Today, I wanted to do a Throwback Thursday post featuring some very interesting beads. These beads have a very distinctive yellow and black stripes and I was actually buying another set of beads when I spotted them. They reminded me so much of bees and in fact, these Venetian beads called bumble bee trade beads. They are glass wound beads and were made between the latter half of the 1800s to the first years of the 1900s. With these beads, I wanted to make something that would really show them off. The first obvious choice was black but when I paired them with my black beads, it seemed to dim the cheerfulness of the bumble bees. But as it so happened, I had a bagful of vintage French yellow glass beads that I had previously bought and it turned out to be the right combination! I bought these yellow glass beads from someone whose husband used to work in a bead and button shop in the early 30s in Paris. And when he died, he had a good number of buttons and beads left over from when he was working and his widow was selling them off little by little. I was quite happy to buy the yellow ones from her!
At the next show I did, the necklace attracted a good number of admirers and finally it was purchased by a lady who owned her own jewelry store! She was quite taken by it, calling it a unique looking piece and she loved the fact that the beads were quite old. She told me that she rarely bought jewelry anymore since she sees so much of it in her own store. And I was pleased beyond belief that she found something she loved in my booth!
Hello friends, how is the start of your week? Over the weekend, I dropped by a local vintage show. And while there were a number of pretty things, nothing really caught my eye till almost the end.
It’s not a big thing but I was taken by this vintage earring case from the 60s. In fact the woman running the booth takes little forgotten objects, like this earring case, and refurbishes them to give them a second life. So this earring case is a little beat up but I like the idea of finding some use for it. And wouldn’t you know it, it’s perfect for storing little beads. I’m constantly dropping the small ones all over the floor and this container makes it easier to keep track of them.
Here’s to a great weekend!!
Hello friends, how is the start of your week? Today’s a snow day thanks to the over 16.5 inches of snow that fell over the course of Sunday! It was quite an impressive sight that greeted us when we attempted to go out. That said, it’s quite pretty out with clear blue skies and sun sparkling off the fresh snow. Of course it’s bitterly cold. So what better way to spend the day than going through my bead box and starting a pretty piece.
I’m drawing inspiration from all the sparkly snow so I took out some vintage French glass pearls and started dressing them up with pretty silver and gold bead caps. I love glass pearls. They’re always so versatile and never go out of style. These pearls are part of this big lot that I bought in Paris a few years ago now. At that time, I had no idea what I was going to do with all of them but I have used most of them already. Can’t wait to show you the finished piece!
In the meantime, here’s what we woke up to this morning…
Happy Friday dear friends!! As always, I wish you wonderful things this weekend.To close the week, I thought I’d share this wonderful video behind the making of a dress. But not just any dress, but a couture dress. This is the kind of fairy tale dress that reflects the best in human workmanship. It is a short video and reflects but a small part in what goes on behind the making of such a dress but it does give us a good idea. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
Once, on a flea market jaunt in Paris, I found a small bag of vintage charms. It was a group of various charms with no apparent unifying theme. All I was told was that it had been part of a much bigger jar of charms and that over the years, people would buy one or two depending on what they were looking for. What was left when I finally came along included a seashell, a pair of scissors, a dog, some zodiac signs, an apple and a star. It’s a completely random group right?
And because of its randomness, I couldn’t see how I could make a charm bracelet out of it. After all, charm bracelets are supposed to tell something about the person wearing it right?
Today, I took out the bag and thought that I was going about it the wrong way. Instead of forcing a theme, I thought I’d just pick out the charms randomly and allow them to tell a story.
So this bracelet is my first attempt. It’s got a dog, a letter B, a pair of scissors and the bust of a young lady. I’m thinking this bracelet belongs to someone who likes dogs (kinda obvious?), and whose name starts with a B. Maybe this person sews a lot hence the scissors or maybe she’s a hair stylist. I haven’t quite figured out the bust. Seen this way, the charms aren’t so random anymore.
What do you think? Can you tell a story with this bracelet?
Hello friends, due to some special circumstances on the home front, I haven’t been as active here as I would like. Things are slowly (ever so slowly!) getting back to normal so I hope to be able to post more in the coming days!
To make up in small way for the silence, here is a recent piece I made featuring an uncommon tabular striped Venetian trade bead. I paired it with a vintage gold filled watch strap which was another lucky find for me.
I love how these two separate and distinctive elements work so well together!..Here’s another look at it…
Hello friends! What wonderful plans have you got for the weekend? Mine include diving into this series by Marissa Meyer. I love fairy tales and I’m always interested in their retelling. This series looks really promising and as its cold out, I cant imagine a better way to pass the time.
So to close the week, here are a few fun links from around the web..
More books to look forward to in this article.
Snow boots are inevitable during winter, but there are some chic yet comfy alternatives. Check them out here.
You know how you get those cravings for cupcakes or chips? Well, turns out, there’s a scientific reason behind all that!! Whew! Here is the article in full.
Have a good weekend everyone!
Woke up this morning to gray skies and softly falling snow. Days like this when spring is but a distant dream, I half –feel like I too, am in a state of hibernation. Waiting, just quietly waiting for the return of spring..
Its the weekend! Friends, hope you have lots of fun things planned ahead. To close the week, I want to leave you with this utterly danceable song.
For this Throwback Thursday post, I wanted to share one of my first trade bead bracelets. I particularly love the beads on this bracelet because of its distinctive and pretty star pattern. To complete the bracelet, I paired the trade beads with some vintage French glass beads. This piece sold at the first international show I ever did in Switzerland to a lovely American lady who just happened to be visiting the region. Funny to think how much the beads have travelled — from Italy to Africa when they were first made, to other hands till they reached mine in Paris to finally the U.S. where I hope they are still making their owner happy!
It’s been cold and snowy in our part of the world and this has inspired one of my new pieces. The effect of the sun on snow is pretty dazzling and I wanted to capture a little of that dazzle with these vintage Venetian silver foil beads. Unlike currently produced silver foil beads, the old ones like these used to contain real silver foil inside the beads. That’s why they have a lovely silvery shine when held up against the light. I decided to match these silver beads with some vintage gray colored French glass pearls from the 50s and a sterling silver chain to make a lovely winter themed necklace.
Happy Friday dear friends! I hope you have wonderful plans for the weekend. There’s plenty of snow predicted in our part of the world so I think my weekend plans include copious helpings of hot chocolate!
As I sit and write this last post for 2014, I can hardly believe that we are on the cusp of a brand new year! And what a memorable year 2014 has been! As we wait on the eve of 2015 with all its glorious possibilites, I wish you all dear friends and readers a most wonderful year ahead–full of blessings, great and small and heapings of great happiness!
Here’s a look back at some of our most memorable moments..
This was supposed to be a Throwback Thursday post but as you can see I got delayed and so this post has turned into Flashback Friday.
Just wanted to share with you all a photo of one of the happy people who came away from the WinterMarkt with an original Petites Merveilles piece. She stopped by the day after and showed me how her necklace went beautifully with a piece she already had.
The piece she bought is composed of vintage French champagne colored glass pearls and vintage French bottle green glass beads. Both the beads and pearls are from the 50s.
Judging from her big smile, I’d say she was happy with her purchase!!
Hello friends, I hope your week is off to a roaring start! Today I thought I’d share with you photos from the WinterMarkt. This is my favorite show to do. Of course, being an outside show, it has its own challenges but the fun and convivial atmosphere, the terrific help I get each year from the organizers and all the hot cider and wine you can drink makes it a show I look forward to each year!
There are always fun booths to visit and you can stock up on all things Christmas.
I have a weakness for sweet treats and there was certainly no shortage of that at the fair and I have to physically restrain myself from partaking gluttonously. These chocolate truffles for example from Pete’s Chocolates were excellent!
And these delicious mini donuts from Detroit Mini Donuts? Irresistible. And I for one, wasn’t about to say no to them.
But lest you think it was all food and wine, we were lucky to have great entertainment the whole weekend. The organizers found great singers from choirs of angelic sounding children to musicians who played inspiring Christmas music.
As for me, I tried some new displays this year and I’m happy to say that it worked out quite well! Check out my new frames…
We even had the full moon at the end of the weekend!
As always a great show and one I’m looking forward to doing again in 2015!
Enjoying a bit of high tea as a reward for all the hard work last weekend!
..of a work in progress. This time its blue and silver.
For this week of preparations for the WinterMarkt, I thought I’d post on pieces that I will be bringing to the show. Here is a new bracelet still on the classic combination of black and white. This time, the bead is a Venetian bead made by the Moretti family from the 1920s. The Moretti group is one of the few left that are still actively making glass in Venice. I decided to mount this bead on a vintage watch strap that I bought during one of my flea market adventures. The watch itself was beyond repair but the strap was still nice looking and I thought there was no reason not to try to incorporate it to a new piece.
Don’t you think, it looks quite nice in its new reincarnation as a bracelet?
Hello friends, can you believe its December? A mere four and a half weeks before we usher in 2015. Time is whizzing by! But before 2015, there is the big Winter Markt to prepare for. Today’s piece is ready to go to the Winter Markt.
This piece started out with these vintage French glass pearls from the 50s. I wanted to do something classical but interesting with them which made me decorate them with these little black glass rondelles. These vintage glass rondelles are quite uncommon, rare, I’d even say because of the way they are faceted. It gives them an interesting dimension which in turn makes the pearl beads more interesting. But it still seemed like too simple a necklace with just these beads. I felt that they needed more oomph.
Then I remembered a Venetian bead I had with black and white and aventurine stripes. It seemed fitting to add this bead on as a pendant.
And here is how it finally turned out!
Hello friends, thought I’d do a quick post to share with you all what I’m currently working on. Some vintage pretty Japanese millefiori beads are on my work desk in this lovely burgundy color that I adore. Can’t wait to see how it turns out!
Hello friends, happy Friday! What cool plans have you got this weekend? Let’s start the weekend with this song by British sensation Sam Smith…
Hello friends, yesterday was definitely a day for staying in! As a result of that, I finally finished the necklace I started (Read all about that necklace in this post). At the rate the snow is falling, I am going to end up creating a lot of new pieces!
I finally went with the lighter green and gold beads to go with the pendant. I thought that the lighter green made for a nice contrast with the deep bottle green of the pendant. And I’m quite pleased with its length, it is neither too long or too short.
On the other hand I still wanted to use those dark green glass beads and there was a unfinished piece with Japanese millefiori beads sitting on my desk for the longest time. These Japanese beads date back to the 60s and is very different from the Italian milefiori beads. It is more delicate in its design. Something about its delicateness worked quite well with the dark green beads, together with the ribbon clasp, I thought the piece came out looking quite sweet and feminine looking despite its more somber color.
Hello friends, remember the green Czech glass pendant, I found a couple of weeks ago? (Read all about it here)
I started working on it but its not quite coming together yet. So far, I’m hesitating between two ways of doing it.
First I started with these dark bottle green beads..
But then, I found these other green beads that I decorated with gold caps in my bead box and they seem to go quite nicely with the pendant too!
Can’t wait to see how this necklace turns out!
This week brought us the first snowfall and freezing temperatures! Brrr…
With such weather, all I can think about is cocooning inside and drinking lots of hot cocoa. But before signing off for the week, I wanted to share a few fun links. As it turns out, there’s a theme to my roundup this week.
Secret libraries? In Paris? What could be more fun than that? Here is the list…After hitting one or more of these libraries, you can treat yourself to some hot chocolate chez Angelina.
If secret ones aren’t your thing, how about a library converted from an old train car? Read all about it here.
Did you grow up reading the Arabian Nights? Well, there’s a retelling of the tales coming out soon. Here is a short excerpt of the upcoming book, poetically titled The Wrath and the Dawn.
Have you been following the big stand-off between Amazon and Hachette books? Its a feud that’s been brewing awhile with vocal supporters on both sides. Well, they’ve finally come to a resolution and it can only be for the good of us readers. Read all about it here.
And finally, who doesn’t love Pride and Prejudice? This amazing book has survived 200 years and has been re-invented, re-imagined and re-created in so many ways. Here is a fun compilation of the various covers it has had over the years. Which one is your favorite?
Bon weekend everyone!!
You know how sometimes you’re looking for one thing and find something else instead? l was looking for some old craft show pictures when I stumbled upon photos of some rings I made a few years ago. Yup, at some point, I tried my hand at making rings.
It all started with a big bag of old beads that I had bought at the Puces de St. Ouen (big antique market) in Paris. I had bought the bag without looking closely at all the contents because I had seen a few choice beads that I knew I wanted. I was then surprised when I got home to find a number of old cabochon beads. At that time, I hadn’t really had much experience working with cabochons, in fact, I had gone out of my way to avoid them. Most of the ones I got still had the metal bar, rusting and corroded, running through the hole which were impossible to take off. These I had to discard.
Here are a few that I was able to save…
Then it occurred to me that maybe I could try making rings with some of them. Now, at this point, I did not have any experience making any rings at all. I figured, how hard could it be. Well friends, making a ring presents its own special challenges. I easily lost three to four cabochons before finally coming up with two I was happy with it.
Here is the first one in tones of green…
I was quite proud of this one as I used two cabochons to come up with this flower design.
Then I also made this more ambitious ring which is being tried on by the lady who did buy it in the end.
I’m happy to report that both rings sold right away and I barely had time to take a few photos of them before they were off to their new homes. One of these days, I might try making another one just to see if I still can!
Hello friends, today I thought I’d share a recap of a show I did recently. Its been awhile since I did a show so I was both apprehensive and excited. Its always nerve racking to show your wares to the public but I was at the same time excited to see all the wonderful crafts on display.
I need not have worried so much. Set up proceeded smoothly and contrary to my worries, I hadn’t forgotten anything crucial. It was quite a busy show and it was nice to interact with people. Working from home can be quite isolating and its always refreshing to meet people and have some live feedback.
Being along however doesn’t allow me much time to go around and admire the other stands. During a short lull, I took a short look around and while I couldn’t take a lot of pictures, these two stands quickly caught my eye…
The first stand featured hand carved bird houses and bird feeders using local trees.
They were really pretty and were clearly hours of patient work on the part of the artist. I can imagine a few lucky birds living in these houses.
The second stand which caught my eye featured some handmade signs with quirky and funny sayings. There must have been one sign that caught everyone’s eye because people would stop and look and laugh hysterically at one of her signs. Curious I took a look and realized why people were laughing…
This, my friends, is why its always fun to do a show!
on something I’m working on…
Hello friends, today on my work desk, I found myself working in blue tones. It is not the usual color I gravitate to but it does come in lots of different lovely shades. Take these two pairs I just finished.
The first pair is in tones of blue and silver (remember these enameled beads from the Bead Bonanza?). I love the swirls of blue on silver so I thought it appropriate to add some sterling silver links to make a dangling pair.
Then I realized I have a pair of dark blue beads but with swirls of gold in it. So I thought, why not make a second dangling pair but with a gold chain to echo the swirls of gold in the bead.
So will it be gold or silver for you?
Hello friends, how is the start of your week so far? Today, I had a couple of things I wanted to finish on my work desk and ended up with two completely different necklaces. The first necklace (pictured above) features a group of 19th century trade beads in the distinctive red brick Venetian color. I’ve had these beads awhile but for the longest time couldn’t figure out what to do with them. I was stuck with the idea that they should somehow match, which was why I couldn’t do anything with them. Finally, I thought that I didn’t need them to match exactly, the fact that they were all the same color with different canes and patterns was enough to make a harmonious looking necklace. Once I got over the block, it was easy to finish this piece.
The second piece is completely different. It doesn’t feature any trade beads at all, instead, it features this pretty and delicate little charm which dates back from Paris in the 50s. It is a tiny charm but the colored glass which decorates the flowers are in impeccable condition. It is such a feminine looking charm so I thought a simple chain necklace accented with some vintage glass beads would be the perfect way to showcase it.
Eh voila, two new pieces for the new week!
Hello friends, as promised from the last post, I wanted to share what I ultimately brought home from the antique show. And this post even has a touch of Throwback Thursday to it too!
Despite wanting to carry home a bunch of those pretty compact cases, I was very reasonable in my purchases. One find which I couldn’t leave behind was not even actively for sale. The dealer had actually bought the item for another dealer in the show but she was not completely convinced about taking it with her. Well, I had no problem taking it with me as this chain is an original Mirian Haskell chain necklace from the 40s! It is quite rare to find one of her chains as most of what is available are the more ornate and complicated necklaces. This one for all its apparent simplicity is really wonderfully made. Each link has a wonderful design that still looks as well made as the day it first made its appearance.
Just look at the design of each link. I haven’t quite decided if this is going to the keep -for- me pile or to the work-pile.
The second find took me completely by surprise. But first a story… a few years back, at a small brocante in Paris, I came across someone selling trinkets and while most of the stuff for sale was not really antique or even vintage, there was one pendant that stood out from the rest. It was this gorgeous violet glass pendant. It was quite a big one, four inches long and beautiful with its carved surface. It was also in impeccable condition, without a nick or scratch on it and the vendor had no idea where it was from and how it had come to him. As soon as got home, I did some research and found that it was Czech made and was probably from the 20s. Its design was very typical of those times. I was elated with this find and ended up making a long necklace with it. And if I’m being perfectly honest, I sometimes regret that I sold the necklace.
Fast forward to last weekend and this is what I see in one of the booths..
Its the twin to my Parisian find! Except for the color, it is exactly the same, down to the bead cap! I literally couldn’t believe my eyes. That was probably the fastest sale ever made in that booth because I didn’t even stop to ask for the price or ask anything about it. I just said I was taking it! After all, how could I not?
Hello friends, how is your week coming along? I’ve been a bit neglectful because I’ve been somewhat preoccupied but to make up for it, I decided to share with you some of the interesting things I’ve seen at the last antique show I had the pleasure of attending.
I didn’t have a very long time to spend at the show. In fact I told myself I’d do a quick round and go. Of course I ended spending more time than I should because there were so many things to look at. Not so much furniture and big antique pieces, but there were loads of beautiful jewelry and interesting curios and knick-knacks.
First thing that caught my eye were these gorgeous boxes and photograph albums (pictured above). They are celluloid covered boxes and were very much in vogue between 1893 and 1910. There’s something so lady like and delicate about them though I’d be hard pressed to know what I would do with them now.
And just look at these pretty and unused powder puffs from Germany from the turn of the century. They were certainly the prettiest powder puffs I’ve ever seen and a far cry from the industrial ones they sell now Honestly, I was tempted to bring home one for me. There is something so decadent about them don’t you think?
Then I saw one lady with her amazing collection of compact cases. In the early 20s up to the 30s, ladies didn’t carry around huge cavernous bags like we do now. They would swan about with their necessaries,(hence they were called necessaries)– and by this it meant powder and rouge and they came in these pretty designs and shapes.
The lady whose booth I was in has been collecting them for the past 20 years and I have to say that her collection is pretty amazing. These two photos are but a fraction of what she has. I just love them for no other reason than that they’re pretty and as someone once pointed out, it only takes three to make a collection.
Lest you think I only looked at all the girlie things I could look at, I did spend some time admiring some gorgeous Straffordshire and wouldn’t you know it, I was taken by that cute teapot lamp. Oh wait, do these count as girlie things too?
Ultimately though, I came home with other things. And that dear friends, is the topic of the next blog post!
Happy Friday friends! I’m closing the week with an appropriately punchy song to kick off the weekend. Hope you have a wonderful one!
Hello friends, for this Throwback Thursday post, I wanted to talk about one of the first shows I ever did. This isn’t the first show I ever did because I didn’t even think to take pictures during that first show! This show was the second one I ever did and it was during the Salon du Vintage in Paris. I’ve always loved this Salon which brings together a big number of vintage sellers from all over Europe. That particular year, I thought to give it a try and to my surprise was able to get in. As you can imagine, I was super excited! It was such a major undertaking. And so I set off the day of the show to set up only to realize how little prepared I really was.
I had at this point, bought my own table, instead of renting it like the first time (where the table rental cost me an arm and a leg) but in terms of display materials, everything was a hodge podge of various materials and colors. And as I didn’t have enough jewelry display stands, I just laid out all the necklaces on the table, which fortunately, at least had a table cloth! It just looked so cobbled together and amateurish. The one thing that I did do right was to have an explanation of what the jewelry was about! Despite such an unpolished look, people seemed to like the jewelry I was doing. I’m proud to say that I did pretty well that weekend! Looking back now, I realize how lucky I was that day!
Its taken a lot of thinking and doing other shows and playing around with the stand to finally have a pretty and coherent looking booth stand. The process of putting together my stand is a much faster and less stressful process since I now know what to do. Knowing what to do with the physical space also allows me to think more about other aspects of the show such as more harmonious pairings and color groupings of the jewelry to better to present my work to the public. Here is how my stand looks now..
When I look at these two pictures now, I realize how far I’ve come since I started this adventure. They are tangible proof of my progress. And it encourages me to continue growing and doing better than ever!
Hello friends, today I thought I’d show you a couple of new additions to my bead box. I lucked out and found some beautiful specimens. The beauty of Venetian trade beads is the wide variety of patterns and colors that were made for the trade. Sometimes this variety makes it difficult to find matching pairs though those that are similar make harmonious enough pairs. I’m quite happy with this group as it includes some uncommon and unusual beads, all of them dating back to the latter part of the 19th century to the early years of the 20th –two aventurine decorated trailed beads, a yellow striped tabular bead, an elbow shaped red Chevron bead (a rare buy for me because I am not as familiar with these kinds of beads as I am with the others and there is unfortunately, a great proliferation of fake Chevrons!), a gorgeous millefiori with a gorgeous palette of canes and two pink eye beads. The last two beads with the stripes in the middle was a gift from the seller.
I think the bead pictured above might be my favorite among this bunch. It would make for a wonderful pendant!
Before ending this post, I want to share a recent article I came across about Glass Making in Murano. Its quite an interesting read and I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did!
Hello friends, due to technical difficulties, I haven’t been very present here. Technology, despite the big strides we’ve made, and all the good it has done, can still manage to throw a monkey wrench into our lives. When that does happen, it can be quite stressful. Luckily for us, there are other things in life, as we can see from this photo.
So, wherever you are, I wish you a peaceful and wonderful weekend!
Hello friends, how is your Monday so far?
Remember my red eye chain from the bead bonanza ? I was wondering what to do with it when I remembered that I have an eye tree charm that I got from Turkey. I guess I like this design very much because I’m thinking of putting them together.
What do you think? Is it too much?
Happy Friday dear friends! I hope you have wonderful plans ahead of you. I’ll see you back on Monday! But before leaving, I thought I’d share a few fun links…
The Nobel Prize Winners were just announced and the two winners are shining advocates for young people’s rights. Read all about it here.
For fans of the late great Alexander McQueen, the Victoria and Albert is hosting a wonderful exhibition of his works. The exhibit was first staged in New York’s Met Museum where it remains their most popular exhibit. The British version will feature some 30 new garments that were not included in the Met exhibit. Definitely a must see for fashion lovers! Here is a sneak peek of the exhibit.
I just came across this fascinating story about one of the more famous jewels worn by Barbara Hutton who was once dubbed the Poor Little Rich girl. Read all about the necklace in this wonderful post.
And finally, if you are a fan of Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings and you’re wondering what to read next, here are a few suggestions.