Now that our weekend soirée is just a beautiful memory, I can post a plethora of photos here with captions. Thank you to all of our beloved local customers who came out to spend their hard-earned money on what we think is a pretty great selection of holiday and giftable finds. Thanks also to our new friends from all over the country who visited us through the blogosphere via The Inspired Room's French-Inspired Satellite Party. Gracious blogger Melissa co-hosted this satellite event with us and invited her blog readers to don their holiday finery (at home), contribute one stellar hostess gift idea, pour themselves a glass of something bubbly, and settle in for some online fun! How exciting for us to read all of your kind comments as our party whirled on through Saturday. We wish we could have met every one of you in person. Lucky for us, we did get to meet one of you! Elizabeth from Lovely Little Cottage actually hopped in her car (sweet husband at the wheel) and came on down to see us. You'll see the picture we took together a little later.
So I invite you now to grab a mug of something hot and satisfying and join us for a little tour of A French-Inspired Noël.
I love the way the shop looks at night so much--so warm and sparkly--that I'm considering adding in some more evening hours for the holiday season. What do you think, local friends? Should we? And what nights would you be most likely to shop? Our friend Erik snapped this glowing shot for us...
(above) We went with a white-and-light celestial theme for the windows that flank our front door. Madame Fiori looks truly out of this world in her vintage corona and feathery angel wings.
My mom Debbie shares a smile with Dawn, one of our dear regular customers.
Our friend and hostess Jamie, a shopgirl and entrepreneurial woman in her own right, caught here in a positively pre-Raphaëlite moment.
Our new friend and sales rep Tina selects a Santa.
An arty little shot. See über-hostess and experienced retailer Zoey in the background? Not only are we thankful to call her a friend, but she also taught us an easy way to hang a picture this weekend--much easier than the way we've been doing it. Yes, you learn something new every day.
Another arty shot, courtesy of Lindsay.
Speaking of Lindsay, here we are. As girls and teenagers, the two of us spent this time of year rehearsing dozens of hours each week for The Canton Ballet's production of The Nutcracker. My freshman year of high school, I actually got to dance the role of Clara! But I'm no dancer today. It's been years since my toes have felt the important pinch of a pointe shoe.
One of the highlights of my weekend was an unexpected visit from Erma Smith, my third grade teacher from Clarendon Elementary School! After the hugging and the tears, we were able to catch up for a while. This beautiful, classy, and warm lady has made such an impact on my life to this day. She was one of the very first people to encourage me as a writer and help cultivate my interest in it. Mrs. Smith (below, left) consults with our friend and hostess Ingrid.
Coté Bastide, our new French apothecary line, is trés irresistible in two fragrance collections, Ambre (Amber) and Lait (Milk).
The French tree...
My favorite hostess gift for this season: one of our Peace on Earth or Merry and Bright soy candles. With delightfully fun and modern packaging and a box of matches tucked inside every chunky box, these candles perfume the whole room.
A view of the shop from our cash wrap.
Silver Tannenbaums and grooved mercury glass candle pedestals complement our fantastic new line of pillar candles, Tatine. More about Tatine Candles and their fabulous designer, Margo, in a feature post on some of our small and up-and-coming vendors, coming soon!
Our Atelier (Studio) is well-stocked with grabbable little goodies for stockings, co-worker gifts, holiday stationery, and fripperies for mailing and packaging.
Our friend and graphic designer Rebecca in her chic, festive finery.
Goodies aplenty. Janice, my boyfriend's mom, baked seven dozen of four different types of cookies for us, plus four trays of fudge. That woman can throw down with the best of them! Our customers raved over her every confection. If she had been taking orders this past weekend, I'm sure she would've gotten at least a dozen!
Our kitchen is well-stocked for holiday entertaining. We've got eclectic and elegant glassware, lovely trays and tiered servers, and dessert plates galore.
Holiday VOTIVO. We've got to reorder already! Christmas Sage is going fast.
Our collection of Elements/Jill Schwartz in all of its modern vintage-y, off color, collage-y glory. There's no time like the holidays for a statement piece. Or, if you're like me, you feel the need to make a statement every day! Who says three-inch long earrings and an oversized cocktail ring don't work with jeans?
I have to have a bold, graphic pop somewhere in the store. Crisp, clean black and white is easy on the eyes. I find this vignette mesmerizing.
Fuschia, burgundy, and platinum dahlia wreaths to crown the season bright. Yes, Jamie, I said dahlias. :)
Jewels upon jewels.
And a close-up on the same...
More kitchen wares for those who can never seem to get enough. Back when I had a little place of my own, I could never find a reason to turn down a pretty new tea towel. Everybody has their "thing," and I guess tea towels were one of mine.
Cobalt blue candles, fleur de lis glasses, and our Moroccan kitchen accessories are effortlessly French in style.
Our hardware area, where people love to linger.
Now's the time to stock up on rich skin care products to ward off the dry skin of winter.
French eau de toilette in Art Nouveau-inspired bottles and the best lavender lotion EVER by French General. Thanks, Kaari!
Our Thanksgiving dinnerware is now significantly depleted. What a beautiful table that will make for one lucky family. Anyone need a fabulous copper glitter glass Thanksgiving tablescape or a Thanks garland?
Oh, yeah. It is still pumpkin season, isn't it? Excuse me, we seem to have skipped right over November around here! Our gold and silver metallic pumpkins are a nice reminder of Autumn's still-to-be-partaken-of bounty.
Elizabeth and I. She's the lovely person who drove a considerable distance to visit The Blissful for the very first time after finding us through The Inspired Room's satellite party. What a sweet lady. We had fun chatting.
Arty shot number three.
Soft focus on the bedecked mantle area.
And finally...whew! This is my first, only, and precious niece Lexi. She's eight months old, she just cut her first tooth, and she was quite the little attraction when she visited our soirée with Grandpa on Saturday.
Thanks for coming along on our tour. We're taking the rest of the day off to catch up on some much-needed rest. We'll reopen the shop with a flourish Monday morning. If you didn't make it to the shop this weekend, we hope to see you this week while there's still a great selection of new goodies for you to discover. Merci and "bye-bye" for now!