September 2014 archive

Inspired reading

| Reading pleasures

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Hello friends, hope you all had a wonderful weekend! I’m starting the week with a book on American jewelry history. It certainly promises to be an interesting read!

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Throwback Thursday: Pretty bubbles

| Throwback Thursday

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This piece has to be one of the easiest ones I’ve ever made. As soon as I saw these big beads, I knew exactly what to do with them! I found the beads gathering dust in Paris, in an old tiny antique bric a brac store that looked like time forgot. It’s hard to see from the photos but these beads were a beautiful clear glass with a pinkish lavender heart. Looking into it was almost like looking into a glass bubble. When I found them, they were covered by a thick layer of dust but even then they had a beautiful shine that caught my eye. The owner of the store told me he had obtained them in Bohemia in the 40s and he’s had it since then. He looked quite loathed to part with them when he saw that I was interested in them. I guess one of the hazards of the antique trade is becoming attached to the wares. At any rate, he finally parted with them after extracting a promise that I would make something beautiful with them.
I think I kept my promise.

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Here’s to the weekend

| Friday links

IMG_6591.JPGDespite the chilly mornings, it has been pretty sunny most of this week. Dare I hope that this will continue?  I’m certainly keeping my fingers crossed that we will be enjoying great weather this weekend.  Friends, I hope you have some fun and exciting things planned ahead.

Before closing the week, I wanted to share a few fun links from around the web. See you back on Monday!

So, Scotland has been in the news lately. They went to the polls to determine whether they should be independent from the United Kingdom.  It must be such a huge and momentous occasion for them. I can’t even begin to imagine how I would feel if I were in their shoes.  Whatever the outcome, Scotland will remain a beautiful country. Just take a look at this  slideshow.

Still on Scotland, here are five books that celebrate this country.  Of course there are other books on Scotland, feel free to add to this list!

And while we are on books, if you are looking for something to read, you can’t go wrong with these recent nominees from the Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2014  or the nominees from the National Book Award.

I know they always say that books are better than their movie versions, but I can’t help but look forward to a few movie adaptations that will soon make their big screen debut.  There’s Gone Girl and then there’s Mockingjay Part I (I’m still iffy on the whole splitting the third into two parts, but that’s just me).  I’m very much looking forward to these movies!

And that’s it folks! Enjoy your weekend!

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A glimpse of Mademoiselle’s inner sanctum

| Fashion

If there was one figure in fashion that fascinates me no end, it is  Coco Chanel.  From the different biographies I’ve read about her, she seems to have been a formidable woman and her influence continues to be felt today.  It was thus with great interest that I read about a new exhibit about her. Sam Taylor-Johnson was asked to do a series of photographs on Chanel’s private apartments on 31 rue Cambon in Paris.  This is Taylor-Johnson’s first exhibit in five years and is designed to be a psychological portrait of Mademoiselle Chanel. The photographs feature Chanel’s personal items, many of which had an almost talismanic meaning for her.

I wish I could fly to London to see this exhibit.  And while, that might be a bit challenging at the moment, I’m going to content myself with this lovely video which gives us a tantalizing glimpse of the exhibit.

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A visit to an antique flea market

| All things Antique, Vintage finds

IMG_6565.JPGHello dear friends,  I hope you had a wonderful and restful weekend!  It was a pretty quiet one chez nous though I did manage to go to a flea market.  Its been awhile since I did a flea market post and today, I thought I’d share with you some of the more interesting items that I saw.

The first item that caught my eye was this vintage Barbie board game from the 60s. I have never seen a Barbie board game before and this one was in wonderful condition.  There are tokens for 4 players and the winner gets to be …drumroll please…Queen of the Prom!! It looked like a fun enough game and I hesitated long and hard about whether I should get it. Finally, I put it down because I kept thinking about the kind of message this kind of game would send to a little girl.  Would it be a good or bad message?  At the end of the day, its just a game and probably good for a laugh but I’ll leave this question to be answered by another…

I noticed that a number of booths were carrying commemorative pins such as this one and I loved how they’re packed individually.  This booth had literally boxes and boxes of pins and it made me wonder how long they’d been collecting them?

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Another seller I saw collects vintage linens, some of which date back to the early years of the 20th century.  She had the brilliant idea of turning some of them into pretty little pouches.  Made to keep your delicate little unmentionables, no two pouches were alike and they hark back to a more genteel time.

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Funnily enough, I didn’t find anything beads or findings that  I could really use for work. I did find these books though that are perfect for work.  I am especially excited to dive into the book on American jewelry. Most of my jewelry library is concentrated on European jewelry so I’m certain that this new one will be an important one to fill gaps in my jewelry education. And yes, I bought a book on hankies, I couldn’t resist because I love hankies and who knew there would be a book on that! As for the lace book, how could I pass it up given that my last puchase was…IMG_6577.JPG.. this beautiful handmade 1940s lace jacket.   I had to have it even though it is probably the most impractical, most delicate thing I could add to my garde-robe.  

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 No matter, its beauty justifies itself.   Do you often get the impulse to buy something just because it is beautiful? Tell me I’m not alone.

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Finally, it’s Friday

| Friday links

IMG_6551.JPGThe sun finally made an appearance today but its chilly out! And wouldn’t you know it, I see the first hint of fall colors.  I hope you have great weekend ahead of you! To close the week, I wanted to share a few fun links…

One of the best things about fall is the magnificent change in colors. Here are the top places to see the fall colors.

With the change in colors come the drop in temperatures.  I have to admit, a nice coat can make all the difference.  Check out the best new coats for the season here.

And finally, H&M’s new collaborator for fall 2014 is none other than Alexander Wang.  Here’s a first look at his new collaborative line.

Have a good weekend everyone!!

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Pink on a rainy day

| New pieces

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Suddenly its pouring out. After days of sunny 80 degree weather, we are hit by a powerful storm.  As an antidote to all this gray rain, I decided to cheer myself up by making something outrageously pink and pretty.  I know, I said I was going to work with some vintage French charms (here they are from Monday’s post), but I haven’t had the chance to work on them because I got distracted with some vintage Japanese glass beads.  I work almost exclusively with European glass beads.  But the Japanese too had, and continue to have a thriving bead industry.  Over the summer, I lucked out and found some really pretty Japanese glass dating back to the 50s/60s.  The necklace pictured above is my first attempt to create a piece with them.  I love this white and pink color combination and the fact that there is a glass cane right smack in the middle of the bead.  I love this elbow shape as well and the fact that I have more than one!   Funnily enough, when I started with this necklace, I only put in the elbow shaped beads. After wearing it around the house, I thought it was missing something. A search in my bead box turned up the only other Japanese bead I had before. This one is the classic round floral bead and I thought it was the perfect piece to add to the necklace!  It is designed to be a ras-de-cou (or dog collar) style necklace so it looks great peeking out from under a button down shirt.

Of course, I couldn’t resist trying to make an earring to match. But as I couldn’t very well put elbow shaped beads in an earring (or maybe I could, something to think about….), I thought a simple pair of hoops would go well with them.  These ones are pale pink glass hoops from Bohemia in the 50s.

IMG_6540.JPGEh voila…pretty in pink ensemble!

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Monday’s desk

| Vintage finds

IMG_6532.JPGHello friends, how is the start of your week?

Last week, I finished a number of pieces using some trade beads (see post here).  This week, I am inspired by these pretty French vintage charms from the 50s. I bought these in a Parisian brocante, and I’ve been hoarding them like a miser does with his gold.  I would bring them out, admire them, then back into the bead box they go!  There’s just something so charming and cheerful with them. But now, more than three years (I did say I was hoarding them!) after buying them, I’m finally ready to make something with them.  Can’t wait to show you how they turn out!

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Throwback Thursday: Fun hoop earrings

| Throwback Thursday

 

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Hello friends, today I thought I’d do a Throwback Thursday post featuring one of the first pieces I ever sold after our big move. At that time,  I didn’t know anybody and was just trying to figure out how to join art fairs.  I was quite apprehensive about starting a new business so far from where I’d started.    This piece was one of the first I sold after I made my first friend who was completely enthused about the fact that I make jewelry! She was looking for a fun piece to give as a birthday present and the minute she saw these earrings, she knew it was perfect for the person she had in mind!

These earrings are quite fun and add immediate pizzazz to any outfit.  But what makes them truly special are these faceted glass hoops. They look and feel quite light but they are glass and it truly takes a master craftsman to make something so delicate out of glass.  They’re not just hoops, there are facets in the way the hoop is cut and that’s quite uncommon.  I’ve seen since other glass hoops but these had not faceting in them.  These red hoops were made in Paris in the late 30s and at the last minute,  I decided to add some little glass pearls from the 50s to accentuate the hoops.

This was quite a memorable sale for me as it made me feel that I could start over and that I would find people who would love jewelry that I make!

 

 

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Trying my hand at something different

| News

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Hello friends, during the long weekend I took out some trade beads and tried something new with them.  I remembered one necklace I made using the blue “fried egg” trade beads and some braided cord and it occurred to me that that piece turned out pretty well.  (See the necklace here).  So I took out some of my bigger trade beads (these beads date back to the late 19th century) and paired them up with some soft cords.  The first one (pictured above) features an elbow shaped trade bead with a lovely red and green checkerboard pattern.  To mix it up a little, I decided to add some green and mustard yellow trade beads to the piece.IMG_6491.JPGThe second piece likewise features an elbow bead with a checkerboard pattern but this one is a bright, almost neon orange color which I rarely, if ever see in beads, and some green and white canes.  I lucked out and found two other beads in the same pattern and so it seemed fitting to put all three together.  I quite like the combination of glass beads on a soft cord. Its pretty without being too frou-frou.

Once I had finished these two pieces, I turned my hand to making something pretty with these small millefiori beads that have been rattling awhile in my bead box for awhile now. These millefioris date back to the early 20th century and have the typical Venetian canes.  As they’re on the small side I decided to make a double dangling pair of earrings as well as a double strand bracelet.  They may be small but they have a certain presence!

All these items will soon be loaded up in the shop! IMG_6489.JPG

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