» Ivy & Innocence by Susan Reader

An Ivy & Innocence Journey Back to a Special Place in Time

Brick Cottages and Accessories are Listed

Happy Monday Everyone, I wanted to let everyone know about the holiday brick items I listed up on Ebay for any that might be interested.

All the items are from my personal studio. The two Winter Brick Cottage Originals make great bookends on a shelf, bookcase, on a holiday mantel, or under your Christmas tree. They are all signed and dated 2001. I can personalize the bottom step for anyone wishing to add a something special (like a family name or saying/quote) or look great without too. (Would make a wonderful and very rare Christmas gift for anyone on your list.)

Also up are four brick accessory items that compliment the brick cottages or also look great in your Ivy village to add a seasonal touch to your collection. If you are curious about how it all got started from the brick village to Ivy & Innocence, I invite you visit: https://ivyninnocence.wordpress.com/the-history-of-ivy/

Good luck to everyone. Details on the four Seasonal pieces are here: http://www.ebay.com/itm/-/181869043580 Details on the two Winter Buildings are here: http://www.ebay.com/itm/-/181869020182

All proceeds go toward the "Return to Ivy" Kickstarter campaign, such as the professional video production, advertising and marketing. All the rare Ivy and brick items listed on Ebay are to promote the Return of Ivy & Innocence and get the word out.

I have targeted an Oct 1st launch of the new Ivy Kickstarter Storybook Campaign... So hopefully everything will go smoothly without delays. :) I welcome you to join our exciting journey. Follow along through Ivy's social platform. For more information: The Ivy & Innocence Website. Or our Ivy Facebook Community. I am thankful for your support in the past and hope to see you in Ivy's promising future to come.

Ivy & Innocence's Wonderful Vintage Style

A little booklet that had a huge influence on Ivy & Innocence. See how!

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Romantic Vintage™ Magazine

Romantic Vintage™ Magazine Premier Edition

Happy Saturday Everyone,

Today we had scheduled to do more filming, however, the weather is unbearably hot. My backdoor studio has no air-conditioning. The fan works but it still be converted into a sauna.

I am fortunate. Not too many people have a sauna studio. :)   Plus, I think their huge camera would melt or the moving parts would fuse together. Everyone would have a meltdown (and that’s…

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Romantic Vintage™ Magazine

romanticvintagemag1-e1441462723253.jpg

Happy Saturday Everyone, Today we had scheduled to do more filming, however, the weather is unbearably hot. My backdoor studio has no air-conditioning. The fan works but it still will be converted into a sauna.

I am fortunate. Not too many people have a sauna studio. :)   Plus, I think their huge camera would melt or the moving parts would fuse together. Everyone would have a meltdown (and that's not a very pretty sight I can assure you, lol), therefore, at Mother Nature's mercy, I must report it will take a bit longer. Although, Fall is coming, and I have to say, Fall colors are spectacular! I certainly would not mind capturing a beautiful oak in the morning sunrise... the golden red of Mother Nature is so unbearably gorgeous.

Yesterday, the premier edition of Romantic Vintage™ Magazine was released. It features designer vintage-inspired shabby cottage decor, romantic fashions, vintage style jewelry and romantic vintage markets ~ all from the most talented designers and show promoters, where  many artists and designers are debuting their treasures (including the 'Return of Ivy').

I am honored they included the Return to Ivy & Innocence in their Premier Edition. If you are interested in the article and wish to take a peek at their beautiful magazine, please visit their website for details.

Since today's plans were cancelled due to melting pot conditions, I transferred my attention to getting the promotional piece finished. I did just start out to do a simple advertising flier but wanted something different. Now, I only need to figure out how to share and upload the 24 page flipbook. It is basically done, some editing perhaps... :)

Anyone who has joined my blog or is currently following the Return to Ivy & Innocence venture will get the password and free access - a small token of my thanks. PLUS you all have excellent input. Your ideas are so wonderful!

I am in favor of whatever we can do to make it into an attention-grabbing standout having that "wow" impact... let me know of any ideas you think might help make it stand out. I will try to do my best to add them, if possible.

Thanks! Have a wonderful and completely relaxing weekend! Susan

Sample page in flipbook

Sample page in flipbook

Update

Hello Friends of Ivy,

I wanted to do a quick post since I haven't talked to you lately. The hired video crew is in full swing with filming and compiling the various segments for the video. The workmanship is excellent. (No wonder he is in demand). Once it is completed, I know you are going to enjoy it.

EveningComfortbyScovilsmNow, I would like to let you know I was contacted by the Editor-in-Chief of Romantic Vintage Magazine (yea, clap, clap) wanting to include the return of Ivy & Innocence in their premier edition, set to release September 1st. While answering the questions for the article, gathering the necessary information and compiling images, brought me to discuss a very old booklet I will always cherish (I found it years ago while searching area antique markets for treasure). It had a huge impact on me and pretty much set the vintage appearance for Ivy & Innocence. I tell you all about it in the article (I don't want to spoil it). I will try to send you more information after the article is released. I am thinking that it might become available online, but I am not sure. If you are interested in more information, please feel free to check out their website: RomanticVintageMagazine.com

Next, I have been compiling a great flip book that I hope to use as a marketing tool to generate more interest in Ivy once the advertising campaign gets rolling. It is turning out wonderful (I have attached a few of the pages here). I couldn't be more pleased. Because it is turning out better than I expected, I am thinking that I would like to use this format for the e-storybook offered during the new Kickstart event. Once I am finished with this marketing book, I will certainly send a link to those on my mailing list so you can see how nice it turned out. It will make Ivy's advertising stand out above the rest. A huge help getting noticed. It is taking me some time to create plus writing the articles, but I think it will be well worth the effort. Will post it on the new website once I get it done.

Also, soon, I will be listing some of my early brick items on ebay. I will be personalizing some of the buildings for those of you what would like to have a rare piece from Ivy's very beginning with your name. As most of you know,  the foundation for Ivy & Innocence came from a line of brick cottages and accessory pieces my husband and I were doing so many years ago... we had to leave the brick behind and moved into a whole new venture but over the years, I saved some in order to bequeath my children once they settled down with families of their own.

I am willing to part with most things in order to follow my passion - creating Ivy for the rest of my days would be a joy beyond belief...  which brings me back to you, and everything you are doing to help me bring Ivy back. I am so very grateful, beyond words. I am fully aware that without your grace, and that from above, none of this would be possible. Words cannot express how much it means to me.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart. With such support, I know Ivy will be stronger than ever before.

Warmest Blessings to all, Susan

(So much for a quick post...oops, lol  - but there's so much going on)

Let's Go Climb a Tree!

Let’s Go Climb a Tree!

Susan trimming the treesm

Hello Ivy Friends,

Just wanted to say hi, sending a short note with a small story to tell. I work diligently with Ivy

I was sent a card from my mother (because she is very thoughtful like that) with images she snapped a few years ago of me trimming some branches away from the wires to our house. She also sent an article about climbing trees (article is here: http://www.newser.com/story/210569/stu…

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Let's Go Climb a Tree!

susan-trimming-the-treesm1.jpg

Hello Ivy Friends, Just wanted to say hi, sending a short note with a small story to tell while dedicated, diligently working on Ivy's return.

I was sent a card from my mother (because she is very thoughtful like that) with images she snapped a few years ago of me trimming some branches away from the wires to our house. She also sent an article about climbing trees (article is here: http://www.newser.com/story/210569/study-climbing-a-tree-is-good-for-your-brain.html).

I have loved climbing trees all my life. I have a fondness for trees. Have you noticed, no two are ever alike? They fascinate me. Last month, several studies were released how climbing is good for the brain, improving cognitive skills, increasing your working memory, etc...

I climb because while amongst the tree's branches, I feel closer to my inner balance, it's so peaceful to me, not to mention, watching the birds and squirrels (I got a squirrel to eat from my hand once, so cool) and the wonderful view.

But, I haven't climbed lately. I am thinking I should...

Just last week, after getting home from work, I went out to close a window in the studio because it was starting to rain. It took me three days, no maybe four, to find where I put my car keys which I eventually found in my jacket pocket because I didn't want to lose them. lol

So, now I know.

I need to climb more trees.  :)

Susan

Susan trimming the treeFeatured image

A Morning Walk with Life's Important Lessons

Life’s Important Lessons

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass... it's learning to dance in the rain.

Morning walks…

This morning early (since we couldn’t take our walk last night due to the rain) I took Buddy, our 11 year old black lab, on his walk. Overcast, I grabbed an umbrella – just in case. Off we went. It started to sprinkle. No problem, I was prepared. I like the rain and it was particularly pleasant listening to the patter of drops, reminding me of my childhood camping trips in the…

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A Morning Walk with Life's Important Lessons

learning-to-dance-2015.jpg

This morning early, since we couldn't take our walk last night due to the rain, I took Buddy, our 11 year old black lab (pictured above), on his walk. Overcast, I grabbed an umbrella - just in case. Off we went. It started to sprinkle. No problem, I was prepared. I like the rain and it was particularly pleasant listening to the patter of drops, reminding me of my childhood camping trips in the tent. Naturally, the furthest point away from home it began to rain. Under the canopy, my vision was impaired and the overgrown, neighborhood tree branches hung low due to the extra weight of the water.

When an umbrella hits a tree branch, I can tell you, the tree branch will win... every time. Also, it yanks the umbrella backwards, usually with a force and, depending on how fast you are traveling, can pull it out of your hands.

Did you know that a branch with many leaves can hold a tremendous amount of water?

Trust me, it can.

I made it home, dripping.

I close the umbrella thinking I probably would have been better off without it and the dog shakes.

Mornings are wonderful.  :)

In a few days I turn, well, let’s just say I add another year to my rising tally. I have learned so many things that I feel are extremely valuable to create a happy life. Right now, for instance, my warm cup of tea under my towel is especially gratifying. (It's these little things in life that make me happy.)

I read uplifting things because I try to add joy to my life from the moment I wake. I am thinking perhaps you might feel the same way. And after my invigorating walk, I read an article that I wanted to share… I plucked out the highlights and added some commentary but, if you want to read the entire article – you can do so here: http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2015/01/02/10-most-important-life-lessons-master-your-30s)

Important Life Lessons To Master

Number 1: Start saving money for retirement now, not later. Okay, this one I think is a struggle for most of us. Not because we don’t want to or need to or realize the importance of doing so - it's just we would if we could. Right? It is the simple fact there isn't anything extra to put away. Making ends meet is our first priority - a situation I know most families are in today. We live a simple existence. I am thankful for everything I have. My needs are few. I trust with a peaceful knowing that one day we will be in a position to prepare for retirement, but that day hasn’t arrived. I hope you have. If no, do so when you can. It is important. Moving on...

Number 2: Take care of yourself. Health is irreplaceable. Don’t take it for granted. Eat healthy and exercise. I try to eat healthy and I should exercise more. I walk the dog (affirmation above, *chuckle*). But that's about it. I need to take better care of myself. How about you? Do you drink plenty of water? I read drinking a warm cup of water with lemon and 1tsp of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar in the morning sets up the day with good digestion, boosts your metabolism and will help your liver. Plus it's extremely hydrating and alkalizing. Sounds good. I can do that. (Not sure it will taste good) Nope, it doesn't - heading for a few walnuts.

Number 3: Don’t spend time with people who don’t treat you well. Time is so valuable. We only have a precious amount. It is limited and there is so much to do. Avoid those that bring you down or are negative to your spirit. Surround yourself with people that make you a better version of yourself. They bring out the best parts and accepts you. There’s no reason to waste time with people who don’t advance your life’s journey to find happiness. So true. I am extremely thankful for the extra time I have been granted to share with wonderful people.

Number 4: Be good to those you care about. Be there for those that matter to you. Support them. Do what you feel brings value to their lives. Just being there for them, sharing life is so important because special moments happen only once, then lost forever. How you spend your time will affect your life and theirs. Appreciate those who you love because one day they will be gone. Have no regrets. Make moments count. (Nothing more to comment about this, it's perfect.)

Number 5: You can’t have everything; focus on doing a few things well. Focus on primary strengths and maximize them over the course of lifetime rather than doing many other things poorly. You can get more things done if you focus on one thing and do it really well. Don’t get distracted. Make it happen. Take action. Live with purpose. Be Grateful. I agree, although, I am distracted at times (kids you know, but, in my defense, see #4) and I do get right back on track!

Number 6: Don’t be afraid of taking risks, be flexible with life changes. Don’t be afraid of taking risks. It’s never too late. Don’t look back and say “My biggest regret is the things I did not do.” Live your life, do not let it dictate to you. Fear less, jump in, do what you love to do. Try, try, try and try again. Then dance because whether you succeed or not… you are living, doing something so many fear. Follow your dreams, live, try, dance. AND sing - being off key really doesn’t matter… (well, it might to others nearby).

Number 7: Continue to grow and develop One of your goals should be to never stop learning. Try to become a better person, partner, parent and friend. Exercise your brain, your mind is a beautiful thing. Feed it and evolve your thinking. Be open minded. Learning is so enjoyable. Take care of your mental and physical health and you will be light-years ahead of the pack. Read what inspires you.

Number 8: Nobody really knows what they’re doing This is good news, don't you think? Everyone is really the same. What you think is important now might be unimportant later. We will all go through times that are really sad because our hearts are huge and giving. Sorrow is part of life and it does make you stronger. Be kind because we all venture through tough times and stumble. Let’s help each other up because, arm in arm, we can make life’s journey so memorable. Make a list of something you need to do... three big things and three small. Scratch them off the list when you get them done. Then add three more. Surprising how much you can get done doing this.

Number 9: Family is worth it! Make the effort. Bury the hatchet. Take the high road and do everything to make your family relationships enjoyable. Appreciate those you love. Tell them how much they mean to you because one day you might not be able to and then, almost always, you will regret it.

Number 10: Respect Yourself Be kind to yourself. Life is hard enough so love and accept what you see in the mirror because there is only one you. You are so special. A one-of-a-kind, warts and all. Focus on what’s inside, your soul. Take whatever it is that makes you tick and embrace it. Relax. Accept that things happen. Good or bad, they just do. Deal with it the best way you can then let it go. It’s a part of life. It means you are alive. Celebrate life… and DANCE!

Happy Sunday everyone. It's another beautiful day!

Susan

Great Week Update

Hope and Maggie arrive at their new home in Cindy's loving hands.

Hello all Friends of Ivy,

I wanted to write and let you know about everything that happened this week. It was a productive week and very exciting. Several things happened.

First I wanted to let you know that “Hope & Maggie” arrived safely at her new home. Cindy (pictured with her beautiful smile) nestled Hope and Maggie into her Ivy collection, making them feel right at home.

I do plan…

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Great Week Update

cindy-e1438992959535.jpg

Hello all Friends of Ivy, I wanted to write and let you know about everything that happened this week. It was a productive week and very exciting. Several things happened.

First I wanted to let you know that "Hope & Maggie" arrived safely at her new home. Lovely Cindy (pictured with her beautiful smile) nestled Hope and Maggie into her impressive Ivy collection, making them feel right at home. It took Cindy a long time to create her Ivy Village, spanning several years and has been a dedicated supporter from my early Ivy days, as I know are several others. You all are wonderful.

I am so thankful that you continued believing in Ivy while I was searching for a way back. Life has so many curve balls but I know anything special in life is worth the sacrifice. You were there for me and now I am here for you. I think once you become a part of the Ivy Community, you are supporting the deeper Ivy values, those which inspire us to do more than what we thought was possible. That's what family is all about.

Everyone has been so supportive that I wish to do all I can. Once the kickstarter project is successful (notice the optimism), I would like to do something extra for those who pledged. Everyone who helped make Ivy's return a reality I hope to reward with something special along with my deepest gratitude.

I do plan on offering more rare hand-painted Ivy originals. I will paint every chance I get to complete others. This will help not only with funding the relaunch but, also, get exposure on ebay to locate more wonderful Friends of Ivy.

Next, the new Kickstarter Storybook website was approved this week and it can go live once the video is completed. Although, I do want to advertise on Facebook plus some marketing prior to launch. I feel getting the word out is so crucial to its success. This will be my next focus - hitting some blogging sites and media outlets. Speaking of which...

I would love your input if anyone has additional thoughts and strategies. Perhaps you know someone that has a nice blog that their followers might be interested in Ivy. I admit, my social platform is still young, although, I am growing my Ivy vine  :)  and any connections you have or can think of would be appreciated.

Last night, the first stage of filming the Ivy video commenced!  I told Andy, the one with the huge camera, he was the first person that stepped a foot into my studio who wasn't a family member or a friend.

Usually, when I am there, I can tune everything out. It is where I focus solely on my artwork and I can disappear, so-to-speak. No phones, no computer, no connection to the outside world. I walk down the narrow brick walk to my little studio sanctuary where I find peace and create, listening to the cicadas and birds. But yesterday my quiet place was filled with lights and cords and a huge camera that was hard to tune out.

Andy said I did well despite my lack of sleep and nervousness which produced a lot of retakes and flubs... lots and lots, closer to tons. And (a little bird told me) some of these will be included at the end of the kickstarter video. (*GLUP*) They plan to show my human side, blunders and all.

Without a doubt I can tell you, I am a very down to earth, googly-eyed artist, about as human as a person can get...a huge thanks goes out to Mom!  :)  (*GRIN*)

Theres nothing more to say.

Have a great evening with Sweet Ivy Dreams!

Susan

A Happy Home

Sunflower - Copy

Yesterday, the little Girl and Puppy was adopted and officially named “Hope and Maggie”. She is the first piece in the “Return to Ivy” adventure and the first Ivy piece painted in my studio after a very, long time. It was like returning home after a very long trip. It was such a good feeling and after painting a bit, it felt like I never left. I am so excited for the opportunity to bring Ivy back…

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A Happy Home

sunflower-copy-e1437314351925.jpg

Yesterday, the little Girl and Puppy was adopted and officially named "Hope and Maggie". She is the first piece in the "Return to Ivy" adventure and the first Ivy piece painted in my studio after a very, long time. It was like returning home after a very long trip. It was such a good feeling and after painting a bit, it felt like I never left. I am so excited for the opportunity to bring Ivy back to life.  :) Tomorrow 'Hope and Maggie' will be sent out on her new adventure, traveling to her new home.

On Tuesday, a filming crew comes to decide where the best place will be shoot the video. You will see my humble home where it all began. Where our boys were raised. Where exactly thirty years ago we purchased this hundred-year-old house on the morning of our wedding day.

Indeed, today was our anniversary and we painted the front porch first and then our bench.

My husband and I have always worked well together. I believe it is because he is the earth, the solid ground beneath me and I am the sky... the hopeful dreamer. We meet in the middle... on the horizon. And, with each sunrise and sunset, I feel so very fortunate for the extra time I have been given and to once again follow my passion.

I find myself waltzing around and singing off key, burning the toast and calling for help to figure out all these fancy remotes... my family rolls their eyes and I simply smile. I know they love me. That's what makes our house a happy home.

Warm Blessings and Sweet Ivy Dreams! Susan

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My journey back to Ivy has truly begun! Thank you!! XO [facebook url="https://www.facebook.com/IvyCommunity/videos/493258334170121/" /] Finished! The first Hand-Painted ‘Return to Ivy’ original item in 2015!

My journey back to Ivy has truly begun! Thank you!! XO

Finished! The First Hand-Painted 'Return to Ivy' Original Item in 2015!

My journey back to Ivy 2015 has truly begun! Thank you!! XO Please consider adopting this piece and visit http://www.ebay.com/itm/-/181813865694 (I really hate parting with her, she turned out very nice and is extremely rare.)  Good luck. https://www.facebook.com/IvyCommunity/videos/493258334170121/

Hello Friends of Ivy,

Wanted to send a few updated pics of my progress with this first piece in not only my return but back in my studio too.

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I did get some of my painting on the camera before the batteries died. Once I begin I need to continue otherwise my paint will dry too quickly because I mix all my colors as I go along. Next time I will have spare batteries on hand, at the ready.  I am learning so many things as I make my comeback.  :)   Such as needing these fancy, googly, magnifying things that I now have to wear to see the intricate details to paint. When my husband brought them home, I chuckled (they look like the eye contraption that jewelers wear)  well, now guess who is wearing them?!? Yes, indeed, humbled I am. And it will be very courageous of me to show these to you… because they are pure silly looking things and catapults me straight into absolute geekyness. No laughing either when you see them in my video. None.

I read this at work today and wanted to share:

It’s your life. Have the courage to do the things that matter the most.

Doesn’t that make you think? I believe courage is doing something that takes you out of your comfort zone but you do it anyway because it matters to you.

So these contraption things definitely take me out of my comfort zone. I would never ever be seen in them, especially in public, but I need them now to paint. I return humbled and geeky because Ivy & Innocence matters so much to me.  :)

How about you?

Update progress Girl with Puppy - Rare Hand Painted Ivy & Innocence Original

Hello Friends of Ivy, Wanted to send a few updated pics of my progress with this first piece in not only my return but back in my studio too.

Updated Pics

Hello Friends of Ivy, Wanted to send a few updated pics of my progress with this first piece in not only my return but back in my studio too.

I did get some of my painting on the camera before the batteries died. Once I begin I need to continue otherwise my paint will dry too quickly because I mix all my colors as I go along. Next time I will have spare batteries on hand, at the ready.  I am learning so many things as I make my comeback.  :)   Such as needing these fancy, googly, magnifying things that I now have to wear to see the intricate details to paint. When my husband brought them home, I chuckled (they look like the eye contraption that jewelers wear)  well, now guess who is wearing them?!? Yes, indeed, humbled I am. And it will be very courageous of me to show these to you... because they are pure silly looking things and catapults me straight into absolute geekyness. No laughing either when you see them in my video. None. (ok, maybe a chuckle... I chuckle at myself - because they remind me of a minion lol )

I read this at work today and wanted to share:

It's your life. Have the courage to do the things that matter the most.

Doesn't that make you think? I believe courage is doing something that takes you out of your comfort zone but you do it anyway because it matters to you.

So these contraption things definitely take me out of my comfort zone. I would never ever be seen in them, especially in public, but I need them now to paint. I return humbled and geeky because Ivy & Innocence matters so much to me.  :)

How about you?

Girl with Puppy

Hello All Ivy Friends,

I have decided to complete this lovely figurine that never made it into Ivy’s production. She is wonderful and is one of two in existence.  I will paint them identical – twins so to speak. I will keep one for my private collection and the other I wish to put up on Ebay. The funds will help minimize the expense of the new kickstarter launch – advertising, video (over $1k) and/or help pay for the studio cleanup (which I am currently armed with my bucket and rags and broom and vacuum and finding wonderful things).

My studio does not have air-conditioning and it tends to resemble a sauna on these warm days in July… and I am used to battling with the dog over the prime spot from the fan’s wind flow, although, I usually let him win.  :)

I will keep you informed and updated when this rare gem is up on ebay. I need to get my studio prepped for the filming of video first.

I can’t not remember where I have ever sold a hand-painted original Ivy piece… I do believe one hand-painted original currently resides in Florida in loving hands but other than that… I can’t recall any others. This will be a first.

Have a wonderful day with sweet Ivy Dreams!

Susan

Girl with Puppy

Hello All Ivy Friends, I have decided to complete this lovely figurine that never made it into Ivy’s production.

Girl with Puppy

Hello All Ivy Friends,

I have decided to complete this lovely figurine that never made it into Ivy's production. She is wonderful and is one of two in existence.  I will paint them identical - twins so to speak. I will keep one for my private collection and the other I wish to put up on Ebay. The funds will help minimize the expense of the new kickstarter launch - advertising, video (over $1k) and/or help pay for the studio cleanup (which I am currently armed with my bucket and rags and broom and vacuum and finding wonderful things).

My studio does not have air-conditioning and it tends to resemble a sauna on these warm days in July... and I am used to battling with the dog over the prime spot from the fan's wind flow, although, I usually let him win.  :)

I will keep you informed and updated when this rare gem is up on ebay. I need to get my studio prepped for the filming of video first.

I can't not remember where I have ever sold a hand-painted original Ivy piece... I do believe one hand-painted original currently resides in Florida in loving hands but other than that... I can't recall any others. This will be a first.

Have a wonderful day with sweet Ivy Dreams!

Susan