Saturday, April 27, 2013

A Pair of Crosses

I have been collecting some interesting crosses over the past year and decided to use a few in my new necklace designs this week.

I also worked on some other pairs... earrings that is!  ;)
This bronze Jerusalem cross really shows off against the simple chain treatment in front, and is balanced by a surprise of chunky gemstones in back.

Here some vintage Eiffel Tower charms pair nicely with bronze Edwardian castings for a simple earring from my t r e n d collection.

Sorry, folks... these fleur de lis goodies got snatched right up!  ;)

I love the sparkle of this large rhinestone cross pendant, served up with mixed metals and more gemstones.

Bronze hoops carry vintage heart charms and rose quartz brios in this fun-loving design.

Thank you for stopping by!  Have a great week!  :)




Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Tutorial 201 - Oxidizing Sterling Silver

As promised, I wanted to periodically offer some tutorials for those of you who enjoy making your own jewelry but may still have questions about certain techniques.  Today I wanted to show you my process for oxidizing sterling silver.  In this case, I've used ear wires as our example.  The above photo shows them all shiny and new.  (Bo-ring!)  ;)

This is the Liver of Sulfur I prefer using, a bottled gel.  It is also available in lump form (like little rocks), but I find that difficult to dissolve and has a much shorter shelf life.  Liver of Sulfur is described by Wikipedia as a mixture of potassium sulfide and other chemicals, and can give off a hazardous fume, so it's best to work with it in a well-ventilated area.

Working near the kitchen sink, I pour a tiny drop into a small non-pourous bowl that I don't plan to eat from again!  You will also need a plastic spoon for this process, and some paper towels.

Fill the bowl with hot water, just enough to cover the items you will be oxidizing.  The solution will turn bright yellow.

Next, I put it in the microwave for one minute.  You need to get the solution really hot in order for it to be effective!  It will darken a little after you heat it up.

Working very quickly so the solution doesn't cool too much, I load my spoon with the ear wires, and dunk them in, careful not to drop any into the bowl.  Sterling silver will oxidize in just a few seconds, so I didn't even have time to snap a picture.

When the silver has turned the colour you like, remove it from the solution and quickly run it under cold water to stop the oxidizing process.  Note that the metal will be very hot, so take care when touching it with your bare hands or you may want to wear rubber gloves.
Place the items on a paper towel and pat dry.  Voila!  Aren't these wires much more interesting now that they look aged?  ;)

And while you're here, allow me to show you some new designs I just listed on Etsy.  These will make perfect Mother's Day gifts for yourself or someone you love.



Thank you for stopping by!  And please feel free to let me know of any future tutorials you may like to see!   x o


Saturday, April 20, 2013

My New Website!

Bonjour, mes amis!  I have been taking a slight hiatus from making jewelry this week to work on a few other projects, not least of which is the launch of my brand new website!  My friend Aaron and I have been meeting weekly for a couple of months now to get this up and running.  Our goal is to make it easier for friends and fans to locate all things 'The French Circus' in one convenient location.  You will be able to access my handmade assemblage jewelry, vintage jewelry and supplies, blog, Facebook page, and Pinterest boards all on The French Circus Vintage!  Shoppers may still purchase items directly from Etsy through this new website, so we hope you will find it very comprehensive and easy to use.  We are looking for your honest feedback, so please let me know how you like its navigation or if there's anything else you'd want to see.  ;)

In other news, I have also been busy hunting and gathering new items for The Paris Carousel, my vintage jewelry and supplies shoppe, for those of you who enjoy making your own assemblage jewelry, or just like to collect 'raw' vintage pieces.  I will be adding new items daily, but here is a sample of just a few of the offerings currently available:
Please stay tuned next time when I show you my method for oxidizing wire.  Thank you for stopping by!  <3


Saturday, April 13, 2013

Flora and Fauna

The blue rose earrings I made earlier this week not only flew out the door as soon as I'd listed them on Etsy, but I got multiple requests for more!  I only wish I had another dozen or so pairs, but I always say that's the beauty and bane of working with vintage pieces.

I guess I'm not the only one in the mood for flora and fauna this time of year, so I made a garden of new earrings and a necklace, mostly with this springtime theme in mind.

Roses, vines, soft colours, and some delicate religious pieces are where my heart is at right now.

I love the faded quality of this old celluloid cabbage rose.
And thought these hand painted Russian drops were adorable paired with chippy peachy roses.
Here cameos and crowns are mellowed with aqua quartz and chalcedony.
I always appreciate when you stop by!  Enjoy your week!  :)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


I took a cue from nature this week and played around with some earthy themes and textures.

This necklace features a geode druzy slice with vintage French souvenir medal inside its cavity.  I love the way the peachy agate nuggets complement the natural marbelizeing of the pendant.

I mounted a vintage horse finding to a bronze frame and backed it with leather and black velvet to create this funky equestrian cuff.  The side panels are from a vintage Don Quixote souvenir bracelet.
And I used a similar treatment on this old locket, which was missing its centerpiece.  I think this old deer is just the right touch!  ;)

I gave this sweet old book pendant a simple treatment with garnets, book chain, and sparkling connector and clasp.


The texture of these bronze earrings from my new 't r e n d' line remind me of cobblestones.
And I was over the moon when I found these vintage enamel painted blue roses at the flea market last weekend!  Their chippy finish is the ultimate in shabby cool!  ;)

Thank you for stopping by!  I'll be working on some wholesale orders next, but will be back soon with more Etsy goodies.  And, I'll soon have a new 'technical' announcement!  ;)  Have a beautiful, sunny weekend, mes amis!  :)