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First show of the year

Hello friends!

The start of the year is always very quiet for me. Usually, this is time when I take stock of things, plan what shows to do for the year and other administrative tasks that are essential to the business.

This year however, I had the opportunity to participate in a show organized by the wonderful folks of Pot and Box at no less than the iconic Fisher Building.

The Fisher Building which was designed in an Art Deco style was completed in 1928 and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1989. How could I pass up the chance to be in such a prestigious building?

I have to admit I was a bit worried because the weekend of the show was also the weekend when we were hit with another winter storm.

But storm or not, we were all there bright and early to welcome the crowd that came through those Art Deco doors.

After I finished setting up, I went for a look around and was blown away by the talent shown by the wonderful participating vendors.

Immediately, i was wowed by Project Projections, who laser cuts these beautiful shadow lamps. I loved it so much, I took home his constellation lamp!

Then there was Owen and Abbey with their simple yet beautifully crafted home furnishings and tables made from wood salvaged from abandoned homes in Detroit, Pontiac and other urban areas. Their work is proof that beauty can be found and made everywhere.

I really liked the aesthetics of Corbé

with its smooth handmade curves and a color palette designed to go with everything.

And I loved meeting Corliss from The Lowry Estate. She had funky vintage pieces at prices that won’t break the bank. Just check out the coat she had.

All in all a fantastic show!

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Shop small business

Hello friends,

Apparently today is Cyber Monday, which means it’s deals galore all over the internet. The good thing about shopping online is we are able to support a number of businesses, including those which don’t as yet have, brick and mortar stores, myself included.

But I love brick and mortar stores. Call it old fashioned but there’s nothing like walking inside a store and finding just the right thing. Bonus, if you make friends along with way with the people in the store.

With that in mind as well as the idea of

shopping from small businesses, a friend and I set out to do our version of a pop up store.

Our “store” looked out onto this view…

It’s a pretty good view don’t you think? It certainly didn’t feel like work whenever we looked out.

Shy vs Bold, my partner in this pop up is a purveyor of wonderfully distinctive clothes and accessories. It began with a desire to offer something different from what we find in stores. And now carries a host of pretty dresses, cool jackets and funky accessories. If you want to stand out, Shy vs Bold is the way to go!

Then there’s me with my one of a kind antique charms and storied beads. I will never tire of making these pieces with a little bit of me and a whole lot of history.

What a blast we all had! But the best part was seeing our friends leave supremely happy and content with their purchases. As one friend put it “ I feel like a model after this afternoon”

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Summer stackers 

Hello friends! Temperatures hit over the 90s this weekend and everyone was out enjoying the beautiful weather. And as summer is all about enjoying the outdoors, I’ve been making new pieces that are easy to wear, easy to layer and stack but still very pretty. As always these pieces are designed to slip right among those pieces you already have in your jewelry box. 

This first piece features a wonderful mid 19th century Venetian trade bead on a silver chain. I love the summery colors of teal blue, yellow and green on this bead! 


Nothing says classic more than pearls and this vintage French glass pearl is jazzed up with gold and silver decorative caps.

This necklace is perfect for adding just a touch of color to an all white outfit.


And finally, a necklace featuring a pretty early 20th century Venetian bead of sky blue and gold. 

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Some wonderful news

Hello friends! Hope your week is off to a wonderful start. Mine certainly is as I’m very happy to announce that certain De Petites Merveilles pieces are now available at the Franklin Village Boutique!!


The boutique is ideally located in the historic village of Franklin. The village has cute stores and cafes as well as a cider mill that serves the most wonderful donuts and cider in the fall. 
Terri Cooper, owner of the Village Boutique opened her store 2 years ago. She bought out the owners of the store that used to be there because she says she walked in and felt something special about the space. Immediately, she knew she wanted to open her own store there.  After extensive renovations, her store opened, stocked with the latest fashions but also with local designers and artists. 


Terri believes firmly in having a welcoming and inviting space and she has succeeded admirably in this. I walked into her store and felt like this was a great place for my jewelry.  Talking to her and watching her interact with the people who walked in reinforced this feeling.  
She says the best part of being in the store is meeting all the people coming in and sharing in their lives. “People are so interesting, there’s layers to them just waiting to be discovered” she said to me.  


I love the fact that she believes in and supports local artists. I can’t tell you how proud I am to be carried by a store that still believes in hand crafted products. More importantly, my pieces are in a store that believes in treating everyone as a friend.  That’s increasingly rare in these days of efficient online shopping.

So which Petites Merveilles pieces have found a home at the Village boutique? Here are a few pieces….




I hope you stop by and check out this wonderful store!

Some details:

Franklin Village Boutique

32716 Franklin Road

Franklin, MI

248-8510055

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A match to make your day

Hello friends, remember these earrings?


After I finished this pair I was left with two of these pink and silver foil beads. At first I thought I would make another pair of earrings but I wasn’t convinced by this idea. I want my jewelry to be unique and one of a kind so another pair just wouldn’t do.

So I put them away. Then  I remembered that somewhere in my bead box was a lonesome silver foil bead that was the only one left after I finished a necklace. Now this little orphan bead is a really pretty bead with lots of silver foiling that has remained intact over the years. Just like the pink and silver beads, this one dates back to the early 1950s. In no time, this necklace was born…


I love how these lonesome one-of beads suddenly found themselves together to make a beautiful new piece.

And look how well the necklace goes with the earrings!


The earrings are now listed in the shop and the necklace will soon be added!

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A shop update full of earrings

I’ve been on an earring kick lately. Just check out these beauties that are now listed in the shop. These are all Venetians beads dating back to the period between the 40s and early 50s. What I love about these pairs is no two beads are exactly alike. Each bead has subtle differences that make them so interesting to wear. I like to think of it as the mark of the hands that made them. 

 


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One necklace for different looks

When I make something, I always try to imagine it slipping into my jewelry box and getting along with everthing else that’s there. I also like it when the piece goes with lots of different looks. After all, we work hard, do different things so we want our jewelry to be equally versatile. That’s why I’m so happy with this new necklace.


Today’s piece is a simple enough necklace composed of multicolored crystal rondelles.  These rondelles date back to the early 40s and have clearly lived other lives. They’ve been well loved as evidenced by the missing crystals in each rondelle. When I saw these in Paris, I knew immediately that I wanted to make something with them. Yes, they aren’t perfect but I couldn’t bear to just throw them away. As it turns out, it goes with a  number of different looks. So far, I’ve come up with three looks to give you ideas on how to wear this beauty. 

If you’re feeling casual, it’s the perfect accessory to jazz up a shirt. Throw it over a tee, or in this case, a turtleneck since it’s still cold, and you’re good to go.


It’s also great for layering. I love it with another long chain over a simple black shirt.


This last look may yet be my favorite. When you want color and layers, it’s totally possible with this piece.


How would you wear this necklace? 

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Bookish adventures

One rainy misty afternoon, I finally managed to make my way down to John King books. I’d long heard about this 4 story institution devoted to books and I have long wanted to visit.

Well, it finally happened and I can tell you that it lives up to all the accolades it has earned over the years.


The bookstore was founded by Mr John King in 1971 and its original location was in Dearborn. It moved to its downtown location in 1983 when Mr King purchased the Advanced Glove factory. It later expanded to have two other locations though sadly, one of these two has recently closed.

They have an inventory of over a million titles divided among its two remaining branches thought the downtown one has a much larger inventory. It’s not far fetched to think they have a book on possibly every topic you can think of. No wonder it was once ranked no 2 of the world’s 18 Bookstores Every Book Lover Must Visit at Least Once. I’m keeping this list by the way and making it one of my goals to visit as many as I can. But I digress.


In this day and age where everything is digital and online, John King books is firmly on the old fashioned side. There is no computerized inventory except for their rare book collection. They cannot look up titles for you,  instead, they have booksellers who can direct your search for titles and then you’re on your own– to peruse the alphabetically arranged shelves and get lost in the warren of musty corridors of shelves lined with books and yet more books. When you come, don’t expect to surface for air until hours later. Actually, it’s best to simply clear your schedule of all other things.


As for my book haul, I came away with a very modest one. But this just means another trip down very soon! 

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Soaking up the sun and finding inspiration

A few days before the close of 2016, we had the pleasure of spending a few days in the sunny island of Puerto Rico. It was a welcome break from the snow and cold and a chance to soak up the sun and recharge.

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 We were greeted by blue skies and the blue green waters of the Atlantic. We could feel ourselves immediately relaxing. The island was first settled in 1509 by the Spanish led by Juan Ponce de Leon. The present site of San Juan was founded in 1510 and was  given its formal name  of Puerto Rico de San Juan Bautista in 1521.  It is the second oldest European established capital in the new world, the first being Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic.

The remnants of its colonial past is evident in the walls of the city and its two forts that stills stands guard over the city. In days past, the forts constituted the first line of defense against hostile powers who would storm the city and take its riches.

Nowadays, its a popular spot for those who want to take a stroll, and take in the magnificent views of the sea.

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By day, we shared the historic downtown with the numerous daytrippers from the many cruise ships that make this port, a must stop in the Caribbean. All of us were walking around holding our cameras and phones in front of us, trying to capture the vibrant colors that adorn the traditional colonial houses and buildings.

Blue, yellow, violet and pink, every hue was present and it was fun trying to capture that.

Business establishments are on the first floor while families still lived in its upper floors.

At night, once all but the few who chose to stay the night were gone, it was possible to catch glimpses of the families that still live behind the wrought iron balconies and lace covered windows.

The best surprise of the trip was discovering a strong local and thriving artistic community. Yes, there are a number of American style malls but there are also a good number of stores carrying only local artists and featuring only local and handmade crafts and goods.

Take this store which proudly refuses to carry anything other than their own handmade Panama hats…

Or this one store which carried a number of pretty bags, among other things. On the day we were there, we got to meet the artist.  Its a big family undertaking, she told us. Her mother and daughter help her make the bags and her other daughter sells them in the store.

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 Here is a small sampling of her work.

img_7989One gallery I loved featured art work  showing the wonderful old doors of San Juan.
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But my favorite discovery was a tiny shop that also housed a jewelry school.  Nothing touristy about this shop. When I stepped in, I was among residents who were having their jewels cleaned or repaired. This picture is a small sampling of the work of either professors or students of the school.  Their work features gems and stones, silver, gold, and even enamel

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 Needless to say, this was the place to find the perfect souvenir to take back home.

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An array of pretty earrings 

Sometimes you get on a streak of making one thing and the results are like this. All are available in the eshop! 


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Something pretty and sparkly


Hello friends, today I thought I’d share my first attempt to capture one of my pieces in action! The first I hope of many more videos to come.

This is a pair of gorgeous gold foil spiral shaped Venetian beads dating back to the early years of the 1900s. It’s designed to add sparkle to whatever you decide to wear! 

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Relax, its the weekend

 

 

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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!

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Friday round up

 

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Hello friends, we’ve been blessed with beautiful sunny weather this week. Just look at that sky!  Here’s crossing my fingers it’s for keeps! What brilliant plans have you got lined up this weekend? I’m hoping we get to a good antique market.  Or maybe break out the barbecue grill.

And since its Friday, here once again are a few interesting links I’ve found.  Enjoy!!

After last week’s news about David Letterman retiring in 2015, its been announced that Stephen Colbert is taking over.  I like Stephen Colbert, I can’t forget the time he came out in support of the Philippines after last year’s Hurrican Haiyan tragedy.  He just about endeared himself to the whole country with that video.

Do you like fashion films?  Remember when Vogue’s The September Issue came out?  I remember playing hooky and watching it in the middle of the day in one of the theaters along the Champs Elysee. Anyway it seems that fashion films have become more common these days. Here are the top 10 of the moment.

Are you on Instagram? It seems hard to believe that Instagram was launched only in 2010. That’s a mere three years ago, but I guess that’s light years in terms of technology. Just recently it was announced that there are over 200 million users.  I am fairly new to it myself but its completely addictive, I have to admit.  Its true what they say that a picture is worth a thousand words. With such a great deal of users, it  has even altered the landscape of fashion.  Read all about it here. I love discovering different Instagrammers.  Do you have a particular favorite? Do share. I am Petites Merveilles (what else?) on IG.

Speaking of pictures,  I was amazed at this collection of photos showing Detroit in its early years.  Its hard to believe that it was once one of the country’s richest cities.  These pictures are so poignant and evocative, view them all here.

And that’s it folks!! Have a great weekend!

 

 

 

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Friday fun plus links

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Its the weekend! Or almost!!  What fun things have you got planned? Going around the stores, I noticed loads of Easter decorations. I suppose its not too early to get started on those preparing those adorable Easter baskets, bunnies included. For my part, I think I’m on the right track thanks to my find from yesterday’s shopping tour which you can read about here. I found these  adorable vintage nesting eggs from Vintage Vogue and they’re perfect for an Easter Egg hunt!

So I thought I’d do a round up of interesting reads to share with you all on this rainy Friday…

Who likes Legos? If you are, check out the BrickBash

Are you a beauty products fiend? There’s a new kid on the block, thanks to the arrival on the scene of an old Parisian brand– L’Officine Universelle Buly brand…

Interestingly enough,  some folks prefer to look to Etsy for their beauty needs. If you are, then this is an interesting read from the New York Times

Still on Etsy, there’s a great post on How To Use Instagram for Marketing.   I wasn’t entirely convinced about Instagram but a friend of mine (thanks to D!) convinced me to try it and I love it! Its a wonderful way to visually share your world and its a great place to find inspiration.  And now, a useful post for all business owners. Read it here.

Hope you have fun with these articles! Have a good weekend everyone!

 

 

 

 

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Keeping warm

It’s sub zero temperatures once again in our part of the world. I think this weekend will be all about staying warm and comfy. And what better way to while away the time than reading some good books and maybe a movie or two.

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Oh and if you like lists, here is a list of the top new books of 2014.
Wishing everyone a safe and wonderful weekend!

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Snapshots from the DIA

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It’s been awhile since I’ve been inside a museum and today’s afternoon at the Detroit Institute of Art was a lovely surprise.
Here are a few of the many treasures that caught my eye.

Caravaggio’s Mary and Magdalene

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Camille Pisarro’s The Paths

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Van Gogh’s Bank of the Oise sur Auvers

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A huge mural by Diego Rivera

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And just before leaving , I saw Canaletto’s Piazza San Marco

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Stuck on a piece

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I don’t know why but I seem to be a little stuck. I woke up today all excited to work on this beautiful Venetian fancy bead which dates back to the late 1800s to the early 1900s. Several hours later, all I’ve managed to do with it is to wire wrap the ends. Can I still blame the polar vortex for this? (Apologies for yesterday’s post where I said polar freeze instead of vortex, though to be honest polar freeze seems pretty apt too!) Maybe it’s just one of those days…..

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Polar freeze

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I think it’s safe to say that I’ve never been so cold as I’ve been these past few days. At one point we went down to minus 27 F with the wind chill factor. Then I heard that this unseasonable and extraordinary weather was due to polar freeze. Well, then, it’s little wonder that it’s been freezing. We got so much snow that our poor bushes have pretty much disappeared!

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So I’ve been busy cocooning myself with gorgeous jewelry books, all in the name of inspiration and research of course.

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And I’ve started to think about the upcoming first collection for 2014. I sorted out some beads from the bead box and this strand caught my eye….I’m excited to see how they turn out. Soon as I thaw out, I will start working on them!

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Happy weekend

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I can’t believe it’s the Friday before Christmas! Are you all done with the preparations for the upcoming festivities? I’ve sent gift packages and cards off, what an adventure that was in the post office. Whew. This weekend will be devoted to wrapping presents!

Talk to you all soon!