Monday, October 13, 2014

inspiration...amazing grace

image: Amazing Grace Bank of America Theatre

This past weekend we were able to see the new musical, Amazing Grace, making it's pre-broadway debut here in Chicago. Amazing Grace is my favorite hymn of all time—by the time it hits the last verse I am always in tears. So I was pretty pumped to see the story of the 18th century author, John Newton, played out on stage. It was such a beautiful story interweaving one man's internal struggle of slavery to self and a nations external struggle around the African slave trade and the rise of the abolitionist movement. The scenes shift from manor house, to boat, to Africa in such a seamless way highlighting the amazing voices of Erin Mackey, Laiona Michelle and Chuck Cooper, bringing tears to my eyes (favorite song, Daybreak). With the only slight glitch, the main character's understudy stepped in at the last minute due to an injury, the play was amazing. Bravo to that guy!

The set was minimal and beautifully done for a smaller theatre stage (once a performance site for Houdini!) they used large antique maps and stitched and tattered sails as backdrops, glowing lanterns, brocade fabric dresses and mahogany furniture...

With all that fresh in my mind, here is an Amazing Grace inspired desk set...

1. These maps have been on my must-buy list for some time now, so I "must-buy" soon! (Municipal Prints)

2. Philosophy always makes such subtly gorgeous scents, I am sure this one is "amazing." (Nordstrom)

3. Benjamin Hubert's Maritime Chair takes design cues from the bow of a boat, also love the various color combinations. (

4. Tiffany 1837 silver compass—to always find your way in style, of course. (Tiffany & Co)

5. Dreaming of travel and the Heritage Leather + Apolis Mason Courier Bag by Apolis.

6. This is such a gorgeous writing desk (escritoire), circa 1715 from Scawby Hall. I love the small drawers marked with the monthly calendar names, see details at 1stdibs (here). Also, this piece is thought to have come from Scawby Hall, here is some information about the manor house (here).

Amazing Grace
by John Newton

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now I'm found.
'Twas blind, but now I see.
'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear
And grace my fears relieved.
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.
When we've been there ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun,
We've no less days to sing God's praise
Then when we first begun.
Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now I'm found.
Was blind, but now I see.