Saturday, October 14, 2006



Hi! Well, we are moving home to the United States after nearly four years of living in France. Yes! We are excited! Will we miss it here? Yes! But right now I am up to my ears in boxes, our major appliances are being whisked out the door every weekend, my cat is freaking out with all the changes in furniture placement, her missing window seats, and periodic buzzing at the door, which makes her hide under any available bed. We leave in a little over two weeks and really cannot wait to have the international move behind us and get settled into a new house and new car back in the U.S. near our families. We've enjoyed this "chance of a lifetime" and experienced daily life in a foreign culture. More on this later...some pics as well. Nap time.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Antique Beads

Here is a small sampling of the antique beads I purchased at the brocante. There are about 30 more bags in their original packaging which have become fragile and brittle over the years. The box is marked "Perles pour les robes" = Beads for dresses. Ahhh....where shall I live when every last corner of my house is inhabited by beads?

Beads at the Brocante Again

The Sunday brocante proved abundant in all sorts of treasures. Pres found a late 17th- early 18th- century rosary of lilac colored crystals and a pretty enameled bracelet with motifs of several French cities for me. He poked around the ancient and vintage tools and found some diecuts for shaping silver jewelry pendants. There is usually everything AND the kitchen sink at these sales. Among the notable, though undesirable items I noted were two stuffed pet dogs from a bygone age! Late in the day I found a bonanza of antique beads in a rose floral fabric covered box. The woman who sold them to me suggested they were likely Murano glass. (Photo published in following post.) Pres also pointed out bits of a heavy brass chain with links resembling pods or a tubular blossom and others that are at least 16-gauge brass pigtaled wire on which has been strung a pretty 12mm (?) brass bead. I happily gathered up all the available lengths of chain and tossed them in my sack. Here's the photo. I haven't begun to design a piece with it, but I have a few ideas in my head. The links are a bit too heavy (solid brass) for earrings, but could lend themselves to a beautiful bracelet -- or -- used sparingly they would make a nice focal point or station for a necklace.

We stopped for a cold drink at Bar l'Universe and were pleased to see that the gypsy musicians that we enjoy so much were there with an additional member, a woman with long black hair, expressive steel grey eyes who passionately sang along to the melodious strumming of the two guitars. She twirled, rattled her skirts, shimmied and stomped as if set into a frenzy by the energy aroused from the collaborative efforts of the musicians, the people watching and clapping in time, the vital and luscious Spring day!

Monday, April 24, 2006

Picnic in the Park


Spring has sprung! Saturday my husband and I packed a picnic lunch of herbed ham and spicy dijon mustard on a baguette and Italian Parma ham wrapped around a sweet, ripe melon and drove to Parc Montjuzet, where we ate our lunch under the tall pines. The branches of the cherry trees are laden with delicate white blossoms tinged in pink. When the wind blew through them a shower of petals rained all over us.
In a few weeks visitors to the park will stuff their bellies with their sweet fruit. Just as they will with the abundance of blackberries that grow along the perimeter of the park. They are not yet in bloom. It will be a while. The lilacs are just in bud; tiny tight dots of purple or white ever so slowly awakening to the warm rays of the sun. The fragrance of hundreds of rosemary shrubs fills the air and soon so will the sweet and pungent lavender. It was a beautiful day in the park. Mother Nature awakens and celebrates the season. Life is good!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


This is my cat, Callie, sorting sea glass. She likes to push the pieces around and smell them. She likes to bat beads around too, but they often roll under the couch or hutch and she loses interest in playing and simply falls on the rug waiting to be brushed.
Callie was given away by both of her previous owners because they were moving to Europe. When we saw a poster on a telephone pole in South Carolina advertising her as "Free to a Good Home," we went to see her immediately! She was lying on a soft perch in a sunny window asleep and when I patted her head she swatted me and drew blood! I instantly fell in love with her. LOL. We took her in and after six months my husband was offered a five-year business assignment in France. (A Magic Cat?) We definitely could not and would not part with her. We did have to leave her for 2 months with friends to clear the waiting period after her rabies titer test, but two months to the day my husband made a special trip back home to retrieve her and bring her to France. She is truly spunky and can also be very affectionate, clingy and sweet. She loves to cuddle up with me and take an afternoon nap when it's raining.
Callie has a link to her own site, where she is dressed to the nines in her funny hats on my Jewelry showcase website

Tuesday, January 31, 2006


I am just beginning to set up my blog! My name is Jan Marie and I am an American woman currently live in France. I've been here for 3 years and will likely be here for another year and a half. I'd like to share my jewelry creations and other handcrafts on this site and hear from fellow jewelry enthusiasts, fiber artists on any topic related to creating jewelry, collecting vintage jewelry and lace, beads and buttons and other items that delight the senses and soothe the savage beast.