Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Most Beautiful Windows in the World ...

According to Wikipedia (that infallible resource the insomniac  uses to gather most of her facts, and the validity of which she rarely questions), the honor of having the Most Beautiful Windows in the World is bestowed upon La Sainte-Chapelle, a medieval Gothic chapel in the heart of Paris. However, one begs to differ with Wikipedia just this one time, as we believe the windows in the Little Gothic Cottage in the heart of the Spooky Forest are now the Most Beautiful Windows in the World. Sorry, La Sainte-Chapelle. You've been downgraded to Number 2. Somebody should probably let Wikipedia know so they can correct their information.

Storybook Homes, the creators of the Buckleberry plans we are using to build our Little Gothic Cottage, has a resource list on their website of Preferred Vendors. Some of the vendors were already familiar to us, having used a few during the restoration of the Gothic Mansion. But as a large part of the Buckleberry's charm are the diamond paned windows, we found ourselves drawn again and again to one particular vendor - Hyland Studio - whose tagline is “old-world style in diamond paned windows and stained glass.”

So despite our floundering Canadian dollar, the planning involved in having the leaded glass made at Hyland Studio then sent to Jen-Weld to be incorporated into an energy efficient casement window, and finally crating and shipping those windows (and one door) all the way from California to Canada, we were in almost  unanimous agreement to greatly exceed our allotted window budget so we could have a few of those beautiful old-world style windows in our home. And although that decision initially caused a few sleepless nights (as it's awfully hard to start off a project so far over budget without losing some  sleep), we're awfully glad we did.

Without further ado, the insomniac  is pleased to introduce the skilled artisans of Team Hyland, photos courtesy of Tom ...

Char - Designer and Artist, shown here NOT working on our windows ...

Diane - Designer and Artist, also NOT our window. Too bad, that's a stunner ...

Bob - Master Beveler, who IS working on our windows!

Probably Bob again. Shirt looks the same ...

Bob looks to be a coverall guy - just like the spouse.

Steven - Artist (also our window) ...

Brad - Master Glazier (ours again) ...

Once our very large order was finished and on its way from sunny California to frigid Alberta, the insomniac  tried to exhibit a modicum of restraint by not texting Cherlyn every fifteen minutes and asking whether they were here yet. It was worrisome they were being shipped during yet another go-round with the Dreaded Polar Vortex, and we were somewhat apprehensive the driver might get caught in a snow storm and slide off the road. And not that we weren't concerned about the driver's welfare, but we may have been a teensy bit more anxious about our windows. Only a little bit, though. We're not total jerks.

When they finally did arrive, they had to be put into storage until the weather improved, i.e. warm enough to feel one's fingers without wearing three pairs of mitts. But on the first decent day in what seems to have been practically forever, Tristram and the other members of Team Wolf installed them without a single mishap, i.e. not having the trackhoe working on the conservatory make a sudden wrong move and knock one out of their mitts.

Windows being unloaded by random Hi-Way 9 Express delivery guy.

And Cherlyn.

After having spent the last quarter century planning our summers around which windows in the Gothic Mansion needed scraping and painting, we opted for a black metal-clad wood exterior which requires absolutely no maintenance other than cleaning. And a person probably doesn't need to do that very often either - if they don't really feel like it.

Tristram installing the first window ...

Cherlyn inspecting Tristram and John's work ...

Although the Buckleberry plans show all windows as being diamond paned glass, we ignored the recommendation and ordered plain windows for the rear of the cottage, allowing unobstructed views of the creek, the forest, and on a really clear day maybe even the top of a mountain.

Tristram did suggest we splurge on a leaded AND bevelled window in the Master Bath; the picture below shows what good advice that was. We decided against getting one in the adjacent Throne Room, though. Anyone seated on the Throne wouldn't be facing the right way to enjoy a pretty window anyways.

You'll have to use your imagination to visualize the
black pedestal bathtub underneath that gorgeous window.

And the black toilet in the Throne Room ...

And perhaps a flowery chandelier above?

Perhaps not ... the spouse has reservations about a frou-frou chandelier.
Maybe something with Gryphons instead.
That would please all concerned.

One was almost positive she'd gotten a picture of Chris from Team Wolf, but the camera seems to have malfunctioned. Hopefully you'll meet Chris when he arrives to stain and varnish the window at the top of the steep stairwell, which the insomniac  couldn't possibly do herself because of its location and will therefore attempt to bribe Chris into doing by baking him cookies. Or buying him wings and beer. Whichever works.

Quite sure that's at least a 50 foot drop ...

John getting ready for the triple window in the Library ...

You'll also have to use your imagination to envision the tiny conservatory on the other side of that large opening currently covered in plastic. And to imagine bookcases on either side of those glorious windows and maybe a window seat underneath. And should there be any money left after all that, perhaps an embossed brass ceiling in a Gothic motif. Although it's still rather up in the air, depending on which of us you ask, as to whether a brass ceiling is more important than a window seat.

Library Windows

Dining Room Windows

Kitchen Window and Door

They're both open because it was positively balmy that day. Haha.

It looks huge, but it's really not that big inside. Really. It's not.

We still have to get rid of more furniture.

When we emailed Tom at Hyland Studio and thanked him for our magnificent windows, he replied, “Thanks for the kind words. It is very important to us that you like our work. We are moody artists. Haha.”

Well, Tom - to set the record straight, a person doesn't necessarily have to be an artist to be moody. Just ask the long-suffering spouse. Or Tristram. Haha.

Until next time, the insomniac  wishes you nights of blissful sleep filled with pleasant dreams. Goodnight, my pretties.

IA

71 comments:

  1. Wow! Not only do the windows have a lot of class (that's Class not Glass), but the Little Gothic Cottage seems to be coming along superbly. You're going to love being there; I can tell.

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    1. I am going to love it, Nightwind. Already it gets harder and harder to leave and come back to the rental. I'm actually looking forward to living in the Crappy Little Trailer again just so we can stay out there. Provided it still isn't -37C when April rolls around, that is ... ;o)

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  2. Oh wow! Its starting to actually look like a dwelling now Lyn. And I can't envision The LGC with anything but those exact windows. Now as for the brass ceiling vs window seat; honestly, no contest. Window seat every time. When do you anticipate being able to move in?

    Ali

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    1. Isn't it funny what a difference having windows makes, Ali? It'll really be something when the rest of the doors arrive! And no, we looked at many different windows and nothing even came close. I think they're worth every penny, and Tristram said they were better made windows than anything we would have gotten locally, so that makes me feel slightly better about going over budget. LOL

      Yeah, I think a window seat. Still, there's a pretty spectacular brass ceiling we have our eye on, so who knows!

      No firm date for move-in as yet. We're expecting another cold spell this weekend, so again it will probably put us behind even farther. And I'm okay with being in the trailer for a short time. I'll pretend we're on an extended camping trip. Hopefully the shower will be in by then. ;o)

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  3. Oh my, OH MY! Those are some magnificent windows.
    But what really got me... you guys have a conservatory? ...and a "THRONE room"??? Is there a word for blown away, excited, very jealous - but still happy for someone? If there is, that's what I am.

    I'm thinking of you and your family.

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    1. Aren't they beautiful, Ms. Misantropia? It was kind of scary having them made so far away where we couldn't see them, but we're so pleased with how they turned out!

      It's not a real conservatory but something called a four-season room. I started off wanting a real conservatory, right up until the time I found out it was going to cost over $200,000 and then I changed my mind pretty quick! :P

      I've decided we're going to call it the Throne Room. My father always used to say, “I'm going to go sit on the throne.” when he went to the washroom which always made me laugh, plus it sounds so much more pretentious to say Throne Room than Bathroom! LOL

      You know, sometimes I worry when I write about this build. I know we are very lucky to be doing this, and I hope that I never come across as being snobby or smug or whatever the word is that I'm looking for here. Know what I mean? :o(

      And thank you.

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    2. Ok, I went back and saw the Bathroom/Throne room reference. Though it would have been cool for you guys to have a small alcove, like next to the library, that fit two giant wooden chairs next to each other, on a little pedestal :)

      You never come across as smug, ever! I think that anyone who reads about your adventure can clearly see that this is realizing a dream, not splurging and bragging. Your house building is extra interesting because people don't know that something like this actually can be done, or what it takes to have it done.

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    3. Oh, I AM relieved to hear I don't come across that way. And maybe we could put the lovely black toilet on a raised pedestal so it really would look like a throne! ;o)

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  4. Oh my godness!!! It's so beautiful. I can totally imagine a black pedestal tub under that magnificent window! Wow!! The triplet window is amazing! I think the diamond glasses are so beautiful, I don't think window like these are able to find in Sweden, not with the bevelled edges anyway. Windows are so important for the look of a house and your windows are perfect.
    I think very often that if I didn't have my studies I would have put my time on reconstructing our house (I find it very ugly).

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    1. Awwww thanks, Linnea-Maria! I'm so used to renovating slowly that I'm having trouble picking everything out in such rapid succession. If it weren't for Pinterest, I think I'd be having a hard time visualizing that black pedestal tub and how it's going to look with the tile and the faucets, etc. ;o)

      I think they are very well-made windows, which should save us money in heating bills in the long run.

      You should get your studies done first. You're still young - you'll have lots of time to reconstruct your house later. I'm old and don't want to go back to school, so I need something to fill my time. ;o)

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  5. OH. MY. GODS. That is the most incredibly incredible house!!! Can I copy you someday (when I win the Lottery, yeah...) and have one just like it??? And I vote for BOTH the brass ceiling and the window seat, in whichever order is easier to do. Why settle for just one???

    And I sincerely hope that The Throne has gold fixtures to go with the black color... ;-)

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    1. LOL, incredibly incredible, you say! And you can totally copy, Lucretia. Actually, the spouse and I were just joking that we hoped one of those lottery tickets we bought was a winner so we didn't have to worry so much. :o)

      You know, there were some fantastic gold gargoyle taps on a website I found, but you had to email to find out the price. In my experience, if they don't list the price and you have to ask, it's going to be expensive. So pretty plain old fixtures for us, I'm afraid. I gotta cut corners somewhere! :D

      And Rhonda, if we run out of money before the end, could we borrow some off you so I can have both the ceiling and the seat? ;o)

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  6. Impressive indeed! I am happy for you:-)

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    1. Thank you, Variations on Light. That's sweet of you to say. ♥

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  7. You are doing an amazing job! The cottage looks stunning and the windows are FABULOUS from Hyland!!!! We love them! Great job Tom and co! It is always so fantastic to see one of our Storybook Homes come to life! -Tina from Storybook Homes

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    1. Thanks, Tina! Everybody told us we were going to hate building a house, that it was stressful, etc. I'm loving every minute of it, except for the having to stay within a budget part. And the waiting for it to be finished so we can move in part. LOL

      Didn't Hyland do an amazing job? I'm so glad you had them on your Preferred Vendors list or we probably would have just settled for boring old windows. ;o)

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  8. Your new home is a dream already. The windows are truly magnificent. I am glad you were able to show us a little of how they were made. This is going to be a wonderful accomplishment.

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    1. Thank you, Fran! I'm really glad Hyland sent pictures of the people who made the windows, too. It's always nice to see the faces behind the scenes, isn't it? Makes it seem a little more personal or something. :o)

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  9. We visited La Sainte Chapelle a few years ago, actually one of the least impressive of some of the Paris sites ( personal opinion), unlike what the Little Gothic Cottage is becoming! Will there be advanced ticket sales for the tours of your new home, souvenir t-shirts? While I am still awe struck by the beauty of the " mansion ", by all initial appearances and your selections and attention to detail, this is going to be equally impressive. Thoroughly jealous...

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    1. Really, it was that unimpressive? Wow, Wikipedia got it really wrong!

      No advanced tickets and no souvenir t-shirts, but always a bunch of spare beds in case you ever feel the need to come and stay to see what a real winter feels like again. ;o)

      Unfortunately, as I'm quickly finding out, attention to detail very often has to be thrown out of the diamond paned window because that's the stuff that costs too much. LOL

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    2. I'll experience remotely through your blogs on what those Winter's feel like! Sounds like a reality best left to memories, especially this year!

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  10. I was excited when I replaced my 1975 brown aluminum windows with double-paned white vinyl sliders. I can't even describe how I feel about your windows. EXCITED! No, even all caps doesn't capture it. What word means "excited" but is 750% stronger? :D

    It's delightful watching the house come to life. Thank you for sharing!

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    1. EXCITED but 750% stronger. Jeez, I don't know, Bane - I'll have to think about that! I can't believe how out of touch we are about prices though. Apparently, everything has gone up 750% since we did any major renovating at the Gothic Mansion, because we're blown away by how much everything costs. Still, these windows were totally worth it, and I'll cut corners elsewhere. Not quite sure where yet, but I will cut corners. ;o)

      I'm glad you're enjoying it. I still think it must be boring for everybody but us, but I really have nothing else to write about these days except knitting. Haha.

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  11. OMG! Those windows are to die for! They are everything that todays houses lack - something with personality and creativity. My job takes me to several new houses a week and I have a hard time recalling features of them, because they all blend together in a beige blob. I'm glad your house seems to be coming together on time. I can't wait to see it finished!

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    1. Aren't they wonderful, Mme. Polaire? I know that when we went to look at windows in Calgary, I had this horrible feeling we'd never find anything I liked and would have to settle for something that was just okay, which I'd always regret. I'm very glad we decided to forget about the budget for this part of the project, because I'll never get tired of these windows. :o)

      I can't wait to see it finished, either! I want it finished yesterday. LOL

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  12. Whoa-- I can see it now, producers of unique home tv will be knocking at your door once it's done. It's going to look exactly like a home from a storybook!

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    1. Oh, let's hope not, Madame MM. It's one thing to share it with our little corner of the blogging world. Sharing it with the TV world is a whole other ball of wax. ;o)

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  13. your widows sparkle like crystal. gorgeous

    ... :) ...
    blessings

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    1. And they make beautiful little rainbows on the walls! :o)

      BTW, I tried to comment on your blog the other day and it wouldn't let me... am I doing something wrong? Cause that wouldn't be a huge surprise. :P

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    2. prob my side ... all good now? fingers crossed

      ...<3 ...
      blessings

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  14. When can I move in?! I have fallen head-over-heels in love with this gorgeous building, the shape, the windows, everything's perfect! I feel excited for yourself and your family, it must be amazing to see everything shaping up.

    It's quite sad that you have to part with some of your furnishings mind you.

    Good luck with the rest of the work, you must be excited about decorating. I can't wait to see what colours you've chosen :)

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    1. Any time, Yvonne ... but you'd have to bring your own computer so you could be on Etsy and I could be on eBay! ;o)

      It is fun to see the progress and I like seeing inside the walls and knowing exactly what's in there. That probably makes me a little weird, I know. And maybe we won't have to get rid of more furniture - I am leaning towards a less cluttered look at the moment, but I'm sure I'll get over it! LOL

      Black, brown and crimson mostly. And one bedroom will have to be purple. :o)

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  15. I was so excited to see the windows! so I scrolled down very slowly for each un-veiling, what a masterpiece!! gorgeous, beautiful windows, you must be thrilled and the cottage!! it's stunning! the black pedestal bath and loo all sounds wonderful, it must be so exciting watching it all, I can't wait for the next update! x x x

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    1. LOL, I can picture you scrolling slowly, Sandra!

      We are thrilled, and it is kind of exciting to think we'll have bath fixtures in a colour other than white. Actually, it's very exciting that we'll finally have a shower and more than one bathroom for the first time in our lives! ;o)

      Next update should be soon ... estimated completion for the conservatory is the middle of next week! Woot!

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  16. It is slowly taking form, how excited i am (i cannot imagine you!) Truly i cannot wait to see it done! :D I cannot imagine your hearts when everything will be in it's place!! Beautiful windows, such a detailed job and yet they seem simple and soooo elegant!!

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    1. Emotions are all over the place right now, Magda! Excitement at how it's shaping up, impatience to have it finished, stressed over money... I will be very happy when we're in and can settle down to a normal, quiet life again. :o)

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  17. *SWOON* I could wax lyrical about the beauty of this evolving abode, but I really couldn't say anything that you don't already know yourself! ❤ ❤ ❤

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    1. You are so sweet, Emma. ♥ You know there's extra bedrooms should you ever make it over here for a visit. You might enjoy the winter time! :o)

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  18. It's fabulous!! I'm so glad your dream cottage is coming to life, windows and all!

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    1. Thanks, Tilda! I'm already visualizing myself sitting on that window seat in the library ... or more likely on the floor cause the money's run out. And that's okay, too. :o)

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  19. It never occurred to me that "master beveler" was a job one could have.

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  20. It's looking Amazing!! The windows are just beautiful.

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    1. Thanks, Cemetery Dreamer! There was lots of window inspiration gleaned from books on Olde English Cottages, but as much as I'd love to have had ill-fitting single paned leaded windows with cast iron casement stays for that “been standing for centuries” look just like in the books, a person does have to be somewhat practical in this climate! :o)

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  21. OMG! Completely unreal and amazing! The windows are art - the whole project is completely inspiring! The DH and I considered a cool remodel of our sweet but small house but we can't work together well enough to pull of a worthy remodel. I'm so impressed that that you and long-suffering spouse are able to work together to make complicated projects like the LGC and Gothic mansion utter masterpieces.

    I am always excited for your next post - and thanks for turning me on to Sainte-Chapelle. It's dreamy.

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    1. Well, they aren't quite the windows we both adored on Pinterest lightning x, but they're a very close second! :D

      It is a little stressful making all these decisions on decorating choices and their associated costs all at once like this, but we're muddling through with very little friction. Maybe I should share how we do it in a future post? Although it might have to wait until we've finished picking everything out - if I do the big reveal before we're done and let him in on how I manage to always seem to get my way in the end, that wouldn't be to my benefit, would it? ;o)

      I'd like to see Sainte-Chapelle some day. If we have any money left at the end of this project. LOL


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  22. I almost can´t believe what a beautiful fantasy house you are building. It will be like your own little palace. Wishing you a wonderful friday. XX

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    1. Awwwww, thanks Sara! It does feel like a fantasy sometimes ... we are truly blessed to be able to do this. A wonderful weekend to you, as well. ♥

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  23. You are building a home fit for a 21st century fairy tale! My word, those windows are gorgeous. They have such a powerful sense of timeless beauty and refinement to them. Thank you for taking us along on the exciting process of their creation and placement in your budding abode.

    ♥ Jessica

    *PS* Many thanks as well for your terrific comment on yesterday's post. I am with you completely when it comes to the importance of engaging with your readers who so kindly leave you comments.

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    1. Thank you, Jessica! Some days it almost feels like we're living in a fairy tale, and I have to pinch myself to see if I'll wake up! ♥

      IMHO, it's one of the most important things. Even more important than good grammar and proper spelling. LOL

      I also wanted to comment on your post about increased postal rates, but as a small business owner affected by Canada Post's ever-increasing prices, the comment was turning into a rant and I decided it was better to delete it. ;o)

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  24. Your house looks incredible! I want a turret! And the windows are lovely :)

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    1. Thank you, Grande Dame! The only problem with that beautiful turret and its round walls is that I have no clue where I'm going to put the three china cabinets that used to be in our old dining room! Oh well, I guess they'll be good for storing fabric in the sewing room. ;o)

      And thank you for commenting! :o)

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  25. Your house looks great, and the beautiful scenery makes it even better. I can't wait to see the finished product.

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    1. I love the house, but I think I love the Spooky Forest better, OddGhoulOut. :o)

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  26. Wow I'm so excited to see the finished house later on. Those windows are perfect!

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    1. Thanks, Lesthi! I'm getting excited, too! :o)

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  27. I fall in love!!! The house looks so damn fantastic!

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    1. Thank you, Madame Kismet! It's starting to take shape - I'm anxious for the insides to get started! ;o)

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  28. Oh my goodness those are the most beautiful windows ever!

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    1. Thanks, Caitlin! They did an awesome job, didn't they? :o)

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  29. That's so gorgeous. It almost looks like a gingerbread house at the moment :)

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    1. Thank you, Liberty Fox ... it's going to be weird when it gets wrapped for the stucco and stone. I'm kind of liking that wooden gingerbread look! :o)

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  30. Absolutely Gorgeous Windows in your Picturesque Storybook Home!

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    1. Thank you, Marlynne! And thank you for commenting! :o)

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  31. Hi there! thanks for your kind and generous offer of helping to find a cowboy shirt for my Mr!! let me know how I can pay you, at the moment I am trying to strap him down to measure him (not successful) he is a uk XXXL but I know sizes are so different, so I will be back in touch with measurements and thank you again for the offer, it really is very lovely of you, hugs and kisses, Sandra x x x

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    1. Hey, Sandra! I think the S-XL sizes are pretty standard universally, but if you can ever manage to nail him to the floor to get those measurements, that would help! Don't worry about paying - who knows if I'll be lucky enough to find one in his size yet, but we'll keep our fingers crossed! I'd like to think I had a hand in converting a UK citizen to a cowpoke. ;o)

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  32. Just gorgeous, GORGEOUS! And I've always wanted to have a round turret room too.

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    1. I'm coming to the conclusion that a turret room is very pretty to look at, but not so practical for placing furniture in. We'll see how that goes, Debra! :o)

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