Sunday, August 14, 2005

I recently had a conversation with a very intelligent colleague on the subject of what constitutes a "romantic" gift. This conversation helped me to understand that the same word can mean different things to different people.

My friend seems to think that "romantic" has a more boy/girl or sexual implication. In her opinion, most people would agree with her. That's O.K. with me. I actually even think she's right. We used the word "romantic" as a category heading in Shopsicle to include not only the courtship aspect of the gift, but also the "poetry" contained in the object, as in "romanticism" as an artistic expression or a state of mind, a "sentimental" statement. My friend said that I am indeed an artist. Guess so. I'm also indeed a "romantic".

One doesn't "court" family members (mother, father, aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews), but one can attempt to give them "romantic" gifts, such as a star in the universe that is their very own, named after them, or a gorgeous blown glass perfume bottle from Guild, or a book of poetry, or a china teapot, or a great scent in the form of a candle or room spray, or a Segovia CD, or a great wine, or a box of extraordinary chocolates flown in from France. These gifts are very romantic and packed with TLC. They are appropriate, sentimental and carry a message of universal love. Hey folks, nothing wrong with Platonic love once in a while. I even buy myself romantic gifts. You can be nice to yourself too.

We are busy scouting the marketplace for new finds. Shopsicle is constantly being organized and re-organized. Our objective is to make Shopsicle the most exciting and user friendly site on the internet. We have much to do on that subject, so please bear with us. You can help us get better and better with your input. We want to hear from you.

Respond to this question of "romantic". Tell us what you think. I'm curious.

Thank you. Joan

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Every year about this time I start to feel the "not-much-summer-left-blues".

How can it be August already? Cliche or no cliche, where the heck is time going, anyway? The changing of seasons is fun. Refreshing. Just wish they'd SLOW DOWN a little.

Reality hit the other day as we began our Christmas Gifts and Collectibles selections for SHOPSICLE ( If it was May just "yesterday", does it follow that December is "tomorrow"? Scary.

Ah yes, one who loves the holiday (I can muster up some Christmas spirit any day of the year), I am one happy dude while researching ornaments. We found some incredibly lovely hand-made blown glass ornaments, which have been created by individual artists...divinely collectible and at the same time very reasonably priced. Perfect.

Anyone who shares my pixilated passion can view these ornaments by going into and clicking on "Holiday" and/or "Collectibles". It's important to remember that these are artist-created, limited editions (just making them all the more valuable as collectibles), so don't delay ordering them. They sell out fast - once they're gone, they're GONE.

There's a serenity about discussing Christmas in August. From this vantage point, it's just an idea-construct. No pressure. A nice thought. Sugar Plum Fairies and flying reindeer. Somewhere in the future.

I've been slowly stashing a gift here and there, as the perfect ones pop up...have been attempting for years to de-commercialize the holidays by shopping slowly, over a long period of time, really thinking out gift choices, no last minute decisions. The objective is to have something terrific for each person on my list before December arrives.

For once I'd like to have time to enjoy the "good will" part: making merry with friends and family. I haven't aced this goal yet. Always end up with late selections - but am getting closer and closer...maybe this year!

Monday, August 01, 2005

Hi Friends,

It's Joan again. .

Designing your home and picking out some nifty gifts may not be as challenging as being an astronaut in the space shuttle, but when pursued with heart and thought, it can make a big impact in your lives. It's called "the quality of living". What a mood enhancer! Nothing like it!

I love it when things are done well. Don't you? Think about visiting your friend for dinner. How does it feel when your friend takes the time to co-ordinate a table setting, in great colors, candles, and flowers, and prepares delicious food and something good to drink. It can be simple. But you always know when it's done with heart. You feel special and loved.

I want everyone to feel special and loved. Even eating dinner alone should be a celebration. No bachelor stlye for me, you know, right out of the pan. You and I deserve better.

"Gifting" is an art form that speaks volumes to the recipient. You don't have to re-mortgage the house to give a good gift. Think about the person you are "giving to". What would give them a thrill? Tailor your gift to that person so that they know you were thinking of them and of making them "happy". Nothing worse than a perfunctory gift. Don't do it. It sends a bad message, and it's boring. Better not to give a gift at all.

What would happen if you applied for a job, not knowing anything about the company that was interviewing you? Sincerely doubt you would be hired. Why, because you were showing a potential employer that any old company would suit you. And you were too lazy to do your homework.

My friend gave me a beautiful book of shells. He really tuned in to me. Figured out that I love shells. So, he came over with this huge book with great photographs of shells. Excellent gift. To wit, it's on my coffee table and I look at it often. I even read it.

Shopsicle is all about gifts that people want. We choose gifts and accessories that we ourselves would love to receive and would be proud to give. It's not about price.

No perfunctory gifts for us!

Have a great day.

I'll be back later. Joan