Baby, It’s Cold Outside – or it should be!

This past few weeks I’ve had a hard time staying healthy. The weather keeps dipping up and down, up and down, which is not a great combination with asthma or staying healthy! But, I’m now feeling much better and trying to get back on the horse.

In the meantime, I’ve been gathering Christmas graphics, Art Deco graphics, and a whole bunch of fashion illustrations that I’m so excited to start using. And, so I had to make a Printable for you. I hope you enjoy it. It’s something that I will be using in my stores (Zazzle and Etsy), but in the meantime, I’m happy to let you use it to inspire you.

Isn’t she wonderful?! She’s from 1913 from a french fashion magazine called La Gazette Bon Ton (High Society Fashion Magazine). This is truly the beginning of the Art Deco movement and you can tell by the modern lines and drape of the fashion. And it’s PINK!! Who could ask for more!!

So, now on to my Brag Monday. I also have been working on Christmas tags with some of the beautiful Victorian pictures I found. Many thanks to the Graphics Fairy for sharing her beautiful images. So, once again, these are for you to start using as you (hopefully) are getting ready for Christmas. I hope you enjoy these as much as I enjoyed making them.  Bien Sur, I had to include one with Marie Antoinette.  It was created from an old Victorian Christmas card in the shape of a fan.  It wasn’t easy, but I was able to keep the wording just as it was on the original card.

As always, these are for personal use only. You may not mass produce, but please feel free to send anyone my way to download their own copy.

Have a wonderful week mes amies … don’t forget to enjoy the holiday with style, beauty, and grace … and if so inspired by Marie … overindulgence!!

It’s All About the Head … or the Neck (as the case may be)

It’s been a bit of a tough week for me, and so I knew I needed to blog … not to vent, mind you. I’ll spare you that … but I needed to create my Freebie Friday printable for you and pour some humor into my life. Hopefully, it will offer you a chance to chuckle as well … and yes, I give you permission to laugh at me, I’m laughing at me while I write this.

As I said, it’s been a bit of a trying week. But, I’ve realized that it’s all about perspective. I was griping to a friend of mine about some of my troubles and then promptly moved into another stresser that just popped up, albeit a good one. As any good friend would do, she promptly said “Boo Hoo … it must be rough to have Google wanting to promote you on the internet, I’m sure that’s really terrible.” And … boom … it hit me. What the heck am I complaining about?

See … it’s all about perspective. I’m worrying over my house being perfect for a photographer that Google is sending to my home as they are highlighting me for the state of Indiana with one of their ad campaigns. Who freakin’ gets to do that? Me!!!! I can’t believe it’s happening to me. So, why am I stressing out?  I should be jumping up and down, thrilled beyond my wildest dreams … and GRATEFUL!!!!

Some people don’t even have a home right now thanks to Hurricane Katrina, and I’m freaking out about what is probably the chance of a lifetime, business-wise. So … as I thought about what I could use for inspiration for my Freebie Friday, I turned to Marie. We always think about the fun she had, fashion, wearing anything she wanted, escaping to Trianon to get away from the court politics, and we promptly forget the woman lost her head … literally. So, while this picture is not Marie, it is Marie-esque (do you like my made up word?). I hope you enjoy and get a laugh out of it.

As always, feel free to click on it and then right-click to save to your computer. You may only use it for personal use (print or as a wallpaper for your computer) but may not mass produce. Fee free to send anyone my way to get their own copy.

Have a wonderful weekend mes amies … and keep your perspective straight (and your heads on!).

Who Knew Marie Antoinette could be so Motivating?

So, today is Brag Monday, once again, on the Graphics Fairy’s blog (see her button to the left), and I wanted to do something a little different this time. Most often I tend to post a piece of jewelry, or one of my coaster designs. This time, I decided to create something that “I” needed, rather than something that would eventually end up in one of my stores.

So, what to make … what to make? Well, I have this little problem … or rather a little bit of a big one. I have paper clutter like no one’s business. It seems as though just as soon as I get my papers under control, I get a whole bunch more in the mail or create a whole bunch more that need to be filed. And, as I now am self-employed, it is absolutely crucial that I keep my financial papers in order. You wouldn’t necessarily guess that I have a problem, because I’m really good at hiding them in beautiful storage boxes. But, “I” know that they are just thrown in there until I can’t put it off any longer.

So, I decided to psychologically trick myself. Who better than Marie Antoinette to put a smile on my face as I file my store receipts? I mean, the irony is absolutely perfect!! I love all things french. I even sympathize with Marie, and love that her style “Iconishness” (is that a word?) is still just as prevalent today as it was when she was alive. But, let’s face it … she wasn’t known for her thriftiness or her attention to financial details.

So, I’ve created a financial journal and proceeded to design and create the cover for it. Now, I don’t think it will be as difficult to file those business receipts away. I’ll look at Marie and think … “Wow” I’m really on the ball. No one is going to chop off my head now that I have this receipt put away in the proper place. LOL!!

So, here are some pictures of my brag entry (many thanks to the Graphics Fairy for her beautiul graphic of Marie). I hope you enjoy. It isn’t necessarily overly embellished, I tend to prefer complexity in design, not in a lot of doodads. But, I’m rather proud of her, if I say so myself.

and here’s another angle:

So, I must ask … What tricks do you do to motivate yourself into doing those things that you don’t want to do? Oh, do tell!!
Au Revoir, mes amies. A bientot (until next time).
Bisou Bisou,

Brag Monday Entry

I thought I’d share my Brag Monday entry with you. I’m pretty proud of this Tile Coaster set, and have to admit that I was really having some difficulty with this particular tile. But, the Graphics Fairy came through for me!! I was able to find just the right Marie to put on this tile. Here’s a picture of what I ended up with:

You know when you have something “just so” in mind, but you can’t find the reality of what you have envisioned? That’s where I was. But, I was finally able to find the right Marie, and it all came together.

I’ve been having a lot of fun designing digital designs, because I have to admit that my hands are a little tired from the 200+ marathon of jewelry making that I did to get ready for my Italian festival. But, I’m really having a ball now designing digital art and then translating that onto tiles. I have some ideas of other projects, but I’ll keep that secret to myself.

Oh, and just so you can see, here is the entire set of my 1st French series:

See what I mean … it needed just the right Marie! Thanks again Graphics Fairy for coming to my rescue.

And, if you’d like to see the whole set in more detail, head on over to my store and you’ll see more photos.

A Bientot!!


Freebie Friday: Plus Some Cake as Well!

Well, it’s Freebie Friday again, and instead of a printable, I have a special gift for one of you. I’ll let the suspense build as I explain:

I believe I’ve mentioned before, at least in my profile, that I love all things french. I mean ALL things! I was fortunate enough to have a father who taught at an elite private school and so while we lived on a very modest teacher’s salary, I was fortunate to go to school there, tuition free. Needless to say, I had an amazing education and was able to start learning french when I was only 10. I was then able to start college french classes as a junior in high school. Any opportunity to read about someone french (I can’t tell you how many times I read the Scarlet Pimpernel, or William the Conqueror) I took.

So, what does this have to do with beauty? Why, Marie Antoinette, bien sur! She is one of the most beloved fashion icons, and the most hated royals in history. It is fascinating, however when you research her, because her most famous attributed line is: “Let them eat cake!” However, there is very little documentation suggesting that she actually stated this. There is more evidence to suggest that it was an aristocratic woman from several centuries before her.

However, we do know that she was an arbitor of fashion. She loved her children dearly. She respected her husband, but not necessarily his ability to lead. And, as an outsider, she was never really accepted by the french population as a whole. We also know, that while she lived with seemingly everything at her disposal, she lived such a sheltered life, that she truly didn’t know how people were living just outside the walls of her home. She actually sounds like some women that I know.

I wanted to share an amazing experience I had this past fall. At my women’s group at Church, we had a “Let Them Eat Cake” activity. What does that have to do with a charitable organization, you might ask? Well, we have a large population of graduate students and their wives/husbands in our congregation. Many of them do not have the means to buy new clothes, or at least haven’t for quite some time. On top of that, we have a very varied economic strata in our church as well. We have people with quite a bit of means, and then we have some with none. It came to our attention that several of the homeless shelters (particularly the battered women’s shelter) were in desparate need for clothing. I don’t know if you knew this (I hadn’t prior to this activity) but when women leave an abusive situation, and they finally feel safe enough to return home and get their things, more often than not, the abuser has disposed of all of their belongings and they end up having nothing at all.

So, we decided to follow Marie Antoinette’s wisdom and lack of wisdom. We decided we would have our cake, eat some, and then share with the women in our community. We all brought clothes that either didn’t fit anymore, we were tired of, or we just didn’t need anymore. We also brought cupcakes and had a contest. We had an absolute blast playing fashion consultant for each other. Swapping clothing, helping those who didn’t have a clue what looked good on them, and helping everyone feel beautiful and excited about their new fashion accessories and clothing, and yes, eating our cake. Then, we took all of the left over clothes to the shelters.

I was absolutely in awe as women of our church continued to bring in more and more clothes throughout the coming weeks. Because, we had explained that if they had nice dress clothing, it would not only clothe the women we wanted to help, but it could actually change their lives for the better. I mean, if someone is trying to get a job, and all they have are sweat pants, t-shirts, or jeans, who is an employer going to hire, even if they are competent? It will be the professional looking woman who may not even be as qualified.

So, long story short, I cannot begin to describe the look of gratitude and wonder as we brought bag after bag of clothing to the shelters. These women were in such awe that someone cared enough to not only bring them clothing, but also cared enough to try to help them change their lives for the better.

Is that true beauty or what?

Well, as I’ve mentioned before, I absolutely love to accessorize. I mean a woman isn’t really dressed until she does, n’est-ce pas? So, when I survived breast cancer and decided to fulfill my dream to help all women feel beautiful, special, and loved with the remaining years I have on this earth, I decided to utilize my talents to do so. I have loved designing and making jewelry for years. So, I have now opened my Etsy store to share my designs with other women. I have been truly blessed to be able to take the time and money (which my husband has so graciously supported) to prepare for this new adventure.

So, as a grand opening gesture, I want to share some “cake” with you. Because just as we should never forget to share what we have with others (10% of all my profits will be going to the Susan G. Komen Foundation) it is truly okay to have some cake for ourselves once in awhile.

So here is how my giveaway will work:

1) Subscribe to my blog, so you can participate in the fun of discussing beauty, fashion, all things French, and also have the Freebie Friday Printables to decorate your life.
2) Go to my Etsy store:
new Etsy.Mini(6863457,’thumbnail’,3,3,0,’’);
3) Heart your favorite item (no sets please, just a single item).
4) Come back and post a comment telling what you like about it and why you want some cake in your life. I’d welcome any other comments you might have about sharing cake as well. Also, tell me if you have “social networked” (is that a verb?) the item.
5) For each social networking method you also use, you receive one additional entry. For example, if you tweet, pin, like on facebook, or Stumble,Tumble, LOL, etc., you receive an entry for each social network.

I will be using Random Picker to choose the winners:

First place will receive the jewelry piece of their choice.
Second place will receive a $10 gift certificate to my store.
Third place will receive free shipping from my store.

In order to guarantee fairness on my part, I will be using to import all of the entries so that we truly have a random drawing. Closing of the drawing will be Sunday night at midnight, U.S. eastern time. I will then announce the winners on Monday morning.

Good luck to you all!! And, as a little taste of a piece of my jewelry, here is one of my favorite items:

Bon chance everyone!! I can’t wait to see what you like. Also, please note that I have many, many items to continue to list, which I will be doing throughout the weekend. So, keep checking back to make sure that you choose the right one! While you only get one piece of cake, a woman is always allowed to change her mind!!

A Bientot,