Gargoyles. Stone creatures created for the practical purposes of directing water away from the masonry of buildings in architecture and possess the psychological purposes, from what I’ve read, as both guardians of the building they are situated on, or reminders of evil and the reason you need the church to protect you in medieval times. I’ve always preferred the idea that they are protectors, though I’m not sure what they are protecting, me or something else? Sometimes they are portrayed as dragons, so maybe they protect the dragon’s treasure hoard?
Whatever it is they do my husband has fallen in love with them. He collects gargoyles and while we haven’t purchased a new one in awhile, he does have a decent collection of them.
Before we had kids but after we were married my husband was notified he would be deployed to Iraq. We did a lot of preparation; the usual kind that goes along with a deployment, and one of my requests was that he box up all those gargoyles because I didn’t want to look at them while he was gone. This caught him a bit off guard, but he did as I requested because I was the one who had to stay in this house for the next 15 months, not him.
Right now I bet you’re thinking I’m sort of a snotty (or worse) person for making this request. Why couldn’t I have just removed them myself, or why not leave them alone. I know, it sounds bad, but it all played into the mindset I needed to put my husband in because even before he left for his deployment I was planning something and I wanted to throw him off the scent.
I don’t remember how long I waited, but after he was gone for some time I finally told him I was giving our bedroom a makeover. I rhapsodized about how beautiful the room would be when I finished the pale yellow and lavender border which included the most realistic iris pattern he’d ever seen! I didn’t want to give too much away, so I wouldn’t give him any more details, but I was sure he’d love it.
The confidence in the project was perfectly portrayed and the tone of worry and doubt was obvious in his responses, though like the fantastic husband he is he did his best to show signs of support and feigned excitement over seeing the finished project.
Behind the scenes the rest of the military families knew what I was really up to and they were quite entertained by it, because a good sense of humor is a great thing to have when dealing with a deployment. The reality of the situation is that I was really giving the bedroom a makeover, just not in the floral design I was so enthusiastic about. Instead I was combining our personalities into a new look for the bedroom and the stars of the show were his gargoyles, along with my love for Siamese cats. I used their coloring as inspiration for the walls and bedding.
A friend of mine built some shelves to go over our night stands, another friend helped me paint. In the end it turned out perfectly! The highlight of the room was a photograph of a gargoyle on the Notre Dame Cathedral looking over Paris.
We found this photograph a few years prior at a huge arts and crafts event. A photographer was there with several of his images and my husband fell in love with this one. Being young and poor there was no way we could afford this photograph so he moved on, but I saved that guy’s business card the whole time and my husband had no clue. I knew I’d get that piece for him someday, and that someday came when he deployed.
Once the walls were painted and the shelves were up my brother in law came over and helped me hang this picture over our bed, then I started putting up my husband’s gargoyles, as well as a few new one’s I found to add to his collection.
See, I’m not as horrible as I first came off to be, right?
Here’s some of his gargoyle collection, as well as a few other stone creatures we’ve fallen in love with over the years.
Somewhere along the lines he received this Gargoyle piggy bank.
Oh, and don’t forget the see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil trio.
He even has a stuffed gargoyle in his collection.
One of the new things I bought for him was a tic tac toe board with magnetic gargoyles. The kids love playing on this one.
I also got creative with our wedding picture. I worked with a local framer to pick out the perfect frame and mat that tied into our new bedroom theme. I think this speaks well for both gargoyles and siamese cats. Who knew these two concepts would work so well together.
Oh, and speaking of our wedding, I also have the pewter wine glasses we received as a gift displayed as well. I’m pretty sure they were display only, we’ve never used them and I never plan to!
Sadly over the years we’ve lost a few of our favorite pieces. The gargoyle hourglass was my favorite, but met it’s demise when the cat decided he didn’t like it and shoved it off the dresser. The gargoyle clock we still have, however it no longer tells time since the kids found it and twisted the hands til they fell off. I’m pretty sure we can fix it, but I’m not 100% sure on that. Fingers crossed!
This post doesn’t show the entirety of his collection either. He has several dragon gargoyles and other stone figures I didn’t post. One of my favorites is our garden gargoyle. He’s been the protector of our garden for several years now.
Oh, and I’m sure you’re wondering what my husband thought of the bedroom makeover.
He loved it. He was extremely relieved my original floral design wasn’t the real focus and he enjoyed his new gargoyle collection display.
Do you have a fun collection displayed in your house? I’d love to hear more about it and how you display it in the comments below.