July 2013 archive

A new event

| Events

DPM Collage 5Hello friends, hope your week is off to a good start!

I have to start this post with an apology for last week’s abrupt silence.  Unfortunately technical difficulties prevented me from blogging and I was sorry not to be able to complete the week.  Everything has been resolved and I’m glad to be back.

And I’m back with some great news!  I’m happy to announce that I am taking part in the Buy Michigan Festival at Northville this weekend! Starting on Friday (Aug 2 from 10 to 7 ) until Sunday (Aug 4 from 10 to 6 pm) I will be inside Northville Square in downtown Northville to take part in a festival that honors local businesses.  I am bringing lots of beautiful new pieces and I am very excited to take part in this wonderful event!

So spread the word and hope to see you all there!

 

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Jewelry Post Day 2

| Etsy, New pieces

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Hello friends, you might have noticed from the title that this is a jewelry post. I was just thinking after I wrote my post yesterday that I’ve never done a complete week of posting just on the jewelry. I thought it might be interesting to do that so this week is De Petites Merveilles jewelry week on the blog!

I think all my beads are special but these ones have a little extra oomph to them. They were made in France in the late 20s/early 30s by an old jewelry house that just happened to make their own beads.  At that time, semi-precious stones were very expensive and hard to come by. So a lot of glass makers (including those in Italy and Bohemia) took to making glass versions.  These ones right here were made to resemble carnelians.  What makes them really pretty is the ring of little white glass pearls that run all along the middle of the bead.  As you can see from the photos, the white beads are not all completely regular which indicates that they were probably put their by hand by the glass makers.  In time the glass versions of stones became even more popular than the actual stones themselves!!

I’m extremely happy to have found enough beads to make two pieces.  And they are now available in the Etsy shop!!

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Violet pretty things

| New pieces

2 purple bracelets

Hello friends, how is your Monday coming along?  I hope your week is off to a good start!  A big shop update is in the works but I  wanted to share two new pieces with you today. The theme of these bracelets is violet and they were inspired by the pretty violet flowers growing abundantly in the garden. Funny how inspiration will strike us huh?

This first bracelet has a vintage violet matte focal bead decorated with crown like bead caps. I matched them with some light violet beads and my favorite crystal rondelles.

Opaque purple bracelet2

The second bracelet has a violet crystal cut focal bead. This time I decided to go with some violet colored freshwater pearls. I thought the pearls made a nice contrast to the crystal cut bead and its nice to mix up the vintage beads with another kind of bead.

Purple with freshwater pearls1I really like how they turned out. Similar but with their own distinctive personality.  Both focal beads are from the 50s while the light violet round beads are from the early 60s. I’m very tempted to keep one for my own collection. Question is, which one?

 

 

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Looking forward to the weekend

| Daily life

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Hello friends, can you believe its Friday? I have the feeling the days went by so fast. This weekend I’m planning to find myself a nice little park (preferably with pretty flowers) where I can hopefully get inspired and catch up on my reading.  And I’ve got some great stuff to read, both for business and pleasure.

The latest edition of Ornament magazine just arrived and I’m excited to read what’s featured this month. What’s not to love about this magazine when its all about beads?!Reading material

Thanks to Karen Gunton of Build a Little Biz, I’ve got a bunch of workbooks to help me with my biz. I know, its supposed to be the weekend but I can’t quite let go of work. I guess its one of the perils of working at home?

Of course, its not all work and bead related reading, I picked up Cinda Williams Chima’s Seven Realms series awhile back and I’m completely hooked!

How about you, what things are you looking forward this weekend? See you back on Monday!

 

 

 

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Selection of bracelets

| New pieces, Uncategorized

Pink and green bracelet1

Hello friends, remember those pieces I was working on last week? (You can read the post here).  I did manage to finish them and wanted to show you some pictures.  For some reason, they all turned out to be bracelets.  And the nice brown one made of beads from Germany managed to find a lovely new owner!

Selection of bracelets

 

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Beads from Briare

| Bead adventures, Travels

DSCN2026Most of you now know that I go to a lot of antique and flea markets to find my beads.  But one of my more unusual bead finds literally, involved, digging into the ground to find beads. This took place one fine weekend in the spring when I decided to drag the entire family for a bead adventure. I had heard about the town of Briare (about an hour and a half away from Paris) and how this was once the site of a huge glass making factory. At its heyday in the mid-19th century the Briare glass factory established by Jean-Baptieste Bapterosses  produced 600 tons of buttons and 496 tons of glass beads! Bapterosses was an innovator who was one of the first to figure out how to mass produce buttons and beads.   Unfortunately decline set in during the early 20th century after the demand for porcelain buttons went down and the factory has long since been sold.

But what intrigued me was the site just behind the factory where defective buttons, tiles and beads were dumped.  The idea of beads just lying below the surface of the ground was of course irresistible so we set out to hunt for these Briare beads.

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We walked through a passage of trees to emerge into a wide clearing covered entirely with tiles.

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After bead production was shut down, the factory turned to the production of tiles for which they are still known today.  And while I was worried about trespassing and all that, luck was with us that day. Several families had the same idea and were busy digging for tiles and filing bags with them.

And true enough, there were beads to be found just by digging a little through the surface filled with tiles.

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Just check out our haul from that day! Gorgeous beads that looked as fresh as the day they came out of production. Briare beads are distinctive for their slightly glossy finish and by the equatorial band running all along the bead.DSCN2072

I even found some pretty tube beads.DSCN2069

I came home pretty satisfied with my find. And I finally got around to making a piece with my Briare finds. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post!

 

 

 

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Warren Art Fair recap

| Events, Uncategorized

Warren outside shotHello friends, how was your weekend? I spent mine at the Warren Art Fair in the Park and I’m happy to report that it was really great!  There was a sizable crowd of people genuinely interested in all the artwork and beautiful handmade items that were on display.  There was a wonderful group of artists and designers with their photographs and paintings, beautiful blown glass ornaments and jewelry of course.

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I really liked that the fair was very much a community event. Local residents turned up to support the artists and this extended to the theater group that is putting on Shrek the Musical at the local theater. As a special treat, some cast members sang some of their songs and you can feel their pride and palpable excitement at performing!Warren shrek

So much to look at but as I was alone, it was hard to spend time at other booths. I did manage to get a shot of this great repurposed table from the very talented duo behind RetroReimaginings. I love their philosophy of giving a new life to otherwise forgotten objects! warren-jennifer johnson2

And here are a few photos of my booth display..Warren Booth shot

Warren earrings

Warren Booth shot 2

What a wonderful weekend it truly was! I’m already looking forward to next year’s fair!

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Red white and blue summer

| Collage, Uncategorized

Summer collageToday’s post is inspired by summer’s red blue and white colors….

Clockwise, from left to right, we have..

The sailing boats of St. Jean Luz, a charming seaside town of the Pays-Basque because summer means going on vacation…

Le Cabanon Bleu, delicious alfresco dining in Porto Vecchio, Corsica because summer is the best time for eating outside…

A cute old fashioned carousel made entirely of wood in Granada because summer is about child like pleasures…

De Petites Merveilles exotic blue clutch and red, white and yellow millefiori necklace (both now available in the shop)  for all those summer parties and picnics

Simple summer flowers by the roadside because we need to stop and take it easy during the summer and last but not the least

Vintage finds during the all those great summer flea markets!

 

 

 

 

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Getting things done

| New pieces, Uncategorized

Works in progressHello friends, I’m getting ready for the Warren Art Fair so I thought I’d share some photos of pieces I’m currently working on. I have to confess that I’m having a bit of a hard time concentrating on work. It’s because its summer and all this sunshine and heat make me want to go to the park. Or eat ice cream. Both even. That said, I have some really pretty beads that help keep my mind on work.

There is this gorgeous vintage Venetian bead that would make the perfect focal bead.venetian focal

Then there are these pretty vintage pink and green French pate de verre beadspink and green beads

And finally some vintage brown pressed beads from Germany.

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So back to work I go! How about you, what do you do to motivate yourself when all you want to do is play?

 

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Tiger earrings

| Jewelry, New pieces

DSC_0103Hello friends, when I made these earrings I had no idea that blue and orange were actually the Tigers colors. That’s the Detroit Tigers, my friends.  I’m happy that they’re significant colors for some baseball loving fans here.

As to the earrings themselves, they are composed of two vintage glass beads with some pretty decorative goldtone caps mounted on a dangling chain. I love these bead caps, they add such a whimsical element to the earrings.  Sometimes I’ll find beads that aren’t particularly pretty (yes, it happens), but when I dress them up with some pretty bead caps, they become pretty neat. I like to think of them as the accessories you use to jazz up an otherwise basic dress. It just proves that accessories are indispensable!

Here’s another look at them. And they are now available in the shop!

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Warren Art in the Park 2013

| Events

DPMcollage4Hello friends, hope you all had a good weekend and are now ready for another week!

This week, I’m happy to announce that I will be at the annual Warren Art in the Park on July 13 and 14, 2013. This is a juried fine art and craft fair and I’m very excited to be part of their select roster of painters, sculptors, designers and photographers.

Spread the word friends and hope to see you there!!

 

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Finally, a desk

| Daily life, Vintage finds

Hello friends, how is your weekend so far? I hope you are all enjoying it.  Remember all those desk candidates that I wrote about here? Well, I’ve been keeping an eye out and yesterday I saw this one..

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It is a vintage one from the 50s, maybe 60s and constructed completely out of wood.  Its probably made out of ash hence the lighter, more golden color and it has acquired some nice patina.   It still has its original handles and I like that there are drawers on each side. It has a big enough surface for me to work on my jewelry and the drawers are perfect for putting away the numerous bits and pieces that I constantly need.

Best of all the price was more than reasonable so I didn’t hesitate a second further. And so friends, my quest for a work desk is done and I can finally start making a nice work space for me.

Now if I could just find a chair to go with this table….

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Our first Northville Market

| Events

Hello friends, over the weekend I was over at Northville for my first summer event with the Little Shoppe Market. I was all excited as its been awhile since I was at an event. Then the weather decided to be capricious. Friday, our first day was totally rained out. We were fortunate to be inside as the torrential rains were impressive. I’m happy to report that the next days were much better.

Honestly, it wasn’t quite what I expected though to be fair, I’d never done an event in the US before.  Up until now, I’d been dealing with a mostly French crowd, notwithstanding a few foreigners here and there. The crowd was certainly different from what I’m used to and I have to adjust to this if I’m going to continue doing shows.

That said, what I found truly nice was the spirit of camaraderie that was present among those in the fair. Its not easy to be out there in front of people with your work. Like it or not, these pieces represent something of yourself and it can be nerve wracking to be in front of a public. Everything is less difficult when you’re with fun and easygoing people in a show. And I can’t tell you how nice it was to find here, as in France, kind and encouraging people.  Special thanks to Annie of MiniMocs and Elaine of Creative Notions Limited!

Now, I want to share with you some pictures I took during the show…

These beautiful Petites Merveilles earrings found themselves a lovely new owner.

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Gorgeous handmade wreaths and decorations from Detroit Reincarnated. This would definitely brighten up your wall if you had it hanging up!

handmade wreath 1Cute handmade muffs for your booties from Mitten Made. Don’t you think this is a clever way of updating your wardrobe?botties muffs

And I couldn’t resist taking a picture of this piece..glass carouselwhich is just a fantabulous glass carousel made by Keltic Fyre and I loved it. Don’t you think its aptly called Fantastic Carousel of Dreams?

Here’s to the next big event coming up!! Keep reading this space for more details!

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Blogathon recap

| Blogathon 2013

Wordcount Ididit

Hello friends, it feels strange to blog without being part of the Blogathon. I’m proud to say that I was able to post everyday for 30 days. Hooray! Writing for the Blogathon has motivated me immensely and given me a wonderful  impetus to write everyday. Perhaps the posts weren’t as perfect as I would’ve liked them to be but this taught me the virtue of being better organized about writing posts!

I learned lots of invaluable lessons on  how to become a better writer and how to understand social media better and to use it more effectively are just two examples. More importantly, I’ve met so many new and interesting bloggers that I never would have met! My blog world is much richer thanks to the Blogathon.

I will certainly try to keep blogging everyday! And I’m already looking forward to the next Blogathon.

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