Ever After



Downton Abbey is the sole reason why any laundry ever gets folded around here. Because the only time I allow myself the privilege of watching that splendid show is when I’m folding laundry, I think that, subconsciously, I allow loads and loads of clean clothes to accumulate in baskets just so I can stand for hours at a time folding and watching. I suppose that if I lived in that era, I’d be one of the servants (a laundress?), but I like to envision myself as Lady Grantham, wearing beautiful, tasteful gowns and attending to a variety of worthy causes.

This graceful lifestyle is what I had in mind when the latest beautiful issue of Somerset Life caught my eye at Costco as I headed to the checkout stand. They really know my weakness and they purposely position the magazine rack in the impulse-buy section of the store. I bought the issue because, after all, a $10 magazine at Costco is a like a brass farthing compared to a costly basketful of toilet paper, pork loin and the sample-of-the-day that you don’t really need but that you get suckered into buying anyway. You know what I’m talking about . . . the humus dip that your kids insist they love in the store but turn their noses up as soon as you get the 3-pound-refrigerator-hogging container home. Anyway, I was immediately drawn in by an article about an artist named Heather Sleightholm, aka “Audrey Eclectic.” I fell in love with her work and, while sitting in the food court as Tad scarfed a hot dog, I pulled her information up on-line from my phone because I was so excited that I couldn’t even wait to get home to a real computer.  When I discovered that she did affordable commission work, the wheels in my head started spinning. When I showed Bryan her work and he was equally impressed with it, we started the process to get our family portrait done. Goodbye humble laundress, hello Lady Tolbert.

I am picky. I am opinionated. I am very detail oriented. Heather is PATIENT. Heather is TALENTED. Heather is AMAZING to work with. I really can’t say enough good about that woman. The process of information exchange went FLAWLESSLY, and I couldn’t be more pleased with the end result. Well, actually if Fedex hadn’t beat the packaging to HECK and broken the wood frame that the canvas is stretched to, I would have been a wee bit more pleased, but it’s nothing that can’t be fixed by a competent frame shop (and hopefully paid for by Fedex).

We all LOVE our large 30 inch x 40 inch painting and I plan on having it hang above our fireplace until the day I die. And then I hope that my kids show a little more decorum than Lady Grantham’s spoiled children and amicably decide some time-share system to rotate the heirloom from home-to-home in a fair manner.


  • Comment by Dana — August 11, 2012 @ 5:03 pm

    Dying over this painting! I want one!

  • Comment by Heather — August 11, 2012 @ 9:20 pm

    You are so sweet! Thank you so much for your kind words here, I appreciate it so much! And I love the idea that you were at the store, picked up the magazine, saw my art, and got in touch. And it all came together to make this painting! That is so fabulous!

    I hope you and your family get many many years of enjoyment out of this piece, it was a joy to make. Thanks for coming up with this great idea! I love Downton Abbey so much too, hehe. I made my husband go to Best Buy and buy season 2 for me on Valentines Day and then we sat and watched it that evening….luckily, he likes it too!

    Im so glad you all like the painting and that I could make something special for your home.
    Thanks again!~

  • Comment by Gillian — August 11, 2012 @ 10:25 pm

    I can’t wait to see it in person!!

  • Comment by Heidi — August 16, 2012 @ 10:49 pm

    I too love the picture! I showed it too Jesse and he is still trying to find the resemblance. Men!!! I love Heather’s artwork, especially the Anne of Green Gable’s pieces. Kerrinda & I were just talking about that when we were in CA. We used to watch the videos, not DVD’s, when our hubbies were in their night classes at CSFU. She is Diana and I am the red-headed snippet. Her birthday is in April and I would love to get a print for her. Great job Lori & Heather!

  • Comment by Mar~ — August 17, 2012 @ 11:28 pm

    I love it! And I can just see it above the mantel! It’s an awesome piece. Really cool and original!

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