My love for vintage jewelry

I always enjoy hunting for vintage findings, brooches, earrings and other jewelry parts to use in my one-of-a-kind necklaces. I have noticed that through the years, the use of existing jewelry in the making of my own jewelry has shaped my creative process. Instead of starting with a clear idea of what I want to do, I look for a piece of jewelry, a stone, a bead or a fabric swatch that will tickle my inspiration. I usually build a necklace around the jewelry piece that I feel inspired by. Sometimes that piece doesn’t even remain in the necklace : that’s ok. It doesn’t have to. It inspired me and maybe that was its only job.

I now buy a lot of vintage jewelry online because it’s easier. I can look for a specific color or shape I wish to use. I used to go to garage sales, flea markets and church sales hoping to find a nice piece of jewelry but I got lazy and now shop from the comfort of my home.

I have collected a nice selection of vintage findings. Some were given to me by generous people. Once, a lady who worked her whole life as a costume designer and had just retired came to my studio and dropped me tons of millinery flowers, vintage earrings, brooches and feathers. I made the Moulin rouge necklace, using a lot of the things she gave me :

statement necklace made with vintage crystals and feathers

Today I thought I would open some of my drawers to show you some of my vintage jewelry findings :

costume jewelry findings

costume jewelry designer blog

vintage jewelry costume jewelry brooches collection

I have recently started to use vintage millinery flowers in my jewelry. I am fascinated by the details and the beauty of these flowers and they remind me of those movies I have seen of Coco Chanel making hats :

vintage millinery flowers

Those purple flowers you can see can also be found in the Ana necklace available on my website :

collier noir et mauve chic montreal

vintage millinery flowers made in japan

I use those gorgeous vintage flower branches in the Marika necklace :

colliers originaux montréal

These days I have been working on a new one-of-a-kind necklace, using a few different vintage findings, along with stones and silk.This necklace has given me a very hard time, made me doubt myself at times and required a lot of patience and stamina. But I think I have finally come to a design I love (I still need to give it a few finishing touches…) :

statement-necklace-made-in-montreal

Getting ready for the sample sale

The past month has been filled with things to do to get ready for the sample sale I am having on May 1st and 2nd (122 Bernard Ouest, Montreal).

Tout le mois d’avril a été rempli de choses à faire en vue de ma vente d’échantillons qui aura lieu les 1-2 mai au 122 Bernard Ouest, Montréal.

boucles d'oreilles dorées montréal bijouterie plateau

Today I spent the entire day putting price tags on almost 200 products (I am not done yet). I took a few pictures of some of the bracelets, necklaces and earrings that will be on sale on may 1-2 for you to have an idea of what selection you will find. Please note that I will also be offering 15 % off everything on my website.

Aujourd’hui j’ai passé toute la journée à mettre des étiquettes sur près de 200 produits (je n’ai d’ailleurs pas encore terminé). J’ai pris quelques photos des bracelets, colliers et boucles d’oreilles qui seront en solde les 1-2 mai pour vous donner une idée… Notez que j’offrirai également 15 % de rabais sur tous les produits de la collection actuellement affichée sur mon site web.

colliers originaux bijouterie montréal

bracelet originaux créations uniques bijouterie montréal

If you want to make sure you always hear about sales, events and new things, you can like my facebook page or register to my newsletter on my website (I send emails once or twice a month).

Si vous voulez vous assurer de toujours être informé(e) des ventes, événements et nouveautés, vous pouvez aimer ma page facebook ou vous abonner à mon infolettre directement sur mon site web (j’envoie des nouvelles 1-2 fois par mois).

See you on friday ! xoxo

À vendredi ! xoxo

bracelets bohèmes créateurs de bijoux de fantaisie montréal bijouterie

colliers bohèmes et chics montréal bijouterie outremont

statement bracelet montreal jewellery store bohemian style

Sample sale coming up !

Last year when I closed the shop, I organized a huge sale on my jewelry from past collections. It was supposed to last 3 days but we sold out in one day. It was such a great success I thought I should repeat the experience again. And there it is : May 1st-2nd, run to my pop-up shop at 122 Bernard O. (Montreal) for big savings, big time !

L’an dernier, quand j’ai fermé ma boutique, j’ai organisé une grande vente de bijoux de collections antérieures. La vente devait durer trois jours mais à ma grande surprise, nous avons tout vendu en une journée. J’ai tellement aimé l’expérience que je me suis promis de la renouveler. Et le moment est enfin arrivé ! Les 1er-2 mai, venez nous voir à mon ancienne boutique pour profiter de généreux rabais sur beaucoup de bijoux !

jewelry sample sale montreal

 

This little world of mine

When I was a child, a teenager and even a young adult, I was very concerned with getting people’s approval. I spent a lot of time trying to please people. I didn’t have much self confidence and worried people didn’t like me. I was a very anxious kid that often felt unworthy and “not enough”. I could barely spend time on my own : being alone felt painful and scary.

As a young adult, with time (and a lot of therapy) I gradually learned to know and love my true self. I learned to make the difference between what I wanted to do and what I was doing to get people to like me. And on that path, what really helped me heal my wounds and grow a sense of self is jewelry.

atelier de bijoux montréal

Sitting for long hours in my studio, making necklaces, playing with beads and fabrics slowly taught me to spend time on my own. It became fun. It felt good. I didn’t need to be with people all the time anymore. I wasn’t running away from solitude anymore : I was enjoying it. In fact, I often think that I still spend a lot of time alone because I have to make up for all the years I spent running away from myself.

jewelry studio montreal

Jewelry showed me intimacy. My studio became this little world of mine, this secret intimate universe where everything was possible. I learned that the journey was more important than the destination as I embraced the long hours it could take me to make a necklace.

Making jewelry taught me hard work and to take pride in what I do. I had never been fully dedicated to anything before. I began to look for inspiration everywhere around me. I would hunt beautiful color combinations and interesting material textures. I spent entire evenings embroidering beads and crystals to fabric to build a necklace, with  “Project Runway” playing on my computer, its young designers giving me a sense of community.

JEWELRY DESIGNER WORKING WITH FABRIC

My first big fabric necklaces were kept secret for a while. I loved them so much : not only because of what they looked like but mostly because of the deep joy I felt when I was making them. For a while, they all hung on a coat rack in my studio, hidden under a big sheet. At first, I didn’t want to show them to anyone, not even my flatmate who was a close friend.

collier jaune montreal

I had finally learned to respect myself, my process, my need for intimacy and secrets. I had found my voice, my passion and what would become my work. For the first time in my life I was dedicated to doing something that came from inside and not from an outside pressure or a desire to please.

And that is how making jewelry became a huge part of my life…

giacometti-quote-about-art

Wedding inspiration : beautiful wedding dresses

When I was shopping for my wedding dress, I realized how heavy and uncomfortable a wedding gown can be : staring at myself in the mirror, I looked like a princess but felt like a prisoner. I thought : how can I have fun at my wedding if I am wearing this tight fitting heavy thing ? And with my wedding being in august, I could also picture myself sweating like crazy in those dresses.

So I decided to look for a lighter, simpler dress. I ended up picking a dress from Grace loves lace, an Australian brand that sells exclusively online. All I had to make my decision were a fabric swatch and pictures and testimonials from brides wearing the dress. Having a pretty standard shape, I am confident that the fit will be perfect. And I was happy to order a dress made by a small company with local workers.

For obvious reasons, I won’t be showing you my dress until after my wedding but here are some of my favorite inspirations from my weddding dresses Pinterest board :

Bohemian long sleeve lace wedding dress from grace loves lace

Grace loves lace dress

simple white wedding gown with open front

unknown source

white maxi dress with crocheted detail boho bride

Life with Emily blog

lace top by wedding dress brand laure de sagazan

Laure de Sagazan

simple wedding dress for a summer wedding by j.mendel

J.Mendel dress, photo by Xavier Navarro

lihi hod wedding dress with lace

Lihi Hod wedding dress

grace loves lace avril dress, skirt and top for bride

Grace loves lace Avril dress

truvelle wedding dress with black belt

Truvelle wedding dress

robe de mariée laure de sagazan

Laure de Sagazan wedding dress

I could go on and on with more pictures because there are so many dresses out there that I absolutely love. You can see more of my wedding inspirations on my Pinterest.

And if you are in the process of shopping for your wedding dress, here is my advice. List the things you want to find in your dress and stick to it. Don’t settle for something that looks great but that is totally not you. You will be getting a lot of different opinions from different people and that can make you lose sight of what you like and need : comfort ? style ? sleeves ? no sleeves ? light ? princess style ? simple ? over the top ? long ? short ? Most importantly, trust yourself, be patient and keep it fun !

How about you, any advice you would like to share ? xox

Bling it for the ball

vintage earrings with crystals montreal

Jessica reached out to me some time ago because she had to pick accessories for a Ball she was going to, in France (lucky her). She had chosen the beautiful Flora, a pair of one-of-a-kind vintage earrings and asked me if I could customize the Panaji bracelet and add more elegance to it.

I suggested to add a row of crystals to the bracelet. I was very happy with the result : the crystals make a beautiful addition to the bracelet. Here is the before and after of the Panaji bracelet :

blue freshwater pearls bracelet

It was just the right amount of bling to make the bracelet more elegant. Aside from the crystals, the Panaji bracelet is made of dark blue freshwater pearls, rhinestones, raw african metal beads, agate and glass. I like its combination of different shades of blue and textures.

crystal and blue bracelet

I am always happy to customize my jewelry to make it fit your needs : get in touch if you have a project in mind so we can start brainstorming about it xx

How I learned to let my clients inspire my work

Years ago, before I began to make custom-made jewelry for clients, I thought it would be a very uncomfortable and boring thing to do. The idea of having to deal with someone else’s desires and ideas when I make jewelry horrified be : I would perceive it as pressure and dominance. I was very attached to the freedom I experienced in my studio.

My memory is not always reliable but I think the first client who ordered a custom design from me was Carrie. She had this gorgeous family quilt she wanted me to use, as well as some old Scottish medals. I could not say no to such an exciting challenge. And that is exactly what changed my perception of making custom-made jewelry : the challenge and the surprising excitement I felt for it.

What I thought would be uncomfortable pressure actually turned out to be inspiring and exciting constraint. I would have never thought of using a Scottish quilt for a necklace : but Carrie took me there. My work inspired her that idea. And her idea inspired my work. And that’s how I learned that the clients who come to me for a custom design stimulate my creativity and sometimes take me out of my comfort zone. Ever since, every time I get an email or a phone call for a custom design, I get very excited (and a little nervous because let’s face it, a challenge is always a little stressful).

scottish inspired necklace with quilt fabric and war medals

I recently told you about Cateline and the Bagala necklace I made for her. Well in addition to the bagala necklace, she also asked me to design her a necklace inspired by the Kali but with pink, earthy tones, yellow and some neon. She liked the Cesaria necklace for its neon details and the Kali for its shape. She wanted something summery she could wear everyday so I began with showing her different stones, crystals, chains and beads I could use for her necklace.

When brainstorming with a client, I like to throw a selection of different materials on the table and get a feel of how the necklace would look. This is the palette we both liked :

pink freshwater pearls and neon beads

And this is the necklace I made :

peach and yellow statement necklace with gold chains

Sending a picture of my design to a client always makes me feel vulnerable and a little insecure so when Cateline told me she loved it, I was very happy.  I think I might design a necklace inspired by this one for my collection. I love its fresh colors and all the little details in there. Thank you Cateline for trusting me and allowing me to design this necklace for you :)

Have a great week-end xx