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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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Stacks are the new black

Do you ever have days when you just want to layer on the pretty things? I do. It cheers me no end to be surrounded by pretty things.  In my home, on my wrist or fingers, stacking works.   Of course, I hear the minimalists going “less is more” so to resolve this dilemma, I came up with three bracelets that are each simple and pretty on their own  but works like magic to form a stack. For the days when one bracelet just won’t do it. Best of all, each bracelet is now listed in the shop!
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Perfect for summer

Hello friends, today I wanted to share with you a special piece that’s perfect for these hot summer days.  I created this piece using a silver chain and the prettiest sky blue and white latticino Venetian beads dating back to the early 1900s.  Latticino is a special Italian glassblowing technique using colored glass canes.  The beads in this necklace features delicate white lines.  Its a unique yet classic piece that would make a wonderful addition to your jewelry box!  Get in touch with us to purchase this piece.DPMskyblue

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Some new pieces to start the new year

Happy New Year friends! Hope your year is off to a rousing start!   I’m excited about all the possibilities offered by 2016. Lots of plans chez nous–more jewelry of course. In addition to my usual line of jewelry created with antique and vintage glass beads, I’m adding a line using semi-precious stones and crystals. This will of course, still incorporate my cherished glass beads. I can’t wait to start unveiling these pieces.  In the meantime, here are some new pieces that I’ve just added to the shop

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First off is this gorgeous royal blue and gold necklace. Apparently, blue and gold are lucky colors for the year of the monkey so I’m glad to be able to add this to the shop. These blue glass beads were made in France in the 50s. I love this combination, its a classic but never boring. This necklace is a great length, able to stand on its own but you can also layer it with your other pieces.

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The second necklace features a really pretty filigree charm from France. It dates back to the 40s. I love filigree, it automatically adds such a decorative touch to any piece I make. That this charm is vintage French adds immensely to its appeal.  To keep the focus on the charm, I’ve kept the rest of the beads simple, using only faceted Bohemian glass beads to finish the piece.

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And finally, I made this pretty red orange glass bead necklace. This color is not quite fire engine red but rather a lovely and uncommon red orange color. These beads date back to the late 40s. I like to think of this as both a winter and spring piece. It adds a pop of color to your winter wardrobe and works wonderfully when we start seeing warmer weather!

More to come so stay tuned!

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Starting something new

Hello friends, today I’m very pleased to share  some great news with you! For a long time now, I’ve been wanting to create a fine jewelry line in addition to my antique glass bead jewelry. As always started out with a few trinkets picked up here and there while I was out antiquing and looking for beads. Before I knew it, I had amassed a few of these pretty bits. I’ve finally made the jump and I’m very pleased to present the first one of many many more, I hope.

  
 I saw this gorgeous antique stick pin and immediately loved it. Of course I know that in this day and age, stickpins are virtually impossible to wear but something so pretty deserves a second lease in life.  During the height of their popularity, stickpins were  a way for a jeweler to show his skill.  As such, many of these stickpins are highly collectible, tiny pieces of wearable art. This particular  one dates back to the late 19th century and has sapphires and little seed pearls. 

  

  Here it is in its newest incarnation as a ring! A gorgeous and regal addition to your jewelry box. 

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Searching for perfection

Sometimes when I go antiquing, I’ll find a box full of beads and it’ll be impossible to look through every single bead to examine their condition. My policy has always been, unless its extremely filthy (and even then sometimes), to take it in the hopes of finding treasure among the pile. More often than not, its paid off. One such box I bought awhile back in Paris, yielded a couple of nice looking beads though nothing extraordinary but in this same box, I found a pile of crystal studded rondelles. Now I love rondelles. There’s nothing more fun than adding them to a necklace or bracelet. These rondelles however were not in pristine condition.

Upon closer inspection, each of them was missing a crystal or two.  I suppose whoever owned them deemed it too troublesome to replace the crystals and discarded them.  It got me thinking about the beads I collect.  Most of the beads I collect have travelled a long way before ending up with me and they all show signs of wear. I like to think that my beads wear their travels proudly and adds history to every piece I create.  Certainly, there are some that are too worn and shabby and these go to a box that I keep as study material.  Unless they break or shatter, I never throw anything away.

Now, I had these crystal rondelles which, apart from a missing crystal or two, were otherwise still in great condition.  Its a wonder that they aren’t missing more crystals as  these date back to the late 30s. Why should I discard them?  So I’ve been holding on to them, wondering what I could do with them.  I thought for the longest time that I should replace the missing pieces but then, they would no longer be original to the piece and I’m not certain to find the right size or color to replace the missing ones.


Fast forward to today –Its a warm sunny day in November and I thought its time to make something pretty with these rondelles.  Now, it isn’t going to be for  someone who is looking for something completely perfect but rather for someone who sees beauty in imperfections.  After all, none of us is every truly perfect but each of us is beautiful in our imperfections.

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Back in the saddle

Hello friends,  as you may have noticed, it’s been very quiet here in the blog and store front. Sometimes life takes over and work takes a backseat. However, I’m very happy to announce that I’m back!  All the charms, findings and beads that have been sitting quietly on my desk, bidding their time, will finally have their chance to shine as new pieces.

What better start than this new necklace?

The star of this necklace is quite simply the French made enamel pendant that I found last year in Paris. It dates to the 1850s and has a very pretty design of blue and pink flowers.
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As it is pretty enough to hang on its own, I left it like that for the longest time till I found these pretty Venetian beads with a strikingly similar color scheme. Even the design of the beads match the pendant.  Coincidentally, the beads date back to the early 1900s as well. The beads and pendant seemed like a match made in heaven!

Going forward there will be a lot more new pieces coming. And I hope to unveil soon, a new and exciting line of pieces that I’ve never done yet! Stay tuned!

 

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At work

 

Happy Friday friends! Before closing the week, I thought I’d share a new piece I just finished as a going away present. As I had a specific person in mind for this new piece, I tried to design something that she can wear often and in lots of occasions. And I thought, what better combination than black and gold with a dash of silver thrown in for good measure. 

I love how the richness of gold enhances and enlivens black. These black beads are from 40s and were made in France.  Simple but dressy enough for any outfit! 

Eh voila, the finished piece…   

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Inspired by Valentine’s Day

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Happy Monday friends!! Hope your week is off to a lovely start. Valentine’s Day with its unabashedly romantic colors of pink and red inspired what I’m currently working on. Oh and the fact that I’m dreaming of spring!
I have these lovely vintage Venetian beads with the most luscious color combination of pink and green dots. I’ve been hoarding them (like a miser, I know) but I’m finally ready to show them off to the world. Anyway, I thought I’d experiment and make hoop earrings with them. I normally don’t make hoops but thought I’d give it a go with these beads.

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I’m a bit worried that they’ll be too big. So I have to take them out for a trial run once I finish with them.
What do you think, too big or just right?

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Telling a story

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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?

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Late at night

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.

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I love how these two separate and distinctive elements work so well together!..Here’s another look at it…

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Winter’s Necklace

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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.

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Still on the black and white theme

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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?

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A classic combination

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.

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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.

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And here is how it finally turned out!

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The result of being snowed in

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.

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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.

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Choices to be made

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..

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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!

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Can’t wait to see how this necklace turns out!

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Silver or gold

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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.

IMG_7193.JPGThen 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.

Blue tones earrings

So will it be gold or silver for you?

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No two alike

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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.

IMG_7182.JPG 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!

 

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Pink on a rainy day

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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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On my work desk

IMG_6443.JPGHello friends, today I though I’d share with you the beginnings of a new piece.  I know its not quite the end of summer but somehow I feel the start of fall. Maybe its all the back to school announcements or the leaves that have started to drift down to our garden, whatever it is, I found myself gravitating towards these dark blue vintage beads. They would make for a lovely piece to wear during the progressively colder months.  Can’t wait to show you how it turns out!

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Monday’s new piece

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Hello friends, in all the excitement and work over the site’s new look, I haven’t had the chance to finish this piece which I started awhile back. Today’s gray and rainy weather proved conducive to finishing this necklace.  I’ve had these twisted peach colored 40s beads from Bohemia awhile but haven’t had the chance to use them.  In fact, it was part of a packet of beads that I bought at one of my first forays in the Parisian brocantes.  I loved their shape and the lady selling them told me, she had gotten them from someone who used to make jewelry too.  Isn’t it great that these beads are finally in a finished piece?

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    I started this piece with the idea of making a sort of double bead with them and adding vintage crystal rondelles. Then I realized, the peachy color of these beads would make a pretty match to one of my antique French pendants. Somehow the peach colors set off the rosy patina of this 19th century necklace.  To make it different from the other necklaces featuring the antique pendants, I decided to do a double strand necklace.  Eh voila…you see the finished piece! IMG_5956-2.JPGNow available in the shop!

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New additions to the jewelry box

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Happy Monday friends!! As I’ve been quite focused on necklaces lately, this past week I decided to work on some other pieces.

I love earrings and its high time I made a new pair.  I decided to stick  to my  palette of pink and gold and this pair features pink gold foil glass beads from the 50s and small pink pate de verre glass beads.  When worn, they dangle quite cheerfully and are perfect for jazzing up summery outfits!

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Then I turned my hand to making some new bracelets.  For the first bracelet (pictured above), I had this lovely pink red glass foil bead that’s been bouncing about in my bead box for some time now.  This bead dates back to the 50s and I wanted to make it into a focal bead but I couldn’t quite make it work as a necklace. Then I realized that it works perfectly as a focal bead for a bracelet.  I dug out the few remaining links I had of this delicate filigreed chain from the 40s and everything came together.

20140721-100546-36346432.jpgFor today’s last piece, I wanted a bit of a different look so I paired this vintage long blush colored bead with some gold and white rondelle beads and presto..a simple but interesting bracelet!

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A shorter length

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Hello friends, remember the piece from the last post? I wasn’t entirely sure about its length, so when it came to working on a second necklace, I decided to go for a shorter length.  It still features one of my antique pendants but this time, it features a few carved orange glass beads from the 50s.

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Now that I’ve made the two, I realize that they’re quite lovely paired up together. Don’t you just love them?

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Working with a rose patina

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Hello friends, hope your week is off to a rousing start! Last night as I was sorting out beads, I found myself gravitating towards a pink and violet palette. Try as I might, I was not in the mood for any other color.

But what I really wanted to work on were pieces that would include some of my recent finds from France.   The main challenge I’m facing with these finds is the color. A number of the jewelry from the 19th century made use of an alloy of brass and copper resulting in a pinkish gold hue.  The older it is, the more copper seeps into the mix making it even more rosy.  The pendants I brought back all have this rose patina.  And while I love this color, I have to think carefully about the kind of beads that  will go with them as well as the chain I can use.  Most of the newer chains available are of a brighter, more yellow shade and while I’m all for mixing colors, the result is not always harmonious.

For my  first attempt, I decided to pair the pendant with a double fleur de lys pattern with some vintage violet beads from the 50s. To make it more interesting, I decided to add a warm orange disk bead in between the rondelles.  I like this combination of violet and rose gold.  I do wonder about its current length.   As it is now, the pendant falls just within the decollete.  I’m wondering if it wouldn’t be better shorter and closer to the ras de cou style around the neck? Hmmm…what do you think?

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Blue and gold

20140702-123020-45020342.jpgFor today’s post, I thought I’d share a new piece I just finished.  This piece started out with the decorated gold focal bead that I made awhile back.  I loved how decorative it looked but wasn’t convinced that making an all gold necklace would be the way to go.20140702-123021-45021299.jpgLuckily, I later on acquired a deep, almost royal blue, set of French glass beads.  These beads are from the late 50s and while pairing them off with different colored beads, I realized that gold would play wonderfully against the deepness of its blue.  And that is how this necklace was born!20140702-123022-45022234.jpg

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A new piece for a new week

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Hello friends, I wanted to start the week with this piece I just finished.  I love Venetian wedding cake beads. I know its hard to choose among the different beads but I have a weakness for these wedding cake beads.  I love the cheerful flower design and colors. I love even more how individual they are. They are never exactly the same. These group of beads date back to the 1940s. I was fortunate enough to buy them from Venice from someone who has been selling antique and vintage Venetians for a long time.  20140610-183800-67080106.jpg

As I was fortunate enough to have a good number of them, I decided to make a sautoir style necklace.  And because it’s long enough, you can even wear it as a double strand necklace!20140610-183759-67079212.jpg