Hello, hope all is well on your end. Had a busy busy but super productive day in the city doing another installation at my clients apartment and it is really coming along..I hope to share some “midstream” pictures in the next few days or so. I am so happy to be here with my newest spnosor, The French Elements.…and what a fabulous online shop she has, featuring a carefully curated collection of beautiful European treasures. Barbara, the vision behind French Elements has also so generously offered the most exquisite giveaway. I want them for myself! I had the opportunity to talk to Barbara about her online shop and her business as well as some background information, she is one fascinating woman! So without further adue, here is Barbara……. Tell me a little about how you started your business.. I have to laugh a little because my business actually started back in 1973 while I was living in Luzern, Switzerland. I started making bath and body products for myself based on skin care items I found in the markets. It was just a hobby. Friends started asking me to share my products with them and it grew from there. When I moved back to the United States, I started a long career with Clinique as a Regional Education Manager but I still worked on my creations when time allowed. After leaving the company and starting a new marriage, I decided to start an online business in 2007 featuring those items. My business grew and I was was thrilled. After so many years however, I wanted to really put my hands and heart into something that represented “the true me” today. I have always worked with my hands- sewing, painting, designing. That is where my true passion lies. In 2009, my online presence evolved and to this day my emphasis is on decorative handmade items for the home. 99.9% of what I sell is made by me. The exception would be vintage items found in the markets of Europe or elsewhere. Next month we will be spending time in Europe and I always try to do a little “shopping” while there. The problem is that much of what I purchase, I don’t want to part with. Of course the vintage fabric I find will be used for pillow covers, Christmas stockings, whatever comes to mind. A point of difference for my products is you will find embroidery on every items made by me. Whether a pillow cover, a french linen bread basket, a Christmas stocking, embroidery is found on every item. I love the texture it provides. How do you mix using things from the past with new items? Do you like the idea of new and old together? I have mixed old and new for decades. When I left home to start phase 2 of my life, I left with quilts made by my grandma and great-grandma, silver cutlery, etc. These were items that were loved by me and given to help me start my new life.. I still use them and plan on passing them down to my children. One of the first items I purchased as an “adult” was an English washstand with a marble top and tile back. My oldest son has already claimed that as a future heirloom. Things from the past can blend beautifully with modern items. I think a blend of both gives the right feeling to my home. Tell me a little about yourself… I am a wife, mom, grandma. I am very proud to call myself an “army mom”. I have 2 wonderful sons, 8 fabulous grans, and a husband who supports me in every endeavor. I love to explore new places and revisit well loved places. And of course, I love to work with my hands. ? ?Wonderful Barbara, it is obvious that you have a true passion for what you are doing and your collection of goodies is just wonderful.? And to think that nearly everything is made by you…..very impressive!? Here are some more lovely items from wonderful collection of European treasures….. Those stockings are amazing! GIVEAWAY- Speaking of those stockings, Barbara has so generously offered a pair of them for the giveaway! All you to do to be eligible is to visit her shop by clicking here take a look around and? come back and tell us a favorite item. If you would like a second chance, then like The French Elements on Facebook by clicking here. I will announce a winner on Sunday! Be sure to check to check back to see if you have won. Welcome Barbara to The Enchanted Home and many thanks to everyone for stopping in as always…wishing you a wonderful day!