I’m celebrating my first year of blogging by presenting some of the furniture and accessories that we painstakingly worked on.

My Aunt Marie’s 1953 Lane hope chest marked our first effort using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and Royal Design’s stencils.

1953 Lane Cedar chest

Bolstered by that modest success, we boldly began work on the Drexel buffet. In retrospect, it was an overly ambitious undertaking. The hand-rubbed gold paint took an eternity, but the finished product was stunning.

Drexel Buffet

And we pushed on. Here’s the Baker Commode and more:

French commode


Savoy Lamp Table

The Serpentine Chest that David restored so it was sturdier than when manufactured:


Serpentine Chest 2

Small Victorial Table With Silver Foil 2

Luxurious Red Pet Bed SOLD

Pet Bed 1.9

We moved into Avonlea Antique Mall mid-July with as much furniture as we could fit. Only then did we discover the importance of smalls. I created an splendid menagerie:

Rooster Doorstop

African Carved Lion Painted 2

Painted Swans 5

Chinese Horse Silver Foil

Namibia Elephants

Elsa Elephant Bookends 2

Elephants on Pedestal


Quite a lot happened this year: David retired and a few months later landed in the hospital for several days. An 18-wheeler totaled my car. I developed a nasty kidney stone that demanded  attention. My mom made a few trips to the hospital before her final stay. She died in August, and I miss her.

During all those bizarre episodes, however, we continued to build Iris Abbey as best we could. We’ve learned a lot — and know there is much more to learn. We make new friends daily. David and I rediscovered the joy of spending our days together, and that’s a magical gift.

We wish you joy and happiness this holiday season. May next year bring opportunities, discoveries and — always — hope.

Ann Marie and David

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