Monday, February 27, 2012

Making Memories

This weekend my parents and I visited little Tilly (and my sister and her hubby) to watch her eat and sleep. Now three weeks old, my niece is quite the charmer and none of us can get enough of her.

Here's my mom showing off her new granddaughter...

and my dad.

This got me to thinking about how we are creating our own memories as a family. We don't necessarily think about each moment as it ticks by, but one day we will all look back and remember when Tilly was just a tot...

Most of us who love antiques are nostalgic by nature. Though some argue this isn't a virtue - that it's better to look to the future - I believe there is much merit in cherishing our history.

I think what often appeals to my customers about the jewelry I design is that it reminds them of a favourite memory...

a time when their own children were young,

an Italian honeymoon,

a Danish grandmother's garden,

or a special holiday.

What memories are you creating?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Work / Art Balance

I don't talk much about my 'day job' here on the blog because I assume most of my readers would rather look at pretty jewelry and pictures of Paris, but the truth is that I work four days a week at a busy cosmetology school in the heart of San Francisco, while maintaining my (growing) jewelry businesses the other three days!

I'm thankful for the steady employment in this poor economy, as well as the success of The French Circus and my brand new The Paris Carousel, don't get me wrong. But sometimes it can really feel overwhelming.

There is a constant sense of flipping the switch on and off between my two worlds. And rarely do the two intertwine. When I'm at the school, I wear my Job Placement Leader hat, offering students career advice and helping them fill out forms and paperwork.

And when I go home at night, I try to leave all their questions and concerns and the hectic pace of the day behind as I retreat to my studio to create a new necklace or pair of earrings. There never seems to be a moment when my head isn't spinning with the details of one or the other.

It takes me a bit of time to unwind after a long day, but once I'm fully emersed in the creative process, I feel at peace and as though I'm in my element. And nothing makes me feel more accomplished than completing a new piece of jewerly I absolutely love, or when a customer tells me she absolutely loves it!

I know many other artists share the same challenges and it's a constant balancing act between work and art.

Something inside us screams to be heard, validated, allowed to colour outside the lines, put on a silly hat, seek beauty, make beauty, escape from reality, connect with other like-minded souls, daydream, travel, write, sing, paint, dance, and just be happy.

So if you're like me, always struggling bewteen 'work' and 'art', how do you manage? When do you find the best time to create? And how does your art serve you against the harsh realities of the nine to five? I'd love to hear your ideas!

Unitl next time, mes amis, make art! :)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Paris Carousel

Bonjour, mes amis! As promised, I have some exciting news today! I have opened another shoppe on Etsy, called - you guessed it! - The Paris Carousel. This new shoppe will be dedicated to raw vintage jewelry for the purposes of wearing or upcycling into assemblage jewelry of your own.

Since I'm finding that some of my customers are now starting to make their own repurposed gems, I wanted to offer unique and affordable supplies to support our habits, shall we say.

Here is just a sample of what The Paris Carousel currently has in stock. I will be adding inventory to the shoppe regularly, so please check in to see what's new. :)

And now for some handiwork of one of my sweet customers, Priscilla sent me this thoughtful Valentine's gift!

She decorated this box by distressing it with white paint, and adding vintage French book pages, an image of Marie Antoinette, button and lace. She also sent along this pretty Marie notepad! Thank you so much, Priscilla! You must have been reading my blog to know that these would be perfect gifts for moi! :)

Finally, I wanted to show you what I've been up to in my own French Circus studio lately.

Special thanks to my good friend Sharon for once again creating my new shoppe banner and to all of you who encouraged me to get The Paris Carousel open. Your support is what gave me the confidence to go for it! Have a very happy weekend! :)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Love Locks

Apparently there is a trend sweeping through Europe in which sweethearts write their names on a padlock and cinch it to the chain link fences over prominent bridges. Though technically illegal, I imagine it's difficult for law enforcement to prevent this romantic act, particularly when it takes place behind a lingering kiss in the dark of night.

This bridge, which crosses Paris' Seine River just in front of the famous Louvre Museum, glistens with the flicker of 'love locks' in all shapes, sizes and colours.

Here is the world-class view lovers enjoy while commiting their crime of passion.

Notice the glitter glue, sequins and red lips on these particular examples.

And I love the industrial quality of this vintage number.

Happy Valentine's Day, mes amis! <3

Please stay tuned next time for an exciting announcement regarding my new jewelry venture! :)