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?
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!
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…
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.
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?
Hello friends, how is the start of your week? Today’s a snow day thanks to the over 16.5 inches of snow that fell over the course of Sunday! It was quite an impressive sight that greeted us when we attempted to go out. That said, it’s quite pretty out with clear blue skies and sun sparkling off the fresh snow. Of course it’s bitterly cold. So what better way to spend the day than going through my bead box and starting a pretty piece.
I’m drawing inspiration from all the sparkly snow so I took out some vintage French glass pearls and started dressing them up with pretty silver and gold bead caps. I love glass pearls. They’re always so versatile and never go out of style. These pearls are part of this big lot that I bought in Paris a few years ago now. At that time, I had no idea what I was going to do with all of them but I have used most of them already. Can’t wait to show you the finished piece!
In the meantime, here’s what we woke up to this morning…
..of a work in progress. This time its blue and silver.
This piece has to be one of the easiest ones I’ve ever made. As soon as I saw these big beads, I knew exactly what to do with them! I found the beads gathering dust in Paris, in an old tiny antique bric a brac store that looked like time forgot. It’s hard to see from the photos but these beads were a beautiful clear glass with a pinkish lavender heart. Looking into it was almost like looking into a glass bubble. When I found them, they were covered by a thick layer of dust but even then they had a beautiful shine that caught my eye. The owner of the store told me he had obtained them in Bohemia in the 40s and he’s had it since then. He looked quite loathed to part with them when he saw that I was interested in them. I guess one of the hazards of the antique trade is becoming attached to the wares. At any rate, he finally parted with them after extracting a promise that I would make something beautiful with them.
I think I kept my promise.
Hello 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!
Hello friends, how is the start of your week? I too, am back at my work desk, sorting out beads and things to make lovely new pieces. Today, I thought I’d show you what I have lined up . First up are these vintage charms that I think would make lovely focal pieces. The big cross is composed of lovely green glass and dates back to the 40s while the guilloche pendant is actually a small perfume dispenser from the late 30s. Aren’t they pretty? The enamel pair is a bit of a mystery. I haven’t quite figured out where it was made though it has a vaguely Asian air to it. I was quite attracted to it because of its lovely vibrant color. I’m thinking of making some simple earrings with them.
My week wouldn’t be complete of course without some beads! This group of four big beads are all from Murano, Italy and features their distinctive gold foil work. They date back to the 60s. Now I love gold foil beads but there’s something quite special about the black and white striped bead. This one is definitely a pendant don’t you think? And finally, some pretty pink beads that are going to be all dressed up with some gold bead caps. Perhaps there will be earrings from this group or a pendant. The possibilities are endless…
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!
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.
For 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!
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?
At the Clarkston show last weekend, a man came up to my stand and as is my habit, I explained to him what my jewelry is all about. He was very interested and asked a lot of questions. It turns out he was looking for a present for his wife. This was a refreshing change since most of the time, the women look at my booth and the menfolk stand around looking bored. I was even happier when he told me that he wanted to buy a present because he recognized what a special woman he had in his life. Isn’t that the nicest thing to hear?
I’m happy to say that he found what he was looking for with this necklace. What makes this necklace special are the pendants that I created from Bohemian glass from the 40s. I love these faceted rondelle beads. They are so versatile and can really make a piece stand out. When I find them, I always try to hang on to them a bit, just because they’re pretty. But I was certainly very happy that this piece found itself a special new owner!
Hello friends, today on Throwback Thursday post, I wanted to feature this pretty pair of black and white earrings. Black and white is one of those really classic combinations that never go out of style. So I wanted to make my own version of this classic. I love how these black beads have little white pearls running all around its middle. These beads were made in France in the early part of the 1900s. And just to make it even prettier, I decided to add pretty white glass pearls to this pair!
Remember my vintage spool cabinet? I’ve slowly filled up its drawers and here’s a glimpse of it now
Hello friends, it’s a late post today but I couldn’t resist sharing what I was working on today. And I’m really happy because for once I’m working with a full strand of beads.
This is a strand of gorgeous early 20th century wedding cake beads from Venice. I have a particular weakness for wedding cake beads. I think they’re just beautiful with their decorative trailings and flowers.
I thought I’d start with a pair of earrings. These are almost finished. Oh and I’ve decided that from now on, all my earrings will have gold filled posts. Gold filled findings contain a thick and solid wash of actual gold so it’s much more durable and long lasting. It’s the perfect complement to my beautiful beads!
Finally its Friday! I have a new stash of beads that need cleaning and sorting out and I’m pretty excited about what I’ll find!
Here’s to a great weekend!!
Hello friends, its Throwback Thursday on the blog and I decided to feature one of my pieces from last year. Last year I happened to buy some beads from an old french jewelry house. It is a small shop specializing in what they call Fashion Jewelry, which is high quality jewelry made from glass and other components. This is what distinguishes them from Costume Jewelry which normally makes use of plastics or cheaper material. This particular house just happened to make their own glass beads for their jewelry. At the height of their business in the 30s/40s, they employed about 120 workers at the glass making plant. They don’t have a lot left to sell, in fact, the seller was quite reluctant to part with the remaining beads but somehow I persuaded him to sell me a few of them. These particular beads were made to resemble rose quartz but they embellished the glass with tiny gold beads running in the middle of the bead. Since the beads were made by hand, you can see irregularities in the small gold beads. These beads are just gorgeous! They didn’t need much to be pretty so I just made them into very simple earrings. At my december pop-up store, they immediately found themselves a new owner!
Hello friends, hope you all had a good weekend. Its been a gray rainy Monday so far in this part of the world. To cheer myself up, I took out some pretty peach colored beads and started working on them. The big bead is opaque and is an irregular round shape. The smaller beads are a more transparent peach color and they have a pinched round shape. I like the contrast between them with the big bead serving as the focal bead. These beads are from the early 50s and were made in France. To add a bit of sparkle I added some crystal rondelles. I know this piece is going to be a necklace but I haven’t quite decided whether its going to be a ras de cou or a sautoir style. I’ll keep you posted with the results!
Hello friends, how is your Monday coming along? I hope your week is off to a good start! A big shop update is in the works but I wanted to share two new pieces with you today. The theme of these bracelets is violet and they were inspired by the pretty violet flowers growing abundantly in the garden. Funny how inspiration will strike us huh?
This first bracelet has a vintage violet matte focal bead decorated with crown like bead caps. I matched them with some light violet beads and my favorite crystal rondelles.
The second bracelet has a violet crystal cut focal bead. This time I decided to go with some violet colored freshwater pearls. I thought the pearls made a nice contrast to the crystal cut bead and its nice to mix up the vintage beads with another kind of bead.
I really like how they turned out. Similar but with their own distinctive personality. Both focal beads are from the 50s while the light violet round beads are from the early 60s. I’m very tempted to keep one for my own collection. Question is, which one?
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!
Hello 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.
Then there are these pretty vintage pink and green French pate de verre beads
And finally some vintage brown pressed beads from Germany.
So back to work I go! How about you, what do you do to motivate yourself when all you want to do is play?
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!!
There are times when a piece comes together like a piece of cake (no pun intended!). Other times I have to wait awhile before they fall into place. With this dramatic red and green necklace, I had no trouble putting the faceted red and green beads together. But then I thought, it needed a little pizzaz. I checked my treasure box of beads and stuff and nothing was calling. So I put it away thinking, it needs to time.
Then I went to a flea market and came across a lady selling fabric and theater costume pieces.
And among the pieces of theatrical costume and in a box of bits and bobbins, I found this pendant all by its lonesome self. It used to be part of what they call bijoux de theatre from the 30s. These were pieces that actors used on stage and as it was for the stage, they were often big, gaudy and well, theatrical looking. All by itself though, this pendant was quite lovely with its original green and red glass cabochons still intact after these many years. Then I had an Aha! moment. This is exactly what that green and red necklace needed! I took it home and now the piece was complete!
A little teaser from my new collection. Blue french pate de verre bead from the 50s decorated with gold tone caps and mounted on a gold plated vintage chain.