Freebie Friday: To Hat or not to Hat?

I LOVE FALL. So, in order to get ready, I’m already looking at my sweaters longingly. I’m pulling out my scarves, and … of course, thinking about my hats. Hats? you might ask. I LOVE hats!!

I never thought of myself as a hat person, until I started looking at wedding dresses. Now, this was in the mid 80’s where everyone had a huge poof ball on the back of their heads. So, of course I wanted to have a huge poof ball on mine. But, as I started trying on veils, something just wasn’t right. I then, tried on a hat. Voila!! I couldn’t believe it … I was a hat person. So, instead of the traditional 80’s wedding dress and poof … I wore a vintage style dress with an 1890’s style hat. I loved my hat … it was my favorite part of the whole outfit.

So, now, I’m always excited when I see a beautiful hat. Over the years it has been difficult to find great hats. I don’t know why, but for some reason they went out with Jackie O. But, I’m on a personal mission to see the hat make a comeback. I think there is a hat for every woman, and a special place for her to wear that hat. So, I’ve created today’s Freebie Friday printable about hats. Have a peak:

Feel free to download your own personal copy. Again, it’s not for profit, only for personal use. You may not mass produce, but you are more than welcome to send anyone my way to download their own personal copy. Just click on the picture to get the full size, and you can then right click to save it to your computer.
So, what kind of hats do you like to wear? I have to admit I must have been born in the wrong time period, because I love cloche hats. I was able to find a gorgeous one at Charming Charlie’s this last winter. I now wear it all fall and winter long. If you’re aren’t sure what a cloche hat is, here’s a really cool picture of some:

This is actually a designer’s sketch from 1923.
So, do tell … what kind of hats do you wear? What are your favorite? I’d love to hear your comments.
And, as a suggestion, I’ve decided to have a “Mad Hatter” party with my girlfriends. as I said, I’m on a mission to get the hat back!! Maybe we’d be a kinder, gentler nation if we wore hats and returned to feeling like a lady when we wore one!
Have a wonderful weekend everyone!
Bisou Bisou,
Lorraine

Our First Freebie Friday!

So, this week I’ve had an ant problem.  I know, I know, it’s not really something to blog about, but while ants probably fulfill a wonderful purpose OUTSIDE of my house, I really don’t care to have them sharing my home with me.

So, I’ve been deep cleaning and making sure that there would be no “legitimate” reason for them to decide to move in with me.  In the process, I found some old Air Wick and Febreeze wall inserts that I forgot I had and decided to buy some more scented vials for them.  I was so excited because they have some of the fall scents out already and I absolutely adore fall!

Which reminds me … I know I’m rambling … but forgive me this side note.  I made a Treasury on Etsy called “I Love Paris in the Fall” that I’m pretty dang proud of.  Here is the picture of it, and if you click on the picture, you’ll go straight to the treasury.  It was such a joy to highlight the work of other wonderful artists and craftsmen/women, without expecting anything in return.
Okay, so let’s get this train back on track.

I immediately went home, plugged those babies into the wall, and I cannot tell you what a difference it has made to my spirits.  Which really made me start to think … hmmm …

How much joy and beauty are we missing out on when we don’t tap into all of our senses?  Not only around us, but on us as well.

So, I want to focus on the sense of smell today.  Think about the special memories in your life … are there smells attached?  I love fall, as it makes me think of crisp leaves falling, the smell of football games with hot dogs and peanuts.  I love the smell of leaves burning.  I love the smell of apple pie and cinnamon.  It reminds me of a homey warm feeling.  When I think about things that I adore, I often think about the smells that come with that thought or feeling.

Okay .. so let’s move on to your environment.  How does your home smell right now?  If it doesn’t smell inspiring, or beautiful, then how can you feel inspired or that you’re in a beautiful environment?  You might want to think about the smells that inspire you or relax you, enliven or invigorate you.  Do you have the appropriate smell in the appropriate room?  If you want to relax in your bedroom, you probably don’t want to potpourri in there with eucalyptus (known for its invigorating properties).  If you have a work out area, you don’t want to have chamomile and lavender in there, because you’ll go to sleep before you finish your push-ups.

As to smells and which ones do what, here’s a wonderful link for you to learn more, it is the <a href=”http://www.aromatherapy.com/”>Aromatherapy</a&gt; website and has a ton of information about which scents do what.

With that being said, I also read a very interesting article that stated that if you have a bad association with a smell, then it doesn’t matter what the properties of that scent is, it isn’t going to produce the effect that you want.  Because our memories of smells can overcome the effectiveness of a smell in and of itself.

So let’s go to the beauty aspect of smells.  Do you know what smells work best on you and your system?  Have you ever noticed that someone can be wearing the very same perfume as you, and it will smell completely different on them.  It is amazing how are body chemistry works with a perfume to create a unique blend or fragrance.

If you ever have the opportunity to go to a Perfume store where there is actually someone who truly knows what they are doing, it is quite an experience, and one that I think all women should do at least once in their lives.  You will learn so much, and at the same time, realize that you have probably wasted a lot of money on perfumes that really weren’t right for your body chemistry.

So, let’s get to the bottom line … do you have a special perfume that is just yours?  That is you … that is everything about you in a nutshell?  One that isn’t the hope that you’ll become like the model on the television commercial, but one that characterizes you and your own unique beauty?  If not, then I think it’s time that you took the time for yourself and found out what your perfume should be!

I’ve had several perfumes that I’ve loved over the years.  And, now that I’m in my late forties, I have found that some of the old favorites, don’t really “speak” to me like they used to.  I think that my life has evolved and so my perfume choices have evolved as well.

I found MY scent a year ago.  It is Angel by Thierry Mugler.
I wish I could say that it makes me look like Naomi Watts, but it doesn’t.  It does, however, make me feel beautiful when I wear it.  It is a very strong perfume, and I only need just a little, but man oh man … when my man smells it on me …

So, my challenge to you today, is to take the time to think about your perfume … does it reflect who you are, right here and now.  If possible, go to a perfume store, or at least a perfume counter where someone truly knows perfumes, their top, middle, and low notes.  Someone who will know what questions to ask you so that you can find “your” scent.  I promise you, you’ll feel so beautiful when you are wearing … well … you, in a scented form!

So, here’s today’s Freebie Friday.  I hope you enjoy.  I first found a quote by Coco Chanel that says:  “A woman that wears no perfume, has no future.”  However, I’m wanting to inspire, not tell you there’s no hope! So, I think this one is a little more promising!!

As always, it is not for mass production or to be used for profit in any way.  You may download your full copy by clicking on the picture and then right clicking to save to your computer.  Of course, you may send as many people as you want to my website to get their own copy.

Bonsoir Mes amies … Have a wonderful weekend!!

Sew Darn Crafty Linking Party 79

Spreading our Wings

For this week’s Freebie Friday, I wanted to explore a subject close to my heart … that of overcoming our fears and forging ahead. You might ask … what does this have to do with beauty?

Well, quite a lot, I think. Have you ever seen someone who cannot look you in the eye, who is a little hunched over into themselves, or perhaps who denigrates themselves by making excuses or apologies for either their looks or their actions? Do they seem beautiful to you at the time? Probably not. It is definitely difficult to see beauty in a person who has no confidence.

Likewise, I have always had a very difficult time seeing beauty in a person who tears others down in order to make themselves feel better about themselves. They might have beautiful features, but their attitude is not beautiful and it shows in every negative word or vibe that they radiate.

In either instance, the person is obviously not comfortable with her true self. She does not appreciate or see the beauty she has inside and therefore either tears herself or others up … and in the process her true self cannot shine through. That is so incredibly sad to me.

The fact is … we need to find the courage to see inside ourselves, to see our real selves, and to love her.

I love a quote by Oprah Winfrey that says:

I was once afraid of people saying, “Who does she think she is?” Now I have the courage to stand and say, “This is who I am.”

Isn’t that a wonderful quote? But I think it’s almost putting the cart before the horse. How do we even get to the point where we worry about someone saying “who does she think she is?”

We have to decide that we are going to fly and spread our wings. That’s the first step. Have you ever watched butterflies? I have several beautiful and large lavender bushes in my yard, which I love to watch everyday. They attract beautiful little white butterflies (at least I think they’re butterflies, I’m definitely not an expert). I love to watch them flitter and fly their delicate individual dance. They seem so free, light, and have such grace and beauty as they flit from one lavender stalk to the next.

They are free, light, carefree, and going about the business of their lives as they were intended to do. I believe that is how we should live. Living without fear, living without the weight of the world on our shoulders, living with a joie de vivre, going about our lives with the purpose that we are here for. I believe that each person has a beautiful purpose, that only he or she can know. It is inside of you and you were born with that specific purpose. However, you, and only you, can have the courage to look inside, see that purpose, and find the courage to live passionately and to the fullest and not let fear keep you from doing it.

When you do that, once again, and I can never say this enough … the very unique beauty that is yours will shine through.

So, why do we not do this? I believe it is because we think we have to be the perfect person that others think or perceive us to be. here’s another quote that I love:

“The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.” ~ Anna Quindlen

So, mes amies … that is my challenge to you (and myself) this week. Take some time, just for you, to look inside your heart and see the “real” you. What is holding you back from being that person? What can you do to release those fears? Contemplate on if you could … then you would …

In other words take the time to figure out that if you spread your wings, where would you fly? What would your carefree dance look like? Where would you flitter with grace and beauty? We can’t know how to get where we want to be, if we don’t know where we are going.

And, to give you a reminder of this challenge, I have created a wonderful quote by Vincent Van Gogh that I hope you will enjoy. All you need to do is click on the picture below to see the full size, and then right click to save to your computer.

Please feel free to print it out and display it to remind you. Or, you can use it as a desktop wallpaper to remind you of your challenge this week. All I ask is that you not mass distribute or use for any personal gain. You may, however, send any and everyone to my website for them to download their own personal copy.

So, au revoir, mes amies. Spread your wings and fly!!

Bisou Bisou,

Lorraine

P.S. Thanks to the Graphics Fairy for use of the Swallow Print.

Bravery

I thought I’d share some thoughts about bravery today. As we are getting ready to watch the Olympics, I’m always reminded of the bravery of those who dedicate their all to perform at such a superior level. It’s almost mind-boggling to think about how many hours the athletes have spent preparing for (in some cases) just a few minutes of a performance.

It truly is a fascinating thought. But, every 4 years, these athletes will attempt once again to break their own personal best record, and hopefully beat all of the other participants in their own field. And in so doing, they bring honor, pride, and joy to their homeland.

While I will be watching along with everyone else, I have to admit that while I find these athletes most admirable, there are so many other people who are brave in their own way, of whom I admire even more.

I love the thought of all of those who perform quiet acts of bravery every day. The child who stands up for their friend. The mother who gives her all, so that her children will not go without. A husband who goes out every day looking for a job to take care of his family, even when the economy is slamming doors in his face. The teenager who says no to peer pressure. There are so many brave people in the world, but we don’t always honor them. To me, bravery is beautiful. It is never out of fashion. It is always something to aspire to.

So, for my Freebie Friday, I’ve created a printable by Alphonse Much. He was an incredible artist and illustrator, who pretty much created the Art Nouveau movement. I hope that you enjoy this printable. I love the quote by William Makepiece Thackeray.

As always, please do not reproduce this printable en masse or for commercial gain. However, you are more than welcome to send anyone to my blog to download their own copy.

Now … create your own beauty by being brave … in whatever small way that you need to.

Au Revoir,

Lorraine

One Happy La La

Well, mes amies …

I’m a happy girl, but a tired one. The Italian Festival went very well. For my very first jewelry event, I have to say that I’m so pleased with the results. I was almost as happy about the ambience of my booth that was commented on as I was in the amount of jewelry that I sold.

When creating, and then putting your work out there for someone else to look at, judge, and then comment on, it is almost like birthing a child and then having someone else judge them. You feel protective, vulnerable, and at the same time so proud of each item.

I hope that each of you has a way to create and experience that type of feeling. And in light of that, I wanted to share the following quote:

“My mission in life is merely not to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” -Maya Angelou

For me, thriving means creating. Thriving means having a passion for life and all it offers. Thriving means having compassion for others. Thriving means using humor to get through the good and the bad. But of course, (mais oui) one must always thrive with style! Maya Angelou must have been channeling some Oo La La when she wrote this.

So, mes amies, I must apologize for the lateness (once again) for my Freebie Friday, but I hope you’ll forgive me as I used my time to thrive at the Italian Festival.

My prayer is that you will thrive with style, just as Maya Angelou would have you thrive! But I also challenge you to find a creative outlet, whatever that may be. Having an outlet for creativity will light you up inside and your internal beauty will light up and spill over to your outer beauty!

Once again, please do not mass distribute this printable in any way and you may not use it for commercial gain. But, by all means, please feel free to send people to my blog to download their own copy. Or, if you’d like to feature it on your blog or website, all I ask is that you link to my blog.

This particular freebie is a little smaller than usual. I didn’t want to compromise the beauty of this particular piece. I think it would make a beautiful card to send to someone or to put on your desk. Please click on the picture and then right click to save.

Bonjour Mes Amies! Now go out and Thrive!!

Lorraine

**Many thanks to the Graphics Fairy for the beautiful French illustration. To check out her website, you’ll find her link to the left in my blog list.

Freebie Friday: Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Today I just have to get something off of my chest (and no it is not chest hair, judging from my title).

I have had a bad few months when it came to my hair. Was I going to grow it out? Was I going to cut it again? Did my desire to cut it just mean I was sick of the in-between-phase? On and on the dilemma went.

I would guess that (at least in America) there are probably about 3 in 5 women who are doing this same thing every day. Especially when we are having a bad hair day!!

I have a little bit of perspective to share with you about hair. I hope my unique perspective clears some things up.

As I mentioned previously, I glow in the dark. Not literally, but if you count the amount of radiation and chemo I’ve had, I SHOULD glow in the dark! Well, as you know, one of the side effects of this is hair loss. And when I say hair loss, I mean EVERYWHERE!!

At first I thought I’d have fun with this. I ordered every kind of fun wig I could afford. Long, with sassy stripes of highlights. Short blonde bobs, long red curls, short black bobs, etc. What I didn’t think about or know, was that your scalp is so sensitive, that wearing wigs is actually kind of painful. So, around the house, I just went bald. Often in public, I’d wear a hat, or some beautiful scarves. I felt that I was handling it all emotionally very well.

What I didn’t realize, was how much my femininity was tied to my hair. Think about it. As women, we are constantly thinking about our hair, every day. Do I have time to wash it? Do I have time to curl it? Or straighten it? Is it a bad hair day and will I wear it up in a pony tail, or with a head band? If we have a special presentation at work, how will we fix our hair so that we look professional? If we are getting married … how will we wear our hair to best compliment our dress and looks? Every day we think long and hard about our hair.

Well, when you don’t have hair, and you’ve spent your entire life thinking about your hair every day, suddenly you feel extremely off kilter. Even though I knew that with the beautiful wigs I had bought, I could still look attractive. I still did not feel completely like a woman should feel.

Our hair is truly a part of our identity. And, so, instead of continuing to debate about what I was going to do with my hair (thus wearing a headband or a hair clip every day and not looking like the polished person I usually try to present), I decided that I had to do something. I decided to channel my inner self and put that on my head.

Here is the result:

I cannot begin to tell you how much better I feel about myself! No more headbands. No more feeling ugly all over, even if it is just my hair that’s not great. Our hair truly does have an influence on how we perceive ourselves, and, unfortunately, how others perceive us.

So, with that in mind, today’s Freebie Friday is a fabulous quote by Givenchy that I hope you’ll enjoy. Please feel free to click on the picture and then right click to save. You may print it out for personal use, but not mass produce, or use for commercial use in any manner. You, of course, may always send someone to my blog to download their own copy.

So, here is my challenge to you: Does your hair reflect who you are? Not the person you were 20 years ago. Not someone else whose haircut was appealing on them and so you copied it, but it still doesn’t “feel” right. Not the person that you are afraid you are inside. But, the true, beautiful you. If it doesn’t, then do something about it. I promise you, you’ll feel more beautiful and your inner self will be reflected even more on your outer self.

Bon Soir Mes Amies,

I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

P.S. I can’t wait to find out who wins the give away!! I’m so excited, it feels like Christmas morning!!

Living la Vida Oo La La (or Taking the Bull by the Horns)

I can’t wait to tell you about my evening the other night. I was definitely going to post my freebie friday, but something came up, and so I have to get it sent out today. I think you’ll forgive me when you hear what happened.

For years, everyone has been telling me how beautiful my jewelry is, and when will I start selling it. I have seen it as a very fun hobby. But as I mentioned in my profile and about my store, I decided that I truly want to create this new life where designing and making jewelry and therefore helping women feel beautiful is my calling or career. But, there has been a little part of me that has still questioned … “Can I really do this?” Am I really going to make this happen?

Well, the answer is YES!! Last night my husband and I had a hot date, we went to see Woody Allen’s new movie, “To Rome with Love.” Funny, yes (especially the showering Italian – don’t worry, no spoilers here), but not as good as the Paris movie, in my opinion.

Anyway, afterwards we were craving Italian food. So, we went to Macri’s, which is an amazing Italian restaurant here. No greasy spaghetti here, there are TWO chefs in the kitchen and a whole assortment of gelato’s made on the premises, need I say more? So, our waiter starts telling us about the Italian festival that will be coming up on July 20th and 21st. He gives us a brochure, and I see the tiny, tiny, little word “vendors” at the bottom. Before I give it any thought, out of my mouth pops “Do you still need more vendors?” YES, he says. I’ll have the owner come over and talk to you.

Well, I, of course, had my Nook with me, so I was able to show him my Etsy store and a sampling of my jewelry. He loved them, gave a quote, I paid the bill, I got my invoice and receipt. And now I’m committed!! I will be a vendor at an event that generally attracts around 10,000 people!

WHAT HAVE I DONE? I can’t decide if I want to jump up and down with delight, or stop long enough to let the fear set in. But, the primary emotion I feel is … well, picture Sally Field at the Oscars, when she says “You like me, You like me, … you really like me!” That’s how I feel. And then the question begs to be asked … why does it take a complete stranger to validate that I am a creative artist? Why do I shrug off the compliments and praises from people who I admire and love, and just consider them as being “nice.” Someday, ask me about the word nice … and to my sister Michelle … that bit was for you!

So, in keeping with the brand new development and the excitement that I’m on the cusp of a new beginning, I’ve created the following Freebie. I truly hope you enjoy. And, I also pass along my best wishes that you are creating the life you want to live. Sometimes it just takes not thinking too much, and opening your mouth!

I love the picture in this Freebie. It is from a vintage hat advertisement from the 1920’s. Not Chanel, but I would like to think that Coco wouldn’t be offended. As always, feel free to click on the picture and download for personal use. I only ask that you do not mass produce or use for profit in any manner, without express permission from me. Of course, you may direct any and everyone to my site to download their own free copy.

Bonjour Mes amies … go create some elegance in your day!

Love, Lorraine (a VENDOR, aka a Jewelry Designer)