Thursday, February 25, 2010

what's your sign?

I have never been a big follower of astrology (I am neither a believer nor a non-believer). But when I saw my dear friend, Alexis, wearing this star date pendant, my interest was piqued:
The pendant is individually customized to a person's specific birth date, time and location to represent the alignment of the stars as they appeared in the sky the moment that person was born. AMAZING! No two pendants are alike. I love the personal, intimate feel of this piece of jewelry. I would literally be ordering this pendant this very moment if it wasn't only offered in yellow or white gold. So now I am scouring the internet trying to figure out my symbols so I can attempt to create my own version in sterling silver. (I found this great free natal chart: If that fails, I am going to start saving my pennies for this beauty!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

all mine!

I finished my tiny bezel ring last night, and I am so excited about it. Working on this scale definitely had it's challenges (especially having to use a magnifying glass to set the stones), but I love the look of these delicate pieces, so the effort was definitely worth it!I decided to solder the 2 bezels together (without a space) and soldered the ring to the bezels. I decided to hammer the thin band to give the piece a little bit of texture and gave it a high polish to compliment the brilliant facets of the stones. Then I set the stones and voila!... I had the ring I wanted for years, but better! I couldn't be happier.

Monday, February 22, 2010


Last week, I saw a locket my teacher created and now I am obsessed with the idea of creating a locket this semester. I have always loved lockets and I am excited about experimenting with hinges (something I haven't done yet) and different designs. Here are some locket inspiration images that I have been gathering...I love the idea of a more elongated shape with a design or cut out in the front and something unexpected on the inside. I definitely see the locket having a brushed texture and having some kind of patina to really bring out the design.

Friday, February 19, 2010

the beauty of trees

I grew up in the middle of the woods, and I have always been inspired by nature. My coworker showed me these 2 artists and it was love at first sight. Tim Knowles work is as delicate as it is powerful. He attaches pens to the branches of trees and the movement of the branches in the wind create these beautiful works of art. Breathtaking...

Brooks Salzwedel takes graphite and tape and encases it in resin to create these haunting tree images. They look like bare, winter trees in the mist.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

some tiny little bezels

You may remember my obsession with this ring I saw on Sundance...well, I started to recreate this ring in my own Villette-Jewelry-way, with brushed hammered sterling silver, and I substituted the diamonds for cubic zirconia and smoky quartz. I am contemplating eliminating the space between stones but I'll see how that plays out. Here's what I have done so far...
I created 2 bezels and 2 bezel seats (for the stones to sit on). And those are some TINY bezels (that's why I included the dime for size representation). Next week, I will solder the seats inside the bezels and solder those to the ring, and hopefully set the stones and polish. While I was shopping for gems, I also picked up this tiny little london blue topaz. I think I might make a ring just for this little guy that I can wear with the zirconia and quartz ring, if I feel so inclined. I love the color combination!

Friday, February 12, 2010

impossibly french

I have had an immense desire for all things French, of late... to travel to Paris, to learn French, or to at least bring some Parisian style into my life. But I am finding it hard, as I look nothing like the French girls that make me sigh with envy, despite my heritage of being part French (I am a much sturdier-looking Austrian). I think seeing Melanie Laurent in Inglourious Basterds made me envy French women a little more.And of course the root of all my envy lies in Virginie Ledoyen and the creme de la creme gathering of the most beautiful women I have ever seen in the appropriately titled movie, 8 Femmes.La sigh...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

snow day movie marathon

So today is day two of being snowed in at home. The movie marathon continues... here are a few highlights:
BUFFY the VAMPIRE SLAYER Season 4: I know, I know... judge me if you will! Let's get it all out there... I love things about vampires, I love the new Twilight series, I love the new Sookie series... but in my defense this isn't a recent development because of the current vampire trend (but believe me I love that vampires are everywhere right now!). I fell in love with Dracula when I was in 5th grade, so much so, I chose Carmilla as my name for Spanish class because she was the first female vampire in literature, and the fascination has never subsided. Ok, now that that's all cleared up... I loved Buffy when it originally aired and decided to rewatch the series recently. I am hopelessly addicted once again. I forgot many things about this show but I vividly remembered the Gentlemen from the episode "Hush"! Deformed men with sadistic smiles floating around and applauding one another as they rip out people's hearts... CREEPY!
THE NEW WORLD: I love this movie, although I didn't at first. It took many viewings before this movie crept into me, and now I see it as cinematic poetry. Q'orianka Kilcher is mesmerizing and breathtaking. Her ability to portray the emotions of this character is indescribable. I happened to catch this on TV last night and meant to only watch it until another show came on and I simply could not turn it off. I love this movie more every time I watch it.
THE VILLAGE: This is my favorite M. Night movie. I know the ending seems cliche now but I still love the movie overall. My favorite part is this scene when Lucius grabs Ivy's hand... it makes my heart stop every time.
PERSUASION: As you know, this is my favorite Jane Austen novel. I love the movie version with Ciaran Hinds as Captain Wentworth... and I blame this movie for the little crush I have formed for Mr. Hinds, much to the aghast of some of my friends. (I think him as Edward Rochester in Jane Eyre might have helped with this as well!) SECRETARY: This movie is the reason I fell in love with Maggie Gyllenhaal. It is an extremely unconventional love story, but that makes it even more powerful.

Well it's only noon so who knows what other screenings are in store. In the midst of all of this, I am also enjoying the book Shutter Island and hope to finish it before the movie opens next week. I hope all of you out there are finding ways to enjoy your snow day(s) as well!

Monday, February 8, 2010

snow white

28.5" of snow later, things are starting to move again in Philadelphia (just in time to prepare for another Nor'easter on it's way to us Tuesday evening). This weekend's storm was surreal... it looked like a snowglobe outside. Everything just stopped and was so quiet. Quite remarkable for the city! Here was the view from our house's stoop, mid-storm...I love snow (despite the fact that it seems to keep ruining my weekend plans this year). I feel like a little kid when I am out in the snow, and I can't help but smile. It makes me want to dress all cozy in winter whites! Here are a few things I would love to be wearing in this snowy weather......all of which were found on etsy... even better! (Slouchy knit hat by katazyna, cowl knit scarf by minggusandmoob, and fingerless knit mittens by morava.)

Crossing my fingers for a snow day on Wednesday!!!

Friday, February 5, 2010

outfit inspiration

Well, I was supposed to be attending a Wine Feast & Auction fundraiser for the Delaware Theatre Company tonight, but it looks like the impending blizzard has ruined those plans. But I can't waste the outfit inspiration I pulled for this special event:I wanted to channel a traditional 1940s silhouette. Without actually having the vintage pieces themselves, this was relatively easy to pull together with a few modern pieces. I paired a bunch of old items in my closet (a brown tweed high-waisted below-the-knee skirt with flared hem from H&M, a short sleeve ivory sheer blouse from Old Navy, a fitted 3/4 sleeve brown cardigan from Target, a brown wide corset belt from Anthropologie, brown textured tights from Target, and orange T-strap heels from Nine West) to create a very curvy, streamlined figure. I finished the look off with some of my favorite antique jewelry (cameo necklace, marcasite teardrop earrings, etched silver bangles) and twisted my hair back with antique tortoise shell haircombs. The outfit makes me feel very polished and womanly. I definitely need to save this outfit for some upcoming special event... can't let a good outfit go to waste!

If you live in the area, have fun playing in the snow!

Thursday, February 4, 2010


I have never been a big fan of pearls but lately I seem to find them more and more appealing... the dangle of the delicate pearl earrings on my favorite Jane Austen heroines, the image of a full strand of pearls on the traditional 1950s silhouette... there is something inherently old fashioned about pearls, in a remarkably good way!

I bought my first pearl while I was in Hawaii on my honeymoon. I wanted a keepsake that really represented Hawaii to me and a black pearl was my shopping mission. I finally found one (within my price range) at a little farmer's market in Hilo... a single organic-shaped, natural black pearl with a silver bale. I know I am going to treasure that piece of jewelry for the rest of my life. And I believe that is what is so special about pearls, they make a piece of jewelry feel like a treasure.

I am soon to inherit a few pearls from my late grandmother's favorite necklace (every granddaughter is getting a fair share of the pearls from the original full strand). Now I have to figure out what to do with them... I want them to feel special, because they are pearls, but more importantly, because they were HER pearls.
I was thinking of turning 2 of them into delicate drop earrings, very a la Jane Austen. The remainder I hope to add to a delicate chain spaced throughout amongst some filigree beads. I am debating whether to set the pearls myself but the desire to splurge on more expensive settings through a jeweler is very tempting. Regardless, I know I will treasure these pearls just as much as I do that very first pearl I purchased.

And here is my grandmother, in her wedding portrait, wearing her pearls. (I look just like her... curls, eyes, nose, mouth, and all!)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

first finished project

So here is my first completed school project for the semester: one hammered circle pendant with a clean bezel set aquamarine and one high polish circle pendant with a pinched bezel set iolite. I love the mixture of clean lines and handmade textures. And the blues look fantastic together! I am struggling with just having 2 pendants on the chain though (my obsession with 3's) so I am contemplating adding a third, larger circle to the group. But for now I plan to move on to making a few rings next.