Thursday, July 30, 2009

Why I Love Etsy....

Just look at these creations ---

did you ever imagine you could turn bits of fabric into such little works of art?

I absolutely adore this linen "pear" with charcoal ribbon - and the stamped fleur de lis and crown add the perfect touch of French flair!

Jackie, from Wren's Nest on Etsy, also a fellow blogger that I've come to like to consider a friend (though we've never met) creates these incredible pin cushions that are so pretty that even if you don't sew, you'll love having one (or more) to decorate with!

WHAT? Decorate with pin cushions???

Hear me out here....

Can't you see a bunch of these gorgeous creations piled into a large glass apothecary jar?

Beautiful purple "beets"

Rich, warm tones for this pear - a sort of Tuscany feel...

And this one that looks kind of like a piece of dessert -- Jackie calls it her "Lemon Blueberry Bar" pin cushion.

And how about this burlap banner from EmilieM on Etsy...?

Oh. My. Word.

I ordered one and LOVE it! Haven't had a chance to use it yet, but.... I can't wait to!
(I'm waiting for Fall -- kinda too hot here in Florida to plan any outdoor soiree's right now. Unless your former habitat was the sun... then you'd be comfortable outside now).

If vintage with more of an "edge" or funky quirkiness is your thing, you'll love Bluebell Bazar

they have SO many cool things! AND LOTS OF NUMBERS! They had me at the numbers....

And in keeping with my love of all things graphic (design, not the other implication....) I love Carolina Cottage's shop!

Just look at these little votive cups decoupaged with sewing pattern tissue! I could see these in a sewing room (duh....) to hold straight pins, safety pins, and if the container were a bit larger, even to hold pens/pencils/scissors.

There are also ones with sheet music and vintage dictionary pages, not to mention marble coaster sets with bold numbers.

And since I could go on forever, I'll just share one last fave with you...

Leslie Janson's shop on Etsy has these incredible cuff bracelets made from vintage feed sacks and linen, etc....


The creative talent on Etsy is really unparalleled in my opinion. There is something for anyone and everyone -- at every imaginable price point.

The faves I've shared with you have really reasonable price points and when you consider the fact that you are getting either vintage or handcrafted -- or both -- you just can't beat it.

It's like going to this HUGE outdoor art festival -- but instead you get to sit at your leisure in the cool comfort of your home; and again, living in Florida, well -- that's a pretty nice feature.

Happy Thursday to you guys!



Your partner in shopping,

Note: ALL photos used in this post are from the respective Etsy shop owners' product pages.

Monday, July 27, 2009

A Mag & A Bag --- WE HAVE A WINNER!!!

Photos courtesy of Jeanne d'Arc Living

Well, it's official -- Lu & Co!

So a mag and a bag (sorry, I just love that now that I've said it -- and it rhymes!) belong to you, Miss Lulu!
Let me know your address and off will go --- A MAG & A BAG! (I just HAD to do it one more time!)

Stop over to her blog! She is the cutest thing ever and her blog is like pure sunshine -- it's so happy & upbeat -- I just love it!!

Thanks so much to each of you who commented and who decided to follow me and therefore brought me well OVER 100 followers!!

You guys rock! Thank you!

For those of you who didn't win it this time, not to worry -- there will be another giveaway before you know it! Promise!

Your friend,


Saturday, July 25, 2009

100 Blog Followers (almost!) This Calls For A GIVEAWAY!


So I want to celebrate by giving away a copy of the current issue of

and one of the

just to say thank you for taking the time to keep up with whatever is going on here with The Beautiful Life and me (and my life).

I'll pick a winner on Monday afternoon (the 27th), so you still have plenty of time to enter...

And who knows, maybe by then it won't be "almost 100" but maybe I will have officially reached 100 followers (or more?)!

Enjoy your weekend and if you'd like to be counted in the giveaway, just leave a comment on THIS post and if you are commenting anonymously, please, please ALSO send me an email saying you are entering, otherwise I will have no way to contact you if you win!

And that would be sad....


Happy, restful weekend to you ALL!


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Time And Money Are Inversely Proportionate....

Say what??

Yes, one of my favorite sayings of all time (which proved SO TRUE when we bought our historic home!) goes like this:


So you'll either spend more of your money, or more of your time, right?

SO true!

Want to paint a room in your home? What's more valuable? Your time? Or your money?

My hubby likes to kid around (at least I think he's kidding...) that if I were putting together a home-owner's guide for renovations around the house, it would be fairly simple and go something like this:

"You need only two books --
your phone book (the yellow pages) ....
and your check book.


Which leads me to these fabulous new bottle-drying racks we've found for you!

We've carried variations on this for years, all very heavy, very solid, large beauties.

But admittedly, they are expensive. I mean, they'll last you a lifetime (truly!) but they can be a real investment.

This is why I am so excited about
these new racks I found for you!

This fabulous rack we discovered that has all the charm, all the appeal, and all the functionality as the vintage-style racks but with a bit less of -- how shall we say it.... a bit less of an initial investment.

This rack is lighter in weight (but still TOTALLY sturdy!) and.... are you ready for this? SHIPPED FLAT (which we love)!

You do some very light assembly and voila, you have a tall, dark & handsome repro-rack!

So, okay -- you do have an investment of sorts... an investment of your time when you first get it. But if you've always coveted these racks (and many of you have!) this is your chance to welcome one into your home for much less of the usual investment, price-wise.

We think you'll love it and get lots and lots of use out of it! We sure do!

This rack measures 24" tall x 18" diameter; there are SIXTY PRONGS to hang things from - so there is no compromise size-wise!

So, when this arrives simply plan a few minutes with a cup of tea and the included little allen wrench and small nuts/bolts and in no time you have the fabulous large rack you've been dreaming of! Easy!


slip the hubby or kids a few cookies to do it for you,

and you go prop your feet up with that cup of tea...

we won't tell.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Sneak Peek

Wanted to tell you about two very beautiful collections of French bistro dinnerware that should be hitting the site within hours.

There are plates, bowls, & mugs and each set comes presented in the nicest "hat-box" style boxes!

These sets have "GIFT" written all over them!

There is a charcoal/black Eiffel Tower design (so pretty!) and there is a chic "Bistro de Paris" style featuring a crisp red/black checkerboard pattern.

We also added another new French "bottle-drying rack" piece and you will be VERY HAPPY with the price-point on this one!!

It will hit the site within hours, too -- unlike our other bottle racks, this one is lighter weight and takes some light assembly. But the way-affordable price will have you very happy to
do some "putting-together"!

Below is a little peek at the revamped Mathematicus "number pillow collection...

As you can see, it's a bolder look done in black with white number and white with black number. And this time, only two numbers, instead of three.

The numbers are:

12 and 34...

Those who are lucky enough to already have some of these new designs absolutely LOVE them! The fabric is heavier denim-type and it really lends itself to the bold, graphic tone of the designs.
So there you have it -- just SOME of what's new and coming to the site.

There are other things, too, like some black & white Parisienne cotton towels and napkins (which will be PERFECT with that dinnerware!) to name a few... so as always, "stay tuned!"

Thanks for allowing me to brag on the "new kids on the block" (in the store)!

From me to you,


Monday, July 20, 2009

My Friend Teri's Blog About Paris Is Up! Won't You Pay Her A Visit?

Oh finally!! At long last! Yay!!

You may remember that a little while back I did a blog post in honor of, Teri, a sweet friend of mine who I'd been poking and prodding to start a blog of her own (about Paris)....

Well... guess what?!

Teri's blog is now up & running and I am SO excited that we will all get to see her incredible, moving stories of her times in Paris unfold -- for me and for you!

Her first post is a story of something that happened to her that, as I first read it, it made me cry.

It made me cry because it was as though she'd stepped into my own heart and mind and written down what she saw, heard, and felt there.

I've had almost those same thoughts so many times before and when I read her words, it was almost like my private thoughts and feelings had been exposed...

This is Teri and her writing...

This is why I so wanted to share her with you...

Teri is a budding writer -- though I hate to use the term "budding" for her since her writing is so much better than that of someone who is "budding" in their efforts.

Oh the stories I've heard from Teri -- some make you howl with laughter, some make you tear up with inspiration, and some simply make you want to drop what you're doing and pack off to Paris to get your own dose of what this lady comes back with each time.

Let's all give Teri a warm blog-land welcome now that she's joined us.

Won't you pop over to her blog now, and read her first-ever post and click to become a "follower" -- you'll be so glad you did, you won't want to miss even one of her posts as they will now start coming.

From one friend to another...


A Twist On "Music Monday" -- Bet you didn't know I could dance...

My daughter has made it safely to China and is having the time of her life.

Though I've gotten only two very short emails from her, one contained a bit of information that has me fearing she may decide to give her return flight ticket away to someone and stay there! Here's basically what she said:

"Mom, I have three words: Two. Story. Starbucks."

Oh, nice... that totally competes with our local 24 hour Starbucks.


I'll never see her again...


Okay...At the risk of appearing totally unprofessional, I thought I'd brighten your Monday morning and share this completely silly video of my sweet guy Nicodemus and I.

Hopefully, you'll still read my blog after this.... ;)

Enjoy! And be sure to make a "Beggin' Time" video of you & your pet! Post it on your blog! I promise I'll come see it! C''s fun!

P.S. I promise to be back SOON with news and pic of new items being added that YOU WON'T WANT TO MISS!

Happy Monday!

Be sure to FIRST go over to the left-side bar and pause the music-player before clicking "play", otherwise both will be playing at once and that's no fun...
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Friday, July 17, 2009

Ask & You Shall Receive! Jeanne d'Arc Living Magazine -- Issue #2!

One day I happened to just casually ask the gal at Jeanne d'Arc Living in Denmark if there was ANY chance of getting any back copies of the previous issues of the magazine....

I'd already heard the the first issue was totally gone and no chance at all of getting any, but I wondered about issue #2...

She did some checking for me and got back to me to let me know that she uncovered some copies and if I wanted them, they were mine!!

Guess what my answer was...

Just look at this beauty!! These are just a few pics, I know, but trust me, this issue is everything that you've come to love about the books and issue #3.

Issue #2 is the first issue I ever got and it is what compelled me to seek out these products for the shop, so it has a sort of special significance to me.

I hope you'll snap up your copy if you didn't get one when they first came out! It was my understanding that the issues she sent me were all they had left anywhere there at their warehouse, and this issue is now out of print, so when these are gone, that's it.

They're now
on the site for sale if you care to skip over to grab one!


Have a wonderul, restful weekend!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Sometimes "Santa" drives a huge semi-truck & trades in his red bag of goodies for this.... hubby says to me last night "You know, it's been two weeks since you did a blog post."

"NO WAY!" I reply...

Uh oh....

He was right.

Again. (rats!)

But in all fairness, look at what's been keeping me busy...

The long, long, long awaited Jeanne d'Arc Living shipment arrived Monday afternoon (not without it's share of glitches that I'm now able to laugh about...).

I will say one thing about laying eyes on the products as they were one-by-one revealed from the crate: This may be the
best stuff I've ever purchased. No kidding. Without exception, every item we unboxed (and boy we couldn't wait to rip those boxes open!), was better than we'd even expected. And we had high hopes to begin with.

Do you know that in less than 24 hours we managed to get this beast of a container unpacked, divvy-ed up into piles assigned to our many pre-orders from the site, and then turned back around and shipped to our customers? In LESS THAN 24 HOURS!
This would NEVER have been possible with the extra help I had which included my FABULOUS nephew, David who came and stayed with us just for this event (and may I say, that young man WORKS HARD!), and of course my INCREDIBLE daughter Olivia.

I think we shocked our UPS & USPS drivers yesterday when they showed up here and saw the literal MOUNTAIN of boxes waiting for them in their respective areas... I'm going to owe them a VERY NICE gift this year at Christmas!

I'm tired...

and yet somehow exhilerated.

But tired, nonetheless. :)

For some, it may seem odd that we took pics of the details of this crate. But others of you might appreciate the cool "industrial" quality of the looks of this crate...

Others of you may also think I'm crazy for not wanting to just pitch this crate into the rubbish heap... just yet.

To my eyes, it looks somewhat like a work of art. (Partly because I've waited for it so long that a cardboard box would have looked like a work of art to me at this point.) I love those giant galvanized hinges and the raw wood.

I'm thinking of one store in particular that we all know and love (ends with 'pologie'....) that would take something like this and stick it in the middle of a display and within a few months we'd all be clammoring for shipping crates to decorate with!


ut seriously, is it me, or wouldn't this have great potential for some great, funky use?

We're already eyeing it thinking that the lower half would make a cool, urban-loft style coffee table...

Who knows. Just wanted to share what's been keeping me so "occupied" lately.

But, life hasn't been
completely about Jeanne d'Arc Living -- in the meantime, while feverishly preparing to be poised and ready to blast through this shipment when it arrived, we were also FINALLY snapping pics of some more great new things for the shop -- which "should" be up on the site VERY soon -- and of course I'll blog about them.




If you pre-ordered issue #4 of the magazine, I expect to get our shipment of it (hot off the press) in the next couple of weeks at the longest. Naturally, we'll ship them out either the same day or the next day (depending on the time of day we receive them here).

For now, though, I have a daughter heading off for China for two weeks that I plan to spend some quality time with.
I'm sure you understand.

I'll try to get back here and post about the new items in between Starbucks talks with my beautiful girl and errands to buy all the last-minute travel necessities (junk food, reading material for the plane trip (don't even ask how many hours!!)....

If you pre-ordered anything from Jeanne d'Arc Living, it is already winging its way to you now... Let me know what you think of your goodies!!

For now, I have China and Olivia on my mind....

Talk soon!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

It's Going To Be A Jeanne d'Arc Living "Extravaganza" Next Week!

Pictured above are three crowns coming in (hopefully toward the end of next week!) from Jeanne d'Arc Living.
They are gorgeous, are they not?

Also arriving:

In addition to the other beautiful ribbons we currently offer, we'll also be getting in these from Jeanne d'Arc Living:

Wonderful new ribbons in the most amazing, calming neutals...

On the left, light grey and on the right, a dark grey...

Below are the flax and the brown colors...

And, the much-coveted Christmas book from Jeanne d'Arc Living.
it focuses on a natural-themed Christmas -- in the "Nordic/French" style, of course...

Beautiful images of a light, Nordic Christmas...

There are many, many other items that we've ordered from Jeanne d'Arc Living, but they are not slated to arrive until next month.

But these beautiful things should hold us over for a while, don't you think?

If you have placed a pre-order with us for any of the Jeanne d'Arc Living items currently listed on the site, we fully expect to be able to ship them out to you NEXT WEEK!!


I recently received an email from one of my awesome customers-turned-good friend, and she had some questions for me about the Jeanne d'Arc Living line of products.
I thought I'd pass her questions and my answers on to you, since I've gotten similar questions from others of you:

Do you think the books will be basically repeats of the magazines?
I do know that the magazines are put together just like other mags -- fresh content each month, etc. The "French Atmospheres" book should feature content that you have not seen.

Is the mag. actually a subscription that arrives bi-monthly? No, it is not a subscription at all -- as it can only be ordered/purchased from boutiques either online or in your area. The mag has to be purchased by a boutique then passed on to the public -- no subscriptions and no availability in bookstores or newsstands, making it a very special publication indeed.

And do i have this correct, it is too late to see the first issue or purchase it?
Yes, to my knowledge purchasing back-issues is not possible for me (though I'd LOVE to, so I could have and sell all that have ever been printed! :) You never know, you might find some older issues on ebay... ?

Can you translate the mag. content? if not how do you order?
Well, I do NOT speak Danish! :)
Like probably most of the rest of you, I go online and use an online translation service like the one from Google if I want to translate something in the mag. But really, I adore the pics so much, I rarely even bother to translate... When I order for the store, I am able to utilize an "English" version of their site, so that makes it easy!

Will you be ordering various items from the same co. from time to time?
Don't you know it!
In fact, I already have many new things in line to ship over the next month!
"Stay tuned" as they say! :)

~MY best, to YOU!~

*All photos courtesy of Jeanne d'Arc Living