Reuse ideas for glass candle holders.

Friday, February 27, 2009

One of our customers' favorite items at Mignonne are candles. We carry a wide and ever-changing selection of candles from top quality candlemakers like Votivo, Voluspa, Claus Porto and Caldrea, to name a few.

But what to do when one of Mignonne's long-lasting, long burning candles finally reaches it end? Well first, of course, is the challenge of removing the wax.

Actually, not a big challenge at all. Place the glass container in your freezer overnight after your final 'burning', the wax will contract in the cold and should pop out easily. You may need to use a butter knife to 'encourage' the wax to pop.

Wash the glass in hot, soapy water and voila! you have a glass container ready for transformation ...

- reuse to display a candle pillar
- group different sizes with spring flowers and colored stones or marbles to make a unique centerpiece
- great for storage, desk organization
- many are a perfect size for drinking glasses
- display your 'smalls' collection beautifully (shells, matchbooks, old buttons, etc.)
- spice container (cover top with heavy brown paper and fasten with rubber band ... a handwritten label would be nice)
- display holder for bathroom items (swabs, cotton balls, etc.)
- for the crafty, use your candle jar to fashion a hanging birdfeeder (yes, we've seen some!)
- a small terrarium or planter ... add some glass stones or beads, some bamboo stalks and voila!

The list is as endless as your imagination ... what ideas can you share?

Furniture ~ Empire Style

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

American Empire-styled furniture dates back to early 1800-1840s.  It is a take-off from the French Empire style of furniture, popular during Napoleon's reign and reflects the majesty of that time. American Empire style is much plainer than the French version.

Characteristics of Empire styling include some elements of the following:  distinctly masculine in feel, wooden chairs with upholstered seats, darker finishes and use of veneers, graceful curves, legs in animal shapes, ormolu or figural mounts sometimes depicting Greek, Roman or Egyptian themes, use of patriotic or military motifs including the letter "N" (for Napoleon!)

We currently have a nice example of American Empire-styled furniture at Mignonne with this simple yet masculine armchair with great Empire lines.  Upholstered with tufts,  lovely curving arms and embellished with a carved wood relief depicting a fiercely royal visage, this chair would make an interesting accent in your home.

Now THAT'S good soap!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Mignonne features several lines of high quality, triple milled soaps that are luxurious and long lasting.

Soap milling is the process of shredding apart prepared soap and then putting it back together using high pressure and rollers. When this process is done 3 times, you get "triple milled" soap. By milling, the fragrance, color and ingredients are more evenly distributed throughout the bar. It also improves the texture of the soap, resulting in a harder bar and longer lasting soap.

These processes, combined with high quality ingredients, are used to create the lines of soap Mignonne offers.

To underscore the benefit of triple milling ... and why customers love our soaps ... here are 'before and after' photos of a bar of L'epi de Provence Fig Soap. L'epi de Provence soaps are made with 100% shea butter. This high quality soap lasts down to the very last sliver. If we had 'smell-o-blog', you would also know that the delicious Fig fragrance is in evidence down to the very last drop. This remaining sliver began as one round bar of L'Epi de Provence Fig soap, pictured above.

This soap sliver has been used daily from August, 2008. Great soap lathers as well, and smells as great, from the start to the long-lasting finish!

This is the level of quality product that we seek out and personally test, before offering at Mignonne. We don't want mushy bars disintegrating in our soap bowls at home, or cracking after a few uses. And we know that neither do you. This is why we test before we sell, so that we are confident that our customers will love our products as much as we do.

You can find the following French bar soaps in our store:

~ L'epi de Provence, with 100% shea butter, is our most popular soap. We rotate fragrances with the seasons.

~ Doux, handcrafted in small batches using shea butter, olive and palm oils with natural Provencal fragrances.

~ Savon de Marseille, one of the oldest traditional soaps from France, having been made for over 1,000 years. Since 1688, French law has required that only soaps produced using ancient methods can bear the name "Savon de Marseille". These soaps take two weeks to make. We feature square blocks of fragrant soap with crushed local flowers (lavender blossoms, rose, verbena) and natural oils incorporated into the soap.

All of our soaps can be purchased in the store or give us a call ... we can take care of your order and ship to the destination you choose!

Hot Spring Design Trends ...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Spring is just around the corner and there are some trends afoot for 2009 that Mignonne can help with:

1. Nesting! with the slowdown in the economy and belt-tightening occurring ... this year folks are focusing on feathering their home nests, creating comfort frugally and foregoing travel and those extra nights out. At Mignonne, we work hard to find affordable treasures, both new and vintage, to help you achieve your design vision.

2. Hot colors for spring are bright, bright, BRIGHT! Think cornflower blues, fuschia pinks, sunny yellows and citron greens! These colors are meant to infuse optimism and punch into what some are predicting to be a somewhat dreary 2009. Now these colors are intense and we recommend moderation ... but at Mignonne we can help transform a signature furniture piece with a punch of the season's favorite colors. This is a great way to refresh your look affordably and infuse your home with a breath of spring vitality.

3. Toile ... that's right toile is STILL in and of course, at Mignonne we love this French look. Jazz up an old classic by choosing one of the fun and flirty new toiles, like Richard Saja's "Historically Inaccurate" toile or maybe "Harlem Toile" by Sheila Bridges? Whether it is classic vintage toile, or one of the new takes on the original, Mignonne can help you select just the style for your room ... and even assist in recovering a favorite chair or stool in time for Spring.

4. Eclectic ~ this spring is "I'm free to be me" style ... mix and match your favorite pieces and eras (from Deco to mid-century) to create your own unique look. With Mignonne's great selection of all things vintage, from furniture to textiles to tabletop ... we're here to help you find yourself!

5. Reuse, repurpose, recreate ... Johnelle's talent with refurbishing furniture and other design accessories is at your disposal at Mignonne. Whether it is redesigning a piece you own or partnering with you to select and restore ... our design services are friendly, affordable and meant to please. Wherever possible, we utilize products that are eco-friendly and lighter on the environment.

See ... this spring it isn't so hard to be a trendsetter and not break the bank! Feel free to stop by and let us assist with your Spring spruce-up!

Black History Month - Harlem Style

Monday, February 16, 2009

In recognition of Black History month, we thought it would be fun and relevant to briefly review a period in American history which ushered in the concept of "Harlem Style"...

What is Harlem Style? Quoting Roderick N. Shade, author of Harlem Style: Designing for the New Urban Aesthetic, Harlem Style is always, "modern, worldly, fashionable, hip...with a distinct and identifiable ethnic twist." It can include exposed structural elements or faux Louis furniture, minimalist bedrooms or bric-a-brac-stuffed dining rooms ... and is almost an eclectic mix of them all.

The Harlem Renaissance emanated from the emerging post WWI black identity ... black American soldiers returning from abroad with a new sense of self and home and, in part, participated in the emergence of a new black culture in this New York neighborhood. Given these experiences, European influences were also important to the renaissance taking place. Harlem quickly became the "black capital of America", and all metiers of the arts were embraced and influenced by emerging artists.

Rejecting racism and colonial influences, African-American artists and intellectuals went beyond merely imitating the styles of Europeans and white Americans, and instead celebrated the unique black experience with dignity, pride and creativity. Asserting their freedom to express themselves on their own terms, they explored their identities as black Americans, celebrating the black culture that had emerged out of slavery, as well as cultural ties to Africa. This exploration profoundly influenced all aspects of their quest to redefine their American experience.

Broad use of dramatic color, ethnic and historic artifacts along with European excess brought a new energy and glamour to middle and upper class styling.

Contemporary black-American designer Sheila Bridges has emphasized Harlem styling with some of her design inspirations.

Bridges, who was named “America’s Best Interior Designer” by both CNN and Time Magazine, designed Harlem Toile de Jouy, “to remind people of the many stereotypes that have historically been and continue to be associated with African Americans living in rural parts of the country as well as urban parts of the country like Harlem” .


What thing is love? for sure love is a thing.
It is a prick, it is a sting, 
It is a pretty, pretty thing;
It is a fire, it is a coal,
Whose flame creeps in at every hole;
And as my wit doth best devise,
Love's dwelling is in ladies' eyes,
From whence do glance love's piercing darts,
That make such holes into our hearts;
And all the world herein accord,
Love is a great and mighty lord;
And when he list to mount so high,
With Venus he in heaven doth lie,
And evermore hath been a god,
Since Mars and she played even and odd.

~ George Peele

p.s. Last minute Valentine's Day finds at Mignonne:

and loads of other beautiful and affordable luxuries ...

Flock Textiles - New Arrivals at Mignonne!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Flock Home Linens line is all about bohemianism, optimism, and California dreamin'! Gina Pericini, clothing designer and now founder of Flock Home Linens, has more than 20 years of design experience. Her textile line of home decor and linen tabletop accessories feature hand-printed linen dinner napkin sets, placemats, cocktail napkins, coasters and tea towels.

Gina features both self-drawn and found illustrations of flora and fauna in her line. She uses eco-friendly linens and non-toxic dyes. Gina is inspired by vintage textiles and illustrations. Her patterns range from stag beetles and birds to toadstools, mushrooms, Queen Anne's lace, sea botanicals and cattails.

Gina's designs are printed by hand on high quality linen and cotton (for the tea towels).

A fresh order of pillows and linen napkins are on their way to Mignonne! Stop by soon to check them out.

Sweetheart Party & Sale at Mignonne!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Calling all Sweethearts!

Join Us Wednesday, Feb 11th from 5-8 p.m. 

A Glass of Red Wine

Love Ballads

30% Off All Valentine's Day Gifts*

(Including Alma Chocolates, 
Heavenly Suds V-Day Soaps and selected jewelry & candles)

*this day only, 5-8 pm only!

Cameos at Mignonne

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Cameos have been tokens of love and inspiration for thousands of years. A cameo can be a figure or scene carved in relief. An Italian word, meaning "to engrave", it is also thought to have origins from the ancient Hebrew/Arabic word "kamea", meaning "charm" or "amulet."

Throughout the centuries, the popularity and significance of cameos have endured. The earliest significant cameos emerged from Greece and Rome. France's Louis XIV, the "Sun King," appointed several advisors to acquire entire collections of ancient cameos and engraved gems. France continued to dominate cameo styling until the 1700s. Many other European countries followed suit in different periods, including England and Germany. Tiffany's produced beautiful cameos in the United States during the 1900s Art Deco heyday.

Cameos have been fashioned from all sorts of materials including glass, stone, shell, ivory and various metals...and more recently in plastics and bakelite. A variety of subjects have been featured in cameos ... including deities from Greek mythology, scenes from nature and likenesses of women and children. The continued popularity of cameos defines their enduring grace and appeal.

Mignonne has acquired a collection of cameos which will be made into lovely pins, just in time for Valentine's Day. Affordably priced from $15 - $25, these would make a unique surprise for your special Valentine!

Love is in the air ... and so is Alma Chocolate!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Guess What??!!

Alma Chocolate has returned to Mignonne, exclusively for Valentine's Day!

Alma Chocolate is not just ANY chocolate ... Chocolatier and owner, Sarah Hart, was recently recognized as "The Next Rising Star" during The Next Generation Chocolatier show and awards, held in NYC in November of 2008. Several awards are bestowed for specific pieces of chocolate and flavor combinations, but the final award is the “Rising Star” award, which is meant to recognize the person who shows the most promise and is doing the most interesting things with their work. It’s meant to be a way to highlight an American artisan chocolatier who is someone to watch. They give it once every two years. And Sarah won.

Five years ago, Sarah Hart started playing with chocolate recipes, creating iconic molds and painting them in edible gold leaf. She perfected these treats the hard way, through trial and error. Instead of enrolling in culinary school, she found an instructor to come to her home. And eventually, Alma Chocolate was born.

Alma Chocolate uses fresh, fair-traded and organic ingredients to make chocolate you can believe in. And boy, are we believers ... From her artisanal chocolate molds to her unique and delectable flavor combinations ... Sarah's chocolates are one of a kind.

We've brought in a great selection of beautiful, chocolate works of art that will be sure to satisfy your chocolate-loving amour. Pick from boxed caramels (rose and habanero), solid chocolate heart or virgin mary icons, dusted with edible gold leaf, chocolate bars with nuts, nougat and sea salt dusting ... or the adorable dark chocolate bird lollipops pictured above.

You can contact us by phone or email with questions.

Hurry, hurry ... these will certainly go fast !

Mignonne has Affordable New Jewelry for your Valentine's Day Wish List!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

We've brought in a range of affordable jewelry ... just in time for Valentine's Day. Send him our way for a special treat ... or pick something out for your special Valentine. here's a preview, check it out ...

New Artwork by Diana Blackwell!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

One of Mignonne's favorite featured artists ... Diana Blackwell ... has just brought in several new, affordable pieces.  Diana makes monoprints and monoprint collages with bright colors and a whimsical flavor, often depicting ladies and flowers.

In addition, Blackwell does drawings, acrylic paintings, woodcuts and linocuts, collage, paper mache, and digital photography.

These framed original art pieces range from $45 - $80. And they are fabulous! Stop by soon to check out Diana's work, or inquire via the blog contact feature if you'd like to learn more about what you see here!


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