Friday, February 25, 2011

A Very Happy Birthday and A Few Lovely Treasuries

This has been a very memorable and wonderful birthday. I got to spend lots of quality time with my husband and son (and kitty!) at home, and then my husband treated me to a manicure! We went and ate a late lunch together aaand then I went to my other evening class ;) I didn't let that get me down, though, and afterwards I came home for cake and ice cream!!

I recently confirmed that I am allergic to wheat and chocolate. I was pretty bummed since it was right before my birthday, and while I can live without chocolate, I just can't imagine a birthday without cake. I have been blessed with a wonderful husband, though, and he found a wheat-free cake mix which he made while I was at class! Mmmm, it was tasty :)

Something that also made my day special is the fact that I made my third sale this afternoon! I hope the excited fluttering feeling I always get never goes away!

The Etsy community has been so wonderful and accepting, and I have already met so many great people. I am absolutely delighted when my items are featured in treasuries, and three lovely fellow Etsians have put together treasuries including items from my shop.

First are:

And then this morning I discovered

And while we're on a Treasury kick, here is a fabulous one I just discovered hot off the presses. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Satisfying Day's End - or - Of Cabbages and Kings

This truly has been a satisfying day's end. My very first transaction as an Etsy seller has been completed and I couldn't be happier! Also, my evening class, History of Rhetoric, was quite productive and we had a lively discussion regarding Aristotle's On Rhetoric - Book II. I won't torture you with the details though ;)

As much as I love Rhetoric and my evening class, tomorrow is my birthday and I need at least a temporary respite from Aristotle's intense objectivity. So, I'm watching my very favorite version of Alice in Wonderland :)

This movie scared me when I was little; it was too surreal and MUCH too silly. Now I love the whimsy and nonsense poems and, of course, the characters themselves. I have a special affection for the Cheshire Cat and the little mouse in the teapot :) Plus, you get to celebrate your un-birthday 364 days of the year with the Mad Hatter and March Hare!!

I'm so glad you stopped by and I hope you have Callooh! Callay! A frabjous day!!

Happy Whimsical Wednesday!!

Welcome to another Whimsical Wednesday! Today I would like to introduce you to an artist I have admired for quite some time: Kit Chase from the blog LullaLoo and Etsy shop Trafalgar's Square! Her truly whimsical paintings will whisk you back to childhood, when everything was sunshine and stuffed animals were your closest friends. There are so many wonderful paintings and prints to choose from that I could spend hours in Ms. Chase's shop! Here are a couple of my absolute favorites, though :)

Ms. Chase's blog is definitely worth the trip over to see as well. I love getting to know the person behind the product, and the glimpse you are given into her and her family's life is exceptional.

Also, right now Ms. Chase is looking into starting her very own website(!) and she is trying to decide which name it should be given: LullaLoo or Trafalgar's Square?

So, she is hosting a giveaway this week at LullaLoo and will be giving a (very) lucky duck:

Trot, the Star Flyer
8x10 Archival Print

To be entered to win this irresistable little fella all you have to do is:

1. follow LullaLoo
2. blog, twitter, facebook, or tell your friends about the giveaway
3. post a comment below LullaLoo's post "Identity Crisis and a Giveaway" telling her what name you like better, Trafalgar's Square or LullaLoo, or if she should come up with a new name.
The winner of the giveaway will be announced this Saturday, February 26th. I can't wait to see who wins and what Ms. Chase decides to call the new website!
Bye for now! --Mary

Monday, February 21, 2011

Hail to the Chief!

I know it's a little late in the day, but Happy Presidents Day to you! We have had so many good presidents, my personal favorite being Theodore Roosevelt (I even named my kitty after him :) He's only one of a pretty big group of courageous men, though. Who is your favorite?

In honor of this special day, I'd like to present a FABULOUS print from 1canoe2, an awesome letterpress shop, most appropriately titled Hail to the Chief. I have been admiring this print for a long time, and I hope you love it as much as I do!

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy the rest of your Presidents Day!!

A Marvelous Monday (for wrapping packages)

Ahh, a busy, busy day right out of a Richard Scarry story - minus the pickle cars and banana mobiles :) I've been running all over town trying to gather everything I need in order to properly package my very first orders. I think I have everything under control now, other than the fact that I realized rather late that today is Presidents' Day and the post office isn't open! Oh well, at least everything will be in perfect order in the morning to be shipped.

I decided I want to pretty up all of my packages before sending them, since there's nothing more exciting than opening up a present - even if it is from yourself :) I also want to maintain that vintage look, though. So, I got some kraft paper, pretty ribbon and made my own tags. I'm rather pleased with the results!

What do you think? It's not perfect, but I like the brown paper (it reminds me of old-fashioned butcher paper) and I love the ribbon (who doesn't like shiny ribbon??). The tags need some work, but they were the best I could come up with at such short notice - I wasn't expecting to make any sales yet! I thought the tag could function rather like a business card, with my shop name and maybe my e-mail address; I also thought it may be less pushy. Any thoughts? What would you prefer? A tag? or a business card? or both?

Well, my sister and nephew are on their way over, and she and I are going to cook dinner together, so I'd better go. I hope you have a Marvelous Monday!!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

An Unanticipated Post!

I can't believe it, but my shop has made its first sale! I have been trying to get UneBelleVie into as tip-top a shape as possible, but between family, class, homework and everything else going on this has been a challenge. I think my efforts will pay off, though, and there will be many reasons to remember 2011 :)

<-- This is the beaut who is going to a new home on Monday: an Olivetti Lettera 32. If only I had room in my home for all of the treasures I run across...

Also, my little daydreaming pixie has been featured in a beautiful treasury(!) by OneHalfDozen, a candlemaker (I just had to *heart* this one!).

I can't believe everything that has happened over the past few days, and I look forward to continuing to get to do new things and meet new people :)

Thank you so much for stopping by and I hope you have a wonderful night!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Vintage Makeover & Dolores Arlene (aka MomMom)

I have decided that my Etsy shop, UneBelleVie, needs a more uniform look, and one that swiftly indicates the nature of my shop inventory. I want it to retain a measure of personal meaning for me, however. So, I asked my Mom to send me pictures from when her mother, my MomMom, was little. This precious picture was one of them and is now my shop's avatar, and I'm planning on using it to design a coordinating banner.

Dolores Arlene was born in 1934 in Lemoyne, PA. She was a beautiful little girl with lots of spunk who everyone called Toots. Dolores grew into a tomboy, spent most of her time playing outside, and tended to get herself into trouble. I think it's a family tradition :)

When she became an adult she bought and sold antiques, collecting and passing on many to my Mom, my sister and I. She was a wonderful woman and the best grandma a child could ever have. Even though she passed away when I was 5 I have the most vivid memories of her reading to us girls, playing with us, just being there for us. I often wonder what she would have thought about the woman I've become, as well as my life and family.

I guess for me antiques aren't just objects with an interesting history; they are a way for me to feel closer to her. Perhaps that's one reason I decided to sell vintage items in my shop. Regardless of whether my shop is a success or not, I hope she would be proud of what I'm doing.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Whimsical Wednesdays: Meet Quirk & Happenstance!

Greetings! First on today's agenda is the announcement that I have dubbed Wednesdays as "Whimsical." So, it just makes sense that I introduce whimsical pieces and artists on this day :)

Therefore, I am thrilled to introduce Quirk & Happenstance, a shop brimming with whimsy by photographer and artist Amber Haschenburger! Ms. Haschenburger says she "loves putting on a pair of dirty tennis shoes and traversing the neighborhood camera in hand." How fun is that! She has discovered so many charming places, shops and buildings to photograph you have to peruse her shop.

Here is a piece I particularly want you to see! It is entitled Junktacular Spectacular and I LOVE it! I had been thinking yesterday how antiqueing and thrifting is like going on a scavenger hunt, and there's nothing better than stumbling upon a hole-in-the-wall shop brimming with mystery and charm, just like this one. To me, that is the definition of heaven on earth and it is truly spectacular.

I'm so happy I was given the opportunity to introduce you to Quirk & Happenstance and Ms. Haschenburger! I hope to share more of her work in the future as well as make Whimsical Wednesdays a weekly tradition. I hope you have a wonderful day and feel free to leave a calling card to let me know you were here! :)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Oh happy day!

I have officially opened my Etsy shop, UneBelleVie, and have my first item listed! I'm very excited! As I said in my first post, this blog and my shop are 2011's grand experiments, so I suppose we will just wait and see what happens. I do hate to wait, but I think this will be worth waiting for : )

I decided to carry eclectic vintage and antique finds in my shop, as I love to peruse antique and second-hand stores but my home can't hold everything I deem worthy of purchase. I will be listing more items soon, though tonight I don't have time for any more as it's a rather lengthy process. It was strangely stress-free, though, and I had fun! I am definitely ending this night on a positive note and I hope you are too! Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

What A Lovely Life.

Une Belle Vie is going to be this year's grand experiment. I have wanted to start a blog for quite some time now and have just gotten up the nerve. I hope it is a success : ) But first, let me introduce myself.

My name is Mary. I am currently a university student studying English with an emphasis in Literature, I married my high school sweetheart almost four years ago, and we have a beautiful baby boy who will be 20 months old the 16th.

I wanted my blog's name to be representative of myself and my family, and, being a helpless romantic, something French seemed parfait. Une Belle Vie translates to A Lovely Life, which I feel blessed to have. It also has a happy ring to it and serves as a reminder of all the good things in my life.

Another of this year's pursuits is to open a shop on I have been, quite honestly, in love with Etsy ever since I became acquainted with it this past September. My one problem, though, is what exactly to have in my shop! I thought it would be a simple problem to solve, but between school, family and other obligations it has turned out to be a much more difficult question than I anticipated. Ah well, I have all year to realize this goal, right? Wish me luck!

Thank you so much for stopping by! It was lovely meeting you, and I hope you enjoy my future posts. I am always open to questions and comments, so please! Leave a calling card and let me know you were here. Have a beautiful day!