May 2013 archive

Photo of the day

| Uncategorized

Between the torrential rains and horrendous heat we’ve been experiencing, a duck found its way onto the street. It sat there calmly the time for us to admire him and for me to take this quick photo to share with you all.

 

duck on our street

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Anklets anyone?

| New pieces

blue anklet

Hello friends, I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  It feels very much like a monday today since its the first day back to work, for those of us who had Monday off!  I am especially happy about this post because I have some lovely new things to share with you.

I’ve just created my first anklets!  I don’t know why it took so long for me to start making them since I do love wearing them myself. They’re often overlooked or have a hippyish image but I find them to be quite wearable. They can be discreet pieces, hidden under your pants or a good way to show off your summer finery! As always these are one of a kind pieces made exclusively from vintage glass beads.

I hope you enjoy them.  They are now available in the shop.

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P.S. While you’re browsing the store, don’t forget to check out our new bag…

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A return to Etsy

| Etsy

DSCN1550Hello friends, I am happy to share the news that I am finally back in Etsy! And to celebrate the return, I’m proud to offer you a collaborative effort between De Petites Merveilles and Limited Edition.  Together we’ve designed and produced a line of bags created from salmon skin.   Now, I love making jewelry but for awhile now, I’ve been thinking of branching out into accessories, specifically bags. They do get along so well, don’t you think?

But not just any kind of bag. We wanted to make something special and pretty and in keeping with the Petites Merveilles philosophy of reusing and giving back. It was with this in mind that we decided to go with salmon skin.  We wanted to find a way of reusing skins that are normally discarded as skin is a by product after food production and to make it beautiful and worth using again. We believe very much in the idea of waste not, want not.

 

We loved the process of coming up with these bags. We hope you’ll love them too!

The bags are now available in the shop, with more coming in the coming days!

 

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A Royal Society Spool Cabinet

| All things Antique

Vintage sewing cabinetHello friends, I’m very excited with my most recent find! It is a beautiful antique spool cabinet.  And I’m so excited because its just about perfect for storing all my beautiful beads that are currently housed in various boxes.  I’ve long wanted something  like this but haven’t had much luck till now.  In fact, I’ve never seen a spool cabinet before. I’ve only ever seen small sewing boxes.  So you can imagine the little leap of joy I felt when I saw this.

A little research reveals that these cabinets were made for thread companies. It turns out that once the sewing machine was invented in 1844, women could now purchase ready made spools of thread for their own personal use at home.  Before the advent of ready made thread, women would spin their own thread!  The thread companies used the spool cabinets to store various sizes and colors of thread.  The spool cabinets were made with either 5, 10 or 12 drawers and the inside drawers are subdivided into neat compartments to keep the wooden spools neat and tidy.

I tried to find more information about my model which was made by the Royal Society but haven’t turned anything up. But the seller estimates that this one was made early on in the 20th century and was used in a general dry goods store.

Isn’t it funny how things make their way to us? Consider this little cabinet’s voyage so far—from storing spools of thread in a store to storing beads in my home. I would love to know more about its past and history but I can live with just knowing that instead of languishing in some dusty attic or market, it is now once more doing its duty of storing things and keeping order.

 

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L’Eclaireur aux Puces

| All things Antique

L'Eclaireur aux Puces

I’m in the middle of doing inventory and its a painful but necessary process.   But I got distracted by the news that L’Eclaireur was opening up shop in the Puces de St. Ouen in Paris.  Now, as an inveterate antique and flea goer, I love the Puces de St. Ouen. If I could go every weekend, I would. There is always so much to see and admire and when you chat to the vendors, you’ll find that most of them have been dealing, buying and selling antiques most of their lives. You can sense their hard won expertise.   There’s such an ambiance here, something that’s hard to define.

So the news that L’Eclaireur is coming to set up shop was a big surprise to me. L’Eclaireur (literally translates to one who lights the way), is one of Paris’ high end design concept store and they’re celebrating their 30th birthday this year.  Whenever I visit one of their stores, I feel somewhat like I’ve stepped into an art or design installation.  Fashion embedded within design within art is possibly as good a description as I can give.  But how does it fit within the Puces?  According to Vogue news, it will open right in the heart of the Puces, at the Marche Paul Bert and it’ll eventually form part of Vintage Village, set up by Habitat. Say what? Habitat in an antique market? (Habitat is a big home furnishing stores similar to Pottery Barn or Crate and Barrel)

Now don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with either L’Eclaireur or Habitat. Both are perfectly fine stores on their own. I’m just wondering how they fit within the spirit of the puces.  The puces started outside the walls of medieval Paris. It was the place where peddlers were supposed to stay and sell their little trinkets and goods.  It has long since evolved into a big antique market with proper shops and all.  Its true that in recent years prices have gone way up and its harder to find a really good deal but the spirit has always been about antiques–from Louis XV furniture, to delicate lace dresses from the 19th century to useless little trinkets that you nonetheless have to bring home with you.   I’m just wondering how L’Eclaireur fits within such a place and what will it bring to the Puces? Will their presence drive up prices even more? I suppose only time will tell.

Here are a few photos of some of my favorite things that I’ve seen at the Puces (all photos are mine,except the top photo of L’Eclaireur which is courtesy of Vogue.fr)

A collection of antique dolls, end of the 19th century, beginning of the 20th

antique dolls

A gorgeous painted set of drawers with marble top, from the 19th century if I’m not mistakenDSC02868

 

 

A basket of mother of pearl buttons and embroidered flowers…DSC04403

 

Pretty linens and embroidered handkerchiefs from the beginning of the 20th centuryDSC04425

and my favorite, a small Venetian gold work cabinet. I love this piece and I still regret not having bought it! DSC05071

 

 

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Netted collar necklace

| New pieces

Netted collar2Hello friends, I hope your week is off to a great start!

I am feeling pretty happy with mine because I just finished a new necklace in a completely different style.  You may be quite familiar already with the sautoirs and the simple dog collar ones I’ve made in the past so this new one is a bit of a departure for me.

It started out when I found this great stash of orange melon shaped beads with dramatic gold stripes.  It was made in Czechoslovakia in the 40s and I was lucky enough to be able to buy the strand. Now, I normally don’t have a lot of beads to work with, so I have to be creative with what I do have.  But this time, I had a great number of beads to work with. What to do with such a fortune?

I looked around for a different style till I saw the Netted Collar style necklace. And I realized that this style is perfect for my stash of beads.  Its dramatic and bold and has the amazing ability to dress up anything you put on!  I love the fact that I was able to do a totally different style (there it is again, the theme of my life which is to step out of my comfort zone) and at the same time incorporate a bit of beadwork in my work.

Beadwork you say? Despite working with beads for sometime now, I’ve just discovered the wonderful world of beadwork with all the different patterns and stitches.  This my friends, is simple compared to some other stitches I’ve seen, but I’m  pretty happy to have started with this.  Who knows what other patterns I’ll learn next.  The possibilities are endless!

Here’s to a great week!!

 

 

 

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Motherhood

| Jewelry

I was just thinking that cliché or not, Mother’s Day brings out all sorts of emotions in everyone.  For the lucky ones, it is a day of celebration and thankfulness. For some others it is a more difficult day.  One thing is for sure though, despite whatever relationship we have with our mothers or even our own relationship with the idea of motherhood, none of us would be here without her.  That’s a good enough reason to mark this day.

So, I made a little gallery of pretty things you could offer your mom. Or why not yourself if you’re a mom. I hope you like it.

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Have you ever done a Blog-a-thon?

| Events

One of the most challenging things about setting up somewhere else is that so much is different and you are so out of your comfort zone.   It takes awhile to get going.  But as with change, challenges are also opportunities. And they can be golden if one has the courage to do it.

So what am I getting at? I’ve just discovered a concept, totally unknown to me before. Are you ready for it…drumroll please…a BLOG-A-THON!  I was surfing and came across a site devoted to independent writers dealing with the digital media.  Word Count is a site run by Michelle Rafter, a reporter, editor and blogger (to quote her site) and its a great resource for writers, including bloggers.  I’m just discovering all the great articles but I’m most excited bout the Blog-a-thon.

2013-blogathon-HQ-banner

 

Basically it challenges bloggers to write a post everyday for a month. And it starts in June. Now I’ve never (yet) managed to blog 7 days a week.  And as I look back at my previous posts, I realize that I’ve sometimes let days, even weeks go by without nary a word. (This week is slightly different as I’ve been pretty chatty lately.) But I like the idea of challenging myself to sit down and write every day.  Not long ones mind you, but a thought or line everyday to you my friends and readers.

What’s holding me back?  Mostly fear that I won’t be able to do it. I don’t want to start something and not finish it. But the more I think of it, the more I like this idea of a blogathon.

What do you think? Should I go for it? I sure would appreciate your thoughts on this.

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The Handmade Marketplace–where I belong

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The Handmade Marketplace

I first saw the Handmade Marketplace at TN’s place, my friend and fellow crafter.  This friend of mine designs and makes beautiful barrettes for little girls and she and I did a pop up store together back in Dec.  I always liked discussing projects with her and having someone to talk shop with is something I really miss here.  So I decided to look for the book. Now, I have to confess that I’m not much into “How To” books, half the time, having the words How To puts me off.

But I was pleasantly surprised by this book. There’s nothing preachy or pedagogical about the Handmade Marketplace. Instead it reads very much like a friend sharing things she’s learned from her experiences.  The tone is always informative but warm and best of all it is always interesting.  It also has a very practical and realistic outlook towards the idea of growing one’s craft business. Hint: there’s a lot of work involved.   I think  the most important thing I took away from this book is the idea that crafters belong to a community and that its important to find and join this community. In a sense the whole Handmade Marketplace is all about being a big community and its this sense that makes it work.   Belonging to a community seems like such a self evident thing but in some ways its not such an easy thing for me to put myself out there in front of other people. I love the process of creation and I love sharing what I do to others.  But putting myself out there and being active in a community is not at all an easy thing for me.   What’s up with that? No idea. Or rather, it would take too long to go into and is not really the point of this post.  The thing is, it is nice to find a group to belong to, where one can learn and ask questions and maybe in turn help out someone else.

Eh voila, friends, my newly found resolve–to join more, to share more and to belong openly to a community.

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Blue’s beads

| New pieces

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I meant to be productive today and make lots of pretty things but somehow or another got distracted.  And now, as you can see from my tweets,  I’m totally distracted by the Met Gala.   I have to say, I never went through a punk phase, blame it on the all girls Catholic school so its interesting to see how all the glamorous folks out at the Ball are interpreting punk!  And I wonder why they choose punk as the theme for this year’s MET exhibit. But that my friends is another topic altogether.

I do want to show you the bunch of blue beads I’ve been working on (or at least was supposed to be working on).  Half the fun of creating is putting different beads together and seeing what goes with what.  I could’ve been more productive but look at this demi-parure I came up with.

This is a two strand necklace composed of sky blue french pate de verre beads from the 50s and it comes with a matching pair of earrings!! Love this combination of blue and gold, its so sunny and puts me in a summery frame of mind!

Have a good week everyone!

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My workspace

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DSCN3655Hello friends, I wanted to show you my clean and nice looking work space. Truth be told, it doesn’t often look so nice as this. So when it does, I find myself inspired to share it with you.  I just found the Bead Timeline, a book I’ve been wanting to add to my bead library so I was overjoyed when I did finally find it!  With all the unpacking and moving, I unearthed some colorful flapper era necklaces that I bought from my last flea market jaunt. They’re so pretty for spring and its great for making great coils of color around my neck.  And last but not the least, a new piece I’m working on.

How about you, what does your workspace look like?

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Klimt inspired

| Jewelry, New pieces, Uncategorized

DSCN3632

Hello friends, today I wanted to share with you one of my more serendipitously paired pieces.  I found this magnificent bead (its the big focal bead of the necklace) during one of my bead trips and was just immediately taken with it. It is a Murano bead from the 60s and I found it so dramatic with its black and gold color scheme. More importantly  it reminds me so much Klimt and a field of flowers.  It is a little on the big side so I thought it would be perfect as a focal bead.  And since I found it so pretty, I wanted another one like it.  Well the seller didn’t have anymore…exactly like it… DSCN3633

 

But as he rummaged around his box of beads, he fished out the little brother or sister of the first bead!! I hurriedly bought them and hurried home, anxious to get started on a piece.

Since I wanted the beads to be the main focus of the pieces, I kept the necklace and matching bracelet really simple. I added a few vintage black faceted Czech beads  and voila it came together without hardly any effort.

 

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