Wednesday, September 21, 2011

One Of The Jeanne d'Arc Living Issues We Wait For All Year -- The Fall Issue!

The Spring and Summer issues are always light and lovely and fresh...

They offer us airy, sun-filled ideas and inspiration and we love those issues!


wouldn't you agree,
there is just something about the Fall issue ...
it marks that long-awaited transition into the months that
bring us nothing but comfy, cozy, roasty-toasty,
cuddle-up, snuggle-up inspiration.

pimp your myspace


it is the issue that brings the promise of the issue
AFTER it --

the coveted 
Christmas issue!!
(Coming in mid-November).

If you wish to pre-order a copy for yourself
(our shipment of the magazine is due to hit our
doorstep THIS WEEK!)

and get yours!!

Also new from our friends at 
Jeanne d'Arc Living in Denmark,
here are some amazing new items in the shop:

BEAUTIFUL, large ceramic bottles with swing stopper...

Metal tags/badges in three color choices:

These VERY large zinc trays (set/2)... 
Just cannot even describe how amazing these are:

Below, the parcels of reproduced French script ephemera are back in stock,
BUT we now offer these parcels both in the paper-weight as well as
now in heavy card/board stock!
Each weight has a variety of applications!

These aluminum bottles (screw-on stopper included) are so unique...

HUGE, commercial sized roll of some of THE MOST GORGEOUS
giftwrap ever made... 
We're on our 3 re-order now of this incredibly popular item!

fabulous ceramic jars are on their way to us and
will arrive along with our shipment of the Fall issue!!
Be looking for them on the site SOON!

We have a small supply of these GORGEOUS and elegant
linen/flax Christmas stockings and will be adding them to the site

Check HERE for details!

Other just as fabulous new additions are:

Galvanized metal lidded tins with cheese label graphics in red or blue:

These most amazing LARGE and intricately, dimensionally sewn utensil banners!

Wonderful, fun cotton napkin sets!

Sets of assorted zinc leaves -- great for place settings 
and adornment anywhere!

Super fun, large zinc "medal" -- write on the 
medal whatever you'd like or decoupage a
lovely image or insignia!

One of the newest items I still cannot get over -- 
the detail work that went into making each of these... you cannot imagine.
Each one is COMPLETELY unique (the picture here is just a sampling)
and each one equally breath-taking.

These items are easily found by clicking 

Well, that should keep you busy for a while anyway.  ;)

It has been CRAZY-BUSY here... all good, just busy.

One of these days, I'm going to sit down and write a sort of
"what I did this summer" post...

Yeah... should be good.  :)

Thanks for the visit -- enjoy the crisp Fall air if you have it already.
Keep praying for it (like I am) if you don't!  

With Warm Hugs,

Monday, September 19, 2011

I Never Said That!!

Seems being misquoted in the media isn't a new headache for
the celebrity set...

See how many of these famous quotes we've all been repeating
somewhat incorrectly.

Kind of fun to see how they were originally
stated!     :)

Happy Monday to you all!!!



Sunday, September 4, 2011

Where Angels Fear To Tread: Giant Catalogs, Reproductions vs. Originals, and Whether Restoration Hardware Is A Design Scapegoat

We tend get things late around here... in the mail that is.

I routinely get my magazines a good week or so after I begin hearing about 
my blog friends getting theirs and true to this, I am one of the last to
have finally gotten my copy of the MUCH talked/blogged/Facebooked/Twittered about
Restoration Hardware BIG catalog.

It's their biggest ever -- in physical size as well as "buzz".
But the buzz has not been all good.

Let me say now, that if you didn't already know it by my many recent posts about
our home renovation, I am a HUGE fan of Restoration Hardware.

In fact, the space of our home that we recently gutted and restored was done to
almost 100% mimic our local Restoration Hardware shop.

So, I say upfront, as I sheepishly put my toe into the almost angry waters of this
Restoration Hardware debate, I am completely baffled by the wave of
angst that this catalog and RH as a whole is suddenly being engulfed in.

As I read the various posts and comments out there (and there are too many 
to provide links to  --- possibly just Google Restoration Hardware new catalog
for a selection of posts that appear for you to check out) - the REAL problem
seems to stem from the backlash against true antiques and vintage pieces being
copied or "knocked off".

This is not new to RH -- and it's not a recent phenomena at all.

I love this hat form...
And I can guarantee you, as a resident of Central Florida, there are
NO fabulous outdoor antique fairs ANYWHERE around here
in my future where I will be able to unearth the authentic version of this...

I think many of the blogs I read forget that not ALL of the US has access to
the kind of vintage items and antiques that perhaps they have come to
take for granted.

Hence, we do not think it bad or morally corrupt to buy our version
of "vintage" from stores like RH.

Which brings me to the whole idea of what is apparently
now the verboten idea of reproduction furniture...

If you own any "new-ish" furniture at all, it is probably a reproduction of 
some design or another from the past.

So for Restoration Hardware to suddenly be the "it" company to vilify for reproducing
antiques ... well, it just ain't right.

It may be a bit too put-together for some, or formal, or whatever,
but if you are a follower of interior design at all, you HAVE to admit,
Restoration Hardware has it in SPADES when it comes to
timeless, casual elegance -- and tasteful themes that,
whether embraced fully or picked and chosen here and there,
cannot be rivaled almost anywhere.

Tonight I was trying to catch up on weeks of blog posts from the blogs I follow
and I will share a comment that I was going to post on YET ANOTHER
blog post condemning Restoration Hardware,
but I decided to cut and paste here instead... 

here is what
I had written as my comment, but did not publish:

I really think there is room for both repro's and true antiques.

I happen to live in an area of the country that has almost NOTHING in the way of the kind of antique/vintage fairs that we read about on a lot of the blogs, etc., so I'm always amazed at the fabulous stuff people can find that is totally inaccessible to me here locally.  Sooooo, for me, I'm totally willing to buy the repro's from RH or the like.

Also, there are probably situations where a renovation is underway and there just isn't time to scour fairs and shops for "the real McCoy" and it is preferable to the customer to just buy a fitting repro for the same "look".

There are consumers who have a certain look in mind and want a slightly more refined, polished look that, while nods to the vintage look, does not have all the roughest edges and chippy qualities that a lot of true vintage can have.  In this case, it's simply a matter of taste/opinion -- no right, no wrong, just a matter of some not caring for quite the ruggedness that much of the chippy/peely/distressed vintage can hold.

It's a look -- it combines the best of both worlds:  new, but with a sense of the past.  Kind of like those who build a new home that could be mistaken for a 100-year old home because of the details and even "aging" that went into the careful construction.

Last, some vintage items just may not lend themselves completely for hard use and in those cases, a well-made, new, sturdy piece that looks older is best.

I personally like a mix -- true old, and the made-to-look-old.   And my home contains both.  

I suppose, in the end it's almost akin to someone outfitting their home in a totally French look with loads of knick-knacks about Paris, the Eiffel Tower, etc... but never having even been to France.  Are they being fakes?  Or, just showing their love of a look/ambiance/region when they may or may not ever be able to personally visit it?  

That's my spin -- I don't see RH's approach or look as a ripoff of anything -- just a collection of things in a company that is presenting it's trademark look.  They will always have their demographic that they appeal to and that is as it should be.  Just as the Anthropologies and the Pottery Barns of the world have their demographic that finds them breath-taking.  And I'd bet that the typical customer of RH would not feel at all genuinely comfortable with the very bohemian, mismatched look that is Anthro.  :)  Perhaps somewhere out there in some blog circles there are die-hard RH fans bemoaning Anthro and what must be, in their opinion, the craziness that passes  for design and fashion in those stores.  (Wouldn't it be fun to run across some of those blogs!).  :)

I'm cool with them all -- RH, Pottery Barn, Anthro, Williams Sonoma... they all have plenty that tugs at my heart(and purse)strings when I pass through their doors.  

So, I guess I'm like Switzerland -- I'm neutral.  Okay with it all. 

I wrote all of that and realized.... I have an entire blog post here. 
Why not just DO a blog post?

Yet another area of criticism seems to stem from the scale of their

Again, I don't know how THAT becomes a valid point of 
almost hatred for a company.

When we subscribe to a shelter magazine and drool over page after page
of homes on a scale that many of us will never live in,
do we cancel our subscription?
We dream, we imagine, and we gain inspiration.

Much like with this new Restoration Hardware catalog.

My dining room may not easily accommodate one of their largest 
tables, but if so inclined, I could order one of their smaller models
(they do offer many of their furnishing in varying sizes).

Or, I will be inspired to  begin looking for something like one of their

Even if we don't live in a home of Belgian castle proportions, 
one can glean ideas and inspiration from the collection 
they offer.

And on the subject of size/scale...

Ruth's Chris Steakhouse serves obscenely sized side dishes --
baked potatoes the size of footballs, more broccoli or asparagus
than one person can truly call a "side".  But... they have a 
devoted following and many love to go there for a special meal.

Should they be called to task for their portion sizes?
They serve a demographic and meet a desire that's out there.

Personally, I couldn't care less if I ever step foot in a Ruth's Chris again,
but I wouldn't feel a need, either, to set about calling for them to 
close or call them obsolete or "out of touch with the masses".

And what of the almost deified Anthropologie?  

Has anyone checked THEIR catalog lately???

Just got mine in the mail yesterday... saw the shoes/boots tipping the
scales at $400.  

Saw the dresses, sweaters, and skirts for hundreds of dollars --

Saw the upwards of $5,000 leather sofa,

pictured below... $4,998.00.

And I'll betcha for that price it's not nearly the size of one of
the 'SCANDALOUSLY LARGE' sofa's from Restoration Hardware...
the ones that so many hate the store for because of their
huge scale and "high prices".

(The sofa below, from RH, same size as the couch above from Anthro, is $3,845.00.)

Hmmm.... me thinks this is a fairly one-sided debate.

Anthro can put something in their shop that looks like it was
dropped from a 10 story building - then kicked a few times for good measure --
and charge a price that is out of the stratosphere for it.

But... if you are Anthro... you can pull it off.

They can charge $80 for what amounts to a knit tee.... 
but.... if you are Anthro....

If your name starts with an "A" and rhymes with "apology"
you can sell this dress for just south of $400.00:

This is a sleeveless dress, people...
and Fall is coming...

How about a pair of t-strap shoes made up of
3 mis-matched, uncoordinated colors charge $278 and 
they are ALLLLL the rage.

a pair of goodness-knows-what-you call-'em shoes for
over $500.00:

as a shop owner,
I wish I had an OUNCE of whatever
magic Antho seems to have unearthed to allow them to
put pretty much ANYTHING out there and charge 
hundreds for it and it be the MOST COVETED 
THING ON EARTH for almost every young
20 to 40-something.

I guess what I'm feeling is....
anyone who has vilified Restoration Hardware
recently but has also shopped at Anthro...
owes RH an apology.


So Restoration's new "look" isn't "you"....
is that a reason to launch a campaign against the entire company?

"It's too dark."  "Too monochromatic."
"Too big!"  "Too expensive!"
"Too pretentious."
"Caters to the over-indulgent rich with no clue..." (??? really?  Again, I bring up Antho...)

I cannot ever see myself furnishing my home from

Or Design Within Reach.  

Or in the of-the-moment 
all white with chippy details...

All too light, too cold, and just not "me".

But.... I see no reason to write extensively about how
"far too modern" or "awfully lacking in color" or
"WAY to white and bland" they are...

It's a matter quite simply of taste.

And... as I always say, it's just STUFF.

This isn't about world peace.  Or hunger. Or life-altering matters...
It's furniture and accessories.

And in the end, it really doesn't amount to much.

If I don't care for the offerings in a particular catalog from a
particular store,
it goes in "File 13".   

How did poor RH come to be the point of such
contention?  It's just a store.  

Filled with stuff.

And it's ALLLLL just stuff.

Just like Anthro's full of "just stuff" too...

But I don't think we should draw a line of conclusion
from where a person shops for their home
to their character.

If that's the case ... as I said... 
Those of us who frequent Anthro owe
RH a HUGE apology.

Antrho is no discount store -- and what passes for
design (homewares as well as clothing) sometimes just makes
my head spin.

I've seen outfits in their catalogs that make me laugh --
and ask, "Did a 2 year old dress you? Blindfolded?"

NOTHING matches!  
It's almost their badge of honor at Antho:
the more mis-matched the better.
Purple blouse under green/ivory striped cardigan,
paired with a red checked skirt ... and yellow shoes.


Okay... I'm done.

I'm just saying... where is the love, people?

Some will not care for RH's current monochromatic themes
and heavy Belgian influence... sweet.  No prob.

But they have a LOT of customers out there who love it
and for whom a trip through that GIANT new catalog is almost heaven.

RH's typical demographic is allowed to furnish their home
or condo or townhome or vacation home in whatever manner
makes their heart sing and thank goodness there is a store
out there with all that they love under one roof.

And not all hearts "sing" to the same tune...
One soul is lifted by the all white room with bare floors
and furniture with paint just falling off it.

One soul sings in a room full of a Parisian influence
-- all dainty and full of Eiffel tower themes and
French sayings.

Someone else craves roses and chintz and dripping lace...
all things floral and uber-feminine.

Yet another loves a Farmhouse look...

But I would hate that the one whose heart beats a bit faster
when they step into a Restoration Hardware has to feel shamed into
silence of admitting it for fear they be labeled as 
"pretentious" or "snobbish" or "cold" because for them
nothing is more serene that bare wood and linen
and shades of grey and khaki...

Style, scale, and color truly is not a 
character statement... 
merely a design preference.

I may run into you at Ikea, or Anthro, or Pottery Barn or... GASP... 
Restoration Hardware (I promise I won't tell anyone I see you in there...).

Let's be able to shake hands and shop -- design is no reason
for a great divide.  Too many other things in life
vie for that billing... let's all get along over what really just
amounts to "stuff".