Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Still More Magazine Love! Have You Heard Of UPPERCASE?

Have you heard of this magazine?

I haven't even seen one in person yet, but I can't wait to find a way to get my hands on one!

Off & on for some time now, I've caught a glimpse here & there on blogs and other websites about UPPERCASE,
but as surfing the web goes,
I linked here and there and the next thing I know,
I couldn't retrace my steps back to the site I heard about UPPERCASE to save my life.

Until now...

I found
and I am VERY tempted to go
ahead and order a year's subscription --
even though I haven't even ever seen it.

But it looks to me that if you have even one creative bone in your body,
you'd love UPPERCASE.

I love the "look" of the mag -- kinda hip, kinda retro-looking...
just looks "happy".

AND they sell all kinds of things on their site,
other than the magazine...

So check it out!

It's yet another magazine that you don't find just anywhere
like Jeanne d'Arc Living.

Obviously TOTALLY different than Jeanne d'Arc,
but we can have a variety of tastes, right?

Hope you enjoy the UPPERCASE site!

Let me know if you, too, decide to buy the magazine!

We can rediscover our creative juices together!

Creatively Yours,

Monday, September 28, 2009

Today, Fall Arrived In Florida... In A HUGE BOX, Delivered Right To My Porch...

It all started when I rather jokingly
mentioned on my Facebook page
that I would be willing to send someone who lives up north
a large ziplock bag
if they would be willing to share some of their Fall leave with me
-- a poor
Florida gal
who only gets to hear about all the Fall color
as it begins to be discussed
across blog-land each September.

There just aren't words to describe what I felt
late this afternoon as I opened this HUGE
box sent to me by another blogger/Flickr/Facebook friend,
Rebecca Lewis
who lives in the "enchanted" area of upstate New York,

where apparently gorgeous, fiery-colored Fall leaves are
so plentiful
"fall like rain"
as Rebecca put it.

I honestly began to cry as I cut the big box open and saw what was
lovingly contained inside.

WAY MORE than a mere
ziplock baggie-full
of leaves...

Rebecca carefully packed out this box with a sweet notecard adorned with an original photo-print of her own (she is an AMAZING photographer with lots of pics on Flickr).
The photo she used on the notecard is a close-up of a beautiful Maple leaf specimen from a special tree in her yard.

There was a large yellow envelope PACKED FULL of carefully preserved and pressed Maple leaves --- SOOO many I can't even imagine how many there were in that envelope!

I noticed immediately that there was a HEAVENLY smell coming from the box, and I began to cry even more as I saw that there was not one, but two beautiful hand-poured candles from Rebecca's antique shop.

One candle is scented
Grandma's Kitchen (the orange one)
and the other is scented
Chardonnay (the white one).

They smell sooo incredible!

Some of the pressed leaves scattered on the table as well as the two candles AND a "mystery wicker hamper"....

You'll notice a wicker hamper in the photos...

I could not believe my eyes!

{Remember, I only asked if someone would fill a Ziplock bag for me!}

I lifted the hamper out of the box and placed it on the table along with the
candles and some of the pressed leaves that I scattered on the table.

{You can see I DID take time to light the candles!}

I hadn't yet opened it to see what could be inside...

Well, inside I found...
still MORE beautiful leaves!!!

SOOO many, I can't even think of how many there are.
I mean, this trunk is PACKED with leaves!!

So Rebecca has now gone sooo far above the whole Ziplock bag concept...

I received:

beautiful leaves still on their on branches/vines (see photo below),

TWO wonderful fall-themed candles
from her shop,

a beautiful wicker hamper,

and a bounty of leaves contained in the wicker hamper

oodles of carefully preserved/pressed leaves,

and a lovely card personalized with one of Rebecca's wonderful
images of nature found right on her own property.

I am stunned, touched, humbled and just simply flat-out amazed
at what Rebecca did for me.

And it couldn't have come
at a better time,
on a better day.

It's been SOOO hot here --
I'm talking HIGH humidity combined with high 90's,
equalling hot, steamy, sticky weather
that makes you kind of not want to read
one more blog post about
and boots
and sweaters.

To top it off
I haven't been
feeling real good lately
~especially today,
so when this box showed up,
it really,
made my day.

This has to be one of the things about blogging
and online friendships
that continues to
just amaze me.

That we women,
who mostly never meet face to face,
can forge such true friendships
simply by sharing our lives
on our blogs.

I love this about blogging more than anything - that I can honestly
"Oh my friend in upstate New York sent me...."

And I mean it.
I truly mean it
when I call her
(and you)

To you, Rebecca,
you will never know how you touched my day today.
Fall/Winter seasons mean so much to me --
they are what I live for all year long
and unfortunately they are all too swiftly
gone again
here in the south.

To receive a bit of "true" Fall from so far away
(and SO much more than I ever dreamed would be sent to me)

just really got to me ...

I cried today
upon opening the box
for many reasons,
not the least of them being
that someone I've never even
went to that kind of trouble...

for me.

And all because I said in passing:

"I'd be willing to provide a plastic baggie if someone would fill it for me with some of their leaves..."

Don't for one minute ever lose faith in humanity.

If you ever feel yourself doing so,

come on over to blog-land and have your
faith restored.


you are

Want to know more about this incredible lady named Rebecca
Fall Dream-Grantor?

Click over to her

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Today I Played Hookie....

Photo taken today on my phone in the art department at Olivia's university.

Today was special for me...

For one thing, I did not go into work today (shame on me!) and instead I took off early this morning with my BFF, aka my daughter and we "got outta town" for a while to play.

First stop, ANTHROPOLOGIE, where we took all the time in the world looking at every nook and cranny and every detail and every item...

Is there any other way to do a trip to Anthro?

And she even filled out an application
to work there during their busy Fall/Winter shopping season.
Selfishly, I'm hoping for the best!

Can you say "FAMILY DISCOUNT!"

Seriously though, I hope she gets the chance to work there for a bit --
it's close to the university and she would be a natural there.

I wanted to pin a note to her shirt as filled out the application, then spoke to one of the managers...
a note listing all the reasons they should hire her that would have gone something like this:

Dear Anthropologie Manager,
here are the top 5 reasons to hire my daughter:

1.) She already owns most of what you sell in the way of clothing, so she would be great at advising customers on how to put an outfit together.

2.) She's already familiar with so many of the homes lines since she's worked with my store so long and we carry many of the same lines.

3.) She is an art major at the local university and display and creative art is her thing!

4.) You could skip the expense of payroll and just let her trade off hours-for-merchandise.

5.) Her wonderful, adorable, sweet, (and modest) mother promises to make the sacrifice to shop in your store weekly (daily if need be) to make sure that I do my part to keep Anthro's books in the black. It will be a chore, but I'm willing to do my part.

Here's hoping! Fingers crossed!

After Anthro we went right next door to Restoration Hardware.

Ladies... oh my...

I'm still swooning over what I saw today in the store...

If the catalog pages have you in a dream,

oh you can't believe seeing it all in person.

And the sales staff are quick to advise you to not miss out on this opportunity to buy these fabulous new pieces "while you can"! They explained that
"these pieces are all made from 100 year old reclaimed wood and our supply isn't endless; we won't be able to produce these pieces forever, you know!"

I kid you not ... now THAT is some sales pitch! How can you NOT buy when they put it like that? I mean time is of the essence, people! Get 'em while you can! :)

The Beautiful Life is going to be carrying the reclaimed wood 3-tier piece you see below -- the same on that our beloved Restoration hardware sells!

Restoration Hardware images courtesy of Restoration

It left me asking myself
"Is it really wrong for me to want to sell the contents of my home and start over with Restoration Hardware?"

The answer came back swiftly:

The afternoon was capped off by us then going to university where Olivia getting her degree in art. She's working on this amazing painting and she had a little left to finish up on it before next week. She invited me to tag along with her into the studio space at the school and I was sure in for a treat....

The moment the door closed behind me, the outside world fell away and I was transported to "artist's heaven" -- a huge, cavernous "warehouse" type space in an old building where paint spills are the marks of creative genius in action.
Photos taken on my phone while Olivia finished her painting...

and drips
of every color imaginable
were all over the floors, tables, and chairs.
A testament to all that has been created in that building
over many, many years.

It was sheer dream-like heaven for me.

Works of art-in-the-making were everywhere... just left hanging and propped up by the students until they come back in to work on them again.

There was almost an uneasy feeling about moving among all that unfinished, raw artistic genius -- as if I were peering behind a curtain at something that was so intimate, so private....
as the creative process can be at times.

It was all wonderful, and magical and fabulous at once.

I wished for a time that I could be one of them.
Having so much freedom to go just do nothing but be creative -- for that to be my "work", and have the place where I go to do my "homework" look like this:

I have been thinking a lot lately of my "past life" as a more artistic person -- I had art classes in school, I have my old big sketch book with all my old drawings, etc. I used to make things myself that I sold, I used to paint glassware (think MacKenzie-Childs style), but I seem to do none of that lately.

I want to.

But when?

So for now, my creative outlet is my store.

I express myself through what I buy for the store and truly, that is as much fun --
it is a different kind of "art",
a different kind of "being creative",
but it is an extension of me, none the less.

Today has left me full in my heart,
satisfied in my soul,
and happy for the venture I see my daughter on.
She is taking her talent on to levels I did not.

Good for her.

Have a great rest-of-the weekend, sweet blog friends!