Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wonders For Wedenesday... Mid-Week Inspiration

Do you have someone in your life that has encouraged you to be YOU?
No matter what others always expected of you...what the world wanted of you...
someone who just wanted the real "YOU" inside to bloom,
 and loved(s) you for

I hope so.

This sweet dog was finally able to do what he was truly meant to do...
and that's all any of us really wants, anyway, right?


Monday, July 26, 2010

I Love It When Boxes Bearing A Norwegian Return Address Arrive!

The latest issue of 
arrived today!

I just LOVE the cover photo!!!!
I'm so drawn to the colors - the crisp white,
the patina of the zinc, the deep grays, and then
the punch of orange!

But the beauty goes well beyond the cover page!

The magazine is already up on the site and ready to order --
you'll find it HERE!

Just wanted to let you all know about it's arrival!

It's such a fabulous magazine!


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Come Dream-Shopping With Me!

Ohhhh these sooo unfairly tug at my heart.
My heart
that loves anything and everything with
graphics and text... 
Sooo not fair....

They are new "Love Letter" bed sheets from
(Between $240 & $270/set 
depending on size.)

And while we're on the subject of bed sheets, I am going to be in the market for 
a new bed/mattress before long (long overdue!) and I was browsing the

Restoration Hardware site (again) 
and found a few things that 

Leather sleigh bed... on sale, no less. 

Or, this vintage-look metal bed... yes, I could live with this...

But I also love the simple, elegant lines of this wing-back style upholstered headboard.
Hmmm... I think I'll choose a tan or charcoal linen...
Oh... sorry, still dreaming and wishing.

And nearby in the bedroom, wouldn't this be the PERFECT spot for putting on 
makeup and doing my hair??  Yes... I do believe it would...

Nightstands are a necessity, of course, so how about these?

And what cozy retreat would be complete without this tobacco leather chest of drawers --
trunk style?  Oh my... I'm in trouble... There is no going back now.
And in the joining bath, it only makes sense to add this beauty -- 
it relates so well with the other pieces in the bedroom, right?

I have longed for one of these French baker/patisserie tables forever...
from whenever the first time I ever laid eyes on it.
I wish I could remember where I saw this picture --
I would love to give credit where credit is due...

There has been a lot of talk of boots in my house for the last couple of months...

My husband, not one I would have EVER pegged for wanting cowboy boots,
is now proud owner of a pair of rather fancy ones:

All after simply going in
to our local shoe repair shop (which also happens to specialize in boots) to pick up
some of my shoes that were in for repair.   But I digress... 

And I could be a boot girl if I lived somewhere that would actually make
these practical.  But Florida -- not so much.

But my heart does go pitter patter when I see these!  

I imagine myself heading out for the day on snowy streets, bundled up in 
some fabulous coat and a pair of jeans -- and these boots.

And a little "shorty" version that is so cute!

I saw these on a wonderful Swedish blog, Biskopsgarden.

Well, it's now 12:30 am on Sunday morning and in less than 6 hours
my daughter, Olivia, will be at the airport meeting up with her group
to head off once again to China for 2 weeks.

She has opted to stay up all night and skip any sleep in an effort to
try and be REALLY tired so she'll do a lot of sleeping on the flight there.
So, I'm going to attempt the same.  
Only thing is, I don't have a flight tomorrow morning on which
I can catch up on my sleep!    

Some of you may recall that she went last year and I did
THIS blog post upon her return.

I'll be missing her terribly during her absence but I am so
stinkin' proud of her I can hardly stand it... and I know
she'll be fine and safe while she's there.

I love you, Miss Olivia!
How I ever got blessed enough to have you, I'll never know...

Thanks for going on my "dream shopping trip" with me!

Fun, without all the expense!   


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

"What IS That Thing??" Or, What Else You Can Do With A French Bottle Drying Rack... :)

It seems our metal reproduction French bottle drying racks are getting a lot of attention
at the moment.  

And I'm good with that!   :)

Recently here on the blog,
 I shared how at least two customers who purchased our bottle drying racks turned
 them into chandeliers -- one for her home, the other for her restaurant.

Also, we were blessed to have been contacted by Conde Nast (UK division) to have these
racks featured in their publication, The World Of Interiors.

And now all of the sudden we're getting orders from the UK for the racks.   ;)

But for all who know what a "bottle drying rack" is, there are many, I'm finding
who have never heard of them or seen them.

And in all fairness, if you think about it, they can look a bit
intimidating if not other-worldly.  

Some have even likened them to what looks like a torture device.  

We who love them, though, need no explanation and to us, they are 
s-h-e-e-r  b-e-a-u-t-y. 

One recent purchase of one of the last of the Jeanne d'Arc Living bottle racks was my
sweet friend and customer, Debra.

She did what I adore -- she sent me pictures of how she's using her new 
drying rack and just look at what she's done with it...

Now if THIS doesn't look like it came from the pages of Jeanne d'Arc Living magazine,
I don't know what does.

I adore the cheerful, feminine look she's created here and what I really love
is her use of the bottle rack is strictly for display purposes -- a base or foundation to hold her treasures
in a VERY unique way, but a base that is completely unique in itself.

The display "spills out" onto the table just enough -- not too much -- perfect balance.

The starfish, potted plants and Spring/Summer linens can all be later swapped out
with items that lend themselves for Fall/Winter... and I cannot even begin to imagine
what Debra will do with it then.

{HINT HINT, Debra... feel free to send pics then, too!}

Just this evening, when I got back home for the day, I quickly got out my camera
so I could shoot a few quick shots of how I am personally using my bottle drying rack
at the moment.  

"At the moment" being the operative, since no doubt it will be relocated and
changed up again before long.  I can't keep things the same for very long, you know.   :)

Here is how the rack stands for now, in my dining room.

{And for the record, I took these pics all soooo quickly without worrying if
things were "just so" anywhere in the house, so be kind if you find
dust or something out of place.
It's there in the background to the left of the window.  Remember I had it in my
kitchen when I first brought it home?  Yep.  I've moved it.  It looks AWESOME 
in the living room, changing the room from looking all formal and stiff 
and giving it more of a funky Antrhopologie-style vibe.}  


It was placed there rather on the spur of the moment, as I brought one home
one day recently when I realized that if I wanted to be sure to have one of the
Jeanne d'Arc Living racks to keep for myself, I had to snap it up and out of the
shop before they were all gone.  
And I'm glad I did, as they are sold out now!

Not knowing WHERE I was going to put it (it is just so huge and bulky)
I quickly shoved a few things aside on the dining table and walked about 
the house gathering all the vintage books I could find to place on
the pegs.   

Quite honestly -- this may be my favorite way to use the rack.

I adore it with books all over it!  

{WOW!  LOOK at the chipped paint on those floors!
Ha ha!!  LOVE IT!!  I really do.
And NO, my dining room walls are NOT THAT yellow!
For some reason, they always photograph far brighter than they
actually.  In real life, they have a very warm umber glaze all over them
and are actually quite a warm mustard vs. the BIG BIRD YELLOW
you see here!!}


But I have used other of my racks for mugs and glasses at parties 
(always a crowd-pleaser) 

and for bolts and bolts of ribbon in the shop for
packing and wrapping.

And another new idea I've thought of is putting the rack in a prominent spot
like the entry hall and deck it out with mementos (hung from lovely ribbon if
the item needs a bit of help to "hang on" to the prong).

Although I don't show it properly here, I can just see
vintage watch/clock faces, bundles of lavender, 
old pictures, nestle starfish among the prongs or laid on
the table nearby as Debra did... the sky is the limit.
And WHAT A STATEMENT it would make as guests first walk in.

It would be a "tree" blooming with all that says "you".

 {Photo note:  the last three pictures above show the rack we
currently have for sale on the site.  You assemble it ships flat and you
simply assemble it when it arrives.  The rack shown in the first seven
pictures is the now sold-out Jeanne d'Arc Living rack which will not be re-stocked}.

Well, that's about it.  I wanted to be sure and share Debra's pictures with
you and some of the ways I've been using one around my house.

How fun it is to experiment and play with the things we already
have -- turning them into something "new" all over again! 

From one drying-rack-lover to another,


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Some Things Just Go Together... (And who doesn't love a FREEBIE?)

So I was working about in the shop, admiring the stacks of beautiful new
pottery/tableware from England and then eyes glance over at the stacks of
wonderful, gorgeous magazines from Denmark...

And I realize...

We've got ourselves a match made in heaven here!

Among the fun cups and teapots just in from Emma Bridgewater, are these oh-so-cute

Couldn't agree more!


Have we got a deal for you...?

We've decided that it just would not be right for these cute mugs to be sold without
the company of a magazine.  It only seems right, don't you think?

So every one of these "Happiness is...." mugs will be shipped out
with a FREE COPY of a Jeanne d'Arc Living magazine.

You will get the 2010 issue #2 (Danish text).
If you already have that copy, it will make a lovely "just because" gift to
a mom, sister, or best friend.

If you're feeling particularly generous, you may want to give her BOTH
the cup AND the magazine.  ;)

{But if you choose to keep the mug, we won't tell... }

No coupon code needed -- the magazine will automatically ship with the mug(s) and
we'll continue this offer until either mugs or magazines run out!


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Craziest, Coolest, Funkiest Laptop Ever -- Like 19th Century Meets 21st Century...

So... I've been sort of casually in the market off and on for a laptop...

I think I found one I like!


Be still my heart!

This is another great example of Steampunk.  

{Or it is Tim Burton's laptop...}

You might remember  a while backI did a blog post about Steampunk jewelry.

Well THIS is taking Steampunk in a WHOLE OTHER direction and I love it!

For the life of me, I can't remember where I found this picture -- I wish I could...

In reality, I'm guessing I'll ultimately get a Mac Book, 

which is cool because  

 THEN maybe I can get one of THESE!

Just wanted to share my laptop shopping progress with you.

I feel sort of decadent thinking of getting one...
I mean, I do have many adequate ways of staying in touch with my biz
on the go. 

I have:
A iPod Touch
A Blackberrty
and 2 iMacs

At least one of them is within inches of me at all times.

So... do I really NEED a laptop, too??

Of course, I DO run an internet business...
So... having a laptop isn't all that crazy, right??

{PSSST!  Hey!  You out there!  Yeah!  YOU!
I'm lookin' for a little confirmation and justification here,
can ya help a girl out??  I do "need" one, RIGHT??}

Can you tell I'm struggling to justify the purchase?

And for the record...


Boom.  In the bag, bring 'em home.

Why can't I do that with this purchase???

Take care all!!


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Wow. Commercials Have Certainly Come A Long Way... (Thankfully!)

{{ I have what I suspect is a torn rotator cuff in my right shoulder and I think I may have
found what could be contributing to the problem... MY cup is the one in the middle and when it's
full it weighs a TON!  Haha!!   Hope you enjoy this fun coffee-themed post...}}

A recent assignment my daughter had to do for her digital design class
had her creating a fun video about our favorite thing:  COFFEE.

Here is her creation:

It turned out so cute, but in her search for some old coffee commercials,
she got a "taste" of how things apparently used to be for women "back in the day"...

If you judge only according to these old coffee commercials, you would think a woman's 
life and marital happiness revolved solely around her ability to create a good 
cup of coffee.  Yikes.

I recently purchased the book "Starbucks Saved My Life" (a true story about a man who had it all and then some, but a fall from grace caused him to lose it all and he ends up working in his local Starbucks serving the people he used to hob nob with and living in a one room apt. -- but he learned a lot about life and true happiness as a result) and based on these old-school
commercials, Starbucks could have possibly saved some marriages, too...

These sad commercials are just a sampling of what we found:

And while those commercials were fairly disturbing because of the husband's cruel words
regarding his coffee preferences, 
and the wife's fate hanging on the quality of her perked coffee,
we uncovered a series of commercials that were downright scary!   :)

Though they used puppets for all of them (and I believe we hear a future
Sesame Street character voice in them), my goodness they are violent!   

Just look at this: 

So, while there are still commercial trends today that have gone in directions that
I would argue are degrading to women, it appears that the "good old days" had 
some issues, too!


Have a great day and a GREAT CUP OF COFFEE!  :)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

You Have GOT To See This!

I'd love to introduce you to Obee Designs ...

as well as an

Gail is the author of the blog and run the Etsy shop as well --
but it is her beautiful young daughter who is the creative force behind the 
Near and Dear "winged heart" t-shirts and necklaces the shop has become known for.

This talented art student designed the winged heart motif for her creations -- inspired by
the loss of both her grandfathers to heart disease.

She donates a portion of all her sales of the Near and Dear "winged heart" range of items
to the American Heart Association.

This is the fabulously funky t-shirt:

I LOVE IT!  I always get compliments on it when I wear it and it's become a
favorite, go-to shirt for me.

And these are the gorgeous handmade necklaces she creates:

The REALLY neat thing is, when you place your order for one of the necklaces,
if you have someone special in mind who perhaps battled heart disease, you can provide an
image of them and their picture can be placed on the reverse of the necklace!!

Or, you can choose to commemorate a birth, or a special occasion of someone and
have that special picture or image placed on the back.  Or, simply leave it blank.

And you know what Gail did out of the blue a few months ago??????

When I lost my mom, we shared some very wonderful emails back and forth about the loss of
her own dad and my loss of my mom.

She was so comforting and real friend.

Then, one day in the mail I got a package from her...

Yes... my very own Obee Designs Near and Dear necklace with...
this picture on the back:

My mom.  

Oh boy... what a gift.  Priceless.

I wear it often and again, like the t-shirt, I ALWAYS get so many
compliments on it.  Then, when I flip it over and show them the picture on the back,
and how it was made just for me to remember my mom, it takes the admiration
to a whole new level!    :)

Obee Designs was recently featured on the news and that is SO great for this sweet
young gal who has taken this entire idea for honoring her two departed grandfathers 
and run with it!

YAY for her!!

Here is the video of her news spot!

Now.... Gail's shop is ALSO chock full of some GORGEOUS home decor 
things that Gail designs.

As an interior designer, Gail has a real eye for beauty and unique designs...

I've had a running "wish list" for a while now and she recently came out with a couple of
new pillow designs that just may have put me over the edge -- OUT of the "wish list"
realm and INTO THE SHOPPING CART!     :)

You ready??

Just LOOK at some of what Gail has created!

Be sure to visit her BLOG as well as her ETSY shop today!

I think any time a fine young person like Gail's daughter has put so much of herself 
into something so worthwhile, it's a delight to support her efforts.



Friday, July 9, 2010

Forgotten Images On Your Hard Drive...

I couldn't decide what to title this post... there were these options...






but never the less, here is what I wanted to say:

I didn't start this early morning intending to do a blog post,
but as we all know, sometimes one thing leads to another and
your path (actual, virtual - on the web, or emotional) can be instantly diverted.

So it was for me just now...

It is the 7 o'clock hour here on this fine Friday morning and before I leave to go into the shop office
for a FULL day of work, I thought I'd sit down and organize some photos for some ad artwork I will
be working on this weekend.

I started, though, by deciding to install some "actions" (whatever that means) into my Photoshop program.  

And though I am not named among the "photography is my new calling" sisterhood  and though I am not one of you who lusts after the latest model "X%&CB" camera (those letters and symbols translate into how ANY camera-talk looks to me:  foreign) for my birthday,
I do have to maintain my website and prepare my magazine ads for my business, 
so I begrudgingly
wade occasionally in those vast, unknown waters called photography.

As such, I opened my downloads folder on my computer to pull out the Photoshop additions I was to install in my program and 


Without warning, I found myself looking at the LAST thing I counted on (or honestly wanted to)
see this pretty summer morning.

There before me were images of my mother lying in her hospital bed two days before she
Confession:  the pictures were not a pretty sight.  

SHE was beautiful, as you can see here:

but in those last days, her
condition was anything but beautiful.

{Out of respect, I cropped her out of the picture.  And for those who are
wondering... it was a very unusual thing indeed for me to even think to take
any pictures there in that hospital room.  But something that day was telling
me that this was not a trip to the hospital that she was going to return home from.
Something told me to "record" the moment --- because there would come a day
when the chaos and whirlwind of all those events would have settled and for me at least,
I would need to/want to go back and be able to truly take in all that had happened.
Will I keep these images forever?  I don't know.  In fact there is only one other person
who has seen them, and that is one of my sisters who was there with me that day.
And even the one I have here on this post is obviously edited.  They are mine to have
for as long as I "need" them.  And I am glad that on that one occasion, I thought to
do the unusual -- document the unfolding of events that I would obviously need much time
to wrap my head around after the dust settled.}

I was startled and I even looked away -- my eyes diverted (much like my intended path this morning)
many times, before finally...
I looked.

And the look became a stare and then a deep, long gaze.

I found myself crying (and still now).  I found myself studying every square inch of the pictures.

There was meaning in every object in the picture.  

Every object on the bedside table,
every wrinkle in bedsheets and the bunched up pads/pillows on the bed -- I remember them
and I sitting right there on those very pads and blankets as I stared at her then -- just like I now
stared at the pictures I captured with my cell phone that day.

On the bedside table there is the funny-looking, standard-issue "hospital phone", 
a folded pad of some sort for her bed, and a few things that really tug at my heart like
a pack of gum that my daughter brought back to her (just in the nick of time, too) from her trip 
to Ethiopia in March -- just weeks before my mom died.  

The FUNNY thing about that pack
of gum is this: what would turn out to be my mom's last words to my daughter before leaving for
Ethiopia was "See if you can find a pack of gum from there.  I'd like a pack of gum from Ethiopia."
That's it.
No big time gift.  
Just "I'd love a pack of gum from there."

The quest for that pack of gum became the end-all quest (partly because I somehow knew
it would be one of the last things we'd give my mom).

I couldn't wait to bring that pack of gum to the hospital (unfortunately, my daughter never did 
get to present it to my mom personally...) and even in the worst shape my mom was in,
she struggled to open that pack of gum there in her bed and she began to carefully, and slowly
put a piece of it in her mouth.  

You'd think she was about to savor a piece of the world's most prized chocolate from a 
distant land...

And the moment came... she began slowly chewing... 
and then THAT FACE!!!!!  

Her face could not belie the fact that after all that anticipation... 

Oh my poor mom.  She did the best she could to try and hide how bad it must have been,
but her face told the story.  The gum began to just fall apart in her mouth and quickly
became a nasty, gritty mess not resembling gum at all.

And little did I know when I innocently gave her that gum, 
she was being restricted from water/fluids.


Now she had this mouth full of gritty, disgusting "gum" from Ethiopia and nothing to 
help her wash it out.  

Well, we dealt with it, and I managed to con her nurse into something that they did
allow her to have called "HONEY THICK WATER"....

Ladies... You DO NOT EVER want "honey thick water".

UGH.  The look on my mom's face as she tried to "drink" that stuff was worse than
the look when she tried to "chew" that gritty gum.   Oh my poor mom.   :)

Anyway.... on that bedside table were those two otherwise benign objects --
the small package of gum and the short glass with the paper lid on it (containing the
icky, sticky substance they loosely called "water").

Also in the background are the usual machines, etc. and the faintest hint of the
divider curtain that separated her from her "room mate" in that room.

That brought about another funny memory of that day :  
My mom was in so much discomfort and so out of sorts, 
and here was this woman in the next bed making SO MUCH
noise and commotion with her nurse, at one point my otherwise quiet and reserved 
mother muttered under her breath...

"I have HALF a nerve left... and THAT WOMAN 
is steppin' all over it!"

Oh my word.  No matter how much pain she was in, there it was -- that glimmer of the "real Vivien" again.  That was my mama. Love it.

So I sit here now at the computer, diverted for a bit from my original task.

And you who I thought to tell this tale to?


If you've stuck with my story and ramblings this far, thanks.  

Thanks for listening.  (And so the tears begin again...)

I look at her broken body in that picture and her mussed hair and only I know
the real pain and agony that is behind the image.  I was there that day and saw how 
pretty much any movement at all was a struggle and was painful.

There is so much more to these images than anyone else but those who were there
can ever get out of them.

I look at that face and think -- "Mom, I am in so deep right now.  I'm so busy, I'm so pushed at all sides, I have so many BIG questions in my life about what to do next, what to not do next... I wish I could ask you what YOU would do.  And I can't.  And I sooo wish I could."

So, I will ask, 
and then I will imagine what she would have said to me.  
That'll work, right?

I feel kind of like Meg Ryan's character in "You've Got Mail" when she longs to
be able to ask her mom what to do about her "Little Shop Around The Corner" bookstore
when it looks like the 'big-box' book store opening nearby will overshadow her store.

Ladies, if you're reading this and you still have your mama, give her a hug, then give 
her one for me.  They are priceless and like so many priceless things on this earth, we only
appreciate their value when they are gone.  

Let's purpose to at least try and change that
and begin valuing them while we still have them.  
It's much more fun that way.  :)

Well, my duties call -- Photoshop installations and all... (ICK).

Then, its off to get your magazines and orders shipped out to you.

Perhaps as I pack up the many, many orders going out today, I'll have that
chat with my mom (hope that doesn't sound weird) and we'll get this stuff all
figured out together.  Maybe solve world peace while we're at it.  :)

Now... do any of you have a clue about installing "actions" into your Photoshop program?

Ugh... I wish I had your zeal for this photography stuff.  
Me?  I just want a Sephora gift card for my birthday.  
(You could just as well give me a carburetor - either one would be as fascinating for me). 


Hey friends, seriously -- you were the first I thought of when all this "diversion" happened to me
about 1/2 an hour ago.  You mean a lot to me and I just wanted to share my heart.

Now I'm off to races for the day.

Wish me luck on my "actions" install.  If I get right, maybe you'll see some
"upgrades" in my pictures on my website.  If you don't -- you'll know I gave up 
somewhere between yelling at the computer and tossing my camera out the window.  ;)

And, here's to "diversions" in everyday life.

They are unexpected and at first bothersome,

yet sometimes
seem so divinely planned

 We can learn from them -- well,
there is potential to learn from them...
heart is

You are appreciated and oh so loved...