And, for many years, she has forged the bonds of community within the enchanted, historical town of Newport, Rhode Island. Tenderness for her hometown comes through in the photo above, as she enters one of the many grand homes in the illustrious City-By-the-Sea for a party during the holiday season.
Above: Bettie Bearden Pardee, the author of *Living Newport: Houses, People and Style*, the cover of which is shown below, dressed for a Christmas party.
As Leslie Hendrix Wood wrote on her blog when reviewing the book here, Bettie pays reverence in Living Newport: Houses, People and Style to the tenants held by Hadley Court of gracious living, timeless design and family traditions. Here are two of the breathtaking exterior and interior shots in the book:
“I adore Newport and am so blessed with the opportunity to live in this 375-year-old town with so many textures and layers,” Bettie told Hadley Court. In reviewing Bettie’s most recent book, Town and Country magazine called Newport “the epitome of Old School American Elegance.”
Bettie has been a role model and pioneer of gracious living for over 40 years. After receiving a degree in Fine Arts from the University of California/Los Angeles, she founded Papillon, a needlepoint shop in Atlanta that grew into a major mail-order catalog of fashion carrying the tagline, “The Art of Living Graciously.”
“How I marvel at that tagline, because this was in 1970s before the word ‘lifestyle’ was even used and before Martha Stewart or any of those influences–it had to be divine inspiration,” she said.
Bettie believes that giving back to her community— as she pours herself into endeavors such as creating a reading garden for the Newport Public Library and chairing fundraisers for the Boys & Girls Club — is the essence of gracious living.
Below is an image of Bettie’s shade garden and bench.
“Giving goes hand-in-hand with living graciously, ” she said. “Giving is truly what brings joy to life. It is part and parcel of living. Every day we can give back in some way, whether to a pet, a spouse, friends or the community. It doesn’t have to be in a grand way.
“Giving is a sensitivity and a caring for those around you, and making life a little better each day.”
Hadley Court asked Bettie to share her favorite quotes about giving. Fortunately, Bettie has for many years collected inspirational quotes in her beautiful journal:
So, it was easy for her to put her hands on some of the truths that have inspired her life of giving back to the community. Here are a few of her favorite quotes about giving:
“I love this because it is elegant in its simplicity,” Bettie said. “And I think it really speaks to women, who often say, ‘Oh, I can’t do this or that.’ You may not be good as the source of light, but you can reflect light. You may not be good at one, but you can do the other. One of my goals is to help women be more confident. Don’t focus on what you can’t do–do what you can do with all that is within you.”
“When I was a very young girl, my father told me something I’ve never forgotten. He said, “Distinguish yourself. Each of us is a unique snowflake.”
Find and share what makes you unique.
I believe that is one of the reasons we are each here on this earth.”
“When I reflect on Oprah’s statement, it reminds me of the big leap I had to take from traditional media into social media and blogging,” Bettie said. “I’ve always tried to put myself on steep learning curves. There is real pain in these 95-degree angles! But it is so important to be current and part of the new world order. I want to wake up every day with a passion to live life to the fullest, and the energy to keep learning and growing; I don’t want to be on the side lines.”
The courage to “do things we haven’t done before” is an essential part of living a life of contribution, Bettie believes.
“No connection we make with others is by accident,” Bettie believes. “And once we have connected, we are part of the community forever.
Thank you, Bettie, for sharing so graciously of your wisdom with Hadley Court’s readers.
Kim Darden Shaver
Leslie Hendrix Wood
Leslie Hendrix Wood Interiors
Owner, the Hadley Court blog
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