Fireplace mantel in our current 200-year-old maisonette. Click photo to view detail. French gilt and mercury glass mirror circa 1830 (found at Marches aux Puces at Clignacourt, with bits of the frame missing; restored in 2001). From left, 19th-century French beaded handbag; Raku pottery from Northern California; 18th-century Tibetan monk's worn turquoise-lined copper and enamel food bowl and woven carrying basket with leather strap; 18th-century French books; Pomegranate pottery from Whitney Smith, Oakland, CA; small Dutch pottery piece; framed butterfly; pottery bowl handmade by Riley Salyards, Amsterdam; early 20th-century French Art Nouveau iron candlestick; 19th-century French carved wooden easel holding hand-tinted postcard illustration of Reales Alcázares de Sevilla.
You may recall we've been searching for a house, as our current abode has been sold. On Wednesday, we met the owners and signed the papers to purchase the lovely house just north of Amsterdam that caught our fancy! The charming owners graciously are donating the rowboat, which they say "belongs with the house." So barring any unforeseen catastrophe or bureaucratic muddle, we should be moving in late January.
There's no fireplace, but the house has ample room for our global treasures. At last I'll have a proper office, complete with balcony and canal view. We'll make one bedroom a dressing room, so we can find the clothes we need (without searching through suitcases, due to one tiny closet here). We'll also have a guest room with its own balcony, for family and friends!
On Thanksgiving day (!) we'll complete more paperwork to help make the dream a reality. Am hoping and praying all the seeds we've sown come to fruition. My daughter Jordana reminds me to "visualize, visualize." Meanwhile, your good wishes will be much appreciated!