27 October 2008


I saw our first snowfall this morning outside THE BLISSFUL. In my mind, that's a wonderful sign of things to come: Winter is on its way and the Holidays are almost upon us. But the current in the air is that of waiting. As the nation holds its breath awaiting the results of next week's Presidential election, it's a little difficult to completely surrender one's thoughts to Thanksgiving plans, etc. {though my sister-in-law is putting up her Christmas tree as we speak!}. Though this may seem a bit early to most of us, I think she's got the right spirit!

This is an unusual week for us at THE BLISSFUL, but one that we prepare for essentially every other week of the year in one way or another. This Sunday the 2nd, we unveil Peace on Earth, our Holiday Open House. We hope you'll join us that day for some peaceful shopping adventures through our unconventional Parisian-esque Christmas story. Festive bites and beverages will be served and we're throwing a special sale to trumpet the new saison. Maybe it'll even take your mind off of the pollsters and pundits!

In order to pull off the big feat that is our annual Holiday Open House, the shop will be closed this Wednesday the 29th through Saturday the 1st. We've got all of our favorite girls lined up--Zoey, Jamie, Lindsay, Lisa, Francie, Krystal, Kate, and Becki--and we're ready to go to town on this place when the clock strikes 6 PM tomorrow. As usual, it'll be a whirlwind of four 15-18 hours day in a row, but with a well-trained creative staff, I am more at ease than I ever have been going into one of these events.

If you're going to be traveling from some distance to attend, our staff would be happy to make suggestions for hotel accommodations, great local places to eat, etc. Just call the shop at 330.492.2500 or e-mail us at helpdesk@theblissful.com and we'd be delighted to help out!

I may try to blog periodically throughout the week with progress shots, but I'm not promising anything. My goal this year is to get more than an hour and a half of sleep the night before. Some of you will recall last year's 1:45 AM pizza-box-as-pillow debacle, which I blogged about here.

Speaking of that link from last November, it's kind of cool and kind of deflating for me as Proprietor to see what we accomplished last year. As a shop keeper, your eye develops so much from year to year that you tend to astound yourself. I look back at past displays as captured on my blog posts and from my own photo archives and think, "Wow. We did that? I probably wouldn't do it that way had I the same merchandise now." It's both humbling and an interesting objective exercise for my stylist's eye. I can just promise that this year when we emerge from our new incarnation at twelve noon on Sunday the 2nd {after shaking off a good coating of glitter}, we will feel that this year's Holiday story is so much more right, so much more us. In this business, you are perpetually trying to surpass what you did last year, last time. . .and I don't necessarily mean in terms of bigger and "better" {whatever that might mean}. I'm talking about creating and re-creating a shop that is ever more aesthetically apropros, ever more soul-stirring, ever more evocative of your concept, ever warmer and more approachable, ever more buyable {especially in these crazy economic times}, ever more true to the present moment than yesterday's shop.

This is why we so appreciate those customers who grow with us, those who have been there from the beginning {even way back to our first incarnation in a Barn} and those who just discovered us for the first time today {thanks to you, Pat and Cher, if you're reading}. You are the people for whom we create the shop anew, season after miraculous season. We dedicate Peace on Earth to you.

Next time you hear from me, I'll likely be knee-deep in a mound of cherry cordial red XXXXX or stacking up boxes full of XXXXX dusted with pink Himalayan sea salt. Or maybe I'll be folding our new grape and persimmon-colored scarves and XXXXX. Or trimming a tree with recycled XXXXX and our Merry Christmas XXXXX, you know the burlap ones in earthy tones of XXXXX and charcoal. Did I mention, by the way, that one of the looks in our Holiday story is in a palette of deep blood red with zinc, XXXXX, and XXXXX? I know, it sounds a little out there but I see it as traditional with the cool quotient turned up a few notches. Several notches, in fact. Oh, and one of my favorite things we found are the mercury glass XXXXX XXXXX embossed with XXXXX! They will be amazing with the new Falling Snow XXXXX from XXXXX. Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh!

Okay. I'm going to get out of here for the night and go home and rest. I have a big week ahead of me!


23 October 2008

Clock Sale

Through October 31st, we're offering a SALE on select 31" clocks {double click the image below to enlarge}. Normally these clocks are priced at $310. Through the end of the month, we're offering them at $210 before tax. Shipping to any U.S. location outside of Canton, Ohio is $15 by UPS Ground. All clocks are manufactured in the U.S.A., are of very nice quality, will arrive in an attractive box, and most run on two Double A batteries. Orders placed this week or next week will arrive at the shop most likely by mid-November {barring backorders}. Take a look and telephone us at 330.492.2500 for more information. Or e-mail our staff at sales@theblissful.com.

This is a nice opportunity to finish that one blank wall in your home before the Holiday entertaining season is underway!

Attention Sid Collectors

From the Sid Dickens camp, here are the tiles that will retire on December 1st, 2008. {Double click the image to enlarge.} We have most of these styles in the shop and ready to sell {and ship}. Anything we are sold out of can be special ordered until December 1st. Please note that the artist and company are notorious for making no exceptions, so please get your orders in early or stop by the shop soon.

Don't mind the smudge in the lower lefthand corner of this image. It's not a secret cypher from Sid Dickens, just ink on my scanner unit.

Some of my very favorites are in this Retiree list, including The Letter {T149, second to last on the top row}, Watermark {T177, first tile in second row}, and Cerulean Sea {T184, third to last on second row} . We'll never really know why the Sid camp chooses to retire which Blocks when, but I can promise you it has nothing to do with how well they sell!

Interested in learning more about the history of Sid's works? Curious about the market value of your retired tiles {they go up in value afterward, you know}? Check out Sidclopedia, billed as the internet's Ultimate Resource for Sid Dickens Collectors.

Someone sent me this postcard in the mail this week and I logged on to check it out. You have to create an account in order to get into the site, but it's worth it if you're an avid collector wanting more info, a new collector looking for inspiration on how to hang and display tiles in your own home, or just a fan. Lots of great photos of collections displayed in people's private homes. Eye candy for Sid fans! Please note that THE BLISSFUL has no affiliation with this site other than that I created a personal account so that I could review the content.

Peace on Earth's in just ten days {THE BLISSFUL version, at least}! Back to picking glitter glass shards out of my fingers. . .

Scribe's Note: Another Sid fan website worthy of checking out: SidDickensCollectors.com. Great home photography and a message board forum for collectors. If you're looking for a hard-to-find Retired Block, this may be a good place to start. Cheers!

16 October 2008

Invitation to Peace on Earth

Please click here to view the invitation for our Holiday shop event, Peace on Earth. We hope you'll join us on Sunday, November 2nd from Noon-6 PM. We'll be debuting our Holiday story and offering a special one-day discount on all regular priced merchandise in the store.

15 October 2008

Robust Fall

Here are some more images snapped throughout the shop this week. . .

All Hallowe'en items are 50% OFF, including everything featured on the Holiday page of our Online Boutique. Click here to be directly transported to our spooky online offerings. And hurry...when they're gone, they're gone! We're shipping the same day or the next day after you order {if you place your order when we're closed} to make sure these goodies have time to take their place in your home for Hallowe'en.

I love the subtle, timeworn majesty of Autumn and its earthy color palette.

These just in {after our first shipment flew out the door within days}: stretch bracelets with lustrous metallic beads and quirky charms.

Here we match up something that looks as if it has a history {our Saint Sulpice Bistro Clock} with something brand new, our contemporary mirrored photo frames in different sizes.

Straight from France, our favorite white petite taper candles. They're only 4" long and look adorable in a small candlestick. Sold individually or in sets of twenty in these vintage-style royal blue boxes.

French-y housewares for our furry friends. Styles for both dogs {chiens--pronounced "shee-enh"} and cats {chats--pronounced "shah"} available.

Apparel galore in our newly retooled vintage urban loft area.

Confetti Bangles and Bone Tile Bangles.

New Atelier {studio} supplies. My new favorite thank-you cards are the glittered ones with the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

And from our friends at Secret Leaves, these wonderful kraft gift boxes adorned with vintage ephemera and tied with twine. Sharon and Ann at Secret Leaves have run a "green" company from the very beginning, before "green" was the buzzword on everybody's lips. The craftsmanship here is always superior and their eye is just right.

Now that our shopgirl Jamie is at the helm of the Online Boutique, we are making a grand concerted effort to upload LOTS of new product--including incoming Christmas items--onto the O.B. in time for Holiday gift buying, tree trimming, and entertaining. Thank you for your patience over the last several months as we've gotten into our groove with running a busy brick-and-mortar store and the O.B. We love and appreciate the notes we receive from so many of our online customers. We promise to keep loading the goods "on the regular"...but with much more regularity in the days and weeks to come!

And as always, just about anything you spy out in a blog photo or elsewhere can be shipped. Simply send an e-mail to sales@theblissful.com and inquire. My staff and I are pleased to be of help!

12 October 2008

Save the Date for Peace on Earth

How much longer do you think it will last, this Indian Summer of golden honeyed days and soft warm breezes? My constitution enjoys this weather, but my heart is ready {quite honestly} to go play in the snow!

Today was a Sunday and per usual, our "day off," though not really during this season. Zoey {our sunny blond floor stylist/emerging managerial type--possibly a newer face for the non-regulars but one you will come to know and love}, Debbie {head floor stylist/buying partner extraordinaire/maternal type}, and I {proprietor/scribe} worked about five hours in the shop accomplishing a big floor set change in "the back eight hundred" {square feet}. Jamie {brunette shopgirl extraordinaire/emerging web photographer/mistress of the Online Boutique} will be snapping photos for you to enjoy on the blog this week. This was the last big zhuzh to proceed the big zhuzh that will unveil our Holiday story in just under three weeks. {Those of you who know how much I love the Holidays won't be surprised to hear that I already have my mind wrapped around Holiday 2009 and nary a Tannenbaum, tree ornament, or pine-scented pillar candle has hit the sales floor yet for 2008. But that's a different story for much, much later.}

Photo courtesy of Flickr.

Speaking of which, with great anticipation and glee we invite you to

save the date for our Holiday 2008 store event!!!

Peace on Earth
a private bash by invitation only
Sunday, November 2nd
Noon - 6 PM

This is your blog invitation! E-mail invitations will be sent out shortly, but you don't need anything in hand to show up and have a marvelous time. If you've seen this invitation...you're invited!

This is THE BLISSFUL event to bring all your favorite girls to. Festive bites and beverages will be served, plus we're throwing a special Holiday Debut Sale that day only. More details to be released soon!

04 October 2008

Fall Befalls Us

Somehow I blinked and it's October already. I didn't realize it had been exactly a month since I'd last blogged until a customer pointed it out to me yesterday. This is the time of year when things really start to pick up for retail. For independent retailers like me who wear almost all the hats there are to wear {or juggle all the balls, hold all the irons in the fire--pick your metaphor}, this is the time of year when things get almost impossibly frenetic. Now begins the season when I forgo nearly all social invitations until January. While it's mostly a season of personal hibernation for me and other shop owners, it's a season of tremendous activity in our shops...thanks to you, our customers.

When Fall befalls us, it's a time to embrace our deepest ideals and beliefs and to begin the Holiday celebrations of life, tradition and values. This is the sentiment behind Sid Dickens' Fall 2008 Collection of Memory Blocks, "Tattoo." He describes it as a symbolic collection of tiles connected to memories of life, adventure, and love. Themes emblazoned on the skin of people across the globe [are] permanent reminders of time's passage. Timeless representations of our realities remain: a testament of life.

Behold "Tattoo," a collection devoted to telling those stories, those testaments of life:

This collection initially strikes some people as a little dark, however, remember that each tile stands alone as its own statement. When mixed in with the rest of your collection, it'll provide just a bit of an edge. Love that Ace of Spades playing card!

Below, the three Limited Edition tiles just released for Holiday 2008. These will be produced in Sid's studios until December.

And elsewhere throughout the shop...

Layers and layers of jewelry and accessories.

A menagerie of jewels.

Supplies for your own personal wine bar or the convivial café in your imagination. This is the time of year to invite a few friends over and bring that imagined space to life!

Our new Brasserie tabletop collection.

Every table needs candlelight. These 100% pure beeswax Bistro Cubes are unscented for the table. Sold as a set of four in a vintage modern letterpress gift box.

See you at the shop!