DIY: How to store your jewelry?

Jewelry display 005

How frustrated do you get when your necklaces are tangled, or when you are missing an earring? I would like to share few ideas on how to store your jewelry in order to make it easier to get ready in the morning as well as to make sure that you don’t damage your jewels!

  1. Canvas with magnets of various sizes – This is a very easy project for the manually challenged…

You will need: a blank canvas (white or black), some magnets, embellishments

The idea is to make it easier for you to display and store your jewelry. This example is for necklaces, earrings and brooches. Keep in mind that it will not work for very heavy jewelry as the magnet needs to hold each piece (see photo)

I bought all of the material at my local Michael’s Craft Store, but you can also visit your local dollar store for a more economical option.

  • You have the option of leaving the canvas as is, or you may also want to cover it with some fabric, or photos in order to personalize it
  • In my case, I picked a black canvas, and decorated it at the top with some embellishments that I glue to the canvas. The options are limitless: you could also decide to frame the canvas, or perhaps even use a shadow box.
  • The magnets could be of different sizes depending on the size and weight of the jewelry that you are hanging.

Jewelry display 002

The result is a very clean display of your favorite baubles. Please send me some photos of your projects!

2. Vintage frame with chicken wire: this project is a lot of fun, but make sure that you have the correct basic tools…

You will need: a frame (I got mine at a garage sale for $2!), paint for the frame (optional), a brush, chicken wire, some cutters, protective gloves, a heavy duty stapler, and some magnets (optional)

I bought the chicken wire at my local hardware store. It usually sales by the foot. I also bought some antique wax (by Artminds) at Michael’s (this one is water base, semi transparent)

  • I chose a wire with small space in between, but there are a lot of different sizes available
  • I started by cleaning the frame (it was dusty) and then gave it 2 coats of the antique wax as I wanted to give it a vintage look
  • You will most likely have to cut the wire to size, so make sure that you are using protective gloves to avoid getting cut
  • Make sure that you don’t cut too much, as it’s always easier to cut the extra wire at the end
  • To hang your fish hook earrings, just place them thru the wire. I also use some magnets to hang the necklaces. If you are using a wire with more spacing, it would be easier to hang your brooches or hoop earrings

Jewelry display DIY 007

And voilà! You have a very practical and artsy jewelry display! Please send me some photos of your own projects!

Isabelle V.

How to store, repair and re-use your jewelry…

jewelry box for blog

If your jewelry box looks like the above photo…then you need to read this blog…I have been collecting vintage jewelry for many years and I have to admit that I often benefited from finding broken jewels at garage sales or charity shops …From a broken clasp to a lovely brooch missing one small crystal, we often discard our jewelry or just let them sit at the bottom of a drawer.

How many lonely earring,  or other injured baubles do you keep? Even if you are not very handy, it’s quite easy to repaire a clasp or a broken necklace.

I will be posting a serie of blog in the next few weeks about:

  • DIY’s on how to store your jewelry
  • DIY’s on easy fixes for your jewelry
  • DIY’s on how to re-use your broken jewelry

In the meantime, please feel free to send me any question or a comment on the topic.

Thanks in advance!

Isabelle V.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My thoughts about Valentine’s day…

When I first moved to Canada from France many years ago, I was very surprised and amused by how commercial Valentine’s day was…In France, and most of Europe, you celebrate with you significant other by going out for dinner, or buying flowers. There is no pressure to buy a card or gift for your babysitter, your children’s teachers, soccer coach, pets etc…

In my early 20’s I was working in an office and all the women were wearing red or pink on that day.. really? I thought that it was a bit much…and then there was a real competition to find out who was the luckiest woman…how big was your bouquet? Did you get any jewelry?

I remember seeing a lot of men , with a panicked look on their faces at the drugstore the day before Valentine’s day, rushing to buy a card and a box of chocolate! Personally, I much prefer something spontaneous…One should not feel pressure to ‘have to buy’ a gift to show their feelings…

Don’t get my wrong, I’m a romantic, but I prefer to receive flowers or a gift from my darling when I’m not expecting it…don’t you?

So, my message is…be original…Here are few ideas that I gather from my circle of friends:

  • If you are not a cook, make an effort and prepare an entire simple meal from scratch…your effort will be definitely appreciated…
  • If you are a parent with young children and feel guilty about going out…don’t! Get a babysitter and go for an early dinner and a catch a play! (your sanity is important…)
  • Up cycle: maybe your husband has been meaning to build that side table using an old leather suitcase…Well, why not go ahead and make it for him! (some great DIY tips on line!)
  • Be green: buy local flowers, buy a vintage item, send an eCard
  • Perform a RAK* (Random Act of Kindness): volunteer at your local nursing home or shelter…

Food for thought: In 2015, Americans spent almost 19 billions for Valentine’s day…Are you surprise by that figure? How will you be celebrating Valentine’s day this year?

Isabelle V.

 

Top 10 reasons to buy vintage in 2016

  1. It’s good for the environment: Less clothing end up in landfills.
  2. It’s more ethical: Less demand from sweat shops in third world countries
  3. It’s cheaper (usually): Real vintage clothing are well made with quality fabric, so they tend to last longer.
  4. It’s more original: You don’t run the risk of wearing the same winter coat as your colleagues
  5. It’s more trendy: Even celebrities are embracing vintage! Thanks to Gwen Stephanie, Angelina Jolie and Natalie Portman (to name a few…)
  6. It’s a good investment: Vintage clothing and accessories often increase in value as they become more scarce – So you can always resale them…
  7.  It’s important to reduce ‘Fast fashion’: which is the equivalent of ‘Fast food’ in the clothing industry –
  8. It’s critical to reduce our fashion footprint by supporting the use of alternative fibre such as bamboo, hemp and sustainable grown cotton
  9. It’s a good example for the next generation! I remember taking my niece to a vintage store when she was 13.  I gave her $20 and she was SO excited that she was able to purchase 5 items!
  10.  It’s easy to make the first step: some of my friends think that vintage is just ‘old smelly stuff’…Not every old items can be called vintage…It needs to be a well made, quality item. Whether you are calling it a thrift shop, consignment store, online such as on etsy.com or ‘dress agencies’, as it is called in the United Kingdom – just take the challenge to visit one of your local stores, you may be surprised by what you find…

What was your best vintage find this year? I look forward to your feedback!

Isabelle V.

Street photos Nov 2014 009
Vintage Borsalino hat

Being Iris…

Iris

I recently saw an amazing documentary at the Revue Cinema in Toronto (http://revuecinema.ca/) called ‘Iris’, about the life of Iris Apfel.  It was introduced by Odessa Paloma Parker, fashion editor at @globestyle.

Most of you may be familiar with Iris Apfel in the MAC Cosmetics, or Kate Spade campaigns. The documentary takes you from her early career as a interior decorator, business owner of a rare textiles company, to today as a ‘geriatric starlet’!

She’s incredibly blunt yet so charming that she always gets away with it! She had so many great lines that I’m not sure which one is my favorite! I’ll quote two of them, ‘When you don’t dress like everyone else, you don’t have to think like everyone else’, and ‘There is no how-to road map to style, it’s about self-expression and above all, attitude’

What started her belated claim to fame was the 2005 exhibit called ‘Rara Avis’ at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Her extensive collection of jewelry and couture fashion was a fabulous success, and it became a  traveling exhibit in other museums across the US.  It was organized by Stephane Houy-Towner (Research Associate), with the support of Harold Koda (Curator), both from the Metropolitan Museum’s Costume Institute.

I have to admit that I had to gasp few times as Iris was taking us thru her closet…She’s in the process of donating most of her collection to various museums…but I wouldn’t mind getting an invite to her next garage sale…

You’ll laugh, cry, be inspired…This documentary is cross-generational and cross-gender. It’s not so much a fashion documentary than it is a love story…

I encourage you to watch ‘Iris and share your thoughts. Here is the official trailer : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fo8jwJ_2l0c

Isabelle V.

 

 

 

 

 

Ormolu little French treasures…

Ormolu: from French ‘or moulu’, signifying ground or pounded gold.

I recently purchased 3 small jewelry/trinket boxes at an auction. I have come across many objects made of ormolu in the past, but I never researched the actual history of this process. In France, the technique is known as ‘bronze doré’, and in English, it’s referred to as ‘gilt bronze’or ‘mosaic gold’

It’s a process that is achieve by adding mercury on a brass or bronze base.  At the beginning of the 18th century, the Baroque and Rococo style were popular in France and England. Rococo was very ornate, with highly decorated objects. The term Rococo is now use do describe something that is too ornate or overdone.

The original craftsmen used ormolu to decorate furniture, chandeliers, clocks as well as porcelain.

It was outlawed in France around 1830 as  it was extremely toxic due to  the mercury fumes. However, it was still in use until about 1900.Later on, a new technique called ‘pomponne’ was developed. It was used to refer to imitation gold or gilt metal.

Today ormolu objects are highly collectible. The small box that you see in the photo above measures about 2.5″H x 2.5 W x 2″ D . It’s a great object to decorate your vanity and to store or display your jewelry. As there are usually made of ormolu and glass, it’s practical as you can see what’s inside.

It’s a great holiday gift for any of the ladies in your life, or even for yourself! You may want to start your own ormolu collection! As usual, please fell free to post your comments or ask me any question!

Thanks a lot!/ Merci!

Isabelle V.

p.s.: This little treasure is available for sale on my etsy.com site:

https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/258428105/antique-french-gilded-ormolu-beveled?ref=shop_home_active_1

 

 

 

Meeting Garance Doré in Toronto

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I had the opportunity to meet with Garance Doré in Toronto this week. If you are not familiar with her, please check out her blog at http://www.garancedore.fr/en/

Her new book ‘Love, Style, Life’ is available in most bookstores as well as online. I know her from her fashion illustrations, but she’s also a fabulous blogger and talented photographer. It seems that these days, almost everyone is a self-proclaimed blogger… But Garance Doré is not your average blogger…She has depth, maturity and substance! The very well organized event was sponsored buy the #ClubMonaco store on Bloor Street West in #Toronto and I was very impressed with the turn out!  I was expecting to see mainly women in the 30/35+ categories, but I would say that it was mainly a 20’s something crowd.

As an avid reader, I’m always intrigued to understand what makes a blog/blogger successful and popular. Most fashion/lifestyle bloggers it seems are just interested in promoting brands, and don’t have much content. I think that one must focus on a specific area in order to reach the right audience. Do you agree?

Garance Doré doesn’t come from a wealthy family with connections in the fashion world. She followed her passion and was lucky enough to reach her dream…It’s refreshing to read a blog that is inclusive of various age groups and that is not only focused on the socialites and fashionistas!

She has a very interesting perspective on society, as she has lives in both Paris, and New York, where she now calls home.

She doesn’t take herself seriously and is very honest. She shared her apprehension about turning 40 and at the same time admits that it’s not a big deal after all!

Thanks/Merci Garance for being so genuine!

You can order her book at Chapters in Canada at chapters.indigo.ca/love-style-life

and for more info, please check out: www.garancedoregoods.com

Isabelle V.