Posts Tagged ‘Handmade jewelry’

Settling into fall

| Beads, Jewelry, New pieces

After the long lazy days of summer, I’m slowly settling into fall. Slowly, but surely getting back to creating some new pieces for upcoming fall shows.

Recently, I’ve been very  drawn to this palette of black and gold. It feels very rich and decadent.  In my own wardrobe, I tend to different bright colors but  it is true that black goes with everything so…

I suppose it helps that while the beads I’ve been using are black, they still have that all important splash of color. These earrings for example, these dangly earrings feature a great pair of Venetian wedding cake beads that feature the adventuring swirl and the pretty pink flowers that are hallmarks of wedding cake beads. They feel festive and fun!

Or have a look at this other pair. This next one is a Venetian fancy trade bead dating back to the 1800s. Yes, you read that right– these are 19th century beads. And they’re in remarkably fine condition too which is rare for these kinds of beads. Usually, the decorative trailings are worn away from long usage.

 Both these earrings would go fantastically with this bracelet. This one features a black Moretti bead from the early 1900s with gold leaf.

Of course, the jewelry box wouldn’t be complete without a necklace. And this new one features early 1900s Venetian wedding cake beads and delicate pink satin glass from  Bohemia.

All these pieces will soon be available in the eshop!
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Perfect for summer

| Jewelry, New pieces

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

| New pieces

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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Gray and blue go together 

| Work in progress

  
Recently, I went to a local bead show. Normally, I don’t expect to find any antique beads at this show because most of the beads are for new seed beads for traditional bead work. But I was pleasantly surprised by one stand that carried some older crafting materials. Amongst the bead needles and seed beads were a packet of vintage enameled bead caps.  They date back to the late 60s and are still quite vibrant. Others have some enamel loss but I thought they nonetheless added to the charm of the caps.

After much searching in my bead boxes, I finally found some gray pearls to go with these bead caps.  These pearls were made in France in th early 50s and have a wonderful shine.  I haven’t quite made up my mind if they will turn into a bracelet or necklace but I’m excited!

  

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Inspired by Valentine’s Day

| Beads, New pieces

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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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Throwback Thursday

| Throwback Thursday

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For this Throwback Thursday post, I wanted to share one of my first trade bead bracelets. I particularly love the beads on this bracelet because of its distinctive and pretty star pattern. To complete the bracelet, I paired the trade beads with some vintage French glass beads. This piece sold at the first international show I ever did in Switzerland to a lovely American lady who just happened to be visiting the region. Funny to think how much the beads have travelled — from Italy to Africa when they were first made, to other hands till they reached mine in Paris to finally the U.S. where I hope they are still making their owner happy!

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Winter’s Necklace

| New pieces

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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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A look back at 2014

| Collage

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As I sit and write this last post for 2014, I can hardly believe that we are on the cusp of a brand new year!   And what a memorable year 2014 has been! As we wait on the eve of 2015 with all its glorious possibilites, I wish you all dear friends and readers a most wonderful year ahead–full of blessings, great and small and heapings of great happiness!

Here’s a look back at some of our most memorable moments..

 

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A classic combination

| New pieces

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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Show recap

| Craft show

Hello friends, today I thought I’d share a recap of a show I did recently. Its been awhile since I did a show so I was both apprehensive and excited. Its always nerve racking to show your wares to the public but I was at the same time excited to see all the wonderful crafts on display.

I need not have worried so much. Set up proceeded smoothly and contrary to my worries, I hadn’t forgotten anything crucial. It was quite a busy show and it was nice to interact with people. Working from home can be quite isolating and its always refreshing to meet people and have some live feedback.

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Being along however doesn’t allow me much time to go around and admire the other stands. During a short lull, I took a short look around and while I couldn’t take a lot of pictures, these two stands quickly caught my eye…

The first stand featured hand carved bird houses and bird feeders using local trees.

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They were really pretty and were clearly hours of patient work on the part of the artist. I can imagine a few lucky birds living in these houses.

The second stand which caught my eye featured some handmade signs with quirky and funny sayings. There must have been one sign that caught everyone’s eye because people would stop and look and laugh hysterically at one of her signs. Curious I took a look and realized why people were laughing…

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This, my friends, is why its always fun to do a show!

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Silver or gold

| New pieces

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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.

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So will it be gold or silver for you?

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Trying my hand at something different

| News

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

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

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On my work desk

| Beads, New pieces

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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New additions to the jewelry box

| Beads, New pieces

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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

| New pieces

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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

| New pieces

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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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Throwback Thursday: a circlet of green

| Beads, Throwback Thursday

20140710-104525-38725460.jpgHello friends, for today’s Throwback Thursday, I wanted to share with you a necklace I made with one of my earliest bead finds.

A few years ago, before I even had the idea of selling jewelry, I accompanied a friend to a closing out sale. My friend had heard of someone who was closing her business and needed to liquidate her inventory and materials. The artist was quite creative and her creations ranged from bags to textile art and jewelry.  Her atelier was filled to the brim with feathers, uncut leather, tools, sequins and other odds and ends.  I was quite curious as to why she was closing and she told me that despite her love of her craft, it was hard to make a living out of it.  She said that most people didn’t appreciate the efforts that went into her creations and that after years of struggling, she was ready to give it up.  The sale of the things she used to create would help her start afresh.

I certainly wanted to help her but I didn’t really see anything I could use. I decided to go one last time around the atelier and then I spotted some jars sitting high up on one of shelves.  There were two jars filled with buttons and another half filled with beads.   From the various beads stashed in the box was a strand of these green beads.  My eye was caught by the vibrant color and pattern of these beads. She explained that they had been in her family for a long time and that they had come from Africa.  She’d always wanted to do something with them, but for one reason or another, never managed to.  I figured it wasn’t part of the sale so I put it back. But to my surprise, she said she was willing to sell it. She said, it was time for them to be with someone else. Someone else who could make something with them, rather than sitting in the dark, collecting dust.

I happily took them home, that thought ringing in my mind and as I learned more about beads, I learned that these were Venetian Millefiori trade beads.  They had been around a long long time.  They were part of the massive trade of beads that made their way from Venice to Africa in the 19th century.  These particular ones were probably made in the latter half of the 19th century.  These beads were in gorgeous condition; no chips or cracks to mar their surface.  I made a very straightforward necklace with them, the weight of its history carried in the simplest of forms.

 

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Trade bead jewelry

| Bead adventures, Reading pleasures

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Trade beads are one of my most favorite beads to work with. The variety of patterns, and different colors make them interesting and different. I really think that they make for wonderful additions to one’s jewelry box and they can easily jazz up any outfit. Because they are so colorful and inevitably full of pattern, I’ve tried to make these pieces relatively simple in style. These three pieces featured here are great examples of what I mean.

The first piece (pictured above) features bright yellow trade beads with red canes running in the middle of the bead. I’ve had these yellow beads for awhile but I didn’t really know how I would style it. Then when I went to Tucson for the gem fair, I found this red bead which I realized was the exact same pattern as the canes running through the yellow beads.  The beads on this necklace date back to the late 19th century.  I didn’t want this piece to be overwhelming so I decided to go for a sautoir style necklace. I think this style makes these beads more wearable. Just layer over a plain shirt and you’re good to go.

20140513-112507.jpgThe second piece features two black eye beads from the Venetian trade and a lovely Venetian fancy trade bead. While the Venetians were master bead makers, they were greatly inspired by ancient Islamic bead makers. One pattern they took and made their own was the eye motif which was greatly prized by Africans. The eye beads were believed to be powerful protection against the evil eye. The two black eye beads featured here are the Venetians version of an ancient Islamic bead and date back to the 19th century. The yellow fancy bead on the other hand is the Venetian version of the highly prized African Bodom bead.  The Venetian versions are increasingly difficult to find and I was lucky to have found an excellent specimen.  For these beads, I decide to make a shorter necklace that’s designed to sit on the collarbone. Perfect under button down shirts!

20140505-125210.jpgAnd last but not the least is this bracelet composed of blue and yellow trade beads.  While the colors are the same, the pattern is not exactly the same.  The small football shaped beads are harder to find than the round ones and the canes used in the beads are more apparent here. Eh voila… a couple of new pieces to start the week on the right note!

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Blue and gold

| Beads, New pieces

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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Sneak peek

| New pieces

20140611-162611-59171251.jpgI’m excited about this new piece I’m working on! It involves a vintage shoe clip from the 40s with gorgeous Swarovski crystals.  I love the way the light reflects from the crystals.

Can’t wait to show you the finished piece!

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A new piece for a new week

| New pieces

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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

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Finished pieces

| New pieces

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Hello friends, I finished a number of pieces and I must say, I’m quite happy with how they turned out.  Remember the sky blue piece from last Monday? Here it is!  I decided to make the silver foil bead into a pendant for this necklace and it hangs perfectly on the decolleté.

I’m fortunate enough to work next to a big window and where I sit, I can see these trees with their gorgeous green colors. They range from deep dark green to a more summery hue.  I was looking through my bead box one day and I came across these vintage Czech glass beads from the 40s and they are the exact color as some of the trees I see outside. I just had to make something with them. And here is what I came up with.

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And in keeping with the green theme, I also came up with a bracelet, which is not exactly the same, but to my mind, compliments nicely the necklace.

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And while we are on bracelets, I also made a simple bracelet in a vibrant blue shade but the focal bead on this one is really interesting. Its full of little sparkles and looks almost like ice when you hold it up against the light.20140610-182408-66248228.jpg

 

Finally, since it is summer and as such the time for showing off tanned legs, I thought I’d add another anklet to the current collection.  These little rondelle beads are from the late 30s and are harder to come by than the bigger rondelles. I’m quite happy to have a few of them around. 20140610-182409-66249172.jpgEh voila, hope you’ve enjoyed all these new pieces.  As always, if interested in any of them, don’t hesitate to drop me a line!

 

 

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The beginnings of a new piece

| New pieces

Ta20140609-101248-36768220.jpgHello friends, I hope you’re all having a great start to your week! Despite a few gray and rainy days here and there, we’ve been largely blessed with sunny blue skies and summer like temperatures. It has certainly inspired my current palette of colors.

Take for example, this new piece I’m working on.  This beautiful silver foil glass bead will act as the focal bead.  It’s a fairly large bead and is in great condition for something that was made in the 40s.  I love its summer colors of white and blue.  And I have to say its the exact color of the sky as I look out my window!

I can’t wait to show you the finished piece!

 

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Buy The Change USA

| Friday links

One of the nicest things about participating in events and shows is the opportunity to meet really interesting individuals. Today I wanted to tell you about Kari Hughes, who I met at the Turning Point event. She is the co-founder, along with her partner Shanan Bunzendahl, of Buy the Change, a wonderful fair trade group. Kari’s group works with local non profit groups from developing countries to find local women artisans. They then purchase the handmade goods made by these women to sell in the US. Their mission is to enable these women to build better lives for themselves and their families.

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Speaking to Kari, you get a wonderful sense of her commitment and zeal towards the goals of her group.  She told me how a simple purchase from us of any of their fair trade goods, enables a woman from a distant land (India, Cambodia and Africa to name just a few), to buy food for her family, gives her an independent means of income and allows her keep her children in school.  And how did she get started on this mission? She wanted to answer the call to action of a wonderful book called Half the Sky.  This is a great example of someone choosing to do something extraordinary.

Their goods ranging from jewelry to accessories and to home products are available on their website. But Kari is also available for home parties and is often at trade shows.

Now, I wanted to show some examples of their products. Keep in mind that there are a lot more in the website.

Handmade jewelry from recycled saris…

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Handmade beaded bracelets from Nepal (these are gorgeous, I bought one in pink and violet!)..20140522-092039-33639551.jpg

And finally bags made from recycled materials from Guatemala.20140522-092040-33640494.jpgIf you’re looking to buy something pretty and do some good at the same time, I strongly urge you to check out Buy the Change!

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A series of new necklaces

| New pieces

Friends, it’s a stormy start to the week. A change from the wonderful weather we had last week. When it’s nice out, it’s hard to sit inside and work but I did get some new pieces finished.

This first piece is a sautoir style necklace composed of lovely French glass beads from the 60s. I love this shade. There’s something very Mediterranean about it. And because it’s a sautoir, this can be worn long or looped twice around the neck. It’s quite a versatile piece.

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The second necklace features bright red orange glass beads decorated with gold bead caps. The beads are also from France in the 60s.20140414-093915.jpgI really like the look of rosary style necklaces and this is my not completely asymmetrical take on that.  These beads are a lovely lavender shade and its hard to see through the photo but they are a bit like crackle beads.   These are vintage French glass beads from the 50s,20140414-094203.jpgStill keeping with the lavender color scheme, this necklace features some vintage opaque glass beads with decorative silver tone bead caps.  I have a hard time working with the silver color, whenever I start a piece, my immediate instinct is to use gold (as you can see from the three preceding necklaces!).  There’s something immediately accessible with gold though I’ve had a number of people ask me for pieces in silver. This necklace is one of my few attempts. Its simple but I like how it turned out. This encourages me to try to incorporate more silver colors in my work. Last point,  I love that lavender goes well with silver and gold. 20140414-114606.jpg

Here’s to a good week ahead of us!

 

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Throwback Thursday

| Beads, Throwback Thursday

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More often than not, I find my beads in antique fairs or in shows with antique dealers. But sometimes I’ll find them in unexpected places. Take this pair of earrings made with Czech glass beads from the 40s. They are quite special because of the degradé effect of the colors. It starts out white and graduates to pink to a dark violet. It’s very hard to do this kind of bead and hardly anyone ( if any at this point in time) does it anymore. Where I found them is a story in itself.
We were vacationing in a small seaside town in Southern Spain and beads were the last thing on my mind. Of course I had to ask if there was a local market around and I was told of a small local one. The appointed day arrived and I set out. It was a rather smallish affair with a cluster of stalls and many more vendors with blankets spread out on the ground. It takes a certain kind of dedication (Perhaps it’s more accurate to say it was a sort if madness) to go through about 50 stalls under 90 degree weather. And for all my dusty efforts, there was hardly anything to interest me. Luckily towards the end of the market I saw someone selling beads and kits to make jewelry. Unfortunately he only had new beads, most of which were plastic ones. I was about to give up and leave when he said that his wife perhaps had some old beads still in her collection. I didn’t waste any time arranging a meeting with his wife at local town square the day after and that is how I acquired these beads!
Now these beads are in the possession of a lovely and dear friend, the next step in their long adventure.

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Pretty new things for Monday

| New pieces

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Hello friends, I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! Are you all excited about the new week’s possibilities? I finished some of the pieces I started last week and I’m excited to show you all what’s new this week.I love working with filigree elements. There’s something timelessly pretty about them.  I’m fortunate enough to have filigree elements from the 40s/50s and this week’s jewelry features them.

First up is this long green themed necklace.  The two focal beads are what I like to call crackle glass, they look almost like they have ice in them and they are a lovely mint green shade. I love dangles on a necklace and I think it goes really well with the filigree in the middle.  The beads are all vintage from the 50s.

My collection is not complete without earrings and this week features twin pairs.  The first pair features Italian red wedding cake beads from the beginning of the 20th century.  Don’t you just love the trailings on these beads?

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And I also have a blue pair of wedding cake beads, also from the beginning of the 20th century.  I love the filigree dangle on this one, its from the early 50s.

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I also made some bracelets and wouldn’t you know it, I stuck to the pink palette with the exception of one. I know, I know, I promise to start making bracelets in other colors the next time!

This first bracelet is a simple one featuring a lovely filigree element and two red crystal shaped beads.  I had a few of these filigree links that I had used on a necklace but for some reason, I found a last one at the bottom of one of my bead boxes. I couldn’t figure out how to use it since it was all by itself, till I realized that it was perfect as a focal piece!

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And here come the pink bracelets.  In my defense, they’re all various shades of pink.

There’s this one in frosted matt shades and shapes.  The long rectangular beads are Bohemian beads from the 50s while the others are French glass beads.20140407-095619.jpg

There’s a super simple one for those days when you just want to put something pretty on your wrist and be on your way.

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And finally here is one in all shades of delicate blush. I love the color blush, there’s something really fresh and delicate about it.

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Eh voila! Now tell me, which one is your favorite?

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Sneak peek

| Beads, New pieces

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I’m definitely into the pink palette as I continue to work on the new collection. Here’s a sneak peek of what’s on my work table today.  These are pretty pink French pate de verre beads from the 50s.

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Pretty in pink

| Beads, Jewelry, New pieces

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This morning we are blessed with sunny blue skies! Hooray for spring! I looked over my new selection of jewelry and it seems that my palette is dominated by pretty pinks and lavender. I suppose its my way of thinking myself into spring?

This morning’s selection is mostly earrings and two bracelets.  The first bracelet (pictured above) features vintage French beads from the 50s decorated with gold tone caps. I love this combination of pink and gold, its rich without being brassy.  I especially love the two carved beads, they’re a lovely shade of pink that recalls rose quartz.

I had a hard time capturing the lavender pink shade of these earrings.  Its almost opaque and because it is quite simple in style, goes with a lot of things.  These are Czech glass beads from the 50s as well.

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I think it goes quite beautifully with this next bracelet.  This one features vintage violet Czech beads but what makes it stand out are the little crown beads interspersed between each bead. These are French beads from the late 30s and were used to decorate women’s clothes.  They’re quite rare now and I was pleased to have found some.

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If I were forced to choose my favorite piece of jewelry, I’d have to pick earrings. I almost never leave home without a pair. Whenever I’m not feeling particularly creative, I find that making a pair of earrings will bring me back on track.

This pair of silver pink earrings are vintage foil glass beads from France and they date back to the 50s.  These beads are interesting because one can see through the base of the bead itself.  This makes me wonder about the person who made this bead.  Was this deliberate or was it accidentally made like this and left as is?

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And finally the last but not the least, a fun pair of pink crystal drop earrings.  You put this one on and you are good to go!20140331-113536.jpg

 

 

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At work

| New pieces

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I’ve had this vintage charm for a few years now. I remember finding it at a small brocante in Paris and thinking to myself how pretty it was amongst the table full of charms. It’s on the older side of vintage, probably dates back to the late 30s and it must have formed part of a festoon style necklace. Alas, when I chanced upon it, the rest of the whatever necklace it was part of, was long gone.
So it’s been sitting in my charm box, never forgotten because I love it, but I didn’t quite know what to do with it. It seems like such a singular piece and not easy to match with other beads.
Today, I decided to take it out of the box and it occurred to me that I might make my own festoon style necklace. I’ve already put the chains in but it’s missing something more. It’s back to the bead box I go!

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Gifts list

| Jewelry

Well friends, I’ve just about wrapped up all my 2013 shows and Christmas is almost upon us. Everywhere I turn, I see people looking for presents and hurrying to find that perfect gift. This reminds me that I too need to start wrapping up gifts!

But before I do that, I thought I’d put together a little list of Petites Merveilles jewelry that could make someone very happy!

For the person who wants something rare how about these gorgeous red wedding cake earrings? These beads date back to the beginning of the 20th century!

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For someone who wants some sparkle, how about this bracelet composed of vintage Swarovski? They are a deep and unusual shade of green. But it shines beautifully in the light!

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If green is not your color and red is more your style these two bracelets make wonderful alternatives…

This first one is simple but far from boring thanks to its mix of vintage glass and crystal rondelles.

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While the second one has a pretty Murano focal bead with a deep red heart.

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For the person who prefers something whimsical and pretty, there is this ribbon charm bracelet. The charm is from France from the 60s and the little glass discs are from the 50s.

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And if you really want something sparkly and bright, nothing beats this pair. The picture doesn’t do it justice.

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Now, which is your favorite piece?

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After the Winter Markt

| Craft show

Well friends, I’m happy to report that the Winter Markt was a great success!! Despite the freezing conditions, lots of people came out to enjoy the variety of interesting things for sale as well as the different activities.
This show was my first outdoor event and it certainly had some challenges. I had to think about how to make my space an inviting and attractive one to shoppers and since the light fades quickly during these cold months, I had to make sure there were adequate lights for the jewelry to show. All in all I was happy with how it turned out and from talking to the other crafters, I have some ideas for future outdoor shows.
As always, I met some wonderful crafters. Lisa of Nellie’s natural goat milk soap makes each and every one of her soaps from the milk of goats they raise on their own farm. Their soaps are made purely from milk and essential oils and I can tell you that their booth smelled heavenly. When I asked her how she got started, she told me it was because she wanted soap without dyes or sulfates so her husband gave her a goat for their wedding anniversary! Isn’t that something? Check out the fireplace in their booth. Oh and they’re experts too when it comes to dealing with the cold. I feel like I can now survive in the wilderness thanks to their advice!

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Ron Nolan of Nolan’s Hardwood Toys was my other favorite crafter. He hand carves every single one of his delightful toys and has been doing so for the past 32 years. His toys are the sort that can be passed from one generation to another. I couldn’t resist buying a couple as gifts!

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When I had a bit of time, I had to go check out the reindeer who came out to visit the Markt. I had never been so close to one before. Impressive antlers huh?
Interesting fact about reindeer– their natural enemy is the wolf and they look at all dogs, even littlest ones, as a wolf!

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The kids has fun riding the horse drawn carriage too!

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All in all an unforgettable show!

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Preparing for the Winter Markt

| Craft show

Hello friends, today I thought I’d show you some snapshots of what I’m preparing for the upcoming Winter Markt …

A clutch of beautiful violet foil glass beads

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Some irresistible wedding cake beads… I think I’m going to make a demi- parure out of these beauties …

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And I’m almost done with the trade beads from yesterday. Just matter of small adjustments here and there…

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Exciting times ahead!!

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Un avant gout

| Jewelry, New pieces

Hello friends, today I thought I’d give you a sneak peek of some new pieces that will be at the show.

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I just love these vintage Swarovski rosettes. Here they are from a slightly different angle.

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Craft show preparations

| Craft show

Apologies friends for the silence but I’ve been busy preparing for the Royal Oak Arts and Craft Holiday Fair. This is going to be a huge show with a wide selection of handmade gifts. Since we are getting close to the holidays, I’ve been preparing lots of pretty things that would make perfect presents under the tree. Hope to see you there !!

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For the little ones

| New pieces

At my last show, a little girl came up to my stand and started looking at the bracelets. She really wanted to have a bracelet but none of them fit her. She left looking so disappointed. It got me thinking about this big lot of vintage plastic beads that I have managed to accumulate despite not using them in my jewelry. They’re a riot
of fun colors and I thought I’d try my hand at making a few things for kids.
Here are some of my first ones..

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Preparing for Ann Arbor

| Craft show

Hello friends, hope your week is off to a great start! I’m hard at work preparing for a big show on Saturday at Ann Arbor. Im super excited to join their roster of carefully selected artists and I can’t wait to unveil all my pieces!

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Show recap

| Events

Hello friends, today I thought I’d do a recap of the craft show last weekend. I set out early and was promptly surprised by the heavy fog that covered everything. It was quite scary, I breathed more freely when I reached the show grounds. Luckily the fog lifted and it turned out to be a magnificent day!
I had barely finished my stand when the first shoppers arrived and we were off! For once I had a big stand so I had 2 tables instead of only one. It was nice to be able to spread out more than usual. Looking at it now makes me realize how much I love my vintage frames!

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As always there were so many interesting booths with handmade items and various crafts. A number of them were devoted holiday themed decorations including these Pilgrim dolls for Thanksgiving. I guess it’s not too early to start decorating for Halloween or Thanksgiving.

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My favorite booth was the one with little glass vases that you can hang on your window or door. Aren’t they pretty?

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