A Giraffe in the Library

Happy New Year! I have set myself a goal of blogging at least twice a month since last year was so sparse – we’ll see if I can keep up with it, because I was NOT SUCCESSFUL AT ALL last year. 

For a house as big as ours, the downstairs has a horrible lack of wall space. The Library, which is a pretty maximalist style, has almost no wall space, due to the three double sets of pocket doors, a fireplace, a window, and the bookshelves. There’s ONE CORNER that I can cram artwork and a television in, and cram, I did. 

Once the television and an art piece by my friend Jenn was up, I started thinking about the rest of the space. There’s a local artist in town who has done some murals and art shows in town, and I love his work. His name is Greg Potter, and his art is playful and fun, but also has some traditional elements in the styling. I’ve always loved his work of animals, and reached out to him over instagram ( @des_revolution_studio ) about making a piece for this space in the Library.

I told him because it was a tall and skinny spot,  I felt a  giraffe or an ostrich would be PERFECT. 

I love giraffes, and we actually have a giraffe painting in the Library, painted by Doug’s Grandmother. So when Greg said he thought a giraffe would be amazing, I was on board. 

I really only had one other request. My Master’s Degree is in Conducting, and my father has always joked that my degree is in driving trains. I bought an antique conductor’s hat at an antique store once, and sent pictures of it along to Greg, asking if he could incorporate the hat onto the giraffe. Enthusiastically, he jumped on it!

He sent me a first sketch soon, and this is even cool as is!

The giraffe is more finished in the second picture, just waiting for an outfit to wear. I forget which one of us asked, but the question of “should there be a monocle?” was asked, and I don’t understand how ANYONE COULD SAY NO TO THAT.

I mean, COME ON.

Once the piece was done, Greg worked on making an old frame he had fit the piece. It was antique, though, and it just wouldn’t work without damaging the frame. 

I told Greg it was fine, and I was happy to take it to a local shop to frame. I was so excited to have the piece in my hands!

It’s. Just. So. Perfect.

I went to an art and framing store a few blocks away. They were super familiar with Greg’s work, and agreed that a layered framing of two frames was perfect. Here’s the frame I picked out at Generation Art and Frame 

And here’s when I brought it home. It’s incredible, and I love it so much.


One very special touch that Greg added was the number “14” on the collar. He taught me that railway conductors would wear their train number or logo on their collar, so my giraffe would have our house number. Isn’t that awesome?

Here it is in the library! I’ll do a whole post on this corner (and the television frame we built) soon!

Also, because I am ridiculous, I decided the giraffe NEEDED a name. Here is my VERY SCIENTIFIC PROCESS for naming the giraffe.

I found a list of the most popular baby names from 1902, when the house was built.

I went to the 14th names, in honor of the house number. My choices were Mildred and Willie!

Both excellent choices, but OBVIOUSLY she’s a Mildred. I love the idea of this strong, feisty, suit-wearing giraffe named Mildred driving trains cross country. If I could write a children’s book, this would be it. 

She is perfect, in every way. I am so glad that Greg took this project on, because Mildred delights me in every way when I walk in the room!



  1. What a wonderful story! Love all the background info and beautiful Mildred is not only fun and unique, but it is now part of your family and house history!

  2. Your posts make me smile each time I read a new one. I love your enthusiasm for each new project. Mildred looks wonderful on the library wall and the frame is truly beautiful as well. Thanks for sharing your progress and passion with all of us!

  3. It’s perfect! Love that you supported a local artist and all the details he incorporated. Brava Mildred!

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