the BatB musical.

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Mama Artemis and baby Artemis. 😉

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Unicorn frame reads “with an everlasting love.” Anne Boleyn artwork found at a flea market last summer.

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I love all of the unicorn tapestries, but this one is my favorite (ignoring the hunters in the background).

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A swan candelabra. We nearly named our house Swan Castle, because we love swans, too, but Lion Hall seemed more appropriate, in the end–and the cats seem to agree. 🙂

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Skinny but brave little lion guarding our hearth.

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Venus, some books, and Pan in his favorite bed.

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Top of the bookshelf.

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Perfect reading chair. ❤

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I adopted this great big teddy bear from the Teddy Bear Hospital in Pittsburgh. ❤

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Bridget’s writing desk.

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Rainbow kitty unicorn! A surprise gift from our friend James.

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Psyche has been with us since we bought our first house. There, she watched over our backyard–now we’ve brought her inside and out of the cold.

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Tiny puppy tapestry. Reminds us of our little white fluffs.

Next post: photos of our living room and our kitchen!

~ Jenn


“I want to live nice, and free, and snug.”

Patience and Sarah, Isabel Miller

Ever since Moon and I fell in love, we have dreamed of sharing a cozy refuge, like the cabin Patience and Sarah built together in our favorite lesbian novel.

But our first apartment was fraught with stress (thanks to an abusive neighbor), and though we have fond memories of our first house, its lingering presence has become a deeply painful (and costly) burden.

For years, we have been trying to move on, to start over someplace new. We set our sights on Massachusetts, because we both love Salem and Boston and Gloucester and the ocean–and the whole New England way of life. But New England is expensive, and very far from our family and many of our friends, and so–because of finances and emotional conflict–our dream has, for too long, been put on hold…

But then, a few nights ago, we had an epiphany: We can always drive to New England.  We can visit our favorite places (and favorite New England people) several times a year, if we’d like.  But what’s really important to us right now is a home.

So we’ve decided to move to Pennsylvania.

I was born in Pennsylvania, spent my first twenty-eight years there, and my parents still live in my childhood house.

Moon and I met in Pittsburgh: in February 2004, she arrived on a Greyhound bus to stay with me for a week…and a few months later, she proposed to me at the Spoutwood Fairie Festival in Glen Rock, PA.

So many of our early romantic milestones took place in those tree-covered hills. That’s where our once upon a time started–and it’s where we want our happily ever after to go on.

As of last weekend, we’ve found our cozy refuge…  We are about to finish the financial preparations to put in an offer on this Pittsburgh-area house:

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It’s everything we’ve ever wanted: a fairy house with a secret garden.

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The yard is fenced in, a perfect playground for our dogs, and beyond the garden gate are overgrown woods leading down to a creek. We plan to renovate the garage and turn it into an art studio.

Inside the house, there are crystal doorknobs (with skeleton keys!), original hardwood floors, ornate vintage switchplates, and gorgeous stained glass windows featuring medieval-style shields in pale shades of blue, yellow, green and lavender. 008010

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Living room.

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Detail of the wood-burning fireplace.

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Dining room.

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The kitchen has large cabinets, built-in spice cupboards, a pantry, and a small niche that will be perfect for a kitchen altar.

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The kitchen opens to a roofed deck with a beautiful ceiling fan and a decorative octagonal window.

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Staircase with a mirrored coat closet on the landing.

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The master bedroom has two small windows and one larger one.

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We’d use this bedroom as a writing room, because it has a beautiful view of the garden.

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There is a very small third bedroom that we’d turn into a dressing room, and a pretty bathroom with a laundry chute. The basement isn’t finished yet but is large and in great condition, with tons of storage space.

Not only is this house beautiful–and everything we’ve ever wished for–but it’s shockingly affordable. We’re aiming to make our lives lovelier and simpler, and buying this home would be the first step in that journey. We did tour another house, but we knew, the moment we arrived, that it wasn’t for us–and that the fairy house is. Our hearts are already entwined with that little brick sanctuary.

It’s going to be an anxious, exciting week as we wait for all of the puzzle pieces to fall into place!  (We have more happy news to announce, but I’ll save that for a different post.)

Violet


Four months later…

It’s been four months since our last post, and a lot has happened in our lives! We’ve been writing novels and snuggling kittens and new-house daydreaming, as usual. Here are some of the other things that we’ve been up to:

  • In March, Moon’s sister got married! It was a small, beautiful ceremony at Niagara Falls. Moon and I had the honor of being the wedding photographers. 25887650040_3cef411f3b_z25557888203_19deb7e281_z
  • That month, we also got our dogs–coton de tulear siblings named Poesy and Pan–professionally groomed for the first time, and we nearly passed out at the sight of them, they looked so cute!img_20160309_132551_25353533700_o
  • April was a relatively quiet month for us, as the date of my surgery was looming, and I was in a lot of pain on a daily basis. We did go to the gem show to add some crystals to our collection, and we visited the Small Press Book Fair.
  • On May 11th, I had my gall bladder removed. I was super anxious, but everything went smoothly, and I’m well into my recovery now and feeling so much better! The pain that I suffered with since last fall has vanished, and I can eat what I like. My quality of life is amazing now. I used to spend most of the daylight hours lying in bed. I’m really grateful to all of my doctors for seeing me through the difficult experience, and to my wife for being endlessly supportive and full of love.  She colored this card for me while she was in the waiting room:img_20160511_133402668_hdr_26929486116_o 
  • We got an offer on our house, but the buyers ultimately decided to go with a different place. Keeping our fingers crossed that the right people will cross the threshold soon.
  • June has been a busy month. Biggest news: we joined an all-women’s gym! Neither of us has ever belonged to a gym before, but we’re loving it so far.
  • We celebrated Pride in Buffalo!
  • And the next week, the shooting in Orlando happened, shocking us to the core. Our hearts are broken for the victims of this hate crime. We felt so shattered, frightened, and helpless that day; all we could imagine doing was taking a quiet walk through the woods and breathing some fresh air.
  • On the following evening, we attended a vigil for Orlando and were inspired by the wise words of the speakers and the solidarity of the community. We have been struggling with this tragedy every day and hoping that positive change is on the horizon for our country.

  • To lift our spirits, we went to the annual Mermaid Parade at Olcott Beach, on the shores of Lake Ontario, yesterday and had an affirming, sunny, and magical time. It was exactly what we needed. ❤ (Click images below to view larger sizes.)

     

    ~ Violet


Thriftventures: Orange is the New Chair

Catching up with some of our recent finds:

A weird thing has been happening over the past year and a half or so.  We’ve found and purchased three beautiful vintage chairs from thrift stores–and all of them happen to be (or include) the color orange.

Orange  wasn’t in the decorating plans for our future home…but it looks like we’re going to have a somewhat orange living room whether we intended to or not. Since orange is the color of happiness, though, maybe the universe is just giving us a velvety-soft nudge to lighten up.

Anyway, here’s our latest orange chair, complete with footrest!

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That’s the staged picture.  More often, it looks like this:

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I think the cats love the chair more than we do…  Modeling here are our roommate’s three adorable kitties, Leto, Luke, and Lando.

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On a rare thrifting excursion without me, Moon discovered this framed print of Valentine Thomas Garland‘s A Curious Spectator and brought it home because she thought I would like it.

I love it.  Bunnies were my first animal soulmates and will always have a special place in my heart.

A closer look (note the sneaky cat peering in through the window):

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We didn’t find the crystal below at a thrift store; it was a Home Goods discovery.  But I’m including it in this post, anyway, because it’s amazing, huge, sparkly, and was so low-priced that it might as well have been from Savers.

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The household items we are most in need of are lamps. We prefer lamplight to overhead lighting most of the time, and the only lamps we kept after the move from our old house were our bedside lamps.

Then these two tall vintage lamps caught our eyes.

Lamp one:

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The Three Graces

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Lamp two:

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A green-and-gold lamp with paintings of pairs of women encircling it.

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Love the detail on the feet.

I have to admit, I’ve always been a little nervous about using old lamps, and though these two work perfectly, we will probably end up getting them rewired at some point. For now, we’re keeping an eye out for complementary shades.

24968635820_7daa637fac_cWhen I was little, my dad used to go on business trips and always gave me a gift when he came home: a sleepy-eyed doll in an international costume. I don’t have any of the dolls now, sadly, but I’ve started to kind of casually collect them. So I was very happy to find these three vintage ladies on a recent trip to Savers. The one in the middle seems to be older–and in slightly worse shape–than the other two, but she is still beautiful and is probably my favorite.

~ Violet