My main collection, outside of books, is anything lily of the valley.  I don’t wear the fragrance, although I love it, nor do I adorn myself with jewelry embellished with the floral, I only collect pretty objects, paintings, etc….well that isn’t what I am posting today and it will have to be more than one post there are so many pieces!  No today, continuing our flower theme of this week, I wanted to share my rose paintings and a couple pieces of embroidery with you.

As I mentioned in a previous post my garden, thanks to my Mother, was filled with roses mostly old fashion heirloom or tea roses, my favorite, Tiffany it blooms all summer and is not only beautiful in bud but continues to open exquisitely and the fragrance, to die for!  We always had fresh flowers from the garden in our home and I often brought them to work for small luncheons or teas as well as for my desk.  Combined with the other flowers from Mom’s, English inspired, garden, the arrangements were quite lavish, I really miss having a garden to pick long stem flowers so I have to settle for a painting or two as well as some Victorian and Asian floral embroideries or indulge myself when I am invited to friends homes in the country that have lovely gardens and I can gather a few for myself.

imageThis lovely watercolor was one of the first paintings my dear friend, Ciel Grossman, (almost a second mother!) painted when she retired as Sophie Gimbel’s representative.  We became “family” almost immediately when we first met, at the beginning of my career, when she brought the Sophie Collections to Chicago three times a year, each time for a week.  I have several of her paintings and, of course, treasure each.  Most of my art is either by my Father, some of which I have shared with you…more to come, given to him by his co-workers when he retired from his ad agency, pieces Mom and I got together and now things that I have acquired through the years.  Each means something to me, I think that is what art should be, perhaps recalling a time when you purchased it or the conversation you had with the artist or antique vendor, where you were traveling at the time, etc.

imageI am crazy mad for this piece, it is a huge Victorian pillow…the centerpiece is a layered embroidery (not stumpwork) in velvet and silk threads on a field of very dark, almost black, green velvet hand stitched on an apricot gathered silk base. I would call it a “boudoir pillow” and as such, I have it on my French daybed which is covered in a collection of eclectic pillows and paisley throws!  I got it a million years ago at an antique show.

imageAnother watercolor, I purchased at an antique shop in Geneva, Illinois (no longer there!) it sits on top of a pile of books (of course, it does!!!) near my TV so I look at it all the time. Very old and framed in a narrow gold frame.

imageA close up of a small silk Spanish shawl with all over silk embroidery that resides on the back of one of my dining chairs.  It was a true find at the Randolph Street Market, which by the way, is this weekend, Saturday and Sunday, March 25 and 26 from 10 to 5.  The monthly Market is written on my calendar as soon as the year’s dates are posted and always has something you must add to your collections, I know I always find something!

imageAnother Randolph Street Market find.  I have left it unframed, I like the raw look of just having the canvas wrapping around the frame.  This one is oil on canvas.

I do have other flower pieces but thought I would concentrate on my roses today.  I hope you enjoyed them as much as I do!



  1. Elenor Hawley March 23, 2017 / 12:27 pm

    All of them are gorgeous, Nena. thanks for sharing your lovely pieces!

    • nenasnotes March 23, 2017 / 12:36 pm

      You are much too kind….you will have to visit. Need a recipe or two from the Elenor recipe box…please!!!

  2. Dianne Erpenbach March 23, 2017 / 11:35 pm

    Beautiful and meaningful rose collection Nena. Thanks for sharing your memories.

    • nenasnotes March 24, 2017 / 12:10 am

      Thanks so much Dianne and I am so pleased you are following my blog.

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