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Artist and art historian Giorgio Vasari once said: “Anyone who has seen Michelangelo’s David has no need to see anything else by another sculptor, living or dead.”

I absolutely agree with this 110%. David is one of the most finely sculpted statues in the world, and a personal favourite of this artist. And when I first laid eyes on a magazine ad featuring the beautiful Design Toscano desktop-size replica David statue back in 2005, I knew that I had to have him.

Someday…

Fast-forward 11 years to a day last fall — I saw it listed on Amazon at a price I could afford. It was still a splurge, but one that I was more than happy to make.

The Design Toscano Twitter account was nice enough to reply:

Fast-forward again to January 30, 2017. I spied this on Design Toscano’s Twitter page:

Remembering my newly-acquired David statue, my interest was piqued! $200? I don’t know if any of you are familiar with Design Toscano’s products, but wow, they carry the most beautiful stuff!

And much to my delight, when I inquired whether or not this contest was open to Canadian residents as well, the answer was affirmative! (You’d be surprised at how many US-based contests are NOT open to Canada.)

As I was working on my review, I realized that I actually already had a second Design Toscano product. For Christmas a few years ago, my dad got me this amazing raven sculpture, saying that he thought I had to have it because of my love for everything Edgar Allan Poe.

So that meant I could write two reviews and get an extra entry in the contest. Plus, I took the time to snap the above and below photo for extra extra entries, as per the contest rules.

These were the reviews I submitted:

And then, on the morning of February 9, I woke up to an email that said:
“Congrats and Surprise!! You are Winner of our Write a Review contest!”

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 😍

The main reason I’ve been wanting to write this post is not to brag. It’s because I wanted to say thank you to Design Toscano, and one of their employees, Keli Bord. Keli is the wonderful gal who informed me that I had won the contest, and then subsequently put up with my many questions and emails over the next few weeks. She was so patient, friendly, and extremely helpful.

Shipping to Canada wasn’t based on a “total price” range, where if you spend between “x” and “y” amount, you pay “z” amount of shipping. Rather, it required an actual estimate be calculated before you could complete a purchase. Keli was nice enough to be my personal and direct go-between with the shipping department so that I could make sure my order would still hit below that $200 once the shipping cost had been added — BEFORE I had to actually place the order.

Also a warm thank you to Nancy — the sweet lady who helped me place my order over the phone when a glitch in the ordering system wouldn’t let me use my gift certificate online.

When I called, Nancy answered on the first ring. Can you believe that? In today’s world of incessantly annoying and frustrating automated phone systems, I called Design Toscano and got an actual person, and after only one ring! I’m so impressed with this company, I can’t recommend them enough. They sell beautiful, quality products, and their staff are top notch. Nancy not only helped me place my order, but she was an absolute delight to chat with on the phone. My whole experience with this was, hands down, the best customer service I have ever received.

So to Keli and Nancy, and of course, Design Toscano — thank you again from the bottom of my heart. I never expected I’d win, especially such a generous contest that was so perfect for an artist. I love the four pieces I was able to get with my gift certificate.

And how is this for the Lord looking out for me: My gift certificate was for $200. When Keli first got me my shipping quote, the total cost was going to be $198.70. Then Keli mentioned an upcoming 20% off promotion. That meant a savings of $27.96! So I thought I’d have $30 left over. But then when I placed my order, Nancy gave me a total of $192.94… turns out that because I’m in Canada, I had to pay nearly $25 in taxes, and that isn’t calculated in the shipping quote — only when you place an order! So if Keli hadn’t suggested I wait for the 20% off, and I hadn’t waited (three of my four items were on sale but didn’t specify how long the sale would last, so I was reluctant to wait too long), then when I finally placed my order, I would have been $25 over my $200 certificate amount! But in the end, I still managed to come out of it with a few more dollars left over than I initially thought I would.

I know to some, this may not seem like a big deal. But I think it’s important to recognize and acknowledge God’s blessings when they come. Too many people are expecting a huge lightning strike or something obviously spectacular, when it comes to seeing God’s hand at work. But God’s blessings are all around us! Even in the simplest things. But if we’re too busy being greedy, or spend too much time dwelling on the things that go wrong in life, we’ll miss all the wonderful things the Lord makes possible for us.

Someone might be tempted to be disappointed — after all, I thought that 20% off would mean an extra $30 to spend. But that’s the kind of dangerous, ungrateful greed that we all need to guard ourselves against. Before I knew of the 20% promotion, I was MORE than happy that I was going to be able to get all four items I wanted for the amount of money I had. And in the end, I STILL got my four items for the money I had, so how could I EVER be anything but grateful and happy!

So I’m sure by now, everyone is wondering what the heck I bought with my $200 Design Toscano money! I’ve included the reviews I submitted for each item as they sum up my thoughts on the pieces pretty well. (I figured the least I could do to say ‘thank you’ for my prize was write up reviews for everything!)

The first item I just had to get because of how beautifully I knew it would complement my David statue. This gorgeous classical European-style wall niche.

My review:

Perhaps the item(s) I most looked forward to receiving were the Vatican lions statues.

My review:

The lions and the niche were each in stock when I ordered. The second two items, however, were both back-ordered. The first to arrive was the Leonardo Da Vinci bust. (One of these days I hope to add the matching Michelangelo bust to my collection too!)

My review:

And last but not least, arriving in mid-June was this lovely statue of St. Francis of Assisi, complete with dove, deer, and bunny.

My review:

I honestly could not be more pleased with my incredible Design Toscano haul. This was such a generous contest for the company to put on, and I still can’t believe I won. You can never have too much art on display, and adding these pieces to my studio has provided me with new inspiration to work from, as well as renewed my appreciation for a talent I am unfortunately not blessed with — sculpting.

If you’re looking to add some art to your home, do yourself a favour and check out the wide selection that Design Toscano has to offer. I could easily spend a small fortune shopping their beautiful store, as they offer amazing period-accurate reproduction furniture as well as the small-scale statuary I featured in this post.

I wish I could fill my entire house with this stuff

And if you’re the kind of person who sits back and thinks, “I’ll never win anything,” well, you won’t if you don’t try! You never know what blessings are just around the corner. As James put it, “faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” Faith is putting into practice what you believe, not sitting back and waiting for something to happen out of the blue. If you want something, you have to be willing to put a little effort into making it happen. Even if it’s something as simple as writing an honest, detailed review.

As the old saying goes, “You never know unless you try!”

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