At this time of the year we think about all the people that have meant so much to us along with the ones who continue to be a big part of our lives.
The other day I was thinking back 10 years, when I first met, Bill Shaver. Bill was an Interior Designer with tons of talent who never had the opportunity to shine. We were in the market for some furniture and he was the salesman who approached me as I entered the store. We hit it off right away and he mentioned that the store had a policy that encouraged their Designers to make house calls to help the buyers with their choices. That statement stuck in my head! He was so helpful with my selection of a sofa and chair and gave me wonderful hints about future projects.
A few months later, a cruise we were planning on taking to celebrate our 40th Anniversary, was canceled four days before it was to sail! We were devastated. Then, when I realized we were getting all our funds back, I had my first EPIPHANY !
Bill had mentioned that there were lots of ideas he had to "finish" the look I was after. He said: "When you're ready, come back and we'll work together." EPIPHANY……use the trip money and finish my design dream.
That was the start of a lasting relationship that evolved over the next 5 years. He helped me with area rugs to candles. You name it, he had wonderful ideas and new ways to do things. He loved to add little touches of whimsy, and like Kenneth, loved that pop of RED. He told me he had many plans for our home and would let me know in steps, because I was too eager to do it all at one time. He taught me to use restraint, that less was more, and that I didn't have to have everything I owned displayed. He was the inspiration for my warehouse! The idea of putting some things away and bringing them back out at a later time for a different purpose has been a wonderful tool I owe entirely to him.
In his last year he was very ill and became housebound. The furniture store supplied him with a special chair so he could sleep in his living room. He could no longer climb the stairs to his bedroom and when his fellow employees realized he was sleeping on the floor they got to work and supplied the chair. He was hospitalized the last few weeks and Emil and I would visit him daily bringing him design magazines. The next day they would be spread out across the bed with tabs marking his favorite "projects" for the future. We also made him tapes of all the HGTV design shows. He didn't have cable and missed his favorite designers, none of which are on at this time. Kenneth Brown was a new designer that we would catch on Designer's Challenge. Bill loved his work. He said: "That guy is going places… he has what it takes- that special talent… Patty … learn from him."
Emil and I miss Bill very much, but we know he is in a better place and is no longer in any pain. But……. the story doesn't stop here. Bill's work wasn't finished when he died. He remained with us….
He stayed for almost a year. We had many "happenings" and strange events that go beyond the "natural" during that time. You might think I am crazy, but we are positive Bill was with us. If I got an idea on a design project, he let me know if he approved.
One of the first "strange" happenings was after we put some mirror tiles on a wall. We were trying to think of a product for another project we were working on, a backsplash in the kitchen. In the middle of the night, we heard a loud crash! We looked all over the house and finally discovered one of the mirror tiles had fallen to the floor. Immediately we realized Bill was telling us…."use mirrors for your backsplash." We did, and it was perfect!
Occasionally, furniture would move during the night. Heavy furniture. The small adjustments would be improvements from their original placements. We started looking forward to his comings and goings. I was constantly getting ideas from him in one form or another. He was there to the end of the design project.
One sunny morning, about a year after his death, we looked out onto our balcony, we saw two large footprints. The weather was so clear and sunny that day, but these two prints were wet and as clear as a bell. They were facing away from our home…..Bill had left… His job was finished. He approved of all our work and he could rest.
Today I have been thinking of Bill quite a bit. I believe his spirit will move with us, to our new home in Georgia.
"Merry Christmas Bill", put a little whimsy on the clouds and add that pop of red to the stars.
Over 1000 upbeat visitors came through. We were told that our home was THE BEST...
The comments and questions were unbelievable. Erica's art was among the most asked about. The picture of Kenneth Brown and yours truly at High Point was also a big conversation piece. Emil's den/guest room gave the visitors an insight into our past with our Air Force and Va. Tech accessories. EVERYONE loved the tree and the decor. The evening tours were by far the favorite. The city added the Christmas Magic ...the VIEWS from our home are fantastic and they definitely showed themselves off these last three days. The entire event was something I will never forget and will treasure for many years.
Today things are back to normal. Although, normal in my life isn't quite the norm!
We are now looking forward to Santa with Steve and Tess. We will miss not having Angela here and will look forward to seeing her this summer....at the BIG party....
In a few days I will get back to regular entries. Have some news and want to share it with all of you.
What a fun week! Since my last entry I have actually put order back into my life, found the "PLAN", and finished trimmings down to every last crystal!
We have been told over 1500 people will most likely tour our home. That's a staggering thought!
The tour is in the evening, on Friday and Saturday, and ending Sunday afternoon. I think the two nights will be the best. The city lights that are visible from our windows will make the room glisten all the more.
The "décor" consists of 300 yards of ribbon, six large sheets of different gift papers, hundreds of small crystals, silver and crystal balls, and numerous crystal accessories…. Not to mention the glitter debris that took two days to clean up! I am sure I will find "sparkle" in the shag rug well into June!
"Thank You, Erica," for the wonderful Design Plan. The table runner and the bed pillow cover you "whipped" up finished the look! Your talents are fantastic and I greatly appreciate all your help. I could not have done it without your contributions.
I am looking forward to the Christmas Season. As most of you know it's my favorite time of the year. Every year I am transformed into a 7 year old little girl, looking forward to Santa, for the entire month! This Christmas will be extra special because Steve and our 9 year old Granddaughter, Tess, will be here for Santa. It's always magical when the little ones are part of Christmas morning.
I cannot end this entry without giving tons of credit to Kenneth Brown. He graciously and generously answered my questions and gave me wonderful ideas. "Thank You, Kenneth" ….. you are a VERY special, giving person.
Don't stop now. There are ten more pictures below. Also remember that by double clicking on the pictures, you can make them larger.
We are almost at a milestone !! We have 996 hits on the blog. That's fabulous! I would love four of you to hurry and click on. Check the total number at the bottom of the site and let me know who hits in at 1000 !!!
Sorry no prize---just the honor of being #1000
I'm working on the REVEAL......MAYBE in the morning
Thank you all for the wonderful support you have given me.