Saturday, March 31, 2012

Limoges Boxes with Trunk Appeal

Elephants are remarkable animals -- they are strong, have a reputation for having remarkable memories, and for being incredibly social animals.  Limoges boxes are available for other elephant lovers like myself, to showcase these intelligent lovable animals.

Today elephants are the logo for the Republic political party, originating November 7, 1874 from the Herald illustrator, Thomas Nast, and his picture caption showing how the elephant roamed the forest while frightening "all the foolish animals he met in his wanderings".

 Limoges boxes can even serve as a sign of your political loyalties

Physically, today elephants are found in Africa and Asia.   About 50-60 years ago nearly two million elephants existed.  Today there are fewer than fifty thousand left, contributed partly to ivory-hungry poachers and to the natural occurrences of lion attacks in areas of high elephant populations.

Elephants communicate with each other through low rumbling calls and can keep track of each other by sening their smells in the wind.  They easily remember places, other elephants and people.

 These Limoges boxes display our animal in his African habitat atop a jungle sunrise

Despite their long swinging noses, awkward tusks, enormous size, big ears, and rough skin, they are such cute animals.  Their sad eyes, the way they travel in herds while holding on to each others tails, how they fan themselves with their ears, and use a built in nose-shower system, makes me want to give them a big hug.

These animals are certainly the best part of circus performances as well, exhibiting before an audience their great strength and ability to follow directions, walking on huge rolling balls, standing on their back legs, carrying heavy items, etc....  I just adore them.

It is fun to create your own jungle scene of Limoges boxes to include these great animals .... just keep them away from the lions!

Hearty Limoges Box


Girls love hearts.  Heart shaped boxes of chocolate, heart pattern clothing, heart picture frames -- it is lovey-dovey and romantic and we just love that stuff.  This is why its so great that Limoges items are available not only as heart Limoges boxes, but as wearable porcelain heart-shaped jewelry!

Typically, when someone mentions the heart we automatically think about the emotional definition connected to the word. The heart is clearly not as lovely looking as the common rendering we see everywhere, instead it is quite an odd-shaped valve-ridden blob.  Nevertheless, the heart is powerful and responsible for many functions other than just in conjunction with our thoughts and feelings.  Our heart provides life, rhythm, and cleansing for our body at every moment, keeping us centered, alert, regulated and healthy.  


The heart is not just a pump, it is part of your circulatory system, electrical system, and emotional system.  The heart is a muscular organ about the size of a fist in the middle of the chest.  It beats 100,000 times a day and with each pump it sends blood throughout the body and cleans out the waste. 

The circulatory system is how the heart transfers blood in different directions in the body.  Blood is brought to the heart, away from the heart; nutrients and oxygen are transported, and carbon dioxide  is taken away.  The electrical system produces a signal with each heartbeat, which makes the heart contract and pump blood from the top of the heart to the bottom, pumping to the lower chambers and to the lungs.  This signal occurs sixty to one hundred times per minute.  

The heart is the most vital organ and the busiest one.  It deserves all the popularity it gets as a decorative and symbolic representation highly marketable for special occasions.  We do not often think about the significance of the heart as working daily for us to keep us running.  This is all the more reason to love these French porcelain Limoges items, which can serve to remind us of how treasured our hearts should be to us, if not only as a beautiful daily adornment. 


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Lucky Limoges Boxes

As with many long-standing traditions, the fortune cookie does not have a clear origin.  There are various stories about where and when the charming after take-out treat got its start, but we cannot be certain of any of them.  Some things we do know is that they are not from China, they are produced by the millions today, and they always contain a fun message inside for the partaker.

With these Limoges boxes you are always guaranteed good fortune

One version of the fortune cookies story is that they were created by a Chinese immigrant in 1918.  In consideration of the poor individuals that wandered the streets around his business, Hong Kong Noodle Company, he created the treat and passed them out to them for free.  Each one contained a slip of paper with a Bible verse written on it. 

Another possible origin was the invention by a Japanese immigrant who designed the Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco.  After experience much opposition from prejudice individuals, his employment was saved through the support of influential characters in the city.  As a form of thank-you, he created and passed out these cookies regularly in the Garden.

Lastly, fortune cookies may date back as far as 13th or 14th China at the time of the Mongols.  There was much uprising due to frequent invasion, so these cookies (in a earlier, more primitive form) were used to carry messages tipping off revolutionaries to planned attacks.   Story has it that this technique was effective and led to the Ming Dynasty.

Wherever they came from, fortune cookies are a fun way to end (or start) a yummy Chinese meal.  You can even order your own little Limoges boxes in take-out package form, and feel lucky even if just to own a non-perishable cookie that comes with it!

This French Porcelain Limoges comes with little chopsticks and a cookie

Limoges Boxes That Inspire Relaxation

My favorite instrument-inspired Limoges boxes are by far the various pianos available.  I am inspired to buy a huge multi-level doll house, just to showcase one of these pianos in each of the rooms.  Pianos for me symbolize relaxation, stress-relief, and auditory rejuvination -- whether listening to piano music or playing it oneself, it is remarkably therapeutic.
This upright piano Limoges box features a live musical event on the lid

Today we are offered music in virtually every setting -- at home, in the car, at work, in the elevator, and even from the morning singing of our neighborhood birds.  Music plays in grocery stores, oudoor malls, doctor's offices, health spas, in commercials on TV and radio, at athletic events .... anywhere people are for any purpose.  Even if we wanted to we could not avoid music; and everyone loves music becase it enhances our everyday lives. 

I have found that unlike any other musical form, piano music can calm and center us in stressful situations, relax us at the end of a long work day, and it can be welcomed company when our idea of retreat is not in pure silence.  Each element of this music can have subtle positive effects ... the rhythm, the melody, and the tone. 

When trying to reach a point of calm self-collection, we have many choices that will slow us down and put us in a gentler frame of mind.  Baoque and Classical works are ususally good selections, due to their slow movements, which our heartbeats and breath cycles will naually move along to.

Due to the fact that these Limoges boxes are so intricately detailed, I feel as though I could touch the keys and start playing a tune.  I can even almost hear my most loved sonatas just by looking at these lovely French porcelain pieces.  They remind me constantly of my favorite moments in life, when I stumble upon a gorgeous peice of music and once it ends I find myself transported.   Melody has that power to lift us up, even the sheer presence of a melody-inducing item like these! 


Monday, March 26, 2012

Limoges Boxes as Baseball Memorabila

Perhaps Jacques Barzun put it best: "Whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had better learn baseball."  For morethan 150 years, this simple yet intricate game has been a mirror in which we can see ourselves -- and our country -- in all its contradictory, paradoxical glory.  In addition to keeping up with televised games, many love to surround themselves with collectibles, insignia, and memorabilia, to keep themselves in that euphoric state of living and breathing the beloved pastime.

This Limoges Box opens up to reveal a hand-painted baseball scene.


When it comes to baseball, the most popular collectible has always ben trading cards.  Originally packaged as inserts in packs of cigarettes, candy, baked goods,and bubblegum, baseball cards started out as gimmicks to boost sales for peripheral items.  Fast forward to today, when baseball cards are issued under more than half a dozen brand names (i.e. Topps, Score, Upper Deck).  They are more popular than ever, and rarely come attached to items unrelated to baseball.  The rarity of a card, as well as its condition are what make these exciting and valuabel collectibles.

Another popular baseball collectible is the bobblehead, which came about in 2000.  These dolls have big fat faces wired to springs so they nod in enthusiastic agreement to everything.  These are highly valuable, especially the bobblehead dolls that started the trend -- those of the Minnesots Twins.

Penants are another popular keepsake.  They are a nice way of saluting your team (or distracting the other team) from the stands.  Waving it around during the game is a fun way to enjoy the moments, just swaying
your team's symbol around or the sheer excitement of it all.

Whatever your collectible may be -- a dish towel, magnet, autographed ball, Wheaties box -- a true souvenir is only as valuable as the joy it brings to own it.  These Limoges boxes are a meaningful and classy way to express your love of the game to the world.  On your mantle, on your desk at work, in your bedroom or home office, these are enviable memorabilia by any standard. 




Saturday, March 24, 2012

Earthly Limoges Boxes

Earth is a wild and exciting place.  At any given moment somewhere on the planet, storms are brewing, winds are howling, lightning is striking, fires are raging,  and floods are rising.  We do not often think about it, but our world is always moving and pumping with energy and life.  Most of these events depend on where are world is at that moment in its rotation.

Our planet from one view looks like a simply perfect ball, like the Limoges Box below, but it is made up of three basic layers, the partly liquid hot metal core at the center, the fleshy layer of semi-molten rock called the mantle, and the thin rocky surface skin, known as the crust.

Taking a look inside Limoges Boxes are always a world of fun!


Every twenty-four hours, our earth spins like a top.  While it is day on one side that faces the sun,it is night on the other.  The earth also travels on a 23.5 degree tilt which cause the seasons.  In the Northern Hemisphere, we experience summer when the earth is tilted toward the sun and winter when it is tilted away fromthe sun.  The opposite is true for the other side of the world -- so, always when one side of the earth is basking in summer, another part is shivering in winter.  This is why so many people choose to buy their "summer homes" so they can always escape their least favorite season, and enjoy the opposite weather at the same time in another part of the world! 
Limoges Boxes like this are great gifts for those who like to pack up and move about the globe!



I love maps, but find that globes are my favorite way of viewing the earth at a glance -- being able to do the old "spin the globe, close your eyes, and use your pointer finger to stop the globe to select where you will vacation next" technique of trip-planning is always a favorite of mine.  Plus, with Limoges boxes like these ones, I always feel powerful, as I can open up my own personal earth to look inside, then store something that means the world to me.

Limoges Boxes Are "Sew" Cute

Whether  you are dressmaking, tailoring, crafting, or accessorizing, sewing is a hobby that involves a keen eye!   Sewing can be so therapeutic, relaxing, and satisfying, as the ability to produce a unique item of clothing or something for your home is truly rewarding. 



I am not sure whether it is the things I am interested in making or if it is that I like combing pattern with fabric that I enjoy most, but I do know that I like having the right materials on hand if I suddenly find myself ready to sew.  My basic tools include the following:

Scissors:  One 8-10 inch long scissor that is only for fabrics, and one much small scissor for trimming and clipping.


Limoges Boxes like this one are decorative AND functional!

Pinking Shears:  For simple seam finishing

Pins and Pincushion:  To keep things together while you sew or iron

Needles and Needle Box:  For hand sewing and a variety of sizes ranging from fine to heavy duty for your machine.

You can keep your pins and needles together in ornate Limoge Boxes.



Tape Measure: Accuracy is key to a perfect project.

Rulers:  In the form of a yardstick, transparent ruler, and six-inch seam guide.

Seam Ripper:  To re-do any mistakes.

Tracing Paper, Chalk, Markers:  To mark your project from the pattern onto your material.

Thread:  Avoid cheap brands that can break or separate during sewing.

A spool and a tool!  Store a thimble or buttons in Limoges Boxes like this one.


Pressing Tools:  Include an iron that steams, press cloths to protect fabric from iron and vice versa.


These basics will help you complete any sewing task you set out to conquer, but there are many other tools you may accumulate from project to project.  Until then, why not accumulate sewing treasures of even greater value available at www.LimogesBoxCollector.com.


Having A Ball With Limoges Boxes



Golf is a popular sport played in a green, serene, and earthy environment.   The game, first called "the gouf", originated on the east coast of Scotland five centuries ago.  Initially, golf was little more than a pastime with virtually no organization, restricted to a relatively limited number of players.  These players consisted mostly of the gentry, who could afford the high cost of club-making and more particularly the very high cost of the balls of the time.

The most dramatically developed instrument of this game in the golf ball.  The very first golf ball, played with until 1848, was quite feathery, being made of a fragile leather pouch with boiled goose feathers. 


The next ball, created in 1902, was a rubber-core "wonderball" refered to as a rubber guttie.  It was made from a substance obtained for the tropical percha tree, as was much easier to produce.

Today, the standard gold ball is 1.68" in diameter and 1.62 ounces.  It was created in 1921 for the purpose of  instituting conformity, as the game of golf was finally coming to a place of uniformity throughout the world.  The Limoges box below shows an example of the ball we use today.


Requiring great skill and patience, many people gather for tournaments all over the world, to watch their favorite players focus intently and perform under pressure.  Whether you like to enjoy the game at home from your TV, live at official events, or simply on your own on Saturday mornings, these Limoges boxes makes a perfect gift for any "gouf"-affectionado!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Limoges Boxes To Have and To Hold

Weddings are a process -- but thrilling in every step.  Not only does one's wedding day stay with them forever, but the same goes for the months prior to the event (proposal, engagement, wedding planning), and the highlighted events afterward (honeymoon, gift opening, name change).    Weddings are a wonderful tradition and there are many critical pieces of the ceremony that define the event.

Wedding ring buyers always want to go to a reputable jeweler and consider the four C's when purchasing a diamond -- color, cut, clarity, and carat.   For the man, initially presenting the ring to his bride is important, and Limoges Boxes like the one below are options to consider. 




Taking your time when looking at various rings is key as you will be wearing this piece forever, and it is always nice to know the you took the time to find the perfect symbol, especially when you can be reminded of that fact by all the compliments you will get by those who catch a glimpse of your rock.  


Coming in all flavors, colors, sizes, and styles, wedding cakes can be just as difficult to choose as the ring.  They can also be just as pricey, in some cases.  Most important to consider is matching the style of your cake to the style of your wedding as a whole, and also making sure the size corresponds to the number of guests you have invited.  A two or three-tier cake selection, as exemplified by the Limoges boxes below, are standard wedding choices.

The wedding dress is another obvious must, and probably the most exciting choice for the bride.  Usually white, and available in many classic and contemporary styles, important considerations are mainly finding a dress that best fits with the overall theme of your wedding and, of course, whether or not it flatters ones body.

A most memorable and romantic occassion, weddings are a joy for you and your friends and family.  Limoges boxes make for excellent gifts not only for the bride and groom, but also wonderful keepsakes for those involved in your own wedding process.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Dog-gone Limoges Boxes

Dogs are easily considered the number one pet.  It is no wonder why more than sixty million Americans choose to share their home with a canine friend.  They offer so much by way of companionship, security, stress relief, entertainment, unconditional affection, and motivation to exercise.   A dog is an integral part of one's family and is likely to remain so for many years.


This Limoges Box German Shephard is ready to play ball!


In years past, dogs were specifically bred for certain jobs.  These duties included herding and guarding, search-and-rescue, assistance for sight/hearing impaired, and therapeutic visitors for individuals with special needs.  Today, dogs are mostly companions, but continue to have the same characteristics as always -- adaptability to family life, quickness to protect, and high level of dependence. 

Limoges Boxes like this English Sheepdog come with their very own bone!

Dogs require a lot of love, patient training, and care (food, exercise, grooming, vet visits), which makes them a big responsibility.  But the love and faithfulness they give and reciprocate makes it all worthwhile.

There are many resources one can turn to in order to find the perfect dog for their life -- the local newspaper, online community boards, veterinarian's office, local shelter, pet store, or a breeder.  But if you are looking for a low-maintanance substitute for the meantime, look no further than http://www.limogesboxcollector.com/.




Sunday, March 18, 2012

Freshly Picked Limoges Boxes

A few decades ago, shopping for fresh vegetables meant going to the supermarket to pick up some shrink-wrapped green beans and a head of iceberg leettuce.  Rarities like avocadoes, yams, herbs or any colored peppers were rarely stocked in the produce section. 

Today, we have a great variety available to us at our local grocer -- exotic mushrooms, white asparagus, chilis, peppers ... and almost all even available in the organic variety.

Red Hot Chili Pepper (Beauchamp)Sweet Yellow Pepper (Beauchamp)Asparagus (Beauchamp)

In the same way, these colorful varietal options are available to Limoges box lovers. Farmers, gardeners, and health fanantics alike can appreciate the way these porcelain masterpieces make their way into yet another everyday staple category -- and something every human loves to enjoy -- food!

Everyone agrees that eating a variety of vegetables is the best way to get the vitamins and minerals you need.  Grab them from your store, local farmer's market, or even grow them at your own home -- there are many ways to add color and substance to your meals.  You can enjoy them on their own or incorporate them into soups, appetizers, salads, side dishes, and main courses.

The essential point to remember when choosing your fresh vegetables is that they are highly perishable.  The more lush and appealing they look when you buy them, the greater their nutrients. 

But, when choosing your vegetable Limoges boxes, you can rest assured that they will have a long and healthy shelf-life, only increasing in their inherent value.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Limoges Boxes That Spur The Yee-Haw In Me

Limoges boxes have the uncanny ability to capture magic in and of themselves, while also encompassing a lifestyle or veritable world.  One miniature porcelain box can make you think about one simple idea, but then take your mind on a quick travel back to the place from which that item irrevocably originated and the whole culture or movement behind it.

One American icon that I am drawn to through particular Limoges boxes is the Texas cowboy -- the ranch-working, cattle-herding, levi-wearing, horse-riding men who are easily identifiable and dedicated to the long-standing Lone-Star way in their homes on the range.


A cowboy's job is busy from dawn to dusk, marking cattle, checking pastures, tending to fences, weaning calves, roping bulls, moving herds from one place to another for sale, and tending to their land's produce such as grain and cotton. 

The daily work of a cowboy, maintaining their land and livelihood, is less ascribable than the style they adopt while doing it.  There is the hat with the 4-inch brim and leather string that ties under their chin, the leather belt with the handmade chunky buckle, the heavy chaps that cover them from waist to ankle, the collared long-sleeve cotton button up shirt, the 12-17 inch high pointed and heeled leather boots complete with spur, and the 30-foot nylon rope at their side.  This seems like a lot to wear, but being covered up is critical, as in the Texas outback, especially in the summer, everything either bites, sticks or stings.
Probably the most treasured tool of the cowboy trade is their horse.  It takes tedious and patient training through repetition to develop a bond with their horse and to bring them to a place where they can be a great partner for everyday work.  Once they are carefully selected and broken in there is a special bond between a cowboy and his horse.  To be able to communicate with their horse allows them to react harmoniously as one.

The stereotype associated with the Texas cowboy probably originated with the big cattle empires starting in the late 1870's and early 1880's .  You will find that very little has changed in the lifestyle from then to now -- it is neither modern nor antiquated ... just simple and natural.

Mosey on down to http://www.limogesboxcollector.com/ to visit these pieces and tip your hat to America's own folk hero that is still as real, alive, tough, and bowlegged in 2012 as in 1870.

Try These Limoges Boxes On For Size


It is a soothing experience to peruse Limoge boxes online, but something I enjoy just as much is good ol’ retail therapy.  Searching for the perfect shoes, handbags, hats, dresses … always makes me feel rejuvinated. 
This is why I was so thrilled to discover the fantastic combination of my two favorite things --- shopping and Limoges.  From vintage iconic styles, like those donned by the first Barbie dolls, to classic must-haves, like a comfy pair of blue jeans, you can find a Limoges box that reflects your own personal shopping go-to item. 
Gorgeous high-heels
Paris High-Fashion Shoe Box (Rochard)
Little black dress
Paris Shopping Dress Shoes (Beauchamp)
Sassy clutch bag
Flowered 24K Gold Handbag Purse (Rochard)
Head-turning hat
Barbie Hat Box (Rochard)
These miniature art pieces are reflective of the undying appeal of fashion.   All the new styles, influenced from cities all over the world, are always fun to explore and adopt. 
Take a look at these fashion-friendly items and more at LimogesBoxCollector.com – they are guaranteed to make you smile.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Collecting Limoges Boxes -- Decorating With Objects of Sentiment


It is commonly known that beautiful surroundings make for a better life … and everyone has a different way of making those surroundings beautiful.  No matter your style, the beautifying process is quite satisfying, and requires both knowledge and restraint.

Collectors of French Limoges boxes know that they have items that are both beautiful and valuable, just like those who adorn their walls with classic paintings or those who fill their mantels with antique pottery.  How one displays these items can cause others to either appreciate them as well do or to see them as a meaningless conglomerate of knick-knacks.  This is where presentation is key.

The most formal and contained way to display your Limoges boxes is to place them behind glass of a hutch or armoire.  When doing so, make sure to space them apart, 6-8 inches, enough for each piece to be appreciated, and keep like objects together, either sorted by color, shape, or size. 

Another way to display Limoges for personal daily viewing is on a nightstand or dresser.  Good pieces for this would be Limoges boxes that reflect a happy time in your life, like an icon from a memorable vacation, or a box that reminds you of a special occasion such as a wedding or graduation.   Set these pieces together remembering that for each spot less is more – in this location these items should add a splash of color or serve as a centerpiece to be appreciated.

A location in your home to display Limoges for more public view is at your front foyer or entryway, lining pieces up that make your guests feel invited or pieces that immediately communicate the mood of your home’s d├ęcor. 

For example, you could set your Limoges boxes up thematically, like creating an indoor garden feel, by displaying your colorful flower pieces...
Bouquet of Tulips (Beauchamp)

...or setting up a shrine of sorts for your beloved sport pastime.
Baseball Collection Set


You could even display famous landmark pieces, as a timeline marking places you have visited.
 

However one chooses to display their beloved Limoges art work, they will undoubtedly make the atmosphere more cheerful and are always nice conversation starters.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Starting on a dexterous Limoges Adventure

I am so excited to get started on this blog, sharing my favorite French Limoges Boxes with the world.  There are so many pieces that I can easily call my favorite, as themes range from famous travel landmarks, to sports icons, and even to wearable Limoges jewelry.  Anything you love can be incarnated into a Limoges box that you can collect. 
 Tea for One Tea Cup & Tea Pot (Beauchamp)

So, pour yourself a glass of wine .... or a hot cup of tea ...
and enjoy these precious works of art with me.