30 September 2007
Also, when you have a moment, please stop by our new website at theblissful.com! As anybody who has created one knows, designing and building a website is a labor of love. I am so pleased to make its debut.
Thanks for reading and we look forward to visiting with you on our new sites!
24 September 2007
13 September 2007
On Sunday, September 30th, I'll venture for the very first time to The Country Living Fair, sponsored by the beautiful and always inspiring magazine of the same name (maybe you've heard of it? :)) This year, the Fair will be held in Morrow, Ohio, at The Workshops of David T. Smith from Friday, September 28th through Sunday the 30th. Over a hundred artisans and craftspeople will show and sell their specialty wares while visitors wend their way through booths and stands chock full of the best of what's around. Among them will be our friends and fellow shop owners Kara and Darcy from the "petite department store" in Greenville, Ohio, McMaster & Storm. Perhaps next year The Blissful will be persuaded to set up a booth of our own!
Making the trip with me will be my new, dear friend Rebecca, a designer with an eye for detail like nobody's business. What a pair we'll be: a designer and a boutique owner together at The Country Living Fair! You can bet we'll be lavishing in all of autumn's splendor and the creative handiwork of all the artists. I'll be taking my camera and will be sure to report back on the blog in full-color detail.
Photo courtesy of CountryLiving.com
06 September 2007
Sorry to all of you hot weather lovers out there, but we are so over summer here at The Blissful! We're fall and winter weather people anyway, and we love how these shorter, slightly crisper autumnal days make us feel like nesting. How about you?
New arrivals are showing up weekly as we make Le Grand Slide into autumn and [gulp] winter goods. Don't worry--we're not rushing things. Come in and see our new soy candle line (in chic, chunky boxes complete with matches!), our Bibliotheque Bangle bracelets, beaded candelabra, and extra large 2008 wall calendars by Cavallini & Co., among lots of other great finds.
Much, much more is in store, as I've got a storage room, a warehouse, and a living room, dining room, and basement full of boxes. All of the contents will make their way into the store between now and December...there's only so much we can pack in each week!
Enjoy the good sleeping weather!
23 August 2007
20 August 2007
15 August 2007
06 August 2007
01 August 2007
I'll begin with a confession: I am a paper freak. Have been since childhood. From the age of three into early elementary school, I wrote and illustrated my own stories on the inside front and back covers of my Little Golden Books. My parents didn’t mind. They supplied me with plenty of scratch paper, but my crayons, and later on, pens, gravitated only to what paper was between two perfect bound covers. I guess I knew from an early age that whatever I had to say, whatever characters my mind could generate, whatever witty dialogue I could spin, it was supposed to live inside the two covers of a book. When my mind (and word count) outgrew Little Golden Books, I moved my writing life into spiral bound notebooks. Lots of them. Like, one for every story. Because for some reason, it brought me a great deal of discomfort to scrap an idea, turn the page, and begin anew with a fresh idea. With each new idea, I needed a new notebook. Rest assured, the idea of simply ripping out a page and throwing it away occurred to me. But I didn’t like how the pages would then bear the imprint of the words I’d just rejected as too “dumb,” too “babyish,” too “superficial” (yes, this was me at seven). The imprints of my discarded story still were legible, as if they had been written in invisible ink awaiting a milk decoder formula. I felt that my new ideas deserved an unadulterated landing place that had not been marred by what came before. For each new idea, a new notebook. A spanking clean little tome whose paper smelled of possibilities.
Winsome handmade card by calligraphy artist Helen Lewis of Illuminating Words.
As you might imagine, by the end of high school, what I had were lots of empty notebooks with the first few pages torn out. Back then, I wasn’t a finisher.
Then came college, where finishing made the difference between completing a workshop course and not. So I had to learn to follow my characters until the end of the stories they wanted to tell...or at least until the end of the page requirement. Usually I was long winded (no kidding???). We usually had to write stories that were ten to twenty pages, though this was more of a suggestion than a rule. Mine generally ran more toward the forty page mark. Single spaced. They wanted to be novellas. For one workshop, I had to submit a five page story, double spaced. Not four, not ten, five. This particular assignment was an exercise in compression, elucidation, extracting only the essence of a moment, an idea, a character. We were to be like poets writing in the short story form. Only the choicest words and details would do.
I won a prize for that story. Go figure.
Reproduction vintage French "cahiers" (notebooks). Just enough pages for a stirring little epistle.
Triptych of Scrap Journals by Secret Leaves.
Today, as a boutique proprietor, I get to lavish (hi, Becki) in all of the notebooks, journals, and wonderful paper products I can find. Yes, I’ve finally gotten my fill of paper. Here are some wonderful finds at The Blissful to whet your own writerly whistle (Off-rhymes are purely unintentional, I promise.)
Send out all your correspondence and packages with our Tour Eiffel-embellished mailing labels.
Small enough to fit into your handbag or any roomy pocket and fat enough to fill your palm, our little travel notebooks will inspire you to record your dreams and observations when you're abroad...or right in your own backyard.
With a former English teacher at the helm, you can be sure The Blissful is full of interesting titles to help you while away the hours and learn something new.
In lieu of a beach read, take along "Entre Nous" by Debra Ollivier, a cheeky page turner about the qualities of mind, habit, and character that give French women that je ne sais quoi. A must-r ead for Francophiles and aspiring Francophiles alike.
In addition to what you see pictured here, we've got pretty file folders, beloved paperweights, decorative correspondence sets, stationery, labels, cute erasers, and much, much more. Going back to school this year? Sending someone off in just a few weeks? Ease the transition back into the paper-loving way of life with something from the shop. Or buy your favorite teacher a little something to start off her schoolyear on a sweet note.
And don't forget to pre-order your Sid Dickens Memory Blocks in time for holiday gift giving! I have been taking phone orders from people around the country (how cool is that?), so they truly are booking up fast. The artist just released the first half of the 2007 Retiring list, so stop in to see which Blocks will no longer be in production after December 1st. The second Retiring list will be released later this month. Oh, so much suspense! You've got to love a line with such mystique and cache surrounding it.
18 July 2007
17 July 2007
05 July 2007
Above, see our latest find: these delectable Australian cocoa butter vegetable soaps. Handmade and enriched with Vitamin E, these sweet, three-ounce babies fit perfectly in the palm of your hand and create a super rich and creamy lather. They're ideal for sensitive skin, not to mention they give a fantastic fragrance in the bath or shower.
This weekend, I'm taking off for a much needed trip to the ocean with some dear friends. I plan to give these soaps as refreshing after-sun gifts. My scents of choice? Ocean and Milkshake. What will yours be?
04 July 2007
30 June 2007
We almost cried tears of joy when we unwrapped our new collection of handbags from a New York-based designer. These have more of a fall persuasion, but it's never too early to start getting ideas. We can't decide which one is our favorite: the Starry Tartan Tote, the Velvet Jamavaar, or the French Gypsy Bag. Best of all: there's more to come!
Our Chandelier Messenger Bag is the perfect laptop bag, school bag, or (why not?) a diaper bag. No one ever said you had to carry one that was all baby bunnies or firetrucks. With plentiful interior pockets and a detachable mini bag, you can be a chic mama (with or without bébé) with this elegantly embroidered Italian fabric. Available in two colorways. Our Chandelier Sack Bag is the perfect accompaniment to your going-out-to-dinner ensemble. Jeans, heels, great earrings, and this bag. You go.
The Sorbonne Loveseat.
I'm afraid these would make us want to nibble every time we walked into our kitchen.
Our exciting new candle line: Claus Porto. In summery scents with vivid packaging. These clean-burning soy candles give up to 70 hours of the finest French fragrance while slowly revealing their own unique Art Deco-inspired etched-glass designs. Our favorite: Lelite (Orange Amber).
When ticking met toile.
Our Open-Air Market Bags are made from vintage grain sacks. Soft leather handles finish the "I'm not just a tourist" look.
The Blissful will be closed on the Fourth of July. Vive la liberté, la France, et l’Amerique!
22 June 2007
20 June 2007
I was staging a photo shoot for my new blog, which I've been devoting so much time to that I fear I've been neglecting this one!
Never lacking for inspiration (well, okay, sometimes lacking for inspiration...but never for long), here is a fresh new post with some inspiration for YOU.
Upon a suggestion from a friend, I thought it might be neat to do an occasional post showing you a couple different ways to use some of our favorite finds. I love using objects in unconventional, not-intended-for-this-purpose ways.
The ideas I'm showing you today aren't all that out of the box, but these little green cast iron pots are too cute not to be included.
Trois: Tuck moss around a taper candle for some seat-me-at-a-table-in-a-European-chateau charm. Do one at every place setting and let each guest take hers home at the end of the night. Or try one on a small shelf, tucked into a summer windowsill, or on your bedside table for some candlelit reading.
What do you think?