A Special Delivery

This is turning into a busy week. My main desktop computer was rebuilt and got a brand new hard drive. I picked it up yesterday and it’s wicked fast! So happy to have that done and to have my computer back!

I’ll be getting a quote this week on having part of my backyard fence rebuilt and the hall/basement staircase door is being replaced again on Friday. The deck cleaning, staining, and rail painting is scheduled to start in a couple of weeks. That was the earliest date they had available.

So, you know how I’ve been on a tear around here, getting a lot of small projects checked off the old to-do list. One project I completed on Friday was having a locksmith come out and take a look at my front door lock, it had become very difficult to get a key into the lock to open it when outside. It’s rarely used, so I wasn’t sure why it had become so ornery. (View this autumn porch here: Porch Decorated for Fall)

Autumn Porch Decorated with Pumpkin Topiaries


The locksmith said that humidity can cause a lock to get corroded and rusted inside, especially one that isn’t used a lot. He told me about something that I thought you might find helpful, as well.

He said to never use graphite (like so many folks do) when a door lock becomes stubborn, adding that all it does is make a big mess. He said the best thing to use is Lithium Grease. Regular WD-40 will do the trick, but Lithium Grease is better. He used the little straw-like thing that typically comes with that type product to get the grease down inside the lock. It certainly worked well on my front door. In no time at all he had the lock working as smoothly as the day it was installed.

I ordered some Lithium Grease to keep on hand, in case I run into this issue again. You’ll find it available here:  Lithium Grease .

A Special Delivery

Today I got a big surprise! As I was walking through the entry on the way upstairs, I glanced out the window and saw a really big box on the front porch. A couple of weeks ago I ordered a Darjeeling Limited Safari Bag from Very Troubled Child.

When I checked tracking this morning, the bag had made its way from Hong Kong and through customs, arriving in Atlanta early this morning around 5 AM. Usually when a package is being delivered from someplace where it has to pass through the main post office in Atlanta, it doesn’t normally show up at my house until the following day. So I was amazed to see it on the front porch.

Belleck Pottery Delivery


I brought it in and nervously opened it. When I ordered the bag, I had it monogrammed since that’s just what you do with a Darjeeling Limited bag. lol If you’ve seen the movie, you know what I mean. The luggage set in the movie (made for the movie by Louis Vuitton) is all monogrammed.

Anyway, I was a little nervous opening the box, worried that the bag wouldn’t live up to my expectations and all the photos I had seen online. I wondered how the monogram had turned out. Do you ever do that, feel anxious opening a much-anticipated package?

Belleck Pottery Delivered


Well, I was in for a big surprise! The box did not contain a monogrammed safari bag at all! Instead, it was filled with Belleek Pottery, the pieces I had purchased/ordered the day we toured the Belleek Pottery Factory  in County Fermanagh, Ireland. Belleek had said it would take six-eight weeks to arrive, and it has only been around four, so I was not expecting anything for at least a couple more weeks.

Belleck Pottery Lamp and Pottery


Let’s open them and see what’s inside!

Belleek Pottery


The item I ordered and was most excited about was the castle lamp. The tour I took in Ireland was the Deluxe Castle Tour, thus named because each night we stayed in either a castle or a manor home. When I saw the castle lamp in Belleek Pottery, I knew it was the perfect souvenir for the trip.

Belleek Pottery Castle Lamp


It was dark outside when I took these pictures, but hopefully they will give you an idea of how the lamp looks on my desk.

Belleek Castle Lamp base


It was bugging me that when I’m sitting at my desk, I can’t see the top of the castle. So I ordered a couple of harps that are slightly taller than the one that’s currently on the lamp. I’m hoping I can raise the shade just enough to see the top of the castle, but without showing the mechanics of the lamp, if you know what I mean.

Belleek Pottery Castle Lamp


Here’s the back view which sadly won’t be seen since it will be facing windows.

Back of Belleek Pottery Castle Lamp


Ummm, not so sure about this little finial. I think the lamp needs something a bit more castle-like. lol I looked online for a shamrock finial and found one, but it didn’t excite me. It was kinda boring. Next, I searched for a “castle” finial. No luck.

I also looked for a knight, dragon and crown finial. I found a knight finial on eBay that I loved and would be so perfect, but it was $125! Yikes! I found a dragon finial that I may order.

Finial on Belleek Pottery Castle Lamp


One of the other two items I ordered was this tall vase that I’ve currently filled with limelight hydrangea blossoms that had naturally dried in a pitcher. After touring the factory and seeing how a Belleek Pottery piece is still hand-made from start to finish, I so appreciate the work that goes into each piece.

Belleek Pottery Shamrock Vase


This little card was tucked inside the box with each piece. It explains more about the wonderful tradition behind Belleek Porcelain.

Belleek Pottery Information


The third item I purchased from Belleck Pottery was this sweet Kylemore Honey Pot. The porcelain feels so delicate, so thin…very unlike the vase and the lamp. I was almost afraid to handle it, so I put it away in one of my glass-front cabinets in the kitchen for safe keeping. It didn’t come with a little honey stick/dipper. I’ll have to find a cute one online for it.

Belleek Pottery Kylemore Honey Pot


Still awaiting the Darjeeling Limited bag, hopefully, it will come today. And I’ll get nervous all over again! lol

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  1. The lamp is adorable; everthing is just beautiful and will give you lovely memories.

  2. All that money for a honey pot and it didn’t come with a dipper? Shame on them.

  3. Love your new Belleek!

  4. Enjoy your Belleek Pottery! The lamp is so beautiful and a wonderful reminder of your trip to Ireland.

  5. You can take your lamp to a lamp shade store and they can add a neck to your lamp so the mechanics won’t show. They have all kinds to choose from. I will send you a picture of some. Hope this helps

  6. Beautiful Items!
    Thanks for sharing them with us!

  7. Good morning Susan, Are you we weren’t separated at birth? LOL I am older and so much enjoy your blog. Sometimes I feel as though I am reading something I wrote and we have the exact same taste. I felt the same nervousness when I purchased my first Cadillac. That feeling disappeared after the first 10 miles. I have ordered a number of things that I was disappointed in and the return procedure was so awful most things just get donated to AMVETS or Lupus. Keep up the great work. You are appreciated.
    Doug Denny, Arlington, VA

    • lol Thanks so much, Doug! So appreciate that!
      I know, that’s the part I always dread. I love companies like Amazon that make returns a breeze. The bag came today, or rather I had to go pick it up (long story on that) and thankfully, it’s perfect! Yay!
      Arlington is such a beautiful area, I bet you’re starting to see some fall color now. It will be a while before that happens here.

  8. Glad the door lock problem was easy to fix! Your new Belleek pieces are so pretty. Love the lamp, vase and honey pot! I love to bring home something from a vacation so I can be reminded about the places I’ve been. I hope the new harps do the trick- I’ve done that before or swapped one from another lamp I’m not using. Cheers to good memories of good times!

    • Thanks, Liz! I think Sandra may be right and it’s really needs a new “neck” or whatever you call that piece that’s just above the body of the lamp. I’m going to take it to my lamp guy tomorrow and have him replace that with a longer one. What’s odd is, I looked at the photo I took of the lamp when I was in their factory store, and it is designed with a longer neck, so the shade is up higher and you can see the top of the castle. I think someone goofed when they put my lamp together.

  9. What wonderful souvenirs you have. All of them are beautiful.
    After having my DNA tested this year and finding out I am more Irish and British than anything else, I am loving all things Ireland and wanting to go back again.

    • Nancy, that’s what happened to me! I’ve always wanted to visit but my DNA results showed I’m more Irish than anything else, although truth be told, I’m pretty much a mutt. lol I have almost as much Scandinavia and Great Britain as I did Ireland in my results.
      You will love Ireland!

  10. Jean from Georgia says

    I know you must be excited to have that pretty lamp arrive all in one piece. Many years ago, 1971 to be exact, my mother went to Ireland and she brought me several pieces of Belleek, along with a wedding veil and 2 lace handkerchiefs (one for me and one for the mother of the groom) made of beautiful Irish lace. My daughter was only a few months old but Mother was already planning her wedding. My Belleek is still as pretty as it was when it was new and I do treasure it. Enjoy!!!

  11. Seeing your Belleek arrive, is such a joy! I have been collecting for many years and have so many pieces, too much to list. I love this china and will never grow tired of it. I hope you enjoy yours as much as I have mine!

  12. Thanks for sharing these treasured souviners from travels The best kind We have found…those we love to see in our home. Beautiful pieces.

    • Thanks, Linda! I met a most interesting traveler on my last trip, the one to Ireland. He is pretty much a professional traveler. Seriously! He’s traveled so much, he actually wrote a book about all the places he’s been! Every night at dinner, folks in our group would asked him a million questions about why he travels, where he’s been, where he’s going next, etc… During one dinner when the topic of souvenirs came up, he said that no matter where he is in his home, he can always see something that he’s brought back from one of his travels. I loved that! What a lovely way to decorate, surrounded by wonderful memories of a life well-lived!

  13. love your lamp!

  14. Cyndi Raines says

    Beautiful treasures which will evoke wonderful memories. I love all of them, especially the lamp! So happy for you!

  15. What a great surprise! I love all 3 pieces, you made excellent choices! If the harps don’t work for the lamp, maybe you can raise the lamp on some books or something a few inches high so that it is more eye level to you when sitting at the desk.

    • Thanks, Charlotte! You and I think alike! After the lamp came, I went on Amazon that night and ordered a book about Irish Castles to place underneath it. I was thinking the exact same thing. Plus, it just seems to need something between it and the desk since the desk is so similar in color.
      Another person (Sandra) suggested adding a taller “neck” and I do think the lamp needs that, too. I noticed in my pics from the trip, the castle lamp in the factory store had a longer neck so the shade was higher up and you can see the top of the castle. So I’ll take it in tomorrow to have that done, but I still like the idea of raising it up a tad with a book. Will have to see how it looks after it gets its new neck.

  16. Oh, your Belleek pieces are beautiful! I bought six teacups and saucers recently from someone who had posted on a local yard sale site. They’re all pretty but one of them (the reason I bought them) is Belleek! It is so beautiful! It’s so thin and translucent I’m like you, I’m putting it in a very safe place. There were several other nice sets but the Belleek was the prize. I appreciate it even more since I read your posts about touring the factory.

    • It is amazingly thin! Kind of scared me when I held the honey pot. Amazing that it survived shipping from Ireland. It was padded very well inside it’s individual box. They definitely know how to pack the things you order!

      Joy, In case you’re interested, I read that Belleck is called Parian ware because of its luminous, white ceramic glaze. It’s a form of bisque porcelain and the name Parian comes from a Greek island (Paros) that’s know for fine white marble. It really feels and looks so different from most porcelain…very pretty!

  17. I need to apply your lock tip to my car door–the driver’s door is OK, but the others are difficult, so that makes sense now. Lovely treasures from Ireland, and all usable. Dried limelights–sigh!

    • Thanks, Mia! There was still water in the bottom of the pitcher they were in and some of the stems were wet, but all dried now. I think the trick is to pick them right before they would probably die on the bush…not too early like you had mentioned before.

  18. Susan, you can find a beautiful, hand-made honey dip stick at https://www.poldersoldworldmarket.com/

    I have ordered several of their hand made (Dreamware) items and am never disappointed. A special honey pot deserves a special dipper!

  19. Elizabeth Roderick says

    What a wonderful surprise! I know you will love all those beautiful pieces.
    Thank you for the lock information too.

  20. What a pleasant surprise. The pieces are beautiful. You might want to consider placing the lamp on a rosewood stand rather than raising the shade. Enjoy your posts so much.

  21. Such lovely reminders of a dream vacation.

  22. Oh Susan, I love, love, love the new Belleck pieces. So beautiful. The castle lamp is a perfect souvenir for our Ireland Castle trek. The lampshade was packed so nicely it didn’t even wiggle around and get crushed. Amazing – I wish I could travel 5000miles and arrive in perfect shape.
    The anticipation of scrolling through your pics to see what was inside the box was priceless.
    Thank you for sharing the ride and the helpful tip on WD-40. Always interesting reading your blog.
    What a delightful way to start the day.

    • Thanks, Teresa! I know, I was amazed it fared so well on the trip over. It was sooo much fun traveling across Ireland with you! Looking forward to our next adventure! πŸ™‚

  23. Great post again with hints and suggestions. What a surprise box; that was fun opening. Hopefully, the safari box comes tomorrow as I don’t think you can take getting nervous all over again. LOL Or, maybe you can!!

    • lol It came today, or rather I ended up having to go pick it up since the postal person goofed and took it back with her to the post office in error yesterday. I don’t know if my heart could have stood two big box deliveries in one day! πŸ˜‰

  24. Love your purchases from Ireland. I was thinking about how they all survived the trip from Ireland in one piece, but the first garage cabinets couldn’t make it by land surface in the US. Can’t wait to see your safari box.

    • I know! Sooo true! There was a lot of padding all down inside each box, as well…so things were pretty protected. I was a little worried about the shade when I saw one of the boxes was down inside of it, but I guess the plastic that was around the shade protected it well enough.
      Thanks, Myrna…that bag came today and I absolutely do love it! It makes me want to travel, as if I needed any help with that! lol

  25. Blarney Woolen Mills is having a sale on personalized Belleek Christmas ornaments. You might give them a look.

  26. Oh, I forgot! They have Belleek personalized mugs as well.

  27. For Pete’s Sake…I’M MELTING and they aren’t even mine!! You just placed everyTHING perfectly. What a pick-me-up!! Waiting for finial surprise…franki

  28. Love your new pieces, and they arrived safely!!! The vase with hydra fits perfectly in your dinette, love the colors……

  29. Susan, how fun is that!?! A double surprise! You crack me up…always. I love details like you and will keep my eye open for a finial for you.
    Unrelated question: I want to change the façade on our house from a 1973 Colonial to a European/French look painting the half wall brick front white, curving the front entry roof and changing the full length porch overhang, a nice color cement board siding, unique designed shutters in navy or other color, maybe a partial metal roof for detail, etc. I cannot find any specifics for this transformation on Pinterest or other web site. Any suggestions!?!

  30. Susan, Wallace Napoleon Bee has a honey server. I know you have the flatware as I have seen it in your table settings. I love the Belleek!

  31. How exciting, Susan! I love to get packages even when they just come from Amazon! I love the little honey pot. And all the other pieces are wonderful, too and look very good on your porch and in your office. By the way, my mailbox lock had become practically impossible to open. We have metal cluster boxes at strategic places in our alleys near our garages and they get a lot of “weather”. I used regular WD-40, and that worked like a charm, too. I couldn’t believe it. It was so bad, I thought I would have to call USPS and have a new lock installed, but it is as good as new, so if any of your readers just have the regular WD-40, that might work on door locks, too. Thanks for the interesting blog!

    • Yep, I remember the locksmith said it would work, too, they are actually made by the same company The locksmith said Lithium Grease is just a lot thicker and so it lasts longer than WD-40, but he did say that WD-40 would work too if LG wasn’t available. What would we do without WD-40…I’ve been hearing about it my whole life. lol

      • Oh, thanks for the tip on the Lithium Grease being thicker. It wouldn’t hurt to have some of that on hand! Yes, I know, my Dad . . . anything that was stuck or didn’t work . . . “go get the WD-40!” lol

  32. Sandra D, Joliet says

    I love your pieces! I also love Tupelo honey because it doesn’t crystallize ( I think the Black Tupelo honey does but I’m not sure). I order mine from Savannah Bee Company and I bought their honey drizzler instead of the run of the mill honey dripper, I love the honeycomb design. They have the dripper also for less than $ 3.00 so you might check it out too. I’m not affiliated with them in any way except I do love the Tupelo and some of their gift items. Delete this if it’s not allowed. https://savannahbee.com/honey-drizzler

    • Oh, I need to buy some then because I can never seem to use honey up before that happens! Wonder how come it doesn’t do that…so interesting! I like that honey drizzler!

  33. All the pieces will remind you of your wonderful adventures in Ireland!! Just lovely reminders for your eyes to behold.! Thank you for sharing…

  34. Well, I am so sad to tell you that I will never be able to visit you again. It breaks my heart to say this but if I come visit you, that dang honey pot is going home with me!!!! And then we will never be friends again. Just saying!!!

  35. I love the castle lamp and the vase. I agree that it needs a different finial. That one just isn’t “castle like”. A dragon finial would be a hoot!

  36. What beautiful pieces Susan…and yes, have to agree on the shade hiding some of the lamp…you come up with the best solutions and your “investigating/research work” also greatly benefits us! Can’t wait to see the bag that you ordered…Sounds like you have lots of projects ahead!

  37. So pretty, lamp. I love trip reminders like that. I am voting for the dragon, love them. We have an aged copper (so its blue green) dragon windmill on our roof, everyone loves.

  38. I love the pottery pieces from Ireland and can trace relatives back to Donagel, Ireland (!) but wondered what pattern you have for the fruit plates it is sitting on. Those are so pretty!

  39. Carol Matthews says

    Hi Susan! My family visited Ireland in October 2017 – we were on a small group Castle tour too, just our family of 6 in a 9 seater bus. We traveled from Dublin west across the country to Clifton, then down the coast to Galway Bay, turning inland to Kilkenny, then back to Dublin. It was lovely. I brought back a linen table runner embroidered with shamrocks – and this was before I started tablescaping!
    Thanks for all your inspiration!

  40. Susan, my lamps arrived from my Ireland trip and like yours the shade sits too low. What size harp did you replace with? Also, did you raise the post? I apologize for not finding your post on this information.

  41. Nancy Bednar says

    Hello Susan,
    Based mostly on your wonderful posts and pictures, I also purchased the Castle Lamp when I was on the Castle Tour that you also took. Sadly it arrived with a bent fitting (where the bulb goes in). Belleek customer service said they would cover a visit to a lamp repair shop.

    While there I want to get a taller harp and swap out the yellow cord for a clear one like you did. I’ve searched in vain for the size and type of shade you also changed. Would you be kind enough to send me that link or email me with what to look for?

    I’d love to get my lovely lamp up and back to the lamp shop so I can enjoy it for the holidays.

    Many thanks in advance.

    Nancy B

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