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Throwback Thursday

Hello friends, today on Throwback Thursday, I wanted to share a piece that I made over a certain period of time. This necklace started as a simple strand of faceted green and red glass beads from the 60s. When I finished it, I felt that it was incomplete and so I set it aside. A few months after, I went to a brocante and found someone selling bits of jewelry that were used in theatre plays in the 30s. Most of her pieces were big and ornate. But there was also this pretty little pendant that had long lost the necklace it used to belong to. I snapped it up thinking it was really pretty. I excitedly went home thinking of how to use it. I began looking through my beads when I came across the red and green strand I had previously made! Eh voila, this pendant was what was exactly needed to complete this necklace!

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Life on a String


People often ask me how I know the stories behind the beads I use.  And the answer is always the same. I try to read up as much as I can on beads and their history. I talk to a lot of similarly minded people and learn from them.

And whenever possible, I visit museums with bead exhibits.  One recent road trip was to the Corning Museum of Glass in upstate New York where…drumroll please they had a special exhibit on beads.  When I read the title, I knew I had to go.

And it was well worth the long drive to the Museum. Though to be fair, the area we drove through was quite beautiful,  since the Museum is nestled in the heart of the Finger Lakes district.  The Museum I have to add, is worth a visit in itself for their wonderful collection of glass. But this particular visit was all about beads and was I a happy camper to see so many in one place!

There were fantastic examples of little seen beads like the Islamic beads on this  which date back to the 12th century.


Or this example of a Chevron bead from the 15th century!


Then there were more familiar yet no less wonderful trade beads like these on the right..IMG_0208

and what I like to call the Tic Tac Toe red beads. IMG_0205

And because the exhibit was all about beads including the different ways beads have been put to use in many different cultures, there were other wondrous things like this traditional fully beaded handmade jacket from the Bagobo people of the Philippines.  Isn’t this beautiful? IMG_0211

And these gorgeous beaded belts from Cameroon and Kenya.IMG_0210

I wonder where the next bead exhibit will be? If you have any ideas, don’t hesitate to let me know!

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Throwback Thursday:blush bracelet

A few weeks ago at my last show, a lady took a liking to my bracelets. She bought three of them, one of which is today’s throwback Thursday piece. It’s this lovely blush colored bead bracelet whose beads are from the 50s. I love that i managed to put different shaped beads including the more uncommon spiral twisty ones. And I find it to be quite delicate looking and if I may say so, perfectly suited to the person it came home with!

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Red for Monday

Hello friends, hope you had a wonderful weekend!
Since its the first day of the week, I always like to have something red around, be it a piece of clothing or jewelry. I think it just gives me that extra boost of energy that’s so necessary for Mondays.
Today’s piece started with the little red glass elements that I bought at a little antique store selling all sorts of odds and ends. They were from an old haberdashery store that used to sell supplies for theater costumes. They’re little glass beads with crystal rondelle a from the 30s.


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Throwback Thursday

DSCN0211Hello friends, its Throwback Thursday on the blog and I decided to feature one of my pieces from last year.  Last year I happened to buy some beads from an old french jewelry house. It is a small shop specializing in what they call Fashion Jewelry, which is high quality jewelry made from glass and other components. This is what distinguishes them from Costume Jewelry which normally makes use of plastics or cheaper material. This particular house just happened to make their own glass beads for their jewelry.  At the height of their business in the 30s/40s, they employed about 120 workers at the glass making plant. They don’t have a lot left to sell, in fact, the seller was quite reluctant to part with the remaining beads but somehow I persuaded him to sell me a few of them.  These particular beads were made to resemble rose quartz but they embellished the glass with tiny gold beads running in the middle of the bead.  Since the beads were made by hand, you can see irregularities in the small gold beads.  These beads are just gorgeous!   They didn’t need much to be pretty so I just made them into very simple earrings. At my december pop-up store, they immediately found themselves a new owner!


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Retracing our steps


One weekend, we decided to take a trip and visit Chicago, a city that holds many great memories for our family.  I’m amazed to think that its been at least 10 years since our last visit  here. I had the feeling while we walked around that we were walking in the steps of our youthful selves. There is the iconic Hancock tower where I watched one 4th of July spectacle of flying jets.

There is still the beautiful park near the wonderful Art Institute where you can rest just after viewing the great collection of the Institute. The weekend we were there, we saw that this tall block is actually an art installation which just happens to also be a giant fountain of water much to the amusement of many children.


I guess I really am a city girl at heart because I loved being among the skyscrapers and noisy streets, the energy kinetic and dynamic, always on the go. IMG_0847 Its still a city of great food with such stalwarts as Rick Bayles’ Frontera Grill and some newcomers like Stephanie Izard’s Girl and Goat and Little Goat Diner. More on that on a future post!


Of course it wouldn’t be complete without a bit of shopping so we went and checked out Ikram. Don’t you love their choice of storefront color?IMG_0875

For all its hustle and bustle, there are quiet spots to be found. We took a rest on a quiet spot just above the River where the trees provided some shade from the sun and we watched the boats go up and down.IMG_0922

Another quiet spot we found was just steps off the busy Magnificent Mile, inside the cool and silent cloisters of this church.


I think its safe to say we won’t wait another 10 years for our next visit!


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Back to work Monday

IMG_0586Hello friends, hope you all had a good weekend. Its been a gray rainy Monday so far in this part of the world.  To cheer myself up, I took out some pretty peach colored beads and started working on them. The big bead is opaque and is an irregular round shape. The smaller beads are a more transparent peach color and they have a pinched round shape. I like the contrast between them with the big bead serving as the focal bead. These beads are from the early 50s and were made in France.  To add a bit of sparkle I added some crystal rondelles. I know this piece is going to be a necklace but I haven’t quite decided whether its going to be a ras de cou or a sautoir style.  I’ll keep you posted with the results!IMG_0587

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An unexpected glimpse


Whenever I have an event, chores and errands inevitably take a back seat. And I find myself trying to catch up days after. However errands can often lead to unexpected places of beauty. I was driving and had to stop when I caught a glimpse of this lake. Doesn’t this deck just look so inviting? And these folks have their own boat so they can go out anytime they want to. I can just imagine sitting out here and watching the sun set on the water. Or maybe sitting here early in the morning with a cup of coffee.


And look, the neighbors have their own little deck chair too.

I got back to the car, oddly happy and refreshed by this sight.

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Little Shoppe Market at Northville Square: August Edition


Hello friends, hope you had a wonderful weekend! I had a busy, tiring and funny one at the Little Shoppe Market at the Northville Square.   Participating in fairs allows me to interact with people, as opposed sitting solitarily in front of my table and I love the whole process of meeting other crafters and artists.  Of course, its also lets me tell more people about the jewelry I make. We were blessed with beautiful sunny weather and lots of people were out and about enjoying the weather and all the goodies on hand.

I quickly set up, starting with the earrings (here are a few of them)


then proceeded to lay out the necklaces (these three are part of the Trade Bead Collection) in my beloved vintage frames, like so…IMG_0996

finishing quickly so I can say hi to everyone else.

I really enjoyed meeting Debbie of Mother and Daughter Crafts. She makes gorgeous hand painted stained glass solar jars.  Debbie paints each jar meticulously in various colors and designs and when she showed me how beautifully they glowed, I just had to bring one home after the show!


Amanda and Rachael of Joyful Soy are two sisters who make soy based candles with delicious scents and IMG_1001

pretty etched glasses like these.  Wouldn’t these make such great wedding favors for guests? IMG_1002

Of course, the market wouldn’t be complete without Dave and Elaine of Creative Notions and their fantastic Himalayan Salt lamps.  Don’t they have the prettiest glow? And they have all sorts of health benefits too!!IMG_0991

I would’ve liked to chat with everyone else but I couldn’t leave my table unattended very long.

It was a great weekend! And now its back to work for me!


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The finished pair

gold twist earring 3

The night before last, I found myself unable to sleep.  A book which normally does the trick didn’t help so I went back to my desk to work on some pieces. I though I would work on some earrings using these pretty gold foil Murano beads. I bought these beads at a Parisian brocante from someone who was selling his mothers things. She was a collector of this and that, he said, and with her passing, he couldn’t keep everything. Amongst the bits and bobs on his table, my eye was caught by these beads. They had a fiery glow.  And luckily there were two of them!

At first I thought I would add an extra bead to them to jazz it up a little. But, I hesitated since the gold beads were already so eye-catching. It didn’t really need jazzing up.  Some friends agreed and voila, here is the finished pair!Gold twist earrings1

Soon available at the etsy shop!