Dear Blog Readers,
We have become the kind of blogger we never wanted to be — the kind who has a "read our blog" button on our website but the newest post is months old. We blame Facebook for this — it's so much easier to write something there and we seem to have more followers there than we did here on the blog. Still, we can't quite bring ourselves to give it up altogether yet — so instead, we're posting this little note to explain our lack of current entries. Please do check out our facebook page, we think it's fun, if not quite as long form.
sincerely, the Joie de Blogger.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Just Saying . . .

When a customer that you don't know at all asks you "How old do you think I am?" and she's a woman . . . and she has also just confided that she is joining an on-line dating service . . . decide how old you think she is . . . and then subtract five to ten years. No matter what. Otherwise, you may find yourself in the awkward position of guessing she is in, say, her fifties, only to find she is in her forties. Just a word of warning . . . make it easy on everyone and guess low !

Monday, August 23, 2010

Eating My Words

or maybe I should be drinking my words . . . anyway, here is an illustration of the importance of good design. Last year I did a post on how frightening sock monkey wine bottle covers were. Based on the picture above, you can probably understand my reaction. But this summer, the clever folks at Fred released their own version of a wine monkey, and it struck me completely differently. I ordered some and we sold out quickly. Based on the picture below, you can probably understand that as well. The monkeys themselves were virtually identical. It just goes to show . . . the importance of packaging. And it's another example of never say never. I called the wine monkey the scariest idea ever . . . and now I think it's only a tiny bit scarey - and more cute and fun.

Friday, August 20, 2010

If Only We Could

. . . we would be selling this product. It's wrong for us on so many levels. It's a condom for starters. Joie de Vivre tries to be a family store. And it's certainly disrespectful - but as Sarah Palin is so disrespectful towards others herself, that doesn't bother us much. (The Obama versions DO bother us however - they're funny and the text is not disrespectful to Obama but in our book a presidential condom is inherently so) Anyway, you won't find this here at Joie de Vivre, but we thought you readers might enjoy knowing it exists . . .

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Happy Squeaky Wheel

If you've been reading this blog for awhile you may remember our post from awhile ago titled "Inquiring Minds Want to Know." Those minds were wondering why a nicely designed water based clock would be in a box covered with cheesy pictures of bosomy girls. So, yesterday at the Gift Show I saw the company that makes the clocks, and noticed the clock was now packaged in a simple clear box. The company owner recognized read my name tag and said "I'm glad you came in, we wanted you to see this new box." (They had previously sent us stickers to cover over the aforementioned girls.) He told me he had changed the packaging in large part because of my complaint. That made me happy. Sometimes I feel like I'm always complaining about things... it's nice to know that people are listening at least some of the time. It gives me hope - maybe Chronicle Books will remove that picture of Tiger Woods from the "My Listography" book.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Flamingo House

The house we rented for our beach vacation is called the Flamingo House - by our family and I'm sure by others. It used to have weathered pink shingles, but they were recently replaced with grey aluminum siding. The interior is still loaded with flamingos of every kind - large paint by numbers, flamingo mugs, plates, pillows, lamps - you name it. A good rainy day kid activity is counting flamingos - but we were lucky to have none of those days this time. We used to rent this house every summer but haven't been back for awhile and I had forgotten how many flamingos Joie de Vivre had contributed - in the photo above, the jack in the box and the wooden flip toy, and a standing wooden flamingo puzzle to name just a few. It was fun to see them - (and yes, I brought some more to add to the flock this year!)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Behind the curtain at Joie...

heh heh heh... now that the cat is away, we Joielings are well, er, ummm... ready to blame whatever may happen on devil duckie!
WHOOPS! did you see THAT?!
oh noooo... we'll never be able to explain this...
me? I thought YOU were supposed to be here at 10 this morning...
hmmm... does the computer screen often go blank like this?

But all kidding aside (ahem), in Linda's absence we would like to acknowledge her amazing presence at Joie de Vivre. How many times has a customer said to us: "This place is like a museum — you should charge admission!" ...or "Who finds all this great stuff?" ...or "This place is too fun." So yes, there really is one tireless mastermind behind Joie — someone who not only finds the best tiny plastic ducks, smiling whirling sugar bowls, a device that makes horses gallop, dogs run and hummingbirds fly, and books that make you laugh 'til you cry, but also creates a whimsical atmosphere in which to bring them to you.

Enjoy your well-earned vacation Linda! (we're pretty sure the carpet will have dried out by the time you get back...)

Friday, August 6, 2010

It's That Time Again

Time for Joie de Blog's summer vacation ! Off tomorrow to the Jersey Shore. I love Long Beach Island and if it wasn't so darned far away from Cambridge, I would have loved to have opened a seasonal store down there - I even picked out a name- Beachy Keen. But that seven to eight hour drive, (no airport or train) - it would never work. And this way, it remains a true vacation - a special and relaxing treat. Anyway, for the next week, I have invited a few guest bloggers to post - we'll see if they do! Joie de Blog will resume its regular blogging next weekend from the New York Gift Show!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Right Tool for the Right Job

Girl, about 10, at the store with several friends, asks seemingly randomly: "Will I get to eat pie tomorrow?" I look over and realize she's addressing her question to the flat cellophane fortune telling fish. These fifty cent fish have been around forever - you place fish on your palm and its actions tell you if you are fickle, passionate, in love, etc. Me: "You'll have to ask the Magic Eight Ball - the fortune telling fish only knows about love." Girl: "Oh. Okay!" and off to the Eight Ball she went.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Joie de Vivre Recommends !

I think this will be an occasional series of website recommendations. We're sure that you all know about many cool sites, but every once in a while, I come across one that really makes me laugh. (& it's funny how many of these have been made into books - Cakewrecks, Stuff White People Like, and the Blog of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks to name just a few.) Anyway, a friend alerted me to this one recently and I think it's really funny. Catalog Living. For best results, should be viewed by those familiar with Pottery Barn catalogues and the like.