Rochelle, Illinois Hotel Meeting Space

Monday, August 31, 2009


Our Rochelle Illinois hotel is connected to Hickory Grove Banquet & Conference Center, which features 10,000 square feet of flexible meeting and event space. Whether you are planning an wedding for 350 guests or a business meeting for 150 associates, or friendly helpful staff will help your meeting be a success!

Stillman Room
4,290 square feet (110 ft x 39 ft) - This spacious, stylish room can accommodate up to 350 people for banquets, receptions, conventions, and gala events.

Independence Room
3,315 square feet (65 ft x 51 ft) - This beautiful room seats up to 150 people for a diversity of meetings, events and group functions.

Baldwin Room
1,170 square feet (26 ft x 45 ft) - This intimate event space can seats up to 70 people.

Garden Room
1,350 square feet (30 ft x 45 ft) - This delightful room seats up to 70 people.

Vineyard Room
500 square feet - This cozy space seats up to 35 people.

Room 215
300 square feet - This room can be configured conference style to accommodate up to 25 people.

Abe’s Private Dining Room
With its sleek black and white décor and rock waterfall, the V.I.P. Room at Abe’s is an intimate dining venue - from corporate events to birthday parties.

Reserve your Rochelle Illinois hotel meeting space by calling the hotel directly at 815-562-5551 or visit us on line at the Comfort Inn & Suites Rochelle web site on our meetings page.

A $2.02 frame from Goodwill.


Big, plastic and brown with a faded print...oh the possibilities.

Add can of satin finish black spray paint,

add a craft sponge,

and a little bit of white acrylic paint.

...and wait until tomorrow to see its transformation.

Brasher Doubloon owner at the center of lawsuit


Do you still remember about the Brasher Doubloon first gold coin made in the United States? The owner of the coin is at the center of lawsuit by Rare coin researcher William Swoger. The co-owners of the Brasher Doubloon, Steven L. Contursi of Laguna Beach, California, President of Rare Coin Wholesalers of Dana Point, California, and Donald H. Kagin, Ph. D., President of Kagin's in Tiburon, California. Plaintiff says the owners of a Brasher Doubloon reneged on a deal to pay him for information that he says shows the coin was the first made under the new U.S. government -- which would boost its value to $10 million. 

picture by:

The Brasher Doubloon is steeped in historic reverence and mystique. It dates to Colonial America and the dawning of the new federal government, when Spanish gold doubloons circulated alongside other foreign gold and silver as part of New World commerce. The coin takes its name from Ephraim Brasher, a respected New York City gold- and silversmith who lived next door to George Washington. In 1787, Brasher began making gold coins, presumably to be used as currency for the soon-to-be-formed republic. 

Seven of them remain and are sanctified as the first truly American gold coins. That fact, along with their distinctively American design and Brasher's friendship with Washington, attached a permanent legacy to the coins. The coins are nearly identical, but one of them is first among equals. And it is that coin, worth $15 when Washington was president but most recently sold for nearly $3 million, that is at the heart of a lawsuit filed in Orange County Superior Court. Rare coin researcher William Swoger says he told the coin's owners that he had "specialized information" about the coin and that they reneged on finalizing a contract to pay him in exchange for the information.

Steve Contursi owner of Brasher Doubloon

Swoger's lawsuit alleges that he approached Kagin and Contursi several months ago and told them the coin was worth much more than they realized. The key, he told them, is that the coin wasn't the first of the seven struck by Brasher beginning in 1787. Contrary to the prevailing view in numismatic circles, Swoger says it was the last, and probably not struck until 1793. That later date is crucial, Swoger says, because this coin was fractionally heavier than the others and made to conform to a 1793 act of Congress that established weight standards for gold coins in the new republic. The other six coins are of identical weight and predate the formation of the new government, he says.

According to the lawsuit, Swoger informed the owners that he had discovered information that would make their coin much more valuable and asked for a $500,000 fee. They countered with $250,000, the suit alleges, and then asked for a meeting at which Swoger would disclose the information. Swoger met with Kagin, explained his thesis and was given a gold coin valued at $35,000 as a down payment, the suit alleges. Swoger alleges Kagin said he and Contursi would prepare a contract but never did. Swoger is suing for millions of dollars in damages.

One side of the rare Brasher Doubloon features an eagle with wings spread, holding an olive branch in one talon and arrows of war in the other. Of the seven existing coins, this is the only one that has "EB" -- the artist's initials -- stamped on the eagle's shield.

One side of the Brasher Doubloon features a sun setting behind mountains and the sea. Of the seven nearly identical coins, six have "EB" stamped on this side.
In an interview, Swoger, who is 65 and lives in Lake Odessa, Mich., said he is confident he can prove the coin was the last in the series and not the first. He declined to provide details. His attorney said an ad in a 1790s New York newspaper spurred Swoger's research about the sequencing of the doubloons. Swoger acknowledged that but said learning the exact weight of the historic doubloon -- that it was slightly heavier than the others in the set -- was what led him to conclude it was struck after the others and linked to the congressional act.

The lawsuit alleges that Swoger's theory would elevate the coin's value to $10 million.

"If I'm wrong and they can prove me wrong," Swoger said, "they owe me no money for the information. If my information is correct, it gives much more importance to Ephraim Brasher himself and his other gold coins, because it gives him a longevity that was not known before."

The lawsuit is an uncommon event in the world of rare-coin collecting, but there's no doubt that the Brasher Doubloon is fertile territory for intrigue.

Source: Los Angeles Times

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Jake has a surprise for Ruby


Jake asks Ruby to come out in front of Mindolton Manor to see his surprise. She throws her arms in the air and gasps. If she could bend her arms and put her hands to her cheeks she would. "Oh Jake, It's beautiful!" she says as he opens the door for her.

"Let me take you for a drive, my darling." says Jake. This is something I have always wanted. A 1959 Cadillac Eldorado convertible. I got a bright red one, just for my Ruby girl."

"Oh Jake, you are wonderful!" Ruby sighs as she puts her head on his shoulder. They drive off into the sunset at the end of another happy day at Mindolton Manor.

I found this wonderful car at the Steadman's store (an old fashioned five and dime complete with lunch counter - although nothing actually costs 5 or 10 cents nowadays) in Gravenhurst, Ontario when I was up at my sister's cottage. I just had to buy it for Jake. I could just see him driving it - tail fins and all. And, I thought, a mansion like Mindolton Manor should have a big fancy car.

It is a 1/12th scale model according to the box, but as you can see Jake's head is way above the top of the dashboard so I don't think it is as accurate as they claim. I hope he doesn't have an accident. He'll loose his head. The doors open and the seats come forward so mini people can get into the back seat. The hood opens and shows a very detailed motor. The trunk contains a white spare tire. I thought it was so much fun.

I actually baulked at the price tag - $20.00 - but figured I would never see a car like this again so decided to buy it. It wasn't until I got to the cash register that I saw the original price sticker on the box - $149.95. Wow, talk about depreciation.

I'm sure Jake and Ruby and the residents of Mindolton will have some great road trips in the future. They have already been to my living room with some of the children. Remember, Mondolton is in my dining room, so that was a journey of about 20 feet.

More Mindolton adventures soon.

Early Morning Insperation Aug 31/09


Aladdin Glass
New Ravenna Mosaics,

The chutney turned out great! but has left me with no time to tell you more about yesterday's insperation and here I am today with another great company I want to gush about!!

Okay, I could not pick just one tile pattern so...

and Branch - Glass
New Ravenna Mosaics

You get 2! All done with glass from the amazing artisans at New me they are artisans..I tried to make mosaics at New Ravenna....not easy!!

Please subscribe as there is more to come about my FAVE tile company!!!!


Tim Irving Photography Giveaway!


Happy Monday everyone! I'm thrilled to announce that the amazingly talented photographer, Tim Irving, has offered to give two Paris Hotel Boutique Journal readers one of his lovely photographs. His beautiful work has been published in The London Times & Time Magazine.

Tim lives and works in the Andalucia region of Spain and also authors a blog by the name of Style Med. It focuses on Mediterranean design and lifestyle. I just adore his work and have blogged about it before.

  • Check out Tim Irving's Etsy shop here, and leave a comment below telling us which photo you would like to receive if you're the lucky winner! There are over 100 images to choose from and they are printed on deep gloss archival paper of museum quality.
  • Anyone can enter -- International readers are more than welcome!
  • 2 winners will be chosen via Random.Org
  • Winners will be selected on Monday, September 7th at 9:00 pm PST and announced on Tuesday's post.
  • Please make sure and include your blog link or email me your contact info so that I can contact you after the giveaway.

Kelantan Kijang Gold Kupang


I just come back from Penang yesterday to collect a bunch of coins from my runner. After meeting him, I walk along jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling and found a man selling a coin. Most of the coins he show are not interesting enough for me. When I about to walk away from him, he take something in his pocket and show me a bunch of old gold coins. One of them is a Kelantan Kijang Gold Kupang. He try to sell it to me for 500 ringgit. The cheap price simply to good to be true. Something that I learn from my coin collecting hunting trip.

I remember from Malaysia numismatic society auction in 2008, the Kelantan Kijang Gold Kupang start the price from 950 ringgit Malaysia. The price can go up to 2 thousand ringgit for a piece of Kelantan Kijang Gold Kupang. When meeting my runner, we talk about the gold coin and he advice me don't buy something you don't know anything about. He also alert me that some fake Straits Settlements coins especially the high price already come into market. One of the coin is in auction by Malaysia numismatic society without everyone realize that it is fake. This fake coins is using the same material, composition, weight, diameter and come without any flaw at all. Some of the coins that he mention are King Edward one dollar 1903B raised, King George V half dollar 1921 dot, King Edward VII 50 cents 1902-1903-1905, Queen Victoria 50 cents 1889-1883.

That guy also selling some Acheh old gold coins for 150 ringgit a piece. Aceh is located at the northern tip of Sumatra, strategically controlling the entrance to the Straits of Malacca. In 1511, the Portuguese seized the important strategic port of Malacca, pushing many Asian and Arabic traders to the developing port of Aceh. Sultan Ali Mughayat Shah became the first ruler of Aceh from 1514.

Different views were given regarding the origin of the Kijang gold coins. One is the view which associates the coins with Che Siti Wan Kembang, a female ruler in Kelantan. Her reign was rather obscure as one historian places her in the 14th century while another puts her in the 17th century. According to local folklore, some Arab traders presented a Kijang to the Queen. She became very fond of her pet and had it inscribed on the gold coins. Another version was linked to the influence of Saivite Hinduism. The connection was based on the fact that the earliest issue of Kijang coins resembled the Indian humped-back bull and the bull motif was depicted on the ancient Hindu coins which were circulated in the Northern Malay States.

Malay states started to use kupang when Acheh trader come here. The use of Kupang Gold Coin was spreading and widely used by the rich people at that time. The word Kupang maybe come from a place in Aceh; kupang. Between 1400 to 1780, a number of gold coins or Kupang were known to be minted for used in Patani and Kelantan. Unfortunately, little is known about the history of Kelantan coinage as these coins were not dated, except for the gold Kupang with the inscription “Al Julus Kelantan”, which were issued after 1780.

The Kelantan-Patani gold coins which were on display in the Malaysia Money Museum were only minted in one denomination, namely a Kupang, which contained approximately 9 grains of gold. There were three types of Kelantan gold coins: the Kijang coins, the Dinar Matahari or Sun coins, and coins with Arabic inscriptions on both sides. The Kijang coins derived their name from the motif of the Malayan barking deer or Kijang embossed as the obverse design. This motif is used as the logo of Bank Negara Malaysia.

Several types of tin pitis, which were cast in the form of “coin trees” were also issued. The tin coin trees were produced by the use of moulds adapted from those used by the Chinese to cast copper coins. The coins were broken off from their branches to be used as cash, and the unused metal of the tree was then re-smelted in the next casting. All issues of Kelantan local coinage were discontinued in 1909 when the Straits Settlements coinage was introduced.

Kelantan Kijang Gold Kupang; Malik Al Adi
Obverse: Hump Bull/Kijang deer facing left. Salivary flow in the mouth with tail rising. A crescent moon and sun above

Reverse : Malik Al Adil (The Just Ruler) in 3 rows and different style.

Source: Bank Negara Money Museum,

What do you think? Is this a fake coin or is this the original Kelantan Kijang Gold Kupang? Do you have any Kelantan Kijang Gold Kupang in your collection. How much do you pay to get your precious possession?

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Viking Silver Coins Discovered on Gotland


The treasure cache consists of silver coins, weighing a total of around 3 kilos. They were discovered by 20-year-old Edvin Svanborg and his 17-year-old brother Arvid, who were working in the grounds of their neighbour, artist Lars Jonsson.

"I just stumbled by chance across an Arab silver coin that was around 1,100 years old," Edvin Svanborg told news agency TT.

Svanborg says he is studying history, and recognized the coin as one that is commonly found on Gotland. He said he had seen pictures of similar coins in the past.

The brothers started looking for more coins, and quickly realised that they had found something very valuable. In quite a small space they found around 1,100 coins and a few bracelets. Most of the treasure was in good condition, although rabbits had left their mark on some of the coins.

This was the first time that the Svanborg brothers had found treasure, although Edvin said he hoped to find more in the future.

"I'm planning to study to become an archaeologist," he said.

The brothers are now likely to get a reward, after handing over the treasure to the authorities. It is so far unclear how much they will receive.

"But that's not the most important thing. The point is finding a treasure trove," Edvin said.

Majvor Östergren at Gotland county administrative board praised the brothers for handing in the treasure.

"They acted in an examplary fashion."

Gotland is an archaeologist's paradise, where there have been discoveries of a large number of Viking treasures. Farmer Björn Engström found the world's largest ever haul of Viking treasure on the north-eastern part of the island a few years ago.

The loot included coins, necklaces and other jewelry, which altogether contained 65 kilos of silver and 20 kilos of bronze. He was given 2.1 million kronor as a reward.
Source: thelocal. se

Congrats - Sweet Baby Girl

Sunday, August 30, 2009


Hello everyone!

Boy, the weekend went by so fast. Too fast! The next one is going to be a long weekend and I am already so looking forward to that one.

I have created this card for a co-worker at the office who just gave birth to a baby girl--beside making the card for the challenges that is, LOL.

For Kellie's Sketch Challenge #2, Kellie has provided this wonderful sketch which I used for the layout of my card.

This card is also for the Cute Card Thursday challenge. Challenge 75 - New Beginnings! This week we want to see your cards for new things in your life/those you baby, new home, new car, new job...whatever new beginning you like.

A third challenge, somewhat similar, is from Stampin' for the Weekend Challenge Blog. The theme for their Challenge 13 - Anything Baby goes!!

And I'm sneaking my card into a fourth challenge at Creative Inspirations Challenge Blog. Their theme is STITCHING. I've sewn real stitches with my sewing machine, and also did some faux stitches around the edge of the circle.

I haven't done too many card with the opening at the bottom --my usual is at the side--but I have done it with this one.

And I've decorated the inside of the card leaving plenty of blank space for the office crew to write their good wishes and sign their names.

Stamps: Magnolia Tilda with Baby, Congrats sentiment from Hampton Arts G Studio, Recollections clear stamps Sweet Baby Girl.

DP's: Chatterbox Scrapbook Walls Rosey Flowering Vine and Loft Bias Plaid. Tools: EK Success border punch and corner punch, Marvy Uchida scallop circle punch, McGill flower punch.

New Booth Space


I have been a busy woman this weekend and I’m excited to share that I have moved into new booth space at Queen of Hearts in Buford, GA. I adore my counter space at Vintage Village, Snellville, but have wanted to expand to a much larger location for some time now. I’m one of those sellers who has to “feel right” about the space. If it doesn’t talk to me, I cannot be convinced to take it. Last weekend, I grabbed my sister and took her to Queen of Hearts as she was looking for a new dining room set. While sis shopped, I was talking with a few of the dealers and before I knew it, they walked me over to a primo space with a great location and at a rent I couldn’t say no to. So, I signed the lease agreement, went to Home Depot and purchased paint to change the existing industrial green to a neutral coastal sand and I was off to the races.

Still lots of room for my things. Have to find some old doors so I can build some door displays.

I'm crazy for globes. Something about the muted blue of the sea maps calls me.

I adore vintage clothing and have been collecting and wearing it for over 2 decades now. This Hugh Hefner type smoking robe is wonderful.

Circa 1960s peignoir set in, smoking robe and a 1930s West Point Military Academy dress jacket with lots of brass.

Lovely Post Civil War settee. Rare Pecan wood. Great Southern piece. Circa 1860s

Bird cage with crows. You can never be too ready for Halloween.

My honey came with me this Sunday to help me unload and set up. It is wonderful to have a partner who enjoys and supports this field. Makes the setup move quickly so you can enjoy working the display of items. After an hour setting things up, we headed back home but not before we decided on a late lunch.

A stop at Ippolito's, one of our favorite Italian restauants and with the best garlic rolls anywhere. Fresh antipasto for two, Fettucine Alfredo for me and Eggplant Parm sandwich for my love. A perfect end to a lovely day and a new venture. Sea Witch

Antique Shopping in Old Towne Orange...


Old Towne Orange is known as "The Antique Capital of California". My first stop was Country Road Antiques, one of the most popular antique shopping destinations in California!

This is one of the most beautiful and elegant vignettes I have ever come across...

These old architectural Capitals are amazing!

I love all the elegant lighting.

Aren't these pieces so beautiful?

Another amazing architectural piece.

This space was so charming!

Enjoying myself shopping...

An old French Mannequin.

I fell in love with this piece. It is part of an antique crib and just had such a charm about it!

A gorgeous Frame filled with a beautiful display of seashells.

My other favorite vignette...

This upholstered Headboard is so gorgeous.

Every where I looked I found more and more gorgeous items. Look at the beautiful Mirror and antique Side Chair!

A truly beautiful antique French settee...

I love the mix of the elegant French pieces and the rustic feel of the architectural salvage items.

A gorgeous antique Cabinet filled with lovely pillows and linens.

The above 9 pictures are from Loretta's space who also has an amazing space in the next antique store that I featured as well. You can also find more of her gorgeous items on her website:

Here I am outside, enjoying their beautiful outdoor garden area.

Another pretty French Mannequin.

I love this buffet! The color, the appliques, everything about it...

A beautiful display of Mercury accessories.

An impressive grouping of Achitectural Salvage pieces.

I have ALWAYS wanted one of these antique daybeds that I am sitting on. Maybe one day!

Look at all the pretty Silver... I love collecting footed bowls, trays and compotes.

Another one of my favorite things to collect are ornate Picture Frames.

Lovely vintage Wicker.

What a pretty display!

I would have loved to buy this piece for my Daughter's bedroom.

An amazing Antique Scale.

I love this Urn...

The selection of Antique and Vintage Mirrors was so vast and so hard for me, I wanted all of them!

Country Roads Antiques and Gardens is located at:

204 West Chapman
Orange, Ca 92866
(714) 532-3041

After visiting Country Road Antiques, I then went to my second favorite antique shop owned by Gregory, It's About Time Antiques Market. His selection of antiques is incredible.

This is such a gorgeous and elegant space. I wanted everything in it!!!
I have a soft spot for antique French Settee's. Their petite size and elegant curves are hard to resist...

What a gorgeous antique Armoire.

Behind this beautiful French Mirror are stacks of lovely Pillows.

A gorgeous antique Headboard and Footboard, along side more gorgeous items...

An incredible antique Italian Cabinet.

This upholstered stool was hard to pass up!

I love, love this French Cabinet!

This is a great piece to look at and appreciate all of the details that went in to antique furniture. The cane work is incredible and the carved details are exquisite.

It's About Time Antiques Market is located at:
131 North Glassel
Orange, CA 92866
(714) 538-7645

I receive a lot of comments and e-mails from people, wanting me to show some of the items that I end up purchasing. My Birthday is next Saturday and usually I don't do much becuase I don't like to make a big deal about it, so today was the day that I celebrated it as far as going out and all I wanted to do was to go antique shopping.
I splurged on the pieces shown below...

I purchased a pair of these gorgeous antique French Demilune Tables.

Aren't they beautiful?

I purchased this pretty French Side Table from K.C. who is in booth 39 at It's About Time Antiques.

I love all the carved details throughout it.

And this last piece, I purchased at Country Road Antiques. I love the shape of the frame.


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