I celebrated my 50th birthday in July and received a very special gift from a very special friend.
"The Beaded Pillow" My friend Susie worked on this pillow for two years before presenting it to me. She lives in Europe and called me while she was on a layover to Amsterdam. "Where did you put the pillow?" First I put it on the little French chair that once belonged another good friend, Stephanie.Then I tried it on the white linen sofa. (Please ignore the unfinished walls, floors and the stack of windows and doors behind the sofa - story of my life) It really brightened up the room. Susie spent a few hundred hours working on this pillow, it is very intricate with hundreds and hundreds of beads. (Click on the photo below for detail) When she gave it to me - she said "Every time I worked on this pillow, I thought of you." She has a heart of gold - always giving - I feel blessed to have her as a friend.
Next - I tried it in the library. Certainly added life to my vintage leather club chairs. One of which used to reside in Susie's house. We were antiquing one day about 15 years ago and spotted these chairs. I dearly wanted them both - but it just wasn't in my budget. Susie said "You buy one and I'll buy the other." She didn't need the chair and it didn't really work with her decor - but she knew that they should not be split up. She held on to the chair for a few months and then said "This chair doesn't work at my house - you should have it." That had been her intention all along.
Even the back of the pillow is beautiful with a silk stripe and confetti trim.
Back on the sofa.................................
But the pillow really belongs on the little French chair. Susie is a world traveler, last week she was in Tunisia next week Thailand, this pillow has been more places than I have. She would take it with her and work on it during long flights and layovers. This delicate chair used to belong to Stephanie's Mother who lived in France. I treasure this petite chair. Jim is a tall drink of water at 6'3" and I can almost look him in the eye when I have heels on - so this pint sized chair doesn't get much use from the two of us. It is however, a perfect spot for the pillow. I wouldn't want to place the pillow where it would receive wear and tear. It is a true work of art and I will always cherish it - the pillow makes me smile every time I see it - and every time I look at that pillow - I think of Susie.
Photography By: Ryannan Bryer de Hickman
Sotto Il Monte Vineyards


  1. I don't blame you for loving this pillow..every little bead says:I care for you..

    I love it..It's not only heartfelt..it is beautiful..

    What a sweet sweet friend..

    Very caring.. But she made it for you..and normally we make something like this for someone we love.. who we feel loved by:)

    Thanks for showing us this perfect pillow..It looks great everywhere..It really does..I find it can be glamorous.. but even not:) That's a total compliment.
    Lucky you.~ Well deserved.. and plse you cannot possibly be 50.

  2. What a stunning pillow. Truly a work of art. Happy Belated Birthday!

    If you get a chance stop by my Blog for a visit and say hi! I just put up a new post...
    Have a great weekend,

  3. Happy Belated Birtday. A gift from the heart. As special as your friendship. Something to cherish.

  4. Wow Ry such a beautiful gift from a beautiful friend. The colours are astonishing, I can understand how your spirits will be lifted each time you look it. I struggle to sew on a button, so I'm in total awe of Susie's talent.
    Millie ^_^

  5. That beautiful beaded pillow is "Fabulicious"...what a great friend...2 Years? Wow...You could show that beauty off anywhere...xoxo~Kathy@ Sweet Up-North Mornings...

  6. What a thoughtful gift. The pillow is gorgeous and behind it are many hours of love and caring for you. How nice to have a long-time friend who doesn't let distance come between the two of you.

  7. So, so beautiful--probably the most beautiful pillow of all.
    I so believe in pouring love into food as I cook, and will use this as inspiration.

  8. Beautiful pillow - as much as the wonderful friend that made it for you. A very nice gift.

  9. Cara Ry,

    The bergère is the perfect place for your lovely regalo cushion. What a lovely story about true friendship. P.S. Enjoyed your post on the wine trail. Beautiful photo - as usual! Bacione, Ingrid in Umbria

  10. What a wonderful story...I so enjoyed the warmth and love as it traveled around your home for its special resting spot. What a treasure your friendship is and the pillow is a beautiful reminder.


  11. Thanks everyone for the lovely comments and birthday wishes!
    You warm my heart!

  12. Your beaded pillow took my breath away! It is absolutely stunning. How blessed you are to have a friend like Susie who dedicated so much time to present you with such a beautiful birthday gift. I, too, turned 50 in July. I also create beaded pillows. I invite you to see mine in my etsy shop.
    Take care and enjoy being 50!


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