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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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Weekend fun links

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Well friends, its almost the weekend. And its Mother’s day too.  Have you got anything special planned? Whatever relationship you have with your mom, life wouldn’t be the same without her right?

Here’s some great advice from some famous people’s moms.

The recently held Met Ball featured some fantabulous gowns. Check them out here. Aren’t these dresses just dreamy?

Speaking of ball gowns, the new Charles James exhibit just opened at the NY Metropolitan Museum. A must see for fashion lovers. Here are all the details.

And finally, if you love books, I’ve just discovered a great new blog that talks a lot about books.  I’ve got several new ones on my list thanks to Mari’s blog!

Enjoy your weekend!!

 

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Learning a new skill

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Hello friends, I hope you all had a wonderful and serene Easter break. Its back to work chez nous as well so I thought I’d share with you something new I’m working on. Despite working with beads for quite some time now, I haven’t actually had time to learn the stitches that are so important to beadwork.  Peyote stitch, right angle weave, herringbone stitch are just some of the stitches that serious beaders learn to create beautiful and intricate works that incorporate hundreds of beads.  I’ve always used the bigger beads and so never saw the need to do these stitches.

But I finally decided to take the plunge when a class in bead work came up with a focus on the peyote stitch.  Let me tell you that it is quite a challenge. First, as with any other skill, you are trying to learn, it takes a long time to get the technique down pat. Secondly, it will take hours and hours of work (much more than what I am accustomed to) before I can have the final (beautiful) finished product. You can see my fledging efforts here.

Learning this new weave requires patience, dexterity and precision, miss a step and the whole pattern is shot.  You can’t imagine the number of times I’ve had to redo this part (which is only just the beginning) in order to finish it. And its not quite perfect yet either! 20140423-093806.jpg

 

There is no easy gratification to be had with this kind of work. It’ll take a long time before I can get it to look like one of the the cuffs pictured here below.  And I’m impatient to get to it and start doing more projects. But, as my teacher is so fond of telling us, there is no short cut to get there just the old fashioned way of working away till it gets done.  20140423-094041.jpgI think the results will be well worth it though.

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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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On the trail of a book

 

Silver treasures from the land of sheba

One of the nice things about bead research is the way the trail leads to other interesting reads, especially on jewelry.   I’ll be reading something on beads and very often its bibliography yields a whole other list of books to read.  One of the things that struck me when I first started reading up on beads is how often they’ve been used on ethnic jewelry. And ethnic jewelry is a whole other fascinating field! So many great books on this subject.   One highly anticipated book is Silver Treasures from the Land of Sheba, Marjorie Ransom’s book on traditional Yemeni jewelry (Isn’t this a lovely title? Photo courtesy of Oxford University Press website). I’ve been waiting anxiously for its release since last year, but it seems its publication date has once again been pushed to April 2014.

So I was delighted when I came across an article she wrote in 2012 on this topic in the Saudi Aramco World website. It even features a wonderful video of a silversmith.  Reading this makes me anticipate her book even more!  Here is the article in full. Enjoy!!

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A sweet discovery

Just in time for the weekend, I discovered the wonderful cakes of the Imerman Cake Company. Their cakes are certified organic and free from artificial sweeteners, in short they’re healthy cakes. To be honest, I’m not so fond of cakes labelled organic. For some reason, all those I’ve tried have been dry. The Imerman organic chocolate chip coffee cake however is delicious and moist. It’s rich without being heavy with a wonderful chocolatey taste. I just had to bring one home.
The company is family run, and the recipe for the cakes are from the family too. They’re fairly new to the cake industry but I’m sure they’ve got a great future ahead of them. I’m really looking forward to more cakes from Imerman!
Here is Jane and her son Jeffrey

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And here is the chocolate coffee cake that I’m going to enjoy this weekend.

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For more info on Imerman cakes and where to find them, check out their site

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Retracing our steps

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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The finished pair

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

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

Soon available at the etsy shop!

 

 

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Selection of bracelets

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Hello friends, remember those pieces I was working on last week? (You can read the post here).  I did manage to finish them and wanted to show you some pictures.  For some reason, they all turned out to be bracelets.  And the nice brown one made of beads from Germany managed to find a lovely new owner!

Selection of bracelets

 

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Warren Art Fair recap

Warren outside shotHello friends, how was your weekend? I spent mine at the Warren Art Fair in the Park and I’m happy to report that it was really great!  There was a sizable crowd of people genuinely interested in all the artwork and beautiful handmade items that were on display.  There was a wonderful group of artists and designers with their photographs and paintings, beautiful blown glass ornaments and jewelry of course.

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I really liked that the fair was very much a community event. Local residents turned up to support the artists and this extended to the theater group that is putting on Shrek the Musical at the local theater. As a special treat, some cast members sang some of their songs and you can feel their pride and palpable excitement at performing!Warren shrek

So much to look at but as I was alone, it was hard to spend time at other booths. I did manage to get a shot of this great repurposed table from the very talented duo behind RetroReimaginings. I love their philosophy of giving a new life to otherwise forgotten objects! warren-jennifer johnson2

And here are a few photos of my booth display..Warren Booth shot

Warren earrings

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What a wonderful weekend it truly was! I’m already looking forward to next year’s fair!

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Red white and blue summer

Summer collageToday’s post is inspired by summer’s red blue and white colors….

Clockwise, from left to right, we have..

The sailing boats of St. Jean Luz, a charming seaside town of the Pays-Basque because summer means going on vacation…

Le Cabanon Bleu, delicious alfresco dining in Porto Vecchio, Corsica because summer is the best time for eating outside…

A cute old fashioned carousel made entirely of wood in Granada because summer is about child like pleasures…

De Petites Merveilles exotic blue clutch and red, white and yellow millefiori necklace (both now available in the shop)  for all those summer parties and picnics

Simple summer flowers by the roadside because we need to stop and take it easy during the summer and last but not the least

Vintage finds during the all those great summer flea markets!

 

 

 

 

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Getting things done

Works in progressHello friends, I’m getting ready for the Warren Art Fair so I thought I’d share some photos of pieces I’m currently working on. I have to confess that I’m having a bit of a hard time concentrating on work. It’s because its summer and all this sunshine and heat make me want to go to the park. Or eat ice cream. Both even. That said, I have some really pretty beads that help keep my mind on work.

There is this gorgeous vintage Venetian bead that would make the perfect focal bead.venetian focal

Then there are these pretty vintage pink and green French pate de verre beadspink and green beads

And finally some vintage brown pressed beads from Germany.

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So back to work I go! How about you, what do you do to motivate yourself when all you want to do is play?

 

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When inspiration strikes

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So far I’ve been very lucky in my bead hunting. I’ve found some beads in pristine condition, while others are in great condition. This is a miracle given their age and the often dusty conditions I’ve found them in.  Sometimes though I’ll find some beads that are irresistible but  upon closer look are not the easiest to work with. One example is this group of trade beads that I found in a small Parisian brocante. They are pink and green with a sort of silvery streak and the bead core is white.  Several beads were very badly chipped and a lot of the colors had rubbed off.  But I hadn’t seen this combination before and I finally brought them home. Once home I did some research and it turns out that this kind of bead dates back to the 19th century, the early half of the 19th century! I was happy that I took a chance with them.  Unfortunately,  it was a disaster when I tried to work on them. Several beads lost even more of their colors  and a few even broke. I stopped at that point and thought that I’d save them for my collection of loose beads.  That was a year and a half a go.

Fast forward to a a few weeks ago– I took a trip and found myself buying a vintage Uzbek coat with a gorgeous color palette of dusty pink and green.  Then somehow I got a strand of faceted pink topaz and I started thinking how beautiful these colors were and how well they worked together. I woke up this morning thinking suddenly of those green and pink trade beads from awhile back.

And somehow (perhaps my beading stars were aligned right), those pink topaz beads, little as they are, fit perfectly over the trade beads.  The happy result is this bracelet. It certainly took time to put this one together but the result is well worth the wait.

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French and Czech Beads with Spinels and Pink Topaz

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Friends, I’m very excited to start the week because I have a pile of new beads to work with. Just look at my new finds, aren’t they so pretty? I have great mix of vibrant red French pate de verre, gorgeous pink and gold Czech foil beads and some Swarovski rondelles for good measure. I can’t wait to work with them!

And as if that wasn’t enough, I also have some beautiful new gemstones to work with. I love my antique glass beads but I love gemstones too! And its hard to resist these faceted black spinels and pink topaz. They’re smaller than what I’m accustomed to but I’m looking forward to making beautiful pieces with them!!

black spinel and pink topaz

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Hudson Clearwater

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One of the things I really enjoy when traveling is discovering new restaurants. I especially like the hidden tiny gems that are far from maddening crowd.  In a city like New York, you are spoilt for choice so it can be difficult if not daunting to find a good one.  But I had heard of small restaurant hidden in the West Village.  The idea that it was hidden was what sold me to the idea of trying this particular one.

When we arrived at the address given for Hudson Clearwater, the entrance wasn’t immediately clear.   After looking around a bit, we realized that the entrance was a small green side door.  It opened to a tiny little courtyard and we were immediately charmed.

Hudson Clearwater2It wasn’t very big inside but it was certainly bustling. With its exposed brick walls and  candles lighting the tables Hudson Clearwater has a very cozy ambiance.   The cuisine is robust and well-executed American fare.  I started my dinner with their butter clam gnocchi dish which was excellent. The clams were served with the gnocchi in this delicious broth that was made for dipping the crostini bread it was served with.  If there was one must-order dish from this restaurant, its definitely this one.

For the main dish I went with the crispy duck breast served on a bed of vegetables.  I normally don’t order duck but this one was quite tender and well cooked.  It was flavorful with the vegetables complementing the meat perfectly.  All in all a good dish even if you’re not a fan of duck.

As if weren’t full enough, we decided to go ahead and order dessert. It wasn’t completely reasonable on our part but its hard to regret that when the chocolate banana pudding we ordered prove to be scrumptious! It was a huge portion but I’m happy to report that the balance between chocolate and banana was perfectly proportioned.

A charming location, great food and good service. What more can we ask for? This is definitely a keeper!

Details:

Hudson Clearwater

447 Hudson St. NYC

212 989 3255

 

 

 

 

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The Handmade Marketplace–where I belong

The Handmade Marketplace

I first saw the Handmade Marketplace at TN’s place, my friend and fellow crafter.  This friend of mine designs and makes beautiful barrettes for little girls and she and I did a pop up store together back in Dec.  I always liked discussing projects with her and having someone to talk shop with is something I really miss here.  So I decided to look for the book. Now, I have to confess that I’m not much into “How To” books, half the time, having the words How To puts me off.

But I was pleasantly surprised by this book. There’s nothing preachy or pedagogical about the Handmade Marketplace. Instead it reads very much like a friend sharing things she’s learned from her experiences.  The tone is always informative but warm and best of all it is always interesting.  It also has a very practical and realistic outlook towards the idea of growing one’s craft business. Hint: there’s a lot of work involved.   I think  the most important thing I took away from this book is the idea that crafters belong to a community and that its important to find and join this community. In a sense the whole Handmade Marketplace is all about being a big community and its this sense that makes it work.   Belonging to a community seems like such a self evident thing but in some ways its not such an easy thing for me to put myself out there in front of other people. I love the process of creation and I love sharing what I do to others.  But putting myself out there and being active in a community is not at all an easy thing for me.   What’s up with that? No idea. Or rather, it would take too long to go into and is not really the point of this post.  The thing is, it is nice to find a group to belong to, where one can learn and ask questions and maybe in turn help out someone else.

Eh voila, friends, my newly found resolve–to join more, to share more and to belong openly to a community.

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My workspace

DSCN3655Hello friends, I wanted to show you my clean and nice looking work space. Truth be told, it doesn’t often look so nice as this. So when it does, I find myself inspired to share it with you.  I just found the Bead Timeline, a book I’ve been wanting to add to my bead library so I was overjoyed when I did finally find it!  With all the unpacking and moving, I unearthed some colorful flapper era necklaces that I bought from my last flea market jaunt. They’re so pretty for spring and its great for making great coils of color around my neck.  And last but not the least, a new piece I’m working on.

How about you, what does your workspace look like?

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Klimt inspired

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Hello friends, today I wanted to share with you one of my more serendipitously paired pieces.  I found this magnificent bead (its the big focal bead of the necklace) during one of my bead trips and was just immediately taken with it. It is a Murano bead from the 60s and I found it so dramatic with its black and gold color scheme. More importantly  it reminds me so much Klimt and a field of flowers.  It is a little on the big side so I thought it would be perfect as a focal bead.  And since I found it so pretty, I wanted another one like it.  Well the seller didn’t have anymore…exactly like it… DSCN3633

 

But as he rummaged around his box of beads, he fished out the little brother or sister of the first bead!! I hurriedly bought them and hurried home, anxious to get started on a piece.

Since I wanted the beads to be the main focus of the pieces, I kept the necklace and matching bracelet really simple. I added a few vintage black faceted Czech beads  and voila it came together without hardly any effort.

 

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