03 September 2008

Fall Semestre 2008

Set the tone for Autumn with one of our posh and gothic-y 18th Century Bust Candles. They glow from within when lit. Available in both white and black (to be added to the Online Boutique very soon, but e-mail us at sales@theblissful.com for advance sales!).

It occurs to me that both of the careers I've had--teaching and now shop ownership--have been forward-focused occupations. Back in the days when I was "Miss Kerr" instead of "Abby" during work hours, my teaching partner and I would start meeting the second week of July at our favorite coffee shop in Columbus, Ohio (Cup O' in German Village) to begin writing our unit plans for the school year. By the time school started at the end of August, we'd be roughly planned out right up to Spring Break in March. As a teacher, you're always planning with the end in mind...student success. And now as a shop owner, I am always thinking at least six months ahead, if not a year. While this mindset certainly puts you ahead of the curve in certain ways, it also fosters an inability to truly relax and settle into the present moment--at least it does for me. I find myself having to constantly remind myself to be present, to relax, to lean into today and not just let my mind skitter out two, four, six months into the future, where it naturally wants to dwell. The thing is, I think the anticipation factor is one of the things I love most about this business. There's always something new to look forward to.

And so Autumn, for me, is all about anticipation. There's a subtle current of discovery and reinvention in the air. We're ready to nest, to tuck in, to let our imaginations run freer than ever while our bodies nestle in for some much-needed down time.

And just like the teacher I was trained to be, I am eager to unveil all that is to come.

Old book "topiaries" flank the front entrance.

The colors, textures, weights, and motifs of Fall just speak to me and I hope they will for you, too. So without any further ado, here's just a small peek at what's on the syllabus for Fall Semestre 2008 at THE BLISSFUL:

Our side window display sets the tone.

Alphabet bracelets take us way, way back to our elementary days in a style both witty and sophisticated.

One of my favorite accessories finds for Fall/Winter, the Question Clutch. Got to love that reactive patent handbag (an organic "leather"), too. This one fades from deep black cherry near the zipper to candy apple red at the bottom.

I chased this Brasserie collection for a good six months and finally tracked down the vendor. Made in France since 1818, it's all dishwasher, microwave, and oven safe. Alléluia!

Imagine a life where you could use these everyday!

I love the intensity and the lavishness of fall colors.

Punched up pastels and one-off primary colors, too.

But I never truly get away from those soft muted tones I love. So soothing all year round.

And of course, nothing is as easy on the eyes as neutrals upon neutrals. These Italian tumbled marble coasters and trivets are the hot new hostess gift around here.

For your own villa, be it grand or humble.

Simple entertaining made sublime.

And a nod to Hallowe'en.

We keep it decidedly uncreepy, preferring to focus on the harvest and the richness of the season's colors. But we do have a few spooky touches thrown in for those of you who crave them.

I think all of us at one point had a schoolmistress who looked a little like Mrs. McMeanie. We've sold her exclusively online for several weeks now, but there are still some left for our local customers, as she just made her debut in our spooky display.

Ceramic "faux bois" teacups and dessert plates.

I must admit I do like the skull thing. To me, the look is campy chic. A customer came in last week wearing short J. Crew-looking white chino shorts embroidered with little black skulls. She said her daughter asked her if she was turning into a preppy goth!

But I like our Peace Clutch even more. These are slated to be featured in the October issue of About Magazine, a local magazine about Stark County, Ohio.

My new favorite kitchen "necessity": vintage-style glass tumblers, shown here in opal and crystal.

And jadeite and milk glass cellars for my favorite condiment...salt! (Come on, everybody's got a favorite condiment, right?) See the green opal tumblers in the background?

I would drink just about anything out of these Jadeite Juice Glasses.

Les objets interéssants. French Beaded Candelabra and Mineral with Wing also to be featured in the October issue of About Magazine.

Check out these cute quilted velvet handbags.

Vintage cuff bracelets reborn as modern.

The Lioness Cuff is destined for a bold and stylish customer.

Earrings crafted from vintage findings.

I'm flipping for these pieces from another vintage-reworked collection, especially the multistrand piece in the upper left corner of the photo. Made of five distinct chains of varying materials (from rhinestone to grey leather cord), this doubles as both a necklace and a bracelet.

Some favorite pieces in silver. And for display, deep red coral objets travel well from summer right on through the cooler months.

Speaking of silver...our olive and nut spoons with wiggly cast iron handles are selling like...nuts. (Sorry, I just had to.)

Gunmetal grey silk clutch with crystal cross and old fashioned pocketbook closure for a special evening out. (Kind of reminds me of Tory Burch's icon.)

More metallic organic "patent leather."

This Cross Milagros necklace, made of vintage findings, was sold by the time I finished this post.

My friend Margo, candlemaker extraordinaire of Tatine, has just launched her Le Vieux Monde (Old World) collection for Fall 2008. In Margo's own words, this line is a romantic reminiscence of Old Europe: its abbeys, cobblestones, and chateaux lit by a thousand flickering candles. Now available in three haunting fragrances with evocative jar designs and letterpress packaging. My personal favorite, Cathedral Spire, is shown above.

And there's Marie Antoinette.

And Noble Knight.

The new Vintage Modern Numbers Bracelets flaunt large charms counting one through five.

And our Antibes Bracelets were mostly all sold out by the time I posted this blog. Count on a reorder!

Now straight back to the kitchen, the heart of the home. New soy candles poured into recycled wine bottles in subtle, kitchen-y fragrances. For Fall, we're digging French Pear.

A tile trivet featuring vintage Italian advertising imagery.

A little something to top off your café. One side of the shaker features the flavor in French.

And French lessons for all at every turn.

If you'll be attending the Country Living Fair at historic Ohio Village in Columbus, Ohio next week (Friday, September 12th through Sunday, September 14th), please be sure to visit our friends Kara and Darcy from McMaster and Storm--you know, Greenville, Ohio's petite department store? In my opinion, their booth (if you could call such a marvelous confection a "booth") took the cake last year. I'm sure they have lots more in store for us this year.

Happy back to school!