July 1, 2010

Sunny Summer Afternoons

Luckily, the brutally hot and humid weather of the past week or so has broken – for the time being – and today was crystal clear and brilliantly sunny. And best of all the temperature was about 75F (23C). Perfection!

My friend, Tracey, who is the owner of Housewerks, and I took the afternoon to have a nice al fresco lunch and then go poking around. We decided to drive up to the Greenspring Valley, just north of Baltimore, and visit Halcyon House.  Tracey had not been there, but she’s heard me rave about it, and I hadn’t been there for about two months.

We were greeted effusively by the Halcyon House manager, Eric, who kindly took the time to show us around and point out some new things. They’ve been having a show and sale of steeplechase art by Sam Robinson, a local fine artist. I loved these pictures because they brought back so many memories of spring afternoons watching the races in Greenspring Valley. 

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7-1 039 I know exactly where the hill in the picture on the top right is located and I have been one of the people standing and watching many times.

One of the things that Halcyon House does really well is blue and white and chinoiserie porcelain and accents. The tabletops at Halcyon are always brilliantly done, and this blanc de chine goddess on her elephant in the midst of the blue and white is a stellar example.7-1 025I love these tulipieres, which have a pagoda-like feel to them. It’s hard to see, but the feet on these two pieces are frogs!  I also love the ostrich eggs. They fascinate me.7-1 018 I think I need to hurry up and get a house with a real dining room, just so I can put these napkins out for company… or even just for my everyday use!

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Halcyon always has a small but fun selection of jewelry and today was no exception. 7-1 027 I love these green beads with the turquoise glass beads as accents.  Perfectly classic for Mrs. Blandings!7-1 031 Of course, I love the heavy felted wool bags, too!

There were two low chairs which caught our attention. This chair with the John Robshaw fabric covering it is just such a twist on a tradition.7-1 033 This child’s chair, with its painted canvas covering, would be perfect for Tracey’s young son!7-1 040

Seriously, how could you not LOVE these two cake stands with their huge cloche tops!

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I am a huge fan of glass cloches and use them to cover all sorts of fun objects. It just makes the object, whether it’s a little bird’s nest or a special demitasse teacup,  a bit more special.  In fact, I found that I had so many, that I put a few of them on my Etsy shop.

One of the most striking accessories at Halcyon House is the fresh flowers that are always in great abundance. 7-1 005 They make the settings more alive and lively. 7-1 006 Every single time I’ve visited, I am struck by the simple and elegant arrangements on display and in the gardens.7-1 051 Thanks again to Eric at Halcyon for a great visit today! You, Stiles and Jonathan are always so welcoming.


  1. The beads are perfect - but I love the ostrich eggs, too!

  2. Great photos, as usual, Meg. I also admire the way you know names for *everything* decor: "blanc de chine," "tulipiere," "cloche tops."

    Speaking of tulipieres, in Delft, we saw valuable originals as tall as 9 feet high (and I remember seeing a large one in a Pigtown shop on Le Tour de Baltimore). The irony for me is that, once you stick a lonely stem in each portal, they no longer look so good!

  3. Love this post, Meg! Did you buy those pagoda napkins? I WANT A DOZEN OF THEM!!!!! I could shop in this place all day long and still come back for more! Have a great holiday weekend!!!

  4. Meg-

    Any chance you know the name of the fabric used on the curtain panel just peaking out on the corner of the photo with the painted canvas chair ? If not do you think the owners would mind a call to inquire ?

    Happy 4th,

  5. Pat... you can e-mail eric at
    com and see if he knows. If not, he can find out pretty quickly.


  6. Oh man. Now I have to check out your etsy shop AGAIN! - Why is it you always have something I need? (Although my tiny nyc apartment is running out of space)

  7. Had a great day out in the Valley, Hon...thanks!

  8. What I fun visit! Love the cloches. Makes me long for a proper garden. Well, happy, happy 4th to you! xo

    today's word verification: swarmi. Hmmmm...I think not.

  9. Hello! Recently found your blog and am so excited that you're local! We moved to the Baltimore area 2 years ago and live right near greenspring valley but have yet to visit halcyon. It looks wonderful- perhaps I can squeeze in a visit this weekend! Housewerks looks like so much fun also- where is it located? I've been to the Second Chance salvage and antique stores, but I don't think I've been to housewerks yet.


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